John Donaldson photo Paddy Summerfield

John was a brave and remarkable man...there is real vision in his poems

      - Kathleen Raine


Aphorisms and Philosophical Thoughts

John presented his thoughts often as 'aphorisms' or sayings, many of which demonstrate great wisdom learned through adversity and hardship. They fall into a number of categories that he himself defined for them, namely: Advice, Feelings, Establishment, Religion, Humour, Warnings, and Wisdoms.

Below we present some samples, which will change occasionally.

• Truth is unusable, as it excites those already unbalanced

• Time is on no-one's side - relationship is seen in the deed

• Honesty need courage, but discretion even more

• It seemed very clear, the media was basically pragmatically concerned with the application of the use of power, and either did not wish to contact humanity in depth or was fully aware and partisan. Its blazoned attack that stirred up fierce paranoia seemed to support whatever system was in force and over the years its offensive against new thought or act left much to be desired. So it couldn't be classified as an advocate of our humanity. Never was this more apparent to me when out in no mans land.

• Greatness is not lost - it can be thrown away

Betty Donaldson 2006-11