Special Midweek Sermon- GOUGH WHITLAM, RIP

•October 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

special midweek sermon

The Great Man is Dead

Edward Gough Whitlam


Prime Minister of Australia 1972-75

gough noble

Vale Frater

In Parliament the pygmies were crying.

Gulliver was dead.

For an hour they took turns,

trying to walk in his shoes,

but it was just kids playing dress up

or like Cinderella’s ugly sisters

and the oversized boots just kept slipping off.

Soon the pygmies will get bored

with the fruitless attempts

and will go back to hitting each other with sticks

and trying to steal the little kids’ bus money.

gough old smiling

Oh Gough,

I’ll miss the sly wit,

the classical education,

the tremendous arrogance,

the overwhelming sense of nobility

and noblesse oblige.

I’ll miss having a Labour leader

that actually believes in Socialism

(even if it is a mild Fabianism)

and calls fellow party members


with no hint of irony or self-consciousness.

I’ll miss your Dreams for a better country.

I’ll miss your flawed humanity.

gough laughs

I look at Parliament now

and I weep for what might have been.

A history game; what if the Gracchi had succeeded..

gough crowd

They bow their heads at your Passing,

crocodile tears and back-handed compliments abound.

They speak in Awe of your Legacy

but all I see are time-serving party-men,

opportunists, spivs, bureaucratic-insects, faction-hacks,

card-board cut-outs in expensive suits, clowns, liars,

trimmers, drunks, hypocrites, perverts, class-traitors,

born to rule bastards, embezzlers, cheaters,

and 3rd generation party-reptiles.

Alas it seems too true, we shall not see  his like again.

gough margaret balk bby

Yet once Giants walked the Earth,

and handed it back

to those to whom it belonged..

gough gives land back

Vale Frater.


gough on steps of parliment

Obligatory “where were you on November 11th 1975″reminisce;

The Reverend and school-friends, after hearing the news

of the Dismissal on a radio in the library,

took the rest of the day off school

and joined the angry mob outside

the Liberal Party Headquarters in town.

(No rocks or firebombs were thrown.

Somewhat to our disappointment.)




•October 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

traffic full 002

20/20 {Redux}

I know there’s a pattern there somewhere”,

I shrugged sadly as I passed the newspaper,

but I’ve recently discovered that I can’t see,

and now all the news is just braile to me”.


Though he did his best to be kind,

it came as a shock

when the doctor

told me I was blind.

Surely he was mistaken!

At first it seemed absurd,

but he was a Professional

I had to accept his word.


But I can see you now”, I said.

You only think you can”, he said.

You see {if you’ll forgive the pun}

when of the Senses missing’s one,

the Others struggle to make up the difference.

The Neural Network rewires itself,

develops hitherto

undeveloped formations,

neurons link and merge to create

a complicated confection,

a composite picture in the brain.


“So you only think you can see my face”,

the Doctor patiently explained,

“You’d better get sunglasses,

and carry this white cane”.


Coming home the familiar streets

no longer matched their names.

Yes as I went tapping with my cane,

now that I knew eye was blind,

nothing looked the same.


It made a kind of sense though,

why half my Life

I never could seem to see

what other’s apparently saw quite clearly;

Things like God and Progress and Patriotism

always remained but shadowy Chimerae to me.


Or the way people have always seemed

to sense that I’m disabled

in some fashion.

Like the time that old lady

helped me cross the street,

even though I was just

waiting for a bus.

(The old dear was so insistent

I didn’t want to make a fuss.)


Oh well, I thought, look on the bright side,

there’s still music and the radio,

and furthermore

I’ll be able to catch out

any heartless scumbags who

take my blindness for granted

and try to trick or cheat me.


I can leave my car

in the handicapped parking spots,

and I’ll probably get lots of discounts

and concessions for stuff.

And I’ll buy a happy, roly-poly guide-dog,

with a big floppy tongue

maybe a Labrador (they always bring the chicks in)

and I’ll take it for long walks in the park

and pretty girls will feel sorry for me,

and admire my quiet bravery

and strike up conversations.


So I shrugged off my Depression,

Bravely resolved to accept my Fate,

Went home and looked at the flowers,

and they still sounded great.


Justice Jpeg


For those in the Brisbane area

come and join

the Reverend Hellfire and Friends

SUNDAY 26th, 2pm!

The Kurilpa Poets October Happening

Brians Spiral art modifiedsidewise

with Virtual Gallery’s feature artist; Brian Gilmore

Eleanor-Jackson in Black and White

Feature Poet ; Eleanor Jackson KURILPA POETS HAPPENING***

 Come and see Eleanor Jackson

and her amazing Performing Poems!

At the Olde Croquet Club

91 Cordelia Street, West End

beneath the treees

of sacred Musgrave Park.

with MC the Reverend Hellfire providing incendiary guidelines

Also featuring..

*Free Food, Refreshments and Parking!

*Open Mic Sessions!

*October’s “Mystery Musician“!

*The Virtual Gallery

with Unsuspected Artist BRIAN GILMORE!

Pay $5 at the door and pay no more!

More details at; kurilpapoets.wordpress.com



The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of the Universe

and the Church of Spiritual Humanism.

One side of his family tree is Blackfellas and Bastards. The other half is Bushrangers and Horse-thieves.

It bears a rich crop of nuts each generation.



•October 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

rev reading

Readers’ Digress

How’s this week’s sermon going, Reverend?”,

a well-wisher asked today.

“Oh..Well, you know. Actually it’s on the back burner”, I responded vaguely, “but I have been making excellent progress on my project to turn the Digression in Literature into a respected Artform“.

“That I can well believe”, muttered my jaded friend,

with what I felt to be unwarranted cynicism.

“No, I’m serious“, I declared passionately”, I believe that the Digression has been seriously undervalued as a Literary Device.

I intend to re-invigorate the Form!”

“For example”, I continued, elucidating my theory further,

“Did you know, that in 1852, Hermann von Helmholtz

discovered that the speed of Electricity in frogs is 27 metres per second? A fact he discovered, naturally, by sewing a whole bunch of frogs together and running an electric current through them”.

“Good God!” exclaimed my appalled (vegan) friend, “Why on Earth did he do that?”

“I have no idea”, I replied blithely”, it’s just the sort of thing scientists get up to when they’re left unattended I suppose. .

It isn’t really relevant to what we’re talking about anyway”.

h frog scared

“Then why mention it at all”, muttered my overly sensitive friend, still clearly disturbed by the vision of old Professor von Helmholtz industriously sewing frogs together.

“I have no idea. Possibly it will have some relevance later on in the conversation. I might have reason to refer back to it later on to illustrate or augment another point I may subsequently come to make. In which case the Story I’m expounding will gain new resonances and develop subtle harmonic relationships between the various elements of the Plot, such as it is.

Yes, I’ve learned to trust my brain’s subconscious processes in the selection of material it tosses up, often seemingly at random, but ultimately a pattern usually emerges”.

And even if that little digression doesn’t prove to be relevant

in the fullness of time, nonetheless it performs

an essential function in the Art of story telling”.

“Oh yes,” sneered my disbelieving associate,

“what as? Filler?”

“More than mere ‘filler’ my friend.

The Digression plays an active part in defining

the parameters of relevance. Further, the Aesthetic Effect is not to be disregarded either, a well placed Digression

can add considerably to a story’s charm and Individuality.

H frog angry

Take for example, ‘the Shaggy Dog Story’,

arguably the Digression’s most developed literary form.

Here the key to a successful Digression is to maintain

the tenuous thread of relevance almost to breaking point.

This creates a kind of pleasurable tension between

the Digression, and the Story’s natural tendency to Progression.

The Principle is similar to that which Music operates by,

which depends on patterns of alternating Tension and Release.

This Tension and Release is created through

of using Dissonance and Resolution to create a sense

of Momentum overcoming Inertia. The interest for our ears is in the Struggle.

Now, whereas Music is based on Dissonance and Resolution,

Literature is based on the dynamic interplay of Digress and Progress to achieve similar aesthetic effects.

Indeed Progress and Digress are the Yin and Yang,

or if you prefer, the Woof and Weave

upon which the whole Tapestry of Literature

is woven, from Tristan Shandy

to Game of Thrones.

Or perhaps Digress and Progress are more like

Conjoined Twins,

always fighting to tear themselves apart

but forever inexorably shackled by the same flesh.”

“Can you please think of another Metaphor”, asked my friend,

who was admittedly looking a little nauseous.


“Ok how about this then; they’re like Boxing Kangaroos?

Of course Kangaroos don’t really box,

they just kick with their back legs.

Well I suppose it could be Kickboxing,

or maybe Thai-Boxing..I think they use their feet

in that too. Not that kangaroos actually have feet either,

they’re more like elongated paws.

In fact, now I think of it, Kangaroos doing Thai-boxing

just doesn’t seem right somehow. Not very Team Australia,

if you know what I mean. So lets forget the whole analogy

and stick to the tension/release thing.

boxing kjangaroo hates cameras boxing knagaroo goes for family jewels boxing kangaroos

But of course, here as elsewhere, Art/Literature does no more than Imitate Life Itself! Think about it!

Our whole Life is nothing but a series of Digressions!

I mean take Television for example. One minute you’re

watching a documentary on the Pyramids

or Agatha Christie is about to denoue somebody in the parlour,

then, whap! Your suddenly whacked sideways by

a Commercial for Tampons! What is that

but a complete bloody Digression!”

“I’m not sure Television Commercials count

as either Life or Art,” demurred my fragile friend,

but I was up on my High Horse by now,

and had already ridden off a considerable distance

beyond hearing range..(possibly the same Range

those Cowboys are always singing about)

wild west poster

“Boomers and Boosters are always going on about Progress”,

I continued, my eyes alight and fixed on the far horizon,but if you ask me I think this is an Illusion. Or possibly a Delusion.

Yes I believe, the Human Race is actually Digressing,

not Progressing, and we’re actually getting further and further away from the point of Whatever it is Life‘s supposed to be All About.

I can just picture baby Jebus sitting round up there in Heaven,

waiting for the Apocalypse to roll around so he can get on

with judging the Quick and the Dead,

but Humanity just keeps on procrastinating

and getting Distracted, you know,

asking irrelevant questions like,

“Well but what about Buddhism then?

Lets give that a go for a few centuries”,


“How about we investigate the speed of Electricity in Frogs?

That’ll help kill the time till the Industrial Revolution?”

..to the point where the whole Rapture is well overdue,

and Jebus is all like,

“Time Gentlemen, please. Finish your drinks!”

and did you notice how good old Professor Helmholtz’s

frogs have worked their way back into the conversation?

Ha! And I’ll bet you though they were irrelevant!,” I exclaimed triumphantly, ” in fact the case of Professor von Hemholtz

and the electric frogs illustrates my point perfectly.”

“Consider! Heres old  Prof HVH, a respected Scientist

famous for his many (other) contributions to our

understanding of the Forces of Electricity.

So Famous he even appears on stamps (and Lord knows how we’re going to be able to celebrate the Lives of our Famous Scientists/Sporting Heroes when the

facile email of tomorrow totally replaces

the lovingly hand-written missives of yesteryear

and there are no more stamps.

Its the stamp collectors I feel sorry for, though I imagine

their stamp collection’s Value will rise astronomical)y);

hernman stamp W frogred

of an Oscar lurking in the wings.”

And yet this “Great Man of Science” nontheless

was  human enough to totally digress from

his epoch creating work, and make the time

to see how fast he could run an electric current

through frogs. What the practical applications could be

            from this line of research I shudder to consider. Today’s  Scientists don’t even like to talk about the incident..gives science a bad name doncha know, it’s hard enough with all that hoo-haa over spraying perfume into rabbits eyes the Animal Rights mob are always going on about. Anyway where was I? Oh Yes..

h frogdancing

                Lets just say that it’s not the sort of thing they give    Nobel Prizes for,

although I can see the possibility

“I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying,”

my weary friend moaned.

“Oh it probably doesn’t mean anything at all,”

I reassured him,” By this stage I don’t even know

what I’m saying anymore,

I just like the sound of the Words.”

“Don’t you have a Sermon to write?” he snapped at last.

“Not anymore,” I assured him,”not anymore.”

reverend profile red


loose Jaypig



The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet, President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity and an ordained Minister for the Church of Spiritual Humanism AND the Church of the Universe.

Pretends to be worse than he is so

it’ll be a surprise when you discover the Truth!




•October 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Personal Assistant to the Reverend [Rated PG]

sal dali

The the precise nature of the Reverends relationship with his Personal Assistant has often been subject to speculation


A Balm for the wailing and gnashing of teeth.. a handsome man like you.. a Victim of Circumstance..the Orthodoxy of Aunt Constanzia..the Legend of Dirty Dr. Doug.. a Priest of Diana.. the Truth..


My Personal Assistant was weeping again the other day.

I hate it when they do that.

It always makes me feel like I’ve failed them as an employer and that somehow its all my Fault. This feeling is especially intense when they’ve actually assured me that that is precisely the case, and that I am in fact the source, not only of their woes, but of all the Woes of the World as well.

Even more annoying though, are those occasions, such as the present Fit, where the Weeping Spells’ cause is never clearly stated or known. The motives are dark and the only clues are dark meaningful glaring, and self-pitying but knowing snuffling.

Clearly it was up to me to cheer her up, but how?

A long lecture, perhaps, on the Dignity of the Office in

which she had the honour to serve? Maybe not. I sighed. When I first created the position I had no idea that employer/employee relations would end up being so complex..

cracker girlbat girl

Well-meaning parishioners in the past have sometimes asked how it is that I remain a bachelor.

After all, the two Churches of which I have the privilege to be Minister, have no strictures against their clergy marrying,

so why then do I not have even a Common Law wife?.

“You’re still a handsome man, Reverend”, the Parish Matchmakers cluck disapprovingly, “is it not meet that you should have a companion? The Lord’s Servant needs a helper. .

unless, of course..?”

To console my Great Lonliness and help with little chores around the house

The Lords servant needs a helpmeet

1920 leather bgirl

Modelling prototype for new Personal Assistants Day Uniform


Reassuring them that, no, I’m not Gay,

(tho I do like to have a Good Time)

I explain how I am in fact, the Victim of Circumstance

and the Victorian Morality of my elderly maiden-aunt,

the late Miss Constanzia Owltrembler.

You see, I would explain, the financial security that enables me

to follow my Religious Duties and Poetic Calling, is provided

by a lifetime bequest, to be paid out in regular amounts as long as I care to continue in the aforementioned religious duties

and Minister to my Flock.

For my late, great-Aunt Constanzia Owltrembler (died Strong in the Faith) had great pride in my Spiritual Calling

and was determined that my Mission on Earth

should not fail due to a mere

lack of material considerations.

Alas, there was a Catch.

My mother, Henrietta, Beverley Owltrembler

My mother, Henrietta Beverley Owltrembler

I should explain at this stage that both Auntie and my Mother

had something of the “dowager Duchess” about them.

But whereas my mother was more in

the Lady Bracknell mold

(see; “Earnest, Importance of”),

Aunt Constanzia alas was definitely

of the school of Miss Havisham.

(see; Dickens, Expectations of )

Perhaps she had known Disappointment in her Youth.

She certainly seemed keen enough to inflict it upon mine.


Great Aunt Constanzia control of Family Affairs continued long after her demise.

Great Aunt Constanzia’s control of Family Affairs continued long after her demise.


DIGRESSION; The decayed air of High Culture cultivated

by the Owltrembler Matriarchs, is a curious aspect

of their Personality

for actually, the Family Tree has its roots

sunk deep in the damp bogs of Ireland ,

rather than the gardens of Windsor Castle.

Yet, listening to them pontificate with your eyes closed,

you’d swear you were having high tea on the lawn

with lesser Aristocracy, on the occasion of their return

from the Colonies.

(“No place for a white woman, Pamela”)

Probably they went to the “talkies” a lot as young girls in the Thirties

and picked up the manners of British aristocracy there portrayed.

But after all, back in the old days anyone in Australia with any pretensions to class and culture would consciously ape

the ripe, fruity tones of the BBC announcer.


For I was soon dismayed to discover,

that by the peculiar terms of

Great-Aunt Constanzia’s “Last Will & Testament”,

my allowance was to be made only on the proviso

that I was never to know the joys of Matrimony.

I must continue my Mission,

She determined, undistracted by the

superficial Appetites of the Flesh.

It was a hard decision, but in the end Laziness and Inertia,

as well as my Higher Calling, had their way

and so I made the Supreme Sacrifice and vowed to Auntie on her Death Bed, never to marry,

nor enter into some sort of unwholesome

common law or “de-facto” relationship.

Nigel Owltrembler. Set to inhgerit the Owltrembler Estate should I falter in my Calling

Nigel Owltrembler. Set to inherit the Owltrembler Estate should I falter in my Calling

But in my darkness shone a light. For one thing

she never said anything about “Celibacy” as such. Probably

the thought of non-matrimonial congress never

crossed her consciousness as a possibility.

Perhaps it was an oversight.

At anyrate, it was a loophole thru which

I gratefully dived .

Still, Something was lacking in my Life.

Fortunately, shortly after I had accepted Aunt Constanzia’s terms, and signed all the necessary documents,

the sordid case of “Dr. Doug“came to the Public’s Notice.

Not that he wasn’t already previously well known

in certain circles. For old Docktor Douglass,

or “Dirty Doug” as he was

sneeringly referred to by his shabby clientèle,

(which subsisted mainly of drug addicts, musicians

and prostitutes), was notorious as one of the Town’s

leading, “Dodgy Doctors”. One of that Happy Fraternity

willing to write anybody scripts for anything,

as long as they can pay.

Dirty Doug especially liked the Working-Girls

willing to pay him with sexual favours.

Naturally he had a busy Social Life, what with

balancing his Work/Life commitments and so forth,

and so he engaged the services of a series of young ladies

as live-in “Social Secretaries“.

Generally they ended up ripping him off and fleeing

town and so a natural balance was kept, but

unfortunately the last girl ultimately

Overdosed in his home one day.

This caused a bit of a Fuss

in the local Media, the AMA thought he was

lowering the bar for the Profession a little too low

and so Dirty Doug ended up retiring early

to the Philippines and the arms of a teenage wife,

much to the dismay of his abandoned clientèle.

"..and the arms of his teenage wife.."

“..and the arms of his teenage wife..”

“Thats it!” I exclaimed, “that’s exactly what I need!”

The person who’d been relating to me the latest developments

in the Dirty Docktor Doug saga, paused and

looked at me with a raised eyebrow.

“Well not the sexual exploitation or drug dependence bits”

I explained,

“..the other bit.. about hiring a personable young lady to console me in my Great Loneliness

and help with the paperwork

and answering the phone and so forth.”

“Not a Social Secretary,” I mused,”something more professional..say.. an Executive Personal Assistant

“Uh huh, and are you going to Advertise?” my friend asked sceptically.

“No”, I replied, with the calm self-assurance

of the truly deranged, “I shall pray and the Good Goddess will provide! The right girl will just walk

through the door and apply for the Position”.

And so it proved to be.

I knew the right girl would just turn up eventually

I knew the right girl would just turn up eventually

Though I am restrained from discussing the exact nature and full range of the Duties performed by the

Office of Personal Assistant to the Reverend Hellfire,

due to the many strict and binding

confidentiality clauses that dominate the Contract,

it may be confidently asserted that the financial renumeration

gained from performing these arduous duties,

while adequate to sustain Life, are by no means lucrative.

No, the Riches gained from serving in this Office

are mainly Spiritual and Personal.

The prestigious Office of Personal Assistant

to the Reverend Hellfire”,

The ideal PA possesses a wide range of skills, without losing her femininity

The ideal PA possesses a wide range of practical skills, without losing her femininity.

I meanwhile lectured pompously to the current occupant,

whose sagging morale I was still

attempting to boost with a pep talk,

is a much hallowed Institution whose Origins

go back to the Dawn of Time!

Somewhere in the Eighties to be precise, as I recollect,

and its Incumbents are accordingly behooved to act

in a restrained and dignified manner”.

Her only response was to sniff self-pityingly,

but I bravely continued..

Yes, an Institution whose Glorious Tradition continues

on through the Ages,

though the individuals embodying that position

may come and go..

It’s rather like the old Phantom comics

now I come to think of it, old Purple Leotards

who Walks, ey what? Perhaps you should have a Uniform?”

She stopped sniffling long enough to fix me with a basilisk stare,

no doubt imagining the kind of uniform I’d have in mind.

Something in leather with lots of straps and zips probably.

She knew my tastes.

devil girl

“Anyhoo, the various young ladies who have been chosen,

in the past, to occupy that Sacred Office….”

Whores and Floozies ” she interrupted.

Yes, Whores and Floozies though they may have been”,

I agreed smoothly,“who nonetheless established

a tradition of exemplitude..of devotion to the Higher Calling that all served, and pride in the Office they represented.

All achieved a high level of Personal Growth in doing so, and while, yes many have gone mad and run off into the Desert after leaving my Service, others have gone on to win awards and establish successful careers.

One even works as a Sexual Harassment Officer for the ACTU, a career choice I like to think that I influenced in some small way”.

But I could tell she wasn’t listening, no doubt being too self absorbed in recalling the petty power struggles with her immediate Predecessor during the days of transition

leading to Regime Change..

"alas, certain tensions, rivalries if you will..."

“alas, certain tensions, rivalries if you will…”

Sadly my PA’s churlish attitude to her predecessors

is a not uncommon attitude. Though at times the position has been job-shared, with, as it were,

two Personal Assistants serving concurrently, generally this has not , alas, been a long-term success.

Certain unresolved tensions, rivalries

if you will, have tended, to make the arrangements short lived.

Also, Hostile Outside Forces tended to misinterpret and

mis-represent my employee’s working conditions,

causing them undue stress.

“I may have instigated

the Institution of Personal Assistant,” I reminded her,

“but I am by no means in total control of Hiring”.

“The Fates and the Assistants battle it out amongst themselves

and I humbly accept what I have been given

to work with when the dust settles.”

At this my moody PA merely growled.

Actually, the contentious attitude my Personal Assistants have tended to manifest towards their Sisters

rather reminds me of the Tale of the Priest of Diana..

Look, she just didn't work out..ok?!

Look, she just didn’t work out. Lets leave it at that.

Back in Roman times, there was a sacred lake deep in the woods near Capua, and there a lovely, well-appointed Temple to Diana had been built.

Now, it was the jolly old tradition of that particular Temple, passed down through the dim ages, that the chief Priest had to be a runaway slave who had killed his predecessor, the previous priest.

So anytime a slave felt like a career change, he could just run off and kill the head priest at the temple of Diana and take his place. He’d have a nice cushy job for life. The downside is that you’d spend every waking minute with a sword in your hand wondering when the next applicant for the job might pop in. Probably not a lot of restful nights either. But with an average slaves life expectancy around 27

at the time, why not go for it?

I sometimes suspect my Personal Assistants have a very different view of our relationship.

I sometimes suspect my Personal Assistants have a very different view of our relationship.

In the end I realised that recalling the glorious exploits

of her illustrious forbears was getting us nowhere.

I sighed heavily. There was nothing else for it;

I would have to tell her the Truth.

riding crop girl

There has never been,”I told her sincerely,a better Personal Assistant than you.

Your contribution to my work, though mostly unseen, is invaluable. When I’m deep in a project and can think of nothing else, you make sure I eat and take in fluids,

and get up from my chair every few hours

so I don’t get bed sores.

You have bailed me out of the watch-house

with your own funds on those regrettable

occasions when the law and I disagree.

You read every word and edit the final draft

of everything I write.

You are sounding board, secretary, gatekeeper

and advisor, amanuensis and Muse combined,

and I am grateful for everyday

that you continue to grace my presence.

Yes, I am honoured that you think my work worthy

of your continued support, and therefore..”

I paused thoughtfully,

“..under the circumstances, perhaps

you can have Saturday afternoons off.”

The boot she threw was heavy, and her aim was true,

but I was expecting it and happily ducked just in time,

to hear it thud harmlessly into the wall behind me.

There would be other projectiles no doubt,

but I knew they would be thrown with affection,

and didn’t really matter. The important thing was

that she was smiling again.

Helping the Reverend find the car-keys is part of the job description

Helping the Reverend find his car-keys is just part of the job description


eppy memories Jpig



The Reverend Hellfire..

too good for this World?



•September 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

redrum detail framed


Give up your RED and murderous rage,

I tell the Mirror,

Give up your BLACK moods of Despair,

pretty baby.

Give up the Viridian Green

of your jealousy obscene

Don’t bite that bitter Apple,

Eris, know what I mean?

Give up…

Give up..

Give up the FOOLS GOLD of Ambition!

Those Clouds of Glory in the Air

are just



me Friends,

I know where that s-s-stuff ends.

Seek instead the SILVER slivers

of the Silence of the Night,

like Bright bangles of the Moon

She wears,

She weaves Solitude,

like a Charm.

Like some Brooch,

burning brightly,

in a young girl’s RAVEN hair.

Oh Give up your RED

and murderous Mask,

I tell the Mirror,

Give up.



SQUAREY Xplains2jpeg


tai chi hand strawberry circle

The late Reverend Hellfire had a different relationship

to Time than most of us.

He is there when he is there.



•September 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment



WE apologise for the absence of last weeks Sunday Sermon. The Reverend Hellfire was on a Mission to the remote and rugged Connondale Ranges, there to attend the annual EARTHDANCE ceremonies as part of his Pastoral Duties.

Full details of the Reverends Missionary Work are to be published  in the future. But for now we draw notice, for those in the geographical vicinity of the Brisbane, in the backwoods state of Queensland, to his upcoming Public Appearance..



•September 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

“The Docktor Will See You Now”

dr will c u

Remembering the Life of

Dr T.J. Arachnid.

One of Maxim Gorki‘s stranger short stories

was a seemingly pointless tale of taking a trip

on a river steamer down the Don

where he meets an apparently unremarkable,

though somewhat agitated little man.


After some conversation, the stranger confides

to Gorki that he has been haunted for precisely 23 years

by the spectre of an enormous Spider

that had constantly been by his side,

both by day and by night.


The Spider was about four feet tall and though

no-one else could see it,

the strange little man didn’t doubt

for a second that it was real.

Why he could clearly see his many reflections

in the arachnid’s dark, multi-faceted eyes.

Yes, the Spider had been

with him every waking moment

of those 23 years, he insisted to Gorki,

that others could not see it

merely proved that its appearance was

of a supernatural origin..

Was It some sort of Guardian Angel

or worse some malevolent demon escaped from Hell?

The strange little man himself had been uncertain

as to the silent Spider’s true nature and purpose at first.

He became obsessed by the need to know

whether he was cursed by the Devil or blessed by God.

The silent Spider itself gave no clue.

It merely observed and accompanied him.


Finally, after puzzling over the question

for many years (and blithely telling the young

Gorki how he, “nearly went mad” in the process),

he at last decided it must be an Angel,

despite its appearance to the contrary.

After all, why would God allow a good,

humble man like himself

to be tormented by a demon for so long.


(Clearly he’d never read the book of Job)


No. It must be an Angel.

It was upon that Rock

that the little man’s Faith rested.

.spider friend

And it was not the Spider

causing the little stranger’s anxiety.

It was the Spider’s absence.

For on this night, after 23 years of silent companionship,

the Spider had suddenly disappeared.

Why, the little man worried, had the Spider left?

Had he done something wrong, some unknown sin?

Had God abandoned him?

Despite its grotesque appearance, he had grown accustomed to its presence

and felt lost without his companion by his side.


The story ends somewhat abruptly

with the stranger jumping over the side

of the river boat to drown,

unable to contemplate existence without his Spider.

Yes a strange little story, with no moral, explanation

or indeed, any apparent meaning.

It just is, an enigmatic piece of almost journalism.

Gorki himself relates the tale without making any conclusions,

beyond off-handedly remarking that you get a lot

of this sort of thing in the backwoods of Russia.


Possibly something was lost in translation.


Be that as it may, the only reason I mention that little story

is that, by an odd coincidence, Gorki sets the story’s location

as being near the small, otherwise obscure village

of Gŭlgrash-na-grad,

the birthplace of the subject of todays essay,

the esteemed Doctor Theophrastus Jamal Arachnid.

Indeed, this tribute to Dr Arachnid is itself the result

of yet another coincidence,

when revered local Poet, David (Ghostboy) Stavanger,

and myself discovered by chance that we were

both delivered into this world by the same Obstetrician,

yes, none other than the world renowned physician,

Docktor Theophrastus Jamal Arachnid.

Dr. T.J. Arachnid at work, conducting post-coital examination. The Dr had an 'Old School' approach and rarely used forceps.

Dr. T.J. Arachnid at work, conducting post-coital examination. The Dr had an ‘Old School’ approach and rarely used forceps.

David had recognised our old Medical Specialist

from a photo I had posted on Facebook,

and we whimsically wondered

if this was more than merely an amusing

co-incidence, and whether some unsuspected causal relationship

might exist between the circumstances of our Births

our subsequent development into Poets.

Could the formidable presence of Dr Arachnid

at such a crucial point in our lives

have had some unsuspected formative influence

on our Artistic Abilities?


But perhaps it was no more than a co-incidence.

After all, the good Doctor had worked in

the Maternity Wards of the Brisbane Mater Hospital

for decades, delivering thousands of babies

during that time, yet there was no indication

that as a result Brisbane had become afflicted

with Plagues of Poets in Biblical proportions.


The Good Docktor had fled his homeland, than part of the

USSR, as a political refugee at the end of World War 2 .

Back in his own country he was a highly respected

Professor and leading Medical Researcher.

But alas his qualifications in this country were not recognised

and the Authorities only allowed him to practise

as a lowly, poorly paid Obstetrician.


Nevertheless, he seemed happy in his work.

and to be allowed to live in peace in a country

where it was safe to raise a family.

All his children (nearly 800 at last count) went

to good private Catholic schools.

Even though the Dr himself was not a Catholic,

he approved of their Social Conservatism in general

and in particular their stand against contraception.

doc arachnids secretary hard to get past

It was often difficult to get past the Docktors fiercely loyal reception staff


Docktor Arachnid never married back in Russia.

When asked he would merely quip with a jovial chuckle,

“Married? Ho ho ho! No, I couldn’t afford to marry a local girl.

Why a Gŭlgrash-na-gradii wife would eat me

out of house and home!”


It was not till he came to Australia that Dr Arachnid

found true love and married local Tarragindi girl,

Emma Bloat. Together they overcame the many obstacles

that confront mixed marriages, to pursue their dream

to raise a family-in-the-suburbs.

The former Miss Emma Bloat of Tarragindi relaxes with some of the Arachnid brood.

The former Miss Emma Bloat of Tarragindi relaxes with some of the Arachnid brood.

But what should have been a heart-warming example

of the Australian Multi-Cultural Dream turned sour

in the new Century after the 9/11 bombing

of the Twin Towers.

Alas, all his years of service counted for nothing

when the Docktor became caught up

in the Great Terrorist Scares of the early 21st century.

Suspected of terrorist contacts on the flimsiest of evidence,

he was detained for months without legal advice

or outside communications while Authorities “investigated”

his alleged links. Rather than support a team member

who had laboured tirelessly for years in their service

the craven Hospital Administrators sacked him

without notice or explanation.


 The suburban spider dream; Dr A playing with family pet, Roger.

The suburban spider dream; Dr A playing with family pet, Roger.

Eventually Dr Arachnid was of course released without charge.

After a lengthy legal battle

the Hospital was made to apologise and offer

the Docktor his job back but it was too late.

The doctor’s heart was broken by what he saw

as a betrayal from his Employers and Community.


Taking an out-of-court cash settlement for an undisclosed sum,

he retired and moved to New Zealand, there to run

a small dairy farm.

Now he seems content to mainly lurk

in the rafters of the old milking sheds by day,

or doze in the hayloft, from whence

he can supervise the sheds milking activities below.


Despite being a gentleman farmer he doesn’t

keep country hours. He rises late, generally around sunset,

and when the moon is up, is often to be seen

walking the perimeter of his property checking the fencing.

His children made the move with him,

no longer comfortable in Australia,

the land they once thought of as their home.


His loyal wife Emma spoke for the family;

“These charges were a Great Injustice

They stem from prejudice, just because he’s a foreigner.

If he were a local Trapdoor or Wolf-Spider

no-one would even notice him,

but Nooo, because he came from Russia

and his ways are a little different,

he is automatically treated with suspicion”.

While some of his children followed him into a medical career, few had the Docktors bed-side manner.

While some of his children followed him into a medical career, few had the Docktors bed-side manner.

Dr Arachnid’s eldest son, Mustapha Mounbatten Arachnid,

a bachelor of engineering at Gatton, shared

with Sunday Sermons what it was like growing up

in a mixed Anglo/Spiderese household…

“There was much prejudice in the old neighbourhood

when Dad first moved to Australia and we were growing up”,

Mustapha recalled,

“Everytime a bloody child went missing in the area

the locals would start going on about how;”


“It must be the giant Spiders what done it”


“Yeah right! It’s always the Spiders isn’t it?

And if you’re a young Spider going out with a white girl!.

there’s always some dickhead wanting to pick a fight.

And let me tell you..just ripping their heads off

doesn’t win you any friends either!

Then its all,”See! See! He ripped his head off!

I told you they were dangerous!” and their

prejudices are confirmed once again.

We’re set up to fail.. for Australians of

Spiderese extraction its a no win situation.

Your damned if you eat them

and damned if you don’t!”


“And if its not the Yobs

wanting to pick a fight

then there’s always some old lady running

after you with a rolled-up newspaper.

I mean..we didn’t even have newspapers

back in rural Russia.

Mainly we just had to deal with old sandals.

As a result, like many other Migrant communities,

Spiders don’t have the life-skills

to be able to deal with the complexities

of the First World’s Modern Media Landscape.


I mean, Dad’s a genius dealing with

pregnant women and extracting babies and

all that stuff, but he’s still trying to decide whether

to get VHS or go with Beta!

What’s going to happen if some kid comes after him

with an Ipad ?

He’s better off here in New Zealand,

where the only technology permitted

is video-editing equipment and

Special Effects for the Film and Television Industry”.


Indeed, many of the Docktor’s brood have found a place in NZ film industry. Some do well as stage hands working the lights up in the rigging. Some have found acting-work in minor character roles or appearing as extras in the crowd scenes of movies such as, “The Hobbit“..

The younger ones just like hanging around the set.

Youngest Arachnid daughter Euryale married a local New Zealand lad.

Youngest Arachnid daughter Euryale married a local New Zealand lad.

Meanwhile Leggy Anastazia Arachnid has done well in her modeling career and today is engaged by a High End Fashion House to represent and model their name-brand collection of designer fishnet-stockings.

And so a richly deserved happy ending is at last attained

for one who has given so much to the world

and suffered so many trials.

In the evenings, with his family gathered around him,

the good Docktor likes to spin the old yarns once again.

Australia’s loss is New Zealand’s gain.

Perhaps our Authorities should stop and reflect

on the story of the esteemed Docktor T.J. Arachnid,

when next they seek to set loose

the Dogs of Hysteria and Prejudice

for some shoddy, short-term political gain.


search partyReduced



The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of  Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

The only Survivor/ of the National People’s Gang



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