Wings

If I had the wings of a bird,

I’d fly to you.

 

Unrestricted,

Through the atmosphere,

The only limit, the stratosphere.

I can fly here, here and here,

Without fear.
 

Flying over international borders,

Defying the orders

of men.

Over the narrow Channel,

From Berlin to Tallin,

Swooping over continents,

Baking deserts.

 

Over mountains,

From Jerusalem to Bethlehem,

Over concrete barriers,

Without walls,

This earth just one great ball.
 

I could make my Home anywhere,

Anywhere, anywhere

Passports of any colour irrelevant,

Visas irrelevant,

Right of abode,

Right of return,

Permanent.

 
Travel free as free could ever be.

If I had the wings of a bird,

I’d fly to you,

Wherever you may be.

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It’s ok

A poem about mental health, it’s ok not to be ok and to speak help.

It’s ok
It’s ok to feel so down,

Where nothing seems to lift you up,

Where everything you do is an utter balls up.

To rant off and off about god knows what.

It’s ok to cry,

To scream with such emotion,

Like a hysterical eruption

It shows passion.

Its ok to ask for help,

To ask, what can I do,

What can I do,

To ask you, you and you,

It’s ok to lay everything out,

bare all those demons,

 emotions, fears,

 doubts, self loathing,

Lack of hoping.

It’s ok 

to throw off the mask and say,

I’m not ok.

Isola nation 

I

One rocky isle in the open sea,

A safe haven for people who flee,

The desperate, hungry, refugees.

Part of a whole greater than itself.

Before the dark times came.

When there’s a loss in prosperity,

There can be a crisis of identity.

Demagogues on the prowl,

Whipping up,

Finding someone to blame.

‘Let’s get back control today, 

Let’s go it alone, 

Let’s do it our way’.

So to the ballot box they descended,

Consensus they ended,

And yes, they went their own way,

Banners flying for Independence Day.

Isola nation,

Newly born,

Viewed outsiders with scorn.

II

Old agreements null and void,

So new arrangements need to be made,

Going far and wide to sell our wares,

For any price, 

To anyone there.

Meanwhile back on the Isle,

Poisonous ideas were on the rise,

Who fits in and who doesn’t not,

‘Be gone, 

be gone, 

be gone with them,

Let’s make Isola great again.’

III

Brain drain followed,

For them not the cold of this barren rock,

One by one they left, they left,

Leaving very little, little left.

They went their own way, they did of course,

But no nation is truly an island.

Much diminished this cruel island became,

For shame, 

Isola Nation,

The clue was in the name.

Ramble

Ramble,Ramble,

Over words I sometimes stumble,

Talking about anything, nothing,

Sometimes I just talk for the sake of it.

A hilarious memory remembered,

In conversation resurrected,

Politics debated.

For those minutes you are in my power,

While I ramble,

Ramble,

hoping to connect,

And stay connected to you,

I ramble,

ramble

As I don’t want the silence of being alone.

The Garden

Long ago there was a garden,

 where flowers, trees 

and plants grew row on row,

Watered by 4 rivers that gently flow.

It was left to two brothers,

It was a bequest, 

a promise, 

with a request to share.
The brothers went forth and multiplied, 

raised a nation of offspring with their wives, 

but conflict arose from their stubborn pride, 

for the garden they swore to share.   
Rather than commit fratricide,

 Sadiq took his family to a wilderness exile far from there,

beyond the garden that was promised, 

the bequest

 with the request to share.
From the fruits of the land, 

Yoni’s children thrived,

but were watched by many jealous eyes, 

Strangers invaded 

and forced his children from their land, 

whilst they watched their tents burn, 

they vowed one day to return,

to the garden, the bequest 

with a request to share.
The children of Sadiq came back home,

To a land left desolate and alone,

Trees were replanted,

Seeds were resown,

The garden, which had seen such strife,

Slowly began to return to life.
For centuries the children of Yoni continued to roam,

Showed nothing but hostility,

Spared no pity,

But they never forgot their garden home,

The bequest, with a request to share.
They were butchered, they suffered,

Such malice was shown,

So from across the sea 

they fled back home,

To the garden promised, 

The bequest, with the request to share.

But the children of Sadiq and Yoni quarrelled,

Anger boiled from words to deeds,

To conflict over their claim,

The promised land in blood 

made profane.
So this is our story, General,

We both wanted a piece of paradise,

But we have paid a bloody price,

How much blood and tears have been shed,

Since hatred reared its ugly head?

Put down your gun, take my olive branch,

Let us forgive,

Let us learn to live in peace,

In this garden that was promised to us both,

The bequest, with a request,

to share.

The ballad of the small island

Listen! I tell the tale of the small island 

Who voted to turn away from the world. 

Well, the result was close, 

split nearly down the middle. 

It was the idea of identity.

Who’s in or out, 

who belongs, who doesn’t, 

who surly border guards should stop 

or allow to proceed. 

A thorny issue that stung,

drew blood.

It caused leaders to fall from their thrones, 

Deposition,

it sent shockwaves not just across a stunned nation, 

continent but the planet.

However, the staggering thing was that the politicians, 

those latter day monks 

that inhabited those Whitehall cells, 

seemed to have no plan.

Going for the exit may have meant 

going for the exit, 

but what about what happened next,

when you step over the doorstep?

The ship boarded tentatively,

 but what course should we lay Captain? 

Months have gone by, without detail, 

no real policy given, 

no direction.

Do we build a wall to keep out?

Do we negotiate new trade deals without the added clout 

of 27 brothers and sisters on our corner? 

All the while it’s far from quiet in the country.

Emotions were stirred like embers, 

sparking a conflagration.

Abuse given on buses.

‘Go home’ I’ve heard them shout, 

along with other obscenities,

Rampant bigotry 

spreading like poison in the vacuum.

Whilst silence, inaction 

Indecision reigns on that small island that voted to turn away.

To look inward instead of outward.

Oh small little island, how small you have become.

The heretic – a short story

The heretic is dead. That enemy of Akhetaten, the so called son of the Sun is no more. Whilst there was no wild cheering as such, his death wasn’t greeted in Thebes with universal mounting either. 

 The last two decades hadn’t been kind to the city noted by the poets as ‘Hundred Gated Thebes’. Once the sparkling jewel of the two lands and beyond,it’s hallowed streets once filled with the sounds of festivals now filled with the cries of starving children. It’s once great shrines now overgrown with weeds.

Merit was walking the hot dusty Theban streets, a man on a mission.

His mission was to find the hallowed statue of Amun Ra. Venerated for centuries in the great sanctuary of Karnak, once paraded to popular acclaim in his golden barque shrine, he was hidden to escape Akhenaten’s destructive purges.

He had learned his arcane trade in secret.It had been 5 years since this tall youth was shaven and begin his clandestine ministry to those still secretly devoted to the old gods. His temples were the cramped basements of the private homes where even the Aten couldn’t see.

Since the Heretic’s death, the shift away from the Aten had begun tentatively, but there was still doubt in the air. Would the boy king and those advising him make good on their promises and restore the old gods? Would they break away once and for all from Akhetaten?

As he entered through the towering portals of the temple, he wept. The sanctuary had been defiled. Any images of Amun that were once brightly painted were now scratched out. His name, be it on the walls or on the sky piercing obelisks, was obliterated. Even the name of the Heretic’s father wasn’t spared; no longer was he ‘Amenhotep beloved of Amun, Lord of Thebes’.

He was searching for hours and hours, raising paving slab after paving slab. Then he found it. The bright sunlight reflected off his gilded skin. Though a leg had snapped off during its hasty removal, the statue largely survived. In his hand, he held a small stela that portrayed the bizarre elongated features of the Heretic worshipping the Aten. This was the man who’s zealotry led to nearly two decades of oppression, who destroyed image after image. He would have to be careful, sacrilege against a god, even a flawed heretic like him carried a strong penalty.

Merit picked up a rock and pounded the image over and over again, until his image was indistinguishable. He recited a curse

‘May you not live forever, you who ruled without the divine order of ma-at. May your heart be devoured by the monster Ammut, Neferkheperure Akhenaten.’

But he wasn’t alone in the temple…

Pygmalion politics

Pygmalion politicians
Day by day,

Fashioned from clay.

We mould them,

Too harsh on welfare

Too soft on immigration.

Too harsh too soft,

Too harsh too soft.

We distrust grand speeches of passionate fire,

so we opt for play it safe politicians 

that don’t inspire.

Our discourse moulds the clay wet

It’s Pygmalion politics

This is what we get.

The Iconoclast

The Iconoclast

‘Clink clink,’ the sound of chisels against stone echoed. Scratching out finely carved eyes, disfiguring noses and mouths.

Every last image, the commander ordered. Every last image needs to be destroyed. Some were more brutally destroyed than others- gunned down in a hail of bullets, blown to pieces by explosives. Their robust forms obliterated.

Only the hallowed Celestial Lion remained. The lion, like the ancient ruins that surrounded it, dated from the dawn of civilisation itself. Towering over the landscape, it’s colossal form had given it a legendary status. Once worshipped in an ancient sun cult, then feared as the Father of Fear, to now be revered as a symbol of mankind’s artistic and engineering prowess.

The lion and the vast temple it guarded had withstood earthquakes and wave after wave of bloody invasions. Yet it survived. It’s wide eyes continually staring out, watching all.

Then they arose. The civil war saw a multitude of factions arising from the desert sands, ripping the nation apart. The Iconoclasts, the idol breakers, spread like wildfire from town to town, killing those who stood in the way of ‘purifying the land.’

Not just content to wage war on their own countrymen and the rest of the world, not just content with waging war on modernity, they seek to also wage war on the past. They’ve ransacked museums, put statues on trial for idolatry and sentenced them to death by decapitation.

Their quest to purify a heretical land, their trail of destruction has lead them here, to the paws of the great Lion.

‘The commandment tells us there should be no graven idols’ he thought as he climbed the ladder chisel in hand. He, the charismatic young warlord who commanded this seemingly invincible army, had the power to rewrite history with this one act.

As he climbed and gazed upwards, he was struck by a curious mixture of awe and nostalgia. He remembered his mother taking to see this wonder long ago. He remembered how this one statue had the power to unite many different peoples together. Was this idolatry?

His faltering hand shook as his chisel got closer to the face.