Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The race is on!

Ah, the race is on, Parliament has dissolved, as it sinks into an archaic cesspit of corruption . Oh it's going to be a fabulous 6 weeks, we will have to endure a lot of bluster and hot air,  false promises, and bare faced lies between the ever so slightly different  factions of the austerity partys'. It will resemble  more of a pantomime than an actual election. It will be a  a bit like tea verses coffee, or the drip, drip, drip of distraction. The choices are not really that much different, if it actually changed anything, they would probably make  it illegal. We desperately however need genuine changes to help disabled, ill people, children who are hungry  because the only food  they eat is from bloody foodbanks.  We need  long term solutions that will help the homeless and the destitute. We need to shift the power back,  remove the politics of blame from our lives. But saying that ,it should be noted that M.Ps will escape  investigation into dubious  expenses claims because authorities have destroyed all the evidence. At the end of the day they will again  be allowed to  pick from our pockets on  a pretty frequent basis. But  there is nothing like a good old vote to sort out the corruption, after all we're all in it together. It should also be remembered that every single government since Thatcher has  caused this country of ours, economic damage, while allowing bankers to dictate their policies.Through their friends in the media I guess,  they will be very successful at  diverting attention from them and on to the poor. The conservatives if they succeed will carry on carving up the country, as I speak planning a further £12 bn in welfare cuts, will carry on their creeping privatisation of the N.H.S, the Labour Party  sadly up to now have been rather lacklustre in their condemnation, will they save us money in scrapping trident, does not seem  that they will, and despite some fine words, do not  seem to offer us  much of a radical alternative. Just  the familiar pattern of gesture politics.
 Will a change of government actually change a thing. We keep getting caught in the same trap, thinking that if we put  our faith in the power of the state, everything will turn out allright.
At the end of the day we will still be screwed. The system was never broken, it was built this way. We need to keep struggling for a  new order based on truth, social  justice, equality, accountability, give power back to the people. I don't  however hold my breathe that this will happen any day soon, unfortunately. Neither will the current constitutional framework  rescue us from the darkness of capitalism.
Whatever the end result, for many people across the land, I am sorry to say there will be no happy ending.

Monday, 30 March 2015

To Our Land - Mahmoud Darwish

A poem by the great Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish,  to mark  the 39th anniversary of Palestinian Land Day, which is marked by Palestinians by protesting and planting olive trees near the so called buffer zones of Gaza. 
Today commemorates the day when Israeli forces carried out a lethal and brutal  military attack on unarmed Palestinians in 1976, who were peacefully   protesting against Israeli apartheids land grab policies.  

To our Land

To our land,
and it is the one near the word of god,
a ceiling of clouds
To our land,
and it is the one far from the adjectives of nouns,
the map of absence
To our land,
and it is the one tiny as a sesame seed,
a heavenly horizon ... and a hidden chasm
To our land
and it is the one poor as a grouses wings
holy books . . . and an identity wound
To our land,
and it is the one surrounded with torn hills,
the ambush of a new past
To our land, and it is a prize of war,
the freedom to die from longing and burning
and our land, in its bloodied night
is jewel that glimmers for the far upon the far
and illuminates whats outside it . . .
As for us , inside,
we suffocate more !

Translated by Fady Joudah

Friday, 27 March 2015

Mike Vaughan-Jones - End Of The Show/ Piano Player

 Today we say goodbye ,to Mike, legendary local keyboard maestro, jazz  aficionado, potter of great delicacy. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.
Safe travelling.

Piano Player

Keys play their notes,

melodies, soar through the sky,

fingers dance along the keys,

energy rises and plays with beats,

surrenders minor chords,

pours soul over the land,

scales to trickle from the sky.

Scattering jazz like rhythms,

blues soliloquy,

seas of improvisation,

send us songs without words.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Gregory Corso (26/3/30 - 17/1/01) - I Held A Shelley Manuscript/Transformation and Escape

Today would have been the birthday of one of my favourite beat  Poets Gregory Corso,11 years after his death I still remember him, here's two poems by the great man, I thought I'd share.

I Held A Shelley Manuscript

My hands did numb to beauty
as they reached into Death and tightened!

O sovereign was my touch
upon the tan-ink's fragile page!

Quickly, my eyes move quickly,
sought for smell for dust for lace
for dry hair!

I would have taken the page
breathing in the crime!
For no evidence have I wrung from dreams-
yet what triumph is there in private credence?

Often, in some steep ancestral book,
when I find myself entangled with leopard-apples
and torched-skin mushrooms,
my cypressean skein outreaches the recorded age
and I, as though tipping a pitcher of milk,
pour secrecy upon the dying page.

Tranformation and Escape


I reached heaven and it was syrupy.
It was oppressively sweet.
Croaking substances stuck to my kness.
Of all substances St.Michael was stickiest.
I grabbed him and pasted him on my head.
I found God a gigantic fly paper.
I stayed out of his way.
I waled where everything smelled of burnt chocolate.
Meanwhile St.Michael was busy with his sword
hacking away at my hair.
I found Dante standing naked in a blob of honey.
Bears were liocking his thighs.
I snatched St Michael's sword
and quartered  myself in a great circular adhesive.
My torso fell upon an elastic equilibrium.
As though shot from a sting
my torso whizzed at God fly paper.
My legs sank into some unimaginable sog.
My head, though weighed with the weight of St.Michael,
did not fall.
Fine strands of multi-coloured gum
suspended it there.
My spirit stooped by my snared torso.
I pulled! I yanked! Rolled it left to right!
It bruised! It softened! It ould not free!
The struggle of an Eternity!
An eternity of pulls! of yanks!
Went back to my head,
St. Micael had sucked dry my brainpan!
My skull!
Only skull in heaven!
Went to my legs.
St Peter was polishing his sandals with my knees!
I pounced upon him!
Pummelled his face in sugar in hioney in marmalade!
Under each arm I fled with my legs!
The police of heaven were in hot pursuit!
I hid within the sop of St Francis
Gasping in the confectionary of his gentility
I wept, caressing my intimidated legs.


They caught me.
They took my legs away.
They sentenced me in the firmanent of an ass.
The prison of an Eternity!
An Eternity of labor! of hee-haws!
Burdened with the soiled railment of saints
I schemed escape,
Lugging ampulae its daily fill
I schemed escape.
I schemed climbing impossible mountains.
I schemed under the Virgin's whip,
I schemed the sound of celestial joy.
I schemed to the sound of earth,
the wail of infants,
the groans of men,
the thud of coffins.
I schemed escape.
God was busy switching the spheres from hand to hand.
The time had come.
I cracked my jaws.
Broke my legs.
Sagged  belly-flat on plow
on pitchfork
on scythe.
My spirit leaked from the wounds.
A whole spiri pooled.
I rose from the carcass of my torment.
I stood in the brink of heaven.
And I swear that Great Territory did quake
when I fell free.

So thank you Gregory, and happy birthday, hope you're sleeping ok, whichever place the ride took you, running wild on Rabelsian spree, still mixing with the sharpest heads, still playing with misadventure.
Earlier post by me on Gregory here

Conversation with Gregory Corso,
music by Calexico.
(from the late 1980's)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Meet Britain First, the new foot soldiers of Farage's Fascist state.

Nigel Farage, tosses of allegations of racism, again and again,  like it was a bad joke, having lost a fourth candidate, he releases again , his sickly smile and again ignores the ugly truth.
It is completely unacceptable, however  he likes to see it, his most enthusiastic supporter is the Leader of the  Neo-Nazi Organisation; Britain First, who goes by the name of Paul Golding.
A far right racist, that detests ordinary people, the working class, anybody that was not born here, who wants to see a right wing government elected that will hurt and damage people, mainly the disadvantaged and the poor.
His organisation are a vile  paramilitary styled far right nationalist  group, who have been responsible  for vigilante actions against mosques, Golding himself a thug who has been convicted of harrassment, his band of nazis  responsible  for stirring up racial hatred, whose origins lie  in the extreme wings of the Ulster Loyalism.
Beneath their publicity stunts and the hoodwinking of many on facebook and other forms of social media, the ugly face of fascism lurks.
The similarity with UKIP is strong, an organisation full of racists and extremists, here lies a dark murky world. Britain First are often seen as the self-appointed defence force of UKIP. They like UKIP are endlessly saying their views are misinterpreted, under threat of censorship, however they have a  policy  of purging their pages of any  critical contact and banning dissenting voices from ever coming back.
Combined with a history of intimidation, behold, these new footsoldiers of Farage's fascist state. It is a simple case of UKIP at the ballot box and Britain First on the streets. They are simply peas of the same  pod. However  much Mr Farage likes to present his organisation, and tries to distance himself from their support and association, their ideological opinions are markedly similar, both trading in the language of hatred, fear and division.
People  like these have no place on our society, as they seek to harm others, they must be stopped in their tracks, you can try at the ballot box, but better still on the  streets.
No Pasaran/ They shall not pass.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Lawrence Ferlinghetti ( b.24/3/19 ) - POET AS FISHERMAN / SPIRIT OF THE CRUSADES


As I grow older I percieve
Life has its tail in its mouth
and other poets other painters
are no longer any kind of competition
Its the sky that's the challenge
the sky that still needs deciphering
even as astronomers strain to hear it
with their huge electric ears
the sky that whispers to us constantly
the final secrets of the universe
the sky that breathes in and out
as if it were the inside of a mouth
of the cosmos
the sky that is the land's edge also
and the sea's edge also
the sky with its many voices and no god
the sky that engulfs a sea of sound
and echoes it back to us
as in a wave against a seawall
Whole poems whole dictionaries
rolled up in a thunderclap
And every sunset an action painting
and every cloud a book of shadows
through which wildly fly
the vowels of birds about to cry
And the sky is clear to the fisherman
even if overcast
He  sees it for what it is :
a mirror of the sea
about to fall on him
in his wood boat on the dark horizon
We have to think of him as the poet
forever face to face with old reality
where no birds fly before a storm
And he knows what's coming down
before the dawn
and he's his own best lookout
listening for the sound of the universe
and singing out his sightings
of the land of the living.


Stoney Wales
with its slate-grey roofs
in slate-grey Cardiff
and its greystone houses on greystone terraces
and its great high statue of
"The Spirit of the Crusades"
in the Wales National Museum
portraying a medieval knight
in grey metal armor and helmet
with visor down
on a great grey steed
with four grey foot soldiers
in close march abouthim
(two at the head of the horse
two behind)
wearing World War One helmets
and carrying World War One rifles
with fixed bayonets
And the Crusades are over
but they are still marching
over the grey sea-locked land
in a dead march
straight through the twentieth century

Gong -"Occupy"

In tribute to recently departed Daevid Allen of Soft Machine and Gong, and friend of William  Burroughs, UK and video artist Cynack created a psychedelic realisation of "Occupy",  the video  covers 13.8 billion years of capitalism.

My own poetical tribute can be found here :-


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Artist makes US/Mexico border disappear

Visual artist Anna Teresa Fernandez, powerfully repaints the Mexican/US border, highlighting not just the ugliness of the fence, but the ugliness of the policies and attitudes that  helped to build and create this montrosity in the first place. She confronted the fence by putting on her black dress and painting the  sky blue. Unfortunately this ugly wall is  still here, as are others like the ones to be seen  in Palestine and the West Bank.This border stretches for 1.969 miles, a symbol of oppression, a dividing line between cultures, a physical  expression of the contempt for the poor, legislators have. It does not seem to solve problems but adds to the tension and racism and discrimination, but does not hinder peoples need for survival.
Despite it,  many still have a furious desire  to cross it, with migrants  not only facing dangers posed by an unforgiving desert, but also abuse  at the hands of US Border  guards, risking all,  dehydration, starvation and exhaustion, and ultimately for hundreds every year death, trying to succeed. It  should be noted  that  up to 60% of illegal US-Mexican Border crossings, actually succeed.
I personally believe it is time to make all borders disappear.

Link to artists webpage :-


Borrando La Barda/ Erasing the Border.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Nourishment ( after seeing , this mornings solar eclipse)

This morning,
woke a little earlier than usual,
managed to see sun being  obscured,
by moon and drifting cloud,
the air was cold, all seemed quiet,
time seemed to move slow.

lady moon, moved her shadow,
cockerel's wailed, flight of birds,
took their daily path,
to be seen again,
swooping  down , 
releasing song.

Out of dim light,
some kind of order returned,
the mighty sun smiled,
shone down,with the light of day,
as springs' waking senses,
came out to play.

In observation,
senses got rekindled,
some form of connection,
revealed again, in this borderless world,
the blossom of futures constantly changing presence,
now, the earth still feels eerie,
in the library, my mind drifting,
flying outward, homeward bound.

( afterthought; imagine an eclipse, that never ends, the people of Syria and Palestine whose light is always seemingly deemed.)

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Tolpuddle Martyrs remembered

On March 18th 1834, six farm labourers in Tolpuddle, Dorset England  were found guilty of taking an illegal oath and forming a union, the friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers in a backdrop of  harsh working conditions.They met at a now world famous Sycamore in Dorset  to sign their oath. Under this tree in 1834,  exploited by their employers – paid just 9 shillings a week and living in dreadful poverty – formed the first trades union in Britain to bargain for better pay and working conditions under the leadership of George Loveless.This tree is still growing strong.
The landowners, led by James Frampton and supported by the government, were desperate to put a stop to the union and to control increasing outbreaks of dissent. The Tolpuddle Six were arrested, sent to Dorchester for Trial, charged under the 1797 Mutiny Act. They were convicted of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers, sentenced to seven years and transported to Botany Bay, simply because they had made a stand against the poor treatment they received from their employees. Support for the Tolpuddle Martyrs was enormous, a massive demonstration marched through London and  over 8,000 people signed a petition protesting their sentence.
The protest campaign proved to be a success  with the Tolpuddle martyrs returning home in triumph. Their story is about how ordinary working  people combined together to defend their lives. The idea of solidarity as a basic human right is now an international demand. The act of solidarity works.
They  are commemorated every year at the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival every July, I have been planning to make a pilgrimage for years. Here is a link http://www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk/
We need dissent and incendiary action in this land, now more than ever, to help shape it into a better place.

The Martyrs tree

Disregarding Gaza

A short  documentary that examines the absence  of Gaza and the Palestinians from the Israeli mainstream
 media and 2015 elections.
What kind of information are Israelis getting  from their press?
What king of information is missing?
And how does this effect the reality on the ground?

Monday, 16 March 2015

Remembering Rachel Corrie ( 10/4/79 - 16/3/03)

It has become traditional to remember today Rachel  Corrie, a 23 year old American peace activist from Olympia, Washington, who was crushed to death on this day by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003, while undertaking non violent direct action to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition.
She was a member  of the International Solidarity Movement. An organisation that exists to help with non-violent protests against the Israeli occupation. It seeks to pressure the Israelis  and the Israel Defence force  into ending its occupation of Palestinian land, using a number of non-violent tactics, such as violating Israeli curfews  imposed on  Palestinian areas, removing roadblocks and blocking military tanks and bulldozers.
Rachel Corrie went to Rafah in the Gaza Strip in  January 2003 and was horrified at the destruction she found. She saw daily homes being destroyed  and people being detained on a daily basis. She recorded all she saw in letters and emails that she sent home to her family. She once wrote " the sheer kindness of the people here, coupled with the overwhelming evidence of the willful destruction of their lives,makes it seem unreal to me."
Sadly this reality combined with her  courage cost her, her life. She was run over twice  by a Caterpiller Bulldozer and killed. Her memory lives on, and because of her actions, she helps inspire many people around the  globe, who search for freedom and justice for the Palestinian people. Her memory kept alive by her deeds and her words that she left behind.

Here is a link to the Rachel Corrie foundation set up to remember her


and here is  a link to the International Solidarity Movement


Rachel Corrie - American Hero!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Reality is negotiable

( if  you give  hope a chance,  it may win .)

                                            " reality and dreaming
                                                  are different things.
                                               dreaming is beautiful
                                                  because dreams are
                                                   nearly always the
                                              predecessors of what
                                         is to come, but the most
                          sublime is to make life beautiful,
                                     to mould life beautifully."

- Nosrotos, Anarchist Daily, Spain, March 1937)

aling with daily battles, gives us at the end of the day some  kind of hope, we can build new pages, a society where all people are equal and free,  our dreams do not need revision, they can reinvent, bring a new logic of existence, where chains and bondage are broken, can overthrow constraints, forge a new order, lands full of promise, wild ambition, shifting sands.
Where reality  is always negotiable, today I caught a  glimpse of sunshine in the rain, life can  be bittersweet, but allows us all to live the dream, my mind is like a garden, overgrown but free. Be careful to avoid alienation try and find sustenance , beware of the weight of consensus prohibitions , follow kindred spirits rather than governments that can lead you isolated  or powerless. Keep on dreaming, keep on believing, keep spreading kindness, your own inner wildness.                        

Friday, 13 March 2015

You Can't Kill the Spirit ( For Daevid Allen ;13/1/38 - 13/3/15 R.I.P)

Proving to be a funny month so far, Terry Pratchett yesterday,  and local legendary keyboard player Mike  Vaughan - Jones yesterday, and friends dear friend the lawrence the day before and today I awake to find that another  inspiration of mine had gone travelling again too. Daevid Allen the wizard of Oz himself,  had been aware of  approaching plans for destinations anew for a bit, so had already prepared a little. Anyway thank you Daevid, now allow me to release this poem

You Can't Kill The Spirit

A long time ago,
wandering on another planet,
a mystical  magic poet,
came down to visit us,
with some epiphany 
some floating anarchy,
threads of absurdity
messages of freedom,
seeds of dadaist imagination
to plant, to help us unravel, 
the world's long slumber.

Would travel off into the future
but would always return,
with messages of love and devotion
releasing senses of wonder,
that giggled through life and beyond
glimmering along the mazes of purpose,
conjurer, delivered memories of joy
allowed laughter to rain down,
as om shantis sigh
glides with moonlights kiss,
among glissando slides
faithful wish.

Revelations and enlightenment
reveal revolutions, every day now,
revolving around our skins
our beauty stands against governments,
all over the world, different cultures
shout, float, seek alternatives, 
choose not to kill the earth,
cast  layers of protection  over sky.

And transitory psychonauts
create illusions, for you and I,
to share, improvisational
rhythmic.musical explosions,
that lift us, higher.

We will continue to refuse their orders
break through their cordons,
we will snakedance over their forcefields
run wild and free, fuelling truth,
vision wide and full of intent
satoris invisible tempo  soars on high,
as the day beats, on and on and om
you can't kill the spirit.


Thursday, 12 March 2015

R.I.P Terry Pratchett (28/4/48 - 12/3/15) - My favourite theologian R.I.P

Sad to hear that one of our countries   most lucid thinkers has passed away. Sir Terry Pratchett. Loved by both children and adults alike, he was the author of over 70 wonderful books, that overflew with life, humor, adventure and memorable characters.
I was fortunate to  see him a few years back at Hay-On-Wye, his beautiful presence loomed large.
A humanist of the first order, who was the  patron of the British humanist Association, who spoke  of the possibilities of science and reason with  joy and intelligence. After the onselt of Alzheimers was diagnosed he carried on with great optimism and bravery. Spending the last period of his tremendous life helping to raise awareness  of dementia and the desperate  need for more reearch, at the same he continued to work towards a fairer society. He apparently died peacefully in his sleep.  Sir Terry Pratchett R.I.P.

" Don't think of it as  dying, said Death, just think of it as leaving early to avoid the rush."

" No one is actually dead until the ripples in the world die away."

" The pen is mightier than the sword, if the  sword  is very sharp."

" It is often said that before you die your life  passes before your eyes. It is in fact true, it's called living."

- Terry Pratchett

At the end of the day real magic never dies.

Happy Birthday Jack Kerouac ( 12/3/22 -21/10/69)

As Jack Kerouac once said " I spent my entire youth writing slowly with revision and endless  reshaping speculation and  deleting   and got  so I was writing one sentence a day, the sentence had no feeling, Goddam it, feeling is what I like in art, not craftiness and  the hiding of freedom."
Long has Jack Kerouac permeated my world, he has taught me a lot. This Beat icon, poet, writer and creator of spontaneous  Bop prosity. He has helped shape me into  the idealist I have become today. The eternal beatnik would have turned 93 today, his spirit lives today in my head and the road travels on and on. 
His words like a gateway drug, that helped me search for horizons, ways to be free, leading me to discover the works of his friends, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Herbert Huncke etc etc . He was flawed but deep, far from perfect, " Nothing  behind me,  everything ahead of  me,  as is ever so on the road "- Jack Kerouac; on the road . Thank you Jack, "The only people for me are  the mad ones, the ones  who are made to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirious of everything at the same time, the ones who  never yawn  or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous Roman Candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle you see the blue center - light pop and everything goes ahh..." - JK

Jack Kerouac - Jazz and prose

Jack Kerouac- American Hiaku-

Old Angel Moonlight (Friday afternoon in the universe)

Jack Kerouac reads from "On the Road"

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

After Banksy: the parlour guide to Gaza

In response  to graffiti artist Banksy's Make this the year you discover a New destination Gaza tourist video,  a video from the Guardian, that shows what real life is like there  and their dreams beyond the border. Here lies the world's biggest open air prison. The people daily occupied, no one allowed to enter or too leave. People forced to live among ruins, and devastated squalid condititions. Surrounded by apartheid walls, their plight daily insufferable, but despite the destruction all around, the Palestinian peoples resistance and resiliance  remains strong. Come and share with the youth of Gaza as they invite us to come and share their lives ( what's left of them)  their food ( if your ok  with a lean diet) and their culture and subculture ( things that an't be destroyed)  so  come run with them, better still stand with them, show them your solidarity. Boycott Israel.  

Monday, 9 March 2015

The Karl Marx Mastercard

Just found out recently that in Eastern Germany in a town once called Karl Marx Staad, a bank called Spakasse Chemnitz ran an online poll letting customers vote for image to put on their credit cards. They chose Karl Marx. There was  an old joke  in Russia that everything that we were told about by communism was a lie, but nowadays everything  they tell us about capitalism is true. I wonder what the annual rate for the Karl Marx mastercard would be. Everything you have. It confims  old Karl Marx's own adage that the capitalists would sell  the  very rope that would be used to hang himself.

Credit is  the new Opiate of the masses.

When you seize the means of production from the bourgeoisie, use the Karl Marx mastercard.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. For everything else here's the Karl Marx mastercard.

The only  card for internationale travel.

A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of cash bank and low low interest rates.

 Das Kapital £10, Red Flag £30  prices risings as we rise up against our oppressors.

All property is purchasable. Take the dialectic out of your materialism with a Karl Marx mastercard.

Have your proletariat revolution now,  pay  for it later.

Yes humor could be  the death of me, but not as dangerous as capitalism, that out of control  will  carry on chaining us down, and unregulated  is already killing millions. With the global economy in protracted  crisis , and workers around the world, burdened by joblessness,  debt and stagnant income.
Yes Capitalism and the system that props it up like back when Karl Marx wrote his original words, is still inherently unjust and self desctructive, impoverishing the masses as the worlds wealth is concentrated in the hands of a greedy few. Time to through the cards that they use to curtail us away, and occupy the banks.
Anyway here's an old poem of mine

Money can't buy our love


Sunday, 8 March 2015

To the sisters ( solidarity forever)

Solidarity means, that together, we must stand,  fighting hand in hand for a more dignified world. Remember on International Women's Day just  the act of  writing or speaking in public for some is a political act. We should all be aware of these conditions, bearing witness, denouncing injustice and patriarchy that can be reasons for division.
Today we remember all those women who have stood up and fought back, for their rights, for equality, for justice, for dignity, for freedom. We remember your strength and remember too that  we are all much stronger in struggle when we are united.
As I write it should be noted that there is still too much gender inequality, discrimination and injustice globally. We must continue to carry  the voices of all who are silenced.

Happy International Womens Day

Solidarity with women of Selma, Ferguson, Kobane, Mexico, Afganistan, Gaza, women of the world, to my sisters nearer home and to all the comrades  who are still fiercely opting to break every chain
solidarity forever.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Janet Dube - atom ( a poem to mark International Womens Day)

Tomorrow marks International Womens Day, I have chosen to mark the occasion with this  from the poet Janet Dube  from her  collection Lifeline which was published by Gomer in 2000.
Janet Dube was  born in Fulham, London and now lives in Carmarthenshire, West Wales. She studied at St David's University College , Lampeter, and has worked as a teacher and playworker. She was active in feminism and the anti-war movement.

I am the atom
tiny, invisible, powerless,

Yet from my body
came the word, for I
am the seed  of all that is;

for I was  in the beginning
and without me was not
anything  made that was made;

and I am the sand,
yet more than the sand;

and  I am the stars,
yet more than the stars;

and I am the hungry;
yet more than the hungry;

and  I am the rich,
yet more than  the rich;

and I the healing water
and I the cleansing earth

and I the seed of all that is
am divided against myself;

tiny, invisible powerless
I am divided,
and I am you.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

It's the sign of the times. its the time of our lives.

We've got food banks
swastika armbands,
hate in abundance
governments, leaving us angry.

It's  the sign of the times,
it's  the time  of our lives.

We've got corporations causing  unecessary death
carving up the world with austerity and stealth,
as days drift by, rivers of sadness grow
souls get deep, but still manage to flow.

It's the sign of the times,
it's the time of our lives.

We've got polticians demonising the poor
masters of destruction, seeking war,
who cry blue murder if a person hungry
gets caught,shoplifting as a means of survival.

It's the sign of  the times,
it's the time of our lives.

we've got famine in the third world
dirty water and contamination hurled,
refugees being criminalised,
simply for trying to flee for their lives.

It's the sign of the times,
it's the time of our lives.

We've got apartheid walls, we've got wars of attrition
we've got people being daily denied,
cleared from their lands, words and memories stolen
no opportunity to grow, hope daily scattered.

It's the sign of the times
it's the time of our lives.

As big brother gets bigger, participation is left small
with seeds of destruction, a life of suffering and exploitation,
the world at tipping point, on a downward spiral,
we have to reach out find some means of survival.

It's the sign of the times,
it's the time of our lives.

And we've got smart phones and social media
viruses that arrive daily with hidden intent,
webs of confusion, threads of division
branches ragged,  but still enough to cling too,

It's the sign of the times,
it's the time of our lives.

tomorrow delivers a special offer
admission price is free
dreamers will come  overthrow the world,
take the pain away,and try and start again,.

Because it's the time of our lives,
it's the time of our lives.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Diversity & Inclusion – Love Has No Labels ( a message of hope for our times)

At the end of the day are we not all born equal,  we are all meant to love  one another, not judge. The truth is, love conquers all, we should not be so quick to pass judgement,  on people based  on the color of their skin, their age or their physical abilities. The above video, which I think is marvellous is part of  the Love  has no labels campaign which challenges us to open  our eyes to our bias and  prejudice and  work to stop it in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues and captures the heart of this beautiful message.
I am not perfect, far from it, but I am still learning to try, and love makes our world spin, it makes us strong too. Love is a human experience that can be shared  for all, it sees no borders either, we should allow these feelings to be shared and grow, love after all  passes over all the many perceived boundaries that we  encounter.
It gives me great hope that as I speak this  video is now being shared by many  people across the world,  a virus, that is necessary in today's troubling times. We desperately need to embrace diversity and help end bias, and keep spreading the word.

Find out more about this wonderful campaign here:-


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

30th Anniversary of Miners Strike marked by benefit compilation

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the return to work of the striking miners of 1984/85 who had remained  out in protest against the  closure of the pits. A benefit compilation has been released  featuring  a stellar cast of  some of the most influential  left wing British musicians of the past 30 years. Superb!
The album produced in association with Philosophy football  features artists like Billy Bragg, Sleaford Mods, New Model Army, Chumbawumba, TV Smith, Attilla the Stockbroker and many more singing songs of resistance and protest, passionate, angry  traditional and modern.

The Orgreave Truth and Justice cd, is available for £9.99 with all profits going to  the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.
You can order this essential collection  by visiting the following  link.
It is only £9.99 with all profits  going to the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.


The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign includes ex miners, Trade Unionists, and activists  and others who are determined to get justice for miners who were  victims  of police and cover ups at Orgreave in June 1984.
Orgreave  was a massive injustice, where hundreds of police  under the orders of Margaret Thatcher carrying riot shields, targeted unarmed miners with truncheons, inflicting serious injury. Miners were kicked  and punched  in a savage attack of police brutality.
We should never forget the miners bitter heroic struggle, nor the fact that not one single  police officer has been disciplined, let alone prosecuted, serving as a reminder of one of the biggest miscarriages of the 1980's. We remember too how Thatcher unleashed a class war destroing peoples ways of live, that paved the way of the political climate and mess we have today.
Today many are still waiting for justice. Seeking it for all miners victimised by the police at Orgreave. We remember too how the power of the state is still used against its people.

Here is  a link to the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign


Monday, 2 March 2015

No to Maximus / WCA

In work - out of work  -  these lot have it covered. Their one aim  to take  away your entitlements and leave you penniless.

Currently a controversial American company  is taking over the contract  to assess the fitness of benefit claimants to work,  having replaced the French firm Atos, who quit the contract last March. They will be used by the government again to help cut  benefits of sick and disabled people, who have already been disproportionately targeted. Two million people have had their benefits sanctioned since 2013, this is the Governments true agenda, hand in hand with companies like Maximus are hitting the poor the hardest.
The Work Capability assessment has proved  to be a very expensive disaster in both financial and human terms.  A growing  number of suicides have been directly  linked to this stressful procedure, whilst medical  staff and claimants themselves  have warned  of the desperate consequences  for those  left with no money at all by the system.
People who  cannot work, for various reasons  should be supported, it is unnecessary to pay millions and millions of pounds to  private companies like Atos and Maximus. Are our own G.Ps not to be trusted.
Today disabled activist groups  and supporters will across  the country vigorously  protest against  these heartless work  tests.
It should also be noted  that Maximus  are also involved in helping to privatise the N.H.S, running the  fit for work occupational  health service  designed to bully and harass.
I personally am in a support group, my crime, I periodically suffer from depression and anxiety but it looks like Maximus has been given a green light to  diminish  people  like me.
Maximus like Atos  before them alongside the Work Capability Assessments must be stopped in their tracks, they are  profiteers of the sick and vulnerable and because of them combined with Tory policies people are suffering. People before profit should be the maxim.
Maximus another ruthless company doing the governments dirty work.

Here are details of the call out by DPAC ; Disabled People against cuts

Please support them, after they have finished with us they will start on the rest.


Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Welsh Language - Alan Llwyd (b;1948 -) Happy St David's Day/Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus.

From the pen of literary critic and most prolific Welsh language poets of our time. Happy St David's day/ Dydd Dewi hapus. At the end of the day we are all different,  but fy iaith, still standing despite it all.  All the best  Heddwch/peace

Stand above the abyss, and shout into the cleft:
she's the thunder in the silence, the noise in the cold emptiness;
although fugitives grope for their splintered ropes on the cliff,
she's the one who prevents our fall into the great muteness.

She's the rain that refreshes the earth, the ruby's sheen,
the harvest breeze,rolling in the corn and the wheat;
the precious sapphire,  the emerald in the grass that is green,
the restless rustling of barley, and bright gleam of light.

She protects from the mute edge, the fort that keeps  enemies at bay,
and above the gaping abyss, she is our tether;
she keeps our dignity; our home against all disarray,
the knot that unites; she gathers her people together.

should the link shatter and break, what would be amiss?
Knot  by knot the rope now opens above the abyss.

trans. the author

Reprinted from ; A Book of Wales, an anthology;
selected by Meic Stephens;
JM Dent, 1987

Time to Change/Amser i Newid

On St David's day/ Dydd Gwyl Dewi a hopefully eye opening film about Wales's share of global inequalities/ Ffilm fydd gobeithio yn agorad llygad fewn i shar Cymru o anghydraddoldebau byd-eang