Some Poems Won’t Stay Hidden

Classroom Conquest

Many educators
Leave the classroom for higher status
As soon as they can
One of the reasons for this
Is that in every classroom
There will always be an idiot
This makes it so hard for the autocratically inclined
For the teacher of the young
It means a challenge
Every day of the school year
For the high school guru
It is at least twice in every week
While for university teachers
It is forever
One of the things you cannot do
And this is what makes it so hard
Is tell the idiot in your classroom
He is an idiot
Merely to diagnose his mental condition
And leave it at that
Is the kind of behaviour
That gives us Hitlers
Instead you must walk towards that haunted soul
And say: “We have a problem…
Let us sit down together and try fix it.”
Then you try something
And something else
And another something else
Those troubles – you are doomed to fight ‘em
And so proceed ad infinitum
It is not always rewarding, this challenge
Sometimes it leaves you shivering in cold despair
But when you win occasionally, something happens
That makes you glad it was you who was there


Let’s switch on the telly and study it well
Get all the details of the happenings in Hell
Find out what the world’s icons are doing
What schemes of self-interest they are pursuing
See if the death toll from the virus is rising
Assess if polluters are still enterprising
Tally the deceased in third world lands
Killed by a vaccine not in their hands
Grow aware of the endless acts of terror
Count the innocents killed by our drones in error
Get details of the latest slaying
Weep for dead soldiers while the bands are playing
Find a lost child drowned in a pool
Be irked by politicos playing the fool
Have your eyes fixed on women abused
With close ups of faces battered and bruised
Notice the old folk dying alone
With all that is left of them mere skin and bone
Pay attention to the climate change report
Drown your fears in wine as a last resort
Television was born in 1926
When John Logie Baird got up to his tricks
When you switch it on now without convolution
You are part of the horror of a news revolution
Switch it off when the time comes without hesitation
Then go and kick a dog for relaxation

Lost Child

Away into a wilderness of uncertainty he went
Towards the place that has never been
Where dreams fade away
Into the cold insignificance of unreality
He was tremulous
And looked at the ground when he walked
Afraid of things
In trouble he was, often
Because he didn’t seem to listen to warnings
A black sheep in child’s clothing
A nuisance to busy parents
He often lingered out of their sight
In a corner beneath the house
Where spiders were his friends
Because they didn’t seem to notice him
He had no other allies
Even his brother and sister despised him
And gave him angry looks unfailingly
Time was his enemy
As days of resentment passed ever so slowly
Until one day
He left it all behind him
He was gone before anyone knew it
No warning
Just a dawning, followed by absence
A token search was made for a while
But quickly discontinued
All this was a long time ago
That family has not heard from him again
Yet he lives on in another place
Fate deals strange cards
For elsewhere he has found love and kindness
That is why he is writing this poem


The lowest trick of the scoundrel
Is to pretend to be good
To profit from war in the name of peace
Is to stand where Judas stood
To work for a cause that brings you gain
While you hide the fact from others
Resembles the work of a thief who steals food
From the mouths of his starving brothers
In parliament sometimes a question time question
Is one of the scoundrel’s tricks
To design a query that promotes a dogma
In the guise of Dorothy Dix
Far more heinous is the charity
That works at a fever pitch
And uses the weak, the poor and the needy
To make its director rich
Along with this is the salesman
Who masquerades as your friend
But leaves you with a pittance beyond remittance
And troubles that never end
Another case for the human race
Tends to shroud many lives in dismay
A philanthropist giving flamboyantly to the poor
While his workforce earns little pay
But life goes on in spite of all this
The tapestry a charlatan weaves
In the end he will die like the rest of us
While none of his victims grieves

The Games We Play

Sport is a corporate business now
Played for financial gain
To sponsor a mogul and launder his funds
With cunning legerdemain
It harnesses crowds and uses tradition
To cash in on people’s dreams
You might say the job of courting the mob
Is one of life’s lucrative schemes
And so they roll in adrift in the mire
Of conjured up belligerent loyalty
While the money flows in to pay the investor
Most often from HD royalty
So the players play as if ready to die
For they know that winning is all
And the media profit from the tales they tell
Especially when players fall
Now the seasons come and the trophies flow
The golden rule is to attack
For the also-ran knows he costs the boss money
And losers get the sack
So it’s play up play and play the game
Not just for a ribboned coat
If the money flows as the saying goes
You won’t have missed the boat

On Getting Things Right

Don’t be dismayed dear colleague
Even though you are maligned
If you do your best and still get blamed
You just have to be resigned
Remember Gödel’s incompleteness theorems
Things we think we know but don’t
If I understood them completely myself
I would tell you, but I won’t
Yet this I will make plain
Advice from me on the shelf
Nothing is impossible for each critic my friend
If he doesn’t have to do it himself
So do what you have to do each day
Stay steadfast as you go
And let those appraisers share with the birds
Their pathetic tale of woe
My-side bias is adrift in our planet
Some believe the whole world thinks they’re right
So if truth happens to be on your side
You can’t win without a fight
But ride boldly lad up the hills of contempt
Crouch low on the power of your horse
Good research in the end will always triumph
And that is a matter of course
Vaccine is not an infringement of freedom
Injustice from the past
If they don’t take it now and follow the rules
Their next breath could be their last
And the climate is now a deadly threat
To our present way of living
If we cut and burn and dig to earn
The weather will be unforgiving
That’s enough for now; you deserve some peace
I will let my argument rest
Work on, do your job, let evidence rule
And you will pass every test


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