Tag Archives: revolution

Random Theory: cyhydedd naw ban

No bright, bleeding edge technology
can by itself inspire us to see
beyond the limitations that bind
us to solutions posed by old minds,
gurus and mentors with rigid ways,
and coaches still running ancient plays.

The revolution cannot be fought
using hackneyed strategy still taught
in broken and ineffective schools,
who at best offer us simple tools.
We need to seek beyond the hammer;
relearn to speak using new grammar.

But in the end, no shortcut or device
grants understanding of work, or price,
nor strips away a rigid mindset;
artificial means are not there yet.
What must be done requires human acts
that integrate ideas and facts,
creating blueprints for the future, now,
out of something unknown, new, somehow.

To that creation, our tools and toys
may add flash, bells, whistles, and some noise
as mere ways for focusing the brain.
Our duty to thinking must remain
so that the choices we weigh and rank
leave in their outcomes, ourselves to thank.

And revolution, if it then comes,
some fresh distribution of stale crumbs
amongst the cannon fodder still here?
How it will change the world is unclear.
The only certainty is still death;
the randomness of life is what’s left.

16 FEB 2017

Share This:

Mere Words

Are they still weapons, these mere words
we use to crystallize what thoughts
may form at random in our heads
or like to squeeze out for some end,
a worthy cause we would advance,
a blessing, curse or snare of love,
some cleverness sure to impress
or at least baffle for a time?
How everyone is armed these days!
It takes so little effort now
to build an arsenal behind
a screen of anonymity.

There are more poets, it would seem,
than there are fishes in the sea,
more than the stars out there in space,
more now than ever were before,
and each would wield a sacred sword
to cut away the rotted flesh
and free the suffocating soul
so it may somehow serve the world;
and everyone assumes their blade
will make the most important cut,
remove the cancer, scour the wound
and make the body pure again.

There is no end to such deceit:
that words alone can change the world,
that careless phrases in the void
transform some evil into good
by virtue of their worth alone,
or by some miracle subdue
the brute force that enslaves the world
and makes it blind and deaf;
while everyone pretends they hear,
that they are the sole conduit
by which the universe declares
itself, and by that act, survives.

They may be weapons, but what use
are words in such unthinking hands
that would destroy to somehow build
a world that values their intent.
Just how will some mere phrases turn
the tide of angry sentiment
that grows against the use of thought
and would devour diversity,
while everyone, in pantomime,
acts out some peaceful, loving role
without believing it themselves?
What good can such words do?

30 APR 2013

Share This:

Teach Your Children: canzone

Canto I.

To educate for revolution’s sake
requires a willingness for martyrdom,
the sense to learn from every small mistake,
and fortitude enough to take what comes
when nay-saying begins; and start it will,
the moment you step from the comfort zone
where history and status quo lie still.
The one who makes the change, makes it alone.

To teach in such a way, one draws from life;
here, leading by example is a must.
Without at least some evidence of strife
you’ll never gain a single student’s trust.
Each lesson is a battle for the will,
to gain an inch of ground against a world
that teaches, at its core, how best to kill
the oyster, for the sake of some small pearl.

If you would learn from teachers such as these,
first empty out the vessel that you bear;
relinquish all desire or need to please,
and first and foremost, decide that you care.
Once that commitment’s made, the lesson starts:
no homework, no “pop” essays are required,
no slogans or mnemonics learned by heart,
except “to be inspiring, be inspired.”

Canto II.

The truth is never taught to us in schools;
what good is knowing why a thing is so?
Much better to accept the way it is,
than to upset the known, the status quo,
in vain attempts to try and understand
some purpose beyond doing what you’re told.
Shut up, keep to yourself, and mind your tongue:
the best way to survive and to grow old.

Beyond the simple texts we learn by rote,
the facts we’re told are sacred and pristine,
we fall and yet imagine that we float
above a ground far down below, unseen.
There is no golden parachute, my friends;
believe in what you will, to no avail:
no paradise lies up beyond the bend,
the gears will stop, the power will soon fail.

When learning stops, who still admits to teach?
Who, once they know it all, says “I don’t know”?
What good to grasp in space beyond your reach
if what is underfoot you can’t let go?
The time spent cultivating self-esteem,
instead of just performing worthy acts
can never be returned; you can’t reclaim
a pointless life by coloring the facts.

Canto III.

Break down the doors, release these fettered minds!
Let love of beauty rule each student’s heart.
Who knows what new advances they may find,
when nurtured with some kindness from the start?
For truth, though sometimes bitter, does not kill;
reality is harsh, but bears no ill.

Break down the walls of that familiar box
we reinforce with history and fear.
Let go of petty cowardice; unlock
the upper reaches of the atmosphere,
where muffled by a misspent sense of pride
the dreams of humankind are waiting still;
the future can be ours, if we decide
to say, not can’t or won’t, but shout, “I will!”

Break off these chains that bind us to the past,
to staid traditions of no further use;
in truth, they were not ever meant to last.
Let stale ideas suffer disabuse!


Disruption and upheaval cannot be
the means by which the world is made anew.
By violence, nothing ever is made free;
it simply tilts the scales, always askew,
toward a slightly different fulcrum point.
No measure of success is ever found
in wanton, mad destruction. We annoint
new martyrs when each century comes round,

and sacrifice to progress our ideals.
We spend long hours in pointless, wild debate,
believing that reform, a fresh appeal,
will somehow, save us from ourselves, our fate.

What would you teach, if you no longer learn?
What would you learn, if you know everything?
The tune that Nero played on, as Rome burned?
Together, or apart, we all will swing.

26 NOV 2010

Share This:

Bargain debasement

Always thought that I would be 
important to humanity; 
save the world and all that kind of stuff. 
And if the end came, when it did, 
I’d be right in the middle of it 
Talking loud and acting kinda tough. 
But that was then, and this is now, 
and standing here at last, somehow, 
it doesn’t seem to matter any more: 
The high road’s seemed to wash away 
(it wasn’t that great anyway) 
and I’m not all that keen on keeping score. 
Kings and pawns are all the same. 
Nobody wins, it’s not a game; 
No trophy case, no “win one for the team”. 
And any kind of evidence 
That any of it makes much sense 
Is either mild psychosis or a dream. 
So let the world come crashing down, 
right now, while I am still around; 
I knew that I would witness the demise. 
And if it starts right down the block 
I wouldn’t be at all too shocked; 
I’ve met the perpetrators on both sides. 
And when it’s over, what is left 
to steal, or burn, or somehow wreck, 
won’t tremble at the mention of my name, 
but more than likely, for a sec, 
will just breathe deep and then reflect: 
the more things change, the more they stay the same. 
JUL 14 2010

Share This:

I do not wish to change the world

I do not wish to change the world;
its own design is near enough
some muddled state of constant flux
that nothing I could add or try
would make much difference in the end.

I do not wish to shape or mold
young minds to fit my own intent;
Ye gods! Imagine them grown up
and emulating my life’s work!
Why duplicate such a mistake

I do not wish to change your mind,
or gain your trust or force your hand;
my own revolt at such nonsense
turns my own stomach into knots;
I can imagine your dismay.

I do not wish to change the world.
I cannot even change my mind,
or stay a course for long enough
to make a ripple in a pond;
one moment here, and the next, gone.

11 SEP 2009

Share This:

Difference Song

Just shut your eyes and zip up your lip;
let the illusion of indifference slip

you in a coma of the beautiful life

you pretend.

It doesn’t matter which way you choose.
Your revolution is yesterday’s news,
lost in a column on the bottom right

of page ten.

Here it comes again…

the feeling you should not be feeling,

the knowing right from wrong,
the urge to find the answers,
the make a difference song.

Just keep your mouth shut, don’t say a word.

Don’t let on that you think it’s all absurd, 

a trick of light and mirrors meant

to fool the marks.

It doesn’t matter, those who get paid

are on the right side of the barricade.
The choice is death by drowning,

or life with sharks.

And here it comes again…

the feeling you should not be feeling,

the sense that something’s wrong,
the need to turn the light on,
the make a difference song.

09 JUL 2009

Share This:

How to Save the World

One of the blogs I read pretty regularly is Dave Pollard’s How to Save the World. Occasionally, something he writes strikes a particularly resonant chord with me — like his February 4th gem A Miniature Truth: Becoming Authentically Yourself.

I’ll admit, some of these things I’ve thought and compiled myself over the years. But to see these 9 ideas strung together, in fact, dependent on each other in such a way that in order to accept one as truth, you really have to accept them all, for better or worse, in order to truly understand the implications of each, is a step I’d never taken until reading Dave’s post. In summary, these truths are:

1. We do what we must, then we do what’s easy, then we do what’s fun.

2. Things are the way they are for a reason; if you have any hope to change something, first understand what the reason is.

3. Life’s meaning, and an understanding of what needs to be done, emerges, most often, from conversation in community with people you love.

4. Community is born of necessity.

5. To get people to change, first Let Yourself Change, to become a model that shows people personally, one-to-one, a better way to live.

6. You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

7. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

8. To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world that is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

9. Our civilization is in its final century.

For more detail, please refer to Dave’s blog 🙂

Share This: