The Importance Of Presence

The importance of parental presence as a support for children’s achievements should not be underestimated. It is a clear sign that the parents care when they take the time to come to see their children perform, particularly when the children know that the parents are not there for their own pleasure or enjoyment. This awareness of parental presence is even true among preschool children although in a somewhat muted form. I remember visiting my middle son’s nursery school, at the request of his teacher, so I could observe a “problem child” in the class.

It just so happened that I was sitting observing a group of boys, including my son, who sat in a circle nearby.

Their conversation went like this: Child A: My daddy is a doctor and he makes a lot of money and we have a swimming pool.” Child B: My daddy is a lawyer and he flies to Washington and talks to the President.” Child C: My daddy owns his own company and we have our own airplane.”

Then my son (with aplomb of course): “My daddy is here!” with a proud look in my direction. Children regard the public presence of their parents as a visible sign of caring and connectedness that is far more significant than any material support could ever be.

‘As a Christian I view my relationship with my Heavenly Father in this way. His presence in my life is more important than any material gain.’ Ian Straughan



Are you fit for this job? I’m the man.

Can you meet the criteria? Yes, I can.

Can you follow this itinerary? I am able.

Can you shoulder this responsibility? I am capable.

Are you as good as your word? I am good.

Can we count on you? Yes, you could.

Can you take what we dish out? I can take it.

Can you achieve our objectives? I can make it.


This game we play of positive professions.

The things we say in place of honest confessions.

Our daily bread, dependant on our reputation,

A nation run upon fabricated presentation.

We learn to lie, to reinforce their confidence.

Endeavour to try to live up to our pretence.

Under duress, compelled to serve in this farce,

Placed under stress, not knowing what will come to pass.


Will the job get done? I don’t know.

Will the assignment be completed? I’ll have a go.

Will the destination be reached? I might get near.

Will the deadline be met? I’ve no idea.

Will the vision be realised? There’s a possibility.

Will the brief be followed? I doubt my ability.

Will the program be executed? Wait and see.

Will the quota be fulfilled? I’m thinking maybe?


‘If the Lord wills…’, an unacceptable excuse.

Causing cold chills to those planning our use.

They seek for certainties for their fortunes to be projected.

If we give no guarantees, we candidates will be rejected.

But is it possible to commit to anything at all,

If we can not predict the coming pitfall?

Whether acts of God or acts of nature,

All have an effect on us securing the future.

No promise should be given if it can’t be kept.

So how can we accommodate this moral concept?


If we could somehow measure our chance of success,

We may be able to untangle this mess….


I was positively sure that I would have enough time,

But I came up short before the clock’s last chime.

My qualifications matched the stated criteria,

But the challenges proved my knowledge inferior.

I accounted how much money I was required to save,

But the overheads swamped me like a tidal wave.

I planned ahead to have enough resources,

But they were drained before time by undeclared sources.


These material elements on which our performances depend,

Deliver no guarantees for achieving our end.


Our lack of desire can leave us short sighted,

And unprepared to accommodate factors uninvited.

Our slack of commitment can dull our convictions,

Then parameters we set can become our restrictions.

Allocation of resources we stingily ration.

This conservative thinking must be overcome by passion

For the quality of our work to not resemble inferiority,

It is necessary for our goals to become our priority.


Will you follow this fashion? I’ll set the trend.

How far will you go? I’ll fight to the end.

Can you commit to this cause? To the fullest extent.

We’ve expanded our horizons…I’ll enlarge my tent.

Prepare for the unexpected! Before I begin.

Will you cave under pressure? I’ll never give in.

Can you swim against the tide? You’ll see me progress.

Your vision of the future? I’ll be a success!


Poem by Danny Baxter © 2010 Xian Force Productions





I am bound by shackles brother to brother.

I am a detainee of loyalties once professed.

I am chained to my oaths of yesterday.

I am a prisoner of allegiances confessed.


My next step is shadowed by accountability.

My next move oppressed by regulation.

My next word threatened by liability.

My next thought subjected by expectation.


My expression of identity conflicts with the common purpose.

My expression of individuality suppressed by uniformity.

My expression of desire labelled as self indulgence.

My expression of virtue challenges corporate integrity.


I put my hand up to protest but for unity I put it back down.

I stood up to testify but for unity I sat back down.

I stepped forward to represent but for unity I stepped back down.

I dashed forward to escape but for unity I slid back down.


They have held me in my position by my commitments.

They have held me in my place by my confessions.

They have held me in tow by my secrets.

They have held me in rank by my affiliations.


If I break my silence, I risk humiliation.

If I break my vows, I risk accusation.

If I break my rank, I risk excommunication

If I break my ties, I risk isolation.


They employ me now but I shall resign from this unity.

They exploit me now but I shall regain my dignity.

They exhaust me now but I shall retrieve my energy.

They enslave me now but I shall be free.


Poem by Danny Baxter © 2010 Xian Force Productions





Incompleteness, failure, ruin and death

The could ‘as and the should as’ all wasted breath.

The project lies dormant, the structure not built,

The tears over flowing as the milk lies split,

The piling of casualties from the battle not fought,

The pain of regret when the performance came up short.

This is not what the people expected to see.

The reason for this outcome is like a mystery


The Heroes defeated without explanation,

The Visionaries diverted from their destination…



Is this the new fashion, is this the new trend?

Are we here for a season, will this losing streak end?

Question after question, who can give an account,

Why the number of failures has reached this amount?

Only now at the end do we all realise.

How did these things take us by surprise?

Prophets and seers have nothing to say.

Should these wise men not have warned us before today?

The vision was a lie but was it ever true?

Could this outcome have been seen before it was due?

Arrogant we were, steps we missed out.

We didn’t understand what these things are about.

This can not be accepted. This can not be resolved,

Until this mysterious problem is solved


At the start we agreed that this path was the way,

An opinion not sustained in the light of this day.

We all testified that our convictions were true.

The future looked bright for the things we would do.

Now things have turned ill, our hope changed to terror,

It’s time to look back and locate the error.





Hope and faith are mankind’s greatest strengths.

Together can take us to extraordinary lengths.

But these alone protect not from delusion

We can find ourselves following an illusion

To achieve the exploits we believed we should do,

We can end up throwing out the things that were true.

Afraid of failure we are blinded to reason.

Critical analysis is branded as treason.

To defend our beliefs with lies that cheer,

Is not evidence of faith but a display of fear.


Faith is the trust of the invisible that is real,

Based on laws that exist not merely hype and zeal.

So it can be measured and therefore projected,

And the future be saved if presumption is corrected.

If deception exists then foresight can be blurred

It must be exposed by the power of the true word

Then gaps can be bridged and the lack can be filled,

Securing foundations before we start to build

So we can accommodate the unforeseen event.

Then the unfulfilled dream will be a thing we can prevent.


Poem by Danny Baxter © 2010 Xian Force Productions




I exist

I am an idea, an ideal.

I am information.

I am a message, a story.

I am an identity, a personality

I am a spirit.


I am a rhythm.

I have my own composition, my own vibration.

My image is my handiwork, my glamour and my fashion.

My fragrance is my reference, my biography.

My body is my network, I am formless.

I flow through matter, attitude and concept.

I sign my name with another’s signature by another’s hand.

I am a spirit. 


I am an element

I am the material of the material,

The substance of the unseen,

A mystery to the ignorant, a signal to the wise.

I can move through awareness as a portal, through association I span great distance

I can transmit myself across the stars in an instant

I can mask what was, intercept what will be

I am a spirit 


I am invisible

Invisible but recognisable

If you can not recognise me, I can not be seen.

If you can recognise me, I can be known

If you know me, you are with me.

You are a part of me and I am a part of you,

I live through you.

If you do not know me, I am with your shadow,

I live where you are not

I am a spirit.



I am a destination.

I can influence destiny, I can command nations.

I can deceive and delude, I conceal from the rebellious

I can educate and expose, I enlighten the student.

I am a power with intent, a force with intuition.

I can depress the arrogant and revive the faithful

I can threaten the coward and inspire the brave.

I am a spirit.


Poem by Danny Baxter © 2010 Xian Force Productions




Can I be myself with you?


Can I be myself whilst you be yourself?

Do you have to be yourself whilst I am with you being myself?


Do I have to become you, to be myself with you?

If I become you whilst being with you, am I still myself too?


Do I need you to become me, in order for me to be myself?

If you become me whilst being with me, are you still yourself too?


If you are no longer yourself,

Can I continue to be myself with you whilst you are being me?


I can not be myself by myself


If I can not be myself with you, you are as nothing to me.

If you can not be yourself with me, am I nothing to you?


Are we nothing to each other?


Am I still by myself when I am with you?


Poem by Danny Baxter © 2010 Xian Force Productions


Being by myself


I can not stand alone.

I can not be myself by myself.


In order to know myself,

I need to be surrounded by something other than myself.


I can not see myself by myself

By myself, I do not know where I am.


By myself, I do not know where I end

Or where I begin


By myself, my absolutes become relative,

Relative to nothing.


By myself, I have no purpose.

I can find no meaning in anything, if nothing is with me.


Without parameters, I have no definition.

Without definition, there is no boundary between myself and not myself.


Emptiness is my poverty.

Loneliness is my confusion.


I can not be myself, by myself

I can not be, by myself


If I choose to be at all, then I can not be by myself.




Man was made by God from the earth,

From dirt, from soil, a material without worth.

When entering a house we brush it from our feet,

Yet without it the human design’s incomplete.

From the state we came from to the form we have taken,

Shows the pattern of creation that can not be mistaken.

The spirit of the creator can be viewed through his inventions.

God’s affect on the dirt displays His intentions.

From dirt to God’s image, the contrast is stark,

With only God’s breath to give us life’s spark.

It is a good example of what God can do.

But if we share God’s attributes does that include this too?


Our world is affected by our participation,

Through art, construction or recreation.

It goes without saying that we have different styles.

The degree of variation can be separated by miles.

Our energy flows through the rhythm that we beat,

Personality shows through the task we complete.

Each one does something different with what’s in their hand,

Expressing through materials the things they understand,

Manipulating matter from its former state,

Unique stories told through what we create.

This history we make reveals what we hide,

These surroundings betray what we have inside.


Collectively, we have desires that contradict.

Inevitably, we can be drawn into conflict.

This wonderful skill that we all possess,

Has become the source of contempt and stress.

We find ourselves prisoners of our of our own soul,

Scenarios we face spiral out of control.

The situation that threatens us becomes clear,

Our spirits have somehow been subjected to fear.

Insecurities intruding into our heart and mind,

Through us, replicate into all that we find.

By following delusions that others would teach,

We are caused to push our own dreams out of reach.


As we self destruct we look for someone to blame,

To pass on the buck to hide our shame.

But while things around continue their assault,

We must look within to correct the fault.

No matter how complex the pain and hurt,

Remember we were first made out of dirt.

The disclosure of this ingredient was meant to inspire,

To follow this principle should be our desire.

We can use for material all the things that went wrong,

And build something good if our spirit stays strong.

We will, in the end, achieve things for which we aim,

And our lives be worth more than the dirt from which we came.


Poem by Danny Baxter © 2010 Xian Force Productions





Of unifying thought.

I wish for a portfolio

Of things I have been taught.


I get up every morning,

Then bible at my side

I sit with soul wide open

To catch what air would hide.


Resonance of frequencies

Not easy to translate

Betray invisible forces

Exerted to change my fate.


I’m called to illustration,

Describing what I sense,

Exposure of these mysteries.

Truth is the best defence.


I skip around from theme to theme

Recording all I hear,

Seeking through cross reference

For patterns to appear.


Whilst preserving the entirety

Of sense I have discerned,

I am required to summarize

To present what I have learned.


Through poetry I sow my seed

But don’t have to declare it.

Side stepping doctrinal criticism,

By the way I choose to share it.


Twelve is a number that’s complete.

That’s what I’m aiming for.

I’ll push ’til the assignments done

And then I’ll write twelve more!


Poem by Danny Baxter © 2010 Xian Force Productions