- ******** Poetry follows this opening monologue ******** Quite a few people have emailed me with their comments regarding my poetry, but the most comprehensive came from a gentleman who wrote (in part) quote - "some of it was absolutely brilliant and some of it was total crap". Brutally honest and I appreciated it, because I value honesty greatly. And I wouldnt disagree with him because a passing of an opinion can't be disputed. It is what it is! Having a person describing any part of your work as good (let alone "brilliant") has to be a huge buzz for anyone - and the next person who reads the same works will prefer or reject different other parts of the work because of their uniquely human and varying personal tastes. Every poet knows (or should) that some poetry they write needs not only "bio notes" to assist its content or mood - like mine has here - but sometimes it has to be read "competently", as a person reading it could elongate or otherwise distort the flow of words that poetry relies on. This could render its useless, or at the very least, much different to what the author intended. My primary school teacher alerted me to that fact over 60 years ago and I've found the rewards of perseverence since. Many years ago an Australian man called Leonard Teale made it his task of studying and "competently" reading the works of various Oz poets - and increasing their popularity. He was credited as giving many people a greater appreciation of poetry and becoming avid fans because of his more appealing presentation. Same poetry - much greater appreciation! I cant bring Mr Teale back from his resting place or afford to pay someone to read my poetry to you, but I can appeal for your patience to (perhaps!) find some of mine to your liking.
My eldest daughter used to ask to see any new poems I wrote and seemed to get a big kick from them ... not to mention the huge buzz I got that she was interested! At the time I put and seemed to get a big kick from them. At the time I put together this chapter of poetry, my youngest daughter shows no sign of the same, or any degree of interest. I'm not willing to bet my shirt that one day Melissa will show as much interest as Raeleen did - even though she is really only a five year later model of her older sister in many ways. Of the great many poets on this planet, very few will ever be paid for their application - and 99% will never have their works perused or published for the criticism or applause due their efforts or talents. Whether these "poets" efforts are absolute rubbish, or even if they make the classics pale by comparison, they all give their writers the reward of satisfaction. Why else would someone spend idle or other time writing poems that earn them nothing and consume so much time. I always liked poetry at school and several of my teachers said I should continue with writing poetry, the drawback being that amongst my peers then I may as well have worn ballet shoes and a tutu! And what would I have used to buy food with (?) because the only professional poets when I grew up were dead. I know Henry Lawson, "Banjo" Patterson etc didnt starve to death but they probably had day jobs or other income. It seems to me that the height of popularity for poets is brought on by death, so its hardly a full time pursuit with whole of life prospects attached let alone a "well paid job". I've heard some poetry by our popular Australian modern day poet Rupert McCall and he is very good indeed. I guess he must be making some money from his poetry, but I bet the fact he used to play Rugby Union for Australia and his professional contacts and qualifications would help him immensely and it would be difficult to estimate the degree of income he would earn from poetry as an unknown. A good reason for me not to try - although incomes are being made from many odd pursuits these days as we all can see. They say (who ARE "They"?) a persons soul is revealed in the poetry they write. I suppose my poetry could best describe me as a melancholy clown. I wanted to be a clown when I was a kid - so maybe I haven't failed in that respect. I spent a great deal of time writing these (and other) poems over many years - and in the spirit that obviously possesses me - I am not....... nor will I ever be.....entirely happy with any of them .......no matter how many times I edit them. Maybe others will enjoy them as much as my friends SAID they did. But then.......friends usually say the nicest things! PLEASE NOTE: Regardless of what "the experts" may put up as poetry, I do not write or recognise that other "stuff" that doesn't rhyme and has no structure. I see that "stuff" more as fractured rantings - more as statements of torture that mostly seem designed to make their readers marvel the colorful wording and stampede to a dictionary to find meanings. Poetry is more than a statement, surely.
Any feedback on these poems would be appreciated. (Well ...... nearly any.....)
0ver 50 years ago I was so moved by the stories I read of our troops at Anzac Cove and later our "Rats" of Tobruk and the Kokoda Trail campaign (plus our "Twenty Thousand Horsemen movie), I wrote a poem and called it "The Anzacs", as this seemed be the the saddest and most celebrated and remembered action at the time. Many friends and acquaintances have said they were moved by "The Anzacs" and over the years have told me I should have it published. So consider this as published, "The Anzacs" appears below. THE ANZACS (1955) ---------- * On this fateful morn so long ago The "Diggers" name was made By that khaki band in foreign lands Their memory shall not fade Reverses they met as warriors all Just guided by their fates Each knew as he saw another fall He had had twenty thousand mates Whichever the foe - wherever they went They fought for freedoms cause In thankfulness let one and all Upon this moment pause Should it be our lot in time to come To follow in their tracks Let us pray that we can emulate The deeds of our ANZACS (Displayed Kedron-Wavell Services Club 2002) (Published in "The Best Poems and Poets 2007") (Published in the Western Times Charleville 23rd April 2008) (Displayed Moreton Bay Library Deception Bay April 2009) ------------- They say there are only two things capable of stopping this country dead in its tracks. Nuclear attack and the Melbourne Cup. I couldnt see a nuclear strike to be as interesting or as welcomed as the "good old mug" race, so I wrote the "Favourite's Run", where you'll note the sad ending style which pervades many of my later works . They say the racing game is a hard one and takes hard people to succeed in it. This poem was meant to reflect that * THE FAVOURITES RUN (1959) ------------------ The field had reached the half-mile post Excitement was intense They were yelling for the favourite Who was running on the fence A slippery patch - a broken stride And the cry went up, "He's down" But he slid for fully twenty yards Then commenced to make up ground "He'll never make it - He's too far back" And "The bookies have our cash" "No horse could give them all that start" "Though he's finishing like a flash" So up to the furlong mark they ran With the leader three lengths clear The crowd was now at fever pitch For the champ was drawing near "Can he keep it up" - "he'll weaken soon" And "His run has been too long" But they little knew the mighty heart That was out to prove them wrong The gap was closed twenty yards to go Both runners a-lather with foam But a whispered word - a mighty surge And the popular pick was home The cheering burst like a thunderclap And the jockey proudly grinned The gallant horse stood like a lamb As the winners sash was pinned "The green light shows - the books can pay" Could be heard above the roar And as though at a signal, the hero fell And his racing days were o'er One punter kissed his roll and spoke No notice of others red eyed "I'm glad he landed our flamin' cash 'Fore he upped and blinkin well died" (Published various...) ----------------- I've always liked poetry. I saw my dad as great in everything he did - he wrote some poetry - and so I started to write too - at a very early age. What do I think is the recipe for good poetry? Right or wrong - its simple: * Its best to keep your poems short Each line conveying food for thought The flow must be as one would speak Conveying what your readers seek Yet if your poems are perfect work In memory let this one fact lurk If fame and fortune they should make You'll be long gone - make no mistake (which reflects my previous remarks about "well paid" poets) ------------- Not all of my early poems were something I was proud of (or some of my later ones for that matter!) so they were immediately 'tossed'. Those I kept were progressively re assessed over time and many too were eliminated from my holdings. Funny how you tend to look back "armed" with a changing opinion each year. I think - "if I hang around long enough I'll end up with no poems". What I kept were those I consider (now!) to have some merit and hopefully for other people to see them in the same light. Its been said that poetry is a reflection of its writer. That sits OK with me as I see most of my poems as being humorous with some containing melancholy. Humour and feelings are qualities I admire anyway, so I've found an admirer at last! I have read some really good poetry that talented people have put together. I dont class myself as another Banjo Patterson or Henry Lawson and I know my writings will not benefit me financially, but the satisfaction they gave to me personally was always enough to make me continue - when the mood arose. The mood lasted various amounts of time and any poem that took any longer than 15 to 20 minutes to complete just didn't seem right and was usually dumped. I have lost many over the years that I was very pleased with but couldn't properly recall. ***** Here are a few I retained: -------------------------- This one I wrote as an ode to the old time boozer of the forties who came home from his nightly binge after the six o'clock closing "swill" and expected his dinner to be ready for him - he saw this as his wife's prime reason for being there. This poem is deliberately coarse to reflect the situation as I bore witness to at several of my mates houses. Where's Me Dinner ----------------- * Where's me bloody dinner Where's me cuppa tea Oo filled the bloody frig with food And left no room for me I brings me bloody booze 'ome Cant keep it bloody cold S'pose I'll ave ta drink it now B'fore it gets too old Where's me bloody slippers And where's me bloody pipe Oo"s fruit's that on the table Wont eat that bloody tripe Dont tell me all y' troubles Dont come t' me and moan You're the one oo wanted kids I've troubles of me own I'm not made of money - eh Give you more?......no fear I give you all I bloody can I need the rest fa beer Bloody kids and cats and dogs It Bloody makes me perk Christ Almighty - next ya know Y'll want me to do some work ---------------- I liked the little short - sharp poems because they were easy and had some impact: This on smoking............... * Its not too flamin pleasin' when yer coughin and a-wheezin And y' breath is fairly bubblin like ya'll choke Y' sweat is close to pourin' and each gasp sounds like y' snorin Yet somehow y'think y'need another smoke! ---------------- These on my daughters' birthday cards. My girls had a great sense of humour (wonder why?) and they thought anything I wrote was funny. God bless my daughters for the encouragement and the added joy they gave me writing many poems. * Sweet sixteen and you're a queen If you were a boy That'd sound obscene * Seventeen - what can I say You dont turn seventeen everyday Next you're eighteen - twenty three Pretty soon you're old as me * We once had a daughter Melissa We loved and we hugged her and kissed her But when she left home We felt so alone We could only think how much we missed her ---------------- Just for laughs: *Nuclear The word I'd learned was "nuclear" And clear it was - not new That if it 'new cleared' near to us There'd be no more me or you *Jigthaw One day I thtarted a jigthaw And I dont think I'm a dunth But I'm thorry I thtarted that jigthaw Cauth it-th taken me over a month *Musical Dog "I can do Bach on my piano" he said And I said "That's nothing man" "I've never done that on a piano But I'm certain my pet dog can" *Savings I once had a mate called "Scotty" Who had a great savings plan He poured all his booze down the toilet To cut out the "middle" man *Customs I'd like to come back as a customs dog Who looks for pot and crack Drug sniffing doggies dont chase moggies Cause they're always so laid back *Secret Love Once I had a secret love And I was filled with glee I kept my love a secret Cause my secret love was me *Oz Man I'm an Aussie - tried and true I'm an Aussie - I'm true blue But tried and true and blue I'm afraid Makes me sound like a razor blade *Worm "There's a worm in your apple Adam We'd be better off if you fasted" "I know there's a worm in my apple Eve And I'm gonna eat the bastard" *Good Cause I'm working for a very good "cause" And though it may sound funny The very good "cause" I'm working for Is "cause I need the money" *2 Snakes Did I tell you about the two young snakes Who were married for better or worse There were two towels in their bathroom One marked "HISSS the other "HERSSS *Not Much Fun The fortune teller got it wrong As she looked in her crystal ball She said I wouldn't have much fun But I dont have any at all *Birth I remember well when I was born I was stricken dumb with fear When I looked around this strange new world I didn't talk for a year *My Prayer God give to me a clear cut sign Let my faith in you renew It doesn't have to be very big A million or so will do *Thought I thought to myself I thought I thought, I thought to myself..."I know" I thought to myself I thought I thought, I thought to myself..."hello" But the strangest thing I thought to myself The strangest thing I thought The strangest thing I thought to myself The strangest thing...was nought Nought is the strangest thing to think Cause nought is the strangest thing But nought is really not that hard When you're nought but a dingaling *No Pod My daddy bought me a little dog But the doggy had no legs And daddy said "Dont worry son He never sits or begs" "You wont have to take him for a walk And you wont have to throw him a ball" But I'm disappointed with my little dog Cause he never comes when I call *Fishy I remember the mighty fish I caught It was up to my waist....or higher And I often wake myself at night Just to call myself a liar *Sunday School Teacher I'd like to be a Sunday School Teacher And its not that I've a cheek But I'd like to be a Sunday School Teacher Cause they only work once a week ---------------- Well, I only kept this one because anyone who read it told me it was very funny: * The Waiter ---------- I went into the restaurant - and the waiter said to me "I've boiled tongue, fried liver, and pigs feet" Thats what he said you see. I was taken aback to hear this - so back to him said I "I've pigeon toes, knock knees and short legs And I'm here for a salad on rye". ----------------- I always liked humorous drinking poems - probably because I drank and loved humour into the bargain. This one is in that vein and I particularly like the "flow" of it. *Drinks The Russian loves his vodka The German likes an ale Jamaicans love a drink of rum The Japs with saki pale Italians love their vino A Frenchman calls for wine Pommies go for bitters For Greeks its ouzo time The Scots love drinking whiskey Jim Beam the yanks have got But Aussies show no favour mate They drink the bloody lot! ----------- This one is really silly, but meant to sound deep and meaningful. (it took about 15 minutes to write): *Allsorts of Thoughts What pain feel I - you all may think That sits me here with nought but drink To stare and peer at pictures bright From yon TV till late at night To ponder forth my loss and gains Of happy thoughts dispersed with pains What might have been and that that be I escape in dreams from reality Tis as I sit and peer and ponder My thoughts aflit with all thats yonder I spare a thought for rich and poor And know I've knocked on either door I see that life's no level plane For some must lose that others gain And as I mourn this dreadful fact I'll drink on till I'm really whacked -------------- In the same vein( took around ten minutes -I'm getting old): * Magic Quill ----------- How deep for you - my poems rare That make you feel that you were there To feel the pain, enjoyments too? How real my poems - tell me true! The hours I spend to bring you this That your enjoyment runs to bliss A word or moment you can seize To linger with as you may please And you'll reflect....I'm sure you will The memories of my 'magic' quill That you can know you've had on tap A sample of my written crapp ----------------- Another silly one: (Published Bush Scene Teen Plus Magazine WWW 19/4/99) - *Question Marks A question mark is something You can hang above your head You can ponder it while standing Or while you lay in bed Question marks are good and bad They help some people think Sobering thoughts for sober types While some they drive to drink I kept a few myself one time They drove me round the bend Thinking up those questions Just to put them on the end So when you see a question mark Its prudent that I mention If it hasn't got a question first Dont give it your attention ----------- I rather liked this one...... *Denial Give up smoking, drink and women "live longer" the doctor said So I did for a spell and it felt like hell Christ! - I might as well have been dead ------------ The 'oldies' prayer. Could be a prayer for any of us: * " Oldies" Prayer -------------- I dont want much from life O Lord I dont want much at all But make me twenty one again And over six feet tall Give me booming chest O Lord And taper down my waist Return me all my teeth my Lord And give me back my taste Give me flawless skin my Lord Thick hair and Grecian nose Ears that dont stick out my Lord Perfection to my toes With looks I've never had my Lord I'd like good temperament That all the world can see my Lord That I am heaven sent What do I give to you my Lord For changes made to me? I promise I'll look different Lord And that I guarantee ----------- My dad went to see his doctor about a wart on the back of his leg that was annoying him. Dad was 79, nearly 80 at the time. Mum (when I rang to say hello) told me that he was at the doctors and I rang later to see how he was. When I learned what happened, I was prompted to write the following poem: Dad's Wart ---------- The Doc said "whats your trouble Jim" "It's this wart on the back of my leg It's small but very annoying doc And relief I would often beg" "No problem here" the Doc told Jim "We'll take it off" - his summation Jim lay there with his leg exposed As the Doc made preparation Those who've been on a Doctors bench Know the calming feeling there And the further comfort a patient feels To be told they shouldn't care All these things made Jim relaxed He was dozing and counting his luck His thoughts were trained on other things As his trusted Doctor struck Without anaesthetics or other delay With side cutters like electricians Doc swiped that wart from poor Jims leg And invoked the following emissions "Jesus bloody Christ" Jim screamed "You pumped up quack of an egg I came to have a wart removed You removed my bloody leg" "It was just a wart" came Doc's reply With a tone of familiar ring "I said the procedure was painless Jim And I didn't feel a thing" --------------- This was a poem I wrote in 1988, long after I had realised that our dream "retirement farm" was draining us dry with my wife's policy of making everything on our acreage - cows and chooks included - a "pet". When I was selecting poetry for these pages and reread this one , I could read my utter frustration in it, crying out for the relief of a smaller more manageable and economic property that would give us more time for leisure and travel and the other things in life. As I make this entry, both Raeleen and Eleanor have passed away and I ponder what might have been had I been stronger and moved us all to maybe a canal block at Noosa or similar where we would have lived a vastly different more varied lifestyle. None of us will ever know now - but at the time I wrote this, the answer to my frustrations couldnt have been clearer. This and much more is the ongoing never ending lot of those who would properly maintain that "little retreat in the country". FEARFUL FARMER -------------- O woe is me - those ruttish hills With fear those dells and gullies fills The slipping wheels uncertain brakes Which up and down - my courage takes The rusted wires and rotting posts On fences overgrown like hosts The waist high grass, the weeds like trees My time consumed - not as I please The ailing wattles - a dying gum Winds that blow and down they come The cattle flies and ticks and worms The sprays, the poison and the germs The seeding, feeding, weeding on Till all my time and monie's gone I ask for what - and what will be But see no end in sight for me There seems no goal, but I proceed To play this game of endless need ------------------------------------------ This has always been a favourite of mine and my daughter Raeleen thought it was hilarious. SHARING If you have some really sad thoughts That you just cant overcome You look around at all your friends It seems they're having fun Your sad thoughts may be heavy And they just wont go away You know you're gonna suffer It could ruin your whole day Well let me tell you something My advice is given free This could make you better 'Cause it always works for me You take your current worry Gather all your friends to you Tell them of your sadness Make them unhappy too! Then everyone's extremely sad And that seems only fair You will feel much better 'cause You were kind enough to share ---------------------------- Pretty silly .... but it rhymes! ODE TO A FIGHT -------------- Ferocious fists They knocked me cold When I awoke I'd pain untold I felt so bad That I could cry I had cold stares From passers by I lay there dazed A sorry sight Filled with pity For all my plight The lesson learned? Stay out of strife Dont start a fight With your sweet wife --------------------------- My daughter Melissa at 15 to 19, was not just another teeny hogging the phone - she was equal to 3 teenies hogging the phone! I wrote this in 1991 - borne out of abject frustration of it all. PHONE DRONE ----------- We bought an ivory telephone We used to ring our friends They try to call us now we think But alas it all depends You see our phone has got a fault Its called a "teenage daughter" She ties it up to yak with friends But knows she shouldnt oughta The use starts in the early morn Through dusk and night time too The out calls never seem to stop Our friends just cant get through We think her time spent on the phone Will give her mouth a tussle Her teeth could really show distress When her tongue becomes a muscle ----------------------------- I wrote this about the same time (1991) Strange - Melissa actually read it (was that a sneer?). Never mind .......she'll see it in a different light one day. Lovely She was born in the night Like the moon she was bright We thought - "what a lovely baby she is" As she grew and she walked She was wide eyed and talked We thought - "what a lovely child she is" Then off to school She reacted so cool We thought - "what a lovely kid she is" She entered her teens She was queen of all queens We thought - "what a lovely daughter she is" Now she's fully grown And lives on our phone We think - "what a lovely baby she was" ----------------------------------------------- This is a bit of nostalgia from "the good old days" of our youth, when we thought our cars could keep up with our pace - but even had fun when they didn't. * Old Cars -------- - or - (They dont make them now like they used to - thank goodness!) Every car I owned was my favourite I was proud because they were mine I put all my trust in those buckets of rust And I thought they were all ... just fine Thirty nine pound ten was the dearest Thats seventy nine dollars today There was no guarantee and you'd simply agree Pick one out - pay your cash - drive away There were coupes, sedans and tourers Black, green, white, red and blue There were fours, six and eights - all good for dates Most had baldy tyres too! I drove them for miles in a frenzy With fixing them up half the fun Loud noise was the fashion - shaved heads were a passion And heaven was doing a 'ton' I dont get the same fun or joy now I'm a little more cautious than then But I sure wouldn't mind - if one day I could find My youth - and those old cars again -------------------- Its really weird in a way that this is a poem (of no note at all) that I wrote for my daughter BEFORE the next one ("Facts of Birth"). I wrote them both with no thought in mind of having them read on TV until my 16 year old daughter Raeleen suggested I enter "Facts of Birth" in the Midday Show (Ray Martin) Poetry Competition - which was read on TV. However, this is the one written immediately before. I enjoy myself writing poems I can spend a lot of time To put it all together If I'm lucky it will rhyme I show it to my critics I'm rewarded with their mirth But even if not serious I hope its down to earth One day I'll write a poem And they'll read it on TV I'll point it out and say to them That poem was by me And if its only liked by one My heart will fill with glee Even if the one who likes it Happens to be me ------------------- This is the one scribbled out and entered in the TV competition to please my girls who once thought I was the greatest poet alive. It was read out by Ray Martin on the Midday Show on Tuesday 6th August 1985. My daughters were tickled pink seeing their dads poem on TV (as was I). It wasn't picked as the winner (can you imagine that!), but to be read out from the 30,000 odd poems they said they received was pleasing. (I dont even like it) * Facts of Birth -------------- I remember at school one lunch hour We discussed the facts of birth And I listened to my mates explain How they came upon this earth A star flew in - mum shut the window And caught me said young Bill Fred was found on a cabbage leaf On a doorstep they found Phil Santa left Ron for his mummy And Jim was dropped by a stork John came in on a sunbeam And Neil was found on a walk So far ahead of them I was But couldn't control my mirth Their friendship waned as I explained I was the only normal birth ------------- Surprise ending poems were always my favourite and "Sweet Sorrow" ranks right up there. My parents read the first little bit - declared it to be porno and started to lecture me. Guess which line I had to read them to calm them down! : * Sweet Sorrow ------------ Oh what joy I get from you Your soothe me with delight The pleasure I look forward to When I come home each night Your curvy lines and rounded front Relief you give untold My many hours in your embrace Are worth their weight in gold Your silken arms and shapely legs For me you give your all So silently and beautiful While at my beck and call Alas - today's the day we part Despite your years of care Its out with the old and in with the new Cause I've bought another chair ---------------- Another one in the same vein and equally favored: * My Best Friend -------------- When neighbors, workmates, family too Fill my life with much ado I sort it all out in the end With lots of help from my best friend My best friend is loyal and true Handsome, manly - intelligent too! If I've a weakness - he'll know well But my best friend would never tell The world is cruel and this I know Without a friend to ease the blow A man could crack before his end But not for me with my best friend So perfect then is my best mate That much in common we relate My best friend fills me with glee Cause my best friend is really me --------------- And another (typical ending): * Superfish --------- I see me streaking down the pool Ian Thorpe in my wake I'm standing on the podium The gold I proudly take I'm belted up and tearing in I break the roaring wave I grab the hand that seeks my help Another life I save I'm in the Channels icy brine No grease or floating cage I break the "crossing" record I make the world front page Oh what joy I feel of this With pride I well and choke The only thing to spoil my dream? I cant swim a bloody stroke! ----------------- Advice from a wise man........... * Happy Thoughts -------------- "The way to happiness is in your head" The wise man said to me "When all seems lost, think happy thoughts You'll be happy as can be" "So you've got an ugly wife in tow And your bookie's made a threat A hit-man called - think happy thoughts You'll feel relief, I'll bet" "But mind you son - if these are true Making tracks should be your ruse 'Cause for all the tea in China son I wouldn't be in your shoes" ------------- Here's an ode to those who take their love for their dogs to the extremes: * A Dooner Full of Dogs --------------------- There are many things that puzzle me But there's one that memory jogs I cannot see how people sleep With a dooner full of dogs Now I like my pooch as much as you As a friend I'd have him sooner l'll share my food and share my time But he'll never share my dooner A dog gives all he's got to give And I know he loves to please But in bed the only thing he gives Is a dooner full of fleas "To own a dog prolongs your life" And " A dog is mans best friend" A man and his mutt may be all that But a dooner and dog dont blend Those who'd argue for the dogs Must surely run on hype A dogs place isnt in your bed Well .... not the four legged type! -------------- Poor old? * Unwelcome --------- Get out of here ya bastard I didn't invite y'in here Ya never wipe ya bloody feet And ya never bring any beer Ya not interested in the footy An ya layabout like a log Ohh - s'pose I'm beein a bit hard Your just a bloody dog ---------------------- For those with a really exceptional memory - or maybe those with none: * Widdle Bub ---------- I am a happy widdle bub I sleep with a widdle bear Everything I have is widdle Theres widdle everywhere I've widdle booties on my feet A widdle bonnet blue A widdle nappy for my bott Inside -- a widdle pooh When mummy changes my nappy And kisses me just for funs My daddy doesnt hang around He holds his nose and runs Though I'm just a widdle bub And grown up I am not I think my family's dealing drugs Cause they puts me on the pot! My mummy has me worried too Whatever is she thinking Day and night I get a bottle And now I'm hooked on drinking Later when I'm all grown up If I have children then I'll call my mum and dad and They can do it all again ---------- There are many things we take for granted. I didnt make a list but I wrote this about one thing we hardly give thought to before we do it! * From a Dribble -------------- It starts off as a dribble It gurgles and splutters and strives It laughs, it cries, it stutters It affects us all our lives It can lift us when we're feeling down Or arouse our ire or fears It can make us laugh or smile at times It can shake us into tears It can make us better understand Or confuse us to frustration It can bolster up a sagging pride It can lead us to temptation It can ease the path we choose to tread Or the path we daily walk The gift so often we forget The ability to talk ---------- I have deep patriotic feelings for my country. Not the suicidal or blind variety bordering on nutty - but I love OZ. At the 1994 Commonwealth Games Cathy Freeman won a gold medal in the 400 metres sprint and first grabbed the aboriginal flag to wave in victory to the crowd and world. Our prime minister at the time, Mr. Paul Keeting, sent her a telegram to say this was OK! I was one of many who thought it was in bad taste to wave anything but the official flag of the country you represent, no matter what personal leanings or beliefs you harbour. I saw this action as divisive to our national pride and a blot upon any unity we may should have displayed as a team. So I wrote this poem, which was published in the Courier Mail and the Noosa Citizen at the time. * The Flag -------- I am a relic from our once proud past When my flag came first and never last I was prepared - my life on the line For that Southern Cross we thought so fine Me and me mates we could beat em all We could swim, play footy or happily brawl When called to the fore we didnt lag So we could defend and wave our flag We werent ashamed from where we came But our roots were here in another name We did it our way and were proud becoz Our flag told all - that we came from Oz We fought and we strained to pass any test We showed the world we could equal the best And even in times when we'd suffer a loss We'd remain proud sons of that Southern Cross Being from OZ made us ten foot tall In the swim, on the field we showed em all With our anthem playing and flag up high We'd proudly stand with a tear in our eye We never worried when called the 'weird mob' We put our heads down and got on with the job And when it was done - we could play the wag We'd throw down a beer - but never our flag ------------- I placed a great deal of importance on friends and loyalty. Without genuine friends it would be very lonely and without loyalty there could be no civilisation or feeling of security for anyone - yet these qualities seem to be harder to find as time goes by and I for one sadly lament this. Older people seem to be more discerning and genuine towards their established friends, but they are also much more wary of strangers and the 'new ' or unknown. Young people on the other hand are open to any company and hungry for the challenge of anything 'new'. This is one of my efforts trying to express the importance of a friend. A FRIEND -------- I've a hankering for a mate Someone close I can relate For I tire the demands that some will make There's a void I hope to fill For a friend who fits the bill A person with some essence - not a fake I am not the type demanding Or aggressive postured standing But I'm tired of those pretending they're a friend They're a dime a dozen bleating They're your mate whenever meeting But they're not the ones on who you can depend And despite all past illusion I have come to the conclusion That you cannot judge yourself - it's up to others For a man in his own mind To himself tends to be kind Some still believe the bouquets from their mothers Now its not that I'm complaining Growing kids need lots of training And a young bloke thinks he knows it all, its true But too many lacked attention At the time of needed mention And dont know right from wrong - or what to do Though its not on first occasion You can judge a mans persuasion Yet the first impression indicates his leaning Its a quality to treasure And indeed a basic pleasure To come across a person who's well meaning It's suffice for me to mention That I give my full attention To a person who can see the others side If you think this out of fashion I'm afraid I have no passion For someone who it seems has got no pride So to finish this great raving Of the friend for whom I'm craving And to end this little ditty with a twist I've been told I'm out of touch From a friend - I want too much And the values that I seek now, dont exist ------------- Dedicated to the memory of my wife Eleanor and daughterRaeleen and the many dear friends I have lost over the last 30 years. A Dream? I had a dream and you were there Where it was - I know not where But we were close and I was glad 'twas such a lovely dream I had If ever from that dream I stray When I must leave and fade away I'll seek a path like ours before That we can tread again once more ( fellow travelers) ------------- I wrote this one to highlight the real salesmen of this world. No....... not car salesmen, real estate or insurance salesmen. They actually give you something of value by return and can be jailed for lying or not performing - and have stringent laws to strap up to as passed by the super salesman.....the politician. Yet the politician doesnt have to perform, can lie to get elected and not answer crucial questions put to him he should. He can crib his expenses and turn his back on problems he is elected to attend to and grant himself overseas trips and outlandish wage and allowance rises - but can get away with it seemingly. I Could never resist a shot at politicians - very Australian too! * Vote for me ----------- Have you noticed I'm an expert Have you noticed just how much Did you ever see such brilliance See - I've got the magic touch Do you stand in awe of what I say Do you hang on every word Of all advice you ever got Isn't mine the best you've heard When you're looking for a saviour If you want life trouble free I assure you I've the answer So make sure you vote for me ---------------- I was asked by my eldest daughter (Raeleen) to write her a poem that was funny and involved her. She got a big kick out of my poetry and I got a big kick writing knowing that. She somehow thought this was good enough to hang on her bedroom wall. Maggie Baggie sat in her chair Maggie Baggie loved to be there All the kings horses and lots of talking Couldnt move maggie - she hated walking Raeleen always cracked up when she read this one - about our "nervy" and highly strung (nutty) Siamese cat named "Batman" They said he is a lap cat They said he has no brains But look into those big blue eyes And you'll know they were right! ----------------- This is another silly one about the evolution of man. Pretty basic but my eldest daughter thought it was real good: * Evolving -------- I came down from the tree one day But I really felt a dork I skinned my knees and knuckles So I had to learn to walk It felt a little strange at first As I wobbled here and there But pretty soon I'd mastered it And was walking everywhere But the novelty was wearing thin My legs had a tired feel I decided this was the ideal time For me to invent the wheel This wasn't very hard for me As I had to get around So thinking of something circular To me - seemed pretty sound So I made a wheel - so simple And I jumped up for a ride I fell back down - to my surprise The wheel fell on its side I needed a "car" to put it on So I made one fairly quick Three more wheels were needed So the car could do its trick I drove it into the nearest ditch I was lucky to be alive I added the most important wheel The steering - number five I never forgot from where I came So I built my homes from wood And surrounded them with greenery So home felt as it should The moral of this story is If my car runs up a tree Did I forgot my steering wheel Or is a tree's still home to me ----------------------- Sad poems have always been like a magnet to the melancholy and though I'm not permanently affected or preoccupied with it, I am melancholy - inclined by events. My dad passed away in November 2000 aged 85, which most would say was a good innings and I wouldnt argue. To me the saddest thing was, my fathers demeanor meant I could never get close to him and there never seemed a bond between us. I did a lot of things in my life specifically designed to attract my dads approval and make him proud of me - alas to no avail, despite what I rate as some pretty good personal performances. So this one is self explaining: * He Never Laid a Hand on Me -------------------------- A young man growing makes mistakes He needs someone to hit the brakes My mum was quick to oversee But dad never laid a hand on me If any time I stayed out late My mum would punish and berate Her wrath descending I still see But dad never laid a hand on me When I did wrong my mum was there To stop the rot and cease my dare A shake of the head was all from he But dad never laid a hand on me When I did right to make them proud My mum would hug and praise me loud But hugs from dad I'd never see He never laid a hand on me -------------- While in a similar mood, I wrote this : * Sniffer ------- In the baggage just handed, his duty was standard Searching with one thing in mind In the strangest of places, in trunks, bags and cases To uncover any dangers he'd find I was spellbound just viewing, this dog's dour doing With a vigour that no man could match No breaks or evasion, would slow his persuasion Apart from the odd stop to scratch Ten years since a pup, he and I had teamed up And working with him was a pleasure We enjoyed mutual trust - made many a "bust" We had friendship beyond human measure He would greet me each time, with a joy non sublime Uncontrollably showing affection Then sit at my side, with his eyes open wide And eagerly wait my direction It seems yesterday, that my mate went away He saved all those lives and the plane Now his memory endears, as I fight back the tears When I think of that bomb blast again --------------- A sad truth of my life........... * Ah poor Ted - they knew me well My word my bond, as all could tell A friend in deed to them I'd be Alas - my only friend was me We all have dreams and they seem to come in cycles. This I wrote during one of those sad cycles......... * My pillow of disturbance waits As I lay me down to sleep I know I'll live again tonight And dream the fears I keep ---------------- The best thing about being young is not realising the inevitability of life. As we get older we realise this not only applies to us, but also to those we love. I regularly think of my daughter Raeleen who passed away when only 19 years old in 1989. Inevitable - but not so early and not in a parents lifetime? Thinking of this made me write many poems of grief, but this one verse seems to sum it up: * End begun ---------- A man a woman - husband, wife What joy they see in newborn life Without a thought of daughter, son Whose birth is but their end begun This one for those who realise the role of their parents and their value. My parents passed away eight years after I wrote this poem of respect * I am all you ever were You're all I'll ever be The greatest gift I carry Is the life you gave to me When you're but a memory And as I often do My kids in any mirror Will see the best of you ----------------- I used to write poems and letters to my girls over twenty years ago when they were just tiny tots. This one I wrote to them when Raeleen was about 10 and Melissa 5. I told them it was from Santa Clause. I think Raeleen doubted the existence of Santa when she was somewhere around 7 years old. Melissa I think, firmly believes to this day. Even at 10 years old I still remember Raeleen doing her best to keep a straight face as I read this to them, so she wouldn't make Melissa embarrassed or influence her. Then the reaction from Melissa as she hastily kissed her mum and dad and raced off to write back to Santa, assuring him they had been little saints. And I had to post it! * Hi there Maggie - hello Lissy How are you both to-day Are you being good for mum and dad Do you study before you play Are you having lots of fun at home Are you going out a lot Do you kiss your mum and dad enough For all the things you've got Have you patted all your pets today Do you keep your room real neat And when you walk into the house Do you always wipe your feet ? I hope you're having a lovely time Remember - like all girls and boys Santa always knows who's good And he brings them lots of toys Santa I kept poems like these because they brought back happy memories of better times and the pleasure it gives me. ---------------------- I know this is (sort of) along the same lines as "my best mate", but I wrote it awhile later and didnt want to commit it to the basket like many others over the previous years since my teens. Also I thought it just as humorous. It was written to describe a certain person who I'd had to suffer for many years. Skitzo ----- I'd like you to meet my favorite nice guy When you have met him you'll realise why We're such close mates - that none can deny You'd swear we were one My best mate and I We see things the same - we cant disagree We're a dynamic duo - much admired are we Two similar blokes you just couldnt find Unless they were both In our frame of mind Whatever may happen - my mate's always there Lending a strong hand and showing his care Giving encouragement, sharing the fun Two happy best soul-mates Both acting as one He's a once in a lifetime loyal true friend One you can tell will be there till the end So handsome and dashing and smart, I could cry And we will be best mates 'till the day we both die ---------------------- This is about an airline you wouldn't "Q" up to fly with * Q AIR ----- This is the captain speaking We're cruising at ten thousand feet Those lights ahead are the runway Please buckle up in your seat We seem to be having problems And I dont want to sound blasť We cant get the nose wheels working But two out of three's OK I've feathered number four engine And there's smoke from number two One and three are OK though So I guess they'll have to do Would the lady back in 205 Please send her son up front Make sure he brings our joystick back And control the little runt Here he is - why thank you son It fits there in that node Yeh, you can go - yep, out that door Oh well - he's lightened the load Just for safety all passengers please If you think your time is nigh Please press your head between you knees And kiss your bum goodbye Only joking - for a little mirth I'm trained to ease your tension When asked who kept you calm up here I know whose name you'll mention We're going in - please hold on tight Oops - now we're upside down Well I guess its a little unusual But at least we're on the ground Kindly move to the nearest exit And if there's a stewardess there She'll trust you had a pleasant flight And thanks you for flying Q Air ------------- I wrote this as words for an "Australiana" song and I also memorised a tune for it. Seeing I cant write music, I cant pass the tune on here, but its pretty simple to make a tune to. About one of our national treasures: * The Blowie ---------- Poor old Fly It makes me cry Ee's just tryin' to get along like you and I Never mind 'bout oo flung dung Cause a fly dont care ooz dung's flung Eel attack anything At least ee'l try Gutsy little guy.......eh Fly's misunderstood Ee does some good Lays 'is eggs anywhere ee thinks ee should Ee dont care about the pong Forty million blowies cant be wrong Ee's done 'is job As best ee could Never hear him complain.....eh Flies are OK What can I say They'll 'ang around in swarms 'n wont go 'way All your other mates could be long gone But these little buggers stay clinging on Busy little blokes And work all day Real life Klingon ee is.....eh If you ad a mate Like a fly he'd be great From daylight to dusk you wouldn't ave to wait Eed be with you all day right up till dark And a fly is a guy oo makes his mark Say what you like But eez never late National treasure ee is.....eh So fly's alright Ee's not a blight No matter what 'appens ee's never out of sight Doesn't ave smoko or earn a bob Works all day and sticks to 'is job One thing though Where's ee go at night? Shares you with the mozzies.....eh Chorus * We hate flies - we hate the buzzins Shoo fly shoo - you and your cousins Get away - just get away Can't stand you round us - everyday The heat and you give us the trots What this country needs is more fly swats ---------- I would get ideas so dumb that I couldn't resist working them into a poem. Like "Nice Square Eggs" and "Doors" below. * Nice Square Eggs ----------------- I've gone through life my mind applied For all imagined far and wide And having pondered all that begs I now consider....nice square eggs Nice square eggs - what can I say Theyre easy to pack - wont roll away And better value as the shape depicts Instead of one side - you'll now get six To you who think that square's a joke Picture this - a nice square yolk Nice square edges to the white Not like that runny rounded type Square fried eggs - a better deal Cause nothing beats a nice square meal Nicely done and square instead They'll neatly fit on toasted bread For those preferring the rounded sort I beg you give it one more thought A square edged egg gives you this pledge On rounded eggs they have the edge Though square eggs may be one day bought My mind is drawn to one clear thought Though we may laud this pleasing look You wouldn't want to be the chook (International Society of Poets Merit Award (and book) 2002) -------------------- * Doors ----- What wondrous things are simple doors That open or shut in walls or floors Revolving, swinging, lift or slide They're narrow, short, tall or wide We all use doors to come or go Doors that operate - fast or slow They'll shut and open, or stand ajar Doors are the simplest things by far Colour a door any colour you choose Paint it or stain it in all the hues Give it a handle or give it a knob Or a lock and key for a better job You're cold and wet and just come home Cant find your key and hear the phone You cant get in but know for sure It always does its job - the door --------------- This one asks a question which seems fairly straightforward: * What Could It Be ----------------- What power high could hidden be Yet guideth us that all shall see To light the way and ease our plight That man not dwell in darkened night Unwary souls the time is nigh Believe or you'll be lifted high And dashed to earth, eternal pain And ye shall never rise again As lightning be - let all beware Ignore this warning if you dare Heed ye not - and smitten be Go ye banished to eternity The answer depends on the openness of your mind I guess. My mind was on "electricity" when I wrote the poem. ----------------- Perspective was supposed to arouse feelings of respect and appreciation for the loop of life and our place on this planet. Guess it says even more....... * Perspective ----------- In life we fail to estimate The limits of our worth And cannot to see our value Is so little on this earth Who of us who has ever been Could bear to be no more Who in the end goes willingly To pass through mortals door Our being is a gift bestowed Passed on from those before Life is but a fleeting glimpse And then, it is no more ------------- "Limited English is about a migrant who understands some of the basic terms of English, but not the custom in his new country. You will have to put yourself in his shoes to understand his thinking and his misconceptions. * Limited English ----------------- I good command of English and I know I not so dumb But it puzzle me the habits and the language used by some 'How are you' - 'How do you do'- I take time and explain They only seem to ask me once, but never ask again I walking down the street, or I just waiting for a bus A stranger say "nice day" - but there just the two of us! I strain my thinking backward, I no doubt my mental health I sure I never met him - is he talking to himself? Sometimes I standing in a queue and none in front I see The man behind the counter say "next" - and look at me I turn round to enquire, "who is next" - that not my name And I told that "next" is me - by a man they call the same! At times when I shopping for some goods I need at home A salesman may approach me, in the pleasant way of tone "Can I help you sir" - he smiling - and I get a bit unnerved Are my problem so apparent - must I answer to get served? I resigned to these strange people - and habit they have got I taken aback a little still, but worried? - I am not The thing I worry most about? - the blatant drug abuser When he says "Hi" - I just reply - "No thanks, I not a user" ------------ I started smoking when I was 13 on a regular basis. That and the fact that from around twenty on I puffed between 50 and eighty cigarettes a day, I really expected I would check out well before a nine year younger wife who ate healthy food more readily than I did and exercised and took the right vitamin tablets regularly. Eleanors 20 odd cigarettes a day habit seemed to pale next to my intake at the time and it seemed as if nothing could happen to her before happening to me well before. I wrote this poem (6/91) about my fate - Eleanor developed lung cancer 2 years later. ODE TO A SMOKER --------------- For forty years and even more He'd lit up every day He always said he'd give them up He did - near every day! A young man starting out in life Plain life is not enough Oh sure the "oldies" warned him But smoking made him "tough" What else is there to do he asked I've got to join "the set" I'm running with the "in crowd" So I smoke a cigarette Well forty years , he paid the price For forty years regret He paid the final payment With his life he paid that debt No moral to this story But smoking's just this, brother A naked flame on one end And a sucker on the other --------------------------------------- It was december 2000 and Christmas was nigh ........... My daughter Melissa had moved to Melbourne, I had reviewed my "friends" base and pruned it further, my mum and dad had just recently passed away within a week of each other, I had become a dietary diabetic recently diagnosed and I lived alone in my 4 bedroom family home that had provision for 4 cars and a caravan........!!!!! I couldnt have felt in lower spirits (well I guess I could have but I'm trying to highlight the deep, deep drama here for the max sympathy!) I wrote this "quickie" and emailed it to my daughter Melissa in Melbourne to get that sympathy. She rang me and told me what a "really funny" poem it was and proceeded telling me what her plans were for overseas travel soon. I guess this poem didnt have the desired effect of getting me sympathy, but my girls happy and excited, and thats the better thing than this poem.......... Woe is Me O' woe is me - such misery Its Christmas time and I've no tree My daughter moved and I'm alone We only speak now on the phone I wormed my cat - it didnt work He gutsed himself and had to perk It sat upon the ground and steamed Which made me ill - I could have screamed My desktop fluro reading light Blew its tube - and late at night The TV set's remote just broke The lounge room light's about to croak The bathroom sink tap sprung a leak My luck's so bad it makes me freak One thing defies my lifelong curse My poems cant get any worse! (I've been wrong a few times since!) --------------------------------------- This one to our much maligned feathered producers on all farms throughout our land and especially the male of the species. This poem tells of the unlikely friendship that developed between a stray country rooster and an understanding farmer who gained his trust. The feral chook repaid the friendship by sacrificing himself to save the farmers life. I must say this poem has a special place with me: * The Feral Chook --------------- When he first came to the homestead Ruffled up and battle scarred He eyed me off - one at a time From a distance - long and hard He had the shortest neck I'd seen He'd learned not to stick it out It was clear he'd faced some hurdles In the bush and this long drought I had no hens to call him in So I guess he saw the calm As he swapped the battle of the bush For the quiet of the farm As months went by our distance closed And he followed me everywhere Without a sound and no demands I could turn and he'd be there I didn't see that big King Brown That was underneath the tree And I wondered why my feral mate Flew close and then past me He grabbed the neck of that huge Joe Blake And the feathers fairly flew They writhed and wrestled back and forth There was little I could do The snake retreated, his battle lost And my feral mate had won But the effort and his age combined It was clear his race was run I buried him beneath that tree Where I often go to look In my mind I see him standing there My mate - the feral chook ------------ I wrote this on one of those nights I was shedding tears and thinking about my eldest departed daughter Raeleen (left 1989). I always called her Maggie because she talked so much as a kid and even though she was very quiet and reserved into her early teens, I carried on calling her Maggie. She always will be "Maggie" to me. The poem would have been longer but I had great difficulty seeing anything as I wrote and ............it's just as I wrote it then, never changed around like I usually do with my other poems! Maggie The sweetest girl I ever knew I never knew that long The sweetest girl I write about Has gone - it feels so wrong She came into my life one day And stayed near twenty years Then silently she slipped away And left us all in tears And though I never told that girl How much I loved her so I know she loved me just the same Somehow she let me know Now I am here - and she is there No bridge between in sight I know one day we'll meet again When God can put things right (in that other place.....) ------------- This is a nostalgic look back of my time at the farm we had at Browns Creek Rd. Eumundi (In better days). My memories of there were the best seven years of my life and anyone who can boast of similar quality years has truly crammed a full life into a short time. This poem chokes me practically every time I read it. * Eerwah ------ It was north of Brisbane's pace Where the Blackalls run their race And the rolling hills and hinterland unite I'd abandoned all the fettle As I chose this place to settle To escape the city bustle and its plight Settled in to Browns Creek Valley Midst the Eucalypts and malee Cloaked by Eerwah, I was facing to the east Next to Tempe's crack man Graham And the 9YE - you'd pay 'em For a ride with Jack that followed with a feast There were dancing people singing Nights of song and laughter ringing Mavis toiling to prepare for hordes of guests Geese would scurry, horses pound 'Mongst the movement all around Was the noise from cockatoos with reddened vests Got to know those city folks All the girls and all the blokes Who had scrambled from the city for a break And I'd often feel their pain See the spirits they'd regain Just a weekend here was all it seemed to take Now I make no bones about it And no one should ever doubt it That a man with years will want to settle down If his hearts not in the city Then it seems a downright pity That he has to pack and move back into town So with heavy heart forsaken I now find I'm sadly taken But no matter where I'm bound or I should roam When I sit and idly ponder Then my mind will fondly wander To the Eerwah greens and hills I once called home (* Published in "Maroochy Voices" Federation Edition 2001) ------------------- .........................................(continued Poetry2)