Killing the Taliban – a poem

Killing the Taliban


I’m busy killing the Taliban

With my dancing and my song.

Causing their destruction

I don’t think it’ll take too long.


They’ve come out of the Dark Ages

With their joyless cult of death.

We’re fighting their misogyny

With all our hearts and breath.


There’s a misery surrounding them

With their brainwashed ideology.

They live for death; we live for life

And the love of being free.


So with our instruments of love

We’ll play our symphony

And waken the joys of life

From their stone-cold misery.


They made the mistake of thinking

Their god hates music and song;

That women are all second class;

How could they have got it all so wrong?


So with the magic of our strings

And the beauty of our voice

We’ll sing a song of love

That’ll make their hearts rejoice.


So I’m killing the Taliban today

I’m dancing as I sing.

They’ll throw their joyless book away

And let freedom ring!


Opher – 15.5.2019



What kind of miserable death cult is it that kills people for singing and dancing?

What kind of doctrine is it that squanders the wonder of their own lives and seeks to put an end to pleasure?

What kind of cult is this that seeks to live in the past? That thinks stoning is an apt punishment and women are inferior?

I think the human spirit is vital and alive. It knows that song and dance are not crimes.

You defeat such a brainwashed cult by showing them a better way.

Instead of following some hollow words from the Dark Ages we can come together to celebrate, women and men, children and the old, – there’s the treasure.

You kill a wicked, warped ideology with something better.


Adios WriterBeat!!

The American site for writers of all persuasions known as WriterBeat has finally succumbed.

Thanks Autumn Cote for the invite and all the years of fun.

Thank you to all the friends I made and all the people I met.  I am sorry to see it go!

Hello to the refugees from WriterBeat that have popped up on my Blog. You are most welcome.

Here’s hoping that Stone and Owl will get something together pretty soon.

Long live WriterBeat!!

Death from a thousand cuts – a poem

Death from a thousand cuts


Death from a thousand cuts

As drug rehab is slashed.

Death from a thousand cuts

As police numbers crash.

Death from a thousand cuts

As the GPs are bashed.


The NHS can’t sew them up

As they are starved of cash.

The schools can’t educate

With a system that is smashed.

The Tories don’t give a damn

As they orchestrate this crash.


Death from a thousand cuts

And privatise away.

Death from a thousand cuts

They’ll vote for us anyway.

Death from a thousand cuts

That’s justice under May!


Opher – 9.5.2019



Under the fog of Brexit the Tories have been gleefully robbing the poor, cutting services and giving our cash to their rich buddies. Tax cuts and privatisation, bonuses and huge salaries for the elite. Meanwhile the streets aren’t safe, the hospitals can’t cope, the youth services have disappeared, the gangs rule the streets –

While the Tories carry their loot to the bank!


What was it Osborne said??? We’re all in it together??

How much is he earning again??

Irony – a poem



It is the people who make the most fuss about freedom

Who are the ones quickest to deny the freedom of others.

Is their idea of freedom little more than licence for themselves

And oppression for their brothers?


Are the people who delight in derogatory language

Not the ones who are

Intolerant of criticism,

Like bullies in the midnight choir?


Opher – 9.5.2019



I hear a lot of talk from many Americans who cherish their freedom, who feel that PC is an infringement of their rights.

I feel that what they really crave is not freedom but the license to abuse and bully.

Any freedom that robs other people of their power, rights or freedom, that causes oppression or fear, is nothing more than tyranny and bullying.

Communities are about compromises, empathy and understanding. Nobody is entitled to absolute freedom.

This John Wayne fantasy is incredibly harmful.

Freedom is fairness, consideration and finding the middle ground.

Everyone should have their rights preserved – not just a loud, brash few.

License is freedom to abuse and oppress.

Other scary findings from the UN on Biodiversity.

The UN report has put together a series of scary findings that summarise the effect we have been having on the environment.

I don’t know about you but I consider this slightly more important that the birth, and subsequent naming, of some Royal child!

• Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions. On average these trends have been less severe or avoided in areas held or managed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.  • More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production.  • The value of agricultural crop production has increased by about 300% since 1970, raw timber harvest has risen by 45% and approximately 60 billion tons of renewable and nonrenewable resources are now extracted globally every year – having nearly doubled since 1980. • Land degradation has reduced the productivity of 23% of the global land surface, up to US$577 billion in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss and 100-300 million people are at increased risk of floods and hurricanes because of loss of coastal habitats and protection. • In 2015, 33% of marine fish stocks were being harvested at unsustainable levels; 60% were maximally sustainably fished, with just 7% harvested at levels lower than what can be sustainably fished. • Urban areas have more than doubled since 1992. • Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes from industrial facilities are dumped annually into the world’s waters, and fertilizers entering coastal ecosystems have produced more than 400 ocean ‘dead zones’, totalling more than 245,000 km2 (591-595) – a combined area greater than that of the United Kingdom. • Negative trends in nature will continue to 2050 and beyond in all of the policy scenarios explored in the Report, except those that include transformative change – due to the projected impacts of increasing land-use change, exploitation of organisms and climate change, although with significant differences between regions.

Death of a Million – a poem

Death of a Million

Death of a million species
Absurdly eclipsed by a Prince.
Ecological crisis across the world
Everywhere has our fingerprints.

Economic growth signals our end
As we put profit first.
Species after species
Fall to our insatiable thirst.

Who cares about the birth of a royal
As our population soars?
With numbers swamping nature
Breaking all the natural laws.

Billions of individuals
Will meet an untimely death.
As we destroy everything
That gives us all our breath.

Opher – 6.5.2019

Today the news that we were putting one million species at great risk of extinction was superseded by the news of Harry and Megan’s baby.
For fuck’s sake – where are our priorities?
Hundreds of scientists have contributed to a detailed survey right across the world outlining the impact mankind is having on the natural world. What they paint is a picture of massive accelerating decline that puts not only one million species at risk but our own future with them. Yet the birth of some bloody royal is seemingly more important!
If ever anything demonstrates how we have got our values wrong this must surely be it!

A scab upon the planet – a poem

A scab upon the planet

Like a scab

That keeps growing.

A cancer

That eats away.

A river

That erodes its banks.

A fungus

On an agar dish.

Human civilisation

Spreads its canker

Across the planet.

It grows,


And consumes

All it touches.


It mindlessly


All that dares to live

To dust.


Opher – 2.5.2019



I was sitting thinking of the many hopelessly overcrowded cities I have visited across the world with their sprawling suburbs, ramshackle slums and piles of trash, rubble and polluted dust. How they have devoured what once were beautiful landscapes teeming with life and turned them into ugliness.

They really are a cancer eating away at the planet.

Partnership – a poem



Partnership is the only way out of this zero hours’ gulag.

Where those in charge have all the power in this time lag.

It is no longer good enough for a small elite to dictate

While a majority have absolutely no say in their fate.

No fringe benefits, holiday pay, sickness or pensions.

Work when you’re told – loyalty is never mentioned.

But quality of life counts for something!

Welfare of the common folk is not nothing!

We need a better way of doing business.

Clearing up this exploitative mess!

Partnership and shared power!

Cometheth the need, cometh the hour!


Opher 29.4.2019



I wrote this in response to the mess I see in the workplace. Thatcher and the Tories emasculated the Unions and now the bosses hold all the cards.

Yes – the unions had gone too far – protective practices and protected jobs were really insupportable. But the unions were responsible for fighting for fair pay and benefits. Without them we would be really in the mire.

Since the castration of the unions we have seen pay and conditions greatly eroded while profits for the wealthy owners soar.

I fear this would only get worse with increasing AI and automation.

It is time this is addressed.

If it isn’t we are doomed to a world of huge inequality with most of us on low pay with no benefits and a small elite raking in the dosh. That’s no life.

I wouldn’t want to go back to the days of too powerful unions. I prefer the German model. I think workers need to be in partnership with bosses in running the business and sharing the profits. I think that having a say and a share would be motivating and increase productivity.

Freedom – It doesn’t exist – does it?

Freedom looms large in the minds of Westerners. We cherish our freedom. But I would contend that this freedom we cherish is illusory. What we experience is, at

best, a compromise.

In practice we are watched and controlled. Our thoughts are manipulated and our views are orchestrated.

Nobody is free.

So what are these freedoms we hold so dear? The right to believe in whatever God we want or none. The right to elect any government we want. The right to defend ourselves. The right to say what we want without fear of reprisal. The right to dress how we like.

So let us look at two of these ‘freedoms’ in more detail.

a. The right to believe in whatever religion we want – or none.

Well it is certainly true that we have come a long way in the West. We no longer burn people at the stake or in barrels of tar for believing in the wrong thing. We can, in theory, believe in anything we want. But is that true in practice?

Being born into a religious society means that children are immersed in religion. It’s on TV, the radio and in schools. It’s in songs and our language. It’s there on every street with churches, signs and clergy. There’s no escape. It is given huge prominence. We are indoctrinated to accept there is a God and he supports our brand.

Being born into a religious family means that this process of indoctrination is constantly reinforced with customs, rites, ceremonies, prayers, dress-codes and scripture.

By the time you are old enough to think and weigh it up you have been thoroughly brainwashed into believing. It is impregnated into your psyche. Freedom of belief? I think not.

Few escape the deeply seated ideas implanted from childhood.

When we add in, in the adult world and workplace, the prejudices, pressure to conform and expectations – it is impossible to escape. Can an agnostic ever be elected as President in the States?

b. The right to elect the person of our choice!

Well here again we have apparently come a long way. Every man has a vote. Heavens (a religious exclamation) we even let women vote. But do we have the freedom to elect who we want?

It is not  hard to see that this veneer of democracy is rubbish. We can’t elect who we like.

It takes big money to get someone elected to parliament or the congress or senate and even more to get them elected President.

Where does this money come from? It comes from the wealthy who support their candidates. Do they ever put forward a candidate who would harm their interests?

The result is that we always get to choose from a select field of candidates who are in hock to the establishment and we have to select the lesser of two evils.

So how do we decide who the lesser of two evils really is?

The information we get comes from the media. The media is owned by the same wealthy elite who put up the candidates. They are very quick to point out the flaws in any candidate they do not like. Who don’t they like? Anyone who will not look after their interests.

Hence anyone who promotes less inequality or benefits for ordinary people gets short shrift.

Our newspapers, even the best, have a constant drip of propaganda. It erodes free will. As does radio and TV.

Aah – you say – but we have superior information from the internet.


The internet has been taken over by propaganda machines churning out false information to confuse, misinform or undermine.

Aah – but we know the sources. No. You only think you know the sources.

We are manipulated and controlled. Our extremely limited choices are orchestrated by unseen hands. The establishment always wins. The system is always maintained.

our political choices are illusory.

What is happening to America???

My times living in America were all good. Most of the people I had the pleasure of meeting, working with or interacting with were friendly, generous and pleasant. 

Times appear to have changed.

America does feel to me like a rampant capitalist experiment that is going badly wrong. It is run and controlled by a tiny elite of super-rich who bribe, control and run the place for their own benefit. The wealth is hence concentrated in a small elite who control the media and minds.

It is similar but not as bad in the UK. We have a more benevolent society with less extremes. We take care of our poor and needy a bit better and have less extremes of wealth and less violence. Though we do appear, under these capitalist Tories, to be heading the same way.

What is quite clear is that things appear to have become more divided since I was last there in America – more tribal and much more extreme. Nobody is listening to anyone outside their box and abuse is rife. It feels heated.
Any talk about addressing the gaping wound of inequality is seen as unAmerican or socialist – and socialism is immediately equated with totalitarianism and communism. McCarthy did a good job!