3am the quietest of hours. Sitting here with the gentle hum and trickling sounds of my fish tanks filters. The blue glow from a night light over one of the habitats. If i look close enough can see the younger guppies darting in and out of the weeds. Their own world. A micro civilisation of sorts.
The tank has its own hierachy , but not really one you would expect. The smaller but more numerous young guppies even pushing older sword tails and a small white angel about. The larger sucking loach being like a grumpy granddad with all reluctantly giving in to his occasional outbursts.
At 3am I can imagine myself in their world. Vying for a position of power in their small world. The two tanks in the bedroom have my smaller fish in one and a lone aggressive large Angel in the other.
My big tank in the living room is a whole different world. In that there are fish but also frogs. There is a big shark (related to sprats and herring but resembling a Shark) a very active Sailfin Molly, various different types of the larger of the tetra family, a few plecs n catfish including an eel like one and an albino Cory, a gourami, and four frogs of different sizes. The big Angel became too aggressive for this tank hence his now solitary existence.
I am no expert on my fish but generally unless they are attacked they seem happy. They get fed and cleaned out and come to see me at the glass.
They tell me when its feeding time. We are told fish have no memory but mine definitely do. My Shark – ‘Richard’ named by my son as he is largest fish in the tank and its a play upon Moby Dick, comes chatting to me. Its easy to imagine him and molly having conversations with me (its ok I don’t listen to them too often lol).
I change all the tanks about fairly frequently and have introduced more plants of late. The fish seem to love this. The frogs definitely do, they have become bolder less elusive. They swim about and at times just floating on the surface, only needing a miniature beer can and hawaiian shirts to complete the picture.
I love each of these little worlds, they are far simpler and generally more happy than our own. Bullies and killers straight away identified and incarcerated in solitary. Their own rules. But even these worlds having a belief system. A god. The being that comes along and pronounces arbitrary justice, changes the physical state of the world, cleans their streets and feeds them. This supreme one even dictates whether its night or day for them. They do not complain, do not argue over differences in their own interpretations of when changes will happen or when they will be fed next or even by whom. They just accept it, and get on with their lives.
Their world is far far simpler than our and for that I truly envy my fish.
But more than that I love them, I love that they give me a different view on my world, they divert my thoughts from pain, from lethargy. My fish and Gayle my Gecko give me a forced routine, a reason for moving even when my body tells me I cannot. My role is to ensure my fish and Gayle are fed and cared for. I do this every day. If I have to crawl to get there I still do it. Its not a chore its motivation. I currently have few reasons to get out of bed. These wonderful creatures ensure I do even on my worst days.
Do I believe in a god? No but if you do good.
Do I believe in heaven? Maybe we shall see.
Do I believe in more than this? Hell yes.
I believe in a soul
I believe in nature
I believe in science
I believe in good and evil
I believe in magic
I believe in life
I believe in reality
I believe in fantasy
But most of all I believe in you. My friends, my connection, in people.
I don’t care what you believe in, whether your Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Wicken, whatever.
If you are my friend I shall be there for you. I shall cherish you even if we rarely speak. If you need me I will be there. If you are a person you are until I find otherwise my friend. I am there for all my friends in any way I can be.
A friend is not defined by clothes, wealth, colour, culture, race, ability, religion, sexuality or gender. A friend to me is someone that does me no wrong, that respects me as I respect them, that knows to come to me when they need me.
If you are my friend I welcome you into my life.
Ok so for those that dont know me yet, I am a Socialist with left tendancies, hate hate! A biker, triker, a poor poet, lazy writer, part time critic, dad, Gecko and fish carer, crap musician, miserable, opinionated, chubby, jowelly, old (49 yr old) git, with enough ailments to be put down.
I am no way atheletic, a stud muffin, a wall flower, shy, talented or handsome.
I am designer scruffy and preen in my own sweet way. I however always am clean.
I try to be kind and patient but occasionally am judgmental without discrimination. But am an inverted snob. Money is but food tokens and choice. Not my god.
I believe in people and will fight for my morality.
I believe in equality of opportunity not just equality.
I am atheist and pacifist but like good old Clint only will go so far.
I love my garden but am rubbish gardener.
Love cooking and am truly good at that.
Smoke no more n drink like a small tadpole.
I hope I am fair and friendly but try me out for yourselves. No hidden agendas nor plans of world domination.
I am generally honest and never ever steal.
My motto is ‘I try’.
So if u dont know me come say ‘ello. If you do then pop fer a brew.
Ok peeps. Jonesy here lay in my pit bored. So decided on today’s sermon.
Why I am suddenly so passionate about politics.
Well when I left school at sixteen I already was a tad political. I had joined CND at 14 and was lucky enough to meet Monsignor Bruce Kent. What an amazing man.
I initially joined the ‘Ecology Party’ the forerunner of the Greens. I was already becoming an ideologist but had not enough life experience to temper that with any realism.
The only experience before that was going to a ‘Young Conservatives Rally’ in 1978 at the newly opened NEC. Thatcher was there spreading her gospel of materialism and greed. Petula Clark screeching out ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ on the stage. I went with a group of teenagers from Moss Side. We all were left slightly bemused and fearful. We did all get a bag of goodies which went promptly in the nearest bin.
This prompted my later decision to join the Labour Party and support Michael Foot in his campaigning. Many a door was knocked upon by this long haired lout. Some pleasant. Most not. Stockport was mainly Tory at this point with some exceptions such as the pre-turncoat days of Anne Coffey.
In 1983 I left school and saw the beginning of my journey into the real world. I tried a YTS scheme in a camera shop, Jack Hadfield’s in Stockport, but since I had no interest in photography I just ended up sweeping floors and being ushered into the back if a customer came in. I lasted about six weeks.
I then went to Stockport College on the PCSC course. It was to teach us to become care workers. It was then I truly got into the political scene. I became ‘Chair’ of the Stockport College Labour Group, and was elected (volunteered) for the local Exec of the Student Union.
During this period Thatcherism was destroying British Culture. The protection of family units was stripped away as she and her cronies sold off and privatised all of the countries major assets.
To those profiteering whether with BT shares or the purchase of their council house, she was great, my mates even getting involved with buying shares (not me though as my bar bill in the SU was demanding my spare cash).
To others though such as miners, steel workers, firemen, infact anyone in manual or blue collar positions in industry she was stripping their lives clean to the bone. Removing rights to strike, to feed their families, stealing the future not just of individuals but communities, towns, cities even regions of the UK.
Families that had been comfortable, even prosperous were having to rely on handouts. Unemployment hit a million for the first time. When people rose up against her greed she brought in the police as her personal army.
Incidents were happening all over the UK. Moss Side erupted in riots, Toxteth, then Brixton (I was in Brixton as it started and was witness to the police dragging people from buildings and beating them. This was not community policing it was vicious, violent and extreme responses, likely ordered by Thatcher herself). I knew many of the Moss Side Rioters and these were not gangsters they were kids I went swimming with. They were not violent by nature they were affable and friendly. They were however Ghettoised. Beaten down and stripped of opportunity.
I started to become a ‘flying picket’ under the political flag going to support individuals and groups wherever needed. To add my voice to causes I now fully believed in. This was when socialism, (not to be confused with communism) got into my blood.
I was at Warrington supporting the print workers that were losing their employment and future through the actions of Eddie Shah, a Thatcher apostle and media mogul. I was there warming myself beside a brazier when with no cause or warning the police charged us armed with batons and riot shields. Kicking the burning oil cans into the crowd. These police had no justification for the absolute terrible violence they inflicted on the strikers and their supporters. I was lucky. I was dragged away by my uncle, a press photographer there to cover the police response.
I attended marches and picket lines for the miners, travelling as far and wide as South Yorkshire to Hyde Park. I saw many more heavy handed policing without justification. The Police now being used as a weapon against the people. Some officers absolutely relishing their new role.
Army Fire Engines (Green Goddess’) being used as ad hock water cannon.
Around this time I also got involved with the ANTI-NAZI League and AFA. I was sick of the discrimination I saw every day. I used these groups to learn what I was fighting for. To see how hate subjugated so many in our society and how all discrimination was a tool in the arsenal of what I now identify as the establishment. At the time it was seen as just Thatcher and her evil cabinet, but I now realise it was and is far more sinister.
I began to understand people cannot ever be all equal as that’s a utopian idea, but they can be equal in opportunity. That however still is not the case in the UK. If anything we are further from it. More kids get to go to University now its true. And education does open some doors but I am reminded of an old joke, ‘what do you say to a post graduate?’ ‘Big Mac and large fries please’.
Our children may achieve at uni or college but unless they go to Oxbridge have little chance of achieving.
They will run up huge debt. Be unable to buy a home. And every day they are watched from waking to sleeping. Possibly in-between too.
I do not have a passion for socialism to change my world. I want my kids and their kids to have freedom, a voice, chances, opportunity, luxury, adventure, food, shelter, love, well-being! In short a future.
A country where people survive only with food banks and hostels and yet others drive £4,000,000 cars (yes saw one at the weekend) and live in gated communities to separate themselves from the ‘riff raff’ cannot do anything but stagnate and decay.
Austerity is a con to keep the rich wealthy and the not rich in poverty.
ASBO is not about keeping you and me safe from teenagers. It is to prevent teenagers or communities developing above their station. Its only enforceable against social housing tenants. A law designed to shackle the poor.
So yes I go on about Jeremy Corbyn. Why? Not because I like the bloke (never met him). Not because he is the new messiah ( I have no god). Not because he will make me rich or powerful (he wont). Why then? Because he is honest. He has integrity and morality. He is not materialist nor greedy. He is absolutely a chance for change. A chance for a new beginning. A chance for the people to matter once more.
Socialism is not about greed or theft. Its not about hate or keeping up with the ‘Joneses’ its not all men should be equal. Its all men and women, of all races and religions, all abilities, all classes should have equality of opportunity. All should matter. All should have health, accommodation and food. A good standard of living for all. A more luxurious one for those that strive harder for it.
So this is part of what made me a socialist. And part of the reason I see JC as the path to a better future for us all.
Obviously its hard to cover it all on facebook. Big gaps in my story. One day I may just fill them.
As I lay here in the dark my head held in my tightening hands Thinking what may have been if not for times cruel sands Trying to blame this disablement upon the force of fate Full of self pity, loathing along with a dose of misdirected hate
This not the future that small boy had ever planned for me With no more hope left within to motivate my philosophy Pain now the only constant within the still active mind The possible path to relief just alleys that end up blind
I scream to any god that will take me under their wings From all of my very being now a hymn of desperation sings My eyes search the dark for something to help me cope Knowing that taking more medication is just a downward slope
Alternative ways to deal with it I try desperately to see Relaxation, self hypnosis even long sessions of psychotherapy Wondering even now if its really hurting or just in my head Even with all the meds and tricks I lay here wishing I were dead
It is as if I am the only one living this miserable sad life Thought of ways out flash by from drugs to a carving knife But the truth is I am not alone in living with this chronic pain The dark thoughts not just mine but are within many a brain
Invisible illness restricts so many but can go unrecognised Changing the character stealing joy their happiness re-sized So if your friend seems different there goodness taken flight Remember to be a friend their actions may not be out of spite
Its the lot of those that suffer this to rarely leave their home To be so isolated even when surrounded feeling all alone Confidence evades me all of the time although seeming strong Adept at acting I have become pretending to still belong
Many have marched on their own path leaving me behind People I thought a lot of no longer pretending to be kind Now however its clear to me although pain never ends The journey I daily travel is supported by a few good friends
Its those few that make all the difference for they truly see The person behind the moaning still is really only me So if your one of those I value I gladly leave you with this thought By being there you proved to be the god my desperate mind sought.
Copyright Trikerpoet August 2015
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