How often do you feel left to do it all?
The heavy lifting, I mean
Of course they all pretend to be concerned
But there is always a convenient get out
There are domestic heavy lifters
Caring 24/7 for ageing relatives
Single parents bowed down in their isolation
The partner of the unrepentant alcoholic
There are industrial heavy lifters
The factory fodder on the minimum wage
The wage slaves in flooded car-washes
Or seedy nail bars or all-night greasy spoon cafes
There are commercial heavy lifters
Keyboard slaves handling millions of transactions
Of which their share will be infinitesimal
Clerks waiting to be swallowed up by automation
Social heavy lifters propping up suffering humanity
Nurses on night shifts, social workers, paramedics
All these strain their muscles to uphold our burdens
But do we care? After all someone has to do it.
And higher up the tree there are others who know they
do the heavy lifting that we all fail to recognise
The loyal servants of companies and institutions
The office holders in churches, clubs and voluntary organisations
But do we really ever think of the injustice suffered
by the heavy lifters? Or do we just think – hard luck
Why don’t they just get over it?
If they all decided to give up one day – where would we be?
But we know they wont
An Inconvenient Truth
I wonder how often the truth can be inconvenient
Just as the reality of global warming won’t go away
Plastic pollution another scourge we must prevent
But why can’t we put it off till some future day?
The state of the Health Service revealed in latter days
But those who are rarely ill prefer not to know
Why make us responsible for every national malaise?
Such awareness we would far rather forgo
And are we not well versed at ignoring harsh reality?
Not just near at home but all around the globe
The plight of so many living in abject poverty
Local beggars point to their lack of hope
In politics too, truth is often hard to find
Perhaps its concealment quite deliberate
Each party advocates a state of mind
Promoting their own reality in all debate
At the personal level are we too not duplicitous?
Often indulging in elaborate deceptions
Of others’ welfare allegedly solicitous
Much more concerned for our own satisfaction
Truth remains truth no matter how inconvenient
Not destructible by time’s effluxion or greater distance
Or by falsehoods spread as we may find expedient
Veracity stands firm against deceit’s resistance
I don’t know about you but I certainly find
The digital camera can blow your mind
There are so many features to complicate life
That taking a picture produces great strife
The problem is there is too much choice
Something in which we should really rejoice
But no longer can we simply point and snap
As the wrong settings might cause some mishap
You would think the modern camera knows it all
But that’s only if you follow the protocol
To set the aperture, the white balance and shutter speed
Then the correct focal length before you proceed
This is all very well if you have lots of time
But no doubt your subject will begin to whine
And the picture that you thought would bring them delight
Results in an image that gives them a fright
Mind you these marvels of science and technology
Have lenses that stretch the limits of ophthalmology
By offering in-built features to encompass all scenes
From panorama to close-ups magnified on our screens
No longer the ritual of developing and printing
While in dark rooms at our dim images squinting
All those old processes the DSLR can demystify
Transmitting fresh pictures direct by WiFi
But despite the marvels of these cunning devices
If you want to avoid a technological crisis
Why not revert to the snapper we used to think of as heaven?
That black bakelite body of the Brownie 127!
Atoms Who Think About Atoms
How do humans differ from all else there is?
A rather tricky question if presented in a quiz
For in so many ways this two-legged animal
Is to all created things really quite compatible
Apparently everything there is is made of tiny particles
Things like rocks and trees and every kind of article
Metals and gases, fluids, cloth and chocolate bars
Packed tight with minute atoms no matter what they are
Everything in the world that we can recognize
Things in the depth of oceans or high up in the skies
Are neatly ordered atoms that we call molecules
That interact together following set rules
So objects inanimate like plastic and also things that live
Are all comprised of atoms extremely dominutive
But despite their throbbing nucleus they do not seem to think
And you won’t find a bright idea in cold custard or in zink
If we are looking for atoms which are capable of thought
It has to be homo sapiens who has risen to the top
Embedded in their cranium pulsates their wondrous brain
Inside this organ we find the realm of thought’s domain
And what do these human creatures think on most of all?
They wrestle with life’s mysteries in issues great and small
An endless quest to understand what other atoms do
Standing on giants’ shoulders to discover something new
At Last the Sun
Can it be true?
Those shafts of radiated light
Beaming their way through the loft window
Renegade sun returns after long defection
Eyes blink in gratitude and wonder
Had we lost faith?
Surely winter would doff its cap
The gentle kiss felt on our cheek once more
Tiny shoots stretch ever upwards
Penetrating the slowly thawing soil
Do we have hope?
Our planet’s steady turning
The tilt of our northern hemisphere
Angling us to catch those solar rays
Brings longer hours of light and warmth
Why do we fear?
This magical dance twixt sun and earth
Might cease its endless paired gyration
Not in billions of years has the globe ceased spinning
Nor halted our planet’s orbital progression
Thus the succession of each season in its time
Do You Ever Wonder?
Do you ever wonder if your Mum and Dad had never met
Would non-existence make you feel upset?
But they did meet and they got together
So little point in any wondering whether
Do you ever wonder if you had lived elsewhere
Would your life have been a quite different affair?
But you exist when and where your life was lived
And despite or because, you seem to have survived
Do you ever wonder about your education
Should you have had greater aspirations?
But you did your best with the chances that you had
Nonetheless it proved a steady launching pad
Do you ever wonder about your chosen career
Did it allow any hidden talents to appear?
In due time you had the chance to blossom
So your contribution may not simply be forgotten
Do ever wonder if you were a good husband/wife
Would you be faithful throughout all of life?
But you showed that by your loving concern and care
Loyalty brings its own reward as you travel life’s diverse ways
Do you ever wonder if your life has any meaning
A purpose behind all your doing and dealing?
Surely your investment in the service of your friends
Did yield for all a living dividend
Do you ever wonder if you would be missed
If from life’s stage you were suddenly dismissed?
Each and every one of us will have played our part
The loss of any player brings a void in the collective heart
The car door shuts with a reassuring clunk
Suddenly “the busy world is hushed”
All external clamour is stifled
I am at peace
Through the windows the quotidian frenzy
But I am immune,
Cocooned in this comforting capsule
Don’t start the engine, don’t check the mirrors
Why go anywhere, enshrined in this calm oasis?
Luxuriate in this fleeting lacuna, life on hold
Baby-like, secure in mother’s womb
Why do they sell cars on their reputation for speed?
Or their brake-neck acceleration
Surely their motionless power to induce serenity
Not only saves fuel, but restores our sanity
No longer 0 – 60 in 5 seconds
But high doh down to low doh
This shouldn’t happen and ought to be stopped!
Do you ever pause to think of things that happen that ought to be stopped?
For instance the winter this year which failed to come to an end
Or the old BHS stores we liked and should never have flopped
The strident on-line sales campaigns that insist we must spend
Or the enormous holes in the roads which the council ignores
And the continuing closure of many local bank branches
The interruption of TV shows by adverts we all deplore
Worse, unexpected bills which can ruin our finances
Special offers which only apply to the size we don’t choose
The exorbitant charges imposed at so many car parks
Failing to forget our troubles by taking much booze
And delays on our streets by never ending road-works
News bulletins demanding that we must take action
Tradesmen who promise but never appear
Media gurus who bully to get a reaction
And health warnings designed clearly to scare
And so it goes on, the long litany of woes
Wherever we turn there are things to be stopped
But who’s going to do it, nobody knows
Perhaps all our complaints will have to be dropped!
Hell Still Hovers
It has been stated that someone very high up
Has claimed that Hell’s time is virtually up
I don’t know where he got that idea
I wish it were true, but it’s wrong I fear
We are all quite happy that Heaven exists
And if Hell were gone it might not be missed
But it was handy to have a fiery sin bin
Where lifetime baddies their strife might begin
Thoughts of Hell remind us all we must behave
And never to vices should we become slave
Dante famously journeys through darkest Hell
Midst many trials ere he could bid it farewell
Jean Paul Sartre declared that Hell is really others
A somewhat low opinion of our sisters and brothers
But perhaps we too make hell for all those around
Less paradiso, more battleground
If Hell is abolished what of purgatory?
Where souls might rest while still transitory
No need for our prayers to aid early release
Subjected no more to the Church’s caprice
But does all this mean Hell cannot be real?
And Heaven is surely the only Big Deal
Perhaps both of these places exist in the mind
In the rich imagination of all humankind
So whether in fact or merely in thought
Regardless of what our life journey has wrought
If Hell’s dark spectre still hovers out there
It would be a sensible course if we could aim for elsewhere!