Monday, 31 January 2011

Will Palestine march? The tyrant exists only in the imagination of his subjects- Tamim Al- Barghouti.

Some of us are witnessing the beginniing of regime change in Tunisia and Egypt. ( I say some of us because the major news channels in the US are not reporting the massive Egyptian uprising) This is not the 'regime change' so beloved by our governments workong covertly behind their chosen despots and dictators who disenfranchise their own people and keep them in poverty and humiliation. The people on the streets in Tunisia and Egypt are not lookung for palaces and wealth. They are marching for the universal values of justice and human rights; the right not to be tortured by their own police; the right to freedom of expression; dignity and the right to choose their own leaders fair and square.
The price of food is rising. An income of $2 a day allows no room for manouvre. All over the world forests and peatlands are being ripped up to provide plantations, not for food, but for fuel to satiate the ever growing demand for energy for industry and 3 car families who will not comprehend their own greed.
$2 dollars a day is the average Egyption income. In Gaza where there is over 60%unemplyment ( due to the obliteration of Industry by the IDF) there is barely any money at all. The Palestinian Papers have served to highlight the truth we already knew - that the PA was just another western puppet, bought off and toeing the delinuwnt Zionist line.
Egypt recieves rhe second highest monetary handout, after Israel, from the US. Egypt is the puppet of America and the people will have a hard time effecting change. They know this, and their bravery is all the more remarkable because of it. Without the compliance of Egypt the Palestinians could not be kept under siege, and it is this way because our governments conspire to make it this way. The US conspires with the UN to announce the illegality of sttlements, bombings, massacres, siege and destruction, yet ensures that each of these things can happen by funding them all. Nothing is achieved except bloodshed. Rhere was no peace process. Ordinary citizens are taking to the streets and it is entirely possible that Palestinians, so badly let down by those purprting to represent them, will follow. The 7.6 million Palestinian refugees could march. The door is opening. The borders are creaking. Would Israel massacre 7.6 million people walking peacefully back to their homes, or are the thrd generation refugees so snug in their cocoon not worth the risk to life and linb after all. This may be their only chance. Public opinion os on the side of the oppressed.
Israel wants the world to forget that the right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to the place from which they fled is enshrined in international law. The right of return is a Right. They do not need permission.

Tamim Al-Barghouti is a Palestinian poet. He is currently a visiting professor at Georgetown Univerity's Centre for Contemporary Arab Studies.

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Because you began to learn
that love is to blood and fire a war for freedom
for the poem marching among us
leaving fractures & losses on the bed of battle
it would be better to start over.

Our sheets still smell of fresh gunpowder
and thunder trembles in our ears.

That's why I walk the streets
of every city, town, village
the highway crosses
with you always very much within
the magnificent beast we were
leaving behind in this world
now throwing us out of its paradise.
But we also inherit a whole earth
with hoes and seeds
from where wildflowers bloom
to the fragment of world that is ours to share
without fur on the heart
in the middle of a solitary rain.

translated by John Oliver Simon
from Peace or Perish
Acrisis Anthology/Poets for Peace 1983.

Friday, 28 January 2011


The Brutality of Mubarek's regime has been rejected,but tear gazzing and shooting continues.
Inshallah Egypt shall soon be free. Ordinary people all over the world are now taking to the streets. People have decided which side they are on, on the side of the oppressed.Regime changes not always dictated by corporate or foreign powers.
In the meantime
write or phone the Egyptian Embassy in London and ask your M.P to support the protestors and do everything they can do to lift communication restrictions and stop a massacre. No to dictators.
All born free, and yesterday what was far away comes nearer, sometimes negotiations have to stop, indifference does not protect. Dignity never surrenders, dignity resists, in the name of unity, freedom and justice, with different voices we become one.


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A Prayer to St Dwynwen - Dafydd ap Gwilym

Picture Of St Dwynwen

Today here in Wales is St Dwynwen's day  the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers, so I thought I'd post a poem dedicated to her by Dafydd ap Gwilym. His poems were so fine that all the bards of his day called him their chief bard, and today is looked upon as the greatest Welsh poet of all times. He lived probably from 1320 to 1380 and was born in Cardiganshire or what is now known as Ceredigion here in West Wales.
He became a traveller wandering from place to place and was welcomed everywhere because of his great gifts as a bard. It is possible he heard the Norman minstrels sing their songs of love in the English courts, and that he was so struck by their charm, that he decided to sing the praises to the lovely maidens and noble princes of his own country. His poems won the hearts of maidens and the lords became his patrons. It is natural that some poets were jealous of his fame, and there were many bitter quarrels with his rivals.
It is difficult to give an English reader an idea of the beauty of his work. He composed in forms unknown to the English poet until recently. The form gave a musical rhythym to the poem that was more suitable to the Welsh Language.
They have incredible power and a lot of people say to truly understand them one must read his poems in the language that they were written.
In his poems he was able to charm the nightingale, the blackbirdand the swallow into telling him their secrets. He conversed with nature and bid her reveal her mysteries. He could win the love of women and at the same time the admiration of men. He brought all things under the spell of his muse. He hated anything false but admired all that is beautiful, whether in forest glade and flower, or in the lovely form of a maiden.
So on this day here's his prayer to St Dwynwen. Whatever your religious convictions it's still pretty powerful stuff. Hope you enjoy it.
For the Lovers,

Dwynwen deigr arien degwch,
Da y gwyr o gor fflamgwyr fflwch
Dy ddelw aur diddoluriaw
Digion druain ddynion draw
Dyn a wylio gloywdro glan,
Yn dy gor, Indeg eirian,
Nid oes glefyd na bryd brwyn
A el ynddo o Landdwyn.

Dy laesblaid yw dy lwysblwyf,
Dolurus ofalus wyf;
Y frn hon o hoed gordderch
Y sydd yn unchwydd o serch;
Hirwayw o sail gofeiliant,
Herwydd oy gwn, hwn yw haint,
Oni chaf, o byddaf byw
Forfudd, Llyna oferfyw
Gwna fi'n iach, weddusach wawd,
O'm anwychder a'm nychdawd.
Cymysg lateirwydd flwyddyn
A rhadau Duw rhod a dyn.
Nid rhaid, ddelw euraid ddilyth,
Yt ofn pechawd, fethgnawd fyth.
Nid adwna, da ei dangef,
Duw a wnaeth, nid ei o nef.
Ni'th wyl mursen eleni
Yn hustyng yn yng a ni.
Ni rydd Eiddig ddig ddyngnbwyll
War ffon i ti, wyry ei phwyll.

Tyn, o'th obr, taw, ni thybir
Wrthyd, wyry gymhlegyd hir,
O landdwyn, dir gynired,
I Gwm-y-gro, gem y Gred.
Duw ni'th omeddawdd, hawdd hedd,
Dawn iaith aml, dyn ni'th omedd.
Diamau weddiau waith,
Duw a'th eilw, duw ei thalaith.
Delid Duw, dy letywr,
Del i gof, dwylaw a gwr,
Traws oedd y neb a'i trisai,
Dwynwen, pes parud unwaith
Dan wydd Mai a hirddydd maith,
Dawn ei bardd, da, wen, y bych;
Dwynwen, nid oeddud anwych
Dangos o'th radau dawngoeth
Nad wyd fursen, Ddwynwen ddoeth.

Er a wnaethost yn ddawbwys
O benyd y byd a'i bwys;
Er y crefydd, ffydd ffyddryw,
A wnaethost tra fuost fyw;
Er y eirian leianaeth
A wwyrfdawd y coethgnawd caeth;
Er enaid, os rhaid y rhawg,
Brychan Yrth breichiau nerthawg;
Eiriol, er dy greuol gred,
Ar em Wyry roi ymwared.

Dwynwen, your beauty like the hoar-fros's tears:
from your chancel with its blazing waxen candles
well does your golden image know
how to assuage the griefs of wretched men.
What a man so ever would keep vigil in your choir
(a holy, shining pilgrimage), (you with) Inded's radiance,
there is no sickness nor heart's sorrow
which he would carry with him thence from LLanddwyn.

Your holy parish is your straggling flock:
(a man)sorrowful and worn with care I am;
because of longing for my mistress
my heart is swollen with love,
deep pangs grounded in anxiety,
as well I know - this is my malady-
unless I can win Morfudd
if I remain alive, it is but life in vain.
Make me be haeled, you most deserving of all praise,
from my infirmity and feebleness.
as well as mediatrix of God's grace to man.
There is no need for you, unfailing golden image,
to be afraid of sin, the body's ever-present snare.
God does not undo what he has once done,
good is his peaceful disposition, you will not fall from heaven.
No coquette will observe you now this year
whispering with us in a narrow corner.
No angry Jealous one, cruel minded,
will put a cudgelto your back chaste-minded one.

Come of your kindness - quiet, you will not be suspecte,
Virgin of enduring sympathy,
from Llanddwyn, a place of great resort,
to Cwm-y-gro, you gem of Christendom.
God has not withheld from you easy to be reconciled,
the gift of ample speech, nor will man reject you.
Unquestionably to the work of prayer
God calls you black you wimple.
May God, yor host restain
the two hands of thatman - may there be recalled
the violence of the person who would ravish her
when she woul follow me through the leaves of May.
Dwynwen, if you would once cause
under May's trees, and in long summer days
her poet's reward - fair one, you would be good,
for, Dwynwen, you were never base.
Prove, by your gifts of splendid grace
that you are no prim virgin, prudent Dwynwen.

Because of the penance that you did
through goodness, for the world, and its significance,
because of the devotions that you kept,
while you were alive, the faith of all those of religious kind,
because of the true dedication of a nun,
and the virginity of the fair captive flesh
for the soul's sake - if it be needful now-
of Brychan with the powered strong arms-
implore, by the agony caused by your faith,
of the sweet Virgin to deliver me.

Picture of Dafydd ap Gwilym.

Selected Poems of Daffyd Ap Gwilym
Translated by Rachel Bromwich
Penguin Books 1985
For post on St Dwynwens day itself see this time last year.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Pablo Neruda (1904 - 1973) - Walking Around.

It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops make me break into horse sobs.
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stones, no gardens,
no more goods, spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens I am sick of my feet and nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Syill it would be marvellous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died in the cold.

I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,
Insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.

I don't want so much misery.
I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.

That's why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blaxes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night.

And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist houses,
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords.

I stroll along srenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic shops,
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
dirty tears are falling

( Translated from the Spanish by Robert Bly)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

AUGUST NATTERER (1868 -1933) - Everything you can imagine is real

World Axis with Hare Around.

August Natterer was a German schizophrenic outsider artist.
The youngest of nine children, Natterer was successful in business and boasted a stable domestic life, but was hospitalized after a failed suicide attempt in 1907, after succumbing to depression and experiencing detailed visual hallucinations. Whilst in hospital he began to construct a marvellously detailed delusional system where he began to complete the task of redemption that for him Christ had left undone from his position in a global hierarchy in which he was the highest authority.
His transformation from an ordinary man who had never painted before was amazing, he had a profound effective epihany where primary hallucinations consisted of celestial stages or screens where ten tousand 'pictures followed one another like lightning', including a vision of God, 'the witch who created world'.

The Witches Head, circa 1915

My eyes in the time of appreciation.

He was to remain hospitalized in several mental asylums for the rest of his life, until he died in an asylum in Rottwei in 1933, he was 28. He left behind an amazing array of drawings and paintings that captured his visions.
His legacy is left perhaps with the Surrealists who were drawn to his work because it embodied in a spontaneous way the metamorphosis of objects and concepts that was central to their work. Their is for me an underlying beauty to his work that stand today as a testement to the richness of his delusions.

Anti- Christ

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Euphenisms - Peter Reading

Portrait by Peter Edwards.

Cracker,Potty, Loony, Bonkers,
Nutty, Screwy, Ga-Ga, Dull,
Strange, Do-Lally,Dopey, Silly,
Touched, A Bit M.,Up the Pole,

Zany, Crazy, Dotty, Batty,
Round the Bend, Remedial, Slow,
Cranky, Turned, Moonstruck, Quixotic,
Odd, Beside Oneself, Loco,

Rambling, Giddy, Flighty, Crackbrained,
Soft, Bewildered, Off One's Head,
Wandering, Wild, Bereft of Reason,
Daft, Distracted, Unhinged,

Attributes of Simple Simons,
Asses,Owls, Donkeys, Mules,
Nincompoops, Wiseacres, Boobies,
Noodles, Numbskulls, Gawks, Tomfools,

Heads, The E.S.N., The Balmy,
Silly Billies,Dunces,Jack-

Asseas, Dullards, Merry Andrews,
Mooncalves, at least one MP,
Vauxhall Workers (and Execs), Clods,
Paisleyites, Twerps, Playd Cymru...

Collected Poems
(Bloodaxe Books, Newcastle, 1995)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Miroslav Valek ( 17/7/27 - 27/1/91) - FROM THE ABSOLUTE DIARY

Valek was born in Trnava in Czechoslovakia where he studied at the Bratilslava School of Economics. He was both a contributor and an editor of varous literary magazines, chief editor of Mlad tvorba and Romboid. He became Secretary and then Chairman of the Slovak Writers Union, and was a State Prize Laureate. In 1968 at the time of the Czechoslovakian uprising he became Vice-Chairman of the Czechoslovak Writers Union, and in January 1969 was made Minister of Culture in the newly created Slovak government following the intoduction of the federal law system in Czechoslovakia until 1988. It was mainly down to him that many writers banned in the 1950s were suddenly rehabilitatated due to a so called normalisation period, where their was a sudden unbanning of proscribed books.He was quoted as saying " that in culture it is not possible to excommunicate. "

Gradually out of the old stalinist ways a new cultural scene and identity arose. He was certainly a contributor to a new positive devolopment of Slovak poetry though still dedicated to the Communist cause. His own poems owed a particular debt to the meataphysical poets.


When you find yourself hanging from a wire
With your feet dangling in the wind
You will grasp
That these are only further steps into the void.
So stop your antics now, the fair is over
And you have sold yourself while still alive...
You were always an ass, galloping in a suitcase,
You were always shut in,
Wound up with a key,
And bearing your burden, were yourself borne,
Though in a different direction.
This is the very mechanism of motion,
This is the celebrated scene of the fool
Who makes his entrance to convince himself
That he is not yet here,
And on returning, sees that he has not departed,
And so he sits there weeping on the steps
Crying out in despair in the midst of the roaring laughter of the
'For God's sake who am I, where am I hurrying to?'

Time flows like flour from a sack.

You might have made a handsome corpse,
You could have lain in the grass and peeped under the skirt of the
Nursed a cricket in your ear,
Grown golden to music,
You might have been quoted,
They might have named a confectionary after you...
And what are you?
Nothing. A few bones. At best
A thing occassionally needed in anatomy lessons.
You're already falling apart,
You and this old umbrella, forgotten here,
Nothing, but mere skeletons in a dark cupboard...

Nothing! Darkness, dust chalk!

The poplars and weeds reveal themselves gradually, and the
The earth is torn apart, the continents draw apart...
And where were you, homo sapiens?

Must we go on with this? Must we keep coating you
With silk and varnish?

O black umbrella,
Loss of memory,
Darkening of the sun,
Sudden blindness!


We fall, exhausted runners in a race, we spit out bloodstained
Abandon them, we strangle ourselves with our own hands,
Expose the sex of a juvenile word
Before the mirror
Willing to sleep out the night with every better poem.
We envy one another, hate one another.
Just as you swallow your beefsteaks, so we gulp down our own
In order to behold a butterfly
Fluttering in a bunch of roses.
We write, we write,
The last underskirt of the night is long agocovered with
And nobody knows what poetry is.
Some people fefine it
As an accepted plan for the termination of virginity,
And others
As theinterrupted intercourse of emotion with reason,
But that's a fatal mistake!
Poetry walks in a chequered shirt
And spits on good form!
From the viewpoint a comet in the head
And a moon under the fingernails
May be quite suitable for a poem,
But poetry issomething else, my masters!
It begins the moment
You become aware that the skeleton in you has stirred
And is reaching into your pocket from inside, probing
Te year, month and day of your birth,
Te colour of your eyes,
Your distinquishing marks...
That is the time of a poem.
Tremble, for there approaches
An embassage at white heat hisses
Everywhere around,
The merry-go-round of the trees whirls and whirls...

Everypoem has its time,
But the time of a poem is shorter than you think.


Ah, aquamarines are cold,
Your eyes, orange flames, hurt me!
Your brow, fragrant, sunburned skin,
The rope round your throat. That whiteness, the complexion
Of lilies of the valley, and of knives!

Hush, now, yes, I know it,
You,too, have wept
Into the tresses of salesgirls from a perfumery.

You were rich then,
And they loved you!

Good day, young lady!
The texture of honey gleams about you,
The delirium of saliva,
Purple, fire,
And where is the poem?
We have none!
Ah, aquamarines are cold!


Poor poet,who robs
Treasuries and churches
The faithful ox dragging the plough of words!
With Andromeda on your lip!
Now and then you will be hissed off the stage,
You'll go to the fire,
All the shames of the world will find their requittal in you,
And the sum of them will be added to your burden.
Your humiliatins will be mustered by the first rank and the
And the first will enter into the second
To complete them, themselves by them completed.

O, tender member!
Your name is seed squandered,
Your pregnancy will never yield to the cry of the new born.
You will be spat upon,
And the woman you have loved will be there to see it,
Her eyes narrowed to slits
That will weep razor-blades under your feet...
This isn't like that time
When, drunk with whatever music of whatever chance flesh,
You vomited into the decolletage of the new moon!
Where is the woman who has not undressed in the pupil of your

Translated by Edith Pargeter

Thursday, 6 January 2011

CENSORSHIP AND VIRTUE - Alex Trocchi ( 30/7/25 - 15/4/84)

As we enter a new decade the following article I feel, still has much relevance. Books and images still banned, passions still ignited, because of the power of the word . We have always lived in dangerous times, words have been used and abused since the first scribble. A complex issue, one persons freedom is anothers contradiction . - teifidancer

I myself have heard a birth-control pamphlet condemned as obscene on several grounds one of which was a suggestion that possibly women might enjoy sexual intercourse.Bertrand Russell

The proprietors of the Olympia Press have the firm conviction that Lord Russel, the eminent British philosopher, is not alone in his contempt for the current laws of censorship in English-speaking countries. While such authors as Chaucher, Boccaccio, Shakespeare, and Congreve are available at least in the metropolis because they are 'classics', each modern work, if it treats of sexual matters - and what serious writer can omit a consideration of them? - is subject at once to the indecent whims and narrow moral codes of the County magistrate. A number of years ago some optimists felt confidant that the final vindication of James Joyce's Ulysses an important principle of freedom hd been established. Unfortunately, this was not so. No sooner had the enemies of free thought lost on that ground - well-lost, perhaps, since few people had the patience to read Ulysses - than they burrowed like the good rabbits they are through each and every book that led man in plain language to look inward at his own sexual nature. The principle established by the legal vindication of Ulysses turns out to be a dangerous one. Any book which is courageous and not obscure seems automatically to be branded as obscene without the justification of being of literary value. Mrs Grundy has nothing to fear from the obscure; having given way on that ground she now redoubles her effort in the field of the more outspoken. The book burners are still with us.
In spite of the risk involved , these reasons prompt the Olympia Press to place before the general public complete and integral texts of such banned masters as the Marquis de Sade, Frank Harris, Henry Miller, and Guillaume Apollinaire.
But there is another reason: is this censorship of which we have spoken real? We think not. Up till now many of the above books have been available in deluxe editions beyond the income of the general reader. If they were issued at a popular price, the texts were mutilated and the books abridged. Now , for the first time in history, the works of Sade and Miller, with full unexpurgated texts, in masterly and exciting translations are offered at reasonable prices in handsome book format. We have the coureage of our convictions, hoping that in this way many people - the average man as well as the scholar - will be given the opportunity of reading and testing for themselves the greatness of men hitherto condemned to silence by ambiguous laws that have caused or heads to be buried like the ostrich's at the approach of imaginary danger.
Recently there has been much controversy about the Marquis de Sade. Books have been written about him by such eminent critics and sociologists as Geoffrey Gorer, Mario Praz, and Simone de Beauvoir. Even under their advanced patronage, his works are confined to a few great libraries. Indeed, the rules are confined to a few libraries. Indeed, the rules of the British Museum demand that the Archbishop of Canterbury be present in the room while his books are being read. Furthermore, they are in French - an added barrier to the circulation of ideas which are dangerous only in their suppression. Writers such as Frank Harris, Henry Miller and Jean Genet are condemned without a hearing. Worse, a more cotemporary problem - young writers whose literary efforts include scenes and words, often searching and profound, but offensive to certain ladies and gentlemen for the most part anonymous, can find no outlt for their work.
That the position is beginning to be serious is evident from the recent controversy in the British press. One eminent reporter is reported to have said ' it ammounts to a reign of terror'. There are no hard and fast laws, no ways of knowing beforehand. One fine morning one wakes up like K . in Kafka's The Trial, and theaweful little gentlemen are there in the shape of a letter. Defence is costly and sometimes impracticable . As any lawyer will tell you , there is no unequivocal law. If one commits a murder one knows roughly speaking where one stands. If , on the other hand one releases a book in which the author has subjected to searching analysis those areas of human experience which are still considered by the ignorant to be taboo, one has no idea what consequences will follow. Fame, igominy, even prison - no-one can hazard a guess in advance. The reason for this is not hard to find. Thw whole subject is shrouded in ignorance. Ignorance defends itself by equivocation. The opponents of free thought cannot state their case in clear and simple terms, for the truth is that their driving force is nothing more or less than a fear of knowledge.
Is it virtuous to fear knowledge? Is it wise to build walls against it? How many virtuous men will be broken against those walls? We are dealing here with a subject of vital importance. It is a shorter step than commonly supposed between the rigid suppression of eroticism in literature and the creation of a totalitarian nightmare in which tribal unreason erects its black cremations for the living dead. There is no virtue in ignorance. We need not go back as far as John Milton to meet with the clear truth of the matter, that there is no virtue in the Censor.


A Life in Pieces
Reflections on Alexander Trocchi - edited by Allan Campbell and Tim Niel
Rebel Inc, 1997

For further info on Mr Trocchi
see below where you will find two very interesting pieces in this blogs index.

Saturday, 1 January 2011


rain beat my soul
empty me in
drizzling distances heart sedated
and dignify
come to signify

a defiance
a shroud
a loss
a dolphinned silence
of unitnterrepted eloquence.

strung out like eyes
cold as worship
bleeding blood colour over sun denied streets
like Jesus upon Calvary

to be
dragged down
and put away



FROM :- THE PTERODACTYL'S WING, Welsh Word Poetry, Parthian 2003
did post on this poet on December the 13th 2009
Happy new year
demand the impossible
another world is ours for the taking