More Poems To Share

Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing

Be silent always, when you doubt your sense;
And speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence:

‘Tis hard to say if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill,
But of the two less dangerous is the offense
To tire our patience than mislead our sense

Alexander Pope: An Essay On Criticism

Can you hear it?
Misstatement disguised as reality
Threatening rhetoric crudely linked to freedom
Can you hear that man of straw spruiking
He is not selling strip tease at the Cross
But advocating something truly iniquitous
Depraved, villainous, nefarious, vicious
He wants us to run the risk of death
Of suffering
Of mental and physical anguish
For already suffering professional fellow humans
By breaking valid laws for COVID
No name is given here
But you will know him by his demeanour
He is loud
Vociferous in the extreme
Willing to label the objects of his scorn
Use violent symbols of aggressive hate
Despise science and be repulsed by logical argument
But nevertheless he has sufficient skills
To win the support of powerful patrons and underwriters
Quite an achievement for a burnt out relic of a past age
And yet there is one compensation
A thought to give us strength to face the wilderness
He is part of an unworthy and highly inept minority


For A Fallen Hero

So you have gone astray
Somewhere in your distant past
Nefarious thoughts invaded your reason
And caused you to act in a way you now regret
For you are a different person now
You understand your folly
And the agony of that past temptation
Now haunts your present
Tears the image of yourself asunder
And leaves you no choice but to withdraw yourself
As a leader of men…
But breathes there a man who never played the fool?
Is there a soul on earth who never went astray?
Alas there are far too many
Who rise to glory as a consequence of sins
Who admit nothing
And fashion fruitful fantasy
To underwrite a future based on lies
They are the true dangers to us all
Not the errant ones like you
Who have learnt a painful lesson as part of their humanity
So hear this now
You are forgiven in the halls of understanding
By the real people who matter in every life
The history makers who tell the story of mankind
For they know that dissembling is the true reason
For distress in our circle of existence
Rise up again O sullied man
Join the multitude of wrongdoers who haunt each day
But stand tall in the chosen few
Who admit their guilt
Learn their lesson
And share an imperfect life with the rest of us


Pretence it is a tarnished deed
By those who perform chicanery in public life
Everywhere you look you’ll find examples
So many, you could draft a book
Take the crafty, autocratic politician as a case in point
The one who creates a vision
So different from reality
Recorded by design so cleverly
In every news hour
Because of this, he could be indeed a different person
Have you seen him drinking beer in a crowded bar
With a stranger carefully chosen
By his staff for the shot
Or the pre-arranged child who gets a smile
And a filmed ride on his lap
Or the meeting with a corporate boss that is carefully recorded
With hard hats worn and an orange coat
And the wheels of industry turning
To imply progress is his doing
There’s a press conference too where when he’s found out
He vehemently abuses his rivals
Words for him are so critical always
When there is a recording as he speaks
Euphemisms vie with superlatives but O how the modelling reeks
True, he doesn’t sell cigarettes
Despite the death warning on the packets
He doesn’t use stimulating images to sell junk food
Or visual lies to sell other products
He is not guilty there
But his is the power to decide our destinies
His vision largely creates the life that we lead
And that is why he needs a valid and independent commission
To define a straight and narrow path of action
Far different from a so called election mandate
Achieved with the votes of a majority of gullible fools


Freedom is a valued thing
Beloved from pole to pole
But freedom to do something wrong
Alas in truth is licence!
It cannot be condoned
Some people alive today
Have lived through many wars
Some have felt free to try to stop them
They marched to stop conscription
They marched to stop invasions
They marched to stop the war crime of killing civilians
The main reason always was to prevent death
Freedom to cause death however
Is a travesty that cannot be approved
Not with a gun
Not with a knife
And not with angry demonstrations
Millions are dying from COVID
Personal contact is the cause
So a poster advocating freedom to mingle
Is a murder weapon
That echoes in the halls of anarchy
Now the times are changing
How strange in this old world
At last to find a majority doing what is right
Salutations to the husbands and wives, children and old folk
Who have had the strength to isolate as needed
Bravo to the health workers, the food deliverers, the posties
And all the others who have carried on
Bravely in the face of danger for the good of us all
As to the others
The intrepid minority, even though you have spread the disease
We are your brothers and sisters
Mercy is here
As the aim of most of us is to help us all survive

A View Of Time

There seems to be a widespread fear of time passing
Abroad in the modern world
Anxiety about growing old is one reason
Another is your envy of youth compared to your apparent senility
A point of interest however
Is a totally different, surprising experience with chronology
Memory when it is still with you
Can be such a nostalgic enrichment of your last days
A kind of beatification of your life
So many things you remember
That are unknown to the arrogant youths around you
Look at some of these
There was the postie who blew a whistle for example
When he delivered your mail
He remains still today your friend in your mind
Dedicated to the service he provided
The baker and milkman who came to your house
Were other personal contacts
With their cheerful words on arrival
In days before the advent of supermarkets
This was company with real people instead of checkout queues
And the grocer who sold you your butter and your cheese
All wrapped in white paper with no plastic
You chose and he wrapped
And in some places rabbit sellers also called
With that cheap, delicious food that Mum cooked
People interacted far more in those days as you remember it
Personal relationships were more important and frequent
Than self-service isolation
Radios were all you had as home based media
They worked with valves
And were too big to fit into your pocket
Time with them was limited
So the bondage with television didn’t exist
Conversation and home performance with family
Mattered infinitely more
The picture show was where you saw news long after it happened
And where you fell in love with celestial movie stars
Again you mixed more with people there
And getting that ice cream at interval
Was part of a social experience
Fish and chips wrapped in recyclable newspaper
Were a common experience too
You tore open the paper to get that delicious first chip
And did no damage to the environment
And there were far fewer cars to pollute the air
In traffic jams especially
And another human being
Checked your tyres and your oil and gave you petrol
While often you just sat in the car
Mind you, it was not paradise
Many of the wonders of the present were missing
Especially linked to health and learning
But sometimes that old world you remember
Gives you relief from tension
It’s very often people your mind rekindles from the past
Characters who valued your patronage and gave you a smile
So for a brief time
In the present, you are not part of the lonely crowd


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