Sweet peas flowering,
French beans running,
Tendrils are looping,
Apples are shining,
It is a miracle.
What have I done to deserve this?
The dreadful news from Iraq, overtaking in its monstrousness even the deepening horror of Syria, has rightly recalled that moment eleven years ago when two million British people – one in thirty of the population – marched in London to protest against Blair’s leading the UK into joining the US to invade Iraq. The official rationale for this was to defeat terrorism! At the time, I wrote this poem addressed to Blair:
The voice of the people is heard in the land
We don’t want your ancient enmities
Your new crusade
We don’t want your paranoid scaring
Terrorism on a flying carpet bomb
You have to get them first
Before they square the Circle Line
We don’t want your puerile patronage
Head teacher of the universe
Calling out the naughty boy
To put away his catapult
We don’t want your ecclesiastical certainties
Giving the Pope an audience
Knowing God is on your side
We don’t want your gunboat diplomacy
Dealing with the other
As in the nineteenth century –
The time for that is past.
The people are ahead of you.
We are beyond
As always, Robert Fisk gives a good analysis of the inner dynamics of the latest conflict, especially its financing. As he says, “Apart from Saudi Arabia’s role in this catastrophe, what other stories are to be hidden from us in the coming days and weeks?”
Why make a case for feminism?
It’s a banal assertion.
A special dispensation
For half the population?
Makes inequity seem nature.
There shouldn’t be an issue.
Different, perhaps, but equal.
I couldn’t make my writing group this week, but the topic on which I should have written was Feminism. I promised I’d write something for my blog, so here it is. It didn’t take long, and I’m not really satisfied with it, but I don’t know how far my reticence in posting has to do with my fear of being misunderstood. In saying that this issue is (or should be) a non-issue, I’m not denying the horrific “naturalness” of patriarchal culture, of which the young women recently gang-raped and then hanged in India are one recent instance.
My father grew runner beans every year
in our suburban garden. Twenty plants saluted
each other, regularly apart. Too bright
for army green, their densely orange flowers
heralded dangling pods of seeded sustenance.
Today I grow beans in my urban garden.
The parade is shorter, but the line
stretches across the earth. Young green soldiers
stand waiting to climb their way to planthood.