April 19 – Day Nineteen: the theme continues

Still at country retreat. Same Word Press issue.

This came in a white hot rush & has barely been touched.  It’s almost Day 18: part 2. Or draft two. Or whatever. It’s a better poem than yesterday’s, that’s for sure. Was posted on fb 11 hours before midnight!!! I was impressed.

On at least one level the inspiration for today’s poem should be obvious.


Buried. In darkness. Alone.
Wake surrounded. By the scent of aloes.
& bitter perfumes. All is dark, cold. Every
atom aches. Every muscle. Wine soaked.
Sinew & bone. I am sore. To my core.

The air smells. Mushrooms. Liquorice,
Damp smouldering wood. Eat the aloe.
Make myself sick. Eject the poison.
Wounded. In dark places I dwell. Alone
In a cave. Just me. & my angels.


2014-04-24 09.53.56-8

April 9 – Day Nine: a change of tack

While at the launch of a book of poetry tonight, the phrase “eco-anarchist” lit a fire under a few things I’ve been thinking for some time. What is the place of poetry? Can it change the world? Probably not, but if it can challenge it, that’s almost as good.

The Redistribution Manifesto & Hit List


The dam wall is about to break
It’s been building for a while
This resentment towards the so-called 1%
Really it’s a much lower number
Too long we’ve allowed them their dominance
The corporate capitalistic oligarchy
has been tried & found wanting.
Their socio-comic irrationalism
is getting in the way of our fee market economy

If free-trade agreements were not actually misnomers
& if globalisation brought equal benefits globally
but …

The solution is simple.
They’ve had their chance.
Been given ample opportunity to change,
yet they cling, confidently cling,
knowing nothing’s altered in 200 years
Other than increasing the odds in their favour
so why now.

The solution, I said, is simple.
Take back what’s ours.
Or just — take equality.
(as we’ve probably never truly had it)
The irony is that the right is actually not
What’s left of the left, needs to step up,
& grow a pair.
Militant actions are necessary.
Gandhi spoke of non-violent resistance
But the conservatives’ poster boy,
turned over tables in the temple.

It’s time to turn some tables.

My solution is simple.
Kill the rich. Just the ultras, for a start.
For the price of a few bullets
maybe a carbomb
great injustices could be undone.
I myself am willing to train.
Willing to risk eternity in hell
to free the millions, the billions.
Yes indeed, I’ll cop that
to prevent this inexorable dystopia.

Let’s try another route.
& if it’s built on a few
dead billionaire’s bodies, so be it.
Is their death worth more
than the millions in sweat shops,
& slave labour camps,
let alone the billions in
daily grind employment
that are not sweat shops
– yet still don’t provide
financial security.
Who would not, knowing
what we know now

& given the chance, have drowned a certain young Austrian
artist as he stood at his easel by the Danube River in 1900


The Manifesto

1. Publish the hit list.
2. Reward the Redistributor.
3. Wait a week. If nothing changes, move down the list.
4. Anyone who gives away 20% of their wealth in each 7 day period, is safe for the following week.
5. Every so often, mix up the order. Keep em on their toes.
6. Repeat till extreme affluence — or extreme poverty — no longer exists.


The Hit List: a first draft (the top 5)

0. Gates [$76 billion] even though he’s #1
he gets a short reprieve for already offloading
a fair whack of cash. & encouraging others to do so too.

1. A Walton is first. Doesn’t matter which of the 4.
[each worth between $34 & $37 billion]
Whichever one goes might make the others think fast.
Thus, a few birds, one stone. Oh! & tidy up Walmart salaries. Today.
Actually, scratch that. Tidy your third world workers salaries today.
You can fix your employees up tomorrow.

2. A Koch brother is next. [$40 billion each]
Again it doesn’t matter which.
(supposedly pronounced “Coke”, we know the truth)
One less sociopath in the world, is always welcome.
We’re just deregulating a few pesky wealth hoarders.

3. Although ex-Aussie Murdoch [$13.5 billion] is a relative minnow,
eliminating him early on could have nice knock on effects.
Watch the rabid Fox Newsrabbit “journalists”
fear monger their way out of that one.
Make sure an American Redistributes old Rupe
(They do, after all, have the right to bear arms)

4. Putin is in some lists as having a secret $70 billion in assets.
Not sure if it’s true, but ditto for knock on effects.
Can anyone say Crimea?

5. Ingvar Kamprad [$53 billion] is next. Probably a nice guy,
but your top five position is for bringing us IKEA.

The rest of the list will be released, 1 week from today.
Brace yourselves.



April 4 – Day Four: ruminations on passion (& an “easter egg”)

Today I saw a friend perform in a musical version of Christ’s Passion.  It was an amateur production, with all the accompanying issues.  (As an actor he makes a great poet: I only hope he’s not upset by today’s offering…)  It was the second time I’ve seen it.  He is my friend & I want to support him, even if I don’t share his convictions.  But the darkness of the theatre, & the ample moments of downtime, allowed for many chances to reflect, to think, to meditate, to nap.)  

& I chose to think about perhaps my favourite disciple — after Thomas, who I rightly slag off in today’s poem — the one I believe has been most maligned, misunderstood, & misportrayed.  That is of course, the Kissing Disciple, Judas.  

Sadly I feel this is my least successful effort of the month to date.  But the idea of NaPoWriMo is to challenge oneself & create work one might not normally attempt.  Maybe it’ll look better in a week or two, with some distance behind it.

Your “easter egg” is not one you have to search too hard for – it’s just at the bottom of this post … as a second bonus poem.  (Does this give me a credit for tomorrow?)


Two Versions of The Cross



The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

“It were better for him never to have been born”

the thing most Christians miss is Judas had the hardest job
they lavish love on that snivelling denier, Peter so-called Rock
or poor Thomas & his doubts (understandable, but inexcusable)
leaving the red-haired BFF to swing forever weighted by silver.

it’s easy to paint Jesus White & Judas Black, crudely simplifying
perhaps the most complex decision ever made by man: betray
or believe in the impossible — in return from death. who among
us can act correctly not knowing the consequences of choice?

the argument: Peter didn’t know the plan, but what if Judas
did — if the motivation was to accomplish Christ’s mission
then Judas is the catalyst for the event which (allegedly) saves
humanity — by sacrificing the man that clothed eternal life.

the truth then, or at least this one possible version of it
is your, my, our salvation (real, wishful or delusional)
is built upon one man’s not actually a betrayal. a man
who may, have been the truest bravest disciple of all





Image:  Copy_of_el_beso_de_Judas



A Review in Free Verse of a Musical Version of Christ’s Passion

From a practitioner’s perspective, it was hard to appreciate:

The multiple missed lighting spots.
Stilted movements. Stilted frozen tableaus
Strange forced perspective flats of the room
where the last (Escher-esque) supper was held.
Repeated use of downstage hands to mask faces
wildly gesticulating arms & finger pointing
as the only way to communicate emotion.
Stepping forward to deliver a line,
then returning with a snap to their ranks.
The pristinely clean costume shop clothes
(Pilate’s crushed velvet robes were a cack).
The perfectly timed too quick sound cues
(the impatient cock had already crowed
before Peter had denied three times).
Corny dialogue, poorly delivered.
Corny lyrics, not poorly delivered
surprisingly sang with a strange naive beauty
by far the most emotive element of the show.
Over-produced synthesiser-rich faux-pop score
Although lines like: He’s no messiah. He’s a lunatic, a liar &
Jesus remember me when you come (come) ((come)) into your kingdom
are memorable for the wrong reasons.
Thankfully though Mary Mag was a hottie
(as she should be), although some colour blind
casting might have helped. Poor Asian Judas
& Asian Pilate opposite a dull whitebread Aryan Jesus
who he seemed to spend almost as long
up on the cross as he did 2000 years ago.

One can’t fault the cast’s earnestness,
nor their conviction, nor even their faith
none of which I share. All seemed pleased
& the audience full of school children bussed in
from religious schools, all seemed impressed.

the thing that sticks with me the most:
is the primary school boy who said in a whisper
to his mate: his heart’s still beating




Wrestling in Front of Escher’s Supper Room.   image: moi