Poetry Lingers Still


There I was
Unsure of my existence
Anxious and afraid
Body mechanisms just not working
I wondered if my time had come
His voice was gentle
That greeting almost tender
The concern for me was obvious
He was calmly so proficient
He checked my blood pressure
Felt my pulse
Looked carefully at my eyes and face
All the time talking in a friendly, unruffled way
His aura of proficiency gave me peace of mind
Fear drifted away quite quickly
A stretcher on wheels took me smoothly to the ambulance
That new friend watching over me with the driver
Skilfully placed me on board and secured me with a belt
He sat beside me during that journey
Gently but efficiently when we arrived
Taking the essential details of my personal life
Then came the sanctuary of the hospital
Where I was saved from that current pain and trouble
And given more time to live
Now here I sit writing this verse
In better health than I endured before
With only the memory of that man who changed my life
What can I do to thank him?
We shall probably never meet again
All I have are these words I write
And the overwhelming wish
To support those wondrous men and women
Who reach out and hold the hand
Of struggling souls like me


Love, it is an active thing
A performer with many faces
A reaching out to another
There is so much pain it replaces
It can weave a subtle magic spell
With its silken thread of kindness
It can take away your loneliness
And cure your insular blindness
So try it: entwine yourself in another life
Though stupidity around you is rife
That love will gently tinker with your fate
And show you the power of love over hate
Even when your downfall seems decided
It will give you power to reshape your life
Where concern and care are derided
So reach out now to that untried friend
Find a way to share magnanimity
To help another’s troubles to end
With a joy that relates to divinity
Notice then as a consequence
The dramatic change in you
A different arena you will discover
Where even dreams can come true
As you have no fear and are bound to recover
With a second self to admire
If you share your thoughts, set your spirit afire
Two can turn into one
Then you will find a change has begun
In the moon and the sun and the air and the sky
And everything else on earth
A reshaping unseen by you before
In all time since your birth

A Hole In The Wall

Come with me now
Over here
By this hole in the wall
Listen to them talking
These Apates * who determine our destiny
Hear their twisted, cunning discourse of deceit
Warnings of dangers that don’t exist
To justify spending on weapons of war
Melodious canine music in support of extremists
Who attack your rivals
High praise for fictitious solutions to global warming
That will do more harm than good
Plans to earn tainted money by selling fossil fuels
As long as the market exists
Furtive PR conniving with the media
To create the myth of concern for the common man
And portray counterfeit camaraderie
Tax concessions for the wealthy and pathos for the poor
Machinations with rich backers to destroy public ownership
For the profit of the few
Endorse yes-men on radio by giving them your time
Praise our way of life with empty euphemisms
Sign your fate away in treaties with money and power
Make Satan the true hero of Paradise Lost
And pose as a guardian of the nation’s future
There you have it
Do you see what I mean when I say
It’s such a crucial source of knowledge that wall opening?
What should we do?
What course of action can we of little influence follow?
Mend that wall I say, and walk away
Towards a humane future of trust and peace
And, dare I say it, compassion for the needy

*In Greek mythology Apate was the personification of deceit.

The Unknown Citizen

There he lies
In The Hall Of Recollections
The Unknown Citizen
Quite young he was – a mere sixteen
Still at school
Loved his dog who died with him
Made a kite that once flew boldly over the roofs of his village
Dreamed of being a pilot with his country’s airlines
Was his school champion at distance running
Also aspired to an Olympic destiny
His father was dead so he lifted heavy things for his mother
And helped his aged grandparents who were both deaf
And needed aid to walk and to talk
He worked in the family garden which was so important
As they were very poor
Tended the poultry too: six hens and a rooster
In a very small enclosure
Fed them every day and collected the eggs
Went fishing by the river after school for more needed food
And mended the roof with palm leaves when the rain burst through
He was an only child of his solitary parent for most of his life
As his younger sister died of typhoid fever
Nobody knows the details you have here read
As his body was burned beyond recognition
And his entire village was destroyed
That body now lies with words of due regard
Beside the Unknown Soldier
As an ostensible token of regret and respect by a nation…
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month
A trumpet sounds to disturb his peace
As a wreath is laid…
For the rest of the year he is forgotten


Listen to you, so cunning you are
Condemning violence
Yet claiming understanding of the reasons for it
So you are not truly disparaging
But equivocating, dodging, pussyfooting around
Almost in favour
And thus you in reality befriend the extremists…
You are actually one of them
Because your condemnation is ephemeral
Almost faint praise
So be it
That is the modus operandi of your politics
You’re not an overt reality
Only what seems to be
A performer
An actor on a violent stage
Therefore please understand my rage
For in my lifetime I have seen violence destroy conciliation
Murders become a political strategy
And subtly aimed political whistles
Transform themselves into symphonies of success
This is my memo to you
Note well now and forever more
I hear what you say but I see what you do
The truth about you thunders above you
Lightning flashes from that storm
Seeking a pathway to the ground
A tower of deception exists
It will be struck and destroyed
And that doomed edifice
Because of your sordid reality
Will be you


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