Siren Call

Seductive, sparkly Switzerland

Iced peaks, conifered slopes

Sun sprinkled, twinkling lake

South-facing settlements

Monied, wealthy, healthy life

Les terroirs ribbed with vines

Life in straight lines

Efficient railways

Fresh air

Beware the lure, the calls

Those wails are not cries for help

Tie yourself to the mast

“This is what the end of the world will sound like”

In seductive, sparkly Switzerland

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n.b. Nuclear attack warning sirens are tested on the first Wednesday of each month in Lausanne.

It’s a kind of national vanity project; the assumption all this might be saved, or indeed is worth saving, were the sirens to go live.

Quotation, “This is what the end of the world will sound like.” By Matthew Wake.

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CLP 05/02/2020

A Night Out

The gig was exquisite

Three young men

Piano, double bass, percussion

In sync, in tune

Wonderful musical experience

Held in the aural memory

Until the compere said

“Don’t turn on the telly”

It’s grim out there.

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n.b. At The Verdict, The Dave Drake Trio – on the TV the USA vs Iran / Iraq

CLP 03/01/2020

Angels Shriek

Confusion of days and nights

Twisted sheets tumble across flickering sky

Darkness thrown across the wind-wrecked barley

Martins and swallows prematurely gather

Uncertain in this unsettled time

When waxing moon throws out more brightness than day can muster

The star-full firmament clashed by raw, untrammelled fury

Full throttled fire-powered flight

Claws at the clouds, turns them to drums

Unceasing cacaphonic clamour

Enough to make the angels shriek

Metal made to shatter Thor’s anvil

Screams at the ceiling of Valhalla’s vaults

Wakes the gods who are not pleased

To be stirred up so

By Eurofighters on night manoevres

Above Avalon and its hippy bourgeosie

Where talk of energies

And peaceful contemplation is ripped asunder

Below the warplanes’ oil-driven thunder

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n.b. They’re shipbuilding again; Iran the place and oil the focus. ‘Shipbuilding’ is a song about the Falklands Islands / Islas Malvenas War 1982.

n.n.b. The title here is an echo of the anglicized title of a beautiful novel, ‘Night Flight’ (‘Vol de nuit’) by Antoine de Saint-Exubéry. It was published in 1931 when the horrific potential of aircraft as weapons was in full development, despite the romantic views of a man on the wing amidst the elements.

CLP 11/08/2019

On Walsall III

Town escaped the Blitz

So Victorian buildings

See poverty still

n.b. Ranked in the top four boroughs for social deprivation in 2016. Charities and top-down patronage cannot address the issues. They did not in Victoria’s time; they do not now.

This week (4th February 2019) the Conservative government announced £1bn more cuts to local government, but say councils will have more “freedom” to raise revenues by other means. Not easy when your council tax payers have no money.

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CLP 05/02/2019

Montparnasse – 15e Novembre 2015

8ffe6dd6-5139-4703-821e-ffb0bf968c22.jpegIt was a moment between trains

I was heading for Poitiers and had to wait

As we all did after that Friday night when

Young men with guns and grenades

Maimed and murdered

Young men and women unarmed

Before more men with guns and grenades

Returned the favour

 

At the polished sleek station serving the south-west

I waited and watched as more young men with guns

Ready to shoot to kill patrolled

In open sight

Young men with guns

Sent to reassure us

As we waited for trains out of Paris

Away from young men with guns.

 

See also Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Santé Fe, Gaza.

CLP 18/05/2018