Tuesday, 15 January 2019

"The Government is the Servant of the People" Theresa May

That's it.

It's what Britain stands for.

And it's what the Brits understand.

Get on with it.

Unite the nation.

Vote for the deal

And then go out and celebrate with a clear conscience!

Do it now.       Tomorrow may be too late.

Two boats side by side

Monday, 14 January 2019

Brexit? 'Something reeks in the State of Denmark.'

Welsh is a semi-official EU language
British citizens living in EU countries were not allowed to vote in the Brexit referendum if they had been resident outside their home country for 15 years according to the 'information' carelessly promulgated by our then leader Cameron the Incompetent which I had to discover by chance.

What does the EU's crib sheet Citizens First say?

"the Commission . . . can contact the national authorities concerned to ask for an explanation and to request . . . the infringement of Community law be terminated."

Was this done?  I don't know.

"If the Commission is not satisfied with the response of the national authorities it can open infringement proceedings against the country concerned."

Was this done?  I don't know.

Were voters provided with a copy of the EU's brochure Citizens First prior to the referendum so that they would be better informed?

                                                              I don't know.

My gut feeling tells me that when it comes to Brexit the EU Commission and the UK Parliament are more than incompetent.

'Something reeks in the state of Denmark'. 

Update: Yesterday the PM used the words "subversion of democracy" to describe her looming defeat.    British democracy is about to be subverted. I never thought I'd live to see the day.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Vanity Poet seeks sympathy

This one's for my favourite comedian northsider Dave!

Scene:  A Cork bar, after hours.

It's himself.
Look boys, it's himself.
So it is.
It's been a while.
Three days at least.
Go on, ask him.
I'll ask him.
How's it going? It's been a while?
He's very quiet.
What's that box beneath his arm?
What's that under your oxter Mick?
      A prize.
It's a prize me lads.
What for a prize?
What might it be?
      A vase.
A vase it is my lads.
Or a flower pot.
And what's it for?
      It's for my pomes.
It's for his rhymes.
His rhyming rhymes have won a prize.
A flower pot for a prize.
in Dublin's fair city
by the Global Poetry Club
no less.
It's written here on the box.
Fill 'em up Old Pat behind the bar.
Replenish the porter
 stout bar-fellow thou.
You've just been over for this prize?
says Pat the Elder
softly drawing stout.
      I did and that's a fact. 
Let's see the blessed pot then Mick
Yes, let's see the vase, the prize
- a trick well won I'll vow 
       You can't.
Why not?
       It's broke. 
He shakes the box. The sound of shards. 
Oh my Paddy Kavanagh.
Who broke it so?
When broke it so?
How broke the crystal chalice? 
       I broke it tripping off the stage. 
And well and good you broke it!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Venice (Lost and Found)

You never know what you might find when you go through an accumulation of paper in order to bring some order into your life. It's almost a haphazard  ritual with me. There's no fixed pattern. It's something I do on impulse.

One thing I rediscovered was this postcard sized impression of a canal corner in Venice which I painted nearly 20 years ago. I wonder where it's been all this time.

Another mysterious find is an undated attempt at humour. Ten years old at least; a poem about an Irish writer titled Vanity Poet Seeks Sympathy.  

Could be 'something for the morrow' northsider Dave!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Masao Okabe's Frottage Sites

When Albert Einstein was asked to submit a paper in support of Germany's World War I adventure he sent 3 sheets explaining why he was against wars 'since they had asked' for his comments. Even from this they censored 3 paragraphs.

Throughout 2007 and 2008 the following poem was one of half a dozen I sent to the Poets Against War website at regular intervals. The site was at http://www.poetsagainstthewar.org and it hosted many thousands of poems sent in from all over the world  (sadly it no longer appears to exist).

I seem to recall  this was a poem of mine that they highlighted  as one of their 'poems of the month'.

It's about nuclear war. And about the past and the future.

Masao Okabe's Frottage Sites

Okabe's hand blurs rapidly over a surface
and an image appears on paper;
platform stones leave unique prints
just like hands or fingers.

Today he's fetched a row of stones to show you,
his testament in stone from Old Ujina Station;
hard stones that have survived
from the morning of the dark face of the light.

And he has a map to show you -
with its delta rivers coloured red
and marked with concentric rings to indicate
that the target will be 5 miles wide.

Okabe took his other frottages at City Hall
and Hijiyama Hill,
at the Red Cross Hospital
and the Post Office Bank,
and at many other regular spots
back home
inside those rings.

That is only Okabe's way
to ask
if there's a future
for our past.


Pound on dogs

Here is a supplement to yesterday's post, my story of a wise king (whose name incidentally was Dharmaputra) and his faithful friend - his dog.

Today I look at a couple short poems concerning dogs and humans.  Mr Singh's  Italian translations are here to help me with my Italian studies. But if I need a second excuse it is that Italian is to my ear the most beautiful language for song and poetry and I enjoy reading them out loud even when I don't understand every single word!


When I carefully consider the curious habits of dogs
I am compelled to conclude
That man is the superior animal.

When I consider the curious habits of man
I confess, my friend, I am puzzled.


Quando noto attentamente le curiose abitudini dei cani
Sono costretto a concludere
Che l'uomo e l'animale superiore.

Quando considero le curiose abitudini dell'uomo 
Confesso, amico, che mi sento perplesso. 

The Seeing Eye

The small dogs look at the big dogs;
They observe unwieldy dimensions
And curious imperfections of odour.
Here is a formal male group:
The young men look upon their seniors,
They consider the elderly mind
And observe its inexplicable correlations.

Said Tsin-Tsu:
It is only in small dogs and the young
That we find minute observation.

L'occhio che vede

I cani piccoli guardano i cani grandi;
Osservano le dimensioni ingombranti
E le curiose imperfezioni dell'odore.
Qui c'e un formale gruppo maschile:
I giovani guardano con rispetto i grandi,
Essi considerano la mente anziana
E notano le sue correlazioni inspiegabili.

Disse Tsin-Tsu:
E solo nei piccoli cani e nei giovani
Che troviamo l'osservazione minuta. 

Monday, 7 January 2019

The king and the dog

Soon after he died an Indian king, a kind and good man in life, arrived at the entrance to heaven.
He was accompanied by his dog.

Saint Peter turned over a leaf in his thick book and said: You may enter but regretfully your dog cannot enter.

The king said: My dog loves me. He is my constant companion. Wherever I go he goes.

Saint Peter laid the law down firmly:  Rules are rules. There can be no exceptions.

The king replied: In that case I will stay outside with my dog.  

But then a strange thing happened.

The dog appeared to change its form and become the embodiment of Sri Krishna. The friends then passed safely and unchallenged through the heavenly portals.

- An interesting little story -