Fighting the Futility of Fear

A poem written around the end of 2015 at HMP Highpoint (North), dedicated to one of the chaplains who showed great kindness to me and many others. He is one of those unsung heroes that will never become a celebrity because he feels sufficently rewarded by simply helping others less fortunate than himself. He was kind enough to allow me to read my poetry in the chapel and even asked me to write poems for specific events, knowing that , as a Humanist, I would have no specific religious bias. I not only wrote this for him but read it to him on a one-to-one basis prior to others hearing it. That was one of the most moving moments in my life.

For Alan, who first welcomed me to the Chapel and had the courage to invest his time in me

Fighting the Futility of Fear


Adversity is no enemy of altruism

Charity is diffused as light through a prism

When humanity is humbled by deprivation

Some men have always shown abnegation

Though beauty be blighted by wilful blindness

Cruelty can always be conquered by kindness


Life is never a zero sum game

One man’s loss is no other’s gain

We grow more strongly when we grow together

Harm done to one is harm done to another

Man’s fate within our own fate dwells

All pain is felt within ourselves


Mistrust is a miserable manifestation

That spreads through minds like an infestation

When we make an investment in human kind

Our rate of return is the open mind

When generated by a generous deed

Reciprocation is a natural need


These verses are just a simplistic plea

That we show more faith in humanity

While many may rush to criticise

The wise will try to improve others’ lives

By reaching out with open hands

To other cultures in other lands


Suffering knows no place, no time, no clan

Reaching all ranks and races since life began

And there are always the good who will try to heal

For whom a life without hope is a life unreal

And the reason why mankind is still here

Is their need to fight the futility of fear