Currently I am fascinated by doorways and have been pursuing the idea of doorways to a post Covid future. Which bits of lockdown would we keep as improvements to our lives!p? What might we change? I have completed the first draft of a pamphlet of 13 poems on these ideas, mostly in sonnet or haiku form but not exclusively. I thought that my followers might want to take a look.
Here is the first draft of Doorways To The Future
DOORWAYS TO THE FUTURE
|Taking a look at how things might be beyond Covid-19|
|How will our world look? How will we feel?|
Once Covid steps down
from being our chief concern
New doors will open
What will we find there?
New ways of living our lives,
Changing our future?
There will be choices
to make. Stay as we were, or
forge a new pathway…
A greener future,
A kinder society,
Love to all people
What will you choose then?
Will you campaign for what
you feel strongly about?
Pause, take a fresh look
at all possibilities,
Make up your own mind!
- DOORWAY TO KINDNESS,
‘Love Thy Neighbour,’ Charity Work, Community Initiatives
Each day she walks to work past his old house
Through smeary window panes she often sees
An old man in his bed, still as a mouse,
His features masked by overhanging trees.
Clearly he’s sick and desperate lying there
Alone in bed, no relatives around.
She pauses, waves to him to show her care –
He could be dead and waiting to be found?
Today’s the day she takes a chance to post
A greeting through the door, to wish him well.
It plops down echoing in the hall, where ghosts
may find and keep it, read it, who can tell?
Next day, surprise, he waits there like a child
with nurse and wheelchair, just to see her smile.
2. DOORWAY TO HONESTY
Telling it like it is, Avoiding the Blame Game
We know we should report with honesty
the things which happen causing malcontent
The easy option’s lying, being free
with truth, believing that it’s kindly meant.
But such behaviour stores up trouble ahead
The truth will out at some point, causing rage.
When lying we don’t sleep easy in our bed,
We should all speak as one from the same page.
The latest ruse is ‘gaslighting’ I’m told,
A cunning plan, a sensory assault,
Disguising truths with schemes and lies so bold
We start to think that we’re the ones at fault.
The liars must dig a hole to hide their guilt
But truthful men can keep the house they’ve built.
3. DOORWAY TO WORLD PEACE
Arbitration, Campaigning, Promoting Pacifism
Dark skies pervade a land in deep distress
Perhaps the clouds are mourning a lost love?
A sombre mood prevails, a deep darkness
The birds of peace have flown, no turtle dove
Now nests within the city’s ravaged walls
Where once so many cooed and raised their young;
The atmosphere has changed, the landscape’s soul
Is etched with grief, the victory unsung
Of heroes, warriors who have fought the cause
Now slain and buried deep within the earth.
Their quest was futile, tyranny and wars
Prevail, sweet peace is gone, we await the birth
Of justice, when the dead shall once more rise
In hope, as victory flares light up the skies
4. DOORWAY TO HUMILITY
Accepting help, Swallowing pride, Apologising
We fail to notice how our little lives
(Apportioned masterfully), run their course.
We may pretend that we are in control,
But in effect man’s choices have a source
Beyond him, which is only part revealed;
A tantalising glimpse of what might be
His future, if he follows surely on,
Towing the line and waiting, just to see
What hopes may reach fruition given time,
Ambitions realised, avenues explored,
Imagining that he has willed it so,
Whereas in truth his plans have been ignored.
A hidden compass is our willing guide
Success comes when its message is applied
5. DOORWAY TO RESPECTING BOUNDARIES
‘Me too’ issues, Personal Space, Respecting Free Will
Do not paint my portrait,
for I have a changing face
that alters with age
Do not declaim me in verse,
for I am a fledgling poet
not defined by genre
Do not photograph me,
for I am a free spirit
not confined to time and space
Do not dance my dance,
for I am a swirling ribbon
unrestricted by routine
Do not sing my song,
for I may have a new one
not yet composed
Do not aspire to know me,
for I grow in wisdom and change….
Allow me to be ME!
6. DOORWAY TO NEW OPPORTUNITIES
‘Gather ye rosebuds….’ ‘Strike while the iron’s hot’
Gently she carries us, floating downstream
Rhythmic, hypnotic, tempering the mind
Gliding in measured flow, wrapped in a dream
Past fields, trees and banks where reeds intertwine
Coot, moorhen and mallard paddle alongside
And dab chicks dive under the boat for shade
The pumping house chimney commands the sky,
Behemoth of bygones, whose pomp never fades
We squeeze under bridges, scars etched on walls
from past times when horses pulled boats along,
Then drift to the aqueduct, briefly pause,
Observing the wild life’s enchanting song…
What pleasure is ours as the world ripples past
Come then, ‘carpe diem’ – such bliss will not last!
7. DOORWAY TO COMPASSION
Supporting refugees, the homeless, the displaced, the marginalised…..
Now thirty two he’s found love, has a wife
And life has turned out better than he thought.
He learned the language quickly, though self-taught,
Did not react to bullies, get into fights
Though it was tough for him in a strange land
In early childhood, he learned to forgive,
to turn the other cheek, tried hard to live
the best he could, without a parent’s hand.
The hardship he had suffered made him strong –
To combat loneliness he’d read and write,
Became a big sensation overnight
With pithy stories, poems made into songs
Yet as a man he still missed kith and kin
And wept remembering the child within
8.DOORWAY TO A GREENER FUTURE
Caring for the Environment, our Planet, Fighting Climate Change
In lockdown months the air became so clear,
wild animals revisited the town
And thrilling birdsong brought us joy and cheer
In days where we felt useless, sad and down.
We spent time in our kitchens baking bread
Long afternoons in gardens planting flowers
No restaurants to go to, so instead
We cooked and baked to while away the hours.
Each new calf born, each new tree bud we saw,
Took photos charting progress of the Spring
Via Zoom we showed our grandkids times before
Plastics choked wildlife, throw-away became king.
Perhaps time should rewind to the 40s, 50s
When shopping came by bike and folk were thrifty?
9 DOORWAY TO RECYCLING
Reducing waste, Eliminating plastic use, Repurposing
I often wonder if they feel sad,
the recycled clothes in the charity shop?
Maybe they feel rejected? Suffer separation anxiety?
I imagine them holding parties in the wardrobe
when their owners are out at work,
getting high on moth balls, swinging naked on coat hangers,
shoes shamelessly tapping out the Charleston in their racks.
Those Jimmy Choos, what an incredible Oxfam find!
Too small for my feet….. but I love them anyway.
I like to coax them out of their box and stroke them
as you stroke a cat, hold them to my ear and
hear them purr. I stare into their lacquered reflection
and see my face ….. a lopsided moon, squidgy,
out of focus like a fairground hall of mirrors…..
Was she an arrogant rich bitch, their first owner?
Or a regular nine-to-five shopgirl who won the lottery?
What stories those shoes could tell if only they had
the power of speech. I could listen all day!
10. DOORWAY TO PHILANTHROPY
Investing wealth and resources for the benefit of all, Enabling Projects
Wise woman or white witch?
Star-child of the universe, sapphire eyes,
just a soupçon of otherworldliness.
Her mission whispered on the breeze:
To purge the poverty of city slum children
To feed and clothe the refugee and the homeless.
She tiptoes through grief-mulched meadows,
down cobbled lanes echoing thudding boots
of war-weary soldiers, supports their widows.
She eases the birth of breeched calves,
Revives dying infants in mothers’ arms.
Tree bark and plant sap are smudged
with her sweet kundalini energy.
She is invisible to most humans,
yet indigo children hear her sweet singing …
On wolf moon nights they catch
her winged flight across planets and galaxies.
Angel of hope or Nature’s philanthropist?
Her identity an eternal mystery.
11. DOORWAY TO GRATITUDE
Being thankful for what we have, Showing Appreciation
A sharp wind licks the casement window panes
And cottage fires are lit against the chill,
Maple-tipped leaves chase swirling down the lanes,
The old gnarled apple tree, high on the hill,
Pregnant with harvest’s bounty, gently moans,
Dipping her laden boughs towards the earth,
Duetting with the wind she sighs and moans,
Awaiting bright fulfilment with the birth
Of juicy apples, dappled green and red,
Filling the orchard baskets, nectar-sweet,
Tempting the children eager to be fed
They plop down smiling at the workers’ feet.
The Harvest Angels sing from up above,
With gratitude for harvests gathered with love
12. DOORWAY TO CELEBRATION OF LIFE & DEATH
Accepting Joy and Sorrow, Good and Bad, Celebrating the natural cycles of life
The Belfast skies weep tears of deep distress
As grey clouds mourn the loss of their dear son*
A brittle dawn breaks through with marked tristesse
Heads down the locals brave the morning run
The turgid Lagan crawls through swirling mist
No birdsong yet is heard, no deep lament
The city waits with breath held for the tryst;
His Muse invokes a man whose words were blessed;
Son of a shipyard worker, poet fine
Who took brave stance against sectarian rule,
A polymath, possessed of brilliant mind
Artist, translator, words his daily tools.
Belfast today clings tightly to its own –
The city’s arms enfold him – he is home!
*James Ellis, actor, theatre director, poet from Belfast NI, best known for his TV role as policemen Bert Lynch in the 60s series “Z Cars”, as well as “Ballykissangel”, “One by One”
“Playing the Field” and other work on stage and screen.