Fear…. Free Tibet…. On Keeping A Light Shining…

by Bernie Bell - 08:08 on 26 January 2023


Bartholomew Barker https://bartbarkerpoet.com/  has a facility for capturing feelings and events in words which then take you right to the feeling or event.  Here’s his most recent piece….

Fear Itself

That big angry dog
at the end of my paper route
half German Shepherd
half fear itself

The one who barks and snaps
at my tires as I pedal away
fast as my twelve-year-old
legs can pump

Some days he's just inside
menacing from behind the door
but some days he's loose
in the yard lying in wait

I worry the whole route
stomach churning worry
stink worry sweating
worrying worrying worry

Once I even threw up
as I turned down his block
puce anxiety and dread
in a puddle on asphalt

And when I got to his house
he wasn't even there

Bartholomew Barker


And here’s my response….

"And when I got to his house

he wasn’t even there"

Yup - that's it - right there.  The real enemy is fear and, as Frank Herbert says in ‘Dune’ -  fear kills the mind.  It stops us thinking.

Here’s a tale – there’s always a tale.  When I was about 13 years old, I used to walk up to see my friend.  At the end of the row of houses where she lived was a pub.  The pub owners had an Alsatian called …Wolf.  They had him as a guard dog.  I used to be afraid, all the way walking to Theresa’s house in case Wolf would be on the loose.

And now, here’s the interesting bit.  If he was there, as I turned into the passageway to Theresa’s he’d run at me, then get my ankle in his mouth. He never even broke the skin. He just held it, but if I moved – he’d tighten the hold. 

I’d start to call for the folk in the pub to come and get him - which they did.

Some people said I should report him, as they were scared of him too, but he never hurt me and if I did report him, he might have been put down.  I love dogs – I was afraid of Wolf, but didn’t dislike him (?) and didn’t want him to be put down.

So we just went through this performance, every time he was out when I went to see Theresa.

Admittedly, he did bite people.   The third time of being reported, he was put down.

The question is – why did he hold my ankle?


Free Tibet….

I received this from ‘Free Tibet’…  https://freetibet.org/  …..

“Yesterday evening Free Tibet, and our research partner Tibet Watch, released one of the most comprehensive reports of an ongoing and urgent situation inside of Tibet; 'Desecration in Drago County: Destruction of Tibetan religious heritage, arbitrary detentions and torture'.

The report shows how residents of Drago County, known for its strong sense of Tibetan identity and resistance, have been under siege since October 2021, with their cultural and religious heritage coming under attack and locals being detained, tortured and subjected to ‘re-education’.

This report needs to be seen by as many people as possible to help build pressure on governments to demand access to Drago County. Please use the buttons below to share our report.


Tweet  Share  Forward

The report is the culmination of 18 months of research, drawing on a range of techniques to break the CCP’s lockdown on information, from analysing open source information, interviewing former residents, inspecting drone footage and commissioning satellite imagery.

Focusing on events between October 2021 and June 2022, the report documents a new extrajudicial facility used for political ‘education’, and information about a military base and prison.

It shows the scale of the destruction, with satellite photos showing before and after images, including the destruction of three colossal statues of Buddha, and details the burning of Drago monastery’s prayer flags.

The report also found new information about security crackdowns in the months following the 2012 mass protest in Drago, which includes primary schools being temporarily used as places to detain and torture protesters, and a police shooting at an entire family of a protester.

Read the report >>

Thank you,

John Jones
Campaigns, Policy and Research Manager”


 I  emailed a friend, saying that I’m starting to think we’re heading into another Dark Age – his answer was that these times are full of   ‘Alternative Facts and Evil Muthas.”

We came out of the last Dark Age – which has now be re-branded as the Early Middle Ages.  What will the future name these times?


On Keeping A Light Shining…

I read this article in ‘The Orkney News’…   https://theorkneynews.scot/2023/01/25/keep-a-light-on-for-europe-orkney-vigil/  which triggered many thoughts. 

Re. the lights which used to be kept shining in the windows of home – remembering Mike and my Uncle Anthony leaning on a gate on the family farm in Ireland - Uncle Anthony looking across to the hills and saying how, when he was young, if you looked over there on a dark night there would be lights twinkling here and there right across the vale and along the line of the hills.  Now - not so many - many empty houses  - folk went to America and didn’t come back.  There were tales of Mothers keeping those lights shining for years – never giving up hope.

This also got me thinking about lighthouses and what they represent – and of St. Magnus Cathedral being ‘The Light In The North’ –


Lighthouses stand firm against some very strong forces – and they prevail.

If I appear to be relying on  ‘The Orkney News’ a bit for my subject matter here  - working together is often the way to deal with situations.  That’s why so many folk, in all kinds of lines of work, are striking at the moment.  Strength in Unity – a unity of equals, that is!


Here’s one I made earlier….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/02/10/the-fruiting-trees-of-clestrain-hall/


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