Forgotten gods

The vague distant enraged rumblings of the forgotten gods of old strike my eardrums and invite me outside. The mumbles and grumbles of these ancient beings that never left us still comfort us, scare us and welcome us into the unpredictable arms of their mother and all her wild forces. With my waterproof jacket on, I step out, lured by the call of a storm. The dark grey cloud bellowed as it neared, crawling over the peak before me, it was old and slow. Pink, white and purple flashes emanated from deep within the cloud filling the sky, making itself visible.

I decide to take shelter under the eaves of and old Victorian train station. From here I would watch the old beast in all its glory as it travelled north, perhaps seeking worship from the Northmen as it once did millennia ago. It was then when I felt it, it was here. The wind picked up and with it came the rain. The smell of dust unsettled from the ground, the scent of a storm. People carried on about their business, walking by without paying any attention to the storm. It knew and it was not happy. Trees began to sway and road signs swung with a sense of urgency.

The cloud now, above unleashed its anger. Bright tendrils of light spread through the belly of this creature in the sky. The wind and rain joined forces assaulting everything it touched. People screaming and running for cover but the screams were muted and out matched by the perpetual and thunderous roar from above. Standing behind a pillar I was safe, excitedly watching the waves of rain thrash the ground, watching the roads turn to rivers and the world shake under such unhindered power to the greatest sound and light show I have ever seen.

This continued for 30 minutes. The centre of the storm had passed, moved on to torment or elate other descendants of its flock and I decided to walk home in the rain, with a smile on my face hearing once again the distant enraged rumblings of old gods that can never be forgotten.

We Need Help

Some things have become very apparent to me of late, most importantly is the fact that, we, the human race, is in dire need of help. Over the last few weeks a number of events and happenings have occurred in front of my eyes, like cardboard sign posts from humanity with the words “WE NEED HELP!” written in thick black marker pen.

It was rush hour on a cold Monday morning. I was travelling through Manchester, a city that has become a building site, with vast improvements to infrastructure to the cost of one billions pounds but what stood out more than the bright orange cones, more than the silver metal fencing was the groups of dishevelled people wandering the streets with numerous blankets and sleeping bags slung over their shoulders. With every infrequent journey through this growing city, I notice that the homeless population grows with it. Casualties of the welfare reforms of a capitalist society. Staring wistfully out of the train window leaving Manchester, along the canals of the Black Country, assessing all the empty buildings and rotting factories the feeling that we and the environment we live in are expendable commodities that can be cast aside by the capitalist rulers lays heavy on my mind.

A few days later, sitting on the sunny banks of the river Avon with a friend, surrounded by a carpet of bright yellow lesser celandine and bevy of swans, we hear inaudible shouting from across the water. There sat a man on a bench, calling out, “HELP ME … HELP … ME!” The passers-by ignored this man until he stood unsteadily and staggered over and fell by the riverside. This man was drunk and very likely having some kind of mental breakdown, he needed help. It was then that we heard some people behind us, one of which was on the phone to the police, this naturally eased our worry for this man in need. The police quickly arrived to help the man, relieved all I hear is the woman behind saying, “If he done that in front of my kids I’d’ve pushed ‘im in myself.” Nice one society, get the lunatic off the streets! Ignore the fact that a man having an episode very nearly fell into the river. When these same capitalist rulers have put mental health services into crisis with extensive cuts, this sort of thing, sadly, is going to happen. Yet another social signpost was being waved in front of me.

Recently I came across a moderated social app TalkLife where people, of all ages, can safely seek advice or get help from people who have been in similar situations. Social anxiety, general stresses and worries, depression, self harm, eating disorders, sexual abuse, suicidal behaviour, the list goes on. What is most striking of all, while this is a very good and important service to those that need it, it shouldn’t be necessary.

Suicide and homelessness rates are increasing while mental health services are cut and money spent on streamlining and oiling the cogs of the capitalist machine. It all feels very wrong. A governments first and most important task should be the welfare of its citizens not their status and involvement in global affairs. These signposts of suffering and neglect at the hands of those that don’t care lead me to believe that from somewhere or from someone, even if it is from each other, WE NEED HELP!

Glossed over

They lay in wait, under the surface,
Glossed over.
Brown, green, grey, black, beige
Occasionally blue, red and yellow
Something’s happened!
Some new event requiring a response
They bubble and swirl, rise and fall
Flow like a stream through a shaded glen, the sounds bringing calm to all who hear.
Surge like a storm ready to lay waste to it’s environment, destruction incarnate.
Quick!
Gloss it over!
It’s starting to get out!
Apply on another coat!
Now grey, response subsided.
The layers are thick, they crack and peel, they won’t hold forever.
But for now they are back in their colourless prison
Glossed over,
They lay in wait, under the surface.

 

Photo: Harold Hollingsworth  Some rights reserved No changes were made.