John Donaldson photo Paddy Summerfield

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

      - Kathleen Raine


Season of the Butterfly - Extracts

Link to full text

A livable Option

Within these timeless fields prevails an awe,
of form and functions knowing law,
a tribute to the hereafter of herebefore
beholden within the now of evermore.
Bound in the answers of an unquestioning earth
yields, through change, an ever giving girth,
as transient kingdoms come to pass
to fall disarmed beneath unfailing grass.
Lifes infinite and timely hand
proffers supply to meet all demand,
divining what need must know
to ensure survival.
Life will awareness show
making belief, like the first smile a cosmic glance,
persuasive in promise, but leaving too much to chance.
For, galaxies beyond dogmas arresting role,
intelligence emerges unbetrayable in soul.

Time does remain, free of fear to go right back to the year
truth alone inspired.
Then without stress, or mis-use of force,
to alter collisions course.
Time does remain to defuse the loss of gain,
exploited to the point of crime,
yesterdays mis-use of time.

. . . . . . . .

John's first days on the streets, learning the rules...

Where to now? My blasted bladder. Must learn to control it. Public conveniences are so far apart, but I must use trees and lamp posts as little as possible. But what else is there to do when I'm taken short ?

He puzzled about this as he walked towards Paddington station in the hopes of getting a cup of tea from the station restaurant.

Must find the places that are going to be open through the night. Its all right now, but I'll need something hot in the winter months. In spite of the beer I'm needing another cuppa. Will have a try at Paddington. Cor, my legs arent half aching.

He rested on a low wall, half of his journey to the station completed. This was the outer wall of a superior block of flats, which were well lit. The car park was full.

Wonder whats going on in there, who is loving who, and who is pretending to love? Are they having a blazing row over something they feel strongly about? If so, can they apologise or do they have to bluff and pretend that all the time they are right? Are they big enough to say sorry to each other if they have hurt? Do they give each other space to be individuals and do they live able to compromise? Why am I thinking that there should be two people, man and wife? Lonely people, old and sad, could be behind those curtains, or two men as partners, or two women.

Is any one there to help them? Or does their money provide all that is necessary? What do they all think of? Are they fearful of tomorrow dwelling in the past as an escape? Or are they planning the next move up the materialistic ladder? I've never had time to think like this before, I've been too busy with my work and my poetry. Do thought waves help this need for change? I dunno yet. Wonder if I could help people to base their values on truth if their priorities would change. My favourite word, lifemanship, would flourish. Lust wins the battle now.

Betty Donaldson 2006-11