And yet, here we all are: dying by a thousand cuts

I’m looking at the state of my country and the state of the world. I’m enduring political-social-economic breakdown, war and general meltdown; I’m witnessing agendas that require the deliberate construction of societal divisions and the fabrication of conflicts – even mass murder by sovereign nations and marauding fascist hordes. I’m seeing that when action is taken, it’s either simplistically eager and over the top or it’s reluctant and insultingly piecemeal. Nuance and subtlety; the simple and straightforward are in a right old jumbled-up mess. Priorities are twisted; evidence is skewed; manipulation of emotion and mind is rife in the pursuit of dubious outcomes. We are going everywhere at once and nowhere, really fast.

I’m feeling embarrassment, contempt and despondency for the political climate; for the calibre of leadership; for the level of debate among all peers and within all spheres. It is little wonder that we are deaf and blind to alternatives for, all too often, we believe our minds and hearts are open but, in fact, we are merely open to that which confirms what we already think and feel. I’m feeling the crushing despair of seeming and real disempowerment and righteous, horrified rage, not only in the millions of people in my own land but the world’s billions. I feel the confusion and the sense of overwhelm about which battle to fight first and where on earth to start the clearing up and renewal. It’s easy to knee-jerk with such thoughts as ‘wipe ‘em out’ and ‘jail them all’ but serious application of ethical and sustainable change will require a little more than the reactionary generalisations that got us here. We have to understand that everything is connected to everything else; that one thing always leads to another; that very few events and problems can be isolated from others and be successfully resolved. We can say it’s the economy, stupid all we like and, of course, it is but, in our present domestic-global economy, it is neoliberal ideology and obscenely powerful, greedy, selfish, shortsighted fools and their dumb appeasers with which we must battle for it is they, with their bankrupt notions, who have turned finance into a weapon of such mass destruction that its continuance in present form threatens all else. ‘Minimum wage’ and ‘predistribution’ just don’t cut it; chasing the last drop of oil doesn’t cut it; growing by production of disposable crap doesn’t cut it; stealing resources doesn’t cut it; serfdom and subjugation doesn’t cut it. And yet, here we all are: dying by a thousand cuts. Who is Democracy for, if not for us? What is the Economy for, if not to serve us? What is Society, if not us? What is Life for if 90-odd% of us are merely surviving by relative degrees?

We humans have managed to get to a point where, although we cannot possibly continue in this way, whatever courses we pursue, the processes will be messy and bloody and the outcome will be uncertain and shitty for everyone in at least one form, no matter an individual’s or demographic’s current status. I wonder at the human capacity to avoid those changes we most desire or require – as if we prefer to wait in deep-down secret hope that something sufficiently dramatic will occur; something that forces us to do what we were too lazy, complacent or frightened to do before. We humans are quite the comedic tragedy, are we not? Sometimes I wonder if that’s why we’re still sticking with the devils we think we know: because change is risky, complex, uncomfortable and unquantifiable. It surely can’t be because we actually still trust our leaders to make good, can it? Can it..?

That’s how big the mess is, though, isn’t it? It’s an environmental, economic, psychological, (spiritual) mess. It took us an age of incompetence and false consciousness; of crises upon crises to reach this place and there is precious little political courage or will out there to provide a connecting narrative, let alone wholesome solutions, especially while the status quo continues to so well benefit the Powers that Be.

No magic wand exists to deliver us. And, even if it did: to whom would we give it? Not to me and, sorry but not to you, either, you crazy utopian. The future is still up for grabs – just – and, somehow, we must all shape it so that it works for all of us. The longer we try to carry on carrying on, the worse it will be and the narrower will be our choices and I think we all know it.

lonely lectern

Lonely lectern
waiting with the world
in all-expectant air
for yet another encore of
Obama’s flair for being late.
Perhaps a putting green
should be the new official
platform of the state.

But surely: such a long delay
must prove that what he has
to say is so important,
afterwards,
we’ll think his speech was
worth the wait?

Oh, poor Land of the Free and
International Community with
only seals and flopping flags
for time-abusing company!

But, look! He’s here!
The Messenger of wordy hedge!
We are all ears and on the edge
for want of comment and delay
of far more useful, pressing tasks.

Is this his ad-lib wisdom, fear or
nonchalance, we’ll later ask.
The now, all too familiar narcoleptic
punctuation starts:

… responsibility to protect… with effective partners… the right to defend… bankrupt… commitment to… strategic… rampaging… campaign… ideology… proportionate… with limited response to… humanitarian aid… with targeted support for… appalling… investment… escalation… intervention… provocation… threats… mission creep… in our interests… that’s all, folks.. and God bless…

now, where’s my dual wedge…?

dream-seeing vistas

Hope
an upward slope
to a panoramic view
where the scope
of fine imagination
waits for you

unbound
dream-seeing vistas
crisp and clear
surround potential
seeming new
though always here

waiting
as seeds of inspiration
to conceive
and raise the ground to meet
each noble aspiration
where horizons are as yet to be

‘Making It Up As We Tory Along’

We are the Tories
And this is our song
It’s called

‘Making It Up As We Tory Along’

And whether we’re right
Or whether we’re wrong
We believe we are right
Anyway

So, come on..

And support your local conservative man
If you think public-owned is a nanny state scam
And you know you can purchase a privatised plan
If you like that a school can make up its own rules
And you think that the poor are just idlers and fools
That the sick and disabled are burdensome cheats
And you want undesirables cleared from the street
If you’re full of resentments regarding your tax
And think working on welfare will ever fix that
If you still are deceived about who is to blame
And think finance and markets remain a fair game
That the City’s unfairly achieved a bad name
That the regions all benefit by London’s gain
And it’s unpatriotic to dare to complain…

If you truly believe we’d have more sovereignty
If we just left that basket case over the sea
And you’d really put faith in our capacity
To negotiate treaties with integrity
If you think that our clout is worth shouting about
And believe that your values are British, no doubt
If you think a good war will restore the economy
Have no concern about who is an enemy
Yearn for yesterday’s rose-tinted land
Don’t care so few ethnic minorities stand
And think women should work harder to understand
If you’d like this direction of travel maintained
And sincerely conceive it can all be sustained
Well, the answer you seek is the one we have planned!
So support your local Conservative man!

Project Downhill

That Cameron is a nervous man
Who knows his PR is a scam
Too much on loan to be his own
He should have been an almost ran

So Dave, resigned to being cheap
Inflates himself to cheat defeat
Deflects, dissembles, disrespects
And bullies when he should retreat

So smug when he’s got pals around
Alone, he wears the see-my-frown?
His value crap, the rented pap
Of even more expensive clowns

His clucking head-bobs punctuate
Exploding Ps and Ts that grate
That proxy thumb, another one
That never fails to irritate

And to and fro the puppet goes
He starts each day as if he knows
All merry with his Blackberry
On Project Downhill, Fate, in tow

And though but few would rescue him
Still, nobody will rein him in
The State is shattered but no matter
Peers earn bread on circus whim

Friendship

beacon
anchor
mirror
prop
my “you can do it”
and my trusted counsel: “stop!”

mi casa es su casa
as like family, you know you are

we share
we dare
we fight
we cry
we laugh
we scamp
we stride into the world
as lamps

and, whether it’s together
or by miles apart
always
the love of friendship is
a gift of courage
to the mind and in the heart