Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

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wilderness

March 16, 2019

Desert

let us go out into the wilderness
let us sit in dust
in raw heat
and hunger
let our faces be tears and sweat
and lick the threat of thirst
and wipe our brow with a stone sponge
blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice.
let us leave all that we have built up
let us leave behind the cathedral sacristry
where we raped our children
let us leave behind the place of prayer
where we slaughtered the peaceful
how can we see God there
through the semen and the blood?
We forsook God
as have forsaken love
so we are godforsaken
blessed are the poor in spirit; they shall see God
let us abandon our plots
and our plowshare weapons
let us eat grasshoppers and grubs
scratched and scorched and scarred
let us go into the wilderness
far into the wilderness
deep into the wilderness
wilderness of God
let us hold our heads in the dizzy confusion
of moral and mental dehydration
knowing only that we do not know
that we are not the clever controllers of the cosmos
that we do not understand
let us be assailed by the epiphany of our
epic epistemological failures
blessed are the meek
let us shed our single right and left wing
pretense at futile flying
ever in self-bound vulture circles
let us crouch in dust
buttocks to the ground
til our bones grind
our muscles give us hell
and no position is sitting well
let us buy out of our stocks and shares in solutions
let us dry out from our intoxication with violence
let us cry out the floods of tears it will take
to know ourselves maybe human again
let us try out the truth of this:
all humanity is equal in vulnerability
cursed are weaponised
blessed are those who mourn
vulnerability
equality
humanity
humility
oh god. oh god. oh god.
have we any humanity left in your eyes?
can we ever be your people?
send us out into the wilderness
until we are weary and wrought
wasting away and wanting
then. then. then…
haste the day that we become utterly desperate for peace
are we there yet? no.
blessed are the peacemakers
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to unsettle the petal and his metal

March 26, 2018
pillowy gun art Natalie Baxter Jungle Boogie (2015)

Natalie Baxter, ‘Jungle boogie’ (2015)

Who would you like us to shoot at today
With our weapons all loaded and legal?
You know that we can - its our right to bear arms
And take life like we're royal and regal. 

Are there children in playgrounds we cannot abide?
Or students for whom we don't care?
Or the girls in caf who declined all our dates?
Or worshippers gathered for prayer?

What better way 
to make our point clear 
And show ourself 
true, patriotic,
If we are white 
they'll just wring worried hands
And declare us 
a little psychotic 

we'll grieve and we'll pray for the children you've killed
pile up flowers and light many candles
but we will not dare look at OUR culture and laws
our religion and values all scandals

Although there'll be cheers for the feisty young speakers 
whose passion and eloquence glisten
our pride and our praise for our system of schools 
sabotages our will just to listen. 

So we yet define men 
by possessing a gun 
reducing his worth to black metal -
diminishing character, 
courage and care 
as if he's a poor fragile petal

Where are the men who will lay down their guns
and roll up their sleeves to the task 
of addressing injustice and working it out
or is that just too much strength to ask? 

Where are the men who will look in the eye
The Manus and Nauru imprisonned
Face up to our guilt, our violence and greed 
And take up the tough, right decision.

Look! there are the men who lift up their heads
and see strength shown in many an arm -
in holding and healing and reaching and giving -
but not in the fake flex of harm. 
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On any given day…

January 25, 2017

mccrae-water

On any given day

you just don’t know

which demons from history’s distant land

will walk in through the door

and say “I’ve come to shake your hand”

 

On any given day

you just don’t know

what strange log will fall

right in your way

diverting your steps a little

on that given day

and bending around

so as not to have faltered

you well may be saved

but your path ever altered

 

On any given day

you just don’t know

what new story you will hear

and so make lies of a truth

you had once held dear

or what your eyes

will yet perceive

making true what you dared not

before believe.

 

On any given day

you just don’t know

with what labour

the hour shall be tasked

that  yesterday you could not

have imagined being asked

On any given day.

 

Any given day is but

a gift  unknown unseen

any given day

these fraught and fragile futures

that have – as yet – never been

which on any given day

can unwrapped and opened be

for those who any given day would dare

and are given gifted free.

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friend

August 22, 2016
how is it that all

my jolts and quakes

don't scare you away -

though I fear you stay

only in duty


how is it you see

the cracks and breaks

where nothing fits

my bloodied bits

as if beholding a beauty?

 

how is it beyond

my stutters and shakes

your patience hears

the truth in tears

and resonance rolls
 
between souls, 

bared

 

i sense your stomach turns

and your heart near fails

at my gruesome tales

yet you do not flee

but peer in closer and see

a thing to be held and healed

to be longed for and loved

a life to be whole

if dared.

friend










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four o clock brain

September 28, 2015

the four o’clock brain
wrings itself out
all its putrid dishwater
the mopped up
thoughts and feelings
dripping down
the inside of my skull
befouling the backs of my eyeballs

twitches and sounds
disrupt my rest
but I am the source of the disturbance
instinctively,

I rise to act

to distract
boil the kettle
wash the day’s past dishes
[always wise to leave a task for such a purpose]
make coffee
escape into the garden

the moon was large
and beautiful
and too bright to look at directly
this morning at 4:30 am.
Just for about 20 minutes
before it sank below the city horizon
I sat and stared at it
through the filter of the dark branches
of the liquid amber
while a single magpie
sang over me
sang over the morning

what strange prayers
we humans pray
stuck in our moment
yet conversing with eternity

what strange faith
I have received
that I would whisper words to God
at four and five in the morning
and expect to be heard
when a magpie carol
much sweeter sounds can offer

other birds sang
in complex layered loops
far off
and the gently the hum of the freeway
below me
rose and rose
restoring to my awareness
the other humans
the world

the cool fresh on my cheek
the hot cup in my hand
the huff of my breath
visible warmth in the chill air before me
evidence that I am alive

I down my coffee
bringing familiar comfort
bringing the flavour of courage
to close my eyes
and take my crumpled mind,
now rinsed and flapped and flattened a bit
still a little damp
inside the house
and I sleep again.

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Good friday confusion

April 18, 2014

Image 

this bloody man

this strung-up, beaten,
defeated,leaking, howling man

his death row, death-throe gibberish still confusing me:
‘forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing’
how can that be good-friday theology?

Don’t you mean ‘forgive them because

they have confessed and repented

with a contrite heart

and a willing obedience to change their behaviour

in conformity with your holy laws?’
no?

Over all the comos
you bleed all over us
your boundaries all torn and transgress’d
quicker than we can mop you up
you make more bleeding mess

if you are god and human
if you are innocent but convicted guilty
if you are manly yet ravaged like a defenceless woman
if you are wise yet inarticulate
if you are abused yet forgive
if you are holy yet god-forsaken

are not all our sortings, all our categories,
all our wrongs and rights made strangely to bleed into one another?

the way a dead-end, the truth is belied,
and the greatest of these – the life – has died
serious scribes joke and jeer
atoning priests accuse
passers by just poke and peer
see how Romans deal with Jews?

the sky is black in height of day
the dead rise from their graves
the executor salutes the damned
one bandit bandies brave
one thief in paradise is sent
and Son of God is hell-bent

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Love will have the day

March 18, 2014

I cannot claim to know

Too much I should not say

Don’t see where this will go

But here’s what I dare pray

 

All will be well 

All will be well

All will be well

As far as I can tell

 

Here’s the hope I hold

Here’s the faith I bring

Here let grace unfold

Here let mercy sing

 

All will be well

All wil be well

All will be well

As far as I can tell

 

Find the life that heals

Find the life that mends

Live the life that feels

Live the life that spends

 

Find the life that gives

Find the life that pours

Find the life of grace

Find the life that’s yours

 

All will be well

All will be well

 All will be well

As far as I can tell

 

Love will have the day

Love will have the day

Love will have the day

As far as I can say.

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