Writing and Expression From The Sunshine Coast

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Letting Things Come: A poem by Richard Austin

Poetry by

Publisher’s Note: If you’ve not experienced my dear friend, Richard, perform (and I mean perform) poetry, then you’ve not had words made so utterly complete. Poetry is meant not only to be felt in silence; it must be spoken, given in song in the voice of the author. Shared, shouted, into the wind. Or whispered into a child’s drowsy ear.


 

Winnie-the-Pooh, contemplating Tigger,

with the full force of his self-confessed ‘little brain’

and heavyweight poetic imagination,

concludes that:

“whatever his weight in pounds, shillings, and ounces

he always seems bigger because of his bounces.”

 

Tiny, timid, but no-pushover Piglet –

all nervous seriousness,

lassos, long ears of logic flapping,

those errant coins,

and pulls Bear’s leap back to earth

when approval is requested –

“All except the shillings, I don’t think they ought to be there”

 

“They wanted to come in after the pounds, so I let them. It’s the best way to write poetry, letting things come.”

“Oh.” says little Piglet, “I didn’t know.”

 

See how simple it can be to defend

creative thought –

gently but confidently –

when inspiration

is outlawed and strung up by a lariat of reason?

 

letting things come

 

This is the soul of John Lennon’s response

to the mean spirit black crows in Nixon’s employ –

all tar and feathers, paranoia,

and cawing panic in their briefcases;

wires tapped, long lenses trained, tailing without hiding to instil fear.

 

This is the mantra of peaceful resistance

repeated over and over without shouting:

“All we are saying is Give Peace A Chance”

 

letting things come

 

no hatred, no belief

that Peace is anywhere other

than where it should be all the time –

inside us –

ready to emerge when fear is stilled:

 

“War is over – if you want it”

 

by Richard Austin, May 3rd 2008

 

 

The Feather

Love/People by

The news came out of the blue. Jim was dying.

I had been planning a trip to Sudbury for my brother and sister-in –law’s 50thwedding anniversary. Their son Gene had arranged a surprise party. As a gift, I had decorated an eagle’s feather that I had found in our local forest. They were both avid ‘birders’ and Jim always wished that he could find one of his own.

Now it turned out that if I wanted to spend some time with him, I would need to arrive sooner than expected. I quickly rearranged my flight.

When I arrived at his bedside I laid the feather on his chest, held his hand and stroked his forehead. Within an hour, he was gone.

Two days later at a family gathering, I passed the feather on to my nephew Gene and his wife, Lee-Ann. Before I left Sudbury, Gene told me the following story.

The day after they received the feather, Gene and his brother Richard decided to take Jim’s old beater of a car into the woods. They brought along Richard’s twin sons, so the two boys could learn how to drive a standard.

Each boy took a turn using the gearshift and clutch to drive the car. Once Aden had mastered shifting, it was Connor’s turn. He had a bit more difficulty. Shifting and stalling, the car alternately jerked and stopped along the country road. Suddenly, the clutch stuck and the car sat frozen on a hill.

Richard and the two boys got out to push, while Gene tried to free up the clutch. As the car lurched downhill, the clutch suddenly released, freeing the car to roll down the rest of the slope.

When the others caught up with Gene, they piled in and turned the car around. As they cautiously crawled their way back up the grade with the car stuck in low gear, an eagle dropped out of the sky alongside them and closely followed the four stunned guys back up to the top of the hill.

They knew, of course that it was Jim.

 

Robert Wotton

 

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