City

This afternoon we passed the city prison walls
fighting the wintery wind with a broken umbrella.
It was precisely five o’clock and
a girl on a bicycle overtook an old man
holding a rope about the same time
the icecream van closed.
The armed police arrived to
disperse the queue with tear gas.
In the near distance people walked
ahead of us running back home
between horizontal water marks
neatly folded linens drying
inside overpriced houses.
We had nothing to stop for but
I think then I paused and
covered my arms with a piece of history.

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Untitled – pencil on paper IV / MMXVI


Of Hats and Social Change

It might be that the Panama Papers will become as iconic in history as the fashionable Ecuadorian ‘panama hat’; a striking and a bit ostentatious item, which everybody wants but nobody knows how to properly wear it. Not in Britain. For obvious climatic restrictions.

 

However though, on Monday morning, Britain received such a hat, delivered by the mediatic postal service, whilst not wide awake yet, post Easter holiday, when the weather forecast was not that brilliant anyway. Would it worth the bother, for the sake of seven or eight hours of sunshine a week? Should it return to sender and have the money back?

 

The British rich and the poor found out, with some surprise, that once they had signed for the goods, the sender remained unknown. And, as the box opened, millions of other items emerged. Things which we all ‘kind of’ knew about, but wished we hadn’t. The truth.

 

The shock of discovering your master licking his honey smeared fingers in your own pantry. The shock of being discovered and still trying to say ‘sorry it won’t happen again’ type of thing.

 

In a society where the wealth and the poverty cohabit undisturbed, in their own universe, parallel with each other, it becomes increasingly difficult to formulate an opinion about social injustice, corruption, and privileged few. Almost impossible to do something about it. This explains the public opinion’s delayed reaction to the recent ‘Panama Papers’. But does it justify it? And even if, let’s say, something could be done about it, what resolution would not involve fundamental change and transformation, on both sides?

 

Given the realities of international and national politics, each of us is, to some extent, victim of conflicting demands between truth and power. Observers of social reality, rather than makers of it. Furthermore, the unfortunate circumstances, which define the current trends, deepen in a climate where radical thinking and critical debate do not address the core values on which we built our social structures and institutions.

 

With the current revelations in mind, it is rather justifiable, once more, the duty to bring in focus the possibility of change, which, ‘to some extent’, comes from our desire ‘to create the future rather than merely observe the flow of events. Given the stakes, it would be criminal to let real opportunities pass unexplored.’ (Noam Chomsky, 2014, ‘A Genuine Movement for Social Change’)

 

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Peace Talk

image

A peace talk has taken place
today between me and these wounds; the treaty signed
on a scrap of blank paper
with a determination which lasted
for over thirty eight years.
Thirty eight long roads.
Ended quietly in a town with
almost no street lights and yet
I reluctantly said yes
for the sake of another last hour.


She has given me the weather forecast.

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Maria Stadnicka, ‘Weather Forecast’ – pastel, pencil and ink on paper


Thought

I scribbled more question marks on waiting room tables

than I gave answers and

I felt the humility of a man proven wrong when

I hoped I had done enough.

Somehow, each time I rebelled

I ended up picking up the mess, packing, unpacking,

forgiving everything

but not myself.


Preparations

I am getting used to this time
passed by
in the solemn company of
an imaginary streak of perceiveble light between wood beams.
Perhaps weeks, perhaps years
in which I have been witness to the world’s determination to name the unborn,
to posession and
to abandonment,
to preparations coming from planning uncertainty,
and to my own weakness.
I have not become better
although I lit candles and prayed
and I mattered.
I scribbled more question marks on waiting room tables than I gave answers
and
I felt the humility of
a man proven wrong when
I hoped I had done enough.
Somehow,  each time I rebelled
I ended up cleaning up the wreckage,
packing, unpacking,
forgiving everything
but not myself.


Knowing

Today I walk empty handed
on the same road I once
used to
hurry up in blue latex shoes to
catch the history of art lesson
at seven a.m.

I took the words along.
In a green bag, French books.
In the melting snow my feet rushed.
The ink, frozen inside of a glove where I kept the pen.

I knew my place in the world
then
all those difficult conversations happened as I passed
the long row of houses.

The indifference of spilt blood
did not follow me.

I knew not how
“the lives of the well-fed worth more than the lives of the starving”
as I know now
mostly to search but not actually
take any time to watch.


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