Words to Share 9-8-22

An audio recording of my readings on the Words to Share segment with Jan Potter on Happy FM, https://www.radio901.com.au/ and the details of my readings.

Audio of the segment

Grief 
Grief, a difficult concept 
No two griefs the same 
Individuals dealing differently
All sharing the deepest pain. 

Pulling selves up
Climbing a hill each day
One without a crest 
Continuing into the distance. 

And what’s ahead so hazy 
The topography shifting 
Shapes blurry to the vision
Emotions churning endlessly. 

Part of us knows the curve will flatten 
The path ahead will take shape 
Deep feelings explored
Answers no longer needed. 

For if this doesn’t happen 
Bitterness creeps in
Laying waste to the joy left
Ignoring the “sparkling moments”. 

When deep in this black hole
All seems so pointless 
But smiles, comfort and love 
Can drag us into the light.

Brian Matthews, 1/8/22

A Young Mum Bereft 
A young mum bereft 
Two young children 
But a gaping absence. 

How to move on alone?
Friends and family 
Cannot fill this void. 

Continuous reminders appear
Aggravating the wound
The emotions so raw. 

A future so full of hope
Now seems a landscape of despair 
All certainty stripped away. 

Populate that scenario she will
Nature abhors a vacuum 
Children’s needs calling. 

But this pain should not be minimised 
Cutting so sharp and deep
No easy answers forthcoming. 

A different calm will appear 
One without his being
Though always with his presence. 

Brian Matthews, 29/7/22

The journey 
Surrounded by loved ones
This is such a blessing 
Those with whom you share
The pain of this loss. 

Each grieving in their own way
But each aware of the pain
That others share with them
Not knowing how to deal with this. 

Focussing on the way ahead 
How to recover some joy 
Acknowledging what he gave us
Knowing we’ll never see his like again. 

He carved a path unique 
Saw the world in his own way
Peered beyond the veil 
Unwrapped new truths. 

For this I will always be thankful 
A novel view of the world
A quirky way of looking 
At what is common to all. 

Brian Matthews, 28/7/22

The Dust Settles
The dust settles 
As it surely does
After the storm. 

The sun fights through 
Clouds previously impenetrable 
Now merely wisps. 

Still cold the days
A month before Spring 
More rain yet to fall. 

And even in the midst of heat
A cold front may appear 
Casting its temporary shroud. 

Temperature goes up and down
And so it always will
Weather rarely constant. 

A metaphor for life
Nothing stays the same
Change an eternal feature. 

All that can be done
Is to hold on firmly
Seeking some stability. 

Looking for hope
That brightness will emerge 
Dispelling the settled gloom. 

Brian Matthews, 27/7/22

Authenticity 
The reason my words I hide
Is fear of showing who I am
Opening myself to judgement 
Flirting with condemnation. 

I like to scratch my crotch in the evening,
Let out a loud belch or fart when alone,
And too many other things
I just cannot share with many. 

But are these little secrets
All that we fear examined?
Not likely I suggest,
It is really terror about all the rest. 

The deep inner uncertainties,
The feelings of guilt and shame. 
What if people truly knew
What this well practiced mask obscures?

You are such a lovely bloke,
Many people will say,
My loved ones may cringe at this
For they see more of who I am. 

Sometimes I think it might be better,
To wear a less appreciated face,
A misogynistic old bastard,
Or at least a grumpy mantle. 

The latter I can at times be,
The former just doesn’t fit me,
I guess I will just continue 
To open up more as time goes on. 

But something that I have learned,
Is that authenticity can be misunderstood,
Conveying a deep feeling to some,
Is not always a wise practice. 

Oh, that’s deep ‘professor’
Is something I’ve experienced,
Or ‘I don’t have time like some
To explore the issues you mention’. 

I try to never chide another 
For sharing deep concerns. 
Owning your feelings is paramount,
Examining them for clues. 

But endless circling is fraught,
With dangers contained in every thought,
Pulling it out for momentary examination,
Then stuffing it back to avoid the panic. 

The fright in finding dark, dark parts,
The face of self we like avoided. 
Confronting these bits is so important,
Done with those we value and respect. 

We all have frailties we prefer to hide,
Real and imagined gaps and hollows. 
The only way to change and grow
Is to weed and water the fallow soul. 

Not every moment is needed for this task,
As only focussing on long introspection,
Avoids the joy that we might find,
By examining the world and its direction. 

Brian Matthews, 6/5/2020

In the Telling
In the telling of a story,
The story changes,
How much and when
Is never clear. 

Questioning what has happened,
Is it a function of ageing,
Or a process of development?
The outcome is the same. 

No story is written in stone,
Nor marble, wood, or concrete. 
To describe me like this forever,
Is a mistake and must be disdained. 

Brian Matthews, 11/3/19

Memories 
The Year Book’s out,
I’m with a friend. 
This person, and that,
This memory and not that. 

How it tugs at you,
The memories you have,
Or not at all,
It seems so strange. 

Some things will stick,
A face and name,
And others it seems,
You’ve not met at all. 

Thus it is with memory,
As with much of life,
We’ve not truly experienced it,
Without sharing something. 

But memories which are shared,
Are so often somewhat different. 
Objective reality seems a fantasy,
As does objective truth. 

Brian Matthews 11/3/19

A quotation to end the segment

“In my experience, nothing comes close to a mother’s grief at losing her child. It is a primal, terrible thing to see, a woman who has grown a child within the confines of her body, has birthed it in a ritual that comes as close to death as the living ever dare tread, and then lost it. Grief is not a competition, but if it were, this grief would win, hands down.

Close on its heels, though, is the grief of a father, of family, of anyone who has accepted responsibility for a little life, nurturing it and watching over it as it stretches out into the world.”

— Daughters of Eve by Nina D. Campbell

https://amzn.asia/3MgMv26

Words to Share 5-7-22

Dedicated to my son Sam (21/11/83 – 3/7/22) who passed away after a 10 month battle with a particularly vicious form of stomach cancer.

Audio recording of my reading of the poems below on Words to Share, with Jan Potter, on Happy FM, 90.1

Winter Comes
Another winter comes around
Leaves scattered on the ground
Rain coming in waves
Wind swirling in the eaves.

Darker the days will get yet
Of that there can be no bet
The cold chilling the bones
The stomach churning full of stones.

And as the ground absorbs the water
The sun peeks through to tease each daughter
Sons, mothers and fathers too
Each wrapping up as all will do.

And the Earth keeps revolving
All who live on her constantly evolving
Knowing that in the not distant future
New life will come ever so pure.

The turn of the seasons is a sign
That life continues so benign
The cold and rain so sorely needed
Prayers for this thankfully heeded.

Where would we be if all was fine
If never, ever there came a time
When gloom so regularly appeared
To be rejoiced not feared.

For in but a few months we know
Plants will bud and fruits will grow
And the age-old cycle will once more
Show coldness out the door.

Brian Matthews, 30/5/22

Bad News Again
Some news so hard to process
Learning that all will not be well
That the strong young man we bore
Is fighting a battle that can’t be won.

And to me he apologises
So like the man he is
Knowing that this news
Is so bitter for those who love him.

And, having been through this before
Watching another family member fade
With a full realisation of the implications
Impossible to hide from what this means.

My heart full of love for him
Feeling so powerless in the face
Of a brutal enemy that pervades all
Turning all hope to ashes.

Wishing that this was not so
That a solution may be found
Knowing how unlikely this is
The disease chewing him to pieces.

Finding any distraction that I can
But nothing can override this
The pain builds and mounts
Blurring all around.

Brian Matthews, 30/5/22

A Short Walk

A short walk
Such a meagre stroll
To help get out of my head
To chat and comment on the world.

Sky so blue
Though plenty of clouds
Sun peeking through valiantly
A metaphor for my current life.

So little to rejoice about
When plagued by uncertainty
But joy exists I know for sure
Recapturing that my current task.

Some photos received
Of grandchildren with big smiles
Lifting the mood for sure
Promising brighter days ahead.

An afternoon appointment made
Coffee and cake to be shared
As well as the joys and woes of life
For we all have those aplenty.

The Yin and Yang within us
And outside us all around
Sometimes a struggle profound
At others peals of laughter rebound.

Without others we surely shrivel
But at times we need to be alone
Wallowing in solitary grief
Dragged from this by family and friends.

It does little good to anyone
If every day you hide away
Losing connections so important
Eschewing the joy of company.

Brian Matthews, 16-6-22

To Sam
I said to you
“I’ve run out of words”
But that’s not entirely true.

So many remain
The real task now
Which to choose.

You know I love you
And always will
And regret I didn’t show this more.

Not in your life enough
To know you as I should
An emotion I know others feel too.

A private mantle you always wore
A keen observer of all around
True feelings shared with reserve.

Beneath this a solid core
Of sensitivity and integrity
And this you gave freely.

I seek for you peace
The knowledge you have done your all
To smooth the way ahead.

To leave this world richer
For what you gave
Your effect rippling on the sea of life.

You haven’t blindly blundered
But taken careful steps
A path of curiosity and joy.

You will leave behind you
So many better for knowing you
So many despairing for your loss.

You will live in our hearts
Until our own flames flicker and dim
Rejoicing in all you gave.

Brian Matthews, 26-6-22

The Light
The light begins to shine
The eyelids flutter open
All is at peace with the world
And then the harsh truths rush in.

It seems so strange
To experience snippets of happiness
Swiftly rent asunder
When all is displayed.

The world continues to spin
People go about their days
While family and my friends
Attempt to see the light.

Railing against this useless
Though we do it just the same
Weeping for our dearly beloved one
Who did not deserve this blight.

His bravery at this time
An example for us all
He weeps for those he loves
Reflects on the life he’s had.

Regrets can come thick and fast
But I know those harshest to him
Not seeing his lovely children grow
Not present for the challenges they face.

He’ll live on we all know
In the hearts of kin and mates
Forever providing a glow
For all who knew him to follow.

Brian Matthews, 28-6-22

The Parenting Path
The parenting path twists and turns
During infancy such high demands
Adulthood a different matter.

We stand aside and let them go
Always full of concern
About choices and their families.

For some things we can help
But know we must
Their lives are their own doing.

And yet children they remain to us
Visions of tears and scrapes
Accomplishments and challenges.

Intrude on them at our peril
For they need their independence
To make mistakes and achieve.

No easy answers are revealed
Context as parents limited
Their thoughts and aspirations veiled.

Sharing with us what they will
Including us as they determine
Never quite enough for most of us.

And snippets we may see
At family gatherings or holidays
Of what our child has become.

Rarely will they tell us all
Remnants of the past continue
Blurring the reality of the present.

Brian Matthews, 30-6-22

For Sam
Walking along the road of life
So often holes appear
Some mere bumps
Others such deep crevices.

One so deep now appears
I hardly see across
Nor a way to go around
Its dark, dark depths.

And I know it is also so
For so many others in his realm
Casting around for ways to be
Things that might comfort.

Or distract from the present
Anything to take the mind away
From the harsh reality
Growing and festering by the day.

We all know ways will appear
To circumvent the black pit
But only time can bring this
Not healing, but soothing the pain.

And evermore it will remain
The proverbial hole in the heart
The joy of his presence forever taken
The light he brought always remaining.

Brian Matthews 26-6-22

True grit

Sam, the 3rd of my 4 sons, is a truly lovely young man (38) with a wife and 2 children who is dying from peritoneal cancer. His bowel is almost totally obstructed and he hasn’t eaten much in a week. Can’t drink either. Yesterday, Sam said “I’m not going to just sit here waiting to die” and went surfing with the help of some friends and his wife. You gotta admire his guts

Words to share on Happy FM (90.1) with Jan Potter, 7th June 2022

Audio of the conversation

Losing Yourself
A common thing to do
Losing yourself in fiction
Maybe a good book
A TV series or movie.

Sometimes it’s a time-killer
Others a mask for pain
Living for a time so brief
Disconnected from harsh reality.

Fantastic plots flow steadily
From creative minds the globe around
People who take the little and big
Shaping these into entertainment.

Behind the smoke and mirrors
The world continues to spin
The mundane slowly unfolding
Amidst too many unwanted endings.

But all will gradually appear
Time never static
Laughing and peals of joy
Despair and buckets of tears.

From strong emotions we hide
When our frail vessel shudders
Seeking more palatable possibilities
Or just enjoying the game of it all.

Once roving storytellers filled this need
Now books and streaming services provide
The human need for alternative stories
Ever present in our makeup.

Brian Matthews, 30-4-22

A Delightful Spot
A campsite cleared
A swamp hen foraging
Another joins it
Maybe small scraps left

And then there are three
Too much foraging for scraps
Maybe insects come to the surface
Under protection of tents.

An area full of bird life
Shallow water and reeds
For safety and breeding frogs
And other creatures birds eat.

Such a delightful spot
Overlooking the quiet waters
Houses nestled nearby
Caravan park surveying all.

Now five swamp hens
Diligently working the ground
Bird calls all around
Swooshing of a car nearby.

Adults reading in the sun
Dogs seeking the shade
Resting after morning walks
Another person strolling by.

No jarring sounds now
Mowing having ceased
A pleasant gentle breeze
Soothing all troubles away.

Brian Matthews, 10-5-22

Alexa’s Twelve
Another year passed
Now at the end of the tweens
Still a young girl
But a young woman soon.

I remember the little bundle
Held carefully in my arms
The smiles and gurgles
The laughs and the cries.

But time overtakes all
Growth spurts shooting forth
The language developing
The personality unfolding.

Now cartwheels aplenty
Conversation tripping forth
Interests ever growing
Friendships carefully nurtured.

I wish you a happy year
Full of joyful exploration
Surrounded by love
Seeking life’s path.

Brian Matthews, 11-5-22

Seeking peace
The stomach churns
The mind won’t settle
The mood so flat.

How to find a place
Of comfort and joy
Seems an impossible task.

Yet it should not be so
Surrounded by those I love
Grandchildren waiting to play.

Shake yourself firmly
Take a step forward
I say to myself.

Spectres lurking in the mist
Of a mind overwrought with pain
Fearing a future unwanted.

It does little good to catastrophise
But it seems so hard to not
Emotions respond poorly to logic.

A way ahead needed
No one can help with this
Kind words poor comfort.

So many in this world
Worse off and suffering
Yet I churn in pain.

It seems so self-indulgent
And writing this helps
Lifts my mood a little.

While my grandchildren play
Quietly drawing and colouring
In their own way aware.

Waiting for Pop to settle
Engaging themselves in a task
Knowing I will return.

Brian Matthews, 21/5/22

Friends and Family
Such a special time
Visits from family
Or long-standing friends.

The latter so often
More like family than friends
Shared history so important.

Memories cheerfully shared
Of happenings so long ago
Events that tie and bind.

New memories being created
At this time now shared
Special meals a common bond.

Talk of relationships unknown
Clarifying the how and where
Filling in important pieces.

And then the time to go comes
Sadly joyful moments these
Hopeful that all will meet again.

Knowing that whatever happens
These are special people
Who celebrate and validate.

Farewell to our special visitors
May your travels go well
Our futures firmly intertwined.

Brian Matthews, 23/5/22

Living Hell
Life throws curve balls
Of that we can be sure
A straightforward trajectory
Converted into something much trickier.

And for those living these times
It can truly feel like living hell,
Expecting a particular path
But swerves and bumps appear.

Asking so many questions
But the answers remain unclear
Mapping a way ahead carefully
Only to run into the undergrowth.

Platitudes trip off our tongues
To help others accept this vagary
Sounding very hollow to those
Who live this experience.

And yet battle on we must
Waving a white flag not the answer
Though times do come
When there is no other option.

For now those most affected
Modify goals to avoid potholes
Band together for support
Hoping for a better outcome.

Brian Matthews, 28/5/22

The Joy Within
We often need to be reminded
Of the joy within
When the days are darkest
Slivers of light do appear.

There can be no pleasure
When there is never pain
Rejoice in the glimmers we must
Even when these are quickly extinguished.

A smile glows in the darkness
A laugh expands the heart
People play in the sun
Though clouds loom on the horizon.

As humans we search for reasons
Though these do not always appear
Some events seemingly random
Trite answers we need to abandon.

Words are often used to fill the holes
Created by chance
An attempt to gain meaning
In the face of bitterness.

Shouting at the clouds rarely helps
Other than venting some emotions
But, at times, it’s all you can do
This we see and universally accept.

Then, maybe, in those little things
We can for a moment rejoice
Reminded that all is not dark
A glow still exists for us all.

Brian Matthews, 28/5/22

A quote that resonated

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

This resonated with me because I have asked so many people in difficult situations, and heard others ask this too, “I don’t understand how you are managing to cope with this” and the reply is always something like “what’s the alternative?”

Of course, there is an alternative, collapse in a blubbering heap and, sometimes this happens but usually it is brief and maybe cathartic. Inevitably, people take the next step, and then the next, and, before they know it, they’re taking some sort of action.

It’s called Human Resilience and, while malevolent forces may crush this, any small window and a flame of hope will be fanned again.

And Winter comes to the Southern Hemisphere

Winter Comes

Another winter comes around
Leaves scattered on the ground
Rain coming in waves
Wind swirling in the eaves.

Darker the days will get yet
Of that there can be no bet
The cold chilling the bones
The stomach churning full of stones.

And as the ground absorbs the water
The sun peeks through to tease each daughter
Sons, mothers and fathers too
Each wrapping up as all will do.

And the Earth keeps revolving
All who live on her constantly evolving
Knowing that in the not distant future
New life will come ever so pure.

The turn of the seasons is a sign
That life continues so benign
The cold and rain so sorely needed
Prayers for this thankfully heeded.

Where would we be if all was fine
If never, ever there came a time
When gloom so regularly appeared
To be rejoiced not feared.

For in but a few months we know
Plants will bud and fruits will grow
And the age-old cycle will once more
Show coldness out the door.

Brian Matthews, 30/5/22

Visits from family/friends

It is always such a joy to have visits from friends or family. Some friends are much like family with lengthy histories and tales to share. Having just had such a visit from friends of my wife’s family, I wrote this short poem:

Friends and Family

Such a special time
Visits from family
Or long-standing friends.

The latter so often
More like family than friends
Shared history so important.

Memories cheerfully shared
Of happenings so long ago
Events that tie and bind.

New memories being created
At this time now shared
Special meals a common bond.

Talk of relationships unknown
Clarifying the how and where
Filling in important pieces.

And then the time to go comes
Sadly joyful moments these
Hopeful that all will meet again.

Knowing that whatever happens
These are special people
Who celebrate and validate.

Farewell to our special visitors
May your travels go well
Our futures firmly intertwined.

Brian Matthews, 23/5/22

Words to share on Happy FM (90.1) with Jan Potter, 10th May 2022

Audio recording of the radio segment

A Kick in the Guts

Life never stops

The days go on

Things enjoyable and not

The pages turn.

We occupy ourselves

With that we need to do

And many things we choose

But some are actively avoided.

Thinking about your illness

Is something I avoid, my son

A phenomenon I can’t control

Best left to those who may.

A friend’s well-meant question

Brings all to the fore

Disallows the dense fog

Surrounding my feelings.

Like a kick in the guts

The question is received

Brief information given

Heart exploding with pain.

Realisation at the forefront

Even those who may control this

Reaching the end

Building barriers that, seemingly, will fall.

Sadness envelops me

A postcard from a school trip found

So many memories built

Knowing in these we must rejoice.

My soul feels ragged and torn

Knowing that you and your spouse

Have nowhere to hide from the pain

Doing your best to soldier on.

For many who care this is sad

But having lives to live move on

Hoping things will get better

Not staring into the abyss.

Comforting words can help

If only to show sincere concern

While bravely you the future face

Using all of your emotional reserves.

I send my deepest love

Knowing how deep this blade penetrates

Unable to shield you and your family

Cocooning you poorly.

Brian Matthews, 21/4/22

Trees

On a quiet country track

Walking, sitting, looking

Surrounded by trees

Straggly and twisted mostly.

A quiet time of day,

The afternoon so still

Before the birds seek their roosts

Sheep grazing, the occasional roo.

But trees dominate the landscape

Some small, others towering

Interspersed with bushes

Grasses and the odd flower.

Overhead on this cloudy day

The sun glints through

Ready to warm all

Breathe life into the trees.

In each whorl of their skin

Another year reflected

Some continued for many seasons

Others having much shorter spans.

A jumble of words

Cannot really do justice

To the nature of trees

The senses absorb their variety.

Some places these do not grow

High altitudes and dry land

Like our famous Nullarbor

Or on tundras of ice.

It pleases me that

Outside my door

I can see the trees

Breathe the air produced.

Brian Matthews, 22/4/22

The Nothing Box

A wife says to her man

What are you thinking?

As he reclines on the couch

“Oh, nothing” he says.

A tale retold around the world

Of that I am fairly certain

For most men it seems to me

Have a Nothing Box to retreat.

A place where thoughts swirl

But do not solidly coalesce

Where worries sit on the fringe

Unable to pierce the fog.

While loving spouses circle

Wanting their men to ‘open up’

Fearful of the damaging effects

Of bottling things up.

This is not really gender defined

As women too can attest

Holding feelings to their chest

Keeping others at bay.

But men socialised so often

To hide their deep emotions

Make a habit of this

And it can eat at their core.

But, I celebrate the Nothing Box

Use it judiciously I say

Retreat from the worries

Recharge for another day.

Brian Matthews, 22/4/22

I borrowed the term Nothing Box from Mark Gungor, Pastor and motivational speaker

From a distance 

From a distance

It may often seem

Things are much calmer

Than those close deem.

Sail boats gliding

Over a tranquil sea

While the sailors battle

As much as can be.

A metaphor for life

A statement of fact

Some seeing the obvious

Others a different tack.

Up close in this world

We see warts and all

From far far away

There is no urgent call.

But when we hear the cries

And see the falling tears

It becomes so so apparent

That life has many fears.

Close observation makes

So much clearer to the eye

Thus politicians obfuscate

So their message we’ll buy.

Seeing the big picture

A statement so often used

To cover the reality

Of people being abused.

Whether they be refugees

In cells or hotel rooms contained

Or those born in poverty

Breeding behaviour poorly restrained.

Surveyed from afar

Emotions can be distanced

But if it affects those we love

Such travesties are not tolerated.

Empathy for others

So often needed

To understand the confusion

Show the message we have heeded.

Brian Matthews, 18-4-22

Reflections Aplenty

Talking about this and that

Some of it not easy

The illness kept at bay

But it seems not indefinitely.

Other conversations about the past

Sharing amusing anecdotes

Stories of children aplenty

Family and friends too.

These times are to be celebrated

Together mapping our lives

Reinforcing important connections

Discussing future hopes and fears.

Blessed I am to have so much

Though challenges hard to embrace

But confront these we must

Together we move ahead.

I fear the disease’s path

Now discomfort and pain

Good times there are now

Future prospects less encouraging.

While I quietly reflect

And he rests as needed

The anxiety ever present

As forward we move.

I value these times

Knowing the road ahead

Seeing the little boy still

Enjoying the time and stories.

I still rail against the injustice

Knowing that his life will end

Wanting this not to be so

Still hoping for a miracle.

A young man so full of life

Body being wastefully damaged

By an illness so severe

And yet he smiles and laughs.

Brian Matthews, 29/4/22

Over the lagoon

The reeds bend

In the gentle breeze

Calm, slightly rippled water beyond.

A peaceful place

Caravans and tents dotted around

Much relaxing happening.

Magpies looking for a feed

Carroling when found

Prancing on the ground.

Conversations here and there

Strollers passing with their dog

People enjoying their time.

A BBQ cooked for lunch

Snags and onions

Common, tasty fare.

Lounging in the sun after

An early, cold beer imbibed

A poem penned yet again.

Brian Matthews, 9/5/22

Picard Season 2 Episode 6

Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard

Written by Jane Maggs

I found that even in the darkest circumstances there is a light. Sometimes only a glimmer. Trust that light. Find a way back, no matter what it takes.

Words to share on Happy FM (90.1) with Jan Potter, 12th April 2022

Audio recording of conversation and poetry reading

Timing So Cruel

It’s hard to believe

Life can be so unjust

Another brother gone

My wife appalled.

Mortality rears its head

As it surely must

For all must tread this path

No matter who they are.

But sometimes fate determines

A gruelling schedule of events

Not allowing some to recover

Before the next blow falls.

Little can be done

To make those sorely affected

Achieve an even keel

Waves slamming them.

Eventually a calm will settle

Time all wounds heal

Scars run deep though

Reminding of those lost.

Brian Matthews, 25-3-22

Precious Moments

Time spent with loved ones

Can be so precious

Some more so than others

But every moment important.

We never know what will be

Which times will be remembered

And which will disappear

Our capacity to recall limited.

Sometimes someone will say

Remember, you told me this

And you just might think

Did I say that, am I so wise?

Rarely will others remind you

Of foolish things said

Though silly things done

Can become a family legend.

It is a real privilege

To share innermost thoughts

Not knowing when the chance

Will happen by again.

Usually we all assume

There’s plenty of time

To do it all again

Until there’s not.

Brian Matthews, 25/3/22

Despondency

I wish that I could be

As full of life

As once I was.

At this moment though

That is not to be

Surrounded by despondency.

Just one of those cycles

I try to convince myself

But there’s more than that.

Pressure to make a decision

One not wanted

The bright side of life elusive.

I do not want to be here

I’ve had enough

Just let me be life.

I’ve been here before

I know all will change soon

But for now I despair.

Brian Matthews, 1-4-22

Yoga with Hannah

Breathing in and out

Moving parts of the body

Making such stylised movements

Clearing the mind.

Yoga not for everyone

And in the past I felt

Like a pat routine

But now it helps.

A very good instructor

Evolving the process

Adjusting the moves

Adapting to the group.

Movement so important

To those of all ages

Ageing such a challenge

Faced by all in time.

Being proactive important

To meet bodily changes

Overcoming creeping inertia

The body no longer as willing.

Refreshed I always feel

At testing the limits

Clearing the mind

Encouraging more flexibility.

Thankful I am

For her open face

Radiating warmth and acceptance

Soothing words a balm.

Brian Matthews, 5/4/22

Loneliness

Loneliness can be complex

Not just sitting alone

So often a mindset

Related to choices.

If we choose to be alone

It can be such a joy

If not a choice

It can be so painful.

Most tend to turn

From the neediness

Of someone begging

For a little company.

But for those sensitive

To the pain of others

It is a signal

That action’s needed.

Just a little time

A chat, a coffee

Some shared experience

Can be such a comfort.

For we never know

When the need will emerge

For time with others

A balm to our soul.

It takes so little

And can mean so much

To be seen

To be truly heard.

Brian Matthews, 10-4-22

Words to share on Happy FM (90.1) with Jan Potter, 15th March 2022

Curmudgeon Creep

It catches most I think

That tendency to reject

That which has become fashionable.

The young full of vim

Certain of what they know

Disparaging of older demographics.

It happens to you

And to me

And it will to them.

But frustrating it can be

When you think ‘like what’?

That makes no sense.

Fillers in language

Are common to all

At times so redundant.

‘Actually’ a case in point

‘Literally’ used too frequently

And often inappropriately.

But beware of being perceived

As a member of the ‘Language Police’

For words are never static.

Morph and change they do

A term for illness

Redefined as praise.

Technology creating more

‘Swipe Right’ we must

And accept these changes.

Brian Matthews, 17-2-22

Headlines

Such a shock to read

‘Dying dad’s dreams for children’

Amidst so many other dire headlines

But closer to his parents’ hearts.

His Mum sends a clipping photo

I pull over to access the message

Thinking my wife has another shopping request

Instead this smotes my eye and heart.

 A balanced human interest tale

Some inaccuracies but nothing huge

But that headline drags me down

Uncovers despair so carefully hidden.

Hiding from the world’s horrors

Commonplace for me now

Flooding beyond belief,

Bombs falling on the innocent again.

This headline tears at me

Removing carefully constructed barriers

Reminding me of the odds against him

The battle far from won.

Remembering the little boy

With so many dreams and hopes

‘A glass half full’ type of person

Faced now with ravaged landscape.

And yet he battles on

Hiding that which might concern us

A heavy burden for his loving wife

Dealing with the daily slog.

Grief, a major downside of love

Uncertainty, aggravating this no end

For her the road so bumpy

Shaken to her core but on she goes.

As family and friends stand by

Little to do that can help

But unlike most headlines

Turning away is not possible.

Brian Matthews, 3-3-22

A Friends Concern

Phone call from a friend

Reminding not all is well

With his health

And flooded city.

His call to check on me

Hearing news of my son

His travails and prospects

Not cause to wave flags.

It is heartening

That people see beyond themselves

Worrying about friends distant

When for them far from ideal.

There is little more we can often do

Than show our concern for others

Empathising with their plight

Listening to their troubles.

But how important this is

To show our love

And that we’ve not forgotten

The ties that bind so deeply.

In a plague ridden world

Full of pain and military atrocities

The compassionate hearts beat still

Heads rear above the parapets.

The human spirit soars

Even through floods and war

Individuals seek each other out

Comfort given is comfort received.

Brian Matthews, 7-3-22

Sitting Quietly

Here I sit quietly

Listening to wind chimes

And the whoosh of the air

The crisp patter of dog claws.

Never is all silent

Nor everywhere still

Motion the universal entity

All vibrating until absolute zero.

And where does that exist?

In the vastness of space for sure,

The vacuum enveloping all

But still stars bleed warming light.

And I just sit here

With the luxury of naught to do

Contemplating a growing navel

Thoughts whirling endlessly.

Knowing that the respite is brief

That soon complex issues will rise

Challenging the peace again

Ensuring I don’t turn to stone.

Brian Matthews, 8/3/22

Another Loss

The axe falls again

News of another loss

Another pall descends.

Grief seems a magnet

For other ills

Attracting the worst.

I watch my dearest

Reel yet again

Her heart so sad.

Uplifting news needed

But all seems soiled

Blown in on a bitter wind.

Little good does it do

To remind of the cycle of life

When loss seems so pervasive.

We know new life will come

Different joys to explore

While the shadows overwhelm us.

We wait for the sun to rise

To throw its rays our way

Reminding us of these joys.

Brian Matthews, 10-3-22

People Gather

When tragedy hits

The people gather,

To lend a hand

To listen to a tale,

To share food and music.

We are social creatures

Creating communities here and there,

Shaping these groups

Into sound bases

For emotional support.

Yesterday I viewed this

Close at Hand

A community supporting

Music, song and celebration

So many kind hearts.

A talented musician

Travels so far

As do many family

And close friends

The children play and dance.

Blessed I am I think

To have a son so humble and caring

And a community that polishes that shine

Both in their words

And so many deeds.

And some adults dance too

All uplifted by their part

A chance to see and be seen

All enjoy the song and good cheer

And the happy memories made.

Brian Matthews, 14/3/22

Dedicated to:

  • The Rendlesham (South Australia) and surrounding community
  • Kim Churchill
  • Team Matthews
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