Big white room, Hung with frames.

Cell windows looking out on a frozen world,

The poor souls who pick a pose

Create a good impression.

The real things are outside the frame

On the otherside of the wall.

Trying to capture the ephemeral merely achieves it.

Big white room. Full of people.

Holding wine glasses and conversation

Laughing like the slide of gravel

Down the face of a shovel.

Finding only mirrors in the frames.

Unsatisfied and unaware that

They are what it’s all about.

The joining of the dots

The coloring in, inside the line,

Finds you gasping breathless in

The panic attack of a reciprocating tomorrow.


Your bones glow fiercely

Shining pink-red through

the opal of your flesh

It is in the dark places

You find pleasure.


The moon in June, the red roses  and the

Incongruous blue violets championing

The lost cause of true love are left

Kicking cans down the gutter.

All our poets squat in the offices of academy

Playing Scrabble in broken lines

Or crochet colored squares on Castlemain porches.

Chins dripping with kombucha.

No longer lurching to howl and jibber at

Clapboard doors for one more apple breast of

honey or a fist of crumpled bills in the overheated night

Watch alleys that once were forests.

Dark emus, peck amongst scatters of old bones

And the rags of abandoned love,

Casting shadows like impossible coat-hangers.

On the dim margins, spider-walking over the sucking

Mud of saltmarsh estuary, flocks of shadow saxophones

Wail like acid.

Wail like the inchoate longings of sadly beautiful boys,

Or bone hollow girls starving

for the expectations of an Instagram future.

Tears splash down, blurring flickering screens,

While fingers dance the lies of confident achievement

And buy wellness, excitement and fulfillment on credit.

Abandonment of life as a fulltime occupation in favour of Facebook..

Ice freezes out hope, reduces all futures to a craving maw.

Your flesh shone through your clothes

Shadows radiated from you – the shining hub.

All those boys you have burned;

The girls you have left quivering like flayed flesh;

The sofa stained with the leaking ichor of desire;

This is all that remains after you have slammed the door.

The coffee rings on the laminex, like a drunken olympics,

Are time stamps recording to much waiting for nothing.

To much disappointment at the frayed ends of a furtive night,

Whining like a rag rug dog tied to a dumpster in some Salvos car park,

Eyes catching fire from the lights of passing cars, has left me

Hollow as a bird’s bone.


Sitting in the park

An old lady on a plaid blanket

Shows rheumy eyes

And a dissatisfied mouth

To anyone who should

Look her way.

The dreams she once had

Lie on her shoulders

Like immensely  heavy dandruff.

One day she will die.

Maybe she already did.

Her bones turned

Dark as charcoal.


There is some relevance, some purpose

When the realization comes that the whole rigmorole,

The tangled, some times frenzied, posturing

Is only about sitting still.

The impossible thing – being still.



The midden in the dune hollow,

The waiting gyre on swellcurved air

The hump of basalt, stubborn,

After the mountain has washed away.

The mumbo jumbo, the cackling guru,

The breath from the navel diamond

That lifts the hair and flushes the nerves with light,

The blowing leaves of a thousand books

Are about doing nothing.

The ultimate contradiction



The water and the air are the fish and the bird,

The dull plod is the man.

The endless gravity that drives to do.

The effort of one foot in front of the one left behind.

Walking a meandering circle

In brief memory and/or anticipation of time.

No place for nothing.

The bubbling effervescence of creation,

The scurrying scrabble of the denizens of decomposition,

Crowd the moment.

Some shaman bright eyed with irony


Takes your money and talks of silence.

The ones that smile, that laugh,

Wait for you to wander off in exasperation.

Maybe to sit down, one day, under a hollow hill

And suddenly chuckle


And do nothing.

Vote For Me

Hansen is a leper
Morrison means black
Palmer means a pilgrim
Shorten just gets smaller
How they chop and hack
The Canberra fat bellies
Trotter in their troughs
Dual with knife and fork
Over our old southern bones
Dragging  steel combs
Through the scaberous
Pelt of the dying bush.
Flushing out the huddled
Weeping over their
last children’s tiny deaths
Mines like ulcers
Canker land life.
Springs trickle and weep no more.
Burning effluvium
Waste the sky of it’s choir
Rivers run with rotting fish
But the island banks run with gold.
Come on!
If you’ll have a go
We’ll give you a pavement
To sleep on.
Come on!
Raise your hand to Heaven,
And get a sucker punch
In the guts or a
Bullet  or a bomb
Or your children gone.
Come on!
Vote for me
This is the lucky country
Best that money can buy.



  • Easter Murals
  • Croajingalong – Book
  • Contact writers and get some firm quotes. Select poems and invite illustrators to illustrate. Need to go through emails.
  • Bell Jar 3 Project
  • Barbie/Mech Project
  • Music House Studio 3 x
  • Sub-woofer test
  • Church PA.
  • Oven seal
  • Window Flyscreens etc – Granny Peg’s

Finished Vonnegut’s ‘Timequake’. As the man would say ‘so it goes’. NOT boring but not very interesting either. Very thin. Peppered with the same old aphorisms. Could have been constructively reduced in length by two thirds.

  • Finalish cropping and clearing for Autumn/Winter garden.
A lovesome thing Ghodwot?
A lovesome thing Ghodwot?


  • School sessions. X
  • Plant out seedlings. X


I wake in the night
Cold with a panic.
Suppose there is a God?
If all the reason of my life
Should crumble away
Like a fistfull of love.Which God?
The one whose will it was to
Maim and hang on two crossed sticks
His only begotten son
In excalpation for a sin
So carefully engineered
In that garden long ago?
The slaughterer of Egyptian children?
The tormentor of Job?
The emperor of Japan?
Suppose it is a jaguar headed toad,
Exalted by a lost Amazon tribe,
That requires the presentation
Of still beating human
hearts at a forest shrine?If she should drop in,
Passing by, on her way to Armageddon,
Would she thank her
Paedophile priests
For their sacrifices of innocence?
If he’s a grinning fat boy
Would he be even more amused
By the rape and murder in Myanmar?
If God lives
There will be no justice for
The virtuous unbeliever.
I wake awash in sweat.The god of ‘love’, who
Looked down with (presumably)
smiling benevolence on Ruanga
and the agony of the Cathars,
Will judge my soul.
If we are made in his image
Wouldn’t a better job be being done,
Floating here in the cloud
Of all possible universes?Is that the sound of thunder
Or the approaching feet
Of some huge vengeful toddler
Clutching a quiver of lightenings?


  • Pack up Room 22 music paraphernalia and deliver to Muddie X
  • Set Lighting Grid for Cafe Culture. X
  • Fault chase sound gear – Output lead ‘A’ plug faulty X
Conservatives are idealogically lead. They are not evidential thinkers. Conservatives are often religous, religion is a form of idealogy. In belief lies ideational safety and security. The brain is quarantined. Conservatives are intellectual and moral cowards and cloak their fear in the rigorous championing of a narrow group of ideas often based on syllogism and always based on countering or reacting to some sort of threat. Ethnicity, Socialism, Religion, etc etc. Conservatives are burdened by the constant threat of the bogeyman.

They are the trolls on the internet the terrorists that shoot-up mosques, the jihadists who believe murder/suicide is an automatic pathway to heaven.

Conservatives revere the past. They do no accept the self editing function of memory, or that ‘history’ is almost always an application of the conformation bias. The present is large, billowing amorphous, the future is a fearful leap into the dark. The past is a tidy place. A shelf where treasured possessions are arrayed in an orderly fashion and reviewed with satisfaction.

Currently the situation is very disturbed. We have psychopathic and sociopathic individuals, who are invariably conservative reactionaries of either the left or the right, who are using ‘freedom of speech’ arguments as cover for their derangement. The problem is made a great deal worse because some of these individuals have been able to mimic normalacy to a sufficient degree to operate in the mainstream political environment. They are able to camoflage their sociopathic fears in a disguising political rhetoric that plays upon the fears of the unsophisticated and the insecure. The boundries of the asylum are becoming increasingly blurred.

Added to this we have the calculated corruption and disfigurement of the ideational landscape by tech/media companies whose aim is control the financial behaviour of their dupes for the personal benefit of the corporate leaders and the shareholders they represent. Companies like Facebook and Amazon represent a far greater level of threat to our personal liberty and freedom of thought and action than any repressive fascist state.


  • Take surplus crockery from Muddie to Opshop. X
  • Set up Open Mic. X
  • Return musical paraphernalia back to Room 22.
  • Run Open Mic X
  • Take Pix for Lisa of Kids. X

Scot Morrison and especially Peter Dutton are directly culpable for the Christchurch shootings because they have deliberately raised the temperature on fear and hatred of ‘the other’ for self-seeking political purposes.

Vest Pockets

Bob Thorney says he is writing a song titled ‘I don’t care what is in Ashby’s blog’ . Seems to rather beg the question


FinishedTimequake by Kurt Vonnegut

The Last World by Christoph Ransmayr

Bedtime Audible The Truth by Terry Pratchett

StartedThe Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse


  • Process Pix
  • Gallery
  • Notes about roos
  • Whynot play live.
  • Jo’s Place
  • Bell.
  • Garden with Pix
Door bell for Granny Pegs. Moved from Mornington.
Jo’s Place – Mosaic by Melinda Beacham
Door Bell 02
Jo’s Place – Mosaic by Melinda Beacham
This is Spike, the Christmas Echidna. Still lacking a voice and a gender. Must mount a rescue soon.
This is Spike, the Christmas Echidna. Still lacking a voice and a gender. Must mount a rescue soon.


  • Look for Keys
  • Report loss to stakeholders.

I lost my keys during the afternoon of Sunday. I know exactly where I was and have exhaustivly searched. There is a mystery.

It has last me depressed and listless.

Interesting thought – if someone is feeling ‘listless’ is because the person lacks meaningful ‘lists’ in their lives.

The keys are back. They were taken from the Mudbrick for reasons that can only be questioned. They were then kept to ensure maximum disruption and then returned via a third party.

One more example of a long succession of malicious behaviours.


  • Petrol
  • Trail Food
  • Pack Bag
  • My Car Key


  • BUY – Oven Glue. Yoghurt. Dog Food. Canned Tomatos. Glass dome. Paniers.


Larry’s Auto is closed down! What deep sadness. Larry and his wife has been there for us for over 2 decades. Larry – a simple bloke from the Balkans somewhere. Wise-cracking overlord of a service station/shop craned with everything from meat Pies to gas mantles.

The mysterious woman Anna who was his partner. Always so calm. Detached. Her face an almost austere mask. We have imagined her as a poet, painter, sometimes a medicated tragic.

No more chilli chips, icecream or petrol. One less individual experience in a blanding world.

  • Filo Pastryx
  • Yoghurtx
  • Mixed Nutsx
  • Tomato Cansx
  • Avocadox
  • Mushroomsx
  • Egg Plantx
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumberx
  • Fetax
  • Leeksx
  • Red Capsicumx
  • Parmissanx
  • Dog foodx


Max Not Buying Sox
Max Not Buying Sox

Max Not Buying Sox.

Battled the lunatic traffic from Berwick to the city.
Found our way to MLN and loaded up all the boys new gear. Scary – so much money invested in ephemeral tech.
People flock to Melbourne where they jam themselves onto tiny very expensive blocks in an outer suburban desert with no services or support when they could live much better in a real community in the regions. It makes no sense. People say there are no jobs, if they went there, there would be.
Cruised the Victoria Market. Sad about the ‘redevelopment’. The mad notions of growth and aspirations to achieve maximum capacities for debt which is exploited to bury yourself in stuff and ‘services’ will get us before global warming. I have not had a credit card since 1980. The only loan I have had since then was the mortgage we had on the house.
The difference between Fountain Gate and The Vic Market as a shopping centre are differentials in – carbon footprint; sellers are individual proprietors at the market and corporate chain-stores/franchises at the shopping centres. The authentic differences in variety and choice is enormous. The markets vxmake lie if brand adverising. I still have ongoing relationships with some of the stall-holders I started in the eighties.
Much ado about sox and hiking boot shopping for Max. She is due for an epic trip in June. We paused for lunch which we had with Carey and Jo and caught up on the gos. Very toothsome, very reasonable munga at a Spanish eatery, only slightly tarnished by tales of Jo’s incontinent cat. It was great to catch up.
Spent the PM between boot shops in Little Bourke. Max has a troublesome little toe that kept getting in the way. I offered to remove it but was politely refused. There is no helping some people. Finally boots were achieved and then it was onto other clobber. When I think what We used to bush walk with back in the day I wonder how we managed. We certainly didn’t spend $30 on a pair of sox and $300 on a raincoat.

Max Not Buying Boots
Max Not Buying Boots

Finished the day at Caro’s and Rodney’s segueing to jolly good vegan restaurant. The cheesecake was extraordinary. Rodney regaled us with stories of his work in reality tv which is madder than opera. A very scary thought.


Across to Mornington to Granny Pegs. Pete and Chris were there. We grieved over the looming town houses next door. Brutally anti-social and obscenely resource profligate.
Peg wanted us to take away some star-pickets and Pete had a pile of his usual tatt to load into the car.

The Mob
The Mob

Cooked up a storm at Fees. And great moussaka made with mushrooms. I realized once again how good it is to have a practical kitchen.


Fee is one of the most generous people I know. How she keeps her loving positive attitude, when surrounded by so much difficulty, is truly wonderful. Max and Fee love Fads. This time the fad has some utility. Fee is a bit of a hoarder, it’s big in her family. Like most hoarders she is a bit blind to detail in her personal life and things accumulate in cupboard and corners. Max is similar. Together they cut through cupboards of junk and threw out, recycled and opshopped. More stuff ended up in the car for our opshop and the car was fair groaning.
Then off home via Aldi


  • Wash floors.
  • Load out ruined furniture.

Got home and found Dusty had peed over everything. Had to clear the living rooms and chuck out the couch, one lounge chair and all the rugs



Scatterlings by Martin Shaw

Starboard Wine by Samual R Delaney

Summer 2018 – Overland

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept by Elizabeth Smart


  • Pay for Cargo Bike


There is some relevance, some purpose

When the realization comes that the whole rigmorole,

The tangled, some times frenzied, posturing

Is all about sitting still.

The impossible thing – being still.



The midden in the cupped palm of the dune dune,

The waiting gyre on swellcurved air

The hump of basalt, stubborn,

After the mountain has washed away.

The mumbo jumbo, the cackling guru,

The breath from the navel diamond

That lifts the hair and flushes the nerves with light,

The blowing leaves of a thousand books,

Are about doing nothing.



The water and the air are the fish and the bird,

The dull plod is the man.

The endless gravity that drives to do.

The effort of one foot in front of the one left behind.

Walking a meandering circle

In brief memory and/or anticipation of time.

No place for nothing.

The bubbling effervescence of creation,

The scurrying scrabble of the denizens of decomposition,


Some shaman bright eyed with irony


Takes your money and talks of silence.

The ones that smile, that laugh,

Wait for you to wander off in exasperation.

Maybe, sitting down, one day, under a hallowed hill –

Suddenly chuckle,


And do nothing.


  • Open Muddle after the Radio Prog.
  • Radio Prog First Thing.



  • Easter Murals Project
  • Croajingalong – Fest
  • Croajingalong – Book
  • Bell Jar 3 Project
  • Barbie/Mech Project
  • Music House Studio 3
  • Sub-woofer test
  • Church PA.
  • Oven seal
  • Window Flyscreens etc – Granny Peg’s


  • Tali to Swinburn.
  • Side Strum

Got Tali off to Swinburn. Heading into

bushfire country. Going to have divert around the closed hwy and reconnect at Pakenham.

What a lad. Only registering that it was the end of February on Friday and that clasess started on Monday.

Penelope has dropped in for late lunch on her way back, also heading west, from performing at Cobargo Festival.

Jack who is helping out at another festival is fretting over his tools. Their new house is threatened by one lot of fires and their old house by another lot, Not looking great.

Doesn’t look like I am gonna make it to Side Strum.

Tali got into Berwick after 10.00 pm – rough trip.


Penelope made it back to her place

and the fires have not impacted yet.

Taliesin got away on time for Swinburn.

He has to check with Student HQ about course fees.

  • Write history of Clubroom consultation.
  • Meeting at 5.00.


  • Business breakfast at pub.
  • Clubrooms meeting at GC at 10.00


  • Visit Jenny Lloyd re Clubrooms Project x
  • Doctors re skin lesion x

I missed the appointment and

had to be rung and scrambled in. It turns out I have a skin cancer. This was no surprise. Waiting till Friday week to find out the biopsy results

  • Pick up Midi Desk from Peter Robinson. X

Amazing hydroponic set up.

Inspiring. I have for ages been thinking about hydroponics. Planning to look into setting up something small scale.

  • Test cargo bike electrics
  • Ring up bike shops.


  • Halls and Rec Admin x
  • Bike shops x

Finally found someone in Canberra

to look at my cargo bike. All the shops on discribing the rig refused to touch it because it was too conflicted in its design with to many problems probably contingent on each other.

Cargo bike wirh pet carrier

Cargo bike with pet carrier

This guy has connects up the coast so Davo could drop it off in Tathra. What a relief to have something happening. Turns out local guy was a waste of money and not as knowledgable as he appeared. What a minefield!

Kate Jackson rang to say she has discovered the piano at the Gallery. She wants to move it into the on-air studio. I don’t think it will fit. Meeting her early.


Bikeshop guy rang to say that current

electrics/mechanical set up a right-off. He says it never could have worked properly as it was set-up. It certainly never has! He is installing a new set-up.

  • Tidy workshop. X
  • Year 7/8 Music House x

Decided we have to set up

Studio Three before next Wednesday

  • Gnome Radio x

Kate Jackson got to studio before

me and had moved the piano into the studio! Great! Did a fabulous program with Kate singing, playing and chatting. Good conversation around International Woman’s Day and local female artists.

Later we pushed the piano out onto the street and she played pop songs for an hour.

Kate Jackson on the old 88 outside the Art Gallery

Kate Jackson on the old 88 outside the Art Gallery


  • Need to buy fly screen for Max x
  • Set up Max to cut out material.
  • Install Dragon Head

Over thirty years ago I made

a dance mask head for a performance by Mangala Dance Studio. The studio recently closed and I asked them what had become of the mask. Did it still exist? Peter – one of the principals said he didn’t know.

A few weeks later I got a text message to say that the tye roof had blown off in a storm and in the roof space there it was. Coincidently I was picking up a load of stuff from Oz Opera and got it added to the load.

Here it is installed in it’s shrine.

The forest shrine of Chryserophax the Green.

The forest shrine of Chryserophax the Green.


  • Water Garden
  • Clean House x
Carey and Jo wedding with Ned Kelly in a white suit…

Surprise photo from Carey.

31 years being married! Well done I say. Linda blows away the storyI have been telling thst it was the Lygon St Festival that turned my hair grey. Reinforces my argument that we constantly reinvent our memories for the sake of a good story or to support prejudice.


  • Food Festival Meeting
  • Weed Herbs
  • Coast trip – Plastics, seedlings, frame.
  • Copy Paper


  • Clear Veg Garden, x
  • Ring Magpie re Church Quote – Next Tuesday.


  • Music House Studio 3
  • Tip
  • Check Out Sub-Woofer/Speaker
  • Buy Potting mix.
  • Container Herbs – Kale x2, Herb Robert, Chervil.
  • Cage – silverbeat and spinach
  • Net – Cabbage, Bok-choy, Waragul Greens
  • Oven cement

FEB 25 – 31


So the plan/accident appears to be a monthly blog entry. It will be based on my usual running ‘to do’ list and calendar which I will annotate and illustrate as I go. Let’s see how this works out.

  • Side Strum X
Rock On
Rock On

Sunday arvo is Side Strum. Where-in select Mallacoota Musos play together at Rosie’s (ne Dr Who’s). I am resident musicologist and consult Wikipedia to resolve questions regarding the provenance of the various songs.

A compare and contrast shot from the sixties to now. Lots and lots of water has passed under our bridges.


  • Weeding Garden. Flowers. X
Tumeric Flower
Tumeric Flower
Ornamental Ginger
Ornamental Ginger

I have never had much luck with growing tumeric. The changing weather seems to be favouring cultivation though. With less rain in winter and providing you well water in summer it seems to have started to show results. For ages I thought the plant was ginger until it flowered.


I wrote this one about a guy I used to know. A weird sort of narcissist. An amazingly destructive person.

It was this relationship that made me start to think about loyalty – which is supposed to be a virtue. Listening to the family defend behaviour that had so deeply damaged them, out of loyalty, has made me question the whole notion.

If you are going to live an evidence based life then it is deeply important to cultivate an attitude of sensitive detachment.

When it comes to broader issues like nationalism then the landscape becomes a bit clearer I think. While it is possible accurately state that the lives of the citizens of a given country are on the whole better than another, no country can claim universal equality of opportunity. To champion a country, in all things, just because it is where you happen to be born is ludicrous.


Frank, a short man,

With all that that implies;

In his annecdotage –

Garrulous as a cold caller.

Strutting like a terrier.

He controlled with charm.

He bullied.

They named a dinosaur in his honor

That he rescued from the stone

Clutches of a wrecking coast

with pulley, winch and wire.

Wilful as a spoilt collie,

Nipping and barking, worrying,

He got his way.

Children, wife: collateral damage

To a story starring him.

There was always The Stuff

To be recycled, hoarded –

Piles, stacks, bins, drums.

In search of gratitude,

in search of praise,

The Stuff coopted into

Games of status.

In the mirror of his mind

He championed a war on waste.

Mountains of crap, shaming,

Shredding domestic dreams

and self-esteem.

Love left huddled under a doona,

With the curtains drawn,

Minds numb with

Drugs, God and denial.

Standing on the Darien Peak

of fondly reclaimed rubbish

He stared out over the wreckage

Of his family and saw

The vision of ‘Frank’

Burning bright with self-regard

Bringing order to the

Treasure hoarded,

rubbish tip of the world.


  • Finish Backdrop. X

Greens Ball Backdrop

    Backdrop for Greens Ball.X

    The Green are having their annual Fund Raiser, so it is all hands on deck. It still surprises, though by now it shouldn’t, that in a given community you find the same activists involved in everything from Greens to CFA. There is often a conservative/progressive divide but it has a very soft border.

    Attached to the group, of course, you always find the parasitical opportunists who seek to take advantage of community volunteerism to further their personal ends. They can be very destructive as we have found out in ‘Froute’ .

    I have been very lucky to find a carter who was willing to pick up some weathertex panels from The Opera for me. I got six panels down to ‘Coota for $100. Just in time for the Easter Mural Project.

    • Sort out access to rig it Friday.
    • Meeting Annie at 10.30 ish at Bruthen Hall.
    Leaf by Niggle
    Leaf by Niggle

      Paint splashed pittosporum leaf. I noticed it when I was shaking out a paint brush while painting the backdrop. It seems beautiful for some reason. I had to lay a temporary painting floor in our driveway under the shade of a pittosporum tree. The project wasn’t really big enough to ask the school to clear the bus-shed. The good thing was working outside. The bad thing was the ticks and mosquitoes.

      The title comes from a short story I have just reread by JRR Tolkien.


      The Alchemy of the bathroom cupboard.

      Set up market

      • Sell Greens Raffle tickets at Post Office. X
      • Croajamalong Funding
      • Croajamalong Book
      • Music House – Senior kids x
      Music House
      Music House Studio One

      The kids are learning formal improvisation at the moment. Their excitement makes it all worthwhile

      • Penelope Visit
      • Buy 3×1, mudguard washers, 20mm screws, hooks
      • Pack – Bags for whole food store. TOOLS and hardware.


      • Gnome – Kate Jackson Album of the week (POSTPONED)
      • Library (POSTPONED)
      • Going to Bruthen to rig backdrop
      • Ladder
      • Backdrop
      • Tool Box
      • Shopping Bags
      • Produce Bags.

        The Bruthen Hall must have been very fine early in it’s life but over time many unfortunate things have happened to it. It barky needs someone with energy and vision to chase funds and give the poor thing a work-over.

        Bruthen Hall
        Bruthen Hall
        Driplication - Greens Ball Backdrop 2019
        Driplication – Greens Ball Backdrop 2019


          • Pasta sauce
          • Tomatos
          • Cheese
          • Bree
          • Butter
          • Yoghurt
          • Coffee
          • Peanut butter
          • Crackers
          • Pickles/Olives
          • Chic Peas
          • Tinned Peas
          • Coconut Oil
          • Coconut Milk


        • Cous Cous
        • Rolled Oats


        Mallacoota Artisan and Producers Market
        Mallacoota Artisan and Producers Market

        Its so rich to be able to buy this produce monthly. The food is so beautifully fresh and tasty. The market really is a highlight of life here. It’s quite a bit if work and I missed out on the The Greens Ball and Cobargo Festival but on the whole well worth it.

        Apart from the product’s it is a great opportunity to catch up with so many people.

        There is also the music.

        The Awesome
        The Awesome – generous supporters of community, community arts and the environment.


        Moon, reaching in actinically, past the frame,
        Fogged through the tarnished glass.
        Distance, as definite as a shut gate,
        from the silhouettes of framing trees
        that do the fatuous illusion of
        sentry-go on my silver sixpence.
        A coinage so profligate with light.
        The unausagable grief of so much seperation
        Freezes deep in the bone.
        Even filtered, moderated, by the transitory permanence
        Of the square paned windows of my home, vertigo
        Of a fastly receding perspective
        Aches the eye and the stomach.
        The clenching of a hand.
        The sudden urge to try to write
        Down the impossible, exiled Moon.

        SPACE 2


        Listening to ‘Vox’ (the world music ensemble).

        Re Reading ‘Scatterlings’ by Martin Shaw.

        ‘At the Existentialist Cafe – Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails’ by Sarah Bakewell.

        On the road again. The Bairnsdale to Southern Cross train. Just inching our way over the Stratford trestle bridge. Vic Rail have been avoiding replacing it for almost decades. The government is waiting for the right moment to close the line. Possibly – when the bridge collapses, killing a train load of people. Last time they tried to close it to many NP voters were upset.

        Heading for a lightning raid on Melbourne. Taliesin due to start Semester 2 (take 2), at Swinburne, so going to make sure everything Ok. Got to buy him a few things like a new phone to replace his cheap and ailing current model. Traveling today, hanging out tomorrow and then travelling back on Sunday.

        The poor staff on the train much harassed as quite a few seats were double booked including mine. No worries really as there are almost always plenty of seats on the unreserved carriages. I often travel in them anyway, even if my ticket is ok, if I do not have a window seat. Sitting unreserved and having a big scary beard also usually means I get lots if room around me.

        Staying with J and G again the darlings. Lovely hosts and right on the number 1 tram line. Weird when you think that I met both of them separately before they knew each other and they eventually got together all those years ago. I auditioned J for a gig and met G when we he were sharing studio space in Carlton.

        Mallacoota is frantic as usual. I had to do the tech set up for two gigs before I left that are happening over the weekend. Hope they go Ok. I am pretty confident about one but dubious about the other. We will see.

        One of them is the St Kilda Short Film Festival. These days they just send you the DVD and leave you to get on with it. I am a big fan of short films but not unhappy about missing it. The watching of many very good films consecutively is exhausting and disrespectful. I generally do the setup for the local arts council and nick off. That’s why Ghod invented You Tube.

        I am going through one of my periodic states of depression/frustration over the apparent inability of people to organize their way out of a wet paper bag. It’s not just the inability to join the dots but the apparent inability to even see the dots at all. A bunch of very active and switched on kids have been trying to organize a disco and we are up to the forth time it’s been cancelled because of conflicting dates with other school events. The cancellations have all been with less than a week to go.

        We just had a school ‘formal’. The school chose to stage it in the most difficult venue in town, only one week after term break, following on from another gig the night before while encouraging the kids to go for a massively detailed and complicated set up and then refused to realistically resource it. No wonder Generation Z is disengaged. It just about killed me. They ended up relying on me finding suitable stuff from out of my mountain of crap I have accumulated. The gig was a success after a fashion. The school said it had to be over by 9.00 so there was just time to take some pix and scoff a meal before everyone had to go. They all headed off to the after party party and got pissed. One horror was the massive amount of single use plastics employed because the setup had to be done so quickly. To cap it off the venue had decreed that everything had to be out the next day. I only found this out on the day of the event and I was already booked. Consequently a great deal of stuff was damaged in the bumpout and dealt with inappropriately so I had to do a massive repair/repack on Monday. Sigh.

        There are a few Sub Saharan Africans moving into The Valley. Quite a contrast to see these tall, elegant, upright, very dark people moving amongst the pasty, obese, scuttling, tracky dacked usual denzines. Same thing with the (what’s the opposite of ‘sub’ ?) Saharan Africans. They always look so self-contained and colorfully neat. There is no style comparison between a hijab and a Collingwood beanie or a Mac Donalds cap. I wonder if this is reverse xenophobia? Is mainstream xenophobia actually rooted in resentful jealousy?

        Just at Pakenham. The train is packed. Never seen it so full outside of holiday period. Is there something going on I don’t know about?

        I just had a story rejected by Aurealis. The reasons given for rejecting it pretty much enumerated my intentions in writing it, the reason I wrote it, what it was about and my stylistic method. The next story I send them maybe I should write in crayon…


        Listening to Catherine Messon.

        Did not check my ticket properly that was issued by our local booking site until this morning and discovered they had put yesterdays date…. Had to do some fast talking at Flinders St at ridiculous o’clock this morning to avoid having to buy another ticket.

        Met Taliesin under the clocks yesterday morning after a very pleasant evening meal with him on Friday at Tiamo’s.

        We went sock buying at Aussie Disposals, bought a new sim card from Aldi to go with his new mobile. We went to JB Friday evening and bought a Nokia 3. Found a terrific little phone repair shop in Elizabeth St that replaced the smashed screen on The Precinct phone in 40 minutes.

        We spent the arvo in The Museum in Carlton. The Viking exhibition was fairly disappointing. It was a long walk through a Wikepedia page. There were a few unpreposesing reproductions of jewellery, some unconvincing interactive set pieces and lots if repetitive text and photographs.

        ‘Bunjilaka’ was a very different experience. Tightly assembled, moving, brilliantly displayed I was enthralled. The kinetic sculpture/puppet/light show/sound montage of the bird spirit was ingenious, moving and mesmerizing. Tali got a bit exasperated by me taking so long going through but that was just tough because I was captivated. Saw some pix of some of the East Gippsland Mob I have worked with. The displayed artifacts were mostly old but the stories were contemporary. I think there is a need to update some of the info in the light of Bruce’s work in ‘Dark Emu’ and elsewhere.

        As Don Watson comments on one of his latest essays – ‘indignation’ is not often a creative or useful response. It was very hard no to succumb tonit in the light of what was said and conspicuously unsaid in this exhibition. It is hard to encompass in ones mind the level of bastadry, cruelty and greed inflicted on our First Nation. The heart wants to burst with admiration at their resilience, hope and generosity. It is deeply shocking all that has been lost and deeply pleased to learn what has been saved and rediscovered.

        One of the things that will stay with me longest, I think, is the story of the young men running ahead of the waves of spreading whiteman diseases to spread the warning unaware it was they who were contributing considerably to the infections distribution.

        After the ritual pilgrimage to the dinosaurs and paying our respects to the whale Tali and I decided we were full-up and headed off towards Carlton and refreshment.

        We went and checked out my old pad at 262 Drummond St – The fabled ‘Magic Puddin’ Club’. It still looked the same as it did in those far-off heady days of the seventies.

        Same plants and still the same screen door. It was odd, as usual, to be starring at something from my deep past that seemed unchanged and realizing how much I had. I wonder if the carpet still had the electric fire burn scar. Over a couple of decades ago someone told me the place was for sale and I went and checked it out and the carpet was still the same.

        Different than the Women’s Hospital where Patric was born. Demolitions machines were gnawing away at the last remains. Odd to reflect that I had been present at his birth in a place that was now a space up in the air. Spatial coordinates without visible means of support.


        Roll the date forward and we inevitably arrive at ‘now’, which is a different ‘now’ to the one above.

        ‘A garden is a lovesome thing godwhat.’ Ours is no exception. It is time to tame the winter riot, clear out all the detritus in preparation for the fire season and start planting veg.

        I have been anxiously hanging out amongst the tubs and pots in the herb garden, spikey with dry stalks, to see who has survived. So far so good everyone seems in good shape mostly. There is no sjgn from the stevia but it is early yet for that one,

        I got the boys to clear a bed of heath and fishbone fern in preperation for the construction of another veg cage. I am not getting on with the cages I have built out of bird net and bamboo. Everything gets tangled up in the birdnet including birds, bats and me. Eccles goes nuts if a bird gets caught inside and the bird is not impressed either.

        The rest of the garden is a blooming miracle. Every year it is just magic. The bloke who built the house back in the sevenyties was another pom and filled up the garden with bulbs of all sorts and fruit trees. So we have blossoms, blue bells freezias, daffs and glads. I have addded various daisies, orchids, and the herbs. There are also natives, some with amazingly alien looking, primitive flowers.

        There are birds everywhere and the lizards are waking up.

        So far we have taken three enormous trailer loads of green-waste to the tip wjth two more to go.

        Tali is home for term break and Philip is still witn us so I have three lads to browbeat into helping. They have been very good actually slaving away with only minor whingeing for forms sake. We have got lots done. I am going to order some pine poles and wire tomorrow.

        Today I planted some seed beds of beans, pumkin, egg plant, carrots, cucumber and lettuce. I already have capdicum, leakes and beatroot in.

        After I have been to the tip after the dog walk tomorrow I have to stick up posters for the Greens Benefit and do my radio program. After that I will start editing the serial I have been doing with the 5/6’s. I have four 15 minute episodes to realize. I reckon it will take about thirty hours. I have started on the script for the next sessions. I have to finish both the editing and the writing by the end of the holidays. Busy. Busy.


        Got the house cleaned and sent off a whole lot of group emails about ‘Dine in with The Awesome’. On the latter score I am hoping for a good crowd. Its really generous of Milli and Jim to donate their time and important that we can make a good showing in November.

        One of the things that test my patience at the moment is the moral cowardice of some community organizations. So reluctant to voice opimion in case someone is upset. There is a huge fear of debate. The result is impotent blandness. If you look at our local arts council the work displayed in their gallery is mostly chocbox/calendar art, the performances they promote are the most unreflective and unchalleging ‘entertainment’ . Some of the art is, at least, of technical high quality but empty of content or narrative.

        The same can be said for many more of our local organizations in relation to standjng up for important issues. It is not easy, which is more or less the point. Basic to the situation is us not facing the contradictions in our own lives and activities. Being an ‘environmentalist’ and happily tucking into a chop, steak or chicken can only be justified by the most pretzel logic. I know people who say they care about native wildlife and go fishing! Weirdly, I know people who earnestly eschew plastic shopping bags and who regularly fly around the place and drive enormous four wheeled drive tanks. Then of course thrre are the people who think they are doing the planet a favor by using almond milk.

        We make up stories all the time. I am aware of constantly rewriting my life narrative in relation to contemporary personal preoccupations. Every now and then I will stumble on a scrap of my writing from back-when and am bought face to face with a different me articulated there. I can’t possibly know the internal life of others. I know how much I have behaved disgracefully to people who did not deserve it and tolerated the behaviour of others who were equally disgraceful. What goes on in others I can’t know.

        Some people view themselves with unnecesary harshness and there others who I wonder often how they can face themselves in the mirror but seem to view their own attitudes and conduct with complacent equanimity.

        It’s ‘political’ people who I find the most incomprehensible. They are quite clearly liars, capable of deep self delusion utterly self satisfied. They demonstrate these qualities everyday and yet people vote for them. Journalists are complicit in the deeply troubling game.

        ‘Conservatives’ are the most deeply troubling. ‘Conservative’ does not mean right wing. Right and Left wing are, anyway, mostly siloed unreflective knee jerk reactions to formal posturing. Conservatives are deeply afraid people who have compartmentalized their beliefs. There is a slogan or a meme for every situation and any challenge is met with anger, mockery, denial or interpersonal aggression. There is no thought. Intelligent conservatives are very articulate in their self denial. Conservatives cannot see the distinction between data and opinion. They cannot engage without mobilizing judgemental responses.

        Religion is of course the most deeply entrenched cultural conservativity. What is, for me, deeply intriguing is the writing and utterances of religious apologists. I used to be attracted to the writings of CS Lewis (in the days when I was agnostic about the spiritual) and thought his work interesting and challenging. I went back to him a while ago and found him almost content free. It was cleverly rhetorically but almost entirely pointless. ‘The Screw Tape Letters’ is still entertaining to me because it is cleverly rhetorical. CS Lewis managed to fill up a shelf of a bookcase without contributing anything except to engender either senses of self satisfaction or uneasy disquiet in the reader.  Mind you i still consider ‘That Hideous Strength’ to be a major work of British science fantasy

        Something has just occurred to me – we are an organism that the process of evolution has bought our species to the point where we can postulate the notion if evolution. This has taken about four billion years and it seems that the time is approaching rapidly when evolution will be once again be without consciousness. A very narrow window.



        Listening to Amy Dickson’s CD ‘Island Songs’. I just love the way she plays.

        Well Daniel Andrews got in with a big swing.  Less generally bankrupt than that bunch of real clowns in the Libs/Nat circus.  The real losers are the forests and the rest of the natural environment.  I can’t see any signs that the majors are going to abandon the economic idealogy of neoliberalism that is causing so much inequality and is eating the future.  It is an object lesson in human neurology that very few people can make the connection between their own mode of existence and being a member of a Ponzi Scheme.  One thing’s for sure – the landslide win is ensuring that t Vic Forests will continue to rip the guts out of our last remaining areas of old growth forests and condemn huge numbers of species to extinction.

        Equally depressing is the apparent rigid determination of Metro Greens to turn the party into a mirror of the majors with their factions, blokey disrespect and procedural pettifogerry.  Deb Foskey commented that Greens Party machine are very young and inexperienced with not much appreciation or knowledge of political history.  A point well made. Add to that the pervasive use of social media is an organizing tool with its creation and proliferation of siloed viewpoints, self reinforcement and identity politics and you have a recipie for division and disaster.  The Metro Greens can’t see the trees for the wood.

        I organized the east end of the Greens supporting East Gippsland booths and handed out quite a few cards.  An enormous number of locals in Mallacoota support The Greens, totally atypical of the rest of East Gippsland.  At the Mallacoota Booth the only two people handing out cards were the Nats and the Greens and at Cann River and Genoa it was just The Greens.  Two things stuck out: (1) the general total disgust at the behaviour of members of the high profile Greens and the inability of the leadership to actually show leadership and (2) the character of the die-hard National Party voters who seemed to be white, male, ignorant and angry/scared.

        Listening to Padma Newsome’s CD – The Vanity of Trees.  A huge talent.

        Last weekend we finally launched the Community Arts Wall of Fame at the Muddie here is Mallacoota.  We hve been talking for years about a portrait gallery of local community arts cultural heroes and have finally done it.  John Wood-Ingram and John Grunden are on the Wall.  Next year we will be going for gender balance and the year after heading to more contempory heroes.

        Back to Melbourne this weekend.  Taliesin is finishing up at Swinburne and we are picking up him and his cello and bringing him back home.  I do so hope he has passed his course.  We now have to work out where he is going next. It’s also one of my oldest friend’s (Jillian) 60th birthday so we are joining in the celebration. it is unforgetable – the first time I met her about 45 years ago.  She auditioned for a place in B’Spell Performance Troupe and the rest is history.



        The Rolling Land

        The Rolling Land is a patina of small places
        Laced with paths and light dry bones.
        Edges and cross-paths excite
        The little gods that congregate whispering.
        Surely everything is woven out of bones –
        The trillions dead,
        A mat, a tapestry, a net
        Figured with the patterns
        Of recursive breath.
        Since mud first stirred,
        Rippling the water skin,
        There has been death.

        There could be no ghosts
        Before history.
        If they are there,
        They are piled high,
        Tangled together,
        wailing wanton death
        Along the edges of the roads.
        Spectral mountains of the dead –
        wombats, roos, possums, black-fellas
        Hedging in the heedless,
        scurrying to urgent destinations
        Of the poison fueled wheels
        of the dead to life.

        Lurching monsters cart away creature homes
        Or crush them under their treads.
        Now rains come no more or all at once.
        With these rended corpses of the forest –
        We build our houses,
        Fuel our comfort fires.
        Wipe our bums.
        Feral exotics prowl the stump wastelands
        With claws and teeth and hook and bullet.
        Thickets of bramble arch over the killing fields
        of fish, reptile, marsupial and tribe.
        A scattered calligraphy remains
        Scribing the dry curses of our
        Heedless doom.