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.  It's So Easy

It’s so easy to look at others (and sound evaluations must oft be made),
But it's clear 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

4.  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

5.  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

6.  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

7.  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

8.  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

9.  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.

10.  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

11.  Be Gracious

There’s things I’ve done I can’t explain, a number of things that don’t make sense to me,
And one wonders whether damage has occurred somehow, meaning cerebrally.
After all, the brain’s more fragile than we think, thus knocks and toxins a real threat,
And then there’s psychological trauma, which a certain direction can set.

And this why we should be gracious to others, treating them kindly, carefully,
Not tolerating wrong and ill, but erring on the side of leniency.
We not knowing what’s going on in someone’s head, that something that they’ve been through,
Those struggles or burdens they’re dealing with, and why they do those things that they do.

Yes, so many have been damaged, even before their life barely began, and
We either triggering or defusing, potentially — a kind or cruel hand.
Life random too, it catching us off guard at times, we acting before we think,
And thus not necessarily bad people, but having tumbled on life’s rink.

By Lance Landall

12.  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

13.  Affirmation, The Key

There’ll always be those who go astray, no matter what, and,
Exactly why that’s so, we may never fully understand.
But dare it be because of what we did or didn’t do,
That acted as a trigger, or caused something ill to brew.

It’s my belief, that less would stray by far, if you and I
Spent more time trying to prevent such, than we do asking, “Why?”
Yes, if we showed more concern, took more care, acted kindly,
And not just personally, but also collectively.

I wonder how many Hitlers (or the likes) mightn’t have been
If those around them, earlier had sought to intervene.
Or if in the first place, certain needs had been met, that weren’t,
Which, even today, the importance of such, some haven’t learnt.

Hence those who go astray, or give up — take their life, maybe,
Feeling mistreated, worthless, unwanted, sadly.
Yes, because of what folk did or didn’t do (wrongly so),
Perhaps because of their own issues, which is how it can go.

No man’s an island, though some go it alone — burnt, maybe,
Or they feel like a castaway, emotionally at sea.
However, it’s together, that we were designed to be,
Doing what we can to help each other, humanity.

We need to make sure that all feel valued, wanted, cared about,
For at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about (let’s shout).
Not possessions, not ambition, but people — yes, you and I,
Working together for the good of all, lest any go awry.

Yes, we all need affirming, encouragement, regularly,
We all need affection too, and supportive company.
Without such, we’re accidents waiting to happen, which do,
Hence why via poetry, I’m delivering this plea to you.

Who have you affirmed today?

By Lance Landall

14.  Could You Be Adding To The Problem?

Have you seen that wounded look that’s reflected in their eyes?
For marital betrayal was uncovered with all its lies.
The one that they gave their all to, sought out-of-bounds pleasure,
Damaging the very one that they were meant to treasure.

Have you seen all those little children (whose tears nightly flow),
Who are hurting from abuse that some think no one will know?
Those ones meant to protect them took authority too far,
Destroying trust and innocence with a self-indulgent scar.

Have you seen the heightened anxiety on another’s face,
Due to someone’s indifference that left its sorry trace?
That one who could’ve helped them, just chose to leave them alone,
Which their struggle with depression may've made more trouble prone.

Have you seen the beneficiaries who’re struggling with their plight,
Pushed and pulled by other folk in ways that aren’t fair nor right?
Some not suffering likewise have criticized and judged them,
When in fact, it's those who're knocking them, that one could condemn.

Have you seen those who’re aging, some anxious for tomorrow,
That some have tagged a burden, thus filling them with sorrow?
They’ve demeaned their contribution, even sent some on their way,
Or kept them busy working when home’s the order of the day.

Have you seen that biased reaction just because of someone’s race,
Or was it their religion that saw someone pull a face?
Why should another person who has rights like you and I
Receive subtle or blatant bigotry (that all should downcry)?

There’re many who are struggling with one thing or another,
Hence what's said or done to them, will assist or hope smother.
There're always arm-chair critics who’ve plenty of things to say,
And if given half a chance, they would do what does not pay.


Please don’t hurt those who're vulnerable, via things you say or do,
For such is inexcusable, and it won't say much for you.
One day it might well be you who's in need of a helping hand,
So careful how you go now, lest you’re close to sinking sand.

Many harmed while children, somewhere down the track, or today,
Are emotionally troubled, hence why they can oft go astray.
Their plight requires sympathy, our compassion, thought and care,
Not indifference, force, or harshness, nor words one shouldn’t dare.

We’re allowed our own opinions, but that doesn’t mean they’re right,
(Hence why there's that need of others who have deeper insight).
And if we're unreceptive, or show that we've a biased mind,
We’ll add to any ignorance and leave more hurt behind.

Much love is badly needed to replenish so much lost,
And many present attitudes would be far better tossed.
So let's not weigh up the risks, and not count how many times,
Nor ever be selective, or get hung up on our dimes.

Some want a change in others, according to how they see;
If not a change in others, how they think something should be.
But it’s the old old story that’s been seen repeatedly,
They seem to be unaware that change should first begin with, ME!

By Lance Landall

15.  Those Boxes

Perhaps you've experienced such. You meet someone, and then you stop and chat,
And at some point, up comes that curly question whereby everything goes flat.
“So, tell me now, what religion are you?” — and, "Oh dear," you inwardly sigh,
For when you give them the answer, they suddenly have some reason to fly.

I'm exaggerating? Well, perhaps I am, but that's sort of how it goes,
For there's that body language, and that look — yes, some how or other it shows.
You see, instead of them seeing you now, they’re just seeing a little box,
One that has you neatly packaged and labelled, and that sports a dozen locks.

Yes, instead of seeing you now, they can't see past what's in that little box,
One that appears impossible to empty, because of those little locks.
You’re no longer who you are, or were, but simply the contents of their box,
Which all too often (or so it seems to me), a possible friendship blocks.

Yes, even though you're an individual, you’re no longer seen that way,
For now you’re a certain religion, or so their reaction seems to say.
It's so sad that all these biased little boxes have people pigeon-holed,
For all such little boxes do, is, just prevent any good that could unfold.

Given we’ve our individuality, we shouldn’t be pigeon-holed
Simply because of the religion that we practice, and no doubt uphold.
For whatever one’s religion is, whatever one's denomination,
There's definitely no excuse for such bigoted discrimination.

I'm simply who I am, a person (a fact which also holds true for you),
I’m just me, not some religious label, and differently may well do.
Yes, the path that I have chosen, may be one that is different to yours,
But when it comes down to friendship, no barriers should such a fact cause.

Thus, do we really need to ask, “So, tell me now, what religion are you?”
For isn’t such totally irrelevant from a friendship point of view?
I've no doubts that there's a time and place where asking may have some merit,
But where such isn't necessary — for friendship sake, let’s not hear it.

By Lance Landall

16.  Negatively Positive

“You shouldn’t think negatively,” certain people say to you,
And, “You must think positively,” they also lecture too.
But it’s not quite that simple, and they’re somewhat incorrect,
Hence why their pithy statements one should carefully inspect.

I certainly wouldn’t condemn a positive attitude,
But all need to be given a degree of latitude.
It’s unfair and unrealistic expecting that all should be
Always thinking positive as opposed to negatively.

Yes, many keep on saying, “You must think positively,”
Wielding such like a mallet, hammering it home obsessively.
Such can leave people feeling worse, and it’s the wrong thing to say
To any who are depressed, or suffering in some other way.

We all have our ups and downs, our share of trouble and pain,
'Cause sometimes there's sunshine, and sometimes cloudy skies and rain.
Hence it’s only natural if some days we’re feeling blue,
And seeking out another who will help us make it through.

Sometimes we feel anxiety, even experience fear,
And there’re times when we should, though such are negative, we hear.
Without these strong emotions so much worse off we would be,
'Cause often such can save us from danger and complacency.

Anger? Hasn’t a righteous anger seen people acting bravely,
Or timid people aroused, speaking out courageously?
Didn’t a so-called negative act as a positive here,
If anger helped to suppress, weakness, reticence or fear?

Isn’t it how we deal with it, and what’s motivated it too,
Not whether it’s right or wrong, or that there’s a fault with you?
Wouldn’t we be less than human if anger we didn’t feel
Regarding wicked actions that life and human rights steal?

And hasn’t frustration too, seen something good come about,
A clever idea for instance, that provided a way out?
Didn’t a so-called negative, here too, act as a positive,
If frustration led to an answer, an alternative?

And what about those people who created something great,
’Midst, or due to, deep despair that sometimes would dominate.
If it hadn’t been for that low, they wouldn’t have created
What many today uplifts and is much appreciated.

Yes, even negative things can be blessings in disguise,
'Cause out of a negative a positive can arise.
But are some things negative like is commonly believed,
Or, is it purely and simply how those things are perceived?

By Lance Landall

17.  Mistakes

Sometimes we make big mistakes that we bitterly regret,
Mistakes we can’t leave behind, mistakes that we can’t forget.
For the results of these mistakes continue on for years,
Causing much unhappiness, often resurrecting tears.

Sometimes we can’t understand why we do the things we do,
And why it is we say things that we also later rue.
We scratch our head and wonder why we’ve acted the same way
That earlier brought trouble, caused folk heartache or dismay.

Sometimes we cannot undo what we shouldn’t have said or done,
And our attempts to fix it, or reconcile, some folk shun.
Not everyone is willing to forgive and to forget,
And when you upset some, what they then think of you, seems set.

Sometimes we say or do things that we’ve told others not to,
Why? Because we’re human too, and under pressure, same wrong can do.
Thus, all should understand this, and more thoughtfulness display,
When someone who knows better, somehow, somewhere, goes astray.

Everybody makes mistakes, and most of us, too many;
Yes, it would be wonderful if none of us made any.
But the truth is, that we do, and we will continue to,
Because no one is perfect, and learning curves we go through.

When someone treats you wrongly, but is sorry, and says so,
And attempts to put things right, there is something you should know:
If you don’t respond to them in the way in which one should,
Then you aren’t any better, and call you hypocrite, they could.

When folk try to put things right, and seek reconciliation,
We should respond with mercy, and without hesitation.
One day it could well be us attempting to right our wrong,
Hoping folk will forgive and forget, not mutual upset prolong.

By Lance Landall