Poppies

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Beneath crosses poppies still

Waving, standing on the hill

The waste for all to see

Dead men are not free

They were the youth, the mighty young

Sent to war, trained with gun

The men all fell, Run at the Hun!

Now lie beneath hell

The red blood, white cross

Long forgotten covered by moss

Bugle sounds, those that lie

Notes echoes, never dies

Names on monuments

The Glorious Dead, by Kings were sent

Go and fight, in mud and filth, so

Kings could sit in splendid wealth

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Odd lines

Ink on the page
On my fingers
Change the cartridge
Change the day, the time, the month
Stains scrubbed, remain
Things in our pores
Stain, shame
Memories that sting
Regret is not to be
Mistakes help us learn
Repeated like a monk’s chant

Shout at the kids
Then feel bad
Worry about health and life and future
Look to windward and the source
Chemical reactions all around
Growing plants or compost decay
Garden time
Plant the seeds and wait
Rid me of those weeds
Hoe, pluck, pull, watch
Water the patch, check for pests
Was April so cruel?

Odd lines
11
then
13
then 15
The clock’s frame.
NO MORE THAN 40 LINES!
Scribbled and scratched
No sense and nonsense
Days when you’re down
Get up, bounce back
Thirst for the dance
Watching rain
Walk away from fear
Hope.

Irony of history

The 70th anniversary of VE day was marked by the victory of the Conservative party in the UK, with the promise of a vote to stay or to leave Europe. Europe was in ruins 70 years ago, destroyed by war, by dogma, by ignorance, by violence and a lack of open mindedness, a conviction of reason based on nothing, and a politic of scapegoats and intolerance.The Europe of the 1930’s saw the loss of the republicans in Spain and a move to the extreme right in Italy, Germany and Spain, with dictatorships being installed and a loss of democracy. Today we see the same move to the right, with nationalistic parties taking the ground from traditional democratic or republican parties throughout Europe, a search for quick solutions where none exist and a scapegoating of immigrants despite academic proof that they create jobs and opportunities rather than take them.

Social structures such as pensions, health care and education are now threatened, as the rich seek to scapegoat poor, handicapped and immigrant populations as being somehow responsible for the communities wider problems, convinced that if you are somehow unfortunate enough to be in these categories, you are the person responsible for this, as well as pointing the finger at the gravy trains, bureaucracy and mastodon that is the European Union.

People do need to try to work to get out of difficulties, as far as they are able, but they need the support of a welfare state rather than the criticism and blame culture. the Conservatives need to avoid triumphalism, the opposition need to offer real alternatives, a real message, and real visions.

Should the UK vote in a referendum, the result will be to leave, and other countries will follow, the end of Europe. Scotland will leave the UK, and other countries will feel the effects of this decision.

Europe’s current crisis is a political, financial and economic one. Sticks are stronger in a bundle rather than being single.