Poem: ONE FIRE

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So, I don’t have a lot of poetry from my old website left to bring over. I guess I’m going to have to write some new poetry or something pretty soon. That’s not as easy as it sounds, at least initially. One must prime the pump, so to speak, and then when the muse strikes, keep it going as long as possible. Here’s where you, loyal reader, can help. After all, a blog may only be as good as its writer, but it’s only as valid as its audience. Is there a subject you’d like me to attempt? A particular form of poetry you’d like to see? Perhaps you’d prefer to see more rambles, more reviews or something else entirely. I’m looking forward to your suggestions, so let rip.

One Fire

One inexhaustible fire
Burning in
Two hearts and bodies
Leading to
Three words
Which mean the world.
Four weeks we’ve shared
Which seems like
Five minutes to me
And its gonna be
Six days til I see
You again.
Seven oceans I would cross
To hear those words and see that smile.

© Darryn Roberts 2001

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Poem: LETTER TO THE WORLD

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About ten years ago, I found myself in a very low place. Much later, I was diagnosed with depression & anxiety, and these days I have it mostly in check, through a combination of mild medication, lifestyle choices, and attitude. Back then, however, I was not only suffering the anguish caused by the black dogs, but also dealing with the confusion of not knowing what the problem was, or even that there was a definable problem. I just thought “I’m a bit mental” and went about being miserable and inflicting misery on other people as well. I have made some truly stupid directional choices in my life, and I don’t avoid responsibility for them, but I now know why some decisions I thought were good ones were actually anything but. A lot of my issues are rooted in low self-esteem and insecurity, and so I took a lot of steps to overcompensate and validate myself in the eyes of the world, a habit which I guess may have started in childhood.
Anyways, as I say, it all came crashing down on me about a decade ago and I went to see a counsellor. This was not a process I enjoyed, and I only went twice. I think one leg of the journey I hadn’t made then was the realisation that I need to reach out and open up, instead of bluffing my way through, and so I didn’t get as much out of the process as I might have, I dunno. Water under the bridge now, in any event, but one of the things I did take away from counselling was the need to be more honest WITH myself, even if I couldn’t (at that stage) be totally honest ABOUT myself to the rest of the world.
Long story short, here’s a poem I wrote as a cathartic exercise during that period.

Letter To The World

I want to blow your mind,
And make you gasp in awe at me.
I want you to find
That I’m what you want to see.
I want to be adored,
Admired and respected.
I want not to be ignored
And not to be rejected.
I want to know that you feel great
‘Coz I was in your day.
I want to have you as my mate
Because you like my way.
I want you to sigh and swoon,
To go weak at the knees,
Whenever I am in the room,
And keep your eyes on me.
I want to be the Pivot,
The Centre and the King –
Attention? You can give it
And love every little thing.
I want to be the first
One that you notice in all cases.
I want to make you want to burst
And leave wonder on your faces.
I want you to pine for me
When I’m doing something else.
I want you to want my company
Just because I am myself.
I want to take your breath away.
I want you to think I’m wise.
I want to see your lust for me
Shining in your eyes.
I want to be the guy who says
What everybody thinks.
I want to be the very best
And for you to buy me drinks.
I want to be the brightest
So that you all need my glory.
I want there to be quietness
When I’m telling a story.
I want you to think I’m cool
And witty and so clever.
I want to make you stare and drool,
To win at each endeavour.
I want to know you’re feeling
Whenever I’m around,
That I’ve set your senses reeling.
I want to astound.
I know, down deep, I’m not the man
Who’ll make you feel this way.
I should just deal with what I am –
But I WANT IT! anyway.

© Darryn Roberts 2002

Review: THE WINTER’S TALE

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We went to see The Winter’s Tale last night, which is most appropriate because a) it’s winter in Sydney and b) it’s also winter-y in Sydney, with chilling cold and sheeting rain, and even though sunset is about 530pm it’s dark by 430 because of the weather. This production was put on by Shakespeare On the Green, a small local company whose performances we have enjoyed for the last few years, having seen them also present The Comedy of Errors & A Midsummers Night’s Dream. Both of those were performed outdoors, so it was quite foresighted of them to change their MO and use a hall instead this year. Not being a Shakespearean scholar of any note, merely a bloke who knows lots of trivial information, I would guess that The Winter’s Tale is one of the Bard’s lesser known plays. It’s certainly a story that held my interest throughout, as it varied from Othello-esque palace drama in the first act to rude pastoral comedy for most of the second.
The Winter’s Tale centres on Leontes, king of Sicilia, who is wracked with suspicion that his best friend Polixenes, king of Bohemia, is having an affair with Hermione, his queen (who is heavily pregnant with their second child – although Leontes believes that Polixenes may be the father). Throughout the first act, he falls from noble hearted monarch to base paranoid villain, instructing his courtiers to do murder, imprisoning the queen and eventually ordering the newborn princess to be abandoned in the wild. The first act closes with Leontes ridden down by despair – his wife & his heir dead, his best friend estranged, his court distrusting or dispersed, and his daughter lost. He comes to terms with the fact that all his suspicions were for naught, Hermione being proved loyal posthumously, and must now deal with the guilt and loss his behaviour has wrought.
The second act opens sixteen years later. Leontes’ lost daughter Perdita was rescued as an infant by a Bohemian peasant family, who found her (complete with the obligatory tokens of royal provenance) after the courtier entrusted with her disposal was et by a bear. All who know her remark on her grace, her beauty & elegance; her foster family believe her to be a fairy changeling. In one of those typically awkward Shakespearean plot twists, she has fallen in love with the prince of Bohemia, Florizel – the son and heir of Leontes’ former friend Polixenes – and he with her. Whilst she knows his true nature, her family believe him to be merely a wealthy landowner and welcome him as a commoner into their home for feasts and parties. Polixenes grows concerened at his son’s increasingly frequent absences from court, and he resolves to discover what’s afoot by disgusing himself and his advisor Camillo as simple folk. They find themselves observing the peasant family partying down, celebrating the betrothal of Florizel & Perdita. Polixenes reveals himself and orders Florizel to abandon Perdita, threatening to have the peasant family killed for reaching above their station. However, true love runs true, and the youngsters resolve to flee Bohemia. They are abetted by Camillo, who longs to return to his native Sicilia (he fled there when he helped Polixenes escape Leontes paranoid murder plot). Camillo instructs the kids to sail for Sicilia and present themselves as married and representatives of Polixenes, claiming he wishes to re-establish relations with Leontes.
On their arrival they are warmly welcomed by the repentant, but still guilt-stricken, Leontes; however, they are soon undone by the arrival of Polixenes and Camillo who reveal that Florizel fled from court and Perdita is a commoner. Luckily, Polixenes’s wrath is soon stayed by the revelation (by the peasant family) that Perdita was a foundling; an investigation of those fortunately found tokens establishes the truth, and everyone is reconciled. Further joy ensues when the noblewoman Paulina displays a statue of Hermione that is so warm & lifelike it amazes the gathered royalty; of course that’s because it’s the actual Hermione, whose death was faked all those years ago against just such a happy day as this…. and they all live happily ever after.
Shakespeare On The Green put on small, intimate performances – if there were two dozen in the audience last night I would be surprised. They costume appropriately (although neither completely in period or modern, everybody’s place in the world is easily identifiable by their garb – good job, well done by costumier Kate Shanahan), and prop sparingly but effectively. This leaves the focus on the craft of the actors, and some fine craft indeed was on display here. The standout for me was Tristan McKinnon as Leontes, who conveyed all the nuances of a king who believes he’s been betrayed, only to finally discover he betrayed himself, with marvellous credibility. It didn’t hurt that he looked a little like Viggo Mortenson and sounded a little like David Wenham, either. At times I loathed Leontes, at other times I pitied him, and if you can evince that kind of investment from the audience you’ve done the job. Cat Martin in her dual roles as Hermione and the peasant matriarch was competent and then some, exuding noble benifence & aggrieved innocence as the first, and homespun gravity as the second. Nobody in the rest of the cast – Brendon Taylor, Emma Harris, Chris Lewis, Alistair Buchanan & Elisabeth Tuilekutu – let the team down either; if there were any fluffed lines or missed cues I didn’t pick up on them. Everyone enunciated, everyone projected – and these are things that can make a small theatre delightful or discouraging. Special mention to the very versatile Andrew Chessher who not only attended to special effects, he also played in- and out-of-scene music and even managed to stroll on stage in a couple of roles. As usual, everyone in the company played more than one role, and the directorial staff of Sher Guhl & Victor Kalka have obviously drilled their performers on the importance of distinction between characters.
So, all in all, this was a most satisfactory and enjoyable introduction to The Winter’s Tale for me, all the more so because there was free mulled wine on offer. I’ll be back for more Shakespeare On the Green next season, and if you get the chance, then you should get along to a production as well.
Cheers,
Darryn

Poem: LITTLE FURRY GUY

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I believe that I may have previously mentioned that Tara and I foster small animals – mostly rabbits, occasionally guinea pigs – in association with Porsche’s Small Animal Rescue.  We’ve been doing this for about 8 months now I guess. We’re also the lucky slaves to a Russian Blue cat called Ivana, a regal and dignified lady of great beauty and even greater rotundity. Previously we shared our house with a Siamese cross called Saba, who sadly left us a couple of years ago after reaching a fine old age. But the very first four legged friend we had the sad duty of saying goodbye to was the first rabbit we’d ever given a home to – a cute little brown lop we called Frodo.
We took Frodo in just before Christmas 2004, and I was horrified a few short weeks later when Tara rang me at work, in tears, because she’d just arrived home to find Frodo stiff and unmoving in his hutch. We think he probably died of fright after being stalked by the neighbour’s unkempt, unrestrained & uncared-for cat, and we lovingly laid Frodo to rest under a shade tree.
People who don’t take the time or make the effort to treat animals well really make me mad. Cat lover or dog person or rodentophile or snake fancier or bird whisperer or whatever you may be, make sure you act responsibly with any companion animals you may have. If they’re a naturally predatory species, like cats or dogs, have them desexed and keep them from wandering. If they’re a social beast, make sure you make time to spend with them and try to open your home to more companions as well, for their mental well-being & general happiness. Feed them good quality, natural food – not excessively processed commercal crap. Exercise them. Clean up after them, keep them parasite free and treat them kindly. I don’t like to use the word ‘pet’ because that indicates a superior-inferior relationship. To me, a household animal is a companion, even a family member, and just like having a child or a younger sibling, its not about ownership but about being a provider & protector for someone who will return care and affection with trust and love.

Little Furry Guy

Our little friend in his brown suit
Soft and furry, warm and cute
Easy to love, but hard to seize
At rest eternal near the trees.

One ear up, and one ear down
Thump-thump-thump upon the ground
Apple eating, rattle toss
Keenly yet we feel your loss.

You were not with us very long
But the bond that grew was strong
Licks replaced by memories sweet
Of twitching nose and fluffy feet.

Frodo, in your snuggly sweater
No rabbit ever treated better
Broken hearts and teary eyes
Have fun in Bunny Paradise.

Rest In Peace
-Frodo-
12/01/2005

© Darryn Roberts 2005

Ramble: ONE THOUSAND VIEWS, 60 YEARS, 6 WINS.

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I don’t know if its significant or not to mark the 1000th viewing of one’s blog. If it is, then I’m doing the right thing; if it’s not, then I’m a trendsetter. Either way, thank you all for your attention.
Here’s some stats; those of you who like such things should both get a thrill out of them. This blog kicked off on April 1st (no, really) and April was the most viewiest month, possibly because I didn’t post for half of May. Overall, this blog averages 17 views per day. Most of you (nearly 3 times as many as anything else) have landed here from Facebook; the next biggest driver to this site is people searching for ‘poems about summer’ or one of 14 variations thereof. Interestingly, someone googled Kim Jong Dead to get here as well.
Not many of you click on the outbound links I include in my rambles, which is sad because I would only ever send you somewhere mindblowingly interesting. Also, I was gonna do a post soon about my favourite websites and blogs but if nobody’s clicking though, maybe not. We’ll see.
Apart from the home page, the most viewed blog post is my review of the Avengers movie, followed by the poem Summer Nights & my intro page. Least viewed is the poem Autumn Morning. Proportionally, rambles get more views than poems. Most of you come from Australia, and its a long way back to second place (USA) & another long stretch to third place (UK). Of all places, who’d have thought Guyana would come in fourth amongst my blog viewers? Its not even cricket season yet! All in all, people from 25 countries have visited Some Poems & More, which is a testament to the reaching power of the web. Nowhen else in history has an amateur writer, killing time, been able to make even a tiny impact on such a diverse readership as the Czech Republic, Vietnam, Israel, Nepal, Canada & Korea all at the same time.

Yeah, okay. Sorry.

….

Of course, this is not the only only milestone in the world this week. Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this week. 60 years is a long time to do one job, even if you are the boss and your job mostly involves going on holidays and allegedly having your daughter-in-law killed opening exhibitions and stuff.  Technically & constitutionally, Lizzie Windsor is my head of state and she does seem like a dear old stick. In my younger days I was a determined Republican (which means something very different in Australia than it does in the USA; here it’s a constitutional position, there it’s a political party). Nowadays, I’m a lot mellower and whilst I’d theoretically support the move to an all-Australian head of state (as long as we called it a proper Aussie name like Head Sherang), I don’t get very exercised about the issue. I’m even fond of Prince Charles these days; he seems to be a lot less pompous than he was 20 years ago.
Here’s a terrible joke about Her Maj:
Queen Elizabeth and Dolly Parton die on the same day, but only one can get into Heaven
St. Peter asks Queen Elizabeth what makes her special enough to enter Heaven. Elizabeth takes out a douche bottle and douches herself.
St. Peter asks Dolly what makes her special enough to get into Heaven. Dolly opens up her shirt and flashes her chest.
St. Peter lets Queen Elizabeth in instead of Dolly. When Dolly asks St. Peter why Elizabeth was let in, Peter replies, “A royal flush beats a wild pair.”

“We are absolutely moist with laughter.”

….

And of course, even more important than my thousandth view or the Queens’ sixtieth year, the Mighty Wests Tigers racked up six in a row by putting 40 unanswered points on the hapless Canberra Raiders last Saturday. After a slow start to the season, in part due to the seemingly inevitable injuries to our forwards, its seems the Black & Gold have finally clicked into a rhythm. Last year we finished third. This year I really think we can repeat 2005’s glory and go all the way. It doesn’t hurt that the rep selectors seem intent on ignoring the form players – Beau Ryan, Aaron Woods, Liam Fulton – to fix the glaring weaknesses in the NSW Blues line-up, and thus minimising their chances of additional injuries. Currently fourth, there’s no reason why we can’t dominate the second half of the season and finish top two, or even first (okay, that would need the very impressive & consistent Melbourne Storm to fall into a fiery pit and not play any more games this year). Anyway, the important thing is ………… GO TIGERS!

Possibly the greatest logo in all the universe

 

Cheers,
Darryn

Poem: COURAGE

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Wow,  its been more than 2 weeks since I last posted here. In my defence, work got a bit hectic and I was a bit unwell for a while as well. But mostly, as I think I may have mentioned when I first started blogging, I tend to get lazy. I am probably the least motivated person I know. The only reason I get out of bed in the morning is so I can get tired enough for my afternoon nap – I don’t want to doze off too close to bed time at night or I feel ripped off.
But anyway, I’m back, and apparently sometime in the last two weeks this blog registered its thousandth view, for which I thank you. I might have a look at the stats and bore you all to death tomorrow with some fascinating breakdowns on what posts have been most popular and so forth. Whatever … it beats doing anything strenuous.

Courage

Take heart!
When things are towering
Stand up, walk tall –
No point in cowering.
As bad as things seem,
However black your tone,
Reach out for a hand –
You are not alone.
When you cannot bear
One more thing to go wrong,
Turn to one who loves you,
Let them help you be strong.
Listen to their caring words
As they hold you tight.
Believe in what they say
When they say you’ll be alright.
Put your hand in their hand
And do not fear the dark
For with their love to carry you
The world is not so stark.
Take my advice, I’ve been there –
Didn’t think I’d make it through –
But my angel helped me all the way;
That’s what angels do.
So trust the one who loves you
And let them share the weight
‘Cause when there’s only half as much
The whole damn world looks great.

© Darryn Roberts 2002

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