Wednesday, 28 August 2013

28. 8 13.
Another letter in The Guardian today - this time on the Syrian situation. It was badly cut but got a main point across. Below is the link to today's letters page, and the original text I sent in.

bottom letter

Full text:

Why is money always found for wars abroad and not enough found to feed and care for our own people? How can we ever think of gathering resources and sending young people to die in yet another little understood conflict, when so many Britons are hungry, our health care is threatened, and our education system and culture is being daily trashed. When will we learn that the counties that do NOT go to foreign wars - China, Germany, the Nordic countries, Brazil, etc. - have economies that thrive?

The use of chemical weapons is appalling but so is cruise missiles, machetes, water-boardings, imprisonment without trail, etc..

Please let's stop parading on the world stage like wound-up ancient tin soldiers who don't know when or how to stop! Let's look at the motes in our own eyes first, and learn. Let's refuse to go anywhere again without a water-tight UN mandate and then only as a very small cog in a huge global exercise designed to heal Syria rather than cause further harm.

Let's force the world to move beyond war as a solution, before we lose the earth altogether! 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Have just accepted an invitation today to read at Cheltenham Poetry Festival next spring.

Also Les Murray has taken two more poems for Quadrant -

Learned in South Wales this weekend that it's a mistake to return to places which sparked my imagination as a child. Kenfig pool is not the actual location of the 'drowned town'. It is really located up beside the M4 and was covered with sand pretty quickly (Time Team did a recent quick excavation and then re-covered it).

I should love those facts too, but it was really an Anglo-Norman town, not Welsh, and I spent a lot of time on windy days listening out for the church bells under the pool!

Also, a very right wing historian who lives mostly in the US has bought Sker House and done it up. It's now in good nick but very private and can't be visited. So we can no longer sit in the old hotel bar, watch waves splash the rocks above Wrecker's Bay and shiver, imagining the old ones putting out lanterns on stormy nights to beckon unwary boats onto the rocks. It feels like a violation. There's possibly a poem about that, in a while....

Still, saw a Welsh wedding - didn't know before that Welsh men wore kilts!! Dark ones, mind and no sporran! Very smart though in wonderful Physick Garden in Cowbridge in bright sunshine, among all the colourful flowering herbs. Wish I had a life-time's knowledge of herbs - that would be worth knowing!! I bet we once rivalled the Chinese for herbal knowledge! All lost in urbanisation!