Posts Tagged With: History

Līgo Haībun Challenge – Polkadotted Memories

 
Belinda-Broughton2

Aye well, there I was, in Nagyatad, early 1990s, trying to do something for the Bosnian refugees. Nagytad, a town in southern Hungary, bordering Croatia and near Bosnia, and where busloads of Bosnian refugees were sent. Anti-tourists, staring from bus windows, not in shock, not in boredom, not in anything actually. War survivors are just like you and me, and are not a special breed of kittens needing petting, or incapables needing shouted at to stand in line. But one of the penchants of our western world is organisation and efficiency, so they do get shouted at, and organised. But what is almost worse is the sentimentality that afflicts many. And refugees make ideal people to coo at.

In Nagyatad new arrivals were locked in a cage for a week or two. The UN supplied finances to pay doctors to check for illnesses and disease, but the greedy Hungarians pocketed the cash and put new refugees in cages to see if any disease developed. If not they were chucked into the dorms or sent to the dark corridors of the psychiatric wing, in this ex-Soviet military camp with radioactive grounds and tiled paintings of tanks firing emblazoned on walls.

I befriended a young blond woman who lived in one of the cages, a few days before I left. It was a strange friendship, her, bubbly, glad to be alive, in fetching red polkadotted dress, about to suffer her breakdown, and me, absurdly and stoically upset, knowing more details about her family in Bosnia than her.

when I think of her
I hope she is free now
in all ways

Līgo Haībun Challenge here. Drawing by belindabroughton 

Categories: Haibun | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Carpe Diem Haiku – Gypsies

Before I post my haiku, or you read it, I’d be honoured if you just took a few minutes to watch this video of the guys – gypsy dancers I know from far back. If anyone thinks this is easy stuff, well, I think you might want to try it.  know exactly how hard it is, and remember one night with guitars, milk jugs, my bongo drum and an Australian with didgeridoo. A beautiful night but some of the toughest dancing ever to learn. But its the synchronicity also – just watch how it builds up, and you’ll go some way to understanding my love for the roma people, the gypsies. Worth every minute, this short video.

barefoot gypsy
dances her path before me
-a romany blessing

russian_gypsy_girl_20_by_dg2001-d2zvdjn

To finish off see how the music reaches deep in this gypsy home. These roma are quite light-skinned, and in my experience more so than the lovely bronze tone some friends had. Makes no difference of course, once a gypsy always a gypsy for many of the European population, who discriminate against roma people, the largest minority in Europe, in the crudest of ways.

 

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

But If You’re Talking About Destruction You Can Count Me Out/In

”The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”

(Che Guevara)

‘Revolutionary’, in the image of the brutal if sincere Che, has a positive, romantic flair much in the same way as to ‘nurse’ something along is positive, and to ‘doctor’ it isn’t, inexplicably.

But nursing things along is not what revolutionising is all about, according to Che, and I dare say he knew. It is about short, sharp shocks. However, the problem with revolution’s revolutionaries is the penchant for reinstalling a ”past”, instead of wanting to take society a step forward. Granted, the laws of physics apply fully to politics: every action demands an equal reaction. How else could we explain Hitler, Pol Pot, Ayatollah Khomeini and Pinochet? How else could we explain the swing the Republicans took  in USA, that sees them now seeking to ‘moralise’ while calling for ‘less government’?

Revolutions can work long-term.  1776 is the classic, as was the French revolution, kind of, and the Haitian revolution against slavery in 1791 (though massive repayments to previous slave owners after the successful revolution permanently damaged the nascent Haiti’s prospects).

Maybe Che Guevera was an exception, but his masters, or minders in Moscow – whether he liked them around or not – were among the most conservative of all, and the Soviet revolution had long lost its way. But Che’s early writings show a doctor horrified by poverty in latin America and its blatant causes, for which the North American and European continent heartedly contributed to.

Tonight 409 years ago, a revolutionary at the other end of the evolutionary scale called Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the houses of parliament, in order to restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The 5th November has now accordingly become Guy Fawkes night in much of England, when British boys and girls blow their fingers off with fireworks instead. Hopefully not too many this year.

An effigy of Guy Fawkes, wheelbarrowed around streets by children mysteriously asking for ”a penny for the Guy” is followed by the tossing of the straw-filled figue onto a large bonfire in towns and villages nationwide.

The real Guy Fawkes fared little better, and was duly hung, drawn and quartered in the best tradition.

Guy Fawkes night needs to be expanded, to symbolically include all the fanatics and fundamentalists who have found their way through the woodwork, as worms do when the foundations are rattled. The trouble is that the foundations do need rattling. Strongly. Catch-22.

Categories: Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Five Sentence Fiction – Edge

“Hola Christopher, where you been these days; it’s been a long, long time.”

“Ciao my friend, well, I been to the East Indies!”

“Oh don’ be crazy my friend, you know if you try to go there you’ll sail straight off the edge of the world!”

“Yeah, like you’d know; instead of sitting here in this taverno drinking vino, why don’t you try some tobacco!?”

“Tobacco, what’s that, some kind of new craze?”

f i v e s e n t e n c e f i c t i o n

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Friday Fictioneers ~ The Code

copyright-renee-homan-heath

Step by step.

A grand last view, if not grand last words: “Keep movin’ ye rat!” A shove in the back.

As if I’d stumble so easily!

And even shady palm trees. .

Step by step. T’wards my necklace of rope, and my ocean, looking suspiciously calm today.

No more maraudin’ when swingin’ from the gallows. No more saucy wenches, teasin’ me of my gains as I hang…

Ah, but I imagine by now you’ll be thinkin'; “what’s a dead man doing writing?”

Did you forget the pirate’s code, and really think the bushes were free of my crew?

…Tut tut…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

100 Words

Friday Fictioneers – welcome aboard!

Picture Renee Homan Heath

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , | 64 Comments

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