Poetry – Tectonic Plates of Society

Tectonic Plates of Society

As the tectonic plates shift

                The ground beneath us.

New mountains of behaviour

Push upwards as cultures clash.

Mountain ranges of compassion,

                Volcanoes of cooperation,

Peaks of altruism,

Earthquakes of respect.

The old layers of populism,

                The fossilised strata of greed,

The crushed remains of selfishness,

Are fractured, bent and buried.

As the old separation is replaced

                By new togetherness,

And the old hostilities

Are suffocated with love.

Opher – 29.3.2020

The pandemic has caused major shifts in our society. It is noticeable.

Most people are politer and friendlier. There is a togetherness and community spirit. It has brought people together.

So many are volunteering to help others, to look after the old and needy, the more vulnerable members of society.

Many are putting themselves at risk to tend to others.

The selfishness of Brexit and austerity is being washed away.

Perhaps we are on the brink of a new caring era? It’s a shame the pandemic did not happen a few years earlier.

Poetry – Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders

There’s a game being played.

Some play by different rules,

While others are told what rules to play by.

If we dare to move

To a different tune

They create a cacophony

To drown us out.

For they have all the ladders

While we are left with snakes.

The games that I would choose to play

Have no snakes

And every square has a ladder.

But they play by different rules.

Opher 13.11.2019

My tax is calculated to the last penny but they are free to form companies and stuff their millions off-shore tax-free.

I am subject to the law but they employ lawyers to bend the rules, find loopholes and evade justice.

I, like the vast majority, use the public services, hospitals, schools and police but they pay to jump queues, get better service and enhance their privilege.

They influence the law with lobbying, bribes, promises and sweeteners. I am subject to the law.

Privilege buys a ladder to the heights.

They think this is alright.

I think it stinks.

Poetry – Caught Between

Caught Between

Between the profits and the greed,

Between the money and the seed,

Between the madness and the war,

Between the illness and the sore,

There’s no room.

Between the pillar and the post,

Between the devil and the ghost,

Between the hard place and the rock,

Between the explosion and the shock,

There’s no room

Between the funfair and the ride,

Between the hunter and the pride,

Between the arrow and the gun,

Between the baiting and the fun,

There’s no room

Opher 13.4.2018

It seems to me that something is missing from this modern life. We’ve lost it somewhere along the way. It has been squeezed out.

Now, with our life of fun, comfort and ease, between the leisure and entertainment, between the purchasing and throwing away, we have lost something that was immensely important.

Now that most of us do not need to struggle for survival, when the food is on the table, the fridge bulges and we just have to turn the central heating or air-conditioning up, something has been lost.

Now when the trip to church, mosque, temple or synagogue and the reading of the verses has no impact on our daily life or the way we act, something has gone badly astray.

Somewhere in the het up struggle between NeoCon and LibTard, where all minds are clouded with tribal fury, a real sense of purpose has been waylaid.

I think I know what it is.

I think we have lost our connection with nature.

Who are the Establishment and why I’m against them!

The Establishment are a loose combination of all those who have wealth, status and power.

They include the royalty, aristocracy, wealthy landowners and businessmen (plus a few women), Bishops, Generals Politicians and Top Civil Servants.

They are conservative in that they have a vested interest in maintaining the system as it stands – ie. they want the wealth and power to reside with them and not allow the rank and file to usurp them.

They use their power, influence and privilege to buy, coerce or provide them with advantage.

They form a club. To be part of that club you either have to be born into the club or buy your way in.

The badges of their club include privileged schooling (at public schools such as Eton and Harrow and on to Oxford and Cambridge) and membership of other clubs or professions – hence the Generals, Judges, Civil Servants, and CEOs of big companies. You can join the club by invitation through great success at sport, in the arts or business world – or even a rebellious Rock Star like Mick Jagger. You could become a Lord.

There is an ‘Old Boy’ network which operates to give benefits to other members – we’ve seen that in operation during Brexit and the Coronavirus – the inside knowledge and contacts, meant that lucrative contracts and huge profits were generously given out to the few. These establishment profiteers – like Rees-Mogg and Baroness Dido Harding – made a fortune. We see it with the 44 members of Cameron’s cabinet that were shuffled into lucrative jobs. We see it with the revolving door into the world of huge opportunity. We see it with the likes of Cameron and Osborne leaving politics and going on to make countless millions.

This club called the establishment controls everything. It has the money to control markets. It controls the media. It controls jobs.

If an antiestablishment political group forms – such as the original Labour Party – the media create a shitstorm of lies and scare stories. The money markets are carefully directed to create economic failure. The political figures are either worn down or bought off and the threat is removed.

The only way for a party, such as the Labour Party, to become elected is to become an establishment party – as happened with Blair.

Antiestablishment figures such as Corbyn, with their antiestablishment policies of nationalisation, are vilified and ridiculed.

 Conservative statesman Lord Salisbury told parliament in 1866, in response to plans to extend the suffrage. Giving working-class people the vote would, he stated, tempt them to pass “laws with respect to taxation and property especially favourable to them, and therefore dangerous to all other classes”.

They feared that the people might want a fairer country and take away their wealth and privilege.

When working-class people forced the establishment to give them the vote the establishment set about controlling them.

Through the media they spread propaganda, lies and scaremongering. The idea being that they could prevent the working people from electing people who would represent their interests at the expense of the establishment elite.

They set about controlling the markets to safeguard their wealth – hence we have tax loopholes that are never blocked off – and to use this control to undermine any attempt to create more equality.

The establishment regard themselves as superior. They see the rest of the country working to create wealth for the elite. They give them as little in terms of money and work conditions as they can get away with.

Hence the land, wealth and power reside with a small group of people – the establishment.

They have proved very cunning and successful.

Apart from a few blips – such as the post-war Labour Atlee government sneaking in unexpectedly and bringing in huge social change – such as the NHS and Welfare State – the establishment have ruled consistently.

The Conservative party were set up by the establishment to rule for the establishment – which they have consistently done. One only has to look at today – The Johnson government has given huge tax cuts and handouts to the wealthy while cutting public services and bringing in cuts and austerity for the poor.

The Labour Party in order to become elected effectively become watered-down Tories presenting Tory policies and supporting the establishment.

So the Tories represent the wealthy establishment.

The Labour Party ostensibly represent the working-class (but in fact are still establishment).

I’m middle-class. Nobody really represents me and never have!

The working class have been successfully conned. They have been distracted with soaps and gameshows, drink, drugs and gambling, or deceived with propaganda.

They have been controlled with poverty and threats of job losses.

The establishment have been amazingly successful.

Why I am opposed to the establishment

In actual fact it makes very little difference to me or my life anymore. Whoever gets in power (Labour or Tory) my pension is secure. Prices might go up a bit. Taxes might go up a bit. But my lot is secure.

When I worked as a teacher it did make a lot of difference. When the Tories got in there were cuts and pay was poor. When Labour got in there were pay rises and schools had more money.

So I can see a difference. But Labour never disturbed the Tories much after that Atless government. They lost their antiestablishment credentials.

So why am I opposed to the establishment?

a. I believe in fairness. I believe in equality. We live in a society where the bulk of the wealth is siphoned off into the pockets of a few. I think that is wrong.

b. I despise the class system with all its arrogance, privilege and ‘Old Boys’ Network’.

c. I despise the game of privilege.

d. I believe in a meritocracy. I believe the best people should rise to the top. We see all too clearly in this pandemic and Brexit the way that cronyism, nepotism and the establishment network has put incompetent people in charge. The result has been disastrous. Boris Johnson is a clear example of someone who is incompetent and has risen to his position, not through merit, but through privilege.

What I want

The country/world I want to see is one not ruled by a greedy, selfish, arrogant ruthless establishment – an establishment that uses repression and war in order to gain more for itself, who exploits the majority and firmly believes that it is better than everybody else. The establishment believes they deserve it.

My fears

I’ve watched this naked greed throughout my life as it destroys other cultures, starts wars, uses economic warfare to castrate opposition and is destroying nature in the process. It is relentless and immoral.

The end point of all this is too frightening to imagine. The end of the planet??

The other frightening thought is this:

The establishment have needed the workforce in order to create their wealth. They have used and exploited us in their armies, factories, mines and fields.

They no longer need a workforce. A/I and automation have removed the need for a workforce.

We are surplus to requirements.

Poetry – The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

We’re all busy consuming.

It’s what we’re taught to do.

Buying and throwing away

Is the nation’s glue.

We’re using up the planet.

Making lots of people rich.

Destroying the thing we love.

Ain’t life a bitch?

The pursuit of happiness

Is to be found in ownership.

The more you have the more you are

All that matters is blue chip.

Some have much and some have none.

That’s the way it has to be.

We’re living the life of luxury

In the land of the free.

What good is having everything

If everyone has it too?

If money doesn’t buy us happiness

What are we to do?

Opher – 28.3.2021

It seems to me that we have lost our way. We do not have lives full of meaning, wonder and adventure. We live in a world where the only things that matter are status and fame.

It’s so empty.

Poetry – Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time

Once a tiny tribe

Roamed, following the meat,

Now a teeming mass

With more than it can eat.

Once wild and free,

Bonding in brotherhood.

Now restrained by law, but

Rampaging in the neighbourhood.

Where once masters of skills,

Living by their wits –

Now a gang of fools

With whom no purpose sits.

Once proud, strong and true,

Now posturing on corners,

Wondering what to do.

In the concrete and plastic

Of a man-made universe,

Where decisions are all drastic

And answers perverse,

The human race has come to this –

A smoke, a shag and a lot of piss.

An empty life

An empty mind

With nothing in front

And nothing behind.

Opher 19.12.2015

Once Upon A Time

It seems to me that mankind’s intellect has outgrown his instinct. Where once we roamed freely in small numbers using all our intelligence and skills to battle the elements, fight of predators, feed and clothe ourselves and stay alive, now we are in the business of sanitising life.

In the plastic universe of our creation, where nature is banned or tamed, we are shackled by our laws. We still have the tribal instincts. The skills, camaraderie and bravery that once meant life and death for all the tribe, all now count for nothing. Health and Safety rules life. Life has to be saved. But life has no substance or meaning.

Our young people are aimlessly drifting in a plastic universe.

It is no wonder that some of them drift into religion as an answer. They are searching for purpose. They want more than gang violence and the endless, vacuous night out on the town. They want meaning, purpose and fulfilment. We give them safety as a sop.

Poetry – Angry

ANGRY

My mind is crippled

My emotions crawl

My memory limps

My psychology stalls

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

I do not like the society we have constructed. I find it empty, plastic and completely consumed with the trivial.

We seem to have become fashion and celebrity obsessed to the point where real issues are not even addressed. To talk about the population explosion or destruction of the rainforests is considered boring.

Consequently people are disconnected from important issues. They feel impotent and uninvolved. Many do not feel they can make a difference so why think about it? Let the politicians sort it out.

TV is vacuous. Entertainment is the name of the game. If it requires thought then forget it.

Politics is something that people do not wish to think about.

Most do not care. They live in their bubble where all that is important is their hairstyle, clothes, nail-varnish and what the celebrities are wearing, saying or doing.

We have become mindless cattle; consumers to be led by the nose to plastic paradise where no one ever has to think.

Poetry – Nobody likes Taxes

Nobody likes Taxes

Nobody likes taxes

But most of us like roads.

Without structure

Society implodes.

The schools are important

And we all like to be secure.

That’s what we have

The police and army for.

We like all our services

To run smooth as silk.

But moan about politicians

And people of their ilk.

We all want our freedom

But don’t like being bombed.

We expect the secret services

To stop us being wronged.

We don’t like to be controlled

Or our liberty constrained.

But we want all the terrorists

Locked up and contained.

No, we don’t like paying taxes

Until things start going wrong.

Then the daggers start coming out.

It doesn’t take too long.

Opher -25.11.2020

Once we were free and now we’re not. We have 68 million people crammed in this island. Most of them are OK, if a little awkward at times, but a minority are a real problem. We have thiefs, murderers, religious fanatics, rapists, scammers, bullies, violent idiots, crazy fools, paedophiles and obnoxious troublemakers. Without law and order we’d be in trouble.

We no longer live in little tribal groups where we can easily sort matters out. Even back then, when we could, there were always bands of brigands who rampaged around killing, raping and plundering. We had to build great walls around our cities to keep us safe.

We need to get around. We need an infrastructure – roads, train, air. It needs to be secure from the idiots.

We need safety, police and army. There are threats from inside and threats from outside. It’s sad.

We need laws, courts and justice to control the lunatics and violent people.

We need a health service to help us when we’re ill, a welfare system for those who fall on hard times, a pension system.

We need energy and water, sewage and garbage collection.

We need local services.

It needs organising and paying for.

If anything goes wrong we soon start to notice. It doesn’t take long.

It needs organising.

With 68 million that takes a lot of doing.

We don’t like interference. We want to be free.

I think it’s a question of balance.

We don’t like paying taxes but they are a necessary evil.

In Scandinavia, where the taxes are high, the standard of living is high, playgrounds, cycle paths, public baths, parks, great education, good housing, low crime. In the USA there are ghettos, poor education, an ignorant population and high crime rate, thugs for cops and armed militia.

I know which I prefer – a tolerant, liberal society with higher taxes.

Poetry – Naïve

Naïve

I’ve always been naïve.

It’s my greatest attribute.

Innocent and idealistic –

According to repute.

But I possess inbuilt cynicism

That I bring to bear.

It constrains my natural idealism

And makes me more aware.

Opher – 7.11.2020

My anger at what is happening around me, the wanton destruction, the control and manipulation, the propaganda and lies, the pillaging of nature, is underpinned by the vestiges of optimism.

Surely people care enough about nature to want to protect it?

Surely people aren’t stupid enough to allow conmen and media lies to dictate their views?

My hope lies in education – good education that enables individuals to discern and think.

Poetry – The Only Game In Town

The Only Game In Town

Starting out on the fertile plains,

Stifling, holding us down,

Like smothering glue.

Spreading – like a pandemic – quickly,

Infecting the whole planet.

Robbing us of freedom,

Inoculating us with madness,

Imposing hierarchy,

Now too late for us to ban it.

With eight billion progeny

Enslaved within the enterprise

We laughingly call progress,

We are trapped.

Worshipping the diety

Entombed in the cathedral of the WTO,

From which there is no egress.

We can only observe with mounting sadness

As the machine devours

The very earth we stand upon

Trees and creatures

Transformed into worthless cash.

With nothing left to hand on.

In goes life

Out comes plastic

Concrete and sterility.

Transforming

Life to death

The opposite of fertility.

It’s the only game in town.

Opher – 7.11.2020

When we invented agriculture we had no idea what a mess we would be getting ourselves into. We did not realise we’d be inventing kings, religions, nations, wars and money. We thought we were making life easier and more secure.

We lost our relationship with nature, our place in the cycle. We lost harmony and hope. We gained toil, debt and bosses.

The tipping point is long past. There is no return. Eight billion people cannot live as we once lived. The machine is all-consuming.

When it has devoured the planet it will consume us.