Yesterday, authenticity and a poem



Yesterday was a rather good day, I spent most of it in Greenwich, enjoying the park, reading a few poems (The Oxford Book of Short Poems, Chosen and Edited by P.J. Kavanagh and James Michie), wandering around and visiting a free concert at St. Alfeges church.

I even composed a poem.


With so little


Joy I can find

In not a grain of sand

But a summers day

Easy Warmth


Dry grass

Cool wind

A book of poems


Free choral song

In a church

God they find

God they seek


Shall I find

More than warmth

In a summers day

Should I, Could I

Ask for more ?

Memories that stick out are having a subway breakfast in the herb garden section of the park, fragrances mixed and I saw a pigeon fly in to visit the small fountain there, for a bath, I now notice the way the birds wash and clean themselves early in the morning, they do a lot of things really, but you can miss it, if you don’t take time to study them.

The concert was good, mainly because I had starved myself of music all week and now I was listening to live and refined music, admittedly some parts of this “school” concert seemed a little unpolished but others really hit the spot, young voices seem aptly suited to some pieces that attempt to lift the soul up closer to god.  You realise how much an impact these events must have had when ready access to music and the arts was not so easy to attain for people, but in another way, you treasure the rare more than the plenty so the impact is much greater.

One huge downer was getting bored and buying the Sunday Times on the way home, although it did contain a few rare and interesting things it seemed to be mainly waffle, journalists trying to fill a word count, as if newspapers are scared to prink blank space.  I think the writings in ‘The Black Swan’ are right about avoiding the news and it is something I work hard at, you can never really avoid it as your bound to see newspaper headlines, hear the odd thing on the radio or someone will tell you about something or leave a newspaper somewhere when you’re bored.

Thoreau wrote about ‘not needing to know the news’ and he was right but I am worried about being caught up in the ‘general media induced flow’ of things, I think Heidegger wrote something about those in modernity often not leading ‘authentic’ lives and know from the past and observation how you can be swept up into these things instead of following your own path.


A case in point is that I have just finished reading ‘What’s going on’ by Mark Steel, I like the sub-title, ‘The meanderings of a comic mind in confusion’, meanderings can be good, they give you a direct link to someone, in a much easier form than trying to find them and have a conversation.  In fact, some of the best bits of ‘fooled by randomness’, the latest edition are where the author seems to go off on a tangent to discuss things he has just thought of.

Anyway, excuse the tangent, Mark seems to be trying to understand all and is confused at how the world has changed around him, from the death of popular socialism to the breakdown of his marriage but you can not help thinking ‘I am sure staying up late, on the couch, to watch that rubbish on TV can not help ‘ ? 

Still, interesting to hear his thoughts, I imagine his voice as have heard some of his lectures on radio 4 or seen him on TV/YouTube when I had access to such things, he has a blog and you want to shout at it ‘look, Karl Marx may or may not have been right, you can be wrong, you have to figure that in, as Karl Popper points out’ but then I think ‘what’s the point eh?’.  Still I made a comment with a link to my poem about Coniston, though I suspect he would just read about John Ruskin instead of visiting Coniston to see the things at the museum and think about them, time to reflect is always important.

Taking a passive role is so much easier that you start to think that those journalists in the Times are all nuts while the really clued up are off living in the countryside somewhere and more bothered about the weeds in the kitchen garden than current affairs. 

Still, I have found that solitude brings thoughts, that brings writings so perhaps the reason all those philosophical books are so long is just because the author was often sat alone, with nothing else to do than ‘kind of’ talk to himself via writing.

The sun seems hot today, I hope it will be another warm day and I can enjoy some time in the park, tomorrow I fly back to Dublin and it will be great to be united with my girlfriend, Dublin will appear strange as I know where things are now but have not been around for some time.

Think I will try at the Oxfam bookshop again, to get some volunteer work, they have nice books there and lots of classical records, I fancy the idea of playing imperfect records on a record player, they say the sound quality is better than CD, which was meant to just be a ‘portable’ standard, as with Ipods. 

Also, I need to study some more c# which is a rather cool programming tool with lots of nice features, new tools are often good but you really do need time out to learn them and play with them to understand them properly, hopefully I can then get some programming work in Dublin or on 

But that is part of the beauty, of life, really, one can not predict the future, we can never know, so it works out rather exciting and interesting at times, it is all, very, Karl Popper like in many ways.

 ..more poems here

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