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From this Chair or That

To once have had the strength to breathe with ease,
to once have had wit with which to speak,
to once have cared to consider others’ feelings
with the same urgency I feel for my own,
not to have grown into whom I’d expected to become, –
I remember it all: see how time has gone

wrong.

At night, I shuffle from chair to chair
expecting in each a comfort there, but
none hints at relief, up here in my room, or throughout this place.
or in wanders downstairs – move, move, moving on
as if simply moving is my last resource, it leads me
nowhere, of course – but to ponder one or other of ability’s
restraints; pain or rage mocks me, – ‘that time has gone’.

I visit and dawdle, I expect nothing or something
and am rewarded with both, the strained journey is the exercise
that stopped for a while there being nothing.
These are my moments, and now, and now again
I take each in on a whim, and then decide
there is somewhere else in this dark midnight
that a soul in pain can better hide: so
I move with weary legs, chest and mind, “This time,”
But time has gone.

At some point I will sleep, – an hour maybe, or two;
I dream of my loved ones, I see them all, (but so long ago,
and not always in the way I would choose) – the old guilt
shares my dreams in the time I lose in those chairs, or briefly
below the quilt of what was real but now distorted
imagined hopes and thought of plans abandoned:
Time (while plentiful) seemed so short then
and futures aborted between the midnight walks,
’til all seemed gone.

My children and friends save me through this test
They are my moments, and my rest, saving me from shutting down
this machine-like replaying of a looped soul’s wandering
saves me from the curious squandering of these last days won,
through their efforts, – through the filter of my conscience,
‘Not yet, not yet. Time’s not done’.

Tired but gratefully, I love them. I observe this moment – this release;
From this chair or that, from here or there, until
The exquisite dream-time brings me peace,
and each bitter-tinged waking moment reminds,
‘There’s more to do, there is still time’.

Neil H Nov 2020

Scunnert Mime Artistry

There’s a mime artist out in the street
She’s doing that ‘trapped in a glass box’ thing:
ootside the windae, it’s kinda neat.

Now, she shakes her fist, it’s convincing
but also a wee bit sad.
She mimes a grand scare as a car horn sounds
and I’m glad she has a talent
despite being mad.

She goes too far now, and comes too close
The glass-box thing is wearing thin,
so I mime giving the finger, she mimes dropping her jaw;
The weirder her mime, the closer she draws.

I missed the first bangin’ at the door.
“Will ye no let me in, lad? Let me in, please!”
“Fecksake, Gran: did ye forget yer keys?”

[ . . . again! Jeez.]

If I should live tae be a hunnert,
I’ll no see a mime artist quite so scunnert.

[But then . . . ]

Neil H

THE RAREST AIR

We walked doon the steps at the end o’ ma street,
I, by stick and rail, – her, light still and fair on her feet,
holding back as if by choice. A musical tone tae her kindly voice
she chatted – more to distract from the trial of my trail than to
offer choice or chance to this old man’s jig;
The glance fae the side o’ her eye
as she weighed the chance o’ getting a reply;
but I had no breath, and my aching was sore in
heid and heart. For her part, at the last stair
she turned left for hame, as I turned back for mine again.
Good company can cheer so for a moment in time,
as for a lifetime in company grand;
and ease enough mere moments of old gears’ grind
to bring tomorrow easier to mind,
moment after moment. Then:

‘Tomorrow maybe aye, Sooz?
‘Maybe ya auld fucker!’
The smiles hang above like puffs of the rarest air.



Neil H © 2020

Our Place

This is our place, our spot
in all the world, our home,
our corner of Europe,
Call it what you will:
Country, nation,
land of our ancestors
whose lives shape us still,
and their remembrance
ensures our station as
fighters for futures
and welcomers of all,
as builders of a better world.
We cannot be stopped
nor be cowed nor fall
for a blooded flag, only unfurled
as a historical rag to boast of a past,
of a shameful era, a British Union
that we did not want
that’s only ever flown to flaunt
our neighbour’s last remaining prize –
Rule by conceit and by fact of size!
What sheltered soul –
what arrogant bore dare stand –
one to one, face to face
and tell us ‘we’ should know our place?
This is our place, our land
In all the world, our home;
for those here, and who choose to come.
This is our place,
and it’s ours alone.

Neil H © 2019

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END DAYS

So these are the end days –
this earth scorched
or frozen, or a world of seas;
where time – beyond day and night,
sun high or low –
has no meaning.
and has no place to go.

These are the end days –
was it greed?
There were birds, bees.
We knew so much, but cared so little.
Now, no man’s needs,
just insect buzz and lichen
outlasting every seed.

There was no time,
So there is no time.
A million years will blink
to heal all things, without us.
Think what was, –
what we had.
Beyond end days won’t be so bad.

Neil H

The Career Politician

When the benches of Paliament are filled with people who studied politics at university with the sole aim of becoming politicians, we no longer have a functioning representative democracy.

The aim may be altruistic in essence (although I doubt it), but for one good guy to succeed over the next good guy, he must begin to promise more than he can deliver and bend the truth about his abilities and intentions.

Essentially, he must become ruthless, more open to manipulating and being manipulated, and more accepting of compromise further and further from his original ideals and conscience.

Politics must be a by-product of social life, not an end, of and for itself. But this is what we are now seeing, expecting and accepting. Whereas ideals once made the politician, now Universities prime their powders and send them out.

We love the exceptions: we know why they are there. They have a goal in sight which is shared outside the walls of Parliament, with experience and wisdom of their own – enough to keep the ideal in plain sight and understood.

If the end result of the failed politician is journalism – so to continue to pursue the old college inculcation cemented by party politics, then the end result for the decent social campaigner is a legacy that a whole country can benefit from. We see you all.

Perhaps degrees in politics should only be granted to those with a First in another subject, or years of the kind of work experience that so sets them aside from the pre-primed weapons of conflict.

Is it time that we elected people like us? Is it time that we voted for people who have suffered the hardships that they would fight to end for us all?

Britminster

In Britminster,

witness the hubbub of insincere bleating,
the deep grinding rumble of ancient tradition,
suits on expenses on swanky green seating
mission impossible, (what effing mission?)

at Britminster.

Through groundhog days of whining and lying
idiot tossers fight idiot arseholes.
The country and people outside it are dying –
it’s what we expect, it’s all part an parcel

of Britminster.

Stop the machine, and flush out the drains.
Quiet the jeering, the hooting, the faking.
And then in the quiet, when all that remains,
(just dry brittle snapping of promises breaking),

Level Britminster.

NH

‘Enshaded in forgetfulness divine’

I received by post a questionnaire from NHS re: diabetes.

The first question was: What is your *gender*? (M/F/Other). At the last count there were in excess of 25 genders to choose from as could well become apparent when you next have to fill in your National Census form.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if it was down to me, I’d need to believe that if a medical professional wanted make any headway with a general diagnosis/data-set (of any kind) – that the internal physiology (organs, structure, genetic/chromosomal contributors) of a potential patient/subject would be of infinitely more importance to them than what whim or clothes the subjects chooses to inhabit at any given moment to identify . [This follows in the wake of the revelation that invitations to have a cervical smear are being issued to ‘those who have a cervix’ – as opposed to ‘women’ – those creatures who some say must now be referred to as ‘womxn’ (‘Add to dictionary? No ta,) so as not to offend anyone other (apparently) than me.]

I have returned the form – well inked – and asked for it to be corrected. If one can’t progress beyond the first question because of the pressures put upon a struggling system by a bunch of cowardly PC woke arseholes, then there really is no point in data-gathering at all.

“Aye but she comes over awfy nice oan the telly?”

Sturgeon’s promised IndyRef 2 before next Holyrood election (2021) will not now happen for a few years.

“Aye but she comes over awfy nice oan the telly?”

Her daily sainted announcements are (IMHO) purely self-promotional, and a distraction from her refusal to take Scotland forward to independence. Otherwise a Department of Health spokesperson (or whichever leading scientist is convening whichever expert committees) would be far better placed.

“But she comes across grand oan the telly, Oor Nicky, aye?”

Aye she does, popularity before responsibility. The question you have to ask yourself is: ‘is a brilliant but maliciously personally-centred mind ‘safer’ than that of the Johnson-type bumbler who can be SEEN to be making stuff up on the spur of the moment?’

No. People are – in their droves – coming round to Johnson’s inability to govern, while only entrenched, bias-confirming doe-eyed ‘believers’ (also see Dunning-Kruger) refuse to see her prevarication and avoidance of Indy, and with little or no challenge – piss on the decades of good people who actually wanted a fair, equal, transparent and free Scotland worth fighting for. She is systematically getting rid of the rest, including those who have contributed so much more to the movement than she ever could (or was, at least, prepared to). She has expelled people from OUR party on HER personal whim.

Ask her about the lack of consultation on GRA (the majority of whom are furiously against it for obvious reasons).

Ask her where her support is for Craig Murray.

Ask her where her support was for Stu Campbell who provided more helpful and better information and actual fact-checking than anyone in the SNP. Ask her why she chose to support the Labour/Tories rather than the one honest Indy advocate.

Ask her why she expelled a great blogger from the party for no reason other than fearing she might be tainted by association by a purely mendacious claim from a raging ‘victim’ lunatic.

Ask her why she has time and again given the Grand Speech (always to cheers and adoring faces) about how IndRef2 is almost here, then ask her why it never was. She says she has been aiming at getting to where she is now since she was a teenager. I’m sure she has. But I’d like to know why, and exactly who her influencers (handlers?) were/are throughout that journey.

Ask her why she put her absolute all into Brexit, when she knew that for her and for us it counted for nothing but a grand humiliation.

You may wish to ask her if the hundreds of thousands of pounds for the campaign ‘fighting fund’ – money solicited from you and – is still ‘ring-fenced’ and where the often promised (but never delivered) IndyRef2 is? She does a fine speech, aye?

But – for the love of God – ask YOURSELVES why you still fall for her (and her entourage’s) complete and utter bullshit and lack of transparency, over and over again.

Or (of course) you can keep staring, doe-eyed, like the unthinking , uninquiring masses that so many are. But be aware; the tide is turning, – get ready to gather-up your skirts and run. She’ll be a fair bit ahead of you.

Fair dos if you follow her for her ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ page – essentially a book-club for her pals, and Garivelli fan club.

[Opinion piece. NH]

AZAK-20

Today is the day that the Robot Revolution was scheduled to begin. Robots – bound by Azimov’s Laws of Robotics – would take on the toils and challenges of mankind, their labour would free humanity to enjoy their spiritual selves in either deep-soul meditation, or in varying degrees of a more hedonistic life-style.

Continue reading “AZAK-20”

ANE AN’ AW

Away wi’ all yon whingein’ greeters,
Away wi’ ye, obsessin’ bleaters;
Ye’r enough tae gie a man the skitters
an’ raise the boak!
Yer graceless moanin’at ither tweeters
divides guid folk!

So dampen doon yer ragin’ mood
an’ choose in aeb’dy tae see the good
for ne’er a wan sae godly stood
that had nae flaw;
an’ toast tae him, as a neighbour should,
‘Tae ane an’ aw!’.

Neil H

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An Odd Conversation

I had the privilege of being able to ask Theresa May about the practicalities of Leaving the EU this afternoon. It was an odd conversation. I started by asking about Customs Unions and borders:

The problem is all inside your head,” she said to me, “The answer is easy if you take it logically; I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free, There must be fifty ways to leave the Union

Well yes,” I replied, “but I’m not sure that answers people’s concerns. For instance, businesses and manufacturers are concerned that outside of a single market, they will strugg . . .

She said, “It’s really not my habit to intrude. Furthermore, I hope my meaning won’t be lost or misconstrued, but I’ll repeat myself at the risk of being crude, there must be fifty ways to leave the Union.”

I began to suspect I might not receive any meaningful answers – “Deaths, poverty, NHS, services . . . ,” I began, as her aides approached to whisk her away, and again, “. . . I mean . . . deaths?”

She said “It grieves me so to see you in such pain, – I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again!”

I said, “I appreciate that, and would you please explain about the fifty ways . . . “

Andy [From Here]

[16 November 1955 – 4 October 1984]

I thought I saw her,
then felt the moment fade
and turned away,
grieving my loss.
I believed her gone
back through the years;
but still she stood,
saying, ‘Where are you, love,
why did you go?’
Now, worn and greyed
as the gloaming nears,
It haunts me yet;
I do not know
which of us left,
or which of us stayed.

Lying still, now wide awake,
I’m gripped in thrall of ancient fright;
that time-dulled hearts can still thus break
and love so fill an empty night.

The spoiling, wetched, dawn steals in
to blur again those most missed faces;
to drown their words in hard world’s din,
and leech all sense from remnant traces;

So, for want of words
that will not come;
just, ‘She is gone.’
Else, there are none.

Neil H

We’re So Sorry, My Juncker

We’re so sorry, My Juncker, but we’re up against the ropes;
our Parliament is heaving with sociopaths and dopes.
We know it’s not your job to provide us Brits with hope,
but we’re desperate dear Jean-Claude, we honestly can’t cope.

We’re sorry, My Juncker, for the wastage and the cost;
we’re sorry for the deceitful lies and time that we have lost.
We’re sorry our Prime Minister is made of permafrost
Forgive us dearest Jean-Claude for all the lines she crossed.

Forgive us Mr Juncker, but it wasn’t down to me;
Nor was it down to many here, – I’m from Scotland, you see!
We’re a European country, and still will be once we’re free
and we have so much to offer such good company!

Neil H

Hope Over Despair

Snowdrop
(in aspect fragile,
delicate against brutal winter’s clumsy grudges)
triumphs over the frozen sod,
rising from her winter bed
unwittingly mocking
with grace, modesty and bowed head,
the bitter winds which rage
to bruise and bend,
and lose, always,
in the end.

Winter’s biting blasts are not enough
to break nature’s art
or shake beauty’s hold,
for she is tough, and
for a brief, brave time she is Hope,
warming, again, the chilled corners
of cold, heavy hearts, then sleeps –
to rest, to dream of Spring.
See, she comes again!

NEIL H

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Stumpy

My friend’s little grandlass (5) was chatting away to me, and saw the stuffed old toy Westie I had been using to chat to when Dave McCat passed away.

“Oh!” says she, “I REALLY love him! I expect you’ll be giving him to some little girl who really loves him? I mean, not me, but . . . some little girl who REALLY, REALLY loves him?”

“Well,” says I, “I wasn’t thinking of . . . ”

“Hey,” says she with a theatrical look of amazed realisation, “I’M a little girl who really, really loves him! He’s called Stumpy.”

“Called what?”

She: Say ‘Stuh’
Me: ‘Stuh’
She: Now say ‘Pee’
Me: ‘Pee’. He’s called Stuppy?
She: No, you silly, Stumpy.
Me: Ah, right.

The wee lass went quiet for a minute – an incredible feat in itself – as she reviewed the conversation.

“You know, sometimes I have to say things a bit differently for you, because you’re a bit deaf.”

“Ah, I see,” I said, nodding.

“And because you haven’t any teeth.”

Stumpy was REALLY, REALLY loved for about a week, until other Grandma bought her a brand new toy Westie: – Isn’t that right, Stumpy?

Stumpy never answers, I think (being about 85) he might be a bit deaf.


Neil H

The Lord Giveth

The Lord giveth, and The Lord taketh away.
The Lord addeth a substantial service charge.

The Lord hath considered His ministries’ overheads,
and affordeth them charitable status.

He giveth them magical frocks and raiseth them high.
The Lord appointeth mortal Lords who sitteth in judgement
over the meek in the chamber of honours.

The Lord’s word hath much small print, from which
only those who so believeth may reveal The Truth
of its mysterious paradoxes.

The Lord sendeth two disciples
who bangeth on my door at 08:30 in the morning.


Neil H

Blair McDougall

Aff tae the doctor went Blair McDougall
“There’s something wrang wi’ ma heid!”:
The doctor sighed an’ gied it a shoogle,
“I cannae believe you’re no deid!
But half the battle’s tae no let it rattle,
an’ th’ither is just tae ca canny!”
“I’ll be wantin’ a second opinion,” says Blair
“Very well,” says the doc, “You’re a fanny.”

Neil H [“A rare talent” – Blair McDougall ]