The mind displays discordant,

the monkey plays the tune,

in clamouring confusion, 

it staggers round the room.

With nimble-fingered focus

it shuffles all the thoughts,

spits gently on the territory,

through teeth of evil force.

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 Faith sighed,

and in that

whisper, drew

sodden drapes


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Welcome grief, stay awhile.

Let me wipe the dust from

your shoes and the tears

from your salted cheeks.

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The dead have silent teeth and empty throats,
they have no voice with which to speak, to cry
of all the horrors they have seen and been and
known; to call for justice, freedom from the

power of those who kill to claim what is not
theirs, the land of others, who suffocate children
in waves of dust and shredded metal moments,
where blood and tears and destiny are driven

deep into the waiting earth; dressing broken
fragments of their lives, their souls, their
hearts, that costuming of evil which war does
primp and posture into place, for those who

are the victims, for those who cannot speak,
and for whom the only hope can be for others,
that their throats are not empty, their teeth
are not silent, their words are not crushed

beneath the boot of evil and injustice and
military might, and that in the darkened
quietness of this awful, suppurating wound,
their only hope is that the voices of the living

will be speaking out for those who lie strewn,
fleshed like scattered crops, in that harvest
which bleeds and grieves and slowly seeds
the fields of future justice in aching Palestine.

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Final solution

Raised across the parapet of mind,
words frowned in distant gathering,
horizon-huddled holding to the edge
of possibility defined, waiting for 

release upon the brooding ledge of
endless misunderstandings, restless
as they honed edges to deadly shine,
ready to cut without mercy; wielded

in a winnowing of mechanical fear,
compressing dry, cracked stalks of
hope into bales, tied for distant, ever
imagined Winters where life could

chew listlessly at  dried remnants
of what had once been lush, ebullient
green salvation, thrust from fallow
earth, reaching always for the distant

anxious sky where sullen blues held
court for scattered sunbeams, tripping
through realities which danced slowly
at the bidding of bestial breeze, and

delicate, whispering winds which 
rattled hollow husks, bereft of fertile 
grains, abandoned, sterile, grieving
in those fields of futures known, 

and unknown, where Occam thoughts
spread like scythes, laying waste,
rendering, reducing potential harvest
in death knells of dusty, dirty dying;

so did the paddocks sigh piteously,
deprived of all which had been 
promised, before the war within
demanded one last, final solution.

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On getting old (er)

What is this getting old? We feel no different

 in ourselves but the world sees us differently

and as skin relaxes into wrinkled submission, 

we begin to write new stories for who we are 

and what life holds. Because it has been told,

that six score years and ten, is an allotted life

even though, many live beyond and have done

always, from the age of seventy, we fall into

the trap of believing in something called ‘old,’

when all we ever are, is ‘being,’ regardless of

age, or years, or softened skin and so much 

experience, that we see the world now in a

different way to how we saw it in youth – 

even though the world itself has not changed

so much, and we feel no different inside, but

life demands we pay attention in new and 

more flexible ways; that we soften and fold

in on ourselves, as our skin does in humble

submission to the reality of time and years.

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When life hurts

 When life hurts, which it so often

does, how do we find meaning and

purpose to go on? Is there not some

thing twisted in believing or needing

to believe, that pain can be positive,

that hurting can heal, that suffering

can be not just necessary but good?

In this dance of reason, rage and 

grief, for all walk hand in hand

with pain, can we remember the

steps and remain faithful to their 

execution, telling ourselves that

it is all, in its own way, beautiful?

And is there anything else to do,

or which can be done, to soften 

the hard edges of life, to smooth

the jagged jaws of reality, so that

we can, just for a moment, breathe?

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What is this thing called fear?

Which complicates the world,

serves little purpose even when

a danger nearby lurks. Why do

we fear so much, instinctive

and inbred, when dangers will

be better done, where fear is

not at work? And yet we are

hard-wired, to viscerally react,

as if the lion was waiting,

when nothing’s truly there.

No doubt in aeons past, it

saved us from ourselves, but

calmness held with courage

will best meet any threat.

These demons of the mind

haunt every jungled thought,

and walk on padded feet

through days and nights

distraught, refusing all the

pleas, ignoring all the calls,

to sleep in patient caution,

till danger truly forms.

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This is the way the world ends……

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men.

The reaction to Covid has reminded me that the most dangerous human quality is fear, particularly irrational fear.  Covid-19, or fear of Covid, has turned many into hollow men and women, blown by the winds of fear, turning always on the same spot of psyche.

Humans have faced many threats throughout their long history and Covid-19 does not even rank amongst the worst of them. And yet, in an instant, people in the name of fear have given up hard-won freedoms. Our ancestors who fought across centuries for those freedoms and often died for them, must be turning in their graves.

One thing is certain, if the fear-donkeys and modelling-monkeys had worked their magic on the public, as they have with Covid, in the face of either the First or Second World War, those conflicts would have been well and truly lost.

Never before in human history, not even for truly deadly diseases, have the well been locked up to counter a possible disease threat. We have certainly broken new ground with the Covid madness.

We have not been ‘bringing out our dead,’ or for most of us, even tending them through long, deadly nights. Few of us know anyone who has been really sick, supposedly with Covid, and fewer still, anyone who died. But, the power-jockeys have been telling us – be afraid, be very afraid.

When you crunch the numbers it is pretty clear that Covid is not such a threat and indeed, its ‘severity’ differs depending upon country, which is certainly not the case with severe Flu epidemics or pandemics, which have respected no-one, of any age, in any situation.

The Covid mortality rate in Australia is .004% roughly, although the Covid ‘season’ has been twice as long as a Flu season, and, if faecal sewer studies are correct, possibly four times as long as a Flu season. The 2017 bad Flu season in Australia had a mortality rate of about .005%, although that was in half the time of the official Covid ‘season. The majority of those said to have died of Covid had such poor health that the common cold could have finished them off. And perhaps it did, given that Covid is a variation on the viral theme of the common cold.

We have those in power spreading fear and hysteria based on dodgy data. They have not been making comparisons of mortality with severity and infection identification, which pretty quickly reveals that Covid at worst is no more than a bad Flu season, which has not had us imprisoned in our homes, gasping behind ridiculous masks, refusing to kiss and hug those we love.

Perhaps the most astonishing thing is how many have gone along with this advice without even bothering to do some work researching health, disease, Influenza or Covid themselves, let alone applying common sense. What happened? Where did the sort of grit, guts, determination, courage, common sense and reason which founded this country go?

What turned so many into timid, fearful creatures so easily manipulated in the name of a possible danger?

George Orwell’s 1984 should be a compulsory read for everyone and top of the list for kids in school, instead of meringue fantasies like Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu.

This is how easy it is to become enslaved by systems; to become tools of agendas; to become puppets of fear.  Thank the rebels for they are our greatest hope and power. The warning voices are often ignored if not actively silenced as we have seen with Covid. Many doctors and some scientists have spoken against the official ‘story’ as voices of reason and just as quickly disappeared. Fortunately there are always voices of dissent even if they die on literal or metaphorical pyres in the name of dogma.

Without them, the only sound is the slow, sad sigh of the air of life and hope, escaping from the balloon of humanity which once sought to rise high, brave and proud, and now softens in a pathetic dribble of gutless fear in the name of one, poorly identified, barely understood disease which is not a threat to 99% of people.

But life is cyclical, not linear, and we have been here before and made our way through. We will do it better and faster if we do not succumb to fear for that response is the worst basis for decision-making even when there really is something which threatens us, as opposed to the demons of our imagining and the monsters of the manipulators.

We teach our children not to fear the monsters of the dark and we would do well to remember the lesson ourselves. For we, as adults, should know better. We as adults should do better. There are many ways to die and as a favourite aunt of mine so frequently said: Many people die long before they are dead.

To paraphrase the poet Dylan Thomas-

‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’ of reason, common sense and courage, for life contains a myriad of threats and demons and how we deal with one dictates whether we grow in courage or in fear for all the rest in their eternal, cycling winging around this world.

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The owl

The owl called through the night,

Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, as if it sought

itself, or its mate, or an echo of being

in the darkness, driving through

slow rain and dribbling hours

when nothing more could be

said, than Whoo, Whoo, in

ancient expectation of a cry

to answer his deep yearning,

which was also mine.

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