We think, feel and do…
1.	These are a few of my favourite things
2.	#MyDailyHaiku
3.	Data Deeds Determination
4.	Cooperation is Alive
5.	We Rise, Roar and Represent
6.	These Streets Are Ours
7.	Thank You
8.	GM Moving in Action 
9.	GM Moving in Action (full version)
10.	Nothing About Us, Without Us, We Said
11.	Inconvenient Truths
12.	GM’s Big Active Conversation No.3 
13.	They Bring the Humanity to the Formality
14.	Disrupting for Good
15.   Our Streets Chorlton
16.	My Dad’s Big ToE
17.	Twas the Night Before Christmas

 
1	These are a few of my favourite things

Rainbows on windows and scarecrows on the street 
Neighbours helping neighbours so all have food to eat
Essential packages delivered without any strings 
These are a few of my favourite things

Admins working overtime on facebook and whatsapp 
Phone trees and leaflet drops and 8pm carers claps
Heroes without capes and angels without wings
These are a few of my favourite things 

Reels of pink fabric, sewing machines rattle 
Stitching new scrubs for those going to battle
Zoom chats, livestreaming and virtual sings
These are a few of my favorite things

When the news bites, when the curve climbs
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things 
And then I don’t feel so bad

Crocheting craftivists plan to yarn bomb the highstreet
Volunteers test out bike deliveries with loaned e-bike fleet
Blue skies and blossom, grateful for spring
These are a few of my favorite things

 
When the cars speed, when the bins full
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things 
And then I don’t feel so bad

Reach Out, Open Kitchen and Cracking Good Food
Thinking of them helps improve my mood
Hardworking butchers and bakers, groceries too
This is my way of saying thankyou to you

When the curve drops, when the ban lifts
When we’re feeling glad
Lets still remember all of those things
That we were grateful we had


August 2020, song to say thank you to local people, community groups and businesses during Covid lockdown
 
2	#MyDailyHaiku

no 1 
When the gap between
What we hear and what we see
Is too great, trust dies

no 2 
My life in the web
Weave and connect across space
Hiding in plain sight

no 3
Appreciating 
The work of friends and neighbours
Lighting up the web

no 4
It’s chucking it down
So must be time for camping!
Happy holidays


Written in August 2020 to try develop a daily habit of writing and sharing during the summer. 

3	Data, Deeds and Determination

Data, deeds and determinatio
We move together like a murmuration
Look out for the flock
And the boats we rock
As we gather and group
Soar and swoop

For women and girls
Bomber jacket, boots or twin set and pearls
Hair long and straight or short tight curls
Women of every age
Together on one stage
Regardless of race, accent or disability
We all have the right to equal care and stability

For parity and respect, in every aspect of our lives
As friends, colleagues, neighbours, leaders
Lovers, partners, sisters, mothers, daughters and wives
To be safe, to be heard
Yes. Each. And. Every. Word.
To participate and represent
By more than 34.4%

For 103 years and counting
Some women have been voting
Yet the scores on the doors
Leave our ancestors doubting 
That we will ever achieve
True parity between Adam and Eve 

But we must, and we can
Be treated equal to The Man
So join us and help us count
Help us organise and hold to account
To make GM a great place
To be a girl, woman and Nan

We are GM
We are #GM4Women

And 2028 will mark the end of our beginning
With data, deeds and determination
We grow and move together like a murmuration


February 2021, for GM4Women launch of the PankhurstFawcett Gender Scorecard 

4	Cooperation is Alive

It’s in our DNA, in our bones
The building of our schools, shops and homes
The working of the lands, 
Our head, heart and hands

It’s in our wikies, and our stickies
It’s in the marching of our boots
And deep within the ground in the fungi roots
Relied upon for the pollination of our flowers & our plants
And seen in action in colonies of ants

It travels in the air we breathe
And glistens on the webs we weave 
It’s the heavy loss we feel as we grieve

It's in our grit, and our wit
When we are at the bottom of the pit
And in the pride stitched into the badge of our favourite kit

It's in the dance of life
Through the trouble, joy and strife
It shines in the care, smile and mutual aid
Of stranger, neighbour and services unpaid 

A friendly nurse, an opened purse
When your tank and bank is empty
The cup that keeps on giving
For as long as we are living

It’s what makes ‘the team’
And what creates the steam
That powers our northern engines and dreams

It’s in the soil and the oil 
That protects us as we toil
And that’s tough to break or spoil

It’s in the kind of power that we grow 
And the ideas that we sow
When we create the conditions for the rising and sharing of the dough

It’s in the stories of your gran
From the rice fields of Japan
In the rhythm and the beats
That line our urban streets

It’s in the buzz of our bees
The whisper of the trees
It’s in our democratic roots 
And community wealth building shoots

In our canals and pioneers 
Cycleways, quietways, memories of brigadiers
It’s heard in the roars of football fans & cricketers

It’s in the magic of Youth Workers and Witches
The healing potion, the thread that stitches 
To repair the Covid wounds and austerity tears
That each and every service and community now bares

It’s in A Bed Every Night and support every day
In the Living Wages that we pay 
Its in Our Northern Spirit 
And Our Regional Sway

From our great, great grandfathers 
To our sister suffragettes
And now the calls of our sons and daughters
To tell the truth, without regrets
It’s the bit we’ve overlooked in our relationship with the planet
It puts life before profit, so the Tory’s like to ban it

It resists the chains 
and the stock market gains
That exploit and extract 
And spin myth into fact

Its in the courage 
To acknowledge 
The systems and structures
and multi-generational ruptures
That enclosed, corrupted
That oppressed, dispossessed

It’s in the depths of our love
It brings peace like a dove
It’s there when we are at our best
Not in competition with the rest

It’s why we hold on tight to each other 
Like sister and brother
And refuse to accept as the norm
That some boats aren’t built to withstand the storm

And, as we sit here in our boxes
Battered, bruised and confused
It’s what gives us hope and pride
A clear purpose to our stride 

It’s key to how we overcome 
And become
Oh so much more than just the sum

It reminds us that we care, 
And allows us to dare, 
To imagine and design a world that’s far less fragile, 
Far more empathetic, adaptive and agile

Greener, Fairer, Kinder, Happier and Fonder
Where bonds grow ever stronger
A world free of greed and hunger

This magic sauce
Of course
Is Cooperation

It’s the magnet and the glue
That binds me with you
Shoulder to shoulder
Hand in hand

Whilst egos fall
Together, in cooperation we will stand
It’s in the we and the us
In the building of our trust
That gives strength to the many, not the few
We are cooperators, through and through
It’s who we are, and it’s what we do


Written in February 2021 for a Cooperative Party Conference  

5	We Rise, We Roar, We Represent

We Rise, We Roar, We Represent
We are the 51 percent
We march, we chant, our truths we speak
We shine a light when all feels bleak

We dance, we sing, swing our hips and pray
We grow hope for the future, we grow pride in today
In our sisterhood and solidarity
We share pakoras, dumplings and almonds in mint tea

Together we laugh, we share anger and grief, we cry
And when hate showers down, we refuse to stand by
When others wrong, we stand strong
Because Manchester is our home and it’s where we belong

On the shoulders of ancestors, corseted and starched
Alongside our global sisters, and those hungry and parched
We are strong Manchester women
And this, I promise is just the beginning

We will Rise, We will Roar, We will Represent
Until equality is felt by each and every one of the 51 percent

Written in March 2021, for Manchester City Council International Women’s Day event

6	These Streets are Ours

When Labour MP Jo Stevens, asked why sentencing for attacking a statue is higher than raping a woman,  the Conservative MP Oliver Dowden, responded by expressing his wish that she take a more ‘temperate approach’

And when Labour MP Ellie Reeves, asked the Attorney General, Conservative MP Michael Ellis, if he grasps the scale of the situation, pointing out that of over 55,000 reported rapes only 1,400 had resulted in convictions, and that the government promised rape review is two years late, the Attorney General said he didn’t appreciate her use of ‘emotive language’

So whilst I’m not in the habit of writing poems to Tory Ministers,  this poem is for you... 

I want you to listen, to really listen
These streets aren’t ours
It’s best to skip from side to side
Dodge dark corners where men can hide
Keep your keys in your hand
Be ready to run on demand
Do you understand?

These streets aren’t ours
Lock car doors, stay inside
If men come close, pick your nose, my mum advised!
Just ignore the whistles and the beeps
Until you’re safely home,
Noone sleeps
Do you understand?

These streets aren’t ours
Keep your walk brisk
Don’t take any risk
Don’t go out alone
Keep talking on the phone
Call me when you’re home
Call me when you’re home..

I listened, We listened, and we understood.
Still Sarah and many others, never make it home
And we each have our personal testimonies

To all the women and girls reading, please know, we see you, we hear you, we believe you and you are not alone

And to all the men reading
No, not all men are bad
But, yes all men have a role to play 
To change the culture, the systems
The structures, the power imbalance and the masculine toxicity
Which perpetuate male violence against women and girls in our city
Every. single. day 
We see you.  We know you.  We ask that you stand with us.  

All Misogyny is hate
Not to be downplayed, it’s not just banter, mate
Those comments and leers, 
They all breed fear
And No,  I won’t ‘calm down dear’

Because these streets are ours
Whatever the hour
Ours to jog, march and play
Any time of the night or day

These Streets are ours
Whatever we wear
In heels, pumps or boots
Whatever our roots

And when hate showers down, we refuse to stand by
When others wrong, we stand strong
Because this is Manchester 
And these, streets, parks, public spaces are where we belong

June 2021, speech in support of Motion on street harrassment of women and girls, Manchester City Council 

7	Thank you 

This year has been tough
I mean, really rough
With so many people feeling alone
Stuck at home

But you have made the difference
With your care and your love
And I can’t thank you enough! 

So this is to say
Thank you
Thank you for your grit
And your wit

Thank you 
For helping people stay connected
Beyond their four walls
With all your phone calls

Thank you
For checking in
For the bottle of gin
For putting out the bin

Thank you 
For the smiles
For driving those extra miles
And helping Helen with the admin files

Thank you for the lifts
The gifts
And the reassurance when the mind drifts


Thank you
For the doorstep knocks
Saying hello from your zoom box
Helping keep people afloat
Amidst the bumps and the knocks

Each act of kindness
Helps remind us
That we are not alone

This year has been tough
I mean, really rough
But you have made the difference
With your care and your love
And for that, I really can’t thank you enough! 
Thank you

June 2021, thank you event for volunteers at Chorlton Good Neighbours 


8	GM Moving in Action 

GM Moving is our shared movement
For movement
Our collective call
To enable Active Lives for all
 
So we can all move more, together
Whatever the weather
So we can all move our way
Whatever the day
 
Designing moving in
To our places
And spaces
And increasing the smiles (and the sweat) on our faces!
 
Putting the joy 
Back in the journey
Encouraging play
On the way
 
Making sport more inclusive
Removing the barriers
Making our facilities
Fit for purpose
For all abilities
 
Ensuring nothing is done about us
Without us
And helping each other
To move more each day
 
Throw a stick for the dog
Try a slow jog
Take a walk
As you talk
          	 
Fly a kite
Take a hike
Ride a bike
Scooter or trike
 
Cleaning, gardening, DIY
Or find something new
And give it a try
 
Together we can find a way
To design moving into everyone’s day
 
So get involved, join in
Share your stories on  
Whatsapp, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter
What’s brought you joy?
What’s made you fitter?
 
A photo, a post
At home, in the park
Provides inspiration
Creates a ripple and a spark
          	 
Write moving into your policy
Put in on the agenda
It’s your business too
Whatever you do
 
Moving helps us to take notice
To give and to learn
Happier, healthier
And more connected
Moving brings more benefits 
Than we ever expected!
 
Wherever you live, work and play
There’s a way
To move a little more
Every day
 
We are ALL GM movers
Movers and shakers
It’s who we are
And it is what we do

July 2021, for launch of GM Moving in Action,  shortened version of poem written for a GM Moving in Action LGBTQ+ engagement event  


9	GM Moving in Action (original full length version)

GM Moving is our shared movement
For movement
Our collective call
To enable, Active Lives for all
 
So we can move more together
Whatever the weather
So we can all move our way
Whatever the day
 
Designing moving in
To our places
And spaces
And increasing the smiles (and the sweat) on our faces!
 
Putting the joy back in the journey
Encouraging play
On the way
 
Making sport more inclusive
Removing the barriers
There’s no need to be as fast as the Bolton Harriers!
 
Making our facilities
Fit for purpose
For all abilities
 
And ensuring nothing is done about us,
Without us
Enabling everyone to have a say
And help each other
To move a little more each day
 
Throw a stick for the dog
Try a slow jog
Take a walk
As you talk
 
Fly a kite
Take a hike
Ride a bike
Scooter or trike
 
Cleaning, gardening, DIY
Or find something new
And give it a try
 
A play in the park
A dance after dark
A trip out on a sunny day
Or playing & dancing in the rain, round our way
 
In a team
Under your own steam
To realise a dream
Or make your kids beam
 
Run, box or swim
Weights in the gym
Table tennis, footie
Whilst listening to …Stormzie
Or whatever’s your cup of tea
 
Volleyball, netball
Dodgeball or cricket
Jump, skip, kick, ping
Or flick it
 
There are so many choices
Just pick it!
 
Catch a wave
Make a save
Have a nice gentle bathe
 
Jump in a puddle
Enjoy a cuddle
Or a rugby huddle
 
Kick a ball
Against a wall
Squat down, then stand tall
 
Swing the bat
Play splat the rat
Dust off your yoga mat
 
Take the stairs
Juggle pears
Do handstands in your underwears
 
Like to skate?
Running late?
Seeking fun with a mate?
 
Catch the bus
Without fuss
Leave the car at home
Talk as you walk
To your mum on the phone
 
Together we can find a way
To design moving into everyone’s day
 
Like to dance like noones watching?
Or like to be seen?
Dad dancing or dancing queen?
 
Either way
It all counts!
Just whatever stops us
From staying static
And that’s the magic
It needn’t be acrobatic!
 
Wherever you live, work and play
There’s always a way
To move a little more
Everyday
 
Whatever your reason
Beating a personal best
Or in competition with the rest
 
Another step, or a wheel
Can help us get from A to B
Grows our independence
And a sense of being free
 
It;s not all about the scores
Sometimes it’s simply about getting outdoors
 
To warm up
To cool down
To wipe away your frown
 
To wake you up
To help you sleep
To make memories to keep
 
It’s a great way we find
To still your mind
 
And to move your mood
Your endorphins are a gift
What was stuck, begins to shift
And the weight, starts to lift
 
Brings clarity
And sometimes great hilarity!
 
To get a quick boost
Or to support a gentle path to recovery
Moving your body
May be our greatest discovery
 
Helps us see the wood for the trees
Enjoy the feel of the breeze
The joy of picking mud off your knees
Moving brings all sorts of pleasures,
In small or big measures
 
Push yourself
Or be kind
Find your own pace
It’s not a race
 
A miracle pill
That’s pretty easy to swallow
Give it a go, take the plunge
And others will follow
 
Standing or seated
Energised or depleted
Looking for inspiration?
Check out Undefeated!
 
Rollers and strollers
Wheelers and healers
Movers and shakers
 
Solemothers
Ramblers
Black Girls who Hike
Pride Out riders or
Marching dyke
 
She, he, her, him or they
Lesbian, straight, bi, trans or gay
 
We are ALL GM movers
Movers and shakers
It’s who we are
And it’s what we do

July 2021, written to calm my mind on a restless night and then shared at a GM Moving in Action LGBTQ+ engagement event later that week. 

10	Nothing about us, without us, we said 

Nothing about us, without us, we said
So stop messing about, leaving us out
Together we’ll move mountains
The best solutions flow from our collective mental fountains!
 
Grounded by experience
And rooted in place
We are the people we’ve been waiting for
And together we are ace!
 
We know the problems
We’ve felt them you see
And we want to help fix them
So, lengthen the table, let us in, we plea!
 
We’ll bring our whole-selves
Head, heart & hands
So lets form as one team, on the pitch
Not separated, looking on from the stands
 
We’ll bring gut, grit & wit
To help us climb out of this pit
We’ll cut through
We’ll be the glue
 
But remember this ain’t easy
Don’t expect light & breezy
Cos the truth ain’t all pretty
And we won’t just dance to a ditty
 
So forget your titles & your lanyards
Leave your egos at the door
When we meet as fellow humans
We bring & share so much more
 
Be mindful of the gaps
Of the unequal power
Dont expect our expertise for free
Whilst other ‘experts’ are paid by the hour
 
Our energy is precious,
Please value our time,
Our personal insight came at a cost
Don’t seek to extract, then pretend it’s all fine
 
Listen, listen deeply
Remember, what we share can hurt
Create, space & time,
It’s not the place to be curt
 
Show mutual care and empathy
Share food, make the tea
Ask what we need,
Learn when to let us be
 
Don’t expect us to know your language
Or to fit in with your plans
Be ready to shift deadlines & boundaries
If that’s what inclusion demands
 
Don’t just treat us like another transaction
When you’ve got what you need
The strength is in what follows
Keep watering the seed
Remember it’s all our plan now
As you’ll need us for it to succeed!

August 2021, for GM Moving in Action, reflections on co-production and community power 

11	Inconvenient Truths

I’d like to take you back to 2006… 

The month was June
The sky was clear
Our wedding guests
Drew near

My dad, our celebrant
With pen in hand
Wrote of catastrophe and tipping points
An environmental need to take a stand

Words spilled from his heart
Onto the page
Amidst the marriage blessings
There was fear and rage

Concern for grandchildren
And generations to come
A call to act, respect & renew
Our bond as earthlings with planet mum

With red pen I struck out
All that appeared wrong
Stripped back to refocus on
On just the human bond

I kept references to all that’s fair
To rolling hills
And roaring waters
and nature’s picture perfect stills..

Our blessings were made
Our crisis glossed over

15 years have since past
Our marriage bond stays strong
But the other deteriorates at pace
As business as usual continues
extracting all that’s good from this place where we belong

Why do I tell you this story?

Not a day goes by when I do not think
What have we done?
And of all the harm we’ve caused
And all that needs to be undone

Of the many times the truth has been too inconvenient to be spoken,
Now is not the time
Is the common rhyme

Well this is the time, this is the place
To save the planet & the human race

September 2021,  Climate Action lightning talk, Westfield Road, Our Streets Chorlton. 

12	GM’s Big Active Conversation, No. 3

Designing our neighbourhoods
Our streets and our spaces
Designing with, and for all 
To create people-friendly places

Safer, more accessible
Economic and social inclusion
Liveable and loveable 
A joyful fusion

Space to be active
To connect and to play
A place to live well 
For everyone, everyday

To build back better
More equal, more fair
Leaders need to be brave
Set out a vision and then dare

We must adapt and respond
One size won’t fit all 
A blanket approach
Will be our downfall

Visualising, mobilising
Harnessing energy for change
Involving and engaging
At every single stage

In the community
On the doorstep 
Know the neighbourhood
Do your prep

Its about people
All of us
Whoever, wherever
We need to build trust

It’s about working together
Leading and learning
Listening to what matters
To what are people yearning

Join the dots, be holistic
Change hearts and minds
Building relationships is key
And this all takes time

Any opposition is an opportunity
A chance for a shift
So get comfy with conflict
Be curious, what sits behind the rift?! 

It takes data, deeds and determination
Make it engaging and fun
Get creative, test ideas out
On your kids and your mum

Some things happen slowly, quietly and by stealth
Change take place inside and out
So pay attention to the small things
Not just the shout!

Nothing about us, without us
So the matra goes
Let’s keep learning together
So good practice grows

So, who is going to make this happen?
Who are the ‘we’?
We need many people
Far more than three!

Our branches, roots and shoots
Must keep growing
Just like a tree

October 2021, written during Greater Manchester’s Big Active Conversation, No.3 to capture key points across the different workshops.

13	 They bring the Humanity

They bring the humanity 
To the formality

Their light
Shines bright
It’s like their life force
Is connected directly to source
Their energy flow
So strong, they glow

Their boots
Cannot contain life’s shoots
Which grow Like fungi roots
From their soles
Extending deep into the ground
Breaking down toxins, wrapping around
And connecting
Lifting up the unexpecting

Weaving people and cultures together
Forever
Across the globe
Reshaping the stories told

Their very pores resonate
And illuminate
Our shared belonging
And a human longing
That transcends time or space
Extends beyond this place, here

Today, I watch and observe
As they transform
Pomp and ceremony
Into a rich and loving memory

In this moment
Adorned in robes, Latin and letters
They don’t forget us
No, with a depth of Love
Humanity and formality are hand and glove
A warmth of welcome
And spark of fun
They bring energy, humour and curiosity
A special kind of velocity
They bring hope
Whilst refusing to gloss over atrocity
They enliven, bringing life
Whilst acknowledging unjust pain & strife

As the accolades pour down
Humility is on their lips
And their hips
They stand true
Like sister and brother
To us all

Be the change
Is the phrase
They embody

Their smile reaches out
Without doubt
In their eyes
In their mouth
In their words

Of the personal pleasure
And the honor of honouring
You bring the humanity
To the formality

September 2021, for Lemn Sissay and Helen Pankhurst following Foundation Day ceremony at University of Manchester 


14	 Disrupting for Good

I Disrupt, 
Interrupt
Create a different flow
Challenge those with power to let go

Create, hold and guard the space
For people routinely pushed aside in the human race

It’s about changing the pace
Sensing when to go deeper
When to climb steeper
When to step aside
And when to fall back

Co-creating a movement
A new rhythm and dance
A dance of enlivement
Where life builds on life 

A dance that respects our entanglement
And our unique capacity as a human species
To grow courage, compassion and our collective consciousness
Co-creating a dance and a dance floor where we all shine and thrive
And experience the gift of being alive

October 2021, video submission following Northern Power Women nomination as a Disrupter for Good 
 
15    Our Streets Chorlton

Delivering Our Streets
Chorlton
Has been no mean feat
You’ve all been epic
Even In the middle of a pandemic
Walking the talk
Decorating the streets with chalk
Putting up gazebos in the rain
Persisting when energies wain
Negotiating and renegotiating
Parklets of Possibility
School Streets and
Community meets
Assessing when to do as told
And when to be bold!
Counting traffic
In the cold
Cooperators
Collaborators
Open data
Instigators
Some of you may be small!
But you can all stand tall
Cos together
In every kind of weather
You got good shit done
Whilst having fun
Inspiring, enquiring
Kind, generous & terrifying!
Claire, Pauline, George, Michaela
Sophie, Katie, Maria and Sarah
Alice, Gela, Julian, Kirsty and Sam,
Thanks for ensuring we finish 2021 with a bang
You guys are ace
And thanks to you, Chorlton will be a better place

December 2021, as a thank you to the Our Sytreets Chorlton team

16	 My Dad’s Big ToE  (Theory of Everything)

This is my attempt
To summarise in verse
My dad’s big theory of everything
Of us and the universe

From the big bang to today
He’s got a hell of a lot to say!
About all we must change and learn
If we earthlings are to play our turn
Quickly and with conviction
To prevent our human extinction

In brief
My dad’s big ToE
Says much of what we need to know
Is etched within deep time’s truths and tales
At both macro and micro scales

It points to the need to learn to go
With Earth’s great patterned flow
To follow evolutionary route maps
And avoid extraction and distraction pits and traps

To embrace a 13.7 billion year logic
Neither random or ideologic
An eco-logic stitched through time
With its own poetic rhythm and rhyme
It says we must learn to go with the cosmic grain
Or we’ll be left to explain
To generations to come
Why we are being evicted by planet mum

It says we must look around us, really look
And in physics, biology, theology and history books
To see Earth’s beautiful fractals
It’s repeated patterns and spirals
Which repeat, renew and evolve
As sure as sun, moon and earth revolve
Distributive and diverse
The twisting, turning dance of the universe

It tells us to demystify and intensify
The process of enlivenment
Help life to build on life
In this complex web of entanglement

It reminds us that in evolutionary scales 
Our human existence pales
Into insignificance
Whilst suggesting, with a glimmer of romance
That we humans can play a critical role
In Earth’s next great dance

As Earth’s first species
To have the means and abilities
To consciously enquire into life’s mysteries
To learn and to find
With open hearts, hands and mind
How to intentionally follow and enhance
This planetary dance
Of Earth’s staggered advance

It points to our biological and ecological
Interconnectedness as people and planet
The way we are bound to each other
As sister, brother, mother and lover
And not just bound, but as one
Inseparable part of the sum
An ingredient in nature’s batter
In mind and in matter

His ToE, urges us to
Use our capacity for conscious
And intentional collective action
To change and challenge western Extraction, deduction and destruction
That values humans and nature so low
And continually works to exploit and to grow and grow

It says if we are to survive
We must end this capitalist, imperialist drive
Instead we must strive to thrive
As a whole species and a living planetary system
With love, hope and wisdom
We must become agents of Gaia
Our ancestral mother and life supplier

To survive and thrive
We must embrace a syntropic drive
To avoid entropic disorder and decline
We must optimise and synthesise
Energy In it’s many forms
With ever increasing efficiency as the norm
Like nature's harnessing of solar
Leaving nothing wasted or left over

We must build capacity to get to the root of adversity
And to embrace diversity
Of people, plants, ideas, tech, resources
And of organising and decision-making structures
To heal ruptures
End oppression and dispossession

It points to the Anthropocene
As the result of man-made greed and machine
Western values, beliefs and ego
That put man’s individual wealth and power before the eco
That detached logic from nature
Mind from body
Science from art
And head from heart

To survive and thrive
We must now make way for the rise
Of women and the global south
Recognise that logic derives from nature’s mouth
That relationships are our strongest currency
And our greatest power and wealth is 
In our collective wellbeing and agency
That systems need to be more organic than mechanic

And the machine must turn green
And the importance of the integration and glue
Between all we think, feel and do

And this must be replicated and reflected
in the redesign of our organising systems and structures
For life, work and agriculture

In short
Our compassion, consciousness & curiosity
Can set us free
They are our superpower
And provide humanity’s only hope
In this critical hour

And so
His ToE
Weaves together
His 80 years of life, work & play
His own thinking, feelings and actions
And many interactions
And the very many many books and papers piled high
Where he eats, sleeps and retreats 

To pull together
Physics, Cosmology, Ecology
Theology, Sociology, Economics
Politics etc etc

As integrated threads
In one complex web
A web we have the ability to reimagine
And to redesign
Except we are rapidly running out of time

There is only so much
One poem can cover
If there’s more you’d like to know
About my dad’s big ToE
Please wish him good luck
In writing his book!

Thanks in advance!   

December 2021,  written for my dad, Chris Duncan, for Christmas 

17	  Twas the Night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our streets
Not a car was stirring, not a rev nor a beep

Recycled stockings were hung by the heat-pump with care
In hopes that Chorlton Bike Deliveries soon would be there
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of joyful walks & school runs danced in their heads
As the mechanics lay down their bike tools to rest
With settled brains, they rejoiced at winter looking her best

Then out on the street there was a very gentle clatter
They sprang from their sbed to see what was the matter
To a triple glazed window they flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash
The moon showed an unbroken blanket of snow
The effectiveness of their loft insulation gave them a glow

Then to their delighted eyes did appear
A lit up procession of cargo bikes my dear
Each of the eight bore a happy rider, lively and quick
They knew in an instant it was Glyn, Debbie, Abbi, Claire, Rob, Oli, Ali and Nick

More rapid than Amazon these peddlers they came
And they whistled, and rang their bells, and called their bicycles by name, "Now, Troy! now, Terri! and Tina the Tern!
On, Bertha, on, Carla! on, Beryl and baby Fern!” 

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

December 2021, for all the members, volunteers and supporters of Chorlton Bike Deliveries

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