Another Butch, Another Day … Since 2004

Hy, Hys, Hym = Female Masculine Lesbian Butch pronouns

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Protected: ABOUT The South West Philharmonia & Chorus

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A Long Time Past

It seems a lifetime since I last wrote something here. In fact, it was August of last year. The new year is six days old, which is nothing when you ponder what the other 359 will bring.

Last year brought so many new and wonderful things.

Singing with the South West Philharmonia and Chorus more than a few times. This is something that brings great joy to my life. To have been part of this family of musicians is something I wish everyone could experience … but, of course, they can’t.

I have continued my work on my “City By The Sea” book of poetry and prose, and I find this a grand learning, exploring and writing project. I am also working on my first novel, “Truth is Marching On” (working title) and loving every minute I spend on it. I love watching each chapter evolve as the characters speak to me.

I have said goodbye to some, and hello to others and I have been blessed with another grandchild … a boy.

I hope for each of you, that 2018 will be a year to remember for ALL the right reasons.

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Plymouth and the Mayflower

I reside in a city suffering, in my opinion, from an identity crisis. Please allow me to try and explain why I say this.

The Lord Mayor, and I am guessing the local government have celebrated Thanksgiving. They have invited US military representatives and US Ambassadors to Plymouth,  and presented them with turkeys. They have hoisted the ‘Stars and Stripes’ on one of the three flagpoles located on Royal Parade. They celebrate the Mayflower by erecting a monument on the Barbican, calling it Mayflower Steps. But the actual ‘steps’ lay some distance away, under a pub’s toilets. The local professional football (soccer) team is called The Pilgrims. I honestly cannot fathom why.

The saga began with a group of religious dissidents who believed it was necessary to separate from the Church of England. Persecuted in England, these “Separatists” moved to Holland in 1607/1608.

Pilgrim was a word not generally associated with those who sailed from Delftshaven, Holland on July 22, 1620 until the early 1800’s. The Leiden Separatists purchased the Speedwell and sailed to Southampton to join the Mayflower which had been chartered by their English investors. There, other Separatists and additional colonists joined them.

On August 15, the Mayflower and Speedwell set sail for America. The Speedwell leaked so badly that the ships turned around and entered the harbour at Dartmouth and later, Plymouth. Finally, on September 16, 1620, the Mayflower alone,  set sail. It is worth mentioning that only because bad weather and misfortune had prevented the settlers from making the crossing on their two earlier attempts (Southampton and  Dartmouth) that they ended up sailing from the port of Plymouth.

On board the Mayflower were three distinct groups of passengers.  Roughly half were Separatists, whom we now know as the Pilgrims. Approximately a quarter, while sympathetic to the Separatist cause,  were not part of that group of dissidents. The remainder were just hired hands; labourers, soldiers and artisans whose skills were required for both the transatlantic crossing and once they arrived.

So, Plymouth … but for bad weather and/or leaking ship, you would not be able to lay claim to an American holiday and as someone who is not only an American, but part Native American … I feel you are wrong in celebrating Thanksgiving and the Mayflower. You have enough local things to honour and celebrate.

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Ode to Orlando



I woke to the news without knowing.

I stretched my way
into the light of Sunday,
already preparing myself
through a sleep-induced haze,
for the singing.

Mewling cat fed,
coffee made, I sit
logging in to the world
far and near that appears
before me,
amazing me …
not for the first time.

I tend to messages
sent through the vastness,
still unaware
of what lies before me.

Another coffee,
and social media blinks to life.

Tragedy! Death! Shooting!

Before I read on,
I wonder
if things will ever change.
And then,
reading on,
I choke on coffee.

Florida! Orlando! Domestic Terrorism!

The words scream,
gripping my heart and
sending me into a tailspin.
I silently cry out to my angels,
pleading with them
to let me know
that those whom by choice
I call family, are safe.

I seek words and at long last,
reap from my emotions
a small harvest.
I write and I receive.
Looking skyward, I give thanks.

Yet, where I am,
peering at the clock,
I realise this
slaughter of innocents
has not long happened.

I am numb,
blindly going about the routine
that will take me to the music
I need,
more today than most.

My emotions raw,
I fight back tears
as ‘Hymn to the Fallen’ is sung.
So many fallen
in my lifetime, alone.
Yet most poignant was
‘Abide With Me’.

their bodies lay as they fell.
And we,
we sang their spirits home.

Now friends and families grieve.
The wounded heal
but the scars that will be the worst,
are those unseen.

Flags fly at half-mast
in memory and in support.
We solemnly light our candles.
We stand silent in the flame’s glow.

Others have stepped up to carry the colours.
They will live on
in the hearts and minds of those
whom they knew as ‘family’ and friends.
They have joined the long list
of fallen warriors,
And we,
must always be strong.

~ Chris Parsons
14 June 2016

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