Naked Still before the World I Stand

Call me naive.
Call me a hopeless dreamer.
Call me a stubborn product
of a childhood in the nineties,

flimsy and irrelevant
to the world as is.

We were born into the world
as naked as our emperors,
standing on the shoulders
of giant fairies
looking far
towards a future
that would never come.

Forgive us
for we share not
your cynicism,
at least not in our hearts,

and we still believe
in the
naked and complicated
beauty of a snowflake
rather than the
simple and comfortable
sizeable power
of a snowball.

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Relay

My grandmother turns the television off
whenever it shows
people
sad and suffering.

Says she can’t stand to think about
all the evil in the world.

Says she only wants to see
happy people laughing.

That’s alright grandma.
You’ve earned the right.
You’ve lived for damn near a century,
through wars,
and kept four generations of family together.
Remember when we all got together
to celebrate your ninetieth?
That was rather special.
It’s not your fault
we’re all falling
off and out and apart
now.

I wish you wouldn’t worry about it,
and I don’t have the heart
to remind you
that
the laughter of the happy ones
are dancing on the
broken backs of the
tears of the
sad ones.

I’ll carry the burden
of that knowledge
for you
now.

We Be Pagans (Ode to Walpurgis Night)

Fire. Fire. Fireworks.
Family and Friends.
Barbecue.
Barbecue.
How are you?
Breakfast, Dinner and Lunch.
Can’t Complain,
Drunk and Awake
from
Coffee and Punch,
Beer, Wine and Cider.
Into the Elements,
cue Clearings and Groves,
for May is May is May
is Spring, I suppose,
regardless of the weather.
Wet and Cold
Happy Hugs
the flames be a-lickin.
Out with the Old.
In with the New.
Goblins and Trolls
clear out, be gone,
ye nature’s wicked crew.
Tonight we have Love
(if you’ll call it that)
to keep our Hearts Beating,
for We Be Pagans
and We Love Food
and Fire and Flames
and to Fuck after Eating.
Oh do we ever.

Happy Walpurgis Night Everyone.

Review and Recommendation of ‘Life and Times of Michael K’ by J.M. Coetzee

Michael K was born with a hare lip and his mother, not liking the sight of him, sent him to an institution for orphaned, unwanted and unmanageable boys where he was raised. Now a grown up in a war torn South Africa he lives by himself in Cape Town and works as a gardener at a local park, his only developed social relationship being that with his now elderly mother. Michael’s mother has worked all her life as a housekeeper for wealthy families and is now, of too bad and fragile health to perform her former duties, allowed a small room to lodge in and kept alive by the last family she worked for. When her street gets evacuated and Michael’s mother is left behind forgotten Michael builds a one-seat pushcart out of his bike and sets off with her out of the city towards the countryside and the farm where she was born and wishes to die.

Life and Times of Michael K is a war story, but from a perspective not often considered. It’s a story about war, but it’s not a story about bravery, camaraderie or disillusionment of soldiers; it’s not a story about cruelty or callousness of generals and it’s not a story about noble sacrifices of the general public. What it is is an exploration of the question

‘What happens in times of war to those who don’t fit the narrow mold for people of use or interest to the war? What happens to the homeless, the sick, the old and the cripplingly poor? What happens in a war to all those who don’t have a stake in the fight and before the war broke out were minding their own business with their hands full just staying alive?”.

Coetzee’s prose is poetic in its simplicity yet powerfully understated and the story is told with a rare sense of empathy that manages to stare the most primitive and animalistic aspects of human nature dead in the face without mock, fright or condescension. The result is a strangely uplifting experience in all it’s dark and brutal honesty.

Truly recommended.