Poems by Theme


Wadsworth Longfellow, Henry

The Arrow and the Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It feel to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end.

Blake, William

The Human Abstract

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody poor,
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.
And mutual fear brings Peace,
Till the selfish loves increase;
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.
He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the ground with tears;
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.
Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head,
And the caterpillar and fly
Feed on the Mystery.
And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat,
And the raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.
The gods of the earth and sea
Sought through nature to find this tree,
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the human Brain.

Blake, William

On Anothers Sorrow

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can he who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief & care,
Hear the woes that infants bear,

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast;
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear;

And not sit both night & day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give his joy to all;
He becomes an infant small;
He becomes a man of woe;
He doth feel the sorrow too

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh
And thy maker is not by;
Think not thou canst weep a tear
And thy maker is not near

O! he gives to us his joy
That our grief he may destroy;
Till our grief is fled & gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

Barrett Browning, Elizabeth


I Tell you, hopeless grief is passionless;
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
Beat upward to God's throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness
In souls as countries lieth silent-bare
Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death
Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and moveless woe
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet:
If it could weep, it could arise and go.

Oldfield, Brenda M

Heart and Head

When emotions rise
The intellect dies
When the latter shines
The former pines
When in tandem
No more mayhem
Hence heart and head
Try to share a bed
So passion and reason
Can't psych up treason
But just be interwoven
Like stars up in heaven

Oldfield, Brenda M

Why me you Bully

Must I be a victim, of your deceit and taunts
My emotions sucked dry, so very drained
Depriving me! Of lifeís big joys, and carefree jaunts
Oh, why me?

My feelings you burn, by lies and scary madness
My trust in others, mocked, so very scorched
To decay, in a deep melee, of so much sadness
Oh, why me?

Time and again Iím belittled, by your sense of superiority
Warping my belief, in human similarities
Now switched to anguish, and a sense of inferiority
Oh, why me?

Your words shoot straight, to my very own heart
Bleeding so profusely, from your very bitter thoughts,
Begetting me a pain, from which, you can never, be a part
Oh, why me?

Your dirty act, of manipulation and control
Makes me too scared, to even speak or cry
Splitting open my ear, to deep within my soul
Oh, why me?

You are very cold, callous and calculating
Attacking so stubbornly, my sense of self-worth
Mutual respect, you obliterate, which is so excruciating
Oh, why me?

Your primitive provocation, breeds a wretchedness
Swelling to isolation, by self-defeat and despair
Scourging my thoughts, to suicide, oh what helplessness!
Oh, why me?

My melancholy cannot be, your ideas of perfection
For they batter me, into this bleak, broken shell
In tatters by your denial, and your own self-rejection
Oh, why me?

Must I be more, than you could ever wish?
A bigot, a tyrant, a bully, niggardly intruding
Into anotherís space, just to be mean, and very selfish
Oh, why me?

Iím not better than you, but I canít be apathetic
Caring only to understand, why you are so oblivious
To being a little kind, or humanely empathetic
Oh, why me?

I beseech you, to learn and embrace, these three words
Reassurance, respect, and responsibility
Returning, oh but now, we are equal, justly lords
Oh, why not?

Oldfield, Brenda M

Mean Words

Words mean to care! But can be, so very mean!

Words stick together, like protons and neutrons
Erratically they spiral, to form mutual bonds
Niggardly mindless, of the effects, of chaos
Meaningless and empty, woefully, often facetious

Words mean to care! But can be, so very mean!

Words may reach, the speed of light
Yet blindly fumble, in the darkness, of night
Stumbling, grumbling, to trembling with fear
Evoking tears, diffusing noise, to a sensitive ear

Words mean to care! But can be, so very mean!

Words, like a snake, can spit deadly poison
The victim suffocates, without rhyme or reason
A tragedy laden, with black holes, of assumptions
Saved only, by a festive flow, of polite persuasions

Behold! Gentle, tender tongues! Of linguistic dimensions!
Exalt! Share your soft harmonies! Of empathetic expressions!

Yes! Words do care! They mean, this much!

Oldfield, Brenda M

An Ode to Empathy

Your name is as precious, as precious, as can be
You are, as human, as human, as can be
Your heart beats, so kindly, oh so kindly, over me
Your sensitivity, to others, lives in me, so heartily

You are the kinship, of two inner selves
Transforming, meshing you and me
An instinct, of compassion, relating one, to the other
Like the warmth, of a baby, embraced, by its mother

You fixate, the synchronicity, of loverís eyes
A metamorphosis, of thoughts, which never lies
Enticing, friend and foe
In sweet tandem, to care, and to understand

Helping, one and all, reflect, each to the other
In time, in place, and in love, without any bother
You laugh, I laugh! You cry, I cry!
Soothing, the dreary toils, of life

Touching, expressing, and reciprocating
Reading, like an open book, exceedingly astute
You change, crystallize, and commute
Them, to us! Me, to you!

Resonating, crossing over, and merging
Similarities, of emotions, values and virtues
Overcoming, weary adversity
Bringing comfort, hope, and diversity

You emanate kindness
Shaping the unfeeling, into feeling
Making the unbearable, so bearable
Reconciling, divided selves, so miserable

No longer bereft, rejected, or abandoned
But piecing together, oh so gently, our broken hearts
Renewing, our sense of pain, oh so silently
To sublime calm, so very expediently

You dissipate fears, and loneliness, then hey!
We belong! Now worthy! Now human!
Binding the ties, which cherish all lives, in selflessness
Yes, you be the embodiment, of social connectedness

Ah, if only, if only man would resist
Their folly, of organized, mass antipathy
And eliminate, this sacrificing, of your caring identity,
Often in the name, of egotism, racism, and materialism

Unite and inoculate our world
Against this sickness, this relentless indifference
So energise, and prioritise, with humble insistence
And inject, the highest dose, oh so imaginable

Thus rejuvenate, oh the precious, the most precious
Unconquerable power, of empathy
Becoming as sincere, as truly, as worthy, of humanity
Amidst a tender cushion, of mutual consciousness

If only! If only, humankind would!
Only empathise!

Oldfield, Brenda M

You Bully

You inflict untold pain
To cure your own pains
Seek ways to be free
From your own, beastly chains
Or ferment, in the deep annals
Of unending darkness
Never seeing the light, of any empathy
Or of human kindness

Your bullying, weeps a sickness of mind
Mulling you, very, very grim
Giving false solidity, to your air of tricks
Smothering you, and your victim
You are a mean machine, crass and small
Goaded to be, so very deceptive
Steel, cannot feel or think, used only, by thugs
To be grisly, and destructive

So before hurting another
Ask yourself questions, again and again
Who am I? Could I become?
A comedienne or a self-reflective Zen
Is hurting others, a need? How would I feel?
To be treated, so undeserving?
Oh seek, till you find, the simplest of answers!
Oh yes, then return ye, to the land of the living!

But first kick off! The stroppy metal boots
And that mask of vulgarities
Drop the broken wheels, of such unfeeling
Go redeem, your ugly vulnerabilities
For only then, can you strengthen!
And protect, one and another
Only then can you be
This sweet sister or brother!

So move heaven and earth! Find your true self
Invisible, but never risible
We the victims, dare you to be human
Reassuring, and responsible
To swallow, your dire disrespect
And the morbid fear, that you are wrong
A challenge, to make a difference!
So feel! What itís like, to really belong!

Oldfield, Brenda M

Reach Out you Bully

Even worms move the earth,
Come shift faults, failures and, guilt to thyself,
Never hitting, but using hands, to create mirth

Come hold pen to paper! Enlighten thy demons!

Not that black or white self-righteousness,
Not self-hatred; it tills for all, heavy burdens,
Returning to thee, in stealth, in bitter contagiousness

Come mutate no more, this absence of self-respect

Use thy tongue, not to demean and, to smother
But to express words, sharing love and care
It touches thee, without feelings of hate or, bother

Come dignify and, be rooted, firmly, in kinship

Now an intrinsic listener, not quite so dumb,
Shutting noise from the chasm, of who ye be and,
Could try to be, yes dear friend, our humble chum

Come be brave, look into the eyes, of thy victim

See there, no incarnation, of some dim narcissist,
Blind to their grim, sense of superiority,
Then watch thy fears go, unlike those masochists

Come look higher, not lower, to find this vision

Of courage, hope and trust, that will beseech
Thee, to no more cunning, but to champion the art
Of true empathy, for in there, no one will preach

Come teach, thy spirit of compassion and, freedom

Speak ye, of understanding, of who you really are,
A hefty thinker, hell-bent on feeling, the feelings of others
A possessor, of self-control, befitting, an admired star

Come bask, in sweet confidence! Of self and all others!

Rise! To this sense of human worthiness!
And ye will not take, that busy, rancid road
Going nowhere, but to despair and, emptiness

Come to the sweet dreams, of future self-autonomy

It is, oh so superior!
To the quicksand, and muddy holes, of bullying
No longer a selfish beast, inhumane or inferior

Aye, coming to peace! With yourself and, the world!

Oldfield, Brenda M

I Moan Alone

I hear me ask and,
I hear me moan
Why do I walk and talk
But feel so alone

I swear, thereís stony deceit
Beneath my feet
Ever weary of marching
To some tyrantís beat,

The tongue fatigued,
To mute all my squealing
Only to maul the heart
With unsung feeling

For no matter what joy one gives,
Even in a word
These must go with the wind
Unseen and unheard

And however hard the climb
To be like all selfless forms
Thereís a doomed descent
Into the valley of storms

Where jousting and jesting
Kills all meaning
A mere cry, to this soul
With a sensitive leaning

Now flesh is worn, to the bone,
By years of gloom
Itís a puppet, festering
In some ill-gotten tomb

Ever retrieved, to dangle,
In silent starkness
Then back into that pit
Of intangible darkness

Alone ..so alone, when life
Begets, a selfish moan
To walk and talk
Ever on my own