Photo by Nicolas Lysandrou on Unsplash

Melancholy’s lack of zest
written all over his palimpsest:
to die at twenty-five to some
will hardly seem to have been alive,
but for Johnny Keats and the footloose Cavaliers
poetry, music, art, tears were eternal.
They eschewed self-pity, untold fears.

They tried their best to stay alive
In a world without antibiotics.
no easy crossing of the river Lethe
no seeking out of empty-headed
oblivion.They preferred to breathe
in the clear air of Hampstead heath.
for Johnny Keats and the loose Cavaliers
did not, and could not,. measure out life in years
but sought to rise to the attainment of that rarest
of rare orchids, love. What will…

Haganah, who fought for the creation of the state of Israel, were dismissed as terrorists by the British mandate authority. Now they are considered freedom fighters.

Hysteria. That’s you isn’t it? Look at the death count. Asymmetrical use of advanced weaponry supplied by the good ol US of A! Stay a week in Gaza. See how you get on. Pathetic armchair Fascist, defender of an apartheid state .

Poetry cannot silence this sorrow within me


“You cannot continue to victimize someone else just because you yourself were a victim once — there has to be a limit”
― Edward Said

The shelling is from the land, sea, air
Gaza’s children take the brunt,
the clocks stop on so many young lives
the twelve circles of hell await their tormentors
those well-scrubbed, expensively educated girls
with their American accents who trot out the poison
that infects the airways — blame the victim,
Victors’ ‘justice’.

Children’s broken bodies on the wooden floors of smashed up buildings
a sweltering concentration camp, a fucking rat trap,
Children’s hair sticky with…

At the heart of all great art is an essential melancholy

Photo by Jorge Fernández Salas on Unsplash

”At the heart of all great art is an essential melancholy.” Lorca

Lorca’s blood wedding
menstrual bleeding
into lemon-tree-soil
nothing more than the toil, toil, toil
of peasant life in Al-Andalus.

Priests chant their rosary
like it was El Maleh Rachamim
or the Mourner’s Kaddish
(which it probably was, if the priest
was a Jew, a Converso, who changed his religion
to save his life or, maybe, the lives of his children).

The Muslim converts prayed louder,
than did the Spanish-Goths. These converts never coughed,
but touched the head-covering they did not wear.
What they did on Fridays was only the business
Of the…


Photo by British Library on Unsplash

The best of us fell on the Somme, Verdun, Passchendaele,
Our luckier cousins long ago set off across the broad Atlantic.
Convicts moved straight to the antipodes
To the Swan River of Western Australia
Convict scum of the East End born to live again.
The ragged Scots, after Culloden,
So many Irish everywhere in the Empire,
The Raj spice and opium settlements in Shanghai,
Every mountain climbed
All oceans crossed.

Now only the scrag-ends remain
Whenever I see a death date,
Say 1989, I think in 1986 she had three years
Left to live
Except, in this case, he was born and died in…


“The movements of some more little red birds in the garden, like animated rosebuds, appeared unbearably jittery and thievish. It was as though the creatures were attached by sensitive wires to his nerves.”
― Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano

The extenuation of time into rhyme
Devil’s in the detail. In time:
A confusion of contusion, a microbial illusion,
Stretches out of meaning so that:
Time rears its ugly head of dreaming steam
Screams: ‘All that is, is not!’
A hot crying ensues, tears shift thru gears
Moods for the muse, fiery, sulphurous news
Of an Aztec’s-under-this-any-old-active — volcano
A cacophony of rumbling of stars, of magma,
Earth’s uncertain stuttering shifting…


St Sophia’s with its cross restored & surrounding minarets removed

Image Source: Copyright: ©Sergii Figurnyi -

Between 1915–1922 more than 3.5 million Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrian Christians were murdered by the Turks so that now 99.8% of the population of Turkey are Muslim. This marked the ‘irrecoverable’ death of the Byzantine heritage mentioned in the poem

Her love didn’t come from anywhere.
Her father was a bastard, a sailor on the seas
A Byzantine, by birth, like me.
Her mother, an Anatolian peasant
Spent her life upon her knees.
A Christian, you see?.

The noblesse oblige,
The drinking and the drugs,
Were sponsored by Intelligence
And a tingling in the blood…


Image Source:

And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. Revelation 20:4

All across the Nineveh plain, the lights are going out
Crosses driven into the hearts of the last of Mesopotamia’s
Christians. These Assyrians, speaking Aramaic, the language
Of Christ, have been loyal throughout the long centuries
Of subjection to the burning wind that came, unbidden, out of Arabia.

Now the earth and the heavens have fled,
Now is the time of the second death. …

John Edward Marks (JEM)

I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense only — silence, exile, and cunning.

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