In These Toxic Times – a poem

In These Toxic Times


It’s all change in these toxic times

Where the ghosts of days that never were,

Like phantom fairy castles

Glimpsed in mists among the clouds,

Loom large on a pedestal of nostalgic lies.


The new guard, regaled in fascist clothing,

Unleash waves of fear and hatred

As purity is threatened by change.

But life is change and always has been

And the past was always badly stained.


The storm breaks upon the shore

As rollers pound the beaches,

Cities and people.

As the waves of ingress

Wash away compassion,

Wash away hope, care and love.

As the wind howls and ushers in

Gales of callous cruelty, despair and anger.


It’s all change in these toxic times

As the hate is channeled and directed.

There is no room for empathy, tolerance and welcome.

For the waves of threat are crashing against the cliffs

Bringing down the whole continent

As the hurricane blows away all we once stood for.


This country, built on compassion and a friendly smile,

Now a bastion of defiant fury

That puts children in the dog pound

Walls between us

And bombs amongst the crowd.


For centuries an island of hope,

A beacon to the oppressed,

A refuge from terror.


For it is all change in these toxic times

Where every stranger is the enemy.

The beacon has gone out.

The hope has been extinguished.

And the refuge become the prison.


The welcoming smile is now a snarl

The helping hand a fist

The door is built of razor wire.

The nostalgia for those pleasant times

Ironically based on fake memories.


Opher – 22.6.2018



In These Toxic Times


I’m becoming nostalgic for those pleasant times before Brexit and Trump.

It seems to me that these two events have unleashed a great wave of division, fear and hatred. The politicians stir up the emotions for their own ends. Immigration and terrorism are used to promote their own political careers.

Immigration has been used as a tool. There has been too much but the fears are exaggerated in order to create fury as Islamophobia is deployed as a weapon.

Looking back through rose-tinted glasses to those olden days, (ignoring the racism, poverty, hardship, misogyny, disease and gross inequality) we are led to believe that things have got worse.

They haven’t.

6 thoughts on “In These Toxic Times – a poem

  1. What the hell are you talking about here?
    Black unemployment is at the lowest level ever recorded.
    Latino employment is at the highest level in the last 30 years.
    What more do you want in 18 months?
    No matter how you look at it, no matter what your political persuasion is (if any), that’s an INCREDIBLE achievement.
    Coupled with the North Korean summit, which nobody had even got close to, never mind walking away with signed agreements. OK, we’ve yet to see it in action, but the intention is fantastic.
    And you have a problem with that?

    OK, some hundreds of children got separated temporarily from their parents for two days while their illegal immigrant parents were questioned. The decision was made to separate to undertake the questioning/interview process a lot quicker than it would be with squalling kids in the same room. That was unfortunate, but nobody had invited the parents in the first place.

    You have a decision to make. No matter what terminology you may choose to use, you cannot separate Muslims from Islam. Islam is their ever controlling guiding factor and not our customs, culture, laws and regulations. An immediate indicator is the advanced development of Sharia Law. Who would ever have predicted that Sharia Law was going to be a controlling force in the UK? Well, it very much is.

    Things have got worse. Quite obviously they have got worse.
    The Shoe Bomber was a Muslim
    The Beltway Snipers were Muslims
    The Fort Hood Shooter was a Muslim
    The underwear Bomber was a Muslim
    The U-S.S. Cole Bombers were Muslims
    The Madrid Train Bombers were Muslims
    The Bali Nightclub Bombers were Muslims
    The London Subway Bombers were Muslims
    The Glasgow Airport Attackers were Muslims
    The Moscow Theater Attackers were Muslims
    The Boston Marathon Bombers were Muslims
    The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers were Muslims
    The Air France 8969 in 1994 were Muslims
    The Air France Entebbe Hijackers were Muslims
    The Iranian Embassy Takeover, was by Muslims
    The Beirut U.S. Embassy bombers were Muslims
    The Libyan U.S. Embassy Attack was by Muslims
    The Buenos Aires Suicide Bombers were Muslims
    The Israeli Olympic Team Attackers were Muslims
    The Kenyan U.S, Embassy Bombers were Muslims
    The Saudi, Khobar Towers Bombers were Muslims
    The Beirut Marine Barracks bombers were Muslims
    The Besian Russian School Attackers were Muslims
    The first World Trade Center Bombers were Muslims
    The Bombay & Mumbai India Attackers were Muslims
    The Achille Lauro Cruise Ship Hijackers were Muslims
    The September 11th 2001 Airline Hijackers were Muslims
    The San Bernardino (14 dead, 29 wounded) Attackers were Muslims
    The Orlando (49 dead) Attackers were Muslim
    The thwarted Strathroy, Ontario attacker was a Muslim
    The Berlin Market Truck crash (12 dead, 50 injured) driver was a Pakistani Muslim
    The assassin of the Russian ambassador to Turkey was a Muslim
    The shooters at the Reina Nightclub in Istanbul were Muslims
    The shooters at the Bataclan music venue in Paris were Muslims
    The British Parliament attacker was a Muslim
    The Manchester Pop Concert (23 dead, 100+ injured) attacker was a Muslim
    The Barcelona 2017 attacker was a Muslim

    These are just a few of the thousands of other attacks throughout the world in living memory in the last 25 years or so.
    We don’t see any other religious nutter people doing these sort of things so what are we supposed to make of all this?

    1. Oh please – do I have to produce a list of atrocities carried out by right-wing nutters?
      Do I have to go on about the rise in hate crime? The separation of children? The polluting industry? The reduction in health and safety? Environmental destruction and pollution? The art of fascism has not been lost!

    2. Oh yes please. You go ahead and provide such a list. It won’t amount to very much and will be a very short list. Find me one right-wing nutter group that blew the fuck out of some kids at a pop concert. All you’ve got is Anders Breivik, a one-off solo act.

      I can only suggest that you seek further clarification of the exact contents of these hate crime statistics. See the dates of the implementation of revision of policy. See the changes in the rules and regulations of report criteria. Then go figure exactly what percentage of all of it is indeed actual acts of real hate crime. Do yourself a favour and get an education on the fact of this matter, otherwise you’d end up believing anything they tell you.
      Tell you what, you walk past a mosque in Southall on a Friday and when their brigade of nasty, racist street-bound and officially unauthorised personnel tell you to remove yourself immediately from the area, go see if you are able to report that as a “hate crime”. One thing is for certain in that these people do indeed hate you but there’s nothing you can do about that as presently in the UK, it is not an act of hate to tell an indigenous British person of a probable Christian background (the practice of faith is irrelevant) to get themselves out of their faces asap. But it most certainly would be were it yourself telling them to get themselves away from the front of your local church. If you can understand that then that will go a long way to enlighten you of the anomalies appertaining to these hate crimes statistics.

      The separation of children? Didn’t you get that bit as explained above in an earlier post. Nobody died.
      The reduction of health and safety? Now you are talking rot. We’ve never had more of it, hence, why there’s divisions of divisions of H&S officers falling over themselves at your local council offices. You must be the first person who I’ve ever come across complaining about a lack of health and safety. That’s almost comical were it not quite such an indicator that you’re maybe a fly swatting nit picker. You be careful now as these fly swatters in the wrong hands could be dangerous and as Billy Connolly used to say when taking the mickey out of these people “that could take your eye out!”
      Environmental destruction and pollution? Didn’t I just read that you’ve been travelling around the country? Why? Did you really need to? Was that absolutely necessary? It’s always amusing to me that those whom speak loudest about environmental issues are those that leave the largest carbon footprints. Their hypocrisy is appalling.
      But you can at least do something about that can’t you? Sit down with your weekly shopping list and go through it item by item and desist from further purchase of all items containing palm oil. You might not be left with very much but no doubt satisfied in your endeavours on tackling this issue as you stretch towards the key ignition in your polluting car on yet another outing to the big bad corporate destructive bully aka your local supermarket.
      Indeed, the art of fascist hypocrisy has most certainly not been lost and alive and well and living in your very own backyard.

      1. 106 individuals were killed by far-right violent extremists in 62 separate incidents in the USA. More incidents that Islamic terrorism.
        Pollution and deforestation cannot be dealt with by individuals. It needs global strategies. You cannot get rid of palm oil expansion by a few individuals spending hours scouring the products they buy. It requires much more than that. For heavens sake grow up.

      2. Is that it? In USA? The land of the hand gun and there’s some murders are you’re shocked?
        You’ll have to do better than that. I did of course warn you that your list will be a short one and indeed it was.

        If there’s any growing up to do it’s yourself. Pull your short ass up a bit and poke it over the parapet and see what’s going on and who’s doing it. You’re as much a part of the problem as the next one. Don’t you know that when we stop buying something they stop making it? Stop buying cheap shit and they’ll stop making shit. Easy.
        Buy local produce, it’s twice the price but the answer to a lot of the problems.
        Grow up? Go take a look in the mirror. You”ll probably need a stool to stand on, junior.

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