Kingfishers

Words are fools
Who follow blindly, once they get a lead.
But thoughts are kingfishers that haunt the pools
Of quiet; seldom-seen …

Siegfried Sassoon
from Limitations

“Words are fools / Who follow blindly” said Sassoon, the poet of the First World War – who loved the glories of measured words, whilst well understanding that they’re a tool that can be misused with sometimes catastrophic consequences.

In post-EU Referendum days here in the UK we’re feeling what it is to be a society convulsed by words-induced panic. I, for one, am glad to observe that there appears to be a great deal of feeling being experienced in the midst of it all – for it’s often the case that when human beings really feel something at gut and heart level they’re a little less likely to be brow-beaten by orators great and small.

My little X-in-the-box on Referendum day was not so much informed by words as by emotion. And that emotion, that feeling, tells me – every bit as much today as it has ever done – that what human beings can do together, what nations and continents can do together, we ought to do together.

Perhaps the present leadership vacuum need not be wholly lamented since it affords at least a little space for  kingfishers that haunt the pools / Of quiet; seldom seen …

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