Are these the words?

Are these the words I needn’t say?

You say them for me when you pray

You kneel upon a wooden floor

Sit on a bench they call a pew

And talk to those who cannot share

 

Your presence in the holy room –

Who sacrificed so you could live

And care for those who cannot give

What they receive to those they love –

 

Who treat them like a waveless shore –

They cannot see you anymore

But where they go there will be care

And one day they will see you there

 

Yet now, the congregation flows

Singing hymns we all would know

From the hymn sheet given them

 

And once done, in sight, the choir sings

A hum is heard from those ahead

Then the scriptures will be read

By the Reverend that fine day

 

And if a Bible you don’t have

No need for you to worry, so –

One will sure be given you

 

And inside that holy room

Where words are said for me through prayer

I wonder whether I could share

The sentiment being written there.

Please slow down

Sometimes we move so fast that life just can’t keep up with us. Always running, faster, harder, to get to that next meeting, that next doctor’s appointment, to be there for our loved ones or to pick our children up from school. When can we ever find the time to just slow down?

Recently I was in a town in Queensland, Australia, called Eumundi. The picture that you see with this publication was taken as I entered the town. The town itself was like returning to the 1950’s. I don’t say that in a bad way but rather an affectionate way, for I’d jump in the car to go to Eumundi again tomorrow – if only I could find the time.

Time. Have you ever tried taking your watch off and judging the time by the sun? In days gone by that’s exactly what people would do. The only clock was the one in the Town Centre on the Clocktower. Otherwise, the sun would tell those of yore that it was time. Even today, I’m sure some of those we hold dear judge time the very same way. Take my dog, for instance.

Needless to say she knows when it’s time for breakfast ‘cos the sun’s up. She knows it’s time for a walk ‘cos breakfast is over. She knows it’s lunch-time ‘cos the sun is strong, and the shade in the backyard has moved ever so slightly. And, most importantly, she knows when it’s dinner-time, for the sun is getting ready to set. As it falls dark she knows the day is over and it’s time to rest.

But we keep moving at a hundred miles an hour, failing to take in the beauty of the day, the sunset’s rich colour, and the bay of sparkling water with moored boats that we pass on our way home from work. When did we get ahead of ourselves?

Does it make you wonder how we ever survived without those gadgets we use to divert our attention from impending boredom? Do you ever stop to think we seem to be heading in the direction of ‘losing time’ for ‘sitting and thinking’, as rare as it might be, has taken over from, well, just ‘sitting’. So we turn to our gadget. Each and every day when I try and find the time for a bite to eat, I walk up the street and see people walking toward me, head down, hand around their gadget, checking their latest text message, or looking at their latest photo sent from a friend they used to catch up with most weekends at the bar but now – yes, you guessed it – just don’t seem to be able to find the time for.

One time it so happened I was in a Shopping Centre and the girl walking near me was walking toward a water fountain, her head down attending to her gadget. She kept walking far enough that she fell right into that water fountain, her dress soaking wet, and another shopper bringing her shoes to her that had been floating around the other side. Luckily, no harm came to her that day. Nor did it come to the young man who tripped and fell on the sidewalk near the CBD because he was too busy texting to look up and face the day.

Every day I try and wake up, pull the curtains, look at the woman beside me, and then look out the window at the sun shining, as if to say; ‘Good morning’ and then I stare at the palm tree in the front yard and, to use a colloquial expression, thank my lucky stars for being a part of the day that lies ahead of me.

After all, we love our kids, we love our town – let’s slow down.

NB: First published on https://mytrendingstories.com/admin/publications/article/26423/ 

Old Sydney Town

Built from nothing but botany and earth

A harbour fore, deliverance be true.

Now the best there is, anywhere on earth

Harks of a persona harking back to you.

 

My family come from Melbourne, don’t you know?

The only one born and bred in town!

When we moved south I had no say at all –

A two-year old, in back seat, bears a frown.

 

On our return, my smile fast appeared –

Ahhh, the wattle, the humidity and sand.

A blow-up pool in our backyard of cheer

Was where you would find me and my fans.

 

As years past, Sydney grew to adulthood –

A child that had, now, come of age.

A life of love, forgiveness – yes, I could

Be that man standing on the players’ stage.

 

I sat there on the House’s stairs, watching them drink –

Vodka looked like water to the naked eye,

Donating funds for those left on the brink –

I fixed my eyes on the harbour’s night-time sky.

 

I looked from my balcony at night

And saw fireworks – New Year’s still far away –

A picture perfect backyard scene of light

That drew me nearer Southern Cross each day.

 

Old Sydney Town, I love you with my heart –

My family belong there with the Bridge.

I may move north for a brand new start

But you stay with me – in hindsight, you are it.

 

I missed you every day I was away,

Frustrated at decisiveness to move.

My mother brought me to your world to stay

And trickling water fountains would disprove

 

That Old Sydney Town left slow-coaches behind

Only one speed here – fast or you were dead

But your city’s splendour, elsewhere I couldn’t find –

Secluded beaches ‘round the foreshore’s sand I tread.

 

Under the Bridge I lay, gazing in her eyes

My hand pressed to her palm as we embraced.

Where else is there a park beneath constructed site?

Yet my main attraction was her suntanned face.

 

The caterpillar and the crane – far away

And the dust gave blue sky a dirty hue.

Please keep the beaches open – don’t betray

The places, splendid, we can all walk to.

 

Old Sydney Town, I love you now you’re grown

And the waning winter weather waits the sun.

Raise your head with pride at amalgamation’s show –

Out of many we live life as one.

Dance

Dance the dance that gives a chance

To come again before the end

Build the build that holds a choice

To feel, to fawn, via the voice

That speaks to you and speaks to me

As I look through glazed window to the sea

That trickles in reflected moon

A place I’ll tend to very soon

Before the store can empty, new

Be one of them, the very few

That sort out disorganised array

And drift so far, a world away

Before they stop and turn and come again

To touch, to tremble, now and then

‘Cos every heart beats faster still

When faced with someone that until

Just recently they never thought

The one true thing that they had sought

Would hold their hand in life’s romance

And walk the walk

And dance the dance.

The Cotton Dress

He slunked down to the ground

He saw a shadow, not his own

“Where have you been?”

She asked him with surprise.

 

“I’ve been here getting shade

From the baking morning sun.”

The park was empty

But for their huon cries.

 

“You left me,” she said, scolding him.

“You wanted time alone. Besides,

I wasn’t meant to be there

But by chance.”

 

“I’m not allowed up to your bedroom –

Remember what happened once before.

It was half past midday,

When she ended our romance…”

 

“But you left me,” she said a second time,

Forgetting what she really meant to say

Her sleeveless cotton dress

Was on her mind.

 

She flicked her brown hair past her shoulder

And tilting her head to one side

Her strap fell to her upper arm,

Beside.

 

He moved ever closer

Sitting on the grass under the tree

His eyes no longer shaded

In the sun

 

Had he ever stopped believing?

Was his mind attuned to hers?

Did he think she was, of all the girls,

The one?

 

The noonday sun was getting stronger

Than the morning ever had

They came to share the romance of a kiss

 

Not since first date memories

Parking by the lakeside in the night

Had he felt something, anything, like this.

 

May the cotton-dressed brunette

With hair waving in the breeze

Desirous, yearning, wanting him some more

 

Walk with him from the park

Their eyes set on the light, left on inside

Her apartment, near the pillow

By the window, past the door

 

He put his finger to his mouth

And told her so quietly to ‘shush’

They spoke a language known only

Ever, unto them.

 

They spoke a language, reminiscent

Of the first date they’d ever had

They were a blooming flower

Lightly watered, from the stem.

‘Prison’

Just started working 9-5 for the first time in a year. Hard to get back to the daily grind after book-writing and poetry. Here’s my take on Week 1, with a bit of satirical humour thrown in for good measure

 

‘Prison’

 

It feels just like a prison with no bars

Not being used to regimented ways

It appears like a facility for those

Who need some help re-positioning their days

 

With no card I’m unable to get in

I ring the bell and someone comes to help

It feels like something’s missing from the tree

The bird used whisper happy tunes each morn’

Now no-one whispers anything to me

 

Is it lunch-time yet? I try hard not to look

At the clock – the more I look the less it turns

Confusion has its place in that first week

How the hell, ever, will I learn?

 

I sit and think but sometimes I just sit

Do this, do that, in sequence every time

I sit and think but most times I’m amiss

A sour grape dying on the vine

 

Across the way the grapes are reaping wealth

Their beauty is the essence of the dream

I wish I could attend work by stealth

Nothing’s ever quite the way it seems.

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

Night-time

Night-time wouldn’t show itself

Until Sunshine moved away

Like a road-way that disappears in flood

Like a child who will stray

 

Night-time hid away God knows where

Like a sock hides in a shoe

Not wanting to come out and play

Like when I played hide and seek with you

 

The pages turned as Sunshine faded

Sunset became the star

New chapter aglow, best time of day

People came from near and far

 

To hear and see the sweetness, cheer

Sunset brought to all

Listening for the climax

That would entice, enthrall

 

Sunset’s colours made the day

Surely to behold

Night-time felt alone, left out

Dark, upset, anxious, lonely, old.

Happy New Year!

A bit late, I know – but better late than never, as they say.

I hope you all had a good break over the Christmas (okay, the ‘holiday’) period and didn’t overdo it on New Year’s Eve. I happen to come from the best harbour the world can offer and every year it makes the top city list for NYE fireworks. Google ‘Sydney New Year’s’ and you’ll see what I mean.

I went to a little town called Eumundi just before Christmas to talk poetry and came across a couple of people I’ll remember always. A little ten year-old girl named ‘Charlotte’ came up to me with my book, ‘Prism’ and said:

“Can you sign this for me please?”

She was on holidays and told me she’s taught poetry at school. I was so pleased! I didn’t know they still taught poetry at school. There’s hope for us literati-types after all.

Soon after, an attractive young woman named ‘Nicole’ came over to me and said she was looking for the poetry workshop. We had a chat about verse and lyrics, poetry and song-writing for about an hour. Out came her notebook and, with pen at the ready, she started writing. I hope she got something out of our little chat. “Vibrant,” she called it.

And so here I am – back on WordPress after a family break and another wonderfully merry Christmas.

Welcome to you all! I hope 2017 is full of well-written fables and famous phrases.

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