Sunday, 23 December 2007

Seeds of Thought Urban Poetry

F 'n' Christmas

I wish it wasn't Christmas
I wish it wasn't Christmas
I wish it wasn't Christmas

Cos its too fuckin' dear !

Its time for a fling
To hell with this ring

I wish it wasn't Christmas
Cos its too fuckin' dear !

In England by Don McCullin


Don McCullin’s view of England is rooted in his wartime childhood and growing up around Finsbury Park in the fifties. His first published photograph was a picture of a gang from his neighbourhood, which appeared in a newspaper after a local murder; McCullin always balanced his anger at the unacceptable face of the nation with tenderness or compassion.

In England combines some of his greatest work with an entirely new body of photographs. McCullin sees his home country with its perpetual social gulf between the affluent and the desperate in mind. He continues in the same black and white tradition as he did between foreign assignments for the Sunday Times in the sixties and seventies, when his view of a deprived Britain seemed as dark as the conflict zones from which he’d just escaped.

This book marks his return to the cities and landscape he knew as a young photographer. At a time when we might believe the world has changed beyond our imagination, McCullin shows us a view of England where the line between the wealthy and the deprived is as defined as ever. This time he adds wry humour to his lyricism, as if the nation is as absurd as it is tragic.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Eli Reed - Black in America

Injustice to Blacks in America represented photographically

Tom Stoddarts' Photography

"A spirit in my feet said go and i went"

Great site - Photos images, with commentary and music

Li Zhensheng


Thursday, 22 November 2007


Author: Sean Matgamna

Who fears to praise Red Seventeen?
Who quails at Lenin’s name?
When liars mock at Trotsky's fate
Who adds his, “Theirs the blame”?
Cain-Stalin’s knave, or bourgeois slave
Will scorn the Old Cause thus,
But honest men and women
Will raise a voice with us.

We praise the memory of the dead,
Of Lenin's friends long gone
Who led the workers in revolt:
An army, not a throng.
All, all are gone, but still lives on
The cause of those who died
And honest men and women
Remember them with pride.

They rose in war-torn blood drenched days
To help set workers free
Their own lives fed the living blaze
That challenged tyranny:
But bourgeois might half-vanquished right
Some fell in disarray,
Others spun ’neath Stalin s gun
—And we strive still today!

We work to free all those who live
In bourgeois slavery
And glory in the names of those
Who fought for Liberty.
’Trenched bourgeois might won’t vanquish right
But fail and go astray.
And honest and women
Will speed them on their way!

Yes, we dare praise Red Seventeen,
We honour Lenin’s name.
Though cowards mock the old Red fight,
We’re still in Trotsky’s game!
Though Stalin’s knaves and bourgeois slaves
Will scorn the Old Cause thus,
Yet honest men and women
Still voice this faith with us.

We hail the memory of the free,
Of Trotsky’s ’durate few
Who fought in France, Spain, Germany,
In Stalin's Russia too.
Though all are gone, they still live on,
Their cause won’t go away
And honest men and women
Still sing their song today.

Then here’s their memory, may it be
For us a guiding light
That shows us workers’ liberty
And teaches us to fight.
Through good and ill continue still
The Cause that thrives unseen,
That brought the bourgeois tyrants down
In Nineteen Seventeen!


This is patterned on John Kells Ingram’s “The Memory of the Dead”, which is better known as “Ninety Eight” — 1798, the year of rebellion in Ireland.
goes to the tune of Ninety Eight.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Socialist Songs

The Rebel Girl

There are women of many descriptions
In this queer world, as everyone knows,
Some are living in beautiful mansions,
And are wearing the finest of clothes.
There are blue-blooded queens and princesses,
Who have charms made of diamonds and pearl,
But the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl.

That’s the Rebel Girl, that’s the Rebel Girl!
To the working-class she’s a precious pearl.
She brings courage, pride and joy
To the fighting Rebel Boy,
We’ve had girls before, but we need some more
In the Industrial Worker’s of the World,
For it’s great to fight for freedom
With a Rebel Girl.

Yes her hands may be hardened from labor,
And her dress may not be very fine,
But a heart in her bosom is beating
That is true to her class and her kind.
And the grafters in terror are trembling
When her spite and defiance she’ll hurl
For the only and thoroughbred lady,
Is the Rebel Girl

God Bless Free Enterprise
(Tune: America The Beautiful)

God bless free enterprise, system divine,
Stand beside her and guide her,
Just as long as the profits are mine.
Good old Wall Street, may she flourish
Corporations, may they grow,
God bless free enterprise, the status quo,
God bless free enterprise, the status quo,

Let My People Go

When Israel was in Egypt land,
Let my people go.
Oppressed so hard they could not stand.
Let my people go.

Go down Moses, way down in Egypt land.
Tell old Pharaoh, Let my people go.

Thus saith the Lord, Bold Moses said
Let my people go.
If not, I’ll smite your first born dead.
Let my people go.


No more shall they in bondage toil.
Let my people go.
Let them come out with Egypt’s spoil.
Let my people go.


When they reached the other shore,
Let my people go.
They sang a song of triumph o’er,
Let my people go.


This world’s a wilderness of woe,
Let my people go.
O’ let us on to Canaan go,
Let my people go.


Your foes shall not before you stand,
Let my people go.
And you’ll possess fair Canaan’s land
Let my people go.

Joe Hill

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you and me,
Says I “But, Joe, you’re ten years dead,”
“I never died,” says he,
“I never died,” says he.

In Salt Lake, Joe,” says I to him,
Him standing by my bed,
“They framed you on a murder charge,”
Says Joe, “but I aint dead.”
Says Joe, “but I aint dead.”

And standing there as big as life,
And smiling with his eyes,
Joe says, “What they forgot to kill,”
Went on to organize,
Went on to organize,

“From San Diego up to Maine,
In ev’ry mine and mill
Where working men defend their rights”
Says he, “You’ll find Joe Hill.”
Says he, “You’ll find Joe Hill.”

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you and me,
Says I “But, Joe, you’re ten years dead,”
“I never died,” says he,
“I never died,” says he.

Dump The Bosses Off Your Back

Are you poor, forlorn, and hungry?
Are there lots of things you lack?
Is your life made up of misery?
Then dump the bosses off your back.

Are your clothes all patched and tattered?
Are you living in a shack?
Would you like your troubles scattered?
Then dump the bosses off your back.

Are you almost split asunder?
Loaded like a long eared jack?
Boob, why don’t you buck like thunder?
And dump the bosses off your back.

All the agonies you suffer,
you can end with one good whack!
Stiffen up, you orn’ry duffer, --
And dump the bosses off your back.

Monday, 5 November 2007

The Documentary Photograph

The Document ( Peter Burton)

Critics of early documentary photography repeated the same critique of the medium that had been made against the founding father of documentary film John Grierson - that working class people had been represented as passive victims of industrial capitalism . At best the photograph aimed to pressurise governments into a charitable response to poverty , slum housing or bad working conditions. And at worst the goal was simply to display the skill and humanity of the photographer.

Nevertheless documentary photographs have led to progressive social change that might otherwise have been delayed or not occurred at all. Lewis Hines’ photographs at the outset of the Twentieth Century were used to help end child labour in US factories, Sweatshops and Mines. Tina Modotti made an empathetic representation of the Mexican Revolution in the 20’s and 30’s and here in the UK Edith Tudoe- Hardt worked with the National Unemployed Workers’ Association to highlight the consequences of mass unemployment in depression Britain. The iniquities of Apartheid South Africa were wonderfully represented in Ernets Coles’ famous ‘House of Bondage‘ and Sebastian Salgados’ photos of Workers has undoubtedly contributed to a worldwide struggle for social justice.

However the medium has not escaped the retreat from class politics from the Thatcher period onwards and it is not obvious who, if anybody, has replaced documentary photographers like McCullin, Bresson, Capa, and Salgado.

Whatever the aims of the photographer it is undeniable that the documentary photograph has been and continues to be seen as a threat not just by dictatorial regimes but increasingly by late Capitalist Western liberal-democracy also.

The first big example of censorship was the banning of photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the Americans during their seven year occupation of Japan at the end of WW 2, the photos of Yamhata , Domon and Tomatsu bringing the horrors of the atomic age to the Worlds’ attention only after the occupation ended. Don McCullin , Philipp Jones Griffiths , David Douglas Duncan, Tim Page and Larry Burroughs’ negative representation of Vietnam were significant in turning public opinion against the war . Crucially Eddie Adams’ photo of the cold blooded execution of a North Vietnamese by the Saigon Chief of Police increased the numbers of Americans on anti-war demos dramatically, the numbers increasing again as the smuggled photos of the My Lai massacre emerged.

Government reaction has seen much tighter control, Don McCullin infamously being denied a press pass during the Falklands/Malvinos war. Photographers in Ireland during “The Troubles” were “embedded” with army units- a practice repeated in the recent Iraq war. Technological advances yet again have made absolute control impossible as images of the Abu Ghraib tortures ably demonstrated.

It remains to be seen if there is a downside to the greater availability of high quality images. Will the fantastic quantity of photographs undermine the mediums’ power to both shock and provoke much needed protest and dissent? Or shall widespread availability of easily usable digital technology at increasingly reduced prices make oppression and cover -up increasingly difficult?

Pete Burton

Monday, 1 October 2007

Chomsky Quotes

Trotsky Quotes

England is nothing but the last ward of the European madhouse, and quite possibly it will prove to be the ward for particularly violent cases.
Leon Trotsky

Fascism is nothing but capitalist reaction.
Leon Trotsky

From being a patriotic myth, the Russian people have become an awful reality.
Leon Trotsky

Ideas that enter the mind under fire remain there securely and for ever.
Leon Trotsky

If we had had more time for discussion we should probably have made a great many more mistakes.
Leon Trotsky

If we had more time for discussion we should probably have made a great many more mistakes.
Leon Trotsky

In a serious struggle there is no worse cruelty than to be magnanimous at an inopportune time.
Leon Trotsky

In inner-party politics, these methods lead, as we shall yet see, to this: the party organization substitutes itself for the party, the central committee substitutes itself for the organization, and, finally, a "dictator" substitutes himself for the central committee.
Leon Trotsky

Insurrection is an art, and like all arts has its own laws.
Leon Trotsky

Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one's enemies.
Leon Trotsky

Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain - at least in a poor country like Russia - and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect.
Leon Trotsky

Life is not an easy matter... You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.
Leon Trotsky

Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravity.
Leon Trotsky

Old age is the most unexpected of all things that happen to a man.
Leon Trotsky

Revolutions are always verbose.
Leon Trotsky

Technique is noticed most markedly in the case of those who have not mastered it.
Leon Trotsky

The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.
Leon Trotsky

The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.
Leon Trotsky

The historic ascent of humanity, taken as a whole, may be summarized as a succession of victories of consciousness over blind forces - in nature, in society, in man himself.
Leon Trotsky

There are no absolute rules of conduct, either in peace or war. Everything depends on circumstances.
Leon Trotsky

There is a limit to the application of democratic methods. You can inquire of all the passengers as to what type of car they like to ride in, but it is impossible to question them as to whether to apply the brakes when the train is at full speed and accident threatens.
Leon Trotsky

Where force is necessary, there it must be applied boldly, decisively and completely. But one must know the limitations of force; one must know when to blend force with a maneuver, a blow with an agreement.
Leon Trotsky

You may not be interested in strategy, but strategy is interested in you.
Leon Trotsky

Sunday, 23 September 2007


Fine writing from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East


He was the last armed prophet - and became the first truly global icon of the modern era following his death at the hands of the CIA-backed Bolivian army.

Complex and charismatic, Ernesto “Che” Guevara has been immortalised in popular culture as the archetypal, self-sacrificing rebel with a cause.

His martyr’s death on 9 October 1967 transformed him into the poster-boy of revolution - but also inspired poets and songwriters the world over to put pen to paper.

To coincide with the 40th anniversary of his execution, Che in Verse reproduces 134 poems and songs from 53 countries about this enigmatic Argentine-Cuban revolutionary. The book contains 19 poems by north American poets, including Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, John Haines, Greg Hewett, Michael McClure and Thomas Merton.

It examines how Che was celebrated or remembered from before his death to the present day, and it explores why Guevara - himself a gun-toting poet - has achieved a level of sanctification comparable to Christ.

Edited by Gavin O’Toole and Georgina Jiménez, Che in Verse is published by Aflame Books. It brings together contributions both published and unpublished by poets and songwriters living and dead - ranging from Che’s fellow revolutionaries and anti-colonial freedom-fighters to two Nobel Prize winners, a gay rights activist, Brazil’s minister of culture, a Cistercian monk, and a Cuban prisoner of conscience languishing in the “Alcatraz of the Rockies”.

Gavin O’Toole is an academic and journalist who conducted research for Che in Verse under the auspices of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, while a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow. His first two books were Politics Latin America (2007) and the translation of Oswaldo Salazar’s From the Darkness (2007). Georgina Jiménez Reynoso is a Mexican freelance writer and translator. She has translated and written for several British newspapers and writes book and film reviews for the Latin American Review of Books.

“One radiant face driven mad with a rifle” - Allen Ginsberg, USA

“A spirit rides” - Liam Ó Comain, Ireland

“…you are the Jesus of the modern age” - K.G. Sankara Pillai, India

“… it is you who are the poet.” - Miguel Barnet, Cuba

“The worms have murdered the tiger. Che is dead.” - Joe Rosenblatt, Canada

Che in Verse, edited by Gavin O’Toole and Georgina Jiménez ISBN: 9780955233951 Distributed in North America by Independent Publishers Group (

For more information, contact: Richard Bartlett: 0779 3062327
01722 421522 Email:

Friday, 21 September 2007

Each quarter day we paid our dues

A Poem about the Clearances by a real master of words

Each quarter day we paid our dues [given title, 20 September 2007]

The Quarter Day

Sellar, Young and Loch were canny lawyers;
Writ and assignation were their powers.
Each quarter-day they took the rents, and woe
Betide all those that could not pay full due.

All three were the Duke of Sutherland’s men;
And through Helmsdale and Strathnaver ran
The promise that they swore their lord to keep:
To clear the clanns and turn the land to sheep.

They did their work. They cleared it inch and strath,
And felled all opposition to their swath.
Burning roofs and breaking walls they came
To make the clanns forget ’twas ever hame.

The dispossessed were cast into the cold:
Man and wife and weans, the sick and the old.
Their ministers told them it was God’s will,
Then dined with the lawyers, and took good fill.

Many and many walked with burden cruel
The destitution road to Ullapool,
And took the ships that packed across the sea
To foreign lands and foreign destiny.

Sellar, Young and Loch grew rich and thrived
On sheep that roamed in glens where once men lived.
They raised a glass, a bumper to success
In a country they’d filled with emptiness.

But now the sun has set; the day falls dark;
Upon the grand oak door is heard a knock.
The serving-woman comes into the hall
To tell the lawyers who has come to call.

A stranger stands before them, finely clad,
His coat and boots the best that can be had.
“Good sirs, I greet you all this night,” says he,
“For I know tomorrow is quarter-day.

“MacLeod of Kildonan bids me hither,
And glad he’d be to see you all together.
The last he saw you was the quarter-day
When his father pleaded more time to pay.

“His family by you was stripped of land
And cast into the weather out of hand.
Below the glen they watched their houses burn,
And thence were driven, never to return.

“A weary road they travelled to its ends;
Cold and hunger were their only friends;
Until at last a sombre ship they found
To part forever from their native ground.

“But all’s not lost: dark clouds are silver-lined
And fickle Providence may turn out kind.
America’s where MacLeod has made his hame
And prospers there to fortune and to fame.

“In consequence of which, he bids to you
This purse of gold, which now I lay in view;
And further bids me, gentlemen, to say
He clears his debt to you this quarter-day.”

Loch looks to Young, Young to Sellar the same,
All three wondering what’s the stranger’s game.
Good lawyers are not so easily caught:
They know that payment seldom comes unfraught.

Says Loch, “If MacLeod has paid in full grace,
The Duke may deign to give him back his place.
Which being so, we’ll take the money here
And you may tell MacLeod all debts are clear.”

“Not so,” says the stranger. “There is a fee
That you must pay this quarter-day to me.
Look not startled. Sit, whilst I enlarge
The case to you, and then you’ll know the charge.

“The young MacLeod now lives content at last,
And for himself all bitterness is past.
But his father was broken unto death
And left a curse upon his dying breath.

His gentle mother died in like despair;
His sisters, from disease and want of care.
Payment for these souls, gentlemen, is due,
And that’s the charge that now I lay on you.

“You need not stir. I’ll hear no argument,
Nor is there need to sign a document.
Your warrant is your breath; and that I’ll draw
Until the hour you breathe it nevermore.”

The stranger smiles; and now they see his coat
Unbutton all the way from skirt to throat;
And in its folds, the lawyers freeze to see
Their souls enmembered and entombed, all three.

The stranger has gone; the hall is dark and still;
The fires die, leaving a graveyard chill.
The lawyers sit as dead men, faces grey,
To meet the dawn of their last quarter-day.

Ailean MacGlas
20 September 2007

Monday, 17 September 2007


by Matt McGinn

Dominie, Dominie
There was nane like John MacLean,
The fighting Dominie

Tell me where ye’re gaun, lad, and who ye’re gaun to meet--
I’m headed for the station that’s in Buchanan Street,
I’ll join 200,000 that’s there to meet the train
That’s bringing back to Glasgow our own dear John MacLean

Tell me whaur he’s been, lad, and why has he been there?
They’ve had him in the prison for preaching in the Square,
For Johnny held a finger at all the ills he saw,
He was right side o’ the people, but he was wrong side o’ the law:

Johnny was a teacher in one o’ Glasgow’s schools
The golden law was silence but Johnny broke the rules,
For a world of social justice young Johnny couldnae wait,
He took his chalk and easel to the men at the shipyard gate.

The leaders o’ the nation made money hand o’er fist
By grinding down the people by the fiddle and the twist,
Aided and abetted by the preacher and the Press --
John called for revolution and he called for nothing less:

The bosses and the judges united as one man
For Johnny was a danger to their ’14-’18 plan,
They wanted men for slaughter in the fields of Armentiers,
John called upon the people to smash the profiteers:

They brought him to the courtroom in Edinburgh toun,
But still he didnae cower, he firmly held his ground,
And stoutly he defended his every word and deed,
Five years it was his sentence in the jail at Peterheid:

Seven months he lingered in prison misery
Till the people rose in fury, in Glasgow and Dundee,
Lloyd George and all his cronies were shaken to the core,
The prison gates were opened, and John was free once more:

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

9/11 07

9/11 07



Peter Burton

September 2007

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


"Human beings make their own Hell " DH


An archetypical Western in modern urban dress
brutal lyrical one-liners and hard-boiled compassion

Socialism is in the air as Anarchists get scapegoated

crime , political corruption , human passions, jealousy,
cupidity and hypocrisy intertwine with tarnished saints
and sentimental sinners as
key characters betray principles to satisfy baser needs

Peter Burton September 2007

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The Cook

The Cook

Some say she is just a big tease
put on the telly to make men
shake at the knees

But I say that in actual reality
she’s just proud and confident
about her own sexuality

She’s wise and intelligent
progressive as well
a voluptuous ,smouldering ,brown-eyed belle

Pete Burton

Monday, 27 August 2007



Chilean copper miners create the Guggenheim museum
in a pseudo-philanthropic pre-modern age
of in denial, megalomaniac, evangelical, obsessives

The code words change in Fortunes’ pages to

structural adjustment,
hedge funds,
leveraged buyouts

as the Old Rich sneer
while Mr Jones voyeuristically reads
about rich lifestyles in manipulative glossy magazines

and politically ambitious media monsters
compete to rule the world
bored accumulating unearned capital and workers’ souls

Victory to the Chilean Miners. !

Peter Burton August 2007



I long to be a father
I want to love a child
and care for my child

Through time and problems
We grow, laugh, talk, stay silent

My childs’ insecurity makes me feel needed
responsible, frustrated , sometimes angry

I try to let my child develop
not too strict , not too lack

I want to have a well-rounded
loving child

I want to be a friend to my child

Peter Burton August 2007

Slow Talk

Slow Talk

Will you talk a little slower ?
said the comrade to the Chair

There’s still half an hour to go
and the next speaker , I can’t bear

Peter Burton August 2007

Benefit Agency Interviewee

Benefit Agency Interviewee

Are you currently unemployed ? – Yes

Are you looking for work ?- Yes

Would you accept any reasonable offer of work ? – Yes

Do you have any savings ?– No

Wages owed ?– No

Bonds or shares ?- No

Pension due ?- No

Do you let out property or own property here or abroad ? – No

Any land ?-No

Any other source of income not mentioned here ?- No

Do you like Scotland ?– Eh Yes

Glasgow ? Yes

Is Sean Connery the best Bond – Yesh

Do you like me ?– Oh Yes

Do you like Rangers ( Nodding while asking)? Eh Yes
(fingers crossed behind my back so this disnae count)

Do you like Glasgows’ weather ?– eh NO !

Do you like violence on TV ?– NO

Do you mind being humiliated ?– No

Yes – well everything does seem to be in order Mr Burton
Your claim will be processed in due course.

Have a nice day !

You too !


Woodstock – the 30th Anniversary

Woodstock – the 30th Anniversary

Choose a $180 dollar ticket
or a $60 pay per view telecast

Get you’re $100,000 Woodstock
Platinum credit card here

Along with
embattled firefighters
wrecked speaker systems
burnt out tents
and inevitable riot police

Groovy Man

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Bio of Richard Wright

Between the World and Me
Richard Wright

And one morning while in the woods I stumbled
suddenly upon the thing,
Stumbled upon it in a grassy clearing guarded by scaly
oaks and elms
And the sooty details of the scene rose, thrusting
themselves between the world and me....

There was a design of white bones slumbering forgottenly
upon a cushion of ashes.
There was a charred stump of a sapling pointing a blunt
finger accusingly at the sky.
There were torn tree limbs, tiny veins of burnt leaves, and
a scorched coil of greasy hemp;
A vacant shoe, an empty tie, a ripped shirt, a lonely hat,
and a pair of trousers stiff with black blood.
And upon the trampled grass were buttons, dead matches,
butt-ends of cigars and cigarettes, peanut shells, a
drained gin-flask, and a whore's lipstick;
Scattered traces of tar, restless arrays of feathers, and the
lingering smell of gasoline.
And through the morning air the sun poured yellow
surprise into the eye sockets of the stony skull....

And while I stood my mind was frozen within cold pity
for the life that was gone.
The ground gripped my feet and my heart was circled by
icy walls of fear--
The sun died in the sky; a night wind muttered in the
grass and fumbled the leaves in the trees; the woods
poured forth the hungry yelping of hounds; the
darkness screamed with thirsty voices; and the witnesses rose and lived:
The dry bones stirred, rattled, lifted, melting themselves
into my bones.
The grey ashes formed flesh firm and black, entering into
my flesh.

The gin-flask passed from mouth to mouth, cigars and
cigarettes glowed, the whore smeared lipstick red
upon her lips,
And a thousand faces swirled around me, clamoring that
my life be burned....

And then they had me, stripped me, battering my teeth
into my throat till I swallowed my own blood.
My voice was drowned in the roar of their voices, and my
black wet body slipped and rolled in their hands as
they bound me to the sapling.
And my skin clung to the bubbling hot tar, falling from
me in limp patches.
And the down and quills of the white feathers sank into
my raw flesh, and I moaned in my agony.
Then my blood was cooled mercifully, cooled by a
baptism of gasoline.
And in a blaze of red I leaped to the sky as pain rose like water, boiling my limbs
Panting, begging I clutched childlike, clutched to the hot
sides of death.
Now I am dry bones and my face a stony skull staring in
yellow surprise at the sun....

The War Against the Trees

by Stanley Kunitz

The man who sold his lawn to standard oil
Joked with his neighbors come to watch the show
While the bulldozers, drunk with gasoline,
Tested the virtue of the soil
Under the branchy sky
By overthowing first the privet-row.

Forsythia-forays and hydrangea-raids
Were but preliminaries to a war
Against the great-grandfathers of the town,
So freshly lopped and maimed.
They struck and struck again,
And with each elm a century went down.

All day the hireling engines charged the trees,
Subverting them by hacking underground
In grub-dominions, where dark summer's mole
Rampages through his halls,
Till a northern seizure shook
Those crowns, forcing the giants to their knees.

I saw the ghosts of children at their games
Racing beyond their childhood in the shade,
And while the green world turned its death-foxed page
And a red wagon wheeled,
I watched them disappear
Into the suburbs of their grievous age.

Ripped from the craters much too big for hearts
The club-roots bared their amputated coils,
Raw gorgons matted blind, whose pocks and scars
Cried Moon! On a corner lot
One witness-moment, caught
In the rear-view mirrors of the passing cars.

The Permanent Delegate

by Yuri Suhl

My name is Jew. I come from the land of skeleteon. They beat me in Berlin, tortured me in Warsaw, shot me Lublin And I am still here -- the ash of my bones a glowing monument, a fiery headstone.

I am the scorched hair of a virgin's bright curls smoothed and patted by anxious hands I am a maddened mother's futile tears soothing in vain a hundred anguished hurts.

I am the spasm of a body convulsed in flames, the crumbling of a skeleton, the boiling of blood, shriveling of flesh, smoudering ash of six million -- ashes of body, of brain, of vision, of work -- ashes of genius and dreams, ashes of God's master stroke -- Man.

Count the limbs gentlemen -- match them if you can in pairs. It can't be done. For I am one ghost of six million. Out of all the ashses I have become one And the dream lies broken and spit on.

I am here to tell you, gentlemen it's a lie -- the world is not yet Hitler-free. Millions see it, condemn it, cry out my pain and warn you. But you are moved like a granite statue by a prick of a pin. Therefore I have come, uninvited, unwelcome bringing a message from the land of skeleton.

I am grafting my ash to your souls.
I am hanging my dreams around your necks.
I am blotting out the sun from your day
with my shadow.
I am tearing the quiet of your night
with shrieks of my tortures.
I will beat at your conscience
with the hands of a million dead children and
I will pick at your brains with my maggots

Yea, though you split the atom to infinity
you will see my face before your eyes.
I sit at all the round tables
At every conference I am a delegate,
my credentials signed by six million
from the land of skeleton and you will never get rid of me
until the world is Hitler-free.

I am a Black Woman

I am a Black Woman

I am a black woman
the music of my song
some sweet arpeggio of tears
is written in a minor key
and I
can be heard humming in the night
Can be heard
in the night

I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea
and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath
from my issue in the canebrake
I lost Nat's swinging body in a rain of tears
and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio
for Peace he never knew....I
learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill
in anguish
Now my nostrils know the gas
and these trigger tire/d fingers
seek the softness in my warrior's beard

I am a black woman
tall as a cypress
beyond all definition still
defying place
and time
and circumstance
on me and be

Robert Bly

I Sit and Look Out

I Sit And Look Out by Walt Whitman.

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all
oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with
themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying,
neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband--I see the treacherous seducer
of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be
hid--I see these sights on the earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny--I see martyrs and
I observe a famine at sea--I observe the sailors casting lots who
shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon
laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these--All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look
out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.

(To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)

(To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for he time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

-- W. H. Auden

Monday, 20 August 2007

The Miners' Strike in Films and Books

The UK miners' strike was the background for the critically acclaimed 2000 film Billy Elliot. Several scenes powerfully depict the chaos at the picket lines, clashes between armies of police and striking miners, and the shame associated with crossing the picket line.

It is also involved in the background to the plot in Brassed Off, which is set ten years after the strike when all the miners have the lost the will to resist and accept the closure of their pit with resignation. Brassed Off was set in the fictional "Grimley", a thinly disguised version of the hard-hit ex-mining village of Grimethorpe, where some of it was filmed.

The satirical Comic Strip Presents episode The Strike (1988) depicts an idealistic Welsh screenwriter's growing dismay as his hard-hitting and grittily realistic script about the strike is mutilated by a Hollywood producer into an all-action thriller starring Al Pacino (played by Peter Richardson) and Meryl Streep (played by Jennifer Saunders). The 1984 episode of the 1996 BBC television drama serial Our Friends in the North revolves around the events of the strike, and the scenes of clashes between the police and striking miners were re-created using many of those who had taken place in the actual real-life events on the miners' side. In 2005 BBC One broadcast the one-off drama Faith, written by William Ivory and starring Jamie Draven and Maxine Peake. It viewed the strike from the perspective of both the police and the miners.

A 2005 book called "GB84" by David Peace combines fictional accounts of pickets, union officials and strike-breakers. Graphic details are provided of many of the strike's major events. It also suggests that British intelligence was involved in undermining the strike, including in the alleged suggestion of a link between Scargill and Gaddafi.

As mentioned above, in 2001, British visual artist Jeremy Deller worked with historical societies, battle re-enactors, and dozens of the people who participated in the violent 1984 clashes of picketers and police to reconstruct and re-enact the Battle of Orgreave. A documentary about the re-enactment was produced by Deller and director Mike Figgis and was broadcast on British television; and Deller also published a book called The English Civil War Part II documenting both the project and the historical events it investigates (Artangel Press, 2002). Involving the reenactors, who would normally recreate Viking battles or medievals wars, was a way for Deller to situate the recent and controversial Battle of Orgreave (and labor politics themselves) as part of mainstream history. See

G.Mckie's poem Ode to Heseltine was written after the announcement to close 31 collieries in 1992, which betrayed previous promises to miners who had worked on during the strike. An online collection of photographic images taken during the dispute.

Popular songs about the Miners' Strike
The strike has been the subject of songs by many music groups. Of the more well known; the band Pulp recorded a song "Last day of the miners' strike", Funeral for a Friend wrote a song called "History", the folk-rock band Steeleye Span recorded the song "Blackleg Miner", and Ewan MacColl wrote the song "Daddy, What did you do in the strike?". Newcastle native, Sting, recorded a song about the strike called "We Work the Black Seam" for his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, in 1985.

The folk song "The Ballad of '84" contains the view that David Jones and Joe Green died as a result of the police's handling of events. U2's song "Red Hill Mining Town" from their Joshua Tree album is about the strike, according to lead singer Bono. On July 7, 1984 the anarcho-punk band Crass played their final show in Aberdare, Wales at a benefit for striking miners.

Chumbawamba recorded a song called "Fitzwilliam", which described the Yorkshire village after the strike. The village eventually saw around a third of its housing stock demolished due to the dominance of derelict properties. They also made a song called "Frickley" about the football club Frickley Athletic, which referenced the continued distrust of the police by those in mining areas after the strike.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Parisian War Song

Parisian War Song

Spring is evidently here; for
The ascent of Thiers and Picard
From the green Estates lays
Its splendours wide open!

O May! What delirious bare bums!
O Sèvres Meudon, Bagneux, Asnières,
Listen now to the welcome arrivals
Scattering springtime joys!

They have shakos, and sabers, and tom-toms,
And none of the old candleboxes;
And skiffs which have nev... nev...
Are cutting the lake of bloodstained waters!

More than ever before, we roister,
As on to our ant-heaps come
Tumbling the yellow heads,
On these extraordinary dawns:

Thiers and Picard are Cupids;
And beheaders of sunflowers too;
They paint Corots with insecticide:
Look how their tropes de-cockchafer the trees...

They're familiars of the Great What's-his-name!...
And Favre, lying among the irisis,
Blinks and weeps crocodile tears,
And sniffs his peppery sniff!

The Big City has hot cobblestones,
In spite of your showers of paraffin;
And decidedly we shall have
To liven you up in your parts...

And the Rustics who take their ease
In long squattings,
Will hear boughs breaking
Among the red rustlings.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007



A Classical Hollywood narrative of hope and redemption
Pentagon Disneyland for free market experimentation
falsely benign Fox misrepresentation

The birthplace of civilisation run by Haliburton and Bechtel
and their creative accounting fraudster friends

Criminals as Kings , theft, gang rape, kidnapping ,honour killings
all carried out in the name of Freedom

The Geometry of bad water, no power, mounting waste correlates
neatly with rising violence , despair and irredentist fundamentalism

Stereotypical Rae burn wearing GI’s with
their guns and pills and pop culture
seek “ Bad Guys” in an apocalyptic Pentagon theme park

as misogynist misery gangs resist the Occupodians
creating chaos to win

Disgruntled cynical working-class grunts
and Mercenary security firms guard
the boys in the bubble in the Green Zone
with their post-modern colonial Gap Gear
wraparound shades and Heckler and Kock MP 5 s

While crazy people roam amongst trash fires and diseased feral dogs
In Sadr City
Vietnam Street ,
Death to Spies and Collaborator conclusions
on walls
Sedans full of men and eyes on each corner

Military technology again substitutes poorly
for an absence of hearts and minds
In an awkwardly urban apocalyptic clash of cultures

Self-confident Ivy league Green Zone post-colonialists
construct fantasies in an air-conditioned oasis of
beautiful palm trees and manicured lawns
as carpet bagging “reconstruction” fraudsters
drain Iraq of its life blood natural resource .

Joes and Hagis
Saws and MRES
A Two Tier army
Tag teaming, $ 15 ficky fick, digital photo trades
Juicing on steroids, sleeping on valium, eating coffee granules
in a floating , escapist diazepam hazed rabbit hole

High noon patrols prowl the streets
in a Heart of Darkness wild west called Fallujah
as Apache Helicopter gunships circle and strafe
in this Iraqi Alabama at the end of the river
creating chaotic visual loops of orange

Parachuted incandescent flares descend
on night time blockades , house raids ,
Bound and hooded Iraqis , a dead child mistake

Panther Penis victims
Cancerous depleted Uranium victims
Lack of Medical supply victims
Sharia Lawlessness victims
Pray and spray shooting victims

Pre-Medieval self-referential autonomous
cells of women-hating men
Parasitic voyeurs
War Tourists
Cynical Grunts
Careerist freelancers
Nut jobs
Neo-con fantasists and
In Denial Zealots

Neither Political Islam nor US Imperialism
cries the Left while young men rapped in Green
and Black flags fire AK-47s in the air
drawn to the lure of violence

While 13,000 souls anguish in a
ritualised nightshift humiliation inside
an Iraqi Andersonville with its towers and razor wire
Incessant sobbing, child shrieks and swaggering GI’S

NGO Groupies
Useless CMOCS
SUV Flames
Dawn to Dusk Curfews

All paths in the neo- con bloody circus leading nowhere
signifying the end of Planet America.

Peter Burton August 2007

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Merry Clayton

Merry Clayton

Merry Clayton (born December 25, 1948 in Gert Town, New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American gospel singer. She provided a number of back-up vocal tracks to songs recorded by major performing artists during the 1960s. Her first name was given because she was born on Christmas day. She was married to jazz artist Curtis Amy until his death in 2002.

She dueted with Mick Jagger on The Rolling Stones' song "Gimme Shelter" on their Let It Bleed release. Reportedly, the intensity of her performance on the song caused her to miscarry.[1] Clayton also sang backing vocals on Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama".[2] Early in her career, Clayton sang backup vocals for Tom Jones, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker and Carole King. She also originated the role of the Acid Queen in the original 1972 London production of The Who's Tommy. More recently, Clayton has provided background vocals for Sparta's latest album Threes on the songs "Atlas" and "Translation". As an actress, she co-starred with Ally Sheedy in the 1987 film Maid to Order, and played Verna Dee Jordan in the final season of Cagney & Lacey.

Merry also sang the song "Yes" that was in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing and also featured on the soundtrack album.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Spaceman by Phil Ochs

By Phil Ochs

[first: the melody by itself, whistled]

Way high, so high:
Travelin' fast and free.
Spaceman, look down:
Tell me what you see.
Can you see the hunger there
Strike without a sound?
Can you see the food you burn
As you circle round?

Way high, so high:
All the world will cheer.
Spaceman, look down:
Tell me what you hear.
Can you hear a child cry,
Body filled with pain?
Deadly sores when cures are there--
How much fuel remains?

Way high, so high:
Spaceship made of steel.
Spaceman, look down:
Tell me what you feel.
Can you feel the money gone
As you sail through space?
Can you feel how many die
When you win the race?

Way high, so high:
Travelin' fast and free.
Spaceman, look down:

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Novorcherkassk June 2 62

Novorcherkassk June 2 62

dum dum bullets ring out
from non-Russian soldiers' guns
and tanks on to peaceful protestors
with their unstaged amended red flags
of protest against rising prices and falling piece rates

Where lie the dead of Novocherkassk ?

Workers and wives crumple at the feet
of a helpless Lenin as Kalashnikovs
take over from the arrogance and contempt
of factory supervisors, Kruschev and Mikoyan

Martial law curfews and lists of names
streets full of troops and tank patrols
mass arrests and secret trials
house visitations and media blackouts

Where lie the dead of Novocherkarssk

cleaning park benches and bloodied
grey buildings deporting the relatives
and better food in the shops

All must pretend
this did not really happen

But where lie the dead of Novorcherkassk ?

Peter Burton July 2007

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The Bard

The Bard

Sincere ,natural peasant-bard
profound confessor of all human emotion

Singing his way into a nations' hearts
with his courage, self-worth and fierce independence

an exposer of corrupt effete
humbug ,cant and church ceremonial

impious hands on the ark of the covenant
suffering unbaptised children 'goin to the deil'

tender indignant
good-natured serious

wise perceiver of capricious
voguish public favour

a persecuted prophet
both feared and revered

all the world loves you
now you're safely dead

Peter Burton

June 2007

Monday, 14 May 2007

Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten

Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten is a documentary about Joe Strummer. It's comprised of archive footage of him spanning his life, and interviews with friends, family, and other celebrities. It debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. [3]
Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten
Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten is a documentary about Joe Strummer. It's comprised of archive footage of him spanning his life, and interviews with friends, family, and other celebrities. It debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. [3]

Showing at Cameo (Ediburgh) and GFT ( Glasgow ) from June 1st

Two reviews of the film:

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

Joe Strummer, rebel musician (1952-2002)

Matt Cooper appreciates the music and times of the lead singer of the Clash

White youth, black youth
Better find another solution
Why not phone up Robin Hood
And ask him for some wealth distribution

From the Clash’s “(White man) in Hammersmith Palais” (1977)

When Joe Strummer, one time front man of the Clash, died at the age of 50 on 22 December, it was more than a pioneering musician who died. Strummer linked rebel music with the politics of resistance in a way that was neither pretentious nor insincere.

That punk should erupt in 1976 when Britain was in the throes of the greatest political crisis and class struggle for 50 years was no coincidence. It was music built on frustration and anger, but often undirected, nihilism without hope. It often had nothing to do but sneer and spit. The Sex Pistols, with whom the Clash shared the ill-fated Anarchy in the UK tour in 1976, typified this attitude. With the exception of Johnny Rotten/Lydon, they were a bunch of no-hopers trashing out recycled rock chords. And while punk had plenty of lefties (the Gang of Four), art-school rebels (Wire), the occasional group who could turn a catchy chorus (the Buzzcocks) and even some who looked beyond the white rock tradition (the wonderfully trashy Slits), no-one was as refreshing or as innovative as The Clash.

The Clash was not just Strummer’s band. While Strummer was the front man, guitarist and vocalist Mick Jones played as much of a role in shaping the sound of the band. What Strummer brought was energy, anger and a passion that was never, or never seemed to be, a pose.

While The Clash were the greatest of rock bands, not least because of Strummer’s passion, their musical canvas was broader. Both Strummer and Jones loved reggae. Not just the music of crossover superstar Bob Marley, but also the dub, toasters and roots reggae of Jamaica, and increasingly Britain. What gave the early 1977 Clash singles their bite was an edginess, a sense of harmony and rhythm that owed as much to reggae as rock.

For their third single, “Complete Control”, the Clash brought in veteran reggae producer Lee Perry. When the results were not as Jamaican as they wished, Perry produced two further singles, “Clash City Rockers” and “(White man) in Hammersmith Palais”, records that moved further away from the white-noise and warmed over pop that punk was descending into. It was this sound that was part of the appeal of the Clash’s first album.

What made this music all so special was that the Clash had so completely absorbed reggae’s notion of rebel music applied to the struggles of urban existence. It was Strummer who, as the increasingly charismatic front man, carried this. He never hectored, he never lectured, he just sang about the world as he saw it. And that was a world of injustice.

That is why the Clash’s 1978 second album, Give ’em enough rope was so disappointing. It had too many rock cliches; its lyrical tone was rather preachy.

Salvation from rock insipidity came from an unexpected source for the man who had written “I’m so bored with the USA” on the Clash’s first album — American music. The 1979 single “I fought the law” was an old standard written by Sonny Curtis, a white American country rock and roller, a member of Buddy Holly’s Crickets who was more at home with bluegrass.

In mid-1979, and with punk already dead, the Clash recorded their masterpiece, London Calling which was, unusually for its time, a double album. Its four eclectic sides didn’t contain a single bum track. The album drew on American rhythm and blues, rockabilly, country, soul and gospel and funk as well as Caribbean reggae and calypso. The album widened many other musicians’ horizons, and lyrically it was a return to form. With the tour the Clash performed on stage with reggae star Mikey Dread, a combination that produced the stupendous single “Bankrobber”. This was Strummers’ most productive period.

After extensive touring the Clash returned to the studio at the end of 1980 and produced a triple album, Sandinista! For many its two hours plus was too long, the music too eclectic. It does include a few tracks that should never have made it on. But again, it showed a band that was not willing to recognise the division between musical genres or black and white music. It was still rebel music. Strummer’s vocals were still open, honest, reflective but infused with anger at injustice and hope of something better.

The Clash had never met with great commercial success. Although their singles charted, only three made it into the top 20 and none top ten. Their last album, Combat Rock (1982) showed the band straining to be popular and true to themselves, but with an eye on the American rock market. They took the unwise decision to tour US stadiums supporting rock dinosaurs The Who. The tensions came to a head with Strummer sacking Mick Jones — a decision that he was later to admit with characteristic honesty was his gravest and most egocentric mistake. The Strummer-only Clash staggered on, but as a parody of their former selves.

It seemed that Joe Strummer had made his contribution to music. A new band of 1988, Latino Rockabilly Rebel, came and went. He made a couple of film appearances and a solo album that disappeared without trace. Then in 1999 Strummer emerged with another new band, The Mescaleros, and two albums followed. While Strummer seemed less angry and more contemplative, they were good albums. His musical palette was even wider, drawing what has become known as world music, an eclectic mix that The Clash did more than a little to awaken people too. Best of all, this most charismatic and rebellious of performers returned to live performance. One of his last shows was a benefit for firefighters in his old stamping ground, West London, last November. And for the first time since 1982 he was joined on stage by Mick Jones.

I learnt three things from Joe Strummer. The first: it is not wrong to care, nor is it wrong to fight against injustice throughout the world. The second: good music is not bounded by our limited horizons. The third: these first two things are not unrelated.

We built buildings of the new city
out of the broken down people,
and we built the new languages
out of courtesy and velocity…

Joe Strummer, At the border, 2001.

Jesse James

Jesse James
by Woody Guthrie

Jesse James and his boys rode that Dodge City Trail,
Held up the midnight Southern mail,
And there never was a man with the law in his hand
That could keep Jesse James in a jail.
It was Frank and Jesse James that killed many a man,
But they never was outlaws at heart;
I wrote this song to tell you how it come
That Frank and Jesse James got their start.

They was living on a farm in the old Missouri hills,
With a silver-haired mother and a home;
Now the railroad bullies come to chase them off their land,
But they found that Frank and Jesse wouldn't run.

Then a railroad scab, he went and got a bomb,
And he throwed it at the door --
And it killed Mrs. James a-sleeping in her bed,
So Jesse grabbed a big forty-four.

Yes, Frank and Jesse James was men that was game
To stop that high-rolling train --
And to shoot down the rat that killed Mrs. James,
They was Two-Gun Frank and Jesse James.
Now a bastard and coward called little Robert Ford,
He claimed he was Frank and Jesse's friend,
Made love to Jesse's wife and he took Jesse's life,
And he laid poor Jesse in his grave.
The people were surprised when Jesse lost his life,
Wondered how he ever came to fall,
Robert Ford, it's a fact, shot Jesse in the back,
While Jesse hung a picture on the wall.

They dug Jesse's grave and a stone they raised,
It says, "Jesse James lies here --
Was killed by a man, a bastard and a coward,
Whose name ain't worthy to appear."

Zbigniew Herbert

Joseph Brodsky


About a year has passed. I've returned to the place of the battle,
to its birds that have learned their unfolding of wings
from a subtle
lift of a surprised eyebrow, or perhaps from a razor blade
- wings, now the shade of early twilight, now of state
bad blood.

Now the place is abuzz with trading
in your ankles's remanants, bronzes
of sunburnt breastplates, dying laughter, bruises,
rumors of fresh reserves, memories of high treason,
laundered banners with imprints of the many
who since have risen.

All's overgrown with people. A ruin's a rather stubborn
architectural style. And the hearts's distinction
from a pitch-black cavern
isn't that great; not great enough to fear
that we may collide again like blind eggs somewhere.

At sunrise, when nobody stares at one's face, I often,
set out on foot to a monument cast in molten
lengthy bad dreams. And it says on the plinth "commander
in chief." But it reads "in grief," or "in brief,"

Monday, 30 April 2007


by Woody Guthrie

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps2;
They're flying 'em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"
My father's own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.
Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract's out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, "They are just deportees"

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except "deportees"?

Monday, 16 April 2007

Muhammad Ali Quotes

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
Muhammad Ali

A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he'll never crow. I have seen the light and I'm crowing.
Muhammad Ali

Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.
Muhammad Ali

At home I am a nice guy: but I don't want the world to know. Humble people, I've found, don't get very far.
Muhammad Ali

Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.
Muhammad Ali

Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.
Muhammad Ali

Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life.
Muhammad Ali

Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.
Muhammad Ali

Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.
Muhammad Ali

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
Muhammad Ali

I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I'm in a world of my own.
Muhammad Ali

I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.
Muhammad Ali

I am the greatest. Not only do I knock em out, I pick the round!
Muhammad Ali

I believe in the religion of Islam. I believe in Allah and peace.
Muhammad Ali

I figure I'll be champ for about ten years and then I'll let my brother take over - like the Kennedys down in Washington.
Muhammad Ali

I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.
Muhammad Ali

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ''Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.''
Muhammad Ali

I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin' hell, but as long as they ain't free, I ain't free.
Muhammad Ali

I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want.
Muhammad Ali

I run on the road, long before I dance under the lights.
Muhammad Ali

For more Ali Quotes click on Link Below

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Then There Was You

Then There Was You

Tragedy, abuse, heartache and strife
Have been constant companions for most of my life,
If there was real happiness, then I never knew
Until I opened my eyes - and then there was you.

My days were all filled with confusion and dread
I fought and I struggled with the demons in my head,
I longed for a lover to share in all that I'd do
One day I opened my eyes - and then there was you.
I cried and I pleaded with the sweet Lord above
To bless me just once and introduce me to love.
I prayed for an Angel and for all my dreams to come true
I opened my eyes - and then there was you

I had waited and ached for some strong loving arms
And someone to ease my pain and help me feel calm,
For these blessings I wondered what I had to do
I just opened my eyes - and then there was you.

I had never believed in those fairytale things
Hearts and flowers and Valentines and Cherubs with wings,
If there was true romance then I never knew
Until I opened my eyes - and then there was you.

Somehow my life changed and it spun me around
I was given a chance to enjoy the love that I found,
I finally felt happy and had pure love sweet and true
And all this is mine - cause now there is you.

Paula Pawson

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Einstein Quotes

All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.

All these constructions and the laws connecting them can be arrived at by the principle of looking for the mathematically simplest concepts and the link between them.

All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man's actions.

An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.

Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.

Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

As far as I'm concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish.

But their intervention makes our acts to serve ever less merely the immediate claims of our instincts.

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.

Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems, in my opinion, to characterize our age.

Considered logically this concept is not identical with the totality of sense impressions referred to; but it is an arbitrary creation of the human (or animal) mind.

Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.

Do you believe in immortality? No, and one life is enough for me.
Albert Einstein

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
Albert Einstein

Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.
Albert Einstein

Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.
Albert Einstein

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
Albert Einstein

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
Albert Einstein

Force always attracts men of low morality.
Albert Einstein

Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.
Albert Einstein

God always takes the simplest way.
Albert Einstein

God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.
Albert Einstein

God does not play dice.
Albert Einstein

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean.
Albert Einstein

Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.
Albert Einstein

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Albert Einstein

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
Albert Einstein

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
Albert Einstein

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
Albert Einstein

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate them!
Albert Einstein

How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of goodwill! In such a place even I would be an ardent patriot.
Albert Einstein

Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.
Albert Einstein

I am a deeply religious nonbeliever - this is a somewhat new kind of religion.
Albert Einstein

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.
Albert Einstein

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.
Albert Einstein

I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.
Albert Einstein

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation and is but a reflection of human frailty.
Albert Einstein

I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.
Albert Einstein

I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil.
Albert Einstein

I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two-thirds of the people of the earth will be killed.
Albert Einstein

I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.
Albert Einstein

I don't know, I don't care, and it doesn't make any difference!
Albert Einstein

I have just got a new theory of eternity.
Albert Einstein

I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.
Albert Einstein

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.
Albert Einstein

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Albert Einstein

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.
Albert Einstein

I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.
Albert Einstein

I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
Albert Einstein

I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion.
Albert Einstein

I want to know all Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details.
Albert Einstein

I want to know God's thoughts... the rest are details.
Albert Einstein

If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z, X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.
Albert Einstein

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith.
Albert Einstein

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
Albert Einstein

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.
Albert Einstein

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
Albert Einstein

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
Albert Einstein

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
Albert Einstein

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.
Albert Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.
Albert Einstein

In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.
Albert Einstein

Information is not knowledge.
Albert Einstein

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.
Albert Einstein

Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.
Albert Einstein

Isn't it strange that I who have written only unpopular books should be such a popular fellow?
Albert Einstein

It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.
Albert Einstein

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
Albert Einstein

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
Albert Einstein

It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.
Albert Einstein

It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
Albert Einstein

It is only to the individual that a soul is given.
Albert Einstein

It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.
Albert Einstein

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Albert Einstein

It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.
Albert Einstein

It stands to the everlasting credit of science that by acting on the human mind it has overcome man's insecurity before himself and before nature.
Albert Einstein

It was the experience of mystery - even if mixed with fear - that engendered religion.
Albert Einstein

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
Albert Einstein

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.
Albert Einstein

Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow - perhaps it all will.
Albert Einstein

Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be.
Albert Einstein

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Albert Einstein

Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized.
Albert Einstein

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Albert Einstein

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Love is a better teacher than duty.
Albert Einstein

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein

Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today's events.
Albert Einstein

Morality is of the highest importance - but for us, not for God.
Albert Einstein

Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.
Albert Einstein

Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.
Albert Einstein

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.
Albert Einstein

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.
Albert Einstein

Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race.
Albert Einstein

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
Albert Einstein

Never lose a holy curiosity.
Albert Einstein

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Albert Einstein

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Albert Einstein

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
Albert Einstein

Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.
Albert Einstein

Occurrences in this domain are beyond the reach of exact prediction because of the variety of factors in operation, not because of any lack of order in nature.
Albert Einstein

On the other hand, the concept owes its meaning and its justification exclusively to the totality of the sense impressions which we associate with it.
Albert Einstein

Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.
Albert Einstein

One strength of the communist system of the East is that it has some of the character of a religion and inspires the emotions of a religion.
Albert Einstein

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
Albert Einstein

Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.
Albert Einstein

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
Albert Einstein

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
Albert Einstein

People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.
Albert Einstein

Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.
Albert Einstein

Politics is for the present, but an equation is for eternity.
Albert Einstein

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.
Albert Einstein

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
Albert Einstein

Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it.
Albert Einstein

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
Albert Einstein

Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.
Albert Einstein

Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.
Albert Einstein

Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
Albert Einstein

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
Albert Einstein

Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.
Albert Einstein

That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.
Albert Einstein

The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only for a short while.
Albert Einstein

The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul or we get fat.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents





Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents

Do something good by creating your blog with us

Blogs get people excited. Or else they disturb and worry them. Some people distrust them. Others see them as the vanguard of a new information revolution. Because they allow and encourage ordinary people to speak up, they’re tremendous tools of freedom of expression.
Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.
Reporters Without Borders has produced this handbook to help them, with handy tips and technical advice on how to to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation. It also explains how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicise it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.

Old Wisdom

Old Wisdom

There is
an old Indian story
which says
that if you love someone
then let her go.
If she returns
she was meant
for you
If she does not
she was never yours
so i say to you
sweet women
fly away
and may you find love
with whom
you were meant to
and may the sun
always shine on you


Sunday, 1 April 2007

Brando Quotes

Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It's a bum's life. Quitting acting, that's the sign of maturity.

An actor is at most a poet and at least an entertainer.

An actor's a guy who, if you ain't talking about him, ain't listening.

An actor's a guy who, if you ain't talking about him, he ain't listening.

I don't mind that I'm fat. You still get the same money.

I don't think it's the nature of any man to be monogamous. Men are propelled by genetically ordained impulses over which they have no control to distribute their seed.

I have eyes like those of a dead pig.

If there's anything unsettling to the stomach, it's watching actors on television talk about their personal lives.

If we are not our brother's keeper, at least let us not be his executioner.

If you want something from an audience, you give blood to their fantasies. It's the ultimate hustle.

Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.

Privacy is not something that I'm merely entitled to, it's an absolute prerequisite.

The only reason I'm in Hollywood is that I don't have the moral courage to refuse the money.

The only thing an actor owes his public is not to bore them.

There's a line in the picture where he snarls, 'Nobody tells me what to do.' That's exactly how I've felt all my life.

To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Poetry Network Discussion Forum

Keats La Belle Dame sans Merci

John Keats - La Belle Dame sans Merci


O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.


O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms!
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.


I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.


I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.


I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look’d at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.


I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.


She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
“I love thee true.”


She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept, and sigh’d fill sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.


And there she lulled me asleep,
And there I dream’d—Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dream’d
On the cold hill’s side.


I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—“La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!”


I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.


And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.