Skip to main content

An Eye for an Ear, an Inspirational Poem

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded the "Best Poet 2014 and 2021" Hubby Awards.

A Life Lecture

This poem could act as a lecture or heart to heart by a parent to a teenager who was ready to go out and make their way in the world. Most of my readers will already have made their way and not require any advice from me.

Most of this is just common sense but young people often live for today and don't consider the bigger picture or future consequences of their actions and choices. I wish I had said something profound like this to my own children when they were finally going out in the world. Maybe I did without realising it lol.

An Eye For an Ear

I have some advice I'd like to convey,

Won't you lend me please your ear.

It's something I need to get off my chest

And I'd like you all to hear.

So, listen carefully while I talk

And pour out my troubled mind,

Then in return, you'll have my eyes,

So please don't strike me blind.

I'm no expert orator,

Public speaking's not my niché.

But, some truths just can't be ignored,

Like that some real men eat quiche.


Why are most people swift to blame

When things don't bring them joy?

They act like greedy little kids

Who won't share their favourite toy.

It seems the world has changed a lot

Since I was a little child,

Or maybe I just saw no bad,

And life seemed chaste and mild.

When did greed become the norm,

Give compassion a kick in the ass?

And racism, prejudice, bigotry, hate

Give love and acceptance a pass?

Let's all get back to the basics of life,

Health and happiness our primary aim.

Perhaps lend a hand to a neighbour in need,

But don't be blind mice seeking fame.

Don't get me wrong, though I may rant and rave,

I'm not saying don't strive to succeed.

Always work hard and take wealth if it comes,

But don't let it taint you with greed.

There is lots of good in this world we call ours,

And true people who really do care.

But, they don't always seek recognition and fame,

So it isn't all gloom and despair.


Now that I've finished this lesson on life

It's your turn to take centre stage.

I'll watch open-eyed as you make your own way,

From now 'til the end of this age.

You'll show by your actions, decisions you make,

And whether you choose right or wrong

Protest against all the things that you hate,

And to your convictions stay strong.

I hope your direction's not blinded by greed,

That you choose integrity over big bucks,

Are generous, caring, and show a true heart

To those who are down on their luck.

We all need our dreams so goals you must set,

To strive for and conquer each day.

Don't be discouraged if some aren't achieved,

Work hard, be persistent, and pray.

But this is your life, to live as you wish,

It isn't for me to control.

The best I can do is to give this advice

Then sit back and watch how you roll.

Well, that was my rant and rave for the day,

I hope that the message was clear.

My soapbox is needing a much-welcomed rest.

Thanks for reading An Eye For an Ear.


Oh, the Devil is a sly ole fox.

If I could catch him, I'd put him in a box.

Lock that box and throw away the key

and that would be the end of he...

— A.N. Steinberg

Author's Note

Anyone who is following me here will realise how my muse has been working lately. She directs me to choose a novel from my bookcase and use the title to base a poem around.

This time it is an older book published in 1994 titled: An Eye For an Ear by A.N. Steinberg. I had read and enjoyed this author's previous novel Manroot and was also attracted to this one by the haunting cover image.

The best way for me to describe this novel is to include part of the synopsis from the cover: "Set in a small-town Missouri in the 1950s, this powerful and moving new novel from the author of Manroot explores the taboo theme of cruelty and its secret manifestations within marriage and family life."

"A.N. Steinberg is an American who divides her time between London, New York and her permanent home in St Louis, Missouri. She has had a varied and interesting career as radio presenter, a boutique owner and a counsellor at a crisis centre." (1994)

An Eye For an Ear by A.N. Steinberg

An Eye For an Ear by A.N. Steinberg

© 2018 John Hansen

Related Articles