Tag: ideals

Where?

plastics don’t pollute our waters –
rhythms of slow seasons rock –
every species finds a foothold
free from artificial shock –
elemental nature governs
rules of tidal ebb and flow –
experts track down earthly truths
not cloudy claims they’re in the know –
create this world of balance restored –
elect anyone not too easily bored …

 

Image result for natural world

 

image: The Conversation

source: preference from https://randomwordgenerator.com

 

 

 

 

Digging Deeper

So, no more WordPress Daily Prompts!

Like any addict with supply problems, a week in and I’m still wrestling with a cold turkey – feathers everywhere – if you see what I mean. It’s been hell. Sweats, cramps, fevers, insomnia, the works …


Image result for addict

Actually, it’s not been that bad. In fact, I haven’t given it a moment’s thought. It feels like the school holidays have started and I’m climbing trees, having escaped that old bossy-boots of a teacher who kept giving me random things to write about.

Oh yes, the ball’s well and truly in my court! All I have to do is pull back my racquet and let fly … but where to place the shot?

Aarrrggh … decisions! I hear that ball thump into the wire behind me, the derisive laughter of my opponent … curiously familiar, wonder who it is … and now I’ll never know because I’ve just woken up to the sounds of birds and bees, the scents of garden flowers and an unsipped gin-and-tonic in the arm of my reclining chair.

Hmm, reckon I should stop stressing about style and just scramble the ball over the net any old how. As our bewildering world unravels ever faster, it’s too easy to convince yourself nothing you say will make any difference and – the curse of every passionate perfectionist and thwarted idealist – you don’t bother to say anything. Nothing’s your fault, anyway, though Philip Larkin is as perceptive as usual on the subject of luck:

Bad As A Mile

Watching the shied core
Striking the basket, skidding across the floor,
Shows less and less of luck, and more and more

Of failure spreading back up the arm
Earlier and earlier, the unraised hand calm,
The apple unbitten in the palm.

I think back three years to when the apple of blogging was still unbitten. Here are my first two posts:

My voyage of exploration begins. I want to recapture the spirit of childhood, when we would set out from home with the deliberate aim of getting hopelessly lost. No point in going over old ground, after all …

freerange

wall-kids-no-rites

I find it sad that children today don’t occupy the streets and open spaces like we did when I was young. There have always been risks in such freedom but we made a habit of going around with our friends, rarely if ever alone. We knew the dangers and were able to avoid them. So many kids were out and about, there was safety in numbers. With more adults around, too, we behaved ourselves most of the time because we didn’t want to get into trouble. In this way, we learned how to take responsibility for ourselves.

Sitting alone in your bedroom is not a healthy substitute, especially when you factor in the online risks and bad cyberspace influences that would shock many parents. It’s a case of out of the frying pan into the fire, I’m afraid. Let’s make the open air a place for children again, providing proper facilities and a sensible but not stifling adult presence. It would be quite a challenge but I can’t think of a better way to create the communities of the future …

Back to 2018, I’m struck by the campaigning tone and buoyant optimism above. Plug in to your inner child, I seem to be saying, and everything becomes possible.

Yet here I am, three years on, myself a pitiable victim of those same online risks and bad cyberspace influences … well, aren’t we all, after the surreal horrors of 2016 and their unfolding fake-news consequences? And as for guiding the young, fat chance when the adults appear to lack all direction!

Enough reality already! Or perhaps, less unreality masquerading as reality …

So the other day I was telling my little granddaughter this joke:

There was a vicar who used to visit his parishioners’ homes where they often asked him to stay for tea. They would sometimes serve him baked beans on toast, which he hated but was too polite to refuse. So anxious was he not to cause offence that he always pretended to enjoy them. People would tell each other how much he enjoyed baked beans with the result that he was rarely given anything else.

One day he was given a double helping, so he asked for a glass of water and when his host went into the kitchen he frantically spooned baked beans into the top pocket of his jacket. When the host brought the water, the vicar was licking his lips and polishing his plate with the toast.

On his way out he thanked his host from the bottom of his heart, patting his chest and spurting baked beans everywhere. He ran out in acute embarrassment but his host couldn’t wait to tell the next-door neighbour. ‘Do you know,’ he said, ‘the vicar likes baked beans so much he keeps a big stash of them in his pocket wherever he goes!’

Squeaky clean and yet silly enough to please any four-year-old, I’d say!

It was one of three jokes my dad insisted on telling at every family gathering. I won’t trouble you with the other two. We’d heard it lots and would always groan, of course, but my granddaughter asked for it again … and again!

It suddenly occurred to me that I was telling it just like my dad did – same intonations, same actions, same everything. Our relationship was always a little uneasy – common, I think, between us post-war kids and our pre-war parents – but this  was one of those moments where the present links up to the past in a flash. Gratitude for my old man welled up in me for the first time in … well, ever, really.

Sad but true.

Tell me about when you were little, she says, a frequent request. This time I tell her about my dad and some of his funny ways. All of a sudden, he’s still here.

There’s an African saying, I believe, that it takes a village to bring up a child. And if there’s one thing that should bring us all together, it’s the welfare of children. There is a very real sense in which nothing else matters.

Here is a positive little film that makes the point better than I can. The apple is always unbitten.

 

 

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.

 

Image result for can of worms

 

Image: San Diego Reader

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Provoke

Sometimes

sometimes don't you just want to 
escape the prison of language
fly free of rational thought and the bounds of respectability
give voice to whatever comes into your mind 
as it tumbles in a spacetime all its own?

sometimes don't you just want to
say something no one else has ever said
to bust apart the bounds of dull conformity
and set things off in a brand new direction
towards love and its urgent compulsions?

sometimes don't you just want to 
overturn the tables of profit and loss
in the moneymarkets that stand where
people like us once shook hands and swore
allegiance beyond all selfishness?

sometimes don't you just want to 
turn off the tide of hatred
rising like blood from a pale land
too fearful to acknowledge its heritage
of mutual tolerance and trust?

sometimes don't you just want to
point an accusing finger 
past poor defenceless scapegoats
to the moneylaundering parasites 
laughing behind closed doors? 

sometimes don't you just want to
turn back the clock
to when time was all before you
and poetry ethics philosophy economics politics
were just classes in school?

 

Image result for heaven on earth

 

Image:  Ground Zero Web

 

Renaissance Fair

I fervently believe that our natural creativity, given free rein, can unlock all doors and solve all dilemmas no matter how seemingly heavy or intractable. We can start with whatever is to hand which means we are always ready.

So in that spirit I offer this acrostic poem – a response to the Daily Prompt Recreate – to mark the start of a series of posts where I will try to weave the random words that WordPress throws at me into a coherent narrative. Each will be a 100 word story linked in some way to the previous one.

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E.M Forster

R uins surround you, strongholds returned to rocks.
E ven your wisest words run out like sand.
C ollect those scattered thoughts from the low places.
R eassemble them in new formations to
E ntertain yourself in the long, dark, desolate night.
A t last comes dawn where dreamers meet.
T heatres will play out a thousand and one possibilities.
E verything waits as usual to be imagined into fresh life.

 

Image result for ozymandias

 

Image: vulture.com

… and by opposing end them.

D o you recall the day we stood
I n battle order, side by side for once, old
G rudges dead and buried in a brand
N ew war on common foes – life-darkening ignorance, curable
I llness, the tyrant’s iron grip? O never
F orget this day, October 24 in 1945, when
Y ou and I hold hands across a sea of troubles …

 

Image result for united nations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: the United Nations

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Dignify

I wrote this to honour the day they founded the UN.