Tag: equality

Pushing at an Open Door

P rod a leaden sleeper, does he breathe?
R ile a spouting bigot, watch him seethe!
O pen up a can of worms for fun.
V olunteer to fight without a gun.
O perate a comic hit-and-run.
K ill the rush to scapegoat weak and poor.
E levate the right of all to more.


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Image: San Diego Reader

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Provoke

Sea Change – a story in 100 words

250,000 faces upturned, awaiting his words, their sighs hushed.

He shuffles pages of a speech composed by committee, something for everyone, and begins reading. Each of us leans forward for nourishment, vying to be there first. Scattered cheers ripple up and sink again into a murmuring ocean.

‘Tell them,’ improvises Mahalia Jackson. His gaze drifts from the wordy text to linger on the crowd, as if to draw them closer.

Riff,’ I whisper.

Has he heard? Eyes deep as oceans, he dives down for sunken treasure and surfaces holding pearls.

‘I say to you today, my friends, I have a dream … ‘

Image result for martin luther king i have a dream speech

Image: CNN.com

A Shrine to Lazy Bones

The inspiration – if you can call it that – for this poem came from two news items. One concerned the fact that the life expectancy of UK men shows a bigger range between rich and poor than at any time in 150 years. That’s 150 years of social legislation gone down the tube. The other concerned state primary schools, where 6 year olds have gone on strike to protest against the introduction of yet more new tests. The background here is that British children are amongst the unhappiest in Europe.

So the rich are living longer and their children are exempt from stressful early testing. Liberty is become licence, it seems, cut loose from equality and humanity. The changes began with the mania for deregulation back in the early 80s when our handbag-wielding leader proclaimed there was no such thing as society, only individual men and women. My question would be, was she just stating a fact of life or making a prophesy of a nasty future where survival of the fittest is the only creed and a notional afterlife is the only consolation for the losers?

The historian EP Thompson believed the 19th Century working classes desperately oscillated between politics and religion, depending on which of them offered more hope. If it is to be religion’s turn again, let’s at least make it one we can all agree on. My religion would involve a common belief in the sacredness of life itself, a fusion of freedom and equality and humanity that would stop the crazy see-saw.

A Shrine to Lazy Bones

Two spectres haunt this house of humankind
And stalk the hall to keep us in our room.
At dead of night we wake with troubled mind
To fears of open lock and closing tomb.
Two spectres: one the ever-hungry ghost
That shrieks for more and more, the more we give -
A cuckoo in the nest, our children lost
To parents much too busy just to live.
The other spook's a mirage: heaven, hell -
And life a dress rehearsal for their sake.
When kids - all work, no play - are saved by the bell 
Then wonder not, but sleep till death awake.
To exorcise these household demons both,
Let's re-enchant the world and worship sloth.


Image: http://www.kennethdepoorter.be

Lost and Found in the Self-Help Section


You tell me Be Yourself but who am I?
A husband, father, granddad, neighbour, friend,
Performer, viewer, listener, passer-by,
Explorer, seeker, witness - there's no end
To me, no wall where all beyond is yours
And all within is mine. I want the world
In all her ragged glory, free of wars
Where egos clash and propaganda's hurled.
No label can contain the whole of me,
No badge of creed or colour pin me down,
No uniform confer identity,
No flag of mine will flutter in your town -
For you and I are everywhere and none,
Our doors wide open, nobody at home.

			     Dave Kingsbury



Free Radical


The idea that life unfolds to a pattern laid down by gods or fate or whatever has never appealed to me. Whenever people – worse still, peoples – believed they had a pre-ordained destiny, it was bad news for indigenous races and minority groups. Modern science has replaced the model of a clockwork machine universe with something much more fluid and dynamic and, yes, exciting. My poem explores this idea of a creative potential that is the polar opposite of passive acceptance. Only as free individuals can we become one people.


                 Thinking Out Loud

The particle collider in our head
Holds fragments of the past that whirl around
In circles, frozen orbits of the dead
Through inner space. They never make a sound.

When silence grows too loud we open wide
Perception's doors and welcome in the new,
Observing past and present worlds collide
In teasing spiral glimpses - all too few -

Of what's to come. They crash and burn,
Though not before the camera of our mind
Snaps every possibility in turn
As if the future's there to be divined.

But how could everything be stuck that way?
We generate the world afresh each day.

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