What Frequency?

What Frequency?

What frequency

Is your tinnitus?

Mine casts waves.

Of doorbell chime,

Searing security alarms,

And phones

Pinging and ringing and

Ringing and pinging.

But wait!

Is that sound of


And cicadas on the summer breeze,

Of banter and laughter of those

Passing by.

With a little sigh

I hear

Why fret and worry

About so many things?

Few are needed.

Let them go.

Let them be.


Simon C.J. Falk  14 January 2023


Pandemic Ponderings and Pain

Recently a colleague told of turning up to an old favourite cafe. It was closed. It made me ponder some of the last two and half years. The examples are by no way exhaustive. Just samples.

Pandemic Ponderings and Pain


Astride a makeshift ergo stool

A teacher MS Teams her students, while

The eyes at the back of her head

Crane to the open door behind her, where

across the hall

Her own children logon

Uniformed in headphones

To their own class.

For whom is she the teacher?

Her class? Her kids? Or society?

Before this

Hybrid was a plant

Or a car

Not a learning style.

Learning from this all.


Through fog-misted glasses

A young registrar doctor

Glances at the nurse beside her

His temples almost bleeding

From the tightness the surgical mask creates

One of doctor’s colleagues resigned last week

One of nurses fainted on shift

A head injury making her a patient.

Is the virus the only health crisis?

How do we vaccinate exhaustion?

And treat mental health?


“Permanently closed”

The sign said

The window seats

Face the Lakeside views

With no one seated on them

No scents of steam or stir-fry fill the air

Covid cancel of a cosy lunch

Fancy a delivered meal on the duvet again?

With a streaming service soundtrack.

Another small business is no more.


User-paid solitary confinement

As aged care locks down once more

A room with a view,


Maybe not.

What day is it?

Staff slide meals and medications into my cell.

Might as well have the virus and be in bed

There’s little else to my day.



Healthcare workers

Small business people

Those in residential aged care:

We may not see you

But we gaze in your direction

We can’t count your cost

But applaud your courage

Maybe someone will come,

we hope so

To admire your class

Or refresh your mask

Or present a new business opportunity

Or invite you out of your room

We thank you

You who keep us grounded

And who forge the frontiers

Of our new normal.

Simon C.J. Falk 5 July 2022

Faces Of the Day

Faces Of the Day

Faces of the day

A glint in an eye

A wan, worried expression

A loving look

Or all pursed and puzzled

Tired tints and tones.

In each face

I see a reflection 

as in a mirror

A sense of common humanity

all one family

And craft of the creator.

Simon C.J. Falk 16 June 2022

#WATWB March 2022 – River and Life

For five years an intrepid team, brought together by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen, have shared good news stories in the We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB. Here we are again!

(Supplied: Madman) via ABC News Australia. Accessed 27 March 2022.

The coronavirus pandemic has led so many of us to take stock in what, and who, really matters to us. Among some of the things, we have become more aware of how we are part of creation. We are connected to the created world: creatures, forests and mulgas, moutains and valleys, rivers and seas. There are people out there creating ways to assist this for us.

One of these people is documentary film maker Jennifer Peedom. She produced an epic called Mountain. Her latest is River as reported by Dee Jefferson at ABC News Australia.

But then there is the narration. Jefferson tells us:

Willem Dafoe was filming Spider-Man: No Way Home in Atlanta in 2021 when he used a day off to record narration for an independent Australian documentary, titled River.

River (co-produced by ABC) is a follow-up to 2017’s Mountain, which broke Australian box office records as the highest-grossing homegrown non-IMAX documentary — and was also narrated by Dafoe.

Like Mountain, it blends cinema essay with documentary, to tell the story of one of Earth’s formative features: how they shaped first the planet and then human civilisation — before humans learned how, in turn, to shape them.

You can view and hear the River trailer here.

It is another way of helping us gain perspective on our lives. We are beautiful and unique, yet small and fleeting, compared to a mountain or river. We are part of it all and those great natural places help grow in us a sense of awe, wonder and respect.

Here is a little poem to continue the flow….


I would love to live

Like a river flows,

Carried by the surprise

Of its own unfolding.


From his book of poetry, CONAMARA BLUES

Ordering Info: https://johnodonohue.com/store


Why not follow other post with #WATWB


Apologies to Dr Seuss

These words kept pestering me so I had to exorcise and transfer them. Sorry that you caught the transference!



Inhabit our flats

Where we hang up our hats

So how about that!

When will Omicron

Finally be gone?

It’s getting tough

When we’ve had enough

So today

As we go our way

We smile and say G’day

1.5 metres away

Behind masks for the fray.

We long for the morning

When we need no more warning

As we wake up yawning

When the new hope is dawning.

Simon C.J. Falk 29 January 2021


Don’t forget to look for the #WATWB. I’ll join in when I get my act together!

#WATWB November 2021 @onfootacrossaustralia for Refugees

Some would know that I did, with a friend, 240kms of the Portuguese Way (aka #CaminoPortugues) of the pilgrimage walk to Santiago de Compostela back in 2018.

Well here is someone who walked further. And he did it for others. For people looking for a home.

Welcome to the We Are The World Blogfest for November 2021 as we share stories. Thanks to SBS News Australia, I bring you Ivor Houston and his @onfootacrossaustralia (that being his Instagram handle). Here he is below, walking along a 90 mile straight road.

Via SBS News Australia.

As SBS News says:

Ivor Houston wanted to make a difference to the lives of refugees, so he packed some essentials and travelled 4,000 km from Perth to Sydney on foot. After six months, he’s now home.

Ivor lived with a family of refugees in the Blue Mountains of NSW (in Eastern Australia). He walked for them. The plight of refugees and asylum seekers has been with humanity for a long time. People seek a safe home.

Wars, genocides, natural disasters and so on, have taken away people’s homes for a long time. Thankfully there are often people who can help. It is an extraordinary time to do so with the Omicron COVID variant on the move, people’s resources stretched from lockdown losses, and countries still housing people from their own internal disasters. In my own country of Australia, some people who lost homes in castrophic fires last summer are still in temporary accommodation.

People like Ivor, and others, can help refugees find houses that become true homes. That is good to hear.

You can check out Ivor’s IG of the trek at @onfootacrossaustralia and the SBS news story here.

Please be on the lookout for other #WATWB posts.


WATWB – Looking Over Giving in October 2021

I was truly astonished by the number of causes that appeared in my country of Australia during October this year. My astonishment was how, after the financial challenges of COVID lockdowns, that money would be raised. My other source of astonishment was the sheer generosity of people to ‘have a go’ and give their energy, body, heart, and soul to such causes.

This list is not complete. It’s just the ones I came across.

The Heart Foundation’s MyMarathon for research into heart disease and its treatment.

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s Frocktober.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s One Walk Step Challenge.

The Black Dog Institute’s One Foot Forward Challenge for suicide research and prevention.

I actually did the Black Dog Institute’s One Foot Forward Challenge in memory of my own brother, Joseph, who died by suicide in 1987. My generous sponsors raised $893AUD for my 218kms. On Sunday 31 October I received an email from the organisers saying:

Our incredible One Foot Forward community has raised an astounding $10,461,065 [AUD] for mental health research.


That is one of the causes. It is good news, and a tribute to the generosity of the human spirit to galvanise people and raise funds. I can hardly imagine what scale this kind of volunteerism has reached across the globe.

Has the pandemic made people more aware, compassionate and generous? I don’t know.

What I do know is that the experience of each person is a factor. One friend of mine who did Frocktober is herself a cancer survivor. Another friend who did the One Walk has a family member with diabetes. I did the One Foot Forward for my brother. Relationships shape us and help us to reach out with care.

Speaking of generous volunteers, I BIG shoutout to all the We Are World Blogfest WATWB team. Some carried the load alot this year while others of us were less able to commit. A very hearty thank you to them.

On an even more fun note, I observed, thanks to a friend in Glasgow, that The Wombles have returned as stars at COP26 to help clean up our planet. The 5 year old seventies child that I was revelled in such news.

Source https://www.womblesofficial.com. Be sure to look at the video clip on their homepage. 


Follow the #WATWB

WATWB September 2021 – Stories of Now and Ben

This tweet, from a journo whom I went to school with, sent me down an internet rabbit hole.

The tweet is very recent. The story a bit older.

It’s a good news story for at least two people. The fine young Ben and for older Ben at least.

So, welcome to the #WATWB We Are The World Blogfest post for September 2021. Please follow other posts with the #WATWB. And…back to the story.

So Ben Farinazzo is a former Australian Army Officer who did tours of duty in the East Timor peacekeeping operation. He has been living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has recovered from a mountain bike accident causing a spinal injury as well.

The bio notes on his webpage tell it better:

I was fighting an internal battle against
-traumatic stress disorder, depression
and anxiety. I then broke my neck and back
in a mountain bike accident. It felt like I
was walking through the valley of the
shadow of death.

Three years later I represented Australia in
indoor rowing and powerlifting at Invictus
Games Sydney 2018 and was fortunate to
win two gold medals. Today, I am a proud
Australia Day Ambassador and support
mental health, veterans and sport.

This is a fabulous story about brokenness, reconnection and resilience. You may also want to check Ben’s Youtube channel for footage the like the screenshot of the one featured here.

Source: Ben Farinazzo YouTube Channel

This is a good introduction by Ben Himself.

Since I posted this another chapter emerged on ABC News Australia about how to two Bens were reunited.


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#WATWB August 2021 Afghani Paralympians

Welcome to the We Are The World #WATWB Blogfest for August and thanks to our co-hosts, participants and readers once more. I missed out last month and am delighted to scrape in this time around.

Some of us have watched in horror as the Afghanistan human rights disaster unfolds. But then I saw this story on the Tokyo Paralympics from SBS News Australia:

Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli arrived in the Japanese capital after a week-long stay in Paris, where they had been housed after fleeing their homeland following the Taliban takeover.

They are now set to be resettled in Australia, according to former Socceroo and refugee advocate Craig Foster and a lawyer assisting the efforts. 

Source SBS News Australia https://www.sbs.com.au/news/afghan-paralympians-evacuated-to-tokyo-given-australian-humanitarian-visas accessed 30 August 2021

As the story continues….

Zakia will be the first female Afghan to compete at the Games since 2004 in Athens when she takes part in the women’s K44 -49kg taekwondo event on Thursday.

Hossain will line up in the heats of the men’s 400m T47 athletics event on Friday.

Lawyer Alison Battisson from Human Rights for All was involved in the efforts to evacuate scores of athletes out of Afghanistan.

She told SBS News she worked with an intern lawyer at her firm to assist Zakia and Hossain escape Afghanistan.

“I have this amazing legal intern who works as a plasterer two days a week so he can then work at my firm three days a week, Eric Zhang, he did [Zakia’s] application.

You can play along with more of the story here. Some may argue what about the many, many other Afghanis still trapped? Indeed. Stories like this might inspire other sports and organisations to get involved. That may save some other lives.


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