More Worth Pondering

 


NOTEBOOK


"The further a society
drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those
who speak it.

George Orwell
(1903-1950)




Introduction 



“If a man loses reverence for any part of life, he will lose reverence for all life.”
Albert Schweitzer





IF WE DON'T WANT TO MAKE MISTAKES THAT WILL COST US DEARLY, THAT WILL DAMAGE ANY
RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAVE WITH SOMEONE, THAT WILL ENDANGER OURSELVES SOMEHOW,
OR THAT WILL SEE US LED UP THE GARDEN PATH AND POSSIBLY TAKING OTHERS WITH US,
WE SHOULD THOROUGHLY EDUCATE OURSELVES IN ALL AREAS OF LIFE, AND THE EARLIER THIS
IS DONE THE BETTER.
  





1.  Wrong Is Wrong, Period


Scott and his dog were seldom apart — best of friends — the bond between them very strong,
His pet having the best of masters, given Scott had a deep sense of right and wrong.
Hence the frown showing on his young face, for Scott was feeling very upset within,
His disgust over injustices to creatures most palpable and genuine.

He looked up from what he’d just been reading, his eyes focusing on his dad nearby,
A man who also had a deep sense of right and wrong, and over injustice would sigh.
Scott's voice broke the silence. “I’d love to storm every vivisection laboratory,
Smashing their equipment and cages, and setting all those imprisoned creatures free.

Oh, how those poor creatures must suffer so, unable to escape their tormentors,
Their whole life spent being tortured in those evil, pointless, people deceiving centres.
It’s just not right, Dad, it’s terribly inhumane, and it makes me feel so angry,
Which is why I would like to bring an end to it all — that being, immediately!”

“I can understand your feelings, son, I feel the same way as you — yes, just as strongly,
But we mustn't let our feelings — albeit righteous anger — have us acting as wrongly.
Such is a dilemma for Christians, caught between their feelings and God’s path and ways,
But anyone who takes things into their own hands, unwisely and injuriously strays.

You see, where does one draw the line, son? We can’t have individual boundaries,
At least not when it comes to something like this, legalized throughout societies.
We’d be breaking the law, and be any law good or bad, it’s not there for us to break,
Hence why despite our feelings, and in the interests of all, the right path we must take.

Besides, when we fight fire with fire, we’re acting just as bad as those we’re condemning here,
That is, those vivisectionists torturing millions of creatures year after year.
Two wrongs don’t make a right, son, and never will, for wrong is wrong — it’s that clear cut;
It’s not like you’re going to the aid of a rape victim here — there’s no if or but.

A law’s a law, son. Taking things into our own hands is a form of anarchy,
Which only leads to even greater ills and misery within society.
Hence why some end up persecuting others, deludedly thinking that they’ve some right,
Just like those who’re breaking and entering vivisection clinics via day or night.

I can understand why folk do certain things, even feel a certain sympathy,
And might even feel like doing the same things myself, but that’s not Christianity.
The whole point of Christianity is to act the opposite to offenders,
And certainly not as persecutors, for such are purely Christian pretenders.”

“Isn’t there a difference between bending and breaking rules, Dad, a time and place?”
“Well, son, given what we’re chatting about here, there’s simply no room for breathing space.
Bending rules is as bad as breaking rules, for both show a lack of integrity,
One who’s prepared to forgo the moral high ground when it suits, hypocritically.

We can’t have it both ways, either we’re above reproach or we’re not, and if we’re not,
We’re effectively part of the problem, suffering from that same internal rot.
Bending rules, son, is just part and parcel of that “end justifies the means” carry-on,
Which so much mischief in the name of some good has produced, and seen much that’s good gone.

We’re not powerless, son. We can use our voices in protest, or pick up a pen,
For most of the greatest good has come about via the pen, and via voices of men.
It’s those who do nothing when they can do something who’re deserving of condemnation,
And who thus share in the guilt of those who’re involved in some kind of abomination.

Yes, that’s where it’s at, son, just doing what you can do, legally and morally,
And yes, in the meantime both creatures and humans will suffer, unfortunately.
But that’s life, this sick world we live in, the reality we have to face, sadly,
So just do what you can, son, for such will earn you the right to sleep more peacefully.”

“Thank you, Dad.”  “My pleasure, son.”

By Lance Landall





2.  "It's All About Love And Peace," He Said


Well, God’s all about love and peace, but He’d never sanction what’s wrong, nor should we,
Simply in order to keep people happy, ’cause that’s a flawed mentality.
Hence those sweets to stop a child’s public tantrum, which only makes that child worse, and
Like that sanctioning of wrong for the sake of love and peace, simply builds on sand,

’Cause one day the tide will come in, and hence why wisdom always builds on firm ground,
Not budging from the side of right, whatever that right may be, thus sure and sound.
Love and peace not about sweets of some kind, ’cause such receivers just yell for more,
Until the decay of their granted indulgence sees them carried out the door.

So, it’s not just about love and peace, but sense, right-doing, and even truth too,
Otherwise love and peace won’t have substance, and somewhere, somehow will go askew,
Because when society allows what it shouldn’t in order to placate,
It sears its conscience and seals its fate, all reason to mind what we tolerate.

By Lance Landall





3.  Where Has Beauty Gone?


Can someone tell me where beauty has gone, it no longer found where it once was,
Seemingly lost to years gone by, and oh, how I’d love to see it brought back, ’cause
The world was all the nicer, the sounds, the scenes, the in-betweens, more wholesome too,
Hence why I’m left with melancholy yearnings for that life left behind as I grew.

Yes, it’s all so different now, a world that’s worlds apart, and that others stole,
We an older generation, and they, having seared their conscience, sold their soul.
Things not looking too good, I fear, so much thrown out now, more woes not far away,
Very few interested in listening the same when you’re older and grey.

By Lance Landall





4.  Nothing's Wrong With Nice


I was surprised to hear a well-known man groaning because he’d been labelled Mister Nice,
Or was it, “The world’s nicest man?” my memory getting in the way of my being precise.
Anyway, I disappointed to hear such, for how could anybody think like that,
For contrary to his sorry take on such, being nice is actually where it’s at.

In fact, we should set our sights even higher than nice, but if not nice, what are we then?
Not so nice, obviously, and thus no shining example, the whole trouble with men,
And women, let me add, who that nice boy or girl next door image seem to spurn these days,
They favouring that raw and raunchy dark side which nothing but a sad decline displays.

Yes, we’re living in very different times, a time where right and goodness is waning,
And in its place, a shameful desire for the worst and lowest appears to be reigning.
Hence why pretty much anything goes, and why Mister Nice was disowning that label,
And thus he in my eyes not so nice, and he, his shortcomings more than happy to tell.

“Ask my wife,” he said, “She’ll tell you,” such hardly to his credit, and I thinking, “How sad,”
As should I be labelled “The nicest man in the world,” I would be thrilled-cum-very glad.
For though I don’t deserve such a title, it’s one to be proud of and not condemn,
But given the tragic thinking out there, isn’t that so like today’s women and men?

By Lance Landall





5.  Pure Fantasy


“I’m bad, I’m bad,” Michael Jackson sang, and he wasn’t too far off the mark given that we were hardly born saintly,
And hence why parents have to train and discipline a child, 'cause if one doesn’t, guess who will suffer rather badly.
You see, our natural inclinations are quite selfish, even rebellious, despite what certain gurus may say,
Who pedal their pop psychology that’s not in touch with reality, and hence why many people go astray.

The unpleasant truth is, we just can’t seem to help ourselves, and find doing what’s right much harder than doing what’s wrong,
For when it comes to those things we shouldn’t do, we seem to want to — and sadly, this has been our problem all along.
And hence why the jails are so full, and why we get fined for speeding, or issued with a notice to appear in court,
For we seem determined to try and get away with what we can, and hoping like anything that we won’t get caught.

But oft we do get caught, and then we’ve the cheek to complain about the likes of speed cameras, ridiculously,
Which, by the way, are there for a very good reason, but oh, look at how many complain about such bitterly.
Yes, never mind that such have saved lives, we would rather that they weren’t there, and the reason is, because it doesn’t suit,
And why doesn’t it suit? Because we're naturally born selfish — in other words, rebellious, and foolish to boot.

Well, so it would seem, given the sad way that we carry on, and yet, we like to think that we’re pretty good at heart,
Which so often is nothing more than a delusion, a failure to accept the truth, and we, hardly very smart.
Yes, Michael Jackson wasn’t too far off the mark, 'cause not too many of us can claim otherwise, undoubtedly,
And why we need to take a good look at ourselves, for believe me, we’re certainly not born good, that’s pure fantasy.

By Lance Landall






Christian content or degree.


6.  It Starting With A Speck


My upbringing instilled in me a strong sense of justice, I wanting right to win,
Thus bad people getting their comeuppance, or prison removing their evil grin.
And once I might have been a rioter too, or militant activist, sadly,
That “end justifies the means” mentality also seeing me acting badly.

But Christ changing that, He not wanting to see such coming from me (nor others too),
Such not His way, and thus shouldn’t be the way of Christians, that wrong that some pursue.
Christ being the one who’s been appointed judge, and believe me, He will have His day,
And therefore, it’s not for me to step outside the law, thereby doing things my way.

Yes, evil may triumph in the meantime, all why my hope’s beyond this world, and why
I’ve taken to the pen, angry over how many are mistreated, cruelly die.
But riot I won’t, nor chain myself to trees, because there goes the moral high ground,
Exchanged for a lawlessness of my very own, which in my heart, I don’t want found.

You see, the moment we give any room to wrong in our heart (which comes via one’s mind),
We’re like some fruit where rot has begun, even if to begin with it’s hard to find.
Yes, it staring with a speck, and such specks needing to be removed before they grow,
Otherwise that apple or pear will lose its beauty too, and then rot really show.

All why means we use should be as pure as the ends we seek, and die for such, we may,
But better to die for right than live for wrong, or hang out where there are shades of grey.
Too many just wanting to live, but come the end of their life, what is there to show,
Having avoided one foe only to hand them self over to another foe.

Yes, the biggest one of all, a very real devil in the form of self, and why
Come the end of their life, there’s not a shout of joy that’s heard, but a desperate cry.
The God of justice (not just love) not coming for protectors of themselves, but those
Who purity of heart, right over wrong, and others before self, willingly chose.

One’s heart being the core of things, from which everything springs, and thus well should be,
And well will be, if kept free of whatever might affect it injuriously.
One’s mind not polluting it with justifications that don’t gel with the heavenly,
Because that’s how good people become bad people too, or shame Christianity.

By Lance Landall






7.  Imperfection


The problem with everyone is imperfection, we all flawed from top to toe,
Not that some may wish to accept this (sorry to dismantle any halo).
And why we largely have to accept folk as they are — and that means, warts and all,
Yes, even those big warts, as a perfect human being I simply don’t recall.

Sure there are those who would disagree with me — well, kind of momentarily,
They in love, you see, on cloud nine, and thus any negatives don’t wish to see.
But time has a nasty habit of pulling those curtains that can block ones view,
And what do folk see? Yes, imperfections, and another flawed soul joins the queue.

Yes, everyone eventually found deficient, enter the potter’s wheel,
In other words, that shaping that never ends, and which consent may not reveal.
All why some people don’t seem to improve with age, they anti the potter’s hands,
Hence that unsightly hunk of clay that time and again defied life’s noble plans.

It’s such a shame, really, and oft a tragedy, but a choice we get to make,
Progression being a path that we buck or spurn, accept or even gladly take.
And the latter path aiding the potter’s skill, we and life dancing in harmony,
And thus the beauty of ones character declaring wisdom and maturity.

By Lance Landall





8.  But Only If


If your heart and mind tell you to do something — do it — but only if it’s wise,
Only if it’s right (and what a loving, life-protecting God would authorise).
You see, it’s all very well to feel strongly about something-cum-conscience bound,
And impressed to act upon it, but we shouldn’t if it’s not worthy-cum-sound.

And such why we can’t always trust our feelings, nor go by what others might say,
As they might be going by feelings too, and errant, at the end of the day.
Hence why we need to know what is wise, right, worthy and sound, and thus search we should,
For many have badly erred via falsely thinking that what they were doing was good,

Or via wrongly thinking that the end would justify the means, and why we see
So many doing what they shouldn’t, even claiming Divine authority.
Hence those terrorist attacks, those past inquisitions, or unfair daily acts,
The latter committed by most of us, our feelings oft distorting the facts.

The truth is, that what matters is truth, one’s conscience not always being rightly aligned,
Hence those wrong acts based on feelings or what could be described as a programmed mind.
Yes, many folk simply the product of what they’ve been raised to believe, and why
Much harm’s born out of ignorance, a sincerity that can’t help but go awry.

Yes, love’s all very well, and should be behind everything, but never alone,
For without the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, love’s accident prone.
In other words, it’s bound to err somewhere, one’s thoughts and feelings more built on sand,
Rather than a solid foundation — Rock— where wisdom is always close at hand.

So mind how you go, friend, for though watchful, never shut your mind’s window or door,
But rather, constantly search and reappraise, love always at the very core,
And then, any feelings you have will more likely be sound, and your conscience too,
Which, is only as good as its compass, its ship, chart and experienced crew,

Or to put it another way (there being many), those things that it will or won’t do.

Yes, if your heart and mind say to do something — do it — but only if it’s wise,
Only if it’s right, as folly and injury often enter via disguise.
All why we should always mind our feelings, and what we might feel impressed to do,
Lest our judgment prove to be deficient; and our feelings equally askew.

By Lance Landall





9.  This World's Hardly Heaven


People say horrid things, be they racist, sexist or whatever else they might be,
And as sad as that is, don’t make it your problem too by responding as badly.
Words are just words, and bigger we must be in order to attain maturity,
And this world’s hardly Heaven, so putting up with things being how one needs to be.

We can protest about this and that, and standing up often has its place, of course,
But that sad old human condition isn’t going away, so just forget force.
Yes, changes are needed, but such is more an inner thing, and some folk never change,
Though life and people as random as it gets, and trials test, so count it not strange.

By Lance Landall





10.  Pieces Of Clay

Once born, each one of us is somewhat like a piece of clay that’s awaiting the sculptor's hand,
And that sculptor being life’s influences and experiences, the prepared and unplanned.
And for most, that clay needing to be reshaped in time, or it worked upon vigorously,
The initial moulding amateurish, faulty-cum-disappointing-cum-so plain to see.

Yes, the sculpturing changing hands for better or worse, the clay too soft or hard, moist or dry,
We thus becoming a beautiful work of art or a frenzied attempt that went awry.
And we yielding or resisting, and here I’m meaning: We oft yielding far too easily,
Or resisting where we shouldn’t, and thus affecting the end result wisely or poorly.

Sometimes it’s like we’re placed on a potter’s wheel where one deft move or sudden jerk makes or breaks,
Or it’s as if we’re placed in a brick enclosure where we crack or strengthen midst heat that bakes.
And then there’s that glaze, it enhancing a job well done, a creation showing care and skill,
Or it imprisoning a graffitied, disfigured vessel that discerning eyes won’t thrill.

Yes, be it choices, our background, those influences or experiences, all mould and shape,
They acting like a sculptor whom we should willingly embrace or from whom we should escape.
For that which does the moulding and shaping usually gains the mastery, and why we
Shouldn’t yield to just any sculptor, nor resist what may be better and necessary.

By Lance Landall






11.  Steady As She Goes


It seems we’re either too hard on others, or far too soft, either way being a shame and a travesty,
’Cause one discourages and hardens, the other making light of someone’s wrong, oft worsening them, sadly.
And hence why we need to find the right balance, and given that both tolerance and reproof have their rightful place
(Yes, compassion and justice), 'cause where either have been wrongly applied, consequences one can often trace.

However, it’s not always finding the balance that’s the problem, but rather, changing unfortunate traits,
Like that hardness of ours, or reluctance to give that needed reproof, oft a weakness that wrong accelerates.
 Finding the balance is one thing, but a character trait (one way or the other) of much greater concern,
’Cause one requires a most difficult but needed change, whereas the other, is something we need to learn.

And, let me add, hardness is the saddest trait of the two, 'cause it’s found with violence, unjust force, threats and fear,
All  belonging to the realm of darkness — the worst side — ’cause unjust heartache and misery are to be found there.
Hence why more than anything, we should shun this hardness that’s too oft seen, that’s too oft inflicted on others,
’Cause such an unfortunate trait or unworthy action, hope, cheer, happiness and advancement oft smothers.

But still, being too soft isn’t the way to go either, ’cause such allows others to get away with wrong,
Or, because of dealing with wrong too lightly, it’s only a matter of time before much worse comes along.
However, better to err on the side of being too soft than hard, so long as such erring’s not too much
(Yes, within the bounds of common sense), ’cause there’s nothing more effective and far reaching than the gentle touch.


By Lance Landall


This older poem was upgraded on 7 March 2021.





12.  Change Those tyres


“I’d change those tyres,” you advise, “The tread almost borderline, dangerous, in fact,”
But despite your effort to save them from injury, even death, they don’t act.
And off they go for a couple of days, seven hours there and seven hours back,
And you thinking how you wouldn’t be surprised if they soon had a nasty smack.

And right you were! Well, kind of.

“The weather was dreadful. It hailed and I lost control of the car, totally,
It zigzagging ’till it spun around to face the wrong way, and such scaring me.
But both I and the car fine, so I continued on my way more quietly,
And so grateful I hadn’t hit anyone, nor caused chaos, fortunately.”

Now, you’d think they’d get those tyres replaced, but no, they short on cash or too busy,
And thus still motoring around, and because you care, it causing some worry.
And though they may escape injury, perhaps not someone they might crash into,
And thus it not just about them, but also others, though what more can one do?

Oh, what a troubler of others you are, a real worry wart, they safe and sound
(Though nearly weren’t), and half our fears for naught, it’s said, so relax and don’t pace ’round.
Yes, never mind those who weren’t fine, they in hospital or dead, their victims too,
Which is why we should advise — even nag, sometimes — but not expect a, “Thank you.”

After all, most don’t like to be told, and there are those who say, “I know, I know,”
Which interpreted means: “Don’t bother, leave off,” and on their merry way they go.
They knowing better, or will deal with it when they’ve time, when it suits them, and hey,
If things do turn out just like you feared they would, “Don’t say, I told you so, okay.”

Yes, you just can’t win, for how many love advice, constructive criticism?
It none of your business, and the latter an attack, verbal demolition.
Oh dear, for that’s how it’s oft seen, and hey, “Haven’t you got better things to do?”
“Well, no, because I can’t think of anything better than my thinking of you.”

“Ha, ha, very funny — well, don’t,” they might retort, should you say such, and thereby,
They cutting off their nose to spite their face, effectively, and going awry.
And so, we can only do our best when it comes to others, then it’s their call,
Our heart in its right place and our conscience clear when they’re seen to stumble or fall.


By Lance Landall





13.  Mind That Path


Any path taken that’s not loving,
Any path taken that isn’t true,
Any path taken that isn’t right,
Is a path that will never bless you.

Any path taken that’s not noble,
Any path taken that isn’t wise,
Any path taken that isn’t fair,
Is just a path where misfortune lies.


By Lance Landall





Alternative poem.


14.  Those Little Things


Too often amidst our woes and cares, and those oh so quickly passing years, we overlook those precious little things from which true joy springs, and tend to forget that life’s in the living, the sharing and the giving, and not so much in our dreams and plans, so oft demolished by shifting sands, those folk who our love for them betray, or who with our life wrongfully play, leaving us disappointed, disillusioned, and sad, rather than hopeful, content, and cheerfully clad.
Hence why those little things should receive more attention, rather than the usual, casual inattention, for those little things aren’t so little but where the answer lies, one that awaits the seeing eye that such identifies, and having done so, delights in and shares throughout the coming days and years, for by doing so, such opens another window, whereby, a better, brighter and richer life appears.

By Lance Landall






Alternative poem.


15.  What Will You Leave Behind?


History records the rule and deeds of men — yes, many lauded, many condemned, via the historian’s pen, for in this life and here on Earth, men either let goodness or evil give birth, and when in possession of power and thereby control, either sow peace or fear in the hearts of each soul, and an influence too, that as a result, sees others good or evil exalt, and such also pursue.
Thus, in our three score years and ten, we inevitably emulate those good or bad men, and in our own sphere, either sow love and peace, or hatred and fear, and thereby, make the world all the better or worse for our being here, and leave others lauding or condemning our deeds, those positive or negative sown seeds, for such we invariably sow, and on others, good or bad influences bestow, for no man’s an island, but a part of life’s ebb and flow.
And hence why I ask: What will you leave behind, what might future historians find? Will you go down in history as one who acted self-sacrificially, one who loved and cared unconditionally, and who spoke up on behalf of the wrongly condemned and oppressed, supplied healing balm and encouragement where others were distressed, sought to find impartial solutions where there was unrest, saw the restoration and improvement of society and Earth as your quest, always sought to do that which was better and blessed, clearly practiced principles and standards that you professed, treated each fellowman just like one would a guest, and in the best interests of others sought to invest, or, will you go down in history as someone who acted very selfishly, indifferently, recklessly, even evilly — another blot, blemish, stain, that rather than blues skies and sunshine, brought storm clouds, destructive winds, and heavy rain?

By Lance Landall





A;lternative poem.
Christian content or degree.


16.  A Flower


I came across a flower today, it nodding gently as if to say, “God made me,” and I only too happy to agree, for its pretty petals and colour conveyed an artistry, an ability to think and act creatively, and why I stooped to pluck it from the sod, and thought of God, who’s full of love and into beauty.
And then I came across a thistle, its frostiness seeming to bristle, and as if to say, “A devil made me this way,” and I could only but agree, for what a contrast I could see, its prickly form a work of sin, and I thought of Satan, who’s full of hate and into what’s ugly.
And then I thought of us, children of that devil or the righteous Jesus, we beckoning flowers or thistles that repel, a creation that reflects goodness or something ill, and for a moment I bowed my head and silently said, “I want to be a flower, Lord, one that’s a Calvary shade of red.”
And then, in a vase on a shelf I placed that flower, it reminding me of our Saviour’s final hour, for soon it began to droop its head, and then its soft petals fell and spread, such reminding me of how Jesus bled, that I, might one day be a flower in His kingdom’s flowerbed, not a thistle that's lifeless-cum-dead.


By Lance Landall





17.  Humble Pie


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

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


By Lance Landall





Light-hearted.


18.  It's Only A Body


If you’re aging, badly scarred or not endowed with good looks, don’t let it bother you,
’Cause your body’s just a prop for your head, a skin sack that’s keeping your insides from view.
Thus it not meant to be on parade, but to simply do the job and nothing more,
’Cause without that prop your head would fall off, and without skin there’d be blood and gore.

So don’t take your body too seriously, it’s for using, not for looking at,
’Cause in time there will be cracks and peeling, things a bit too thin or a bit to fat.
And when it’s time to go, it’s underground that you’ll go, never to be seen again,
Old Father Time always having the last laugh when it comes to vain women and men.


By Lance Landall