Inside out

Some poems and reflections on life


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Magic Jack

He stands and shuffles down the street
muttering and cursing to no one
shouting incantations and casting
spells on the mindless crowds
that rush from somewhere to nowhere

His words transform the world
reading the faces as lines in a book
directing the players to take
their parts on the stage

Reality shifts and turns as
his words shape the world
We think we are going about
our own business
oblivious to the control he has
over all of us

He rummages in our left over rubbish
Looking for our discarded talismans
Pocketing the objects that he will later
align on the shelf in his small room
finding order in the chaos.

 


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Meet Geoffrey

Geoffrey stands at the side of the road
A fine, frosty morning
Enjoying the quiet solitude
As the sheep across the fence ignore him

A car screams down the road
Coming to a stop by the drive way

“Watch out for Geff”, she calls
“For who?”
“For Geoffrey”
“What?”

Whoof!
Pain explodes in my chest
The ground rises to meet my head
I look up to the sky and see
A large goat staring down

“Oh, hello … you must be Geoffrey.”


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Sound surfing

Noise crashes onto the shore of my being
Random, rainbow coloured sounds
Words escape, jump free over the waves of dissonance
Escaping momentarily into the sunlight of comprehension
Then dive back into the ocean of sound

I sit sipping my coffee,
observing and unobserved
As I plunge into the waves
Waiting for one to carry my thoughts
Before crashing me back to the shore.


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Going home

If I had it all over again, what would I do?

I stand in front on the house where I played,
My older, future self looking in
How could I ever have imagined my life to be,
way back then?

I remember a time that I cannot return to.

Lying on the floor listening to records
Riding my bike across to the next town
Mucking around in Dad’s workshop.

I struggle to remember what once was.

The main street is now paved with brick
Chewing gum covered asphalt is gone
So too the seat where we ate hot chips after school.

Some things still remain, frozen in time.

The paint on the old church peels away at exactly the same spots
The town hall remains unchanged but no longer shows movies
The school, the park, the pool are just like when I left

And yet it has all changed

New shops, cafes on the high street
Houses fill in the paddocks I once crossed to school
The pub, where fathers got drunk on a Friday night,
is now a boutique hotel.

If I had it all over again, what would I do?
Would anything really be different?


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I see you

In the distance, a fleeting shadow
between the trees,

Deep leafy undergrowth
covers rotting leaves

In the corner of my eye
I see movement

But when I look – you are gone.

I search for signs of your existence
Footprints in the soft mud
Excrement carelessly dropped

I stand still, waiting,
holding my breath.


I see you standing, waiting
there silently

Looking intensely through
the thick growth

I move cautiously behind the trees
Camouflaged in shadows

But you still stare straight at me

A dangerous invader of my territory
Your scent wafts over the breeze
A rancid stench of unwashed clothes

I stand still, waiting
holding my breath.

 


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Distractions from writing a single poem

The front porch sags in one corner
Needing repair before someone
Rolls off to ankle turning disaster

The back deck rail is almost
Rotten through and must be
Replaced before total collapse

Black, slick mold covers
The entire deck inviting
A fast slide to the emergency room

Damp still rises to in the corner
Of the bedroom rotting the
Carpet away to nothing

And the back of the garage
Is entirely blocked off with junk,
May have lost a cat in there

And then there is the dust
Behind the TV, the bookshelf
On top of the fridge

A house repaired and clean
We could sell it tomorrow
but not a word written … until now.


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Patterns

Clouds rain dark shadows
Causing mist to blanket the hills
Light breaks through briefly
Illuminating the broken;

Mist swirls in the palm
Of my outstretched hand
Contained in a globe
to be shaken;

Snow falls on a miniature village
People unseen scurry from home to work
Unseen and unknown
Going nowhere;

We look for the hand of God
Discerning patterns in the chaos
Form within void
The imprint of meaning on our lives

Event without cause
Action without reaction
Confuses our senses
And leaves us adrift in a sea of random non-sense

Trees whisper soft meaning to each other
Through mycochondrial networks
Connecting a forest
of multi-species conflict and cooperation

I sit
alone in my room
writing
this poem.