A beautiful poem put to music. A vision of a moment in a frozen winter.
A fuck A film
A smoke a joke
A smash some hash
A pill a thrill
Is all it takes to distract you
To stop you from having to think
And life goes by
Outside your window
As you pour another drink
A grab A deal
A leer A feel
A Crash A Bash
A Breath A Death
Is all it takes to fill your mind
Like a tennis ball in a vacuum flask
Bouncing in your head
So you don’t have to ask.
It would appear to me that there are pressing issues that we should all become involved with.
A small number of people are setting a tone, guiding us down a path of growth and profit. This is devastating the planet.
Politics is not pointless. We are not impotent. We can make a difference.
This poem was written in response to the shallowness I saw around me – the distraction that prevented people from engaging with anything that had depth and meaning.
TV and fun can be worthwhile and expanding; they can also create airheads.
They told me I’d go to heaven
When I strapped on that bomb
That paradise would be mine
And everything would be fine
In the bus on the way to market
Fidgeting with my change
Cherishing each second and trying to mark it
As the end comes into range
They said there was no other way
It was hidden in the genes
To draw attention to the day
The end justifies the means
But I’ve thought about it
And I’ve weighed up the blend
There is only ever just the means
And there never is an end.
The whole spectre of suicide bombings, religious fanaticism and violence has taken on a greater and greater significance.
The extremists seem to be pushing for an all-out war with the West. It is a clash of ideologies. They want to impose their religious beliefs on the world. They see it as a battle between Islam and Christianity.
I do not see it that way at all. For centuries Muslims and Christians and Jews have lived together in harmony. Every now and then a fanatical element, or politically inspired prejudice, or seeker of power, uses the religious card to further their ends.
We have to put the present situation in context with the past.
There is a battle going on. It is between the people who wish to live in a world of diversity and harmony, where all people’s views are respected and we learn to accept our differences, or a world of fundamental intolerance.
I know which I would fight for.
This poem was written from the perspective of a bomber who woke up to the fact that he was being used and was merely a pawn in a power struggle.
Got any change Mister?
Change is all there is
In this fragile life
Nothing real can stay
Our atoms stick
Then melt and part
And travel on their way
There was this kid with his obligatory dog and sleeping bag at the side of the pavement asking for change. That is what set my mind going.
All this universe knows is change. The laws of thermo-dynamics are going flat out.
We’ll all be dust!
Sometimes I think the rate of change in our society is madness. My Grandmothers grew up in a world that had dirt roads, gas lights, horse and carts and no cars. They lived to see men on the moon and space-stations.
The world we live in is changing so much as the world population spirals to seven billion on its way to ten, the forests disappear and wilderness is destroyed. Progress can be extremely negative.
This is my latest book of poems.
But this is my latest poem.
I am Quantum
The reality we hold within our heads is created by the neuronal net we each possess. Our consciousness is the result of billions of electrical impulses.
It is not real.
Our senses fire and relay their messages to the brain. The brain interprets these and creates sight, touch, warmth, sound, smell and the elements it uses to create our reality.
It we were dissociated from our nerves and different messages were conveyed it would create a different reality.
The world we see is not real; it is created by our brain.
My world and yours are completely different. We cannot imagine the universe our pets inhabit.
At the same time my mind fantasises and dreams, creates poems, visions and ideas.
They are not real.
They are the product of my neuronal net.
In Quantum physics an electron can exist in two places simultaneously. The whole universe is a product of unreality.
I think I have a quantum mind.
I am Quantum
I lead a quantum life
Here and there
In the world
And in my head
At the same time.
And who can tell
Which is more real?
My ideas exist
In two places
As they shunt
Their strange paths
Across my synapses
To my dreams.
My senses fire –
To make picture,
Solid and concrete,
In my head.
All the world,
Inside and out,
Is the same –
An electric fog,
A quantum leap,
Into the creation
Of a universe
Bob Dylan’s Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie
Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie
Thanks to Cheryl for stimulating this train of thought when she asked about the pointlessness and emptiness of our consumer driven society. I think that its moronic emptiness is driving people into fundamental religion which is even worse.
I am reminded of that incredible poem Bob Dylan did where he talked about god and Woody Guthrie and awe and wonder and ended saying they can all be found at Grand Canyon at sunset. That’s how I feel. I don’t need religion, god or afterlife to do good things, reward or punish, because my life is full and fulfilled, I can find my wonder and awe in communion with others, friendship, love, creativity, and the wonders and majesty of the world around me. If there is a god I am sure that it is not confined to any words written in any ancient (or modern) text…
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I am the distance between any two points
I am the greatest size you can think
I am the point that has no size
I am the paradox that dissolves beyond logic
In me is contained all things
I am the Truth that defies all laws
I am the glimpse that can never be seen
I am the centre of all things
I am the fear from which men turn
Without me there is no meaning.
Bums in the Air
People are great joiner-inners. They go with the majority. I find it quite startling to see how conservative and fundamental things have become. Back when I was a lad my Muslim friends were all westernised. They didn’t take their religion to extremes. The girls did not go around in head-scarves let alone burqas. In Islamabad University in Pakistan the students wore jeans, T-shirts and listened to the Beatles, Stones and Pink Floyd.
How things have changed.
The children are taken off to their Madrassas where they are subjected to religious indoctrination.
I see families walking down the street, in the summer heat, with the poor woman completely enclosed in heavy black robes, breathing stale air behind a mask, while her husband is cool in T-shirt and jeans.
I am a believer in freedom but I hate misogyny, indoctrination and superstition.
In my view spirituality is about harmony with nature and the universe. Religion is about power, indoctrination and division.
Bums in the Air
Bums in the air
Allah and sweet Jesus,
And God above.
How absurd they look
With their array of holy book.
From Neolithic lords
Dressed in fancy costume –
And modern groom.
Opher – 14.9.2016
Miniscule in Reality
I am always in awe of nature; there’s a wonder at work. Infinity with its swirling galaxies, spinning atoms and amazing mysteries of consciousness is inspiring, is full of majesty, is uplifting.
There is a harmony in a sunset, rainbow and the glow it produces. There is a spirit in the rocks, trees and seas. To sit beside the crashing waves and feel the breeze in ones face connects us to the universe. To feel the sun upon the face and bask in its benevolent warmth is to feel the congruence.
There is a mystical force that is natural, beyond religion, and integral to that dynamo of nature through which we are all one.
Calm and peaceful, without barriers as the vibration of energy flows through and on, forever.
Miniscule in Reality
Glowing dawns and standing stones,
Mystic storms, vibrations in the wind
And majestic trees.
Skies that swirl with stars,
Chasms of glowing rock at sunset
And crashing seas.
There’s a wonder at work –
A celestial spectacle of awe.
There’s a mystery in the mind
That’s knocking at our door.
Standing before the horizon
Outlined against infinity
Feeling large against the sky
But miniscule in reality.
Opher – 1.8.2016
After all these years all you need to write is Jimi. Everyone knows who you mean. There is only one Jimi. He was not only the epitome of a guitarist, a showman and performer but an icon of an age, a symbol of all that a generation stood for and the idealism that changed the world.
When one thinks of Jimi standing there in his outrageous costumes you knew he was not dressing up for the show, he was expressing himself as an individual. He was blowing away the cobwebs from a dull and dreary post-war existence; he was drawing a line in the sand between the establishment (and the generation who chose routine, boredom, profit and war over fun, harmony, and meaning) and a new idea, a new approach, a new attitude – that we could live in peace, equality and freedom with purpose.
When I think of Jimi I think of helicopters in Vietnam, Agent Orange and machine guns, peace riots on the streets and phalanxes of State Troopers shooting at kids. I think of that young girl running down the street and enveloped by napalm. And I think of the friendship in the parks and gigs where everyone shared what they had and laughed, black with white, male with female and all together.
I only managed to see Jimi play three times for some ridiculous reason. I think we thought that it would go on forever and he would always be there. He wasn’t and nothing ever does – not even the bad stuff. But Jimi playing was a highlight of my life and will always be right up there with the best – and not just musically. He represented something greater than music.
We tried to change the world and I think we did. But the establishment fought back and wrested it back, tightening their control. We need another bout of sixties optimism, passion and rebellion. We need another Jimi, Bob and Roy.
So many years on and he is still Jimi.
With the elbow, teeth and the back of the hand
As feedback wailed by design
Over the sound of the band;
With shades of Sci-fi
And the limits of the mind
Soaring free on the wind
As it cried Mary
And my thoughts drift back
To what might be.
Chewing gum to the cracking of a machine gun,
Outrageous in costume and style,
To test the limits
Of all that could be
And might be in that castle of magic
That left us all aghast
And has never been surpassed.
Opher – 1.8.2016