Poem: RANDOM THOUGHTS OF AN INSOMNIAC

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Here’s one that I scribbled down one night when I couldn’t sleep. I think I read this on the radio back in the day as well. I must find those audio files and post them so you can all laugh at my terrible speaking voice.

Random Thoughts Of An Insomniac

Night falls
Darkness calls
Shadows crawl
Across walls
Day dies
Light flies
Lovers sigh
Loners cry
Time creeps
People sleep
Night keeps
Truths deep

© Darryn Roberts 2001

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Poem: INNER CHILD

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Haven’t blogged for a couple of days, mainly because I’ve been busy doing other things, like working, and going to TV show tapings & poker tournaments (I came 13th of 80; having never played before, I was happy with that). But these are adult pursuits, and sometimes I long for the days before life became so complex.
Actually, nowadays I long for the days when I was still allowed by my wife and my doctor to live out the last line of this poem…..

Inner Child

When I was four I used to love
Just lying on the grass.
I’d stare up at the bright blue sky –
An Ansett jet would travel by,
And I would always wonder why
It didn’t fly real fast.
(Now Ansett is no longer, and four’s a long time past).

When I was six we had a pool,
And I was Aquaman.
An hour used to last all day –
That was long enough to play
The same game twenty different ways,
Yet still have time to tan.
(Though tanning’s now a social sin, I still swim when I can).

When I was ten I always found
Time in the afternoon
For “The Curiosity Show”,
A glass of milk, an Iced Vovo,
Completing homework, balls to throw,
And thinking ’bout the moon.
(But Dean and Rob are on no more, and oh my lord it’s tax time soon!).

Those precious everlasting days;
Who knew they’d fly so quick?
I’d quit my job in nothing flat,
I’d give the car and mobile back,
If someone could reverse time’s track –
But no-one knows that trick.
(So instead, I’ll binge on Froot Loops and chocolate ’til I’m sick).

© Darryn Roberts 2003

Review: THE AVENGERS

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So, Tara and I went to see THE AVENGERS last night. Midnight viewing, 3D presentation. For someone who is a big comic book freak, like me, this was a pants-staining exercise. For someone is who married to a big comic book freak, like Tara, this was a big noisy movie that she didn’t quite understand, but enjoyed as an action spectacle.
Note – minor spoilers may arise, but nothing to break your heart.
First, this is a spectacular movie in every facet. The cast alone contains 5 Academy Award nominees or winners: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, & Mark Ruffalo. Its a big movie – even the indoor sets are in the main spacious and give the feeling that big, important things happen in these rooms. The plot concerns a world-threatening attack by aliens controlling godlike levels of energy. These guys are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the movie does them justice; its not just a bunch of average folks suiting up to protect us. There is something special, something extra, about all of them – even the weaker members of the team. So thematically, the movie is consistent. And BIG, did I mention that?
Without spoiling the story by revealing specific plot points, fans of Marvel comics (more pointedly, fanboys with their obsessive knowledge of trivia, and insistence on minutiae being correct) should be generally pleased with the way this film unfolds and the way the characters interact. You can’t have a Marvel superhero team-up without the heroes first throwing down in some kind of misunderstanding – and in this movie we have six heroes meeting for the first time, ya know what I’m saying? There are nods to traditional elements of Marvel lore (in the original 1963 comic, Thor’s brother Loki manipulates the Hulk and the heroes respond as individuals before teaming up; Tony “Iron Man” Stark provides a headquarters for the team to meet; Hawkeye & Black Widow (the Renner & Scarlett Johanssen characters) share a past and are both outsiders/bad guys before joining the team – all of these plot points turn up, although not necessarily as you’d expect). The story also borrows heavily from recent comic storylines – the clash of idealogies between Captain America & Iron Man; the assembly of the team as a project by Nick Fury; characters like Maria Hill & Eric Solveig – these are all no more than a dozen years old. Yep, there’s something for everyone who’s an Avengers comics fan. There is a satisfying mix of OHEMGEE! effects driven action & laugh out loud moments, and an unexpected tragic turning point as well
The actors all generally turn in fine performances; given that there are 8 leads (Chris Evans as Captain America, Downey as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Ruffalo as the Hulk, Jackson as Nick Fury, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Renner & Johanssen) and a handful of important support roles (Stellan Skaarsgard as Solveig, Cobie Smulders as Hill, Paltrow as Pepper Potts & Clark Gregg as Agent Coulsen), its to be expected that this is not a movie which explores it’s characters in any great depth. The exception is Johanssen’s turn as the Black Widow, Agent Natasha Romanov. She is furnished some back story and we are allowed a couple of intimate glimpses into her motivations. But in the main, its an action movie and these guys portray archetypes – Hemsworth’s Thor is a Shakespearian good-time-guy with a sense of responsibility, Evans’s Captain America is a straight-up square from the 1940s transpalnted to the 21st century, Downey’s Iron Man is the manic genius egotist, Jackson is a BAMF giving orders with a scowl. I wasn’t keen on Ruffalo as mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner, but I think he’s been cast because he actually looks brutish like the Hulk. Speaking of the Big Green Guy – if you saw the pretty confusing Ang Lee film (with Eric Bana) or the more recent Letterier INCREDIBLE HULK (with Ed Norton), don’t worry. This Hulk looks fluid and natural. He has some pretty good moments too, and partisans on both sides in the perennial “Who is stronger, Thor or Hulk?” debate get plenty to talk about.
There were some disappointments – both Thor’s and Captain America’s costumes have been slightly revised from their solo movies, and in my opinion for the worse. No doubt I’m not the only old-school fan who would have liked to have seen original comic book characters Henry Pym & Janet van Dyne used in some capacity, major or minor. The decision to give all the action during the extended climactic battle scene to the superheroes, after spending 90 minutes building up the agency SHIELD as a superior peacekeeping force with highly trained operatives and advanced weapons/tech, is kind of silly – if this was a real alien invasion, why wouldn’t they be on at least the second line of defense instead of the much more outgunned New York police? But in general, this is another well made Marvel comics adaptation – not as good as Thor or Iron Man, better than Captain America or Iron Man II. All in all, I give it 7 transdimensional portals out of 10.

Oh, yeah … stay through the credits for the obligatory teaser. And then Google “Infinity Gauntlet” if you don’t know what’s going on…..

Poem: PARMESAN CHEESE

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Yesterday’s poem prompted a reader to remark that they were better at doggerel than at ‘arty’ poetry. Doggerel, for those unfamiliar with the technicalities of poetry, means verse that is generally lacking in something of ‘quality’. It’s a subjective term, and applies as much as to subject matter as form. If you ever hear a snobby critic describing something as doggerel, they will mean it is amateurish, childish or trivial.
Personally, I find that as long as it’s written sincerely and enjoyable to read, ‘doggerel’ is just as valid as any other sort of poetry. That’s probably why I write so much of it….

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese! Parmesan cheese!
The food that smells like a foot disease.
Reminds me of an infected sneeze –
Oh that Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan cheese! Parmesan cheese!
If food were insects, it would be fleas.
Everyone who’s sane agrees –
Disgusting Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan cheese! Parmesan cheese!
I’d rather swallow a hive of bees
Or lick a sloth behind the knees
Than eat any Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan cheese! Parmesan cheese!
Poke my eyes out with your keys
Or peel my skin in strips, but please
Don’t give me Parmesan cheese.

© Darryn Roberts 2003

Poem: SORROW

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Its never easy when we lose someone, but that loss is part of the natural order of the world. Without the looming shadow of death, whether distant or near, life would never be so sweet as it is. Once we’re gone, we’re gone forever – so make memories every chance you can for those leave you behind.

Sorrow

Now you have gone into the light
and I am left with blackest night
in my soul.

But the pain will not endure as long
as the love and memories so strong
and so whole.

Those memories are deep within,
as sharp as any sword or pin,
hard as a gem.

And gems are meant to be displayed,
not locked inside eternal shade,
so I’ll show them

to everyone who never knew
the joy of being known by you,
and then they’ll know

that you made the world a better place
by touching us with your brief grace
and that you were loved so.

© Darryn Roberts 2000

The Funny: MAN BITES DOG!

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I’m sure by now everyone is aware that President Barack Obama ate dog as a child in Indonesia. And I’m sure everyone is aware that this blog has so far been scandalously short of off-colour humour. Be warned: if you like dogs, or you like President Obama, you may find this post not to your taste. Me, I’m  neither for, or against, President Obama & I love dogs; but I love comedy more.
So, here are the best of the jokes I’ve been able to cull so far. Feel free to chime in if you come across any quality ones.

Why does Obama love small dogs? Because he’s on a diet.

They stopped serving peanuts on Air Force One. Obama just wants Snoopy

“So, Mr. President, where shall we go to eat?”
“I know a great Spot.”

No wonder Obama kept the troops in the Middle East for so long. When he heard they were killing Afghans, he had completely the wrong idea

How does Barack Obama season his meals? With a pinscher this, a pinscher that.

Staff expenses at the White House have increased lately, they keep replacing the dinner setter.

Who is the President’s favourite classical composer? Bach.
Closely followed by Offenbach.

Barack Obama was excited, but ultimately disappointed, when he heard that Malia & Sasha invited a young lassie from their school for dinner.

Whats President Obama’s favourite type of pasta? Kenneloni

The White House diningware is so clean, its up to lab standards.

Its tough being the president. Even your choice of food can come back to bite you

Pound for pound, Obama is the best fed President.

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
to get her poor doggy a bite
But Barack got there first
And made liverwurst
Out of Rover, and ate him that night.

with thanks to contributors Michael Nehring, Ethan van Sciver, Tara Goulding & Wal Roberts

Ramble: WHO’S BEEN TRIP-TRAPPING ON MY INTERNET?

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So, what’s the deal with these electronical interweb tubes?
During a couple of recent Facebook discussions, people have taken more-than-usual exception to posts of mine. Now, while I’m never stuck for an opinion, I do make every effort to be inoffensive when expressing it. I’ve been online in various social outlets for longer than the internet’s actually been around, it sometimes seems. I’ve haunted chatrooms, newsgroups, forums and social networks. I know my lolcats from my O RLY owls. I have had my share of flame wars (and done reasonably well enough for the most part), and I take great pains not to be a troll. Life’s too short to get my jollies from posting provocative little bomblets on the ‘net and sitting around waiting for the explosions. I simply state what I have to state and in general that will lead to an interesting discussion. I don’t seek to change anyone’s viewpoint, and I don’t post merely to provocative.  But, in the last two weeks, I’ve been called a communist (for opining that we’ll never actually do any serious space travel as a species); a condescending asshole (for pointing out that Hillsong preaches & practices prosperity theology); and most excitingly, invited to actually fight by someone for criticisng a review of a comic. (I was devastated when the Heavyweight Champion of the Internet decided he wasn’t going to make the effort; after he asked me to name any time and place, he then said he couldn’t get to Church Street Mall and had the nerve to call me a coward. Yup … I know).
These reactions haven’t come after heated post-&-respond either. Its been one post and then the stupidity starts.
Anyway, I haven’t changed my behaviour recently. I’m still the same old goofball who’d rather have a friend than a fight. So, I’m wondering what’s got people who frequent the same circles as me suddenly all riled up.  Maybe it’ll pass, but remember – opinions are like arses.
And so are internet trolls.

Cute ... like a measles pattern.

….

Congratulations to North Korea on their successful missile launch last week. Commiserations though, on the fact that it fell into the sea a minute later. Also, deepest sympathies on… well, on being North Korea. Tough gig, and the worst part is you don’t even get to laugh at all the jokes.

Recently changed his name to Kim Jong-Dead

….

 

Its not just poor comedy & old poetry around here. Take a look at these infrared images of the universe, courtesy of The Australian newspaper and JPL/Cal-Tech. The cosmos is an amazing place, with wonders beyond imagining and beauties to rend the heart.

Cheers
Darryn

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