Monthly Archives: May 2021
Mountains old worn down by time and weather Peaks smoothed Summits rounded Rocks broken to new beginnings Stones to gravel sand to granules dust to mud growth to decay decay to soil Inclined to slippage Declined to fertility Treacherous nurturing home of the tenacious Boon to the potency of flood plains Mountains old are so much more alive than the hard sharp ridges and strewn craggy defiles of the young
strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
strathbogie photography #strathbogiephotography
You complete me
When I’m suffering you are comfort When I’m gross you are delicate When I’m angry you defuse When I falsely accept you refuse When I’m tired you are energy When I’m stupid you think for me When I’m injured you like to treat When I’m messy you are neat When I’m hard metal you are gossamer soft When I’m the basement you are the loft When I’m cold you wrap around When I’m noisy you make no sound When I’m down you cheer me up When I’m timid you play rough When my boat is sinking you bail me out When my voice is weak I hear you shout When I’m dull you are sharp When I’m empty you fill my heart When I fight you patch my wounds When I’m near reefs you take sounds When I’m defenceless you fortify When I am passive you defy When I make sense you mark my words When I don’t you shoot barbs When I sketch you paint our world When I'm straight you are curled When I’m at bottom you are the tops When I am crime you call the cops When I’m sweet you are sour as lemon When I’m sour you are sweet as heaven When there's rocks in my head you are sphagnum moss When I am matt finish you are gloss When I’m woodwork you are craft When we struggle you find a raft "You complete me" seanmathews.blog strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
“You complete me” from Jerry Maguire1966, is my chosen quote to write to for this week’s d’verse prompt. Mish challenged d’verse poets to select a movie quote and incorporate it into a poem. https://dversepoets.com/2021/05/25/poetics-go-ahead-make-my-day/
The shallow of looking deep
I’m still drowning in the water of you
My feet can’t find the bottom
I don’t know what to do
It’s like all we’ve done’s forgotten
I know it was a blind step
A leap into the dark
When straight after we met
I let you leave your mark
Now I wonder what that time was worth
Those years since spent together
Now I give a wide berth
To your dark and stormy weather
I still don’t know you, I never did
What is it that I was missing?
Disappointment of which I’m never rid
A deflating balloon, ever hissing
When I reflect on you as a person
You’re surrounded by a wall
As I watched our relationship worsen
You never heard my drowning call
Was your silence about making a choice?
Or were you incapable and you couldn’t?
Could you not hear my pleading voice?
Everything about you said you wouldn’t
Did I simply miss you’re shallow?
Because I was always looking for the deep
Is it there was nothing to really know?
The wasted years make me want to weep
The trees, the trees are prophesy
Their collective memory grand
equips the trees to well foresee
beyond the reign of man
In forests or in parks or standing on their own if trees of the world could speak as one I know what they’d say before they are gone For happiness, health and wealth For worthwhile survival Save the trees to save yourself re-wilding equates with revival strathbogie poetry strathbogie photography strathbogie cycling
Goulburn Broken Cycling – Winton Wetlands
An enjoyable day of open space riding, described below is a 34km loop around Winton Wetlands. There are various options to explore for longer or shorter rides. If coming by train via Benalla, add approximately15km for the return ride to and from.
Bump & Grind Cycling Route Winton Wetlands Loop Start / Finish locations: Mokoan Hub & café car park 652 Lake Mokoan Rd, Chesney Vale VIC 3725 https://wintonwetlands.org.au Mode: ebike, hybrid, MTB, gravel Map: GPS -36.439730401400716, 146.06316433156667 Difficulty: Easy Distance: 34km. There is scope for various routes and extensions Elevation: 163 – 189m Topography: Flat Surfaces: Largely gravel, except the final sealed leg back to the car park along Lake Mokoan Road. Note: if the weather is or has been wet, minimise use of Nelson Road. It can be very slippery and muddy. It can be closed to vehicles. Description and Features: You can pick up an excellent cycling guide from the café. Composed of numerous ephemeral wetlands and grassy woodland, Winton Wetlands is a the largest wetland restoration project in the southern hemisphere. The site is interesting whether wet or dry. It was dry for this visit. It is home to many bird and animal species. When wet, a special attraction is that the site teems with water birds and raptors (see the last photo in the series for when wet from 2017). The interpretive displays along the various routes share insightful environmental, historic and cultural information. There are Art in the Landscape installations at a number of locations along the way. This is an outstanding place for photography. Riding conditions: The whole route is very exposed. It can be very cold and very hot. Check the weather beforehand. Options: Ride to and from the Wetlands via the Benalla – Mokoan Discovery Trail. Anticlockwise Cues: Take the dirt track east parallel with Lake Mokoan Rd to the old dam wall Left North Rd Left Flynns Rd Right SW Track (or follow Flynns all the way to Nelson Rd if wet) Left Nelson Rd Left Winton North Rd Left Boggy Bridge Rd Left Lake Mokoan Rd back to car park Amenities: Car parking Café (check opening hours Mob: 0497 939 507) Playground Seating Picnic tables Public toilets Waterways Walking tracks Wineries nearby Historic features Alternative routes Accommodation nearby Fishing (licence required) Camping (booking required) Trailhead, map & Interpretive signs Railway station at Benalla Flora and fauna habitat Cautions: Open water Soft shoulders Limbs may fall Embankments Uneven ground No potable water Remnant fencing Slippery surfaces Subject to flooding Road surfaces vary Snakes may be active Tracks may not be clear Beware of vehicle traffic Mobile reception may be unreliable Carry food, water, First Aid, be SunSmart Be equipped for self-reliant riding Restrictions: No dogs No firearms No hunting Take rubbish with you No firewood collection Do not remove soil or rock Historic relics are protected Native flora and fauna are protected Do not remove timber from standing trees No fires in the open. There is a communal fire pit at The Nesting Ground camp site, otherwise gas cooking is recommended. Closed for camping on days of total fire ban No 4WD or motor bike access Drivers/riders must: use formed roads only, be licensed, be registered
Les Murray, an absolutely ordinary poet.
At the restaurants and footpath cafes diners drop what they are eating, push back their chairs and stand. Football supporters pour out of the MCG and troop up Batman’s Hill to the CBD in club colours, with streamers streaming, flags waving and an uneasy uncertainty about their walking out on the game. Blue singlet wearing drinkers abandon their beers to the yeasty, hop scented countertops, as pubs empty, spewing pot-bellied, stick legged staggerers and nicotine stained, leather skinned, emaciated smoker drunks into the gutters, the lanes, the roads and splashing back up onto the kerbs. Elegant wives, trophy wives and mistresses, high heeled, blow waved, coiffed, dyed and exquisitely buffed, pull down the hems of their brushed silk and linen form fitted shopping outfits as they rise from chaise lounges. They collect hand bags and shopping bags, then step into security guarded vestibules, before finally emerging from exclusive tailoring appointments to join a glamour procession down from the Collins St summit. Word has got around, curiosity brings out the inquisitive, the spruikers, the scavengers and those determined to report every experience to their co-dwellers in the virtual world. There is an irresistible pull on the minds of those interested in whatever might be happening and those interested in being able to say they were there regardless – something is going on. Whispers, tweets, messages and emails, texts, phone calls, video calls, even word of mouth, demand the attention of everyone in town. An unknown known compels complicity and participation. Worshippers abandon their God in the expectation of a religious experience, churches evacuate with pious clergy in tow fully expecting a miracle. Tourists disembark the free City Circuit tram, desert galleries and museums in droves, call taxis and Ubers for immediate pick up, sparing no expense on transport in an unfamiliar city, as long as they can get there ASAP. The toy shops spill small children out of their doorways, dragging parents bemused by this sudden passion for the outdoors, as the pitter patter of little feet turns into hard rain. Teenagers leave park benches and love bites half sucked, holding hands they cross the don’t walk on the grass lawns of springy spring greenery, hoping for a seminally significant event on which to reflect many years later in their relationship. Office staff lean out of windows. Those who have no window they can open press their faces against the glass to display flat fat cheeks and puckered lips full of teeth to the upturned faces of the ever swelling mass of onlookers below. As spectacles teeter on the ends of noses, computers whir away unattended while algorithms and AI action every last input before going to sleep in their very own digital dreamland. Politicians self-importantly stride down Bourke St from Parliament House looking like they know what is going on. And journalists wave mobile phones in the air, switched to record, in the hope of catching a bite for the evening news or the immediacy of online media, over the speculative hum and bustle of the real-world real-time growing multitude. There’s a poet reciting in Federation Square and they can’t stop him. He looks like an ordinary poet, but he hasn’t drawn breath for three hours and the laughter in the front rows has turned to weeping. His words and each inflection are overwhelmingly evocative, striking the perfect notes for heart felt emotion or humour, eliciting cries of fear, gasps of wonder, moans of misery or whimpering terror at any given moment. Listeners who can hear him are mesmerised as if by Sirens and someone calls the police for fear they might be losing their minds. There’s a poet reciting in Fed Square and they don’t want to stop him. The bookies are marking up a book on him and the TAB has various odds at when he will pause or cease. Gambling apps are rushing to find novelty angles to bet on like when will he make his first mispronunciation? The souvenir shops can’t understand why they aren’t doing a roaring trade in clip on koalas and water filled snow domes of the Melbourne Town Hall – where it never snows – and polyester tea towels depicting the coastal 12 Apostles that are hundreds of kilometres away. The police arrive in paddy wagons and on crowd control horses to find no crime has been committed. There is no disturbance. The city has simply come to a standstill. There is a poet reciting in Fed Square and they want to help him. They remove helmets, bullet proof vests and utility belts, down truncheons, scratch armpits, backsides and chins, gather in small groups, heads bowed toward each other and murmur speculatively about what to do. A police cordon forms organically around the poet so he can continue his recital without being crushed or disturbed by the ever increasing throng. They sit cross legged on the pavers in quiet communion with the people. The Commissioner offers his megaphone so everyone present can hear the phrasing waft through the air above their heads and feel it penetrate their very souls. Each stanza drops like a stone, soars like an eagle or infuses each being present with loving, soothing peace. Police disperse through the crowd to make sure everyone can hear. Hushing those too noisy, asking the more excited to please calm down. People up the back, hanging from light poles or too short to see are assisted by police to positions of access and comfort, reorganising the crowd into a tiered human amphitheatre of enthralled faces, ranked human shoulders and chests so full of heart each one feels it could burst. There is a poet reciting in Fed Square and he is finished. The poet bows his head once to the stilled crowd, gives them a smile of thanks, takes the one step necessary down from his reciting stool, picks it up and folds it flat against his knee. With stool gripped in his right hand he raises his left toward the east and the crowd parts before him as he walks, untouched, through silent lines that close behind him. A police officer raises an eyebrow in his direction, but he shakes his head. He is an ordinary poet who needs no escort to safely leave the place of his work and his work is done. The absolutely ordinary poet blends into the crowd, many see him fade, they try to follow, but he completely disappears. strathbogie poetry
Laura’s d’verse challenge was to select a favourite poet and write a poem either about them (indirect voice) or addressing them (direct voice). Here is the link if you want to give it a try: https://dversepoets.com/2021/05/18/poetics-poems-to-a-poet/
I chose to write a poem about the remarkable Australian poet Les Murray. I hope I honour him by adopting something of his style. Sadly, Les died last year.
Soft touch Soft lips Hug held Soft hips So precious So fine So perfect Sublime
The vicissitudes of life
From birth through growth to the time of decline From decline to decay such a time is mine For all that went before for all that went astray For all that has been given and will be taken away I see the patterns unfold through my life by the gloaming of hindsight The illumination of knowing through latter years' insight As the past stretches out behind me the future road is short The decisions I have made will shortly come to nought I take one last chance to pass on the learning of my years One last chance to help those to come if those to come have ears History is our greatest teacher for handling the vicissitudes of life Human nature is our undoing when handling the inconvenient truths of advice Secure your future with love and enough wealth is the best advice I can give Working to this end gives hope which gives purpose to how you live Start early and start young to earn a path to joy and learn to take your rest Don’t deviate from this path but keep it flexible to be your very best Loss may strike you without notice grief may haunt your very door Grow from your loss for better to turn haunting to past lore Change will come unanticipated may shake you to your core See change as opportunity to put each foot firmly on the floor Wealth does not mean riches just resilience and security For you, your partners, your dependents, your growing maturity Be love and wealth empowered so that choices can be made Be moral with you choices and ethically do not fade When love comes your way hold it closely to your heart If love lost should leave you reeling be proud that you took part Know you have been loved and can love again because love is all around If one thing is known it is all want love and with time it can be found
Coldplay NPR Tiny Desk Concert
One of my favourite things to do is to embrace my love of music appreciation and experience the sounds of music creation that are new to me. NPR Tiny Desk Concerts (and intra pandemic Home Concerts) have been an enduring pleasure in this respect. Artists play just four songs with just the basics on hand and often in ways that are quite unexpected.
Here you can listen to half of Coldplay backed by the beautiful beautiful voices and enthusiasm of a choir in a way that I found a delight for being so unexpected. https://youtu.be/j82L3pLjb_0
I hope you enjoy their joy as much as I did.
The blue sadness of enduring grief
I was asked to read the letters With my father and my sisters Written by my long dead mother Lost words faint as whispers He will struggle to see and read So sharing seems a good idea I will struggle to read and see There's hurt combined with fear Her pony tail her loving arms My sisters in her face - and me What will I learn of her aspirations All the things she wanted to be Sad blue of the paper blue of the pen Blue in each letter written back then There's blue in thinking about her again When will I recover I don't know when 51 years later grief can rise be real Camouflaged it waits in ambush The loss the pain once more I feel I have no trust in life Maybe one day I'll let this blue sadness go Release it to an infinitely clear blue sky I'll stand tall throw back my arms and head And no longer suffer what if or why
A response to a d’verse challenge from Sarah that coincides with an often unexpected recurring sadness / blueness https://dversepoets.com/2021/05/11/blue-tuesday/
New ways of understanding and seeing
I use writing to try to interpret the world around me and understand it better.
I use photography to try to see the world in new ways.
In and Around My Agitato Mind
I knew fear
When the bully turned his attention to me
When his sneer settled into a satisfied smirk
Accompanied by a condescending glare
Comprised of evil glints behind the blackest of eyes
and a palpably hot internal furnace of anger
He knowingly appraised me
He looked into my very soul
He asked himself the unspoken questions
only I should have known the answers to,
but he determined in a instant
What vulnerability lies here?
What weakness can I exploit
to the point of causing immediate pain
terrible ongoing hurt?
I became a victim
I let him use my own low self esteem
as the leverage necessary to do me harm
To render me powerless to resist
To enable me to damage myself even further
To punish myself for allowing
the damage to be done
I became complicit
in my own degradation and misery
With no one to blame but myself
Bring your love
The curve and swing of shapely hip
Inclines my eye to stray aslip
Invites a touch a lover’s grip
That pulls you in for ear lobe nip
My hand upon your rising chest
Tells me how deep you are at rest
The rate and depth of rise and fall
Is enough to tell a lover all
The fingertips that stroke my back
Are fingertips with lover’s knack
For tantalising or powerful pressure
To change a mood for love or leisure
My lips upon your upraised mouth
As tongues flicker lightly about
Full and soft moist and wet
I cannot forgo I’ll ne’er forget
The foot that strokes my leg in bed
Before we sleep each night has said
With this caress I love you each night
A touch confirming love’s delight
The cheek that absorbs teardrops weight
Is the cheek I brush for comfort’s sake
At the pleasure of our love’s great joy
At grief’s sadness when loss employs