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


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.

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