Sunday, 7 February 2016

Looking on the Bright Side

[Update (April 15 2017): Can it really be that North Korea and the United States have brought the world closer to a nuclear war than ever before? Can even the world's leading politicians be so stupid as to do nothing, let alone even consider supporting the US should a diplomacy-inept president Trump launch some form of preemptive strike on North Korea? My opinion of world politicians has been at an all-time low for some years now, and I suspect I am not alone. I mean to say, how long before these power players start to get real about what is happening to ordinary people (not least down to their actions) in their own countries? The tragedy is, our fate lies in their hands. We can but hope that, on this occasion at least, political rivalries and divisions will be put aside in favour of some goo, old-fashioned commonsense.]

[Update (June 26 2016): Britain has just voted to divorce the European Union due to irreconcilable differences. However, the world remains a common humanity. We all need to do whatever we can to preserve and cherish its more positive values; peace and love to all - regardless of colour, creed, sex or sexuality - may well be under threat from all sides, but will resist all attempts to undermine and defeat them.  Common humanity is above any socio-cultural-religious issues; he or she who would deny that needs to get a better life.]


It would probably seem to an alien observing earth from another planet that humankind’s greater tragedy is that, essentially, nothing much changes. Take the war in Syria, for example, a humanitarian crisis of immense proportions, yet…nothing new there.

Oh, to the casual human observer, it may well seem that everything changes if only for appearances sake and that old chestnut, 'progress'. 

Ah, but to the inner eye?  Yes, well, I suspect any recorded changes as far as human nature is concerned are likely to be along the lines of some earnest historian's research or devout cleric’s optimism and any subsequent interpretations (or misinterpretations, as the case may (well) be…

Thank goodness for the arts, where all change is no change, and full marks for an honest if personal perception of those parts of a whole we call humanity that may or may not be fit for purpose.  

I sometimes wonder if we are not born into a union of Heaven and Hell (as interpreted by whomsoever) for its better and its worse, its richer and its poorer, its sickness and its health, so help us all. 

We are, though, free to do our best by ourselves and each other, and even allowing for failures and mistakes along the way, do our planet proud.  Any prospect of Armageddon is down to us, living in the Here and Now, just as any hope of survival will be down to future generations. We have a huge responsibility to the latter to make the world a better, kinder, peaceful place. What chance, though, I wonder, given the sheer fickleness of human nature...?

Qhatever, make or break, the kind of world we live i is down to each and every onw of us.


The world today is full of pain and fear,
guns on the street, in the playground, the park;
drugs, like body bags lying here and there,
knives sticking in the back at home, at work

Where the War on Terror taking its toll,
people half afraid of their own shadows;
fanatics failing to make us look small
if still no letting up on suicide bombers

News at breakfast turning the stomach;
need pills to keep going, more to aid sleep;
no one seems to care about very much
except making money, getting into debt

The world today is full of pain and fear,
but love, too, and it's glad I am I’m here

Copyright R. N. Taber 2005; 2016

[Note: This poem has been slightly revised from the original as it appears in A Feeling For The Quickness Of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2005; revised ed. In e-format in preparation.]

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