Poetry – The World That Could Be

The World That Could Be

There’s the world that could be

The world that will be

And the world that is.

All that stands between them

Is us.

Opher 3.4.2019

Some people see life as something that happens to them that they are not in control of. Some people believe that the world is so big that we can have no effect on it.

I think this is plainly nonsense.

We can see quite clearly that humans have already had an enormous impact on the planet. Now the 8 Billion of us are sufficient in number and great enough in our technological impact to devastate the world.

I do not share the view that we are impotent. We are in control of both our lives and our impact on the planet.

We should respect and cherish both.

Poetry – A Wonder

A Wonder

A wonder of technology

Epitomy of simplicity

A dynamo of energy

Manufacturing complexity

I’ll keep it brief

A leaf.

Layers of green splendour

Cells of biochemical wonder

Intricate skeleton to ponder

Producing energy to squander

I’ll keep it brief

A leaf.

An organelle straight from the past

Under the name of chloroplast

Containing mysteries so vast

The chlorophyll iconoclast

I’ll keep it brief

A leaf.

Opher 3.2.2019

Evolution has provided us with some absolute wonders. We should cherish it and protect them all.

But for most people a leaf is just a leaf.

They wouldn’t even miss them if they went.

Poetry – Leaves


Descending in technicolour glory,

Laid out in their finery,

In full regal costume.

Leaving behind skeletons

Of black silhouettes

To stand stark

Against the graphite skies

And crimson sunsets

Of winter.

Congregating in orange drifts

To whisper together in the breeze,

To cavort as whirling dervishes

In one last orgy of delight

Before subsiding

Into final rest

To give their strength back

To the soil.

Opher 9.11.2018

The remembrance services make me reflect on the futility of life. We are born, live our lives in a brief burst of colour and are recycled back to the soil from where we drew our strength.

Men in those trenches, a hundred years ago, were still green. They never had their chance to rustle in the summer breeze or feel the sun. Their autumn came sudden and returned them to the ground too early.

Yet there is such beauty in the autumn leaves, resplendent in their colours, and the skeletal trees stripped of their clothes. There is wonder in life, no matter how brief.

Poetry – The Tree

The Tree

It stood grand with a million leaves,

In all its finery.

Every one reaching for the sun

And contributing

To the majesty of its girth.

Each leaf a thing of beauty;

Together standing tall,

With all the might

Of a wondrous


Through many centuries

The tree has stood

Draped in its coat

Of many colours,


Then the cruel wind blew

Rat-a-tat rat-a-tat rat-a-tat

And the magnificent leaves

Were blown asunder

To rot in the soil.

Opher – 10.11.2018

I wrote this in anticipation of Rembrance Day.

I had this image of a nation being a mighty tree and the leaves being its people.

The cruel wind was the machine guns that so easily blew them away.

All that potential, all that grandeur, left to rot in the ground.

So sad, so unnecessary, so tragic, so thoughtless, so meaningless, so indescribably cruel.

What is this persistent ritual of war all about? Why are we forced to repeat it so often?

So many leaves fall. So many autumns. And endless cycle of young death.

Poetry – I Have Life

I Have Life

I have life

And I’m gonna live it

I have dreams

And I’m gonna make them real

I have hopes

And I’m gonna realise them

I have love

And I’m gonna give it

I have time

And I’m gonna use it

Opher 7.10.2018

It seems to me that we are here for such a short while – then we are gone. I want to fill every second with love, wonder, awe and appreciation. I’m going to try to do everything I want to do. I’m going to strive to put right the things that are wrong. I’m going to make a difference.

Poetry – Surviving Against The Odds

Surviving Against The Odds

Tectonic plates sliding

Volcanic ash spewing

Asteroids crashing

Suns exploding

Life surviving


How precarious life is? Amid all the calamities somehow this incredible miracle of life survives.

The chances of its creation were so incredibly slim. Yet it happened.

On this planet the impossible happened. Out of zillions we were the lucky ones where it was just right.

I do not think there is anything divine about this. I use terms like miracle in a secular fashion.

It is so wondrous! Long may our luck hold!

Poetry – Open Our Eyes

Open Our Eyes

We open our eyes and it is there –

At first with wonder

Soon masquerading as mundane.

Every first an excitement

That rapidly fades,

Then runs as routine

Until our eyes finally close.

Opher – 30.7.2018

We live in a world of miracles and wonder. We peer out from a body of miracles and wonder. We are surrounded with miracles and wonder. We process the universe with a mind that is miracles and wonder. Our very dreams are miracles and wonder.

Yet we see it all as mundane. We take it for granted. We rarely even wonder at the miracles.

Poetry – Solidity


Repelled by atomic energy

With the illusion of reality

Solidity as a fiction.

There’s a force-field

That stops us sinking

Through the ground –

Melting through the universe.

Huge spaces between

The tightest packed nuclei

Like space between the stars.

As hand hits table

No matter really touches

Just a force-field.

We are held together

By wonder.

Opher 30.7.2018

I’m always fascinated by the macrocosm and microcosm and here we are stuck in the middle unable to really see either.

In relative terms there is as much space between the atoms in a solid object as there is space between stars. It seems to me that even with the zillions of atoms in a solid object we should be able to bring two objects together and slide the atoms past each other without a single collision of nuclei. What prevents us is the force-field between them.

Solidity is an illusion.

Poetry – In the Beginning

In the Beginning

In the beginning was the void.

In the end was the void.

In-between is me, the universe and you.

Opher – 28.7.2018

Isn’t that amazing??

We come out of a void. We return to a void. We live for a brief flash that seems to last forever.

The universe comes out of nothing. It exists. It dies.

The only thing we know is that we are aware. We think we live and we hate to think of that ending and all that we hold dear with return to nothing.

What do we know?