Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Tuesday 29 October 2002
London

its 40 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and 20 since the Malvinas.

have we learned nothing?

40 Years On

I went to Havana in ninety three
Air Cubana struggling in via Gander
(The Russians had withdrawn their subsidy)
The Cubans danced in isolate splendour.

In distant NY the UN debate
Saw Kruschev and Adlai Stevenson lock
Arms. Staring eyes engaged in steady state;
Who blinks first? Who throws the first nuclear rock?

I handed in my homework as ever
Diligent, quite unaware of the tease
We’d all come to singing twelfth of never
And glowing red rain drops drift on the breeze.

While JFK would be dead in the year;
How far have we learned about global fear?

29 October 2002

Monday, October 28, 2002

Monday 28 October 2002
London after Nottingham

phew what a windy one - had to tie down the laburnam tree as the roots were lifting.

and it's not been a good time for young people - again...

Being thirteen

Why, thirteen seems a wondrous age to be,
All fashion tips in Sugar; mobile phones,
Text messaging Gareth Gates, constantly
Checking the insistent rush of hormones.

She took her life, believing without doubt,
Before the doc could call her pregnancy,
Too scared to ask for help, as if caught out –
She wasn’t – there’s the teenage tragedy.

In Moscow theatres, thirteen is the age
You’re deemed a threat, an A certificate
Issued as your passport as a hostage
To the future, and gassing by the state.

Adult care’s hypocritical pretence;
How dare we rob these kids their innocence?

Monday 28 October 2002

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Tuesday 22 October 2002
London

in the rain - after September in the sun..
meanwhile the universe spins on. We have a new astronomical neighbour in a horseshoe orbit with the earth. The size of a football pitch, which of course I've assumed to be the size of a soccer pitch for all you readers across the pond.

And I've been concerned that the US love affair with weapons appears to be heralding another aberrant criminal.

So here is today's topical sonnet

Bad Will Hunting

What do you mean, you went out stalking prey?
With hunting rifle, hair-sights, single shots,
On petrol stations, shopping malls and lots
Where drivers fill up, shoppers shop, kids play…

In childhood, did we not all share the thrill
Of danger, of the chase across the field
Of rabbits, blind with mixey, running wild
With fear as hunters closed in on the kill?

And did we not then shun the instinct born
Of irresponsible strength and violence,
And learn the awful shame of petulance,
Till grown up, sadder, wiser, we conform?

But in the States, the games, the children’s toys
Become gun laws, and men turn into boys.

Tuesday 22 October 2002

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Wednesday 16 October 2002
London

It's not that I'm saying that the universe is upside down, or it's a mad world my masters... but

I got myself thoroughly depressed the other evening as reports came in of another sequence of death.. of more young people dead in the face of fundamentalism.. and yet I can see how a different spiritual way of life could think the ways of the West are demonstrably evil.

Stop killing young people.

Dancing in the Street

God I’m depressed, and weary of this hate.
What kind of moral universe is it,
Where some brave yob is pissing in the street
While nightclub dancers’ lives disintegrate?

The early evening yawl disheartened me;
No joy at the photographers’ debate.
I listened, disbelieving, to her state
Her framed pictures were value judgement free.

Then later, in the street, by the school gate,
At half past nine, a steady stream of pee.
The passer by passed on despondently
Unable to complain or remonstrate.

Is this the way of life we celebrate?
That bombs in Bali seek to desecrate?

Wednesday 16 October 2002

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Thursday 10 October 2002
London

It's National Poetry Day..
a day to celebrate the spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions recollected in tranquility..

and not surprisingly there is a hurried topical sonnet...

National Poetry Day

Autumnal angel greets the working day,
Commuter lemmings gather by the mouth
Of warrens, tunnels draw them all away
To towers of babel glinting in the south.
From Islington to Monument the din
Of lucre clatters down the Northern Line;
The sullen silent passengers within
Shed not a smile, nor offer up a sign
Of acknowledgement. Maintain protocol;
The tinnitus of some lost drum and bass,
A chirping cricket fed on Northern soul;
Ennui exudes from every morning face.

Awake, your spirits, recognise your art,
The rhythmic lyric lurking in your heart.

Thursday 10 October 2002

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Wednesday 9 October
London

So Goose Fair (Nottingham) came and went with over a million visitors in three fine days..
and the party conference highlight seemed to be the MP for Grimsby changing his name by deed poll to Austin Haddock... Austin Pillock more like.

Meanwhile, more kids are killed in Gaza.. and George Dubya seems to be doing a good job of deflecting media attention from the commercial sleaze at the heart of his administration.. what was Dick Chaney doing with all those shares in the company developing Iraqi oil fields?

and Meanwhile again.. the IRA seem to have handed the unionists an opportunity to wreck the Good Friday Agreement, and go stamping their moral outrage all over the shop..

Come on guys - wise up...

A topical sonnet - with little cheer..

Peace Process

I hesitate to venture into verse
Where angels fear to tread, where life and death
Lie in the muddied road of bad or worse;
The peace process is drawing its last breath.

The DUP – the dogs against the peace,
Recoil from the assembly they abhor,
Retreat behind the rhetoric, to seize
The moral low ground they shat on before.

And Trimble trundles off to the seaside
To have his ego stroked by Tory sleaze.
Oh moral outrage, Lord, with me abide,
And all the Orange order to appease.

Engage with rigour in devolution;
Ask, are you the problem or solution?

9 October 2002


Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Tuesday 1 October 2002
London

and on that bombshell...

Currie and Chips

My Gran was a constituent. What would
She make of these bizarre shenanigans,
This understair work, this paddling of hands,
This back to basics, ne’er do well done good?
So Major joins the Tory Hall of Shame
Of Parkinson, and Mellor sucking toes,
And Shagger Norris, taking one big blow,
And Michael’s love that dare not speak his name.
Edwina’s Parliamentary Affair
Makes scrambled eggs of recent history,
And prompts the pundits now to speculate
Who would be PM, had it been laid bare
In ninety-two. The other mystery
Is – did he wear Y-fronts to fornicate?

Tuesday 1 October 2002