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Good manners

All the laws and all the rules

Telling us what not to do;

Could they be swapped for just one

To be taught in all the schools?

So that, as the children grew,

Each and every Jack, Jill, John

Did not need to remember

More than just one simple thing.

A pure and golden sanction -

- A password to remember -

And to the complex world bring

Simple civilisation.


How come such a foolish idea

Dares to grow in some febrile brain?

What prompts such crude mendacity?

Gestated from a long career

The 'wicked problem' will retain

Some kind sane sensitivity.

The easiest thing to recall,

Hypothetically, say, at least.

But impossible to decree;

A golden rule to rule them all,

And vanquish in us all the beast.

Try good manners and courtesy.


Such, would every crime delete.

One great catch-all commandment

Of which the great Lord never

Thought. And render obsolete

Every other staid constraint,

Rendering life less austere.

If we wish to raise mankind,

And see ourselves better than

All that's left of pure Nature,

What we have is one great mind;

Big enough perhaps for man

To breed such benign culture.

© R M Meyer

North Devon, October 2018