FOOD OF THE GODS
OR
A SLICE OF LIFE

BY
JOHN LAIRD

 Book I

 Copyright © 1998 - 2005

Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI

Concocted from
and
Subtly flavoured
by
Daily exposure
to the
Australian Ethos.
 

Dedicated to
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.

Cooking instructions
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.
 

 
The very first poem we learned in our large family was....
  There are two little magic words
They open every door with ease
One little word is Thank you
The other little word is Please.


We learned it early and it shaped our childhood. Later Mother taught us her own special poem. It was Motherís own practical philosophy. Through the Great Depression her home was home to many young folk otherwise stranded homeless and penniless. None that I know of ever betrayed her trust. Here then her poem....
 
 

I expect to pass through this world but once
Any good therefore that I can do
Any kindness that I can show
To any fellow creature
Let me do it now
Let me not defer it or neglect it
For I shall not pass this way again.


(Author, alas unknown)
 

 
  Branches In The Family Tree


James Laird gave me life.
( God rest his strong spirit )
Or came life to me through Motherís line.
( And her sweet soul with his )
So was it Hill or Mather
Du Vautier or other by the way
Some dark haired Romani?
( Her black eyes still intent today )

Or was it Wylie or Thomson
Or McKinlay -- long years
Of stubborn Orkney breed
Or some invasive sturdy Viking seed?

Or Kathleenís side
( and rest her soul with theirs )
Lucies or sweet Ann Sherrington
Or Thompson, staid old Cornishman
Of whom we are the heirs.

Geordie Brayshaw, or an Ira Coote
Or brisk Donnellan? Just who knows
Whose bright eyes and whose far days
Are echoed in our children's ways.

Who knows what family wiles
Learned from those long gone hearts
Once living and loving and free
Who knows whose spirit smiles
So knowing in my children's eyes
And laughs all innocent at me.
 


Now tell me, dear friend
From what ring of electrons
From what magnetic pulse
The flux of which electron shell
The heart of which unknown
But most decisive vital atom
Comes control?

Which atom guided Victor Changís sure hand
Dictates the happy choice
Of La Stupendaís lovely lilting voice?
Controls the pilots most deft mastery
Of machine -- space and velocity
Or timed the judgments all
Of Donald Bradmanís bat
Alan Borderís agile eye and hand
Or Chappellís last slow ball.

What atom indeed
Within us so determines
Our fateful moment
Which when taken, is success
Perfection of times circumstance
Or the precious moment missed
Is but disaster!

What atom indeed --
Without a natural love
Primal but potent within electric rings
What but a living loving heart
In these ethereal -- these eternal things
These building blocks
This universal heart of all created beings.

Which atom says, with understanding
I choose the better way?
 
 

This is the great enigma of scientific thought. How come from our atomic structure such concepts as mercy, justice, Love -- and a thousand other improbable realities. How come the mysteries of sight?

We can only get two pints out of a quart -- so from what gathering of the stardust from which the planet is formed come the abstract concepts, the complex realities of existence.

What else is concealed in the heart of the atom.
 


Heartís Content


Whereto, and when,
And please god, with whom?
My old heart questions.

What Elysium awaits me
Sweet with deep fields of asphodel?

Or happy hunting ground
Where laden with spoil
We return, singing, to the Lodge
And smiling serving girls.

I am too meek for Asgard
Or Valhalla
------------Those Neanderthals!

Olympus will be too high for me
And fraught with danger
From those quick tempered and so jealous gods.

Heaven and Hell have
Bitterly contended in me
All my days.

The Islands of the Blest ? They draw me.
Siren song; the deep sleep of Circe.
Such dreams have lulled me
Throughout all my ways.

Gentlest, sweetest and noblest of all
The aspiration of my restless soul
The dream, the hope of Avalon's calm isle.

The strong fellowship of goodly men
The loves of splendid women.
Companions all
Savouring the good life.
There, in the ivory tower
Of this eternal mind
Pursue the ageless quest
On lovely and so tranquil shore
Of fabled Avalon.

Oh, Avalon, calm Avalon,
My friends, my souls companions.

Perchance we may not fall
Here with Merlin,
Or even at Morgen's hands
Attain the Grail.
 


A Common Miracle


Dear child, see the sparkle of dew
Pendant on this still fern
Clear and diamond lighted
The crystal colours burn.

See, clear, the pure colours
Gleaming bright in the curve
Of the pristine droplet
The secret central nerve.

Pure, superbly beautiful
The sparkling morning dew.


Cairns Ď91

 
  The Blue Dress


With deepest faith she sensed
The mystery and the freedom of the sea.

Heard without listening
The surge and whisper of the surf.

Pensive she stirred the sands,
Silent, felt the wisdom of unquestioned ages.

Smoothed the folds of the Blue Dress
Stirred by the free wind.

Her mind awakening to the ancient songs of freedom,
The placid strength and sweet caress
Of wind, the gentle singing of the quiet sea.

Voiceless her heart sang
All this I am
All this is part of me.
 
 

This moment is felt by so many people -- People of all ages -- in all times -- of every country. They call it " cosmic consciousness " that blessed moment when we suddenly feel in complete harmony with life.

A never forgotten moment.

The beautiful picture of this young girl was painted by Brian Dunlop, the painting was purchased by Australia Post and reproduced as a postage stamp.

The picture is strongly evocative and much of the work it has inspired is gathered together in "The Blue Dress" compiled by the girlís mother Libby Hathorn, and published in 1991.
 


The Precious Moment


Chronos, oldest of the Gods
Not yet grown hoary
With the vast weight of ages on his brow
With wise understanding
Abdicates his sovereignty
A short but sweet awhile
Grants Kairos
This most rare and precious moment
Now.



Deep Space


Today these words have meaning
We have indeed looked deep
Into infinity
Seen suns explode in Nova
Stellar fusion transforming
Base matter into ethereal energy
Seen stardust shaped
Vast ages of plasmic energies
Powers unimagined
Wonders beyond words
The ultimate passion of creative love
The very conception of matter
Gestating in the womb of time.

Worlds formed from stardust
Infinite maternity
Agonising in the elemental birth of worlds
Galaxies prolific as sperm
Seed immensities.
All is beyond understanding.

We have searched
The fast receding boundaries
Of visible space and find no end.
Infinities stretch beyond
Apt adventure
For mans eternal mind.

Spirit exulting in creative love
Returns home. Our planet home
Transformed by the emerging gift of life
And from that life, the transforming gift of love.

All things, we know
Are the work of His hands
In His time and in ours
We, His children, too will understand.
 


Metamorphosis


And what of human kind?
Clearly we are not ( or are we? )
As butterflies
Through life after variant life
Transposed
Egg, caterpillar then chrysalis
And the beautiful changeling thing
The butterfly -- sated with nectar
Seeking a mate
For the next unknown mysterious phase
Ulysses splendid in blue
The Wanderer glorious in bronze
And all their lovely kind.
 
 

This is just a fancy, yet millions believe devoutly in reincarnation. There are some thought provoking stories around which tend to support the belief. And there are many documented individual stories of clear experience of it.

Many give credit to the Indian belief that at a certain level of development one is freed from the wheel of rebirth, and there is a western concept which related the orthodox Christian view of mortality with continuing rebirth -- reincarnation.

Modern Channelling is rich in very detailed stories of past lives, most of which to me, have the ring of Conan Doyle about them. He wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories, but also believed in fairies.
 


Dear God


Why cannot we
Order our lives
To conform more closely
To the hearts desires?

Circumstance --!
No idle word is circumstance
Or destiny
So limn our fates
Too often chance events
Open -- or close -- our gates.

Its well for humankind
That some faith we find
Outweighs the accidents, and griefs
Calms the deep fears
That threaten to defeat
The human mind.

Faith eases unsought circumstance
Into the life
Assuages the stressed mind of bitterness
And soothes the griefs
Born of unsought pain
Faith leads the bruised spirit
Into peace again.
 

 
  How quiet the dawn light
And the white mist
Rising through the trees
And the hills high edge
A tracery
On the edge of the departing night.

Even birdsong is muted
And the emerging light
Stirring pale veils
Of the silent night.

About me
Magic is unfolded
In the still air
Coolness a benediction.

The quiet is an open door
Into a world of peace
A reality deeply desired
And felt so clearly
This magic hour at dawn.

Too soon, the sun
Clamours -- as he does
For space

Drowns the limpid valley
In refulgent light
And the burden
Of too exuberant heat.
 

Early risers will know the special quality of quietness which is felt only in this magic hour before sunrise. Sadly city life decrees that most will sleep through that hour. It is one of the great benefits of the country way of life.

Someone, name alas not known, once wrote:

" The hour between dawn and sunrise is stolen from paradise. "
 

 
  We know
The light of eye --
The gentle touch of hands
The happy springs of love
The caring thought
And the lighthearted hours of play.

Our compassion is real
We would not be alone
Our need for love and care
Is shared so deeply
We revel in the warmth
Of responsive love
And accept the burden
So light and so desired
Of each otherís need for love.

Our needs are mutual
And so we nurtured seed
Each in our loins
That such need
Should be fulfilled.

Our work consummated
In the passionate unity
Thereafter the brief union
That fleet glimpse
That rich communion
Resolves itself again
To you and me
To you dear heart and me.

Withdrawn -- to be again
Separate
Each offering love
And deepest confidence
To bring the work
To its long fulfillment.

But --
Always the separate self
But --
You and me again.

Thus, the trust oftimes
Reconsecrated
Unity in the electric fire
The passion of creation
How longed for in the long hours
Of separation.

Too soon -- too soon
Too quickly
Youth fades through the years
Till only memories --
Memories --
And our separate
Separate children
Remind us, that we too
Looked through the veils
And knew briefly those so intense
So deep desired
And holy moments of reality
Creation.


  I remember Peter Frazer, Prime Minister of New Zealand, saying with great bitterness:

"Trouble is that the people want Christmas dinner everyday."

So with the thing we call love -- itís now translated as sex everyday. And that is the suicide of love. The suicide of mutual trust and confidence, the suicide of marriage and the dreadful disillusionment of children, who are entitled to love from those who make them. Plainly sex is a development for children and our dishonesty in the usages of the cycle of creation is reflected in most other aspects of our life.
 


Our little light soon trembles out
How shallow and how brief its glow
Our flesh returns to Mother Earth
Eternal life is but eternal birth.

No weary waste of useless word
Nor pious hope, or strong belief
Nor cult, nor creed, nor holy man
Can give us life beyond our span.

Not from above but from within
Does strength and grace and beauty flow
The gods we serve within our span
Spring from the lonely mind of man.
 


Why complain
That evil men grow fat
And wealth increases for them
When justice costs so dearly
The common man is dispossessed
Of justice, in this land
For justice in this country
Justice gives place to the Law
And the lawyers thus grow fat.

The strength of government
Is the Law
But when Law invites corruption
Government itself becomes a victim.

When the Law is weak
Interpretation defeats justice
To suit the purse
Even our judges are confounded
And appeal but proves the flaws
The costly folly of our laws.

We need a government
Whose strength is justice
Rather than the law.
 


With little vision
Experts make books
Clever, oftimes, about evolution
But say nothing of Man on the Moon
Or Voyager
Sailing the uncharted galaxy.
Evolution now directed to mans ends
Becomes the arrow of destiny!
It cries to mankind
Follow on
Or die in my day
As did the apes in yours.

Wollongong 91


Surely the most precious thing
Discovered to us
With the space programme
Is the knowledge
Certain and clear
That neither Heaven nor Hell
Have place out there.

The Carpenter
Taught clearly
That Heaven and Hell
Our peace or deep unrest
Are states of mind
Within each self expressed.

We should, surely then
Learn from Him
To access the Father
And have our heaven here
Our peace and strength
Within.
 


Hates and resentments
Corrode the soul
Weigh down the spirit
And breed distress
Arouse the bodyís sickness
And breed grey bitterness.

And this is why
He said -- " Forgive
Not seven times, I say,
But seventy "
Forgiveness is the only way.

Forgiving all
We gain release
From the spirits sickness
And thus have peace.

Forgive then, freely
And as freely
Gain his peace.
Only such release
Can gain heartís peace.
 


HOUSEHOLD THOUGHTS
 
Transient, but.....  
The lark sings her song
In the bright sky
With none near to hear
But the sun and the cloud
And the winds own song
Through the long year.


"To thine own self be true." Mother Nature produces untold millions of flowers and other things of exquisite beauty, all for their own sake, no human eye to see, none but the creator.

How wonderful could we but have the vision so to be.

"Heaven," said the Carpenter, with urgent purpose "Lies within."
We need but open that door and take His Presence in.

Our salvation, and each event in our life, is our responsibility and ours alone.
 

 
  Time Is


Tomorrow, soon to be
Another yesterday
Rehashed, reheated
Made a common take-away
To satisfy the hungers of today.


This alas is the lot of all men bereft of a vision for their lives. One day after another, all without promise. We thank him daily for the vision of Christ.
 


What resolution can we find
To stem the sunless stream
The dark unspoken flood that swirls
Beneath the surface of the mind.

Bitter the flow that mocks the dream
The quest of every wakened mind
How purge the aimless cruel stream
That ever mocks the precious dream
Of excellence; of sweetest grace
The innocence, the simple trust
Learned at the generous breast
Learned from the loving face.

Strong inner voice; unspoken grace
Thou son of man make clear the stream
Make clear we pray, the inward flow
Of our deep minds immortal dream.
 


Though denied Eden
Its fabled glory gone
I walk in my own garden
In peace and know
I do not walk alone.


So many of us find such solace in the garden -- the hand busy and sensitive to the earth currents, the mind alive with visions of plenty and beauty. Its only a step or two away from fabled Eden.
 

 
  So long, the slow long years have gone
And each, I thought, the last
To soothe the heart
And gently ease the past.

But still, the memories flare
They never dim.
Oftime in spite of all my prayer
The memory obscures
My vision of, my faith in Him.
 


Good Gracious!


The universe
So the astronomers say
Expands, exponentially and
Infinitely
Each moment of each day
To the velocity of light,
And disappears at C
Presumably into cosmic energy.

Our galaxy, in other eyes
Viewed in the telescopes
Of unknown, opposite skies
Will be approaching
The velocity of light and reaching such will be
Instantly converted into
M multiplied by C² into E.

At such velocities
I guess it wont be long
Before such fancies
Prove happily to be wrong.
 

 
  Puss on my lap -- her quiet contented purr
For both a sweet domestic bliss
And the smooth stroking
Of her soft warm fur
Against my willing leg
A loving kiss.

Her quiet voiced plea in vocal silk
A song of humble grateful praise
Of such, as, obedient to her certain need
Pours as demanded, the nectar of her milk.

Yet I who love her know full well
Despite that humble grateful purr
The savage nature of the hunting cat
That burns so fiercely, in that silken fur.
 

Cairns 7/92


Kundalini Rising


Hidden the dark glow stirred.

And the red fire ran
Creations centre stirred.

Ascendant the rich glow spread
Warm colour and power grows
And the deep hunger.

Heart made the stronger
As the strong fire glows
Life's blood and feeling
Beating and stirring.

Silence the breathing
Voiceless praise
Sings with the fire leaping
The creative word, and spirit
Flooding the golden ways.

Grace flows
A benediction
In the deep self glows
Time past
And timeless future seen
Enfolded in eternal being.

The wave exquisite
All creation seen
In pure simplicity
Hearts certainty
The ineffable light
Calm understanding
Of our mortality.
 


Eternity lies within us
Edgeless.
Infinity, stretches all around
Remote and silent yet
Lone beyond sensing.

Hearts love, tales of courage
Triumphs conquests endurance's
Wit, words and the books
Plays, and the play of our Gods
Art with its myriad artists
And the long staves of music,
All the deep chords and harmonies
Of the life of man, his artifacts
And all the works of all his hands
Talked to exhaustion
To be reborn, some brief tomorrow
All renewed, remade and then,
Recurrent and redundant
Be talked to death again.

All these are but a glimpse
Tiniest fraction of the tiniest part
Immeasurably small
Of the first brief moment
Of that Eternity
Which is our all.

What then?
The infinite long ages
Stretch before us
We should then
Make a surety of Heaven
In this our own small world
In all our ways
Lest that eternity be found
A bitter useless Hell.
 

Wollongong 1991


D. N. A.


One day the human race
Will confront the paradox
And the problems --
Posed by eugenics; and will face
The Wisdom of Knowledge
And the challenge
Of insanity and bitter human waste.

Watson and Crick
Have with clear insights
Shown the delicate cautious way to gain
Great healing for our race
Delete or mend the errant genes
And thus to heal ancestral pain.

Somewhere -- deep enfolded
Coils the Master Chain of genes
Fathering all inheritance
Access to this, the Master Plan
Will father a richer future
Free -- surely of disease
For long suffering man.


 
1964


I, once
A child, believed
That Earth would
As we grow older
Would meet amongst the stars
Other worlds
Time Travellers such as we
Find friends among the stars.

But they -- watchers of my nights
They told me ( unbelieving then )
The Universe
With our small world
Within it
Expands infinitely and exponentially
( Such Words )
Unsurmountable distances
Daily increase the gulfs.

And so the dream recedes
And all my childhood hopes
Fade. The stars
Thoí clear in sight
Now unattainable.

 


The Banker 1974


God help the animals, prayed Mother
For the water came down the gully
Like a wall
With a tiny but savage tongue
Searching each lower inch
Leading the destroying way.

The horses heard it coming
And, though trembling
In their delicate nervous way
Ran for the hill.

Steers, too, turned and panicked
Wise in their bovine innocence
And trotted to safety
Though some few stood staring
Hypnotised by the noise and died
Rolled like bales of straw
In that relentless stream.

And the poor sheep,
Wild weighted surging water
Deep in their heavy fleeces
And all heavy with lamb died too.

Up in the house thank God
Built safe on a shoulder
Of ancient sun warm rock
Watched all.

Horror and shock co-mingled
Our minds too numbed for tears
By that first shock and onslaught.

Never to forget the terrible tossing
Of trees washed out
Shrub, hillside, boulders and the dying flesh
Tumbling and twisting ravaging on.

Never to forget the deep
Sullen roar of those scouring waters
Reshaping the valley floor
Destroying our pleasant stream
The swimming hole
The cattle ford and the sheltering trees.

The waters roared on
Through Smith's place
All his chooks and sheds
His fowls their wings clipped
Could not fly
We heard them with terrible pity
Above the roaring water.

The banker fanned out past Smith's
As the valley widened
It took our road and the fences and sheds
The bitumen rolled in great strips
Useless now, though the men
Saved the strips, and over the years
Melted it down for paths
And crossings on the farms
But the road gone, stripped
To some ancient base
But no gold there.

Lower down the houses in the town
Escaped the worst.
The water levelling out
That dreadful speed now done
Just rose sullenly round
The foundations, flowed
Quietly enough through some doors
Spitefully it seemed, to ruin
Some carpets, and,
Damage done, drained away
The mud and filth of forty miles remained.

Up at our place, we started
Right away to clear the mess
The tractor thank God
Left overnight by the packing shed untouched
Dragged the carcasses
"Dog tucker for weeks." said Dad.

Poor Smith below us on the flat
Had most of the wreck
Of that once lovely spot
The wider fields about his place
Stopped most; the frightful mess
Feet deep and stinking
Our boys helped for weeks and more
To gather up -- to bury and burn
To scour shovel and clear
And curse the crows
And dingoes
Come to the feast from far.

The men skinned those
With worthwhile pelts
Laid them out to dry -- salted
To make a few bob
"All weíll get out of this lot." said Dad.

Later we remade the ford
And replanted the trees
Dug out another swimming hole
"Wonít be another such as this
For a hundred years." said Dad.

Well its been the same all along
I thought
Fire or flood; rain or drought
The weatherman's got but little sense
We need a weather woman.
 

Mudgee 1984

 
A cloud burst -- or other savage rain unseen back in the hills causes these flash floods over dry country. There are always times and places where they do great damage and when rain is prolonged sweep into the cultivated flood plains.

Such floods are common even in the suburbs of the great -- and lesser cities, and some areas suffer from them recurrently.

When accompanied by heavy, widespread rain, the devastation is great. Hundreds of homes threatened with rushing rivers flooding over burst banks, hundreds of homes flooded -- carpets ruined, mud, silt, and the flood detritus dead stock all mean misery, threat, and the gathering of spirit to survive -- to clean up -- bury and burn and start again.

Many such floods are caused by our desecration of the land, the rivers and watercourses and only the reforesting of such catchment areas will restrain flooding in this country of great storms and great floods.
 


Beneath the wide south sky I lie
And marvel
Worship sometimes
At the rich and living gold
Of the stars
The floor of heaven indeed
Is thick encrusted with patina
Of fine gold.
So Shakespeare saw it
For he too
Lived in a place and day
When the glorious floor of heaven
Was not obscured with smog
And men were not robbed
Of the wonder of the skies
By the reflected glare
Of incandescent light
Nor blinded by the blaze of neon.

What wonder we deny ourselves
Such glory and such splendour
Our lives and spirit
Are the meaner
For such irreparable loss.
 

Gulf of Carpentaria 88


When grief comes
It comes to comfort.

Therefore weep --
And let the sharp blade
Pierce thee to the bone
Weep -- only those wounds
Washed with salt tears are healed.

Eyes washed with tears
See clear the world again.

Grief restrained
Corrodes the heart
Turns all to bitterness
The unhealed wounds
Bleed inwardly
And will destroy thee
Unassuaged.

So, face your grief with courage
Weep your tears
Until the heart finds peace.
Only then
Is understanding reached
Of lifeís calamities
Hearts ease achieved
Peace mingle with thy tears.
 

Gosford 11/91


Thy seas
Have rolled around thy world
Without rest nor ceasing
Since that far day
When Word was spoken
And the waters beneath the earth
Were separate -- and parted
From the waters above the earth
And the seas thus born
Have, since that day
Held strong sway
Over manís spirit.

Men of the arid deserts of the world
And the wide plains of the fruitful lands
And the icy regions of the Arctic seas
All continents and islands
Men of all colour and race
Though scattered wide
Over the broad lands
And the islands of the seven seas
All -- all with neither exception
Nor degree,
Since that far beginning
Have the salt sea substance
Rich in their veins.

The blue sea was our Mother
Vast epochs before Eve
Tended flowers in Eden
And Eveís special sea children
Peopled the sea girt lands.

Our cities span the edges
Of seas immensity
And the seas harvests
Nourish the world
And the dreams that men
Build round seas edges.

Sea shall nurture the land
Till the word decrees again
And the fountains of the deep
Are loosed, and opened
And the grey seas rise again
Flood the long valleys
Flood the golden coasts
And great tides ebb and flow
Over the fertile level plain.

New islands isolate will dream
Tree crowned over deeper seas
New lands with new shores
And a new sea people will
Build a new life beside the water.

They still will have
The salt sea in their blood
The sting of salt spray
Wind driven, on their faces
Their cities built again
New, round the seas new edge
Their hearts and minds will be
Stirred, still, with the song and surge
Of thy ancient immutable sea.
 

Cairns 7/92


The Coming Of The Trees


"Let trees be made for earth is bare"
The Lordís voice cried in thunder
And the roots ran deep and the trees were there
And earth was filled with wonder.

The white birch gleamed; the oak held straight
And down the mountain marched the pine
The orchard bowed Ďneath blossomed weight
And cypress stood in solemn line.

The palm stood proud as Aaronís rod
The willow billowed slowly
So came the trees at the call of God
And all the trees are holy.
 


Wellington


Moonlight, on house lit valley
Moonlight on silver hill
Silver moon over silver water
Silver quiet, silver still
On the great sea of Tara
Shining silver and quiet
Round the great bowl of hills
Silent and silver overhead
The great bowl of night.

Go quietly -- drink deep the quiet air
From the quiet -- the dark bowl of night
Soft lit this magic hour, with silver light
The silver moon
Shining so quietly over
The sleeping city
The great sea of Tara.
 

Wellington 1979


Restless I wondered
What hat shall I wear today
Reader, writer or walker
( More vigorous entertainment
Precluded by circumstance.)

Then thought of Mother
With her gentle busy hands
And recalled her oftime saying
"Look about you lad
Everything around you
All the good things of life
Are made by someoneís hands."

So cheered
Put on my useful cap
And poked Ďround the garage
Made a useful bookshelf
Out of secondhand timber
Cut it carefully
In an old colonial style
With a drawer below top shelf
And simple ornament
A pleasant useful thing.

Daughter in law loved it
Treasures it still
And, till she reads it here
Knows not she owes it
To long departed Granny
Her lovely useful hands.
 


So, dear heart
Youíve gone
Journey done
Your loving task
Accomplished.

Hands so skilled
At rest
Gentle heart and hands
At rest.

For you dear heart
The veil lifted
Our common dream fulfilled.

The light about your lovely spirit
Undimmed now
By this worldís ills
Your fondest hopes surrendered.

Rest dear heart
His arms, His love
His peace about you.
 

Southport 11/87


The Arranged Marriage


What strange passion
Led him to his bride --
Or was it she to him?

Adam -- new made, complete,
No adolescent experiments
With girls
Not even the innocent observation
Of parents
Passionate in love
Nor even father in the shower
Utterly innocent, scarce knowing
The power of his loins
Never the stirred emotion
As the beautiful girls passed by
Laughing as they do
With the joy of life
Flaunting their charm
For the appraising masculine eye
Or loose lipped with hot desire
Rich with the heady scents of love
Enticing him.
Poor man.
Not one of these rich moments
Have conditioned him
Pure male virgin
But -- Eve was made for him
And clearly he for her
No choice our primal parents had
The marriage was arranged.
And He who made it so
Was devious with the means
He used to bring them low.
 

It is clearly evident that the Hebrew creation story is symbolical -- as are the creation stories of the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, our Aboriginals or all the many other races of the world.

To read it as plain fact is to strain the imagination, to deny reason, and destroys the essential symbolism.

The very structure of their bodies tells the story and eating the fruit is symbolic of the awakening of conscious identity and all its consequences.
 


Ulysses


Heard? Yes he heard them
Heard the siren song
Heard with head heart and every
Taut and trembling nerve
Heard with vast deep eternal longing
As so great a spirit
Would yearn for such a peace
Heard but heeded not
The siren call; the ancient plea
Heard --but bound himself
And passed them safely by.

And thus should we.


Not so modern man -- Try everything once and the ills of society damn us, " Take what you want " say the fates, pay later.

Ulysses knew full well the payment demanded of such dalliance, stopped the ears of his men bound himself to the mast of his ship -- and so sailed past the danger.

And so should we.
 


Viva La Difference
or Womanís Work Is Never Done


The good Lord had no sooner set
Adamís big feet on the ground
He knew that he had made a blue
An error most profound.

So he made woman -- Eve
Sensible -- enticing and so sweet
Better looking all around
With smaller neater feet.

Your job, he said, and set it up
Is very plain to see
Is just to keep an eye on him
Throughout posterity.

Our Hazel with some media help
To keep an eye on Bob
And sweet Doreen an Aussie gal, to keep
The Bloke up to his job.

Victoria to hold a rein
On Albertís foreign ventures
And Di -- in our own day to keep
Charles up to his fences.

And thatís the way its always been
Through time to more or less degree
For thatís the way He set it up
To keep an eye on you
And me.
 

Doreenís sentimental bloke deserves a fresh run with Aussie youth. Those soulless wonders, our arty intellectuals, have led us into a wilderness. Broken ideals lead only to broken lives and hearts and heads.

A new generation of sentimental blokes and their wonderful Doreens would give us a new and deeply needed richer vitality.
 


The great truths of existence
Are the unwritten
But universal laws
They stand like granite tors
Immutable around us.

We grope about them
Never to see
Nor understand
The beauty and the purpose
Of the whole
Of these immortal walls
Comprehending only
The fragment before us
In our too brief today
And those amongst us
Weak of sight or blind
Know only the hard realities
That bruise the soul, daunt the spirit
And defeat the mind.

Never see all -- nor comprehend
The august majesty
The incomparable beauty
The eternal excellence
The justice nor the wisdom
See never the great creative love
Of these soul enclosing laws.
 

Wollongong May 1991

 
 This poem was first drafted on May 10th, which would have been our 50th wedding anniversary.
 


A line, so finely drawn
A razorís edge
Bridges the pit of pantheism
So many stumble here
Cheated of life with a dead philosophy.

The reality illumines life
Brings understanding
Of the dire contradictions
That breed our human woe
Reveals the great and simple law
Teaches love of all things mortal
The soul respecting love
Of self -- of mankind
And of Thee.
 


Cast your spell, and bind him
Lightly as you can
Weave your woman spells, and
Bind to you a man.

Take heed how you bind him
Be clever as you can
Never take too lightly
The measure of a man.

The everlasting partner
Hunting, questing he
Take care how you bind him,
Bind, but keep him free.

Surely she shall lose him
Who counts his manhood won
Her spell must bind him gently
Or all will be undone.
 

The loving relationship between man and woman is always a delicate balance.

It needs at all times that thoughtful consideration, which is indeed Love, from both the partners.
 


Silent
We bow the head
Still the breathing
Discipline the unruly
River of thought.

From within
Wordless
Are we assuaged
The spirit calmed
The dark mind cleansed.

Therefore
Should we not
As admonished

Pray without ceasing
With Him.
Hourly partake the waters of life
The cleansing
And the calm.
 

  Drought


How the sun burns
The grass is gone
Sweet coverlet -- soft floor
And sustenance for all
Burned -- and no rain falls.
Hot winds and the sun
Have drained the springs
Dried the rivers in their beds
All living things
Give way
To desiccate decay
Soils sinter into lifeless dust.

We, ourselves, did this
So few dry years ago
We, ourselves, stripped Eden
We took the trees!
The living shelter of this once lovely land
Our hunger for the land
Our own strong hands
Laid waste the trees
Ruined the rivers
With their sustaining springs.

When first we saw the place
Water was pure, rivers ran clear
The trees were guardian
Nurtured waters and land
Sheltered valley and flat from flood.

Yes when we saw it first
The place was a garden
And we who stripped it
Have ourselves made of that Eden

This
Regret can never expiate such base stupidity.



A certain man of old
Had two sons
A daughter would have brought him
And his wife much joy
But the second babe
Was like the first -- a boy.

Now this the younger son
Wearied with years of toil
In the hot sun
Won the fruitful yields
From out his fatherís fields
Bethought him often
Of the city life -- the spoil
And conquest of a different kind of toil.

So took his share
( Generous enough )
Of the fatherís garnered savings
And,
Though scarce meaning to shirk
Left Dad and older son
To do the work.

Soon found a city wench
Fair as such wenches go
Who robbed him quickly
Gave freely of the pox
And quickly brought him low.

Unemployed now and badly broke
Fed swine to earn a paltry crust
And spent long days
Musing
On his well deserved fate
Decided then and there
Though late
To mend his ways
Came to himself and said
I must arise
And go to my father
O fateful, pregnant phrase!

Came to himself indeed
Went home
To face his Dad
The laughter and the ire
Of hard working older lad.

Glad tears of welcome
Burned sore the fatherís eye
He shouted to the servants
The fatted calf must die
Make quick a feast
To welcome home
The wayward long lost one
Returned praise God and welcome home
Though foolish -- is my son.

The older, sweating in the field
And hearing the commotion
Returns to the house.

Whatís this he cries
This drunken sot
Comes home diseased and broke
Heís spent his fortune
And now he hopes
To get another lot.

Iíve slogged for years
To get us wealthy
Never yet
Have you made a feast for me
What ails you Dad? Itís sad
You favour this poor brute -- heís bad.

The fatherís brow was sad
The fatherís voice was low
My son, All that I have is yours
He said
When I to heaven go.

But this, thy brother
He was lost
But he again is found
Rejoice with me dear older son
For deep at heart heís sound
And now is saved
From want and sin
As you will never see.

So praise the Lord
Be glad my sons
And both rejoice with me.

All of you wayward sons of men
Wherever you may roam
Are welcome to the fatherís heart
Come home, dear child, come home.
 


After a cool night
And the magic calm
Of that peaceful hour
In the half light
Sun appears
Heavy footed
An intruder
Shattering the calm
Warning us savagely
Of yet another day
Of drought.


Who, in this wide dry thirsty land of dusty red earth, who has not felt the sun as a heavy footed intruder trampling ones spirit as we realise in the half light of a new day that this is to be another such as yesterday.
 


The vision haunts me still
All shadows this
Rest then, dear spirit, till
Death or transition
Whatever it may be
Shall set me free.

One memoried day
At rest on mountain side
In the pleasant land
A tall fine plume
Blue, slim lined, gently curling
Climbed the still air
From unseen campfire
It spoke of thee
With sure clear certitude.

Troubled, I walked the shore
Of the great sea
Calm, blue -- truly Pacific
Seas edge lost in the blue horizon
Dear heart -- it gave me peace
Speaking so of thee
Strong memoried past
Strong future hope of thee.
 


Be still
And know that I am God.

The ancient mystery spoken plain
The word revealed
The simple way we gain
Heart ease and access to Him
All human pain assuaged
In that quiet secret place
All doubt resolved
Each wayward thought
Turned gently to our home.

This is indeed
The oft and long sought truth
The open doorway
To our human earthly heaven.

Be still, only be still
The deep sad tide of human pain
Can only then be soothed
The errant child folded in
The fatherís heart again.
 


Conversation With A Very Lovely Lady


The old priest
You said
Likes to give you a hug
And nestle his face
Against your breast.

And I said
Give him his peace
As he thus finds it there
Perhaps even in prayer
He cannot find such peace
So -- be generous
And give him his peace
So great a gift
Be generous
And give him
His moment of peace.

How deeply
Do I understand his need
Never myself have found
In creed or service
Discourse or philosophy
So sweet a peace -- as there.
 

Gosford Feb 1991

 
 
  Six Days


Six days He said
And it was so
Because He said it.

For, as He explained to Eve
Who liked to talk about things
In a general kind of way
(Before He tempted them.)

It was manifestly
Quite impossible
To set out all the detail
They wouldn't understand
The science or the planning.

Why sure, they must have truth
Laid out most clear
And simple in their day
That he who runs may read
No fool
Need stumble on this way.

And so the long ages
Of thoughtful preparation
Land -- seas -- and air
And the sun and moon
Made the rich seed bed
Of all the wonder there.

Then the reproductive cells
And the selection of the best
From the humblest beginnings
Dear Eve -- another age
Has quickly passed by here.

Then the simple cell
Through progressive orders
Each the planned product
Of the proven one before
Flora and fauna in profusion
Grace earth, in variety profound
And through the years -- long ages
Transformed to higher orders
Our critics to confound.

Long ages and profoundest thought
To consolidate the frame
And vital parts -- womb, heart and brain
Transmission of the best
By cross fertility to shape
All future destinies, and so refine
Orders with species -- beauty and design.

And so by such tedious
Constructive and intensive
Means, cunning and inventive
(The knowing ones will understand
The symbols and the deep intent)
The universal oneness
Of each separate individual --
By such means have I evolved
My consciousness in man.

And this worldís work dear Eve
Is really just begun
With you
Your children will resolve
Great mysteries, bright in the dreaming
Their hands, my hands will be
Unfolding all - shaping the future
Whence all return to me.
How tell them this?
Always they ask "why"
And "who" and "how"
But wax impatient
Beg for simple answers
Magic -- signs.

And so I said "Six days"
Thus encompassing all
Countless eons are compressed
In proper order
In those six days expressed.

And on the seventh day
( Septenary signs, ripe with
Wisdom of the ages lie about )
Thus on the seventh day
I rested.

So rest you Dear Eve
And ponder wisdom
Understanding will flower
In the deep heart.

Reflect on my words and works
In certain faith
And through long ages yet to be
Hold steadfast faith
With confidence in me.
 


In The Making Of Man


Four rivers flow from the garden
Four great streams govern the soul.

First and greatest -- Id
The ceaseless flooding flow
Of the deep unconscious self
Source of all fantasy
In the living mind
In deep and hidden tides
All here confined.

Birthplace of all our gods
The deep unfathomed mind
Where all experience abides
And all our fears enshrined.

I AM dwells silent here
I govern all -- a hell
Or heaven on earth as men desire
Within my call.

Then flows the turbulent stream
Of primitive emotion
Conditioned or unconditioned
The hates, the greed, the rages
Lies and false witness -- and pride
Darkest of all follies
Wars and great scandals
All jostle in this turgid stream
Who frolics here his cause is lost
As was Pandora and her fateful box.

And the third great river is action
Fed by the same deep springs
But the waters, clearer by intent
Are governed, and direct us to
The better life; the fields about
Grow fruitful and abundant
These waters nourish all.

Fancy is sublimed to action
Imagination blooms in vision
And creation flowers
All the future is seeded here
And nourished to bring forth
Manís dreams to bright reality.

From the sands of this great river
Is the gold panned -- hard won
Of wisdom -- understanding
And beauty flourish here
And all the works of manís hands
And the vision of his questing mind
Here satisfied.

Prometheus unbound -- and he
Dreamer and maker
Of all that is yet to be.

And the last great stream
Acheron -- no other
No Cerberus here -- but Lethe
Brings forgetfulness of the past life
And the stream moves on
To the unknown goal
A rebirth in some other where.

These waters, mingle and meld
Through all our ways
Claiming last penance
Lifeís work, lifeís dreams, lifeís days
And all achievement
Sad tribute from all men.

Small solace
That all men share such fate
Life beyond Life -- beyond this death
Another birth, another life beyond deathís gate.

Through all our myriad
Our diverse and individual ways
Such waters run, the full tides
Flow unceasing through our days.

And some grow swift -- and fair
Nourished by the waters
For seed is fruitful in the fertile mind
And the wide plains grow lush
And beauty flowers there.

And the swift flow and the rush
And the white broken waters
And the dark still deeps
And the placid reaches, sun warmed
Of the four great rivers
Which compass the garden
They are the life and death and birth
Of all mankind. The flow
Of the four great rivers of life
Which set the garden of our world around.
 


Itís the courting and the winning
The protecting and the caring
For the woman
Makes the man.

Mans eyes search outward
New horizons are his goal
But the warm maternal eye

Looks inward to nurture
And sustain the human soul.
And motherhood the absolute
Self sacrifice is sanctified
When offered with the mother gift of love.

So as the strong maternal line
Gifts life, all joy and love
All sweet things human
Men should assuredly then
Gift honour to all woman.
 


Preacher Paul my standard

His ringing words my plan
Put childish things behind you
Become you now a man.

Childhoodís fears behind me
Childhoodís blinding tears
Childhoodís imps and bogeymen
Now gone with childhood years.
 


Let the devil take you
Whether too or fro
Whatever devil you choose
My own way I go.
 


  The Quest


The Golden Lotus?
The Search?
The Soundless Centre?
Nirvana?
Satori?
The Infinite Way?
And bliss
All is found within
And there, all roads
Lead to Him.
 


The unutterable
Expressed by brush or ink?
What next I ask
And hardly dare to think.

One day the truth you seek
Will enter in both ears
And meet that peace
Above your eyes
Where understanding
Is a light.

Strange is it not!
But that is the way
You will understand.
 

Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI