Travel Lightly

Travel lightly, Matt said during a session of morning meditation

and though I knew what he meant — shedding one’s addictions,

regrets, anger, all the pettiness that weighs us down,

I couldn’t help but applying it to food, how it’s easier to move

with grace and agility with less weight, foregoing that plate of chips,

that second glass of wine with steak and even a smaller portion

of eye fillet, but surely a slice of that yummy Orange Baby Cake

after gym wouldn’t hurt

The Getting of Wisdom

Back in the seventies when I first

went teaching , I came across them ;

flimsy paper tickets as evidence you’d paid

for your journey on the tram or bus;

you’d turn them over discovering a world of wisdom:

‘it’s the spouting whale that gets harpooned’,

‘it’s not enough to point the gun , you’ve got

to pull the trigger’ ….. ‘the past is dead,

the future’s not here, the present is your home’ ;

little homilies to help you along life’s journey ;

I collected them all until they stopped using them —

then one day left them in a carriage and never

saw them again ; I was like a disciple

who had lost his guru ; I had to seek

other sources for the getting of wisdom .

The Search

I felt cheated

by the short story writer

whose piece

morphed

into a

sociopolitical tract

on racism

for page after phlegmatic page

leaving the characters fumbling

in the dark

in search of a plot —

and me, with them

Something Stupid

I wasn’t standing near a level crossing
being eaten alive by tiger mosquitoes waiting
for the train to pass when
I could be at the River Bar drinking with my buddies
under a cool fan
but I was stuck in the emergency ward of the RAH
waiting for the medicos
to attend to my heart attack or whatever I was having
and I had a killer thirst.
So just like George did something stupid —
stepping over the carriage links when the train lurched forward
so I discharged myself
so I could be at the pub by 5pm with my mates,
 I had to sign a waiver though.
 Nothing happened to me like losing a leg
but it could have, It could have.

Grandad and the Punatorium

My grandpappy loved puns.
He was considered a pundit on the topic.
He had a secret cache of punography stashed away in his room where he could be heard laughing maniacally late into the night. .
Sadly he was confined to a Punatorium in the hope of curing him of this terrible affliction.

Someone once said you can measure the value of a pun by the volume of groans it elicits.

Grandad had three which he dished out wherever he went.
A pony walks into a bar and croakily asks for a pint of beer. The barman has trouble understanding him. Sorry, says the pony, I’m a little hoarse.
Out on my walk today, I spotted a Dalmatian.
A teacher in a Year Nine English class, had trouble with a girl called Lichen. Give her time, a colleague said. She’ll grow on you.
Boom boom ! Get it? A well-full of groans.
 

Flinch

Something the photographer said about animals.

We are much more unpredictable to them

than they are to us.

We could shoot them, pet them,

kick them up the butt, out the door.

Perhaps that’s why this rescue cat eyes me

suspiciously,

sleeps with one eye open

flinches when another male approaches.

Turning Purple

I am all alone

in my shorts and T

on the naked beach.

The sun goes in.

The temperature drops.

A cold breeze picks up.

I head off towards the distant jetty.

Even the gulls have deserted.

No kite boarders. No surfers.

Something is happening to my hands.

I look down

They are changing colour.

Turning purple.

The backs.

The palms.

I am both scared and fascinated.

I can’t take my eyes off them.

I look it up on Google later

when I get home

It has a name.

Peripheral Cyanosis.

  • have you ever experienced it or something similar?

Freakishly Thin


I didn’t know how freakishly thin he was till
I saw the photo in ‘Far Out’ magazine
of the young Nick
Cave
.
What a head of hair, a squall of black,
lean and loose-limbed, hardly anything of him,
but a chiselled face staring knowingly and determinedly into the future.
He knew what he wanted.
He had the bridled brawn to do it.
I have always admired thinness. the Nick
Cave
kind
not the thinness of the heroin addicts
I’d see in the backstreets
of the city
nor the thinness of the wan weakling
I saw in the fish ‘n’ chip shop
whom a mere breeze could bowl over
but a macho sort of thinness
that seems to have passed me by.

* pic courtesy of Pinterest
 

The Company of Paradoxes

The sweetness in a bitter cup of tea,

one spoonful of sugar less;

the eloquence in silence,

the sadness at the heart of jollity,

the pareidolia of seeing patterns

where there is none;

the pitter patter of a pandemic

coming down the pike