Tuesday, 21 March 2017

For World Poetry Day: A Poem That Kick Ass ...

The Creation of The World

The first day

   I came to in the dark cold trembling
   while I gathered twigs lit them he came out
   of the cave shivered held his hands over
   the fire and said: Let there be light

 The second day

   I woke at dawn carried water from the river
   to wet the clay ground so the dust wouldn't
   whip his face he came out I poured water into
   his palms he washed his face looked up and
   said: Let's call the roof sky the dryness earth
   and the gathered waters the seas

The third day

  I got up early picked blue red yellow fruit
  piling small seeds between two stones ground
  kneaded roast them he awoke stretched ate the
  bread the sweet fruit said: Let the earth
  bear tender grasses grasses with seeds fruit

The fourth day

  I awoke suddenly swept the yard with a branch
  of leaves soaked the laundry scrubbed the
  pots cleaned the tools he woke as I sharpened
  the scythe rolled over and said: Let heavenly
  bodies light the sky to divide day from night

 The fifth day

  I rode in the morning filled the troughs
  gave the horses hay milked the cows
  sheared the sheep grazed the goats stuffed
  the geese cut nettles for the ducklings
  ground corn for the hens cooked slops for
  the pigs threw the dog a bone poured the cat
  its milk he yawned slowly rubbed the sleep from his
  eyes and said: Let everything multiply and
  grow and cover the earth

The sixth day

  Pains woke me I gave birth to my child cleaned
  swaddled nursed him he leaned over let the
  little hand squeeze his thumb he smiled at
  his likeness and saw that truly all of his creation
  was good

The seventh day

  The baby's crying woke me I quickly changed
  his diapers nursed him he quieted down I
 lit the fire aired the apartment brought
 up the newspaper
 watered the plants dusted quietly
 made breakfast the smell of coffee woke him he turned
 on the radio lit a cigarette and blessed the seventh day

Eva Toth and Laura Schiff( Ain't I a Woman! 1987,   Linthwaite I (Ed)  Peter Bederick Books, NEW YORK)


Sunday, 19 March 2017

1976 All That

In an idle moment, I cast about for something to write about and hit on 1976. No reason.


I was 25 for most of 1976, a young teacher, trying to have babies, wondering what to do to take my mind off the failing. It was, I know, the Bi-Centennial year in the USA, and I, a former 'American Studies' student, took an interest. "Why American Studies?" My father asks, in 1970, aghast. He doesn't think a career could be carved out of American Studies. " Because, dad, I don't understand why you don't like Americans and I need to learn!" I was SO naive .. My poor father, during the war, had to vie with monied GI's for my mother's attentions... He needs to be forgiven.


So I applied for the Fulbright Exchange Teacher Programme, and succeeded, but the doing of it came later in 1977, and is another story.


Harold Wilson was PM, at least until April, and I remember him: jovial, pipe-smoking, the first PM I voted for. His wife was a poet, I felt a connection. He reckoned that the, 'white heat of technology' would bring wealth to all, and shorter working hours. And it could have. Instead we have zero hours contracts and food banks, but hey! There's the Internet, so I guess it's not all bad. Steve Jobs founded Apple in a garage, and here I am tapping this out on an iPad.


John Curry danced himself to gold on ice, and I can still picture him. Dazzling, spectacular, amazing ... There aren't enough words. But it was the 70's and there was no way to stave off AIDS: he died too young, and, right now, I feel tears welling-up, and not just for him.


"Save All Your Kisses For Me" won the Eurovision Song Contest. I loathe the Eurovision Song Contest with perfect loathing. If I'd have thought we would never have to enter it again I would have voted Brexit. But I know such dreams never come true, so I didn't. Brit James Hunt, once known as 'Hunt the Shunt' wins the F1 Championship, and Concorde begins is inaptly named 'commercial' service. As a teenager, at school in Gloucester, I watched open-mouthed in awe, as this sleek air-liner on a test flight veered round Robinswood Hill moments before it's "BOOM!!"


Yes, it could break the sound barrier then, but never over-land after coming into service.


I scour the lists of births and deaths. There are many of both in 1976. I am quite taken by the fact that I only recognise ONE of the celebrity births (Ross Noble) but go misty-eyed over the departures: L S Lowry,Sybil Thorndike, Agatha Christie, Benjamin Britten ... They are still about in one way or another.


We were a country at war in 1976. Oh My God! Over fish. The Great Cod War, with Iceland. Then one day, someone woke up to how ludicrous it was, and we brought the gun boats home. For the record: Iceland won.


I guess we kind of were at war with the Irish, too. I have Irish ancestry, and kept my fingers crossed for peace, which came, in time.


It's comforting to know that wars end.


1976 was a hot year. Although as a Brit, the weather always plays a huge role in my life, there are two events that stand out. The Great Freeze of 1962/3 and The Heat Wave of 1976. We expect moderation in all things, and 97F in Cheltenham is just not on.


I congratulate myself on still being here, no small feat given the wars, plagues, extreme weather events and the stupidity of politicians. When I was 25 I didn't know what was to come, but now that it HAS come, and pretty well gone, I can sit back, contented. It's good. All good.


John Curry




Harold Wilson




"Save All Your Kisses For Me"




Concorde Breaking The Sound Barrier





Sunday, 5 March 2017

Aliens, An Inundation And An Impeachment

My friend Wendy sent me a link to a ten minute op-ed that about covers all I want to say about the title of this post.

On second thoughts, I'll summarise: A 1950's cult figure said that aliens were going to cause a great flood and that only her followers were going to be saved. So, when the flood failed to make it's appearance, the lady in the know said it was because she had asked the aliens not to do the flood thing, and the cult grew.

Listen anyway, the guy's good. He explains that this, 'adjusting reality to fit perception' model, is the reason why believing that Trump will be removed from office before his time is up, is also delusional. Even if desirable, I hasten to add.

Here's the link:



Wendy got me thinking. Then writing.

Dear Wendy,

Very good listen!

I long ago came to the conclusion that: you can believe what you like and get away with it, and most people do ( religion);the prettiest person with the best lies will form a government ( politics);the person you've got now is worth holding on to, because the next stands a good chance of being worse ( relationships); there IS no concrete reality, we are made of light and energy, and what we perceive as real is an illusion created in a brain evolved to construct an environment where the propagation of the species is at least a possibility(science).

Trump will not be impeached because 80% of Republican voters still support him, they are emotionally invested in him and not likely to waiver. Flying Saucer Cult 102.

So, to keep sane, we too, have to construct our own reality. For me, a stubborn belief that the Universe is ultimately benign, that at least a part of me is eternal, and that, in the end, "all manner of things shall be well," works. It's as likely to be 'right' as many much nastier alternatives. Whether or not it has any basis in what might be called 'truth' , is hardly relevant given that we are 99% energy in a universe that is 75% missing.

As Pilate so rightly asked, "What is truth?" A question that even the King of Kings couldn't answer!


Mary xxx

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