Hope for the Future

Rowan is four months old today

Born into turbulent times

He doesn’t yet know the meaning of play

Or that Grandpa is crazy about rhymes

…..

He knows he is loved and has learned to smile

By watching his mum and his dad

To understand more might take a while

But for now things really aren’t bad

…..

One day he will walk, and also talk

And understand more about life

I just hope by then, I can rest my pen

Knowing he’s part of a world with less strife

Covid-19 and Racism

One is an arbitrary killer, which puts no value on life

The other holds an unspoken tenet: that some people are worth less than others

One is without consciousness, the other without conscience

One attacks vulnerable people, the other makes people vulnerable.

Both exhibit a lack of humanity, compassion, and reason

One is invisible to the naked eye; the other, insidious, is hidden in plain sight

One will, with perseverance, eventually be driven away by the ingenuity of mankind

The other will endure in the dark corners of men’s minds, until a cure can be found for prejudice.

The Donkey’s Tale

One sizzling hot summer’s day, an old brown donkey lay in a field that had once been grassy, but was now parched and scorched by the sun. The donkey wanted to find somewhere cool, but the only shade to be found was under a large willow tree that stood in one corner of the field.
The donkey stood and made his way over to the tree, moving slowly, so as not to become too exhausted. As he approached the tree, the donkey was shocked when one of the tree’s heavy boughs swished down to swat at the donkey.
“Stay away!” shouted the tree. This made the donkey back off a little and, when he was safely out of reach of the tree’s branches, he stopped and studied the tree with his big pleading eyes.
‘I only want to share some of your shade’ said the donkey. ‘It is very hot today and the flies are biting and driving me mad’. “You have a tail, don’t you?” said the tree. “What do you think that is for, if not to flick away the flies?”
The donkey thought this over and said, ‘Is that why you have branches, to flick away tired old donkeys?’ “Don’t be silly”, said the tree. “My branches are for stretching out into the sun, so that my leaves can gather in the sunlight to help me grow big and strong.”
‘But in doing so, your branches and leaves create shade beneath, and that costs you nothing ‘, replied the donkey. The tree thought about this for a brief time and then said, “You are right. Something that costs me nothing costs nothing to share. You are welcome to sit beneath my canopy and shade from the sun as much as you like”.
Bye and bye, in return, the donkey lifted his tail and shared his droppings, fertilising the soil beneath the tree and helping it to grow even bigger and stronger. This also cost the donkey nothing.

The Fox and the Wells

A thirsty fox came to a well along the road. He was just about to lower a bucket down the well to get a refreshing drink of water when a large frog sitting on the well wall spoke to him. “Good day Mr Fox”, said the frog. “What is your business here today, if I may ask?”
“Well, I am not sure that it is any concern of yours,” said the fox, “but if you must know, I am thirsty and need a drink from this well”. “Ah!” said the frog, “then it is just as well that we have met, for I fear that you will be disappointed. This well is quite dry, but there is another further down the road and, fortunately, that one isn’t dry. In fact, it is absolutely full of the most refreshing water imaginable”.
“Well there must be at least a drop of water left in this one after the recent rains”, said the fox. He picked up a stone and threw it into the well. Almost immediately there was a loud plop, as the stone hit the water. “See!” said the fox, “All is well; there must be some water down there”.
“I fear I have misled you slightly”, said the frog, “but I was only thinking about your health. The truth is that the water that remains in this well is quite unsuitable for drinking. It has somehow become horribly tainted and I fear that, if you were to drink it, you might become quite unwell”.
“Oh, very well” said the fox.” Perhaps I should walk a little further down the road and take a drink at the next well. I just hope that well isn’t tainted as well.” “Oh no,” said the frog, “the water in that well is as cool and clear as crystal. If you are thirsty, you would do well to set off straight away.”  “Well I may as well go and see”, said the fox, and he trotted off down the road to the next well.

When the fox was well out of sight the frog leapt back into the well and joined its little tadpoles who were playing and swimming about in the well water. “Well now”, said the frog. “I have fooled Mr Fox and convinced him not to drink from our well, so we’ll be safe for now.” “Well done, Mum”, said the tadpoles.

Lessons from Covid-19

Covid-19 is an uninhibited killer without conscience

It is also an effective teacher

It has reminded us about the value of friends and loved ones

It has emphasised the vital importance of essential services

It has demonstrated the selfless commitment of medical and care staff

It has put a price on individual freedoms

It has shown the cost of complacency in Government

Save Lives

Off in an ambulance without goodbye

Maybe to live, perhaps to die

Where is the justice, how and why

It has to stop, we have to try

 

Keep your distance, wash your hands

Safeguard essential workers across the lands

Do your best to follow the plans

Or you could be marching to the heavenly bands

The Visitor

Listen if you will in the quiet of the night

To the scraping and scratching of things out of sight

To the noise of blood as it roars in your ears

To the beat of your heart as it measures your fears

 

Somewhere in the house a clock says tick-tock

Below in the street a key clicks in its lock

The third stair from the top creaks as it might

When stepped on in stealth by something so slight

 

Then hinges in want of an oil drop or more

Announce a faint shadow at the bedroom door

You turn on a light to see who is there

Not even a dust mote moves in the air

 

Return to the pillow, try to find sleep

The visitor is gone, no need to weep

Confinement

I’ll be two months old tomorrow

Half of that in what the telly calls ‘lockdown’

Mum and dad try to hide their sorrow

Not able to take me round town

 

Grandparents’ hugs; just a distant memory

I must hope they are still alright

One day there might be a remedy

Though that day isn’t yet in sight

 

Tight confines of mother’s womb

Now swapped for my parents’ home

This serves as a loving classroom

But how long for the chance to roam?

Remember

When Covid has, at last, gone

When public places once more throng

Recall with sorrow those we lost

As countries count the final cost

 

Then talk of all the brave and true

Who selflessly thought of you

Not going out was hard enough

Many faced challenges much more tough

 

Medics, police and essential folk

Donned again their professional yolk

Their lives at risk to safeguard yours

No choice but adventure out of doors

 

REMEMBER well the sacrifice

Of HEROES who did not think twice