28.12.12

Poem-'FATHER' A dark meditation on the Father.

FATHER

Father Fa-ther Farther
The lips must push apart to make the sound
The jaw knocking/unlocking like a skull at play
Nestlings calling for the warming milk

Father Fa-ther Farther
And at the sounding of its screw, it scores
Its rings like scars within my tubes
Ringlets of its turns jangle in my jars

Father Fa-ther Farther
An infant growling in the god-stopped gash
A curlew wailing in the winding of the day
A blind thing mewling in the moon-sliced night

Father Fa-ther Farther
Silenced in the space of sliding time
The echo urges in a flash then falls
An insult in an un-remembered tongue

Father Fa-ther Farther

17.12.12

The Sunday Poem

WHISPERING WINDS OF CHANGE

A string of charismatic maidens queuing
At my gates have spoken of great portents
They have read within the marrowed runes.
The raven’s arcing flight seemed quite important,
And the crow has shrieked me as a fainted-heart.
So must I write my intent on the sky?
Shoo! And sprawk! Curse of the feathered fiend
Upon you all and let me be alone!

My curse hangs in the air like, smokey gauze.
Then, little nails of no’s the rain spits down,
And anger swells within colliding clouds.
Even the squirrels mutter at me and frown.
The disapproving trees shake fingery leaves-
This raging of the whispering winds of change.

13.12.12

Response from Norman Baker MP to Leveson Inquiry.

13 December 2012
heartofbalance@gmail.com Our ref: CW/TD/13122012/SDM

Dear Mr ******,

Thank you for your recent email regarding the recommendations made in the final report of the Leveson Inquiry.

The Lib Dems have led the debate on media accountability. In 2010 we were the first party to call for a judicial inquiry into phone-hacking, which led to the Leveson Inquiry. We have also been calling for a stronger Press Complaints Commission (PCC) since 2003.

Lib Dems have also never been in the media’s pocket – while other parties pandered to media moguls, we have consistently been the only party to raise concerns about media accountability and ownership. Politicians and the press have, in general, been too close for too long. We need to end these cosy relationships so that the press are free to hold politicians to account.

It should not be up to politicians or media proprietors, who both have vested interests, to decide how the press is regulated. That is why the government commissioned the Leveson Inquiry in the first place. We said we should implement his findings, provided they were proportionate and workable – and by and large they are.

I was therefore pleased when, breaking with parliamentary convention, Nick Clegg, Lib Dem leader, stood at the dispatch box and offered an alternative view to the Prime Minister from the government benches. I have enclosed a copy of the Deputy PM’s statement, for your information.

Cross-party talks are just now beginning to discuss the findings of Leveson and I hope these will lead to draft legislation being published in the near future, which I very much hope to be able to support.

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely

{LICENCENAME}

3.12.12

Response to Cameron's Mendacious Volte Face on Press Regulation!

From<heartofbalance@gmail.com>

To Norman Baker MP

Subject  Please implement Leveson
Message  Before Lord Justice Leveson’s report into press behaviour was published the leaders of all three main political parties broadly agreed that his recommendations should be supported on a cross party basis and that they would implement them as long as they were proportionate and workable.

Lord Justice Leveson has recommended independent regulation of the press guaranteed by law, this has been supported by Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband. David Cameron does not agree. He announced that he would not support Leveson’s recommendation to give the new regulator essential legal backing, meaning it will lack the independence and teeth that are the hallmark of the current failed system of self-regulation.

As your constituent I urge you to write to the Prime Minister asking him to back Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations as he said he would; and to guarantee the independence of the new self-regulator as independent to ensure that the press remains free and accountable.

Yours sincerely

Heart of Balance






Death with Stars by Lauren Williams

The first published work by a future comic strip giant.

Scan.jpeg

4.11.12

Sunday Poem-The Ballad of Ned Kelly

I sent a copy of this to Peter Carey but he was clearly too busy to reply-Fucker!  Anyway Ned is truly one of my heroes and this poem was inspired by Carey's great novel 'The True History of the Kelly Gang.'

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 begrudged
of such an injury
would seem to stop
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 little 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 gentle 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.

15.9.12

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SONNET BLUES

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SONNET BLUES

Last night the madness raged and gripped my Soul.
Wove blood-red mists before my road-mapped eyes,
and put an axe into my trembling hands.
Thoughts garbled to the Carrion Crow,

Blood curdled in the pits.
Stones for fists and fingers like steel claws,
hooked and chained within the burning eye.
Slow-squeezing fingers grip and claw.

 But then…a child appeared, bathed in light,
and held the space between with utmost grace,
till anger was transformed into shame.
Blind grief’s the parent of such blooming rage.

Go sing the night your sad songs!
And take your demons with you when you leave.

1.9.12

Trials of an Armchair Sea Kayaker





Setting out from Elgol.jpg
Starting off from Elgol with Loch Coruisk ahead and the Cuillin Ridge.


Often the designation ‘armchair’ is prefixed to the description ‘paddler’, ‘mountaineer’ or the more generic ‘explorer’ with an intention of scorn on the part of the writer; it is written with the corner of the mouth curling in derision. Personally I like armchairs. They are often very comfortable to sit in, are usually situated in warm, benign, environments and, in my experience, it is very difficult to be drowned, avalanched, or even to get lost while sitting in one. And I have never heard of one capsizing, which is probably just as well as I think they would be very difficult to roll back up! I have been proud to be an armchair sea kayaker for some years now and I have comfortably and safely paddled the wild waters of Alaska down to the Sea of Cortez in my imagination as well as circumnavigation's of the Scottish Isles and Ireland in the company of the esteemed Brian Wilson or Chris Duff. An added bonus on these epic adventures has been the possibility of consuming large quantities of food and beer while, as it were, underway.

It was therefore with some surprise that I found myself one fine day writing a cheque for a sea kayak expedition organised by my local outdoor Education Centre to paddle and wild camp for six days off the west coast of Scotland in a real sea kayak on the actual sea, venue to be decided.

And now back in the comfort and safety of my armchair that adventure seems implausible and remote. The sea appears to have cast a certain insubstantiality to my memories which fade with each passing day, with the ebbing of each tide.

This is how it was. Fear curdles in the pit of my stomach as the day approaches, fear laced with a liberal dose of excitement.

Me?  I am 44 in round years. My hair recedes relentlessly. I am the manager of a large Cancer Charity, possibly labouring under the illusion that I am important, pivotal, valuable, even, dare I say it, indispensable! I am about to learn a series of valuable lessons.  Things like:

  • You are not your job.
  • You are a tiny mote in the limitless expanse of the infinite.
  • You must practice to be counter-intuitive.
  • You do not HAVE a body-you ARE a body!
  • The sea has no interest in your dreams.
  • A paddle is an outrigger in it's inner nature.  Likewise life!
  • Bacon butties become more essential with every passing mile from home.
  • Squeezy cheese, salami, oatcakes, nuts, dried fruit, Soreen Malt Loaf,  much water.
  • A good tent!  I use a Hilleborg. A thermarest with chair kit is essential for loftily surveying from your tent door.
  • A Tarp is essential and a hammock just might be.
  • A Leatherman Multi-Tool-I use the Ti Charge in Camo style.
  • Use a firesteel with a bushcraft knife for fires.  Keep some back up marine matches in a waterproof case.
  • Wine boxes with the box removed are made for kayaks.
  • Apart from sex, a leisurely crap in the dome of the Coruisk and a good arse wash in it's freezing bidet is the greatest way to start a day bar none.
  • Huge wild shit like basking sharks may not want to eat you!  They may just be going about their business.
  • Sea Eagles are so huge they could pluck you out of your boat-illegally rendition you to their eyrie-and feed you to their offspring!  Keep away and don't look at them!
  • Seals look like they have a sense of humour-Don't be fooled!
  • Toilet paper and wet wipes combined make for happy bottoms.
  • Some cream for chafe.  Anusol in case.  Yes you must have fungal cream for your bits.
  • A good stove is hard to find.  I have used MSR stoves for years but now recommend wood burning stoves with the MSR pot to put it all in.  But I still pack an MSR Pocket Rocket as a back-up.

As for my physical challenges my paunch extends downwards over my trousers defeating my earnest efforts to restrain it, augmented as it is by that very same force that stirs the restless tides to action. The tides that I shall soon make acquaintance with. Though I try to run and cycle the odd time I am often frustrated by the fact that work seems to get in the way of any planned training program. Work and of course the needs of two young sons aged 7 and 11.

The result is a sedentary lifestyle, a lot of thinking, a lot of time in the head. The result is a lack of relationship with my body that I am about to be reintroduced to in a very powerful way.

So, as I say,  here it is:

Many had thought that the opening of the Skye bridge would spell the death knell for Lochalsh but it seems a thriving little town. A good place to stock up on provisions or grab a relaxing beer before or after an expedition on the islands. In addition the town possesses one of the grandest and friendliest loos to be found anywhere. Indeed, a plaque proudly proclaims that these very facilities have won the Loo of the Year Award for two years running. The addition of spotlessly clean shower facilities are an added bonus for post-expedition cheesy sea kayakers.

A local scout hut provided a camping barn experience for the first night though I judged that my snoring had been bad when I noticed the eyes of my comrades streaming with red road-mapped hatred during breakfast. Later we newbies strolled down to the harbour to practice some wet exiting and rescues. I still consider that being suspended upside down and banging on the upturned hull of your kayak is hardly a sensible thing to do at sea, or indeed, anywhere, it has that flapping of the hands quality, it's silly, I will not do it.  I'd rather drown than be that uncool.

I was shocked to feel how tippy the kayak seemed whilst being assured that the plastic Valley Avocet was actually quite stable among sea kayaks. Here for the first time I noticed that I seemed to be sitting in the kayak whereas those with the requisite skill seem to wear their boats like a well made suit responding to an esoteric mix of foot, hip, paddle stroke and the all important trunk rotation.

The price of tippiness for a beginner is tension and it is impossible to handle a kayak well in a state of tension. Indeed it is difficult to do anything well in a state of tension. Pulling our kayaks out of the water after the practice session I was hustled urgently by an American woman on a coach trip from Miami ‘You came over the sea in that?’ she exclaimed looking at me with a mix of incomprehension, admiration and yes...awe. I liked it and readily agreed to the requisite photo opportunity. Little did she know that I was not the grizzled adventurer she would no doubt dream about in the months ahead, negatively comparing her soulless yet dutiful husband to this sunburned kayaking buccaneer, knife strapped to his neoprene loincloth...Oh God stop it Tony!

The packing of a sea kayak for several days afloat is in itself a mysterious art. Fortunately I had invested in some sealine dry bags for which I was regularly to feel grateful for over the next few days. We loaded the semi-packed boats onto the trailer and headed out for our point of departure at Elgol on the South West coast of Skye.

Paddling out from Elgol into a strong headwind and a force 5 chop was a revelation. I was terrified and passing the bay of Camas Fhionnairigh the waves came abeam rocking the boat perilously and causing me to grip the paddle with white knuckles.
“Are you ok?” shouted one of the instructors. I nodded but stared at the incoming waves with wide eyed terror.
“Your mouth is telling me you’re ok but your eyes are saying something different!” he shouted back.
The entrance to Loch Coruisk was a smooth as milk but after a paddle of only 3 km I was trashed and the perfection of the Cuillin ridge painted against a blood red sky was somewhat lost on me. A saw toothed blade held against a sky of blood. The ridge itself has long beckoned me and was to be a constant presence throughout the trip. In the lovely bay at Coruisk a yacht bobbed at anchor, it’s Captain frowning at our approach.

The next day dawned cold and after a restless night populated with vivid dreams of death by drowning I emerged from my tent scared, tired and intent on withdrawal from the expedition. One of the group leaders approached me to ask if I was ok and I felt I should be sincere and honest so told him no I was not ok. My fitness level was clearly below everyone else's. I had never sat in a sea kayak before and if I had known what was involved I would never have signed up. No I did not want to continue and would he please leave me here and pick me up on the way back? He was clearly taken aback and his comment that no they would not be returning this way so I could not be abandoned left me with the sick acknowledgement that I was to continue this torture for another day.
I paddled out to sea feeling surprisingly comfortable. Soay Island lay to windward, a mild force 2 or 3 aided the journey and the short crossing led us to the impressive sea cliffs of Soay and a delightful circumnavigation of this fascinating place. Soay is the place where Gavin Maxwell and the improbable Tex Geddes set up a whaling station that hunted out the last of the great basking sharks in the area. We pulled up well beyond the houses for a lunch stop and I was hooked. Still a little scared but this is no bad thing in anyone who ventures out to sea. It’s the ones who aren’t scared who get drownded.

The kayak is a glorious craft that can go where few others might, carry all your needs for a self contained journey of a week and is only limited by the skill and knowledge of the paddler.
Some skerries lay at the northern end of Soay and we paddled from there across the break into Loch na h-Airde where we hit a strong beam wind and once again it was head down and battle into the waves that crashed over the deck, paddles low but this time a little more relaxed, a little less scared.
One of the delights of sea time is landfall. Delightful coves beckon, hidden caves, secret beaches and the Scottish Islands are replete with such magical places. As I tucked into my dried veggie curry staring over to the beckoning outline of Rum I thought how magical a world we can find ourselves in by paddling a boat a few miles.

In the morning there was little time to sit and admire the view and soon we were packed and heading across Loch Brittle and up the coast. Extraordinary sea caves and eroded columns of rock sculpted by the waves into fantastic shapes line the entire coastline here. If you are lucky you might see a sea eagle flying low over the waves or otters bickering among the seaweed strewn shore. And you might paddle a couple of hundred metres into rock passageways that open out into great granite cathedrals where gulliemots squabble and caw.
Secret beaches of golden sand delight the eye and the paddler repeatedly is thinking ‘I’ll come back one day and look at that again.’ Something in our nature makes us want to share such beauty with those we love.
Across the mouth of Loch Eynort where again a beam wind breathed upon us as we paddled in to Sgeir Bheag a beautiful cove of white stone almost like bone in the sunlight. Once the boats were secure we struggled up a rock passageway to emerge on a grassy plateau with views of the Hebrides emerging ghostlike out of the distance. Inaccessible by road, surrounded by mountains with the Cuillin Ridge to the east it was without a doubt the best campsite in the world.

The final following day we travelled further up this magnificent coastline investigating countless caves and passageways and paddling madly through the famous arch of Stac a Mheadais which acted as a kind of wind tunnel. Lunch was had in the perfect horseshoe of Talisker Bay and as we paddled into the bay’s mirror calm I sat panting in the boat feeling completely trashed. Just then a jellyfish puffed past my cockpit paddling its own mass with a strange delicate beauty, milky white at the edges it blended to a irridescent saphire blue at its centre.
Talisker Bay is beautiful and I welcomed the feel of land where we ate our usual lunch of squeezy cheese, malt loaf and sticks of salami. I was by this time heartily sick of dried food and dreaming of the simple things in life like a bacon buttie.

Ever onwards we paddled out of the glassy calm of Talisker bay into the most awful confused sea with waves coming from all directions in a kind of boiling froth. This is called clapotis and results from a mix of sea bed coastline and weather conditions and all beginners can do is paddle like hell through it.
About five kilometres further up the coastline veers gently to the east and in our case that meant into a headwind as we headed for Ardtreck Point lighthouse
and the last leg of our trip. A small chop with some white horses was visible from the point which would be hitting us abeam as we paddled into Loch Beag so I geared up mentally for another determined paddle.
Off across the stretch of water the wind hits with surprising ferocity. I grip the paddle and brace reflexively and then without thinking too much about it the skill of paddle and wave starts to come together and I am no longer simply stopping from capsizing but am in control. Against all instinct I am sticking my paddle in to the wave leaning into it with my hips and the boat automatically stabilises with the paddle acting as a kind of outrigger. The size of wave doesn’t really matter because the skilled paddler uses the wave itself as energy. For the first time I am not in the boat I am the boat.
As we paddle into the gentle harbour at Loch Beag I am filled with many emotions. Grateful as all sea venturers must be at landfall yet wanting this new world to continue, to continue paddling coastlines for ever. To live on the land simply and in contact with true reality and not what passes for such in the other world. But I am also dreaming of hot showers and fish and chips and pubs. It will take me months I realise, to integrate the experience.
Some weeks after the trip I was walking past a church billboard and noticed a quote that left me chuckling quietly.
‘A ship is safe in harbour but that is not what a ship is for.’ Likewise!

16.7.12

Millican Dalton (1867-1947)

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Millican Dalton (1867-1947) - a man ahead of his time
vegetarian, pacifist, eccentric, troglodyte, mountain guide, insurance clerk
Forsaking his job as a London insurance clerk, Millican Dalton dropped out long before it became fashionable or even acceptable.

He lived under canvas, in a cave or in his woodland hut for the most part of his life. He styled himself ‘Professor of Adventure’ and offered ‘Camping Holidays, Mountain rapid shooting, Rafting and Hair's breadth escapes.’

Primarily remembered for his eccentric asceticism, Millican Dalton was a man who had the courage to follow his dreams and to live by his convictions. Dissatisfied with the life dealt him, he created his own.

He had a disdain for modern urban materialism, rejecting it in favour of a life of stoic simplicity. Millican Dalton lived a life at one with nature - growing his own food and sewing his own clothes. He was a teetotaler, a vegetarian, a socialist and a staunch pacifist.

Many people have considered walking out of the office and chucking it all in for a life of simplicity. Millican Dalton lived that dream.
“Don't waste words
Jump to conclusions”
 
Millican Dalton


“You can't feel lonely
with nature as your companion”

2.7.12

Sonnet for Samuel









SONNET FOR SAMUEL  February 2005





You came today full-formed; all gear well made.
The hands upon you first were Little Jo’s,
she kindly whispered ‘welcome to the world.’
Birthed in warm bath water, aquarian babe.
Eight pounds nine when they have had you weighed!
At 2.05pm you so bravely burst your bonds.
    From the waters to sing your own life’s songs.
‘L’Enfance du Christ’ played as I cut the cord.
I stare at the swirl of you, awash with tears.
Your tiny hands conduct the music of the spheres.
The spirit of a tiger lies beneath that breast
on which you lie and then begin to feed.
From me you’ll get a heart wild as the wolf’s howl.
From her-beauty, and all the guts you’ll ever need.





17.6.12

The Sunday Poem on Heart of Balance


THEMES OF A LOST LIGHT-BRINGER
1
First, there is the forgetting; The un-
folding of the fracturing. Forgett-
ing what love really is; forgetting of
the joy and bliss; forgetting of the precious
pulse. What is this forgetting that
covers all the land? Is it The Snow
Queen come to curse us with Heart’s Ice?
2
Then, there is betrayal, that ebb
and flow of choice. Go this way or go that
way? Follow the green and hairy man:
(A strangely seductive gardener?) Tunnel
or the rockface? Path or winding
stream? That faint sound of ethereal hymns,
murmuring of wind and broken wings?
3
The clotted market with its rising din?
Choices in the moment; choices
that return on wings of vengeance, loss,
and oozing wounds upon the morning’s rise.
A hideous monster has been spawned, upon
your soul’s dugs suckling; drawing you in
to circles new, and other shapes unknown,
4
Dis-membered, dis-connected. Then…
Discovery! Cup breaks, shakes, shivers
and cracks! Re-named. Plucked in a crawling instant!
A new gestalt of lurching gracelessness.
Graceless out of Plato’s piss-washed cave
you lurch, and blink, a reptile on a stage.
Re-membering that thing a shadow makes.
5
You only have one cloak to wear today;
Let it be a cloak of ash, to wrap-
around the newly suffering skin-
tatooed with grief that cannot be revealed.
Begone then! And return when you are healed!
(The good folk cannot stand your endless tears.)
You follow the less-travelled track.
6
Re-member/ Re-gain/ Re-turn! But all the other
fools have gone and it’s too late! Poor,
lost child. So here you are; a single fool,
so brightless and despairing. This
cracked mirror affronts our eyes! We do
not like its shape or size! We think it weaves
a weird disguise. We think it tells us lies!
7
Spinning in that flaring light, the web
that holds us all; a match-strike sparks out in
the night- Forgive! Forgive it all! It is
the way of alchemy, the journey of
the hero. The Soul’s truth and the wisdom
road: Feels like a transformation!
So…fall then on your sword each day.
8
Be carried home upon your shield.
Children’s tears shall wash your wounds
And the harsh Gods will wonder.
The blood will cry out of your caves.
The good folk will wonder:
Some will say, forget, others
say, re-member. ‘Lost
Light-bringer!’ they’ll say: ‘Re-member!’

16.6.12

Musings upon The Monarch.

A musing upon Monarchy.

I've avoided most of the 'jubilee' (is that spelling right?)  I am no monarchist.  As a born Scot with Irish Catholic roots, that would be impossible.  I came to consciousness with the knowledge that my ancestors were an oppressed community of Peasant-warrior poets under the heel of the English Crown for millennia, they having taken over almost seamlessly from the Roman Heel, though I have always been intrigued by that period from circa 350 BCE to The Battle of Hastings in 1066 BCE known, I surmise inaccurately, as 'The Dark Ages.'
Anyway this elderly lady with her scarves and handbags and corgis always strikes me as slightly bemused by her surroundings.  She has of course discovered that the 'mystery' of royalty is best preserved by silence.  Most other celebrities could learn something from that.
So in respect of her as a being, I have very little to say.  Alan Bennett beautifully deconstructed a possible character for her as a close reader and she has been portrayed by Judi Dench and the impeccable Helen Mirren as a highly intelligent and ironic woman with a wry insight.  I very much doubt that but I'm sure they are all lovely people in Buckingham Palace, though there was a display of darkness following the death of Diana.  A manifestation of a family of spiteful and cruel toffs committing unwittingly, a marketing disaster.  The country grieved them into a u-turn and it's been marketing heaven from then on.  Not too difficult-it mainly comprises getting members of the Royal Family to say nothing or as little as possible.  The Queen is a mistress of this strategy, Prince Charles it's least competent practitioner.
No my problems are not with the personalities but with the structure.  My issues are with the very existence of Royalty as an institution.
Why?
Firstly the hereditary principle.  The idea of anyone rising inevitably to a position of power and influence as a result of the accident of their birth is absurd.  Not only because it abuses the concept of achievement through merit and talent which is a morally obvious process.  But because it almost inevitably restricts the gene pool of DNA necessary to produce smart human beings by creating a restricted elite which marries into itself over many generations.  Consider how many Shakespeare's have been born and died on this planet since the bard's death who in their lifetimes never learned to read or write.
Hereditary structures also create power elites where the children of members will access priviledged educational environments designed to guarantee access to Oxbridge Universities and to subsequent careers in Finance and Politics and the Law and Medicine particularly.
A narrow elite providing career politicians and financiers with little or no experience with quick access to leadership roles is one of the principle causes of what we may refer to as 'The Banking Crisis' or 'The Double-Dip Recession.'  It is also the cause of 'The War on Terror' and 'The War on Drugs.'  The crisis of 'The Euro'.  It was the cause of the illegal Invasion of Iraq and the subsequent war crimes committed there by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom.  It was the reason why rendition and torture is actively supported by those supposedly liberal democracies.
For the reason for all those things is the heartbreaking lack of competence, talent and skill in leadership among the elites.
The hereditary principle based on tribalism is the cause of much of the geo-political problems in the continent of Africa.  It was at the root of the Ruwandan Massacre.  It is at the centre of the Congolese living nightmare.
At the top of the hereditary tree sits Royalty.  Royalty therefore is the living embodiment of inequality.  Vast power vastly corrupts.

Secondly I am appalled by the manner in which Royalty lends itself to a militaristic jingoism.  To an orgy of flag-waving nationalism.  Look at this...

This is the only home we have.  This one small ball in the infinitude of space.  Possibly the only home of life in our Universe.  Possibly an accidental miracle.  Does it not in it's beauty make a mockery of all the fools in their uniforms and jingling medals?  Does it not in it's gorgeous diversity mock those who would plunder and rape it so they may buy big houses and seven cars.  Royalty festoons itself with gold, all manner of precious and rare metals, and huge and impossible houses known as 'Palaces.'  Royalty officiates at the nexus of the State and Big Pharma/Agro/Military/Industrial/Political/Hyper-Capitalist Machines that turn ordinary human lives into Human Capital to be used up for it's own purposes or cast aside into poverty and ignored.  Utility as a Pathology.  Royalty is the mechanism by which the Hyper Capitalist Machine invests itself with something approaching respectability.  Royalty provides the Emperor's Clothes.

Talking about Utility brings me to my third point:  If we all actually are 'in this together' can we afford to fund the luxurious lifestyles that Royalty appears to demand.  We are talking here about a group of essentially non-productive people payed vast sums of public money to do...nothing.  Well not nothing exactly but things like travel, eating, opening things, cutting ribbons, disrupting schools and hospitals with state visits, ensuring the growth of a vast state and personal security industry.  People paid for being hereditary celebrities.  An industry awarding members of its own club peerages, titles, trinkets and baubles for all those who cherish such things.  In the Storm of Austerity can it be afforded? Should it be?  Is it not some kind of offence to the sick, homeless, hopeless and lost?  Is it not welfarism for a tiny elite?  Is it not the essence of forelock tugging and cringe making senseless ceremony?  Is it not really when it all comes down to it an almost sado masochistic uniform fetish posing as something...positive?

Fourth and final point is the abuse of these people from the moment they are born being flung into the horror of the media without making any conscious choice about it.  Is it right that children's destiny's should be so manipulated by the system that they will be thrown into a life without privacy or for what passes as normality?  I say no!  Royalty is an anachronism that needs to be consigned to the museum of history, a historical yarn spun by an idiot.  We should be looking back anthropologically upon it's strange customs and considering how quaint it all was back then! Forelocks should be grown by teenagers as acts of rebellion against their knee-locked elders.  The curtsey should become a criminal offence.  Everyone in a sane society puts their own toothpaste on the brush.  All adult humans without physical or mental impairment should wipe their own arses.




Get local!  Get involved!  Be the change you want to see in the World!  Move!





17.5.12

A Petrarchan Sonnet on Electoral Apathy-Practice Sessions using abbaabbacdecde

The queues on polling days are shrinking fast.
And "voting's just a boring waste of time"
shout drug-addled youths, intent on crime.
We ask who shall be first and who last.
And who should care, and how, and why, and what?
The voters are all full of Yeat's despair,
their faces set against, their noses in the air.
The few who care drop votes into the slot.
But then I look at Cameron and Clegg!
Their motley crew throwing bread rolls in 'The House.'
Choked with self-entitlement I'd say.
A question starts to form inside my head.
When the choice is cockroach or louse,
the wisest choice might be to stay away!

7.5.12

Cardinal Sean Brady has aided and abetted the torture and rape of hundreds, possibly thousands of children. So how is he still Primate of All Ireland?

This priest is said to be a good man. Yet he repeatedly failed to disclose to parents or the police his knowledge that innocent children were being abused by the monster-priest Brendan Smyth. Does he therefore belong in a Cardinal's palace? Should any followers of the gentle Nazarene live in palaces? Yet another disclosure that reveals the Catholic Church as a haven for paedophiles, bigots, the sexually dysfunctional and the dead-at-heart. The enemy of life and hope! How long can this organisation be tolerated?
Am I saying that Catholics should be burned at stakes?  No, far from it.  I am saying that their temporal organisation is corrupt at it's heart. It is organised along medieval methods and systems.  It is corrupted at it's centre.  But most of all, it is scared of the Feminine-of the magical, scary, wondrous, sexy, moon-cycled, bitchy, relate-focused, boob-juggling women that, sadly for them, in their dusty robes, constitute 50% of the species.  It's a goddamm bitch.  But...Who you gonna call?  Cardinal-Resign with at least a modicum of honour man!

24.4.12

Zoot Alors! It's been a long time since I jumped up half way through a movie spluttering on about how we are all infected with this nihilistic value free mayhem that masquerades as entertainment. But 'We need to talk about Kevin' is one of the most disturbing horror films I've seen in years with a mesmerising performance from Tilda Swinton, a withering soundtrack from Radiohead's guitarist and a lean arch American suburbs look that just about seals the alienation effect. This continues Director Lynne Ramsey's work as further evidence of her Glaswegian misanthropic genius. The question must be asked-'what else does the cineastic hyper-realist have in store for us? Highly recommended. *****

Print by Austin Osman Spare

23.4.12

APRIL 2012 April 1: Feast of All Fools & Annual Crowley Veracity Debate The Aeon of Maat is declared on April 2, 1948 by Frater Achad (Charles Stansfeld Jones, 1886-1950) Apr. 5, a magnificent shadow covers the world. Apr. 6, Full Moon Founding of the Church of All Worlds (April 7, 1962) The Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law (April 8th, 9th, & 10th). At noon upon these legendary days in 1904, Crowley received the three chapters of Liber AL vel Legis. This may be celebrated with ritual readings of each chapter on its day. James Hillman born (April 12, 1926, d .October 27, 2011). Jungian, philosopher, founder of archetypal psychology. Apr. 20, Sun enters Taurus Apr. 21, New Moon April 22: Anniversary of Mother Earth Day Marjorie Elizabeth Cameron Parsons Kimmel born (April 23, 1922, d. July 24, 1995) Foundation of the Horus/Maat Lodge (April 26th, 1979) & the HML Website (1994) Sri Gurudev Dadaji Mahendranath born (April 29, 1911, d. August 30, 1991) May Eve / Walpurgisnacht Sabbat (April 30)

13.4.12

Last night I watched Ken Russel's "The Devils' which I haven't seen since the 70's. It's a superb movie and reminded me forcibly why we should despise and be intolerant of the religous mind and all it's poison.

27.3.12

Fwd: New Song Don't Go...





Hello my friends!
I hope you're all well and good. I'm writing this from my mum's kitchen table at home in Blackpool today. I've been having a few days off after the tour and seem to already be having to fight off the burning urge to be back out on the road again.
Something pretty exciting is happening tonight that I thought you might like to know about.
A few weeks ago, some of the lovely people from E4's program 'Skins' came to see me at one of my gigs and asked me if id be interested in working with them. They needed a song for the closing scene of the last episode of the series that's on TV at the moment, so I said I'd do it, and said thank you too many times, and that was that!
So tonight is the night really! For the avid 'Skins' fans amongst you, my song 'Don't Go' will be played on tonight's final episode that starts at 10pm on e4! For those of you who don't watch it but fancy listening to it, below is a secret link to a live version I filmed with the lovely people from The Blind Club.
The most exciting part for me, and the part I'm so thankful for, is 'Don't Go' is going to be available to buy on iTunes too if any one would like it. It'll be my first thing on iTunes and, I must admit, my heart skips in nervous excitement at the thought of it.
Please ignore me if you're not into this kind of thing, and thank you so much for listening to me constantly go on about myself. I am forever indebted to you all for putting up with me!
Oh and one final thing, I'll be embarking on my own small tour around the UK this September. Tickets should be on sale now, look below for a list of dates.
All my love is yours, as always.
Rae.
RAE MORRIS LIVE DATES
Tue, 25th Sept | Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's | Get Tickets
Wed, 26th Sept | Manchester, Matt & Phreds | Get Tickets
Thurs, 27th Sept | London, Cecil Sharp House | Get Tickets
Sat, 29th Sept | Exeter, Cavern Club | Get Tickets
Sun, 30th Sept | Bath, Moles | Get Tickets


26.3.12

20 Years From Now!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines,
sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."
-- Mark Twain



22.2.12

To the brave men and women and the child-martyrs of Syria-A Poem

A Poem I gift to the brave people of Syria, murdered by cowardly swine and corrupt dogs.  May your oppressors soon be cast into the pit as I pray they will.  And may the Prophet, blessed be his name, cast his nets of protection over your children.  Here is my own Song of Resistance as a small thing to honour your great hearts.

I WILL NOT BE CAST DOWN!

I will not be cast down!
Oppressed or overwhelmed
by all this tragedy.
I will not lose my light
in this cold cold wind.
I need my light to see by.

I’ll not be screwed by fear
into a knuckle,
hard and dense with doubt.
I will not lose my heart
in this sea of swirl and trouble:
I need my heart to love with.


I will not an unbeliever be,
amid these spirals of divinity.
Nor fear the heart of darkness.
I will not lose my sense of Self
at these gates of transformation.
I need my Self to live in.



Bashar al Assad
Wanted for crimes against humanity


You'll be getting yours very soon buddy!  And when you do, I wouldn't want to be in your blood-drenched shoes!





16.2.12

FEBRUARY POEM-UNSAID

UNSAID


So much between remains unsaid.
So much space between heart and head.
And you say: Is this life?  And I say:  Is it?
The way we dreamed it would always be?
And each wonders:  Can you ever, and will you?
And can you ever and might you?
Just once, even in a moon that’s blue,
touch the fear in me with the fear in you?

13.2.12

The Boat of my Dreams

For a while now I've been thinking and planning for a craft for expeditioning on the sea. My Isle of Skye semi-circumnavigation round the South West Coast aboard a Valley Canoes Avocet Kayak some years ago really sold me on the idea of simple, light but super-reliable craft for one person which included an ability to sleep aboard. It was a big ask because it needs to include the possibility of towing the craft behind a bicycle! Which also had to be stowed aboard when underway! For a while I've thought that a rowing boat has the edge over a kayak as well as providing a massive cardio-vascular workout with a sliding seat that benefits the whole body, it also provides a stable platform for fishing, eating, filming, or just day-dreaming, which you just can't get in a kayak. Well finally I appear to have found the boat of my dreams and here she is:





Perfect for island hopping off the West Coast of Scotland, the canals of Europe or even bigger trips on The Med and further afield.  Brilliant work from Angus Rowboats.  Just look at that beautiful wineglass stern!

9.2.12

New law will be for the children « This Is Guernsey

Gosh I just came across this! Something like a dance with a beautiful but essentially corrupted Spirit. Something about 'the heart of darkness.'I designed the Private and Public law Services for The Channel Isles but when the Bailiff of Jersey read this blog he ordered his minions to withdraw a job offer they had made to me. I have a lot to thank him for! Where the hell do they get these people from? It was a great project but a bit like being an extra in The Wicker Man!

New law will be for the children

Monday 19th May 2008, 1:00PM BST.
0579790.jpgHead of Safeguarder Services Tony Dougan at the opening of its Rue du Manoir offices. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 0579790)
CHILDREN will be better represented thanks to new services being introduced in Guernsey.
Safeguarder Services, which is States funded, has been set up to represent the interests of children and young people in public and private legal proceedings under The Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law, 2008, and to provide an advisory service to the courts.
It will also offer conciliation and mediation to people involved in family law proceedings. The man heading the service, Tony Dougan, said the law would officially be enacted in October 2009 but the services were now available to those seeking help.
‘The law will actually reflect the realities of modern-day family life, such as divorce and the impact it has on the children involved.’  He said laws that protect or affect children date back to the 1930s. The new one brings Guernsey into line with the UK’s Protection of Children Act 1999.

3.2.12

Permaculture In Phuket! Wow!!!

Nuclear vs Nuclear vs Nuclear by George Monbiot

I think this is one of the most important posts on the issues of nuclear waste disposal I've read in a long time.  My favourite scientist James Lovelock has long supported Nuclear Power as the only conceivable way to generate sufficient energy while addressing Co2 emissions.  George here proposes support for one of the three options on the table to do with dealing with nuclear waste in the long term. Integral Fast Reactors were recently mooted by the Government's Chief Scientist as capable of producing all our energy needs for the next 500 years (!!! My italics!)
This needs serious attention.  The other two options of burying it in a big hole and 'Moxing' it have few advantages and many negatives.  At last there's something of a technical fix in actuality rather than on the horizon.  It should be supported and encouraged by all of us...vigorously.
Nuclear vs Nuclear vs Nuclear

From The Guardian's Duncan Clark 2.212  "In the proposal currently under discussion, a pair of Prism reactors would be installed at Sellafield and optimised to consume the plutonium stockpile as quickly as possible. If, however, the government decided to prioritise low-carbon power generation rather than rapid waste disposal, a larger number of Prism reactors could theoretically be combined with a fuel recycling system to extract as much electricity as possible from the plutonium and depleted uranium.
According to figures calculated for the Guardian by the American writer and fast reactor advocate Tom Blees, this alternative approach could – given a large enough number of reactors – produce enough low-carbon electricity from Britain's waste stockpile to supply the UK at current rates of demand for more than 500 years.
MacKay (The Government's Chief Scientist HoB) confirmed this figure. "As an upper bound on what you could get from those resources in fast reactors I think it's a very reasonable estimate. In reality you'd get all kinds of issues so you wouldn't achieve the upper bound but I still think it's a reasonable starting point."
But he added that free or low-cost fuel was not in itself sufficient to make inexpensive nuclear energy. "When you think about the economics of the low-carbon transition, it isn't the nuclear fuel that's the expensive bit – it's the power stations and the other facilities that go with them."
The cost of any Prism installation would depend on unknown quantities, including the details of the licensing requirements. However, Eric Loewen, chief engineer at GE Hitachi nuclear, claims that the technology should be economically competitive due to its small and fixed-size modular design, which allows it to be produced in an off-site factory.
MacKay said, "I think it's credible that it could be cheaper [than Mox] but it's up to GE to tell us the price tag". He added that the alternative option of making Mox would not be easy either. " You have to make a big facility to make the Mox fuel and you need to have a load of reactors that can accept the Mox fuel, and we don't have either of those in place yet."
MacKay also said that he supported "long-term research and development" into new reactor technologies that could be safer and more efficient than current designs.
He argued that such research should not be seen as a threat to renewable technologies such as wind and solar, which were crucial but not sufficient on their own to meet the UK's ambitious carbon targets."
"If you've seriously looked at ways of making plans that add up you come to the conclusion that you need almost everything and you need it very fast – right now. You need all the credible technologies that can develop at scale … I don't think anyone serious would say that we only need nuclear … but similarly I think it's unrealistic to say we could get there solely with renewables."
At last some bright people are starting to talk some sense.  Let's just hope our benighted politicians don't screw it up!