Words to Share 22-11-22

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.

J Ward

A visit to a gaol
That then served as an asylum
Barbaric treatment of the vulnerable
Not so distant in our past.

When a gaol
The destitute sentenced
For no real crime
Other than their poverty.

When an asylum
Those different hidden away
And even though attempts at compassion
Life so different from others.

Until the very old man freed
To be found on the doorstep
Where else would I go?
That world is strange to me.

So many of these maladies
Now curable or treatable
But rejecting differences
Still deeply ingrained in most.

Brian Matthews, 10-10-22


The sun is shining
Bird calls everywhere
The flowers bloom
Bees buzzing furiously.

Spring well and truly here
The cold and wet now memories
The heat poised and ready
The cycle comes again.

And yet in the East
The rain still falls
The rivers still swell
A flooded Murray imminent.

A country with such extremes
Neighbours poised to help
Not knowing who is next
Nature never still for long.

Hard to remember the long, long droughts
Though sure they’ll come again
Fairy tale weather cannot last
Though enjoyable when it appears.

Brian Matthews, 22/10/22

A family gathers

A family get together
A birthday party this time
Little Jack’s six already
Such a lovely, sweet boy.

The bread and dips scoffed
Laughter and drinks consumed
Banter around the table
Children playing happily.

Some tears inevitably appear
But just a little accident
And the fun and games reappear
Conversations rolling on.

Though an unseasonal wet day
The afternoon gently unfolds
The company enjoyable
Joy an inevitable feature.

The barbecue to top it off
Sausages and chicken tasty
And so it slowly winds down
Guests departing amidst smiles and hugs.

Little events so meaningful
Bonds acknowledged and strengthened
Tales shared and re-shared
Thankful that we will do it again.

Brian Matthews, 25/10/22

A Fashion Parade

A fashion parade
Fundraiser at the bowls club
Our Choir providing a few songs

Fun had by all
Elegant, mature women
Strutting their stuff

Designs from the Op Shop
Culled from generous donations
Giving new life to the previously loved

And so communities act
Drawing all together
Making events out of the every day.

And people leave with a spring in their steps
Relationships re-shaped and re-forged
Reminded of the social needs we all share.

Brian Matthews, 25-10-22

Barbara’s Birthday 2022

Another birthday is here
To give my darling cheer
So, happy birthday is due
May it be a joy to you.

A year of turmoil and loss
The universe not giving a toss
But, fun has certainly been had
Not much from me, my bad.

I promise in the year to come
This will change if it can be done
A time of travel, fun and a laugh
Wrapped around you like a scarf.

So, to you I send all my love
And my hopes that from above
Good times will again rain down
Laughter replacing the long frown.

Brian Matthews 27/10/22

Below is a poem a friend (Mark Reimers) wrote:

I wrote this for the occasion of Jason’s 40th  birthday.

I first met Jason when he was a young child approximately 40 years ago.

The invitation:

Lying there like a Moonah tree, on the shore of Swan Lake, your twisted limbs confronted me…

lying there needing assistance to reposition and move I intuit your discomfort…

Lying there unable to speak your eyes communicate more than words ever could…

Lying there you look at me ,you REALLY look at me, and in your eyes there are questions

Lying there your look invites connection, free from the conventions of words rather than asking and the usual banter of where do you live?What do you do? And Implied questioning of your net worth, do you own your home are you renting? Are you married?what do you do?

Rather than that, your look asks…

Do you see me?

Are you vulnerable enough to connect with me?

Will  you commune with me?

Can you sit with me?

And as I process this inquisitive intent, communicated in a single, complex look of expectation you beam at me and I am drawn in to your world

I connect, but I am aware that others reject you, and you have taught me to accept rejection with such good grace as you continue to, with each new encounter, invite connection

Being with you, and bathing in your full bodied smile always delights

Thanks for being my teacher about connection and relationships

Happy Birthday to you Jason

Mark Reimers 2022

My Sister’s Birthday

I got it wrong
Phoning my sister the day before
But we had a good chat
And it reduced the traffic on the day.

Sibling relationships important
Though commonly fraught
With baggage from the past
Some things difficult to change.

Sometimes growing apart over time
Memories of the past obscuring
The relationship in the present
Gnawing old, old bones.

But value her I do
Though apart for lengthy periods
Work and family limiting contact
But there for each other when needed.

Acceptance of difference critical
Joining in support of our Mother
Leaning on each other
In her slow and painful decline.

Knowing that she was there for me
During the illness and death of my Son
Accepting her sincere prayers
Though faithless myself.

It is such a shame
That these connections
Do not always survive
Life’s confusion and misread intentions.

But accept this we must
And rejoice in that which remains
The love and support of another
Whose knowledge of you is unique.

What we can control in life
Is our love freely given
And to Margy I offer this
With best wishes for her special day.

Brian Matthews, 1/11/22

Reflections on the verandah

Sitting on the verandah
The spring day warming
Bird life in full song
Thinking of the weekend past.

Heart warming voices of grandchildren
Splashing in the water
While Pop drifts on the sea
A lovely day for all else.

The sailors congregate on the shore
Welcome activity after a long break
Sorting out minor challenges
Hopeful the wind will lift.

Alas, it does not
Just enough puff there
To complete two races
Then relax a while on the beach.

And the corellas squawk by
Reminding of the season
Stating, we are here again
To feed and breed.

Cars pass by, tires swooshing
The hum of a mower blending in
The smell of so many flowers
Has Spring sprung this time?

Brian Matthews, 7/11/22

The Sky opens

Thought Spring had sprung
Then clouds loomed again
And water sheeted from the sky
Gutters not coping anymore.

Photos and videos appear
Of areas swamped
Buckets and mops in use
A rare person with no incursion.

Hours spent cleaning up
And normality achieved
Then another day brings more
Downpour after downpour.

Such unusual weather here
The long dry so prominent
Old timers scratch their heads
Few having seen the likes of this.

Easing off it surely must
And eventually just showers
But more grief for many
Counting the storms’ cost.

Wishing again for milder times
Sunshine and lighter showers
Plants bursting forth
Water both friend and enemy.

Brian Matthews, 13/11/22

Sam’s Birthday

He would have been 39
Such a force of nature
Wrapped in a quiet cloak.

All who loved him
Today will grieve
Reality strikes yet again.

The roller coaster of emotion
Continuing still unabated
His face still smiling.

Our dear Sam still lives
In the hearts of so many
Leaves a deep, deep hole.

Today I remember him
As every day I do
Sending love to the stars.

Brian Matthews 21-11-22

Quotation from a recently read book

“There is this quote from Caesar that speaks to me,” he said, and then, looking into Sanya’s eyes, he said softly, “What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.”

— The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi


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