The Poem


Liberty and Freedom Quotes

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King, Jr

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
Martin Luther King, Jr

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
Elie Wiesel

"Truth is not only violated by falsehood;
it may be equally outraged by silence."

Henri Frederic Amiel

"Your silence gives consent."
(428/427 B.C. -
348/347 B.C.)

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph."
Haile Selassie

    "Silence, where silence shouldn't be,
    equals culpability."

    The Author

"The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."
Mark Twain

"The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in and keep step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent."
Charles Eliot Norton

"Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular- but one must take it simply because it is right."
Martin Luther King Jr 

"A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers – and this is the basis of all human morality."
John Kennedy

"It is easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth than to find one intrepid enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up for it."
Archibald A. Hodge 

"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence."
Leonardo da Vinci

"Truth is violated by falsehood, but it is outraged by silence." Henri-Frederic Amiel

"Don't let the day come where you regret your silence."
The Author

"To buckle under serious persecution is understandable, but to not stand up and speak out when you should and can, and when all you’ll encounter is ridicule, is to act cowardly, shamefully and selfishly."
The Author

"Let every voice be heard lest any voice that’s silenced prove to be one that shouldn’t have been."
The Author

"It's better to rage over ill than to keep quiet and still."
The Author

"Freedom of expression includes the right to say things that other folk don’t want to hear."
The Author

"Civilization today reminds me of an ape with a blowtorch playing in a room full of dynamite. It looks like the
monkeys are about to operate the zoo, and the inmates are taking over the asylum.”
Vance Havner (1901-1986)

Poetry With A Mission

My website, Poetry With A Mission, contains purpose based poetry,
Poetry that cares passionately about our planet, humanity.
In other words, love using poetry as a vehicle to express
Its concern over many things that we need to face, and quickly address.

Yes, poetry, (alias me), that is wanting the best for you and I,
Which is why it’s terribly concerned over things that are going awry.
And why it’s attempting to play a part via the use of rhythm and rhyme,
As changes are badly needed, we’ve rivers to cross, and mountains to climb.

And hence its very thought provoking content, that hopefully you’ll dwell on,
Lest silence, indifference, or inaction, see the likes of liberty gone.
And freedom also, for both will certainly go if they’re not protected,
And also if subtle erosions, (helped by foul play), go undetected.

You see, our choices, dear friend, individually or collectively,
Determine not only our destiny, but also this planet’s destiny,
Whether crime will rise, warring continue, strife, starvation or poverty,
In other words, friend, whether good or evil will triumph, ultimately.

There’s no question that this world is in a mess, and quickly heading downhill,
And in fact, there are those of us who consider it terminally ill.
But whether it's terminally ill or not, it’s clearly in a bad way,
Hence those things we need to face, address — no, not tomorrow, but now, today.

Yes, sometimes we need to be stirred — that is, shaken out of our apathy,
Or we foolishly have our head in the sand, or believe something falsely,
Or we are biased, prejudiced, have been somewhat programmed, or wrongly fed,
Or we're simply not prepared to do or say anything because we’re scared.

Well, fear’s certainly understandable sometimes, but fear won't get us far,
Unless we want to be controlled, that is, for those who let fear win, soon are.
Life without that freedom and liberty that we've known, is just existing,
It’s kowtowing, capitulating, just tyrants and dictators assisting.

Today, and far more than ever, we need men and women who’re not for sale,
That is, those who can’t be bought or sold, and who’ll see right and not wrong prevail,
Yes, those who're prepared to call a spade a spade, and remain honest and true,
Those who are prepared to make a stand, despite whatever they might go through.

Sometimes — even often — straight things need to be said, need to be heard or read,
And far more so, wherever people only want to hear nice things instead.
After all, reality needs to be faced, lest some danger overtake,
Which it will do, if we are falsely lulled, have a closed mind, or aren’t awake.

We may not like what other folk have to say, but we should never stop them,
And all attempts to curb or halt freedom of expression, strongly condemn.
For after all, it’s only via such freedom that truth can ever be found,
Hence why those who've something to fear, or hide, want the truth gone, or tightly bound.

There are certain medicines that we hate, yet need, in order to get well,
Which only the very foolish would refuse, and whom we would soon farewell.
Yes, “No pain, no gain,” is certainly true — thus, some medicines we should take,
Be that via the mouth, the ears, or other, lest we badly suffer or ache.

And therefore, with the greatest of respect and via poetic tradition,
I humbly present my poetry website — Poetry With A Mission.
But please be aware that the reading of my poetry will soon reveal
An open, inquiring, receptive mind, or a closed one, some Achilles heel.

By Lance Landall

We're choking the rivers, emptying the sea, degrading the soil, poisoning the air,
and hacking away at Earth's lungs — the rain forrests.

2.  R.I.P Planet Earth?

This world’s a beautiful creation, I a believer that it was designed,
Everything so precise, so finely tuned, staggeringly complex, and mankind.
I unable to grasp how things could have simply evolved, more so from nothing,
And why everything on this Earth seems to have that must-have-been-created ring.

But that aside, Earth happens to be our nest, and we clearly alone, you know,
Evidence suggesting human invention regarding any UFO.
So why are so many destroying their own habitat, and that of creatures?
For in the scheme of things, deforestation, plundering and war largely features,

And look out for those mines.

Oh, so many cities now concrete ruins, the ground full of poisons that harm,
And the folly of nuclear power and its waste adding to the alarm.
All it taking is an earthquake, but evil creating its own disasters,
And soon, if not now, this old planet that we’re living on well beyond plasters.

So to those of you behind any ill, your success will see you suffer too,
Certainly as time goes by, and this why what you are doing is so askew.
But do you really care, for hate and anger are blind, so unable to see,
And why its all a waste of time, and good not on the side of the bloodthirsty,

Nor on the side of the indifferent, those who're into vice, debauchery.

It’s all in the mind, you know, how one thinks, we either peacemakers or fighters,
Building bridges or starting fires, the latter via bigoted filled lighters.
Yes, a flick of the thumb, and there’s another newspaper headline, callous act,
And that such is a sickness is not an opinion but an obvious fact.

And in the end, no one a winner even if they’re flying their flag, and so
What on earth are folk thinking, doing, though by their fruits we are told that we’ll know.
And there is clarity for you, for those who harm this earth and humanity,
Declare their real agenda, self, evil, and their own end is a surety.


Earth spoilt by renegade humans, some having more in common with a devil,
Their terrible acts knowing no end, they taking things to a whole new level.
And promises on Earth no more trustable than that evolution theory,
Or those who kill in the name of God or Allah, devoid of love and mercy,

And thus wickedly misrepresenting both Islam and Christianity.

By Lance Landall

3.  Just In Case

Just in case I have unintentionally erred in some way, somehow, somewhere,
Remember I’m still learning and growing too, have some way to go to get there.
Hence why I mightn’t have always worded things that well, but though that be the case,
My poems have in fact been designed to provoke thought, for there’re things we need to face.

However, I can truly empathise with those people who’re struggling badly,
Be that physically, emotionally, or addiction wise, believe me.
All why my heart bleeds for them midst my own suffering, and I thus reaching out,
Though negative things mentioned at times in order to bring better things about.

So, dear friend, rest assured that I care, and that I am indeed cross where I err,
And that only penning things that please and delight is what I’d really prefer.
But good friends know that both sweet and sour have their place, and hide from such we shouldn’t,
And why when it came to leaving the sour things out, I’m afraid that I couldn’t.

Yes, I drawing from my own folly, bearing in mind the high price that I’ve paid,
That others may not suffer the same, nor cause any grief too — hence my crusade;
And it hardly pleasant, by the way, for brighter things I’d rather do and say,
But how selfish, for this world is far bigger than me, at the end of the day.

In other words, there’s you, and that’s the whole point, for you might have more years ahead,
My life largely over, and thus why it’s better that my ponderings are read.
And hence why more often than not, I call a spade a spade, and a lie a lie,
Lest you, friend, take the wrong path, follow the wrong crowd, or the wrong side of things buy.


I could do with encouragement too, but dare I consider myself again,
For that’s where our troubles generally stem from — yes, that selfishness in men,
And women, and why I try to forget myself, though some things making that hard,
For I, just like you, perhaps, am battle worn, wounded, hobbled, weakened and scarred.


Mind you don’t bring more on yourself than life in general brings, it not worth it,
Nor so hurting others,
Hence why of my own misadventures and folly, I sadly write and admit,
But I doing my best to make the best of things, despite some concerns ahead,
For one can’t turn the clock back — and why what might help you, I’ve well or poorly said.

By Lance Landall

"To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps
the most difficult act of heroism you can perform."

Theodore H. White (1915-1986)

4.  I Can't Talk?

Yes, I’m no better than you, mess up too, even get scared, you know,
Don’t want to be disliked, struggle with things, and often ebb and flow.
And I too, can put my big foot in it, act rather wrongfully,
All of which concerns me, given what I’m expressing via poetry.

However, not just I, but all, have a duty to express things
That from a healthy inner realization, and disquiet, duly springs.
For should those things not be mentioned, even more remiss one would be,
Aiding and abetting via silence wrongs within society.

We can’t wait until we’re perfect examples to speak, obviously,
For such we’ll never be, (though we should try to be, naturally).
Thus, we’ve got to speak out now, do what we can, despite all our flaws,
Lest, in the meantime, things get far worse, and we’re faced with closing doors.

Hence why I’m doing what I can, while I can, midst my own mistakes,
And despite any affliction that my little world rattles and shakes.
For how could I not do so, given what could happen to you and I,
And given that this planet we’re on is sadly going awry?

I can’t talk? No, but I must — and so must you — as it's foolish not to.

By Lance Landall

5.  I'm No Hero

When I was a youngster, I somewhat lived in a world of my own,
Playing on a grassy river bank for hours on end, and alone.
And there, I lived adventures, acting out things that I'd read and seen,
Quietly creeping through bushes and trees, ears and eyes sharp and keen.

Oh yes, I was a cowboy, a sheriff, Colt 45 in hand,
Or nose down in its leather holster — just a toy, you understand.
And I was on the lookout for anyone with evil intent;
Yes, a crack shot, upholding law and order, hot on someone's scent.

With growing stealth, I daily patrolled my bushy territory
That is, as a defender of right, facing dangers fearlessly.
Yes, there beside the flowing river, locked in childish fantasies,
I battled forces of evil, displaying daring, skill and ease.

Well, dear friend, time has since moved on, and I’m no hero, believe me,
And I’m a hater of guns now, for I’ve met with reality.
Thus, it’s just a pen that I wield now, though still doing what I can,
For defending that which is right, is what truly makes one a man.

Now, I’m just the same as anyone, and could fail, ultimately,
But meantime, while I am able, I will make a stand, openly.
That is, I will not be silent, but will use my voice or my pen
In order to warn of folly, danger, those evil schemes of men.

Or simply to enlighten, for wisdom’s getting lost, being rejected,
And as a result, ignorance is rampant, as would be expected.
And trouble is hot on its heels, along with much heartache and pain,
Which I and others are trying to halt, reverse, somehow contain.

Yes, just like many others, I’m doing what I can, while I can,
Trying to act unselfishly, showing thought for my fellowman.
For to not speak out when I'm able, would be far more cowardly
Than failing sometime in the future due to greater threats, should such be.

However, I hope and pray that I won't fail, when push comes to shove, and,
That in the meantime, wherever it's needed, I will make a stand.
For silence where silence shouldn’t be, is simply cowardice, and,
Such will not build muscles, that later on, give one the strength to stand.

Oh yes, times have changed since I was a young boy, (playing on that bank),
And behaviour and attitudes have changed as well, to be quite frank.
Most people appear caught up in a shameful self-preservation,
That once, friend, would have received the very strongest condemnation.

Thus, due to such selfishness, peer pressure, indifference or fear,
There are far fewer voices speaking out, less folk that seem to care.
And should those strong voices become even fewer, where will things end?
And who of us will share in the blame? So, please think it through, dear friend.

As I said, I’m no hero, I’m simply just a man — made of clay,
But having said that, what exactly is a hero anyway?
Could heroes simply be those people who are doing what they can
On behalf of, and out of loving concern for, their fellowman?

In other words, just an everyday person who has a good heart,
One who's making a stand, speaking out, and thereby, playing their part.
Yes, not remaining silent, despite the deep frowns and jeers of men,
And doing so amidst their own struggles, via their voice or their pen.

By Lance Landall

“The masses have never thirsted after truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master;
whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim."
Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931)

"Pure truth cannot be assimilated by the crowd."
Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)

6.  Don't Want To Offend?

If you don’t want to offend, how can you be honest and say what you really think? — as one should,
Otherwise, such simply becomes a game — a charade — which doesn't do anyone any good.
And in fact, can even lead to injury, and that, “Well why didn’t you say then?” so oft heard,
All because someone was too scared of treading on someone’s toes, thus withholding that needed

Such is often tied in with that "political correctness" nonsense, a plague on all of us,
For it gets in the way of honesty, just pussyfoots around, and hampers what folk discuss.
And so too that fear of offending, for though there’s a time and place, many still won’t say a word,
Which is why many aren’t told what they should be, or if they are, “I heard it from a little bird.”

And then there're those who get someone to “do their dirty work for them,” (as some say), and this meaning:
They seek the bravery or foolishness of someone else, thus sometimes wisdom contravening.
For go-betweens can complicate things, even cause things to worsen, hence some explosions we see,
Such all part and parcel of what can happen when we’re not honest with others like we should be.

The truth is, that if we really do care about others, we will be honest, though it offend,
For those who act differently often act irresponsibly, hurting folk more in the end.
And meantime, kowtowing to weakness and popularity, neither they nor the other growing,
Such all being why we shouldn’t be afraid to offend — and thus our thoughts, others clearly knowing.

All due care and thought, of course.

By Lance Landall

7.  Count On Me

With the world in which we live in trouble, humanity at risk, and so many beset with misery,
How can I keep silent, how can I remain inactive? — unless of course, I’m only interested in me.
Yes, how can I not put pen to paper, express my concerns, educate and warn? — unless I don’t care,
And if I don’t care, and am only interested in me, then my presence is of little value here.

And I, only adding to all the problems that are plaguing this Earth, even worsening things, selfishly,
For we’re clearly meant to be operating as one big family, both thoughtfully and attentively.
And in the process, growing together, finding answers, alleviating whatever distress we can,
For just looking after number one, and hardly lifting a finger, is how most of our troubles began.

Hence why I can’t and won’t do nothing, but rather, all that I can, speaking and writing whilst lending a hand,
For the trials and ills of others, and everywhere that we’re going wrong, I wish to ease, solve and understand.
Well, as much as I am able to as an individual, for such demands the same of everyone,
And thus we best all pulling together as one, society in unison, nothing being left undone.

Yes, no head in the sand for me, or timidity, nor the callousness of acting indifferently,
For when we fail to think and work on behalf of others, we only worsen things for ourselves, ultimately.
And this being because we’re all intricately connected in various ways, which so many fail to see,
And as a consequence, (and as said), they not only hurting themselves in the long run, but humanity.

By Lance Landall

8.  Long Live Free Speech!

Once we legislate to curb ill that some folk may say, we lessen our own rights, and imperil what rights remain,
For freedom of expression is where it’s all at, regardless of hate filled words that may cause a certain pain.
And hence why we shouldn't play with freedom of expression, for there's not one reason good enough for doing so,
And let’s bear in mind that many an ill has begun with some well-meaning but very unwise embryo.

Yes, it’s bad enough that there are those who would like to curb freedom of expression to achieve some evil end,
Without us playing into their hands by going along with legislation that would curb what might offend.
And besides, there’ll always be those who’ll think, speak and act wrongly, regardless of that which is designed to curb,
And why in this imperfect world of ours, there will always be things that will anger, distress, pain and disturb.

But sometimes we need to hear the truth — warts and all — and need to face up to things, though unpleasant they may be,
And hence why even the provocative has its place in all this, be such expressed via the pen or verbally.
However, whether it be this way or that way, the right way or wrong way, let all have their say, and freely,
We asking for nought but due respect and thoughtfulness, for limiting free speech acts far more injuriously.

Yes, some things said may not be nice, even wrong and cruel, but we need to toughen up, not respond childishly,
For we’re hardly living in a nursery, weren’t meant to be wrapped in cotton wool, for that’s absurdity.
In fact, we grow by being confronted, not by being sheltered from reality, nor those harsh things some may say,
Which often convey what we need to hear, and what’s better allowed than not, lest with even more rights, folk play.

Rather than curb, we need to educate, both by word and deed, for laws don’t solve, but simply restrict and prevent,
Thus hardly changing the heart and mind — and if they are foolish laws, they simply cause discontent to ferment,
Or worse — and hence why freedom of expression should never be played with in any way, for such will bring ill,
And in time, the greatest ill of all — a total loss of freedom and liberty — which here, I fear I foretell.

By Lance Landall

9.  Never Hinder Protest

When folk aren’t given the opportunity to air their discontent, and have it taken seriously,
And this, in a supportive, safe and impartial setting, they’re oft left feeling mistreated, helpless and angry.
And there you have the makings of trouble, something that could even make headline news, and unsurprisingly,
For such can have folk festering inside, they outraged at the unfairness, and thus plotting treacherously.

Yes, it never pays to treat anyone’s grievance lightly or casually, nor to put things in their way,
And that meaning, obstacles that make it hard for them to air such — in other words, to at least have their say.
For those who hinder or deprive folk of this basic right, are not only acting very inhumanely,
But playing with fire, for who might they be dealing with? Someone who’s somewhat unstable emotionally?

And this not apparent, or not to a degree that raises concern, hence those surprises that we can get,
We never thinking someone would do what they did, nor they perhaps, but they did, and which they may well regret.
But oh, how anger can burn, and sometime, somehow and somewhere ignite, for no one likes being treated unfairly,
And why all should be listened to, given a fair hearing, even if their complaint is deemed rather silly.

When folk can’t have their say-cum-air some grievance, they can lose heart, give up, stop contributing and walk away,
Which is how the valuable input of many gets lost, and why some as a result of such, go astray;
Or how they become zealots, their anger fuelling some mission, they kicking back at some organisation,
Or taking it out on society, and who’s to blame but those who created such a situation.

By Lance Landall

10.  Just Say It

“It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” they say, which to be honest, isn’t entirely true,
For no matter how we say some things, folk can still get upset, and what we're saying misconstrue.
And sometimes people need a jolt, enter those sharper words and that firmer approach, otherwise,
They might remain in danger, or continue their ill, which in this case, a tough stance justifies.

And hence the strident pen, one hoping that the written word will do what one can’t do verbally,
For many aren’t approachable, they as sensitive as the Richter scale, reacting angrily.
Yes, no matter how carefully we choose our words, there are those who react very childishly,
But if something needs saying, it should still be said, such being the unpleasant side of one’s duty.

And that’s where many bomb out, their backbone hardly straight and strong, excuses coming thick and fast,
They not even bothering with words, let alone carefully chosen words, lest they get a blast.
But better a blast and someone better off — well, hopefully — than we simply saving our own skin,
And bearing in mind that warnings not given can sometimes kick back at us, and then be rubbed in.

Seems no one wants to be told, and that no one wants to do the telling, and hence much ill we see,
And things would be even worse if it weren’t for those few brave souls who refuse to behave PC.
Yes, time we returned to those days when folk spoke their mind, and didn’t let others get away with things,
For out of that silence that’s motivated by fear and self-preservation, nothing good springs.

By Lance Landall

11.  Best It's Hollered

When someone is near the edge of a cliff, do we smile and casually say, “Nice day, take care,”
Or do we holler, “Look out! You’re too close! Get back!" our concern clear, thus creating healthy fear?
Well, if someone asked me, I’d say to do the latter, such displaying far more loving concern,
And under the circumstances is exactly what’s needed, lest too late, one’s fellowman learn.

However, many can’t see the danger even when it’s hollered, and don’t like folk hollering;
Not that that casual “Take care” goes down any better, for to that which is cherished, most cling.
Yes, they not wanting to veer from that path they’re on, even though it’s taking them close to the edge,
And the likelihood of a fatal fall — their view obstructed by a deceiving self-imposed hedge.

But though such be the case, something should still be said; and given that neither approach goes down well,
One might as well holler, though such warnings should be loud and clear, and this, even if looks could kill.
For folk need to know — and thus one’s duty done — and bearing in mind that others could be affected,
And hence why love does all it can to ensure that certain principled fences are erected.

Yes, best it’s hollered — we having done our uttermost — and given that these days, fewer seek to warn,
Which is why those fewer voices need to be louder, just like the chirping of birds heard at dawn.
And this, in order to also bring reality home to those who have their head in the sand,
And who the noble intentions of those who’re trying to help them see, sadly misunderstand.

By Lance Landall

12.  Don't Get Too Hung Up On Delivery

“It’s how you say it,” they say, but hey, most don’t like hearing the truth anyway,
And thus the problem’s not so much how it’s said but what it is one’s got to say.
And there’s not a lot one can do about that, people not wanting to change, and
Truth by its very nature straight — hence presenting it not a popular stand.

Yes, it’s best that truth be couched in a particular way, and oft it can be,
But nevertheless is still best said even if not said so eloquently.
The truth is that the fault lies more with the reluctant hearer who oft fights it,
Despite the fact that it’s bang on — and rightly accepted, to their benefit.

So just do your best and don’t get too hung up on delivery, how it’s said,
For who can speak truth in a way that pleases? — it oft more like an arrowhead.
And why it can cut even when one’s gentle with the bow, or further away,
And why speaking out can cost, though sometimes more so where truth we fail to convey.

By Lance Landall

13.  Canaries In The Mine

You know, when it came to a title for this poem, I was caught between two, the other one being:
Love’s Last Chance Before Darkness Falls, given the encroachments on liberty that some aren’t seeing.
Well, Canaries In The Mine won the day, for canaries were once critical in many mines,
And so too today, given the darkness and explosiveness of the times, and certain bad signs.

But you know, encroachments on liberty aside, watchmen are required throughout society,
They sounding the alarm wherever there’s good reason, and given some ills that many can’t see.
For once certain doors are opened — and in some cases, tightly shut — it’s too late to do a thing,
And oh, the baleful results, and hence that need of human canaries, one’s who will loudly sing.

And they brave souls, for there are those who don’t want those canaries singing their warning songs, you see,
And who try to shut their singing down, such treachery being at the expense of society.
Or indeed humanity, which is why certain canaries are heard above the rest who sing,
For there are degrees of ill, and the ill that some sing of, heralding what greater ill will bring.

And thus, love’s last chance before darkness falls, perhaps, for only those who truly care seek to warn,
And given all the heads in the sand, it’s not just chirping needed, but a locomotive’s horn.
And who likes jarring blasts? — but with deadly serious danger only moments in time away,
Those who see the danger are left with no choice, hence their cries, which all should very carefully weight.

Yes, too many far too busy, distracted, disinterested or asleep.

By Lance Landall

14.  Far Better I Be Honest

Hi there. I could say all those things that you’d like to hear, and thereby, would have you really like me,
No criticism passing my lips, not a frown on my face, I choosing my words carefully.
Yes, I avoiding saying anything that would displease you, and always agreeing with you,
Warm fuzzies-cum-praise coming thick and fast — you a prince or princess who’s found a snug fitting shoe.

But you know, such would make me a liar and deceiver, someone who wouldn’t be a good friend,
Despite my appearing to be a good friend initially, but certainly not in the end.
For my comments would have you thinking things that weren’t so, things you’d discover eventually,
And meantime, you having made a fool of yourself, (for example), and I left looking sickly.

Yes, far better I be honest, for though such mightn't appeal, at least it would be the truth, and I,
A person far more in tune with reality, and therefore, someone on whom you could rely.
And via such honesty you would grow, for praise that’s not due, and things said that aren’t true, don’t strengthen,
But leave one reliant on props that in time just give way, enter the proverbial violin.

It’s even possible that I might anger you, but anything else would be a lie and snare,
For any words I chose to withhold, dress up or make up, could bring greater pain and weight to bear.
Best we face up to things, acceptance and contentment our best friends, and so too those who’re honest,
For at the end of the day, they’re the ones who’re truly concerned about what’s in our best interest.

By Lance Landall

15.  Are You A Mere Shadow?

Yes, it’s better to speak up, stand up, and do something rather than nothing, even should you err,
Than to live a life of sheer mediocrity, as far too many people seem to prefer.
Better your presence be noticed and felt, you thus contributing and provoking worthwhile thought,
Rather than living an introspective life that humanity wise achieves little or naught.

Better to be thought a fool than to be one via failing to try and halt any wrong you could have,
And via letting anyone’s thoughts about you get in the way of whether you should or shouldn’t have.
Better to face opposition for the sake of what’s best and right than to keep quiet and distant,
You not kowtowing to threats, frowns, jeers or sneers, but rather, being courageous, true and consistent.

Yes, it’s better to leave this world having made a difference, having brightened, lightened and shared,
Having pondered on the meaning of life and the lot of others, and having shown that you cared.
And thus you at peace having not stood idly by, nor sought your own comfort, or self-preservation,
But rather, having lost yourself in what really makes a life, and becomes an inspiration.

Better to say and do what one should and not simply please, as if wanting to look good to all,
For where’s the honesty and transparency in holding back, not being who you are, warts and all?
And thus you just another one who passed through life as if a shadow-cum-minus what made it,
You far too absorbed with being Mr Nice and not treading on toes to be of much benefit.

Or a Mrs Nice, forgetting that those who dare not offend cannot be honest, (nor helpful),
They not wanting to upset by saying the truth, even though the truth would prove more beneficial.
And such being why a “Hands off,” “Keep out of it,” “Don’t rock the boat” approach does far more harm than good,
For falsehood, wrong and evil will simply prosper, and some errant ones not attain adulthood.

Hence the question: Are you a mere shadow? — and thus this world little better off for you being here,
Not that anyone’s worthless or not precious, but context wise, you a tree that little fruit will bear.
In other words, you drawing a lifetime of nutrients from this Earth with little in return,
Your looking the part and avoiding being bothered by the elements being your only concern.

Well, I hope that’s not the case, and you, more concerned with right than with what others think of you,
And thus speaking out, standing up, doing something rather than naught or little, where you can do.
And also packing as much effort into others as you would your life, you no mere shadow,
But a living example of what’s really a life, one that substance and not just froth will show.

By Lance Landall

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

16.  Crosses Come With Every Such Hero

Many who’re trying to stand up and speak out are struggling under that burden,
For it’s an unpopular road, a heavy weight to bear, and supporters thin.
Yes, trumpeters sometimes silenced, often hindered, and some of these folk aren’t well,
But love and duty calls, and they respond, come applause or some personal hell.

And they can feel like a fool, others even treating them so, but on they press,
Some forfeiting their life, many forfeiting comforts and even happiness.
Their mission oft a solemn one, much at stake, listeners few, scoffers many,
And as for some deserving medal — well, there usually isn’t any.

And many feeling inadequate, aware of their own failings, but still they stand,
Despite anxieties, knocking knees, or any threats that might be close at hand.
And sadly, some pulling out, the toll too much to bear, and it no wonder s
But least they tried, and bravery rare, for crosses come with every such hero.

By Lance Landall

The following poem contains a couple of references to God, such being necessary for the purpose.
This poem was inspired by the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, 7th January, 2015, but is not condoning the
content of any Charlie Hebdo cartoon.

17.  I Am Charlie, But...

Say, if God himself has given us the freedom to choose our own destiny,
To accept Him or reject Him, to praise Him or curse Him, then hey, who are we
To tell others what they should or shouldn’t say, take their life because of offence,
Thus sneering at liberty and democracy; and by casting aside sense,

Ushering in tyranny as a consequence?


Who are we to so arrogantly set ourselves above others, or dictate,
To cry foul because of their right to freedom of expression even should it grate,
To act as if we’re God himself — and hey, are we so immature and thin-skinned
That we can’t handle someone’s poor judgment, bad taste? — and as if we’ve never sinned!

We might not like what someone says or draws, but dare we tinker with such a right,
For only the errant or those with an agenda would have such in their sight.
Yes, such being the first thing chomped on by evil insiders dressed to deceive,
And it so easily impinged on by the clumsy or afraid, I believe.

And why the word sacrosanct comes to mind, the concreting of free speech our aim,
And why when it comes to freedom of expression, everything must be fair game,
Because any line drawn is an automatic infringement, a crying shame,
(Even if done in Heaven’s name),
And one step always being the beginning of more, folk soon lamenting what became.

All why I am Charlie, another defender of unfettered expression,
But one who likes to infuse such with a certain thoughtfulness-cum-discretion.
 For why pointlessly anger, and there are always those who’re easily upset,
And those who just can’t help themselves and foolishly give even worse than they get.

If God’s for real like I believe He is, and given how long we’ve all been here,
He’s far more generous than men, who when it comes to others, long aren’t seen to bear.
And who would have more reason for wrath? — yet here we still are, most cursing His name,
And some even wrongly claiming His permission to dictate, oppress, murder or maim.

Or Muhammad's.

And why it’s also perilous to follow and revere some man — plain folly —
For even good men err, and conmen hardly proclaim their moral poverty.
Hence why no one should be exempt from scrutiny, and why pens should write and draw,
And as for humour, it oft near the truth of things, ill folk foresee, or foresaw.


All why I am Charlie, but not a mocker, nor racist and a complete fool,
For free speech shouldn’t be abused, and therefore, one rightly handling any tool.
And not just that, but we treating others as we’d like them to treat us, and why
I will only go so far, and then, where necessary. Thought and sense nearby.

By Lance Landall

"For why pointlessly anger" is referring to those who say or write something provocative simply for a laugh,
or where there isn't a good enough reason for doing so.

"There's greater danger in trying to limit freedom of expression than there is in
permitting its abuse."
The Author

18.  The Cheek!

Oh, did I upset you? Said something you didn't like? Sorry, how wrong of me.
I guess I got carried away with one's right to free speech — oh yes, and liberty.
I shouldn't have said anything but what you actually wanted to hear,
For after all, who wants folk to disagree with them, or opposite views share.

Yes, how thoughtless of me, I should've kept my thoughts to myself, just zipped my lips,
But I guess it's so easy for us to say what we think, and so out it slips.
Sorry, I shouldn't be myself, should only consider what you have to say,
Rather than letting my selfish individuality get in the way.

By Lance Landall

19.  Hate Speech

When we outlaw hate speech we endanger all speech, and thus free speech hardly free,
But rather, restricted, an oxymoron, it either free or not, surely.
Limits automatically being antagonistic to free speech, and
Always the way of those who throughout history have had something evil planned.

When we start defining what free speech should and shouldn’t be, legislatively,
We effectively render free speech useless, albeit incrementally.
Such defining prone to changing times and hands, a clear threat to liberty,
Free speech only free when its not handicapped by limits that weren’t meant to be.

Restrictions and free speech are incompatible, the former its enemy,
And so, we allowing what might appal, though some folk are riled too easily.
And their idea of what should or shouldn’t be said perhaps draconian, and
A return to sanity much harder or lost, nor helped by heads in the sand.

Yes, best we just ignore those horrid rants, nor attend their meetings, prudently,
Thus not stopping them from speaking lest democracy become mobocracy.
Too many who’re not happy about hate speech acting just as ignorantly,
Just as intolerantly — and hence why sacrosanct, free speech should always be.

Debate with such folk if you want to, though many have already, pointlessly,
But never fight fire with fire; and why protest if free speech is just that, free?
Yes, responsibility comes with free speech, but one can only educate,
Because a loving heart and a noble mind aren’t things that we can legislate.


Encouraging others to maim or kill anyone, is quite another thing,
Just like debate and fighting are worlds apart too, despite how much words may sting.
And thus such evil inciting going well beyond free speech — a crime, in fact,
And why here, law has its place, and thus why here, every government must act.

But when it comes to speech that simply isn’t nice or kind, and even nasty,
Words are just words, and bigger we must be in order to attain maturity.
We grow by meeting confrontation head on, not by running away from it,
Nor by outlawing it, but by assessing whether those words spoken may fit.

And you know, this world’s hardly Heaven, and thus thick-skinned we somewhat need to be,
Lest we make someone’s problem our problem too by reacting just as silly.
This planet’s not made up of saints, and thus perfection hardly reality,
And hence why we must learn to live with things, including begging to disagree,

And hey, how else can tolerance be?

So, should you come across a group ranting or marching that you can’t stand, just go,
Leave them alone, ’cause they’ve that right, and you could be the cause of trouble, you know.
’Cause angrily confronting such folk is like putting a match to paper, and
You the one having produced that match, when violence, say, they may not have planned.

People are getting upset over anything and everything today,
They far too sensitive or petty, not made of tougher stuff, it’s sad to say.
So rather than condemning hate speech, which all should, they want it banned, foolishly,
When that is far more dangerous given its serious threat to liberty.

At the end of the day, our words are our thoughts, and our thoughts are our own, and so,
Given they belong to us, who has the right to control them, and decide “No?”
No one, and hence why we should be able to speak our own mind, say this or that,
Though surely sense and thought dictating, thinking of others being where it’s at.

And thinking of others includes letting them be themselves, letting them have their say,
No matter what we think of them, or what they’ve got to say, ’cause that’s the fair way.
And fair for us too, those of us who don’t like hate speech, and thus our thoughts convey,
In the hope that those foolish imparters of hate speech will see the light one day.

By Lance Landall

This poem was added to on 13 August 2018.

20.  Love Speech

As you’d assume, love speech is the opposite to hate speech, it thoughtful and kind,
But never foolish, because when it comes to right and wrong, love has to remind.
And thus its tone changing at times, ’cause censure it must, and given how it cares,
Love knowing that the early introduction of discipline saves future tears.

Yes, love’s tone may change, but not its heart, full of encouragement and empathy,
Those words that uplift and inspire one, those words that convey patience and mercy.
Love responding to the users of hate speech with words that might soften and heal,
In fairness acknowledging the way that someone rightly or wrongly may feel.

No, love speech knows nothing of anything resembling hate speech, and why we see
Very carefully chosen replies, an assertiveness tied to dignity.
Love speech recognising insecurity and ignorance, and holding back,
Nought gained by fighting fire with fire, and how silly it is to overreact.

Love speech or hate speech, the choice is yours, your heart dictating which one you’ll choose,
Love speech not afraid to say what it thinks, but more lovingly conveys its views.
And needed words (no matter how they’re couched) won’t please some, but love speech wise and fair,
It pointing to a better way that’s practiced, and it more easy on the ear.

Yes, love only knows love speech, those words that promote love and never injury,
Those words that convey positive sentiments, and thus praise heard regularly.
Yes, love speech is helpful speech, speech that thinks before it says anything, and why
It’s only what’s good, right, wholesome and heavenly that it seeks to magnify.

By Lance Landall

This page is best read in conjunction with the "Purpose" page.