Thursday, 31 May 2012

Stuff the Jubilee - Republic demo on June 3rd

Firstly, thanks to Republic
They have been the rallying point for many republican sympathisers up and down the country. You might not have heard them mentioned much in the mainstream  printed media, or on the television, due to excessive  the excessive propogandering going on at the moment. All we have is spin,spin, and more spin.
Personally in a time of extreme poverty and austerity, I think it is pretty obscene to be forking out £32 million for the farce that is the Queens anniversary celebrations. Apparently 69% support the upcoming celebrations,  this is because they never get to see the other side of the coin, fed daily images of good news of this archaic family. like the Olympics people are force fed to exhaustion point,  but this weekend up and down the country their will be many who will not be celebrating, and will be hosting their own celebrations.
A key focus point will be down in old London town, details of which I'm posting here.

Jubilee Protest - 3 June 2012

The Thames Pageant is the key event in the Queen's jubilee celebrations. The pageant  involves 1000 boats travelling in procession down the Thames from Putney to Tower Bridge, with the Queen and other parasitic members of her family on the lead boat.

We will be staging a major protest at the Tower Bridge end of the route, where banners and placards will be displayed and speeches will be made. This is a unique opportunity to make a bold statement about our opposition to the monarchy and to promote the republican cause.

Here are the details


3rd June 2012


12 noon till 5pm, with speeches from 1:30 pm. We'll be there from mid morning, so come and join us if you want to make a full day of it or want to help out.


On the South Bank of the Thames, near Tower Bridge and City Hall.

As I've said their will be many other protests in cities across the Country, it is not all bunting and jubilation, despite what the B.B.C and the rest of those hand in hand with the monarchy are saying. So I hope they correct the balance against the pomp and privelege and inherited wealth of the biggest benefit cheats in Britain. Visitors to my blog might get the idea that I'm against everything, this is not the case. I do think humanity still is rather strange when we still have to bow down to our so called masters, but I do believe in fairness, justice and equality and it is these themes that I try to promote .
S'sssh........ don't wake her. She's pretty vacant anyway.

Anyway here's a quote from Aneurin Bevan

"Royalty, in the propoganda apparatus that it is, has four functions; to foster the illusion of national unity; to prescribe the hierearchy of honours and titles by which representatives of the workers are subjected to the most insidious forms of corruption, to supply a fertile source of diversion, and above all, to intervene at times of acute political crisis and exert its influence in favour of the existing social order."

and here's a tune

When the sheep go marching in - The Queen Elizabeth anti Diamond Jubilee song 2012

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Hath a Palestinian not eyes.

Shakespeareans for Poetic Justice present:

                   A SONNET FOR HABIMA

If all the world's a stage - why then, the stage

       Must play its part if we would change the world.

Whence this commotion? Why such howls of rage

        The moment that our banners are unfurled?

In Shakespeare's time, an audience was moved

       By speeches about justice and compassion.

The Bard, methinks, could only have approved

        Of protests carried out in such a fashion.

We'll take no lessons from those fools who claim

       That politics can't mix with the theatre.

If actors break the lawe, they are to blame.

       Perform in settlements? They should know better!

Now "Globe to globe" meets global Intifada.

- Sue Blackwell

" Let the Globe's audiences and Habima performers
squirm in discomfort and wonder what will happen,
let them feel for a few hours what most Palestinians
experience on a daily basis."

Habima is performing at the Globe Theatre as part of the Globe to Globe festival despite protests from over 30 actors, directors and playwrights, including the founding artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Mark Rylance, and actors Emma Thompson and David Calder, who signed an open letter in March condemning the Globe for its invitation.

Habima has a history of performing for illegal settlements in the West Bank, and Palestinians living in the West Bank are prevented from attending due to Israel's policies of ethnic and religious segregation.

Sarah Colbrne, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said " We are asking people to boycott Habima in protest against their support of illegal settlements.

Being an artist does not remove your responsibility as a uman being to stand up against oppression. And Habima have been complicit in supporting that oppression by performing in theatres built on land illegally occupied by Israel, and performances which exclude Palestinians from attending.

Protest Habima at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
from 6 p.m 28/5/  - Tues May 29th

Why we say "no" to Habima at the Globe - Miriam Margolyse

Protestors holdinga banner and forcefully removed from Habima performance

Monday, 28 May 2012

Olympic Fever

So the Olympic flame trundles on through the country. Yesterday it passed through my home town, here in West Wales.It seems the country has gone mad. About 7,000 or so gathered to watch it pass, (from all accounts in a matter of minutes) quite a lot for a small town.For some people the recession does not seem to be happening, as this government slashes benefits, attacks the poor!
Sure there are tales of courage and fortitude, but overall I just don't get it. Crowds gather in excitement and delight wherever the torch appears, following the smell of spin and propoganda. It has an air of craziness about it, people whooping, people crying. Celebratng a torch that is on its way to London, where it will be used again as a symbol at the Olympics great spectacle of wealth.
I came home to my garden before the flame actually arrived ( heard the cries, of joy and hysteria) but what I saw  in the town was blatant publicising for the Olympics main sponsors - Coke a Cola, B.T, Samsung and Lloyds/T.S. B Plc, McDonalds, the epitomy of junk and greedy captitalistic endeavor, their only common dominator is their thirst for profit. Corporate advertising latched on to a cavalcade of vehicles.
And coke, not really a healthy drink that I would associate with sport. As for the participation of Dow Chemicals..... the mind simply boggles, have people simply  forgotten the Bhopal disaster that killed 15,000 people. And the people whoop and the people cheer.
The Olympics are going to  cost an estimated £11billion - more than the Tory governments latest cut to the welfare budget. So lets celebrate our austerity.... hip hip hooray.
The relay is supposed to 'promote peace and make the world a better place' according to the International Olympic Committe President Jacques Rogge - but at such enormous cost. A true spirit of international co-operation would have seen us bailing out the Greeks, the originators of the Olympics, letting them host the games permanently and giving them our £15 billion.
And who invented the modern torch relay - the bloody Nazis.... Torches and flames had a strong link to Nazi ideology, they were used as a key part in Leni Reifenstahl's Nazi propoganda documentary Olympia.
They used the 1936 Olympics and the torch relay as a way of spreading their racist message of hate.

Today I feel this event is being used as a mass distractive action, to mask over the current problems we have in our country. I do not belittle peoples happiness, but think that it's all a bit of a con. At least some people will make something out of the games, by selling their torches on, with some perhaps being given back to charity.
In my garden it felt like I was living on another planet, as I heard the crowds roar, down the road from me. We have been experiencing some exceptionally good weather. But as the mass delusion rolls on I remain, deeply cynical. Will the flag waving, clapping and shedding a few tears of national pride continue,  yes, many international groups are eagerly anticipating the event, but many people in London themselves are searching for ways to avoid the Olympics entirely, perhaps this hopeful distraction give us some kind of illusion that we can beat this austerity...... and its the Jubilee coming up soon too. No I'm not buying it, I simply don't believe the hype. But at least the Sun is shining.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

John Cowper Powys (8/10/1872 - 17/6/63) - The Magic of Detachment

 ' But it is in relation to individual human beings that Detachment is most necessary of all. The wise man spends his life running away. But luckily he can run away without moving a step. We are all - men and women alike - teased by the blue-bottle flies who want to lay their eggs. These are the people who have never learnt and never could learn the art of detachment. They are blue-bottle flies - as my sister Phillipa says - and they want to lay their eggs; and they can only lay their eggs in carrion. Not one of us has carried in him, carrion in her; and the buzzing blue-bottles, among our fellows, smell this afar off, and fly towards it, and would fain settle upon it and lay their eggs.
   Here indeed, here most of all is it necessary to excercise the very magic of Detachment, that magic that makes it possible for you to be in one place - like the man seated on the naked stone by the flowing water - and yet to be in the heart of the flaming sun and at the circumference of the divine ether. For if you fail to exercise the magic of Detachment upon the blue-bottle fly who infest your road they will really lay their eggs - the eggs of the maggots of civilisation - in your soul. And then you will believe in the justifiability of vivisection; in the sacrosanct importance of private property; in the virtue of patriotic war; in slaughter-houses, in brothels, in slavery, and in the great, noble scientific, gregarious, loving, human, undetached art of - Advertisement.
  Rouseau was right. It is only by detaching yourself from human civilisation that you can live a life worthy of a living soul.'

 Quotation Reprinted from
John Cowper Powys
A Record of Achievement
- Derek Langbridge
The Library Association,

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Omotola says: Shell must own up, pay up and clean up.

It's Shell's AGM today and despite huge profits they've still not stumped up the money to clean up two major spills in the Niger Delta. The pollution has ruined the lives of the millions who live there. Here Omotola, an actressfrom the Niger Delta explain why Shell must own up, pay up,  calling on Shell's chief executive , Peter Vosey to take resposibility for the pollution in the area.
Then sign Amnesty International's petition,

Monday, 21 May 2012

Royal Babylon by Heathcote Williams (rough cut)

Narration and montage
by Alan Cox

' Can we go on bowing and curtseying to people who are just like ourselves? We begin to wish that the Zoo should be abolished. That the royal animals should be given the run of some wider pasturage - a royal Whipsnade. Will the British Empire survive and will Buckingham Palace look as solid in 2034 as it does now?
Words are dangerous things remember. A republic might be bought into being by a poem.'

- Virginia Woolf, Time and Tide, 1/12/34

Friday, 18 May 2012

Edward Thomas (3/3/1878 -9/4/17) -Bright Clouds

Down in Plymouth at moment for grans 100th Birthday..... her name is May,  so a little poem. Am I the only one in this city at the moment,  who is not overjoyed with olympic torches and stuff..... a mass delusion seems to be taking place. Have been called a killjoy 3 times this morning already. Hey ho.

Bright Clouds

Bright clouds of may
Shade half the pond.
All  but one bay
Of emerald
Tall reeds
Like criss-cross bayonets
Where once a bird called,
Lies bright as the sun
No one heeds.
The light wind frets
And drifts the scum
Of may blosson.
Till the northern callsAgain
Naughts to be done
By birds or men.
Still the may falls.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Albert Camus (7/11/13 -4/1/60) - The Smoking Philosopher

Ah Mr Camus........see him up there, he did not smoke because it was a luxury or even  pleasurable he smoked because it was  just part of something he did. Absurdity as philosophy, this was his way. He describes his whole philosophy in an essay The Myth of Sisyphus
Despite several attacks of tuberculosis and living in poverty he  kept on smoking.
For him life itself and therefore humanity was irrational, he was labelled an existentailist but he rejected this..
Albert Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria in 1913, his father died one year later, and Camus was bought up alone, in acute poverty. He spent a lot of his days looking for  reason in a world of alienation.In 1934 he joined the Communist Party, but his relationship with the party was difficult and would remain ambivialent throughout his life. In 1934 he married Simone Hie, a morphine addict and in 1938 he became a journalist, writing for an anti-colonialist newspaper after dropping out of the University of Algiers.
He moved to Paris in 1940, looking for work with the leftist press,  married again, to a pianist and mathematician named Francine Faure,  and had two twins Catherine and Jean in September 1945,and found himself  a teaching post. In 1943 he joined Combat  a clandestine resistance cell, working underground, helping with smuggling activities and acts of sabotage.
He became the editor of Combat's magazine in 1943 where he deveoped his philosophies and strong moral convictions, and it was during this period that he published works that extended his ideas. He wrote ' This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction.' He became associated with the French Anarchist movement, and wrote for several anarchist publications like  Le Libertaire, La Revolucian Proletarienne and Solidaidad Obrera. His real concerns  were for the plight of the ordinary man, not just in France or in Algeria, a search for solidarity, a humanity that does not divide.
His novels...... The Ousider (1942) and The  Plague (1947)  and The Fall (1947)  have  become pivotal texts for me to reach over the years. Here his themes developed further, a humanism grounded in nature  with people of the left accusing him off drifting away,  because he strongly critisized elements of communist doctrine. However he remained a man of the left. In 1949 he founded The Group for International Liasons with the Revolutionary Union Movement, through which he wanted to show the world the more positive aspects of surrealism and existentialism.. He labelled nihilism as the most disturbing problem of the twentieth century, in is essay The Rebel  he paints a terryfying picture of ' how metaphysical collapse often ends in total negation and the victory of nihilsm, characterised by a profound hatred, pathological destruction and incalculable death. Another theme that remained with him was his pacifism.
And whatever your opinion of the man he became obsessed with the human condition and its many forms.He accepted it's contradictions, and that's good enough for me, just because  life defies logic, and is irrational, does not mean it is less valuable or means that it does not need to be defended.
Towards the end of his life, human rights in particular were what essentially preoccupied him, and when the United Nations welcomed fascist Spain as a member under Franco he resigned from his work for UNESCO. He worked with imprisoned Algerians, and in 1957 was awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature.
Albert Camus died on January 4, 1960 in an absurdist car accident... he was buried in the Loumarin, Vacluss, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France.
So thanks Albert, whose ideas I have often found represented in the world around me, peppering them and illuminating them.  He was also a goalkeeper of rare promise from what I have heard, oh and I forgot to mention Mr Jean Paul and Simone de beauvoir....another time perhaps.
In the end he accepted lifes contradictions, he once remarked ' life is absurd and death renders it meaningless - for the individual. But mankind and its society are larger than one person'.
Right off to light myself a cigarette.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Nakba Remembered

Nabka Oral History: Sarah Odeh of Lifta (Arabic)

Today marks the anniversary of the Nabka ( Cataclysm). In human terms, on this day in 1948, saw the mass deportation of a million Palestinians from their cities and their villages,  it saw the massacre of civilians, and the razing to the ground of hundreds of Palestinian villages.
Zionist forces used a terror campaign to expel 800, 000 Palestinians from their land. Today Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza strip, as well as pro-Palestinian supporters across the globe, will mark the 'catastrophe' and the inception of the State of Israel.Toaday is the Palestinians annual day of commemoration of this displacement. The vast majority of Palestinian refugees, both those outside the 1949 armistice lines at the wars' conclusion and those internally displaced, were barred by the newly declared state of Israel from  their right to return to their homes or the reclaiming of their property, and in doing so Israel violated international law.
The Palestinian Authority has declared a general strike and mass rallies and marches are planned across the Palestinian Authority and in Arab cities in Israel. But today is also a day of celebation too in Gaza, because a deal has been reached where the hunger strike of thousands of Palestinian prisoners has ended, with Israeli authorities agreeing to concessions.With inmates currently being held under administrative detention being allowed for ther sentences to be renewable on the basis of new evidence. Also prisoners being held in solitary confienement will be allowed back to normal cells. So I guess a victory of sorts.
Unfortuantely there is no peace in stolen lands.... especially when people still cry for liberation and the right to return to their lands.
The above video is a story about a house and a woman - Sarah's mother died in 1998. Sara's father died soon after the Nabka, in 1952, leaving her mother to bring up eight young children. Aged 10 in 1948, Sara was the oldest daughter, so much of the upbrimnging of her brothers fell on her. Between 1967 and 1969, two of the brothers were arrested ad imprisoned. Sara's mother used to go daily to the main interrrogation center, the Moscobiyya, to ask about them. It was during one of these visits that sge got news that the Israeli army had surrounded the home. They were given 15 minutes to remove their belonging before the house was blown up. Then comes the most remarkable part- Sara's mother pitched a makeshift 'tent' on her land , and insisted on staying with her young children. Then stone by stone, she rebuilt her home. Of course the neighbours helped, also the children after school. But essentially it was her work, so onerous that her health was permanently affected. Other tragedies befall her but she remains firm in her faith in God and in the 'watan' (homeland), an inforgettable model to her children.

Sarah Oden speaks

"I am Sarah Ahmad Odeh. In 1948 I was about ten years old, and I remember how we left Lifta. In Lifta - the Jewish gangs began to attack the villages near Jerusalem, among them Lifta. They attacked us once, then a second time, but we didn't want to leave. Our home faced the Jaffa road, and all the firing was on it. So we left our house for a lower house, a little far from the Jews, and still the shooting followed us. My motheer was frightened for my brothers. She said to my father, 'Lets take them to a village near us so we shall be a little far from, the Jews'. He said, 'No, its impossible that I should leave my village. This is my village and my land. How can we leave?' She said, 'We wont take anything with us. Just the children. We'll take them away for a week until the shooting stops' - because all my brothers, all of us were young, and we were screaming. My father used to come and go through all the shooting, and he got wounded in his legs. He crawled on his hands and feet until he reached the house. He took us to another house. And still the shooting continued, night and day. Then they started to send shells, because our village, the old one, was on the road to Jaffa, and they took the Jaffa road and one side of Deir Yassin. They began to hit us with shells. And anyone who went outside of his house, they aimed at him and shot him. At that time they hit a Lifta coffee house and many people were killed. People wer maddened by the noise... so my mother convinced my father that we should leave for a week... ny father did not allow her even to take bread..."

This story and audio copyright Al Mahrig (the Levent) to contact Al Mashrig visit their website at Reproduced audio March 2011 by Lifta Society, pictures blong to their rightful owners. Contact if you have any questions, or concerns.

Al-Nabka Remembered. 

Last years post
on Nabka day

Remember 64 years after the Nabka, Palestinians still have no state and no equality. Refugee camps still exist all over the world and a majority of Palestinians live in the diaspora. Against their will, the Nabka has divided the Palestinian people between Palestine and diaspora, between  Gaza and the West Bank, between those who hold a refugee identification card and who don't.
Still searching for dignity.  Rememberance acts as resistance to a country that  still tries to bury  and hide history.

Dier Yassin.... ghosts of massacre

Al Nabka - A poem
- Mary Pneuman

Dier Yassin
Almond and Cactus

Clinging roots of memory-
ghosts of massacre

Ein Karen
Almonds in green velvet
swelling pomegranete buds
grow more bitter now

Dreams of motherhood
lie still born at the checkpoint,
hope of Palestine

Monday, 14 May 2012


SAMIDOUN - Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

A letter from Thaer Halahleh, on day 75 of hunger strike against his detention without charge, to his two-year-old daughter Lamar, who he has never seen.

Translated by Jalal Najjar

"My Beloved Lamar, forgive me because the occupation took me away from you, and took away from me the pleasure of witnessing my first child that I have always prayed God to see, to kiss, to be happy with. It is not your fault, this is our destiny as Palestinian people to have our lives and the lives of our children taken away from us, to be apart from each other and to have a miserable life, nothing is complete in our lives because of this unjust occupation that is lurking on every corner of our lives turning it into eeriness, a continuous pursuit and torture. Despite that I was deprived from holding you and hearing your voice, from watching you grow up and move around in the house and in your be, and that I was deprived of my role as a human and a father with my daughter your existence has given me all the power and the hope, and when I saw your picture with your mother in the sit-in-tent, you were so calm staring in wonder at people, as if you were looking for your father, looking at my pictures that are hung inside the tent asking in silence why is my father not coming back, I felt that you are with me, in my sentiment and inside my mind, as if you are part of my heartbeats, steadfast and the blood that flows in my veins, opening all door for me spreading clear skies around me, and unleashing your free childish voice after this long silence".

" Lamar my love: I know that you are not to be blamed and that you don't yet understand why your father is going through this battle of the hunger strike for the 5th day, but when you grow up you will understand that the battle of freedom is the battle of going back to you, so that I can never be taken away from you again or to be deprived of your smile or seeing you, so that the occupier will never kidnap me again from you".
" When you grow up you will understand how injustice was brought upon your father and upon thousands of Palestinians whom the occupation has put in prisons and jail cells, shattering their lives and future for no guilt but their pursuit of freedom, dignity and independence, you will know that your father did not tolerate injustice and submission, that he will never accept insult and compromise, and that he is going through a hunger strike to protest against the Jewish state that wants to turn us into humiliated slaves without any rights or patriotic dignity."

"My beloved Lamar keep your head up always and be proud of your father, and thank everyone who supported me, who supported the prisoners in their struggle, and don't be afraid god is with us always, and god never lets people who have faith and patience, we are righteous, and right will always prevail against injustice and wrong doers".

"Lamar my love: that day will come, and I will make it up to you for everything, and tell you the whole story, and your days that will follow will be more beautiful, so let your days pass now and wear your prettiest clothes, run, and then run again in the gardens of your long life, go forward and forward, nothing is behind you but the past, and this is your voice I hear all the time as a melody of freedom".

Why the Palestinians decided to start the hunger strike.

In Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners and Detainess in Israeli Jails, please sign the following petition, I really think it is an important cause , and I'd like to encourage you to add your name.
Best wishes

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Datblygu - Can i Gymru

Spoke to David Rupert yesterday, in fine form, we did a bit of reminising, he seemed overjoyed with the news of me becomming grandad..... we talked about how some things never change, he was in good spirits, roaring with laughter, he told me of certain things happening, though he swore me to secrecy......ideas were floated and walks were planned...... he's coming back to Aberteifi for visit...  he swears that coke is quite a nice drink too, especially when the sun is out and once again told me he was not a poet, m'mmm nice that we can sometimes gently disagree..... we exchanged mutual respect , our iechyd dda's both of us looking forward to emerging possibilities and catching up. His voice still  had me in stitches, shame our credit was low,   today marks the occasion of the first session he did for the late great John Peel..... back in May, 1987, seems like only yesterday, we could have talked about that show for years..... so in honour of his music thought I'd post one of his great songs, a reason that John Peel once remarked ' if you don't understand it, more the reason to learn Welsh'. This year also marks 30 years since his bands first inauguration, so here's to Dave and the next 30 years or so.......

' We sang in Welsh with all the US/English influences because it had to be done. I didn't like the fact that Welsh music, was seen to be male voice choirs, folk music and all the cliches. I suppose that I wanted to modernise Welsh language culture. Welsh is a language with unlimited potential but I didn't appreciate a lot that was being manipulated in it. I tried to change things. Hundreds of people saw the point so I'm glad I bothered.' - David Rupert Edwards

(geriau David R.Edwards/ Rhiannon Matthews

Gradd da yn y Gymraeg
Ar y Volvo bathodyn Tafod y Ddraig
Hoff o fynychu pwyllgorau blinedig
Am ddyfodol yr iaith yn enwedig,
Meistrioli iaith lleifrifol fel hobi
Platiau dwyiethog i helpu y gyrru
Agwedd cwbl addas
Ar gyfer cynllun cartre
Syth mas o set 'Dinas'.
Wastod yn mynd i Lydaw
Beth yn mynd i Ffrainc,
Wastod yn mynd i Wlad y Basg
Byth yn mynd i Sbaen.
Fin nos yn mynychu bwytai
Wedi dydd ar y prosessydd geiriau,
Mewn swydd sy'n talu'r morgais
I'ch gwyneb person cwbl cwrtais,
O'r ysgol feithrin i Brifysgol Cymru
Tocyn oes ar y tren grefi,
Byddai'n well da fi fod yn jynci
Na bod mor wyrdd a phoster Plaid Cymru.
Darnau gosod yr Wyl Gerdd Dant
A holl broblemau'r ddau o blant,
Gweri telyn Llinos Wyn,
A phroblem acne Llwarch Glyn,
Heb anghofio codi stwr
Am straen angeuol job y gwr-
Mae'n gorfod gweithio un tan tri
Yn gynhyrchydd BBC,
Llosgwch eich tafodau
Ar eich panedau piwritanaidd,
Collwch eich dynoliaeth
Mewn economeg academaidd.
Ewch cyfeillion sy'n enwogion
Gyd o'r Seri Rhyddion,
Trafodwch tapiau corau meibion
A'r eitemau sydd ar 'Hel Straeon'
Rhifau cynulleidfa'r oedfa
A pha liw lenni'r lolfa,
Tiwtoriad preifat i helpu'r plant
Neuadd Dewi Sant,
Digon o wyliau i gynnal lliw haul
Digon wrth Brydeinig i swnio fel Sig Heil (x2)
Meistroli iaith lleifrifol fel hobi
Dweud fod Cymru'n cael ei orthrymu,
Cawsoch radd da yn y Cymraeg (x4)
Ar y Volvo bathodyn Tafod Y Ddraig
Gradd da yn y Cymraeg (x3)
Cymraeg (x6)
Gradd da yn y Gymraeg
Ar y Volvo.

A good degree in Welsh
On the Volvo a Tafod Y Ddraig sticker,
Fond of attending tiresome committee meetings
About the future of the language in particular,
Mastering a minority language as a hobby
Bilingual plates to help the driving,
A perfectly appropriate attitude
For a home plan straight out of the 'Dinas' st.
Always going to Brittany,
Never going to France,
Always going to the Basque country
Never going to Spain.
At night going to restaurants
After a day on the word processor,
in a job that pays your mortgage
To your face a perfectly courteous person
From nursery scholl to the University of Wales
A lifetime ticket on the gravy train,
I would rather be a junkie
Than be as green as a Plaid Cymru poster.
The set texts of the Cerdd Dant Festival
And all the problems of the two children,
Llinos Wyn's harp lessons
And Llwyarch Clyn's acne problem.
Not forgetting to raise a fuss
About the deadly strain of the husband's job,
He has to work from one to three
As a BBC producer.
Burn your tongues
On your puritanical cups of tea
Lose your humanity
in academic economics.
Name your friends who are famous
All of them freemasons,
Discuss male voice choir tapes
And the items that are on 'Hel Straeon'
The numbers in the congregation
And what colour should the lounge curtains be,
Private tutors to help the children,
St. David's Hall.
Enough holidays to maintain a suntan.
Anti British enough to sound like Sieg Heil (x2)
Mastering a minority language as a hobby
Saying that Wales is being oppressed,
Even thouh your cars have Tafod Y Ddraig stickers
You had a good degree in Welsh (x4)
On the Volvo a Tafod Y Ddraig sticker,
Good degree in Welsh (x3)
Welsh (x6)
Good degree in Welsh
On the Volvo.

Oh another thing an exhibition Datblygyu Trideg
celebrating the music of one of Wale's most popular and influental 
bands is currently on view at The Waffle Coffee Shop
                                            Clive Road 
Link to their facebook page here    

Link to Babylon Wales blog and article about exhibition

Excellent blog here, devoted to all things Datblygu here

an earlier
post by me is here.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Jean Binta Breeze (b.1959) - REALITY

dis is a reality
ah time we tek a stack a die reality,
dis is a reality

They say the problem of the nation
is overpopulation
and the unemployment stages
and the cutbacks in the wages
are results of that situation
while the brains of their technicians
are building new moon stations
war weapons increase
while young babies decease
from an illness widely known
as malnutrition

The votersreturn to the polls
con-trolled by a man in a rolls
who has set up his loyal henchman
to become a politician
to thrill poor people's souls

Then come new laws on sanitation
designed to cut down on pollution
but the big man's factory
dumps its waste into the sea
and the food we can eat is full of radiation

We read of wars in present history
aimed at saving our democracy
each man has a vote
now the taxes cut his throat
and dreams rot while
egos fight for supremacy
The power of the intellect of man
is being controlled by the gluttonous ones
who decorate their babel towers
with the brains they have devoured
in their quest for human destruction

dis is a reality
ah time we tek a stack a de reality,
dis is a reality . . .

Reprinted from:-
Grandchildren of Álbion
New Departures, 1992

One of my favourite poetry anthologies,
still fresh and full of zest 20 years later
beg, borrow , steal, contains over 40 poets
in a book that continues to inspire,
contemporary but beyond the mainstream
.... superbly illustrated , including work by
many great poets, including :-
 John Cooper Clarke,
Attilla the Stockbroker,
 Linton  Kweisi Johnson,
Carol AnneDuffy,
 Benjamin Zepahaniah,
John Agard,
Ben Okri.... and many more
edited by the great Michael Horovitz ......

Thursday, 10 May 2012

WISE UP for Bradley Manning - Three weeks in Wales - Genny Bove

Wise up for Bradley Manning is a loose network of groups and individuals in Wales, Ireland and England (WISE) taking action for Bradley Manning, the young US military intel. analyst with Welsh roots who has been held foralmost two years without trial accused of blowing the whistle on war crimes and revealing other truths the US would have preferred to keep buried. Bradley Manning has been tortured and denied his constitutional rights. President Obama, Commander-in-Chief of the military, has already said he broke the law and has therefore irrevocably prejudiced the upcoming court martial as well as breaking - not for the first time - his election promise to protect whistleblowers.
We call for all charges against Bradley Manning to be dropped and for his immediate release. Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime!
When we heard that Tim Price's new play the Radicalisation of Bradley Manning was to be performed by National Theatre Wales in Pembrokeshire, Cardiff and Flintshire during April, starting with Tasker Millward, the school Bradley attended as a teenager in Haverfordwest, it seemed an ideal opportunity to organise a series of solidarity actions and events to coincide with these performances. Our aim was to raise awareness of, share infomation about and generate support for Bradley across Wales.


The play premiered in Haverfordwest on 12th April, with a press conference the day before attended by ex-SAS soldier and Veteran for Peace Ben Griffin. We went along as a group on the first night to watch this insightful, powerful and moving piece of Theatre, handing out flyers after this and almost every other performance of the play in all three locations. That morning, there was a Bradley Manning stall at Cardigan Pwllhai local produce market and a street presence in Haverfordwest where I met Bradley Manning's uncle. Members of Bradley's family attended all three nights of the play in Haverfordwest including Bradle'y's mum on the Saturday, as far as we know, all responded favourably.
On Friday 13th April, there was an event for Bradley Manning at the local Picton community centre in Haverfordwest, the interactive exhibition including a mock up of the 6' X 12' cell at Quantico where Bradley was held in solitary confinement. Ben Griffin was joined by Catholic Worker and ex-prisoner of the US Ciarion O Reilly to speak on 'War in the 21st century', Ben from the point of view of an ex SAS soldier turned peace activist and Ciaron from the point of view of a lifelong anti-war activist. The exhibition was left in place for those attending a Transition supper at the same venue that evening. Vicky Moller hosted further talks by Ben and Ciarion on Saturday on Saturday 14th near Newport.


Solidarity events and actions in Cardiff ran for nine days during which time Guy Smallman's photo exhibition Afghanistan 10 years on occupied prominent space on the 2nd floor of Cardiff Central library, along with a Bradley Manning infomation stall. On the evening of 16th April, there was a lecture organised by WCIA at Cardiff University with ex-UK ambassaador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray who spoke about his experience of whistleblowing. Guy Smallman gave a small introductary speech, explaining his connection with Bradley Manning through the massacre at Granai, an Afthan illage that was bombed bu the US in 2009 killing many civilians. Guy visited the village soon afterwards and took photos, while Bradlet is reported to have leaked the cockpit video from the bombers, still being decrypted by Wikileaks.
On Wednesday 18th, we set up our quiz board and info stall at Chapter Arts in Canton. It was still school holidays, so we had a lot ofchildren passing through. People wrote letters of solidarity to Bradley, others tried their hand at the quiz, took flyers and stickers and stopped to talk. Other days we were busy putting up posters and distributing flyers, spending time in the library at the exhibition and making links with Cardiff activists.
During the day on Saturday 21st, two of us attended the CAAT regional meeting in Cardiff where we had a stall for Bradley Manning. That evening, the Red and Black Umbrella squatted social centre hosted a big-screen viweing of the live streamed play followed by a discussin. On sSunday afternoon, we were out on the streets with a multiple banner hang out at a major road junction by the entrance to Bute Park and in front of Cardiff Castle. The Royal Horticultural Show in the park meant there was a constant stream of people walking past the banners. There was a comedy night planned for Sunday evening. Good venue and a shame more people didn't turn up, but we enjoyed great music from Jack Omer including his Song for Bradley.
Bradley Manning was back in court in the US on Tuesday 24th April. We organised a day of action with a Free Food, Free Bradley Manning! stall with Food Not Bombs Cardiff, followed by a banner hang to dry out our wet banners and a screening of Jim Spione's Oscar nominated short film Incident in New Baghdad in the evening. The film considers the infamous 'Collateral Murder' incident, footage of which Bradley Manning is accused of leaking, from thepoint of view of Ethan McCord, a US soldier present at the scene who rescued two injured children and who has gone on to speak out against US wars. This event was organised with UNA Cardiff & District and CND Cymru, and was sponsored by the University of Cardiff Centre for Applied Ethics.

North east Wales
On Friday 27th April eight whistleblowers, along with friends and supporters, met in Denbigh to discuss whistleblowing issues from the personal to the global. Several of those present have very recently blown the whistle and are suffering the consequences. With wwhistleblowing at all levels, the rhetoric is protection, the reality persecution.
The last event of the tour took place on Sunday 29th April, with a gig for Beadley Manning at the new cultural centre in Wrecsam: Saith Seren. The evening featured an eclectic mix of music, poetry and prose in English and Welsh. Performers included Lawrence Huxham, local folk band Offa, Vic Button, Frank Bowman and Hazel Ogden, along with poets Les Barker, Sion Aled Owen, Aled Evans and Lindi Carter. Bridie Przibram and Lindi read extracts from Bradley Manning 'in his own words'. Lawrence, Les, Lindi and Sion Aled performed specially composed pieces for Bradley, while Ian Chesterman of Offa added a final verse for Bradley to the Peter, Paul and Mary song ' If I were free'. All the performances were relevant and thought=provoking and came together in a fitting finale to a tour dedicated to this brave young man at the mercy of the US for daring to tell the truth.

For more infomation and to get involved. please go to
Wise Up for Bradley Manning

International Solidarity network

For 2earlier post about Bradley Manning
from teifidancer go here

and here

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Rebecca West (21/12/1892 -15/03/83) - Only part of us is sane.

"Only part of us is sane: only part of us loves pleasure and the longer day of happiness, wants to live to our nineties and die in peace, in a house that we built, that shall shelter those who come after us. The other half of us is nearly mad. It prefers the disagreeable to the agreeable, loves pain and its darker night despair,and wants to die in a catastrophe that will set life back to its beginnings and leave nothing of our house save its blackened foundations. Our bright natures fight in us with this yeastly darkness, and neither part is commonly quite victorious, for we are divided against ourselves and will not let either part be destroyed. This fight can be observed constantly in our personal lives. There is nothing rarer than a man who can be trusted never to throw away happiness, however eagerly he sometimes grasps it. In history we are frequently interested in our own doom. Sometimes we search for peace, sometimes we make an effort to find convenient frontiers and a proper fulfilment for racial destinies; but sometimes we insist on war, sometimes we stamp into the dust the only foundations on which we can support our national lives. We ignore this suicidal strain in history because we are constantly bad artists when we paint ourselves."

Reprinted from:
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, 1942

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Lost and found

yesterday was feeling lost
but found some dope stashed in  flower pot
then came a knocking on the door
first a politican
then a couple wearing religious smiles
instant gratification did not arrive.

But as I inhaled deep
the sun came out
I went for a walk by the river side
a difficult day
suddenly came alive.

Stepping eastwards
criss-crossed ancient paths
turnd mobile phone off
connections were silenced
became invisible in nature
followed shadows and transformative bursts.

Today. I'll try and crack the codes
follow purpose, in steady progress
where vagaries are left behind
and disingneous links that tangle and blind
follow ideas that are already formed
the continium that seeks no control.

Under a watery sky
reality stretches
time dissects,
blind possibilities
scatter like seeds
and incoherant thoughts become
ever clear.