Bravado


Donʼt talk to me of superstition
It puts my actions ʻon conditionʼ
Silly to be so restrained
All is lost and nothing gained.
Surely life is hard enough
Without this hocus pocus stuff!
Lead your life as if your own
Donʼt believe in, some old crone,
Questioning your common sense
Fate is there without pretence
Get on with life and youʼll be fine,
Ooops! Here comes the thirteenth line……..

Political electioneering

We are becoming submerged in a cacophony of news,
Each day the avalanche continues, many vibrant views,
Often exaggerated to whet our appetite
With opinions, unrelated to what is wrong or right.

No time for thoughtful discussion, of what really should be done
Before another deluge falls, the politics re-spun
Heads must roll, to say the least, or a scapegoat must be found
Reverse a policy decision? We never change our ground!

Cliché after cliché, but no-one cares a whit,
We’ve heard it all before, – believe not a word of it,
Yet still the repetitions, ‘We’re One Nation’ is their call,
But behind the wistful words, there is no plan at all!

George Potter

Political electioneering

We are becoming submerged in a cacophony of news,
Each day the avalanche continues, many vibrant views,
Often exaggerated to whet our appetite
With opinions, unrelated to what is wrong or right.

No time for thoughtful discussion, of what really should be done
Before another deluge falls, the politics re-spun
Heads must roll, to say the least, or a scapegoat must be found
Reverse a policy decision? We never change our ground!

Cliché after cliché, but no-one cares a whit,
We’ve heard it all before, – believe not a word of it,
Yet still the repetitions, ‘We’re One Nation’ is their call,
But behind the wistful words, there is no plan at all!

George Potter

Birthdays

If depressed by your age

Remember the sage

Who by numeric twist

Would thereby insist

That at year Twenty-one

The age of great fun

A mathematical quirk

Commences to work

Stopping further addition

From then to perdition.

He said

“Double your age,

Then add an ‘0’

Divide by your age,

C’mon,don’t be slow!

Now add a year

There’s nothing to fear

‘Cos now you will see

That you, too, must be

Just Twenty-one,

Perennially!

            George Potter (after Edward Lear)

Ambition

Great Ambition, you Imposter! I do not like your style!

Some children think you’re critical, for them to make their pile,

Do Teenagers, without you, become just feckless Youth?

Without you, is there no success? – I doubt that is the truth.

Maybe you are a distant light, but you don’t show the way,

You blinker those who stare ahead, from the landscape of each day

Once achieved, you’re spent, like a mirage in the mist

If not, a dull reminder of some target, missed.

So away with you, Ambition! The future can’t be set

Let each seek his vocation, for there lies the safest bet

That one’s life will be fulfilled, work with happiness combined,

Then your real ambition, is to reach true peace of mind.

George Potter

Epilogue

I was murdered, that is why

I cannot speak.

But why should I

Stay silent, while the perpetrators

Of a sin, my Terminators,

Are deemed themselves to have been wronged

By our Justice.

I would have longed

To receive such intercession.

Instead of dying.

Their transgression

‘Gainst me,  suggests,  perhaps their Parents

And now the Civil Rights adherents,

Through a discipline too mild,

Have spared the rod and spoiled the child.

With the greatest respect for, and on behalf of, James Bulger

George Potter

Is there hope?

During the ‘Troubles’, there were examples of irrational action, despite the tensions. One of these was the villification of children going to Holy Cross School, Belfast.

Oh! My Darling! Tell me so, how did you spend your day?

“I was at the barricade, and we had our say!”

But what, My Darling, was the point, the burden of your voice?

“No concessions! No agreement! We must retain our choice!”

But then, My Darling, in the end, what was indeed achieved?

“Nothing! But we made our point and won’t listen to what they plead!”

As he slept, she read the news of children terrorised

By feuding neighbours, so misled, apparently surprised

That mindless violent action, against young minds so mild,

Was abhorred by all the world, as much as each young child.

“Oh God, Please help me, find again, the Christian heart within

This man, who rides the tides of dark dogmatic whim.”

As he slept, a light appeared in the darkness of his dream

He watched as his friends dispersed, (the crowd, there once had been)

A voice demanded, “Tell me; What made you hugely proud?

Of what you did, just yesterday? –Don’t hide behind that crowd!

For you should come to realise, that behind its vulgar face,

Your voluntary involvement, was a personal disgrace!”

A quieter man arose next morn and silently reviewed

The news of misadventure, of tear-stained girls pursued

By insults and expletives, heard on their way to school

From those claiming adherence to Democratic Rule!

In deed, he thought, if it were me, without a crowd beside

Could I be, as brave as those, I selfishly deride?

George Potter

A Sense of Space.

Some say that Otford village is a heavenly little place,
Its pond and quaint old buildings, and a model of ‘near space’,
For in fact, they’ve modelled our solar system there,
The planets set on posts, about the Sun, a stainless sphere.

All to scale, you’ll find the Earth, like a lentil in its size
Jupiter, the largest, would not win a rosehip prize
Saturn with its rings nearby, (in the Surgery’s car park)
And Pluto, half a mile away, half pinhead size, his mark.

Go, see this exhibition, if you are that way,
As it’s outside, choose a dry and sunny day,
Then, as you wander, like a traveller in Space
Wonder about the lentil Earth, our tiny homely place.

Perhaps the village, in proportion, is like a Heavenly place,
Some of God’s creation, is held in its embrace
And if He tarried there, so easy to understand,
How He could hold, indeed, the whole world in His hand.

George Potter

After the Fire

The fire is out, the blackened heath bears witness to the heat
Hard ash, instead of soft green turf, beneath the childrens’ feet
The pastoral scene will not be saved by rain, or tears of sorrow
But Nature’s power, like human love, can build a new tomorrow.
Ash-dusted by the fire, the neighbouring fields await
The first green shoot to repossess, the arid, desert state
For with this sign of life restored, will grow green pastures new
Changing stoney blackness, to warmer, softer hue
New hope and strength returning, ameliorate the pain
As seasons soothe, Good Nature shapes the beauty spot again
Gentler breezes sway the grass, where flames came withering through
For those who come now, do not share the memories of the few
Who yet recall, the earlier scene, and question what began,
The pyre of love ‘tween man and wife, and trust twixt wife and man.
George Potter

‘Coming home’

I think you say, in English, ‘I will be coming home’,
When you write a letter, or use the telephone,
But surely that must also mean, that you were there before,
With possessions and your Family, and a key for your front door.

So, I cannot use these words; I am a Refugee.
For complicated reasons, my home I had to flee,
So now, no thought of ‘coming home’ applies; I turned my back,
On all that was familiar. A home is what I lack.

In your hearts, unknown to me, I seek your intercession,
I travel forward hopefully, I need no more repression,
Perhaps, when I’m accepted, I’ll recall days when forced to roam,
And know then, safe and happy, I was really ‘coming home’.

George Potter