I have a way with words in that I understand the power of words and thus I have a responsibility to be mindful of what words I speak and write. Once written, words are in the “ether” or quantum field of vibration forever.
Words can affect emotions and cause effects that may not be immediately evident. An example of this is the “Emerald Tablet of Thoth” translated by Hermes Trismegistus or the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. All three of these books still influence people to this day.
When I was 17 years old I was an MC along with my friend Clay in the High School Musical and at the end of the final performance I was given the task of presenting gifts to all the teachers who had helped to bring the performance together. The night before, I lay in my bed thinking about all the funny things that I could say about each teacher. The time of the presentation came and as I presented the gifts I had the audience in stitches laughing at the expense of the teachers that I was “roasting.” That was when I realised the power of joy and laughter.
Personally, I have never liked violent of horror movies. I don’t like the feeling of being scared but I do like comedy and I love a good laugh. Jump forward twenty years and I began teaching English as a Second Language to refugees and people from backgrounds of torture and trauma. I realised that in order to remember something, recall is best in a positive emotional state. So I set about making sure my classroom was always a positive and nurturing one without anger and with a lot of happiness. It’s not always easy to tell a joke to someone who you are teaching a second language because much humour and jokes have an underlying expectation of knowledge of cultural context. Since a twenty year old who has spent eight years in a refugee camp has little knowledge of the new country that they are living in it was useless to make cultural based joke. What could I do?
Enjoy myself. Demonstrate positivity. One of the things that I quickly learnt as a father of sons and educator was that you can not teach someone who is not ready to learn and the best learning comes from setting an example and then allowing people to follow your example in their own time. This is because everyone learns at different rates and when they are ready they will adopt their own version of their best self.
“Si liang bo qian jin” is a Chinese proverb translated to “make great accomodations with little efforts.” It has a meaning like “a single spark can start a great fire” or “a single snowflake can bend a bamboo leaf.” it has often been mistranslated to mean “four ounces can move one thousand pounds.” I like to put it into the context of telling a joke were a few simple words can bring laughter to thousands.
In the same way it only takes two people dancing to get a whole crowd dancing. One lone nut and then “the first follower” Check out Derek Sivers TED Talk “How to start a movement”
The choice is yours. What are you going to bring to the table? Anger or joy? Are you going to be the lone nut or first follower?
The gnome and the dragon
There once was a Dragon who believed life was crappy,
Waiting for happiness and not creating happy
The Dragon wanted everyone to bring the Dragon joy
But everybody left who the dragon would employ
The dragon had no purpose, no drive or self direction
Wouldn’t self control, self regulate, nor attempt self correction
Along came a gentle Gnome and this is what he said
“Your thoughts create reality and the words you use in your head
And for you to find true happiness just look inside your heart
Create the life you dream of, it’s never too late to start”
“Now I can’t hang around, I’m going to make some fun
And when I feel like dancing I dance out in the sun
“The Gnome went on his way and sang a happy song
“Psytrance Doof, reggae, drum’n’bass keeps me dancing all day long
“He went to the top of the mountain built a temple to fun and joy
Happy Faeries, Dwarfs, Hamadryads, Nymphs and Spirits he’d employ
They’d dance and sing, play music and make their ears ringing
The dragon in the valley could hear their joyful singing
The dragon decided to take control and to recreate
A life of happiness, develop and become great
And instead of sitting about waiting for an answer
Found happiness and joy by becoming a good dancer
The dragon flew up high and knocked on the door of Gnome
When the door was opened, she danced into his home
“Thank you Gentle Gnome for sharing your wisdom and light
I didn’t listen but you showed me how to find happiness inside”
“I was focused on the past and it was stopping me
But now focused on my purpose my mind is truly free
I recreated myself from the love I found inside
When I looked inside as you suggested my love could not hide”
The Gnome replied to Dragon, ” the words you speak are true”
“when you love and nurture yourself others respect and love you too”
“Dragon you scales are shining bright from your love inside”
“Now you care for your health the love inside can’t hide”
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Australian Bush Poetry, according to the Australian Bush Poets Association has “strict meter and rhyme.” I guess it is also about Australia. In 2019 I travelled to Orange to the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival and competed in the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Competition where I received third place with my poem, Our Darling is Dying. The poem speaks about how the Darling/Barka River was dry and the causes as well as the effects in the first nations people of Wilcannia, the Barkindji people.
In February 2020, I returned to Orange to have another go with a piece of poetry titled Happy Harry Koala. It is about a koala who loses his home to forest destruction and then his new home to bushfire before meeting a man who plants forest corridors and this allows Happy Harry Koala to become reunited with his family and allowed koala populations to recover. I wrote this as a solution to koala population decline with the perspective of an environmental scientist(which I am) in mind and also from the perspective of someone who has worked in forest establishment (which I have). My scores from the three judges were: 1. above 90% (from the 3 times bush poetry champion) 2. above 70% from the second judge and 3. a scathing review just above 50% from the judge representing the Australian Bush Poets Association who commented words to the effect, “this is not bush poetry and is more like a kids story.” I agree that Happy Harry Koala is a kids story however it is written with strict rhyme and meter and in the form of Australian bush poetry. I didn’t place in the top three but I did a fantastic performance and the scores of the first two judges reflected that.
You can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. C’est la vie (That’s life).
Yesterday, the 17th of June 2021 I got a couple of new rhyming lines stuck in my head. When that happens I know that I need to begin writing and that the rest of the poem is there in my subconscious ready to be “downloaded.” In fact I often think that when I am writing that I am channelling “divine consciousness” and that “i” am only the conduit. So I began writing about a man who fell into a toilet.
Here in Australia we have a slang name for our toilets which is the word “dunny.” Back in the day our toilets used to be detached from the house and you would need to go in a walk outside, down the stairs into the back yard. These days there are some “dunnies” which are composting toilets which save on water and are basically a hole in the ground leading to a large receptacle chamber. This receptacle can be above or below ground level but is full of poo, wee, toilet paper with a bit of wood sawdust thrown in from the bucket next to the toilet.
Another peculiarity of the bush dunny is that they are often places that frogs like to inhabit. It would not be a pleasant experience to fall into a toilet but thats precisely what happened to Phil McColl. Finally, the word “thongs” in Australia refer to a type of rubber sandal that you slip onto your feet and are NOT a piece of underwear. The SES is the State Emergency Service.
Phil McColl fill me hole
A peaceful place is Froggy Flat and my story’s funny
About a man called Phil McColl who fell head first in the dunny
It was a dark and lonely night and this is not a joke
As Phil walked to the toilet, the dunny made a croak
He turned his phone torch on and opened up the door
And as he walked inside, the dunny croaked once more
Then the dunny kept on croaking in the middle of the night
He shone the torch about to find everything all right
It was long drop compost with not a pleasant smell
As he opened up the lid he tripped and his phone fell
It was dark inside the dunny but he knew his phone was right
It had landed on the sawdust and Phil could see the light
He went back to the kitchen and got a pair of tongs
His feet were cold and so he put on a pair of thongs
In the dark he couldn’t see the thongs belonged to his wife
They were too small and the cause of the coming strife
His wife awoke to an empty bed and also needed to pee
In the dark she donned Phil’s thongs because she couldn’t see
In Froggy Flat the dunny is down the garden path
In Phil’s big thongs Mrs McColl slipped and fell flat on her arse
Phil was head first in the toilet and he was leaning in
Reaching for his phone when Mrs McColl burst in
Saw her thongs on Phil and she began to yell
And in surprise Phil lost his grip and that is when he fell
Head first down the dunny and landed on his phone
He wiped it off and that is when he found he wasn’t alone
There inside the dunny was a giant green tree frog
Staring him in the face and croaking on a log
Mrs Mac looked down the hole and said what can I do
I’m busting for a pee and I really need to poo
I’ve got a turtle head and it’s starting to poke out
Call the SES you stupid woman, Phil began to shout
Mrs Mac got angry pulled up her nighty and had a sit
The she let it rip and Phil got covered in more shit
She went back to the kitchen and made a cup of tea
Called the SES and all Phil’s mates to come around and see
They had to dig him out as Phil was firmly stuck
With a pump, an excavator and the local sewage truck
That afternoon Phil was feed and he gave a happy shout
He’d been stuck in shit fourteen hours before they dug him out.
A peaceful place is Froggy Flat but you won’t find Phil McColl
The locals now refer to Phil McColl as Fill me hole
Not everything is shit and as Thundercloud, I know that every cloud has a silver lining. After the Banjo Paterson Poetry Competition and festival in 2020 I decided that I was in no hurry to return to Nimbin and decided to take the slow road home and stop in the little country towns along the way. What is an 8 hour drive took me more than 24 hours. I left Orange late in the morning, stopped in Molong and saw the New South Wales over 50s cricket championship final and I was one of the only spectators. Then I stopped in Dunnedoo for lunch. It was late in the evening and I was tired when I reached Bendemeer so I stopped in a park, drove up beside a picnic shelter and rolled my swag out on the picnic table by the creek. I awoke early the next morning and continued to Armidale where I got a coffee at Maccas, then I continued up the hill through “the Pinch” to Black Mountain where I turned off and went to see Captain Thunderbolt’s Cave. Thunderbolt was a famous Australian bushranger a bit like Robin Hood in that he took from the rich and gave to the poor.
It was 6:30 am and a misty mystical morning with crepuscular rays of sunlight beaming through ancient yellow box and white box eucalyptus trees. Small white flowers lined the track and the beauty and silence of the Australian bush made me feel blessed to experience its tranquility while dainty birds tweeted, flitted and flew from bush to bush. Butterflies danced about in the air and dew drops glistened from spiders’ webs in the mist. I entered Thunderbolt’s cave and could imagine his big black thoroughbred horse in there with him waiting for the clang of tackle and chains and clop hooves of the Cobb and Co mail coach coming up “The Pinch.” In the distance I heard a more modern sound, a truck coming up the Pinch.
I returned to my car and there I found a necklace with a rocking horse and a wishbone. The next stop was Guyra ten kilometres up the hill and instead of passing through on the New England Highway I decided that I’d get another coffee and visit the town. It was 8:30 am and as I drove into Guyra I noted all the empty shops with “for lease” signs. I thought to myself, “this town has a lot of potential” I got out of my car at the Northern end of town near Kirks IGA and as I walked down the street looking for a place to buy a coffee I looked in the empty shops and thought about what business I could put there. Finally I saw a shop that I thought would make a lovely gallery, and then I saw this place I am sitting in now writing this blog.
I looked in the doors and saw a foyer with shelves down the side and behind that I could se a grand empty theatre and a stage. My jaw dropped. I walked on to the Council Chambers and spoke to John who was raising the flags. When I returned to the theatre I pulled out my phone and called the owner of the building. He came down and we walked inside. As soon as I got into the auditorium I said, “I’ll take it.” he showed me around and I knew I was going to something big. I got back into my car and started driving.
Then it hit me. “The Australian Poetry Hall of Fame.” We could celebrate all the great poets and the unknown poets of Australia. We could nurture poets. We could preserve Australian poets, poetry, languages (not just English but the first nations languages) songlines and more. We could make “The Greatest Poetry Show on Earth” That was February 2020 and I opened on the 24th of March 2020 the first day of COVID19 lockdown. It’s been a tough first 16 months, I sold my double decker bus “Atlantis” the Free blue Library to finance the Australian Hall of Fame but I am still here. You can support the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame gofundme page to help me continue to build this as a successful venture to celebrate Australian poetry and poets.
I started the Guyra Farmers and Craft Market in the theatre every Saturday morning and two of my stall holders have gone on to open businesses in Guyra. I started Wednesday Words open mic poetry night every Wednesday evening and have made a wonderful friend, Gladys Wilson who is my dad’s age and has been inspired to write poetry. Guyra is a cold town in Banbai Country, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane. At 1330m altitude it’s one of the coldest towns in New South Wales; but it snows and we can make snow people.
Poetry books aren’t a big seller on Amazon or anywhere for that matter. So I have created a way for you to support me at buymeacoffee.com
This way I can continue to write more enthralling poetry and prose for all to enjoy as well as make videos of poetry and continue my work at the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame in Guyra where I am creating a world class arts venue celebrating Australian poets and poetry.
This past week I have created my own “poetry challenge” and been asking for poetry prompts, then writing poetry based on these prompts. I have always posted my poetry freely online and I shall continue to do so however I also realise that I deserve support for the artistic content that I produce so today I joined “buy me a coffee” where you can donate to me to continue writing poetry, making videos and celebrate Australian poets with me.
Now for the poetry that I have written this week as part of my winter poetry challenge. The first prompt was “resonance,” the second “snow and I have included two pieces of poetry that I have written about snow because it was snowing just last week here in Guyra. The final piece is “Paris” and if you like these and want to help out you can donate at: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/thundercloud
As above so below,
Vibrate fast or vibrate slow,
To know high we need low,
Red is stop, green is go,
All is mind and all time,
Vibrations make rhythm, rhyme,
Straight is circle and a bender,
Everything has both gender,
To know love you must know hate,
Every mind does resonate.
Sammy was a snowman and had a lot of fun
Even though poor Sammy couldn’t even run
With pebbles for his eyes, a carrot for his nose
Sammy was a snowman who couldn’t touch his toes,
A scarf about his neck, and sticks for his arms
A friendly happy smile, Sammy had some charms
Sammy was a snowman who had a lot of fun
After winter ended, he melted in the sun.
Crystal fractal glisten Falling softly, I listen Tzzzsssssssssnowww
Outside winds blow. Feels like eight below Pweeeeeewwwwwwind
Day ends, night begins. Wet shoes walk in Sluuuuuusssshhhhhh
Give those clothes a brush. Little ones shiver, hush Siiiillllencccccce
Snow banks against a fence. Chill wrapped cold dense Weatherrrrrrrrrr
Dressed to impress in an intricate dress is Paris
Walking this city everything is pretty in Paris
Wait for hours to ascend the Eiffel Tower it’s Paris
So much I can say about Champs Elysees and Paris
Ascend to Mont Marte and see beautiful Art above Paris
Don’t forget Notre Dame, rose window charm of Paris
En Francais c’est terifiqe le trafic horifique a Paris
And if you can bear tourists everywhere you’ll love Paris
With a croissant everyday by the Seine Cafe it’s Paris
Listening to a podcast last week I found self affirmation in the statement that, “the opposite of courage is conformity.”
I have always been fiercely individualistic but at the same time community minded as a shepherd with a flock. I never played team sports like football and if the music is playing I’ll dance alone. It only takes one jump to break the ice and when one person is enjoying the water they soon get joined by another. Then pretty quickly every one wants a part of the action.
Most people face the elevator doors, either as it’s “the done thing” and this is conformity. Enter the full elevator, face the back, smile and look everyone in the eye. By the time you get out of the elevator everyone will be smiling. My point is that in general, we are a global society of conformists following arbitrary rules, laws and social norms without even questioning the origin of the “norm”
I had a cat called “Norm.” I never wanted a cat but my friend died and I reluctantly took Norm and fed him the best food that I could afford, kangaroo meat and fish. Norm was fiercely individualistic but Norm was also everyone’s friend and would comfort many of my friends from overseas and all around the world during parties around fires. Norm would rub against their legs and they pat and scratch his chin. Norm would sit on their laps and keep my friends warm and Norm would comfort them in their loneliness.
There is confort in what we get used to and there is comfort to be found in the norm. However there is one constant in the universe and that constant is “change” and it takes courage to be a nonconformist and to embrace change. It’s through change that we grow, drop old habits that don’t serve us and in the process become better people.
Over the past 10 years some of the no serving habit that I have dropped include, smoking tobacco 9 years ago, drinking alcohol 6 years ago, and in the past months I have stopped eating meat and replaced it with nuts, seeds and mushrooms for a source of protein. However the one thing that I have stopped, I was not physically addicted to, I had developed a repeative pattern of behavioral cannabis smoking and for 35 years had smoked cannabis, eaten it and even rubbed cannabis oil on my skin. I had developed an extreme tolerance to the THC in cannabis and no matter how much I smoked, I didn’t get high and I could fully function in society. It’s now 10 weeks that I haven’t consumed any cannabis and I now get “high” from my daily breathwork, yoga and exercise regime which releases endorphins like oxytocin and human growth hormone, metabolites T3 and T4. I feel strong , fit, fast and most importantly I feel that I am a positive role model for my three sons and my community.
I just got off the bus and thanked the driver Scott. He said, “I didn’t recognize you without the hair.”
I’ve just recently cut my dreadlocks and beard off after seven years of growth, I replied, “most people haven’t.”
He said half joking and half serious, “You look smarter without it”.
My point is that conformity is so pervasive that some people find it difficult to accept anyone that’s different to the norms of society so they wear the latest fashion, get married, stay in abusive relationships, go to school, “get a haircut and get a real JOB”, put their fork in the let hand and knife in the right and all the time they are compromising their ideals and all the while they can’t even clean their bedroom and make their bed in the morning, metaphorically speaking.
In 2014, I took a Nazarite Vow from the book of Numbers, chapter 6. Many people passed judgement and made assumptions about me because of how I looked with long dreadlocks and an uncut beard. The Nazarite Vow is a vow of separating oneself unto “the Lord.” It was taken by Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist, James the Brother of Jesus and Jesus Himself. This Nazarite Vow say that my knowledge of the Spirit inside all of Us is strong, unwavering and true. It’s the spirit of no judgement and not eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
After I first took the Nazarite Vow, broke it by drinking wine, eating grapes, sultanas and by approaching a dead body of a friend who had died in the street in an attempt to resuscitate him. His Spirit/Soul had left and I failed my test but I let my hair grow due to my vanity. In my meditations I came to the realization that I had broken my Vow and seven days after on the morning of the full moon before Easter, I took of my hair, burnt it and reaffirmed my Nazarite Vow.
I am not my hair, nor am I my wardrobe. I am a biochemical quantum physics meat antennae full bacteria and I am a vibrating community of living organisms absorbing and emitting light through my DNA. Most of all, I am that I am, and I am a Soul, a Spirit, a tiny piece of the All Pervasive Energy of Source and You are too and when you open to your Higher Self, you can become anything you dream. Please enjoy my accompanying poetry.
You don’t have to be a poet to enjoy poetry You don’t have to be a bird to love sitting in a tree You don’t have to be famous to wear fancy pants Or Young beautiful and sexy to enjoy a dance
You don’t have to be young to listen to hip hop Who’s business is it if you only eat the muffin top And abundance or not, it’s fine for you to share Some of the best people that I’ve met never brushed their hair
You don’t have to be young to enjoy a Doof or rave It’s nobody’s business whether or not you shave You can enjoy your life with no husband or wife The inportant thing is that you live your own life
You can’t be a bully and be a gentle man Immerse yourself in love and you’ll be the best you can Every cat can become friends with a dog And enjoy the sunset sitting on a log
When there is no fear nobody feels forced You don’t have to whip a horse running round a race course Every one know that you are what you eat Mushrooms and nuts are protein and we don’t need meat
You can get a tan by sitting in the sunlight Not only sunscreen companies sell products by fright In a darkened room you make no vitamin Dee When you do your research this is what you’ll see
Pharmaceutical companies manipulate your fear You can go to a pub and drink water, not beer When you are uncomfortable you can change your position Processed and fried food have very little nutrition
You don’t have to be a genius to question marketing Coke doesn’t “add life” and is not “the real thing” To be well change your diet to alkaline from acid Lack of sleep makes your balls small and dick flacid
If you want to grow your hair take B17 You can still be fit and strong after you’re a teen And if you decide you can live 200 years When a loved one dies you don’t have to shed tears
Every one can shine and every one can be a poet By making your words rhyme and rhythm flow it You don’t have to love football just to be a man If you do what you love you’ll become the best you can
If you have wind, it’s ok to fart Cancer can be cured, so can a broken heart Anyone can learn to dance, anyone can sing When you chase your dreams you can become anything.