We Give

We give
Merrily
Happily
Carelessly.
We give like the rose
Gives scent
And the tree gives shade
Freely
Unconsciously
Generously.

You take.
Take and regurgitate.
Take and claim
As your own.
Profit and analyse
Reduction
And materialise
And say it was yours
All along.

You create
Too.
But you also hoarde
Create barriers of exclusivity.
Accents, breeding, wealth.
Social structures and
Byzantine cultural norms
To prevent
The appropriation on which
You otherwise thrive.

You burn with rage
When you see us playing with
That which has fallen from your bough.

We gave: jazz, blues, soul, reggae, bossa nova, mambo
You created: opera, ballet, classical

Advertisements

Twitter-You-Bore-Me

Just like the internet
In general
Social media fails to fulfil
Its original promise

When we first leapt
Naively onto this bandwagon –
Eyes wide shut to the
Dystopian possibilities –
We found
Love, friendship
Laughs, self-expression.
We found humanity
Evolved.

And we loved it.

Now that potential
Lies wasted on the floor
Ink-stained silk.
We can hardly remember
The joy which brought
Us here in the first place

It’s become a platform as a platform
A springboard for marketers
Politicos, journos
Nomarks and shysters

Yes there are good people too
But their voices are being
Sumberged under tides of
Incessant noise

It’s noise that I don’t need
A two-point-four kilohertz whine
That hurts my head

So that’s it. I’m switching off
Running away
Looking for more organic
And soulful places in which
To play

Me

And when I’m off
No longer treading the boards
In the here and now
You might seek traces,
Remnants of the stuff I was

Don’t look for me
On LinkedIn or behind a desk
You won’t find me in
Bank accounts or
Material assets.
Neither in the
Achievements
I was always
Pleased to collect

Find me instead
In poetry,
In Montag, The New City Scribe.
In Scriberazone.
Find me also
In dance
(There will always be
A little piece of me
Groovin’ eternally
On the bestest of dancefloors)

But most of all
You will find
The biggest
Part of me
In all the people I have
Loved.

They were many
And they were dear

The Easy Skank

Whatever happened to
The easy skank?

Easy skanking
Was a way of life
For some.
An aspiration for others
And a safety net
For us all.

Easy skanking
Was the awkward
Academic
Hidden away in a
Dusty room
Emerging infrequently
(lectures mainly)
Reading
Writing
No pressure
And maybe
Finding out
Something amazing

Easy skanking
Was young people
Refusing to be
Sucked into the
Vortex of corporate work
Discovering
Exploring
Truths of their own
And the world.

The easy skank
Was the dream of the
Burnt-out wage slave
“At least I’ll be able to
Get an easy skank”
He would say.
And dream of ending
His working days
Doing not very much
For a decent week’s pay.

Easy skanking was Bristow.
Easy skanking was punk.

Nowadays
Targets, measurement, policy
And AI seek out the hiding
Places of skanking and
Emotionlessly eradicate them in the name
Of efficiency and profit.

We’re richer for it.
Apparently.

But all I see is poverty of souls.

Who We Are

(for E.J Hart)

Don’t you sometimes wonder
Who we are?

I don’t mean genus
Homo Sapiens
Descended from
Homo Erectus,
The hominid,
And ultimately a
Spontaenous
Utterly serendipitous
Coming together of
Space dust
And light

No.
I mean
Who we
Really
Are.

Like when I look into the eyes
Of a random stranger
Or a baby in a buggy
I feel it is more than just
Space dust recognising its own
Or the basic biological processes
Of my hominid brain

I see something else.
Something which
In our modern science,
Only quantum theorists
Come close to describing

A thing unfathomable;
Infinite
Unbounded by space or time
Where ends are but beginings
And left becomes right

I see a recognition of the same
Infinite soul
In that baby
In that stranger
In me.

And the smile –
Unnecessary,
Utterly altruistic and beautiful,
Is our swimming
For an instant
In eternal rockpools of
Turquoise and light.

Frolicking;
Like the eternal children
Which –
I think –
Is
Who
We
Really
Are

Strange Deliberations of the Fates

If you were to have entered that room you would certainly have been taken aback. In fact, it was much less a room, more a cavernous space. Within, there was an unfathomable number of little beings rushing around, busily engaged in various tasks. They – the beings – were odd-looking. All were naked, although the concept meant less to them as they didn’t have any private parts to hide or expose. Their skin was a pleasant grey-brown colour and their heads were small and oval (wider than they were high). A pair of attractive almond eyes – like a cat’s – were set in each head.

The frenetic activity was taking place on a dizzying variety of horizontal levels in the space. The majority of the creatures were working at floor level, but there were also others who were busy on multiple mezzanine levels. Some were even suspended in mid-air from harnesses, gliding like trapeeze artists between levels and workstations. Lights, dials and screens entirely covered the walls and desks and this equipment was the focus of the beings’ attention. The centrepiece of everything was an enormous table set on the ground floor, upon which was a miniature landscape. The model was covered in thousands (or maybe, millions or billions) of small figures, which reminded me of plastic toy soldiers. A cluster of the alien beings surrounded the table and were engaged in what seemed like heated discussion.

I couldn’t understand their burbling, high-pitched language, however I later learned what they were talking about. Apparently, it was along the lines of the following. Continue reading

The End Of The Groove

dscf1364_24192464495_o

In The Groove. Photo by A. Nowell

James Brown famously recorded a track entitled Doing It To Death. I discovered this tune as a young man in my twenties (via my younger brother who was a huge JB fan). I loved the attitude that this record suggested, and I felt that it reflected my then hedonistic sentiments entirely. In the midst of sweaty, 1980s dancefloors – and while surrounded by my peers who were also creating intricate physical interpretations of a 4/4 rhythm – I vowed that, like Mr Brown, I too would being doing it until death. The it which I was pledging to do was to dance, to dig music, to be funky. How, I thought then, could life be worth living without the appreciation of funky and soulful music. I reasoned that even if septuagenarian dancing became painful and difficult, I was still going to attempt it – just to show the world that I was still alive.

Press the fast forward button. Continue reading