Poetry – Living in a fulcrum.

Living in a fulcrum.

It feels like the world is turning.

We’ve reached the tipping point

We are being pulled in different ways.

The universe is out of joint.

On one side the Trumpists and deniers

Telling us it isn’t so.

On the other there’s Extinction Rebellion

Pointing the way to go.

We’re being fed the propaganda

From the Brietbart prophet.

Whose only god is power

And whose sacrament is profit.

The politicians are floundering

All they care about is votes.

What happens to the orangutans,

Is measured in bank notes.

Yet the young are rising up

And making their voices heard.

They want a brighter future

And will have the final word.

The world is turning on a fulcrum;

No telling where it will go.

For sanity or complacency?

Only the future knows.

Opher 6.5.2019

I’m listening to the young who have their fingers on the pulse. They are not believing the lies put out by those who are profiting from the destruction of nature.

They know the pesticides are causing mass destruction of all insects from bees to butterflies.

They know our beautiful iconic species – the rhinos, elephants, gorillas, chimps, giraffe, lions, whales and tigers – are being hunted to extinction.

They know our rainforests are being chopped down.

They know our ice-caps are melting.

They know our climate is changing.

They know we are selling the future for today.

They know who is profiting from this wholesale destruction.

They want it stopped.

We are at a tipping point, sitting on our fulcrum. Which way will it go?

Poetry – Change



That’s all it needs:

One slow revolution.

To replace

                The greedy

                                With the caring.

To replace

                The destroyers

                                With the builders.

To replace

                The selfish

                                With the altruistic.

They are the minority

                We are the many.

They are stronger

                But we are many.

They have the power

                But we are many.

Bit by bit,

                Person by person,

We can replace them

                And create something better.


Opher – 2.5.2019

If only we could find the right people who are not motivated by a lust for power, who really care about us, who really care about the world.

I know they are out there.

They wouldn’t put themselves first.

They would not allow themselves to be bought and sold, frightened or warned off.

They would do what is right.

The wealthy would not control them.

Then the world could be a better place – not just run for profit.

Poetry – Looking Back

Looking Back

Perhaps in decades to come

You may look at an old photograph

Of a familiar scene from long ago

And see an image of a man

Staring back at you through time.

In that familiar place

He appears

Caught in the moment.

You might notice his stance,

His dress and demeanour

And wonder at his gaze.

What was he thinking?

It may make you wonder

About his life,

His intent and purpose.

When you look at that moment,

Forever captured in that instant,

Frozen for ever in time.

It might stimulate curiosity

As to the story behind that scene

In which that image was seized.

What thoughts were going through his mind?

Where was he going?

What life had he led?

What was this moment all about?

For than moment never existed on its own;

It was merely part of a continuum.

If you were to revisit that familiar place

There would be an empty space

Where that man once stood.

It is full of a story

That will never be told.

Opher 5.1.2018

This poem was stimulated by my photographer friend Richard Duffy-Howard. He was talking to me about photographs taken from long ago connected to his work on the river Humber. Using the wonders of the photo processor of Lightshop he has been able to isolate individuals from the old images. Those ghostly figures stare out from those photographs. Each of them have their reasons and stories. But we will never know more than we can glean from the evidence of what we can ascertain from the image. We can infer lots from the way they look and hold themselves. Part of their story can be guessed at – but only part.

It made me think that one day in the future somebody might be looking back at an image of me – a ghost from the past – and wondering.

We are all fated to be fleeting ghosts in a changing landscape.

It made me think of the Roy Harper song Hope. What strange ghosts, strange archaeology we become. We are so fleeting.

Poetry – It will never end

It will never end

We live as if it will never end.

We are surprised by change.

Yet if anything was ever the same for long

It would be unreal.

We live in pretence

And are startled by the years.

We were born out of oblivion

And return to oblivion

And that is the one element

That will never change.

Opher 29.11.2018

There’s a me that lives inside peering out at the world. It doesn’t see me. It feels the same as it ever did. It has no age.

Everything around me changes. I seem to remain the same.

Only by visiting with my younger self would I be confronted with those internal changes. A mirror suffices to show me how great the changes are. It makes me wonder.

Poetry – The Same

The Same

Every day is the same –

A familiar comfortable pattern –

Like slipping into a warm glove,

Sitting beside a winter’s fire,

Slipping on an old moppy jumper.

Life has its routine:

We dress and bathe,

Toilet and eat,

Do our chores,

Partake of leisure, work and friends.

We read, write and go about our business

As if the sun will always rise.

Nothing changes –

At least the changes are gradual,

And only glimpsed with disbelieving eyes

As distance gives perspective,

As years slip slowly past.

Then one day it is different

And things will never be the same again.

Opher 5.9.2017

So many events change life forever – death, illness, migration, war, loss of a job, retirement………………..

One minute your world is running along smoothly and the next it is turned upside down and there’s no way back.

These last few years have seen so many of my friends thrown into chaos. All their plans burnt before their eyes. They have to regather and take a deep breath. Then they have to plan how to go forward from where they are now.

We all await the change that will radically alter our lives. It is coming. It lurks in the back of our minds.

Poetry – Poem To My Future Self

Poem To My Future Self

Dust – look at what you have achieved.

You are the stuff of stars

Yet you are so dull and shiftless.

You who were the ecstasy of worms

Are now all wind and dirt.

Where are your dreams?

Dust – why so useless?

Do you not crave action?

Are you content to drift

In aimless ripples?

Are you now so purposeless?

What are you planning?

Dust – you were once me.

You sought to live

And now you skulk in corners

And cover beauty

In your carelessness.

Do you not care?

I hear you.

I am dust, vapour and gas –

I did not amount to much.

I will touch stars again

But until then

I will exist

In what used to be, what is, and what I will become.

Opher 14.12.2015

Poem To My Future Self

I am told that I may not always be the same as I am today.

A thousand years from now I may appear different to how I presently am.

I have this on good authority but I do not really believe it. This body I possess may have changed. The evidence of the mirror backs up the possibility that I am not the same as I was. The evidence of my experience shows that others before me have disappeared. But inside my head it is the same me peering out. I can’t imagine he will want to leave this green jewel shrouded in mystery. I do not believe I will intrinsically change.

Yet seeing myself and others age and die certainly puts things in perspective.

I’ve had a life. My dust, this walking patch of dirt, has thoughts, dreams, wishes and still strives to change the world.

What are my visions for the future? What is this consciousness I possess?

What is this body, this corporal entity, this substance that I call me?  It is transient, ethereal and lifeless. It is dust – dust, wind and water.

Already I have shed a million bodies. My past dust drifts behind me like a gossamer shroud. I do not mourn those particles that were me. Already each gulp of air teems with molecules that were once part of me and may be again. The water comes and goes to rest a while in clouds before once again flowing through my tap, blood and kidneys.

All those zillions of atoms are not me. They never knew they were ever part of me.

Or did they?

Do I imbue them with my energy? Do they, like me, dream?

They will swirl and eddy around his planet forever, until our sun finally expands to incorporate them once more to its fiery breast and they return to whence they came.

Perhaps they will always throb with the essence of me? For one day I am destined to be a star again.

Poetry – Change


Got any change Mister?

Change is all there is

In this fragile life

Nothing real can stay

Our atoms stick

Then melt and part

And travel on their way

Opher 27.5.99

There was this kid with his obligatory dog and sleeping bag at the side of the pavement asking for change. That is what set my mind going.

All this universe knows is change. The laws of thermo-dynamics are going flat out.

We’ll all be dust!

Sometimes I think the rate of change in our society is madness. My Grandmothers grew up in a world that had dirt roads, gas lights, horse and carts and no cars. They lived to see men on the moon and space-stations.

The world we live in is changing so much as the world population spirals to seven billion on its way to ten, the forests disappear and wilderness is destroyed. Progress can be extremely negative.

Poetry – The River

The River

It flows continuously,

Always different

Yet the same.

We grow continuously,

Always different

Yet the same.

Molecules flow through.

Replacing all,

Yet we remain.

Every three months,

New bodies,

The smile the same.

The river of the cosmos

Flows through,

An endless game.

Opher – 17.10.2020

For us the changes of age come slowly even though the changes are much faster. Cells die and are replaced. Every three months we have a new body, yet it is built to the same plan.

The molecules flow in and the molecules flow out like water flowing down a river.

We look the same but we are always different.

The Future?? – More of the same or a better course??

Now that Covid 19 has provided a respite from normality and given us the opportunity to look at the future it is time to reassess what sort of world we really want.

We are at the start of a huge change. When A/I really gets into its swing there will be less need for a workforce. All the jobs, skilled and unskilled, will be automated. Productivity will increase. Profits will increase. There will be less work.

We can go on the same or we can change.

If we go on the same the wealth will be accumulated into fewer and fewer pockets, the world will run out of resources, nature will be wrecked, there will be pollution, global warming, mass migrations, wars, gross inequality, mass poverty, violence, protests, extremism (religious and political) and a wealthy elite who live in a bubble outside of this nightmare.

If we change we can share the wealth, create a more equal world, value nature, reduce our population and no longer suffer from wars, pollution, racism and inequality.

I reckon we have a stark choice.