Literature

Upon popular request we now have a Literature page where people can publish their poems or short essays.  Fine reading while enjoying a fine coffee.  Select from the list of categories below which best suit your poem or writing topic.

138 comments on “Literature

  1. Hung Parliament Rains

    In days where confusion reigns
    the parched now drink and find a voice
    collision has merit
    when sparks release rains
    so democracy may live again

    N’

  2. I wrote this in 1972 about the Vietnam War but thinking about Iraq and Afghanistan … nothing really changes …

    FOREIGN SOLDIERS

    They fought away from home, as soldiers often do.
    And who was friend and who was foe they never really knew.
    With borrowed guns and planes and tanks they helped the people fight.
    But in their minds the darkness there, would never see the light.

    For freedom is an abstract thing, the people couldn’t see.
    For man thinks not of riches, when he lives in poverty.
    To watch their children live and grow was all they wanted now.
    To fight and die rejected was just a sacred cow.

    And so the soldiers left. For nations minds they change.
    And many couldn’t understand, the war they’d fought was strange.
    Had warriors died to free a land? They never did know why.
    Or had they fought to cover up a politicians lie?

    The people found an end to war with friends no longer foe
    And in their hearts were glad to see, the foreign soldiers go.

    TB Queensland

  3. TB, wonderful sentiments. In ’72 I turned 21 yrs. In your words I am imagining being there, the fear about the draft, the pride in the job that the Conscriptees were doing, waiting for a lover or brother’s number to be drawn out of the hat, confusion about why there were so many civilian deaths.

  4. Thanks Milo and all you other lovely people at this site for all your warmth and encouragement. A few months back I did write what I think could be poem – oddly enough inspired by Tony Abbott, the bastard, who once, I thought offhandedly, commented that the poor are always with us, unless they decide to be otherwise!

    My Poor

    My poor is always with me
    No shoes on chilblained feet,
    It’s not the cold she’s feeling
    But indifference on the street.
    My poor is always with me
    She hides from fights and noise
    With a dog eared book for company
    And a few dilapidated toys.
    My poor is always with me,
    Even now in happier days,
    Reminding me that babies
    Cannot ‘change their ways!’
    My poor is always with me
    Still urging me to give,
    To do my bit to change a world
    Where still unhappy children live.

  5. A former work colleague (and good friend) emailed this message to all the staff on the 11th floor at our Adelaide office some years ago. It tickled me that much that I kept it. Here it is:

    Eleventh floor staff may be interested in the following information.

    Many of you may have noticed the sole [formerly] edible piece of fruit, a long seedless berry with soft skin over edible pulp from a large herbaceous plant that had been residing for the past three months on the third shelf of the fridge in the 11th floor storeroom.

    Great news! What had once been a yellow-skinned, mouth-watering and desirable banana, has been removed and binned.

    The once-attractive off-spring from a frugiferous plant looked like something from the bowels of one of nature’s finest when it was taken away. It was black, shrivelled, mouldy and a disgrace.

    Full credit must be given to the officer who had the courage to touch the foul item and remove it from the fridge.

    To the owner: It’s too late!

  6. TB of Queensland I should have mentioned that it was your very touching poem which reminded me about things other than ‘politics’ which recently made me want to write verse. One line in particular made me think of all those people whether in war zones or just living in poor circumstances who have had to watch their children not having enough to eat or at daily risk of death and injury. Peace isn’t just about no more bombing , killing, and maiming. It’s about people being able to

    “To watch their children live and grow….”

    So thanks for that. Re soldiers dying to cover up for politicians, my daughter is married to a now retired clearance diver. He worked in bomb disposal operations in the Iraq war. At the time she was a young mother with two babies under three. I watched her beautiful hair fall out from the stress of that terrible year. We were so relieved when he came home safe. Even now every death in Afghanistan disturbs her deeply as she empathises with those who lose a loved one. And we are the invaders. Imagine the pain of those who are tragically unfortunate in suffering the invasion.

  7. There is no better place to watch the setting sun than from a beach. Other than a passing ship or a hungry, wailing seagull there is nothing to distract me and I am free to soak up every delight this moment offers. I am glad that I’m not watching from a valley, or a building, or even a moving car. I am on a beach and I feel frozen in time. The only indication that time is passing is the sun as it dips slowly from the sky.

    The ship has now passed and the hungry seagull has now either been fed, or maybe I’m just oblivious to his pitiful cries. Or maybe he wasn’t hungry at all. Maybe he was just calling out to a friend, or maybe he was singing. I am tempted to glance in his direction to see what he’s up to, but no, I am here to watch the setting sun, not to seek the welfare of a lone seagull.

    I like turning my back to the world on these moments. It gives me a feeling as though I’m on the edge of the world. There is just me and the sun and nothing in between except 160 million kilometres of empty space. How can one not be exhilarated by such a moment?

    I feel so alone, yet I’m hesitant to accept that there are probably a million people such as me sitting on the beaches of the world sharing the same moment. I hope they are distracted by a passing ship or a hungry seagull because I want to be the only person to enjoy this moment. I want to be the last person that the sun says goodnight to.

    The sun sinks further.

    I hadn’t noticed the little waves that were lapping at my feet. Have they been trying to get my attention? Each splash seems to call out my name. “That’s ridiculous” I muse to myself, “the little splashes sound nothing like my name”. Yet they hold me in a trance. I will close my eyes for two seconds and when I open them the spell will be broken.

    They don’t go away and I quickly resign to accept them. Actually, they delight me. The gentle lapping is peaceful and it lends a serenity to what I thought was already a peaceful moment.

    As the sun dips further I allow other senses to stir.

    I feel the chill of the evening breeze. It is not harsh. It provides a freshness that inspires me to draw it deep into my lungs and I deliberately fall into a rhythm with the breaking wavelets: the splashing, my breathing . . . all acting as one.

    The sun, that magnificent ball of light that gave life to us all and that we have in turn gratefully worshipped for countless millennium, dives quickly into the horizon. It announces its departure with an explosion of colours. The sky is painted with brilliant reds, yellows and oranges that also tinge some nearby clouds. The same clouds that only moments earlier were a constant fluffy white, now absorb the glow of the departing sun. This is what I had come to see. This was the moment I had waited for. But the moment is now gone and the curtain of darkness is drawn, and again I feel alone.

    A dim star now appears. Then another, and another and I cast my thoughts adrift and ponder if other beings on other planets in distant galaxies have performed the same ritual as I have this day. Each with their own little world. Each with their own big sun. I laugh at myself for allowing my thought the liberty to transcend the boundaries of my imagination.

    My laughter startles something that had been sitting close to me. It is the seagull, obviously unaware that the inanimate object perched on the edge of the world is me. As he resumes his cries I again wonder if he is hungry, or calling for a friend, or just singing.

    I turn to face the world, the world I had earlier excluded from my life and I am greeted by a thousand sounds and a thousand sights, all of which are beautiful and reassure me that at this moment I am not alone and never will be. This was the moment to match the euphoria of the setting sun, and now I wish that many others had shared this moment too.

    Meanwhile, on a planet far, far away sits a lonely being who lifts his eyes to the heavens and ponders “I wonder if . . . “

  8. Thank you, Patricia! If a poem can move just one soul then it has achieved … and I think we inspire each other … love the realisation in, My Poor, that we are not all born “equal”- like you (I think) I like the “neatness” of rhyme …

    … but then a read Migs’ contribution …

    Migs … mate, that is true, passionate prose … captures a moment in time that I’m sure most of us have experienced …

    … my observations are little less detailed … I wrote most of my poetry over a couple of years after I had been discharged from NS and my daughter was four yo and my son two … on things of nature … this while watching the wind sweep across fields of grass …

    MARCHING ON TO NOWHERE

    The grass is on the march,
    Whispers the low, low tide.
    The grass is on the march,
    Will we have to hide?

    The grass is on the march
    But the hawk is in the sky.
    When the grass is on the march
    He’s our secret spy.

    If the grass is on the march
    Where’s it going to go?
    When the grass is on the march
    Why, it marches to and fro.

    When the grass is on the march
    It’s leader is the wind.
    And its marching on to Nowhere
    Said the round, red sun – and grinned.

    TB Queensland

    (FYI, I call my little collection “Prose Ache”)

    Really nice to have somewhere to “put them”, Migs, thanks …

  9. Really nice to have somewhere to “put them”, Migs, thanks …

    After reading some of the great material I should be thanking the contributers.

    I’ve heaps of poems to add as well (that have until now survived the years on pieces of paper).

    Coming soon.

  10. An ode to a child

    Mists of doubt lay waiting. Our minds are home to this cloudy mist;
    Engulfing us in one weak moment, and that moment can last forever,
    Gaining undue privilege as we lament the temptations we couldn’t resist.
    Age does not blow away this cloud. Only dreams disperse with the years.
    Now while you’re young, my child, stand braced and worthy as tomorrow nears.

    Journey ahead as you’ve journeyed thus far; your spirit alive and in song.
    Heed others around you who abandon their dreams, and smile upon them,
    Award them this gift. Your smile can unsettle the hold of the mist.
    Let them too hear the song of your spirit for there will be days when a smile won’t show.
    Look after the weak, my child, for if they falter . . . the mists of doubt will know.

  11. BTW, the above poem is acrostic. It was written for a girl called Megan J Hall. Her name is spelt down the left hand side.

  12. Loved the atmosphere and rhythm of your Grass is on the March, TB, with its leader, the wind and that hawk in the sky, the secret spy. Wow!

    Miglo – I’m sure Megan treasures her ode. In my cryptic inspired verse I used an anagram but as you can see it’s a very elementary one!

    I’ve just had an epiphany
    Passing strange for an agnostic
    Whose only daily litany
    Sought help with the Times acrostic.
    I know now that there is a God
    Who hears me and who answers prayers.
    He came here in the shape of Dog
    To cheer me up, relieve my cares.
    He shows me how I should behave,
    To be patient and more cheerful.
    He stays close by, a watchful slave
    ‘Cos I’m old and sometimes fearful.
    So thank you, Dog, for being here
    On days I do my wondering why,
    You comfort me, so warm, so near,
    Teaching me to be at rest, maybe to die!

  13. Goose bumps from both of those – Patricia, Migs … bit like duelling banjos … I’ve just read Germaine Greer’s latest rant and was going to post one about women’s lib … but …

    … I did one of them acrostic things too … much more simplistic than either of yours though … I road tested all Nissans/Datsuns sold in Queensland one year …

    DREAMS OF…

    Lines are sleek and shiny gleam
    Inspect the panels, electric seam.
    Moulded seats for comfort made,
    Only oil of Super Grade.
    Under hood there’s room to spare
    Silent engine running there.
    Interior quality of the best
    Nicely done, but, no excess.
    Even fitted with a cocktail cabinet
    So I can’t buy one, well, not yet!

  14. This thread is a great initiative, Miglo, particularly at this time of nail biting hiatus in the national political narrative. We need something to distract us and lift our spirits while the countdown to our future goes on. Here we can focus on discovering more about each other and also get the chance to have ‘other stuff’ published and read!

    I remember myself as a very young mum who was stir-crazy, typing away on my portable Olivetti, posting articles and stories off and waiting weeks for a response which too often was simply a printed rejection slip. One might occasionally have an encouraging brief comment from an editor. I had a bulk supply of quarto manilla envelopes at hand for re-sending them out all over again.

    Having lived for a while in the Yukon in Canada I once made a serious attempt at a book length historical novel. After several rejections over many months, out of the blue I received an offer from the light romance department of a publishing house I’d somehow approached. They said historical narrative wasn’t their sort of thing but they loved the story line though it needed some changes which they’d ‘help’ me with. After that they’d publish it as a romantic serial in their weekly magazine, featuring the ‘historical’ side as added colour to the story of my heroine. “She Was A Wonderful Woman, Jennie!” became the first of several serial stories I wrote all those years ago.

    In that funny way we do I sort of down graded my opinion of my writing as all right for women’s magazines, and the money was certainly useful. But once I was in a full time job I somehow didn’t want to ‘write’ in the way I once did. Writing became a tool for reports, reviews and representations. Many more ‘r’s than those three, but somehow I never thought of it as creative.

    It was the wonder of the internet which I discovered after my retirement from work which started me responding to opinions expressed on political blogs. Then came the miracle of the LP verse competition this year. I haven’t stopped versifying since. It’s so satisfying to write something, have it published instantaneously, then read by lots of people and get feedback, often within the hour.

    Now here we are on this site with an opportunity to talk about writing. Perhaps we can ask for help with ideas and ways of expressing them in verse from teachers like Miglo. Verse is tricky when one wants to be serious, so often one wrong word can make things trite. e.g. my Dog/God thing. I’ve struggled with the last line trying to convey with eight syllables the idea that the loving presence of a dog helping one to slow down, rest and be at peace can also help reconcile an old person to dying. Any suggestions or criticism of that or any lines are welcomed.

    TB Q – great lyrical ‘yearning for a Limo’ lines! Clever too with no sense of contrivance.

  15. Patricia,

    Writing became a tool for reports, reviews and representations.

    Me too, as a manager. Later as a trainer (much prefer learning facilitator) and instructional designer (text, video, interactive learning) I enjoyed combining a range of skills, (eg photography, tech drawing, text).

    I haven’t written anything “creative” since I retired (‘cept for hounding right wing posters on blogs).

    I don’t seem to have enough time to read what I want to, listen to music that I want to, watch the videos that I want to, I have a model railway I can’t get to, I have four videos to produce, I’m a singer and we five grandchildren and their parents live withing 200m … the Village lives … as for creative writing …

    I’m enjoying popping in and sharing … fab!

    As for “the last line” – its like my model railway – when my youngest grandson asks when it will be ‘finished”, I just say – “I’ll let you decide, J …”

  16. Loved your post Patricia and thanks for the compliment.

    I’ve always enjoyed writing, but my how it has evolved over the years. I was a prolific letter writer, mainly humurous, and I am pleased to recently learn that many of these letters have been kept by the recipients.

    About 17 years ago, during a bout of extreme depression, I took to writing poetry. As the depression lifted I found it more difficult to write.

    Then in the late 90s my writing took on an academic flavour, which was only natural given that I’d returned to uni.

    And now I write like a public servant!

    I too am glad that I set up this page in Cafe Whispers. I now feel confortable about revealing the poetry I wrote when I found it tough to face the world.

  17. Patricia..I still have my Mum’s portable Olivetti. Quarto, manilla.

    As it’s coming out time, I’m a clairvoyant actually a clairaudient..plus an educational pyschologist plus a family historian. But mostly I’m just Min aka mum aka when’s dinner ready :) And if others think that I’m silly, then TUFF!

    I see that the best times are in the very near future. I see you trying again. I think that it’s something to do with not necessarily writing as you might be imagining it, well it’s writing but that you will use the tools that you see in front of you now as the topic..then you will expand upon this topic.

    So, look in front of you and what do you see now..these are it.

    That will be 6 pence halfpenny for that reading thank you.

  18. Migs, you hit the nail on the head most of my writings have been during times of extreme emotion … if that’s the case my lack of writing should indicate my current “comfortableness” with the world … wasn’t always so, though …

    SECOND CHANCES

    Looking down that road, I take a second glance
    At life. Waiting for that chance,
    It’s short, it’s long,
    I’m here but soon I’m gone
    To better things, or worse.
    I laugh and win and fail and curse.
    I play and fight to win and lose,
    To cheer and shout, to hurt, to bruise.
    But back again to try once more,
    Lady Luck, will you open that door!
    But if you do, what shall I?
    Deaf ear, blind eye?
    No! This time no!
    Straight through that door I go.
    But what for, if I do?
    Is it for me, or you?
    Is it for power…riches…is it sin?
    I really can’t tell you, you see,

    I’m just a human bein’

  19. That will be 6 pence halfpenny for that reading thank you.

    My mother used to give me a halfpenny for every 12 grey hairs I pulled out of her head.

    They were hard to find and I never quite found enough to go the full penny.

  20. I first came across this age 14yrs via the music of Gary Shearston. The poetry of Kath Walker, Oodgeroo.

    Son Of Mine

    My son, your troubled eyes search mine,
    Puzzled and hurt by colour line.
    Your black skin soft as velvet shine;
    What can i tell you, son of mine?

    I could tell you of heartbreak, hatred blind,
    I could tell you of crimes that shame mankind,
    Of brutal wrong and deeds malign,
    Of rape and murder, son of mine;

    But I’ll tell instead of brave and fine
    When lives of black and white inwine,
    And men in brotherhood combine-
    This would I tell, you son of mine.

  21. They were hard to find and I never quite found enough to go the full penny.

    LOL!

    What a wonderful childhood you must have enjoyed, Migs

    No wonder you want to retire there …

  22. Time for another poem … I thought …

    FIRST LOVE

    A deep, burning passion that hurts with every thought,
    A reaching out for comfort, a hope, that’s so distraught.
    Of fear that has no feeling;
    A wish that has no meaning;
    A dream that comes to everyone
    Searching in your soul, a singing with no song.
    A wait fulfilled with longing
    And then a feeling of belonging.
    A path you never crossed,
    But found and never lost…

    And my first love … I remember.

  23. Had an idea about Clancy of he Overflow and Bob Katter in his chaps and hat so have been reading a bit of Banjo and then I wandered off to read some Henry Lawson. Just come from the Drover’s Wife. What a life women like her had! But they were tough! Her little boy’s understanding at the end moved me to tears. I don’t think it’s that which Bob K picks up on when he talks about those farmers committing suicide up in Queensland. Different sort of pressures today of course.

    Do men commit suicide more often than women? I must check that out.

    PS Did you know there is a Julia Creek in the Kennedy electorate?

  24. Still laughing, Miglo!

    One could rephrase it – Q: ‘Do men attempt suicide more often than women?’

    A: ‘Of course, the bastards can’t even do that properly and have to have more than one go at it.’

    One should not jest, and anyway I love the men in my life to bits!

    PS is there a way to do accents on line? Wanted to say “Tooshay!” but when you write ‘Touche’ it just looks plain wrong and could be ‘tooch’ or ‘towcha’

  25. Hi Patricia. I’ve tried everything regarding accents on line. Looking at our name, the nakedness of the word Cafe, proves that so far I haven’t had success.

    But if there is a way, I’ll damn sure find it.

  26. I think Mobius is pretty good at the special character stuff Patricia & Migs. I found a couple of ways you could try:

    touché – the é was typed by holding down the Alt key while keying 0233 – more info here.

    Alternatively, you could get a list of HTML Escape Characters and insert them in your text.

    touché uses the & # 2 3 3 ; (without the spaces) escape character.

  27. If any man should call me honest
    Then let that man be doubted
    Though I doubt myself any man will speak
    For those I know . . . are all too weak.

    Above poem written during my playboy days. Naturally, it doesn’t relate to me now. I’m so squeaky clean it’s unnatural.

  28. Min, thanks for the reading! Following your advice on expanding on tools and topics immediately in front of me – these lines below came up after I had an interesting chat with my daughter today once we had both stopped laughing over Miglo’s very funny comment on suicide. She and her family left soon after to visit Pops and Grandma down south because Pops isn’t too well. My brother too has just been diagnosed with a cancer in his throat.

    Many friends of long ago
    Are either dead or dying.
    Too often I’ve heard tales of woe,
    Of pain, hospitals, time buying.
    It makes me want to tell my girl and boy
    That when I die I’d much prefer
    They first remember all the joy
    We’ve shared – me, him and her.
    In my long life there has been pain.
    Yet I know that given choice
    I’d make the same mistakes again,
    Deliberately, because I now rejoice
    In them. That painful marriage,
    Warned against by wiser friends,
    A union easy later to disparage,
    Bore fruit so sweet which far transcends
    That bitterness now long forgiven,
    As are other things that I have done.
    I’ll need no priest to have sins shriven,
    When all is over and my race is run.

  29. Patricia, I am absolutely certain that Miglo doesn’t see anything fun about suicide. Sometime people who feel it the most try to make light of it in order to cope with their own emotions.

    For My Father:

    I won’t make this a long speech because as everyone present would know, my father seldom made long speeches. My father could say in 10 words what many would take an essay to write yet none could have more meaning than those half dozen words.

    For those who don’t already know, my father was born on the 19th August 1919, the 5th of 7 children. Being hard times, Dad was young by today’s standards when he started work with Hardie Trading. A life long job, interrupted only by service to his country in World War 2.

    In 1938 Dad met the young girl who was to become the love of his life and so it has been that Mum and Dad spent 70 years at each others side. This was a love made in Heaven.

    Dad’s love for music was well known, and especially the music of Bing Crosby. At this time I think of the Crosby classic True Love and I will repeat some of the words:-

    For you and I have a guardian angel on high with nothing to do,
    But to give to you and to give to me, love for ever True.

    I think that the above words summarise the devotion and affection between my parents. This was shared equally amongst all who Dad loved, not only my dear mother, but myself, my husband and from there on to Grandpa (or Grapna or Pop)’s beloved grandchildren B, J and Erin.

    As a father, there was none better. For me my childhood was Indian tents, making bows and arrows, being shown how to cast sinkers, how to resole shoes, how to paint the fence. And all with never-ending patience. There was nothing in this world that Dad was not interested in, from the simplest to the most complex, from world events to veggie growing.

    My Dad’s great resilience and steadfastness was an inspiration to all who knew him. Dad said that a fishing rod must be flexible, that it must bend and this was my father’s philosophy for life. As Dad would say ‘She’ll be apples’.

  30. I know, Min, Miglo wrote to me privately apologising for what in hindsight he thought might be inappropriate levity. Not that there was any – as I said, my daughter and I laughed, and she is the last person who would be guilty of irreverence. I’m happy for him to share our exchange on this.

    Love your Dad. Is he still with us at 91? He clearly is in spirit.

  31. My dad passed away from prostate cancer age 88 years, hence my previous push shove to the blokes on the blog to have a man’s wellness checkup. It doesn’t hurt..just do it! If it’s caught early enough then there is an excellent chance of another 20-30 years.

    The above is what I spoke at my dad’s funeral. But yes he is still here in the spirit.

  32. That “True Love” with Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby must be the great love song of all time, not just for the singing either. So real and so pure. So true! Was Grace in love with Bing? If not, that was some performance.

  33. BREATH OF DEATH

    Oh, sweet, sweet Breath of Death
    You linger at my door.
    And you and I both know
    What your waiting for.

    Oh, sweet, sweet Breath of Death
    Your waiting at my side.
    Waiting, waiting patiently
    To take me on that ride.

    Oh sweet, sweet Breath of Death
    Your with me even now,
    With your deathly scythe you furrow
    The lines upon my brow.

    For once a man is born
    Upon his back is death.
    Until his children mourn
    A man can find no rest.

    Amen

    TB

  34. TB of Q – So simply put, so true. I was very struck by those words which contain an almost contradictory sense but have natural rhyming connections, – mourn with born and breath with death.

    I guess that’s what poetry is about. I’m very new to it and I find how it works fascinating.

    Cheers.

    PS Now, if I can manage italics why can’t I manage e acute? At what point after typing ‘e’ do I old Alt and type 0233?

    e?

  35. You don’t type it after e, holding down the Alt key whilst typing 0233 on the numeric keypad gives you an e-acute é.

  36. Today’s a very special day
    Here at the Whispering Café.
    So many words we now can say
    In our élite societé.

    Now all of you are invités
    To come along to my soirée
    To meet and greet my fiancé.
    Who is the new French attaché.

    He’ll bring along his friend José
    Who though formerly an Abbé
    Is lots of fun and très risqué.
    He loves to dance and shout Olé!

    Yes, José’s life is ‘toujours gaie”
    If kept supplied with vin rosé
    And with ladies décolletées!
    Oh là là! I must away!

  37. In view of the current malaise from which we are all suffering I was hoping that someone here at Cafe Whispers knew enough French to take up the challenge offered by Miglo’s question about José’s ‘resumé’ which I managed to respond to without using the usual ‘cliché’. Has anyone guessed what that might be?

  38. Patricia. Je sais un petit francais. C’est une longue période depuis que j’étais dans l’école. And I had to go to my ‘very’ old text book to look that one up (it means a long time since school).

    Mais non,
    Je suis triste qu’il n’arrive pas
    Pas le crème brulée, pas le soirée
    Et certainment non oh la la.

    But no,
    I am sad that it’s not going to happen,
    No creme brulee, no soirees,
    And certainly no oh la las.

  39. Fantastic, Min, – you’ve mastered the grave accent as well as the acute!

    Great that your French is really good – enough to get it when I say that I was very tempted to reply as follows to Miglo when he asked

    Did (José) have a resumé?
    Oui, mais le chien l’avait mangé!

  40. Here’s a corny poem I wrote for a friend who needed a poem or an essay about politics. She provided me with a number of books, one being about our prime ministers and I decided that they’ll be my subject. The characteristics of each PM were taken from the book. The book went as far as Hawke; Keating was our PM at the time of writing the poem, and I wrote all the verses except the one on Keating.

    Those we chose to lead us

    One chance we take as a nation is that we elect somebody to rule.
    Without exception all us scumbag voters has called upon a fool.
    The choice has been cast upon us since the birth of federation.
    And we pray that each will improve our lot, with lucid expectation.

    The scene was set in 19-0-1 when we chose Ed Barton to slog.
    ‘Tosspot Toby’ he was fondly known; it was known he loved his grog.
    History reserves that this man was lazy, though active with his wits.
    After two years of toil he’d had enough . . . Toby called it quits.

    Groomed for the job was Alfred Deakin, an honest man at heart.
    Though affable and admirable, his policies were to tear us apart.
    His White Australia plan still haunts us like a mournful ghost.
    But Alfred himself didn’t haunt too long . . . within a year he’d lost his post.

    J.C. Watson was next in line and his term was doomed for failure.
    His best policies were behind him, before he came to lead Australia.
    Many would claim he’d carried Deakin and perhaps had run out of trumps.
    He confirmed by sailing in troubled waters . . . and mutinied in six months.

    Trouble thus welcomed the next on board; a fellow called George Houston Reid.
    But he settled the ship with great aplomb and relished this marvellous deed.
    But alas, poor George had a weakness: any lady of note he would peer.
    And when he turned his back the knives were drawn . . . all within a year.

    Deakin was back! And he served his term before Fisher took the reign.
    And this modest man did a modest job, until Deakin was back, again.
    For four long years this resolute fellow stood firm with resolute stealth.
    But burdened by the task at hand . . . resigned to save his ailing health.

    “The most reliable and helpful of men” a quote once ascribed to Cook:
    The next in line in our parade of leaders, though this quote does overlook
    That his party thought him a turncoat, as he placed his morals above his team,
    And often went against them. In about a year they stole his dream.

    Fisher returned, now a stronger man and let it be known he was willing
    To defend beloved England “To the last man and last shilling”.
    For the world had fallen to war and with it he faced his own battles too,
    And lay defeated by the guns of Canberra . . . long before the war was through.

    Voluble, volatile, stubborn and shrewd described Billy Hughes to a tee,
    As he manoeuvred with guile and protected his throne right up ‘til ‘23.
    Through the war he’d lead us proudly and we glowed with a sound reputation.
    But he ran out of moves and lost his support . . . so resigned amid trepidation.

    That pleased Stanley Bruce, for the job as our leader was handed to him,
    And though he tackled it with earnest toil, he faced the future grim.
    He spoke of industrial order, yet his laws never nurtured industrial truce.
    And when the world entered in to Depression . . . we took it out on Bruce.

    Whoever came next was assured of failure as the Depression had tightened its grip.
    Enter James Scullen; show the scumbag voters you can save the sinking ship.
    Jim tried to bring about social changes but the times were not right for reform,
    And he too felt the blame for the woes of the world . . . no longer could he perform.

    Lyons had the toughest job but he was the man to tackle the show.
    He steered us through the Depression and watched our economy grow.
    Then the shadows of war loomed again, and this mighty man was quick to react,
    But he was never to see the war . . . its shadow delivered a heart attack.

    Lyons would probably still be PM if he hadn’t so suddenly died.
    But he did, and for a while, someone else was tried.
    Earl Page took the honour to lead our country but his party had other plans.
    Earl’s hopes took a dive after 19 days . . . his party won their demands.

    The party demanded young Menzies be tried and he quickly prepared us for war,
    But his critics claimed he’d prepared Japan too, who threatened to march to our shore.
    “Pig-iron Bob” the unionists cried, “the metal you sell them will come back as bombs.”
    But Menzies stood firm, and so did the voters . . . and his regime didn’t last long.

    Arthur Fadden was a good politician though his selection remains a mystery.
    For as PM for only 40 days he failed to make an impact on history.
    In his short term he delivered a budget believing it rather benign.
    But his opponents received it with hostile force . . . and Arthur was forced to resign.

    We looked to a leader with courage in a world that was still gripped in war.
    We found it in Curtin and he was precise in his purpose. We held the man in awe.
    There was nought he could do for our country except mastermind battles afar.
    But on the eve of victory he died of stress . . . the battles had left their scar.

    Then came Forde but he lasted a week – handing over the reins to Chifley.
    And this man of action wasted no time in getting our country swiftly
    Back on its feet. And behold we had growth and industry prevailed.
    So he promptly asked another term from voters . . . but sadly, the campaign failed.

    And so began 16 years with Menzies, now older and more austere.
    But he opened the doors of our country, like no other before; this was our richest era.
    And he rode on the back of a world-wide boom and Australia stood up with the best.
    But when we asked him to carry us further . . . he refused to be put to the test.

    Menzies had groomed young Harold Holt; a most unpopular man
    Because he scared us in the ‘peaceful’ sixties and sent our sons to defend strange lands.
    He allied us closer to the mighty US, at the time an unpopular step.
    But no more steps were made by Holt . . . he drowned in a sea of contempt.

    For a month we had McEwen, then the party gave Gorton a chance
    And for three wasted years we witnessed this fellow create just a song and a dance.
    He did nothing but publicly argue, and scandal followed him every day.
    Until the party questioned his value . . . and he threw the job away.

    Many would claim McMahon’s greatest asset was Sonya, his beautiful wife.
    And he displayed this beauty freely as he clung to political life.
    But the country was looking for changes that this masquerade couldn’t provide,
    And when he called a poll to tease the voters . . . his party was swept aside.

    In stormed a man with much to promise: Gough Whitlam, a likeable chap.
    But his promises were to cost us dearly. Our country went to scrap.
    There were jobs for the boys but no jobs for us as we raised a finger of doubt.
    Time was up for this likeable man . . . without mercy we kicked him out.

    “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” warned Fraser when coming to power
    And he watched us battle and reap good fortunes. This was his finest hour.
    But the man was aloof. He didn’t mind if we struggled as long as he was free.
    With this image we turned against him . . . and cast him aside in ’83.

    In came a Messiah with mortal charisma who even gave up good living.
    ‘Cause this was his only downfall we thought, and as voters we sure aren’t forgiving.
    But he soon acquired more downfalls. Excessive taxes were a threat from Hawke,
    And when the party scented discontent from the voters . . . was told to take a walk.

    He couldn’t manage a rock group, yet he won the job of managing us.
    But all he’s managed to do is cause a most unruly fuss.
    But I imagine it’s hard to manage a group of scumbags, turkeys and fools.
    Though, Keating, it should be easy for you: You make all the rules.

    These are the men who for ninety odd years have fathered our wonderful land.
    And as they take credit as we slowly mature . . . in protest I will stand.
    No one man built Australia, nor has good fortune made us all free.
    These men should salute all Australians. The true blue scumbags like me.

  41. Miglo, you can do my homework for me any time, and I won’t let it near the dog! What a great way to teach history and lists of PMs!
    I didn’t know about George Houston Reid, nor Forde either. I know you were tongue in cheek, but I didn’t like your assessment of PJK – my favorite Aussie PM so far!

    Come on, joni, let down your hair. Join us criminals in the confessional offered here. It is anonymous, after all.

  42. Migs, that reminded me of Hiawatha – what a massive missive!

    Minand her French! What a talented bunch!

    C’mon, joni, we know how well you write … and you are among good friends!

    Seems a tipple or two each day may extend your life … I thought this appropriate

    From my little collection:

    BOOZE

    Wine is good for me!
    Unless I’ve had too much and then it makes me see
    The wrongs I’ve done to everyone.
    Damn you, bottle! Set me free from wanderings every night.
    Oh, leave me, leave me, go away, please leave me to my plight!

    Without your drug I lived for years,
    Oh, yes! I still had fears of failing this or that
    But now I’m like a drowning rat who’s left his ship too late.
    Too late to save myself, who knows?
    Who cares? Because, I’ll tell you friend, I, enjoy my booze!

  43. T B Q
    Just like you
    I’m of the view
    Vin Rosé
    Is good for you.
    And café
    Too!
    Toodle-oo!

    Decided not to bring in cheese and chocolate – no rhymes or accented e to show off! Though I’m addicted there too!

    But apparently it’s true TB, red wine and coffee are good for the ageing brain. Seems the secret is to have the coffee early in the day, drink plenty of water throughout the day, then a few glasses of red in the evening helps with digestion!

    Your verse is too good to be written by a drowning rat, anyway!

  44. Gone to soldiers, every one.

    I’m working on a poem TB. Thirty five verses. Doing the editing over the weekend.

    Patricia has something in the wind too.

  45. LOL! Just savouring No. 3 and The Minister has just arrived with TAKEAWAY! No washing up for TB tonight!

    Talk tomorrow!

    35 fkn verses GMAFB!

  46. TBQ – Trying to find an appropriate translation of the GMAFB, it occurred to me I could ask about another abbreviation. I see it so often that I feel daft having to ask, what does ‘lol’ stand for or mean? It’s clearly something very nice because I see it often with encouraging comments for people.

  47. It’s clearly something very nice because I see it often with encouraging comments for people.

    LOL! Sorry Patricia – I see Min has “explained” … when I saw Migs’ 35 verses! I freaked – I remember having to learn Hiawatha by heart and recite it …

  48. Well, as long as Miglo doesn’t hand copies out at the door and expect visitors to learn by heart I think we’ll survive whatever he is offering us.

    Started this a few hour ago and went off to look at Hiawatha! Just back and amazed that I haven’t sought out Longfellow before. I don’t remember any of the words of the verses that I too was made to learn by heart at school over half a century ago. But I do remember the rhythm of those verses, the beating of the tom- toms. Because of course there were no rhymes as such, only the regularity of each line with that internal rhythm with alliteration and music in the words themselves. Interesting too are lots of ideas about life in general which I probably didn’t appreciate as a child, like

    “As unto the bow the cord is,
    So unto the man is woman;
    Though she bends him, she obeys him,
    Though she draws him, yet she follows;
    Useless each without the other!”

    I wonder why nobody set this as a “Discuss!” topic for homework in my day?

    Interesting that Hiawatha is considered a bit lowbrow by literary critics these days and not much taught in schools. Apparently it is the ‘trochaic meter which gives it the primitive and incantatory tone with its insistent and drum-beat like rhythm.’ So there!

  49. I certainly remember most of I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains etc.

    I think that was one of the best things about modern day poetry, that it doesn’t have to follow set forms. One of my favorites which I studied at good old Canterbury Girls’ High was Chaucer.

    I found Chaucer fascinating. Here we were able without too much effort to understand an early English/Germanic language.

    For out of the old fieldes, as men saithe,
    Cometh al this new corne fro yere to yere;
    And out of old bookes, in good faithe,
    Cometh al this new science that men lere.

  50. If I keep posting here I’ll have to write some more!!!

    I never liked school much … thanks goodness for English (I couldn’t read until I was seven … then read everything I could lay my hands on … still do! (I read packaging labels??) My 12 yo g/son reads a 400 page novel in two days …

    … almost my last offering … I like simple … Chaucer et al would turn in their graves!

    COMMON SENSES

    “Do you like butterflies?”
    “I don’t know what you mean?”
    “See, you look at things
    Without really seeing”.

    “Have you ever really listened
    To the singing of a bird?
    Mm, that’s what I thought,
    Then you’ve never really heard.”

    “ What about plum pudding
    With brandy richly laced?
    Oh, no! You’re joking?
    You really have no taste!”

    “A rose, or dandelion,
    The difference, can you tell?
    You’re not going to tell me
    You can’t even smell!

    “Well…from this conversation,
    Of you I’ve learnt so much.
    And so I must inform you,
    You’re really out of touch…”

  51. Well, TBQ, you’re just going to write some more, aren’t you!

    Now I’ll have to smell a dandeliion!

    You do ‘simple’ very well!

  52. TB, a rough translation of Chaucer as per the quote is:

    For out of the fields as men say,
    Comes new grain from year to year,
    And out of old books, and which are taken on faith
    Comes the new science that people learn.

    Chaucer was very down to earth, but maybe everyone in the 14th century was down to earth.

    Can you imagine it, in the days without radio, television or computers the only entertainment is what you could imagine for yourself.

    Perhaps a reason why it’s unlikely that we will ever see another Shakespeare. Entertainment these days is all visual

    …just a thought.

  53. Can you imagine it, in the days without radio, television or computers the only entertainment is what you could imagine for yourself.

    Yes!

  54. Cruel, Migs, cruel … revenge for my PS “swipes” I guess … ;-)

    … and I read today that Henjack (coach) kept Lockyer (captain) off the field against Locky’s will (he has/had rib injury) … cruel indeed … (probably a bit of a poem or prose in there somewhere …)

  55. For those who wish to read this blockbuster you’ll need a coffee and an open mind. Some background:

    I was in an intense relationship with a psychologist who was always carrying on that we were Soulmates; that we knew each other from previous lives and that she was here to alter my life. I usually sat stunned whenever she talked about such things, but let her talk away because I was hopelessly in love and very impressionable.

    The relationship came to an abrupt end and during a time in my life when nothing was going right. In the month that the relationship ended, in July 193, I wrote this poem about the spiritual relationship she claimed we had and the pretend lives we shared. A bit over a week later I overdosed.

    Now, after all these years, I have taken the poem out of hiding. Here it is:

    Thy Soulmate

    Life 1

    I stand before the seven graves that mark my mortal toil,
    Where my spirit on its journey gave those bodies to the soil.
    Each life, you journeyed with me, and in distant lives we’ll travel too.
    Yet only now I ask this question; what is the bond I share with you?

    Awakened at my journey’s pause the ancient voices called.
    There one by one the secrets of our astral pledge are told.
    Listen with me, my friend, my dreams bring your questions to me.
    We share this eternal voyage, and these voices reveal our destiny.

    “You are placed upon this world to grow. If you cannot grow alone
    You may seek for one to grow with and together you shall learn.
    Be patient through your years of search, yet act wisely as you do.
    Trust in fate if you apply these virtues, for this one will look for you.

    In my life you found this person; the one now by your side,
    Two young spirits, with love but no wisdom to offer as your guide
    And growth was slow, but in the dormant years your love was master of your goals.
    A love so strong, beyond mortal passion, it lived within your souls.

    In your souls you kept your love and beyond the grave it grew.
    Past death you pledged to take this love into the world in lives anew:
    ‘We shall again search for each other, let not our mortal purpose offend.
    The years will be lonely without you, but I promise to join you, my friend.’”

    Life 2

    “Your search took its toll in my life and you accepted the company of others
    Who took pity on your loneliness, and you preyed on these make-believe lovers.
    You were hungry for love yet consumed only lust, feeding off minds disdain.
    For their fruits were so yielding, so easy to reach, but you quickly grew hungry again.

    In your empty mind you remembered your friend: ‘Come to this life for me.
    See how my spirit is idle. I do not grow. Will death be my saviour or thee?’
    As your life drifted further in darkness you felt deserted by your friend.
    Until a child was born to you, and you knew her soul. Your search was at its end.

    Through this life and then in death your bond remained. Your souls becalmed
    With the gift that your journey had endured these years unharmed.
    But true to the pledge of soulmates, no journey is worth the cost
    Without reviewing your life together and see no purpose had been lost.

    ‘My friend, you taught me pride. Where were my values before you came?
    Had by chance I’d missed our meeting I would never have felt the shame.
    I knew how to love yet I denied it to others. I reserved it only for you.
    And I ignored it when others felt it for me, as the selfish often do.

    My soul was reborn when your love reached me and it advanced for further growth.
    Come again with me to the lives beyond.’ “And you took the eternal oath:
    ‘We shall again search for each other, let not our mortal purpose offend.
    The years will be lonely without you, but I promise to join you, my friend.’”

    Life 3

    “They were troubled times in my life as the world had fallen to war.
    And you marched with violent armies and spilled blood with senseless awe.
    And you thought your soul was happy, at peace within these cruel surrounds.
    The world was how you liked it: Fearful of your charging sounds.

    In the ruins of a village cowered a lady, in hiding and in prayer
    To escape the death you’d spread, but her crying led you there.
    Without pity you took to end her life and feel the glory of your slay.
    But you looked in her eyes, and you knew her soul . . . you’d found your friend that day.

    In sparing your friend you spared your own soul though in life you weren’t aware
    That this meeting was chanced, long, long ago to enhance your earthly fare.
    But your meeting in death was planned, and this harmonious pantheon
    Two soulmates reflect their mortal passage as judgement was called upon.

    ‘In the theatre of war I lived by my valour. In mortals that virtue holds pride,
    But my pride was bestowed for the values of others, and for that, my innocence died.
    I forgot that pride was a reward of our journey if we paid the price of shame.
    In this life now passed you have taught me pity, when all I sought was fame.

    I don’t ask for forgiveness, for my soul is still young and I acted profane.
    But I ask we continue together.’ And you delivered your pledge again:
    ‘We shall again search for each other, let not our mortal purpose offend.
    The years will be lonely without you, but I promise to join you, my friend.’”

    Life 4

    “You paid dearly for your previous demeanours when in my life you journeyed remorse,
    And you buried yourself in pity, as this emotion was your rampant force.
    You gave in to the dreams of others, for their dreams were your greatest concern.
    Though planted within was the spark of incentive, but the fire didn’t burn.

    You beset upon dreamers your problems, and in doing, disguised your true scope.
    And they measured you on how you invited their credits: ‘Inside he denies there is hope’.
    Even strangers could not take leave of your pity as you sought to elicit their view.
    Until one you confronted lit that fire in your soul. Your friend had come for you.

    But your eternal friend felt the burden of searching and her soul took refuge in death.
    And though the fire was raging within you, you chose to follow her in rest.
    This life had been a tragic waste in terms of your mortal endeavour.
    But your soul had grown from the sacrifice and in death you reposed in that pleasure.

    ‘What value can I place on a soul when I exhibit no values at all?
    I inherited faith from you yet in that torrid world I could only stay small.
    But I am marked by the short time we shared. I wear the mark of a soul in debt.
    Faith is a virtue I’ll repay you forever. May I suffer should I forget.

    I can only declare my intentions; now choose us new lives for our journey beyond.
    Those lives will reveal my commitment to us.’ And your souls held firm in their bond:
    ‘We shall again search for each other, let not our mortal purpose offend.
    The years will be lonely without you, but I promise to join you, my friend.’”

    Life 5

    “You’d taken good stock of your lessons thus far and the world was turning to those
    Who could deliver much promise, and in my life, you were one they chose.
    Mankind was hungry for power, and the powers that be sent you forth for their gain.
    This age did not settle for compromise. In your thrust you destroyed what couldn’t be changed.

    To faraway lands you crusaded, to quell the minds and gods their people conceived.
    And claim these lands for your country, in exchange for the ways you believed.
    Making slaves of resisters who offered no penance, taking cities they dared to defend.
    Until your soul heard the cry of a young girl in chains; that cry was from your friend.

    No god has the power to transform a man’s heart once the soul has made other plans.
    The bond with your friend built the man you’d become that would bring you to these lands.
    Each day of your life was designed for this moment and your life was now to change.
    But in death these changes brought questions, and you sought that your friend would explain:

    ‘In your years on earth did you witness respect? Did man ever comprehend
    That the ways and the gods and belongings of others were their chosen right to tend?
    I taught you respect for these people, and true, in our times respect had no place.
    But man will change, and this past life prepared you for the future lives we face.

    I’ve lived through much turmoil for the sake of my soul and I’ll do it forever for you.
    Each life you’ve been loyal. Your bond is precious. I know what we must do:
    ‘We shall again search for each other, let not our mortal purpose offend.
    The years will be lonely without you, but I promise to join you, my friend.’”

    Life 6

    “In my life you constantly battled, for survival required strong will and strong heart.
    And you were respected by others for the standards you set, and those standards set you apart.
    If struggle was needed to obtain humble comforts then no effort was ever in waste.
    And rest gave you solace as you counted your blessings; you knew you had done what it takes.

    But as others too struggled around you, you without the resolve that they asked you to give.
    “If they cannot master their worldly trials let them perish. These are which I live’.
    You expected all mortals to denounce mortal favours and act alone in their labour like you.
    Until a girl seeking pittance took her pleas to your soul. Your friend sought the soul she knew.

    Had you planned a short life your friend’s timely counsel would have bore no fruit for the soul.
    She had chosen the moment knowing time was required to counter your resolve.
    In the course towards death let history recall you were blessed by those you’d denied.
    But you reserved all your tributes to your friend. Yes, the one now by your side.

    ‘I was a poor man but I asked for no pardons; I would settle my fate with ambition.
    But my strength in this value held contempt for the weak who settled to dwell in submission.
    My friend, you then taught me charity and I saw that this virtue is a gift best received
    By those who give freely their love, their pride, their pity, respect and faith, to those most in need.

    And, my friend, I have a need: To continue the journey we began long ago.
    May there never be an end to this beautiful bond. Let us recite the pledge we know:
    ‘We shall again search for each other, let not our mortal purpose offend.
    The years will be lonely without you, but I promise to join you, my friend.’”

    Life 7

    The seventh grave is mine. When I take my place as destiny decides
    I’ll know the reasons for this life together. But I wish to know before I die.
    I’ll never take for granted that in death our souls will bless this chapter of our bond,
    When here in life I can find the purpose of this mortal path we journey on.

    I review our early lessons and I am content that each was well intended.
    For we’ve been trialled by each in our short time together, and now this time has ended
    I reflect upon our meeting but the reasons for this meeting escape my asking mind.
    And again the ancients help me and they deliver the words that I tried to find:

    “The love for your friend never left you and it is destined to remain
    But too often this life grew beyond your intentions and you expected your friend feel the same.
    You are tormented that you must journey alone though this love is still strong.
    Leave your feelings to fate; they’ll again bring you together. Remember, the journey is long.’

    Your friend has delivered her teaching and in the coming years you will prosper from the guidance.
    But wait until the years unfold and you’ll learn the reasons for her silence.
    But we feel obliged to release you of torment and her teaching we can foretell:
    Your friend has taught you patience, and she asks you study this virtue well.

    Thy soulmate, I glance beyond the seventh grave and I see our souls together.
    And I can hear them pledge: “We can make this journey last forever.
    We shall again search for each other, let not our mortal purpose offend.
    The years will be lonely without you, but I promise to join you, my friend.”

  56. After all these years, Miglo, have you heeded her teachings? Have you been patient? Have you been lonely?

    Sometimes a friend/lover who takes on the role of mentor, becomes ‘indispensible’ and then breaks our heart by leaving us teaches us more about ourselves and our capacity to survive alone than if they stayed around. I doubt that was their intention????

    Then having learned that, do we really want them to come back, or have room for them if by chance they do?

  57. I liked the first movie TB, but I can’t remember much about the sequals. Come to think of it, there is a slight similarity to my poem. Unintended, of course.

  58. ** Unintended *** Absolutely! I did not intend to create a simile in any way.

    The depth of thought and emotions struck me straight away … (ie would I bare my soul as you have) – very brave, Hiawatha, very brave …

  59. “Aussie Man Bias”

    I met a loud rabid cur from Queensland,
    Who said: “I am from the country, so there!
    See my spray mark where I piss in the sand,
    This is my realm!” He was so unaware,
    His wrinkled lip and sneer of cold disdain
    Told his passion to be King of The Coup.
    To be the one independent to gain
    The total respect of the elected few.
    And on his web page these words would appear:
    “My name is Bob Katter of Kennedy.
    Look on my works, I am without a peer!”
    Yes truth! Strewth he is maniacal, no fear!

    With thanks to Mr Shelley and his poem Ozymandias.

  60. Was Shelley psychic? Ozymandias!
    He wrote that two hundred years ago.
    Did he really mean ‘Aussie Man Bias’
    Predicting the mad Bob Katter show?

    PS libby – I’m green with envy that you saw that rhyme! Very clever! Mind you, I’m very fond of Bob – wouldn’t call him a mad dog, even though he is insane at times.

  61. Patricia Dear, I understand
    Your fondess respect for the man.
    I but suspect, it is his hat,
    On his lap, which our Pat looks at!

    I was going to be more risqué but I am not yet aware of correct protocol. The rhyme called out for another word and a different last line, Mae West style!

  62. A celebratory acrostic for our Julia.

    “Julia is Not a Dog!”

    Jovial red kelpie, movin’ the flock forward.

    Unashamedly a hard working, battling bitch.

    Lively in the muddy dam, eyes ever shoreward

    Infractions she has none, barking in perfect pitch.

    Australia’s first underdog, scratchin’ at her itch!

  63. This shows not only my age but also changing times and I like to think I have developed a bit (my kids are almost and over 40 years old – this was writ 40 years ago … bit of history bit of fun (I hope!)

    LADIES LAMENT!!

    Ladies of the world unite!
    C’mon gals, we’re gonna fight!
    Down with men and their traditions
    Leave the babes and apron ribbons.

    Don the overalls, hob nail boots,
    Butchers aprons, business suits.
    Don’t expect the midday movie,
    Shopping’s out and so’s TV.

    Hairdo’s gone, got no time,
    And it’s no use, on the assembly line.
    Pardon me? I’ve got it wrong?
    Been a male chauvinist for far too long?

    Oh! You want to be doctors, judges and lawyers,
    Not dirty mechanics and garbos and sawyers.
    You don’t want a job from eight to five-thirty,
    You want to be free, not bloody dirty!

    The life you lead is dull and useless?
    You’ve had four kids and still its fruitless?
    And so you moan and groan and get bitchy,
    But believe me ladies, male feet get itchy.

    But of every ten women who’ve been liberated,
    Nine of these ladies have reiterated.
    And of all of the women they’re a minor percent
    And I really don’t think they’ll ever relent!

    TB

    (… and no I’m still not a fan of Germaine Greer! But I can assure you, The Minister, is ten times the partner GG would ever be!)

  64. TB Queensland. Thank you for your animated reflection. Males and females…how our relationship will change over time!

    An Aura of Indigo

    Women of a certain age,
    Not quite at their last stage,
    Dress in soothing water hues
    And wear matching coloured shoes.

    They embrace the teals and greens,
    The colours shunned by the teens.
    The purples and indigo midnight,
    Shimmer and liquefy in one’s sight.

    Forward they flow, a living stream,
    Not yet a nightmare, nor a dream.
    In common sisterhood they unite,
    Wearing clothes, no longer skin-tight.

    Shattering the rose coloured glasses,
    Leading to marriage and other farces,
    Now wise and worldly women they know,
    Raging sex hormones were once their foe.

    Pure indigo is now their aura.
    Joy and laughter, such plethora,
    As their families are now raised;
    Job well done and fully appraised.

  65. Lovely, libby!

    Colours and “age”(?) YES women dress for their age –

    Clever/smart recognise, “too young”, or, “too old” fer me …

    But us blokes get it, really easy!

    BTW, very happily married for 42 wonderful years! So I relate to the last two lines (daughter next door, son just up the road – our “village”)

  66. TB, sorry to hear you’re no fan of Greer! I wrote this when political wives were much in the news a while back. Soon we’ll be having a ‘first dude’ in the Lodge so the times are changing, but I was imagining the thoughts of a political wife on the right or left at a time when G.G. was on one of her periodic visits here.

    Germaine Rules, Okay?

    You should all be furious
    How we the wives
    Feature in the lives
    Of many Aussie pollies!

    Aren’t any of you curious
    To know if we have pined
    While out sight and out of mind
    As they enjoy their funded jollies?

    Please understand it is injurious
    And appallingly unkind
    To ask us to forgive and put behind
    The shame of all their latest follies.

    We live by rules of St. Censurius
    At home with family confined
    Unless social duties are assigned
    To entertain some boring nobodies.

    Don’t you find it spurious
    It’s only when they’re in a bind
    P.R.O.s some way will find
    To put us centre stage, like dollies!

    How did we forget that liberation writ which caused such wonder,
    That changed the rhymes that sang so loud inside our heads?
    Women of the left or right, it’s time! Time to leave those fractious feds.
    Please forgive us, dear Ms Greer. You’re still germane and welcome here – Downunder.

  67. Well, I so am moved.
    Dear Pat has approved,
    Daughters such as me,
    To fly with wings free.

    PS….. not in rhyme. Patricia was a pedogue in “too” many stages of my my life, so I thought. Thank you Mrs H…..!…Ms W…….Without nurturing women….where would we be?

    Such fun to find us now again together!

    PS ….you briefly taught me French, you optimistc wench!

  68. LOL! Dedicated to:

    The Minister, Mum, daughter, daughter in law and the most beautiful grandaughter in the world (9 going on 29!):

    Well I’m just a Dad,

    And I won’t think its bad,

    That the girls in my life

    Get the same roll of dice!

    In a world that has been,

    Too often it seems …

    Just the playground, of blokes and their dreams!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  69. TB, aka the sentimental bloke.

    For you TB.

    There are times in your life when you come across a gentleman
    The true sense of the word
    A bloke who honors women and takes much joy and appreciation
    Such blokes we honor.

  70. Well thanks, Min … I must admit you and yer mates above forced me to write the above … the attempt in about 30 years … for that I doff’s me ‘at to youse all! :-D

  71. “A Sonnet: The Balm”

    How do poets breathe creativity?
    Is it a poet’s work shrouded in silk,
    Tying years of secret activity,
    Never shared with another of their ilk?
    Sadly unearthed once the poet has died,
    Prompting family to whisper, “How is this?
    Why ever did she feel the need to hide?
    Did she believe we would mock and dismiss?”
    Is it recognized success and acclaim,
    Of a poet fondly decorated;
    So, highly admired and quoted by name,
    Body of work to be celebrated?

    In the end it matters not why one wrote,
    For baring one’s soul, makes one less remote.

  72. Yes, and exposed to me! ‘Bearing’ indeed! So, I’m still having to correct your spelling for you, libbylodge! I see that your language hasn’t improved over the years, either!

    The poem has merit which I will discuss with you later.

  73. Insiders no change. Painting the Coalition in every positive way possible and doing the opposite for Labor.

    Their allegiance can be seen in an opening piece where they have a bunch of newspapers being laid down one on top of the next and the last one and most prominent, The Australian.

  74. I am now totally confused Patricia, much like a mother bear; a creature I much admire. Has a magic elf corrected my spelling?

    *Gonna Be A bear

    In this life I’m a woman. In my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear. When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

    Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that, too.

    When you’re a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.

    If you’re mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them, too. I could deal with that.

    If you’re a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

    Yup, gonna be a bear

    *Found online.

  75. My daughter has couple “book’s worth ” of poems for kid’s one on pets and one on veggies … we are in the process of publishing so they are definitely copyright … ©

    She gave me permission to choose one and post it (this is one of the shorter ones):

    CORN

    I could have sworn, I heard my corn
    Whisper something strange…
    But Mum said, “No – how far you’ll go,
    Not to eat what’s on your plate!”

    A yellow cob, (his name was Bob),
    Whispered, once again.

    I shut my ears, and closed my eyes,
    And opened up my “gate”,
    “Stop, stop!” I heard him say
    “Please don’t, will you just wait?”

    Some kids don’t think we’re tasty,
    So would you, tell them please..?
    Us corns, we come in different ways,
    And there’s more of us than peas!

    In muffins, salads, popcorn,
    Hot barbeques and steamed!
    With mashed potatoes, on the cob,
    Or yummy corn that’s creamed!”

    “So promise me, you’ll tell them,
    and give us corn, THREE CHEERS!
    We’re the only veggie in the world,
    That listens – we have ears!”

    Copyright © 2010 TB Queensland

  76. Was just thumbing through an old book and found something that I thought might make a half good pome. It’s in ye olde Australian.

    Has it ever struck you,
    It being a rum state of affairs,
    That slugging a bloke for a place to sleep while the sportman rakes in £50,000,
    A fellow who devotes his life to the allieviation of suffering might never earn that sum in twenty years.

  77. Some poems I remember from school, authors unknown:

    The pig, if I am not mistaken
    Provides us with sausages, ham and bacon.
    Let others say his heart is big . . .
    I call it stupid of the pig.

    And:

    She passed the car without any fuss,
    She passed a cart of hay.
    She tried to pass a swerving bus . . .
    Alas, she passed away.

  78. Migs, apart from I love a sunburnt country a land of sweeping plains (which I always wondered about given that my Nana had this thing about brooms) is Miss Klemm this is by Robert Louis Stevenson.

    The friendly cow all red and white,
    I love with all my heart:
    She gives me cream with all her might,
    To eat with apple-tart.

    And I’ve forgotten the last bit.

  79. How’s this, Min?

    The friendly cow all red and white,
    I love with all my heart:
    She gives me cream with all her might,
    To eat with apple-tart.
    If I eat too much
    Then stay away
    Dessert will make you fart!

    (OK, I do have four grandsons!)

  80. TB, it’s a step up from beans, beans good for your heart, they more you eat the more you…well aren’t nice to be close to especially in bed at 2am.

  81. well aren’t nice to be close to especially in bed at 2am.

    Mmmmm … voice of experience, methinks! :lol:

  82. TB congratulate your very clever and talented daughter! A chip off the old block? Let us know when printed copies are for sale. I look forward to buying an autographed copy, if that’s possible!

  83. “Trouble and Strife”

    Suddenly, I am a Mother-In-Law.
    One of those who inspire the in-jokes;
    Welcomed at a party; much like “coleslaw”,
    Telling all there to give away the smokes!

    It seems you can no longer help your child
    With any free advice in their young life;
    Lest you anger the giant; not mild,
    As she morphs into your “trouble and strife”.

    Now this is tongue in cheek, I must admit.
    I am pleased my lad has found his soulmate;
    Truly, I really do not wish to spit,
    As they now have managed to procreate.

    My lovely daughter-in-law is his fate.
    My dear son is blessed to have such a mate.

  84. Potential Mothers-in-law
    Shouldn’t feel sore.

    Just think – no more
    Noses all gore -
    Socks on the floor -
    Won’t do his chore -
    Fights with next door -
    Going guarantor -
    Girl friends galore -
    Talk of “Peace Corps” -
    Even “Going to war!” -

    How many years more
    With all that to ignore?
    It’s now well past a score!
    Come on! for sure
    You can find some rapport,
    You might even adore
    This girl he’s all for.
    So don’t be a bore,
    Be a great ma-in-law!

  85. Again, tongue in cheek.

    Patricia, it is so easy to see,
    Your dear son has not yet taken a wife.
    Once he does, do be sure to write to me
    And I’ll tell you how to remove the knife
    Secretly plunged so firmly in your back.
    “Gone and now forgotten!” will read your plaque!

    For a son is a son until he takes a wife;
    A daughter’s a daughter for the rest of your life!

  86. Libby! My boy, for a start,
    Would aim straight for the heart.

    So when shove comes to push
    He won’t beat about the bush.
    He’ll make sure there’s no secret,
    Almost pass around a leaflet.

    Years ago, My Goodbye Kid,
    That’s exactly what he did.
    Hugged me at his farewell party,
    Then left for good, hale and hearty.

    What we have as our touchstone,
    When sons the coop have flown,
    Is if from time to time they phone.
    That keeps us happy. Then we let well alone!

  87. The Toads Not Taken

    Two toads submerged in a greenish pond,
    And sorry I could not capture both
    And be doubly blessed, long I stood
    And looked deeply as far as I could
    To where they now hid in the pond growth;

    Then saw the mother, caught in my snare,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because she was slimy, without care;
    Though as for that amphibian there
    She was like the toads I saw the same,

    And all that morning equally lay
    In brackish water oily and black.
    I kept young toads for another day!
    But knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this when I’m high
    Somewhere in the dark later that night:
    Two toads submerged in a pond, and I–
    I caught the fat one willing to die,
    Man; why is it I now feel contrite?

  88. Re. The toad not taken.

    Left alone
    Could it be
    An aspect
    Of your own
    Forgotten self?

    Those who share
    All their lives
    With others
    Perhaps yearn
    For what’s beyond.

    Or are you
    Empathising
    With its grief
    Not recognising
    Its need to grow?

  89. My Australia

    My country is an adolescent youth;
    A wayward brash and confident man child.
    All one has to do, to find this a truth,
    Is to look to our heroes; always wild.

    Convict times forged an angry disrespect.
    The base metal was hammered until tough;
    Fired, fanned, white hot glowing unchecked,
    Fire fed, irreverent, hard, full of bluff.

    See the inflamed, defamed swagman and thief,
    Waltz his way to a cool billabong grave.
    Sing loud of misguided indignant grief
    And praise this impulsive poacher and knave.

    The Kelly gang terrorised the police
    And made merry with their cauldron and strife.
    Ned, clad in fired armour, broke the peace
    Defiance sealed his fate; “Such is life!”

    A hero is made of famed dolts and cads;
    There is Shane Warne; the philandering fool.
    Ben Cousins; one of the drugged likely lads
    But if you can handle a ball, “You rule!”

    This nation only stops for just two days;
    One is the running of the Melbourne Cup.
    On the football grand final most will gaze;
    All Aussie punters in these times, do sup!

    On Our Coat of Arms is displayed proudly;
    The kangaroo and emu so unique.
    Neither can retreat; we brag so loudly,
    Yet we eat them with a diner’s critique!

    When does a nation finally mature
    And embrace all heroes pure and true?
    To reward those who have much to endure,
    Yet still enrich their world; this selfless few.

  90. Had the g/kids with us this week and been discussing the ADF, and the three Commandos about to go on trial, at GT. Reminded me of this one:

    MILITARY MAN

    He’s a military man.
    You can always tell
    By the way he stands
    With his head held high.

    His hair is so neat
    And its not very long
    And on his feet
    Like the sun in the sky
    His boots they shine!
    Must take a very long time

    To make them look like that.
    Then there’s his hat.
    Well it covers his hair,
    Is that why its there?
    Or to keep him warm and cozy?

    He’s looking my way
    But what did I say?
    Not a word!
    And he couldn’t have overheard
    My thoughts, or perhaps, I am too nosy!

  91. Hi Miglo, I know I passed on a comment from a third party that this Literature thread was too long and needed refining into sections. I can now see why I was reluctant to suggest how! This is just a general observation about these several sub groupings now they are here. I can see why there was a need felt for something to happen, but I couldn’t myself see exactly what and how one could organise and direct the flow of comment that comes in.

    But now we have these categories and I’m faced with the dilemma I had at Lavartus Prodeo where the webmaster thought, and it seems still does, that my ‘pomes’ much as they were appreciated, he said. didn’t fit in the main body of general political posts. He wanted me to place them in the whimsy or ‘open’ posts they have there regularly. He didn’t say so, but I got the impression they somehow interfered with the serious tone of their discussions.

    It was a Larvatus Prodeo competition for political satire in verse which set off some mental mechanism in me (which doesn’t seem to have a braking feature) as well as the sharp minds of their contributors. So when a debate there stimulated more ideas in verse their site seemed their natural home, in the thick of the argument. To shuffle them off to a ‘whimsy’ post seemed a waste of time and space to me.

    My own strong feeling which I tried to express to him was that satire, whether in prose, verse, caricature or film clip belongs right in the middle of the discussion of the relevant issue. So to have here at Cafe Whispers now a ‘Politics’ sub-thread in the ‘Literature’ section suggests you might prefer political comments in verse in that section. It sets off for me the same hesitation I have at LP when responding to a lively discussion there or having something already in verse which is appropriate to a new and topical thread that comes up.

    I’m aware that a web site is a living breathing organism and can change shape and direction at the discretion of the web master so I’ll be interested to see if others have a different view and use these “Literature” categories in the way you envisage.

  92. Patricia, this is just a personal preference. I like the way that your poetry fits in with the topic, be it a discussion of politics or not. For example, the topic might be T’bull and so you follow through with a poem about T’bull.

    I think to pop poetry over to a separate topic means that when a person expresses an opinion via poetry that poetry isn’t included in the conversation. Poor poetry..sent to Coventry ;(

    It also means that if people want to reply to your poem about T’bull they’re not certain where to put the comment.

    I think that a general Poetry Heading is fine for times when for example the Topic is T’bull but a person has a sudden inspiration to write a poem about siamese cats.

  93. Thanks, Min. That’s my hunch too, but still only a hunch. Maybe others have had more experience with this sort of thing.

  94. Patricia. I can’t see the difference. If you are on topic (and even if you’re not..Migs is a very benevolent Blog Master), what does it matter if a person writes in sentences or write in verse.

    Each blog has it’s own rules. I think that I can speak on behalf of the crew at the Café that your pomes are very much appreciated. I’ve just put up a topic about Abbott and his avoidance of Afghanistan. If you feel suitably inspired a pome would be very much appreciated as part of the general thread.

    Conclusion: whether a person writes in sentences or in verse it’s all valid commentary.

  95. Hi Patricia, sorry for the late response but I’m having one of those days. I developed an itch at 9am and I only just got around to scratching it (yep, I’ve been too busy to scratch myself).

    I can only agree with what Min says. Your pomes are welcome here and I have no issue with whatever topic you want to post them under. Nobody here at the Café would have any issues. It’s your Café just as much as anyone elses.

    Must dash. Migs.

  96. It seems to be eons since the Café has ventured into things poetical, the proof being the date of the last post on this topic (shock!!).

    And so I thought to add something for a mellow Friday afternoon.

    I close my eyes
    I feel your lips full, tentative but only for a moment
    Seeking mine as they always have
    Beyond all imaginings.
    They were not certain what they were seeking nor certain what they had found
    Your hands your mouth wanting to give pleasure yet anxious about themselves being pleased
    Not deserving, not trusting?
    Yet you were there, beyond all imaginings.

    Trust is a statement of fact.
    And still you were there, beyond all imaginings.

  97. Lovely, Min. Tender and true. Thanks for reminding us of this thread. I’d love to be able to add some something with the idealism of young romance you’ve given us. My one and only effort into love poetry is

    Downunder Proposal

    Hey Chookie!
    Here’s one Aussie guy
    Who’d love to try
    Your cookies!

    Then again,
    On second thoughts,
    I’ve heard reports
    You’ve got a brain.

    But if you guarantee
    Just meat ‘n potato,
    No talk of Plato,
    Then you’ll do me.

  98. Patricia, the mention of meat n’potato means that it must have been true love :D

    So continuing with the topic food and other things edible..

    Which is sweeter
    Honey or thou
    Would you look in my eyes for a moment
    Let me see if I can stay,
    Ten kisses short as one,
    A summer’s day will seem an hour

    **And that’s about as far as I’ve got for the moment. I love the word ‘thou’ it says so much in only 4 letters.

  99. Keep going, Min. You’re obviously a romantic soul. I think I must have become a cynic in my old age. Usually ‘love’ conjures up ‘sex’ for me, which only became enjoyable once I got over all the usual inhibitions and prohibitions, which explains why I think like this:

    Post Coitum Omnes Animales Tristes Sunt

    “Post coitum” all beasts are sad.

    The girls sense that they’ve been had
    And the boys feel a bit of a cad.
    No wonder they’re sad.
    If I were a Dad
    I’d tell my lad,
    Even my lass if one I had,
    “Get out there and copulate like mad.”

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