RECENT POEMS 7

 

 

 

Rosie Malloy – A Victorian Tale

 

Rolling along in the charabanc at a pace,

the wind in her air, a smile on her face,

the sun shining down from a clear blue sky,

and nobody to ask her who, where or why,

Rosie Malloy was just here for the ride,

in three days time, she'd be a bride,

so this was a day to call her own,

one that was free, for her alone,

to enjoy a few hours of freedom,

before her life became boringly humdrum.

 

Her options were limited, her chances few.

In Rosie's life, no expectations of new,

born into a family of twelve, she'd marry

to escape, and now it was more of a hurry.

With a swelling belly, she'd sighed and wept,

a secret she wished she could have kept,

but not for long. Her man was glad

which helped, but Rosie felt bad

for, though a good man, there was no love,

though she had appealed to the Lord above

to fire her passion and open her heart,

but all she could see were binding ties,

and a feeling of panic hard to disguise.

 

So, today, she had one intention, to fly

in her head away, where troubles pass by

and all feels good, and full of hope

as she gathers the courage to cope

with being a bride in three days time,

and not resent losing her looks and her prime

chained to a man who got her with child,

on the one rare day when she went wild,

and, throwing caution aside, gave in,

hiding the fact she knew it was a sin,

and the price she'll pay for the rest of her life,

is trying to be a good mother and wife.

 

***********

 

The Fixers

 

Like super glue an unresolved problem sticks

to neurons in the brain and, once there, cling

with a determination that can't be broken

until a solution is unveiled, or a distraction

greater than it, severs the connection,

freeing the brain to resume normality,

previously hijacked by a frustrating reality.

 

What strange creatures are we who won't admit

defeat until every effort to resolve the issue

has failed, and, even then, will roll it over

in our brains time and time and time again,

then, reluctantly, move on, but still retain

the memory of the failure long into the future

as if hoping still to find a satisfactory resolution.

 

This grim refusal to give up is most likely

ingrained, a survival mechanism, from days

of yore when first we walked the earth,

rising from all fours to stand up straight,

and realized that we had come to birth,

a new species, one able to live on wits,

on wiles, with a host of new skills and hands

that grasp, and, vitally, we'd learned to speak.

 

Millenia further on, we still walk the earth,

seeking resolutions to problems innate,

or we create, or foisted upon us by Nature,

circumstance or unforeseen events,

and still we won't admit defeat until all

has been tried, with failure unacceptable,

and so we keep on searching, neurons firing,

believing there's a solution to everything.

The indomitable will of Homo Sapiens

to believe that nothing is unresolvable,

and hold on like super glue to that one

on going belief that we can fix everything,

one way or another with that illusive something.

 

*************

 

All is mystery

 

Mystery, mystery, all is mystery.

We weave a cocoon of dreams around ourselves

when reality seems too harsh, tread with footsteps

light in realms obscured from sight,

awareness of the whole concealed from all,

and create fantasies to fill the hole,

surrounding minds cowering in the dark,

reassuring them that everything will be all right.

A deception for survival in a Universe

so vast making cowards of comprehension

as revelation follows revelation, and knowledge

expands, but makes not for confidence

or satisfaction, instead reveals how small

we are and, yet, what wonders too,

for how can such a tiny mass of matter

reach out and touch the stars, draw down

to earth the mystery that is life,

that is the Universe, that is existence,

if that it be, for we know not truly that we are

in reality. Here, we feel we are, but feelings

are the great deceivers, entangled as we are

with the whole, we come into being for a while,

then depart this mortal coil for we know not where,

if a where there be at all, and so we hold on tight

to our cocoon of dreams and accept that all

is mystery, mystery, all is mystery.

But deep inside each cocoon must dream

that, one day, we might know what's real,

not here, but somewhere, now obscured from sight,

where everything will be light, and the darkness

of the night will burst with an illumination

as each consciousness expands to embrace the whole

in a sublime unfolding of the real in a final revelation.

 

************

 

The Allure of Beauty

 

Why does beauty so often come with dangers?

A rose with stem embedded with thorns

that pierce and tear the skin, bring tears to eyes

when joy was the intent. So often what appears

beautiful in life can hide a multitude of perils,

concealed from sight sometimes, but present

all the same, and the hapless receiver can fall prey

to an allure that seemed the stuff of dreams

when first perceived, but, in time, reveals

another side where beauty gives way to ugliness

and the dream becomes a nightmare.

How many times has beauty trapped a heart,

brought rapturous praises and great delight

that such a one, who, in their fantasies, saw

only the surface, and fell in love, they thought,

with the perfect dream, a fulfillment of their desires,

to wake later and find the fantasy had melted

in the fires of disappointment, and passion

sat frozen when the heart, so seemingly warm,

turned out to be of ice, and bitter tears were wept

when beauty turned out to be the beast.

 

The plainest in life, so often passed by, unseen,

no obvious assets to observe, may well have beauty

inside that will set a heart aflutter, rouse passions

deep and long, for real love sees beneath

the surface, sees the worth of one who walks

invisible upon the earth, not acclaimed or held

in high esteem, but can lift a life from hell

and raise it up to heaven with a smile

that lights a face, and, therein, shines a beauty

so easily missed by most, a heart that embraces

one and makes life worthwhile. Beauty

is in the eye of the beholder so they say,

but, today, beauty is raised to heights not seen

before, and all who rate themselves against

these paragons are bound to fall far short

for now the ugly can be made beautiful,

so most is fake, a lie, a deception through and through.

Beware of beauty then that is skin deep,

cosmetically enhanced, scalpel chiseled

and botoxed to the hilt, and see that true beauty

lies hidden like a pearl within a shell,

waiting for another to have the wit to know

that all that is placed blatantly on show

is rarely of value that lasts, and full of perils

for the unwary, the foolish and the blind

who walk through life seeing only beauty in flesh,

and disregard the beautiful heart and mind.

 

***************

 

Time

 

We walk through the world, teasing Time,

daring it to not go so fast, give us more

we implore, there aren't enough hours

for all we need and want to do, we say,

but Time laughs, droll in its disdain,

it's your brain, it points out, you made me,

I don't exist. You pointed an arrow

towards a future and called it Time,

so now you count the seconds, minutes,

hours, days, years, decades, centuries,

millennia, and blame me for your decay,

for entropy is a fact that you can't escape,

so imploring me to slow down is droll.

Why should I stop when I'm on a roll?

Matter was here and so was Space,

and, into it, you added Time, for you,

not me, all is ‘is', there is no ‘has been,

or will be', there can be ‘maybe' or ‘could',

or even ‘should', but they're all in your

brain, your desires, not mine. I is, you are,

your past ‘is' still, your future ‘not yet',

but will be if you have Time on your side,

a joke you see. You want something

that doesn't exist to be on your side see,

how foolish is that, but then you don't

want to die so plead with me to slow down,

you want more time to live, love, play,

have fun, run in the sun, and never grow old.

If I, as Time, a figment of your mind,

may be so bold, tough titty, sweetie, age

withers all, even me, take a look at depictions

of me, I'm Old Father Time, that's a joke,

I can't be old and I can't be young, I just ‘is'.

So the next time you moan ‘I haven't enough time',

know it doesn't exist, you've all the time

you need, for every instant just is, and you ‘is'

simply a part of the whole, a speck of matter,

in a bloody great enormous amount of Space.

 

********

 

Quicksand

 

We walk through life treading carefully,

a misplaced step, a deadly error,

quicksand beneath one's feet,

that feeling of sinking, with no bottom

to reach, panic, how did I get here?

There was no clue that I had taken

a wrong route, and now am paying

the price, I've lost my way somehow.

The road seemed clear ahead to me.

How could I have been so blind not to see

that danger lay in front of me, glaring

but still I kept on walking until,

one step too many, and I was sinking,

no branch to catch, stop struggling

I told myself, but fear makes a body free

to panic, contrary to all instructions

from my mind, and then, a moment,

clear as crystal dawns, I've gone below.

The ground has opened up and swallowed

me. I'm in a world so dark, no light

can penetrate here. Why should this be?

Why am I here? And yet, I am, cocooned

in a world where no signposts exist,

no roads to walk upon, moonless night,

and trying hard to stay calm. Beneath

the storms of the world above, this place

is something new, where letting go

is demanded, for, now, there's nothing

to hold on to, so, in this silent, featureless

abode, let go of all that brought you here.

Let go of all you call your own, let go

of hopes and dreams impossible to achieve,

and when you're light as a feather

and free, you'll feel yourself begin to rise,

rise up above the ground, into a new world,

one where nothing is the same for you,

in that small death you were made anew

and, now, will walk viewing life

with different eyes, different dreams

and hopes, and grateful that you took

a path so frightening in its effects,

but, oh so, beneficial in the end,

for the new cannot emerge, unless

the old dies, and resurrection comes

breaking into the sunlight once more.

 

*******

 

The Strangeness of Change

 

The strangeness of change

that throws your life into disarray,

one moment your range

of experience is familiar, and the way

you've done things are routine,

and not thought about too much

when something happens, and what has been

is removed and what was a crutch

enabling you to function with ease

has suddenly gone, and you feel lost.

Now, your world feels as if on the high seas,

tossed hither and thither, storm tossed,

searching now some order to restore,

you wander around clutching at straws

until you spy opening another door,

a resolution, an alternative. The laws

governing life do seem to present

options when change suddenly appears,

you just have to be receptive when sent

because not always obvious, your fears

can make what is offered seem

impossible to accept, because so strange,

and yet, it does offer a bright gleam

in your darkness, and you can rearrange

your world once you go through that door,

laying aside your fears, your agitation,

that what is there is beyond you or a poor

substitute of what went before, a solution,

but not the one you wanted, but is there,

so take it with an open mind for it might prove

to be the very thing you really needed, where

a change sets you on a path to improve

your life so, though, there is real strangeness

in change, it can be the beginning of the new,

and a way out of fear and helplessness,

a time to grow and, with hope, your life renew.

 

* ****

 

Unwelcome Callers

 

In the early hours of a morning,

thoughts stir, uncalled for, unwelcome,

and you know not what called them forth

for you were deep in sleep when,

for no reason, you drifted awake

to find memories haunting you,

problems pouring into a sleepy mind,

and fears, unexpressed in daylight,

compounded in restless thoughts,

churning now, and you blink away

the last remnants of sleep to ponder

what demon stirred the cauldron

to make rise this unsolicited hubris

that had lain dormant, sometimes

for years, and now, suddenly, there

as ghosts, ghouls and nightmare

remembrances of incidents long forgotten,

laid, you thought, to rest but now arisen,

and you cannot drive them away

for now they have come up for air,

to sit behind your eyes, like a movie

playing. Faces, events, happenings,

none you want to re-run through again,

so you rebuke them, demanding

they depart and leave you in peace,

asleep, neither in dreams or out,

but just asleep and resting,

and, if you're fortunate, they'll leave,

drifting away like smoke from a fire,

and you lie down again, close your eyes,

to sink gratefully into the arms of Hypnos

once more and let go the ghost, ghouls,

and nightmare remembrances of the past

to sleep undisturbed again at last.

 

***************

 

Virtual reality

 

In the virtual world, humans reach out to another,

initially, strangers each to the other,

but with a desire to communicate,

breaking the norms that dictate

who mixes with who, and breaking

barriers of class, race or creed, relying

only on what is shared in posts and comments

hoping sense is made of their contents

to the strangers beginning to become friends,

and overcoming conflicts as hope transcends

the instinct to reject when disagreements rise

and peace is attempted in various replies.

But, sadly, it's not always possible to restore

because too many differences to ignore,

so, as in the real world, both separate,

allowing the other to leave without hate

or anger bringing both to bitter exchanges.

Then, briefly, the virtual world rearranges

itself, filling in the space the person occupied,

searching the virtual reality worldwide,

seeking a replacement for the vacuum,

one more conducive and akin to whom

communication will be less fractious,

and less need to be constantly cautious

that words will be misunderstood,

and there will be far less likelihood

of conflict in the future. Not the best way

of resolving differences, to walk away,

but, sometimes, the only choice at hand

when all has failed, a friendship built on sand

will never last for some minds cannot meet,

dancing through the world to a different beat.

And the virtual world cements relationships,

creates new and sometimes lasting fellowships,

a world minds are busy adjusting to

because almost hard to believe is true

or real in so many ways: networks across the earth

bringing humans together, a new world to birth,

but still one where the real world's conflicts

exist and, sadly, seems likely to continue

for human beings appear to love to argue

vehemently for what they believe is true

whether in the old world or in the new.

 

***************

 

Lives lived.

 

Some creep tentatively through life

feeling their way cautiously,

some charge wildly through life

enjoying living dangerously,

some roam nomadically through life

living it somewhat erratically,

some stumble sadly through life

never knowing why exactly,

some walk apathetically through life

considering all indifferently,

some stride belligerently through life

treating all aggressively,

some swagger pompously through life

behaving to all imperiously,

some hide furtively through life

preferring to act covertly.

some behave criminally through life

excusing themselves rationally,

some live briefly through life

staying only fleetingly.

 

And so it is through life, lives lived,

not chosen but allocated,

each an allotted time, a space

to call one's own, be it long or short,

it's a life lived in a myriad ways,

it seems, but not so in reality.

The choices are actually very few

when looked at observantly,

Where one is born, be it luck or fortune,

will decide that life's future.

To whom one is born, is a priority

for most in deciding their future.

In the end, though, the life lived

is a journey that will cease

in time, one day, somewhere,

somehow. But, in whatever way

the end comes, it's the only

thing certain in all lives,

there's one way in and one way out,

so best to, at least, try and discern

what the heck life is all about.

 

***************

 

Nature's Wrath

 

When the wind howls in fury

and the world whirls in gusts,

incandescent in their rage,

bending trees back and forth,

snapping branches till they break,

creaking fences till they groan,

send garbage bins flying,

and the rain pours down

in torrents, swept along streets

in waves by the furious gales,

the earth bears witness to Nature's

wrath, all bend before it,

uncontrollable, anarchic

as it has its way swirling,

twisting, turning, twirling,

howling like a banshee,

it will have its way till sated

it rests, and we close the doors,

seal the shutters, and stay in,

if possible, until it's over.

Cut off now, to sit wondering

if communication will return,

power switched on again,

and tremble at our helplessness

in the face of mighty Nature's,

seemingly endless, expressions

of wrath and indifference

to its sentient creatures,

struggling to survive against

the odds when Nature hurls

itself into a frenzy and creates

chaos and destruction all around.

 

**************

 

Resolutions

 

To make a resolution or not,

that is the question posed.

Then you start to make a lot

which turns into a headache.

Do you need to clear out clutter?

Let go of things, change habits?

Of course you have, you mutter,

but it's the carrying through

that matters, and that

is where the crunch comes.

You know you need to lose fat,

but resolving to diet is so hard.

You know you should exercise,

but it's finding the time to do it

that makes you realize

you don't manage time at all.

You know you should drink less.

Your poor heart and brain

will finally give out unless

you reduce your intake by

a half, two thirds, not totally,

that's far too extreme,

you got to think realistically.

And then there's the problem

of breaking them, and the feeling

of guilt every year that comes

knowing you're such a weakling,

failing to keep most if not all,

so, really it's best in the end,

to make but one then you can relax,

stop driving yourself round the bend,

and make the same promise each year

that you will do your very best

to be good to everyone you meet,

a resolution that really is a test.

 

************

 

A New Year

 

Each of us has an allotted time,

sufficient energy to last a lifetime,

and, as the years roll by, gathering

speed, until quite frightening,

for no sooner has one begun

and all you want to do barely done,

when yet another one appears

and another birthday nears,

leaving you wondering how long

you'll be able to stay among

your loved ones if time go so fast,

and how long you're going to last

in this battle between time and ageing

which, to put it mildly, is really fazing.

In the end, you start to count the days,

not months or years, happy in ways

not considered when young, for life

should now be less full of strife

as you mellow with the years,

have shed most of your bitter tears,

and can now relax and learn

to play. Things you eventually earn

after years of troubles and toil,

and having laid dear ones in the soil,

too many times for your liking.

But still you hang in there living,

loving, giving, enjoying being here

and grateful that your life so dear

has sufficient energy to carry on

for another day to look upon

this earth, this world, the sky,

the stars, the Universe, and fly

in your mind still, and rejoice,

though, now not really your choice,

to stay here with those you love

until it's time to fly high above

all that is when your energy

dies, and it's time for the synergy

of all you are to be scattered

amongst the stars, and all that mattered

here is no more. But you have survived

and, against the odds, you have thrived

in your life, and now it's time to rest

for you have lived to the best

of your ability in a world cold

at times or wondrous to behold

sometimes and yet, you're still here

at the beginning of another year,

so start again counting the days

and consider how lucky you are always.

 

**************

 

New Year's Eve

 

This year slips away into history

not silent but screaming.

Countries changing, tyrants departing,

economies crumbling, politicians

ranting, defending, diminishing,

bankers and hedge fund managers

surviving, rising, and growing richer,

while the poor pay the costs

of their criminality, and the weather

changes to the warmest year yet,

and Nature is bemused and confused

not knowing which season is here,

while humans wonder where

the next earthquake will strike,

which volcano will blow its top,

and whether the world will start

a new war, sending young soldiers

to die, with civilians plunged into chaos,

bloodshed and carnage all in the name

of the game of power, influence,

and oil. All is changing, all in flux,

with further recessions looming

and countries' banks downgraded,

jobs disappearing, and the unemployed

growing, and, all the while, politicians

assure us they're in control, trust them,

they know what they're doing,

and the people mock them, knowing

they're lying, they're out of their depth,

floundering, and totally inadequate

at handling the surge of changes

surrounding them. But life goes on,

and change will come inexorably,

unstoppable like a train speeding

along carrying us into a New Year

where hopes and dreams still thrive,

where opportunities exist, and care

and concern for all hasn't died

in most human beings, so raise a glass

to the old now departing as the new

creeps in wondering what lies ahead,

and whether any of us should bother

to get out of bed for if it's more

of the same, this ugly power game,

it's best kicked straight out the door.

 

*************

 

Unintended hurt

 

We walk with, talk to, reach out to

touch and hope we share what we are

with another. Not easy to discern

that our, sometimes, fumbled

efforts have had the right effect

or have, by accident, offended

by imparting what was not intended.

We can carefully hone our words,

think before we speak, not touch

unless invited, hang back at walking

with another, and still manage

to disturb the feelings of the other.

Though the why is rarely clear,

even if near, and even harder

if far away, and undoing unintended

hurt means more words imparted

to apologize, make peace, but, sadly,

to no avail, for the wound is open

now. In the chasm between two

worlds, it seems there is no space

for remorse, for sorrow, for regret,

and the words that deep offended

are resurrected to search for clues

of what was so very bad or wrong,

what about our company brought

enmity in its wake, or which touch

cast doubt of motives and removed

the chance to walk with, talk to,

reach out to touch the other, once

valued as a friend and now gone.

It is so very hard at times to discern

how our fumbled efforts have,

by accident, the other offended

by imparting what was never intended.

 

*************

 

Jealous Winter

 

The warmth in the air invites

growth, unnatural heat

that stirs sleeping bulbs,

awakening them before

their time, buds are roused

on branches normally

dormant in Winter's cold,

now bursting forth pink

cherry blossom, snowdrops

ring their sweet bells

alongside late blackberries.

While yellow gorse exults

on heaths, all believing Spring

is here, but it's a snare

for unsuspecting eager

newness urged into birth

premature, the cold lurks

around the corner, waiting,

for it will surely appear

to freeze the ground rock

hard, crush the petals

in its grasp, and turn bells

solid as it take hold

of its season. For Nature

will not be thwarted,

cold must come again

for a restoration of what

is normal at this time

of year. Unnatural warmth

is a snare for the innocent

that come to birth too soon,

and must wither and die

in Winter's jealous hand.

 

*************

 

Dreams

 

Dreams, it seems, are a means

of resolving issues, cleaning

out the hubris of the mind

and not just there to imagine

a better life somewhere,

or a lover perfect to behold,

shapely of form and beautiful,

or handsome with body honed.

They're much more mundane.

A clearing house, a refuse tip,

where we must take a trip

to fairly frequently in order

to stay sane. For anybody

not dreaming is in trouble,

causing a build up of tension,

anxiety and extreme stress.

For the need to dream

is inherent, with neurons

blocked if none, and those

who find they cannot dream

at night must have release

some other time, or their lives

will become chaotic, a living hell.

 

Would that dreams could speak

at times, worlds that appear

so real in which we can walk,

talk, participate in scenes

and wander through cities' streets

we've never seen before.

What a mystery are dreams.

Those nebulous drifts of fantasy

entwined around our being

for a brief while unraveling

problems, providing solutions,

comforting, scaring, inspiring,

and, above all, a part of us

that we continue believing

we cannot live without,

and, as it turns out, it's true.

We would go mad if no dreams

wrapped us in their arms

and ensured we could stay

fully human in every way.

 

***********

 

 

A Neutral Day

 

There's a silence about a grey day.

It closes around you like a blanket,

cutting you off from the world.

Neutral in its conformity, a cover

of quiet indifference, non-committal,

neither stormy nor bright, but sullen

in its refusal to decide whether

to let the sun through or keep it out.

Such a day colours moods in quiet

reflection, a period of distraction

from the hectic flow of existence,

providing a space to consider life

and, maybe, what it's all about.

Not necessarily reaching a conclusion,

for conclusions are elusive, escaping

a resolution more often than not.

But the grey of the day removes

the need to hurry anywhere, a time

to rest perhaps, to let the world

and all its struggles and strife go.

For just a brief while you can sit

beneath the blanket of a grey day

and decide which way the wind blows

as you contemplate the present

and look forward to the future, hoping

the grey will depart soon, and let

the sun through. For, in the light,

everything seems so much clearer

and more distinct than under the cover

of a grey day, when, sometimes,

it can appear you've lost your way,

until you see it's just neutral, a cover,

temporary only, a space allowing

you to time out for quiet reflections,

free, briefly, from life's distractions.

 

***************

 

Indulgence

 

Seated amidst chocolates, biscuits, cakes and wine,

the remains of a bird, stuffing, bacon and sausage,

all of which are delicious and exceedingly fine,

but do all pile on weight, not in ounces but pounds,

and as you sit there trying to be so very strong,

and putting most of these goodies out of bounds

for, at least, a week so that your body can lose

all those extra inches now added to your girth,

and supplemented by the extra glasses of booze,

you realize you're going to fail completely

because all are temptations and just sitting there

dying to be consumed, which really is quite beastly.

 

But, the festive season comes around each year,

and every year we make a promise not to eat

too much for we know all these goodies cost us dear,

and it really is a bore to have to spend a few weeks,

after so much pleasure, slogging away on diets

to get rid of all that fat, not least upon our cheeks.

Already it is too late I fear, for the scales don't lie,

and both of us have stood there in birthday suits

watching the weight we were pass quickly by.

 

And with a groan, both know that it's just look

for now, and impose limits if we would avoid pain

of having to keep consulting the boring calorie book.

So the chocolates, biscuits, wine, and all the rest

must now be spread out generously over time,

until it arrives four months away at the next food fest

when another festive season is here again, and sweets

abound once more with loads of chocolate eggs,

and a whole new assortment of irresistible treats.

 

****************

 

A Grey Day

 

When the sun hides its face

moods can take a down turn.

When the sky turns grey

and all has an air of foreboding,

good cheer seems hard to come by.

But when it peeks through

the mass of dreary clouds,

moods lift to greet the rays

and signs of blue are welcome.

Though rain and clouds bring

sustenance to everything,

too much of both can depress,

making the spirit yearn

for brightness to return again.

 

Today, three days of gloom

have turned the hours to drear,

no sign of the sun or blue sky

have made it clear, Winter's here,

though there has been an Autumn

full of sunshine and good cheer,

but soon forgotten with the return

of grey and rain, and ice cold

temperatures to chill you

to the bone as the winds change

course, blowing from the icy

regions of the east and North.

 

And now we hunker down,

waiting for the snow and sleet

to return, with heating on,

we stay inside warm and cosy

in our nests, venturing out

wrapped up like Eskimos

only for essentials, and a quick

stroll for exercise and health,

our bodies not made for hibernation,

though the instinct is there

to snuggle down and wait

for the sun's heat to come back

and bring the earth to life again.

 

In the meantime, we gaze upwards

at the sky and watch its ever changing

views hoping that the grey

will go away soon and the sun

will once more shine, but I don't

think it will on this gloomy day,

but I may be wrong, for blue

is peeking through, the clouds

are thinning, and just maybe

today the sun is winning!

 

***************

 

A Mystery

 

There is something out there

beavering away, somewhere,

seeing what can be done,

answering calls for aid

when things go wrong.

It's really hard to discern

exactly what it is, but a solution

to a problem is suddenly solved

after a plea to the Universe

for a helping hand, and then

you find one held out. Quite

unnerving in a way, but wonderful

as well. And you send a thank you

up to the skies, and somehow know

it will be heard. You don't ask how,

but accept that the mystery

is part of our reality, and now

you can relax again for all

has been set right. A strange

and awesome place is the Universe

with secrets still for us to know,

and humbling too if it hears

our calls and responds, sometimes

quickly or in time. Maybe we are

really one vast whole being,

with all connected at a level

beyond our comprehension.

So much more to learn, to uncover,

it's impossible to be bored

with so much more to discover.

 

*****

 

Words

 

When once a quill writ large across a page,

then a pen and nib became a fountain pen,

which moved onto a biro and, from thence,

to a keyboard where words are tapped out

to endlessly pour forth what is in our heads,

to speak to others, not through our mouths,

but on screens, typing our thoughts, ideas,

opinions, passions, sometimes vitriolic

in their rage, or kindly in their exchange,

and in the age of mass communication

words become a healer, a lethal weapon,

a distributor of knowledge with globalization

and networks join kindred spirits across

the world instantly, where once a letter

would take days or even months to arrive,

now the correspondence is reciprocal

in minutes, and time seems to speed by

with these advances, whether local

or abroad, a missive wings its rapid way

when ‘Send' is tapped, and the answer

is received frequently on the same day.

 

And our lives have moved to another level,

from real to virtual in no more than

twenty years with the advent of the Internet,

available to millions on this earth,

a slow but steady transference of our lives

from the real to the virtual is taking place.

Almost imperceptibly as shopping, banking,

blogging, Facebook, Twitter, forums

on every subject imaginable take us all

from the outside world into the new one

of bytes, where all is coded for consumption,

until, one day, we wake up and find,

the world has changed beyond recognition.

 

But, we forget at our peril, all this could fall,

for we rely on satellites for our networks,

and one solar flare, extraordinary in it power,

could vaporize them all, and bring our lives

to a grinding halt, and change our world

back to pens and papers, and letters posted,

to be delivered slowly, for all now sorted

by hand as the computerized machines

lie useless across every land. Worthy

of reflection as we type out our words

on keyboards reliant on electricity

from computerized distribution centres.

Our sun gives us life, we design our own

on earth, but it can take it away with one

mighty heave of its surface and a flare,

so maybe we really ought to beware

of relying so completely on satellites,

so vulnerable to the sun for everything,

and keep some pens and paper handy

should the worst become a reality one day.

 

*************

 

Hope

 

A light shines bright,

in spite of all the gloom,

amidst many a prediction

of forthcoming doom.

The human predilection

for the negative is rife

when all is in a downturn,

and there is bitter strife

which ever way you turn,

with slaughter and torture

and assaults in retribution,

both now and in the future,

at civilian populations

seeking only their liberty

with a surge of revolutions.

 

A light shines bright

with the human capacity

for hope, seemingly idiotic

in rejecting the reality

that the fall is catastrophic

with no clear solutions.

And inadequate humans

struggle to find resolutions,

while believing in illusions,

lost now in the morass

of a financial meltdown.

Creating a new underclass

with every single downturn

in markets everywhere.

No glass ceiling, but a wall,

impassable except for the rare,

an elite now reigning over all.

 

A light shines bright

from seemingly nowhere.

No rhyme or reason why

any should believe it there

maybe to pacify or gratify.

But humans are strange,

when all is at its worst,

we believe in change,

denying that we're cursed.

That it is even possible

defies all that's logical,

and highly improbable,

verging on pathological,

but cling on to hope

that still burns bright

as if to a safety rope,

in the darkness of the night

we believe that one day

everything will be all right.

 

**************

 

Hope

 

A light shines bright,

in spite of all the gloom,

amidst many a prediction

of forthcoming doom.

The human predilection

for the negative is rife

when all is in a downturn,

and there is bitter strife

which ever way you turn,

with slaughter and torture

and assaults in retribution,

both now and in the future,

at civilian populations

seeking only their liberty

with a surge of revolutions.

 

A light shines bright

with the human capacity

for hope, seemingly idiotic

in rejecting the reality

that the fall is catastrophic

with no clear solutions.

And inadequate humans

struggle to find resolutions,

while believing in illusions,

lost now in the morass

of a financial meltdown.

Creating a new underclass

with every single downturn

in markets everywhere.

No glass ceiling, but a wall,

impassable except for the rare,

an elite now reigning over all.

 

A light shines bright

from seemingly nowhere.

No rhyme or reason why

any should believe it there

maybe to pacify or gratify.

But humans are strange,

when all is at its worst,

we believe in change,

denying that we're cursed.

That it is even possible

defies all that's logical,

and highly improbable,

verging on pathological,

but stay holding on to hope

that still burns bright

as if to a safety rope,

in the darkness of the night

we believe that one day

everything will be all right.

 

**************

 

Constantine

 

Constantine was an emperor of old,

in fact, quite a devious rogue we're told.

When the Roman empire began to crumble,

and the people were beginning to grumble,

he had trouble winning strategic battles,

and keeping control of all his vassals,

until he hit upon a cunning plan.

Christianity, of which he had been no fan,

suddenly seemed most suitable

as a glue to keep the people pliable.

He stuck the cross upon his banner

and won the next battle in such a manner

that nobody could dispute this message

Christianity could save Rome from wreckage.

 

There was a problem though, it proposed

humility, love and poverty if you were disposed

to enter its promised heaven, and Constantine

saw that didn't fit with his agenda, not being benign,

in fact, downright cruel, having boiled his wife

to death in her bath, this man, throughout his life,

fought to hold onto power, and Christ's teaching

wouldn't have his wholehearted backing.

So he called a council, wrote the Christian credo,

then adopted Christianity with apparent gusto

as the State Religion, and discarded the parts

that would have softened the people's hearts,

and made them anti-war and violence,

sharing, caring, with the Beatitudes their guidance.

 

He replaced them with his own ideas and views

and, in this way, destroyed the idea of virtues,

introducing Princes to an established Church,

who proceeded to wield great power, and besmirch

any goodness originally taught by a holy man

who fell out with even older powers when he ran

up against them in Palestine , and so it goes

the never ending destruction of the good by foes

who would rule the people with a rod of iron,

threatening them with eternal fires that burn

if they don't bow down before their decrees,

encyclicals, dogma and tenets in all the countries

that eventually they conquered, thanks entirely

to this Emperor Constantine, who, so very ably,

succeeded in creating a myth, now a nightmare

which the world would pay for everywhere.

 

***************

 

But not quite yet.

 

Rhetoric spills from mouths

trained in speaking publicly,

honed speeches by creators

employed to rouse, inspire,

persuade, cajole, promise

better things to come, and

the listeners lap up the words

wanting to believe, yearning

for something akin to the truth

to spew forth from silver slippery

tongues doomed forever

to disappointment, disillusionment

for none fulfil the hopes

of the listeners, all is hype,

the aim to win hearts and minds.

The first casualty is the possible.

Politicians appear sincere,

believing their own rhetoric

for some, not yet in power,

but, if elected, discover

they are impotent, chained,

all is compromise, corruption

is endemic, not called thus,

but facing reality for the new

incumbent, and the speech creators

go back to the drawing board

for new rhetoric needs writing,

manipulation of the masses,

reassuring them that broken promises

are temporary setbacks and delays.

Peace will come one day,

but not quite yet, nuclear weapons

will be discarded, but not quite yet,

the poor will be taken care of,

but not quite yet, everybody

will have prosperity but not quite yet,

a few will have obscene wealth,

but that's the reality of this world,

and the politicians in ascendancy

count their own millions and sigh

if only they could raise all so high,

then turn back to their speech writers

for more cant and hypocrisy

of ‘we're all in this together' tripe.

And the listeners sneer now

for they know they have been duped,

robbed, used, and abused,

but the speeches lured them in

and now the politicians spit them

out again, their beds feathered

while the listeners wonder whether

they're going to have homes next year,

or jobs, or keep their heads above

the water line while the elite

laugh all the way to the bank.

And the listeners will never believe

in the rhetoric again as their faith

in words died under the weight

of cant, hypocrisy and downright lies.

 

***********

 

Birth of a Myth

 

Across the world, believers prepare

for the birth of a babe so rare,

no less than God's only son,

the blessed holy chosen one.

Born into a world sunk in sin

to live for a while amongst his kin,

until the day, when he had to leave

for another land his teaching to receive.

 

When he returned a man, he chose

twelve men to impart to them his credos,

and set out to share his wisdom

and his knowledge so all might become

holier and more beloved of his Father

rather than paying homage to Caesar.

In time, he rose to fame, and his name

was known for setting hearts aflame

and for miracles and healing

which brought many kneeling

at his feet. But he roused the wrath of some,

for he was endangering their kingdom.

 

Aware now of his imminent doom,

he prepared a final meal in a hired room,

and, in the darkness, when it was over,

one of his chosen had him taken captor.

A trial, a whipping, the people's denial

led, inevitably, to a sentence so cruel.

Upon a hill, in shame, he was crucified

and his accusers departed satisfied,

he had been silenced once and for all.

But, in the darkness of the tomb, a call

stirred him back to life, and he rose

to walk once more amongst those

who grieved his loss, now full of joy

for here was a life none could destroy.

And, once more, the man took his leave

satisfied they would not grieve

for he promised to return again in time

and bring about an earth sublime.

 

Two thousand years or more have passed

and there are believers still steadfast

in their belief that he will return one day

though none know when or in what way,

but cling onto the hope that it is true

as they wait for the earth to be made new.

 

**************

 

Spirits

 

A gentle spirit walks the earth in peace,

a happy spirit walks the earth with joy,

a fiery spirit walks the earth with passion,

an indifferent spirit walks the earth with apathy,

an angry spirit walks the earth with rage,

and so it has been through every age,

some spirits imbued with peace and tranquility.

Of their own making, it has to be asked. Why

such a one is moved this way while another

is set on fire with indignation at injustice,

and yet another filled with venomous anger

for wrongs done to them in life of mostly strife.

And then there are those who feign indifference

to everything, apathetic and lazy, but why,

what moved all to be the way they are in life?

Are each born with an inbuilt spirit going one way?

Do each fulfill a role that enables each to live

the way their inbuilt spirit demands of them?

Or, is their nature nurtured by their lives

when young, leading them to eventually become

what they are, gentle, fiery, indifferent or angry.

and what of the happy? Is happiness of nature

grown or imbued from a person's birth? Filled

with an optimistic outlook on life, overcoming

obstacles that defeated others while maintaining

a cheerfulness that could be seen as misplaced

in the extreme, but, nonetheless, remains

consistently in place. Perhaps, like the stars

all are born under, each spirit has a role to play,

none can be judged or praised for in their day

to day existences they are merely doing

what comes naturally to each, and, in so doing,

keep the world rolling along, not with a song,

but a wail for none can foresee the outcome

of such a mix as these in a world fixed in time

on a merry go round of counteracting forces

to keep it spinning until it finally stops sometime.

 

************

 

Benefit Scrounger

 

I've bought my presents for everybody,

I should be happy but I've borrowed money,

I know I'll have to pay the debt off very slowly,

and, if bad times come, worse than now,

I know I'll have to borrow more anyhow.

It seems a struggle every day to make ends meet,

don't think I'm ever going to get back on my feet.

I'm on my own with my three kids, feeling beat.

Have tried so hard to look for work but there isn't any,

and everything is costing more by the day, and money

disappears on bills, food, and some important thing.

 

And every Christmas it's the same old tune, I've nothing

left for presents for my kids, so it's the money lender

once again, and I'm no extravagant spender,

I only buy small gifts, and make Santa the sender.

But still they all cost more each year, and my partner

did a runner ages ago, he was useless anyhow,

so nothing coming in from him, and benefit cuts now

are threatened by the politicians, who pretend somehow

to know what life is like for us ,which I could allow

if they weren't all millionaires with no idea whatsoever

of how I live, and I refuse now to vote for any ever.

 

I've got my pride and we've been taken for a ride

and they'll never ever take a single mother's side,

I'm classed as a benefit scrounger, sitting on my backside,

taking money undeserved by mostly the well heeled or rich.

Let's face it, for the likes of me, life really can be a bitch.

 

***************

 

The Chosen

 

Chosen from among the masses,

picked out as special, placed on high,

a pedestal fit for gods, kings or queens,

on which to stand, idolized by crowds.

A life picked to pieces and presented

for consumption, to induce curiosity,

admiration, envy or contempt, not born

to an elite or into aristocracy, but raised

from the ground by publicity, by hacks,

by appearances in public, by paparazzi,

and, from the pedestals, comes the fall

when life ceases to be called one's own,

but now belongs to the masses to consume,

every scandal, weakness, bodily size,

shape, alteration, relationships in or out,

‘friends' opinions, enemies snipes

and harmful disclosures, and despair

sets in, fear gives way to paranoia,

drink, drugs, any means of escape

comes into play just to try to get away

from being observed, judged, criticized,

hated, loved, adored, vilified or abhorred.

 

But, once the light shines on the pedestal,

there is no escape, no getting away,

chosen by the masses, and there to stay,

even if the life is dying, ruined by it all,

but some say, the chosen chose it

so only have themselves to blame, their name

in lights was their desire, they ignored

what happened to others raised on high,

and now, they weep and wail, run to hide

as the masses ogle at their pain, secretly

satisfied that they have been brought down,

or weeping at their loss of titillation,

excitation as they lived their empty lives

through the chosens' eyes, and willed

they would go on forever for without them

they had so little, life seemed so futile

and mean. But, in the end, the chosen

all will fall, for, in the believing,

that they are special, comes the delusion

that they're of particular worth,

the reality though is it's just a fantasy,

created for distraction, while the real

world goes on beneath the pedestal,

a world where control is power

over the masses, and the chosen smile

through empty eyes from their pedestals

on high, a special one for every passer by.

 

*************

 

Death of Sanity

 

To walk a line of sanity

in a world full of inanity

is pretty hard to do

when all around imbue

sense with absurdity,

reason with perversity,

and logic is abandoned

before being examined,

until ignorance is wise

and knowledge is lies.

 

When nothing is believed

so all are deceived,

and all that is real

has little or no appeal,

then fantasy rules supreme

and views become extreme.

 

And sanity retires

as insanity conspires

to gain dominance over all

leaving the mad with the ball.

And the world is an asylum

where stupidity is a premium,

so the wise take a back seat,

preferring to retreat,

until sanity is restored,

when the mad return to their ward.

 

***********

 

Mortality

 

Mortality, mortality, wherefore art thou, my mortality?

I have no proof it's even a reality, could be dream

of some higher being, or a virtual world

of coded programs, a quantum glitch is the scheme

of things, a moment in time when Life popped

into existence and will soon pop out again,

when the sun goes super nova, or even sooner,

if humans act as gods and reign down ruin

and destruction on the earth, wiping out

all life, or the climate will bring about

changes not conducive to mere mortals,

and bring to an end a questionable reality,

because they believe in their superiority

to overcome supposed enemies with more

than bows and arrows, instead to use the fires

of hell, that which keeps the planets turning,

the Universe existing, galaxies spinning,

nuclear power which they have harnessed.

But, like an untamed animal, it defies control,

was never meant to be tamed or possessed,

but now within the reach of primal humans,

unready for its capture, some burning

to utilize their weapons, to crush a foe

before they acquire the power to use it too.

 

And so the cry is there for all to hear,

a blight on the houses of the warmongers,

the money men, the manipulators, the advertisers,

and those who would be predators as in the days

of dinosaurs that grow ever larger in every way,

and, now, uncovered are countless hapless prey.

Just like today, the predators roam the lands.

In every nation, they abound and their prey

munch sedately on what they're given,

little as it may be, or even nothing, and hope

that things will change if they wait a while,

but nothing will. It seems the imprint of the wild,

is written deep within the world and on the earth,

long before humans came to birth, the predator

and prey was established well and truly,

and that's the sad fact of this our current reality.

 

So I can cry mortality, mortality, wherefore art thou,

my mortality? I have no proof it's even a reality,

could be a dream, and, sometimes, I really hope

it is for, in this current scheme, we're doomed,

but, if a dream, perhaps, one day, we could wake up

and begin to drink from another much fuller cup.

Alternatively, the prey could turn on the predator

and establish a better way to live, and have their say

on what they want, but, up till now, the latter

have all the power, though, maybe, not for long

as a lot is going wrong. Perhaps all is not gloom

and doom, and, maybe, things could change real soon,

but only if the prey believe they have power too.

 

*************

 

Life's Paths

 

We walk untidy paths through life,

tangled weeds and obstacles block the way.

They veer round bends unexpected,

career downhill when least expected,

then travel uphill exhausting us

as we haul ourselves up steep slopes

to careen down again, sometimes

tripping and falling, sometimes

coming to a standstill when looming

before us is an obstacle so large

we stand in awe, and wonder how

we'll ever get round or over such

as this, but, invariably, we manage

somehow to find a way and carry on

our journey through life's paths,

some hairy, scary or downright weird,

while others are so smooth we think

our troubles are all over and life

is going to be good from now on.

And then we hit another path iced

underfoot, cold with harsh winds

blowing, nearly toppling us over,

but we battle on, well most of us do.

 

Sadly, casualties can occur on the way,

some find the going just too hard,

and fall overwhelmed by life,

with its capacity to be unduly cruel

suddenly, as it takes away the ground

beneath our feet to leave us crying,

beaten and in despair, but most of us

will find a different path, one kinder

for a while, and so we'll walk from

one to another until one path comes

to an end, and we can go no further.

Then it's time to bid farewell to life

in the only form we've ever known,

and accept the changes that will come,

for come they will in an unknown form.

Those paths stay concealed no matter

what is believed by some, we do

not know what lies beyond life's paths,

but can hope that all we are has value

somewhere when earthly time for us

comes to a final, hopefully, peaceful end.

 

************

 

Be Prepared

 

Sharpen your fangs, hone your nails,

tune up your wits, and arm yourself well

for this world is full of traps, pitfalls,

snares, scams and schemes for the unwary.

You see one thing and get another,

you're promised the earth and discover

you've been given trash. The decision

you made to purchase an item was rash

when you find out the strings attached

were hidden and you owe cash every month.

Free to cancel, but poorer now, and you think

where was my brain when buying the thing?

But it's not your fault, the plan is to conceal

behind a ‘Buy Now, special offer ends soon',

the real price of the deal and it's not

in your favour, now leaving you to savour

the feeling that you've been done.

 

Won't be the first or probably the last time

you've slipped up, missing the small print

or a choice of buttons to press, and clicked

on one to find it was a costly choice.

Ah, what fun it is to have to put on armour,

strap on your weapons, and boost up

your courage before you step into the world

of the Net with its myriads of offers,

invitations to join in games of poker, bingo,

or some other form of gambling with cash

to start you off. How kind, or not,

for they'll fleece you for sure before you

know how to stop, and bargains galore

are there for the taking, but not lasting

forever, and you have to be so discerning

when checking a purchase, that ‘in stock'

means just that, because, frequently,

it does not, so you find yourself pre-ordering,

something you never intended or wanted,

and you wait, and wait, and continue to wait

for something that doesn't turn up, and never

will turn up, because it was never ever in stock.

 

So take care when you visit the Net,

unless you're a seasoned surfer and buyer,

and, even then, you can find yourself done.

Never take ‘buy' without first checking out

small details, and then take your time,

new offers arise every second of every day,

so you've lost nothing by waiting. Wise

to be sure, and far less costly in the end,

if you've covered your backside

when you go on the Net to ensure

it's a pleasure not a bore or a pain

in the butt, and this advice is free,

coming from someone who's been done

once or twice in her life, and hopes

it won't happen to others, so have

a great day, and happy surfing today,

tomorrow, and into the unforeseeable future.

 

**************

 

A New Day

 

We waken to a new world every day,

nothing is the same, no atom, molecule,

or any other thing is the same as yesterday.

All is in constant flux, and we are too.

If you were blue a few hours ago, no need

to be today, for it's a new world that grew

while you slept, so lay aside the old,

it's not worth hanging on to what has gone,

most of it was trash if the truth be told.

We're all speeding through existence

like a bullet from a gun, even though

it feels like we're standing still, resistance

is futile, this is the way everything moves

from the past, to the present and on into the future,

ever changing, ever morphing from one

being into another and what you knew for sure,

isn't there anymore for every single cell

in your body is changed every seven years,

which is probably a shock but just as well,

for, if it didn't happen, we'd cease to be

too darn quickly. So put on a happy face,

because life, the Universe cosmologically,

at the macro and the micro level is on the go,

so don't sit back and let life pass you by,

wake up and join the fun, cast off your woe,

for today is completely and utterly brand new.

 

************

 

Time Passes By

 

How quickly time slips away,

you rise in the morning, not too early,

not too late, just right at nine.

For retirement allows flexibility

and no guilt for sleeping in a bit,

and the excuse, if one is needed,

going to bed past midnight , so reason

enough for staying in bed for another hour.

 

How quickly the time slips away,

with intentions to rise at nine,

but with tea and chats, it moves

to ten, and then there's breakfast

to eat, washing up to be done,

and, emails to read, the Net to scan,

and before you know it, it's coffee

time for mid-morning has arrived

and you're still not dressed.

 

How quickly the time slips away

when coffee is drunk, and more

chats ensue, a huge distraction

comes when a parcel has arrived.

It requires unpacking, no easy thing,

with layers of padding, and a box

with its contents wrapped up as well,

and, by the time it's undone,

you're still not dressed but nearly

there, though the morning has gone.

 

How quickly the time slips away

now you've managed to get dressed

and your ablutions are out of the way,

and you glance at the clock and see

that a third of the day has passed by

as the clock hits one and you know

that it's lunch time, so it's off

to the kitchen for sandwiches and tea,

then a brief rest for digestion,

and it's the afternoon and time to play.

 

*************

 

Winter Cometh

 

The day dawns discreet, creeping in

like candlelight rising over the horizon,

shrouded in mist and errant cloud

to hide the true glow from creatures

waiting huddled in the trees, or in or on

the ground, awakening from the dark

of the night to greet the murky daylight

with a subdued chorus for the air

is still ice cold. No warmth emanating

from this sunlight as winter takes hold

of the earth for another year, and winds

howl their dismay stirring waves on seas

to blast shores in fury, venting spleen

on a land that blocks their way.

 

And the people wake to find winter's

harsh grasp has returned once more.

No more walking uncoated, at ease,

now padding, scarves and gloves

protect vulnerable flesh from months

of cold, and the winds shake the guttering,

rattle the tiles, and announce loudly

their presence with ferocious blustering.

 

Is this a change from what has been,

or an omen of things to come? Seasons

behaving so differently, heralding

a century when what was is no more,

for the climate is changing, disrupting

what has been and disturbing everything

and everyone, for change brings fear,

paranoia, a wondering what the future

holds, and the seas roil in anger,

the winds howl in fury, and snow

blankets the land as a new kind

of Winter is born, one with an icy

hand, and bitter grasp, not seen

for a long while in Albion 's fair land.

 

***************

 

A Familiar Tale

 

‘You jest, kind sir,' said the startled maid,

having just been told that she wouldn't be paid.

‘You've had me working for many a long hour,

set me to cooking, scrubbing and to scour,

and now you tell me you have no money,

this really has to be a jest and it isn't funny.'

‘I'm afraid it is no jest,' her employer replied.

‘It's reached a point when I can no longer hide

that money is so short, I can only afford my wife

for I've had some recent misfortune in my life.'

 

And so, with suitcase in her hand, the maid left

with many a tear, and sighs for she was bereft.

No money meant the poor house in dire cases

and hers was one for she had no earthly riches.

While her husband did send the maid away,

the wife listened with pleasure not dismay

for she had discovered her husband wasn't true.

His game was the pretty maid to pursue,

and, when he'd caught her, did take her to bed,

something that made her wish both were dead.

Now, the maid was dismissed, her husband contrite,

and everything was restored to what was right.

 

But what she did not know was the maid

was pregnant after his flirtatious escapade,

and, so this sorry tale, is nothing new,

a man had his way then his responsibility eschew,

leaving many a poor young thing to find her way

alone, with no family, having to survive day by day,

but this particular maid, being no pushover,

decided to plead her cause, and found a lawyer.

In no time at all, the husband was made to pay

a sum for his offspring and her straightaway.

The outcome of this tale is his wife and he

rued the day they'd treated the maid so badly,

and now they spend their days short of money

while the maid lives well and that is funny.

 

************

 

The Seeker

 

The philosopher seeks the truth,

the underlying reality supporting all,

probing beneath the surface,

climbing walls placed by the fearful,

the powerful, the ones who hide

behind rituals, dogma and scriptures

manufactured from the human mind

to describe, explain, to pontificate

on what is incomprehensible,

a mystery, an enigma, the variations

of which confound the brain,

and so, it is believed, better to conceal

what is unknown from the masses

for the ignorant and fearful

are more easily controllable.

 

But the philosopher stands apart,

denying the impossibility of discerning

what lies beneath the surface,

while the scientist explores the material,

the philosopher probes the meaning

of existence, knowledge, values, reason,

mind, and language. But, each one

proposes something different from

another, and so confusion multiplies

for which is right, just as can be asked

which scientific theory is correct,

they, too, a multiple in number,

each straining to be the truth.

 

In the end, of only one fact

can all be certain, there is no one

individual who has pinned down

the truth, nor perhaps there ever

will be, for the truth is elusive,

slipping away like water through

fingers, theories of reality abound,

and philosophers all insist

they want to know the truth,

what reality really is, what existence

is, but, if the truth be known,

none do, for in the knowing,

would be the end of seeking,

and the seeking for the answers

is what give human existence

purpose, hope and determination

to carry on for what is not known now,

might be known one day in the future

and so the human race survives

to live and breathe for yet another day

and the truth stays hidden, buried

deep within reality tantalizingly

near but yet so very far away.

 

*************

 

A Salve

 

Flowing streams of sounds

filter through, raising spirits,

enhancing life as rhythms,

and tones drift into the mind,

stirring the heart, bringing

a peace temporarily lost

in the mayhem of the day.

Melodic notes whisper sweet

tunes, ethereal, mystic,

soothing the troubled spirit,

creating images of the sea,

of caves, and waves lapping

on seashores, breezes wafting

and silence falls momentarily

to continue with gentle harmony.

A salve is music in a world

drifting it knows not where,

no peace there, but in the sounds,

the flowing streams filter

through the air and calm

the mind, the heart, and still

the flesh and give to all sweet rest.

 

************

 

A Theory

 

Neurons flash and a theory emerges,

concise and clear to the mind's eye.

Pristine in its clarity, shattering

previous mind sets and ideas,

and, while initially, explicable

in simple terms and analogies,

its true complexity unfolds slowly

revealing depths unrealized,

paths not trodden before, and

uncovers patterns concealed

before, now open for exposure

to change forever coveted

thoughts and world perspectives,

opinions and knowledge that once

sufficed to describe life on earth,

and all that it entailed, now written

in a geometric pattern that glitters

from dull to brilliant in the light

of a new way of seeing, understanding,

and explaining who, why and what

we are, and how everything we do

functions, and has done from

the beginning and will do to the end.

 

*************

 

Invisible Webs

 

A look across a counter, momentary,

a smile, a blush, laughter, a resolution,

then a date, and something was set in motion,

neither participant could have foreseen

or have imagined, a bond formed, invisible

influences leapt into action, guiding,

propelling two individuals into a life

never envisaged by either, nor dreamed

of by either, as a web of events unfolded,

luring them in, wrapping them in silken

threads, inescapable, be it destiny or fate,

something was working to keep the bond

intact and, in a brief space of time, two lives

entwined as one, and an unlikely pair

discovered they had not what they dreamed

but what they needed to survive, to grow,

to be happy in the end, and to value

in the other depths, invisible initially

but so apparent over the passage of time,

which bore fruit that would probably

have shriveled on the tree if not together,

for each gave to the other the liberty

to simply be themselves, and in so doing,

set the other free to explore their potential,

their desires, their dreams, and bear

fruit of their own that never fell far

from the tree, but bearing his own

individuality, personality, and character,

and, to this day, the two explore life

as partners for life, in their own way,

in their own time, faithful to one another

and still loving the other passionately.

 

**********

 

Pivotal points

 

Pivotal points in time and space,

link one to another,

and, in the linking,

bond one to the other.

 

If temporary,

the bond will fail,

if permanent,

it will hold fast,

and last, to continue a family tree

for perpetuity.

 

Open ended entanglement

creates a world incapable of conformity.

A world unified and whole

can never be.

 

Only an individual

can achieve that reality.

Cooperation maintains existence,

ensures the continuation

of each generation.

 

The disjunction of interactions

causes conflict and wars

until cooperation is restored,

when links are re-established

and peace reigns again.

 

All are subject to the pivotal points

in time and space remaining

linked one to another,

and, in the linking,

bond one to the other.

 

*************

 

Glitches

 

When your equilibrium is out of kilter,

and you need to see the world through a filter.

When what you took for granted disappears,

it raises a whole load of unspoken fears.

Something is getting at you personally.

This is, of course, total rubbish really,

but the first steps to paranoia have been sown

and all you think that you have known

suddenly vanishes in a sense of persecution,

and you're demanding instant retribution,

even though, in reality, the problem

is most likely a hiccup in the system.

 

Discombobulation can strike you abruptly

making you behave somewhat insanely,

but there is hope for us all at such a time,

it's a reminder that we need some downtime,

a space to appreciate that these glitches,

are not the fates or destiny playing jinxes.

So the next time you're thrown out of kilter,

create a happy, cheerful rainbow filter

and you'll see the world through new specs,

using them to balance all with rational checks,

then go and make yourself a cup of tea,

or pour yourself a glass of wine or have a coffee,

and relax for life goes on for all the hitches,

all the obstacles, it's just life and all its riches.

 

***********

 

Blind Justice

 

Blind Justice, white stick clicking away,

walked the earth searching for fairness,

equality, and righteous laws to govern all

but all paths ended in a solid brick wall.

 

And blind Justice cried out in protest

for there was no balance in the scales,

they tip tilted heavily towards the elite

leaving the poor to struggle in their defeat.

 

And blind Justice swore to right this wrong,

by raising up an army of voices rarely heard,

for long silenced by limits on their freedom,

now enabled to resist the unjust system.

 

And blind Justice walked a different path,

a network around the globe was found,

one that linked the army across the earth

where a new revolution was coming to birth.

 

And blind Justice prepared the way,

the rise at last of fairness, equality

and justice tempered with compassion,

a world of peace and co-operation.

 

But blind Justice saw a future grim

for the elite would not yield their power,

but would use it with cruel brutality

to crush the voices of every nationality.

 

But blind Justice saw that, in the end,

the power of the elite would be over

when the ordinary people rose as one,

and a new world was born under the sun.

 

************

 

Tabula Rasa?

 

Entering the world, tabula rasa,

waiting to be written upon,

like a blackboard before the chalk

is applied, and words, symbols

or images form, transferred

to neurons desiring information,

knowledge for creating awareness,

consciousness, conscience, light

to the darkness of ignorance,

and the new, like a sponge, absorbs

it all, unaware of what can damage

and what can benefit its growth,

its eventual sense of wholeness,

its integrity, and its mental,

physical and emotional health.

 

But, maybe, the tabula rasa is untrue.

Perhaps all come with inbuilt

worlds written into the code,

genetic inheritance passed down

through centuries in time and space,

born again in the new to be

enacted again in a different age,

and built upon to pass on

to another generation when

the time is right, or not at all,

which will be the end of one line,

lost in time forever if progeny

is not born to carry the inheritance

on embodied in time and space.

 

Whatever the reality of the new,

the inheritance factor is probably

true, but the world the new

is born into has a different

reality, so what came before

can influence for good or ill,

but not overwhelm the experiences

gained when the chalk writes

on the blackboard once again,

and knowledge expands in time,

carrying forward awareness

and exultation amidst the pain

of growth when a different reality

is imprinted on a new blood line.

 

****************

 

Censorship

 

The flexing sinews of oppression

slither over hard won freedom,

with gaping jaws dislocated

to swallow whole what lies

before it, the liberty to speak freely.

Now perceived as perilous,

a threat to the free world,

as the virtual world searches

out the fanatic, the terrorist,

the angry and the rebellious.

Give to the user the right

to report them, another day

for Hoover users to vacuum

up the undesirable, the thinkers,

the non-conformists as in the past

so, once more, it is proposed again,

a witchhunt across the globe.

This time, not confined

to a single country breeding

paranoia like maggots creating

flies on dead carcasses. And

the world observes the censors

waving their canes to cut off

the unwanted, the miscreants,

those that voice their hatred

and frustration aloud. Overt

for all to see and ignore, or read

if that's what turns others on,

but drive them underground,

and, like a blind boil, poison

seeps into the body undetected

until too late. Fools censor,

the wise observe, decide,

and counteract if required,

but not if covert then real

damage could be perpetrated,

and the world could see

the result of oppression's fruit,

when fools censor liberty.

 

**********

 

The Weekend

 

A comfy armchair, a piece of music,

maybe a book at hand, and time

to relax, to be laid back, pressure

off, no work, time to play.

The weekend is unplanned,

whatever turns up, turns up,

time to cook a decent meal,

not a rushed one when work

is done. A film to watch later,

a few glasses of wine to ease

the last stress from bodies

used to rushing everywhere,

obeying orders or issuing them,

sorting out confusion, settling

conflict, dealing with boredom,

in house fighting, employees

whining, genuine discontent

voiced, implying resentment

because nothing changes.

Customers requiring pleasing,

complaining, pacifying or

chastising, patience waning,

constantly in need of reviving.

And money doesn't stretch

far now, and the bills pile in,

but now the comfy chair,

a piece of music, and maybe

a book at hand, beckons,

time to relax, to be laid back,

for the weekend is here again.

Too soon Monday will return,

but, until then, it's time to forget

the outside world, time to play

just for these two days off,

knowing not all are so lucky,

many work Saturday and Sunday,

but here, now, it's my own time,

so I'll shut the world out,

retreat into my shell, and enjoy

peace and quiet in my own way.

 

***********

 

The Union

 

A bond, a union, deep and real,

binding two until, becoming one,

they function in tandem,

content to have another

share their existence, their views,

their thoughts, their dreams,

living in each other's pockets,

to some smothering, to others,

a source of envy. To yet still more,

a yearning for their bond

with another, long gone now,

broken by death or incompatibility,

unfaithfulness, violence, or some

unnamed reason, to live alone

now, but seeking another to find

that bond again, one deep and real.

 

Never easy, wrought with risk,

uncertainty, self-doubt and fear

that what they see may not be real,

for past experience makes

cautious hearts, not readily given,

but could be tentatively wooed.

Trust being the element missing,

often through past wounds,

when bonds were smashed

like china against a wall.

When those loved were left

bereft of heart that had believed

them bonded to another for life.

 

Yet, where the bond remains,

so arises an unspoken fear

of loss, only realized intensely

when the other is away,

however briefly, of what life

would be like if the tandem

breaks, and shatters a heart

that beat as one with another

through the vicissitudes of life

and loved by the other, flaws and all,

in the union of a husband and wife.

 

**********

 

The Sculptor

 

The fragility of age creeps up

on bodies, imperceptible

in its advance, like a glacier

slipping, crushing all in its path,

so age betrays the mind,

agile still, and bemused,

for what was easy suddenly

becomes so hard until

impossible, and then the mind

cries out in protest, unfair

this disintegration when

wisdom has been acquired,

when a life has knocked

sharp edges off and made

a polished shape sculptured

over decades refined, ready

only to be destroyed as if

of no consequence, and life

moves on to its next piece

of clay, moulding, shaping,

hacking, beating it until

malleable, and stands back

to regard its handiwork

before time undoes it

without mercy or respect.

 

Expendable sculptures honed

by existence to be laid low

as age breaks sequences,

disrupts the healing power

in youthful cells, and the body

submits with resignation

to what it cannot stop,

entropy in action, the essential

element to existence, forever

making room for the new.

So what was must perish,

must wither and die, it is the Law,

the Universe's prerogative

to decide who lives and who dies,

and when. The fortunate ones

reach the fragility of age,

while so many die unsculpted

before their time, going back

into the Universe's arms

to be reconstituted again

in Time, somewhere, some time.

 

***************

 

Timeless bond

 

A touch stirs

a memory, more than

that, a sense

of a presence,

beloved, embracing,

loving, holding,

not wanting

it to slip away.

Gentle caress,

heart aflame,

fleeting, momentary,

utterly encompassing.

Bonds unbreakable

over time,

in space intact

for a life span,

and, perhaps,

beyond, infinitely

precious

and so much more

than a memory.

 

************

 

Cricket

 

‘Lickety spicket, that's not playing cricket',

the umpire declared as tempers flared,

the ball had curved, the cricketer swerved,

breaking his toe, which meant he had to go.

His team protested, and strongly requested

the bowler be banned, and a reprimand

for an illegal ball be heard by one and all.

The umpire agreed, and loudly decreed

the bowler was wrong but, before too long,

his team came out and demanded a turnabout.

The ball wasn't illegal, it was, in fact, quite legal.

They had the rule book so the umpire could look,

and, sure enough, they knew their stuff,

a curve ball was allowed, and the crowd

supporting that team, to let off steam,

began to shout, threatening a walkout

if the bowler didn't return, demanded a u-turn,

then stamped their feet to a threatening beat.

The umpire hastily declared the ball was fair,

then order was restored with all in accord

once more, and the game resumed its aim,

to beat the other side, retain their team's pride,

keep the players intact, but that got sidetracked

by the cricketer's toe which was a nasty blow,

but, all in all, the teams did avoid any extremes,

and it was all fair play on a bright summer's day

on the local green, a thoroughly pleasant scene.

 

******

 

The Yeast of Life

 

The yeast of discontent sifts through the flour,

its dust as numerous as the people on the earth,

rising in the waters of fear and rebellion,

moving on the oil of wrath and frustration,

sweetened by honeyed words of the pacifiers,

tempered by the salt that tastes the hypocrisy

and cant, the bread expands in the heat

of rhetoric, oven warmed to double in size

exponentially with each set aside until

squashed back down by batons and shields,

stamped feet and charges with tear gas

and bullets to retreat, and divide into factions,

each to rise again, waiting for the fires

to blaze hot enough to bake the bread.

The bread that is composed of people,

their lives, their dreams, their hopes,

not prepared to let them go, removed

by those intent on drowning the blaze,

of destroying the rising, and flattening

rebellion beneath fists of iron, but yeast

isn't so easily killed, given flour, honey,

salt and oil, it will activate again, and again.

the bread of life is the staff of life,

food of the spirit, the binder of people

in its breaking, crush it and it will return

over and over and over again.

 

****************

 

Clearing Fog

 

From fog to mist to clear

and brightly shines the view

so shrouded once in droplets

of condensed water concealing

all in a blanket of moisture,

then, in the warmth, dissipating,

gradually, gently enlightening

to reveal the world anew.

 

And so it is with all on earth,

the slow unfolding of objects,

before eyes still misty from time

in the womb until the fog clears

and, what was strange, clarifies,

becomes known, and appears

familiar from then on, when

objects change into subjects.

 

And life will remain in a fog

for all. Mysteries, hidden in time,

wrapped in mists of ignorance

slowly, if ever, yielding secrets

kept from eyes for millennia,

buried for fear of dire regrets

for not all knowledge is benign

while some is uplifting and sublime.

 

When blinded in the fog, tread

with care. Eyes blinded cannot see

there are pitfalls, abysses, dangers

lurking everywhere. Proceeding

with caution is wise, but rarely

heeded, mostly, all go stumbling

along, hoping for the best, then

regretting their rash impetuosity.

 

Fog is there for a purpose,

slowing progress for young eyes

to see all too quickly, it blinds

but protects the weak and immature,

leading them gently into reality,

allowing them to see the grandeur

of life, the Universe and the earth,

a gift leading all to adult lives.

 

************

 

Boxes

 

There's a space for everybody in this world,

a slot where each and everyone belongs

but the world conspires to dislodge that slot,

to place it where it wants individuals to go,

boxes designed, not for human habitation

but convenience, to control the population.

It's not a good thing for human freedom,

it's bad for progress, for the human constitution,

it makes people sick, keeps them down,

repressing them, but promoted as best for all.

Try and escape from the boxes is treason,

the controllers can see no adequate reason

why any individual would prefer to roam free,

not be tied to a system designed by nerds

for governments and covert schemers.

 

It's for the people's protection, to root out

the dangerous, the criminal, the terrorist,

for now, but, in the event of a revolution,

it's for rooting out the rebel, the protester,

the ordinary man or woman in the street

who, seeing they are little more than slaves,

rise up and take up banners and march

against those who would box them in,

oust them from their real slots in life,

and reduce them all to numbers, allocated

from birth unto their death, denying

them a true identity, they're real names,

limiting their potential, while pretending

to educate all, but really, underneath, keeping

a large group for work no one else will do,

for the boring jobs where intelligence

is not required, just a willingness to carry out

the same work over and over and over again

for wages kept low enough to prevent

revolt, supplemented with benefits,

to be used as weapons when the time comes

should the group decide they'll take no more.

 

It's a vicious circle humans are now in,

boxed, numbered, restricted, manipulated,

not a happy state of affairs, and one,

that really must be, eventually, undone

or the world will implode for nobody

is born to be categorized from birth,

allocated a slot not their own on earth,

and then obliged to spend their lives

serving masters never seen who live

in luxury, while the masses build a world

not for them but for these overseers,

and work as slaves until they die,

this is not the world for human beings,

it's become a world for oppressors,

tyrants, dictators, and politicians

who are mouthpieces of the masters.

Time to take back our slots in life,

climb out the boxes and liberate

our world from controllers of our fate

before it's too damned late.

 

************

 

The Garden

 

And they were cast out of the Garden

after eating of the tree of Knowledge,

but, I heard another say, that is not so,

we're still in the Garden, Paradise

is all around, but, with knowledge,

comes blindness to the beauty all around,

to the lion laying down with the lamb,

to the peace and harmony, to the earth,

our home, where angels walk and a deity

looks down upon its own reflection,

and sentient life strains to rise to greet

the creator, to embrace the maker,

and the bearers of knowledge stumble

and fall believing themselves alone,

abandoned, outside the garden wall,

suffering hard and long, yearning

for forgiveness, for reconciliation,

but none is required, for always there.

Does a parent reject the child for its falls,

for its mistakes, for its misdemeanors,

for seeking knowledge, for acquiring it,

for losing sight of the giver, the one

who loves it, nurtures and raises it?

And, as it is in a home, so it is on earth,

the creator would guide its children,

born of the soil, saving them from toil,

but too many are blind, believing

knowledge of all will restore the garden,

break down the walls of Paradise ,

and open it up to all. And the creator

sighs, trying to open their closed eyes,

for they were never cast out of the garden

after eating the tree of knowledge.

It simply hides in the mists of forgetfulness,

but is always there for those with eyes to see

and, one day, when the mists have lifted,

so will each and every child behold

the ancient, timeless garden of old

that has been around them all the time.

And the creator will walk with its children

once more, when the earth is born again.

 

************

 

Reaching Out.

 

Fragile tentacles reaching out

for contact, withdrawing quickly

if instant response is lacking,

pondering retreat or trying

once more, searching reasons

for first failure. The smile

was in place, the eyes greeting,

what then could be missing?

And try again, a small success,

a tentative smile, but eyes

observing with some suspicion,

dubious of motive for contact,

fearful of what could follow

if opening up and responding

with warmth towards the unknown,

the strange, the different, easier

to shut out, to walk away,

casting off the fragile tentacle

of contact, too demanding,

too embarrassing, too needy,

retreat is best, to avoid pain,

avoid commitment, avoid

a break up later on. Flight

the solution, and the tentacle

withdraws again, broken

now the smile, hurt reflected

in the eyes, resignation growing

in the pulling away, a lost

opportunity, a sense of losing

something, then a careless shrug,

and nothing in common anyway,

the excuse, the easing

of conscience, the awareness

of guilt squashed in the walking

away from the fragile tentacle

offered with a smile, dismissed

because too strange, too different,

encroaching on territory

not its own, reach out to own kind,

and two strangers go separate ways,

one, cautious now of reaching out,

the other, oblivious of the courage

it took to try again, gives no

thought to inadvertent damage,

and the other heals the wound,

in time, and tries again elsewhere,

contact is essential as the air

all breathe, so never gives up hope

that soon, a response will come,

warm and embracing, welcoming,

it will come one day in one way

or another, it will happen one day.

 

*******

 

A World of Noise

 

Silence amidst a world of noise

constant in its din by day,

softening a small amount by night

to the point of pure unspoiled quiet

just before the dawn when silence

stills the earth, and all is hushed

for a brief, magical few moments,

then the sun creeps over the horizon

and the earth breathes a sigh,

deep and sonorous, of relief,

and the first birds greet the day

with gentle chitter chattering

as they stir, ruffling sleepy

feathers in the morning breeze

and the noise of the world

is born again, stifling silence

for another day. All around

noise embraces minds, never still,

fearing silence, fearing awareness

of no thing reminding the hearers

they're still alive, still breathing,

and, like the earth before dawn,

breathe a deep and heartfelt sigh

of relief when the silence breaks,

and noise resounds all around.

 

************

 

Lemmings Revolt

 

The world spins round on it axis.

The purpose being of this praxis

is to hold it in place, anchored in situ

so that it may endlessly continue

to be part of the Universe, its plan

to do everything that it can

to ensure that time, space and matter

or the continuum won't shatter.

 

Back here on earth, the world spins,

running evermore convoluted rings

around it with devious covert schemes

that bring down unwanted regimes

to replace them with their own extremes.

The aim, to create a new world order

with an elite acting as benevolent warder

while removing the rebel and dissident

and all who might cause discontent.

 

A strange controlled world is emerging

where some are planning on purging

the old ways of ruling, and introducing

the new, but it's just a process of confusing,

presented as if for the benefit of all.

But it's not, only for those who play ball.

Those who won't will be crushed

and their existence will be brushed

under the carpet of history, expendable

in this new world order so commendable.

 

Like lemmings we're being propelled

to accept the previously repelled

because removing personal freedom,

and dictated to by a unelected stratum

of people, ruthless in their purpose,

who might appear on the surface

to have our best interests at heart,

but their schemes will hold them apart

to rule with rods of iron until all kneel,

for the people are just cogs in their wheel.

 

 

While the Universe protects the continuum,

who will protect the world now in a vacuum?

With politicians derailed, economies

in chaos and the bankers now grandees,

who will stop the world plunging

into a new world order intent on removing

great numbers of people from the earth

until a manageable number comes to birth.

This is not a conspiracy theory,

this is a current and alarming reality.

 

Don't go like lemmings over the abyss,

now that we know something is seriously amiss.

 

******

 

The Roll of a Dice

 

With the roll of a dice and chance

Your life can be over in a thrice.

Who decides your time is up?

Who decides your cup has run dry?

You can't even decide to stay alive,

that decision is way over your head.

All you can do is hold onto hope

and, as the dice is rolled, begin to pray.

Question is, pray to what? A deity,

a questionable reality, now ancient,

and, it seems, terminally deaf.

One who deems us fit mainly for hell,

which is a bit off to say the least.

When we rise each day, we live in hope,

for we realize, the end of it isn't assured.

Is it luck, good fortune or what,

could be a falsehood to count on luck.

Good fortune could see you through the day,

but it could be just the whim of someone,

someone playing a game with our lives,

someone with no shame, using us as pawns.

Whatever it is, if we open our eyes each day,

we'd be wise to give some sort of praise

to whoever has kept us alive in the night,

if we hope to survive for the rest of the day.

Not the best way to live out a life,

but it won't go away, it's our reality,

we could die before we've barely lived,

or we could defy the dice living for a century.

Nobody knows when taking our first breath

that, with roll of a dice and chance,

our lives could be over in a thrice.

 

************

 

Children

 

Children are Nature's hope,

a bond with Life to carry us into the future.

No children should stand crying

because there is no food to feed them.

No children should stand trembling

because bullets and bombs fly all around them.

No children should stand cowering

because fists are raised to bully and beat them.

No children should stand terrified

because hands grope to abuse and use them,

No children should stand in the rain

because there is no house or shelter for them.

No children should stand naked

because too poor to have clothes on them.

 

All children should be loved

because it is as necessary as the air they breathe.

All children should play

because in playing they learn and grow.

All children should be able to laugh

because laughter means they are happy.

All children should be educated

because without learning, they will suffer.

All children should be protected

because vulnerable and trusting when young.

All children should be valued

because life's potential resides within them.

All children should be enjoyed

because they bring joy and hope to us all.

 

************

 

Remembrance Day

 

Standing, heads bowed, remembering.

Remembering what? I wonder what

goes through the bowed heads

on such a day. Politicians, the Army,

Navy, and Air force representatives,

the police, the people, veterans,

and, maybe, the maimed are there too,

but not too obvious, don't want

to upset the participants on such a day

by showing the true consequences of war.

The dead can be mourned because not there,

but the maimed are too real, too painful

to see. They bring home the cruelty,

the barbarity, and the foul results of war.

And so, the bowed heads stand upright

and lay wreaths to remember the dead,

all those poor devils who gave their lives

to the generals who threw them away,

killed them in mud, bombs, bullets,

or drowned them in ditches or shredded

them in craters, had them gassed,

shot for desertion when their minds

went mad, but this is not what is remembered,

we remember the bravery, the sacrifice,

the waste maybe, but not very much,

mostly we remember them as a terrible loss,

unforgivable in its extent, never to be

repeated…will we remember that?

I doubt it…poppies will blaze again

And again and again because we always

forget as soon as the last wreath is laid,

the politicians and military heads

won't remember, it's their duty to go home

and forget, and so we go to war again,

and again, and again, and again.

 

******

 

Armistice Day

 

The dead raise their voices once a year,

light as a breeze their pleas flow in unison

but few will open their ears to hear.

 

Wreaths of remembrance are laid on epitaphs,

war memorials to the dead born of grief,

relatives clutching old photographs.

 

And the country pauses for a brief while

recalling all the lost generations of the wars,

the loss impossible to reconcile.

 

And when it's over, we'll return to war

forgetting the purpose of Armistice Day

just as we always have before.

 

Perhaps, when the memorials are dust,

when there are no flowers left to lay,

a few will recall our war lust.

 

And, in the dead world left behind,

the handful of survivors will weep,

for the death of most of humankind.

 

************

 

Give Reason a chance

 

The desire to believe that the use of reason

could resolve all the troubles in the world

has been debated and, apparently, discarded

because, in humans, it's generally disregarded.

 

This is the conclusion of some philosophers

who have studied societies and humans,

and decided whenever reason is utilized

the boat we all sail in is usually capsized.

 

This poses a dilemma for the human brain,

if reason cannot solve the world's problems,

what's left is continual bloody conflict and war,

hardly a recipe for peace and harmony for sure.

 

It beggar's belief that we should have this gift,

namely the ability to think logically using reason,

and some consider it a danger to the human race,

which is really, when thought about, a disgrace.

 

There's nothing left for us to use in our world,

unless we believe feelings should rule the day.

So far, these have led us down some fearful ways,

each abandonment has set our poor world ablaze.

 

So, I'm still rooting for the use of reason,

for the utilizing of our human intelligence,

to find a way round our increasing woes

before all our lives here are reduced to zeros.

 

************

 

Our Brane

 

It appears heretical to declare the Universe spherical,

when everybody knows it's flat, which seems hysterical

when you view it through a telescope, but the spectacle

is an illusion because the Universe is multi-dimensional,

existing on a brane, though this is somewhat hypothetical

because only an idea, still in the realms of the theoretical.

 

However it explains a lot that so far has been academical

and, to many minds, so far out as to be deemed nonsensical.

It's actually thrilling but there are still minds so sceptical

in their opposition, declaring it to be so unconventional

as to be impossible to prove, so will remain merely poetical.

 

The greatest minds of the august sciences, and professional

in their approach to the vast and to the infinitesimal,

are all searching for the theory that is hermitical,

and will describe the meaning of everything, be exegetical

in its depth, excluding everything that could be metaphysical,

and thus raise human knowledge to the level of the angelical.

 

Still we're rather a long way off that level so exceptional.

We've just discovered the peculiarities of quanta, chimerical

aspects of it defying all we knew, plunging us into the illogical,

and taking our comprehension into the realms of the polemical,

because so mysterious, moving out of the perceptual

and into the world of light so bright and so multi-directional,

our minds are poised on an abyss of the world of the fractal,

so wondrous, it is truly mind blowing and transtheoretical

in its effects, and will take us to a new level of the aesthetical.

Great days ahead for the brane in which we could be experimental,

lasting only for a time, but enough to comprehend the existential.

 

************

 

And the land cries out

 

Weep not for ourselves but for our children

for it is they who will bear the burden of our crimes.

Our failure to see that every human had value,

that the basic necessities for a decent life

could be provided for all, that there was no need

for war, no need to continually build up arms,

no need to see the other as a potential enemy,

a threat, and, in doing so, perceive another human

as less than so, and, in that guise, expendable,

disposable, to be dispensed with as you would

vermin or an insect infestation, extermination

the best solution, and so it goes on, and on,

each doing it to the other, even though the other

knows well enough how it feels because done

to them, but the other is not human, a threat,

so history repeats itself ad infinitum, and tears

are shed by mothers who could not stop their sons

and even daughters from going off to fight

to defend their land from an enemy intent

on destroying them, their culture, their way of life,

and both sides see the ‘enemy' in the same light,

to be removed, exorcised like the demons they are,

robbers of land, usurpers, and the land cries out

for it is soaked in blood, in pain, in the anguish

of an ongoing conflict with no foreseeable end.

Intransigence, arrogance, pride, self-righteousness

prevail as both sides face each other across lines

set in the land, imaginary, ever changing back

and forth with none permanent like the tides

flowing pulled by the moon, but these dragged

back and forth by war and the sea is blood.

A time has to come when this must cease, when

the children's needs for peace, for co-existence,

for compromise takes precedence over convictions

that one or other side is right, the war just,

the killing necessary, the shattering of bodies,

a mere side effect of the endless conflict, sanity

must, at some point, prevail otherwise the reality

is living in an insane asylum forever, and that is

no life to pass on to our children today or in the future.

 

************

 

In my World the sun is shining

 

Outside, it's drizzling something hardly called rain,

inside, I'm trying hard to keep up with my brain.

Just as the weather goes from bright to dull, and back again,

so my brain seems to do the same which is a real pain.

I love to see the sun, it lifts me and brightens my day,

and when my neurons are firing well I'm the same way,

feeling positive and optimistic and holding the blues at bay,

but when the clouds arrive I think the cells start to decay.

 

They say we lose thousands as we age, which isn't good news,

that alone is sufficient to give anybody a fit of the deep blues,

but I do try to ignore these warnings, and give them their dues,

my neurons do try to keep on firing, connecting when given cues

that don't confuse, muddle or lead my brain activity awry,

they do work pretty well, and continue without fail to try

to make sense of reality, the world, and life to get me by.

But there do come times when black clouds make me cry.

 

Then I rant and moan, despair of humans ever growing out of war,

and, as yet, there's no sign of that, which hurts me to the core,

so I keep on prodding and pushing until the closed door

opens ajar and I stick my foot in again, and try to impress jaw-jaw,

instead of war-war, which so many still choose with determination,

but it's never been the only option, it's just the simplest resolution,

bomb the hell out of ‘the enemy' and that will be the solution,

never mind the casualties, the dead, or the failed justification.

 

And so today, sitting in the gloom of a damp and cloudy day,

I should be feeling blue, but I'm not because I'm trying a new way

of approaching the apparently insoluble dilemmas of today.

I'm going to switch off the News, bury my head, and make hay

while I can, because nobody ever listens to the likes of me,

and now the time is approaching for our afternoon coffee

then I'm going to carry on playing and changing my reality

one where the sun always shines and that is one that suits me.

 

So, in my world the sun is shining, in my world the sun

Is shining, in my world the sun is shining, in my world the sun

is shining, and all manner of things are well, and isn't this fun,

and in my world the sun is shining and in my world the sun….

 

*************

 

The Dog

 

‘Gerroff!' she yelled falling backwards with a crash,

three stone of muscle and bone, slobbering chops

and teeth that gnashed had hurtled through the door

to greet her with a doggy welcome. ‘He's harmless.'

Called her host as she hauled her dog off her guest,

who lay there trying to wipe the slobber and dark

black hairs off her pale jacket, and rise painfully

from the stone tiled floor. The dog now stood

panting, still drooling, but safely at a distance,

as she stood up and tried to smile but only managed

a half hearted grin. ‘Sorry about that.' Her host

declared. ‘Forgot to lock the hound in when you

arrived. He wouldn't hurt a fly, just a great big

softie at heart.' She said stroking the beast's head

who gazed up at her with doleful eyes and barked

as if to say ‘that's what you think, I could eat

you all for tea if you hadn't tamed me with bowls

of food each day.' And then strolled away to drop

into a heap in front of the fire blazing merrily

in the hearth, keeping one eye on the guest another

on its mistress while it pretended to doze oblivious

now to their presence in its house. Not the most

auspicious of starts thought the guest as she took

a seat in a comfortable armchair proferred by her host,

while she went off to make a cup of tea still saying

sorry for her dog, while her guest wondered

whether she shouldn't bother to get her luggage

from the car, and leave quietly to find the nearest

bar and have a good stiff drink to calm her down,

and find another guest house on the way, but

too late now, deposit paid, days booked, she would

just have to grin and bear the fact that she was

sharing it with the dog who now watched only her

as it lay upon the floor, she eyed the door,

and went to make a move when a growl deep

and loud emanated from the beast and shocked

her to the core. She stayed stock still until the tea

arrived and the host smiled benevolently down

at her. ‘When you've finished, I'll show you

to your room.' She said. ‘You're the only guest

right now so I'm all yours for your stay.'

‘Is it usually so quiet?' Her guest asked nervous

now. ‘Been a bit quieter,' replied her host, ‘since

Beelzebub arrived.' ‘Beelzebub', her guest repeated,

eyes so wide. ‘The dog,' the host answered with

a sigh, ‘it's not mine, just turned up one night

and moved in with us, and now it seems it's

here to stay. The name was written on its collar.'

She gave a laugh and smiled resignedly at it.

Her guest's hands shook as she drank her tea,

and swore the dog's eyes turned blood red

suddenly, but it could have been the light

from the fire she told herself as she was led

up to her room. This, she thought, could turn

out to be the original holiday from hell.

 

**************

 

Nexus of Guilt

 

Tears slide down cheeks burnished with the sun

humans from the oldest surviving culture on earth

hear an apology from the settlers who came

and occupied their land, who killed their people,

stole their children, oppressed them for two centuries,

and then realized they were wrong, consciences

born of awareness of things done, hidden mostly,

but now known stirred sorrow and regret, and formed

a nexus of guilt enough to evoke a public show

of sorrow witnessed by survivors, whose rich culture

of thirty thousand years gave them wisdom, knowledge

and empathy with the land, discarded or ignored

as ignorance and savage by the invading forces,

now slowly being heeded because needed to survive

the ways of a land unpredictable and harsh but

so fruitful beneath the surface, one that had fed

and nourished countless generations until the strangers

came and trampled on the land, they were ignorant

and savage in the eyes of the aboriginal peoples.

 

Today, a slow but steady reconciliation is taking place,

an acknowledgement of the skill and craftsmanship

of peoples born in the land for millennia, but languages

have been lost, all forbidden to be spoken by the invaders,

with their new savage religion, with their sense of superiority,

with their lethal weapons, their arrogance and certainty

of their right to the land. Still many wounds to heal,

and this is not new, still it goes on in the world today,

indigenous peoples uprooted, driven away from lands

held by them for centuries, killed, oppressed, robbed,

and the invaders believe they have a right to take

the land, to make it their own for the rightful owners

were savages, uneducated, unprotected so easy to displace,

to cast out and not let back in again, except to do

the menial jobs the invaders are unprepared to do.

 

And so it has been, is now, and will be, no doubt, again,

while one set of humans see another as less than human,

so expendable, disposable, to be removed one way

or another. Until consciences awaken to the reality

of actions so unjust, so savage and cruel, this will

continue leaving bitterness and scars unhealed deep

into the future like unlanced boils to erupt pouring

poison far and wide. Lessons to be learned still,

apologies waiting to be heard, justice to be done,

tears to be shed on all sides wherever land has been

stolen, invaded, taken over, bought illicitly or grabbed.

It hasn't gone away, it's still happening around the world today.

 

************

 

Hawks and Doves

 

Hawks hover, hunters of prey,

riding the thermals high in the sky,

diving like arrows when a catch

is spied, with talons extended, eyes

ablaze, they hone in on their prey

soon to be food, then, rising, fly

to places of safety, or back to nests,

to devour their catch or feed their young.

The hawk, a bird of prey, designed to hunt,

to fly free, or be captured and trained

by human hand as a matter of pride,

to conquer a wild spirit, never tamed,

but controlled, for nobody removes

the will of a hawk, it stays if it wills,

if not, it will fly free back to the sky

and the wild places where prey

can be found, and away from humans

ready to kill it if perceived as a threat,

a perfect design for a killer of prey.

 

It is admired, and copied, by humans

who see others as threats, and hone

in for the kill without mercy, just the will

to destroy then return to their homes

satisfied the prey is no more, and sleep

without conscience for they are hawks

in their minds, and see their lives

as free, protecting their family,

their young, their country, so hunting

the prey is justified, necessary,

and the right thing to do, even when

the prey is another hawk too,

with a will as strong as the other,

so prolonging the hunt, sending tentacles

out into the future, seeds sown of hate,

vengeance, long held, seething

ready to explode into chaos and slaughter.

 

And the doves observe the wars,

hiding from hawks, for they are prey too,

and try hard to live peaceful, gentle lives,

in the trees, in the cities, in the countryside,

hoping that, one day, the hawks will cease

to be what they are, birds of prey, but

that will never be, for they are designed

for no other way. The only way for doves

to be safe is for the hawks to be killed

or die out, to become extinct. A possibility,

for doves far outnumber the birds of prey,

so they wait patiently for their day

when peace reigns across the earth,

and new prospects come to pass. They

hold onto hope, for hope has seeds

sown across the world, ready to grow

in the time when the hawks die out

making room for a new and peaceful day.

 

************

 

 

Pandora's Box

 

‘Open the box' a voice whispered to Pandora.

Cowering in the corner, she tried to close her ears,

curiosity burning bright, but fear tempering

her desire to see what it contained. Zeus knew,

so she could not see why she should not know,

being his daughter gave her that right, she had the key,

so why not take a look. One look could do no harm,

she thought, and so she took the key, undid the lock,

and peered inside, and, from its depths, poured forth

every kind of disease and sickness, hate and envy,

and all sorts of foul things the people had never

experienced before, and Pandora cried out with shock

and tried to lock the box back up again, but too late,

the harm was done, her curiosity had undone the world.

She wept bitter tears that woke her husband, Epimetheus,

who, in his wisdom, had warned her not to undo the box.

Pandora raised the lid to reveal it was now empty,

when out flew a bug, small and insignificant that hovered

around, and Pandora asked who it was, and it declared

that its name was Hope, and, with that, it flew off

to try to heal the world. Today, we have the Net.

It's our Pandora's box, showing us every kind of disease,

sickness, all the hate and envy, and fearful things

plaguing our world today, and we are afraid

of the ugliness we see, the endless wars, the crime,

the greed, the famines and the diseases, but, also,

we see the beauty that is in our world, the signs

of coming together, the attempts to heal our ills,

and we see that Hope is still around, still trying

to lead us to a better life, to help us escape from

the ills of the first Pandora's box, and now that

the gods are dead and long gone from their realms,

it is humans alone who can work with Hope, heal

the world, and see that curiosity without wisdom

has brought us to the brink of our own extinction,

for when we captured fire from Zeus, this was

his revenge, now we've captured the fires of creation

itself, what god out there is strong enough to stay

our hand, should we press the buttons and destroy

our earth, our home, our children and ourselves

 

********

 

Being just me

 

I took up knitting for a hobby,

thought it would rest my mind and body.

Dropped a stitch and cursed like hell.

Knitting isn't going to keep me well.

 

I took up yoga to keep me fit,

thought I'd better do my bit.

Stretched and dislocated my shoulder.

Yoga isn't going to be the answer.

 

I took up running to lose some fat,

thought it was where it's at.

Tripped and sprained my knee.

Running is out because it really hurt me.

 

I took up sitting on the couch,

thought it was easier to be a slouch,

Grew so large I couldn't get up.

Sitting is off, need a plan as backup.

 

I took up dieting to lose some weight,

thought it was time to deflate.

Lost so much I became anorexic.

Dieting is off, it's made me really sick.

 

I took up meditating on my bed,

thought it would help my head.

Scared myself when I started flying.

Meditating is off, thought I was dying.

 

I took up sex to make me happy,

thought it would make me feel snappy.

Got no takers or even offers, not one.

Sex is out, I'm worse off than a nun.

 

Now I've tried this and that hobby,

thought I'd stop fixating about my body.

It's as it is, my head is okay too.

I'm just going to be me if that's okay with you.

 

**********

 

Security is all

 

PIN, password and unique code,

the prerequisites in the modern world

to get anywhere, but get one wrong

and you're shut out, a guarantee

to make your head implode.

 

How the times have changed for all!

You live now more or less in prison,

log in here, log out there, fill this form

pages long then apologies but your browser

is wrong, can't upload with this firewall.

 

The reason is security from hackers

intent on accessing private data,

robbing you of your money, stealing

credit cards and even your identity,

but nobody paid attention to the brokers.

 

Nobody asked them for security clearance

when they played roulette with our cash,

then demanded payment for the losses

from all they'd robbed in the first place.

The audacity is almost beyond credence.

 

Now there's a law for the bankers, schemers,

lawyers, the rich and politicians, and one

for the ordinary person in the street,

trying hard to make ends meet

it's become a world full of shysters.

 

All that the people in the street can do

is raise their voices in protest, and hope

that, collectively, their sheer numbers

will bring about a new way of living,

surely, a worthwhile cause to pursue.

 

**********

 

Whispers on the breeze

 

Whispers, fleeting, waft on the breeze,

a soft chorus of pleas to be heard

above the noise of the world, the din

that smothers these sounds drifting

through the air. Only in the silence

can the whispers break the barriers

down and the messages resound

‘Peace and love, peace and love

to all around' echoes through the ages,

seeking ears to hear and hearts

to find a home, but deafened ears

turn away hearing only the din

of the world, and miss the message

born perhaps when the Universe

came into being, a call to all future

sentient life, a greeting from minds,

so ancient, their origins lost in time,

now boundless in their existence,

truly free, seeking knowledge,

wisdom and love in the light

of a world so far removed from ours

all we hear is the distant whisper

of their presence as they call out

‘Peace and love, peace and love

to all around' when they pass by,

received only by those ears attentive

to these whispers wafting on the breeze,

a soft chorus of pleas seldom heard

above the noise of the world.

 

************

 

In the Shadows

 

In the shadows of our lives

walks a host of darkened creatures

bearing ghosts from the past,

demons temporarily chained,

black remembrances and sad

recollections by the score.

All waiting for a chance, an opening,

to emerge into the light

and wreak havoc in the mind,

previously at peace with the shadows

laid to rest, but never for too long.

Restless in concealment, they jostle

for acknowledgement, for recognition,

and seize on any sign of falling,

a mood deteriorating, a happening

unexpected that unlocks a door

and in they pour, ghost, demons,

remembrances and recollections,

carefully buried before to haunt

you now, disturb your equilibrium

and set your heart a weeping

over situations beyond your control,

over failings and ignorance,

over words never said, or said

and then you'd give the world to be

able to withdraw, and all these shadows

smile gleeful in their success

at rising up into the light once more

for they need feeding, sustaining,

maintaining. But you know them

now, know their devious ways

and refuse to let them reign.

Closing the door, you shut them out,

and the shadows slink away

thwarted in their aim, to bring you

into their world, to destroy

your peace of mind and heart.

The wisdom of years has taught you now,

they are only shadows of their former selves,

insubstantial remnants left behind,

incapable of harm unless made welcome

in your mind. The host of darkened creatures

can howl with dismay but their day

is past, their virulence depleted.

None walk without shadows in their lives

but we can all learn to keep them

there, and live content and happy

that they can no longer harm us

in any way, for they are truly dead

while we are truly alive, and sound

in mind and heart while we walk

in the light keeping our shadows at bay.

 

***********

 

Our Future

 

Small, underformed, and so vulnerable,

an infant enters into life crying,

seeking safe arms to embrace and hold

it, breasts to suckle it, and a bonding

with the mother who gave it birth,

while the father stands by observing

with pride ready to provide for both,

his offspring their future now serving.

 

Simple requisites for a new life,

reciprocated a myriad of times

around the earth amidst strife,

poverty, wealth or in between,

and love blossoms incomparable

in its depth to all else, where

father and mother, whenever able,

would lay down their lives

to protect the mewling infant

lying in their arms. But, often,

the reality is so very different.

 

Infants enter a world unwanted,

unloved, another mouth to feed,

another pregnancy, another birth,

the wrong sex, not what they need.

And, in the harshness of this world,

left to die or smothered hastily,

cruelty complete, another female

dies, disposed of coldly and quickly.

Or, so many die before they mature,

still babies or toddlers, sickness,

starvation, or neglect taking

their lives in a world where bleakness

reigns, and want decides who lives

and dies, while obscene wealth

elsewhere decide who survives.

 

The future relies on its children's health,

Each are owed a life of care, love

and protection, enough food to eat,

shelter, clothing and education,

simple requirements to meet,

but we're failing every day,

in every way to provide for many

even the most basic wants and needs

some dying totally deprived of any.

 

It's time we woke up to the reality,

Life is hard enough for the adults,

To let the earth's future die en masse

can only have disastrous results.

In the end, generations full of rage,

knowing only skills of survival,

savage in their cruelty, ready to kill,

sparing none opposed to the battle.

It's life or death. This is not the way

to rear the young in any nation,

but is steadily becoming the reality,

it has to be time now, surely, to take action.

 

********

 

The Mystery of Another

 

What goes on inside another is a mystery

to the other. We share our thoughts, ideas

and views, but they don't take us deep inside

to aid the other to know another's inner being.

We think we're seeing the real person

when they're standing in front of us,

but it's not true. We're only seeing the façade.

What we think we see and know of the other

could be so very wrong, and probably

always is, because the inner reality of the other

is essentially always hidden from another's view.

 

The private inner core, the experiences, the life

that led up till that moment have honed the other

into who they are today, and, unless, inside their head,

even if they've shared your bed for a life time,

still they are truly apart, existing in a world of their own,

happy often to live alongside another with many shared

thoughts, ideas and views, but familiarity does not lead

to knowledge of the inner workings of the other.

These belong to the other and to no other.

Our isolation into units encased in a mortal frame,

with a capacity to speak, empathize and co-operate

can so easily disintegrate when another's thoughts,

ideas and views clash with those of the other.

 

Then the reality of being human hits home,

all of us are essentially alone, cogs in the wheel

of evolution longing to be understood, to be loved,

respected and some desire to be raised on high,

but, whether low or high, the gulf between us

and the other exists forever. The only solution

is to see that we're all one body made up of the many,

but the chances of us all agreeing in our thoughts,

ideas and views is undeniably impossible,

which means we have to do unto the other

as we would have them do unto us, otherwise

we'll destroy the one body made up of the many

in a conflagration, should we forget that the other

is just another self whose sole aim is to get through life

in one piece, and out the other end in a reasonably

extended length of time, and, preferably, with another

carrying their genes into the future when it's time

to finally lay down their mortal frame and go.

 

***********

 

The Mix

 

Do we walk through history being born

over and over again? Does karma play a part?

Did I do something bad to deserve this life

or is it simply life being decidedly hard?

I can't make up my mind whether it's the former

or the latter, whichever way it is, this life

is full of unseen influences behind the scenes,

throwing spanners in the works, twisting,

and turning paths that were straight and clear,

and changing courses suddenly with no warning.

I cannot yearn for another one, a different road

to walk for this is the one I'm on, and will be

till my time and energy run out along the way.

On it, a blend of good and bad, interspersed

with terrible and awesome, goes towards a mix

rich with interesting flavours ground up

to a smooth paste that will in the end

pour out into either nothingness or something,

presently hidden, that could herald yet another

new birth, another new life, new chances

to learn, to grow, to change the course of history

by being in the right place at the right time,

something I've never felt I was or could be

for time and circumstances connived to block

my way, divert me into choices made involuntarily,

now some regretted, some I wouldn't change,

but, with no going back, they're all added to the mix,

the smoothie, now free of lumps, waiting for the next

ingredients to go in as my life progresses through

time and space. I prefer to think I'm going to be

imprinted in a quantum space along with all the rest,

and there we'll interact in ways beyond us now,

and be intimately linked in every way to the cosmos

that gave us birth, and added sentience to the mix,

maybe just for fun, or maybe because it needed

to be known and loved just like every one of us.

 

***********

 

A Bed of Roses

 

You trip, you stumble, you fall,

you come to a full stop, a wall,

you pick yourself up,

dust yourself down, and look at your cup.

Is it half empty or half full?

If the former, you'll be fretful,

if the latter, you'll give a shrug,

seeing it as just another annoying bug.

 

We spend our lives avoiding obstacles,

trying to avoid rows and squabbles,

not treading on other's feet,

trying hard to stay upbeat

when everything is falling down

as the world goes into meltdown,

but there's nothing that can't be overcome

with humour and a dose of wisdom.

 

Trouble is, one person's wisdom

is another person's bedlam.

Compromise is a way round the wall,

but few will make the first call

to see an alternative to the stalemate,

or make a move to placate.

And so we carry on tripping, stumbling,

falling along the way, hoping

that, one day, all our troubles

will melt away like so many bubbles.

It could happen but probably

won't, because life, to any degree,

isn't neat and tidy, let's face it,

it's a mess and nowhere is it writ,

‘Life's a bed of roses', so sit back

and hope your life stays on track.

 

************

 

The New Path

 

Standing still, she took in the view.

It stretched seemingly on forever,

far beyond the horizon in the distance,

faint mists hiding it with the hills rolling

softly, beneath which, glinting in the sun,

the waters of the bay twinkled like star light

and she saw that Life was like the view.

The future lay ahead shrouded in mist,

with a vague shape of things to come discernible,

and, more clear, a nearer event, seemingly

certain to occur, but then you can never be sure.

It only takes one small thing to change everything,

to unravel the definite, make unsure that which,

only moments ago, was set firm. Turning away,

she continued on her walk, into the future

for she had never walked this path before,

even though frequently she had been on it

in the past, but today it was new, each step

carried her along into an unknown future,

into a world full of events occurring, about

to occur, and all of them included her,

because coinciding with the path she was on,

and the sun glinted on the waters of the bay

as a brand new future was unfolding today.

 

************

 

Learn to walk away

 

When someone gets under your skin

it's like a thorn under it that keeps pricking,

suddenly, it's a battle you're involved in.

The other puts their point of view

that is the proverbial opposite of yours

so there's no meeting point between them and you.

And you tell them so, but they insist they're right

and you try to walk away, but it's too hard.

From your perspective, they need to see the light,

but there's no way they're going to bend,

you have your insight, they have theirs,

and nothing can change this in the end.

 

And this is where we are today, wrapped

in wars of words, of views, of opposing schemes

leaving compromise completely untapped.

It's present in our own lives to some extent,

but all around in every other way,

the desire to win is everybody's intent.

I'm as guilty as the next person

willing to let go, but forced to defend myself

when the other's views are beyond reason.

It's a never ending battle when views clash

when opinions are challenged and knocked

and, then before you know it, quick as a flash,

we're at war, each willing to destroy the other

for what we see is for the best so we must win.

There's no room in this world for the views of another.

 

Alas, there is some sanity in burying your head

that way you avoid conflict of any sort

one way is just to never get out of bed.

But there's always somebody about

whose opinions clash violently with yours.

So, is it best to go in for the kill, or step out

of the ring, and let the other think they're right

when you know they're completely wrong?

But peace can reign if you do, and it avoids a fight.

So, perhaps, it's best to walk away. That way

there are no wounds to heal, no battle to the end

and both sides can live to fight another day.

 

*********

 

A love made real

 

‘Lie with me', she whispered, and he did.

He lay down beside her as she said

and smelled her sweet perfume,

felt the moulded contours of her flesh,

touched the warmth, the yielding body

reaching out for his, and he sighed deep

his longing, took a lingering kiss

on her lips so red, gazed into eyes

so blue with specks of gold and green,

a combination rarely seen, but beautiful

to behold, her long dark hair flowed

around her shoulders and down her back

giving off a scent of apples and honeydew.

He breathed in with exultation

as she drew him in to her inner sanctum,

and they became as one in an embrace

that set their worlds on fire with desire

then sated, parted with a sigh, a kiss

to lie side by side in the evening light.

A tear ran down his cheek as he lay there

remembering this is what she meant to him,

now departed these lonely years, but still

alive in his heart and mind, enough

to live for a brief time as if it was real

their love, their union in a recalled reunion

in the silent room where he heard her say

‘Lie with me', and he did, and in the world

of dreams, made real their passion and love

until sated, he parted with a sigh to lie

side by side with her for a brief ecstatic time.

 

***********

 

Oh, what a world

 

The world is wrapped in strife.

Oh, what a mess it's made of life!

It's not the world, it's the politicians,

the world could be fine if corruption,

conniving and scheming were missing.

Sadly, where power is concerned,

and money is involved, these three

are always alive and kicking.

Would love to be proven wrong,

but, unfortunately, that's not possible,

the three of them definitely belong

on the political scene, always have,

and seems they always will.

 

Perhaps if everybody refused to vote

the politicians would be blocked,

their rhetoric, frequently learned by rote,

would no longer suffice to lure

the people in, question is, who's pulling

the strings behind the scenes? It's not insecure

to ask questions like this, there's always been

the powerful, the rich and the elite

playing Machiavellian games who stay unseen,

hiding in the shadows manipulating

their puppets, mouthing their words,

making them sound as if they know what to do

to put things right while it's the wizards

behind pulling their strings behind the scenes.

 

What a world we have, wrapped in strife.

Oh, what a mess these wizards have made of life!

Come out and reveal yourselves, we know

you're there, know you're scheming,

reveal your plans so that we can see whether

you're friend or foe, but stop hiding from sight

and silencing all who try to get you to speak.

If you're there, come out into the light!

 

*******

 

A Song at Twilight

 

‘Just a song at twilight', she muttered

pushing her trolley down the road.

The waning evening light giving way

to the amber glow of street lamps

as she veered round a bin, a curse

escaping as she chuntered to herself.

A conversation lasting a decade or more

between her outer and inner self,

only interrupted when she stopped

for a rest or to ferret for a bite to eat

in amongst the discarded remnants

of café bins, or at the soup kitchen,

or in one of the refuges or shelters

where she tried to keep clean,

to change her clothes, washing

them in the machines before heading

off again into the day or night.

She had her own haunt, a shack

made of cardboard, bits of wood,

and sheets of plastic, guarded

like an ancient fortress by street

dwellers like her when she wasn't home.

Now she trundled along, her treasures

aboard, her wealth kept safe

in a supermarket trolley loaded up

with her goods, couldn't afford

the food on its shelves and, besides,

she wouldn't be welcome inside

its clean, sanitized lanes, such as she

would be promptly shunted outside

with a warning not to come back again,

and so she muttered the words to the song

‘Just a song at twilight' as she pushed

her trolley down the road, heading

once more for the palace that was her home.

 

**********

 

A Silver Lining

 

The sun puts a silver lining on billowing clouds,

a rainbow shimmers over dark grey clouds

and, outside, all shines after a long spell of rain.

Plants perk up, trees breathe freely now washed

clean of dust and grit, flowers shiver in a soft breeze

plumping up petals and refreshing their colour,

while, inside, the dusting is done, and the sound

of the vacuum hums downstairs as the cleaning

is shared, and the washing machine goes into a spin

for the last time and our work is done for the day,

time now for rest, relaxation and assorted play.

 

Realizing now that growing older has compensations,

not previously appreciated, such as time to please

ourselves, no need to get dressed as soon as we rise,

time to explore our interests, to laze if we want,

to be busy if we want, and to chat if we want

or be silent if we want, so long as our health

holds up, retirement is great, this third age

brings with it a whole new vision of real wealth,

not financial though just a bit helps, but the gift

of time on our hands to fill with our own wishes

for as long as we live, is the best present

we could have, and, now, it's nearly time

for lunch with pate on toast, grapes, cucumber,

beetroot and smooth pickle, and a cup of tea,

one of our favourites, and now I'm really hungry!

 

************

 

Like a Rolling Stone

 

Like a rolling stone I roll through life,

a roller coaster of emotions and experiences,

all making up the rich tapestry of a life.

With all the ups and downs, a mountain

to climb and descend and then to start

all over again. Through joys and pains,

tears and laughter I survive to live

another day, rolling through the minutes,

hours and days of a life lived with hope,

dreams and exultations, filled with moments

of awe and wonder, tragedy and horror.

All lived through to reach an age when

I look around and wonder where life

is going to take me now. Oh, what a joy

to live at all, to breathe each day, for

all the troubles endured, for all the pains,

it's still been a roller coaster I wouldn't

have missed even if I so very nearly did.

To walk through a life with a companion,

keep one of my children alive and well,

to be born, to live and one day to lay

my life down, but not quite yet, still

time to exult in being alive, being whole,

being gathered into the heart of another

and loved, and I hold in mine a multitude

alongside the special. I'll carry them

with me through the rest of my days

until it comes time to let go and then,

with all that's unknown, I might even

be able to carry them onwards and upwards

through time and space in this wondrous

experience called Life.

 

***********

 

Limbo

 

When your energy dissipates,

and you're cast into a state

similar, perhaps, to Limbo,

you've no choice but to surrender,

you're too weak to stand and debate

whether you should be up and about,

or tucked up in bed with medication.

When going out is not an option,

because, when you try to do something,

you wilt, and are forced to sit down,

it's really better to do nothing.

 

So, today, I'm taking it easy for sure,

the brain is sluggish, the body even more,

which means I'm going nowhere,

apart from lolling around and moving

slowly from A to B, and hoping

that tomorrow, I'll feel much stronger.

But, if not, I'll take another day or two,

and, even if it takes a bit longer,

it's not the end of the world, I've time

now to relax and be spoiled for a while,

and, besides, I'm not ill enough yet

not to joke, laugh and raise a smile.

 

When I lose my sense of humour

then I know I'm really ill,

but, right now, sooner or later,

I'll be up and about again and back

to my normal self raring to go,

until then I'm hitting the sack

and accepting that, for a while,

I'm stuck here in Limbo.

 

***********

 

A Flawless Flow

 

Standing on a cliff top, the sun

gleaming on the sea, catching

the waves rolling onto the shore,

spun by the wind to reel and roil

and embrace the moistened sand,

makes a heart leap to behold

such beauty, the sky, the sea,

the sun and the sand unified,

whole, moulded by Nature

to create a wondrous moment

in time and space, to awaken

awareness that such as these

are freely given, no payment

passed through hands, no fee

to see such a sight, free, gratis,

and for nothing Nature shared

this gift, captured now with

camera's lens but never can

do justice to the reality,

for the actuality is not just

a fleeting instant, but a scene

unfolding slowly in time,

in space, in my mind, in Nature's

unstinting care to create

a flow flawless in its perfection,

capable of taking your breath away.

 

********

 

Sneak a Peek

 

Sneak a peek around a corner where ere you be,

because you never know what you might see.

Could be lovers stealing a kiss,

could be something you'd rather miss,

could be an alley with nothing in it,

could be so dark because badly lit,

could be nothing just a wall,

could be used by a kid playing ball,

could be place for a tramp to sleep,

could be mistaken for a dirty heap,

could be the blackest of space,

could be because there's no such place,

could be an alternative world,

could be when time whirled,

could be when you see your death,

could be where you take your last breath.

 

The solution to this curious urge

is not to let your path diverge,

just carry on walking in a straight line

and you will, probably, be just fine.

Curiosity killed the cat they say,

but humans have always been this way,

digging here, poking there, anywhere

to find the hidden which is almost everywhere.

So, if you want a life that's safe, secure and boring

carry on walking without deviating,

but, if you want to satisfy your curiosity,

be prepared to have all you think is reality

turned on its head, pulled inside out,

and back to front, and cast into constant doubt

then sneak a peek around a corner where ere you be

because you never know what you might see.

 

**********

 

Beneath the din of the world

 

Listen, can you hear the sound of weeping,

it's there, beneath the din of the world,

if you open your ears it comes creeping

into your mind, your heart and you know

there is a multitude out there suffering.

What can you do but try to respond

in some small way to awaken from sleeping,

to reach out to alleviate some of the pain

while knowing there are so many bleeding

from wars, from disease and hunger

ravaging masses some so close to starving.

But we look to our own problems at home

and try not to see the sick, dead and the dying.

With economies wavering over an abyss,

there is no desire to look at others yearning

for food, freedom, a better life, just a bit more.

We can't look after everyone so relieving

the suffering's plight will have to be put on hold.

Our needs come first, we have to protect us

first, we must maintain our standard of living.

So, while some of us hear the sound of weeping

out there, beneath the din of the world,

many now refuse to let it come creeping

into their minds and their hearts and deafen

their ears to sounds of all those suffering.

Not a wise move in the end because time

can change so much, even to reversing

what is now, and we become the sick,

the dying, the starving and suffering

then who will hear our tears and pain

if we close our ears now with hearts hardening.

 

*********

 

A Meeting

 

A stranger crosses your path,

tells you about his life freely,

no compulsion, a sharing,

opening you to another world,

a different culture, a window

into a life lived so differently

but, on a certain level, the same.

Same desires for his son, same

love of his wife, a happy exchange

of thoughts and feelings,

and then, as quickly as he came,

he's gone. Gone to live the rest

of his life, and you, yours, but

he has changed you, and, maybe,

you, him, for his path has crossed

yours and yours, his, in time,

in space, a brief meeting of minds

that will be recalled from time

to time in quiet moments

when you were open to another

and he was open to you.

 

**********

 

Sun kissed Day

 

Sun kissed, cloudless sky, a slight breeze,

what better way to start your day,

then you put your nose out of the door

and discover it's just about to freeze.

 

It's so cold, oh so very cold,

teaching you not to judge by appearances,

what looks good isn't always the case,

just as what glitters isn't always gold.

 

And so it is in life, beauty is but surface deep,

and, while delightful to the eye,

can hide a multitude of flaws and sins

so wise to take a closer look before you leap.

 

Anyone who judges looks as a priority

is really missing out on treasures,

for the best is often in disguise

hiding from those who claim superiority.

 

The world is full of ugliness and beauty

and in between is mediocrity,

the lot of the vast majority

so fear those who avoid the ugly with assiduity.

 

These are the shallow and the small,

the celebrity, the star, the artiste,

anybody who believes looks matter most,

time will, over the years, ravage them all.

 

Today is sun kissed, with a slight breeze,

a cloudless sky, and a joy to start the day

this way, but I'm staying in today

because I really, really hate to freeze.

 

**************

 

A Curse and a Gift.

 

We speak words to one another

but what is in our heads

is frequently misunderstood by the other.

 

How hard it is to make clear

what we are thinking

when what we say is not what others hear.

 

The source of trouble is language

or its interpretation by the listener

that can cause unintended damage.

 

The whole world speaks but rarely listens,

words spill out like rivers in spate

and this happens particularly with politicians.

 

Friendships break through words

carelessly cast into the open air

preventing them from moving forwards.

 

Sometimes, silence is the best solution,

say nothing when words will wound

let time heal and then find a resolution.

 

Of all the abilities of humankind,

to speak in words as communication

it is both a curse and a gift to my mind.

 

Better maybe if we all kept quiet

for a year and a day, then tried

again to listen, though a definite gambit.

 

It has to be better than today

when words have become empty,

devoid of meaning and we have lost our way.

 

***********

 

Food

 

Food, food, food, gimme food, says the starving man,

picking rice grains from the dirt to cook in dirty water in a pan.

Children watch emaciated, bellies hanging down, dead eyed,

hunger gnawing at their skeletal frames, and their parents,

if still alive, cling to them holding them out like offerings

to anybody who looks like they've got access to food,

to water, and to shelter and the famine rages all around,

and the ground refuses to yield crops, grass or moisture

as the rains fail again and again, and war completes the picture.

 

Food, food, food, gimme food, says the obese man,

stuffing burgers in his mouth as fast as he possibly can.

Children watch learning how to eat, bellies fat, dead eyed,

greed gnawing at their overweight frames, and their parents,

still clinging to life, buy bags of chips, burgers, desserts

for their kids now growing old before their time from greed,

from an excess of food in countries affluent now, uncaring,

so long as there's profit, give ‘em food, food, food until they die.

Two excesses in the one world, no balance, no thought, indifference.

 

************

 

The Peak of Creation

 

I looked around and saw a fish

It waved its fins and swam in the rivers and seas,

I looked around and saw a horse,

It whinnied and galloped for all its worth,

I looked around and saw a primate,

It roamed the jungles eating, sleeping and breeding,

I look around and saw many creatures,

They all did one or two things really well.

I looked around and saw a bird

It flapped its wings and swam in the rivers and seas,

It flapped its wings and pecked the ground,

It flapped its wings and sang like a dream,

It flapped its wings and ran like the wind,

It flapped its wings and flew in the sky,

It flapped its wings and danced and pranced,

It flapped its wings and laid an egg,

It flapped its wings and walked for miles,

It flapped its wings and kicked with its claws.

 

What other creatures are as versatile as birds?

Clever dinosaurs, you broke all the laws

Evolving in a multiple of directions and styles,

Now you exist by the billions in every shape,

Colour, size and breed, so there's no need

To be concerned that you're not the peak

Of creation, you're so old and we're so young

There's no comparison under the sun,

Deep sighs, I wish I could flap my wings and fly,

But, alas, I have none, nor any fins and gills

To swim under the water, but I have four limbs,

An upright stance, a brain that's supposed

To be advanced, but most of the time,

I barely use it all, preferring to have fun,

Stuff my face, drink till I'm sick, dance,

Drug myself stupid, and watch garbage

On a box spewing rubbish for the masses,

And fill my home with pollution and waste,

And I'm the one claiming to be the peak

Of creation, oh, please pull the other one,

The birds, the birds, you fools, they won!

 

********

 

The Two Paths

 

We weave a path between reality and make believe,

the two blurring at the seams, the first, uncertain,

the second, fantasy, but, all the time, the two bleed

into the other when we try to lift the curtain

obscuring the two worlds from curious eyes,

often sending us down fruitless paths,

but ones clung to with tenacious minds,

because the alternatives increase our doubts

that our world is real at all, and maybe

all is fantasy after all. We create gods

and deities to fill the gaps, to cement

over the cracks in our knowledge, adorn

them with rituals to fulfil a primal urge

and then pass them on to descendants

to continue prolonging the fantasy, to blur

reality, in the hope that, one day, it might

prove to be true, but, gods and deities

fall, to be replaced by others fulfilling

the needs of a new world, rewritten,

reconstituted, reinvented but still fantasy

in the end, but needed by the vulnerable,

the fearful, the insecure, the power hungry,

who take comfort that others believe the same,

so it must be true. Meanwhile, reality

takes a back seat quietly getting on with Life,

the Universe, and all that's real. Maybe

ever as it has been so will it always be,

a world forever torn between fantasy and reality.

 

***********

 

Survival

 

When the Law supports the rich

to the detriment of the poor,

then the poor aren't bound by the Law

anymore…

 

If the Law is not applied across the land

with fairness so that justice is there

for all and sundry everywhere

then it's defunct…

 

Corruption spreads like a mould

when the Law condones the wrongdoing

of an elite while crushing the ordinary man

in the street…

 

‘Give them bread and circuses' the Romans said

when their empire began to crumble

now the people have garbage spewing daily

from their TV's…

 

The Art of Distraction has been honed

to be cheap, crass and available to all,

while Culture and skill goes to the wall

and the elite watch with glee…

 

A battle has begun for the heart of humankind,

religions believe in their way

but repression is their solution

as they fight for domination…

 

The real battle is to find a happy medium

between living moral lives and freedom

without reducing life to total boredom,

so far all have failed…

 

So the world is impaled on a spear

driven deep in its heart, the Law

disregarded in a fight for survival

where the market rules…

 

‘Do unto others as you would have

them do unto you' would be a mantra

for a new world, encompassing all

not possible until the elite fall…

 

So when the Law supports the rich

to the detriment of the poor,

then the poor aren't bound by the Law

anymore…

 

Nothing left to do but to take it from there,

not anarchy, survival, the world

is in danger of oppression not seen

for a while…

 

If this seems like a bad dream or fantasy,

watch this space…

 

**************

 

It's time.

 

Take care, we're slipping, falling

it's no use bawling when it's too late.

Do not accept everything as fate,

destiny is old hat, we can change

but not alone. Takes many heads

to bring about change, non-violent

is always the best, but not so for some,

ready with sticks and stones, and guns

on occasions, understandable frustration

and anger when injustice reigns

in a world where an elite have taken

power and blatantly abuse it, use it,

swagger around broadcasting it.

And the people watch disbelieving

that things have gone so far, the pendulum

is stuck, not swinging back anymore.

The elite have jammed it in their favour,

and the poor can only watch waiting

for it to be released unless they force

the hands of the elite and stop them

from consuming the whole world

for their own ends, their own survival,

while letting those without power

struggle to eat, house and clothe themselves.

What does it matter to the plutocrats

in their sanctuaries of wealth, their private

jets, their islands in the sun, their bank

balances so vast they could buy and sell

nations. Don't stand still, fight, protest,

give it your all, don't go willingly to the wall.

When you stir up a sewer, the scum

rises to the top, it's there, needing

scraping away, to let things settle back

again, and the stink recede, and some sort

of justice to register again. It's time.

 

************

 

The world spins round.

 

The world spins round slowly unraveling.

Not long ago, it seemed to be unfolding,

on a day to day basis, sanely, but changes

came in unexpectedly, and insanity arrived

gibbering inanely that schemes and deals

had all gone astray, and billions and billions

of the people's money had been lost in the ether

of the virtual world of markets and banking,

a whole other state of being that neither

politicians nor the people comprehend

and that was the end of sanity. Now all

wander round in white coats dribbling

and waving wads of cash rapidly losing

its value, and the poor get poorer but the rich

get richer, seeing this state as an opportunity

to invest, to divest the weak of what's left,

and ensure they stay an elite while the rest

of the people keep shoveling their money

into banker's coffers, and politicians wring

hands in despair as nothing works anymore.

And the carousel goes round and round

with music playing as its occupants laugh

at the antics of the insane who have seen

their world spinning and now unraveling.

A lone voice cries in the wilderness

‘This is the end of your empty happiness.

The elite played Russian Roulette, they won,

you lost', and the carousel whirled

to the sound of laughter as the rest of the world

sank like the Titanic when it struck the iceberg

rapidly, unexpectedly and disastrously.

 

************

 

Full Circle

 

The bells are ringing, the choir singing,

the sun is shining, the birds chirping,

the people are smiling, the children laughing,

the cricketers are playing, the beer flowing,

the women are strolling, the men observing.

The river is sparkling, the reeds waving,

the breeze is blowing, the ducks quacking,

the nostalgic are recalling, utopia beckoning,

the old are dreaming, the past disappearing.

the villages are dying, the rich buying,

the young are leaving, prices rising.

The economy is crashing, buyers selling,

the prices are falling, the rich leaving,

the young are returning, the village arising,

the dream is awakening, the bells ringing,

the choir is singing, the sun shining,

the birds are chirping and the villagers smiling.

 

***********

 

The Mirror

 

A mirror reflects me back to me

but what do I really see?

Each day the subtle change

as my features begin to age.

No longer young with peachy skin,

now wrinkles are daily moving in.

My eyes need glasses to view

all the blemishes, each one new.

Do I mind these alterations?

Once I did and tried many lotions.

None worked, my face still aged,

decided it was pointless being outraged.

A fact of life none can avoid,

except those who look like an android

with their skin stretched so tight

they appear a terrifying sight,

all dignity gone, they look frozen,

resembling now zombies or alien.

So the decision to accept the lines,

the signs of aging, I think, refines.

I don't try to defy the passing time

but accept that I've passed my prime.

Now I'm growing old with grace,

that way I can look myself in the face

and not want to cover up my reflection,

nor sink into a state of dejection,

because I'm realizing I'm at an age

when I can laugh, cry and rage,

and say exactly what I think and feel,

and don't have to bother to conceal

the me inside who's earned the right

to come out into the light

and spend the last part of my life

hoping in someway to lessen the strife

I see all around somehow, some way,

so that all may find happiness one day.

Some hope in my heart I know with sorrow

but I can still dream of a better tomorrow.

 

*************

 

 

A Song at Twilight

 

‘Just a song at twilight' crooned the tune

as I stood watching the crescent moon

a glass of wine in hand, but tears in eyes

a heart full of sorrows and deepest sighs

was meant to be a time of joy not sadness

but life's bitter pill has taken my happiness.

The love of my life left a hand written note

quote ‘sorry, I'm leaving you…' unquote.

Not what I was expecting to hear today,

the day before my fortieth birthday.

We were supposed to go out to celebrate,

but that is off, he such a damned ingrate.

I gave him my life's best years, the swine,

now, he shunting me off to the sideline.

Do I accept this horrible reality or fight?

It's him who has plunged me into the night.

Or do I say ‘you're simply not worth it'?

I'll build a life for myself, I can do it,

but, right now, my world has come to an end,

I need time to heal, to gather myself and mend.

So I'll continue listening to this song

and persuade myself I did nothing wrong.

It's him who lost sight of how lovely I am

and I'll pretend that I don't give a damn.

‘Just a song at twilight, when the lights are low'

damn you, you'll never know how I loved you so.

 

**********

 

Beings of Grey

 

At one end a demon, at the other a saint,

and, in between, a being of grey,

merging the black with the white,

the dark with the light, the wrong

with the right, to end up torn asunder

with conflicting views, doubts so strong

and messages confused, making blunder

after blunder as we struggle to be good,

only to end up being bad, and then guilt

weighs us down because we have failed,

and all the edifices we have carefully built

come crumbling down at our feet of clay.

Oh what it is to be fallible, imperfect,

far from saints for yet another day.

But that's the way we are, all muddle

and strife, mixed in with a lot that's nice,

and a whole lot that falls outside categorizing

because nebulous and impossible to define,

that part still in the process of refining,

so neither dark nor light, in between right

and wrong, and we forever strive to be

far more than we are or see in the mirror,

for, at one end, we're a demon, the other, a saint,

and there's no escaping the fact that life

is filled with constraint after constraint

reducing the struggle to do good not bad

to one heck of a battle inside which can,

if you're not careful, drive you totally mad.

So, when all is said and done, we have to accept

we're mostly beings of grey trying to be good

and even that, in many cases, is a very personal concept.

 

************

 

The Post

 

The post drops through the door

regularly now between two to four.

Once it would be before nine

but that been stopped for a long time.

Husband sorts it into his and mine.

His is CD's a lot, and both get bills,

but mine is mainly charities begging,

as if I have a purse with endless cash,

a huge pile of hidden wads of stash

to continually up my contribution,

while persuading me with images

heart rending suggesting retribution

for my failure to respond, but limits

must be set, and ours have been decided

in fairness because neither of us are earners,

both of us now decidedly pensioners,

So, where once I might have awaited

eagerly for the post, now it's a bore,

most of it ending up in the recycling bin,

such a waste of paper and time I abhor,

but that's this world, for better or worse,

just trying to get what's left in your purse.

After all your bills are settled, your shopping

done for the week, there's always

more and more multifarious ways

people contrive to get your money

for their causes, be they bad or good,

do they really think we're all Robin Hood?

We can't rob from the rich to give to the poor,

as always, it's the other way around, the rich

rob us daily and make huge numbers poor,

so stop putting darn begging letters through my door!

 

************

 

The Spirit

 

Light as a feather, soft as a petal

the spirit floats, touching our minds,

stirring our hearts, so easily missed

when filled with distractions

not noticing things are amiss

when seeing with sightless eyes,

listening with deaf ears, touching

with cold hands the world around,

trudging through life with steps

heavy as lead, crushing those in the way,

ignoring the signs of distress and pain,

neglecting the ones supposed to be loved.

How gently moves the spirit through beings,

made so seemingly fragile but most survive

like toughened steel, so easy to turn hearts

to ice, minds closed and fail to comprehend

that a life is only fulfilled when the spirit

is heeded, its message permanently needed

to be human, to be whole, to understand

the difference between taking and giving,

sharing and keeping, hating and loving.

One heart, one mind, seeking to be known,

to be cherished, valued, esteemed, respected,

never achieved if the spirit is missing,

one heart, one mind, one spirit intact,

one being able to live, to love, to thrive

and most of all to give love with no strings

such a being brings joy to others

making them feel wanted and fully alive.

Light as a feather, soft as a petal,

the spirit floats touching our minds,

stirring our hearts and so easily missed.

 

************

 

Unwinnable Wars

 

A mother bears a child, wrapped in love

and full of pride as it grows in years

through loving infancy to teenage tantrums,

then declares it wants to join the military,

to be a soldier boy or girl, and the mother

swallows deep her fear, and smiles, no use

trying to deter her child, an adult now

with a mind of its own and she kisses

her child goodbye when politicians

start wars abroad for reasons of their own,

mostly lies, based on illusions of grandeur

and power, but the soldier boy or girl

doesn't know that lives in the military

are expendable for reasons quite obvious,

namely that no one in their right mind

would enlist and no one in their right mind

would be willing to die for lies and illusions,

but they do, and they will continue to die

while politicians and generals make plans

for unwinnable wars and create strategies

that can never succeed, leaving more dead

than would ever have been the case

if they had all stayed at home and cheered

from the sidelines, and a mother weeps

when her child returns home in a coffin,

persuading herself that her beloved one died

for a good reason, her child died with honour,

the politicians and generals killed her child

dishonourably, and nothing will change

until mothers stop giving birth to children

ready to be sacrifices on the altars of lies

and illusions, the ‘enemies' mothers' weep

as well united in their anguish for the death

of their beloved sons and daughters

on the bloody killing fields of war.

 

************

 

Life and Death

 

Listening to human beings playing music,

masters of their art, lifting the spirit until it soars,

tears flowing with sheer delight…

Watching human beings garbed in bombs,

skilled in their art, producing only death,

tears flowing with sheer horror...

Observing human beings' painted pictures,

masters of their art, arousing deep emotions,

tears flowing with sheer delight...

Seeing human beings making war,

skilled in their art, creating killing fields,

tears flowing with sheer horror...

Hearing human beings read poetry,

masters of their art, producing pictures in words,

tears flowing with sheer delight...

Hearing human beings spreading hate,

skilled in their art, producing chaos in words,

tears flowing in sheer horror...

Wondering how human beings came to be

so diverse in their skills and dexterity,

some creating beauty, others only death,

the latter believing their way is the best,

the former believing their way is the best,

and the world flows back and forth

forever between the pendulum of life

and death, life and death, life and death

life and….

 

*************

 

Journey of Discovery

 

We believe we see things bright and clear

then discover we're really nowhere near

the reality of what is actually there.

Reality hides itself behind masks,

giving us impossibly hard tasks

to discern what's real and what is not.

 

It's been this way since we could think

making us believe we're always on the brink

of lifting up the mask to see the truth.

Unfortunately, there always comes a time

when what we thought real and sublime

was wrong in every sense of the word.

 

Nothing can travel faster than light

we've believed for decades was right,

but suddenly we're not so certain anymore.

And the quantum world is utterly confusing,

to be in several places at once is not amusing

but seems to be a fact we cannot now dispute.

 

It's really thrilling to find that we're wrong,

undoing beliefs we've held dear for so long.

Nothing like a shake up to make us use our brains.

And so, we're standing on the edge of the new

with no idea what could possibly ensue

but being who we are, we'll battle on.

 

Let go of error is the answer with courage

and put our brain cells to brand new usage.

It's a new day, another new world to explore.

What more could we ask of reality

that it, slowly but surely, reveals its actuality,

and makes the journey of discovery so thrilling.

 

It's one long exciting ride we all experience

in our search for life's true essence.

I hope we can travel faster than the speed of light!

 

*****************

 

A Break

 

A break from the routine of a life

can work wonders on the psyche

wearied and drowned in concerns

and fears of an imagined doom,

plunging moods into deep gloom

when solutions aren't apparent

and desperate measures seem due.

Leaving everything for a time,

not long, but away from the familiar,

enables rationality to be restored

and a cessation of the discord

that was making life so hard.

A space to breathe a different air,

to see problems in a new light,

and begin to set right the wrong

that had put so much out of kilter,

and made the wounded psyche captor

to troubles that were not there,

to dreams, baseless in their horror,

to emotions paranoid and dark,

when all that was needed for healing

was to take a break from the routine

of a life, and leave everything foreseen

behind to return with a psyche restored,

all life in balance once more,

and the imagined doom dispelled

to see what was seen was only fantasy

and all just part of life's rich tapestry.

 

*************

 

Still alive and kicking

 

Strolling in gardens in the heart of the city,

a pleasure complete. Its lake, taking you

by surprise and delight through the wealth

of wild life. Herons, cormorants, grebes,

swans, blue billed ducks, mallards, drakes, coots,

moorhens and various geese, to name the ones

seen on a single evening's stroll in the last

of the sun's light, before evening descends

with the drawing in of the night now Autumn

is here once more. And the call to tell everyone

that the gardens are closing at seven, the hour

of the setting sun, and you wonder where

the street people go who sit on the seats eating

chips from a bag, chatting together in a small

side path out of sight of most passers by,

will they stay for the night or depart like the rest

of us? Slipping through the side gates now

as the main gates are closed, you find yourself

on a tree lined street, full of lights and life,

of hustle and bustle and all feels alive and vibrant,

infectious with energy, and you start to stroll

down lamp lit streets with hanging baskets

brightening the posts, and hotels and pubs

decked with window boxes full of flowers,

and the city enters the night, another world,

exciting and laid back, but now we're tired

after walking for hours so stroll back to our room

in a hotel nearby. Another day has gone by

and the sun has shone brightly, we're contented,

relaxed and supremely happy. Nothing like

a taste of the city to restore wilted spirits,

and remind you that you're still alive and kicking.

 

************

 

The Mission

 

Her mission was a decision

she took seriously when young,

but, as she grew older,

the decision seemed less wise.

Her mission was to succeed

in everything she tried,

which didn't seem unreasonable.

 

At sixteen, it seemed possible,

at twenty, she was set to go,

at thirty, the gaps were widening

between subsequent successes.

Sadly, failure seems more likely

when she reviewed her efforts.

Still she carried on hoping

for the break that would take

her to the top and bring her fame

and a fairly average fortune.

 

By forty, reality hit home,

of the hoped for fame and fortune

there would be none, so she resolved

to modify her mission. From now on,

she wouldn't seek success,

but contentment in her life,

and, suddenly, she was free

of all her previous anxiety and strife.

Now, at eighty, she looks back

with satisfaction that, on the whole,

that mission was the most successful of all.

 

***************

 

Lead kindly light

 

 

Lead kindly light

And mind that ditch…

 

Yuk, too late!

 

Lead kindly light

And mind that rock…

 

Ow, too late!

 

Lead kindly light

And watch that cliff…

 

Aaaaaah, too late!!

 

Today is not my day.

 

 

*************

 

 

Passion for what is right

 

Passion for what is right

could prevent the coming night.

The signs are there for all to see

but apathy is the great enemy.

To sit believing we are helpless

is to bury deep our awareness.

Speaking out with protestations,

with petitions and demonstrations

is not to be mocked or scorned

if the world is to be transformed.

For, therein, lies our hope and trust

that there is a future for the just,

for the optimist and the idealist,

to lessen the power of the elitist.

A belief that things can be changed,

for nothing in life is prearranged.

The future is an open book

if we deny the greedy or the crook

the right to control the world

and stop what has been unfurled,

the domination and repression

of billions by each corporation

in collaboration with impotent politicians,

creating a system producing divisions

so wide between the rich and poor

which all seeking justice should abhor.

Their weapons are paranoia and fear,

bolstered by hawks so cavalier

they send their armies into war

to bring democracy and to restore

peace, while behind the scenes

they hatch their unholy schemes,

ignoring the fact that, in reality,

their people have no democracy.

Time is not on our side anymore,

the world is sliding closer to war

on a scale never seen before.

If ever there was time for passion,

tempered always with compassion,

it's now, before it's too damned late.

 

***********

 

Life

 

We come bawling into the world,

we go out abruptly or weeping or even smiling,

in between, we live a life,

some short, some long, some middling.

There are times for playing, dancing,

dating, loving, screwing, fighting.

moaning, laughing, crying, joking

supporting, nursing, breeding, pleading,

smoking, doping, drinking, eating,

sleeping, shopping, coping, despairing,

working, retiring, declining, whining,

shouting, screaming, hating, nit picking,

arguing, believing, hoping, swimming,

running, hopping, jumping, skating,

cycling, fainting, waiting, deciding,

choosing, thinking, declining, reclining,

standing, slipping, sliding, presiding,

dwelling, selling, buying, persuading,

wrinkling, fading, inciting, nagging,

peeing, farting, fretting, marrying,

and, last but not least, we end up dying.

Most of these probably done at some point

in all lives, though not in that order,

There are lots more, but that would be a bore,

so, you can all be sure, that life is full

from morning to night even if you think

yours is slow, uneventful and dull.

Have a good one wherever you are,

and remember, we come bawling into the world,

we go out abruptly or weeping, or even smiling,

one thing we don't always know is the timing.

 

***********

 

The Long Night

 

A gathering of clans in the morning light

saw the results of the hunt through the night.

The people observed the silent distribution,

all equally shared to avoid retribution.

With their portions in hand they departed,

after farewells and embraces, they got started.

Each clan separated as they set forth

to the south, to east, to west and the north.

With the cities destroyed, the world changed,

all the old order now drastically rearranged.

The survivors of a war, fought a century past,

which left all on earth devastated and aghast.

Reduced hugely in numbers to a mere few,

they started to build a world that was new.

Food, shelter and safety was their priority,

totally agreed upon by the majority,

but still there were thieves and marauders,

made up of the lost, all brutal murderers.

Each clan had its protectors and chief,

to guard the people from coming to grief.

Forgotten now that time had turned back

to an age before the world went off track.

Still there was hope that the clans would grow

now that the birthrate was no longer zero.

Every child born was precious to all.

Around every one was a protective wall,

every adult defending them to the death,

shielding their young to their last breath.

And the earth heaved a sigh of relief

that some of the humans held onto the belief

that wars were a thing of the past.

All had sworn from the least to the last

that never again would the clans fight

plunging the earth into another long night

when no light penetrated the sky

and most of the humans lay down to die.

 

************

 

A Rose by any other name

 

Rose was a her name

with no claim to fame.

Her cheeks were the colour of flame,

her nose though went off to the right

and her lips were a line so tight,

but, smiling, she lit up a light

so extraordinarily bright

nobody could claim

she wasn't a beautiful sight.

 

***********

 

How real am I?

 

How real am I?

Perhaps twelve prototypes

form the human race

so hard to prove or trace.

Characteristics passed on

each essential for survival,

individually distinct

to help us from going extinct.

Astrologically defined,

each person adding their bit

to the soup of humankind,

each enhancing the human mind.

 

Am I a construct?

While individually unique,

perhaps genetically,

but do I create what I am

when, in reality, it's a sham?

Am I real or virtual,

existing in moments

in the endless Now

without knowledge of how?

We create solidity all around

when we're full of space,

composed of elements and water,

each of us our own author.

 

Am I eternal?

A question posed for millennia.

Unanswered except by faith

that when our energy runs out,

somewhere, we'll still be about.

Where that will be

each religion has an idea

Yahweh, Jesus, Brahma, Buddha

or Allah, to mention just a few

have defined an afterlife,

but all are finite concepts

based on unfounded precepts.

So I have to admit,

I'm no nearer knowing

what I actually am

or even if I'm just a virtual program.

 

**********

 

The Worm

 

The worm turns and bites back,

it has given us life, it churns up the earth,

it gave birth to the plants, trees and shrubs,

to the creatures and to us.

Billions of worms work on this earth,

beneath the ground and above.

One day they will turn and bite back.

Unrecognized, they toil day in day out

oiling the wheels of life, keeping it on track,

beneath the ground and above.

Not out of love but designed to do thus,

at least the worms below ground

were designed thus, but those above

are forced to toil to survive, to eat,

to find shelter, clothing, their keep.

When the worms turn and bite back

the whole earth will be churned,

turned and reordered then put back on track.

 

*************

 

 

One Body

 

One body made up of the many

cannot exclude anybody.

Loving them all is what we must do

for in failing, it diminishes us too.

It's so very hard to include them all,

and can nearly drive us up the wall

when seeing the damage done by some

as they take away hope and human freedom.

But the essence of our humanity

is to put aside personal animosity

and gather all in our hearts,

leaving out none of the parts

we don't want, or would rather not see,

for there's always a reason for iniquity.

 

One day the bad may abandon their ways

if we gather up all the lost and the strays,

and help them see that peace and harmony

is a better way of living and a possibility.

One thing to remember as well,

is that none of us can truthfully tell

that, if born in a different place,

or a different country or race

where life is brutal and hard

that we wouldn't be unscarred.

Judgement needs to be laid aside,

and attempts to understand applied,

for all must be embraced in the body

if healing is to come to everybody.

We're truly one body made up of the many

and that means we cannot exclude any.

 

************

 

A Stranger

 

A stranger can enter your life

Bringing pleasure and joy

Making a new friendship,

One that survives the troubles

And strife of your everyday life.

 

A stranger can enter your life

Bringing pain and distress

Making you distrust,

One who doubles the troubles

And strife in your everyday life.

 

A stranger can enter your life

Bringing a sense of unease

Making you doubt their intentions,

One who builds up the troubles

And strife in your everyday life.

 

A stranger can enter your life

Bringing mystery and novelty

Making you curious,

One who changes the troubles

And strife in your everyday life.

 

A stranger can enter your life

Bringing love and tranquillity

Making you feel safe and secure,

One who shoulders the troubles

And strife in your everyday life.

 

Strangers can enter your life

Bringing a new dimension

Making you wiser for good or ill,

All, you learn, have troubles

And strife in their everyday life.

 

**************

 

Quick Changes

 

How quick changes the day

born blue with a rising sun,

a gentle breeze to welcome

in the new, but so soon the wind

rises, and what was blue

becomes grey, hiding the sun,

and rain drops fall slow

at first then fast to soak

the day. And the wind blows

hard, churning skies, clouds

burst asunder, and blue

peeks through to let sunlight

cast its warming rays

across the earth to dry

the ground, but only for a time

before the grey defeats

the blue again, covering the sun

once more, blacker now,

more threatening, and the wind

howls like a banshee

through the trees, shaking

the earth all around

until lightning flashes bright

followed by thunder roiling

in the distance, growing

ever closer until overhead,

displaying Nature's displeasure

in good measure for a while.

And the wind gusts in fury

as if angered by the way

the clouds have vent their rage,

and blows them all away,

leaving, once more, white balls

of cloud amidst the heaven's blue.

And so it continues day after day,

these quick changes making plans

irrelevant, and the temperature

rises and falls, making decisions

that bit harder of what to wear,

too hot, too cold, or wet or dry,

umbrellas and coats, or lighter

wear. Today, no storms

but rapid changes all around

from sun to rain and back again.

Variety being the spice of life,

but too much of anything

makes only for confusion

when you never know

what the day will bring.

 

******

 

Starting again

 

A dream of starting again,

of undoing wrongs,

wiping out mistakes,

of taking other paths.

A decision regretted,

a desire unfulfilled,

an agony avoided,

to turn back the clock,

a chance to take stock

of opportunities lost,

a hand withdrawn,

a hostile reaction,

a walking away,

when staying was best

at the other's behest.

The healing of hurt

in times of rejection,

imagined reproaches

ending of friendships

and close relationships,

The desire to do better,

a cessation of guilt

for errors in judgement.

For not loving enough,

for being too tough

when life seemed too rough.

So many things to put right,

but there's no going back.

A humble acceptance

and an easing of conscience,

the wisdom to see

that what is must be

is best in the long run

for the past can't be undone.

So be content in the present,

it's all that we have,

the flow is all forward,

it never goes backward.

The arrow of time

is all that there is,

so rejoice and be happy

you've made it this far,

and can still enjoy life

without creating more strife.

 

**********

 

Oh for a body that's lithesome and fit

 

Oh for a body that's lithesome and fit,

but when that's not true,

it can throw your life askew

if suddenly it starts to fail

it becomes a sorry tale.

You have to adjust your mind

and leave what was behind.

Now you have to change again

and that's not easy for your brain.

It wants to believe that all is well

but the reality just doesn't gel.

So you search for solutions,

trying all sorts of medications.

When none of these prevail,

you're cast into great travail

Consultants throw up their hands

unable to deal with your demands.

The fact is they've done all they can,

including giving you a scan.

They say it's your age, my dear,

something you don't want to hear.

In the end, you submit and accept

that, in every single, respect,

your body just won't behave,

so you have to be very brave

and knuckle down to the new,

a life that's now under review,

one that's full of limitations

and unwanted restrictions,

You know you're not dying,

which is, at least, gratifying.

So you're finally resigned

to a life now redesigned,

not what you wanted, it's true,

but, at least, you're still you.

Even if somewhat altered,

your zest for life hasn't faltered,

but still you want, just a bit,

a body that's lithesome and fit.

 

**************

 

An Endless War

 

Bitter hatred and revenge,

a recipe for disaster,

an urge for retribution,

for justice, for evening

up the score, an endless

war of attrition, terrorism,

barbarism, slaughter,

the scream of the primal,

the only way of survival

Destroy your enemy,

none are innocent, no hands

clean, all sides betray

in their blindness, their faith,

their truth in their own way.

But the innocent do die,

and the young witness

pain, anguish and loss

as adults gather armies,

covert and overt, to fight

their wars, and the freedom

to be is undone as security

takes precedence and fear

is promoted, paranoia

encouraged by the media,

politicians and hawks

in the military. No good

can come from the pursuit

of this blood letting route.

Time to stand back,

to take stock, and know

that our future's in peril

if we continue this way.

When morality dies,

and honour is lost,

when murder and mayhem

is considered a worthwhile cost,

Humanity is in danger

of destroying the earth.

Love, Compassion and Hope

is the route all must take

for the generations to come,

and for our own sanity's sake.

 

**************

 

A Child's Smile

 

A child's smile can light up your life,

a small hand in yours keeping him safe,

an embrace as he wraps you around

can make your heart soar bursting with love.

No need for wealth, for many possessions,

your riches are priceless with him in your care.

From infancy onward you watch him grow

with unadulterated joy and increasing delight

as he takes his first steps, says his first word,

until running around laughing and playing

and chatting away, reading him books,

teaching him things, protecting his life,

guarding him from strife, trying the new

then he's ready for school, and you stand

watching him enter the gate, happy,

but part of you cries for he's moving away,

becoming part of the world, and one day

you know he'll let go of your hand

and walk out of the door to make his own way.

And all you can do is hope that he'll know

that your love is forever as he's part of you

for he has lit up your life since his birth,

and you only have a few years left now

before he's an adult like you, and free

to make his mistakes, to stumble and fall,

to rise and become all that he can.

And you kiss him when he comes out of school,

holding his hand as you make your way home

with your heart still soaring when he looks up

and says, ‘I love you, Mum' and you know

this love is really and truly equal to none.

 

************

 

The Embrace

 

The light fell across her face

enhancing its folds and wrinkles,

its crinkles and dimples

to reveal beauty, still present

as she smiled with her eyes

and the years fell away,

leaving the young woman

standing there reaching out

to touch the child's face

with its peach smooth skin,

and she wreathed in laughter

as she embraced her Gran.

And the generation gap

was gone in that moment

of blissful pleasure for both

when time stood still

and the space was filled

with unconditional love

and ageless adoration.

 

************

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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