Hard Times are Coming – a poem

Hard Times are coming


From the waterworld to the droughts –

Hard times are coming.

From the Sahara ocean to the Artic desert

Hard times are on their way.


Growing crops on mountain tops –

Hard times are coming.

From the arid Amazon to the flooded Gobi

Hard times are on their way.


Fishing over Holland, trawling Bangladesh –

Hard times are coming.

Our cities under water our fields now sea

Hard times are on their way.


Opher 24.4.2019



If we allow climate change to occur we will unleash forces that will devastate our civilisations and bring an end to everything we have.

In the past, when we were small in number and nomadic hunter gatherers, we simply moved to higher ground. Not so easily with eight million and the infrastructure and agriculture on low lying land. Not so easy with the need to feed eight billion.

Hard times are coming.

Morocco – Goats in trees and Argan oil

Once upon a time these nimble goats climbed up argan trees to eat the fruit. The people collected the nuts the goats left littered underneath and ground them up to extract the oil.

Nowadays they put the goats up in the trees for the tourists and use an industrial method to extract the oil from the nuts.

But it is a weird sight!! You don’t often see goats up in trees!

Here’s some women extracting oil from argan nuts in the traditional way for the tourists.

Overpopulation is the cause – a poem

Overpopulation is the cause


Overpopulation is the cause of the pain.

Eight billion mouths to feed.

Sixteen billion feet head off in search of food.

While the population breed.

They are chopping down the trees

Killing everything that moves.

Providing for their children and

Ignoring anyone who disapproves.

But there’s only so much wilderness

So many creatures to eat.

They are battling against nature

And inflicting a defeat.


Opher 24.4.2019



We can’t go on chopping down the forests and killing everything. There are limits.

With eight billion mouths needing feeding, huge numbers of fish to be dragged from the water, massive amounts of land cleared and used for agriculture, we are reaching the limit.

Our sheer numbers are destroying the world.

Extinction Rebellion – a poem

Extinction Rebellion


The world is in a mess.

That’s not hard to see.

The plunder and the rape

Is killing bird and tree.


But there’s a rebellion against this extinction

Carried out with distinction.

Superglued to trains and building barricades

They’re fighting without blades.


They are fighting for the future

They are making a huge din.

They’re trying to wake us up

To what is happening.


For profit and gain

We are busy plundering.

Without a care for pain

Or a moment spent wondering.


But there’s a rebellion against this extinction

Carried out with distinction.

Superglued to trains and building barricades

They’re fighting without blades.


So long live the rebellion

I hope it wakes us up.

Greed is so destructive

We’ve got to give it up.


But there’s a wealthy bunch

Who just see the cash.

Unless they start to give a damn

We’re heading for a crash.


But there’s a rebellion against this extinction

Carried out with distinction.

Superglued to trains and building barricades

They’re fighting without blades.


Opher – 24.4.2019



What we have done to the world over these last few hundred years is criminal. Without regard to the destruction or the agony of the creatures caught up in it we have devastated the environment.

Things have got to change.

Animal population numbers are decimated. Many face extinction. The wilderness is being destroyed.

Nowhere is safe.

Thank heavens some people are prepared to fight for a better future.

Ode to Greta Thunberg – poem

Ode to Greta Thunberg


It takes a schoolgirl like Greta Thunberg

To point the way.

In a world without an iceberg

We’ll have had our day.

With our cities under water

Life will not be the same.

It takes a young Swedish daughter

To change the game.

Eight billion refugees will be set loose

As the weather alters.

We’ll need to be waterproof

Or else listen to Swedish daughters.


Opher – 24.4.2019



Who would have thought that a young schoolgirl to get people to pay attention. With her schoolchildren sit-ins she has forced politicians to pay attention to what is going on. More power to her.

The young are the future. They will inherit the Earth from us. We need to leave it in good shape.

This last few hundred years has been a disaster for the planet.

We, as a species, have gone berserk. Our numbers have gone through the roof. Our technology has gone astronomical. We have massacred the wildlife, decimated the forests, polluted the oceans and filled the air with our effluent.

Three hundred years ago we seemed to think the world’s resources were infinite. We are clearly seeing they are not.

Unless we step back from the brink and bring sanity to bear we will wreck the world we depend on.

Greta Thunberg knows this. Why is it so many older people fail to grasp it?

Morocco – Around the Spice Market

Moroccan food is deliciously spicy. In the Medina there are many stalls selling the most enticing looking spices with such rich colours. They are displayed in colourful cones on top of barrels.

In the spice market there were many stalls all with arrays of spices. There was so much spice that I could not see any way they could sell it all. I began to suspect that these cones were not what they seemed but you never know.

The breath-taking Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.

There are some things religion does well – architecture and art being one of them. Cathedrals, Mosques and Temples are the ICBMs of religion. They make them as impressive as can be. The intention is to fill the viewer with awe. It something is that big, costly, beautiful and incredible then the religion itself must have substance.

Well I don’t think the religion has any substance but I am in awe of the beauty.

The Hassan II Mosque is on the sea shore and is a most impressive, inspiring structure. I do love Islamic art. The tilework, mosaics and décor. Very lavish, colourful and artistic.

I’ve got a load more but this gives you an idea and I’m running out of space on my blog.


Success will never come

Frederic sums up the frustrations of many of us.


Torn-up letters of disdain.
Manuscripts thrown in the bin.
You say you are sorry.

But it is no so easy.
And I must close the book
on printed rainbows.

Raindrop words will never find
their place in the sun.
I give up. You have won.

Success will never come.

© Frédéric Georges Martin


illustration: The Book
(Juan Gris, 1913)

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Nick Harper at O’Riley’s Hull – Photos

This was Nick with a difference. The first half was a sit down recall of his early days as a child living with his father Roy and mother Mocy at 58 Fordwich Road in Kilburn complete with props and the appropriate gear.

It provided an opportunity for Nick to reminisce about the many, now famous or infamous, people who came to call, to provide anecdotes, talk about them and play some of the incredible songs they were renowned for. It was also a means for Nick to pay tribute to the great musician that is his father Roy Harper.

Thus we were regaled with the wonders of Bert Jansch Strolling Down the Highway, John Renbourn’s medieval music, Jackson C Frank’s incredible Blues Run the Game, Paul Simon’s Parsley Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, Davey Graham’s groundbreaking Anji (or Angie as it is sometimes recorded) and Sandy Denny’s beautiful Who knows where the time goes.

Included in this was the song My Friend written by Roy for the departure of Jackson heading back to the States. It is the first time I have heard that performed since 1967. Fabulous. It all took me back. It was where I first met Nick – he must have been all of three!

It was an enthralling insight from which we all learnt a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

The second set was back to Nick at his angriest and most brilliant with great performances of Lies Lies Lies, the Magnificent G7 and Roy’s Highway Blues. The man’s a genius!!

The end of the set, the encore was a version of Moon River – it turns out that Danny Williams was also a denizen of 58 Fordwich Road. The place deserves a Blue Plaque!!