poetry, philosophy, science - sifted through me, as I am

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christ, TS Eliot, Death and Wisdom

Hello blog readers

I'm still here. I have had writer's block a long time (apart from occasional short meditations and poems) and have been getting on with life in different ways. Each time I've taken a step, a couple more metres of the road ahead have appeared.

Today I have been meditating on one of my favourite poems TS Eliot's Journey of the Magi thanks to a resonating reflection on it by Brian Zahnd. Please have a look here

Shalom, Shantih to all

Monday, 30 January 2012

Should the poor look poor?

I wrote this poem after reading this excellent blogpost today.

Poor Woman

Kindness, hospitality, warm with hands
around the mug of basic coffee
Feet shuffle on the neat coloured rug
While the ears listen
and the scribing fills notepad sheets
A corner of the sofa fades under
carefully placed smartening azure throws
The hint of vacuum cleaner air remains

How is your life?
What does life like this mean?
A sweep-back of hair while
considering the confidences given
The admissions of hard days
A little tremolo in the account of when
toilet roll is lacking
But you can still live? Survive?
Celebrating or taking part in our society
cannot be given up. No
What we can give, in time, comes back full again
It took long months, a year, but the ticket was bought
A greeting hug was finally grasped with her
emigrated sister at a long haul arrivals gate

But, with the final handshake at the terraced doors,
simple requirements are those pencilled to fit
Appearing under the banner "Our borough needs!"
A summation is given of the Poor Woman
The picture chosen has sad eyes
and another campaign column is filled

It doesn't take long. An anonymous tip
"She's a fraud. A charlatan. Here's what she hid:
Not poor at all, you'll never guess
Swanned off on a trip of a lifetime down under
Some of us can only dream"

So dream. Dream on
I have a dream
where every human is equal, is given stature
Hasn't bought it, put it on the card
paraded it, proved it at the school gate
Behind those designer-look NHS glasses
and bargain clothes lay prized skills and
a fighting heart
that will not
stay down

(c) HC Hunter

Monday, 6 June 2011

Give peace a chance

Helping bring peace and deeper understanding, one life-sustaining young woman at a time: what an inspiration I have recently discovered the Creativity for Peace project to be.

Hereis a link to an article on this excellent project which brings Palestinian and Israeli girls together. Through dialogue and art projects they are learning both to meet their supposed "enemies" face to face and to become newly inspired leaders for their society.

"We're not only living the change we want to see. We're also creating a common history, after living a whole life of separation and boundaries," says the co-ordinator.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Everything today has the incongruity of a Paul Weller album

I've got a feeling
From the floorboards up
Call it a calling
If you like that touch
Call it what you will
I really don't care too much

I've got a feeling
And I know it's right
I get it most evenings
If not every night
It sings in the air
And dances like candle light

When we play, we play, we play
Mama, from the floorboards up
When we dance, we dance, we dance
Papa, from the floorboards up
When we sway, we sway as one
From the floorboards up

I get a feeling
From the walls and chairs
They tell me of the things that
Have always been there
And all that is not
Will have to go back to dust

© Paul Weller

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

William Blake: The Human Abstract

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody poor;
And mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.

And mutual fear brings peace,
Till the selfish loves increase;
Then cruelty knits a snare
And spreads his baits with care.

He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the ground with tears;
Then humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of mystery over his head;
And the caterpillar and fly
Feed on the mystery.

And it bears the fruit of deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat;
And the Raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.

The gods of the earth and sea
Sought through Nature to find this tree;
But their search was all in vain.
There grows one in the human brain.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Only Connect

We awake to the day and take one step.

When we are physically limited this step has to be in a world that is not in front of us.

I chose to connect and rediscovered a friend. His wife has now connected my next steps with her art.
See "Out There" here:

I knew something was ahead today. I connected with someone else and he showed me the doorway to enter.
“A throng of brazen echoes inside, a slow whisper of feet. The door knob turns”

Am I shut in? Or am I out there?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

How low will British tolerance drop?

Egyptian social commentators were speaking on the radio of the Western fear of Muslims gaining control of Egypt. We Westerners have misunderstood, they said, how liberal their society is. Many women do not wear headscarves and the Muslims are intelligent enough to know that they are not a large enough majority to set up any Islamic laws. They described how, when the Muslims are called to pray and get out their mats, the majority non-Muslims move out of their way and let them do so.

Meanwhile in fearful Britain, as the English Defence League marches through Luton today, Cameron is exhorting the people not to be tolerant. Speaking in Germany - but broadcasting via the British media - he seems to be backing up the recent German assertion that the multi-cultural society idea has failed. He seems to be encouraging suspicion about (specifically) Muslims who do things differently in separate communities. How do we know they are not harbouring those radically opposed to our "British ideals", he asks?

Cameron should cast his eye over history and remember that Jewish communities, obvious by their Shabbat observance and annual building of booths in their gardens, freely gave the metal of their synagogue roofs to the German First World War effort.

They were a clearly defined people when a cruelly fixated group - democratically elected - took control over their lives. Much that was evil prospered - and many things were wrongly paraded as good -  while innocent people were forced to pay horribly for their apparent differences.

How low will our British tolerance drop? And how much fear will we allow to govern us?

Perfect love casts out all fear.