THE LIFE STORY OF A STONE

I am a Stone and this is my short life story.

They say that I have the heart of a stone.

Who knows?  Stone the crows!

They say you can’t get blood out of a stone.

Stone me!

So I must be done for then,  well and truly,

Because take a look at this Rolling Stone that gathers no moss.

Ok I know.

I can sink like a stone

And I am only a stone’s throw away from infinity.

In fact, everything I do in this life is a stepping stone ‘indeed’ to the next.

And my legacy might be carved in stone.

Am I really stone-cold sober as I pen this?

Or am I just stoned?

Hey good people, they say that if you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones

And that sticks and stones will break my bones, but do you know, words will never hurt me.

So let me remind you then that he who casts the first stone

Might just leave no stone unturned.

Ridicule is a funny thing.

And I might as well kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Stone me!

Alas, a stony silence prevails.

I’ve reached my milestone, the end of my life story.

 

Advertisements

THE TAUREAN – THE MOURNING

It is the mourning after the day before.

There is a vacant berth at the quayside in the harbour.

The Taurean is missing

Whereas yesterday was destructive in its wake with strong gusts of wind and torrential downfall of rain, today is infinitely calm.

A local reporter is quick to the scene.  He senses a sensational story

The local reporter can ask all the questions he wants but he will not get the answers he yearns for

I was once he, inquisitive, curious, fresh, ambitious, determined, brazen questing fame but I charter a different course now.

Freedom is a wonderful thing and you can only really know what it is once you have removed yourself from all the shackles which are placed upon you in a lifetime.

As a human or as a boat, you are as one.

In life, you do not choose where you want to go but the place inexplicably chooses you and you must allow fate rather than faith to blindly lead you..

Now I am totally free to go wherever I wish to go, with whoever I choose, whenever I choose and in whatever form I choose.  There are no perameters.

Believe me, I am a vessel at peace.

It was many years ago that I left my homeland and sailed to foreign pastures thousands of miles away to a place with a different culture and set of customs alien to anything I had previously experienced.

I have been accepted within the community of the harbour more for heritage and privilege than sociality because the locals boast of having an Englander in their midst.

We refer in life to baggage and I carry a burdensome cargo of three marriages and four children.  This is where my journey took me.  I can thank my lucky stars that I was blessed.

The woman who reported my disappearance yesterday to the local constabulary, has returned to the scene and is questioned by the reporter.

The bouquet of flowers she lay at the scene yesterday at day-break has long been blown away.

The odd thing is that she can still see the Taurean at its moorings.

The reality is that her vision is not shared by others.

That which has perished is still with the living world  and has become an onlooker to the mourning of its passing.

If a man can be a ghost, then why not a boat?

The woman loved the Taurean with all her heart and soul, offering humble sacifice in the knowledge that her rewards in so doing would never be just or tangible.

She sailed on the Taurean more times than she will ever wish to divulge.  She was his mistress in every imaginable sense.

Her children know not.  It was a well-kept secret.  For harmony sake.

How ironic is it that I cannot swim and that  I have had a fear of deep water all my life.

To be therefore a boat upon the ocean waters of the planet, there can be no greater contrast.

Or indeed any greater legacy.

Sixty years is a lifetime.  Photographs, letters,documents and a family tree are testimony to that fact and the marinology of life itself.

The realization is that my journey in life has not ended but that it has just begun.

The Taurean has entered a realm of eternal freedom and peace.

So much for the Mourning.

A CHRISTMAS DAY STORY (AN ANALOGY) (THE BOAT)

The boat has left its moorings at the quayside of the harbour and is drifting aimlessly out at sea, orientated only by the will of the wind and the grace of God.

Its absence from the berth goes unnoticed because everyone is too busy leading their own lives to even notice that the boat slipped out in the darkness of the night, that it was not secured to its anchor by those who are conscienable for the task.

The elements will take the boat to where it will ever go.  Sixty years more or less on the waters of the earth and it comes to this, thrashed in the centric cradle of the ocean.

It is a boat without a paddle, an udder, an engine, a sail, a mast or a navigator to bring it back,

Wishfulness, hope, play into the hands of despair on the wasteful wings of prayer.

When the dawn breaks, as it will soon, the craft will be no more than debris, sunken below the waves and lost to the world in which it once sailed, shipwrecked on the ocean sea-bed and never seen again.

And you come to wonder how did it come to this?

Whatever happened to the TLC (tender loving care) which was supposed to have been shown by a keeper, a guardian, a custodian, for such a loving vessel of these waters?

A boat is, after all, everything in life that we are as as human being.  It has a life.  It has a heart and soul.  It breathes the same air we do.  It reaches out to the heavens and touches the sky.  It sails the waters and it lives our dreams as we live the dream of it.

The family and friends of the boat are now in mourning.  The tears of inner-most terror raid out from a grey winter sky and a kindly woman with her three young children, suitably dressed for a church gathering on this Christmas Day morning, pass by the vacant berth in the harbour.

It is as if she knows this story but in truth she does not.  She lays a small bouquet of flowers at the quayside and walks away.  Her children gaze out to the open sea beyond the harbour, beyond the white house of the harbour-master and the distant shape of the lighthouse on the foggy horizon.

The boat has sunk and sixty years are but a memory to the ocean.

DELIVERANCE

I have no idea who E.S. Whipple is but I stumbled upon his quote in a school library. It was he who said that ‘a book is a lighthouse erected in the great sea of time’.

It is that quote which has inspired this poem.

Put a book into the palm of my hand

And I will be its reader.

Without any limitation to what I can readily understand

Or the fodder of the feeder.

 

Once just a thought, then written down, later published

To a waiting world not yet suspecting.

But in a thousand years could it ever be wished

That the prize of knowledge is worth collecting?

 

Books are, after all, the cradle of our knowledge,

If not a lighthouse erected in the great sea of time.

They are the benevolence of our cultured college,

Leading us to where we’re surely goin’

 

Without you, Book, as some part of my life,

I would be despondent and distinctly destitute.

Can there ever be a failing of mankind to permit such suffering and such outright strife

When the force and power of literature is absolute.

 

Gosh, I still remember that delirious day

When first as a young child, I could read.

How the blessing and good fortune of Gods grace came my way

And showed me difference between greed and need..

 

Books have an uncanny way of saying things

To you no human being ever can.

Deliverance is simply sourced from eternal springs

To every able-bodied man.

 

I see the lighthouse over yonder

As I stroll along the beach.

This is a moment to wonder

And feel a sense of destiny within my reach.

 

What if all the words ever written

Are no more than an inglorious monsoon?

Let rip the sudden storm,  unrestrained and unforbidden.

On this October afternoon.

 

The words have found me, as they will find you too,

So be gladdened and  heartily contented.

A poet must do what a poet must surely do,

Write passionate poetry unlamented.

 

And so I come to express my greatest gratitude

To that lighthouse erected in the great sea of time.

God has willed from me this mystical and marvellous mood

As I have put pen to paper and words to rhyme.

 

As I stroll further, I’m enveloped by a mist

But the shadow outline of the lighthouse remains.

I have written this poem now.  I have reminisced

And Deliverance reigns.

NEED A FRIEND

I need a friend who listens

And pays me due attention.

I need a friend who reasons

The rationale of my comprehension.

I need a friend.

 

I need a friend who reaches out

In every possible dimension.

I need a friend who is all about

The measure of my extension.

I need such a friend.

 

I need a friend who’s ears and eyes

To everything that I do.

I need a friend who can spring that element of surprise

And yet be so totally true.

I need that kind of friend.

 

I need a friend who laughs and cries

And on whom I can definitely depend.

I need a friend who is wonderful and worldly-wise,

I need that faithful friend.

 

I need a friend who sees what I see

And hears what I hear.

I need a friend who is everything to me,

Who’s honest, humble and sincere.

I need that friend.

 

I need a friend who’s the very fabric of my existence

And the essence of who I am within.

I need a friend who has zero resistance

To the gravity of my sin.

I need that friend.

 

I need a friend who touches a nerve

And feels as I do indeed.

I need a friend who’s possessed of veritable verve

To be my one true friend in need.

Oh how I need that friend.

 

I need a friend who represents an ideal

Of life itself on earth.

I need a friend who is not just real

But the calculation of my life’s worth.

I need a friend.

 

I need a friend who drives and motivates

As a spiritual pioneer.

I need a friend who thrives and necessitates

I need you now dear.

Friend, I need you dear.

 

 

 

FOREVER AND A DAY

Listen to the beat of the distant drum

As the morning message seeps through.

Phillippe Coutinho, EF KP, Lady Diana, my dear Mum,

This passionate piece of poetry is for you.

 

Every one of you will be mournfully missed

More than you will ever know.

So much is given; so much more is promised

But all that’s left is the evening echo.

 

Some things are perhaps best left unsaid

Because saying them so sorely pains.

Look up to the heavens instead

And pray let go of the reigns.

 

A heart can be broken into a thousand pieces

But the soul does not concede.

The wheel of fortune chances but never decreases

The measure of human need.

 

Go on, call me a sentimental old fool

Who am I to question it?  It might be true.

No more a poet than a simple scholar of the old school.

Phillippe Coutinho, EF KP, Lady Diana, my dear Mum, how can I forget you?

 

 

The pernicious poignancy with which

This deliverance is expressed

Calls upon the mortal maid who first submits

And then applies the logic of the test.

 

 

And so it is that 31st August is Forever and a Day,

The grasslands of my eternal grief.

I call on Fate to lend a hand and help me find a way.

It’s quite simply a matter of belief.

CHANGE HOW WE EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN

My name is Paul David and I am a native English teacher.

I am an educator and I want to talk to you today about ways in which we can change how we educate our children.

The scandinavian country of Finland is an example to the world as to how education should go forward in the future.

Let’s take a look at their model.

First of all, let’s stop treating kids as robots and respect their individual learning needs.

We must cut the class size to a maximum of twelve.

Quite simply, big classes do not work and they are not needed.

We must develop the teacher-student relationship and encourage effective interaction which will involve the parents as well.

Not only that but we must eradicate the concept of the large classroom and reliance on text books.

Greater emphasis must be placed on the training of teachers through college and university and the application of teaching methods.

Technology should be embraced such as I-pads, interactive whiteboards and other visual aids but not to the extent thatr a student feels he does not need to attend class or indeed need a teacher.

What’s more, let’s minimize practical tests and examination and give more importance to assessment and evaluation.

And let’s kick out the grind and stress caused by homework.

There is no evidence anywhere to say that homework serves a purpose.

If this revised strategy is applied, it will make for a brighter future for all children of the world.

Give education an opportunity to flourish and benefit the student.

Give the student a platform to feel motivated to learn rather than just scored to meet the pride of the parent.

Finland may well be a fairly low populated country of under six million people and that perhaps makes it easier for the educational model I have talked about to work.

But whether in Indonesia or the United States, Hong Kong or Cameroon, the methods of education must change.  And change for the better.  Thank you.

I shall be recording a version of this text and posting it on You Tube under my handle paul.cibubur.