Poetry – Jimi


A sorcerer

Changing a guitar into a bomb,

A machine gun,

A helicopter gunship,

A roaring machine of death

Or a vehicle of love.

Harnessing feedback

Through a tremolo arm,

With an elbow,

The back of a hand,

Teeth and soul.

Creating sounds

That had never been heard;

A tsunami of emotion

And wonder.

A magician

Towering over

The vibe

Of our alternative


Opher – 16.8.2019

I was fortunate enough to catch a look at the film of the Woodstock festival recently. It took me back to the ideals of my youth. We were so naive – but brave, so optimistic and full of hope, so earnest and determined.

This is the new world we built.

We fought for freedoms, nature, equality and an end to racism, sexism and elitism with big dollops of love and fun.

It’s a battle that is still going on.

I watched Jimi play, all those years ago, at Woodstock – not long before his death. He brought reality and Vietnam into the fight. War is the result of all that greed and inequality. He conjured up great emotion.

We had the alternative vision and Jimi was our magician.

He worked his magic in our ears and minds and helped open our eyes to what was wrong in society.

Poetry – Billy Bunter is in charge

Billy Bunter is in charge

The shambling boy-child,

Like an overgrown Billy Bunter,

Stuffing his face,

As the chancer becomes a punter.

He has blustered and blundered

His way through the door,

With tax cuts for the rich

And ‘who cares about the poor?’

Leaving with no deal

On a ramshackle course

With no intellectual rigour

An Eeyore for the workforce.

He’s the toxic new PM

Selling the country down the drain;

A jester and an air-head.

Ain’t it all a bleeding shame!

Opher – 22.7.2019

The Public schoolboy under the thrall of fascism is taking his populism to the country. Trump-light takes up the reins as the hard right pull the strings.

All he cares about is power

Lazy, fat and blundering, the dishevelled mess is now the face of Britain. The blustering moron is now running the show.

What a mess we are in.

What does the world think of us?

The Corona Diaries – Day 590

It’s still cold here in Yorkshire. I stayed in and spent the morning working on Captain Beefheart book and playing some Sandy Denny. Amazing how time flies.

I’ve just returned from a very pleasant extended lunch with a friend. We discussed my Harper, Book, the Beefheart book, Sci-fi books, travel and the restrictions, risks and mismanagement of the covid pandemic.

Isn’t it good to have a chat with friends? One of the things we discussed was the level of risk that we were engaging in by meeting up. We met in an airy library cafe which had about a dozen other people in and did not appear to be extremely well ventilated. We wore masks to enter and used hand sanitiser, but even so there was a risk. The virus is aerosol spread and hangs in the air. We could have breathed it in.

But…. we are both double-jabbed, fit and healthy and not obese. We are old though.

We agreed that life is all about taking calculated risks and risks such as these were small enough.

When I’ve had my booster shot I will feel safe again. After six months I know my second jab will be waning.

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland, the sleaze levels might just be breaking through with the general public. Is the bubble of these profiteering arrogant Tories beginning to burst? We’ll see.

On a personal level I feel sorry for Owen Paterson. The suicide of his wife is terrible. But he was found guilty of sleaze, of repeated illegal lobbying. For Johnson to try to change the parliamentary procedures on sleaze to protect him. The procedures are there for a reason. Breaking the rules is a big deal. They are nowhere near stringent enough in the first place. There are far too many backhanders, bribes and donations that all allowed. The system stinks. Johnson showed complete contempt for parliament. The problems are that the arrogant overprivileged twat is used to having whatever he wants, he has no respect for the law or procedures and with an eighty seat majority, and a ineffective opposition, he feels he can do exactly what he likes. There is no scrutiny or accountability.

If only the Labour Party would get its act together and start functioning. They have so much ammunition they should be 20 points ahead. This bunch of ERG extremists led by an incompetent clown are the worst government in history.

They need voting out!!!

Voting Labour is voting for the lesser of two evils. They too are controlled by the wealthy elite, but at least they fund the public services and look after the poor and working people better. I know this from my time in education. The differences between Tory and Labour is stark. Tories are a nightmare. Inequality has blossomed, public services have been decimated and the rich have become richer. It’s obscene.

Yesterday there were another 36,559 new cases with 214 deaths. We’re getting blase about having 1500 – 2000 deaths a week aren’t we?

The WHO points out that Europe is once again the epicentre of the pandemic. I bet Johnson is so glad he allowed the Delta variant into the country from India. We now have the delta+ variant which we have spread around the world. It’s becoming the British disease. We’ve taken over from China.

Perhaps the high levels of people with the virus in the UK and low levels around the world reflects the high level of testing we are doing?? Or perhaps it indicates the pathetic management of the pandemic by our incompetent government? I veer towards a mixture of the two.

The good news is that the Pfizer antiviral drug Paxlovid has completed trials and appears to be safe and 89% effective at preventing serious illness and 100% effective at preventing death.

It joins (as soon as approved) Molnupiravir (Lagevrio) as a major step in treatment.

Once we have effective treatments we can get back to normal!! Yipppeeee!!!

Until then – Ventilate, ventilate ventilate!!

Stay safe!! Our end is nigh!!

Poetry – Another Ode to Joy

Another Ode to Joy

There is already an ode to joy

But there can never be too many.

No attempt to capture the slant

Of the sun’s rays over a bay;

A sunset viewed from a mountain top;

Or touch of the hand in love

Can ever be of lesser value.

Each is a connection

To the joy of life –

No less, no more.

Though some may be greater

In their eloquence,

The essence

Of their endeavour

Is the same.

They all salute and recognise

That same majesty

That abounds in all things

And emanates

From that self-same joy.

So this is yet another ode to that same joy.

We open our eyes into a wonder.

This universe is pure joy.

I will wonder at it once more.

Opher 1.6.2019

I often stand back in wonder at the sight of some wondrous sight in nature. We can never have too much. Nature is a mystical joy.

Poetry – The World That Could Be

The World That Could Be

There’s the world that could be

The world that will be

And the world that is.

All that stands between them

Is us.

Opher 3.4.2019

Some people see life as something that happens to them that they are not in control of. Some people believe that the world is so big that we can have no effect on it.

I think this is plainly nonsense.

We can see quite clearly that humans have already had an enormous impact on the planet. Now the 8 Billion of us are sufficient in number and great enough in our technological impact to devastate the world.

I do not share the view that we are impotent. We are in control of both our lives and our impact on the planet.

We should respect and cherish both.

Poetry – Some Things Worth Fighting For

Some Things Worth Fighting For

Dreams and visions,

Ideas and feelings,

Memories, loves

And amorous dealings;

The beauty of a trillion creatures,

A spectacular planet with all its features;

Trees and flowers

Breath and stars,

Sunsets, moonlight

And cherished scars;

Friendship, loved ones,

Freedoms and truth,

Fairness, justice,

And the ultimate proof;

Compassion, tolerance

And humanity;

A better future

For you and me!

But one thing is true

And that’s for sure –

There is very little

Worth killing for!

Opher 9.1.2019

I think we should fight for what we believe with all our heart. We should battle and strive with passion.

But our battle is metaphoric – not physical.

There are many things worth fighting for.

Every day is a war, every arena a battlefield.

Gird your loins. Put down your guns.

Poetry – Rebirths


Life is full of rebirths –

An endless cycle

Of rebirths.

Each a new start,

A new set of opportunities,

A further set of hopes.


Each day

As the eyes open

Into a new world

And we see it again


From the oblivion.


Out of our minds.


Each year

As the world

Is born again.

Green shoots

Thrust upwards

Into the strengthening light

To brighten

The dead

Skeletal brown.

Opher 26.12.2018

Sleep is the little death from which we are reincarnated anew each and every day – refreshed and revitalized.

Is it the same universe?

Who knows?

Each morning is a rebirth – a new set of opportunities.

Each year the sun ebbs and the leaves fall. The world becomes brown and dead. Skeletal trees raise their fingers into the sky on the horizon – reaching for warmth and light.

Out of the brown soil and twigs green shoots give hope for the resurrection of life.

Poetry – Unseen


Unseen on the drifting breeze

                The scent of death from a common sneeze.

Isolating from our trusted friends.

                Gouging a wound that never mends.

A situation so badly managed,

                Leaving a crater as big as any war.

With damage to the economy

                Threatening to leave us forever poor.

Opher – 21.7.2021

I find it incredibly depressing to see how the country has suffered under the twin impact of Covid and Brexit as this disastrous government has overtly channelled huge sums of money to its wealthy benefactors while decimating public services and ordinary people.

All this nonsense about levelling up as they gaily award multimillion pound contracts to their friends.

All these lies about a prosperous future and Global Britain as they ferret away the spoils into their bank accounts, tie us up with red tape, decimate trade, throw away jobs, take away our job opportunities abroad while telling us how great this oven-ready disaster really is.

Now we can look forward to the decades of austerity as average Joe Soap picks up the bill for these years of Tory lies, sleaze and incompetence.

Our mental health is suffering.

Brexit – The Incompetence of Johnson laid bare by Milliband


The sad thing is that we are all living with the failure and incompetence of this fool! He’s led us into a complete mess with Europe and an ongoing complete cock-up over Covid-19. He’s needlessly killed tens of thousands and thrown working people into endless austerity.

But loads of Tories have made a fortune out of both. That’s all they care about.