Monday, December 31, 2007

Interacting with the Energy

Under the cover of darkness - while stars twinkle outside my window, crickets chirp and trees give their goodnight sigh – I sleep.

Drifting through the outer reaches of the milky æther, slumbering softly, I see spectacular nebula with forms like star sized angels.

They whisper my name and sing to me.

“While you sleep we sing to you. Our song is home. Our song is strength. Our song is letting go. Our song is love.”

These celestial sounds massage me deeply yet gently.

All I thought I was drifts from me, anger drifts away from me, loss and failure merge with the darkness and are gone. I become as supple as a newborn.

The pain of failing myself, of failing others melts away and I am free. I weep as I dance to the music that envelopes me.

From the thunderous bass notes of solar systems colliding, to the high notes of a bird leaving its shell and singing for food - the celestial song is love.

A long line of stars guide me back to bed; ancient sentinels.

From here I look down on my peace-filled sleeping self. And for the first time in so long I am not unsure of myself, of what might or might not be; I’m just glad that I am.

I open tear filled eyes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Passé Posse

It is a quiet afternoon in the office: typing, muffled voices and the constant drone of air conditioning, are all I hear.

“Have you thought any more about leaving?” Toby breaks my revere.

“Yes, a bit”, I say.

“What would you do?”

“I don’t know, go to Europe, join a monastery, write a novel – I have no idea.”

“Sounds like you’re having a creative crisis – you want to use the other side of your brain more.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s it. There’s nothing very creative about what we’re doing. I feel like my life is passing me by here. I’ll be lying on my deathbed wondering where it all went.”

“Tell me about it.”

“I always thought I would be famous. When I was a teenager I thought I’d be a drummer in a hard rock band.”


“Yes, I really believed it too.”

I give Toby a wry smile and then ask, “What about you?”

“Well actually, I’m writing a play. It’s something I always wanted to do.”

“True? What’s it about?”

“Well it’s going to be called ‘The Passé Posse’ and it’s just about a group of people – you know.”


“Actually you’ve been helping me out with the ‘disaffected office worker’ character. Hope you don’t mind?”


“And Liz has been typing up our conversations.”

The typing noise stops. Liz looks across with a sheepish expression on her face.

“Right,” I say. “Well good luck with that. Let me know when it’s on – I’ll come and see it.”

Toby turns to Liz and says, “Did you get the ‘lying on my deathbed’ bit?”

I pretend to be busy.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Rain Dancer

He knew he was going to die. He knew ‘metastasis’ was a just a big word for ‘cancer again’.

The last time I saw him he was weak and frail. His treatment was making him so sick that he needed someone around to help him all the time.

I found myself in deep admiration of him, found myself admiring his calmness and peace, the sureness that surrounded him. He had seen death and was not frightened.

He was small and fragile and yet he held the world’s weight as if it were nothing.

The people who helped him loved him, smiled at him, absorbed his presence, touched and held him. They seemed to find their task the greatest privilege.

The funeral was gut wrenching. The family was obviously devastated – they had lived in hospitals for months praying that this day would not come.

Those who talked at the funeral spoke of a person who lived a selfless life; a person who in the week before he died had gone to give his money to a friend because he didn’t think he would need it anymore.

I sat in my pew thinking of this person who I hardly knew and remembered his eyes, his deep sad and joyful eyes.

Afterwards someone told me “You know, he could be a bit of a rat bag”.

I was glad to hear it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Mirror

They were still cleaning up three days after the event ended. Empty bottles and cans were the main items strewn over the ground. These would be recycled in to new bottles and cans and end up on the ground again next year.

“Sometimes people can be so thoughtless” comments Katrina as she picks up three empty beer bottles and a half eaten pie.

“Keeps us in a job though”, says Andrew.

“It just depresses me. A bunch of people getting together to bring some fun in to the world and the result is 25 dump trucks full of rubbish.”

“27 dump trucks actually, the boss forgot about the field down the back. Filthy.”

Katrina shakes her head and takes a moment to stretch her back.

“Hey, what’s that?” she asks.

“What’s what?”

Katrina bends down and pulls a small object out from under a ripped T-Shirt.

Andrew comes over to take a look. “Looks like a mirror.”

“It’s not a mirror. Look. I can see right through it”.

Katrina holds the object up between them to make her point. But as they look they see something strange.

There is a faint image moving in the glass, a whisper of an image, if you know what I mean. Looking closer they see that the image is moving and that it is an old woman with hair like pure silver and skin like golden sand dunes.

“It does make a difference” says the old woman.

Katrina almost drops the frame but manages to say “Ahhh, thanks”.

The old woman smiles and is gone

“Freaky” says Andrew.

And they keep on cleaning.

Monday, October 29, 2007


The temperature drops; grey fog, black cloud and the wind.

A storm is approaching.

It is time to batten down the hatches. It is time to make for safe harbour. It is time for haste and action.

At first I am running but losing. Then I am running but not moving. And now my body will not move; my will is gone.

This is no natural storm.

Uncountable they are. Foul and loathsome; terrible yet ridiculous. They pass across the sky. They make day night and all beauty grey. Life is death, love is hate and magic science.

I cannot struggle.

I cannot move.

I am losing my life. I am alive but dead. I am older.


“Are you okay?”

“It’s the darkness again” I manage to say.


“Here, drink this.”

I take and drink.

Slowly my eyes open and I see, well, I see something outside of me. I see a face, a worried face, and I feel a hand on my hand. Then there is a gap, a break in the clouds, and a small patch of light shining through.

There is hope.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sword Sharpener

“But Dad, how can you like ‘The Rolling Stones’? They’re practically dead aren’t they? I mean cryogenics has come a long way.”

“Well what’s this rot you’re listening to? Sounds more like a car crash than music.”

“You have bad taste. Anyway, I just wanted to know if I could borrow some money.”

“You want to insult my taste and then ask if you can have some of my hard earned cash?!”

“Pretty much.”

“Cheeky monkey, go and get my wallet then. How much do you need?”

“Fifty dollars.”

“Fifty! In my day you could have lived for a week on 50 dollars!”

“Yes, but you’re really old Dad. Besides, you still owe me for painting the house.”

“That was two years ago!”

“And you still haven’t paid up.”

Money changes hands.

“Thanks Dad.”

“Look after yourself out there and call me, for anything.”

“I will.”

The front door closes with a bang. Mother looks up from her book and smiles at Father.

“Well Love," Dad says "did you hear all that? How do you think it went?”

“He’s developing his own likes and dislikes. He’s questioning the status quo and your authority. I think he’s coming along nicely.”

“Hmmmm, I agree. You don’t think I sounded a bit phoney though, I mean ‘The Rolling Stones’! It was just the first thing that came in to my head.”

“You’re coming along nicely too” says Mum and gives him a big hug.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Kingdom of Heaven

Mark had been sick of his life since he was 20.

Every night he prayed.

“Make or break me.”

Every morning he woke up neither made nor broken.

“When will this end?”

There had been attempts to end the tedium; half hearted, embarrassing attempts that only underscored the failure and the futility of his life.

One morning he had decided not to get out of bed. This was the end. After a week he got up, stood under a lukewarm shower, dressed mechanically and went to work. At work he sat staring at a computer screen that had long since gone into power-save mode.

He stopped trying to feel better about his life, stopped trying to apply reason to his problems – he gave up thinking. His mind was a flat featureless landscape and a grey sky.

At 75 he arranged for all his food to be delivered to his house. In that house he sat.

Days passed.

“Make or break me”

“Make or break me”

One cold night Mark’s prayer was answered. His heart stopped while he slept. He was 87 years old.

It felt like waking up, it felt like waking up made!

Surrounded by white light, not floating – no indeed!, speeding through the light. And it was exhilarating!

A choir of angels travelled with him singing, not in a churchy way, but in a way that filled you with power and hurt your eardrums. The music banished Marks greyness in the same way the morning sun chasses the dawn away.

Peter was there at the gates of heaven and greeted Mark with a wide smile and a hearty hug.

“So, well, we expected you sooner Mark. But here you are and we are pleased to see you.

Many people have lived lives like yours Mark but you have lived it the longest

Hearing this filled Mark with sadness.

“Don’t be sad”, Peter said. “In heaven all lives make sense – even yours”.

And Mark found out -

Peter was right.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The One Second Vista

Traffic has made me late and tense so when I get the chance I park and run.

I fly past a flash looking restaurant with its large street facing windows open wide.

There is a perfectly white table cloth. There are two wood framed chairs. There are two similar looking women.

A young woman dressed for business, a lawyer maybe, reads a menu. Watching her lovingly, forlornly, an older lady dressed in her best clothes, a mother maybe.

Are they really mother and daughter? Did the mother really fly all the way across this massive country to see her daughter? Did she really fly all that way on her own?

But it seems that there is still a huge distance between them. It looks to me like the mother wants to reach out and touch her daughters hand. It looks like she’s bursting to say,

“You don’t have to spend all this money to impress me; I’ve always been proud of you”

I feel like calling out to her,

“Just say it!”

But I’m late.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Sue grew up in a posh inner city suburb with all the benefits of the western world; a wonderful family in a safe community. Sue grew up healthy and strong.

When she was three years old her mother told her that carrots grew in the ground and apples grew on trees.

“Where does Steak grow Mummy?”

“Well, it grows on cows Sue”

“How does it grow on cows?”

“Steak is a cows muscles”

Sue thought about this for a while. She thought about all the cows out there that had had all their muscles eaten off.

“I don’t want to eat cows muscles Mummy. I just want to eat vegistables”

And Sue became a vegetarian. At school Sue got teased about her un-trendy lettuce sandwiches. But she didn’t care. Somewhere there was a cow with all its muscles and it was thanks to her.

Sue was eight years old when she realised that cows actually had to be killed to make steak. That just proved to her that she was right all along - eating meat was barbaric.

The more she thought the angrier she became. What gave people the right to steal a bee’s honey? What gave humans the right to take away a Sheep’s baby for its skin?

And Sue became a vegan. At University everyone laughed at her plastic shoes and her soy yogurt. But Sue didn’t care. Somewhere an animal was able to feed its offspring and it was because of her.

When she was 23 Sue found that yoga calmed her mind; she practiced twice a day and meditated for half an hour every morning.

The yoga retreat centre was miles out in the country - on a farm where people lived in harmony with nature. It really was a retreat in the truest sense; the air was fresh and the whole world seemed to be at peace. Here mans cynical ideas of ‘Survival of the fittest’ seemed but a bad dream.

Sue took deep long breaths as she headed towards the food ashram. Several people welcomed her with a traditional Indian greeting as she filled her plate from giant bowls of wonderful food.

The young man serving himself in the queue next to her smiled and joked

“This looks great! Where’s the steak?”

Sue glowered back.

“Oh come on!” said the young man “You’re too pretty to be one of those lettuce sandwich eating, plastic shoe wearing vegans”

When she heard this something inside Sue snapped. All those years of caring when no one else cared came back at her in an instant.

She picked up a fork and stabbed it through the young mans throat.

It wasn’t until he was lying on the floor, blood streaming from his wound, that she realised what she had done.

His tee-shirt had a picture of some farm animals and a slogan that read:

“I don’t eat my friends”

The young man was a vegan too.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Two Minute Dreamer

After the movie the credits roll, the music plays and I know this – I can’t do it alone.

I am reminded of the past. 6 o’clock was filled with the cool freshness of a new day. A silk ribbon of rosy light edged the velvet blue sky.

These mornings are a mix of strident toughness and a kind of serious joy. The Earths gravity is an anchoring force that holds and steadies me. I am a patch member in a Gang of one. It seems as if the trees, standing strong, their feet deep in the earth, must feel as l do.

But there is also a softer touch, the gentle air around me. It does not stand against me but supports me, fills me with a soft luminosity and a lightness that is the antidote to too much heaviness. Birds can lift themselves up on it and watch the world from on high.

And it seems to me that that wind turbine - yes far in the distance on that hilltop - is my symbol. Its slow turns represent the power that is all around me; the force that can be felt but not seen. I know that hilltop well, I know that when you stand there it is easy to feel like your head is in the sky and that all that is below belongs to you.

This dawn is almost gone as I head homewards. There I lie on the floor and listen to the sound of my own breathing and to a music that talks of summer and sunshine and of growing old without fear.

The musician captured the spirit of the morning. What magic was used to distil that essence? What magic can make a song that evokes the memory of the sacred and reminds us of that which is worth our lives?

This is a magic I need but do not posses.

After the movie the credits roll, the music plays and I know this – I can’t do it alone.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


“ that guy you paid to kill your sister’s dog” I say.


“What happened again?”

“My sister had this really annoying dog so I paid this bloke I met at the pub 50 bucks to finish it off. Well, you know, kill it; it was just a dog”


“Well he went around to the house but he couldn’t do it. And that’s how he met my sister.”

“Okay yeah”

“And he got her pregnant and now they’re married”

“Man – that’s a twist”

“And now whenever I see my mother she says ‘It’s all you’re fault, if you hadn’t paid him to kill Stanley they never would have met’”

“That’s harsh”

And then a voice from the backseat says, “Did he kill the dog?”

And my friend replies, “No, but he kept the 50 bucks.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Invisible ropes tether our Earth to the Sun; a leash by which the Tame Lion holds the Lion Heart.

Our Earth is a reluctant pilgrim slowly circling a luminescent celestial body. Heat brings life; action with form. But form without action follows and all actionless forms disappear.

The Sun sees the twin masks of comedy and tragedy. It wonders at the rapidity of the oscillations; sadness, joy, sadness, joy, sadness, joy. Millions of changes in a space of time so small it can hardly perceive it.

Sometimes the Sun loses the ability to track individual changes – the view goes from being molecular to appearing like a candle melting.

There was a time when the Sun thought that more heat would mean more joy - less sadness. Right from its heart it gave out a great burst of warmth. But the oscillations below only increased - the amount of sadness and joy stayed the same.

This is how the Sun learnt what you and I know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Magic Machine

“And then what?” Jon asks.

“Well, then they went home for tea and had their favourite food.”

“Ice-cream” Jon states, nodding his head against the pillow. “And then what?”

“I think it’s time you went to sleep. I’ll tell you another story tomorrow.”

“Can you tell me another one now Dad? Can you tell me the one about the magic machine?”

“Hmmm, will you go straight to sleep and not make any noise?”

“I promise!”

“Weeellll”, Dad thinks for a moment, “okay, but you’ll have to remind me how it starts.”

Jon starts very slowly, “Once upon a time there was a boy called…”

“Joe?”, Dad offers.

“No! Jon!”

“Ah yes, that’s right. Once upon a time there was a boy called Jon and he had an amazing machine that made toothbrushes”

“Not toothbrushes – magic!”

“Did you clean your teeth?”

“Yes – keep going with the stor-eee.”

“Let me see your teeth.”

Jon squeezes his eyes closed and opens his mouth wide.

“Wow that’s a big mouth! Okay, so Jon had an amazing machine that made magic.

The magic machine was a square box covered in the most wonderful colours all spiralling and swirling together. Sometimes it looked as if the colours were moving and making new patterns.

On the side of the box was a small switch.

Can you remember what happens when you push the switch?”

Jon shoots his hand towards the ceiling and exclaims, “Nothing!”


“You have to say the magic words!”

“What magic words?”

“Magic Machine,
Magic machine,
Open your top,
Show me the screen!” Jon recites in a solemn voice.

“Ah yes, those are the magic words alright.

So Jan”, Dad resumes.


“Sorry, so Jon said the Magic words.

Slowly the box began to open. As the box opened a small mirror came out. At first when Jon looked at the mirror all he could see were his very clean teeth.

Then slowly the picture changed and he could see all the fun things he had done that day.

What had he done that day?” Dad asks.

“Well dad, he had done some drawing and talked to Mum and helped with the vacuuming.”


“Yes, and he went for a walk and saw a tree and it was loosing its leaves for winter and it only had one leaf left on it!”

“Man, that was quite a day! Anyway”, Dad continues, “Jon saw all these things and they made him smile. Then he used the magic box closing words. How do they go again?”

“Magic machine,
Magic machine,
Thanks for the pictures
Please hide the screen!”

“That’s it. Well Jon, must be time for sleep. Sleep tight little mite.”

“First give me a hug big bug. Dad?”

“Yes Jon?”

“Is there really such a thing as magic?”

But Dad just smiles and turns off the light.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I just had the most elaborate dream. The story was this.

A woman wakes from a deep coma surrounded by a family she does not remember.

She goes to see the Oracle on the Pier, who says,

“Why have you come to me?”

“I have forgotten my history. Without my past the present seems like an illusion.”

“The illusion is not outside you.”

The pier becomes a bridge, a boisterous sea playing against its sides. Ahead is an island with a castle on top.

Now she stands on top of the castle watching as enemy aircraft fly in formation towards her.

“They are like ours”, she thinks.

“They were trained by us”, someone near her replies.

Antiaircraft bullets fill the air like angry insects. A plane is shot down the pilot ejecting near by.

“I think... I think I knew that man.”

And in that moment all the things she knew and all the things she didn’t swirl around her.

“I am that man!”

Again she is waking up from the coma and this time she knows that she was the pilot.

This time the Oracle says,

“You need to take this to make it stop.”

Slowly she takes the pill to her mouth, opens her mouth, puts the pill on her tongue, closes her mouth and swallows.

A strong light illuminates her and dissolves her as if she had been but a shadow, or a dream.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Stars shine,
On obsidian sea.
Wind plays,
A melody in the trees,
A whispered lullaby
“Sleep tight it’s alright”

You’ll dream,
Of an ocean breeze,
And a ship,
On empty seas.
Close your eyes my love.
Let go it’s time to fly.
Set sail and sleep tonight.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Buy Skybus Tickets

One of the first things you see when you walk out of Terminal Three at Melbourne Airport is a sign that reads ‘Buy Skybus Tickets’. This sign is attached to an electronic kiosk conveniently located next to the Skybus bus stop. The Skybus is the bus that takes you from the airport to the city.

I love the 'Buy Skybus Tickets' sign. I love the creamy-smooth reassuring directness of the ‘Buy Skybus Tickets’ sign. I love the economy of words used by the ‘Buy Skybus Tickets’ sign. I love the thought that I could probably work out what the ‘Buy Skybus Tickets’ sign said even if I had just arrived at Terminal Three of Melbourne Airport from somewhere in the world where I wasn’t used to reading English signs.

The ‘Buy Skybus Tickets’ sign makes me think about buying a ticket. I could go in to the city and have a coffee; take the day off and sit by the river.

When my girlfriend calls me tonight she might ask,

“How was work today?”

And I would say,

“Well, after I dropped you at the airport I was feeling sad so I bought a Skybus ticket and went in to the city.”

She would be impressed.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Prophet and His Passing

From up here that long oblong driftwood log is a mouth on a parchment face. The sea has stirred thousands upon thousands of sandstone coloured grains of sand into the shape of eyes and left an untidy muddle of seaweed hair.

I think I hear, no, I hear. The rhythm of the waves has become a voice. Adagio.

“I want to tell you something.”

The poetry that follows is wondrous, strong, soft. It is the thing you always knew but never understood. It is the thing that soothes you and breaks you. I feel great joy and great pain as a single emotion.

The voice is inside me cleaning me, making me whole, giving me hope. I feel my preconceptions disappear and my defences reduced to rubble.

But then.

The voice, that beautiful voice, becomes suddenly harsh. “The tide is coming towards me. I can not take this pain.”

As the tide pulls away the edges of the face the mouth opens to drink and to be drowned by the water.

I am left thinking “Surely your own wisdom could have helped you?”

There is no answer to my silent question.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


The bell rang for lunch and my friend and I strolled out on to the playground talking about space and spaceships.

“What was there before space?” I asked.

No matter how hard I tried to imagine nothingness the best my mind could come up with was blackness, and blackness seemed to be something.

When I was older I learned that we humans are atomically small in the molecule of the solar system. Some people think that there are as many stars in the Milky Way as there have been humans on Earth. Each star is a massive sun – ancient and unique. And there are many, many galaxies in the Universe.

I can not comprehend the vastness of space.

How can something so large that I can’t comprehend it come from something so empty that I can’t imagine it?

Well, maybe we are just the part of the Universe that is trying to understand itself.

No wonder we want to be famous.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Last Day on Earth

Paul woke with the warm early morning sun smiling through his window. Outside a warm breeze was making a rustling sound as it played joyously in a tree.

Paul yawned, stretched and rolled over to see what time it was. The view of his bedside clock was obscured by a note propped against the dial. The note read thus.

“Good morning Paul,

Hi. It’s me, God. Just wanted to say that today is definitely not your last day on Earth. So don’t worry about dying or anything like that just get out there and enjoy – should be a good one.

Talk to you later.

Lots of love,


There are times when we receive wondrous news, or terrifying news and in that moment everything we had been thinking, every important thing we had to do, vanishes. There is silence behind and between every sound. There are universes created and destroyed in the infinity between the tic and the toc of the alarm clock.

Paul, a passionate believer that man should live each day as if it were his last, has a realisation. He has been living each day as if there had never been a first.

It wasn’t the kind of day you would expect from a man who could not die. No. It was a day filled with a lot of being and breathing and gladness and wonder and just noticing the things around him.

The first day of his life.

God watched Paul’s day and crinkles formed around his eyes. If you had seen those crinkles and those eyes you may have been reminded of the sun on an autumn day.