Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Profile Of A Hotshot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

For a minority of young people, being in a gang is exciting, even glamorous; a life of crime, even violence, brings them local street cred. For some, too, it provides a sense of belonging that, for various reasons, may be lacking at home; invariably, they discover soon enough how seriously flawed this simplistic perspective can be, paying for their mistakes with prison or worse...

There is no excuse for gang crime. A prevailing irony and tragedy lies in the fact that, given an opportunity, most gang members have a positive contribution to make in the very society that condemns them.

There are two sides to every divide and both need to find a way to be reconciled. Society needs to ask itself where it is failing some young people to drive them into a gang culture; what does a gang offer them that it cannot, and why can’t it?

For their part, gang members need to ask themselves what they really want from life and make a bigger effort to find it; they certainly won’t find it by using weapons, shooting drugs or compensating for their own fears by terrorising others. The chances are the false security of being part of a gang, and the price they must pay for exercising their contempt for society's better values, will come back to haunt them in its prisons, those universities of crime that major in the art of self-delusion.
  
PROFILE OF A HOTSHOT

We called ourselves the Hotshots,
my gang and me

Upholding the right to use a gun,
in our constitution

We’d pick fights on street corners
and raid stores

If some little old lady or a war vet
in the way…too bad

We were the Hotshots, graduated
from school to streets

No one could touch us because we
had youth on our side

Looks, girls, designer gear and guns
made us invincible

We even hit prime time News once
(fame at last)

Then a hotshot turned good citizen
and grassed us up

Disbanded now, gone to this prison
or that graveyard

Me, once Mr Fox, now chickenfeed
among old lags

We were the Hotshots, thought guns
were cool

[From: On The Battlefields Of Love by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2010]

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Lost For Words

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Regular readers will know that writing (fiction as well as poetry, but especially the latter) is more of a creative therapy than an art form for me. Having been subject to bouts of depression since childhood, writing I(and reading) have provided an escape from the harsher aspects of reality while, at the same time, helping to keep its demons at bay.

Now, readers who have been following my fiction blog keep asking if Dog Roses and/or Like There’s No Tomorrow are available in print form or as e-books; the answer is, no.  I am hoping to upload both as e-books in the near future. 



http://rogertaberfiction.blogspot.com/2011/10/like-theres-no-tomorrow-synopsis_3445.html (Not a gay novel, but about a woman who hasn’t given up finding out what happened to  her daughter who disappeared some 20+ years ago)


U.K. readers also want to know  why they cannot order Catching Up With Murder, my black comedy-crime novel (with more than a hint of gay interest, but not a gay novel as such) from (most) bookstores; this is because the publishers (Raider International) do not work with the UK Book Suppliers from whom bookstores obtain copies; it is available on amazon.co.uk as well as amazon.com


For anyone interested, the general URL: for my fiction blog is:

http://rogertaberfiction.blogspot.com

Meanwhile...

If you enjoy writing in any genre and despair of having writer’s block, you are not alone. I, for one, know the feeling only too well!

LOST FOR WORDS

Watching clouds,
not a face to be seen,
nor rain sounds
like a tambourine
or falling leaves,
more than hinting at grief
for fair Persephone
gone to ground,
though the wind above
lends an ear too,
no stranger to the cries
for a lost love
to old gods above,
but no one left to hear
except the remains
of a humanity caught
with its pants down

The reality, nothing
any different, everything
much the same

Swan on the lake,
pile of whitest down
(no regal robes
or kingdom’s crown);
lark, a mere bird,
drops in long grass
(no ripples across
a green sea or tinkling
of breaking glass);
cars on the highway,
once Caterpillar
at a fair…undercover,
simile and metaphor,
not a good word even
for a heaven where
gain v loss break even

Well of imagination
misted over like breath
on a mirror

Copyright R. N. Taber 2008; 2010

[Note: An earlier version of this poem appeared on the blog, but was inadvertently deleted; also in 1st eds. of The Third Eye by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2004; 2nd (revised) e-edition in preparation. ]

Monday, 27 February 2012

Ode To A Mermaid



As regular readers know, I ‘do whimsical’ sometimes. I began writing this poem on the cliffs at Scarborough in 2007, and then forgot about it, only to rediscover it in an old notebook a year or so later.

Did I hear a mermaid singing? Oh, probably not, but...

ODE TO A MERMAID

I once a hit beach at the cliff edge of night,
not a single star left shining,
my soul, a Black Hole, no glimmer of light,
(even the moon was in hiding)

I cried out in terror. (Did no one hear me?)
The whole world lay sleeping;
heavy eyes stinging with spray from the sea,
I heard a mermaid singing

Despairingly, I scoured that awful darkness
till I made out a shadowy figure
dancing on the water like a pagan goddess
grieving our past, present, future…

Listening to the song she sung, of a history
in which I, too, played a part,
it struck a low, half-forgotten chord in me
not yet (quite) played out

Louder, a hymn to the world’s damaged souls
rang in my ears, on my tongue,
calling on its strengths, inspiring new goals,
(of these, too, the mermaid sung)

She left suddenly, as if frightened by the dawn,
its first weepy light already clearing,
in whose sight I’ll walk tall, never (quite) alone
for the song of a mermaid singing

Copyright R. N. Taber 2009



Photo: The Little Mermaid on a rock overlooking Copenhagen harbour as inspired by the famous fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen.


Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Gatekeeper's Song

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

While we are all sitting on fences, tearing them down or maybe even trying to mend some, I wonder what The Gatekeeper thinks about it all...?

THE GATEKEEPER’S SONG

They turned their backs on me
or was it I who turned away?

Memory likes to play tricks on us
and we believe what we prefer
rather than what really takes place
in dusty corners of the heart
we but rarely seek out, for fearing
we’ll not care for what we find
in holiday snapshots and behind
words in letters read in anger,
birthday cards left unsent, never
recognizing the danger of years
passing so quickly till we’ve only
such poor excuses and regret
as conscience cares to permit shine
in darkest corners of the mind
where, yes, we’d return a while,
have love take us the last mile
that stubborn feet still refuse to go
though heart and soul never left
and would set us free. No, not from
ties that bind but, rather, set out
again in tablets of stone, less likely
to break than any we may give
shapes to in a clay that may please
a maker’s eye for a moment in time
but hardens (not as we imagined)
to a perspective on dark corners
where sometimes pain seeks solace
but (too rarely) dares show its face

What use unused icons of the heart
gathering dust like old photos?
Better to give home truths an airing
even after years of hiding away
than feed them like flies to spiders
and let live but to die another day

No matter who we blame or whether
we (or they) be straight or gay,
let’s open the gate before it’s too late?

[From: On The Battlefields of Love by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2010]

Saturday, 25 February 2012

A Child Is Born

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

There can be no greater gift parents can give their children than encourage them to develop a strong sense of personal identity, including sexual identity, and love them all the more for it.

No parent should expect to live the life they may have missed out on through their children.

For anyone interested, I have inserted my reading of the poem on Brighton beach, December 21st 2010 when I was 65. [More readings on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/rogerNtaber ]

A CHILD IS BORN

A child is born
who needs must learn about life
and signs pointing
to survival as the name of a game
of bluff

A child is born
who needs must learn about trust
and how to discern
where hypocrisy infiltrates
humanity

A child is born
who needs must learn that giving
is a finer art
than receiving, compassion
no weakness

A child is born
who needs must learn how there
is no shame in asking
for help, but sure proof
of maturity

A child is born
who needs must learn how lying
costs more than honesty
and can leave a human heart
bankrupt

A child is born
who needs must learn how neither
our stars nor betters
are ultimately responsible for us,
only ourselves

A child is born
who needs must discover that love
comes in all shapes
and forms and to recognise them
at the time

A child is born
who needs must learn one lesson
above all else, to be
as we are, not how others
might have us

Copyright R. N. Taber 2010



Friday, 24 February 2012

Dancer At The Edge Of Time

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Readers often ask me why I revise poems at all, especially when they have appeared in their original form in various poetry magazines and/or anthologies. I suspect it is because I did not quite manage to say what wanted to say the first time around. Years on, from a distance, I can home in on the poem and knock it into the shape. I may or may not have intended.

Our thoughts, attitudes and emotions are a kaleidoscope of mind-games whose patterns change even while retaining the same custom made model of perception we like to call insight, first cousin to imagination.

Sometimes readers prefer the original version; sometimes, I do as well. Sometimes, too, I look back at a poem and the kaleidoscope turns of its own accord; my focus on certain patterns of perception shifts, insisting the poem shift appropriately. Any resulting revision may be slight or major, but always significant; it does not cancel out the original version of a poem if only because it is an extension of it. Critics will take issue with me, of course, but it is as it is...

The old adage is so true; actions really do speak louder than words and few louder or more effectively than the art of dance.

To what extent, I often wonder, are we our own choreographers...?

This poem is a kenning.

DANCER AT THE EDGE OF TIME

On a custom-built stage,
reaching out to the mind seeking
to reason excuses for its petty
potholes that pass for smouldering
coals of body language
(potential for pretty words)
consigning empty rhetoric
to the earth above graves that rage
at our being misunderstood

Now gentle, meek and mild,
now run wild, this dance of a lifetime
they pay a high price to see
who turn up for a private viewing
expecting to see subtler steps
for Right, Left, and what’s wrong,
be spotted learning something
of what passes for ‘live art’ driving
a hard bargain with us all

Gracefully, gesturing a plea
to be discerned if rarely acknowledged
by an inner eye usually inclined
to be lazy, but given a shake now and then,
by home truths we’d rather ignore;
Dancer takes a bow. Performance over,
task all but ended, art’s love affair
with life staking its existence (and ours)
on daunting, haunting applause

Practising slow, slow, quick, quick, slow
till dead on our feet, me and my shadow
  
Copyright R. N. Taber 2006; 2012

[Note:  an earlier version of this poem appeared in Celebrations; 15 years Of The People’s Poetry, Anchor Books (Forward Press) 2006 and subsequently in Accomplices To Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2007]

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Challenge

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

We may build bridges, burn bridges, even jump off them, but there is one bridge we all spend a lifetime crossing...just to get to the other side.

THE CHALLENGE

There is a bridge between clouds
where we pause
who ponder on the purpose
on living just to die,
where the spirit unfulfilled,
the heart strayed
across certain boundaries society
has imposed (conventions)
so much the better to disguise
its worst intentions

There is a bridge between clouds
where we pause
who ask why the world below
has let us down…or did we
let ourselves and each other down
in the end
for never ceasing to demand more
than our fair share
of whatever peace and love
to be found there?

There is a bridge between clouds
where we’ll wait
our turn to cross…or be left
wishing deeds undone,
words unsaid, lies left creeping
under the tongue,
never to see the cold light of a day
when we must answer
to all its invidious shadows
may have heard us say

We can but cross, we children of Earth,
rise to the challenge of life over death

Copyright R. N. Taber 1984; 2010

Note: Having read the poem on my You Tube channel I am editing this post retrospectively to include the video (below) as some readers say they cannot access You Tube directly for one reason or another:



Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Among Slaves

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Here in the West, we often take our freedom for granted; (relative) freedom of speech, (relative) freedom of movement, the (relative) freedom to protest and more come under the general heading, Democracy.

We have only to look at recent events in the Far East and North Africa to understand that we should never take our freedom for granted.

The poem is a kenning. It last appeared on the blog in 2009, and if anyone is interested in hearing me read it, just click on the link below which will take you to my (very) informal poetry reading on the 4th plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, July 14th 2009. I included Among Slaves among other poems as my contribution to sculptor Antony Gormley’s One & Other ‘living sculpture’ project. However, I should warn you that it lasts an hour. [The entire web stream showing all 2,400 people doing their ‘own thing’ for an hour (each) on the plinth is now archived in the British Library; to access all 100 days 24/7  simply remove Roger_T from the end of the link.]:


AMONG SLAVES

I am that breath of wind in the hair
inviting the human spirit to confess
its foibles, rise above its troubles,
show the world what it’s made of
though its back forced against a wall,
those vultures, prejudice and fear,
homing in to pick clean the bones of
fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers
lured by false witness here

I am that first kiss of rain on the face,
drawing on the human spirit to open
its heart as a flower its petals to the sky,
lend its beauty to the eye so we do not
pass by but pause to reflect on the how
and why of its being, and ours, reasons
to deny the vultures a victory, let nature
tell a story bitter-sweet of humanity’s
attempts to compete

I am that first angry tug at the sleeve
urging the human spirit to turn away
from its prejudices and fears, confront
our lesser selves head-on and expose
them for what they are, though it test us
the more by far...take people as we find,
respecting their privacy, acknowledging
their integrity, learning from a natural
ingenuity to survive

Among slaves of time, I am eyes and ears
who call me Freedom and wipe my tears

[From: Accomplices to Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2007]

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Conversation Piece

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

The original version of today’s poem was written in 1976 and has appeared in several poetry magazines and anthologies. I have since made some revisions, but retained lower case throughout because I still feel it helps to drive the point home. It may not be one of my best poems, but remains a firm favourite of mine, not least because it turns on a theme to which I will return time and again in my later poems; a breakdown of communication between two people on a meaningful, personal level in modern society.

Ironic, isn’t it? Here we are in an age of increasingly sophisticated technology, yet fewer and fewer people ever sit down and talk to each other, and I don’t mean making small talk or talking at people (because we so love the sound of our own voices?) or IMing on social networks and Internet chat rooms or texting on our mobile phones....  I mean face to face sitting down and talking things through, and listening to each other.

Oh, but I have met so many people - members of my own family included - who will only talk about something if they know they are gong to like what they hear; so much as any hint of opposition to their point of view, and they don’t want to know. As for confronting home truths, that is rarely if ever on the agenda; nor can they be persuaded by any suggestion of a mutual exchange.

So is it any wonder that so many relationships fall apart, family members become estranged, best friends become sworn enemies and work colleagues cannot stand to be in the same room as each other....? 

It takes two to talk and two to listen or the chances are there will be more wrong assumptions, misunderstandings, misinterpreted actions or words and the like distorting our personal space than man-made waste polluting the atmosphere.

When did YOU last have a worthwhile two-way conversation or frank exchange of views with someone close rather than let them eat away at your patience till it snaps...or worse?

CONVERSATION PIECE

not a bad day,
so I’ve heard say
over the jam

could have been worse;
I saw a hearse this morning
outside number five

good to be alive!
even in a cactus twilight got
under the skin

there’s a scratching
at the door, better let the cat in
I suppose

but before I do, tell me,
who knows what makes us tick
or so much as suspects?

here we sit, you and I,
like figures glued to that hearse,
scratching with each eye

for something to say
after clocking up hours apart
so let’s make a start

what’s that?
okay, I’ll go let in
the cat

Copyright R. N. Taber 1976; 2012 

[Note: An earlier version of this poem has appeared on the blog and in 1st eds. of  Love and Human Remains by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2001; 2nd ed. in preparation.]

Monday, 20 February 2012

Care In the Community



Here in the UK, it is no exaggeration to suggest the social care system is in crisis. At the same time, the coalition government is pressing ahead with its Health and Social Care Bill that threatens the very fabric of a National Health Service that is the envy of the world.  [Many Americans, especially Republicans, may despise its principle of Health Care for All, but many more come here every year for some of the best medical treatment in the world because they can’t afford the same in their own country.]

Despite the obvious fact that people are living longer with illness and disability, our care system here is  chronically underfunded according to informed reports. Social Care budgets in England, for example, fell by an estimated £1 billion according to the Association of Directors of Adult Services.

It looks like it’s up to all of us to keep an eye on the vulnerable in our neighbourhood. The awful tragedy is, and always has been, that in large towns and cities, that is less likely to be the reality than wishful thinking.

Not everyone can rely on family support. (I certainly can’t.) I am only 66 and have a relatively small but close network of friends to keep an eye on me. Many people who live alone don’t have that, and living alone can get very scary for anyone as they grow older and increasingly vulnerable.

This poem was written ten years ago.  As I look around me, I don’t get the feeling much has changed.

CARE IN THE COMMUNITY

Knocked at an old house
in the Square

Is anybody there?

At a grubby letterbox,
bent to peer

Is anybody there?

Caught a whiff...
of mouldy air

Is anybody there?

A squeaking, (maybe sobs
or mice on the stair)

Is anybody there?

No one replying, prying
curtains everywhere

Is anybody there?

Moving on, plenty more
with time to spare

Is anybody there?

Asking questions no one
wants to hear

[From: A Feeling For The Quickness Of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2005]

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Back In Business



When I am struggling with depression, it can often feel like I am in a gloomy room with no windows, just lots of doors, and every door I try is locked. In desperation, I yell for help, but no one comes. I stare at my hands as if expecting to find help there. The lifelines on each palm leap out at me, and do a little dance. My fingers make a grab for them, anxious to return them where they belong. Suddenly, I am left holding a key and know instinctively that it will turn in the lock of the next door I try.

Oh, the lock may well be stiff, and the key take some turning, but I persevere in the sure knowledge that beyond the damn door there has to be something better than being stuck alone and scared in a darkened room; a life, for example.

Ah, the wonder of imagination, not unlike a lotus flower surviving the murkiest depth as nature intended although I guess any old metaphor or synonym for survival will do so long as the inner eye can focus on it, and stay focused.  Yes, it may take a while, but for me at any rate, it’s how I (eventually) find myself back in business.

BACK IN BUSINESS

Sometimes when I’m feeling low
I’ll enter paintings on walls,
engage with crowds at market fairs
let history course my veins,
giving selfhood a new dimension,
and fresh direction, letting
a lazy inner eye know we’re back
in business

Or I might stroll along rugged cliffs,
communing with waves below,
pause to chat with a friendly peasant
whose lot more harsh
than I will ever know, text books
do justice or any sympathy
with poverty even begin to bring
it home

An old farm house might invite me
to join its ghosts in a hearty meal,
the inimitable smell of home baking
lingering long after we’re eaten,
reviving my other senses, replacing
lethargy with motivation
enough to find satisfaction in putting
imagination to work


Copyright R. N. Taber 2010

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Species Of Moss Uncovered

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Oh, to be on the family history trail...!


This poem is a villanelle.

SPECIES OF MOSS UNCOVERED

Challenging history,
moss on graveyard stone defies
what we call, identity

Traits of a personality
but a strategy ancestors devise,
challenging history

Shades of mystery
conspiring to spring surprise;
what we call, identity

A cliff-hanging story
of hope and glory, love and lies
challenging history

An affinity with mortality
drawn from family archives;
what we call, identity

A feeling for eternity,
whatever its ends may comprise;
challenging history,
what we call, identity

 [From: On the Battlefields of Love by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2010]

Friday, 17 February 2012

John Bull's Midnight Garden

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Today’s first poem last appeared on the blog in 2008. Now, I have written several anti-drugs poems and reader ‘Marcel P’ has asked me to repeat this one ‘as a warning to a close friend.’ I only hope he makes sure his friend reads it.  I have added the second poem for good measure.

Drug abuse destroys lives so why are there relatively few rehab centres available, even in big cities like London? Why isn’t there more high profile anti-drugs promotion?

Drug addicts need help, not condemnation. Apart from young people who are targeted by unscrupulous drug pushers, there are others (all ages) who turn to drugs because they cannot cope with the pressures of everyday life. It isn’t long before they find themselves trapped in a vicious spiral of desperation and despair.  
Even so-called ‘soft’ drugs such as cannabis are not without their dangers. Smoking weed can help a person relax, but if he or she is smoking because they cannot cope with certain pressures, the chances are it won’t be long before they will try something stronger, always convinced they are not vulnerable to addiction...

Everyone’s body chemistry is different; take ‘designer’ drugs like ecstasy; for example one person’s high, another’s death. Yes, the latter is rare, but is it worth taking the chance? Besides, many of these drugs have not been around long enough for full research to be done into their long-term effects on mind and body. 

What’s that you say> It’s my life and I’ll live it how I want?  Fair enough, except drug abuse doesn’t only ruin an addict’s life but the lives of his or her family and friends too.

So be careful out there, yeah? If you can’t cope, for whatever reason, ask for help, don’t take the drugs route.

There is no shame in asking for help, only common sense.

JOHN BULL’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN

Blades of grass dipped in moonlight,
Old Man winking mischievously
at shadows chasing their own tails
across number ten’s garden;
Lights in a window peeking between
chinks in closed curtains, envious
of a night left in peace to play without
fear of interruption

Beyond the wall, a screech of tyres
leaves someone’s child dead,
wearing pretty ribbons of moonlight
dipped in a druggie’s blood;
Old Man pointing the finger of blame
at shadows chasing their own tails
from the garden of number ten,
preferring to be left in peace without
fear of interruption

Behind the Rehab Centre, closed down
because of local residents objecting,
a desperate company sniffing, injecting,
clutching at straws in a sea of moonlight
flooding the garden of number ten;
Old Man takes to hiding behind clouds
rather than watch shadows made to chase
their own tails where no peace without
fear of interruption

[From: Accomplices To Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books 2007]

CHARYBDIS MON AMOUR

Whirlpool

Anguish, mirrored
in eddies of shrapnel light;
Pain, caught fast
in a grip of mute supplication;
Loneliness, laid bare
in a mad rape

Round, round, this raving soul
chases its own dear folly

Life, long since perjured
for roller coaster thrills;
Love, all scratched
and bleeding after spills,
spread-eagled
on a cross

Lord, have mercy
on us

No screaming brakes
at Salvation’s door
left ajar;
Nor one kind echo
in the blind
drop

[From: Love and Human Remains by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2001]


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Mother And Child



Someone (who may or may not have known I am gay at the time) once commented to me at work that, as far as he was concerned, ‘Gays are entitled to go that way if they want, but I want nothing to do with them.’ The same person remarked on another occasion that, ‘Blacks can’t help the colour of their skin, and I can work with them okay, but I have nothing in common with them so don’t ask me to socialise.’ 

Many people, on different sides of various socio-cultural-religious divides, have passed similar comments, political correctness or no political correctness.

Nothing in common...? Whatever happened to the idea that we are a common humanity, colour, creed, sex and sexuality all part of the same whole? As it is, we live in an increasingly divided world where far too many people insist on taking issue its differences. Yet, our differences don’t make us different, only human. (Yes, I know I am repeating myself again, having said this many times before.)

Meanwhile, Earth Mother watches over all her children, ready to take us into her sole care when the time comes.

MOTHER AND CHILD

They stripped me naked,
wrapped me in a cloak of nettles,
dragged me to Hell’s gate,
calling on those gathered inside
(seeking a way out)
to open up and take me in, away
from a world that such as I
dare stain with the juices of a sin
beyond redemption

Yet, the gate did not open
though their screams of abuse
did not cease
nor did those inside overtly refuse
to do their best…
for I made so bold as to call
upon Earth Mother
to rebirth me at the milky breast
of sanctuary

They slunk away like wolves
from firelight, heat and glow more
of a threat even than I;
as for those others for whom also
the gate refused to open,
they could but resume fighting
among themselves
over who was to blame this time
and in whose name

‘Peace, child,’ she croons reassuringly
from whom I inherit my sexual identity

Copyright R. N. Taber 2009

[Note: This poem will appear in my new collection Tracking the Torchbearer to be published within the next few weeks.]

Monday, 13 February 2012

Love Is...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Today's poem last appeared on the blog in the autumn of 2010. It is repeated here today for no other reason that I am in the mood for love...

Not romantically linked to anyone? Feeling low because it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow?

Never mind, love comes in all shapes and forms. Most of us have family and/or friends and /or pets. If you have none of these, all the more reason for those of us who live alone, and often feel alone, to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and…


LOVE IS...

Love is, oh, so beautiful,
no matter who, where, how or why,
nor always reciprocal but lets us laugh,
lets us cry, like champagne bringing
a tear to an eye long since made dry
by seasons much like a child’s first toys,
treasures once, now barely worth a sigh.
Oh, we get by, our reasons for living
worthy enough and true, yet going through
the motions of existence without existing;
getting up, going to bed, getting up again
without kissing sunshine, embracing rain,
warming ourselves at the hot coals
of humanity when struck by the cold
of everyday insanity. We are who we are,
no matter how or why, nor always free
(or able) to sing, laugh, cry, with those
around us - to whom we mean everything.
So let us hear skylarks sing, if not always
the same song, see love work a miracle,
no matter whether reciprocal in every
shape or form. Love alone keeps us safe,
keeps us warm. Let the world do its worst;
love will shelter us, nor will its spirit fail
to lead the way though it shine differently,
at the end of this or that tunnel,
a light, oh, so beautiful


[From: A Feeling for the Quickness of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2005]