Never expecting too much of life
Is like preparing to be surprised.
When all it throws at you
is bad news, it comes good!
Then you popped your head
above the parapet to say
Hello, it’s me, I’m here!
Where’s the milk bar?
You, one of many young lives,
a second blessing in a year
so full of unhappy events;
loss and degradation …
… a parting of ways,
the work of a generation to
bring us together, gone west,
now adrift, like the Marie Celeste
I wonder what will be, for you
in the midst of sheep-clothed tyranny.
We may have messed up
but must we leave you to fix it?
I wonder, in a house full of balls,
what genesis of talents and skills,
what genetics will course your veins;
mould your personality.
The perfect uniqueness you are,
will you keep them all in the air;
become a champion of …
peace and social justice?
What will light your fire;
what will bring you joy;
what will be your raison d’être?
Welcome to the World, my boy.
© 2016 John Anstie
All rights reserved
This poem is dedicated to my sixth grandchild, my fourth grandson, Kole George Nicholson. Born early in November 2016.
It is written in Free Verse.
JNA December 2016
“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 ”