Poetry and Influence

To what extent can poetry influence the world … well, for that matter, to what extent can any words or thoughts change behaviour and influence life. It is happening all the time of course … we all contribute in one way or another. Today the influence of  the internet and social networking is a very powerful force … that is another issue.

And for those who believe in a ‘living creator’ … how is ‘this voice’ made manifest in the on-going life of the world – if at all?

Song of the Universe

Every Voice
Endless Rapture

Oration Instilled
Creating Eternity

Some days we may not hear great harmony.

Below is the text I wrote for a local Anglican publication a couple of days after the terrorist attack in Paris.. It happened to be on ‘International Tolerance Day’.

Paris Aftermath

Where to now after such a vile act that everyone is finding hard to comprehend? How should we deal with those that foster terrorism abroad and how do we deal with the self-proclaimed terrorist Islamic State when any form of negotiation is impossible?

Anger and fear may generate more violence in the form of retaliation and revenge. And unfortunately increased polarisation is inevitable. Annihilation of the enemy and from a distance to minimise personal loss is always going to be a short term band aid solution.

The following poem was written to counteract those that think the only solution is violence and annihilation. Terrorists for all their blatant sins happen to be human so on this ‘International Day of Tolerance’ it is well to remember this fact.

in memory of a twelve year old who self-detonated
early to save lives

don’t slam the door kid, when you leave your room
don’t slam the door tight when you enter the night
go quietly; go gently, as you enter the night
go gently as you vanish from sight

at that age when there is no age
and when the rolling of the years
matters only to another
and the inscription on the wall
is left for others to recall
and when they resurrect your name
will they relinquish certain blame?
let them shed their tears kid!

how can that have any meaning
is there meaning in a flower?
you knew exactly who you were kid!

don’t slam the door kid when you leave your room
don’t slam the door tight when you enter the night
go quietly; go gently, as you enter the night
go gently as you vanish from sight


The long term solution will lie with succeeding generations – ‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’. It is imperative that we instil in our children a sense of value and respect for life – their own life and the life of others – in particular to be inclusive of all peoples no matter what religion. Tantamount to this text is the ability to think for oneself without being misled by the mob. Hopefully such values will stay with them throughout their days in that great endeavour to make the world a better place.

Being an optimist I know that one day peace will again come to the troubled regions of our world.

In the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins ‘The world is charged with the grandeur of God’.

Enjoy the beauty of this day and the wonder of creation.

Richard Scutter 16 November 2015

Your word in my ear ...

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