David always told the truth to me

and, of course, we argued endlessly

about what, exactly, was 'true':

both working class self-taught autodidacts,

what would you expect us to do?

I continued to learn a lot from David's poetry too

Until his mighty verses were expunged from view.

David told me the precise name and location

Of a church in ancient Antioch,

In war-torn Syria - desecrated by men

Who brooked no debate over 'truth'.

Authoritarians come in many shapes and sizes,

take on a plethora of disguises,

but only have one tale to tell:

If you don't agree. Off to hell!


Image result for church in Antioch


◄ Love in a police state

Slash and Burn - extinction rebellion ►


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Fri 11th Oct 2019 11:00

Sorry to bang on but an injustice has been done. David is not a sycophant nor petty minded. A renegade, maverick, romantic certainly. In case nobody noticed, with a virulent sense of humour too. A staunch friend, implacable enemy, ex soldier, a mirror on the real world, traits that people might find hard to deal with. Why wouldnt he be cast out?


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Thu 10th Oct 2019 23:35

I miss David's contribution vividly. And Devon's. And elPintor and Robert Mann. Four of my most admired WOL poets gone, right there. I wish there was a path back here for all of them... but I have no solutions.

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Thu 10th Oct 2019 22:43

Brian, there is no glory in posting on this site, nor is there disgrace. I'm sure the banning of a poet is not based on any moral perspective. Poetry of all shapes and sizes and depth belong here. Any other considerations such as winning a mediocre battle to retain that privilege can't surely have our blessing, nor should those who have gone be castigated in retrospect in the name of "truth." Or have we really sunk that low? I wonder.


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John Marks

Thu 10th Oct 2019 20:28

Orwell had, as usual, something interesting to say about dead and dying metaphors such as "toeing the line" in his 1946 essay, "Politics and the English Language," Below is a link to an edition of the ,New York Times' magazine from 1993 in which Cathleen Schine expands on Orwell's topic. One particularly pithy paragraph is:

Some years ago, I experienced a metaphor epiphany while watching "Chariots of Fire." On the screen, one of the skinny young men in flapping white shorts drew a line in the dirt with his foot, then carefully stood, placing the toe of his primitive running shoe against that line. The music began pumping, the scrawny Brits in their underclothes ran like gods, emotions soared, mine among them -- "Toe the line!"

I forget who won the race. But I'll never forget that moment -- an awakening, a usage revelation. Unblock that metaphor!



Thu 10th Oct 2019 20:02

Toeing the line isn't something of which I would boast, Brian. There are plenty of rotten people who would be glad to share your company, I'm sure.

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Brian Maryon

Thu 10th Oct 2019 17:57

Yes I'm blunt, critical, controversial etc. But when contacted by the moderator and asked to delete/amend something, which has happened a few times, I don't argue...I toe the line. That's why I'm still on this side of the line.


Thu 10th Oct 2019 11:33

For all of your "banging on" about it, Brian, one might get the idea that either you have a stake in the outcome of the decision to eradicate David's writing from the site, or you are jealous of the attention and support he has received. Why does it bother you so much?

Furthermore, regarding abuse, you've displayed your blunt and critical tongue on more than one occasion to other contributors. And, I'll go one further and venture to say that the moderators were nowhere to be found when you offered your criticism for criticism's sake.

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Brian Maryon

Wed 9th Oct 2019 10:48

I thought he was the best contributor on this site and I also picked up a few tips from him. But he was also the most controversial, irreverent, and often abusive to those who didn't deserve it...including me more than once. We fell out, which was distressing for me as I thought we'd had a good private relationship.

He challenged authority and did not know when to back off...that was his undoing. It would be nice to see him back but I fear he's blotted his copybook once too often.

This may not be what others wish to hear, but folk on this site are always banging on about the truth and this is the truth as I see it.

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Lisa C Bassignani

Wed 9th Oct 2019 10:07

A lovely tribute. I have also gained much from David's work.

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Jon Stainsby

Wed 9th Oct 2019 07:22

Thanks for this John. I continue to follow David on his wordpress site, and have always enjoyed, and continue to enjoy his work and comments. He has my support.

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John Marks

Tue 8th Oct 2019 23:08

I only became aware of David's situation today. David fought hard (in many senses) against the principles of INGSOC and its literary equivalent 'duckspeak' — automatic, vocal support of political orthodoxies in speech and writing. David knows the importance of thinking for himself - ownlife — a person's anti-social tendency to enjoy solitude and individualism. I don't know what tense to use in writing about David. Who the hell thinks they have the right to silence his voice on this forum God alone knows. I am just about to read your poem Ray. We need to use our only weapon - language - to bring David back where he belongs. But, then again, maybe he will not want to return after being so badly done to. John

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Tue 8th Oct 2019 21:33

Isn't synchronicity a wonderful thing, John. No sooner have I posted a poem than yours comes up in support of David. You illustrate perfectly the stimulation and also the bracing truths he summarized. I for one feel cowed in my inspiration now but your always stimulating work has boosted me no end !


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