It’s the end of November. We’re in lockdown (again). Most shops are shuttered even as the festive lights are flickering on. Barnard Castle blackly approached Dominic Cummings to conduct their big ‘switch on’ (an invitation he didn’t deign to respond to). And given the constraint many will have their online shopping fingers quivering over Amazonian clickbait. Now is the moment to resist, especially since Jeff’s profits have surged to £100M+ in the last quarter in the UK alone (a 37% hike, accompanied by a 3% rise in tax paid…do the maths).
In his ‘Motto to the Svendborg Poems’ published in the spring of 1939, Bertolt Brecht wrote ‘In the dark times, will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing, about the dark times.’ As a climate activist for the last quarter of a century those words speak to me deeply. The grimly predictable ‘white swan’ of the climate crisis has descended upon us, despite our best efforts, leaving many of us feeling totally hopeless. …
An illustrated poem for all our health service workers out there on the front-line, all the sacrifices they are making, and all the appreciation we can muster for those facing the hardest and most challenging of times with dedication, dignity and respect. The very least the rest of us can do is STAY IN. A careless walk may cost lives. Be well. Stay well. Flatten the curve.
The border is full of symbolism: Starting in the sides in the middle we have the red staff with snake entwined which is the Rod of Asclepius, the Greek deity of healing and…
This poem is inspired by seven of the different types of love described by the ancient Greeks, described well in this article (copied below).
The ancient Greeks had seven words for love that corresponded to different types of love, ranging from physical love (eros) to purely spiritual love (agape). Here are the seven kinds of love according to the ancient Greeks.
1. Eros: Love of the body
Eros was the Greek God of love and sexual desire. He was shooting golden arrows into the hearts of both mortals and immortals without warning. The Greeks feared that kind of love the…
A poem inspired by Sam Lee’s ‘Singing with Nightingales’.
Ed Gillespie is a writer, speaker, futurist and poet. In 2007/8 he circumnavigated the world without flying and wrote ‘Only Planet — a flightfree adventure around the world’. He is a serial entrepreneur and an adviser to or investor in a number of ethical businesses. Ed is also a facilitator with the Forward Institute’s responsible leadership programme, a Director of Greenpeace UK and Co-Founder of Futerra
This is a poem replete with symbolism. The crown of the ‘corona’ virus itself, the international warning symbol of plague (in the corners), the Chinese character for ‘epidemic’, a Black Death Plague Doctor in mask & goggles, a skull…and yet, the Hecate Wheel (the 6 pointed star in a purple labyrinth) — for rebirth & renewal, and Native American arrows: facing left to ward off evil, right for protection, down for peace, a drum to communicate with the Great Spirit, a Fire for cleansing & renewal, a Morning Star for courage & purity of spirit, Homecoming (the 3 connected spirals)…
‘If I ruled the world, every day would be the first day of spring’ sang Tony Bennett. On this first day of spring in March 2020 something extraordinary is unfolding in regard to our supposed ruling of the world in this unprecedented pandemic lockdown. Blue skies are reappearing over previously smog-shrouded cities. Birdsong is ringing true and through beyond the now absent traffic’s roar. And as the sediment settles in Venetian canals without being constantly churned up by motorised boats, it has revealed clear lagoonal water and silvery fish. …
Billions of years of fossilised sunshine burnt that is in turn overcooking the planet. A reckless fratricide and sororicide of the family of life driving the sixth mass extinction. A vampiric siphoning of wealth into a mosquito-like 1% of the population from the body of humanity (which reminds me of the Gary Larson cartoon ‘Pull out Betty! You’ve hit an artery!’). Populist politics hollower than a dry bone, empty of the marrow that truly sustains. And now a silent, deadly seemingly irresistible contagion sweeping invisibly across the globe. What a time to be alive!
Our leaders vacillate between laissez-faire and…
A decade is a long time in the context of climate change. In dark irony it’s also practically all we have left to make the necessary transition. The days of climate deniers shrieking ‘warmists!’ at scientists, accusing every activist of ideological leanings — being ‘watermelons’ (green on the outside, red on the inside) and claiming that for climate change campaigners such as George Monbiot and NASA’s Jim Hansen; ‘Hanging is too good for such ineffable toerags’, are hopefully behind us.
The climate sceptics have been understandably quiet in recent months as wildfires killed hundreds in raging infernos in first Portugal…
Does the humble snail mourn its pace?
Is there grave concern on the sloth’s face?
That being innately and greatly tardy
Is somehow lazy and foolhardy?
Is the Loris unrushed rather than slow?
Having no particular place to go
Or a need to get there at higher speed
Enough to make your eye-balls bleed?
Does a tortoise blush at its leisurely crawl?
Or is he just happy absorbing it all?
The seahorse is blissfully gallop-free
Unconcerned by its immobility
If you’re the hunter or even the prey
There’s pressure to ‘get!’ or get out of the way
I get that
Ed Gillespie is a writer, poet, environmentalist, serial entrepreneur and futurist.