Bart Simpson and the little girl

Her feet didn’t touch the ground

Hard when in the air

Dummy was her parents’ new best friend

Brought silence, to be shared

 

Bart Simpson kept her company

Twisties fell to floor

She smiled as she turned her head

Inquisition knocked on door

 

Movement, ever, oh so fast

Tablet entertaining

Attentive of the screen, her own

Made most of time remaining

 

Silently she cried aloud

As if she was on the screen

The tattooed arm of adulthood

Words needless, hardly seen

 

Thongs on table

Relaxed in time

Soon to land again

 

Centrifugal focus

Goes unnoticed

Who was she? Where?

And when?

 

Postscript: This poem was written whilst in a plane on a domestic flight from Sydney to Brisbane. The little girl across the way from me was, as you can glean from the text of the poem, busied by treats, her dummy…and Bart Simpson.

The eyes have it!

A lie is a mistruth

Told purposefully.

A truth is an admission

Of a lie.

 

A penny for your thoughts –

I’d pay a pound

For the politician’s mic on hustings

To lose sound.

 

For distortion’s an illusion

That misrepresents –

Extravagantly foolish

People vent

 

Their anger – Meet Frustration –

Uncertain who you are.

A cavalcade lost in persona –

Ubiquitous, are you a star

 

Who will raise his hand and say;

‘It’s me, I’m here –

The only thing you have to fear

Is fear.’

 

Oh, take your chance,

Behold! Illusion’s lost

Like the better part of man

Compared to ghost.

 

Count the pennies and the pounds,

Make truth surpass the lie.

Distort distortion’s ill-respect –

Look me right in the eye!

My garden’s seed

A smile’s what you see in summer

When the sunshine stays awhile

Happiness follows suit –

Dressed to impress, in fashion’s latest style

Where is undue wariness?

Where have despair and illness gone?

Could they not stand the heat that day –

The day that sunshine shone?

I’ve been down in the valley

Where despair and illness stay –

I’ve been atop the hill when it became a mountain –

And in the harbour and the bay

The trickling water fountain

And the stars dancing in my bay –

The grassy knoll atop the mountain –

Yes, the sun followed me that day

When Faith, Belief, Trust and Hope

Tracked the sun down from behind

Impatiently waiting to share their thoughts

With others of like-mind

But despair asked me; ‘Why be grateful?’

‘Why move your mouth toward a smile’s stance?

Why not be sorrowful and mourn your life (and others)

Rather than take sunshine’s hand and dance?’

I replied; ‘I have no way of knowing

Where the train of negativity would lead –

The smile that I see in summer

Is my garden’s seed.’

Taken

Terrified, I looked beyond

My ocean, river,

Lake – my pond

 

Tentative, I thought I heard

The high tide lap

‘gainst beach-heads prize

 

The rock jumps from the page.

A vision’s sight

With sty in eye

 

Urbanised, I look away –

‘Scraper, McMansion –

Mortified

 

I reminisce in disbelief

As faith takes me ‘home’

To my northern wind

 

Where the water trickles

When my finger dips in

Your face, your smile

Your laugh, your lips.

Mortality

Like a leaf that’s falling

Or a vehicle I can’t drive

Like a stumble, barely standing

Like he who can’t survive

Like a willow, waning

Or a ship still moored at sea

Like a flameless candle

Like not knowing when to grieve

Like a calamity that’s calling

Or suffering, with pain

Like a window, closing

Like there’s nothing else to gain

Like a butterfly that cannot flutter

Or a spider without web

Like a lectern with no speaker

Like there’s nothing to be said

Like an easel, empty

Or despair at end of day

Like the maiming of a memory

Oh, mortality – away!

Teach

Remind me to take instruction

From the antonym of him

To take my teachings from

The supposition of a fact

 

Remind me to teach myself to learn

From the better part of man

Someone who can read and write

Who has a lesson plan

 

Remind me ne’er to listen

To the man who can’t himself

Remind me to leave his book

Hidden from the shelf

 

Remind me to ignore the man

Who’ll beseech at any cost

Who lectures, says it’s my way

Or the highway will be lost

 

Remind me to be thankful

For what I could go without

Remind me to welcome lost souls in

When others shut them out

 

Remind me ne’er to err on caution’s side

Hesitant, I stay

I should be enticed to wonder

To see the sunlight in the day

 

Remind me to cherish

What I never thought I’d love

To see peace at time of war

To welcome and betroth

 

Teachings and instruction

From the synonym of her

The antonym of ‘I know best’

Is the teacher who tells me;

‘As you were.’

A small space

Such a small space!

Look at my face –

I fit into it well

Daring to trace

By hand I race

Yet I cannot kiss and tell

Flowing like a river

Flowing water, like a sieve

Ahead, I look, but ever, I receive

Rather I to give

The window reflects my stare

Comfort reflects my love

The mattress lends itself to me

Like velvet lends itself to glove

Pristine within my summer –

Delighted, in my sight

The spirit, seen, amazes Grace

As she turns on my light!

Freedom – where did you go?

I woke up this morning on this bright and sunny day to read commentary in the morning paper about the term ‘guys.’ Apparently the Australian of the Year, David Morrison, found it within himself to announce his abhorrence at its use.

‘Those guys just weren’t up to it today,’

‘What’s that guy playing at?’

‘Thanks guys,’

These and other phrases like them are supposed to cause offence to women. The word ‘guys’ is seen by Morrison to be gender-specific. But relief is at hand – he tells us he’s not trying to be the ‘language police.’ Oh, no. He’s just trying to police language. Thank heavens we have someone to save us from ourselves.

Seems it’s a common thing these days, the ‘Nanny State Mentality.’

‘Nanny’ comes out to tell us off every other day. But Morrison isn’t alone amongst those who feel they need to tell the silent majority how to act, speak, and live.

In New South Wales, we have no right to silence, you see. So forget all those crime shows on TV where, once arrested, the alleged crim is told; ‘You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…’ So much for not incriminating yourself!

At least in Queensland, I still have my right to silence. ‘Shhh – keep quiet, and get a lawyer – fast.’

Mind you, if you like motorbikes, don’t join a ‘group’ of ‘bikies’ – you might end up in jail. See, if you’re a member of a bikie gang, and an honest, law-abiding citizen, you could be arrested for associating with other bikie gang members. Anti-association laws are designed to enforce tough penalties on those alleged to be responsible for the vast majority of drug offences.

Yet the Brisbane Times has said that;

Despite police claims of bikies being major players in the drug market, six years of data show they were charged with less than 1 per cent of all drug-trafficking offences in Queensland.

Back down south and we have lockout laws, designed to counter drug and alcohol-fuelled violence in inner city areas, with last drinks at 1.30 and take-away closures at 10pm.

What’s the result of the lockout laws? Assaults have fallen. Yay, success!

Oops – not so fast. You see, as the Director of the Bureau of Crime Statistics, Don Weatherburn, was quoted as saying on guardian.com;

…assaults have been coming down in NSW since 2008 [well before the lockout laws were enforced], so [there was already a] pre-existing downward trend.

So, it seems, Nanny is alive and well across the eastern seaboard of Australia.

We’re constantly told that we need assistance and guidance in how to live our lives. The government knows best and passes legislation to protect us from ourselves.

Sound silly?

Consider nutritionists advice on diets, ‘junk’ food, exercise and alcohol.

The Obesity Policy Coalition is lobbying for a 20 per cent tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, the Australian Medical Association thinks Australians need a tax on ‘junk food.’ And some even believe we should introduce a tax on butter, cheese, milk, meat and oil.

The Rudd federal government increased taxation on pre-mixed drinks by 70 per cent, calling it an ‘Alcopop tax’ – according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, all this led to was a 20 per cent increase in the consumption of pure spirits. Case closed.

Sensationalists tell us almost every day that Australians have an obesity crisis, and that we drink to excess. This would certainly be true for some. But do we really need Nanny telling, commanding, ordering us to do things a certain way, their way? Each to their own, I say. Just don’t harm me in the process. In a free society we should be given the right to be the master of our own fate.

Classical liberalism has been superseded by social liberalism – defined as regulatory fixes for non-existent problems, or, to put it another way, the movement of society to a leftist philosophy.

Sit back, relax and enjoy – you no longer have to think for yourself. Government is now required to think for you.

This was put forward in the days of FDR and The New Deal, a program for its time. Yes, we need to ensure that no member of society falls through the cracks, yes, we need to ensure that everyone is protected from harm, but we also need to be very careful not to lecture to each other. And most of all, we need to ensure that government does not lecture to us.

In essence, it seems, in this society of ours, one of the finest democracies the world over, we are taking our freedoms for granted.

We legislate against speech, against information, against association, against choice. These are all implied freedoms in Australia, which makes them all the more contentious.

Even the Racial Discrimination Act tells us we cannot say anything which may offend. At least we have lobby groups like the Institute for Public Affairs to contend such laws. They say, at freespeech.ipa.org.au, that Section 18C of the Act;

…goes to the heart of this new anti-free speech climate…It is this section of the legislation which silenced [a journalist]. And it could silence you.

As the classical liberal, Edmund Burke, said

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

It’s time for Nanny to rest, for PC to go home, and for freedom to reign over all.

Poem – Belief

Belief is what you see outside

That stands upon the scroll

And pens charity, upon the page

And continues on, enthralled

 

And as the chirping bird is heard

An idea comes to mind

That the morning mist in glory’s gate

Could never deem to find

 

It’s heard amongst the forest

Where the kookaburra’s king

Yet, rarely in the sunburnt land

It’s said most anything

 

Yet as the sunbeam shines

It’s seen to say a prayer

It’s hard to know, from soul to soul

If immortality is there