International Women’s Day 2013, poems for Malala Yousafzai

Poem for Malala

To Malala Yousafzai.

We see it all.
All of it.

The red-stain,
the shame.

We do not feel the skull-shatter-impact,
the moveable plate – the tube,

the tubes.
The blood-bags.
The bags of blood,
the urine.

Your eye,
the eye-blood
that occludes your vision.

Red filters down,
lowering them to the ground.
Our hackles are raised.

Father – Mother
Daughter – Son
Sister – Brother
Niece – Child

Child child child child child.

Somethings are veiled.
It is necessary to veil
what is sometimes a wound,

to cover
to dignify
to protect.

A green veil.
A beaded veil,

the tip of
an eyebrow raises it -
Disturbs it,
for the breath of.

I would sew the sequins myself,
make good the golden threads.

If you must veil,
let it crown you,
let it crown your head,

as laurels, green, on your head.

malala (2)For Malala is © C. Murray, published along with 200 poems protesting the shooting of 14 year old Malala Yousafzai. Time to say No ! is published by Pen Club Austria. With sincere thanks to both Helmuth Niederle and Philo Ikonya for producing this ebook. 

‘Pussy-Riot Forever : The Body’, by Philo Ikonya and Helmuth A. Niederle

Pussy-Riot Forever : The Body 

 I riot, You riot, We riot.

The body riots.

Arterial riot
Breast riot
Cheek riot
Eye riot
Finger riot
Gall bladder riot
Intestine riot
Jaw riot
Knee riot
Liver riot
Mouth riot
Nose riot
Prick riot
Palate riot

Riot in Queues

Renal riot
Stomach riot
Testes riot
Thigh riot
Tongue riot
Umbilical riot
Vagina riot

Vocal cords riot
Waist riot
Wrist riot
X-ray riot
Yin Yang riot

Zeee riot 

Dictators Never : Roll-Call

Aferworki Isaias riot
Ben Ali riot
Bashar al Assad riot
Castro riot
Duvalier Jean-Claude (Baby Doc!) riot
Ershad Mohammed Hossain riot
Franciso franco riot
Ghadaffi Muamar riot
Ghasmi Ahmad riot
Hugo Chavez riot
Hitler Adolf riot
Hussein Saddam riot
Idid Amin riot
Jean Bidel Bohassa riot
Kim Jong II riot
Lukashenko Alexander riot
Mugabe Robert riot
Moi Daniel Torotich Arap riot
Noriega Manuel riot
Ortega Daniel riot
Pinochet riot
Pol Pot riot

Putin Putin Putin Putin Putin Pussy Riot !

© Philo Ikonya and Helmuth A. Niederle.

Thanks to Philo Ikonya and Helmuth A. Niederle for permission to reproduce their two poems from Catechism for Pussy Riot. The book is available for a small donation via the English PEN website, here.
I read it Wednesday 21/11/2012 at the Grand Social as part of this event, and which I have linked in this blog, here. I read a new poem of mine called, Precarious Migratory Spectacular.
Philo Ikonya is a writing colleague of mine from PEN International and the PEN International Women Writer’s Committee. I am linking here to her website and blog.

Catechism; a reading for Pussy Riot in Dublin

Poets across the UK and Ireland come together to mark the nine-month anniversary of Pussy Riot’s performance in a Moscow Cathedral by reading from Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot, English PEN’s anthology for the group.

This link gives the list of locations and readings in the U.K and Ireland. Ireland’s readings are organised by Christodoulos Makris & Barbara Smith.

Participating poets are: Kimberly Campanello, Sophie Collins, Sue Cosgrave, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Christodoulos Makris, Máighréad Medbh, Paula Meehan, Alan Jude Moore, Christine Murray, The Poetry Divas, Sam Riviere.

DUBLIN 21/11/2012

6.30pm, Wednesday 21 November
The Grand Social
35 Lower Liffey Street, Dublin 

Admission free

Further Information at Irish PEN and at  English PEN

‘I’ve got the Fukushima Blues’, by Glenda Cimino

Even though it’s not in the news,
I’ve got the Fukushima Blues.

Strontium 90 on the grass,
Iodine 131, cesium, plutonium –
Cow’s milk is poisoned in your glass,
But don’t tell- there’d be pandemonium!

Three reactors in meltdown,
Tepco now confess
But where the radioactive water’s gone,
Is anybody’s guess.

Even though they say I have nothing to lose,
I’ve got the Fukushima Blues.

Radiation spikes sky high,
People told to stay indoors,
Animals abandoned to sicken and die,
Workers sleeping on radioactive floors.

Radiation in your taps should not alarm,
They lie; for radiation will accumulate
Over days and years; but this sure harm
They do not want you to contemplate.

Even though it is not in the news,
I’ve got the Fukushima Blues.

Have to evacuate another town
Radioactive dust on the school playground
Will people take this lying down?
Maybe the living were better off drowned.

The heat and power of the nuclear sun
Burning down through layers of our earth
Do they know what they have done?
Officials argue and resign, for what it’s worth

Even though they say I have nothing to lose,
I’ve got the Fukushima Blues.

Anonymous workers facing certain death
Trying so hard the leaks to stem
Tepco cannot pay for their last breath-
Nothing but crackers and rice for them.

‘We’re sorry’, they bow, ‘we made a mistake’
-Truth is, that Tepco was often warned-
But ‘who would expect a 9.0 earthquake?’
They took no action, the advice was scorned.

Even though it is not in the news,
I’ve got the Fukushima Blues.

Who needs to fear a terrorist
When respected companies act like this?
Covering it up and playing it down,
It isn’t their children on that playground.

There’s nothing to worry about,
Forget it, you haven’t a care-
Just don’t drink the water, eat the food,
Or breathe the air.

Even though they say I have nothing to lose,
I’ve got the Fukushima Blues.

Deadly radiation released into the Pacific
Poisoning the fish humanity will need
The amount? Can’t be specific-
Measure it in units of human greed.

Nuclear energy so safe, so cheap –
But what is the cost not in their calculations
As a poisoned world we all will reap,
With more cancer, leukemia and genetic mutation.

 Even though it is not in the news,
I’ve got the Fukushima Blues.

Empty towns with deadened lights -
No one could take the time to pack
No need now for energy on dark nights -
Get out while you can, and never look back.

O babes of Chernobyl- what have we done?
Generations damaged beyond repair.
Is this also the fate of the land of the rising sun?
O nuclear fools, learn how to see and care!

Even though they say I have nothing to lose,
I’ve got the Fukushima Blues.

Four hundred and forty nuclear plants
And some still want to build some more
I’ve been accused of anti-nuclear rants -
But is energy really worth dying for?

We all live on only one planet
Travelling around our sun -
We’d better learn to take good care of it;
Surely even nuclear execs can count to one.

They say all will be well in this nuclear hell,
and I’ve nothing to lose-but- I’m telling you-
they’re giving our world the Fukushima Blues.

© Glenda Cimino ,all rights reserved. First published in News Four.

I am adding here a link to Glenda Cimino’s Poem Mr. Sarasota, published  in A.B Edwards archives , with thanks to Glenda for the poems. You can read Glenda Cimino’s  ‘Cicada’ poem here.

Link to the Petition to ‘Stop SOPA Ireland’

Consultation  with  arts-originators , visual-artists , bloggers ?

In 2011, I wrote a post about an open consultative process here in Ireland to address radical copyright reform, wherein the Minister promised innovation and jobs through radicalising our copyright laws. I submitted, along with countless others, on issues pertinent to copyright and advances in digital technology. My submission was based in requesting the opening out of this consultation to arts organisations and originators of creative works. I am aware today that my submission was ignored and that originators of art-works are treated with disdain by a government which kow-tows to industry. Discussions by actual originators of works in the arts can be studied at this link. (Center for Social-Media discussion on fair-use in the arts.)

The Blacknight release on Stop Sopa Ireland  is here  excerpted :

Jan 24, 2012 - Irish registrar and hosting company Blacknight ( urge the Irish Internet community to join them in saying no to a “SOPA” style law being enacted by ministerial order.

The Minister of State at the department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, is introducing a statutory instrument that very closely mirrors SOPA, which was recently defeated in the US. This statute will affect all 3.5 million people in Ireland is about to become law with no vote in the Oireachtas.

An outspoken leader in Irish tech, Blacknight has long been opposed to censorship and restriction of the Internet and is committed to ensuring freedom online. If passed, sites of all sizes from YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to personal sites may be blocked in Ireland. The impact of such a move could be detrimental to Ireland’s digital economy” (from Blacknight release,  24/01/2012)

Article link to McGarr Solicitors, Dublin on the issue of ISP-Blocking .

” However, unlike that US law, people here can’t even expect to have this blocking law debated in their legislature. The Minister has said that he intends to deal with the matter by way of a Ministerial Order. Nor has he published the text of the law. The first we, the people of Ireland, will know about the text of this law will be when it is signed and brought into force.

This is grossly wrong. This is why we were so enthusiastic when Sabrina Dent suggested that we launch a petition website to let other people (a) know what was going to happen and (b) tell the Ministers responsible that they object to the proposal.”   Full article here   The link to the Irish Petition to STOP SOPA is available here.


Personal note : Why bother with Irish Political consultations when they are shredded, ignored or limited by decisions already taken?

In what amounts to an ignorant rejection of the consultative process the Minister, Richard Bruton and Seán Sherlock T.D intend to introduce isp-blocking in Ireland. This event follows on quickly from the PP in Spain’s innovation in this area, and the SOPA/PIPA protests of last week in the U.S. I don’t expect much discussion on in it in the Irish media, who often publish press-releases and soundbites , rather than anything approaching contextualisation. I am annoyed that the consultative-process that I participated in amounted to optics , and that our government is basically pushing through aggressive legislation without debate, discussion or reference to the experience of other E.U countries. It looks like FG/Lab will also attempt to tax the internet. How quickly opposition parties dump their principles when they get to play with the big boys.