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.
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.”
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
“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.
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.