The Dark Ages – a poem

The Dark Ages

 

‘What were the Dark Ages, Dad?’

Dad looked thoughtful and sad.

‘A time of ignorance when things were bad.’

 

‘When did the Dark Ages end?’ she asked.

Dad looked at her with face aghast.

‘We don’t know how long they’ll last.’

 

Opher – 20.7.2019

 

 

We tend to look back at history and wonder how people could do such things, believe such things and behave so cruelly. We see them as primitive, foolish and brutal.

They are no different to us.

We live in the same ignorance and the same level of vicious depravity. We never learn.

I was looking at the butchery of the timid dolphins and porpoises in the Faroes and seeing the same vicious bloodlust and inhumanity. It’s still there unchanged. I look at ISIS, the Baptists from the Southern States, The Creationists, Boko Haram and all the others and see the same blind ignorance and belief in scriptures from barbaric times.

The Dark Ages – we’re still living them. Oh for a bit of light!

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Poetry – Winning to the End – a poem about experiencing life to the full and evaluating the worth.

Poetry – Winning to the End – a poem about experiencing life to the full and evaluating the worth.

It is good to reach an age when you can look back over a life and feel the wonder. There are many things that you might have done differently but then you would not have been where you are.

Experience gives you perspective and appreciation.

I have been fortunate to have lived through such times, times of peace, freedom and plenty, and to have found so much love and fulfilment.

There are not many times in history or places in the world that have offered such sanctuary, liberty and lack of mind control. It has enabled me to blossom.

There are many mountains I have not climbed and many more I hope to scale. I expect the views to be magnificent.

I hope my grandchildren will experience a world full of challenge but with opportunity and without the fetters that can narrow a young mind.

An imprisoned mind cannot savour the taste of such heady liquor as life brings.

Wining to the End

Last night I sat alone with my bottle of wine

And sipped the tiniest sip of the very last drops.

I swirled the red liquid around the bottom

And saw my reflection in the bottle.

I have loved the most beautiful women

Loved until nothing else mattered;

Wondered at the moon,

Fallen through the stars

Travelled to the worlds of new ideas,

And seen the best that men can do.

I have tried to make sense of galaxies and cathedrals,

Listened to men whose eyes glinted with passion

And experienced the greatest lusts.

I have read the most considered words

And wrestled with majestic ideas,

Found causes and ideals I would die for,

And seen the worst results

From men whose eyes were hard and selfish

Yet glowed with excitement.

I have considered heaven

And imagined hell,

The greatest minds

And the most depraved,

Drunk myself unconscious,

Opened my mind to wonder

Art, poems and stories,

Written, daubed and waffled.

I have despaired at fun

And empty lives

And sought meaning and fulfilment.

I discovered it in family, friends and sharing

And a thousand kind words.

I have travelled and marvelled

And taken so many sips and gulps

And now I am at peace savouring these

Last few,

For only in them is the flavour fully distilled.

 

Opher 24.3.01

Ian Dury – You’ll See Glimpses – wonderful idealistic lyrics.

Ian Dury – You’ll See Glimpses – wonderful idealistic lyrics.

Ian Dury is wonderful. He was a genius. I loved his poetry and philosophy even though he was meant to have been a cantankerous bastard.

I think this song really captures the dreams of an idealist. They all think I’m mad too. There’s almost a defeatist, listen to the band on the Titanic – it’s going to go down anyway. There’s nothing you can do. Might as well just have a good time and forget that the tycoons are strip-mining the wildernesses and chopping down the jungles, and slaughtering the animals, while the religious fanatics think that god will save the day or it doesn’t matter we’re all going to paradise.

I don’t believe that rubbish.

I’m looking out from the bows and pointing at the ice-berg. We can steer round it! It doesn’t have to end in disaster!

The answers to the world’s problems are all simple. There is nothing hard about it. We elect the psychopaths. We support the business men and bankers (and they are nearly all men) on their mad journey to increase their own pots of gold. We follow the religious nutters on their crusades, inquisitions and caliphates. We are always surprised when the inevitable happens.

Instead of growth lets think sustainable. Instead of nations lets think globally. Instead of worn out diatribes from long deceased superstitions let’s think United Nations charter of Rights. Instead of tribes and patriotism lets think brother and sisterhood. Instead of war, aggression and violence lets think peace, love and fraternity. Instead of homogeneity lets value the difference. Instead of hatred lets work on trust. Instead of destroying – let’s build.

It’s all about a positive Zeitgeist. You’re all welcome.

People tell me it’s human nature; we can’t fight it.

I say bollocks. We’ve come a long way. We don’t burn people, use cat-o-nines, whip, torture, castrate and murder anymore – at least not in this country. We need a global mandate to prevent the pockets of uncivilised behaviour, like ISIS, from having too great an effect.

We don’t go bear-baiting, cock-fighting, dog-fighting or hang people from gibbets.

Human beings can progress and become civilised. We’ve come a long way.

I agree with Ian. I like his dream better than ISIS’s nightmare!

It’s a dream. I get glimpses of it. It could be real!

Unfortunately Ian ran out of birthdays.

You’ll See Glimpses

(All spoken)

You’ll see.

They think I’m off my crust as I creep about the caff.
But I’m really getting ready to surprise them all,
Because I’m busy sorting out the problems of the world.
And when I reveal all I may get a crinkly mouth.
I’ve given my all to the task at hand unstintingly.
When it’s all over I’ll rest on my laurels.

Here for a moment is a glimpse of my plan:
All the kids will be happy learning things.
The wind will smell of wild flowers.
Nobody will whack each other about with nasty things.
All the room in the world.

They take me for a mug because I smile.
They think I’m too out of tune to mind being patronised.
All in all, it’s been another phase in my chosen career,
And when my secrets are out they’ll bite their silly tongues.
All I want for my birthday is another birthday.
When skies are blue we all feel the benefit.

Glimpse Number 2 for the listener.
Everyone will feel useful in lovely ways.
Trees will be firmly rooted in town and country.
Illness and despair will be dispensed with.
All the room in the world.

They ask me if I’ve had the voices yet.
They don’t think I know any true answers.
It’s true that I haven’t quite finished yet.
When it all comes out in the wash they’ll eat their words.
I’ve got all their names and addresses.
Later on I’ll write them each a thank-you letter.

Before I stop, here’s a last glimpse into the general future.
Home rule will exist in each home, forever.
Every living thing will be another friend.
This wonderful state of affairs will last for always.

This has been got out by a friend.

Poetry – Without me – a surreal night of icy moon and reptilian clouds.

Poetry – Without me – a surreal night of icy moon and reptilian clouds.

Sometimes the world is unreal, like a stage-set. The lighting is too surreal. It bathes everything in its frigid glow and freezes it.

The moon was casting a bright, hard blue glow, creating sharp shadows and inky pools. It transformed the countryside into ice.

It seemed to rush across the sky yet it was the clouds streaming by. Those clouds were high and wispy and formed into the scales of some huge celestial fish that glowed with life; the life that the moon was sucking from the land.

I did not know what to look at;

The wondrous rushing panorama of the sky or the frozen ocean of the land. They were both as magnificent and unreal.

It was a story of vastness and mystique. The eye and mind were held by the spectacle. It felt like a performance, a living piece of Art, yet it was so cold and devoid of warmth. It was a tableau of beauty yet without life.

I felt as if I was the only person in the whole universe who was witnessing it. It was exhilarating yet it sent a tremor of fear through my spine.

I knew one day it would perform its similar tricks and no eyes would be there to marvel.

 

WITHOUT ME

The large Moon gliding through

The illuminated scales

Of some giant surreal fish

With icy-blue bitter light

Bathing the fields

With stark clarity.

As the fields rolled in eerie relief

Like a crystalline sea

I found it hard to imagine

That the scene could exist

Without me.

 

10.10.95

Poetry – Egg Poot Froth – A poem I wrote for Don Van Vliet – Captain Beefheart.

Poetry – Egg Poot Froth – A poem I wrote for Don Van Vliet – Captain Beefheart.

All this talk of Captain Beefheart took me back to this poem I wrote. It is an attempt to capture something of his inimitable style. So obviously it failed horribly as nobody can ever come close.

But it was fun. I visualised it as a performance piece. At one time I was discussing dressing up as a pantomime horse with my mate Rich, walking around Hull with me reciting this through the horses backside.

Somehow he wasn’t keen.

EGG POOT FROTH

Egg poot froth

Egg poot froth

Masticated in magenta mandibles

Egg poot froth

Migrating magnificently

Nowhere

 

Tooth drip spew

          Tooth drip spew

Grips the tortured trebles

Tooth drip spew

Tangibly trembling

In the air

 

Egg poot     Tooth drip

 

While the tragic hobo jungle bum

Constructs the new day

And rambles on his way

Egg poot froth

Egg poot froth

 

Egg poot

Tooth drip

Froth spew

While the hobo bum

Creates the day anew

 

Gypsy Queen Princess

Illuminates the new day

Dancing through magenta dawn

To where the hoboes play

 

Egg poot froth

Egg poot froth

 

She chooses wisely

As the magic hoboes pose

Evades the tooth and spew

That every pooter knows

 

Tooth drip spew

 

Maxillae clatter

And labia vibrate

Hoboes spurt

Pooters can’t wait

 

Egg poot froth                         Egg poot froth

 

Young dudes rush and prance

While claw and tooth cleave

Old jungle bums

Reap the day and leave

 

Tooth drip            Spew

 

The Gypsy Queen Princess

Discards her froth and poots

Another day is born

Another pooter shoots

 

Egg poot froth

Egg poot froth

That’s all there is!

Egg poot froth

Evolution’s come to this!

 

Opher 12.7.00

Poetry – Vliet – A poem for Captain Beefheart.

Poetry – Vliet – A poem for Captain Beefheart.

I was entranced by Don Vliet the moment I heard him way back in 1967. Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band created some of the greatest music ever. That first album was just a taster. The live performance that year was probably the best I have ever seen.

Some find him discordant. But for me it gels together into the most original music ever recorded. His poetry was the same, that rich imagery and invented words.

Live the band were amazing. The Magic band still are but I can’t help but miss the Captain.

Way back in 1981 he gave the music up forever. He turned his attention to his other love – art, with equal brilliance.

His paintings from the deserts of California were carved from slabs of colour that sang with their own fluorescence. I could lose myself in those paintings in the same way I did the music.

It would have been good to sit out on the steps in the desert and watch that sun slowly sink towards the horizon. I can imagine it.

VLIET

Looking through Vliet’s eyes at scrawny black crows

Perched on jagged cactus vantage points

Before daubed hills and scrawled figures

Carved with sweeping strikes of thick textured colour

On a timeless backdrop of infinity.

 

Staring at distorted garish dreams of reality

Timelessly floating towards forever ……………forever……….

Along the tides of an invisible desert sea

And wishing we were caught within the waters of his eyes

In neon magic,

Breathing the ocean bottom together,

As we watched the sun slowly set

And sipped a beer.

 

 

Opher 4.10.97

Saudi Arabia – a medieval kingdom with no human rights, blatant misogyny and barbaric laws and customs.

Saudi Arabia – a medieval kingdom with no human rights, blatant misogyny and barbaric laws and customs.

Saudi2

Saudi Arabia is supposedly our ally in the Middle East yet it is the sponsorship of much of the terrorism and sectarian violence in the region. It massive oil revenue is being used to promote instability.

The extreme religious views held by the ruling class are responsible for intolerance and the imposition of barbaric laws of immense cruelty.

First we have Raif Badawi imprisoned and subjected to 1000 lashes for having a blog that was considered to critical of the regime.

 

Now we have Raja Kouja. She was openly critical of the way women are treated in Saudi Arabia and has been accused of Apostasy and threatened with death or having her hands and feet hacked off. At present she is in Britain awaiting deportation to this brutal country. Hopefully Britain will not send her back for such a fate.

To speak out against the Saudi regime is equated as going against the religion. To do that is death.

 

Misogyny is taken to the extreme. Women are second-class citizens. They are not allowed to drive, they have to have a male guardian sign documents for them, they are forced to wear the full body and face covering Abayah and subject to different laws. Not only are they segregated but can be accused of sexual misdemeanours carrying heavy sentences if they are molested.

 

It is time the West brought real pressure to bear on these violations of human rights. This barbaric behaviour is inhuman.

It makes me glad I’m an antitheist. I believe all religion does more harm than good. We’d be better off without the medieval superstition.

Please help protect Brazil’s Rainforest!! Sign the petition!

President Bolsanaro of Brazil is an extreme right-winger who puts profit before people and Nature. He is presently allowing the big logging companies and mining companies to destroy the rainforest at an alarming rate.

Money is all he cares about.

He needs telling that there are more important things in life. Please help protect this amazing place with all its wonderful life. Go to the link below and sign the petition.

We need to stand up against these bullies and vandals who are destroying our planet.

https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/amazon_apocalypse_22/?cCAwEjb

Millionaires – Phat Bollard – A Protest Song with humour – for now!

Eddie Bewsher  put me on to this great protest song from this busking band – full of humour and laced with truth.

I thought it was brilliant. I wish it was on CD!!

Oh – it is available on CD – or streaming – you can get it from here:

https://phatbollard.bandcamp.com/

Millionaires – Phat Bollard

I don’t give to the big issue seller cause he’s probably on heroin
I walk past him with a grin and if I can I kick his dog
No, I don’t give to the busker
He’s talentless and lazy
He’s ruining the country
I think he should get a job
Instead, I give my money to:
Walmart for its tax evasion
Primark for its child labor
Texaco for the next invasion
I don’t give a fuck about you
I give my money to the millionaires (x2)
I give all my money to the millionaires and I don’t give a fuck about you
No, I don’t give to the beggar
That’s what I pay my taxes for
The government should shove him through the door, of a prison cell or a hospital
I don’t give to the homeless pisshead
He’ll blow it all on booze instead
Such a waster, doesn’t deserve a bed
What do you mean? “Welfare is dead “
Because I give my money to:
Walmart for its tax evasion
Primark for its child labor
Texaco for the next invasion
Don’t give a fuck about you
I give my money to the millionaires (x2)
I give all my money to the millionaires that don’t give a fuck about you
I give my money to Starbucks in case they get hard up
BP cause making a living ain’t easy
Barclays cause they look after me and I don’t give a fuck about you
I give my money to the millionaires (x2)
I give all my money to the millionaires and I don’t give a fuck about you

There – you can sing along!!!

Starting from scratch – how much are we all worth?

Starting from scratch – how much are we all worth?

 

Just imagine if we could start society from scratch and decide on what value different jobs really had?

 

Just imagine if we could rationally produce an evaluation of the worth of each role?

 

Just imagine if we could reward people in line with their abilities, effort and true worth?

 

What salaries would we allocate to:

 

Teachers?

 

Bankers?

 

Entertainers?

 

Nurses?

 

Doctors?

 

Chief executives?

 

Religious leaders?

 

Inventors?

 

Sewage workers?

 

Drivers?

 

Biologists?

 

Artists?

 

Property speculators?

 

Fishermen?

 

Investors?

Police?

 

Soldiers?

 

City traders?

 

Social workers?

 

Physicists?

 

Carers?

 

Entrepreneurs?

 

Shelf stackers?

 

Till operators?

 

Chemists?

 

Politicians?

 

Writers and poets?

 

 

I wonder if we did it fairly if we would end up with the structure we now have?

 

How much is any person worth?