Windows on the world


Amnesty International 
Human Writes~ 16 March 2001

A selection of poetry read at a fund-raising event in Cockermouth

In presenting these three pieces I tried to show: 
  • that torture is not something that happens 'somewhere else'; it happens everywhere.  We have to work on our own faults as well as persuading others to change.
  • that we need to know why we oppose the abuse of human rights.  I have quoted from my book O Lanoo! which is a distillation of ancient pre-Hindu texts describing the unity of spirit connecting all humanity, hampered by our bodies and emotions.
  • that we all have it within us to spread violence or compassion.

Twas ever thus

I’m first to rise, and stagger down
To ' kitchen in my dressing gown.
I wake the kids and make your bait,
Make sure that none of us are late,
You shout, "Don’t make a bloody fuss".
~ ‘Twas ever thus.

I wash the dishes, mop the floor,
The grinding, numbing, household chores.
Then run to school to peel the spuds
And wash the veg and make the puds.
Then stand in ' rain and wait for ' bus.
~ ‘Twas ever thus

I make your tea and keep it warm
Till you decide to stagger home.
I don’t provoke your drunken blows
But end up with a bloodied nose.
You rant and rave and shout and cuss.
~ `'Twas ever thus.

You fumble me, your mouth agape;
It isn’t love, but not quite rape.
And then you sleep, and grunt and snore
I’m violated to my core.
My tears just seem so ludicrous.
~ `'Twas ever thus.

And then I rise above our bed,
Look down at my old battered head,
My soul breaks through its prison bars
I soar up to the waiting stars.
I bathe in healing love and light,
Gain strength and courage through the night.
I know that I am glorious!
~ `'Tis ever thus.


O LANOO! ~ Extracts

The Sons of God gave birth to physical Man,
And for the first time the Divine Spark was
Separated from the Divine Source by a wall of Matter.

Whilst remaining part of the Universal Essence
The sparks of spirit appeared, to Man’s clouded perception,
To be separate and discrete
As they entered the individual physical forms evolving on Earth.

And when the Gods faded from his field of vision
Man saw himself as King of Earth,
And believed that he was a God;
Ego eclipsed the Divine Spark
And Spiritual Man became the Man of Self.

The Golden Age became a distant memory,
For although the Gods were still with Man
He could no longer perceive them
And felt abandoned in an Age of Darkness.

The need for speech arose
And communication took the place of communion,
Simple grunts developed into complex language,
And Man, in his ignorance,
Thought that words could bridge the gulf between individuals.

Now men responded to physical urges
And they took wives from each other,
And ego battled with ego, Man with Man,
And poor Earth knew for the first time the meaning of war.

Now, O Lanoo, Man could see no further than his own body,
Which thus became an object of worship,
His whole life dedicated to satisfying basic desires.  

Man lost the ability to sense all but the lower vibrations
Through his five lower senses;
The third eye, true window of the soul,
Receded and atrophied leaving the pineal gland
As a sad reminder of a distant glorious past
When the art of "seeing" embraced eternity.

And with the loss of his third eye
Man lost sight of the perfect harmony of the Universe,
Balanced by the law of Karma and Rebirth
Which decrees that every action has a reaction;
Every cause has an effect.

Man forgot that his Soul is subject to no Fate,
Random or predetermined,
Save that which every Being creates for himself.

And as his higher senses faded Man became imprisoned
In a physical body constrained by Time and Space.



He crucified the Son of God, took slaves from Gaul and Britain
Sailed the seas to rape and pillage, banished Jews from Spain
He murdered Inca, Aztec, Sioux, Zulu, Aborigine


He sparked a ‘cultural’ revolution, ‘Occupied’ Tibet and France
Incarcerated Gypsies, Jews, destroyed the fleet at Pearl
He built a railroad out of Burma, napalmed village huts


He used the thumb-screw and the rack, drowned or burned old witches
He pulled out nails and eyes and limbs, used cattle prods ~ and worse
“For God” or “Country” ~ so he said, but all for power of self


She gave birth to the Son of God, nursed the sick and dying
Raised her children whilst he fought,
And that gentler spirit within
                                    Gave mercy, love, compassion, and art to lift the soul


The hawk and dove live in us all, we choose which spreads its wings
But our tomorrow will be his story
                                                       Unless we live her story

© Harvey Tordoff
March 2001