Poetry Lives On

Have A Nice Day

How could you do this?

A partnership is a sharing of decision making

What has happened to trust?

Weighing up of consequences together?

Not to have a voice in planning defines your insignificance

Creates a fallacy of importance

That leaves the outsider mangled and in disarray

Words can be the difference

A caring token of recognition

At times the surest proof of love

Not so here

Your silence has shaken my bones

Here I am, ignored

Yet continuing the inequity

Helplessly floundering in irrelevance

Wondering, no searching

For reasons to find strength for both of us

Indeed survival

In vain alas

Finally you speak

Your last words are an echoing elegy

Ending forever what once was

Nothing left for me but to thank you for the past

And wish you well with your new partner

Some deeds cannot be undone


Have a nice day

But I See What You Do

Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.

Friedrich Schiller

I can’t believe what you say because I see what you do.

James Baldwin

So there you are

Intolerably stupid as usual

Spreading fake details of your virtue

Like cream on a jam sandwich

You imply that your thought processes are working

You claim to be a pillar of towering virtue

Fixing this

Correcting that

Achieving unprecedented heights of excellence

While the rest of the world crumbles

Under the influence of fools

It’s because of you 

You allege

The market is surging

Employment is rising to pleasing levels

Overseas trade is booming

And loyalty to tried and true friends is strong

I hear what you say about your success

But I see what you do

Your injustice to refugees

Will bring shame into the annals yet to be written

Drought fire flood and vengeful storms

Will be potently recognised 

As your global warming curse for our future

Control of our destiny by the few

Your lobbyist cronies

Will be analysed as disaster in the history written tomorrow

Ownership of our land

Will be auctioned out to the rich 

In the ruthless markets you create

In these ways you have aroused my anger

Without my respect

And please note: you will not get my vote

O Wisdom

Wisdom knows

The difference between right and wrong

It judges not for self interest

Or in search of power

But respects the inevitable reality of truth

And the value of evidence

Wisdom is not distracted

By the chatter of people speaking without listening

Or the beating of drums on parade for vested interests

It denies

The mythology of the rich and powerful

With their endless misleading patter to gain advantage

It does not work for personal gain

Unless the gain is shared by all

It will not condemn

Unless supported within the halls of justice

To protect the innocent who suffer in the present

It does not repeat the follies of the past

It is not simple or black and white

Not the end of a journey

It is instead a work in progress

A continuing mission

That leads to a destination you cannot know

In advance

If you would be wise

Ask yourself why you want to know things

If your answer is to discover reality

You are on the right road

And your journey can begin

Go then into the realm of awareness

Read every book

Run your mind critically over all media

Listen to the voices of experience

Reach out for the power of wisdom

It is a light

That shines amidst the infernal darkness of ignorance

And will show you the way

You may not have company on this excursion

As you will travel an unfrequented path

The Perfect Man

It’s quite a search this one

I’m seeking the perfect man

Not a figment of the imagination

Not an advertisement for men’s clothing

The real thing

Carefully based on criteria from appropriate authorities

Guidance that will stand the test of the ages

I seek it here I seek it there

I seek perfection everywhere

From the tax agent for example

His perfect man will have a vast array of excuses

For the banker 

The perfect man will borrow, repay and then own an estate

The captain of industry’s perfect man

Will do more work for less pay

The shock jock’s criterion for perfection

Will be power to abuse in response to abuse

And the spouse will simply demand

A perfect man about the house

Or take the politician 

No problem for him

His perfect man will turn the big lie into votes

What about the soldier?

That’s simple too: the perfect man will obey orders

And the lawyer?

That perfect man will pay you even if you are wrong

And the surgeon will operate

As long as the perfect man can afford the fees 

The policeman’s

Perfect man will be arrested without a struggle

The car salesman’s

Perfect man will believe the spiel

And the pressman’s

Perfect man will still buy the paper in spite of the lies

I must tell you here, there is no space

To discuss further the vox populi 

But let me end with this

At last I have found the archetype of the perfect man 

He is in fact dead

Death has a strange way with reputations

So presume the funerals to scan

If you would seek to find the perfect man

From eulogies you will make your selection

For there and only there will you find perfection


Well here I am carrying my light

Holding it high in the broad daylight

You will recall I have a plan

To throw its beams on an honest man

Ah here he is; I think I’ve found him

With a multitude of friends gathered around him

But no that is not a valid test

It’s the friends you don’t see who are under arrest

What about this one, with lots of power

He’s a pedophile working the children’s hour

It’s false respect he is receiving

And we must talk justice for his victims’ grieving

Look here now I’ve found another

Waving to me like a long lost brother

There he goes blithely through a diplomat’s door

No, he’s no good as he started a war

And so the search goes on

With many a soul to look upon

There’s a very famous business man

With extremely high status and lots of élan

On a desperate search for survival

By selling his soul to a rival

So we can’t choose him but this one may do

He’s got an award for the chosen few

He knew the right people to promote nomination

Though his true nature’s an abomination

What a job this is but I must not give in

I keep finding people who are troubled by sin

But wait, there’s one last honest man to find

It’s a Prime Minister who has just resigned


Beauty stands supreme

Among routine deserts of ugliness

It radiates harmony

Amidst a cacophony of discord

It casts aside irrelevance

Like foliage falling off poison ivy

It speaks with its own logic

Explaining things

In a universal language that radiates awareness

It has its special peace with the world

Beauty rejoices in its own significance

Unafraid of time

It is powerful because of its intrinsic worth

That belongs to the ages

Its energy is self-fulfilling 

Beyond moments of fleeting fame

Its influence is irresistible 


Creating responses

That change the very nature of human existence

There is no simplistic formula

That leads to beauty

It does not appear on request

Or obey the orders of the powerful

It is not the wanton child of fashion

Not the transient whim of the greedy

Not the illicit consequence of self interest

Above all

Beauty transcends the commonplace

The passing mundanity

That tends to drain away the human spirit

During industrialised existence

It has an enchanted voice

Inviting, inciting, challenging

It exists for us all

As a true triumph of human life


Rhymes And Similar Poetic Devices


Once long ago

A man threw mud in my face

I don’t remember who it was

And my life went on apace

I bought a car one extravagant day

It was extremely expensive

I don’t know where on earth it is now

Even though my search is extensive

In the past I travelled

To many lands

Their names have gone from my memory

As my thoughts are like shifting sands

I once won a prize

But I can’t remember what for

I get no help from an abstract picture

Which silently hangs on my door

One terrible time I was lost

With simply no redress

I was so puzzled where to go

I forgot my home address

A beloved uncle died one day

A man of considerable fame

When I had to write his obituary

I couldn’t remember his name

I bought some goods at Woolworths

This caused a considerable din

There was a great fuss at the checkout

As I couldn’t remember my pin

That is not all

There is yet one very last straw

I locked my keys inside my house

And couldn’t open the door

Yet despite all this

There’s a memory shining on through the fog

It’s Charlie-Max-Tom-Rocky-Jake-Billy-JoJo-Fido

The name of my best friend, my dog


O I have not yet read Chapman’s Homer

Yet I have travell’d in the realms of gold

For I have lived long with a passion for poems

The love of my life though I’m old

In the midst of boring inanity

Imagery can light rings of fire

Words in patterns of visual meaning

Paint pictures that humans desire

Mastery of metaphor

Is the sorcery bards know well

Poets who cast a spell with its charm

Have wondrous tales to tell

Alliteration is one more device

That purposely presents pure power

The lovely effect of letter repetition

Is like beautiful birds in a bower

Assonance adds the mystic glory of sound

Like a bell foretelling wellbeing

It’s the reader’s ear that does the work

Success is what we are seeing

Rhyme is often a part of a poem

It’s one way we get to know ’em

But there is no reason to ignore

The joy we get from blank verse

Repetition is a device

That drives the meaning home

I’ll say it again for emphasis

It drives the meaning home

The simile is a potent tool

A part of the poet’s plan

To give a very smooth meaning to life

Like a motor car made in Japan

Onomatopoeia is another use of sound

When the whistles whiz and the whip whirs

When the bells clang and the guns bang

We know clearly what occurs

Hyperbole is fun to use

Exaggeration may be your choice

Poetry can let you reach for the stars

Or speak with with a giant’s voice

Personification can be fun to use

As a poet you may talk with a tree

Or be given instructions by the wind

As you blithely set yourself free

So there you have it

Some things you can do as a poet

It is really possible to change the world

And it’s always your readers who’ll know it

So write on

You sons and daughters of life

And weave your magic thread

Give to the world your enchanted words

And rejoice that you are not dead


Trust it is a blessed thing

Beloved from pole to pole

It can bring true happiness

And play a vital role

When it is missing

Angels lose their wings

Innocents cry out in pain

And a death knell rings

So it was in the miserable past

When credence was betrayed

A nation sought to believe a promise

Only to be dismayed

So war drums sounded

And soldiers held their breath

Then millions of innocent people

Met an untimely death

That is why I say to you

O leader who courts my faith

If you continue to lie to me

You will fade and become a wraith

Your promises are like morning mist

Destroyed by the rising sun

Your deeds to save a troubled world

Have barely yet begun

So hear my words 

You immensely troubled soul

You’ll find no belief in the future from me

Embedded in a lump of coal

Your time has come

And listen to me you must

If you don’t amend your ways

My trust will turn to dust

A Work Of Art

A work of art is a thing of beauty

A joy forever

It is a gift to all people

Made by one or more of our fellows

It stands supreme

With its own integrity

Depending entirely for its existence 

On the artistry that created it

Its aim is artistic perfection

Not profit

Not conformity

Not political change

Not obeisance to simplistic formulae

It lives by its own magic

And triumphs in spite of everything

There is no bargaining with art

No compromise for personal advantage

No quest for irrelevant social status

It is where inspiration begins and never ends

Where human dignity

Is apparent to us all

So that we cannot hear the noise

Of undeserved reputation

Or fictitious claims of virtue

Art is a beacon of light

Thrown on the darkness of self interest

And its place in the world will forever be

A guardian of human fulfilment

So for art and its eternal welfare

With all the joy and wisdom that entails

Here I stand

Alas Poor Yorick 

Old age makes certain you have outlived many people

Friends and loved ones inevitably have died

Gone forever from your company

For this is the way of human existence

Edith Emily Marjorie for example

My mother

Who kept me warm

When the chill of life enveloped me

Alexander Cecil Royce

My father

Who opened doors

To the powers that developed me

Robert “Dutchy” Holland

Australian Test cricketer

Who made me feel comfortable in his presence

And spoke with me of his deeds

Charles Manuel

Headmaster of my first school

Who recognised my virtues

And worked on my deficiencies

Charlie Chaplin

With whom I spoke only in my dreams

And who taught me how to laugh

Not with contempt but with love

Pandora my dog

Who knew I was about to euthanise her

And forgave me

With deep understanding in her eyes

Judith Marian

A dead wife

Who walked with me once down the aisle of dreams

Gone now all of them

No longer reachable with words

But forever a part of my existence

All Is Not Yet Right With That World

People tend to hide the truth don’t they?

Cunning diversionary devices

False claims of virtue

Sprinkled with the allure

Of the greatest good for the greatest number

Jobs jobs jobs you hear triumphantly proclaimed

Even though the occupations murder our earth

A balanced budget’s another proud claim

No money wasted on the poor, the sick or the ignorant

Keep our nation safe is one more war cry

Weapons therefore are purchased at huge cost

And refugees imprisoned without trial

To keep our borders secure

Only validity is missing

Lost in the battlefield of false assumptions

Our nation’s place in the world is secure we are told

The economy is the protector of everything

As market forces thrive

With houses: the median price is rising

And few can afford a first home?

Mental health is a problem

But remedies to date are fine except when not applied

The virus has devastated university study

But people say time will remedy this

As education is a business

That free enterprise will protect

Lovely weather we’re having too

Apart from the odd drought, flood and wildfire

Scientists are warning about future danger

In their usual way

Not focusing on the dominant needs of the stock market

Reality though, is what must govern human existence

The achievement of the possible

Everyone values the integrity governments profess

In the best of all possible worlds

But nevertheless all, yes all is not yet right with that world


Poems That Come To Mind

Secret Hallelujah

O I am Zeus and I rule the world

But you’ll never see my flag unfurled

For I am cunning and act propitiously

And do my dealings surreptitiously

My scheme for mankind has something new

It’s to put all power in the hands of a few

I am a combatant to rival Hector

Transferring control to the private sector

Public possession is not for the wise

So I ride with the wind and privatise

Patients and students are income sources

I condemn them all to market forces

I place offshore my wealth and power

To give tax evasion a witching hour

The balanced budget is one more false dream

So poverty and pain are part of my scheme

Low taxes for the wealthy are another ploy

No trickle down for the poor to employ

Low skilled workers will have paltry wages

As monopolies flourish in organised stages

Ecosystems die while I remain mute

As my mining cronies collect the loot

Each plan I devise increases my wealth

And no one dare touch it except myself

My design is secret and of biblical proportions

I keep it dark with cunning distortions

My negative forces are a skilful diversion

Unseen by all as sheer perversion

Loneliness, poverty, mental stress I ignore

It’s the old feudal system that I restore

My personal aim is to control the common man

Corporate triumph is my lucrative plan

And I shall sing as morning follows night

A secret hallelujah to the glory of the Right

Enforced Nonentity

Here I am

My life still aflame

Still ready to take up arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them

Many thoughts for future action flood my mind

Ways to improve the world

As well as myself

Such a glorious opportunity

To make the most of life

And sprinkle water on the deserts of ignorance

My demise is not yet in my thoughts

Between now and then I have much to do

Learn this learn that

Read this read that

Write this write that

Countless ways to squeeze the juice out of time

To make each day count

As a little triumph beyond mere necessity

So why do you threaten me with the enforced nonentity

Of aged care

To turn me into a dependent anachronism

Hand fed by strangers

As if I were unable to help myself?

I may be a dependant some time but not today

If you try to impose that existence on me,

I warn you

I will flee from your sight and dance on the moon

Time For Me Is A Friend And Not A Foe

Yes I am old and my life may seem nothing but woe

But time for me is a friend and not a foe

Age is not a symptom of disaster

It is a database of memories to master

All those years are not a reason for despair

When events changed the fate of mankind, I was there

Reading the papers, seeing the films, listening to radio news

And then came television which now the whole world views

The past is not a body to dismember

It is my ally because of what I remember

In those days when my hearing was not impaired

I heard an anguished voice saying war was declared

I recollect many warplanes flying overhead

And the Rats of Tobruk being told to bring out their dead

Pearl Harbour ablaze will be in my mind until the day I die

Hiroshima and Nagasaki as horrors still make me cry

I once sang a Glenn Miller song called Elmer’s Tune

I was swept away when Neil Armstrong walked the moon

I remember too Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf 

Who most agree gave the Internet its birth

My friends and I watched many dictators fall

We saw as well the collapse of the Berlin Wall

History is less a mystery when you are old

You are almost a spy who comes in from the cold

Wars, peace, boom and depression

When you live through them they make an impression

Change your life and determine what you are

Because the door to vital things is ajar

So I thank you here for noticing my story

There is so much more I could tell to extend the glory

But now I desist with a thought I cannot resist

Old people’s stories are events that should never be missed

I have learnt to rejoice on reaching my venerable age

As my mind turns me into a lion without a cage

A Friend

A friend is

Like silence when your head aches

Like hot food when you are hungry

Like drink when you are thirsty

Like a breeze in a heatwave

Like shelter in a storm

Like laughter when you are sad

Like being found when you are lost

Like rain in a drought

Like a blanket when you are cold

Like company when you are lonely

Like a tree in a desert

Like shade in the hot sun

Like a garden in a city

Like a key to a locked door

Like peace after war

So thank you dear reader for being here;

Please be my friend


I questioned once the view that I was dumb

But when in doubt I merely sucked my thumb

When my view of the planet was forming

I denied the truth of global warming

I put all my faith in mere divertissements

And based all my judgements on advertisements

Regarding commerce I tended to fudge it

And accepted the need for a balanced budget

I agreed to the purchase of weapons what’s more

And supported the plans for a global war

I cheered tax concessions for every rich clown

And believed that the proceeds would trickle down

I was happy to give wealthy CEOs my thanks

And raised the income of the heads of banks

I accepted lobbyists as genuine envelopers

And placed each city in the hands of developers

I denied true science the power to define

By extending the existence of every coal mine

I described green bans as pettifogging

And permitted unfettered forest logging

I condemned marine parks as futile wishing

Which led to disaster by illegal fishing

One final deed turned me into an ass

I spent many millions on power from gas

And so my life has gone merrily on

I can say I am rarely frowned upon

In fact as a gesture that reeks of bar sinister

They’ve recently elected me Prime Minister


O I can see the sky afire

Clouds in a tumult of anger pounding the air

Trees a clamour of leafless branches

Clutching upwards like hands of the dead

Thunder tearing the planet apart

Lightning burning hot creases in Heaven

Endless rain 

Hammering on the eaves of tomorrow

Cyclones battering frightened cities to death

Millions of cars licking the air with forked tongues

As dark Satanic mills burn away the future

Beside this doom there hover the ghosts of greed

Haunting still frequented mines

With wraiths of doubt denying the truths of science

While the drones of obsolescence

Cling furtively to outdated ways of living

Can there be a reason for this storming?

Did I hear you mention global warming?


Still More Reflections In A Broken Looking Glass


My kingdom is rocks by the sea

For I am a fisherman

On many a dawn in the early light

I stand erect

In defiance of the waves

That crash around my feet

Cane rod pointing towards the sky

Poised for the battle

In my quest to conquer a dweller of the deep

Cunning in my choice of bait

Cunjevoi, delicious piscatorial lure,

To gull a brave creature into battle with me

Or else a bijou crab serves as a trap

To beguile a sturdy groper into conflict

There I am, waiting poised

Time standing still

Until what I seek turns into a holy grail

A strike

And the rod arches within my grasp

The line is taut almost to breaking

A precious item can be mine for the taking

My body bends with the strain

As I am pulled towards the restless waves

One step, two…

I fight back

Feet feeling for safety on the slippery rocks

Closer to the edge I come

Back I must go or else enter a watery grave


I am losing

The fish is too strong for me

It is drawing me down to water level 

And the rod bends seemingly to breaking point

Then my opponent swims into its sanctuary, a reef

The struggle ends; the line snags and breaks; I have lost

But the nobility of the victor makes me ignore the cost

Memoirs Of A Rogue

I am a beast, an arrant rogue

Cunning, successful where cheating’s in vogue

Duplicitous, two-faced, mendacious and scheming

If you think you’ve defined me, you’re clearly dreaming

I have a lofty social life and I’m not in the least academic

If you claim I have integrity you’ll start a real polemic

For my own acquisitive pleasure I betray my friends

I flirt like Hell with their wives until the friendship ends

I am not tame because of fame and conquest is my game 

I win the hearts of supplicants who all bow to my name

If you have not heard of me that is a surprise

As I have risen through the ranks with schemes that I devise

It really is a wonder though to see such popularity

When the secret nature of my being reeks of sheer vulgarity

As the days go by, with my status high, I ply my ugly ways

I prove to the world beyond all doubt that immorality pays

I’m violent too and draw my sword when I meet a rival

I lie and scam and double-cross to make sure my survival

I can stir a crowd if I’m allowed to make a political point

The mob will rise and eulogise me – a saint that they anoint

And white is the colour of a true love’s face

That is my philosophy for the human race

In the world of business I’m a star in a lucrative sky

I bribe, embezzle, insider trade till the price of my shares is high

So as you know my story, there is little more to say

But if you elect me as your leader, you will make my day


I am an apprentice so my papers say

And I work like the Devil for my pay

On the job early

In the hurly-burly 

In no way daring to shirk

I must do much dirty work

I am a gun without a trigger

Striving to be a rigger

Dealing with big constructions

As I struggle to follow instructions

They are very hard to understand

My boss makes often the impossible demand

But I battle on and do my best

I work all day without a rest

I am a pathetic figure

Looking for lost vigour

A crane lifts my man-basket ever so high

Alarmingly towards the sky

I am such a long way up on the building frame

Where we toil on a high-rise with no name

The people below me look so small

I’m uneasy with heights – afraid to fall

And the work I’m forced to do

Makes me long for something new

I know sadness too for I lost a friend

When a wall collapsed he met his end

There are bullies too in this my life

Who distort my world and bring me strife

They are constantly mean and offensive

While I struggle to be defensive

Five long years will test my will

Before I have appropriate skill

Cruel fate plays havoc with my destiny

As troubles from a harsh world come to rest in me


For thirty years I’ve delivered letters

To a prescribed part of the city

It’s tedious work 

And I am not seen as very significant 

To most people

Just a robot of routine

Putting as yet unread missives into letter boxes

At the back of my mind however,

There is an awareness of my value

Because I bring people together

Loved ones sharing news

Decision makers notifying success or failure

Debtors receiving demands for payment

Miscreants fined for traffic breaches

And the odd advisors perhaps 

Sharing new doorways to a better life

My deeds are not heroic

Although motorists at times

Do their best to knock me off my bicycle

I am just simply a part of things


Meticulous day after day

Functioning in all weathers

Responsible at times for letters

In the wrong box not read

But always striving to get things right

Retirement is coming soon

So my thoughts ramble

About the future of the role I have played

Email looms and the internet grooms

A totally new world of communication

Perhaps my calling

Will be rewritten in that grave new world

Times do change don’t they?

Soon a very different outcome we might see

For a message ending with RSVP

Law and Order

I am a policeman

Stationed in the region of West Hades

Life is not easy for us these days

Lots of madness on the roads

Demonstrations over global warming

Gunshots in a parking lot last Friday

And a fatal lover’s quarrel yesterday

Three suicides, two of them soldiers

In the past two months

It’s not easy being a first responder

Meeting death face to face

Tends to give you the shakes

No matter how practised you are

Breaking the news is even harder

Empathy is a painful thing

So often needed in the modern world

You can see the pain in their eyes

When you tell them the truth

You notice colour draining from their faces

God knows all this

Brings you close to giving up

But it’s the work you have to do

Paid less for it than others receive for easier tasks

On the positive side

We have just found three hikers

Lost in Phantom Valley

Great rejoicing, widespread

I am in the news a lot

Interviewed on television from time to time

Often about tragedy I’m afraid

But that’s the way it is

And life goes on in its usual way…

While other folk are blandly resting

The work we policemen have to do is even more arresting


I walk with others towards the future

Because I am a teacher

I travel the dusty road of self awareness

Patiently correcting errors

And giving new hope of success

In spite of all the barriers

That bar the way

I find in my care very often

Underlings in strife

Torn and harassed by the traumas of life:

Troubled parents

Graven images of instructional gain

Costly solutions to needs that don’t exist

And external testing probing the wrong things

Sometimes I win the battle:

Words are read with understanding

Significant equations are solved

The past becomes a living thing that teaches in the now

But the rest of my work is a never ending struggle

There is always more to be done

If the war is to be won

And I fight on

Rewarded joyfully from time to time

By the light in a pupil’s eyes

That is often my only sign of success

But it carries me forward

With a dream of a better world

Some will say dreams have no place in the classroom

That old fashioned stress and duress are sorely needed

To bring back the good old days

I say no

That is not the place to go

Worn out ways are not what my students need

There will be a different legacy when I am gone

I look upon each lesson as time passes

As a way to face tomorrow through my classes


More Reflections In A Broken Mirror


I am not employed any more

Too old at fifty-seven

Thirty-five years I worked for that firm

Making electric motors

I knew my stuff

Learnt the hard way

Went to night school for my trade needs

Mastered all skills pretty well

Endured the odd tyrant as a boss

But that was no real problem

The union kept them in check for most of the time

Earned enough to raise a family

Four boys and a girl

Wife didn’t work except at home

Life for both of us was manageable

Until the changes came

Takeover by an English firm and new engine design

Invasion by young bloods

With university qualifications

I had outlived my usefulness

It was time for me to go 

Diplomatic praise coloured my farewell

And a travel bag gift

That was it

My usefulness was over

Bleak is the world if you’re no more needed

Looked for other work 

But who wants an obsolete technician

Tried out as a labourer on roadwork

Which didn’t last

As the physical stress was beyond me

Got a job as Santa Clause with a big department store

But Christmas comes but once a year

So I’m on the dole queue now

That is just enough since my wife died

As to what comes next only fate will decide

O Hermes 

Hermes – Greek God of Gambling

Here I sit

Pulling the poker machine lever

Longing to win though greed is a sin

Five of a kind is on my mind


See the wheels spin

It’s magic


Excitement comes

In the golden glee of anticipation

I know I will win soon

It has to be me

Soon you will see


Oh dear

Well next time

Quick give the lever another flick

Ah that was close

Perhaps next time

Here we go… 

Well never mind

There’s enchantment in the spinning wheels

Especially if you are the chosen one

That’s me

It has to be me

Certain to win


As long as you don’t give in

Turn again wheels


This time…


Well never mind

Triumph is but a lever away

I cannot hear any other thing you say


I am not a jockey any more

Was an apprentice once

But I got too heavy

Starved myself

Constantly beat up a punching bag

All in vain

Weight killed my career

No more pre-dawn duties now

Early rising for time trials on the track

No more cleaning the stables

Watching horses roll in the sand

Hosing them down afterwards

Then brushing their coat

No more crouching over the neck of muscular creatures

And whipping them to the post

I loved the smell of horses

As they stamped their feet at the starting gate

Felt the wonder of their surge forward as the race began

Rode a winner or two

Following the boss’s instructions

Rode losers too

Also following instructions

Was just beginning to learn race tactics

When weight crushed my career

Keeping the short priced favourite in a pocket

Seizing an opening before a desperate rival

Surging towards the winning post at the right moment

Had two bad falls

Broke a leg once and three ribs

But fear doesn’t get you

When you have no choice but to keep on riding

So that’s it

Just an urger on the track these days

No more horsemanship

Collect garbage for the council now

Memories are the only other reason for me to take a bow

Climbing Boy

I was a climbing boy for a chimney sweep

When I was but twelve years old

Memories are painful

They still haunt me

Even though time causes life to change

I am now old at sixty-three

And live on with the help of charity

But thoughts of those days

Never fade away

My parents sold me to Master Sweep Groggs

He called me his apprentice

What a false name!

We boys were but tools of greed

Enslaved to work in Hell

Some of us died, murdered by soot

My friend George Brewster

Met his death trapped 

In a narrow chimney pipe

Some of us were killed by falls

We were always hungry

I slept on a basement floor

With a filthy sooty sack to keep me warm

I never knew the comfort of soap and water

We worked from dawn to dusk

Every day of the year

But May Day

When some of us danced in the streets

Mr Blake wrote poetry about us

And the parliament passed laws at last

Forbidding such work by children

Life for withered me now drags on by

But the recollections in my soul are yet to die

O Vietnam

My days as a soldier are over

Yet that life I led never leaves me alone

People still die in my mind

Innocent folk in disguise

I can still see the fear in their eyes

A so called entente was the guilty scenario

A reason for dark deeds

Arranged by me the agent of death

So many good people dying 

When their one hostile act

Was to till their soil

Children in that place tasted poison

Harvested from the earth

Enemies emerging from holes in the ground

Met my bullets instead of the sun

It was a merciless crime, that time 

A cause for so called justice planned in Hell

I saw the living

Converted to nothing but meat

As I fell from grace merely to avoid defeat

Killed anything that moved

And then sought reasons to disguise the truth

Sprayed a village with my bullets

Before I entered

Then found lifeless old folks who had wished me no harm

And a dead dog

Radioed advice on targets to the big guns

Annihilation was the consequence

All in the name of peace

O Vietnam

What have I done to you?

What have you done to me?

How noble you are to forgive me!

May all your children outlive me

Times Have Changed

I shall not work in a mine again

I have no place in the Minotaur’s den

No more digging up the sedimentary past

Safety from silicosis at last

The sun is mine whenever I choose

My toil for Pluto was a dangerous ruse

Methane’s no longer a threat to me

Neither is mine-induced seismicity

I choose normal wash now to rinse my shirts

Don’t scrub my hands with Solvol till it hurts

I am free of dangers that cause me stress

Such as the deadly H2S

I am finding peace now in my old age

Life free of shovelling suits this stage

The only lift now I explore

Is the one found in a department store

The air I breathe is free of dust

The ground I walk on I can trust

So there you have it, times have changed

My humble life is rearranged

For me a new day is suddenly dawning

And I can sleep in every morning

This feeling of peace is habit forming

As I help save the world from global warming


Reflections In A Broken Mirror

Image Attribution: Wikimedia Commons:  Screenshot from Shoes (1916) featuring actress Mary MacLaren, directed by Lois Weber.


I married Alexander when I was nineteen

Just after leaving school

It was the Great Depression and we had little money

We brought three sons into the world

So a career outside the home

Was unthinkable for me

I was a prisoner of domesticity

Cooking on a fuel stove

Washing in a fire-heated copper

Sweeping constantly with a straw broom

And caring for those children

It all kept me very busy

My duty in life

Necessity mothered by convention

As the years passed

I found my head began to stay bent over

I had a slight curvature of the spine

Hands were calloused

And my back tended to ache often

The boys are gone now

Adrift in the wide world of business enterprise

Alex is gone too

Died a decade ago a year after he retired

I live alone

Not rich enough to pay for aged care

I’m a good cook

As my boys used to say

But my heart is not in that these days

What is the point of a gourmet meal when you are alone?

I’m content with sandwiches

No career to look back on either

No landmarks of high professional interest

To break the present boredom

I was merely a housewife

I am still, and there is no release

As I move towards my time to rest in peace


I walk by others through the night

Listening for cries of pain

Always ready to help the desperate

In their struggle to survive

Day work is harder

More disasters tend to happen then

And routines never cease

Temperatures taken

Blood pressure recorded

Cleaning up the mess of the incontinent

Dressing wounds

Changing bandages

Attending intravenous antibiotics

There is never peace when you are on duty

And when you are home

The troubles of others stay in your mind

Especially if someone has died

We nurses are never rich

The burden of health funding is a political fantasy

Still it’s a profession

The university course designers tell us

With traditions dating back

Past time immemorial

And so we diligently practise our calling

Holding hands with the needy

Lifting the immobilised with cheery encouragement

Struggling with overburdened schedules

Mourning the deceased

Sometimes things are almost too much

As the number of patients exceeds the resources

Yet we struggle on

Tending our troubled sisters and brothers

Whatever their age

Not angels perhaps when each day ends

But kept on task by Heaven above

Because we have found fellow humans to love

Garbage Man

Garbage was my business

Way back in time

Before motorised waste wagons

Not a glamorous career

I was always so dirty

Doing the job

Lifting the tins and bags onto my shoulder

Was filthy, back breaking work

My status in society too

Was extremely low

When asked about my profession

I would always act as if I didn’t hear

And find a way to change the subject

Some people were kind though

Would greet me if we met

With at least a smile

Mrs Smythe of Verity Street

Who lived in a small cottage with a thatched roof

Would always leave a present

On her garbage tin lid at Christmas

Some other people

Did seem grateful for the hard work I did

But to most

I was a low-class embarrassment 

They were glad to see leave their premises

I’m ninety-two now

And I’m glad my days as a garbage man are over

If still in that calling

I would be known as a waste manager

Ah yes, such are the foibles of Public Relations

For thirty-seven years I collected garbage

Slaving away to help my fellow humans

Keep their homes clean

Things were different in my day

The waste-makers were not so keen

Today it’s far easier to see where they have been


When I was a boy of twelve

I climbed a tree

It was a gentle, friendly thing

That tree

Smooth bark, many branches

A blue gum, eucalyptus globulus

The kind you see in lots of paintings

Leaves almost piquant

When you give yourself a taste

When I swung myself from branch to branch

I noticed flower buds in places 

As I rose, the world changed

The higher I went the further I could see

And the more important I felt

Suddenly I was a prince admiring his domain

A master with a universe expanding as I rose

I disturbed a Black Friday,

As I threw an arm around a higher branch

The cicada made a loud drumming noise 

And flew away alarmed

As I rose, a wider view of the bush unfolded

Then I caught sight of a bush bees nest

It was nestled where a branch joined the main trunk

Easily avoided as I rose to a koala height

From where I could see the horizon

How can I explain the triumph of that climb?

A feeling of great power came over me

I drank in the views with wonder

A Monarch butterfly danced on the air around me

And then rose even higher than my lofty position

Leaving me slightly envious

Thus my climb ended

I let myself come down eventually

Now I am old yet that memory lingers so clearly

But alas a sigh proceeds through my lips

For the tree is now wood chips

Past Glory

I was a star once

Fast as lightning on the football field

Even though I was only nine stone seven

Rugby League was my game

Saturday was my glory day

All teams used to play on that one day

With the Match Of The Day

On the Sydney Cricket Ground

Newtown was my team

Blue Bags was our invented name

To match our jerseys

By our deeds we gave a kind of respectability

To an underprivileged suburb

The game was faster in those days

Before they changed the rules to make players

Pound each other to death

Excitement then was in the air more often 

As you had more space to run and score a try

Amidst a rising spectator roar

Players were not rich in that halcyon time

Not corporate robots rivalling each other for increased pay

Losing then was not a crime

As it was a game not a business

Television was not the prying eye it is today

Great deeds just happened

And had to live on

In the minds of those who saw them

That is why the fans of the present don’t know me

I am just a name in the ageing record books

No statue as I wasn’t top of the class

I can’t run any more either

I walk with a limp

And have to take many pills after breakfast

But I was a man of my time

And my memory of those games is still sublime


It’s no fun being persona non grata

Shut off from the world

Treated like a virus

In a pandemic

You get so lonely

With only yourself as company

You with your awareness of the follies around you…

That is what happened to me

A long time ago now

I stumbled onto the crime of an influential person

Published the truth

And was treated as a leper by an individual with power


To become a convenient scapegoat

An ogre

Classified by true villains as worthy of blame

A handy target for secretly guilty others

So I was cast into bleak isolation

Strongly maligned

And pushed aside to be left all, all alone

With only friends on the net to keep me company

I lingered through a purgatory of pain

And endured the burden of abuse

What was my future?

Where did I go from there?

Painful questions with no easy answer

And yet there is always hope in the darkest of times!

Twenty years of exclusion with me shunned, rejected, shut out

Unjustly scorned

With never a trace of pity

Have passed now into the chasm of time

While today I still have a voice

To tell my story

The inconvenient truth about true demons

And for me a gentle triumph still to have survived


Poetry Continues

Sad Thoughts

Just a wearying for them

All the sad folk who clutter up our television

Getting our attention so very often

For just a few contaminated moments

That woman murdered by an estranged partner

Two children killed by a father who shot himself later

A black man kneed to death by a guilty policeman

Seven indigenous victims dying in custody

A woman’s body found in a bin

Fatalities on the roads

A shooting in the USA – many dead

That’s enough

A valid sample of the nature of things

Stories told by our media

Amidst advertisements for the living

Why is this so?

Why is our awareness so steeped in death?

Does it sell well?

Do we rejoice in iniquity?

Is there a salacious pleasure in other people’s demise?

I don’t know

Those questions leave me cold

Perhaps because I am old

Other things however I have noticed

Today an ancient gave his wife of sixty years a flower

And yesterday a mother gave birth to her third child

Last week a blind man read his first book written in Braille

And as a teacher left his class for the last time

The children said goodbye with love in their hearts

Were these events in the news?

Did they make the headlines?

No. But be assured they happened

As surely as the sun rises on a beautiful world

Last Train To Nowhere

All aboard

Stand clear doors closing


Hurry up you’ll miss it

Last train about to leave


You’ve made it

O my that was close

That’s right move right in

Plenty of seats

The train’s almost empty

Right, there you are

Take that place and relax

Reflect on the thoughts 

You have just shared at the virtual climate summit

Emissions plan

What did you say?

Technology not targets


What a brilliant obfuscation!

A shield to avoid the obligation

That would reduce the incomes of your cronies

Conveniently vague too…

No greenhouse emissions reduction target just now


You chronicle your deeds without commitment

Then you promise billions for low emissions technology

What a beautiful distraction from the inconvenient truth!

Why carbon dioxide wouldn’t melt in your mouth…

Technology will solve all our problems


Fire, drought, storm and flood 

Can be topics for tomorrow’s tomorrow

You are indeed an artful dodger

Sit back now and enjoy the trip

Bank Robbery


There you stand

Ruling with a lucrative hand

Amidst the tyranny of finance

Favouring the few with the pain of the many

Institutions tainted by greed

Designed by fiscal fiends to bleed the world

With sops for Cerberus

Tainted money extracted by devices you have designed

To make a chosen few rich

And yet, when trouble comes

Who save you?

Why the masses themselves by government decree

Those you exploit when the going is easy

Public funds to the rescue

Your very existence 

Is deemed essential by our rulers

And must be preserved

While lesser consortia are allowed to fail

And each CEO you choose is an overpaid despot

Presiding above tainted procedures

Invented to give you the power of affluence

Your might is unseemly

And casts a shadow over any image of righteousness

So what then is your destiny?

Quo Vadis?

Is it power you seek to rule the world?

Or do you merely aim for the Midas touch?


For change is in the air

Other people in the end may soon decide your fate

People voted into power by all your debtors

Then it shall follow as the night the day,

The victims robbed by banks will have their say

Last Hope

I wandered lonely as a leper

Trying to find a solution to my woes

My money was scarce – a mere pittance

And my landlord had sold my home

Telling me to live elsewhere

My bones ached when I walked the street

And the weather was cold

To make things worse I was feeling old

With very good reason for I was eighty eight

And my walking stick kept slipping on the pavement

Nevertheless I was keeping on with the journey

I had no choice

It was a mission I had to endure

If I was to survive

Not flourish mind you, merely to continue to exist

So on I went

Searching for a last hope in the battleground of being

No guns to the right of me; no guns to the left of me

Only people

Preoccupied with their own existence

Time dragged itself on – reluctantly

Then the storm came

Thunder like a thousand factories in the night

Lightning like missiles in a suffering sky

Rain pounding me

Like bullets from the Marne, the Somme and Verdun combined

I sought safety desperately

Suddenly there it was

A Government Senior Citizen’s Refuge with an open door


But that was not all

From that day my life was changed

Welfare came: medical support, social discourse, leisure schemes

All free and state funded 

The last days of my life were to have a caring theme

But how I wish this tale of mine was not a utopian dream

Drums of War

We’re told it’s a stark threat looming

And the weapons trade isn’t booming

So the media moguls tell us 

With the slanted news they sell us

That war is soon to come

And they beat the hostile drum

Little bits of innocuous news

Are twisted for us to peruse

So it seems we are all in danger

And war is the re-arranger

Ah yes conflict seems so real

It’s described with fictitious zeal

There’s a dire threat warfare is breaking

Where medals will be yours for the taking

Soon brave blood will be flowing

So buy your shares in Boeing

Then praise your way of life

And pretend that danger is rife

Invent tall tales of ill fame

As you blacken the enemy’s name

Then turn to wartime’s story

Speak loudly of past glory

Praise the way your country thrives

Because young men have given their lives

Remember to hail our current friends

Say that partnership never ends

Then find a foe’s false crime to explore

And you’re ready, yes ready for a lovely war

Whistle Blower

Liars, deceivers and secret operators

Have something to fear from the whistle blower

Leaks are deadly things

When you have something to hide

On the other hand

If you are open and honest

Divulged information can be a reward

And bring you fame and fortune

So please remember

You kings in shady castles

You masters of secretive cover up

If you dupe, deceive, hoodwink and hoax

And then classify your sins

To hide the evidence

Someone somehow sometime will reveal the truth

Somewhere your nemesis will be waiting

And your dirty linen will be left waving in the breeze of awareness

So here’s to the brave souls who will not stand your nonsense

Your sinister subtle cover up

Your cunning disguises

Your pretence of virtue

Who know that humanity needs public display

Integrity, peer reviews, the brilliance of scientific analysis

And who dare to expose your crimes

They are waiting for you

They will be poised in the darkness you conjure up

To hide your sins

With a light that will bounce off Heaven

To uncover your secrets

And expose your evil to a suffering world

O agents worthy of blame


Someone soon will reveal your shame


All things and people disappear finally

Unless you remember them

I think often of my mother and her love for me

Even though I am now old 

I can recall when she sheltered me from the cold

And comforted me

She is dead now and that warmth was so long ago

I cannot forget it however, especially when icy winds blow

My father had broad shoulders

I rode them as a child to watch a football match

It was so crowded

And I felt so secure, safe on that pillar of strength

I have forgotten the football match

But I remember my father constantly

Notably when I am in a crowd

Grandfather’s name was Nanny

He told me stories often

Especially when I was sick or frightened

Those stories have stayed with me

And when I recollect them

I am still on that knee

Bouncing a little and loving the tales

Of Antonio and Antonius

Then there is my beloved wife now dead

But still alive to me with her loving thoughts

And my children

Who never forgot my birthday

I still call them to mind too

Where am I now?

I seem to be alone and growing old

Very old 

Well not really alone

Just in a home for the aged

I share time with others that my fellow old folk

Are not aware of

Can you guess the real company that I keep?


More Poems Still

Paper Boy

I was a paper boy once

Better that than school where I was a dunce

“Pay-per, pay-per, World get yourWorld,” I would cry

Shouting at people in the hope that they would buy

Selling on corners or trams going past

Carefully ensuring no step was my last

That life was hard and never funny

But I helped my dear mother with the money

Nothing for me; that had to be

It did little to end my misery

To avoid the dangers I was quick on my feet

That you must be to survive on the street

Poor Freddie Jones was killed one day

He was my mate I sadly say

Hit by a car with his paper load

I saw him lying dead on the road

Once I dropped the papers and some blew away

The newsagent docked me six days’ pay

I had a row another time with a highly cranky old bastard

We turned a few heads while the battle lasted

The trouble was he dropped the change

And then blamed me which was very strange

To get away I leaped onto a bus

Alighting next stop victorious

On another grim day my mother died

Her loss was a blow and for months I cried

I sold no papers from that day on

As I had to support my kid brother Don

So I left school for full time employment

That job for me was ironic deployment

Life is strange but sometimes it rhymes

Now I clean toilets for the New York Times

Crocodile Tears

What a performance!

You read out the names of dead soldiers

Fighting back tears


As if they were your own family

And not victims of your bellicose policies

How well you act!

Stanislavsky would be proud of you

There’s method in your sadness

What did you focus on to conjure forth emotion?

A dead cat?

There are other questions more disturbing

Note them well

What on earth were they doing in that foreign land?

Who put them there?


The answers to these questions make me cry

Real tears I swear to you

Because I am alone in my room

On display to no one

But there is a consequence coming

A conclusion

I can feel it in my bones

The war that plays on your feelings will soon be over

No winner, only losers

On both sides

But the time will come for postmortems

Not the kind you have just delivered

No. No. No.

Reality instead

Truth will confront the jingoistic mob

As angels step in where fools fear to tread

At the going down of the sun

And in the morning

We will forget them


There they were

The burnt out ends of smoking days

Scattered on the footpath

As I went by

Cigarette butts

That set me wondering

Who put them there

Was it a child

Who stole the money

And did a deal at Fagan’s tobacco kiosk?

Was that boy or a girl already caught up

In a lifelong deadly habit?

Or was it perhaps a single mother

Trapped in nicotine addiction

Condemning her child to passive smoking

And a future fixation

Or can you see in your mind’s anguished eye

A tattered old fogey or wrinkled crone

Giving off smoke like a factory zone

And clutching death between stained fingers

Demise for them is not far away

You can see it in their eyes

What else can you see?

Why other victims everywhere

Young and old, rich and poor

Snared with a destiny of dying what’s more

Smoking their lives away

In the midst of all this

Is the corporate bliss

Of the company that makes the poison

The income is important to the politician

So honourable members condone the mortician

As their stricken people smoke, smoke, smoke each cigarette


It’s a funny thing the mind

It is where you plan your destiny

Or endure the whims of fate

That have made your life almost unbearable

But not quite

It is where you are free to make decisions

About right and wrong

Where you make mistakes constantly

Because of the deception

That has been fed into your awareness

Yet there is something else

That happens there

It is where you decide to love or hate

To link yourself to someone else with unbounded passion

Or cast aside another

With destructively baleful negativity

It is that choice that gives your mind mountains of joy

Or valleys of despair

Your thought process today is where your future lives

Where love can become a reality

Or hate a fatality

So dwell not in the past forever

So much depends on the now as the saying goes

The awareness where current thoughts define your woes

So climb this steeple

Today’s thinking can make you love other people

And their thoughts in return will be your affair to share

It’s a funny thing the mind



I’m pleased to meet you

Do you come here often?

I do

It’s where I soften the blows of my existence

Where are you from?

Oh my! I’ve never heard of that place

Is it near any well known location I might know?

I see

Well anyway, welcome my new friend from nowhere

My place in the world?


Not much to say about that

Once I was involved, really involved 

But then I died metaphorically although I was still breathing

Retirement they call it

When you are obsolete and no longer needed

What am I now?

Soon to be no more than a memory

A fading burden on society

Yet there is one comfort that says I am not alone

For in that past

There were other lives interacting with mine

Souls I influenced

Dreams I participated in

Little triumphs shared

Companions I walked with when the weather was bad

They are still with me now in my mind 

Good friends still

Whose spirit I share with you

For I was a teacher

Thanks for your company

Good to talk with you; have a nice day

As I Was Going To Strawberry Fair

As I was going to Strawberry Fair

I met a man who wasn’t there

He gave me a promise to set me free

If I helped his party gain victory

He then set other thoughts afloat

Clearly designed to get my vote

He said his opponents lied with lust

And he was the only one I could trust

He had learnt to manage our nation’s finance

While his rivals were fiscally in a trance

Because he was able to turn the right knobs

The land would be blessed with more and more jobs

Invasion he mentioned with arrant perfection

He’d keep us safe with border protection

One other claim caused a minor sensation

He said he would strive for the good of the nation

Then with a blast he left to the last

A promise to make need a thing of the past

I was swept away by the pie in the sky

So I thought a handshake was worth a try

The kind of greeting I tend to do

When eager to hail a man tried and true

O how can I tell you of my despair

When I reached out my hand and grasped the air?

What a lethal end to my false elation!

It’s a deadly thing your imagination.


More Thoughts

Listen To The Voices

The ancient forest is dying

The angry sky is alight

All the wild things are crying

As wildfire cremates the night

A child cries out in the madness

“What have you done to my world?”

Neocons ignore the sadness

With fingers round profits curled

The time-honoured farm’s under water

As the river bursts its banks

All the stock are faced with slaughter

And the neighbours all close ranks

An old man cries out in pain

“What have you done to my farm?”

Neocons press on to gain

And deny any cause for alarm

The drought has lasted for years

As the sun burns the soil away

The cattle succumb to all fears

While the farmers share the dismay

A mother cries out in despair

“I’ve a family; where is your pity?”

Neocons do not care

And the children move to the city

Time passes and overlords change

As science puts its case

Politicians seek to rearrange

To meet trouble face to face

Debates ensue and a plan converges:

“We must listen to the voices.”

Common sense at last emerges

And what’s left of the world rejoices

  I Love My World

I love my world

Those quaint deprived koalas

Trying to feed on scorched trees

Who is speaking up about global warming?

I love my world

Those heavenly fish

Slaughtered by illegal fishing practices

Who is speaking up about not conforming?

I love my world

A beautiful cityscape

Sullied by developers who thrive off bribes

Who is speaking up about not informing?

I love my world

Childhood angels

Tortured by ruthless demons with unrestricted power

Who is speaking up about not reforming?

I love my world

Even though I am old

I am writing poems about a better earth

Who is speaking up as I am performing?

Because Of A Word

Said the student to the wise man

“Tell us a tale.”

And the tale ran thus:

Because of a word a friendship was lost

With friendship gone a dream was lost

Without the dream a vision was lost

With no vision reform was lost

With no reform a vote was lost

After the vote good will was lost

With no good will a peace was lost

With no peace many people were lost

All those deaths brought cries to cease fighting

So the bellicose lost an election

As pacifists were elected

A dream then became a reality

And friendship was enjoyed by all

How could history be determined

In this way by a single word?

The answer will not be a cause of debate

For the word was hate.

Said the wise man to the student

“Was there a word to bring peace?”

The student replied thus:

“Yes good sir it was love.

And this brought an end to the tale.

The Crooked Man

There was a crooked man who walked a crooked mile

Corrupting politicians as he quickly made his pile

The vastly tainted lawmakers earned themselves due fame

With that man’s help they did dark things escaping any blame

They turned the state into a slick felonious place

As they hid their guilt so boldly from the gullible human race

The media played a vital role concealing the whole bleak truth

As with deliberately biassed news they duly hid the proof

As time went by those rogues grew richer

With the schemers all painting an amenable picture

And the money flowed in as a perfect flood

With follies unnoticed by flesh and blood

Developers joined in to work their wiles

While all corrupt funding was removed from the files

The villains gathered prestige by the lucrative hour

Their influence rising along with their power

So successful was the crooked man

He achieved a mastery with sheer élan

Then came a rite with appropriate regalia

With the false star awarded an Order of Australia

There was no end to the praise indiscreet

They gave our man’s name to a busy main street

Now corruption’s not seen as the root of all evil

Villains have been popular since time primeval

To the common man this may be a mystery

But the way to awareness is to look at the history

Yes there was a crooked man who walked a crooked mile

You won’t know his name but you’ll note his crooked smile

I Saw A Star The Other Night

I saw a star the other night

A thing of wonder twinkling bright

What a joy it was to be

Able to see that mystery

So far away and yet so real

Such deep emotions it made me feel

Here was I old and alone

Observing the beauty I was shown

I thought of others whom I love

Unable to see what I saw above

Some are dead and some still living

Part of a world that is unforgiving

Some friends of the past now away so far

All brought to mind because of that star

Voices I hear conjured up by that light

Sharing the memories of my past delight

Other thoughts come flooding in

So many I wonder where to begin

Above all else is my own impermanence

Shaped by life’s hostile determinants

When I am dead in predictable time

Others will still see that vision sublime

That in its way now gives me peace

For that star’s beauty will never cease

So I look again at that heavenly glory

And that is my never ending story

I Don’t Need Your Pity

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wingsHigh Flight by John Gillespie Magee

Hello. Nice to meet you

It is my pleasure to greet you

Thank you for all your kind thoughts wrought

With compassion for the trouble my old age has brought

Aches and pains and difficulty walking

Hard of hearing with others talking

But there’s really no need to be concerned

In the light of other things I have learned

Yes I’m battered and somewhat shattered simply because I am old

But I’m still alive able to thrive and can come in from the cold

When things go wrong and days seem long

I have memories of the past to carry me along

I leave the present when the need arises

And enjoy the past as my mind devises

So don’t be sad for me 

Instead be glad for me

For yesterday is my golden compensation

The days of yore are my wondrous deviation

When I was a little boy steeped in inspirations

Visionaries created the United Nations

In my days as a child leaders found new delights

In the Declaration of Human Rights

Then came Sputnik’s conquest of space

A new age began for the human race

And my hero Neil Armstrong made very soon

One giant leap for mankind on the moon

Yet another wonder in my life I’ll impart

Barnard’s transplant of a human heart

So triumphs are there if you see what I mean

With memory a sanctum where I love to be seen

So much more comes to me through that door

Whether I’m rich or whether I’m poor

Electronic devices TV and the net

The more I remember the happier I get

So if you should ever seek my company

Come to past times and then fly with me

One more thing’s left before I depart

I’ve not recalled folly right from the start

So conflict’s ignored; that’s what my heart chooses

As war has no winners just nothing but losers

So thanks for your company as I end this short ditty

Remember what I’ve said; I don’t need your pity


Latest Thoughts

Perchance To Dream

Beautiful things will be shared by all

Perchance to dream

Kindness and love at everyone’s call

Perchance to dream

Hatred and fear will disappear

Perchance to dream

Each call for help someone will hear

Perchance to dream

The world will see no weapons made

Perchance to dream

Leaders will promise not to invade

Perchance to dream

The globe will be seen by all as warm

Perchance to dream

Only the skeptics will be caught in a storm

Perchance to dream

All politicians will tell no lies

Perchance to dream

Developers will hear the wild things’ cries

Perchance to dream

University study will be free

Perchance to dream

So all can share the diversity

Perchance to dream

All refugees will find a home

Perchance to dream

No stark need for them to roam

Perchance to dream

There will be kindness for rich or poor

Perchance to dream

A generous heart and an open door

Can dreams come true? It is up to you

The Hypocrite Who Leads

I hear what you say

You who have been exposed

As a self seeking liar

A bold and enterprising ego promoter

Now your own virtue flows from your mouth

As if it were real

Excuses are dressed as realities

Love and care and interest that don’t exist

Are hurled at our minds as if they were real

During your arranged media interview

There is even a hoax tear in your garnished eye

To fit your fake posture of caring for humanity

You are not what you say you are

You with your invented tales

Concerning your counterfeit integrity

You are nothing but an eloquent imposter

Leading the masses with sly press agency skills

To a fantasy world that suits your purpose

So hear this now

True words about your policies

Are rising from the mire you create

Your followers are turning away from you

Like beasts from the slaughter

The truth is never classified as belonging to the chosen few

It chooses villains to destroy

Your lies are the sword of Damocles

They hang above your head about to fall

And this will be soon

For that is the way of things


To love is to live again

Like the sun at dawning

Like a wave of the ocean

Like a bud of a rose

Like a sapling in a forest

Like new grass in a field

Like a breeze in summer heat

Like rain in a drought

Like moonlight in darkness

Like shelter in a storm

Like food when you’re hungry

Like a friend when you’re lonely

Like music when you’re sad

Like a rug when you’re cold

Like a youth when you’re old

So love me still please

And give me sweet ease

Until the day I die

Why I’ve learned Not To Pity Myself

At last I have learned not to pity myself

Even though I am tattered with age

Yes I am old and time seems to mock me

Batter my limbs and constantly shock me

And yet I remain alive

Do you read me? I still survive

So many years have relentlessly passed

Often I thought each one was my last

But no, my life went on

Something I need to reflect upon

At the age of eighty-eight

So glad to avoid several dead friends’ fate

There was Clive blown apart by a blunderbuss

Billy run over by a wayward bus

Enid killed off by a life of smoking

And Joe who thought his doctor was joking

They have all passed away I’m sorry to say

While decrepit yours truly endures today

With an ache in his back

An arthritis attack

An ulcer fear

And a hearing aid in each ear

So there you have it

I’ve a chance to explain and I’ll grab it 

Why am I free of myself today?

Well here’s what I need to say

As a dweller in this city

Not prone any more to self pity

I find glee in a liar’s contrition

For I’ve ceased, yes I’ve ceased, with rapture released,

I’m no longer a politician


Wanderers marooned in loneliness

Forever in detention

As a punishment for seeking shelter

From life’s merciless inhumanity

Is there pity somewhere hidden

Among the mores

Of getting on with business?

No answer to my question

The silence thunders!

Black deaths in custody

Four in four weeks

As part of the civilising process

Handed out to an oppressed culture

Is there justice tucked away furtively

Amidst the prejudice

Of being white?

No answer to my question

The silence thunders!

Old folk punished for not dying

Lingering in decrepitude

In palaces of orchestrated neglect

So as not to trouble the family

Are there traces of the love from the past

Hovering in memories

Of family life?

No answer to my question

The silence thunders!

Troubled minds in stress

Abandoned by lawmakers 

Too busy with market pressures

To bother with mental illness

Is there compassion for families

Torn apart

Yet treated with neglect?

No answer to my question

The silence thunders!

Fools who believe the politicians

And vote them in

To positions of significance 

To change the world

Is there not one voice that we can trust

To put conscience

Ahead of personal gain?

No answer to my question

The silence thunders!

But wait. There is a voice at last

This in the end is true

Like the roar of a lion emerging from a child

It speaks to us all

Can you hear it, that school walkout

Brings a voice of reason

Virulently attacking folly?

There is an answer to my question

Yes. We talk to the children!

When I Am Weary

When I am weary

And days are long

I dispense with theory

And try to sing a song

But I am old

And feel the cold

My back is painful

My purse not gainful

It is hard to walk

Or even to talk

I try to be slick

With a walking stick

I have many fears

Hearing aids for my ears

Aches wrack my body

My clothes are shoddy

Eyesight’s dim

The future seems grim

They’ve sold my home

For the cost as I roam

To an aged care place

Where the food’s a disgrace

I have few friends

But as each day ends

I plan an end to my tears

As I live through the rest of my years

I will start a revolution

And write poetry as my solution


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