Poetry – They are armed!

They are armed!

 

They have a lot of weapons in their armoury.

They have the money to employ the best.

They use unemployment as a threat

And deploy it as a warning,

To demonstrate their power and control.

They use the media to disperse their lies,

To provide the spin, spread the fog and obfuscate

The issues.

They use the media to undermine, to destroy

And ridicule.

They use the media for propaganda.

The tactic is to divide and rule.

They use their privilege to gain advantage.

They buy people.

They subvert rebellion by incorporating it.

They rely on deference.

Their lies are deployed in volleys –

A bombardment of fear.

They had established an establishment,

Set in concrete.

The police are in their pockets.

The army follow their instructions.

They use their power to confuse and subjugate.

They are not restricted by nation.

Theirs is network spread throughout the world.

They know who they are.

 

Opher – 20.11.2019

 

 

Every election, every law, every representative, every move, is subject to their interference.

Their fingers are in every pie.

Through lobbying, bribes, corruption, donations and threats they control the world.

Money doesn’t speak – it shouts!

Who are they?

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Poetry – Life Goes On

Poetry – Life Goes On

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Life goes on

I was struck by the absence of life as I travelled around South America. Sailing days through seas devoid of life. There were no dolphins, whales or porpoises. There were a handful of seabirds. Days would go by without a single booby or frigate bird.

On land it was the insects that were missing. Apart from the flies at Cape Verde, everywhere else was quiet. I was used to the chirping of cicadas, crickets and grasshoppers, but thye Amazon forest seemed quiet. There was no profusion of life. Without insects there are not the animals that feed on insects, there are not the pollinated plants.

It felt as if I was witnessing the slow death of a planet. The buzzing meadows of my youth had turned silent. Now the rainforests were following suit. The seas were becoming wildernesses.

Everywhere we went there was poverty, people sleeping rough on the streets, in shacks and shanties, desperate for work, food or shelter. Teeming millions reaching out into the wilderness and consuming anything that moves, clearing and creating garbage filled wasteland out of pristine jungle.

Too many people; too few of the rest of life.

It did not need to be projected far into the future.

 

Life Goes On

The sea is all around

Without a single speck of life.

No dolphins frolic in these bow-waves.

The forests are silent

Without the buzz of insect

Rustle of creatures

Or chirp of bird.

All is garbage,

Rubbish and desolate wasteland

Baking in the heat.

Towns overflow with poverty and despair.

Life is sucked dry

By the sheer weight of numbers.

What teemed is now sterile.

What sang is now silent.

What lived is now barren.

What they call life goes on.

 

Opher 23.1.2016

 

 

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Poetry – Each Moment – the second humanist poem for a secular ritual.

Poetry – Each Moment – the second humanist poem for a secular ritual.

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Each Moment

This is the second of my secular ritual poems I talked about with Dave Kingsbury. I think the balls in his court now. He’s got to devise the rituals that aren’t too cheesy and silly to go with them. Best of luck.

To give thanks for life and to be grateful that we have evolved eyes to see and senses with which to witness something of the majesty of the universe – to be thankful that the universe exists.

There are mysteries all around us and we use our senses and the instruments we devise with our intelligence to understand and marvel.

Each moment here is heaven. We have no need for more.

Intelligence is rare. Life might be so rare we will never contact another race. But we can imagine, feel and experience the enormity of infinite possibility.

That is exalting in itself.

We should have rituals for each and every sunset. They are precious.

 

Each Moment

 

Each moment is precious –

Each and every moment.

Each moment is a great gift from fate,

Born of chance.

We are thankful for this great opportunity to breathe,

This chance to soak

In the dreams of life.

For what we have is more precious

Than we can imagine.

We are thankful

For the opportunity

To see oceans,

Sunsets,

Mountains

And sky.

We are thankful

For plants, animals

Moors and forests.

We are fortunate;

We have the great fortune to live.

 

Opher 14.3.2016

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Photography – Giant petrels in the Falklands

Photography – Giant petrels in the Falklands

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These birds have a wingspan just short of seven feet!

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Poetry – How wondrous – for a secular, humanist ritual

Poetry – How wondrous – for a secular, humanist ritual

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Secular Rituals

Human beings have a great need for rituals. We go in for uniforms and pageant. Our rituals tend to be militaristic or religious. Dave Kingsbury (of the great blog – A nomad in cyberspace) thought that it would be a great idea to write some secular rituals that acknowledged the wonder of life; rituals that did not require belief, religion or celebrate violence.

It sent me thinking.

This is what came out. I’m not sure if it’s a poem or a secular psalm. I see it as part of a humanist ritual.

 

How Wondrous

Wondrous it is to open your eyes into this universe of beauty.

Wondrous it is to behold the splendour of the stars, sun, rocks and trees.

Wondrous is the ecstasy of life.

For with our eyes we see,

Our ears we hear,

As all our senses penetrate

The mysteries that surround us.

 

The wonder of moon and sun,

Of sunset over sea,

Of grass rippling in the breeze,

The splash of stars

Across a velvet heaven,

The sigh of love,

The thud of drums,

Vibration of strings,

The tinkle of water over rocks,

The crash of waves,

Skeletons of trees against an orange sky,

Shapes of clouds against an agonising blue;

The oranges, yellow, reds and greens

That flood the eyes with beauty –

The wonder of life.

 

Opher 14.3.2016 (For Dave)

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Poetry – Away on a cruise – a poem about travelling

Poetry – Away on a cruise – a poem about travelling

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Away on a cruise

I am not a cruising person. I find the idea quite repugnant. There is something pretentious about it – the dressing up for the Captain’s table – the pretending to be part of the elite and experiencing the five course restaurant meals. Then there is the jolly, jolly games to join in with – the deck quoits, quizzes, craft, gameshows and the evening shows and cabaret.

Not my scene at all.

But then I saw the cheap fifty five day tour to South America and looked at the ports of call; an opportunity to visit lands I would probably not ever get to, to see the wild-life and get a flavour. All for a ridiculously cheap price.

Then there was the factor of spending the whole of January and February in the warmth, under the sun, with a pool.

There was plenty of time to read and write.

It was too good an offer to refuse; two months away from the cold and mundane jobs; two months to relax and think.

So here I am – sitting in a cabin typing, writing poems and looking forward to disembarking for a look around Buenos Aires and Montevideo the day after. Rio was great and I’m looking forward to Cape Horn and the Falklands. Whales, dolphins, seals, boobies, frigate birds and flying fish pass by.

I haven’t made any new friends but I’m rubbing along and being prolific in the bargain. I have a deep tan and a good fitness level from walking round deck, cities and parks.

I’m enjoying this cruising lark.

               Away on a cruise

 

They made me an offer I could not refuse

Away on a cruise.

An opportunity to read and write

In sunshine divine.

Enough vitamin D to lift the spirits.

To visit far off lands

In the wake of the great poets.

To breathe the air

To gaze on mountains, seas, trees, creatures and birds

My eyes have never seen.

To savour the difference,

Taste the fruits

And open the mind anew.

Nothing is more exhilarating than change,

It reawakens palates,

Opens the senses to delight

And replenishes the soul.

Refreshed

The words tumble over each other

In a desperate attempt

To etch the impossible

Into empty spaces.

But who can tell of colours?

Sounds? Tastes?

That adequately describe

The nuance of a single moment.

Siting in a café in Rio

With the sun and a beer

Unredeemed by the redeemer

But enjoying the sugar loaf of life.

 

23.1.2016

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Poetry – Reviewing the past – a poem about life, memory and waking.

Poetry – Reviewing the past – a poem about life, memory and waking.

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Reviewing the past

There is a strange state of being that exists hovering between wakefulness and sleep in which the mind has not fully kicked in. It is a reverie. The mind hangs suspended. There is a lazy hand at the wheel. It drifts back and forth. Your life, thoughts, memories and dreams are intermingled.

It is a very pleasant state and one that I regularly enjoy.

Sometimes it appears to me that my life is nothing more than a series of anecdotes held together by some overriding phenomenon that is me. Memories are like the beads on a string. Moments and scenes played out in vivid colour. Around them everything else recedes into a impenetrable fog. The scenes are performed repeatedly and the intervening days, weeks, months and years have been blotted out. They are gone.

Yet even the memories are really vague snatches of what has been. They are not real. They have been redrafted, rearranged, embellished and augmented. Only a hint of the feelings and emotions remain as fleeting, tantalising glimpses.

How I would like to re-inhabit the various people I used to be; to revisit a handful of the forgotten days and become reacquainted with my former selves; to taste that idealism and certainty again.

Perhaps one day soon they will invent a drug that will enable you to do just that; to resurrect the entire experience of a day from the past. I know if that ever happened that I would be first in line. I also know that any drug like that would be instantly banned.

Until then I am quite happy to lie back and reacquaint myself with the scenes from my life, spread out before me like fields seen from a mountain top.

That will have to do.

 

 

Reviewing the past

 

As I awake and lie in limbo,

Not fully connected,

Reviewing the collage of my life –

The could have-beens,

Was and did;

The happenstance,

Chance and wonder,

Spread out

Like a huge quilt of parts

In colour.

All the sadness, ecstasy

And inspiration,

Flashes of understanding;

The loves, losses

And friendships,

The beauty, poetry

And argument –

Like fields seen from afar,

Isolated oasis

Of moments,

Each preserved

As a unique tableau.

As I lay back

To relive those moments –

The yearning,

The unusual,

The fondly remembered

And pathos –

Separated by deserts

Of forgotten days,

Forgotten nothing.

Yet all

Reinvented,

Rearranged

And altered to fit.

Nothing more than a false representation

Of what has been –

Only a life –

Nothing real –

A hazy, reimagined past –

As reality kicks in.

 

Opher 23.1.2016

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Poetry – I am an accident – a ode to the wonder of life

Poetry – I am an accident – a ode to the wonder of life

I am an accident

My never ending fascination with reality continues. I love everything to do with the universe, life and infinity. It is amazing.

I have found no answers. I do not think there are answers in any of the holy books. They seem to me to be men (very few women) trying to find answers to the perennial questions of life and death. I suspect there are no answers. I see verses of poetry, moral instruction and political rhetoric from millennia gone by. Teachings that are meant to illustrate life and answer our questions and fears concerning the after-life. I do not find them convincing. What I do see is the way they are used by politicians and religious leaders to gain power and influence, accumulate wealth, live in luxury and control others. Religion is not about providing answers so much as creating prestige and raising people up. It is a weapon of the establishment to control the masses.

The reality of space, time and life is far stranger than anything written in holy books from semi-civilised times. We are only now piercing the world of quantum mechanics, subatomic particles and the mysteries of the Big Bang. There is an underlying chaos within the order. There is a conundrum.

Humans love mystery. I am human. Rather than create creeds to indoctrinate children with and foster hatred I would prefer to appreciate the wonder of a sunrise, the splendour of a creature or the beauty of a landscape. If there is such a thing as spirituality then I believe it is within those things, plus a little love and friendship – not any book of words.

I believe the universe, and life, is the result of random chaos, chance and a few basic physical laws. Nothing more. We are all accidents worth celebrating. The fact that we are here and able to appreciate it is as near to a miracle as I’m ever likely to get. If that isn’t worthy of celebration what is?

I am an accident

 

I am a single accident

In a universe of accidents.

Each moment is a complete new universe

To experience and explore,

Loose within the fabric of organised chaos.

No one thing is left to chance;

Everything is left to chance.

My mind churns through the possibilities

Seeking answers

All I see from humanity

Are lies, deception and disease.

We taint the purity

With the halitosis of our words.

Even the holiest words

Become profane abuse

To facilitate power

Rancour and hatred.

The mystery of chance is encapsulated

Between the lines.

That is where the truth of eternity lies –

Between the lies

Between the lines

Between the signs………

 

Opher 23.1.2016

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Poetry – Life – afloat in an ocean of oblivion.

Poetry – Life – afloat in an ocean of oblivion.

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Life

The universe- perhaps a multitude of universes – exist. If there was no consciousness to perceive it then it would still exist.

Yet there is. There is consciousness – and it exists in many forms. It came into creation and has evolved on this planet. It is called life.

We are alive.

We open our eyes into a universe of light, heat and solidity.

But for a few physical laws and chance occurrences this might not have been the case. This universe could easily have merely consisted of dissipating hydrogen, absolute cold and not a hint of substance. Instead it formed stars, light, heat and complex molecules.

We can see, feel, breathe and experience.

That is the wonder.

In the big scheme of things a lifetime is the flash of a strobe. We are here and gone.

Yet in a lifetime there are many days and much to do, to feel and experience. It is how we fill our time that is the measure of our worth.

It can be a long, drawn-out affair of trivia, routine and dreariness, or a delight of friendship, love, exploration and creativity.

I believe that consciousness is so rare in this universe that we almost have a duty to give it all we’ve got.

 

Life

Life is a mystery –

An interim of consciousness

In a boundless ocean of oblivion;

A string of moments

That are opportunities;

A momentary awakening

Into an infinity of wonder;

A window into a universe of awe.

 

Life is a brief ripple

In the river of time;

A chance meeting

With other minds;

A discovery of self,

A sharing of beauty beyond measure;

A moment’s love

Before the cloistered doors close.

 

Life is measured in seconds.

All we have to do

Is to fill each one.

 

Opher 12.1.2016

Poetry – Screaming for Beat

Poetry – Screaming for Beat

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Screaming for Beat

The Beat poets were the start of a movement that wanted no part of the machine that society had become. They wanted life. They were on a mad crazy journey to experience, feel and gain knowledge, insight and satori. They smoked hash, took peyote and heroin to change reality and explore the dimensions of mind. Life was a journey, a vivid set of possibilities to be experienced. Every moment was vital. It had to be squeezed and its essence extracted. Life was for living, for kicks, for crazy, but also for love, satori and spiritual exploration. Life was Zen.

There were no rules or boundaries. There were poems to be created and shared; emotions to be garnered, sex to be shared, music to be bopped to and journeys to be undertaken. There wasn’t a second to waste.

Society was on a mad controlled rush to consume, exploit and use up. It was devoid of love, poems and purpose. Everything was regimented, made to fit, reduced or eradicated. Nature was unwanted unless confined to trimmed lawns, tidy flower beds and ornamental plants. If it moved – kill it.

For me that vision of society was a vision of a nightmare – an existence sucked dry, leaving life as a desiccated husk of a life devoid of feeling and passion.

The world was being tamed, destroyed, consumed and made to fit the plastic model. People were being controlled, trained to work and consume and tamed. Their desires were repressed. Their feelings controlled. Their passions doused.

The world was being transformed into a plastic nightmare of consumption and order. Nature and wilderness are being destroyed before our very eyes as the juggernaut of progress bulldozes the planet in its relentless greed.

We are being fenced in, tied up with laws and placed in our cubicles in orderly lines.

I want the chaos. Fuck the safety – I want the excitement – I want to live each second. It’s not about the length of a lifetime; it’s about the quality.

Screaming for Beat

 

Screaming at the injustice

The insanity, the madness.

Screaming in the face of destruction, devastation.

Screaming at the rape of nature, the slaughter.

Screaming at the mindless billions

Swamping all that is good and pure

With their synthetic plastic, neon boredom.

Screaming at myself for being

Part of the of the machine,

Within the machine,

Of the machine,

And at the whim of the machine.

Screaming at myself,

Consumed with guilt,

At my impotence,

Inabilities,

Limitations,

And inadequacies.

We should all be screaming

Instead of placidly sitting,

Buying, consuming

And politely talking

Platitudes;

Voting for psychopaths,

Allowing transgressions.

We should all be screaming

As the world is being torn

From our grip,

Nature eradicated,

And the planet

Transformed

Into a plastic theme park,

With Muzak, playgrounds, wheel-chair access and a curfew.

Where it is safe,

Comfortable

And there is no raucous noise to disturb the peace,

No insects to bite

And no, absolutely no, need

To think.

 

Opher 21.1.2016

If you enjoy my poems or anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of anecdotes for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

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