Picture credit: Max Mitrofanov (via tr1umph.deviantart.com)
mother of us all,
child of the Universe,
our common blood
was carbon, nitrogen,
oxygen and hydrogen,
in concert with the stars.
great voids imploding
then exploding in light
with the dust and smell
of a thousand million
driven to extinction
by unlimited energy.
Facing the hideousness
of death at day’s end,
the weight of this life
seems so much less,
in the lightness
of our being,
of the atoms we are.
mother of us all,
in your patience and
your tolerance of us,
breath a huge sigh
and remind us
who we are and
whence we came.
© 2013 John Anstie
All rights reserved
“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult”
As a young man, John was sporting and fit. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines and ethos as that famous Scottish public school, Gordonstoun, where our own headmaster had been as a senior master. This gave shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life.
His fitness was enhanced not only by playing rugby, but also by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, selling ice cream!
His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a fifty-two year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and barbershop quartets. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (stage name of the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 41 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man.
What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how a few humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle.
His sort of strap-line reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iChi iVolunteer ”
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Yes! I’ve always liked this one and it’s particularly good for our event today. Thanks for including it, so passionate and true.
We are all stardust after all, aren’t we? 🙂 I like your idea of a patient and tolerant Mother Earth instead of one who would do better by shaking off the human race like a bad case of fleas. Thanks for participating and for reminding us of our common ancestry!
I love the image of shaking us off like a bad case of fleas :).
Thought and appreciative sentiment, John, and finely written. This was a good choice to include in the event and thank you for doing so. 🙂
That should be “thoughtful” … and I meant that in its several definitions.
Thoughtful posts and thoughtful comments are always appreciated, thank you Jamie.
Lovely poem, John…though I wonder sometimes if she’s started to run out of patience and tolerance for us. We need to treat her better….there’s only one planet earth 🙂
As I have told everyone who might listen to me, I found this piece of yours intelligent and thoughtful, which is not surprisingly how I also find the poet! 🙂 Cheers, mate! Wonderful work. ~ j
That’s another pint I owe you, Joe 😉 …