Thursday, August 30, 2007

No more billions for Mr. Bush's mistake

Dirty Deaths in Iraq

"They never told The Folks Back Home about
the filthy deaths. . . Dirty deaths were the
commonplace clowns smoking idle cigarettes
backstage at a circus filled with clowns."

Richard Condon, The Manchurian Candidate

You see a stop sign ahead and you accelerate
to avoid a roadside bomb; you're afraid you'll

end up a dirty piece of black bleeding flesh
in the wreck: head in Baghdad, feet in Basra.

You play with swivelled hand jeux de cartes
en ligne - Black Jack rules, $50 billion more

at stake without the turn of a voter's card.
You play the cards you're dealt because

you have no option: the clowns are laughing;
you want to win but you fear the joker.

Christopher T. George


"Bush Wants $50 Billion More for Iraq War"
Headline, Washington Post, August 29, 2007

Contact your Congressman and tell him or her:
"No more billions for Mr. Bush's mistake."

And today's headline in the Post reads "Report Finds Little Progress on Iraq Goals. GAO Draft at Odds With White House."

The ruinous war that Mr. Bush began just runs on and on, billions poured into the desert sand, billions of dollars and weapons unaccounted for. American GIs and Iraqi civilians and others continue to die in a chaotic and worsening situation. Leaving apart the misrepresentation of Saddam Hussein's danger to the world that the Bush administration was guilty of four years ago before the war, to both the United Nations and to the American people, this war is causing a grievous wound to the American economy as well as to the standing of the United States in the world. I know the fear among Congress and those running for President is that the United States cannot now leave the Pottery Barn (using the analogy that was attributed to then Secretary State Colin Powell) without fixing the mess, and that a regional cataclysm could ensue if the United States simply leaves. The point though is that the United States has done enough damage in the area. The war cannot be "won." It is now time to turn the Iraq over to the United Nations and for the administration to work with international agencies to calm the region and rebuild Iraq.

On a nicer topic, note the following deadline tomorrow:

This is to remind you that the deadline to submit work for the Fall issue of Loch Raven Review is fast approaching on Friday, August 31. We have had the pleasure of publishing a number of the fine poets and other writers in the past and we look forward to continuing to do so. Go to our website to check out our submission requirements and also the latest issue of our quarterly electronic journal.

We might remind you that we do print an annual print issue of Loch Raven Review so publishing with us is more than publishing with a zine, it is also print publication.

While we have quite a few submissions for the Fall issue already in hand we are still looking for quality work in poetry, short stories, essays, etc. We are also interested in translations. Note that in terms of original poems we prefer nonpublished work.

We are pleased to say that our literary journal is getting to be one of "the" places to publish. We hope you will submit if you have not already done so.

Best regards

Chris George and Jim Doss, Editors
Loch Raven Review

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Liverpool!

Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today led the birthday tributes to the city of Liverpool, as it celebrates its 800th birthday. Hit the title above to read some of the tributes.

Above: The dome of Liverpool's 18th Century Town Hall with Minerva as the allegorical figure at the pinnacle and the city's official 800th year flag celebrating its history 1207-2007.

Top: Official birthday cake for the city. Courtesy of Sayer's Bakery.

Bottom: Yours truly in my Liverpool FC regalia, pictured in our computer room. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LIVERPOOL!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chris George in Mersey Minis "Longing" Anthology

Mersey Minis Longing Cover

I am delighted to say that I along with Yoko Ono Lennon and poet Roger McGough, and local writers such as Dave Calder, Gladys Mary Coles, Matt Simpson, and Dave Ward will have works published in "Longing," Volume 3 of the Mersey Minis series of books about Liverpool and to be given out for free as a present to the people of Liverpool on the city's 800th birthday, Tuesday, August 28. The launch of the book is to be at St. Nicholas's churchyard on that day: recognized to be the oldest place in the city to have been in continual use since the 13th Century. That's a view of St. Nicholas's Church up above, with St. George's Flag flying in a gale during the visit Donna and I made to the city in May.

The short impression that I am publishing in "Longing" concerns St. Nicholas's and is called "Beatles St. Nicholas Sonata" and was occasioned by coming back late to the Crowne Plaza Hotel after a Yo Liverpool forum meet-up at the Santiago de Alma in Penny Lane (formerly St. Barnabas Cottage where my Uncle Bill and his family lived some 80 years ago!!!). Donna and I had been on a tour of little known Beatles sites in the city along with Gerard Fleming, to whom the article is dedicated. Unfortunately I won't be able to make it back to Liverpool for the book launch but I have asked that Ged and a guest represent me.

The list of writers included in "Longing" and places to obtain the book in Liverpool city center can be found by clicking on the title above. It's a very well done series. I bought a copy of "Landing," the first book in the Mersey Minis series, while we were in the city and I have got a lot out of reading the impressions of writers famous and not so famous who have visited the city over the years.

I have just realised the figure at the background on the graphic on the front of "Longing" is the statue of Eleanor Rigby in Liverpool by Tommy Steele.

The picture of me below was taken by Ged Fleming in St. Peter's Churchyard, Woolton, by a family grave that has the name "Eleanor Rigby" on it. It was in the church hall a few hundred yards away that Paul McCartney met John Lennon in August 1957 -- fifty bloody years ago! However Sir Paul has denied that the grave had anything to do with his use of the name in the song. The "Eleanor" part appears to have come from Eleanor Bron, an actress in the Beatles' 1965 movie, "Help!" It seems to stretch coincidence but it's nice to see the grave and to make the connection that Paul "might" have got the idea for the song from seeing her name on the grave. . .

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Burting In Again

Crepe myrtle in bloom in Washington, D.C., on a recent morning. The flowering shrub, which also blooms in lavender and white, blooms at the height of the hot and humid U.S. summer.

Burting In Again

I got yelled at
on the DC Metro
for "burting in"
ahead of a couple:
he spoke with
a Dixie accent
like molasses.

to ride Metro
that's what
you gotta do,
"burt in."

Did I have
my burting-in
face on

like Burt
Reynolds in

I hope I did.

Christopher T. George

Watching Honey Bees Pollinate Lavender on July 4

I take out the trash--a Glad Bag bulging
with my wife's old shoes and shoe boxes.

And I stand smoking a cigar, pressed flat
against the Twenties wall of our apartment

house watching tawny bees pollinate the blue-
purple flowers on overgrown aromatic branches.

An ambulance rushes by, its siren blaring,
while the bees continue their essential work.

Christopher T. George

Zen Stream

a push, a pull
continual motion

the mill wheel turns
trout swim upstream

life's eternal duties
a baby in her booties

poems get written
sermons get delivered

one life begins and
another's severed

the song continues
a lullaby
a lament

lies and love

humans down here
and God above

Christopher T. George

Beckham's Parking Cars

Three days after Beckham made
another million coming off
the bench in a downpour to help

the LA Galaxy lose to DC United,
as I drive into the garage, I spy
Rodney with his cap and gold

tooth wearing the England
shirt of no. 7: "Beckham."
I greet him and he tells me

"That's my name,
Rodney Beckham."

Christopher T. George

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Heat in Washington DC and the Liverpool 800 Poems Project

It has taken some days to get posting on the Blog back up to speed. Sorry. There was some glitch in the template that I could not resolve. My thanks to Charlene Dewbre for helping me solve the problem.

Top photograph yours truly this morning in my shirt from the first American Ripper convention held in New Jersey in 2000. It's getting up in the 90's here in Washington DC and the bosses where I work decided to allow us to dress down -- so those who wanted to come in wearing t-shirts and shorts! A photograph taken with my new Samsung camera phone.

Next photograph of a cheeky squirrel in the gardens of the Smithsonian Institution on the Mall in Washington, as per the poem below, a cinquain.

observed: cheeky
guys who pinch the veggies
from the Smithsonian gardens!
Look see!

Christopher T. George

I am presently heavily involved both in myself contributing poems in honor of the 800-year history of my native city of Liverpool, as well as helping behind the scenes in terms of proofreading and fact checking.

Organizers Roger Cliffe-Thompson and Billy Moon report that they presently have 522 poems collected so far with 278 to go to meet the target of 800 for the city's 800th anniversary on August 28.

To hear an interview with Roger and Billy go to the Radio Merseyside Interview at .

New Jersey poet Laurie Byro and New Yorker George Wallace are among the poets who have contributed to the project. If you are interested in contributing a poem, go to

There are also talks underway to have a possible Liverpool - New York video or podcast link to celebrate the Liverpool anniversary and the links between the two cities. If things work out as planned, simultaneous readings will take place in New York and Liverpool later this year. Watch this space.

Photograph courtesy of Kev Keegan.