The post-war era of the 1940s, when I was a child, was a time of serious deprivation, with UK cities still bearing the scars of conflict.
The Luftwaffe bombs had stopped but shortages and rationing continued well into the 1950s.
There was, however, during that grim and grimy period, an air of optimism which seems sadly absent now.
Perhaps we need to pay heed to these words of advice from the late Dr Martin Luther King: Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can.
BIRTHDAY POEM 2017
A bad-news day, so typical
of what we, daily, learn to call
Another war, a bomb outrage,
a virus rampant, uncontrolled,
another routine genocide,
the usual starving dispossessed
with hands outstretched
Another day. So swiftly now
discarded hours, like autumn leaves,
accumulate. So we grow old.
Earnestly, I tell myself,
believe that, daily, hope sustains,
that, by some grace, tranquility
will fill the earth like sudden flowers;
love will be enough.