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Partera Blog

Remembering Day 2015: A Reprise

3 years ago

First written in 2013. Today, once again, memories of my father, thanksgiving for the poetry of Wilfred Owen, thoughts of South Sudanese …


Remembering Day 2014: A Reprise

4 years ago

DULCE ET DECORUM EST

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, 
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs 
And towards our distant rest began to trudge. 
           Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots 
           But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;  
           Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots  
         Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
                           Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, 
                           Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; 
                           But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
                    
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . . 


Bibi’s Terrorists

6 years ago

Dear Bibi and your Canadian buddy, Steve:

We’ve just marked a day here that was originally meant to be all about remembering so we won’t forget how bloody, uselessly, senselessly awful war is and that we shouldn’t do it again. Now it’s all we do, all we care about. We R War.

We beggar our social programmes because we want the toys of the big boys, stealth bombers and big honkin’ ships; we want to be ‘muscular’, we want to ‘punch about our weight’! We wanna be in the big leagues, eh. We write messages on missiles destined for some unseen enemy out there.


The Games of Life: Postcard from the Philippines #4

6 years ago

I awaken to the early morning sounds of garbage removal workers outside my window. From the sitting room of the CPU hostel, I look out the window to see men in overalls tipping the week’s rubbish into large open containers on wheels, expecting to see amongst the driveway détritus the emaciated and bloodied corpse of one of the gang of felines engaged in the caterwauling Malthusian struggle of the early evening hours. The air remains heavy from last night’s downpour, which likely put an end to the growling, screaming cacophony below. The clothes I hung last night to dry on my jute clothesline, strung from one grated window to another, have barely lost a drop of their moisture through the night.


Dear Mr Prime Minister: Israel, Iran and Canada

6 years ago

Dear Mr Prime Minister:
I have two questions for you and our Minister of Foreign Affairs: Why are you aligning this country with Mitt Romney in the affections of Bibi, said in the New Yorker, reprinted in Ha’aretz, to be ‘arrogant’ and ‘dangerous’? Which gives rise to so many more: Why have you completely abandoned Canada’s honest-broker position with respect to the Occupied Territories? The DFAIT website has not changed; there has been no discussion… In whose interests has this sea-change, having a huge impact on our international reputation, been engineered? Whose voices, whose persuasions move you to act contrary to both international law and the well-being of those living in the already-volatile Middle East? of Canadians? of all human beings wishing quietly for peace and an earth that survives the Leviathan of the military-industrial-carbon complex? Cui bono? The purveyors of the trinkets of war-making? Bibi and his local propagandists? I object strongly to this dangerous trajectory of violence and hatred. Stop. Now.


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