Saturday, 30 December 2006

Socialist Songbook

http://www.members.tripod.com/~comradeodekirk/

February Afternoon

February Afternoon
By Edward Thomas

Men heard this roar of parleying starlings, saw,
A thousand years ago even as now,
Black rooks with white gulls following the plough
So that the first are last until a caw
Commands that last are first again, – a law
Which was of old when one, like me, dreamed how
A thousand years might dust lie on his brow
Yet thus would birds do between hedge and shaw.
Time swims before me, making as a day
A thousand years, while the broad ploughland oak
Roars mill-like and men strike and bear the stroke
Of war as ever, audacious or resigned,
And God still sits aloft in the array
That we have wrought him, stone-deaf and stone-blind.

Edward Thomas, February 1916

Edward Thomas enlisted in July 1915, fought in the First World War, and was killed in the Battle of Arras in 1917. His poems turn repeatedly to rural England, but in a way that indicates the distinctly modern concerns of the early 20th century. February Afternoon was written while he was a Lance Corporal instructing officers at Hare Hall Camp in Essex.

Written in a period of violent change and uncertainty, this poem claims to recognise a timeless quality in the patterns of the “natural world”. Yet at the same time the slightly archaic diction such as “caw” (the sound of a crow or rook) and “shaw” (a copse or thicket, often bordering a field) gives the poem a slightly antiquated tone. The prominence of these words are increased by their position within the “embracing” rhyme of the sonnet’s opening eight-line stanza (the stanza comprises two groups of four lines in which the outer and inner pairs of lines rhyme, rather than, for example, a sequence of four couplets). The recognition of the apparently unchanging habits of birds counterposes the limits of the human lifespan with the much more gradual changes that take place in the surrounding environment.

Within the poem the passage of time is not a simple, measurable phenomenon. Of the poem’s fourteen lines, nine are run-on. The regular rhyme-scheme becomes a more reliable means of gauging the passage of time through the poem than the division of the sonnet into fourteen discrete units of ten syllables. But at the same time, the internal rhyme and half-rhyme brings about an element of disruption that offsets the regularity; as “first” and “last” are repeated on the following line, their final consonant-cluster picked up by “dust” two lines later. Similarly in the closing six-line stanza, where “strike” intervenes between “oak” and “stroke”. There is no longer any certainty as to what will happen next.

Meanwhile, the birds are endowed with human characteristics. The “parleying starlings” are not simply chattering but discussing terms or negotiating, as if at war. The rooks and gulls are regulated by a voice that “Commands”. Military terminology has permeated all aspects of life, even the non-human.

However, this is a process that is not acknowledged; there is no explicit recognition of the way in which human action shapes the world which it seeks to use. The plough is not a timeless and static implement, but a tool, developed for the cultivation of land, that has evolved from the first horse-drawn apparatus to the modern machine. Similarly, the position of hedges is not an arbitrary or ‘natural’ fact, but an economic and often political choice, influenced by the ownership of the land and the methods used to farm it.

The “Time”, then, before which the poem’s speaker stands confounded, is a means of measuring a definite historical progression. Despite the timeless manner in which “men strike and bear the stroke / of war as ever”, there is still change in the ruling classes that control the armies that fight and die within these wars.

Meanwhile, the being with the notional power to change things is constrained to the position given to it by the human consciousness which created it. If God is impotent and unable to respond to human need, the poem indicates our need to find an alternative. Thomas’ poem seems to suggest that freeing God from the constraints which we have imposed is one means of doing this; alternatively, we might recognise that God is no less our construction than the “array / That we have wrought him.”

Josh Robinson

Essay on Langston Hughes

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=GkjW4KLYS3YC&oi=fnd&pg=PP5&sig=vNf-A_Gf5SkBZGksYqbJIouLa-8&dq=essays+articles+on+langston+hughes#PPP1,M1

With Chapter on Radical Drama in the Black community

A Man's A Man For A' That

A Man's A Man For A' That
by Rabbie Burns

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit
by Billie Holiday

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/billie+holiday/

Jack Kerouac

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kerouac

The Beats

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_generation

Pablo Neruda Bio

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Neruda

Jeremy Reed

http://www.enitharmon.co.uk/authors/viewAuthor.asp?AID=42

Reeds' poems about the sixties contained in the book
'Orange Sunshine' are wonderful.

Pete

Van Morrisons' Lyrics

Friday, 29 December 2006

101 poems against war review

http://www.workersliberty.org/node/2460

Cops of the World

Cops of the World
by Phil Ochs

Come, get out of the way, boys
Quick, get out of the way
You’d better watch what you say, boys
Better watch what you say
We’ve rammed in your harbour and tied to your port
And our pistols are hungry and ourtempers are short
So bring your daughters around to the port’
Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys
We’re the Cops of the World
We pick and choose as please, boys
Pick and choose as please
You’d best get down on your knees, boys
Best get down on your knees
We’re hairy and horny and ready to shack
We don’t care if you’re yellow or black
Just take off your clothes and lie down on your back’
Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys…
Our boots are needing a shine, boys
Boots are needing a shine
But our Coca-Cola is fine, boysCoca-Cola is fine
We’ve got to protect all our citizens fair
So we’ll send a battalion for everyone there
And maybe we’ll leave in a couple of years’
Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys…
Dump the reds in a pile, boys
Dump the reds in a pile
You’d better wipe of that smile, boys
Better wipe off that smile
We’ll spit through the streets of the cities we wreck
We’ll find you a leader that you can’t elect
Those treaties we signed were a pain in the neck’
Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys…
Clean the johns with a rag, boys
Clean the johns with a rag
If you like you can use your flag, boys
If you like you can use your flag
We’ve got too much money we’re looking for toys
And guns will be guns and boys will be boys
But we’ll gladly pay for all we destroy’
Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys…
Please stay off of the grass, boys
Please stay off of the grass
Here’s a kick in the ass, boys
Here’s a kick in the ass
We’ll smash down your doors, we don’t bother to knock
We’ve done it before, so why all the shock?
We’re the biggest and toughest kids on the block’
Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys…
When we butchered your son, boys
When we butchered your son
Have a stick of our gum, boys
Have a stick of our bubble-gum
We own half the world, oh say can you see
The name for our profits is democracy
So, like it or not, you will have to be free’
Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys…

Phil Ochs

Stalinism, the folk revival and Bob Dylan

http://www.workersliberty.org/node/6355

When Dylan changed direction

http://www.workersliberty.org/node/4949

Did Bob Dylan sell out ?

http://www.workersliberty.org/node/5419

The Bourgeois blues

The Bourgeois blues
by Huddie Leadbelly

Me and my wife went all over town
And everywhere we went people turned us down
Lord, in a bourgeois town It's a bourgeois town I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around

Home of the brave, land of the free
I don't wanna be mistreated by no bourgeoisie
Lord, in a bourgeois town Uhm, the bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues Gonna spread the news all around

Well, me and my wife we were standing upstairs
We heard the white man say "I don't want no niggers up there"
Lord, in a bourgeois town Uhm, bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues Gonna spread the news all around

Well, them white folks in Washington they know how
To call a colored man a nigger just to see him bow
Lord, it's a bourgeois town Uhm, the bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues Gonna spread the news all around

I tell all the colored folks to listen to me
Don't try to find you no home in Washington, DC
`Cause it's a bourgeois town Uhm, the bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues Gonna spread the news all around

I Believe I'll dust My Broom

I Believe I'll dust My Broom
by Robert Johnston

I'm gointa get up in the mornin
I believe I'll dust my broom
I'm gointa get up in the mornin
I believe I'll dust my broom
Girlfriend the black man you've been lovin
girlfriend can get my room
I'm gonna write a letter
telephone everytown I know
I'm gonna write a letter
telephone every town I know
If I can't find her in West Helena
she must be in East Monroe I know
I don't want no woman
wants every downtown man she meets
I don't want no woman
wants every downtown man she meets
She's a no good dooney
they shouldn't allow her on the street
I believe, I believe I'll go back home
I believe, I believe I'll go back home
You can mistreat me here babe,
but you can't when I'm back home
And I'm gettin up in the mornin
I believe I'll dust my broom
I'm gettin up in the mornin
I believe I'll dust my broom
Girlfriend the black man you been lovin
girlfriend can get my room
I'm gonna call up Chiney
see is my good girl over there
I'm gonna call up China
see is my good girl over there
I can't find her on Phillipine's island
she must be in Ethiopia somewhere

Robert Johnston lyrics

http://www.deltahaze.com/johnson/lyrics.html

Clash Lyrics

http://www.lyricsondemand.com/c/theclashlyrics/

Thursday, 28 December 2006

Ballad of the Landlord

Ballad of the Landlord
by Langston Hughes

Landlord,landlord,
My roof has sprung a leak.
Don't you 'member I told you about it
Way last week?

Landlord, landlord,
These steps is broken down.
When you come up yourself
It's a wonder you don't fall down.

Ten bucks you say I owe you?
Ten bucks you say is due?
Well, that's ten bucks more'n I'll pay you
Till you fix this house up new.

What? You gonna get eviction orders?
You gonna cut off my heat?
You gonna take my furniture and
Throw it in the street?

Um-huh! You talking high and mighty.
Talk on-till you get through.
You ain't gonna be able to say a word
If I land my fist on you.

Police! Police!
Come and get this man!
He's trying to ruin the government
And overturn the land!

Copper's whistle!
Patrol bell!
Arrest.

Precinct Station.
Iron cell.
Headlines in press:

MAN THREATENS LANDLORD
TENANT HELD NO BAIL
JUDGE GIVES NEGRO 90 DAYS IN COUNTY JAIL

Langston Hughes

My Bohemian Life

My Bohemian Life (Fantasy)

I went off with my hands in my torn coat pockets;
My overcoat too was becoming ideal;
I travelled beneath the sky, Muse! and I was your vassal;
Oh dear me! what marvellous loves I dreamed of!
My only pair of breeches had a big whole in them.–
Stargazing Tom Thumb, I sowed rhymes along my way.
My tavern was at the Sign of the Great Bear.–
My stars in the sky rustled softly.
And I listened to them, sitting on the road-sides
On those pleasant September evenings while I felt drops
Of dew on my forehead like vigorous wine;
And while, rhyming among the fantastical shadows,
I plucked like the strings of a lyre the elastics
Of my tattered boots, one foot close to my heart!

As translated by Oliver Bernard: Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems (1962)

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Guthrie on The Grapes of Wrath

Seen the pitcher last night, Grapes of Wrath, best cussed pitcher I ever seen.
The Grapes of Wrath, you know is about us pullin' out of Oklahoma and Arkansas, and down south, and a driftin' around over state of California, busted, disgusted, down and out, and a lookin' for work.

Shows you how come us to be that a way. Shows the dam bankers men that broke us and the dust that choked us, and comes right out in plain old English and says what to do about it.
It says you got to get together and have some meetins, and stick together, and raise old billy hell till you get youre job, and get your farm back, and your house and your chickens and your groceries and your clothes, and your money back.

Go to see Grapes of Wrath, pardner, go to see it and don't miss.
You was the star in that picture. Go and see your own self and hear your own words and your own song.

1913 Massacre

1913 Massacre
by Woody Guthrie

Take a trip with me in 1913,
To Calumet, Michigan, in the copper country.
I will take you to a place called Italian Hall,
Where the miners are having their big Christmas ball.

I will take you in a door and up a high stairs,
Singing and dancing is heard everywhere,
I will let you shake hands with the people you see,
And watch the kids dance around the big Christmas tree.

You ask about work and you ask about pay,
They'll tell you they make less than a dollar a day,
Working the copper claims, risking their lives,
So it's fun to spend Christmas with children and wives.

There's talking and laughing and songs in the air,
And the spirit of Christmas is there everywhere,
Before you know it you're friends with us all,
And you're dancing around and around in the hall.

Well a little girl sits down by the Christmas tree lights,
To play the piano so you gotta keep quiet,
To hear all this fun you would not realize,
That the copper boss' thug men are milling outside.

The copper boss' thugs stuck their heads in the door,
One of them yelled and he screamed, "there's a fire,
" A lady she hollered, "there's no such a thing.
Keep on with your party, there's no such thing."

A few people rushed and it was only a few,
"It's just the thugs and the scabs fooling you,"
A man grabbed his daughter and carried her down,
But the thugs held the door and he could not get out.

And then others followed, a hundred or more,
But most everybody remained on the floor,
The gun thugs they laughed at their murderous joke,
While the children were smothered on the stairs by the door.

Such a terrible sight I never did see,
We carried our children back up to their tree,
The scabs outside still laughed at their spree,
And the children that died there were seventy-three.

The piano played a slow funeral tune,
And the town was lit up by a cold Christmas moon,
The parents they cried and the miners they moaned,
"See what your greed for money has done."

What has happened?

From the Brecht Oeuvre
What Has Happened?


The industrialist is having his aeroplane serviced.
The priest is wondering what he said in his sermon
eight weeks ago about tithes.
The generals are putting on civvies and looking like bank clerks.
Public officials are getting friendly.
The policeman points out the way to the man in the cloth cap.
The landlord comes to see whether the water supply is working.
The journalists write the word People with capital letters.
The singers sing at the opera for nothing.
Ships' captains check the food in the crew's galley,
Car owners get in beside their chauffeurs.
Doctors sue the insurance companies.
Scholars show their discoveries and hide their decorations.
Farmers deliver potatoes to the barracks.
The revolution has won its first battle:That's what has happened.

The Weary Blues

The Weary Blues
by Langston Hughes

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
He did a lazy sway . . .
He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man's soul.
O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan--
"Ain't got nobody in all this world,
Ain't got nobody but ma self.
I's gwine to quit ma frownin'
And put ma troubles on the shelf."
Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more--
"I got the Weary Blues
And I can't be satisfied.
Got the Weary Blues
And can't be satisfied--
I ain't happy no mo'
And I wish that I had died."
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that's dead.

Monday, 25 December 2006

LONDON

LONDON

a poem by William Blake

I wandered through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
A mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every man,
In every infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear:
How the chimney-sweeper's cry
Every blackening church appals,
And the hapless soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down palace-walls.
But most, through midnight streets I hear
How the youthful harlot's curse
Blasts the new-born infant's tear,
And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.

ww2 poetry

http://wwiipoetry.blogspot.com/

Monday, 18 December 2006

Angelfire

Description
A community of radical and anarchist writers united to give critique and feedback of work. And to help build a real life community of inspiring radical cultural action. Based from the Poetry In Revolt website. http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/anarchistpoetry

Friday, 15 December 2006

Babi Yar

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Babi Yar
No monument stands over Babi Yar.
A drop sheer as a crude gravestone.
I am afraid.
Today I am as old in years
as all the Jewish people.
Now I seem to be
a Jew.
Here I plod through ancient Egypt.
Here I perish crucified, on the cross,
and to this day I bear the scars of nails.
I seem to be
Dreyfus.
The Philistine
is both informer and judge.
I am behind bars.
Beset on every side.
Hounded,
spat on,
slandered.
Squealing, dainty ladies in flounced Brussels lace
stick their parasols into my face.
I seem to be then
a young boy in Byelostok.
Blood runs, spilling over the floors.
The barroom rabble-rousers
give off a stench of vodka and onion.
A boot kicks me aside, helpless.
In vain I plead with these pogrom bullies.
While they jeer and shout,
"Beat the Yids. Save Russia!"
some grain-marketeer beats up my mother.
0 my Russian people!
I know
you
are international to the core.
But those with unclean hands
have often made a jingle of your purest name.
I know the goodness of my land.
How vile these anti-Semites-
without a qualm
they pompously called themselves
the Union of the Russian People!
I seem to be
Anne Frank
transparent
as a branch in April.
And I love.
And have no need of phrases.
My need
is that we gaze into each other.
How little we can see
or smell!
We are denied the leaves,
we are denied the sky.
Yet we can do so much --
tenderly
embrace each other in a darkened room.
They're coming here?
Be not afraid. Those are the booming
sounds of spring:
spring is coming here.
Come then to me.
Quick, give me your lips.
Are they smashing down the door?
No, it's the ice breaking ...
The wild grasses rustle over Babi Yar.
The trees look ominous,
like judges.
Here all things scream silently,
and, baring my head,
slowly I feel myself
turning gray.
And I myself
am one massive, soundless scream
above the thousand thousand buried here.
I am
each old man
here shot dead.
I am
every child
here shot dead.
Nothing in me
shall ever forget!
The "Internationale," let it
thunder
when the last anti-Semite on earth
is buried forever.
In my blood there is no Jewish blood.
In their callous rage, all anti-Semites
must hate me now as a Jew.
For that reason
I am a true Russian!

Monday, 11 December 2006

Auschwitz

Auschwitz

As yet unseen beautiful green countryside surrounds
The razor wired camp that is entered once only
From cities all over Europe

Sealed Boxcars are flung open in the dark
As human cattle spill out
Terrified into driving searchlight lit rain

Freezing cold breaths emit hateful strange words
“Raus”
“Schnell”
as black alsatian dogs
straining on leashes
Bark repeatedly while biting on limbs

I am rifle-butted in the arm into a left queue
as the surviving old, infirm and children
get herded rightwards roughly brutally murderously

They are never see again

We are ordered to stop outside a hut
and terrorised into showers crying
howling, shaking , avoiding eyes and blows
as a man gets beaten for walking too slowly

Cold pressure-less showers come on
amidst howls ,crying ,wimpering, shouts
Green ,pink, yellow and red triangled rags
get tossed at us before we are clean

as we are shunted towards a wooden hut
and ordered inside where we momentarily stop-
Human skeletons ashen and gaunt
stare at us from blank emotionless faces
three abreast on each filthy mattress

Urine, shit, vomit, death and fear odours
mix with cold breaths, coughs, groans-
a skin covered skeleton rocks violently back and forth
in the corner

“I must sleep
is sleep possible here ?

“Do I dare sleep here” ?

Dozing dreaming
Despair/hope
Despair/hope
Despair/hope

the dream words mimicking
the sound of the new train arriving
on tracks into the camp

A man gets denounced in the night
in exchange for a promise of food

Whispered rumours
Whispered deals
Coughs
Groans
Vomiting
Rustling
Dysentery
People pretending to sleep

Truck engines start up close by
and move off their engine noises
getting fainter and fainter

3.30 am lights go on in the dark
Raus ! Raus ! Raus !
The skeletons fumble stagger
outside into a searchlight beam
of light directing us to a square
for roll call

A man is taken aside
and beaten in full view
as numbers are called out
and names get ticked off
by sadistic number-obsessed
black -uniformed guards

We are ordered to begin trudging
towards the well sign-posted quarry
as Beethovens’ Sonata surreally crackles out
from camp speakers

The icy snow gradually turns to mud
as 60lb bags of bones work in the dark
lifting rocks with bear hands

“I must eat, I must eat”

A man working next to me whispers-
“You are a political, like me
They hate us , but not as much as the Jews-

Its possible for us to survive here but you must
learn the ways of the camp fast”

“Never argue with them , never look them in the eye
Eat everything no matter how disgusting it is
Each spoonful is another day alive.
Just pray you don’t pass blood- that means death”

“When do we eat”?

“After work” .

“Be servile and try and make yourself
useful to them in some way
or you will be selected”

“Resistance is pointless here”.

We trudge back in the snow
barely able to walk

bloodied
bleeding
broken

with nothing to look forward to
observed closely by hate -fuelled
monsters

A shot rings out and a woman
some way ahead of me slumps
to the ground but no one helps her
I look at my new advisor
who quickly shakes his head
at me “save yourself” written
all over his white face

helping means death here

A man is shot in the leg from
the same watchtower and falls
clutching at his wound
he pulls himself along trying
to reach the cover of a wooden hut
another shot rings out missing him
by a couple of feet

“He’s going to make it”
“He’s going to make it”

“A few more yards- keep going, keep bloody going”

Another shot whizzes through the air-
his head bursts open and
blood pours out on to pinkening
snow

“He is lucky-
the injured become the subject of jests and ridicule
here. He would have been ritually
humiliated and then selected by the Nazis
because he could no longer work”

“Now, at least, he’s out of it”.

“What ,-what are those huts for ?
The first is a brothel for the Kapos
The better looking women are
taken there for their pleasure
but it does not save them

The one that looks like a hospital-
that’s where these brutes experiment
on us. The big corporations pay the
camps for experiments, chemical tests
needless amputations”

There are rumours that they try to
make soap from the dead bodies,
paper from skin,
fertilisers from bones

IG Farben and the other corporations
are interested in the
slave labour and products

“We must try and escape”

“Escape means death”
we are too weak-
It is wilderness for miles”

“But we’re almost certain
to die anyway, and every
day we get weaker and less
able to resist”

“The politicals meet at the Latrines
after lights out but count me out -
You should try and stay alive
I must go now.”

I leave to meet the other politicals
at Midnight feigning dysentry
but get met there instead
by a Kapo, some SS and my
new found friend

Perhaps promised a crust of bread
or a bowl of soup for betraying me
It matters not

A group of duped politicals
gets taken
Past pits of dead bodies
Past torture cages
Past hospital facades
To wooden huts that look
Just like all other huts
except for the human scratched
walls and the sounds and smells of
Gas canisters
And panic
And praying
And urine
And shitting
And fighting
And screaming
And trampling
And bones breaking
And scratching
And crying
And whaling
And eyes watching
And fatigue
And memories

And…..losing consciousness


And soon please-No more pain.


Peter Burton December 2006

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Performance poetry for New Orleans victims

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ30LMFX7qw

Reports from the Paris Commune 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSlF27DYM68&mode=user&search=

Great poem about Commodity Fetishism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39D5ejn7C5w

41 shots

"41 shots"

Sounds and feelings
of uninhibited hard travellin'
alienated marginalised youth livin fast
goin nowhere

cars and girls

give way to thoughts of neglect
of girlfriends feelings
working class people making ends meet amidst

sex
lust
love
death

in emotionally centred lyrics

crossing Americas' racial borders
never reachin' golden mixed -race end

identity

multifaceted divided self
alternating expected and darker
activities without guilt

ambivalence self- doubt
the artist as magician
conjuring and struggling against
the horror of a wasted life

deconstructiing societys' masks
while politicians
whistle without listening

Johnny 99
desolation
dispossesion
lonesome outlaws in
acoustic blues solo sets
evolves into
commercial Kovic representatiion
and howls of depair
for Americas' vanquished soul

Peter Burton December 2006

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Spanish Civil War Song

Spanish Civil War Song

By Phil Ochs
Oh, say do you remember 25 years ago,
They fought the fascist army, they fought the fascist foe?
Do you remember Franco, Hitler's old ally?
He butchered Spain's democracy,half a million free men died.
Ai, ai, ai, ai--
Did you wonder why?
Did you ever pause and cry?
And don't forget the churches and the sad role that they played:
They crucified their people and worked the devil's trade;
But now the wounds are healing with the passing of time,
So we send them planes and rifles and recognize their crime.
Ai, ai, ai, ai--
Did you wonder why?
Did you ever pause and cry?
So spend your tourist dollars and turn your heads away.
Forget about the slaughter, it's the price we all must pay,
For now the world's in struggle, to win we all must bend:
So dim the light in Freedom's soul: sleep well tonight, my friend.
Ai, ai, ai, ai--
Did you wonder why?
Did you ever pause and cry?

Article on Blake Tradition

http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/487/redsky.html

Monday, 4 December 2006

Journal of Socialist, Realist and Humanist poetry

http://www.geocities.com/red_lamp/

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ was a man that traveled through this land;
A carpenter, true and brave;
Said to the rich, "Give your goods to the poor",
So they laid Jesus Christ in
His grave.
Jesus was a man, a carpenter by hand;
Carpenter true and brave;
And a dirty little coward called Judas Iscariot
Laid Jesus Christ in
His grave.
The people of the land took Jesus by the hand
They followed
Him far and wide;
"I come not to bring you peace, but a sword",
So they killed Jesus Christ on the sly.
He went to the sick, he went to the poor;
And he went to the hungry and the lame;
Said that the poor would one day win this world
And so they laid Jesus Christ in His grave.
They nailed
Him there to die on a cross in the sky,
In the lightning, the thunder and the rain.
Judas Iscariot committed suicide
When they laid poor Jesus Christ in his grave.
One day Jesus stopped at a rich man's door.
"What must I do to be saved?"
"You must take all your goods and give it to the poor",
And so they laid Jesus Christ in His grave.
They nailed
Him there to die on a cross in the sky,
In the lightning, the thunder and the rain.
Judas Iscariot committed suicide
When they laid poor Jesus Christ in his grave.
When the love of the poor shall one day turn to hate,
When the patience of the workers gives away;
"Would be better for you rich if you never had been born",
So they laid Jesus Christ in
His grave.
This song was written in New York City,
Of rich man, preachers, and slaves;
Yes, if Jesus was to preach like
He preached in Galillee [sic],
They would lay Jesus Christ in
His grave.

Woody Guthrie

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Tollcross Park Writers Group

http://www.tollcrosspark.com

writers@tollcrosspark.com

Glasgow-based writers ' group

Musee des Beaux arts

Musee des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or
just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen,
skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the
torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns
away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun
shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the
green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have
seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

W.H.Auden

Jealousy

Jealousy

I put out my hand and plucked a rose,
A red satin rose with a velvet scent,
And chaliced its loveliness in reverent palms,
Knowing that it was perfect.

Then, because I could not make the rose,
And because I could not paint the rose,
Nor carve it, nor mould it,
Nor even draw its beauty in my words,
I slowly closed my fingers over it
And crushed it.

Ruth Ellison

Thursday, 30 November 2006

Nina Simones' Lyrics

http://www.lyricsdepot.com/nina-simone/dont-smoke-in-bed.html

Nina Simone

20th Century Russian Poets

http://www.richardboffin.com/poets/ in Russian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_language_poets
List of Russian language Poets ( In English)

A POISON TREE

A POISON TREE
by: William Blake (1757-1827)

I WAS angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunnèd it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole,
When the night had veiled the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Questions From a Worker Who Reads

Questions From a Worker Who Reads

Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished
Who raised it up so many times?
In what houses of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
Did the masons go? Great RomeIs full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom Did the Caesars triumph?

Had Byzantium, much praised in song
Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis
The night the ocean engulfed it
The drowning still bawled for their slaves.
The young Alexander conquered India.Was he alone?Caesar beat the Gauls.
Did he not have even a cook with him?

Philip of Spain wept when his armada
Went down. Was he the only one to weep?
Frederick the Second won the Seven Year's War.

Who Else won it?Every page a victory.Who cooked the feast for the victors?
Every ten years a great man? Who paid the bill? So many reports. So many questions.

Bertolt Brecht

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Feelings

Feelings

The feelings i have i have
The feelings i don't have, don't matter much right now
The feelings you have you keep to yourself
The feelings that matter are suppressed
If you can have the courage
to tell the one you love your feelings
relations change

Peter Burton November 2006

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Poems about Poets

A Portrait

Myth as collective unconscious
a representer of mass culture
a parody of English realist novel
using stylized language
demonic vernacular urban

carnivalesque tolerant experimental prose
transcendence from mundane reality
through rebellious poetic words
scorning nationalism
scorning state and church
through celebration of the body

Peter Burton November 2006


"Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly " LH

Harlem Renaissance Man

Passionate clear humane
Harlem renaissance product
subtle and ironic
humorous and prolific

perceptive representer of black
musics' emotions
through immersion in African-American culture
crying loud against racist Southern " Justice"
with words as weapons
Scottsboro boys
hypocritical philanthropists
Jim Crow YMCAS
"Coloureds not admitted" signs
no part in 4th of July speeches

The "Weary Blues" of black mens' souls
"laughin' to keep from cryin' "


"The human soul entire, sqeezed
like a lemon or a lime drop by drop,
into atomic words" LH

Peter Burton November 2006

Imagine

Autonomous imaginative finely tuned visions
intensely lyrical intensely profound
confronting power with divided self

skeptical idealist urbane conversationalist
emotionally literate elevated prophet
agnostic ironic celebratory skeptic

Jupiter as Urizen
all reality a phantasmagoria

Imagination our eternal redemption

Peter Burton September 2006


Swansea Bohemian

Thirties Bohemian Celtic Bard
dedicated representer of human emotions
autodidactic original Swansea stylist
brought up within national oral tradition

surrounded by raging London Blitz fires
craving for mythical golden age past
with conflicting archetypal images
the old and the innocent
the " Loud Hill of Wales"

Peter Burton October 2006

' Mind forg'd Manacles '

Orc the enemy of
Urizen and Albions' Angel
fire consuming the tyrants' palaces

Orc rejoices at their shrieks and groans
despiser of all despotic oppressors
false hearted Enitarmon
undeclared Rintrach
jealous oppressors and cruel deceivers
ruling by fear and unjust laws

seflish envious brutal authority still
nothing prevents their howls of despair
in these visions of the 'cloudy heavens of Albion'

Peter Burton September 2006

Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry

http://www.qub.ac.uk/heaneycentre

Wilfred Owen Association

http://www.1914-18.co.uk/owen

I dreamed kind Jesus fouled the big- gun gears;
And caused a permanent stoppage in all bolts;
And buckled with a smile Mausers and Colts;
And rusted every bayonet with His tears.

And there were no more bombs, of ours or Theirs,
Not even an old flint-lock, nor even a pikel.
But God was vexed, and gave all power to Michael;
And when i woke he'd seen to our repairs.

Saturday, 25 November 2006

Radical US Bookshop

http://www.citylights.com

The Charge of the Blue Locusts

The Charge of the Blue Locusts

Half a mass picket, half a mass picket
Half a mass picket onward
All in the Battle of Orgreave
Rode the mounted police
Charge for the scabs ! he said
Into the valley of beatings
Rode the striking pickets

Forward the defiant miners
Was there a striker dismayed
Not tho’ the miner knew
TUC tops has blundered
Theirs not to defy
Theirs not to hear the cries
Theirs but to fight and try
Into the valley of beatings
Ran the striking pickets

Mounted police to the right of them
Riot cops to the left of them
Ranks of blue locusts in front of them
Marched and thundered

Charged at with baton and shield
Boldly they dodge then yield
Into the jaws of authority
Into the ranks of blue locusts
Ran the striking pickets

Flash’d all their truncheons bare
Flash’d as they swung through air
Thumping on their shields there
Charging a miners’ army while
Most of the country wondered

Plunged into the cavalry-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke
Miner and striker
Reel’d from the truncheon blows
Shatter’ed and sundered


Mounted police to the right of them
Riot cops to the left of them
Ranks of blue locusts behind them
Marched and Thundered

Charged at with baton and shield
They that had fought so well
Facing a bloody coppers’ hell
All that was left of them
Left of the battered magnificent miners

Peter Burton

The Cockle-pickers and the Gang-Masters

The Cockle-pickers and the Gang-masters

The moon was shining on the sea
Shining on that fateful night

But there was nothing odd about this at all
As workers worked through the night

The sun had long set in the sky
Just like every day before

As cockle-pickers made their way
Unto that killing shore

The Cockle-pickers and Supervisors
were walking close at hand

The former wept like anything
to see such quantities of sand

O Cockles come and walk with us
The workers did beseech

Come walk with us in quantity
Along this silhouetted beach

But no cockles followed them that night
Without backbreaking toil and sweat

Persuaded back in China to
A lifetime of regret

It seems a chance the gang-master thought
To play them such a risk

After we’ve brought them out so far
And made them work so brisk

O workers said the gang-masters
You’ve had a pleasant run

Shall we be going home again
But answer came there none

But this silence was not odd at all,
Cos they’d drowned almost everyone

Peter Burton

The Confidant Man

The Confidant Man

Not pantomime but Charades
a wild goose chase
for
unassailable reliable testimony
infallible evidence
But there are no guarantees
in this world
only people choosing their parts
before reciting their lines
All evidence
Potentially suspect
trust, honesty, fidelity
unprovable intangible qualities
certainty leading to dogma
an essentially honest person wronged
or a diabolically plausible
abuser of trust ?
a necessary preservation of a stable core identity
or vain confidence trickster ?

Peter Burton August 2006

Poems about America

Not so long ago

Exhausted farms abandoned
to the banks and the birds

A Mass army of immigrants
sharecroppers, farmers and
unemployed moving west


Travelling through the
highways and the Idaho
hills

Highways 30 and 66
Old Spark, El Paso and every
westward trail

They came in old beat up dodges
La Salles and Model T Fords

With every possession that
they owned strapped
to the running boards

But the banks had
got to California and Oregons’
valleys’ first

And the farmers
had to compete in line
fearing the very worst

For the first time in their lives
the lines of farmers talked and talked
of unions and real dignity
and the need to fight and organise

Pete Burton June 2006

To Two martyrs

It was the year 1920
And the need for examples
Was in the air

Sacco and Vanzettti
Became the heroic
Murdered pair

Of labour organisers
In Massachusettes charged
With murders they didn’t commit

Even the prosecuter and judge
To this they did admit

Opposition to war
And labour organising
Was the real charge over there

And two innocent men in 27
Then went to the electric chair

Peter Burton June 2006

I don’t hear America

Those of mechanics , each one ground down by
Downsizing and fear of the same

The carpenter silent as he signs on for welfare
The mason silent as he searches for work
The boatmen silent when there is no boatbuilding
The hatter silent, hats not in fashion

The woodcutters silence as this is mainly done
In the rain forest now, the ploughmans going
Nowhere anytime soon

The silence of the mother, ground down by
Drudgery and insecurity

Each introspective and worried about the future
Silence with closed mouths and post 9/11 thoughts.

Peter Burton
What a waste !

White working class prisoners exit
Through the revolving door
Vowing never to come back
But I’ve heard that before

Back to the run-down schemes
To face the same choices
With a criminal record
And few representative voices

Its £ 30,000 a year to
Keep a prisoner banged up
But no boss would pay that
No matter how hard they worked

It’s a system of contradictions
and conflict built in
It’s a crime, a huge waste
And a terrible sin


Sacre BLUE !!


Mr Orange saw red and was determined
to show that he was not yellow and remain
in the black and the whole country was tickled pink


Rosy? Flat Bloody chance

Nae wonar am feelin depressed
Nae wonar am feelin’ down

Surrounded by you’se knaves and fools
Liars, cheats and clowns!!

( Unison had one day strike over pensions and called the rest off)

Tigger ain’t such a wonderful thing

Tigger Tigger you can’t fight
Doesn’t matter whose wrong , whose right
Cos you’ve got privileges and perks too
And you’d jump from a high rise
If a goose said boo!

Change of Direction

I’m glad its been regenerated
But with Tesco and Wimpey houses?

Glad they’ve ended the long decay
But with Tesco and Barret houses?

Don’t want to complain about the change
But Tesco and Wimpey houses?

Perhaps some day decay
will not end this way ?

With Tesco and some houses.

Teaching by Numbers

We have a rising 4 rating as an
Educational school
No one leaves here for sure
Feeling like a fool

Cos we get bums on seats
“By any means necessary”
We even have a shanghai force
In case the numbers are lessening

So if you think that you are
in a position to enrol
Please come to us , not to them,
We may even send the Rolls

During Holocaust memorials

Learn the Lessons

Industrialised mass murder
Of Six million Jews
By faceless bureaucrats
Following orders
Conforming from fear
To the diktacs from
Hellish superiors
Scientific “experiments”
On human cargo
By conscienceless beasts
Of depravity
No parallels
from the past
History as progress ?
Only if we learn

Blairs’ reference to praying to God

Gods to Blame

Gods to blame
He told me to invade

And anyway, Iraqis’ free now
If not, then Gods’ to blame


Chain of Command

Speak angrily to your
Subordinate
And bully him when it pleases

Subordinates need to know
whose boss until hell
bloody freezes



Racist Zapper light

Some bars ought to have
A fly-zapping circular light

That is big enough and
Strong enough to
Attract the racist right

Short Poems

Underdeveloped ?

I arrived at the gates of hell
to witness the doomed battle
against the drug barons of Medellin, body
counts multiplying amidst
the inferno of rival
barons, guerrillas, hired
assassins and marauding
teenage gangs , crime 10 crimestoppers 0
greed and power
twin kings but only a vision
of raw, blood and guts capitalism
in reality

Peter Burton June 2006

Freedom !


Possible return to the Victorian nightmare
Of extreme wage-slavery
Scapegoated powerless immigrants
Eaten up by
Late British Capitalism
Swallowed down whole by
Corruption and greed
Destroyer of dreams
Creator of bitterness
And crimes
We all need socialism
ALL!

Peter Burton July 2006


The History Man ?

I once went for an interview
as a young man lacking guile

The two man interview panel
kept me waiting quite a while

They then asked me why I wanted
to teach history so very much

I replied that historys’ lessons
were what kept humanity in touch

With where we’d been
and where we’re going
and how to get us there

They looked at each other
then back at me like
I’d come to them
as part of some mad dare

Peter Burton June 2006

Some Men

Manipulate , play the game
Come across as a nice guy

Bed them, don’t wed them
And then you say goodbye.

Peter Burton

Zimmermann

Rimbaud, Verlaine, Thomas and Shelley
Ferlingheeti, Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsburg
Williams, Presley, Guthrie and Johnson
Brando and Peck , Dean and the Bible

Just some of the things that influenced you

Underdeveloped ?

I arrived at the gates of hell
to witness the doomed battle
against the drug barons of Medellin, body
counts multiplying amidst
the inferno of rival
barons, guerrillas, hired
assassins and marauding
teenage gangs , crime 10 crimestoppers 0
greed and power
twin kings but only a vision
of raw, blood and guts capitalism
in reality

Peter Burton June 2006

Freedom !

Possible return to the Victorian nightmare
Of extreme wage-slavery
Scapegoated powerless immigrants
Eaten up by
Late British Capitalism
Swallowed down whole by
Corruption and greed
Destroyer of dreams
Creator of bitterness
And crimes
We all need socialism
ALL!

Peter Burton July 2006

The History Man ?

I once went for an interview
as a young man lacking guile

The two man interview panel
kept me waiting quite a while

They then asked me why I wanted
to teach history so very much

I replied that historys’ lessons
were what kept humanity in touch

With where we’d been
and where we’re going
and how to get us there

They looked at each other
then back at me like
I’d come to them
as part of some mad dare

Peter Burton June 2006

Some Men

Manipulate , play the game
Come across as a nice guy

Bed them, don’t wed them
And then you say goodbye.

Zimmermann

Rimbaud, Verlaine, Thomas and Shelley
Ferlingheeti, Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsburg
Williams, Presley, Guthrie and Johnson
Brando and Peck , Dean and the Bible

Just some of the things that influenced you

Ali

Courageous , charismatic, principled and straight as day
“Ain’t no Vietcong called me nigger” you said
And showed your countrymen the way


The House that Jack built
( or chief puddin)

O How ad like to slap yer face
Great puddin o the Scottish race

Ye stand up there
Dodgin beams

And spoutin forth so much
Tosh and reams
of lies and spittle

A great first Minister in Jack McConnell?
We’d be better aff wi Daniel O’ Donnell


The man with the iron mask (1)

Affable, intelligent
popular as well

But underneath that mask you wear
Your as sectarian as hell !

Ali

Courageous , charismatic, principled and straight as day
“Ain’t no Vietcong called me nigger” you said
And showed your countrymen the way


The House that Jack built
( or chief puddin)

O How ad like to slap yer face
Great puddin o the Scottish race

Ye stand up there
Dodgin beams

And spoutin forth so much
Tosh and reams
of lies and spittle

A great first Minister in Jack McConnell?
We’d be better aff wi Daniel O’ Donnell


The Man with the Iron mask (1)

Affable, intelligent
popular as well

But underneath that mask you wear
Your as sectarian as hell !

Friday, 24 November 2006

Swansea Bohemian

Swansea Bohemian

Thirties Bohemian Celtic Bard
dedicated representer of human emotions
autodidactic original Swansea stylist
brought up within national oral tradition

surrounded by raging London Blitz fires
craving for mythical golden age past
with conflicting archetypal images
the old and the innocent
the " Loud Hill of Wales"

Peter Burton

Mexmode

Mexmode

Markups and Mistresses
Profits and Yachts
Bonuses and Bentleys
Outsourcing and Sweatshops
Contracts and Goons
Speedup and Exhaustion
maggots and beatings
self-respect and dignity
fighting-back and organising
flics and false judges
sackings and threats
of closure and re-location
demands and strikes
exposure and embarressment
Solidariy and Justice
and Victory for the workers!

Peter Burton

Universal Alliance

Universal Alliance incorporating the Vision Quester News Agency & Phoenix New Life Poetry
http://www.universalalliance.org.uk

Good Radical US E-zine poetry site

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Harlem Renaissance man

"Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly "
LH

Harlem Renaissance Man

Passionate clear humane
Harlem renaissance product
subtle and ironic humorous and prolific
perceptive representer of black musics' emotions
through immersion in African-American culture
crying loud against racist Southern " Justice"with words as weapons

Scottsboro boys
hypocritical philanthropists
Jim Crow YMCAS"
"Coloureds not admitted" signs
no part in the 4th of July speeches

The "Weary Blues" of black mens' souls
"laughin' to keep from cryin' "

"The human soul entire,
sqeezed like a lemon or a lime drop by drop,
into atomic words" LH

Peter Burton November 2006

Blakes' Poetry

http://www.poetry-archive.com/b/blake_william.html

Political songs/satire site

http://bootnewt.hostingzero.com/

Some Ginsburg Poems

http://www.rooknet.com/beatpage/writers/ginsberg.html

Indiefeed:Performance Poetry

http://www.indiefeedpp.libsyn.com/

Sunday, 19 November 2006

My Play etc

http://www.paulineconspiracy.com

The Kate Adams

The Kate Adams

Massive red paddles beat the water
Great billious smokestacks fill the sky
Nightime furnaces throw flames across
silhoutted dark waters as a

calliope whistle interrupts the chattering of
fancy dressers, cotton millionares,dapper ladies,
tricksters ,circus characters
drifting in a semi-wilderness

down the Mississippi
inspiring Delta bluesmen
to write songs
as the white money factory floats on by.

Peter Burton

The Mask of Blair

The Mask of Blair

I met bloodshed dressed up as prayer
He had a smile like Tony Blair
Very happy he looked , yet false
Lies and intrigue and not much else
Next came ambition and he had on
a penguin CBI conference cresanthomom

cuts and Bank of England independence
and for former reformist sins -repentance
clothed with a sergeant like bullys' creed
next came ex-steel town no hoper John Reid
we pleaded and begged him to " Save the Craig" !
and got a war and refugee dawn raids

And many more new Tories played
in yet another masquerade
spinners , fat cats, Lords and Peers
all living off workers very worst fears

Peter Burton

The Man in the Iron Mask

The Man in the Iron Mask

prevaricate and overstate
equivocate and exaggerate
fabricate and ostentate
wear a mask and be a fake

double life and double dealing
big black lies will leave them realing
perjury and huge betrayel
Hope i don't end up in gaol

spinning, weaving ,circumvention
falsehood, bad faith, self-deception
disingenous and perfidious
deceiptfulness and meritricious

be dishonest , break the faith
ham it up and simulate
misrepresent and misreport
belt it out until I'm hoarse

perfidy and mendacity
cant and real duplicity
trickery and facade
could it be that I'm going mad ?

dress it up and put it on
never admit that i am wrong
evasion ,cant and gritting teeth
conceal the truth and make believe

economize and trump it up
Hope i don't run out of luck
fraudulence and quackery
cunning, guile , hypocrisy

juggle ,conjure, hocus-pocus
hope their eyes are out of focus
elusive , delusive and collusive
engage in lots of dodgy ruses

fiddle, diddle, swizzle sell
my lifes become a bloody hell
coin it ,forge it, tongue and cheek it
weave and hatch and hope i sneak it

invent, concoct ,fake and cheat
see and saw and cold and heat
duck and dive and dodge and deal
I wonder how her bum would feel ?

maybe i can just brass neck it
even if it means i wreck it

Oh what a tangled web they weave
when leaders start to bloody deceive !

Peter Burton

To Joe

To Joe

“The only band that mattered”
That group “ they changed my life”
Rebellious , uncorruptible, intelligent
A real passion and zest for life

Led by a rock and roll ball of energy
With Topper on the drums
Iconic, extroverted, crazy
Heavy soulful , punk reggae young guns

Peter Burton

Maggie

Maggie

The papers say you are senile
That you can remember long ago
But not 10 minutes before.
This means you’ll remember
When there were miners and printers
Dockers and Car workers who made useful things

Strikes and riots and class ridden
taxes, Spivs and greed and too much crime
to explain

Maybe you’ll remember the creation
of homeless and agency working
for private profiteers

Somehow I find it hard to feel pity
You changed all our lives in such a terrible way.

Peter Burton

Paradox land

Paradox land

A wine Bar in Frisco
Opens out to the street
On a hot summers night
White wine in iced buckets
And plates full of oysters
Well-heeled people eating
From super-sized plates

One can hear the clink
Of glasses and chatter
And admire the beautiful clothes
As neat waiters eager to please
Rush around
Asking if “everythings just right”

While on the pavement right in front
of them
Lies a black man face down
Invisible or so it seems.

Peter Burton

Vorkuta

Vorkuta

You organised great hunger strikes
In Stalins’ hellish slave labour prisons

And improved the rations for everyone
Including the non-political prisoners

Until Stalinist guards one day
Following Kobas’ murderous orders

Frogged marched you out of there
to the nearby waiting forest

where you were made
to dig your graves
before being shot and burned

but time is on your side my friends
and history is far from done

Peter Burton

Spartacus

Spartacus

You forged a slave army
by the force of your personality
You subverted the Romans
view of dumb ignorant slaves

You defeated ten of their
best trained armies
using weapons forged
with metallic booty

Your martyrdom
set the example for
others who came after
the class fighters who brought Rome
to its knees

Today those in power
fear the modern day slave
the worker who toils but who
also has power

Learning from history
they try to avoid martyrs
but at the dusk of the system
their fate will be the same

Peter Burton

To the martyrs of 1820,Swinging Sixties, Maclean

To the martyrs of 1820

Riots for food,
Child labour
Soaring prices
Workers trying to live
On a shilling a week

Open and secret meetings
Reform pamphlets
United Scotsmen and Glasgow green drills

Hardie and Baird led the fight
For reform
With a march organised on the
great Carron Ironworks

But soldiers from Stirling
Cut off the reformers
And a great bloody battle
Then did ensue

In the square off Broad street
Under the walls of the Castle
Hardie and Baird paid with their lives

Hung drawn and quartered by the authorities
On ‘evidence’ submitted by government spies
But not before defiantly demanding
their countrymen’s’ rights.

Thrown in a shallow grave near Stirling
Lying there for a long twenty seven years
disinterred by Glasgow radicals after
they found you
then buried in Sighthill with the respect
you deserved

Peter Burton


Swinging sixties?

Greensborough Segregation
SNCC creation
Huac Demonstration
Pacifist orchestration

Bay of Pigs invasion
Desegregation
Voter Registration
Washington demonstration

SDS statement
Cuban Missile derailment
Birmingham protestations
Washington demonstration

Mississippi Murders
Harlem ghetto rebellions
North Vietnam bombardments
SDS projects

Berkeley free speech movement
Johnson bombing Vietnam
Malcolm X murdered
University Teach-ins

Montgomery bloody battle
Washington anti-war prattle
Oakland protest troop trains
Watts’s rebellion contained

Draft card burnings
Anti-war self-immolisation
Anti-draft sit-ins
Black power expulsions

Black panther party
Mass draft card burnings
Be-ins and hippies
Detroit and Newark
Oakland repression
Pentagon storming

Women’s’ liberation billed
Orange black students killed
Bobby Hutton killed
Martin Luther killed

Democratic convention riot
Precision stockade rebellion
SF college strikes
16 Black Panthers killed

Destruction of peoples’ park
Hundreds beaten after dark

SD splitsNew York imperial buildings hit
A million protest in
Washington and Frisco

Peter Burton

Maclean

Tales of the clearances
And your mothers’ oppression
Calvinism, Huxley and Spencer
Created the fire in the belly
Of the young John Maclean

Marxist education a lifelong obsession
Understanding the need for radical change
Neilsten thread mills
Singers Strike
Solidarity
Then your anti- war agitation made you a
A household name

“I have been listed in the socialist army
for 25 years God damn all other armies”
You proclaimed to Sheriff Lee
Then sent to prison for the first of five times
rejecting leniency

3 years penal servitude followed
your sentence cut short by public outrage
On trial again in 1918
Asked if you objected to any juryman you replied
“I object to the whole of them”

Made Bolshevik consulate
With tens of thousands
At Buchanan street station to greet you
The workers replacing the horses
Waiting to pull the carriage along

And thousands lined the Shaws in 23
to respect a socialist martyr who lies
in Eastwood cemetery

Peter Burton

Know thyself

Know thyself

Self as Mask so intertwined
self-quarreling to reality
except for those whose
pleasure lies in Lathe's wharf

Self as is
Self as it longs to be
representation of lifes' tragedy
a perpetual phantasmagoria

a traditonal form in style
shakespearean tradgedy as zenith
mixing faith and skepticism
with antinomies of the feminine

Peter Burton

Poem for Vietnamese

Poem for Vietnamese
Military technology against human beings
Independence the continuity thread
Domino theory guarantees conflict
South- East Asia a resource paradise
Phu Quoc Qui Mhon
engineered Tomkin affair
A bomb gets dropped for every civilian
My Lai 4 My Lais' everywhere
as stressed up GI'S succumb
to racially stereotypical sub-human propaganda images
Marines hit the ground firing
from swirling helicopter gunships
russian roulette, bamboo prisons , underground tunnels
sex
death
drugs
hard liquor
"Yet one more turn of the screw"
" LBJ LBJ How many kids did you kill today?
" Ain't no Vietcong ever called me Nigger"
" We won't go, we won't go" !
" Have your draft card back" !
" Sometimes to be silent is to lie"
Underground newspapers Student General strikes Army refuseniks
" I ain't gonna kill, its against my will "
Black armbands, fragging, Vietnam Vets against the war
winter soldier investigations , concerned officers
pilot refuseniks, Kovic anger spirals as
war profiteer frontman Johnson gets nervous and
Vietnam is lost in the Mississippi Valley
Peter Burton

Death of a Human

Death of a human

Ordinary men as heroes
ground down
by
raw Capitalism
an American nightmare
represented by
naturalistic form
and realistic time
money the measure of all things
materialism
debt
alienation
solitary death
the sold
American " dream "

Peter Burton August 2006


Down the Rabbit Hole

Punctillious
waistcoated
White Rabbit
followed
down
the
rabbit
hole
by a portion
consuming
practitioner
of logic
attempting continually
to reason
with unreason
a typographical mouse tail
a hookah-smoking caterpillar
a Duchess nursing pig
a tea-drinking mad-hatter
a cheshire grinning cat
a march-hare squeezing
a dormouse into
a teapot
a flamingo-mallet croquet
playing murderous queen and
a dolorous Mock turtle

I'm on the far left- Alice had it easy !

Peter Burton August 2006

Heroic witches

Heroic witches inducing ambition
to expose the hierarchical class society
based on oppression and war
witches ethereal outsiders from
the social order subvert through
language and subversive subconcious
trying to change his identity
exposing male will to power
represented as evil by society
with lady as egoistic bourgeois
in opposition to collective identity
tradition and loyalty struggle with
desire and tear them both apart

Peter Burton August 2006

Desire

Desire

O Whistle an' I'll come to you , my girl
O Whistle an' I'll come to you , my girl

Tho' partner and parents an a' would go mad
O whistle an' I'll come to ye, my girl.

Peter Burton August 2006

( Rabbie helped wi this)

The Confidant Man

Not pantomime but Charades
a wild goose chase
for
unassailable reliable testimony
infallible evidence
But there are no guarantees
in this world
only people choosing their parts
before reciting their lines
All evidence
Potentially suspect
trust, honesty, fidelity
unprovable intangible qualities
certainty leading to dogma
an essentially honest person wronged
or a diabolically plausible
abuser of trust
a necessary preservation of a stable core identity
or vain confidence trickster ?

Peter Burton August 2006

Shark Attack

How dothe the big long shark
Improve his shining teeth
By selling you what you don’t need
More skillfully than any thief

How cheerfully he seems to grin
How deftly he then sucks you in

He milks your kindness
and its far from funny
Then he quickly departs
Once he’s got your money

Peter Burton July 2006

Photography as Art

Photography as Art

An all-encompassing way of seeing
defying limitations of technique and technology
an infallible means of creation
old controversies with painting dying
as skilled photographers
represent everything and anything well

art as cultural document
photography legitimised as art
beyond recording and informing
facilitating profound examination of world
and the self.

Peter Burton July 2006

The Betrayal

The Betrayal

Twas down in Barcelona no so long ago
when an anti-fascist popular front
came steppin' through the floor

This countrys' awful tragedy
i' ve learned so terribly well
The colour of its flag was black
it became a fascist hell

The NKVD they dragged them there
into Kobas' torture cells
Trotskyists Militants Anarchists murdered
with a brutality to terrible to tell

Stalins' henchmen then sealed their fate
there was to be no Spanish Revolution here
misleadership betrayal and treachery mixed in with
a dictatorship of fear

The Left it must unite now against these crimes
Unite with no more delay
next time a Workers State will be formed
and a Workers Party will lead the way

Peter Burton September 2006

The Paranoid Man

paranoid jealousy
overreading all signs
obsessively hunting for hidden knowledge
to control events
endlessly frustrated
in absence of any real mystery
jealousy perpetually bending
the ' evidence 'for its own ends

Peter Burton September 2006

Malcolm X

Malcolm X

Born Malcolm Little in Omaha in 1925
You were forced to flee
white supremicists twice
before the age of five

Your fearless father was murdered and
Your mother then went insane
Eight children then got fostered out
But no one got the blame

You wanted to be a lawyer and you
Graduated the top of your class
But your racist ignorant teacher
Was much worse than a pain in the ass

So you drifted into crime in Harlems’
Tough mean neighbourhoods
Running numbers ,narcotics,prostitution
The main leader of the hoods

You got ten years with your buddy
Malcolm “ Shorty “ Jarvis
Serving seven in reality on
A host of burglary charges

While doin time for all these crimes
You had a religious conversion
Accepting Elijah’s Muhammeds' teaching
And the Nation of Islams’ version

Of analysis and enpowerment of Afro-American blacks
While the long feared “Black Messiah”
then crisscrossed the States
Buiding the NOI


Brilliant oratorical skills
and many wise insights
Then brought the activities of the State
And an agenda of a shortened life

Then the test of faith arrives
Elijah is no living prophet
Affairs and children everwhere
And warm comfort from good profit

You broke with the Nation Of Islam
And founded the Muslim Mosque
Returning from Mecca in 64
Preaching unity to beat the boss

But this new message of unity
Made you a bigger threat than ever
The NOI then moved against you
And the State was boxing clever

Slaughtered in the Audobon ballroom
in the year 1965
A second man is caught by the crowd
But he was never ever tried

Laid to rest in Fernhill cemetry
A martyred “Black Messiah”
The powerful just could not let you live
And feared your love and fire

Peter Burton September 2006


Dignity is everywhere


Shabby ,run down, crowded ghettoes
poverty lurking from tenement ends
paint-peeled windows
bare-bulb shadows
decorate the cold drab struggle
anger bitterness envy resentment
fuel the drug ridden
alcohol buildings

Yet people live there just
as in all Ghettos
with honesty and self-respect.

Peter Burton September 2006

Poem to Woody

Poem to Woody

Out of vibrant Okemah
You bounded precocious and unconventional
Profoundly touched by Claras' death
a keen observer of Oklahoma surrounds

You went through the decline of
your influential mother
hastened by financial ruin
creating a permanent rambler
a projector of wry humour

Pampa, Corn Cob trio and Mary Jannings
then followed
all lost to the Great Dust storm
poor refugee ' Okies' moving west

Freight train hoboing, hitch-hiking ,walking
to meet with Californians' parochialism
feelings expressed in ballads and radio broadcasts
as self-promoted lifelong " outsider"

The rambler inside takes you
to "The Big Apple"
the left branding and embracing you
for your "authenticity"

Leadbelly, Houston , Ives ,Seeger
Will Geer, Sonny Terry , Brownie McGhee
Singing songs of Protest
Songs of Freedom
And for what you believed in

Lomax ,Moses Asch,Folkways
performances with
the Almanac Singers,The legendary Weavers
establishing against the stream
folk music as commercially viable

Proud Noble Gifted Woody

Peter Burton August 2006

After the Flood ?

After the Flood ?

Federal Budget cuts and the Louisiana
National Guard deployed to Baghdad
In the face of warnings of Hurricane Katrina
Wreak havoc on a magical city
A mystical city of REAL culture-
Blues and jazz funerals
Parades and sexuality
Graveyards and voodoo

A city of kindness and hospitality
Of social networks and support
A city of racism and corruption
of Jerald Thomas and protests
A city of black filled hellholes
infamous Angola State Pen
and Orleans Parish Prison

The rich flee from Katrina
And the poor in their 4 by 4’s
And SUVS while
The poor nowhere to go
And no way of getting there
Suffer demonisation for
Committing the crime of
Surviving

The media
Deflecting attention
From (ir)responsible corrupt city fathers
With Images of blacks as “ loot” ers , marauders
Criminals
conveniently forgetting to report the complete
absence of contingency
Planning

Public workers again act as heroes
with Police as exception lying through
fear about the location of life-saving buses
dispersal of groups and protection
of abandoned property their
thinly disguised goal

While greedy Halliburton
voyeuristically looks on
planning a long desired
white-washed
French quartered corporate
Restructured Disneyland
amid visions of super-gated rich
compound enclosures to protect
the rich from an angrier poor

Cultural genocide racial cleansing
Corporate plans
Vie with grassroots organisations’
resistance to Disney-fication
getting organised
by diaspora activists networking
to fight for their community
vision of a newer New Orleans

Meanwhile a Biloxi man
Finally lets go of his wife’s hand
as she tells him to
“look after the children
and grandchildren”

Peter Burton August 2006

Saturday, 18 November 2006

Political Poems

http://home.triad.rr.com/dyrwen/Poems/political.htm

Great Poets by Nationality and Century

http://www.poetseers.org/the_great_poets

Burns' Poems

http://www.worldburnsclub.com/poems/translations/index.htm

Poets against the war

http://www.poetsagainstthewar.org/

The Weary Blues

The Weary Blues
by Langston Hughes
Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
He did a lazy sway . . .
He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man's soul.
O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan--
"Ain't got nobody in all this world,
Ain't got nobody but ma self.
I's gwine to quit ma frownin'
And put ma troubles on the shelf."
Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more--
"I got the Weary Blues
And I can't be satisfied.
Got the Weary Blues
And can't be satisfied--
I ain't happy no mo'
And I wish that I had died."
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that's dead.

Langston Hughes' Poems

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/83
I Want To Go With The One I Love

I want to go with the one I love.
I do not want to calculate the cost.
I do not want to think about whether it's good.
I do not want to know whether he loves me.
I want to go with whom I love.

Bertolt Brecht

Brechts' Poems

http://www.poemhunter.com/bertolt-brecht/poems/poet-6695/page-1/

Radical Poets

http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/anarchistpoetry/poets.html

Friday, 17 November 2006

First Selection ( 20 Poems here )

http:/www.paulineconspiracy.com

Birth of a Union

Myth and fantasy
intertwined with
storytelling
of customs
and feelings
ambiguously
dissenting
and conforming
simultaneously
glorifying but burying
dead romantic past
grafting Britishness on
paradoxically
in opposition to
challenging cultural nationalism
through realist fiction novel
creating shared myths
and moral values
forging
a nation of strangers
with mediocre characters
romantic realism
representing
abstraction of
nature and culture
church and state
recent memories
of Highland clan
extinction and lowland
capitalist development
as future

Dotheboys

Grotesques and moral ogres
Amiable idiots and perverts
Sadistic dwarfs and drunks
Freaks and eccentrics
Servile servants
Interconnected isolation
Of the city
Criminal underworlds vie
With middle-class respectability
Anarchic excitement
With bourgeois safety
Pathological death obsessed
Macabre extremes
Identities fixed and imprisoned
Hypocritical
Oppression of children
Exposed as victims
False patriarchy
Beaming paternalism
Carnivalesque anarchic emotionally
Spendthrift families of protection
And microcosms of greed and violence
Exposure of “society” as
Oppressive and unreal
Baptism required
For true identity
To shine
Bread and circuses
Fairy-tale paternalist
Charity mongering
Amidst the
Frankenstein social order

Far from the Towns perception

Perception of idyllic
Rural settings as
Picturesque stable
Tranquil and secure
Belies the real affair of
Poverty, unemployment
Competition and exodus
Sexual competition
Snobbery
Vanity all
Escape the day trippers’
Gaze upon
“idyllic nature”
transforming work
objectified desire
flesh and spirit
in conflict
oppressing
ostracising
social
conventions
unintended consequences
of conscious social choices
no appeasing
happy ending here

Prejudice from pride

Actions not intentions
Or feelings form the
Ethical life
Dependent on truth
In a world of deceit
Sympathies
With empathetic
Characters
Condemning selfishness
With satire
Ambiguities
Rebellion
Against
Aristocracy
Love within acceptable
Class parameters
A balance
Between behavioural pressure
And rampant individualism
Combining instinct with education
Idle harming rich
Imploding rural gentry
Forgetting their manners
Conserving realism

The “Decisive Moment”

Silhoutted “decisive moment”
combines with incisive composition
instinctive and intelligent
geographical triangular forms

Representations of expressions of freedom
while striving for visual perfection
his gaze to him was everything
his gaze was who he was

Peter Burton August 2006


To be or ……?

Paranoid Jealousy
Over-reading all the signs
An obsessive hunter of hidden knowledge
Tryin to control events

Endlessly frustrated
In absence of any real mystery
Jealousy perpetually bending ‘evidence’
For its own ends

“Did ye get Healed”

A Shaman heightening our senses
Using Incantation and rhythm
Searching for spiritual epiphany
total passion in his voice

A mystical misfit naïve and majestic
Alternatively beautiful and venomous
Caledonian soul and Yeats as mentor
An Eden misty and wet with rain


King of the Delta Blues


You would play to a single female
In the audience
Using the most complex original strings

Picked out for her beauty
And the hope of a later fling

Your lyrics could not fail to impress
And your face was pretty too

You’re the legendary Robert Johnson
The King of the Delta blues.


Brando

They voted you the actors’ actor
By about a million miles

With your mean moody magnificence
And occasional transforming smile

Honest, radical ,principled and bright
Your performances and life radiated light


Goodnight Irene

Released with a pardon
So the legend goes
After singing to the Governor
In the most powerful ,moving tones

Fighting, bragging, whoring, brawling
Turning hard men into jelly
But nobody could sing the blues
Quite like Huddie Leadbelly

Plain English ? Does that Add Value ?

Flexible learning
Lifelong learning
Widening access
Social inclusion
Quality assurance
Adding value
Validation
Verification
Accreditation
and best practice
programme reviews
enhancing frameworks
personnel development
strategic opportunities
and teambuilding
cross-school networking
equal opportunities and diversity
hierarchies
power maddies
cowed workforces
double standards
big fat salaries
two tier workforces
temporary contracts
student fodder
running businesses
gravy training
teacher blaming
finger waving
motivation waning
curriculum varying
better know the lingo
if you want to be professional

I’M A TEACHER !
GET ME OUT OF HERE !

Shark Attack

How doth the big long shark
Improve his shining teeth

By selling you what you don’t need
More skill-fully than any thief

How subtly he gets under your skin
How cheerfully he seems to grin

He milks your kindness
and its far from funny

Then he swiftly departs
once he’s got your money

Play safe

Stay comfortable with your misery
Play safe, don’t take a risk

Hide your vulnerability
Play safe, don’t take a risk

Pursuing happiness is for others
Play safe, don’t take a risk

There’s too much pain
If it doesn’t work out
Play safe, don’t take a risk

Never near a farm

There are far too many people around
Carrying Farmfood Plastic bags

They always seem to be headin hame
And have a tendency to smoke fags

Their inner contents look mysterious
It just doesn’t look like food

But then knowing Farmfoods as I do
There is no way it would


Scottish News story .

Pi Pick up a Penguin ?

The researchers were on the news the other day
Telling us that male penguins like to play away

What a relief it is , you have to say
That men don’t think and act this way

Cover it up in cover it up land

Cover it up, cover it up
How is it going to look?

Cover it up, cover it up
How are we going to pay?

Cover it up, cover it up
What does this say about us?

Cover it up cover it up
Maybe it’ll all go away ?

Out of shape blues

Well ma baby done left me
Says a was hastlin her to get fit
Well ma baby done left me
Says a was hastlin her to get fit

Said to me at seventeen stone
You are a hypocrite
Yes you are a hypocrite

Well I said to ma baby
Why don’t we form a pack ?
Well I said to ma baby
Why don’t we form a pack ?

I’ll get in shape if you do too
What do you think of that?
Yes what do you think of that?

Well ma baby done left me
seems packs are just not hip
Well ma baby done left me
seems packs are just not hip

Wonder what ma babys doin now
And what she thinks about it
Yes what she thinks about it

Sexy Lady

The sexiest woman I ever did see
Was ten years , at least, older than me
The sexiest body with its all over tan
And beautiful clothes to turn any man
You were off limits, married, unfree
But oh what lust I had for thee


Vulnerability

Conceal your feelings
Fight your feelings
Never open up

Suppress your feelings
Deny your feelings
It will only lead to hurt

But pain and loss are complex things
Suppression rarely works
Please tell me beautiful lady
Did ignoring your heart work ?


Gods to Blame

Gods to blame
He told me to invade

And anyway, Iraqs’ free now
If not, then Gods’ to blame