Friday, 23 June 2017

Glastonbury (a memory)

Been 20 years I guess since I got in for free
Hitch hiked from Wales in search of freedom,
Took some magical substances, still  echoing
Had no tent, but strangers rescued me,
I recovered and climbed  Glastonbury Tor
Inhaled more magic, think I hugged a tree,
Lost my gift for speech, but passed on a smoke
Left my footprints, wandered back to Avalon,
Managed to catch the Levellers, and the Prodigy
Felt kindness that I'd never felt before,
Restored my spirit, before returning to Babylon
Maybe I was dreaming, but felt love in a thousand eyes.

Don't be a creep, Radiohead

Radiohead  a band that I have followed for years, and have long admired, I've  got most of their records, I even have a poster in spare bedroom, are planning to cross the Palestinian picket line and entertain Israeli apartheid on July 19, 2017, helping Israel whitewash its oppression of Palestinians.
In a petition to English rock band Radiohead, Jewish voices for Peace asked the rockers to respect the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign targeting Israel, and cancel a Tel Aviv gig scheduled for July.
Launched by dozens of Palestinian civil society groups in 2005, the BDS campaign aims to isolate Israel in protest against its apartheid policies towards Palestinians .By agreeing to perform in Israel, Radiohead is helping to create the false idea that Israel is a normal country like any other and helping Israel whitewash its oppression of Palestinians.
In a letter to supporters, JVP noted: “The band knows what social justice means, they’ve stood up for Tibet, and against the War on Terror. York even tweeted about not normalizing Trump. And as artists with a conscience, Radiohead should stand in solidarity with Palestine ...
 “They’d be far from alone. Ms. Lauryn Hill, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Elvis Costello, Bjork and many others have heeded Palestinian civil society’s call. These artists see apartheid Israel for what it is. And most importantly, they’ve embraced their role in making change.
“Palestinians don't have a choice to reject or accept apartheid in Israel. It is a daily, grinding experience. Radiohead has a choice to do the right thing. I still hold out hope that they will.”
Today, Radiohead will headline Glastonbury, Europe’s largest festival. With your help and social media voice, fans will be on hand making sure the message gets through to Radiohead: Don’t endorse apartheid!
Negative publicity has plagued Radiohead’s European tour, where supporters of Palestinian rights have urged the band to cancel the show and respect the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israel until it respects Palestinian rights. In London, Radiohead’s corporate offices were picketed.
Palestiniansthousands of Radiohead fans, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ken Loach, Roger Waters, the Young Fathers and tens of renowned artists have all called on Radiohead to cancel their Israel gig. And during the band’s US tour, Radiohead fans unfurled banners at concerts and published articles in the press to get Radiohead to turn away from playing apartheid.
Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke recently broke the band's silence in an interview on Rolling Stone, describing calls not to cross the Palestinian picket line as "divisive" and accusing supporters of Palestinian rights of "throwing around" the word apartheid. Roger WatersKen Loach and others have responded to Yorke's comments.  
Take action: Radiohead care a lot about their reputation and their image. Publicly call on Radiohead not to perform in Israel by pressing the button below to send a Tweet: 
.@radiohead doesn't want to hear about Palestinian rights. Let's be loud.

There are other ways you can get involved with the campaign: 
Today, can you tweet messages to @radiohead using the hashtags #Glastonbury2017 and #LoveRadioheadHateApartheid to tell them what you think about crossing the Palestinian picket line?
Here are some sample tweets:
  • Don’t play apartheid Israel, @Radiohead. You don’t belong there.
  • No one regrets boycotting Apartheid South Africa. @Radiohead, cancel Apartheid Israel.
  • Don’t be a creep, @Radiohead. Respect the Palestinian picket line. Cancel Israel gig.
  • It’s #NotOK, @Radiohead, to cross the Palestinian picket line. Cancel show in Apartheid Israel #OKNotOK
  • Hey @Radiohead, if your support for justice isn’t “mere rhetoric”, you’ll cancel gig in Apartheid Israel
  • Hey @Radiohead, during apartheid South Africa, artists stayed away. Time to do the same with Israel.
For more tweets, ideas and social media actions, check out the BDS movement’s page here.
If they continue which I sincerely hope they don't, have some Radiohead cd's going spare.
Here is a link to a previous post ;- 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Queen's speech leaves Theresa May humiliated

Yesterday's  Queen's speech  revealed a Conservatives  Government  in complete disarray that  they can't simply laugh  off at the moment, leaving Theresa May utterly humiliated.
In written remarks prepared for the first day of Parliament, the troubled Prime Minister began trying to undo some of the key messages from the Conservatives' election campaign, saying that social care would be addressed and that every school should be fairly funded.
But speaking from the House of Lords throne, Her Majesty unveiled 27 Bills and draft bills  in a very scaled down state opening, last witnessed in 1974 without horses, carriages and much of the other ceremonial highlights usually featured on the occasion, including the Sovereign's Escort.
The priorities for the government included Bills concerning Brexit, including the creation of a standalone UK customs regime and limiting immigration of EU nationals.In the Queen's Speech though there was no mention of any of her hated flagship policies: the Dementia Tax, scrapping hot lunches for infants, means-testing the winter fuel allowance for pensioners, ending the triple lock on pension rises, legalising fox hunting, creating more grammar schools. It can at least be celebrated that the Queen's Speech had no mention of Trump visiting Britain.
Jeremy Corbyn observed that the Tory general election manifesto has even disappeared from the Tory Party's website! He savaged Mrs May’s meagre package of 27 Bills for the next two years  branding it as “thin gruel”.He added: “This is a threadbare ­legislative programme from a government that has apparently run out of ideas altogether.“This is a government without a majority, without a mandate, without a serious legislative programme, led by a Prime Minister who has lost her political authority, and is struggling to stitch together a deal to stay in office and declared Labour is prepared to lead Britain instead.
The Queen's Speech comes at a time when May's premiership has been seen to be increasingly vulnerable and our country's future uncertain, with negotiations over Britain's departure from the European Union having only just begun. May's own position has been called into question ever since her decision to call a snap election. Her attempt to secure a larger mandate ahead of the Brexit negotiations backfired with her losing her commanding majority. This is a Government with no purpose, that cannot be trusted  to build  a stronger economy and a fairer society, or committed to keeping our country safe, let alone enhancing our standing in the wider world and bringing the United Kingdom closer together, they are  not putting themselves at the service of millions of ordinary working people for whom they should be working every day for, in the national interest.
Parliament must pass the Queen's Speech in a vote, but with May yet to secure a deal with the DUP, she is aware that failure to get the speech through could be seen as a vote of no confidence.Tory MPs who virtually all applauded May's decision to call the general election have deserted her in droves and placed all the blame on her for the loss of their majority, many have admitted her weakness and conceded there was little chance of getting her most unpopular ­policies voted through. Their dilemma now though is that if they don't support the government's Bills outlined yesterday, they face the prospect of increased instability in the government and it possibly falling, and then them losing their seats in a new election. As they abandon their core policies, reflecting the Conservative's current weak position with there watered down agenda, this minority government is  hanging on by a thread and running on very thin ice, what mandate do they actually have to govern? The general election showed people are completely fed up with  the cruel austerity policies of the Tories. Policies that they are too muddled at moment to deal with. A Government of pure chaos. We have them on the run, we have to keep pushing, surely it wont be long that Maggie May will be able to stay on.

Jeremy Corbyn's  savages "threadbare "Queen's speech ( Full statement)

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

21st June, 1792, Iolo Morganwg founds the Gorsedd of Bardds.

Balmy weather in my corner of Wales, so thought on this Summer Solstice thought i'd return to someone I've written of before, who  was undoubtedly one of Wales's most colourful and intriguing sons. to have emerged from the pages of my country's history books, one Edward Williams who is better known by his bardic name of Iolo Morganwg  He's been a personal hero of mine for awhile, I will refer to him as Iolo  throughout this post,. My first post way back in 2009 incidentaly was inspired by him too ;- I've been wading through memories today, it being the eighth anniversary of when I met my departed soul mate and lover, another unique individual,who inspired earlier post today,  I seem to  be drawn to them, hey ho back to Iolo.
He was born in 1747 in  the parish  of Llancarfan in Glamorgan, southern Wales,and bought up in the village of Flemington, Although English was his home language he soon became interested in the Welsh language, its literature and history. He was a stonemason by craft and travelled throughout Wales and to London. There, he came into contact with the Gwyneddigion Society and began to move in cultural and radical circles.
Iolo Morganwg was a genius,,one of the founder members of the Unitarian movement in Wales, a political radical who supported the French Revolution, a pacifist, republican, accomplished flute playing, antiquarian,a hymn-writer and an able lyrical poet who called himself 'The Bard of Liberty'. A political radical, religious dissenter and pacifist  who believed Wales should have its own national institutions celebrating its unique culture and heritage, known as one of founders of Welsh national consciousness..As a young man working as a stonemason in London, he had seen Welsh culture widely disparaged.,Iolo became heavily involved in the political activities of London - Welsh societies in fostering republican views in Gorsedd ceremonies, and in defending the rights of persecuted Dissenters and freeborn Welshmen. He often styled himself 'Jacobin', 'Citizen' and 'Theocrat', and penned dozens of forthright, satirical and subversive essays and poems. He came close to being jailed himself for seditious libel. On his return to the Vale of Glamorgan in 1795 he was kept under surveillance, especially when he used his Cowbridge bookshop and grocery to support anti-slavery, fair trade and Jacobinism.
Iolo denounced 'kingcraft' and 'priestcraft', thundered against war and injustice, and never tired of proclaiming the benefits of 'Breiniau Dyn' (the Rights of Man). A political animal to the core, he played a prominent part in raising the profile of libertarian causes in Wales and in spreading subversive ideas.  He believed the Welsh poets were the direct descendants of the Celtic druids, and he set about writing so glorious a history it would put the English to shame, even if he had to forge it.
In support of this vision, in 1789 he published a collection of poems by 14th-century Welsh bard Dafydd ap Gwilym. Included were many newly-discovered poems Morganwg had “found,” i.e., written himself. He was also a prolific poet in both Welsh and English, but as well as using his own voice, he was more than capable of writing in the guise of others. The book proved to be popular and this  inspired him to return to London to take the next step in promoting Welsh culture.
Apart from being in my opinion as I've said  a genius, Iolo also was in what in today's terms be an addict, like many of his contemporaries of the time his particular foible was Laudanum.
Iolo  had started taking laudanum as a young man to cure a troublesome cough later for a troublesome bad back .Taking laudanum, tincture of opium, was actually both common and fashionable during the eighteenth century, other  notable  opium eaters of Iolo's time include Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Crabbe and Thomas De Quincey among  many others. It is generally believed that the drug does not enrich a dull imagination but rather enhances one that is already active. Laudanum produced a paradoxical effect on users. On the one hand, it gave them the impression that their ideas were clearer and more original because of the laudanum: it enabled them to create unexpected creative links, and also bolstered their belief in the distinctness of their own visions. It certainly seemed to consolidate Iolo's. and many many people were taken in by him despite his drug fuelled hallucinations. What a man though. here's his actual  poem he wrote about his enabler, some parts  could actually read as an ode to a lover ;--

Ode to Laudanum-
WHILST, crowding on my woful hour,
Fate's deep'ning glooms indignant low'r,
And crush my wearie soul;
Thou, Laudanum, can'st quickly steep
My burning eyes in balmy sleep,
And ev'ry grief controul.
When Reason strives, but strives in vain,
To banish care, to vanquish pain,
And calm sad thoughts to rest;
Thy soothing virtues can impart
A bland sensation to my heart,
And heal my wounded breast.

Whilst fell Disease, with rapid flame
Preys ireful on my feeble frame,
Pervading ev'ry vein;
Thou canst repel the venom'd rage,
The fever'd anguish canst assuage,
And blunt the tooth of Pain.
When wakeful Sensibility
Her wrongs recounts, I fly to thee,
And feel her touch no more;
At painful Memory's loud call,
'Twas she, with fingers dipt in gall,
My rankling bosom tore.
With soul-corroding thought oppress'd
Whilst keen affliction fills my breast,
And swells the tide of grief;
O! shed thy balm into my heart,
And, plucking thence the piercing dart,
Bestow thy kind relief.
Now Comfort shuns my woful sight,
And sad returns the sleepless night,
In sable glooms array'd;
I court thy pow'rs with anxious mind,
And, on the down of rest reclin'd,
I bless thy lenient aid.

.My joyless hours I waste alone,
Unpitied weep, unheeded moan,
Unfriended sigh forlorn;
Consign to grief my crawling years,
The victim of desponding cares,
Existing but to mourn.

Thou faithful friend in all my grief,
In thy soft arms I find relief;
In thee forget my woes:
Unfeeling waste my wint'ry day,
And pass with thee the night away,
Reclin'd in soft repose.

.O! still exert thy soothing pow'r,
Till fate leads on the welcom'd hour,
To bear me hence away;
To where pursues no ruthless foe,
No feeling keen awakens woe,
No faithless friends betray.

Poems, Lyric and Pastoral vol I, pp 1-5 was

Iolo believed that the Welsh bards had inherited the learning and traditions of the Druids of the ancient world. Iolo, however, declared that Druidism had survived in its purest form in Glamorgan, his birthplace. He produced a vast corpus of literary forgeries and Druidic lore  to justify this claim, products  of his own very fertile, laudanum-addicted imagination. So in  1791, he returned to London proclaiming, in both Welsh and English literary circles, that he was heir to all the mysteries of Druidism.
So on this day,  the Summer Solstice of  21st of June, Summer Solstice, 1792, Iolo Morganwg held a ceremony on the nearest mountain he could find,  Primrose Hill , and  founded the Gorsedd of Bardds  (in Welsh the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain), a community of Welsh bards dedicated to preserving Welsh language, poetry and music. He developed the ritual for the ceremony from druidic rites described in ancient manuscripts from his own collection that were later found to have been yet again creations of his own. As they say if you've got an idea, you might as well go for it, wish I was capable of pursuing my inner dreams as Iolo did.
Thanks to Iolo's actions on Primrose Hill  it would see  the revival of the Eisteddfod, otherwise known as the national festival of Wales.The Eisteddfod is a folk festival celebrating Welsh language, music, poetry and literature that traces its lineage back to a grand gathering of musicians and poets held by Lord Rhys of my hometown Cardigan/ Aberteifi  in 1176. From that early progenitor, a vast number of provincial gatherings proliferated over the centuries, sponsored by local lords all over Wales.

Iolo returned to Wales in 1795, and began collecting material for his magnum opus, 'The History of the British Bards', a book that would, he believed, explain all the history and learning of the Druids to the world. In 1801 and 1807, a large number of his forgeries were published in the Myvyrian Archaiology, after he had persuaded the editors that they were texts copied from old manuscripts. Iolo and this is why I like him so much, never wandered or wavered from the devotion to his ideals and inner vision.

In 1819 the eisteddfod festivals and the Gorsedd of Bards came together, thanks once again to Iolo Morgannwg, now 72 years old and still with a keen eye towards promoting Welsh civilization. He traveled to the eisteddfod being held at the Ivy Bush Inn in Carmarthen and drew a Gorsedd circle meant to be a sacred circle of standing stones a la Stonehenge, on the lawn using a handful of pebbles  from his pockets. He went on to admit poets and druids, including the local bishop and festival patron, Bishop Thomas Burgess of St. David’s. giving them white, blue and green ribbons according to their rank. During the chairing ceremony a new rite took form as poets stood either side of the chair, sheathing and unsheathing a sword above the winning poet’s head. The sword used by Iolo  during these 1819 ceremonies can still to be seen at St Fagans National History Museum.

                                          Iolo Morganwg's  sword used in the 1819 ceremony

From then on, the Gorsedd and the eisteddfod continued to develop their relationship, and when the National Eisteddfod was established in 1861, the Gorsedd’s Druidic rituals, now considerably more elaborate than they had been at that first Primrose Hill ceremony of 1792, played a central role, providing high drama and pageantry in the medal ceremonies and in the investiture of important political, religious and cultural figures into the Gorsedd in recognition of their contributions to the nation, language and culture of Wales.
Iolo died in 1826, aged 80 leaving an enormous collection of manuscripts. This collection is now at the National Library of Wales. When Welsh scholars discovered the extent of his forgeries at the beginning of last century, he was rejected and reviled but.I try not to forget this maverick genius, I have a picture of this poet and visionary in my bathroom, a romantic juggler of truth yes, but what a man. Lets continue to celebrate him as a scholar who sought about reviving Welsh culture, I think my nation actually owes this rebel druid a lot of debt.
Happy Summer solstice.

Summer Solstice ( Acrostic Poem)

( Dedicated to sweet Jane, who I was fortunate to encountert down the cellar bar Cardigan/Aberteifi June 21 2009 )

Summer has arrived, the Sun's ray's blaze down
Under influence, releases nostalgic feeling,
Memories of dear departed soul now in afterlife
Marvellous star  releasing  beautiful  light,
Essence of warmth, full of grace and power
Releasing thoughts in the here and now.

Sunrise passes, enters new cycle,
Onwards crosses over new threshold,
Love reigns supreme over the earth
Sharing celebration of renewal, fertility and life,
The wheel turning  and time moving on
In changing seasons as leaves turn, red and golden,
Clinging on to hope, everlasting and clear
End of day listening to music, I will still feel  magic.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Voltaraine de Cleyre (17/11/ 1866 - 20/6/1912) - Poet of Freedom

Voltaraine de Cleyre  was an American  anarchist-feminist , atheist, poet and free thinker.
Cleyre was born in Leslie, Michigan, a small town south of Lansing. Her parents, who were impoverished tailors, left Leslie when Voltairine was about one year old, following the accidental drowning death of another daughter, Marion, at the age of five. The family moved to St. Johns, Michigan, a town on the north side of Lansing . Despite the objections of Voltairine's mother, her father, an atheist and admirer of Voltaire, created her distinctive given name to commemorate his own beliefs
She was placed as a teenager into a Catholic convent in Sarnia, Ontario by her father, because he thought it would give her a better education. Of her time in the convent, she said, "it had been like the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and there are white scars on my soul, where ignorance and superstition burnt me with their hell fire in those stifling days" She attempted to run away by swimming to Port Huron, Michigan, and hiking 17 miles but was returned by her father after being found by family friends. This in combination with family ties to the Abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad, as well as her namesake (the philosopher Voltaire), contributed to the radical rhetoric she developed.
She was a prolific writer and speaker, opposing the State, marriage, and the domination of the Church in sexuality and women's lives. de Cleyre at first subscribed to the individualist school of anarchism, but later called herself only an Anarchist, shunning doctrinal fractiousness. She was a colleague of Emma Goldman's. Goldman called her " the most gifted and brilliant woman anarchist America has ever produced," She differentiated herself from Emma Goldman, however stating, "Miss Goldman is a communist; I am an individualist. She wishes to destroy the right of property, I wish to assert it. I make my war upon privilege and authority, whereby the right of property, the true right in that which is proper to the individual, is annihilated. She believes that co-operation would entirely supplant competition; I hold that competition in one form or another will always exist, and that it is highly desirable it should."
During her time in the freethought movement in the mid and late 1880s, de Cleyre was especially influenced by Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Clarence Darrow. Other influences were Henry David Thoreau, Big Bill Haywood, and Eugene Debs. After the . execution of four innocent anarchists in 1887 for the Haymarket bombing was the turning point of Voltairine's life and  she became an anarchist. "Till then I believed in the essential justice of the American law of trial by jury," she wrote in an autobiographical essay, "After that I never could".
In 1888, she threw herself into the anarchist movement, dedicating herself passionately and unceasingly to the cause of liberty for the rest of her life.
She was known as an excellent speaker and writer , in the opinion of biographer Paul Avrich, she was "a greater literary talent than any other American anarchist" who was “A brief comet in the anarchist firmament, blazing out quickly and soon forgotten by all but a small circle of comrades whose love and devotion persisted long after her death.” But “her memory,” continues Avrich, “possesses the glow of legend.” and as a tireless advocate for the anarchist cause, whose "religious zeal," according to Goldman, "stamped everything she did."
Voltairine wrote and lectured on such subjects as "Sex Slavery", "Love in Freedom", "Those Who Marry Do Ill", and "The Case of Women vs. Orthodoxy". She advocated for economic independence for women, birth control, sex education, and the right of women to maintain autonomy in relationships , including maintaining a room of one's own so as to keep one's independence, this is something that she did throughout her life, despite poverty. Anarchist women like de Cleyre and Emma Goldman challenged patriarchal power in society and in the anarchist movement.
She was also a prolific writer of poetry of much depth.Throughout her life though she was plagued by illness and depression, attempting suicide on at least two occasions and surviving an assassination attempt on December 19, 1902. Her assailant, Herman Helcher, was a former pupil who had earlier been rendered insane by a fever, and whom she immediately forgave. She wrote, "It would be an outrage against civilization if he were sent to jail for an act which was the product of a diseased brain". The attack left her with chronic ear pain and a throat infection that often adversely affected her ability to speak or concentrate but still managed to get  back on the lecture circuit 3 months later.
Voltairine de Cleyre died prematurely at the age of 45 on June 20, 1912, at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital in Chicago, Illinois from septic meningitis. remaining as she had lived: a free spirit, an Anarchist, owing no allegiance to rulers, heavenly or earthly.". She was buried near Emma Goldman, the Haymarket defendants, and other social activists at the Waldheim Cemetery (now Forest Home Cemetery), in Forest Park, a suburb west of Chicago. around 2,000 people attended her funeral..An important figure in  history whose ideas are of interest today, particularly as we still suffer from the patriarchy, capitalism and statism she opposed. Her freethought poetry and  her passionate, uncompromising essays are still timely, and provocative to this day.

The Voltairine de Cleyre Reader

Love's Ghost  - Voltaraine de Cleyre

Among the leaves and the rolls of moonlight,
The moon, which weaves lace on the road-white
Among the winds, and among the flowers,
Our blithe feet wander --life is ours!

Life is ours, and life is loving;
All our powers are locked in loving;
Hearts, and eyeys, and lips are moving
With the ecstasy of loving.

Ah! the roses! they are blooming;
And the June air, throbbing, tuning,
Sings of Love's eternal summer--
Chants of Joy, life's only Comer;
And we clsp our hands together,
Singing in the war, sweet weather;
Kissing, thrilling with caressing,
All the sweet from Love's rose pressing.

Ah, so easy!--Earth is Heaven,--
Darkness, shadows, do not live;
Like the rose our hearts are given,
Like the rose whos blom is given,
To the sun-gold, and the heaven.
Not because it wills or wishes,
But because 'tis life to give.                         

I am - Voltaraine de Cleyre

I am! The ages on the ages roll:
And what I am, I was, and I shall be:
by slow growth filling higher Destiny,
And Widening, ever, to the widening Goal.
I am the Stone that slept; down deep in me
That old, old sleep has left its centurine trace;
I am the plant that dreamed; and lo! still see
That dream-life dwelling on the Human Face.
I slept, I dreamed, I wakened: I am Man!
The hut grows Palaces; the depths breed light;
Still on! Forms pass; but Form yields kinglier
The singer, dying where his song began,
In Me yet lives; and yet again shall he
Unseal the lips of greater songs To Be;
For mine the thousand tongues of Immortality.

The Toast to Despair - Voltaraine de Cleyre

We have cried, – and the Gods are silent;
We have trusted, – and been betrayed;
We have loved, – and the fruit was ashes;
We have given, – the gift was weighed.
We know that the heavens are empty,
That friendship and love are names;
That truth is an ashen cinder,
The end of life’s burnt-out flames.
Vainly and long we have waited,
Through the night of the human roar,
For a single song on the harp of Hope,
Or a ray from a day-lit shore.
Songs aye come floating, marvelous sweet,
And bow-dyed flashes gleam;
But the sweets are Lies, and the weary feet
Run after a marsh-light beam.
In the hour of our need the song departs,
And the sea-moans of sorrow swell;
The siren mocks with a gurgling laugh
That is drowned in teh deep death-knell.
The light we chased with our stumbling feet
As the goal of happier years,
Swings high and low and vanishes, –
The bow-dyes were of our tears.
God is a lie, and Faith is a lie,
And a tenfold lie is Love;
Life is a problem without a why,
And never a thing to prove.
It adds, and subtracts, and multiplies,
And divides without aim or end;
Its answers all false, though false-named true, –
Wife, husband, lover, friend.
We know it now, and we care no more;
What matters life or death?
We tiny insects emerge from earth,
Suffer, and yield our breath.
Like ants we crawl on our brief sand-hill,
Dreaming of ‘mighty things’, –
Lo, they crunch, like shells in the ocean’s wrath,
In the rush of Time’s awful wings.
The sun smiles gold, and the plants white,
And a billion stars smile, still;
Yet fierce as we, each wheels toward death,
And cannot stay his will.
The build, ye fools, your might things,
That Time shall set at naught;
Grow warm with the song the sweet Lie sings,
And the false bow your tears have wrought.
For us, a truce to Gods, loves, and hopes,
And a pledge to fire and wave;
A swifter whirl to the dance of death,
And a loud huzza for the Grave!

Written-In-Red (to Our Living Dead In Mexico's Struggle )  -  Voltaraine de Cleyre    

     Written in red their protest stands,
For the gods of the World to see;
On the dooming wall their bodiless hands
have blazoned 'Upharsin,' and flaring brands
Illumine the message: 'Seize the lands!
Open the prisons and make men free!'
Flame out the living words of the dead

Gods of the World! Their mouths are dumb!
Your guns have spoken and they are dust.
But the shrouded Living, whose hearts were numb,
have felt the beat of a wakening drum
Within them sounding-the Dead men's tongue--
Calling: 'Smite off the ancient rust!'
Have beheld 'Resurrexit,' the word of the Dead,

Bear it aloft, O roaring, flame!
Skyward aloft, where all may see.
Slaves of the World! Our caose is the same;
One is the immemorial shame;
One is the struggle, and in One name--
Manhood--we battle to set men free.
'Uncurse us the Land!' burn the words of the

Life or Death -  Voltaraine de Cleyre

 A Soul, half through the Gate, said unto Life:
'What dos thou offer me?' And Life replied:
'Sorrow, unceasing struggle, disappointment;
after these
Darkness and silence.' The Soul said unto Death:
'What dos thou offer me?' And Death replied:
'In the beginning what Life gives at last.'
Turning to Life: 'And if I live and struggle?'
'Others shall live and struggle after thee
Counting it easier where thou hast passed.'
'And by their struggles?' 'Easier place shall be
For others, still to rise to keener pain
Of conquering Agony!' 'and what have I
To do with all these others? Who are they?'
'Yourself!' 'And all who went before?' 'Yourself.'
'The darkness and the silence, too, have end?'
'They end in light and sound; peace ends in pain,
Death ends in Me, and thou must glide from
To Self, as light to shade and shade to light again.
Choose!' The Soul, sighing, answered: 'I will live.'                                               

World Refugee Day 2017

Following yesterday's post highlighting refugee week, today is World Refugee Day which honors the strength and resilience of refugees ,as well as their contributions to societies that welcome them. World Refugee Day has been marked on 20 June, ever since the UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of  Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.
The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in over 100 countries, involving government officials, aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves. Never before have the immediate needs of vulnerable children and their families been so great. Some 20 million refugees half of whom are children, have been forced to flee violence, poverty and persecution from places such as Syria, Somalia, South Sudan and Central African Republic taking perilous sea voyages over the Mediterranean. According to the International Organisation for Migration, over 20,000 migrants have died in their attempts to reach or stay in Europe since 2000, and according to the United Nations, only one per cent have been resettled. It is imperative that they should be given help, protection and long term solutions.
Together, we should be creating an outpouring of compassion and show individual refugees that they are welcome here. but the persecution of refugees continues, whipped up by forces of racism spreading fear and misinformation about security and terrorism. The EU Referendum campaign has recently sadly contributed to this, unleashing some of the most heinious manifestations of racism we have seen in generations. Those on the far right across Europe are eager to use the crisis to further scapegoat immigrants.
It is worth remembering that  there are 65.6 million displaced people around the world – that’s more than the population of the UK. As continuing tragedy unfolds, some of the countries most able to help are shutting their gates to people seeking asylum. Borders are closing, pushbacks are increasing, and hostility is rising. Avenues for legitimate escape are fading away. Since the beginnings of civilization, we have treated refugees as deserving of our protection. Whatever our differences, we have to recognise our fundamental human obligation to shelter those fleeing from war and persecution. It is time to stop hiding behind misleading words. Richer nations must acknowledge refugees for the victims they are, fleeing from wars they were unable to prevent or stop. History has shown that doing the right thing for victims of war and persecution engenders goodwill and prosperity for generations. And it fosters stability in the long run.
The world needs to renew its commitment now to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its principles that made us strong. To offer safe harbor, both in our own countries and in the epicentres of the crises, and to help refugees restore their lives. In a world where violence has forced hundreds of families to flee each day.
The the UN Refugee Agency believes now is the time to show world leaders that the global public stands with refugees, it has set up  the #WithRefugees petition, entreating world leaders to ensure every refugee child gets an education, every refugee family has somewhere safe to live and every refugee can work or learn new skills to support their families. You can sign the petition here.
Several charities work to support the rehabilitation of refugees, including Oxfam,  and Refugee Action; all of which you can donate to. and it will launch its
Those who leave everything behind for the purpose of living in peace need our support and solidarity. Today and tomorrow we must continue to stand up for refugees. We must remember that arms trade helps exacerbate the crisis, plus  poverty and inequality, war and conflict, we need to build bridges not more obstacles and borders. Refugees have suffered unimaginable loss, and yet they are filled with the strength to triumph over adversity. The refugee crisis is a human crisis. Their story is our story. We are all human,and together, we can build a better world.We all have an important role in ensuring that refugees have the support they need. When we work together, we can help even more people feel safe from conflict, stay healthy and forge ahead to a better, stronger future.

Denounced - persecuted - exiled - dispersed - 

Refused - sectioned - detained - certified -

Wherever they seek shelter

They should be able to call home

Having escaped dark shadows

Having travelled through great adversity

Seeking safe harbour,

All should be given warm welcome

Asylum not barbed wire

Protection not bombs

Dignity not criminalisation

Breathe again, beyond pain and grief

No borders are necessary