28.4.09

Should Family Courts be open to Journalists? Er...like...Yeah!

Ok back to business after that brief family and friends jokery. And the business today is law and the family. Should journalists be allowed in to report on the shennanigans going on behind those oh so closed doors in Family Courts? Whoa a moment! What the hell is Family Law anyway? Why do journo's want in there? And finally what's it all about Alfie?


First a quickie rationalisation of what the law is-Obviously a means by which a small and privelidged cadre of pseudo-professionals create a lengthy and elitist training to preserve an illusion of technical skill and allow the charging of astronomical fees that people must pay in order to settle their affairs within a clearly defined and boundaried social context. Jesus you people are so damn cynical!


Law reflects society, that's why a law predicated on norms and values of 100 years ago would obviously prejudice the rights of women and ethnic minorities because those prejudices were embedded in the society. So when some fanatical goon-bob says Shariah law allows him and his pals to stone some unfortunate woman to death during the half time period of a local Afghani footie match, that's because stoning to death is a value with meaning in that person's clearly well-adjusted and intelligently constructed mind.


John Rawls Theory of Justice states that laws result from combining concepts like liberty and equality resulting in justice with fairness. Rawls theory is well worth exploring and has some compelling Philip K Dick-like resonances-eg that the law should be made with a veil of ignorance as to the makers place in the society. That is, if we don't know whether we'll be at the top or the bottom we'll make damn sure it supports us all equally. Of course the prevalent 'death wish/dirty harry' counter argument is that you don't give the punk a lawyer, you take him out back and blow his goddam brains out muttering things like 'that'll teach him' as you stride manfully to the dry cleaners. Anyway, I'm wandering!


Children, until quite recently were seen as somehow part of their parents property and children's rights are a fairly recent concept. The 1989 Children Act was a major attempt to bring together and blend all the up to date relevant legislation relating to children and clarifying adults responsibilities rather than their rights towards children. This was a major shift in the legal perspective with it's 'no order' principle and with 'the child's wishes and feelings' placed central to the process.  When we are making arrangements between ourselves in relation to our children after the break up of a relationship, that is the realm of private law. When a public body seeks to take action in relation to caring for or securing the wellbeing of a child such as social services that is the sphere of public law.  In complex cases an officer from The Child and Court Advisory Service (CAFCASS) is appointed to make investigations and recommendations to the sitting judge.  This might range from which parent a child should live with to whether a local authority should take a child into care.


Family courts are the theatres of public and private law where the dramas of family life and child protection are played out daily and where there has, to date been an extraordinary level of secrecy, note I say secrecy not privacy.  Nobody should ever be able to nose around in the most private affairs of children and families but against that, society needs to know just how some people behave when they are divorcing, how they will sacrifice their child's well-being and relationship with the other party for advantage in the disposal of assets.  The world of private law is not one in which you see people at their best.  Or rather the best sort it out to the benefit of their children and you don't see them in the courts..
Also society needs to understand what some parents actually do to their children.  How children are abused, tortured, undermined and neglected by those who are supposed to care for them.  Maybe then the Daily Mail readership might not be quite so smug about the failures of social workers when they know the kinds of things they have to deal with.  Likewise the rest of the gutter press and what might be loosely termed their readership.
Children are all our futures and everybody's responsibility.  Let's get those courts opened up.



Speak to us of Children (From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran) A tribute to The Jamesons of Kendal. My mum and dad-in-law!

And a woman who held a babe against her
breast said; Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong
not to you.

You may give them your love but not your
thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not
to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with
yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as
living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the
infinite, and He bends you with His might that
His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for
gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He
loves also the bow that is stable.









27.4.09

DON'T LOOK AT THEIR EYES!

They may look like a very attractive but otherwise ordinary couple. In fact these two people currently going by the names of Wilmerovsky and Davisovitch are responsible for a string of spontaneous and very public displays of random acts of beauty. Some people have been so challenged by the hyper-real portrayal of space/time continuum emotions they have had to be medicated. This from Ms Molly Muffat: "Well it was just like the world became this balloon and stretched across the inside core of my entire conscious being. I could've been rubbed out or transformed into a spiral galaxy just like that!" Snaps fingers. (See Lee Smolin for interesting Darwinian take on evolution of spiral galaxies!)
It is rumoured that the two may in fact be highly trained masters in psychotherapeutic martial arts and that at least one, and possibly both, read a fair bit. This from Professor Ernst Angstrom from the Buchenwald Institute of Human Givens-'Zey are clearly subversive elementals vis ze objective of deezcombobulating ze entire seraputics profession!'
Heart of Balance asks 'is it not now time for a properly regulated system to ensure all our brain dabbling profs are thoroughly checked out for these, shall we say, unnatural tendencies'? If you see them watch out! And for God's sake don't look at their eyes! Don't look at their eyes!
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How to stop Swine-Flu

Click on the title to read this timely article from prospect magazine about deep viral mining.

26.4.09

Sunday Poem and Preamble



I wrote this poem after reading 'The True History of The Kelly Gang' by Peter Carey and it is dedicated to him.  I threw out the traditional ballad structure and just let it tumble out as if Ned and the boy's were galloping like fury through a burning forest.  The final words are actually ascribed to Ned and the picture is from Wikipedia taken the day before he was hung at the age of 26 years by dogs and cowards.
Oh, one more thing, it needs to be read aloud in an Aussie accent.  Nah warries mate!

The Ballad of Ned Kelly

for peter carey


All I can say is
she gave me a grievous wound,
but of such wounds
it seems to me
the wounded take a goodly part.

To be so begrudged
of such injury
seems to stop up
with clay and wattle,
the breathing hole of the soul

I know this:
A man’s true measure is
 to stand foursquare and true
to his brief and vital calling.

Let the wild dogs run
upon the sun-bleached hill.
Let them run the pump
of their own rich hearts
down all the long days.

This rusty webley resting
in my bloodstained hand
gives me small comfort
in these dust blown days
when my heart creaks
like new boots.

That black-eyed devil
stallion kicking against
his hobbles runs me to the
range, the outer ring
of all my days.

I have lived
with a true heart
in this world of
false men.

My mother
I have honoured
down the long seam
of years binding her
to shameful death.

Your shame you
strutting English hens and cocks!

I  curse you for
the weasel scum you filth
upon the dusty plains,
 you whipping boys
of powerful men.

Come not near
on your wandering English horse
you who patrol the water’s edge.

This Irish boy will
fill your mouth with dirt
that you may
trot the faster
to your doom.



...and when these times have blown
into some gentler history
and I,  a legend,  populate the valleys
 with the wind of my becoming.

Thus speaks the widow’s son:

I’ve done time in the dusty lowlands
sweating out a living.
Been through high mountain passes
searching for some meaning.

Heard the banshee wail
in the dark hour
before the dawning.

Fell for a sweet irish girl,
took her for my wife;
lost her too
when I stood up for something
more than living.

Stood upon a scaffold
straight and true,
noose-necked as wild men are
by outlawry and the
wiles of crooked politicians:
Noses snuffling in their
little trough of power.

Some might say:
 A tale of bloody banditry!

Others: A flame raging
through the wild bush
or a son seeking love
from the stony places of
his father’s heart.

A dish of bloody revenge
and strife perhaps?

Let this be my last word
upon this adjectival world.

'Such is life.' 

25.4.09

Crop circle of quite extraordinary beauty!




I don't know what you think of them.  Are they really encoded messages from super intelligent alien races?  I certainly hope so but...why didn't they just post on the internet?  Or send a party invite.


No I'm afraid it is far more likely that these wonderful examples of graffitti are part of a guerilla art movement probably arising from all those children in the 60's who were bought spirographs for Christmas.  These lovely images are from the spirograph website.


You can see the fairly obvious connection?  Personally I think they're beautiful examples of art.  Keep em' coming!  This uncredited picture of a crop circle on Silbury Hill is from the website you can find at the link below.  This circle has a very Aztec feel to it.

Interesting post on boys and girls

22.4.09

J G Ballard Goes to Greater Feast

Clink on link to see excellent obituary from Will Self on the great man.

RESTAURANT REVIEW No 1- KARIMS'S MANCHESTER

Do you ever find yourself in a city, alone and at a loose end with a couple of hours to kill? I sometimes do and it was on just such an occasion in July 08, I made a spontaneous visit to this humoungus Indian restaurant in the middle of Deansgate in Manchester City Centre. Karim's is vast and dome-like with hanging chandeliers and huge marble pillars and marble tables. Entire countries stocks of marble must have been plundered to furnish Karim's.  Wars fought etc...

I was initially attracted by a chap in traditional Indian dress standing at the doorway, what particular tradition I know not, and the food made me none the wiser.  Traditional 'fusion' dress perhaps?

Upon entering the otherworld I chose a little marble table where, as solitary diner I felt much as a sailor might upon the vastness of the ocean.

A mile away on the other side of what might be laughingly referred to as the dining area were twenty four small copper domes containing pilau rice, bhuna curry, byriani, aloo, tandoori, and some egg fried rice, et al, all of which the tight lipped waiter described as self service 'asian fusion'.  I was not particularly hungry but several hours later when I had loaded my plate and navigated by GPS through marble mountains back to my table I was suffering from exhaustion and starvation.  I'm never attracted by this 'eat as much as you like' bollocks.

On a serious note this restaurant is really quite mad.  It is without doubt the largest eatery I have ever been in and to be the only diner added to the unreality.  But a restaurant is much, much more than grandiose surroundings and this place just didn't feel right.  My non-alcoholic beer offered little comfort too.  The staff leered at me from far away and occasionally people would poke their head out of the kitchen door as if pointing out 'the customer' with evident surprise and no little curiosity.

After a while I could feel a panic attack coming on and realised I would need to make an escape. A sense of impending doom curdled in my guts as I ate the uninspired lukewarm gruel and even as I chewed I wondered at the multiplicity of bacteria that might reside in the long heated chicken bhuna even now, I was thinking, taking up residence in my naive and unsuspecting gut.

I ordered the bill and informed the waiter I had not ordered the mutton dressed as lamb.  He stayed true to form and glowered silently.

As I passed the doorman in traditional dress he smiled and said 'you enjoy?'
'No'I said, 'not really.  'It's all fur coats and no knickers in there.'

Not recommended at all.  3.5 out of 10.  Bring your own knickers!

AFTERTHOUGHTS:   No intestinal problems though mildly burning ring-piece next morning.  Nothing like my own curries when I suffered from a burning bell-end after the first piss of the morning and a fiery arse throughout the day but I am liberal with my chillies and these somatic joys are what asian food has taught me.  I remember with nostalgic yearning those banana and chilli fried butties Nazir used to make when we were students and just back from the pub.  Now they were real bottom burners but that's another story.  I hate to diss a restaurant because it is somebody's living but this place really is bollocks.



The Meaning of 'Rosebud'


You remember how in that great scene from 'Citizen Kane' the glass snow jar thing (what are those things called?) slips from Kane's lifeless hand to role on the floor and he breathes the one word 'Rosebud' and dies? Well reading the incomparable Simon Callow's first volume biography of Orson Welles- 'The Road to Xanadu' it turns out that Randolph Hearst, the monstrous newspaperman on whom Kane is based, referred to his mistress Marion Davies's pudenda as 'rosebud.' Now dear reader, tell me Heart of Balance blog doesn't pluck facts from the trembling lyre strings of history for your amusement!


What?


What's a pudenda? Ye gods you do not want to know.


But Rosebud? The name in fact comes from the co-writer Herman Mankiewicz who in his youth had a bike named pudenda, I mean rosebud. What kind of kid calls his bike rosebud?

Is it the greatest film ever made? Well there ain't such a thing. At that level of supernal artistic achievement it's how the work touches the very soul of the viewer. And we are all touched differently. That's the miracle of the Shakespearean Sonnets-how they universalise emotional life.


It may well be the finest American film ever made, though David Thompson recently said it might be the most overrated  American film ever made-it's probably both those things.  But it also just might be one of the most insightful studies of the corrupting nature of power. That's not so bad considering it was Welles's first film.  And it changed film-making forever.
Oh and the meaning of 'rosebud'?  Well it was the name of Kane's full-suspension mountain bike!  Wasn't it?

20.4.09

These are desperate times for the Art of Balance Consultancy!


So why write a blog when nobody apparently actually reads it? Well just occasionally you just gotta get down and boogy man! And screw the world sometimes! Sometimes you have to just believe in what you're doing though nobody else pays attention. Sometimes all you have is your faith in yourself. I believe in this world. I believe it's just possible it may have a future. And more egoistically I believe in my dreams and in my hopes for my under-pants and for a burgeoning under-pants literature.

Won't you please believe in me..
Just for today?

Please join the 'Believe In Me' Donation Fund to promote and support your very own heroes ability to publish his great works and CD's that humanity seemingly wish to ignore but that they so desperately need. As one schizophrenic vegetarian professor of myarseology recently commented in an completely unknown journal "tony digs so deep sometimes it frightens me but hey, he's offal nice too." (She was a fellow Scot but I enjoyed her kidneys in a garlic and red wine and mango jus.)

Send money /cash/ cheques/ gold bars to tony@they'llbelieveanything .com

Thanks you for leestening to this very peersonal massage. (Send money nows!) Or what you can afford : Toe clippings/ Hair clippings/ Distilled Sweat/ Actual Blood/ Fear-type Feelings/ Original Jokes/ Transformational and Alchemical recipes/ Any bloody thing that can be sold on. (Preferably through amazon)!
OK! I'm here to stay is the message.  Enough already and Bone-hard Bonne Nuit!

19.4.09

SUNDAY POEM ABOUT THE MALE ORGASM (For a change!)

UTTERING THE WORDS OF LIFE


Last night when I
licked the wet walls
of your mouth’s cave,
nibbled the sweet
shells of your ears,
palpated the soft creamy
down of you
and slipped inside you
between your peaches…

I became a secret cannon.
A huge tube of steel!
Cunning symbols wrought thereon.

My swelling balls
the spherical wheels.

And I discharged from
the mountaintop to
the great all-encompassing
lake beneath.

Became the cannonball
then a pinball
rushing through tubes,
mazes and passageways.

Then with a great spurt
of red fire gushed
fireworkingly through your head
with a shout
and you breathed

‘I’m coming! I’m coming!’

Me, I hurtled through air
still rising!
Till, reaching the zenith
of my whirling arc;
I plunged,
fell with grace,
disappeared over
the crested ridge
and landed with a thud
in a field of disinterested cows.

The ball I was became flattened
on the sweet earth,
its grey skin merged
into hands, eyes, legs.

On the faint breeze
wafting from the next valley
I heard your voice,
laden with urgency,
uttering the words of life:

‘I’M COMING! I’M COMING!’

17.4.09

Montfort College Romsey: Going back to my old School



Picture by David Martin

Returning back to places from your past can be a bit like trying to squeeze into an old suit. Not only is it out of fashion but buttons fly off in all directions as you try and force that belly where it doesn't want to go. Innocent bystanders can be torn to pieces by button shrapnel. Memory itself can be shredded by reality-buttons. My own visit to my old school-a seminary run by the Montfort Fathers- was not the nostalgic event I anticipated. More like poking a stick into the long dead remains of some unspecified, possibly mythic beast from a twisted fairytale. I found Romsey ugly and tired, apart from its beautiful Abbey and was left wondering how my life became connected with this benighted place at the hoary old age of 11 years. The trip ended somehow appropriately with me esconced as the only solitary in my hotel's shabby dining room on Valentine's Evening, surrounded by couples, and being told I could only have the Valentine's menu of smoked salmon, sirloin steak and cheesecake. Fortunately there was no coupling actually in the restaurant and I survived by taking refuge behind an unread 'New York Review of Books'. I quickly consumed the fare between articles and stumbled off to my room to lie gasping on the bed like a heartbroken whale beached on some God-forsaken isle in the middle of mating season.
It was a place where I became educated in the ways of literature for sure, for it contained golden libraries replete with dusty books, but it taught me little in all.  Much that I learned was of the ways by which men become so easily hypocrites and of the brutality that results from cowardice towards originality and repression of the sexual instincts and the inherent stupidity of religion.  They were not the golden years of youth for me at least, and  I shall not return in this life.

I will continue to believe that the Roman Catholic Church is essentially, despite some magnificent heroes in its flock, a force for negativity in our world because at it's heart is a hatred of women, in fact a hatred not just of women but of the feminine.  And in this life too, I will have no more truck with it's nonsense.  Shame upon it and all it's works.
In Nomine Babalon!

The Torture Memo's

Unbelievable but true. I say it again-if Bush and Blair don't stand trial for their crimes then 'it makes me feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game.' 'Hurricane' by Dylan.

16.4.09

Walk to Work

A terrible thought occurs walking to work. My comment in an article that 'if the universe is a tree then poetry is the sound of the wind in its branches' suddenly strikes me as bollocks. Surely that sound would be the distant stutter of gunfire, or the precise bang of a firing squad or perhaps the rushing breath of a couple making love or the sound of hammering or eating or snoring? A child screaming? But not poetry. I wonder how much else I have written that is complete tosh and this leads me on to view my poetry as pretty bad anyway. I am a bad poet! A naughty poet. I wrest a sprig of pine needles from a passing tree and start to beat myself. 'The truth you dog! The truth!' I scream. Is it of any significance that all this occurs outside a house in which Victor Hugo used to live? Or that a copy of the Folio Society's limited edition of Les Miserables is hurtling towards me through the post. Victor Hugo resonances accumulate but aha...Here I am at the door of my office. I enter with a cheery greeting and sit at my desk. My moment of Hugoesque madness is over. I have survived again-these are the kind of adventures you too can have if you walk to work.

15.4.09

Ed Talking Balls and Gordon Beige and the bottom-feeders!

Just occasionally (more often than occasionally lately) you see them shed the outer shell to reveal their true hideous Selves beneath. On 'The Today Programme' Ed Talking-Balls must have said 'in all honesty' about several times which persuades me he was lying through his teeth. Gordon Beige and Tony Blur inherited the amoral political behaviour of Mrs Snatcher, the Dark Destroying Anti-Mother, (brilliant article by Germaine Gruur on her in Saturday's Guardian Review by the way. God what a chancer she was and I remembered that the only reason simple-minded Cecil Parkinson (Lord Hoodoo of Myarse) was in the cabinet was because she had the hots for him (...urgh it's too much!) -So the obscene siamese twins Blur/Beige are the true heirs of Snatcherism (hard pressed to call it a coherent system mate-too lacking in any kind of logical structure and well...instinctive you know: Daily Mail-ish? It's the dialectic Jim but not as we know it.) with their (now mutual) mate, Lady Mandeltoon of LaLa land. While Jacqui Smut, the home secretary no less, claims expenses for her husbands porn movies. The whole point becomes not getting caught with your pants down. It's all a parcel with the phone-ins and the fixed competitions, with Jonathan Toss and Muscle Rand. To these post-boomer moral relativists there is no truth-there is only what gets you where you want to go. Getting caught for these shite-hawks is simply the equivalent of the professional criminal doing some bird-it's an occupational hazard.
You just have to take one look at McBride, Whelan, Draper and Campbell and Co and you can see what tabloid-spawned, scum-sucking bottom-feeders they really are. Is this really the party of working men and women? Can these streaks of piss save our planet and liberate the children of Africa from starvation and corruption? Are these useless fuckwits going to seed the oceans with iron filings to raise reflective clouds to reduce the sun's radiation? Are these idiots going to create a fleet of sailing ships that shoot water droplets high into the atmosphere to create cloud formations in the areas of the world where we need them? Jesus Christ, these arseholes prefer tittle-tattle and nudgy sexual innuendoes about their political opponent's wives and husbands even if they may have recently lost a child. If we get the politicians we deserve then what complete tossers we must be. If we see ourselves reflected in our society then what a cracked mirror we have. If our leaders are the best of us, ye Gods, how utterly worthless we must be!

14.4.09

COMPETENCE AS A VALUE

A lot of my friends are initially surprised to know that one of my professional strands is as a Life and Productivity Coach. I don't know why. I guess it might be that my life appears fairly chaotic from the outside and ceratinly managing several channels of activity simulatneously including a young family is sometimes challenging. In fact I am obsessed with the arts of productivity and efficiency which for me means CREATIVITY!


I've always said that a guy with both feet on the floor is a guy who can't put his pants on but on the other hand a guy with no feet on the floor is either levitating or about to fall over. For me it's all about BALANCE. That also includes being out of balance because if you are in a permanent state of anything you're probably dead.


My productivity principle thinking today has centred around COMPETENCE. I think of that as a central value whether you drive a bus or run a large organisation. Even buying a newspaper from someone who treats you like shit can be a disheartening experience. And it is corrosive because the disenchantment of activity that leads to an uncaring dismissive service is contagious. So that's why, when I'm asked about performance and standards in any kind of organisation I always look first at the experience of the customer, of the service-user. Competence is defined in the OED as adequacy, being qualified. But I want a bit more than that frankly. In my own organisation Excellence is one of the permanent items on every monthly team meeting. I am constantly challenging my team to keep re-defining it in terms of their own performance, their ongoing self -appraisal. So if competence is the bottomline then excellence is the upper point and the constant tension between the two creates the momentum towards an ever-improving service. Do you ever get an organisation that is functionally excellent? Rarely in my experience but I have to say First Direct was one hell of an impressive bank when I used them a few years ago. I am no longer with them and use the Cooperative's smile.co.uk almost purely because of their rather unique ethical policy but although reasonable and certainly much much better than the utterly abysmal high street cousins they couldn't hold a candle to First Direct. What was the difference? Responsiveness/the clear delegation of authority to make decisions to first contact employees/Excellent first contact practices like quick uptake of telephone calls and timely responses to queries and questions. Excellence is not complicated-it's when something just works!

So competence is the first rung on the ladder but without some idea of service, that connection with the client, it can become heartless efficiency which is the plague that affllicts the modern workplace. If you want to see a kind of soulless efficiency at work visit your average state secondary school where you will see the mindless sausage factory of state education, with disillusioned teachers and unsatisfied pupils, a complete disconnection with what matters. W B Yeats said that education is about lighting a fire not filling a bucket but these days it seems to be about dousing any sparks of originality or creativity.

Competence is about getting things done and the productivity guru David Allen has developed a great system (known as GTD) for doing just that in his book of the same name. This forms the bedrock of my own working life where I am juggling several different activities as writer, social care executive, musician and performer and father with many projects running simultaneously. It can be done! The thing about competence is that doing something well makes you feel good while doing something badly makes you feel crap.

The woman in the Post Office blinked at me when I asked her what was the matter.
'It's only that you look like you've had some really bad news or have I done something to offend you? Please tell me if I have.'

Make it a practice that when treated with incompetence you draw attention to it politely but firmly. Maybe that way we can get rid of it. And it is kind of important. If the world's environmental crisis was a project, everyone involved with it would have been sacked long ago, but that's another story. The one about preserving the illusion of incompetence as a means of maintaining the status quo. Sometimes greed doesn't want anything to happen.




11.4.09

On Whitbarrow


Whitbarrow is a beautiful limestone moorland between the English Lake District National Park and the horseshoe of Morecambe Bay. Beautiful and mysterious. I spent a transformative year living alone there in a small cottage on the edge of the moor, running every day and writing and composing and meditating. I healed a deep wound in myself while there with the help of the spirit of the moor. The mist would come rolling in with immense speed and I particularly loved it at that special time at dusk when the shadows lengthen and a blanket of silence slowly settles. Whitbarrow will always be one of those special places for me. This poem was my way of honouring the moor.



ON WHITBARROW

Soft is the wind on Whitbarrow
this day of blessings and breath.
Here where the sturdy juniper flows
I shall wolf-run to the ancient ash groves
and lay me down old wounds in sacred fire.
And lay me too in the fingers of
that wind-sculpted oak
As after summer’s solstice rise
midge-ridden at Swindale Stones,
I lay, day after day.
And day after day the grass screamed.
And I hid from the eyes of men.
Day after solitary day running
the shattered limestone ways,
in the style of a shaman.

Here by the fallen larch I sensed
the tundra of that One vast Soul.
Communed with spectres of fears,
laid about like mist.
Talked long and hard with that Other Self;
that other half of what I might yet be.
Here, upon this blessed palimpsest
did I write myself anew.

Here, among the white bones,
beneath the hymns of skylarks, did I
scatter seed, take up staff, and walk again.

9.4.09

The occult significance of Bovril!


My immaterial factoid of the month is the insight that BOVRIL is made up of two words BOVINE and VRIL. Bovine as you obviously know refers to the gentle ruminant with the seven stomachs whose collective farts contribute so dangerously to global warming. But what in the name of all the Gods is VRIL? Well dear reader it spawns from an early science fiction work by Edward Bulwer-Lytton ultimately titled ‘Vril: The Power of the Coming Race.’ Written round 1871. VRIL, you see is the energy source of a super race of angelic underground dwellers or super-troglodytes. The point I suppose is how even household names for objects can be invested with exotic or even magickal significance.

5.4.09

HAIKU FOR YOU


I love this little oriental form with a syllable count of 5-7-5. It's becoming increasingly popular in the West and these little seeds can form the basis of profound meditations. Each one is a stand-alone.










Flowing like water,
this is the one iron rule:
Seek the black-belt mind.

You can not be work.
You can not be what you do.
You have to be more!

Pynchon Borges Dick
Eco Calvino Wilber.
Like lights in the dark.

Do not be afraid.
Do not let fear take deep root
in your soul’s garden.

Money will leave you.
Fame too will abandon you.
Only love endures.

Soft skin close and safe.
Warm lips pressed against lips;
don’t forget such joy.

Of all the virtues,
a simple act of kindness
re-shapes the whole world.

Ride to the next hill!
Though armies stand against you,
have faith and prevail.

You are not your car.
You are not your clothes or house.
You are smoke in wind.

I love like sunlight,
like moonlight kisses water,
like wind strokes the grass.