"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)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

CLEAN DARKNESS

They say that these are dark days
And that seems true to fools like me.
But until now
I had never seen such darkness,
For it cannot be seen,
Or so it would seem.
But now I know that's a lie.
Just like the quip
That, if you've done no wrong,
You have nothing to worry about.
Tell that to the children of Nagasaki,
And outline its logic to the women of Sinjar.
Then, as you turn away from the face of Christ,
Consider the reasons He suffered.
Remember, one man was perfect,
And look what they did to Him.
So, stare into the darkness again.
Is it not wonderful?
Lawrence liked the desert
Because it was clean.
I am growing accustomed to the darkness
Because it can't be seen.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

CONVERSATION WITH AN OLD FRIEND

It was like going back,
Way back, in time.
Then suddenly there was no time at all,
Except for blurs
That position themselves as the past.
And we talked of children
And their children standing tall.
I kept hearing the melody
Of secure serenity
In your voice,
Something like an echo of hard work,
Or meticulous choice,
And, I am sure, much, much more.
But most rewarding of all,
There were tributes
In our common memories -
Hymns to people
And places
And welcome recollections
Of a world where, so happily,
No one expected perfection.
Where did it all go?
Handwritten notes,
Diagrams like stick pictures,
And faded jeans
With picked stitches
Where someone
Had lowered the hem
To make them last
For one more year.
Were we always growing so fast
In those months of only knowing,
Those days of future with no past?
When did we hit the wall,
Stumble, and fall
Into the traps
Made of normality's mishaps?
Would we change it
And rearrange it?
Who would we sacrifice,
And whom would we rob,
In order to pay the price?
No.
And,
No one.


Monday, October 26, 2015

WHATEVER

Whatever trails your feet traverse these days,
I'd kiss the ground as if it was our home;
Whatever air you breath and then expel,
I'd draw it in as if it were my own.
Whatever wondrous sky you contemplate,
I'd paint it with the clear air of lost time;
Whatever verses lull you into rest,
I'd turn to lyrics angels only mime.
Whatever thoughts arise and cause you pain,
I'd quell as if your peace was my sole aim;
Whatever nightmares haunt your humble grave,
I'd fight those devils and protect your name.
Though I could not spare you this world's defeat,
I pray you will trust me when next we meet.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

WHOSE COUNTRY?

The love of rent and profits
Scraped from ochre slopes and plains,
Of proceeds of a violent past,
Is clotting in your veins.
Your love of somewhere else
Lawyers built, bricked and paved,
I can never ever love that place,
For I’m a serf, a simple slave.

You love a brutal country,
A land of legal claims,
Where kids can’t trust strangers,
Syringes and meth pipes block the drains.
You love a land of oligopolies,
Where necessities’ prices gouge us.
And age pensioners are invisible,
Until they can’t pay credit charges.

But I love a country that’s home to heaven’s blessings,
Harvests, pastures, cane fields, nature’s jewels,
This love I share with all those who came here before me,
To a haven for the poor in a cove that brooked no fools.
And I love our beaches and our little hills,
The subtle mysteries of the outback,
Dreamtime wisdom, cloud-kissed blue skies,
Scarlet sunsets, and, amidst the stars, the black.

And, yet, I know, I love a lost vision –
An idea, a quest, perhaps a mirage, mislaid.
But every day I glimpse what might have been,
And I wander in glories that refuse to fade.



Acknowledgement: my heartfelt gratitude and, also, apologies to Dorothea Mackellar