Some Writing

Here is some of the writing I did a while back when many changes were happening in my life.

Some of my Vogon poetry

Well, that was the title I used when i wrote it.

Life

I never could talk with my father before he died!

I drown my breath in a pool of tears;
Sob deep remorse for those lost years.
The things unsaid - the sharing lost
I never stopped to count the cost
Surrendered youth to those great fears.

Fears would hound me. Fears that bound me
Conflicting voices all surround me
I yearn to be. I want to flee
From the demons I can't see;
But rend a soul that fights to be.

I could not fight it; nor withstand it
(Harsh lessons learned within the sandpit?)
So must it be - I could not see
A cold suburban life for me.
I fled that cell - I'd not submit

Why nourish the viper that takes your life?
(Perhaps blind faith in the notion of "wife"?)
And did she fully return your love?
Offered as gently as a dove
You would not say at the end of your life.

My soul in anger's hot flame sears
As his cold, grey hand appears,
Slow from sheets of white
No strength left to fight.
Life washed away in cold, salt tears.

Peta Guy 1998

He died from emphysema never having smoked in his life. My mother smokes packets a day and still lives (so unfair, it seems). I had to get away from home while I was still at school and lost all ability to talk with my father who was really a good man. I regret ... so so much.

The Universe

CS Lewis had a big impact on me as a teenager. Out of the Silent Planet rather than Narnia! 
I cannot help thinking of my son's journey through life and the choices that await him.

Maleldil can you tell me why
The trees are green and birds must fly
And why the river flows so fast
Or leaves fall down in Autumn past.

Maleldil can you be my friend?
Through summer days that have no end.
Children hurt with cruel words only.
Be my best friend. I'm so lonely.

Maleldil can you be my guide?
Through land and ocean deep and wide.
Please let me know how I may stray
From my harsh parental way.

Maleldil can you call me when
The clay will start to stalk again?
For when it cries from hills of Babel
I'll gird my loins. For I am able.

Maleldil can you show me how
To forge the sword back into plough
And keep the Raven never near
My children that I love so dear.

Maleldil, if you hear my voice
Give me strength to make the choice
And if I fight then make it right
Let me rest my head at night.

Maleldil surely tell me where
The good will go when quitted air
And when I gasp with my last breath
Will I have cause to fear that death?

Peta Guy 1998

The things that matter in  life change over time. I always liked the song "Dropkick me, Jesus, Through the Goalposts of Life". It shows an admirable desire to deliver responsibility for one's own life on higher authority. That said, it would be nice to have a bit of help sometimes with the great mysteries of life.

Everything

Everything is a Secret. The Secret is everything ...

What secret? That would be telling!

Leaving

Dedicated in early 1999 to Julianne who took the first few steps on her road to the rest of her life.

I don't know why I'm leaving at all
I find no purpose, rhyme or meaning
To describe the mad things I'm feeling
Just a huge, hard, crumbling wall

If I stay then I shall surely never
See the wonders past distant trees
Perhaps my fate means me to freeze
On this lonely, searching path forever.

Or perhaps that winding path will lead me
(Though it also may be steep and rocky;
The country bare, dry and dusty)
To nirvana - peaceful, true and free.

My heart will ache with burning pain
When I think of that life we shared
And while I wish it could be spared,
Our paths - they may never meet again.

Why

To my mother ... about her mother

Why could we not get along?
Was it Something I did all Wrong?
Or was it that you
Had expected I'd do
Only what you said that I must?
Was it then that my trust turned to dust?

Always, it seemed,  whenever I dreamed
You stole my hopes away.
Not once could one stay.
My brothers you feted; it was me that you hated

I am starting to sound too miserable! Oh well, I shall have to write a cheerful one - someday.


Black and White

The sun was shining through the dappled leaves
The wind was moaning through the shabby eaves
A man leant down to kiss his lovely wife
And talk turned to taxes, wealth and life
A girl walked up - red dust upon her chin
An when he saw the darkness of her skin...

"Its just a case of black and white", he said
And deftly turned to kick her in the head
The blacks are scum - not worth a bloody crust
"Lets burn them out!. Its well and truly just."

A sonnet (eventually). It seems to me that too many people think that things should be seen as black or white. It is a pity because there are many more appealing colours to view in the world. I saw "The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith" when I was about 15. It made a large impression on me.

A Wish Too Late

If I had my youth again I would surely use it wiserly!
Never waste my time on wine, toys and dancing
Nor waste my talents on callow youths entrancing
And with coin and note - none short of miserly

I would be prudent - as befits a student
Who must survive on bread and dripping
To my teachers, oh so serenely sleeping
I would never once be rude or impudent

I would not the same person be
Some would say that's for the best
But I will take sides with the rest
And say I'm pleased I'm me

In all of this there is but one event
That, if I could, I'd change it.
I'd listen less to adult advice
And trust in my own judgement

"If wishes were fishes ..."

The Deep Valley

The line in the sand that I so carefully drew
So neat and so straight that I hardly knew;
The shape of that thing as I called out in fright
The time that I stumbled one dark, cold night.

It seems to me that I have worked hard to create my own stumbling blocks in life!

A Jar of Barley Sugar

He loved barley sugar. Molly Bushell' s was the best.

As I entered the front door of the hospital. I knew that I had enough money to buy a jar today, at the shop (just enough and more for petrol too). He would like that on ANZAC Day!
Its good to be finished my last major Physics project for the semester. Tonight I can celebrate with a bottle of decent red!
Won't be near the Hospital for a few days while I do a job for a builder in Fairfield. Good pay at $50 a day! It will at least pay for petrol and food for a few weeks.

Its all a bit slow here tonight and visiting hours are over soon. Oh well, the staff know me well enough by now. It has been nearly three months.
I must remember to tell him about the ANZAC day march this morning. Some of his old mates from Ballarat were there marching and probably "remembering" how they won the war single-handedly.
The all knew him as the one who gave everyone a hand in need. Generous to a fault.
That was him all right - except where I was concerned.

It was hard to live up to expectations. Dad was always the best at any sport he played and everyone expected me to follow.
I couldn't do it. I was not good enough.
Every time I was not good enough I knew it!
My mother wanted me to go into law. Then she could show the other women at church a thing or two! Between the cigarettes and beer.
So I wouldn't do it. I did not want to.

Dad played top level sport until he was 53 and was only stopped by a massive heart attack.
He was out of hospital in 6 weeks and playing competitive sport not long after. He had to cut the work hours down a bit.

At last, my turn. "No. Not flowers, thanks, Dad's allergic to them. Just a jar of Molly Bushell barley sugar. Yes his parents sold it in their shop during the Depression.".
"Yes, he likes them and false teeth don't get holes". Have to tell him that one - he was always at me to clean my teeth as a kid.

The corridors are quiet for a Monday night. Probably because of the Public Holiday. Everyone would have visited earlier.
Hope the old fellow in the bed next to Dad has stopped coughing. Couldn't hear myself think last Friday.
There it is - ward 23E. 

Damn, he's been shifted again! Why can't they leave him in the same ward. Two empty beds in the ward too!
I'll find out where he's been put.
No staff anywhere tonight to ask.

... I realise that the men in the other beds are avoiding eye contact,
They look away  courage drained from their shamed faces.
I know.
I disbelieve.
I choke back denial.
It must be wrong! He is too strong willed ...

A nurse whisks by. He stops and says "Are you looking for your father? Come with me".
The nurse and I recognised  each other from my many previous visits. Relief. I knew It was a mistake!
"Here are his belongings. Your mother left them behind this afternoon"

It was a small bag. Brown paper, disinfected ... You can't be too careful with things belonging to a dead man.
Just room enough for a jar of Molly Bushell.

Peta Guy 1998

PS:My brother, 9 years younger, never saw the best of Dad who turned 40 the year I was born and 64 when he died. Mark was only 15 when Dad died after two years in and out of hospital. Mark is almost the opposite to me in every way. He is very like nearly all our close relatives. My mother is still alive and living the good life in Sunny Queensland. She smokes and drinks excessively. Dad never smoked or drank. He died from a form of emphysema caused exclusively by tobacco smoke! I hope there is a special place for those who die innocent - I hope my father is there.

It took 13 years before I could write this. That makes me sad beyond measure.

One Morning long ago

25 April 1998. 10 AM.

I went to the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day Dawn service this morning. This event commemorates the anniversary of the day, 83 years ago, when ANZAC troops landed at a place called Galipolli (near ancient Troy in the middle East). Tens of thousands died or were wounded that day. Many more still over the following four years in a war on the other side of the world from their homes. There were more than 5,000 people at the Australian War Memorial at 5:30 AM, just before sunrise. It was a very moving experience

My 9 year old son and I stood in the fresh pre-dawn air while kookaburras welcomed the first glow in the eastern sky and the choir joined in with hymns of remembrance. The service  ends a period of one minute's silence with  the following verse, which is perhaps the saddest and most uplifting I have heard:

They shall not grow old as we who are left behind grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning;
We will remember them. (in chorus)

We waited to the measured and subtle blasting of the Last Post and Reveille from an instrument designed to be heard above cannon fire, the empty, taut flagpole ropes clanging sharply in the breeze - shadows slowly resolving into trees and human forms with the swelling light. I was reminded of similar dawns in my own past - waking to the redolent earthy familiarity of damp Eucalypt forest floor beside my cheek, a clatter of equipment and tents being disassembled before the morning light. A thought crept into my mind under cover of the twilight:

"For what cause did these young men die so long a go? Why did they charge up cliffs topped with flaming machine guns, knowing that they would likely die? Why did they they all volunteer to fight this European war?"

They fought for freedom, we were told by the ex Major in answer to my unspoken question. They fought to give a better life for their children's children, he said with conviction.

I read this morning about a 17 year old boy who hanged himself after poor exam results and that most people under 20 believe that they will not find employment when they leave school - they see little worthwhile in their future.

Why then, does nobody seem to care that hundreds of young people committed suicide last year, with no other cause than the hurt felt from the world they were supposed to inherit.?

ANZAC Day has a special place in Australia because 65% of all the soldiers who went to war in WW I were killed or wounded. I feel this now as strongly as the young Australian nation did then. What is most amazing is that ANZAC Day has endured for so long after those who participated have passed on. Some historians call it the defining moment for a new nation. Can it be a catalyst for the formation of a new one?

Futility Still

18 March 2003. 10 AM.

I ask myself why I should bother
To bring my dear child into this world
When these false prophets - fingers curled!
See no more than machine gun fodder

They claim it is God's given justice
Killing the innocent, the poor and defenceless
Corrupting language


Political leaders without UN restraint
(Their only hope being personal gain)
Should I, ignore any others' pain
And with the MIC's great obscene guns
Send my boy to kill a mother's sons?

Show that they cannot learn the lessons
Of history written by the barely living

Not learning but foolishly  Repeating
The futile loss seen in Flanders fields

 Have we not learned anything in the last 85 years?