Exit.

I just completed my exit interview form. The penultimate question asked why I resigned and whether there was anything the Shire could have done to prevent my leaving.

My reply was:

I am old father William
And it has been said
If I continue to work
They should examine my head.

– with no apology to Lewis Carroll.

 

There are some wonderful sights here.  One appreciates them a little more once one knows one is leaving them behind.

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The sky over Red Hills, Halls Creek, by Patrick Karena.
China Wall
China Wall, Halls Creek.
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Gypsy

Roaming free as the breeze
What’s to stop me and why?
I can live as I please
Open road, servo pie…

With apologies.

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My history has made me train wild animals but I’m more famed
Because I’ve really trained myself to be as spry as any elf
The circus life taught me a lot, now the circus is finished – but I’m not.
For I’m not afraid to potter round the dark
I’ll breakfast on tomorrow’s question mark
Adventure is in my blood why any lion could smell it well
But I always hold the whip and I’ll never let it slip
Whatever comes I’ll take the good and send the rest to hell

Roaming free as the breeze
What’s to stop me and why?
I can live as I please
Open road, open sky!

My lion taming acting was enough to create quite a buzz
From Timbuctu to Samarkand I wowed them in the hinterland
I was king of the king of the beasts on the stage
Why, the public wouldn’t let me out of my cage
They loved it when the lions licked my paws
And I got the lion’s share of their applause
I follow with the bold and the brave when the bold are gone
Whatever I wish I’ll be when the wish appeals to me
For there’s a thing worth more than gold
My creed! I must go!

English words by Anne Ronell (1939)

The music for “Open Road Open Sky” was originally composed by Johann Strauss for his 1885 light opera “Der Zigeunerbaron Wikipedia16“. The English version of this song became popular in 1939 after Ann Ronell adapted Strauss’s music and wrote new lyrics.

A Parting Glass

A Parting Glass.

Oh all the money that e’er I had
I have spent it in good company
And all the harm I’ve ever done
Alas, it was done most to me
And all I’ve done for want of wit
To mem’ry now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

If I had money enough to spend
And leisure time to feast a while
There is a maiden in this land
That sorely has my heart beguiled
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips
Most surely have my heart in thrall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades that e’er I had
Are sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e’er I loved
Would wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all

So, drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
And fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be to you all
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
And fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Trad. Arr.

 

One Fine Day

Keke rane leana
Haele la sa vineki
Hake koa sa basioto
Meke zama si asa
Qetu hola si asa.
Meke hegere sa basioto. 

One fine day
The girl climbs up
Perching on the crocodile
And she says
She is very happy.
And the crocodile laughs.

Basioto Nomana

 
 Reprise.   1st Posted on 
 

Polar

paulGoldsteinpolar-bear-wave_3213017k
Photo by Paul Goldstein 

Once upon a time, a baby polar bear went up to his mum, as she was preparing seal flipper pie for dinner.
“Mum,” he said, “am I a real polar bear?
“Of course you are, dear.” She answered. “I am a polar bear, Dad is a polar bear, so you are a polar bear too”.
“Are you sure of that? Really really sure?”
“Of course I am sure. Your grandparents are polar bears, their parents were polar bears too.  In fact you come from one of the most illustrious polar bear lines in the arctic circle!”
“Are you absolutely certain? Is there no brown bear, or Kodiak bear, or grizzly bear in me?”
“No dear, you are pure polar bear. If you don’t believe me, ask your dad”.

So the little polar bear wandered across the ice floe to where his dad was fishing.
“Dad,” he said, “am I a real polar bear?”
“Of course you are, son” his dad answered.
“I am a polar bear, Mum is a polar bear, so you are a polar bear too”.
“Are you sure of that? Really really sure?”
“Of course I am sure. Your grandparents are polar bears, their parents were polar bears too.  In fact you come from one of the most illustrious polar bear lines in the arctic circle!”
“Are you really really sure of that?”
“Of course, son. You are 100% polar bear
“Are you absolutely certain? Is there no brown bear, or Kodiak bear, or grizzly bear in me?”
“No son, you are pure polar bear. If you don’t believe me, ask your grandad”.

So the young fellow toddled across the ice floe to the other side, where his grandfather was sitting on a park bench talking to his cronies.

“Grandad” he said, “am I a real polar bear?
“Of course you are, lad” he answered. “I am a polar bear, Your grandma is a polar bear, your mum and dad are polar bears, so you are a polar bear too”.
“Are you sure of that? Really really sure?”
“Of course I am sure! You come from one of the most illustrious polar bear lines in the arctic circle!”

“Are you absolutely certain, Grandad? Is there no brown bear, or Kodiak bear, or grizzly bear in me?”
“No lad. You are pure polar bear. One hundred percent.
Why do you ask?”

“Because I am feckin’ cold!”

Paul Goldstein
Photo by Paul Goldstein 

Adapted from a story told to me in Auckland by Billy Connolly.

Paradise

“Paradise” comes from the Persian for “walled garden”.

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In My Memory Garden

In my memory garden
At the centre, under hazel
Grows a single shamrock.
A spiral path of babies’ tears
Gravels out through blackberries
Bluebells, balm and celandine
Snowdrops under oaks
A solitary silver birch
Pansies, pinks, carnations.

 

Play here amongst the toitoi
Flax, raupo, tadpoles, frogs
A tree hut in an aged willow
Sliding down a scented macrocarpa
Roses from Home
Daisy, dandelion, buttercup
Gorse and gooseberry
Mushrooms.

 

Turn
Sea-salted pohutukawa
Seaweed, rocks, sandy sedge and sunshine
Ferns, moss, forest and waterfall
Jasmine and jonquil,
Mallow and mint
Daffodil and dahlia
Yellow tulips

 

Turn again
Here are hibiscus, frangipani,
Mud, tides. corals, sands,
Tropical palms.
Crabs and coconuts.
Birds and fishes
Chirping in mangroves.

 

Return;
Kowhai, tui, fantail
Rosemary, rocket, sorrel
Bay and cultivation
Potato, bean and brussels
Moonflower, lily of the valley
Holly, wild honeysuckle, rue
Milkweed and butterflies

 

Wandering now
Wattle, Eucalyptus , bottlebrush and banksia
Jacaranda, poinciana, poinsettia; parakeets
Little dragons and honeyeaters
Spinifex and bindii

 

Turn once more, return at last
At the spiral’s end
A little thyme alone
Lichen, lilies, nightshade
And a standing stone.

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Insight

An insight into my character; I
Am the sort of person who,
If told I’ll never walk again,
Will embrace my never-walkingness
And never walk again.

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Worm

Seriously

I fear sometimes I am losing my whimsy.
The Wise man warned me not to let that happen.

Flow Softly

Sweet Thames Flow Softly

I met my love near Woolwich Pier

eneath the big crane standing
And all the love I felt for her it passed all understanding
Took her sailing on the river,
Flow, sweet river, flow
London town was mine to give her
Sweet Thames flow softly

Made the Thames into a crown,
Flow, sweet river, flow
Made a brooch of silver town,
Sweet Thames flow softly

From Shadwell dock to Nine Elms Reach we cheek-to-cheek were dancing
Her necklace made from London Bridge her beauty was enhancing
Kissed her once again at Wapping,
Flow, sweet river, flow
After that there was no stopping,
Sweet Thames flow softly

Gave her Hampton Court to twist,
Flow, Sweet River, flow
Into a bracelet for her wrist,
Sweet Thames flow softly

At London yard I held her hand. At Blackwall Point I faced her
At the Isle of Dogs I kissed her mouth and tenderly embraced her
Heard the bells of Greenwich ringing,
Flow, Sweet River, flow
All the time my heart was singing,
Sweet Thames flow softly

From Rotherhithe to Putney Bridge my love I was declaring
And she from Kew to Isleworth her love for me was swearing
Love! It set my heart a-burning,
Flow, Sweet River, flow
I never saw the tide was turning,
Sweet Thames flow softly

Limehouse Reach I gave her there,
Flow, Sweet River, flow
As a ribbon for her hair,
Sweet Thames flow softly

But now alas the tide has changed. My love she has gone from me
Winter’s frost has touched my heart and put a blight upon me
Creeping fog is on the river,
Flow, Sweet River, flow
Sun and moon and stars gone with her,
Sweet Thames flow softly

Swift the Thames flows to the sea,
Flow, Sweet River, flow
Bearing ships and part of me,
Sweet Thames flow softly.

Ewan MacColl