Grant me the patience to constrain my tongue,
When untoward, offensive words are heard,
Intent on denigrating old by young –
Unspoken response be the best preferred;
More oft such utterance comes from baseness born,
Or springs from mindless undeveloped youth;
Are such the likes that ignorance be-spawn,
As those who peddle, shamelessly untruth?
Alas, ’tis not to age nor class confined,
For thoughtless derogation knows no bound,
Too easily with vulnerable aligned,
Yet, often in the priv’leged to be found.
Would that in kindness others we could see,
The world a healthier, happier place would be!
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Not in what is said,
But what is left unsaid;
Nor in what is done,
But what is left undone;
There lies the nub of what is really meant.
Those smiling eyes,
Or glaring gaze;
The tilted head,
Tightly drawn lips
Belies a truth, could not be truly dreamt.
A sideways stance,
That flashing glance;
The angled foot
With upturned toe
Are warning signals to tread with care.
A raised eyebrow,
No doubt allow,
Has hit the mark,
Tread warily lest flimsy feelings flare.
One lowered look,
An elbow crook’d,
Then fleeting sneer,
Quite gentle snort,
Foretells the dawning of deepening trust.
Lo, dropping shoulders,
The arms unfolded,
A quivering forelip,
One glistening eye,
The verbal deluge now needs must .
When floodgates opened,
Sixty tortuous minutes
Deluge down to trickle,
All would be well!
(From: Late Harvest.)