Regrets: He has none.

When he was a child
He was gentle and so mild

He had two who he called brother
One was bigger, one was smaller

He had a manly father
With who he had bother

They teased his softness
It was all so relentless

They called him a sissy
A girl and a pansy

But he showed them though
And became the tough bro

As he grew, inside he cried
As he grew, outside he lied

Inside he suffered brutally
Outside he offered brutality)

All his life he fought himself
Till it cost him all his health

Then he put the hurt away
Till over him it held no sway.

He allowed the inner out
It held much more clout

As he forgave his tormentor
To others he became a mentor

Becoming soft and gentle again
He could have no greater gain

He gained two grandkids
Which toughness forbids

With fun and care they play
And he thanks Christ
They know him no other way.

The So Brave Digger from Tarin Kowt

The official mourning crowds have passed
To the turn of sorrowful friends and family
Times when mums, dads and widows grasped
The treasures, hurts and pleasures in homily.

In city and town small private funerals abound
In all, more sad than all the past ever knew,
And one from all the rest in sadness crowned
A digger buried by largely an unknown few.

The parson’s words in death wholly encrypted.
The words of the eight mourners more telling,
Of soulless worlds where hope’s oft unscripted,
By searching lost souls in a battle unrelenting.

I spoke first, ‘It’s appropriate’, I uttered to the few,
‘I’m here because the smallness seemed to call me’.
In half truth the big man said, ‘I’m a stranger too’.
But with the Digger, he shared a similar silent key.

‘We’re pall-bearers’, said the spokesman for the four
Who’d lowered our digger to his final lonely rest.
The woman, who had seen worse of life before,
Whispered, ‘I was the closest to a girlfriend, at best.’

The young soldier, a polished and hardy veteran too,
Looking sad, verging on weeping, his face like a map
‘I promised my mate a massive funeral, true blue.
He’d merely smiled and coughed and whispered, “Crap”.

He was so brave, never complained nor groaned nor cried.
He smiled at me, muttered, “Rest at last” and quietly sighed.
His eyes closed, his breath rattled and he peacefully died.
I promised at his funeral I’d make a speech, I never lied.

I know I was the nearest he ever had to a true friend.
His mum died at birth, a dad known but unrecognised.
He had known the streets, a comfy home he’d pretend.
He met the army, he excelled and his home revised.

He had no i-pod, computer, photo or phone.
He had kept to himself as much as he could.
When with our patrol, no-one was ever alone,
He was trusted and reliable in our mate hood.

He would borrow my phone before his return,
To contact a woman at home. He’d book a date.
I’d ask of her importance, with feigned concern?
He’d wink and grin and say, “she’s only my mate”.

He said he never gave or was given anything.
Death gave him peace and me understanding.
He gave me hope, friendship and love of living.
But it’s true:
to no-one he gave nothing
but to everyone … his life. ‘

An epitaph earned, though in need of a rewrite,
Licence allowed our young veteran’s error stand.
I simply wished recognition of our terrible blight,
Of youthful life wasted, in another faraway land.

Banning Budgies

Oh Elle Macpherson, Elle Macpherson
It’s with you we genuinely celebrate,
The shape and acumen of your person,
Our delight; this perfectly godly mate.

Oh Mohamed’s women in darkness clad,
Aimless and shapeless as your men dictate.
To confront my basic view, you seem glad,
Being assigned to your sadly shuttered fate.

Marjorie to Sally in deed we loved you all,
Taut, supple bodies, treasure you employed.
Cathy’s shapely bodysuit really did enthral,
Our delight; a perfect godly flash enjoyed.

Oh you hidden women of Mohamed,
All showing more than you can know.
Denied repression with words unsaid,
Your men have you in a foreign tow.

Stage and screen, play our dream,
In Cate, Delta, Kylie and Nicole,
On show in life, all part of a team.
Our delight; to perform a godly role.

Oh Mohamed’s women full fear of hate,
My maleness confronts you in every way.
Arrogantly you think rape I’ll contemplate;
You confront me, with never word to say.

Kay and Jessie solo sailors genuine,
Guts and courage in an Aussie way.
Carried unhidden in a style feminine,
Our delight; their fearless godly fray.

Oh silent robed women blessed of Mohamed
Don’t you swim at our beach or pool or dam.
If you’re drowning you’re more likely be met,
By a red one piece suited powerful woman.

Edith and Vida, Enid and Dorothy,
Susan, Carmen and even Julia too.
All speak clear in an accent free.
Our delight; here is a godly view.

Oh faceless women of Mohamed,
A secret life in choices unbidden,
In opposite to our way selected.
Our loathing; open and unhidden.

This our life and limb we celebrate,
With open and forthright accord.
In daily life with lust we integrate,
Absorbing all with little discord,
Attempts foiled by a foreign dictate.

Anzac Legends Live Where Life Goes On

They’ve gone now the old ones who’d sworn,
Never to forget the fallen as they’d grown old.
No longer are the faces at dawn, gaunt drawn.
Distant kin only arise early to greet the cold.

But knowing not of the smell of deathly fear,
Nor the rancid stench of the abandoned dead,
Sensing the debt, that we will all forever bear,
Owing our peace, to the heroes who had bled.

Stone memorials; etched names; daily by-passed.
Bones shapeless scattered of the men unknown,
Full corpses lay in tilled lea, together all gassed,
White crosses in foreign fields, boys of our own.

Oh so very far from a common family and home,
Some unfallen returned, in a shell shocked state.
Lying not in distant foreign place but still alone,
Bereft wondering why innocent others celebrate.

No longer does distant muffled thunder haunt,
Nor spluttering exhausts recall a closer terror,
Nor rattling machine scream rapid fire in hunt,
No longer youth stumble in dreadful stupor.

At a mute dawn, no silent screams fall on deaf ears.
Nor shriek pitiful pleas, in sleepless long nights,
Amid children bearing more peaceful nightmares,
Veterans long dead, interred in familiar grave sites.

The pens of our war poets no longer write,
Singers and the song on the front were lost.
There was never any joy, nor hope in sight,
Bugles, now and then, only call the last post.

The sun thus goes down every day on our hard land,
And arises again in the morning of every new day.
For they who served, we ever in respect will stand,
Acknowledging their sacrifices in our simple way.

How could we forget to commemorate the sad display?
Look upon the memorials in small suburbs and town,
Look gently upon the youth on our free streets today,
Look at mothers who would again in sorrow drown.

Then recall the unborn of the dead men of those years.
Think of the emptiness of barren wombs of the unwed.
As the wretchedness recedes along with mother’s fears,
Our generations have missed more than was ever dread.

Unashamedly Male

 

The man in his child’s life was huge, strong and manly,

To the woman in the child’s life, he was her total world.

He was rough, tough, drunk, violent and often cowardly.

He’d direct anger at the child, on her, he‘d not withhold.

The child and she would suppress common vulnerability.

 

As he grew, the sadder she became. The child stayed angry.

To ensure the lad his safety, he had taught him how to fight.

He’d wear bruises proudly and hide his hurt behind his glee.

She’d grip his arms gently, say nothing but she cried at night.

None of them at peace with the torment they set blindly free.

 

She had an early release. With wrenching sobs, her heart broke.

She died lonely. Both men in her life rejected her expectation.

They fought that day in the guilt, her sudden passing did invoke.

Raging in their anger and suppressing their loss, till neither won.

As manly men mostly do, in private stubbornness neither spoke.

 

They parted in angry silence, their sad kinship at an early end,

In paths at odds, each hoping the other would a little concede.

The old on a path to redemption, a gentler outlook a god send.

He‘d found a true nature; suppression no longer a cursed need.

In ageing he became as she’d wanted. He regretted her sad end.

 

 

A wasted life the younger led, until in loneliness wrongly wed.

She had carried a suppressed, angry destructive selfish brew.

In blues they’d battled her obsession to where her violence led.

Till her dominating world fell apart and to her mother she flew.

The babes left in his care, jolted more than being no longer wed.

 

They shook hands as men, paused and then hugged as lovers do.

They shed an embarrassed tear or two and laughed at each other.

The grandchildren rushed to join a family hug. They’d had too few.

They were allies in all against the dad. It caused greatest bother.

In the closeness, the old man’s gentleness, in all of them grew.

 

The younger battled anger in making peace with his father.

‘Son I’d like to talk about your mum’, he’d said very quietly.

‘It’s a long time ago. We’re mates now, we need not bother’.

‘You’re right, you know, son’, he’d replied smiling gratefully.

Communicating in shared silence, each forgiving the other.

 

‘Goodnight Granddad, Love you Granddad.’

‘Love you.’ was his short reply.

‘Goodnight Granddad, Love you Granddad.’

‘Love you.’ was all he’d supply.

The son lined up, ‘good night, love you, Dad,’

‘God bless you.’ he’d instead of love reply.

 

Big Artie

Queenslander, Queenslander, the roar goes up once or twice a year,

Urging on the maroon heroes, of whom we know, will show no fear.

It chills the spine of everyone far flung from the outback to our coast.

But a spirit soars above us all, a mighty first maroon, a legendary ghost.

 

From a lonely grave he leads them, storming up the middle, ranging up outside.

In defence standing among them, shoulder to shoulder with his mighty mates.

Urging softly, each to fiercely stand his ground, to defend, so as to turn the tide.

The final whistle blows, returns a legendary maroon, unbowed to his pearly gates.

 

Saint Peter’ll greet him with a coldie and a pie. ‘How’d you do?’ He’ll in excitement start.

‘You know full well we don’t always win, but Queenslanders still have the bigger heart.’

Down here we mere mortals know, it’s the Queensland spirit the big man showed us,

In his short time upon the ground, that turned his mighty example, into our impetus.

 

Four Seasons of Man

The spring is strong as the race is begun

He is young and his youthful urge virile.

In youth a woman allures the young man

To chase, to explore, to taste and beguile.

 

The pill ensures a victory or two in a quest

Lustily engaged by all except a Puritan few.

The learning is sound and leads with zest

To growth; adaptation with an honest review.

 

The summer is brightest with one aspect clear.

In sensible young men, a life’s love is oft found.

A woman tethered to trust, respect and care,

He falls infatuated, mesmerised and bound.

 

Two rings of gold, a short term prize, known to both.

A bride upon to dote, to cherish with love professed

In one with wealth to share, a plan on future growth

Building much more than a mere selfish, loving nest

 

Warmth remains, but in autumn’s richest golden glow

The wealth from trust, commitment and love grown,

Produces a gift or two, which only nature can bestow.

The bounty, a family as they are now to be known

 

The father walks in larger strides of responsibility

Gathering a child in safe arms to lift and to squeal,

As well providing the base food, shelter and security,

On solid ground with simple common sense appeal.

 

As winter’s final chills approach, a deeper self is known.

The past provides the roadmap for future endeavour.

A father’s work is done; in pride sees his child is flown,

His other lives in hope of another generation to flower.

 

I’m softer now the stress is done,

I’m gentle now the urgency’s gone,

I’m smiling for my life has again begun.

I’m able now to do the other things

I dreamed I always could have done.

Oh To be a Fly in Benalla Tonight

We sort of came together in a quest of two.

While in pain we met upon the ocean bay,

Sadly you received less than I took from you.

In time, too short, we parted. What can I say?

Hope in our friendship and lost yearning too.

 

So with words of wit and suggestion too

I hope you enjoy your night with Chris

With laughter, light and hearty and a few

Of the other things that bring you bliss,

And a gentle wealth yet unknown to you.

 

I’ll be thinking of your oh so tender touch

And other secrets you don’t often share

Unless with expert tongue and the such

In exploration, you find one day to dare.

I’d be in an envy I hope you’d never catch

 

My night is still all so young and my lovers

All three, so far away and so lonely flung.

Thinking of you and Chris an image hovers

The likes of which, like songs lightly sung,

Along with images of former naked lovers

Are best left in the mind or I’d become well and truly hung.

Manly All Manly By the Sea

 

Many came to this shady place from across the open sea.

Many flown by boat and plane, but none had actually swum.

Arriving in ancient aim, born or as a pure economic refugee,

Most with no invite or visa, and none to the beat of a drum.

 

This cool shadowy place, in afternoon’s sleepy comfort,

Stolen from each before, in humpy, in tent or apartment.

Their silent echoes, containing a long forgotten thought,

Thriving trade breezes, authority couldn’t tax or prevent.

 

Why we keep returning, all after an absence of years,

None really fathom and the yachtsmen least of all.

It’s likely the weather but few among us really cares,

More likely the ambience, more a mood we all enthral.

 

Gatherer, hunter, fisherman, farmer or bludger,

In all a fearsome custodial tribe yet to emerge.

Except one borrowing a berth or at bay’s anchor,

In his dream, a vast ownerless home of converge.