This short anthology of poems, (yes I can spell), have all been written between April 2018 and November 2020. They are a diverse collection, some rhyme, some don’t. There is no common theme except randomness.
Many are inspired by a fellow poet Franci Eugenia Hoffman who regularly publishes a “prompt” on her site, some by travel, others by mood or situation. Poetry helps me think. I am also an author and my debut novel is on Amazon. Thomas, Wizard’s Son.
When I sit down to read a book, I love the escapism; I love to fall into the story, in my mind, I become part of the story. I eagerly read on, page upon page, chapter after chapter, absorbing the storyline and enjoying it.
This is why I feel sorry for publishers and literary agents. They seem incapable of enjoying a good yarn. Instead, they are constantly thinking, not about the plot, the storyline, sub-plots, and plot twists, the characters, the heroes, and the villains, they only concentrate on grammar. They are the grammar police, they are interested in out of place hyphens, articles, punctuation, pronouns, prepositions, spellings, capitalisations, verb forms, verb tenses, and auxiliary verbs, to name just a few. I have no clue what most of them are anyway.
When I read a work of fiction, I don’t go through it looking for an antecedent that is out of place. I just enjoy the story.
Another example would be a sentence such as:
“Where’s me dog gone?” Tom said in his best Welsh accent.
Yes, I fully appreciate that that is not what an Oxford professor of English would say, but I am writing the speech characteristics of a 13-year-old Welsh boy with limited education, and ‘they’ don’t like it. (Nb. I have placed the word ‘they’, meaning publishers and agents, in inverted commas purely to annoy the grammar police). Surely, they think, this common boy of little worth should say: “I say old boy, would one happen to know the whereabouts of my canine friend?”
So, my friendly agents and publishers. Why not just sit down by the fire with a nice glass of red wine and read to enjoy? Reject a book if the story’s lousy, but not because of a misplaced preposition.
This, of course, is one of the reasons that the Booker Prize winner for 2020 Douglas Stuart and his novel Shuggie Bain was turned down 32 times before it was published. Agents and publishers don’t read, they just look for faults and reasons not to publish.
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”
Following Jesus requires listening for his voice. The problem is that we let too many other voices drown out Jesus’ voice.
First is the voice of compromise. It says, “Everything is negotiable.” With Jesus, however, there is no dealing. No negotiation. No compromise. With him it is all or nothing.
Second is the voice of expedience. It says, “I have other affairs to attend to, for I am a busy person.” Our agendas are full. We are a people of pragmatism. Let’s get on it and get it over with.
Third is the voice of politics. This voice asks the question, “Is it popular?” The voice of politics lacks the courage to stand up for what is right.
But finally, there is the voice of God. The still small voice speaks to the heart, saying, “Follow Jesus.” It is the voice rapping on the door of our heart asking us to obey. It doesn’t plead or demand or beg. It yearns, but it does not yell.
How many people do you think leave a church service in which the gospel is preached, knowing they should respond to Jesus but don’t? Our hearts can become calloused. The more we refuse to listen to God, the harder our hearts become. Ignore the voice and fail to heed it, and eventually the voice of God can hardly be heard.
Pilate heard so many voices that day as he pondered what to do with Jesus. He heard the voice of compromise, the voice of expedience, and the voice of politics. So many voices. He even heard the voice of God. How could he not? Jesus was standing right in front of him.
A tannoy sounds in the supermarket Another in the mall, We all stand still and upright As we remember all. I cannot remember, And that goes for my son, My grandchild can’t remember, For he is only one Although we can’t remember, as statues we still stand Heads bowed and we remember the loved ones who were slain. Although we did not know them, they weren’t our kith or kin. We just know they went before us to a death that was insane. Many British, German too, American, Japanese, Australians and Indians, Canadians and Burmese. Sent out to be slaughtered while the generals stayed behind, Eating well and drinking tea, to casualties they were blind. But we still bow our heads in prayer and we still remember them. We pray for the next generation that they will not condemn. War is for the foolish, politicians, generals, lords, It’s not them that do the dying, they leave that to the hoards. But war has changed since world war 2, but not for any easier, With guided drones and cyber wars, it’s only just got sleazier. So even though we knew them not, we still can shed a tear. Because of their great sacrifice, we should not live in fear.
Remembering. Nineteen million dead in world war 1 Eighty million in world war 2