Tag Archives: social history

A 1960’s Northern Town

fading back the years,
to Friday-paid dirt-nailed
stand-up straight-razor guys,
smoke-stenched, beer-drenched,
immersed in Willy Dixon’s words
strung like wire
barbed across their hearts;
lost in deep resonances
of factory-line steam-hammers
raw and edged
like John Lee Hooker’s
“BOOM…BOOM…BOOM “,
drunk on too much scotch
and too much weekend parfumerie,
unrequited by Howlin’ Wolf’s
plaintive primordial lament
“ won’t you come back to me? ”
its timeless patina of weariness
covering the night that goes crashing,
its braggadocio getting swept aside;
the only consolation
is in the cold clear air
of Sunday morning.

Summer ’68

We wrote our own history

in an illegible script

with broken pencils

borrowed from empty classrooms;

We lit our fuses

with spent matches

discarded by all our yesterdays;

We sat and contemplated

the gathering gloom,

dark and heavy as velvet

shrouding the sun

that once shone on our

marching charging afternoons

along boulevards that we filled

with their peculiar fragrance

of tear gas and petrol.

 

Footnote:-

It’s 50 years since ” Street Fighting Man ” was recorded by the Rolling Stones during the portentous summer of 1968.

Tram Journey

Silhouettes embark the

theatre on wheels,

bantering chattering

artistes of the verbal trapeze,

accompanied by accordions

of folding evening papers,

keeping time

with stone-tablet timetables

clattering through blackened

railway arches

circumlocating city square,

its familiar gargoyled spires

furtively conspiring

with fading autumns

our memory of them drained

dry of crumbled chimneys,

fogbound railbound cobblestone

terraced streets stripped bare,

shadows alight,

merging into air.

(Arturo, Lucca, Miguel, Frederick, Marco, Cruz, Pedro and Ivan were playing cards and chess. Lucca, Cruz and Miguel started to smoke clay pipes.)

”Nice angled bowl with a coat of arms, ” said Lucca. ”Yes, ” said Cruz
While smoking and relaxing, ”where did you buy them, Lucca? ”
”This one is made in Holland- a way to liberate your muse.”
”Give new life to a broken heart, ” said Miguel, ” It’s like Sambuca, ”

Laughed Lucca, ” Ivan, how could you avoid the army as a serf? ”
”As a yeoman having my own land, I had an accident, ”
Cruz asked him, ’’Did you receive some support from a dwarf? ”
”I broke my left leg when I fell from my horse- a strange event.”

”Interesting! ” said Marco. ”You became a rich merchant
In the Ottoman Empire.” ”Yes, I sold my land, ” smiled Ivan.
”You could go to Moscow, ” ”I didn’t want to be a servant.
I was a middleman in the fur trade, ” ”Let’s enliven

This game with some wine! ” ” These cards are unique, ” said Pedro.
”This rare pictorial pack is made in London, ” said Marco.
Lucca told Cruz, ”If you need new cards, I’ll give you pronto.”
”Give me the most immoral hand, ” laughed Cruz, ”come in, Fargo! ”

(Fargo entered to bring the wine, which was served using glasses. Ibrahim brought dried fruits, nuts, biscuits and small cakes. The women had spent over an hour dressing for this meeting because it was customary for the women to change their entire outfit for any event on that ship. Rosa, Geraldine and Erica were doing some needlework. Carla, Chiara and Pedra were reading some expensive books. Chiara chose to read a book written by Elena Piscopia, Carla was reading some philosophy by Mary Astell and Pedra liked the books written by Aphra Behn. Francesca started to paint and Bella was trying to play ‘’Capriccio stravagante’’ by the Italian composer Carlo Farina using her violin.)

Francesca said, ” The violin replaced the viol, ”
”The music written for it established its identity, ”
Said Rosa, ”I like the opera ‘L’Orfeo’ and its tale.”
”Through polyphony, Monteverdi has supremacy.”

Francesca continued, ”Chiara, what are you reading? ”
”A book about Christ written by the monk Laspergio and late
Translated by Elena Piscopia, a nun being
The first woman that graduated with a doctorate.”

Carla said, ”Francesca, what are you painting in that blue? ”
” I’m not Caravaggio, still I paint a medusa, ”
Carla replied, ”You used amazing hues, and it’s sweet in view! ”
Chiara said, ”It’s an image of the port of Siracusa! ”

(Francesca embraced Chiara.)

”It’s so lovely to see you together; you are good friends, ”
Said Geraldine while finishing her work, ”do you have children? ”
”I’ve married Arturo six years ago; now, our love ascends
After his long widowhood; Francesca is his daughter.”

Chiara took Geraldine’s hand with a noble gesture.
She told her that Arturo lost a fortune three months ago,
And this trip was offered by Lucca to change their life’s texture.
”Maybe Francesca painted to petrify the time’s flow.”

”Francesca is the sweetest child I’ve ever seen until now.
She’s adorable in this purity of her mind.
She’s shining like a star belonging to Ursa Major Plough,
And I love Arturo even in affairs he is so blind.”

(Arturo and Marco were the last passengers who left the room while talking. Arturo ended the conversation.)

‘’ Russia is a force needing an expansion quite quickly
But, unfortunately, her friends are not really her friends.
Pushing Russia, who is an honest power, clearly
Will turn the destiny of the whole world into dead ends.’’

 

Carla was a beautiful woman liking to dress in green.
Sometimes strong and other time weak, she needed to face the life.
Inside her, there was a child hoping to push the life scene
Into its own condition and the things into their right strife.

Her husband, Pedro, was very wise and precise -a strong man
Needing to gain stability while turning back from New Spain
To rebuild the life and to go forth on a new plan.
Their children and parents waited for them to come home again.

(Geraldine and Carla were talking on the deck. Carla started to confess.)

‘’Her name is Beatrice and he loved her for a while needing
To leave the family for a new meaning in this world.
I loved him secretly while her scent I was breathing.
I understood that I’ve lost him when our love became a sword.

I knew I was a mother in this combination of three,
And, sometimes, I thought that Beatrice should never exist,
And, other time, I wanted to leave everything to be free,
Or to end my life because it was so hard to resist.

I’ve tried to talk with her and the situation to explain,
But she laughed while telling me that Pedro is her lover.
I understood her laugh and that my efforts were in vain.
I was ill when we traveled to New Spain to recover.”

‘’ Carla, the things are not always as they seem to be.
You’ll overpass this moment because you’re a strong mother.
You must take care because nothing goes well as long as he
Doesn’t assume the responsibility of a father.’’

Bella and Miguel liked to live in their own world of two.
They had a house in Barcelona, and they traveled to see
The world; they stayed months in India to throw backward a new view.
Marco and Rosa wanted their spirits to be free.

They were turning home after living three years in New Spain.
Carla and Pedra traveled with their husbands who were twins.
Rosa convinced them that in that place their strength is spent in vain.
Life became a music coming from the water violins.

Carla said, ”the education helps the women make
Right choices in marriage.” Bella replied, ”What’s a marriage?
It’s not only a consecration in a church, an awake,
But it’s a contract, an act no one can disparage.”

Miguel said, ”it’s a transition from a moral conscience
To a pure concept of consciousness.” ”You start to see it
As itself, ” replied Pedro, ” to eat the bitter consequence.”
”It’s tied to the moral identity when love is in a fit, ”

Replied Bella. ‘ It has a Cartesian nature, ”
Said Carla explaining why love comes after the wedding.
”Then, the moral sensibility shapes it to our feature, ”
Replied Bella.Miguel smiled, ” tenderly in our bedding.”

” The disparity in intelligence leads to misery, ”
Said Carla, ”the marriage must be based on a lasting friendship
Rather than on an attraction experiencing agony.”
Pedro said, ” when love is distorted into a sword to rip.”

Miguel said, ” the marriage that is not consecrated
In a church has the same legal validity.”
” The lovers may marry secretly, but it’s complicated, ”
Said Carla, ”and it’s hard for the women of the nobility

To make an independent living.” Pedro started to grin,
” To secure a husband is an attitude having a great importance.”
”She’s an object of thought, ” said Miguel while touching Carla’s skin.
Pedro said, ”it happens only when we seek love in abundance.”

Carla said, ” the women’s career options beyond the mother
Are none; they cannot have the same opportunity as the men.”
Pedro replied, ” your impracticable thoughts make the father
Leave the family.” ” He’s not allowed to come back again.”

Miguel said, ”She’s allowed to express her sexuality.”
Carla said, ” it depends on how the woman perceives this thought.”
Bella started to play music to inspire some human morality
While using the violin to imitate- the cats’ sounds brought to naught.

(to be continued…)
mast-983904_1920
Poem by Marieta Maglas

A Brief History of Britain ( Rebooted 29 November 2017 )

Faded ,forlorn the banners of our memories
once held high now cast aside ,cast down ,
trodden into the dust marched over by legions
of those who came after in ignorance ;
Even the ghosts have departed this empty husk
of a once was Power ,this paralysed parody of
those sceptered isles,that seat of Mars ,crumbled
overwhelmed by the same deluge that took
from our hearts, Atlantis ;
Those Venerated ,those Valiant whose deeds validated
all that we stood for ,all that we ever believed in
are now counted as the small-change amongst market traders
whom we let barter our very souls for a mess of pottage ;
Whilst entombed in our sonorous sloth ,
they took from us all that had once been
vouchedsafe by Viking ,Saxon ,Norman
for so long so very long an Age ;
In our belated awakening
we find ourselves naked ,
caught in the glare of a history
which no longer recognises nor has need
of us in this our unkempt beggarly state ,
of which those who once fought for us would be ashamed
that all their sacrifice and all their pain
had yielded such a paltry gain.

The Photograph

empty of people,
there is just light
on a rain moistened street,
the matinee performance
sans audience
sans plaudits;
The years before The Hindenburg,
their melange of sweet perfumed absinthe
memories subverted by acrid pyre gauloises
the looking-glass stained by unrehearsed
intimacies and unrestricted desires;
the scene transfigured
by the deja-vu lens;
the accordion player,
the newspaper vendor,
the grande dame ex-voiture,
the gendarme scratching his head,
the louche and the bohemian
confreres in delight
of the forbidden things,
fruits and spices and incense..
and there is just light
on a rain moistened street,
the matinee performance,
about to begin,
again.

Belfast:Traditions

As he waits,

the grey-haired man

smiles at his grandson

practising marching in step,

clouds prevent the sun

from gleaming on silver trumpets,

drums stay mute,

banners remain furled,

shoulders shrug

and the grey-haired man

waits

to get the bus home.

(written around 1998,previously unpublished;Louis Kasatkin has asserted his Right to be recognised as the author of this work)

Halal..

ever so slowly,

the blade descending

stainless steady serrated

severing flesh arteries bone

deeper deeper yet

burying the pain

jangling screaming

crimson showers

ebbing flowing;

Minaretted shadows echo

vowel-less syllables’

call to prayer,

in their thousands hurrying

prostrating before a history

that belongs

somewhere else

in some far

away.

(Louis Kasatkin has asserted his Right under the Copyright,Designs&Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work)

An Ordinary Life:The Queen Mother

Not by majesty imposed
nor by birth decreed
but by love made discreet;
the helping hand
the gentle demeanour
leading
and part of those led,
rich beyond measure
yet sharing the ordinary everyday
of those who sought and found
to some degree
an unassuming kindness,
an empathy without affectation
not to be found in trumpeted fanfares
nor in garlanded parades
but in a heart
graced by a shared virtue
and sustaining belief,
alone
unadorned
unique,
therein the sufficiency
of a purpose fulfilled
of a life well led
that touched and was part of the ordinary.

(Louis Kasatkin has asserted his Right under the Copyright,Designs&Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work)

Marston Moor :1644

Stand fast soldier,in the day’s
fading light amid this expanse
which you’ll reconsecrate
with musket and pike;
Stand fast with arks of the covenant,
ready to strike at pampered steeds
and their wanton princes mocking
you for a last time;
Stand fast,draw breath and recite
a plain psalm to set the world alight,
piled high with squandered treasuries
and their ruined fortresses of pride;
Stand fast soldier,expound your creed
for those who gaze upon a
desolate heritage and fail to recall
that the scattering ashes
were once a yoke.

Footnote:-
In one of the decisive military encounters of the English Revolutionary War ,Thomas Fairfax’s Parliamentary forces inflicted a significant defeat on the Royalist forces under Prince Rupert on the outskirts of York.