Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.

The Sparrow

It has been my custom when penning a poem to sit near a window,
Where I watch the world go by while waiting for some poetry to flow.
And there by that window one August day, an intriguing thing occurred,
When smack, right into the large pane of glass, crashed a tiny little bird.

And with quite a wallop too — yet, amazingly and surprisingly
It flew, (who knows how though, given its head-on crash), to a nearby tree.
And there, and upside down, it hung by its tiny claws, tenaciously,
While I sat there watching, expecting it to fall eventually...

And noticing its little brown body pulsating pitifully.

Yes, I could’ve soon run to its aid, but what if it took off in fright,
Only to crash again, too weakened, even worse off, and lose the fight?
No, better to leave it, I thought, so I just sat there watching, waiting,
And upon the slim chances of it surviving, I meditating.

After what seemed ages, and to my astonishment, it flew away,
Which left me sighing with relief, and presuming that it was okay.
What a plucky little bird, I thought, it down but not out, a fighter,
And you guessed it, obvious fodder for a relieved poet-cum-writer.

After all, what courage, what strength, such worthy of preserving via pen,
And so reminiscent of many heroes, gallant women and men.
Yes, real battlers, who though the odds were against them, still continued on,
Or who, despite opposition, fearlessly stood up, spoke out-cum-shone.

Yes, fighters, who like that little sparrow, didn’t give up, but held out,
Men and women who believed in themselves, and didn’t give way to doubt.
Battlers hanging by their fingers, and staring at possible defeat,
And yet, not prepared to give in, give up — they not prepared to retreat.

Say, are you like that plucky little sparrow, a battler, fighter too,
Who's not prepared to give in, succumb, nor adopt some negative view?
Do you, despite your feeling dazed, and hanging by your fingers also,
That same tenacity, pluck and inner strength, as courageously show?

Thank you little sparrow — you’re an inspiration, you know.

By Lance Landall

2.  Okay, So You've Messed Up Already

You’ve discovered that certain attitudes and behaviour isn’t good, but sad,
Having found out for yourself, having noted sage advice on your mental pad.
Circumstances and people delivering what everybody should know,
And act upon, but you having messed up already, wishing you hadn’t though.

Well, as sad as that is, and given that others may have been hurt by it too,
It’s not how you were yesterday but how you are today, that different you.
Your thinking having changed, your heart and mind sounder, your focus readjusted,
And thus you no longer on that same old path, old ways and traits done and dusted.

Yes, the results of the past having caused regret and damage, and that’s a shame,
But you knowing that it all belongs to yesterday, and having accepted blame.
Though who knows who or what might have set you on that course, and the young prone to err,
So don’t despair, because you will get there; no point in dwelling on things that were.

Yes, it may take time for others to notice, even trust you again, but hey,
We all make mistakes, and just have to live with some things, even what some may say.
But you knowing that you’re not that same old person, and new friends will come your way,
Life rewarding the brave, that girl or boy, man or woman, who the distance stay.

By Lance Landall

3.  “Why Me?”

Oh, how oft that “Why me?” is cried aloud, and literally by millions, not just you and me,
For bad luck (as many call it), bad timing and unfairness are common to humanity.
Hence why so many end up stuck with a lemon, out of pocket and inconvenienced somehow,
They upset, hurt, angry, (even injured), and oft immersed in some long running dispute-cum-row.

And no wonder, for not only do things happen randomly and without any real cause, but,
This world’s full of charlatans, abusers, the reckless and irresponsible who doors oft shut.
Yes, if not ending, they delaying or spoiling some dream, marring someone’s life, causing trouble;
They effectively saboteurs who deprive of sleep, peace and joy, thus bursting many a bubble.

And all why it’s best to roll with the punches, to adjust and adapt; fretting of no value,
We accepting our losses, beginning again, and some poor response choosing not to pursue.
For negative responses hardly develop character, and meantime, oft add to our pain,
As if life’s not stormy enough, and seas oft rough, without us increasing gales, cloud, hail and rain.

But sometimes those things we view as negatives are actually blessings in disguise, for they
Prove to be to our benefit or advantage, even though at first it didn’t look that way.
Hence that missed plane that crashed, that partner we missed out on that time proved would’ve caused much misery,
Or any number of things, but whether so or not, it never just you or I crying “Why me?”

And yes, millions are having those same bad runs.

By Lance Landall

4.  Moving On

Many who’ve been badly hurt, wounded by some callous, selfish arrow, have no choice but to move on,
Leaving that certain someone behind, things not repairable, whatever they had well and truly gone.
They possibly having suffered beforehand, and now, having to remove themselves from further ill,
'Cause were they to stay, and not prudence obey, they’d still be riding that miserable carousel.

The human heart can only take so much, and far less so, those hearts that have suffered previously,
They oft still dealing with weeping wounds that weren’t attended to, thus their battle even more lonely.
And midst such, finding themselves being fired at again, more callous, selfish arrows coming their way,
All because of those who cruelly abuse (mentally or physically), or who ones trust betray.

And hence why there comes a time in the life of many where moving on is a mere formality,
Something they’ve no choice but to do, 'cause remaining would ensure a worse outcome, greater injury.
And such they can’t afford, and what’s the point where there’s no gain, just more anxiety, misery, pain,
That day after day, week after week, and month after month (even years), hope, joy and happiness will drain.

It’s sad but true, that moving on is the only option for many, they having done what they could,
Not wanting more ill coming their way, and in some cases, serious consequences a likelihood.
And so, for many, moving on provides a way out, ushering in a new day, and healing too,
Whereby someone new is oft found, who, only right seeks to do; their love being genuine and true.

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 30 January 2020.


5.  Knots

The truth is, that things and people more often disappoint and let us down, unfortunately,
And why it’s all about being content with little, expecting less-cum-facing reality.
And as a consequence, we all the happier, free of sandcastles that are soon swept away,
Those desperate desires-cum-dreams that are destined to be shattered, thereby filling us with dismay.

Yes, things spoil, deteriorate, break, play up, pack up and cost, and as for people, words are lost,
For in so many ways that shouldn’t be, the human element is seen to thwart and accost.
All why we shouldn’t put too much store in others, focus too much on things, or even some dream,
For all that glitters isn’t gold, and more often an illusion, and some folk not how they seem.

The thing about things is that they’re just that — things — and why any fixation with such we can’t afford,
And why best we mind expectations too, for though some things should be, they oft aren’t, as we’re all flawed.
And why both things and people are bound to disappoint and let us down, and why it pays to be
More content with little and less expecting of others, lest we cause ourselves grief needlessly.

Oh, how we get ourselves in knots fretting over this and that, our lives oft spoilt by little things,
And why we need to take a lesson from that tiny bird that midst foul weather still bravely sings.
Yes, a simple nest and busy life, no time wasted on peripheral things, and so may it be
That we too, don’t get caught up or hung up on what isn’t for our best, and folly too late see.

But rather, and like that tiny bird, we head down, grateful for blessings, chirping away bravely,
Giving rather than expecting, all things in perspective, and thereby, we at peace inwardly.
In other words, we content with little and expecting less, our disappointments handled well,
And we no longer getting ourselves in knots-cum-free of that sad old joy robbing carousel.

By Lance Landall

6.  Don't Bottle Things Up

It never pays to bottle things up, but to express ourselves freely, and thus get things off our chest,
'Cause what’s bottled up ferments, and can explode — the results being anyone’s guess, and not for the best.
Such acting like a poison within us, a boil that's not been lanced, which can only but lead to ill,
Not just physically and emotionally, but also causing relationships to go downhill.

It’s far better to say what we honestly think, to say what’s bothering us, 'cause when we hold back
Such creates a toxic frustration needful of release, lest we blow our top, have a heart attack.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing worse than feeling unable to express upsets, or feelings,
And such being the root of much tension, anger, illness and ill feeling, from which worse often  springs.

Hence why we should let folk say what they think, what’s bothering them, we thus showing maturity,
Nobly taking such on the chin like adults, accepting constructive criticism graciously.
And thus learning and growing from such, whilst meantime freeing that safety valve of theirs  too oft left stuck
(Which allows a dangerous pressure to build, ensuring that sometime, somewhere, things will run amuck).

Yes, there’s always a downside, 'cause what others say can hurt, but that’s better than greater ill, surely,
'Cause when folk don’t have an outlet for pent-up feelings, they can turn to what hurts us more severely,
Or take it out on society in some way, we having indirectly opened that sad door,
Which we might have kept closed had we let them have their say — and a way to deal with their beef, sought to explore.

Too often the problem lies with us, it being our inability to take things on the chin,
Our poor response simply adding to the problem, they then left feeling more aggrieved-cum-worse within.
And hence why we should always let others have their say — pleasant or not — and always respond maturely,
Because that shows strength, and so does expressing yourself, saying what you think, though with integrity.

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 30 January 2020.

7.  But, But, But

“I’m sorry, but…” — oh yes, but, but — how we hate those buts, that tiring “Can’t be done,” and thus “Must accept” reply,
Such meaning, “There’s no cure,” “Nothing that can help,” despite our but, but — to which they often roll their eyes and sigh.
Well, let me say this: If it wasn’t for those who refused to halt at a deflating but, one thing’s for sure,
Many an answer, or that which now helps us, would not have been found such being, some clever machine or cure.

While acceptance has its place, and far too oft isn’t applied by many (thus adding to their misery),
Our but could prove invaluable where propelled by distress or frustration, and determined energy,
Alias inventiveness, thinking outside of the box, and a strong belief that there must be something out there
In the way of an answer or cure, that is — and why despite those deflating buts, one should still persevere.

When tempted to give up, we should persevere for the sake of others (like we’d love them to do for us), and,
Remember that by doing so, we might well find an answer to our own woe — and hey, wouldn’t that be grand?
But whether an answer's found or not, we'll at least be doing all that we humanly and possibly can,
And the joyous thing about acting so is, that life tends to reward those who such thought show their fellowman.

So, where others say that we can’t, it’s often better to think in terms of can, of the possibility,
And likewise when it comes to some cure, that which might help — and first and foremost, not for ourselves, but humanity.
'Cause life that’s worth living is all about giving, seeking what’s best for others, refusing to give up hope,
Which makes finding an answer much more likely, that something that will make things easier for someone to cope.

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 30 January 2020.

8.  Even The Wise Can Falter

Good advice-cum-wisdom is great, but reality's another thing, for then, words are simply words, and,
Given that those who haven’t been afflicted with the same thing (though sympathetic) can’t really understand.
The loss of a loved one being one example, because despite one knowing that life must carry on,
The actuality of such loss can choke the best of intentions, 'cause something most precious has gone.

Wisdom-cum-knowing what we should do is one thing (regarding this or that), but easier said than done,
Especially when life’s stormy clouds have blocked out the sun, and woes have riddled us like a machine gun.
Yes, sometimes it’s one thing after another, or simply a traumatic event that paralyses,
'Cause such can catch one off guard, hit where it hurts most, and at the worst time, and often in cruel disguises.

Wisdom's worth conveying, more so where one’s learnt the hard way, and so that others may benefit from such,
But this doesn’t mean that the one giving advice won’t struggle too should some sad thing have them in its clutch,
'Cause as I said, words are all well and good, but reality's another thing, as all is hardly well,
Thereby making putting things into practice harder, 'cause crippling pain and distress aren't easy to quell.

And so, midst the worst of things, one tries to make the best of things, responding responsibly,  maturely,
But should we falter or fail, such is not surprising, and why understanding every person should be.
Thus realizing that those conveying wisdom aren’t immune from struggling, but that wisdom should still be said,
'Cause those who do put such into practice are better off, given wisdom and practice were meant to be wed.
By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 20 January 2020.

9.  No One's Infallible

Even those who call others to a higher moral standard can fall themselves, for no one’s infallible,
But though they may fall, thus badly weakening their stand, and also opening themselves up for ridicule,
They’re still bound by duty (and perhaps more so given their own fall), to keep preaching that same noble gospel,
'Cause our mistakes hardly cancel out our conveying wisdom, as not conveying such, can see others suffer ill.

And hence why parents (for example), despite their past mistakes, should still advise their children accordingly,
Thus giving their children the benefit of their sad experience, acting thoughtfully and lovingly.
'Cause what mum and dad who suffered via their mistakes, wouldn’t warn and seek to steer their child away from such ill?
And woe betide the child who’d say, “You can’t talk!” — 'cause chances are, they’d soon have a sad tale of their own to tell.

If we only took notice of those who were perfect examples, who, let me repeat, aren’t infallible,
We would hardly take notice of anyone at all, and what would we do if those folk somehow, somewhere fell?
At the end of the day, we must look at the merits of what folk are saying, bearing in mind we could fall,
And what if others then didn’t want to listen to sound advice from us? Wouldn’t we “foolish” those folk call?

While all who call others to a higher standard should maintain such, life has a way of tripping even the best,
Who, while only having themselves to blame, should still continue to look to another’s best interest.
And if we’re sensible (mature, in other words), we'll continue to listen to what such folk have to say,
'Cause if there’s merit in what they’re preaching, and we ignore such, then we too, will no doubt others soon dismay.

By Lance Landall

10.  Try, Try Again

In this rough and tough world where so much thwarts our best intentions, it’s easy to give up and give in,
And this why those who get back up again and keep on trying (despite their setbacks) are a true hero or heroine.
'Cause so many News Flash heroes or heroines are really only such momentarily so,
Just heroes and heroines of a particular (no time to think) moment, who just that moment know.

It’s amazing what folk do on the spur of the moment when a surge of adrenaline kicks in,
But it’s that getting back up again, and again, that determines a real hero or heroin.
'Cause were those News Flash heroes or heroines to have more time to think before they act as they do,
Some wouldn’t be heroes or heroines at all, they perhaps saving their own skin, not me or you.

So take heart, 'cause setbacks and trials give us the chance to be a hero or heroine each day,
And all it takes is that we try and try again, rise from any fall, each time something goes astray.
'Cause these everyday tests are the hardest battles to fight, the truest test of inner strength, and,
Who doesn't applaud the get back up type, who valiantly deals with setbacks, or the unplanned?

Sometimes things all seem to come at once, or stormy clouds threaten to engulf, but they’re our chance, you see,
'Cause should we rise to the occasion, not give in to defeat, a hero or heroine we'd be.
A true one, or more so one, and we would remain one if such was our response every time,
Hence why we should always try and try again, or if we’ve tumbled, grasp hope's rungs and  upward climb.

Yes, it can be hard, and some are disadvantaged to begin with, hence kind and thoughtful we should be,
Always encouraging the struggler, the one who’s tumbled or stalled, or wringing their hands anxiously.
Yes, it’s amazing what a comforting, cheery word can do, as opposed to criticism and frowns,
'Cause it never helps when we rub their noses in their failures, or piously flap self-righteous gowns.

And you know, sometimes we handle something major well, but not something minor,  unsurprisingly,
'Cause smaller things can prove more aggravating and stubborn, hence that little saw that fells a large tree.
Yes, we letting those smaller upsets and trials cut away at our resolve and good intentions,
And why greater and longer effort's oft required, lest those smaller things take on greater dimensions.

Such makes true heroes or heroines, they toughing out the smaller things, prepared for some rougher sea,
Rising when they fall, bravely trying again and again, come any setback or adversity.
And when hit by a wave of tsunami proportions, they float rather than sink, finally reach land,
And there, having endured and overcome, gained greater strength, they rebuild and victoriously stand.

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 30 January 2020.

11.  The Neggs

Watch out for those surly neggs, 'cause they’re sneaky cheerless things,
So often responsible for grouchy slouchy mood swings.
They’re agitators, instigators, downright mischief makers,
They’re happy thoughts and moods gloomy doomy over takers.

Yes, they’re the neggs — the negatives — that just pessimism sow,
Unless you seek the pozzies — the positives — shouting, "NEGGS! Go, go, go."
Otherwise, you’ll soon frown, soon go down, perhaps in pity drown,
So, just send those neggs packing, high-tailing it out of town.

They’re outright joy killers that will clutter up your brain,
Once they’re given half a chance to negatively entertain.
They’re outrageous, contagious, certainly not advantageous,
And they’ll get their way with you, unless you’requite courageous.

So, just give them the heave ho, that’s right, just say, “Cheerio.”
Don’t give them the opportunity to chortle and crow.
Otherwise, they’ll knock you, mock you, perhaps even rock you,
Take you down a dead-end street where no one is well-to-do.

No, don’t listen to the neggs, they’ve got nothing good to say,
Instead, call on the pozzies, let them keep those neggs at bay.
Otherwise, they’ll drain you, strain you, even cause loss and pain,
And things you want to achieve, you’ll possibly not attain.

Therefore, don’t let the neggs nag you, get their feet in the door,
For once in, you can be sure possibilities they’ll explore.
They’re cunning, quickly gunning — yes, those neggs I’d be shunning,
Lest it be, that in the wrong direction, they have you running.

They’re not only depressing, but injurious advisors,
Misery maximizers, happiness minimizers.
They’re also victimizers that mentally tyrannize,
And that very actively, little problems fertilize.

By Lance Landall

The following poem contains a small degree of Christian content.

12.  Choose Your Friends Very Carefully

There are people in society (or in a church, say), who’ve issues, sadly,
And who, ’cause of certain behaviour, one can’t trust, or should avoid socially.
In other words, though still kind and friendly to them (as everyone should be),
One not getting involved with them on a personal level, acting wisely.

Hence why even God’s Word conveys that we should choose our friends very carefully,
Lest their wrongful influences and sad behaviour impact negatively.
Perhaps they change allegiances like clothes, or have gossiped or lied about us,
And we thus minding their company, which hardly puts one offside with Jesus.

Sure we’re told to love one another, but that doesn’t mean being a fool, who
Via a wrong understanding of love, gets burnt again, and the same thing goes through.
Some people always a problem, or certainly so when something upsets them,
Hence their childishness or vengefulness, which, inwardly, one’s a right to condemn.

Yes, when we know something’s clearly wrong, we shouldn’t gloss it over, and in fact
Where it happens to be warranted, lets maturely and responsibly act.
And by that I mean, approach them — and ultimately, approaching others too,
Who’re within their rights to discipline, and a certain restrictive path pursue.

Once again, the Good Word says to approach the offender first, filling them in,
Though good luck there, responses usually disappointing, their skin too thin.
But at least we’ve tried, and some sorrys we know aren’t that genuine, and why we
(More so where there’s a history), should keep our distance, though still acting fairly.

We naturally want to disprove any lies about us, show it was them,
But sometimes we’re better to bite our tongue, and our ego too oft at the stem.
We needing to be bigger than that, people oft getting things wrong about us,
And if you read the Bible, you’ll find how people got things wrong about Jesus.

In trying to clear ourselves, we sometimes dig a bigger hole, though to be fair,
Speaking out is sometimes necessary, and where there’s truth, there shouldn’t be fear.
But as for friends, we being very cautious, and once burnt, our eyesight keener,
Even if it means that eventually our social group becomes leaner.

Yes, love’s no fool, it knowing where second chances are justified or not, and
Though it bears long, it doesn’t go asking for trouble, and thus ones brain still manned.
Just as love avoids evil, it chooses its friends, though still kind and fair to all,
Some people too bigger a risk inside ones inner sanctum, and hence that wall.

God chastises whom He loves, we’re told, and says, avoid those who cause divisions,
And so, we disciplining and avoiding too, making the right decisions.
And where we don’t? —- Well, look at where weakness and soppiness has got us today,
Christendom awash with sin, and society laced with terminal decay.

So don’t let anyone accuse you of not being loving (or Christ-like), but
Choose your friends very carefully, and where prudent, making sure that the door’s shut.
No, not bolted or locked, but using your mind’s peep-hole, thus discretion applied,
Lest some say that they’ve changed, and later on, you discovering that they have lied.

Yes, there are those who’re issue bound, and who a problem will always be, sadly,
Or ’till later down the track — but meantime, causing trouble for the unwary.
So love them you should, and love oft bringing change, but mind your inner sanctum, which
Once entered, or re-entered by some who’ve issues, could need more than just a stitch.

Too oft we say too much to some we shouldn’t, and some friends are gained too quickly,
There being friends and friends, if you catch my drift, yet that line not drawn, foolishly.
Thus friends needing to be tried and tested, unconditional love a myth, and why
God will soon say to some, “Depart from Me,” and why over once close friends we sigh.

By Lance Landall

13.  Behind And Within

Though most of us are full of excuses that aren’t good enough, there're those who to some degree can be excused,
Or who at least have a legitimate reason for their action, and thus shouldn’t be unkindly accused.
Though their behaviour may not be how it should be, it’s not something they’ve altogether chosen consciously,
'Cause there're things occurring within them that they don’t understand, nor that have even been picked up on, sadly.

Such could relate to either the physical or mental, of which each can affect the other, let’s be clear here,
And finding the exact cause can be an expensive exercise, and protracted, and the means just not there.
Nor other folk, by the way (at least not like they should be), who could provide a helping hand in certain ways,
Which, when such isn’t there to support, somehow ease things, that needed change or answer, simply thwarts or delays.

We’re living in times where many are afflicted with the unknown, a multitude of things that  impair,
One being chemicals that enter the body via one’s mouth or skin — and how, once again, oft isn’t clear,
'Cause much that we’re told is safe proves to be otherwise, let alone those things that we know aren't safe, quite another case,
And which we oft can’t avoid given that they surround us, are so regularly found within the workplace.

Hence why we should be more tolerant of, more patient with, those who come our way who behave in certain ways,
'Cause who knows what’s behind their behaviour, how much they’re struggling with something, and all of which oft them dismays.
While wrong shouldn’t be condoned, there are wrongs that occur more 'cause of injury rather than 'cause of some sin,
That plain selfishness or evil — yes, there being so much more that can be going on behind and within.

For example:

If someone's impatient, is it selfish impatience or an uncontrollable irritability,
'Cause some health conditions can seem to override one’s self-control (where there’s stress particularly).
I guess I’m referring to 'chronic fatigue syndrome,' say, and then there’s depression, serious depression,
Both of which can lead to some unfortunate (but not purposely chosen) upsetting outward expression.

Then there're those medications, which, despite one’s best efforts, can see someone acting very differently,
Thus they hardly in full control of the scene, and against all the odds having to battle furiously
(To refrain from acting wrongly, that is), 'cause under such conditions such can seem an impossibility,
And more so if there are some issues going down, and hence why we should refrain from acting judgmentally.

We’re so quick to see things as being some sin, when it’s more an injury that’s expressing itself poorly,
Rather than something premeditated, someone's bad trait, someone just lashing out uncontrollably
(Due to a lack of self-control that they were more than capable of, and deserving condemnation for),
And hence why we need to mind how we look at things given that behind someone’s action there’s oft a lot more.

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 7 January 2021.

14.  Spanners

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

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

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

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

Are you a possessor of spanners?

By Lance Landall

15.  Armchair Critics And Judges

Too many people are victims of armchair critics and judges reclining in front of their TV,
Who follow the courtroom appearances of unfortunates who are either innocent or guilty.
Yes, couch potato lynch mobs who would quickly string ’em up on the strength of the little they hear and see,
As if they're in that courtroom themselves, and have heard the same evidence as those members of the jury.

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

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

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

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 9 February 2020.

16.  Loose Lips, Big Ears And Long Memories

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

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

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

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

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

By Lance Landall

17.  Criticism

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

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

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

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

By Lance Landall

18.  Criticizers

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

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

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

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

By Lance Landall

19.  Time Folk Backed Off

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

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

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

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

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

By Lance Landall

20.  Inexcusable Ignorance

Too many people knock that which they do not understand, or know little about, if anything at all,
So often just basing a negative response on the negative statements of others (a far too common call).
And therefore, they go by the incorrect statements of others, rather than by their own thorough research,
And whilst sitting in a comfy seat that’s made for armchair critics, who there, too often judgmentally perch.

Along with various sources, it’s always best to also draw from the horse’s mouth (and also more kind),
For most will draw from anywhere but the horse’s mouth — that is, the mouths of those who have oft been wrongly maligned.
And as a consequence, they not only fuel their own ignorance, but an ignorance of a sorry kind,
For condemning when you don’t know, aren’t well or correctly informed, is just acting biasedly and blind.

And that’s about the strength of it for many, and maybe most, who just parrot what has been parroted, and,
Who so oft really aren’t interested in making any serious attempt to know or understand.
Yes, knowledge is one thing, but understanding, quite another, and very often such an important part,
For certain knowledge in particular, dear friend, is only as worthwhile as its connection to the heart.

But condemning this or that, or stating something as if it’s true when it’s not so, is both unwise and cruel,
And yet, this is what people are doing all the time, and also how they can end up looking like a fool.
For to speak with certainty when you are incorrect, or to condemn something or someone ignorantly,
Is to not only risk being a fool, but to mislead yourself as well, and not just cause others injury.

By Lance Landall

21.  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

22.  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

23.  Double Dipped

You upset someone by doing something they’d a right to feel annoyed about,
And to rebuke you for, but instead of apologising, you sulk and pout,
And even stay away from them, childishly unable to handle such,
As if they’re the erring one, and at self justification you’re seen to clutch.

But how can you? ’Cause you were in the wrong, and never said “Sorry,” sad to say,
They left feeling bad too, thanks to you, yet you expecting them to come your way.
Yes, you wanting them to apologise, them to put things right, when right they were,
Your ill needing to be rebuked; that stumbling block of yours how they too might err.

But err they hadn’t, though perhaps protesting a tad too loudly, as we do,
Sometimes caught by surprise at the audacity of others who better knew;
Some being repeat offenders who were told before, hence how they upset more,
Yet nursing their supposed grievance, when the other person had more right to feel sore.

Oh, the unfairness and ill of leaving the offended one feeling bad, who
Understandably, and under the circumstances, spoke very stern to you.
Such being your chance to grow or not, your response having a great deal to say,
And why here, given you've acted like this, it’s you who should be heading their way.

Should they head your way, such lets you off the hook, plays into your thinking, sadly,
Given that it wasn’t them at fault, but you — yes, you having acted badly.
Such calling for more understanding on your part, but no, you’ve double dipped here,
Harbouring thoughts and feelings you’ve little right to — and Heaven wise, shouldn’t dare.

By Lance Landall

24.  They Who Take No Prisoners

There’re those who when you’ve let them down, or somehow clashed over the help they once gave, who won’t help you
out again,
Yes, those who take no prisoners, nor who bury the past — and they, the reason why I’ve taken to the pen.
'Cause such people only add to another’s mistake, and thus humanity’s problems, their heart being unwell,
And thus they just as flawed as those they treat so, having not got off that tired “This is what they did” carousel.

Yes, though you need their help again, it’s a big fat, “No!” They effectively grudge holders who such don’t forget,
And their forgiveness (if any's given), far more dubious than genuine, their concrete “No!” sealed and set,
And this, despite you having learnt from your past mistake, but no, no second chances, the gate shut and padlocked,
And where they indiscriminately choose to tattle, both you and your past mistake are inevitably knocked.

Well, who are the bigger fools here, but they who act so harshly, and to be honest, very immaturely,
'Cause such is hardly the response of a sound and loving heart, and what if the tables were turned? Now let me see.
Yes, they probably viewing things rather differently, and were they treated the same, oh dear, how they’d shout,
And why in regards to their inhumane take no prisoners stance, they should very quickly do a turnabout.

At the end of the day, we all make mistakes, and sometimes the same one again, which is why folk should be fair,
'Cause life’s a learning curve, and many dogged by things that don’t help, some erring due to fear and anxiety.
And let’s remember too, that it’s those second or third chances that see many people changing direction,
'Cause nothing works better than a loving kindness that bears long, and why on such, there should be more reflection.

By Lance Landall

25.  Dancing On Our Own Grave

There are tragic things in life that have happened due to misfortune or folly,
And someone else having caused such, and thereby, we left with the result, sadly.
And this where ones attitude is paramount lest that pain is compounded, and
Lest another’s repentance and efforts to change are hampered by our own hand.

Yes, we nursing our grievance, adding to our wound, robbing ourselves pointlessly,
Rather than making the best of things, our attitude a friend or enemy.
And aren’t there those who’re worse off? They missing limbs and yet positive and happy,
But not us, perhaps, who’re less afflicted, ’cause via ill chosen glasses we see.

And thus even dealing with our wound selfishly, as if paying someone back,
Who’s paining over such too, and different now, but oh, how their guilt we stack.
And why we should be looking out the window and not at the mirror that’s cracked,

Because far too often life’s failed computer is one that folk themselves have hacked.

By Lance Landall

26.  That Was Yesterday

Sometimes in our lives, amidst growth or taxing struggles, we say or do wrong things,
Which, not only causes upset or hurt, but upon us, some sad result brings.
A lost friendship, or we not viewed the same, even treated poorly in return,
And hence why we kick ourselves, and another most unfortunate lesson learn.

Maybe that’s how we were yesterday, a hypocrite even, but not today,
Yet, those we upset or hurt, and said sorry to, still treating us the same way.
They seemingly holding it against us, or not wanting to get hurt again,
When they wouldn’t be, for that was yesterday, and hence the flurry of my pen.

By Lance Landall