‘a poetaster’s gathering of wild flowers and weeds’





 ‘a poetaster’s gathering 

of wild flowers and weeds’ ‘a






I recall a poem, the first in this anthology, arising spontaneously as I sat in a taxi to a Washington DC airport. From that time, they have poured out of my mind, often onto paper. Some have written themselves autogenously, others have required editing, and some have been hard work as different parts of me fought for expression. This may simply be a resurgence of a childhood fascination with poetry after so many years of repression while I clambered for status, security and wealth. Or, it may be a rising spirit within me that is guiding me towards something critical. In fact, it is probably both, but the second is obviously more important, as the last section of this collection suggests.


Close association with the Methodist Church in my formative years inculcated a love for Wesleyan and similar hymns, and I find their staid and formulaic language emerging in some of my own jottings. I am aware of the inferior nature of most of the works – but I am also aware that, when I re-read them, as I do often, they have captured parts of me that I only rarely acknowledge, and at those times I marvel at my hidden thoughts. They become my daily bread from my inner force – that will for life that some call God. However, as one man’s bread is another man’s poison, I am aware that not only poor versifying but also soppy sentiments and clichéd couplets make this far from a popular collation.


I am reminded of the lines from the entertaining autobiography of the great humanitarian Henry S. Salt[1]Seventy Years Among Savages ‑ that expresses a practical compassion on behalf of the Humanitarian League to the defenceless exposed to we poetasters:

‘The League had not often the honour of finding itself in agreement with the Prison Commissioners; but we did think that they were wise to decline the too generous offer of a body calling itself the Poetry Recital Society to read poetry to prisoners. The words, “I was in prison, and ye came to me,” would receive a new and fearful significance, if a number of versifiers and reciters were to be let loose on the helpless inmates of our gaols. It seemed barbarous on the part of these minstrels to try to secure an audience which had no choice in the matter, and which had not got even an open window to jump through if the strain should become too acute.’


And so, in sharing these lines, written as a personal expression of a side of me usually hidden even from myself, I adjure any reader bold enough to penetrate this ponderous prose to maintain ‘an open window’. But, to see that one man’s life is another man’s prison, is to realise there are two sides to each window. For me, poetry has returned by simply opening the window to my inner self, and to jump through it is to escape not the words but the world that conceived them.


But there is another element of importance as expressed in the Dhammapada 102, part of earliest Buddhist scriptures, – better than a hundred useless poems is one single poem that gives peace. These hundred poems have given peace to me in the composing and reading – even those dealing with conflict and difficult moments, but the Dhammapada is referring to their effect on other persons. So you who stumble onto these lines must make your own decision.

[1] Henry S. Salt. (1921) Seventy Years Among Savages. George Allen and Unwin, London. Pp251. Page 182




to think in rhymes compresses thoughts producing distilled gems

as if the truth can so be caught in fickle human pens

so flow these lines from my own hand to their obscurity

as I attempt to understand more of Truth’s surety

and should someone read these poor lines, let them broadminded be

for troubled heart and unskilled mind have long emburdened me

please see them then as furthering my inner spirit’s needs;

a poetaster’s gathering of wild flowers and weeds



 contact the author, Lindsay Falvey

 for poems, click on one of the following pages: Travelling and Places; People and Moments; Society; Love and Attachment; Searching 1; Searching 2; Additional Unclassified Poems