Poetry – Long Ago

Long Ago

Long ago,

                Man fought man,

                                Face to face

                                                With sword and spear.

Bravery and strength

                Skill and tactics,

                                Were the things

                                                To fear.

Now, a young skinny wimp

                A thousand miles away,

                                Guides a drone,

                                                Presses a button

And you’ve had your day.

Opher – 3.4.2022

Once we had a need for strong, brave, macho men; now they’re an embarrassment, a threat and a nuisance.

Nowadays we need intelligence, not brawn, empathy and compassion not violence.

In a modern world there is no room for the violent. We don’t need them; they’re obsolete!

Patriotism – the last refuge of Scoundrels.

Nationalism and patriotism divide people, cause problems between nations, encourages racism and xenophobia and is used by cynical politicians in order to get themselves elected.

People, all the world over, are the same. The differences between them are the result of cultural brainwashing.

You can take a baby from any race or culture and bring them up in a different culture and they’d be the same as the others in that culture.

Ron Forsythe – Reawakening – a Sci-fi classic!

Reawakening

This is the sequel to God’s Bolt.

Helen Southcote, the sole survivor of a stricken Earth, is alone on the Space Station.

This is the tale of her journey through space and time towards Tau Sagittarii, 122 light years away  …

This is also the story of the aliens who live in the system around Tau Sagittarii and their reaction to the destruction of Earth.

After dealing with the rigours of isolation, mental illness and hopelessness there is the hope of awakening.

Then there are the questions about the purpose of life, altruism and the nature of consciousness all in the course of an epic adventure.

Extract

Author’s Note

While this is a sequel it is intended to stand on its own as a story.

The novel is concerned with an alien civilisation based in the region of Tau Sagittarii. It takes 122 years for radio signals to reach Tau Sagittarii from earth even though they travel at the speed of light.

In order not to create confusion all dates used are earth time.

Chapter 1 – Awakening

Year 0 Day 1 – 2325

I opened my eyes to discover I was in my own room. It gave me such a shock that I quickly closed them again. That could not possibly be right, could it? I mean, I had to be dreaming.

I lay there with my heart thumping trying to gather the courage to open my eyes again.

That room no longer existed. It was my room from 2159 when I was fourteen. I’d recognised it straight away. It even smelt right. It felt right. The bed felt right. All those things that I’d totally forgotten, that were lost in the depths of time but which were flooding back to me down the distant corridors of history through some ninety two years. It had given me such a shock.

This time I opened my eyes slowly and deliberately, braced for what I was about to see.

It was still there. It was definitely my room down to the smallest detail. There were even the scratches on the paintwork by the door where Woody, my beautiful collie dog, used to scratch to be let out.

I couldn’t have been more shocked if I’d bumped into a tyrannosaurus. I’d seen one of those in the reconstruction zoo, subtly called Jurassic Park after some film that had been made centuries before I was born.

I allowed my eyes to roam around taking it all in and rediscovering all those tiny details that I had long forgotten. They were all resurfacing as I looked – those strange lights that I’d taken a liking too, the garish colours of the walls. What had I been thinking? Orange and green. How could I ever have thought that was cool? The patterned carpet that made your eyes go funny. There was definitely something weird that happens to adolescent minds. They go very strange. But how did my parents allow me to do it? They really did indulge me, didn’t they? – Much more than I’d appreciated at the time.

I looked over to the large mural of Carl Sagan that dominated the wall opposite. My hero Carl held pride of place. Around him were my favourite Zook and Zygobeat bands of the day. I remember I had quite a crush on Zed from Isobar. He had the coolest hair and sweetest face. I adored him. Well looking at him now he just looked like a simpering little kid, barely out of nappies. My Dad used to be very disdainful of Isobar. ‘Computer slush for slushy minds’ he used to say, much to my fury. I used to retaliate calling his music ‘archaic noise for the demented’. He used to laugh – which only made it worse.

I edged myself up in bed. I felt so weak.

I looked around for Woody, my dog, but he wasn’t there. He usually lay curled up asleep at the side of my bed. I half expected my Mum to call up from downstairs to tell me to get up; it was time to catch the scud to school, or my Dad to start chiding. What was going on? I expected to hear my brother Rich mumbling and grumbling from his stinking pit across the landing that resembled a rubbish tip, only smellier. He hated getting up while it was still daylight. I thought about my older brother Joe who was away at Uni.

Everything was so right and that’s what made it so wrong. This could not possibly be happening. This room did not exist. Not only was it a throwback to my room from some ninety odd years ago, that had seen so many transformations as I’d grown up and then left home – this being just one incarnation among the many – an incarnation that was buried under layers of decorative archaeology by the time I last visited home. It was also a room that had been completely destroyed when God’s Bolt, that damn fucking asteroid, had wiped out the Earth all those years ago.

So how was I here?

I eased myself up in bed and sat propped up against the wall. My heart had slowed down but my mind was still racing.

I noticed my hands. You get used to seeing your own hands. They are not very attractive as you get old. All those brown splodges of liver spots, and your knuckles all swollen and lumpy, your skin all crinkled and leathery, like some dry, wrinkly tissue paper that you could never get smooth and soft again no matter how much lotion you use. But these were not like that. They were a young woman’s hands. Not the hands of the slip of a girl I was when I had this room, the hands of a mature young woman. I recognised them too, even though I had not seen them for some eighty years or more.

I got out of bed, walked across the room, or should I say tottered, I felt so weak I thought I was going to collapse at any moment, having to rest a hand on the bed in order to keep my balance, and opened my wardrobe to look in the mirror. My hair was a straggly mess but the body and face that peered back at me was that of the twenty year old Helen Southcote that used to be.

‘Eunice,’ I called, ogling this body I had not laid eyes on for over eighty years, ‘what have you done?’

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Roy Harper: Every Album, Every Song (On Track) Paperback

by Opher Goodwin (Author)

4.7 out of 5 stars    45 ratings

A 5* book on Amazon with 45 ratings and some outstanding reviews. Great to see such an important singer/songwriter being recognised!!

As a writer, I am so heartened by all the positive likes and reviews. Thank you everyone!!

Roy Harper must be one of Britain s most undervalued rock musicians and songwriters. For over fifty years he has produced a series of innovative albums of consistently outstanding quality. He puts poetry and social commentary to music in a way that extends the boundaries of rock music. His 22 studio albums 16 live albums, made up of 250 songs, have created a unique body of work. Roy is a musician s musician. He is lauded by the likes of Dave Gilmour, Ian Anderson, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend, Joanna Newsom, Fleet Foxes and Kate Bush. Who else could boast that he has had Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, Dave Gilmour, John Paul Jones, Ronnie Lane, Chris Spedding, Bill Bruford and Steve Broughton in his backing band? Notable albums include Stormcock, HQ and Bullinamingvase. Opher Goodwin, Roy s friend and a fan, guides the reader through every album and song, providing insight into the recording of the songs as well the times in which they were recorded. As his loyal and often fanatical fans will attest, Roy has produced a series of epic songs and he remains a raging, uncompromising individual.

Poetry – The Death of Democracy

The Death of Democracy

So on this New Year’s Day

I’ll raise a cup to democracy

And drink to its death.

For the whole idea

Was strangled

Ere it could ever draw a breath.

Even as the midwives struggled

To get the babe to breathe

There were those who lurked,

In shadows, seeking to deceive.

For in the grubby grasp of fake news

Where the media holds sway.

Those who own that message

Control who has a say.

With cunning, guile and transparency

They throw lies into the fray

To ensure that in this day and age

It’s them that gets their way!

When money talks

It buys the truth

That everybody believes.

Those who own the media

Set out the case

For the robber thieves.

Democracy never stood a chance –

Fingers tightened round its throat.

Now we watch the bloated bankers

Sit around and gloat.

Without the truth there is no chance

For wise choices to be made.

The wealthy used their gold

And the assassins were all paid.

Opher – 1.1.2020

Well my first poem of a new decade proved to be a bit dark.

I cannot help thinking that we are all being manipulated and lied to by the media. The wealthy own the papers and control TV and radio too. They run the world for profit. Their motives are transparent.

If you are not given the facts you cannot make an informed decision.

If you are consistently lied to you may start to believe what you are told.

Fake news is undermining the entire fabric of our society.

Real news is called fake by populist leaders.

Experts are side-lined and conveniently ignored.

Profit is the key word.

How can you have a free election when people are being blatantly lied to and manipulated?

How can any democracy work when the elite control the media?

Democracy does not stand a chance until we have unbiased news!!

In Search Of Captain Beefheart – A memoir of a life in Rock Music.

The sixties raged. I was young, crazy, full of hormones and wanting to snatch life by the balls. There was a life out there for the grabbing and it had to be wrestled into submission. There was a society full of boring amoral crap and a life to be had in the face of the boring, comforting vision of slow death on offer. Rock music vented all that passion. This book is a memoir of a life spent immersed in Rock Music. I was born in 1949 and so lived through the whole gamut of Rock. Rock music formed the background to momentous world events – the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, Iraq war, Watergate, the miners’ strike and Thatcher years, CND, the Green Movement, Mao and the Cultural Revolution, Women’s Liberation and the Cold War. I see this as the Rock Era. I was immersed in Rock music. It was fused into my personality. It informed me, transformed me and inspired me. My heroes were musicians. I am who I am because of them. Without Rock Music I would not have the same sensibilities, optimism or ideals. They woke me up! This tells that story.

ANGRY

ANGRY

My mind is crippled

My emotions crawl

My memory limps

My psychology stalls

Shouting over the tramping of those worker ants

Standing in the shadow of these anorexic dwarves

My arguments decay into worthless rants

My best ideas become fodder for the wolves

There must be more than this

There has to be a way

That gives a sense of purpose

With something real to say

Somewhere between the mindless and the mean

Between the leaders and followers

What is and might have been

Between the sickeningly sweet and the vicious kick

Between the awesome mystery

Religion and the sick.

Somewhere between the ageing and the end

Between the discovery and death

The laws to break and mend

Between the exploiting cynic and the devotee

Between the moments that matter

And the lives of you and me.

There must be more than this

There has to be a way

That gives a sense of purpose

With something real to say

Opher 23.10.96