We have our traditions

We have our songs

Events and occasions

That help us feel we belong

A few things shared

On which we agree

That set us apart

And make us a “we”

Some say the world

Must by nature change

But hopefully at least a little

Of our shared identity

Will remain


When ME is the Collective

Apocalypse, City, Ruins, Buildings

We say we’ve moved on

Beyond fairy tale and superstition.

Led by the empirical, our own minds,

And accompanied by selfish ambition

We have abandoned the divine,

Leading to society’s demolition.

When “I” become more than the rest of the whole

If followed by all – this has a terrible toll.

Society and culture are meant to be a collective

If we live just for ourselves – that must surely be defective.



Lost eagles of Roman army « IMPERIUM ROMANUM

Empires rise and fall

Some leave great legacies

Others not much at all

The Romans brought straight roads

An alphabet and laws

While the British exported cricket

And oblong-shaped balls

The English tongue too they spread round

Though dialects many – now abound

Lift or elevator?

Barbeque or braai?

By a common tongue divided

I don’t know why

Empires now are so passe

Maybe we should just keep it that way


Empire in 70 words

Terror Night

woman in black spaghetti strap top wearing eyeglasses
Jakob Owens at Unsplash

“Who are you and where did you get this number?” Nina challenged.

“They call me the Reaper,” the deep-breathing man said malevalently.

“Well you don’t scare me,” Nina said without the slightest hint of alarm.

“And why is that? Surely you know my reputation, and whether you believe it or not, I am right outside your door.”

“So?” Nina queried.

“So – you are my next plaything,” the Reaper snarled.

“I don’t think so,” Nina countered bravely just before the phoneline went dead.

Suddenly the backdoor of her house burst open and a black-clad man in a ski-mask stood before her brandishing a machete.

“So are still confident?” the Reaper sneared.

“Yes, most definitely,” Nina said with out the least hint of distress.

Confused, the Reaper ran his thumb along the blade and said, “We’ll just have to see about that.”

“Yes we will,” Nina said defiantly.

“What?” the assailant said with dismay.

“Yes, we will see,” she retorted. “Didn’t they tell you?”

“Tell me what?” the Reaper asked even more confused.

“Didn’t they tell you that I signed a three film contract?”


The Finding

Laboratory, Figure, Molecular Biology
Image by Weipeng_Lin from Pixabay 


“Yes Senator, I think we have found a smoking gun,” the chief researcher said.

“Smoking gun?”

“Yes, at first we thought that it was just some fluck of nature, mere random happenings, but now it is clear that there is a design to it.”

“A design?  Surely it’s a matter of person choice – an act of free will?”

“No, sorry Senator.  It is irrefutable now.  What we thought was a life-style choice has been predetermined by forces far more malevolent than anyone could possibly have imagined.”

“Do you mean – ah – do you mean . . . ?”

“Yes Senator, nine out of ten dentists do prefer Brand X.  It’s all down to the Illumi . . . I mean advertisers you see,” the scientist said, casting an anxious look at an icy-eyed ‘lab assistant’ than was looming in a corner.




FOWC with Fandango — Design



Party, Carnival, Happy, Beautiful Woman

Image by Ellen26 from Pixabay 

I’ve never been on a Carnival cruise

With luxury cabins and

Captain’s-tables to schmooze

For when I first – went to sea

It was Marines’ compartments

And haze grey for me

Nor have I ever seen Carnival grand

With bright feathered costumes

And steel-drum bands

It’s travelling fairs and village fetes

That have till now

Been my fate

So what does “carnival’ mean to me?

I’m afraid it’s just a word

In the diction-ary




Sunday Writing Prompt – 16th August – Carnival

Odd One Out

Forum Novelties womensCostume Costume - - Default: Amazon.co.uk ...

Image: Amazon


Can you remember – back in the 80s

When cell phones looked like a brick?

Strawberry lip gloss – was all the craze –

Unless you went for bright cherry lipstick.

Shoulder-pads – on femme power-suits were worn

And bright coloured tubes – to keep your legs warm

Then to top off – the whole enchilada

Big hair was the thing of the day

But I’ll bet ya’ your very last sand dollar 

That Stallone looked odd – dressed in that way





Paint Chip Poetry Prompt #32:

“The prompt words and phrases are lipstickbrick, the whole enchiladasand dollarpeachynectar, and coral. . . .  Since the usual game of One of These Things Is Not Like the Others has only four choices, that’s how many of the paint chips I’m challenging you to use in your poem.”

Spurned As Dirt


Brick and terracotta

Formed from earthy clay

Work of artisans and artists

Their ingenuity to display


From such a substance – simple

Spurned by most as dirt

It becomes things of beauty

As a master’s hands convert


Brick and terracotta

And Earth-born pottery

Ancient expressions

Of utility and artistry




While this poem is meant to sing the praises of the simple forms associated with mere clay, it is also an allegory on human worth.  If we can have such accomplishments with something “spurned as dirt,” how much more can we look forward to seeing in human potential – even the from those seen as other or less?










Who Owns History? An Open Question

imageedit_0_8058394484 (1)

Dachau Gate: Copyright Padre’s Ramblings

I have spent over a decade conducting research on Holocaust memorials and commemorative sites.  I have seen the use and the abuse of public art, and public memorial.  I have seen homeless people camped on Ghent’s memorial, and people picnicking on monuments in London and Amsterdam.  I have also seen people brought  to tears at Auschwitz and at Yad Vashem.  Some memorials are for “good” lives lost, like the Korczak Memorial in Warsaw, but I have also seen the Meine Ehre heißt Treue mural perfectly preserved at Breendonk in Belgium.

I think the idea of history belonging to the victor might be overstated.  History belongs to everyone, but the interpretation of it is often sectarian, and even personal.  So to be clear, in light of contemporary events, I am not suggesting that there are not historic landmarks, and statues that shouldn’t be removed, but I do think they need to thoughtfully scrutinized.  Was the vandalism of the Robert Gould Shaw monument justified (whoever the perpetrator is), or the attacks on images of U. S. Grant?

Who owns history?  According to my Philosophy of History professor, so long ago, the present generation does, as they inherit and interpret in light of their own times.  If he was right, let us in this age do so thoughtfully, and deliberately, and not reduce our actions to mere emotions, no matter how justified.   If history is the possession of the victorious, then we need to be prepared for the rise of new victors, and that will bring change.  Who owns history?  Your guess is as good as mine.


A video for consideration