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.

North Devon, October 2018