The Heart Of The Matter



Yes, the heart of the matter, our hearts.

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

1.  Neurocardiology, They Call It

And here’s what they say, if I’ve got things right:

Certain neurons that are in our brain, and that are also in our beating heart,
Show that the two have a special link, and why both brain and heart don’t think apart.
The heart having what amounts to a little brain of its own, effectively
(And it funny how the Good Word says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”).

What we’re talking about is, a sophisticated collection of neurons,
Which, when the brain’s engaged, ensure that our heart automatically responds.
The brain more mechanical, the heart being the centre of emotions, feelings,
And therefore, the two of them always involved in all our wheelings and dealings.

And so,

It not always figurative speech when folk say, “He died of a broken heart,”
But perhaps reality, it just as if he’d been shot with a poisoned dart.
And thus the brain and heart more closely linked then we ever thought, and why it is
That heart transplant recipients inherit emotions, tastes and memories

That once were hers or his, and this being,

Because that complex heart-based cluster of neurons communicates with the brain,
Hence those gut feelings; maybe those twinges that can come with emotional strain,
And therefore, there being far more to that pumping and beating going on within
(And perhaps this why the Good Word says, “A merry heart does good like medicine”).

Well, believe it or not.

By Lance Landall

2.  The Heart Of The Matter

If I were the ruler of Earth — God, say — and had to judge everyone-cum-their fate,
I’d be focussing on their heart, and over its condition, long deliberate.
'Cause there I’d find the key to their reward or penalty, whatever such might be,
Given that within each heart there lies the truth-cum-transparency or secrecy.

Yes, one’s heart is the heart of the matter, it compelling us to do this or that,
We either acting rightly or wrongly, love for our fellowman being where it’s at.
And why I would want to study its course, its past, present-cum-future tendencies,
Whether it thought beyond itself, or whether it’s riddled with some callous disease.

And thus my gaze looking for selflessness, beauty and light, a love beating strongly,
As I would be hoping to find its machinery working rightly, not wrongly.
'Cause why reward a toxic heart? It's hardened vessels hardly beating lovingly,
But rather, they narrowed due to a selfish cholesterol, sad propensity.

No, such a heart wouldn’t please me, my scrutiny not leaving any stone unturned,
I checking to see whether from that errant path it had veered, and now, with love burned.
'Cause though it once pumped with the self-serving, its change of direction would have me pause,
And thus stamp reward instead of penalty — and by the way, what’s the state of yours?

By Lance Landall

3.  That State Of Our Heart

At the end of the day, when all’s said and done, there’s one inescapable thing,
And that is, that it’s all about one’s heart, and ’round that, there should be a big ring.
Yes, a personal circle gouged by our loving thoughts, words and acts, clear to all,
Doing harm to no one, but good to all, and in everything else, walking tall.

Oh yes, our every thought, word and act revealing the true state of our heart,
Whether it’s a disappointing creation or a heavenly work of art,
Whether it’s selfish and delusional, or full of love, goodness and beauty,
Whether it feels no responsibility, or has a keen sense of duty.

Or to put it another way, whether it’s a healthy red, or, sad to say,
Evilly black, or somewhere in-between, and thus a polluted kind of grey.
Oh yes, our lives revealing the truth of it all, that state of our heart, which we
Get to choose, and which inevitably, everyone somehow gets to see.

By Lance Landall

4.  The Weeping Heart

Oh, the weeping heart, how it bleeds, tortured by pain that robs of joy, its unseen tears pooling within,
Cruelly saturating, stressing, hampering, the pumping and beating laboured in their discipline.
Oh, how the weeping heart aches, and oft midst a shattering loneliness, melancholy solitude,
Where no healing visitation is paid, but just those tears that aren't welcome, and that thereby intrude.

And oh, how they intrude, their dampness sombre, gloomy, wretched and chilly, depressingly clammy,
And they, oft leaving streaks that show, reminding of their callous entrance even after surgery;
That being, when healing balm has entered those precious chambers that sustain life, and signalled, "All’s well,"
Hope and happiness drying from the inside out, despatching those tears that an inner story tell.

Yes, the weeping heart, too oft bleeding from wounds not fair nor necessary, pain that clutches cruelly,
It’s miserable fingers gripping viciously, squeezing emotionally and physically.
Oh, how such distresses, impairs, the besieged heart sobbing, throbbing, drowning in a pool of sorrow,
Though longing for some lifeline that will release pain’s brutal shackles, usher in a new tomorrow.

Yes, new tomorrows do come, thus the weeping heart freed of its torturer, pain’s fingers forced apart,
A soothing, holistic medicine in the form of something special having healed the weeping heart.
Yes, even when things seem darker, and the weeping heart's feeling crushed, a joyous answer can appear,
Creatively relieving or removing that pain within, the weeping heart well, tears gone, the way clear.

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 3 February 2020.

5.  In Your Heart

Wherever you decide to go, take love with you, carrying it in your heart,
'Cause there’s no warmer place for love to be, it always ready to play its part.
And oh, how it will bless you and others, have your heart beating effortlessly,
'Cause love can only but serve you well, energise with its positivity.

Yes, love’s known for its therapeutic properties, its ability to cheer,
Its speediness where there’s some plaintive cry, hence its very sympathetic ear.
Love oft providing the answer, and many a burden is seen to help bear,
Which is why you should take love with you, in your heart, because it's so at home there.

By Lance Landall

6.  Mind Those Who Play With Hearts

Of all the crimes here on Earth, there’s one that must surely rate pretty high, and that is, playing with someone’s heart,
Yes, a very cruel action, no minor infraction, which some cads even seem to have down to a fine art.
And oh, how they mislead, appear so convincing, even genuine, when in fact very far from sincere,
They soon leaving behind a pool of tears, a broken heart, the truth discovered too late, but now crystal-clear.

And against such, there’s oft little protection, given that love is prone to blindness, most not wanting to see,
Even though others have noticed the signs, and thus the danger, a danger that the conned refute testily.
However, time duly proves that they were mistaken, and the others right, but oft not before much injury,
For those who play with someone’s heart, reach deep inside that person’s very being, a tender inner sanctuary.

And there, they tear and wound, the heart bleeding profusely, and sometimes terminally, such being too much for some,
While others simply don’t trust again, remaining single and cynical, and less holistic thus become.
For there within their trifled heart, they harbour that which can only but do more harm than good, prolong the agony,
Which a deliberate or simply thoughtless and selfish act caused, leaving behind another casualty.

And hence those pithy words of many a philosopher, for such injury is as old as history,
And why the wise person not only listens to wisdom, but acts upon it, preventing such injury.
Yes, such is easier said than done, admittedly, but better done than not, feelings held in check by sense,
For those who play with hearts are actually the enemies of love, their callous plundering oft immense.

By Lance Landall

7.  Which No Heart Can Afford

A man may well be a nice man, but if he hunts creatures without any need,
There’s a piece of his heart that’s truly dead, ’cause over such deaths, his heart should bleed.
Oh, how killing creatures for sport is such a cruel thing — heartless, many would say,
And certainly insensitive, that hunter's heart having started to decay.

And one hoping that decay won’t spread, each bullet making killing easier,
’Cause that love for stalking isn’t what hearts are for, and how lines begin to blur.
And who knows where such might end given a piece of that heart is already dead,
Which no heart can afford — and oh, how those poor creatures must live in utter dread.

Imagine it, two lions smooching each other (as we’ve seen them do), and then
One of them lying dead, the other mourning, and all why I’ve picked up my pen.
Yes, hoots of joy coming from the killer, a shaking of hands, or a high five,
But not so much as a single thought for the partner or siblings still alive.

All know creatures have feelings — eyes, ears and a nose too
but something’s missing here,
Yes, a piece of that hunter’s heart, it unable to comprehend, shed a tear.
It deadened, you see, as good as detached, callous intent having taken its place,
He unable to appreciate anymore how his guns pointing at a face.

By Lance Landall

8.  Hearts

We seldom give our heart a thought ’till it coughs and splutters, skips a beat or two,
Then we scurry off to the doctor or call for an ambulance with its crew.
And yet, there in our chest it’s been faithfully beating day after day, or night,
And oh, what some of us have put it through, and still do, until we see the light.

Yes, we taking it for granted despite its critical role, for should it stop,
It’s not as if we can just catch a bus and purchase another from some shop.
So best we look after it, and certain ways there are, for hearts needs tender care,
And why we shouldn’t grieve another’s heart, lest it break, shatter, bleed, twinge or tare.

By Lance Landall

9.  Newborn Hearts

Take every single newborn heart and treat it with the utmost love and care,
Tenderizing it via teaching and training and an example one should wear.
And all being well, that dear child will be a child that only good seeds will sow,
A child who hates violence and cruelty, a child who’ll never become a foe.

Yes, take every single newborn heart and fill it with love for everyone,
A passion for helping and sharing, and contempt for any evil act done.
Help it to have a nose for truth, ears that catch needy cries, eyes that clearly see,
Lips that only speak well of others, and there you’ll have a blessed society.

By Lance Landall

10.  If There Was A Door To Our Heart

If there was a door to our heart that anyone could open and see within,
I wonder what they would discover, and would we all hear the drop of a pin?
Oh, what might be found? Some owners balking, and some gushing ecstatically,
And we, just as excited, or disappointed, even turned off, possibly.

Yes, some hearts open to view, their windows gaping and curtain free, but not so
Other hearts, their windows shut and their curtains pulled, no one meant to see or know.
Yes, a WELCOME mat or KEEP OUT sign greeting us, a smile or embarrassed blush,
A cheer coming from everyone observing, or a disappointing hush.

By Lance Landall


11.  Lovesick

Oh, how important the heart is, and so easily affected, oh dear me,
Because come a hint of romantic love, it skips and flutters mercilessly.
Oh yes, no one able to do a thing, that heart under a beguiling spell,
The blood waylaid to the ears and eyes, one ecstatic or giddily unwell.

Yes, the heart bouncing all over the place, strange things happening to its owner,
Be it a handsome Michael or Johnny, or a cute and curvaceous Mona.
Thus hands waved in front of glazed eyes doing nothing, nor voices loud in the ear,
The heart having well and truly been captured, dangerously lovesick, I fear.

By Lance Landall


12.  Heart And Soul

“I love you with all my heart,” he said, and it’s true that he had a heart of gold,
But he soon to be heartbroken, and sick at heart, ’cause she wasn’t his to hold.
“I love you from the bottom of my heart,” he said, which touched her heart, but sadly,
And with a heavy heart, and saying, “My heart goes out to you,” she said, “Sorry.”

Yes, his love was heartfelt, straight from the heart, she his heart’s desire, and indeed
His heart was in the right place, and he so big hearted, but it soon seen to bleed.
Yes, it was heart rendering, he so young at heart, and now faint of heart, sadly,
Left nursing a heartache having loved her heart and soul — oh, the tragedy.

Would she have had a change of heart if he’d begged, and thus he melting her heart
(Midst gladdening his)? No, she someone else’s, thus no point saying, “Have a heart.”
And so she telling him to take heart, and not wear his heart on his sleeve as well,
But to mind who he set his heart on (she all heart) — oh, what a story to tell.

By Lance Landall


13.  Cross My Heart

“The answer is to follow one’s heart,” they said, "And to also open one’s heart,
Love actually being the key to the heart (thus loving all, more than smart)."
And so, he taking this to heart — yes, very heartily, which moved someone's heart,
All why she in her heart of hearts knew he was the one, and they not seen apart.

Oh, what a heart warming story, he her heartthrob — yes, very dear to her heart,
But she thinking of those lonely hearts, and those who lose heart, some right from the start.
“Oh, how sad it is,” she said, as she poured her heart out, and she a work of art,
Yes, beautiful at heart, and he good-hearted too, thus both saying, “Cross my heart.”

By Lance Landall

14.  Just Good To A Degree

To know the true nature and character of someone, examine how they view humanity,
How they treat others, and whether they’re prepared to stoop to any underhand activity;
In other words, anything that would disadvantage, injure or deceive anyone,
'Cause those who’re truly good people, are those who the mistreatment of others (in any form),

Everyone likes to think that they’re a good person (generally speaking, that is), but you know,
Most of us are really only nice to a degree, and thus that “good” ringing somewhat hollow.
Yes, we wonderful and thoughtful to some, but not so to others, we kind of picking and choosing,
Our goodness quickly vanishing when someone upsets, and we doing our share of abusing.

And that’s rather sad, we only good by degree, not from head to toe like one surely should be,
And so full of excuses for our shortcomings, insensitivity, inhumanity.
Even thinking we’re pretty decent in the scheme of things, deluded as deluded can be,
'Cause we’re either a good person or not, anything else being nothing but a shameful degree.

Yes, we’re only as good a person as we chose to be, most people not so totally,
And to be honest, most hardly trying to be, they seemingly content with their sad degree.
And as long as they remain content with that degree, a truly good person they’ll never be,
'Cause those who’re truly good people are totally so, and thus beacons shining midst humanity.

By Lance Landall

15.  The Champions

Love has always been, and will always be, the only answer, the only way,
So awake, good people, it’s time to stand and shine, so much having gone astray.
And you being the only light midst the darkness, and evil wanting it gone,
So never look to men, but that path that lifts and not lowers, and carry on!

Yes, fight for what’s right, and without fear or favour, though always within the law,
Joining the ranks of those Lincolns, Nightingales and Ghandis who’ve gone before,
'Cause history’s full of evil men, selfish fools, more bad leaders than good, who,
Worsened rather than improved things, and many oppressed, imprisoned and slew.

Oh, presidents and candidates embroiled in controversy, their lives askew,
And such the case with many who’ve stood behind a pulpit, been behind a coup,
Yet having tried to convince people otherwise, and such is still seen today,
Their lies and disguises more deceptive and clever, darker forces at play.

And thus only the vigilant aware, those with good memories, sounder hearts,
Keen eyes, a rudder that sets a straight course, and compass that a better way charts.
Yes, love their motivation, truth that needle on their compass, and "good" their end,
And thus they the champions, who, what is right and better, truly comprehend.

By Lance Landall

16.  Spoilers

What a terrible thing that the only thing that spoils this planet is people,
Hence those neighbourhoods that one avoids that are plagued with every kind of ill.
Or those neighbours who spoil one’s quality of life — yes, that music, those parties,
Though there are other ways that such neighbours spoil things when only themselves they please.

Hence my question: Are you one of those neighbours, or part of that neighbourhood,
Spoiling this planet and the lives of others, thus doing harm rather than good?
Yes, we’re one or the other, there no in-between, we a blessing or a curse,
Causing or solving, selfishly emptying or selflessly filling life’s purse;

In other words, that joy and happiness that everyone has a right to,
But many spoiling things for others, even themselves, ’cause in time, such we rue.
Yes, what goes around comes around, but why be that kind of person? — and you know,
There’s no excuse for such, it but a choice we make, we either sunshine or snow.

Whether born in a stable or palace, our behaviour should still be the same,
It all to do with character, we thus developing a good or bad name.
And blame pointless, it achieving nothing, and it still no excuse for spoiling,
Many as bad off as we might be, yet thoughtfully and lovingly toiling.

Thus there’s no need for those troublesome neighbourhoods or neighbours, such but their choice,
One choosing to be this way or that way, it nothing to do with a Rolls Royce.
Some up the ladder acting just as bad as some down the ladder, sad to say,
Spoiling this planet too, shaming humanity, which as we’ve seen, doesn’t pay.

Yes, what a terrible thing that the only thing that spoils this world is people,
And even more tragic, those who know far better who kneel beneath some steeple.
God disappointed too, but that’s people for you, some of them living a lie,
And thus they spoiling this planet as well, and why as they live, they also die.

All why it’s not about tomorrow but today, ’cause haven’t you noticed, friend?
Tomorrow never changes, history having taught us this, then come the end,
A self-created end — and so it is with us and our choices, and all why
We should make the right ones; spoiling not an option, but what a fool’s seen to buy.

And those fools being: Cads, tyrants, warmongers, thieves, rapists, murderers, bullies,
Troublemakers, disturbers of one’s peace — yes, those spoilers who do as they please.
People, but not good people, or whose state of development is stunted, sadly,
Yes, a situation that’s stubbornly resistant to change, tragically.

By Lance Landall

17.  It's All About Getting It Right

One would think we’re living in the age of witch-hunts, not love and grace, and therefore,
Are after the racist, sexist, bigoted and homophobic with a roar.
Yes, teeth ready to bite, such all over the media, in and out the courts,
And wrongly caught up in it, the innocent, the stumbling, and many good sorts.

Seems we seem to think the answer lies in laws and punishment — revenge, maybe,
And thus when it comes to love and grace, forgiveness, “You’ve got to be kidding me!
No way, Jose, he’s going to get what’s coming to him,” even though he’s changed
(Or her), and what does that say of us? Advancement? No, there’s a posse arranged.

I guess we either believe in love and grace or not, though law does have its place,
But hey, why are we bringing back those lynchings, many judgments a real disgrace.
Yes, there’s often more to things, thus we better off being tortoises than hares,
And fostering understanding and tolerance rather than creating fears.

There’s no question that certain attitudes and behaviour needs to change, and hey,
There’s been enough wars, unrest and upheaval too, thus even Earth turning grey.
But turning to the same old tried and failed, and acting like bounty hunters too
(And thus just as askew), shows we haven’t learnt, and that some waterloo is due.

Yes, history just keeps on repeating itself, things gained soon lost, and therefore,
We thus never arriving or staying, and hence that tired old swinging door.
Balance missing as much as love and grace, the heart of the matter being our hearts,
Because regarding just about everything in life, that’s where it all starts.

By Lance Landall

Christian content or degree.

18.  Written On The Heart

Never have shouts been louder to bring a stop to this or that, but honestly,
What can governments do but introduce more laws which impinge on liberty.
And don’t we realise that laws haven’t stopped murder, rapes, domestic abuse and more,
And no wonder, ’cause governments can’t change hearts, and hey, who opened evil’s door?

All why those ills condemned aren’t going to stop, minds darker, hearts blacker, and thus
Protests achieving little, and why I ask, “Haven’t people heard of Jesus?”
Okay, scoff you might, but that God of love is the only one that I’ve seen who
Has changed hearts, but most not receptive, and hence why one’s upbringing I turn to.

If we want the world changed, we must begin at the cradle — yes, education,
Teaching love, thought and respect for others; which is how we grow a great nation.
But much having to go that we’ve opened the door to, and then there’s surgery,
The heart and mind getting attention, ’cause a good example’s necessary.

Yes, “Ban hate speech!” they shout, but it won’t stop racism, such in the heart and mind,
Hate preventing one from seeing, just as much as being in love makes one blind.
There needing to be a conversion experience — yes, a heavenly one,
The old giving way to the new, though right from childhood, such should’ve begun.

The heart and mind is always where it’s at, but we looking everywhere else, and
Never succeeding, history just repeating, having simply built on sand.
Morality, standards and principles having been ignored, given bad press,
Most not wanting to repent, just legislate, blame everyone else, I guess.

Yes, we condemn violence, yet watch is nightly, and what else do we condemn,
Whilst knee deep in the destructive and injurious ourselves; it not just them.
“Lock ’em up!” we shout, yet what have they been influenced by, all why ill we see,
The hearts and minds of all having been corrupted, and why little change there’ll be.

God and His Law not so silly after all, and where would His Law better be,
But written on our hearts rather than on paper, as seen legislatively.
What’s on paper having little substance, but not so what’s written on the heart,
And why from the path of right, if taught right from the cradle, a child won’t depart.

By Lance Landall

Christian content or degree.

19.  The Only Heart Worth Having

Tenderise my heart, Lord, that it may be attuned to any cry, any tear,
And it a vessel full of love, it bursting with heavenly kindness and care.
Yes, sensitise it, Lord, that it may recoil at any cruelty, any ill,
Righteousness surging through every artery and nourishing every cell.

Oh yes, Lord, how I plead so, that it may be like that tender heart within You,
My heart filled with noble thoughts for others too, and wrong never thinking to do.
So yes, take it and tenderise it, Lord, not stopping until the job is done,
'Cause the only heart worth having is one that reflects both the Father and Son.

By Lance Landall

Christian content or degree.

20.  Touch My Heart, Lord

Touch my heart, Lord, that it may become as tender as can be, kind and caring,
A heart that beats like that one of Yours, it loving, merciful and forbearing.
Yes, fill it full of love for Thee and others, and have it pump unselfishly,
That my life may lead others to Thee, and thereby, bring Thee more praise and glory.

Oh, how I desire a heart that’s like Yours, one radiant with heavenly health,
One that has You at its centre, and not a devil who’s gained entrance by stealth.
Yes, a heart that’s free of pride and worldly desire, a heart that only seeks Thee,
So please touch my heart, Lord, that others may see Your righteous reflection in me.

By Lance Landall