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


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


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 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


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


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


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

Words to share on Happy FM with Jan Potter, 21st December 2021

Family Fun

A game on the lawn

Wooden cylinders standing

Each with a number on top

A separate cylinder to throw.

The aim to reach a score,

Young boy excited

Adults joining in

All enjoying the challenge.

The sun shining on all

The laughs and squeals aboun

‘Hit the two Oma’

Cheers when she succeeds.

An hour and more passes,

All playing and engaged,

Until the uninvolved little one cries

And we all call it a day.


The Wandering Mind

The mind wanders

From here to there

Touching on this

Exploring that thing

And off again

Trawling through memories

Exploring future possibilities

Wasting time, or not?

Our minds rarely empty

Synapses constantly busy

Exploring the present

Reviewing the past.

Some of this brings joy

And some regret

Loved ones always there

Aspirations another constant.

World events impinge

Told of these we must know

And yet so little we each can do

To shape the clouds.

As tempests build

We choose how we’ll react

Bunker down and pray

Or take another step.

Knowing that what counts

Is our own integrity

Reaching out to others

Planning for a better day.

Brian Matthews, 13-12-21

The Whys

The corellas screech

Soaring through the skies

Resting in the trees

Despoiling shiny cars.

They were not so plentiful

In years gone by

But now they flock

And roam the surrounds.

A desert bird originally

Moving into suburbs

Plaguing small towns

Disturbing those asleep.

No easy answer

To their control

Leaving me wondering

What brought this change?

Change ripples across the lake

Of time and experience

Without clear connections

Between then and now.

Brian Matthews, 13-12-21

To Conversate

To share a conversation

Hopes and dreams

Fears and failures.

There are so many words

Shared between friends

Intimacy adds another layer.

Transparency hard to achieve

When life has so many masters

Ideals to be upheld.

Maybe this needs redefining

To address the essence

Another word to capture more.

One suggestion is conversate

Maybe just an informal way

Of describing an interaction.

Or possibly more than that

Actively participating in what’s said

Avoiding secret veils.

And listening so important

Unpacking the meaning

Connecting with the inner self.

Possibly this could mean more

Actively participating in the words

Searching for real depth.

Any exchange of words

Brings potential for change

When barriers are dropped.

Viewing the landscape ahead

When ideas resonate

A path worthy of pursuit.

Brian Matthews, 20-12-21

To Mask or Not?

Masking our faces

A sign of fear

Or a positive action?

No answer emerges

As viewing angles shift

Based on one’s beliefs.

Risk aversion is common

Avoiding that which tempts fate

Taking the safer path.

But many too are foolhardy

Ignoring looming consequences

Until the axe falls.

Balance seems the way

To risk that which appears

The cloud looming ahead.

Hindsight a great teacher

Once the die is still

The evidence before you.

The matter then sorted

The obvious then apparent

The way things are.

No matter the wisdom

Discrepancies always appear

Becoming fodder for some.

Trust in authorities

Such a rarity now

Feeding widespread dissension.

Grayness rolls across the land

Filling each crevice

Obscuring the black and white.

Leaving families split

Friendships torn apart

All casualties, no heroes.

Brian Matthews, 20-12-21

Tasks Done

The sweat runs

Down the brow

Into the eyes,

A sign of labour.

How many drops

Have there been?

Litres and litres

Over the years.

Hard work benefits

Not only the job done

But the mind of the doer

Satisfying an ever present need.

To be useful,

To achieve things

Jobs big and small

Necessary, and sometimes not.

But in the minds of people

These tasks are required

Promoting routine and comfort

Not to be sneered at.

Those things truly needed

Provide the most acclaim

While the smaller items

Smooth the day.

Brian Matthews 14-12-21

Words to Share, Happy FM 90.1 23-11-21

A recording of the whole segment with Brian Matthews and host Jan Potter and poetry read in the session below and in an attached pdf

On Your Birthday

On your birthday I’d like to say

How much I love you

Your importance in my life

Your sharing, caring nature

A clarity of thought so rare.

In your presence I feel

Your authentic, boundless concern,

Helping ground me,

Mapping directions ahead

Soothing my dilapidated emotions.

Hard on yourself too often

Always there for those you love

Or, indeed, have befriended,

The thoughtful gestures and acts

Litter the ground around you.

Worthy of a lovely day

Laughter and memories shared

And made in the telling

All of life a story

With you my love and heroine


Remembrance Day

On this day I do remember

The millions of soldiers

And many millions more

Innocent children, women and men

Sacrificed on altars of greed and corruption.

While the fat cats recline

On their padded chairs,

Living in sumptuous surrounds

Feasting on the work of others

Supported by nationalistic fervour.

Brian Matthews, 11/11/21

The Barista

The young man stands

On his feet all day

Smiling at customers

Leaping into the fray.

What’ll it be sir/m’am?

The drink of your choice

Flat white, long black,

Or maybe a latte?

While he dreams

Of adventures he may have

Roaming the country

Building a business home grown.

Meeting a partner

To whom he can be true

Raising a family of his own

A house painted blue.

Times may change

But all will aspire

To build something of their own

A thing that lights their fire.

What will never change

Is that deep human spirit

The need that most have

To say ‘I can do it’.

Brian Matthews, 12/11/21

Sharing Words

The words we share

Everyday descriptions of life,

What’s happening around us.

Or revealing of emotions

The ways we feel,

Unburdening our minds.

So often these are lost

Ephemeral mites floating,

Drifting away on the breeze.

But then one appears

And nets these offerings

Recording that which’s said.

And others then read

Playing with them

Exploring their own minds.

And we all grow

As nuances are teased,

Different for each.

And revelations come

As connections are made

Feelings resonating endlessly.

Brian Matthews, 22/11/21

On the water

On the water again,

The gap so long

Revelling in wind in the face

Water splashing all around.

First came the rigging,

So rusty and slow,

The sailor out of practice,

Overcoming memory lapses.

Then a clumsy launch,

Grappling with ropes and tackle,

Hands slipping and unsure,

But soon the rhythm settles.

A race then starts,

Boats leaping forward

Rushing for the start line,

Heading for the first buoy.

Each jockeying for position

Gaps opening for some,

Others cursing a stray gust,

Or welcoming a surge forward.

Despairing when a mark missed,

Tacking desperately to recover,

A boat suddenly overturning,

The energy builds.

How invigorating this can be

Until time to head to shore,

Muscles so wearied

The soul renewed again.

Derigging a cheerful task,

Followed by loading boats

All helping each other with a laugh

A beverage and snack to seal the deal.

Brian Matthews, 22/1/21

Birthdays Continue

Each birthday is its own

At some surrounded by joy

At others less so.

Cycles around the sun

Cannot be slowed or stopped,

Come they always will.

Times to reflect and rejoice

To review and plan

Contemplate what’s ahead.

Sometimes with anticipation

At others with trepidation

Never sure of what will be.

Of one thing we can be sure

They will happen whatever

We will reap that we sow.

And benefits will come unbidden

Not without a cost, of course,

Consequences always flow.

Brian Matthews, 22/11/21