Stripping the Veneer – a poem

Paul Andruss, author of Finn Mac Cool and Thomas the Rhymer, wrote a wonderful post for Sally Cronin’s blog, Smorgasbord. Sally is currently enjoying a very well deserved holiday and some of the bloggers, including Paul, are helping to blogsit her site [awesome idea, Sally!]. Paul’s post was about The Raft of the Maduse and he states in the final paragraph of his post “I think what shocked me most when I first heard the story of the Meduse was how fast, and how completely, the thin veneer of civilisation was stripped away.” You can read Paul’s post here:

I reflected on these words all the way to work in the car yesterday morning and my reflections resulted in this poem. I would love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts [smile].

Stripping the Veneer

Empathy is for the rich;

It certainly would appear;

When your stomach is full;

It is easy to shed a tear.


It is easy to be generous;

When it doesn’t leave a hole;

When the gesture you make;

Is only food for your soul.


How could anyone you ask;

Throw their baby in a bin;

How could a new mother;

Commit this ultimate sin.


It’s easy to be judgemental;

From comforts warm embrace;

Easy to overlook how desperation;

Makes life unbearable to face.


It is easy to disparage;

An angry and violent attack;

Perpetrated by one who’s life;

All love and kindness does lack.


How quickly empathy disappears;

In times of financial stress;

Much harder to sympathise;

If you must live on less.

by Robbie Cheadle


Follow Robbie Cheadle at:



Facebook: @SirChocolateBooks

Twitter: @bakeandwrite



5 thoughts on “Stripping the Veneer – a poem

    1. Thank you, Debbie. It is a fact that it is harder to give when the giving means you have to give something up. It is also a truth that people who suffer great hardship and pain during their formative years can become very hardened and lacking in empathy as adults, never having experienced anything else.

      Liked by 2 people

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