Friday, 18 November 2016


I was depressed to read yesterday that here in the UK universities employ up to three quarters of their teaching staff on zero hour contracts. Organisations using such shoddy strategies should be ashamed of themselves but in this present state of affairs they appear to regard it as a good business model. It is not. Humans deserve better.
Since the crisis of 2008 employers are expecting their staff to do more work for less money. Trans National Corporations pay pitifully little tax and contribute even less to the common good. Such a situation is not sustainable.
This poem was forming in my head before I read the latest shameful statics.


Today, as every other,
it's the 6:30 am hurtle,
50 in the 30 zone.

Zero contracted,
a quart of tasks pours
into his pintpot of hours

He juggles rent and food,
fuel and debit,
hand to mouth.

There is no trickle down,
there is no end,
it will get worse.
Bleak, is it not?
But bleaker still is an article in Science that reports a study into the 94 ecological processes that are the basis of healthy marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Unfortunately 80% are already showing signs of distress and response to climate change. You can read about it for yourself here.
We appear incapable of treating members of our own species fairly let alone of curtailing our destructive behaviours. There will be a price to pay for our actions.
he swapped his wife for the radio
by acrimony not by choice

and here he is in the night
twisting in memory soaked sheets

balancing recrimination
against sleep

the pressure of the night
compress the voice on the World Service

dream switch

to a grandstand view
of his hopes falling at the first hurdle

then dead horse heavy
he is trapped beneath

it will take years to get free
I have revised this poem. You can read the first draft here. Discussing it with the Secret Poets led me led me to expand the middle stanza. Hopefully this makes it clearer.
Bob Marley came to mind as I wrote this post. The lines: think your in heaven, when your living in hell seem to me to sum up the perspective of those with the power. 
Peace, love and unity. Until the next time.

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