"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time." (T S Eliot)
"A dark and chanted verse is what I am." (
Forough Farrokhzad)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DOWN ON BLAME STREET

There’s a parade every day:
Eyes shifty and agog,
Heads of empires
Built like Gog and Magog,
Matters they can’t recall,
Unless it helps to pin
A rival to the wall.

There might be among them
Some who are innocent,
Who don’t deserve
Guilt by being present.
How it must hurt
To be blamed
For crimes never
Even entertained.
How it must kill
All sense of self-worth,
Any remaining goodwill
For justice on this earth.

But some of them
Must be the ghouls
They seem to be
As they lick the smile of fools
Or exit in a plastic rage
Or sneak around the back -
Experts all it seems
At playing the media pack.

They have bought their wealth
With malfeasance and craft.
They have taken the shortcut
While the rest of us must graft.

We know only one fact;
One we cannot redraft -
The ones who got away with it,
How they must have laughed.


Monday, April 28, 2014

LONG JETTY

The old jetty sleeps like a snake all straight,
Stretched out to catch the warmth of sunny streams.
New planks tell lies about its true birth date,
Antique timber piles splash in water’s gleams.
It once welcomed the city’s men of name,
Who trawled for prawns and hooked fish in the flows
And slept on lush green banks that soon became
The parks that housed plush caravans in rows.
This lake sprawls sparkling in the summer ‘s height
When breezes fan hot houses on the hills
That loom like blue clouds in timeless twilight
And bend at dusk to showcase sunset’s thrills.
Then hunting birds glide tired to their rests
In lakeside reeds that simulate safe nests.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

CENTURION

We hung three men on trees that day -
Two brutes who killed for murderous thrill
And one for some absurd offense
Priests begged Pilate kill.

The bankers too wanted him dead
And they financed the filthy bribe
That brought him to the governor’s court,
Lashed by cat and jibe.

I watched him die and heard his words
I swear he prayed his god forgive
Those who had nailed his body there
Where no man could live.

Then as the sky turned dark he cried
A cry from Sheol that shook my soul.
I knew he truly was the one
Jewish scrolls extol.

This knowledge came to me by gift.
Somehow he chose a man of war
To see the truth and grasp its grace,
Freed and blamed no more.

That night I slept only in fits
His face shining in dreams of flight.
The night after was much, much worse;
I rose before light.

I walked a dark and winding mile
To gardens of the richest dead.
The servants of the priest stood guard
Where was laid his head.

I had to see him one more time -
They listened to my sombre plea.
So we rolled back the awkward stone -
Those servants and me.

Then brilliant lights were all around;
I heard voices from heaven above.
He rose and walked out of that pit,
Eyes abounding love.

He handed to the priest’s servant
Linen cloths that once bound him tight.
The guard took them and turned to run
Out into the night.

The man who was the son of god -
As I believed him sure to be -
Opened the gardener’s shed and dressed,
Masking his glory.

I watched him walk out of my sight
And stood in awe by that cold slab
Where he had spent two hellish nights
In that cave so drab.

Then in the first streams of day’s light
I saw a woman’s face so fair.
And she, shocked by the sight of me,
Backed into the air.

Where have you put my lord she asked,
Her gaze upon the gardener’s shed
Where stood a man ready for work.
Mary was all he said.

She ran in haste to his embrace
But he gently refused her kiss.
Go and gather them all he said,
Tell them about this.

He cast his eyes on me and smiled.
And I cannot forget that face;
And I cannot forget his words:
I’ll prepare your place.

I was young then in that strange land
And yet it still disturbs my rest
To know that god’s own son chose me -
Damned pagan so blessed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

GOOD FRIDAY

I was a pious priest who wished you dead.
I tendered silver pieces for the coup.
I was a thug who thorny crowned your head.
I was the terrorist who taunted you.
I was the guard who speared your helpless flank.
I gambled drawing lots to steal your clothes.
I wrote the sign that ridiculed your rank.
I called out from the crowd in vulgar prose.
But there was one Simon who bore your cross
And thunderous young John who ran beside.
The contrite thief shared in the grief and loss
While countless faithful women moaned and cried.
Even Judas yielded to sin’s demands,
Yet I avert my eyes and wash my hands.


Note: The picture is a portion of Arthur Boyd's
painting of 'The Mockers'.

Monday, April 14, 2014

FILM NOIR BEACH


The sea was grey today, the sky was black,
Like backdrop stills on fifties film noir reels.
Dark clouds hovered ‘round sea gulls on attack,
Swollen waves rolled heavy like iron wheels.
No fishermen dared test the coarse wet sand
And downcast walkers trudged their way back home,
While watchers sat in cars parked on the strand,
Counting the sets and pointing at the foam.
As brine fizzed frothy on each curling crest
In failing light an eagle cut the air,
Swooping through every swirl to catch its quest,
Before it soared on wind-fired wings with flare.
And then the freezing gusts cried out like prey
While rain pelted the shore around the bay.