Thank You to all those of you have bought my new Sci-fi novels!

I have been putting the best of my Sci-fi novels out under the penname of Ron Forsythe.

Thank you to all who have supported and encouraged me by purchasing a book (both paperback and Digital format).

Please leave a review so that others can see how much you’ve enjoyed them!

Here is a link to the Amazon page on which they can be found:

In the UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=ron+Forsythe&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

In the USA:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Ron+Forsythe&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

Thank you!

Advertisements

Waking Up – a poem

Waking Up

I woke today to a blue sky
And bright sunshine.
Pink and white blossom
Gaily gleamed on the trees.
Bright green buds,
Responding to the warmth,
Opened,
Spilling forth their nascent green
To dress the bush and tree
In fresh verdant uniform.
All so bright and cheerful,
So new and fresh.
Today it felt as if the world had woken up.

Opher – 12.5.2019

I love the reawakening of nature. The birds are singing, nesting and the world feels fresh.
It is as if we have a new start.
I wish we could wipe the slate clean and really begin again. What a great world we could make.

Adios WriterBeat!!

The American site for writers of all persuasions known as WriterBeat has finally succumbed.

Thanks Autumn Cote for the invite and all the years of fun.

Thank you to all the friends I made and all the people I met.  I am sorry to see it go!

Hello to the refugees from WriterBeat that have popped up on my Blog. You are most welcome.

Here’s hoping that Stone and Owl will get something together pretty soon.

Long live WriterBeat!!

My First Roy Harper Gig

My First Roy Harper Gig

I was getting prepared for my first Harper gig a year or two before it happened.

British Folk Music had always been a traditional scene. Folk singers largely played traditional music much in the way that it had always been played, adapting it to guitar and usually singing about people from far off times as typified by Ewan McColl. It was supported by an enthusiastic small clique.

Then came Bob Dylan and the Greenwich Village scene. It took Folk into the popular market and highlighted songwriting and topical songs.

In Britain it had a huge impact. As young kids we were all listening to the Beatles and Stones plus all the other Beat groups, but we were also getting into Dylan and soaking up the social comment.

Ready Steady Go was essential viewing on TV. The bands performed live. In 1965 they started featuring a tousle haired singer with an acoustic guitar who they were selling as Britain’s answer to Dylan. Donovan set the trend in the popular stakes as regards Folk. But behind the scene we had people like Martin Carthy doing his great arrangements of Folk songs, Shirley and Dolly Collins with their harmonies and song arrangements, and the amazing Davy Graham bringing in influences from the Middle East and producing complex songs that set the whole tone. The Contemporary Folk Scene was taking off. It was no longer a cultural backwater.

In 1965 I was introduced to the fabulous Jackson C Frank by my friend Bob Ede and then shortly after to the wonders of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn by another friend – Neil Furby.

1965 was the year I obtained my first motorbike. Suddenly London was accessible. I could get to the clubs.
In 1967 a friend called Mike, who sported long curly hair and a white plastic mac, had his finger on the pulse. He told me about this great singer that I would like and how he was saying all the same stuff as me. He went by the name of Roy Harper and Mike assured me that he was just my thing.

I stored it away with all the other recommendations. The whole music scene was burgeoning. There wasn’t enough time to see everything. I forgot about it. I was hitting the Marquee, Middle Earth, UFO as well as Bunjies and Les Cousins.

A couple of months later I found myself in Les Cousins for a Bert Jansch/John Renbourn concert. Les Cousins had become one of my favourite haunts – a dingy cellar on Greek St in Soho that you had to get to via some steep steps – a crowded room with tables and chairs, dimly lit, up close to the performers, intimate with a great atmosphere. Bert and John were brilliant as usual but what really made an impression was Roy.

In between the main sets Roy did a little cameo for half an hour. He only played three songs, one of which was the instrumental Blackpool, but he talked a lot. I was smitten. Not only were the songs brilliant, the guitar playing great but the patter was incredible.

I came out of there singing. Forget Bert and John – Roy Harper was simply in another dimension.

Joey my Crow

Joey my Crow

 

Round where I was growing up they used to poke crows. That’s how I came by my pet crow Joey.

In order to cull the crows they would go along to the rookery with great long poles that reached right up to the top of the trees. They would poke the nests and knock the fledglings and eggs out.

My friend Tony and I went along after the pokers had gone and found two live fledglings. They were the ugliest things you could imagine with their transparent saggy skin, bulbous bellies and no feathers but we thought they were great. We took them home.

The little birds needed feeding every two hours. We mixed up this thick goo of egg, milk and bread. I would put a dollop of this paste on my finger and when I approached him Joey would stretch out, flap his rudimentary little wing stubs, open his beak wide and squawk loudly. He thought I was his Mum. I simply shoved the paste down his throat. Every now and then I would give him worms or bits of bacon to vary his diet. Both our birds seemed to thrive on it.

School was a problem. The teachers were not very understanding as to regarding the feeding necessities of crows and we doubted that they would be amenable to letting us out of class every two hours to go home to feed them. We got round that by taking our birds into school. As we thought that our teachers might take a dim view of us bringing our baby crows into school we simply did not tell them. Fortunately we had those big old wooden desks in our form-room which were quite deep and had lids. We were supposed to keep our books in them but ours were empty so we used them for crow rearing.

We made little nests out of paper and plonked the crows in. When you shut the lid it was dark inside and they went to sleep. At break and lunch we opened the lid and to everyone’s amazement they would squawk and clamour and we’d cram the egg and milk paste down their throats. It was magic. You shut the lid and they were silent. It was like turning the light on and off. Our classmates thought it was great and not one of them spragged to the teachers about it.

It amuses me to think that many other kids sat at those desks in the course of the day without ever knowing our crows were inside. They might have had quite a shock if they’d lifted those lids – but nobody ever did.

We did it for weeks, until our crows were fully grown, and never got caught.

I named my crow Joey. He grew into a fine handsome affectionate crow with inky black feathers that had a lovely blue sheen. When he was an adult I kept him in my shed. Every morning, and when I got home from school, I would go down to the shed and get him. He’d jump straight on my shoulder and nibble my ear.

I taught Joey to talk. Well he could say twelve words. When I went in to him he’d squawk ‘Hello’. He could say his name ‘Joey’. He was quite clear in his pronunciation.

I had to teach Joey to fly. I’d take him into the garden and throw him into the air. He’d flap to the ground and crash. Gradually he caught on to the idea and then the progress was rapid and he’d enjoy flying round and then sit on the roof. He’d always come back and land on my shoulder though.

One day I took him out front for a fly round somewhere different.

We had a neighbour called Mrs Drain who was very house-proud. She had a red tiled doorstep that she used to get on her knees and polish every single day. Joey saw her down below and decided she would make a good perch so he landed on her back.

It gave her such a fright. He was very big and heavy and had sharp claws. She wasn’t expecting a big bird to suddenly land on her. She jumped up with Joey hanging on to her and ran screaming down the road. Joey dug his claws in and flapped his wings. I can still picture her running back and forth shouting at the top of her voice with Joey clinging on for dear life.

She eventually forgave me.

I lost Joey when I went off to camp for two weeks leaving my Mum in charge. One day, while she was out shopping a man came round. He had lost his pet crow and heard from one of our neighbours that I had a crow in my shed. He thought it might be his crow. He knocked on the door but nobody was home. So he went down the bottom of the garden and opened the shed. Joey flew out.

My Mum said that Joey sat around on the roof for over a week but she couldn’t entice him down. She told me he was looking for me.

By the time I got home he’d gone. I never saw him again.

I hope he met up with a nice lady crow and impressed her with his line in human sweet-talk. She would have been sure to be impressed. My hope is that Joey’s descendants are squawking up in the trees right now, discussing the great god who had given life to their forebear by feeding him with the gooey elixir of life.

So if you hear a murder of crows up in the trees squawking something that sounds like ‘Joey’ or ‘Hello’, please let me know.

Who I write for – a poem

I write this for the racists, the climate change deniers, Nazi thugs, fake news purveyors, conspiracy theorists;

For the Anti-Semites, Islamophobes, the bigots, gun totters and haters:

For the hunters, killers, torturers, threateners, polluters and cruel baiters;

For the polluters, loggers, miners, poachers and all who wish to build walls and divide:

You shall not prevail.

We will join, integrate, clean up the mess and find a better way.

 

Opher 27.4.2019

Morocco – the Mohammed V Mausoleum in Rabat

It was still drizzling as we headed for the Mausoleum. but that did not put us off too much even though it spoilt the photos a bit.

We stopped to overlook the Rabat Opera House, designed by the late and much missed Zaha Hadid.

We then had a look at the Hassan Tower which is the minaret of an incomplete mosque. In front of the tower were the columns of the uncompleted mosque. This were robbed from Volubilis and I wished they’d left them there.

The Mausoleum was guarded by ceremonial guards with very ornate rifles.

I guess they were worried someone might steal the body of Mohammed V. It was very ornate with its lavish decoration.

Thank you for your support!

Thank you friends for your continuing support. I appreciate it all.

Thank you for following my blog, for every like and comment. It is very heartening to see the blog growing daily.

Thank you for purchasing my books – particularly my new ones. I would like to thank you for your faith. It means a lot to me.

It is heartening to hear so many of you are enjoying my books. They are written with heart and passion and make for a great read.

Please leave a review on Amazon – that means a lot too!

If you would like to take a punt on something different I have a number on Amazon both under the name of Opher Goodwin and my Sci-fi nom de plume Ron Forsythe.

If you would like a recommendation just ask.

My new Sci-fi novel God’s Bolt is out on Amazon in digital and paperback formats. It is an exciting read – very compulsive.

If you’d like a copy it is now available on Amazon:

In Digital format:

In the UK –

 

In the USA –

In the UK –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/109271359X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1554539989&s=books&sr=1-1-catcorr

 

In the USA –

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Bolt-Ron-Forsythe/dp/109271359X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_4?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1554539853&s=books&sr=1-4-fkmrnull

My new Sci-fi novel Reawakening the sequel to God’s Bolt is also out on Amazon in digital and paperback formats. It is probably the best book I have yet written and works as a stand alone. Why not give it a try?

If you’d like a copy it is now available on Amazon:

In Digital format:

In the UK –

Enjoy!

In the UK:

In the USA:

In paperback:

In the UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1094954586/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1555602728&s=books&sr=1-2-catcorr

In the USA:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1094954586/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1555602480&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Please leave a review on Amazon!! Thank you!

 

How Socialism is undermined.

The establishment is capitalist.

The wealthy and powerful own the media.

A fairer system of socialism is not in their interests and so they actively undermine it.

In Scandinavia and the UK democratic socialism has worked very successfully. Our wonderful NHS is the result of it.

What happens when a socialist government gets in power is that the capitalists withdraw investment and actively undermine the economy. They engineer it failing.

The establishment is made up of wealthy, powerful individuals. They want a system that favours them and pours wealth into their pockets. They do not want a fairer system that looks after ordinary people or the poor. As they own the media they pour out a stream of propaganda to say that fairer systems do not operate.

It is extremely hard for Socialism to flourish when the money markets and media undermine it.

Roy Harper – The Beginnings of a Performer.

Roy Harper – The Beginnings of a Performer.

 

Roy’s life as a performer did not start in the realm of music but first manifested itself as a Beat Poet.

As a troubled teenager he cut ties with his family and following brushes with the law, authority in the army and a resultant spell in a mental institution, inspired by the writings of Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation, he put his lot in with the Bohemian culture of Blackpool. In 1959 Roy became an aspiring Beat Poet.

Heaven knows where he found to perform in Blackpool but he did. It was hardly the smoky marijuana soaked dens of San Francisco or New York but it was enough of a scene for Roy to at least start honing his art.

The culmination of his brief career as a Beat Poet was a publicity stunt thought up by his promoter. Roy was to be the Marathon Poet. He would walk for twenty four hours in and around Blackpool reciting his poetry as he went. It was to finish with a performance on the pier.

Fuelled up on amphetamine Roy paced around all day (apart from a few hours illicit kip in the back of his promoters car in the dead of night) reciting his words into the wind, to the stars and at any hapless passer-by who strayed within range.

At the end of his twenty four hour stint he did his performance on the pier. Roy’s never talked to me about the crowd or their response. In my imagination it was probably to a small bemused bunch of day-trippers who were probably horrified by the demented, dishevelled young man, strung out and crazy, on a prolonged amphetamine high, spitting words out at them at machine-gun speed.

I have never met anyone who has even claimed to have heard Roy Harper the Beat Poet – though it must have been quite a sight and sound.

There are very few relics of the poetry he was producing at that time. One out-take from the Sophisticated Beggar album has a reworking of aspects of a poetic piece called ‘Puppet Master’. I suppose the nearest we get to those early Beat poems was to be found on his second album – ‘Come Out Fighting Ghenghis Smith’. The poems Come Out Fighting Ghenghis Smith, Circle and Highgate Cemetery are probably vestiges of those early days. He even dedicates Come Out Fighting Ghenghis Smith to Jack Kerouac.

Roy has always stayed true to those poetic roots both in his song lyrics and the stand alone poems some of which are scattered and incorporated through his albums.

When Roy performed on that pier I’m not sure if the sea roared in laughter with the howling wind at the sound of his poetry burbling, but I do know that his feet will have been standing defiantly there in front of it, taking on the universe in some knowing futile gesture. That’s always Roy’s manner.

Shortly after that Roy set off with Mocy to busk his way around Europe playing folk-blues – his days as a Beat Poet behind him and a new phase as a street performer opening up ahead.