High and Low

He stumbled home from Clifden fair
With drunken song, and cheeks aglow.
Yet there was something in his air
That told of kingship long ago.
I sighed — and inly cried
With grief that one so high should fall so low.

He snatched a flower and sniffed its scent,
And waved it toward the sunset sky.
Some old sweet rapture thro’ him went
And kindled in his bloodshot eye.
I turned — and inly burned
With joy that one so low should rise so high.

James H. Cousins 
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Stormy Weather

A second great deluge this afternoon.  The roof must be well washed clean by now, so next time I shall start filling my water bottles. I have well over a dozen 4 litre bottles that originally contained “distilled” water for my CPAP machine.  At $5.50 a bottle, and a bottle about every two or three weeks, rain will be a fine economical substitute.  I only threw a couple of bottles away before I decided to stockpile them for the rainy season so I should have almost a years supply after the next rain.  I also have a couple of 15 litre bottles with taps, that I can refrigerate for drinking.

The electrical storm was (and still is) amazing.  After work, to get a better view and take some photos, I drove down the Duncan into the hills near Old Halls Creek.  It was well worth the effort. I was surrounded by spectacular shows of lightning striking the hills all around.   Unfortunately the Lightning danced around me so much my camera was always pointing in the wrong direction.  Eventually I gave up trying and just sat back to watch the light show, and listen to the thunder.  I drove back in the evening gloom still being startled by the flashes and rolling sonic booms.

Even now I am sitting with my iPad in my carport – where it is cooler than it has been for weeks – enjoying the sound of rain and rolling thunder while watching the neighbourhood briefly illuminated every minute or so.  A salmon salad is waiting for me inside.

Love this weather.

Bottled Water

5 years ago, in another country, I wrote about the cost and extortionate profits of bottled water. 

I still feel the same about it, though I have tempered my opinion with the practical reality of living in a desert environment where the naturally occurring water, even when treated, is unpleasant to drink – and not so thirst-quenching anyway – due to its hardness.  Wherever I can I still refill my bottles with tap water that has been through a zeolite filter.  However we need to carry so much with us when we travel that from a practical  point of view, bottled is necessary.  The waste and environmental concerns are still on my mind.  On the plus side, two dozen 600ml bottles from Coles are only $8.  That is a mere $1800 a cubic metre. Probably only around 500 times the cost of tap water here.

Some Days.

Lay me low
Lay me low
Lay me low
Where no one can see me
Where no one can find me
Where no one can hurt me. 

Trad. Arr.

HOME

by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.

Where does the time go? 

This week marks the anniversary of my application for the position I now hold, and which I took up in November last year.  How time flies.

I remember as a child hearing the expression “where does time go?” And spending a lot of my tiny intellect trying to figure out the answer.  I still don’t know, but at the time I felt it was probably something like the groove on the records we used to play. At least I worked out where that went to. By watching it carefully I worked out that it went under the label on the disc, and probably dropped through the hole in the middle to emerge on the other side. .

  

I do believe her 

When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearnèd in the world’s false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
Oh, love’s best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told.
    Therefore I lie with her and she with me,
    And in our faults by lies we flattered be.
W Shakespeare.

Fluoxetine Wisdom

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, Kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
WB Yeats.