Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Inisheer

Above the half door, a beach,
above that again, the sea.
The morning ferry from Galway
anchors in the doorway
and waits offshore in the sun.

Aran sweaters are navy blue
and such, not many white.
The men, hard as the sea,
are readying their currachs,
which are also fishing boats.

This island has no police,
no cars, no roads, no harbour.
The people speak Irish
and the tiny stonewalled fields
have rabbits and a donkey or two.

This side faces the mainland.
There's a pub. That's it.
They close when you finish drinking.
We never knew and kept them awake,
then staggered out under the stars.

One of them was zig-zagging.
Who knew we couldn't fix it,
on the rocky path we walked,
stopping, sitting, starting again,
mystified and drunk with life.

A minute sandy beach,
minute, sheltered by rocks,
we sunbathed but never swam.
The cove was full of jelly-fish
blown in by last night's gale.

I ate something like wild garlic
stupidly, luckily not poisoned.
Walking where skuas swooped
to threaten our heads, we found
a ruin half-buried in the sand.

It was a church from the age
of saints and scholars, hungry,
not tall or else they stooped
to pass under the low lintel
into their pious stone hall.

Our blase plaster living rooms
might be bigger now than this
place where monks huddled
and chanted in Latin, fearful,
euphoric and awestruck.

Another mile to the final cliffs
where sheered walls of brown rock
face the edge of the world.
Did they venture in twos, singly,
or all together to this western shore?

They prayed to God of the Atlantic
for their feeble, perilous lives.
They prayed for the flat world, finite
under a dome of sky, waiting
for the terrible Judgement Day.

Next stop America, we know now.
But for them the ineluctible fury
of the Atlantic was proof
that they were small, very small,
and so are we, the same.

The wavelets become rollercoasters
only halfway to the ferry, leaving.
It's too late then to set the price
when they ask. Whatever it is,
we have to pay the currach men.




Writing Home

Ossian

Monday, February 27, 2006

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear



Our computers have a list of everyone in the country without an identity card. If you haven't registered, it's only a matter of time before we knock on your door. Remember "Security is Freedom".

There are many ways to pay for your identity card, so there is really no reason not to register now. "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear", that is our promise. As long as you hold a current, valid* identity card, you have nothing to fear.

*Terms and conditions apply

Advertisement by Gombeeen™. Cartoon by Craig © 2006

Friday, February 24, 2006

Introducing Bob Harmless

Fun for all and no smut

Did you hear the one about the new comedian? No? That's funny.

Seriously though, the stand-up comedian Bob Harmless will soon be entertaining us with his wholesome jokes and funny incidents. Bob says, if you have any funny incidents or jokes about string etc. please send them in, the more the merrier!

"You'll forget yourself with Bob Harmless"

Monday, February 20, 2006

The turn of the screw

Council tax double inflation

"But Local Government minister Phil Woolas said he is 'moderately pleased' that most councils are keeping rises below 5%." (Skynews)

He should be moderately shot.

Zoz

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Iran hangs teenagers

Why don't they riot about this?

We should never apologise to clerical fascists, it's none of their damn business what we print, read or write. They are the last people who would ever deserve any respect (see above). If you are not a follower of a religion, the rules of that religion do not apply to you. If they try to force them on you, just say no.

Are we to have a silhouette instead of a picture in a sequence depicting Arab rulers? Here is Caliph A, in typical costume, here is a blank space because we can't show you what we think this guy looked like, and here is Caliph C in his grandeur. It's preposterous.

Zoz

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Human form of rabbit plague - fear

If the rabbit disease myxamatosis were to mutate to a human form, it could virtually wipe out the population of Britain, it is thought. There is speculation here that rabbits might deliberately try to contaminate human food and drink, as a result of a previously unknown group defence instinct.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

The human is wild, not tame

How much will identity cards cost? (Guardian)

Identity cards are about one thing only, control. The government wants to control you, to tag you with Oyster cards and car tracking, to watch you on surveillance cameras, and to decide your entitlements and ultimately whether you live or die.

They are already persecuting you, revoking your ancient rights, selling you out to big business. But you are wild, and you should be free. They want to tame you. Don't lose your birthright as a free creature of your own land. Resist those who would corral and enslave you. Do not become like sheep and cattle.

Tom Pain

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Rimbaud in chains

Pete Doherty's Pentonville diary (Guardian)

[January 29]
I see paint-cracked walls stained with shite
Long long lock-up days
Cold lonely nights
And I think to myself ... what a wonderful world
I see men touching fists
Saying "watcha bruv"
Screams from below
Shit parcels from above
And I think to myself ...
I see my true love
On a Rimmel advert


In case you didn't get that nice allusion, the current Rimmel girl is one Ms Kate Moss, whom he nearly landed across the road in Holloway. "Jingle jangle of the gaoler's bangle" - do you think he's read Borstal Boy?

Noël Knowall

Roofs of Neasden



Picture by Onion Mbeke (Sphagnum)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Coming soon to a pond near you*

Fish Drink Like Us

They're back and this time it's impersonal.

*Advertisement by Gombeen™

Where the Willy leads...



Purchased at 7:15 a.m, minus 4 degrees Celcius outside a London underground station from a merry chap calling on commuters to support the Gate Gourmet strikers. We had "Outsourcing Torture" as a headline some days earlier.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Campbell's hogwash - 57 varieties*

Advertisement by Gombeen™



Alistair Campbell is so far up himself it's grotesque. People with such pervasive delusional traits, including him and that other poodlefaker Tony Blair, should be debarred from any responsible position in public life.

*As seen on BBC2 (Newsnight, February 8th.)

Monday, February 06, 2006

By order of the WRMC steering committee

Letters

I appeal to your readers to realise that the use of non-rotary mowers is forbidden on pain of death by the Willesden Rotary Mower Club. Worshippers at WRMC High Temple were reminded by Her Eminence, Engineer Alma Dinnerjacket this Monday (our Sabbath), of the verse in the Holy Manual which permits believers to put to death users of both petrol and hover mowers alike. We hold it self-evident that the use of non-rotary mowers is highly offensive to every single one of our followers, and therefore we claim our right under the relevant legislation not to be offended. I urge all citizens of this contingent state to desist from further provocations, until the Day of Lawn when all will be judged by Prince Rotor (praise be His name).

Rev. Mechanic I. Draper (WRMC)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Call that news?

Lying liar lied

"The revelation that Mr Blair had supported the US president's plans to go to war with Iraq even in the absence of a second UN resolution contrasts with the assurances the prime minister gave parliament shortly after. On February 23 2003 - three weeks after his trip to Washington - Mr Blair told the Commons that the government was giving 'Saddam one further final chance to disarm voluntarily'.
He added: 'Even now, today, we are offering Saddam the prospect of voluntary disarmament through the UN. I detest his regime - I hope most people do - but even now, he could save it by complying with the UN's demand. Even now, we are prepared to go the extra step to achieve disarmament peacefully.'"

Thursday, February 02, 2006

On this day +12 and a different month, 2003*

Letters

Dear Feargal

Despite your outrageous heightism, I would be very happy to take up your case with the Council re speeding traffic on All Souls Avenue.

Would you mind contacting me with further details about the incident(s) and your contact address so that I can do this?

Best wishes

Sarah

Sarah Teather**
[Then] Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Brent East**

www.brentlibdems.org.uk

*From WH August 2003

**Subsequently the Rt. Hon. of that ilk, MP

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Of mice and elephants

Hamas win, Condie perplexed

"It's about the consequences of the last decade of Israeli and American policies toward the Palestinians in general, and Islamist resistance movements in particular." (Rami G. Khouri)

Do you think they'll wake Sharon up now?

Zoz