FOOD OF THE GODS
A SLICE OF LIFE
The Family -
around whose tables
rich fare has been offered
- much exchanged.
Allah made poetry a
Cheap thing to buy, and
A simple thing to understand
So that all men might
Profit from it.
For FOOD OF THE GODS
All poetry should be read aloud.
The symbolism and often used poetic license
is solely to emphasise the underlying fact.
It adds poignancy, pungency and
flavour to the dish.
Ever the road lies before me
The wind - the sun - and the rain
Long miles from dawn to sunset
To sleep thru the night again
And dawn and the sun awaken
And the long road calls me again.
The lone walk on the long road side
The swim in some sheltered stream
And a billy of tea and a damper
By the cheerful fire
And sleep again, and the dream.
But now in my dream the long road
Runs down to the restless sea
And ever I hear her calling
And calling again for me
The loved voice calling and calling
Come rest, come rest now with me
And I go, glad in my lone dream
To meet again and be with her
Down to the infinite sea.
But the dream fades in the dawn light
And I wake to the day again
The white warm ash of the wood fire
And the road, the sun and the rain.
THE ROCKING HORSE
Rocking horse, rocking horse
Race me away
Rocking horse rocking horse
Run with me today.
Rocking horse rocking horse
Faster faster I pray,
Rocking horse, rocking and rocking
Faster and swifter I say.
Rocking horse, rocking horse
Bear my spirit away
Be strong, be fleet, my rocking horse
Up, up and away
Faster and faster dear rocking horse
Till spirit soars.
On my rocking horse
And glad flees away.
Ride with me, rocking horse
The Book of Job ch. 39 v. 19 - 25. speaks of some fiery progenitor of
the modern horse.
Ride our last race today.
"The glory of his nostrils is terrible,
He paws in the valley, and exults in his strength."
Surely he was speaking of the famous 'hot blooded' horses of southern
Asia, the horses of the Persian hosts, of the line of Alexander's Bucephalus?
From which lines is bred the ardent Arab horse of the flared nostrils,
the magnificent arched neck, the distinctive muscled back and beautiful
This strain is well represented in Australia. Several Arab breeder's
now exporting to Saudi Arabia, and other places and Australian Arab stallions
now valued amongst the best in the world.
Many of those ancient horsemen would have known well those verses
from Job. The great poem is one of the oldest of all the Hebrew books and
preserved through many generations by oral tradition, as were all the great
Picasso a clown?
And those most astonishing
Works of his creative heart
These but a part
Played for amusement
Of a careless world?
Despite all criticisms hurled
Wordfest of judgment.
Or justly curious,
Or that of the old romantic school.
Scornful or furious.
Picasso a clown?
Perhaps in his human way
He loved to clown
With his beloved Jacqueline
At home or beach or teasing the town.
To clown, and laugh and play
And work, intent and furious
Life to the full each day
His own self, of the work, rich part
Into his flamboyant art.
The zebra pants,
The Big Nose,
Scarlet or Crimson
Vitreous Green or Madder Rose
And the face paint
And the masks
But all a feint,
Yes, fun, mockery and jest
All human gifts that paint
The Master Painter
At his human best.
Picasso, a clown; perhaps
Just a small group - after dinner talk - around the longtable, under
the stars, for we ate outside, most evenings, and one of the group said
- somewhat dainfully, "Oh, Picasso was a clown."
But never a fool or weak
Strong living soul, his art
Made eyes to live and speak,
Most eloquent of love
Of passion; of the human spirit
And of the human heart.
Hence the poem. Yes he loved to clown, the big nose, the zebra pants
and all the zany rest of it; his was a rich innocent humour, familiar and
reflected in the simple and often equally zany directness of his work.
An understanding of this quality of fun enriches our appreciation of his
work; there is also an element of truth in the comment of; "Picasso is
the last stone age artist."
Clearly elements of Stone Age artistry survive in many modern schools.
Our Aboriginal artists are purely such, and have aroused the primitive
in many; both in artists and in a widely appreciated following.
This emergence is a significant reminder of our primitive background;
we are still very close biologically to our beginnings.
Marriage to me,
Is not a chain, it is
I must be free
Unfettered and free
In every way
I must remain me.
In my going out
And my coming in
I go my own way
And count it no sin.
I will tolerate not
I pledge you my soul
One jealous thought
Nor critical word
No form of control.
In our married life,
Must look upon me
As the equal I am.
Never obedient wife
And never submissive
To marital strife.
But count me as ally,
And friend for your wife.
And, on my part
I faithful will be
Always a model
No hint of scandal
Will harm my man
In anyone's eyes.
Yes, I will be free
A point of view, but rarely spoken so forcefully even in our day of
As so must he be
I will live my own life
I never will be
A submissive meek wife.
Many young women thinking thus elect for themselves the austerity
and loneliness of the single state. This is a great pity, because the years
of the "nameless grace" are few, and once expended, there are fewer opportunities
for the happier years of good companionship.
A Herald of the Dawn
Being a brief on Joyce for the delectation of the motley distilling
still the mixtery of his multywise wordwit.
a tocsin for
|Well met Ulysses - and James Joyce
Who Irish, speaks blind Homers voice
To wake a new Aquarian year
And waken many a modern seer
(Did he, I wonder awaken Germaine Greer?)
And shatter all outworn the fears
Of our conditioned, censored, yesteryears.
|Ulysses, cunning voyager of old
Took golden words from Dublins heart of gold
Roused lust in cold censorious eyes that peer
At "I's" all crossed at dotty literary "T's".
Porn imaged bright in all the censored eyes
|Joyce and great Ulysses, judged ockerwise
And censors lost twix wit and wilful words
Lost twix the lilt of laughter and of tears,
The merriment of Joyce's Irish surds
The Day unfolding with its hopes and fears.
|The New Age
same human face.
|Auspicious Day, 16th of June,
When Spring Bloomed sweet along the way.
(Or should I say, springs Bloom this Day?)
Pansies in window boxes gay
As lesbian ladies have their chosen way.
What bad luck Oscar, you're not here today!)
Our imperfections, follies and our flaws
Now somwhat less constrained
By assinine arcane and ancient laws.
Times change and Joyce changed much for us this Day.
|But as our Brave New World contends
Clear eyed its slow Aquarian birth
Ulysses now provokes no rage
Not even ribald student mirth
So eagerly the Bright New Age
Transposed his witty Irish surds
Beyond the censors petty rage
Into those ugly Saxon words.
|Heart & head
|Joyce with Ulysses at his English best
Good Irish match and mate of old world jest
Noteings and scratchlings all the worldlings say
Good Lit, well writ, with Blooms along the way
Ulysses reads more wakeful than the Wake
(Most sleep at P.19); but rich reward
Awakes who talkwalks Bloom thru Irish wit and word
Gains the rich prize of Molly's secret hoard.
|Joyce guides the patient readers sight
To Molly, lost in reverie
Of womans immemorial plight
Perils, deep needs and the mystery.
depths of Love.
|She pleads - patient and all wordless
A soothing for her deep unrest
To feel the loving warm hand prest
Upon the nubile gentle breast
To feel the gentle touch intrude
On the warm limbs, the waiting pubes
That loving touch that touching calms
And soothes the body's false alarms.
|This is serious
lightly of Love.
|She yearns sweet tastings - gentle teasings
Softly touchings - sensuous pleasings
Her body's sweetness
Is her keen delight
To savour her deep need this night.
|She Blooms with yearn,
And sleeps sweet aid
Is far from those dark eyes that plead.
She is this hour Ancestral Maid
In deep and elemental need
Her eyes deep pools of loves delight.
||Here, sacrosanct, is woman
Magic and mystical
She is of Paradise this night.
by all men.
There is no life
but by them.
|Molly, Joycean affirmation of the soul;
Soul sauce of human life on earth
Birth, Marriage and Death
Each earthy station
Brightlighted by his Irish mirth at birth,
Mismatch of Marriage and a Wake at death.
Our Hatches Matches and Dispatches span
The main events that plan the Fete of Man,
Distil his jests, mix verbwords sad in strife,
Our daze with Molly, lover, leman or wife
Are an Epiphany, rich gift to man
The lights and darks of love t'is clear and plain
Power, pith, purpose and the plan.
||Birth Marriage Death three stations of our day
But "I Love You," is Grace; A Glory on the Way.
The Dark Knight
|The bitter reality
|Alas for Love
Alas for lone benighted Molly, with her charms
Enchanted Mistress of her Shining Knight at Arms,
Alas t'is Bloom, impotent paramour,
Stands all unwilling, nerveless in his sad alarms,
Incompetent but half a man, Beyond her Door.
Themis most fertile.
the patient wife.
|Blind Homer coucht long years in Elysian bliss,
Laft till he cried. "Ne'er spoke Ulysses thus" he sed,
"Nor dreamed I, however deep in cup, of verse like this,
Not Helen, nor Cassandra, nor sweet Themis
Nor entered wise Penelope's dear patient head
To speak of such dark thoughts, James Joyce is not Germaine
Tis Womans Business; Secret; so it should remaine."
|Why destroy the Beauty; defile the Magic Spell,
Make but the best of Love; Tis fleet; let it be sweet
Treasure the Mystery, the nameless Grace; and never tell.
||I believe: in the deep heart of that wild countryside where
is so much better than bad, good luck is better than bad luck,
good food is better than most, where our good dreams come true,
and never the bad ones and no nightmare intrudes, that all Molly
wanted was and is to be kissed and caressed, aroused and
soothed and in short loved.
||I believe: such are the viccisitudes, that Fate was most unkind
in offering only Bloom, flowers more appropriate on the 16th,
being Bloomsday, the upstaging of Boylan indeed a perversity.
||I believe: there is that which is too deep for words, that words
The words we say, they mock me
They sunder us, keep us apart
From the deep tender yearning
The passion, the love of the heart.
|I believe: That the spiritual journey of Joyce his vocation,
his soul purpose of existence was consummated in Ulysses,
his Book of Revelation the substance of things as they are hence
no novel but a far far better thing than he had done before which is
to say, Dubliners et al. the veritable facts of Life uncorrupted
by the inane pretensions of a novelist.
|I believe: Having shown with sympathy deep understanding
a sweet acknowledgment of that universal creative sentiment in
the person of Marion [Molly] Bloom nee Tweedy and attendant
sisterhood whose varied and highly intimate roles add stark
realism to the story, Joyce has fulfilled his destiny and we men,
fellows chaps mates husbands and cuckolds generally, with the
buoys and lads taking careful note of our activities accept simple
plain and necessary, our function in life philosophically and
phlegmatically and fill in as best we can our spare time or time
spare from our part in the Divine Comedy.
||I believe: that sacred yet most human and commonplace thing,
Mother Love, is to be clearly distinguished as it is and separated
from that other thing which or witch we know as Mistress ex.
So, of Mater Natures blunt intention there is fortunately nothing
left to be said.
A Note on Ulysses
Ulysses is the Roman form of the Greek Odysseus, a major player, a kernel
one might say in the present circumstance, in the Greek forces, one of
the hard nuts to crack of the Greek host. Not for nothing were the Greeks
called Hellenes. This is made clear by the dark fate of the Trojans.
|This would be early 60's. Difficult to obtain copies those
As has been well said "The past is a foreign country, they do this
However we floundered our weigh thru to a copy not too
dissicult, though dysicult to read as we ran. Sensors in evry
coffee cup it seemed.
|Likewise and under in the way of common taters, I
misagine Germaine and odder houswises and utter
simples & symbles and cymbals werethereto, unplotting the
intricamistereys of Ulysses, tho many fall by the waysides,
asleep in the Wake as it were or more profoundly, asleep
in the Deep.
Nunsuch and inassuch, his Hero is upstaged by his
antihero, Dadelus payed no doubt his debt to Mater Nature,
even as the Bloom wilted at Her call.
|Yeaslater Iseult my "Pomes Penyeach" for cashews in
untimely desperation for shrewbread of Life, or strife, tho
not then wife, bust savoured favoured Fyshenchippies
Butter bitter bargame! Potage for Ancestral Veritage etc.
Wat Iseult betrayed my Tristan! Ah me.
It is hardly surprising that Joyce chose the Roman name for his work,
quite apart from the deep symbolism ofUlysses fated journey home, our own
journey alongthe Way and Stephen's day Roamin in Dublin. His hero Dadelus
is aptly named after the Greek sculptor and architect; he who designed
the great Labyrinth house to restrain theMinatour.
Perhaps a poets fancy, but I fancy Joyce chose the name with scarce
veiled reference to the dark mystery of the unstatedpurposes of our life,
of our journey within the labyrinth of our emotions our memories, the rigour
of and the fatal flaws of our intelligence, the fears, terrors and exaltations
of our human spirit.
And it seems no accident, but an unequivocal understanding of the
vicissitudes of an agonising but supremely positive history that his anti-hero
is one Leopold Bloom. Civilisation owes more to the spirit, intellect and
sheer human qualities of Bloom's peoples than to any other national entity
able to lift its head above the morass of our blighted history. Bloom is
essential counterpoint, in his human ordinariness to Stephens colder intellectualism.
Ulysses was a powerful catalyst for change; a watershed in the ageless
conflict between the old tired generation and the new fighting for its
place in the sun. The schism is always fiercest in the Universities and
in the literary and artistic worlds. He was indeed contemporary with Picasso
and Shaw and a host of others thronging the streams of that watershed.
It is the business of the writer to challenge morality and mortality with
humour and courage.
Joyces humour is low life indeed but essentially human.
Though banned in Australia and in other places, copies were to be
had here, clandestinely.
To my mind Germaine Greer would certainly have made a point of securing
a copy, as would many another rising star of the day, daring both censor
and the Establishment. Delighting in the Enlightenment, so to say!
Hence the poetically licensed references to Germaine; Thus I salute
In the meantime dreamtime censors have dyed by the pageside.
Big Bear, indeed! and Enid Blyton!! The filed teeth have rotted!
The pointed clause clipped. Today illiterature flows uncensored through
our Media, or should it be Medusa?
Poor Fellow my country. The price of liberty is a banal mediocracy,
our publishing houses are awash with rubbish - Laptop literacy is upon
us. It is the publishers who must exercise a civilized restraint, lest
the literature of three thousand years be lost to our children; and the
children of the third and forth generations despise us as fools in our
Now safe secure within the pleasant land
That with great labour I have built for me
Safe from the perils of that other place,
Where Wars brutality so scars the human face.
Where tears and terrors are of no avail
Where I have builded me a faith to be
A shield against the Horror and travail
The sad defeats, the crimes, against our dark humanity.
Such shield each creature for himself must build
To hold the mind secure against the foe,
To steel the heart what terrors to endure
And guard the soul against the cruel deceits
The cup of woe.
Cold is the wind that blows from off that dreary shore
Bitter the fogs that dull the eyes bright fire
Be strong my heart to bear the cold and hoar
And strong the love to keep the faith
To hold the hearts desire.
To keep cats at home
It is not possible
Chicken, lambs fry,
Or delicate fish,
Freshly put out
In his favourite dish
These only detain him
They do not restrain him
He sleeps, or just sits
Through the long sunny day
In my own deep armchair
Just lazes about
A comfortable cat.
Half asleep half awake
On my front door mat
And rarely goes out.
But you just watch him
At close of the day
When he stretches his paws
And he flexes his claws
And then goes his own way
Over the front path
And over the lawn
To the high garden wall
Where he sits most content
And knows he wont fall
Sleek tawny astutely
Twitching his tail
A cunning old mouser
Who knows he wont fail.
Then he has gone
We know not where
From dusk to dawn
He is just "out there"
But just where "that" is
We never can share.
But he knows, yes he knows
Every rats den
And where the snake goes,
And where the black hen
Has her secret nest.
And every wee mouse
Must pass a strict test
Before he can hope
To come into the house.
He knows the height
And the place of each tree
And when the dog chases
He knows where to flee.
And then when the pale dawn
Comes calm from the sea
Home like an angel
He comes home to me.
Mild meek and innocent
He comes home to me.
Framed the sure boundaries
Of the primal atom
Proton and electron
Were ordered and controlled
From these the Universe was forged
Gave birth to Plenty and Beauty
Conceived the wonder of Goodness
Of Love, for such as we.
But we, wanton, we broke the bonds
Of the immutable atom
We set its awesome powers free
Not knowing and little caring
Of the sore burden we unleashed
Upon our own dear children
And their posterity.
Laid down the course for the children
Through the long years yet to be
But we - we chose most wantonly to mar
Our children's destiny
The fathers have betrayed the sons
And mothers of the years to be.
Forgive us Lord
Such base apostasy.
I think to every living soul
There comes a moment
When the understanding
Strikes to the very bone
Clear, stark and absolute
I am alone.
To some it is an horror,
And the lone soul
No hand to hold to guide
No hiding place
Feels but the emptiness
The desolate waste. The bitterness.
Oh Lord Thy Grace.
Love is the only veil
Our only surety
Garment and shield against
The stark reality.
Love is our only solace
In the deep distress
It is only love sustains
It is only love upholds
Tis only love that saves
The lone soul
From the empty pain
The dark distress
The hurt, the waste
Of spirit's loneliness.
My God I seek my rest
A peace in Thee.
Bitter indeed the pain of unrequited love
No sterner rod is laid upon the tender heart
By the stern Gods above
So weep, weep your salt tears, for only tears can heal
The unrelenting bitter wounds of Love.
What wonder that we are, and know
That which we are!
So much wonder of Day and Night
Wonder of stars
Wonder of moons pale light
Wonder of green world
Wonder of restless sea.
So much rich wonder that we share
Even our darkest ways declare
A wonder that confounds
Our startled sight.
And all our better ways
A crowded wonder of delight.
What wonders greet the questing mind
Wonder in faith and answer find
Wonder of wisdom's flowing above
To rest the wondering, questing heart in Love.
Long years have paced by slow degree
The busy life away
But loves old music and the song
Are with me still today.
How long now gone; and I grow old
In times relentless tide
And time has stolen youth from me
Loves ardour and my bride.
But still in reverie I see
The dear face by me still
The quiet smile; the tenderness
Her hand in my hand still.
And still she calls, tho long gone now
The dear voice I well know
Awake and sleeping, singing still
Of days of long ago.
How deeply did we love those days
And how can I forget
The loving touch, her gentleness
Forever with me yet.
Still fresh the warm sweet memory
Shared still each living day
The dear companion of my years,
Still close tho far away.
These are mine enemies
Father forgive them
They know not what they do
They know full well
The Thing that they do.
Though they engage
The gift of service
It is conditioned always,
By a wage.
The love we need for healing
We rarely share.
Too often only professional care,
So cold, is offered there.
Too often such care
Is strictly controlled
By economics. Profit governs
All too much out there.
Accountant and solicitor
Social worker and
These and more
All wise in anything
By the score.
And the Headmaster at the school
Who clearly thinks
That as a parent I am a fool.
The ever demanding charities
And the letters from the banks
And the Greenies
And whale watchers
And a score of cranks.
And the salesmen,
And the pollies,
So demanding of my time
At my house door.
And the junk mail
In my letter box!
And yes Lord there's more.
And me, I would be free,
I will seek
My weary souls relief
Rid of them all Dear Lord.
And rest my weary soul in Thee.
And night will fall again
But that sure night
Dark, cool will be for the delight
Of other men.
For me, neither sunset
Nor evening star
Nor the silver moon
For me - not one regret.
The good days - the beauty
Will flow on as before,
New springtimes blossom
But for me, nevermore.
The green worlds loveliness.
Renewed; the seas blue dress,
The thin cream curd along the shore.
Strong tokens all that I have loved
Lost - evermore.
The dark unknowing night.
Or me - reincarnate to be?
Or the Eternal Light?
Oh Thou Immortal Love
The last deep mystery.
Moon lighted with silver
The dark skies night
Long eons before the man thing
Looked up to her light.
Soft shines the silver light
In the dark sky,
Lighting the dim ways of the Thing
Through the dark night.
Long will the silver light
Lighten the sky
Long eons after the man thing
Has its day; passes by.
Passed by - moved into the shadows,
With all things gone before,
And the silver light of the moon
Shine clear on a new world
Silver bright as before.
Beware - This verse has a Moral
When its up
It is not down
When it's flat
It is not round
When its thick
It is not thin
And when you lose
You do not win.
When its black
It is not white
When its dark
It is not light.
When its dull
It is not bright
And when you're wrong
You are not right.
When topsides up
Then bottoms down,
So learn to smile
And not to frown
And don't be beat
And never - not ever
Sometimes its good
Sometimes its sad
Sometimes its fun
Sometimes its bad.
Sometimes a laugh
Sometimes a cry
Sometimes a smile,
Sometimes a sigh.
Sometimes its false
Sometimes its true
But ever its me
And ever its you.
Sometimes we know
Sometimes we don't
Sometimes we will
Sometimes we wont.
Sometimes its live
Sometimes its die
Sometimes its you
Sometimes its I.
Happenstance; there's an old dark word
To make one pause and walk with care
For happenstance with all its grief
May threaten everywhere.
Or destiny may be
Despite our care, shaping an end
How roughly, all unplanned
For such as we.
Or some dark occurrence
Inflict great unsought pain
Or brutal circumstance
Bruise us, all innocent
The scars remain.
Or some bad luck! An accident
Can tear the life apart
All undeserved - some chance event
May hurt; and all unbidden, break the heart.
Be strong, dear heart to meet
These dark invaders of your life
Though deeply hurt we can defeat
All mischance with the steadfast heart.
"There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will."
Some wag put his own interpretation on the couplet thus;
And so it sometimes seems. Unwanted accident, Fate, Destiny, too often
intrudes in the good life.
"There's a divinity shapes our ends rough,
Hew them as we will."
A strong faith is our best and surest shield against such intrusion.
Forgive - yes forgive,
Not seven times
But seventy, he said. And yet
Thou Christ of God
Let me forget.
The memory is still alive,
And until I can forget
Denies Thy Peace
Dear Lord, Thy Grace
Once more I plead
Let me forget.
She loves the flowering trees
And the shy wild things
And the birds
That dwell secure
In the cool shade
Of the Groves
That she has made.
She loves the rich show
Loves all the quick flow
Of life within their cool and shade.
Loved the Flame tree
Blazing so splendid
Scarlet against the sky.
And the warm russet
Of the Silky oak
The bronze beauty defies
The blue intensity
Of early skies.
And the soft breathless beauty
A dreaming haze of blue
Cool veil of loveliness
Against the deeper hue
Of the hot Australian sky.
And most beautiful to see
The drift of velvet carpeting
On the green grass
Beneath the lovely tree.
So much of beauty
In the green and gold
Of Wattle; in the early spring
As - all magical
The rich bunched buds unfold.
And the delicate lemon scent
Of the tall gum beside the gate
These are but some of the delights
That Myrilla has nurtured
Within her small estate.
She loved the rich red earth
Biological genetic skills have made available species specially adapted
for marginal lands, semi-arid conditions, faster growth rates, greater
density, and stronger resistance; and other species with remarkable fast
growing qualities for improved stock feed, all with increased vigour to
And loved the growing trees
All shared her loving care.
The grace of her spirit
Lives on, and is at peace
With the flowering trees
And all the live bounty
She loved and nurtured there.
A magnificent aid to the deeper greening of our little world.
Thank God there are many Myrilla's. Women who just get on with the
job, for simple love of the trees.
The greening is as important on the small estates as on the larger
ones, though it becomes increasingly evident that we must accelerate the
recovery of the water catchments for the conservation of our most precious
element. This means an enormous amount of work. Millions of acres of marginal
land were ring barked or cleared, but in the long run proved unsuited for
development mainly because the very act of clearing destroyed the natural
water cycle. Such areas are essential for water conservation, and their
restoration and regeneration are an important aspect of the regreening
There is a magic
In the worlds fresh air,
Magic and subtile
It flowers everywhere.
Peace for the mind
That hungers still
For healing; for comfort,
To soothe our human ill.
Peace for the sad bruised heart.
Rest for the weary still
Such is the rich inheritance
Take then your fill.
Ask, it shall be given
Take you your fill
Such is the generous bounty
Such is the loving will.
This is our best defence against hurt.
Whatever may befall, do not allow it to blind us to the beauty or
the great strength of our human spirit.
It is strength of spirit sustains the world.
It is deeper than the day and night activity which fills so many
lives but seek to live with it, it is rich inheritance.
I have great love of the sea
Tempered somewhat with fear
Of the fierce energy
And the great power latent there.
Always a deep respect
Always a care in me
For the savage swift rip,
The scouring undertow
The hidden strength of the sea.
And that big seventh wave
Or is it ninth or ten?
It thunders overhead, and then
Floods, ravens and rages
Over the stubborn rocks
From where, now and then,
Despite their understanding
Of the restless sea,
It takes a careless fisherman.
The wash crashes and shocks
Amongst the channelled rocks
Of the hard rough edge of the land.
It flows swift, powerful
Down the long reaches
Of golden sand
Spreading cream curds of foam
Small shells, seas flotsam
Over golden beaches.
But the surfies, boys and some girls,
Ride it fearless.
Cool nerve and skill
Ride waveform and seas energy,
And take their splendid fill
Of the power and seas dangers
And with consummate skill
Master the great green seas
For the Love of it.
And the spirit's ecstasy.
My heart leaped up
I used to think
The poets phrase extravagant.
Until the day
My own still heart
Because you came to me.
Well then I knew
With all my heart
What lovely truth
Those few words meant.
I'm Going Home.
I will return
To the old home
At the altar hearth
Refresh my soul
At the old well
Drink of the Golden Bowl.
I will go home
The lone way
The quiet way
To the silence and the calm
The quiet peace and the balm
Of my deep healing.
Let me go home
I would rest
A long moment
On the warm breast
Of our eternal Mother.
Yes, I must leave you
But a little while
For I am going Home.
God gave us poetry
To waken our desires
And stir the dark embers
Of our latent fires
To lighten our dark ways
Waken the sleeping mind
And set the heart ablaze.
There is a significant rising interest in poetry and equally significantly,
the classics the old sources of inspiration for the mind.
We are so involved in the products of an age - about two hundred
years - of technology, and of the economic pressures born of that technology,
that many of our older mental and spiritual-not religious - but deep down
spiritual values, have tended to be overlooked and by-passed in the hurly
The revival of those values is essential part of the new social order
arising from the birth of the computer age, and there can be no new social
order without a new poetry, a new sense of purpose, of spiritual power
to cope with dramatically changing conditions as we enter the new millennium.
The thin foils flicker and flash
The strokes ring clear
And a face gleams settled and strong,
And one was wet with fear.
Parry and hard lightning thrust
A step advanced and again
That steady punishment
The gasp of pain.
The blue smoked air was warm and tense,
The watchers silent all
Only the ring and the clash of blades,
The gasp and the soft footfall.
Till nerve and wrist betrayed the will
Romance? The bitter human lust for revenge; or perhaps our deep rooted
demand for justice?
And the blue steel ripped and tore
And the bright blood stained alike the flesh
And the name the loser bore.
We tend to use blunter cruder, crueller weapons these days. Far better
to settle the matter between ourselves, even if we don't use rapiers or
revolvers, than resort to the modern style of justice so often just an
exercise in the ambiguities of law, haggled over by self interested third
Not sensible to use swords, but most sensible to sit down and talk
it out - settle with gifts or in a dozen other better ways then to resort
to either swords or law.
In grateful memory of Terry Alderman
A long sweet curve
Toward the stand
A certain four
An arc of pure delight.
Fields man - however
Has that sweet arc in eye
Judges and assesses it
Measures the pace
Direction and altitude
Estimates with brilliant intuition
The fall of ball
And, input perfected
Places with fleet foot
His hands to intercept;
Oh perfect judgment
Superb skill; that fleet foot;
That mind computing the moment!
Man and the Universe meet!
The exquisite moment
In the mild ecstasy of flight
Rests docile, in the captors hands,
Of all certain skills
Tosses the ball
Full forty feet
Into the blue empyrean
Saying thus to all
Behold me Master of this ball.
And ball obedient returns.
Oh to be alive. To be here
Such sweet perfection!
What shame that men
Who once were boys
Clear eyed and innocent
Become so cruel
Deal such deceits
Delight in war and strife.
Such short lived innocence
Destroyed too soon
By those same boys, now men
Who shared their innocence.
The moon is down
The cross swings low
In pre-dawn light
The dingo howl
In haste I rise
And heft a stone
At yellow eyes.
The fire is low
And I am cold
Full well I know
I am alone
And growing old.
What is this thing called love
That offers such joys
Invades the quiet life
Awakens and annoys.
Where is my onetime peace of mind
Love has it fast and oft I find
Even the gentle hands of love
Can be unkind.
Love gives, loves gift indeed
A deep unrest
Longings but satisfied
Within her arms, upon that breast.
Love clearly seems
A ruse, a plot
To waken and inflame
Whatever may befall
We understand loves purposes
And with a deep content
Well pleased with love
We are scarce the men
Who fought with you and the great Achilles
Dared death and life upon the plains of Troy.
Yet we in our day are crowned with victories
The stars you sought beyond the wall of night
Have known our kind; mans feet have trod the moon
Our journeys reach on fingers of the sun
The far planets; One ship invades the gulfs
Between the stars. Voyager sails faster
Than the wind. Uncharted deeps above below,
No beacon there and captained from afar.
Great powers our command - You should be here.
Not yet have such craft beached the shores
Of long sought Happy Isles. Nor yet the shores
Where siren song lured men to sleep and dream.
Yet sadly many sleep about; their eyes
Unseeing and uncaring of the prize
The Gods hold high, the rich reward of toil
They are but shades, slaves, foolish shallow husks
Of that which the Gods meant all men to be.
They are as grass the winds of chance will reap them.
And unlamented such will pass away
Unremembered, lost to the world, unknown.
The captains of our day would fire your heart
Their weapons and their powers are mighty.
Their eyes keener than eagles, as high in skies
Their messengers run faster than swift Hermes
Their chariots as gifted seer saw
Run like bright lightnings in the broad highways
Icarus is justified, our skies
Are host to aerial navies beyond your dreams.
And fed with powers beyond your reach and ken.
Demeter blooms still, her gifts most bountiful
And Pan, feared God of herd and hill, pipes still
As Aries garners his myrmirdons, and war
With all its panic madness still with us.
Apollo has granted an understanding
And our thoughts fly unhindered, round our world,
Swift as light is swift, and all invisible
Till we command then all revealed and seen
We work and play - we serve - and we are served
With unseen powers, and all as we demand.
Great Odysseus, You would rejoice
Your name and day, honoured amongst us still.
Homers great tales Treasured still and read,
Marathon, Salamis, and Thermopylae
Remembered, and a thousand lovely tales.
Socrates and Plato, the philosophers,
Pericles and Phidias, all these
Are still our deep concern, still shape our ways.
The great heroic heart of Greece beats still,
Still sways our minds, our hearts, our errant ways,
And lovely Sappho still steals lovers hearts,
And stirs the spirit, though an age between.
Emerald, the western sky
Cloud a dark crimson stain
The hot day dying
And black in the fading light
Some late crows flying.
We stood around
In the short twilight
In fear of the pilot and plane
Flying too late, in the dark
We were crook with the feeling
That we might have
Trouble there, that night.
In the swift fading dark
Fuel drums and super dump
More than just a bit of a risk
For a safe touchdown
In the dark.
Lord knows. Can he make it
Far better to fly
(If he's got fuel)
Back to the station
With its lighted strip
Than risk it here
And probably die.
But the boss roared
Look lively you chaps,
Rip yer shirts in to bits
Dunk 'em in av.gas
And lay out the strip.
As soon as you spot him
Run down the sides
And set them alight.
It'll give him a fair chance
Although its now night.
How we watched him come in
Low over the hill,
The last emerald sliver of light
On the hard edge of the hill.
And we raced down the strip
And lit all our flares
He could see the strip clear now
With the drums outlined there.
He came in with a will
Cripes, how ruddy lucky
Can a ruddy man be
But he judged it well
And he made it
In spite of our fears.
He was cooler than we.
For long years the work of such intrepid men
I've not seen the like of it,
Not in many long years.
- bush pilots - working tiny planes - crop dusting
- bush ambulances - search and rescue
- droving cattle and sheep - shooting feral animals
- brumbies - bullocks - roos and other game
- all dare devil - all weathers - darkness and a score of other trade
of which few of we earth bound warriors would ever dream.
Sturdy wonderfully made men.
So live dear heart,
In the dark world
That every year might trace
Another grace of beauty
To the patient face.
Some recompense of beauty there
As garnered from the long sweet years
A beauty learned of thoughtful care
A calmness won from conquered fears.
The strong travail of loves caress,
Loves deep content thru caring years
And ever close upon the heart
Loves griefs - loves bitter fates - loves tears.
These are the powers that shape us,
Fire and temper our hearts grace
The rich reward of faith and trust
These shape so surely lines upon
The patient living face.
The Woman in White
Look you, she is beautiful,
So cold reason said.
No, she is most lovely,
These the words
That my heart told my head.
Most lovely all in white,
High neck, long sleeves, waist trim.
A white and graceful flow
From lovely head to toe.
Her crown of hair, spice scented, loose,
The calm eyes mocking so
Most lovely is her woman's grace
As she awaits the dice I throw.
Then Kendry smiles, she laughs to see
Me laughing with her, knowing well
Why Kendry laughed at me.
Kissed then my brow, dispelled the charm,
Kendry resolved the fantasy,
And spared me harm.
Yes she was lovely through the night
We laughed at love together
Kendry and I - or was it you
Dear heart, all dressed in white
Both gone - alas - and both so true,
But then, what joy, to wake and find
Such loveliness as you in mind.
What is the difference between 'lovely' and 'beautiful'?
Very significant though sometimes elusive.
Beautiful, I suggest, the more impersonal thing
Lovely more personal and intimate
Quite possible to be lovely tho not beautiful
Or beautiful tho austere.
Full well the dark souls know
We are not islands, isolate
Though lone in times slow flow
But Islands, congregate,
Most subtly wrought as one
Wide continent to compass all
Beneath the surge of tides that run
Between us; the deeps appal.
Restless the seas slow rise and fall
Times tide, storms wind, and scouring rain
And the sun, shape smooth and mould
All separate - the isles remain.
Eons may flow, such tides such sea
Retreat, disclose the unity
One land, one people and one kind.
Such the Wisdom; such the Mystery.
A discussion amongst some Poets
This time about Death
Cease, man to hope
Though humble on the knee
That prayer, though piteous will change
The adamant decree.
Death comes to all, to some in peace
The flame extinguished instantly.
Some linger, pain poor company
However bravely bourne.
Life leads each day, remorselessly
To meet the Old Man on the Way.
Says one. Do not go
Quietly into day's night.
Rage child rage,
Against the treacherous light.
Why rage? Can rage assuage
Such sure departure?
Why bruise the heart with rage?
Another, He is not really dead
But now awakened
From the dream of Life
Oh potent poet, no escape we see,
Despite our strife.
And one, draped his robes about him
And lay him down
As if to sleep, to pleasant dreams.
A lady in a carriage said,
T'is Death and me now journey.
And noted, well pleased, the horses head
Was turned toward Eternity.
It better far to trust
In faiths sure certainty
That Death is only one short sleep
And we shall wake, and Death shall be
No more for us Eternally.
Socrates, his friends about him,
Calmly drained the cup
The envious Senate granted.
Then! Ah! Then!
Little they knew then, what they did
That day upon that hill.
Three crucified that place that day.
But one man different!
His teaching of the Way
Simple and clear, is with us still.
So magnificent. A woman,
The world has not since seen.
"Give my robe, my crown,
I have immortal longings in me."
So speaking took the asp,
Contemptuous of her conquerors.
Died - and was free.
Or die as Samson, shamed,
But taking King, Lords, and Ladies,
Peoples, with his last strength and breath,
In vast revenge, plunged all in Death.
Oh desolate the shame, the tears
Of this our own dark century
All innocent, Deaths desperate hordes
And vile, debauched the means of Death.
Most terribly betrayed these years,
Mans bright creative intellect.
The Prophet saw
Down the long years.
The deadly spirit of our days.
He saw the burning sea.
The fire, the blood, the bitter tears.
Calm eyed, Old Omar voiced no fears
Knew well tomorrow he would be
One with the wide worlds flowering,
One with the lost sev'n thousand years.
One with the loveliest, the best,
Potter and clay, Jester and jest,
Jamshyd, and his fabled cup of Life.
All in Old Earth's rich earth at rest.
One heart, all evil shed at Death
A pulse, he thought,
In the Eternal mind, no less
Gave to us living, Laughter,
Learnt of friends, his gift of gentleness.
His soldiers heart at peace.
A mother said, spirit undefiled
Do men die? Then live, my child
Into realms of pain I bring
You for Joy's own offering.
T'is thus, with love and joy,
We live and die.
Old Charon will bear you safely
Over his dark streams estuary,
Ferry you most mysteriously
Lave you, most gently, in the Great Sea
At one with all those gone before,
At peace with all humanity.
Would men but live at peace
A gentler, stronger, wiser race,
There rides the moon; it beckons us;
Mars and the planets call, and then,
The silent deeps of space.
The Quick Brown Fox
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
Every letter of the alphabet is in this nippy little sentence.
They are also on the keyboard of every typewriter and of every computer.
Here the letters appear thus;
Worth learning, but for a bit of fun, a little story about the fox.
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
Quick, brown fox, hide quick in your hollow log.
Brown fox, so hard to see, against the bright sun.
Fox jumped the creek, hunter, dog and gun.
Jumped over the fence and knew well the way.
Over the fences to steal his prey.
The lazy carefree days; the days of grace.
Lazy dog, too tired today to give him chase.
Dog, Dog at my heel, and hunter too.
Take care Brown Fox. Good Luck to you.
The long hot day has been windless
The sun a relentless glare,
I rest on the wide veranda
In my old Colonial chair
Watching day pass, watching the night
Drain the heat from the setting sun
Cool the stress of the day,
Watching the fading light.
Tonight there is no cloud cover,
Not a cloud in the darkening sky,
The day has been calm and settled,
The hot winds have passed us by.
Even the heat waves are steady
The sun dazzles like molten brass
And the sky is opal - a delicate sheen
Of clear and tremulous emerald green.
So we rested relaxing
We daily watch over the plain,
Watching the curve of the hot sun
Slipping into the West once again.
But - there was something of magic tonight
Ere the dark claimed the sky for it's own.
A green flash, strong swift and brilliant,
Glowed over the suns last light.
And the dark land merged with the dark sky,
In a long life I have seen this rare green flash only half-a-dozen times.
A quiet day, a hard edge on the horizon and the right angle of vision seem
necessary for the observation.
Till the cool silver moon rode high.
A merchant seaman told me that he always keeps a weather eye open
for it, and has often seen it in the Indian ocean, but never in the Atlantic.
The children look up
Laughter in their eyes
Not yet - not yet
With the understanding
Of the false
And merciless Gods
Their parents prize.
The weight of guilt
Is gone; but yet
A further boon of Grace
Let me forget.
Our daydreams are starships
Exploring the immense
Of the unfathomed mind.
In such dreams imagining we find
And range at will the fruitful land
Of all our undisclosed desires.
There temper in our hidden fires
The shapes of yet rough hewn thought
And forge and hammer out the ways
To form and flesh the Thing to birth
The unknown dreaming Thing we sought
When dreaming in some earlier day.
It is such day dreamings portray
Give shape and life to nascent thought
And guide the careful skilful hand
To build of yesterdays day dream
Tomorrows new and better land.
The Runcible Cat
Come, hear the tail of a Runcible cat;
The Grandfather pawsed, while he
Trimmed the clause of the Runcible cat
Who purr pussed to sail on the sea.
He told of a Runcible cat that sailed
In a Runcible boat with a bird,
But the grandchild frowned, and said to him,
This cat's tail is really absurd.
He wondered aloud of a Runcible moon.
And Runcible quinces ill flavoured with minces
Neath the Runcible light of the moon.
The moon, the silvery Runcible moon.
And he spoke to the child of a Runcible wood,
And a pig with a Runcible ring
But the little girl said, "It is clear that the thing
Is all muddled up with the spoon, the spoon,
The original Runcible spoon."
"You forgot as you told me this Runcible tail."
Said the Runcible grand child to me,
"That their Runcible boat with it's Runcible sail
Was adrift on a Runcible sea."
"But it is certainly NOT a Runcible cat,
His purr puss was honest and clear.
It was only a simple Runcible spoon,
That was dreamed of by dear Mister Lear."
What a Runcible word for a poet to find.
It rings day and night in my Runcible mind.
New readers please consult "The Owl and the Pussy Cat."
by Edward Lear.
The Tail of the Runcible Cat - Part 2
The little girl said to her dear Grandad
"Your tail of a Runcible cat
And a bird and a boat, and a glad piggy wig
Who sold, very willing,
His nose ring, for one shilling
And, you remembered the Runcible sand
On the distant shores of a far foreign land
And a potage of honey
And lots of money
All stirred by a Runcible spoon, a spoon,
The original Runcible spoon."
"Now I." said the child, "Have a tale as good,
Of how these Runcibles danced in the wood
To the Runcible pussycats fiddle
They danced all night to the hi diddle diddle
'Neath the light of the silvery moon
And the Runcible cow you overlooked
In a moment of Runcible glee
Jumped out of the wood and over the moon,
And the little dog Runcible, laughed to see
That Runcible dish with the spoon."
The Grandfather praised the little girls rhyme
And patted the golden head.
"But there are more." the little girl said
"Of such Runcible tails to tell,
Or have you exhausted your Runcible wit
With just one? There are others as well."
"What of the Runcible cat who went
To London to look at the Queen?
And the pussycat put down the well
And Puss-in-Boots with the Runcible hat
And good Dick Whittingtons wondrous cat
And other fine cats we have seen?"
"What of the cats that Eliot knew,
Ask Old Gumbie cat to mention a few.
And Mister Mistoffeelees and Gus
And Skimbleshanks on the railroad crew
And others he wrote about, just for us."
"For a Runcible joke, some Catastrophes,
And Catalogues and other cat-isms,
And the bad wickid cat amongst the pigeons,
And all the Big Cats in their legions."
"And that dear little pussy
Whose coat was so warm
And the Kats of Kilkenny
Who came to great harm."
"And Alice's cat who was only a grin
A bit of a joke to count her in."
"And what of the witches cats that fly
On Runcible broomsticks, black in the sky,
And the feral cat with the Runcible fur
But perhaps we are catty to speak of her."
"And grey Manx cats without any tales
And common street cats when all else fails,
Shopcats and farmcats catching rats
And Silver Tabbies and Tortoiseshell cats."
"Siamese Browns and Blue Burmese.
And plenty of others more fancy than these,
Safe in the house in the armchair curled
The family cats from around the world."
The little girl frowned, "I know there are more,
But enough is enough as I've mentioned before,
Dear Grandad, this list hardly starts to tell
All the cats that the mouses wanted to bell."
"Dear child," the Grandfather said to the girl,
You have put my old head in a Runcible whirl,
It is clear from your list there is much to do
With so many cats tails wanting review."
"So child, it is clear to me that you,
Are the one that has all this work to do;
And let us acknowledge with gratitude clear
Our very great debt to dear Mister Lear."
I met them in the township
And along the dust hazed roads
Smiling girls - all beautiful.
And the older girls - women now
The smiles somewhat wiser
For there is much learning
Along lifes many roads.
Yet, there's gaiety there
And much of love, and they dance
A trifle more sedately
Than the girls.
All are young at heart - all dreaming
The impossible dream
Of freedom, unrestrained by life.
The children are exuberant
Small understanding of the way
Lifes cares will soon enfold them.
Today they dance the green
Of some man's field: a generous
And understanding man.
Whips of good food; a gab-fest
These women cook to perfection.
Black billies boil on an open fire.
I laughed as one man grumbled
At the constant call for wood
To keep that cheerful fire ablaze.
But - come the night
Moods change - silences and quiet
Condition the talk; the smiles
Are softer as their packs are stacked.
From the comfort of my home
Safe depth of my conformity
I watch their fire trail climb the height.
Lights gleam along the mountain wall
Bright in the blackness of the night
Bright on their dream drenched narrow way.
The great dark of the mountain wall
Lighted by dreams - a grail search.
A tryst - a healing - sought between
The heart, the mountains and the stars.
How well, how honestly they know,
There is no Grail here
There's no perfection to be had below.
Yet, well knowing this, they seek
The peak of Mt. Warning is the first point of the continent to greet
each new days sun.
A consummation on the Peak
Refreshment of spirit
From the quiet of night
And a deep content - a sharing
Of dreams, the Dark Night, and the stars.
So I imagine there is some significance in this vigil; the silence
there is akin to the great creative silences of the desert and other potent
isolations of this vast island, and in some mysterious way is also kin
to the depth of spirit in the illimitable human mind.
There will be many such journeys to the peak of Mt. Warning.