The Green Ripper

Piet says he’s been talking with the Green Ripper.
After a week of painkillers he found it amusing
To notice, that in his mind momentarily the diety
Known as the Grim Reaper had been renamed.

Too enchanted, I joined him in the joke; Yes,
What a great name, like the Green Earth ripping
Out weeds like a gardener, more space for more life.
The Green Ripper, yes, would that He/She be green.

Piet’s lifting himself up off the bed, slow and purposeful.
This is the man I’ve seen do that consistently, living life
Purposefully, patiently, spaciously. At 84, going on 50, he gets heaps
Done in a day: of building, of gardening, of study and activism.

I come home and hang the towels on the line after a shower.
Naked in the garden (no one about) I start pulling weeds.
It’s incredible, I think, to see how whole and hearty and
Just so beautiful the garden plants look! How alive!

Piet moves very slowly across to the kitchen to steam some kale.
He has pain now in his knee, hips, and lower back, and
The painkillers really aren’t helping a lot, he says. Slow
And purposeful: he’d be a good match for the Green Ripper.


None of the other tulip flowers
Has been as singular as this one
Bruised beetroot ruddy red layers
Lit at the tips by silver morning sun
It reaches out on steady stem swaying
Nodding in the air its head as if to say
My cup stretches catches light playing
Through my depths adoring this day
But my neck is strong leaning long
From the heavy bowl holding my body
And I open to death gladly scarlet song
Of my surrender my breathing nodding
Upturned clapper of a bell tolling the time
When these petals will fully open fall away
Break against a wall crucible of will chime
In resonant waves radiating reach to eternity

The Unguarded Garden

The garden is growing.
The garden IS growing.
Growing is what a garden IS.
The garden is like Eden.

The garden is guarded by angels hovering
Above the four gates holding swords of flame.
Inside the gates the garden grows, generously.
We are grateful for the garden’s growthfulness.
We are bestowed with what grows in the garden.

The garden is dying.

The leaves of the young tamarillo tree
Lean down, limp and fringed with brown.
You planted that tree. I was stricken with concern.
I hadn’t seen it fading – only a day or so ago it seems,
It was looking so green, garrulous and go-getting.

You planted it only a few weeks before we parted.
I was stricken. I poured a large bucket of water
Against the woody stem: one of the broad leaves
Broke off and fell to the ground as I glanced it.

Now not even the ways I want to help seem to matter.
I hadn’t seen it, I’m sorry, I hadn’t seen it was dying.
You don’t know how much the garden has been growing.
You don’t know how the large broad leaves are lost.

The garden is growing.
The garden is dying.

If you came back you’d say the garden was still ours.
But the angels with flaming swords wouldn’t let you in.


I love to burn candles with matches
The box is always a thrill
The dead ones lie there so close to the living
It is like disturbing a grave
And the truly grave occasion
Is when none lie alive among the dead
– or No!, is that one there? –
And with horror one discards it into the rubbish
And grabs a fresh new box instead –
I love to burn candles with matches
The new box is on fire and I shake it
It rattles like a rattlesnake caught in its lair




One day we all gonna fly away
On the back of a large eagle sea serpent scorpion.
Waving goodbye
The sun setting on the evening star
Pyramids in the background
Fish in claws
This body
Lost of flesh
With a sceptre scythe
Sweeping away the sky
And on to a new day.



Stifled – A Voice For The Animals

(inspired by the film ‘Earthlings’)

Our lives have been stifled
We’re rife with tension.
Our children are condemned.
Our cries don’t get much mention.

What wild dream did you have for your life?
What fanciful fantasy did you feel you possessed?
What hope for a good life did you feel you had lost
Been left bereft of, dispossessed?

We’ve been held back, held down, bound and gagged.
We’ve been stripped of what’s legit,
Throttled, bottled …and bagged.
We’ve been packaged and labelled,
We’ve been set upon the table.
The fat cats have gathered,
They’ve got the gravy boats and ladles.

We’ve been used and abused,
Mis-used and bruised.
Misunderstood, trod underfoot, and misconstrued.

The big washing machine’s
passed us through the mangle.
We’ve been wrung out by the wringer,
We’ve been strung out and strangled.

What wild dream did you have for your life?
What fanciful fantasy did you feel you possessed?
What hope for a good life did you feel you had lost
Been left bereft of, dispossessed?

We’ve been caged and chained,
Maimed and made lame.
We’ve been twisted and wrenched, strained and sprained
We’ve been arranged and tamed, contained and constrained.
We’ve been estranged from our kin, cut off from our land,
Cut down in our prime, cut out of our hand.

We’ve been locked up and knocked up,
We’ve been docked and shocked.
We’ve been shut off from sunlight and chained to blocks.
We’ve been jammed in, rammed in, hemmed in and slammed in.
We’ve been managed and damaged, sandwiched in and crushed.

We’ve been force-fed and force-bled,
Medicated and sedated,
Pumped, plumped, and dumped with a diet of lead.

We’ve been shoved down and shackled and shunted along
They’ve put shutters on our minds
They shut up our songs.
They’ve shat upon and crapped upon us,
Zapped and sapped us of strength.
Hacked at us and wrapped us up on the butcher’s bench.

We’ve been corralled off and held off
And walled off in stalls.
We’ve been hauled off to the slaughterhouse
While we called out and bawled.

We’ve been rounded up and hounded, thrown around and knocked down.
We’ve been goaded and railroaded and loaded on trucks bound for town.
We’ve been towed and mowed under and snowed under with stress.
We’ve been stowed on the road where some are crushed to their death.
We’ve been jerked around and jarred, jostled and jammed.
We’ve been nabbed, grabbed and stabbed, jabbed and slammed.
We’ve been bullied and sullied, worried and hurried.
We’ve been harangued and hampered, clamped and penned.
We’ve been left perturbed and disturbed, in turmoil and trouble.
We’ve been seized with disease, left confused and muddled.
We’ve been left needing medicine, food and water.
We’ve been mauled and tortured, slaughtered and quartered.
We’ve been knocked and socked, clocked, bopped, whopped, and dropped.
We’ve been topped and lopped, sliced up and chopped.
Our blood been mopped up, our bodies sent to the shops.

What wild dream did you have for your life?
What fanciful fantasy did you feel you possessed?
What hope for a good life did you feel you had lost
Been left bereft of, dispossessed?

We’ve been herded and bewildered, murdered and killed.
Stabbed and skewered, flamed and grilled.
We’ve been bludgeoned and bashed, lashed, broken and thrashed.
Smashed and gashed open, lives and hopes dashed.
We’ve been robbed and ransacked, ravaged and ruined.
Fleeced and plucked, sent to our doom.

We’ve been presumed and imposed upon
Opposed, and suppressed,
Deposed, dispossessed, truly oppressed.

While you’re inundated with inanity,
Your sanity seems more like vanity.
How can you call yourselves humanity?

29 – 1 -2011

The Sun Trip: Suicide In Space (1980)

It was the flight of the Icon Tester.
I was taking it for her first run.
When I thought of how I missed her,
And flew into the sun.

The video hummed by my side,
The technician’s hands were wrung.
He said, ‘Look man, you can’t commit suicide,
We just can’t let it be done.

That Icon Tester’s brand new,
It’s worth a heavy sum.
And top-grade pilot’s are few,
We can’t afford to lose another one.

I said, ‘You try and stop me, for
I’m looking after number one,
And life’s not worth living anymore,
I’m making the final run.

My wife died two days ago,
And life’s no longer fun.
And now I’m going to join her, so
Say goodbye for me to everyone.

The pain I felt grew more and more,
But the instructions couldn’t be undone.
The last thing I saw was the white of the core,
As the ship and I melted into one.
5 -7- 80


Right, you got me off the mark fast and furious:
You bring to mind the word ‘canker’:
n. 1. An ulcerous sore of the mouth and lips:
That’s fine, by chance I have that at the moment:
Stress-related, embarrassing, but at least it’s not going to kill me.

n. 2. An area of dead or decaying tissue in a plant surrounded by healthy wood or bark.
That’s more like it. I always found that fascinating, that trees had dead parts next to live.
Are you then the canker of the human world, the dead we tolerate among the living?
No, you are worse, the dead that presumes to be alive,
The fool haunting our world not seeing the light.

n. 3 & 4. Any of several animal diseases attacking especially the ears of dogs and cats.
Any source of spreading corruption or debilitation.
Dogs and cats are sensitive creatures, their ears burn with your lies.
You are corruption, corrupt, bankrupt, broken to pieces, entropy,
Infesting others, investing others, wanting them to mirror your lie.

Cancer, the crab, crustacean, carapace over cephalothorax. Carcinoma, creeping ulcer.
Clutching with claws your hold on our lives, demon of material realms.
Malignant tumour caused by the abnormal division of cells, invading surrounding tissues.
Blind materiality. Carcinomatosis – n. the existence of carcinomas at many bodily sites.
Ah, but epiclesis – the call to the Holy Spirit to turn bread and wine into body and blood of Christ.

We will name you, Cancer. We will address you by all your names.
We will learn the words to hold our power against you.
Even if cancroid – adj. 1. similar to a cancer 2. similar to a crab – we will know you and see you.
Our call is life, of the living, to the Life Force, to consecrate again our daily bread of life.
The transubstantiation of the Eucharist is more a miracle than your self-making.

Take this bread and wine and make it known to us as human flesh in kinship with the divine.
Anull in us the pernicious notion that this body can mutate in darkness by its own.
From the ouroboric ovum of a single cell, to the birth of a baby with 20 million million cells,
And the universe of 50 million million cells in adulthood, we are the united light.
Lend us the language of metaphor – it is body and blood because we pray and say it is.
3 – 2 – 2007

The Quiet Young Moon

Apple night the quiet young moon is dead.
Splash splash on the windowsill shows where she bled.
With wind on the lake the warmth of the land
Will curl and unfurl mist over the sand.
In starlight the child might sleep through the dream.
An owl flies by but nothing is seen.
My murder has happened a long time ago.
See here it was there that I felt the first blow.