Poetry – Life Intervenes

Life Intervenes


                Like the flap of a butterflies wing


                Flowing down a hillside to the sea


                Inconclusively gazing into the mist


                A series of shots in the dark

The future

                An unknown country

                                Arrived at

Through decisions made,

                Consequences considered,

                                Foresight deployed

With life intervening.

Opher – 6.4.2021

No matter how hard we try to control our lives we are subject to the vagaries that life throws at us. The future can never be known – only guessed at.

The forces at play are beyond our control. We merely guide our raft through the rapids.

The purpose and reasons for the life we choose to live are the guiding force we apply to our paddles.

Ultimately we all reach the sea.

Poetry – Mighty Coil

Mighty Coil

Little coil of chemistry

That conducts my life,

Convoluting through the ages

Conjugating man and wife.

Rungs upon a ladder

Of our family tree,

Mutating and growing

Into great complexity.

You tell the whole story

Of life under this sky;

Within your base structure

Is the tale of you and I.

I wish I could understand

How you came to be.

Perhaps time will unravel

You great mystery.

A simple code of four

Spells out your majesty;

So eloquently spelt –

What was, is and will be.

Opher 30.5.2016

Mighty Coil

I was lying in bed this morning on my birthday thinking about age, life and the future. Time passes.

The grandchildren are on their way with my daughter. They will be here shortly to help me celebrate. They are the future as I move into the past.

The real celebration is the fact that they share my DNA – we all do. Resounding down through the ages, from the very first cell, and on into the distant future.

Humans might not last long but DNA is shared with all life; we are all family.

Those four bases spell out a code that contains our whole history, eloquently recorded for a long time to come.

No life is more evolved than any other. We come from the same cell. We have lived the same length.

I tried to capture the convolutions of the DNA molecule with its rungs like a ladder and four base code that contains a wealth of information. Our whole past is written there.  I used the word base in both meaning. We are a base species. But we are not the culmination. M<ore is to come. Maybe the future forms of life will evolve to be something greater than we have managed. We are a disappointment – we promised so much.

I do not pretend to understand how DNA originated or incorporated into that first mother cell. Life is mystery. But humans are inquisitive and great at problem solving. Maybe one day we will know (if we survive long enough).

So on this birthday I celebrate life in all its forms and will drink a toast to the wonders of DNA – the wonder chemical that has given us all we are.

Here’s to you DNA and all your twists and turns! The story isn’t over yet!

Poetry – Nothing to say

Nothing to say

If you’ve got nothing to say

Why bother saying it?

If you have nowhere to go,

And nothing to do when you get there,

Why bother going?

Just filling in time.

Opher 29.5.2016

Nothing to say

I was talking to Lazy Lester a few years back and he kept telling me that he knew someone who had nowhere to go and nothing to do when he got there. He thought it was highly amusing and said it a number of times. I liked it too.

I kind of feel the same way about most of what I see in the society I’m part of.

In the midst of huge dilemmas, issues and decisions most of us are content to drift along being entertained and pretending the big issues are not of their concern.

Why is that?

Do we feel so disempowered that we are impotent in the face of politics and the big corporations?

Yet even the most powerful individuals in the world are human beings just like us – not super-beings. Their intelligence, understanding and mental processes are no different to our own. They started life as helpless babies. They are people pretending to be important.

The internet is full of trivia, celebrity nonsense and crap. TV is a mess of shallow rubbish.

I believe it is like that because that is how we want it.

Time to change.

If we have nothing to say then perhaps we should stay out of the way of the people who have?

Why clutter up the attic with superficial nonsense?

Are we living or just filling in time?

Poetry – Life


Green sap,

Red blood,

Blue blood

And plasm.

Mix them up

With membranes,


And a spasm.

Grow them

On a planet

In an interlocking


For feeding

In a web

Is the way

That life works.

Opher 18.5.2016


Somehow we humans like to put ourselves apart, on a higher rung of the ladder than anything else.

We think we are better and more highly evolved.

We are not.

We are not the biggest.

We are not the most complex.

We may not even be the most intelligent.

All organisms on this planet started from the same cell. We have all, no matter how simple or complex, evolved for exactly the same length of time.

We are no more evolved that the simplest bacterium.

All life in this rich pageantry on this planet is interconnected in a complex web that sustains us all.

It is that web that we are now damaging.

It is the equivalent of deliberately taking out the intravenous drip.

Poetry – Atoms and Energy

Atoms and Energy

Atoms and energy

The power of the mind,

Staring into Black Holes

To see what we can find.

Electricity and patterns

Recording all we see;

Delving into mysteries

With wonder, awe and glee.

All for the sake of knowing

How the wonder works –

Electron and quasar,

Supernova and quarks.

Opher 22.5.2016

Atoms and Energy

The greatest thing about the apes we call humans is our inquisitiveness. That is what makes us so successful. We have to know how everything works.

Questioning is the way to be.

Once you accept anything as the truth you are dead.

It is miraculous that in the space of a couple of hundred years we have travelled from a primitive life-style with candles and horses to the wonders of atomic energy, space travel and mobile phones.

What clever apes we are.

Perhaps too clever for our own good.

The jump has been so quick that many of us cannot cope. We still think with primitive minds, tribally and with vicious cruelty. We’ve got a way to go in order to catch up with our technology.

There are even whole countries of people trapped in the pre-science days of superstition.

Let’s hope that we can peer into those areas of ignorance, tinker and understand, and use science to solve all the problems we are creating by suffocating nature through sheer weight of numbers.

This is a simple little ditty.

Poetry – I used to have so much

I used to have so much

I used to have a dream

But I’ve forgotten what it was.

I used to have ideals

But I’m lamenting their loss.

I used to dream of freedom

But freedom became a traitor.

I used to wish for change

But we’re saving that for later,

Life is a mystery.

We live it to the full.

We sometimes give it all we’ve got

But not as a rule.

We’re going through the motions,

Filling up the days.

Doing what we always do

And living in a haze.

Opher – 28.3.2021

Life used to be so special. Youth was so full of fire. Now reality breaks through. You realise that no matter how much you try you can’t change it. The system is a game. The rules are made by the powerful. Money talks. Greed rules.

Life becomes mundane. We find ourselves falling into a predictable pattern in which we do not think about those big issues that used to fire us up.

Poetry – Sun Life

Sun Life

Sun shine

Sky blue

Leaf green

Wet dew

Cool drink

Broad sea

Brown sand

Run free

Pleasure rife

Big grin

Clasped hand

All win

Opher 28.3.2016

Sun Life

It’s a beautiful planet we live on with its broad expanses of waters, cooling breezes and green vegetation.

It’s a jewel.

Life runs free on that rich soil.

This is the world we evolved on. A symbiotic web of life that is all sustaining.

This is the goldilocks planet.

There is so much beauty and wonder crammed into a tiny corner of the galaxy.

We need to breathe it in every now and then, to feel its awesome strength and relish its unlikely marvels. The fact that we are here at all is incredible.

To have the consciousness to appreciate its splendours is something to celebrate.

A mere second in this place is worth a billion years of oblivion.

Poetry – There is a Mystic

There is a Mystic

There is a mystic

In the sun and sea;

A mystic

In a grain of sand.

There is a mystery

In the rock and tree

And in the grasping

Of a hand.

Opher 22.3.2016

There is a Mystic

I am an antitheist. I believe that there is not only no god but that religion is all about power, is man-made and creates more harm than good.

Having said that I recognise that there is a strange connection at work.

I feel attracted to the beauty of rocks, trees, gorges, sea, lakes and sunsets. I am not alone in experiencing these feelings. Our ancestors worshipped these things before they invented gods. There is a majesty about them.

I can lie on my back and peer up into the night sky and experience awe as I whirl with the stars.

I can peer up at the moon and feel some lightening of my thoughts.

It is no wonder that primitive people, without the knowledge that science has brought, would experience these feelings and imagine the power of moon, sun, rocks and trees as possessing the spirits of gods.

I hope we have put this type of superstition behind us.

But Physics has shown us that there is more strangeness in the quantum world than we ever could have imagined.

I believe there is a lot more for us to discover. We are at the very beginning.

I do not have other words to describe the power that resides in these things. There is a mystic at work.

I cannot find words to express the delight in contacting a human being, or an animal. There is wonder, awe and mystery. There is warmth and communion beyond mere friendship. There is something I will call mystic.

Poetry – Each Moment

Each Moment

This is the one of my secular ritual poems; to give thanks for life and to be grateful that we have evolved eyes to see and senses with which to witness something of the majesty of the universe – to be thankful that the universe exists.

There are mysteries all around us and we use our senses and the instruments we devise with our intelligence to understand and marvel.

Each moment here is heaven. We have no need for more.

Intelligence is rare. Life might be so rare we will never contact another race. But we can imagine, feel and experience the enormity of infinite possibility.

That is exalting in itself.

We should have rituals for each and every sunset. They are precious.

Each Moment

Each moment is precious –

Each and every moment.

Each moment is a great gift from fate,

Born of chance.

We are thankful for this great opportunity to breathe,

This chance to soak

In the dreams of life.

For what we have is more precious

Than we can imagine.

We are thankful

For the opportunity

To see oceans,



And sky.

We are thankful

For plants, animals

Moors and forests.

We are fortunate;

We have the great fortune to live.

Opher 14.3.2016

Poetry – Life


Life is a mystery –

An interim of consciousness

In a boundless ocean of oblivion;

A string of moments

That are opportunities;

A momentary awakening

Into an infinity of wonder;

A window into a universe of awe.

Life is a brief ripple

In the river of time;

A chance meeting

With other minds;

A discovery of self,

A sharing of beauty beyond measure;

A moment’s love

Before the cloistered doors close.

Life is measured in seconds.

All we have to do

Is to fill each one.

Opher 12.1.2016


The universe – perhaps a multitude of universes – exist. If there was no consciousness to perceive it then it would still exist?

Yet there is. There is consciousness – and it exists in many forms. It came into creation and has evolved on this planet. It is called life.

We are alive.

We open our eyes into a universe of light, heat and solidity.

But for a few physical laws and chance occurrences this might not have been the case. This universe could easily have merely consisted of dissipating hydrogen, absolute cold and not a hint of substance. Instead it formed stars, light, heat and complex molecules. It created consciousness.

We can see, feel, breathe and experience.

That is the wonder.

In the big scheme of things a lifetime is the flash of a strobe. We are here and gone.

Yet in a lifetime there are many days and much to do, to feel and experience. It is how we fill our time that is the measure of our worth.

It can be a long, drawn-out affair of trivia, routine and dreariness, or a delight of friendship, love, exploration and creativity.

I believe that consciousness is so rare in this universe that we almost have a duty to give it all we’ve got.