Book III

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


Concocted from
Subtly flavoured
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

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.



Many of these poems begin thus -- Dear God.
The expression is a kind of mental lever which I use to prise the idea out of the spiritual concept in which it first appears; into the mental area, where it is given form, from whence it is
transcribed to paper and becomes available to the reader in a physical form.
This is the mode of creation.

The concept ---- the plan ---- the work.

Spirit mind body.

It is only thus that we are an image of the maker.

It will be seen that I do not accept the idea of a physical God seated in some physical heaven and concerned with the wars of the Israelites and other judgments on human folly, or even with the creation of universes.

I believe that the invisible thing that we call Life is the nearest we can conceive of the nature of the unknown One. If ever there was a Creator, it clearly pervades the Universe. In our present level of consciousness, it seems likely that the Universe is eternal.

One thing however seems abundantly clear -- The Thing that all men call God is to be found in the human spirit, in all men and throughout all time.

Perhaps in an hundred million years time, we humans in whatever shape we have evolved into, will have greater knowledge, and deeper wisdoms, concerning the ultimate truth.

In spite of our sad history, the human spirit is essentially good, creative and has some instinctive appreciation of immortality, and has almost totally unexplored capabilities.

And so the poems express, however dimly, my faith in the goodness and worth of life, and that all men whatever our religious beliefs, can achieve a knowledge of that most mysterious thing which all call God.

The vision is seen only
In the deep quiet,
A gift from the spirit.

The masters teach us to be still.
The treasure is nurtured
In the soundless centre.
It is a great vanity
To seek beyond the self.

  Dear God

The passion and the search in vain?
Does death indeed end all?

At what point, where, and how
Can we transcend the understanding
Ever confirm the faith?

This restless driven mortal
Put on immortality
This turbulent flesh
Meld with the ecstasy of spirit
Access the mystery of love
Transcend the passions.
And achieve in peace
The long sought Grail

Dear God
When can this ever be?
And if ever so
Why then denied to me.


Dear God
A man of integrity would I be --
And wise in Judgment
So dear God, teach me

And brave enough,
Compassionate and good
Resourceful and intuitive
And I would
A touch of humour lest I be severe.
And sound good health.
And please, a modicum of wealth.
For you have given us keen eyes
For beauty and the things we prize

The gift of loving too I need.
For you dear God made Eve a maid
And me dear God a man indeed.
And both with thoughtful care

A moderate man you see
And peaceful -- not a prude
For these few simple things I plea.

Dear God -- remember me --


Dear God
That earlier list
Dear God.
Me surely dreaming!
A moralistic theme
Composed no doubt
In a grey moment

What I'd really like
Dear God
Even now, grown old,
Is a garden
And a woman at my side
To help me tend it
Woman are wonderful friends
And often wonderful gardeners.
Such a loving empathy with life

And this life's a garden
Needing care.
So forget that list
Dear God.
Just take me as I am
And, if there's the chance
Of such a garden
And such a friend

Dear God -- Remember me

Over two thousand years ago Horace -- great Roman poet wrote to a good friend
"This was in my prayers;
A piece of ground not overlarge,
And near to a stream of constant water,
And beside these some little quantity of woodland."
Truly the dream of all peoples.
  All, all weary now
And needing rest
The peace of silence
The warm haven blest
Beatitude of quiet
And the deep healing
Of the sleeping night

Peace in the quiet walk
On sands of ageless sea
Rest by still waters
In the green country
Strong certainty
Such is the peace we find
In seeking Thee --


Spirit moved
The Word
Rippled infinity
Created space

The Word
Primal atom
Channelled energy

The Word
Partitioned eternity
Formed time, aeons,
And precious moments

The Word

Matched atoms with time
Framed galaxies
Cosmic mysteries

The Word
Decreed Sun, Moon
The morning Star
And lovely Earth

The Word
Seeded land sea and sky
Provisioned all
And peopled earth

Spirit with Word
Still dreaming
And contemplates the Work

Spirit with Word
A glory brighter than our Sun
Ponders new mysteries
Work not yet begun

I make no apology for the spiritual content of this work.

Life is spirit; perhaps spirit is life; and the mystics and the prophets of all time have told us that the Creator is spirit.

It may be that the Creator and Life are one.

The names of the creator are many. Our concepts of creation are a reflection of the self. Our understanding becomes universal when we can say with simple faith

For the children of God are of every race and belief. The creative love favours none.

Through the human race the spiritual concepts of Love, Order and Beauty are clearly evolving, surely inspired by the creative Spirit and men are nearer their Creator, when they nurture these principles and so order their affairs.

I believe that we can reach a richer understanding of creative love through prayer and meditation, and that the full development of mankind lies along this way. We clearly have a long struggle ahead before the more savage elements of the raw material of life are modified or supplanted by our emerging consciousness.

I believe that the human race is evolving toward a different creature, and that the evolutionary process can and is being assisted, and hastened by the conscious direction of good men and women, all over the world.

The work clearly demands long years of selection and effort and willing hearts, but will be accomplished.

Our long evolutionary history shows that not all men will so develop.

The choice is ours.....

  As Ancient Pan Did Sing
Come drink the flowing cup that pours
From the rich earth and sky
The full rich wine of life, until
Our moment passes by

And everything about us be
Poured into lifes rich cup
Till every sense and every mood
Of soul be lifted up

Toast with the richest wine the faith
That binds men to the truth
Drink deep to the eyes and ruby lips
The loyalties of youth

And fill a pot with that rich wine
The fruitfulness of earth
And toast with awe the harvest yield
The mystery of birth

Come, drink -- until the senses glow
With peace and genial mirth
And praise with love the Unknown One
Who made the fruitful earth


Song Of The Westerly
Striding strong and firm shouldered
Into the westerly wind
On the hills of Maleny
The long solid sweep of it
Fresh, sweet on the face of it
Rich with the subtleties
Of wasteland and red soil
Forest, the green smell of it
And rich fresh mountain air
The long sweep and swell of it
The fresh green country there.

Steady and warm and strong
And tho firmly opposing
Yet urging me along

There's a vast commotion
In far deep eastern seas
Gives life and energy
To the rough Westerlies
Feeding the great wind storms
Brooding in tropic seas

These in their time begat
Cyclone and hurricane
And our own tropic wet

It was these blustering winds
Drove east the worn explorers
Of these warm uncharted seas
Lovely and dangerous seas

Such men -- such little ships
Such winds and such seas.

Brave men, too weary more to roam
And long hard months from havens rest
Turned East with winds that promised home

Their worn sails tight with Nor-West breeze
They followed glad to kinder seas
To islands with their deep content
And failed the Southern Continent
Cook mastered that rough wind
Tacked West, with fixed intent
And knew his purpose safe in hand
First man to chart the long sought land

Perhaps traced out some faint rich scent
Of green; The wind borne hint of flowers
Earth magic in the winds warm showers

It was the strong rough Westerlies
Bore patient Cook on stormy wings
Taking the long strange coast to chart
Each cape and headland, each deep bay

Each hidden shoal, each island cay
Marked each its place, gave each its name

Cook richly earned his high acclaim
His patient skillful seaman's fame.

  "Two men looked thru prison bars;
One saw only mud; the other stars

We all look out on life
Thru some such prison bars
Some watch the stars
To them the world has beauty
And the pent spirit aspires
To brighter goals, and drives
With clear purposes

To reach the hearts desires.

Others, by mischance, or sadly, Choice
See but their bars, and the mire
Deny the vision and sadly do not heed
The guidance of the silent inner voice
Weary they trudge the swamps of life
Never to see beyond
Their wretched misery
The wearing toil; the futile strife.

Awaken -- be thou true man.
Look up to the stars and see
Some vision of the spirit that you are
Look up to the stars.
And be free --

All Life is one, and yours, in that eternity.


Yes we hunger
Spirit questing
Hunger for love
Hunger for mountain side
For the sea, the sky above

We hunger
All things above
Hunger the good companion
The understanding
Of such as we love

Yes we hunger
Spirits ecstasy
In prayer; in contemplation
Thou Unknown still
We hunger Lord for Thee

  Love -- Classical
Love dearest love we see
Our love must always
Unconditioned be
But yet dear heart
Without demand of mine own spirit
Or your integrity

My body, yes the well loved flesh
Grants all that love demands
In loves sweet trust
Let love be sated
As our flesh commands
As love we ever must.

But I pray you, dearest love
As you love me
Hold me in glad surrender love
But leave me free

The loved critic said of this, "Not many lovers would think like that -- not these days".

So I made a revised "street " version, as widely popularised by certain film makers and other media moguls, who seem determined to reduce every aspect of the good life to the corrosion of banality -- human experience at its most shallow violent level

So often it brings to mind the ancient caution;

Take what you want, say the Gods, Pay later!

The street version follows.

The Street Version Or Sex - A Popular Substitute For Love
OK pal, take what you want
Its free
But don't get me wrong mate,
I belong to me.

You're great
And I'm pretty good, I guess
But, hang on a minute, mate
While I undress

That's good so have it again
Take your fill
Just remember
When you've finished
I belong to me still

Perigian Beach 92
  The stately emu
Strides with a limber grace
A native elegance
Despite the absurd little face

The sharp hard mouth
With its wide perpetual grin!
But the red button eyes
Reveal a bright spirit within

Those strong boned agile legs
Move with a natural grace

Effortless -- elegant
With their long measured pace

They are the spirit of the wild bush
Spirit of the lonely arid space
A spirit with the strange wild heart
Of this ancient dry wild place

Shame that this vast wild land
Must deal with graceless sense
Such needless death they suffer
Deep massed on boundary fence.

Cairns 92
  Dear God
The mystery of the dark
And sleep again

The fading of the light
And dark again

I am no longer
Fearful of the dark

The dark brings sleep
And dreams again

The night with its dreams
Brings peace again

In peace I understand
And the night brings peace

But to wake; the day
Brings pain again

The day is a stern reality
But I would rest

I find my peace
In the quiet mystery
Of the Dreaming night.

Perigian Beach 92
  Most problems yield
To meditation
And to prayer

Desire and purpose
Meld in prayer
Faith seals the work

Spirit and power
Invoked within
Rest all in faith

The work accomplished
By another hand
And in another place

It is the Father
Does the work
Rest then in faith

The grateful heart
Sings wordless praise

Paul advised us to "Pray without ceasing." Only thus is it possible for the outward earthly man to be in touch with his inner spirit. Only together can we link with the Great Spirit. This is what is meant by "When two of you be agreed on anything touching the Kingdom, it shall be done unto you." This is the Word of Power.   Prayer is the souls sincere desire
Uttered or unexpressed
The motion of the hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
In the Christs of this world, that fire rages!  
Southport 87

Dear God
There's a magpie lifts his head to the sky
And whistles and warbles as I pass by.

He whistles well
And warbles free
His morning song
By the old pine tree
And I whistle to him
And he answers me
And watches me walk
By the big pine tree

Cheerful he warbles his song each day
A song of praise in his magpie way
And I echo his song as I pass him by
Praise of the Maker, bird, tree and sky.

  Dear God
Some men
Dear God,
Forgive them
And some women.


"And A Mist Watered The Garden" - Genesis I

I've seen such mist
Rising from warm and thirsty earth
Loved the warm sweet smell of it
For it's most precious worth
Seen the wild flowers and the grain
And the trees -- all the miracle of life
Refreshed, renewed and greening again
And loved with the rest of life
The rising mist -- so beautiful
Across the fruitful plain.
Maleny 91
  Over the quiet hills the still stars sleep
A warm wind breathes a scented amorous air

The grasses sigh as live things gently creep
About their business
This warm still night so far

A slow still cloud
Invades the moons meld light
In slumberous quiet all around is still
Even the tides seem hushed
On golden sands this night
And quiet reigns
While life attends its will

But now the silent night
Stirs in valley and hill
And the broadening light
Wakes all; and sun
With clamorous brilliance
Breaks the peace of night.

  You're only a woman.
Well yes, that's so
But one in ten thousand I'd have you know
And that is why I of all men am so blest
For Solomon searched for years without rest
And in vain, for a woman like you
And had in the end to make Sheba do.

He wanted perfection befitting a king
I guess, but perfection, no such thing
Ever was framed in the human form
From Adam the first to the latest one born.

Eve too had her faults, and her daughters still
Are not quite perfected, though they fulfil
All the demands that imperfect man makes
From passion and love, to the baking of cakes.

Will you mother my children, be a mate in distress
Share in my simple joys, comfort and bless
Laugh with me, live with me, work with me, play
At this great game of life till the close of the day.

Will you my darling walk lover and bride
With a man and a husband and friend at your side
For you're only a woman, to that I agree
But the woman of all the world to me --

This had genesis in a tea - room, on a cold day in Wellington.

I had asked would she consider marrying me, and said, as I suppose millions of men have said to their woman --

"I think you're wonderful."

She replied -- matter of fact common sense as always

"I'm only a woman."

Later that evening I wrote this and posted the original draft to her.

We went together for six months or so.

Then the war came and altered all our lives.

She said "Yes - quickly, before you go -- I want a baby to have in case you don't come back."

What wonderful woman they were, tens of thousands like her looked life and its risks full in the face.

As it happened fate interfered again and I spent the war years in the Base Pay Office.

Mac -- our best man and my good mate was killed in Italy. His girl remained a war widow all her life.

Dear God
There's no possible doubt
About eye contact!
Every living thing I see,
Sees me!
Reacts as clearly
Each in its own way
There's none
That can't be called
Along lifes common way.
  Dear God
How deeply Dante loved
And Beatrice inspired
But fated -- neither won to bed.

What wonders would have Dante writ
Had deep impassioned he
And lovely Beatrice wed?

Or would perhaps have both
Been well content with bed.

Perigian Beach 92
  The Word Not Spoken
All the bright Now
Is but the shadow of
The unuttered richness
Of the future wonders,
Of the magic and the beauty
Of the yet unfolded
Purposes not yet disclosed
In the long story
Of the timeless ages
That are yet to be.

  Sweet innocence the new born grace
The trust of love on childhoods face
Lost too soon or, sadly, stolen
Too often innocence betrayed
Before the child is man or maid.
Dear Lord, for every thoughtless word
For every act that harms the child
We pray, Thy Grace, Thy healing mild.
Cairns 92

Dear God
The kindness
And the wonder of it
Never end

In deepest need I found
Warm comfort
And quiet wisdom
On the shoulder
Of a loving friend

  Dear God
I'm sick of words
Its words, words and words again
Piled up and pressed down
And running over.
We listen meekly
Longing for comfort.
Words are useless
Love is the only remedy.

Spirit hungers after spirit
Dear God. Be Thou with me.

  Grey skies grey seas, grey winds so cold
Blast polar seas and tropic gold
Bitter the storms of polar seas
Cruel the cyclones tyrannies
Such storms good seamen justly fear
But brave seas moods through all the year
Tho' grim the toll the grey seas take
Of human folly or mistake.

Today her mood is a caress
Flaunting the beautiful blue dress
Sweet dream of peace; and I too dream
With her of peace this day, this night
By quiet sea and calm moonlight

Peregian Beach 93
  The Lotus Eaters
Only to sleep
And sleeping dream the day away
The sounding sea, the straining oar

Only to dream
To sleep and drift in idle play
Nor ever feel again
The restless beat, the pulse of life
Nor feel its slow decay

Only to sleep
And only dream thru sunbright day
Not evermore
The slow disease of toil
That wears mans strength away

Only to dream
Only to sleep again; leave us
Nevermore to roam
Here be sweet forgetfulness
We are indeed far far away from home
But -- Odysseus -- true man indeed
Awakened them, Not so, cried he
Drove them cursing and lamenting
Back to their ship and destiny
Denied of rest; long years to roam
Of all only Odysseus
Will reach the haven loved, of home.

Gosford 92
  Dear God
What wonder
How we creatures hate
And willing bend
To sad resentments heavy load
Take bitterness for treacherous friend
Along lifes arduous road

Our hates corrode the spirit
And their acids eat
Our delicate inner parts
Disease and sickness cheat
Our human hearts

Sweet peace is worth
All our resentments
When simple forgiving
Leads us to love
Gives comfort on the way
And leads us gently
To heaven here on earth

Peregian Beach 92
  Rose is gone now
Her short life done
Died broken hearted
Battle not won

Rose had a hard life
As well we all knew
Rose should have died young
Round about two

Her dad was a boozer
A bad drunken sot
The worst kind of abuse
Rose copped the lot

Rose could have left him
She stuck with it there
Mum too was a victim
And needed her care

Then Mum died and Dad
Brought his friends home to use
Rose for their pleasure
And pay for his booze

Mum gone from her side
Rose had no reason to stay
Rose died broken hearted
Rose gave it away

Rose was barely sixteen
But had given her best
To a cruel rotten father
Dear God grant her rest.

Child abuse -- the abuse of our women - so often allied to drunkeness, the inflammatory hubris of alcohol, and the dreadful cycle of the abused, unable to cope with the demands of normal relationships in later life, the basic right of every mother, every child, every man, destroyed in the days of their innocence, and tragically, so often by a parent.  

The White Edge Of A Blue Wave Curling

I watched that edge
So clear defined to me
The white -- the ever changing edge
Shaped by the hidden energy
Of the ancient sea

It seemed to be
That quiet revealing moment
So clear, so powerful to me
A vision of eternal purpose
As the blue wave curled
Part of the living soul of me.

Seal Rock 90

My daughter Fern, the artist, caught the same intensity in the curl of the wave in a beautiful blue and white study of the wave breaking, and three dolphins sporting in the wash of the wave.

This was at Seal Rock, a lovely hideaway a little north of Newcastle.

It was a very still hot day. The sea was quiet -- no surf, just this one wave breaking quietly as the sea floor absorbed the energy -- which is the wave.

Fern watched entranced, for an hour or so, and later with the transferred energy painted the picture -- beautiful.

I too, watched those little waves, but they had a different message for me perhaps the same message, expressed in a different medium.

  Padding the hoof again boys
I cut my stick today
And after the morning smoko
I'm down the road and away

Down the road and away boys
I'm hitting the track again
Glad to be on the move boys
Hoofing the open plain

Padding the hoof again boys
I've done enough work for a while
Glad to be on the road again
For many a workless mile

Cook here has filled my tucker bag
Meat tea salt flour and bread
And I'm away and walking
And watching the hills ahead

Padding the hoof again boys
I'm hitting the track today
As soon as the smoko's over
I'm down the road and away.

  Tauranga 1971
This is another written on demand. My youngest, Nicholas, was set a poem for homework. This is what I wrote for him.

His teacher thought that it had something, so read it to the class who approved. "Tell your father" said teacher, "It's a pretty good poem."

I have met many a Swaggy in my day. Mostly single men unable to make a go of life on their own. Nowadays we give them U.B. and they develop a lifestyle of a kind somewhat better than that of the old swaggies.

  Dear God
Our deepest
Our most steadfast faith
Deeply assailed by doubt.

So many prisoned souls
Darker hopeless
Deeper in misery
For all my faith in Thee

How can such be?
All the rich wealth
The unutterable beauty
Of this most lovely world
Squandered and put to brutal waste
In gross ungodly war.

Why struts Mars so
Upon Olympus?
Thunders so at heavens
Most delicately crafted gate
Our human heart.

Wellington 40
  Arthur Koestlers Ghost
Dear God
The primal atom
Is this magnetic host
This Yin and Yang of life
Is this Koestlers ghost?

With deepest awe we trace these things
Back to the primal atom
The steadfast proton, its one electron ring

This pure simplicity -- primal Mother
Of yesterdays seven thousand years?
And the long reach of such other
Tomorrows as may be,
Their joys and tears

What latent energies
Does this simple atom bind
To mould the texture
Of our individual -- profound
Our untouchable human mind

Koestlers ghost indeed
Creations jest
What awesome powers concealed
What futures in that atom rest
What latent magic's
Are yet to be revealed

Thou knowest best
We pray thy understanding Lord
Till all stands revealed.

Arthur Koestlers Ghost.

Arthur Koestlers ghost is the ineluctable mystery of Life; the improbable emergence of life from the structure of the atom is still the primal puzzle. The gap between mind and matter has haunted, and still haunts our deepest thinkers.

The man in the street may not care " Have another drink mate ", but any man who has stood for a moment in prayer; any human who has felt the fire of his own spirit; every aspirant who has felt the sublime consciousness of life, for them the gap is bridged. The ghost is laid by that inward knowledge of the spiritual nature of life.

It is between the grey world of theoretical knowledge and living experience that Koestlers ghost walks.

Spirit lives and glows and sparkles with the flame of life in infinite variety.

Clearly, to me, life produced the atom. It is hardly credible that the atom produced life.

Coolum 93

  Dear God
And do you Father
Watching our kind
Through the long years
Of life's joys and life's fears
Turn quickly round
With gladness in your heart
Whenever the cry of "Father"
Reaches your ears

The word is a rich gift
My children bring to me
And surely Lord
As rich a gift to Thee

It was "Mother" and "Father" when our children were small and the lovely habit still persists.

How often have I turned gladly at the word "Father", only to find it is some other father being called.

To be greeted by "Father" at any reunion is always a lovely moment.

The loved one told me that she had seen a rather similar verse but many years ago. I am not surprised; it must be a common human experience. Common to all races and times.

Another delightful reminder of our shared humanity.

Gosford 92
  A Dream Of Life
I dreamed of Life and another Life
And a voice within -- my mentor
Counted me down!
"Five" he said.
The one word, that was all.
It rang -- and echoed -- like a bell within my head.

I saw a great stone wall.
It curved to right and left, inward
Where a great gate there was open wide
Huge shadowed trees majestic leafed each side
And I walked unafraid
Through that still dark shade

Then came another voice
Well loved, oft remembered
But whose form I could not see
Said, quiet and still to me.
"Fear not dearest heart
All will be well"

"Four" said my mentor.
And from that shaded place
Came to a clearer brighter space
And to a second gate
Though smaller, but of the first, the Mate

Here the path made way
Thru many a lovely day
And at that paths end, another fate
Intervened; and opened for me
A neat white painted wicket gate

And the quiet loved voice
With sweet assurance said
"Fear not -- there is no kindlier fate."

"Three" tolled my mentor
And no more would say
And in my dream I had no choice
But walk that way
Demanded by the mentors voice
Beyond the wicket --
Flowers! --
Oh bright and happy day
Such beauty there
This was our cottage garden
Made sweet with loving care.

But the dream urged me more
No lingering for me there.
The unseen gentle voice, but murmured "love"
And I sensed the precious presence with me there.

"Two" Intoned the mentor
And there beyond the flowers
That well remembered
Ancient iron framed gate
That measured many of our happy hours
There lay the kitchen garden.
Most opulent with earthly bounty
The very horn of plenty
Was garnered there --

"One" My mentor said
And in his tone I heard him say " the end. "

Before me that last gate
Beyond this gate -- the field
Far reaching -- a peace filled memoried rest
Full coloured with great drifts
Of wild flowers. ( I saw that these
Bright blooms were gathered store
Of early happy hours )
Great shaded trees made nest
For many birds,
And on the verge of that most restful scene
A great wide river ran
Deep cleansing for the wearied race of man
And mingled with the everlasting sea

  Long years of memoried treasure lay around
My eyes were wet with tears, but not for pain
Her dear remembered voice said yet again
"Fear not -- all will be well"

And I became a part of all that wonder
I was One
With those great trees
With the flowering beauty of the garden
And the rich bounty of its yield.
And the peace that blossomed
Through the broad reaches of the flowered field
And the surge and song of the ancient sea.
And the bright life giving sun
All these were me

Such was the wonder and the mystery of that dream.
And She again was with me. All was One.

I dreamed this in Glenwood April 1993. A strong well connected dream. The mystery and the meaning of that so deliberate count - down from five and the progressive gateways is with me still; the dream so charged with the sense of unfolding and flowering into an understanding of the sweet unity of all life, and our own journey through the years toward our enfolding back into the great source.
Glenwood 4/93
  Dear God
Planting pansy seedlings
My mind is visioned fair
Great bowls of subtle beauty
And the sweet scented air

And the strong earth currents
Flooding thru fruitful soil
The rich abundant beauty
Such harvest; such little toil

It is of Thee
The rich abundance
And the beauty sing
Always of Thee.

Gosford 92
  Dawns and Sunsets
Sun resplendent
Sinks into our West
And night folds quietly in
And rest

Or rather, further West
For strange as it seems
Is where East lies
This moment dreaming
That same sun
Though setting here
Tinges their morning skies
With rose
And gold on those far hills
Transmutes at lovely dawn
Their snows

The days late meal our families share
Full scented in our darkling skies
As our late sun awakes them there
The rich scents of their breakfasts rise

Encroaching night
Heralds the wide world round
The swift awakening
Of dawns pale light

So life and death we say
Are but the morn and eve
Of our eternal day

Southport 88
  Desire and trust
Meld in her mind
Melt with the wonder
Of her nakedness
Such sweet content
The Mona Lisa smile

Passion waking
Rousing the warm flesh
And the nerve.
The gathering fire
Resolving body and spirit
Blazing desire
Care abandoned
All fear surrendered
Utter giving
Electric skin
Belly and breast

Head heart and hands
All -- All committed

The enfolding flesh
The terrible fire

How sweet the release
How sweet
The hard won peace.

Southport 87

  Of Birth And Death
There is no joy no celebration
No sadness when some old god dies
No cry no wail -- no lamentation
Nor broken hearts nor tear dimmed eyes

Never great burial cortege
Never great funeral pyre
Never a nation mourning sad
Never the sacrificial fire

Tis we outgrow the ancient fealty
The spirit is a living growing thing
Our clearer vision of reality
The deep upwelling of our spirits being

In proper time the old gods die
Lived out their day, played out their part
Gold, timber, stone, all broken lie
Sad mirrors of mans striving heart

We welcome now a brighter day
Surcease from ancient savage rod
The Voice within reveals the Way
Souls ecstasy and living God
Now mentor of the human mind.

  Dear God
How make again the magic
Now unmade
When we two were entwined
How face the table now alone
Where two so often dined

Where now the warm
The loved embrace
The treasured warmth
The tenderness
The lost forever face.

  Some speak of a death wish
That haunts and binds each man
I think this wrong
The love of life is vigorous
Floods joyous in us all
Most beautiful and strong

The spirit grants all men
To sacrifice as must
In love in life in sport
The selfless sacrifice
Is purest quality
Of mans deep inward trust

In all our humankind
We see the generous gift
Quick to sacrifice self
To the unfeared death
When life demands a life
To some deep urgent call
It is the splendid heritage
Of all who draw breath.

  The Song In The Tree
The great tree sings in the breeze
"I am her tree." The old man nods his head
Daily he hears the old sweet song
Singing, in the wind, in the leaves
"Margaret, sweet Margaret,
Planted and nurtured me."

Strong canopy of singing green
A thousand small songs blend
Songs of the thousand leaves
And ever the song that they sing
Is "Margaret sweet Margaret
She planted and nurtured the tree."

Quiet! He is one with the song
With the wind the leaf and the tree
And Margaret, his Margaret
Who planted and nurtured the tree.

  Dear God
The ancient mysteries
The veils that blind our will
Beginnings not revealed
Or how we may fulfil
The purpose still concealed
Such quest is with us still

Some future flight of time
Will see us change again
The age old bony frame
Will sure -- if slowly -- change
And function for us with
A vastly different brain.

New laws, undreamed of yet
Inform our children's minds
They will cast curious
Demanding searching eyes
Towards Magellan's mysteries
And search thru vaster skies

Such splendid children
Of that new world to be
They well may know and bind
New powers from the mind
And paths thru space may find
To lead us nearer Thee

Dear God, the wonder of
Creations human mind.

The mystery of evolution has not ceased to operate with the human species. We are still developing; to grow into ( one suspects ) something a little closer to the angels, to use a familiar analogy.

Concepts of such beings already exist in many human minds.

  When Adam stirred
From that deep sleep
Wakening from the pain
Of the sundered bone
Whence Eve did cleave
With what deep shock
Did Adam
First look on lovely Eve

And she first woman
Look first on Adam

Lovely she was indeed
The Creator
Made all things perfect
(That which we are today
Bears witness to the long hard years
Of human wear and tear)
But Adam and his Eve
Stood then perfect there

What did they say
There in the hot sun
The quiet of that garden

Their beauty and their bodies
Shaped to His purpose
Each in their separate way
On this
Creations brightest loveliest day

Did they
Accept each other
Without doubt or question
From their Creators hand
And understand

Perhaps He counselled them
Offered instruction -- some kindly words
Talked about bees with them perhaps
Or birds

What mutual interest there
What wonder -- what wild surmise
Each drawing confidence from
The rapt approval in each others eyes

Eve eyeing and comparing
Adams strong chest

With the soft contour
Of her own gentle breast
Her feminine daintiness
Measured against
His sturdy strength
Intrigued at the differences
About the hips
And Adam somewhat troubled
By Eves lips

She felt a confidence within
Approving what she saw
And smiled at him

And both stared -- wide eyed
At the wonder growing in his loins
Both deep aroused to share
The knowledge and the passion
The deep desire shown there

Then chaste and virgin pair
Clear understood it all
With quickened pulse
All senses glowing

The fierce electric fire flowing
Gave all
To that pure ecstasy
Eve took him to her
As it was ordained

He shaped them for this work
With planned deliberation
Designed and contrived it all
Before the Fall

Adam sharing the ecstasy
And the joy of their most urgent need
Gave gladly of his own rich seed
All her maternal need
Now his most tender care

What revelation
For this pristine virgin pair
United with their makers purpose there

The passion and the purpose
Now fulfilled
Rested in peace
Each in the others arms

As Thou Lord willed.

Such was the genius of the old Hebrews that they recognised that creation had brought forth that most amazing thing, a self conscious creature; and that a woman -- mother indeed of a new race -- initiated this cosmic miracle.

One is surprised that the churches have not yet elevated her to a special sainthood, equal in glory to the beloved Mary.

Surely it is because Eve saw that the fruit was good that we enjoy self consciousness and the consciousness of immortality.

The next great quantum leap for the evolving human race will inevitably be an even richer unfolding of the same cosmic consciousness.

Granted such unfolding development, it is possible, as Isaac Asimov projected, that our children will people the Galaxy, as Eve peopled earth from fabled Eden.

Days end
A hard and silver light
Gleams cold on leaf and bough
The cold foreshadows night.

The sea is molten ore
Glossed with cold leaden light
The surface heaves and sways
No surf, no wave this night.

The hill is leaden grey
Steel blue the level light
The long miles lost in gloom
This overcast grey night.

Sky is the dark floor of heaven
The sea is the dark shield of land
Grey light fading between them
Light dying on dark silent strand.

Light fades. No moon no stars
Will shine for us this night
Home fires; light in the window
This weary souls delight.

  Dear God
The essence
And the course of time
Confound us.

Night and day
And the hours
Measure our work and play

This instant moment
This is the joyous now
Or is our discontent

Beyond all thought
And deeper yet
Than contemplation
The meaning and reality
Of time and space
Defy imagination

But now
This precious instant
Full plain I know, I see
Dear Lord, it is this moment
I am with Thee.

  The sea is blue and the sky is blue
Round half the world above it
And the sea's decked out in her old blue dress
With the lace foam frills upon it.

The old blue dress is soft and gay,
The gold sun is her bonnet
A soft breeze stirs the old blue dress,
And the white foam frills upon it.

Most beautiful the sea today
Sweet peace is quiet upon it,
And sun gold light warms golden sands
And all who wander on it.

Most beautiful the sea today
The cool breeze gently blowing
The blue sky arching over all
And the blue dress flowing.

Most beautiful that old blue dress,
With its white laced frill of foam
Most beautiful the warm gold sun
My heart, and my desire is home.

  The Last Question
The last dark question
Mystery indeed to all
All who draw breath.
Is there Dear God
Any wisdom at all
Granted as we fall
Into the dark house
Is any wisdom at all
To be learned
Of Death?

Any wisdom
Of good or ill
Imparted or gathered here?
Stolen or gifted or earned?
Is aught from our living learned?
That we take with us there,
Treasured or fearful
Into that Death.

Or go we wholly innocent
Without consent
As we were born into here?
Leave life stript of all,
Emptied of all experience
Go, utterly innocent
Into that Death.

Or do we go, Dear God,
Enriched and experienced
Embracing all life
Loves, hates, all joy and strife
Full fruits of our living take we,
Into our Death?

Heart stuff of atoms
Pure essence of all being
Substance of spirit
Far goal of the human spirit
Mans vision and his dream

Neither Alpha or Omega
Of the fierce reality
Are yet revealed, nor yet searched out
Nothing, but nothing
There is nothing for man to see

Beginnings unknown still
But all men
Have dreams,
And more than dreams of Thee
Mans soul has yearned to know
Throughout our anguished history

Unknown still
Host of infinity
Eternal dreamer
What part have we with Thee?
In the long dreaming
In our deep yearning
We have great need of faith
Who stand before, and in great awe
Of the teeming infinity
Of the yet to be.

Peregian Beach 10/92
"It" is indefinable. We call it life.

Our aboriginal people call it Kurumba, the Chinese - Chi, Our Russian friends - Plasma, the Islamic people - Allah, and the Christian world is still greatly confused between the old Hebrew concept, and the new concept of Jesus. Reich called it Orgone, Bernard Shaw - the Life Force, and Teilhard Chardin sees it as "Nous". The Egyptians called it "Ka" and the Indians of North America saw it clearly as the "Great Spirit". All races know of it, all worship it in one form or another. An endless and fascinating speculation, never, I guess, to be resolved. We can dismiss the science fiction of animo acids and electric charges, though God knows, the thing that we are talking about somehow appears to express itself in the primal atom. Whence and what that atom?

  When we pray
Our cry to God
Is heard with infinite pity
Within our own heart

We plead forgiveness
That plea is heard always
With loving understanding
In our own sore heart

We cry for love
That lonely cry
Wakes infinite compassion
In the lonely heart

Each weary soul
Crying the souls release
Finds the deep strength within
His own hearts peace

The heart His own true altar is
Here not elsewhere -- never apart
Eternal and loving He dwells
Deep in the human heart.

  Caverns, grottoes and caves
Altars on mountains and hills
Vestal virgins, seers or oracles
Offer small solace for our human ills

Priest, Friar and Prelate
Dark dungeon or walled cell
Gave little peace, though armed
With the inquisitors hell

Bell, Crystal or Tripod
Idols in stone, brass or wood
Myriads of such graven images
Have granted little of good

Portentous voices prophesying doom
Proclaiming vengeance, sacrifice and war
Drained untold millions of the gift of life
But never solace entered thru that door

The hot scents of burnt offerings
The futile flood of tears
No magic from such sacrifice
Has comforted thru the long sad years

Oh long and bitter reign
The scourge of sword and spear
Vast weapons of this century
All add to hate; all cause of bitter fear

No none of these
Not one in smallest part
Through cruel fated centuries has healed
Or soothed one aching heart

  Dear God
We seek within
A way uncharted
Its strait and narrow paths

Such deeps within
The dark sub-conscious world
We daily plumb in prayer
There gleams
Oftimes Dear God
A light
But briefly glimpsed
Too often how obscured
By many veils ------
Veils, did I say

By walls; adamantine.
By battlements
Moats and marshes
And bitter mountain passes
Guarded by Orcs -- Balrogs
Sauron himself stands
Grim contestant there

And the one gate
In that great wall
Neither Strider nor Gandalf
Nor  Queen nor King
Not even Frodo,
For all his innocence
That door no man can open
Save myself

That door, thou knowest is,
Each man for himself
Must fit and turn the key
It opens only from within
I know, Dear God
I know it's up to me.

Tolkein's magnificent trilogy as are all great works, an analogy of the Way.
A modern gospel, a new Pilgrims Progress with a setting beyond our time, but the same timeless message for mankind.
  "Why why?" they ask
With the lip curled

I see the answer clear enough
The purpose is to bring
Love into the world
And from love we know
Order and beauty will most surely flow

And every soul who brings
One act to this
Deservedly has earned
However small
A place in bliss

  Maleny 11/92
  Now tell me, dear friend
From what ring of electrons
From what magnetic pulse
The flux of which electron shell
The heart of which unknown
But most decisive vital atom
Come control

Which atom guided Victor Chang's sure hand
Or made the happy choice
For La Stupenda's lovely lilting voice?
Controls the pilots most deft mastery
Of machine -- space and velocity
Of Donald Bradman's bat
Alan Border's agile eye and hand
Or Chappel's last slow ball

What atom indeed
Within us so determines
The fateful moment
Which when taken, is success
Perfection of times circumstance
Or the precious moment missed
Is but disaster!

What atom indeed --
Without a natural love
Primal but potent within electric rings
What but a living loving heart
In these ethereal -- these eternal beings
These atom building blocks
This universal heart of all created things

Which atom does
With understanding say
I choose " The better way? "

This is the great enigma of scientific thought. How come from our atomic structure such concepts as Mercy, Justice, Love -- and a thousand other improbable realities. How come the mystery of sight? We can only get 2 pints out of a quart -- so from what gathering of the stardust from which the planet is formed -- come the abstract concept, these vital intangibles which are the reality of our existence. What else is concealed in the heart of the atom?

This poet believes that in a million years we will be still be discovering new powers, energies and revelations in the atom.

  Kiri Te Kanawa
Listening to Kiri
I realised -- at late last
My mediocrity
Never has my spirit soared as this,
Never -- Never -- Never
Burned heart, soul, body, spirit
As this blythe spirit
Perfect in execution
In control -- modulated
Sublime in concept
Utterly disciplined
So pure, so good, so faultless
But so free
The voice - a bird on wing
Ethereal beauty
A pinnacle of excellence to me
How often this feeling of admiration, so intense, sweeps over one when watching the great, the true artists perform.

Singers -- musicians -- artist or orchestra -- cricketers -- footballers -- ice skaters -- all sports, and ballet and good chess.
Human excellence is beautiful in every field. And what role models for the rest of us.

I sought refuge
In the presence
But the words of Job
Bit deep
And I stumbled
When Job said

What is man that thou
Should magnify him
Or that thou should                  Job 7 - 17
Set thy heart upon him
Or should visit him
In the morning.

With Job, felt the cold of death
Without hope within me

But Spirit said
Not so! Stand firm
For He has made man
Just a little lower
Than the Angels                      Psalm 8 - 4
And crowned him
With honour and glory
And given him dominion
Over all the work of His hands

Stand firm then,
In confidence of Him
He has great care for you.

  Consider the ant, or the flea
I am most astounded to see
That though they are smaller
And I am bigger and taller
They are more lively than me

Consider the ant -- or the flea
I am more astounded to see
That these critters display
In a wonderful way
That they are often more clever than me

Consider the ant or the flea
I am always astounded to see
That on the whole
They seem to have soul
And seem much more happy than me
( Than me -- Poor miserable grumbling me. )

Consider the ant and the flea
I am sadly astounded to see
That these tiny chaps
Are better perhaps
In many ways off, -- than me.

So pity me -- thou busy ant
Thou lively careless flea
Have care for me.

Maleny 10/92
  Eve Dreaming
I well believe
That on that fateful day
Sunlit and warm
In Eden's fruitful land
Where Eve stood -- dreaming
With the fruit of that forbidden tree
Such a wonder in her hand

I think she felt His presence
Near her --saw the grave nod
Of compassionate consent
The loving understanding eyes
Acknowledge her choice
And clearly knew His purpose
His true
His undisclosed intent.

He could have intervened
He could have raised His voice
Said "No" to Eve
Denied her fateful choice.

Eve then did surely understand
The work He planned
And let the plot unfold
For the consummation
Of the purposes He planned
For ages yet untold
The choice was Eves
And Eve would know it her's
Not His command

We too like Eve
We too have choice, of good or ill
Fruits of that tree of knowledge
Ripen about us, and we must make
Our own choice still

  Dear God
Until we learn to love
To love -- not endure life
We can only submit
Or suffer each days strife
Weep bitter or angry tears
Rage impotent against
Its vain but deadly fears
Cry -- cry -- cry -- against all
Beat till the bruised fist bleed
Against the adamantine walls
Rage -- rage -- for the hearts sore need

Rage until the bruised heart break
Rage until we learn
That every blow we inward take
But drives us -- fated drives us
Deeper, Christ save us,
Into the bitter hell we make,
We for ourselves, do make.

Dear God Thy Grace
To teach how gain release
From deep and self inflicted wounds
How gain release?

Forgiveness is the only way
To gain hearts peace

Peregian Beach 92
  This wide round world -- so beautiful
Bright galaxy, as yet unknown
And such of the Universe I see
Eternal, vast, beyond all knowing
Such great things are too much for me.

And so I live and am content
With the clean country air
And beauty close about me
The order of the busy town

The blue and ever changing sea.

And friends and folk I meet
And family
The secrets and the joys
Of my own house and heart
All simple but all dear to me

Small world indeed, its breath
Is warm about me
And understanding grows
Of fateful chance -- of pain, of death.

Of all, I am. A living part
Accepting all for good or ill
The peace of night the changing days
And reconciled to all its ways
And live, with understanding heart.

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

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