Why Justice? 

Sometimes poetry talks to a place of unrest and hurt, and sometimes writing poetry can be a voice of anger or indignation or passion as it has been for many centuries. I will confess that I have had painful issues with people of a fundamentalist faith who rob the beauty of the big questions with a crass assertion of their correctness in all things and it saddens and concerns me. So some of this comes from that place. Some of it though comes from a growing delight as I get older in "the place of unknowing", as a place of wisdom rather than doubt. Finding space to delight in the mystery of the space in between us is an exercise in curiosity and self-directed spirituality. The style in some of the poems is deliberately archaic in style to echo a rhythm and voice from the past.


(After King Lear’s fool’s soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 2)


When Lear’s fool, no jest, became the king

in sight full vision held his beady eye,
for green un pleasant lands do anything
but shine with hope or wisdom amplify.

With foolish eyes his kingdom did peruse
to see as none had chosen to before,
full seeing now with little else to lose
what crimes of stating what had gone before.

In cities far and wide he heard the voice
of those shut out by costly fear and greed,
for profit seeking profits those with choice
while blinded to the sight of those in need.

The fool looked down in horror and surprise
when told that borders now were oh so hard,
that seeking refuge no one would advise
as strangers now are given scant regard.

He listened to the voice of those abused.
He sat with lonely old unfeeling cold.
He saw the homeless, nothing he excused.
He stood in unity with truth foretold.

When justice is to jester not yet seen,
nor grace or mercy shape his motherland,
When little hope his searching seems to glean
what profits prophets left to understand.

The foolish hope for new beginning jokes
as purpose less a life less joy in living
mocking fear that people now provokes
timelessly, more sinned against than sinning.

When Lear’s fool stood down from ruling role
in spying England’s blue and tainted land,
his wit and wisdom still hold fast his soul
and from his troubled people, faith demand.



Jon Doble


The next poem #Youtoo, needs some context but the title gives some clue as to what was going on in the world when it was written. It nods at Hamlet's moving speech of despair. It came from a place of anger after listening to the tale of a teenage girl who had been in a social gathering where a Christian minister spent the entire conversation running his fingers through her long hair while smiling at her. She spoke of being frozen and "creeped out" and angry that his intimidation robbed her of the courage to speak out. This is not an isolated incident. 



What piece of work is man?
that knows no grief of self,
but bullish braggart boldly boasts
his self assuring rant and rave
im posed on watchful frozen one.
What piece of work is man?


What piece of work is man?
who grasping gropes at others tress
in pain full tear full dread full scorn
with withered witless words degrade
full purpose full to so demean.
What piece of work is man?


What piece of work is man?
What breed of calling shapes this man
whose preying power disturbs the soul
of she who sees and sees again
in seeing now calls out his vain conceit.
What piece of work is man?


What piece of work is man?
to gloat in crowing crying shame
as lust full jibe turns now to gender dread.
But crying strength will shape her way
in mind full single-minded hope.
What piece of work is man?


Have you seen them?

The women who flinch?

It’s hard sometimes, as they hide and blink.
Out of sight and mind and there they are
but not yet here or seen.

Seeing is hard sometimes, but is it a choice?

I am ten.

               And intent on seeing what I am being asked to see.
               The optician holds aloft the book with page on page
               of images with dots and shades and greens and blues and reds.
               Do you see it?
                                Do you see it?
                    What do you see?
                          Do you see the number seventy three
                                  or do you see a fish?
               I see.
               You don’t see.
               Don’t see at all.
               Very good…. I am sure it’s fine.
               No, of course not,
               others have your limitation too.
               Next please!


To see ourselves as others see us,
or maybe not.


But to see myself
as I would see me
mirrored in the gift of knowing
robbed of prejudice and gloating
peeled of skin and favoured smell
in asking now, what voice I have
what privilege in seeing knowing
what virile glasses shape my sensing
hiding sight from mind less knowing.

Have you seen them?
The women who flinch?

I saw one and two and three,
as shy gazelles on my safari
in pursuit of self unknowing
letting scales of wrongful sight
fall from the eyes of tutored seeing.


                    Have you seen them?
                    The women who flinch?



It’s painful now I see
or partly see,
myopic learning
less is more
and less and less
of Adams knowing
until the eve of new sight
dawning at the break of day.

What makes you invisible?

I could say me, of course
but that would not suffice
and guilty badges just displace
the need for honest dialogue,
and seeing now with honest
heart and soul full minded to
release the injury of hurt
of narrow minded knowing,
how the road is made by walking
how new sight is grown in talking
how the gift of being seen in sharing
how the honesty of fessing up to blaming
how the mystery of life is seen.

          The optician rests his glasses on his nose.
          Pontificating how the limits of my seeing
          out of kilter with the norm
          and forming views he does not know,
          prescribes the way that I should go.


I try to think that purpose full new seeing
with the insight of new knowing
partial though and fragile all the same.


But helplessness in being held against the reason
of good willing isn’t just the need of knowing.
Such passion felt in head and heart
refining reason, living, knowing
lets new passion forged then in tears
but now in shaping what will be,
so flinching is the tic that’s seen
by those of us who seek to glean
how freeing seeing changes being,
honours and respects the pain
while looking out words to proclaim.

As manly fixed my name has always been,
in seeing now, the flinching slowly slowly known.


The art of Xen

Let not hate of strangers shape your being.
For being shaped by hate knows not wherein
Being human lies in human being.

In sight in seeing shame in speaking
Knowing knows likeness of alien akin
Let not hate of strangers shape your being.

So now trump the mastery of ranting,
In recognising sightless truth within
Being human lies in human being.

Hate full words in mindless acts of shaking
Fists of fury blinded to all but skin.
Let not hate of strangers shape your being.

As borders close with minds unbelieving
And lying words of bile are put to spin.
Being human lies in human seeing.

For you, my friend the choice of life believing
Now in hopeful choice, let new life begin
Let not hate of strangers shape your being,
Being human lies in human seeing.