Poem List:

Meaning Street


All swell that ends well

Let's hear it for weeds

Sea Shanty

Full Esteem ahead

Voice Control

Glimpses of mindgate

Lunch Break




Why these poems?

For me poetry is about playing with words,
finding new ways of connecting with the experience of others,
grappling with the meaning of it
and coming to terms with my spiritual awareness.
Its most satisfying when I can share it

Peter Sanders
July 2001

To send in your own poems for inclusion on our site, please email them to hopesprings@netspace.net.au


Meaning Street


All swell that ends well

Let's hear it for weeds

Sea shanty

Full esteem ahead

Voice control

A way to survive

Glimpses of mindgate

Lunch break

How I long to get away


Surrounded by stoplights,
blocked after having come so far,
motor clogging up, overheating,
wasting fuel, power frustrated.
Pressure building inside and all around.

Stalled, despairing
For how long ?

In the land of Opportunity
there is no turning back.
But which way is the go ?

All swell that ends well

Driven by changing patterns or storms
tiredness comes in waves,
big or small, (rarely is there dead calm)
which, if we want to stay in the swim,
we fight, or let ourselves be carried,
sometimes all the way,
to where they give themselves to the shore of sleep
and become, perhaps, the fluff of dreams.

Then to wake refreshed
to take the plunge again

Let's hear it for weeds

Weeds get a bad press:
"They're unattractive, inferior, weak"
"They are not the chosen ones - they're unwanted"
"They take up space, robbing from so-called good plants"
"They're untidy, disorderly, of no real use"
Some politicians appear to liken minority groups to weeds.

There's another view!
Weeds are fully paid up members of the plant kingdom -
of the web of life. Without them the web would distort.
In competing for space, they test the vigour of "wanted" plants.
Weeds are the first to grow in newly-denuded areas of ground,
protecting soil from erosion.
They are a source of medicine and other useful things.
And look at the beauty of, say, the Salvation Jane weeds in the Flinders Ranges.

They may need some control,
but weeds have a valuable place in God's creation.

I believe in weeds.

Sea shanty

Let's sing us a rollicking ballad
of adventure on life's high seas.
Let's tell of the thrill of the journey
sailing the uncharted briny,
being tested by friends and foes alike
aboard our frail vessel of discovery.

The way's set by chart and compass,
by chance or by grace.
We navigate to find meaning,
and find water connects all land,
as blood permeates life's embrace.

Some are calm, sun-struck, peaceful days
influenced by tide and current,
and there are clear nights
when we're blinded by the starlight
of the vast and endless cosmic sea.

But when becalmed in doldrums,
without power or good company
we feel as though we've been pushed to
the very edge of the world, of society.

Now let's sing of the onset of storms -
wind-whipped chaotic disaster,
lighthouses warning in vain,
of lives grounding on reefs and rocks
or pitilessly thrown overboard (pirated
by illness and hospital),
and drowning, maybe, if no life-line is tossed.

Most souls survive the crossing
and find shelter from the storm.
Land looms on the horizon;
anchorage is given free.
Here we find rest and refreshment,
and recovery, safe and warm.

Our hearts are replenished with hope
in the society of friendly ports
that are welcoming, full of courage, creative,
places that sings for joy.

So let all hearty companions,
weather-beaten, but now more ship-shape,
rejoice altogether and share in
what we know is the value of all.

Mind at sea
Mind at home
Mind, now!

Full esteem ahead

I'm immersed in a soup of messages -
some nourishing of self
(about abilities, status, lovability, future)
some poison
(external/internal negative criticism, hurt,
blame, inaccurate valuing) -
and esteem is tested.

The verbal environment both builds and erodes.
I am, however, more than just a product
of my environment.
Juices stir in me that affect my strength:
belief, compassion, cynicism, respect,
loathing, reverence.

I want to value in myself the things that endure . . .
as God might.
(to be free to smile at mortality).
I want to value other people . . .
as God might.
(to be free to commune in love).
I want to value the earth, the whole living world . . .
as God might.
(to be free to have reverence).

Maybe I know how to be full of esteem,
or maybe I'll be shown
as I am freed to participate in life!

Voice control

A wall of sound,
denying disturbing intrusions about self or others,
where the only possibility is immersion in,
a total absorption in a shell of sound!
Could this be a retreat from
all but the immediate input,
anaesthetizing the pain of head noise
or maybe drowning out accusers or persecutors?

The cost of this 'Voice-control' is that it
denies engagement,
deafens to the sound of alarm,
blocks out converse with others,
and obstructs access
to moments of silence in inner being.
When the threshold preventing intrusion
is made reassuringly high,
there is real respite, however temporary.
The price that is worth paying.

* * * * *

In the midst of the world's
multitude of voices
is silence possible?

Can peace, order and attunement
to health-bringing rhythms come
if one is still,
and allows self to be
shaped and built-up
through resonating with the
pitch-white harmony of the cosmic chorus
led by the Conductor of all life?

Glimpses of mindgate

The reservoir of subconscious mind is a
vast, mysterious storage of apprehensions
collected at interfaces.
Mental things surface, mental things flow into
But the how and the why are teasing me.

In mind is the awareness of being,
experienced during my years.
Some sources remain accessible, others don't.
The edges and depths are uncharted,
but at the boundary of subconscious and conscious
is a gate that controls the flow.

In the reservoir near the gate, dreams tantalize,
eddies ripple the surface, and when the gate is opened
pent-up energy is released to be put to new purpose.
The gate is responsive to the outside world, and
subject to will, curiosity and other controls.

The gatekeeper sorts thoughts and orders the
volume and rate of output.
So practiced and efficient is it's work that
it is taken for granted unless something goes amiss.

Stimuli unlatch the gate,
chemicals lubricate the hinges
and by filters the type of flow is matched
with the external reality.

If the flow is too fast, there is too much turbulence.
Damaging interaction with the world outside results.
(It's labeled madness)
If the gate opens too little,
the reservoir stagnates in depression and toxins bloom.
If there is indecision or irrational self-talk,
wrong choices are made and confidence erodes.

Sometimes the gate becomes clogged with the junk of confusion.
or jammed by snags and discarded rubbish.
Inundation of the reservoir may burst open the gate,
causing a fatal haemorrhage.

Hinges may be frozen by self-denial, anxieties and griefs,
or rusted closed by guilt, leading to paralysis.
My salvation is when
words and images flow in an ordered way
to bring peace, when slow and even,
and joy, when there is more than enough to share,
and love, when they're connected to the good others.

At the point of release there is evaluation,
a willing of direction, the spillway perhaps channeling
toward the need of another.
It is now that communion with others begins.

With the gate in good repair, hinges free and
with the gate-keeper on the job
making feedback-controlled releases of
life-giving fluid ... Shalom !

And in the end, our mental things
flow God knows where.
But we sense that we are part of
one huge, dynamic system of Consciousness.

Lunch break

I brought my lunch with me
as I trod the sodden salt shore
of Her Shallowness.

Vertical grey stripes on the horizon and
distant thunder gave ambience
to my repast-for-one prepared
over the previous two months.

Scuds of rain stung my jaws
as I chewed
on bits of grizzle,
misunderstood words and actions,
sour grapes,
painful lumps of continuing conflict.

On I walked
and chewed
and tasted
and prayed
and was surprised at digestion releasing
the good in it all.
And it settled.

Only then did I notice patches of open sky.
A soft warm wind whispered "Enough",
and I smiled thinking
of the sort of sandwich
I might have at home.
How I long to get away

Crowded free-space, over-stimulation,
discriminations wear loose,
ghosts multiply in a sea of confusion,
then the flood reiterates death, in diffusion.

The overload drains intelligence,
increases inertia;
spasticity comes in the effort to engage . . .
and spirit vacates.

At such times I need to escape the chaos
and return to where I've been and to where I am;
to the good that has shaped me,
to family, home, friends;
to where there are wholesome memories
and comfortable pastimes;
a place in Life
to decompress, rest and reintegrate.

At the place where I belong
is given the wholeness enabling
me to venture out again.

And wholeness I need
for the loving the world
is costly !