Archive for May, 2011

An ode to poetry

I love poetry.

I love the power of words to slide off the paper and slip effortlessly through the tongue only to pierce one’s heart with enlightenment and understanding. The gravity of words oft spoken, oft thought, oft quoted, which uncover new worlds of meaning each time they are encountered. Poetry is the poor man’s novella – short fluidity encapsulating all the depth and meaning contained in many chapters.

In particular the poets of the Romantic era bring out the best in that which is Poetry. Keats and Wordsworth so eloquent in their words. How I covet the gift of such writing… the power to evoke in others not only that which you want them to feel, but to bring out their innermost thoughts and lay it bare on the uppermost surface of their consciousness. to make then confront and understand not only that which surrounds then but that which is also within them.

 Wordsworth with his love of Nature so sublime:
“Look for the stars, you’ll say that there are none;
Look up a second time, and, one by one,
You mark them twinkling out with silvery light,
And wonder how they could elude the sight!”
                       – CALM IS THE FRAGRANT AIR

 The sombre reflections of Keats:
“When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen’d grain”
                       – WHEN I HAVE FEARS THAT I MAY CEASE TO BE

 And last but not the least, no ode to Poetry would be complete without one of my most favourite poems of all time.

 “And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers, ” ‘Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott.””
                           – THE LADY OF SHALOTT

The power of poetry brings men and women to their knees.
Poetry. That feisty woman that is no one’s mistress and everyone’s lust.
Poetry. she who sulks, flirts, rages and roars at a whim, at a word.
Poetry. Emotes and withdraws like a swordsmen duelling a dance with his conscience.


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‎”By robbing others of their inherent dignity, by denying them respect and by treating them as a less than human other, we ultimately rob ourselves of our own dignity, humanity and compassion” – Kelly Dougherty, Executive Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)

So if you talk about all those peopple in Iraq killling American soldiers are terrorists, they’re not terrorists! They’re wearing sandals and they got an AK and 14 yr old boys building bombs to kill soldiers cuz we killed their families!- Darrell Anderson

The primary loyalty is NOT to the democracy or to the flag or to America or to the Iraqi people or to the rule of law… it is to each others safety at the expense of everything else. – Jason Lemieux

 The missions we were getting weren’t making any sense.. we were kicking in the wrong doors and terrifying children.. trying to calm the women and children while the men were dragged and seperated out and completely humiliated in front of their families.

‎9/11 was a lie.. I KNOW it. We’re soldiers, we KNOW it.

The pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service – Albert Einstein

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Dead Man Walking

There is a man. His picture is everywhere. His name is on everyone’s lips. His deeds are the talk of the town. And yet there is no sadder profile on the planet than this dead man walking… Osama bin Laden.

To me, that name is synonymous with scapegoat, the biggest scapegoat history has ever seen. Osama bin Laden may have been born a man, but he died as a figure whose memory will be etched in the annals of history as he who forever changed the landscape of Global Warfare. But was it really him or was he just the poster boy? The false door? The red herring?

All evil needs a face. And the power players knew that to turn Islam into a concept that induced repulsion and fear in others – it needed a face. And that face would be Osama bin Laden. A man who gave up his wealth to struggle in the way of his God. A man who may or may not have succeeded in his cause. A man who got so inexplicably caught up in the tangled mess power players wove that he would live and die as the man who harmed Islam more than he helped it.

Osama bin Laden is the man behind the terror. He is the man who redefined a religion of peace to that of terror. He is the man widely held responsible for the murder of thousands. He is the propagator  of evil. The man who made Muslims the Other. The Face of Them. The one Muslims have been struggling to disassociate themselves with for over a decade. But none of this is his doing. He is held up by powers that be to be hated by one and all, when in fact the real perpetrator, the real killer, the real inflictor of harm and the real divider of the masses hide behind his face.

Osama bin Laden was a man embroiled in violence and hearsay. A man who spread terror without without boundaries. But he was also a man who the powers that be used to further its own interests. A man used to divide and conquer. A man used to force war across borders. A man used to subject Muslims to scrutiny, violence, racism, discrimination and … fear.  A fear that was used to invade Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan. A fear that tears up Libya and Egypt and Yemen and paves the way for Allied forces to ‘help’. A fear that has allowed the USA and its allies to entrench its bases in critical hotspots  all over and within the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan. A network of ‘help’ that will not retreat and sits as a silent threat to the countries it seeps off.

Osama bin Laden may have succeeded. The cost of war has brought America to its knees and it is now scrambling to retain its foothold in the global arena. Financially, socially and morally the USA has been on the steady road to decline. If this was what the terrorists wanted then they should rejoice. But what about their fellow Muslims? The ones that have to face the daily scrutiny and discrimination? The ones that get stopped at airports for having Muslim names? The ones that get accosted in the streets for wearing Hijab? The ones that are forbidden to pray in public places? How has Islam been glorified through their actions if Muslims cannot practice it?

Muslims all over the world will never again be free of the recrimination Osama bin Laden brought upon them.  Osama bin Laden may be dead, but his legend is that of a dead man walking. And he haunts the lives of Muslims who want nothing else but to live in peace.

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Daydream delusion
Limousine Eyelash
Oh, baby with your pretty face
Drop a tear in my wineglass
Look at those big eyes
See what you mean to me
Sweet cakes and milkshakes
I am a delusion angel
I am a fantasy parade
I want you to know what I think
Don’t want you to guess anymore
You have no idea where I came from
We have no idea where we’re going
Launched in life
Like branches in the river
Flowing downstream
Caught in the current
I’ll carry you. You’ll carry me
That’s how it could be
Don’t you know me?
Don’t you know me by now?

This poem is from one of my favourite scenes in one of my favourite movies.

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