Words Still

The Eternal Struggle

Why is it so hard to find the truth?
To hear a true story?
Learn a valid cause of something happening?
There may well be a number of relevant factors
But it is such a task to find them
The truth is constantly hidden or distorted
I’ve begun to think money is a key factor
You know, it’s a long road that has no earning
Advertising for example
Everything sold is described with superlatives
Items for sale just cannot be so good
In an earlier age advertisements would be called lies
Or swindles
Whereas today, as they bring the money in,
They are commendable, efficient strategies
Helping the economy grow strong…
Of even more concern are the conspiracy theories
As told by connivers at the bottom of the garden
These theorists give speeches soaked in pompous venom
The message is uttered as if from a town crier
The words resemble fists thumping on your door
The clamour is so disturbing you have to yield to that power
And thus your mind is focused on unreality
Normality is then so hard to find
And once again the truth is contorted by distractions
So that wise decisions are impossible
But must it always be so?
Down the ages seekers of truth have suffered anguish
Or even death as part of the eternal struggle with lies
What of the present?
This poem is an old man speaking
Someone who has observed untruth longer than most
And seen many consequences
What can he do to further the quest for integrity in his world?
It’s quite simple really, just tell the truth:
Just now therefore, he may not know the facts
But his search to find them will continue as long as life lasts

A Word For The Voiceless

They are so many, those virus deaths
Appearing as silent numbers
In the data base of the living and the dead
Information delivered in the news routine
By the authorities in charge of things
Never a name
Only a category
Dependent on age and gender
And status with vaccination
Occasionally followed by a story
About the inconvenience of the infection
How somewhere became a no go zone
Requiring isolation…
Once, at the start of this world of trouble
Deep sympathy for the bereaved was expressed
Before key details were given
Now the trend is for numbers only
As deaths are O so frequent
Announcement is required
Necessary perhaps
But intrusive amidst the real business of economic recovery
There lies the sad distraction
For every life is a story
A beginning a middle and an end
A human existence intertwined with others
With living characters
Who struggle, fear, hate and love, hope and dream
And finally lose
That is what matters, the end of the story…
As another poet said
Every death diminishes me
So dear friends
You relatives of the lost
Know please you are in my mind
Touching my thoughts, my mind, my very soul
In ways beyond the superficiality of a mere number

The Answer Man

O have you met the Answer Man
Who is never lost for a word?
Let me tell you about his trickery
It is really quite absurd
You will constantly find him on TV
Doing all kinds of things
He plans his day then alerts the Press
And when they find him he sings
I don’t mean he actually sings a song
That is far from the truth
But when they ask him an awkward question
He spiels a counterfeit proof
Then he does a deed that makes him look good
An action that virtue denotes
He has but one simple mission in life
And that is to win your votes
So he’ll nurse a child and drink a beer
Or wear a hard tin hat
And when they denounce his latest folly
He’ll simply laugh at that
Then he sets himself up around the clock
Doing virtuous activities
He carefully performs where the cameras are
To record his popular proclivities
Thus his life goes on not frowned upon
And with constant salutation
Until in the end as he did intend
He’s the leader of the nation


You are in public office
Controlling the lives of millions
Spending their money according to your wishes
And yet you object to transparency,
To public scrutiny
Of your schemes and dreams…
Are you a dictator
Not ruling but fooling in ways
None but the sanctioned and endorsed
Would dare to criticise or heaven forbid, excoriate?
Clearly and emphatically no
Therefore heed this:
What you are will stay with you like your shadow
Defining you wherever you go
Whatever you think
Whoever you praise
For you have chosen an open existence
It is the asking price of power
No words from your mouth
Or the voices of influential friends
Will save you from this clear imperative
So move on wisely
Answer the questions
Dare to be examined by communal vision
And it shall follow
As tomorrow does today
You will stand or fall according to your virtue
Don’t listen then to diversionary voices
Just be yourself
There is nothing else you can do

Conversation With A Barber

I took my mask off
Then put my hearing aids in my pocket
A haircut I was determined to have
And by Zeus did I need it!
Isolation caused by a virus is not the whole story
Old age has a similar effect
I’m not a wanderer these days
No barber visits for about a year
On this day
COVID seemed to have kept other customers away
That made me glad of the safety
And the fleece really needed shearing
Conversation was a bit of a challenge
As I’m deaf without my hearing aids
He wore a mask
And spoke with a challenging German accent
So I gestured hypnotically
Cutting the hair off my shoulders
With my fingers
And trimming the edges and the top assiduously
He nodded understanding
Then the work began
I kept my eyes off the mirror
As I’ve always been a bit nervous
Dating back I feel to the days of razors
My barber began his work meticulously
Brushing first and then a spray
And then the scissors
He diligently stopped the hair falling down my neck
And kept on with the task much longer than I expected
After a while he paused
Walked right around me observantly
“Ja! Gut!” he said
And was finished to his satisfaction
I paid him twenty dollars for my first mullet


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