A Stranger at the Dinner Table

Several people re sat around a dinner table. I do not know who they are; they seem nice, friendly, unassuming. I do not see their preoccupations with each other.
They pass the salt, they pour the coffee, I like that the sun is shining, at how relaxed I feel with them, at how well the meal was so well organised; a family meal that has been happening every day for years.
Their clothes are clean and well fitted. The table cloth is clean. Items on the table include a pen and paper, a radio, a bracelet.
At one point in the meal they were all passing something to each other, their arms were folding at the elbow, swinging from the shoulder a motion that surrounded the table like a paper chain. Then they put their arms down and began to chat.
The wife spoke and as she spoke the salt cellar exploded like a small volcano and everyone was surprised, she though, not seeing the miracle or the response to her table talk just laughed.
The husband a few minutes later said something. The olive jar cracked open and the olives rolled over the table’s edge. The birds from a nearby tree flew down, do birds eat olives, and ate them.
The dinner resumed. The two twin girls started arguing over the chocolate mousse which stated to bubble and in the bubbles could be seen dark wicked eyes appearing. The mother told them to stop squabbling and be quiet.
The guest began to tell a story of his recent travels abroad. I was in Valencia recently he said and the gravy boat capsized like a ship and spilled over into the lap of their son’s new girlfriend.
This all hinted at the secret life of the family. I asked for captions to appear above their heads to show what they were really thinking.
The husband liked the son’s new girlfriend.
The wife was having an affair with the guest.
The twins were both in love with their tennis coach.
The group dispersed to various rooms in the building and the husband to his garage. The attractive maid came out to clear up the table. Suddenly on a distant hill a house caught fire. A fire engine passed by and all the firemen were singing

Your song of love and insincerity

Your song of love

The manifesto began to burn as you sang. When you had finished you had saved a whole nation from conquest.
The commander who had stopped to listen stripped off his clothes and walked across Libya. His skin became as white as snow.
At the prisoner of war camp your song hovered above the compound like a virgin light. The rules of war themselves bled to death and all the prisoners were released.
Suddenly on the calm of the ocean thousands of U-boats came to the surface attracted by their radar to your song. As you reached the high notes the code books ran into the sea and mermaids came and ate them; a Convoy of merchant ships passed by in peace.
In the equatorial jungle a man ran to freedom. Creatures in red coats with dinosaur claws and overgrown hair took hacksaws from their purses and listened. It was your song again for the 5th time it seemed to come from the mountains far away. The man reached the sea and safety.
Do you know that moment when all around you there is war yet it all comes to a standstill just to listen to your song of love?

Insincerity

Like a child who detects the insincerity in a mother’s voice you’ve known insincerity all day long. You give them their wages in the form of a treacherous smile and move on.
You were sitting on a rooftop when floodwater filled the contours of the land. Just like insincerity you said to yourself.
You know that at certain times of day the phone will ring. This must be insincerity for how can the fish catch the fisherman?
Your wife is self-wrapped in cling film yet she still manages her appointments. Little mice run about her feet as if sensing her insincerity.
A news report the size of a billiard ball crashes out of the TV and sips your tea while words roll about like marbles. Did they really think you would not see through their insincerity?
You know insincerity all day long, you watch it grow, you see its serpents heads popping out of its flowers and spitting blood and fire as the butterflies hover overhead.
You go to sleep and you have a nightmare that you have become insincerity incarnate.

The Porn Industry

Having got myself into a bit of a mess because of a pornography addiction I have been asking myself how did it happen. How did I get hooked. I believe I got caught up in the explosion of pornography in recent times. It began with digital technology at the turn of the century and has been attracting a whole lot of bad stuff since. You may sit at home watching it in what you think is isolation. But do a little research and try and comprehend that the actual scale of it has got beyond comprehension, it is a 21st century epidemic. It is something that you can break away from, you just have to learn – to hate it.

I have copied this from Fight the New Drug Website.

Consumer stats from NCOSE that are hard to believe:
1. 64% of young people, ages 13–24, actively seek out pornography weekly or more often. [1]
2. Teenage girls are significantly more likely to actively seek out porn than women 25 years old and above. [2]
3. A study of 14- to 19-year-olds found that females who consumed pornographic videos were at a significantly greater likelihood of being victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault. [3]
4. A Swedish study of 18-year-old males found that frequent consumers of pornography were significantly more likely to have sold and bought sex than other boys of the same age. [4]
5. A 2015 meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries found that internationally the consumption of pornography was significantly associated with increases in verbal and physical aggression, among males and females alike. [5]
6. A recent UK survey found that 44% of males aged 11–16 who consumed pornography reported that online pornography gave them ideas about the type of sex they wanted to try. [6]
7. Porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, & Twitter combined each month. (HuffPost)
8. 35% of all internet downloads are porn-related. (WebRoot)
9. 34% of internet users have been exposed to unwanted porn via ads, pop-ups, etc. (WebRoot)
10. The “teen” porn category has topped porn site searches for the last six years (Pornhub Analytics).
11. At least 30% of all data transferred across the internet is porn-related. (HuffPost)
12. The most common female role stated in porn titles is that of women in their 20’s portraying teenagers. (Jon Millward.) (In 2013, Millward conducted the largest personal research study on the Porn Industry in the U.S. He interviewed 10,000 porn performers about various aspects of the business.)
13. Recorded child sexual exploitation (known as “child porn”) is one of the fastest-growing online businesses. (IWF)
14. 624,000+ child porn traders have been discovered online in the U.S. [7]
15. Between 2005 and 2009, child porn was hosted on servers located in all 50 states. (Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection)
16. Porn is a global, estimated $97 billion industry, with about $12 billion of that coming from the U.S. (NBC News)
17. In 2018 alone, more than 5,517,000,000 hours of porn were consumed on the world’s largest porn site. (Ponhub Analytics)
18. Eleven pornography sites are among the world’s top 300 most popular Internet sites. The most popular such site, at number 18, outranks the likes of eBay, MSN, and Netflix. (SimilarWeb)
19. “Lesbian” was the most-searched-for porn term on the world’s largest free porn site in 2018. (Pornhub Analytics)
20. The world’s largest free porn site also received over 33,500,000,000 site visits during 2018 alone. (Pornhub Analytics) Seven digits make a million

Society is impacted by this, it is a staggering world wide empire of pornography. Who knows where this seemingly uncontrollable industry will lead. What developed in the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah in the bible don’t seem to be as impossible after all .

Song: When You Said that Word

This is a song I made up at the Mary Ward centre song writing evening class with Tutor/teacher Heather McClelland of the Sugar Sisters . I’d like to say that her Ukulele playing somehow influenced what I did. I was thinking along the lines of a 1965ish pop song. Totally out of date for these times I suppose, but a bit of fun anyway. I hate my own singing and its been forgotten for about 5 or more years now in my folder. So here goes he said bravely. It must have been recorded by Heather as part of her course. PS Sorry to inflict this on you. Love and Peace.

Music notes: Old Spanish Blues

This is something I made up on my guitar. It started as a Spanish guitar lick and somehow converted to a blues. Forgive the poor performance, it really is only a sketch of something that I did in little less than a hour and then left unfinished. Ah, the old unfinished song I can hear my contemporaries say.

Song: Silence Speaks Volumes

This song came out of a songwriting class at Mary Ward Centre London under Heather McClelland, a member of a Vintage Vocal Harmony Group called the Sugar Sisters. She gave the class a number of random everyday phrases and asked us to come up with something. At the end of the day she tried to record each songwriters song. Some really good songs too. I joined her in a small dusty room and began coughing from the dustiness because of my asthma and/or allergy. I have been planning to do a painting of her playing the Ukelele (which she also was teaching at the college), from a photo of her in the college prospectus. I was going to make the painting realistically but I got interested in an art duo from the 1940s called the two Roberts: Colquhoun and McBryde and came up with the drawing you see in this post. Well too much information you probably say.

Please click for an audio and pdf of song

Silence speaks volumes

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The contestants are gathered in the town.

The contestants are gathered in the town square somewhere on the Midwest plains. The master of ceremonies arrives.

Years before the game began the beginnings of long strips of coloured plastic tape were laid down into the square that stretched for miles out across the land and into the Rocky Mountains. Each tape chose its contestant by a secretive whisper that only they could hear. Sometimes more than one contestant was chosen and sometimes a contestant chose more than one tape. Each tape represented a pathway of life for them o follow, an ideal, a philosophy or a plain command that would appeal to their senses, their needs for something to follow in life. Year after year new tapes representing new ideas were laid down from the town square and off into the wide distance until the thinkers had exhausted every avenue of possibility. And no on this spring morning the game would begin.

The stating whistle blew. Out of necessity quite often, the solo contestants joined together to form teams to follow the tape. in other situations but one individual would choose but one tape. In other instances some tapes got no takers and one tape led the hapless contestant in a loop back to where he began.

What philosophy, belief or practice would win? Perhaps no one would win, perhaps in the end the tape ended on the top of a mountain with nowhere else to go; or into a whirlpool of rapids where it shook nervously in the abyss. Some contestants having reached the end of the tape carried on across the Rocky Mountains into California. Some contestants returned to the town to find an unused tape.

From the sky a traveller would see a huge rainbow coloured trail stretching for miles across the land like a modern Nazca line. At the end of the year the tapes were blown by the wind and wrapped themselves around the mountains.

The master of ceremonies gathered his fees and left town but before he disappeared he gave a speech in the public square which began, “I have something to say to America”, and ended with “farewell”.

Song: All I ever aimed to do

All I ever aimed to do

Please click on for audio file and PDF of song

Lyrics

I’d look around and there you’d stand
on the verge of tears with your head in your hand
your temper flared and then one night
it was sexual freedom and women’s rights
and all I ever aimed to do
was try and get used to you
try and get used to you

Oh give me a night and give me a day
when I can be my own man in my very own way
and give me a glimpse of Jesus Christ
and tell me the story of your life
for all I ever aimed to do
was try and get used to you
try and get used to you

© 2019 michael aitken

 

 

 

If I should go to prison.

If I should go to prison and they take all of my hard work away
wrap my ashes in a glossy girly magazine and bury them at the crossroads.
If I should go to prison where the moon shuts itself away in the grubby toilets and weeps  for the inmates
be sure to keep watch for the black coach and horses that come to carry away my soul.
If I should go to prison let the cat stare through the prison bars like she always does when I’m at home.
If I should be led into prison along the black carpet into the curse of my fathers
give my loneliness to the gravedigger and my dreams to the wild demon.
If I should go to prison where they say I have always belonged
give my shadow to the devil in the clock tower where it can hang in the dust.
I am on trial for looking at pornography and my heart is crushed and broken.

Once when I was a foolish man I trusted myself with pornography. I said to myself I live at the bottom of the heap so let me look at its fruit. I said to myself I am like a featherless phoenix that is going blind let me see into the world before darkness overtakes me. The tree of pornography that grew in the fields outside of the garden of paradise; I looked into the heart of the tree and saw children drowning and women burning and men sleepwalking. I made for myself the chains that bound me. I did not go begging anymore for love and love looked on with exceptional displeasure.