New Year Returns

So we clock the next Gregorian notch
And reset our lot to resolutely futile promises,
Albeit just as well-intended
As last year’s sentimental whimsy –
As if resolve appears with perfect purchase
Only on the calculated year’s last day;
As though all others be ill-suited
To self-betterment or harm’s arrest

Because no other day is good for
Stopping smoking, drinking,
Eating less and exercising more.
And no one’s ever bored
By all the empty, drunken declarations
Or the stone cold sober tokens,
Are they?

Why gesture yearly,
Merely for tradition’s pressure
Just to fall in measure to a herded fashion?
All that well-meant passion, fleeting;
All that cheated rationale…

Well, bugger that!

But for the want of a perilous crutch,
To your own drum be tuned –
There are much better waves to catch.

~

If wishes were dishes
The breadth of the feast
Would encompass enough
For the whole world to eat.

What a banquet we’d have!
What a smörgås of food,
Quenching palates a-plenty –
Chacun à son goût!

~

Happy New Year!? And take heart: 2017 might well be spectacularly shitty but it’s not a leap year and needs no leap second, so, at least it will be shorter. 😉 Wishing you silver linings and pockets of Light xXx

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into 2017

Leaders blamed all the wrong things
to hide their shortcomings
and a lot of very silly people met them

because,
when yet more silly people blamed
all the wrong things, again,
the same lazy leaders went and let them.

It was an age of outrage,
wasted by the justified.
Others were just keen.

And here we are,
leaning in
to twenty seventeen:
Year of the Audacity of Arrogance
– an age sold to fools,
told by idiots.

Starry beams

Hope.
Hope, for all you are worth,
In clarions of love to light
A diadem of noble dreams
Upon the aching soul of Earth.

Anoint her with your starry beams,
Each prayer to heal a world of hurt.
In deep of night, make spirit bright,
As midwives to a beacon’s birth.

~*~

Merry Christmas. Chanukah Sameach. May you wish high and with all your beautiful might. 💫

#BritishValues

[June, 2014 – Tragic pertinence needs must rework and repeat]

 

What would you have us value, then?
What passes for these British traits?

Is it the wilful diminution of democracy
That separates the people from the State?

Or maybe our incessantly insistent view
That what we do is “help” the world for its own sake?

Oh, wait!
I think I’ve got it: it’s that fair play code we think we own!
How righteously polite we are!
Perhaps we should commission us a global honour mission
Thus we won’t feel so perceptibly alone.

So, is it in our famous law and order you’ve translated into Money talks?
Our globe-anointed tolerance that shadow-stalks the local masses?
Could it be the age-old choreography between the economic classes?
Is it in our Blighty-quaint ability to wait in lines? The neoliberal culture of
I’ll only pay for mine?

Stiff upper lip, is it?
The non-complaining strategy that manifestly rhymes
Neurotic and sclerotic with our passive-born aggression?
Or perhaps it’s that amazing, self-congratulating way
We tend to trip out on our history’s big lessons?

No, wait! Don’t tell me! Let me guess:
You mean like how you cherish our belovèd NHS?

Hang on..!

Or could it even be our undeniable capacity
To finger-point with swinging lead and buried heads?
Or might it be our deep, rich, grass-root, time-was Cool Britannia,
Now, by Cowell’s ilk and cynical palaver, made an operatic lather?
Is it in the way we gush and gift a paltry nobody to unreserved celebrity
And rush to make pariahs of the stars beyond our knowing?
Is it how we gloat and glower over uncontested power?
Yes! It surely has to be the Press, with all its freedom to impress?

Or is it how we toe the line
When Lord America decides
We might be useful hand-tools, after all?
Is it our poodle disposition or our sniffy exhibition
That defines our island character?

Do Britain’s expositions make her values truly worthy
Or just pompously perfidious and small?

Well?
What the hell and where the heck
Are all these dandy ‘British values’?
Suffer me my ignorance but,
Is it in the way you favour those already able?
Is it how you keep your brother
Or the fear that looks for other
In the refugee and immigrant?
The prisoner? Disabled?
Is it how you treat the NEETs?
The homeless, sleeping on the streets?
The single parent? Needy elders?
Every worker like a serf?

Is it how you are transfixed by everybody’s patriotic worth?

Perhaps you’d like our babies stamped at birth, like eggs,
With redly roaring lions? Then, once they’re schooled and duly cloned,
Be branded with a standard – maybe tractors backed by Union Flags
To make their British value known –
For, what is value worth that can’t be shown?

What are we living longer for?

What are we “living longer” for?
A few years more of being poor
To reach an age of destitution,
Helpless in dependency?

To be neglected; disrespected?
Sitting in the same old chair
In mean and squalid institutions,
Half aware, not really there?

Or, horror! With a lucid mind,
Enduring time and yet more time
To witness co-invented wars;
To weep at wasted brain and brawn?

Our social fabric worn and torn
To mourn lost generations born
Onto a scrapheap, harshly built
By systematic, alternating turns
Of greed and guilt.

[From February, 2013]

 

She said:

“I’m glad I am the age I am,” she said.
“I’m grateful that the road behind
Is longer than my road ahead,
For all I see is war and fear
And grasping greed by grubby hands:
The dark night of the Soul of Man
Enveloping all creeds and lands.

“There’s poison in the hearts of men,” she said.
“An undiluted self-belief and blinding faith
Casts bloody shadows, hollows Hope
And spreads an everlasting hate
Which fashions cold and steals Life’s hallowed Grace.

“There is a madness in the minds of men,
Whose messianic propagations bend
The Golden Bough and fray the sacred threads,
Which then, in haste, they darn with fœtid patches
Lest the Light be glimpsed –
The Truth lies in the gaps,” she said.

[From January, 2013]

Don’t get old‘ – Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian, December 2016