Jesperanto  (he’s behind you…)

(Dickinson:) “Hope is the thing with feathers – that perches in the soul…”

(Tutu:)  “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

Saint Paul said: “Hope that is seen is no hope at all.”

Sentiments so earnest and high-minded, yes top-drawer reflections for sure,

So lofty, and I get lofty, but lofty’s in my head-space and just right now

I want hope in my heart-space, in my time of dis-grace when I feel out of place.


Lofty is heaven to earth, King’s College to my Tech., fine dining to

My KFC. Waitrose for Lidl, Aldi. Tatler not ‘What’s On TV’,

Film Noir, silent cinema to ‘I’m a Celebrity’ (please get me out of here!)

Financial Times over Farmers Weekly, more The Sixteen than East

Seventeen. Gown to Town, The Savoy not a red boiled saveloy.

And I think my homeboy Job gets it, for keeping it real, says:


‘What strength do I have, that I should still hope?

What prospects that I should be patient? [keep going]

My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle and they

Come to an end without hope. Who can see any hope for me?

When I hoped for good, evil came; When I looked for light

then came darkness.’ All my splendour gone and buried.


A stand-off, a face-off when I needed a human face-on

Hands on, feet on, velvet-cheek-brushing-mine-on.

But the thing is, the King didn’t cling-on to divine loftiness

Gave it all up to be a slave and a slavering milk sop to boot,

Top Trump bling became a hiker on a road we could reach him

Ivory tower spliced iced pavement in one loving nosedive.


And Why?

To lift us up, to bring us life, to see through our veneers,

dry our very real tears, hold our hands, to see us through;

High Celestial hope no doubt but with – like us – skin on.


© Helen Dean, December 2016

Artwork © Cherrie Mansfield, March 2020

Ref: Emily Dickinson poem 1861; Archbishop Desmond Tutu quote; Romans 8.24; popular culture references; Job 6.11, 7.6, 30.26; Lamentations 3.18; Philippians 2.6-7; John 1.14; 2 Corinthians 8.9; Revelation 21.4; Hebrews 4.15