Tip-Toe Heart

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I take my beanie off to Job,

That Biblical figure who had

The patience of a glacier.

Me, I have the patience of a gnat.

I roller-derby my way through life

With predictable results.

Maybe it’s time I calmed my farm

trod quietly through each day,

Just me and my tip-toe heart.

The Last Farewell

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I thought I’d sit down with it

Knock back a few beers

Chew the cud of all those years

But I couldn’t get into it

I couldn’t be bothered

I just wanted to get out

No tears, no recriminations,

Start a new life

Go on perhaps my last adventure

A modest one but still.

The blossoms were out

And so was I.

I wasn’t over the hill

Yet.

When people down the track

Ask me, how was it?

I’ll say, read this poem.

This is how it was.

Do You Know What Your Rooster is Up To?

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As she lay in the hospice ,

cranked up by morphine,

she thought of Mr. Barnes

That little red rooster from her childhood days

In Battlelake, Minnesota.

That Barnes — he was something,

She said

Puffed out his chest and walked through life:

“I want the biggest and the best and the most of whatever

You’ve got”

He had attitude.

He had a harem.

One day when she was home from school with chickenpox

She watched Mr. Barnes

Fornicate with his hens forty six times and that was when

She was awake.

He was the sheik of Battlelake

Even strutting off to other farms.

That Mr. Barnes!

He thought the whole world belonged to him and beyond that —

The sun, the stars, the Milky Way — all of it

& as she lay dying

She hoped to meet him on the other side.

 

do you have a hero? what qualities do you admire in that person?

do you have an animal you admire, either in literature or real life?

Trains of Thought

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Trains of thought have no timetables.

Nor, if they did, would they keep

To schedule.

 

Trains of thought always pull in when

you are busy doing something else.

 

They require no ticket, no payment

only that you get on board and leave

your luggage behind.

 

Trains of thought have their own itineraries

And take you places you may otherwise

Never visit. Bring a notebook with you.

 

Trains of thought run on the fuel of

pure Imagination

Of which there are endless reserves.

 

Lapsed into a Comma

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The very long sentence in an effort to beat its predecessors ran on and on and on over fifty five and a half pages after which time it lapsed into a comma, then another, and another till semi-colonized by tedium it slowed right down; sighed; lurched to the left then came to an abrupt full stop.

 

what’s the longest sentence you’ve read or written?

do you enjoy long sentences? do you occasionally try them just for fun?

how long do you think a sentence should be? what are its natural constraints?

What Happiness Is

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You know what happiness is? he said.

Contentment? I suggested.

Not even close, he said through the burnished orange of this late autumn afternoon.

Money? Wealth?

Come on, he said. You know better that that.

Then what? I asked.

Curiosity.

What?

It’s not true what they say about cats, you know. That old proverb about curiosity killed the cat. It’s to stop you changing lanes.

You’re beginning to sound like a zen poet, I said. Like Li Po.

Become like a cat, he said. Go out into the world, cat-curious. You can never NOT be happy if you’re finding out things.

 

do you agree?

where is happiness found for you?

what is the chief impediment for happiness, do you think?

 

 

Where Are You?

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So where are you?

In a galaxy far far away.

No. Where are you really?

Tralfamadore.

Isn’t that where …?

Yes, where Billy Pilgrim went.

That time traveller from ‘Slaughterhouse Five’?

Yes, he went there on his days off.

His days off? From where?

Reality. Reality bites, you know.

But what if you never came back?

Like Hugh Conway in ‘Lost Horizons’?  Dorothy in Oz ?

Yes.

Would it really matter? You’d be where you want to be. Would you even want to go back?

 

Have you a favourite fantasy place ? Which fantasy world would you live in if you could? What if you couldn’t come back?