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Thursday, 26 November 2015

No silver linings

(Originally published here:- at I am not a silent Poet blog  ok that's teifidancer finally outed)

Golden brown and silver foil,
took some dear friends far away,
a deadly seducer of illusion,
freezing and numbing souls forever,
sending senses into endless sleep,
sweet brothers to run out of steam,
having released poison into veins,
voices left eternally in disarray.

In the morning and dusk,
lights went out, compasses lost,
in cold sweats, demons vapour called,  
sadness became a pleading cry
riding on waves of oblivion,
spreading sorrow and tears,
shooting up deadly obsession,
instead of love, destruction called,
navigating kinsmen to goodbye's door.

I remember now as November rain falls,
how their breathes slipped away,
memories  that still run deep,
seduced and taken into infinite depths,
crying inside, but lost outside,
innocents who pushed too hard,
who speak to me now only in dream.

May perilous journeys act as warnings,
because Mr Brown is such bad company,
a negator of life a creator of ruin,
leaving to many holes of emptiness,
leaves to many holes of emptiness,
a beautiful flower when grown in the wild,
but on the streets, spreads to much hurt.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

When we lose our fear, they lose their power.

In the present climate our lives are currently being saturated by round the clock fear. Scaremongering headlines fill our homes and our public spaces. The fear of war, the fear of terror, the fear of this and that, your neigbours, your community. Crisis and panic  is all we seem to talk or care about. Horror after horror, catastrophe after disaster,  cruelty and tragedy impose on all or waking days. It seems to be the  new order of the day. Perpetrated and spread by the media, the usual suspects the Daily Fail, the Scum, the Daily Express etc etc, CNN, Fox, the BBC, most of Murdochs outposts of bile.
We should not forget about Paris, Syria, Palestine ( replace with any random country) whatever stirs our hearts, what has happened cannot be simply wiped out, but surely it is time now to start losing our fears.
We must remember that in reality , in everyday our everyday lives are remarkably safe, but  the threat  of terror abounds and is cultivated, a fear that does us no good. It is important to reflect of course, but we should not get fixated, we should try to carry on doing what we normally do,  here I am again in the library, later might have a cold beer, go for a walk, smoke a joint, have a nap, maintain my inner being, will try not to be consumed by fear. Give it a try and while your at it, stop spreading it. Remember that fear is a lucrative business, and that people are daily getting richer from it, don't allow it to take control, that enables the terrorists and dirty politicians to win.
Do not  lose your resolve, your convictions and faith, refuse to stigmatise, do not allow the good to become the bad, this enables the bad to become even more powerful. It is time though for the start the war coalition to be stopped.
Remember when we  lose our fear, they lose their power.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Ode to Jeremy Hunt

( a rather silly ode, composed this morning)

Oh Jeremy Hunt, I'll be rather blunt,
you really are a complete Tory c***t,
it is not junior doctors that are a threat to patients,
the true danger lies with you and your friends,
cutting funds and asset stripping, tearing apart our beloved NHS,
because your conning us, letting this essential service to be broken,
carving it up, allowing its put upon workers to carry on choking,
your laugh is like bad medicine, poison for our soul,
you refuse to  face our questions, your simply out of control,
you continue to use damaging words against health professionals,
won't meet  demands, reach out and find some concessions,
but we will keep pleading for more consistency, 
 passionately we will continue to rally against your toxicity,
because Jeremy Hunt, you really are a stupid runt,
I hope that the people of this land continue to give you a shunt.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Beunaventarra Durruti laid to rest (14/7/1889 - 20/11/1936)

Forty years of  fighting, of exile, of jailings, of living underground, of strikes, and of insurrection, Beunaventura Durutti, the  legendary Spanish revolutionary and Anarchist lived many lives.
Uncompromising, intransigent revolutionary, he travelled a long road from rebellious young worker to the man who refused all bureacratic positions, honours, awards, and who at death was morned by millions of women and men. Durutti believed and lived his belief that revolution and freedom were inseperable.
On this day Beunaventurra Durutti was laid to rest in 1936. With the rise again of the far right, no better  time than to remember this inspirational man who died fighting against fascism in the Spanish Civil War.
On 14th November Durutti arrived in Madrid at the height of the  civil war from Aragon,by air with 5,000 men( numbers vary according to different accounts).The column had to go by train as all the railway tracks had been bombed. He went  to the frontline on the 16th. On the 19th November  1936, he was shot dead  by a sniper, he died the following day, his funeral  was in Barcelona and was attended  by half a million people.It is widely accepted that only about 700 of his fellow comrades were still alive a week later.

Rare footage of Beunaventura Durutti's funeral.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

'I'm turning into an anarchist' - Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin Zepaniah,a favourite poet of mine, who I've  always considered one of the good guys, Anarchist or not  he always speaks from the heart, and like George Orwell, the more he understands and continues to inspire, as he rejects a society that rejects people, and dehumanises along the way, I  will agree with him, in the sense that those that those against mutli-culturalism here In Britain, are truly the most anti-British among us.
Long may he help us and inspire, with his revolutionary attitudes and passion and long continue being a  poet of the people, his words nurturing people from all walks of life . We need men like this, in days like these, I for one am grateful for his attitudes and beliefs, his words. 
Respect to him always.

Friday, 20 November 2015

This is Syria

This is Syria, this poem bears witness,
to all that suffer upon it's land,
muslims,Shiites, Druze, Kurds,
Circassion, Sunni, Ismaili,
Alawites, Mershdis, Sufi, Christian,
brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, 
sons and daughters,sharing a common burden, 
all in need of our tears, and deepest sympathy.
deliverance from both Assad and Isis
Syria is their land, their shared identity,
whose people carry a fierce pride,
in ancient traditions and culture,
their history and tales, now lost in misery,
because the scent of their homeland,
is stained now with  tears and blood,
souls daily carried on voyages of weariness.

Not all these people are extremists,
neither should we call then terrorists    
these are labels given by the the media,
that feeds us daily with fear and hate,
do you seek the truth, or do you look away?
turn your backs, forget their situation?
disregard these compromised states of existence,
as the smell of death encases their land.

Do we carry on walking, with our eyes shut,
pass the tragedy and misery of their struggle,
do we allow these proud spirits to be subdued,
as they plead  for their shared pain to end,
as their world implodes, and darkness engulfs,
let us deliver to them peaceful solutions,
no more bombs  allowed to fall on innocents,
let jasmines soft sweetness bloom again,
to shower this land with everlasting peace.





Thursday, 19 November 2015

100th Anniversary of the Murder of Joe Hill ( 7/10/1875-15/11/15)

I have written of the great Joe Hill before, he is a great inspiration, so on the centenary of his judicial execution, it gives me the opportunity to write about him once more.
Swedish born ( his actual name was  Joel Emmanuel Haggland ), he emigrated  to New York aged 23, with his brother Paul, after the death of his parents, spending his time as a wandering itinerant and musical troubadour, engaging in the struggles of his time, hopping from one freight train to the next, working as a labourer, washer of dishes, sweeper of floors, moving cargo on docks, picking crops and working in construction. He was later to adopt the name Joe Hill after being blacklisted after trying to start  a union in Chicago,  he was to become a legend in in his own lifetime because of his actions and deeds.
He also wrote satirical  songs to be sung by the people, songs about struggles that he was actively engaged in, using  his songs as weapons  in the class war that he was engaged in such as  There is Power in the Union, The Preacher and the Slave and The Rebel Girl along with hundreds more . He also became a senior organiser of the Industrial Workers of the World (the IWW) most commonly known as the wobblies . His aim along with hundreds  of other fellow workers and revolutionaries was to emancipate the working classes, creating unity and solidarity under one big union.
He would go to Mexico at the time of the revolution in 1911, fighting with his comrades under a red flag like the true rebel that he was. trying to overthrow the dictator Porfirio Diaz. Next stop onto San Diego in 1912 to support fellow workers protesting against police banning of street meetings. Then onto British Colombia helping organise a national construction strike,  then on to San Pedro to help dockworkers. This  would  lead to the first recorded encounter with the police who arrested him on the charge of vagrancy.
He would inspire many, his fellow workers and comrades, but to the bosses saw him as  someone to be feared, someone they considered dangerous, he was in their eyes a marked man.
On the evening of 10th January 1914 in Utah  he sought medical treatment for gunshot wounds, he claimed they had been inflicted upon him after quarrel with a man over a woman, and refused to elaborate anymore, earlier that evening in another part of town, a grocer and his son had been shot and killed. One of the assailants was wounded, so Hill's injury  implicated  him in the incident. Yet despite the uncertainty of witnesses, no one coming forward to identify him as one of the assailants at the scene of the crime no blood of Hills found at the scene a local jury was convinced of his guilt. No physical  evidence linking him to the murder he was accused of.
He was scheduled to be shot by firing squad,  this  caused outrage across the world.  an international campaign to exonerate him was launched, from Britain to other European countries and even President Woodrow Wilson calling for a retrial.  Those looking at the case eventually declared its willingness to hear testimony from the woman's husband, but Hill loyally  refused to identify his alleged assailant in case it damaged the reputation of the lady involved.
Sadly the eventual day came and he was executed and shot down by firing squad on this day 19th November 1915. 
Whilst waiting his execution he wrote the following words which were later turned into song :-

My will is easy to decide
for I have nothing to divide
My kin don't need to weep and moan
Moss does not cling to a rolling stone
My body?  oh, If I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breeze blow
My dust to where some flowers grow
Perhaps some fading flower then
Would soon grow up and grow green again
This is my last and final will
Good luck to all of you, Joe Hill

Among his  final words were  " Don't mourn , organise "

and just before he was assassinated  in reply  to a question if he had anything further to say he answered "Fire" unfortunately they did.

Up to 30,000 people would attend his funeral, he was subsequently cremated and his ashes divided into 600 envelopes, that were sent to IWW branches across the globe.

Scenes of Joe Hill's funeral cortege

He would become  a martyr for the Labour Movement across the world, who is forever remembered today and tomorrow because he planted a seed upon the earth  that still makes the parasites shake,  in every place where people organise together  his legacy still spins, his power still resonates, as we remember that " an injury to one is an injury to all."
You can't  kill the spirit of Joe Hill,  this spirit lives on in his songs and in the deeds of men and women across the globe who carries his message  forward, in unity and  strength, in solidarity forever.

Paul Robeson sings the song  Joe Hill

Joe Hill's Preacher and the Slave as sung by Utah Philips

Link to last years with poem dedicated to him, and links to two other posts here :-

Some useful links :-

IWW Cymru/Wales

British and Irish region of the IWW

USA Branch