April 20 – Day Twenty: scottish inspiration

The following text is what I posted on fb that day.  Just realised I haven’t posted Day 20 – NaPoWriMo here. Came onto fb over an hour ago & got sucked into a quagmire of Easter posts, funny cat vids, ghost cars & a Guardian article “Top 10 Easter scenes in literature” which lead to several other Guardian articles I read until POEM OF THE WEEK Monday 7 October 2013.

The picture accompanying this online poem led me to write my own poem on a similar theme to Butlin (but less eloquently) & abandon the poem I had been thinking about/working on for much of the day.

Princes Street
(Holding its cup out to “Nicolson Square” by Ron Butlin)

Frozen on the silvermirrored ground
& in diamond focused digital clarity
Behind us the steeples stepladdering souls
to heaven are fuzzy & drizzlefaded
Hands buried in jacket pockets
Or, better, gloved
Under the brolley, from beneath the hood, or beret
We all look without looking, from the corner of our hearts

We know she’s there, but if we pretend she’s not
We can continue our golden walk to work, unencumbered

She, huddling in her shrugged shrunken hug
has one red glove on her lap
Perhaps to better emphasise bare finger tips
holding the paper cup
Her eyeshadow sockets stare off
somewhere at knee height but at no-one’s knees
However, the detail I’m most drawn to is,
that, the edge of her dirtybrown blanket is wet


The city and the city … a woman begs on Princes Street in Edinburgh.

Image: Princes St.  Source Page: The Guardian, Poem of the Week: Ron Butlin.

April 9 – Day Nine: a change of tack

While at the launch of a book of poetry tonight, the phrase “eco-anarchist” lit a fire under a few things I’ve been thinking for some time. What is the place of poetry? Can it change the world? Probably not, but if it can challenge it, that’s almost as good.

The Redistribution Manifesto & Hit List


The dam wall is about to break
It’s been building for a while
This resentment towards the so-called 1%
Really it’s a much lower number
Too long we’ve allowed them their dominance
The corporate capitalistic oligarchy
has been tried & found wanting.
Their socio-comic irrationalism
is getting in the way of our fee market economy

If free-trade agreements were not actually misnomers
& if globalisation brought equal benefits globally
but …

The solution is simple.
They’ve had their chance.
Been given ample opportunity to change,
yet they cling, confidently cling,
knowing nothing’s altered in 200 years
Other than increasing the odds in their favour
so why now.

The solution, I said, is simple.
Take back what’s ours.
Or just — take equality.
(as we’ve probably never truly had it)
The irony is that the right is actually not
What’s left of the left, needs to step up,
& grow a pair.
Militant actions are necessary.
Gandhi spoke of non-violent resistance
But the conservatives’ poster boy,
turned over tables in the temple.

It’s time to turn some tables.

My solution is simple.
Kill the rich. Just the ultras, for a start.
For the price of a few bullets
maybe a carbomb
great injustices could be undone.
I myself am willing to train.
Willing to risk eternity in hell
to free the millions, the billions.
Yes indeed, I’ll cop that
to prevent this inexorable dystopia.

Let’s try another route.
& if it’s built on a few
dead billionaire’s bodies, so be it.
Is their death worth more
than the millions in sweat shops,
& slave labour camps,
let alone the billions in
daily grind employment
that are not sweat shops
– yet still don’t provide
financial security.
Who would not, knowing
what we know now

& given the chance, have drowned a certain young Austrian
artist as he stood at his easel by the Danube River in 1900


The Manifesto

1. Publish the hit list.
2. Reward the Redistributor.
3. Wait a week. If nothing changes, move down the list.
4. Anyone who gives away 20% of their wealth in each 7 day period, is safe for the following week.
5. Every so often, mix up the order. Keep em on their toes.
6. Repeat till extreme affluence — or extreme poverty — no longer exists.


The Hit List: a first draft (the top 5)

0. Gates [$76 billion] even though he’s #1
he gets a short reprieve for already offloading
a fair whack of cash. & encouraging others to do so too.

1. A Walton is first. Doesn’t matter which of the 4.
[each worth between $34 & $37 billion]
Whichever one goes might make the others think fast.
Thus, a few birds, one stone. Oh! & tidy up Walmart salaries. Today.
Actually, scratch that. Tidy your third world workers salaries today.
You can fix your employees up tomorrow.

2. A Koch brother is next. [$40 billion each]
Again it doesn’t matter which.
(supposedly pronounced “Coke”, we know the truth)
One less sociopath in the world, is always welcome.
We’re just deregulating a few pesky wealth hoarders.

3. Although ex-Aussie Murdoch [$13.5 billion] is a relative minnow,
eliminating him early on could have nice knock on effects.
Watch the rabid Fox Newsrabbit “journalists”
fear monger their way out of that one.
Make sure an American Redistributes old Rupe
(They do, after all, have the right to bear arms)

4. Putin is in some lists as having a secret $70 billion in assets.
Not sure if it’s true, but ditto for knock on effects.
Can anyone say Crimea?

5. Ingvar Kamprad [$53 billion] is next. Probably a nice guy,
but your top five position is for bringing us IKEA.

The rest of the list will be released, 1 week from today.
Brace yourselves.