Recherché

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I sit amongst my dreams

in the graveyard of my mind

like Legion – no chains can bind me

Tormented by my failings

as a father – as a man

a husband, lover, friend…

walking with the dead

into the mist

leaving society…

 

Pacing slowly towards eternal insanity

chanting in unison

sharing candlelit pitiful piety

with aged knights

wearing armour

that has rusted into futility

stopping neither arrow nor sword

my heart pierced by steel

no crown of thorns

as I cling to the cross

thirsty for my saviour’s blood…

 

Forever carrying the splinters, the scars

of infinite salvation

offered freely – yet costing all

morality of the highest order

expected – demanded

countered by universal grace

judgement defeated – vanquished

 

My feet bleeding

from walking on flint

knowing like Joab

I will be struck down

clinging to the altar of the Lord…

 

 

by M.C. Bolton, August 2019,

photo of Bole Hill Quarry, Peak District by OG

9:1 Soul

An uncountable number of books have been written on attaining serenity. Access to this ease of being, our birth right, is offered up in works ranging from the sublime to the quick fix.

The texts aim to end anxiety and promote peace. Some to make money and fame for author and publisher. After all it’s a whole industry, this outward search for meaning.

There are gurus and mentors who have been on their own journeys, seeking peace of mind and they offer up their words to help others.

There are religious sermons, retreats of all kinds, a wide variety of techniques are on offer. But the common factor of all genuine teachings is that they point within. Why?

Jesus said: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21).

A book or speaker might connect you to this teaching for some moments. Faith also plays a part in this and faith brings hope; hope in something greater than this world, beyond our space time dimension…hope brings dopamine and peace.

Lifted by the reminder, the effect wears off and the search begins again – online, elsewhere…The feeling was so freeing, but so fleeting; the search for more is not optional.

So, this 9:1 ratio is a reminder too, that what you seek is not necessarily out there. It would be so convenient if it was consumable like a product, but even the 10% that is consumable is a deceptive figure. This 10% is mainly made up of reminders of the 90% so your outer search will only lead you back inward again.

9:1 is so lopsided a ratio that it means you cannot be in a heavenly, hippy, heightened state all the time – it must incorporate the mundane too. The compartmentalisation of the spiritual from the cerebral and physical is part of the spiritual industry – but, they are all intertwined. Some folk are so heavenly minded they are of no earthly use!  It’s about seeing and doing the mundane and knowing that those acts are on the same path

The 9:1 ratio is not a life of passivity, sitting at home or sleeping for nine hours out of every 10. It is a reminder of what is already known – give up the search for a conveniently packaged messiah and embrace your self. IQ, knowledge and any amount of activity crammed into a lifetime will not save your soul.

The seeking is not confined to what are usually categorised as ‘spiritual’ activities – meditation, chanting, praying, yoga, reading Rumi and so on. Most human activities have peace of mind as the end goal; body building, blogging, gaining knowledge…everyone is seeking peace.

Turn inside to what is constantly available; timeless vastness, where thoughts come and go apparently from nowhere and apparently to nowhere. Who or what is watching the thoughts?

Somebody recently expressed peace this way: “the ever-present flow of love and knowledge within.”

But the 90% experience is beyond words, no matter how eloquent, beautiful and succinct. Expressions of peace are only that, pointers and reminders…

Ponting your attention back at you and reminding you that it is all within.

 

Mark Bolton &

Tom Charles @tomhcharles

 

 

RBKC Scrutiny #3 The Administration Committee Meeting

The future is unwritten…events this week at Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC) could have triggered a political realignment in the north of the borough. Or they could have consolidated Tory power… 

What happened?

On 15th July at RBKC’s regular administration committee meeting, Councillors voted to scrap a council committee that scrutinises RBKC’s response to the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire.

The decision to abandon the scrutiny committee is based on a “residents’ conference” to which 15 people turned up, in addition to 77 who contributed to the consultation in writing.

The two Labour members of the council administration committee joined residents in walking out of Monday’s meeting in protest at the move, leaving four Conservative Councillors to vote through the recommendations. The Tory Councillors had been whipped (compelled) to vote to abandon the scrutiny committee.

The plan for the changes to scrutiny was made by a council panel made up of four Conservatives and one Liberal Democrat, effectively bypassing North Kensington, where all elected Councillors are from the Labour party.

from rbkc.gov.uk

The scrapping of the committee, which will be ratified at full council meeting on 24th July, is part of a review of the council’s scrutiny committee structure which will see the current six specialist committees shrink to four “select committees” overseen by an overview and scrutiny body. Continue reading

RBKC Scrutiny #2

The second in a series of posts about scrutiny of Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC)…

Watercolour of Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall by the architect Sir Basil Spence.
Copyright: the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries (RBKC Libraries)

Since the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, North Kensington residents,  campaigners and writers have attended RBKC meetings to challenge the local authority, bear witness and watch for any signs of a return to business as usual. The latest meeting revealed a local authority losing its credibility, and possibly its grip, on North Kensington. Continue reading

RBKC Scrutiny #1 Grenfell United in Parliament

grenfell_projection_capture_0094

There have been plenty of significant developments in North Kensington as Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC) and the local population deal with the fallout from the entirely preventable June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, where 72 people died. The mainstream media might be busy elsewhere, but there is still a lot going on. With justice and change still not forthcoming, it is important to maintain a factual record and keep up the scrutiny…

Grenfell United

Our updates start in parliament with the survivors and bereaved group Grenfell United (GU) bearing witness to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the situation regarding housing conditions nationwide and developments with RBKC. Although GU’s latest testimony to lawmakers had little or no media pickup, it was of the utmost significance to those wanting to understand what has been happening in Kensington and possible future developments. Continue reading

Phantasmagoria

I saw paradise in her eyes

Eden before the fall

free of snake or thorn

innocence recaptured

through such beauty

 

I stare at her shadow

which slowly overwhelms my soul

any feeble pretence

swept away by truth

 

All too much for one man’s heart

rose of Sharon – lilly of the valley

adorned in jewels

feet of gold

words formless – eluding me…

 

Like that brief silence

in no man’s land

when barrages ceased

before whistles blown

then over the top

to be felled by lead

drowned in mud

 

Ultimate transubstantiation

pitiful cries to God – for Mother

paradise eyes returns

slowly dropping daisies

into my dreams

pulchritudinous – Stendhal syndromatic!

 

My Rosebud – snow globe breaker

I am confused, lost, floating

in a sea of idealistic isolation

clinging only to the

eternal lifebelt of hope….

 

 

© MC Bolton, June 2019

 

 

globe

Acid Rain

Untitled_Artwork

 

What is my reality?

life’s music taking me further away

from what I see – understand

maybe think I know!

I stand amongst

the ruins of civilization

flames all around

time has ceased

forever trapped in this dystopian nightmare

never to die or sleep

 

Yet somehow I have found contentment

peace within myself

accepting my lot

grateful for what I have

not envious of the material rich

their path – never mine

Perhaps once for a time?

 

Acid rain now melting my face

like a waxwork

destroyed by thermite

laughing inwardly

as I become one with the soil

to be moulded again

by God’s hand

into the man

I should have been….

 

© MC Bolton, June 2019

Art © OGCZ 2019