A cross (blue) tick

I was reflecting today on how recent events in US election have unfolded, the current encumbent in the role of US President, and the presence of social media that runs through the whole thing.

There is a term that is used to describe someone who incites others to commit violence. Stochastic. It originally related to a sense of randomness or an ability to take aim at a target. However now it takes on a more sinister meaning for someone who targets a group to commit violence on their behalf.

I also spent the day watching US News outlets who reinforced words such as incite, mob, attempted coup, sedition, treason and insurrection. These were strong and necessary words not said with the glee you sometimes see with news presenters but with anger and concern, a personal affront to their nature and values, and for CNN, a large dose of I told you so.

From that came this acrostic. Delivered like a lede in a news article but with the message clearly at its spine.

Sending love and light to all friends and connections in the US. We are with you.

Kirstie 💖💫💖

Contemplation 2021

Each year I choose a word that will be my “watchword” for the year. It serves as a guide, an energy I want to bring in and embed into my life. I described to a friend as the word that goes through everything I do l, like the word embedded in a stick of rock you would get at the seaside. It’s holographic, however thinly you slice it, the word is still there.

Last year my word was Substance. Ironic as last year was year of the virtual, but it functioned very well for me as a reminder to focus on the reality around me such as watching the life change in my garden, walking through woods and fields, eating good and nourishing food. It also helped me focus on building slowly and carefully rather than rushing in. Patience, resilience, attention – these words all sprang like new shoots out of my watchword.

This year I have chosen the word Contemplation. It’s a lovely word to say and even by saying it with care and attention it can bring about a moment of peace. However this word is more than a moment of stillness to me, it’s the act itself of finding and holding a sacred space for reflection, a way to access my Quiet and Simple Space.

Happy New Year.

Love and light
Kirstie 💖💫💖

Hope-elect

I’m on the midnight train
With Georgia on my mind.
There’s no longer a doubt, they cast the wicked out
Right down the finest of lines.

I’m flying over the Arizona sun
Where it is becomimg clear
Humanity has won, ego is done
Compassion and hope are near.

I’m with the Brothers and Sisters of Love
Filled with dance and song
They just put right, through the night
What once was painfully wrong.

And in the desert of bright brilliant lights
The count continues to build.
With patience, dear souls, we watched it unfold
A new destiny, to be fulfilled. 

*

Thank you to all who voted Joe Biden and Kamala Harris 🙏💫🙏

Hope-elect

I’m on the midnight train
With Georgia on my mind.
There’s no longer a doubt, they cast the wicked out
Right down the finest of lines.

I’m flying over the Arizona sun
Where it is becomimg clear
Humanity has won, ego is done
Compassion and hope are near.

I’m with the Brothers and Sisters of Love
Filled with dance and song
They just put right, through the night
What once was painfully wrong.

And in the desert of bright brilliant lights
The count continues to build.
With patience, dear souls, we watched it unfold
A new destiny, to be fulfilled. 

Thank you to all who voted Joe Biden and Kamala Harris 🙏💫🙏

Economics Lesson

They taught me in Economics that money was infinite

So why do hands curse and bodies curl, in boxes overhanging the highway.

If money was infinite it would find them, would it not?

It would flow downstream, flushing the 

land with riches – fish, fowl, flowers, fancy 

Did it get stuck along the way?

Did some devious fox damn the current?

Is there a pool so deep, carved by neverfull mouths, lying still

Turbid, rotted; a stagnant oily sluice

Supped by everthirsty lips?

*

Or is it, finite. Like our emerald world.

Some for me, none for you.

Not tumbling down from the mountains

Slicking palms and tickling toes

But handed out like buttons.

Shiny, brassy coins of deference, 

divvied up, coveted and stroked,

by those who seized the pot.

*

The common scheme here is greed 

Grabbing greed that stems and squeezes,

that halts

the gushing waters, 

and shared treasures, 

placed here for us all.

***

October has been kicking my backside health-wise so I’ve been spending most of my time reading. First up was a non-fiction book How to Fight Inequality by Ben Philips, an activist and thought-leader in this arena. It was a powerful book full of examples and insights into how we ended up in such an imbalance of resources and need, as well as practical advice on what we all can do to take part in changing things for the better.


I’ve have a strange relationship with money – our main conduit for exchanging resources and fulfilling needs; I’ve always seen it as something that if you have a lot of it means someone else does not, an assumption some have took time to try and question, ie the argument that money, and our ability to make it, is infinite. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, that argument has never washed with me.


We have some interesting terms for and around money – currency, cashflow, circulation, trickle down, all related to water and the movement from a smaller source to a larger one, all giving the impression of a constantly renewing source. This gave me the idea for this poem which asks questions about what happens with this ‘current’ as it moves, which in our current capitalist state, does not flow where it is most needed.


But what if money is infinite? The illusion of water disappears and becomes cold and hard. Piece of silver, nuggets of gold. Hoarded and stored.


It could be that it doesn’t matter where the source comes from or what it looks like rather what we do with it that counts. Sadly, right now, far too many, choose to keep what is enough for everyone for themselves. And by doing so, they could be damning us all.

Love and light

Kirstie

Rule of Three

Get A Test 

You Know Best 

Keep Numbers Down 

For The Clown 

Get On Line 

It takes Time 

Drive Ninety Miles 

With Sick Child 

Don’t Blame Me 

‘Cause It’s Free 

Labs Can’t Cope 

All Shoulders Slope 

Heed The Phrase 

HandsFaceSpace 

All We Need 

Three-Word Feed 

Syllables Only Two 

Can’t Not Confuse.

*

Rule of Six

Save Our Wits 

Shoots Those Birds

Go To Work 

Tell The Police 

On Neighbours’ Breach 

Protect Christ’s Mass 

Spend That Cash 

Don’t Shout Out 

All Your Doubts 

We Don’t Know 

Pretend To Though 

What We Say 

Will Now Change 

All We Need 

Three-Word Feed 

Stop, Don’t, Do. 

Can’t Not Confuse.

****

The British Government loves its punchy messages. They are easy to remember, some rhythmic (especially the latest) and, for some of the population, work. Work in the sense of burrowing into the brain and ensuring they are repeated over and over to stop any critical thinking parts of the brain from engaging. Get Brexit Done. What does that mean? Get Brexit Done. Yes but how? By getting Brexit Done. Ok.

Then it was Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives. Probably the clearest message that the Government gave to its people, and the longest; at seven words and ten syllables, it could be neatly dressed up as a haiku. Then it was, what was it? I don’t remember off the top of my head, I need to look it up. Stay Alert. Control the virus. Save Lives. To which all of us went “eh?” and spent a week making memes and asking each other if we could go out now.

Somewhere along the line, the poet-in-residence in Number 10 must have realised that their rhythm was off (still seven words and ten syllables but no neatness in the rhythm now) and they went right back to basics with the positive recovery message of Build. Build. Build. A nice strong marching rhythm and difficult to forget since it was the same word. Three Times. One syllable. Repeated. Three Times. Three Times. Three times. Again, no-one knew what it meant, how it would be achieved but it is hard to argue with how simple and powerful it was especially with the percussive banging of the fist on the despatch box. Just enough of an impact to get it hammered into the brain cells.

The summer happened and out came Eat Out to Help Out. This must have come from another aspiring poet in Number 11 being that it that it was the Chancellor’s initiative. It had a nice symmetrical rhythm, five words and a matching five syllables. It broke the three-word rule though so I wonder if this aspiring poet will be heard of again.

As summer drew to a close the resident poet must have taken the reins once more and gave us Hands Face Space. Three words, three syllables, and a rhyme. As a poet every time I hear this I can’t help adding the second line of what would be a rhyming couplet, as it seems like it’s hanging there waiting for its companion. Eg “Hands Face Space, to keep your place; Hands Face Space, to get a raise; Hands Face Space, just in case” I realise none of these are good but, as it’s a compulsive act on my part, I don’t mind.

I realise that I am being equal parts and playful here but I do recognise too this is serious. I love words, I love rhythms and messing with rhythms, I love playing with words and I do believe words can create powerful messages that can in turn create great change. However three-word statements from a government leading you through a crisis are no more than poetic attempts at reassurance so we don’t rise and take up our pitch-forks and head to London. We need more than that, we need detailed information, honest and forthright communication and people who don’t need to be clever to make their point. I don’t want a government who spends its time and taxpayers money on creating marketing messages that would be more at home in a Cadburys ad, I want a government that will engage with everyone around them – the Opposition, other parties, journalists, pressure groups, members of the public – and tell the truth by giving the facts and the full story. And that, in a very around the houses way is the message of my poem.

Love and light

Kirstie

So mote it be

I was still awake when I heard the news about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I feel like I did the day after the referendum, like the sun suddenly dimmed.
I refuse to give in to the fear of what might be and instead I am focussing on HOPE. The hope that we are compassionate and thoughtful beings.

Sustainable Solidarity. We have more in common, we have more to share, we are more than what divides us

So mote it be. 💫

Sustainable Solidarity

Nations are only good for war,
Parties good to divide and split.
Until we work together as one,
the Same will occur
the Always will stay,
And only The Few will profit.

*****

Short and bittersweet this week. I’ve been immersed in politics and reflecting on the phase our society is in. This would be what has been termed “Disaster capitalism”.

I wondered, with my love of words and interest in manifestation, what would be the exact opposite of that; something that had a particular rhythm coupled with a pertinent meaning.

After exploring some options with some friends I settled on Sustainable Solidarity.
Sustainable – solid, building, strong and able to cope with disaster
Solidarity – the shared interest in surviving and thriving not just as a species but as an eco-system (human fate being inextricably linked to that of all life on the planet and the planet itself)

The micropoem below is part of an exploration of what sustainable solidarity would look like and what it would mean, as well as what is likely if we continue on our course.

What does the phrase mean to you? What does it spark?

Love and light
Kirstie 💫

Reminding The Forgotten

New poem: Reminding The Forgotten Part One

*

*

Oh do sit down.

You are spoiling my view.

No-one wants to hear 

From the Likes of you. 

*

Please take your rants 

and your large-lettered cards. 

And stand over there 

Where the other ones are:

*

The sad and the mad ones 

that couldn’t quite get, 

what you need to do  

is just get on with it.  

*

That’s what we did, 

when it all became clear, 

no rewards were coming 

to us up here.

*

So we put up, we shut up 

And we made the best.

So why can’t you? 

Why all this distress? 

*

The Earth will be fine, 

you just like a good fight, 

you students and “Lefties” 

who always think they’re right. 

*

And that poor young girl 

caught in a Marxist plot.

Just calm yourselves down 

Be happy with your lot! 

*

You just want attention, 

to cause a big fuss. 

Judging. And. Shaming 

The Likes of us.

*

We don’t want to hear it, 

it ruins our day. 

(We want to forget 

we gave our power away.)

*

‘Cause there is no point, 

nothing anyone can do. 

It’s the system we have, 

you just haven’t a clue.

*

You’d be better off 

Finding a job to get by. 

Life is Disappointment 

So why even try.

*

They won’t ever listen, 

so even if you could –

it’s all noise and waste 

and you’re doing no good. 

*

We want our quiet –

our tiny bit of peace. 

Don’t we deserve at least that? 

So for God’s sake, please 

*

Stop! Stop telling us 

our world is in a state; 

stop making us feel bad 

we left it too late. 

*

Stop reminding our age 

what we didn’t do.

We wouldn’t, (we couldn’t). 

And neither can you.

************

This poem has been brewing a while. A week-long visit from my parents, chock-full of laughter, debate, wine, food, tea, chocolate and country-side pootles in the car; the ups and downs of British politics; the actions of Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter, all infusing in my cup.

After writing the poem I can see that it will be a call and response style, similar to my work two years ago which started as a cry from my soul about to the failings of our society as I see it. This poem is different in that rather than a call and response between my ego self and my intuition, this is between a character that holds particular views, formed by a lifetime of experience, close to their heart to the point of being unable to see anything other than one way, in one dimension. Those views are similar to that of my parents and parents of friends, especially those from the North-East of England who, it is impossible to see otherwise, were left on the economic slag-heap after the coal industry left and had been propped up by service-driven call centres and retail spaces with very little Trade Union presence, or efficacy. Some of the call centres moved on to international pastures and retail, well, we all know about zero-hours contracts.

Having left my home town, got an education at the behest of my parents, a good job and career in HR, developed a left-wing/centrist/green outlook, and voted to remain, I have spent time over last year trying to understand their world, empathise with it, find a way to accept Brexit vote and subsequent leanings towards the Tory party; especially their unwavering support during the pandemic crisis. I will not, however, agree with their world-view, and in some ways my personal views could be seen as just as entrenched, but I do want to build a bridge between the gap before it’s too late. I don’t have answers, only explorations of questions, of viewpoints, creating characters in poetry and story so I can find a way to get under their skin and get a sense of the world through their eyes. After all, empathy is not feeling what I would in their situation but feeling what they would feel.

One of the many things that puzzles me with the viewpoint of my character in this poem, let’s call them Tradition, is knowing that once upon a time they too felt as I did and stood up for their rights. In particular in Tradition’s past they stood up, as a woman, and asked why they did not get paid the same as men. They agitated, disrupted, protested back then but now, as Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion take centre-stage, they disapprove, calling them Marxists and trouble-makers. Moreover when discussing right-wing populists outside of the UK, they talk in tones of concern for the people of a country where the leader (someone firmly headed to Destination Dictatorship) has “duped” their less educated and rural population in voting for them. 52% Fifty-two percent! They shake their head at that magic number (where have we heard that before) that this populist needs to keep control of the country by saying anything this rural populace wants to hear. “All the educated people, all the more affluent coastal people hate him” says my character. Yet, they do not see any parallels that I see with our own would-be populist and his own 52%.

Tradition is resigned to their fate. Life has been disappointment to them – struggling to pay bills, having to choose what they need rather than what they want, low-paid jobs with little power, redundancy, unfair treatment, loss, depletion, but in that there are the things they can control. They found a way to happy with their lot, to work within the system that has been set in stone. In that way they have been able to support long-held institutions such as the Royal Family, the British Empire, colonial statues, Etonians-in-charge, whilst managing to delete from their consciousness the fact it was the same establishment who made sure that Tradition remained where they were, that they “knew their place”, that they would earn and possess only a little of the vast wealth amassed. But Buddhism would tell you that finding happiness where you can is a worthy pursuit, and how wonderful is it to feel joy from the simple things in life – family, good food, holidays in the sun, watching the natural world around them, puzzles, a daily paper, so who am I to dictate the nature of their happiness?

And what of Tradition’s children? It is clear that they want them to be safe and secure. This is of paramount importance to them – get a job, stay quiet, get on with it. Just as they did. Their life may not have been successful in the ego sense of our society – money, celebrity, intellectual pursuits – but it has been a happy and safe one, and this is what they want for their children. “Put your head above the parapet,” as my parents themselves are fond of saying, “and look what happens.” They cannot see any point to it and do not want their children to be hurt, disappointed or broken in any way by the system which they see as permanent as the sun in the sky, so the fights, the protests, supported by their children, exasperate them. Their children, for their part, fail to see the parental love underneath what they interpret as cynicism and surrender.

Even in writing this and the poem, my heart has opened and softened to the character of Tradition. The first lines – aggravating, selfish, obsolete – hide within them the whole story of finding their place in the world and creating values and beliefs based on knocks and kicks life administered on the way. I hope that if you too are struggling with someone in your life that holds a view that you find bewildering, which may be causing you to withdraw or become combative, that this helps you explore your own relationship with them, and helps you find the empathy you need to cross the divide.

Love and light

Kirstie

Pride of Britain

I’ll be proud of being British when
British people stop being so proud 
of nationalism, flags, and baying in a crowd
about some ghost of Britannia who
only ruled the waves
by exploitation, ignorance and creating their wage slaves,
who greedy men had convinced all evil
came from overseas,
not from profiting from disaster when
this country was on its knees. 

I’ll be proud of being British when it means something good and true,
when compassion reigns over indifference
and we can see our way through
to finding common ground in all that come to our shores,
when we give up these notions of mine, not yours.
I’ll be there, I’ll ring the bell, I’ll stand alongside,
That Greatest of Britain, filled with a nation of pride.

****


August has came and gone. It was hot, then thankfully cool, I spent a lovely week or so with my parents, first visit here, first time seeing them since lockdown, and then September happened.


This time of year always feels like the first week of January to me (which is why I often get the two mixed up). Both the Capricornian and Virgoan energy following Sagittarius and Leo’s levity hits me and I have the urge to get on with things, do admin long neglected and start sorting, organising and discerning what has been working and what has not been working.


What has not been working for me is the sad realisation that rather than bringing us together, this pandemic with early days full of hope and mutual aid groups, checking up on each other, zoom calls with family and friends, has settled into diluted acceptance that this is the way things are, and we are back to in-fighting, line-drawing and stall setting: BLM is a Marxist movement or a fight for justice, nationalism is a mark of fascism or patriotic pride, statues are history or vainglorious affectations of a shameful era. Either – or, either – or, either – or. Neither room for the centre which is pilloried by both sides, nor a hopeful enterprising soul working along the spectrum zipping from one to the other attempting to broker consensus. It’s just not welcome.


Which leads me to my burning question – is compassion only welcome in the face of existential threat? Or has it now been requisitioned by the left and brandished against the right? Do the right have some long-term notion of a world, after the eggs are broken and the omelette served, that we will all be able to live happily ever after? Is there room for anything different? Are hearts open to only those that agree with us and closed to those we see as other? Or is it worse than that, have we become indifferent to the plight of others, too afraid for ourselves and those we consider dear?


I only have questions and a hope for a good answer. An answer that helps us realise how closed we have become to natural progressive conflict, exploration of ideas and beliefs and seeing others as a mirror of ourselves. Where we see that pride in ourselves is in our humanity not the artificial lines drawn by our ancestors in a time where prejudice was considered a virtue.


I am not proud of being British. I want to be. When we can be proud of who we have become.