biography, Humour, poetry, writing

Australian Bush Poetry and falling into the toilet.

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

Copyright 2021

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.

Guyra Strength

The sun shines and the winds blow

It’s dry, wet, there’s sleet and snow

If you live in Guyra you will get cold

Become tough and strong, live real old

Living in Guyra has wind and sun

People here walk fast and run

Frosty, brisk and wide blue skies

Red sunset and misty sunrise

Ice on Mother of Ducks Lagoon

Spring rains bring more ducks soon

Sunset and the fresh day ends

Sitting around fires yarning with friends

If you enjoyed this and would like more to read more of my poetry the you can support me at www.buymeacoffee.com/thundercloud

Guyra Strength by Thundercloud Repairian
biography, change, Life lessons, poetry, writing

Conformity or courage

Be Connected to Source

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.

biography, book, change, Life lessons, poetry, writing

Overcoming Writer’s Block

“Writing only happens when thoughts are written down” Herb Wharton

Are you a writer with writer’s block?

There is a solution to writer’s block and it is easy.

Write and give yourself opportunities to write. This can be done anywhere, anyhow, anytime? Carry a notepad and pen with you and when you get a smell moment scribble your thoughts down.

Why? Because writing is about transferring the inner talk of the mind’s thoughts into written words on a page, whether it be a paper page or digital file. It doesn’t matter as long as you write and it doesn’t even matter what you write about.

You may be two thirds through writing a potentially award winning book and get writer’s block. Then it’s best to stop and write something else or just step away. It could be any style or topic but what matters is that you continue the practice of writing your thoughts because when you get your next big idea for your novel could come at anytime and if you aren’t ready then you may miss the opportunity being presented.

So right now I sat down at my computer and thought, “I ought to write something… but Ive got nothing to write about sooooo….. I’ll write about writers block”

And now, here we are standing in water up to our knees.

As a creative, I don’t just write. I draw, sing, dance and play music and if I don’t have the inspiration to write then there are many other creative outlets. I guess this is why as a single man, I don’t get bored with my own company. Instead of using other people’s creative content to entertain myself, which is not super productive, I would rather create something in which the process of creation brings me joy but which I can also sell as an artist to enable me to keep creating and doing what I love.

I also enjoy drawing and exercise as well as writing poetry but there are times when I might not draw for months and other times where I will draw for weeks. However when I am not drawing, I don’t consider myself as having artist’s block because I will be creating something else like a poster, piece of furniture, T-shirt design, publishing a book or organising an event.

Back to topic….. In 2019 there were days where I would write 3 or more poems everyday but now I might only write one every day or so. But I don’t consider it as writers block. because I am doing other things.

If any thing, I suffer from procrastination as well as poor planning and execution which is the current focus of my personal development. That’s what I am working on and I’ll let you know how it is going in another blog post titled something like:

“Stop scrolling and get to work.”

The other option that I like to use in addressing writers block is the recording app on my phone. This is especially useful in a car driving and you can dictate what you want to write and then use a transcription voice to text app to put your spoken word into written form at a later time.

(It’s now 4 hours later) I got writers block writing about writers block so I got up went for a walk, had some dinner, chatted with friends, generally took myself far away from the computer. I went did something else totally different, fully trusting that when I came back to write that I would know what to write.

I recently read a great little book by the English comedian John Cleese “creativity: A short and cheerful guide” in which he wrote about trusting your subconscious to foment the words and thoughts in your down time. I find for me it is when my thoughts become unfocused away from what I am writing, especially when I am tired, then it is the best time to step away. Some days stepping away involves walking outside and standing in the sun for 10 minutes, then I will stretch a little and return to the task. Other days I will go on a longer break then sit down and continue.

The main reason that I love writing poetry is that it enables a deftness and succinctness in that it can express profound ideas with a variety of vocabulary , syntax and form. Plus it can often be written in one sitting and finished. However editing is often required to make a good poem fantastic.

Last week I wrote a quick poem of six lines and it was only the next day when I decided to publish it as an 8 page children’s book that I added the final two lines. That poem is titled: Johno the Cool Cat and was originally written on a piece of paper with a calligraphy pen and ink. I then took the poem, made a collage and printed it. (Each A3 coloured sheet cost me $1 to print and I sell them for $3 of which $1 profit comes to me and $1 profit goes to the Thundercloud Repairian Forest Fund to assist in forest regeneration and everyone benefits)

This is why I began the post by suggesting giving yourself opportunities to write. An opportunity to write can be a desk top, laptop, phone, notepad, or a piece of plain paper with a pencil or the back of a toilet door and photographed and posted on instagram. The point is, just write your thoughts down as Herb Wharton said in the quote at the top of this post.

I became a writer by writing and allowing the words in my head to flow out my hands and that’s pretty much it so being able to publish and sell my writing helps me to be able to continue writing.

I like writing because my writing makes me smile just like my dancing and playing music makes me smile and that also make other people smile. In my opinion there should be more smiling in the world, with dancing and giggles and tickles and wiggles and hugs.

One last thing. This blog post was not written in one go. It was written and honed in 6 different sessions over a period of one an a half days and Johno the Cool Cat was written over two days and the book took another day so in total there are about 12 hours of work to get this blog post to completion. I began Johno on Wednesday and will hit the publish button on Sunday……. Here goes (and I just reedited it for spelling and punctuation once again)

Johno the cool cat

Johno was a cool cat who like to have fun.

In the middle of the night he’d go for a run,

All around town, on the fences, in the parks.

Johno was a cool cat who loved wearing Clarks,

Desert boots and shorts with cool Hawaiian shirts.

Johno would go dancing until his feet hurt.

He’d sneak home in the dawn and the morning light

Then he’d sleep all day and go dancing all night

animals, biography, book, change, ecosystems, health, Humour, Life lessons, poetry, poetry, politics, prohibition

Lust in Nimbin

Stuck at home, don’t be a loner.
Read Lust in Nimbin, Don’t catch Corona
My newest book release is out now.
The second edition of “Lust in Nimbin” the poetry of Thundercloud Repairian FREE as an ebook and from the 21st of March until the 25th of of March 2020 only.
Check it out here Lust in Nimbin
Thundercloud Repairian artist poet writer
biography, ecosystems

Biography

Thundercloud Repairian AKA James Arthur Warren is the creator of the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame in Guyra in the 3rd of March 2020. He is a passionate educator, poet, artist, writer and publisher. His first book The Flea and the Dinosaur is  a children’s book fully written and illustrated by Thundercloud. “Love in Nimbin” and “Lust in Nimbin”  are his two volume poetry anthology Love and lust in Nimbin. as well as the soon to be released Poetry to End Prohibition 420 2020 edition.

A finalist in the 2017 Nimbin Performance poetry World Cup with “Street Poets News”

3rd in the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Competition with “Our Darling Barka is Dying”

Thundercloud is an environmental scientist and socio-cultural educationalist. Through his writing and the Nimbin underground “slam poetry” scene Thundercloud has established himself as a formidable revolutionary consciousness lyricist.

He is currently working on his next three children’s books which includes another  a book of animal verse for kids. Thundercloud is a father of three sons whom he has always enjoyed telling stories to and lives in his magical colourful double decker bus, Atlantis.

As a passionate environmentalist Thundercloud pledges to donate 25% of all profits to revegetating creeks and rivers and connecting forest remnants with linking corridors to facilitate the safe movement of koalas and enabling species recovery after the bushfires.

“Thundercloud writes poetry that you will keep resonating with you for days”

Thundercloud: Washing away the garbage and leaving behind rainbows.

“A peaceful warrior has no need to raise his sword and he acts from compassion and has a shield of love”  — Thundercloud Quotes

 

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The Journey Begins