And Still More Poems


Prattle on honourable member
You servant of your own self interest
You missionary of greed
Gloss over the numbers
As if they were a necessary part of normal life
Praise the modelling
As if it were commandments from the mountain
Spread your fallacious optimism
As if it were based on fact
But people are dying
Not mere data, but people
Fellow humans who deserved to live longer
Lives that could have been saved
If honesty and thoughtful planning
Had garnished your deeds from the beginning
But no
What have you done?
Obsessively guided by your business acumen
You have opened the deadly gates of normality
With a twinkle in the eye of your banker
Got things moving in the marketplace
Children to return to their super-spreaders
And what of their teachers?
No problem
They are in loco parentis
And that will save the economy
But why are you so proud of things?
Why does your face glow with artificial virtue?
Ah yes
You appear to be the commander at the infallible helm
But beware
More COVID questions are coming
And your answers will confirm your iniquity


Dear teacher
Thank you for teaching me
For bravely coming to my classroom
Thank you for sharing the air I breathe
For tying up my shoelace
For singing with us
For walking around the room to see
The pictures that we draw
Thank you too
For sitting with us on the mat
And reading stories
And playing with those clever puppets
To show us how to cross the road
And thank you
For walking with me under your umbrella
To Mummy’s car when it rained
And for teaching us to dance
While you played your guitar
And tapped the time with your feet
It has been such fun being with you
I will always remember these happy days
And the joy
When I found I could read from the Green book
And write a real sentence
With a capital and a full stop
You have made me very happy
Even though you are much older than Mummy and Daddy
Because you seem to love us all
I will never forget you
And Daddy says
I must not be sad that you died of COVID
As everyone dies some day


O how wondrously
You weave meaning with your hands
You break the silence with enchanted gesture
And your so expressive face
What a caring person you are!
Sharing a torrent of ideas
With such energy and diligent skill
Enabling the deaf to listen
With a kindness that conquers disability
I have seen you often
In these days of COVID
For words of information and advice
Are needed constantly
At the eternal press conferences of our rulers
And there you are
Always ready to labour lovingly
So that those needy deaf ones
Are links in the chain of awareness
My hearing has faded because I am old
Perhaps this is why I am aware of you
Unnoticed often as part of the furniture
Of everyday life
But you are to me an angel of goodwill
Diligent and dedicated
So that I am not afraid of the endless silence
That may be my lot
As my hearing fades
In the uncertain years that lie ahead

Political Jargon

Our strong border protection policies
Have kept Australians safe.
Aha! So we are safe
Safe from what?
Invasions by boat people on sinkable boats?
Now that’s a good point you make
Certainly we are safe from them
There hasn’t been an invasion from them for years
And our potent weapon,
Indefinite detention, is working so well
Further boat invasion
Brilliantly kept in check by imprisonment for ever
Much cheaper than submarines too
Especially the atomic ones
Now I have other thoughts
Another kind of invasion to be safe from
When I was a little boy
Anthony Arrowroot was a hero of mine
He was a good friend
We bought him often and I ate him often
This didn’t worry me
Because when you did this, so the story said,
He went to a beautiful island
Like the one King Arthur went to when he died
But now I am rather sad
Because Anthony lives far far away in America
So my grandchildren won’t get to know him
Still they’ll have nuclear submarines
To keep them safe
And who cares about corporate invasion?

Adman Badman

Look at you
Debasing human existence to make a sale
Concocting moral tales without morality
Filling our minds
With orchestrated triviality
That seeks
To wash our brains with a concoction of lies
That make us spend
Is so remote from your strategies
That they preclude thought
And shock us into mindless obeisance
Repetition is the agony you impose
Again and again
So that thought processes atrophy
And turn into conditioned responses
Above all your villainies is the fictitious superlative
Perfection without evidence
So poor lost souls
Will spend spend spend
Without end end end
Because of you, communication by the media
Is tainted with distraction
Devised above all
To bind our souls to your balance sheet
Or your political agenda
So begone
Archenemy of lucidity
Take your wares to another marketplace
Where the currency is obols
To buy tickets on the ferry across the Styx*

*A river in the Greek underworld where, for two obols, you were ferried across by Charon into Hades.


Welcome Again


I met a man a year ago
Who knew everything
Knew what rules the weather
What makes cancer happen
Why some people live to be a hundred and six
Why a dog will stay faithful to idiots
Why society doesn’t need to change
And why fools rush in where angels fear to tread*
So certain was he of his awareness
He was quite condemnatory
Of humble souls like me who question things
And don’t listen to false prophets
Those would-be masters of destiny
For whom evidence is a waste of time
And facts are so obvious
No further research is needed
We talked for a while
That is a periphrastic way of putting it
Actually all I did was listen
While this King Solomon of 2021
Battered my ears with dubious information
He sprouted on
Condoning his own ignorance with a flood of words
And decrying the value of science
While never doubting the truth of his own statements
That day wore tediously on
After an hour or so we parted
His view of the world jitterbugging across my brain
While my thinking writhed in more confusion than usual
Yesterday, about a year later, I learned of his death
That loquacious contact of mine
Hit by a car he was, while crossing the road
I thought of a courtesy tribute to write
But I couldn’t remember his name

*Words of Alexander Pope


On the matter of COVID in 2022
Things have now been changed
Though people will die and we’ll say we are sorry
The balance sheets must come first
We have a choice says the man in charge
Lockdown or push through
We will push through

We all had to show the truest grit
Downplaying the plight of the sick
Though people will die and we’ll say we are sorry
The balance sheets must come first
We have a choice says the man in charge
Lockdown or push through
We will push through

Once we locked down and closed the schools
But now we have changed our scheme
Though people will die and we’ll say we are sorry
The balance sheets must come first
We have a choice says the man in charge
Lockdown or push through
We will push through

Merely one vaccine jab for each child
Means schools are not free of danger
Though people will die and we’ll say we are sorry
The balance sheets must come first
We have a choice says the man in charge
Lockdown or push through
We will push through

Though people will die and we’ll say we are sorry
The balance sheets must come first


Forgive me
I beg you with all my heart
For my country
Has persecuted you in your innocence
Sullied your humanity
Punished you in a merciless vicious way
For a crime you did not commit
I hear your voice
Echoing in my mind
Ringing around my troubled brain
Your cry for mercy
A desperate plea for release
Denied by the mindless tyranny of fake justice
O dear stranger from a foreign land
Potential enricher of my life
How my heart breaks for you in your suffering
As guilt towers over me
Like a dragon with angry eyes
Because I have not found a way to set you free!
I am old
But with the sway of a fragile child
Lost in the woods of racism
Where political icons
Eke out a vile and sinister existence
Based on the endless suffering of innocents such as you
Yet hear me now
As I speak out in a public place
Enfolding a dream
That the monsters who control your life
Will sink into a chasm of public awareness
And be forced by their infamy
To set you free
To change my country with the beauty of difference

Nouveau Fasciste

Beware! Take care
Tyranny is modern and it’s up to date
It rules by force and like a fiend preys
On the poor and the weak and controls their days
It acts like a deity on a pyrite stage
Where the crushing of rivals is all the rage

Beware! Take care
Tyranny is modern and it’s up to date
It never allows a day to pass
Without a triumph for its ruling class
It changes the face of what’s known as democracy
With a new breed known as kakistocracy

Beware! Take care
Tyranny is modern and it’s up to date
It questions legality without due cause
Eliminates opponents and bangs on doors
It sentences the innocent without any proof
And seizes every chance to hide the truth

Beware! Take care
Tyranny is modern and it’s up to date
It crushes opposition with brutal force
And has its way as a matter of course
It removes all rights to freedom of speech
And makes sure justice is out of reach

Beware! Take care
Tyranny is modern and it’s up to date
It spreads abroad the fear of war
And invents for each foe a suitable flaw
It reduces its losses in each war zone
By killing civilians with the latest drone

Beware! Take care
Tyranny is modern and it’s up to date
Its convenient henchmen it always forgives
As more proof to the world that fascism lives
Its every moment is a witching hour
To crush you and me and hang on to power

Tainted Advice

He said normal life is what we need
We must learn to live with the virus
So we all got together and had a good time
As a consequence many people died
Though the fool said all would be well

He said normal life is what we need
We must learn to live with the virus
So we went to work without a test
As a consequence many people died
Though the fool said all would be well

He said normal life is what we need
We must learn to live with the virus
So supermarkets ran out of food
As a consequence many people suffered
Though the fool said all would be well

He said normal life is what we need
We must learn to live with the virus
So they opened the schools to spread the disease
As a consequence many people died
Though the fool said all would be well

He said normal life is what we need
We must learn to live with the virus
So the nurses and doctors struggled in vain
As a consequence many people suffered
Though the fool said all would be well

He said normal life is what we need
We must learn to live with the virus
So they then supplied an app
As a consequence many people died but now with great style
Though the fool said all would be well


The Best Words I Can Find

Ignorance And Bliss

Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.
Thomas Gray (1742)

Knowledge is a dangerous thing
To the controllers of our lives
They are afraid of plebeian wisdom
It is a threat to their mission of power
Their program of expansion
Their strategy of self-aggrandisement
So ignorance is the catchword
The strategy denying our awareness
Our catalyst for a better world
These petty tyrants are afraid above all things of education
For that is the seed of revolution
The power to dream and scheme for justice
An escape from the carefully planned inequality of the present
This is why learning today is so costly
Why the study pathway has fewer barriers for the elite
Why market forces control learning
So be it
Note well these words however, you inhibitors of thinking
Change is in the air
The inventiveness of mankind
Is spreading awareness as never before
We the humble, the oppressed, the forsaken
Who dwell in the lower depths of privilege
Now have cyber shoulders to stand on
We can speak to each other
Brush minds
Be not lost but found in thought together
Plan a new Utopia beyond your reach and control
A world where the past is truly understood
Where the future gently belongs to us all
And you are recognised in all your ignominy
Trust me
It is now but a matter of time


Once upon a dime
A group of idiots
Found work on the media
Television was their go
Head and shoulders only stuff
There they would be
Babbling out nonsense with an air of expertise
Endorsed by the approval of the ruthless czars in charge
It was a strange experience
To see these inept fools
Building their reputation with self praise
And then reaching a high point of gobbledegook
With statements totally devoid of scientific verification
The trouble was idiocy is catching
These refugees from mental asylums were believed
By large numbers of the community
Who caught the idiocy virus
The effect of this was alarmingly extensive
As large numbers of the infected
Re-invented the fiasco
To protect the reader
From further mental anguish
I will forbear from further description of this
As for the media halfwits
They are still plying their tirades
Every day
And twice on Sunday to imply holiness
It is quite remarkable really
How such nonsense
Could find an ongoing place in any society
And yet, perhaps there is an explanation
Available in already existing words
So here I leave you
And hand you over to Desiderius Erasmus:

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

The Age Of Inequality

All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
George Orwell: Animal Farm

Many of us are born into inequality
Indigenous people, for example
Are historical losers in so many places
And women too
So many times more work and less pay
Racism is rife with foreigners exponentially
And the dogs are barking at the whistles we hear
Children from the wrong post codes
Are identifiable also-rans
While teachers and nurses
Are largely underpaid…
Thus society’s wheels grind on
Oiled by the power of a privileged potent few
It’s more for the rich and less for the poor
That is the way our life style seems designed to work
Success is the essence of our mores
Failure is almost a crime and promotes disgust
Any plan, any alliance has its justification in success
And yet there is one shadow
Hovering over the approved conventions of our age
One factor common to us all, rich or poor,
Upper class or not,
Failure or success at whatever the cost
That strange equality
Is death
What you are stays with you posthumously
And thunders
So when you die
The equalising destiny for all of us
Your deeds will be all that is left of you
Your kindness or your violence
Your greatness or your triviality
Your integrity or your despicable scheming
This is what history has the glorious ability to reveal
So carry on you CEOs of indifference
Stay up there on your superior pedestals
Make the most of your time while you can
But give a little thought
To your children and your children’s children
Or whoever else you leave behind
Demons, elite or commonplace,
Are well defined and assessed in the annals
That is where what you are now will be discovered

May the same flowers grow on your grave
As you’ll find on ours


I killed my friend Pandy today
My faithful and loving dog
Old age had set in
She had been with me so long
Once teeming with life
Her poor body was racked with pain
And with unusual swellings
The suffering was obvious
But she bore it all
She could still hear me when I talked to her
Still came at my call
Even caught a ball occasionally
But the pain was great
You could see it in her eyes
It was time to end it I decided
And so did the vet when I took her to him
I had to sign a form permitting the euthanasia
We stayed in that waiting room
For what seemed an interminable time
A posh French poodle was ahead of us
Not to die obviously
But to make life more beautiful
The waiting was so hard for my dog and me
At last it was our turn
I patted her head
And we rose together
I handed her lead to the veterinarian
Who smiled knowingly
There was a last look from sad eyes
And then she was gone
I paid with my Visa at the door
And walked home alone


The truth is hard to locate these days
So many distractions intervene
People perform orchestrated lies on television
In the name of business
We are prepared to tolerate these attention getting intrusions
However inane or debasing they may be
As the quest for profit
Is a grail we are all supposed to drink from willingly
Recently my life was endangered
By a political leader who demanded a return to normality
Business as usual
Despite a dire need for lockdowns to be COVID safe
The action was said to be based on expert advice
Now the incidence of cases has grown alarmingly
Worse still
An even greater danger has been organised
Close contact with the virus is now defined
Not as a quarter but as four hours
Why this overtly contagious extension?
Again medical expertise is the declared safeguard
But I notice strong peer review,
The hallmark of true science, tends to disagree
As for me, a simple soul, merely in search of
The comfort of truth
I cannot understand why a virus which takes seconds to infect
Should be allowed four hours
Of course, this will have helpful administrative consequences
Reduce the queues for testing
And after all, we all have to die sometime
As for the experts
I tend to agree with the wonderful Gödel’s incompleteness theory
Experts are an essential part of life
But there are some things even they do not know
As for me
I adhere to my own reality, a humble quest for certainty,
I plan to switch the television off, listen to music,
Stay inside and securely lock the door.


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


Words Are All I Have

Weapons Of Mass Destruction

O you, the builder of weapons of war
Under the guise of virtue
Claiming to save the world from a non existent foe
Conjuring forth enemies in every closet
To make yourself seem alert and provident
Proudly proclaiming your planning skill
Creating ways for the newly employed to kill
Signing treaties with belligerent allies
Who help you with funding in the guise of friends
Now hear this
Your schemes and dark dreams
Are understood by some who suffer from them
There is a courtroom unknown to you
Where judgement will fall upon you
As a guillotine of truth
The true nature of your mind
Will be revealed in a symphony of reason
Exposing you for what you are:
A greedy, cunning, scheming agent of death
Who lingers in our lives
Like the stench from decaying corpses you plan to create
So begone now before it is too late
Confess your guilt and leave your position of power
Before the world that you create
Incinerates the rest of us in the conflict you design
And note this too
Your name will be present forever
In the lists of charlatans
Compiled by the historians of tomorrow
That name emblazoned now in the servile Press
Will finally be a label of iniquity
Warning the world of the curse of your offensive planning
And the deadly animosity you create
Will sink with you in a mire of utter contempt

The Rage Of The Giants

O have you heard of the angry giants
Elag, Mrots and Tsepmet?
Their rage is infernally destructive
Tempestuous without end the wise might say
All because of our deeds in their domain
We have burnt their forests
Carbonised their air
Flooded their land
Poisoned their rivers
And their oceanic destinations
The punishment is destruction beyond imagination
A response tragically destroying human dreams
Wrath hitherto unknown
By the hands of these fabled creatures
Delivered onto man’s complacent world of normality
Countless villages
Have been destroyed by their fury
Buildings believed strong and durable
Have been converted to a chaos of wreckage
Many, many living souls
Have met with untimely death
Children have lost their parents, parents their children
All due to the giants’ vexation
In the heat of punishment for human misdeeds
What now? What next?
Your questions will clearly relate to deep anxiety
The answer must be change
New styles of living to end this fearsome displeasure
Yet these near deities
With all nature at their fingertips, are in many ways benign
In the past they have merely frowned on minor follies
Even helped to make the world a better place
By gentle disregard of trivial faults
But learn your lessons now, you fools of the past
Revise your ways in a changing world
These behemoths are too powerful to be ignored

In Search Of Truth

I felt it was out there somewhere
The truth
I have used so much of my energy searching for it
Thought I might have found it at school
But all they gave me were idealised impressions
I know it’s on the net
But somehow I just haven’t googled aptly
l tried my luck with a former advertising executive
A highly respected man
But all he did was advertise himself
Then I tried telecasts of news
But no. All the stations were owned by one man
Who focused only on crime, sex and disobedient political rivals
Hopefully I went to university sites
But was horrified to find
They had all closed down due to lack of funds
Then ever hopeful
With determination undiminished
I rang my council
But all I got there was a developer’s address
As a last resort
I rang my local police
Which led to the final blow
I was advised with arrant kindness to ring Lifeline
So here I am
Unfulfilled yet still undaunted
It is an ancient longing, mine
A quest down all the ages
And so many people in that past have been wrong
That’s it then
The truth is only an experimental thing
Something you hold onto patiently but tentatively
Until the next contradiction changes your mind

Common Sense

There once was a leader
Obsessed with market forces
Who said lockdowns were a nuisance
So the infections increased
Ah! What a tragic failure
To show common sense
Another leader
Obsessed with his own importance
Said the virus would disappear
So many thousands died
Ah! What a tragic failure
To show common sense
Another leader
Obsessed with the need for war
Flagged weapons of mass destruction
So a deadly affray took place
Ah! What a tragic failure
To show common sense
Another leader
Obsessed with gaining power
Chose to invade Poland
And millions of people died
Ah! What a tragic failure
To show common sense
Another leader
Obsessed with peace
Gave love not war
And people went on with their lives
Ah! What a beautiful way
To show common sense

O for more commonality
To end all stark reality

Yes We Do

Do you believe in learning
The struggle to find the truth
So children are taught to reason and think
And not merely to conquer a test?
Yes we do
Do you believe in integrity
The challenge to do what is right
So leaders are forced to rule with morality
And are checked by the arm of the law?
Yes we do
Do you believe in science
The analysis of man’s world
So respect is given to rigorous findings
And research will protect the earth?
Yes we do
Do you believe in forests
The shelters and cleansers of the air
So trees will be guarded and given long life
And not felled by greed and corruption?
Yes we do
Do you believe in the sun
The star that belongs to us all
So we can strive to harness its power
And put an end to global warming?
Yes we do
Do you believe in the wind
The servant of man through the ages
So power can be churned by the wings of mills
And the climate will be made our friend?
Yes we do
Do you believe in love
The reason we have all survived
So the rich can change and be kind to the poor
And so many of the needy will be saved?
Yes we do


Yet More Words

The Angel Of Truth

O lately have you seen the Angel Of Truth?
It’s not surprising if you haven’t
As the brave soul
Has been harassed by the forces of darkness
Demonic figures scheming, conspiring, intriguing, conniving
Planning with ruthless aplomb
To triumph unseen and surreptitiously
Over the integrity of human existence
On the heavenly notice board the Angel uses
You will find one warning after another
Foretelling danger from deeds of connivers
But it’s such a task these days for the poor informer
Lies are so widespread
Especially concerning climate and the treatment of illness
With simple trusting souls led astray
Even leaders deceive to stay in power
And the exposés concerning this are daily events
On the notice board
Despite all of this turmoil however
The paragon remains incredibly cheerful
If you meet him you will see a light in his eyes
And notice the resilience in his voice
It seems to me he has insight into the future
Today I saw one of his notices that was very different
Quite a surprise
Be of good cheer, it said
Slanted news, biased headlines stories and articles
Are hereby declared non sequiturs by the Highest Authority
The days of such things are numbered in a single digit
So watch this space for further good news
He walked past me this afternoon
Whistling away with an air almost of euphoria
I waved to him, too shy to speak
He waved back, gave me a smile and then a wink
So here I am now, writing this
And you can tell why I am looking forward to tomorrow


O have you heard of the noted rebel
By the name of Edgar Crisp?
You may not yet have heard of his fame
As he is a Will-O’-The-Wisp
But it seems that Edgar whom I’ll call Will
Up to the hilt had had his fill
Of assaults on human dignity
By the makers of advertisements
Which he thinks are the Devil’s divertissements
His wrath was kindled by crass examples
To wit the overt guzzling of food
A sight causing aberration
While swilling to make harmful beer look fulfilling
Was worse than defamation
The amorous glamorous sirens selling
From chocolate to scented soap
Battered and shattered his peace of mind
Leaving no strength left to cope
And the fake bliss tainting television screens
Actually made him sick
While the lies used to foster the market
Were to him an evil trick
So what of each aberration?
Did he seek collaboration?
No. He just changed his life forever
As a gesture of defiance
By joining a well known commune
Where money has no reliance
No television, no advertising,
A kind of New World charter
And when he needed the goods of life
He simply resorted to barter
Now life goes on for this sensitive man
Unpolluted by greedy duplicity
While those who use lies to make their dollar
No longer destroy his felicity


To an unnamed journalist

You exposed the masters of all they survey
The psychopaths who have no empathy
The sociopaths with no trace of remorse
The conspirators, the machinators
Who seek to govern with crime undetected
And for this your head is vulnerable
Your body is tortured in solitude
Your life is threatened with eternal internment
Your future is riddled with doubt
The inquisitors
The self-important guardians of conspiracy
Demand your presence in their courts
Your karma forever in their hands
But hear this O persecuted warrior of truth
By your deeds
You have become a sacred icon
Your words are written in the timeless annals
Your name will be spoken
By the abused, oppressed, mistreated souls
In all the ages still to come
Stand tall therefore in the face of interrogation
No questioner dares deny your truth
Which has the echoing ring of justice
Forever alive and sure within itself
Yours is the cause of certainty
On which the fate of mankind depends
If you survive, then so will we all
Your downfall
Has no place in the recorded history of the human race


When a guilty voice
Tries to shape your choice
In denial of global warming
What should you do?
When a warlike proponent
Defames an opponent
With an aim to buy weapons of war
What should you do?
When a nation’s arming
Is quite alarming
And plunges the land into penury
What should you do?
When you hear machinations
To ban vaccinations
In a frantic attempt to cause violence
What should you do?
When lies about science
Condone the reliance
On the unfettered use of coal
What should you do?
When a politician
Promotes sedition
In response to a valid question
What should you do?
This above all
As night must fall
When the sinister depend on the ditherer
What should you do?


Where precisely can I find perfection ?
I’ve been looking for it for quite a while
Haven’t found it yet
I’ve received quite a few false leads
Television teems with pointers
Often linked to bargain prices
But somehow
Usually as a consequence of time
The paragon turns out
Not to be perfect in some way
Then there are political vicissitudes
Perfection is their constant claim
But alas that is just another elusive dream
So here I am
Still wondering and searching in vain
Where is it? That precise perfection?
I’ve been searching for some time now
Back as far as Aristotle indeed
Where I found some relief with his golden mean
The middle ground between two extremes
Now that seems promising
A kind of theoretical framework for perfection
Without final precision
But anyway I have long believed
There is no such thing as absolute truth
Oh dear! Now I’m in trouble
If that statement is true,
Then it cannot be the absolute truth
But if it is not the absolute truth.
That makes it true
But it cannot be true…
So know I’m in a bigger mess than when I started
Which brings me to Gödel’s incompleteness theorem
And the thought that exact precision may not be possible
That is where I am just now – but my search continues


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


Some Words With You

The Gift Of Learning

When I was young the world was very strange
I was often afraid of things
Thought some simple deeds were in fact a danger
Misunderstood reality more often than not
Made mistakes
As frequently as I did what was right
Now in old age
I am moulded into a different existence
Not to imply mastery of my destiny
But simply to suggest I now understand more clearly
When I am wrong
For this knowledge I will forever thank my teachers
Who not only taught me about the world
But helped me to understand myself
I do not name them here
But they are with me now, each one
Correcting my spelling
Helping me to say something in a better way
Telling the story of the place where i live
Or helping me realise an error is not world’s end
So here I am, an outcome…
I learnt my basics rather well, in all their forms
But better still, I learned to think
To look for solutions
Rather than throw up my hands in despair
How can I thank these wonderful friends
Now at this time so distant from that first learning?
My answer is a humble one:
Rejoice in doing what I have learnt to do
As long as my life lasts
And do what I can
Whenever I can
To support and respect the teachers of today

Reason And Research

The power of the mind to think
To understand
And form judgements
Is what makes all the difference
What distinguishes us from lesser creatures
Some fellow humans however are not keen to do this
And would prefer
To let others think for them
Dutifully and often
They tune in and hand their thought processes over
To well paid architects of other people’s ideas
Who tell them what they should believe
The approved line of thought befitting the social agenda
Of the rich and powerful rulers of their lives
That is how things go
Indoctrination is so skilful
You are taught how to seem to think in the desired manner
And how to condemn appropriate enemies
All this linked to how you vote
So that the wheels of the nation
Run closely according to the pre-determined plan
Of the powerful…
Some people though
Just a few of the populace
As part of their struggle
Have a dream of a better world created by logic
And awareness of the needs of all
Not a mere fortunate few
Those voices grow louder every day
Because they are linked to reason and research
Listen carefully
You can hear them
Rising above the din of orchestrated ignorance
Wisdom is an exciting occurrence
It attracts you when you give it a chance
That is why the times just now are beautifully changing

The Rhetoric Of Slander

Have you heard him lately, ranting?
How violent his words are
Falling from his mouth like daggers!
He finds more enemies to berate
Than you will see in all the conflicts of history
Notice how he operates:
You find a flaw in what he does
And he finds an enemy who errs more
Usually a friend or ally of the critic
Then comes the flood of verbal violence
As the rafters ring with his poison of condemnation
He speaks with no pauses
Wondrously obviating the need to breathe
Listing like an auctioneer on stimulants
The crimes and flaws and omissions
Of his chosen, conveniently cursed adversary
And so the game of politics progresses
Rules bent occasionally or ignored
By the party currently in power
How strange would courtesy be
If it should suddenly appear!
Instead of violent argument
Simply an exchange of ideas with a noble purpose:
The benefit of mankind
One day, some day, it might happen
On that currently venomous stage
A dream of thinkers surprisingly realised
When the foe on the left will be right
And the rival on the right, left to acknowledge the truth
Or vice versa
O how this change would echo through the ages!
The dignity of man would suddenly be restored in glory
Worthy of Elysium
Then humanity’s fate would be in the hands
Not of combatants but confederates who care about each other
For the benefit of us all

Flawed Data

There is a new virus abroad
Beware of it
It is very dangerous and in fact it can kill
There have already been many instances of infection
Right across our social structure
From the unskilled worker to the very top, yes even to a president
Its early form has been abroad in the community
For a significant time
The symptoms are quite a worry:
Erratic behaviour, disjointed speech, and irrational outbursts
The causes are well known:
Small samples, incomplete investigation, and lack of peer review
Faulty science is the common name
For years this disease has been in our lives
But in recent times, the FD variant, is now a major problem
Yes, flawed data is the challenging complication
People who catch this virus
Often are doing things they will later regret
Those infected are tending to stage wild demonstrations
Without social distance
Have lots of fights
And promote angry images in an aggressive atmosphere
That triggers political action based basically on non sequiturs
All because of faulty figures
So that is the story
Misinformation is the problem as it leads the whole world astray
I say again flawed data
When you follow its lead, despair is often a consequence
There is a message in all of this
Think hard before you hurl anger at others
Be fair and kind to your opponents
As fools are not the only makers of mistakes
You yourself can be the bridge
Tread carefully as you struggle to be wise
Check the facts and watch your fortunes rise


Life has many confusions
Each day there seem to be more
People like me struggle to understand
Why we do
So many of the things that we do
For example
Why is anger a part of every waking hour?
Day after day
Someone on television
Rages with untrammelled violence
About a mistake another person has made
With the light of his own virtue in his eyes
And then there is the weather
When greeting each other
These days
People don’t remark on a lovely day any more
Perhaps this is
Because of the flood, fire and tempest we see so often…
The greatest puzzle
Most striking above everything else
Is why so many people in the same mould as us
Die in poverty of hunger
Little children and old folk just like me
And everyone in between
While I celebrate with ample food and comfort
In a fortunate land
What can I do about this?
I am impotent
My body is not what it was
And retirement has set gently in
Words are all I have
To share in the hope that someone with the power to change
Will remove my bewilderment


Poetry On And On


What am I?
A violent robotic agent of Death
Trained to kill without asking why
For a cause beyond my capacity to understand?
Not to reason, just to dare and maybe die?
I am told I am to take action for a valid purpose
With licence to slaughter
Approved by the shapers of my existence
Bravery for me is not a reckless thing
But a fulfilment of my destiny
I am to save my native land, so the argument goes
That is my legacy, my chosen fate, and if I die
My name will be written on an honour board
With an asterisk
As the insignia of my heroism
And what of my enemy?
Is he coldly calculating my demise
Or is he afraid like me?
Are his family missing him too
And has he also left a new wife longing for his return?
If we were to meet in peace,
What would define our togetherness?
Contempt? Expostulation? Words of hatred?
Or would we conspire to abandon our weapons
And walk away together, arm in arm and alive?
I am not permitted to think such thoughts
I must believe in a danger
Defined by the crucial vested interests
That control opinion in the land I am ordered to defend
So let me answer the call
I must confront my foe who is out there somewhere
Aha! There he is
We look so alike; indeed he could be me
Stand back please; I am ready
Now one of us is about to die – yes now yes now now…


Have you noticed
The packet is never full when you buy it
Always there is space between the contents and the package top
So you make a false assumption of quantity
And willingly pay a little more for nothingness
This strategy of deception is simply the spirit of the age
Smart, enhanced appearance
With buyers tuned in to what isn’t there and paying for it
Profit equals price minus cost
But first you have to make the sale
Any artifice will do as long as it works, and Rob’s your uncle
You can see it all the time in television advertisements
The young man sprays his hair
And dandruff disappears before your eyes
A siren with almost impossible beauty
Looks at him longingly, seductively
As a consequence of his purchase
A car for sale stops suddenly
After clearly breaking the speed limit
And you learn the way with-it people drive and buy
A synthetically joyous family dines on sugar-laced cereals
Visually stimulating images of gormandised junk food
Increase sales dramatically
Wise old people buy insurance bonds
And enter paradise early
The home you can never own is sold by a master seller
Who bangs his fist exorbitantly on a receipt book
In the street outside
Food of the gods, chocolate,
Is devoured temptingly only by glamorous women
And so life, or in other words the economy, moves on
Fiction thrives excitingly, provocatively
In other ways too
But the gods of commerce are clearly and roisterously contented
With typical human existence
And all’s right with the balance sheet

Dog Whistle

Listen to him
Proclaiming his virtue and integrity
As if he were a saint
But condemning evil half-heartedly
To let the villains know he can be on their side
In the right factional context
The subtly aimed politically active message
Understood by a particular group
Is the deadly fuel for dubious change
Secret, sinister encouragement for shady deals
While the leading player remains undetected
Reigning supreme in his ill gotten power
And deciding the fate of less fortunate mortals
So be alert for signals, you lovers of morality
Note well the characteristic self praise
That adorns his every speech
Look out for clues to his guilt
When he responds to every criticism
With an irrelevant superlative detailing his fictitious merit
Walk with others to the Eden of truth
Where honesty is real and integrity the norm
Where lies and secret agendas
Are untended growths that wither on the vine
Where kindness and love decide the fate of everything
And words are the allies of justice and peace

Atomic Fishing

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Robert Oppenheimer

Atomic age machinery
They claim it is the cheapest source of power
But what of unmentioned costs?
Hidden consequences?
Assertions are in the air
That modern technology
Should be trusted to make all dreams come true
But what of the failures
The broken dreams?
Fukushima and Chernobyl are shattered holy grails
Catastrophes not to be repeated,
Yet can we be sure
They won’t be?
And is it not right to fear
Concentrated death that mocks eternity
Filth that never goes away
Dirt that you cannot scrub clean
Pain that reaches out to you as you pass by
Racking, searing, piercing, intense, raging danger
That outlives time?
I hear what you say but have to question what you do
And what of the sun and the wind?
Energy laden falling water and waves of the sea?
So cheap
Power so readily available
Just waiting for the will to invest with vision
In the vastness of Australia
In these mighty powers crying out for attention
And for vested interests
To stop pretending these wonders cannot work
So when you throw that switch
Turn on the sun, the wind and all things free
And let the atoms serve in medicine alone
If you are fishing for a nuclear mission


Tomorrow is a very uncertain place
Some voices are saying that man’s inventive wit
Will provide answers to global warming
At some potent, and undetermined future time
Machines not yet invented
Will compensate for current destructive vandalism
So let industry, just as it is, go churning on
With jobs intact
To preserve the best of all possible worlds
Fires that burn and destroy your future?
Floods that wash away your destiny?
Droughts that empty rivers once teeming with life?
Heat that melts the poles and kills the aged and infirm?
The formative words we have heard
Tend to fall to the ground like meaningless clutter
Turning our arena of life into a Hades of despair
The need for revised thinking is desperate…
If you are one of the climate incendiarists
Please focus your thoughts
On a possible involvement in a medical emergency
Let us learn of your peace of mind
If your life in that urgent situation
Depended on a device yet to be invented
As Hamlet says, “…ay, there’s the rub…”
What folly
Would link life or death to such unfinished business!
Let us be frank
Something more than vague dreaming is required
If safety and composure
Are to be ours in the world of tomorrow


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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