Tosca’s Tale

As true and relevant today (maybe more)

https://youtu.be/V_pg-DKBeZ0

Postcard from a Pigeon

Seventy years since the survivors’ of Auschwitz were liberated, I was watching a tv documentary where six of them recounted their stories of survival and the terrible aftermath they’ve endured, of nightmares and tragedies. One Polish man, Dr Tadeusz Smreczynski, who became a doctor and practiced general medicine within ten minutes of the camp gates, has been forever haunted, not just by the memories but by his own physical proximity to the camps. One other thing that horrifies him, is an aria from Puccini’s opera, Tosca, itself a tale told against a backdrop of tyranny and oppression. He heard an inmate singing the aria. He said it was strange to hear such a thing in the surroundings of the camp. An S.S. guard heard it, too and ran to find its source. Our survivor asked someone, what happened? The singer was killed. His story moved me to write this poem.

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GRAINY

  Grainy? No, nebulous, neither,  not at a stretch, nothing even remotely textural. In fact, there was nothing even marginally equivocal about what happened in Charlottesville apart from the sitting US president's ambiguous interpretation. White supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klanners banded in protest and struck terror. Leader? Ha.

WILLY-NILLY, I KID YOU, NOT

So it was 'on all sides', he said, but no-one believed him. I mean you can't smell roses when you're standing in shit, can you? Then, amid much clamour even he said what everyone expected but then, straightaway, the jackboot shuffle and it was his way or the highway, willy-nilly.

SPHERE OF INFLUENCE: HOW AMERICAN LIBERTARIANS ARE REMAKING LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS

By Lee Fang, The Intercept FOR ALEJANDRO CHAFUEN, the gathering this spring at the Brick Hotel in Buenos Aires was as much a homecoming as it was a victory lap. Chafuen, a lanky Argentine-American, had spent his adult life working to undermine left-wing social movements and governments in South and Central America, and boost a business-friendly…Read more SPHERE OF INFLUENCE: HOW AMERICAN LIBERTARIANS ARE REMAKING LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS

TRUMP v The Huddled Masses

A senior Trump advisor, Stephen Miller, sparked a furor last week when he dismissed the famous poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty. In response, The Guardian asked 21 poets: what type of poem would Trump like to see at the statue?So I thought I'd have a go myself and here's my tuppence…Read more TRUMP v The Huddled Masses

SUBSTANDARD

Epitaph on a TyrantW. H. Auden, 1907 - 1973   Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after, And the poetry he invented was easy to understand; He knew human folly like the back of his hand, And was greatly interested in armies and fleets; When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter, And…Read more SUBSTANDARD