Poetry – Peace in the Middle East

Peace in the Middle East


There will be no peace

In the Middle East

Until all sides are resolved

And past sins absolved.


Two thousand years of injury

Leave a bitter legacy,

A toxic history,

Requiring an end to misery


We should all abhor

The men of war

Who firmly shut the door

To fester the sore.


Not the people to blame

In this vale of shame

They are all the same

Caught in a hapless game.


All sides around a table –

Dispense with the fable!


Opher – 23.9.2020

Today’s Music to keep me SSSSSaaaaannnnEEEE in Isolation – Roy Harper

For 175 days I’ve been playing a new band or artist every day. Today I thought I’d return to Roy Harper and give his first album a play. It’s one I’ve been enjoying for fifty-two years!! Still as good as ever!

Poetry – People are Good

People are Good


People are good.

Though that’s not the impression we receive.

We are told

That they cheat

They lie and deceive.

But people are good.


People are good.

They always help out.

When the times are rough

It’s the people who are tough.


People are good.

It’s our leaders who reek.

Power corrupts

From the strong to the meek.


People are good.

They’ll always give you a hand.

Except when they are riled up

By leaders of the land.


Using fear and hatred

They incite to hysterical pitch.

Then sit back and smirk

While we die in the ditch.


But people are good.

They’re not filled with sin..

We know we’re not different

Whatever our skin.

People are good.


Opher – 14.9.2020

Today’s Music to keep me SSSSaaaaNNNNeeee in Isolation – Bruce Springsteen

Bruce was the most successful of all the ‘new Bob Dylan’ singer-songwriters. His commercial success and popularity tend to mask the brilliance of some of his songwriting. Bruce is someone whose music contains real poetry and worth – he’s not just a pop star.

Today I’ll play the best of Bruce!

Poetry – They come

They come


I heard them.

They moved quietly

But I heard them.

Rising up off my haunches

I signalled.

Our two mothers

Gathered up their children.

All looked to me.

Only one young buck

Stood questioning.

This was no time for confrontation

And he knew it.

I glared at him.

He backed down.

I led them all silently off,

Deeper into the forest.

I knew it might not be enough.

They would soon find where we had been.

They were clever,

Not easily put off.

I moved fast

Setting a pace that the weakest could keep up with.

They all followed behind.

They understood.

All we could do was hope.


Opher – 8.9.2020

A letter to the Guardian on Brexit – From Matthew of Hove

I cannot believe that we have got into such a mess on Brexit. We have been manipulated and misled every step of the way!

Brexit is the dreamchild of a bunch of nationalists who detest Europe. They want to leave whatever the cost to Britain and set about making that case. In the process they lied. We were told that the NHS would benefit to the tune of £350 million a week! LIE.  We were showered with images of mass migration with the prospect of 5 million Turks heading our way! LIE. We were told that this would be the easiest deal ever. LIE. 

There was no mention of the cost of disentangling ourselves from the interconnected projects and systems or the huge cost of setting up our own systems.

We were not told about the increased costs of basic foods and medicines as tariffs are applied.

We were not told about the massive costs of setting up border controls, lorry checks and customs facilities and officers.

We were not told about the lorry queues and massive delays.

We were not told about the job losses that come from firms either partially or wholly moving into Europe.

We were not told about our diminished influence and power.

We were not told that we were going for an extreme Brexit.

We were assured that deals with other countries would be simple. LIE.

We were not told about lower food standards, chlorinated chicken, more expensive medicines, lower environmental standards or lower workers rights.

We were assured that workers rights, environmental standards and food standards would be up to European standards or better. LIE.

We were told that Johnson had an over-ready deal in the bag. LIE.

The main problem was that May gave the job to the extreme Brexiteers the ERG, instead of setting up a cross-party group, and they went for an extreme form of Brexit. If they had sorted out a soft Brexit, staying in the single market and customs union, a compromise reflecting the views of the nation.


A letter from a Guardian reader, 9 September.

I cannot understand why there is not more tangible opposition to the government’s approach to the Brexit negotiations (Brexit: Boris Johnson to override EU withdrawal agreement, 7 September).

During the referendum campaign, many frontbench Conservative MPs said that there was no reason for the UK to leave the single market as a result of Brexit; some even said we would definitely stay in it. After the referendum result was announced, that idea was immediately thrown away. During the referendum campaign we were told that a trade deal with the EU would be “one of the easiest trade deals in history”, and yet we are now facing a no-deal Brexit – not, apparently, by default but as a more or less deliberate choice. Instead of having the frictionless trade that was promised, the government is belatedly spending billions of pounds creating lorry parks, recruiting customs officers and installing new IT systems.

Supporters of Brexit accuse “remoaners” of being undemocratic for not accepting the result of the 2016 referendum. But the Brexit being delivered bears no more than a superficial resemblance to that with which voters were wooed in 2016, and there is thus no democratic mandate for it any more than there would be for overturning the original vote.

If the Brexit that was promised turns out to be undeliverable, as I always thought it would, the prime minister should come out and say so, and either offer another referendum or call a general election. To have made those promises in the full knowledge that they would later be broken is an act of the utmost cynicism and dishonesty, and undermines our democracy.
Hove, East Sussex

Poetry – What Makes a Goon?

What Makes a Goon?


What makes a goon?

Strutting in uniforms

With body armour and masks.


What makes a goon?

Behind their shields

With their guns and batons.


What makes a goon?

Following orders

Mindlessly dispensing violence.


What makes a goon?

Arm of the State

Merchants of terror.


What makes a goon?

Beating heads

Stifling protest.


What makes a goon?

Teargas and bullets

Terror and power


What makes a goon?

Mindless zombies

Faceless thugs.


What makes a goon?




What makes a goon?

Instruments of tyranny

Never questioning.


What makes a goon?


Vehicles of oppression.


What makes anybody want to give up their individuality, their ability to reason, and become an enemy of the people?


Opher – 7.9.2020