Otters V Capitalism

2012-09-20-350HuffPostChe501onRecTrail-thumbMany people say to me, Kirsten, we know that otters love jazz, but what of otter politics? I reply that I am convinced most British otters would vote Corbyn, where the Californian Sea Otter community has come out strongly for Bernie Sanders. (Many have donated a few clams to his campaign fund).

Some say this is grotesque anthropomorphism of the kind disdained by serious conservationists, others accuse me of projection. To them I can only say:


Otters Of the World, Unite!

Answer me this – what if otters were potters?

Does living by water make their clay wetter?

Do they throw sloppy pots that all teeter and totter?

Does holding down splatter make pots a lot squatter?

Surely it follows their kilns should burn hotter?

They must buy their wood from a local wood-cutter

(Wood-burning kilns being certainly better

to use than electric, when potting near water).


But what if the cutter bamboozles the otters,

never once offering wood on a platter,

but ripping them off with some shitty sales patter?

Lining his pockets, the cutter gets fatter,

while locked into poverty, knocked on their uppers,

the lot of the otters just never gets better!!

Will the otters not notice that something’s the matter?

Will discontent not sound its note in their natter?!

Revolt and rise up, oh you down-trodden otters!

Even fat cutters need pots made by potters!

Tear down the kiln-wood-monopoly rotters!


Don’t look at me like I’m some kind of nutter.


Todays’ poem is brought to you in lieu of the official NaPoWriMo prompt, which is dull as the bottom of my shoe.


Ekphrastic project – Conflict and Conscience

The second of my poems for art crit magazine Corridor 8 went live a couple of weeks ago, but I’d like to bring it back to your attention now. Why? Because it’s a response to the exhibition ‘Conflict and Conscience : British Artists and the Spanish Civil War‘, running at the Laing Gallery until 7th June, and May Day weekend seems an appropriate time to nod in the direction of socialist struggles past and present.

I’d really just like to encourage you to see the exhibition if you can. Not only are there some really strong works, including Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman’, but it is full of inspirational women. Women artists who fought and died, women who served the rebel camps and fed the insurgents, women who were passionate political and military leaders, women who sewed vast celebratory tapestries in remembrance of their comrades, women who made the heart-wrenching posters that ensured aid went to the victims of the conflict, women who got off their arses and started charitable foundations to secure the safety of orphans when our pathetic government of men refused to take in refugees, women who learned how to run ambulance services in blitzed cities, women, women, women…

Atlas was a woman…