Poems

I write poems. I’ve written hundreds of them. I always write a poem when I’ve got something buzzing in my head and its got a lot of emotion attached to it. I particularly respond to anger or frustration.

Here are a few examples of my poems: I hope you like them!

I DON’T KNOW

Well I don’t know shit

And I can’t stand pain

Why the sun’s so good

And I can’t stand the rain

Why I like frosted twigs

And a picture looks right

Why I love my kids

And a cloud glows for me with an inner light.

 

Sometimes a man has a view

Worth listening to

Sometimes it makes sense

But it’s never true

 

There has to be more

Than this everyday stuff

Cooking and cleaning

Hanging out tough

There has to be more

In a universe this size

But if there’s a reason

She’s sure wearing one hell of a good disguise.

Opher   18.7.96

After a fashion.

I believe

Life is a credibility statement

In which

                Attitudes

                                Ideas

                                                And philosophies

Are the gaudy ornaments

On a plastic Christmas tree.

Opher 23.6.95

God Too

I’m the power in your sun

The atom and the wind

Giving light its speed

Its colour

And its spin

Arising out of nothing

To make your sunset glow

Organising your bodies

To your neurones flow

 

I give life its mystery

Creating all the laws

That keep it all in motion

Its perfection

And its flaws

 

You make me into Gods

Religions and Holy books

But I evade all your

Interpretations of my looks

 

You will not find me concerned

With how your life should run

Providing you with morals

For what is

Or is not done

I am not a human

Apart from the cosmic flow

I connect you to the mystic

That you cannot know

Your religions try to capture me

As I appear to you all

But I spiral through the words

Of the prayers that you call

Everything you think is real

You create it from the void

And you are doomed

To live the life

With which your dreams have toyed.

Opher 8.2.99

I suppose I think there is some mystery, some mystical element behind the universe. It comes out of nothing in a big bang. From nothing to the universe in a fraction of a second; atoms out of nothing. There is energy flowing through the universe. There is size beyond comprehension. There is infinity and the void from which it comes. There are atoms that cannot wear out and energy that goes on forever. But is there a plan or purpose? Is there a God that is concerned with morals and human destiny? Is there an after-life? That is too human to me. Too convenient. If there was a God it is one God. The God of all religions – no one special. The morals and the dogma do not hold with the mystical. I ridicule it. Christianity is the biggest tyranny. It has held us back for thousands of years, stopping progress, inhibiting ideas, constraining thought, filling us with dread and fear, sin, evil and paradise, Heaven and Hell. Bollocks. So what happens after Heaven? What is that all about? Bollocks. Mysticism I can equate. Religion is bollocks.  15.2.99  Opher

PSYCHOLOGICAL DUST

One day xenophobia

will begin to rust

People will smile

and help each other

And fall about in lust

They’ll make the world a better place

Solve every problem — just

And hate and war

And nastiness

Will become

Psychological

Dust

OPHER 11.5.98

WE SKID

 

I

                Skid

                                Across

                                                This

                                                                World

 

We barely                                                              touch

 

So much is going on

 

                                                I miss so much

 

My eyes

                Slide

                                My brain cells

                                                Glide

Too much                                             I slip

                Energy                                   I skid

                                Too much                                             I fool

                                                To see                                    I kid

                                                                What is

                                                                                I guess

                                                                                                I make up

                                                                                                                The rest

 

Teeming energy

                I cannot see

                                From molecule to galaxy

                                                Attractive magnetism

                                                                Profound gravity

                                                                                Unseen

Flies from you to me

 

I

                Skid

                                Across

                                                This

                                                                World

 

We barely                                                              touch

 

So much is going on

 

                                                I miss so much

I

                Skid

                                Across

                                                This

                                                                World

 

We barely                                                              connect

 

I see                p  a  r  t  i  a  l  l  y

 

                                                But not what you expect

 

I hear your words

                I sense your touch

                                I feel the sun

                                                But not too much

                                                                I slide. I skid

I don’t see it all                                    I think. I see

                I don’t know your red                         I understand

                                I miss-see it all                                      Hazily

                                                With the words you said                    

                                                                I slide and skid

                                                                                I think I know

                                                                                                Just one percent

                                                                                                                Of your rainbow

I

                Skid

                                Across

                                                This

                                                                World

 

We barely                                                                                                                              connect

 

                                                My senses detect

                                                But what else would you expect?

                                                I miss so much

Opher 6.12.98

Humanity

I need to address you – humanity.

For I cannot continue to exist

As a member of your gang –

The universe might hold me to blame!

 

Humanity – your selfishness and greed

Blinds me

With the arrogance of your viciousness.

Your brilliance shines out to the very stars

Your cruelty and thoughtlessness will not be believed! You who claim to be civilised

Exploit and disregard with impunity

Without regard to consequence

To other living things

To agony

To your children

Or the future.

 

Humanity you are merely a show-off!

You have no depth, no soul

You are a natty coat of paint

Over rotten oak.

 

Humanity – I abhor you!

You enrage me with your authority.

What gives you the right to act so grand?

You are nothing but a fucking junky pimp!

You sell the future

For a short fix.

You are a fool who cannot see the outcome

You are an idiot with an urge for destruction

A child with a thirst for blood

For all your pumped up pomposity

You are a bloated fart in the solar wind.

 

Humanity – I have seen your bear-pits

Your badger baiting

Tiger shooting

Fox hunting

Your thumb-screws

Have you no shame? Have you no compassion?

I have seen the postcards of your hangings

Photos of your massacres

Paintings of your executions

I have heard your rapings, your plunder and ravishing,

Your wanton destruction

Your genocides

Your detailed plans

 

Humanity I have wept while you laughed

I have watched you eat and drink to excess

I have seen you throw goodness aside

Oblivious to what is fair

To the starving

To the dying

To the cries

For designer trainers and a third DVD

You deserve it!

I have watched you eaten by war and racism,

Sexism and abuse

There is always an excuse

Always a victim

There will always be the poor

The beaten and defeated.

 

Humanity – you will always be a winner

Your G7 meet

A smile is a snarl

A handshake a restraint

A handout a loan

You show a lot of interest

Measure results by profit

Worth by similarity

And are only free with judgement

 

Humanity – I have seen your prisons, your dungeons

Your rubbish dumps, effluent, values

And your revenge.

I have felt your contempt

I have watched you sneer.

You are so big, bright and clever

From the right school

Where your best is great and your worst to be expected.

 

Humanity – I have decided

What is wrong with you is that you have none!

Opher 22.04.02

17 thoughts on “Poems

  1. Hi Opher
    I’ve been reading your book A passion for education – the story of a Headteacher. (Seems to have a different title on the blog). I’m so much in agreement with what you write I’m sorry we didn’t meet whilst I was teaching. (My nearest approach was supply teaching in South Humberside 1989-1996 whilst a single parent).
    I referred you in an earlier comment to Quakers in Beverley, which I know little about, but looking at your poems and comments above I now remember I occasionally go to the meeting in Hull which I’d like to recommend if only to satisfy your curiosity. Another Hull author, Daphne Glazer, is a regular attender there. http://www.quaker.org.uk/meetings/hull
    Trevor Bending

    • Hi Trevor, good to hear from you. I’m glad you are getting something out of the book. I felt so happy that the philosophy I had pushed and got entrenched into my school worked so well. It was heart-warming to see all those well-adjusted, happy kids. The warmth of the place was remarked upon by all. It has been devastating to see that since I left they have dismantled the entire ethos and made it another bland school treading the path of Ofsted tyranny.
      I will check out the Quakers group.
      Thanks for putting me in contact.
      Strange that we turn out to be fairly close neighbours. All the best to you and Georgina.
      Can I use you comments in marketing? (If I ever get round to doing any?)
      All the best – Opher Goodwin.

  2. Hi Opher
    You can use my comments but don’t credit to me unless appropriate.
    Reading your two latest posts, one ‘up’, one ‘down’, you might find the Quakers interesting. Also look up non-theist Friends Network. One person can change the world but easier if there’s some support in numbers. Trevor

      • Hi Opher
        You don’t hear from me very often. I stopped subscribing as there were too many posts. (You hear from Georgina more often maybe. She’s in Manchester just now where she became a grandmother on 10/10. I’m in Spain again via 2 nights in Portugal).
        So I was quite surprised to receive notification of the very long comment above but I must have continued subscribing to comments on this post. Then amazed to see the last comments on this were from me two years ago. (Did you ever get to looking up the Quakers in Beverley? (I went to the Hull meeting a couple of weeks ago.))
        The comment by ‘newscluesandafewblues’ (Will Gee) is very detailed and whilst I’m probably closer to your wavelength as it were, I have some sympathy (empathy?) for his viewpoint.
        The universe is a truly amazing place and our planet extraordinary (even if in the long run it turns out to be run of the mill!) so there are times when you feel (I feel) ‘surely there must be something more to this’.
        I can agree (in fewer words?) with Mr. Gee’s ‘God is no man living in the sky but the idea that (there is) purpose in the renewal process and the fabric of matter strikes me as a plausible cause for intense reflection to contemplate our tiny yet possibly huge role in this system of renewal that permeates everything in both the micro and the macro universes.’

        I now maintain the nontheist quakers (uk) website (on wordpress.com!)
        Trevor

  3. Hi Opher,
    I have to tell you I am intrigued by your personal philosphy about life, religion, the world and society, the universe and the over-riding idea regarding the pretensiousness of purpose and meaning in our universe. Everything you say and the logic that you bring to the table of ideas are sound and convincing; however, unlike you I do not share your deeply felt cynicism towards the religious impulse of humanity. It is easy to dismiss it using some form of cheap psychology, but you strike me as being a much more intelligent and sincere individual whose experiences have led to this scornful attitude towards an idea of the universe that embraces a notion of purpose and meaning. Sure, the obvious outcomes of the religious impulse throughout history and today, by and large, amount to unfettered carnage of fellow humans and deplorable acts of depravity but on a personal level and through focussed reflections I cannot completely abandon a notion that the self-perpetuating renewal process and the laws that govern the mechanism of universal order and harmony are an intricate design of subtle perfection beyond the reach of our present day comprehension. God is no man living in the sky but the idea that purpose in the renewal process and the fabric of matter strikes me as a plausible cause for intense reflection to contemplate our tiny yet possibly huge role in this system of renewal that permeates everything in both the micro and the macro universes. My daughter once shared with me a bewildering and beguiling observation when she was at the very young age of 4 or 5. Her tone struck me like a voice coming from another place and time; she shared with me an idea that at times during the day she cannot fathom what life is – involving her daily routines, her bodily functions, her observations, her attentions, her perceptions and the reasons why she is alive and breathing. I am sure this is a common observation but it was something in that moment of articulation and expression that dumbfounded my senses. I needed to answer her with clarity and cogency that offered a sustainable rationale for these personal experiences that went beyond the theory of the big bang and accidental design, both for herself and myself. The only platitude on offer at that moment was the suggestion that,” You will learn as you grow and understand these things as you get older.” And to this day I live with the hope that I will learn more and understand these things as I get older……….And to this day I still cannot sucuumb to a finite and constricting world-view that denies the possibilities of a purpose in the cosmos. Some may interpret this as fanciful but Einstein’s words still ring true for me when he categorically stated….”God doesn’t play dice with the universe”………
    By the way I still love your poetry and when I get time will dabble into your writings as well.
    Will Gee.

    • Will Gee – thank you so much for your comments. I really enjoyed reading them. I used to believe in a purpose to life and a spiritual quest. It set me looking at the mysticism of religions. But the more I delved the more I became convinced that all religions are no more than human constructed power bases for control of people and aggrandisement of religious leaders.
      Now I am content to view my spirituality as a contentment with my being, a sense of wonder at my consciousness, nature and the universe and an expression of creativity. I have no need for gods or religion, purpose or life after death. Each moment is a revelation and life is the wonder. That’s enough for me.

  4. Hi Opher
    You don’t hear from me very often. I stopped subscribing as there were too many posts. (You hear from Georgina more often maybe. She’s in Manchester just now where she became a grandmother on 10/10. I’m in Spain again via 2 nights in Portugal).
    So I was quite surprised to receive notification of the very long comment above but I must have continued subscribing to comments on this post. Then amazed to see the last comments on this were from me two years ago. (Did you ever get to looking up the Quakers in Beverley? (I went to the Hull meeting a couple of weeks ago.))
    The comment by ‘newscluesandafewblues’ (Will Gee) is very detailed and whilst I’m probably closer to your wavelength as it were, I have some sympathy (empathy?) for his viewpoint.
    The universe is a truly amazing place and our planet extraordinary (even if in the long run it turns out to be run of the mill!) so there are times when you feel (I feel) ‘surely there must be something more to this’.
    I can agree (in fewer words?) with Mr. Gee’s ‘God is no man living in the sky but the idea that (there is) purpose in the renewal process and the fabric of matter strikes me as a plausible cause for intense reflection to contemplate our tiny yet possibly huge role in this system of renewal that permeates everything in both the micro and the macro universes.’

    I now maintain the nontheist quakers (uk) website (on wordpress.com!)
    Trevor

    • Hi Trevor – I found you lurking in my 160 spam comments. What were you doing there? And then there were two entries the same??? Very weird. Anyway – good to hear from you. Sorry you stopped tuning in. I do have a tendency to do too many posts, don’t I? Ho hum.
      I do hear from Georgina every now and then. Always a pleasure to hear from you both. Please send my congrats to her. Hope everything went well. Grandparents are special people – an exacting role.
      The universe is indeed a wondrous place and the more we find out the weirder it becomes. For me it is sufficiently to bask in the wonder and awe of nature and the universe.
      I did start sorting the Quakers in Beverley but my good Quaker friend, who was going to take me along, has been stricken with huge problems as his wife has gone down with Alzheimer’s and is it a very bad way. It has put a halt to things for the moment.
      Glad to hear you are taking on that role – send me a link. I’d like to take a look.
      You never put me a review for my ed book up on Amazon after making such pleasing statements about it being the best since Summerhill. You gave me a boost.
      Anyway – I must go. All the best to you both (and grandchild) – good to hear from you.

      • Oh, you’ve got the comment up twice above as well! The link for nontheist quakers is just above the first instance of the duplicate comment in an ealier comment from me on 4/9/2015!
        I can’t find a longer comment or review of your book apart from the short one above and if I mentioned Summerhill perhaps it was in an email to you? (If you’ve got that I could copy and paste it to amazon perhaps?). I hardly ever visit the amazon site now as I try to boycott them and go direct to bookshops or publishers online. (I recently bought ‘The New Sylva’ as a present for Georgina from Bloomsbury much cheaper than on amazon!).
        I’m very wary of amazon, wary of Google now, sceptical of twitter and absolutely loath facebook. These and Apple, Netflix and 1 or 2 others are known by some expression in the ‘tech’ world as the ‘Frightful Five + 1 or 2?’ – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/technology/techs-frightful-five-theyve-got-us.html
        Sorry to hear about your Quaker Ffriend (that’s quakerspeak for a friend who is a Friend (ie. Quaker)). I hope he and his wife are able to cope with that terrible disease. (Oldtimer’s disease as my son once called it many years ago.)
        I’m sort of wondering if we could meet up sometime (perhaps when we’re in Humberside very early December?).
        BFN

      • Ha Trevor – they really are a terrible five aren’t they? But writing is a lonesome thing to do (though fulfilling) and having people read one’s efforts is part of the process (or else it is rather pointless) so needs must. The reviews do help.
        Yes this dementia is a terrible thing. They were so devoted and she has gone downhill so fast. It is tragic and there’s no good outcome.
        It would be great to meet up. Let me know where and when. It would be good to have a chat.

  5. Ha!! I found the email (4/9/15 also) in which I mentioned Summerhill – just search for ‘opher’ on my Mac and one of the Frightful Five’s technologies finds it in seconds among 40,000 emails! (If I were a business would keeping all my emails for more than a decade put me in breach of the DPA?)

    • Now that is either efficiency or scary OCD Trevor. I keep mine too but I doubt they go back a decade though.
      These computers are very efficient. Everything is at our fingertips.

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