Poetry – It doesn’t. It isn’t.

It doesn’t. It isn’t.

The moon moves through the clouds.

Except it doesn’t.

It’s a million miles away in space.

The sun travels across the sky.

Except it doesn’t.

It a nuclear explosion in a very distant place.

The ground is solid as a rock.

Except it isn’t.

Every atom is busy jiggling in the ground.

We will all live on for ever.

Except we won’t.

The universe will go when we’re not around.

Nothing

Is what it seems.

Opher – 17.4.2021

We seem to live in a world of permanence. Yet everything is an illusion.

The solid world is not real.

Permanence is not real.

We are not real.

There is strange chemistry at work.

My thoughts are electrical.

Poetry – Out of One Comes Many

Out of One Comes Many

Starting with one

                Giving rise to many.

Coming from a place

                Where there wasn’t any.

Impossible to understand

                How it came to be.

Everything about it

                An impossibility.

From the inanimate

                To consciousness.

To see, hear and touch

                The more with less.

We’ve created religions

                To try to understand.

Now science steps in

                To lend a hand.

But to understand

                Is beyond humanity.

No phony explanations.

                Appreciate the majesty!

Opher – 11.4.2021

We live in an amazing infinite universe.

We do not know how it came into being.

We have consciousness. We see, hear, think, touch, smell and taste.

We do not know how.

We live and we die.

We find death frightening so we invented an afterlife.

We found the mysteries of the beginning of the universe, life and consciousness too bewildering. So we invented gods, heavens and paradise.

For some of us these inventions explain everything.

They explain nothing.

They are inventions.

We live in an amazing infinite universe.

We have consciousness.

It is a wonder.

That is enough.

Poetry – From the heart and back

From the heart and back

I wrote a poem from the heart.

It was only words –

Letters arranged in symbols.

But I tried to capture

The dreams

Within my heart

And cage them in black ink.

Your eyes scan those symbols

While your brain

Unshackles the concepts

They contain.

Each momentarily freed

To connect,

To rebuild,

Those same dreams

I saw within my head.

I trust the dreams

Built within you head

Were full of love

The same as mine;

A mirror image –

You love I.

Opher 27.4.2015

From the heart and back

There is a world with, a universe in which we live. The outside world is unreal – merely constructed from electrical impulses sent in from nerves. We do not see a real world but merely the one created by our brains – partial at very best.

We have no way of knowing if the universe really exists at all.

For if I severed all your senses and fed in those electrical pulses your brain would live within that artificial universe.

So the me I am, is my greatest creation. It is all I have but even its most cherished memories are constantly reinvented.

What is real?

So when we love and communicate, using whatever symbols, we must surely always fail. The symbols of language are approximations of our thoughts and feelings, limited and partial. To be interpreted by another universe whose rules are different. They can only ever brush the surface -–surely?

Yet not.

‘I love you’ stirs the heart of both the donor and recipient the same.

Love is the greatest communicator of them all.

Poetry – Nothing Lasts

Nothing Lasts

Nothing lasts forever

Except this solar breeze

Even that will dissipate

Within the last big freeze

I give these atoms spin

I let loose energy

Adding to the cosmic dance

Through each and every day

My atoms mingle with you

As we struggle in the storm

Upon yet another beach

Where each new universe is born

Opher 27.5.99

Nothing lasts – a poem about polyverses and eternity written in 1999.

You might get a dog for Christmas but our atoms are eternal. We heat them up with our bodies and let them loose spinning faster. They come and they go. Every three months we have replaced every cell in our bodies. But the body remains. We are like the river. The water flows through but the river looks the same.

Already I have your atoms in my body. I have everyone’s; everyone who ever lived. We exchange atoms daily with every breath.

In the cosmic dance around us the universe is running down; entropy rules, and we add to it with our activity.

But then our universe is probably one of an infinite number – the polyverses of eternity – and our atoms may yet live forever with a hint of the spin we gave them as they passed through.

Poetry – The Last Poem

The Last Poem

Before I took my first thought

The universe did not exist.

Then it all clicked on

And has never ceased to desist.

They tell me one day

I will dream my last dreams,

Then the universe will stop

To seem how it seems.

Adrift in a void

That is not even there.

With no thoughts to avoid

Or feelings to share.

Alone.

Without even me.

With nothing to do

And nothing to see.

When time does not exist

And nothing is real

You cannot be

And I cannot

feel.

OPHER  31.12.97

I wrote this on the last day of 1997.

Life is all we have. We have a consciousness that has come out of a miraculous fusion of chemicals. My mind is a mass of dendrites connecting more neurones than a galaxy.

When I die I will cease to be.

But I hope the ripples of my life will reach out to touch everyone and help make the experience of this wondrous universe better for everyone.

We do not die while our memory lingers on in the actions of others. We reach down through the generations with fingers of delight.

My friends and family live in me as I will live in others.

Poetry – LONG JOURNEY

LONG JOURNEY

It’s a long road with no end in sight

On a journey that never ends.

They say the travelling justifies the time;

There’s always something round the next bend.

Sometimes you find a gentle glade

That satisfies your soul

Sometimes you settle in one place

But home is always the next watering hole.

You spend your time searching

For the diamonds in a friends eyes,

For the gems within the cosmic dust

That gives you the feeling of your size.

Sometimes it all makes sense

But those are the times that have to pass.

Sometimes you want to hold it close

But you know nothing can last.

These words are squiggles on a page

That’ll live long after me

And what use is their existence

Regardless of their quality?

 – they’re just words

You just get on and do it.

Make it the best you can.

Try to improve this whole damn universe;

As one grain within the sands.

Yet one grain can start a landslide

That buries something wrong,

And a landslide can lead to an earthquake

That lasts a life-time long.

Love melts the hardest hearts

As many an erstwhile fascist knows

Knowledge and compassion

Are the seeds a wise man sows.

A thought slips inside a mind

And down come the toppling cards.

A smile lights up a journey

And the road is not as hard

Opher 6.5.96

It seems to me that there are three types of people: The destructive, selfish kind who uses everything and leaves the world worse than when they came; the indifferent type who do nothing with their lives; and the ones that make a difference and change things for the better.

When I was young I consciously decided that happiness was not to be found in wealth and power. I deliberately chose not to go down that path. I wanted something more meaningful and fulfilling. I wanted a life that led to wisdom and creativity.

Now, towards the end of my days I think I was right. Pleasure is not fulfillment. Fulfillment is on a much deeper level and I have had more than my share.

I still believe we should strive to make the world a better place; more compassionate and harmonious. That to create and improve is more rewarding.

Destruction and cruelty never leave you with a satisfied glow in the way that love does.

Life is a long journey. We set off armed with our philosophy.

Poetry – God

God

God is energy

God is light

God is sound

God holds the atoms

That swirl in the ground

God is flowing

Through you and me

God is the galaxy

And electricity

Religion is dogma

Religion is a lie

That separates us from energy

And puts God in the sky

I don’t believe in

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna or Mohammed

They’re all just people

That lived on this planet

I don’t believe in prayer

Or a God that cares

A force for good or evil

With a face that stares

Religion is an evil

Full of pomp and hypocrisy

Useful by the powerful

There for all to see

If God were alive

In such simplicity

Guiding our lives

On a planet in this galaxy

One tiny speck of dust

In a raging sea

He’d appear the same to you

As he does to me

Not as Jesus to some

Just the chosen few

Jehovah to some others

Creating pagans and true

Giving out commands

Ordering us around

With strange beliefs

And dictats profound

No – God is the atom and the energy

The fuse that makes them dance

And the time to let them be

God is around within and without

With no Heaven or Hell

On this magic roundabout

When I think about religion

Perhaps there’s something I missed

Maybe God’s just punishing me

For being an atheist.

Opher 8.2.99

I’m an atheist. I do not believe in god or religion. I believe in science, carbon dating, Darwin, evolution and the Big Bang.

I believe the Bible and Koran were written by men. They are not ‘the word of god’.

I see no evidence of creation in the ‘design’ of the human body or the universe. I see a lot of things we do not understand with out limited intelligence and perhaps we never will.

I acknowledge the good things that religion has produced: the cathedrals, works of great beauty, poems and writings that move people, morality that helps people live their lives happily, comfort and purpose in times of desolation.

I believe morality came before religion.

I believe in tolerance, peace, love, free speech and the right of people to believe what ever they want. I think we should argue our case with passion.

We don’t all have to agree – just respect each other.

I also see the terrible things that have been carried out in the name of religion (and still are), the slaughter of unbelievers, pogroms, crusades, jihads, persecution, holocausts, genocides, crucifixions, beheadings, burnings and discrimination. I see the crazed fanaticism of the fundamentalists and the intolerance, bigotry and hatred it induces. I see the indoctrination of small children and cultural brainwashing.

I find the beliefs of creationists and fundamentalists (along with the dogged quoting of religious texts) absurd. I have studied how those texts were put together and find their formation, translation and content all extremely suspect. They were written by various men, long after the events, passed down generations by oral tradition and accrued into books. These books were then further culled to remove ‘heretic’ works and mistranslated. What we have is a mish-mash of contradictory offerings, purporting to be the word of god but really a collection of writings from many suspect sources. No more the word of god than my poems.

We seem to have a need to believe in some deity and magic. It is a psychological need. We’ve worshipped suns, moons, rocks, idols, ancestors, cats, trees, and supernatural superbeings who we have placed in the sky in heavens, valhallas, cloud palaces above Olympus, paradises and the rest. We have had gods and goddesses cavorting in human form, creating catastrophes, drinking, fornicating and causing mayhem. We have idolised, worshipped, sacrificed and beseeched them all. Most of the ones that were previously idolised to the point of martyrdom and believed in to the point of death have fallen by the wayside. Once they ‘ruled’ over millions but now we no longer know their names.

It just so happens that we have a few that are presently flavour of the month. Wars will be fought over them, sacrifices made, and much prayer and offerings will be presented up to the gods. The only trouble is that those gods do not exist. They were invented by men (few by women) and are now being used to gain power.

Our present religions will fade and die. No doubt they will be replaced by others equally incredible.

Meanwhile science continues to push back the frontiers of knowledge so that we understand more and more.

I believe all religion is a product of human imagination but I can be persuaded that there are mystical forces at work in the universe. They are probably scientifically verifiable – given time. The energy in the atom; the transformation of a supernova.

My idea of a ‘god’ is more akin to atomic energy. It’s an incredible force that pervades the entire universe. I do not think it is conscious, has purpose or thinks we humans are anything special. It is. It is something in the midst of nothing. It came into being and that in itself is miraculous. Forget the rest.

I am an antitheist because I believe all religion is false, it creates more harm than it does good and it is used by the powerful to gain more power and wealth. It is one more cause of misery, hatred, violence, bigotry, intolerance and arrogance. We’re better off without it.

The end verse is meant to be humorous.

Poetry – Forever

Forever

Soon I will waltz with forever

Through the tides of the cosmic sea

My vibrations – echoes of ripples

Lapping throughout finity

My atoms will dance in your body

My dreams will inhabit your mind

My atoms will dance on forever

Influencing all space and time

I am but a flea throwing elephants

A worm pushing mountains aside

But my atoms will join with your atoms

Six billion fleas can maybe decide

Not to fling a few elephants skywards

To move a few mountains about

But to join and all pull together

To listen and not merely shout.

Soon I will waltz with forever

And I will just cease to be

My vibrations becoming mere echoes

Rippling a cosmic sea.

I’d like to think they will make things better

Resonate a positive force

But the universe’s big

And time is quite long

It’ll take all of us to alter our course.

I am not a flea but a microbe

With lofty ambitions for sure

But I grapple with mountains and elephants

And you’re welcome to enter my door

To the universe I’m symbiotic

Please give up your pathogenic ways

Resonate in time

Join your ripples with mine

Build Tsunami’s sublime

Let’s relax into more caring days

When I dance that long waltz with forever

I’ll be smiling as we swirl around

Cos I’ve fought every day for the future

So that all things can breathe and expound.

Opher  26.3.00

After death I will be no more. My consciousness will dissipate with the electricity in my synapses. The universe will shut down. My body will be left to medical science (my mother set a precedent), there will be a service of remembrance and later my remains (after the students have finished mucking about with it) will be burnt. Most of my molecules will be let loose into the air and my ashes put back in the soil.

I shall not miss the universe because there will be nothing of me to miss anything.

I will remain in the people that knew me and have been affected by me. My ripples touch people and change them. It may be little it may be big. I am sure there will be a few tears. But more importantly is that my life will have had an influence, however small, on all those around me. I help unleash the zeitgeist.

I want to make my ripples into tsunamis.

My aim in life is simple – to enjoy it, see and do as much as possible, create what I can, experience the gamut and live it to the full, and leave it better than when I came in. I want a better world for my grandchildren.

I want them to be able to marvel at gorillas in the jungles and whales in the seas. I want them free to think, as free as me.

Poetry – Where the Earth stands still

Where the Earth stands still

I reached the point where the Earth stood still

And listened to the sun

Stars tumbled through the sky

Time belonged to everyone

Beliefs steal the mystery

In which the deeds are done

They steal the life from out your dreams

And reduce the choice to one

I lay within the long grass

Staring into the sky

And fell into the universe

With the swirling question why

  • Opher


One day as a child I lay in the long grass as the insects buzzed around me and the hot sun shone down on my face. I had a long stem of grass in my mouth which I was chewing on and stared up into the deep blue sky.

For the first time ever I began to think about that sky. My eyes penetrated through the blue and kept going. With a rush like vertigo I realised that there really was not an end. I was peering towards a sky that had no end. It sent me dizzy. I felt as if I was falling into it. The whole world around me receded and all that existed was the blue sky. I was falling into it at the speed of light and it did not end.

It had a profound effect on me. It shook the boundaries of my existence.

I had lived my short life in a finite world and now I would have to get used to an infinite universe.

Nothing was ever the same…

Nothing was ever…….

Nothing was ………… Nothing.

Poetry – Cosmic Breath

Cosmic Breath

The cosmic breath of my dreams

Rides the solar flares

To eternity.

Timeless atoms

Imbued

With energy

Are time machines

Powered on desire

Opher 27.5.99

I loved the idea that atoms are forever (well almost). They go on and on.

All the water we drink is recycled. There are molecules of water in our body that have been in every single human beings body who ever lived. I’ve got molecules of water in my body that have been in Roy Harper, Captain Beefheart, Elvis, Martin Luther King, Attila the Hun, Hitler, Pol Pot. and Buddha (I could have gone on with a longer list).

Every breath we take is also full of atoms and molecules that have been in every single human beings body – (and plant and animal). It gives you some idea of the colossal number that we are talking about.

Atoms are like little  perpetual motion machines – time machines. They don’t wear out too quick (unless radioactive) and are simply recycled and reused. They are powered by the background heat. We drink, breathe and eat them in. We pee, shit and perspire them out for everyone else to use. It’s the ultimate Green Dream of sharing, harmony and recycling.

I like that.

I like the idea that atoms that have been part of my body, imbued with my will, dreams and aspirations will go on into the future almost forever. Maybe they will possess a little of myself – but that’s just me being fanciful.