Skies of Tomorrow

I ask about the skies today and wonder on tomorrow

On clouds, and wings, and stranger things, to beg, to steal, to borrow

Perhaps I’m here, but maybe not, I’m sure I do not know

Just as I come, I turn around, and then proceed to go

I float away, and drift on high, in cuddly, snuggly clouds

I hover high, up in the sky, all covered in the shrouds

I look down on the fields and towns on rivers and on streams

I ponder now on what I see and wonder what it means

 

I am indebted,  entirely, to Ward Clever for planting these thoughts in my head, based on his lovely post which you can find at:

https://wardclever.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/skies-of-tomorrow/

 

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Be Free

This could be a mantra for many of us. It’s certainly worthy of wider reading. If you’ve never read any of Owen’s work then this is a good place to start.

No Talent For Certainty

What was no longer has to be –
Be free, my friend, be free
You are not trapped in history –
Be free my friend be free

The world is wide and full of joy,
For man and woman, girl and boy,
And with the powers you employ
You’ll find your destination —
The magic’s here, it’s not a trick,
For buildings come up brick-by-brick,
And slowest times are over quick,
Within your reclamation —

What might be there for you to see?
Be free, my friend, be free
What can you make of destiny?
Be free my friend be free

For life’s a thing that must be made,
If not champagne, then lemonade,
And what’s not owed need not be paid,
So feel no consternation —
Whatever order’s there, we placed,
It’s new horizons should be faced,
And though the past can’t be erased,
It’s now just information

So…

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The Masque of Anarchy

Today is National Poetry Day  in the UK, with a theme of Freedom.

I’d like to offer The Masque of Anarchy  as a token, because Mahatma Ghandi would often quote Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem to vast audiences during the campaign for a free India.

Synopsis

Shelley begins his poem, written on the occasion of the Peterloo massacre, Manchester 1819, with the powerful images of the unjust forms of authority of his time, “God, and King, and Law” – and then imagines the stirrings of a radically new form of social action: “Let a great assembly be, of the fearless, of the free”. The crowd at this gathering is met by armed soldiers, but the protesters do not raise an arm against their assailants:

“Stand ye calm and resolute,

Like a forest close and mute,

With folded arms and looks which are

Weapons of unvanquished war.

 

And if then the tyrants dare,

Let them ride among you there;

Slash, and stab, and maim and hew;

What they like, that let them do.

 

With folded arms and steady eyes,

And little fear, and less surprise,

Look upon them as they slay,

Till their rage has died away:

 

Then they will return with shame,

To the place from which they came,

And the blood thus shed will speak

In hot blushes on their cheek:

 

Rise, like lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number!

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you:

Ye are many—they are few!”

The last stanza has been widely used by Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the UK Labour Party, most notably to the 120,000 audience at the Glastonbury Festival this year.

 

information thanks to Wikipedia

A bent lady, eclipsed by wet ducks?

There was a young lady from Gwent

who found that she came as she went.

She didn’t know why,

that as she passed by,

her back was incredibly bent.

 

She went to the doctors to ask.

“Lost cause” he said, “Go buy a cask.

Drink plenty of sherry

until you are merry,

sit back in the sun and just bask.”

 

She died and was buried at noon.

Some said it was awfully soon.

Some others thought “Why,

when I look at the sky,

can I see both the sun and the moon?”

 

Of course, it is perfectly plain

that we often see ducks in the rain,

and the lady from Gwent,

who came as she went,

was horribly bent and insane!

Account overdrawn

If only I could see an end,
and know what time there is to spend,
I may, perhaps, withdraw some days
with no more thought of he who pays.
 
And then when I had no days left,
with those remaining so bereft,
some weeping, sad, and quite forlorn,
I’d tarry there where I was born.
 
I’d hold your hand, and you would seek
the source of breath upon your cheek,
and then I’d whisper in your ear.
You’d know my presence, feel me near.
 
But, sadly, my account was bare.
There were no extra days to share!
And no withdrawal ever made.
The bank was empty, so I paid!

To Not-Feel

How many times have you wished “just to not feel” something? More than a few I would guess. Owen’s poem expresses this so well.

No Talent For Certainty

And oh, the desire to not-feel, just
to not feel —
This is a feeling that I know well,
I know it very well.

This wasn’t the way it’s supposed to be:
This shadow that lingers of what was me,
Existing in dreams that have flown away,
Chased out by flare that is
Each and every
Day —

And, oh, the desire to not-feel, just
to not feel —
To break off the edge of the rage
That I can’t quell.

But maybe in music, or words of grace,
By the friend-surprised look, or the upturned face,
I can lighten the load of another, though
My own weighs me down
Every where
I go —

An, oh, the desire to not-feel, just
to not feel —
To live in a world where the hatchet
Never fell.

The dreams in my head are a world apart,
The words you see now…

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Reminders for Myself

Sage advice from Owen here. If these could be instilled in all, instead of 25% of the current curriculum, we may begin to climb out of the doldrums!

No Talent For Certainty

Never excuse one evil by pointing to another evil

When recounting your grievances, remember: people lose patience with reruns

You aren’t a failure just because someone said you were —
you aren’t a success by that measure, either

Never try to explain some small random thing
by substituting an even larger, more random thing

Respect people for the human value they provide; i.e.,
show a lot more respect to farmers

Better yet, respect people, period

Fight the human tendency to believe
that if you don’t know what someone does
they must not do anything

Imagination breeds expectation, which yields disappointment;
imagination also breeds empathy, which allows us to help each other through disappointment —
so, do that

Social reinforcement doesn’t make something right or wrong,
it just makes it feel that way

People are starving for any bits of respect or affection
even though we can all give them away…

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