Bellingen Poets in Nimbin 2010

Bellingen Poets in Nimbin 2010
Taking Home The World Cup!!!

Monday, May 31, 2010


© Copyright Lyn Thiry, 2009

She is gone now
by her own hand,
we who are left behind
gnash our teeth.

The closer the blood
the deeper the cutting,
what if's and if only's
muttered through shame.

Shame that we didn't,
couldn't rise higher, reach
the last fragments of a mind
we may still have recognised.

Shame before our fellows,
her lack became ours.
Shame before our God
that we didn't see the nails
perhaps even handed her
the hammer.

I like to think she and her
god huddled together
in the trenches of her mind
and she was given an early mark.

But she wasn't my grandchild
so what do I know?


© Copyright Lyn Thiry, 2007

Day saw Evening approaching.
She began to flush pink,
remembering their last encounter.

Sometimes he would swamp her lustfully.
No matter how hot she had been,
she always disappeared willingly into his arms.

This time he approached slowly, seductively.
Holding her close,
whispering into her ear, teasing her,
alluding to the family jewels,
sparkling and unattainable.

She didn’t mind.
She knew her role as mistress,
understood she could never wear starlight.

They had been lovers forever.
Like most old lovers
they knew how to please each other.

He never lied to her.
It was always as he promised.
She could wake up, dress as she chose,
do whatever pleased her.
He would always return.

Eyes opening wider she smiled,
beamed rather; casting her light
further into the morning.
Only the smallest hint of him remained
as she turned her head to the east.

Mother Moon

© Copyright Russell Atkinson, 2010

From round to crescent, glistening bright,
you calm daughter of the night,
seem supreme, beyond our cares,
sailing silent, your rarer airs.
But as wife of this blue sphere,
you are busy with your housework here;
pulling seas and oceans about,
moving atmospheres in and out,
affecting the life of we clever fools,
you govern the flow of molecules.
It is you who know,
when to reap and when to sow,
you, mistress of our mind,
beat the rhythms of our kind,
dance the water in the rills,
move in and out the fish's gills;
by you all liquid things are sent,
for water is your element.
Full or new, how busy you,
with the earth since time's begun
you set the clocks with brother sun
and let them run.

Amazing! Wonder of all time!
Growing from primeval slime,
and from the chaos that gave it birth,
man now walks the planet earth.

Bush morning

© Copyright Russell Atkinson, 2010

Stream clean dusk and reeds,
High cloud, flattened back,
To horizons gold beamed and purple
In the autumn cool;
Birds glide to shallow water-reeds to rest –
Winged eddies
In the chill crisp air.
Others come
Flying through the thick quiet;
Perfect passing like the
Slow breath of sleep and fulfilled waiting.
Wings rise and fall
Away with the black forms flying,
Slowly, slowly,
Through the high
Matter – free sky,
While down
In the stream thicker water swims the fish,
Down, deep down,
Under the draped green willow.

On solid earth banks
The dew-silvered grasses grow high,
To the silent sitting,
Cud-chewing cow’s cold morning muzzle.
The morning chorus fades away;
The sun is rising higher;
Only the magpie sings,
And the rabbits are back in their borrows.


© Copyright Russell Atkinson, 2010

Dance the air with the falling leaves,
The fruitful earth, its ripening sheaves
Let the merry movements weave,
About the arcane void where our hearts beat.

Chant to the beat of the cosmic drum,
While topsy atoms spin and hum,
Rhythms, movements all succumb,
To the silent void where our hearts beat.

Move with the sea and the rollicking waves,
Sweeps of sand they pound and lave,
Dirge the gloom of a sea weed cave,
Down to the void where our hearts beat.


© Copyright Iain MacDonald, 2008

On the road to Ballina, I leave before first light
Stop to peruse a hundred books, on the way
To discover the doings or beings of secret masters.

The carpenter with calloused hands
White witch, bare back rider with her book of dreams
We knew each other in another life
I saved a child from butcher’s knives
She gave me shelter, others would not
We even fought, bare knuckled warfare
Bruised and battered, lost and won, we smile
We’ve lived in the abode of truth
The only sacrifice, happiness and woe
Others scoff, it’s their loss
They know not the school of rules.

I pull over to take a rest north of Maclean
In fields of sugar cane, all I see above me
skies of stars and galaxies, Is it in this field
I’ll find the Book of Wisdom
The Holy Grail?

So much sugar, too much sugar
A breakfast of chocolate bars
Highs that crash, empty calories
Sick of sweeteners, no sustenance
No food for thought
this is no troubled Israel
somewhere in between
the farmyard and a water wheel
where in hell is the precious jewel
I keep on looking, for, like a fool
I find the Book of Nonsense.

How and what to understand?
I come across a man
Selling a cool car, circa 1958
The maker made in 1964
There are some things I can’t explain
I am a man who gives more or less
Who juggles inward and outward
knowledge or wisdom
When I die I dedicate my life
To my next.

I keep thinking, thinking
Thinking about my story
Your story, their stories
Six billion stories
How to know them all
There is only one story ...

60 in a 50 zone
3 more points and I’m a collector
Tired, relentless truck drivers
Fume up guzzling liquid gold
Delivering goods we think we need
That will help to destroy Chinese countryside
Push up the price of oil

This will slow us down
Maybe we hope.
Why do we do what we do?
Where are we going?

One long slow curve, my hands on the wheel
Eyes in front, focused
In the rear view I see love behind me
More ahead. A wave of love. Tidal
Can we have too much?
Don’t love in vain.

Finally Bal – li – na
I’ve had grander receptions
A tired, sad man whose son
wrecked his house, lost in a haze of drugs
Sixty thousand in damages
He wails in jail, cold turkey, shit life
Once he was a little boy, playing
how he became a man distressed
Distressing his family in this way?
Life has not turned out the way he imagined
the way he planned; he has prostate cancer
his wife emphysema, at smoko the ambo whisks her away
the lady next door refuses to let me use her hose
she pays for this water don’t you know!

Where is the book of wisdom for Human machines
Who’ve lost their way, service long overdue
you laugh at connotations, machine wrapped in flesh
is life meant to be this way?
True masters know
Everything is as it should be
Recently I was, and again today
Reminded again, again, again
It will always be this way.

Everything has consequence
You do this you’ll get that
You do that and you’ll get this
We continue to destroy Our home, our planet
We did this. We got this.

My trip to Ballina was worth it
I discovered a holy grail
The book of wisdom can wait
Life is beautiful. Life is
Is is is is ...

Cherish this beautiful planet
When and if it does expire
There are billions more
Beauty in all the pain
We never
We never
We never die.


A blessing to my friends

© Copyright Pip Wilson, 2010

When the concrete sets around your eyes
and failure's demon heaves heavy on your chest;
when all is lost and bands of broken dreams obtrude your brow,
may mother Moon wash you in her white beams
till all your cells are young again
and torrents of ecstasy whoosh! up your being.

When dams of tears unyielding ache,
for fairness isn't in the rules;
when mealy maggot men expropriate
the prize your mind's eye still implores,
while women of jagged ice squeal above like banshee bats,
may the sunrise song of eucalypt and oak and bloom and grass
lay you down in ancient mystic beds of healing
till you slumber unafraid with the silent warm babies.

When one and yet another poison plastic chalice
scalds your hand in this your turn for futile hell;
when fumbled chance and yet another,
and opportunity and possibility sink sad beneath your divinity;
when your hands are bound and cannot punch
the wily smoke that chokes your hopes,
and bed again alone adds aching loss to loss,
may misty light float through balmy groves
and play upon the darkling sea
till all around is jasmine dew
and fountains of amethyst and agate rain your night.

When guilty gales around your face
are filth with city grit and wasted days,
may all your hero wizardry
light up your golden lamp, and may it blaze!

The Mercy Seat

© Copyright Iain MacDonald,2009

Thoughts of someone’s romantic heart

Reaching Shiraz, St Tropez jazz

Ruby red eyes reckless

Cobalt blue, lemon and salt

The spark that ignites

She warms the mercy seat

Learns to forgive, fragrance still lives

Lonely raven sings, a song of truth

Lifts the spirits of wounded hearts

Curl the blemish of barren fields

Deeply breathes and shines with crisp imaginings

Let’s scrape the shine of blunted teeth

Shake the bones of devil’s pride.

The Love Circus

© Copyright Iain MacDonald,2010

How I longed
for Love to
fall from a tree
envelope me, wrapped
In poetry
sprinkled handfuls of confetti
flashed memories
A past life
of you and I
Blue glass, sunlight, lemon tea
your wrists
your eyes
your smiles
I’m lost those eyes
in time;
Are we real?
my heart says yes
my mind talks, talks, talks
It says;
we might be two sea horses floating
smiling as we
go by how
sublime accepting
are things obvious ?
are we transparent ?
people see what
makes us tick or
are we transparent but
they can’t see
what’s happening to us ?
We became
a circus
everyone’s come to see
the clowns hey
we’re serious
Love has come to town
tomorrow the same audience.
a new circus comes around.

The River.

© Copyright Iain MacDonald, 2010

The river hasn’t always been muddy.
The river used to run clear.
Tasted so sweet!
Quenched the deepest thirst.
We could spear fish, count pebbles with our toes.
The dreamtime was a constant meditation.

How do people know when they are being sedated?
Freedom, safety, without control
at ease without medication!
Now we have a mono-culture nation
hungrily devouring information
in-form Nation, slaves several times over
we know not who we are, drunk or sober
argue a lot, what matters not
constantly distracted, minds simply lost
in a virtual reality, nature the enemy
a bloodless artery, dried up river beds.

How can we live without water, trees?
Will we die not knowing the meaning
the truth of this incarnation?
Human sensations, feelings and suffering…
In the next life will you have
stronger intuitions, gut instincts?
Will you trust wisdom over knowledge?
Love over power?

The river hasn’t always been muddy.
The river used to run clear.

Prevailing Winds

© Copyright Iain MacDonald, 2008

Envelop eating snail
Underwater breathing fish
Wettest garden scale
How long the winds prevail
Pine tree stance, high top mountain
Strong against the howling gale.

Philosophers and poets, artists entrenched
town planners, all receive emails, niggling thoughts
‘To do’ lists, sliding scales
Tomorrow Rego papers, BAS statements
Birthday cards to grannies, snail mail!
Fix the mower, padlock for the gate
Call the doctor, dentist, the fee is late
Who will see me, do I really care?
Shave and balance, make a bet
Walk the dog, fix up the vet
Car insurance, house insurance
Goods and contents, weed the garden
Uniforms for the kids, credit for their mobiles…
Replace the batteries in my head
I think I might implode!

So much doing. Too much throwing
Where are the swimmers?
Swallow this it will make you thinner
More attractive, if you fix it!
Fix this, fix that, sit down and relax
For a minute
Get out your woolens and your thermals
Winter’s coming back.

I’m exhausted before I wake, it’s all so terrifying
A leaf becomes mud, melting plastic mould
Melted beauty, wabi sabi world.
Is this progress?

Someone say the word
Pinch of salt in the eye of evolving nothingness
The witness in your bones, the fear in self
Everything gives hope
Truth is too busy to empathize
Too anxious to read ‘The users guide’
Too old while young, shocked, I find myself
On the scrap heap of our days
Desperate, crying, spent youth no denying
Trying and vying, climbing ladders
Sucked in loser ! This is the game !
Trying not to begin snakes and ladders
We contest; I never meant to begin.

Become a monk
Adopt a child, Third world
Patent my ideas
Watch friends with envy, as I sail away.
Life’s not so bad after all
The last package deal, learn to scuba dive
Watch the Maldives hold their breath.

Where were you when
Kennedy, Lennon and Diana

Where will you be
When this Beautiful world

Light Weight

© Copyright Iain MacDonald, 2009

These awkward days
In lots of ways

A light weight skylark sings
Who owns the starry sky?

After crimson sunset
Torchlight flashes skyward.

To whom do I belong?
I have no faith

I hope
I am not blind

I cannot see
What’s stopping me

From seeing
The truth.

Wading through the mists of time
I finally realize what lies ahead

Way, way ahead
My destiny.

Now at mid-life
Surely, what’s left of me

Contains the best?
I'll wait and see.

Don’t clone me until I’m dead. Better still, after the Raelians are.

© Copyright Pip Wilson, 2010

I'm glad I was born an Australian
Not the clone of some lesbian Raelian;
I'd feel rather weird
To put dye in my beard.
To an Australian, that's rather alien.

I'd hate to be somebody's lackey
Especially to someone so wacky
As a shyster rapscallion
Who wears a medallion
And a moustache like some Boston Blackie.

It's a picture that’s better unpictured,
A moustache like Little Richard’s.
Little Richard was hip,
But Rael's upper lip –
Well, I can't think of nothing more wretched.

I don't mind the company of aliens;
Nor Buddhists, nor yet Episcopalians,
A Rajneeshi or Jew,
Even a Muslim or two,
But they can punch it, all of them Raelians.

I suppose I'm a narrow Australian
(they say that we are sub-mammalian),
But I'd die if some bloke
in a white satin cloak
Cloned me into an alien Raelian.

Happy Blood

© Copyright Iain MacDonald, 2008

This world, the one I love
I understand, I am attached
Bird song in winter's ear
Happy blood runs through my veins.

Sunshine on my perfect cat
He always smiles because he knows
Happy blood floods my Celtic frame
I feel at home when I’m alone.

Jasmine reaches I inhale
Floating piano strains
All the way to Christmas Island
And back again
All my washings hung out to dry
Hung out to dry.

This happy blood’s too strong
For me it keeps on flowing
I intoxicate, the earth moves
My hands don't shake
I live forever, a beautiful future
With you again.

The sunlit trees calling me
Come out laugh with me
This wondrous world
Decorated with promise
Beyond the mediocrity.

Fado Dreams

© Copyright Iain MacDonald, 2008

Standing on wooden pins

Warm inside, cold underbelly

Fado springs from my radio

The Atlantic shapes many shores

My hearth dreams

Of love and smokes

Requests of elements

Insects unknown

Run Russian roulette

In frozen moonlight shade

Avoiding shafts of light

Scented twigs and vine

Trace sparing piano note

Sift atoms of language

Rest on pillows of eiderdown

Whisper – don’t give up

As many dreamers

Have done.


© Copyright Stephen Grey, 2010

Last night I dreamed of a song already sung
Old men grew younger towards deeds already done
and winter frosts journeyed back to enjoy the summer sun

After breakfast I accidentally went to work for a holiday
A slightly puzzling situation;
The train went backwards out of the station
arriving yesterday I found my work my work already done
I didn’t mind at all . It was all rather fun.

In the evening I mowed the lawn
By the time I finished it was nearly dawn
The mower went backwards and the grass got longer
The mower just became newer and stronger

During the days that followed I got used to it
It didn’t seem to matter anymore
Each day was ,cumulatively, the day before
but usefully I took back modern variation with me
such as my Ipod and laptop p.c.

After 6 months I was back about a year
The rent was no longer in arrears
The landlord even gave me a refund for paying in advance.
Remembering the future I bought stocks about to rise
and invested wisely ;leaving nothing to chance.

Delightfully old friends and lovers began to reappear
I was more relaxed this time around having no reason to fear;
If anything went wrong I knew I’d be ok for at least another year.
I was more abandoned and passionate than before
and often made love on the ceiling Instead of the floor.

Nostalgic for the future I went on a holiday downunder
Expecting everyone there to be the right way up.
But the storms came before the thunder
And people drank from inverted cups.

Returning less disorientated ,
more accepting of my fate
I arrived before my holiday had even started
Whereas before I had often been too late

I now know that, if this goes on and on,
I’ll soon be back in the 70’s,
I can see Paul George Ringo and John.
I will tell them all how much I loved that song,
And how, although I am from tomorrow,
I don’t mind being here yesterday
When all my modern troubles
seemed so far away.

Sometimes grief descends

© Copyright Pip Wilson, 2010

Sometimes grief descends
on hearts before bereaving.
Thinking on my hearty sons
can set my heart a-grieving
that distance might divide us
when my children are a-leaving.

Sometimes grief descends
when all around is shining.
Venus fades into the day
when Erebus is declining.
And Jamie passing into James
And Remy turning into Rem
can set my spirit pining.

Sometimes grief descends
when man insults perfection.
He gilds the walnut mirror frame
and etches out perfection;
turquoise-gold Aurora's light
he sullies with pollution.

And sometimes grief descends
by all accounts unbidden --
when better turns to best
we might grieve all of a sudden.
Grief requires but honest hearts:
its purposes are hidden.
Perhaps grief antecedes the men
and women that it saddens.

Chocolate sticks

© Copyright Pip Wilson, 2010

Chocolate sticks!
Chocolate sticks!
I love my chocolate biscuit sticks.
Nice and tasty
all for me
I eat them all
Crisp and yummy
Chocolate sticks
I gobble them quickly
They go so fast
They taste so fine
I bite them, chew them

I eat them now, I ate them then
I eat far more than nine or ten.
I’m just a little kid of six
But I can eat those chocolate sticks
As if my age were ninety-one
I’ll eat those bickies by the ton!
Chocolate sticks!
Chocolate sticks!
I love my chocolate biscuit sticks!

The Mentor

© Copyright Stephen Grey, 2009

Oh to whom I am so grateful
For the small examples shown by to you to me
In those earlier years; which have now grown into Great signs
too large not to plainly see.

It was you dear woman who planted
the seeds that grew and
I who grew alongside them;
and with them so totally enchanted

Could I but see you now
And talk with you somehow
we would agree on so much;
I being nurtured early by your touch.

The examples you set
with your integrity;Your firm behavior.
These my dear Aunt have and still are
My most powerful medicine;My saviour

Your sharp dry humour, precise and sometimes slicing wit
Your quest for knowledge ;your vast storehouse of it
If I could use just one single word
to describe all you have vested in me
it is that omnipresent and most precious gift
A love of Quality.

It wasn’t only the words you spoke
and the many fantastic works you wrote
It was the way you dressed;the way you held yourself;
The endless battles over quality you fought
despite the ones that came to nought.

The way you celebrated individual company.
Young and unimportant tho’ I was.. even me
The exquisite wine we drank that memorable night
before my first ever flight alone
into the big world by me then unknown
Hour after hour
Never a drop wasted or sour.

How did you know these things so well?
This to me you did not tell.
But you showed me the path to follow.
Perhaps this is how it always was and will be
for our lives to be more joy than sorrow.

The old it seems teach the young
not only in words but literally;
to lead lives of high quality.
and it is for this Dear Godmother
I now thank you so vigorously
Now further toward the end of my day
Je comprend.It’s not only about how much one does
it’s about “le Qualite”.

It’s about the determination to find the best
To leave aside the rest
To laud and respect the good work of others;
To give precise credit but only when it’s due
And spending hours to find that one particular
brandy that really makes a heavenly roman stew
And to cook it those 6 long patient hours
even if only a meal for two

Memories are made of this ;This Qualite
The French whose food and wine you so loved would perhaps say Verite.
“The truth” the best is indeed not so hard to find
so today I say to you with much love
”Thank you “ you have been most kind”

The lover and the Pumpkin*

© Copyright Stephen Grey, 2008

(An Australian tale of love greed and terrible perfidy)
Apologies to both William and lewis

Shall I compare thee to a summers day
or even a woman?
Thou art more temperate than either
And ,lasting longer, can’st then
be taken lovingly in my arms as oft as I desire:
Gracious when captured from the wilds of the breezy meadow
Thou art less plaintiff and more down to earth.

Truly a worthy companion
ready to go and grow in almost any place
cheerfully waving your multitudinous
hands with grace .
In wind hail or shine
growing bigger and more handsome all the time;
till finally, at seasons end,
your voluptuous curves maketh thee an attractive friend.

Your skin so smooth with glossy sheen
Your bulging muscles strong and clean
Your castellated curvatures are so glamorous
It’s enough to make one really quite amorous.

Upon occasion your smooth bulges
are so nice and very curvatious
It’s quite enough to make an ordinary man
really quite flirtatious!

Oh Dearest Pumpkin I do love you so
Won’t you keep me company for a month or so?
You can stay in the kitchen anywhere you please
And watch me cook potatoes and peas.

Then we can have tea
and lots of honey and cake
I could even give you lessons
In how to slice and bake.

Then we could try a bit of sour cream
perhaps fry some croutons too
so when it’s time to make some soup
you’ll know just what to do!

When we’ve fried the onions
And the water’s ready and hot
You can have such a nice hot bath
By going in the pot.


Oh Pumpkin dear
Why do you look so harried?
It’s just preparations for our wedding feast
When we get happily married

You and I will be forever one
In a union most digestive
And that is what always becomes
Of a veggie so culinarily suggestive

I’m telling you this now
To put you in the loop
cause it’s only fair to let you know
You are going to be in the soup

“Alas Alas Alas” she cried
Perturbed at last her fate espied
It’s really so unfair
There are lots of other Veggies here
“why me ? I just raised the chopper
She shed a bitter tear
And this was odd because
Pumpkins are not even in season
at this time of the year!

Love at first sight

© Copyright Stephen Grey, 1009

Dedicated to the right Honorable Lady Landrover

We first met when she was about 43
a good match ,about the same age as me
I knew at once she had to be mine
A beautiful girl, still looking fine.

There she sat unmoving; Abandoned; unalive
Just waiting waiting waiting on the dusty drive
I looked at her ,concerned, for quite some time
She was dirty ,covered in a thin layer of grime
To see such a lady so neglected
Why it’s almost a 4 star crime.

I admired her gracious geometry
Wiped off some sticks and debris
Checked her round shoes; old but hardly worn
I felt a strong urge to help her feel less forlorn.

A few weeks later and she mine
And, as expected ,we get along just fine
The owner had reluctantly agreed to part with her
But I persuaded him while swimming in the river

I cleaned her up; a bit of fresh oil
Fresh water to make sure she didn’t boil
A new differential, lots of TLC
And she’s like a born again Christian
it’s wonder just to see

Now it seems like I’ve known her forever
And yes, we’ve had good and bad times together
She is older now less glamorous ; lost a roof and door
But she the one for me alright
Whom I always will adore.

Dedicated to survivors of 'The man made' China and Burma disasters

© Copyright Stephen Grey, 2008

When life is difficult
Uphill without ever a break It seems
And nothing enjoyable is being enjoyed anymore
The only things left of value are your dreams.

This state of affairs,perhaps unknown to you
in your sad and weary aspect of mind,
Is absolutely right and proper;indeed the way it should be.
Do not complain for it is not wholly unkind
Because all you have is what you once only thought could be .

Have you have lost anything that cannot come again?

Your dreams are the most precious things of all
They are the first guests to arrive
And the last to leave ;So entertain them well , invite them back often and pick them up whenever they fall.


© Copyright John Conway, 1998

What is reality
That I have been to you
Your punching bag
Your silent anger I have passively absorbed
While you turned away
To your friends
For laughter and good cheer
To me your frustration and loss
I felt
Your desperation of self and
Lacking an inner core
Of reassuring worth
You struggled
And sought for more

But at the break of dawn
There is hope again
For being so foolish
To believe
To have a dream
While so still
There is a widening stream
Of quiet
Pervading the house
And in the peace
The calm is a balm
Of turbulence and turmoil

The minds eye
Sees clearly once again
Past opiates that lulled the senses
To clarity and worth
And what was won for respite
Was at the price of many a fall
Beyond reason
One can regain that
Of body and spirit
And laying hopes aside
Through bare hands
Find more

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bello Bards Bugle: News as of May 30, 2010

Dear bards and friends of Bello Bards,

Thank you for your involvement. Our last monthly B. Bards meet at Guru Food on Friday, May 29, was excellent. Thank you, Brian Hawkins and others, who recorded it for posterity. We're getting poems and comments to -- however, after 39 monthly meets we could probably use some more -- we have hundreds of original poems that have been read at poetry nights, but only a handful online at our new website, so keep sending them in, folks. Everyone tells me they want to see more, and only you poets and Bello Bards friends can do it. This blog explains how.

On Saturday, May 29, Marti Guy and I attended a meeting chaired by Brian Purcell, with a view to Bellingen poets being involved with a Bellingen writers' festival, planned to be held April 9-10, 2011. As one of the Bellingen Valley's best-established and best-attended groups of writers, readers and listeners, we hope and expect that Bello Bards, Bellingen's active group of poets and poetry lovers, will be closely involved with such a festival of the written word. We expect a friendly co-working arrangement with the writers' festival group.

Please stay in touch through which we hope you will bookmark and check regularly for new poems, comments, discussions and news. And as the Bello Bards webservant, I hope these will all come from you.

Just a reminder: the minutes of our recent Bello Bards inaugural meeting are kept at

AND PLEASE PUT IN YOUR DIARY: The next Bello Bards meeting, to discuss, inter alia:
(a) Our attendance at the Nimbin Poetry World Cup (July 31 - August 1, 2010); and
(b) Getting some others besides yours truly to become a group of administrators of the Bello Bards Blog,

will be held on Friday, June 11. at 6:30 pm, around the barbecue at Wilson's 'Ponderosa', 23 Dowle St, Bello -- again, please BYOG and at least enough tucker for yourself. Leftovers of food and beverages are never wasted at The Ponderosa. If it's raining, we'll see if we can light the stove in the kitchen. I have it on quite good authority that such a thing is possible.

Kind regards,

Pip, webservant and scribbler

Saturday, May 29, 2010

So much lost

© Copyright Russell Frank Atkinson, 2010

Weary of this web of complex strife,
I long for the free and simple life.
I wistfully gaze on some old thing found,
a spear, a flint, a tool of bone,
hidden, for ages, underground,
our forbears used in the age of stone.

The first to come to this austral isle,
show it is not so;
they lived life the same simple way,
just the other side of yesterday.
Survivors over time's vast span,
they needed nothing more to live,
this austral island's stone age man,
than each other, song and dance,
and whatever nature had to give,
and came by chance.

By myths and legends in dance and song,
they worshipped spirits of the earth,
took care to do the earth no wrong,
for from her all things came to birth.
In all things ancestral spirits dwelt,
the whole earth was sacred ground,
not as dogma or belief, but felt,
in the heart, and chanted sound.
Happy they, fulfilled, content,
they lived their lives in wonderment.
(What forces should be arraigned,
when so much was lost
when so much gained?)

For fifty thousand years or more,
they lived according to their lore.
No leader they, no chief, no king,
no money, hoarding, rich or poor,
no labour, slavery or any such thing
or person, dogged their days;
fights were sport; there was no war,
nothing interfered with their ways
for untold years,
these simple children of the sun,
laughed their laughs, but now shed tears.
For millennia they lived the same,
but now their ancient ways are done,
because we came.

So much was lost when so much learned,
and never can the tide be turned.
My heart feels tight, like twisted strands,
to think of the wealth we have won,
by destroying life
in their Dream-time lands,
killing with drink, disease and gun.

And yet some can still survive
in deserts so sparse and dry
that no white man could stay alive,
when money can't survival buy.
With nothing but a coolamon,
woomerah, boomerang,
stones and spear,
and tribal law to obey,
the first people could live well here,
in their way.

By power, arrogance and the gun,
so much was lost when so much won;
the lost recourse is here to show,
the wonder of such success;
how much we do not need to know,
and how little to possess.
When our proud world has tumbled
into chaos and decay,
perhaps we may be humbled
to learn from such as they.

Reds Under The Bed, Reds Under The Bed

© Copyright Pip Wilson, 2010

Memo To:
Those schoolboys in 1968
puffed up, lip curled
surrounding this boy
with the indictment of parrots
"Reds under the bed,
reds under the bed!
Unanimously willing victory to the bloody Vietcong
to rescue Vietnam from oppression.
Who grew up to turn their florid cab-sav faces
from the boat people millions
who drowned rather than stay behind
to play barbed-wire shuttlecock
with the million in Uncle Ho Chi Minh's
re-education holiday camps.

Memo to:
The suckling schoolboys who waved their Little Red Books in 1967
while Mao did Hitler proud
and dug the graves of 30, 40, how many millions
to pave Karl Marx's criminal road.
Oh your childish voices ring down the decades
"China is not Australia.
We cannot judge them.
They’re not really communists.
What do you mean by classicide or democide?
Marx has a different view of human nature.
He says truth is not absolute.
It's all relative, man,
and economically determined.
(Whatever that means.)
Teacher said so.
What about Coca-Cola?
That’s much worse than communism, it rots your teeth
and they advertise.
You haven’t read enough.
Reds under the bed!
Reds under the bed!
Our teacher told us so.
They don’t kill anyone in China.
It’s only Australia and America that are evil.
Much more freedom in China than America.
What do you mean they're killing millions as we speak?
Look at our Prime Minister
he's a dummy, for Christ's sake!
We can't judge China.
We can only judge America.
Sir said so.
What about Kentucky Fried Chicken? Surely that’s worse!
Haven't you heard Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young?
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.

You’re unhip, you’re a fascist.
Reds under the bed!
Reds under the bed!

Memo to:
The teacher of English
not much English but
lots of politics and puffery
and Chomsky and charlatans
and misinformation and Marx
and deconstructing grammar and syntax
(society won’t need it in the future you said)
flinging with effusive wit and foppish originality
a grin across a class of boys
and pointing at
“the reds under Wilson’s bed”.
Great politics. Great teacher.

Memo to:
Quote "progressive" unquote university colleagues in 1972 and ’73
thousands lined up like ten pins,
impossible to bowl over,
with their tenpin lecturers,
the dogmatists of deceit
taking turns at bowling tinpot arguments,
and the vacuous incantation
"Pol Pot is liberating Cambodia from evil US hegemony".
Ah, you were all avowed individualist free thinkers,
weren’t you,
so must have discovered
your profundities
severally and separately
with your undergrad knowledge of history
and political science …
to say nothing of Pol Pot's brainbuddies,
Marx's dull intelligentsia
in the whited sepulchral faculties
softly muttering Lenin's mantra
Quote "Telling the truth is a bourgeois prejudice,
Deception on the other hand, is often justified by the goal." Unquote
Quote "If a factory in your commune falls behind in production,
Then take out one worker in ten and execute them before the assembled workers.
That should increase production quicksmart." Unquote.
Ah, those professors done a job on you in 1973, my friends,
with their Mao Zedung caps and their banal, biased, convincing critique.
There should be a special place in scholars' hell
for those who pervert the naive idealist with lies.
Ah, you students knew it all:
"The Khmer Rouge is liberating Cambodia
from Coca-Colonialism
and the Sandinistas are democratic nationalists,
not Marxists".
(Did you even know what that meant?)
"And Ethiopia will benefit from
Mengistu’s Marxism
and deliver the people from poverty."
This was slightly before Mengistu, Marx's minion,
exterminated half the population.
Did you choke on your focaccia
when Bob Geldof finally appeared on your screen?
Or did you still say that the famine
was engineered by McDonald's, not Marx and Lenin?
Do you remember Pol Pot's 1975
and kindly pointing out to me
and the ogling others
the reds under my bed?
Do you think that on the Killing Fields
they have forgotten the loudspeakers
blaring out economic determinism from dawn till night?
Ask the Jews to forget the ovens.
Ah, how the Left ceased its silence on Pol Pot
when Russia's Vietnam overran China's Cambodia.
What a coincidence!
Ah, how bitter is this vindication;
ah, how unashamed those tormenters in those countries,
and how unashamed those tormenters of me in Australia.

Memo to:
The myriads of philosophers of the 1980s
who rabbited on about ASIO
when told of the complicity of the KGB
in scores of millions of bleeding deaths
and who,
when pressed for honest debate
denied my original premise
and said, "What about crappy American sitcoms
and baseball caps…"
and then they referred to a certain red presence
under upon which I slept.

Is this emotional?
Yes this is emotional.
A lie that is half a truth
was ever the best of lies, said Tennyson.
What think you now of
the entrapment of young idealistic minds,
who crawled the scholarly halls of the globe
and still await their day
in their armchairs of certitude
and corridors of false premises?
What think you now of Marx's prescribed word 'despotic'
and Engels' word 'terror'?
Did you blush with shame at Tien an Men Square?
Did you blush to remember how you had scoffed
when I said that the USSR had killed forty million souls,
and later when you heard Gorbachev declaim it had been fifty million souls?

How shall we calculate
Your debt.
Your debt to the bodies and scars without number.
Your debt to honest scholarship.
Your debt to truth telling.
Your debt to the forcibly re-educated millions.
Your debt to the babies on the Killing Fields
and men cooked on spits and crucified over fires in Cambodia,
all for an ideology of deception.
Your debt to the millions fleeing Cuba and Vietnam.
Your debt to the gash on Africa.
Your debt to the multitudes on the trail of sea and fleeing.
Your debt to the massacres in Nepal and India.
Your debt to the Peruvian hilltribes in terror of Mao Zedung’s Sendero Luminoso.
Your debt to the congregations hacked to mincemeat by the New People’s Army of The Philippnes.
To the bare bleaching bones on every continent.
The burned books and the cacophony of classicide.
To the bourgeoisie who, quote, "Must be swept from history
and made impossible", unquote.
To the terror that still slouches
towards green minds yet to be born.
What do you owe,
you flocks of independent thinkers,
with no reds under your beds,
with nothing under your beds –
nor little yet between your ears?
What do you owe the voiceless ones
who clamoured and begged for your honesty and tears?

I can’t speak for them,
But – I reckon you owe me a beer.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May poetry night is our next event

The next Bello Bards get-together is at Guru Foods, 5 Church Street, Friday, May 28 at 6:30 pm, for dinner and poetry - you can pretty much count on our events always being posted at this site. And that Poetry Night has always been the last Friday night of each month. See you there.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fox among the hens

© Copyright Pip Wilson 2010

She burned the night with fiery light
shining martian red electric blue.
there was little respite in the ocean night
from the pain or all that they knew.
"I'm only passing through," he spoke
with an ill-concealed sigh.
A stranger spoke from a silver throat,
"You will surely be passed by."

And the mist was cold
in the water glow
and the seven apparitions cried.

"I was sitting on my laurels for too long a time"
Said he with a faint insight,
but a stranger smiled triumphant joy
from the flesh of a weary night.
"You are lazy like a laden mule
and tired like a dying hound,"
Said the stranger, "I led you to the gates
but I won’t break them down."

She watched her man
pounce among the hens
like a fox with a coat of brown.

They both were choosing and seldom losing
for the heart is strong and true,
And the soul, of course, is not enforced,
and the will shall ever renew.
But strangers are known with contention’s bone
to haughtily cut through.

In the miles between
the king and queen
were pictures hid from view.

"Why won't you look?" she asked, and he shook
as the stranger shrank away
to the sound of a boy who said "Let's enjoy
and the pictures will pass like the day."
The stranger called from a concrete wall,
"Has he felt?" and she said, "Yes he has!"
The boy said "So's she!" and the black of the sea
sank into infinite space.

The moonlight was cool
on the galloping mule
and the famishing fox ran away.

The Gift of Life

© Copyright Crystal Thornycroft, 2010

In all the gifts of life
That we may ever receive
The greatest gift of all life
Is the gift of life itself
The greatest gift is the gift of being alive,
The gift of being born, no matter who we are or where we are from
We are gifted, we are gifts, and so it is why we are born
To celebrate this very gift that we are
In all its fullness, strength and delightful nectar
That comes when we laugh, when we smile,
When we know it is okay and it is our RIGHT
To truly SHINE
To be ourselves no matter where we are or in whose
Presence we are standing in
And that laugh that is so contagious,
That gentle smile that makes another one smile too
And those sparkling eyes that say to you
“I am alive! I am truly alive!”
And, I am happy to meet you, just the way you are,
I don’t care how you are feeling right now, or if you are a little low
I am happy to share this gift of being alive, right now, with you
For you are a walking, dancing gift
Just like myself, and so let’s share this mystery together
For we both breathe the same air,
The same life force runs through our veins,
And though we may speak a different language
From time to time,
Our hearts speak the same language; the Language of Light,
The Language of Love and Fellowship
Though we are different we are the same
And though we may be miles away
We are both a breath away from the next world
That we will all one day die into
Only to be reborn
Oh, how I love this gift, this precious and foremost gift
The gift of being born, of being alive
The gift of life is precious
May we both drink from the same fountain of life
And live in abundance and delight
And draw nearer and nearer to the Great Spirit,
The Great Source, the Great Inspiration
That drew us here and for a very good reason
Not just by chance but by LOVE.

Bali 2009

© Copyright Elizabeth Routledge, 2010

A fingernail moon winks amongst a fringe of leaves
ripples in the watery combs stitched with young rice
tender green bristles nodding in the new neon flares.

The night rain falls like confetti; like petals
on suede blue pools reflecting a sultry sky
where swifts and swallows and starlings fly
over offerings enfolded in banana leaf origami
marigold and white rice sanctified by the incantations
of a soul purified swami, drifting in the narrow canals
this Balinese Venice veined with a sacred geometry
of waterways pulled by a subtle gravity
from the pristine waters of lake Batur
protected by the sacred mountains
Gunung, Agung, Abang
and the rhythm of the gamelan.

Overflowing sculpted terraces to the sea
lifting to the gods perfumes of frangipani
cempaka oil and burning coconut husk
a devil dog howls, frogs croak
the ducks and insects sing along
to the sacred night song.

Wayan first son, of Ketuk, the fourth
lights sandalwood and lays hibiscus flowers
on fresh linen, a fresh flask of sweet coffee
a pandan-green-hued cake.

Ancient ceremonies and rituals flow
ceaselessly on the streets of Ubud
the dancers slip into a trance, the music weaves a spell
as Dewi Saraswati , the consort of Brahma
lifts four graceful hands with gifts for her gentle devotees
wisdom, devotion and creativity, a rosary of prayers
for her prolific artisans.

And the listless tourists like ghosts
bring the decaying dreams of the west.
The cult of materialism. Our futures entwined.
Come, look, see! I need to feed my family.
“Maybe tomorrow”. Maybe.
Their youth, like ours, enmeshed and branded
styled by the image makers, skinny jeans, technology
a myriad illusions; slavery and poverty cannot prise them free.
The odor of fertilizer and petroleum deform
their ocean creatures, victims of our greed
insatiable productivity.

The vague scent of an open lotus
proclaims their innocence, their purity.
The big hearted woman who carries fifty kilos on her head
knows she was born to work, help feed her family
like her daily prayers, her breath, her smiles
she thanks the gods for life’s simple ceremony.

Mer tales

© Copyright Elizabeth Routledge, 2009

Mother water where have you been?
Listen to the tales water has to tell.

The giant breathing tide
the rise and fall of the waves
speaking to your spirit
refreshing you with dew
tears, diamonds and pearls
answering your prayers
with rainbows and waterfalls.
In hissing steam or ghostly mist
its wisdom shrouded
with unimaginable memories
breeding birds and butterflies
in lagoons and swamps.
Enraged cumulo-nimbus
a tongue lashing hail
or the soft caress
of crystal snowflakes
an endless spiral

Mother of love what have you seen?

The stream is confident that it’s yearning
will be fulfilled, it hears the ocean song
it echoes a duet down hills with sparkling gravity
shifting form to suit, a liquid chameleon
barely perceptible, eddies in a silent pool
resting its seamless moiré awhile
unconcerned with boundaries
or edges.

He beat my sisters and me

© Copyright Pip Wilson, 2010

He beat my sisters and me,
thrashed us till the welts
raised up on our thighs like purple ropes.
He beat my sisters and me.

Sixty years have passed
since the perilous days of the war
and I didn't know what the Third Reich was.
And sixty years have passed.

And we had done no wrong --
but now I understand
why Father beat my sisters and me,
though we had done no wrong.

In Germany in '41
to be seven was no fun,
and often I wondered what I had done
in Germany in '41.

Is it more than sixty years?
Mein Gott, and so it is.
Yet I see Father with the fir tree rod --
Is it more than sixty years?

I still see his glistening eyes
and his cheek all smudged with tears.
Though fear and pain I remembered for years
I still see his glistening eyes.

My mother rolled out the dough.
She deliberately turned away,
took a rolling pin and loud as she could,
my mother rolled out the dough.

"This is what you'll get,"
said Father, "if you breathe a word
about the family hiding in the roof --
this is what you'll get."

Beach Report

© Copyright Brian Hawkins, 2010

Always tell somebody where you are going.
I told noone.
Never swim alone.
I swam alone.
Never go swimming at dawn or dusk.
I entered the water as the setting sun
Dyed every wave blood red.
Stay clear of large concentrations of fish, and areas
Where birds are diving into the water.
I swam into a bait-ball.
Avoid violent splashing motions
Which could be misconstrued.
I thrashed around.
Never enter the water carrying
The bloody head of a calf. It
Was the hind-quarters.
Report any attacks immediately.
I report nothing.

Autumn Afternoon

© Copyright Brian Hawkins, 2010

At last we have arrived at the shining moment
When the afternoon cannot end,
Even as it's beginning to fade –
The winter sun alone with his joy,
The crow with his lonely voice
High up crossing the impossible
Blue. And a lyrebird
Starts sobbing in a lightless gulley
As the grass grows ever more gold.

Friday, May 21, 2010

In between Times

© Copyright Elizabeth Routledge, 2010

These veranda days, they’re ok, you say.
Cloud drifting, mountains winking in the distance days.
Sometime in the future we will remember these moments
you announce. As seas rise, a world groans, underbelly shifts
overwhelm all our doings, all our longings and dreaming.

What are you thinking? You ask, with the wind chimes.
Sun glinting off the cliff face high in the spongy purple folds
of the mountains, close now as clouds dissolve, momentarily.
Light fills the sky, a white flower, opening.

Nothing, I say, nothing.
As though I had perfected Meditation practice
a breeze flowing through my empty mind.
The truth is I am chasing words, the right words
to say how I love you, come what may
in veranda days and when you go away, but
It’s all been said before, a million songs, all just … wrong, except
for slightly melancholy melodies with ironic, wistful phrasing.
In between times, a chord strikes.

Still I am tired of all the noise, endless clever talk, talk, talking
as though everyone was getting ready to proclaim
the latest, rehashed profundity for TV crews or radio mikes
prompted by a hyped up Personality, fast and loud
visual, aural, hyperbole looking for a new story.
In between, endless patter and political spin.

Listen! listen to the wind! A rain storm riding in
obliterating the mountains, devouring roads and farms
flattening my shabby garden, seedy vegetables and tired herbs.
Drenched by glorious, unfeeling Nature and gone again.

A thousand industrious spiders observe these lazy veranda days
unperturbed by the raging rain cracking on corrugated roof.
We congregate, we lounge, we sigh on the veranda
A shy carpet snake and two stripy cats
hunched down, watching, but ready to strike
or curled up, sleepy in subtropical humidity
We could all just be hoping for the afternoon breeze
or for a revelation.

Bellingen Song

© Copyright 2007. Lyrics by Pip Wilson; music by Josee Hennequin; arranged by Elisabeth Jurans; Short video clip of the song is at

Flow down the river,
Hmmm, purple haze.
Flow down the river.
Here is where I’ll spend my days.

The rockets’ red glare will not touch me,
And I will become pure and free.
I will kiss this green land as my country
An ancestor, I will be.

And the sting of the city won’t hurt me
I will fly with the black cockatoo
And the song of my youth won’t desert me
And my vision will stay strong and true.

I’m in Bellingen
I’m in Bellingen
I’m an ancestor
Strong and true.

In the flood, and in the bright dawning
Around my strong fire and the dew
I will breathe in the mist of the morning
And my vision will stay strong and true.

I am Bellingen
I am Bellingen
I’m an ancestor
Strong and true.
Photo by Pip Wilson: (Some rights reserved)


© Copyright Elizabeth Routledge, 2010

It is a source of unbearable shame
It is profoundly spiritual, beautiful
It’s a sweet game.
It draws us together, it pulls us apart
a curious intimacy, an opening heart.
It is an itch, an addiction, ritual, routine
comedy, tragedy, a marketing dream.

It is a comfort, a joy, an unholy terror
a giving, a taking, an absurd messy error.
A surrender, an attack, a weapon of war
a deep, deep longing; a strange foreign shore.

A desperate grappling, twisting and twining
liquid merging, limb locking, sighing and pining
for it, the catalyst for life.

It is a need, a blessing
a contract, an exchange
a performance, a dance
a clumsy embrace.
Disappointing, predictable
dull or bon chance!
timid or bold, awake, in a trance.
In the morning, at dusk, afternoon delight
sunday siesta, ecstatic or trite
it’s a casual fling, an exciting fiesta
it’s hot n’ heavy, it’s so cool
it makes you want to sing
… a corny love song!

And, maybe, just maybe…it could be
a way to the gods.
And maybe, just maybe!
It can be the highest expression
of love.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Seven birds

© Copyright Pip Wilson, 2010

Seven birds that soar above
with movements fine and regal:
Sparrow, swallow, starling, swan,
stork, swift and sea eagle.

The lament of the fag ash lil’

© Copyright Liz Routledge, 2010

There’s a couple of fag ash lil’s
holdin’ up the bar of a Friday night
suckin’ in a lungful of poison
yellowing teeth, yellowing digits
puckered lips like a clenched bumhole
exhaling nicotine yarns through crêpy lungs
boozy lunch confessions, sozzle’d sweat; fuesty breath
preserving things long dead.
Not buried, as yet.

When youth is gone, desire muddled, thoughts tangled
rose colored memories tinted with sentimentality
blurry with wishful ness, recycled histrionics
littered with corpses, draped with imaginary B grade filters
or enhanced for a laugh down the well worn path
of a much told tale…I could’ve been…
I was gonna… …One day…

Through the haze of smoke, and mirrors
life eludes, addictions ensue take root, like lantana
a host of choking weeds contaminate any blueprint divine
stifling miracles of DNA, and large sections of the brain remain
dormant and our souls … sing the blues.
Wistful sighs, plaintive cries escape their lips
like a wheeling bird, a furious gull, who thinks
I should‘ve been a swallow, but all I feel is hollow
the seeds of my potential fall on the fallow, stony ground
of the human condition.

Briefly the sound of sorrow
a fragment of soul hangs in the air
wafts it’s way into the branches of a nearby tree
comforted by cool leaves, rising still further
to join a host of unspoken wails
hanging homeless over the earth
to revisit you on a windy day.

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Pip, web servant and scribe.


© Copyright Crystal Thornycroft, February 24, 2010

My love for you will never fade away
Like the red rose that blooms and dies
Only to plant another seed to be reborn
Like the heavy winds and rains that come and go
My love for you, Pauli, was so deep
No one, but me and you, will ever know
Like the thunderous lightning
And magnificent, wailing storms
I set my ship to sail across the gigantic seas
Be as loud as I want to in my love for you
My tears now are endless, and I,
Pauli, I pray for you that you are free
Tell me, tell me you are truly free…
For my love for you, my friend, is so, so deep
It will never fade away
Like the cold and crisp winter awaiting the budding spring
I never knew I would feel all this pain I am in
But like the phoenix that rises out of the ashes
I am immersed in many beautiful, playful memories
Of those days we used to play and dance in those mango trees
Looking for berries in the bush
And frolicking in the waves amidst the gigantic and empathetic seas

And now I plant this rose in my garden to resemble
This deep red love I have for you
Knowing so deep in my heart that my love for you is more than true
Oh Pauli, how I miss you, miss you, miss you

To Marti Guy (aka Marianna)

© Copyright Pip Wilson, March 27, 2009

Forgive my stumbling doggerel;
I’m just a scribbler, after all.
My throat is sore and I want to read bugger-all.
I just wanna
Propose a toast to Marianna.

O, raise a toast to Marti Guy, my pals,
Who’s giv’n her heart to arty guys, and gals,
And ever was a hearty guy, was Marti Guy.
I’m just another arty-farty guy,
And though I’m not a party guy,
And though I read here, albeit shy,
This Marti Guy,
This very smart and hearty Marti Guy,
Has helped my tongue-tie to untie.

And Marti’s poached eggs on toast were the most –
Another reason I propose to our hostess with the mostest, a toast.

To Marti’s café I bid goodbye,
As all our fellows in Bello bellow at the farewell – O,
We all wish that mellow Marianna
Will hold each Poet Lorikeet and Poet Goanna
Of this blessèd green and pleasant valley,
From up to Dorrigo down to Raleigh,
In her kind hand and generous heart,
Befriending other artists in the alley for their art.
And for poetry’s sake
And for Marti’s sake
May we all still rally.
I’ll shut up now, not shilly shally, nor dally.

O, raise your glass for this sweet lass,
And may she know, this hearty guy,
This estimable Marti Guy,
She is, and always will be … aye,
The Lily of our Valley.

Two white swans

© Copyright Pip Wilson 2010

Two white swans on a cool rippling lake,
Of all the creatures in the park, the only two awake.
Two white swans on a dark summer's night,
Proud of being swans and very proud of being white.
"Aren't you pleased with what you are?" said one swan to the other.
"Most certainly I am," replied the second to his brother,
"For we are very beautiful," he said, "So very fine.
I think that all the beauty in the world is yours and mine."

Two white swans sitting on the water still,
Not thinking of the dark, nor thinking of the chill.
Two white swans awake, although the hour is late,
Happy with themselves and very happy with their fate.
"Thank goodness we are white swans", said one swan to the other.
"We are so beautiful," replied the second to his brother.

The two white swans are always sitting there alone,
I often see the other creatures leave them on their own.
And I can almost hear the other park folk think aloud
"We'd play with swans so beautiful, but not with swans so proud."

Image courtesy of

Our place

© Copyright 2009, Craig Nelson

The clock betrays me at 2.00am,
The fire's hot and the cask is full.

The power's on, I can write this stuff,
If only I knew, when I had enough

Of pandering to social norms,
Philandering with department stores.

I've drawn a line, I won't be swayed,
I'm not going to Crazy Day.

I'll sit in the pub and talk to me mates
If they're not there, I'll be sure to relate

To a visitor or two, just to make sure,
They're not keen to come back anymore.

The gullies are deep, the vallies are wide,
There's many a creek, but nowhere to hide

They won't like it here, whatever the season,
Keep on moving for just one reason

We like it here and you crowd our space;
Stay for some days and get off your face

Then, it's time to go, back to your perch
Or crash at the door of any old church

Where the godly love and welcome the meek,
And find their strength in helping the weak.

To a point of despair that would raise the 'air
Of a mongrel dog and that's what you are

Rampant, ignorant, feral slobs;
Go back to facebook and eternal blogs.

A tribute to Marti

© Copyright Craig Nelson, 2010

Marti started all this and, however it grows, she will be adored.

Ah Marti, you're a poet's delight,
A woman of charm and distinction,
Tonight we colluded to turn the spotlight
On the heroine who fed our addiction.

As bards, we all carry baggage around -
Despite rumours, we are merely mortal -
We all have misgivings and doubts abound,
But they vanish on entering your portal.

You created a space, equating your grace,
A place where thinkers assembled,
If we drank too much, or were a disgrace,
Your tolerance is always remembered.

The Bookcafe was a special treat,
From the moment you opened the door,
A refuge, and a welcome retreat,
From those arduous bucolic chores.

The venue you made was a haven craved,
By those who love wrestling ideas.
Like a saintly maid, you undoubtedly saved
Many from the worst of their fears.

For here, we found kindred spirits,
We debated and laughed and sang
Amid worded walls, beyond the limits
Of censors and other harsh critics.

Here, everyone was an equal,
Every view respected and heard,
We wish you well in your sequel,
Your legacy is our written word.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Think different(ly)

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

A Bello Bards pic contributed by a fan in Israel

Hey, here's a picture made especially for Bello Bards and contributed by Lynn Fux, who lives by the Biblically famous Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) Thanks, Fuxie!

Bellingen Writers Festival general meeting May 29

Apart from Bello Bards, there are other local people who are interested in the written word.

Brian Purcell informs me that on Saturday May 29 at 4pm, in the meeting room at Diggers Tavern (30 Hyde St, Bellingen) there will be a general meeting for people to contribute ideas and/or become involved in establishing a Bellingen Writers Festival. Brian may be contacted at bgpurcell [AT]

Brian writes: ... we’ve agreed on a date for the main festival: April 9/10 2011, centred around the Bellingen Memorial Hall. The inaugural February meeting also requested that we engage with local youth, so we applied for and received a grant to develop a website and hold a workshop followed by a performance for youth – this will be in November ..."

Lola Rose

© Copyright Elizabeth Routledge, 2008
(Today my baby girl turns eleven! When i arrived in bellingen she was still in a pram!)

De girl dem – weh yuh come from?
I do it good when I done made dem!
Me brown skin babies, me girl child dem
daddy from Jah-mek-ya
me no take credit that yuh come through me!
Cimmaron child dem, pick ninny darlins.

One be sent to try me
meck me see dem bits
I don wanna see!
But baby girl, yuh a sweet mouth
café o’lait Shirley Temple!
I higherstand yuh singin me love

Yuh singin’ before yuh can talk
yuh climbin’ before yuh can walk
yuh sabi-so eyes
yuh cheeky- cheeky.

Lolita, little Lola, Yoruba meanin
one day yuh’ll be a beautiful woman
an yuh is a beautiful child
singin and dancing and crumpin and poppin
lookin’ deep with yuh liquid browns
yuh’ll meet any eye, meck em gets it straight
“y’all be my brother from another mother”
yuh gwine declare, fer all to hear
ef yuh sad or mad or glad.

Little miss lou
the lord knows
I love yuh.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Minutes of Bello Bards Inaugural Meeting May 14, 2010

Bello Bards Inaugural Meeting May 14, 2010 at 23 Dowle St, Bellingen

Meeting chaired by Craig Nelson. Minutes taken by Liz Routledge.

Attended by:

Will Douglas, Remy Rayner, Steve Grey, Marti Guy, Misty Hanley, Karen Hawkins, Fiona Kendall, Iain MacDonald, Craig Nelson, Ruth Powley, Elizabeth Routledge, Pip Wilson, Cherie Pugh, Russell Pugh, Graham Weekes and Alice Moseby.


1. Nimbin World Poetry Cup, July 31-August 1, 2010

Whoever is going to enter needs to register: (see also

Meetings are to continue at Pip’s place every 2nd Friday and at poetry nights, the next one being May 26th at Guru Foods, Church St. We can rehearse and time those with entry poems because poets at The Cup have to recite for dead-on 8 minutes.

When it is finalized who is definitely coming, we can car pool etc.

There are options for accommodation with friends of Craig and Ruth’s or a house provided by Gail who runs The Cup. Some people will need to bring camping gear but we can share food, cooking etc.

2. Audio & Video recording of Poetry

Alice & Graham are willing to lend their gear and record on occasion. Marti and Brian happy to record.

$40.00 in kitty towards group registering at 2bbb and to go in there at some point in the future and make a recording to put on DVD, with poets reading their own poetry.

Annual poets’ pageant at the end of the year to be recorded/ videoed. Date to be decided.

3. Bello Bards Book Publication.

Publishing options:

Digital Print Australia (POD - print on demand), $250 set up costs and online promotion. Xerox Coffs Harbour also Mid Coast Printing 100pp = $4 per book, 50 copies minimum

Misty will typeset. Marty & Liz will edit and assess poems. Hard copy of your poems to Marti please. Initial theme to focus on Bellingen from the first 37 months that we have been going! Will Douglas to do cover design.

Pip to set up blog with links to Youtube and others. This is free we can later relook at having a web site which will cost about $100 a year to maintain.

So email as attachment your poems to Pip along with any photographs or illustrations that may enhance the blog. If you are concerned copyright your poems.

 Dig it! Pip Wilson and Graham Weekes dig the Bello Bards Barbecue