Saturday, 30 January 2016

Musical Heroes

( will end the month with this poem, released last night at my monthly  Cellar Bards  meet,  a response to  people who have moved my world. These people are not flawless though, I do not worship them , but their voices have carried me  through lifes struggles, and continue to impact on my days.)

Musical inspiration
has rippled through my days,
in summertime and the coldness of winter
waiting for springs return,
old heroes keep drifting by
intoxicating my world with their senses,
wild in imagination
flickers of light that keep on shining
high above forever flying.

Sounds released 
give me a glimpse of yesterday,
a glance of tomorrow
alpha moving with Omega,
playing leap frog in the rain
earth beats keep on swinging,
the end is never quite finished
as another day unfolds.

Musical heroes keep on giving
refusing to go  gently in the night.
signals and currents
endlessly captivating,
voices strong that never disappear
so thank you,John Coltrane, Gil Scot Heron,
Bessie Smith, Woody Guthrie
Joe Strummer, Lemmy,
Billy Holliday, David Bowie,
fellow astronauts
travelling upon oceans of sound.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

David Cameron loses it.

Fury has erupted as David Cameron lost it yesterday  during his attack on Jeremy Corbyn at PMQ's and now he's paying for it.
He has been criticised for  describing Calais refugees as 'a bunch of migrants' while Jeremy Coryn attacked  cruel and unjust bedroom tax  and derisory Google tax deal, his comments  have been described as vile and hypocritical as they came on Holocaust Memorial Day, using flippant remarks to score political points, at a time when we are facing the greatest refugee crisis of our time. Refugees desperately trying to find some safety and dignity to be treated with derision by a Prime Minister who used his position to release vile inflammatory comments. This coming after his  other casual remarks about "a swarm of people " arriving in Calais and previous cheap jokes  cracked  at Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron's expense  after being told about the plight of desperate refugee children.Shame on him as people are dying on our doorstep.
It is now down  to the rest of us to  show him that the spirit of compassion lives on, to do what we can to help and to ensure that the rest of the world knows that David ' dishonourable reptile' Cameron and his ilk are not representative of the rest of us and keep on staying human. 

Here's the late great Tony Benn, spot on as usual.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day - a time for us all to reflect on the Nazis attempt to wipe out Jews, Gypsies and other  minority groups, Trade Unionists, Communists,  homosexuals, people with mental and physical difficulties, Jehovah Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other slavic peoples  targeted for destruction and decimation  for racial, ethnic and national reasons, along with black people and resistance fighters.
From the time they assumed power in 1933, the Nazis used  persecution, propoganda,  and legislation to deny human rights to so many. Using hate as their  foundation.
By the end of the Holocaust over 8 million , men  women and children had perished in ghettoes and mass shootings , in concentration camps and extermination camps.
Holocaust Memorial day is  held today because it marks the liberation of Aushwitz-Birkenau , the largest of the Nazi Concentration Camps.
But is  also used today to remember all subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia  and Darfur etc etc.
We must never forget the journeys of the persecuted. and when we say  never again, we must mean never again.
But we still face  so much tragedy, and persecution that should not exist,  anti-muslim hate crimes have tripled,we have the 'jungle' of Calais, refugees  in Cardiff forced to wear identifying  red wristbands, doors of refugees painted red in Middlesbrough. The hate speech of Le Pen, and Donald Trump,  fascist forces and assorted racists from  a range of far right groups  descending on the port of Dover, with the aim of  inciting racial hatred.
We cannot afford to tolerate this, we must constantly oppose, or we will repeat the mistakes and crimes and terrible tragedy of the past. No to hatred and intolerance. Today I remember all those who died in the Holocaust , whilst watching history repeating itself, and people remaining silent.
Lest we forget.


Speaking Out

( after losing an unusual amount of followers on this blog in last few days. My voice still rings out.)

I usually have something to say
Whether you listen, or not that's ok,
My thoughts can be furious
or can  gently float,
trying to release meaning
standing alone, raising voice.
I try to release words
speaking out when I want to,
will apologise when necessary
as long as I still have breathe,
will try and keep on being true
refusing silence, allow words to engage,
sending out messages to fight and heal,
against injustice, senseless war
the horrors of the world,
in  anxious, restless times
try to stay present while I can,
continue to bark out loud,
allow thoughts to unravel
escape and enclose.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Winter in Gaza - Mosab Mostafa

" Winter is a time for comfort , for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk besides the fire: it is the time for home - Edith Sitwell

"But not in Gaza .
Winter is the time  for pain, for tasteless food and coldness , for the touch of a freezing hand and for a cry beside the fire : it is the time for distress.

But sometimes it is totally the opposite. " -  Mosab Mostafa ,  Friend  from Gaza, Palestine.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Karl Marx on Alienation

Karl Marx believed that work, at its best, is what makes us  human.  It allows us  to live, be creative and flourish. But under capitalism he saw workers alienated  from each other and the product of their  labour.
Unfortunately  we are all products of capitalism. So by it's vey nature it will leave us feeling alienated.
The system  that capitalism props  up wants us to be deatomised and detached from each other, and this atomization will unfortunately  continue as long as society exists.
Overcoming alienation is a perpetual task for individuals.
In other words dealianation is a continuous and interminable process. Rational freedom is the best hope we can  have for humanity for overcoming  various forms of  alienation. I am reminded of the old maxim, the truth  shall set you free.
We are all  cogs in a big machine designed to harness us to the system that keeps the wealthy on top. We can resist this alienation by creating projects for ourselves which produce real interactions outside  of the rules and relationships that social reproduction demands. In doing this we can find new affinities  and new prospects for destroying the existing order.
I remain at the end of the day an optimist.
Oh happy St Dwynwens's day, by the way, the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers.

Narrated by Gillian Anderson  ; Scripted by Nigel Warbuton

From  the BBC Radio 4 series about life's big questions - A history of ideas.

Friday, 22 January 2016


( under the influence of a few jazz cigarettes

In dreamtime meanderings
I drift with subconscious mind,
releasing abstract threads of memory
from deep repostitory of brain, 
in transition, some become reality
journeys for the future to bridge,
flickering in colour, protective spindles of feeling
lingering passages of twilights passing pages,
swaying through the day and night
opening mind, releasing feelings deep inside,
gathering scraps of everything to restore
fading in and out, never submitting to defeat,
waiting for notions of days to come
days of change tumbling  forward,
sparks of magic, spinning through tomorrow
touching the earth, with explosions of breath.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Suppression of thought - a poem for Palestinian Poet, Ashraf Fayah

Ahsraf Fayah is  a Palestinian Poet, sentenced to death by the Saudi Arabian authorities for allegedly insulting Islam,  for the crime of  apostasy. Sentenced to death by beheading for expressing a thought ,,  but  this celebrated poet was basically using his freedom of expression to express his feelings about his identity as a Palestinian, ( his family came from Gaza, even though he was born in Saudi Arabia ) and for sharing his cultural and philosophical ideas in a 2008 book called  Instructions Within . Saudi Arabia  again disregarding human rights and the rule of law.
Poets and artists across the world have been speaking out,  writing poems,  signing petitions, calling for his release and acquital in acts of solidarity. A worldwide reading of his own work took place on January 14th.
Here is a kink to a petiton  by Amnesty International on his behalf, followed by a poem of mine dedicated to him.

Suppression of thought

A distant voice,
shared free expression,
now confined,
by chains of oppression,
longing like a dove to fly away,
beyond the strains of prison walls,
release thoughts that are still unsaid,
a poetic voice, for whom  we now plead.
Each word that is silenced,
is part of us, in pieces,
struggling to be heard,
carrying freedoms breath,
untold wonders of feeling,
Asraf carries a knowledge of life,
that may surpass anything we could attain,
words are often open to interpretation,
this is the gift of communication,
should not be lost  in the silence of time,
let hope share it's light,
the wish of deliverence ,
from  dark captivity,
released from suppression,
verses to be freed, put to paper,
to be granted the ability to breathe again.

above poem posted on I am not a silent poet blog :-

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Brion Gysin ( 19/1/1916 - 13/7/86) - The Poets are supposed to liberate the words - not chain them in phrases

Brion Gysin  was a writer and painter. He is best known for his rediscovery of Tristan Tzara's cut-up technique while cutting  through a newspaper upon which he was  trimming some mats. He did many experiments with cut-ups while living  in Tangiers, where he established with the Moroccan painter Mohamed Hamri a cafe called the 1001 Nights in order to employ members  of the Master Musicians of Joujouka so that he could hear them as frequently as possible. He shared all this with his friend William S. Burroughs, who subsequently  put the cut-up technique into good good use and dramatically changed the landscape of American literature. To be used again  with dramatic effect by the late great Kathy Acker.
Born in Buckinghamshire, England, raised in Alberta by his Canadian mother, but sent to a secondary school at Downside Catholic College in England. His dad was Swiss who went missing in action in the First World War.By the age of 19 deft at language, Brion was a Parisian and surrealist. Beginning a life of adventure leading eveywhere.
A consumate innovator, Gysin altered the cut-up technique to produce what he called permutation poems in which a single phrase was repeated several times, with the words rearranged in a different order with each reiteration. Together with Burroughs they thought the spell of language could be broken by slicing,dicing and splicing.
An outsider who wanted to ' liberate the words from language.' though without the rules of language I guess words can take on the form of psychobabble. But Gysin liked to use  methods  deemed  outside the pantheon of recognised mediums.
A truly radical trailblazer, Artist, poet, magician, subversive , painter, shaman - Gysin was all these things and more.
It is impossible to sum up the importance of this man, his art in a few short paragraphs, I have long admired him, and would urge you to seek him out.
Significantly he has been called the most influential cultural figure of the  last century that most people have never heard of. A big influence on the late David Bowie acting a symbolic role , as an image of unrefined creativity. Bowie talked about the cut-up technique a lot using it to  ignite anything that might be in his imagination. Eventually meeting Gysin in 1976.,  the cut up effect used on his album the Next Day  in 2013. The film about David Bowie Cracked Actor: A film about David Bowie  that was made in 1974 for Omnibus as part of the BBC's art strand was I guess my first introduction to the worlds of Burroughs and Gysin, so cheers David.
So Happy 100th birthday Brion Gysin  who together with William Burroughs  created a 'third mind ' and 'stormed the citadels of enlightenment.'

' Writing is fifty years behind painting. I propose to apply the painters' techniques to writing; things as simple and immediate as college or montage. Cut right through the pages of any book or newsprint... lengthwise, for example, and shuffle the columns of text. Put them together at hazard and read the newly constituted message. Do it for yourself. Use any system which suggests itself to you. Take your own words or the words said to be "the very own words" of anyone else living or dead. You'll soon see that words don't belong to anyone. Words have a vitality of their own and you or anybody else can make them gush into action.

The permutated poems set the words spinning off on their own; echoing out as the words of a potent phrase are permutated into an expanding ripple of meanings which they did  not seem to be capable of when they were struck into that phrase.

The poets are supposed to liberate the words - not chain them in phrases. Who told poets they were supposed to think? Poets are meant to sing and to make words sing. Poets have no words "of their own." Writers don't own their words. Since when do words belong to anybody.
"Your very own words," Indeed! And who are you? '

From 1960 essay:- Cut-Ups Self-Explained.


' Here is the gimmick. Cut up everything in sight. Make your whole life a poem. You can't lose man. You can't lose because you've got  nothing to lose but that worthless junk you're sitting on. Get out of the blue Frigidaire and live.

Try it. Be a Poet. Be a Man.'

Gysin - Cut me up

                                        Brion Gysin - No Poets (1962)

Brion Gysin
(untitled 1971)

A short film  that makes me  stop paying attention to what I am  doing and lose myself  in the idea that:-  'Nothing is true and everything is permitted.'  

I Am that I Am

Monday, 18 January 2016

A Total Revolution ( an answer for Robert Frost ) - Oscar Williams ( 29/12/00 - 10/10/64)

( Oscar Williams was the pen name of Oscar Kaplan  American anthropologist and poet, here's a comparative piece)

A Total Revolution

I advocate a total revolution.
The trouble with a semi-revolution.
It's likely to be as slow as evolution. 
Who wants  to spend ages in collusion
With Compromise, Complacence and Confusion?
As for the same class coming out on top
That's wholecloth from the propaganda shop;
The old saw says there's loads of room on top.
That's where the poor should really plan to stop.
And speaking of those people called  the 'haves'
Who own the whole cow and must have the calves
(And plant the wounds so they can sell the salves)
They won't be stopped by doing things by halves.
I say that for a permanent solution
There's nothing like  a total revolution!

In comparison  here's Robert Frosts poem, more famous than Oscar I guess, but I know which poem I prefer, Oscar wins head down.

A Semi Revolution  - Robert Frost ( 26/3/1874- 29/1/63)

I advocate a semi-revolution
The trouble with a total revolution
( ask any reputable Rosicrucucian)
Is that it brings the same class up on top.
Executives of skillful execution
Will therefore  plan to go half-way and stop.
Yes, revolutions are the only salves,
But they're one thing that should be done by halves.

By the way Robert a true Rosicrucian  would never openly admit to being one, while a true revolutionary wears a radical  heart on their sleeves, their cause self-evident, ready and willing  to sacrifice themselves for their beliefs.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Your NHS in Tory hands

This is what is happening :-

" That's the standard technique of privatisation : defund , make sure things didn't work , people get angry , you hand it over to private capital. " - Noam Chomsky

As Richard Branson  is awarded a hospital contract, it is obvious that the change from a publicly provided N.H. S is being done piece by piece and the extent of the change is being hidden by keeping the logo.
Over here in West Wales  it seems that Costa Coffee has a new store opening in Glangwili General Hospital , Carmarthen around Feb/March 2016. This leaves a bad taste because the Royal Volunteer Service (WRVS) already provide a  wonderful dedicated first class service. But guess they don't matter as those on high  grant prestigious contracts  that allow and pave the way for the creeping menace of privatisation to leave its  ugly mark.
Hospitals are increasingly understaffed and ill-resourced and unable to respond to the urgent need of patients - even those of emergency patients. It is not the fault of the staff , it is the fault of the Tories, who have driven the N.H.S to breaking point. Waiting times are up, and it is getting increasingly  difficult to see  your G.P  when you want,  combined with ambulance services  being put  under enormous pressure. 
The N.H.S is in crisis because it is continually being undermined by this government through covert privatisation  that carries on the wreckage and destruction that Margaret Thatcher started. The N.H.S on a cliff edge because of underfunding which threatens to push it over,  with  continuing attempts  to make the N.H.S unworkable by making impossible demands on the system and its staff so we have to continue  to fight to save it from  the grips of the privateers, because we owe it our lives. We can not afford to sit back  while it is being chipped further away and falling increasingly into the hands of those who seek to make profit out of our healthcare.
The Torys  keep pledging that the N.H.S is safe in its hands but at least we can now see this  for the lie that is.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

This resilient thing called love

( another poem for Jane, my beautiful wonderful partner who  returned home  the other day, after  6 months  stuck in hospital.)

I have experienced it's effectiveness,
as it has carried me,
through seas of melancholy, 
over plaintive depths,
have felt it's touch from afar,
after it called to remind me,
flying across the evening skies,
allowing dreams to persist,
filling thoughts by day and night,
inflaming heart with joy unbound,
a gentle beauty that blows away confusion,
in the swaying grass, under the stars,
withstanding  the tests of time,
lighting paths, for souls to navigate,
beating in unison, dancing in tune,
wrapping tenderness closely with care,
allowing play and kisses to restore,
fluttering musical notes to be released,
sweet explosions of truth,
breathing fiercely in the air,
glowing like a pearl,
this resilient thing called love.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Support the Junior Doctors Strike

The Tories are saying that Junior Doctors are being misled  by the BMA, this is not the case, we are being misled by the Government. Junior Doctors  are intelligent, experienced and reasonable  people who have simply had enough, who spend their lives  interpreting complicated information, who  simply do not want  unsafe  contracts to be put into place. With  a ballot that  saw 98%  supporting strike action, they have  no other choice now than taking action.
It is the Government that keeps attacking the  junior doctors suggestions and proposals,  vilifying and underminding them , smeared by the right wing press in an attempt to break them and the N.H.S. Their new contracts  will force them to work longer and more unsociable hours with a slash in their wages of  up to 30%. The new contract  will also see moves  making junior doctors work overtime for no extra money. The N.H.S  is already on thin ice, stretched to breaking  point, and these new  contracts could force more doctors to leave their career, or see them moving abroad. I truly believe they are worth defending, who  also have a great deal of sympathy from the wider public, knowing that their battle is part of a wider one against the Tories and their policies of austerity.
Personally  if  it was not for the N.H.S my partner would probably be dead. Out today after 6 months of caring support in a N.H.S  hospital. The N.H.S  truly  is a wonderful thing, as is its  workers so needs all the support that is available.
So solidarity and respect to all the junior doctors and all those striking today, no cuts, no privatisation. Remember as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for the N.H.S it will survive, and who would you  rather trust with your lives,  Junior Doctors or a Tory Government?  Simples  so support the Junior Doctors. They really do deserve it.  Without the N.H.S  we wont be able to bring it back, it will be a return to the dark ages, that the Tories so want us to return to.
Lets hope they  get a fair deal  that help get our N.H.S working again. Serving and protecting us all.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Starman :- for David Bowie ( 8/1/47 -10/1/16) R.I.P

Friend called round,yesterday to give me copy of Mr Bowies new work, , Blackstar, got to listen to it  twice last night before heading to bed.Thought it was amazing, actually was blown away.
 This morning got a text to say that David had passed away. He was a true inspiration, that I'm sure must have influenced my earlier black liner days, any way words kind of fail me,  but here's some anyway, a  cut up, for David Bowie. R.I.P beautiful light. Remember no one is perfect.


Restless spirit
soars  back into the future
there's an arc this early morn
a rainbow in mournful flight
each blade of grass glistening
jewelled lights glowing
starman sails the seas
views the land
to abandon weary world
a sky of heartbeat butterflies
frozen sighs
singing tonques
sleepy world whispering
dancing lights twisting
through ultra violet
to become electricity in thunderbolts
marks of eternity
eyes dance again with earnest mischief
blazing meteor  carried on the game of chance
noiser than a candle flame
encloses us with a sense of mystery.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Palestinian teenager chooses prison over Israeli community service.

A Palestinian teenage Bassem Abdullah Siam aged 15 has handed himself into Jerusalem police on Wednesday to serve a 100 day prison sentence rather than carry  out  community service working for the occupation. 
The work is described as designed " to break the will of young men and boys" according to the Wadi Hilweh Information Centre.
Bassem was originally arrested on 15 March last year on his way to school, after allegedly throwing stones at Israeli soldiers.
A kid with guts, like many Palestinians nourishes the idea of living in freedom, dignity and a just peace.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


( old unfinished poem just touched up, thanks Mr T.C)

Authority likes to shake its head,
Find ways to stop us from doin what we want,
Reasons to prevent us from enjoying life to the full,
Creates legislation to dissuade us from being free,
Turns us into puppets that they can move at will.
Authority enjoys making rules, 
That leave us tumbling about in confusion,
Acts as a catalyst that fuses unrest in rebellious minds,
A turbulence in every turning page of history,
An imprisoner of disobedient thought,
But cannot deny you without being wrong,
Unable to stop setting sun, a moving sea, paths of defiance.
But remember we are all authorities in our own right,
We can tell ourselves what we want to do,
And when we don't want to,
To be laws upon ourselves,
Be your own authority,
Cultivating different paths.
That always, always questions. 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Britain isn't eating

Ian Duncan Smith is said to be furious about this billboard campaign from the 'Church action against poverty' charity which suggests people are using food banks as a direct result of his benefit cuts. The fact is Tory policies cause poverty and trying to divert us from this wont mitigate this truth. The Government and Ian Duncan Smith would prefer it if we do not hear about it's victims, the effect that  their policies have on ordinary people across this land. As benefit sanctions continue to bite, the growing use of food banks show no sign of abating  as we enter 2016, even though Ian and his chums keep saying there is no link with their welfare reforms or  their rotten austerity ridden policies. It is a real scandal that Britain is still experiencing hunger in the Twenty First Century, but that's life under Tory's for you. 
Let's make him more furious by sharing this image as wide as possible.

Link to campaign :-

Sunday, 3 January 2016

People of the world we are in safe hands.

Saudi Arabia, Head of UN Human Rights Council executing political opponents. So far having killed 47 ,157 put to death last year.  David Cameron's new chums on the world's stage. A barbaric country which the UK should not be trading with.
Mass executions ok, if it serves  our interests,  he possibly ignores the injustice, because he likes to cosy up to an oil rich nation .

Another top executioner and human rights violator ironically is a fierce critic of Saudi executions, which happens to be Iran.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran are at an all time low after  the execution of renowned  Shiite cleric named Nimr- Bagr- al - Nimr.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran are locked in a bitter rivalry, whilst supporting the opposite sides in the  wars in Syria and Yemen.

Both these " champions " of human rights are also claiming to be leading the fight against terrorism in the Middle East.

People of the world - we are in safe hands. 

Postscript :-


The street in  in Tehran, in which the Saudi Arabian Embassy is situated  is now called after the cleric mentioned earlier. This is the tit -for-  tat world we live in.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Wheels of time

( I don't really celebrate the new year, just another day merging into another, but it does give me time to pause for reflection, in a gazing at the bottom of a glass kinda way. So happy/new year/ blwyddyn newydd da, hope the year ahead brings  much hope and promise, I give thanks to my friends in what has been a difficult year, for their support, you know who you are. Continue to be awesome. Best wishes, heddwch/peace.
Here's a poem. Oh dear!

Time is precious, waste it wisely,
as it flashes by in moments,
testing faith and patience,
this resiliant necessity, unavoidable essence,
waits for no one, moves in constant rearrangement.

Time costs nothing,
lets the world reveal itself,
rattling with kaleidoscopes of change,
acting as a catalyst for transformation.

Time carries us in all directions,
giving and taking in equal measure,
allowing tomorrow to call,
the past to fade gently away.

Without hesitation or pause,
time sets course and destination,
as thoughts fly freely,
enables us to find what we need,
good health, friends and companionship,
peace and hope for all mankind.

Relentlessly engulfing,
the wheels of time keep turning,
allows dreams to restore,
for love that exists in hearts,
to last a whole life long.

After the storms have gone,
allows the sun to shine again,
to chase away the darkness,
can move what we see,
in simple acts of believing,
has the capability to heal.

Time moves fast,
though the hands of the clock seem slow,
awaiting now for springs return,
for life's renewal, 
new buds and leaves to grow.

In my imagination, 
past, present and future is stored,
sewn together in unity,
poems arrive, take journeys on clouds,
wait for injustices, to unravel,
for time, to take away  discontent,
to drown me in seas of hope and love.