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Arundhati Roy: Our Task, (in the Virus Years)

In very much the same way as the coronavirus has entered human bodies and amplified existing illnesses, it has entered countries and societies and amplified their structural infirmities and illnesses. It has amplified injustice, sectarianism, racism, casteism and above all class inequality.

Arundhati Roy ‘Our Task is to Disable The Machine’ Progressive International, 02/05/2020.


Distanced Futures

During the virus years we would trade sourdough starters and kimchi, jam and bread and stranger concoctions, sneaking over garden walls to leave them on doorstops and windowsills. A quick wave, a prohibited flash of friendship, before we were off again on our deliveries. They were small gifts, it’s true – but they spread through the cities silently, like threads.


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Gratitude and inspiration to fiction what the future holds, mined from Kelvin Mason's story 'Future Imperatives (Take 2)'. Kelvin is a far braver writer than I am - and he (and comrades) have a recent book out!


Earth Day, 2020

Happy Earth Day, from a wayward son.

It is hard to characterize my feelings for this weird little rock today, at a time when so much of our access to it has been curtailed, and so much of it is still so in danger from all of those ills we already know about; the habitat loss, species extinction, acidification, continued extraction, the list goes on and on…

I’m certainly no poet, but I’ve been thinking about this day in terms of belonging, of many multiple belongings perhaps, when I felt like I fitted into some part of this world as thoroughly as an ammonite in rock.

Home is the thick gloop of Estuary flats, sticking like plaster to my calves,

Home is the howl and bite of Irish Sea winds over Welsh hills,

Home is the cloud-scatter and brilliance of a brisk sky;

it is the insect-hum and the canvas of hills that make up the South Downs.

It is the towering countries of cummulonimbus, where a younger me fancied they could see distant lands, towers, mountains.

Home is the bustling (loud!) snort of the hedgehog, and the skitter of the fieldmouse that attended the bird table,

Home is the investigations of bumblebees on the eaves of my current house this spring;

Home is the stillness belonging to mossy boulders and crooked trees in an ancient woodland,

Home is watching and laughing with the coughing, miscreant crows through my window.

Home is feathers and pine-cones, rocks and seeds-to-be-planted. It is the ache of work-worn limbs, chapped lips, and cold ears.

Home is hearing the rains outside; and reading our favourite books, aloud in the dark.



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