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
Poetry Reading

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

Another Day

And now the weather

Remindful of Queensland

Humidity so high

Sweat drips easily.

Not surprising now

After so much rain

Sun peeking around the clouds

Heating the land.

A good day for the beach

But work beckons

Then tired from the effort

And other tasks call.

So often that happens

A perfect day present

But other things compete

Go with the flow we must.

If truth be told

A beach day possible

But that would allow

Too much time to think.

Occupying self important

When worries lurk

Even though we know

Action can these avert.

Not that the problems disappear

For some things cannot

But taking a step

Sometimes soothes emotions.

When the step instead

Turns to a stumble

At least the effort made

That will have to suffice.

So let’s talk weather

A neutral topic

Always available and free

To be shared with others.

Brian Matthews, 24-1-22

Another Anniversary

Another anniversary it is

The 22nd this time

How have things changed

Since the last?

Considerably more turmoil

Loss of siblings for both

And a mother farewelled

A son sorely afflicted.

Limped on we have

Relationship straining too often

Sharing not enough

Bows drawn in angst.

Life’s constant challenge

Shapes us sorely

And yet we survive

No other option clear.

I’ve loved you another year

And felt the love from you

Fragments of this

Buried deep in both.

No matter what the future holds

I think we both embrace

Dreams of better times

Songs we both can share.

Sharing our concerns

Must be the way ahead

In solitude little is learned

I choose you instead.

Brian Matthews, 27/1/22

A Nice Change

Away on a holiday

A change of scene

Camping yet again

More prepared now.

Near the Murray

A pleasant camping site

Now that school holidays over

A much quieter space.

A cosy, cosy tent

A screen tent as well

More space than before

And friends to share with.

Cooler than planned

But warming soon

A strange summer

La Niña I’m told.

Walks and talks

Meals and conversations

Eating under the sky

To bed so early.

It makes a nice change

From the usual routines

Feeds the wanderlust

Refreshes the spirit.

Reminds us of the comfort

Of our lovely home

And gives chances to look

At sights that never grow old.

The Murray is in my blood

As near its banks I was born

Pelicans soaring above

A punt to cross its cloudy waters.

In its waters I first ventured

Before a beach I even saw

Swam across it in my youth

Though not tempted to now.

A week away it seems

A good idea for us

Both keen for a break

And to enjoy simple pleasures.

Brian Matthews, 2-2-22

Soothing Sounds

All asleep bar me

But heading that way soon

Mainly silence in this spot

Occasional bird and insect noise.

But soft snoring on my left

And from the camp on my right

Enjoying the stereophonic effect

A relaxing sound for me.

An occasional vehicle rumbles

On the road nearby

Distant sounds of the punt

Operational all night.

As I prepare to sleep

Disrobing in a soft light

Careful not to disturb

My purring wife and dog.

And then settling in

Wriggling to find that sweet spot

Thoughts flitting around

Drifting into deep sleep.

And then the silence absolute

As into dreamland I drift

A kick of the legs

As the body relaxes.

Before I know it

Sounds start again

The birds heralding the day

Early risers pottering around.

And up to face the day

Little on the agenda

Some reading and walking

Maybe some water play.

This is the life

Away from the usual demands

The pressure cooker vents

And leaves a settling rhythm.

Brian Matthews, 6-2-22

Better  News

So better news it is

At last treatment having effect

All so relieved

Battle front shifted forward.

We all know though

The fight still ongoing

Left with fatigue and nausea

Restrictions on daily life.

Some light from tunnel’s end

A long distance travelled

Still further to go

But flames of hope fanned.

Fingers and toes crossed

Hoping for that day

When experts smile

At treatment’s success.

 Brian Matthews, 6-2-22

Fun for All

Wind seemingly ever present

Though lulls do occur

Warmth in a stiff breeze

Too hot in the sun.

Water activities in the offing

A kayak in the river

Tipping seems inevitable

And the spluttering to follow.

But all will be in fun

Laughing part of the deal

Engaging with the elements

Enjoying the sun that shines.

We never really grow up

But older we surely get

Fewer risks taken

The body not as agile.

But fun can be had

No matter the age

Goalposts gradually shifting

Sights slightly lowered.

Brian Matthews, 6-2-22

Reminders

Extended our holiday

Enjoying the serenity

Not reminded of duties

Satisfying selves all there is.

Strange it seems to me

That in the comfort of home

Reminders always exist

Of chores necessary.

A different place

Strangers all around

Places new and revisited

A novel type of peace.

But pressures do mount

Gradually but surely

Reminding self that some chores

Are things we want to do.

A break is always good

Removing one from routines

Reminding of the joy there is

In the little things in life.

Brian Matthews, 11-2-22

Changes

Some changes are good

With many we’re torn

Remembering how it was

Not long after we were born.

Of some things, of course

We can be so sure

That things will move on

Motives not always so pure.

These features of life

Never remain still

Though some of the movement

Regret we truly will.

But the pendulum swings

Back and still forth

Until old things become new

Human nature such a force.

The older I get

The more I’m bemused

Better I suppose

Than being confused.

Brian Matthews, 12-2-22

Audio of poetry reading

Words to share on Happy FM (90.1) with Jan Potter, 17th January 2022

The Ceiling Fan

The ceiling fan

Just hanging around

Gathering dust and cobwebs

Little used though new year near.

How must it feel

Despairing at its lack of use

Awaiting inevitable discomfort

The need to relieve the heat felt.

It had one job

And nature glitches

Throwing a real curve ball

Delaying eventual engagement.

Brian Matthews- 27-12-21

To the Beach

Down at the beach

Families flocking to the water

The day hot and humid

Clouds taking the bite from the sun.

All ages mingled

Teenagers strut on the pontoon

Children and elders in the shallows

Kayaks litter the beach.

All having fun

Sandcastles rising steadily

A frisbee flies overhead

Many lounging and reading.

Blessed we are in this land

With sandy beaches aplenty

Just waiting for the days to warm

And schools to close.

And between these busy times

Long stretches of sand

With nary a person seen

Solitude a balm for the spirit.

The steady move of the water

Dolphins feeding and playing

Dog walkers regular users

Scattering the seagulls.

Large bodies of water

A magnet for all ages

A balm for jagged nerves

And the energy of youth.

Brian Matthews, 12-1-22

Endless Questions

The mind swirls

With little to engage it

Things to do, of course,

A family visit soon.

A day at the beach coming

Watching children play

Testing the cool water

Digging and splashing.

But endless questions float

Bounced around by experience

Challenging my contemplation

No answers emerging.

How soon will it be

That a clear picture emerges

A future landscape mapped

Hills and troughs emerging?

There are some times

When all seems a haze

Shapes ahead formless

Fear gripping the heart.

Knowing that tomorrow

May change this all

As answers emerge

The scene completed.

Brian Matthews, 10-1-22

Hidden Treasures

A drive through the country

Some so very familiar

But now in unknown territory

So close but not seen before.

Morning tea with friends

A tour of a lush property

A quirky house

Such beautiful gardens.

How many paradises lurk?

Hidden from constant view

Occupants feasting on privacy

Occasionally sharing with others.

No two the same

Each following the whims

Of those who own them

Their interests the focus.

But all enjoy I think

Showing what’s created

Little pieces of themselves

Shining brightly through.

And always plans for more

Ideas of more additions

Changes in the landscape

Refining the dwellings.

Paradise so rarely static

Changes invigorate all

New scenarios develop

Tumbling from fertile minds.

Brian Matthews, 12-1-22

The Beach Again

Only yesterday here

With other grandchildren

This day sun blazing

And more breeze.

Shelters haphazardly spread

Across the sand

No space underneath the jetty

Filled with loungers and children playing.

Many more in the water

A cool escape from the heat

A kite surfer active

Others floating and swimming.

The sand castles ever present

Laughing children abound

Their elders admiring

The energy of youth.

But all ages benefitting

From the relief given

By the cooling water

And the rhythm it contains.

The time to leave

Comes quickly it seems

As other needs intrude

And the trip home begins.

Not without treasures found

Amongst the fine white sand

Pretty shells and rocks

Remindful of the day of pleasure.

Brian Matthews, 12-1-22