fbpx

Scribblings (poems) 1984-90

These are a few random scribblings from long ago. I wrote a few verses about life back in the 1980s when I was travelling a lot in Australia and Asia. Most I disliked so much that they were consigned to the funeral pyre. A few survived for various reasons and this is a small selection of those


Dream Obsessions

A dream, two women, a blurred vision
My dream a moment of indecision
One woman, smaller, walks up the hill.

She turns, looks, her face and eyes still
Staring at the beach, the lulling ocean

She appears to me as a faint image
A memory of some pain of past damage
In a side room of my consciousness

The second woman calls “Rebecca!
In my mind images of the past flicker

She follows Rebecca up the hill
The entire scene frozen, still
I rise and follow them then

Despite the warning I cannot resist
A primal force pulls me, insists

I wake. The moment, the image is gone.
Leaving only a sharp pain of memories past

THIS WAS A RECOLLECTION OF A RECURRENT DREAM. NOT ALWAYS IDENTICAL BUT ALWAYS FEATURING THESE SAME TWO WOMEN (WHOM I NEVER RECOGNISED) AND ALWAYS IN AN UNKNOWN BEACH LOCATION. IT HAS NO SPECIFIC MEANING OR SIGNIFICANCE, SO FAR AS I CAN TELL

Empty

I lie awake under the vast silent sky
The stars stare down unsleeping
Like the bright eyes of yesterday’s Gods
Or the dreaming millions of tomorrow’s spirits

The false security of sleep creeps
Your ethereal body approaches
Moving close on mists of dreams
You half smile, gently, secretly

I reach out to caress your naked body
But as I touch your misty vision
You move away, knowing, smiling still
Always keeping just beyond reach

I touch only empty space
Once there was something solid
I wake again in the cold night
Under the bright eyes of the Gods

On the wall your picture hangs
As if cruelly taunting my soul
I try reading your mind across space
My mind whispers to you gently

“Do not abandon me”.

THIS IS ABOUT THE UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCE OF ABANDONMENT, OF UNREQUITED LOVE, OF GRIEF, EMPTINESS, DESIRE.

Grain of Sand

Like the Grain of Sand in the oyster
Where the pain produces a pearl
So it is with love, laughter, pain
We hold the pain of sorrow
Of bereavement, of abandonment
The hurt of failed love, fallen hope
Holding them like a kernel in our heart
The kernel of pain brings memory
Of what was and will be again
Shared passion, joy, laughter, love, life
With the pain comes the scarring
Cut deep in each soul
To help us remember the good
To keep us searching for the seed
For new hope, the dawn that never fades
Without pain we are diminished
The compassion, less strong
The hope, less enduring
The pleasure, love, diminished

REMEMBERING THAT PAIN AND PLEASURE, JOY AND HURT, LOVE AND ABANDONMENT, CRUELTY AND KINDNESS ARE ALL TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN. YOU CANNOT KNOW OR UNDERSTAND ONE WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING AND, POSSIBLY, KNOWING THE OTHER.

Rhythm

Everything in nature is built on ritual, regularity; something that is increasingly absent from our fragmented society and broken communities

Whether it be tides, waves, seasons, winds, everything moves with a beat, a regularity which is duplicated in our own bodies; the beating of our hearts, the murmur of blood in our veins, the rhythm of sleep.

We need to re-establish these rituals in some way, to get back in tune with the giant tick of the planet. The bigger and more important the event the more regular and patterned; the earth around the sun, the tides, the waves, Everything moves in a pattern, a beat.

Everything important has a beat, a rhythm. We need a return to ritual, a return to the seasons.

A SHORT OBSERVATION WRITTEN DURING AN EXTENDED STAY, LIVING ON THE BLOOMFIELD RIVER IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND DURING 1990 WHEN I HOUSESAT FOR MY FRIENDS DERMOT SMYTH AND CHRISTINA BAHRDT. ALMOST TOTALLY ALONE FOR FIVE MONTHS OUT THE SIX YOU START TO LIVE YOUR LIFE ACCORDING TO THE RYTHYM OF THE EARTH, THE RISE AND FALL OF THE RIVER, SUNRISE, SUNSET. YOUR.BODY, SLEEP AND LIFE TAKES ON A RYTHYM IN TIME TO THE EARTH – SOMETHING WHICH IS LARGELY ABSENT IN THE ARTIFICIAL WORLD OF OUR CITIES.

River

Traveling your cold waters
A journey much like life
With no turning back
Just one destination
Journey’s end

Accepting all your moods
Like vagaries of life
Smooth placid reaches
Deep black gorges
Thundering rapids

All through the journey
No escaping contact
Swept along relentlessly
Hit, dumped, damaged
At your whim

And when nerve fails
Faced by brute force
Clinging to the side
Avoiding that slip
To doom

Waiting for better times
So to glide serenely
Enjoying the life force
Immersed in beauty
At ease

Watch the myriad turns
Water slides over rock
Swaying Huon fronds
Timeless dark pools
Fearing only fear

Like the life force itself
The pleasures, pains
Events beyond control
Waiting journey’s end
Later or sooner?

We have so little control
One immutable truth
The journey like life itself
Must end

Soon.

WRITTEN IN 1983 SHORTLY AFTER A TRIP ON THE JANE RIVER IN SOUTH WEST TASMANIA, THIS IS SIMPLY A REFLECTION ON THE BEAUFY OF RIVER TRIPS IN REMOVE PLACES – AND THEIR SIMILARITY TO LIFE. YOU GET ON AT A FIXED PLACE, YOU TRAVEL ONWARDS BE IT ON A RIVER OR IN LIFE, WITH LIMITED MEANS TO CONTROL YOUR DESTINY AND YOU CAN ONLY GET OFF AT THE VERY END.

The Wind

Moving through life like a zephyr
Stirring emotions like eddying leaves
Tantalising, impossible to catch
What driving force moves you on

Stepping close disturbs the calm
Altering the balance between us
And then you’ll disappear again
To rise again elsewhere, more distant

So I keep you at arms length
Measuring the safe distance
Feeling the gusts of your presence
The whirling leaves of emotions

I try catching them gently
Movement makes them fall
It’s dangerous to get too close
Winds, strongest in the centre

Like a cyclone, unpredictable
Is there calm in your storm?
Is it possible to know?
The path to safety not clear

All fates are unknown
But one thing we known
All like to walk in the wind
Feeling your cool breath

Not knowing where you go
Only that like the wind
You will change direction
And pass out of each life

You cannot be held
And so no one will not try
Not knowing the damage
You may leave behind

But when you smile
And you turn your gaze
Then the pain is worthwhile
For a brief moment of warmth

WRITTEN DURING A TEMPESTUOUS RELATIONSHIP WHERE THE OBJECT OF MY AFFECTION WAS ONE MINUTE KEEN AND THE NEXT VERY DISTANT – IT’S A NOT UNCOMMON EXPERIENCE, BUT A HIGHLY CONFUSING ONE – AT THE CORE OF WHICH ARE EMOTIONS THAT CHANGE LIKE THE WIND.

Wild Land

A land of wild rivers
Of icy blasts in summer
A drop of green and blue
In a continent of red
Like the colour of blood
From below the broken crust

We strive to save this land
To understand its meaning
Wordlessly calling ones soul
With scenes of harsh beauty

The strange calm
Of an empty land
Providing the meaning
The human world cannot
Binding emotional cracks
Filling our bleeding souls

WRITTEN IN 1985 DURING AN EXTENDED WALKING TRIP IN SOUTH WEST TASMANIA, SHORTLY AFTER THE END OF THE SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN TO SAVE THE FRANKLIN RIVER

Leave a Reply

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: