There is an African parable about a farmer who sells his farm to go searching for diamonds which he never finds meanwhile the man who bought his farm find diamonds on the very farm that the first man sold.
There's a little patch of calm in an ocean of panic
Selling off the family farm our farmer is a tragic
He going on a search for a diamond studded land
When he finds his fortune, won't his life be grand?
Searching high and low will he ever find his treasure?
One day will he know a life of wealth and pleasure?
Trodding up and down on the search for Easy Street
He's a desk jockey and clown, the betting house his beat
Why he sold the farm many thought he was insane
Depressed and without charm, going down the drain
Never found his fortune, he's going off his head
Life never played his tune, and he ended up dead
In an Ocean of panic there's a little patch of calm
Where Farmer Obananic bears the work of his new bought farm
Working hard, tills the field and carries water from the creek
So he gets a good crop yield and just the other week
He was walking in the creek and found a shiny rock
He forgot it for a week because he stored it in his sock
But he showed it to a friend who told him what he found
The farm he bought had acres of diamonds lying round.
So the moral of the story, just stop and look around
You may just have a priceless antique sitting on the ground
And even better you've the brains to do what's in your head
Find your little patch of calm and don't panic or be dead
You've everything you need to create a life of thrival
Or you can look externally and live life in survival
Chasing rainbow ends, find hail and slime on
Or STOP. Look around you're sitting on diamonds.
I heard this story earlier in the week and decided to rewrite it in poetry rhyming couplet form. I have been also contemplating how this story might apply to my life. What diamonds am I sitting on? Rare books? Antiques?
AhHa! My unpublished poetry? My unpublished children’s books like Happy Harry Koala? The Australian Poetry Hall of Fame? All the above and more. Yes it is true, which makes me think “I’d better create some products from my writing and art. I’m sitting on acres of diamonds”
“I am a creator, I am creative, creating is how us creative creators live.
Creative creators live and love to create artistic expressions of beauty that’s great,
Creative creators lift cultures up higher with cultural evolution that they inspire
Creator open our hearts and fill them with love inspired by love and also from above” Thundercloud Repairian Quotes
I will be the first to admit that I am a creative creator. Whether it is poetry, writing, art, sculpture, cooking or “whatever,” I love doing it. My current BIG creation is the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame in Guyra. It is a multifaceted project with a cafe, a Poet’s Hall of Fame, an art gallery, and more. It is like having a giant working studio in a theatre. For example yesterday I wrote a piece of poetry, wrote a blog post, painted some of the mural on the stage, cooked pumpkin soup and bread, did some graphic design. At the end of the day I recorded 54 minutes of poetry to facebook and then uploaded it to Youtube. That reminds me of what this blog post is about…….Creating.
I opened the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame in Guyra in March 2020 on the first day of COVID-19 lockdown so I quickly had to reevaluate my business plan which had included many live events. In June 2020, I began the Guyra Farmers and Craft Market at the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame providing an outlet for local artisans and crafty people to sell their wares. I also began weekly, Wednesday Words Open Mic Poetry Night. There were nights during lockdown in 2021 where I was the only one in attendance so I began broadcasting it on Facebook live. My good friend and patron Gladys Wilson has been a major supporter of the open mic night and also the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame in general. From Gladys, my first follower, I have grown a group of more than a dozen regular poets attending the open mic night. Now Wednesday Words Open Mic Poetry night has followers all around the world who tune in to the live Facebook broadcast or who catch up once it is uploaded to Youtube.
The most rewarding part of this creation is that I have inspired new people to create, not only poetry but also art and by stocking the only art supplies in Guyra, I am also enabling creators. Gladys Wilson has now written over 12 pieces of poetry, Doug Scott has begun writing and Gabriel Donleavy said that he has now been inspired to write more.
I am grateful. I am grateful for the opportunity to create but also the opportunity to facilitate and inspire other creators. As the economy becomes more and more robotised and mechanised the creative economy grows where people can make a living from their creations and innovations. We need creative people.
Listening to a music for writing playlist. A tray full of pumpkin, onion and tomatoes roasts in preparation for the next round of pumpkin soup to warm the core. Inspired to take moments away from other more pressing and productive chores and creative pursuits. It is autumn, 13 degrees Celcius outside and drizzly intermittent showers blow in and out. This is not the kind of weather that I would like to be a stockman on a horse.
I am now listening to a beautiful piece of classical music by Litvinovsky – Pelléas and Mélisande: I. Ils étaient comme des enfants. In English that translates to “They were like children,” and that reminds me what I am doing-writing.
For the time is often filled with trivialities and chores so in order to write, one must make writing opportunities. I live where I work, an old theatre one called the “Arcadia Theatre” but now home to the “Australian Poetry Hall in Fame” in Guyra, Banbai/Kamilaroi country. Living where I work and working where I live has both positive and negative aspects. One of the negatives is that it’s easy to fill the time with work and drudgery. The positive is that I have at hand a whole space in which to follow creative pursuits, a big child’s garden, in which to nurture the soul and the spirit and remind oneself that life is for enjoyment not suffering.
One of the simplest pleasures is writing. That’s why it is worth creating opportunities to write. Have a note book handy, write on a smart phone write on a computer to create a piece of literary art which echoes down through the eons for future readers to unearth nuggets of gold. Writing is not everyone’s cup of tea but for me it is a well drawn cup of Barry’s Irish tea with a dash of milk and the teabag left in.
Two hours after I began writing this piece the last third of a mug of tea is lukewarm but still strong tasty and drinkable, the pumpkin soup is blended and ready to serve and numerous interruptions have passed. These interruptions include Mediterranean field mushroom cups, avocado on toast, three glasses of fresh pressed juice and a delivery of an old radio, record player and a slide projector. The rain has definitely set in and I still do not envy the stockman Clancy of the Overflow on his horse in the rain.
Simple pleasures are life’s treasures like classical music on a rainy day
Simple pleasures are beyond measure, no price can be put upon play
Simple pleasures are diamonds of leisure, in a warm room writing away
Earlier this week I wrote a piece of poetry about a man who does all the enjoyable things twice but if it causes him pain then he goes and does something which he enjoys. The poem is simple titled “Double Dan”
There is a happy man who does everything twice
If it brings him joy and makes him feel nice
But if it makes him sad, feel horrible and mad
He doesn’t repeat it, he does things that make him feel glad.
He skied down a hill and skied down a hill again
Then he parachuted once and a second time my friend
He swam with a crocodile and a great white shark
Then he went and danced at a festival in a park
He rode a camel across a desert and then he rode it back
Twice took a submarine into a deep ocean floor crack
Then then he watched a horror movie and couldn’t crack a smile
So he played a game football with his friends for a while
If it makes him feel good he’ll do it one more time
He climbed a mountain twice to feel twice sublime
But he’ll only do it once if he shits his pants
Then to feel better he’ll play football or dance
There is a man named Double Dan, who’s a happy man
He does the fun things twice just because he can
But he’s no twit and if it makes him feel like shit
He’ll change what he’s doing and never repeat it.
There is a lot that I could write about doing the things that you love and not repeating unpleasant or harmful experiences. However time is limited. It is now 3:30pm and I have been writing this piece of content for over 5 hours. There are days where I want to write more than I have time for and when I have not written anything for a few days I start to get concerned that I am not being productive enough as a writer. The fact is that it’s not the writing that I don’t do enough of, it’s the publishing. It’s the part of the creative process where nothing new is written and the formatting, editing, uploading to Amazon etc. and it all seems like too much work. So I procrastinate, avoid and do the easier, simpler things like cook pumpkin soup or write a poem.
This week is the second birthday of the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame in Guyra, a place to celebrate poets past, present and emerging. There is always something to do and much more to be done so it is easy to be distracted and forget to write. However, April is the month of #TheDirtyThirty challenge on facebook. This is where we are challenged every day with a prompt to write a piece of poetry. I am looking forward to it as there is nothing as rewarding as creating a piece of random poetry from a random prompt.
Some memories last a lifetime. Like happy memories. My childhood was blessed and I was surrounded with happy people. My parents, grandparents and my parents’ friends. We used to go bushwalking in the Grampians in Victoria. I was only 2 or 3 years old and I would run off up ahead along the track alone. I would watch the birds flitting in and out of the small shrubs and admire all the wild flowers that blossomed everywhere. Then I would run back to where the walking party was coming. Sometimes I would crouch down behind a tree and jump out and surprise everyone who was walking towards me. They would all act surprised and I would laugh because I thought that it was funny. I knew not to stray from the path because I could get lost. I never did get lost and I have never lost these happy memories.
I am the little boy in the photo below and holding me is a friend of my parents’, Laurie O’Brien. I always remember Laurie as a happy man and he still is. Today is his birthday and I couldn’t think of a better way to thank him for the memories than to write a happy birthday poem for him.
Happy Birthday it is true, Happy Birthday just for you
Happy Birthday, you are great. We love the way that you act 8.
Happy Birthday with lots of money. You know I’m just being funny
Wishing you this birthday wish, I hope you get a sloppy kiss
From your darling loving wife. Who has stuck with you all your life
Happy Birthday dear Laurie. You never seem to ever worry
I wrote this poem just for you. Read it when you’re in the loo
Happy Birthday Laurence O’Brien. I hope you have a wonderful time.
Another fond memory that has never left me is that of my grandfather. He was killed in a car accident when I was only 4 years old. However the memories that I have of him are only positive. While my parents were working I would go a stay with my grandmother for the day. I used to arrive early and watch him shave before work. He would put shaving soap on my face and then pretend to shave it off. We would drive to the airport sometimes and as we would approach and overpassing bridge he say, “no more bridges” then as we went under the bridge he would tap me on the head with a rolled up newspaper and I would laugh. He would laugh. We’d both laugh together. I loved him and he loved me.
I have been fortunate in my life to have had happy and kind men around me when I was young. My father is one of those men. He never hit or smacked me and was always measured in his discipline preferring to use his words than any form of violence. For this I am grateful and this has been reflected in my peaceful non-violent attitude to life. I have never attacked anyone and only ever stepped in between people who were about to fight in order to protect them.
One year I was in West End in Brisbane and there was a drunk guy who was causing trouble. Five other guys were ushering him away and he was getting increasingly aggressive and agitated and starting to swing punches at them. I didn’t want to see him or them get hurt so I walked over, took off my shirt held up my arms and said, “if you want to hit someone hit me.” He punched into my stomach which was tensed and I felt his wrist crack. He then took a swing at my head and I ducked backwards. He just grazed my forehead and then stopped. I looked him square in the eye and said, “Is that it? Have you had enough?” His friend walked over and said to him, “I think you’d better go” He left. Nobody was hurt, except perhaps for his pride and fractured wrist.”
After I studied Environmental Science at university I worked for Greenpeace. The Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and then the START-Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on the 31st of July 1991 and the break up of the USSR 26th of December 1991. So by the time I worked for Greenpeace the Cold War was over. The only problem was that the USA had so much money invested in the war machine and arms production that they were addicted to profits and then had to create conflicts in through lies and deceit by dehumanising muslim people.
Now in 2021 we are in one of the most peaceful times in human history. If we get rid of armies and weapons we can truely create abundance, wealth, security and peace on Earth for all people.
We can finally thrive together, care for on another and live in peace on Earth. I wrote the “Legend of the Bombagun” as a post war vision of the world that I would like to see in the future. Below is Part 1 and the rest is available in the second of my “in Nimbin” books, Lust in Nimbin available on Amazon.
My grandfather served in the ADF in WWII and I have always honoured him and the ANZACS for the sacrifices that they made. My belief is that one day the only armies that exist will be responsible for planting trees and vegetable gardens so we can all have freely available healthy nourishing food world wide and live in peace and war will only be a memory. Thank you to all the peaceful men in my life.
A teacher once asked a preschool student what job do you want to do when you grow up. The preschool student replied, “an artist.”
The teacher laughed and said, “you’ll never be rich.”
The student replied, “No, you’ve been to university, studied hard and know everything that you’ve ever been taught, you’ll never be rich.”
Many years later the teacher was invited to a children’s book launch written and illustrated by the student. Original paintings of the illustrations were for sale for thousands of dollars and this was the student’s 6th book and the student was now an internationally recognised children’s book author and illustrator.
The following is a copy of my first published book “The flea and the dinosaur.” It is currently out of print but the story and illustrations were all done by me. I will republish it again in the future.
Many millions of years ago, way before you and me, Tyrannosaurus Rex was born, he was bigger than a tree. About the same time flea was born, rainbow fairy flea but small and super powerful filled with joy and glee. Tyrannosaur grey and brown strong and forcefully went around tearing things down like a big bully
Today I saw a dinosaur laughing at a flea, it looked down and said, “you’re not as strong as me”…………
The flea said to the dinosaur, “do you want to pick a fight?”
“One thousand times my height I jump. you can’t jump with all your might.”
The flea said to the dinosaur, “I have a super skin and I can bite you anywhere my teeth will sink right in.”
The flea said to tyrannosaur, “I can be a little snitch and I will bite you on the bum and I will make you itch”
The flea said to the dinosaur, “you can move about but I’m 100 times as fast as you that’s without a doubt.”
The flea jumped on the dinosaur and bit him on the knee. “I’m so much more than you think don’t you mess with me.”
The flea jumped on the dinosaur and bit him in the eye. The dinosaur shed a tear and then began to cry.
Today I heard a dinosaur say, “sorry” to a flea, “without a doubt you are so much more powerful than me.”
The flea said to the dinosaur, ”don’t laugh at others too because little guys are much more powerful than forceful ones like you.”
The flea said to the Dinosaur, “you can’t run away, nowhere to run nowhere to hide have a lovely day.”
The flea bit tyrannosaur and the dinosaurs all died and great big bullies fade away and get fried by little guys
Today I saw a dinosaur get beaten by a flea. Big mean bullies disappeared but loving joyful fleas dance free.
I finished writing this poem at 1:33, dinosaurs became extinct but fleas still live free.
I too was like the teacher once. I was a teacher and happy to take an hourly wage/salary with annual leave, sick days, superannuation of 17% and all the perks that come with a government teaching job. By the time I was 44 I had had over 50 different jobs. Then one November day in 2014 I returned home to find the roof had blown off my home. I decided to buy a double decker bus named Atlantis and go travelling and giving away free books. I lived on the smell of an oily rag, collecting and giving away free books for over 2 years until the bus broke down in Nimbin. I had started writing and my drawing skills had developed while I was living in Atlantis.
Nimbin had a great poetry scene and while I was living there I decided to illustrate and publish “The Flea and the Dinosaur.” I also published two volumes of poetry “Love in Nimbin” and “Lust in Nimbin” more recently I also published “Poetry to End Prohibition 420 2020” They are all available by following the links to Amazon.
In February 2020 I passed through Guyra on the way back to Nimbin. I had been to the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Competition in Orange. Here in Guyra I stopped for a walk and found an amazing empty theatre. A month later I returned to open the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame on the 24th of March 2020 which was Australia’s first day of COVID19 lockdown. It was a surreal experience moving to a new town to open business and suddenly finding the town deserted. However, 16 months later I am still here and I have just got around to opening “Seahorse Medicine Cafe here to serve vegetarian and vegan food as well as tea, coffee, soup and juices. People ask where I got the name “Seahorse Medicine” from. I have 3 unpublished volumes of children’s animal poetry by the same title.
I was told by a friend in 2016 that I have Seahorse Medicine in me. I had no idea what she was talking about at the time but now I do. I haven’t set a timeline to publish the Seahorse Medicine poetry but I have opened the cafe. Running/setting up the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame, a cafe, writing and publishing keeps me extremely occupied but they are all things that I enjoy doing.
That is what creatives do. They open their heart and do what they love. Create. Create some more and create even more. We use our creative abilities to bring joy, love and colour to the world, even when everything seems like it is going down the toilet, we will paint the toilet in bright colours. I wrote the following piece of poetry for my son’s birthday because I love him and also wanted to inspire him as well as other people. After he read it he thanked me and said “dad, that’s a good poem because it can be applied to different situations.”