Here’s one about judging and being judged. These days I like to think I’m pretty open-minded and open-hearted, but when I was young, running with the crowd was pretty important to me. If I ever made anyone feel shitty because they elected to be different, I apologise sincerely.

And so should you.

Think Kindly of the Coward

Think kindly of the coward,
Go easy on the mild,
For the timid are as worthy
As the boldest of the wild.
There’s a noticeable courage
In doing something loud,
Or taking risks and going
One step further than the crowd.
Yet to stand before a tunnel
And decline to travel through
When all around are urging –
Is that not courage too?
To stand firmly on one’s ethics,
Even though it may seem passive,
Takes a certain kind of mettle
And a spirit just as massive
As that which drives a daredevil
To deeds of derring-do.
It’s a refusal to surrender;
It’s the truest kind of true.
To do what is “accepted” so
Of scorn you will be free –
To choose to be a lemming –
Seems more cowardly to me.
So think kindly of the coward;
Don’t disparage or name-call
For sometimes ’tis the coward
Who’s the bravest of us all.

Ā© Darryn Roberts 2002

PS If I ever locate the audio files of me reading this and other poetry live on BBC Radio Wales, I’ll post them. Much searching awaits….