The Ode of Remembrance
by the next bullet
your name firmly etched upon it.
weeks old food
to sustain a certain death
shelling sending lesser men crazy,
up fallen comrades
them back to the first aid post
journey in death over for now, forgotten
men with honour and integrity
shun an honest toil to kill or maim,
sludge of winter mud in an Italian front slippery,
take on death increasing apace
each passing yard gained, or lost
enemy also aware they could be going home
injuries, cracked bones
out backs, frozen toes in sodden socks
boys of the sawbones busy with each intake.
as it comes, it passes
ladies cheering our return, our demise
nation ready to hold us in high regard, honoured
day pass, numbers fall
Anzac Day sees the fighters
to the battlefield and remember the dead,
who fell to a named bullet
who fell to a carefully aimed mortar,
who simply fell to fatigue, minds lost,
each time one passes
the Ode, the constant reminder
human life is infallible, transient, lasting,
They shall grow not
old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and
in the morning
We will remember them.*
* The Ode is recited at ANZAC Days, at each day in the Returned Serviceman’s Associations,
and on the Death of a Comrade at the Funeral. I dedicate this poem to my Uncle
Kelvin who was part of J Force in Japan and an Army man for a while. The Ode
comes from For the Fallen, a poem by the English poet and writer Laurence Binyon and was published in London in The Winnowing
Fan: Poems of the Great War in 1914.
a dying Pacific sky,
Barquentine Aurelias sails
taut in an afternoon trade
puffing gently as they do,
Ohrab at the Quarterdeck. measures
mate yells orders for crew to muster
Cap’n’s orders to bring the ship about.
whales appear on the starboard side
a dozen, all white and ignorant,
fate at the hands of skilled whalers
First Lieutenant calls for the long boats
muster and wind out the heavy beasts
to “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum”
crew shimmy down the landing ropes,
beat of the drum drives the oars,
readied, a close kill, danger for all
stands atop his domain, watches the pots
are readied for the processing, danger
corner of this onerous task, reward
the crew, rum and vegetables, maybe fruit,
breaches, the harpoon strikes home
dine on rarities, lap up the rum, the pots boiling
tons of blubber to be processed, the rest
to the vultures of the sea,
sea lice, the hot sun and ocean,
longboats long secured, a new course
wind at her back now, driving her ever northward
the Humpback grounds, better fare.
ho” from the crows nest, the journey repeats.
my grynch, tied doumbs
for the ride ahead
crystalyses glisten in the dark
frime a tick over two seconds
the window open
touches a dead toe
a mixture of nice and nasty
deareabandies cough haltingly
they lay Quesdeemablora to rest
making of a new language halted.
Ten Faces of Icarus
babysitter came late,
, a journey
you gave the quarterback
of his life,
it up with
did you know,
I have a lover
taller than me.
entrance to gangland
a whiskers breath
the lane from Mac’s
posed a question
do the laundry,
I do my washing”
I feel cheated by the air dryer.
seniors Programme calls for patience
in various stages of redress
the halls and rooms
looking for hope,
dancers are erotic
tell you, I’m a man
a boy, they’d never
let a boy in,
Danny from 53
it on with the local Ho’s
slap his face
encourage him to try again.
Bird flew west,
winds diving shallow
The Six Wings of the Phoenix
of world renown
stadia of Olympia
in all their glory,
light of a Shadow Moon
riders of the Druid cult
Genevieve holds a sword
Arthur can slay
you’re a little boy again,
books about imaginary things
the imagination, again,
you live your life,
the kings of beasts
beasts of kings
Queens of Nevermore,
the images of Psyrene’s
Minotaur, David and Goliath,
flows with this imagery,
into the realm of possibility
limitless dream songs
and Husbands spend hours
from Mother Goose
Holy Bible, the Koran,
books of fiction, and start a story
will live with little minds
of hope take wing
tax take higher
a war to win peoples backing
wings of Icarus fall
The Potency of Sexuality
the order of the day
living room romps
a good long night
crash in bushlands.
Rodents in the Backyard
Blues bounce bonny bonbons
Dave drives dented Datsuns,
fornicators fuck fermented frogs,
Haulers hunt harbingers, haughtingly,
Jackson jams Jimi – jumping joyously,
Lucy loves liquidating lingerie lines.
back from the tenancy agreement,
house loving was a thing of the past,
Blues guaranteed to tap a toe or two,
drive crazily around Japan and USA
economies and inflation rates,
cost of living gauged by Coke and MacDonald’s.
for the Man of the Century went far,
prime minister in the southern lands
her hand up - chosen on her pants suits
runs a little country that boxes above it’s weight,
for the Protection of Children, Love Care
projects to keep disgruntled adults in line.
sound the warning trumpet, loud
ringing in your ears the prophecy of change,
trade stripped as Jimi’s Star Spangled Banner
out raucously over Woodstock, his swan song,
do children of the arts commit suicide, ignorance
a willingness to do drugs for drugs sake.
on Peanut loves her man, good omen for children
life of cartoons a reflection of real life, not X-Box
the fantasy of death and destruction rules,
now going into society and shooting up people
into classrooms and wasting years of tuition
into the wide world and blasting anything in sight.
the days go by
Daisies on coffins
with dead love.
Picking the Rhododendron Conundrum
Hitler, you lost the war
killed millions in doing so
go to war anyway?
days when remonstrance
the annihilation of Races
last of the German Jews
good in good ol’ America
that escaped anyway.
Goebbels, you lost the war,
your propaganda says you win
that hard to deny the future.
homosexuals of society disgruntled
that said outriders must die,
posters on lampposts for the populace
in anyone that isn’t Aryan, pure
German machine rolling on apace.
Rommel, you lost the desert
went a step too far, no support
desert fighters of the LRDG triumphant.
citizen of the Third Reich enamoured,
with the same brush, Fascisti
of the machine, left to stew their mistake
lack of realism in a war full of reality,
for room, the boys at war, doomed,
Dresden, you got bombed to bits,
from aerial rampage, allies
to thwart the Hitler Machine.
long days when winters cold bit, no fuel
wood from the Black Forest and other groves
wounded returning home apace, littering
minds shot to pieces, bodies frozen by ice,
to see out the final days, alone, beaten.
Churchill, now cometh the man
cometh the hour, Roosevelt too
Stalin from the North East, vigilant.
litters Europe, Africa, The Pacific Basin
and Japan seeking world dominance,
rest of the world putting a belated stop to it,
coffins filling large cemeteries, inundated,
Cross Of Iron losing it’s glamour, rusting.
Johnny Appleseed, Hey Ivan Ivanovich
meet in Berlin, shake hands, Hitler gone
sound of Enola Gay leaving a bombed city.
War declared over, countless homeless men,
homeless families, disjointed,
cost of following the tyrants
payment - death and misplacement.
fries eggs on a skillet
egg whites high
salad tossed over
tried BBQ chicken
fat dried and gone
the sauce, hot chili
goes the eggs yolks
goes the whites
- we all do
you seen the thing yet, Hogmenay Hoopla,
scary demons delight little children
sparks of crackers and fireworks booming,
a sad town in tears of colour
townsfolk sell lemonade and soda pops
quench the thirst of those in need
Beefmonger sells BBQ chicken and meat patties,
sizzled on an open fire, spluttering
by the bucket-load, chilled wine for society ladies
menfolk quenching beer by the gallon
a turn down Ocean and Hands, the flowers
abundant in their blooms, eye-catching
road littered with the confetti and papier mache
children playing in Wesley’s playground
a family life, a single man in utopic furore,
indicator on the car says I am turning right
Seddon’s Woodworks and Arts/Craft Store
the left, Shoebridge’s Haberdashery
crowd dissipates with darkness, lights on
the way down Eastheimmer
I’m looking for, there, next to MacDonald’s
entering and leaving with parents
it is, The Sodium Carbonate Store, blackened
a fire some months earlier, my new place
and work, I park the Winnebago down the drive,
the back covered in graffiti and artwork,
off the radio, I hear the thump of Dance music
of Techno Punk and the society dance of youth,
the back door, the smell of BBQ’s and fireworks,
fry pan apparently the cause, but a cheap buy,
plan, take advantage of the Mac’s next door,
windows, now boarded, to be opened
shine a brand new product on the helpless town,
in centre for the mentally ill, a second home
for now, work, and lots of it, to Rex Harrison
ugly duckling into a meritorious swan.
twenty four hours scouring the brush
sign everywhere, the dogs on the point,
sound of silence loud in a world of green,
my rifle, an old Lee Enfield .303
the safety, a round in the chamber
from a few hundred metres ahead, the dogs,
and scurrying through the bush, back towards us,
Bill cocking his trusty Winchester,
action, a round up the spout, both ready,
sound of approaching animals, stand by a tree
act, me and tree and Lee Enfield,
sight set at 45 yards, enough for a hurried shot,
out of the thicket ahead, tusked boar running,
grunt matched by two shots, both hit their mark,
boar staggers yet runs on, closing us down,
a second round, as does Bill, the shot accurate,
on who’s carrying, share the load, the burden
first digs, hog tie the front hooves, stand and carry,
through tough brush country, the weight hefty
enjoyable, a good pig always brings a measure of glee,
got the dogs, all in check, job well done, fed.
loads, halfway down to the ute parked
Spencer’s Gully, the keys safe in a pocket,
through the forest like we own the place,
pig grunted, or was that a death rattle?
it home, stripped the carcass, shared meat,
pork roasted with potatoes and cabbage, yum.
Children of the Longhorn Forest
in the Belly of Balderdash Grove,
songsters wail in mourning song
tall Ent Trees swing and beat the air
life of puppies in a house nearby
by the magic of the mystic forest.
a thud of an earthquake,
Robber the Weary comes
within the earth, to steal things,
things, and big things, just things
children sleep in their beds unaware.
hospital settles in the valley
the tents, down go the pegs
the heart of the Denizen Beast
of the Underground, queen of the Grasslands,
Minstrel writes a nevermore song,
in all it’s ugly facets, rears it’s ugly head,
the minstrel and encapsulates him in mist
happy song now a crying song, children wake,
for their mothers and fathers, for the land
weeps - desert tears in a dry encompassment.
of the Seven Notch Mile, a house on Ragnorok
the beating feet of the Ent Trees, dancing happily
children drawn from beds with parents, outside,
stop, the sky clears and a happy face Moon smiles
cacophony of Glade Music sets all to smiling,
happy heart, happy minds, happenstance
Prince of Dark swept away with Moonbeams
ground stilled with calmness and sweet song
dance to the minstrel, his heart refound
dance a rumba, find new love and hope.
on a branch in an Oak in Balderdash Grove,
little bluebirds sing love songs to a bush aria
the children and adults, the minstrel too, and Ents
marvel at the sweet love they endear, and clap
if Ent’s clap) but all the land is basked in love.
under a bridge over the Merrywine River,
old man with scales and seventy years of dirt,
his mud caked ears to keep the happiness away,
is always one to be found in every story,
arch enemy of happiness, the grynch pre-selling Xmas.
not, he runs.
Flying the metaphor
reason ten geese flying in formation, the need to fly places in regimented order, for life.
a lofty eyrie
on the breeze
gained by a hot air balloon as it sails high into the stratosphere, men testing chance.
every blackbird caught
reaches a nearby tree,
the width of great Oceans
Godwit travels thousands of miles,
the kneeling praying to God
with lofty angels.
Pegasus gallops time and space, sets down lightly on Mt Olympus, the smoke long since quelled.
daisy dandelions in great hordes on a pin board made for notices. The yellow/white
conundrum splashed golden-like emanating light into a barren dusty room, the seasons passing as the light failed. I’ll have to wait for next summer to revive.
rocks of the foreshore
with incoming tidal flows
lion sits on a promontory
in the glow of winter
in the water playing, learning,
hurtles down State 54
forty five miles per hour
last of the traffic bedding down
another night in the hills of San Fran
blues bar on the corner pumps.
other rooms are barren too, long lost a family used to excess, the dust gathering where no movement lies, a mouse the sole
occupant, barring a restless human soul trapped in the netherworlds. The yellow/white
now faded, not to be replaced ever, a child’s thing to do.
once stood a tall Redwood
the ring bark tableau a picnic,
park in all areas dodging bears
occasional deer runs amok
wanders from the pack
ringing and txting her love
not attune to nature, most aren’t
more than likely face a parent
the reality of the outside world,
tunes on the Mobile baby like.
a soul lost in time, ghosts they’re called an untimely death, not time to say goodbye the white/gold of a ring on an
opaque ring a reminder that once a good family lived here. Then the light dies
and all images deflate into grey/black. The dandelion shines in memory.
sight, Humpbacks at play
to mention Minke’s shadow dancing
coast full of sightseeing boats
tries to get to grips with Nature
lost heritage, the sea, whence we came.
Mobile in Geoff’s room rings, incessantly
to answer, trips over his dirty clothes
for the bed and answers, out of breath
of time, the thing bloody clicks off, battery low,
will ring back, though she’s rather impetuous.
the night brings tears, soulful deep tears, the memory an ache, the longing a desire, the five fingers of ferns on the desk
gathering dust, a reminder of better times. ‘Why’ he thinks ‘is
he a prisoner of this wretched place.’ He wanders back to Heaven, mindful
not to disturb the rest with his moaning wails, his deep sobs of regret. He takes
the memory of the Daisy/dandelion with him, his final visit.
leans against the redwood table
that poor excuse for a boyfriend
drop him if he doesn’t get his washing done
doesn’t keep his phone charged, duh!!
drop him if he doesn’t become a man.
the world faces reality in many ways, but most of it is out of tune with nature, with natural things. Everything is now the Wow factor, the less we see it, the more the WOW!!
And unfortunately Wow is losing to human endeavour, destruction, expansion, advancement. Too late to grow dandelions and daisies, they’re getting few and far between, too late to fix untimely
deaths (though they are encouraged). Yes a true conundrum.
Rock and Roll
a Karaoke singer of ill-repute
rock and roll
it out like a coot.
a Karaoke singer of fame
it out with no blame.
a Karaoke singer of good cheer,
it out with no care.
a Karaoke singer, Rock’s my line
Young in full time.
a Karaoke singer of divine light
a parting shot highlight.
A stroll through my memory
road was long,
of my mind.
taste of salt
sees a white line
high speed technology
need to breathe
a data dump.
lost in the fogs
slivers of cold
when I drove
head out the window,
alacrity of sourness
of black top,
helmet saving my life
tar in mouth.
the road winds south
time I have forgotten
with the years.
She says - I say
down the road,
tacit NO to sex
in my ears
sixty five, me seventy
need to fulfill
down the street
you for Honey and cheese
gave me a forlorn look.
days when your mood
cannon to a flagship,
wreckage strewn everywhere.
past Kirkaldie and Stains
pants suits reminding
are the boss, figurehead
cold shovel in midwinter snow.
have taught myself
the violin to your double bass,
rhythm of life.
into a Police Station
out a missing persons form,
been gone for days
house a mess, silent.
have read your moods
all it’s been 40 years,
the reflection in the Sergeant’s face
that look well, mirror.
home, as if it still is a home,
from her sister
is safe, just wanted time out,
a pizza and cook for dinner.
have rung her back
not the reasons,
ignorant, to women’s ways
light switched off for a lonely night.
Ice on the windows
something as simple as an Icicle
it into an icicle liquefier
the puddle patterns
ten golden Chocolate éclairs,
shape of dripping
patterned T Shirt.
bricks from a brick wall
a sand castle
leaves for windows
splashes my galoshes.
seven strips of leather
to my son
for his tiny head
dribble pooling on the floor.
my wife’s pantyhose,
the lettuce plants
Wind Chimes of Life
the end of the day,
sun putting itself
screams of night
to interrupt a sleep
wind puffs along
touched by gentility
to tender roast
pools on the carpet
of Never Again weep
rising of a morning sun
mourning wail recants
it back to reality
and I, all of us,
the Moon sinks
dragged up again
to an opened window
reminder life exists
The Flight of the Hawk.
for a walk this morning,
all a flutter and preening
to the ground
a paddock with a horse in
cows in the field over the road
their cud and mooed
road took a turn to the left
way back, a car roared past
him the proverbial fingers
to nature, the hawk soaring
home, quickly wrote this poem
When the River Ran Free
titan’s tossing cabers
calling clueless Honies,
happy honorariums brown
bottoms, butt-kissed, still
saturated stilt walkers cry
curiosities cringe manfully
music mount zestfully
zing, zealots groan
gravity great jest
juicing jalopies afresh
about apples running
‘round Rogers window
workman wonder inside
incanting irritable Kings
keen – kneel opulently
orations on Victorious
violent volumes pour
ponies prance quaintly
quips queuing, Unicorns
uniqueness, under etchings
every evening largely
largesse loosens longingly.
water running free in gutters
thoughts of fancy land scopes
bottom of the rum filled barrel
a dire need.
Roman Roads and the Aqueduct.
eschewing a poem
I think) yes
from an old Roman road
country the same
thousand years on
by the road
a plan for dominance
need to subdue the Saxons
leader in years to come
fight with vim and vigour
lady queen, fighter
a roman aqueduct
water flows still
drains irrigating paddocks
in the wind, - wheat
barley for beer production,
a centurion tasted of the broth
from hidden Hops, yeast
head and warm brew
supped with tender care
copulated with royalty
babies of the Celts ready,
Hadrian’s Wall, steady
and drink and be heady
Tartan Kilts men fight and win,
Romans held at bay, always.
ring road around the Old Roman Baths
Bath township built around springs
splendour to due diligence
leisure after a hard fought battle
bums have sat on it’s tiles,
Viking, post Celt, post Norman,
French, Post German, post IRA,
in a river ties a punt to stillness
Cambridge, City of Knowledge.
many English Poets see the aqueduct
a love poem, or a sonnet, musicians
creditable odes and ditties, aware
history stopped at the now, not wherefore
to recognise something as it is.
Making Moonshine with a Difference.
my white starch shirt, the heat sending steam bubbles into my face. The TV’s
playing a rerun of MASH for the umpteenth time, Trapper John mixing another illicit cocktail.
I liken myself to Radar, short, impish, diligent, like how I press my clothes.
I look at the steam rising and wonder why it’s taking 30 minutes to do one shirt.
mind, a conundrum
with the moods
with each other
a stable condition.
the car, firstly the left lane to bypass stalled traffic, secondly center lane to access the bridge lanes. My indicator flashes with each move, due diligence, a cornucopia of decisions. I look at the Speedo’, a sedate 75 kilometers, the bridge gliding snakelike under tires filled with
air last night. Averages say wear is even, odds say the puncture will come.
must again be my lucky day.
work is innocuous
sheets say chore
on your door
for more output,
brain clicks into overdrive
it home, another day of durable dalliance, the second time this week the mood swings changed in mid work. I looked at light standards on the way home and saw roman gladiators waiting to pounce and score lion cars. The traffic lights blinked secret code messages to me, letting me know that there
will be no crashes here for another week – steer clear.
blazer in the cupboard
lady of the house
like her scarf in the pocket
been gone now for 8 years
entirely, I’m afraid
Dashboard clock sings twelve forty three pm. It actually flashes it in diode
red. The stereo is pumping out Ironmaiden’s Number of the Beast and already
the psychosis is taking affect. I make it to the meeting, a little worse for
wear, a minor sweat brushed off with the scarf from the pocket. Even that action
is no one at the door, a usual trait, but this time it doesn’t need someone to stop your progress. Illumination comes from a light above the door and a message board – Members Only. Yes, 8 years ago I was a member. I’ve done this every
Wednesday – tortured my soul with my old life.
a massive recovery
to past things,
rebuilt the future.
not even sure I live in a home anymore. I know I go to 266 Forrest Hill Road,
a house, but it’s not a home. I haven’t seen the girls for 4 years
now, and that really hurts. They are my children for God’s sake. I slip inside, drained, touch the photo’s of each of them, yes in my mind I also touch my wife though
no photos, I know that relationship is closed. Tomorrow I’ll travel to
work, and maybe quit, I need to change my reality to include my family.
because I can,
smart ones with new clothes
ones like me drifting along
ironing the shirt again, yeah left the iron on when I left last evening. The
heat burns through the starch and the material has a bronzed streak running over it.
MASH is still on, Hawkeye spilling his banana daiquiri over Frank Burns. The
light outside dims, good, I don’t mind the dark. A street light outside
flickers incessantly, luckily my bedroom is on the other side, otherwise I’ll be flickering.
sits in her kitchen
as all hell,
on the window sill
in the midday sun.
runs through the minefield
is her decaying mind,
of rouge, lipstick
to die for.
hears him approach
to the front door
she hurry too quickly?
to read your meter “
gruff voice warming her up,
shows him the thing he desires
her she thinks, his intent
his task and leave,
looks at the flower again,
him then, she was flummoxed.
you ma’am” he intones
and leaves by the way he came,
smears the lipstick on a handkerchief
scent – she needs a shower.
she looks at the flower
who left it in her letterbox
rose a sign of love
dissipating flower puzzling?
A Rollicking ol’ sea shanty
ten foot seafarers, riding White Horses
an Ocean so blue the sun blinks,
Pacific Islands covered perennially in palms
stepping ashore and giving birth to Sea women,
horizons bent with sun shimmer, mirage
height of these men increasing the closer they get,
Forties, and riding cascading water falls
seven metres tall and oncoming, till CRASH
hit the side of an abandoned Log Carrier
into the fucken hold and sinking the lonely beast,
now 21 foot seafarers glee in their capability,
souls, sailors, and sailoresses, scion of the sea,
horses now growing to charging elephants,
lambasting a shoreline like a wild tsunami,
houses, dead bodies, unwary populations,
salted water deteriorating vegetation, as it does,
the Royal Albatross, floating on mid air currents,
for fish behind brave ships, in the Southern Ocean,
to the warm tropics, piggy backing on trawlers
scurry of fish hungry sea birds scavenging food
tall seafarers growing apace, running on cyclones
rage of wind and sea throwing it’s power at Fiji,
bure’s washed wet, the populace on high ground
horse appears to reclaim it’s rider,
riders make their home on Kilauea’s slopes,
fire mountain and the sea farers, companions,
another summer storm whips up the sea,
off they go again, ruination and wreckage
the realm of Tangaroa and King Neptune
the real world of the hardened sailor, Ocean rave.
If men were born
with ovaries in hand
and the bits
to go screw themselves
how would they handle childbirth?
this, rub that,
the dials respond
hundred miles per hour
her head sweat,
pouring into a rampant
the counter thrust,
legs stretch responding
I hear it, the power boost
hundred miles per hour
the parachute ejects
another four point six second run.
I love my car.
A Mirage of Vague Musings
weight of responsibility
ladies carry children
their pick and shovel
relaxation of security
figures in coffins
Mozart’s Requiem Mass
flies to the Middle East
the nanny at No 19
under her eyes
show a rapid descent
a dead desert
lost of life
up the food chain robbers vie
sadly a president is shot
free world aghast
last of the wannabes
of city Indians
to make mayhem
the roses wilt, irradiation
world goes crazy
one sees the Mountain Gorilla
rock of Primates
toe nails an aphrodisiac
wins most wars, salient point
used wrongly is war
the memory remains
New York precinct
in closing the sun shines blue
rear vision mirror.