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.’

the path less travelled…

He rose above the helpless throng
He was only one among a crowd
He heard a calling, 'twas a song
Timely, he could not disregard

You've come to me for rationale
You've come to me for saviour
No-one else can take the stand
You've come to me, the one you favour

The steps on which we stagger
From one level to the next
Like climbing up the corporate ladder
Feeling e'er, between, betwixt

The next step up he could not see
The frond led him to the money tree
Ladder of wealth, mendacity
The pathway opened unto me

Who and what and where we were
Why and how we hit upon
Invited, I failed to confer
I took the path less travelled on

Poem – My bird

The bird seemed to follow my roving eye
As he walked beyond where I lie
He seemed to know, with eye I spy - 
Sitting there that day.

He never seemed to have a care
No matter for how long I stared
Or how controlling was my glare
He was there, it seemed, to stay

He gave out a little chirp
Like page from a book, like an excerpt
Like a song performed at a concert
He flapped from chair to chair

He was regal in nature, and replete
He'd had a little bit to eat
He walked with ease, with those clawed feet
As I got the camera out

I realised the camera was obsolete
My phone would do better, would always beat
The phone's quality, the camera couldn't meet
Of that I had no doubt

The bird stood atop the chair, to reflect
I told him; 'stay there, don't neglect'
Attention sent, ne'er deflect
To bird sitting on the floor

The bird, he turned, to his right
Knowing the bird on the floor was within sight
He waved his wings, as if in flight
Before he moved away

Yet how was I to know he was a 'he'
He could as well have been a 'she'
So long as it was either 'he' or 'she'
'He' must be one or be the other 

Is this a poem or a diatribe?
For until now I've not described
What he (or she [or it]) looks like
And how it came to be...

I happened to be sitting in the rain
Under cover, (heat was hot), the day the same
Noiselessly the day begane
And then continued on...

As bird arrived, with clawed feet
'Hello', it seemed to say, 'we meet,'
Though nothing was said when we greet
We merely doffed our 'hats'

Black and white, with long neck
His eyes, no matter - oh, what the heck!
I still don't know, not now, not yet
Perhaps I never will

But somehow this bird seemed a friend
The way he'd look and turn his head
It's hard explaining, even when
I knew he wouldn't stay

He looked at me, right in the eye
Turned his head from left to right
Never went out of my sight
Well, not now at least, 
Not yet

Looking me right in the eye
Makes me wonder; 'Heavens, why?'
I didn't push, I didn't pry
To find the colour of his eyes
That day when we met

No matter whether rain or shine
With me laying, sitting, there, he's fine
Never once did he whinge or whine
We talked 'bout little things

'Bout the simple things in life
Weather, health, things of that type
Simple things bring pleasure, like
Bring happiness and fun

He's my bird, I hope you see
Black and white, he sat with me
Not away on some pine tree
But close to where I lay

My bird finally flew away
I said; 'bird, I'll see you another day
Even if I'm far away - 
I'll know just where you are.'

I returned and saw you 'round the bend
Beaked, clawed, winged, my feathered friend
We greeted, like only we 
Could comprehend - Our story - 

Close the book...

The end.

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.

Poem – Oliver

Oliver strolled to the highest mountain
To seek out a magical sight.
It was a mountain greener than the greenest of pastures,
It spoke of goodness and light.

From the mountain-top Oliver saw the cliffs,
Far to the west they stood.
On top a four-leafed clover found
By the wee man wearing a hood.

A clover was lucky, four-leaves to be sure,
So rare that to seek and to find
Would give good luck for time immemorially,
Attached to the finder and to his kind.

A wee little leprechaun has special powers to search
For what others find barely at all.
Faith, hope and love, a three-leaf clover can give
But the fourth leaf keeps one enthralled.

Oliver the shoemaker can hide the clover away
In his shoe, and there it will stay
Until others attach themselves to the little green man
And they try to take it away.

Then the others ask after the leprechaun’s gold,
Pots of it they think he does have.
“You’ll never take it away,” the little man says.
At the end of the rainbow it’s safe.

But the wee little man could not hide the truth,
A lie he never could tell.
So he moved his pot of gold from the end of the rainbow
Down to the water well.

The Jester had listened, intently he’d heard
All that had come from the ‘crowd.’
He had nothing to add other than harmony, verse
And with that he sang this out loud;

“Roll over, roll over, that four-leaf clover
Become the leprechaun’s friend
Roll over, roll over that four-leaf clover
Can’t wait to see Oli’ again.”

Poem – Moral Absolution

I felt a pang of enmity

In shoulder and in heart

A pang that measures friend from foe

Who, once loved, now forgot.

 

But enmity and absolution

Couldn’t share the thoughts of one

A lover with a dagger drawn

Spells irony to some

 

To heal, to treat, perambulate

Attend to task at hand

Others would awaken

Compassion in that man.

 

Beholden love, beholden trust

Respect met Graciousness that day

Invited Care, Consideration

To participate, to stay.

 

Notice the feather in his cap

See the bird resting on the sill

Bravo those attending him

Thank God they always will

 

Give of themselves what’s within

Release, absolve, commute

Consider not the worth of man

But the moral absolute.

Poem – I go with you

I am going nowhere

Unless I go with you

You are my light upon the hill

You are the morning dew

I am your hill-view drive

You are my avenue

You are my midday sunshine

You are as bright as sky is blue

I am the valley you traverse

You are my mountain view

You are the sweetest thing I ever saw

You are all there is that’s true

I am your rainbow after rain

You are my coloured hue

You are serenity lying next to me

You are my many and the few

You are the only one that understands

You never misconstrue

You are my raison d’etre

I have all I need in you

You are my concession when I fail

You are forgiveness, through and through

I am your life-long friend and lover

There’s no ‘me’ without there being a ‘you.’

You are my reflection in the lake

I lend my heart only unto you

You’ll be the hand I grasp when I dissolve

Your loving touch I hold onto

You stood by me in times of pain

You’ll always love me, and I you

Save my soul forever more

Let’s begin our love affair anew.


			

Mary…

Herbert knew about the cocktail party long before Mary. “How did you find out about it so soon?” Mary said. “I don’t know, I just did, I guess,” replied Herbert. “Hmmm,” was all Mary could manage, as she walked away from the kitchen table, tossing her hair over her right shoulder, in anything but a state of contentment. Herbert could offer a wan smile to no-one in particular. He was never one to ‘compete’ for attention with others, especially not Mary, a young, attractive, brown-eyed brunette everyone knew could have had anyone she wanted. Why she chose Herbert was anyone’s guess.

 

And so it was that Herbert turned up to the cocktail party feeling a little sure of himself. Self-satisfaction didn’t sit well with him at the best of times but he tried to walk it through the door with a graceful belief he could carry it off. Needless to say he wouldn’t try too hard that night to make new friends. Rather, his strategy was to stay close to those he already knew and make for harmless chatter whenever it was deemed necessary.

 

Mary was on his arm that night. There was no way she was going to miss this one. The book launch had been something she’d been looking forward to for months, as she thought the author would still remember her from their high school days together – especially the days they spent behind the toilets by the sports grounds.

 

Mind you, she had room to make up, Herbert starting streaks ahead as the invitation had been to Herbert and partner rather than to Herbert and Mary – a slight, to be sure, but one she would shrug off with ease once in the surroundings she found familiar and to her liking. She started by walking about the room, purse in hand, as she tried her very best to make as many new friends as she possibly could.

 

Her strategy was to shy away from Herbert at every opportunity, preferring to be around guests of interest, to her and to others, pseudo-celebrities, so to speak. As Herbert’s old mate, David, Dave to his friends, came over to say hello, Mary whisked herself away from the impending gloom Dave brought with him to find her preferred company. Her dress that night was red, short but elegant, as if she wasn’t attractive enough already. She saw Jonathan and made a bee-line for him;

“Dear Jonathan, how are you this evening? I haven’t seen you in far too long. How are Elizabeth and the girls?”

Jonathan Reedy was a reasonably well-known weekend broadcaster on the local radio station where Herbert worked. At the last moment, Mary’s name came to him. “Well, thank you Mary. Sadly they couldn’t make it tonight.” Struggling, he found he was lost for words. What should he say to keep the conversation going? What did he know about this woman?

 

He had an idea. ‘You’re looking beautiful this evening, if I may say so. And those shoes.” “Oh, thank you. Yes, I haven’t worn this before. I bought it especially for the occasion. It cost an arm and a leg but I’m sure Herbert can afford it. I tried it on a couple of weeks ago and, Jonathan, it was like it was meant for me and me alone. The woman in the boutique at Double Bay was anything but helpful but by the time I’d finished with her I had her eating out of my hand. The shoes were just a last-minute thing. I just threw them on five minutes before I left the house. I think they look perfect, though – don’t you?”

 

Jonathan knew he had a cocktail guest for the rest of the evening if he couldn’t find a way to prize himself away from her. But for now, not thinking fast enough, he said; “And the girls? Who’s minding them tonight?” “Oh, Jonathan, I found this place called A+ Minders. They were recommended by my good friend Daisy Fairchild, you know, the news anchor at Channel 8?”

 

Mary was keen to drop the odd famous name, raising the stakes of her credibility with Jonathan and other guests he’d speak to (about her) later in the evening. Before Jonathan could get a word out, she was back on the job; “Oh, yes, they advertise on Channel 8. A+ says it all really. Of course, I had to interview the ‘minder’ a few times before I could be satisfied they weren’t some troll or tripe or something – you know, Jonny, the usual teenager who’s more interested in their mobile phone than they are in caring for my children. And most nannies find the door in a hurry when they find out I have twins. I don’t know why that scares them away. My kids are nothing but a bundle of joy. Just look at me. Ha, how could they be anything else?”

 

Jonathan was worried. ‘She’s started calling me Jonny,’ he thought to himself. Now he remembered where he knew Mary from – they had been high-school ‘sweethearts’ of sorts. God, those times behind the toilets! How could he forget? That was the last time she’d called him ‘Jonny,’ and we all know what that led to.

 

Jonathan had gotten in strife back then with his parents and the Headmaster because Mary had thought she was pregnant, all because they’d kissed. A real kiss too! It had taken months for ‘Jonny,’ as he was known back then, to live that one down – no-one believed his side of the story, even though, in time, he would be proven right. Now she was back doing it again. ‘Where would this night lead us?’ he wondered.

 

“Jonny, are you okay? You’re looking a bit, well, gaunt. Are you sure everything’s okay? It’s not the wine is it? I know they always serve up crap at these events. I try to be selective with what passes my lips at these things. Well, I’m always selective with what passes my lips. You know what I mean.” With that Mary gave Jonathan a little nudge, as if to imply she’d like to encourage a little, well, repartee.

 

But Jonathan really was started to look a little ill. As he stood there taking all this in he thought to himself; ‘how much more of this can I take? Someone come over and save me.’ But he had an out clause ready as he replied to Mary’s concerns.

 

“Thanks for your concern Mary, yes, I’m really not feeling well. I had a little something to eat before heading out tonight and I think it’s taken its toll. If you’ll excuse me for a moment, I might just visit the facilities. Do you know where they are?” For once all Mary could say or do was direct ‘Jonny’ to the men’s. “Round the corner to your left and up the end of the hallway,” she instructed him. “Thanks ever so much Mary. I’ll be back soon.”

 

Mary knew Jonathan wouldn’t return and so started looking round the room for more companions to talk with. She saw her beloved Herbert busy in conversation with the author she had come to see, who would be busy with book signings later in the evening. She left him alone for now as he looked jovial and otherwise engaged – she didn’t want to intrude. She’d find time for both men later on, Herbert at home under the covers and the author, well, she’d find time for the author outside behind the back entrance.

 

As she elegantly, curvaceously, strolled across the room she caught the eye of Josephine and Desmond O’Reilly, the poet laureate and her husband, a photographer, recently featured in National Geographic.

 

She was impressed before they spoke. Mary always loved hearing everyone’s news, and was keen to hear what the poet had been up to of late and what her husband had been watching and photographing – native wildlife or cityscapes, he did them both. “Mary,” Josephine and Desmond called out in tandem. “How have you been, my darling?”

 

“Oh, Jo and Des, what a surprise to see you here. I didn’t even know you’d been invited,” Mary lied. “Tell me all about your recent trip to Africa.” “You look ravishing, may I say?” Desmond said. Josephine gave her husband a dirty look and a quick kick on his foot. Her high heel could do serious damage when required. “Ouch,” Desmond cried. “How are your girls?” Jo asked of Mary, to avert attention from her aggressive act of jealousy. “Oh, seeming as you ask,…” Mary began, feeling the life and soul of the party once more. With sparkling wine in hand she was set for the next half hour.

 

“But that’s enough about me,” Mary said, after having spent the half hour telling these distant acquaintances her embellished life story, “let’s talk about you,” she said, wondering all along what they thought about her. Herbert could only look on from afar with a shy, not unfamiliar, wry grin. The night was still young.

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