•December 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment



Evening comes,

brings blessed coolness

to the earth.


In its shade

the night-creatures emerge

to pursue their mysterious

nocturnal endeavours.


The frogs extend

their Invisible Empire,

ancient amphibious anthems


the length & breadth

of the suburban block.

Snails creep and crawl

through cracks & through crevices

sly-footing through shadows

avoiding 8-legged nemesis.


Like a great aircraft-carrier

accompanied by an armada

of crazy, wind-up motor-boats;

the flying-foxes sail serenely

with a slow, lazy, leathery flap

thru the humid air filled

with swift-flying clouds

of tiny, erratic,

insect-hunting bats.

Poets sit on their back steps

or verandahs,

drinking Gin to beat the Heat


like a Sphinx,

the shadow of a cat

sits silent at their feet.

Listening to the distant

bass and drums

of some human party

down the street.


Tail like a question mark,

a ring tailed possum

hangs from the moon,

stretching down to reach

the tenderest flowers & tips

that grow at the tops of the trees.





Yes it’s that special time of the year when the Reverend prepares his infamously fiery, limited edition Mango Chutney for distribution to the worthy.

Are you on the List?

Learn more! See the Secrets of the Chutney revealed at;


The Reverend Hellfire is..

still here.

Will wonders never cease?




•December 9, 2018 • Leave a Comment



I heard the News,

and I can’t stop crying,

all around me

the World is dying.

This is the Truth,

I am not lying,

but no-one cares,

they’re too busy fighting.


Some fight for Fame,

some fight for “Old Glory”,

some fight for Greed,

it’s the same old Story.

Soon they’ll fight

for Bread & Water.

I fear the Fate

of our Sons & Daughters.

For I see no Hope,

I see no Future.

No antidote,

I see no Cure.

I see no change

in our behaviour,

no help from Heaven,

or from Saviour.


I’d isolate,

what’s left from Us,

to save Earth’s creatures

from the Human Virus,

and build an Ark,

shaped like a dome,

send them to Mars,

leave Man at Home.





To my regular readers, (there’s probably about fifty of you, and I thank you all most humbly for your patronage) I’d like to extend my apologies for the unannounced & unexplained absence of SUNDAY SERMONS the past fortnight or so. Your old pal the Reverend has been dreaming, asleep deep in the Earth like an old sweet potato, gathering his forces for the struggle ahead.

For, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I have of late, lost all my mirth & forgone all manner of exercises, and my disposition went so heavily indeed that I couldn’t even recycle an old Sermon.

Now it is time to awaken, and lo! The Reverend Hellfire emerges once more with the cicadas of Summer to sing his song.

I confess, that there have been nights of late

where I could not sleep for the hatred & despair

burning in my heart for the human race at large

and what it is doing to this planet in it’s blind & arrogant folly. And during the days, increasingly, the feeling that all my activities are futile & a waste of time when I should be doing something (anything) to try and help salvage some small part of what’s left of our natural environment and the creatures that live in it.

Accordingly, so I can live with myself and deal with the constant gnawing anxiety that comes from living under a volcano, I will increasingly be devoting more of my time and energies, both online & off, towards “environmental” activities. Sunday Sermons will undoubtedly reflect this.

I will also be starting a new web venture, which I have been thinking about for some time, tentatively entitled;

Spawning stripey marsh frogs, photo – RH

“Back Yard WildLife of Brisbane”

This new website will be dedicated to celebrating the wondrous diversity of creatures that inhabit the leafy backyards & streets of Brisbane, and encouraging people to make their own suburban yard “Wild Life Friendly”.

As well as my own fabulous photos, poems and “Tales from the Compost Heap” and bits of relevant information of interest from various sources, I’ll be encouraging others to share their stories/photos from their own patch. BYW’s motto?:

“The Flood is Coming, we need many Arks”.

Semi nude Snail, with “sliding door” mantle; Photo-RH

I am no-one important. I am just a poor Poet. Like you I am often overcome by feelings of powerlessness and isolation in the face of the oncoming Environmental Catastrophe. But I’m going to try and do what I can to help. I ask you to do likewise.

There are many little actions the individual can take, on different levels. Perhaps they’ll all add up to something.

So plant a tree. Sign a petition. Recycle.

Stop using insect poisons. Join a bush regeneration group. Harass a politician. Harass another one. Join pickets, boycotts and demonstrations. Work with others. Educate yourself. Talk to strangers & friends. Feed the birds. Build a possum house. Plant another tree and put in a pond as well

so you can raise frogs and watch the dragon-flies dance,

skipping & dipping their tails in the water.

Use your imagination. Act now. Try and make a difference.




The Reverend Hellfire.

You know..that guy with the hat.



•November 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment



The extinction of the Rhino;

a perfect fire-storm

of Ignorance and Greed.


Think of it! Who

would have ever dreamed

that the last, mighty Rhinoceros

would be destroyed

by the tiny penis

of a Chinese CEO.


But really, it’s an old story;

Wealth & Conspicuous Consumption

financing Poverty

to commit unspeakable crimes.

Macbeth & hunch-backed Richard,

(or so Shakespeare would have it),

could always hire from the Hoi Polloi

heinous helping hands

with no discernible morals

to do their dirty deeds.

So it will end like this;

the last specimen will be cut down at Midnight

by chainsaw wielding thugs,

who crash a stolen armoured car

through the gates of a Paris Zoo,

and killing three guards

in the process.


A diseased Daisy-chain of

Organised Crime gangs & terrorist networks

then transports the product on

to seedy, Hong Kong middle-men

who arrange the discreet distribution

of the famed elixir for application

to the diminutive, flaccid organs

of the Chinese Executive Class.

On the UP side, the rhinoceros’s survival

will surely be ensured, in a fashion,

thanks to good old shiny science,

tho admittedly for the time being

the Species, as such,

will be reduced to frozen sperm samples

and a couple of eggs,

buried deep in a Glacier

in Greenland.

On the DOWN side, latest reports

coming in tell us

that the Glacier is melting fast

and that the Institute may soon be reduced

to storing samples in the Coke® machine

in the Staff Cafeteria

if they don’t get air-conditioning soon.


Perhaps we can try to get

these impotent Titans of Commerce & Politics

onto a Viagra Substitution Programme,

you know, like the way we try

to get Junkies onto Methadone?

Meantimes, call me misanthropic,

but the only Charity I’m interested

in today, is any Charity that gives money

to African Game keepers

so they can get better guns and bullets;

and set up a generous pension scheme

for their children and widowed wives.





The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet

and though easily distracted, he..



•November 11, 2018 • Leave a Comment



Through an arch of palm trees

silhouetted by the Moon,

we watch the endless waves roll in,

to a Soundtrack of surf and seabreeze.

Watch the Moon imperious & graceful glide

far above the rumpled, silver carpet

she lays shining across the ocean.

The faint flickering glow of cooking fires

casts orange bands criss-crossing

the slender trunks

of the shadowed trees.

The women are singing,

the older children run,

chasing and laughing,

weaving amongst the huts.

A baby cries briefly

but is soon silenced, given suck to breast.

The men are quiet now,

sitting on grass mats,

a row of silent shadows

staring out to sea,

as they drink the sacred Kava.

Swollen with dreams, the gnarled root

is dug from the ground, washed, grated,

soaked, and sieved,

chewed, soaked, sieved and chewed again.

A time-consuming procedure

that in repetition crosses over into Ritual,

each repetition reinforcing the significance

of this ambrosial gift.

All good ritual culminates in the Ceremonial,

from the Priests of the Mysteries of Ephesus

to the Kava-drinkers of Fiji,

a procedure that protects the power

of the plant from the profane;

Here the Ritual climax is fully realised

with the passing of the long wooden bowl,

from which each drinks the Kava

in solemn Communion.

The discarded dross of material Life has been

sieved & soaked and extracted,

then cast aside,

only the quintessence now remains.

The aches and pains and cares of Day

have faded, the Moon rules now,

and in her name Kava shares

its balms & charms.

Drink deeply therefore

with your tribe,

and, sitting silent as shadows,

contemplate the Mysteries of the Moon,

her silver carpet upon the ocean,

and the endless waves rolling in

to the soundtrack of surf and seabreeze.



KAVA; research footnotes:

Personally I found it to be a second-rate High really, and if anything it speaks to the paucity of satisfactory psychoactives generally available to isolated Pacific island communities. Probably helps explain why they went all to pieces once Europeans introduced distilled spirits into a society unfamiliar with powerful inebriants.

Be that as it may, Kava tastes terrible, a bit like anaesthetic mud. One gulps it down at first, trying not to taste any, later on it becomes easier to imbibe, as the Kava’s anaesthetising effects paralyse the taste buds. The numbness spreads from the mouth and tongue to the face and seeps gradually onwards thru the body, the limbs become pleasantly languid. The Mind soon follows suit; a dull sense of inebriation ensues, not unlike drinking lots of Hops or Valerian tea.

Still, in the right setting, sitting on the beach studying the stars or gathered around the old campfire with a few old friends, it’s a pleasant enough way to pass a quiet evening.

Kava used to be quite freely available in Australia, generally from Indian Grocery type Shops (there’s a fair number of ‘Fijian Indians’ thanks to British Imperialism) without causing any noticeable social problems, until some nervous bureaucratic drone noticed it’s availability and decided (despite the lack of any evidence) that since it’s a drug that’s not alcohol, it must therefore be dangerous and addictive and should be banned. And so it was. Not that this has stopped visiting Royalty & Australian politicians ever since from quaffing down big bowls of the stuff whenever they visit FIJI on ceremonial occasions.

But perhaps these ‘High-Flyers’ & VIP’s are all secret Kava Fiends, desperately craving their weird drug that has them in it’s grip, and have only passed laws banning it to save the rest of us from the horrors of Kava-addiction that they know only too well.



The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

reliable Cleaning Contractor and 

an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism.

He remains cautiously pessimistic.


A Trojan Horse on the Polo Field

•November 4, 2018 • Leave a Comment



The narrow band of Life is shrinking,

the wide wastes of the desert edge ever closer

like a slowly stalking Lioness.

The Seasons have shifted,

the Nile no longer floods the fields.

Too long we have listened to lying Gods.

We need a Green Akhenaten

to tear down the mighty stone Temples

hiding behind their marble pillars like a Bank.

The Priests are fat. We are hungry.

Sullen & silent in the cool shade within

they stand mute

while the World burns..

Perhaps we need a Julian

to turn Apostate to the Companies

& Corporations, rich as Pharisees,

preaching their false Doctrines

of unending Profit & Growth.

(A Julian, that is, who doesn’t get distracted

by foreign adventurism

and lives long enough to complete the program)

We need a traitor (or two)

in the Destroyers’ privileged midst,

lurking in Libraries unregarded, some

second son or daughter, growing wise

while waiting for their chance at the steering wheel,

a Trojan Horse on the Polo field.

Perhaps we even need a Green Hassan I Sabbah,

a feral “Old Man in the Mountains”,

some mad & murderous Genius in a hidden valley

creating a secret Garden Paradise,

from whence he sends out

environmental assassins and agents

to strike down the Untouchables,

 silently slitting the throats of those

who think themselves too Rich & Powerful

to be hindered by Justice or even Law.

Around the Globe,

their bought politicians make the Rules

their police enforce their Will,

and the Planet dies by their Hand

as they’re ringing up the Till.

Surely such Hubris demands it’s own Hassan?

Perhaps the day will come when even WE

turn Traitor to the State, and the System and Money

and Convenience and Apathy and Indolence and Habit,

and the-way-things-are

and have always been.

When we will snap out of our Passivity, out of the Netflix-take-away-air-conditioned Dream and realise we’ve been led to the edge of a Cliff.

When we will accept that we’ve abrogated our responsibility

for our part in the Process, that we handed over our Power to smooth talking  Stockbrockers, Lawyers & Shills

and then did nothing but shrug and whinge when it all went Wrong. When we will finally change sides

and betray the Boss

because Business As Usual is killing us.

When we finally stop pretending that the looming Environmental Collapse is not our business

and that nobody ever warned us.



*Historical footnotes:

Akhenaten was a radical, reforming Pharaoh who tried to replace the thousand year old, Egyptian polytheistic religion with his own brand of solar monotheisim. Subsequently,  after his death his name was erased from the records & omitted from the king-lists.

Roman Emperor Julian (called “the Apostate” by Christians ) tried to re-establish religious toleration & the pagan temples after Constantine & Co. had made Christianity the State religion. Alas he embarked on a hunt for Military Glory against the Pathians and died in battle, having ruled but a brief 2 years.

Hassan I Sabbah (perhaps in some ways a role model for Osama Bin Laden) established the Order of the Assassins during the Crusade period, and exerted his influence over a wide area of the Middle East from his mountain fortress at Alamout through the judicious use of hashish crazed assassins. There are many interesting stories about Hassan I Sabbah, and Marco Polo picked up a few when he was wandering about the place on his travels.

As for the Trojan Horse..seriously, I have to explain that?

Google it.




The Reverend Hellfire was a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism and (by special dispensation) the Church of the Universe. 

Before the Incident, neighbours said he was a quiet man, who kept to himself. Notes in his Medical Records indicate that he was “ not considered a danger to self or others.”



•October 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment



Clack of beak & flap of feather,

pirouette catch food in flight,

pivot, swoop sweep, soar & pivot,

convex eyes dark mirrors bright.

Slippery house-foot slides & slithers,

eyestalks telescope in fright,

undulating forward slimewise,

tail-trail glistens in the night.

Sucker-tip toes, tongue that targets,

clad in emerald wet-suit bright,

hunter launched by leaping legs,

drum bellow-throat thrums,

skin stretched tight.




The Reverend Hellfire is a Practising Performance Poet and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism.

Available in individual, cling-wrapped packets for your greater hygiene and convenience.


A Medical Military Metaphor

•October 21, 2018 • Leave a Comment

A Medical Military Metaphor

“Rushes” – a session reviewing the unedited first prints made of a film after a days shooting”


Some might complain about the production values, but this is Cinema Verite at it’s most visceral and raw footage doesn’t get much rawer than this. Even the daily rushes from Evil Dead VIII (The Enviscerator) don’t get close to the intimate horror and the special sense of lingering unease, that arises from viewing the first rushes of your very own Interior World.


Yes, call it morbid curiosity, but I was keen to get a quick preview of my ultra-sounded guts as I sat there in the Pathology waiting room, and as soon as they were handed

over to me I eagerly cracked open the envelope containing the dim, gray, grainy negatives of my liver, spleen, kidneys,

and other associated organs.

Not knowing how to precisely interpret the ambiguous lumps and morphs of my internal anatomy however, and with no attached report, my imagination was left free to fester; Imaginary lesions bubbled and popped onto the blank screen of my projected fears. Mutant organs multiplied and protoplasmic polymorphs loomed out of the blackness briefly then faded back into obscurity and..

What the hell is that thing?!

The unexplained columns of numbers on the side of each scan didn’t improve my sense of unease either. 47% ??

47% of what? Is that good?

Casually I pump the Technician for hints and clues as to the structural integrity of my organs, but she remains as professionally non-committal as a Pentagon Media Spokes-Thing, poker-face blank behind their mirror shades as they point to a bombing chart;

“I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of Viet-Cong encampments in your Liver.”

“That sounds ominous,” I said innocently, hoping this leading comment would weasel a statement with a bit more substance to it out of her,

but she counters my gambit, sticking rigidly to the script..

“No, not really. We are merely conducting routine monitoring during scheduled surveillance flights..

monitoring the situation on the ground as it develops..

standard the book..we are confident Victory is achievable in a very real and military sense. failing that we can almost certainly achieve a Political Solution by holding negotiations with Moderate Elements amongst the Terrorists.”

“How would you actually define a “Moderate Terrorist“, Doctor? Can you put it in layman’s terms?” I queried.

“Oh well I’m not a Doctor, just a Technician, but I’d imagine any Terrorist we could actually persuade to negotiate instead of just killing us could be defined as a Moderate. Actually you have one located in your right kidney now. See?”

“My right kidney, I see,” I said thoughtfully,” and am I to suppose that by a ‘Political Solution‘ you’re talking about chemotherapy?”

“I wouldn’t rule out the use of Agent Orange or other select defoliants in areas where penetration by ground troops remains problematical.” the Technician replied casually,

“Or we could send in a specially trained unit to surgically excise the terrorist cell.

But at this stage it seems benign so we’re just going to keep an eye on it. Hey! It may even turn out to be an Asset, if you know what I mean!” The Technician nodded and tapped the side of their nose knowingly.

“I mean, take the Tapeworm“, she continued, “it may seem counter-intuitive to introduce live tapeworms into somebody’s digestive tract, but in certain types of medical condition, such as Crohns Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, having a seven foot Tapeworm threshing around in your guts can actually be somewhat beneficial. The same may prove to be true with the Taliban. We may yet discover that the only way to keep the Russians (a far greater strategic threat) out of Afghanistan is for us to leave the Taliban infesting the sewers and tunnel systems where they lurk, rather than trying to eradicate them completely.”

obeying doctors orders

“And Radiation Therapy?” I asked cautiously.

“It’s always an option”, the Technologist answered smugly,

“the ICBMs are still there if we need them. But that’s a last ditch option. We always prefer a Political Solution to these chronic conditions”.

“And would that be a Final Solution?” I asked as I scrolled up the ultra-sound prints and shoved them in my pocket.

“What do think we are”, snarled the Tech belligerently,

Racists? Get out the Hell out of here before I call Security!”

So I left the House of Healing but she was still yelling abuse as I walked down the street:

“If you don’t like Western Values why don’t you go hole up in the Ecuadorian Embassy with Julian Assange, Commo!”

“Yeah? ” I yelled back, “Well,

it’s better than being offered sanctuary by your good buddies in the Saudi Embassy!

But by then they’d shut the door.




The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet and a noted Social Irritant. Unreliable and with no respect for Authority, he is also inexplicably fond of camels,

 crows and the semi-nude snail.