Poetry – Naïve


I’ve always been naïve.

It’s my greatest attribute.

Innocent and idealistic –

According to repute.

But I possess inbuilt cynicism

That I bring to bear.

It constrains my natural idealism

And makes me more aware.

Opher – 7.11.2020

My anger at what is happening around me, the wanton destruction, the control and manipulation, the propaganda and lies, the pillaging of nature, is underpinned by the vestiges of optimism.

Surely people care enough about nature to want to protect it?

Surely people aren’t stupid enough to allow conmen and media lies to dictate their views?

My hope lies in education – good education that enables individuals to discern and think.

Poetry – The Only Game In Town

The Only Game In Town

Starting out on the fertile plains,

Stifling, holding us down,

Like smothering glue.

Spreading – like a pandemic – quickly,

Infecting the whole planet.

Robbing us of freedom,

Inoculating us with madness,

Imposing hierarchy,

Now too late for us to ban it.

With eight billion progeny

Enslaved within the enterprise

We laughingly call progress,

We are trapped.

Worshipping the diety

Entombed in the cathedral of the WTO,

From which there is no egress.

We can only observe with mounting sadness

As the machine devours

The very earth we stand upon

Trees and creatures

Transformed into worthless cash.

With nothing left to hand on.

In goes life

Out comes plastic

Concrete and sterility.


Life to death

The opposite of fertility.

It’s the only game in town.

Opher – 7.11.2020

When we invented agriculture we had no idea what a mess we would be getting ourselves into. We did not realise we’d be inventing kings, religions, nations, wars and money. We thought we were making life easier and more secure.

We lost our relationship with nature, our place in the cycle. We lost harmony and hope. We gained toil, debt and bosses.

The tipping point is long past. There is no return. Eight billion people cannot live as we once lived. The machine is all-consuming.

When it has devoured the planet it will consume us.

Poetry – A direction of merriment.

A direction of merriment.

The last leaf fell from the last tree.

The last fish sank in the stagnant sea.

The last animal succumbed in great hurt.

The last human sat in her plastic desert.

The world took a deep breath

Took note of the winds of death.

Abandoned the doomed experiment

In favour of a direction of merriment.

Opher – 28.10.2020

It would be good to think of Gaia directing operations, the planet alive. But that’s a dream.

One day the last leaf will fall. I just hope it is not of our doing.

We are proving to be a complete disaster.

Poetry – The Merry-Go-Round

The Merry-Go-Round

We’re spinning around

On a giant cosmic merry-go-round.

Everything changes

But comes back to the same place,

Slightly different.

There is a new start,

A chance to create something better.

The cycle is turning,

A new age beginning.

Time to be effervescent.

Breathe in the optimism,

The end of division,

As the positive ions

Flood the zeitgeist

Making everything pleasant.

Opher – 9.10.2020

It feels to me as if we’ve been through a terrible negative cycle – a time of war, terrorism, religious fanaticism, environmental catastrophe, climate change and mass migration. We live in a world driven by massive inequality, greed and poverty.

It has resulted in us electing populist leaders, Brexit, distrust, lies, fake news and division. Leaders stoke up the fear and hate for their own ends. There is smoke on the air from the riots and forest fires.

But I can smell something better on the wind, something sweet. It’s the wind of hope, the wind of change.

I think that we can come together to solve the problems and build something so much better.

The merry-go-round is turning. Times are changing. The zeitgeist is becoming more positive. We’re entering into a new age.

Things are good and getting better!! The old days were not as good as we like to think.

I think we look back to the days of our youth with nostalgic affection. Those were the days of optimism, possibility, idealism and passion. Those were days of love and opportunity. We stood on the threshold and looked forward to an endless array of wonderful things.

Now we are older and our life is mainly behind us. The future does not look so rosy.

But were things really better back then? No. I think not.

I was brought up in the post-war days and played on bomb-sites. The economy was rubbish. We had just come out of rationing. But the Labour Government had brought in the wonderful NHS, schooling was improving and they were fighting for a fair wage and better working conditions. They were clawing some social justice from the establishment.

What my generation had was vastly better than my Mum’s generation. She lived through real poverty with families living on starvation diets, sewn into clothes for winter, sharing shoes or having rags tied round their feet in the snow, having terrible education in classes of fifty plus and not being able to afford a doctor. There were large families where death was a regular visitor.

I grew up in much better conditions than that. We had the NHS, antibiotics, class sizes under thirty, refrigerators, a black and white telly, but there were no fitted carpets, telephones or central heating.

Now we have better wages, a whole range of luxury goods – fridges, washing machines, computers, colour TVs, dishwashers, mobile phones, entertainment systems, cameras, and a thousand more. My house is crammed with devices and stuff. I can travel abroad and buy experiences.

I think we take it for granted. I think we have selective memory.

The past was not really so great. The future is looking bright. Not all politicians are greedy, selfish bastards with their snouts in the trough. Some are idealists who are still looking for ways to make life better.

Perhaps it is time to be more optimistic? After the megalomania of Trump and the establishment loving Tories there might be a new age with idealistic politicians who will dump the establishment and forge a better world.

Where we are is pretty good. I think we should appreciate it more. It was hard fought for.

Great Message of Hope from AVAAZ!!!

Dear friends,

From the chaos, something beautiful is emerging — people’s movements are destroying the darkest dreams of the far-right and carving out a new and exciting path forward for all of us.

Our amazing movement has been in the middle of this global battle… and winning!

We are turning the tide on Brexit

Britain’s election decimated conservative Theresa May and her Brexit plans, even opening up a return to a unified Europe — thanks in part to a massive tactical voting and youth turnout campaign that won in 90% of the districts we took on!

“Avaaz members across Britain played a powerful role in helping to reshape our politics from the ground up.”
— Frances Foley, Progressive Alliance

We helped halt the far-right in France

Outsider Macron blew open France, sweeping to the presidency on a platform of tolerance and hope, winning an historic majority in Parliament and keeping the far-right Le Pen at a measly 8 seats (out of 577!). Our viral election video had millions of views, and our major get out the vote effort against Le Pen reached more people than most major parties!

We have Monsanto on the back foot in Europe

Over a million people added their name to an official call to ban Monsanto’s best-selling poison glyphosate, triggering a debate and response from Europe’s Parliament and potentially derailing a plan to allow this chemical to cover our food — and our movement supercharged the campaign’s record breaking growth!

And that’s just in the last month! There’s so much more we’ve achieved together in the face of the most divisive, anti-democratic, far-right forces everywhere:

We protected Bedouin homes from settlers

A small Bedouin community facing annihilation at the hands of Israel’s soldiers delayed demolition of their community and created a beautiful symbol of resistance, with a giant stone sign reading “We shall remain” right across from a settlement — and our staff and members were key to the action and mobilizing international media attention that protected their homes!

Heading about pope mountain

We helped defeat hate in the Netherlands

A racist, Trump-style politician poised to take over the Netherlands, suffered a crushing loss in the election — thanks in part to a massive march for unity in Amsterdam and our viral election advertising linking him to Trump!

Heading about dutch election

We’re taking Trump to court for climate crimes

When Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, our community raised money for a group of awesome kids to sue the President for putting their future at risk. This groundbreaking legal case could force the US to act against climate change!

Heading about Trump


It’s all a stunning reminder that in humanity’s darkest moments, the brightest lights can flicker into life. Over 50 years ago this week, three civil rights leaders were abducted and murdered by the far-right KKK in the US. Hatred was rising and gaining power. But a powerful movement rose to meet it, and in the following four years, two different Civil Rights Acts were passed, paving the way towards a more equal future for everyone.

These are the stories of history that inspire me in dark times — moments when people fought hard in the face of apparently insurmountable odds, and won, giving generations to come shining examples of the transformations that people power can bring into the world.

Let’s keep fighting and writing this new story of hope, together.

With respect and admiration,

Bert, Luis, Emma, Luca, Fatima, Julie, Mike and the whole team at Avaaz

P.S. If you are new to Avaaz, or just want to look back at what this amazing movement has achieved before this year, check out our highlights page.

A reason for Hope in 2017 – Not everything is doom and gloom – Here is some HOPE!!

This came into my email from AVAAZ. I thought I’d pass it on.

Dear Avaazers,

In 2016, hate was given hope — but now we take it back!

From terrorism to Trump to Syria, it was a rough year. But hidden by all the darkness filling our screens, there’s a simple, beautiful, truth:

The world has never been in a better place.

From poverty to literacy, the rise of women and fall of deadly disease — on virtually every metric — the world is better off than it’s ever been. It’s a powerful reason for us all to have hope, and rise to 2017.

So to kick off the new year, here’s a video of 10 beautiful reasons to have hope — let’s share them, add our own, and together give the world a million reasons to hope in 2017:

Share this on facebook

Share this on facebook

Even on the environment, we’re winning epic progress on everything from historic ocean conservation to an unstoppable revolution in clean energy!

Political extremists and divisive zealots thrive on fear and desperation. That’s why they try to convince us that the world is falling apart.

Master trolls like Trump and Putin have even hired vast armies of both real people and fake “bots” to hijack our social media with smears and lies about how awful everything and everyone else is, except them. (this is true! see sources below). What better way to answer them than a million new year’s posts about what gives each of us and all of us hope:

Share this on facebook

Let’s take this dose of hope, and let it fuel our determination and that of our friends. Because in 2017, together, we rise.

With hope,

Ricken, Pascal, Bert, Emma, Mike, Fatima and the whole Avaaz team.

PS – This new year’s reflection feels so important, for each of us, and for a world that is at a tipping point — between love, hope and wisdom, and fear, anger and ignorance. Here are 5 points of reflection that might be useful for your reflection this year:

        1. Yes,

things are serious

        . A new autocratic world order (60% of Avaazers believe even a second rise of fascism) could threaten everything we love.


        2. But this is also

a tremendous opportunity

        . Humanity, like each of us, learns best from mistakes. Much of our greatest progress has been catalyzed by crisis. If we meet this moment right, we can emerge from it stronger and wiser than ever.


        3. We need to be strong, and to challenge the forces of regress. But let’s not be twisted by the darkness and act from fear and anger.

We are warriors for love

        and wisdom. We must act from that light.


        4. When we do come from love and wisdom, we can see that

our ‘enemy’ is not so much any people, as it is unwisdom

        . Misplaced fear and anger. Lack of awareness and understanding.


        5. These are age-old foes of our people. Our grandparents faced far worse with far less, and they won progress.

We have every reason to hope

        , and no excuse for despair.


And lastly – all the forces present in our world are present within us. Fear and love. Hope and despair. The choices we make in our personal lives shape our world through billions of acts of kindness or cruelty, wisdom or foolishness. All we can do is our best. Let’s hit that mark this year :).


99 Reasons Why 2016 Was a Good Year

How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to Americans (New York Times)

Invasion of the troll armies (The Guardian)

Hope – I thought it was worth circulating this. We all need a bit of hope.

I thought we all needed another dash of hope at this moment in time! Some things are working well!

Opher's World

Dear amazing Avaazers,

If you ever doubt that our efforts together are worth it, or if you’re just needing a bit of hope and light in your day, read on.

Bet you won’t be able to stop :).

Avaaz Movement Wins 2016 (So Far!!)

Fin whales swim free

For years, Icelandic millionaire badboy Kristjan Loftsson has massacred hundreds of endangered giant fin whales. But no more!! Working with allies, a million of us pressed the Dutch government to close their ports to him, then German Avaazers helped to block ports there too. Then we caused a media and political storm in the Caribbean where Loftsson’s ship was registered. After years of pressure, he’s called off the hunt!

“The global pressure brought by the Avaaz community has no doubt played a big role in Loftsson’s welcome decision.”
– Vanessa Williams-Grey, Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
Saudi Arabia: No More Weapons For You

Saudi Arabia is a human rights nightmare, but after they bombed…

View original post 1,074 more words

A message of hope from Avaaz – A message of hope

Right now we need hope. We need to promote the outward looking, cooperation and tolerance of unity, and hope that it can overcome the xenophobia and hatred of isolation.

Check out the link of hope and sign up for hope and positivity.


This is what Avaaz had to say. I agree with it all:

Today is a painful and shocking day for Britain, for Europe, and for our world. But, in one way, it may have been what we needed.

The progress we have built in our world of openness, tolerance, and interconnection is not something we can take for granted, it must be continuously, vigilantly sustained. We need an ethic, spirit and culture of human connection and unity to keep the dark forces of our past – nationalism, racism – at bay.

Our community beautifully brought love and unity to the campaign to stay in Europe, but it was not enough, this time, to win.

But we must not falter now – this is one battle on a larger tapestry and the forces of fear and division are rising. We must make Brexit a call to arms for our movement, a spark that reignites our passion to defend and renew the project of human peace and unity that our parents and grandparents wisely advanced from their painful experience.

The future is with us, if we can carry the banner long enough to hand it off to the next generations. Let’s gather our courage and commitment to fight for the world we all dream of. Use the tool on the right to share a message of inspiration, solidarity and hope for the road ahead.

“We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.” – Jo Cox MP (1974-2016)