By Thomas Keily
This picture is from Thomas's facebook author page.
The only way to experience the poem I've chosen for you is to hear/see the performance. You'll have to click here and then start the video. Unfortunately I can't find this (best) version in a form that can be embedded in my post, but believe me, it's worth taking the extra minute. Please do it now, before reading on. (And then take a moment to breathe and settle down from having been electrified!)
The particular event this was recorded for is now a couple of years past, and the words may well strike us, today, as very idealistic. It's hard not to feel gloomy and cynical in these present times. Many people are extremely afraid. Yet, as a number of wise beings have taught and prophesied over the centuries, the thing that can save us is for enough of us to act always from Love.
A hard task in the face of so much that is otherwise; and it seems by no means guaranteed to happen. However, my Dad always taught me that while one can't make anyone else do the right thing, one can make sure of one's own behaviour ... and if everyone did that, the world could be a very good place. (Or at least one's own corner of it.) It's still difficult, often VERY difficult, but we can try. Thomas's poem is one thing that might inspire us to keep trying!
He is trying to bring that world about, not through poetry alone, but also thought and action – e.g. his involvement in Renew Fest, a community-based annual sustainability festival; e.g. using his knowledge of Economics to publicly examine 'Universal income, rents, house prices and inequality'.
His own words are best to tell his own story: how he went from topping his University class in Economics and working for the Reserve Bank of Australia to his present lifestyle. You can read those details here.
You can find more poetry performances on YouTube if you scroll through the various videos listed under his name.
And then there's his 'The Life Poetic' series, where he reads and discusses pieces he loves by other poets, from Shakespeare to Plath. (The link shows a collection of them if you scroll down a little.)
He tells me he's not writing a lot of poetry at present – having children 'kind of sidelined everything' – but will come back to it. But fatherhood has also inspired poetry. Don't miss the sweetest of all: his brief, exquisite Six poems for my daughter.
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