About The Author
Henri J.M. Nouwen (1932-1996)
"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you."
at ease, for your understanding and non-judgmental* presence, for taking the time to get to know me better, for reading a number of my poems so that you can get the right balance, for adding a poem or two of mine to your favourite folder, or passing a poem or two of mine along, even mentioning my website, and for taking the time to respond encouragingly, or to perhaps share a concern you may have.
Yes, it's folk like you that I really treasure.
Thus, because people sometimes like to know a little about the person behind the website, I have put together a brief picture. Please note that this does contain a certain degree of Christian content.
But first, here's a few more quotes on bigotry that are from my own pen:
Bigotry: Something that darkens the mind, shrinks the intellect, and hardens the heart.
Bigotry: Something that starves the brain of oxygenating sense and wisdom.
Bigotry: Someone’s preventable failure.
Bigotry: Often another word for ignorance, fear, and conformity.
Bigotry: Something that’s an enemy of love.
Bigotry: A self-made gulf.
Bigotry: Something that blinds, deafens, stunts and deadens.
Bigotry: The bridegroom of prejudice.
Bigotry: A mindless barrier that's erected by small minds.
Bigotry: A serious and sad condition that’s self-inflicted.
Bigotry: A consequence of having a closed or narrow mind.
Bigotry: A contagious virus often found within herds.
Bigotry: The poison of a bigot.
Bigotry: Something that’s lineage is connected to too many lives.
Bigotry: Something that discards the lot of something simply because of a little or part that’s viewed as disagreeable.
Bigotry: Something that contributes nothing but leaves behind a disturbing odour.
Bigotry: An oft perpetuated Dark Ages mentality that leads to modern day personal inquisitions.
Bigotry: The bedfellow of biblical illiteracy.
Bigotry: Something that abounds where there are religious zealots.
Bigotry: Kindling for fires of persecution.
Bigotry: A killer disease.
Bigotry: Something that’s often mistaken for forthrightness and fact.
Now to continue. That photo of me, (to the right), was taken in 2005 by one of my sons, a keen photographer. I thought I would mention that lest you revisit this page and mistakenly think that I don't age.
The only things that I'm aware of that slow down the aging process, (other than things steroidal or hormonal, and possibly concerning), are a healthy diet, perhaps a daily vitamin/mineral supplement, ample water, (healthy water, that is), regular outdoor exercise, (and hence sunshine), lots of laughter, the avoidance of unnecessary risks and stress, taking things quietly and sensibly, appropriate work, and adequate relaxation and sleep. Have I left anything out? Oh, how could I forget — and reading my humorous poems, of course.
As far as jogging goes, (which many do each day), and even those workouts in a gym, I believe such are not only unnecessary, but a pointless overuse of one's joints which in time will painfully show. It's the old story — not too little, not too much. Moderation, in other words, coupled with temperance. Just like those parts on a car, the more our joints are used, and the harder on them we are, the quicker they play up and pack up.
Okay, I'm 62 years old. Was born in 1951. Am what
might call a sixties child. Left school at 15 — silly boy.
I was born here in New Zealand, still reside here in New Zealand, and have never been outside of my country.
I have 4 brothers and 2 sisters. One sister was adopted by my parents when she was a baby. The other sister passed away on the 26th April 2012, aged 72.
I met my wife when I was 17, and she 15. We married in 1971, and have been together ever since.
We have 6 children — four boys, twin girls. Their ages — the boys 40,38,30,28, the girls 24.
I'm a pacifist by stance*; am against competitive
sports-cum-competitiveness in general*;
artistic temperament, (am more attuned to the subtleties of human
emotion and experience); am a vegetarian*,
and have a strong empathy
What do I value, love, like?
I love animals, music, art, books, the magic of language, great documentaries, good clean fun, and pottering in a reasonable sized garden surrounded by trees and shrubs, and where I can work creatively. At one stage I was very into making things with wood, and in the early years, into sketching.
The following combination: Enjoyable food, music, conversation-cum-company — that is, quiet, relaxed, refined company, two or three friends say.
Generous, charitable, kind-hearted people who don’t pull out a check list and pen before they consider helping you out, who willingly search rather than wait to be asked for help, and who take the time to ring and call to see how you're getting on.
Open-minded, fair-minded, impartial, receptive, truth seeking Christians who are just as much interested in knowing your views/beliefs as they are in sharing their own.
People who forgive and move on, rather than holding grudges or letting it colour their behaviour.
Humble people who treat everyone the same regardless of their race, religion, situation, circumstances, position, issues, handicaps, or appearance.
People who stand up for you when they see that you’re in the right or when they see that you’re being treated wrongly.
People who’re not hung up on popularity and who’re not afraid to call a spade a spade and rock the boat.
People who are genuinely interested in you, understanding and accommodating of your issues, and who go out of their way to help regardless of the effort needed and time of day.
People who check with you to see if something they’ve heard about you is true, and who give you fair opportunity to defend yourself.
People who keep their promises, don’t gossip, and are open, transparent, honest, and trustable.
People who wouldn't hurt a flea, but who would come to my aid should someone take a pot-shot at me
Good values, principles and standards.
Truth, lawfulness, rightness, beauty and order.
What do I abhor,
Violence; cruelty; war; deceit; pornography; intoxicating beverages; non-medical drugs; the killing of animals for sport; vivisection; the death penalty; the abuse of position, power, privilege and wealth; bigotry, prejudice, and persecution of any kind; the violation of human rights; the repression of liberty and freedom in any form; the abuse of our planet; the excesses of liberalism and the evils of fanaticism; same-sex sexual activity; occult practices -- its whole territory and influence; secret societies; bad manners; poor hygiene; insensitivity; thoughtlessness; the 'positive thinking' brigade and ideology, (not to be confused with thinking positively); charlatans; New Age gobbledegook; the evolution fable; the merging of Church and State; and the militant, flag waving, foot stomping, 'Rambo' style Christianity that’s intoxicated with its own beliefs and power rather than with the gentle and humble ways of Christ.
you check around my website you will gain a deeper overview of what I
like or don't like, and what I'm for and what I'm against. In fact, you
can also read about my younger
days by clicking on the 'New Zealand Through My Eyes' button
which is located on my poem list page.
So how would I describe myself?
As a very flawed individual who has a deep appreciation of the human condition, and as a consequence, much empathy for my fellowman, his quirks and personal struggles. However, I also realise that we can't use our unfortunate backgrounds or unfortunate circumstances as an excuse for any wrong that we do, but simply as a reason perhaps, and that it's foolish and pointless to add to our woes by somehow compounding things. Better to make the best of a bad situation. Oh, two more things: 1) I believe that we should seek to leave this world a better place, and others happier, for our having been here. Or to put it another way: If our life hasn't turned out all that well in the scheme of things, let's help the lives of others to turn out well, remembering that what goes around comes around. 2) I also believe that we should strive to reach the most noble of heights in our character, and thus in our thoughts, words and actions.
A bit more background?
Okay, I'm going to get churchy now.
I was raised a Christian; wandered away from my faith and my Lord; slowly returned; later became seriously committed to the Christian walk and my faith; and have since applied myself to in-depth biblical study, something that I believe is a necessity for every Christian.
My Christian beliefs are built firmly upon the Bible and the Bible alone, not the church that I and my wife attend.
I’m not conservative by nature, but conservative by belief and choice regarding my Christian walk — the result of what I believe is the restraining and transforming influence of the Holy Spirit upon my earthly/worldly nature/behaviour, and the result also of my greater understanding of the Holy/righteous nature of my God and His desire that I emulate His nature and abide by His will in all areas of my life. Due to such necessary pruning, ones tastes, desires, and actions naturally become more conservative and temperate.
My desire is to always put God first in my life; to be a
Christian, husband and father; to have a greater love for, and be a
greater blessing to, my fellow man; and that love motivate all I do. My
thrust here, can be somewhat summed up in the following quote:
disabled, or vulnerable.”
Do I consider myself as
than others? No! I'm simply
someone who is endeavouring to be a better person, someone who is
endeavouring to walk more in accordance with God's will, (and thus less
hypocritically, though still stumbling, still messing up at times), and
I am happy to
receive all the help that I can get on that journey. Meantime,
trying to help others too, trying to play my
part in making this world a better place, and am doing what I can
to ease the lot of others — one's first port of call being,
speaking out, making a stand, and sometimes that is all that we're able
to do regarding certain things.
in trying to change others."
Jacob M. Braude
I do not believe in church unity but the unity of all believers. In other words, I believe Christians of all faiths should be treated as brothers and sisters in Christ, shown unconditional love, acceptance and respect, despite their differing beliefs. I believe the same love and respect should be shown to every human.
I passionately believe in the complete separation of Church
and State (Mark 12:17). I also believe that a political-religious system
will soon dominate the world scene prior to Christ's soon return and with
ultimately dire consequences; a New World Order, a wolf in sheep's
clothing, one preaching love, peace, and harmony [fuelled by terrorism,
calamities, lawlessness, etc], and one that will fool most
inhabitants. Those who forget the past are bound to repeat it — hence
the "image" [copy]
of the "beast" [a
historic persecuting power]
mentioned in the book of Revelation chapter 13 and verses 11-18 in
particular; and chapter 14:9-13. This territory is covered by a few of
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
competitive sports, see my secular poems "Competitiveness"
, "That's Competitiveness For You," "Why Winning Isn't Cool" (the
latter found in an orange box entitled "Karma"), and my Christian poem "The
Folly of Winning".
see my article "The
Pacifist, Pacifism, Violence And War" which is found on my
Bits 'n' Bobs page; my secular poems "Pacifism — A Noble Stance" and
"Pacifists" which are found under my secular poem "When Will It Stop";
or my Christian poem "Pacifism,
*Regarding why I'm a vegetarian, see my "Why I'm A Vegetarian" page.
prudent judgments, [judging],
and being judgmental, are two different things. Three of my poems cover
About My Poems
When I first began penning poems, I knew nothing about poetry. In fact, I still don't know much about poetry. And when I first began penning poems, I hadn't even heard of a rhyming dictionary, and remained unaware of such until many poems later, (a hundred and fifty or more). When I finally purchased one, what a difference it made! It has been such a help.
The more poems I pen, and the more skilled at poetry I become, the more disappointed I can feel about previously penned poems, hence why I sometimes go back through them and make improvements when I’ve the time or inclination. That’s the trouble with artists! They’re a fussy lot. However, given that I originally knew nothing at all about poetry, I'm sure such is warranted. It will take a long time for me to go back through all my poems, so, if you spot something wrong, or that could be improved, PLEASE let me know.
That my poetry is largely didactic, I attribute more to accident than design. That's simply how my poems began, and that's the way that they've remained. And perhaps it's how they're meant to be, given how they came about. Or perhaps that's just my particular style. My poems are mostly designed for the serious thinker, and certainly for the receptive and inquiring mind. I try to pen my poems as simply and succinctly as I can, but given the serious in-depth nature of many of the topics, I’m not sure that I’ve truly succeeded. Due to the sense of urgency that has oft been propelling me, (given that this earth is clearly on borrowed time, the worsening state of society, and even Christianity in general, current threats to freedom of expression, etc), I have not spent as much time on my poems as I should have, being more concerned about just getting each poem's message out to the world, as it were. As is mentioned on my purpose page, my poems began around 2002, when I was around the age of 52. Between 2002 and 2012, I have penned in excess of 1000 poems. Thus, I guess you can see what I mean now.
When I pen my poems, I put a comma where I pause, or where I think it's needed. You may not wish to pause where I do, but if you do pause where I do, you’ll be reading them like I read them. However, I may not always get my pauses right. There are some poems where I deliberately put a comma wherever it rhymns — for example, "Jeremy Jibber" — a poem that's a departure from my usual format, and it's not the only one. My poems are best read slowly, but you can read them any way you wish, of course.
Poetry can be a difficult thing in the sense that people can interpret a word, line, or statement, etc, differently to what was intended by the poet. I try to do my best to minimize such happening, but I don’t know whether such is totally possible. If you think I could have worded something better, etc, PLEASE let me know. Otherwise, I may never know. You may not just be helping me, but also the next person that reads that same poem or poems, so I’ll thank you in advance.
There may be poems that express things you don’t agree with, but I’m sure there will be poems that express things that you do agree with, and perhaps you might like to use those ones, particularly if they'll benefit someone else. Please take time to check them all out. There are many different topics, and in some cases, the same topic from a different angle.
Ironically and intriguingly, I'm still not a great fan of poetry. It has simply become the vehicle for the things I wish to express. Do I enjoy penning poetry? Somewhat. Certain poems more than others. A completed poem certainly leaves me with a sense of achievement/fulfillment.
Of Cats And Men
Little did I know it, that I would become a poet, wielding a pen poetically,
A crafter of rhythm and rhyme, blessed with ability and time, and feline company.
Yes, a poet with a cat on his lap, sometimes a handicap, but still my little buddy,
One who likes to curl up and snooze while I’m penning poems, or absorbed in doing some study.
Yes, little did I know it, that I would become a poet, wielding a pen creatively,
One soon scratching his head, racking his brain, and too oft without gain, very frustratingly.
Oh, those days of writer's block, when ideas seem out of stock, and the desired words cease to flow,
Are something this aging poet too often experiences, until, it’s away we go!
But such is life, eased via a very kind wife, who hot drinks on a cold winter’s day supplies,
Which saves me from freezing, inevitably sneezing, and those medicines that one then buys.
And all in all, I do manage a few, expressing a point of view, and some humour too,
Which makes me feel better, encased in my warm sweater, until warmer days come into view.
Yes, such is the life of a poet, and boy, don’t I know it, having gone through pens rapidly,
For more oft I doodle instead, nothing going down in my head — just wasting ink, you see.
But despite it all, I do get to scrawl, and then out comes another, eventually,
Which makes it all worthwhile, and I even manage a smile, and hope on the horizon see.
Come on little buddy, it's time I stretched my legs.
By Lance Landall
It’s Very, Very Scary
This world is full of baddies, there are meanies everywhere,
Big bullies beat and bop you, kick your shins and pull your hair.
It’s very very scary, I just don’t know what to do,
Will someone please cuddle me, hug me tight? I don’t mind who.
There are lots of scary sounds, lots of rushing here and there,
And, people who glare at you, or, who at you oddly stare.
It makes me feel uneasy, even queasy, deep inside,
Will someone please cuddle me, ’till these fears inside subside?
There’s such a lot of shoving, and often you’ll hear a growl,
Many seem to be frowning, there are some who even scowl.
Others get very angry, even insults throw your way,
Will someone please cuddle me, tell me everything’s okay?
There are lots of arguments, there are fights and scuffles too,
There are people throwing things, even shaking fists at you.
There is yelling and screaming, big children who cruelly tease,
Yes, it’s very, very scary. I WANT A CUDDLE! Pleeeeeeeeease.
By Lance Landall
Wellington — a city of many moods, New Zealand’s capital,
A sophisticated cultural centre, where the arty dwell,
And where a beautiful harbour reflects all its different moods,
Its diversity, vibrancy, colour, exotic sounds and foods.
A seaside city, houses dotting hills and shoreline, engagingly,
Many nestled midst native bush, where one can trek enjoyably.
Yes, the home of seascapes, landscapes, a city of many features,
Tunnels, cable cars, buses, trains, planes, shipping, scenic drives, beaches.
Shopping, entertainment, big city life with a touch of country,
A city with it all, astride New Zealand’s midpoint, and proudly.
A territory where a treasure trove of elements combine,
Sultry summer breezes, fresh equinox winds, ample rain, sunshine.
A city that’s full of intriguing nooks and crannies, scenery,
One surrounded by stunning hill-top views, flourishing greenery,
And teeming with friendly people, a hive of activity,
Buzzing with excitement, fervour, flowing with creativity.
It’s the departure point to New Zealand’s South Island, via
The sea dividing the North and South Islands, which ships navigate,
And from which they leave Wellington, New Zealand’s hub, with its big heart,
Where one can explore, dream, reach for the stars, and enjoy a fresh start.
Yes, I’m in love with Wellington, contemporary and bold, yet,
Connected to its past, a blend, an architectural duet.
A place with an intimacy, a warmth, a beat that one can feel,
And which the hearts of all who visit or settle will subtly steal.
Wellington — I’m under its captive spell, addicted to its
Bewitched by its sights and sounds, its picturesque harbour, whipped or calm.
How could I leave, and where would I go? For truly spoilt I am, and,
Because I’m proud of Wellington — on her behalf — I’ll duly stand.
By Lance Landall
Siamese brothers San-Yai and Simba.
Hi there, we’re Siamese, with a little less body to squeeze,
But though somewhat slimmer, we’re exotic, from overseas.
Yes, we’re very elegant, agile, and darn clever too,
A lover of company, sporting gorgeous eyes of blue.
I’m San-Yai, a seal point, I’m Simba, a chocolate point,
And via origin, and family, we’re thoroughly joint.
We snuggle up together, and share the same owners too,
A cat loving family, who we’re often chatting to.
often and much; to win the respect of
intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the
honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to
beauty; to find the best in others; to leave
the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even
one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
By The Way:
Why I won't use a web counter, nor display feedback
I'm often intrigued by those web counters you see on the Home page of many websites. If I've got the story right, those counters register any hit on a Home page. In other words, not just people, but any bot and crawler that trawls its way through web pages. To the uninformed, such counters can give the impression that someone is getting a huge amount of visitors to their website when in fact they aren't. At one stage, in the early days of my website, I was doing my best to record the amount of hits to my website whilst subtracting from those hits the bots and crawlers. That way it gave a more correct reading, and was therefore more honest. If I hadn't done that, and had included the bots and crawlers, I would have easily quadrupled the amount that I used to display and update on my Home page. I no longer display such as I can't help feeling it's a form of crowing. At the end of the day, either your website is worthwhile or it's not, either it's attracting folk or it's not. In other words, a good website can stand on its own. Besides, if you have a stats system of some sort, who really needs a counter. A counter can perhaps be a sign of a frustrated attempt to draw folk to a website by making it look as though it's popular when it's not.
Likewise, I've never felt happy with displaying feedback either, as I've always felt that such is not in keeping with humbleness, (well, I am a Christian), and that it can thus be seen as crowing too. I also think that it may well put some folk off from making contact lest their comments be displayed. Not everyone likes that. Personally, I'd rather receive their comments than not.
However, the one thing that I will say is, that the feedback that I have received has indeed confirmed that many of my poems have proved a blessing to others, (the whole point of it all) — both secular and Christian poems.