30.12.08

Poem for December 08

INTERIORITY COMPLEX

The writer and the monk are kin.
Both look into the mystery
From a lonely space.
Both strip the flesh from
Already skinny sonnets.
Sing to some greater glory.
Graze the invisibles.
Mould meaning out of clay.
Seek the one true word.
Utter hymns of longing
To the sacred space.
Read meaning in to ‘holy books.’
Flagellate their thoughts when
The sap rises in their bones.
Interrogate the sky and drive
The blue thoughts earthwards.

Always snatching birds
Out of the sky to plant them
In the garden of their souls.

Stare disbelieving at the rot
of feathers and writing:

These flowers will never bloom.

In countless different ways.

12.12.08

WHERE ARE THE WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES?

‘ISIS ASTARTE DIANA HECATE DEMETER KALI INANNA.’ So goes the famous Goddess chant but where is her voice to be heard? Where is the voice of the Goddess?
Where are the voices of women to be heard?
In this time of darkness two men: Bush and Blair drag the World to war
despite all but the baying support of their sycophant’s and the cruel absence of the law-the stinking supine law. Where are the voices of Balance? Where are the voices of the encircling Feminine?
All I see on my screen are the furrowed brows of dark suits fondling each others egos. Urgh…Disgusting.

I am not a pacifist. My dictionary defines pacifism as:

'The policy or doctrine of rejecting war and every form of violent action as means of solving disputes... '(Shorter OED)

I do not have the courage of pacifism and I have problems with it too.
Hitler's Reich. Governments of the criminally insane like Mugabe. Government by violent criminal psychopaths clearly results in concentration camps, murder, torture, corruption, rape and genocide. Consequences of insane individuals holding great offices? Madness of holocausts. Mass graves. Rape as weapon. Handcrafted slaughter.

Is war always horrible? Can it arise from the noblest of motives? Yes, sometimes, but the motives for this assault upon the Iraqi people are the least honourable of all:
The inflicting of misery, fear, and pain for the profits of the corporate oil and construction bosses and their shareholders and the power of the military industrial complex.
The mining and logging interests will pay one day, the evil bastards. Right now they’re all driving the bus.
To the soldiers, the boy toughs discovering the principles of spurious manhood in the fire of combat, is it any wonder they treat the ‘ragheads’ with such contempt? After all they’re not US are they?
Let us not forget war is fought in the front line by heavily armed boys raised on deadly computer games against a soundtrack of solipsistic bullshit.
I believe that sometimes war is necessary to control the mad dogs but I also know that mad dogs do not spontaneously arise out of a vacuum. Mad dogs are made that way.
However as a reasonable man I need to know that war is the last resort of all. If weapons of mass destruction were the reason for the invasion of Iraq, where were they? We know where they were now; they were in the minds of Bush and Blair. If Saddam’s predilection for murderous psychosis was the reason for war, if his inherent brutal instability was the reason for this invasion I would ask George and Tony when are we invading Zimbabwe, North Korea, Burma, Congo, Darfur? When will we question the criminal brutality of the Palestinian occupation as opposed to bankrolling Israel’s murderous depredations upon the Palestinian people? When will we parachute into Chechnya to save the civilian population from a Russian sponsored criminal government made psychotic by looting, frenzy, rape and vodka?
Bush and Blair, Rumsfeld and Cheney are war criminals and history will judge them if not an international war crimes tribunal. As it will the spineless jobsworths of the NEW Labour Party. How many stood up against this ill considered adventure? History shall judge Robin Cook with approval for his courage and the rest for the bloody cowards they are.
The political process is not an end in itself. If Fukayama's ridiculous assertions about the end of history were based on the notion of an end to cataclysmic events in the world then he will be proved sorely wrong. The World is at the edge of darkness but to the street children of Brazil, to the starving inhabitants of Sudan, to the terrorised young women of Guatemala City, to the child soldiers, to the displaced and the poor and the wretched of the earth, where else have they ever been?

There are women in politics. Condoleezza Rice is a woman. However she does not speak like a woman. She speaks like a fundamentalist right wing Christian American with a background in the oil industry.
Mrs. Thatcher was a woman but she did not talk like a woman. A Churchillian simulacrum with the mindset of a grocer; she represented for me the very worst kind of English Home Counties small mindedness. A trail of destroyed communities is the legacy she left behind. A legacy of waste, of brutally rampant financial markets. A government of jobsworths was created by her curious mix of laissez faire economics and fanatical moral certitude in her own worldview through a peashooter. The potential for millions to have died through new variant CJD was directly linked to her poisonous and selfish mini beliefs. To call them philosophies is to create structure and dialectic around prejudice and fear. Poison in the heart-space ultimately leads to poison in the food, poison in the rivers, poison in the air. I believe Margaret Thatcher to have been a force of darkness in my country and the world. Her poison still seeps around the lifeblood of this land.
So where are the real women? The women who will speak for children, hearth and home? Where are the women who will speak of the wisdom of patience, who will speak of relating to each other, who will speak of the power of listening with the heart? And where, oh where, are the women who run with the wolves?

In a political system based on power games, lies and propaganda, the wise women will simply not enter the arena. The circus of the House of Commons with its braying mocking voices, its archaic boy’s own rituals, its bullshit merchants and pin-striped fuckwits, is not a place where the feminine can be acknowledged, honoured and given voice.

What is the foundation of all this restless noise? My take is that all violence and negativity arise from fear. Saddam Hussein acted from fear. Ariel Sharon- definitely acted from fear. Tony Blair- fear. George Bush- definitely fear leavened with a chronic lack of imaginative intelligence.

If politics is to depend upon climbing the greasy pole then possibly the women who run with the wolves and the paradigm surfing poets will sense their own potential corruption. If the process of attaining to the place of power ensures the moral corruption of those who attain to it then perhaps they are right to stay away. This is the fundamental paradox of New Labour. To the question what is the point of principal if you are never going to be electable we must add what is the point of being in power if you have jettisoned your principles.

In a time when the voices in men's hearts shout with discord then hearken to the poets. They are and always have been the articulators of the heart- Song of the World. Poets! The songsters of the human heart. The revealers of the possible. And if that human heart is a great tree then poetry is the sound the wind makes in its branches.

I have always believed that a pessimist is what an optimist calls a realist but truly we are at the Edge of Darkness. Yet for most of the men, women and children of our World, is it not where they have always been?



THESE ARE THE SONGS IN MEN’S HEARTS!



First, there is the song of war
that rises boiling in the blood.
Sing O Argives cross the dusty
plains of Troy a shout of joy.


Joy! Joy! Joy! To Kill! To Kill!
Such glorious joy
the blood to spill!

Sing songs of bloody ecstasy
whose words cut through steel.
Let the axe sing in the morning bright.
Let sword sing out against shield.
These words are hacked into
the hearts of young warriors.

These words sound like this:

It is a good day to die

Who wants to live forever?

Ride hard die young

I have no fear

It is the sing-song of death.
Yet it is a song of protection too.

It is a song of duty.
It is a song of purpose.

Then there is the song of the Earth.
This is the song of the Earth’s heart

That whispers in the hearts of men:

I am warmth.
I am food.
I am nourishment.
I am home.

But it is a quiet song this
and its words are quickly
lost on the wind’s moan.

Then there is the building song.
And the building song is full of
hammering and purpose.

But the building song is also
a song of forgetting the whisper
of the Earth.
Forgetting the song of space.

And the building song can cover the Earth
and all the other songs.
except the song of war.
No, never the song of war!

But of all the songs in men’s hearts
there is one containing all the rest.
This is the song of Love!

This is the song that fills
the eyes and ears of men,
blinds them to all other songs.

They stumble in its singing.
They cavort like boys again!

Like donkeys following carrots,
they are led to that
deep and sacred pool.
That magick mirror,
and the Song of Love says;

Come in to me.
Plunge in to me.
Cover yourself in me.
Dive to the very depths of me.

And this is a song of all time
and it is a song of bliss.

It is the song of the encircling
Feminine.
It is the call of breasts
and the curving naked softness of
Woman.

It is the call of her red fruit
and it is the future’s song too.

It is the song men love the best.

It is the song that wounds them most.

It is the song of their becoming.

It is the song that makes men blessed.

14.10.08

THE EXISTENTIAL PARENT


When your man-child approaches you urgently and says 'Dad, I need you to explain existentialism to me,' you realise with a flash of clarity that, as a parent, you must have done something wrong, somewhere along the line. This person before you is thinking about the world and you know with a sinking feeling in your heart that this does not bode well for his future. Most of the people I meet have no interest in dredging any meaning whatsoever out of this bucket of life. They are like sleepwalkers, as Gurdjieff called them. They are interested in money, primarily, then food and sex, normally in that order. I know several men who have a stronger emotional relationship to their cars than their partners and children! And you probably know some too.

Then there are the 'ladies who lunch', the ladettes, and the retail junkies to whom shopping is a life purpose. I feel the poverty of their meaningless lives as I stare into the vacuum of their meaningless eyes.

So existentialism then? The question. Well I mutter about Kirkegaard and his Christian mystical vision, the Nietzchian will to power and the ubermensch. I did genuinely admire Camus but cannot forgive his inappropriately early death in a driving accident.

And 'Angst', that corrosive despair or anxiety. These are all useful ideas that serve as markers for meaning. But no philosophy in itself explains life.

The actual name coined, I believe by Gabriel Marcel and adopted enthusiastically by Jean Paul Sartre and his paris cafe crew of dewy eyed students. That view from left of field and the glamour of Paris cafes and Simone De Beauvoir redolent of gauloise smoke curling above intense revolutionary conversation to a jazz soundtrack. I recall also the utterly brilliant 'Notes from Underground' by Fyodor Dostoevsky with its amazing single greatest comic scene when our self righteous protagonist loses it completely at the dinner table. The phrase 'existence precedes essence', a zen koan if ever there was one. The impenetrability of Heidegger's 'Being and Time' (These continental philosophers always call their books 'Being and Something'!) and my intense disappointment upon learning of his flirtation with the Nazis.

My own deep rooted fear of crowds and mobs and of populism. My adolescent identification with Raskolnikov. My close reading of Godwin's 'Political Justice' then finding out what a shit he was.

My visceral loathing of politicians, of all shades. And there at the core is my own paradox. My hatred of the mass of humanity (hell, as Sartre famously said, is other people) and my love of the individual human. Am I therefore an existentialist? In so far as we determine the world through our own experience we all are. But there has to be more than mere individualism or we lapse into narcissism-the plague of the moderns. There has to be WILL!

But existence is not the same in the different states of consciousness ie waking, dreaming sleep and deep dreamless sleep, at least that's what the brain tells us, so more accurately consciousness precedes essence should be our koan.

Krishnamurti said many times that the map is not the reality, that the word is not the thing in itself.

But having a son who thinks for himself? Existential or not now that could be giving him a burden too heavy to bear in this world of magician's tricks and wishful might-have-beens!

2.10.08

FREE MARKET? I SHOULD CO-CO!

Strange is it not? These 'masters of the universe' in the financial system have been the arch free marketeers and plundered the natural wealth of this country. But now they're running to Auntie to top up their pocket money with the working folks hard earned cash. When Thatcher opened up the financial markets in the 80's it was only a question of time before disaster struck. The only amazing thing is how long it has taken. Turning ploughshares into ferrarri's has been the focus of these pirates ever since. The consequences are as varied as their various financial scams. The growth of huge burdens of credit, third world instability and exploitation and the destruction of the natural world as well as war, enslavement and starvation for millions.

Capitalism simply does not work without some redistributrive element. Call it a third way or whatever. For further reading and thinking food see anything by Jurgen Habermas and google and research The Frankfurt School. As for this alleged free market as soon as the free bit doesn't suit their needs they can nationalise everything in sight and prop up these dodgers with squillions of our money. They are not capitalists, they are parasites and the sooner they are let go to the wall the better.

As for pensions? Go ahead and sensibly invest in their mis-trust funds all your working life-they will make you poor beyond your wildest dreams!

12.9.08

WELCOME

Welcome to my blog. This is my first entry into the blogosphere and I hope , dear reader, that you will come to view this as a friend and confidante, a kind of curmudgeonly soap operetta where you may pass a few minutes in a pleasantly stimulating space. I shall comment upon whatever occurs to me and will enter the dimly lit by-ways of politics and current affairs as well as the green pastures of literature and philosophy, music and the arts. I shall also refer to elements of my daily life drawing conclusions (hopefully not too firm ones) from the happenstance of life and all its madness and beauty. I reach for wisdom but often fail to achieve it for which I request your tolerance in advance. Yet I will as my touchstone always strive for truth and honesty.
I look forward to our conversation.