Poem: A SNOWFLAKE IN MY HAND

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Wow! It’s cold this week in beautiful Sydney. I haven’t checked, but I think the average temperature has been brrr degrees with a high of you’re kidding and dropping to a low of holy crap! overnight. Those who live elsewhere might be surprised to know that it does occasionally snow in the Sydney basin – not in the metropolitan areas, because the concrete + electricity + car combination makes it too warm no matter what the air temperature – but up in the Blue Mountains to the west of the urban area, it’s apt to come down white a couple of times a year. All of which puts in mind of a poem, funnily enough.

A Snowflake In My Hand

Swirling, floating, drifting,
Falling to ground,
The crystal catches the
Moonlight and shines.

Like a single knot
In a vast white tapestry,
It seeks its place
And settles in comfortably.

It’s nothing, really –
A fleeting, pretty joy;
One of Nature’s quirky delights,
Vanishing as it rests in your hand.

But it’s beautiful and serene
And it’s gentle.
It makes my lady smile
And that makes it more precious than gold.

© Darryn Roberts 2002

PS – Juice Fast update: I’ve lost 3kgs so far, I’m still not hungry, and I just had a banana & coconut smoothie. This may be one of these weeks when it sucks to be not-me.

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Ramble: JUICE FAST DAY 1

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We interrupt our regularly schedule programming of old poetry and bad jokes to bring you this special Juice Fast update.
As I write this, its near enough to 1030pm Monday night. I’ve not eaten any solid food since around 2pm yesterday. Dinner last night was a couple of glasses of water, as I had an enormous lunch.
I woke up hungry, of course. Breakfast this morning – 2 large glasses of water, 1 large glass of vege juice (beetroot, beetroot greens, english spinach, tomato, celery, kale, bok choy, carrot greensginger, garlic and a little bit of apple & guava), and a cup of herbal tea. Normally I am dead by 11am if I don’t slug down at least 2 coffees by then, so I was a little concerned about that. To my surprise, I didn’t even get one of those horrid “forgot to have coffee” headaches.
Lunch was more of the same juice, mixed with a little bit of fruit blend (apple, orange, pineapple, grape, strawberry, guava, pineapple, kumqwat, and water again.
I really started to get hungry about 4pm, but persevered with a only a cup of green tea til dinner at 730pm, which was another glass of vege, another glass of fruit & another glass of water. I’m cheating a little bit right now, because Tara made me a banana & strawberry smoothie (on almond milk) but really, its all juice so I forgive myself.
Now, all of that stuff cleaned us out of supplies so we stopped at the shop on the way from portrait photos (another story for another day) and bought a metric shitload of new fruit & vegies:

Now we have four bottles of various blends in the fridge (2x vegetable, 2x fruit) which should last us through to Wednesday.

Originally this was supposed to be a 5 day project. Then Tara and I decided we might only do 2 days (mostly because we have a regular dinner-with-friends-night on Tuesdays, and a little bit because we didn’t know if we could see it through). The way I feel right now? I could do this for a week, easy. I heard stories – by now I would have no energy, I would have a chronic headache, I would get stomach cramps. Well, nuh-uh! Feel fine, a little bit empty in the tummy but nothing more than minor discomfort. I have plenty of energy, even now when I’d normally be starting to tire for the night, and I haven’t had anything near a headache.

I didn’t weigh myself before kicking off, but my weight has been consistently around the 97-98kg mark for a couple of years now. I weighed myself just before starting this post and I’m down to 96kg, fully dressed. I’ll see what’s happening on that front in the morning before drawing any conclusions.

Cheers
Darryn

Poem: SORRY

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Guilt is a pretty primal emotion. In fact, if I was to invent a ‘Scale of Feelings’, it would be up there with the rest of the ‘Passions’: grief, anger, lust, joy & mirth. It’s a passion because it comes on strong in its early stages, and later settles down to something a little more even-tempered (in this case, remorse or regret). But while you’re in the grips of the passions, its easy to say things or do things that may be you wouldn’t do if you were being objective, things you would advise your friends against doing if they were in your shoes. The first step to dealing with guilt is to confront it. Face up to your acts. Face up to any aggrieved parties. Be prepared to take the consequences. Learn a lesson, whatever it may be, and then get on with your life.

Sorry

I’m sorry that I’m weak
I’m sorry for your pain
I’m sorry that I was the one
Who hurt you yet again
I’m sorry for the tears
That I know I’ve made you shed
I’m sorry that I couldn’t make you
Smile today instead.
I’m sorry things aren’t different
There’s so much I’m sorry for
So many things I should’ve done
Or said, now and before.
I’m sorry that I’m human
If I wasn’t so damn frail
I’d have nothing to be sorry for
Because I’d have never failed.
I’m sorry that I let you down
When most you needed me
I’m sorry that I wasn’t round
For all eternity
And though it probably doesn’t help
Or somehow make things right
Know I’ll be sorry all my days
And sorry all my nights.

© Darryn Roberts 2000

Ramble: A BIG PARTY, TWO BAD PARTIES, NO PARTYING

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I wish I was a con-artist. Wait, that came out wrong. I have no desire to be tricking people out of their wealth with dodgy promises (well, not much desire anyway). No, what I’m talking about are those marvellously entertaining people who go to pop culture conventions, or ‘cons’ for short. If you’ve never been to a con, well, I reckon you’re missing out. All under one roof, 10000 poeple a day or more wandering around talking about and thinking about science fiction, horror, fantasy, comics, movies, television, games and just generally having a good time. Okay, when I say ‘television’ I’m not talking UNDERBELLY or BREAKING BAD so much as TRUE BLOOD & XENA, but then again there’s no reason why fans of those shows shouldn’t represent as well. Its all make believe, after all. Anyway, the really cool part of a con is the cosplay. (If you don’t know what cosplay is, stop for a second and google it. We’ll wait here for you while you catch up).
(Back now? Up to speed? Cool, lets get back to it). Some cosplayers go to massive effort to dress and act like their favourite characters. You can really see the dedication they have for something which is, for most of them, an unpaid labour of love. When its done well, cosplay is as much a perfomance art as street theatre or busking. And that’s what makes them ‘con-artists’, you see.
Last weekend I went to Supanova, one of the two bigger cons held in Sydney. I don’t know when the other one, Armageddon, is this year – if you do, let me know. And maybe we’ll dress up and go cosplaying together. I do a very believable ‘old fat nerd with a beard’ impersonation….

“Go on Darryn! Do it next year! Join us”

I alternate between cranky & cynical about politics, especially Australian politics. Its been said of the American two party system that they have a party of bad ideas and a party of no ideas; here in Australia we seem to have a party with ideas but no clue as how to communicate them, and a party of communicators who say all ideas are bad. Some folks blame the fact that we have a hung parliament, but I don’t think that’s correct. Even before the last election, the ALP under Julia Gillard was brimming with ideas it should have been able to win support for, having spruiked them for a couple of years. The Mining Resource Rent Tax was crying out to be sold as a vehicle for increasing employment and encouraging venture capitalism; the Emissions Tax/Trading scheme is going to have such a negligible impact on household and small business expense that it should have been a cinch to promote; and the National Broadband Network is the 21st century’s laydown infrastructure winner, an investment that will bear fruit for at least the next 60 or 70 years. If nothing else, they should have dug out old speeches from the late 19th century or early twentieth century about telegraphy and telephony, and used those to sell it. But all three policies have been poorly explained to, & therefore poorly accepted by, the general public. On the other hand, I can’t recall the last time I saw anyone from the Liberal Party speaking positively about any of their own ideas. Its a standing gag that the Libs live in the past … and their total emphasis on saying ‘we will undo this, we will repeal that, we will overturn the other’ reinforces that. They don’t seem to have any policies or strategies except “Let’s reboot; last save point 2006”. They claim to be the party of small business & free enterprise, but when was the last time you saw Bruce Bilson out flogging a policy? Yes, Bruce Bilson. The well-known Liberal Party spokesman for small business, consumer affairs & competition. Oh, you never heard of him either, huh?
There’s a Federal election next year, and that should be a time of energy and excitement during which we are presented with two competiting visions, equally vibrant, for Australia’s future. But it won’t be; it will be an exhaustively boring naysaying contest between a party that has wasted most of its opportunities while in power, and a party whose objective is simply to achieve power with no idea what to do when it gets there.
Bring on the Independents again.

We’d be better off with this lot.

….

Next week, Tara and I are going on a 5 day juice fast. We will eat nothing and limit our liquid intake to water & freshly squeezed vegetable and/or fruit juice. Apparently this is very good for getting the toxins out of the body and helping with weight loss, two things that I need to attend to. Going 5 days without a proper coffee is gonna be the hardest part for me, but I’m sure I won’t murder more than one or two random strangers before the week’s over. I’ll post updates here and on my Facebook for those who are interested. Life’s never dull unless you want it to be.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Three round meals a day.

Poem: LIGHTNING HAIKU

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Following on from yesterday’s haiku, here’s another one. It’s probably even less technically correct than the other one, but dammitall, poetry isn’t, or shouldn’t be, scientifically constructed. If DEAD POETS SOCIETY taught us anything, it taught us that.
And that playing Puck can kill you.

Lightning Haiku

Divine fire, silvery white
Tree smiter, life bringer,
Turns night to day

© Darryn Roberts 2007

Poem: SUNRISE HAIKU

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Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry. Ideally, it can be identified by 3 distinct elements – its length, its subject matter & a dichotomy between the first and last parts of the poem defined by the position of a ‘cutting’ word
In length, a haiku should be 17 ‘on‘. In English, this is sometimes interpreted as ‘syllables’ but is more correctly described as ‘beats’. For example, the word ‘TOKYO’ is three syllables long (TO – KY – O) but when pronounced in Japanese it is four on (TO-o – KY – O) in length. The subject matter of a haiku was originally drawn from a specified list of words, mostly (but not exclusively) ‘nature’ subjects. The cutting word, called the kireji, can appear at the end of either the first set or second set of on (originally haiku were not written in three lines; that is a Western convention designed to emphasise the kireji) and serves to define the tone of the poem. If the first part of the poem is the shorter of two distinct ideas, the kireji is intended to direct the reader to question something; if the first part is longer, then the kireji serves to point the reader to a conclusion drawn instead.

Now, that’s all very compressed and there’s far more to the technicalities of haiku than I know. In fact, I’m sure that even that brief definition is probably imprecise and incorrect in some way or other. That’s because Japanese language is an extension of Japanese thought, and poetry is an extension of a culture’s language. I come from a long line of people who write words made of letters that represent individual sounds, left to right across the page in lines that start at the top and work to the bottom, broken by punctuation symbols like comma, colon & apostrophe among others. I don’t come from a long line of people whose literature exists in pictograms, where one symbol represents a whole word. The nearest we in the West come to that is the ampersand (&) and the ten numerals. I only point all this out because a purist will no doubt find my haiku very lacking in the basic elements, and I excuse myself by the fact that I am doing the best I can with my cultural limitations.

Sunrise Haiku

Rise with me and watch
Clouds of pale pink and silver
Help us greet the day

© Darryn Roberts 2003

Poem: LOVEY AND DOVEY

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I’ve just got home from a dinner date with my lovely wife Tara. We do have some fun together, she and I, and we make a good couple I think. She’s motivated and I’m lazy. She’s a clean freak, and I’m a tidiness Nazi. She’s slender and I’m … not. She’s beautiful, and I appreciate beauty. What more do you want in life?

Lovey and Dovey

Lovey and Dovey went for a walk
Said Lovey to Dovey, “Lets have a talk!”
Said Dovey to Lovey “What a splendid idea!”
And so Lovey whispered into Dovey’s ear:

“My sweet Dovey darling, you are so fine –
I’m eternally thankful you chose to be mine.
I’ll never be anything other than true;
Because, Dovey darling, I truly love you!”

Dovey said “Lovey, this romance is fun,
But what of the days when the romance is done?
When I’m old and I’m saggy, where will you be?
Will you still then be in love with me?”

“Oh Dovey”, said Lovey, a grin on his face,
“My love is secure, in a very safe place.
I water it daily and feed it good food
To ensure that my love is always renewed.”

Said Dovey, “You’re sweet and you do make me smile,
But what if this sweet talk is some sort of guile?
Perhaps after all, I still will get hurt
If you persuade me to lift up my skirt.”

“Oh Dovey!” said Lovey, who looked really shocked
“Your suspicion of me has got me all rocked!
Whilst it can’t be denied that I am full of lust,
Please rest assured that my love you can trust

Never a second passes each day
When I’m not thinking of you in some way.
It’s not just your body I’m hungering for –
It’s your heart and soul and your mind and lots more!

I adore you, my Dovey, and you can believe
That in no situation would I ever leave.
No matter if you come to my bed or not,
Still will I cherish the love that I’ve got.

In fact, I’ve decided, only just now
That I’ll live my life by this very vow –
Things carnal and fleshy I hereby abjure;
My love for you will strictly be pure!”

At this Dovey sighed, and looked all forlorn
“My Lovey, I must tell you now that I am torn.
No man ever has told me something that sweet –
But… a true balanced diet must include meat.

This vow you have offered, while noble and all,
Gives me no recourse to answer the call
Of my womanly fires when they burn so bright
On a hot summer day, or a cold winter’s night.

And frankly, my Lovey, you’re ever-so-dreamy –
I’d envisaged us doing so many things steamy.
I’m quite disappointed, if I’m to be honest –
For I’ve purchased some butterscotch to spread upon us!”

Well Lovey squared up, took his Dove in his arms
And said “Darling, I yield up my vows to your charms.
Only one thing I ask, and it’s not much to grant –
Respect me after you’ve been in my pants.”

And so to the shrubbery the young lovers fled,
Not patient enough to head home to bed.
The hedges and bushes shivered all shooky
As Lovey and Dovey went wild with the nooky.

And it just goes to show, as I always say
That where there’s a will, there’s usually a way
And where there’s a won’t, there should be a maybe –
So come home to me, and let’s do it, baby!!

© Darryn Roberts 2002

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