Noticing Things

Thank you all for your continued encouragment. The advantage of this is that it is all my own, everything is my choice. The disadvantage is that it is all my own ! In March of this year I wrote this piece as a response to news headlines. I am even more uncertain particularly around the idea of commenting on the world (Who do you think you are? echos around me). Anyway here it is for what its worth. Comments good bad and indifferent welcome as usual.

Pablo PIcasso

Pablo PIcasso

The State of Things

World news came to me through my iPhone screen:

St. Petersburg underground exploded;

in London people on a bridge were mowed,

they came to see how old democracy

looked on an ancient river, calming it;

runners on a street in Boston blasted,

limbs scattered, lives lost; in Nice children and

grans felt bullet and truck during fireworks.

The new US orange faced chief harked back -

brakes on basic things - health, rights of all sorts;

a stocky Russian leader grabbed countries

and states and  lands with impunity while

a head of Syria slaughtered fellow

but different countrymen and women,

- gas attacks the latest weapon of choice;

Egypt held thousands of men without trial.

Back on this venerable divided isle

a leader hugely overstayed his welcome;

men continued to kill or maim women;

gangs shot gangs, practised extermination;

bosses lost money, sacked the little fellow;

a rich man spent lots to defend his name;

posh thieves worked over banks successfully,

justice miscarried all at our expense.


Leo S

02.09.2017 10:17

Well captured, Peter, in few but arresting words. I'd like you to develop one or two of the incidents into a stand alone. London bridge 'mowed' 'old democracy' 'ancient river' is asking for more.

Catherine Darker

31.08.2017 13:01

You have captured so much of the chaos and the horribleness in one poem - it makes for grim reading when its all gathered together!


31.08.2017 06:50

That sums it up. I think it would be even more powerful if you intersperse moments of beauty with all that awfulness.

Latest comments

25.11 | 22:15

Grief is experience through the mundane. Simple but powerful. The accompanying image really compliments the poem.

07.11 | 11:14

Hi Peter,

A great observation! Social media can be a scary place... I also need to reduce my time there



06.11 | 16:24

A great one, Peter, in the context you describe. I don't read social media myself, I doubt my equilibrium could stand it. 'The balance of his mind disturbed' yes, I think it would be.

06.11 | 15:59

Yes, gossip is a weapon of mass destruction.

In my business as well as personal life I have zero tolerance.

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And What About . . .


I have neglected this for far too long, and now it is time again. But what to write about, what poem to share? The world is packed with catastrophic possibilities. Such choices: dementia/genocide colluder or extreme narcissism in the White House; a hung parliament in the UK; the reunification of the USSR with a tyrannical megalomaniac at its head; the eradication of a race by a genocidal government in Gaza; the African continent reduced to bankruptcy and regression to male tribalism; in Ireland, even with an appalling electoral turnout the routing of the far right and Sinn Féin may offer some comfort except we face another FF/FG fiasco. Mother Nature rumbles on its rampage, raging against the human species’ abject destruction of the planet’s habitat. What the . . .

Being facetious right now is my only defence against absolute despair. So read, comment, pass it on, and send feedback.

City Walking and Cycling take 680,000

cars per day off the road

Irish Time Heading

More and more folk, cycling and walking, may 

keep gases from greenhouses further at bay

This newspaper heading illustrates vividly

thousands of cyclists and walkers assiduously 

stopping some cars on their journey

pushing them aside - making drivers quite surly

Mountains of metal - like scrapyards of sculpture

keep bicycle lanes quite safe - at this juncture

The new revolution is well underway

don’t get behind wheels - hear what they say:

Cars and their fumes play a very big part 

the smell is quite phew don’t mention cow farts

Wear out your shoe leather walking

greet travellers with smiles while you’re talking

Force councils to make better spaces

to go out and about roaming those places

where vitamin D, and oxygen from trees

fill our lungs and our brains so we see

how to save us and this magical planet

except for some vicious old tyrants goddammit 

Peter Clarke, 18th March 2024

Haydée Otero