Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Borderlands








When they cut the electricity, the
doctor came to us. It’s time for you to
leave. He should have taken his own advice.
That’s him hanging there, a message for all
of us to see, standing here, across an
imaginary line, watching our homes
from this hilltop. I can see my own house,
there next to the tank and the APCs,
a barracks now, where an officer stands,
his field glasses gloating, fixed on me.

From my side of the line, I can thumb my
nose at the world, turn somersaults in the
sand, observe the soldiers begin to pull
out, the tanks plough down olive groves, the first
tongues of flame at the windows of my home.
It’s a curious kind of freedom. The
officer perched on the last APC,
gives a triumphant, derisive wave which
leaves me wondering. Which one of us is
really free, and which one chokes like a slave?

The quacks have spoken. An operation would kill me, so I just have to see this out. No time scale possible, but I don't think it will be long. Quite calm. Comfortable. Surrounded by a barricade of family, comrades and dear friends. I will squeeze every last drop while I can.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dying’s Annoying - Heathcote Williams












Dying’s annoying.
You’re enjoying the party
Then you have to leave.

You can ignore it
But death can be insistent.
Here are some options:

‘Do not go gentle
Into that good night’. Meaning?
Shout on your death-bed?

They’d tranquillize you.
…Try to sublimate your fear
Of death by killing?

Soldiers enjoy this
But it’s counterproductive
To keep cloning death.

Here’s an old stand-by:
‘I believe God will solve it
I won’t really die.’

Well, some grief-stricken
Wishful thinking on gravestones
Isn’t really proof.

Alternatively,
Your last hope of life is to
Apply to this club:

The 120 club.
No need to change your life-style
In any fashion.

All its rules are lax.
No one minds if you die
At 117.

As soon as you join
Just say: “I’m not going to die”
Adding, “So far, so good”.

But, should you cave in,
Get up and hide your body
So no one finds it.

Here's one from Heathcote which made me chortle. On the more serious side the next convoy to Gaza is setting off and I will follow it's progress as if I was on it, which, in spirit I will be.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Brian Haw













He did not die. He is not dead.
The words written on his banners
Ring round and round our heads.

Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan,
Raise your voices whenever you can,
Two million strong, or just one man.

Bloody minded, awkward cuss,
Patron saint of making fuss,
He stood for the best in us.

Bombs and children do not mix.
Landmines maim. Napalm sticks.
Dealing in arms just makes you sick.

He dragged our conscience to the Square.
Against all odds, he kept it there,
Fluttering bravely in the cold night air.

All hacks agreed, the camp an eyesore.
He kept adding more and more
Reasons for resisting war.

The antithesis of liar,
Bedraggled nemesis of Bliar,
Not for sale, nor for hire!

Occupation? General strike?
His is what democracy looks like.
Brian Haw, people’s mike.

Through wind and rain,
Through storms of pain,
He stood strong, again and again.

Though tyrants rule and streets run red,
We will follow where he has lead.
He did not die. He is not dead.

Living on the very edge is doing wonders for my creative imagination!





Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cat Walk














First, tap-tapping down the aisle
Comes Miss Uzi, efficiency and style,
The perfect little black number, neat,
Suitable for all occasions.
See how she has them
Falling at her feet.

So sleek, so svelte,
The shapely Stealth,
All clean lines, made to blend
And yet, when she has come and gone,
Her impact is impossible to forget,
The shape of things to come.

If you like your models brash
And in your face, here’s Cobra.
What she lacks in grace
She shows in power, sweeping in
Below your expectations, no frills,
No subtlety from the start.
Thump, thump goes another heart.

Retro is chic. Anatoly’s design
Has a special spot in any collection,
A by-word for economy,
Your off-the-peg, over the shoulder selection,
Mass produced, the working girl’s choice.
No need for a designer label
When it comes to dress code
AK47 stands the test of time.

Behind the scenes, after the show,
Uniformed workers bustle to and fro,
Sweeping away redundant trash.
Somewhere, safely out of sight,
Grey accountants add up all the cash.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Homecoming














Dawn cracked wide the curtains.
Down slated silver rain.
Like that first October,
Snaking into Swansea on the last train.

Past Margam’s sea of fire,
Valleys piled higher and higher
With yellow copper spoil
And molten black slag,

Mumbles, winking in the dark,
Constitution Hill, Paradise Park,
The bay disguised by shimmering foil,
Morris Castle, lowering from the crag.

This is where the Mumbles Road was blocked,
St. Helen’s, where the ‘Boks were stopped.
In Singleton, Wales once played Palestine.
Here formed the last NUM picket line.

From their embrace there is no escaping.
This was the crucible from which knowledge poured,
Who to love and what to despise,
How to extract even one solid nugget of truth
From the endless, polluted stream of lies.
This was the place for forging and shaping.


No further news from the battle front.

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Embarrassment of Dragons














Scales like leathern bricks
The mighty dragon sits
Amidst the debris where she thinks
Of times long gone
And times to come.

Red slit eyes take in the ridge,
The shattered banks, the burning bridge,
A steeple leaning at an insane angle,
The smouldering matchwood tangle,
Where even now black ants swarm,
Delirious, oblivious of the storm
Of her stinking, fiery breath.

Slowly a horned tail lifts.
The immoveable weight shifts.
Scorched earth trembles.
Streams of ants assemble
In the shadow of this awesome one.
Which way to turn? Which way to run?
The scaley swishes from side to side,
Instruments of instant insecticide.

In the next grey green valley,
Another citadel of ants continues to insist
The rumours of impending doom
are quite ridiculous, for dragons
Simply do not exist.
Life goes on. New towers rise.
No one has time to watch the skies
For the beating of mythical wings
And wonder why an approaching dragon sings.

In my addled youth,
I fancied myself a dragon slayer,
Set about the known world with a will,
Armed with my own words and an ancient prayer,
Searching high and low for dragons to kill.
Now, any dolt knows the simple truth,
Before the fall comes bloated pride,
So I never foresaw the one that did for me,
The dragon growing silently inside.

Dear friends and comrades - the time has come for goodbyes. If you want to meet for a final hug and smile, you'd better make it quick!