It is four o’clock in the morning and I am awake.

It’s not usual for me to wake in the middle of the night. Maybe I do this now because I know you will be awake too.

The first thing on my mind when I woke, was you, and I want…… no I need to write.

I know how much you love your city, it must be so hard not to be able to walk the lively streets of Damascus at night and to be with family and friends. To be locked in a prison for ‘queue jumping,’ the ‘crime’ of seeking asylum and a chance to be who you know you can be.

About ten years ago, when I had a small window of time from my work, I wrote things. Small crazy thoughts, beginnings of stories about different people I had met and about myself.

I wrote a poem.

I wrote about a caged bird.

Not just any bird, but a magnificent bird, beautifully coloured and special. The kind of bird greedy men traffic, quietly jealous of the wonder shown to such an innocent creature. The kind men without hearts, catch, capture, imprison and transport to countries, alien and harsh – for cash.

The birds notice nothing familiar in these spaces and spend the rest of their lives imprisoned behind wire so others can admire their magnificence. So people can remind themselves of man’s capacity for superiority over those less inclined to impose their will onto others.

To give their own stupid lives the colour and life they themselves don’t have.

The birds often get ill and sometimes die.

This is not your fate.

These same birds are the ones we spoke of that visit my garden, fly free and visit for flower nectar. They stay a while and then go where their sonar’s take them. To lands they remember with warmer climes when the air here becomes too cool.

Here is my poem…….


Rainbow Lorikeet http://www.birdcare.com.au/rainbow_lorikeet.htm

Behind the wire
Live plumes
Service an insatiable thirst to break your colour drought
They sit, caged in a bland backdrop,
Stark contrast to their home
A real life
Beyond the wire.

Outside the wire
Inadequate limbs
Crave metamorphosis, fantasise freedoms flight
A life, surrounded by dull duplex
Imprisoned images of boredom’s brutality
Sit dispossessed
Behind their wire


Palestinian Music for now

From Vox site with some information that I would dispute – namely that “Officially, there is no internationally recognized line between Israel and Palestine; the borders are considered to be disputed, and have been for decades” VOX there is a border it depends to which official you are referring. In the unanimously supported UN Resolution 242 of 22 Nov 1967 “emphasising the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war..”

states in part and accordance with Article 2 of the Charter of the UN:

1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

 Above, from the wealth of Palestinian hip-hop is the group DAM, whose name is both an acronym for Da Arabian MCs and the Arabic verb for “to last forever.” The group has been around since the late 1990s and are from the Israeli city of Lod, Israeli citizens who are part of the country’s Arab minority. The Arab Israeli experience, typically one of solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and a sense that Arab-Israelis are far from equal in the Jewish state, comes through in their music, which is highly political and deals with themes of disenfranchisement and dispossession in the great tradition of American hip-hop.

Christiane Amanpour interviewed DAM about their music last year. Above is their song “I Don’t Have Freedom,” full English lyrics of which are here, from their 2007 album Dedication. Sample line: “We’ve been like this more than 50 years / Living as prisoners behind the bars of paragraphs /Of agreements that change nothing.”

and this video via RAP NEWS

Published on Apr 24, 2014

“RAP NEWS 24: ISRAEL & PALESTINE [S02:E04]. Decades of failed peace talks have led nowhere; but do not lose hope just yet. Join Robert Foster as he attempts to host the first ever Middle East Peace Raps, using rhyme and reason to bring together Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, and a representative of Hamas. The picture would not be complete however, without a discussion of “America’s last taboo” (as Edward Said once referred to it): the USA’s role as Israel’s best – and only – buddy in the world (Ok, together with Australia). Featuring special cameos from prominent American Jewish scholar, Dr. Norman Finkelstein, and Palestinian rap legends, DAM, this is an episode for the ages. Join us as we bravely (or perhaps stupidly) take on one of the most bitter, divisive and controversial conflicts of our times: Israel & Palestine.

Written & created by Giordano Nanni & Hugo Farrant in a suburban backyard home studio in Melbourne, Australia, on Wurundjeri Land.”

More to come under my Music tag


It is an inspiring few minutes at any time to watch a Haka being performed.

The recent New Zealand basketball team version when they played the USA is priceless. I am always inspired by the sound, vision and passion of a haka, usually I see it against Australia and we’re very used to our south Pacific bro’s ‘dance’ but this one has that extra of coming unexpected. The looks on the USA players say so much, they seem intrigued and in a bewildered wonderment at the chant.

Even though the NZ team lost to USA at this point the USA appeared the real loser.

The Afro-American team members will have mostly lost any African or even Caribbean cultural heritage they have in their backgrounds, subsumed by the modern ‘culture’ of the US.

Even though culturally speaking for the Maori that haka is relatively new, the tribal meaning and connection remains in the performance. The fact that as a nation New Zealand has a treaty (Waitangi) with its indigenous population ensures a respect that garners collaborative approaches in many areas of New Zealand policy. Something sadly also missing in Australian history (see last  link below for Yothu Yindi Video ‘Treaty’)

The US is not united and even though Team USA won the game with panache and basketball superiority, my feelings went out particularly to the Afro-American team members who, for a brief moment seemed to recognise something from their past that they had lost.

Ka mate Ka mate

Ka mate Ka mate                                       It is death It is death
Ka ora Ka ora                                             It is life It is life
Ka mate Ka mate                                       It is death It is death
Ka ora Ka ora                                             It is life It is life
Tenei Te Tangata Puhuruhuru               This is the hairy man
Nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra             Caused the sun to shine again for me
Upane Upane                                            Up the ladder Up the ladder
Upane Kaupane                                        Up to the top
Whiti te ra                                                  The sun shines! 

Maori Lyrics translated to English see site here  

and from the All Blacks Rugby website some brief background to the Ka Mate chant (see here ) a section appears below.


The famous haka; Ka Mate Ka Mate, was composed by Ngati Toa Chieftain Te Rauparaha around 1820, with the story of its composition being well known within the oral histories of Ngati Toa and Ngati Tuwharetoa, the two iwi (tribes) most associated with its origins.

During a time of conflict Te Rauparaha was being pursued by warriors of a rival iwi, and was hidden by Te Wharerangi of Tuwharetoa in a kumara (native sweet potato) pit, with Te Wharerangi’s wife Te Rangikoaea being directed to sit on top. Guided by their Tohunga (scholar/priest) the warriors searched for Te Rauparaha and as they drew near he muttered “Ka Mate Ka Mate” (It is death, it is death).

Concealed from the Tohunga by the spiritual powers of both food and the woman above, Te Rauparaha was not discovered, and as the searchers passed overhead he muttered “Ka ora Ka ora” (It is life, it is life). When the warriors finally departed Te Rauparaha was able to climb up out of the kumara pit chanting “Tenei te tangata puhuruhuru nana nei i tiki mai whaka whiti te ra”. There are many interpretations of these words and “tangata puhuruhuru” may be a reference to the hairy man (Te Wharerangi), but Ngati Toa oral tradition holds that Te Rauparaha was giving credit to the spiritual power of Te Rangikoaea as he ascended (Upane, Kaupane) from the darkness of the pit into the light of the sun (Whiti te ra! Hi!)

Then there’s the All Blacks additional Haka, ‘Kapa O Pango’ translated simply as ‘team in black’.

Rather than replace the traditional haka, Ka Mate, Kapa O Pango sits alongside it as a new addition to the All Blacks’ tradition. Kapa O Pango is performed from time to time at the team’s discretion………….. A year in the making, Kapa O Pango was written for the team by Derek Lardelli, an expert in tikanga Maori (Maori culture and customs) of the Ngati Porou iwi. Its words and actions celebrate the land of New Zealand, the silver fern and its warriors in black.

Kapa O Panngo                                      Let me go back to my first gasp of breath
kia whakata hoki au i ahau                  Let my life force return to the earth
hi aue, hi                                                                        

ko aotearoa e ngunguru nei                   It is New Zealand that thunders now
au! au! aue ha!                                           And it is my time! It is my moment!
ko Kapa O e ngunguru nei                      The passion ignites! This defines us as the All Blacks
au! au! aue ha!                                           And it is my time! It is my moment!  
i ahaha                                                        The anticipation explodes!
ka tu te ihiihi                                               Feel the power              
ka tu te wanawana                                     Our dominance rises                   
ki runga i te rangi e tu iho nei, tu iho nei Our supremacy emerges To be placed on high
ponga ra!                                                       Silver fern!
Kapa O Pango!                                             All Blacks!
ponga ra!                                                      Silver fern!               
Kapa O Pango!                                             All Blacks!
aue hi!                                                            aue hi!

RESPECT! to New Zealand for the Treaty


Captcha logo

Captcha logo

“Captcha verification failed you may not be human, please try again”


 Well thank-you for confirming.

My thoughts exactly!

I may not be human.

But your style suggests you have some doubt

A good thing some say, some humans that is.


But today


like you

am seeking certainty.

I ask you Captcha

if not, then what?


perhaps you could help me?

if not human

what am I?

and what dreadful mistake brought me here?


I’m siding with you


I may not be

but is that all you can offer me?

‘Please try again’

Try what Captcha?

To be human?

No thanks.

I’d rather put my head in a bucket of H2O and hyperventilate!


…..but I don’t 

I try again

and lose.

Fuck it, I must be human


HOT AIR (my own poetry 25.08.2014)

Hot air,

No justice here.

Invaders think, while hot air blows from their bodily orifices,

Corporate orifices

and front yard cursed reverse vac blowers,

Think how good their lives would be,

if debt wasn’t theirs,

their wives weren’t theirs,

and the greasy pole to more, slid up not down.

Cursed gravity

If leaves didn’t drop in the wind?


Meanwhile in the falling darkness…..

The world of the night people, invaded, stolen, lost

Children’s absent parents float in volatile substances

Minds emptied of culture, responsibility and hope,

Poisoned bodies,

Damp the hunger, feed the pain….. of emptiness and loss.

Far from the fallen people, leaf blowers

Cut limbs from trees “In case they fall”,

The cyclone safety pack ‘tough’ pioneers.

Rich in a life.

and far from the fallen people……………………

The hot air still blows.




Apologies if I have offended but it was a perfect picture to accompany my latest ‘poet piece’ . Many thanks to filmmaker Anthony Cooney {“Leaf Blower  Massacre” and “Leaf Blower Massacre 2″}.  


“The first film was released as a short subject last year, but received such enthusiasm from the independent horror community that Cooney and co-writers Josh Stephenson and Michael Wade Johnson decided to move forward with a full-length production.”


Scots wa hae…….. an Aussie apology, a photo opportunity, an ode and a funny man.

A friend posted the article from http://www.pedestrian.tv see original  here.

Its so fantastic I’ve added the two main photos they used below…………….

The first,  using our humorous Australian comedic answer to British pomposity and Australian crassness, Sir Les Paterson in his guise as the Australian High Commissioner in London…

Sir Les apologises for an Abbott

Sir Les apologises for an Abbott


Followed by a classic shot from the movie I mentioned in one of yesterday’s posts on this blog -Hollywoods Mel Gibson movie, Braveheart.

The irreverence is priceless.

The Scots show the English their best side (A classic scene from the Mel Gibson movie -Braveheart depicting  the Scots opinion of the English.

The Scots show the English their best side (A classic scene from the Mel Gibson movie -Braveheart depicting the Scots opinion of the English.

And of course, feeling poetic I have added a little gem from myself………………..


ODE TO TOE KNEE A  BUTT (apologies to the Scots and Robbie Burns)

Would it that yer heed wa’ screwed

enough ta keep yer gub shut 1.

about the things ya dinna ken

across the werld in our wee glen

I’d not gi’ you the time o’ day

cos I dinnie ken ya 2,


But cos  ye opened up yer gub

and belched a pile of boak 3.

me an’ the lads we took

a selfie fer yer folk

yer bum is out the windae 4.

yer words they made us choke

Awa’ an bile yer heid ye shite 5.

and think o’ us


………………………………………if ye sleep at night.

SEDWITH 20.08.2014


To help those who might need help with some translation:

1. your mouth shut

2. Because I don’t know you

3. burped a lot of vomit

4. You’re talking rubbish

5. go and boil your head you shit

Lucky Abbott’s not a golfer………………………RIP Robin Williams and special thanks for this laugh


Thanks to: My friend Angela for the FB post that inspired this blogpost

                    Pedestrian TV for the original foundation post

                    Sir Les Patterson – AKA Barry Humphries

                    Mel Gibson and a cast of ‘lads’ from Braveheart

                    Robbie Burns – Scotland’s favourite Poet (for my albeit crude poetic inspiration)

                    Robin Williams (RIP)- for his brilliant humour

                    Scotland – and good luck to the YES team

OVER WAR – A poem

I have been plagued

and the plagued write poetry ……fast poetry


I’m over war, and its trappings
I’ve never even been in one
Well, not in this life
That makes me lucky
But I’m so over war

Over my head the steel birds
Practice games of death
‘Pitch Black’ Operations
Pitch Black?
My brain explodes

Overhead the F’s this and that
16’s, 18’s whatever, swoop and scream
Real kites and eagles soar less high
Fearing the steel winged ones above
They circle less

We’re working with the US
Singapore, Emirates, Malaysia, Thailand
I imagine them over Gaza, over Donetsk
over people, same planes, clinical strikes
Dead people, pitch black

I cant understand the popular call
What’s wrong with you?
…….They ask what’s wrong with me?
I ask what’s wrong with us
That we collectively cry

Not tears
But cry out
Whats wrong with you?
Green, hippy, jihadi loving, commie, weirdo!
Those steel birds of war, they make us feel safe.

(People scare me more than the steel birds)


Scotland’s Legends – Robert the Bruce, a spider and the BBC (with poem)

Always one for a story, especially ancient myth or legend. But when something happens today that links to legend, I can’t resist.

Hollywood and that scary man Mel Gibson- a Palestinian hero,  Aussie embarrassment, actor of sorts and director who punished us with scenes of a bloke called Jesus’ torturous death, also gave us William Wallace with a Blue face yelling at the English “You can take away our lives but you can never take away our Freedom!’. The greater hero for Scotland was however Robert the Bruce, inaccurately portrayed in ‘Braveheart’ the movie as betraying Wallace. But Hollywood tends to re-write history. Even the name Brave Heart is believed to have been given to Robert the Bruce and not to William Wallace. The name “Brave Heart” actually refers to Robert the Bruce and not William Wallace. After his death, Robert’s heart was literally carried into battle, giving birth to the nickname. see here

For a Scottish history site  discussion titled ‘Braveheart- Fact or Fiction’ see here

Bruce went into hiding after being crowned King of Scotland in 1306 when the English invaded. One of his many places of hiding was a cave (or some say a ‘lonely hut, no matter, it was cold and lonely) in South West Scotland. He was obviously feeling like a refugee from his own land, hungry and despondent. In the cave he watched a spider spin its web it struggled to throw a thread across the cave roof and for anyone who has watched these amazing creatures it was diligent. Six times it tried and failed. Then on the seventh swing – success. In the story, the message Robert the Bruce took was to never give up his struggle to free Scotland from the English. And thus the legend lives on………….There are a number of caves in South West Scotland that claim to be the one where Bruce watched the spider. No one is certain which is the authentic cave or even if the incident with the spider ever really happened. See here

Eventually as history confirms that seriously outnumbered he gloriously beat the English army at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.  A great site for the History of Bruce is the BBC Scottish history site here

So what’s recently happened to link to legend?



I think this is the new myth attachment to ‘Robert the Bruce and the spider’.  Its symbolic message (cleverly through the BBC) is that Scotland will have its day again…………FREEDOM!


And for all those mad poet bloggers who have so sweetly followed my blog, a wee bit of Scots poetry to warm the soul. See original article here

BRUCE AND THE SPIDER by: Bernard Barton (1784-1849)

For Scotland’s and for freedom’s right
The Bruce his part has played;–
In five successive fields of fight
Been conquered and dismayed:
Once more against the English host
His band he led, and once more lost
The meed for which he fought;
And now from battle, faint and worn,
The homeless fugitive, forlorn,
A hut’s lone shelter sought.

And cheerless was that resting-place
For him who claimed a throne;–
His canopy, devoid of grace,
The rude, rough beams alone;
The heather couch his only bed–
Yet well I ween had slumber fled
From couch of eider down!
Through darksome night till dawn of day,
Absorbed in wakeful thought he lay
Of Scotland and her crown.

The sun rose brightly, and its gleam
Fell on that hapless bed,
And tinged with light each shapeless beam
Which roofed the lowly shed;
When, looking up with wistful eye,
The Bruce beheld a spider try
His filmy thread to fling
From beam to beam of that rude cot–
And well the insect’s toilsome lot
Taught Scotland’s future king.

Six times the gossamery thread
The wary spider threw;–
In vain the filmy line was sped,
For powerless or untrue
Each aim appeared, and back recoiled
The patient insect, six times foiled,
And yet unconquered still;
And soon the Bruce, with eager eye,
Saw him prepare once more to try
His courage, strength, and skill.

One effort more, his seventh and last!–
The hero hailed the sign!–
And on the wished-for beam hung fast
That slender silken line!
Slight as it was, his spirit caught
The more than omen; for his thought
The lesson well could trace,
Which even “he who runs may read,”
That Perseverance gains its meed,
And Patience wins the race.

“Bruce and the Spider” is reprinted from Historic Ballads and Poems. Ed. Rupert S. Holland. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Co., 1912.

Read more at http://www.poetry-archive.com/b/bruce_and_the_spider.html#1GTBv2TBlHVUdkWZ.99

‘RUNNING ORDERS’ Lena Khalaf Tuffaha’s Powerfully Moving (please excuse that pun) Gaza Poem

My thanks to Jonathan Cook for sharing this moving piece………..

Running Orders by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
Just run.
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
to nowhere.
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.

– See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2014-08-02/poem-from-gaza-you-have-58-seconds-to-run/#sthash.R93eInrN.dpuf