Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Right To Defend Ourselves

15.00 GMT on 18th November 2012 3 Israelis dead 50 Palestinians dead Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is ready to "significantly expand" its operation in Gaza after shelling Gaza for the last 5 days. Rockets from Gaza have again landed in Israel, one causing damage and injuries in the city of Ashkelon. Eight Palestinian journalists have bee hurt in Gaza where two media buildings have been hit. Today at least six people have been killed in Gaza including two children from the same family. Both 'sides' have confirmed that attempts to reach a ceasefire agreement are continuing. US President Barack Obama says Washington is "fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself"(BBC News) UK Foreign Secretary William Hague warns that a ground invasion would "lose Israel a lot of the international support and sympathy they have in this situation" but stresses that the Hamas movement, which governs Gaza,bears "principal responsibility" for the current conflict. So when does defence become attack ? When does the disproportionate nature of the two sides become a reason in itself to stop retaliation ? Questions that only those responsible for firing the rockets,dropping the missiles and killing and maiming innocent people can answer. Actions that only they can enforce. In the name of humanity, please make it stop now.

Friday, 9 November 2012

The Windmill House

The Windmill House

The sky has changed since this morning, from a hazy grey to a brilliant blue.
White cumulus clouds hover motionless above the roof of the house and the sun shines hot onto the back of my neck and uncovered head.

I have walked across the causeway to the sound of herring gulls screeching their familiar call but now the noise has changed to the gentle chirruping of reed warblers as they dart in and out of the marram grass, blanketing this part of the island from the sand dunes to the gorse bushes around the pond.
The old windmill still stands, tall and sail-less as it surveys the shore, watching the endless tides ebb and flow day in day out, and through all seasons.

It was winter the first time I met you here. You stood on the turrets of the mill, waving and calling to me as  the wind tried to blow you from your viewpoint. Your words sailed away and out on the tide leaving me not knowing what you’d said.

The door of the house opened outwards onto the scrub of the garden. You said it was for when the snow came; you could push it away from the door and never be blocked in. But snow never stays long here. The salt in the air and the sea itself keep it from settling thickly. The isolation of the house on the island is enough.

The stone floor of the house felt icy even through my boots and you ushered me towards the open fire. It crackled and sparked as the driftwood, gathered from the nearby beach, burned hot.  We warmed ourselves and drank hot coffee from tin mugs, cupping them in our hands, trying to keep the heat in.
We slept on a mattress on the floor of the upstairs room and looked out at the moon
rising over the sea, round and white casting shafts of light sparkling onto the water.
Real moon beams.
We watched the sun setting over the land in vertical rainbows, pink and purple making splendorous skies. In the morning the sun sent streams of light onto the cold stone floor and warmed us with its rays. You said you would never leave this place and I knew that was true.

Today it is hard to imagine winter ever being here. There is a hum in the air from the heat and from the bees hovering around the honeysuckle crawling up and over the porch . I reach out and grasp the metal door handle, pulling it towards me. But the door is locked tight and I don’t have the key. The windows are covered with net curtains and though I peer through the glass all I see is my own reflection looking back at me. Above my head a single kite hovers then swoops down and across the water of the pond. It plucks something from the reeds, a mouse or a shrew, I can’t tell. I feel the beat of its wings as it passes over me. The sun beats down causing the blood to race and my head to pound. In the distance the sea laps onto the half-sand, half-mud beach as the tide begins to turn.+

Some say they saw you on the beach that morning, barefoot by the rockpools then pacing that stretch of sand. You stood for a while, staring towards the horizon. Then you walked. Straight out onto the sand through the rivulets of wavy streams, to the shore. Into the deeper water and then the breakers. And on.

The kite soared in the sky above, watching silently and knowing everything.

(Watercolour painting of "The Snook", Lindisfarne.
by Stewart Platt )

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Evicted - Writers Online One Word Challenge

Entry for Writers Online  monthly One Word Challenge based on the word OUTCAST


                                                                No longer performing 
                                                                at your best,
                                                                for you've lost your speed
                                                                and you've no control,
                                                                now your strength has gone
                                                                and the weakness shows -
                                                                it's time for another 
                                                                to take on your role.

                                                               Though you used to lead
                                                               and you knew the way,
                                                               you are soon outranked
                                                               by the fit and young,
                                                               who lie in wait
                                                               as you perform the test.
                                                               They have no respect 
                                                               for the song you've sung.

                                                               They will stop you moving
                                                               and they'll cut you off,
                                                               till the territory boundary's 
                                                               on the farthest side.
                                                               You might howl at the moon
                                                               with your soul laid bare-
                                                               Lone Wolf cast out
                                                               with no pack in which to hide.


Graphite by Stewart Platt Nov 2012

(Inspired by the novel Lone Wolf  by Jodi Picoult )

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Pencil by Stewart Platt 6/11/12 



Self - sacrificing,
feeds young from her bloodied breast.
A pelican’s love.

Mindfulness - the New Capitalist Spirituality ?

Since coming across this article in   The Guardian's "Long Read"  my mind has  been full of the issues it raises- so to spe...