Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Great Weta Robbery

Once again I have failed to meet the Tuesday deadline with a poem, I'm trying to keep up posting every week and get a new book out, but in the meantime, I'd like to link you to a book I co-wrote with Peter Friend, a few years ago now, called The Great Weta Robbery. It's a great little book published by Gilt Edge for early readers. There's an audio version at the above link, and even better for teachers, there's an educator's guide here.

The blurb: When your after-school job is looking after weta the size of cats, it'd be understandable if you thought that your life couldn't get any more exciting or dangerous. But there is a darker secret lurking in the laboratories of Krell Reserach and it's down to one boy – with his sidekicks Snapper, Fluffy, Five-Legs and the other mega-weta – to get to the bottom of it.

I hope you enjoy it (even though it's definitely not poetry!)
A.J. Ponder



Links (for people who like to see where their links are going)

The Great Weta Robbery Book and Audio Link
 https://www.giltedgepublishing.co.nz/products/the-great-weta-robbery-1

Educators Guide
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54aabd1ee4b037e9bad286f6/t/58b4336459cc684cc88b9a63/1488204656597/Friend%2C+Peter+and+Alicia+Ponder.+THE+GREAT+WETA++ROBBERY.pdfteach




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A New World, Today

We could home the homeless
End poverty
Tomorrow

If only we wanted

We could create a new world
Based on facts
And reason

If we followed the evidence

We could save ourselves heartbreak
Misery and sorrow,
Even death

And not be any poorer

We could do all this and create a better
A fairer world
For everyone 

No more ifs

We are way past dreaming
It's time for action
Today

A.J. Ponder





See links below to understand just how expensive austerity is, and why we need to change the paradigm we've been conned into believing.

Have a great week

A.J. Ponder

Housing homeless cheaper, more effective than status quo: study

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/housing-homeless-cheaper-more-effective-than-status-quo-study/article4563718/

Six Examples of the Long-Term Benefits of Anti-Poverty Programs

(https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2015/05/11/six-examples-long-term-benefits-anti-poverty-programs)

(http://web.mit.edu/workplacecenter/docs/Full%20Report.pdf)

And a few more UBI talks (Universal Basic Income) 

Ted Talk: Poverty Is not a Lack of Character, it's a Lack of Cash

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIL_Y9g7Tg0)

 Basic Income and other ways to fix capitalism 

(https://youtu.be/A2aBKnr3Ep4) - Let's look at the data - and stop following corporate narrative - or as the presenter says, "fairytales" - and dangerous ones, because they're actually twisting reality, rather than reflecting it.

Why everyone should have a basic income | Guy Standing

(https://youtu.be/NNHAgXy5dxQ)



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Masque of Anarchy, Percy Shelley The Mask of Anarchy

When Jeremy Corbyn quoted the last stanza of the poem - I had to check it out.

It's more than interesting, Wikipedia calls it, "perhaps the first modern statement of the principle of nonviolent resistance." Written shortly after the Peterloo Masacre, cavalry charged into a crowd killing 15 and injuring hundreds. The poem wasn't published until after Percy Bysshe Shelley's death, due to the publisher's concerns that people wouldn't understand "the sincerity and kind-heartedness of the spirit that walked in this flaming robe of verse."

I can see why Jeremy Corbyn chose it. The parallels of gold over people are not exactly subtle. But more than that, it encapsulates the strength spirit required for stand for your fellow human beings who are suffering under tyranny.

The Masque of Anarchy

As I lay asleep in Italy
There came a voice from over the Sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.

I met Murder on the way -
He had a mask like Castlereagh -
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven blood-hounds followed him:

All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed them human hearts to chew
Which from his wide cloak he drew.

Next cam Fraud, and he had on,
Like Eldon, an ermined gown;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell.

And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.

Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by.

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.

Last came Anarchy: he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
On his brow this mark I saw -
'I AM GOD, AND KING, AND LAW!"

With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he passed,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.

And a mighty troop around,
With their trampling shook the ground,
Waving each a bloody sword,
For the service of their Lord.

And with glorious triumph, they
Rode through England proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.

O'er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed the Pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down;
Till they came to London town.

And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken
Hearing the tempestuous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.

For with pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers, who did sing
'Thou are God, and Law, and King.'

We have waited, weak and lone
For thy coming, Mighty One!
Our purses are empty, our swords are cold.
Give us glory, and blood, and gold.'

Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,
To the earth their pale brows bowed,
Like a bad prayer not over loud,
Whispering - 'Thou art Law and God.' -

Then all cried with one accord,
'Thou art King, and God, and Lord;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now!'

And Anarchy, the skeleton,
Bowed and grinned to every one,
As well as if his education
Had cost ten millions to the nation.

For he knew the Palaces
Of our Kings were rightly his;
His the sceptre, crown, and globe,
And the gold-inwoven in robe.

So he sent his slaves before
To seize upon the Bank with Tower,
And was proceeding with intent
To meet his pensioned Parliament

When one fled past, a manic maid,
And her name was Hope, she said:
But she looked more like Despair,
And she cried out in the air:

'My father Time is weak and gray
With waiting for a better day;
See how idiot-like he stands,
Fumbling with his palsied hands!'

'He has had child after child,
And the dust of death is piled
Over every one but me -
Misery, oh, Misery!'

Then she lay down in the street,
Right before the horses' feet,
Expecting, with a patient eye,
Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy

When between her and her foes
A mist, a light, and image rose,
Small at first, and weak, and frail
Like the vapour of a vale:

Till as clouds grow on the blast,
Like tower-crowned giants striding fast,
And glare with lightnings as they fly,
And speak in thunder to the sky,

It grew - a Shape arrayed in mail
Brighter than the viper's scale,
And upborne on wings whose grain
Was the light of sunny rain.

On its helm, seen far away,
A planet, like the Morning's, lay;
And those plumes its light rained through
Like a shower of crimson dew

With a step as soft as wind it passed
O'er the heads of men - so fast
That they knew the presence there,
And looked, - but all was empty air.

As flowers beneath May's footstep waken,
As stars from Night's loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where'er that step did fall.

And the prostrate multitude
Looked - and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien:

And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,
Lay dead earth upon the earth;
The Horse of Death tameless as wind
Fled, and with his hoofs did grind
To dust the murderers thronged behind.

A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense awakening and yet tender
Was heard and felt - and at its close
These words of joy and fear arose

As if their own indignant Earth
Which gave the sons of England birth
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother's throe

Had turned every drop of blood
By which her face had been bedewed
To an accent unwithstood, -
As if her heart had cried aloud:

'Men of England, heirs of Glory,
Hereos of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
Hopes of her, and one another;'

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many - they are few.'

'What is Freedom? - ye can tell
That which is slavery is, too well -
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.'

''Tis to work and have such pay
As just keeps life from day to day
In your limbs, as in a cell
For the tyrants' use to dwell,'

'So that ye for them are made
Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
With or without your own will bent
To their defence and nourishment.'

''Tis to see your children weak
With their mothers pine and peak,
When the winter winds are bleak, -
They are dying whilst I speak.'

''Tis to hunger for such diet
As the rich man in his riot
Casts to the fat dogs that lie
Surfeiting beneath his eye;'

''Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
Take from Toil a thousandfold
More than e'er its substance could
In the tyrannies of old.'

'Paper coin - that forgery
Of the title-deeds, which ye
Hold to something of the worth
Of the inheritance of Earth.'

''Tis to be slave in soul
And to hold no strong control
Over your own wills, but be
All that others make of ye.'

'And at length when ye complain
With a murmur weak and vain
'Tis to see the Tyrant's crew
Rise over your wives and you -
Blood is on the grass like dew.'

'Then it is to feel revenge
Fiercely thirsting to exchange
Blood for blood - and wrong for wrong -
Do thus when ye are strong.'

'Birds find rest, in narrow nest
When weary of their winged quest;
Bets find fare, in woody lair
When storm and snow are in the air.'

'Asses, swine, have litter spread
And with fitting food are fed;
All things have a home but one -
Thou, Oh, Englishman, hast none!'

'This is Slavery - savage men,
Or wild beasts within a den
Would endure not as ye do -
But such ills have never knew.'

'What are thou Freedom? O! could slaves
Answer from their living graves
This demand - tyrants would flee
Like a dream's dim imagery:'

'Thou art not, as imposters say,
A shadow soon to pass away,
A superstition, and a name
Echoing from the cave of Fame.'

'For the labourer thou art bread,
And a comely table spread
From his daily labour come
In a neat and happy home.'

'Thou art clothes, and fire, and food
For the trampled multitude -
No - in countries that are free
Such starvation cannot be
As in England now we see.'

'To rich thou art a check,
When his foot is on the neck
Of his victum, thou dost make
That he treads upon a snake.'

'Thou are Justice - ne-er for gold
May thy righteous laws be sold
As laws are in England - thou
Sheld'st alike the high and low.'

'Thou art Wisdom - Freemen never
Dream that God will damn for ever
All who think those things untrue
Of which Priests make such ado.'

'Thou art Peace - never by thee
Would blood and treasure wasted be
As tyrants wasted them, when all
Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul.'

'What if English toil and blood
Was poured forth, even as a flood?
It availed, Oh, Liberty,
To dim, but not extinguish thee.'

'Thou art Love - the rich have kissed
Thy feet, and like him following Christ,
Give their substance to the free
And through the rough world follow thee,'

'Or turn their wealth to arms, and make
War for thy beloved sake
On wealth, and war, and fraud - whence they
Drew the power which is their prey.'

'Science, Poetry, and Thought
Are thy lamps; they make the lot
Of the dwellers in a cot
So serene, they curse it not.'

'Spirit, Patience, Gentleness,
All that can adorn and bless
Art thou - let deeds, not words, express
Thine exeeding loveliness.'

'Let a great Assembly be
Of the fearless and the free
On some spot of Engligh ground
Where the plains stretch wide around.'

'Let the blue sky overhead,
The green earth on which ye tread,
All that must eternal be
Witness the solemnity.'

'From the corners uttermost
Of the bounds of English coast;
From every hut, village, and town
Where those who live and suffer moan
For others' misery or their own,'

'From the workhouse and the prison
Where pale as corpses newly risen,
Women, children, young and old
Groan for pain, and weep for cold -

'From the haunts of daily life
Where is waged the daily strife
With common wants and common cares
Which sows the human heart with tares -'

'Lastly from the palaces
Where the murmur of distress
Echoes, like the distant sound
Of a wind alive around'

'Those prison halls of wealth and fashion,
Where some few feel such compassion
For those who groan, and toil, and wail
As must make their brethren pale -'

'Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold -'

'Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free -'

'Be your strong and simple words
Keen to wound as sharpened swords,
And wide as targets let them be,
With their shade to cover ye.'

'Let the tyrants pour around
With a quick and startling sound,
Like the loosening of a sea,
Troops of armed emblazonry.'

'Let the charged artillery drive
Till the dead air seems alive
With the clash of clanging wheels,
And the tramp of horses' heels.'

'Let the fixed bayonet
Gleam with sharp desire to wet
Its bright point in English blood
Looking keen as one for food.'

'Let the horsemen's scimitars
Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars
Thirsting to eclipse their burning
In a sea of death and mourning.'

Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,

'And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armed steeds
Pass a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed.'

'Let the laws of your own land,
Good or ill, between ye stand
Hand to hand, and foot to foot,
Arbiters of the dispute,'

'The old laws of England - they
Whose reverend heads with age are gray,
Children of a wiser day;
And whose solemn voice must be
Thine own echo - Liberty!'

'On those who first should violate
Such sacred heralds in their state
Slash the blood that must ensue,
And it will not rest on you.'

'And if then the tyrants dare
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew, -
What they like, that let them do.'

'With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away.'

'Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.'

'Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand
They will hardly dare to greet
Their acquaintance in the street.'

'And the bold, true warriors
Who have hugged Danger in wars
Will turn to those who would be free,
Ashamed of such base company.'

'And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.'

'And these words shall then become
Like Oppression's thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again - again - again -'


'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.'

Percy Bysshe Shelley


So many great verses, and not just the one above quoted by Jeremy, but like these two. It takes little imagination to apply them to the swamp crocodiles infesting our current political arena:
And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.


And the old-as-the-hills tactics used to intimidate those who wish for better democracy:
Or turn their wealth to arms, and make
War for thy beloved sake
On wealth, and war, and fraud - whence they
Drew the power which is their prey
.

I couldn't help but think this is what Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" was about - almost 200 years later. (If you haven't heard about it - this video is a start) As students, or at least observers of history, we should remember the hard-fought lessons of the people who came before us, if we too, wish to be free.

A.J. Ponder



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Have You Heard the News

Have you heard the news today?

Did you notice that the lights have changed?
or when?
seems we've all been driving for too long
and that's the song-
but it doesn't have to be
we can be free

If you'd just listen to the fool on the hill-
but you never listened to fools, did you?
and those experts
oh boy
so you kept your cents close
and spent profligately,
willingly

Yeah, well, that's a luxury
it's time to notice that your rights are gone
there's no flying on
when we cage the poor
no-one sings sweeter
when we throw our brothers, our sisters
off the cliff
it's not if

But who pays the piper -
to pick up the pieces.

A.J. Ponder

NB Yes, of course I acknowledge the influence of a couple of lines from The Beatles song. Comes from listening to their music in the car while thinking about current events.

Best wishes to all, and have a great week,
A.J.








Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I Need my Dragons

I needed a dragon,
A very fine dragon
So I went to my bookshelf
To see what was there

I looked up Tolkien
And he had a dragon
A golden dragon
A dragon that didn't much like to share

I needed a dragon
but not that kind of dragon
I needed a dragon
to fly me everywhere

So I looked up Funke
And she had a dragon,
But the very best dragons
Should give you a scare

I wanted a dragon
A fine fiery dragon
Like George's dragon
Just not 12th Century fare

I found R R Martin
And he had three dragons!
But he hadn't a soul
Not anywhere there

So I picked up his book
And it had no dragons
Just some toys:
A piglet,
A kangaroo
And a teddy bear too

I opened the page
To the market square
And hidden in there
Someone was selling me
Dragons

Now whenever I sit on a stair
There's a dragon at the bottom
And a dragon at the top

And when I'm walking
down the street
Others can watch where they
put their feet

'Cause I've been down
Past the end of the town
with my dragons

A.J. Ponder

A fun poem this week, after a bit of a silence.
Because who doesn't need dragons?

News from me - I really enjoyed the science march - although I had to try not to laugh as someone waved an anti-science fiction poster over my head, because to be fair, it was anti science fiction in policy decisions. :)

Also, I'm very excited because BlindSight, a horror story in the anthology At the Edge just made the Sir Julius Vogel Award Shortlist along with some other really awesome stories. http://www.sffanz.org.nz/sjv/sjvNominations-2017.html
Many of them are on the anthology At the Edge, and one is from Asimov's something I'm not sure has happened since Peter Friend. So good luck to Sean Monaghan, and everyone making their mark in NZ Science Fiction.

Have a great week, everybody
A.J. Ponder







Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sir Julius Vogel Awards



Love New Zealand Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror?

You can nominate works for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards by filling in this easy form online to help your favourite authors receive recognition for their work (published in 2016).

I have a short story called BlindSight in At the Edge, an amazing collection edited by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts
You can find it here,or in bookshops.

All the stories are by New Zealanders and should be eligible for awards, including the anthology itself.

The 2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award closes 8.00pm on 31st March 2017 (NZST).
Into the Mist


 I'll just have to put off reading Maurice Gee's The Severed Land (published 2017) for a few more days while I look to see if there are any more authors I want to nominate - authors like Lee Murray with her great thriller/horror Into the Mist.



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dear Captain America

Pardon me, but your sword and shield are trampled in the dirt
they're a little broken,
a little rusty perhaps
but I know you can dust them off
and mend the cracks

I don't mean to intrude, but we're all being squashed by a golden elephant
maybe it's rude
not to all love gold and all
but the shit is toxic
and it only helps itself to the ball

My apologies, I know it's a hero thing, but really, do you have to
exhaust all alternatives
before doing the right thing?
surely the small problem of climate change
is enough embroiling?

So, please, if you wouldn't mind, my dearest, and most influential friend
pretty, pretty please
let the vote ring out fair and free
and mend your broken sword and shield
of justice and of liberty.

No need to hurry you, or anything, but children are dying
the air is poisoned
and the water too
but the problem can be fixed-
the only question is-
will you?


A.J. Ponder

Apologies for the couple of weeks off, had a touch of a seasonal cold, it's coming up to autumn here, but now the cicadas are out, the sun is shining, and it's been a surprisingly nice couple of days after a bit of a cold front and parts of the country under water.
Wishing everyone well, especially the kids who are fighting against climate change, for a better world http://www.ecowatch.com/trump-climate-change-lawsuit-2307504755.html

A.J.





Friday, March 10, 2017

Fun new game, to educate and annoy :)

#YourLogicalFallacyIs the most fun I've had since I started twitter. Inspired by the Michelle Wolf of The Daily Show, and www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html, I found the slightly more interactive YourLogicalFallacy.com and invented a new way to waste time: trying to inform people about the types of argument they shouldn't use, and certainly shouldn't listen to. It's too easy to fall for common misdirects.

Great for English teachers, as well as social studies or politics classes, because when it comes to media manipulation, the next generation will need to be more awake than ever. You can try and find as many different types of misleading statements as you can on social media, and even tally them. Or, if you're like me, you can make sure everyone knows of the misstep, so that others won't fall into these surprisingly common traps. Maybe try politely at first, because most of these people are victims, but some are just trolls. When the abuse has nothing to back it and exists solely to discredit a person's agency, disengage with "That's ad hominem, but thanks for playing #YourLogicalFallacyIs"

Logical fallacies come in many different and exciting forms, running all the way from appeals to authority to another Kellyanne Conway favourite- tu quoque (you too), but the one whose description is unmissable is "Begging the Question," mostly because we all know of a Zorbo the Great.

So there you are, congratulations, and thanks for playing #YourLogicalFallacy. I hope you have fun too. And maybe, just maybe, the conversation will turn to facts.




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The horror I am facing (not a poem)

Here I am, trying to write a thriller, but it's near impossible. Every time I think to settle down, back to my run of the mill - I really can't be bothered with politics, progressivism - along comes another egregious assault to human rights and civil liberties. Assaults that are designed to turn back the clock to an era nobody wants except the would-be-lords-of-all-they-survey. It's scarier than anything I've ever contemplated writing up to now.

So it comes to this. A fight for head-space between fictional demons vs the real-life morally undead. People who think it's literally okay to kill people in the pursuit of money, and power. Who, no longer content with pulling the strings from a distance, are elbowing in with a power play of epic proportions.

Dammit, but never in my life has real life been fringed with such fear and suspicion. But as many Americans are saying normal service will be resumed shortly. I can't be sure when. So I'll paraphrase Douglas Adams - I'll be restoring normality just as soon as I'm sure what is normal anyway- (to be fair, this isn't strictly true. Sureties are not for times like these. And I've never really been a fan of normal-more a live and let live creative chaos.)

But aside from persnickety details, the important message is I want my brain back, away from the dreadful contemplation of how close we are to the precipice - minutes to midnight. Not that I needed that awful clock to tell me the danger, the evidence is everywhere and it's inescapable for thinking people. Either people win, or corporations do, or nobody. And if it is not the first option, the world will be facing horror worse than any we've faced in my lifetime - or worse.

But this is a long game.
And I'm a tiny piece. But if we all do something, maybe, just maybe we'll come out of this with a near utopian society that is so close the millennials can almost reach out and touch it. There's no wonder they feel cheated. But they're fighting because they also have hope. So should we all.

Apologies for no poem, but do have a great week, and please feel free to share any good ideas. Especially if you have a good alternative to Amazon. We can't all do everything - but we can all do a  little bit and consider we are all together in this little ship called Earth. :)

 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Battle Hymn of the Resistance

Public domain image from the Project Gutenberg archives
I went to see the truth about the changing of the guard
(After it was over because watching was too hard)
They'd sugared it through serpent's fangs and covered it with lard
And the lies kept marching on

Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
And posttruth keeps marching on

Women's rights were gutted with a scribble from his pen
He's happy to risk women's lives, and so are all his men
Right to life's an awful lie - and now thousands will die
And the lies kept marching on

Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
And posttruth keeps marching on

Then he asked Guiliani to impose a Muslim ban
But one that protects his companies, and so they hatched an evil plan
And now they have the gall to say it's not a bloody ban
And the lies keep marching on

Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
And posttruth keeps marching on

Will America be gutted on the altar of his greed?
From Goldman Sacks and lobbyists the US should be freed
And taken to a place where there's respect every race and creed
Let's stop the lies from marching on

Glory glory, time to free ya
Glory glory, time to free ya
Glory glory, time to free ya
Stop posttruth from marching on

For too long your rights to work and vote have been twisted heartlessly
To the right to work for nothing, and to vote provisionally
But you can stop your lives and votes being thrown in the bin
Join a local human rights organization!

Glory glory, and good on ya
Glory glory, and good on ya
Glory glory, and good on ya
Keep #posttruth from marching on



A.J. Ponder 

My goodness, it's not easy to stay current and keep accurate! Also there's heaps I haven't covered eg #NoDAPL, so please tell me if you manage a verse or two and I'll link to it.

Have a great week! Breathe! Democracy is a long term objective, it's not perfected anywhere yet. All we can do is keep working toward a society that gives everyone the best opportunities to achieve-without stepping on the rights of others.

A.J. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Silver Sword


Truth
you are a silver sword
with which to slay the dragons.
For though their heads are many
and I cannot take them all
we can share the cutting truth
will you hear its clarion call?

Truth
from all around the world
as women we have spoken. (And men too! And non-binary, but this is a poem!)
We'll cut through the serpent's lies
knowing each is but a token,
then we'll take the fight to the Wyrms of greed
and dance as each head falls.


A.J. Ponder

A slightly more traditional offering this week, even if it's still within a certain theme. Apologies for using every synonym for dragon - because of the different flavour each has. At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Have a great week, and stay strong. And remember, as Thom Hartman says, #democracy is not a spectator sport.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I Will Not Yeild - William Shakespeare Butchered

Yield thee, coward,
Your juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense,
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope. 

Yield thee, coward,
Or be sure to be expos'd
And live to be the show and gaze o' th' time.
We’ll have thee, painted on a pole, and underwrit,
“See the tyrant.”
 
Yield thee, coward,
For until then, I will not yield,
Or be baited with the rabble’s curse.
And thou opposed, 
I will try to the last. 
 
I will not yield.

A.J. Ponder
 
Was looking for rebel poetry, but couldn't quite find what I wanted. So had a little play with the Scottish play. :)
 
Have a great week, and if you're protesting (The Women's March is this weekend in 386 places around the world), stay safe. http://resources.womensmarch.com/  https://www.acludc.org/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/aclu_8.5_x_11_trifold_v21.pdf
 
And remember non-violent protests have been shown to be significantly more effective, unfailing politeness is a weapon to be marshaled, because we need to change hearts and minds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Have you heard the news?

If you're reading my blog at the moment this will be a horribly familiar theme.
Anyone can make a stand - not just Meryl Streep in her Golden Globes 2017 speech. But on the phones, in the street -banding with friends and doing whatever needs to be done for human rights environmental needs, and democratic principles.  Corporate interests have shown money will trump all, and they're framing the debate. They tell us that we're not powerful and we can't change the world - well, that's only right if they can keep you at home and ignoring politics because you feel powerless. So...

Have you heard the
News?
Do you know?
Where you were
When
democracy died?
When
the free world fell?

Have you seen the news
What did you choose?
Where the f*ck were you
When
the lies flew
And before we knew
The meme had set

Did you see #maga become #masa
Make America Scared Again
And all because
We forgot it's our job
To stand up to power
And make the world a better place.

Have you seen the
Show?
Do you know?
Where you were
When
the free vote fell?
Did you see?
When
Jim Crow raised his head
Did you raise your voice?
Or did you watch him
Tear the vote
Away
From the poor
The huddled masses
Yearning to breathe free?

Now you can choose to sing
Everything is
Awesome
To drown out
Reality.
Or you can stand against
The entity that is corporate greed
And demand our world back.

Where are you?
The world is falling.

A.J.

Right, and lets get to it. What can we do?

Well, I have only one thing to say- Are you Ready? okay nobody's really ready for "interesting times"
But small things can make a huge difference. Here's a piece from Ecowatch. 6 Lessons Learned Fighting Oppressive Regimes While Trying to Protect People and Planet.
We can do this.

If we stand for truth, human rights, and the environment, and try to make a tiny difference for at least one of those we can make this world a better place. :)

One of the most important things an American can do is protect their voting rights. " The US Civil Rights Commission concluded that the odds of your vote being miscounted or tossed out are 900% greater if you vote in a community of color." So if I was an American I'd join the local @ACLU   https://www.aclu.org/issues/voting-rights  But there are other great organizations you might prefer.

Stay strong, have fun, and never give up hope. We need you. :)
A.J. Ponder