Friday, 16 June 2017

All Our Tomorrows

Are the freedoms we enjoy being gradually eroded by invisible (and visible) Mandarins or Kingpins of Power?

Wealth is power, yes, but so is  influence and many who put themselves forward as our so-called ‘betters’ have plenty of that across the entire  socio-cultural-religious and political arenas  in which we live.

Free speech, yes, so long as it is not considered politically incorrect and that seems to be decided these days by which side of a particular divide one happens to be.

I am no racist. Neither, though, will I hesitate to speak out against bad attitude or behaviour no matter what colour, creed, sex or sexuality a person may be. Yet, the chances are – as has happened more than once – that I will be called a racist, feminist, bigot (for not subscribing to a religion) etc. etc. I am none of these things, and it goes against the grain not to speak out against someone whose behaviour I find offensive simply whatever their colour, creed, sex sexuality or political persuasion and, yes, even age. (My own generation can be a real pain in the proverbial at times.). Even so, I have to confess to having kept my feelings to myself more often than not in recent years simply to avoid the inevitable hassle. Is that common sense, I wonder, or simply cowardice?

Feedback over years of writing poetry and publishing much of it on the Internet suggests that many people from diverse backgrounds feel much the same way, that there are times when we are made to feel like puppets, poised to speak our minds until a jerk on invisible strings by some kingpin puppeteer advises if not demands our silence or, at best, extreme (diplomatic) caution…or there will be a price to pay.

I will be 72 this year, and I am becoming less and less enamoured with the world as it is now with each passing day. At the same time, I retain a basic faith in human nature, convinced that if we all try and do our best in our own little corner of the world, the ripples will spread to the extent that  it may yet become a better, kinder place no matter what goes on in its  socio-cultural-religious and political arenas.

There are more good people in the world than bad, people for whom peace and love are more, far more, than just rhetoric; it has always been that way, and always will be. Sadly, it has always been the more malevolent Kingpins of Power that, in getting away far too often with pulling our strings, continue to make their presence felt and voices heard.

ALL OUR TOMORROWS

Yesterday, a dark mood
descending into a recent grave
created by fall-out
from crises (local and worldwide);
even near comprehension,
of mind- body-spirit all but broken
by political forces alien
to free thinkers everywhere left
ploughing moral high ground,
slaves to this or that philosophy,
whatever cap fits…

Slaves, yes, bound to rebel
against those siding with kingpins
of wealth and power jockeying
(discreetly) for a prime position
in the greater  influence stakes,
claiming to have the best interests
of common humanity at heart
(local and worldwide) while nursing
such personal ambitions as likely
to go down as well with the media
as raising taxes

Today, no lighter mood,
rising among the ghosts of leaders
past and present to remind
those of us (local and worldwide)
why we helped put them there
(if only by default, considering
the alternatives on offer)
no matter gossip buzzing like flies
in corridors of power
about which  kingpins  plotting
whose downfall…

Kingpins of power, yes!
Always ready to load our excuses
on their backs under a cloak
of invisibility to avoid pricking
consciences of crusaders
(local and worldwide) for a way
of life less complicated
by a sense of kingpins composing
the poetry and prose
of destiny on our behalf, and we
having little say

Tomorrow, we will nurture
a more positive mood, rise above
rise above dark thoughts
about any Kingpins of Power
undermining us
at every step we take as we journey
through life…
reassert a native self-confidence,
an enduring spirituality
taken from natures, religion, either
of both (free to choose)

Free to choose, yes,
whether to have faith in ourselves,
(conceding any flaws)
and keep to a learning curve of love,
personal aspiration,
private ambition, social responsibility,
discerning wood and trees,
drawing in the best of whatsoever
and whomsoever
we may find, as we seek completeness,
journeying hopefully

Hopefully, yes, humankind
and nature working together to play
any Kingpins of Power
at their own game, introducing  mind,.
body, and spirit,
working in harmony, all the better
to see light triumph
over darkness, good over evils no one
can deny exist,
a legacy of enduring peace and love,
no end-game in sight

Copyright R. N. Taber 2017

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Zen of Renewal


A single friend recently commented that his everlasting regret in life is never to have been in love, loved in return, and having children. This, from someone whose family adore him and who will be remembered by many for a kind heart and generosity of spirit.

Few if any of us can say, hand on heart, that we have no regrets. Life, though, deals each and every one of us a different hand, not least because we are all different. Such is the nature of things. Whatever any mistakes or wrong choices we may have made in life, love comes in all shapes and sizes, and we should regret none of it, even where it may not have (quite) come up to our hopes and expectations. Love is a life-force from which we should all take heart. We may be single, or fortunate enough to have found a partner (within or outside marriage)…whatever, I defy anyone to say they have never loved at all…whether it be of the human or natural world…past or present, nevertheless continuing to make itself felt always, and hopefully making us better, kinder people for its place in our lives.

As for whatever we may leave behind us  when time demands we take our leave of this life, we could all do a lot worse than have secured a good place in someone else’s memory, the effects of which may well be passed on for generations...


THE ZEN OF RENEWAL

Watching a sunrise,
all live senses re-awakening
to the spirt of nature,
metaphor for balmy breezes
encouraging evergreens
to sing a song for all seasons,
birds winging Nature’s
semaphore of hope, no matter
blue skies turning grey

Watching high noon
play out its daily theatricals,
all we passionate
children of the Earth eagerly
aspiring to make
the most of opportunities lost,
missed (or never were)
before Time has its wicked way
with us, and it’s too late

Watching a sunset,
curtain all but drawn on affairs
of mind, body, spirit…
working in a harmony (of sorts)
to contrive meaning,
purpose, (closure?) whatever
it takes for laurels
upon which we may rest easier
if not (quite) in peace

Watching a darkness
gather our world to its bosom
where we may well
writhe like new-borns lacking
in communication skills
to express our needs, desires,
all found wanting…
yet a sixth sense of its potential
but waiting in wings

Watching at a window
on the world from the balcony
of a tower block,
returning inside if only to forget
those cares of the day
(ever ready to keep us company)
by taking from love
(in real time, memory or fiction)
a renewed life force…

Copyright R. N. Taber 2017

Thursday, 1 June 2017

S-E-L-F, Tales out of School


The first day of June may well be closing in on summer, but there are people around the world who feel left to live out winters of discontent…while others find various ways to compensate and follow the bluebird of happiness where even angels would fear to tread. I know because, over the years, I have had the privilege of meeting some of them; ordinary people living ordinary lives with an extraordinary mixture of a resilience and stoicism bordering upon heroism and an enviable capacity for finding contentment that should not be mistaken for being resigned.

Many if not most of us live secret lives, mind blowing tales out of custom designed storybooks that feed our egos (in the nicest possible way, of course) compensating for discrepancies in how we might like our lives to be and how we (and others) are likely to find them.

Such is the potential for winters of our discontent…until or unless we find a way to lend the stories more truth than fiction (in the nicest possible way, of course) and do more than simply reconcile ourselves (and others) to the status quo.

S-E-L-F, TALES OUT OF SCHOOL

If I were a robin,
I would fly far south at the close
of autumn…
to better times, kinder climes,
no lust for stoicism

If I were a fox,
I would outrun hunt and hounds,
deny them
a red brush token trophy,
any glory, all mine

If I were an owl,
I would hoot merry hell at a world
daring sleep
parade its vanities under cover
of safe houses

Yet, call me human,
no season to fly or run in the heat
of wannabe heroics,
finding excuses for a sad lusting
after posterity

If I were a robin,
I would take heart from all nature’s
lust for life,
hope to learn, pass on the better
part of its poetry

Copyright R. N. Taber 2017