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
poetry, writing

Winter poetry challenge support a poet and buy me a coffee

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

Resonance.

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.

Snow

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.

Snow 2

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

Brrrrrr

Paris

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

The Australian Poetry Hall of Fame in Guyra surrounded by snow

It’s been a cold start to the winter here in Guyra and if you like my poetry you can help keep me warm at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/thundercloud

poetry

Transcending sound and light

The space inside my mind Transcends space and time

Faster than the Speed of light, inner sight delight

Of the patterns of sound vibrating all around

Then world Peace is found within hours of towers and showers of glass as lies pass for truth

And turn to abuse of the millions of Muslims who died from the lies of the world wide network of military spies

And babies in fields of opium yields

Guns for oil and paid for with Toyota wheels

So Towers fall and 20 years later the crumbling walls

Of empires in decline as their time passes like sands through hour glasses

Neros and Ceasars, Emperor No clothes Diseases

Pedalling beer, fear, hated and a veneer of suspicion for a year

Til whack, thwack smack as the people slap back under attack from lack and systems crack

Crumble, rumbling anachronism tumble

Archaic fumbling mumbling politicians bumbling

Cold. Summer brings snows and blows away theories and climate change goes

To be shown a manipulated false fear like Co Video Games drink Corona beer

But the love from within inspired from above is the dove of love and living in love is the peace in each and in easy reach

But begins in the heart of each and every single one of us

As we yield to the toroidal vortex within the quantum field and

Amplify magnetize, vibrations rise and the electrical flow of energy rise

To the time, divine all fine from the bliss inside this divine vessel of light and delight

To Take Flight, day and night

Transcending space time mind through

Vibratory sound and light

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.

change, Life lessons, poetry, writing

Respect

Recently, I have had 40 days and nights of deep self-reflection and introspection. In this time I rediscovered my faith in Spirit and Source and have grown immensely as a human in both strength, patience and spirit.

In November 2014, I came home from my employment as an English as a Second Language teacher. I had stopped at the green grocer to buy two big boxes of fruit and vegetables for my family when the storm hit and fist size hail smashed my car. I went and picked up and my young son from child care and it was also smashed up. I arrived home and I called to my older sons to come and help me carry up the fruit and vegetables that I had bought and as they came down to greet me they said, “Dad, the roof blew off.’

I replied, “thats a good chance for a change.”

That was the last day I shaved and the last day that I cut my hair. I took a Nazarite vow from the book of Numbers in the Old Testament and began to grow my hair to affirm my faith as a Rastafarian and Nazarite. On reflection, I believed this gave me the right to smoke cannabis too. I was wrong. I was vain. The Nazarite vow requires that I don’t touch a dead body, don’t cut my hair and don’t drink wine, alcohol or eat grapes from a vine or raisins. I stopped drinking alcohol in 2015. I bought a double decker bus and created the Free Blue Library, giving away donated books as I travelled. However in 2017 I arrived in Nimbin for the Mardi Grass Help End Marijuana Prohibition Rally and met a talented young artist named Daniel. Six weeks later I was going for my morning run when I came across Daniel dead in the street from and overdose of something as he’d chocked in his vomit. I selflessly began resuscitation and his cold blue bare feet began turning pink, but after 30 minutes the police and ambulance arrives and they tried too before he was pronounced dead.

According to my Nazarite vow I should have cut my hair off seven days after that. I didn’t. I was vain. I was selfish. In my recent self reflection, I realise that I had lost my self respect and integrity. I had lost respect for the law and although there may be things in this world that we not agree with, it is still important to offer respect of all things, all people, and all situations and this means to be without judgment and ego.

One important word that I learnt while living in Nimbin was a Bundjalung word, “Gurrimah” meaning: to care for and nurture, to have respect, no judgement and no jealousy. I have embraced this word in my life.

While I was in my deep self-reflection I wrote the following piece of poetry titled “Respect” and I would like to take this opportunity to share it with you as this is a time when we can all benefit from more respect of all living things, and people as respect is a right of all and thus by default it is also a responsibility of all.

It begins with self respect and respecting this sacred vessel of light that Our Spirit and Our Source incarnated into so that we can experience life in this Paradise, This Garden of Eden we call Earth where our temptation is “to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” This fruit is named “Judgement” and with respect, there is no judgement. We all make mistakes. I know I did, and I know I have made many mistakes. So in keeping my integrity and in keeping respect of my faith and my Nazarite vow, I shall be cutting off all the hair from my head, reaffirming my Nazarite vow and being born once more as a child of Source and Spirit YHWH הוה

777

Respect

Respect begins with respect of self, when we nurture our bodies into health

Respect has many elements of compassion that we may never know how another’s life was fashioned

Respect of others has no judgement. Respect of all is like ointment

Respect of women and of men, as the bee, the flower and the rooster, the hen

Respect acknowledges other’s pain, as farmers and fishers respect wind and rain

Respect ancestors, grandfathers and mothers, babes in arms, cousins, sisters, brothers

Respect sees that we are all different and each life incarnate is heaven sent

With respect we all are free to grow and learn, let others be

Respect acknowledges cause and effect, if we disrespect others, others disrespect

With disrespect we fall from grace as disrespect is a loss of face

Respect acknowledges another’s grief, suffering, trauma and belief

Respect is when we quietly listen and learn from others and are not dis-ing 

Disrespect is speaking to others bad, makes ourselves look bad and others sad

Disrespect is when we decide to laugh at others and deride someone else’s truth and way of being, disrespect is judgement that we are seeing

Disrespect denies another’s truth, disrespect is judgement and abuse

With respect we learn and know, Respect is how we learn and grow

Respect the guest and the host. Respect accepts and does not boast

Respect others and they will respect you. Humility grows respect in you. 

When you make mistakes apologise as it builds respect in other’s eyes

We can’t know everything, all can learn, with respect we are humble and then respect is earned

With respect we self reflect, drop ego and we self direct

As disrespect leads to hurt and pain, grief, loss suffering and is no one’s gain

As sure as Thunderclouds bring us rain, respect leaves rainbows after pain

Respect the rich and the poor, welcome both at your front door

There is no judgement with respect and to judge another is disrespect

Respect is when we listen quiet but disrespect can cause a fight

Respect is free from arrogance and is to walk in another’s shoes and pants.

Copyright 2021 Thundercloud Repairian aka James Arthur Warren aka Mooganaar