Sunday, 20 May 2012


Out there, where the country is flat,
Where the sky is cloudless blue or star-littered black,
Where trees huddle in the dry and rocky creeks,
Where the grey salt bush sparsely grows,
Where on the far horizon the knuckled lumps of the Flinders Ranges
Rise in their stark, austere, rugged beauty,
In that place, that ageless, barren world,
A place or rock and dust and heat and drought,
Lies a ruin, a heap of stones, some bricks,
A few walls still standing, a door way,
The crumbling remains of someone’s dream
That briefly sparkled, hoped, laboured and built,
Flickered through days of cloudless sky,
Then died, hope turned to dust, dreams abandoned
And the land returned to its harsh eternity.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Captain Baby Man

For my grandson, Max Wolfe Creighton, when he was eight weeks old.
Captain Baby Man, you wave your little arms,
You smile and laugh, you make sweet sounds.
The circle of your world is beginning to grow
Out beyond mother’s breast and the warmth of touch.
Changes are coming. A wider world is registering
In your brain. This whole wonderful miracle
Is now yours to have and ours to share:
The growth that time, love and hardship brings;
Your mind for others to nurture and for you to grow;
The entire, beautiful, rich complexity of life;
 Bird song, love, forest light, tears, water’s sparkle, joy and grief-
O grasp it, hold it tight, drink it deep,
Not recklessly, but richly, deeply, wonderfully,
Dear, sweet, little Captain Baby Man.


Captain Baby Man, rise on imagination’s wings
High above dull, mundane, fettered things;
Roll, glide and play in realms of pure joy,
Touch hearts, bring happiness, be a wonderful boy;
Let dullness and stupidity be things you abhor
As, Captain Baby Man, you rise, glide and soar.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Because I walk with feet of clay

Because I walk with feet of clay
They tie me to the ground
And through my soles I feel the earth
Utter forth in primal sound.

Because my head is in the air
I know my feet are clay
And I have come to understand
Their direction and their way

And urge them then to walk
A more ennobling way
So that I can somehow transcend
The touch of feet upon the clay.

But then I know the tread of feet
And the ground on which they touch
Remind my all too prideful head
That I am composition of dust.

So I in wonder contemplate
The lesson of head and feet:
There is a high and better path
Sometimes blocked by pride and conceit.