Poetry – You Breathe My Breath – a love poem for old love.

Poetry – You Breathe My Breath – a love poem for old love.

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You Breathe My Breath

When you live with someone for nearly fifty years it is as though you are one. Everything about you has been affected, adjusted and adapted as you learn to rub along.

You have, not only a shared past, but share visions for the future.

Everything we do has been refined as we learn from each other. Both of us would be the less if the other were not there.

We have someone to share stories, bounce ideas off, to lean on and gain perspective, to share wisdom and see more objectively.

Two heads are always better than one. We see things from different angles. We have different strengths, different weaknesses.

Together we are stronger, more confident and better.

You cannot reach so high when you haven’t got a steady shoulder to lean on.

I am a better person.

 

You Breathe My Breath

You breathe my breath.

You read my mind.

You share my dreams

And all we find.

You wonder with me

And are safe and sound.

In the flood of life

We’re on higher ground.

 

You’re my safety line

Whenever I fall

That voice of sense

For me to recall.

You’re my compass

And my steering wheel

My fulcrum point

That makes life real.

 

All I am

Is because of you

All I am

Is because of you

All I am

All I am

 

Opher 5.12.2015

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Poetry – Prehistoric policing

Prehistoric policing

 

Put on your veil!

Pray each day

And obey without ceasing!

Or else

You’ll be subject to

Prehistoric policing!

 

Read the scripture!

Follow the dogma!

Not to do so is a sin!

If you do not

You’ll be hammered with

Prehistoric policing!

 

Do not question

The tenets of faith!

Throw all logic in the bin!

Faith is not rational.

It needs to be enforced

With prehistoric policing!

 

Opher – 2.11.2019

 

 

I was driven to write this poem by a video clip of a poor woman who was shot through the head for going to the market without her veil. The Nazi religious police stopped her, beat her and forced her to her knees. They recited verse, gathered a crowd, put a gun to her head and blew her brains out – all because her face was not covered.

Across the world millions of women and children are subject to prehistoric policing. They are forced to spend hours memorising scripture. They are forced to wear heavy robes and full face veils.

This is not religious freedom. This is slavery.

These religious fanatics create a fascist tyranny! Their misogynistic view of religion is draconian and prehistoric.

Religion should be a matter of choice – not coercion.

Poetry – Cosmic Dance

Cosmic Dance

 

Life is a dance,

Without rehearsal,

Moves of beauty

Elegance and eloquence

Play out

On a green jewel

Pirouetting

Through a void.

 

 

Each step

A glide

Into the unknown

Each gesture

A motif of defiance

Expressed

In joy.

 

Opher – 8.11.2019

 

 

My wife is a dancer. She sees the world through movement.

I too see it that way. It is beautiful.

The ripples of corn, the waves in the sea, the waving of branches, the shimmering of leaves.

A murmur of starlings, a shoal of fish, the breaching of a whale, the sprint of a leopard.

The waving of hands, the creases of a smile, the grasp of a handshake.

The orbit of planets, the radiance of a sun.

All life is a dance.

Fugs – Kill for Peace – satirical lyrics full of irony.

Fugs – Kill for Peace – satirical lyrics full of irony.

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The fugs were a great sixties band. They fought for sexual liberation and peace and somehow combined the two into anarchic mayhem.

Their satirical songs combined theatre and politics. They took on the establishment and epitomised the sixties ‘can do’ culture. We had them scared for a while. We changed the world but we were ultimately bought out and sold down the river.

This song is as fresh today as it was nearly fifty years ago!!

How times and bullets fly!

Kill For Peace

kill, kill, kill for peace
kill, kill, kill for peace
near or middle or very far East

kill, kill, kill for peace
kill, kill, kill for peace
near or middle or very far East
far or near or very middle Eastkill, kill, kill for peace

kill, kill, kill for peace
if you don’t like the people or the way that they talk
if you don’t like their manners or the way that they walkkill, kill, kill for peace
kill, kill, kill for peace
if you don’t kill them then the Chinese will
if you don’t want America to play second fiddlekill, kill, kill for peace
kill, kill, kill for peace
if you let them live they may subvert the Prussians
if you let them live they might love the Russians

kill, kill, kill!
kill ’em! kill ’em! strafe them gook creeps!

the only gook an American can trust
is a gook that’s got his yellow head bust

kill, kill, kill for peace
kill, kill, kill for peace
kill, kill, it will feel so good
like my captain said it should

kill, kill, kill for peace
kill, kill, kill for peace
kill, it will give you a mental ease
kill, it will give you a big release

kill, kill, kill for peace
kill, kill, kill for peace
kill, kill, kill for peace

kill! kill! kill! kill! kill!

Poetry – Love again and again – Because we know we can and we’re worth it.

poetry – Love again and again – Because we know we can and we’re worth it.

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Love again and again

It’s true. There’s no end to love. It’s infinite. It can blow you up.

Love is like hydrogen. It makes you float and it explodes in your brain.

It’s an anaesthetic

It banishes the dark.

It makes you laugh and it makes you cry

But it gets you high.

Love. Love. Love.

All the people and animals, trees and things I’ve loved and still do.

There’s no end. I’m never full.

There’s no loss with love – it’s all gain.

We can love an infinite number of times then do it all again.

 

Love again and again

 

It has no weight.

It has no size.

It’s antigravity

Built of sighs.

 

You carry it around

And it buoys you up

Making each sip

A whole full cup.

 

You can never have enough

But need never be afraid:

The more you give away,

The more you’ve made.

 

There’s no end to the people

You can give love to.

When you give it to them

They’ll give some to you.

 

It’s the kryptonite to hatred

The antidote to pain

Luckily we can fall in love

Again and again

And again

And again

Again

Again

Gain

Gain

Gain

 

Opher 12.12.2015

Poetry – Once Upon A Time

Poetry – Once Upon A Time

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Once Upon A Time

It seems to me that mankind’s intellect has outgrown his instinct. Where once we roamed freely in small numbers using all our intelligence and skills to battle the elements, fight of predators, feed and clothe ourselves and stay alive, now we are in the business of sanitising life.

In the plastic universe of our creation, where nature is banned or tamed, we are shackled by our laws. We still have the tribal instincts. The skills, camaraderie and bravery that once meant life and death for all the tribe now count for nothing. Health and Safety rules. Life has to be saved. But life has no substance or meaning.

Our young people are aimlessly drifting.

It is no wonder that some of them drift into religion as an answer. They are searching for purpose. They want more than gang violence and the endless, vacuous night out on the town.

 

Once Upon A Time 

Once a tiny tribe

Roamed, following the meat,

Now a teeming mass

With more than it can eat.

Once wild and free,

Bonding in brotherhood.

Now restrained by law,

Rampaging in the neighbourhood.

Once master of skills,

Living by their wits.

Now a gang of fools

With whom no purpose sits.

Once proud, strong and true,

Now posturing on corners, wondering what to do.

 

In the concrete and plastic

Of a man-made universe,

Where decisions are all drastic

And answers perverse,

The human race has come to this –

A smoke, a shag and a lot of piss.

 

Opher 19.12.2015

Poetry – What we stand for – I can’t hear you!

Poetry – What we stand for – I can’t hear you!

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What we stand for

The freedoms we have, the standards we enjoy, have been well fought for with blood, thought and bravery. Nothing is given lightly and the freedoms and standard are rapidly eroded.

We are paid with sops while the top table dine on swallows’ eggs.

The inequality that runs the world is creating poverty, war and disease. It is time we stopped electing psychopaths and began to look at a fairer way of running things.

This inequality breeds fundamental madness.

In order to look into the future it is best to have a firm knowledge of the past.

Britain has achieved much but there is still much worth fighting for. The world is in a mess.

The planet is being trashed. Wild-life is being decimated. There is mass migration due to fascism, fundamentalism, climate change, overpopulation and war.

Who’s shouting?

I can’t hear you?

 

What we stood for

 

There is resilience.

There is determination.

There is skill.

There’s a sense of justice.

Tolerance

And ‘trouble at mill’.

 

Industrial revolution,

The enlightenment,

And Trade Unions too;

Scientific discovery,

Evolutionary theory,

And a benevolence or two.

 

Individuality

With revolutionary style,

Education for the masses

And going the extra mile.

Fighting for a worker’s rights

With intelligence and guile.

Forcing through new laws

To create fairness in the trial.

 

So much we owe

To so many in the past.

Still more to do

To make their efforts last.

 

Opher 11.12.2015

To leave or not to leave that is the question.

To leave or not to leave

 

To leave or not to leave, that is the question.

Whether ‘tis right to make the country suffer

The future years of impoverished fortune

To create an unnecessary sea of troubles

And by opposing the EU – an economy at sleep,

And Britain no more, our power at an end,

Suffering heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That isolation is heir to: ‘tis a future

Ne’er to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;

To sleep perchance to dream of better futures – there’s the rub:

For in that future death what tragedies may come,

When we have run out of coal and oil

Must give us pause when there’s no respect

Just a lost partnership and strife.

For we will bear the whips and scorns of time

From whom we wronged through proud impudence

The pangs of their love will elicit law’s delay

For our insolence of office and the spurns

That warrants such unworthy takes,

When we might have become so much more –

And now our blunt needle creates such coarse wear

For us to grunt and sweat a weary life

With only the dread of an untimely death.

And now Europe, a country distant to our born,

From where no traveler returns, which puzzles the will.

For would it not have been better to bear the ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of.

But propaganda made fools and cowards of us all

And thus the natives of this land made resolution

Which sicklied o’er our future, pale cast of thought,

And putrified our enterprise in the sordid pitch of a moment.

Within that moment our currents turned awry

And we lost, in the name of action.

 

Opher – 21.1.2019 – with thanks to W. Shakespeare.

Poetry – When Britain is no more – a poems about abiding values

Poetry – When Britain is no more – a poems about abiding values

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This is my latest book of anecdotes and short stories. This poem isn’t in it but the sentiments are there.

When Britain is no more

The British have always been a creative race. We like dance, song and music. We know how to have fun. We are problem solvers and wonderers.

We’ve sailed the ocean and discovered the world. We’ve searched our hearts and discovered poems and songs.

We set up trade across the world and tried our hand at many things. Our genes were enriched with those of others from diverse parts.

I set my Britishness upon the ideals of William Wilberforce, Wat Tyler, Mary Wollstonecraft, Emmeline Pankhurst, William Lovett, Henry Hetherington, the Swing rioters, Tolpuddle martyrs and all those who fought for liberty, social justice and better conditions. They stood for fairness, respect and equality. That’s Britishness for me.

The British speak up for justice in the face of brutal government.

The trade union movement grew out of that long struggle. It created a fairer society.

What we need now is another wave of social justice that sweeps aside the inequality. The rich are still getting richer at the expense of working people.

When Britain is no more I hope that those values of fairness, tolerance, compassion, democracy, equality and justice will still be a beacon for the world.

I hope that the values will be enshrined in song, music, poetry and drama. I hope that people will speak out with the same fury at injustice, racism, tyranny and misogyny.

You defeat fascism with song and dance, ideas and a smile.

When Britain is no more

 

What is it that we will leave behind

When Britain sinks below the waves

And the sun finally sets?

 

Democracy and freedom?

Fighting for the underdog?

Creating dreams with few regrets?

 

We are masters of the understatement.

We have the humour and the wit,

The empathy and daring

The bravery and grit.

 

All part of a culture to be proud of.

The best of what we are.

So put the bad stuff in the past.

The best will take us far.

 

When Britain sinks beneath the sea

We’ll know it will not have gone –

As long as people stand for their fellow man

And can still put those words to song.

 

Opher 11.12.2015

Poetry – More of the betweens – a poem about British compassion

Poetry – More of the betweens – a poem about British compassion

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This is my latest book of poems. This one isn’t in it but there are others of similar vein. It is available on Amazon.

More of the betweens

I spent a while thinking about the plastic culture we live in. It is so superficial, so crass and so manipulative. We are being shoe-horned into a niche as consumers of trash.

The media stirs up hatred and guides our tastes. It focusses on royalty and celebrity as if there were no real issues.

Within a minority there is an underlying dislike of foreigners and those who are different that flares up into violence.

Yet behind the façade of mediocrity there is a British spirit that welcomed refugees from war and persecution and lent a helping hand. The Huguenots, Jews, West Indians, Pakistanis, Indians and now the Syrians were all included. And Britain is the stronger for it.

We are a race of mongrels. Our culture and our spirit knows no colour, creed or religion. It goes beyond all that. It is the indomitable spirit of freedom and justice.

That is a cause men and women have fought for through the centuries. It runs molten in our blood wherever that blood originated.

That compassion is what I hold to my heart.

 

More of the betweens

 

Between the video games and the porn,

The addictions and the take-aways,

The teenage proms and the Boy Bands,

Is a core of invention and expertise.

 

Between religious fanaticism,

Victimisation and discrimination,

The hatred and the skinhead vitriol,

Lies a caring altruism

That provides

Refuge from whatever storm.

 

There is something to be proud of

Something to be proud of.

 

Opher 11.12.2015