A Great One Died Today.. Heathcote forever.

‘He was the Shelley of his age and more.’ — Gerard Bellaart

He invented an idiosyncratic ‘documentary/investigative poetry’ style … bringing a diverse range of environmental and political matters to public attention….

see his greatest work HERE  http://internationaltimes.it/author/heathcote/


There has to be an Afterlife

illustration: Elena Caldera

There has to be an afterlife, since matter
Can neither be created nor destroyed.
So, fear not, you’ll continue. According to physics
Your future presence is definitely required.

Look, here’s an atom once breathed by Socrates;
There’s another breathed by Van Gogh.
Inhale deeply, you can morph into a Neanderthal.
Every second new afterlives are kicking off.

The physicist, Ilya Prigognine, believed that atoms
Make conscious decisions in a conscious existence,
Enabling the atomic thoughts in your head that are you
To enjoy an immortal persistence.

His theory means that the ‘now’ can go on forever,
And that its swirling thought forms may linger –
So essential distillations of our substance can be saved
From their falling victim to fate’s fickle finger.

Does all this conceal a road-bump for atheists?
Could it hide an inconvenient truth?
Do invisible parts of our being possess
Encrypted secrets of eternal youth?

When Vincent van Gogh was studying the Milky Way
With candles perched on his hat
He meditated on each billion-year-old shining dot
Spinning through the starry night.

He believed that the heavens were our future destination
And he declared, “we take death to reach a star.”
Now that there’s stardust in every single cell of our body
More mystery is added to knowing who we are.

But in bereavement it’s a very great comfort
To those who are feeling dispossessed
To consider that those they’ve known who’ve died
Have simply changed their cosmic address.

Heathcote Williams


….If Art, if poetry is not revolutionary, then it is not Art, then it is not poetry!

Boris Johnson: the man with no moral compass who became UK foreign minister.

‘Sweet dreams. Heroic Prince.’ — IT: International Times, The Newspaper of Resistance

PPS: July 2 — From The Guardian obituary by Luke Harding:

At heart, Williams was a revolutionary. The historian Peter Whitfield placed his work in a “great tradition of visionary dissent” stretching from William Blake and John Ruskin to DH Lawrence and David Jones. His poems – blasting the arms trade, consumerism and the tabloids – were “wonderfully innocent” and at the same time “wonderfully streetwise”.

ADDENDUM: WORKS BY WILLIAMS

David Cameron says he is “standing firm and will not be cowed” by ISIS barbarity. Poet Heathcote Williams responds. 

ROYAL BABYLON
16 short films based on Williams’ poem
“Royal Babylon: The Criminal Record of the British Monarchy”:

HOW AMERICA WORKS by Heathcote Williams
“The most dangerous country in world history is the United States of America”

Heathcote was an unstoppable force. Characteristically, in an interview with The Guardian in May of 2016, when his play “The Local Stigmatic” was getting a London revival, Heathcote remarked: “Am I pleased it’s getting redone? I’m thinking more about what I want to do next.” He was always thinking about that. And doing it. Even in death he is unstoppable. His writings, his activism, and his personal example will continue to inspire others. Have a look:

What are people doing fucking dying?

David Bowie (1)illustration..Elena Caldera

What are people doing fucking dying?
Haven’t they got better things to do?
No sooner than you’re on someone’s wavelength
Then suddenly they’re whisked away from you.

I saw Bowie at the first Glastonbury in 1971.
He was performing at four in the morning.
He had golden locks and was dressed as a hippie wizard
As he heralded a new day that was dawning.

The sun rose behind the Tor as he was singing.
A Druid hammered in a golden stake,
Muttering spells to try and prevent it from raining
And somehow their magic seemed to work.

Then, in no time at all, Bowie’s dressed as a corpse
Singing, ‘Look up here, I’m in heaven.’
His eyes are buttons and he’s wearing a shroud…
Is it a disguise for his meeting with the divine?

Born of Anthony Newley crossed with Lindsay Kemp,
This cockney rebel could shape-shift and morph.
Bowie would neatly side-step every categorization –
The artful dodger who must surely cheat death.

What are people doing fucking dying?
Haven’t they got better things to do?
No sooner than you’re on someone’s wavelength
Then suddenly they’re whisked away from you…

Someone who seemed to stop it from raining
On the parades of the conflicted and insecure;
Someone who’d free their identities and give those
Who clapped eyes on him permission to flower.

He’d experiment with his fluctuating self-hood
In stadium-sized labs;
Now he has his own immortality to savour
In an exquisite time-lapse –

As he sings his Memory of a Free Festival
Into the 2020’s and the 3020’s:
“The sun machine is coming down
“And we’re going to have a party.”

Heathcote Williams

One Response to A Great One Died Today

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