The Island

Pic courtesy of National Geographic

There’s you, here’s me
Two islands in the sea of humanity
Surrounded by rocks and cliffs so sheer
The lasting scars of hurt and fear

These towering cliffs protect me
From the onslaught of the sea
But occasionally there’s a tourist
Who takes the time to see
What’s behind the cliffline
What it is that’s me

And from the passing tide of people
There’s always some that stay
They come, they see, they conquer
They feast like birds of prey

And when they go they do not go
As completely as they came
After their occupation
Things are never quite the same
The cliffs are somehow steeper
The rocks are sharper too
Which makes it so much harder
Harder for me and you

My love lies on the clifftop
Waiting patiently
Waiting for a traveller
To come across the sea
And build a beachhead sturdy
To take me completely

My life waits on the clifftop
Looking out to sea
Wondering where the island is
The one who’s meant for me.

(circa Jan 1990)


Bushie Bill

Illustration by Trevor Paul – taken from Metroland Online

Bushie Bill they call him
He lives upon the land
His home is where his feet are
Just as long as he can stand

His possessions in his bedroll
Strapped loosely on his back
That’s how he came to town that day
That’s how he walks the track

He never seems to settle down
He never has the time
And when you ask him how he is
He’s always in his prime

Bushie’s life is always wanting
For nothing but a start
He often makes friends along the way
And they just as often part

But that don’t bother Bushie
He likes it best that way
Never an angry word they have
Too short the length of stay

But his friends are always with him
He wears them in his smile
There’s no pretension there in Bill
There’s no deceit or guile

And Bushie Bill’s the man to call
If you need a helping hand
He’s quick to aid, he’s quick to help
To comfort and understand

Some think that he’s a gentleman
Others say a clown
But no matter what, I’m happier when
Bushie Bill comes through town.

circa Jan 1990

Morning Promise

Pic courtesy of blog “Orthodox in the District”

The morning mist stirs gently over rocks and over sea,
Textured swirls of fairy floss, ethereal tranquility.
But beneath this fluffy cover the surging waters hide;
Repressed though rampant, savage, the eternal flowing tide.
Incessant, but infertile, a surrogate sublime,
The mother of all life on earth, but none of direct line.
Trapped by land and surface tension, it struggles to be free
Elastic, plastic, deforming; molding to reality.
This great primordial soup swells and ebbs with pregnancy,
Perpetually in motion, giving birth to expectancy.
Then as if in silent Blitzkrieg, the sky explodes in hues,
Casting colours on the water, now the mist must pay its dues.
Rushing, trapped in vortices, excited by the light,
Chaotic and yet synchronised, it disintegrates in flight
Leaving bare the torrid ocean to fight the sun alone,
Pounding out its anger and frustration against stone
With all its might and energy, until it learns with dread,
That for all its might and energy it really is quite dead.
Then upon the tide some dolphins glide, bringing life and bringing fun
Bringing to fulfilment the promise of the rising sun.

circa 14 March 1990

Lost Love #2

Image courtesy of:

The Autumn leaves do wither, but there’s beauty in their dying
And their use is just beginning on the ground on which they are lying

As all these leaves will feed the trees
Which give such good abiding

The Winter snows weigh heavy and the trees exposed are bowing
But underneath th’enshrouding mantle are new lives in the growing

And all these seeds will become the trees
Which give such good abiding

So now our autumn is upon us and our Winter lies ahead
And like the leaves our hearts must build new ones in their stead

So many leaves must feed the trees
Which give such good abiding

Let us not forget the seasons are all cyclic in their quarters
Life’s Spring will soon return anew and with new loves rich reward us

And so these seeds become the trees
Which give such good abiding

(circa 1985)

Image courtesy of:

The Squatter

I was cleaning out some folders in our filing cabinet the other day and came across a pile of faded old poems I had written about 20 or so years ago. Some I still quite like and so I thought I would post them here over time to ensure they are not lost altogether. The first – and the one I love most as I still recall elements of that fated day, is one written about our move into our first house. Being our first home it was not endowed with great ease of reaching, being up the top of a driveway too steep for vehicles! Anyway, the poem is modelled after the style of early Aussie poets, Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson (and probably even pinches from them a little 🙂 ) …


The boxes some and plenty were in number at least twenty
And each a trip required from the truck that we had hired
To our new house on the hill. I can see the path there still
Where we trod with steps a-weary, though our hearts were light and merry
‘Cause the movers have some pleasures that the squatters never know

With twenty of the bludgers there were twenty uphill drudges
And I swear this to my Keeper, that there blasted hill got steeper
And the house moved f’er away.

I had half a mind to chuck it in, with only half the boxes in
When up behind me missus came and said that this here weren’t no game
And should I wish to miss her pain I should move them boxes before the rain.

So I tooks a chance and steeled me nerves and there up in the sky observes
Storm clouds fit to make me jump, darker than that old Black Stump.
With them near up and her around, I dug inside until I found
A grunt or two not yet dispersed and climbed that hill and swore and cursed.

Now all those things once dear to heart, no longer filled that hallowed part
And inside a detachment grew to all them boxes except the few
I’d lugged already up that hill; I guess I’d fairly had my fill.

But me missus paid no attention to my thinking and intention
And sent me down that hill again to fetch some more before the rain.
So up and down I heaves me load and cursed that truck down on the road.

Lugging boxes ain’t my sense of fun but by and by they all got done
And me luck had held and then by some ’cause not a drop of rain had come.
So I sits me down to have a drink, while me missus had a little think.

You know peace don’t last long now-a-days ’cause its not too long before she says
“First things first, we must unpack!” Now I know her well, I know her knack
Of saying “We” and meaning “Me”, so I’m back at all this drudgery
Before me whistle’s fully wet.

Well “First things first” is what she says, so I unpack a giant mess
And leave her on her own to find a place for all and sundry kind
Of thing and kitchen implement. You know she really must be heaven sent
Because its soon all gone and out of sight. But when I check if its done right
I’m taken by complete surprise;
‘Cause half the stuff that I lugged in is in the bloody rubbish bin!

Well now we’ve been here quite a while
I look back on that day and smile
But on one thing sure you can depend
I’m squatting here until THE END!

(March 18, 1992)