Archive for November, 2012

Our bush corner tamed by

Sandstone retaining walls terracing slope.

Along the fire trails we go

Rough and rocky

Search out sandstone crops

Dig it out, load it up.

Cut, shape & build.

War? Man vs Nature?


A small corner controlled momentarily.

Quickly entropy rises, chaos erupts,

Like Sisyphus, begin again!!

Roger & Stephen battling it out with Nature. (probably around 1980)

Roger & Stephen battling it out with Nature. (probably around 1980)

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Fighting this felt like …

The bush pushes its presence.


Wildlife, plantlife

Beautiful, benign.

Noxious, toxic.

Lantana clearing before fire season.

Machetes cut swathes

Through tangle thorny vines

That bite back.

we were fighting this.

Rope roots, drag them out.

Burn it all! Vengefully.

Day’s end.

Scratched, cut, sore, spent.

Know we have not defeated

Our Hydra-like adversary.
















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Ahah!  You’re Roger’s boy?

He’s became locally renowned.

First name sufficient identification,

Celebrity – it makes for myth.

Yes! I’m one of Roger’s boys.

Effusive praise, expert advise (footy)

Uncomfortable silence , sarcasm – or worse.

Change needed, playful and …

Mmmm! He’s Max’s father.


Weeelll! Roger’s Mum’s husband.

Language shift, relationships intact, ownership disrupted.*


* This game of mine sometime caused people to read different meanings into our family relationships. Some made assumptions that I was adopted or that Roger was my step-father.

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The Chilli Plant

Front porch,

The ornamental chilli plant

Heavy with small round chillis.

Do you like chillis?

Yeah! But these look really hot.

No! Dad eats them by the handful.

Oh! OK.

Handful, mouth full.

I’m burning up.*

Water! Water!

J‘s cracking up.

Ice-cream tub devoured.

Pleased to meet you.

Successful early impression??


* Truth be known, I don’t think these chillies are excessively hot … but they were hot enough to demolish my bravado.

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Stroll to the night river

Difficult, overgrown.


By day, verdant.

Canopied, vines threading thick

Under-foot, wild growth.

At night, eerie beauty.

We take that stroll.

Easing down the steep path

I take her arm.

Gesture accepted.

Am I trembling?

Or is that tremor the shaky movement of time stopped?

The riverbank – today it looks manicured, then it was wild growth.

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Cool & laid-back takes a back seat.

A compelling need to contribute launches

Sir! Sir!
Hands thrust up, … or not.

Garry, Max what’s got into you today?

Blood pumping, rushing oxygen around – at speed,

Everything awake, alert, charged, hyper-…

Keep moving, keep talking,

Or pressure builds

Our hearts will burst.

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Peace & quiet

Sometimes isolating, wistful.

Distant city lights beckon

Transport timetables broken down
(ie Mum’s using her car).

Sit, watching still river waters

Mirroring the moon


Music …

And for the muffled engine that precedes

Headlights, high-beam,

Piercing through black trees.

Stillness disturbed.



Couple seeking privacy?

Someone lost?


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Sitting, waiting at the El Alamein I felt at home.

Sitting at the El Alamein

I like this place

Where I’m waiting for

Arrival of classmates – English excursion,

The Metro Theatre, Kings Cross

The Metro Theatre, Kings Cross.*

An “old” man sits down.

Acknowledgement –  nod, smile,

Prompts invitation

In language confronting

To join him … for his enjoyment.

Meekly: “I’m only a schoolboy!”.

Classmates arrive! On time!


* I can’t recall why Ms Purcell & Mr Young had arranged for a visit to this theatre. They were intent on opening our eyes and minds and took every chance to place us in a more urban, vibrant context. Conversations (some 40 years after the event) with Jenny, Ruth, & Garry suggest it may have been Man of La Mancha. I’m not sure. I think Hair! was performed in this theatre but that was a few years earlier than this event.

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Conceding growing maturity

Of the school AND

The student body.

Senior students* allocated

A common room.

Undergoing functional flexibility

It quickly becomes

Change room for

Senior boys football and

Senior girls hockey,


Frowns of form masters indicate

Genders “stripping down” together

Does not constitute maturity.

Common room becomes UNcommon.


* The room may have been a Prefect’s Room rather than a Senior Students Common Room. I can’t recall.









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Strong identification with footballing exploits

Of Bill Cosby*.

What fun if we could emulate

Temple Nut Squad antics.

Katoomba kicks off,

A NHS teammates gathers, runs

Wrong direction

Singing:  Woop-woop-woop-woop

Sounding like Curly from The 3 Stooges.

All agog, stunned.

We crack up, then settle down & play.

Coach Ellem leaves, disgusted.


This is Bill Cosby talking about his footballing days with Temple University.


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