Monday, 29 February 2016

She is a dancer of hope and the creator of my dreams

Edgar Degas - Dancer adjusting her shoulder strap 1900

The  journey of life can be very uncertain and unpredictable - it can leave us frightened and  vulnerable.  Life is very precious indeed, and at the end of the day we need health and wellness to enjoy our lives to the fullest.  I arrived at my partners the other day,  who has been unable to walk or get out of bed for last 6 months  or so because  of treatment for cancer, but she has gradually been getting stronger,  and has never given  up hope, which has been an  invaluable gift for me as well. I hear her music all the time nowadays.
As I've said, she's been getting a bit more mobile, aided by her trusted zimmer frame, but increasingly, casts it aside. She has always liked dancing, has missed not going out  to musical soirees for a bit of a shuffle and a groove,  so imagine my surprise when I glanced her through her kitchen  window, and could hear the sound of the Peatbog Faeries blasting from the stereo, their she was in what was an uplifting moving experience, dancing unaided, reminding me that despite the odds she still sparkles and shines her light in abundance. She did not do this  for long, but it was a joy to behold, and each day now walking  has slowly got more easier, more natural, but still a long way to go.
Everyday now she will practice a little unaided  dance for  ten minutes or so , that will be movement enough I hope to sustain her and remind  herself that there is always hope on the horizon. Bucket loads of it. I have witnessed it in her laughter and smiles. Our bond gets stronger too, which is not a bad thing,  I will end with a quote by Albert Einsten :-

" We dance for  laughter, we dance for tears,
we dance for madness,we dance for fears,
we dance for hopes, we dance for screams,
we are the dancers, we create the dreams."

Saturday, 27 February 2016

No to Trident

The Government is planning to spend more than £160 billion on four Scottish based submarines  whose only purpose is to threaten the whole of humanity. Each warhead has 8 times the explosive power of the bomb that destroyed the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. That bomb alone vaporised human flesh within a half mile radius and fatally burned thousands miles from the epicentre.
By the way by renewing Trident at the end of the day will be militarily  pointless. it will not deter terrorist attacks or nuclear blackmailers, but will simply make it harder for Britain  to encourage Nuclear disarmament  around the globe.
The majority of the British public of Britain  do not  want the Trident  Nuclear missile system. It is time to comply with our obligation under international law to accomplish the total elimination of our nuclear arsenal.
So solidarity with everyone marching against Trident today, As someone once said " If they can find money to kill someone, they can find money to help people." It is the will of humanity that will secure their destruction.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Cameron is a loser

( unedited poem , just arrived in library)

The N.H.S is a peoples pride 
but man in expensive saville row suit
would rather pour scorn and snide
should be ashamed of his policies
not how the other half dress,
because most of us are currently
caught up in his toxic mess
a Tory elitist of swaggering arrogance
scurrilous profiteer, robber of our heritage
many of us don't sing God Save the Queen
because as the Sex Pistols sang, she aint no human being
so Cameron time to put aside your pointless jibes
stop releasing to the nation your negative vibes
as you  pander to corporate lobbyists and big business
cutting peoples benefits while suffering from illness
a voice for his friends and the filthy rich
time for us to ignore you, give you the switch
you stopped listening a long time ago
left us with no room to grow
cuts for carers, the poor and vulnerable
your a viper in disguise, so very dishonourable..

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Balancing Acts

Sadness fills the world, 
Tales of people escaping hatred and despair,
Persecuted, banished and exiled,
By dominating forces of injustice,
Looking, seeking, searching,
Now for freedoms scent,
A future, that gives welcome,
That allows doorways to be left open,
The colours of spring to return,
To embrace waves of existence,
A sense of balance to be restored.
No place for condemnation, fear or shame,
For those who have escaped oppression, death
Allow dignity to be retained, 
in places they now proudly call home.

Lets not forget those who did not make it,
Fellow human beings like you and me,
Travellers  and companions in time,
Bodies left broken, tired and exhausted,
After attempting perilous journeys,
Pathways of danger and confusion,
Blocked by illusionary borders,
Full of barbed wire and razor fences,
Where freedom comes at such a cost,
Hopes and dreams lay crushed,
On these voyages of necessity,
Lets offer kindness, and hospitality,
Balancing acts delivering landscapes of hope. 

Monday, 22 February 2016

Tell your MP:Don't cut ESA

Losing £30 a week  will not be an insentive  for getting people into work. The things holding people back are not willpower or willingness, it's bodies, minds, and employers who don't want to employ disabled people and help them make adjustments needed. DWP and Maximus incidentally have been actively sacking their own staff. 
For most of us placed in  the Work Related Activity Group of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Group, we are  are only still claiming due to  ongoing mental health problems. There are as many as a quarter of a million of us currently in this group.These proposals are frightening and alarming to most of us, since already. we find it difficult to heat our homes and eat, but the unrelenting savagery of this Government I guess does not come as too much of a surprise.
Should the Government  not be concerned  on fixing our broken system, rather than effectively blaming ill and disabled people by cutting the existing support and safety nets available to us. A cruel cut that will hit those hardest hit already. Despite having been found not well enough to work, we as a group of people are being threatened left, right and center. For many of us, our lives already a constant struggle for survival.
The House of Lords has already voted against  cuts to support for people who face massive  barriers to work, often because of our ill health and disability.  Now its time to tell our MPs to hold fast and stand against this cut. Our MPs  have the chance to vote against cut to ESA  next week. Make sure your own MP is on the right side of the vote, that does not  push sick and disabled people further from work but closer to poverty.Many thanks.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Vi Subversa ( Frances Sokolov Sanson 20/6/35 - 19/2/16;) - Poet of Subversion R.I.P

Sad to hear that Frances Sokolov better known by her stage name Vi Subversa, died yesterday passing away peacefully after a short illness , aged 80.
A hugely important figure in the music and counter-cultural movement often called Anarcho Punk. An inspirational voice  who leaves a strong legacy for all that listened to her. Brilliant poet, singer , writer, anarchist activist and front person  for the legendary Poison Girls, anarchist feminist band that between 1977 and 1989 were a potent force  in the international peace movement. They were one of the first Punk musicians to feature feminism in their music.
Her first public performance was at the Body Show at Sussex University in 1975. Then in 1979 at the age of 44, she released her first single with the Poison Girls.
Frances was much more, than a musician, she was a pioneer who  broke through society's taboos and restrictions. A true independent spirit with highly politicised lyrics,subversive from the outset, with anti-establishment attitude exploring issues of gender and sexuality, alienation, her voice was one of unbridled raw emotion, of hope and rage, that had the authentic ring of experience, in a husky smoke stained voice akin to Marianne Faithfull with a passionate edge. Making effective and clever points with intelligence rather than sloganeering. unafraid to tell us with gutso what she is thinking. with deft touches of humour.
Subversa was born of East German Jewish parents, spending two years in Israel in the late 1950's working in a ceramic pottery. She had two children Pete Fender and Gern Stone who both became members of Punk bands themselves. 
I was fortunate to see the Poison Girls play live at the 1985 Glastonbury festival, cracking.
Her words have lit pathways among the shadows of the world, releasing tides of resistance, to help shape and make the world a better place. Messages of powerful expression, that long will inspire.
Vi Subversa Rest in Power 

Poison Girls - Real Women

Statement - from Wargasm (my first introduction to the world of Vi Subursa)back in 1982


Poison Girls - desperate days

Poison Girls - Price of Grain

Friday, 19 February 2016

NUS No platform policy getting absurd.

I remember the day when "No Platform " was reserved for violent fascists, denying them public speaking opportunities. But now it seems it is being used to silence debate.
Currently there are some in the NUS ( National Union of students)  who are opposing a plan to invite Nick Lowles director  of the anti-campaigning  group Hope Not Hate,  to speak on an anti-racist platform because they claim he is  islamophobic. His organisation I have supported because of its campaigns to counter racism and fascism, who has actually  worked to challenge anti-muslim hatred and bias directed at them.
This  comes after a NUS LGBT officer called Fran Cowling accused Peter Tatchell - who has stood  up for the LGBT community for the past 30 years,a hero of mine since his battle for bermondsey in the 1980's,  risking his life and sustaining injuries, being mocked by rhe press, subjected to homophobic abuse by his political opponents, and arrested by the police as he fought  for equality and free speech - of being racist and transphobic .
Simply absurd and mindblowing. 
Two individuals who have stood yes against Islamist  extremism, but equally against anti-muslim prejudice. For unity and solidarity. against all hate. It seems that anyone making the case for free speech or expressing an opinion  nowadays contrary to those of others is subject to an intense, widespread and vitriolic attacks. Anybody who diagrees with them is blocked. They are branded racists, transphobes, bigots and sexists. in what seems like a witch hunt of McCarthyite dimension, aided by a virtual mob on facebook or twitter  ready to back them up.
When freedom of speech is systematically  threatened like this, I think we have a bit of a problem. 
At the end of the day think the NUS should concentrate on opposing those  Tory vermin currently in power, who are destroing everything  fair and decent here in the UK and taking aim at real spreaders of hatred and fascist threat, organisations like the English Defence Leaque,  Britain First and Pegida. We should not misuse the discourse of free speech.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Protect Local Democracy

As I write the Tory Government is trying to prevent local Authorities divesting from companies linked to Israels illegal occupation, and settlements on Palestinian land. Authorities which refuse to contract with such companies are  also being targeted.
This is a a direct attack on local democracy and decision making. This plan is a grave  threat to the fight for Palestinian human rights and freedom of expression. An explicit authoritarian and draconian attempt to clamp down on the growing strength of the grassroot Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which aims to end government and corporate complicity  in Israels violations of Palestinians rights.
At the moment local authorities have the right to divest their pensions on an ethical basis if they wish. Its been  part of our democracy for years and was vital in Britain's ability to boycott apartheid South Africa and help bring it down. Margaret Thatcher herself bought in an anti-boycott policy in 1988 aimed at  restricting local councils from taking action against to end British complicity in Apartheid. So I guess it's a case of David Cameron and his swivel eyed Tory loons following in her footsteps. As can be seen  on their relentless attacks on our Trade Unions and anyone who disagrees with them. Already eroding our own civil liberties now seeks to criminalise/ ban ethical behaviour. It should also be noted  that more recently councils across the UK have adapted fair trade  principles and removed tobacco and arms companies from their investment portfolios in response to local concerns.
The Tories want us to turn a blind eye to corporate complicity in violating international law and to ignore peoples  genuine concerns in favour of good relations with a notorious human rights abusing country. 
The UK Government should be welcoming any citizen  initiative that helps stop  our complicity in grave injustices. I believe seeking to outlaw this movement for justice will only make it stronger.
Please take action and make your voices heard : send a message to the governments consultation on this issue as individuals or organisations, by Friday 19th February 11.45 pm.

Here is a link :-

and hereare two  petition links I would be grateful for people to sign :-


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

VA. A Warmer Welcome by digitalDIZZY

A Warmer Welcome is a benefit release for # refugees welcome because offering sanctuary to those in need is a proud British tradition. Protecting  people who have fled their country because of well-founded fears of being persecuted for reasons of race, nationality and membership of a particular social group or political opinion. The refugee crisis will neither go away or simply diminish.
As long as there is  open conflict, poverty and countries with better conditions that will accept people, the problem will continue. It is our duty as fellow humans to welcome  them and give sanctuary. We can not sit back and be indifferent. Remember refugees are a product of humanity's worst instincts - the willingness of some persons to oppress others, but on  the other side of the coin is there is a willingness of many to assist and protect the  helpless.
A Warmer Welcome is a collosal cast of underground musical magic. From the mighty Astronauts, to Neil Campbell of VibraCathedral Orchestra fame, Zoviet France. Ashtray Navigations, the seminal Devotional hoolingan, Celt Islam. One Eyed God, I-Odica and Dog Dub, and local heroes to my neck of the woods Mwstard, and many more. When I say many more I'm talking of a staggering 110 tracks all for the bargain price of £5. A collection that spans all genres from Dub, Experimental, Ambient, Punk , Drone, Noise, all unifying for one cause there truly is something for everyone.
The music I've  heard so far is very special indeed, the result being an array of many different moods, that keep stimulating pace and releasing their individual power, because  of the themes and motives, all banded together for a common cause.A dizzying array of diveristy and musical freedom. Strongly  recommended you wont be dissapointed, as long as getting some fantastic music , you will be contributing to a great cause. Music to uplift and capture your soul, and help your fellow human at the same time , now that is what I call magic.
You can have a free listen to most of the tracks in the following link, but once drawn in, I hope it will entice you to buy a digital copy of this fantastic piece of work, one love,solidarity, no borders are necesary  fight the power.


Monday, 15 February 2016

Mermaids of the Sea Exhibition Aberteifi/Cardigan:- A poetical response.

A quick plug for this exhibition,  currently taking place in my hometown of Cardigan. Aberteifi, imaginative and innovative, well worth a visit, full of inspiring stuff, that celebrates the mythical allure of mermaids and the sea. It is worth noting that every water-based culture has their own mermaid stories, tales of Merfolk that are both magical, beautiful , mysterious and terryfying, the following  is my own poetical  response to the mermaids call.

A lament for the Mermaids

Out of our depths 
The mermaid swims
Releasing salty tears
Tries to embrace
Our struggles and pain
Visions of beauty
Whose siren calls
Tries to awaken us
Carry us to imaginations depths
On currents strong
Beyond the world's confinement.

Among the sea beds they dance
Guided by constellations
The swells of tangled threads
Want to hold us gently close
But are too afraid of being caught
By natures tempests and fishing nets 
Cruel hooks and traps
Wishing to remain immortal and free
Elusive creatures of the sea.

Long  may Neptune offer protection
sustain these senses of wonder 
voyaging  among the oceans pathways
dazzling spectacles releasing undulating light
beyond shores of exploitation
singing among fathoms deep
resting  upon pillows of pearls
serenaded by underwater acoustics
on sea foams of infinity 
the deep abyss of sanctuary.

Sunday, 14 February 2016


( well it is that time of the year, for the lovers)

Love is delicate, love is strong,
I never realised that
It came in so many pieces,
Whispering while we sleep,
To fan dreams, to release a spark,
To send some light, free us from the dark,
In every country of the world
Waits for travellers to call,
Untreasured can get lost,
Come apart, fade far away,
As longing fingers reach out to touch,
Can make hearts ache, like a snatch of song,
Can open doors for both rich and poor,
When people rise and fall love revolves,
Scattered in millions of pieces,
Allows feelings to run riot,
You can share it if you wish,
As the earth spins round.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Jeremy Hunt's pants on fire.

Yes Jeremy Hunt's been caught lying again,  claiming to have the backing of 20 NHS bosses for his decision to impose on junor doctors unravelled as at least half have said they never agreed to supporting the deal. Also a junior doctor  has accused him of 'spin' manipulation' and lies', a Dr Rachel Clarke, interviewed by the BBC recently. 
Not the first time Hunt has been caught lying, further evidence that he simply cannot be trusted. But remains willfully arrogant, as he ploughs ahead trying  to enforce a new contact, one that could see mass resignations, impose it against a peoples well, despite reaching any agreement. Tory democracy in action.
He and his partners in crime, the Conservative Government will stop at nothing to privatise the NHS. He has continued to lie in the House of Commons and should therefore either resign or be sacked, actually if all Tories' resigned for misleading the public, their would not be any  left in Parliament.
Anyway his actions continue to expose their warped philosophy, and now the country as a whole are right behind the junior doctors, their fight is our fight. Ordinary people across the land supporting their plight. But the Tories will continue not to listen, try and crush everyone of us into submission,  but we can't let them.
The Tories are dangerous though, let's not forget this for a moment, they don't give a flying ****  but we have to keep holding them to account take them on bit by bit, unless we want to sit back and stay silent allow the Tories to carry on creating a frightened , selfish, greedy society. Remember we might have another 4 years of their deceitfulness and crap unless we stop them. Jeremy Hunt and his chums cannot be allowed to simply get away with everything that they wish.  

Friday, 12 February 2016

IDS Murders

This video is intended to raise awareness of the thousands of avoidable deaths, that have happened as a result of welfare reform.
Only today in the Independent newspaper there is a report of a mentally ill man who committed suicide because his benefits were stopped, allegedly murdered by the Government according to his sister.
There have also been cases  of  peoples ESA  being stopped despite their own doctors being adamant that they were completely unable to work.
The flawed work capabality Assessment is also causing unecessary deaths by forcing the long term sick and disabled into work or work-related activity.  It is currently causing untold fear and misery for the country's most vulnerable. It is supposedly  designed by the Government as a way of assessing how an individuals  disability or illness impacts on their daily life. It is not designed to diagnose or treat a medical condition. It is not supposed to add pressure and fear and  contribute to  peoples ill-being.
How many more of us have to die? None of us want to be victims. We are brothers, sisters, mums and dad, friends and neighbours. But our safety nets, that used to be there are being torn to shreds, people are being left with no vestiges of hope. The welfare state was built on the idea 'from the cradle to the grave ', sadly this has now become a reality for many.
Obviously there are hundreds and thousands of people who have not been killed by Ian Duncan Smith's Government,  but one thing I am certain off, is the Work capabilty Assessment must come to an end in order to stop hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives from being a miserable daily battle for survival, and become more flexible for the needs of the most vulnerable. People who are sick need all the support they need. I sincerely hope people keep saying no, and rejecting the Tory's approved cruelty.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.

( Thank you Leonard Cohen.)

There's a crack in everything
that's how the light gets in,
through empty gestures of times exhaust
that vent bitterness on tonque,
scars trace the nights laughter
sailing on ripped tides at dusk,
allow resurfacing days shadow to ignite
fizzing and nudging, in the process of awakening,
through depths of minds endeavor
moods of restless toil, 
voyages  of troubled sleep
deep in mood innate,
among the magic of the moon
in the dark shines bright,
waiting for dawns page to turn
golden tickets of imagination,
in the ever present of eternity
to purify and illuminate,
because there's a crack in everything
that's how the light gets in.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Solidarity to Junior Doctors taking Industrial action today.Save the N.H.S

Not taking place here in Wales,  for the time being  because the NHS in Wales is devolved. Since 1999, the Welsh Government has been involved in running its NHS, so for the time being will the junior doctors contract already in place, so Junior Doctors will be working as normal today. We are  guess most fortunate to have the NHS in our hands for now. We still have  public service  being run not for private greed. Catching up at last, after all  the Welsh have generally been poorer and sicker than the English  for at least the past 300 years.
Nevetheless across the border  Jeremy Hunt has vetoed  a deal that would have ended the junior doctor's  dispute, that was supported by the NHS's own negotiators.  At the same time N.H.S trusts cannot balance books because of poor funding. A political decision to create room for private enterprise  in healthcare. Cuts elsewhere such as in councils, has also piled on the pressure. Despite taking place in England, we must stand together until their is fairness for doctors, safety for patients  and safeguards for the future of the NHS everywhere. After all the approach taken by the Government in England is still an attack on us all.
The government is trying to crush the doctors and the NHS,  ( an  essential service that  the Welsh people helped create, modelled on miner's mutual aid schemes, ) whilst  undermining the BMA  and allow it to fall into the hands of the private sector, we can't let this happen. We must all support the junior doctors, to stop Jeremy Hunt from forcing doctors into accepting a contract that puts more live  at risk.  Dangerous to patients  because tired doctors don't perform at their best, and mistakes will be made.
Another Pig headed Tory ideological  attack on hard working honest people. Remember doctors save lives, Tory's take them away.We must continue to support the junior doctors and all those who seek to defend the NHS,  porters, cleaning staff etc etc  standing shoulder to shoulder with them all  in solidarity.

St Teilo's day / Dydd Sadwrn Teilo

The 9th of February marks St Teilo's Day.  (also Teilio, Theleau, Eliud; ) The waters of  his well - now dried up -  are near Maenchlochog,  in  West Wales, Pembrokeshire's rural heartland, where a church dedicated to him dating back to the 12th Century can be found. It was said  to cure whooping cough. Pilgrims came from far and wide  to drink it's spring water, which was said to cure paralysis and other ailments.
There was only one drawback; they  had to be slurped from Teilo's skull. This strange practice  continued into the 20th century using one of the saints three skulls!
Teilo was born  at Penally  in Dyfed , around AD 500 and was cousin of David the patron Saint of Wales. His original name was apparently Eliuid . He went on to become Bishop at Llandaf Cathedral in Cardiff, and died back  in Dyfed at Llandeilo Fawr.
The three churches, that were former centers of the Teilo cult,  are still standing. He was a very popular saint,- and by medieval times, there were over thirty churches and villages dedicated to him across Wales and Brittany, including the church at Plogonnec, Finistere, and the chapel of Our lady in Kerdevot.  In Brittany he is known as the Saint of horses, and of fruit trees, whilst in France, Teilo, St Samson and his followers are said to have planted three miles of fruit trees and even today the fruit groves they planted are known as the groves of Teilo and Samson.
 During his time in Brittany , he is said to have saved people from a winged dragon  which he tamed and which he kept tied to a rock in the sea. In another a local Lord offered him all the land he could encircle between sunset and sunrise , Teilo chose to ride a stag to cover as much ground in the time available. 
 Teilo performed numerous miracles in his lifetime (he raised one man from the dead, healed another one from the palsy and so on) which continued after his repose from his relics and holy wells associated with him. In the Middle Ages Teilo was loved and venerated as one of the greatest saints and Church figures in the country’s history. His veneration from Wales extended to Cornwall, Devon, Brittany and neighboring regions.
In around 554 Teilo and his followers returned from Brittany to Llandeilo Fawr. After the death of St. David, Teilo became revered as one of the most holy men in Wales. He was joined at Llandeilo by many disciples including Cynfwr, Teulyddog and Llywel. He died at the abbey of Llandeilo Fawr on February 9th, probably around the year 560.
A considerable number of churches dedicated to St. Teilo in Wales most can be found in the counties of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Glamorgan. Churches and toponyms that bear his name are also scattered in Cornwall, Devon and Brittany. The modern Anglican Diocese of St. Davids alone has 12 churches dedicated to St. Teilo, and the Diocese of Llandaff has at least six churches which have him as their patron. No fewer than six churches in Devon and Cornwall are connected with him. Quite a few schools are named after him as well.
Today Llandeilo is a little town in Carmarthenshire. Here Teilo founded his main monastery, served as abbot and bishop, lived as a hermit. The town church is dedicated to its founder to this day. It is early medieval by origin but was entirely rebuilt in 1850. After repose of Teilo the Llandeilo Fawr Abbey continued to develop and with time became the major church of all the neighboring districts. It is known that around the ninth century a beautiful and ornate Gospel, called “St. Teilo’s Gospel”, was kept in Llandeilo. It had been created a century before, most probably in Mercia in England. It was considered that this Gospel “had belonged to St. Teilo himself”. Afterwards it was transferred to the English town of Lichfield where it is displayed to this day as a great relic. From 1290 on, on the orders of King Edward I of England (1239-1307), an annual fair in honor of St. Teilo was held near the church in Llandeilo. This fair stopped only in the twentieth century. Fragments of two Celtic crosses (date to c.900) were also discovered and now are kept in Llandeilo church. There is a holy well of St. Teilo near the eastern end of the church. The saint is depicted on stained glass windows of a number of churches of Wales, for example, at the Holy Trinity Church in Abergavenny. A thirteenth-century church in the village of Llantilio-Crossenny in Monmouthshire, not far from Abergavenny, is dedicated to St. Teilo. The church has a very high spire and due to its large size it is often nicknamed a “baby cathedral”. The church is in the early English and Decorated Gothic styles. It is cruciform and its interior has many interesting features. In this spot a battle between a king of Gwent and pagan Saxons may have taken place in the sixth century. According to legend, St. Teilo took a cross, stood on the hillock on which the church was to be built and began to pray. And under the effect of his prayer the Saxons scattered. The church in the village of Llandeloy in Pembrokeshire is dedicated to our saint. This fine twelfth-century church was rebuilt early in the twentieth century but now is redundant. There is a holy well hidden among the vegetation near this church. A thirteenth-century church with three chantry chapels in the small hamlet of Llantilio Pertholey in Monmouthshire again has a dedication to St. Teilo who is depicted there in stained glass. Another twelfth-century St. Teilo’s Church in the spot known as Llandeilo Tal-y-Bont near Swansea was closed in the 1970s, then dismantled and has now been rebuilt at St. Fagans National History Open-Air Museum in the city of Cardiff (located in the grounds of the castle, this museum comprises over forty reconstructed historic buildings). Remarkably, during its dismantlement well-preserved ancient murals were discovered on the church walls under the wall-plaster. The village of Bishopston, called in Welsh Llandeilo Ferwallt, situated in the Gower Peninsula, has a church dedicated to St. Teilo. The parish church in the village of Merthyr Mawr near the town of Bridgend is dedicated to St. Teilo. It was built in 1850s on the site of a very ancient church. A modern Roman Catholic church in the town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire is dedicated to the Holy Cross and St. Teilo.
St. Teilo is most famous today for what is supposed to have happened after his death. According to an account in the early 12th century by Geoffrey of Llandaff, there was a dispute over the body of St Teilo. There were three claimants to the remains: the church at Penally (where he was born), Llandeilo (where he founded his church and died), and Llandaff (who claimed him as their bishop). During the night, the body is said to have multiplied into three, one for each church, thus settling the argument. A miracle, or perhaps just a dodgy excuse for a triple set of relics.In the early Middle Ages, it was financially advantageous to have relics or  shrine in a catherdral. in order to attract pilgrims.
 The ancient shrine of St. Teilo, along with his skull, survive at Llandaff Cathedral to this day and attract pilgrims, including Orthodox. His tomb with the main relics stands to the right of the high altar and his head relic is kept in the chapel which bears his name and is housed in a specially constructed reliquary. The skull is mounted on a silver base. For many centuries it was a custom to take an oath on the saint’s shrine. It was recorded that the shrine of St. Teilo at the cathedral was opened in 1850 and also earlier in 1736 by an architect. When the latter opened his shrine, it turned out that the saint’s remains (wrapped in leather) along with his episcopal crozier, cross, chalice and other items were practically intact. A statue of this saint today can be found in the west front of the cathedral. Some parts of Llandaff Cathedral are from the twelfth century; though this church was heavily damaged during the Second World War, it was subsequently restored in all its glory. St. Teilo together with Sts. Peter and Paul, Dyfrig (whose shrine still rests within the cathedral) and Euddogwy is a joint patron-saint of this Anglican cathedral. He is also a patron-saint of the Welsh capital city of Cardiff, which is very close to Llandaff and has a Catholic parish church of St. Teilo and Our Lady of Lourdes.
Down the centuries the saint's multiple relics went missing piece by piece, and what is claimed to be one of Teilo's skulls recently reappeared  in Hong Kong of all places.  After protracted negotiations on February 8th 1994 there was a special service at Llandaff,  at which the skull was installed in its own niche  in  the cathedral's St Teilo chapel. The reinstated relic is now considered far too precious to be used as a cup. The most succinct and restrained expression of the head cult survival theory in relation to the well and skull of St Teilo is that of Janet and Colin Bord. 'A most important aspect of Celtic religion was the head cult. There is strong evidence showing a close association of this cult with sacred springs and pools, some of it having survived even to the present day, albeit in fragmentary form and lacking the power of the original Celtic stimulus. The Celts were head-hunters… To the Celts the head was the most important part of the body, symbolizing the divine power, and they venerated the head as the source of all the attributes they most admired… The Celtic traditions became so deep-seated that many of them were perpetuated down the centuries, surviving almost to the present day, and this is certainly true of the head cult and its water associations. The Roman historian Livy (59 B.C. – 17 A.D.) described how Celtic warriors decorated skulls with gold and used them as cups for offerings to the gods, a custom continued in the use of skulls to drink the water at certain holy wells until recent times. The most famous of these was St. Teilo’s Well at Llandyfan, wwhich beecame a place of pigrimage, where the water was renowned for its ability to cure whooping cough and other ills, but only if drunk out of the remains of St. Teilo’s skull. Penlog Teilo is the longest surviving skull used for healing purposes, though there were others. Water was drunk from a human skull at Ffynnon Llandyfan . Gruffydd ap Dafydd killed at Dolgellu was used  in the same way, to cure whooping cough and other ailments. Francis Jones, suggests that water was drunk from human skulls in order to acquire the desirable qualities of the skulls original owner.Drinking from skulls at holy wells seems to have been widespread in Wales.
Incidentally there are other ways of preventing whooping  cough without getting out of your skull. Pass the patient under a donkey nine times, or else persuade them to take a ride on the nearest bear. This particular brand of preventative medicine often kept a bear-keeper in sticky buns and honey. Or whatever bears eat.

Further Reading :- Bord, Janet & Colin, Sacred Waters. Paladim, 1986.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Gazans struggling to stay warm this Winter.

While we in Britain moan about current weather conditions, spare  a thought for the people of Gaza. Still in the grip of a crippling illegal blockade. Deprived of food and medical supplies.basic items like lightbulbs, baby formula, mattresses, blankets, shampoo, conditioner and building supplies. Today Israel does not allow except 12 basic items to enter Gaza , out of 9,000 commodities.From soap to coffee , from computers to spare parts. Despite an agreement between the Palestinian Government, Israel and the United Nations that allows a small amount of building supplies for reconstruction  the blockade persists  and the Egyptian border is closed, Gaza exists as an open air prison with no access to the outside world.Many homes still  damaged and unrepaired since the 30 day war waged by Israel in the Summer of 2014,
Meanwhile unemployment has reached 75% according to the World Bank. There is currently a massive gas shortage  and people are struggling to say warm. Now heavy winds and floods have made things worse. The  cold increasing this peoples suffering. Paralysing the daily life in the Gaza strip, keeping most of the population in doors, with schools and universities being forced closed.
With further bad weather imminent, what little hope they have we  might presume will be washed away. But the Palestinian;s resilience is a strong one and despite these people being poor and their conditions being hard. These proud people  still manage to stick together and find ways to survive whilst retaining their dignity and respect.
As fellow humans  in acts of solidarity we should do all we can to end this immoral sieqe of Gaza. It is our duty to  restore their life.

Gazans struggling to stay warm this Winter.

Gaza's enduring spirit lives

These are not chess pieces
these are people,
bitterly cold and hungry
struggling to stay warm
in an open air prison
their thoughts cling to freedom
as distant lights offer consolation
hues of hope and warmth
to gently protect and sustain 
wrap them with dignity.

Gaza still breathes
with keys of memory
still releases it's tale
does not stoop, or stay crushed
Gaza's enduring spirit
lives on and on
hands raised out to sky
cast out suffering, betrayal
let us remember, let us not forget
Allow their tragedy to be broken.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Yonis Reuf ( 1918-1948) - Ey Reqib

' Ey Regib ' is an anthem of Kurdistan written by Yonis Reuf, who was also called 'Didar.' He was born in February 1917 in the city of Koye located in  Erbil Governote. After finishing school in Kirkjuk, he moved to Baghdad and studied law. ' Ey Regib ' was written in 1938. At the time  he was in jail in the Kurdistan province as a political prisoner after campaigning for Independence.
He would die in 1948 at the young age of 31.
'Ey Regib' means literally ' hey guard,' but the title is more  translated as 'hey enemy'. 
The poem was originally written in the Kurdish dialect of Sorani, and was later translated into the Kurmanci dialect for those Kurds living in border Kurdistan. It was the song of the short-lived republic of Mahabad in Iran in 1946 and is still sung across all of Kurdistan principalities. 
It has also become the song of the Parya Karkaren Kurdistan , the Kurdistan Workers Party ( PKK) in its struggle against the Turkish State. In Turkey and all across the borders the Kurdistan people have had their rights denied. Ey Regib tells the story of their struggle and how a nation  has thrived throughout history despite much  oppression. Their language and culture,  their right to self determination has suffered under continual state denial and prosecution.The song written at a time when people were trting to deny the existence of Kurds at all in Turkey. They were killing Kurds in genocides, but the song was saying, 'I'm the never ending Kurd. You can try to kill me, but we will get up again.'
The Kurds of Rojava  and Kobane canton  are currently building  a new world in the shell of the old. Planting seeds of imagination. Showing us another world is possible.The Kurdish people have the right to be themselves, to speak and write and to work  and sing their own songs. Victory to the Kurdistans.

EY Reqib

Hey Enemy, the Kurdish nation is alive with its language
Can not be defeated by the weapons  of anytime
Let no one say Kurds are dead
Kurds are living
Kurds are living, their flay will never fall

We, the youth are the red colour of the revolution
Watch our blood that we shed on this way
Let no one say Kurds are dead
Kurds are living, our flag will never fall

We are the childrem of the Medya and Keyhusrew
Both our  faith and religion are our homeland
Both  our faith  and religion are Kurd and Kurdistan
Let no one say the  Kuds  are dead
Kurds are living, their flag will never fail.

The Kurdish youth  have risen like lions
To  adorn the crown of life with blood
Let no one sayKurds are dead
Kurds are living
Kurds are living,  their glag will never fail

The Kurdish youth are ever present and
Forever will be ready to sacrifice their lives
Sacrifice each life they have, each life they have

Lawi Kurdi  hazir u  amadeye,
Giyan fidan e, giyan fida her giyan fida
Giyan fidan e, giyan fida her giyan fida 

Friday, 5 February 2016

Happy Birthday;William Burroughs ( 5/2/14 -2/8/97) - Everything is Permuted ( a cut-up)

Happy Birthday William Seward Burroughs, El Hombre Invisible,  a figure who looms  large through the last half of the 20th Century counterculture. Seeping into literature, painting, film and music. Whose image greets me every morning I  wander into my own living room, as my dreams awake. 
An iconlclast who himself became an icon, explorer of the outer boundaries of culture and identity. Happy birthday Uncle Bill.

Everything  is Permuted  ( a cut-up)

Nothing  is True.

Everything is  Permuted.

The word writes and re-writes itself.

It is no coincidence that the means of magic  is found in the words we use.

Language is a virus.

let them intermingle.

Everything  is permuted.

Mutating and metamorphosing.

A soundless hum.

Forged prisms of uniqueness.

Traversing life.

Mosaics of Juxtaposition.

Tools of precognition or subversion.

Everything is permitted..

' Take the  air. '

There are no accidents.

Although it's very difficult to get it right.

Get with it  or just say silent.

Allies wait with heavy commitments.

Eveything is permuted.

( happy birthday;  William S. Burroughs)

"You were not there for the beginning.  You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. " - William Burroughs

Material ( with William S.  Burrough) - seven souls

( an earlier post on the centenary of his birth can be found here :-

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Remembering Dietrich Bonhoeffer (4/2/06 -9/4/45)

Today marks German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer's birthday known for  his stand against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party for his courage to resist. Today I honour the memory of Bonhoeffer. I think that it is crucial that we do and also remember that we also have the privilege and responsibility to follow his example.
This was a man who actively resisted the Nazi regime from the time of Hitler's  ascent to power in 1933 until the bitter end. A well known pacifist who had a change of heart when it came to Hitler and joined with others to seek his assasination. The attempt sadly failed and they were arrested  and most were summarily executed. Bonhoeffer was probably one  the most courageous voices in the Christian church in the 1930's. He felt it was his integral duty not to remain silent appalled by most of the collusion of his church its silence about the demonization and oppression of Jews in Germany. Like a prophet from the bible. he took a lonely stand, and was not much appreciated during his time. But we see who is right now.
In the darkest hours of the twentieth century, he gave his life to the point of martyrdom.
We must continue to take a stand. lend our voices , spirit and solidarity to all those currently today facing injustices.
He continues to hold much relevance.

World Cancer Day - Not beyond Us.

A campaign to unite the  world's population , in the fight against cancer, World Cancer Day is a global event that takes place every year on February 4 . A disease that will kill more than  eight million people worldwide this year . The world needs to unite against this disease that knows no borders and represents one of humanity's most pressing concerns.
 This years theme, " Not beyond us,"  demonstrates a proactive and positive approach  towards the disease, highlighting that solutions do exist across the continum of cancer, and that they are within our reach.
Moreover , understanding and responding to the full impact of cancer on emotional , mental and physical wellbeing  will maximise the quality of life for patients, their families and care-givers. Every citizen should have access to  free treatment options and care.
Awareness so important, for the survivors and those who are not so fortunate, we should not be afraid to talk about it. For many affected by the disease it is a solemn one of reflection, but for others it's a time to become aware of this disease's impact and what is being done to help effect change for millions it impacts. A diagnosis of cancer does not mean that you have to live a painful and miserable life. Their is hope and positivity to. 
I for one am glad that my partner is still doin ok, so give  great thanks to the |N.H.S and all it's fantastic staff, for the great support that we have received and continuing solidarity with the junior doctors. 
Best wishes.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Lets be honest, there's got to be a better way.

" Lets be honest. The activities  of our economic and social system are killing the  planet. Even if we confine ourselves merely to humans, these activities are causing unprecedented privation, as hundreds of millions of people and today more than yesterday with probably more tomorrow - go their entire lives with never enough to eat. Yet curiously none of this seems to stir us into significant action. And  when someone does too stridently point out these obvious injustices, the response by the mass of the people seems so often to be a figurative if not physical blow to the gut, leading inevitably to a destruction  of our common future. "

- Derek Jensen, The Culture of Make Believe

I strongly believe that capitalism has a lot to answer for. Its daily contribution to human death and human misery has simply become unbearable, am not sure how our wonderful planet can survive whilst we sustain it. The political and economic and general social structure of world society must now be re-configured to ensure the preservation of all human beings, not just the privileged few, with their vested corporate interests. Interests that want to preserve the old economy that refuses to work for ordinary people nor the planet. Power hungry interests that are currently tightening their grips. The ranks of this powerful elite no longer restricted  to those who are actual members of Government or the bureaucracies  that buoy them up. This elite now embraces the top executives of the ever growing  multinational  corporations that are tightening their grip on the governments in both developed and developing world.  
Surely the human race should be sufficiently intelligent enough by now, and be able to take control of its own destiny, and refuse to be defined,  by the warped logic that  controls us now.  Directly responsible  for creating the huge gulfs that exist now between the rich and poor.
We should not  sit back and accept this inequality, thankfully a growing number raising their voices, saying no,  a growing populist movement, seeking fairness over privilege, a disparate anti-austerity social and political forces angered and increasingly made desperate by the crisis that I have talked about that is currently pulverising our society. That challenges the forces that try to chain us down.

I am not a conspirationist, by the way just someone  who truly worries for the world, I wonder if we don't change  things soon whether there will be a planet worth living in for the generations to come. There must be a way of taking back control from the hands of a few greedy individuals. Every day I walk on this planet I hope that we find a way to implement some change. To make this world a better place for those that come after us, a world beyond the shackles of corporate greed.
The refugee crisis  that we are currently witnessing is also one of the most dramatic expressions of the crisis of a social system that is no longer capable of coping with the most basic needs  of the vast majority of humanity. The despicable treatment metered out to them is also the product of an equally profoundly inhumane social system. The world migrant crisis is a symptom of the inevitably uneven and combined development of the capitalist system . It condemns billions of people to grinding misery while lavishing an untold minority with untold wealth. An inequality  that fuels migration to better parts of the world. 
The crisis is a product of a consciously created  poverty, the dispossession, , oppression and exploitation of the greater part of humanity by the few, which simultaneously creates mass human poverty and enclosed havens of wealth. Combined with imperialist  backed war s wars In Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya that have made  millions homeless and pushed people into grinding poverty.Thus helping create hells on earth.

The  response from country's largely  responsible for their misery in the first place is not to end the  bombing and looting  in the respective refugees country's of origin.Instead they set the wheels in motion to make their flight from  hunger and war even more difficult.
There's got to be a better way. When we all stand together young people and old, saying loudly and clearly that enough is enough, that the world belongs to all of us, not just those on top. We will  truly transform the world for the better.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Poem for Imbolc

( Imbolc marks  the start of Celtic Spring, the arrival of longer, warmer days, and the early signs of spring, so I offer you this poem.)

The earth again prepares for spring,
Awakens after the coldness and dark of winter,
Life begins to grow in the wombs of the earth,
Bulbs planted begin to gently explode,
St Bridget's day, the gift of name,
Given to my mischievious  daughter,
Fertility today returns unbound,
To stir our spirits, kiss our lips,
Deliver to us a poetic muse,
As the sun glistens in the sky,
We embrace the wheels of change,
We still cling on, still keep faith,
blessed Imbolc, blessed be.