Wednesday, 22 November 2017

First build your nest


1. Consult blueprints.

2. Choose suitable site. In this case, a broad leaved fruit tree.  Select position on west side of tree in hollow of high boughs, keeping a weather eye on the large black & white cat who patrols the area seeking whom he may devour.

Nest retrieved intact during pruning 22nd November undamaged -
survived storm with 136 km  gusts and other inclement weather

 3. Collect and place suitable materials in hollow in following order:
  (i) moss to line the concealment hollow
  (ii) mud for placing on top of moss to provide firm secure base
  (iii) plastic bag for placing on top of mud for insulation, waterproofing and warmth
  (iv) grass, straw, small twigs and moss for walls
  (v) continue building until walls of nest are of suitable thickness.

Nest inverted - showing details of construction 

Bird's eye view of interior 

Cross section showing materials - L at bottom - R at top

Not one fluffy feather. Did the builders build more than one before the choice of abode was made?

Or was it the cat . . .  . . .    



Saturday, 18 November 2017

Boulevard Calendar



This morning I bought my 2018 calendar from one of the homeless on  the streets of the city. 

The seller, who must have a badge conspicuously displayed to show he is not a member of the so-called beggar mafia, is allowed to keep 50% of the calendar's price. The same rule applies regarding the fortnightly Augustine newspapers. 

There are many bogus beggars who mysteriously materialize at this time of goodwill. 

I like to think that a homeless person rescued the dog on the cover (or vice-versa). 


The dog in the poem in the post below might need a new home in the near future.  

It's more ethical to buy a calendar from a friendly Augustine salesperson, than from an uninterested assistant filing her nails in a brand name outlet selling cheerful seasonal products churned out in faraway sweatshops, is it not?   

Santa's elves get little reward. 


Friday, 17 November 2017

Christmas Past and Present in Cafe Espresso



A cameo gift to give
would be a dog

for Christmas . . .


      The speakers in the corners
with plaintive strains

       'I sit and watch as tears go by . . '

cut in on present
coffee thoughts

Christmas in the selfies 
-  and the poetry

in the simple songs

I listen to
the table

next to me


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Augmented Reality



The town

is up-gearing for Christmas

-  born in the stars we shall die on earth

   consumers reloaded

with special offers

and seasonal devotions -

augmented with amalgams

of self-worth reality

rushing stupid

from the office parties

into the closed museum bars -

tuesday is someone's day of rest

engineered by god

and the world  -

- a temporary exchange of ways -


as for those poets

when they went on too long

they merely licked their quills

and              made them           longer

long as Pinocchio's nose

and   longer

maybe long as a Joycean pub crawl

or a museum guide's

preamble -


O my god they are following me

and my dedication to verisimilitude -

I'm  standing  with my pencil

poised  before a very small Rubens

- a man who is an expert in the art of overwhelming -

it's hardly a seminal work -

         I think I'll slip the leash

and find the quite room

where the works

I like best

are hiding away

from from the madding

Rubens crowd -

   Jan Massys'  Merry Company 

   Reymerswale's  Money Changers 

   Hoogstraten's  Old Man at the Window

to name but three  -


before I fly
                              
         to the Seven Stars  

to cut my goulash of beef 

with a spoon.


Merry Company - Jan Massys

Money Changers - Marinus Van Reymerswale

Old Man at the Window - Samuel Van Hoogstraten


Italy out!


   Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei  

Italia 0 - 0 Svezia


Azzurri fuori dal coppa mondiale di calcio 2018



Friday, 10 November 2017

Fighting for King and Country.



Tomorrow, 11th November 2017, exactly 99 years will have elapsed since the official end of the so-called Great War, a war in which the British people, including both my grandfathers found themselves literally in no man's land in the bloody carnage known as the Battle of the Somme.

There were many other battles equally horrifying or worse, and men of many nations perished. These men were known simply as cannon fodder.

A cynic might say that the Great War was so-called as a tribute to the 'great' profits made by the military industrial financial complex - 'the war racket' as Major General Smedley Butler terms it.




The fact is that the Great War never really ended. Today the locations and the euphemisms are different.

Not to worry. The money is rolling in.

Lest we forget.

Apropos my cartoon:

Iraq was a fiasco. Mission Accomplished was a joke. But out of it all there did come eventually a glimmer of sanity. It was Obama's last act, his release of Chelsea Manning.

Now, where to next?




Thursday, 9 November 2017

The Raven





When autumn fogs
and industrial smogs

Cloak the graves
and the graveyard walls


When the leaves 
are fallen and the world is grey 

The raven's call 
doth winter hail