Absolution

I walk beyond the fatal shore

to see what gaze can bring

and dance like a disciple

rescued by the leader’s ring

will he answer all my prayers

and welcome me to home

and be the man I always hoped

would save me from alone

the wind howls in the morning mist

and hollers strident dreams

when I walk past that fatal shore

nothing is as it seems

the distant cry from moonlit sky

the sudden chance that storm

would tolerate another cause

and keep so many warm

I hear it in horizons –

yet to see what can become

like a photographic still shot

abandoned by the sun

as I walk by it feels so shy

yet heats toward the core

sensing a shimmer out at sea

I’ll never want for more

and if my treasured trove is found

I’ll welcome others in

vow to remain a measured strain

absolved of all my sins.

You left

I’m lost – you left me – 
why did you pass me by
I need your leadership
your love – your sense that
yes, it’s worth a try

Like a tree – standing taller
you lift my sense of being
why did you go
I need you so
you are my fallen beam

A captain for a few years
but a soldier many more
and devoted to a family
at times seen as a chore

Yet your children become leaders
your wife of three score and ten – the sky
go – she is a-waiting
as I shed tears you rise and fly

Vale George H W Bush

Gratitude

I see shallow children through the window

playing by the beach

with parents pushing swings so high

as high as they can reach

The road is slow, the traffic locked

‘til lights change and we move –

drivers with one thing on their mind –

or a thousand thoughts tossing

turning – all of different kinds

Hatchbacks, four-wheel-drives, sports cars

and the odd sedan – Diane,

Mustafa, Willow, Jake and John –

going… going… going –

coming from

The dash reads 8:47 –

fourteen minutes I’ll be late for work

I take a u-turn ‘round the round-a-bout

and then I drive below the tower where

I spend my day – with hopes to thrive

We come from varied pasts – across

the ditch, from southern states

Little Canada – beyond

so disparate, no fear –

in one place at one time

conducting lives we call careers

Working for a second income

striving for promotion for the few

or waiting for a better role beyond –

beyond the horizon past the window past the view

What then for head-sets, staring –

screens aware that eyes are fading

as they read data duller by the day

What then… what then is there to say…

I walk outside at lunch and see a man –

a man with wrinkled face and time to spend

pushing a trolley housing home

along a path that has no end

Next morning there’s a needless noise

outside – a bird is chirping –

sitting atop the street sign

on the corner in my view

I consider him a moment

a happy chap – gratitude his friend –

a noisy miner singing to the few –

Graciousness is holding my hand, too. 

—————

 Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance
(Epicurus)

what makes one a fairy

what makes one a fairy

give her a hedge to hide behind

bring lightning and the strongest fragrance

and she will have taller feet –

longer arms and bigger hands

and delve into the Never-never-land

 

a playmate remains a little girl

travelling to the evening star

by horse and carriage ride –

abandoning reality

for the thrills of dreaming

 

frolic one must – fancy-free

for the passing of time

and the fairy’s wish

will be a wish for all

who bid goodbye

 

smother happiness upon another

play like there is no tomorrow

and delight in the bewitching hour –

build a cherished home

filled with fairy dust and jasmine flowers

 

to away austerity and lure love

and lead from way behind the hedge

and share the fairy’s fragrance

in mere mortals’ smiles –

 

seen in(stead) –

mere mortals in her stead.

The tree trunk brought him solace

The tree-trunk brought him solace
a place to rest his hand
the man more Irish than his whiskey
was not long for this land

and his bayonet and musket –
ingrained in him that day
on the ground called Little Round Top
lay with him, bleeding, as he’d say;

we fight for that man Chamberlain
(manly was his speech)
with majesty and guile
eye to eye, he cried, beseeched;

do it for me this day m’lad
fight for honour ‘cos you can
do it for me this day m’lad
this day become a man

their eyes pierced each others,
(so sincere)
as Chamberlain implored;
my men are angels, pure angels
great deeds they’ll do, be sure

his Irish friend spoke one last time –
they’re Killer Angels, barely read
they’ve got that killer instinct, Sir
they’ll fight until they’re dead

they’ll hold that hill
with guts and will
you’ll lead them ‘til they’ve bled

their soul will sing
the devil’s dance
the mainstay of the band
as Chamberlain reached out, so dear –
reached out, and held his hand

you may be gone my dearest chum
but in my heart you live
and strive to be the essence, we
of courage found within

I’m with you, Sir, I’m by your side
though from backgrounds, so severe
go forth and hold –
be brave and bold
away your Angels’ fear

you will return to Bowdoin, Maine
and live a life of large

and as you do
(may God be true)
and war be far apart

yet reflect – on boys to men –
for their mother’s, they shall weep

fight your good fight
and in the dark of night
think of me – now sound asleep.

————————————————-

Footnote: this poem is based on the only fictitious character, Buster Kilrain, in the movie, Gettysburg (1993), written and directed by Robert F Maxwell, and the novel, The Killer Angels (1974), by Michael Shaara.

The rainbow nation

A different blog this weekend, folks.

As I assume most of you reading this are from outside of the great nation of Australia, I thought I’d tell you about the issue that seems to be taking over our TV screens, radio waves, newspapers, and, of course, social media.

It is same-sex marriage.

It seems a practical impossibility to have a mature debate about this issue. Currently, we are in the process of having the Australian Bureau of Statistics conduct a postal survey, whereby all registered voters receive a survey by mail (snail mail, that is) for them to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on whether they believe the Marriage Act should be changed to allow for same-sex marriage.

Let’s embrace all views with 

acceptance, tolerance and understanding

This is designed to give our politicians an indication as to whether the Australian people wish to introduce same-sex marriage into the community. Religious freedoms, legislation surrounding discrimination and how that is defined, and other related topics, have not, at this stage, been taken into account.

But the worst part about the debate is that it appears impossible for the media to report the news. Rather, they are centred on sensationalising (and, in some instances, falsifying) the truth. Go here  Fakenews to get a better idea of what I mean.

I only wonder whether Australia is mature enough to be having this debate here and now. Maybe it should have been put off until society at large can accept that different people have different ideas and beliefs. Those of you in America and elsewhere may not know that Cassie Jaye had major troubles when she came to Australia recently in getting a reasoned hearing from the media. This will tell you more about her experiences:- CassieJaye

And yet it appears there are moments that equate to a ‘coming-together’ of people, especially in times of crisis. Just look at the helping hand these people are giving each other in the course of Hurricane Harvey ahelpinghand.

And on the opposing end of the spectrum are violent protests. I’m not going to add a link here. There are too many to count and I’m sure you can find them for yourselves without any assistance from me.

I’m a big fan of peaceful protest – it’s one of our democratic rights. But in doing so, are adults adult enough to ensure protest does not turn violent?

Let’s embrace all views with acceptance, tolerance and understanding. Democracy was founded on the basis of freedom of thought. Let’s also honour the founders that worked hard to provide us with the open society we seem not to cherish.

We in the West would all be better off for it.

 

Her sense of solitude

Her sense of solitude

was lost in sunshine’s spring

happiness was humming

with the fun that children bring

In a moment far from anywhere

she jumped into his arms

the tree, so far from where you are

unknown, she sees the calm

That he and her bring to she

cherubic smile of red

caught in her sense of only-ness

before a turn of bed

Quiet in her own surrounds

happy as the flame tree can

the blessing brings a child

made of girl and made of man

She reaches high up to the sky

the branch she’ll almost touch

raised on the farm by stronger arms

that teach her to fight

For what is right, so hard to find

amongst the cloud of day

‘hush’; she says; ‘leave me alone

to walk, to find my way.’

Oh promises

Oh promises, oh promises

Why are there so few?

Oh promises, empty promises

I haven’t but a clue

 

A leap of faith describes belief

Why is it hard to find?

To lie, to cheat, to steal

Comes easily to human-kind

 

Optimism beaten

By pessimism’s sword

Negate the pathway of success

Reinforce it moving forward

 

Forgive me for forgetting

Why can I not recall?

Memory tries to shut me out

From everything and all

 

A standard test of kindness

Can loss bring it back to me?

Perhaps it’s lost forever

Perhaps it’s wandered out to sea

 

I see it from a distance

Why aren’t I allowed up close?

My manner lost to arrogance

My feelings bellicose

 

But underneath the ocean tide

Compassion lies in store

Empathy waded out to sea –

I stand on the shore.

Poem – the pages turn

Comprehension, the mind delays

Thoughtfulness, the mind betrays

Consideration, never sent

Reciprocation, never lent

 

Affectation, feelings advise

At first sight, the heart does yearn

Remorsefulness, life confirms

Live for today, the pages turn

 

Ask not what others take for granted

Believe not what others think is real

Know only what one understands

Understand what one can touch, can feel.

Poem – Taxpayer Thomas

Taxpayer Thomas’s wife would be on tenterhooks
Wondering what her husband’s response would be
Would he be dejected, shout and yell
Or would he dance and prance with glee

He’d toil away at a job disliked
To pay his family’s way
So he saw his refund as his hard-earned reward,
‘A reward for my troubles,’ he would say

‘Not just your way,’ his wife would add,
‘But paying for those that cannot work,
Like John & Debbie Tucker,
And poor old Nelson & Mary Burke.’

Tom’s finger pressed against the page,
Against the envelope
Pushed it open, took out the note, and said;
‘S**t, it’s gotta be a joke.’

‘Honey,’ his wife said, excitedly,
‘It’s not like you to be obscene.
What on earth can be wrong?
What can it possibly have been?’

‘Look what they’ve done,’ Tom replied,
‘They’ve added a chart to my refund check.
It tells me where my tax dollars go.
Oh, what the bloody heck?’

By now Tom’s wife was adamant
Her husband had gone quite off his tree.
He hadn’t spoken like this before,
Not since his days at sea.

The chart, it was before him
In colors blue, yellow, red and green.
Twenty-three thousand went on welfare,
He wished he hadn’t seen.

Seventeen billion dollars a year
Went on Disability alone.
He’d seen it in the paper
Yesterday, when he was home.

Tom, (well, the taxpayer in him at least)
Threw the paper to the floor,
And said to himself (as you do);
‘I can’t take it anymore.’

His wife was always careful
To see the other side.
‘How could people less fortunate
Get by,’ she said, she sighed.

‘The welfare system exists for a reason
And we taxpayers pay our share.
But at the end of the day,’ Tom’s wife thought,
‘Someone has to care.’

She quietly put her arm around
Her husband’s shoulder, on a whim.
Gently, surreptitiously,
She knew she could mould him.

Tom’s wife could feel him releasing
All his inhibitions and frustration.
He was no longer concerned, she felt,
About the social welfare of the nation.

At last Tom had come around,
He could see the other side
Until next year (when his refund came again)
And he’d have a hissy fit, and cry.