Monday, 24 April 2017

Time for coffee and a quote

In the end you will lay your freedom at our feet and say - 'Make us your slaves, but feed us' 

- Fyodor Michailowitsch Dostojewski 

Monday, 17 April 2017

What is Free Speech?

"If freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led like sheep to the slaughter."

- George Washington 


Saturday, 15 April 2017

They're back!

Back from Africa to same the same nesting site in Wales! 

With not a little drama and a couple of worrying adventures Mr Aran and Mrs G produced and reared two offspring in this nest last year. 

The children were ringed and are now in Africa. Hopefully they will return in a year or two when they are mature. 

The above photo is a screen shot I made earlier today. It's from the live video which is to be viewed on the Glaslyn Osprey website. 

As you can see they have carpeted their home with a layer of moss and grass. They look very pleased with themselves. 

Update: 19th April: An egg is born! 

Update: Nothing official on Glaslyn website but I just detected on their live stream Mrs G now has two eggs. 22:20 hrs 22nd April European Central Time. 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

An Easter Egg from JS Bach

Main Scream Media's gone suddenly silent. I wonder why.

Official News from the Front

Syrian Military Command stated that aircraft of the US-led Coalition in Syria attacked and destroyed an ISIS Chemical Weapons Depot near Hatla, resulting in hundreds of deaths. It is claimed that a large number of foreign mercenaries were amongst those killed. Many people died of suffocation. 

This incident, whatever it was or was not, is barely mentioned in the main stream media. 

Presumably it never happened?

The moving finger writes and having having writ moves on . . . 

All's fair in love and war . . . 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Fake News or Propaganda? Call it what you like.

Ein Deutsches Leben

A German Life

Brunhilde Pomsel was 103 years old when she was interviewed for this Blackbox film.

She was Propagandaminister Joseph Goebbels' secretary.

In German controlled areas propaganda was the news and the news was the propaganda. 
The two became one. Indistinguishable. 

Fake news. 

The message I take from the film having watched it yesterday is that the banality of terror should serve as a warning to future and present generations.

Poking the Bear with a Sharp Stick 

I feel a sense of relief that Britain is to exit the neo- European Superstate whose  business, supported by NATO, includes serious provocation of Russia.

It's a tactic that Marine Le Pen refers to as the "Berlin Wall on Wheels".

And yet, still not satisfied, our neo- European Superstate is seeking to form an EU Army controlled by . . . well, I'll not say it . . . you must work that one out for yourselves.

To say that we live in dangerous and uncertain times, is putting it mildly.

We have been warned.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Cheesy Photo

on the use and purpose of knives

pick up a knife 

and cut into your cheese 

now no one is hurt 

In France fighting between Afghans and Kurds armed with knives resulted in many people being wounded. The fighting took place in a refugee camp for 1500 people last night. The camp was set on fire by some of the occupants and completely destroyed. Only a pile of ash remains, according to a BBC report. That people supposedly fleeing from war zones and claiming to seek safety should engage in such bad behaviour in the country giving them shelter is clearly beyond the pale. 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

To see the things

in the present moment 

is to see all that is now,

all that has been since time began, 

and all that shall be unto the world's end;

for all things are of 

one kind and one form

The author of the above words the Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius was killed by a mosquito. 

To gain enlightenment

you must want it 

as much as a man whose head 

is held under water 

wants air 


Sunday, 26 March 2017

Adonis and Pulsatilla

Today's creation, to celebrate the clocks going forward, is a poem of three words: 






Summer Time. I enjoy the lie-in. This morning I was up at seven instead of six. 

Here are more photos taken on the training run by the Neusiedlersee on the last day of winter time. I selected this particular area in order to see the flowers and the birds and to stock-up on my pesticide-free red wine!  

Friday, 24 March 2017

22nd March

Heinrich Maier died on the 22nd March 1945.

Heinrich Maier (1908 -1945)

The 22nd March.

Terrorist attacks.




Heinrich Maier was a priest.

He was a man of peace.

He lived in Austria.

He was a Doctor of Philosophy.

A Doctor of Theology.

And a teacher.

He was a patriot.

He joined the resistance in 1940.

He was betrayed in 1944.

He was arrested by the Gestapo.

He was tried and convicted.

He was guillotined.

But not silenced.  

His last words are written below.


He ascended into Heaven

on 22nd day

of March


"Long live Christ the King. Long live Austria"

Ancient Chinese Wisdom

There exists in the world a permanent state of war.

This is business as usual.

Tried and tested war tactics can be detected when one knows what one is looking for. Some of these are thousands of years old. And many of them are still in use today. Here are some from China.

Killing with a borrowed sword.

Creating something out of nothing.

Sacrificing plum trees to preserve peach trees.

Raising a corpse from the dead.

Removing firewood from under the pot.

Disturbing water to catch fish.

Playing dumb while remaining smart.

The beauty trap.

Exchanging the role of guest for host.

Sowing discord.

Running away.

Attacking Wei to rescue Zhao.

Resting while the enemy exhausts himself.

The empty fort strategy.

Clamouring in the East, then attacking in the West.

Observing the fires on the opposite shore.

Pretending to follow one path and taking another.

Hiding a dagger behind a smile.

Leading the sheep away.

Stomping on the grass to scare snakes.

Luring tigers out of mountains.

Replacing strong beams with rotten timbers.

Pointing at mulberry trees while cursing locusts.

Removing the enemy's ladders.

Decking the trees with false blossoms.

Inflicting self-injury.

Using chain-stratagems.

The above list is by no means complete and continues to evolve.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

"Will it never end?"

The short answer to Heute's question is: It will end when the "Mother of all Parliaments" decides it is time to cross the Rubicon. It may be that with this piece of cowardly terror at the heart of Britain that that time has finally come.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

We've come a long way.

Yesterday morning I was watching one of my Italian TV channels. There are 3 to choose from.

I'm trying to teach myself Italian and when I have time I watch 30 minutes of Italian news before or during breakfast.

After the news the screen immediately went blank. When this happens, as it does now and then, a notice appears to tell me that the next programme, usually a sporting event, is not available outside of Italy.

But this time there was no such notice and I wondered if there was something wrong with my television.

After two or three minutes of staring at a blank screen, I checked some other channels. They were all transmitting normally.

And then I saw it. On the information bar which I could access on the functioning channels: the missing programme was about anti-semitism.

Something clicked.

And the euro-cent dropped.

Anti-semitism is a sensitive subject in some countries. Too sensitive to be broadcast, especially if it's a live transmission with a studio audience. I mean somebody could stand up and say the P word.

In Italy the programme was deemed to be suitable for viewing. And that's OK. After all, it's a topical subject, in these times of mass migration.

Here presumably it was deemed not suitable for viewing. Which is not OK.

The censor's cut?


We're beyond that.

Well beyond it.

We've come a long way.

Of course I may be wrong.

There's always that possibility.

Isn't there?

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Big Red Spot (and the Little Red Spot)

The Big Red Spot 

The massive storm on Jupiter

And the Little Red Spot
On the outstretched wing of the telescope,

Earth's heavenly watchman   Hubble, 
(close observer of the Big Red Spot)

Struck by a micro-

No larger than a grain of sand 

A singular impact crater

Two red spots in space. 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Thinking of Andy Warhol

Here's a piece of wood I recently used as a palette for mixing paint and afterwards for cleaning the brushes.

I habitually block-in with surplus  paint. It''s  a fun thing to do.

By the way, I've seen pictures, so-called masterpieces that look a bit like this being seriously offered for sale in art galleries here in Vienna for thousands of euros.

As Andy Warhol famously said: Art is what you can get away with. 

I'm convinced he was right.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Memorable Sunset

 A weather report in the weekend paper informed me that many millions of tons of sand were on the way north from the Sahara. Winds were blowing the sand into the air and it was being carried along at a height of between 5 kms and 7kms above the ground.

It was likely that Sunday's sunset would be memorable.

Five minutes after I'd taken the above photo the sky was a fiery orange. I was in a car and was unable to take a second photo.

With a computer tool I've coloured the photo and created an image that reminds me of how dramatic it was.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Silence is golden?

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil . . . 

Not to speak is to speak 

Not to act is to act" 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer  (1906 Poland - 1945 Germany)

It appears to be the case that Tony Blair wants to go to Syria as some kind of peacemaker and that he has gone to Washington to get his official pass stamped. 

It won't be easy for Blair to undo the multiple Gordian knots. Perhaps impossible. They may have to be cut. But it's a try. 

Here's one end of the string:  Who was behind the Syrian 2011 protest movement? 

Friday, 3 March 2017

A Present from Nepal

My friend was recently in Nepal. He returned with a present.

It's a cheap and cheerful calendar with printed pages to tear off as time passes.

I enjoy the colours, the bold lines, and the light and shade contrasts. I think it's something I will keep and treasure.

Monday, 27 February 2017

EU Rule 165 exposed. Viva La Vanguardia!

EU Assembly and Rule 165
All of one mind? 

The Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia has published a news item about Rule 165, one of the EU's little known secrets. 

Revealed is an example of Orwellian control and deception that Josef Stalin* would have been proud of.   

I quote here from Free West Media. Please visit the link in the sidebar to read their report. The underlinings are mine. 

Under Rule 165, not made public by the Assembly but first reported by Spain's La Vanguardia unwanted material could be deleted from the audio-visual recording of the proceedings.  

Brussels lawmakers have now been granted special powers to limit live broadcasts of parliamentary debates and to remove video or audio material.

"This undermines the reliability of the Parliament's archives," said Tom Weingaertner, president of the Brussels branch of the International Press Association. 

In other words, if someone makes a controversial speech or an unsuitable comment or raises an objection or waves his country's flag or holds up a protest banner in the EU Parliament (e.g. perhaps to bring attention to an issue such as TTIP or CETA secrecy) the relevant audio-video material can now be legally expunged* from the official record by the the EU's legal department and no EU citizen will ever know what was discussed or said unless there happens to be a reporter present who is prepared to reveal the true facts; in other words an honest journalist prepared to put his career on the line.  

It's not for nothing that there's a George Orwell Square in the centre of Barcelona! 
Viva La Vanguardia! 

The EU Maze 
- easier to get in than out?

Historical reminder: The communists expunged all references to the Hitler-Stalin pact.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

A Baby Colobus and Vladimir the Orangutan

Yesterday I went to the Vienna zoo.  They say it's the oldest zoo in the world.

There was a cold and penetrating breeze and many animals wisely chose to stay indoors.

My favourite animals are the primates. Maybe we are more similar than we care to think.

Four Colobus Monkeys share an enclosure with about twenty Meerkats. Everyone appears to get on well together.

The Meerkats were outside in the morning but when I returned at midday they had gone underground. I waited a while but they didn't return. Perhaps they were sleeping.

The baby Colobus often peers over the edge of the platform or tries to climb higher.

Now and then one of the parents stretches out a protective arm and gently guides the inexperienced youngster away from potential danger.

A lady told me the Orangutang I photographed is called Vladimir.

There are four Orangutans living together. Vladimir has just filled his cup with fresh water from a tap on the wall behind him.

He sips his water slowly, taking care not to spill it.  Then he goes for a walk and a 'think'.

Lastly a look at those cold weather specialists the Humboldt Penguins who are clearly enjoying themselves.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Bookshops are closing - (A short story)

In town just now, I noticed another bookshop has closed.

It was one the English bookshops.

As it happens it's the shop where I found a copy of Submission after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Submission is a prophetic work, as was 1984,  and it's essential reading in today's Europe.

This raises the question: Who reads serious books today?

The sight of a young person reading a novel, even a Dan Brown thriller, on a bus or a tram journey is a rarity.

If a youngster reads anything, and I use the word reads in its loosest context, it will be the garish free sheet from the newspaper bin at the bus station.

From the age of 10 onwards children will hypnotically thumb through the apps and the pictures and the emails on their mobile phones.

If they put the phone away you can almost guarantee it'll be out again in two minutes and the process will continue, perhaps hoping for another 25 facebook friends.

There 's a word for this.


It means frightened of missing out.

A recent survey claims that 50% of secondary school students in the city cannot or will not speak the official language - German - outside of the classroom.

For them it's Turkish, Albanian, Arabic, French, Rumanian, Serbian . . .  and English.

One day all the book shops will be gone.

And one day in the future it's possible that one of today's youngsters will search his computer for Submission or 1984 to download or to read on line or to order a paper copy and get the onscreen reply:

Search negative. Please try another title.

It could happen.


As easy as switching off their plastic money in their cashless society.

Control will be complete.

Bookmark Art no. 3

woven carpet bookmark

  publicity handout

Bookmark Art no. 2

card insert from art materials pack

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

White House Video

President Trump speaks at National Museum of African American History and Culture 

10 minutes of education.  Click here to watch >>> IT'S NOT THE FAKE NEWS

Don't believe everything you think.

I can switch off my brain and accept my daily ration of fake news from the mainstream propaganda media who will dutifully tell me what to think. In fact they will, if I allow them, do all my thinking for me. How convenient.

But I don't.

I'm interested in people, the ordinary and the unordinary people, and I often read their stories, their personal stories; the ones that are not mainstream media stories.

breaking bread

breaking bread 
we listen to their stories 
hear their music

Monday, 20 February 2017

Breathing Bad Air

At a venue in Vienna yesterday evening I couldn't help noticing that a significant percentage of the audience were constantly coughing. So much so, that after the intermission I moved to another part of the auditorium, thinking I'd be safe from any winter germs that were floating around.

And then it occurred to me that the coughing epidemic I was witnessing might not be due to winter colds and chills. I myself have a slight sore throat, I thought. And then I thought this might be due to something some more serious. The air I'm breathing might not be too healthy, I thought.

And so first this morning I logged on to an international air quality monitoring website which covers 300 cities around the world, and I checked the Vienna air quality for myself. What I discovered was alarming and surprising, since I had not seen any warnings in the daily newspaper or heard anything much about air quality on the radio; which tends to give us temperatures, snow conditions, and hours of sunshine etc., and only rarely, very rarely, reports on Vienna's air.

I discovered that in the last 31 days in Vienna we have had:

0 days of FRESH AIR

I then looked at the chart for the last 6 months, that is to say since 19th August 2016. What I found was almost beyond belief!



It goes without saying that I have now downloaded the Air Quality App and that I will be closely monitoring the pollution levels when I venture out for my daily exercise. This morning the pollution at the time of looking, an hour ago, was classed as moderate and runners are today advised to "take it easy".

Since I value my health I shall do so.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

My Alien Promise

I promised to show a special (to me) painting I have made of an alien and here s/he is.

Or maybe it's an it.

I cannot imagine for one second that entities visiting us from other space-time dimensions or other solar systems or galaxies have male and female carbon-based bodies full of bones, muscles and blood.

So I'll call it an it.

That they, the advanced ones, have to reproduce copies of themselves by means of sexual procreation is an absurd idea.

They can live forever. And in several locations simultaenuously. Perhaps.

It's also absurd to think that these advanced entities would be interested in following any muddled and irrational customs they might have noticed set down upon parchment or paper or stones on a smallish planet circling a yellow star on the outer edge of a moderately sized spiral galaxy. A planet rather like ours. Perhaps.

apology for angled photograph
- - this way removes reflections

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Man with the Blue Guitar - Two Paintings

A singular poem I read fairly often is Wallace Stevens' The Man with the Blue Guitar.  

Stevens was inspired by Pablo Picasso's famous painting The Old Guitarist (click to see).

On rereading Stevens' poem recently I was inspired to reach for my paints:

The Man with the Blue Guitar (detail) - gw2017

And now some lines from the beginning and end of the poem:

The Man with the Blue Guitar


The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

They said, "You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar."

. . .


I cannot bring a world quite round,
Although I patch it as I can.

I sing a hero's head, large eye
And bearded bronze, but not a man,

Although I patch him as I can
And reach through him almost to man.

. . .


. . .

                    / The bread
Will be our bread, the stone will be

Our bed and we shall sleep by night.
We shall forget by day, except

The moments when we choose to play
The imagine pine, the imagined jay.

Crépin's Miraculous Images

Miraculous Image no. 151 (detail)
oil on canvas - 1941

Miraculous Image no. 32 (detail)
oil on canvas - 1939 

Fleury-Joseph Crépin (1875-1948) was initiated into the world of spiritualism in 1930. He painted scenes from temples. He was convinced the war would end when he finished painting no. 300.

Crépin completed and signed his 300th miraculous painting on VE Day.  His final painting was to be no. 345.

Several of his paintings are currently to be seen at Museum Gugging,  20kms from Vienna. There's a link in the post below.

This fascinating museum is generally open to the public one day a week - Wednesday from 10:00am to 5:00pm. During the course of the year there are special events, talks, and workshops on many weekends.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Art Brut in Gugging - Part 2

This post may be read as a sequel to my introduction to the Gugging Artists (click to visit Gugging website) which is to be found on two posts in Poet-in-Residence pages:

'Art Brut in Gugging' (Nov 2009)
'Autochthonous Art'.  (Nov 2009)

Inputting the words "Art Brut" in the P-i-R search box brings them up. Or simply click on the desired title.

Car Park Mural (detail)

The following images show detail from three works by Robert Gie (1869 - 1???).

 Gie was not a Gugging artist; but some of his work, normally at home in Switzerland, is currently to be seen at the Gugging Museum near Vienna, Austria.

Three drawings which I viewed yesterday, are placed here for reasons which have to do with the Vincent Van Gogh poem you may now have read, or may be persuaded to read, on the page titled Autochthonous Art at my Poet-in-Residence blog

The poem arrived ready cooked and suffused with emissions. I published it to the memory of Vincent Van Gogh, but today under the influence of Gie's Cosmic Circulation System I am adding here a new name to click: Robert Gie.

Surely Vincent won't mind? 

Three People Suffused with Emissions
pencil and ink on tracing paper ca. 1916

Cosmic Circulation System of Emissions
pencil on cardboard ca. 1916

Distribution of Emissions by Means of a
Central Machine and Measurement Chart

pencil on tracing paper ca. 1916

Distribution of Emissions by Means of a
Central Machine and Measurement Chart

pencil on tracing paper ca. 1916 

May 'The Force' be with You!