FOOD OF THE GODS
OR
A SLICE OF LIFE

BY
JOHN LAIRD

Book II

Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI

 

Concocted from
and
Subtly flavoured
by
Daily exposure
to the
Australian Ethos.
 

Dedicated to
The Family -
around whose tables
rich fare has been offered
- much exchanged.
 

Allah made poetry a
Cheap thing to buy, and
A simple thing to understand
So that all men might
Profit from it.

Cooking instructions
For FOOD OF THE GODS

All poetry should be read aloud.
The symbolism and often used poetic license
is solely to emphasise the underlying fact.
It adds poignancy, pungency and
flavour to the dish.


Be still
So Lao Tse advised
Silence the breath
Still the tumult of the intrusive mind
Be still
And let the Golden Lotus
Unfold in heavenly beauty

Only be still
Commanded the Zen Master
And the unuttered may be heard
The mind illumined with
The unspoken word

Be still
Advised Gurdijeff
And let the work unfold
Effort destroys the work
Govern the unconscious flow
And Spirit will instruct without words
The seeker on the way

Be still
Said the carpenter
In the quiet mind speak with the Father in secret

Be still
The lord Buddha said
Put all desire away
Only be still
And enter into unity with him

 Be still
The lord Vishnu said
Be still
Calm the mind
Master thought
And so escape the wheel

Be still
Counselled Mohammed
Be still
And he will reward thee with peace

The Masters teach us thus
To be still
The vision is seen only in deep quiet
The gift granted to the still spirit
The treasure is nurtured in the soundless centre

It is a great vanity to seek it beyond the self.
 

Southport 1988
 
  So great a mystery
The living flame that gives
It's pulse, it's energy and joy
To all that lives

Framed with sure purpose to unfold
Unseen it rests recumbent in the seed
Ensures each generation's special grace
And with rich bounty meets
Each individual need

Bright entity
The living spirit none can ever see
It is the joyous ecstasy
Of this world's life
It speaks
Beyond all doubt -- all fear
And the day's strife,
Of Spirit
Of my soul's home
Of immortality

And wordless sings my soul
I am - and it is me
 

Southport 1988
 
  Dreams are but idle wonderment
Hopes though beautiful are vain
Until the careful skillful hand
Fleshes the deep vision from the brain
And certain, shapes the dream

It is the substance of our faith
Transforms the visioned thing
It is our own enduring love
Transmutes the unsubstantial dream
Into the firm fleshed reality of being

Such dreams, such visions
And such radiant hopes;
They need our faith; our love,
And hands most caring skill
To bring them into being
Fuse them with life, and make them
So real -- so beautiful
 
 

 
  The skies are everlasting wonder
Beauty in every thunderhead
Climbing so swiftly
Against the steadfast sun
Storm cloud, purple and black
Heavy with rain
Stinging with hail. The great winds
Sweeping and directing

The savage energies of lighting
Electric powers and fire
The growling Thunder roll

Yet the same storm
Energies now spent
Covers the high hills
With the white purity of snow
Magical, blue shadowed
Smooth contoured, Silent
And so beautiful

And the same steadfast sun
Bright over all

And the still voice demands
"Hast thou girded the heavens
Weighed the winds, or know
The secrets of the waters,
The treasures of the hail
Or of the snow?"

Humbled, I said
"I know that all things
Are the work of thy hands
Thou art dreamer
And fond dreaming
Precious
Beyond understanding

Dust though my body be
And thou unseen but clearly known
I worship Thee."
 

Peregian Beach 1992
 


My heart sang, wordless ecstatic
The day that you called me and said
Opened your arms and said gladly
I love; I love you, I need you
And your smile meant more than you said
And your arms and your eyes,
Breast and body
Were a thousand fold more than you said

Words I can say, but they mock me
They sunder us, keep us apart
From the deep tender yearning
And caring
The passion and love of the heart

How can words say what love is?
Words speak for the hungry heart
Words and the magic of loving
Are the depth of the spirit apart.
 

Peregian Beach 1992
 
 
  Listen glad heart
To the lilt and fall of his song
Song crafted thru the days of a million years.
A million glad springs, and the long
Hot days of a million summers
Have tempered -- fine tuned the rough song
Shaped sweet the melodious bars of
The alert and mischievous Magpies
Warbled song

The song so artfully crafted -- the delight
Garnered of practical day to day living
Bird praise for daily bread -- for peace at night
The dawn hymn of melodious giving

Listen my soul, in the grey dawn waking
Lift spirit at the wild melodious song
Let heart sing, with the black and white bird
In the quiet dawn
The fluted magic of his concert
Musical song
 

Peregian Beach 9/92
 
 There are other aspects of magpie magic. As boys, finding a nestling -- either flung out of the nest as the runt of the litter, or just fallen, careless or adventurous, we would rear them on worms, then clip the wing and snip the frenum and teach them to talk. They made good pets and did not need caging. And who has not been assaulted, beak, claw and wing by an irate magpie parent with strong views on territorial rights? Few magpie nestlings were ever stolen!

My Scottish grandmother told us, we had a pet magpie at the time, that the birds foretold the future.
 

One was bad news coming
Two magpies meant happiness that day
Three were news of a wedding
Four meant news of a new baby
Five meant unexpected money


So long ago, I cannot recall all the signs but I am sure the number reached ten, though one rarely sees magpies in such large groups. I do remember that nine was real trouble. She associated this with the nine of spades --blackest card in the pack and the curse of Scotland, related in some way with the "clearings" of the crofters and peasant families throughout the British Isles, which infamous work was the foundation of the wealth of many of the British landed gentry. Ireland also has bitter memories of those troubled times.

 
 
  Not till the years are running
Through the last few days of their span
Does a man take stock of the moments
That are left to be lived as a man

Through the first hot flush of manhood
And the strength of the middle years
There's never a thought for eventide
For the bitter hour that nears
Regrets are poor consolations
The bright hopes now empty and vain
And of the years rich treasures
Dim images only remain

And the young men take up our burdens
And the young women take their men
And the young world hurries by heedless
Of the old man dreaming again
 
 

This was written in my youth: talking with the old made it so clear. I said to one old chap "You get a great deal of pleasure from your pipe." He took it from his mouth and looked at it, rolling it between thumb and gnarled fingers.

He smoked a heavy Capstan plug, shaving a pipe bowl full at a time with a tiny pocket knife kept for the purpose in the pocket of his waistcoat; all now so rarely seen. He replied:

"It's all I have left now, that and my memories."

 
 
  Not till our singing ceases
And the stars in our heavens fall
And Life transcend this present life
Shall we see clear at all

Not till our striving cease
Shall the seeker find
Shall the restless spirit find peace
Light flood the mind

Then the soul -- now cabined and pent
Imprisoned -- of full beauty shorn
Shall be free -- when the veil of death is rent
And through death be reborn
 
 

Still the great hope of mankind. But the process is age long. Ancient wisdom's speak of life beyond life with a greater surety than the easy hope, held by many believers of many religions, of instant immortality after death.  
 
  As a young man leaving home
And with the sharpness
Of a sudden fear
Asked " Mother, what shall I do?"
Her smile, her hand on mine
The words she said
Are with me still
" Be confident, dear boy
Just look ahead."

My Japanese friend told me
When I spoke with him on this
" We have a proverb
Of a man gathering radishes
When asked the way, he spoke not
But pointed to the west
With a radish"

Long years afterward, and tiring now
" How goes the road from here?"
I asked the Reaper
He likewise answered not
But with his long blade
Pointed toward the west

Now trusting (well beyond hope)
That the long road nears its end
I think my Mother wisest
Her loving touch, the loving words she said
" Be confident dear boy
Just look ahead."
 
 

 
  Ask not, seek not beyond the self
All answers lie within

Tho priest or guru guide
My feet must walk the way

None but myself can discipline the mind
Control the swift river of thought.
Sanctify imagination

None but myself can cleanse the images
Destroy old gods, master the will,
Master desire and master black doubt.
Place feet in the way with faith
Direct new purposes with intent
Forsaking old ways, and
With greater vision plan the new.

None but myself -- and mark this well
My confidence in Him.
 
 

  I AM
 
Thou art that head of gold
And also thine the feet of clay
And thine the body, and the mind
That veils the spirit
And thru the years, designed
The soul enclosing walls
That mar our way

Thine is the bright observant eye
The spirit strong
The will to follow
The way, as stumbling on
We see -- clear, more clearly
On the morrow

For ever was it so
The dream, the vision and the grail
But the body
Oh the well loved flesh
With all its stubborn will to fail

We need must pray
Dear head of gold
Be still and pray
Dear heart, in faith forever strive
That other better way to hold
And stumble on with feet of clay
The golden dream to keep alive.
 
 

Daniel 2.31. "You saw, O King, and behold a great image."  
  The Wheatfield
 
The green road hedge runs high and wide
Full eighty chains the road beside
The fresh creek shimmering in the light
Here strikes the hedge and runs a mile to right
And there again a green gorse hedge
Gold flowered, sweet scented, marks the edge
Of the eastern boundary, and a row
A lovely mile of poplars, grow
Along the southern boundary of the field

Within the hedges, trees and willowed streams
In windswept waves a sea of ripe wheat gleams
And bold the bright sea of fruitful gold
Mock at the deep blue arch above it rolled
And sweet, the hot wheat scented air
In shimmering waves ascends
The rich broad acres carefree flaunt their wealth
Whilst the hot sun marks the ripening days with smiling stealth
( And in the barn the farmer oils the reaper.)
 

Waikari 1935


It was the ambition of a lifetime to have a square mile of wheat! He achieved it in 1939 -- as the Great Depression broke -- and wheat growers had their first guaranteed price. Nature was bountiful that year -- He threshed 60 bushels to the acre and the harvest paid, amongst much else, cash for his new harvester.  
  The Wall
 
Scaling the rock wall
Above the blue haze of the valley
Spirit on that sun warm wall
Spirit touched me truly

Eagle -- spread on the wall
Resting firm and securely
The hard enduring spirit of the rock
Flowed in and through me

Sweet moment! Bonded on the wall
Secure -- exultant
Sweet moment, rock and man
Spirit triumphant

Lord the vision on that wall,
Such utter sweet content
One ageless -- one eternal rest
Such gifted moments
 
 

Every human being who excels at their chosen task feels this marvellous moment of exultation, and if you have not felt it, it's worth working for!  
  Coffee
 
The ambience of coffee
Transcends our deep discords
Soothes family discontents
And graces the social life
With more congenial accords

Ambrosial
It breathes a fragrance
Lost with Eden

The sharp incense ascends
A sacrament
It sings exuberant praise
Through all our weary
Or more delightful days

What wonder that we access peace
By such pleasant simple means
The generous aromatic gift
His humble coffee beans.
 
 

 
  The long mile,
The sandy quiet road
Through murmurous bush
To the sea
And the quiet long beach
With its golden sand
And you dear heart,
And me

And the peaceful blue
Of the quiet full sea
And the sun warmed air
And we alone,
That sweet quiet day.
Just you and me.

Dear heart, could ever
It happen again
Just you and me
With the quiet bush
The quiet rock
And the murmurous sea

Such a day and such a sea
And you dear heart
And me.
 

We were utterly alone that lovely day. No sea birds came looking for crumbs. Dear God, the pleasures we miss living in the city.  
  The Expressway -- Sydney -- Gosford
 
"Is this the Motorway?" I asked.
"Why its more beautiful than many a scenic drive I've seen."

Broad and smooth, the great road
Runs fleet thru the great hills
A visionary thing
Splendidly engineered, bold
With the great cuttings -- the vast fills

Magnificent sandstone bluffs
Display the engineer's skills
To colourful perfection
The cuts exposing the beauty
Of the heart of those ancient hills
Layer on delicate layer
Age upon age seen there
Ages of dappled -- of prisoned sunshine
Truly the sands of time laid bare

Biscuit n' beige
Soft gold and russet brown
The sunny colours bear
Mute witness of the long years
The long hot summers
The long gone ancient sea that lies
Encapsulated there

Crowns on the dark green hills
Great slumberous boulders
Dark skinned, alert, recline
Dark spirits of ancient hunters
From the long gone dream time
 
 


Uncounted trees
Nod in the gentlest breeze
And bend in the strong wind
Clothe the long valleys
Mirror the sunlight
Off each glancing leaf
Uplift the heart
Gladden the eye
With an intricate tapestry

Against the azure sky

Great road and ancient land
Boulders, hills and trees
All bars or grace notes
Of an endless song of praise
A song from the heart
Praising the Maker.
The good earth
And His engineers
 

Gosford 91


At The Beach
 
The beach is golden, and the sea
Pure in its blue immensity
Stirred in me strong
And I made for my son
A quick and simple -- happy sea song
What is the widest in all this wide world
Tell me dear boy, if you can tell me
Why Dad, tis the sea -- this beautiful sea
As it was from the start and ever will be

And what is the deepest thing in the world
And my little boy said -- why Dad
Its the sea, every one knows its the sea
And that's as it was and ever will be

And what is most blue in all the world
I asked him next, and he answered me
Why Daddy, the sea, of course the sea
As it was before and ever will be

And my little boy
Who listened with glee
To my simple riddles
About the blue sea
Cried with delight
As the little waves curled
" What is the wettest thing Dad
In all this world?"

As I pondered the riddle he put to me
Saying " Now what could that possibly be?"

He laughed with joy
And answered me
Why Daddy, of course the sea, the sea
The sea is the wettest that ever could be
And that is just as ever has been
And, praise be the Maker, will ever be seen
 
 

 
  Each day in the unquiet cities
From the traffics roar and din
Our tired folk turn in the evenings
To the quiet hours of sleep within
Safe in the folds of forgetting
The stresses and strains of the day
Good men and bad, Kings and commons
Into sweet sleep drift away

Away through ages of living
And dying -- of birth and rebirth again
The tired souls flee for refreshment
In sleep to the Mother again

And soon we shall bed down forever
In the ancient sleep of death
And rest in the good Mothers bosom
Till once again we shall draw breath

We can learn from the riddle of sleeping
The truth and the meaning of death
 

Southport 11/87
  Grandad On The Drought
 
I cursed the sun one day
And the parched land
Cursed the drought and the dry water way
But " Hear this " the old chap said

This land boy
When first we came
Fed thousands -- birds
'Roos and all their kind
These now parched fields
Were rich with game

And the trees rich with honey
And birds flocked in hundreds
Far as eye could see
This land -- this parched dry land
Was beautiful to see

When first we men looked down
From the gap above
It teemed with life
And at night
Scores of native fires
Twinkled across the plain
A pretty sight

Then was no man called Master
None said -- Do this -- Do that
No man black or white
Slaved to pay tax
The good earth managed itself
Without fence or mortgage or an axe

It was so rich
It warmed our hearts
And to our shame
We took it
Without mercy or justice
Or even common sense
Just put in the fence, gave it our name
And moved the natives on
Only a few years argument
Then they were gone

And we put the axe in
Ring barked the trees
Stripped the rich undergrowth
And cleared
Birds animals and bees
We had a few good years
But look at it now
Its the same sun, shines in the sky
Its us made the drought
We made and we crazed these fields
Its us made the creeks run dry

So don't curse so, boy
At God or the drought
Boy, the lesson is grim but clear
We brought it all here

So stop swearing at the sun
And stop growing grain
Stop over stocking
Replant your hills
Protect the watersheds
And you and yours
Will live in peace again
 
 

There are thousands of once pleasant valleys in Australia. We will need a wiser, more determined generation of men to reclaim the great deserts, but such valleys, with their muddied dry streams, and their once lush flats can be reclaimed by the simple work of replanting the watersheds and protecting the streams and rivers. This is the heart of the greening of Australia policy, and the only means of controlling flood and defeating drought. Many farmers have learned the simple lesson, and are reclaiming the rich bounty of naturally watered land.  
  Moonlight
 
Through the lace curtain
Glowing
On the pale beauty of her there
The sculptured outline
Of her half seen limbs
Her features, framed dimly
In the dark magic
Of her unbound hair

She is most lovely
Lying with me there
The quick electric's of her skin
The moonlight mystery
And the delicate fragrance
Of her unbound hair

What folly to destroy
Such magic moments
The beauty of the trust
That held us there
The gentle spirit
The pale limbs
And her lovely face
Framed in the magic
Of her unbound hair
 

Peregian Beach 11/92
   Eve
 
Dear Eve
Eve gave me life
Eves gentle breast
Nurtured me
Gave me gentle rest

Eves steadfast eyes
Eves loving gaze
Entranced me
Gave purpose to my days

Eves gentle lips
Eves kiss
The Mothers sweet caress
Lovers shared bliss

Eves scented hair
Eves crown and filigree
Unbound a wonderment
Most subtle mystery

Dearest daughter Eve
Dear Eve -- eternal lover
Dearest woman Eve
Dear Eve eternal Mother
 

Maleny 10/92
  Jealousy
 
I saw a woman lying in the grass
Listening to those rare and secret sounds
They seem to hear
My heart was racked with envious jealousy
For I knew the simple faith which kept her there
Was not in me -- I could not bear
To see her watch in peace the flowing grass
And hear the songs of life, and breathe
So with such content, the warm sweet scented air.
 
  Though denied Eden
Its fabled glory gone
I walk in my own garden
In peace and know
I do not walk alone
 
So many of us find such solace in the garden, the hands busy and sensitive to the earth's currents, the mind alive with visions of plenty and beauty.

Itís only a step or two away from fabled Eden.
 

Cairns 1992
 
  A rich gift from the generous sea today
One of the million pebbles round the bay
This one stone -- special -- gifted by the sea
A round clear agate for my eager hand
An age old essence of the ancient land
Polished and shaped thru ages by the sea
A gift -- most beautiful -- for me

Entranced, I saw complete and rounded whole
In that bright stone, an image of my soul
The secret steadfast core of me
And clearly and as strongly as my own
I glimpsed the steadfast spirit of the stone

Ah both, bright fragments of eternity
I saw most clear the fire in the stone
And I was certain then, that the stone saw me.
 

Maleny 10/92
 
  Be still
Advised Gurdijeff

Let the work unfold
Effort destroys the work
Govern the unconscious flow
Of thought -- be still
And spirit will instruct without words
The seeker on the way.
 

 
  Five thousand fated years ago
Blind Homer spoke the Word
And sang -- Bold Avatar
That all who heard might hear
The Way! That each stern warrior must go
To cleanse the guilt
And expiate the sin
That each and every human soul
Christ save us, is forever in

Showed in the bloodied
Embattled life of Troy
Sad image of the haunted human soul
How we ourselves destroy
The image of the splendid self
Ravish and lay wanton waste
Our own souls true untarnished wealth

Lined out, full fatefully and clear
How we, most plain each day
Shape willful our own destiny
The fates and circumstance that slay
And that ourselves do weave
The sly deceptive webs which we
Cast wide our own souls to deceive

And that no peace at all
Will great Ulysses find
And he so surely limned as me
That with long toil of mind
And bitter daily strife
Find his own way to long sought home
And here at last
Destroy the suitors and the faithless maids
And no more roam
But there regain the Bride, and the good life

And there peace, and sweet communion earn
Till at the journeys end this life forsake
And last lone voyage undertake
The mystery of our last dark secret journey learn.
 

  The Hydrogen Atom
 
Dear God,
The hydrogen atom --
So great a mystery
This nucleus -- proton and electron
This pregnant, elemental thing
This nothingness that has
Engendered all, the future yet to be
All that has been thus far begot
Including Thou and me

Seed of all matter,
Seed of all spirit too?
A most improbable parent
Of the rich world we view
Magnetic yin and yang
Sounding the quick pulse
Of long eternity
So long the journey, just begun
For thou dear heart and me

What subtle precepts
Does it employ to shape
The impalpable concepts
That order life and fate?
Such improbable place
To engender Justice and Mercy
To fashion concepts of love
And of grace

The wonder of love dear heart
And of thou and me.
 
 

The first prime element of creation if the Big Bang ever happened, it would by necessity be the hydrogen atom under pressure unimaginable. One proton -- one electron, and all the rest complex combinations of that primal simplicity.
( Occams razor applied to the theory.)

The difficulty is not the physical universe, but the origins ( in an atom ) of the great spiritual concepts which govern and direct life. We have a long long journey before us before we understand.

 


Be still
Counselled Mohammed
Not the least of all the Prophets
Be still
And Allah will reward thee with peace
 
 


Adam dreamed of Eve
And awoke to find her there
Felt in that sleep
The probing fingers deep within
Felt the bone snap

Dreamed of something unknown
Something lovely
Something loving
Something new

Dreamed of a great desire
Dreamed of a gathering profound
Through all his senses
The stirring of a nameless hunger

Dreamed of woman
And awoke
To find Eve there
The crowning glory of his world
Crown and glory of Eden
Lover and Mother still.
 

Southport 1989


 Most races share a creation myth. The Hebrew Adam and Eve myth entombed so long in the Hebrew scripture though noble in its simplicity, lacks that intriguing detail. When and how did they come together? How react? Does the Hebrew myth really mean that Eve was the clear unarguable vehicle of the new consciousness and that we who today share that rich inheritance are indeed children of God through Eve, not Adam? And would such explain the enigma presented in that myth " Their children married the daughters of men." Daughters indeed with a neanderthal level of consciousness still to be found in so many of this worlds peoples? And was so ancient Cybele -- the earth Mother an even earlier concept of the original Eve?


Study In The Nude
 
Beauty folded hands about her
In warm embrace that shaped to will
Clear eyes and lovely flesh that prisoned
A spirit that was deep and still

Beauty dreamed those limbs of beauty
Envisioned the mercurial mind
Fired the lovely work with passion
Framed the mother of mankind

Beauty wrought with urgent purpose
To shape creations noblest earth
And sealed within her richest treasure
The ageless sanctity of birth

Beauty twined a spell about her
Compounded of all charms and art
And woman was, when beauty bound her
Dear companion in mans heart.
 
 

This is a romantic idealized view of women, as seen by Burne Jones, Watts, Dixon and others of the Victorian Romantic school of last century.

I believe though, that in spite of the idealism it is a better vision than that presented all too often by the entertainment media of today.

I believe with Barbara Cartland and others that our modern world must, for itís survival as a civilised society, recognise women as the lifebearers, the nurturing heart of the family, the equal partner and the good companion.

It was Saul, hell bent on persecuting the early Christians and who, after his dramatic conversion was named Paul, imposed his own distorted celibate attitudes toward women upon the new faith.

None of his strictures are of Christ's teaching.

They have imposed an enormous burden on the human spirit through the ages; it continues, sadly, to influence the Church to this day.
 

  So Common A Miracle
 
See child, such a sparkle
Pendant on this still fern
So clear, and diamond lighted
The crystal colours burn

Such clear pure colour
Refracted from the curve
Of the pristine droplet
The secret central nerve

Pristine pure, superbly beautiful
This sparkling morning dew.
 

 
  A thousand years it seems
Between us since have fled
And each a good full life has lived
Since those far days now dead

The bright sweet hours that we enjoyed
In that so distant day
A never failing memory
Each in our different way

Better the parting then, it seemed
Such sad decisive days
Sad end to all the love we had
And went our separate ways

Time healed the wound and other friends
And other ways were found
And other loyalties were forged
And other loves were found

Once more we meet. My heart leaped up
Rejoicing that we found
A warmth of friendship has replaced
The love so long unbound

Oftime it seems we sometimes both
In that warm friendships safe embrace
Across the crowded room will look
So glad to see the once loved face.
 
 


This little life soon trembles out
How restless and how brief the hours
The well loved body -- beauty spent
Returns, whence rich with hidden powers
It sprang, most beautiful, most innocent

The silent voice within,
Our surest friend
On that uncertain way
Between the unsolicited start
And the sad unwanted end

Death surely but the waiting room
For the next ( and still unchosen ) birth
A resting, growing, waiting
In the rich womb
Of regenerative Mother Earth

It is so clearly seen,
Eternal life
Is but the ageless wonder of
Eternal birth.
 

Poetic fancy?

Yet millions believe devoutly in reincarnation. There are some thought provoking stories around which tend to support the belief, many documented individual stories of apparently clear experience of reincarnation. Many give credit to the Indian belief that at a certain level of development, the human spirit is freed from the wheel of rebirth, and there is a western concept which relates the orthodox Christian view of immortality with continuing rebirth. Modern channelling is rich in very detailed stories of past lives, many of which to me, have the bright ring of imagination, an imagination which has perhaps glimpsed the bright reality.

 
 
  The bright sun is warm and golden and
Warm underfoot the golden sand

The high wide sky is azure blue
White thunderheads around it stand

The roar and the crash of the surf and spray
And the sea is a deep dark blue today

And the dark forest brooding the hills is seen
Deep shadowed, and thousand tinted green

And a tired city man
With his children
Silent about his knees
Stands, warmed with the sun
And the beauty, of the earth
And the skies and seas.

And his children too
Rapt with the beauty
Laughed as they ran to play
And the wings of their minds
Were unfolded, forever
To earth's beauty that day.

 
I clearly recall the excitement of wonder as we climbed over the last sandhill, shrieking with pleasure at the hot sand slipping under our feet, and for the first time saw the sea. Still mysteriously beautiful in all its moods to me -- even at night, when its dark energy inspires fear rather than love.  
 
  I had six honest serving men
They taught me all I know
Their names are What, and When and Where
And Who and Why and How
Rudyard Kipling
Gratefully acknowledged.

"What" Cried Spirit, "What is it all about?
What is the purpose. What the Goal?"

"When" Cried Time, dazed with the riddle of infinity.
"When will it end?"

"Where" Screamed Light, shattering darkness and revealing the Void
"Where the centre, where the source?"

"Why" moaned Brute Life, "Why life at all?"
"Why death?"

"Who" muttered First Man,
"Who the Maker?"

 "How" question His Sons, unravelling the dark aeons of their past; with questing mind, unveiling the Laws, and shaping the unborn future
in the image of the unknown Maker.

Tauranga 10/84


Those six honest serving men again

Who -- The Eternal

How -- By the Word

When -- In the beginning

Where -- In the Void

What -- The Universe

Why -- That is the question

Ask it of Him.
 

Kipling -- Rudyard Kipling, is being read again and with the profit to all who so read. One of the great simple truths which he outlined is :-
  I had six honest serving men,
They taught me all I know.
Their names are What and When and Where, and Who and Why and How.
 
These serving men are the only questions we can ask of the Universe and its manifold mysteries; They are the basis of empirical science and its marvellous discoveries and inventions. The basis of all philosophy, and of the common mans questioning of Creation and its mysteries. In ten million years time the thing that mankind is evolving into will be searching its world, its environment, its future and its soul with the same questions. Every answer but opens a new door into the eternity that is the future of our race.  


Pray -- as Paul advises -- without ceasing
Prayer parts the veils awhile
Opens a door -- and a light
Glows warm within the mind
Radiant and oh, so deep desired
A blessed touch of the love we crave
Renews strength, lifts spirit
And soul mounts upon wings unseen
And Benediction

The bell tolls -- and the hours return
And time claims our attention once again
But the radiance lingers
Or all were lost.
The journey and the battle.
Not -- no never -- after prayer, in vain.
 
 

 
  Beset, I wend my questing way
Toward the westering sun
Whose fading glories presage in the East
A dawn, another day,
Beyond our sight
Another wakening beyond,
Our sleeping night.
Gosford 5/89
The histories of the search can be clearly traced back to the dawn of civilisation. The earliest religions, the worship of life -- personified in the Great Earth Maker -- Cybele. And the search will continue. We know -- without need of reason that the search has a goal. It uplifts all who undertake it whatever way they choose. It is interesting that we see the Goal as being in the West. Even the cowboy heroes rode off into those wonderful Nevada ' sunsets in the West.'
A universal allegory of the life drawing to its close and the end of every mans search, as life sinks -- as does the Sun, in the West.  
 
  Evolution
Is but one tool "She" uses
To fashion species
In the womb of time

To fashion species
Did I say?

I'd rather say
To create beauty
Wonder -- colour -- form
With grace and humour -- awe
And a deep impersonal love
Of the subtle intangibles
That make this earth
The wonder that it is.

The wise spirit, sweet child,
Enters into all -- sees all,
Feels all
And enters into life with gladness
And thus partakes of all.
 

A whimsical look at life, a look however, with an eye for little things of beauty. One thanks God for such an eye -- the beauty and sense of purpose in life is such as to make it lovely and wholly enjoyable. There are times in most lives when loveliness is so beautifully clear as to make the heart sing -- Those great wordless songs of praise -- great waves of feeling beyond words. It is only in retrospect that we try to recapture in words, and clearly behind many of these poems is such a song, and within the hope that others might share the magic -- hear an echo of the song beyond words.  


Moses spoke with God
( or rather God with him )
Wrote the ten great laws
And wrote them simple
The better understood
By a simple people

Five thousand years
Along the infinite way
They quarrel still, amongst themselves
And war with their neighbours.
A stiff necked people

One of themselves
A carpenter, in Herods day
And of the house of David
Taught them a simpler,
And a better way

He taught:
But two great laws
Are now defined
With all thy soul and mind
To love thy God
And then,
To love thy neighbour as thyself
This second law the harsher rod

And so we pray
Stern God of Israel
Thy Kingdom come
Dear God, our Father
May thy meek will be done
 

One of their own leaders once said;
"That Moses received only ten laws but the priests laid 600 upon us."

The modern history of Israel appears but a continuation of their Old Testament history - a rich prosperity cursed with a bitter spirit. They seem to have learned little of their own scriptures continuing revelation of the nature of their own God. The vast development of Adonai Jehovah to the Messiah of David and Isaiah. We know the Jewish reaction to the Son of God - long prophesied in their own books.

The spirit of the law, continuing revelation through the Old Testament of God as Father seems to elude them still.

 
 
  The old one
Said Einstein
Does not play dice
With the Universe
Immutable law
Brings all things
To their appointed place

Only in our lives
Free will -- obstinate
Selfish and self destroying
Intervenes

Gosford Xmas 1990
Even the Gods cannot contend against stupidity. Chinese Proverb.
 


The might have been
Had I but heard that day
The word unuttered
In our hours of play
I would have asked
Most gladly
Would have spoken
Had I been present there
The day she made
Her fateful choice
And went her separate way

The might have been
Had I but known her lonely
Before that fateful day
Both lost now, to each other
For the words we did not say
Loving, but lost and lonely now
Each on our separate way
 

Peregian Beach 1992


I danced this night with Fairy Queen
And drank with leprechaun
And supped with Elven earls and King
And fairy folk of wondrous kind
Here on my own green lawn

All beautiful but unsubstantial
But good folk all -- and Fairy Queen
The deep loved woman of my life
A lovely shade -- ephemeral
Dear God, an image and a dream

Silver and strange and quiet the night
And with the rose and gold of dawn
All fled in streams of golden light
And I left desolate alone
Cold on my own green lawn
 

  Southport 10/88
In truth I was, on my own lawn and lonely -- and this beautiful fantasy brought me respite -- rest and peace, dear woman of my dreams, how deeply is your lovely presence desired.


Swiftly a cold night fell
And such a night

Crisp and clean the mountain air
The stars a blaze of glory
The dark like velvet there
And seeming
Fit source of the long dreaming

And sudden, in the still dark night
In a moment of quiet
We heard a Keening

We stilled our breathing
Better to hear -- half heard
An almost silent ring
Unbroken, smooth -- sustained
A fragile delicate thing
It stirred the heart

A note of half heard silence
Heard, pure and strong, but then
A half note -- just a ring
Above the edge of silence

Heard only
Under the very edge of the great quiet
A hidden edge
Under the soft purple of the desert night
A tone one felt to be
The sigh of the edge of the world
As it sweeps immensity

Never to be forgotten
Mythic voice of the world
Singing to men
Of the lone voyage -- vast spaces
Eons of time and of lonely places
And a music
Far far beyond our ken.
 
 


Today there is no lamentation
No sighing of ancient sea
The blue dress dancing, light glancing
The foam lace floating so free
On golden sands, our children
Laugh and sing at their play
Not knowing, and praise be the Maker
Utterly unafraid
Of the long slow tide of each day

There is a sighing and moaning
Of the ancient slow heaving sea
The deep swells lifting and falling
The grey combers heavy yet free
The fishermen gather their nets in
Their sea eyes keen to the glass
Weigh wind and wave with sea wisdom
Hard learned from the sea,
And know that this too will pass

There is an hissing and surging
Of heavy sea beating hard shore
The rage and the raven of undertow
And the burst and the crash and the roar
And the hard men who sail the great seas
Know well to seek haven and calm
Home, wife and child and the warm hearth
Safe harbour
When the great seas thunder in storm.
 

Maleny 9/92


Plato's Cave
 
Who knows?

Who knows the source
Of dark unvoiced desire
That colours our dreams
And shapes
Our days most willful course

Who knows?

Who knows who feeds the deep
Red fires unseen
The flickering shadows of which
Dark on the cave wall
People the dream

Who knows?

Who knows himself
With thought, will gain reprieve
From the lax life of the shades
And with intent, achieve
His own preferred
His chosen destiny.
 



Be still
So Lao Tse advised
Silence the breath
Still the tumult of intrusive mind
Be still
And let the Golden Lotus
Unfold in heavenly beauty.
 
 
 
  What destiny awaits our race
As our warm sun dies?

The slow disease of stellar dying?
Or shall we, grown so old
Have long outgrown the flesh
This planet and that sun

This body found to be
The chrysalis of a free spirit
And, matured in time, set free
No longer flesh foredoomed
To gilded heaven
Or Hells dark misery

Now free --
Word and spirit one
And our long journey
On the Way, to the stars
And beyond, truly begun

Men melded in mansoul
No longer self, but one,
Creations destiny
Immortal man
Seeding the stars
With glorious progeny
 

Why not?

The dinosaurs appeared in the Cretaceous period as small amphibians and their kind grew and developed over a vast span of about 100,000,000 years. The human being likewise had a lowly start, but developed a rich consciousness, capable of contemplating immortality, and is still developing. What will we be in 100,000,000 years? Very different creatures from our present state. It is more than just a fancy that by then we may have outgrown the body. Why not indeed. The concept is already held in more minds than one. While the velocity of light is an insuperable barrier to physical contact with the stars, mental contact can be instantaneous, and it will probably be by such means that we bridge the gulfs of space. To advance such views seriously is to invite charges of insanity; but a poet can envisage such with impunity.
 


"Be still, and know that I AM is God"
 
This is the ancient mystery
Spoken plain
The word revealed
The simple way we gain
Hearts ease and inner grace
All human pain assuaged
In that quiet secret place
All doubt resolved
Each wayward, every vagrant thought
Turned gently to our home

This is indeed
The long and oft sought truth
The open doorway
To our human earthly heaven

Be still
Only be still
The sad deep tide of human pain
Can only thus be soothed
The sad worn child be folded in
The Fathers heart again

Be still, it is an easy rod.
Be still and know
I AM is God

Southport 1989


Be still
Said the Carpenter
Enter into the closet of the mind
And speak with the Father
In secret
 
 
Nature has a voice for all moods -- for all our needs, however deep. Sometimes it needs a grief to slow us down, to make us stop, reflect and see and hear. We must still the mind to enjoy reflection on memories, to pick up the faint chords from deep and long gone sources and allow free play of such upon the mind. All art, all beauty is conceived in such moments. As the Taoist says " The Golden Lotus flowers only in the soundless centre." Thus -- be still. We gain immeasurably from thus quieting the mind, and when we find that we must forgive someone, or change something before gaining that quiet centre, then let us not defer such cleansing. The reward will be of great worth. The deep understanding that we are -- that all and every human being is indeed a child of God.  
 
 
  Trees, trees and still more trees
Shade shelter and a world beside!
Ask but the birds
The bees
Moth and the butterfly
The mammal host; all these
The hastening life of insect hordes
Shade, shelter and sustenance
Such is the life of trees

The rich feast
Scents unimagined by man
All the intricate mystery
Of living and dying
A separate universe
Each tree an empire
With its rich and diverse life
Individual to every separate tree.

Through the sturdy trunk and branch
Delicate twig and trembling leaf
Of each and every living tree
Runs open and free
A teeming ecstasy

And all this,
We wondering see
But they:
Unknowing and uncaring
Of either you or me
 
 


The sun sleeps
The mountain sleeps under the sky
The land sleeps beyond the mountain
The sea sleeps beside the quiet land
The dogs are still
Cats move quietly, softer than possums
Through the dark gardens.
The birds sleep
The round earth drifts gently
In blissful slumber

But for me,
And the man next door --
The neighbours have a new stereo.

Southport 1/88
The imposed noise; intrusive and unwanted.

Who hasn't heard it? It comes in a thousand ways. Lawnmowers on Sunday. The cacophony of highway traffic. Brakes and gear changes at the traffic lights. Muzak, thank God, dying. Music, competing against music from competing stores in the shopping centres. Aircraft -- helicopters prying and spying or crop dusting all day. Speedboats on quiet waters. Trail bikes in the bush; discos, jackhammers, bulldozers and compressors, the rubbish collectors at 5 am! And above all a ghetto blaster in charge of a don't care neurotic.
 


Commonwealth
 
Ask of the years and ancient story
How our line of English Kings
Came thru Scot and Gaul and Saxon
To the present form of things

Clear it is that thru the ages
The long unbroken line has run
In the sifting of all nations
For the building of the one

And that yet the ancient purpose
Still evolves its ancient plan
The consummation clear about us
In a brotherhood of man

The races and the colours mingle
In Commonwealth and free estate
Strange that the single line that bred them
Should find in Commonwealth its fate
 

I have thought for years that amongst the great gifts which England has given to the world -- Shakespeare, the King James Bible, the English language now indisputably the lingua franca of the day, and amongst other gifts, the establishment of the Commonwealth of Nations. A magnificent concept, a decisive step toward One World. Once we achieve that we can get on with the real business of life.  
 
  Seek mind,
Search and find
In the shades of deepest night
Treasure rare
Rich and fair
Gleams of the undying light

Search mind
Seek and find
In the brains recesses dim
Truth and light
Wrong and right
All is hid within

Seek mind, search and find
Far beneath the flame of youth
For the primal
Infinitesimal
Point of truth

Seek and find
Searching mind
Seekers shall rewarded be
Search and find
And finding bind
Peace and power unto thee
 

And so the whole world, through every discipline seeks light in all its manifest and yet unrevealed manifestations, a continuous revealing of natures greatest artifact until time satisfies all searching and all is transmuted by the immutable Light.  


How strange
Our journey to the East
Should face a westering sun
The fires of youth burn out
The hot and the passionate years
Resolve to memory
Glowing embers
Flare briefly
At a loved remembered smile
But the light they kindle
Reveals a lonely road

But, faraway, glow briefly
Rose amber and gold
( How she loved such colours )
The spires, the domes, the minarets
Long sought, often dreamed
And sometimes brightly visioned
The tenements of the celestial city
The warmth of her spirit again

Heaven
Loves nest
Hunters home
Palaces of dreams
Vision of Peace
The ineffable light
And journeys end

Southport 11/89


Implacable law
Broods infinity

Intention never revealed
Purpose inscrutable
Law adamantine
Law irrefutable

Ask not -- so vain to seek
The author of the Law
Dreamed only and imagined.
The stern reality
Fierce -- unendurable!

A vision yet, beyond our ken
All such are but
Our dreams, our names
Our vision of the Real
Bright, or sad, images of men

Long ages yet, along
Our infinite, still dreaming way
The law, adamantine thru such age
Will still hold sway
Over mans spirit
And we, by the same Law
Will deeper wisdoms have
And sweeter grace
And deeper faith uphold
And deeper truths will face

Through long dream time
As in faith we saw,
We gain a deeper knowledge of
The still immutable Law
And surely will fashion then
A wiser and a greater God
Who will keep fealty for
A greater and a wiser
Race of men.
 

Maleny 10/92
This is the best vision yet of our (or my ) human destiny.

A continual saga of discovery, of unfolding, of understanding and of mystical intuitive revelation of the content, and infinite potential of the adamantine laws of nature in which inscrutable framework we find ourselves not trapped as some feel, but deeply interwoven.

 
 
  We came into the world
Helpless and utterly innocent

By the time we're three
The twig is bent
And round about seven
Is shaped about his future
-- Hell or Heaven.
At 21 -- or thereabouts,
He takes a wife
Maybe, for the rest of life
And strangely,
As was shaped at three
Determines whether love will be
Good or bad -- or both
Happy enough, tho sometimes sad
Or tragic when the childhood's bad

In age, the pattern is no other
Than that impressed on child
By Mother
When he was three to seven
And his sere years
Will be embittered Hell
Or, Mother loved, well taught
Grow old in earthly Heaven
 
 


In the first years, after the fall
It was good health without tears
And they, patriarchs all
Lived for hundreds of years

But the strong blood diluted
As the sons of God then
Married those most delectable
Daughters of mortal men

So the strain weakened
And three score years and ten
Became the normal span
For the surviving men

Those delectable daughters
Still make
Life's burden worth the strife
And three scores years and ten
Are clearly plenty for
Both husband and loving wife

Men's daughters of today
Really wouldn't - now or then
Want a passionless century
In any way
With any of this centuries Ancient men

Peregian Beach 9/92


In a black moment
Doubt assailed me
But the Voice said:-

Fear not
Great mysteries
Hover unresolved
Not yet divined
Nor yet imagined
Within you

The future seed
Of tomorrows tumult
And its beauty
And the wonder
Of unborn years
Such seed is yours

The reason and the work
Of the long years to be
Are germane to you
The art and architecture
Of the new world
Shaped by your spirit
Contained within your seed
Safe in your children's hands
Their unborn progeny

And I said
" Father I rest my faith in Thee "
 
 


The song without words
The ecstasy
Sublime
The spirit sings exultant
The ancient theme of time

Praise without words
The words are but the breath
Of the passionate song
From the spirits depth
 

Peregian Beach 9/92


There's a strong sea smell off a sullen sea today
There's a thick sea fog lies still across the bay
There's a hard sea breaking on the hard sea shore
There's a harsh sea rising with a low sullen roar
There's a grey spume lifting from the heaving sea
The men have lost the fight today against the ancient sea
Coolum 12/92


There is I see in every man
A King, a Saint, a Knight, a Warrior at rest
A battler is the word that well
Describes the human male at his best
Coolum 1/93


The water is deep
My chosen friend said
But fear not, dive deep
The water is over your head

And I with her
Explored that deep
And found rich treasure
The deep waters keep

And rested in peace
On that deep timeless sea
Having tasted waters
Rich with flavours of
Our immortality

Yes rested in peace
On that quiet deep sea
Where love
Is a deep tranquillity

True, the water is deep
Just as my lover said
But there was nothing ever to fear
Though the waters ofttimes
Were deep -- and over our head
 

Coolum 1/93


I saw this beautiful girl go by
'Twas a windy day
And the wind moulded the blue dress
Round her beautiful body
In a most wonderful
Delightful and feminine way

Her legs were divine
And the blue dress
Outlined them, clear to her hips
And my eyes,
Traversed the rest
Of that lovely frame
To where the blue dress
Outlined her breast

And my eyes rested there
Happy moment!
Then drifted on to her hair

Delightful, her dark hair
Silk smooth, a lovely tress
Curled gently down to her shoulders
Which are rounded and shapely and fair
Then flowed round her beautiful features
And fell, soft, on the lovely blue dress

And her lips,
They glowed in the sunlight
I could see they were soft and cool

And her eyes
The mild eyes of a roe deer
I nearly drowned in that pool!

But,
She smoothed the blue dress about her,
The shoulder,
Gave a cold unfriendly goodbye
And she flaunted those hips
As she passed me
With a flash and a gleam in her eye

The language she used
As she passed me,
Tho never a word she said!

So she's gone,
The girl in the blue dress

But I; I still have the beautiful blue dress
Wind blown and bright
In my head
 
 


Nothing,
We know,
Is always what it seems
And who amongst us
Can separate or tell
Dreamer from dreams
Or walk with sure feet
The narrow edge
That separates
A long dreamed heaven
From a long feared hell

Who knows
The twist of fate
The hard decision
That transforms the hell
Into desired heaven

Who knows?
It is best to pray
And have
That inner guidance
On the long hard way
 
 


My Son
 
So, the King wept and cried
"My son, my son
Would that I had died for thee"
And thus Lord say I

In spite of all the errant ways
The stubborn broken will
The wasted years and willful days
He is my son, I love him still.

I plead his cause dear Lord again
Restore to him his rightful place
My pleas to him alas in vain
Grant him, my Lord, Thy saving grace

I pray not Lord my hearts release
I pray my son, that he may live
The good life, calm the bitter spirit
And find his peace.
Come to himself, and truly live.
 

Maleny '92
2nd Book of Samuel
Chapter 19 vs. 33


A Short History Of Our Gods
 
We see,
So clearly as our quick years go
Jehovah -- once Lord and King
Is now grown old
As all Gods grow

He was a perception
Of mans new brain
That great domed cortex
Which doomed Neathandal man

Spawned then doomed
Myriad families
Of mans ancient Gods

The great earth Goddess
Cybele --
Mothered all
Lilith, Ashtoreth and Isis
Marduk, Entil and Baal
All had their day
Governed innumerable destinies
But went their ordained way

Chronus and the Titans
Their dynasties and kind
Prometheus, when unbound
Those ancient Gods did bind

Then rose the Olympians
These served the Greeks
Through all their glorious years
Then Latinised served martial Rome
Inspired that architecture
Framed laws and literature
And with their loves -- their wars and tears
Nurtured a thousand years

Shades of their glory
Cling still about their names
Zeus and Jupiter
Hera and Juno
Venus and Aphrodite
Mercury and quick Hermes
Latin or Greek the same
It is the spirit that quickens
Whatever the name

Cupid and Mars still hold
Some tenuous sway
Though neither altar or temple
Marks now their errant way
Their slow declining day

Thus thru long years
The pantheons of Gods
Inspired the hearts and hands
Of men; conditioned the hearts
With awesome hidden magic
And played out their parts

So lived and died the ancient Gods
Following them
Jehovah -- stern jealous God,
Yields to the Son
Tis His star rises bright and clear
Through the Western world
Toward the millennial year

Modern man
Pondering the clear unfolding
Of revelation thru the ages
Reads clear the message
And with vision raises
A new God,
One able to meet his needs

Knows the Eternal Unknown
As Father
So the Son revealed, and thus
Wit humble heart
We worship Him

Southport 9/87

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