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!

The Purpose of Life

The Purpose of life!!

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As an antitheist I am often accused of being pointless.

Far from it. I am not at all depressed by the knowledge that my life is finite. I opened my eyes on this incredible universe sixty five years ago and at some point in the next thirty five years, maybe today, I will close them forever.

For me the universe will cease to exist just as it did before I was born.

In some ways that is sad and I can see how some people might find that frightening and pointless. I don’t.

I would find the idea of living forever excruciatingly tedious. What would you do for all that time? It would be a jail sentence. What mysterious purpose would there be to that? There would no be a purpose. You cannot hide a lack of ultimate purpose behind  either – ‘God has a plan’ or ‘We have to progress through many stages and lives’ – for me that is merely a psychological cop out.

No. I am happy with a finite life. It means that every second is precious. Every moment has to be wrung dry of all possible joy. It will not come round again.

So, if there is no ultimate purpose then what is the thing that makes life worth getting up for? (And yes by the way – I am a very moral person. I do not need some religious doctrine and fear to make me moral. Morality makes sense. It is a philosophy that brings happiness.)

Here are the reasons to get out of bed. This is my ABC of life:

a. Love

b. Fun

c. Making the world a better place

d. Awe and wonder

e. Creativity

f. Solving the problems

g. Enjoying the splendours

h. Exploring everything

I. Reading

j. Writing

k. Sharing

l. Appreciating a nice meal, a glass of wine and good company

m. Arguing and educating

n. Speaking out against the madness

o. Caring for other animals

p. Looking out for the plants

q. Learning from history

r. Sport

s. Driving

t. Swimming in a cool pool on a hot day

u. Looking up at the stars and drifting to infinity

v. Getting an idea for a story, painting, poem or dance

w. Thinking

x. Singing and playing music

y. Appreciating art, theatre, dance, drama, music, poetry …….

z. Dancing

aa. Photography

I think that’s probably quite enough to fill a life-time or two.