Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.


It's Not The Blues

Everybody gets the blues, it could be said, but not depression though,
For depression is in a league of its own, as sufferers well know.
The blues are simply under-the-weather days, and somewhat common fare,
But not depression, deeper than deep, darker than dark — yes, loss, pain, fear.

Sure there are degrees, but depression is depression, not the blues, and,
It’s a medical condition; an ill that many don’t understand.
Yes, until folk experience such, they have no idea what it’s like;
A cruel out-of-body experience that so hellishly can strike.

It’s when the lights go out and darkness descends, and you’re there on your own,
Seemingly trapped in a world that is blank, a dismal "no desire" zone.
A wretched world of gloom, despair — a pit, and breakdown territory,
A struggle, battle, a time or times, pure mind numbing misery.

Sadly so there’re know-it-alls who add to the sufferer’s misery,
So sure that they have the answer neatly packaged for delivery.
And likewise the “Snap out of it” brigade, or positive thinkers’ club,
Both doggedly convinced that negative thinking is depression’s nub...

When the truth is that there can be many complex causes, (injury),
Not just mentally, emotionally, but also physically.
Both mind and body are complex in themselves, and linked intricately,
And clearly added to all this is one’s individuality.

Therefore, it’s not a one size fits all scenario, approach or cure,
For there’s no silver bullet — though there’s always hope, let me reassure.
It can be a one off, or recurring thing, and afflicts many,
And like I mentioned — as far as magic wands go, there just aren’t any.

And drugs are not the answer, though sometimes possibly necessary,
But because they can do more harm than good, they should be temporary.
Often it’s a case of learning how to live with such, so to speak, and,
What a difference it can make when others show thought or understand.

By Lance Landall

2.  There's No Shame In Emotional Damage

There’s no shame in emotional damage, no shame in such suffering and pain,
And thus shame belonging to the violator alone, those who’re inhumane.
Yes, those who carelessly injure, those who damage others emotionally,
Thereby leaving them with issues, the hell of depression and anxiety.

Oh, that wrongful stigma that plagues such sufferers who suffer enough, dear me,
Their joy oft robbed by dark clouds and acid rain, chilling shade that taunts them cruelly.
And hence their inability to cope well, their ways that folk don’t understand,
Their need to protect themselves from further injury, props or pills close at hand.

Oh, how often they’re misunderstood — and how many try to understand them? —
Yes, many ignorantly pointing, they too quick to draw, too quick to condemn.
And this being why the emotionally damaged are sometimes seen to let fly,
Folk not crediting them with how much they really try, and certain things imply.

Yes, there are degrees of emotional damage, some poor souls wounded more so,
Some limping and others flat on their back — hence why they oft say, “Not now,” or, “No” —
And why some have difficulty keeping appointments, attending this or that,
And no wonder, though such not understood by those who’ve not worn same shoes or hat.

So mind the emotionally damaged, those who suffer emotionally,
Those whose behaviour might therefore seem strange, even thoughtless, unfortunately.
For it’s better they do what helps them cope rather than crashing trying to please,
As they oft struggle with those simple everyday things that others find a breeze.

By Lance Landall

3.  Such Being How They Cope

Life can be difficult for us all, but far more so for those who struggle emotionally,
They doing whatever they can to cope, and even should such be looked upon negatively.
Hence that extra burden they bear, as if they’re not struggling enough, but such how it tends to go,
For others misjudge their odd ways of coping, and thus upon each sufferer more pain bestow.

Perhaps they didn’t attend someone’s funeral, even that of a family member, or,
Perhaps they didn’t attend some wedding, do this or that, go here or there like they did before.
Well, so be it, they avoiding what they feel they can't handle, such being better than some breakdown,
Or another dose of nerves and anxiety that they just can’t afford despite any frown.

And how many pointing the finger go out of their way to help such suffers cope? — dear me —
Hence why such sufferers oft turn to some odd ways of coping that are greeted derisively.
For they must do what gets them through, they not happy about such either, but feeling they’ve no choice,
And oh, how oft such poor souls long for a compassionate and understanding defending voice.

Yes, they not doing wrongful things, but acting in a way that others frown upon thoughtlessly,
Those folk oft ignorant of the whys and wherefores, or where they’re not, not acting differently.
And so it goes, they simply adding insult to injury, more concerned for their own feelings, or,
They too caught up on do's and don’ts, and thus no helpful avenue-cum-way around things explore.

By Lance Landall

4.  It's All About Survival

(so to speak)

There’s no shame in reaching out for help-cum-doing whatever will get you through,
Be it due to personal struggles or any ill that comes out of the blue.
Yes, it’s all about survival, not worrying about what others may think,
But rather, taking hold of whatever you can lest beneath life’s waves you sink.

Now, I’m not condoning doing anything wrong, but what is necessary,
Which may mean asking, swallowing your pride, admitting some inadequacy.
And too bad what some folk may think, better that than crashing, adding to your load,
Or letting things build up inside you until eventually they explode.

Why sink under a weight that could be eased? — and should someone respond grudgingly,
Still accept for your own sake, or for the sake of your loved one or family.
Yes, it’s best you get by, its best you get through, and even best you look silly,
Rather than holding back and pointlessly becoming another casualty.

The truth is life’s so fleeting, we here today and seemingly gone tomorrow,
Hence why we need to do whatever we can to ease any pain and sorrow.
Otherwise, some of those years we’re allotted may become filled with misery,
And all because we didn’t ask or seek, just wasted time on anxiety.

Yes, it’s all about survival, and such not selfish but a necessity,
For there’re times when we can’t go it alone, and surely enter humanity;
Oh, how some folk suffer, they left to struggle while others pass, and why I say:
Do whatever you can to get by, get through, and not let cruelty have its way.

And remember this: It’s not showing weakness when we ask for help from someone,
But rather, it’s showing a certain strength — bravery, when all is said and done —
And a mature facing up to reality which will always serve us well,
For there’s nothing less helpful than remaining on some destructive carousel.

So ask or accept help from wherever you can get it, as such makes good sense,
Be it willingly or grudgingly given, or you’ll decline at your expense.
For what you decline may have to come from somewhere else, and perhaps won't at all,
And why — in order to manage — one sometimes just has to live with feeling small...

Though not so.

By Lance Landall

5.  No One Else But You

Don’t worry about what other folk think — just be yourself — no one else but you,
Though always seeking improvement and a wholesome and holistic point of view.
For while its always best that we be ourselves, we can hardly claim perfection,
And why we should be open to criticism-cum-someone’s fair inspection.

At the end of the day, others will think what they will, and often err, sadly,
But such is life, and why we should simply be ourselves, accept reality.
And where criticism’s warranted-cum-where the cap fits, take such on the chin,
Ego and pride having been put in their place by the honest and genuine.

And where criticism’s not warranted-cum-not fair or true, (too oft the case),
Just brush it off your shoulders and keep your head up knowing nothing’s there to face.
In other words — just be yourself — no one else but you, and as was meant to be,
For no one need change unless there’s a jolly good reason that’s quite plain to see.

By Lance Landall

6.  Spanners

Seems to me that when you’ve learnt, are terribly sorry, and try to act differently,
Folk have a way of putting a spanner in the works, very discouragingly.
Thus, though you don't want to repeat the past, it’s not long before you find that you do,
And you wonder what’s the point — for it's here we go again — seems you’re still the same old you.

Yes, once you’ve made a mess of things, seems you’re a prisoner of your past — judged and tried,
And there in that cell that others have built, keyless and barred, you’re sentenced to reside.
Oh, how you try, time and time again, but there are those spanners, all shapes and sizes,
All seemingly designed with you in mind, and hence those knock backs, rather than prizes.

No matter how much you try, seems you’re still a spotty leopard, visible to all,
Scrutinised and watched by an eagle-eyed jury, seemingly awaiting your fall.
And is it any wonder that you do fall, given that support and thought aren’t there,
But instead, an attitude that smacks of unbelief, a look that’s cold and severe.

Yes, so many could have made the grade, put their past behind, proved to be a blessing,
For it wasn’t they, but the doubters, who to those mistakes of the past chose to cling.
Thus denying those ones who could have made the grade the opportunity they needed;
And thinking, “I guessed as much,” when down the right path, those poor souls no longer proceeded.

Are you a possessor of spanners?

By Lance Landall

7.  Armchair Critics And Judges

Far too many people are the victims of armchair critics and judges reclining in front of their T.V.,
Who follow the courtroom appearances of some unfortunate who is either innocent or guilty.
Yes, couch potato lynch mobs who would quickly string ’em up on the strength of the little that they hear and see,
And as if they had been in the courtroom themselves, and heard all the evidence as members of the jury.

And it’s not just within their comfy home, (T.V. bound), that they pronounce their judgments, but wherever they go,
Thus adding to the hysteria that is often whipped up, and even by those who far better should know.
And sometimes by the very media they watch and hear, whose reporting is oft just as biased and slanted,
And from where so much injurious fodder in the minds of those pharisaic armchair critics is planted.

All should know that some who appear guilty are innocent, and that some who appear innocent are guilty,
And that there’re those who look like they’re criminals but aren’t, and visa versa — the latter, very commonly.
And how many times has evidence been interfered with? How many times has someone’s witness been faulty?
All of which seems lost on those quasi journalists-cum-lounge-like-lizards — yes, cold reptilians, effectively.

Oh, how they attack those ones that they deem guilty, assaulting them with their ignorance or plain thoughtlessness,
For even if unsure, they still pass comments that they shouldn’t, lest such be picked up on injuriously.
But such is how it goes, time and time again, and hence why so many don’t stand a chance, unfortunately,
And all because of those armchair critics and judges who often add to some unfortunate’s misery.

By Lance Landall

8.  Loose Lips, Big Ears And Long Memories

I’ve heard it said that elephants have very long memories — well, so have some people too,
Who, certain things that you have done in the past, seem to remember the moment they see you,
Which if not actually verbalised, is somehow conveyed, and sometimes very clearly,
For inward thoughts often become outward expressions, betraying an inner secrecy.

Though humanity’s prone to memory lapses, it doesn't appear to be the case here,
Given the number of two legged elephants, who, someone’s mistakes mull over and share.
And it seems that some folk sport ears that are as big as those on elephants, and that flap too,
Given what gets passed along, just as thoughtlessly, never mind if it’s twisted or untrue.

Hence that grapevine that’s as old as history, with roots that even Hercules couldn’t budge,
A grapevine that is tendered and nourished daily, its base surrounded with such toxic sludge.
Yes, a foul fertilizer that accelerates its growth, for it thrives on what harms others,
Stubbornly resistant to attack and pruning, whilst meantime, truth and fair play it smothers.

Yes, if only folk had more memory lapses, and tiny ears like mice, or better still
A nose that would grow like Pinocchio’s, should someone’s mistakes or business they seek to tell.
For after all, few seem all that concerned about that grapevine, unless it shares what hurts them,
And isn’t it funny how quick they're heard to holler, and such gossip and cruelty condemn?

But loose lips, big ears, and long memories, (of a certain type), hurt us all, effectively,
For some things spoken, received, stored, and passed on, act like a poison within humanity.
Thus, it’s time loose lips were zipped, time big ears were blocked, and time such long memories were emptied,
Given the destructiveness that can come from a tiny seed — in this case, a people weed.

By Lance Landall

9.  Criticism

If you’ve a problem with me, will you help me, rather than knock me?
That is, you can tell me where I’m going wrong, just don’t rubbish me.
And when you point out that wrong, please do it with sensitivity,
Lest you get my back up, and I ignore what you say, foolishly.

I need to know where I’m going wrong, but tell me constructively,
For then I’ll have a handle I can grasp, and I will, willingly.
I know that changes are required, and I want to see them too,
But such takes time, so please be tolerant, for there may be a few.

And regarding my error, or failing, please act objectively,
So that in my eyes, your criticism will have credibility.
I’ll listen, mull over your comments, and take them seriously,
And I’ll be more likely to succeed if you help and support me.

That is, if you show understanding, respond compassionately,
Which certainly will help to convince me of your sincerity.
Yes, I’ll be receptive to your approaches should you act this way,
For only a fool or a narcissist wouldn’t be receptive, I’d say.

By Lance Landall

10.  Criticizers

Sometimes, because of unique problems, and therefore, peculiar ways,
Others can view us oddly, treat us unkindly, which hurts, dismays.
Thus, out of ignorance, or thoughtlessness, they add to our distress,
Via their sad behaviour, or via the unkind things that they express.

Hence, “They just don’t understand,” can be very true indeed, sadly,
And not just the words of someone who is into self-pity.
But rather, the cry of many who have good reason to say so,
And who far too often receive another discouraging blow.

Rather than being moved by compassion, many simply criticize,
Condemning in others what they overlook in themselves, fault wise.
And seemingly only seeing what they want to, not what they should,
Just focusing on someone’s peculiarities, not their good.

So many struggle with things they don’t understand, and wish weren’t so,
Bravely struggling with burdens that only the same sufferers know.
And too often they’re treated like lepers, ridiculed, criticized,
When it’s the criticizer’s actions that need to be scrutinized.

By Lance Landall

11.  Time Folk Backed Off

It’s intriguing how so many know a lot about someone they really don’t know,
Hence those damming judgments, those malicious rumours, or those caustic darts that they throw.
Yes, they short on information-cum-all the facts, have never got to know them well,
And why when it comes to others, there’s so little good that’s said and plenty of ill.

The truth is, that so many folk aren’t as they seem — and hey, we all have our bad days —
Those most unfortunate moments or periods where one inevitably strays.
And don’t forget that growth takes time, and thus many folk no longer as they once were,
Yet, still on the receiving end of ill, which can only but the negative stir.

Yes, we hardly help by knocking, and more so when it’s underserved and thus unfair;
All why many lose heart when it comes to changing, or a much harder burden bear.
Oh, how others oft misunderstand, pieces of jigsaw missing from their grasp, and,
They too opinionated to see otherwise, notebook and red pencil in hand.

And this, despite the complexities within another's life!

Yes, it’s funny how so many know a lot about someone they really don’t know,
And nor about their circumstances, those things in their life that happened long ago,
And that have a bearing, for pretty much everything does, but why be judgmental?
In other words, unfairly and needlessly critical, fixated on some ill.

By Lance Landall

12.  Fallen Soldiers Of Depression

And one of them being:
Robin Williams, actor, comedian, (1951-2014)

Hi Robin, (I imagining you can hear me), and I just wanting to say
That I was saddened to hear that you’d taken your own life; such never the way.
I know you suffered from depression, and can understand your desperation,
Though alcohol and other drugs wouldn’t have helped your trying situation.

Nor acting, I must say, for such pretence is well known to mess with one’s head,
But that aside, you were indeed a funny person, (good hearted too, it’s said),
And who knows what all that clowning was hiding, (jesters often wounded inside),
It one way that many deal with inner issues, that scary incoming tide.

Oh yes, I know the black dog well, that deep, dark, cruel and lonely well of despair,
And how when having plummeted there seems no way up, one full of loss and fear.
However, life does have its ropes and ladders, and depression’s not always there,
And why like anything else in life, it’s something one learns to handle-cum-bear,

Well, as best one can, for such sorely tests a man.

I guess you thought death would cure the problem when only life can, actually,
For where there is life there’s hope and every reason — a coming cure, possibly.
Though one should mind medication as it’s often more harmful than helpful, and
Many folk better helped by an understanding, sound, patient and caring hand.

I guess you had it pretty bad, Robin, and that’s sad, very sad, I must say,
But how I wish you’d hung in there, life being too precious, at the end of the day.
And all of us unique, never to be duplicated, but there it goes,
And why all should keep an eye out lest another Robin go, too soon repose.

Three secrets of life are purpose, (evolution giving us none, by the way),
A selfless passion for others, a moral code that has the first and last say;
And as an afterthought, busyness, each often holding depression at bay,
Or minimising its intrusion; and there are those who quietly kneel and pray.

But serious depression needs serious help, it such a merciless thing,
And nothing to do with negative thinking, which some think causes everything!
No, it medical or far more complex, and its root cause oft a mystery,
Our brain and body an engineering marvel — and we, quite fragile, really.

It seems that the artistic temperament is prone to depression, sadly;
And why, being another poem, article or story — not for simple men like me.
And needless to say, when such is coupled with a sad background, it oft a curse,
And why so many in that field are carried away too soon via a black hearse.

Yes, too soon, for where there’s life there's hope and every reason.

By Lance Landall

13.  Twenty Six Floors Up

It was a lovely cloudless day, the clear blue sky stretching forever, the sun smiling warmly,
The matchbox traffic below building quickly, and I, twenty six floors up peering cautiously.
“She didn’t stand a chance. Not once she’d decided to jump. No turning back then,” the old man sighed.
“Can’t imagine what made her do it. She attractive and fairly young. Onlookers horrified.”

He shifted his weight. “Nothing anyone could do. She was up and over before folk could try,
And yesterday just like this, it full of promise, and yet, in a blink she gone — what a way to die!
She dropped like a stone, not a sound, except when she hit the ground, her life ending in a heartbeat,
And who knows what on Earth must have been going through her mind on the way down ’till she hit the street.”

Yes, it was certainly a long way down, an option that couldn’t fail in its tragic intent,
A set course that gained rushing momentum with every nanosecond of frightening descent.
Window after window flashing by, her fateful decision signed and sealed in looming concrete,
An end forever etched in the memories of those who coincidentally walked that street.

And she not the first, half a life or more still to go, her sad departure sharing her distress,
And highlighted on the front page of the morning rag amidst reports of financial progress.
Yes, I could see more skyscrapers near completion, and couldn’t help shake my head reflectively.
“Twenty six floors up, huh, and no one knows why?” I mused aloud, “Now there’s another tragedy.”

By Lance Landall

14.  Any Closer And I'll Jump!

The wind tugged at her dress threatening to pull her off the concrete ledge, and she resigned to such,
The only thing creating some hesitation being someone who her nearest arm sought to clutch.
“Keep back!” she shouted, “Any closer and I’ll jump!” and jump she would, life not worth living anymore,
Or so she felt, and poor Vaughn feeling desperate, he looking at what seemed like a closing door.

“Don’t waste your time trying to be a hero,” she shouted again, “Don’t care if I am crazy.”
“I certainly don’t think your crazy,” Vaughn replied, the wind affecting his voice as equally.
“But as weird as it sounds, once you jump you won’t have that option again, and why I would hold off.”
And Vaughn expecting that at such seemingly absurd reasoning she would most likely scoff.

“However, such seemed to catch her off guard, but she quickly recovered, scorn showing in her eyes,
“Why would I want that option again?” she shouted, which her shaking head then sought to emphasize.
“Well, you’ve nothing to lose by holding off,” Vaughn shouted back, “And possibly everything to gain,
Which many in that same place as you have found; they once having sought the same solution to their pain.”

Vaughn recognised the hurt within her, though not knowing of the years of abuse she’d battled through,
But he having suffered in other ways, and once, the same seeming solution had desired too.
And how glad he was that such steps he’d not taken, his life now a very different story,
For though things can seem too hard to bear, and hope gone, a brighter day can dawn eventually.

“Oh, platitudes! Platitudes!” she mocked — almost as if she could read his mind — “And what would you know?
And isn’t that the way, easy to speak when all’s good for you. Well, no thank you and cheerio.”
And with that said, she then lurched, her decision becoming reality, and Vaughn gasping,
But her heavy dress catching, and Vaughn rushing to the edge wildly grabbing at anything.

The weight of her body seemed to laugh at his attempts, her screaming deafening, her hands flailing,
And her snagged descent now bringing a fear that was otherwise absent, she hardly abseiling.
Somehow — he didn’t know how — he managed to free her whilst pulling her back and over the ledge,
And once over, he didn’t let go of her until he’d pulled her even further from the edge.

She lay there too shaken to move, Vaughn’s breathing heavy, he still holding her arm protectively,
She not resisting, for though the energy of both was spent, she was seeing differently,
And that meaning: The view from her snagged position having had an affect, she reachable now —
Well, hopefully so, that is — though whether she was or not, Vaughn was about to try anyhow.

The warmth of the sun added to Vaughn’s sweatiness, a water tank lessening the wind somewhat,
The view from the building’s roof stunning, one able to see every home with its orange chimneypot.
Neither spoke for a short while, and then it was Vaughn, his grip removed, but he watchful and ready,
For having saved Jane from certain death, another suicide attempt he didn’t want to see.

“Well, you’re wrong regarding me,” he chided, Jane now rubbing bruises beneath her soiled and torn dress,
“For some time back, I was inches away from what you just sought to do, due to pain and distress.
Thus I’m no stranger to such, and nor do I think badly of you, but know it’s worth holding off,
For the longer you stick around, the more there’s a chance that life will surprise, deliver from some trough.”

“And what if it doesn’t?” Jane questioned in return having found her voice again, “As can be so.”
She still speaking from her imprisoned past, those teary nights she spent curled up like an embryo.
“Well,” Vaughn replied, “Though that be true, not necessarily for you, or for anyone else too,
Hence why many have gone from rags to riches, obscurity to fame, pain to joy, peace they’re due.

And meantime,” Vaughn continued, “We find solace in those little things, a warm drink, a friendly smile,
Some kindness we’re shown, that fury creature on our lap, that hobby that’s absorbing and worthwhile.
And personally, the greatest healing coming when I lost myself in others — yes, their well-being,
I realising that such is where it’s at anyway, something that far too late, most are seeing.”

Thoughts were beginning to stir within Jane’s mind, (a kindred spirit having sought to help her out),
Those thoughts seeds that the warmth and watering of Vaughn’s loving concern would eventually sprout.
And yes, that’s what it’s all about, keeping a loving watch on others, though more so wounded ones,
Who too oft take their life whilst selfishness, thoughtlessness or indifference indulges and suns.

Quietly they made their way down, they resting here and there, the ground a very welcome sight to Vaughn,
And where they sat chatting and sharing, the occasional bird picking at worms in the soft lawn.
“One’s life is too precious a gift to discard,” Vaughn related, “And this, despite how we may feel,
And why we shouldn’t let another’s cruelty, or some misfortune, any moment of it steal.

Sometimes it’s all about finding a shelter in the storm, and there, waiting it out kind of thing,
Or we simply figuring out ways to cope, and why those who’re afflicted often brighter sing.
And the reason why is, because they’ve experienced the height, width and depth of life, its inner soul,
And thus they no shallow passer-by, but a goldmine of substance — yes, they more real, true and whole.”

Yes, better to hold off indefinitely

By Lance Landall

15.  The Bridge

Father and son stood staring into the stream as they leaned on the old wooden rail,
The son deep in thought, and sometimes fidgeting with the head of a protruding nail.
Many times both father and son had stood there together, watching the movements below,
Sometimes deep in conversation, sometimes silent, the time passing quickly or slow.

Geoff turned his head in the direction of his dad, his words questioning purposely.
“Why do some folk take their life, Dad?” And after pausing, “Seems like such a tragedy.”
“Well, son, that’s a very good question, but somewhat hard to answer, actually,
Given that sometimes there’s no apparent reason — that is, as far as one can see.”

The old wooden bridge creaked as he shifted his weight, his gaze now fixed upon his son,
The surrounding trees and foliage filtering out the rays of the noon day sun.
Ducks and ducklings paddled their way up stream, their beaks stabbing periodically,
And numerous birds and insects went about their daily routine just as busily.

“Have I ever told you about John Lock, son?”  “Not that I recall, Dad.”  “Oh, okay,
Well, John Lock had everything going for him, and everything seemed to go his way.
His wife was not only very beautiful, but she had a lovely personality,
And his children were lovely too — well behaved, talented, helping out willingly.

Yes, John appeared to be the luckiest man on earth, pretty much envied by all;
A stable of cars, a sound business, huge mansion, expensive paintings on each wall.
But to everyone’s amazement, or perhaps I should say shock, he took his own life,
Leaving behind what most of us can only dream of; plus his shattered kids and wife.”

“What do you make of folk like that, Dad? I mean, fancy taking your life so pointlessly.”
“Well, son, I guess it’s easy to think this or that, perhaps acting judgmentally,
But we really don’t know what’s going on in another’s mind, or what’s amiss, do we?
And who of us can say we’d never do such, for one’s life can change unexpectedly?

Now, I’m not condoning such, son, for suicide’s not something we should contemplate,
But how we feel today could change in time, should things in our life deteriorate.
I’m reminded of those who fall in love and say the proverbial, “We won’t part!”
Only to end up divorced a few years later, and even malice in their heart.

Yes, it’s a brave person who says I wont do this or that, for oft folk eat their words,
And when in love, or life’s going great, heads are oft in the clouds, folk away with the birds.
And you know, son, it’s all very well for some folk to condemn those who take their life,
But what about those who pointlessly risk their life, and when they’ve children and a wife?

Yes, how many risk their life attempting to break some record, or just for a thrill,
Effectively acting just as suicidal, given such pointless risks can kill.
In fact, one could say they’re worse, for they’re not suffering in some way, nor wanting to die,
And very irresponsibly are risking everything, which begs the question, “Why?

Surely if anyone’s worthy of condemnation, it’s such as these, in my view,
And yet, they’re oft applauded, lauded, are even given trophies for what they do.
Thus, as I see it, if anyone is selfish and thoughtless, it’s far more so these,
For the one who’s ill, confused, or distraught, neither clearly nor rationally sees.
What do you think, son?”  “Well, now that you mention such, Dad, I can’t help agreeing with you,
And I guess you’re glad I’m not one of those risk takers, nor suicide would pursue?”
“Indeed, son, even though you’ve had some rough years, reason to consider such,
But please know this, son: I would miss you terribly, for I love you so very much.”

“Thank you, Dad. I’ve always enjoyed our chats on the bridge, and it’s so peaceful down here.”
“Yes, me too, son. There’re times when we bottle things up, when such we really need to air.
Life has its rugged patches, but that’s all they are, son — that is, in the scheme of things,
For just as there’s sun after rain, there’s dawn after night, and that little bird that sings.

Well, son, I guess we’d better head back, ay?”  “I guess so, Dad, but first I’ll grab a stick.”
Okay, son, I’ll saunter ahead, and if you’re as hungry as I am, you’d best be quick.
Knowing your sweet mother, son, she will probably have the table set already.”
“Sure, Dad, I won’t be long.” And so saying, he was lost in foliage immediately.

And there, he reached inside his jacket and withdrew a handgun, it loaded and deadly,
His pocket now free of the offending object, and his hands moving purposely.
The bullets removed, he flung all into the deeper water upstream, much more concealed,
Where there in the murky shadows, hopefully his secret would never be revealed.

By Lance Landall

Note: Names mentioned are fictitious

This poem relates to a sixties song called Ode To Billie Joe. Best you read the lyrics first which
I've placed under this poem.

16.  Billie Joe MacAllisters

I guess you’ve all heard about Billie Joe MacAllister, who, on the third of June, and up there on Choctaw Ridge —
(And all this according to the haunting lyrics of the Bobbie Gentry song) — jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge?
Well, there’s no question that in pretty much every country ’round the globe, (and more so, in some), there’s a Choctaw ridge,
Yes, a mountain of heartache, depression, and seeming hopelessness, and a too often used Tallahatchie bridge.

And let’s not forget this: That there are thousands of people "pickin' " flowers up on those Choctaw ridges as well,
For those who jump off Tallahatchie bridges have loved ones and families; and it’s seldom that they say farewell.
And why they choose to act this way is oft anyone’s guess, but nevertheless, something sees them take that sad road,
And hence why we need to be very attuned to others’ needs, and lovingly so, and thereby help ease their load.

Yes, there are far too many Billie Joe MacAllisters, and those who're left to pick up the pieces of their life,
That is, after such loss, be they a friend, or some relation — yes, a brother or sister, a husband or wife.
And added to this, is oft the stigma of suicide, and that “never had a lick of sense” mentality,
Which can have more to do with ignorance and indifference, and which may even aid some such fatality.

Yes, such tragic tales are too oft just casual meal-time fodder, they told midst the passing of those “black-eyed peas,”
And those who take their life, often just the butt of those suicide jokes that are found amongst so much night-club sleaze.
And why suicides will continue, for aside from those loads many bear, are too many folk who don’t seem to care,
Or as good as such, given the sad lack of interest they show, and how some load they leave another to bear.

Yes, "Mama said it was a shame about Billie Joe, anyhow," and Mama was also correct when she said:
"Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge," and that's so true, without speaking ill of the dead.
For the truth of the matter is, that suicides are such a waste of someone's life, and a painful legacy,
And too often happen when folk are "choppin' cotton" or "balin' hay"
yes, too unconcerned, distracted, or busy.

By Lance Landall

Bobbie Gentry's song "Ode To Billie Joe" was recorded in 1967. Bob Dylan's song "Clothesline Saga" is a parody of the song.

Regarding suicide, you may like to read my poem called “Life” which speaks to the situation more fluently. You can access that poem via the buttons on the right hand side and near the top of my poems list page. Or you may like to read my poem "Death That Haunts" which is found in my secular poem list, and closer to that sections end.

Here are the lyrics to Ode To Billie Joe:

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door, "Y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said, "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge
Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please
There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
And Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billy Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

And Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
"I'll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don't seem right
I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge
"And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Mama said to me, "Child, what's happened to your appetite?
I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite
That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today
Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way
He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge
And she and Billy Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

A year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billy Joe
And Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going 'round, Papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now Mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge

And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge

Here's a link to the song:


17.  Don't Knock Beneficiaries

Grant raised his head and looked at his dad who was wistfully looking out the window;
A man who’d seen the best and worst of life, and those changes that so oft come and go.
His father was a good man, who sought the best for all, believing such right and fair,
And as far as troubles and heartache go, Grant's father had certainly had his share.

“Why are folk so hard on beneficiaries, Dad, some political parties too,
That single out those on welfare, and midst anti-welfare cries, tougher lines pursue?”
“Well, son, in my experience, such is often linked to some ideology,
One that’s seriously flawed, but attractive to those who’ve a certain mentality.”

“And, I might add, who tend to vote for those parties that view welfare negatively,
Picking up on that anti-beneficiary sentiment, very ignorantly.
Many have no idea what’s going on in the life of some beneficiary,
Yet, just like jackals, or armchair critics, attack or pass judgment injuriously.”

“Not everyone’s hard on beneficiaries, son, it’s just a certain quarter who are,
A very vocal group, who when they get their way, invaribly take things too far.
And as a result, they simply exchange one problem for another — a worse one,
For when folk have their backs against the wall, they turn to anything, perhaps a gun.”

“You see, when folk are fearful, unable to cope, they do what they can to get by,
Which sees lawfulness fly out the window, and criminality diversify.
Don’t get me wrong, son, I’m not condoning such, and not all will turn their hands to crime,
But one thing’s for sure, troubles by the bucket load are only a matter of time.”

“The welfare system is the country’s heart, son, and that heart needs to beat really well,
For there’ll always be those who’re out of work, those who’re unable to cope, those who’re ill.
Yes, better a fence at the top of the cliff, than an ambulance waiting below,
Which any with a genuine love for humanity, son, well and truly know.”

“When we’re harsh on beneficiaries, we also adversely affect their family,
Which simply causes ripples in the pond, ripples that reach deep into society.
And hence why we’re better to err on the side of wastage and generosity,
Which means leaning a little more left than right, given balance seems a rarity.”

“What about bludgers, Dad?”  “Oh, you’ll always get those, son, but they’re a minority,
A very small number in the scheme of things, who’re surely sorted out easily.
But they’re not the only ones ripping off the system, for so are the majority,
Be that via so-called little sins, or larger ones, that siphon and drain just as badly.”

“There’re so many on the make, son, including many who are higher up the scale,
Who very hypocritically point to beneficiaries and hard done by wail.
And there’re those who’re doing nicely, who should be counting their blessings, but oh no,
Seems they’re far too busy counting losses, and pointing the finger at so-and-so.”

“Too many think they’ve the answers, or can’t see past their pocket, behaving selfishly,
And are ignorant of the complexities in the life of some beneficiary.
Many on a benefit, and who hate being on one, are trapped by circumstances, and,
Rather than harsher measures, need our understanding, or a larger helping hand.”

“Too many people, including politicians, are out of touch with reality;
They're living in a world that is far removed from that of the beneficiary.
And far too often, those who hold the purse strings, have an accountant mentality,
Only thinking in terms of things financially, and effectively, inhumanely.”

“The welfare system is necessary, son, and only one drain financially,
But for some reason, it’s a convenient scapegoat, maligned and hammered unfairly.
Some things are best just lived with, son, rather than picked on, and at the end of the day,
Too many see things in just black and white terms, when things are often a shade of grey.”

By Lance Landall

And hey, where are the appropriate jobs?

You may also like to check out my page called: Welfare, My Perspective

18.  That Gnawing Gap

When the gap between the haves and have nots grows bigger, shaming humanity,
And many aren’t coping financially, it badly affects society.
Hence those acts that are born out of frustration and desperation that we see,
And why crime, suicides and family break ups increase, even anarchy.

Yes, enter stress, ill health, grumblings, anger and oft contempt for those who’re wealthy,
More so the miserly or overindulgent who hug or waste their money.
For when you’ve little or nothing, debt over your head and cupboards that are lean,
Such thoughtlessness and splurging can rub, and why rage, spite and green eyes are oft seen,

As well as any justifiable and understandable cries, I mean,
For folk being left to suffer while others hug or waste their money is obscene.
Sure those who’re more wealthy have a right to do what they wish with their own money,
But hey, speaking of some, where’s their conscience, their loving concern for humanity?

The truth is, that inequality hurts everyone, and why folk should come first,
Not that accountant mentality which a country’s bubble is bound to burst.
Well, sooner or later, such having lost its fizz thus leaving a taste that’s flat,
For any focus that’s not connected to a warm heart isn’t where it’s at.

And this, what every government and each society should’ve learnt by now,
Though sadly not, and why that same old unproductive field they’re still seen to plough.
And hence why that gap between the rich and poor is growing bigger by the day,
And claiming more victims; money, self, folly and agendas having all the say.

And by the way,

Where welfare becomes a dirty word and beneficiaries are stigmatized,
Less compassion is seen and heard and a sad direction thereby advertised.
Yes, a direction that eventually pulls a plug that’s really needed,
And why the welfare garden should never be discarded, but simply weeded.

By Lance Landall

19.  Dear Prime Minister

I’m alarmed that your party’s selling our country’s assets, or partially so,
For soon our country will be less well off, much money going offshore, you know,
And we having less to spend on maintenance and improvements, and in its wake,
We also paying more for necessities given what those shareholders take,

And oh, those bigger bills that break the camel's back, and why many lie awake.

And tell me, Sir, what’s with the slash and burn, that attack on beneficiaries,
And those renting government houses? — they being the first to feel some fiscal squeeze —
As are any who’re simply trying to make ends meet, such as the working class,
Who aren’t trying to live up to a certain life-style, but watching fate’s hour glass.

Better men leaning on shovels than out of work or on a low benefit,
And anxious of that slash and burn, and they becoming depressed, even unfit,
Or taking such out on the wife and kids, stealing or committing suicide,
Your party having exchanged one problem for another, widened the divide.

It seems your party’s head isn’t connected to its heart — and just as crazy,
Your opposition’s heart isn’t connected to its head, and thus why we see,
People on the left and people on the right, sense and balance having got lost,
And what might be the cost? A coming bitter winter, I say, going by the frost.

Some might call it arrogance, Sir, and others ask: "Is it some ideology,
Short-sightedness, or some agenda that’s behind many of these things we see?"
Could it be all the above, not to mention the self serving? — for one thing's clear,
We’re living in a different world, some at the wheel who don’t know how to steer,

And others who only their way wish to steer.

All why our best produce is going offshore, and badly needed contracts too,
Hence that higher unemployment and loss of skills from jobs that our folk could do.
And why it all seems back to front, our country becoming less self-sufficient,
And only the financially viable managing, the rest of us skint.

Sure that small group of shareholders who live here may profit, and those who're wealthy,
But we're losing industries, we now so dependant on things from overseas.
And come some blip, down we all slip, free trade having cost, privatization too,
For some things need to be protected, and some not sold, or come our Waterloo.

And meantime, how many jobs have gone?

And as for those beneficiaries, most need a hand up, not a harder kick,
Many of them trapped due to this or that, health worries and debt up to their neck.
All why I’m alarmed, Sir, for there’re bigger drains on the country’s purse, you know,
And far more money going west via those at the top than those on peanuts below.

By Lance Landall

20.  I Hope You're Tired Of It Too

I’m tired of all that beneficiary bashing, that stigma they’re forced to bear,
Thanks to many who aren’t suffering the same, but who criticize from some chair.
And they saying it’s all about attitude, getting off one’s backside — oh dear —
As if it were as simple as that, and thus why I’ve put pen to paper here.

Yes, many folk make bad choices that see them in predicaments, hence their cry,
But such folk are oft incapable of making the right choices, and here’s why:
They suffering from emotional issues, enter stress, fear, anxiety,
Obsessions, addictions, insecurities, deep scars or depression, sadly,

And help not there like it should be, or not as much as it really needs to be.

Hence why such folk struggle to get beyond it all, even adding to their woes,
Frustration and desperation taking over — and where might such end? Who knows?
For some it’s suicide, and others take it out on society somehow,
Though in the main, most simply battle their way through astride a weak straining bough,

They possibly victims of abuse and a home where there was row after row.

The purpose of the welfare safety net is to spare such folk from further ill,
And those who’re in the firing line, hurt and anger oft drawing from a deep well.
Well, I mean to say, who knows how much a negative background plays a part, and
Mounting debt, health problems, cruel remarks, indifference and those kids that weren’t planned?

And some government’s tight-fisted policies or bias aggravating things,
And oh, how oft we see a lack of balance-cum-those crazy left and right swings.
And suffering from it all, not only one’s country, but the vulnerable,
Folk who’re poor or on a benefit, and little happening to ease their ill.

Sure there are outright bludgers and folk who do need to get off their butt, but hey,
Who are we to say who such folk are — and listen, there is a right and wrong way.
Yes, too much evil surmising goes on, and ignorance is oft a cruel thing,
For those who point when minus someone’s case history just take a random swing.

The issues within a person's life can be complex, and all not as it seems,
But rather, they riddled with problems, oft close to coming apart at the seams.
In other words, they emotionally handicapped, crippled, or somewhat so,
And such made worse when they're up against the wall or fielding off another blow.

What's clear is that there will always be these needy folk within society,
And hey, the welfare net simply another kind of insurance policy.
One that beneficiaries also contribute to via tax that they pay too,
And dare it be removed given that the next one in need of it may be you!

By Lance Landall

21.  To Those Who're Well-off

We, the less well-off, and many of us poor, don’t begrudge you your wealth, for wealth isn’t bad in itself, and,
Nor its legitimate accumulation, given that wealth can build on itself, which we quite understand.
But what we don’t like is, you flaunting your wealth — rubbing it in our anxious and tired faces, effectively,
For such can really rankle given all our hardships, our unintended predicament financially.

Yes, the sheer indulgence we see, so bankrupt morally, for such ignores the struggles that we’re going through,
Struggles that could be eased, even solved, and why we would appreciate a little thought and fairness from you.
After all, our ranks are swelling, and the gap between the rich and poor is growing — yes, faster by the day,
Which will only lead to greater unrest and injury all-round, rather than usher in a better day.

And especially when such an air of superiority comes from that same well-off territory,
As wealth hardly equates to superiority — and those who act so, simply insult humanity —
For all are equal, all worthy of Earth’s bounties, food, clothing, a home, health, happiness and security,
And this, regardless of their race, their religion or gender — nobody treated better or differently.

Yes, it’s time that snobbery ended, and those well-off cliques, which we, the less well-off, find offensive and unkind,
For such unfairly stigmatises, leaves us out in the cold — though we’re oft better and even more refined.
Oh yes, for many who’re wealthy live lives of debauchery, just selfishly and senselessly waste money,
Money that could ease the burdens of many, restore health, save lives, and rescue others from dire poverty.

Yes, we the less well-off, don’t begrudge you your wealth, for it’s not money that’s the problem, but how such is spent,
Or hoarded, (Scrooge McDuck like), for that which is wasted or hoarded, so much misery and pain could prevent.
Sure it’s your money, but where’s your heart, given wealth doesn't automatically equate to nobleness,
For greater generosity is found amongst the less well-off, who given what they see, hate greediness.

And here, greediness is another word for pure indulgence — a crime when so many are in need on Earth,
They struggling, suffering, and even dying, midst that money that you who’re well-off, waste on pleasure and mirth.
Yes, many of us going without a humble cottage, while many of you live in homes that just shout pride,
Homes that go far beyond anyone’s need, and the rest you display, which widens that glaring and foul divide.

In other words, that huge gulf between those who have and those who don’t have, one thats stench grows stronger by the day,
For it’s a gulf that allows many to live like kings while others are left to suffer and fall by the way.
A gulf that shouldn’t be, but that sadly is, and all because of that selfish “Me and mine” mentality,
Which worships at an exclusive temple, bows before an image that’s detached, heartless, shallow and empty.

By Lance Landall

22.  A Funny Kind Of Love

We like to think that we’re generous, but the truth is, that our generosity oft only goes so far,
In other words, it’s cruelly selective, usually a case of: “Depending on who other folk are.”
Yes, we hardly give until it hurts, nor in every way, and when it comes to others, we’re very choosy,
Which not only shows some flaw in us, but suggests a corrupted form of giving, which others oft can see.

Too many of us have a notebook mentality, a heartless tick the box list, which many hardly meet,
Or perhaps there are some we won’t help again — no second chance, sort of thing — hence our legalistic retreat.
Yes, too bad some folk regret the way they once behaved after getting some help from us — having grown and learnt —
But aren’t going to get that help that they need again, even though we can afford to once again get burnt.

So they don’t get such, and we spend what we could’ve given on what? More selfish wants as opposed to real needs?
Whilst patting ourselves on the back over others we’ve helped, which oft amounts to self-serving selective deeds.
Yes, on the one hand we’re generous and kind, and on the other, selective, hardnosed and even petty,
And we think that we’re pretty good people — well, dream on, I say — though it’s time that we all faced reality.

The truth of the matter is, that we so often whine whilst giving — in other words, we give reluctantly,
And in many cases, no doubt, in order to appease our conscience, though Scrooge-like — just enough, miserly.
Yes, we’re great ones for fooling ourselves, but others aren’t so fooled, they knowing our good deeds are more a veneer,
For when push comes to shove, it’s seen we’ve a funny kind of love — and sad to say, such is more common than rare.

By Lance Landall

23.  For Crying Out Loud, Just Give!

Yes, just give! — and when you’ve given, give again, and while you’re at it, throw that hardnosed pen and notebook away,
Remembering that true charity sees the need and not the cause — and oh, how many are in need today.
Be they those who’re starving in far away lands, a neighbour, relation, friend or stranger — and give without end —
Yes, even until it hurts, rather than adding icing to your cake, or some thoughtless indulgence defend.

Well, I mean to say, consider how much money folk generally waste, they buying what they hardly need,
While others battle poverty, die some horrid death, or really struggle, and often thanks to others’ greed.
And where not plain greed, others “I want this,” or, “I want that too,” list, and this, when they have enough already,
But oh no, they want a spa pool, a Mercedes, a flash looking house, or is it a conservatory?

Meantime, folk bleed, the strain oft ending marriages and splitting families — and thus plaguing society —
For many who’ve not enough oft turn to crime, or somehow suffer emotionally or physically,
And yes, many of them are angry at the injustice of such, which others could ease or end so easily,
But no, they continue to add to their comforts, even thinking that they’re hard done by, ridiculously.

Yes, too many who have enough think that they haven’t enough, and have no idea how the other half live,
In other words, what its really like to go without, all thanks to those who so selfishly refuse to give.
Or who give so little compared to what they could give, thus thereby even ensuring that others won’t live,
And who therefore have innocent blood on their self-serving hands, and why I say: For crying out loud, just give!

By Lance Landall

24.  Nothing Or Too Little

Yes, there are so many people in this world who haven’t received the thought and help that they should have received,
Or to put it another way, who haven’t received the degree of thought and help that they should have received.
And, let me add here, thought and help that hasn’t come from their siblings-cum-family either, tragically,
Or once again, the degree of thought and help that they should have received, which can lead to animosity…

An animosity that all should take care to prevent, for such can see the aggrieved one acting badly,
Such meaning: Injuriously towards those who didn’t show the thought and help that they should have, foolishly,
For resentment, bitterness and anger can fester midst the aggrieved one’s struggle that could’ve been relieved,
But that wasn’t relieved, excuses coming thick and fast, and hence that baleful web that’s far too often weaved…

And that can result in those news items we see, those incidents too often seen within society,
All due to an unattended boiling pot that eventually flipped its lid, and not surprisingly,
For many who struggle, also have personal issues which need the same thought and help, but that isn’t there,
Others too busy, distracted, indifferent, selective, even ignorantly and coldly severe…

The latter meaning: They unable to see that those with issues can’t always show the same wisdom as they,
Thanks to emotional scars that cloud, ill health that dogs, daily battles-cum-traps — oft caused by others, I must say.
And hence why amidst complexities that plague the lives of many, sound judgment is prone to going astray,
But they hardly worthy of condemnation, for hey, how can we expect otherwise, at the end of the day?

Yes, it’s so much easier to make the right decisions and do the right things when all’s well with us, or
To put it another way, when we aren’t afflicted as they are, and nor the same person as they, what’s more,
For certain things can affect people differently, and backgrounds too, even where the same, unsurprisingly,
For we’re all unique individuals, our inner self still largely unexplored-cum-still a mystery…

And therefore, we simply don’t know what nothing or too little may result in, though some of us can no doubt guess,
Given what we’ve seen occur, or have experienced ourselves, be such a tragedy or deepening mess.
And why thought and help that isn’t forthcoming, or those mere token gestures, are often perilous mistakes,
Or at the very least, a slap in the face of those already stinging, whom despair often overtakes.

Yes, little or nothing, when there should be something substantial or more often, and more so from siblings, who,
Like the rest, oft don’t make the effort they should, don’t give until it hurts, and nor some understanding pursue.
But rather, sit in judgment, resenting the justified complaints from those who’re given nothing or too little,
And who in time may flip their lid, or simply just continue to struggle, and why so often all’s not well.

By Lance Landal

This poem was penned 19 December 2011.

25.  The Ninety-Nine Percent

Today we’re hearing from those who call themselves The Ninety-Nine Percent, and to be frank, they’re hardly far from wrong,
For the wealth-cum-power of a few has been manipulating and controlling this old Earth for far too long.
Not that such should've been at all, for no one person or group should be riding roughshod over humanity,
And hence those strong voices of The Ninety-Nine Percent who are calling for an end to such criminality.

Ever since the beginning of this Earth’s history, there have been those who have sought to dominate and control,
And who, if they had their deluded and villainous way, would stamp all over humanity as a whole.
Such is why power should always be dispersed as widely as possible, and not placed in the hands of a few,
And why each nation shouldn’t be somehow tied to another, or to them all, as New World Orders seek to do.


Danger can even lie in people power-cum-the voice of the majority, who, just as deludedly
Can trample on their dissenters too — the minority — which once again shouts tyranny and stupidity.
Hence why freedom of expression and civil-religious liberty-cum-human rights, should be untouchable,
For any who tinker with such, or trample on such, soon bring about ill-cum-that old historic carousel.

At the end of the day, all who seek freedom from tyranny and want a better way, must be above reproach,
That is, they mustn’t be willing to violate what they shouldn't in order to bring about change, lest they encroach,
That being, on the rights of others, for two wrongs don’t make a right, but rather, holler hypocrisy and folly,
For no matter who’s wanting what, “The end justifies the means” is where it all comes undone, eventually.

Thus, until “The end justifies the means” approach is dead and buried, there’s little hope of true peace and harmony,
For such a flawed approach has been used over and over again — and yes, by those on both sides, tragically.
The only way ahead lies in the complete repudiation of anything that violates human rights,
A path that’s free of selfishness, indifference and destructiveness — we not just voices, but bright and pure lights.

The way of The Ninety-Nine Percent needs to be transparent, a path where no one is thought a minority,
But rather, where all are treated with the same thought, care and respect, even should they think and act differently.
In other words, all must be free to walk according to their conscience, providing they don’t act violently,
For the way ahead must be free of any action that causes grief to any member of humanity.

Yes, protestors have come and gone — often midst destructiveness and lawlessness — they behaving just like their foe,
That is, they attempting to achieve their ends by acts from which many wrongs also flow.
For fighting fire with fire has never extinguished the flames of oppression, violence, hatred and bigotry,
But rather, has fuelled such, or left coal quietly smouldering away only to flare up again, insanely. 

By Lance Landall

26.  Let All Pause

It’s so very sad when people have health issues that money could solve or ease,
And those around them, and even near, are somewhat blowing money as they please.
Sure it’s their money, and clearly they’ve a right to spend it as they wish, but hey,
How awful that so much suffering continues while good money goes astray,

Or to put it another way, while many people play.

Okay, perhaps folk aren’t blowing their money, but more making the most of it,
Spending it on this or that, they tripping here and there, reaping the benefit.
Well, they may deserve such, but selflessness runs to the beat of a higher cause,
And why when it comes to the spending of even hard-earned money, let all pause.

By Lance Landall

27.  And Again I Appeal

To those of you out there who have the resources, the skills and abilities,
Please find time for, and be generous to, those folk whose needs you could solve or ease.
In other words, those who’re poor, those folk who are really struggling financially,
And who as a sad consequence are beset with sleep-robbing anxiety.

Many of you out there who do have the resources, skills and abilities,
Are well-off, (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and such needs could solve or ease.
And this why I’m appealing to you, that the lives of others be happier,
Or at least the lives of many, and lest for them, much bigger issues occur.


Please consider my appeal, the needs of many real, some desperate, in fact,
And thus why in the name of love — selflessness — I hope and pray that you’ll so act.
And I not meaning that you forsake all you have, but forego a portion, and
Due to such humane generosity, with the heroes of history stand.

By Lance Landall

28.  Woe To The Heartless

We’re living in the days of the heartless, the love of so many growing cold, and,
When talk of doing this or that is largely just that, simply talk, more sleight of hand.
All why the lot of many who’re suffering is getting far worse, and also why
Racial taunts and bigotry are hardly waning despite the louder hue and cry.

Oh yes, we can legislate against this or that, but within the hearts of many
There’s not a single ounce of change, and given how things look now, there won’t be any.
For hatred, indifference and callousness are on the rise, and thus why we see
Murder after murder, bashings, robberies, rapes, plain lawlessness-cum-larceny.

Amazing how the Bible predicts such, but tell me, why on Earth would all this be,
As aren’t we supposed to be more civilized and enlightened? — yes, supposedly
For society’s going backwards, and come to think of it, there’re less boundaries,
And as far as morals, standards and values go — well, most folk just do as they please.

Anyway, back to those who’re suffering from the heartlessness that is seen today,
For such ill is a sure indication of something having gone badly astray.
Yes, for people are becoming more hardnosed, much cruller to many who’re in need,
Their changed mentality viewing such folk differently, ignoring them though they bleed.

Well, if not ignoring, not digging as deeply, they finding some excuse that suits,
Most folk living for themselves, lining their own pockets, (how we tell folk by their fruits),
And thus they fulfilling prophecy, (going by the Bible), and hence why we see
The vulnerable, disadvantaged and burdened-down suffering more intently.

Hence those harsher attacks on the welfare system, a badly needed safety net,
Which anyone of us could have good reason to call upon sometime, don’t forget.
But such not affordable, some say, (where it’s not based on some ideology),
Well, I disagree, believing that where there’s the will there’s a way, for such should be.

And more so these days given how things are getting tougher for the man in the street,
Who due to the likes of unemployment or ill health, his loved ones needs mightn’t meet.
Hence why many are struggling, beset by this or that, only to be kicked when down,
And why beneath such cruelty, much hardship, heartache, their issues and pain, many drown.

Therefore, will you respond or be numbered amongst the heartless, the worsening throng,
Who, despite often being better off, sing that tired old “They’re bleeding our money” song.
Well, so much for living for others, charity that sees the need and not the cause,
And why the struggles of others, and that growing heartlessness, should have us all pause.

By Lance Landall

29.  Unlock That Pocket

We can go on and on about some folk not acting very responsibly,
Or about teaching folk to fish rather than giving fish, such talk so easy,
But meantime, let’s err on the side of charity, willing generosity,
That all may be happier and thus much less unrest within society.

It doesn’t do any of us any good where there’s other folk suffering,
And why it’s best to keep the cap on discontent, lest from such, more ill soon spring,
And yes, be their situation of their own making, for we all make mistakes,
And turning things around can take time, and meantime, there’s those miserable aches.

Yes, aches that afflict the lives of someone’s partner or child, not to mention them,
Whom others won’t change for the better if they piously withhold or condemn.
It being more a case of befriending them, gradually helping them to see,
But meantime showing thought and compassion via unconditional charity.

Our lives are short, and that of less wiser folk too, of whom we should spare more pain,
Such being the loving thing to do, and one day they treating us just as humane.
And by that I mean, should we mess up, fall on hard times, and thereby ache as well,
Hoping that no one will pull out some check list before responding to our ill.

By Lance Landall

30.  Cha ching!

While many of us who’re better off gorge, others starve, battle with poverty,
And much wickedness responsible for this ill afflicting humanity.
Yes, it having been solvable, but selfishness, greed and folly in cahoots,
And as for who — well, I guess that’s why the Bible says we’ll know them by their fruits.

You may scoff at a day of reckoning, but I believe there needs to be one,
’Cause why should callousness and indifference go unpunished, when all’s said and done?
Others suffering, dying while you and I gorge, while others waste millions, or,
Appease their conscience by giving a little of their lot, rather than much more.

Animal farming, wasted food, withheld necessities, all responsible,
Along with poor governance, those indulgences running red-hot via some till.
Cha ching! Another bowl of rice denied, another unnecessary grave,
Oh, it seemingly every man for himself, and then back into our cave.

By Lance Landall