Message in the Rhyme by Simon Icke

 

Simon Icke is an unpaid political writer, campaigner and poet. This is his journey in the face of adversity with M.E., Diabetes and Amyotrophy. Please scroll down to read his story or Click Here to view his poetry.

  

 

'When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.'
John F Kennedy

 
 

Simon’s father, George Reginald Icke, was an electrical engineer/draughtsman and leading trade unionist who instilled in him from an early age the importance of fairness and justice for all, and to have the courage not to follow the crowd, to be honest and treat everyone like you would like to be treated. Despite being brought up on a large council estate and his family being quite poor, he passed his 11-plus exams and went to Farnworth Grammar School, Bolton, then three years later to Joseph Eastham High School in Worsley, Salford; he left school at sixteen. His early career was in Local Government finance, gaining his Accountancy qualifications (FMAAT) after five years’ day release, first at St John’s College, Manchester and later at Manchester Polytechnic. He spent thirteen years in Local Government finance; eventually becoming a Senior Finance Officer in Further Education, before moving on to the Financial Services industry with a major UK insurance company. He had a number of very successful years with the company before burning himself out physically and mentally, later being diagnosed with the debilitating illness of M.E. and forced to take early retirement.

After a couple of very difficult years with very poor health and feeling quite low due to his chronic ill health, with no end in sight, he discovered writing and reading poetry to be very therapeutic. In 1998 he published his first book on behalf of Aston Clinton School; it was an anthology of Football poems written by the children and parents and grandparents of primary school children, including five of Simon’s poems.

The 1200-copy limited edition sold like hot cakes and this rare book, Poetry in Motion, Football! Football! Football!, which originally sold for just £2.99 new, is now a valued collector’s item; second-hand copies change hands for nearly £20 a copy on AmazonUK. One of Simon’s poems that was first published in the book, ‘Touchline Shouting’, is Simon’s most successful and widely used poem; it is now used by many junior football clubs and FA associations throughout the UK and beyond as an example of good parental behaviour on the touchline at children’s football/soccer matches. All profits from that book went to Aston Clinton school funds. Simon used the link to football as a way of ‘getting children interested in reading and writing poetry’. It made the children very proud to have one of their poems published in a book.

 

'Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings:
it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.'
William Wordsworth

 

In 2000 Simon published a small collection of his own poems in his book, Message in the Rhyme; again this was a limited edition, with all profits going to the M.E. Association and all printed copies sold very quickly. Nearly all of his poems are written in a traditional rhyming style and although some are just for fun, some have a very cutting edge and contain a very perceptive and challenging view on modern life in today’s UK society. Poems such as ‘Urban Breakdown’ and ‘Save Us’ are probably two good examples of this; although written nearly ten years ago they speak to the heart of the causes of today’s broken UK society. Simon has also written two contrasting war poems: ‘War Has No Winners’ is a very controversial but true observation on the futility of all wars, then his other war poem, ‘Lest We Forget’, begs the question of the ultimate sacrifice so many young people made during two world wars, when looking at the state of our politically correct society and the abandonment of traditional values and Christian beliefs and our rich Christian heritage. What will it take before we stand to be counted and start to reclaim the lost ground that has been given up so easily?

‘Living in the Fast Lane’ is one of Simon’s most popular ‘life observation poems’, as so many people can relate to the madness of being a workaholic; having no quality of life, and missing out on the simple things of real value in life. And just to show some variety, Simon’s two humorous poems: ‘Family Holiday’, about a typical British holiday in the 50s and 60s, is not only amusing but so many of the older generation will be able to relate to its lovely story line; and just for a bit of fun, Simon wrote his poem ‘The Thin Looking Ghost’ because his dad said ‘I bet our Simon will never write a poem about ghosts; as he doesn’t believe in them’; it is a must read for children, it will make them smile and is very easy to remember. Very recently he wrote a new edition of a Christmas Poem, titled ‘Love One Another’, which has a wonderful message for the world, reminding people about the true meaning of Christmas and why Jesus came to this earth. Simon’s poem ‘How do you know how it feels to be me?’ was the winner of the 2010 Poetree Creations International poetry prize; this poem, together with another one titled ‘Depression’, deals with people’s lack of understanding or empathy towards people who may be very unwell on the inside, even if it might not show on the outside. The only open verse poem Simon has ever written is ‘What Wonder is this?’, which is another deep and thought-provoking poem.

Simon’s most recent poems are: ‘I am what I am’, ‘Young Versus Old in Irwell Road’ and ‘Bonfire Night Memories’. The last two are about his childhood memories of bonfire night in Little Hulton, Salford. ‘I am what I am’ is written for all the people who have tried to work him out and failed! But this latest poem might at least give them a clue.

His favourite quotation is by Edmund Burke: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.’ Despite his continuing health problems, Simon is certainly not doing nothing; he is doing all that he can to try to make a positive difference in this world, through the power of the written and spoken word. Simon never expects people to agree with what he writes but if his writing provokes a reaction, then it has achieved its objective in adding something to the debate on life and our interesting short journey on this earth.

 

'One merit of poetry few persons will deny;
it says more in fewer words than prose.'
Voltaire

 

This article is the Copyright of Simon Icke; to share Message in the Rhyme please direct people to this page. Simon is always glad to hear from readers and he welcomes your comments; please contact him at poetsimon@aol.com. Please Click Here to view part two of this article, which contains a collection of his poems.

 

 'Too many people in the modern world view poetry as a luxury, not a necessity like petrol. But to me it's the oil of life.'
John Betjeman

 
 

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