Poetry Lives On


The many
Turned into one
A place where you can become aware
Of wisdom that gives energy to countless minds
Where knowledge is a sacred thing
Free of greed or the self interest of business
And exists for itself in triumph over ignorance
Learning there down all time
Has come
Before self aggrandisement and commerce
But not today alas
Now it is the tormented child of dealing
A link in a chain of venture and enterprise
Led not by a prince of academe but by a CEO
Learning based on profit
Or choice determined by cost
Is a travesty that would wither the flowers
In Plato’s garden*
Laws creating financial pain for students
Are tainted deeds derived from a twisted vision of need
The kind of fallacy
That graduate schools were once designed to vanquish
So rage on you merchants of selected knowledge
Count your profits and promote your agenda
But beware
Somewhere amidst the chaos you create
A voice from the past will be heard
Just a gentle sound but sense from the ages
And it will stir a giant of understanding
To turn your profit into loss
And let academic integrity rise again in all its glory

*Plato’s garden was named after his hero Akadēmos.

Dorothy Dix**

Would the minister update the house
On our latest achievements
And is he aware of any different policies?
What a sham!
Parliamentary questions are meant to seek the truth
Not to be a doorway for propaganda
Enquiries in a legislative arena are sacred things
Words belonging to the people
And must not provide diversionary information
That walks blandly along pathways of biased deception
This misdemeanour is so common
In the parliament we know presently
Every day of every session you will see it
Just listen to the orchestrated answers
Superlatives concocted lies dressed deceptively in silk
All in response to questions by Dorothy
To make Utopia seem alive and well
A paradise for dunces
Described in precise detail by government yes-men
Creating an illusion of perfection to hide evidence of failure
Followed by scorn
And muttered anathemas for the Opposition
A tainted array of malediction again to camouflage incompetence
O breathes there a man who is not repulsed by this inanity?
Who longs to observe integrity where laws are made?
Who values time
And writhes in agony at the trivial, trifling, negligible empty oratory
That poses as questions in the parliament of fools
The active, focused, infamous enemies of enlightenment?

** Dorothy Dix was the nom de plume of Elizabeth Meriwether (1870-1951) an American journalist who ran a question-and-answer column.


An official order to do something
Such as
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not commit adultery
No public disobedience here
And those who disobey are condemned
And punished
According to the true and accepted nature of the law
People do not march in protest
With banners of hatred flying
To demand the right to kill, to steal or commit adultery
Why is this so?
It is because the evil is accepted and understood
Opinion unquestioned, a part of human existence down the ages
What else should shape opinion?
Scientia, sapientia, prudentia, sophia…
Knowledge, good sense, prudence, wisdom
The desperately needed tools of survival for struggling humanity
The essential model or signpost for human behaviour
If science is to be the trusted and proved source of our knowledge,
Good sense, prudence and wisdom decree
That we must accept it as a true shaper of our destiny
To deny it,
Rebel against a mandate linked to the preservation of human life,
Ranks highly in the list of human follies
And every person who dies as a consequence of this behaviour
Will be remembered as a victim
Of stubborn, tragically aggressive wrong decisions
So come back to our ranks please
You would be deniers of essential, valid laws
We will welcome you with open arms, alive and well

Empty Vessel

Oh Dear!
How that politician prattles on
His voice has a rattle
Like a train at night on an endless line
A flood of words that seems predestined never to stop
Filled with praise about fictitious happy days
We are told how lucky we are
To have voted for this man and his phalanx
The paradise described is a fake reality
Awkward questions are interpreted as applause
By deliberate misinterpretation
Everything in his garden is so lovely
We learn from his non-stop tourist guide of paradise
That all is well this side of Hell
A light of infinite fictitious virtue gleams from his eyes
This is such a pungent disaster
Such a slander of untruths
That if it continues to hide the reality of actual policies
The world as we know it will crumble into disrepair
And democracy will die a thousand deaths
Even though this voluble mouthpiece of disaster
Still babbles on in hallways close to empty
Peopled by the hearing impaired
Whose hearing aids don’t work
And whose vision is stultified by self interest

A Tempestuous Lesson

First came the wind
Moderate at first and then it seemed to lose its temper
You could hear the rain
Light to begin with and then a torrent
Beating on our outhouse roof like fingers drumming
It was very dark
Lightning came like an errant strobe
Then the hail
Small at first but soon big, like Thor’s marbles
Beating resistance into submission
The wind grew stronger
Not merely angry this time,
Infuriated, tearing the roof and throwing it away
As if it were but paper
Thunder and lightning came almost simultaneously
Grandfather’s old oak tree was uprooted
Like a pathetic seedling
And hurtled out into the street to crush a car irreparably
Water from the river fled its banks
Sweeping our front fence away, gates and all
One of the side walls caved inwards
A terrifying consequence of the tempest
Dylan, my dog, died under the falling bricks
Little Susie was hit by one
It made an ugly purple bruise on her leg
Nothing was broken
So her mother’s comfort was all she needed
The storm didn’t want to stop
It kept attacking us like a fascist after communists
We were drenched to the core of our existence
Afraid, cold and despondent
Because of this, I am sure you will understand
Why I spend all my present days
Actively demanding real action to contend with global warming


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