Becalmed

Into vacuity pours every salivating nihilist
To vault bridges and dance the day invisible.

The disarmed pray
As hedonists look away
And the powerful wring their hands.

All prey, standing side-on;
Humanity, becalmed and haunted, waits
For spark and wind to wake the auditors.

asymmetric power licks its lusty lips

Brexit is all smitten
With the label ‘Global Britain’
Reminiscent of the time the Sun
Was always in position;

Gonna give EU a kicking
If it doesn’t get its way.

[Every self-entitled bulldog has its day]

Gonna threaten, preach and overreach,
Cajole and whine and then beseech,
As self-inflicted victims,
Sudden keen on Foreign Aid.

Gonna get an awful shocking
At the mocking they engage,
When the only offers knocking
Are from profiteers and souvenir
Collectors making hay.

Having doubled down on doublespeak,
Perfidious Blighty’s gonna reap
Some karma as alarming sway
of asymmetric power licks its lusty lips
And squeezes dry
A desperate pipsqueak’s isolated
Pips.

flows from

History is a mirror where streams of consciousness converge and recycled feeling swells; shake loose the ghostly sediments to mete their rhymes. History is a river. At the banks, with pipe and drum, the enemy within keeps time with scry and knell. History is a wishing well.

The whole world wrought

What are we?
Who are we?
What have we become?
What have we done
But that we strut and curse
With Human ignorance
And hubris?

We sew pockets of hell on Earth
And fret when it’s too late
And still yet tell ourselves
That any fiction is infinitely better
Than to fess up; than to face our
Reaping

Wide,
The World weeps bloody tears
And suffocates under fractious clouds
That wreck and reek to retching

Sick, the planet heaves,
Clamouring for more glamour
And belief’s cold sweats

Adrenaline free-falling
Out of disconnect

Selective fear and fury
Horror
Paranoia
Stalks the Psyche
Trammels
Into frozen thought and feeling

The whole world is reeling
Dancing to discordant tunes

Tectonic Titans crunching
Crushing
Scraping scraps with blades

All is percussion
Gluttonous
And crashing

World made glass and straw
And poisoned shores
In hearts and thoughts
Polluting souls

The whole world wrought
To overwrought and overwhelm
And all for nought.

 

[From June, 2014]

Don’t

Don’t mess; don’t second-guess the People: they have spoken
Don’t test their faith that says your liberal place has had its time
Do not forget your status now, is an arbitrary token
So be a good wee patriot and, quietly, get into line.

Don’t judge them by their words but by their actions
Don’t judge them by their deeds but their intent
Don’t judge them by their hungry, blind and constant angry factions
Do not mistake the rhetoric for what they really meant

Don’t caution, fret or organise to hinder their turn-back designs
Don’t let collective ignorance inhibit your respect
Do not get lost in challenging the means they justify as fine
Don’t be a party pooper; get that Kool-Aid down your neck.

 

Please, do not do this. Resist, resist. Resist.

promises and piecemeal

Direct Democracy and Devolution sound so grown up, don’t they? Like no-brainers, especially in the 21st Century, where we think we’re all so miraculously connected and enlightened. We complain incessantly that we want more control; that we need it; deserve it. I’m sure we do, in a parallel universe. But, while it is clear that political and civic power are too concentrated in some places and persons, I suspect that most of us wouldn’t have a clue what best to do with more power if we got it. After all, we don’t use what we already have, that smartly.

The People do not always know best. We just don’t. In fact, sometimes we are downright stupid, no matter the consensus that it isn’t good or wise to say so, out loud. For instance: I live in a Cornish constituency where, in the last general election, my shortsighted, albeit understandable hissy fit at the Lib Dems of Coalition merely allowed the Tories to swan back in. It must be really difficult, sometimes, for politicians to feign their respect for the voters.

The human world is a frightened and frustrated place. We can all feel it, or at least see it. The world shook after 9/11 and shifted irrevocably on its axe when the financial crises came to light. Since then, the pace of consequence has accelerated and intensified under our cowardly, short-termist leadership. They – we – build on mistake after mistake. Nearly the whole world is doing the same, on some level. We’ve facilitated ideological hubris and complacency, compounding misery and instability. No wonder there are grassroots collectives pushing for individuals to gain more democratic control. No wonder those who can are keen, or keen to pretend to offer it.

But the People are too busy living, or trying to, to spend 24/7 digesting every connection and implication involved in even the simplest idea. A lot of people don’t even have time to properly absorb a primetime news broadcast, let alone have the inclination to connect the dots around a plethora of single (-seeming) issues and assume direct agency. To participate responsibly, you have to be actively engaged and prepared to contemplate more deeply than on catchy soundbites and echo chambers. In the last general election some people thought they wanted the Conservative Party’s welfare reforms until they realised they had voted for cuts in their own income. Parents opening and running schools sounded like a great idea to a chunk of the populace until they actually tried it and realised how much expertise and time most of them did not have.

We need managers. No matter our sovereignty as individuals, we need leaders and overseers and at least some hierarchical structure of accountable authority to make a Society run. As much as we might feel that ‘’for god’s sake, I’ll do it, myself/could do it better, myself’ impatience, in the face of such overt fecklessness, we are also half hoping that something, someone, will take it off our hands.

Negotiating even our own lives can be more than enough occupation. We want someone else to take care of the other stuff. We don’t all want to have to run schools, sit on every committee, attend every blasted meeting that might affect our lives, keep up with every minute amendment to vote on every policy, engage with every whim and crackpot suggestion, tick-box endless, simplistic questionnaires. Well, I don’t, anyway. It may sound good in the abstract but, in practice, well: observe the EU referendum. Or imagine every category of Labour member having policy input on behalf of the rest of the electorate.

To imagine that the incoherent mishmash of support for Brexit is a thing worthy of unquestionable respect or that, even if Trump’s supporters should not be called out as ‘deplorable’, so much of their motivation clearly is, or that the utopian fanaticism for Corbyn, as the only 21st-Century light around which all the Left must orbit: these are symptomatic of our neurotic times. It took us years to create this anti-intellectual mess. There is no simple fix that can be also universally palatable.

But people tend to cling to hope where they think they have found it. We like to imagine that there must be a magic fix, if only someone would discover it or if we could just make a certain person, the whole country, the whole of humanity see it our way. If only x would happen then everything would be solved. It’s little wonder that idealists and charismatics are popular. They tell us what we should be worried about and who and what to fear and they offer simple yet dramatic fixes with casual and confident ease. This is attractive, particularly to those who think they have nothing left to lose and to those seeking the short-lived catharsis of vitriol.

Still, our leaders are the People, too, despite the quite concerted efforts of some to convey or perceive otherwise. Whether we see those currently charged with shaping our present and future as heroes or villains and all in between, they are merely a reflection of the human spectrum that they claim to serve: weak, sincere, ignorant, greedy, perceptive, compassionate, arrogant, clever, paranoid…

I don’t want ‘Brexit’ but, if we must have it, I obviously want the best achievable version, not an appeasement model for its bulldog fantasists. I want mature democratic reforms but not to serve some partisan agenda and not as a superficial sop to pacify a confused and frustrated populace. The fallout discussions around the Scottish Indyref and Brexit show how the promises and piecemeal of panic and short-term politicking, are downright disrespectful of both the electorate and our constitution.

The awful consequences of decades of causes are threatening, again, to become the new causes for decades of even more dreadful consequences. Unfortunately, a significant number of the electorate does not care and tragically, some have not even noticed.

Live long enough, though and you can feel like you’ve lived it all before. Be careful what you wish for.