And You…


Truth it is an elusive thing
Dangerous for some
As Julian Assange was pilloried for telling it
But when masked
It shapes the destiny of rogues
Are you listening?
You hypocrites who make a living
Or gain power from falsehoods
The reality of your scheming is more and more evident
To an ever increasing number of thinking observers
So take care when you go to war
To sell the weapons you make
Cease your lies that get you elected
And destroy the careers of your political rivals
You corporate dealers
Who rule our lives from backrooms
And lobby lucratively
We are onto you
So your days are numbered
By the real observers who describe reality
This above all
A new day is dawning as the doors of education open
Wisdom is beckoning us
From the stage of learning in schools and universities
Performance there will number your days
Reveal your chicanery
Students of every age
Inevitably are becoming aware of things
A real world is blooming
It is aflame
A beacon at the end of a tunnel of infinite darkness

Deep Affection

Don’t be afraid of love
It won’t hurt you
It may even save you from disaster
Stand by you in times of stress
Give you hope when things have turned against you
Be a reason for living
When life has turned sour
Trust me
When age has crept up on you
And time ruthlessly makes you decrepit
If you have loved someone sometime
That memory will ease your pain
Become a beautiful rose in your garden of despair
So take the chance
Dare to give all that you are in tribute to someone else
Share yourself
Be unafraid
Willing to risk the ignominy of unrequitedness
And become a lover
A true friend
A companion amidst hostile forces of darkness
Yes, give yourself to that cause
And notice what changes
Devotion has many forms
It may be a friendly ear to share another’s sadness
A forgiveness at a time of guilt and regret
Or parental understanding when things go wrong
And the greatest joy
That brings you peace
Amidst the chaos of life’s morbidity
When other dreams have fallen apart
Will be love returned

The Road Taken

Once long ago
I came to a junction of two roads
Equally attractive they were to me
But with directions unspecified
As signposts were missing
Time was not my friend
It was rapidly passing and I had to choose
So I chose this one
And on it I have stayed for all my days
Sometimes it has led me into trouble
Antipathy and questioned virtue
While my progress was hindered by self doubt
Yet I kept on with my journey
For that is the way I tend to deal with things
Other times have been different
Quite often in fact
I have encountered new vistas of awareness
Learnt by observation as I passed by
With a touch of new self-respect
Further still along this path
The road taken
On which I have stayed resolutely despite the scenic change
I have come upon one final encompassing joy
It is a body of listeners
Who share many moments with me responsively
Who question me when understanding lapses
Remarkably at the same time
Helping me gain a better understanding of my own world
And, dare I say it, of myself
That is where I am at this stage of my journey
My voyage of discovery still
To my chosen destination, for I am a teacher

Pills To Cure My Ills

Here I am, old and infirm
Weak and frail and disabled
But I have the ultimate cure
They’re the pills I have recently tabled
There’s one for my moods
When pain intrudes
And one for my aching knees
Blood pressure too is well catered for
Plus a nose spray when I sneeze
My eye sight is weak which makes me seek
A capsule to fix my vision
It costs so much it makes me pay
My chemist with some derision
My feet are sore with pain galore
But I have a costly pastille
It works so well if you fired a gun
I would almost storm the Bastille
My stomach is wild and I tend to belch
Whenever I take a meal
The tablet for this is a hit or miss
It’s just a placebo I feel
There’s one more grief I have to endure
And that is a runny nose
The tablet for this has little effect
Yet that’s where the money goes
Each day for me, as you can see,
Is nothing but a ritual
I’ve learnt to take each caplet I buy
In a manner purely habitual
But there is a pain I must endure
For which all hope is lost
It’s an endless incurable ailment
For my pills the bloody cost


To our first nation

When you educate
Do you lead out along an approved, predetermined pathway
Or do you nourish and let the learner decide
On the destination?
For that first pathway, the derivation is educere
For the second, educare
An important decision this for teachers
Are events to be selected in a prescribed pattern
Or is the learning experience aimed solely at discovery
An enrichment uncontaminated by censorship?
Do you wash the brains for a chosen goal
Or do you nourish unrestrainedly
And wait for a crucial something to happen
In the minds of each fledgling?
Is learning open or selectively controlled?

We must portray a cheerful history
Said a powerful, influential guru
No black armbands belong in our schools
Reality begone
But the facts came inevitably to haunt him
An indigenous voice
Sang a song of sadness that echoed in the hallways
And down the ages as an inevitable consequence
So that the reality of life was discovered
Amidst a learning garden free of dioxin
The tragedy of a treatment was revealed
And another guru said he was sorry


For You Too

So You’ve Lost

So you’ve lost
With your political inanity
After years of your inhumanity
When you blossomed on a tree of deception
Now you’re an item in a trash can
A piece of life lying in a gutter of forgetfulness
Your voice is drowned
By a gathering wind of irrelevance
To be overcome at last
By prayers of reason
What you did is the stuff of your obituary
A cold example of the suffering
You and your in-crowd extolled
While countless victims
Endured the anguish of your schemes
To promote your power
All gone now
Look at you unelected
Cringing in a corner unnoticed
While a new order rises out of the mire you created
Get thee hence then whoever you have become
There is no place left for you here
Your era of rule
Is already a fading memory
That hangs in the air of change
Like dust
Dimming the beauty of the setting sun
Time is our friend and your foe
For it will take away your presence in our minds
Where once you dominated
Now all that is left of you there
Like the Cheshire Cat’s* endless smile

*The Cheshire Cat was a figure in Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland

A Broad Church

You may disapprove
Of some of the things we do
Find fault
With our policy statements
But political life is complex
And we are a broad church
We believe in help for the destitute
As long as the economy stays strong
We strive overtly for peace
Although we sell weapons of war
We seek the greatest good for the greatest number
But channel profits to a selected few
Freedom is our trumpeted dream
Yet we jail refugees without trial
We declare all men are brothers
Even though we invade the vulnerable
We vow to end climate change
But still we export coal
Free speech is a part of the life we acclaim
Though one man owns all our media
Democracy is what we claim to hold dear
Yet we pork barrel without fear
All gender bias we deplore
But women rarely get equal pay
All power rests with the people
But we privatise everything
We proclaim belief in the brotherhood of man
Yet condone hate speak on the airwaves

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
What a noble world surrounds us!

Take Me To Your Leader

There you are
A few words with you if you don’t mind
So you want to be a leader
All right then, let’s see
How good at lying are you?
Not the barefaced type, the obvious ones
It’s the subtle kind I mean
You know, the ones non thinkers can’t detect
What’s that?
You always try to tell the truth
That’s a worry
Even when money is involved?
Oh dear!
A major problem
Let us try oil and gas
Where do you stand on climate change?
You’ve got to be joking
That attitude would bankrupt the nation
And the river systems?
Don’t tell me you would put water for the environment
Ahead of farming industries
The more we speak the more concerned I become
One last hope
What about foreign policy?
Are you behind the latest arms deal?
That’s it then, my friend
Leadership for you is out of the question
Your position is tremulous
In fact another career seems advisable
Politics is for wolves not sheep
I suggest you return to your former profession
Money flows to you in corporate commerce
More fluently
And there are far fewer people to deceive

Treasures Of The Mind

O I am old now
And my body constantly disobeys my wishes
Life is hard
Even when you do nothing
And the official verdict on your usefulness is zero
Yet I have some gems
Of experience
That for others are rare now
Largely unknown to today’s fresh-faced revellers
Once I could see the moon in clear air
Meandering across an uncontaminated sky
Benevolent, gentle
Like a shepherd tending sheep
I drank from streamlets many times
As I walked mountain pathways
Little rivulets of happiness they were, glad to quench my thirst
As they danced gaily by me
The noise of their passing like laughter
I picked wildflowers once, where concrete now stands
Radiances of colour, amazing timeless beauty
Samples of love to give my mother
I went fishing often, in a boat at night
So still, so quiet
You could hear a whisper from the other side of the bay
See the lights of houses reflected in the water
And the stars so bright they seemed just out of reach
I walked where once a forest was
Colourful birds kept me company there
It was fun to eavesdrop their conversations
Shafts of sunlight filtered through the shadows
And the occasional butterfly danced on the air
Breathtaking glimpses of colour
And all was quiet in the world
So here I am, confined to a room
Lonely you might assume and fading away
But how can that be when your mind has such riches?


Everything has a money value these days
Time is a commodity
Kindness depends on price
Happiness can be bought from the right shopping list
But check the flyers carefully
Weigh up the spiel most guardedly
Read the evidence like Sherlock Holmes
Forego free bargains
Beware of buy now pay later
Disregard false medical allusions
Turn your back on animated illusions
Condemn fraudulent promotional portrayals
And watch the business world explode in a puff of verity


Hey There…


Well here we are at last
Worn out with life
Cast aside by chief executives
As a penalty for ageing
Adrift, but buoyed up by memories
Of times that were different
Once walking freely with no stick
Leaping up stairs several at a time
Hitting a boundary on that green sward
Teaching as my other game
Always employed when younger
In classes that never end
Shopping for trousers that were inevitably too long
And had to be altered
Plenty of money to spend
Once but now it’s all gone
Pensions are a burden for the current taxpayer
Enjoyed dancing
But a little shy with women at first
People of the past are there in my mind too
Most of them dead now
But not for me
So that’s it
Not much left today
Just a few mementos:
A worn out cricket cap
Some fading press clippings
Tout passe
As I sadly wait for the end
Of everything
But wait a minute
There is a ray of light
I’ve been in love twice
I loved to learn and learnt to love
And that, in spite of everything, has made a difference


To a well known and popular public figure

Look at you
Such a sham
Yet so powerful
Conniving your way to success
With fiction
Placing your honest opponents under duress
With beguiling half-truths
Promoting your virtue
When you speak
By spreading platitudes on the air
Like special treats
For the gullible to devour
And accept you
Despite the reality of what you really are
That is your way
Inconvenient truths are never part of your discourse
When found out
You reply with an artificial smile
And divert attention
With someone else’s sins
And so you float through life
Like a rotten egg in hot water
Inevitably the protective shell bursts
To fill the kitchen of life
With a ghastly aroma
Until an open window saves the denizens
From the sickening, ugly redolence
Revealing what you are

Merchants Of War

O Minister you are an agent
Of weaponry that kills
A paramour of unease that leads to death
The military industrial complex you foster
Keeps the economy strong
Because of the enemies you create
And the fairy tales you cunningly give reality to
There’s profit in the merchandise you promote
You with your fake news of menace
And your sombre face in the news prattling on
About danger unlimited
And the need for Star Wars readiness
Dear God
How you deny the needy
The mentally cursed
The sick and the poor
With your mission statements of aggression!
Hospital wards
Are replaced by atomic submarines
By drones that kill with remote guidance
And food for the hungry
By missiles that mutilate foreign fields
That is the destiny you create
For the dwellers in today
And the children of tomorrow
So that at the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember you

The Furies*

Beware, take care
The Furies are on the march for you
Your treatment of other mortals
Especially your lying
Will wreak their vengeance and retribution
So stop it now
Your twisted, cunning chicanery
Leading people astray
With concocted photo shots
To beguile the viewer
And orations of sucrose
Pretending to be what you are not:
Friendly, kind, truthful and ethical,
Someone grafted into power
You do not deserve respect
For you are a monster of intrigue
You dream up deception
Like Satan on all saints’ day
Concocting fake virtues
That exist only in your devious mind
You cloak yourself in piety
But you prey every day
So heed me now
While you are still allowed
To roam unconstrained
I would not vote for you
If you were
The only lawmaker left on Earth

*The Furies were three Roman goddesses of vengeance and retribution who punished mortals for misdeeds. Perjury was one of their aversions.

Multiple Expletives

There’s a storm in the offing
Despite political denial
The wind murders trees
And the forecast is endlessly vile
The rain never stops
Turns our streets into mud
And assassinates our dreams
While my business is ruined by flood
So that is why
I reply with multiple expletives

Wages are low and profit is high
Corporations rule the land
Kakistocracy runs the legislature
As democracy turns to sand
The law is an ass devised by rogues
Designed to favour the crooks
Robber barons are forgiven their taxes
And their allies rig the books
So that is why
I reply with multiple expletives

Weapons are simply big business
And enemies are created by liars
The profit is high though innocents die
There’s money in warlike desires
Yes conflict is highly lucrative
Making guns and tanks and subs
With your song and dance if you trigger a fight
You’re compatible merely with grubs
So that is why
I reply with multiple expletives

Pardon my cursing
It’s time for change so I’ll start rehearsing


More Political Echoes


An amorphous concept, defence
Sounds virtuous
Implies danger from somewhere
Suggestive of paternal regard
A watching over of the vulnerable
With love and care
By loquaciously adept political figures
But one moment please
What is the point of the weapons you make?
Those jobs jobs jobs
Doing that
Mean big business
Expansion an ever present aim
For that
You need potential enemies
Conjured forth
More often by myth than reality
Jeopardy garnered from fairy stories
As you give forth to Hitler’s non sequitur:
The only way to preserve peace is prepare for war
So border protection is a game of cards
Dealt with a sleight of hand
Sizzling sausages!
Look at all those ways of causing bodily harm
On that new assembly line
And nuclear powered submarines are promised
To our great grandchildren
Yes indeed
Thor’s in his heaven
And all’s right with the world

Another Dream

I have a dream, another dream
Where in an age of anger
Poor benighted souls find comfort
A greeting in my land
To them a foreign strand
Yet made friendly
With love and understanding and compassion
Where all men are brothers
All women sisters
All children playmates
And each day is not a prison but a sanctuary
I have a dream, another dream
Where colour is not a signal of difference
Where slanted eyes are beautiful too
And new words have a meaning to be discovered with patience
In that dream I play a model role
As a person of significance
Revered amidst dark days of despair
Because my country
Greets refugees with consideration and care
And with my joyous approval

The False Prophet

Will seriously address
The issue of climate change
Thus spake the false prophet loudly
His mind adrift in a deadly sea of deception
And the people heard him
Gathering intently around him as they were wont to do
Belief invading gullible minds
But note well
Reality disputed his twisted words
To reveal his folly…
That recent drought lasted almost forever
Crops cried out in pain and died
Farms became airborne and covered even cities with their dust
And old Jacob’s tractor atrophied from lack of use
Then came the holocaust with angry flames
Devouring everything
The aroma of death maiming the air
While water dribbled aimlessly from a malfunctioning hose
Next came the flood
Aquatic violence unleashed in a torrent that showed no mercy
Water vanquished fields and roads
And that reckless man drowned in his car
The tempest followed
Sonic wind bellowing in anger
Beating its fist on crumbling walls and tearing roofs apart
That child died in a demolished playroom
As a power failure spread darkness around
And so it was
That prophesy was so easy to make
Delivered as it was with such eloquent confidence
Yet sadly so remote from a real world
Well might you ask when doom next knocks upon your door
What can a pipe dream do for me today?

Anzac Day For A Stranger

I am a stranger
Born far away in a foreign land
Where war destroyed my home
And killed my parents
I was a boy soldier
Who learnt to kill instead of going to school
To strike foes surreptitiously
After hiding in unexpected places
Death was a normal thing for me
It was everywhere
A consequence of invasion
Part of the routine organised by invading mercenaries
Today I have been to your dawn service
Heard the gentle sounds of the echoing trumpets
Saw old men marching
And the occasional tear in the eyes
So moved I was
For I too have memories
Now that I have grown old and the years condemn me
Age tends to weary me
Yet I have found a brotherhood in your ceremony
Beyond the going down of the sun
And in the morning
I too remember
And I am no longer your enemy

Dog Whistle

I hear you
You with your subtle political message
Your virulent
Persuasion of chosen stooges
With talk
Cleverly phrased to gain the support of the unworthy
And generate wrong deeds
Yes I read you
You with your pretence of virtue
But beware, take care
Those words of yours will ring around the firmament
Turning back towards you
Like daggers
Pointed at your corrupt heart
All that you are with your cunning ploy
That turns
Deceit into sinister music to lull the guilty
Into degenerate behaviour
O yes
You seem to win don’t you?
But beware; take care
Your petard can destroy you
As scoundrels so often erase themselves
Since evil deeds tend to echo
And come back to haunt you
Some of us who have been there before
Are once bitten twice aware
So mend your ways
Or learn the power of silence before it is too late


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