Rainy day in Redfern

Rainy days tend to free me up from all distraction. Distractions like ‘I could be at the beach’, ‘...mowing the lawn’, ‘...washing the car’, ‘gardening’, ‘visiting ...’. You know the list of sunny day pursuits we entertain in our heads, EVEN!!! ... when we are hard at work. And there are so many songs about the rain.
When I was a kid I never felt like I was missing out when the rain fell from the sky in my home town, which it did with regularity some times. If I could get outside there were dams to build, ice block sticks to race down gutters, fun with puddles and in these fun puddles, eventually, tadpoles to harvest and grow into frogs (or other less attractive critters). Inside my bedroom I loved to watch the patterns of water that swept across the glass as art, accompanied by the symphony of sounds, curling and chuggling down the drainpipes, as a mixture of nature’s refreshment poured over the resistance offered by the clusters of green frogs from their secret hiding places.
Days like these were great days for reading books and comics. To escape to far flung places, for Biggles moments and Tarzan adventures. Rain days are still perfect for reading, not that there is a bad day for reading a book. And today, this last Friday in Australia for a while, I hide in coffee shops around Redfern where anonymity ensures freedom of thought and ink.  Redfern, the Aboriginal heart of Sydney, I feel good here, writing poetry. Nothing fancy. Just my thoughts and ideas, converted into lines and loops, the freedom of old technology pushing simple rhyme and black ink onto unlined paper. Rainy memories and introspective moments coming to life atop tables in places with names like Appetite, Just Coffee,Tea & Me and Nookie. Great places for the kid that still lives inside of me to play in the  possibilities that come when the mist forms over the earth once more. 

A Rainy Day in Redfern

I have grand ideas then none
A shaft of light undone
By nothing more than doubt
When I want to write and shout
Doesn’t anyone see what’s going on down here?

I could fill up these pages in a day
And still never finish what I want to say
Like I read a menu without trying them all
In cafe with pressed metal ceilings and mirrors on the wall
Does anyone care that the earth is crying?

A rainy day in Redfern that familiar sound
Gurgling drainpipes but no frogs around
And I feel inclined to the voice of the pen
I’ve only one book to write but it has no end
And I like to think about whispering grass... can you hear it?

Something in the Air

I often recall the thunder in my heart
the dysfunction called love
the static of my art
lost in dreaming
words crying
while seeking understanding
and I the poet
in the distant hidden
shadows of the white
man’s landing.

There I painted pain 
with syllables
reckoned life with rhyme
holding fragments
where they shattered
looking for Revelation
with linguistic line
learning how to tame 
the terror
of no greater death
then losing love
became the error
and I cried
but not enough

And the thunder
lay silent
like a truant
to love
there was a solution
but the silence
was tough
until with a Sunday
dawn’s clear breaking
the simple sound
from a bell
I heard my author’s 
sweet wisdom
from the Book of the Kells
and wonder
the thunder

Asylum Seeker

At last I’m free from isolation
independent of hestitation
frustration and infatuation
that turns dreams into desperation
and goodness into drums of black
that cover the joy of billboards
and delete the horizon called truth
like emails that offend.
And George’s last words are never ending
and uppermost in my mind
     ‘Don’t forget to love one another!’

But we do forget
we the ones who claim 
the lucky country for our own
forget to love our neighbour
as to love ourselves profess.
Or do we?
And as we condemn ourselves
we send our neighbours back 
in silence...and...
in shame.

This song from awesome and beautiful Indigenous Australian singer, Christine Anu, begins  in the streets of Redfern. Enjoy!!


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