Saturday, September 20, 2008

Outhouse memories

Hey, do you remember the old outhouse?
Oh the dark and nightmare reek!
Hold your nose and go real quick,
bum perched on the old wooden seat.

Then there was the job to empty the pan,
damn do anything but that that!
Crutch, dig, hammer, run and cart -
just spare me emptying the crap.

The seat, it always seemed loose,
no matter how tight the screws.
Sand down the old wooden curves
yet splinter still tears your trews.

And then there was the old brown snake
that hid in there from the sun.
Bang like hell on the dunny wall
and watch the sinewy bugger run.

Damn and blast the selfish sod
who used the last of the paper,
didn't bother putting more on the nail
for the next sod's use after their labour.

There's plenty about those old, old days
that we rightly care for and miss,
but spare me more outhouse memories,
I'd rather forget than reminisce.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I have no idea where this is going...

but these words popped into my head out of nowhere.

fishing, fashing
we rumble tumble down the street

To the girl with the braids

Who are you?
Braids twisted down your back
like a crazed nautilus.

Are you leaving?
But I still see your face
along with the rearward braids.



And what is that cupped in your hands?

Inspired by a simple painting in black and white that until very recently I thought was of a girl from behind, until I realised that I could see her face in more than profile.


meop ginkcuf a
etirw I dluow
lleh eht yhw?

see - James Joyce was not the only one who could make up words!

High Street

I remember the early morning milko.
Clip clop! His horse’s hooves rang out as
its breath misted in the cold morning air.

Further back the baker also came,
his steed as brown as crusted bread.
Will that be a loaf of white today ma’am?

Dragging mum by the hand to street’s end.
Look – there – a steam train hauling grain.
Wave, just in case the driver sees us!

Pennies were no longer the currency,
but polished up with fine steel wool,
we dove for their glow in the blue-green depths.

These are some things from my past,
when I was just a fey wide-eyed child,
unsullied by life’s foul realities.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The world is biiig

It is said that a picture may be a poem in itself. And yes, the photograph is mine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To my pen and paper

Mother asked how can you learn to write nicely with biro, or worse, with pencil?
(I really call her Mum, but Mother seemed more poetical)
Her arthritic fingers hesitate, pause and then scribble out the shopping list - with a Bic.

I agree with you Mother, that there is much better than pen or pencil.
A fountain pen glides, distributing real ink across the page.
The nib is respectful, worshipful, with lover's lingering caress and kiss.

The pen's body, so smooth to the touch with iridescent colours, mother-of-pearl.
I am transfixed by its beauty and power.
It gives life to my words, demands the Grecian muse infect my brain with fevered fingers.

Yet what is pen without paper? Not cheap notebook pulp but quality, smooth cartridge.
So pristine and white, shrieking to me silently.
To write on such blank beauty seems sacrilege but surely it is a far greater crime not to?

When I die, forget about open prairies and lone pipers but bury me as I wished to live,
fountain pen in my hand, notebook clutched in the other.
Probably best if you toss my poems in there with me and not soil the eyes with such excrement.

To Lupus

Alternating masks of joy and sadness,
like the players in a Grecian tragedy,
you shift between highs and lows.

How can such powerful words stem from within madness?

Let us wongi together, lupian friend.
Let me seek out your hidden depths
and delve to your highest ideals.

There is so much more that I would know of.

wongi - from a koori dialect in Western Australia, loosely meaning 'chat'; I discovered the word in the dictionary entirely by accident and was looking for a way to use it.

lupus is latin for wolf, but no, my poem is not about Virginia Woolf


i have an enemy
for that i should feel ashamed
but i am not

the enemy is corporate
faceless yet with dials so very well known
and i hate them

The Future

The future is an animal of unknown genus.
A slathering beast waiting to rend and devour?
A puppy, all innocent and looking for fun?
All too often the beast's acid spittle has washed over me.
How can you prepare for such soul-destroying encounters?

Eyes of a princess

dancing eyes
orbs of dark beauty
so deep, inviting me to dive in
to swim in the depths of your light
gateway to your soul
beckoning me foward
into oblivion

Another one for my Cherokee princess.


The Trail Where They Cried,
it began here.
The place of rejection is now home,
and her own tears have begun.

Crazed, fatal ironies,
to bring her back here,
to place named after the foe,
the one who drove the carts.

A new journal and trial.
Anabasis through cyberspace,
to leering dwarf's abode
down below the civilised world's ending.

The trial is her love,
taken, returned and yet spurned
by growing dwarven madness
creating silence instead of refrain.

Desperate, broken, rejected.
Call of the orb proved too strong.
The place where she cried is now empty,
but for a flower born of her tears.

The dwarf is now done with leering,
wrapped in guilt as deep as a shroud.
His turn now for the weeping
over the place where she used to cry.

The love of my life was a Cherokee. Her people were forced out of what is now Tennessee on what is popularly known as The Trail of Tears, although I understand a more literal translation of the Cherokee would be Trail Where We Wept. When I first 'met' her on the Internet, she was living in a small town in Sevier County, Tennessee. This is the same territory that her forebears were forcibly removed from. The county is named after Governor Sevier who, long before his time in political office, was part of the group that helped physically round the Cherokee up and load them onto carts for their journey away.

To me, she will always be my Cherokee Princess.

In the beginning...

well, not really a beginning as such.

At age 45, I made what was, to me, a starting discovery. I am, to use the terminology of my North American friends, an old jock, having played and practically lived for sport for many years. Add to that being a recovering alcoholic (one is never really 'recovered') and decades of dedication to left-brain, anal retention. This is a recipe for anything other than a poet. Yet I discovered that I actually like poetry.

I must record my thanks to Paul Magee, university lecturer and working poet, for helping me come to this realisation, although I doubt he will ever convince me of the merits of Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.

So this blog is where I shall be posting an occasional poem, copied over from my notebook where my poetic attempts are first scrawled.