One of the lovely pleasures that we at Eastsider News have discovered is the degree of creative talent we have in our local area. Collected here are some of the poetic contributions we have received from our local community. Some are funny, some are inspiring; all reflect the important role poetry plays in our culture.
Blind to Heartache
They are the ‘lucky ones’, or so they think,
In their ivory towers
At the rest of us
Suffering in the misery of integrity
Theirs is not to question motives
Nor to wonder about the effect of their grandiosity
On those they deem to be inferior,
Blind to the heartache they cause
To those who care.
Rationalization is preferred
As the maintainer of perfection.
Opening themselves to the scorn of the mature,
The amusement of the sadist
And the exasperation of those who are
Unfortunate enough to love them.
We are in a world they will never know exists,
And all that is left for them is our compassion.
You can get copies of Poems for a pandemic by emailing Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org. The price is $5.00 and all proceeds will go to Tonga to help a village recover from the January 2022 volcano and flooding.
Owen Clark was born in Chinchilla, Queensland. After finishing his secondary schooling at Toowoomba Grammar School, he worked on his father’s sheep property for four years before obtaining a Theological degree in Melbourne.
Prior to working at Melbourne Lifeline for ten years as a trainer and supervisor of telephone counsellors, he spent seventeen years in Parish ministries in South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria. His final calling was to Industrial Chaplaincy, where he spent twelve years caring for people at work and critical incident debriefing at various companies and organisations in suburban Melbourne.
Since retirement in 2000, he has been actively involved in Balwyn Central Probus Club and attends a weekly meditation group.
His recently published second book ‘Eighty-Five and Still Alive’ which includes his poems and thoughts is available at Amazon.com.au.
His first book, a memoir, ‘View From the Boundary Fence’, was privately published in 2019, and both books are available from the Boroondara Library. You can also have a look at ‘View From the Boundary Fence’ online on the website owenroyclark.com
Never Give Up
You may think that you’ve had enough,
But never, never ever, give up.
And even when you feel all scarred
And you have troubles by the yard,
Never, never ever give up.
When it seems all your friends don’t like you,
And everyone bullies and strikes you.
Know every road has its bumps and ruts.
You don’t think it, but you do have guts
So never, never, ever give up.
This is an extract of a longer and gently inspiring poem. We encourage you to read the full poem by clicking here. We have published more poems by Owen in Eastsider News and plan to post them on this blog in the future.
Four Rolex Watches
Over a cup of tea,
A rich friend said to me.
‘On your wrist, do I detect
A watch; a nice Rolex.’
‘Yes, I wear this watch each day.
It seems to cheer me on my way.
My daily spirit gets a lift,
For me to wear this family gift.
I received it from my father.
He received it from his father.
Very precious as an heirloom.
Like some lovely, family, perfume.
And when at last my life is done
I’ll pass it on then to my son.’
My friend replied with this to say.
In a sad and serious way.
‘My choice would never be a Swatch.
I also wear a Rolex watch.
One is good but I wanted more.
I have money so I bought four.
But none of them can I compare
In meaning, with the one you wear.
The value in your family
And close connections I can see,
Can only be obtained for free.
They can’t be bought with my money.’
People think email is better,
Yet today I got a letter.
Old Fashioned you may often think,
Those words on paper, with black ink.
And written with a shaking hand,
Today, it’s hard to understand.
Computer keys are best, they say.
A click: the words then fly away.
Writing word after word is slow,
It’s not speed here that is the go.
Loving thoughts make the time go slow.
Mindful journeys to a person,
Special memories that are certain.
Each word written so carefully.
Each word crafted so prayerfully.
There is some news I’d like to share,
I’d like to tell of my new chair,
The old one was the worst for wear.
When writing I am not alone,
Memories flood back to my home,
And lots of things we used to do.
Are re-lived in my letter too.
In writing it is not a chore.
For those who write, it’s something more.
Togetherness, a journey shared
With someone who has always cared.
Distance is not now far away.
I can picture them, there, today.
Looking forward for that letter,
Helps us feel so much better.
A sadness when one didn’t come.
“I hope everything’s right with mum!”
Today, they say, the mail is snail.
Back then it was wind in one’s sail.
Mail brought reassurance, and joy.
Connections like a strong alloy.
From loved ones far away,
Comes an uplift to the day.
My aunt, lived in a place far-flung,
Sought a penfriend when she was young.
An advert in the Goodly Pearls
Connected, distant, lonely, girls.
For over fifty years they wrote.
For loneliness an antidote.
My mother wrote me once a week.
And in a time when life was bleak.
It linked me to my missing home.
And it helped me when all alone.
 Goodly Pearls was a popular magazine
for young people in days gone by.
Christmas, birthdays, were special times,
Wishes with special cards and lines.
Family news, the usual natter,
Joining in each family matter.
Romances blossomed through the mail,
Two letters a week, without fail.
It was such a joyful caper.
XX B O L T O P
Better On Lips Than On Paper.
Has writing letters had its day?
We now connect a different way.
Is it better? Or is it worse?
Computers can be such a curse!
Letter writing may now be gone,
But my good memories still live on.
How to write a poem?
How do I write a poem?
Will it come bursting out of my head,
the words like concrete pouring from a mixer
straight onto a page
Or will it be like childbirth?
I’m told it’s agony
and a child has emerged,
perfect in every way.
Will my poem be like that?
Should I write a sonnet?
Perhaps like Shakespeare….
There is much more to this gentle, witty poem than what we have published here. We suggest you read the full poem by clicking here. Enjoy the quiet humour of Beverley’s musings as she wanders through the various poetic byways to find the answer to her question.
Genesis – the first sighting
The first recording of this
‘Act of God’
The rainbow comes after the
It is beautiful but elusive.
Formed by rain droplets
– yet always a combination of
sun and rain.
Lifting one’s eyes
– from earth to ‘heaven’ and
A marvelous light
Accompanies the receding
It is uplifting- always a sign
of hope and promise.
It speaks of something
greater- a transforming
The Sacred Feminine
In the Deep
Lap of night Moonmother
Unfurls her silver
Sleeves and in the tender
Light, rocks an earthling
Child to and fro, to and
Fro in the warm
Womb of night in the
Presence of All things
A sweet shy gathering
Of embryonic gas grows
Skin of newborne blue
Tears of joy well into
Oceans her glow imbibes the
Sap rising closer, closer to
Her in the Deep
All is One