Thursday, 21 August 2014

Keep up the pressure on Companies that invest in killing Palestinians.

As news reaches us that the ceasefire has been broken again it is vital that we keep  on the pressure of Companies that invest in Killing Palestinians.
Sadly at least 2,0016 Palestinians including 541 children, 250 women and 95 elderly men, have now lost their lives so far, and as  many as 10,196 others have suffered injuries in Israels onslaught.

Please Watch :-

Please sign :-

Please sign :-

Please keep up the Pressure

Many thanks


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

His Hands Were in the Air, R.I. P Michael Brown; Let Justice be served

Song by David Roviks

R.I.P Michael Brown, unarmed African American teenager executed in broad  daylight by racist cops on his way to visit his grandmother in Ferguson, Missouri..For more than a week now, we have witnessed the rage on the streets of America, days of unrest as we see angry  confrontations between protestors and police, nighttime clouded in tear gas and anger.
Sad as all this is, the cops are now trying to lay the blame on the victim, spreading a dubious story that the young man, had supposedly shoplifted a cigar from a convenience store. Well the cop that killed him .knew nothing of this allegation, which as it turns out, happens to be completely false. The search for justice seems to be lost, with the Ferguson Police Chief,Tom Jackson  and his police department leaving the impression that they really don't give a damn.
I fear the rage will continue and many more flashpoints will occur, it has exposed the ugly underbelly and racism that still exists in American society, Ferguson just the latest in a long list of African Americans, being treated with suspicion, recklessly, unlawfully killed by the police.
If the end results, mean that the actions of the police on the streets are now being called into question, then that is good.
But before Obama jets over to us, to meet other World leaders, at the NATO gathering in Newport South Wales to apparently try and build some stability in this unpredictable world( but in many peoples eyes, a gathering of leaders, that are seen as solely responsible for the chaos of our times), perhaps it is time for Obama to look for a change in his own backyard, and start addressing the root problems that still  sees his one nation divided. Until he tackles his hometurf, the backlash of a communities anger will continue to rise.He has to try and overcome the appalling record of injustice that still exists in  today's America.
Until then  voices of condolences are just empty gestures, and justice is far from being served.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Emma Goldman (27/6/1869 -14/5/40) - On Patriotism

' Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the  living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is therefore the duty of  everyone  living beings inhabiting that chosen spot to fight, kill and die  in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others..."

Emma Goldman, 1911; Patriotism, a Menace to Liberty 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Happy Birthday Charles Bukowski ( 16/8/20 -9/3/94) Barfly, maverick, genius.

Ah Mr Henry Charles Bukowski. This is a man that I owe a lot of debt and gratitude, For those  not familiar, I hail  him for being  one of Americas  greatest poets, novelists and short story writers. His writing that  still continues to influence, was heavily influenced by the geography and atmosphere of his home city of Los Angeles, and all the senses that he witnessed and devoured.
Born  in Andernach, Germany in 1926,as Heinrich Karl Bukowski,  he came to the United States at the age of three, he began writing at  a young age, and was first published in the 1940's, he would spend the next 20 years, working in  a series of menial jobs, while immersing himself in the world of booze and hard living.
At the age of 49, after years of heavy drinking and debauchery, he struck a deal with Black Sparrow Press that allowed him to quit a work ethic that he was not comfortable with, in a post office, to focus full time on his writing. The result was over 30 poetry collections, 6 novels and two feature films based on his life and works, making him one of the most prolific writers of the 20th Century.
His work was marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships, failure, depression, gambling, life and death, and drinking and more drinking. He was a poet who wrote without pretence, privilege or sheen, embracing what so many of us try to avoid.
He lived alongside  his words, alongside the margins of societies edge, with the down and outs, the wrecked, the outsiders, the hopelessly abandoned, the walking wounded. Beyond the literary schools, his work emerged  to break all traditional rules, against all that is conventional, beautifully sinful, uncompromising, but  never hypocritically  righteous, releasing poetry of such passion that I believe still matters today. Utilising free verse and spontanaeity, despite the idolation that was bestowed  upon him, he joined no clichés, refusing acceptance  into any literary community, in true essence of his rebellious spirit.
Blunt and outspoken, he saw the ugliness of the earth, and was not afraid to express his ways of seeing. Remembered because of the rawness and roughness and the many manifestations of ugliness that he saw that he saw in life, I try not to forget, the beauty and tenderness that he shared too.
In simple language, he simply used the inner rhythm of his voice, to release what I have realised to be a form of magic, no cleverness or pretence disguised, just a raw undiluted life affirming truth filled with his brutal honesty.
He died in  San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994 at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp,  but his spirit and his words live on.
So today I raise a sweet glass to my lips, gulp down thirstily his words of essential breath, that still continue to fill my heart with hope, in a world driven mad. So thank you kindly Charles ,happy birthday.

Here is a selection  of some of my favourite poems from his pen. There are so many to choose from. I hope you enjoy.

don't come round, but if you do.

yeah sure, I'll be in unless I'm out
don't knock if the lights are out
or you hear voices or then
I might be reading Proust
if someone  slips Proust under my door
or one of his bones for my stew,
and I can't loan money or
the phone
or what's left of my car
though you can have yesterday's newspaper
an old shirt or a  bologna sandwich
or sleep on the couch
if you don't scream at night
and you can talk about yourself
that's only normal;
hard times are upon us all
only I am not trying to raise a family
to send through Harvard
or buy  hunting land,
I am not aiming high
I am only trying to keep myself alive
just a little longer,
so if you sometimes knock
and I don't answer
and there isn't a woman in here
maybe I have broken my jaw
and I am looking for wire
or I am chasing the butterflies in
my wallpaper,
I mean if I don't answer
I don't answer, and the reason is
that I am not yet ready to kill you,
it means I don't want to talk
I am busy, I am mad, I am glad
or maybe I am stringing up a rope;
so even if the lights are on
and you hear sound
like breathing or praying or singing
a radio or the roll of dice
or typing -
go away, it is not the day
the night, the hour
it is not the ignorance of impoliteness,
I wish to hurt nothing, not even a bug,
but sometimes I gather evidence of a kind
that takes some sorting,
and your blue eyes, be they blue
and your hair, if you have some
or your mind - they cannot enter
until the rope is cut or knotted
or until I have shaven into
new mirrors, until the world is
stopped or opened

  I am dead but I know
the dead are not like this

the dead can sleep
they don't get up and rage
they don't have a wife.

her white face
like a flower in a closed
window lifts up and
looks at me.

the curtain smokes a cigarette
and a moth dies in a
freeway crash
as I examine the shadows of my

an owl, the size of a baby clock
rings for me, come on come on
it says as Jerusalem is hustled
down crotch-stained halls.

the 5.a.m, grass is nasal now
in hums of battleships and valleys
in the raped light that brings on
the fascist birds.

I put out the lamp and get in bed
beside her, she thinks I'm there
mumbles a rosy gratitude
so I stretch my legs
to coffin length
get in and swim away
from frogs and fortunes.

well, that's just the way it is . . .

sometimes when everything seems at
its worst
when all conspires
and gnaws
and the hours, days, weeks
seem wasted -
stretched there upon my bed
in the dark
looking upward at the ceiling
I get what many will consider as
obnoxious thought
it's still nice to be

no help for that

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled

a space
and even during,
the best moments
and the greatest times

we will know it

we will know it
more than

there is a place  in the heart that
will never be filled

we will wait

in that space.


the house next door  makes me sad
both man and  wife rise early and go to work
they arrive home early in the evening
they have a young boy and a girl
by 9.p.m all in the lights in the house are out
the next morning both  man and
wife rise early again and  go to
they return in early evening,
By 9 p.m. all the lights are

the house next door makes me
the people are nice people, I
like them.

but I feel them drowning,
and \ I can't save them.

They are surviving.
they are not
but the price is terrible.

Sometimes during the day
I will look at the house
and the house will look at
and the house will
weep, yes, it does, I
feel it.

alone with everybody

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
cases against the walls
and the men drink too
and nobody finds the
but keep
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
there's no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else

the laughing heart

your life s  your life
don't let it  be clubbed into dank submission
be on the watch
there are ways out
there is a light somewhere,
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch
the gods will offer you chances,
know them,
take them.
you can't beat death in life, sometimes
and the more often you  learn to do it,
the more light there will be
your life is your life
know it while you have it
you are marvellous
the gods wait to delight
in you.


not much chance,
completely cut loose from
he was a young man
riding a bus
through North Carolina
on the way to somewhere
and it began to snow
and the bus stopped
at a little cafe
in the hills
and the passengers
he sat at the counter
with the others,
he ordered and the
food arrived,
the meal was
and  the
the waitress was
unlike the woman
he  had
she was unaffected,
there  was a natural
humor which came
from her
the fry cook said
crazy things
the dishwater
in  back
laughed, a good
the young man watched
the snow through the
he wanted  to stay
in that café
the curious feeling
swam through him
that everything
was beautiful
then the bus driver
told the passengers
that it was time
to board,
the young man
thought, I'll just sit
here, I'll just stay
but then
he rose and followed
the others  into
the bus
he found his seat
and looked at the cafe
through the bus
then the bus moved
off, down a curve,
downward, out of
the hills,
the young man
looked straight
he heard the other
or other things,
or they were
or attempting to
they had not
the young man
put his head to
one side
closed his eyes,
pretended to
there  was nothing
else to do-
just to listen to the
sound of the
the sound  of the
in the

one for the shoeshine man

If you see me grinning from
my blue volks
running a yellow light
driving straight into the sun
I will be locked  in the
arms of a
crazy life.

Further Reading:-

Love is a Dog from Hell - Charles Bukowski;1977

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flames - Charles Bukowski; 1974;

Play the Piano Drunk like a percussion instrument until the fingers begin to bleed
-Charles Bukowski; 1978

Factotum - Charles Bukowski;  1979

Post Office- Charles Bukowski,  1971

Charles Bukowski; Locked in the arms of a crazy life- Howard Sounes; 1996

I have written and posted about Bukowski, several times over the years, here is a link to an earlier post

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Never give up hope

Never give up. They were born to make life, and they are. Palestinian children  from Gaza, smiling  in despite of  the destruction all around them (13/9/14). In sad and desperate times, these children  still cling on to hope. Despite experiencing excruciating,  times of misfortune, they keep on smiling.
It takes great  courage to stay  delicate in a world this cruel.
They stay human, but lets not forget our silence allows us to consent to their dreams being torn apart.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Robin Williams ( 21/7/51 -11/08/14) R.I.P Some Personal thoughts on depression.

                                          Peter Weir Dead Poets Society 1989

Sad to hear of the passing of the comic Robin Williams,a sad loss indeed. My heart though goes to the many who have been effected by this story. The millions of individuals whose stories and voices are never heard. We can  never really know or understand  the suffering of others. But the reality is that daily people suffer, many in silence, with no support. We must keep working on our self-awareness, drop the shame and the guilt. I am sorry to have to say this, but there is no easy way of coping daily with an illness that causes exhaustion, physically and mentally. Many people  still live with undiagnosed  or untreated depression, often masked by self-medication of alcohol or drugs. There are no magic formulas, but I guess the strength of others can help, and it is always good to swim along waves of pride, love and hope.
 Often when we are alone and in despair  it is easy to get lost, find ourselves in rooms  that  offer no means of escape, so I can understand why some people choose to let go. But I remember too, that some of us find ways to cope, paths of living and endurity, and survival, but even then we are left to our own devices, have to do it all on our own.
I remember today all the victims, that this government of ours has caused  with blood on its hands, stopping essential services to those that really need it, the cutting off of benefits to the marginalised and the walking wounded. I remember the outsiders, the stigmatised, the branded, the unloved, the unwanted. The devastation  daily caused to lives already finding  it difficult to cope, their lives a daily battle, a continuing battle of the wits. We need to find ways to be there for them, if they talk, then we must listen, don't judge, give them your opinions. A hug perhaps, maybe some reassurance, but remember you are never in their shoes. But we should not give up on them, allow them to breathe in  a little hope. Personally the black dog still comes a barking, I can never  know when it will appear, in the meantime I try to engage with time, patience and kindness, find ways to express some of my inner angst, and at the end the day, I tend to think,that what the world really needs is a restart, some much needed compassion and peace.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

For the children of Gaza - Onslaught Press

I am very honoured and privileged to be included  in this new book published by Onslaught Press, for the children  of Gaza, with a poem published under my actual name in  an anthology of poems and art work. Great to be part  of a project that has been released so quickly, with  some well chosen  poems, all powerful and moving stirring in their own way. You can  contribute yourself by buying a copy here.

Below is the preface written by the editors, Mathew Staunton and Rethabile Masilo.


Operation Protective Edge, described  by US Secretary of State John Kerry as "Israel's  appropriate and legitimate effort to defend itself" from Hamas rocketeers and tunnel builders, is now in its fourth week. Unfortunately for the  civilian population of Gaza, however, there is little  in this operation that could reasonably be considered  defensive. The destruction of Gaza's civilian infrastructure and its only power station, the targeting of schools, hospitals, mosques, fishing boats, orchards, and the beach  is more about making life intolerable for Gazans than it is about ending  rocket attacks.
The civilian death toll, and the number of child casualties in particular, make  it difficult to see this as anything other than collective punishment. And yet we  are asked everyday to believe that these casualties are ' legitimate, 'unavoidable', appropriate', 'justified', 'necessary', and 'reasonable' and that children are dying because they are being used as 'human shields'.
Suffering is increasingly mediated by diplomats, official spokespeople, broadcasters, news corporations, community leaders, spin doctors, and legal tams, but  usually with no more than a passing commentary. We see more and more pictures of dead children on our screens and in our newspapers but the texts and speeches  that accompany them are  full of ambigious and misleading words, or words with no meaning at all. Sometimes there are so many dead children that it is more expedient to forget about words alltogether and simply use numbers.
The contributors  to this book are  telling the story of our anger and disgust and horror. You will not be surprised to discover that there is darkness in many of the texts that follow. But there is also joy and beauty. Its aim is much less to  accuse than to paint a correct picture of what most of the world seemingly does not see,  or chooses not to see, and we think that a right recognition of the reality  of Gaza today needs to be accompanied by the right remedial action. Such action is in the hands of all of us, even if the leaders of the world, who are indeed in the best position  to act, do not.
What is at stake in Gaza goes well beyond the politics of sides and enters the consideration of crime and of killing. There are many accomplices on both sides and as in any crime, they, too must be held accountable. Bishop Tutu has said that "if you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of  the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." The work presented here  by many artists and writers from all corners of the world attempts, unlike the non-actions of those who actually have political clout and power, to choose the side  of the oppressed.
Suddenly in the face of these killing, it does not matter that tunnels have been dug, or that rockets are being launched at Israeli cities. Even if you are right; what suddenly matters is choosing to kill your opponent, who is weaker.

Mathew D. Staunton & Rethabile Masilo

You can see much more on their facebook page

I can send a PDF too anyone interested.

Link to poem of mine included, originally posted here on this blog:-

The Night is Long Faced