An Eye for an Ear, an Inspirational Poem

Updated on August 6, 2018
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

Source

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.


Source

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?


Source

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.


Source

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.


Source

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.


Source

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 | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 John Hansen

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Dana. I think I had good advice when growing up with loving parents, but that doesn't mean I always took notice. You sometimes do have to find out for yourself the hard way so that the lesson sinks in. Then you look back and realise your parents did know a lot more than you did after all.

      • Dana Tate profile image

        Dana Tate 

        2 months ago from LOS ANGELES

        My hands are applauding you right now Jodah. I wish I had someone giving me advice when I was venturing out into the world. Maybe I did but didn't listen which is typical of most kids.

        What I tell young people, especially the ones in my family is...

        "Your very smart but not as smart as you think you are because you haven't lived long enough to have wisdom."

        Each generation comes and think they are the smartest group I know me and my friends thought we were Einstein. The truth is you either listen to wisdom or you learn the hard way. Either way you will learn.

        Blessings...

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        2 months ago from SW England

        I agree with you, John. You find out that they did listen and that they're passing it all on to their own children! That never ceases to amaze me.

        Ann

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks Shannon. I can surely relate to the pre-teen know-it-alls and you feel like you are wasting your breath giving advice. But when they finally grow up you find out that they had really been listening all along. They just didn’t like to admit it.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks for reading another of my poems and for the great comment Ann. Yes, to believe n oneself is perhaps the most important message we can bestow, or try to.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        2 months ago from Texas

        It's the title that caught my attention here. Made me think of instead of retaliation in like, respond with kindness. Great advice in this poem. I hope that my children somehow absorb some of that information into their being. Seems like they don't listen most of the times. Gotta love preteen know-it-alls.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        2 months ago from SW England

        Great title and another good poem, with great advice, John. 'Believe in yourself' is what I tell my teenage granddaughter. She's a little short on self-confidence but is great at everything else.

        It's a good point that we can give advice but it's the heeding that's the difficult thing, as many think they know it all already!

        Ann

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Kamalesh. Your kind comment is greatly appreciated. I am glad you enjoyed.

      • Kamalesh050 profile image

        Kamalesh050 

        2 months ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

        What a Brilliant poem it is John..... I loved it I must say and read it quite a few times already. Excellent pieces of advice indeed! Presentation of the poem is Superb! Best Wishes.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading and the kind comment, Jo. I am pleased to hear you find my presentations inspiring. Yes, beginning each day in gratitude is a great idea.

      • jo miller profile image

        Jo Miller 

        3 months ago from Tennessee

        What a great way to start my day, John. Your presentations are always so inspiring. I try to begin each day in gratitude and this certainly helps set that mood.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        It's never too late Rinita. Thanks for the kind comment. I am glad that particular stanza stood out for you. I think it is one we need to take to heart.

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        3 months ago

        I am late to reach here, John, but thoroughly enjoyed this write. Sound advice, and holds true even for those who have long crossed the life's bridges, for it is never too late to learn. This stanza really spoke out loud

        "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."

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Oh Genna, thank you for such a generous comment. I really appreciate that. Oh, by the way, I am currently reading Part 3 of The Encounter...a comment will be on its way soon.

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        3 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

        Hi John...

        You strike as someone who probably did give your children wonderful advice before they went out into the world...if not by saying then by doing.

        There are beautiful and sage words in this lovely vignette of poetry, that are learning, inspirational words at any age. And the photos and art work set them off perfectly.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Oh wow, Flourish. Your whole world will change with no child/teen at home. I am glad you can relate. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading Linda. Yes, I guess it is good advice for any age.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 months ago from USA

        I enjoyed this a lot, especially since my teen is going to college next week and I’ll be an empty nester.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        You've shared some great advice, John. It's good for people of any age.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hey, Eric, good to know you are going to follow this for hidden insights to be revealed. I am certain you will learn something new from Gabe as you lie in bed. Children constantly surprise us with their innocent wisdom.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        John, kept this on follow. I had an inkling that it would reveal anew in the evening as in before the rise of the day. Tonight my boy and I will lie in bed and talk of stars and other deep subjects. This will come up as I will have it in my mind. I think I might go to default and have him teach me.

        Clarity sometimes confuses me.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks you, Sean. You’re positive comments always confirm that what I am writing is worthwhile. Respect to you also.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Chitrangada. We can all make a difference we just need to re-evaluate our priorities and try to get back to our basic values of life.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        MsDora, thank you as always for your kind comment that this is an important message. We do need to get back to the basics you mention.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks Eric, it’s always good to get your thumbs up on what I write.it means I managed to get the message across effectively.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Linda, you are right. Little actions do add up and we are never to old to make change.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Shauna, thanks for your encouraging comment. Yes, songs with a good message like Simple Man probably get the message across more clearly to teens than a lecture. You are right though, it is up to us as parents to instill values and morals in our childrens’ lives.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Mary, I am sure you can pass on some of these life lessons just by interacting with your younger neighbours and letting them observe how you live. Thanks for reading.

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        Amazing hub, my dear brother, John! I'll show it to my boys. Thank you!

        Respect!

        Sean

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Great poem with some useful advice, not only for children but everyone.

        Yes, I agree, the World has changed a lot, the priorities have changed, the human values have changed. I don’t know, who is to be blamed for this change. The lifestyle, the circumstances have altogether changed. But all of us together, can make a difference for the better.

        Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem!

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        "Let's all get back to the basics of life": the face to face communication, the respect, the togetherness and all that. Your poem is the voice for many. Thank you!

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        So hard for so many of us to stay focused when imparting about life. This was on point from start to finish. Funny, "been there done that" from both areas on the line.

        Thank you.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        John we would all do well to heed this advice. You're never too old to affect the world around you. Little actions add up.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        3 months ago from Central Florida

        John, this is wonderful advice not only for children who are ready to begin life as adults, but children of all ages. We want to teach them compassion, how to prioritize and to make the right choices in life.

        When I first heard Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man", my son was in high school. I had him listen to it and told him that I was passing the message on from mother to son.

        No matter how we do it, we parents should have a positive impact on our children's lives by instilling morals that give them a strong foundation with which to begin their life's journey.

        This poem does just that.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thank you for your message. Last night, we have our annual cheese and rib night and among our neighbours, there are many young ones just starting their own life. I think when they see the various models among the adults they interact with on their holidays in the summer, they can learn some fo these tenets you placed here so eloquently.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading this whonu. Your kind comment is appreciated.

      • whonunuwho profile image

        whonunuwho 

        3 months ago from United States

        This was a nice poem from the heart, my friend. Thank you for sharing. whonu

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Bill. We all need to use the old soapbox now and then don't we?

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Val. I appreciate that comment and, yes, I hope a few older folk get a reminder as well.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        You can climb on your soapbox any old time. I love your message, my friend.

      • ValKaras profile image

        Vladimir Karas 

        3 months ago from Canada

        John---Great poem, and great advice, my friend, not only for the younger folks but also for those mature ones who seem to have lost the sense of true values in life.

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