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


Yet More Poems

When The Stars Don’t Shine

Yes, and how many times must a man look up

Before he can see the sky? Bob Dylan Blowin’ In The Wind

When I am alone and thinking

And the light from the moon is shrinking

I notice the stars don’t shine

That’s trouble afoot in this life of mine

There is so much folly around me

Conspiracy seems to confound me

As I sink into the mists of despair

The world I knew is no longer there

It is changing like a child overwrought

A noble vision is no longer sought

Of beauty strength and purity

They’re banished into obscurity

You ask me where the trouble lies

I reply you’ll find it in the skies

For the city is cloaked in murk

Caused by demon engines at work

Yes carbon is everywhere

Made by moguls with money to spare

So they burn the night away

Like pyromaniac birds of prey

Until the air is cursed with grime

And flows like a sordid river of slime

Well may you ask me why I am sad

There’s a simple answer to be had

And it is all you need

I’m dismayed by this villainous greed

Though the felons are rich

With a virtuous pitch

And blandly donate to charity

Condoning their deeds with fake hilarity

The ages will tell what harm befell

These rogues who light the fires of hell

For one day the stars will shine again

As the cosmos destroys forever the follies of men

A Friend Nobody Knows

I have a friend nobody knows

Who stands by me in spite of my woes

Although I am outcast he remains my ally

The only one left as time goes by

When my fate turns sour in my darkest hour

He gives to me a new found power

As my other soul mates cast me aside

This loyal companion comes along for the ride

Together we roam down the streets of dismay

He keeps me company all the way

Who is this person you may ask

To give you an answer is no easy task

His first name is what comes to me

That seems the way he wants it to be

For names are but labels a part of the fables

Only required at dinner tables

And before a funeral pyre

To make some sense of the fire

Yes existence once was letting me down

My nerves went to pieces and I acted the clown

My world came close to disaster

I was no longer the master

So there you have my story

With clearly no added glory

But thank you for your attention

There is one more thing I must mention

My friend’s profession is not to be missed

He is my psychiatrist

Where Have All The Trees Gone?

Our cities’ foliage they say is reduced

Comfort crumbles with heatwaves induced

Where have all the trees gone?

Urban dwellers are a new élite

They spend a fortune on harsh concrete

Where have all the trees gone?

Politicians now are the arch envelopers

With their tainted money from get-rich developers

Where have all the trees gone?

Demolish with polish is the new catchcry 

Planning doesn’t matter as long as buyers buy

Where have all the trees gone?

Relentless expansion is habit forming

It takes no account of global warming

Where have all the trees gone?

Reckless destruction is the current mode

You mutilate the landscape to build a road

Where have all the trees gone?

With open eyes you will see fools fail

As they cut down a forest to build a light rail

Where have all the trees gone?

Alas this poem can never be

A thing as lovely as a tree

So where have all the trees gone?

Around The Bend

Dreams come true

Around the bend

Clichés are new

Around the bend

Politicians tell the truth

Around the bend

Admen don’t spoof

Around the bend

Business is moral

Around the bend

Lovers don’t quarrel

Around the bend

War is peace

Around the bend

Prisons release

Around the bend

The earth isn’t warm

Around the bend

Love is the norm

Around the bend

Coal is clean

Around the bend

Deserts are green

Around the bend

The needy get help

Around the bend

Dogs don’t yelp

Around the bend

Atoms don’t split

Around the bend

Bombs don’t hit

Around the bend

Idiots are sane

Around the bend

There’s no dirt in the rain

Around the bend

Families aren’t riven

Around the bend…

And so we are driven

Around the bend

Fire In The Sky

Do you know why

The daemon’s eye of fire glares at you in the sky?

It has power beyond all mortal ken

It will not bend to you or tell you when

You will not be safe from powerful fiery fingers

Your mere faint hope of survival lingers

And Vulcan does not wait

To negotiate with you your fate

Who lit the fire? you may ask

To answer is but a trivial task

If you don’t accept the reality of global warming

It was you

Yes you, it’s true, it was you

The skeptic who kindled the fire

Is that Dante revealing his ire?

You who make excuses

Concerning the uses

Of coal and CO2 

Burning the world is what you do

So heed this warning

Of tragic days dawning

Don’t act the fool

Let reason rule

And put out the fire

Before we expire

This is a last alert

Lest we are hurt as the world ends

What Have They Done To The Wind?

What have they done to the wind?

It smells like dead sheep skinned

Chemicals are in the air

A fresh pure breeze just isn’t there

Breathing gives my heart a wrench

I simply can’t endure the stench

What have they done to the wind?

Penance for those who’ve sinned?

Trees uprooted walls blown down

Destroyed buildings of great renown

Windows broken roofs blown off

Waves on the ocean express their wrath

What have they done to the wind?

It’s as if that doomsayer grinned

The temperature is high

Dust now fills the sky

Heat kills the flowers

Birds desert their bowers

What have they done to the wind?

Rubbish isn’t binned

Zephyrs meander

Amidst skeptic propaganda

Gales tell the tales

Of when science fails

That’s what they’ve done to the wind


Surprise: More Poems


Words are brutal things

If used for a sinister purpose

They can start a war

End a relationship

Or build an army of discontent

One thing stands alone

Once uttered

A word cannot be denied

It stands beside your reputation

For better or worse

Your moment with kingdom come

Or a devil’s curse

So heed this well you who speak loud and often

If your words are missives

That seize the minds of others

Leading them astray or into foray

It is you who must pay

You who will meet the harvest of criminal intent

As you fall into line

With the ghouls of the ages

Who generate rages

And sully the human condition without consent

That is it then

Judgement will come

As surely as the rising sun

Judicial words 

Will have a different tone

They will echo in the halls of justice forever

And brand you guilty

Thus to pay for what you have said

Life Is A Terminal Illness

Walking is a challenge now that I’m old

I wear lots of clothes because of the cold

And my movement resembles a circus trick

As I need to walk with a walking stick

Ho hum beat your drum

I look for my finger and find my thumb

My poor back aches with both knees in pain

As I try to pick things up in vain

My vision is weak with my hearing poor

I need a hearing aid what’s more

Fiddle de dee and can’t you see

I’ll soon have a place in a nursery

Blood pressure’s up with cholesterol

My doctor’s off to Sebastopol

There’s gout in my foot, arthritis in my fingers

A constant ache and the memory lingers 

Hi ho you should know

My hair is white as Christmas snow

When I am seated it’s hard to rise

So I perch on a stool to compromise

I can’t watch the news as I fall asleep

I forget so much it makes me weep

Boo hoo that is true

My whole poor life is a hullabaloo

I go to great length to cure my ills

It takes me ages to count my pills

And so my life goes on and on

So much to be frowned upon

Rage rage listen to the sage

Now I can’t learn to act my age

But one thing stands like stone

Dead people cannot moan

The ultimate test is still the best

As I am not yet laid to rest

So it’s ho ho ho and time for bed

I must stop my moaning for I’ll soon be dead

Right Honourable Hypocrite

You always know what to say, don’t you?

Always have a position to take

That will not harm your ill-gotten reputation

Words flow from your mouth like drugs

Purchased in a back lane hit

Overt guilt-free monologues of mendacity

Designed to strengthen your niche in the polls

O how virtue oozes from your lips

As if you were of the hallowed few!

Fear not

Most loyal drones will not see through you

As I do through your glass darkly

I notice the subjects you avoid or just skim over

Projecting shame on others

With devilish dexterity

Your demeanour implies 

You are born and deserve to rule

Your smile of fake benevolence flickering forth

Between your lies

Lulls each listener into false awareness

And your arranged interview 

With chosen images

That illustrate your day

Works to divert observers from your true reality

So rant on counterfeit knight in glistening armour

Deliver your spiel to your followers

As you lead them down to hell

And it shall follow, as the night the day,

You will remain in power

Coal-fired Power Stations

There’s a storm coming

Not a little thing gently disturbing tranquility

But instead a monstrous violence

Shaking the earth with venomous vigour

Daunting flaunting haunting humanity

With horror and terror and dread

As many, so many, lie dead

It is not a mere ruction but vast destruction

Fists of anger beating up the earth

With force undreamed of before

Then will come the cold

Icicles hanging from the branches of trees

As even the sun seems ill at ease

Cars sliding backwards down icy roads

As snow many frozen deaths forebodes

And the wind is a dagger that pierces your clothes

A gruesome pain your very soul loathes

An awful way of dying

Look at those bodies wrapped in ice

Nature’s revengeful cryonic device

And then

At last that wind’s abated

Silence rules the world created

See, there’s a lonely one resisting

Still by chance only just existing…

So all this will be

As mankind burns divinity

When The Sun Goes Down

When the sun goes down I have company

Even though I am alone

Realities from the past drop into my mind

In ways 

My critics would never imagine

Teachers, physicians 

Heroes from sport I have never met

A lover or two

Other people who tolerated me 

And the odd pet dog

Come forth as recollections that cannot die

There’s something about relationships

It’s that particular sharing 

That makes you what you are

A product of experience

Unique but so dependent on others

That’s me

Old and frayed and at times dismayed

But linked forever 

To different figures from my life

Constantly with me they are

At times of their own choosing

Lingering on 

In spite of everything …

Old Tom for example

Reminding me

Of our radical cures for society

Over a glass of wine

There’s Mr Manuel 

Who taught me to love poetry

And that parallel lines meet at infinity

He stirs my brain still

Hound dog Baxter

Runs with me 

When my legs are supple and functional

Even though only in my mind


Still teaches me where heaven is

And suddenly one is two

Doctor Miles

Tells me that my heart is working well

Even though it is broken

Don Bradman

Still plays just for me

On Sydney Cricket Ground

Quite often

I hear a song that Crosby sings

Without a record on the gramophone

So there it is you see

Blessings need to be counted

Although I am on my own

I am never alone

A Lone Bagpiper

I’m listening to a lone bagpiper

Just stumbled across him 

On one of my unpredictable journeys

The sun is setting too

So the atmosphere is poignant

Darkness is lurking

What do you think he does to me

That solitary figure?

Is his melody 

A source of pity or contempt?

Contempt most likely …

It is it seems a lament

Perhaps a mourning for chances missed

Or a denouncement 

Of the things 

I have failed to do

And the mistakes I’ve made

So many

Down so many years

Duty is in the eye of the beholder

So I bow my head

In acknowledgement of my flawed existence

It’s a tough game, life

When you are a failure

Everywhere you look 

Is a dead end …

Ah! There it is again

The music

Yes it’s a dirge

That piper knows me

Better than I know myself

Listen for the tune

Can you hear it?

Or is all this a figment of my imagination?

Possibly so

But I need to get on with what’s left

Of reality


Time flies

On vulture’s wings

And old age knows how to end things

Hark now it’s dark

You had best listen to the last notes play

Because I’ve nothing left to say


Last Of My Poems For A While


I wandered lonely through a crowd

Lost in thought not thinking aloud

When something worthy of mention

Suddenly got my attention

An elegant, stately man crossed my path

Gave me a nod and then a laugh

And continued on his way

Till the mills of chance came into play

And we met again in a cafe down Kings Cross way

I remembered his laugh and the smile in his eyes

So a conversation was no surprise

Concerning far more than the weather

As we nurtured a conference together

How was he dealing with the virus? I asked

What outcomes flow from being unmasked?

Where does mankind go from here?

And can wisdom survive current fear?

His answer rocked the awareness around me

And destroyed the barriers that often surround me

In ways unknown before

It changed my view of life what’s more

“Which virus?” he asked with a gleam in his eye 

“A pandemic’s here that will not make you die.

“It fills our world with arrant deception

“In a quest for success without exception.

“So while I acknowledge that COVID exists,

“We must never forget that another bug persists.”

“An ugly danger that haunts our every hour

“It is man’s endless quest for power.”

Time brought an end to our meeting

With the chance for further talk fleeting

In the course of time we went our way

But still I have one more thing to say;

I may seem to belong to the vile bar sinister

But I think that man was our Prime Minister


Once in a dream when wide awake

I started to think for humanity’s sake

What life would be like when I’m dead

So I pondered on what lies ahead

With many reasons for cheerlessness

As my life’s not marked by fearlessness

I soon felt quite depressed

It was clearly no time to jest

Weapons were a first thought that unfurled

There are so many in our troubled world

They would surely lead to war

But a voice within me denied it and closed that door

A golden age came next to mind

A boom in the market with profit defined

But something in my heart left a reverse impression

Sometime or other there’ll be a depression

Then I let my mind run another way

Here’s what my inner voices had to say

It was the sky; the sky was falling

And denial on climate was appalling

How could I stop despair from forming

When so many fools denied global warming?

Ah me!

But the day went on despite this fuss

As my thoughts backfired like a blunderbuss

Until I met a child, the kind with temperament mild,

Who spoke to me like a lost soul reconciled

“Sir,” he said, “you look so pale. Are you well?”

He was a pupil, after the go home bell

Suddenly I had found a friend

Who brought my pondering to an end

A new page in my book

Showed me the way if I dared to look:

Every tomorrow will need a sharing

Like an innocent child compassionately caring


I am an actor and here’s my news

I’ve learnt to stand in other people’s shoes

I feel the pain deserved by no man

When I play the role of Willie Loman

There I must understand myself

What it feels like to be left on the shelf

At another time I could be Pozzo

When I find myself waiting intently for Godot

Here I’ll convey an empty existence

Where nothing happens despite my insistence

Or perhaps King Lear could demand my false rule

As there I must play an arrant fool

Folly I’d convey as a way of living

And nature portray as unforgiving

And so all my world is indeed a stage

I deal in emotions from desire to rage

Observing humanity without vanity

Walking somewhere between trust and insanity

Until reality finds its place

And reminds me I’m part of the human race

Suddenly I realise there is pain off stage

There are other entities I need to engage

Refugees for example treated as dirt

Give me a script and such grief I’ll avert

And what of the white supremacist sadness

Write me the words to destroy that madness

Then war victims I long to save

Peace is my offering to spare the brave

Do you see the unique place in life for me?

It’s the gift of loving with empathy


I have been rarely perfect in my ways

Despite the multitude of my days

Now I am old and in from the cold

There are certain faux pas you need to be told

For of some things I am not very proud

Here are some of the sins I’ve allowed

I’m an entrepreneur with morality somewhat lax

Who made his pile and paid no income tax

Made insider deals until blue in the face

And became a disgrace to the human race

Then there was Whitlam who got the sack

I helped get him sacked alas alack!

Accepting the whims of autocracy

To sound the knell of democracy

Next I mention the Vietnam War

I supported a war people now deplore

I swallowed like a sheep allowed to meander 

Robert McNamara’s propaganda

Disaster came and a nation cried

And many many humans died

Another thing now courts disgust

One politician got my trust

And a vote that crushed my soul

Amidst global warming he brandished coal

Now I add my support for privatisation

Profit not service to civilisation

Once we people owned so many things

Now they belong to cabbages and kings

So there you have it, some of my misdemeanours 

I’ve taken dirty linen to the cleaners

Yet times change and before my life ends

I have just seized a chance to make amends

So now a flower’s growing in my dump

I’ve written a book to praise Donald Trump


Sport these days is just a commodity

And that to some is an ugly oddity

It IS just for the sake of a ribboned coat

That keeps the moneyed business afloat

Pay up pay up and play the game

Defeat is deadly and brings you shame

Breathes there a man with soul so dead

Who forgets if we lose we’ll be in the red

The spirit of kindness doesn’t exist

You must fight the war and never desist

Private enterprise makes the rules

All the players are merely tools

For winning whatever the cost

As defeat means a profit is lost

So here’s to the heroes from each hall of fame

The ones that make money just from their name

Let the battle rage at the coming of age

Of teams that condone the rage

Watch the winner climb to the highest rung

And manage the minds of the fervent young

Who believe the tales of administrators

And the media get rich infiltrators

To form a crowd that shrieks aloud

In a cause obscured by a profit cloud

So the year progresses with many fixtures

The contests are really nothing but mixtures

Of pain and gain and legerdemain

Where you have to win or go insane

For health it is a blessed thing beloved from pole to pole

Though if you are not fit enough, you’ll be on the dole

The vast crowds attending resemble a Roman mob

Smoke and trumpets complete the job

As history cries out for tradition

But all that there is is stark transition

Where winners are grinners defeating the sinners

And losers don’t rhyme


No murder in the news today

No ghastly car crash on display

No man shot in a carpark

No rape in the after-dark

No children drowned in the ocean

No deadly party commotion

No kidnap and a missing child

No grave by louts defiled

How boring life is!

I shall just have to listen to music


More Poems


Silence is a dangerous thing

It can be a bird with a broken wing

For there are times when we should speak

Instead we ignore the suffering weak

Fear can cause this deadly hush

When jeopardy looms with a frightening rush

At times we are silent and simply afraid of power

Our muteness stains the earth like a dying flower

So tyrants rage on, unfettered in their deadly way

While wordless, we leave them to thrive on dismay

Victims fall, plaintiffs call yet cowards do nothing at all

Villains rise and realise they are safe with a silent wall…

Once in the mists of history an autocrat came to power

He bullied his foes, gave people woes, and built an ivory tower

He ruled by force and crushed dissent

Dispensing lies wherever he went

Making his power grow each hour until he reigned supreme

Never a soul dared challenge him or decry one evil scheme

No one spoke of injustice even though it often occurred

Many deadly outcomes came untouched by a single word

Until one person had a dream

And spoke of a wondrous cleansing theme

Revealing the truth with a fiery, relevant call

That brought about the despot’s sudden fall

“For the Emperor has no clothes,” he said

“He robs the poor and rules by dread”

Then he listed the crimes of the evil giant

And vowed he would be not ever again compliant

Suddenly the people saw the point

They rushed as a wild throng to anoint

The speaker with a garland of holly

For revealing the despot’s folly

They banished the villain to his endless shame

To remain forever a monster with a tainted name 

Times change; now many others respect the power of speech

Triumphant words are known to be at last within your reach


So you want to get on in the world my lad

Well it’s lies you will need for success to be had

So pay attention and beguile:

When you tell a lie be sure to smile

Then hit your victim with a flood of data

From the pen of a famous fabricator

Act out fictitious schemes you devise

And be sure to look your foe in the eyes

Don’t let your glances stray and keep that grin

If the smile is returned, my boy you are in

When you tell tall tales, make use of the dead

They can’t deny anything you’ve said

The past is also a fruitful ruse

Time tends to save you from abuse

If you want support with illicit fame

The easiest way is to drop a name

When your deal with money is a pig in a poke

You can divert attention by cracking a joke

Another device is the fictitious friend

He can support you as you pretend

And apparel is a factor for a lying contractor

So you should dress up like a Hollywood actor

Remember too repetition’s trick

Tell a lie often and it will stick

This above all to thine own self be false

And your puppet will dance to your lucrative waltz 


Memory is a child of the past

Mischievous, disobedient, defiant to the last

It can lead you astray like a villain at play

Or give you an answer the pedagogue’s way

Time may be the enemy of what you recall

Sometimes you recollect nothing at all

Though other days are different and cast a spell

And the flimsiest moments you recall well

When you are old your years may seem numbered

But yet that’s when thought can be unencumbered

It is true my body reeks now of decay

But I still recall dancing the hours away

Today I am single and live on my own

Yet with memories of soul mates I’m never alone

Now I am jobless and live on a pension

But still recall lessons I gave worth a mention

Perhaps I am doomed soon to breathe my last

But memory lets me find strength in the past

I was born when the Harbour Bridge was new

I recall when peace ended World War II

I remember hearing Crosby croon a tune

I recollect when Armstrong walked the moon

Those memories are made of the sternest stuff

Of their sweet like I’ll never have enough

Tags from Shakespeare to Walter Mitty

Are cures for apathy in a city

So here I am near the end of my road

Remembering Archimedes and sometimes Mister Toad

I’m thinking too of all the friends I’ve had

When I die perhaps I’ll haunt their minds; I hope they will be glad


Lightning struck near my home today

Thunder was loud and soon after the flash

A gas pipe exploded just a step away

And repair gangs came with a dash

This made me think of the dues we owe

To the fiendishly powerful weather

If science is right and it’s all we know

We have no more power than a feather

My mind started then to stray

With anxious thoughts soon forming

I could not avoid dark feelings in play

Concerning global warming

I’ve heard many a word that is quite absurd

Suggesting a weather solution

But O what folly from an ignorant herd

To buy and sell pollution!

On top of this there’s another scheme

Sheer madness on the whole

Liars are promoting a fictitious dream

And talk about clean coal

But above all this as I watch the clouds

Tumble and grumble in the sky

They seem to me potential shrouds

For so many people will die

When the day of reckoning comes, as it will

And we must pay for the heat

The fools who lie to get their fill

Will wear the shame of defeat

So there you have it; hear my plea

The time has come to change our ways

Global warming will bring us no glee

There are few remaining days

So my gentle wish is that you’ll conform

To my thoughts arising from that humble storm

One Kind Word

I awoke depressed today

It tends to be a common disease

In the present world

So many things cause the problem

Hot days are burning the hours away

Fire alerts are everywhere

COVID is killing like a medieval inquisition

Politicians are buying submarines without my permission

And as for me, I have my own particular burdens

Took my dog to the vet last night

Goodbye to a friend – it’s a sorry plight

Don’t get much money on a pension either

And I need special shoes

For my walking blues

My knees hurt me when I walk

And I’m losing my hearing completely

Confined indoors most days

Once I rode the lovely waves down at the nearby beach

And ran around the cricket field that’s now beyond my reach

My car is in hock, needs a new engine

And you must have a mask if you catch a bus

Dangerous place a bus

On top of all this is the atrophy of retirement

That category is a depressing condition

No more dreams come into fruition

You just fade away as you sigh

And move relentlessly towards your time to die

So there you have it:

A quick fire list of all the woes I struggle to endure

One more thing belongs to my tale

Leave it out and I clearly fail

My precious wife approached me today with a smile

And asked me how I was

“Not too bad,” was my reply – the usual lie

Suddenly I realised my luck to have such a friend and a home

That is why I decided to write this poem

On Growing Old

Growing old leaves me cold

You’re like a fine book cursed with mould 

Your body resembles a pear gone rotten

And your good old days are all forgotten

People get annoyed when you can’t hear their words

While your personal needs are left to the birds

Your body aches and your eyes get sore

You tend to lose your balance what’s more

Young people hurry and leave you behind

The music they play drives you out of your mind

When you’re caught in a crowd you can’t take a trick

As your movements depend on your walking stick

The government too is worth a mention

They constantly tend to reduce your pension

When I’m out walking I accept defeat

As I constantly need to rest on a seat

I’ve been in trouble many times getting lost

I’d get a taxi but I can’t bear the cost

I move so slowly you should remember

I have to buy Christmas cards in September

The clothes I wear are out of fashion

I think they were once part of army ration

I also have problems with my diet

I no longer have a chocolate on the quiet

Admen mock me and drive me wild

When I feel myself portrayed as a bungling child

Often I feel only just alive

It’s hard to keep struggling to survive

Nevertheless I keep my heart active

Let’s face it the dying thing’s not so attractive


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