SOME POEMS BY GREG BARRON
Magic Moments – The Soul Exposed - 16 February 1999
I went to attitudinal healing classes,
to get my attitude healed.
It was wounded and behaving
like a suppurating sore.
Turning life’s simple processes
from joy into aimless struggle –
clouded in regrets and enmity,
with everything a bore.
I quickly found that it would not respond
to creams and simple salves,
but had first to be dismantled,
and most of it thrown out.
Not only that, but it was held up
by the things that I did,
and defined by what I didn’t.
Philosophy and dissections of its anatomy
only served to strengthen it,
and justify its lies.
The only way to rout it out
and create a brighter one,
was by dropping all my judgements
of life, especially mine.
By turning every little action
into something sacred,
by a simple thing called care.
Care for every move I make,
down to the smallest detail,
and let the larger picture find
its own way from ’neath the veil.
Giving every process equal value, eliminating fault
serves to inculcate true meaning,
whilst freeing mystery from its vault.
No need to be a hero,
or keep gurus on the shelf,
or live life vicariously,
in wish and dream and fantastic
apparitions of the self.
Just back again to the job in hand,
’cos magic lies in the moment,
and the moment in the mind,
which, when still enough will free us
from what we didn’t understand.
We’re simple creatures underneath
the blame and pain and guilt.
Born of failure to appreciate
that we’re all much the same,
and the simple process of playing the game
of action and response in time,
is what the world is made of
and how all lives are built.
The Wrong Tonic
I’m a tetra-hydrocannabinolic,
and an inveterate diabolic alcoholic.
My need for speed accelerates as
through my life I frolic.
Then just to cap it off, I’m a nicotinerolic.
I live in dreams, all drug-induced,
my mind has been seduced.
The paranoia slowly grows,
it too has become chronic.
The voices now come floating through:
my inner self’s gone sonic.
It’s visions next, and then my feet
will fail to feel the floor.
A plague of drugs has infected me,
I’d rather have bubonic.
Preamble to the Australian Constitution October 1999
As Australians we stand proudly as a people of many and diverse origins, united by the love of our country and by our common values, ideals and goals.
We are strengthened by the contribution of many cultures, especially that of the Aboriginal Australians who have a uniquely Australian heritage.
Ever vigilant, we resolutely commit ourselves to out independence as we contribute to a civilised international community.
We believe in the primacy of individual freedoms, under laws subject to our democratic government, in pursuance of an egalitarian society.
With pride in our origins and the continuous evolution of our society, hope in our future, and faith in our destiny, we place our trust in each other and in this constitution.
Preamble to the Australian Constitution – colloquial version
We, the people who now live here with the Blackfellas (who did get here first), though mostly a rough-cut and irreligious lot, thank Christ we’ve been given such a good break.
We’ve got the best country, and woe-betide any bastard who tries to take it off us.
The same goes for any smart-arse who gives any lip to any of us, our mates or our sheilas, unless we deserve it, O.K.?
Dinosaurs Rule O.K.?
For 165 million years it seems
the dinosaurs did reign supreme.
Small of mind and big on presence,
all other forms they saw as peasants.
Their potential, both in form and movement,
they had long exhausted – with no room for improvement.
They overplayed their hand and kept
back self-conscious life which incipiently crept
around the forest floor and wept
at all the possibilities.
An asteroid did come at last
and consigned them neatly to the past,
so that those who crept on the forest floor
could at last express what they had in store.
And although life since then had become
rapidly more civilised, less stoic,
it’s not easy to kick a habit
of the whole mesozoic.
So, this tendency to fight and kill potential
is seen today up on the hill.
Binding us to the status quo,
in fear we are ruled by our greatest foe.
Big on power, small of mind,
the analogue’s not hard to find.
The Polysaur now fills this void,
Oh, for another asteroid!
Eat out my eyes you black necromancers —
just before I die.
Three days I’ve wandered motherless,
now here I lie forlorn.
My only thought divided:
If only one of us wasn’t born.
In a paddock not of my design,
separated from my flock,
my Mum got drafted from me
just after she was shorn.
Now here we are, you eye me off,
eyes clever, yet so cold.
Who set you upon me?
What gives you the right
to prey so cruelly callous
on those you know can’t fight?
Then you’ll eat my heart out
as the foxes spread my ribs.
A moment you have waited for,
silently in the wings.
You’re part of mother nature,
but you only nuture yours.
Is there no soft part of your avian heart
which just briefly considers my plight?
Can your nature red,
not just wait till I’m dead?
Must you turn my last day into night?
As you watch me edge to the next world blind,
I wonder still who runs your mind.
Heathen beast or messenger of the spirit world,
you’ve learned to wait,
you have no haste.
So black and sleek,
such occult grace.
Patience a part of your exquisite taste.
“Rene-Rene” (Kink) - 2004
As a child at play, Rene loved his pink.
Yet at puberty found that not even the stink
stayed his fascination with a certain darker part,
which till then he’d known best as the font of the fart.
Yes, Rene liked encounters of the third kind.
He gave no quarter, and he came from behind.
His tackle was a weapon which seldom missed its mark.
They watched him in the showers, they feared him on the park.
He played in black and white, and he hated the Blues,
But ?twas when he went the brown got the crowds out of their pews.
An Ernest young man, and I’m glad to say,
this centre-half-back was less sad than gay,
when he dropped his anchor and docked in Pooh Bay.
A clever gender-bender who could score from any angle,
he kicked from square to square, and never missed the dark triangle.
A back-door bandit who knew no retreat,
a giant of the game — and ever so sweet.
Olympic Favours – Shafts of Gold - 2004
I’ve trained my self-importance
since I was very small,
and it’s grown now so enormous
that I’d like to tell you all
how to grow one just like mine…
Blind yourself to any view
that doesn’t always honour you,
and you’ll soon see that what you touch
and what you say, and what you do,
and what you think, I’ve found
will turn as if by alchemy into sacred ground.
While anything you know not of
lacks truth, I know because
I’m Kevan, (Kevan with an “A”)
Gosper — God that’s good to say!
So, if you want in life to win,
learn this and then invoke it:
Identify your finest point,
grip it, and then stroke it.
Although I’ve done this all my life,
One thing I’ve never told:
?tho I’m not yet a deity,
what I touch now turns to gold.
In this Olympic Family life I lead,
when favours I do seek
from a little Pacific nation
or an African tribal sheik,
I simply wave my magic wand
in the right direction.
It’s guaranteed to make them smile…
and win any election.
Some nations don’t so easily succumb,
but I’ve found I can always count on one.
The Greeks know the score,
and they like nothing more
than to turn round and find that it’s me up their bum.
Do you believe in magic?
Do you believe in dreams?
Do you think sometimes in reverie
that life’s not what it seems?
Do you believe in crystal balls,
or coincidental telephone calls?
How do you tell what’s really real
from myth and fantasy?
Or are the myths and fantasies
just different forms of truth?
As you keep your feet upon the ground,
and feel the earth beneath,
the heavens spin beyond control
of mortal men at least.
But the certainties we cultivate
to keep ourselves all sane,
once formed must then be loosened,
or else such rules exclude the play
of a far larger, longer game.
Formed by interplays of things unknown
and well beyond our conscious minds.
And the only part that we can play,
is to simply live from day to day
the only life we’re given,
and try as we must to run that life,
to watch as it unwinds.
It’s a big game for a big country,
and it’s played on a paddock;
not much smaller that the one
on which we first erected goalposts,
selected with a creful eye
from the bush of our black hosts.
If they want today to find a tree –
near, say, Subiaco Oval
to replace the one, if foresay,
Plugger’s brakes had failed him,
they’d more likely settle for a piece of metal
with wires attached to the top.
For the trees have gone, and the buildings
crowd us in as they get taller,
but the ground that we play football on
is sacred ?cos it’s big,
and the sense of space that made this place,
and us along the way
is preserved in it.
And anyone who’s feeling glum,
or who’s forgotten who they are,
can go and watch this game of ours
for a two or three hour stint.
On a ground that’s flat and of such size
(the biggest of it’s kind),
that on half of that land, from up in the stand,
the action can’t be gleaned
?til you narrow your eyes and tilt your head —
the mind is focused now:
You’re relaxing once again inside
The Great Australian Squint.
A Neglected Art
People read poetry,
much as you write it –
in anguish and reverie,
and most just don’t like it.
Unless you write it boldly
and paint it in the sky.
They’d just as soon attend your words
as turn their toes and die.
Double Trouble - 1992
One and one add up to two,
two and two I’m sure make four,
four and four combined give eight,
(assuming none get out the gate).
Eight and eight do make between them
not a bit less than sixteen then,
sixteen and sixteen… need I tell you?
Yes, exactly thirty-two.
Now thirty-two with thirty-two
you may not think makes such a score,
but six short moves have taken us
from only one to sixty-four.
Six more such moves – I use no tricks:
four thousand and ninety-six!
The only way to justify
indulgence in such doggerel is,
to put you further to the test
and tell you what the moral is:
When applied to current human aggregation,
this doubling takes but one generation.
At that rate from Adam and Eve to billion
would have taken just 640 years, not half a million.
The situation needs redress,
or else we’ll soon be species-less.
Tone deaf, tunnel-visioned and narcissistic,
we’ve snatched the baton from the flailing mystic.
Her harmonies complex, subtle and rugged,
we’ve twisted, butchered, distorted… buggered.
Though over nature we’ve been given dominion,
this gift abused may lead to oblivion.
It’s not fair on the others that God created,
since we’re just rats slightly over-rated.
The trouble is, instead of holes,
or even modest terraced knolls,
with intricately well-paved pathways,
a bust or two and spiral stairways,
we must live in houses resplendent,
with hundreds of gadgets all dependent
on energy and money
which simple isn’t available
if populations remain stable.
Populate now, perish later, seems to be
the current creed.
But is this line not just the hype
of one particularly sinister type:
The “little man”, the child in need
whose insecurity manifests greed.
Or were the gods just gambling bods,
who mixed a brew and then laid odds,
on which of their unfolding inventions
would precipitate the final declension.
With “Deity Doubles” to back their vision
of the time of this earthly bio-collision.
Incipient in the converging dissonance
of dominance, technology and loss of innocence.
If so, it seems they think it funny,
to play this ruse with us the bunny.
And while some may find it reifying,
to suffer them with faith undying,
surely it’s time we children growing
called the bluff of the All-knowing.
They’ve got a cheek, these punting gods.
Let’s claim the game back off the sods!
They must get bored in any case,
and would enjoy a change of pace.
With subtle mind to enhance fate,
Armageddon we can obviate.
So submissions are hereby called,
from those of us who are appalled.
For a system we can operate and cherish,
not mindlessly meandering from populate to cherish.
When he was just a little boy,
his parents squashed his soul.
Whilst feeding and clothing him finely,
all his body
and mind then needed.
There was no overt collusion –
no plan for him in sight.
Yet the strategy succeeded –
he now rules his Third Reich.
Transcending Diana – or – Myth Diana Spencer - 30 August 1997
At first we thought her pretty,
graceful to a tee.
With the body of an angel,
her mind we could not see.
Her spirit too was secreted,
behind the “Royal We”.
It was of very little interest
in a Princess now to be.
She could do any fashion justice
and cover any page,
images of royal beauty
sent the needle off the gauge.
Demure and softly spoken,
words well chosen, and so few,
was the kind of girl
for a tired world
to see itself anew.
One who knew her place in a suitable hue,
with softly scented fragrances to highlight anew,
a heavenly dress; a life of its own,
crushed velvet, eggshell blue.
But for her the House of Elliot,
and of Windsor and of Claridge
only helped to build a bridge
across that meaningless abyss,
which stretched lonely and forlornly
from her wardrobe – to the fridge.
She was a Princess, and on one side,
she built that image tall,
but on the other side she was human,
and she managed to be small.
There’s many a theory on privilege and wealth.
Its history and structure and function and stealth.
But a royal family stuck in a style and tradition,
designed to appease peasants as a part of its mission,
must surely move on, and they cannot deny,
that they could have done worse than emulate Di.
She faced her problems honestly,
and opened up her heart.
There was never any arrogance,
in the end or at the start.
A lucky privileged person, one could say,
and that is true,
but she had her share of troubles,
just the same as me and you.
Now it’s sad that she has lost the life
she worked so hard to gain.
Especially since she seemed to have
in pleasure calmed the pain.
Yes, we lost someone forever
from upon the public stage,
who, unlike all the others,
people loved what e’er their age.
Death doesn’t seem to take account
of fairness or of love,
and it’s hard to see the justice
in what’s doled out from above.
Let’s hope that in her legacy,
her beautiful face
will radiate charity, kindness and grace.
Protectress of Women,
Goddess of the Moon, the Hunt, and the chased.
or 9 Provider of images, icons,… and faith.
And not be distorted by dullards and cynics,
who live in their own shadows,
and cannot forgive even themselves,
nor see that they ought all
know that Princesses transcend the mortal.
A Royal Extinction
DODI & I
DODI & DI
DODI & “I DO DI”
DODI DI DO (to Beethoven’s 5th)
Jewish Jesus, fair of face,
big nose gone and now replaced
by one like ours
by God you’re clever.
Loaves and fishes, face to face.
Guest appearances all over the place.
Wine to blood and flesh from bread,
it’s scary enough to raise the dead.
Yet you calmly play the convivial host,
then moonlight as the Holy Ghost.
Double bookings never faze you,
I’ll bet even your Dad couldn’t amaze you.
But, I must confess I wonder less
of your messianic propinquity,
than I do of things far more prosaic –
like “Are you fully paid up in Equity?”
Here I am, here I stand,
in my human hologram,
in the threads that connect,
in the web love reveals.
And the path that I take,
the pattern I perceive,
is weaved, – [unkown word – “il”]
through the hands that I touch,
as I reach out to feel, share and play,
and make real.
Only a Few - 13 February 1995
For the 54th week at the West End,
the bards are to gather on Monday at eight-thirty,
to play with words,
to shift and twist and bend the language.
Some of it strange, some of it sad, some of it painful, some of it dirty,
but mostly not for S & Ms,
mostly and mainly for the little gems
which manifest from somewhere.
But on this occasion, it seems to be
that poetry is not the thing
that anyone much wants to hear or see.
Just a couple of people at starting time,
and only five by half-past-nine.
So where’s the mob that should be here,
to contemplate on words sublime
and imbibe the culture, the wine, the beer?
We sat around, one woman, five men,
and already it’s a quarter to bloody ten!
But sitting, waiting, vegetating,
isn’t what we came here for,
so we sat and talked and had a ball,
even tho’ no-one had taken the floor.
That’s the beauty of language; it can’t be restricted,
by structure grammatical, numerical or physical,
not when to arranging words you’re addicted.
?Cos when people talk, it’s so often dramatical,
when we gather, in the floor, basement of attic,
it may not be epic or even dramatic,
but the language is inherently lyrical.
So, who gives a toss if only a few turn up,
when to get what we came for, you only need two.
Some Mothers - 14 May 1998
Some mothers have it,
and some mothers give it.
Some mothers are full of care,
and some mothers know
that the world ain’t fair.
Some mothers love you,
and some mothers show you
the things you need to know.
Some mothers feel the pain
and take it to their heart,
and turn it into joy and trust.
Some mothers are a must!
Bronwyn de Key - 4 May 2004
Bronwyn de Key,
was a seeker you see,
of time, and of place,
and of being there.
She tried once or twice
to unravel the dice,
and then found the whole thing
ACROSTICS - SENSELESS RAZINGS & ByPASSING PEOPLE
Although clearly appalled by the developments taking place along the foreshore north of Fremantle, Greg was very pleased with the fact that the editorial team at the Fremantle Herald seemed unaware of the acrostic messages hidden in these poems and that they unwittingly published his uncomplimentary appraisals of bureaucracy and the development brigade. I wonder whether they ever realised?
A dazzling flash of colour
at a hundred miles an hour.
A high-pitched celebratory yell —
and then another one.
You turn to get a closer look —
and they’re clean out of sight.
I think Rainbow Lorikeets
stick rockets up their bums.
To out-compete their sibling chums,
they’ve somehow learned to cheat,
such is their imperative
to rush from gum to gum.
All parrots are clever,
but such endeavour
has never been seen in their kind.
This devious little parrot
has developed a high-tech behind.
First thing in the morning,
if it smells flowers to exploit,
it grabs the rocket with dextrous feet,
and shoves it up its quoit. They light them up at every tree,
just as they take flight,
then somehow put them out again
as soon as they’re alight.
At the end of the day,
when they’ve had their say,
and finished their floral raids,
they deftly select a hollow,
to store these anal aids.
So — this newly discovered technique has showed us
the trickiness of Trichoglossus haematodus,
and it clearly explains their frantic dashes,
and the flashes of orange and red
which seem to momentarily hang
in the air through which they’ve sped.
And there’s no denying
that their squealing while flying —
a screech which could hardly be higher,
is simply explained by the searing pain
of an arsehole that’s on fire.