Reflections on Australia: My Backyard 1991 – #retropost

Reflections on Australia: My Backyard 1991

 

When I woke up this Summer morn,

And cast my eyes upon the lawn,

Beauty unfolded there before me,

With little birds dancing happily.

The sun shone brightly on their plumes,

Their glistening dispelling all shadowy looms.

 

Willy Wagtail stole the show,

With his clickety sound, as he went to and fro.

Away from him on rooftop tall,

Magpie made her presence felt, with her mighty call.

And on the fence posts sparrows cheeped,

As from the gumtree a rosella peeped.

 

So as I went to begin this day,

I gave thanks for the Australian way.

This way so pleasant to the heart,

When noticed in its entire part.

This sun-covered land is dear to me,

From its arid inland, to the open sea.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 27 December 1991

Lagoon Linger

Lagoon Linger

Coaxed by warm sun

And chirps, chirrups and

Quacks,

I lingered by

The lagoon a while.

Where parents let the waters

And hungry critters

Help the holiday babysitting.

Plump geese puffed out

Their damp down

Of fluffy feathers

Under solar rays.

A pair of Mallard drakes

Flapped and fought for territory

O’er the murky waters.

All parted ways

As a majestic pair

Of pelicans cruised,

Framed a moment,

Between the trees,

As they passed

My line of vision.

As I walked,

Raven was startled

By my nearing gait,

And coyly strode

Behind some brush,

Gathering sticks

For a nesting –

Promise of a new clutch

Of cawing, carrion chasers.

Yet Raven, like the others,

Each have their own majesty,

On a stunning winter’s day,

As they each parade

Their daily life,

In a beautifully simple array.

Simon C.J. Falk  11 July 2016

The Wayward Chook


Traveling by night in rural Australia we are vigilant for the sight of kangaroos. Little did I suspect it would be a black chook that would have me breaking my speed.

The Wayward Chook

Look, look! Look, look!

It’s a wayward chook

Crossing my way

Oh, I do say,

This is crook

In my book

To stop for a chook!
We worry about the kangaroos

On our nightly driving rendezvous – 

Behind the tree

Can you see

A macropod bounding absently?
But I’m astounded

As my wheels rounded

A little town

After the sun went down

Crossing the road

Carefree of load

A black chook passed my bow.
All is well that ends up well

And the tale I tell

Meant none of us fell.

For both the chook on the wander

And this writer here yonder

Lived on to ponder

The eventful meeting

However fleeting 

At the close of this day.
Simon C.J. Falk 25 May 2016

 

From Naked Nell (Barellan) to Moombooldool

From Naked Nell (Barellan) to Moombooldool

Another retro post of a poem written some years back on other towns in my part of the world.  Naked Nell is the nickname of Barellan.  The Wiggles refers to bright coloured Police Highway Patrol cars.

From Naked Nell (Barellan) to Moombooldool

From Naked Nell to Moombooldool

Is not many speedo clicks,

As you traverse Burley Griffin Way

Dodging the ‘Wiggles’ tricks.
And Moombooldool noted late

Some of their sporting pride,

As you drive through Burnley’s Village

A plaque’s fitted by the roadside.
On a great plinth of granite stone 

A plaque sits there attached,

For traveling onlookers to cast their eye

On others who’ve been dispatched.
Dispatched persons who from times back then

When footy, tennis and cricket

Fielded sides from Moombooldool

And held their own on the wicket.
Good on the people of Erin Village

As Moombooldool once was known,

For remembering those who shaped their history

And the humble pride they’d shown.
So when you dash from Naked Nell

Towards the Kamarah straight,

Pause a moment in Moombooldool

The history is worth your wait.
Simon C.J. Falk

9 April 2013.

‘Ardly Anythin at Ardlethan – a retro post

Ardly Anythin at Ardlethan

At times I have been moved to write poems about the places I work in.  Ardlethan is a small town of around 500 people.  Comment had been made that there is hardly anything there. However, at the time of writing, as now, I saw much there of interest. 

Ardly Anythin’ at Ardlethan
There’s ‘ardly anythin’ at Ardlethan!

In a statement once was said;

So can we find an answer?

To put the matter to its bed.
True there’s ‘ardly any traffic

To be managed at traffic lights;

But there’s ‘ardly any smog around,

To dim the stars during our nights.
There’s ‘ardly a sniff of round-a-bout,

And ‘ardly a court, crescent or cul ‘d sac;

But there’s creek and scrub and birdsong

As you take the cemetery track.
There’s ‘ardly any carriage way

With exits to this and that;

But there is the Newell Highway,

With trucks pelting along the flat!
Then there’s Burley Griffin Way

Taking cars to western plains;

And parallel, the graincorp load

Is borne along by trains.
There’s the mighty London Pub,

Which has stood up to the floods;

Where a schooner’s yours to grip upon,

As you taste it’s kitchen’s grub.
There is no huge cathedral

To dominate the street;

But where can you find a place

To wash exactly twelve pairs of feet?
Now the story of the feet

Is a story worth a tell;

Given I was there that night,

I remember it quite well.
It was a Holy Thursday,

Twelve were gathered on that day;

So in our Church at Ardlethan,

Twelve were washed in Jesus’ way.
It touched something deep within me,

And though I’m not really one to bet;

I’ll wager many tomorrows

It’s an event I won’t forget.
Now back to our original question,

Seems there’s ‘ardly any doubt;

There’s as much to amuse in Ardlethan,

As any little town about.

Simon C.J. Falk 6 January 2013

Another Time

Another Time

 

In the head

Ideas buzzing, flitting, zipping

Around and around

Up

And

D

o

w

n

Then

Reverie interrupted:

A birdsong

Strong and insistent

Calls

Us to the present.

The ideas stop

The buzzing ceases

And

Aware we become

To another time

Another rhythm

Before our calendars

After our clocks.

The refreshing sounds

Of natural rhythms

Call us back

To who we are.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 25 March 2016

 

 

 

Best Australian Poems – Poetry for Australia Day

Poetry for Australia Day

We are approaching Australia Day, 26 January.  Since this is a poetry blog our minds might turn to familiar poets who have written over the years. Some classic ladies like Dorothea MacKellar and Mary Gilmore stand out. Perhaps some of the gents such as A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson (a reading of ‘Clancy of the Overflow’ here) or Henry Lawson spring to mind. Maybe the humourous, like C.J. Dennis, with his ‘Glugs of Gosh’, captivated other readers too.  But there have been many, many other poets since them.  I keep returning to Les Murray and Bruce Dawe.  But, I am always on the lookout for others.

    Black Inc. Publishing have been giving readers a selection of Best Poems for some  years. Although I have not yet finished reading through it, I would like to send out a  shout to Black Inc. and Geoff Page, who have given us the 2015 edition.  We look forward to the 2016 edition.

What are your favourite Australian poets or poems?

 

BestAustralianPoems2015

 

Caved Inn of Light

Caved Inn of Light

This poetry blog, ‘Simon’s Still Stanza’, exists for all kinds of poetry.  At times, because of who I am and the ministry I’m involved in, poems take on a particular tone of religious or spiritual quality.  Christmas is one of those times.  The following poem is meant for younger readers and is a bit of fun. It tries to pick up some ‘Aussie’ ways and is therefore a bit ‘ocker’. What I attempted to do was to take up some of the scene from Joseph’s musing over the story in latter days.


Caved Inn of Light

Well, my name is Joseph,

And you asked me for my view,

So I’ll try and give it ‘Aussie’ style,

Since you do like a yarn or two.

 

Well we got the summons,

From the city, the big smoke,

It came all the way from the Roman Caesar,

Back then there was no bigger bloke.

 

So we saddled up the donkey,

Took on water and our swag,

And a made a bee-line to Bethlehem,

Before too much time would lag.

 

We started in the Galilee hills,

Where wallabies or goats might hang around,

Then made our way over the flatter plains,

Where your kangaroos might stand their ground.

 

We went across a desert,

Where your scorpions might feel at home,

The winds and sand then blasted us,

We felt so dry and alone.

 

Finally we rose up to Bethlehem,

It was King David’s stomping ground,

We needed to get a room for the night,

Set off and to see what was around.

 

We knocked upon the doors of inns

Of B & B’s, hostels and all that stuff,

We couldn’t find a room to fit,

And we’d nearly had enough!

 

When we thought all was lost,

An innkeeper said: “hang about a tick.”

“We’ve got something a little private,

But you can have it if you’re quick!”

 

They led us to a cave,

Wherein a bunyip might like to hide,

It was all decked out like a stable,

With their animals set up inside.

 

I sighed within myself awhile,

And heard myself say “yes”.

Then Mary and I settled in,

To try and sort the mess.

 

It seems that they used this cave

For livestock in winter time,

It smelled like cows and horses,

Yep, the odour was a little prime.

 

But we found a little manger,

Just the right size for a kid,

And on the straw that had held a harvest

This is what we did.

 

We laid my love Mary

On straw that had fed stock,

She gave birth to her little baby,

Who had come to tend the flock.

 

Later, yes, much later,

When I was no longer present,

That baby grew and taught the flock,

Which some would come to resent.

 

Then they put an end to him,

On a cross upon a hill,

The shepherd became the butchered lamb,

And few gathered at the kill.

 

They say we go full circle,

We go back to where we began,

Well, when he died, our fella,

Got put in a cave again!

 

Blow me down, after a few of our sleeps,

They told me that he rose to life anew,

He went back with his mates to Galilee,

So their mission he could renew.

 

I’m back at the cave again,

I can hardly leave that place,

For in the glow of the firelight,

The light of the world shone on his face.

 

He was the shining light for many years,

As he helped me make and mend,

The pride and joy of his mother’s eyes,

And towards wisdom did he tend.

 

You may say this is just legend,

That I’m spinning you some bull,

You bet mate! This is real legend,

Of a life lived to the full.

 

So when gathered round the fireplace,

And you see light upon a face,

Remember the light on a kid in manger,

Who’s our light of the world and gift of grace.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 22 December 2015

 

 

 

An Incoming Tide

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Picture: Peering through trees to Merimbula Lake

An Incoming Tide

It was my privilege and delight to have served, at different intervals of time, in both Bega and Pambula Parishes.  Both of them celebrate 150 years this year.  I am unable to attend either of the celebrations.  A truly beautiful part of this State of New South Wales, our family had holidayed there at times.  Later I would work there.  Part of me will always feel a yearning to be there. So, while I was adrift on a sea of memories, impressions and feelings, a poem emerged.  It is included here.

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Picture: Snug Cove at Eden

An Incoming Tide

An incoming tide

Of gratitude

Laps

Upon the shore

Of my thankful heart.

Hearing the news of 150 years

Fell upon me

A wistful haze

And then

A start!

Speak, I must

Of tidings,

Wishes to folks

Friends and others,

Who dwell upon

Meadows and hills,

Crags and beaches,

Or points and rocky ramparts,

That keep watch,

Over billowing seas.

Ah, the mighty Bega Valley

And Sapphire Coast.

Jewel that glints

And glistens,

In the eye

Of everyone who has seen it,

Felt it,

And breathed

The briny air.

And where it has

Taken them.

Taken them

It has.

To a place within,

Where a little piece of coast

Has settled in the heart.

And,

If one listens,

They can hear the reverberations,

The swirling sound,

Like a sea in a shell,

Stirring the caverns

Of our inner selves,

Keeping always a little current

Of this valley and coast

inside.

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Picture: looking up the wending Yowaka River

Simon C.J. Falk           23 September 2015

The Test – Another retrieval from mothballs

The Test

This poem was posted on our school noticeboard prior to our Year 11 Exams. In our second last year of school, these were our first major exams.  I was encouraging my school friends. To be honest, I was probably encouraging myself too! I would have been 16 years old at the time.

The Test

To test one out there are many tests,

Which cause study, tension and fear.

After which one looks forward to rests,

Especially when the end of the tests is near.

School is where many tests take place,

At college and university much the same.

Failure leads to much disgrace,

High pass to a much-praised name.

All through one’s life one has many tests,

Some so hard and painful to endear.

Yet life itself is the greatest test,

And continues on year after year.

Simon C.J. Falk as a senior school student in 1988.