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Can Our Cries be Answered?

[At last there is some hope of a ceasefire in Syria, which is mentioned in this poem from three years ago. The Olympic Games may bring some hope, but they mustn’t distract us from the many problems facing the world; those who would want us to give up hope of finding a better, fairer future must be challenged by people everywhere who are not prepared to ignore children’s tears anywhere.]

I WANT TO MAKE YOU ALL CRY

I want to make you all cry
It’s good for people to cry
It’s better than sitting round miserably
Pretending to laugh
People don’t cry enough!
I want to make you all cry
For yourselves and all people who
Don’t have to die
For kids who are hungry and put to hard labour
When they should be greedy and pains in the neck
Who know the world is wrong but won’t be heard
Who only hear shouting, destruction
And cries of distress
Only our shared tears can clean up this mess

 

I want to make you all cry
At the shame of getting by
Unable to cope with life’s complexities
Or even ask why
Love is never enough!
I want to make you all cry
For yourselves and all people who
Don’t have to lie
But must for the sake of our little luxuries
The only way we spread love and happiness
To spite the orders that come from above
“You work your contract or there’s the door!”
That’s the reason why
We live on lie after lie after lie.

 

I want to make you all cry
For people you just let go
To politics and the geography
You know, the money
Forcing us to depart!
I want to make you all cry
For the people you must pass by
In your own home
On the street, in the shop and on the TV news
Feeling sorry but too powerless to help
All the problems you deal with by yourself
With nobody knowing to help you
Just trying to smile
At the cruel way the world became so vile

 

 

I want to make you all cry
To salute what you see die
In Syria, here and inside yourself
For what? The money?
Global economy?
I want to make you all cry
It’s urgent, we must cry today!
It’s not too late
To face up to what we’ve been trying to deny
What we have suffered and what we are losing
Blanking it out with our kind of boozing
Not letting the merciful tears flow
Time to let them go!
To weep and embrace and do what we know.

Can you Do It Again?

[We’re all friends here, so I hope everyone can agree that Monday is “almost Friday”. Otherwise, sorry to be tardy, just waiting for DWP to provide a final twist, which they have now done.
The following  letter summarises this latest DWP driven adventure]:

Mandatory reassessment letter

This letter, accompanied by appropriate paperwork (mostly courtesy of the GP service and the NHS generally)  appears to have done the trick, so may prove a useful model for others in a similar situation. I have received confirmation by phone, a generous repayment and, just today, written confirmation, which states,
“the Department for Work and Pensions have advised that your Employment and Support Allowance remains in payment.”

Keeping phone contact seems to’ve speeded up the process, so it’s all good,  but for two little twists.

ESA payments depend on keeping the doctor’s ‘sick note’ up to date; it’s generally valid for about a month, but -although one can work for 16 hours in a week without bothering the DWP – my agency, who did offer a day’s work today, must insist on seeing a ‘fit note’ from the Doctor. It’s just a case of ticking the opposing box, but it seems unfair to have sick notes and fit notes running simultaneously!

Also, while using the phone at the job centre to ring the DWP for confirmation of my ‘back on ESA’ status, it was suggested that yes, my ESA is restored, but I may now be asked to join a Work Related Activity Group!  Sounds like a rag and probably is one, but you never know, so I shall await further post with interest and trepidation. It may mean as little tedium as meeting a ‘Work Coach’ (a specimen of whom I met at the Job Centre today – an overgrown schoolboy, too up himself to make eye contact) for an interview, but still, it’s an imposition and a potential excuse for further attempts to sanction. Roll on September!

Hopefully, I can return to more poetic subjects soon, perhaps by almost this Friday.

See You

Do me a favour, old pal, old friend

Look at yourself in the mirror, and keep looking.

Look at yourself until you can love yourself


Look at yourself until you can love yourself

Enough so that others can love you too


Start with those lovely eyes, so manic right now

So restless with pain and suspicion

With desperate, greedy hope


Look at yourself until you can love yourself

Enough so that others can love you too


The rest all looks lovely to me, as always

So calmly attend to all the uglinesses that you see and go on about endlessly

And breathe steadily, as you look at yourself


Look at yourself until you can love yourself

Enough so that others can love you too


Stand erect and proud!

Honest, as always, maybe not quite so loud?

Own it, don’t be owned by it, whatever it is, don’t break it


Look at yourself until you can love yourself

Enough so that others can love you too


Why don’t you love yourself?

What have you done? You’re innocent, remember?

Or have you, like everybody else, stopped listening and moved on?


Look at yourself until you can love yourself

Enough so that others can love you too


Look at those poor unhappy, tired eyes looking back at you

Drive away all their anger and fear, with a wink or a blink or whatever

Until, full of forgiveness at last, the muscles relax and the vision brightens


Look at yourself until you can love yourself

Enough so that others can love you too


So, when you’re ready to make friends again with all the world

You may step away from the mirror and approach me, quietly, gently…

What’s that? I should look in the mirror too? Ridiculous! Get off! Don’t dare repeat what I say to you,


Look at yourself until you can love yourself

Enough so that others can love you too

A Week is a long time in poetics

[Sorry for the long break.  A ‘sporting injury’ dontchaknow. Nearly ready to resume properly – not as nearly as some would like! Mending, encouraged by my appearance at Left Fest in Southampton (thanks to  Unite Community) and the prospect of more tonight at Victor Hugo’s Boulangerie (https://www.facebook.com/events/273816409664787/) and perhaps, if there’s time,  Moving Voices at the Art House, I may return to delivering “An Interesting read…) almost every Friday!

So, the long dry spell ends with this poem:

 

Under the Influence

This befuddled fog I seem to carry about me

Is something which people politely ignore

Bar the odd jibe or more sympathetic remark –

Bless them, they have their own worlds to conduct themselves in

With rarely time enough to pick an argument.

A relief to be let off; sad to be left in the shade

Though one has to ask oneself,

This miasma, this stultifying gloom I stumble around in,

This studied calm while watching the rising waves,

This attempt to freshly restate the bleeding obvious,

This half hearted effort to offer a safe space,

In which we may moan and complain together,

Is it, could it ever be any earthly use?

In the cruelly limited time left over

After attending to the tiresome necessities

Perceived as essential to one’s personal survival

And all the posing involved

In reassuring the unobservant

In this materialistic, over consuming, deeply concerning society

You have to let everyone in

Because in times like these we all need to help each other

Even those who seem determined not to help you

Even when tolerating their grossest stupidities is all you can do

Even though the very way they care is terribly bad or just plain wrong for you

Even those whose views you want to oppose

Remember, they’ll know what you know just as well as you’ll know what they know.

Those late night conversations

May lead to unexpected revelations

Or only to the start of another day

But each new day will start, and we must find our way.

From Jason seeking Joy

A SUNNY DAY IN HERSELF,

AS BRIGHT AND PRETTY AS AIR,

QUICK WITH LIFE AND TENDER,

SHE LOVED ALL THE WORLD

AND HER NAME WAS JOY.

THE WORLD LOVED HER IN RETURN

AND THE LOVE OF THE WORLD IS A HEAVY WEIGHT,

IT NEARLY SUCKED HER DRY.

JOY THOUGHT SHE BROKE MANY MEN’S HEARTS

THAT HAD BEEN SHATTERED LONG BEFORE –

SHE SIMPLY COULD NOT MEND THEM.

STILL TOO YOUNG TO KNOW HER OWN SOUL

AND CARING FOR THE WORLD AROUND HER

JOY DETERMINED TO CONSOLE THESE HEARTS;

IN THIS WAY WOMEN’S FEELINGS ARE CRUSHED

AND MEN, DREAMING OF RULING THE ROOST,

PLAY WITH DANGEROUS TOYS.

WITH SIMPLE GENEROSITY

JOY PLAYED HER GAMES WITH MANY MEN,

CREATING HOPES SHE COULDN’T SATISFY.

THEY GATHERED ROUND HER LIKE HUNGRY BABES

BUT ALAS, THEY WERE NOT HER CHILDREN

ONLY LOST AND SELFISH MEN.

JOY’S FIRST BEAUTIFUL HOPES WERE CRUSHED

AND HER ANGER GREW AND GREW

UNTIL AT LAST SHE HAD THE STRENGTH TO PROTEST:

“MY HOME IS BEING POISONED

AND TURNED INTO A BATTLE GROUND

BY MEN WHO TRY TO IMPRESS ME

BY RIPPING OUT THEIR HEART

AND LAYING IT IN MY HAND.

I THROW DOWN YOUR BLOODY MEAT!

YOU WON’T MAKE MEAT OF ME.

I HAVE SOME SPACE AROUND ME,

IT SHALL BE CLEAN AND GOOD.

I WILL NOT TOLERATE EVIL, MISERY OR DIRT

THEY SHALL NOT COME NEAR ME,

AND IF YOU LOVE ME

MAKE PEACE AS I HAVE DONE.”

NOW JOY’S BEAUTY WAS HER OWN CREATION

WHEN IT SHOULD HAVE BELONGED TO THE WORLD

BUT SHE WAS STILL LOVELY

BECOMING A PALACE,

ELEGANT AND COLD

NOT HARD TO FIND, EASY TO ADMIRE,

BUT IMPOSSIBLE TO ENTER

WITHOUT FAVOUR, BOLDNESS OR LOW CUNNING.

LUCKY THE FEW WHO DO NOT SEEK SUCH SHELTER

AND BRAVE THE FREEDOM OUTSIDE,

FOR PALACES ARE ONLY KEPT WARM

BY OFFERING UP THE DEAD

AND WHEN THEY CRUMBLE

THEY LEAVE AN EMPTY SPACE.

JOY HAD BUILT HER HOME

BUT AS SOON AS SHE MADE IT SECURE

SHE LOOKED OUTSIDE HER WINDOW

AND SAW THE WORLD WAS MADE OF GLASS.

 

[The collaboration between John Hansard Gallery and local poets continues and will again once it relocates to Guldhall Square.
My effort in response to this theme was only put on the reserve list but, with five such engaging poets in performance, even I didn’t feel the loss too badly.
nevertheless, for the record, here’s the poem I came up with]:

You Must Read the Signs Correctly

She loved me, I screwed it up
At least that’s how I like to look at it. Nowadays
As one must take responsibility for every aspect of one’s life
Every aspect of life itself, existence and all,
Which is only limited by the limits of our perception;
Your whole life is only that which you can perceive

So the senses must be acute, trained, stimulated, added to if possible
And we like to think that we can learn from what we’ve seen and sensed,
Maybe accept some guidance on occasion from the experience of others
Those who have some special knowledge, training, wisdom, insight, ability, influence
Which we might be able to apply when, inevitably
One goes over those situations in life
That didn’t turn out as one hoped they might.

It’s cheating in a way, of course –
Everything happens at once and only once –
But just in case by some miracle
Or because of the circles we are contained in
By the limits of our perception
We do get a second chance, we want to be ready,
Hope to find some fresh insight so profound
That it might turn a damaging perception around.
So, for example, when I say I love somebody, or any other word
I should always consider what that might mean to them –
To me the natural fulfilment of many a dream
To them an onerous invitation to accept some uncalled for obligation.

I may see love as a beautiful gift
Declare it as an author pronounces his latest truth
While anyone denoted by such a weighty word as love
Must refer to their own understanding of what it entails.
It may mean a lot to me, but in tennis love means nothing
And that is what I find myself served
Though the fault may be mine and the way I keep score.

The Wherehouse

Grant David Read jpf freeway night 2.2 2

Where is it, where is that house?
The one you remember being yourself in
The one where the windows seemed haunted
Because when you looked at the world through them you couldn’t care.
The house you could see from miles away
Because that’s where you were always going
To see all the important people there, and all your stuff
Where is it now, that house, did it ever even exist?
Could it really be in that exact same place,
Unchanged but for your not being there?

23rd February, 2010

Peace Drone

This could happen now

But who would profit by such a thing?

~

A craft the size of a building, difficult but not impossible to destroy

Could land on or hover over the streets or fields

Of the peoples we peoples don’t want to be enemies with any more,

Not there to invade or destroy but to share and display.

A touch screen menu could offer assistance and choices

Help to find and channel water and other resources

Feed and regenerate the soil, plant and process food,

Build shelters, homes, hospitals and schools,

Roads and bridges, all manner of communications

We could share our skills and information

Accept and explore that other culture’s experience and views

Not just bellow our leaders’ billious demands and agendas,

Look at each others’ faces, lives, communities and realities

Talk to and learn from each other

~

This could happen now

But who would profit by such a thing?

~

Such devices already exist

And are shot into the far reaches of outer space

Such keen traders are the human race

With a childish need to show off, make a deal

Sell a vision of our civilization, impress ourselves, at least,

Always hoping to get the best of any exchange.

Even the most savage attacks are fired with the force of love

Passion for the riches, to protect the family or some idea,

But our love bombs, our loving bombs will not answer our hopes

If we value our lives above others’, seek to crush what others love

If the vision we have wont admit what other eyes can see.

~

The technology we have now could bring peace to the world

But who would profit by such a thing?

LATE FILM

Sorry my post is late this week, so here’s a film:

https://youtu.be/0pgUznL7L1Y  (Thanks to Tony Curtis Movies for sharing this). Good to add this to the Curtis oeuvre, and most of this 1953 film is set in  Macao, so it’s interesting to see how that location was perceived by Universal International in those days. It’s hard to see how Philadelphia gets involved in the final vital scenes, but it does.

Everyone is Different and the Same

Sometimes when you feel different you want to be the same

Sometimes when you feel the same you want to be different

Sometimes when you think you’re being different you’re actually being the same

Sometimes when you think you’re being the same you’re actually being quite different

It’s no wonder that when people try to see how you are different

When actually you’re the same

Or try to see you as the same

When you’re actually quite different

It’s no wonder that you seem to feel quite different when actually you feel just the same

Or seem to feel the same when you actually feel differently

Differences arise when you see the same thing in me

To you it looks different to the same thing you see in yourself

Just as things that are actually different seem the same

We are different in the same way

In different ways we are the same

CyberneticBlonde

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