Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

Autobiography (Autobiographia; Umberto Saba, Italian)


My childhood was poor and blessed
with few friends, and some animals;
and my beneficent and beloved aunt
as mother, and the God of heaven immortal.

My guardian angel was left
clear at night the pillow half;
I did not dream of his dear protection
after my first carnal sweetness.

From my classmates uncontrollable laughter
at my strange forceful fervour
when at school I read my poems.

between whistles, catcalls, and animal noises,
even now I see myself in that bedlam, and hear
only the inner voice telling me Bravo.

Umberto Saba

Worked from the Italian Autobiographia, 1924
Malcolm D B Munro
Sunday 10 April, 2016

Copyright of the original is retained by the Copyright owner. The Copyright of this Translation is vested with the Author. The original, from which this translation is made, is used under the provisions of Section 107 of the US Copyright Act 1976, which allows for fair use of the original for translation purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

Filed under: poetry

Demosistō 香港眾志 – Press release to announce the formation of the political party of this name

Demosisto logo.png

“Street activism is not enough if we want to fight for a better future,” he tells me (, ). “We have to enter the system, create a political party and shape the political agenda, in order to drive forward our movement for self-determination.” Joshua Wong, 10 April, 2016

The name is derived from the Greek demo, meaning people from which the English word democracy is derived, and the Latin sisto, meaning to stand, from which such English words as insist, persist and resist are derived. Literally translated as “people to stand” in English, it means “stand for democracy” or “stand for the people”. The Chinese name means “the will of the people”.



Filed under: Culture, politics

A Title Which Is Impossibly Long and Doesn’t Tell You a Bloody Thing What the Work’s About

The self-referential essay
Two hundred and twenty pages
Followed by hundreds of citations
To other papers written by
Fellow Illuminati
Full of jargon
High sounding
A piece of shit

Words made up that make no

Written by an academic
To add to the boast list
“I have published hundreds
Of papers.”
Each one incomprehensible

To the lay and expert alike.

A tenure held to solely produce this
Adding to the detritus of what purports to
Be knowledge, a brand new field of semiotics
Isemtopics,  idiotics, babbleopics

A sinecure procured because the University
Paid over the odds in order to
Emblazon his name
Upon the banner of their
Self-proclaimed fame
In their relentless pursuit of prestige
Knowledge (for its own sake’s sake)

[See Quartermain, Cage, Grey
and Zebediah. (2015) pp 146-232, Papers of
Institute of Self Referentiality.] See
also note 424 below.

He is held in esteem by the cognoscenti
Who haven’t a clue as to the worth of
His claims
Of contributing substantially
To his subject’s flawless
Obscurity and giving
A bad name.

Note 424: Killgrave, Deconstruction of the
Marvel of Ryker’s Island and the Embedded
Meaning Behind the Pycho-Prism: a Structured
Analysis of the “psychic defense trigger”
Implanted Within Jessica Jones’ Mind with Reference
to the Metempsychosis Drawn from Her Choice of
Superhero. November 2001, Journal for the
Advancement of Incestuous and Onanistic Studies

Malcolm D B Munro
Sunday 10 April, 2016


Filed under: poetry

Squeeze, Wring and Mangle

Take the cloth and wash
From it the crud and dirt and
Soil from overuse.
Remove the stains
From careless use.

Lather the soap
To produce the suds
And rinse and rinse
In water pure
To make it almost
New again, clean.

Squeeze, wring and mangle
And hang to dry
In Nature’s breeze
Iron the creases cease.

Make tight the knot
To key the multicolour threads
The tapestry intricate
From human ingenuity
The patterns, foregrounded
From its fabulous design
The field of gold.

The teller, maker
Recites and writes
The words revealed
To be heard and read
Until such times
As they reduce
To the cloth from
Which they were made.

Spin the tale
The yarn create
The stories of
Life’s spinning wheel.

The listeners, readers
Are held
Rapt in their thrall.

And so the centuries pass
Each generation in turn
The plots, the characters
The conflicts and reversals

The stuff of life
Made credible
Through the magic of
Suspended disbelief.

Malcolm D B Munro
Sunday 10 April, 2016

Filed under: poetry

Behind Doubt’s Shadow

Behind doubt’s shadow
Lies the veil of truth?
Stands the pillar of certitude?
The fuzzy mind
It plays its tricks
Of hope unfounded
Reality confounded
Conviction ‘s mist.

Narcissus’s pool reflects the false
The distorted mirror of the self
The smile of the teeth
The vanity of the gaze
Corruption’s companion
Clinging hypnotic
To meet his fate.

Icarus’ wings
A promise false
Hubris, a wish
A leap not credible
Flight to an object
Unreachable, untouchable
Driven by the fallibility
Of his ignorance
An unsound hypnosis.

Jacob’s coloured coat
Alexander’s great weep
Midas’ greed
The Emperor naked in his splendor
The Majesty of Canute
Tartuffe’s dupes
Humpty Dumpty’s fall
That broke of his fragile shell
All speak
To human’s folly.

Malcolm D B Munro
Sunday 10 April, 2016




Filed under: poetry

Looking Down the Iron Pipe

Looking down the iron pipe
Stumbled on, tripped
A sudden fall
The rust encrusted
The mud, the beetles
Spiders crawl
Its dark mysteries
Perhaps behold.

How long has it been there
Of Roman water pipe is it
Of Victorian city sewer
How ancient, how old
What purpose did it serve?

Does it now have some utility
Can it be reused?
Cleaned up it might
Connect again
To our present needs.

What lies at its extremity
To what does it connect
How far down does it go?
What lies beneath
Only digging will reveal
Driven my curiosity.

No doubt I’ll find
Some trace of purpose
For we don’t build
Without use.

And so its place
Its civil peoples
I will reveal
And who its makers’
And some trace of their life unfold.

But only by digging will
I find out
Where it leads
If it goes anywhere at all.

What I know for sure
It is no telescope
Nor microscope
My looking down an
Iron pipe will not go
And looking
Will not learn
Anything at all.

Malcolm D B Munro
Sunday 10 April, 2016


Filed under: poetry

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