Monthly Archives: November 2015

“It’s still ticking”.

From my kitchen,all is quiet tonight.Traffic gone,birds asleep,planes landed,trains axed decades ago by beaching.

All is silent,except for the kitchen clock.My sonic companion,my reluctant pulse,my obstinato of a sort.Its so true what they say,”You take things for granted until they aren’t there anymore”.You see,the clock stopped ticking last Friday.As the sun went down,silence descended like a mist.For someone who has often said that he desires silence,but I was immersed in its absolution,I couldn’t handle it.This silence cut me emotionally,like the feeling when your children leave home.Oh yes,you moan about the noise coming from their rooms,but as soon as they go off to Uni,well,you bang on abut it being too quiet.So,I was back in that black hole of silence.Pretty scary for me,compounded by the house changing its acoustic due to new flooring.

There’s being sensitive to sound,noises and stuff,and there’s being obsessional.Me,I fall into the later category.Its not something that I purposefully developed,it’s just me.Ive always been like it.Most of my days are spent just Listenning,Listenning and more Listenning.its an odd companion this obsessive stuff,but it’s what I am,I suppose.We all have our quirks,so that’s mine.
So,yesterday,I got a new battery for the clock.Not having,or hearing it tick contributed to me missing its order,it’s shape,the pendulum,the whole experience.This clock is moulding me,it is an ever present,and non silent partner.

In this moment,it ticks,it ticked a minute ago,and will tick in an hours time.Its comforting,it’s real,it’s right.

Three cheers for the clock!!!!


For Just One Minute!

For just one minute Europe fell silent,

It remembered the precious dead of Paris.

Those old and young that were of our kindred,

Out side the Sorbonne,the cradle of Parisian knowledge.

In countries all around Europe,we stopped,we thought I wept,

I wept because so many young people perished that night in the city do light.

No- one deserved to die that night,they were just doing normal things,

If I asked why,then I would be asking for pie in the sky.

Who knows why?All I know is whatever gives you just a once of hope to cope,use it,

Whatever seems to help you cope with your humanity,feed from it.

For just one minute,I could have pinched myself to see if I could feel it,

For just one minute,I wondered what went wrong with these terrorists.

For just one minute!

Our Common Humanity!

When ,on Friday night,the city of light and love was a victim of a terrible terrorist attack,we all were paralysed by its sheer brutality.

As an ordinary person from the UK with,along with millions of others around the world,a profound love for the Parisian way of life,it’s culture,and it’s zest for being human,I shed a tear for them.While I have visited the city now on 4 occasions during my life,both of my sons have visited there many times.My son,a young opera singer,has sang there too a number of times.My love for music and art find their kindred expressions for me at least in this great city.Whilst I don’t have any special insight into the reasons for this attack,I nonetheless view it as an attack on all ordinary people around the world.In saying this this,I mean that these people were just living their lives on a Friday night in a part of the city where Parisians congregate to relax.Its not been lost on me and many others that these people weren’t really the enemies of anyone,and they could have been my sons,my family,me!

When we reflect on the sheer starkness of these events in Paris,it makes me wonder just what us ordinary people did to inflame another group so much that they would want to kill and maim with such truculence.It almost defies belief.Personally,the nearest bookmark that I can associate it with were the troubles in Northern Ireland.As a frequent visitor there all through the troubles,I knew that there was a tension in those communities in Belfast.There were no go areas then,and yes,there were bombings,Having heard,and been very near explosions there,I know just how traumatic they can be,but somehow I don’t think that they come anywhere near the sheer carnage that awaited the good people of Paris on Fiday night.

You dnt have to have any special skills to have a heart,to show compassion,to have empathy.Having seen,and heard from eye witnesses there ,it’s clear that they all have been through traumatic events that are so very difficult to process.This word senseless does come to mind,because it is.Why kill and target young people?Why use machine guns ?It a tough call for all of us members of the human race.

Our hearts go out to the victims there in Paris tonight,and we remember our common humanity.We struggle for reasons when all that really comes are tears,tears in a skin bottle.

“Sounds from my Youth”.

My head is full of sounds,some beautiful,some crude,others neutral.As I try to penetrate to the essence of them,surprises awaits we.To explain myself,the sound of the washing machine as it progresses through its cycle is,oddly enough,quite comforting.Listenning intently to it,it soothes me by its very industry’s taken.Now,the water gushes into the machine in concert with the central heatng system.As a child,along with probably the majority of people,washing was a stand along event.If you wanted to observe the sound that it made,you would to be on school holiday because it took place on a Monday.

This perception that I have of sounds in my head that might be of a domestic variety is,I suppose,a rather weird idea.However,I don’t subscribe to the idea that non musical sounds are all bad.While it is the case that some sounds are defined as just noise,others are punctuated with silence at regular intervals that lends itself to music like sound.

If we tune out every sound I just wonder if we might miss out on the treasures at these sounds contain.While the word treasure might not be the description that others would use,it’s the word that comes to mind.

Sometimes these sounds caress me in a blanket of security,as they signify that life must go on whatever else is happening in the environment.As I sit here with the sound of a hair dryer in the background,I remember the frantic activity of my six sisters all getting ready for the Friday evening dance.Like smells for many,sounds conjure up memories for me of my earlier life and childhood.

As the sounds dissipate,I say goodbye to them,and hope that they will return again soon.Yes,they might come back in different manifestations,but they will come back nonetheless.

If I ever stop Listenning,maybe I will stop really living.

“Leaving for slumber.”

He asked too many ackward questions as a boy,

   As a teenager,he protested and marched,and they didn’t like it.

       Just accept thngs as they are his mother would say,and say,and say,

           Passivity wasn’t his bag of tricks,didn’t float his boat,didn’t do it.

                 He still has thngs to say,to say,to say,to say you see,you see,you see,

                       His best friend all those years ago wasn’t afraid to say,to say,to say.

                               When passive silence is accepted as the norm,then you know that the game is up,

                                       Now,as a older man,my bed awaits,awaits,awaits,silence stops for slumber.

“I’ve Had enough”.

I’ve had enough of spin,running down my chin,

  I’ve had enough,I’ve had enough,

    I’ve had enough of Politicians “Doublespeak”,

           My language and yours being mangled.

      I’ve had enough of Pseudo intensity,the “this is the only way” diatribe,

       Last week,I just switched off when MPs talked out a bill to help careers.

          I’ve had enough,I’ve had enough,I’ve switched off,I’ve switched off,

                 I’m not sure just how to turn myself on anymore,you see.
                       “I’ve just had enough”.

“When will the mist lift”?

When the mists descends,then memory is vague,

I can’t remember the exact shape of the outside.

Does it matter,is it important I ask myself,

I’m in a state of confusion over this mist.

Now,it got me thinking just how,

Just how could one thing change me.

So will it rise again ?

It has in the past,whenever I’ve thought about it,

Whenever I’ve had more reason and less emotion there.

So,is it real?Is it authentic?

My personal mists are like that in my head,

They can feel real,and they can be authentic to me.

Now,as I reflect upon it,and think that my mist will lift,
Yes,we hope that our mists will lift,what else do we have.