One day dad bought an MG sports

NSW 1990 2

The Sixties saloon six-cylinder growled:

our Triumph 2000 tiger-prowled;

rev-retarded minor models scowled.


One day dad bought an MG sports

(a male mid-life crisis of sorts)

our family of five fitted in, of course!


Few sports cars on our suburban road,

most ceded to the bourgeois code:

imaginations declined to explode!


Spoked-wheels sparkled, cartwheeled,

ecstatic eyes behind small windshield

happy hands made snub gearstick wield…


Then modest cars bought after his divorce,

gone driver dreams, farewell sparky-torque:

replaced by budget brands of ill-report…


I am a Happy Bigot

mail-5 2 2

I am a happy bigot *

miscast-cast as cavalier;

all are equally esteemed,

let me make that clear.


I am a happy bigot,

mercy gets my vote;

this unquiet contrarian

has no bile in his throat.


I am a happy bigot,

my dissent not allowed;

can we calmly contend

far from madding crowd?


I am a happy bigot,

I’m merely male – not mean;

please don’t shout me

down with any spiteful spleen.


I am a happy bigot,

nuance begs for room;

sperm speeds, egg evolves:

baby-blesses willing womb.


*Definitions of bigot: noun:   a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own.

see also:

A Salt-souvenir Lingers


Dora Kazmierak


On a jagged shoreline

white tasselled waves

percussively pound;

unhindered, wind whisks

two solitaries, in silhouette,

searching this way and that.


Both disappear, then re-appear,

their rain-coated bodies bend;

their foraging fingers pull, pluck 

purply-green pod-bunches

of little-wanted beach weed:

sand-sprinkled Sea Purslane.


Bounty bagged, wet-cheeked

contenders run to their car,

wind slams doors decisively;

safely cocooned, exhilarated,

their breath mildews windows;

the casually cleaned screen creates

imprecise apertures, blurry views.

                                                                            Later, fruit of forage washed,

                                                                            presented on a pottery plate,

                                                                            the harvest’s rich reward:                                                                        

                                                                            Sea Purslane – nutty snack

                                                                            snap-crunched, slowly savoured,

                                                                            A salt-souvenir lingers on tongues

                                                                                                              And fingers…



Old Walls Hide Many Hopes


Do we need to pray in special places,

kneeling, hand-clasping, hiding our faces?

Even for sparrows, God’s deep concern!

  • no need for ritual, nor incense burn…


Old walls hide many hopes hand-written:

wails are uttered, weary souls are smitten;

such storied stones defy eternal intentions:

Messiah upturns rabbinic conventions.


  • * Over a million notes are placed each year… the notes are collected twice a year and buried on the nearby Mount of Olives. Traditionally women have not been “allowed” to pray at the Wailing Wall…

    The Wailing Wall, by Carl Werner (1808-1894)

would have been


               coffin 2            


orchestral stillness

                                                                                   ten days

                                                  womb dead

          why resurrection refused…?

                                                                 “faith is evidence unseen…”

                                                                                                                       no hope hoax

visage almost abstract

                         passive icon

                                      flat faced

                                             skull collapse

                                                   water-bottle wobble

                                                                               neck flop

                                                                                          limbs limp

                                                                                                  dark eyes blank

                                                                                                              black hair vibrant

                                                                                                                        flesh petal-peeled


                                                                                               paternal coward!

                                                                            her frowning  forehead            


                                                                           just                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              once

                                                                                                                               Lawrence Louis Holly grave

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely, so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. – Deuteronomy 4 : 9




Boarding School Summer Scenes

Photos: Dora Kazmierak


aDOR_1784 copy


‘On The Boards’ blared from boarding school dorms,

sunny afternoons, fondly-recalled second form:

Rory* sang raw and raucous, urban blues,

denim dressed, unpretentious, paid rock dues.

NSW tennis courts copy


See sporty mini-skirted girls, hear ricochet ping,

tennis ball bounce off taut racquet strings:

shyly watched, well-practiced their aversion,

tanned limbs, taut t-shirts tempt court incursion.

Library stairs copy


Authors and artists from library books beckoned,

upstairs I ascend, teen intellectual, fecund:

biblio hush almost holy, few desks populated,

sun-warm wood-panelled walls vastly under-rated.


Suburb Silenced by Snow


Suburb silenced by snow,

landscape lit by lunar glow,

muted the avian allegro.


Hatted, coated, booted walk,

scarved mouth muffles talk,

spinning tyres skid-squawk.


Sculpture-skeletal naked trees,

air stunned, ambushed breeze,

dogs frolic, undeterred by freeze.


After winter walk I sit by fire,

dancing flames I silently admire,

wine and warmth now required.




Boarding School Troubled Teen

Whenever it is discovered that someone attended boarding school, the focus of conversation gets interesting questions. Is it really like the Harry Potter novels? What was the food like? Did you join the pillow-fights? Did many run away?

Girls frequently ran away. One of my girlfriends did. So did I. It was quite unusual for a boy to run away. As you will read, I ran away after being beaten up by a master. I was returned the same night by my naieve mother, persuaded by the headmaster ….

photo: Dora Kazmierak

pensive portrait 2 copy

Pulled by long mop top hair,

pushed down two flights of stairs,

the master had the upper hand,

I tumbled terrified – (you understand….)


Fists impacted my frame, furiously,

border-boys peered out windows, curiously

not even the prefects intervened –

I was utterly all alone, it seemed…


Reluctantly I apologised – (because sore)

the beating stopped – but not the score:

my empty school desk evident next day,

a homebound train carried me away.


Silly mother sent me back same night:

(just before Easter) – educators always right;

collected from the station by worried headmaster:

teen defiant drama turned into pastoral disaster.


Confidences disclosed: my father’s school debt;

self-exile silently decided (with much regret)

sealed by stupidity, this fragile teen’s fate:

overburdened by far too much family freight…


Decades later, I walked through those doors:

O sweet remembered scent, waxed parquet floors.

Newtown: I got my first good-start there.

Newtown: reluctantly I left my heart there.


Fifteen of us re-united thirty years after,

much poignancy present but also laughter,

gone master’s name, not worth a mention;

thankful for kinder teachers, many detentions.


Newtown, you fed my hope-hungry heart,

you almost-redeemed me with music and art;

I still yearn those years, I’m so easily upset:

how to repay so tremendous a debt….?

Boarding School Bullies Failed…

In November 2016 I revisited Newtown, my old boarding school. I brought along my friend / photographer, Dora, to capture the spirit of that fondly-recalled, foundational place. Like others, I was bullied a bit but the senior sadists didn’t break my spirit….I was much helped at the time by the happy, hopeful top-ten gospel song, ‘O Happy Day’.


photo: Dora Kazmierak

pensive portrait copy

Remembered: the drop-kick ball slap,

cheek-sting, my spectacles misshaped

  • feared that full force whack.

Other juniors distracted, I escaped

repeat impact then; often terror trapped

in the junior common room: one exit only:

senior hyena-laughter, first-form boy lonely.


Scared by the sound of ball-ricochet bang.

On the valve radio a black mass choir:

how hopeful those one-time slaves sang,

Hawkins almost set this soul on fire:

‘O happy day’ the gospel anthem rang.

Bullies failed to beat up this boy’s heart:

boarding school safe shelter, emotional ark.