Obituary: Jan Morris, a poet of time, place and self

She was an award-winning journalist and author with more than 40 books under her belt.

Jan Morris, who has died at the age of 94, was one the finest writers the UK has produced in the post-war era.

Her life story was crammed with romance, discovery and adventure. She was a soldier, an award-winning journalist, a novelist and – as a travel writer – became a poet of time and place.

She was also known as a pioneer in her personal life, as one of the first high-profile figures to change gender. Continue reading

Kae Tempest “Hold Your Own”

When time pulls lives apart
Hold your own

When everything is fluid, and when nothing can be known with any certainty
Hold your own

Hold it ’til you feel it there
As dark, and dense, and wet as earth
As vast, and bright, and sweet as air
When all there is
Is knowing that you feel what you are feeling
Hold your own

Ask your hands to know the things they hold
I know the days are reeling past in such squealing blasts
But stop for breath and you will know it’s yours
Swaying like an open door when storms are coming
Hold

Time is an onslaught
Love is a mission
We work for vocation until
In remission
We wish we’d had patience and given more time to our children

Feel each decision that you make
Make it, hold it
Hold your own
Hold your lovers
Hold their hands
Hold their breasts in your hands, like your hands were their bras
Hold their face in your palms like a prayer
Hold them all night, feel them hold back
Don’t hold back
Hold your own

Every pain
Every grievance
Every stab of shame
Every day spent with a demon in your brain giving chase
Hold it

Know the wolves that hunt you
In time, they will be the dogs that bring your slippers
Love them right and you will feel them kiss you when they come to bite
Hhot snouts digging out your cuddles with their bloody muzzles
Hold

Nothing you can buy will ever make you more whole
This whole thing thrives on us feeling always incomplete
And it is why we will search for happiness in whatever thing it is we crave in the moment
And it is why we can never really find it there
It is why you will sit there with the lover that you fought for
In the car you sweated years to buy
Wearing the ring you dreamed of all your life
And some part of you will still be unsure that this is what you really want
Stop craving
Hold your own

But if you’re satisfied with where you’re at, with who you are
You won’t need to buy new make-up, or new outfits, or new pots and pans
To cook new exciting recipes
For new exciting people
To make yourself feel like the new exciting person, you think you’re supposed to be

Happiness, the brand, is not happiness
We are smarter than they think we are
They take us all for idiots
But that’s their problem
When we behave like idiots
It becomes our problem

So hold your own
Breathe deep on a freezing beach
Taste the salt of friendship
Notice the movement of a stranger
Hold your own
And let it be
Catching

Kate Tempest is changing her pronouns

THE HOBBLEDEHOY loves Kate Tempest and now we love Kae. Here’s Kae’s latest message from her Facebook:

Hello old fans, new fans and passers by – I’m changing my name! And I’m changing my pronouns. From Kate to Kae. From she/her to they/them. I’ve been struggling to accept myself as I am for a long time. I have tried to be what I thought others wanted me to be so as not to risk rejection. This hiding from myself has led to all kinds of difficulties in my life. And this is a first step towards knowing and respecting myself better. I’ve loved Kate. But I am beginning a process and I hope you’ll come with me. From today – I will be publishing my books and releasing my music as Kae Tempest! It’s pronounced like the letter K. It’s an old English word that means jay bird. Jays are associated with communication, curiosity, adaptation to new situations and COURAGE which is the name of the game at the moment. It can also mean jackdaw which is the bird that symbolises death and rebirth. Ovid said the jackdaw brought the rain. Which I love. It has its roots in the Latin word for rejoice, be glad and take pleasure. And I hope to live more that way each day. Funny because I know this is much more of a big deal to me than it is to anyone else, but because of my role as artist, it is in some ways a public decision as well as being a private one. So, here is my announcement. Sending my love to you all and wishing you courage as you face whatever you must face today. This is a time of great reckoning. Privately, locally, globally. For me, the question is no longer ‘when will this change’ but ‘how far am I willing to go to meet the changes and bring them about in myself.’ I want to live with integrity. And this is a step towards that.
Sending LOVE always

Cheers, Kae!

The Scotsman Sessions #77: Kathleen Jamie

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With the performing arts world shutting down for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, he award-winning poet Kathleen Jamie reads two poems about the natural world, “An Avowal” and “Fianuis”

Watch at THE SCOTSMAN: The Scotsman Sessions #77: Kathleen Jamie

Kate Tempest Releases New Version of Her Song “Holy Elixir” Called “Unholy Elixir”

English rapper and spoken-word artist, Kate Tempest, dropped her new single, “Unholy Elixir,” on Jan. 27. This new song is a reworking of her song “Holy Elixir,” which was featured on her third studio album, Book of Traps and Lessons.  

This is “Unholy Elixir,” said Tempest. “After a year of touring, we discovered new things about the song, and wanted to make a version that reflected those discoveries.”

From the first few seconds, it is evident the new single is superior to her previously released version of the song. The synth and buzzing sound added to the track gives a full feeling for the song, and the shallow yet powerful beats set the tone of the song.

The newly added synth and reproduced beats give an entirely new feel to the lyrics of the song, and the animated video made for the song visually impacts the music. To watch the animation of the city set on fire, and the humans transforming into bird-like humanoids was very visually pleasing.

“We are divisions of a bigger vision,” Tempest poetically raps. “And yet we run around like hamsters, spinning the wheel, spinning the wheel, spinning the wheel.

The song ends with a creepy synth, completed by a classic beat. As the song fades out, it leaves the listener wondering when she will be releasing her next.

Last year in October Tempest released an animated music video for her song “People’s Faces.” The track highlights the singer’s political themes and discusses the pain and agony of those whom are directly facing poverty and oppression.

Tempest is set to play on Feb. 18, at the Melbourne Recital Centre, in Melbourne, AUS. There has been no information released on a possible upcoming album.

Photo credit: Stephen Hoffmeister

Source: Kate Tempest Releases New Version of Her Song “Holy Elixir” Called “Unholy Elixir” –