Preparing for Dawn this Anzac Day by Remembering 2013

Preparing for Dawn this Anzac Day by Remembering 2013

We are approaching another Anzac Day here in Australia. A day where we remember.  By way of remembering I was asked to go over what I said at our local gathering two years ago.  What follows is a paste of my words at the Dawn Service.

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ANZAC DAY DAWN SERVICE, TEMORA 2013

As we greet the rising sun this day, a new day dawns on us –

a day to remember

And a day to hope.

As shadows clear and shapes appear

We begin to see

And find our way

From our slumber

To what is before us.

We remember as our brave Anzacs woke all those years ago

What shapes did they see

emerging in the shadows of the dawn?

With the grit of the Turkish coast against their brow

How did they see the mission lying ahead of them?

How did their ears encode the echoes

Of gunfire and orders and cries around them?

We will remember them.

But, as another day dawns further from that action

How will we remember?

Gaining more help by second-hand means

Of television or computer screens, film reels,

And pages of text and photographs.

As more days further from the Anzac Cove Landing dawn,

we hope we can faithfully pass on what we have received that others too may remember.

As this new day dawns we remember as light falls

Upon the graves of the fallen

That light, ever older,

Then illumines the graves

Of the those who fell upon the beach

All those years ago.

And also, a light, younger one, that drifts upon the graves of those who fought,

Came home, marched and have since fallen.

And we remember those who stood longer

And whose hearts were fallen upon,

Who experienced something of a dying within

And lived a lesser and wounded life,

Harrowed by the horrors of their experiences.

May their broken hearts be raised up whole again.

And we recall those blessed ones who

Buried the dead, tended the sick and wounded,

Supplied food and clothing, and

Delivered letters to and from the front lines

They too fell

Into line with great and noble service.

As the psalms tell us:

from the rising of the sun to its setting

A perfect offering is made.

In the rising of the sun

May we be mindful

And remember

Those who lived and died

In the hope of a day yet to dawn

Where there would be no more fighting or weeping

But peace at last.

May God’s peace rest upon them

and in our hearts and homes.

Simon C.J. Falk

Anzac Day 2013

Resentment

Resentment

Resentment

Resentment

Re-sent-ment.

Does that mean

What was meant

Is

Re-sent

Until

Its toxins dissipate?

Does it mean

All those past

Frustrations –

‘wish I’d said’,

‘wish I’d punched’,

moments –

come back to us

for round two, three, four…

to hassle us some more?

Why do we not

Deal with it then and there?

Resentment

Is the domain

Of the dutiful,

the loyal,

those who stay in, but

are gradually ground

down

and down

by demands –

within and without –

they cannot meet

but greet

with a smile,

hoping

that the cheery veneer

is opaque,

at least, for now.

HomeTonight

Resentment

A re-read, or perhaps, a re-listen, of Henri Nouwen’s book ‘Home Tonight‘ reminded me of the Christian ‘Parable of the Return of the Prodigal Son’ in Luke 15:11-32 .  The resentful character of the Elder Son reminded me of myself and many of us who, at times, feel we are doing our job but not really thriving in it nor being life-giving to others. 

Simon C.J. Falk          8 April 2015.

No

No

There are times in our life where we simply cannot say ‘yes’.   The reasons do vary.  For those of us who have had to say ‘no’ for our wellbeing, or, for the wellbeing of others, here is our little ‘no’ verse.

No

Arrr … sorry…

But no.

no.

No.

NO!

The dirty, little

Two-letter word.

How we find

It hard to day.

The guilt:

Shouldn’t I have

Said ‘yes’?

But

No

Means no;

Yes

Means yes.

When we cannot do,

We just have to

Cross that chasm,

The tremulous terrain,

And drop it.

That dreaded ‘n’ word.

No

More

Will

Be

Said.

Simon C.J. Falk           8 April 2015.

The Preacher on the Clydesdale on Palm Sunday Night

The Preacher on the Clydesdale on Palm Sunday Night

Bullocks

In Barellan NSW there is a Clydesdale Festival each year. They have teams of bullocks and horses and it is a great day out!  This poem was prepared for a school assembly at Barellan Central School to celebrate Easter.  The idea was to make the Christian Palm Sunday connect with Barellan Clydesdales, Barellan Beer and country life.

The Preacher on the Clydesdale on Palm Sunday Night

When you go to bed at night,

And close your eyes, switch off the light;

Tuck up the bedclothes real tight,

For when the dreamtime comes.

The dreams come even in Holy Week,

When sleepy mouths do not speak;

And we never in the darkness peak,

So as not to disturb the dreamtime.

I heard a dream a while ago,

Something about a horsey show;

And a preacher, none who we would know!

Was one of the main characters.

It tells of a night within the calm,

A horse came up but did not harm,

Any person waving a palm,

On that Palm Sunday night.

In that week that we all call Holy,

There’s a story of Preacher Foley,

Who came a riding a Clydesdale foalie,

All the way in to town.

The people stood out on the street,

Waving their palms and tapping their feet,

To the beat of hoofen feet,

And of Foley astride his mount.

There was no donkey, mule or ass,

That the preacher could find after Mass,

So, to cheer up lad and lass,

He came upon a Clydesdale.

But that’s the way these Holy Days,

To celebrate Easter in Barellan ways,

For those olden times of gigs and drays,

Are what will steal the show.

As Foley’s Clydesdale came up near,

The crowd they gave a mighty cheer!

One said: “Get ‘im a Barellan Beer!”

As he trotted by.

He trotted past the young and old,

The aloof, shy ones and the bold,

He touched the hearts both warm and cold,

Bringing to all his cheer.

A kelpie’s bark made Foley look back,

But his plucky Clydesdale had the knack,

To keep his head upon the track,

And no one came to harm.

So the message of Christ’s great trip,

Along Jerusalem’s royal strip,

Still managed to find a grip,

In peoples’ hearts that day.

If you can’t find ass, donkey or mule,

Don’t worry, you can play it cool,

Get a Clydesdale to come past the school,

For Palm Sunday Barellan Style.

Simon C.J. Falk           31 March 2015

When – a Diversion of Desires

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When – A Diversion of Desires

In some ways this poem is a playful, even cynical, swipe at our human life and our discontent.  It can also be read on a deeper level.  A longing, to linger, to be more present.  More present to ourselves, to each other and to the vicissitudes that life gifts to us in the here and now.

When – A Diversion of Desires

When we are

empty

We hunger

to be full.

When we are

Full

We wish

To be empty.

Just another bit

I’m sure I can have more

The recipe is a hit

Why had I not tried it before?

When we are

Alone

We hanker

For intimacy.

When we are

In a crowd

We search

For solitude.

The silence deafens quiet ears

That hearken for a voice

The milling crowd fuels my fears

This racket was not my choice!

When we are

Caught in the complex

We reminisce

On simpler days.

When we are

In the simple

We want to

Complicate things.

I’m caught in a bind yet again

However will it unravel?

This tedious cleaning is such a bore

I think I’ll go and travel!

When in

The wind of winter

We shiver

For still summer sun.

When under scorching rays

We want the crisp

Cool winter air.

We abhor

Hypocrisy in others

Yet cherish

Mysterious paradox

In ourselves.

When busy

We writhe

For rest.

When unoccupied

We plunge

Into mindless activity.

When we are

Here

We want to be there

Anywhere!

When will

We learn

To be

Content?

When I look into your face,

Or gaze upon that scene

I’m transported from within my place

To another where I’ve been.

 

I’ve been there when I’m captivated

Enchanted by the beauty,

I’ve been there when I’m motivated

When transcendence returns newly.

 

Yet somehow I struggle to be present

To you, to me, to all,

Our busy minds have us sent

To other longings and another call.

 

I hope I learn to pause, to see

The wonder in you and me,

The sheer delight in all around

The present moment that sets us free.

image

Simon C.J Falk     22 March 2015

Musings on Mirrool Creek: Episode Two – Wallaruby Wanders and Wonders

Musings on Mirrool Creek

 MirroolCreekBeckom4

  This second episode, of a longer work, draws on an experience of the flooding of the Mirrool Creek NSW (Australia) back in 2012.  Only this is different.  It is a fictional tale about how animals responded to the flood.  When I was a youngster I was familiar with both Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows (1908)and Ethel Pedley’s Dot and the Kangaroo (1899).  Evidently, both had an impact on me.

Episode Two – Wallaruby Wanders and Wonders

After the flood

A wallaby could be seen.

Not any wallaby.

This was Wallaruby,

And she twitched and scratched

At silt on her strong

And noble

Hind legs.

Then, leaned over

Ever so carefully,

To sip from a pool.

This pool was at a place

special to them.

Three parts of the creek

Came together

Like three toes of one claw.

Generations of wallabies

Had gathered here to

Drink, having come down

From their ironbark woodland

On higher ground.

Then a dazzling light shone

Back near the horizon.

It came closer and brighter

A whining noise and

“Oh no!”

Wallaruby gasped.

But it passed

As quietly as it came,

Its sound replaced by

“Urrr, urrr!” Thump! Thump!

Down

In the drying delta

Two wallaby bucks fought.

Forepaws gouging in a

Left, right, left. Left, right.

Then

Hind legs too –

Thud! Thud!

Wallaruby pretended

Feigned disinterest

By licking at

a succulent stem.

On the fight went as it sang:

            We are the instinct of the fittest,

            The males will fight this way

             And the greatest witness,

             Is the one who holds the sway.

            For when this fight is over

            The loser goes that day

           And the dandy-randy victor

           Will then have his way.

As the fight subsided

Wallaruby was seen heading

Into the light scrub of wattle

The victorious buck close behind.

Sometime later

Wallaruby was seen

Silhouetted against the rising sun.

A swelling beneath her belly

Could barely be noticed.

But hark!

Look closer!

From the belly

A little face

Could be spotted

And looking up

It was a mini form

Of a head

Just like Wallaruby

Fluffy ears, leather nose.

A little wallaby pouched

In the care

Of a very proud Wallaruby

Who, ever so gently

Stooped and drank

From a pool

by the billabong .

Simon C.J. Falk      16 January 2015

Writer

Writer

Dedicated to those eccentric things some writers do. Heck, some of it could apply to us!

Writer

Writer

Writer –

House full of bits

Pads here and there

Notebooks in drawers

And bags and

Other places besides.

Folded bits of papers

“jottings”

are presaged

in backs of books

“scribblings” within the spines.

Rubbles and stacks

Sit on desks

Various annotations

Adding to the collected

Words in ink or print.

I am a writer,

I’ve jottings here and there.

Pages and parchment adorn the place,

They furnish it with care.

And when I lose those pages,

I pout and stress and frown,

And fossick round for ages,

Turning the house upside down.

Writer –

Dreaming though life

Trying hard to

Concentrate on a conversation

But

That unfinished story

It’s going round and round and

Is so vivid!

Where’s a pen, pencil, pad?

Captivated

Like a contented contemplative.

That face over there

Those big, round eyes

The jutting jaw.

She is speaking but

Oh I did not see

Those freckles

across her nose before.

Might any of these re-appear

As a character

In some seaside epic

‘Man vs. Sea’?

The dinner the other evening

the throw-away line

tossed between stations, as

commuters rush by.

All could be the stuff

The writer gathers

Like a veritable verbal

Bower bird

Glowing with delighted preoccupation

At the creation

Of

The written word.

The writer reads the faces

With an intense, devouring gaze,

Forming all the characters,

All the stories of their days.

The writer sifts over life’s events,

To squeeze the meaning out,

It then re-emerges in the pages

In the jottings round about.

Simon C.J. Falk           17 January 2015

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