The Powers that Be

What is wrong with the world today? You can’t believe a word they say.

They tell us they want to stop a war and then go off and bomb some more.

They tweet and jeer to not lose face until we fear a new arms race.

Yet still parade like special friends as if sport all the trouble ends.

There’s poison smeared upon a door, something we’ve never seen before.

Two people almost die and still we do not know who made them ill.

It’s frightening how we do not mind if no more elephants we find,

If all the trees are felled and burned and calls to save the planet spurned.

And while we all pollute the sea with plastic, they cannot agree

To treat our world with love and care knowing this is the earth we share.



The Corruption of Truth

The written word has now become so unreliable that it would take a Hogarth to demonstrate Truth as a Prostitute – attended by Social Media, Television, Newspapers, Petitions and Tweets.

From not being concerned about accuracy in schools, to sloppy research and dependence on hearsay, the art of Journalism has become corrupted far beyond the lurid headline to the realms of fake news and disinformation.

We all know that editors of newspapers have their own political agenda – read the Daily Mail, the Guardian and the Evening Standard and somewhere in their pages you might glean the truth, but honest, factual reporting does not sell newspapers and even Presidents resort to threats and challenges instead of rational discussion.

How, then, are we to expect sensible negotiations to result in amicable agreement?               Has the ability to see the other person’s point of view been lost for ever?                               Must we erase everything from the past that we disagree with?

Is it not our task to learn from the mistakes of the past, adjust to circumstances, change, evolve, improve? Where is the honesty, the willingness to listen and communicate with tolerance and understanding?

If life carries on in the present direction there will be no truth, no belief and no humanity.

Poem – WAR

“What did you do in the war, Daddy?””It all depends which war you mean.”

“They said there was mud and tanks, Daddy.Did you hear the wounded scream?

“Was it terrible in the trenches, Daddy. Did your friends and comrades die?”

“I wasn’t alive for that, son, but it made your Grandma cry.”

“So, what was the war you were in, Daddy? Did you march, or fly a plane?

“Did you struggle home on a boat, Daddy, and who was it to blame?”

“I was only a baby, then, son. I was far too young to fight,

But the enemy sent some planes and bombs that gave us an awful fright.

The battle then was won, son. The wars are different now.

There’s still folk who want to harm us and I’ll try to warn you how.

If people tend to disagree they no longer compromise

Instead they use weapons of hate to distribute their lies

On internet across the world  -so, they are with us, here.

We all have to be vigilant, our enemies are near.

We want to trust the folk we meet, but even those who care

Find ignorance and greed combine to bring destruction there.

For many weeks the news has led with terror and with pain

It makes one wonder if our wars will ever end again.”


A Child’s Garden of Verses

Wowee, what a revelation! I can remember being charmed by some of the poems in this book when I was little, especially ” The Land of Counterpane,”and “From a Railway Carriage”is still a classic but I hadn’t realised how dated it is. My copy has very sugary illustrations and I found the constant reference to “nursie” irritating but there is a severe lack of political correctness, partly, I believe, because it was written from a boy’s point of view and partly because, in an effort to include other countries Stevenson could not help but show the attitudes of the time (1920) The poem “Foreign Children” is offensive to modern eyes and there is a mention of the word “negro” which I would argue should be left as it is true to the period and not meant in a derogatory manner.

“The Lamplighter”could start a history lesson. “Windy Nights” could be the inspiration for an English lesson and there would be a lot of mileage in asking why so many poems were full of marching and drums and fighting. When I was young we all played war games, cowboys and indians, lead soldiers. I even used chess pieces as armies. That was then and this is now.

Thanks for making me look again at a book I treasured .

New Speculative Fiction

All competition entries posted and I’m now back on short stories. I enjoyed reading ‘The Ship’ so much that it gave me an idea for a tale about Britain in the future.

There’s so much change in the air at the moment that it is difficult to see where the world will be in a few years’ time. So many people are frightened they have no power over what happens in the future. Democracy does not seem to provide what they want but what is the alternative? We can no longer live as separate tribes. Technology has made us all citizens of the world and we cannot avoid what is going on in other countries. If everyone wanted peace it would be easy but there are forces of destruction who do not care whether they live or die and they can only be defeated by reason and hope. There just doesn’t seem to be enough of either to go round.

Being political

Someone, somewhere is in trouble, as I understand it, for saying women prefer to be creative and happy in their work rather than striving for the top jobs.

This seems to have caused agitation among the political correct who insist everyone should be treated the same. Gosh, if I’m not tired of trying to insist that we are all different and I wish the chap well for telling the truth. Mind you, some men feel like that, too. When are we ever going to celebrate difference and allow us to complement each other instead of competing!

Back from the Midlands

We spent the referendum weekend away from home, near Atherstone, one of my favourite places. I think it may be because it feels as if it still has buildings from Georgian times and the layout is typically English. I did get a bit annoyed when I found the Post Office wasn’t in the High Street. I just can’t walk as far as I used to. The long main road is really part of Watling Street – the Roman Road that went from South to North in Britain.

Now we are waiting to find out what happens to both political parties.

I am also waiting to see what reviewers make of “A Lesson for the Teacher” and, although I said I wouldn’t, I have started the next book. Now I’ll have to buy some more ISBN numbers.

We live in turbulent times.