Tuesday, 30 September 2014

poets for change - Cellar bards - watch out theirs a teifidancer about



Here's  the cellar bards and friends reading out their  poems on the theme of change in Cardigan West Wales UK at 4pm Saturday September 27th 2014 on the Quay on the banks of the Teifi. Oh and a rare  look at teifidancer  out in the wild.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Dannie Abse - Poet Doctor R.I.P (22/9/23 - 28/9/14)


' The human race is the only one that knows it must die and it knows this only through its experience. A child bought up alone and transported to a desert island would have no more idea of death than a cat or a plant .'  - Voltaire

It is with sadness that I  have heard of the passing of poet, playwright, doctor  and novelist Dannie Abse at the age of 91.
Born and  bought up in Cardiff, he  drew on his career as a doctor, his Welsh roots and his proud jewish inheritance to establish himself as one of Britains most popular poets. Many of his themes  were international  in outlook,  combining  elements  of loss, love, the passing of time, his rich medical understanding and its moral implications. This  gave him a compassion for  the suffering of the world. His awareness and humanity gave him  a conscious awareness.
The brother of Labour M.P Leo Abse, much  of his life was spent in loving devotion with his wife, Joan who tragically died in a car accident in 2005, and like many of us he struggled to deal with his grief, but managed to write elonquently a lovely collection called the  'the Presence' which won the Welsh book of the year award in 2008.
His two autobiographies 'Ash  on a Young Man's sleeve'  and 'Poet in the Family' are now rightly  considered to be classics. I recognised his account of his medical training  through my own fathers who was to become a G.P. Alongside a deep understanding of the world, ran an overwhelming sense of humour, awash  with  an experience of thought.. Like Dannie Abse I also undersood some  of his themes of exile, he moving from Cardiff to London  and personally me having at a very young age moved from Cardiff to here in West Wales.
There is a richness at the heart of his work  that  I will forever  cherish, which I also know will continue to endure.I have been fortunate to hear him read  on a few  memorable occassions.
He died surrounded by his family after a short illness. The Welsh  nation and the world  has lost a truly great poet of real conviction.
Dannie Abse R.I.P

from Anniversary

' What happens to a flame blown out?
What persists? Only the view,
never my  my magified hand  in yours.'

Dannie Abse's life and passions reflected in his work


Dannie Abse reading poems for Oxfam

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Specks of hope



Yesterday  I was  one of thousands of poets around the world  who participated  in 100-Thousands  Poets for Change day. I took part in a reading  organised by my local  live literature group, the cellar bards, in conjunction with   our local  community bookshop, Leafed Through   in an event   that took place between 4 pm and 5pm, at  Prince Charles Quay here in Cardigan, West Wales.In an inspiring event  we gathered to celebrate and promote peace and sustainability  and call for much needed serious social environmental and political change with poems written on postcards. It was good to be involved in something so positive, with hundreds of cities representing and  over 100 countries signed up to the 100 TPC global initiative.More details here :- http://100TPC.org
The poem I read is included below.

Specks of hope

With this pen,
no walls are drawn,
unity's breath spins,
cancels out division,
removes all orders,
strangers' comfort lifts,
and a strong flame burns,
showering the earth with reason,
releasing leaves of hope,
gently  painting the sky,
in rivers of language,
opposing injustice,
in whirling devotion,
planting smiles on an ugly world,
spreading seeds of peace.

 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Why the UK parliament should say no to bombing Iraq



David Cameron  will ask MPs in the UK parliament to vote to join the US bombing campaign against Iraq, Chris Nineham from Stop the War coalition, interviewed by the BBC on 24 September 2014, asks, has nothing been learnt from the disasters of wetern inttervention in Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya. He urges MPs to vote  no,  like they did last  year, when Cameron wanted a bombing  campaign against Syria. To save lives  and protect human rights the genocidal fundamentalists  of Isis must be stopped, whose barbarity shows no limits but surely there are other ways. Do we  repeat past mistakes, do we all become complicit in the end. Ultimately war is  not civilised, war is failure.
There are no  easy answers. But there is this certainty, killing people rarely kills peoples ideas.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The illusion of choice

The above chart might look  familiar, that’s because it originates from a well-circulated report that Oxfam International puts together to show consolidation in the mass consumer goods industry.
I am sharing it because I believe it is important for you to be aware of who is supplying the different brands and goods served on your dinner table.
Click to enlarge it shows that most products  we buy are controlled by just a few companies. Despite a wide array of brands to choose from, it all  comes back to the big guys.Ten mega corporations control the output  of almost everything you buy; from household products to pet food to jeans. These corporations create an illusion of choice, a chain that begins at one of  10 super  companies. Lets not forget that 90% of the media is now controlled  by just six companies,  down from 50 in 1983. Yes it is indeed a funny old world. Daily now I continue to consume and use social media platforms run by globalists like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc but be switching off in bit and heading back to the garden, But Globalisation is just another word for monopolisation. Do we actually have a choice in choosing , or is it just the case of free market capitalism destroying any  real sense of freedom?  

Monday, 22 September 2014

Stand up for the Earth - Gary Snyder( b 8/5/30) on Ecology and Poetry Parts 1-4



Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Throughout his life the poet and activist, has used his work to act as a  strong voice for the planet, using a simple message, that is  beyond urgent, so  necessary. Above he  talks about a great  number of issues and also discusses, some of his work and his beliefs. This week an international conference  for climate change meets. At the end of the day will anything shift, now is the time  the world needs to reorganise, I fear  though it is already to late.
Because of this I fell, we cannot  fail to ignore  the urgent issues that Mr Snyder brings up. We must keep working together to put an end to the destruction of the Earth by  forces  of human greed and ignorance, and remember too the devastating effects of capitalism  upon nature.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Threads


Poem  read out at above event, this afternoon where I joined  over 150 people gathered  at ParcAberporth to mark Intenational Day of Peace. A symbolic 'drape the drones' took place,   and we called  for an end  to militarism, no to drone warfare,  and a halt to plans to spend £100b of  taxpayers money on rplcing the Trident Weapons system.

Standing together,
threads unwrapped,
impenetratable, not complicit,
we  remember innocents lost,
to remote controlled  killing machines,
from within sources of passion woven,
richness of colour, keep us dreaming,
stitches of time, spinning,
searching clearly for waves of hope.

As winter grows near,
something already is being changed,
tomorrow will be time, for light to shine,
together tracing unity's  breath,
touching horizons. North, South, East and West
from this place, like singing birds,
faith is restored, love rekindled,
as voices  float freely through the sky,
we continue following paths of  heddwch, peace.



 
wonder who this could be
 
 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Sad... no not really



Well I  have not slept for a couple of days, better then, than the other week, in South Wales when I only managed in a week to get about an hour a day shut eye. And  oh that reminds me,  the  last time I put on the television  left me feeling a tad miserable. Yet despite  this, and what they are saying, there has been a huge vote for independence, despite media manipulation a large percentance of the population of Scotland  rejected the corrupt undemocratic Westminster system in an unprecedented number.
So though very tired, had a sublime night of dub music by the magical Maya Mitten  down  in my local, the cellar bar, I remain faithfully optimistic for the future. I think  that with  creativity and diversity  we can create a brighter future, beyond   the neoliberal consensus and bullshit, that says no   to cuts and austerity, to nuclear missiles, yes to the N.H.S, together we reject  political parties that offer us no choice, so wee keep on fighting for some real change, and will not rest until, the day comes, that we will win.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Give the Tories a benefit cut they will never forget.



Some final thoughts. The establishment is running scared, the government,  big business and the banks have bought  out their big guns to try to scare the Scottish people, but  its inhabitants seem to be wide awake, despite the propaganda being spewed against them, they have been taking to the streets, organising, winning hearts and minds. I really hope they have not left it too late, and that they are brave enough to kick Westminster in the guts and win their freedom, and  that they remind the rest of us , that it is ok not to be complacent.
We need to  remember that the Tory government has no mandate, was not voted in, least of all the Lib Dems, who are have been propping them up, a  government still fixed on austerity whilst lining their own pockets and that of their friends. So I really hope David Cameron gets a big message - Fuck off now. I really hope these seeds  of discontentment grow and the hope  for a fairer more caring  and prosperous  society spreads like a virus,  reflecting a growing  disillusionment with Westminster led policies, a river of change that leaves the status quo shaking  in its boots. A yes vote on Scottish independence would plunge Cameron  into a leadership crisis  that could force him to quit. It's up to the rest of us to finish the job.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Yes/Meh ( some thoughts on the Scottish referendum)



 



David Cameron thought he was being  clever when  he forced Scotland to take a straight yes or no vote in  laving the union. But smugness is his middle name and this could be the most political gamble of his whole tawdry career..
With a day to go, he seems to be panicking as the vote looks as if it could go either way. Lets remember this vote is not about nationalism, it is about redressing some balance. It is about a nation that has been violently supressed, a working class that has been binded in chains, that  has been ripe in exploitation and oppression. This for many is now being seen as a vote against the Conservatives and their friends who have for years mismanaged Scotland's economy. The same Conservatives   who in Scotland are more reviled than since the days of Thatcher, who many blame for the  poverty that wreaks  daily misery on peoples lives.
It would not be heartbreaking if the people of Scotland chose a new beginning,  it would  just be part of a journey of recovery that  often people need to take. If not taken now it could be centuries before the opportunity arose again. It is  interesting how his so called opposition  both the Labour Party and Liberal democrats   leaders joining Cameron in calling for a no vote,  see how much these abusers of power have so much in common.
Whatever the outcome Salmod as leader of the SNP  finds himself in a win win position, even if he loses his vote Scotland could be granted new powers,  but a no vote would leave Scotlands hands tied, when  like all small nations what is needed  is their absolute freedom. I personally  as a Welshman have never seen myself as being part of the UK, I also reject the class system that this institution  is based on, believe  no borders are actually necessary that power needs to be given back to the people, we need to say no to sham democracy, yes to more equality, more autonomy.
I like the fact that the yes vote has   garnered new strengths of feeling, a kind of anti-capitalist rhetoric, bravely dancing towards a future, not dancing to  the intruments of division that has kept many people downtrodden in yesterdays memories. A fight for a different society, a fight for fairness and social justice, a struggle that could in the end inspire us all. A new future that sets a template about how our different wealth is shared.
New hopes where imagination is recaptured, dreams are  nurtured, a  different form of society is experimented with, for the good of all. Sadly the fact remains that  like all  governments,  a future independent Scotland  will nor be able to maintain the promises that is is making,   it might be unable  to share its wealth, protect the NHS,  like other governments,  will seek to attack  the unemployed, the disabled, outsiders, night get stuck in the narrow contstraints of nationalism,  but in the end  like any new democracies, opposition to its policies will still be encouraged.  It's gotta be better than the template already in place, some say I'm a dreamer, but I am not the only one, and in all my hopes I  really do like the idea of Cameron and his coherts getting a real good kicking, and I support a new society that arises that creates   new possibilities, against the stagnation of the present system in place, a new era of radical change.
The Westminster  government   tells us we must   keep a 70 year old weapons  system called  Trident, operating from the West Coast Of Scotland, and Independence  threatens this,   but they don't say is that there are millions of pounds worth of oil and gas reserves here too, and that by removing Trident   these fields become more viable for the economic prosperity of Scotland as a whole, that could see it becomming one of the richest economies on the planet.
I truly wish more people were taking a stand and challenging the notions of the British state. A new politics that everyone is not afraid to engage with, that excites, and does not forget the power of the individual.more  power to the people. The powerful do not want to see anymore change, but the people daily are increasingly restless., and  with collective pressures for social, economic and political change, surely that can only be a good thing. Yes or No,  we need  people to  keep pushing  for a more caring society, some radical change, otherwise the status quo just sits back and smiles, carries on beating us, this political consensus and  our compliance I believe needs to be shattered, for the sake of us all.Voting does not  change thing, many of my friends say, but critical support for an independent Scotland is better than no change at all. This celtic cousin is holding his breath , hoping  for something that changes our political landscape forever, whatever the outcome, the way the UK is governed will  never be the same again, and the voters decisions in Scotland, whether they vote or not  will have a lasting impact on our lives here in West Wales too.

Loki -  The UK state is morally bankrupt and corrupt.







Monday, 15 September 2014

William S. Burroughs (5.2/14 -2/8/97) - We have a new type of rule now.


                                 Fabrizio Cassatta

In terms of   political philosophy, William Burroughs was never far from hitting the nail on the proverbial head. Hopefully these machines of order are finally losing their credibility.
 
' We have  a new type  of rule now. Not one-man rule, oe rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to  positions  of absolute power by random pressures, and subject to political  and economic  factors that leave little room for decision. They  are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. That  iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure  of all worlds are rulers by accident, inept,  frightened pilots at the  controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.'

- Interzone Viking 1989

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Drape the Drones Event - Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September 11.30 Aberporth/Cardigan



Saturday September 20th -Sunday September 21st
Please keep  these dates in your diary!

We in Wales  will be joining  others across the world  to mark  this years International Day of Peace by  campaigning against militarism, war preparations and armaments with a particular focus on drones at Aberporth  and the Trident  nuclear weapons system and its replacement.
Drones are currently being 'tested' for the British army at Aberporth in Ceredigion, West Wales, and this will be the venue for the main protest on Sunday 21st September.
'Warm up' events in Cardigan town  will take place on the previous day.

Details:

1.Saturday 20th September
Vigil/leafleting

Following successful  anti-Nato vigil at Cardigan Town hall, this event will focus on   the military drones at Aberporth. Trident and its replacement, ant-militarism and war in General.
Contact Bob Doyle : bobdoyle70@yahoo.com

At 12. midday  there will be a special (and beautiful) 'Drape the Drones' focus at the same venue with 'Wool against weapons'  knitting will be on display, , singing and bubbles.

It is hoped that following these events, the good folk of Cardigan will  be better informed about these issues  and feel encouraged to  come to the main event on Sunday.

2. Sunday 21st September
Entrance  to Parc Aberporth Drones ' Centre of Excellence' ( from the main road A487. Post code sa43 2BN

11.30 Assemble
12.00 midday - 1.15 pm
This positive event will include songs, poems, speeches and music  followed  at 1.00 to 1.15   by a knitted  photo call around the roundabout at the entrance, and with your help a noisy finale.

Please come along and join me.
Bring shakers, drums, musical instruments for a noisy big finish and show - and feel our strength . Please come and join me.



Friday, 12 September 2014

Childhood under seige



This animation was made in response to the crises in Gaza. These drawings are original  pictures by Palestinian children from the area which depict both  the brutalities experienced in the 2008 war  and their hopes and dreams for the future.
During the most recent conflict one child died  every hour in Gaza and every child there, aged  6 and over has already  experienced 3 or  more wars.
Despite the ceasefire, the Israeli-imposed blockade  remains and  will ensure that children growing up in Gaza with continue to live  through extreme hardship.
The focus of this piece is to grow, spread and strengthen awareness of the Palestinian struggle for freedom so that there can be a positive and just future.

Animation by Plastic Horse
Sound Design by Giacomo Trivelli
Written and produced by Katie Clark

There are over 800,000 children living in Gaza, they make up more than half of the population. They  remain a source  of  optimism and much courage, the world should not forget them as they are forced to  live out their lives  in the ruins of a concentration camp. Their rights to education curtailed with closures and curfews of schools and classes, leading to insecurity and dermoralisation combined  with home demolishments, arbitrary arrests, checkpoints, and the wall, daily they are witnewss to injustices and oppression.Today it is these children  who are still paying the highest  price of this conflict.
Yet despite all this these children remain a source of optimism, hope and much courage.  My dream is that  they all  grow up and find their much deserved freedom.

Lessons


Lesson 1 :- Resist

Lesson 2 :- Rebuild

Lesson 3 :- Boycott

Lesson 4 :- Resist

Lesson 5 :- We build life


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The B.B.C is like an advertising agency that makes us believe in distortion


According to the BBC,  the economy is growing, there are more jobs than ever and the banks are our friends, and they keep telling us  about some rich  individuals who are expecting a baby, that their mum is a bit cross, seemingly furious because opinion polls seem to suggest that the vote for Scotland's  independence is getting close,  hardly any coincidence.
Last week hardly a muster of the daily protests against Nato in South Wales, and nothing on the enormous protests that took place in defence of the NHS. Do they tell us that Corporal Clegg is a plonker, that his puppeteer Cameron seems intent on taking us back to the 1980's, to many of us his daily onslaughts as bad as is hero Thatcher. The BBC seems to waffle, waffle, waffle, then add some bollocks,  then waffle some more. Don't get me started on their pathetic reportage on the siege of Gaza, an illegal occupation that is still happening now. their reportage one-sided, another contortion in entirety.
There is  something rotten going on here. There hiding all the real news from us, we have become their stooges, they want us to stop questioning,  they just want to hypnotise us with banality and lies. The effect of their  manipulations, is that it produces distortions that are not characteristic on the fibres of truth in which we live and breathe.
So lets start ignoring them, I already have,  we have the internet, books and many other sources of  alternative media and information, so use  them. Time to switch the brainwashers off.
Rant over here's a bit of music.

The Weary Blues - Artie Matthews (1915)


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Dream Strategies


 Poem written after attending Anti-Nato Peace Camp
 in Newport, South Wales 30/8/14 - 5/09/14
 where I joined  groups of individuals,
 gathered to say no to austerity, yes to welfare, no to warfare.

I used to be asleep.
forever I would dream,
last week got lost in live stream,
at a camp that awoke,
rushing and gurgling,
with defiant necessity,
as art of communication,
was  relearnt, again and again,
beyond consensus,
in syncopated time,
a dedicated lifeforce,
beyond copyright,
every voice released,
a beautiful gentle sigh,
no gods, no masters,
the earth listened,
as we sent out love letters,
as the sun shined,
and whispered thanks.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Subcomandante Marcos - In our dreams we have seen another world


Marcos spokesperson and 'anti-leader' of the Zapatistas, has become an icon of the global anti-capitalist struggle - a 'postmodern Che Guevara,' as one journalist put it. He's refused to disclose his identity though the Mexican government says he is Rafael Sebatian Guillier Vicente, formerly a professor in Mexico City. He has written more than  two hundred essays and stories and published more than twenty books. His words have always bought me comfort and have been a source of much inspiration. Another world is not only possible it is inevitable.

'In our dreams we have seen another world, an honest world, a world decidedly more fair than the one in which we  now live. We saw that in this world there was no need for armies, peace, justice and liberty were so common that no one talked about  them as far-off concepts but as things were named in this world. And in this world there was reason and goodwill in the government, and the leaders were clear-thinking people; they ruled by obeying. This world was not a dream from the past, it was  not something that came to us from our ancestors. It came from ahead, from the next step we were going to take. And so we started to move forward to attain  the dream, make  it come down and sit at our tables, light our homes, grow in our cornfields, fill the hearts of our children, wipe our sweat, heal our history.And it was for all.  This is what we want. Nothing  more, nothing less. Now we follow our path toward our true heart to ask it what we must do. We will return to our mountains to speak in our own tonque and in our own time. Thank you to the brothers and sisters who looked after us all these days. May your footsteps  follow  our path.

1994


;;

Monday, 1 September 2014

Noam Chomsky (2014) "The Future of Humanity"



' If someone was watching this from Mars, they'd think this species was insane.'