Saturday, 22 December 2012

I Came to a Window.

As in a dream I came to a window,
Peered into it hard and long,
Saw black hair, laughter and joy,
Heard the rhythms of youth’s bright song.

And staring deeper in that trance I saw
Bright black hair turn dull and grey,
And caught in the physical tyranny of time
The bloom of youth fade far away.

Words then came softly to my ear:
“Youth’s dew drop moment cannot last;
But for its grace raise your voice and sing
Knowing that it will all too swiftly pass.”

A pause, and then the voice began again:
“The outward bloom quickly fades away
But do not be sad and do not mourn;
The inner self grows each passing day.

“Youth has beauty in its shining hair;
Age has beauty of a different kind:
Awareness, knowledge, a sense of choice,
A deeper, wiser, more reflective mind.

“Now listen carefully,” the voice now said, 
“The greatest beauty lies deeper still:
In character developed piece by piece
Through revelation and resolve’s strong will.”

The vision faded, the dream was gone,
The window was no longer near,
But as I turned I thought upon
Eyes old and dim or young and clear,

Thought on knowledge that comes with years,
On the characteristics of the wise,
On beauteous things we should most desire,
On how character shines in older eyes.

And went then from that dreamlike place
Beginning at last to comprehend
A deeper and more abiding truth:
A beauty of mind can the years transcend.

Monday, 19 November 2012


            For Diana.

In the early dawn I felt a touch,
Heard a soft voice whisper “Come”;
A pause and then that voice again:
“Your race you have now run”.

I shook my head, withdrew my hand,
I weakly whispered no.
How can I leave this woman
Sitting quietly by the window?

O Mr Death I cannot come!
Gaze upon this sweet vignette:
Morning’s growing light is
Softly framing her silhouette.

She and I have things to do,
Loving not yet completed,
So now I hear my own voice vow
“I will not by you be defeated.”

When you some other time return
I must indeed merely follow
And so doing say goodbye to this
Quintessence of joy and sorrow.

But now I feel the warmth of her touch
Make your cold grip fall away,
And weakly turning towards the light
I embrace once more the coming day.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Fraser Island

When I visited Fraser Island Miranda's island from "The Tempest" came to mind. That island was full of magical sounds and I heard that magic on Fraser.

Miranda heard magical music
In percussion crash of wave,
Heard it tinkle in treetop
And echo from distant cave.

Now those same sounds I hear
On this realm of purest sand,
Without pebble, rock, clay or loam,
This beautiful Fraser Island.

It softly and sweetly sings
From serpentine streams so clear
That the mind is forced to question
“Is this water or is this air?”

It murmurs in the mangroves,
The blue of upland lake,
In banksia grove and pandanas plant,
In the forests of coastal she-oak.

It crescendos in the rainforest’s
Green palms that densely entwine,
Its soaring white towers of blackbutt,
Its spotted beauty of Kauri pine.

It sounds from eastern waves
That daily wash from their sand
The countless tracks of the 4 wheel drives
That scurry upon the land.

And even though on the morrow
That traffic will again resume,
Closely following the tide will sing
Its lyrical, relentless cleansing tune.

O gently, gently each day
The attendant tide comes in
And with song of ease and grace
Makes everything pristine again.

Then the magic that Miranda heard
Ripples or crashes in the sea,
Or in the high, bright notes of the treetops
Makes songs of exquisite beauty.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Lessons from Eleanor Miette.

              For all my grandchildren, with love.

This little girl bends now to gently kiss
A picture of a teddy in a book;
I see her tenderly turn to her soft toys
And reach for them with adoring look.

I think of this child of eleven months
Whose mind does rapidly grow and change,
Who now seeks things to fondle and love
As she expands and extends heart’s range.

So my older mind now begins to think
That the progression of life should be
An endless journey towards care and love,
The beginning of which I in this infant see.

I think too of the vanity of age,
That awful rigidity of the mind,
Which, in its opinionated pride
Is so deceitfully and wilfully blind.

Sad that such vanities the canker grows
Of inflexible and arrogant pride,
So years that should be reflective and wise
Are where sad and ugly things reside.

Strange and complex is this human heart,
This generator of feeling sublime,
This mixture of selfish folly and love,
Where dark feelings too twist and entwine.

The human heart should be a place,
Where good and beautiful things abide,
Where the fruits of the spirit are nurtured
While breath in the body resides.

Great knowledge may be a gift to desire,
So too a brilliantly penetrating mind,
But more desirable than these is one
That is always teachable, patient and kind.

I look at Eleanor Miette as she smiles
And her tender heart shimmers and shines.
O let her be flexible, gentle and loving,
Give her feelings compassionate and refined.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Streets of Woe

I hear a brittle shallow laughter
Echoing through these streets of woe,
See the tears, the ache, the sorrow
Behind its neon, electric glow,

Hear the incandescent spin
Behind the flickering deceit,
Hear beneath the tinseled glitter,
The loss, the sorrow, the defeat,

Hear the peddling of many lies,
See the headlong rush for gain,
See the hollowed, hopeless stares
Veiling the emptiness and the pain.

O Lord Jesus, come, come quickly,
Unbind these chains and set us free,
Lift the veil of doubt and sorrow,
Wash us, bathe us with your liberty.

Let your reign be as is promised,
Let the poor and oppressed rejoice,
Let Death be swallowed up in victory,
Let the earth resound in exultant voice.

Let Eden be restored again,
Let all creatures great and small
Dance and sing in deepest joy,
Let the great Creator be all in all.