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Tag Archives: poetry

The rill on the hill

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(another rhapsodic and poetic offering from GOF)

Top secret location in Wooroonooran national Park.

Top secret location in Wooroonooran national Park.

Enchanting trickles wayside rill,
Bubbling merrily down the hill.
Joyful gurgling, Spring’s rebirth.
Quenching thirst of Mother Earth.

This place to sit and contemplate.
To be, or deeply meditate.
I linga longa than I orta.
Here flows beer instead of water.

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Tabernacle of The Bucket

Please tell me why it’s so.

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A heartwarming little poem about an elder responding
to a child’s curiosity about the world.

Oh Grandpa GOF please tell me.
Please tell me why it’s so,
That stars twinkle in the sky
And the moon doth mellow glow.

The stars are angel’s glitter
And the moon is cheddar cheese.
These things were made to please us
Child, like scent upon the breeze.

Oh Grandpa GOF please tell me.
Please tell me why it’s so,
That whales sing such haunting songs
In the oceans deep below.

Their wailing shows the sorrow
For ancestors wise and loyal.
All murdered by us humans
For their blubber and their oil.

Oh Grandpa GOF please tell me
Please tell me why it’s so.
That flowers bloom for just a while
Then die when hot winds blow.

The inflorescence reminds us
That good things just don’t last.
But beauty always reappears
When the bad times have passed.

Oh Grandpa GOF please tell me.
Please tell me why it’s so.
That Cousin Billy comes no more
To seek wisdom you bestow.

Your Uncle won’t allow it since
Last week when I tried to nap,
Billy kept asking questions so
I just duct taped shut his trap.


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The Owl and the Pussycat……2012

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(With my apologies to Edward Lear)

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat.
They took some honey, and lots of money
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The coastguard was patrolling nearby at the time
And soon arrived right at the scene,
Apprehending the unregistered craft coloured lime,
“What a reckless Pussy you’ve been.
Anarchist Pussy!
Anarchist Pussy!
What a reckless Pussy you’ve been.”

Biosecurity boarded, and charged them both fees,
Under provisions of Section Sixteen.
Then confiscated the honey. “Disease risk to our bees.
An environmental vandal you’ve been.”
The Treasury Officer was next in the line
To seize all the cash that he’d seen.
“Probably gained from the proceeds of crime
What a lawless Pussy you’ve been.
Rogue Pussy!
Rogue Pussy!
What a lawless Pussy you’ve been.”

Pussy was paw-cuffed by police supervising
For illegally trafficing owls,
And formally charged with cross-species fraternising
And molesting ten fancy-breed fowls,
Plus having no boating safety equipment,
And runcible spoon fracas,
Judge Eagle sentenced Pussy to solitary confinement.
“What a criminal Pussy you are.
Guilty Pussy!
Guilty Pussy!
What a criminal Pussy you are.”

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P.S.  It was never possible for The Owl and the Pussycat to be married.  Rulers and Religion prevented the union on the grounds that they alone had authority to prescribe who should fall in love with whom.  The Turkey on the hill was eventually arraigned on minor charges relating to his expired Marriage Celebrant Licence.
He was reprimanded, then released on a Good Turkey Behaviour Bond. No conviction was recorded.

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The girls of Korbau

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The most enjoyable and productive times I spent working with village people in Papua New Guinea occurred when I was based at Pindiu Patrol Post between 1972 and 1979.

The climate was close to perfect all year round. The people were industrious and hospitable, and unlike some other tribal cultures within PNG, women were involved equally with the men in most of our development projects.

The hamlet of Korbau was nestled in a mountainous saddle between the Masaweng and Mongi River catchments at 4000′ altitude. With a population of just one hundred plus a few, it was a hard three-hour walk from Pindiu.

I spent a lot of time working with the Korbau people constructing earthworks and developing and modifying our prototype micro hydroelectricity unit to provide village lighting.

(Story with pictures of the Korbau Hydroelectricity Project here)

Everybody participated. Old men and women, boys and girls and even the little kids. It was a wonderful working atmosphere. Despite being some of the poorest people on earth, the days were always full of laughter, frivolity, banter and even occasional innocent flirting.

Australians working in PNG at this time in history were mostly treated like minor dignitaries and rarely invited to join mundane day to day village activities.  It was therefore a pleasant surprise when, late one day after work, the girls of Korbau invited me to join them in a game of basketball.

I had never played basketball in my life although I knew the object of the game was apparently to throw the ball through the hoop.

No worries.

Even though these girls were strong beyond belief from carrying heavy loads of food, firewood and babies up and down mountains,
I was over 6 feet tall, and they were all only knee-high to grasshoppers.

So……….How difficult could this be?

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Korbau basketball court circa 1977. Add one more ingredient…..slippery.

So……How difficult could this be? 

The Korbau girls invited
Master GOF to play a game
Of basketball, local rules,
A big chance for sporting fame.  
They’re tired from a hard day’s work.
And I’m twice their height I see.
Bring it on, you little chicks.
How difficult could this be?

The ‘court’ was something diff’rent.
So I uttered words profane
Mudholes where pigs did wallow
Their complexions to maintain.
And big boulders two feet high
To trip me arse right over tee.
Then suddenly it registered
How difficult this might be.

But I ain’t seen nuthin’ yet
‘Till the girls brought out the ball.
At the top end of the slope
They all looked eight foot tall.
The Amazons then threw the orb
To me, then they charged with glee
And slammed me into the goal post.
Shit!  Difficult this will be.

I eventually got back vertical
To gasp and wheeze and stagger.
Then ‘Sister’ Barbara elbowed me.
Rib pain just like a dagger.
They accidentally flattened me.
Despite my attempts to flee.
It seemed that saving my life
Would my priority be.

Thank God they’re at the other end
Shooting goals at my expense
And giggling uncontrollably
At my sporting incompetence.
Oh Christ no! here they come again
One tonne of femininity
To trample me in the mudhole.
How embarrassing this will be.

I hit the ground six more times,
Which caused lumps upon my rump.
But every time they helped me up
And none said White Men Can’t Jump.
They didn’t keep the score that day.
Which needed no apology.
‘Cos everyone was a winner.
‘Specially me, I now can see.

Memory looks back all these years.
What a privilege it was
To be accepted as an equal,
But much more than that because
They showed me joy and happiness
Depends not upon degree
Of wealth, and to forget them
Is impossible for me.

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The day I lost my flow

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‘Twas early in my ed
Ucation days at school
That Miss said “GOF you write
Poems so beautiful”
I sat upon my gift egg
And nurtured it with love
Then gave the lucky world
My prosodic dove.

Literati dubbed me
Poet Laureate of Oz.
Dined and duly feted
Like the verse star that I was.
Migrated then to Hobart,
The natives there to teach.
That’s where it all went wrong
Upon a windswept beach.

The albatross was flying
Too low with too much speed.
Mistook me for a haddock
In haste to find a feed.
A mermaid nursed me back
To glowing Goffly health.
But lost the gift of poetry.
My major source of wealth.

The words just wouldn’t rhyme.
Lost metricality.
Inspirational light
Snuffed out, oh woe is Eddie the eagle.
I totally lost control
Of rhythmic form and then
I would write long lines like this with words going on forever before I’d
Drag ’em back here again.

So then I decided sonnets I’d write.
One fourteen line classic done every night.
I’d ramble ’bout rainbows, clouds and nice things
Like koala bears and bird’s downy wings.
But then my mind was filled with distraction.
Memories of a youthful attraction.
‘Twas somewhere around nineteen sixty nine.
Knew her, not biblically, puppy love sublime.
Dressed in pink mohair I admired her much
From a distance. I looked, never to touch.
So now as I dream of times from my past.
Memory snapshots of life gone so fast.
And all of the failures, many there’s been.
You wouldn’t believe the shit that I’ve seen.
Like this frigging sonnet with lines fifteen.

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My truck needs change of oil

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(Some lamentable little lines from GOF’s profane pen)

Now I’m getting older,
An expert I’ve become
In the management of time
And getting plenty done.

Gotta change the oil today,
Lest engine shits itself.
But where’s the friggin’ oil
Disappeared from off the shelf?

At least the ladder’s here, so
I’ll clean roof spout instead
If I don’t fall off the bastard
And end up stone cold dead.

Well bugger me it’s full
Of leaves and other shit.
Wonder where it came from.
Drink tea,…. and think a bit.

Has to be that bloody tree
Grown right up past the roof.
First I’d better chop it down.
I need no further proof.

So where’s the effen chainsaw?
Put somewhere I’ve forgotten.
To fell that mongrel tree.
Memory’s gone, ratshit and rotten.

Well now I see the bastard
Under junk and in the gloom.
The shed needs cleaning up
To give myself some room.

First we’ll start the powerplant
To light up all this shite.
If I begin working now
I’ll be finished by midnight.

But power engine stopped last night
“Low oil” the cutoff warned.
“Well I’ll be stuffed” I muttered
Why was I ever borned.”

So lubricant I’ll fetch
To sate the thirsty bitch.
Then clean the shed, fix the saw,
Chop tree without a hitch.

I wonder where the oil went?
‘Twas here the other day.
The ladder’s gone as well
What fool took that away?

Day is done. Getting dark.
I’m weary. Endless toil.
Must not forget tomorrow
My truck needs change of oil.

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The Port of Life

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Queenslanders, unlike most other Australians refer to suitcases as “ports”, possibly derived from the French “portmanteau” (cloak carrier)

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The Port of Life……..a little poem by GOF

The young boy’s port of life
Was light, with just a few
Things like a pocket knife
To carve, as boys will do.

Some dreams and hope for what
In future lay unknown.
They didn’t weigh a lot,
But grew like acorns sown.

It also held some things
From fairy tales he’d heard
Rapunzel’s hair and Kings
Back then didn’t sound absurd.

God filled his port with weight
Of guilt and heavenly scorn
For sins added since the date
That little boy was born.

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The young man’s port o’erflowed
With confidence and knowledge
Deceptive seeds he’d sowed
Illusions gained from college.

Life with too much fiction,
A juvenile facade,
So with silent benediction
He dumped them… wasn’t hard.

The fairy tales went first.
No “happy ever after’
Unless you seek and thirst
Compromise and laughter.

God was the next to go.
With all His threats as well.
The world he came to know
Didn’t need a place called Hell.

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The old man’s port is worn.
Tattered from all the years.
‘Tis not something to mourn
Or shed too many tears.

The contents not to show
The public, or display.
It protects the things I know.
Wisdom gained along the way.

In secret pockets hide
Memories, some regret,
Of loved ones who have died.
Kept lest he should forget.

Old mans port overflows
With gifts from life he led.
Only he ever knows.
With his eyes only read.

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