Thursday, 24 January 2013

Homage to a Government

Homage to a Government

Next year we are to bring all the soldiers home
For lack of money, and it is all right.
Places they guarded, or kept orderly,
We want the money for ourselves at home
Instead of working. And this is all right.

It's hard to say who wanted it to happen,
But now it's been decided nobody minds.
The places are a long way off, not here,
Which is all right, and from what we hear
The soldiers there only made trouble happen.
Next year we shall be easier in our minds.

Next year we shall be living in a country
That brought its soldiers home for lack of money.
The statues will be standing in the same
Tree-muffled squares, and look nearly the same.
Our children will not know it's a different country.
All we can hope to leave them now is money.
Philip Larkin
From 'High Windows'

I was reading this poem with my coffee this morning before heading off to court the muses by looking at art and walking the city around Manchester.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Reflected Lines - Haiku Trail for Hebden Bridge - The Pictures & The Poems

Reflected Lines is a Haiku Trail of 13 pieces around Hebden Bridge to give both dwellers and visitors pause for thought in the aftermath of the floods as the town regrows with greater strength, beauty and sense of community than before. The poems started life in my journal as a simple way to reflect on something each day artistically. It has been astonishing seeing how something can move from the artist's notebook into reality when powered by integrity and love from the writer's side, coupled with respect, trust and support for his art by his wider society.

I have a very strong sense of the poet (the artist) being as much a part of society as the post office, library, greengrocer, butcher, hardware store and the bookshop. I know many towns no longer have these, and the role of the artist is all but forgotten or has been terminally downgraded, especially by artists and those in the arts themselves. The fact that we haven't lost those values in Hebden is one of the things I love so much about the place.

A side effect of the destruction of the summer floods was that our community spirit raised by innumerable degrees. I felt that wanted to contribute to the town's well-being and so I did what I do.. Wrote.. and amazingly the town gave me some of its windows so that passers by can be give pause for thought as they go about their days.

The independence of the town is usually discussed with a view to the more artisan shops and to the lesbian population, but this area has always had a fiery side, which I too have benefitted from my years here. I have always felt like I can just be the man, and the writer I am in this place, that it acts as a base from which I can boldly venture. 

The words around town give a layer of meaning to our everyday goings on of shopping and moving about in our own lives. Real poetry never forces its way into people's faces, it is there to be discovered by each reader alone speaking only to them when they are ready, then it causes brings about the reflection and connection the reader needs.

Please feel free to copy, distribute and share these poems.

Reflected Lines #0

We are closer now,
though there are always miles to
go – water and fire.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #1 (Cinema)

Travel through story.
Travelling through the darkness,
come out more ourselves.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #2 
(Ribbon Circus Sewing Shop)

Hebden is twined
together – threaded often
around humble yarns.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #3 
(Colour Yorkshire)

Graduations of
colour – sometimes it is all
about the surface.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines # 4 
(On Reflection - Hairdresser)

In between the sound
of women’s voices, the real
stories of the toll.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #5
(Harold Crabtree)

Window reflections,
our faces, our hopes – dressing

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines # 6
(Fleur de Lys)

There’s a question 
in the scent of life - lilies 
open for themselves.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #7 
(Nathan’s Barbershop)

Dads ‘n’ Lads engage
in Saturday rituals
of love and of life.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #8
(The Town Hall)

After the flooding
of a lost summer - the true
kindness of strangers.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #9
(Holt's The Greengrocer)

There is a seed in
each fruit - some kind of answer
ready to begin.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #10
(Café Solo)

Old woman passing
by window. For a moment
she was my mother.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #11
(The Bookcase)

I come here to pray,
it looks just like I’m browsing
or buying a book.

By John Siddique

Reflected Lines #12
(Snug Gallery)

Recording light on
paper, shadow and substance
- Inseparable.

By John Siddique

All Photos, Design & Coffee by Ed Chadwick at SNUG Galley
Love, Support & Grins from Hebden Town Hall
Thanks to all the shops and businesses for getting onboard 
to help create a thing of beauty in the town.
Sponsorship by Hebden Spirit

For More Information contact Amy Leader at Hebden Bridge Town Hall
01422 845261


Monday, 14 January 2013

Reading Khalil Gibran On A Freezing Monday Afternoon

'Must you break your harp and your lyre to find the music therein?'

'But you hate one another because each of you deems himself too great to be the brother of the next man.'




Тот, кто воды не пил, не знает жажды.
Ты спрашиваешь: что это, свобода?
Представь себе любовь, но без любви.

Бывают же немыслимые вещи,
Но вот немыслимое прежде – нынче рядом.
Тот, кто воды не пил, не знает жажды.

Нам кажется, что все – само собою,
Мы не стремимся удержать покрепче,
Представь себе любовь, но без любви.

Но страх съедает сердце, страх и
Споры без конца, боязнь риска.
Тот, кто воды не пил, не знает жажды.

Забудь свои прекрасные мечтанья,
Все заболтай – пророчества и правду.
Представь себе любовь, но без любви.

Представь себе, как верят только в шепот,
И в крик, и в сплетню, как танцуют,
Не слыша музыки внутри себя.
Представь себе любовь, но без любви.

Джон Сиддик
Перевела Мария Карп

Джон Сиддикве
Перевела Мария Карп