Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Requiem for the Goddess

She is a vessel that’s all
a seed from the seed that came before
a wave flowing out from the bang
a reverberating circle reaching out.

Once she was cherished
placed in the centre of the hearth
observed and protected from elements 
she loved no matter how rough.

Now she is tied between two poles 
her limbs cannot move 
or lay down to rest. 

How can she nurture the world 
when hoisted 
as a thing that bleeds onto the soil beneath
her legs forced open so that lost souls can rape 
with their hatred.

How can she see the unfolding drama
now her eyes have been gouged
and how can she offer advice
when her lips have been sewn together
or hear the lamentation of birds
when her ears plugged with the screech 
of a dead warrior is set on replay?

Who will witness the despair of her sons
and the exhaustion of her daughters
when there is no more art or music
only a silent screen capture of today’s
stock market?

How will the starving masses endure 
the endless pain when their hormones 
begin to eat their own organs?

How can she birth the next generation
when her torn uterus hangs
outside her body?

How will the mind remember that life
existed at all when all its seeds have perished?

Sunday, 12 May 2019


Boston, 1870

Arise, then… women of this day! 
Arise, all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!
Say firmly: 
We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. 
Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, 
for caresses and applause. 
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says:  Disarm, Disarm! 
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
nor violence vindicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
at the summons of war, 
let women now leave all that may be left of home 
for a great and earnest day of council.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace,
each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask
that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, 
may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient,
and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, 
to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, 
the amicable settlement of international questions, 
the great and general interests of peace.
~ Julia Ward Howe


Thursday, 9 May 2019

You Were There

Happy Mother's Day

At your eightieth birthday party you sat under the umbrella with Bob,
your cigarettes and martini, your eyes laughing like blue bird wings,
shaded from the sun. Yesterday is smoke to the sky and all the world
rendered to the present is here in this garden, familiar faces
names forgotten along with the rest of your life.

When you look in the mirror you ask whose wrinkled face
stares back at you and I remember the day
you declared yourself not beautiful anymore. Is losing
memory a careless wish to lose the self
you no longer want?

Women’s scars, trophies of battles survived
are not glorified here, they are veiled in shame, but once
you taught me how to tie my shoes, make my bed
and love my children. That is why, as the party began,
I tried to mirror back the beauty you didn’t catch
in your reflection.

Words barely out I strained through tears to bring the air
from lung to tongue, gasping for the right sound.
Surrounding eyes were filled as well as though we understood
what hadn’t formed in the mouth, and you rose from your seat
to put your arms around me. A mother’s comfort burst through
nameless grief and the reason we were there made clear.
That is beauty.

Later you danced on the kitchen floor Sally washed
in the morning of the day we ran like ants to carry tables
and chairs through narrow doorways and carefully lay
the frozen salmon thawed in the bath, on its final platter
in a maze of salads and buns. Tables, ceilings,
punctuated with purple and blue balloons. You and Dot,
your feet fast as marbles jived to Glenn Miller, your face
with no memory of shyness beamed and yet,
the next day when I recalled to you these moments

you asked if you were there.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

White Supremacy is a Mental Illness

When men and women support movements of hate, such as white supremacy, is that because they are desperately trying to shake off the feeling they are redundant or is it a desire to find a really deep hole in which to place all their rage and disappointment?

What is it about being white that makes us special? What has the white “race” achieved?

Colonialism, brainwashing that enabled invaders to destroy the aboriginal culture and call it discovery? Enslavement of African people and the ideology of race based on skin colour? A violent hierarchy that demanded absolute obedience to the pecking order? Capitalism that placed a higher value on possessions than life itself?

These things were not invented by white people - we inherited these practices along with science, law, medicine and education. Over the centuries we have refined the worship of power. We constructed class, race and gender. We promoted and normalized a virtue called the work ethic. But this could only work by cooperating with others, by creating a cohesive narrative to "explain" why the world is the way it is and how we have "conquered" it.

The problem is that capitalism reinvented then trashed and denigrated community, for the drive to get to the top, as quickly as possible. Whoever possessed the top position had the right to demean, judge and dismiss our human need for dignity. The conscientious leader is replaced with the trickster.

Cities are blown up, water is poisoned with chemicals, the air is polluted, trees cut down, territories dug up.

In this environment we are all marginalized refugees. This is a state of ideology. Nature, water, land, air and men only exist in terms of the economy and the only measure that your isolated ego can win are the little contests along the way.

White supremacy like misogyny, anti-semitism, Islamophobia - are symptoms of a mental illness brought about by centuries of abuse that has emotionally and spiritually starved our species of our human needs:- food, shelter, belonging, dignity and respect. When people are denied these things, when children and adults are routinely humiliated through neglect and the commons has been purchased by international corporations, the power of the isolated ego can only be felt through revenge.

We can acknowledge our feelings and use that awareness to restructure engagement in community that values life, good health, clean air and water, kindness and honest communication. The only true power we have is to help others be happy - not by violence but by the voice of integrity. We are vulnerable and fragile. We are not lizards and guns.

As soon as we fall back into ideologies of race, gender and class, we create monsters who must be fed by our neuroses and endless human sacrifice.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

He calls me an intellectual

He calls me an intellectual

but I know it’s code—meaning
my mind wanders aimlessly through the forest
while he replaces the filter to the UV lamp
or pulls weeds between shrubs
notices the lapsed club membership
leafs through cookbooks for a chicken recipe
scans the Internet for flights to Toronto
sees cobwebs on the skylight which he must keep
to himself, as if

I would never notice webs created by
one or more of the seven hundred spider species
of British Columbia and search the Internet myself
for its name which accidentally takes me
to a strange image of a rat-like creature
who has a tail coming out of its chest and wonder
if it might be a lab-test rat or an entirely
new species, and whether something should be done
about that

like further research
to be informed, to have knowledge
the scientific proof, to know the facts
that escape as soon as I try to pin them down
fearing he will ask
are you sure about that
and I must confess
I am never sure about anything.

(from Infinite Power, Ekstasis 2016. Cover painting is from Paul Grignon http://www.paulgrignon.com)

Sunday, 5 May 2019

I Too Have A Dream

That one day we shall get it.
Life, light, garden and the humming bird.
Oh many of us have
And many inspire our opening
Many give their voice to my fragile mind
As I wake to a new day
Many take care of my teeth
My bones and my eyes
Some have pointed out my errors
That I may get over bad habits
For that is the breadth and depth
Of my shattered, bruised heart.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Martin Luther King's Dream

"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood." Martin Luther King Jr.  Delivered in Washington August 28, 1963.


I wanted to print the whole speech on this platform but it would violate the copyright law.

I understand the reluctance to allow it into the commons because of the terrible abuse that has been directed to MLK and his family. There is so much evidence of corrupting history for the sake of white power. So here is an example of what happens when White Supremacy rules over others.

Let us weep.

Requiem for the Goddess