Spectator Sport and other Thumb Teasers

Spectator Sport and Other Thumb Teasers

A celebration of the evolution of thumb wrestling.  The celebration takes a circuitous lap of honour around spectator sport to return to thumb work.  All to be a good sport of course.  ‘The Brick’ refers to those old mobile phones (cell phones) that we used to have in our pockets and bags.

Spectator Sport and Other Thumb Teasers

As a kid

We thought

Thumb wrestling

Was grabbing a mate’s hand

For a thumb fight.

Tense, white knuckles

Teamed around toiling thumbs.


thumb wrestling got technological,

it was about dexterity

of channel flicks

on the remote.


It was ‘texting tennis’

On ‘the brick’.


Still later,

It became

Rapid thumbprints

Upon the smartphone screen.

A trip to the footy

Was an event.

Trains, trams, tickets.

Then, get settled.

Are those clouds bringing rain?

Should I move now or get drenched later?

Queues at the toilets:

Do I really want to go?

Ahh. Coffee, beer, hot chippies!

Elbows in, of course,

As we traverse the concourse,

So we don’t spill ‘the precious.’

Back again.

Ughh. Where did that mince go?

That bit that dripped


Out of the pie pastry.

Can’t see, where is it?


The game resumes.

All over.

Back to the station.

Now I see.

That mince and sauce and glutinous goo,

The bit that dropped from the pie,

Well, it’s found.

Yep. There ‘tis.

Nicely encrusted on my shoelace,

Right on an eyelet.

Accuracy is everything.

We’ve scored

On the cultural calendar


Have selfies on the smartphone,

And mp4 videos

We might not ever watch again.

Simon C.J. Falk 26 September 2014


Tree Parable

Tree Parable

Some say the created world appeals to the male psyche.  That they love the ‘great outdoors’ of woods and forests, rivers and glades.  Whatever of that. I like them.  The world of creation is life-giving.  We have often looked to places of nature to notice and understand how life and death, destruction and regrowth can be noticed.  This can be a source of comfort and vitality for us as we experience the cycles of life.  The following  free verse celebrates such a viewpoint.  As it was part of my experience of a prayer retreat, I have given it a religious perspective. Others may see further meanings.


Tree Parable



And twisted

By the wind

In the weather.

You lean.

Your branches

Have taken

Breaks and snaps

Bearing in you

Dead wood.


You are also strong.

Branches bear

A bounty

Of fresh leaves

Where creatures

Can find


And shade.

Your trunk

Is tall timber

And sprouts

From roots

In the grass

Of the meadowy bank.


Are like us.

We too

Bear buffeting

From the storms of life.

We too

Have broken in places.

We have

Permanent scars,

Like dead wood,

In our body

And our soul.

And yet

God’s grace is planted

Deep within us.

We are planted in

And built on

The love of God.

So that

God’s fullness

May flow

Into the foliage

Of the countenance

We show

To our world.

Simon C.J. Falk 8 September 2014

A Retreatant’s Prayer



A Retreatant’s Prayer

Love of literature and poetry has long been a hobby of mine. It has been there since my youngest years.  Also there since my infancy has been the impact of the Christian Faith, as handed on in the lives of people who have been influential to me (for better, or for worse!)  As a public minister in the Christian Church, I am expected to undertake a week of what we call an annual retreat.  During this time it is an opportunity: to revisit why I am still here; to deepen my faith and humanity; to see how goodness can be present in me, people and events around us.  This poem gathers those themes together and attempts to put words on them.  

A Retreatant’s Prayer

We came six days ago,
A time to be set apart;
To listen to The Lord in prayer,
That God may touch our heart.

And as we travelled along each day
You whispered in the breeze;
Your voice was of songs of birds,
It fluttered in the trees.

We found you in each other,
A team of giving free;
As people tended dishes and cleared tables,
We heard, “You did it unto me.”

You walked with us on the gravel
As we fumbled rosaries on the road;
You brought us consolation,
When the burden became a load.

We found you in the vineyards,
In the rocks and blossoms of spring;
Our hearts burned within us,
As we were inside inspired to sing.

To sing of the Spirit
Bursting from within;
It cast out all our darkness,
With a lamp of fire therein.

We saw you in the faces
Of each other’s watchful care;
You planted love in the hearts of each,
So we felt each other’s prayer.

We saw it in others generous shuffle
Over to another’s plate;
As they gently filled someone’s wineglass,
Or held open a gate.

We found you in this week, Lord,
Will it ever be the same?
With you, ourselves and each other
We did it in your name.

Simon C.J. Falk, Sevenhill CIS, 13 September 2014





I had not returned to the Broken Hill area since our family left in 1979. Nor had I said good bye to the area either.  Now, I am back to visit. It stirs so many memories and emotions.  While the morass of memories move around and settle, this simple verse might pave the way.  Menindee Lake  is east of Broken Hill. Part of the Darling River System, it is quite a place.


in the dryland.
in the bush.
of feather and claw,
of fur and paw,
and human ways,
to your shores.
Your filling and emptying,
your dead trees
and expanses of water
a long told parable
of the paradox
of our land.
May we respect your lessons
be still
before your beauty.

Simon C.J. Falk 6 September 2014







Road Away from WordPress

Road Away from WordPress

I have been away for some time.  Away from both poetry and WordPress.  Returning to poetry is challenging. Getting back into the flow takes some time and effort.  The other challenge is to reach that centred place within where the creative integration of image, mood and words meet and mingle. Put more bluntly, I’m out of touch. But, there is a stirring, and the poem here responds to just that.

Road Away from WordPress

I went along another road,
It seemed so far away;
A busy road, a crowded road,
That filled full each new day.

A day full of opportunities,
Schedules, people and plenty of contact;
And stacked with inner urgencies,
All to which I would react.

There wasn’t much time for WordPress,
For poems and lovely things;
For all the spontaneity
Of outdoors with birds and swings.

When urgings weren’t outside
They raged and burned within;
The focus one gives to writing
Just didn’t enter in.

At times I truly missed it,
That delight of being lost in verse;
Instead I’d drive myself along
In an urgent, occupied curse.

And curse it was, I am sure,
For it drained away my soul;
Now I regather in blogs and things,
To make the broken whole.

So now, as write this,
Three poems are emerging, no less;
For once you go to release the flow,
It opens up the press.

I’m glad I’m back at writing,
And can join the bloggers’ road;
It is so good to return,
For light is its true load.

Simon C.J. Falk 1 September 2014





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