Daily Archives: August 21, 2018

Litter

Dear Mr McDonald,
What is your measure of success
in this besmirched world?
Do you keep an inventory
of the acres of Mcflurry cups
laying limp on motorway verges,
crushed by passing cars and trucks,
shunted along pavements by indifferent kids,
do you take note of the uneaten meat
that lurks beneath waste paper,
gathering in fences and shrubberies,
wilting in parks, gardens and alleyways,
littering our once verdant lanes?

Dear Mr McDonald
and all who follow in your wake,
Do you keep records –
records of shame,
or does your corporate heart
soar with infamous pride
at the sight of your name?

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

3 Day Lyric Challenge: Day 2

A three-day lyrical challenge

The Rules:

1 .Thank the person who nominated you.
2 .Share one of your favourite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
3 .Nominate three other bloggers each day. (or one, one is probably enough)

Day 2: I’m nominating Raili

Thank you for nominating me for this challenge, Ivor. You’ve added a fresh dimension to my blog.

Today I’m using the challenge to focus on homelessness, which is on the increase in the UK as in many other parts of the world. Our heartless government is turning the screws, introducing policies that result in some of the most vulnerable people being thrown onto the streets. We have become a miserable nation. Poverty, desperation and suicide are all on alarming increase.

I’ve chosen Ralph McTell’s classic song Streets of London, which was what originally alerted me to the reality of life on the streets. It has been covered numerous times, and is to homelessness what Barry Mcguire’s song, The Eve of Destruction, is to war.

This is my favourite video of Ralph singing this, since it features him over the years. demonstrating how his voice has become richer with maturity. It includes a short interview near the end.

Have you seen the old man
In the closed-down market
Kicking up the paper,
With his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride
Hand held loosely at his side
Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine.
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind

Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?
She’s no time for talking,
She just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home in two carrier bags.

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine.
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind

In the all night cafe
At a quarter past eleven,
Same old man sitting there on his own
Looking at the world
Over the rim of his tea-cup,
Each tea lasts an hour
Then he wanders home alone

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
Don’t say for you that the sun don’t shine.
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind

Have you seen the old man
Outside the Seaman’s Mission
Memory fading with the medal ribbons that he wears
In our winter city,
The rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn’t care

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine.
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind

<<@

 

 

Against the Next War

I’m stunned. This is an absolutely brilliant poem. Paul Sunstone says it’s “possibly the very best anti-war poem I’ve ever read.” Possibly? POSSIBLY? Either he is a fool, or he’s too ignorant to be able to spell the word ‘undeniably’. Both, I suspect. The poem was written – and spoken – by Sarah at Fresh hell.

Fresh Hell

In response to CafePhilos’s call to make peace viral. A noble effort, and worth a try. Please give his post a read.

Trying to do a slam-style poem. I really hope the audio turned out OK on this. Apologies if it’s too quiet, I’m still figuring out how to make videos.


If I imagine them
Taking my brother away to war

I shatter.

I don’t want to lose anyone.
Especially not to something as stupid
As war.

Maybe you like the idea of war
Because you’ve confused real life with action movies.
Maybe you hate another group of people for what they have done.
I can’t convince you to forgive another’s atrocities
That is something you must grow into on your own.
But I can beg you this:

When dogs of war bark
Don’t feed them.
You will be told it is the honorable thing
To die for your…

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