Blog

Humour, poetry, writing

Andy Banjo Player

The Banjo Paterson Bush Poetry Festival in Orange, New South Wales begins on the 17th of February. There are a number of events happening throughout Orange and the surrounding district until the 24th of February 2019.

Events include The Banjo Paterson Bush Poetry Competition which I am entering a poem titled “Our Darling is Dying”. There is also Rotary Brekky and Poetry on the Pavers as well as Poetry in the Pub featuring the Poet’s Brawl. In the poets brawl, poets have one minute to deliver any original poem, bush, slam, rhyming, non-rhyming but must use both the words “Banjo” and “Orange”.

“Andy Banjo Player” is the poem I have written for the “poets brawl”, tell me what you think in the comments.

Andy played a banjo with an orange and he played it very bad

It made a juicy squishy sound and it drove his mother mad

Orange juice went everywhere and pith and peel too

The ants came by the millions and the fruit flies flew

He played with so much gusto and a lot of zeal

Grated it and juiced, he was left with orange peel

Only when he ran out of juice did Andy’s playing stop

So he ran out to a fruit stall and bought a kilo from the shop

Playing “Orange Crush”, the song from REM

Played every single orange till he’d juiced all of them

Bottled it and marketed it and only told the truth

Under the trade make of Andy’s Banjo Orange Juice

Copyright 2019

If you like this poetry and want to read more please follow me or you can also find me on Youtube at 1english1video

thundercloud notebooks
poetry, writing

The Lost Poetry from 2011

It’s Christmas eve in Nimbin and yesterday I was invited to an interview and reading of my selected poetry at 2NCR 92.9fm (link to live stream) Northern Rivers Community Radio in Lismore. Before I left, I went back to get a couple of copies of my books, “Love in Nimbin” and “Lust in Nimbin” to give to the presenters.

I grabbed my books and saw my box full of handwritten notebooks. I randomly opened the note book called “Do what you love” and there was two “lost poems” from 2017 that I had missed adding to my books when I hurriedly published them for Mardi Grass 2018. The poems I found were one about and experience I had when I first arrived in Nimbin. The other poem was one that I had written at a Medical Cannabis wotkshop during a symposium put on by the Hemp Embassy in Nimbin. This has inspired me to add these two poems to the second and revised editions of Love in Nimbin and Lust in Nimbin.

I am pretty careful with the storage of my manuscripts and this episode reminded me that I need to continue with my storage practices so that I leave behind a legacy of the original writing.

This morning, I awoke on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve and Facebook reminded me of a seven year old post which was one of my early poems that I had totally forgotten about. I will publish this poem in one of my upcoming books, however I have also decided to share it with you as a gift of love to hopefully put a smile on your face.

On the table.
He laid her on the table.
So white and clean and bare.
His forehead wet with beads of sweat.
He rubbed her here and there.
He touched her neck and then her breast.
And then drooling felt her thigh.
The slit was wet and all was set,
He gave a joyous cry.
The hole was wide…he looked inside.
All was dark and murky.
He rubbed his hands and stretched his arms…
And then he stuffed the turkey.

animals, Humour, poetry

Mermaid Juice

Sitting at home this Sunday morning and my partner says something that sounds like “mermaid juice.” OK, I think to myself, there is something funny about that and I begin to write.

Mermaid Juice

“I think I’d like a mermaid juice.” The great white shark said

So she blended up a mermaid and the mermaid juice was red.

“I was feeling pretty funny because I ate a clown

But mermaid juice has fixed my tummy since I drank it down

Now I’ve had my mermaid juice, I want some toast and cheese

But I can’t leave the water, can you call Uber please?

I’d really like a sandwich on some bread that’s brown

I love Uber eats when they bring food down

Thanks for bringing my food but I’m not a fan of bread

She opened up her mouth, bit off the Uber drivers head

Great White Shark was happy with good food in her tummy

An uber driver and a clown and mermaid juice so yummy

There is one more thing, I want some more to eat

So she called the cops and ate some raw pig meat. 

 

If you have liked reading this and have found a litle smile, please share it with your friends to give a little smile to them.

 

Life lessons, poetry, writing

The sounds of silence

In my daily morning meditations, I often contemplate the noise in the silence and have never found a truely quiet place. I’ve spent the last few years travelling and in the bush after living in the city in Brisbane for eleven years. In the bush the noise of the insects, frogs and birds can be almost deafening especially on a hot summer’s day when the cicadas are all singing in harmony. However the city is totally different, at 4am in the morning there is a silence of the natural world due to the loss of biodiversity in the city but the unnatural sounds are there. A motor hum, a buzz, a ping, wi-fi, creaky door, squeaky floor, drone, drone, drone, drone, drone, drone. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE

The silence is within you. Silence is an awarerness of noise.

The sounds of silence

Quieten your mouth and just sit on down

Hear the silence is filled full of noise

With an awareness of all that goes on around

Distant school ground, hear yelling boys

A barking dog, birdsong, and a car driving by

A cricket, a frog, dripping tap

In silence there’s noise of the wind in the sky

The words in my head are a rap

I turned off the tap and dripping noise ceased

A truck’s airbrake gave a loud groan

A trickling creek, the waves on the beach

Loud music in somebody’s home

But silence is just an awareness of noise

When sitting in peace and in quiet

I found silence in me and outside is the noise

Even in the middle of the night. 

Copyright 2019 James Arthur Warren

 

If you have enjoyed reading this please share and follow my journey of poetry.

poetry, writing

Our Darling is Dying

In July 2016 I was travelling through western New South Wales when my by bus Atlantis broke a fuel line. I repaired the bus with the help of a local earthmoving business. I got on my way the next day and had a blow out ten kilometers out of town.

The desert was green from a few recent showers but the Darling River was low and I was not leaving Wilcannia until I had replaced the tyre in Broken Hill. It so happened that the Barkindji mob and some other local had organised a protest to stop traffic on the only bridge over the Darling River for half an hour, every hour, all weekend.

During my stay in Wilcannia, I met the kindest and most welcoming people in all of my travels but I also met a people struggling to hold on to their traditions and way of life because the Darling River or Barka as it’s known locally is drying up.

In Queensland and New South Wales, corruption and water theft and harvesting has stopped the flow of the mighty Darling River which once flowed all year round and is a vital source of food, culture and recreation for the Barkindji people of Wilcannia. The Barka is now not even a trickle but a series of muddy billabongs with dying fish, yabbies, turtles and andthing else that once lived there.

The Barkindji people of Wilcannia are tough and self sufficient but their community orchard and garden can’t be watered and fresh produce is prohibitively expensive due to the freight costs. Without access to freshly caught fish and fresh produce, the health of the Brakindji people is being adversely impacted. There are also important social and cultural remifications of the Barka not flowing. There are a whole generation of young people who aren’t getting to fish, swim or go camping on the river and learn culture. This also leads to depression and alcohol abuse in the community.

In 2016 vwhen I stayed in Wilcannia there was still water in the river for the town because of the weir but in January 2019 the situation is dire and the water quality is decreasing in town all allong the river to the point of being undrinkable.

This problem is not isolated to Wilcannia but ultimately affect the whole Murray Darling Basin and the ecosystem of the continent.

Why has thias happened?

Two main reasons:

1. The drought caused by 200+ years of land clearing and deforestation has lead to a vastly different and drier climate in Auastralia.

2. Mismanagemant and corruption by politicians, farmers and large corporate cotton agriculture.

The solution is simple. Restore stream flow and mass tree planting and reforestation accross the entire catchment of the Darling. This could be done by a National River and Forest Brigade and reassigning the military forces to productive and nurturing purposes instead of destructive purposes.

The management of the Murray Darling should be by a single national body and responsibility taken away from the states as the Murray-Darling crosses borders.

There are some many other steps including the covering of irrigation canals, changing from cotton to hemp farming for fibre, restoring cross land flows by removing artifical barriers. However for now, I have written the following song/poem to raise awareness of this important national issue of environmental, ecological and socio-cultural significance. Please share to bring awareness to this issue.

Our Darling is Dying

Our Darling is dying and running quite dry

The Barkindji man said, I just want to cry

I went to the Darling and all I could see

Was a dry river bed, no longer flowing free

Dead fish were floating with poison and sick

Long muddy billabong, blue green algae slick

“Our river would always flow to the sea

Even in drought she always flowed free”

“There was always abundance and plenty of feed

But now she’s exploited by corporate greed”

Dinners and deals and networks of corruption

The Darling River is dying, this is it’s destruction

National politicians take donations of greed

From cotton corporations with their GMO seed

Four hundred thousand Megalitres for just Cubbie Station

But no water or fish for the Barkindji Nation

Other farm’s water theft is also a crime

The new laws don’t stop them our Darling is dying

Cotton farms, water theft, corruption as donations

The Darling is dying because of greedy cotton stations

Out there in Wilcannia there’s no fishing for feeds

No water for veggies so the garden’s just weeds

Two dollars for an apple, a lettuce ten or more

A dry river makes us sick and keeps us all poor

Just drinking and fighting and wearing a frown

Waiting for the Darling River to flow down

There’s no fishing, or swimming or camping anymore

There’s nothing to do and life is a bore

A dead roo in the river but it didn’t drown

It died when it drank the poison river water down

It’s time that we started the Barkindji man said

If the river doesn’t flow the whole country will be dead

Free up the Darling River and bring it back to life

Or the whole ecosystem is in trouble and strife

Everything must be done and we have what it takes

To naturally refill the whole Menindee lakes

To bring back silver perch, yellow belly and cod

Our Darling, Our source of life, Rainbow serpent God

If we don’t let the water flow I will sing this song

Till the Darling River is no more a muddy billabong

Clean up the river and make it like long before

and the Darling can waltz and flow forever more

But our Darling River’s is dying and our Darling is dry

The Barkindji man said, I just want to cry

Song Copyright James Arthur Warren, Thundercloud Reparian

Sung to the tune of Music Waltzing Matilda composed by Christina McPherson 1895 all instruments played by Charles Whitmer https://youtu.be/L-jftwjDzc4

You can contact me below if you are interested in using this song.

Big Kev
animals, Life lessons, poetry, writing

Big Kev the Kookaburra

This morning when I got up there were a lot of birds hanging about the spilt compost bin. There were four bush turkeys, three magpies, a pied currawong and this kookaburra of which I managed to get a few good photos. I like to listen to the messages from the animals and when I am attuned in and calm then the messages flow. 

One of the things I have noticed living in the bush and also being an early riser, is that the kookaburras are often the first birds to wake and anounce their presence in the very first light of the day. I was born in the Chinese year of the “cock” and love the birds. I often wondered what the kookaburras were saying each morning but now I think they are just yelling out “Yip yip yip yipeee its awesome to be alive in this awesomely beautiful world and I am awake to celebrate it, yiiiiippppppeeeeeeee”

This morning’s message comes from Big Kev the Kookaburra

Big Kev the Kookaburra had a lot of need

Big Kev the Kookaburra had a lot of greed

Big Kev the Kookaburra was always swooping down

Picking snakes and lizards up sunning on the ground

 

Kev Kookaburra wasn’t always a big fella

It started when magpie called him Yella

Kev Kookaburra Yelled “I’m not afraid”

The magpie had meant the noise he made

 

Kev Kookaburra yelled’ “I’ve got what it takes

I eat lizards and I eat snakes

I’m not scared and I won’t die

I eat snakes, I’m one tough guy.

 

Kev Kookaburra gave a loud shout

Swooped down and ate a water dragon laying about

Swallowed it into his tummy

Said to the magpie, “that was yummy

 

I’m going looking for more to eat

There’s plenty of lizards and snakes to eat

He flew above the dusty track

Snakes sunning themselves in the outback

 

Kev Kookaburra found so much feed

He couldn’t control his pride and greed

When Kev Kookaburra came back

His stubbies wouldn’t cover his bum crack

 

Kev was heavy and weighed down

His belly stopped him flying around

He sat around, could fly no more

Watched TV sitting on the floor

 

“I showed you magpie, I’m not afraid

See the empire I have made

There’s so much more than I need

Could not fulfil my pride and greed

 

Got so much stuff in my life

I can’t fly now I’ve lost my wife”

Kev Kookaburra was now a real heav

The magpie renamed him Big Kev

 

Big Kev the Kookaburra the magpie said

You can’t fly now you will be dead

If one of those snakes comes along

You’ll never sing your happy song

 

Big Kev Kookaburra will be snake food now

Big Kev can’t get off the ground

Big Kev the Kookaburra said, “I don’t want to die”

I really enjoyed to swoop and fly

 

I want to be like I was before

Not big and fat sitting on the floor

Big Kev yelled, “I’ve had enough”

Pride and greed are not that tough

 

“I’ve seen the error of my way”

Only eat what I need to fly each day

He gave up beer and cream cakes

Now only eats occasional snakes

 

He’s fit and healthy now you see

Wakes up with the sun and sits in a tree

Each morning Kev gives a great big shout

“Eat well Is what life is all about”

 

He laughs about the error of his ways

How he’s happy and healthy always these days

Big Kev Kookaburra flies once more

Swoops and flies and he can soar

 

Big Kev the Kookaburra laughs about it now

How once he was fat like a cow

But now he’s free to fly and soar

Big Kev the Kookaburra is a fit fella sure.

Big Tree
Life lessons, poetry, writing

Supplanting: Working from the roots up

To supplant: verb, meaning to replace and bring about higher knowledge through subversive means, working from the roots up to plant seeds and nurture the conditions for growth and change into higher life forms. 

Thunderclouds bring rains that sprout the planted seeds

Thunderclouds bring rains that grow the trees for free.

For me it is important I nurture thee with food.

Loving words to inspire you encourage you to good.

I wrote the following piece so you might plant a tree

Because you can grow a forest just like me.

 

Supplanting Trees

A tree was standing beside the road, the next day I came along.

The tree that once was growing was cut down and was gone.

I asked a Woman standing there what happened to the tree?

they cut it down to build a road and suburbs answered she.

A forest grew beside a lake to the north of the city

They cut it down now you can buy land at North Forest Lake cheaply

Roos love open forest but Farmers use a chain

to clear all the scrub and round up they are spraying

 

A place that once grew trees is now dry and bare

A field, a road, a roof, a fence no trees to clean the air

There was a man who planted seeds and trees in the ground

A lush green forest grows there now  it’s no longer Dusty Brown

You can plant a seed and grow a forest too

Repair the Earth, grow homes for birds and beautify the view

if we cut down all the forest there will be no falling rain

but when we plant trees and seeds lusciousness grows again

 

big tree stump
giant old tree stump

 

Thundercloud Repairian AKA James Arthur Warren is a Nimbin based educator, poet, artist and writer. His first book The Flea and the Dinosaur is a children’s book fully written and illustrated by Thundercloud is available to Buy Now at lulu.com

If you like this post you can share it about and you might be interested in some of my videos on Youtube where you can subscribe. https://www.youtube.com/user/1english1video/