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August 22, 2022

it’s brutal
the thud when it comes

tell me your story again
I’ve forgotten the details
and the important part
the only reason why you told me

I’ve read this book
I’ve seen this movie
but I don’t remember this bit
or this one

the repository of knowledge
has a backstairs leak
that goes unacknowledged

the strands of information
are not weaving into a coherent whole
snippets of history and theory
are not gently simmering up into soup

I left them alone to fend for themselves
but forgot to leave instructions

on a good day they play at
folding light into gestures
that point toward each other
but rarely make the distance

on a bad day they gather dust on a cold floor
lying in a jumble where they were thrown

with the occasional brutal thud
that there’s more to come

Jesus celebrates miscellaneous birthdays

August 8, 2022

the morning begins well as he blearily opens his presents
– new sandals! thanks Santa! –
and nostalgically re-arranges Christmas cards on the mantle:
sorry I can’t be there with you today love Mum
best wishes brother from James
many happy returns from Lazarus

then later on the gang shows up
for bread and fish, wafers and wine
Vishnu always demolishes the snacks in record time
Buddha tends to sit in the corner and smile
while Mohammed speaks in verse

Jehovah and Gaia make their brief respectful appearance
before getting back in their Prius and heading off
for more age-appropriate activities
like Christmas bingo at the golf club

then as the afternoon drags on and the heat sets in
Jesus sings birthday songs in his birthday suit
and eventually falls asleep on the couch with Mary Magdalene

in the cool of the evening the Apostles roll in,
with new supplies of beer and the karaoke machine
– they usually pool their resources, because Judas Iscariot
doesn’t get paid until Easter, and Thomas is always unsure about
his ability to pay the rent next week,
and there are on-going concerns about overfishing in the Sea of Galillee

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are always
furiously scribbling in their notebooks,
but the notebooks somehow always get lost
and they have to start again from scratch

at some point there’s a timeless sameness to birthdays
as they pass
but every once in a while it falls on somebody’s Sabbath
and other arrangements have to be made

nothing beats a fresh pair of sandals, though,
especially the ones with go faster stripes

Rehearsals in blasphemy

July 23, 2022

what if the historical Jesus was
a tiny drip or flake of God essence
that was sent to this world
to figure out why it is so hard
to be a human?

how if you live with wisdom and compassion
even without a metaphysical air
you still stand a good chance of being crucified?

a kind of transubtantiation of drip or flake
or particle or wave of God into flesh
sent on a mission
– turns out it’s a suicide mission –
to address flaws in the system
and how to fix them

and maybe
– to overextend this blasphemous conceit of an idea –
they have been sent time and again ever since
the later versions keeping their heads down
in order not to draw attention
but rather to continue the project
sending back bulletins to the greater God essence
about how hard it is to be human

taking notes on the lives of quiet desperation
battles with boredom temptation loneliness
and the chaffing dullness and
endless blandness of moderation
and the horrors of unintended consequences

in a world where sloth gluttony envy
are regarded as deadly sins while
far more hideous activities are
given a free pass
even a blessing

be nice to the people you meet
they might just be undercover Jesus

who am I?

July 21, 2022

who am I?
I am here
I am tonight
earlier I was today
and if I make it to tomorrow, well,
we’ll see

I am what I do and what I eat
and who I am when I have a couple too many
but also who I am when sober

I am where I am
and where I’ve been
and who I’ve known
and who I’ve loved

and even something of those I’ve never known
who I thought I understood
and those I did understand
they’re all in there

cross-pollinated and cross-bred
a mongrel bitser of the ups and the downs
the lefts and rights and wrongs

I am my nature
and my nurture
my genetics and my upbringing
my demographics and my generation

I can’t escape that,
even though I never felt I had much in common
with my generation
until I found my tribe
we wilderness riders, misfits and creators

who am I?
I am the one sitting scribbling in a notebook
in the rainy season
waiting to play
perhaps that’s all for now

existential pizza

July 14, 2022

I was hoping it might rain
and also trying to get some downtime in before it does

often my mezzanine state of mind can be determined
using a mathematical formula based on
the number of pizza boxes that are in sight
and whether they are stacked or unstacked

pushing apart daylight hours
to squeeze in some reflection and reconciliation
and yet these lofty goals fail to appear
maybe some coaxing is needed
put out a platter of wine and cheese in temptation

but the loss of momentum makes me wonder
if I’m unwittingly repeating myself
pour me a tall glass of bitter & twisted
repeating myself pour me a tall glass of bitter & twisted
repeating myself pour me a tall glass of bitter & twisted

my misshapen personal set of rules
this: is merely an inconvenience
this: is a working compromise
this: is unacceptable

the definitions I refuse
the terms of life engagement that I reject
the races I will not run
the odd disciplines I keep for myself
where no one else knows or cares
and why would they?

nothing of much novelty on these quiet days
alone with my shortcomings
appalled by but accepting of
my ignorance of what exists
beyond my narrow straitened view

although I am no more than I am
some days it seems a lot less
nursing my warm cup of eyebrows and bewilderment
clutter and recycling
sweat rash and hope
because for all of the looming blank pages
there are still blank pages

I was hoping it might rain
and also trying to get some downtime in
before it does

Half June Cubism

June 14, 2022

yellow thirty
Theft of the commons
Fitzgerald in California
twenty five 

how supreme was my being

June 14, 2022

when sisyphus is too apt
slip into a myth more comfortable –
conversations with adam and eve
apollo galahad ned ludd

how supreme was my being
when we walked together in the cool of the evening
in the everywhen dreamtime
in the realm of the always is/was
as above, so below

our mostly lost memory of the before makes us
thirst for the eternal hanging in the air of the after
with our monkey minds a-chattering and a-nattering
beeping scrolling squawking
to drown out the longing

old ned ludd is alternatively nodding and weeping
in his everywhen
forgive them they know not what they do

galahad the pure of heart
where can he hang his helmet in such a world
romantic knights and imaginary cowboys
dwell in the same world as equestrian statuary
attracting honour worship and abhorrence
in diametrical measure

apollo via cupid begets
the goldenhaired blueeyed christ
who suffers his limbo fate
like the rest of us

those who demanded the literal
lost the essence
call the myth history and poetry is abandoned
and all hope is lost

float the myth on a cloud
it ascends and shines forth
and hope gently glimmers
as it drifts under a shining sun

coming soon

May 5, 2022

Volume 13 in thesilverpepperofthestars series: notes from a corner seat

At the printers now – expecting copies mid-May.


April 29, 2022

and so this and that
and look at that
this is what it is
despite that
or because of it
the certain way that
this becomes that
ever the twain
of this and that
will meet and become
one thing or
another thing
whether or not
what this or that
really means
or wants
or thinks it wants
because after all
that is how this is
and this is how that is


April 22, 2022

a meditation on the lost things
tangible and otherwise
lost along the way
by the by
piece by piece

forgotten or only reminded
by oblique phrase or passing glance
a rip in the fabric or
a glimpse through a knot in the wood

meditative reflection to embrace it one last time
before it’s gone for good
for better or worse
for good luck or ill

except that as there’s
nothing new under the sun
it will return
with a different face
another shape
a new smell
and set the same old cycle
running on familiar rails
as we slowly recognise that
it is back