Posted in Jamie Dedes, Poems/Poetry


[It is two years since I had what I can only describe as a powerful spiritual experience. I wrote about it at some length in an essay entitled “Child-God: Model for our Future… or Victim of our Failure?“. In brief, it was the result of spending a few short hours with my new grandson, my eldest daughter’s second child, in my arms, in the presence of my family. He was then a mere 7 days old. Last week, my son’s wife delivered me another grandson, whom I held for the first time at the age of five days. Although delivered at full term, he is still so tiny and vulnerable and it doesn’t matter how many new-born babies I see, their smallness never ceases to surprise me. The experience of holding my latest grandson, reminded me of this poem] …

baby-13719870150asI walked and wandered,
we talked, I sang,
but also had to sit awhile
for what seemed like an age.
You’d had a surfeit at the bar
you had leaked a bit
from both ends…
and seemed uncomfortable,
unhappy, not surprisingly.

This meant I had to change
your clothes completely!
I struggled for a while,
wishing this messy,
ear-rending moment away
but then…
amidst your own discomfort,
over which you sadly held
little or no control,
I saw a light, it wasn’t bright,
but bright enough;
slow burning, illuminating;
an oh so gentle warmth
that melted my impatient heart
and conferred on me
an unexpected gift
that no amount of money
could ever buy.

How is it that
we all spend so much time
chasing dreams;
seeking solutions
to problems we created;
searching for answers
to humanity’s eternal questions?
Craving, wanting, longing,
ever wishing for a bit
of luck, good fortune,
a favourable turn of dice;
that our numbers will come up
in life’s great lottery.

Don’t we all sometimes wish
for an elusive piece
of impossible magic,
the simple thought of which
dopes our senses
stupefies our rational thought;
makes us wish
that each of our Mondays
was a Friday;
dissolving our conscious lives
into hopelessness
and misery?

How then our dark, dark souls
so easily fall prey
to the business solutions
of Beelzebub;
to the chemical dependencies
of a crowded world;
the release afforded by
a liquid paradise;
perversely powdered

And yet…

and yet you,
all ten pounds of you,
after venting your lungs
– designed to strengthen them
against future exertions –
were unexpectedly becalmed.
As if absorbed by my plight,
your eyes lit up
by dark pools of the universe
and sucked me in…
hook, line and sinker.

Why could I not see this before,
this embodiment of all that’s good;
this absolute alcohol,
intoxicating, enthralling
absorbing and healing my soul,
melting my heart
into complete and utter
submission to your will.
And when you started to cry again,
it didn’t hurt so much,
the pain in my head subdued
as my whole system absorbed
this powerful essence
of you.

You then relaxed
and shuddered with a sigh
and I felt your body go
completely limp.
It was as if you
had made up your mind
to place your trust in me.
I felt an awesome responsibility.

Then, at once, I looked at you,
as if transformed;
you had cast your magic spell,
as if you had become the very thing
that, instinctively, I know you are;
know that you, who have
no knowledge,
no biass or understanding,
no prejudice, no judgement,
no hint of avarice or greed,
must be protected
from the repeated corruption
that man bestows upon man;
woman upon woman;
protected at all costs,
at any price…
with my life.

You are the Child-God,
the spiritual repository
of all of mankind’s hopes
and dreams:

the embodiment…

…of perfection

– John Anstie

(Read the author’s commentary on this Poem)

© 2011 John Anstie, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~ George Hoden, Public Domain

John_in_Pose_Half_Face351w-rH34dTL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_JOHN ANSTIE (My Poetry Library and 42) ~ is a British poet and writer, a contributing editor here at Bardo, and multi-talented gentleman self-described as a “Family man, Grandfather, Occasional Musician, Amateur photographer and Film-maker, Apple-MAC user, Implementation Manager, and Engineer. John participates in d’Verse Poet’s Pub and is a player in New World Creative Union. He’s been blogging since the beginning of 2011. John is also an active member of The Poetry Society (cover1UK).

John has been involved in the recent publication of two anthologies that are the result of online collaborations among two international groups of amateur and professional poets. One of these is The Grass Roots Poetry Group, for which he produced and edited their anthology, “Petrichor* Rising. The other group is d’Verse Poet Pub, in which John’s poetry also appears The d’Verse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry, produced and edited by Frank Watson.

* Petrichor – from the Greek pɛtrɨkər, the scent of rain on the dry earth.


“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult” ~ Hippocrates. As a young man, John enjoyed being fit and sporting. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines as Gordonstoun, giving shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life. This fitness was enhanced by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, by selling ice cream! His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a forty-nine year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and a mixed barbershop quartet. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 40 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man. What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle. His sort of strapline sort of reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iVolunteer ”

6 thoughts on “Perfection

  1. Oh, friend. You have contained within this, the hope for peace and world community we all wish for and yet somehow forget to strive towards as our days tease and distract us.

    How blessed your grandchild (grandchildren) are to be gazed upon with such tremendous love and respect.

    I agree with the comment above. This is a lovely and profound work.


  2. Having birthed four myself, I am totally resonant with the mystery that rises in the very ordinary incarnation of being. How can something so common be so extraordinary and miraculous? I don’t know….it just is.


  3. No grandchildren here, but this is what I felt when they put my son in my arms right after he was born. With such miracles, why would we have the need for anything else? This is everything and more.

    After all these years, I still remember how remarkable it was to see the medical team totally enthralled, as though a birth was something they’d never seen before and not something they did many, many times each week. That was touched me beyond words.

    A lovely and profound work, John, and congratulations again on the new grandchild.


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