Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.


Just Be There

You know how it goes, don’t you? Well, I am sure that many people do,
Yes, such is the last thing that you're needing, and it makes you feel worse too.
I’m sure that such people mean well, and that they're trying to help, but slug!
Out comes all that worthy advice, when what you’re needing is just a hug.

Yes, you've heard it all before, even said the same things to others too,
Therefore, you know that what they are saying is unquestionably true.
But there is always a time and place, and it certainly isn’t now,
And because they're just not seeing that, all their pithy words rub, and how.

You’re already feeling down, and are struggling under some pressing weight,
Thus it’s encouragement that you need and not what will exacerbate.
You’re hurting, you're frustrated, you're discouraged, and are down in the dumps,
And you can well do without what amounts to just thoughtless wordy thumps.

Sometimes people say things poorly, incorrectly, or even badly,
And then your spirits sink, you recoil, even feel worse physically,
For you're just wanting a helping hand and not a fist full of advice,
But rather, a hug — or someone's arm around the shoulder would be nice.

Yes, most of us have our moments, those upsetting times when down we go,
Those times when we may well lose heart, perhaps, or an inner weakness show.
And that is when we're needing support, a word of comfort, gentle hug,
And not a fist full of more advice, wordy thumps, or some heavy slug.

So often words aren't needed, nor wanted, but rather, some love and care,
Which is why people should listen far more — in other words, just be there.
Sometimes it’s just their presence, and that compassion that's seen in their eyes,
Or that arm around ones shoulder that calms, heals, and warmly satisfies.

Yes, sometimes we're just needing a friend and not a counsellor or sage,
A friend who is there when they're needed and who our times of need can gauge.
And should we desire words, then only from friends who will mind what they say,
For something that is said unwisely can upset more, or ricochet.

By Lance Landall

2.  Please Understand

Please understand, I’m trying to be a better person, more loving and kind,
But often my body pains and tires, and I’ve issues that trouble my mind.
So midst it all, the cares of the day, and upsetting things that may come my way,
I may not respond or behave as I should, and thereby, give cause for dismay.

Growth takes time, and things often dog my steps, sometimes things that others do or say,
Thus I not just having to sort myself out, but deal with ill that comes my way.
Yes, others hindering my progress, not showing loving sensitivity,
The very kind I’m trying to show myself, and I discouraged too easily.

I guess that’s the problem with being human, and so human I am, which means,
I’ve flaws and failings, good intentions that go astray, am oft lost in daydreams.
And some may think I’m odd, and odd I may be, but I’m not out to hurt a soul,
Because improving as I go, shunning ill and loving others, is my goal.

So please understand, reach out with your hand, kindly assess what I say and do,
Given that I’m uniquely me in the very same way you’re uniquely you.
And thus I may perplex, even annoy and frustrate, but I not meaning to,
It all to do with being flawed, bruised and different, with still more work to do.

By Lance Landall

3.  Burdened Souls

Who knows the burden that another is carrying, perhaps anguish and pain,
And why their behaviour might surprise, and our reaction deliver more rain.
Yes, such poor souls suffering enough, and why all should be treated with great care,
Someone’s burden perhaps something very personal that they don’t wish to share.

And who could they truly trust, for how many of us have let other folk down?
Their initial smile at our “You can trust me” turning to a “No I can’t” frown.
Oh, how once-upon-a-time friends can blab, or any that folk open up to,
And hence why so many keep things to themselves — and to be honest, wouldn’t you?

So best we mind, for burdened souls are everywhere, though some not appearing so,
They good at hiding such, toughing it out, but when alone, tears are seen to flow.
And sad it is, for no one should suffer alone, nor feel that such they can’t share,
And what might this say of us? Or might we be that struggling burdened soul? Oh dear.

By Lance Landall

4.  It's So Easy

It’s so easy to look at others, (and sound evaluations must oft be made),
But clearly we all have our own sad flaws and failings, and some price for wrong have paid.
Yes, most of us needing more than just a cut and polish, and yet, pointing harshly,
And this, when many are struggling with who knows what; or they clinging perilously.

Yes, insensitive words and acts can act like boots on fingers, and down many go,
Cutting stones and rocks showering them as they plummet; other R.I.Ps below.
And we with all the excuses as to why they have only got themselves to blame —
Well, one way or another — and self-righteousness too often adding to our shame.

Yes, it’s true that many have caused their own dilemma having acted foolishly,
But it’s better to give them a helping hand and not leave some folk feeling angry.
For anger that's fuelled by frustration or desperation can kick back at us all —
Well, one way or another — and why it pays to show heart-cum-make the better call.

But hey, where’s our humanity, that milk of human kindness-cum-selfless love, and,
That mercy that's also long-suffering, that attempt to try and understand?
After all, friend, what if the boot was on the other foot, and thus we in their place?
For life has a habit of toppling thrones and rebuking any who don’t show grace.

By Lance Landall

5.  Helping Hands And Loving Arms

In this sad old world of ours, where hurt, pain and darkness stalk the land, and enemies are varied and many,
There’s nothing like those helping hands and loving arms — in other words, ears that truly hear, eyes that truly see.
But how rare such are, leaving so many to wash up on life’s uncaring shores, or to smash on callous rocks,
Victims of the coldness and indifference that pervades this Earth, and that strangles, smothers, thumps, shakes or mocks.

Thus, heartache flows like a swollen river, one linked to a turbulent, restless and frightening sea,
Where human shipwrecks lie prostrate on its murky floor, and they, encrusted with wounds that gape with acts of cruelty.
This after having been dragged down that river, tossed about like broken branches and uprooted shrubbery,
Victims of wild, drenching, stormy weather, unleashed by those with no conscience, or simply behaving selfishly.

And so it goes, that scrap-heap in life growing higher and wider, where others are dumped insensitively,
Their presence barely noticed, or only when it suits, and they, thus neglected, shunned or misused, shamefully.
Yes, just the fodder and playthings of those who live for themselves, those who have no heart, or some wicked agenda,
In other words, anyone who in someway chooses that path and mentality that fouls the offender.

Oh, if only helping hands and loving arms represented humanity — that is, rather than the few,
They being, those who look beyond themselves, and a better, brighter world for all desire to see, and thus pursue.
Those who know that only love should dwell within each heart, and nobleness within the mind — their deeds pure and true —
And also aware that any other way just leads to injury, and in time, a dead-end avenue.

Do you have helping hands and loving arms?

By Lance Landall

6.  When Little Is Much

In the lives of those who’re anxious, hurting, depressed, unwell or lonely, a little thought goes a long way,
And often it only takes a friendly smile, a kindly word, a tender touch — simple things that, “I care,” say.
And oh my, how such can matter, just like a little salt or sugar in a favourite recipe,
Or a little yeast in a batch of dough, all of which make a difference, even dramatically.

Thus when it comes to others, particularly those who’re in need, we can be that salt, sugar or yeast,
Which, (hopefully), will see another person’s burden lessened, and thereby, hope and happiness increased.
In other words, we having acted like salt, sugar or yeast will have improved, sweetened, lightened or lifted —
That is, the lot and life of someone else — their problem soothed or eased,  and perhaps some mountain shifted.

Or so I like to think, for many have been blessed by such simple little things, alias thoughtful ways,
Which, when spoken or done, act like a breath of fresh air, or rays of warming sun on gloomy cloudy days.
Yes, days when the world seems busy, distant, even cold and threatening, and burdens much harder to bear,
And when the heart is longing for loving company — yes, some little thing that will somehow say, “I care.”

Well, little such may be, but not so in the life of those who’re needy, and who clutch at such eagerly,
Sometimes like those who're reaching for lifebuoys, but in this case, trying to keep afloat emotionally.
People who but for those little things might have sunk beneath waves of despair, or remained adrift on some sea,
But who didn’t, or hopefully won’t, thanks to some little word or act delivered very thoughtfully.

By Lance Landall

7.  Don't Slam Doors

 There’s hardly a person who doesn't have issues, and some poor souls have many,
And issues can take time to get past, even a lifetime, unfortunately.
And those issues stealing much joy, even impacting on other folk as well,
And such issues often deeply rooted and some coming with a hardened shell.

But like I said, issues can take time to get past, even where one is willing,
So ease off those who try to force things too quickly and thereby more tears spilling.
For such can have folk going backwards, pulling down the blinds, shunning anyone,
They determined not to go there again, and as for those who could’ve helped them,

Too late, what’s done is oft done.

Oh, how sad it is, for many respond to patient, loving, tailor-made help,
Not that heavy-handedness that just creates another wound that sees them yelp.
No, for how many thoughtless clichéd clouts have they received already, oh,
Those verbal pepper sprays, those or else or otherwise threats that nowhere good go.

Force may win wars but it never wins hearts, for only incremental steps can,
Steps with little carrots attached, perhaps — or in mind, a thoughtful long-term plan;
A tender one, it chipping away creatively, and knowing when to pause,
For blunt, impatient, pushy, insensitive approaches seldom open doors,

But slam them shut.

By Lance Landall

8.  Unfair Ripples

We need to remember that whenever we annoy, provoke, malign, upset or hurt someone,
That such can create a ripple effect, and hence why there's that need to watch what is said and done.
Sure we may well have cause to be cross with someone, for they may have treated us very poorly,
But how we respond to them, could somehow injure others, such as their partner or family.

We seldom stop to think of these unfair ripples that we may cause, and that we do in fact cause,
Yes, ripples that are both known and selfish, and over which, we would all do well to stop and pause.
For often those that we upset or injure, take it out on others, and just as thoughtlessly,
And thereby, they create another negative ripple — hence so much misery that we see.

Yes, for this world is full of people who are creating such ripples, ripples that needn’t be,
And that could be avoided, lessening so much disturbance in the pond of humanity.
A pond where stones far too often bounce, even affecting other folk indiscriminately,
For such ripples can affect whoever is in their path, given how they spread so easily.

Tell me...

Are you a ripple maker? Someone who is throwing stones into the pond of humanity,
And thereby adding to the lot that other folk have to bear, and all so very pointlessly?
Well, I pray that you’ll take on board what I have presented here, and leave those stones where they belong,
For such ripples weren't meant to be, and are the doings of the weak, not the doings of the strong.

By Lance Landall

9.  Johnny

Johnny wasn’t a saint, never professed to be, but the biggest wretch of all,
He well aware of his many issues, though despite such, trying to walk tall.
He slipped and oft fell, continued to struggle throughout his life, sad and lonely,
Damage left and right, because the wounded wound, and he past saying, “If only.”

Yes, he tried to do his best, as much as he could, but folk remember the worst,
And thus he feeling that it wasn’t worth bothering, and as if he were cursed.
And I guess he kind of was, because what goes around comes around, hence his pain,
He damaging what mattered most to him, hence loss of love and respect was plain.

Sure he’d oft been loving, had steered his kids in the right direction, but you know,
One needs to be consistent, always setting an example, cheery or low.
And so, mixed signals aplenty, and no wonder, his background just as confused,
And hence why as much as folk were loved and helped, as much they were hurt and abused.

Yes, many thinking the worst of him, and few the best, if at all, and therefore,
Little or no encouragement coming his way, nor opportunity’s door.
He kind of trapped via one thing or another, dammed if he did or didn’t, and
Wanting so much to be valued for something, but who would ever understand?

He died, of course, as all do, having wished and hoped, full of regrets and sorry,
One minute loving and caring, the next, hard and furious as a lorry.
No, help not there as it needed to be, and so it is with many, sadly,
Who stumble their way through jungles of mental tangles, just like mixed up Johnny.

Yes, a simple casket, a few words of farewell, and Johnny a memory,
One soon forgotten, his worth not highly valued, and some might say, “Why should it be?”
Well, worth’s not based on behaviour, Johnny just as precious as us all, but flawed,
And the wounded wound, though their pain oft greater, and the why of it, seldom explored.

By Lance Landall

10.  Be Kind And Gentle

Yes, learn to be kind and gentle to all, even if some aren’t so to you, for who knows why some aren’t so,
And bearing in mind as well, that their behaviour could well be due to some injury that doesn’t show.
For many have borne the brunt of another’s wrong doing, be such rape, incest, violence or other,
All of which not only their joy, but even their feelings for others, can somehow deaden or smother.

So many who have been injured develop an armour clad shell, one into which they often withdraw,
And they, thereby seeming cool and distant — their wounds still weeping, their emotions still highly strung and raw.
Or even though victims themselves, they can sometimes lash out at other folk — and once again, who knows why,
Though I suspect that given all that they have been through, and the help that they need, such is an inner cry.

By that I mean, an inner cry for help, and perhaps an unconscious one, but a cry nevertheless,
Whilst meantime, in order to cope, they oft behave in some unfortunate way that is anyone’s guess;
And they, as mystified as us, and seemingly unable to help themselves, and hence that need for care,
For responding just as negatively will only delay their healing, and act like another spear.

Yes, learn to be kind and gentle to all, even if some aren’t so to you, for who knows what they’ve gone through,
Or how much damage they may have suffered, even had compounded — and dare it be, even more via you.
And bear in mind how we all have our issues, and how we all can do with help at times — though more so they,
But another reason for being kind and gentle is, that their plight and injury could well be ours one day.

By Lance Landall

11.  Brittle Shells

So many folk are damaged, their childhood having suffered somehow, and hence why
They’re often afflicted with lifelong issues, they doing their best to get by.
And as sure as night follows day, their sorry issues spill over on others,
Including their own, hence that repetition of damaged fathers and mothers.

Oh, how such folk suffer, and doubly so, critics pointing to the harm they do,
Rather than helping such innocent sufferers who’ve suffered enough, thank you.
And they, oft feeling unable to help themselves, locked in their struggles-cum-grief,
Yet desperately in need of healing balm, answers that will bring some relief.

And struggle they do, plagued by thoughts and feelings created by another’s ill,
An ill that so often cripples, and that joy and hope is soon seen to farewell.
Hence their obsessions, their fears-cum-anxieties, that behaviour that repels,
Though as I said, they as much a victim as those victims of them, brittle shells.

Yes, brittle indeed, yet far too often callously seized upon, or ignored,
Even denied help, be it due to this or that, and many agencies flawed.
All why such folk oft go unattended, they doing the best they can, but oh,
Many of them terribly handicapped, and thus their progress painfully slow.

And meantime they losing it, cursing it, even trying to explain it, and,
Trying to find ways of coping with it, pained that others just don’t understand.
Not that folk really can if not so afflicted, but hey, how many folk try?
Leaving those brittle shells feeling like oddities; then there’s those things folk imply.

No, such isn’t of their own making, and looking at things realistically,
It’s only natural that the damaged will cause damage, though not wantonly.
In other words, it’s what’s to be expected from childhood trauma or abuse,
And why when it comes to adding to their lot, even their wrong, there’s no excuse.

No one chooses to be a brittle shell, their wrong actions oft automatic,
And by that I mean, things not coming through clearly given that childhood static.
Yes, it’s okay for those of us who’ve no static on the line, hurt that distorts,
And thus has one acting in many negative ways-cum-those harmful exports.

All why I write in defence of brittle shells, they in need of much help and care,
That unconditional love that perseveres, (but nowadays seems so rare),
And that accepts folk as they are, we’re they’re at, and that’s slow to judge their mistakes,
For such folk have been left with internally damaged tools and a heart that aches.

Such why they do or don’t do some things, coping more important than protocol,
And hence how they get condemned unfairly, placed in some that’ll do pigeon hole.
Seems some folk would rather see them crack than not do this or that, (such pure cruelty),
All being why such sufferers must sometimes put themselves first, unfortunately.

Yes, survival being far more important than pleasing folk or looking the part,
And who’d have it any other way, unless they’re devoid of a loving heart.
And once again, why I write in defence of brittle shells who suffer enough;
And given how they hang in there, its surely they worthy of the title tough.

By Lance Landall

12.  Those Harder Shells

It’s so easy to get discouraged given the hurts that often come our way,
Or when our good intentions are misread, and we, so aware we’re made of clay.
But were we made of iron, or metals just as strong, far less human we would be,
And more like those who seem devoid of feelings-cum-lacking sensitivity.

And who would want to be that way, as handy as a rather hard shell might be,
For those with harder shells are more prone to developing hearts of stone, and we
Well aware of that callousness that such cold hearts exhibit-cum-much cruelty,
Or that indifference far too often seen midst the ranks of humanity.

Yes, sensitivity comes with its cost, one more painfully attuned to ill,
But we far worse off in the scheme of things if one of those with a harder shell.
For while we do need a somewhat protective coating lest cruel darts take us out,
We don’t want to end up like lizards, and thus when it comes to love, we without.

Well, perhaps not totally without, but certainly showing a deficit,
Such quickly seen where there’s a need-cum-cry-cum-where some poor soul could benefit.
And oh, how often that’s the case, those with harder shells just spouting pithy words,
Or doing little when there’s need of much; they too oft grazing with tougher herds.

By Lance Landall

This poem has been done with a touch of humour.

13.  Me, Me, Me

Oh dear, hello Mister Self, you’re really quite a problem, aren’t you, night and day,
You demanding this and that — in other words, you always wanting your own way.
I’m truly sick and tired of you, can’t stand that whiny old, “Come and play with me,”
As I would rather lose myself in others, and not get caught up thoughtlessly.

Yes, there’s no joy in hanging out with you, as you’re always seeking attention,
And I have to say that there are a host of other things that I could mention.
For example: You’re always dwelling on yourself — yes, thinking of yourself — and,
You still keep using that nauseating little word — me! — which I just can’t stand.

So bud out, I want to be left alone, I’ve things to do for other folk, and,
I’m well and truly feed up with the fact that you’ve always got something else planned.
I really want to keep away from you, am tired of hearing that me, me, me,
You nought but a horrid bore, to be honest — an introvert, if you ask me.

By Lance Landall

14.  Might You Fail The Test?

The true test of a man, indeed any human, is how they treat their own kind,
Whether they’re loving, kindly, compassionate, merciful and noble of mind.
Yes, so much is revealed by their words and deeds, whether they neglect or abuse,
Whether they speak up or say nothing, man up or simply someone else accuse.

And some sad things are revealed in a flash, though much over time, I have to say,
When they’ve become better known, or when some person somehow gets in their way.
Wealth and ambition too often their god, no room at their table for others,
Men who’re slaves to indulgence — and enemy-like, rather than caring brothers.

And so they have their day, but that’s all they’ll get, they hardly deserving of more,
Their debauchery, greed, cruelty or hardness of heart going right to the core.
And thus their only real claim to fame being their selfish criminality,
Because they too often build castles on the backs of oppressed humanity.

Many are making millions from others’ misery, greed their vice, cold their heart,
And ill health too expensive for many to live with, enter death’s horse and cart,
Or daily pain, and with it strain, but those profiting living in luxury,
Getting the best of everything, and lording it over humanity.

And hence why I’m asking, might you fail the test? — a man in appearance only,
Surrounded by the social elite, others poor, aching, struggling or lonely.
Yes, your treasure chest full and glowing, but your cold heart empty and dark — diseased!
For little or nothing’s being done to see that the lot of others is eased.

By Lance Landall

15.  Boils

Did I upset you? — oh dear, and even more than once — well, I’m really sorry,
But we do have our bad days, and hence those unfortunate words that came from me.
Sometimes we say the stupidest of things, act in the poorest of ways, sadly,
Not that we mean to, but things build up due to this or that, unfortunately.

Sometimes we’re like a boil that needs pricking, and something comes along that does so,
Not that it’s always someone’s fault, as such, but nevertheless, we up and blow.
And out comes all that poison, and it needing to, ’cause such pus is unhealthy,
But it such a shame when it splatters others, has them responding as wrongly.

So please, mind how you react when someone’s boil is pricked, (hopefully not by you),
Because such boils aren’t all that uncommon; which maybe you, friend, can relate to.
And after those boils have burst, we, if it’s us, most regretful, really sorry,
And hoping it will be dismissed for what it is, just a boil, momentary.

By Lance Landall

16.  Who Might This Be?

All I want is someone to see the good in me, someone who’ll see past the warts,
Those things that shout that I’m human, for though there are pluses, there are also noughts.
Therefore, not every box will have a tick, and some no doubt a cross, so please,
Focus on the good, laugh with me when I’m up, cry with me when I’m on my knees.

My heart’s like any other heart, and I’ve the same thoughts and feelings, even dreams,
But at times I’m not worth the effort or attention, nor attractive, it seems.
Well, I guess I’m not alone, but it oft seems that way, and why I so desire,
That someone might think the world of me, or simply something about me admire.

By Lance Landall

Contains some necessary Christian references.

17.  Let Them Be

People make mistakes, so let them be. If it’s in the past, and they are sorry,
Forget it! Don’t treat them as if they’re the same, adding more load to their lorry,
Because many have changed, many having been messed up, and why they went astray,
And the last thing they need is someone’s hard response, another log in their way.

And hey, fellow Christian, I’ve seen you at it too — well, many of you out there —
When you should know better given He who you claim to follow, so mind that stare.
It’s no good looking at others when you’ve glaring sins of your own, and one being,
That sad behaviour that isn’t like your Saviour’s, which you’re clearly not seeing.

It’s one thing to point to a better path, but if we’re not living up to it,
It’s just a joke, and they having every right to call us a hypocrite.
Though at the end of the day, no one should be treating other people wrongly,
Be they a Christian, atheist or whatever, and why I speak so strongly.

We’re all in the same leaky boat facing Tsunami-like waves and rocky shoals,
And hence why we should all have the same thoughtful, caring, neighbourly, lofty goals.
People struggling everywhere, under siege or hurting badly, so come on,
Give them a break, a helping hand — and good things rather than bad things build upon.

By Lance Landall

18.  Cruelly Or Kindly

I was seated in the spacious waiting room of a nice dental surgery,
And noticed a younger man than I twitching his face somewhat uncontrollably.
I felt so sorry for him, such possibly the result of stress, frazzled nerves,
And it now an unfortunate habit, a sad affliction no one deserves.

Oh, what a sad old world we live in, so many in need of help, sympathy,
Afflictions often striking at a younger age, not just with maturity.
He someone’s husband, father, just a normal bloke, observed cruelly or kindly,
And in this case kindly, I well aware of how life can afflict so cruelly.

And this world’s full of chemicals that play havoc with our bodies, yours and mine,
Our inner ecosystem and nervous system no longer working as fine.
Our bodies seemingly managing but subtly breaking down until it shows
(One way or another), as it does with prolonged stress from which ill also flows.

So there he was, his pleasant face twitching spasmodically, unattractively,
Some eyes no doubt being drawn back to such, other eyes refraining thoughtfully.
Yes, what a sad old world we live in, and we reacting cruelly or kindly,
No one choosing such an affliction too often found within humanity.

By Lance Landall

19.  That's Competitiveness For You

How could I in all sincerity, and whilst retaining dignity, even nobility,
Compete against another, my goal totally self-centred-cum-glorification of me.
Is that the kind of person I want to be, that I via my efforts, someone’s loss guarantee,
And I knowing how losing can leave folk feeling? — oh, what a sorry way to win a trophy.

Tell me, where’s the joy in that? I striving against my fellowman or woman, determined to win,
Which is why it’s hardly of Christian origin, and each winner no hero or heroine.
For true heroes and heroines don’t give thought to themselves, and Christians are told to die to self,
And thus the former, and hopefully latter, not desiring such trophies that sneer from their shelf.

Oh yes, how the competitive scene is full of corruption, many winners having cheated,
And is it any wonder given that they want to see their competitors soon defeated,
By them, that is — such hardly being a fine thing to desire, but oh, desire such, many folk do,
And why they oft act underhandedly and callously — and when they lose, just as badly too.

Yes, each trophy like an apple that has a rotting core, for winners create losers, sadly,
Such being the nature of competitiveness, it thus harming more than helping society.
Hence those angry fans in football stadiums, that bloodlust at boxing matches, that smashed racket,
Not to mention the brawls, fines-cum-punishment, and after match vandalism that costs a packet.

Yes, that’s competitiveness for you.

By Lance Landall

20.  Why Winning Isn't Cool

Sandy was deep in thought, her father both near and smiling as he observed the serious look on her face.
“Penny for your thoughts?” he chirped. Sandy’s head turned in his direction, her eyes no longer staring into space.
“What’s so wrong with competitive sports, Dad?” she questioned. Her father sighed. “Well, there’s quite a lot, actually,
Of which many are very ignorant, not having bothered to research or consider such carefully,

But,” he continued, “First bear in mind that competing and competitiveness aren’t always one and the same,
For though we compete for jobs, we don’t really have a say in such, unlike involvement in a rugby game.
After all, we have to work to live, and applying is quite different to competing, (as in rugby),
Though having said that, there're those who when it comes to the workforce, who adopt a similar mentality.

And hence those things we often see within companies, like those Yes men and back stabbers, let alone the lies,
Or those embellishments, (verbally or written), when regarding some position, someone duly applies.
But such are the acts of those who’re devoid of principles, or whose standards vary with the situation,
They being, people who're prepared to bend, twist, falsify or cheat, oft using faulty rationalisation.

And all in order to achieve some selfish end; such here being, preventing someone else succeeding somehow,
Hence those underhand tactics that have always played a part in competitive sports, and even more so now.
For competitive sports are all about achieving something via another’s loss, ensuring they don’t win,
Which is not only a flawed foundation upon which to build anything, but is of callous origin.

That is to say, its linked to cruelty, for losing’s no fun on the sports field, hence those angry scenes we oft see,
Those protests over faulty refereeing, which makes a farce of things, and sees games won or lost unfairly.
And then there’re those crashes which see drivers out of a race, and someone wining who’s no where near as good as they,
Which once again makes a farce of things, for they won more by luck than by skill — a hollow victory, I say.”

“I’m not quite sure I understand what you mean by cruelty, Dad.”  “Well, Sandy, when we rejoice over our win,
We’re effectively rejoicing over someone’s loss, and oh, how some people love to rub such a loss in.
But whether folk rub it in or not, its still sad to see others losing, losing being a cruel consequence,
A consequence that leaves many bitterly disappointed, feeling like they’re the victim of some offence.

And to be honest, they kind of are, the victim of someone’s self interest, which the loser always is,
Not that they’re in the clear themselves, for weren’t they trying to win, grab the cup from someone, be it hers or his?
And that’s the problem, for its all about self at the expense of others — yes, hoping that others won’t win,
And we doing all that we can to see that they don’t, but hey, not liking a taste of the same medicine.”

“But don’t some good things come out of competitive sports, Dad?”  “Well, Sandy, it’s the basis of such that’s not good.
You see, it’s faulty at the core. Thus, you’re talking peripheral positives, and I don’t think that we should.
If competitive sports are built on a corrupt foundation, and produce so much that is destructive,
Then surely that's reason enough for shunning them, and given that they are more negative than productive.

Otherwise, its like watching pornography to gain a sexual education, and such you would gain,
But not a healthy education, and one that mixed with inflamed excitement, would be a truck load of pain.
Well, eventually, for just like coming off drugs, or losing a game, pornography has its downside,
And, just like competitive sports, is based on a corrupt foundation — yes, its ice-cream laced with pesticide.

So much that seems great on the surface, (at least to some), and that seems to produce good results, contains much ill,
Which only the discerning see, and which only the receptive shun, knowing that some things aren’t worth the thrill.
Yes, folk may win, but its always at another’s loss, so how can that really make someone feel good inside?
Unless they’ve convinced them self otherwise, ignoring those wails and tears, behind which, even malice can hide.”

“Given what you’ve told me, Dad, how come Christians are into competitive sports?”  “Well, Sandy, they shouldn’t be,
For competitiveness is all about Me, and the Christian message all about others, acting kindly.
In other words, the Christian message is all about putting others first, and obviously ourselves last,
And thus the Christian way very different, which means that where there’s hypocrisy, there’s hardly that contrast.

And by that I mean, that one cannot preach selflessness-cum-self-sacrifice-cum-putting other people first,
And at the same time rejoice over beating someone else via competitive sports, nor they for winning thirst.
But whether one’s a Christian or not, competitiveness is hardly something to endorse, and not for me,
For I’ve seen and experienced the negative results of such, and realise it’s packaged deceptively.”

“Speaking of negative results, Dad, I can’t help thinking of Clive, and how worked up he gets watching some game,
Especially when the team he wants to win is looking like it might lose — in fact, sometimes it’s to his shame.
That being, given his ranting and raving, his cursing certain players, who’re no doubt doing the best they can,
And I guess it’s the nature of competitive sports that certain things don’t always go according to plan.”

“Yes, Sandy, and as for Clive, that’s exactly how competitive sports can affect folk, most, undoubtedly,
Given everyone wants to see their favourite team win, and the other team lose, and understandably.
For at the end of the day, that’s what such is all about, Sandy — winning, beating, coming first, and others last
Which is why competitive sports is something I no longer follow or condone, but have left in the past.” 

By Lance Landall

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3).

21.  How To Experience Bigotry

Step outside the mainstream, hold beliefs that are at odds with the majority,
Express opposing views openly, reveal holes in someone’s theology.
Call a spade a spade, say that such is your right, condemn what folk shouldn't condone,
And you will soon experience bigotry, know what it’s like to stand alone.


Rattle some sacred cow, point to higher ground, tell folk that they’re on the wrong track,
Point out cherished falsehood, charlatans parading as saints, wait for an attack,
For such will surely come, and that can’t-handle-it crutch: “You’ve no right to judge me!”
Which given the nastiness with which it tends to come, smacks of hypocrisy.

By Lance Landall

22.  Hand In Hand

No one should ever think in terms of race or religion, but humanity,
Because people are people, and thus hatred and cruelty but insanity.
Yes, every life sacrosanct, not for assaulting via hand, mouth or some law,
And why wherever a single soul is accosted, the rest of us should roar.

In other words,

Every Jew, Muslim, Christian, atheist, black man, white man, male and female,
Is precious, equal and human, their life not for taking, their rights not for sale.
And moving forward overdue, history strewn with madness and bloodshed,
And all because, in every case, a loving heart wasn’t wed to a sound head.

No, now’s not the time for more foolish words and actions, but calm heads and gloved hands,
A new and better way of thinking, not those old, tattered, tired, short-sighted plans.
No one excluded, and all embraced, love and not hate every country’s anthem,
And, “Hand in hand we will walk together,” our collective and personal hymn.

By Lance Landall

23.  Time We Stopped The Madness

Racial prejudice and religious bigotry aren’t the product of ones birth,
But the product of errant teaching and influence that long has plagued the Earth,
’Cause love, sense and goodness know nothing of either, and stand in opposition,
Knowing that prejudice and bigotry only survive where there’s permission.

Ones colour but pigmentation, a human a human, same brain, heart and rights,
And thus evil and ignorance being the cause of those racial rants and fights,
And also the cause of religious persecution; all courtesy of men,
And devils, not innocent children, to which the God above would shout, “Amen!”

By Lance Landall

24.  Mind That Muslim Bashing

When a member of a family murders, we don’t shun the whole family,
So why shun all Muslims when some fanatical ones go on a killing spree?
Do we shun all Christians because of those among them who wrongly injure too,
Or when anything else that’s not acceptable, they foolishly choose to do?

No, surely not, for that’s hardly intelligent; hypocrites found everywhere,
And upon which we don’t judge either Muslims or Christians, but apply sense here,
Because there will always be bad eggs and black sheep, those who somehow go askew,
And who the promptings of a sad mind and heart, or evil master, choose to do.

By Lance Landall

25.  Black And White

I have never understood how the colour of ones skin can matter to some,
Colour being the only difference, by the way, and why prejudice is dumb.
Yes, we all the same except for that colour that simply adds variety,
And makes a complete fool of anyone who sees things any differently.

One clear and simple fact is, a human is a human-cum-end of subject,
And therefore, everyone by virtue of their birth due thought, care, love and respect.
Yes, even those folk who’re racist, for they’re human too, albeit well askew,
And therefore we surely not fighting fire with fire, though condemnation is due.

Paint a grey house green and it’s still a house, dye a white man black and he’s still a man,
But “not so” say those folk who’re as unenlightened as that evil Klu Klux Klan.
And hence their dire need of surgery, for their hearts and brains have become diseased,
And thus their ability to act and reason rationally having seized.

Can coloured folk love, think, sing, pray, work, plan, feel, play, see, smell, eat, hear, sit and stand?
Of course they can! Every one of them being just like you and I, but simply tanned.
And how many white folk lie in the sun expectantly, a darker hue sought,
And why it’s all to do with pigmentation, not that nonsense that some have bought.

By Lance Landall

26.  Black Man, You're My Brother!

Colour means nothing, except in prejudiced minds where a certain darkness resides,
It not having seen the light of day, hence those cobwebbed shadows where it’s ill hides.
Though sometimes such daring to vocalize its venom, for poison it is, and,
A dark age mentality, ’cause it’s only pigmentation; some darker tanned.

Yes, purely colour, and all of us having different features, and hence why,
This whole racial prejudice thing is an utter nonsense that no one should buy.
It really but a lie, one needing the torch of truth, because we’re all the same,
Just varying in some ways, and why humanity is our collective name.

So black man, you’re my brother!

And hence with pride I'll openly greet and embrace you, take my stand beside you,
Defending you as I would any other man, (or woman), like all should do.
Your colour meaning nothing to me, and why such I don’t see, but simply you,
An older or younger brother in the human family who same love’s due.

By Lance Landall

27.  To White Supremacists

Surely sense would tell us that a human is a human, be they black or white,
That pigmentation is the only difference, and all precious in God’s sight.
And why I state the latter is, because some of you believe in God, He who
Wasn’t a racist — and in fact, of olive skin, a humble Saviour and Jew.

One who died that all might live, so what’s with your rage and threats, because you should know
That all are equal in His sight, that it’s most unchristian to argue and fight.
And hey, white people hardly superior, our brains no different at all,
Nor our physiology, and hence your cruel diatribes nothing but a gall.

But aside from everyone clearly having the same origin, rights and worth,
Can’t you see that all are suffering, are in the same leaky boat, planet Earth?
And this surely being why we should all pull together, buckets in each hand,
And hey, our very birth why we’re all entitled to the same crop yielding land.

Yes, coloured people simply coloured, and not inferior, but as for you,
And that sad behaviour that makes no sense, what might it say about your IQ?
Or about the IQ of anyone who indulges in such injury,
Because such hatred and prejudice has more to do with immaturity.

So please, rise above it, for that’s where the answer lies, with love and not hate,
We not esteeming ourselves higher than others, no “Keep Out!” sign on our gate.
But rather, our arms open wide, we embracing all, for divided we fall,
And why at the end of the day, only the humble and loving can stand tall.

And to those of you who feel the same way as me, don’t fight fire with fire, please,
’Cause scrapping with white supremacists suggests that you’ve the same hate filled disease.
So don’t hate them either, but wisely reason with them, and live by example,
That in your life all may be above board, open to inspection, sound and well.

By Lance Landall

"Those who misuse liberty endanger liberty."
The Author

28.  Who Cares? Not Me

Who cares what your religion or colour is. I’m not a bigot, nor racial,
And nor will I call folk fags, or tell them that they will burn forever in Hell.
No, because I can’t abide such nonsense, don’t care whether someone’s rich or poor,
Hence why I won’t treat anyone differently, cross the street or slam the door.


There’s too much evil surmising, too many getting the wrong end of the stick,
Assuming this or that, avoiding him or her, their armchair judgments far too quick.
Oh, those games that people play, and many thinking they’re better, and why I cry,
Because the life that many live is nothing but a sham, a charade, a lie.

Sure we’re entitled to our opinions, and healthy debate is fine, but hey,
Cut the mental and physical abuse, 'cause only the foolish act that way.
Yes, it’s one thing to challenge erroneous beliefs, another to slag folk,
Calling them names, running them down, when it’s not them that in the chest one should poke.

By Lance Landall

29.  Madness In Drag

There is nothing more tragic, moronic, and even infantile, than racial or religious persecution,
Which is purely the product of a grim, bigoted, ignorant, mindless, callous and selfish evolution.
Thus, no words can be too harsh in condemnation of such an evil, and nor of those who are involved in such,
For it’s clear that a very satanic influence has such foolish and misguided abusers in its clutch.

Every life on this Earth is precious, and no one is lesser than another, regardless of their faith or race,
But if it were true that some are lesser, it would be those who via such persecution humanity disgrace.
For no human should stoop to such utter absurdity, nor such a low level, thereby turning on their own,
And given that such is the cruel territory of tyrants, dictators and usurpers who’ve hi-jacked some throne.

As alluded to earlier, all of those who indulge in such wickedness, have been drinking from poisoned wells,
Or have been fed such via others who’re irresponsible and prejudiced, or directly involved in such ills.
And having been indoctrinated so, they too, spread that gospel of hate and intolerance wherever they go,
And via doing so, not only show their ignorance and shallowness, but openly declare that they’re the foe.

Healthy debate and freedom of speech are sacrosanct, for all must be free to disagree and to prove their case,
But racial and religious persecution are things that in this world of ours should never be given a place.
One’s colour shouldn’t make the slightest difference, and one’s religion is a personal choice — God-given right,
Which no person on this planet, nor any governing power, should in anyway prevent, hinder or blight.

By Lance Landall

30.  Dear Muslim Friend

When any human is maimed or killed, it's an outrage, and thus dear Muslim friend,
I too wish that the wave of terrorism and lone ranger evil would end.
And it’s always sad when within our ranks there are those who act so terribly,
Bringing shame upon their own brothers and sisters, and also humanity.

There’s always been two paths, the right one and the wrong one, the latter but folly,
It not only returning to bite the fool, but causing pain and misery.
And thus both you and I affected, be one a Muslim, Christian or other,
And hence why we should view everyone as if they’re our sister or brother.

Sure we may not care for some folk, but love goes beyond that, seeks the best for all,
Condemning those ignorant, hate filled shouts, those callous, wicked acts that appal.
Ones colour, gender or religion no reason for such attacks, and therefore,
Any time a fellow human suffers so, everyone of us should roar.

So, dear Muslim friend, I respect your rights, and those rights being the same as mine,
We all part of the human family, branches belonging to the same vine.
You welcome at my home, and I welcome at your home, where there’s no room for ill,
But love, selflessness, compassion and forgiveness, and where all is right and well.

By Lance Landall

31.  Colour's Just Colour

When I was a youngster, my parents adopted a baby girl, a brown one,
Yes, she not white like us, and I’m so glad that that brown baby they didn’t shun.
I never seeing her as brown, but as my sister, racism dead to me,
She no different to my white sister, and just as loved by my family.

Hence why I’m grateful and proud of what my parents did, ’cause so much it taught me,
I personally experiencing the lie of those who taunt racially.
Their ignorance their loss, my family’s acceptance of that baby their gain,
It all coming down to sense, cleaning that dirty window, and letting love reign.

“Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight,” as a child I sang,
And which from the vibrating vocal cords of other rightly reared children rang.
Ones colour not an issue to us, ’cause colour’s just colour, end of story,
And if everyone saw it that way, what a happier world it would be!

By Lance Landall

Her name is Soraya.

32.  Ones Religion

Ones religion is a personal choice, a conscience vote, and thus sacrosanct,
Though open to inspection and challenge, for which many have had cause to thank.
They having been holding to error, but as I said, still free to go that way,
So long as they don’t persecute or kill, as this is how one goes astray.

Good religions have nothing to hide, nor resent inspection or challenge, and
Always respect the rights of others, be their beliefs built on a rock or sand.
And thus they not acting like tyrants, arrogantly asserting that they’re right,
Because that’s a sure sign that somewhere, somehow they’ve put darkness ahead of light.

We may in fact be right, others wrong, but we err when our ways are harsh or cruel,
Another’s mind hardly for forcing, and soundness holding to the golden rule.
Yes, “Do unto others as you’d have then do unto you,” — karma, some might say,
’Cause what goes ’round often comes ’round, so surely love and wisdom ruling the day.

After all, who would want it any other way but a fool, ’cause all should know
That everyone’s an individual, and force just the way of a foe.
Our mind’s our own, but it’s rendered useless if enslaved, just parroting what it’s fed,
Hence why it should also be open, that its conscience may always be rightly led.

By Lance Landall

33.  Justice Is Paramount For Everyone

Given how many have been locked away for some horrid crime they never did,
And yet were charged by armchair critics who never battered their lazy eyelid,
All should not only be opposed to the death penalty, but wanting to see
Everyone getting a fair trial, and this, despite some looking very guilty.

Yes, all innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt,
No one treating them otherwise in the meantime, no “Hope you rot in Hell!” shout.
And nor a clamouring for much tougher prisons, for behind those sorry walls,
Are many who’re innocent, and then there’s that good man who somehow snaps or falls.

Oh, how often we’ve seen an injustice, heard of evidence that was planted,
Or of those who lyingly accused, or whose convincing story was slanted.
Yes, some innocent soul hardly standing a chance, and one day, possibly you,
Or I, and some defence attorney being the first source of help that we’d pursue.

And he, no doubt vilified too, courtesy of those so sure that we’re guilty,
Yet, were they in our shoes, tarred and condemned, who might their defence attorney be?
None other than that one who defended us, should he have handled our case well,
And why that voice of any armchair critic shouldn’t be so callous and shrill.

Condemning innocent folk, outright or in our mind, leaves blood on our own hand,
For in our heart we’re guilty of a wrong, and before some judgment bar so stand.
And why we should mind ’till we’ve all the facts, justice paramount for everyone,
Who, shouldn’t have to face kangaroo courts, that vicious gossip that all should shun.

By Lance Landall

In memory of Greg King (1969-2012), a New Zealand criminal defence attorney who sadly
took his own life.
This poem is also dedicated to Sir Peter Williams QC (1934-2015).

34.  Spring And Autumn

It’s always sad when another flower droops, drops its petals and wastes away,
It soon a memory, a precious rose, say, that’s perfume enhanced life’s bouquet.
And so it is with the passing of loved ones, those members of Earth’s family,
Which leaves us with an emptiness, the reality of our mortality.

And why from seedling to bloom we should nourish and cherish each life-jostled head
That resides in that same and yet ever changing spring and autumn flowerbed.
And when life’s ticking clock claims another, we grieving again, and,
Keeping the love-light burning, sympathy and empathy always close at hand.

And we recognising that there’ll never be another you, another me,
Each human flower a personal expression that’s been crafted uniquely.
Hence why we’re all the lesser for someone’s passing, but richer for their having been,
And why via life’s spring and autumn, a deeper, more striking tapestry is seen.

By Lance Landall

In memory of my mother-in-law who passed away on the 13 of August 2016, aged 86.

35.  Mother

Our dear mother’s gone now — she’s blissfully at rest — free from crippling age,
Her funeral her final curtain call, and farewell from earth’s stage.
But mother won’t be forgotten, nor remembered infrequently,
For she continues in her children — each one of us — individually.

Mother bore us in her womb, raised us faithfully and lovingly,
Now we’re chapters in her book, woven threads in her tapestry.
And in the depths of our hearts, our love for our mum will never cease,
Nor our memories of her, until we too, are resting in peace.

From the clutches of death — yes, dust to dust — nobody is immune,
For life is but a fleeting span — and too often, it ends too soon.
Therefore, it pays to treasure moments, for our memories live on,
And they’re better when they’re sweeter, after one’s final breath has gone.

And the memories of our dear mother are very sweet indeed,
Thus, over her sad departure, our hearts will most certainly bleed.
But amidst that sadness, the perfume of her love will linger, and,
Each of us will know that though she’s gone, she’s still very close at hand.

By Lance Landall

In memory of my mother who passed away on the 24th of August 2009, aged 94.

36.  In Memory

In this world in which we live, Summer gives way to Autumn, hence those falling leaves,
And so it is with loved ones, those chilly Winters that arrive, and why one grieves.
But midst it all, that coming together of friends and family, the grief shared,
Others thus seeing that over that fallen human leaf, there were those who cared.

Life’s so very short, and the years seeming to race these days, as if conveying:
Show that same care every day midst all those other things you’re doing and saying.
Regret only adding to grief, and each human an individual leaf,
One that cannot be duplicated, and their presence in this world very brief.

And so it is that a loved one’s farewelled, but left living in the heart and mind,
Where the same love, thought and care for every individual we should find.
Every life precious, every leaf a loss, but more buds soon appearing,
Winters giving way to Spring, and once again, another life this world sharing.

Each death nourishing those family trees, those connecting branches that we trace,
Leaves coming and leaves going, and hence those returning blossoms that busy bees chase.
Departed loved ones having played their part, their essence living in their offspring,
Who, just like birds, nestle in that same family tree, and similar songs sing.

By Lance Landall 

Penned in memory of my brother Basil who passed away 27 May 2019 at age 82.

37.  Don't Forget The Grieving

In this sad old world in which we live, the loss of loved ones is part and parcel of it all, a burden that we share,
Well, at least a burden that we should share in the sense of being there, but oh, how quickly people seem to disappear.
Yes, it’s not that many weeks after the funeral that they’re no longer around, and when help is perhaps needed more,
So tell me, why is it that after the initial fuss and affection is over, there’re far less knocks on the door?

After all, the pain of losing a loved one hardly ebbs away as quickly as many unthinking people do,
Who forget that when all the attention has dropped off, a greater emptiness can surround, and there're those night-times too.
And many grieve for a very long time, and suffer terribly from such loss, thus needing as much help as before,
That being, as much help as they got initially when people heard the sad news; and in many cases, need far more.

The loss of a loved one can be devastating, one of the hardest things to bear, and for some, it is the hardest,
Hence why they need support throughout, and given that for some folk it’s all too much — yes, they no longer want to exist.
And such a state isn’t always clear to those around them, for folk can bottle things up inside, things that they may not share,
And hence why when it comes to those who have lost a loved one, they should continue to receive our thought, time, love and care.

Yes, that drop in attention after a number of weeks is a very sad thing indeed, adding insult to injury;
Along with the fact that many after the loss of a loved one are also faced with difficulties financially.
And, let me add, burying a loved one is hardly cheap — a cost that seems an injury in itself, quite frankly,
And why things should be set up in such a way that no one benefits personally from funerals financially.

Well, in my mind anyway.

By Lance Landall

38.  R.I.P. Simba

The saddest thing that I ever did was to put a much loved cat down, Simba, who,
Forever sought affection, those chin type smooches that he quickly cottoned onto.
In fact, his demands were quite insatiable, too much at times, a kind of strain,
Though he was very passive and yet restless, hated being stuck inside come rain.

His brother thus on his own, once thirteen years together, and he showing the loss,
Such a very sad thing as well, despite him always acting like the boss.
That choice to put his brother Simba down being very hard indeed, and hence why
It hurts when I think of him, but freedom from misery I just couldn’t deny.

It seems so unfair that he’s no longer here, his brother still alive, until
That time that comes to all, man or beast, and beneath the ground we lie quiet and still.
And I regretting those moments of frustration or avoidance, and much more so
Near the faster approaching end of his life, which, until then, I didn’t know.

It only a cat, you might say,  but a life is a life, and he once smooching me,
Hence why I feel for those people who’ve lost a member of their human family.
No life (be it that of a human or creature) should pass without tears in ones eye,
And bearing in mind that there will also come a time of passing for you and I.

By Lance Landall

39.  Life's Autumn Years

Oh, how time passes, and you see the inevitable telltale signs, the body beautiful much less so,
Yes, pretty and handsome hardly heard the same — that’s if they were, of course — and now not many years left to go.
And even they may be cut short, though it’s still a blessing that you’ve lived this long, for many aren’t so lucky,
Though I guess their fate is oft better than living longer but miserably with some painful infirmity.

And yes, some of us age quicker than others, outwardly and inwardly, health problems coming sooner than thought,
Such due to misspent youth, foolish choices or misfortune — who knows which or what — which this or that tends to thwart.
And adding to that, the sadness of seeing those you grew up with now aging too — some of them having passed away —
Which is hardly comforting, a reminder of your own mortality, hence that hair now silver or grey.

And there’re those who cross your path whom you haven’t seen for years, they looking so different to how they used to,
And hence why you would never have recognised some of these folk if they hadn’t kindly thought to approach you.
And amidst the humorous banter, perhaps, you feeling not so cheerful, for age isn’t always that kind,
And why you can’t help but shake your balding head over those who say that age is simply a matter of mind.

Which reminds me — there’re those memories — yes, it’s strange how some things just wander in and out rather randomly,
Things forgotten in the mist of time, some not so welcome, others hauntingly nostalgic — smells too, funnily.
And you find it hard at times, for you’re still the same youngster within, are you not? — but simply much older now —
Who, upon the stage of life, still wants to be noticed, valued, loved and liked, before that final curtain bow.

Yes, adored as a babe, even a toddler, but in the autumn years of one’s life it’s oft another story,
The older set the butt of cruel jokes, and even being seen as a bother, or neglected by family.
All of which you may well have experienced, including loneliness — not to mention insecurity —
For age makes you feel more vulnerable given your fragility and ever decreasing energy.

Well, life’s autumn years come to all, and as with everything, acceptance is your best friend, and worry your foe,
Which I’m sure you’re well aware of, though such is easer said than done, for trials and issues can ebb and flow.
But still, there’s much you’ve learnt, much you’ve gained, having done your bit and played your part, and having raised those
children too,
All of which gives you a worth that’s priceless, and why more than ever, folk should surround and your knowledge pursue.

And when that final curtain call comes, you’ll still live on in hearts and minds, and in your offspring’s looks and ways too,
And in anything worthy that you’ve left behind — a poem, song, book, painting — or good deeds you chose to pursue.
So don’t lose heart, for you’re a link in a chain, one that’ll always remain, your birth assuring that such would be,
Yes, another precious member of humanity that its older folk should treasure, treat respectfully.

By Lance Landall

40.  Such Comes To All

I’m my mother’s child, my father’s son, but they at rest in their “comes a time” grave,
Though it was them that years of selfless care, and even life itself, this child gave.
And now, I quickly approaching that same time when death will see me resting too,
My own children outliving me, and soon, I less in their minds and out of view.

Seems only yesterday I was fussed over, for everyone loves a baby,
But given time, it could soon be a case of, “Alone again, naturally.”
Well, so sung young Gilbert O’Sullivan, he being somewhat the same age as me,
And heading in the direction of that same sad plot, firstly or secondly.

Yes, time passed so slowly once, it racing now, and it just the same for my wife,
Who, God bless her, has shared the same ups and downs, given me the best of her life.
But mortal we are, ships that come and go until no longer seaworthy,
One scrapped before the other, a loss too hard to bear, and where's friends or family?

Yes, I’m my mother’s child, my father’s son, I discarded and laughed at by some,
Until they too, meet those often unkind years that to everybody soon come.
A time when folk need that same fuss that’s given to a baby — maybe more so —
For such a time oft renders folk just as helpless, life ceasing to ebb and flow

By Lance Landall

41.  When You're Older

When you’re older and certain body parts have been replaced with plastic and steel,
And, every part of your youthfulness, the cruel aging process has sought to steal,
It’s hard to accept such without complaint, without regretting a certain loss,
One no longer as agile, attractive or confident, and fate now the boss.

Yes, you no longer drawing the same attention, and possibly none at all,
Thus one simply left with memories, smells and feelings that continue to call.
And why it can pain to see what you’re leaving behind, it all more in the mind,
And where opportunity was wasted, much more regret one is bound to find.

By Lance Landall

42.  People Change

Someone did something to you that really angered; it was like they betrayed you,
And you’ve not forgiven them, have let the world know, it bugging as if on cue.
Well, how tragic's that? — they possibly scratching their head as to why they acted so,
And are deeply sorry, would love to convey such, but you’re not letting it go,

So how would you know?

People change, and wouldn’t do such again, and at the time were under stress, say,
Or a number of things were going on, and you might have had a part to play.
Perhaps you annoyed them, despite any kindness you’d shown, and they lost the plot,
They not really the type to act that way, and thus such an unfortunate blot.

We all make mistakes, and that dead bird you left on their doorstep another one,
For they were kicking themselves anyway — and to be honest, what’s done is done,
But now they living with that threat.
So you’re the one who’s carrying it on, effectively, and should you hit back,
It could be that they’re a different person, and now you taking the wrong track.

Have you thought of approaching them to see where they’re at these days? Such worth a try,
Their response possibly surprising you, their sorrowful eyes far from bone-dry.
So hey, don’t let fly, be it now or later, for people regret things and change,
And what a wondrous day when those who don’t forgive are the ones who’re viewed as strange.

But remember this:

On our journey through life, (so many with issues), who of us tracks perfectly?
Most veering left and right, they up and down, and thus all over the place, sadly.
It not until later in life that they level out, set a more steady course,
And why it is that when they look back, many are filled with regret and remorse,

They having caused upset along the way — and sadly, it dogging their new course,

Because people change.

By Lance Landall

43.  Revenge

Revenge satisfies that horrible part in us that is bitter and angry,
That part in us that shows a flaw, which we try to justify, foolishly,
For what does such really gain, revenge just as bad as the perpetrator’s ill,
Because it’s born of self and negativity — “Here, take that for hurting me!”

Sure they shouldn’t have done what they did, be they a criminal or enemy,
But that thirst for blood, that desire to torture, doesn't stem from nobility.
It all part of that same sickness that plagues the perpetrator, that drives their ill,
And why justice is one thing and revenge quite another — oh, if looks could kill.

By Lance Landall

44.  Guns, Knee Jerks And Legislation

Everyone born on this planet should be brought up with a hatred of guns,
Killing machines that take the lives of humans, mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons.
Oh, to think that anyone would have a love affair with guns, ever want one,
When what they’re all about is death, the taking of someone’s life, which all should shun.

Even soldiers and those who’re in the armed offenders squad should respect this too,
Only seeing weaponry in light of what might be necessary to do.
And thus they too taking no pride in them, having no personal collection,
But quickly disparaging them, pointing all in the opposite direction.

Oh, those voices of protest come calls for restricting the sale of certain guns,
Guns that are even more murderous, the stuff of those mass shooting hit and runs.
But is it any wonder there’s a lust for guns, computer games rife with them,
Yet few voices that condemn, many nightly watching violence and mayhem.

Oh, when will belief in the sanctity of life (for all) truly be upheld;
Some people angrily shouting that mass murderers don’t belong in this world.
Such implying that they too would like to do some culling, get rid of a few,
Those that they deem unworthy, acting somewhat like Hitler, those mass shooters too.

Hence why some clamour for the death penalty, the thirst for blood alive and well,
When we should try to salvage such humans, freeing their hearts and minds of such ill.
Even should they remain in prison, best help them see the error of their ways,
Showing our contempt of killing, our higher standing, desire to redeem strays.

But the chances slim given that love affair with guns, that thirst for blood, like theirs
(Mass shooters, that is),
It only being the truly loving, caring, noble person that every life reveres
(Be it hers or his).
They not only shunning revenge, but those games and movies where killings are rife,
And where little regard is shown for younger minds and the sanctity of life.

By Lance Landall

45.  Come On, America

It appears that within America there’re still those who have that wild west mentality,
They toting or hoarding guns, and deludedly thinking that such are a necessity,
Unlike the rest of us who’ve managed fine without such, even with a police force gun free,
And we just as protective of the rights of all when it comes to freedom and liberty.

The truth is, that owning a gun doesn’t guarantee a thing, for one thing’s clear, believe me,
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as they say, one’s rights being eroded very subtly.
Sure tougher gun laws, or the removal of guns, may well precede some evil agenda,
But such not really necessary, Trojan horses oft being the ploy of the offender.

Meantime, where there’re guns, and in times like these, there’ll be those single and multiple casualties,
Many folk harbouring grievances, and then there’s that violence on TV that one sees,
Let alone those computer games that kind of set kids up — well, certainly the disturbed ones —
Who engrossed in such, and so irresponsibly fed such, soon pull those triggers on real guns.

Yes, it’s really quite simple, and why guns should never be made available publicly,
And why there should be just as bigger hue and cry over what’s daily dished up on TV,
Not forgetting those violent games — but hey, who’s to blame, those who make such, or those who buy such?
And just look at those parents who such weaponry and harmful celluloid eagerly clutch.

So come on, America, your love affair-cum-obsession with guns is costing lives, and,
Rather than being a blessing, is more like a plague that’s once again stalking your troubled land.
And hey, what mixed signals are you sending your children, and more so those of you who’re Christians,
For isn’t it the devil who loves weaponry and violence, and thereby surely wins?

Oh dear, “In God we trust,” they sing, and yet hanging onto their guns just in case He may not,
Or lest somebody pose a threat, and then there is hunting, hence that hypocritical shot.
Yes, they calling violence and killing bad, except where they seem to deem it isn’t so,
And why their Saviour — Christ — must shake His head, for didn’t He tell them to stop such long ago?

Yes, guns aren’t the answer, even laws, but changed hearts and minds, a seeking after truth and right;
All why a form of religion won’t suffice, and more so one linked to military might.
But rather, all turning from wrong, repudiating any kind of force having seen sense,
Otherwise we’ll just be looking at a sham, smoke and mirrors-cum-nothing more than pretence;
And the ill that we’re seeing now, (and clearly much more to come), will be the sad consequence.

By Lance Landall

The poem was penned 1 January 2013.

The following may be of interest:

"Christendom is not the same as Christianity, as the Danish theologian and philosopher Kierkegaard pointed out.
Christendom's violence was not Christian, for the simple reason that it was diametrically opposed to what Christ himself taught.
People who engage in violent and cruel activities at any time, in Northern Ireland or the Balkans or anywhere else, while invoking
the name of God, are certainly not obeying Christ when they do so, whatever they may say to the contrary. After all, the name
"Christian" means a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ. Following Christ means obeying his commandments. And one of those
commands was the explicit prohibition of the use of force to defend Christ or his message. That command has been very well
known since it was issued at a point of high tension in the Gospel narrative, the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus taught his followers not to hate their enemies but to love them; and he acted accordingly when the armed crowd came with
Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest him. In that historic encounter he specifically forbade his disciples to use violence.
Jesus rebuked one of his disciples, Peter, who, untrained in swordsmanship, swung wildly with his sword and cut off the ear
of the High Priest's servant, Malchus. "Put your sword back into its place," Jesus said, "for all who take the sword will
perish by the sword" (Matt 26:52, ESV). He could not have made it more plain. To take the sword, gun, or bomb in Christ's name
is to repudiate both Christ and his message. He will have none of it. Gunning for God, in the sense of taking a weapon into one's
hands on God's behalf, is a contradiction of and an affront to the Christian message."
From the book "Gunning For God" by John C. Lennox.

"We Christians may not do as Americans something that we must not do as Christians. As we listen to and debate arguments
about going to war, note how often our Christian identity is subordinated to our American identity. We have been so formed by the
collusion of the church with America that we find it difficult to even distinguish between Christian and national identity,
and harder to subordinate our national identity to our identity in Christ."
Jonathan R. Wilson

46.  Humble Pie

When you’re tempted to look down on others holding a haughty nose in the air,
Or tempted to flash your designer whatever about with a prideful flair.
Remember that you too squat on the loo having to wipe what’s not nice to view,
And thus humbled should be rather than acting like a circus trained cockatoo.

Yes, you too have to brush your teeth, rinse your mouth out, and spit the same stuff out too,
And may have to visit a doctor who’ll embarrassingly prod and probe you.
So, best you mind that vanity and pride lest you’re soon eating some humble pie,
Which is certain to lower that haughty nose that should never have been so high.

By Lance Landall