Today’s Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – Love

A fabulous band from Los Angeles. A darling of the Underground.

They produced three brilliant albums before heroin rather messed up their lives.

I was fortunate to see the later incarnation live. Arthur Lee had harnessed a young band and they were brilliant – every bit as good as the original. Johnny Echols played with them on one occasion.

Meeting Arthur was like meeting a legend!

Then, just when the band was pulling in huge crowds, he gets ill and dies. Life is so unfair.

But today I will be playing my three favourite Love albums and wallowing in the music!

Poetry – friendship



Sunshine entering the room,

Lightening one’s step,

Lifting spirits,

Directing mind.



Freedom to be yourself,

To say anything

With complete security.

Exchanging jokes,

Knowing smiles,


From shared experience.

At ease,

With light asides,

Deep argument,

Emanating from common history.


A past

A future

And a present.


Melting into cells,

Empowering strength

Donating energy

Pouring forth

In torrents of laughter.


Opher – 2.1.2020



Friends are for life even after they are no longer with us.

They do not have to be here. They can be distant or gone. But they are still inside you.

Friends are chemical. They change your brain like an addictive drug with no harmful effects. They propel you up.

They are family.

Poetry – Love is

Love is


Love is a dream

A sanctuary

And a cuddle.


Love is a scheme

A priority

And a puddle.


Love is euphoria


And caring.


Love is aphasia


And sharing.


Opher – 26.12.2017



Love makes a euphoric mess of us. We cannot speak. Our emotions are in turmoil. It is ectasy.

Love, Sex, Romance, Friendship, Hormones, Brain Chemistry, Biology and Evolution.

Love, Sex, Romance, Friendship, Hormones, Brain Chemistry, Biology and Evolution.


It was Cheryl who sparked these thoughts off.

As a Biologist I am always aware of what puppets we are to our genes, chemistry and psychology. We think we have free will but I believe it is largely a myth. We are ruled by our evolution.

As a species we are so new that our body chemistry and psychology hasn’t even begun to keep pace with our technology. We are chimps living in cities but acting like we are still in the jungle.

Friendship – such a crucial element for hunting. When you are out in the jungle with dangerous animals you have to put your trust in the friend next to you. Together, as a small hunting group, you can drive off a fearsome predator or make a kill that will feed the whole tribe. As a young hunter you had respect. Your friendship group of fellow hunters were trusted friends – you put your life in their hands; you faced danger and fear together; you bonded through terror. Your bravery and loyalty was crucial.

Now-a-days we see groups of youths in gangs on the streets in their hunting groups. Except there are no predators to ward off or beasts to kill. Yet they still crave the excitement and danger, still bond and seek the respect. They’ve lost their purpose and status.

Love – a biological phenomenon to pair bond sufficiently to have, and raise, children. An hormonal rush, endorphin saturation of the brain, and a passing phase. The female selects the highest status male she can. The aim is to find compatible genes to meld with her own in order to produce offspring who are endowed with the best in order to survive. The pair bonding is a euphoric rush of brain chemicals – no more. It induces feelings of protection and promotes crazy bouts of sex. The idea being that while the male is infatuated and the female hampered by pregnancy and an infant, he will protect and provide. But the love that will last forever soon loses its glow as after the duration necessary for the child to grow, the brain chemicals subside. A new infatuation develops with other potential partners – it is better no to put all your eggs in one basket (so to speak). A different set of genes provides more survival possibilities for a female’s offspring. Genetic variation. DNA testing in modern families show that a high proportion of children from supposedly loyal monogamous marriages have different fathers. Biologically we are programmed to be serial monogamists and some males more promiscuous (the cuckoo effect). Women are seduced by status.

Yet we also see that once the hormones and brain chemistry subsides there is the possibility of a different relationship – based on respect, affection, trust and ‘love’. It is deeper and less frenetic and brings pleasure and contentment. It is a different partnership.

Poetry – You Breathe My Breath – a love poem for old love.

Poetry – You Breathe My Breath – a love poem for old love.


You Breathe My Breath

When you live with someone for nearly fifty years it is as though you are one. Everything about you has been affected, adjusted and adapted as you learn to rub along.

You have, not only a shared past, but share visions for the future.

Everything we do has been refined as we learn from each other. Both of us would be the less if the other were not there.

We have someone to share stories, bounce ideas off, to lean on and gain perspective, to share wisdom and see more objectively.

Two heads are always better than one. We see things from different angles. We have different strengths, different weaknesses.

Together we are stronger, more confident and better.

You cannot reach so high when you haven’t got a steady shoulder to lean on.

I am a better person.


You Breathe My Breath

You breathe my breath.

You read my mind.

You share my dreams

And all we find.

You wonder with me

And are safe and sound.

In the flood of life

We’re on higher ground.


You’re my safety line

Whenever I fall

That voice of sense

For me to recall.

You’re my compass

And my steering wheel

My fulcrum point

That makes life real.


All I am

Is because of you

All I am

Is because of you

All I am

All I am


Opher 5.12.2015

Poetry – Love again and again – Because we know we can and we’re worth it.

poetry – Love again and again – Because we know we can and we’re worth it.


Love again and again

It’s true. There’s no end to love. It’s infinite. It can blow you up.

Love is like hydrogen. It makes you float and it explodes in your brain.

It’s an anaesthetic

It banishes the dark.

It makes you laugh and it makes you cry

But it gets you high.

Love. Love. Love.

All the people and animals, trees and things I’ve loved and still do.

There’s no end. I’m never full.

There’s no loss with love – it’s all gain.

We can love an infinite number of times then do it all again.


Love again and again


It has no weight.

It has no size.

It’s antigravity

Built of sighs.


You carry it around

And it buoys you up

Making each sip

A whole full cup.


You can never have enough

But need never be afraid:

The more you give away,

The more you’ve made.


There’s no end to the people

You can give love to.

When you give it to them

They’ll give some to you.


It’s the kryptonite to hatred

The antidote to pain

Luckily we can fall in love

Again and again

And again

And again







Opher 12.12.2015

Poetry – I Can’t Breathe Without You – a simple love poem for my family.

Poetry – I Can’t Breathe Without You – a simple love poem for my family.

I Can’t Breathe without you.

I can’t dream without you

You are my world

Your smile – my beacon

My colours paled


I have no life without you

That is true

Your truth – my vision

With only you


I can’t breathe without you

I don’t know why

Your essence – my ambrosia

My earth, my sky


My heart won’t beat without you

I know it’s true

Your presence – my nutrition

I love you


Opher 29.5.95

In the final end it is your family that counts – my wife and my kids, my grandchildren and relatives. They are your DNA and pathway to immortality.

To love is what we do best. It is when we are at our best.

If you do not love you have not lived.

Your present is all about who you love. I am a lucky man. I have friends and family to give me nourishing sustenance. Who can ask for more.

This is my love poem to my widest family. In its widest sense it is all life on this planet but right now it is my loving family.

It needs saying more.

Love is all there is. There is nothing greater.

Poetry – My Mountains – A love song.

Poetry – My Mountains – A love song.

My Mountains
We cannot live without a heart, without recognition of something worth more than ourselves.
Love gives purpose to existence. It makes us strong, bolsters us when weak and generates power.
In an infinite universe it is not good to be alone.
To share a tea, a sunset or a quiet moment is transcendental. It is enough.
There is nothing more important than love. It is the antidote to the hatred and cruelty that destroys the world.

My Mountains
You are my mountains, hazed with blue mist
My sky
My sun
You are my forests, seas and wind
My stars
My rain
You are my volcanoes and hills
My soil
My trees
You are the ground underneath my feet
My air
My wind
You are my moon serene in the heavens
My clouds
My flowers
You are the touch that wakens me
My morning
My day
You are all the time I hold in my heart
My streams
My shore
You are in me beating with life
My blood
My guts
Without you there is only silence, darkness and perpetual night
For you are my light, my beauty and my truth.
Nothing can exist without you.

Opher 10.9.2015

A hand to hold – A poem of love and friendship.

This is a poem about love and friendship.

A Hand to Hold

I wish you always have a hand to hold

When the road is rough

And shadows jump;

An arm around your shoulder

When the wind bites

And dreams of loss sting the eyes:

Tender words to raise your spirits

When doubt erodes your hopes

To maroon you on the rocks;

And a friendly heart to share the joy,

Provide the warmth,

And generate the love,

That makes it all worthwhile.




A Hand to Hold

It was the John Martyn song May You Always Have that inspired me to write this love song.

As we go through life we always need a partner, companion or friend to share the wonder and the rough times. Sharing makes everything better.

Opher’s World – Tributes to Rock Genius – Love – Forever Changes

Love were one of the best bands ever but subject to the same ego and frailties that laid most bands low. Fame brings it’s excesses and turns out to be nothing like imagined. It destroys most people. It destroyed Love.



Contrary to the connotations of the name Love were not always soft and full of flower-power naivety. They came steaming out of the heat of Los Angeles with its urban gangs, racial tribalism and harsh culture. Los Angeles was a city like no other. It sprawled out from the freeways and boulevards and was constructed for the motorcar. It was not a place you could walk the streets; you cruised in your Cadillac and frequented the Sunset Strip to sample the London Fog or Whiskey-a-go-go where the action was.

Love’s first couple of albums were earthy with a Punk feel to them. The songs were melodic and memorable but they had an edge to them that was raw and full of energy.

Arthur Lee and Bryan Maclean shared the writing and vocals creating a great blend of harmonies that fitted well with the guitar-based rhythms.

Those albums were groundbreaking but Love really came together on the third; the immaculate Forever Changes. This reflected their song-writing, musicianship, vocals and production all at their peak. It was one of the stand-out albums of that Acid Rock period. This was a masterpiece of West Coast Hippie culture that has been voted the best album of all time a couple of times. The album has sophistication and is complex with a divine sound without losing the immediacy and distinctiveness of the band. I love it.

Love captured the counter-culture feel of Los Angeles in the heady days of the sixties.

They also epitomise its collapse.

All the idealism and hopes of those times crumpled. The creative force dried up and it descended into violence, hard drugs, free-loading and sell-out. Greed and abuse destroyed it.

Hard drugs were the main reason for Love’s decline. It was all so predictable. After having broken big they were consumed with adulation, sycophancy and overwhelmed with expectation. They were plied with heroin. After the adrenaline high of performance it is difficult to come down and return to any normality. They were hugely successful, swamped with groupies and expected to live the life.

They were young men and succumbed. After one last OK album they split up.

Bryan went on to produce one solo album before going off into Christian Rock and dying in 1998.

Arthur stumbled along reforming versions of Love but failing to recapture the magic. He got himself into trouble discharging a fire-arm and ended up with a prison sentence.

It wasn’t until the 2000s that he finally got it back together. He found himself a group of young musicians called Baby Lemonade (After a Syd Barrett psychedelic number). He groomed them and formed a new vibrant incarnation of Love.

Suddenly the energy and magic was back. They were every bit as good as the original band in their heyday.

I caught a number of their concerts and they rocked. They even got Johnny Echolls back for a concert. I asked him where he’d been and he said ‘Around’.

Arthur wore his fables leather jacket and a headscarf and looked and sounded brilliant. The band was pulling enthusiastic crowds. Was it all about to happen again?

I had a chat with an enthusiastic Arthur. He was full of optimism and talked of recording an album of original material.

Just as it appeared that it was going to come to fruition and culminate in a renaissance Arthur was diagnosed with leukaemia.

He died. It died.