Another Word With You


Kindness is a genus of love
Not passion but a form of caring
That puts another soul’s welfare in your hands
Yesterday I had my booster dose for COVID
And a blood test too, for other reasons
Such a gentle nurse she was
So skilful
So attentive
So trained to do the right thing
I felt safe under her informed guidance
At times inspired
Like a true believer
And I did what she told me to do
As best I could
While she patiently waited for my compliance
So now here I am and a day has passed
Quite a bit of pain from the vaccine
A sore arm too
But my spirits are high
Despite the challenge
Thanks to that compassionate carer
Once more into the breach I go
Prepared to live on
In the face of every danger
Thanks largely to a memory
Of the benignity of that mentor
Who cared for me
As much as she cared for herself
A paradigm for others, she is
And if emulated,
A model for humankind


If music be the food of love play on.
Shakespeare: Twelfth Night

There is something about a song
It lifts the soul
Out of the mire it can stumble into
It stirs the soldier
As he marches to face his foe
It assuages the dove
Who mourns the consequent dead
It empowers the lover
Who tells his beloved of his longing
It sprinkles kindness
On victims harmed by hate
It turns those who shirk
Towards the triumph of work
It tells a tale
That recalls past worlds forgotten
It fills the air with hope
In the lives of the misbegotten
It is a paean of partnership
In a wedding celebration
It is a farewell to a loved one
As the centrepiece of a wake
So sing me your song sweet minstrel
Let the beauty of sound fill my mind
And I will follow your music
Leaving all my despair behind


O heavens above what a tempest!
Destruction out of nowhere
So violent it destroyed reality
As if the climate were hurling vengeance at us
Uprooted trees became agents of death
Houses were torn asunder
With the energy of a global warning
Roofs off and teeming rain
The destruction spread
Not in a line
But in a circle
Just like wartime bombing
A pathetic comparison
With scattered, broken domesticity
Bringing tears to the relatives of the victims
And empathy from observers
All of a sudden it was gone
The sun came out
As if angry with the events
Rescuers appeared with amazing promptness
Doctors, police, first responders from nearby
Such kindness and willingness to help
The storm left but the wreckage stayed
What a blow to people seeking- normal lives!
Alas climatic violence such as this
Has become a new normality!
Somewhere, every day
A cause of this chaos still exists
But we learn from the tempestuous anger of the weather
That the days of the guilty entrepreneurs of doom
Are numbered
By the merciless power of the restless elements
Sooner rather than later is the message
And the word is getting around

Learn To Live With COVID

We must learn to live with COVID
Perhaps you are right
But we must get the facts
Thousands of our fellow humans have died
Because of this vile disease
Death stalks every age
Tiptoing behind you
And then crushing you with subtlety hitherto unknown
Taking away your breath
Wracking your body with pain
Orchestrating your death
With a cruelty that defies description
So look carefully today at each loved one
Especially the aged
Seek the loving light of those eyes
While you can
The warmth of that smile
The comfort of that voice that cares for you
In ways so long a part of your existence
Listen again
To those tales told with love of earlier times
Do this while you can
For danger is afoot in 2021
The disease has allies
Who do not wear a mask in company
Who march in protest together
Demanding the licence
Of a normal existence
Where business is more important than the sick and dying
So decide now; choose
If we meekly accept COVID
Some more will surely die
If we learn to challenge COVID
There’s a chance more will survive
So wear a mask and keep your distance
It’s mandatory in Utopia and should be everywhere


O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Yesterday becomes very important when you are old
Tomorrow never comes they say
With rhetorical wit
But that day before today is always there
Once it happens, it never leaves you
So important
It is a force forever influencing the present
If you found kindness in that past time
That memory
Is a refuge from tears in the present
If you found hate
The monster can keep biting you and stealing your peace…
There was a war in my past too
This involved more hate
This time I am guilty
I learnt to loathe the Japanese
But this was merely a temporal aberration
Time was at it again
The last car I drove before old age deprived me of a licence
Was beautiful
It was made in Japan
No hate then, only gratitude…
Now my legs these days hurt a lot
But once I was Lord of the Dance and could run
Faster than a speeding bullet in my Superman outfit
So I just think back
And troubles seem to wither away
Now I’m not Don Juan
But once in that past life I did find love
Changed my life it did
Because suddenly I mattered to someone other than myself
So there
Yesterday still so important today
I am so glad to have so many memories
And I have learnt to be selective
It’s called survival
Now I am often lonely
But O how sweet that chosen memory can be
Often in contrast to now

Yes the mind has mountains
But some,
When you choose to climb them,
Can give you peace


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