One for all the people who are putting themselves at risk!! Living on the Frontline!!

One for all the doctors, nurses, cleaners, shop workers, teachers, delivery people, carers and others who are putting their lives at risk to keep us safe!!

For all those without adequate medical support!! For our third world brothers and sisters! For those in refugee camps!!

For all those in war and conflict.

This one’s for you.

Today’s Music to raise my spirits in isolation – Chuck Berry!!!

What could be better than the rockin’ of Chuck’s infectious beat to raise the spirits??

Play it loud!!!

Yesterday was Elmore blasting out!! Today it’s Chuck who is the background to my day!!

Poetry – Tectonic Plates of Society

Tectonic Plates of Society

 

As the tectonic plates shift

The ground beneath us.

New mountains of behaviour

Push upwards as cultures clash.

 

Mountain ranges of compassion,

Volcanoes of cooperation,

Peaks of altruism,

Earthquakes of respect.

 

The old layers of populism,

The fossilised strata of greed,

The crushed remains of selfishness,

Are fractured, bent and buried.

 

As the old separation is replaced

By new togetherness,

And the old hostilities

Are suffocated with love.

 

Opher – 29.3.2020

Poetry – Living in a bubble

 

Living in a bubble

 

Living in a bubble

On top of a wave

About to crash

On a foreign beach.

 

Wondering my fate.

To be burst?

Or washed up?

To be blown

 

By an unfamiliar wind

Across new lands,

As yet uncharted,

And come to rest?

 

To shine in the sun

A myriad of hues,

Bringing great joy,

Or disintegrate in droplets?

 

Opher 28.3.2020

Schizoid – my new Sci-fi novel

The sequel to Quantum Fever. Three hundred years have passed. The aliens are ruining the planet Terra and are on the brink of war. Children of the Primitives on planet Hope are rebelling. President Woud of The System is angered. The Consortium is stirring up trouble………

In the UK:

In the USA:

Extract from ‘Farm 703 – the human project’.

This is the novel I’m working on at present. It’s a bit wacky.

‘Ngembe Graal was sitting at his desk in his office in the midst of a rare lull. He had a thousand and one emails to answer but they could wait. Nothing was pressing. For some reason the phone was silent and he had no meetings arranged. It was unusual.

He pensively swung his chair around to look out the window, allowing his mind to churn. The view from the 38th floor was magnificent, looking over Long Island and Manhattan, Turtle Bay, East River and across to Gantry Plaza State Park. It was a view that people would die for but he hardly ever noticed it. Life was a whirlwind. Even the extraordinary became ordinary when it became a familiar daily occurrence. He idly looked out the window, his mind only partially engaged. It was a beautiful day – a blue sky devoid of clouds. Out there the streets were full of bustle, people driving, rushing, or working, going about their business. People would be strolling through the park, sitting on benches, children playing. It seemed a world that was disconnected from the hurly burly of his own existence. He had to remind himself that this is what he was doing it for – so those people could go about their business and enjoy their lives.

He knew that the government had plans for a shutdown. The covid-19 virus would soon make New York into a ghost town just like Milan, Rome, London and Paris.

It was nice to have a moment to reflect. It felt like he was in the eye of a storm. It wouldn’t last.

He interlaced his fingers and swivelled his seat round. Behind him were the wooden shelves with their rows of books. His eyes played over them. In his early life those books had played an important role. He had thumbed through them looking up information. That seemed a lifetime ago. He never looked at them now. There was no need. The internet was there at his finger-tips – all the world’s knowledge and wisdom – and its fears and conspiracy theories too, its lies and misleading fake news. But he loved those books. They were more than an affectation, a piece of nostalgia or a statement of one’s personality. They might be nothing more than a mere decoration now but he could not imagine a world without books. They signified civilised life to him.

Civilised life? He wondered what he meant by that? Was the world really a civilised place? He glanced out of the window. It certainly seemed to be – at least here, for this brief moment. Everything was calm, sophisticated and ordered. People were free to believe what they wanted, go where they wanted and be who they wanted. They all rubbed along with each other without too much conflict. Yet, he knew that was just a veneer under which was a seething mess of emotions, beliefs and feelings. How quickly that veneer could crumble. He had seen it happen so many times in so many places.

All it took was a political or religious belief, a charismatic leader, a shortage of essentials and all that sophistication and orderliness gave way to violence, massacres and chaos.

The world was full of it. Sometimes it felt that this orderliness was a mirage, that he was living an unreal existence on an island in the midst of chaos. All around him the world was up in arms, religious fundamentalists attempting to disrupt and create fear, political groups using terror to destabilise, famines, droughts, disease, the Middle East at war, the super-powers slugging it out.

If only they would put aside their differences and come together. What a world we could build. The real problems were being masked and lost in the midst of these petty squabbles. Yes, that’s what they were, petty squabbles about power and control. The real issues were things like the environmental crisis – global warming and the destruction of the natural world – overpopulation, corruption and gross inequality. Those were the issues that they should be coming together to solve – not having to deal with power struggles, wars and territorial disputes contrived by politicians and religious leaders. It exasperated him. Most of the world’s problems were being deliberately created by people for their own ends. Such a shame.

His job was to try to sort it out, to find solutions, to smooth things out so that the world could become civilised, so that every part of the world could be as prosperous and orderly as this little corner of Manhattan was at this moment. What an impossible task.

He wondered whether this damn corona virus would unleash that chaos where the appearance of civilisation broke down. He hoped not.’

The Corona Diaries – Day 15

This is our fifteenth day in isolation. We went out for our usual hour walk. It is good to be able to walk miles down the country lanes, hardly passing a soul. A bit dour here, ominous clouds and a cold wind, but a nice walk. It is strange not seeing friends, no gigs, cinema or theatre – and no sport!! All a bit weird.

I’m still busy writing, reading and sorting photos. I’ve got enough to do but I’ve noticed my focus is not as good. I’m getting a little lethargic.

It’s nice to see royalty and the government getting down with the people!! I notice they get tested while my son doesn’t!

We are eating well – fresh salad from our organic growers and free-range eggs from the farms.

I’m watching the politics of this disease with interest. America is looking down the barrel of a catastrophe. So slow off the mark, so complacent. We weren’t much better. This has been predicted for years yet no contingency plans were brought in.

Lessons to be learnt.

Is this down to a trade-off between the economy and health? How many deaths are acceptable?

We now know that money can be found for the NHS and we can get the homeless off the streets if we want.

Things have changed forever.

Perhaps we will start valuing public servants a lot better and realise what they contribute to society??? Perhaps???

The irony is that the novel I started writing in January is about bacteria farming humans. It has become very topical!!

So here I am in my study. Elmore James is blaring out and I am writing.

Good luck to you all! Stay safe.