Tag Archives: hypocrisy

July 29: Deep in this Skin that I Live



Deep in the skin that I live

Of a thousand tales and a million whispers

Like autumn’s oak on western hills

Olive soaked to save winter’s scourge

Then to glitter in summer’s heat

Deep in the skin that I live

Flows the blood of slavery

And so too the blood of its slave master

Marked by David’s star

And so too the desert’s cross and crescent

Deep in the skin that I live

Throbs the Celtic cross and the cross of George

A thousand generations gone past

A million rejections of enigma’s tale

Led to streams, but stopped from drinking

Deep in the skin that I live

I catch that look again. That curious look, that stupid


Wrapped in subtle nuance. Prepared, well served

That forbidden question: where are you from?

That cold reluctant handshake,

The sudden silence. Distance. No reply

Deep in the skin that I live

Stranger in my fatherland

Alien in my mother’s house

You can run a bit fast, jump a bit high:

Spring rains and washes all away

Deep in the skin that I live

Curled within, locked in, stained outside

The silent scream heard only by silence

Strolls had with pain and frustration

Cards played with insomnia in vain

Tick, and tock, and tick

Let the clock, clock into day

Deep in this skin that I live

A skin that dares dream of tomorrow

And when tomorrow comes

This skin only hopes cynicism never fathers




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May 16: Inter-Galactic Discoveries 1

As I said in my Interruption ‘Third Person Singular’, stories can open our hearts and minds. David’s SF tale has certainly tapped into something with TJH as these next posts will show.



The first Ossyrian mission to Earth had met with mixed success. The ruse of appearing as canines had allowed the fact-finding delegation easy access to terrestrial homes in the British city of Canterbury where the forward base was set up, but the jarring discoveries upset so many of the cherished and tender Ossyrian sensibilities that, ultimately, the investigation was abandoned and, after leaving an illegible note, that nevertheless attempted to communicate a message of the highest moral rectitude, on the porch of the city’s world-famous cathedral, the delegation returned to their ships (parked safely out of sight behind synthetic clouds and equipped with state-of-the-art anti-radar and tracking or detection devices) and gratefully resumed their natural forms of long necks, short legs, thick waists, and large domed heads.

new stuff 3 002

With the lingering (and highly disgusting) taste of dog food still clinging to the bright purple tongues of their alimentary orifices, the weary delegation tucked gratefully into a double-portioned Ossyrian feast; all six types of artificially produced, scientifically assessed, and thoroughly nutritious food and four types of drink that would have, to any other imbiber, seemed very much the same as one another. And, in fact, one of the many gaps in the study would have quickly become apparent at that moment since, limited in their terrestrial culinary experience to various types of dog food and the odd scrap offered by a human or putrid morsel scavenged along the pavement during their frequent ‘walks’, the Ossyrians had completely missed out on an important (and healthy) similarity between their own food and, at least, the native English variety; both entirely devoid of spices and, consequently, nearly tasteless.

As the Ossyrian ships left the terrestrial stratosphere and headed for the great teeming gulf of deep space that would ultimately see them back on their beloved home planet, the long debriefing began.

‘I just can’t understand it,’ Droghmirrxz sighed meaningfully, ‘how they can live with all of the stress…and so unnecessary; clearly an obvious result of their flawed world-view, failure to accurately assess consequences and, let’s face it, a level of hypocritical behaviour that nearly defies belief.’ ‘I know exactly what you mean,’ Gixzmak purred, batting all three of her azure eyes in an attempt to impress (she had had a slow-burning crush on Droghmirrxz for the past eighteen Ossyrian revolutions of its nearer sun). ‘I mean, they profess to believe in equality, peace, mutual respect, social orderliness, and healthy food…but did you notice how many of the earth dwellers, in their actual daily lives, were fractious, ambitious, untidy, and…fat?’ The small group of alien astronauts nodded sagely. ‘Still,’ a faraway expression of almost undefinable longing lit her features, ‘it did feel good, though, being scratched behind my ears…and it was kind of fun,’ she added rakishly, ‘being able to poop outdoors…anywhere I pleased.’ Droghmirrxz blushed a scandalized bright yellow. ‘Really, Gixzmak!!! That’s going too far!’ the group facilitator snapped, but he was smiling and the rest of the group, noting the cue, broke into tepid giggles.

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Six (terrestrial) months later the thoroughly debriefed and smugly satisfied Ossyrian delegation entered the misty, limash-scented atmosphere of their home world and, touching down at the metropolitan space port, were issued the necessary transport tokens for the hover-tram which took each adventurer home for a period of rest in immaculately beautiful but also completely utilitarian apartment cubicles. Later, the delegation was re-united at the diplomatic wing of the sprawling Inter-Galactic HDQ where they were greeted by an unexpected surprise.

(to be continued)



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April 27th: Peace on Earth? II


All went well with the construction of the intergalactic space modules and the training of their crews. Then the question arose as to how the Ossyrians should appear, for naturally they had very long necks, short legs, a thick waist and huge doomed heads which would tend to generate ridicule probably followed by violence from the earthlings. They pondered long and hard on the best disguise to adopt and finally settled on the idea of appearing as dogs. They had noticed that dogs seem to have very positive and generally friendly relationships with the earthlings, being allowed to enter in all the special places beloved of their masters such as in front of the fires they had in the wintertime and on their beds. So all the crews choose to be different kinds of dogs and started training to eat dog food as served up on Planet earth.

Then they were off. It took nearly six months to arrive at their destination, a place called Canterbury in a country called Britain. They had spent the journey time learning Earth Speak. But this was very difficult because unlike the Ossyrians who only had one language the earthlings had dozens, which as the Ossyrians saw right away produced lots of friction and difficulties.

However, as they were in a part of the world where the language, ‘English’ was among the most familiar to the Ossyrians, they found they could understand at least some of what was said but there was another problem, accents. Some of the people who appeared to be speaking English which the Ossyrians had learned were totally impossible to comprehend because they had peculiar intonations. They looked different and the Ossyrian explorers discovered that they were refugees escaping from wars and revolutions in their own countries, or trying to get work in Britain. Many of the British seemed to resent or even fear them but some people had the same attitude as the Ossryians who never discriminated against any groups because it would obviously lead to friction, discord and violence which would damage the whole of society.

To get accepted by the British, the Ossyrian explorers had first to pose as strays and then hope to be adopted. Gradually this happened and within a month all tRip alfie xxxxhe Osssyrians had been accepted into homes where they were well treated and in many cases ‘spoiled rotten’. This did not please them because it interrupted their examination of the earthlings whose attitudes of mind as expressed by their behaviour seemed more and more difficult to understand now that they were living amongst them.

The earthlings were in some ways quite clever and had invented a lot of technically advanced devices such as ‘cars’ .boats’, ‘aeroplanes’,’ computers’ and more obviously useful things like ‘vacuum cleaners’. However, having invented something they never seemed to spend any time on evaluating its real worth and its probable effects on society as a whole before allowing it to be produced en masse. ‘Cars’ and indeed vehicles in general created huge problems, killing large numbers of people, placing huge demands on the health services, damaging the environment by pollution, preventing more efficient types of transport from being developed and causing economic upheavals when the price of oil changed. By contrast Ossyrians did not own individual transport machines and would not want to because public transport was very efficient and cheap.

Then there was food. The Ossyrians ate only six types of food and four types of drink. All of them scientifically assessed to give the greatest benefit to their bodies and minds. Their food was all produced under artificial conditions and there was plenty for everyone. Consequently they were generally very fit and active mentally and physically and this greatly reduced demands on the health and social services. Generally most Ossyrians died at the agy of about 120 anny.


Canterbury Cathedral, ESB.

The other thing which impressed and depressed the Ossyrians was the hypocrisy of most earthlings some of whom professed belief in a benign Goddy who required them to love one another and to be charitable to each other. However, this view was more honoured in the breach than the observance as most earthlings seemed to spend a considerable part of their time in denigrating other people which was regarded as a serious ‘sinny’ and totally unacceptable to Ossyrians because it would obviously lead to friction, possibly violence and unhappiness. So it could not be tolerated because it would destroy their wholequality of life  and undermine their well balanced, happy society.

The Ossyrian observers decide to return to their own planet as they had come to the conclusion that they would not be able to help the earthlings whose noble philosophy of life was so much at variance with their actual mores. In any case communication was too difficult because of all the different tongues and accents. However, the Assyrians did leave a letter in the porch of the Cathedral explaining all this to the people of Canterbury who had been kind to their ‘doggies’. But these visiting ‘doggies’ were looking forward to having some proper food again and living in an honest, non-hypocritical society.

Unfortunately no one could understand Ossyrian English, so this note was assumed to be Chinese and thrown away.

Alfie H and Ajax by NAIB; Alfie B by Jennifer Thompson

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Saturday 5th March: The Pharisee and the Publican


Picture Saturday wk 3

(Image from www.slideserve.com )

In our house, we used to have a poster of different people doing different things.  The caption read: “Thank you, Father, for making me”.  I often thank God for making me the person I am, with my gifts, my way of life, and my relationships but I also thank Him for helping me as I try to overcome my faults.  Today’s Gospel reminds me of this poster.  It is a picture of two men praying, but their attitudes are very different.  One, the Pharisee, is pleased with himself and just thanks God for making him who he is, while the other, the publican, is obviously not pleased with himself: he sees his faults and prays for mercy.

In praying, our relationship with God should be primary. We think of our relationships with people only when we intercede for them or think about how we can help them. The Pharisee – standing at the front – does not think of people in this way, but thanks God for his ability to keep the rules of the Law as to tithes and fasting, unlike others, namely, the publican.  Meanwhile, the publican, who loves God, and knows himself to be a sinner, stands at the back and humbly pleads for mercy.  This is a correct way to relate to God. The Pharisee does not seem to realise he needs mercy – he seems to think he has earned it by keeping the rules. He does not realise that the important thing is to love others, not despise them.

The Pharisee will feel nothing after praying, for he put nothing of his real self into his prayer, while the publican poured his repentance into his. This is why he goes home feeling “at rights” with God.  Note that Jesus spends time with publicans and sinners, while he accuses the Pharisees of being hypocrites.  As He says today through Hosea: “What I want is love, not sacrifice”.  It is the inner attitude that is important, not the outward ritual.



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