Monday, 30 November 2015

Fernando Pessoa ( 13/6/1888 - 30/11/35) Redicovering The Book of Disquiet


Today marks the 80th anniversary of Fernando Pessoa's  death the great Portugese, poet, writer, philosopher. Just  recently rediscovered his book  The Book of Disquiet courtesy of my dear friend Dave Datblygu,a book I have read in many different versions,various translations a timeless tome  to loneliness, melancholy, failure and the human condition I am often drawn to these subject matters. Like many of us, he spent much of his time in isolation, seemingly talking to himself. Living in a series of rented rooms in Lisbon, chain smoking, drinking heavily,mainly writing, reading and leading an introspective life, with a keen interest in the occult, he had a correspondence with the magician Aleister Crowley.Fernando considered himself as an outsider looking in on life in Lisbon.
In the opening lines of  one of his best known poems, The Tobacco Shop, he wrote :-

I'm nothing,

I'll always be nothing,

I can't wait to be something,

But I have in me all the dreams of the  world.


When Pessoa died in 1935 a few years short of 50 he left behind lots of unpublished writings. The Book of Disquiet is undoubtedly his  masterwork. He worked on it over  three decades, in the  end their was no definite order of its 500 or so sections, no order achieved or even hinted at, a random note to self. In the book  he took on many identities and personalities, eradicating any traces of  autobiographical feeling and experience, he seemed to be possessed by different characters and  fragments of personae that he found within himself. Significantly one name soars above the rest a ' Bernardo Soares' an assistant bookeeper in Lisbon.
It is a self depreciating reflection on the sheer distance  between the loftiness of feeling and the humdrum reality of life,meandering in sequences of unpredictablity,  this book  is a classic  of existentialist literature. Many people are still discovering this wonderful melancholic writer, conjurer of deep imagination.
So thanks /diolch Dave and if like me you are of a contemplative disposition, then this book  I heartily recommend. It will  truly change the way you see things.A beautiful journey nevertheless...
In the meantime here's an extract :-

" It's  one of those days when the monotony of everything oppresses me like being thrown into jail. The monotomy of myself, however.  Each face, even if seen just yesterday, is different today, because today isn't yesterday. Each day is the day it is,  and there was never another one like it in the world. Only our soul makes the identification - a genuinely felt but erroneous identification - by which everything becomes similar and  simplified. The world is a set of distinct things with varied edges, but if we're  near-sighted, it's a continual and indecipherable fog.
I feel like fleeing. Like fleeing from what I know, fleeing from what's mine, fleeing from what I love. I want to depart,  not for impossible Indias or for the great islands south of everything, but for any place  at all - village  or wilderness - that isn't this place. I want to stop seeing these unchanging faces, this routine, these days. I want to rest, far removed, from my inveterate feigning. I want to feel sleep come to me as life, not as rest. A cabin on  the seashore or even a cave in a rocky mountainside could give me this, but my will unfortunately, cannot.
Slavery is the law of life, and it is the only law, for it must be observed, there is no revolt possible, no way to escape it. Some are born slaves, others become slaves, and still others are forced to accept slavery. Our faint-hearted love of freedom - which, if we had it, we would all reject, unable to get used to it - is proof of how ingrained our slavery is. I myself, having just said that  I'd like a cabin or a cave where I could be free from the monotomy of everything, which is the monotomy of me - would I dare set  out for this cabin or cave, knowing from experience that the monotomy, since it stems from me, will always be with me? I myself, suffocating from where I am and because I am - where would I breathe easier, if the sickness is in my lungs rather than in the things  that surround me, I myself who long for pure-sunlight and open country, for the ocean in plain view, and the unbroken horizon - could I get used to my  new bed,  the food not having to descend eight flights  of stairs   in the streets and entering the tobacco  shop on the corner, not saying good morning  to the barber standing outside his shop.
Evdeerything that surrounds us becomes part of us, infiltrating our physical sensations and our feelings of life,  and like spittle of the great spider,  it subtley binds us to whatever is close, tucking us  into a soft bed of slow death which is rocked by the world.  Everything is us,  and we are everything but what  good is this, if everything is nothing? A ray of sunlight, a clud whose shadow tells us it is passing, a breeze that rises, the silence that follows when  it rises, ceases, one or another for a few voices, the incidental laughter of the girls who are talking,  and then night with the meaningless, fractured  hieroglyphs of the stars."





Sunday, 29 November 2015

International day of solidarity with the Palestinian people


In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly called  for this day the 29th of November to be an annual observance of International Solidarity with the Palestinian people. An observance I mark daily.
I acknowledge too,  all those who have struggled for the Palestinians cause and all the Palestinians who have had to live and endure life under occupation, as refugees and in exile. A solidarity that sadly is still so much needed because Israel continues  to daily violate their basic human rights with impunity. In  the last few weeks  alone we have seen more Palestinians shot down and killed ( young and old) the continuation of home demolitions, the seizure of their land, and the continued seige of Gaza and the West Bank.
This injustice and suffering must cease. I passionately believe it is a moral and humanitarian responsibility to share their burden. As individuals we should pressure our governments to compel Israel, the occupying power to abide by International law to put an end to its daily violations and illegal aggressive destructive practices that disregard  international law.
The occupation of Palestinian territory ( the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the open prison of the Gaza strip ) must cease,  along with the punitive arrests, unfair treatment and excessive use of force.
It is our duty to support their struggle through boycott, divestment and sanctions, to continue to share their story's, about these proud people who refuse to lie down, whose spirit refuses to be defeated, whose pain must end. With solidarity and humanity, and pain in our hearts we must keep trying to bring an end of their collective punishment.
I realise that their are wars and turmoil all around us at the moment, in places like Syria and the recent terrorist atrocity in Paris but we must not allow them to distract our attentions from the Palestinians. The human tragedy of Palestine is ever so real, we cannot be deaf and blind to their plight.



Rafeef Ziadeh - Shades of Anger

Friday, 27 November 2015

Black Friday ( a poem)


( an old poem I thought I'd posted before, but seems I haven't, so here it is)

Black Friday, black bloody night
with the tories daily stalking our lives,
creating consumer madness
people driven to despair,
fighting for a bargain
instead of for their lives.

Black Sunday, Black Monday, Black Tuesday
on and on as they push us to breaking point;
turn our days dark in the middle of the day
I see red, but  carry on walking,
I have no time for over consumption
bottle open  so still  have to be careful.

But  really do not understand the need
of crazed people ixation with greed
fighting for brands that I've never heard of
I prefer to spend my days following love,
will  ignore this nightmarish capitalist rush
wake up when all over, with some spare change

No bombing of Syria


Currently the warmongerers are gathering  planning to bomb Syria. Tomorrow though  will see thousands on  the streets in towns and cities across Britain urging David Cameron not to bomb Syria,  and try to  prevent him from leading us into another dangerous war.
Partner ill in hospital at moment otherwise I would be marching too as I did with  millions of others against the Iraq war, we must not forget that the UK has been bombing other countries for a decade and a half, the cost millions of innocent lives. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results meets Albert Einsteins definition of madness,
Air strikes in Syria could risk devastating consequences. Let us remember this is not te only country facing evil at the present time, we cannot afford  to allow innocents to be collectively punished. War is an act of terrorism too, only on a bigger budget.
Do we stoke and inflame an already perilous situation that could result in Isis's disease spreading further,  acting as a recruitment to this death cult.
Here is John Pilger, a man I have admired for a long time, who always has the courage to speak the truth as he sees it. A true inspiration. Here he speaks on Isis, Syria, the press and Jeremy Corbyn. Blessed are the peacemakers.

You can lobby your own M.P here :-

http://stopwar.org.uk/resources/petitions/stop-the-bombing-of-syria-now-lobby-your-mp-now




Thursday, 26 November 2015

No silver linings


(Originally published here:- at I am not a silent Poet blog  https://iamnotasilentpoet.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/no-silver-linings-by-dave-rendle/  ok that's teifidancer finally outed)

Golden brown and silver foil,
took some dear friends far away,
a deadly seducer of illusion,
freezing and numbing souls forever,
sending senses into endless sleep,
sweet brothers to run out of steam,
having released poison into veins,
voices left eternally in disarray.

In the morning and dusk,
lights went out, compasses lost,
in cold sweats, demons vapour called,  
sadness became a pleading cry
riding on waves of oblivion,
spreading sorrow and tears,
shooting up deadly obsession,
instead of love, destruction called,
navigating kinsmen to goodbye's door.

I remember now as November rain falls,
how their breathes slipped away,
memories  that still run deep,
seduced and taken into infinite depths,
crying inside, but lost outside,
innocents who pushed too hard,
who speak to me now only in dream.

May perilous journeys act as warnings,
because Mr Brown is such bad company,
a negator of life a creator of ruin,
leaving to many holes of emptiness,

a beautiful flower when grown in the wild,
but on the streets, spreads to much hurt.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

When we lose our fear, they lose their power.


In the present climate our lives are currently being saturated by round the clock fear. Scaremongering headlines fill our homes and our public spaces. The fear of war, the fear of terror, the fear of this and that, your neigbours, your community. Crisis and panic  is all we seem to talk or care about. Horror after horror, catastrophe after disaster,  cruelty and tragedy impose on all or waking days. It seems to be the  new order of the day. Perpetrated and spread by the media, the usual suspects the Daily Fail, the Scum, the Daily Express etc etc, CNN, Fox, the BBC, most of Murdochs outposts of bile.
We should not forget about Paris, Syria, Palestine ( replace with any random country) whatever stirs our hearts, what has happened cannot be simply wiped out, but surely it is time now to start losing our fears.
We must remember that in reality , in everyday our everyday lives are remarkably safe, but  the threat  of terror abounds and is cultivated, a fear that does us no good. It is important to reflect of course, but we should not get fixated, we should try to carry on doing what we normally do,  here I am again in the library, later might have a cold beer, go for a walk, smoke a joint, have a nap, maintain my inner being, will try not to be consumed by fear. Give it a try and while your at it, stop spreading it. Remember that fear is a lucrative business, and that people are daily getting richer from it, don't allow it to take control, that enables the terrorists and dirty politicians to win.
Do not  lose your resolve, your convictions and faith, refuse to stigmatise, do not allow the good to become the bad, this enables the bad to become even more powerful. It is time though for the start the war coalition to be stopped.
Remember when we  lose our fear, they lose their power.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Ode to Jeremy Hunt


( a rather silly ode, composed this morning)

Oh Jeremy Hunt, I'll be rather blunt,
you really are a complete Tory c***t,
it is not junior doctors that are a threat to patients,
the true danger lies with you and your friends,
cutting funds and asset stripping, tearing apart our beloved NHS,
because your conning us, letting this essential service to be broken,
carving it up, allowing its put upon workers to carry on choking,
your laugh is like bad medicine, poison for our soul,
you refuse to  face our questions, your simply out of control,
you continue to use damaging words against health professionals,
won't meet  demands, reach out and find some concessions,
but we will keep pleading for more consistency, 
 passionately we will continue to rally against your toxicity,
because Jeremy Hunt, you really are a stupid runt,
I hope that the people of this land continue to give you a shunt.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Beunaventarra Durruti laid to rest (14/7/1889 - 20/11/1936)


With forty years of  fighting, of exile, of jailings, of living underground, of strikes, and of insurrection, Beunaventura Durutti, the  legendary Spanish revolutionary and Anarchist lived many lives.
Uncompromising, intransigent revolutionary, he travelled a long road from rebellious young worker to the man who refused all bureacratic positions, honours, awards, and who at death was morned by millions of women and men. Durutti believed and lived his belief that revolution and freedom were inseperable.
On this day Beunaventurra Durutti was laid to rest in 1936.A hero to the Spanish working class , half a million workers attended his funeral. With the rise again of the far right, no better  time than to remember this inspirational man who died fighting against fascism in the Spanish Civil War.
On 14th November Durutti arrived in Madrid at the height of the  civil war from Aragon,by air with 5,000 men( numbers vary according to different accounts).The column had to go by train as all the railway tracks had been bombed. He went  to the frontline on the 16th. On the 19th November  1936, he was shot dead  by a sniper, he died the following day, his funeral  was in Barcelona and was attended  by half a million people.It is widely accepted that only about 700 of his fellow comrades were still alive a week later.

Rare footage of Beunaventura Durutti's funeral.



This book is his definite biography :

https://libcom.org/library/durruti-spanish-revolution

Saturday, 21 November 2015

'I'm turning into an anarchist' - Benjamin Zephaniah



Benjamin Zepaniah,a favourite poet of mine, who I've  always considered one of the good guys, Anarchist or not  he always speaks from the heart, and like George Orwell, the more he understands and continues to inspire, as he rejects a society that rejects people, and dehumanises along the way, I  will agree with him, in the sense that those that those against mutli-culturalism here In Britain, are truly the most anti-British among us.
Long may he help us and inspire, with his revolutionary attitudes and passion and long continue being a  poet of the people, his words nurturing people from all walks of life . We need men like this, in days like these, I for one am grateful for his attitudes and beliefs, his words. 
Respect to him always.

Friday, 20 November 2015

This is Syria


This is Syria, this poem bears witness,
to all that suffer upon it's land,
muslims,Shiites, Druze, Kurds,
Circassion, Sunni, Ismaili,
Alawites, Mershdis, Sufi, Christian,
brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, 
sons and daughters,sharing a common burden, 
all in need of our tears, and deepest sympathy.
deliverance from both Assad and Isis
                                 
Syria is their land, their shared identity,
whose people carry a fierce pride,
in ancient traditions and culture,
their history and tales, now lost in misery,
because the scent of their homeland,
is stained now with  tears and blood,
souls daily carried on voyages of weariness.

Not all these people are extremists,
neither should we call then terrorists    
these are labels given by the the media,
that feeds us daily with fear and hate,
do you seek the truth, or do you look away?
turn your backs, forget their situation?
disregard these compromised states of existence,
as the smell of death encases their land.

Do we carry on walking, with our eyes shut,
pass the tragedy and misery of their struggle,
do we allow these proud spirits to be subdued,
as they plead  for their shared pain to end,
as their world implodes, and darkness engulfs,
let us deliver to them peaceful solutions,
no more bombs  allowed to fall on innocents,
let jasmines soft sweetness bloom again,
to shower this land with everlasting peace.








                                                            
                                                



    

               


               




Thursday, 19 November 2015

100th Anniversary of the Murder of Joe Hill ( 7/10/1875-15/11/15)


I have written of the great Joe Hill before, he is a great inspiration, so on the centenary of his judicial execution, it gives me the opportunity to write about him once more.
Swedish born ( his actual name was  Joel Emmanuel Haggland ), he emigrated  to New York aged 23, with his brother Paul, after the death of his parents, spending his time as a wandering itinerant and musical troubadour, engaging in the struggles of his time, hopping from one freight train to the next, working as a labourer, washer of dishes, sweeper of floors, moving cargo on docks, picking crops and working in construction. He was later to adopt the name Joe Hill after being blacklisted after trying to start  a union in Chicago,  he was to become a legend in in his own lifetime because of his actions and deeds.
He also wrote satirical  songs to be sung by the people, songs about struggles that he was actively engaged in, using  his songs as weapons  in the class war that he was engaged in such as  There is Power in the Union, The Preacher and the Slave and The Rebel Girl along with hundreds more . He also became a senior organiser of the Industrial Workers of the World (the IWW) most commonly known as the wobblies . His aim along with hundreds  of other fellow workers and revolutionaries was to emancipate the working classes, creating unity and solidarity under one big union.
He would go to Mexico at the time of the revolution in 1911, fighting with his comrades under a red flag like the true rebel that he was. trying to overthrow the dictator Porfirio Diaz. Next stop onto San Diego in 1912 to support fellow workers protesting against police banning of street meetings. Then onto British Colombia helping organise a national construction strike,  then on to San Pedro to help dockworkers. This  would  lead to the first recorded encounter with the police who arrested him on the charge of vagrancy.
He would inspire many, his fellow workers and comrades, but to the bosses saw him as  someone to be feared, someone they considered dangerous, he was in their eyes a marked man.
On the evening of 10th January 1914 in Utah  he sought medical treatment for gunshot wounds, he claimed they had been inflicted upon him after quarrel with a man over a woman, and refused to elaborate anymore, earlier that evening in another part of town, a grocer and his son had been shot and killed. One of the assailants was wounded, so Hill's injury  implicated  him in the incident. Yet despite the uncertainty of witnesses, no one coming forward to identify him as one of the assailants at the scene of the crime no blood of Hills found at the scene a local jury was convinced of his guilt. No physical  evidence linking him to the murder he was accused of.
He was scheduled to be shot by firing squad,  this  caused outrage across the world.  an international campaign to exonerate him was launched, from Britain to other European countries and even President Woodrow Wilson calling for a retrial.  Those looking at the case eventually declared its willingness to hear testimony from the woman's husband, but Hill loyally  refused to identify his alleged assailant in case it damaged the reputation of the lady involved.
Sadly the eventual day came and he was executed and shot down by firing squad on this day 19th November 1915. 
Whilst waiting his execution he wrote the following words which were later turned into song :-

My will is easy to decide
for I have nothing to divide
My kin don't need to weep and moan
Moss does not cling to a rolling stone
My body?  oh, If I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breeze blow
My dust to where some flowers grow
Perhaps some fading flower then
Would soon grow up and grow green again
This is my last and final will
Good luck to all of you, Joe Hill

Among his  final words were  " Don't mourn , organise "

and just before he was assassinated  in reply  to a question if he had anything further to say he answered "Fire" unfortunately they did.

Up to 30,000 people would attend his funeral, he was subsequently cremated and his ashes divided into 600 envelopes, that were sent to IWW branches across the globe.

Scenes of Joe Hill's funeral cortege



He would become  a martyr for the Labour Movement across the world, who is forever remembered today and tomorrow because he planted a seed upon the earth  that still makes the parasites shake,  in every place where people organise together  his legacy still spins, his power still resonates, as we remember that " an injury to one is an injury to all."
You can't  kill the spirit of Joe Hill,  this spirit lives on in his songs and in the deeds of men and women across the globe who carries his message  forward, in unity and  strength, in solidarity forever.

Paul Robeson sings the song  Joe Hill



Joe Hill's Preacher and the Slave as sung by Utah Philips



Link to last years with poem dedicated to him, and links to two other posts here :-

http://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/joe-hill-7101879-191115-injury-to-
one.html

Some useful links :-

IWW Cymru/Wales

https://www.facebook.com/walesiww/

British and Irish region of the IWW

https://iww.org.uk

USA Branch

http://www.iww.org


https://www.iww.org

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The late great Tony Benn on the Middle East


The late great Tony Benn, spot on as usual , check out the following video where he talks about arms sales to the middle east, make you think.
It should be noted that serving in Egypt during Britain's colonial days he witnessed the cruel effects of the British Empire. The speech  I post below that he delivered to the house of commons in November 1992 sadly still has so much relevance to us today. At the moment the profiteers of  pain and sorrow, the arms manufacturers are seeing their deadly trade boom. 
It should also be noted that ISIS  strength in power arose after the destruction of Iraq and Syria, largely funded by selling oil on the black market and by using weapons left by Americans in the Iraq war, and then in Syria used to fight Bashar al- assad.
I do not understand how more violence will help the situation, but sadly the ones clamouring for war seem to have the loudest voices at the  moment.We should not succumb to fear being stirred up at moment  but must keep pushing for peaceful solutions to the massive problems we are currently facing. 

Tony Benn - Arms sales to Iraq



Tuesday, 17 November 2015

What Jeremy Corbyn actually said about the shoot to kill policy



This is what Jeremy Corbyn actually said about the shoot to kill policy regarding a terrorist situation,that he has now been forced to accept,  but don't expect to read it in the right wing corporate mainstream media.

- " We live in dark and dangerous times and the shoot-to-kill-policy is specifically aimed at terrorists in a hostage situation, is the right policy given the emergency situation that members of the special services will find themselves in" he said .
" It is the right thing to do in those circumstances and  we have given that power to those responsible to make that decision."

Corbyn has also long been opposed to a wider military campaign and said this morning that French strikes would "probably not" make a difference. Once again only saying what a lot of people genuinely feel. Do we really  feel it necessary to spread more danger  that could end up highly counterproductive. I have little sympathy for Hilary Benn, and other Labour dinosaurs rushing out to condemn.  loved his father,  but have the utmost respect for straight talking Jeremy Corbyn holding on to his principles along with his friends at Stop the War.
Are we not allowed to question things anymore?
Let us not forget that the last time that guns and high adrenaline got together in London, an innocent Brazilian electrician named  Jean Charles De Menzies was executed in cold blood in error. 
Of  course we must continue to be on guard in the aftermath of the Paris terror attack and carry on opposing the cycle of war, terror and racism, not forgetting either that it was Western interventions in the Middle East that have been partially responsible for many  terrorist attacks taking place.


Monday, 16 November 2015

Confession



I admit I suffer from depression, anxiety too,
but if you bumped into me in the street, 
could give you a misconception,
as I release my smiley face,
offer you a firm handshake,
as the weight of the world,
brings me down.

A constant war inside myself,
mind in constant rearrangement,
feelings lift from  time to time,
clouds depart, to provide glimmers of hope,
from the darkest of nights,
to bright days awakening.

I chase dreams, vapors of positivity,
never feel that I'm losing the fight,
it might be hard, but often I win,
find some dignity stored, some self respect,
but depression can be such a lonely thing,
often grateful for the friends who have called.

I've got better at coping nowadays,
but should avoid the internet and the daily news,
guess that's just a pattern of my behaviour,
sit in  the library within the confines of knowledge,
found in moments of waking, this is my confession.


  

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Paris Aftermath, some further thoughts



To people currently blaming refugees for attack in Paris yesterday, do these people not realise that it is these people that the refugees are trying to flee from.
"Who mourns for whom? Whose gaze and who speaks for whom? Who names whom and, who are the perpetrators or the victims? Who speaks the truth? Who cares ? Who?" - Anon
Do we forget the people of Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Syria,Kenya, Beirut, Palestine, etc etc ?
We all share one commonality, that we are all human. Is compassion limited only to those we identify  with? Should we not find outrage and sadness for all victims of war and terrorism?
Should we not be trying to stop all wars, that help feed terrorism? Western powers should be reminded of their part in ongoing terrorism. Should we not be praying for the whole world? Lets hope we can continue to spread some simple messages of truth and restraint.Let not our collective guilt be moulded into hate, with dignity and respect lets try and foster peace. Sadly I feel that this crappy world will keep on delivering more shame, let us cry together not in our names..
Remember too that the perpetrators of yesterdays attacks weren't Muslims they were cowards using religion as a vindication for their cowardice. We are one world and family it is time we started  showing one another respect. We must stand together, this after all is how we will grow.
Lets continue to show our solidarity with  people rather than nation states.

" Whoever  kills  an innocent person it is as if he has killed all of humanity."

- The Koran 5:32

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Auguries of doom


(for victims of Paris Terror attack)

Terrorism is hate
it cannot win,
love must triumph
because this vein of brutality is sick,
chaotic warped voices
breeding messages of darkness,
with futile redundant deadly intention
on blood splattered streets,
the music falls silent
darkness dances with senselessness,
tears drop onto pavements
paths of destruction carry fear,
contaminated ideology
lies polluted and poisoned,
confused and twisted
against humanity sows
rampant seeds of disregard,
but peace love and compassion
will never surrender,
as heartbreak's pain throbs
and hate arrives in Paris,
spread by deluded stalkers of death
let us pray,that terror won't win,
let us  plead for peace, again and again
even though we don't know who the enemy is.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Street art of Banksy in Palestine with David Rovics singing "Occupation"...



This post dedicated  to Boris Johnson, who has just had  to cut his Middle East trip short because of stupid  disrespectful  remarks he made on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He has spread misinformation on the situation, and has consciously displayed  denial of the occupation that continues daily  to oppress the Palestinians. Daily confiscating land, destroying homes, detaining children and violating international and humanitarian law on a daily basis.  His dismissal of BDS (Boycott divestment sanctions) tactics simply displays an arrogance and dismissal of the Palestinian people. It should not be a great surprise to him that he did not  get a great welcome from them.. This is what occupation, looks and sounds like.

" You ask me how  it is
That I dare take a side
You say I loathe myself
For pointing out that you have lied
You say it's tribal warfare
But I disagree
For the dynamics of the situation
Are not difficult to see
On one  side is the fighter jet
On the other side the stone
On one side is the slave
On the other is the throne
For the many there are checkpoints
While foreign soldiers rule the streets
For one side there is victory
But the people don't accept defeat

(CHORUS)

The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if  peace is what you're after then let us not deceive
it will  come on the day the tanks return to Tel Aviv

On one side there is hunger
And  bulldozed olive trees
On  the other is the Army
Ruling by decrees
Caterpillers  maul the streets
And destroy entire city blocks
While children swallow shrapnel
For the crime of throwing rocks
Fences are erected
Around the towns they flatten
And Herzi's own fanatics
Sleep on  sheets of satin
And they water their plantations
Drilling  ever-deeper wells
While the displaced children of the hopeless
Are filled with bullet shells

(Chorus)

... It will come on the day the settlers return to Tel Aviv

On one side there is the Mossad
Rounding up the men
Thrown in jail without trial
Being tortured once again
On the other there is rage
Helplessness and fear
And a growing realization
That another holocaust is near
On the outside there are prisons
Inside detainees
Being stripped of their humanity
Beaten naked to their knees
Outside ghetto prison walls
There are stormtroopers all around
While inside the hungry people
Yearn for liberated  ground

(Chorus)

.... it will come on the day the jailguards return to Tel Aviv

All across the world
You can hear the people say
The children  of Jerusalem
Will be free one day
In overcrowded camps
Amidst  the stench  of death and flies
To the suburbs of Detroit
You can hear the extinguished cries
While in the land of Israel
With God ever on their side
Walls and fences are constructed
And papers are denied
People fight for their existence
While the world turns a blinded eye
And  those who should know better
Insist on asking why.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

David Cameron admits to being a cluless idiot


Multi millionaire man of the people has admitted being a clueless idiot  he has just written to his local council to complain about the obvious disastrous consequences of his own chancellors destructive ideological austerity agenda. A man whose party is committed to make significant cuts to our frontline services from our elderly day centres, to our libraries and our museums. His ignorance would be funny, if it was not for the fact that  his and the tory's toxic  policies are currently causing untold misery to many. He is clearly out of touch.
This mans judgement already called into question many times, as he and his party carry on inflicting pain across the land. From the outset Cameron's strategic blunders, confused demeanor and errors of judgement have been plain to see, as he spreads discontent and misery across the nation, with his bluster and belligerance and his damaging array of economic policies. As a result of his austerity measures according to Oxfam 800,000 British children will be plunged into poverty over the next ten years, over the same period 1.5 million working age adults will fall into poverty as well, by 2018, 900,000 public sector workers will have lost their jobs, and the bottom 10% of British earners seeing their income fall 38% over this Governments 5 year term. His austerity measures serve no purpose than to cut the welfare state  so that can reduce taxes on the rich, to the cost of the vulnerable , the marginalised and the less better off. Combined  with tax redit cuts shambles, and ongoing plans  to cut public spending by £30 billion including £12 billion in welfare cuts the mind truly boggles.
It is obvious that David Cameron is an idiot, so tell me  where are the mass marches, riots of uncaged emotion? It seems  that, like it or not , (as he fills a lot of us with  feeling of loathing )he still finds lots of supporters  and commands respect from people  who  are still not convinced that austerity is a lie, that austerity is a con. Who would probably still carry on voting Tory even if Cameron killed, and dismembered a baby live on T.V.
For God's sake lets stop him in his tracks he is clearly not fit to run the country.

Vote no confidence in David Cameron :-

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104471


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Make your stand today



If you stand for nothing. You fall for everything. Make your stand today. There's a lot of injustice spreading  across this land ( and most others too)  don't just stand by. Do something. Join others and fight injustice together. 
In life things change, imagine for a minute if everything stayed the same, month after month, year after year. We should always be determined to stand firm, stand strong, in order to make a better world. Never be afraid to use your voice for honesty and compassion, use it to speak out against injustices, lying and greed,  that is daily spread but not in our names. Be a weapon of good.
Now is the time to make your stand, because if we don't the rot will continue. Don't remain silent, speak out against injustice, large or small, and share the voices of those who continue to expose them. Do not be discouraged, be a force for change. It is too easy to sit back and do nothing, we can't afford to keep quiet, for a more equitable society to be achieved, we have to lend our voices to the invisible.
Hail all that make a stand against injustice. So stand up, speak out, and I will stand together with you. 
They will try to make you falter, try to make you fall, but we will strive forward because there is no other way.

R.S. Thomas - Pact.

Britain fell silent today, to mark the eleventh day of the eleventh month to honour those who died in conflict and those still fighting for freedom, to mark the time when in 1918 gunfire ceased on the Western Front and the First World War ended,and the idea of ending all wars. A fact our leaders have not heeded.
So I consider the following poem, most apt. Heddwch/peace.

This is my child;
that is yours. Let
peace be between them
when they grow up.

They are far off
now; let it not
be through war they are brought
near. Their languages

are different. Let them both
learn it is peace
in the hand is the translation
of peace in the mind.





Monday, 9 November 2015

WARNING :- Serious proposals to Library services in Ceredigion to to be discussed by Council Cabinet tomorrow.


It has been drawn to my attention ( someone kindly passed me on an internal memo) that tomorrow, 9th November , Ceredigion County Council Cabinet  in Aberaeron to discuss proposals  to discuss options for changes within the library services in Ceredigion. I am alarmed that no one seems to know what is going on, let us hope those with responsibility will allow wider consultation with the wider public.
I guess the reasons for the consideration, is due to the severe cutbacks made by the Conservative Government to local Government funding and expenditure to public services occurring across Britain at the moment. Whatever happens the authorities have a duty to keep us informed with their proposals.
There are 3 proposals to be discussed. :-

1. Closure of Llandysul library and reduction of the mobile library by two vehicles ( one large and small vehicle)

2.Closure of Llandysul and one further static library

Reduce the number of static libraries by two through the closure of Llandysul and either Cardigan, Lampeter or Aberaeron. The Mobile library service would be re-designed to provide a service for the towns where static libraries have been closed but the frequency of visits across the county would be reduced.

3.Closure all static libraries, bar Aberystwyth.

Reduce the number of static libraries to one, Aberystwyth only and re-design the mobile  library service to provide a service across the County  but the frequency of visits to all Towns would be reduced.

All the above options will also include an element of staff reduction through automation and support processes.

In my opinion all above, very alarming and worrying, in a county that is bilingual, keen to promote its identity and language access to free literature and services in their own language I would have thought would be paramount.
Libraries are places  of intellectual freedom, places of learning, I believe access to them is a basic human right, knowledge after all gives us power.
People in the community on any income level can daily access information via books or computer, for those of us who cant afford to go elsewhere.
Local library's also act as an essential hub in the community, where service users gather, to read newspapers, catch up with friends, to feel a sense of belonging, providing safe and friendly environments for young and old for social networking. With dedicated hardworking staff always on hand, who seem to have been kept in the dark about the plans, with minimum amount of consideration or consultation.
Also provide the first gateways to a childs pathway to learning. A place to keep warm, a  place that really change lives. Also provide the first gateways to a childs pathway to learning. A place to keep warm, a pl;ace that really saves lives.
Furthermore currently the library in Cardigan ( I know this, because I use it everyday, I write as a loyal library user)  is the only service that provides free source of internet access to poorer members of the community. It is used to apply for and access benefits, job hunts and fill in job applications, and source any level of government information. I am aware that a significant part of the community who cannot afford to buy a computer or pay for broadband to access the internet in their own homes. My own partner found her current home accessing the services of Cardigan library. The only opportunity that some of us to  access the internet at the moment, is in the library.
Without our library services a significant percentage of Ceredigion's community would be disenfranchised, from these essential services and resources, and I say nothing about the poets, the bloggers and creatives amongst our numbers.
I sincerely hope that when the cabinet meets tomorrow to discuss their proposals, they have the tenacity to take on board some thoughts contained within this post. My mind really reels that they are actually thinking of these proposals, that they may actually come into being.
Our libraries should remain and continue to play an important and pivotal role in our community. Books are essential to survival for society and the individual. Surely there must be other things the council could be looking at.


POST UPDATE 

10/11/15

They have decided to put it out to public consultation,  put the onus on us, we must demand and shout loudly  that we want the service that we have and need , a free public library for one and all.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A Persistent Peace


As leaves lie fallen,
on the ground,
and people remember,
stand in silence,
in every city, town and village,
carry the weight of sorrow,
as the rain pours down,
a persistent echo  rings,
beyond the wasted bloodshed,
and the pity of war,
in dark days,
brings light,
gives purpose,
for us to achieve,
upon every week,
upon every month,
upon every year,
on all occasions,
not just for today,
breathing through,
our arms and different skins,
peace's persistent kiss,
could disarm us all,
softly, softly, 
keeps on calling,
releasing message strong,
there is nothing that it fears.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Let us alI remember


( Further thoughts on Remembrance Sunday)

Let is all remember what we do not seem to learn, that it is Politicians that send men and women to die, to go to war,so  that they can try and win unwinnable battles for them. We should remember never be intimidated by the media which sees the wearing of a red poppy as a test of loyalty,a definition of loyalty. Let us acknowledge all those people looking for alternative ways of marking and remembering the  dead, working for peace, day by day.
Let us remind ourselves how the wearing or not wearing of the poppy has been used to shame people who make the conscious decision not to wear one, or how to criticise, is to be bandied a traitor, as we are told  told time and again  that soldiers died for our freedoms. Lets not forget  either the families of the wounded or dead who are left abandoned, and the many ex servicemen who are left homeless to fend for themselves.
It's time to expose the hypocrites who sanction wars, arms sales and state repression while wearing a red poppy and uttering platitudes on Remembrance Day.

READ MORE HERE :-

http://www.stopwar.org.uk

Let us fall silent to mourn the loss of ordinary men  and women who have died when they need not have. Let us fall silent  in  the hope that remembering  will prevent the tragedies of war and yes injustice of human tragedy and loss does not happen again. Let us fall silent to remember victims on all sides of conflict, orchestrated by all warmongering governments,
Let us reclaim the poppy as a symbol of peace not as a symbol of war.

Also

" Peace cannot be kept  by force, it can only be achieved by understanding. You cannot subjegate a nation forcibly unless you wipe out every man, woman and child. Unless you wish to use drastic measures, you must find a way of settling your disputes without resort to arms."

- Albert Einstein ( from Militant Pacifist, 1931)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Shot at dawn in the First World War and the Welsh opposition that seems to have been forgotten.


During the First World War some 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers were shot for mutiny desertion and cowardice. Most of them were sentenced after a short trial at which  no real opportunity for defence was allowed.
Today, it is recognised that several of them were underage when they volunteered and that many were actually suffering from shell-shock or post traumatic disorder. Andy Decomyn's statue ' Shot at Dawn' is modelled on Private Herbert Burden of the 1st Batallion Northumberland fusiliers, who was shot at Ypres in 1915. aged only 17. His name and the names of who suffered the fate of being shot at dawn are listed on the stakes arranged  in the form of a Greek theatre around the statue, symbolising the tragedy that those events signify. The location of the memorial in the most easterly point of the Arboteum means that this is the first place to be touched by the dawn light.
He was one of 306 young British soldiers who met this  cruel fate, including 15 of my own fellow Welsh countrymen, induced by the horrors of the Great War, that at least Jeremy Corbyn has had the tenacity to acknowledge. I remember too  how the late Keir Hardie duel M.P for Mertyr Tydfil and Aberdare raised his opposition to this cruel war. What is also forgotten is around 200,000 miners in  the South Wales valleys  went on strike at the height of the First World War. Not everyone signed up to the  jingoistic version of patriotism that continues to be spread.
There were between 700-900 conscientious objectors in Wales during this period, it was no soft option. It meant tribunals, imprisonment and hard labor. Conchies as they were  known faced with humiliation, called cowards and shirkers. By 1916 Home Office intelligence reports revealed the extent of anti-war, revolutionary opposition in South Wales, it was large.
After the 75 year secrecy Act was lifted, members of the Shot at Dawn Organisation started campaigning for pardon. This week as rememberance Sunday approaches I remember them all not as cowards or traitors, but as victims of injustice that were not given the chance to survive.
I support all those that strive to ensure that a radical anti-war message remains fully embedded in our hearts, without disrespecting others that fell. So on Sunday I will proudly wear a white poppy. Remember these other  heroes that time has forgotten.
Finally in the words of Harry Patch the last WW1 veteran in Europe (1989 -2006)

' War is organised  murder and nothing else. Politicians  who took us to war should have been given the  guns and told to settle their differences themselves instead of organising nothing netter than legalised murder.'




                                      World War One Conscientious Objectors                             


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

And so it is.


  ( I try to avoid rhyme in my poems, but with this little one, made the effort. I do not understand either, why some poets resort to using  rhyming dictionary's online or in  book form, I believe a poem should come from the mind and heart of the of the poet,  so I choose not to use them.)

There are days of gladness
swimming alongside grains of sadness,
living attentively, passing time with no regret
following things beautiful, among earth's scent,
allows me moments to release poems bright
tales, sometimes whispering with disquiet,
as the world contains me, I try to protect delicate skin
the pulse and echo weaving among humanity's din.
 Following endless rivers of transformation                              
carried under the moon and sun,
the unquenchable thirst of longing
this voice, so far never conforming, 
falling apart sometimes, but somehow clinging on
in this world of constant transition, 
my messages escape to spread freedoms mission
release the presence of communication,
allow me to surrender wild imagination
until that fateful day, when wings rip, 
and I will fall upon a landing strip
as death calls and takes me far away
in departure to sail on horizons distant fray.

Monday, 2 November 2015

98th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration




Lord Balfour
Today marks the 96th anniversary of the cursed Balfour promise or Balfour Declaration, by means of which those who had no ownership (Britain) permitted those who had no right to establish a national homeland on an established country Palestine. Lord Balfour bought about a promise that marked  the confiscation of the Palestinians homeland with displacement of its people. Balfour I believe will continue to turn in his grave  because of the historical injustice which Britain committed against the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian conflict does not begin in 1948 but in 1917, with this  declaration. It is necessary that we go back to this crucial watershed in the history of the Middle East and the roots of the continuing betrayal of the Palestinian people.As a result Palestinians were evicted from their ancestral  homeland to be expelled to refugee camps, to live in exile across the globe, to this present day.The continuing seperation of the people of the West Bank andthe open prison that is Gaza.
 Because of the broken promise, Britain can be given the blame for setting the stage for the conflict that exists today.We are approaching soon the 100th anniversary of this grave injustice. And in this moment in time the current gravity of the situation in Palestine cannot be overstated.
Britain must accept its  full responsibility in  moretheless creating this current situation, which has left a legacy of deceit, injustice and oppression..
I also acknowledge that Balfour was not unique in history in giving what he did not own to those that were not entitled to it. It is time for Britain to apologise for the Balfour declaration.

Link to post on 95th anniversary here :-

http://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/95th-anniversary-of-balfour-declaration.html

Dissapearing Palestine - Richard Hamilton



Despite the above, I still strongly believe that 'From the river to the sea'
one day Palestine will be free.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Remembering the 1910 Cambrian Combine Strike, the great Unrest and the Tonypandy riots.


On 1st November 1910, coal miners working for the Cambrian Combine began a ten month strike, because of having to exist on starvation wages, which which would lead to the Tonypandy riots. Also at issue was the  price to be paid for a new seam of coal. During this period in the early 1910's which is often  called " the Great Unrest.' the South Wales valleys were  experiencing its fair share of industrial tension and unrest.
30,000  miners in the Rhondda, Aberdare and Maesteg went on strike  or were locked out.
The strike would mark one of the few occasions in British troops were deployed against striking workers, ( I remember how Margaret Thatcher would later deploy the British police as her  own unofficial private army against the miners in the 1984/85 strike.)
On 7 November 1910, thousands of striking miners marched across the Rhondda valley,  they had walked  out over mining magnet D.A Thomas's decision to sack the whole workforce at  the Ely Pit in Penycraig, Rhondda. They demanded better pay and working conditions. After  one striker had been killed, a miner called Samuel Rhys and mass pickets had failed to stop  police from scab herding,( they had bussed  in scab workers from Cardiff to keep the colliery running,) tensions already high erupted, and an uprising ensured, which is  now known as the Tonypandy riots. (Incidentally my own grandads sister ended up living there) strikers attacked shops in the town who had  put families on a credit blacklists not allowing  them to buy enough food,  thus aiding the bosses. Blackleg trains were stoned and halted.
Winston Churchill. then Home Secretary sent in the troops. The striking miners ( many accompanied by their women ) fought back although  the troops were wielding rifles with fixed bayonets.
People were bludgened, kicked and maltreated , with many suffering serious injuries, such was the brutality inflicted. 13 miners  were arrested and prosecuted for their part in the unrest.
After almost one year on strike these brave miners who had had to endure so much hardship returned to work. Though their demands  were not met, the strike helped change the face of British Trade Unionism, still inspiring workers fighting for better conditions today, giving rise in South Wales to increased militancy, the growth of revolutionary syndicalism in the workers struggle against their bosses.
Winston Churchill would be despised by many in South Wales, for the rest of his life, for  the actions that he took .