Thursday, December 24, 2009

La Carboneria

The stage is not red, but deep crimson
marked with memories etched into its face
Three chairs stand, green beneath grand portraits
evoking the power of those greats

If you look you can see how she stamps, the bailaor
where she stands, how she fills the stage
her rutted tracks command the corners
pentrating layers of paint and board

How many million hammer blows
made those grooves?

Before the middle chair is a basin
shallow on the right side, deeply scarred on the left
The cantaor stamps but does not stand there
except in wild moments, or to accept applause

On the right the guitarrista sits
the crimson is polished to a glossy shine
A cascade flows from the glowing corner
a plateau above the field of love and pain

Historical and timeless this flamenco
the story of a people in movement and song
expressions of tragedy and defiance that transport me
to whom they can never belong

Santa Cruz, Sevilla

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

London climate change demonstration on Saturday

I met up with green economist Derek Wall at Hyde Park to listen to speeches from Green Euro MP Caroline Lucas, the Bolivian Ambassador and others. Caroline was excellent, speaking about the Green New Deal, climate justice and the need for a grassroots direct action campaign to spur politicians to move beyond carbon markets to real action. All the greens seem to think she has a very good chance of winning Brighton in the next general election.

There was a relatively small crowd at Hyde Park but by the time we had reached Parliament it had swelled to a huge crowd. Newspaper estimates say 30,000 but as usual I think this underestimated. It was a most interesting juxtaposition marching through Mayfair, but the crowd was very well behaved. Police were few and discreet, having come under much criticism recently for their policing of demo's, especially since killing one man during a 'kettling' maneuver.

Some people have set up a Climate Camp in Trafagar Square apparently, so I plan to head down. In the meantime, here's some pics: