Monthly Archives: April 2011

Influence: A Martian Sends a Postcard Home

A Martian Sends a Postcard Home (Oxford Poets)A Martian Sends a Postcard Home by Craig Raine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the first book by Craig Raine that I read. The world he showed me was so alien that it took me a long while to understand his work. I was in my first year at university and none of his work was included in the curriculum, so I felt I was on my own trying to crack a mysterious code that would reveal a whole new universe. Looking back, I am glad I persisted.

I know this is not a proper review of the book, I’m still waiting for my own personal copy to arrive delivered by a UFO. 🙂

View all my reviews

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Big Ears, Big Clubs, and the Fifth Fleet…Ssshhhh

Bahrain, do the big ears of Washington not hear you?

Here’s part of an article from the Independent. Now tell me they are playing it fair, these so-called do-gooders of NATO and the armed Western powers?

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Bahrain escapes censure by West as crackdown on protesters intensifies 

The Shia were already angry at the ferocious repression by Bahraini security forces of the pro-democracy movement, which had sought to be non-sectarian. After the monarchy had rejected meaningful reform, the wholly Sunni army and security forces started to crush the largely Shia protests on 15 and 16 March. 

The harshness of the government repression is provoking allegations of hypocrisy against Washington, London and Paris. Their mild response to human rights abuses and the Saudi Arabian armed intervention in Bahrain is in stark contrast to their vocal concern for civilians in Libya.

The US and Britain have avoided doing anything that would destabilise Saudi Arabia and the Sunni monarchies in the Gulf, to which they are allied. They are worried about Iran taking advantage of the plight of fellow Shia, although there is no evidence that Iran has any role in fomenting protests despite Bahraini government claims to the contrary. The US has a lot to lose because its Fifth Fleet, responsible for the Gulf and the north of the Indian Ocean, is based in Bahrain.

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from Wikipedia: The Fifth Fleet


RHINO 2011!!!! Yipppeeeeeeeeee!!!!

RHINO 2011 has published my poem “People Like You” which is included in Alien to Any Skin. They are putting up an mp3 page of authors reading their poems – I am yet to submit my croaky voice. 🙂


HERE IS THE LINK


Transnational Mining Companies GO AWAY!

Sorry for shouting there. But these firms ignore the basic rights of indigenous people all over the world. Here is a quote from another website – I hope you go and read the whole article.  It falls short of naming all the greedy mining companies and specific Philippine government officials though.

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According to Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), nearly a million hectares or 51 percent of the Cordillera land area is covered by licensed operations and pending applications of mining transnational corporations (TNCs).

Mining operations and applications are in Abra, Benguet, Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao and Mountain Province. Jaime said that mining corporations have also entered the coastal areas in Ilocos region. She added that the mining projects will eventually poison the Abra river, a major river system in the north. “Mining TNCs have destroyed the mountains, the rivers and the sea,” Jaime said.

Besides mining, there are existing and proposed dam projects in the Cordillera.
“The whole of Cordillera region is being sold out,” Jaime said.

In Cagayan Valley, there are two FTAAs covering more than 20,000 hectares of land and eight MPSAs covering more than 21,000 hectares. Jaime said among those affected are the Bugkalot and Ilongot tribes in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, the Agta, Aggay and Ayta in Cagayan, Quirino and Isabela and the Igorots who were displaced from Cordillera and have settled in the provinces of Cagayan Valley.

“These Igorots are again facing the threat of being driven away by mining,” Jaime said.
In Central Luzon, there are 18 MPSAs and 5 EPs mostly in Zambales province. Indigenous tribes such as Ayta, Dumagat and Igorot are most affected.

Jaime said mining TNCs are also targeting Mindoro and Palawan. More than 99 mining applications cover more than 51 percent of Mindoro and Mangyans comprise 21 percent of the population in the province. In Palawan, meanwhile, 14 towns are covered by existing operations and mining applications. There are more than 280,000 indigenous peoples subdivided into six groups.

“Foreign large-scale mining would wipe out indigenous peoples in these areas. It is tantamount to ethnocide,” Jaime said.

FROM:  Cordillera: Indigenous Peoples Raise Alarm Against Aggressive Mining Policy of Aquino

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(Ang Pag-uwi ng Bangkay)


Burnt Bridge April 2011 Online Issue

Two poems from my book Alien to Any Skin got accepted by Burnt Bridge Online.  A new poem, “Imagining Crumbs,” was also accepted.  You get a free PDF download of the issue.


“The Side of Love” video for my poem

This might be the last one for a while. I need to regroup and recover my weary troops of invisible little helpers.

Here’s the link to THE SIDE OF LOVE, a poem dedicated to the late Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish. Music from El-Funoun.

Images from the photo galleries of the International Solidarity Movement. Footage of Israeli forces bombing Gaza borrowed from kaiserx30.