Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Circle #Nine

According to Dante's Inferno, the Ninth circle of hell is a frozen lake populated by the perpetrators of history's great betrayals: Cain, Brutus and Judas (and a bunch of medieval Italians we've never heard of, this is Dante after all) number among those who suffer there. Their bodies twisted into painful contortions with just their heads (or sometimes just their faces) poking out.

If I was in charge of hell, this is the place I would reserve for arms manufacturers and their child-murdering collaborators in our government.

You may wonder why I am mixing a metaphor cocktail of warm Vitriol and easy target. Especially in August, when a more typical contribution might include a sonnet about lying on my back watching the Perseids wishing I didn't have work tomorrow.

But I've been reading about the bombings in Gaza so I will save the sonnets and the Perseids and the lying on my back wishing I didn't have work tomorrow themes for another day and add my small voice to the condemnation of the Israeli government's disproportionate slaughter of the Palestinians living in Gaza.

But that is not enough. It is our own complicity in the murder that makes me really upset. Some of those bombs have 'made in Britain' stamped on the side.

And I have not been put in charge of hell. But if I was, those who love money so much that they have contrived a complex system whereby they are handsomely rewarded for the production of destruction, agony and misery would be first in line for the lake of ice.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Flower Grower

Believe it or not, sometimes when I sit down to do one of these, I have no idea what I am going to write about. Other times, I think I am going to write an amusing, informing and above all authoritative account of why it's cool to be an empirical Rationalist, but uncool to be a rational Empiricist and out comes a poem about flowers:

On the flower farm

Her ungloved hands are bloody from the thorns
Of a thousand roses picked
One February morning.

In the drought, she once walked many miles
To fetch water with her daughter
Who was always smiling.

On the flower farm the water flows,
Makes the sandy soil seem dark and rich,
Makes a woman wonder why
We eat so many roses in the West.