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, 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

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

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


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