I stare with intent at the photograph.
In it I am stood against a mighty hill.
A child all alone.
But I cant be
Because the photographer is there.
Except I don’t know them,
I don’t know what happened to them.
And wonder if they know what
Became of me.
I am alone.
Except I am not.
There is a photographer
And there is hope.
I am not a fan of nation states but I understand their history and position in the world. After all it has been some time since we have been without them. There are some aspects of them I have never come to terms with. One of these is particular to England. Many people in the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) express national pride, except the English. We do not celebrate our nation in case such feelings are construed as xenophobic. I’ve often wondered why this is. After all if one accepts nation states as necessary then surely celebrating membership of them should not be a negative stance. I suspect the hijacking of the Union Jack by the British National Party offers an explanation. Their adoption of the flag was so complete and absolute that even now claiming any relationship with it is interpreted as implicit support for this xenophobic and racist party. The British public do themselves no favors but one is to remember only 52% voted for Brexit and this country has a long and proud history of welcoming strangers.
There has always been a inevitable dualism when any policy of immigration is considered. In order to offer safe haven then that haven must have rules of admittance, otherwise the hunters will arrive with the hunted. Ultimately then it is a balance between law and genuine empathy which has to be addressed and considered in rational and thoughtful light. The media frenzy which is currently blowing a gale is a source of great harm. It might be said they do more for the principles of the BNP than any flag
Brexit. Just the word annoys me. Most readers of this blog are American and probably don’t share an understanding of the embarrassment and shame I have, firstly for imperialism, and now for Brexit. Currently the British press are bemoaning the proposed 50billion pound exit bill. You’ve got to be kidding. That’s just the start. Imagine how much it’s going to cost to replicate over thirty years of shared legislation, procedures and policy.
And that’s before granting its not about money. It’s not even about the loci of power. Its about a race of mixed blood island folk who strangely believe that they can walk into the future by insulting every other race in Europe and holding up a placard that reads ‘we are better than thou. ‘ They told me In school that people repeated the mistakes of the past. I know what that means now.
It’s well established that the 1970s/80s fictional TV detective Columbo employed Socratic Irony to catch his man. That is he pretended to know little, to the point of appearing a bumbling fool, so his opponent would invariably trip themselves up. Sunday afternoon drama at its best.
I have a few favourite episodes, from the hopeful humility of Donald Pleasance in ‘Any old port in a storm’ to the youthful arrogance of teenage murderers when ‘Columbo goes to college.’ But Philosophy lecturers can no longer hold the bungling, old raincoat wearing, eccentric detective up as an example of Socratic Inquiry, simply because young students have never heard of him. So who can be turned to.
Monk is an unassuming guy, who puts many a criminal at there ease, because they think him a fool.
But sadly it’s the turn of Monk to be in retirement, found on YouTube channels and Amazon back catalogues.
Any one else out there? Any ideas?
Today marks the beginning.
In the past I have completed four novels, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. It is a lonely occupation, especially if the work is not commissioned but simply ‘taking a chance’, fuelled by your own self belief. Over the four decades I’ve spent on this planet I’ve had several short works published and maybe a handful of poems. Nothing to shout about. Yet it’s always something I come back too. I think I have a talent with words. But I want to avoid being Uriah Heap, so enough of that.
Today I want to start a new novel.
How do I go about that? I know from experience this is the best bit, thinking about it. Nothing is limited by plot or character. There is no ‘He wouldn’t do that’ or ;that doesn’t make sense.’ There is only infinite possibility and how good is that.
Then, as you start laying the foundation, limits appear. No longer is my new novel about anything, it’s about a mystery in ancient Egypt. Does that sound dull? You’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime I’m proof reading some old work and sending it Amazon bound. As a wise man said to me ‘ Why not? ‘ So look out for it. It won’t break the bank. I’m not about profit. (Now there’s an essay on that somewhere. )But it will give me a kick to have an audience and you might even like it.
￼Among the grey church buildings
I hear the hymns of old.
They give me memories
Of what once was told.
They whisper of a time of black and white
When there were only truth and lies
there were those who broke the laws
there were Others to despise.
But now the church bells clamour
And nothing is as clear.
Instead grey misty moments
When laughter equals fear
And there is no truth, no lies
just omnipresent tears.