SKY RITES

•January 15, 2017 • 1 Comment

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SKY RITES

*

“Gad! What a lovely morning”, I thought, as I walked out the door, “the Sun is shining, the birds are singing, the sky is blue”.

Glancing up at the sky for a moment to re-assure myself that yes, the sky was still actually blue, I immediately observed

a lone light-aircraft above me, drawing a graceful arc in the air with a billowing plume of noxious, white gases.

There were no flames and the smoke was white not black so I judged that, rather than an imminent apocalypse, I was witnessing a skywriter going about their traditional trade.

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Surely, I thought, in this modern Age of micro-chips and bottled water, the demise of the SkyWriter cannot be too far into the future. Soon the Guild of SkyWriters will be a thing of the Past, like mustache wax and side-saddles for women. The Skywriting Craft will be forgotten, their proud traditions and heritage, automated out of existence. Probably replaced by Drones.

So I paused for awhile to watch this relic from a bygone era

as the plane lazily scrawled its graffito across the blue canvas of the sky.

The original arc was swiftly conjoined to another, revealing itself to have been but the first half of a Heart. Clearly what I was witnessing was some sort of giant Valentine, or Birthday or Anniversary card being posted up against the sky. Somewhere, some unseen Romeo had decided to fork out with the “Big Romantic Gesture” to impress an unknown Juliette. he could have just taken an ad out in the Personal column, but no, our man had decided to pull out all the stops. Was Juliette leaning out of a window somewhere, watching the Sky for Signs and Visions,

or was she in the shower, washing her hair, oblivious to the declaration of Love and Devotion being broadcast through the aether. Surely even now her phone is ringing so she might be told to watch the Skies?!

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The Heart now completed, the plane like a busy bee droned it’s way onto the next part of it message..

..which swiftly revealed itself to be a large U.

This U was followed in time by a large X,

then followed by another, and another, etx,

so the message was basically,

“I Love You, kiss, kiss, etc..”

You could see where the unknown Romeo paying for the message was going with his missive, so I thought it time for intermission.

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So, leaving the sky pilot to continue scrawling his enormous Valentine, I popped back inside to make a cup of tea. My Personal Assistant was lounging around the kitchen browsing thru travel magazines, and as the tea brewed I informed her about all the romantic activity taking place in the skies above us.

She sniffed cynically, but quarter of an hour later she followed me out to witness this “Big Romantic Declaration” in the Heavens above our house.

The Winds had already blown away the Message of Love I have previously described, now only the faintest wisps betrayed the faded icons to the searching eye.

But in my absence a second section had been added to the text that had initially caught my attention. This text certainly gave the first part context.

This second, brief sentence read,

“I’m Sorry”

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so the whole thing would have read, had the winds not erased the earlier part;

“I Love You, kiss, kiss, kiss. I’m Sorry”.

“Ho ho Ho!”, scoffed my Assistant,

“A typical Man. His promises weigh less than the wind

and the first gust blows them away!”

I really don’t know how my PA got to be so cynical,

but I decided at that moment that it was best not to joke around by claiming that it was from me all along.

She might believe me.

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***

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***

reverend-profile-red

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity,

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists

AND the Church of the Universe.

He’s cheap but not easy.

***

GOOD YEAR FOR A WAR

•January 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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Good Year for a War

*

It’s a good year for a WAR,

the Astrologers tell me.

All the Stars are lined up right and

Plague is definitely on the Cards as well,

See.. you can tell,

all the TRUMP cards, like

DEATH &

HELL

are upside down

and that’s always a bad sign.

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Fortunately, the Television Psychics assure me

that CHANGE

is just around the corner

and advise me to focus

on my Personal Development.

Lucky Numbers are 9 and 11. Orange

is also apparently Lucky for me

and if I just dial the number

at the bottom of the screen in the next half hour,

then I can have my own Personal Consultation

with one of their highly skilled Psychics

for only $3.40 per 60 seconds.

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It worries me though that

the Television Psychics all look like

the fading, former Trophy Wives

(now divorced) of dodgy Gold Coast

Real Estate Speculators.

They wear too much jewellery

and make-up. Their hair looks dry

and brittle from too many bleach jobs

and all those decades at the tanning salon.

In fact they look like they could

just as easily be selling Tupperware®

on the Shopping Channel

if Destiny hadn’t called them

to provide spiritual guidance

to the lost and lonely.

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If this were ROME circa 308 C.E.,

I could join a Mystery Cult,

rattle sistrums for ISIS,

drink Bull’s blood with MITHRA.

But the Mystery Cults are disappeared,

as enigmatically as they appeared,

and subsequently swept

under Christianity’s mouldy, motheaten carpet.

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Maybe next time the Mormons turn up

I’ll let them in for a prayer session

in my living room,

although, come to think of it,

they haven’t been back for awhile,

not since that argument last time. They seemed

quite upset when I told them

that God was a Girl

and I was her chosen Consort and Minister.

I probably shouldn’t have slipped them

that Acid either, but

they looked lost and

it was only a small dose

really, and besides,

how often do you get a chance like that?

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CHANGE is coming!” I called out after them

as they went pedalling angrily away.

“Probably in about forty-five minutes”,

I added, thoughtfully to myself.

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Meanwhile the Astrologers are still telling me

that its a good year for a War,

but so what, their star charts are 2,000 years

out of date and besides,

you don’t have to be a Prophet

to know that.

It’s always a good year for a War.

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***

natural

***

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The Reverend Hellfire..

Burning the candle at every end.

***

SECRETS OF THE CHUTNEY

•January 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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Secrets of the Chutney

And so this is Christmas,

or the Saturnalia

or the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,

or whatever,

and as the Sun wheels thru the Summer sky towards its appointment with the Solstice, the Reverend Hellfire retires to the kitchen to perform his annual gastronomical tribute to the Summer Festive Season, which is to say,

it’s time to cook up the Annual batch of his legendary,

mouth-watering Mango Chutney.

Sourcing his luscious, sun-ripened mangoes from the feral Mango Trees that infest every other backyard and vacant lot

in his sub-tropical suburb, the Reverend uses an old Queensland recipe that he has been refining and tweaking for over thirty years. Now he proudly boasts that his secret recipe produces the World’s Greatest Chutney! Those who have tasted of this precious elixir seldom disagree, and those that do are usually struck by the Gods with a disfiguring disease for their impiety.

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Be that as it may, after gathering the Harvest the Rev then spends the next 48 hours prepping, slow-cooking and bottling the mysterious brew to perfection in his secret laboratory. With the addition of an endearingly naive label,

the jars of sun-ripened goodness are ready to be distributed to friends and family, followers and folks in general who have helped the Rev on his path over the previous year. But to tell the Truth, those who have shown kindness and friendship are usually so numerous, that there are alas, never enough jars, it seems, to go around. (Be patient, perhaps next year you’ll make the list!)

Indeed, it often seems a small thing to pay people back for all their help, with a mere jar of chutney. But it is made with Love and Care, and shared with a simple Sincerity, so perhaps that gives it some worth after all. Plus it tastes like the Heavens’ Own Condiment!

“If the Gods made anything that tastes better, “

boasts the Rev in his unguarded moments,

“They kept it for themselves”.

Sunday Sermons are now proud to present the actual lab notes from this years “cook”. Feel free to take notes.

chutney-mango

Lab notes:

3.03.33pm..the Chutney brew is simmering as I add the “seeding agent”- the last dollop of 2015’s chutney (carefully preserved in a jar at the back of the fridge) to activate the process, rather in the way yogurt makers will keep a yogurt culture alive from batch to batch.

I stir and croon, croon and stir..

“Who’s a good little chutney? Who’s going to be perfect??,” I coo and murmur in reassuring tones,

cajoling the spirit of the Chutney..

(oh yes, if the Chutney had toes I’d be down on the floor

tickling the plump, sticky, little digits right this moment).

“Are you coddling the Chutney again!!” my Personal Assistant demanded severely, interrupting my reverie.

“You’ll make it too sweet again, like you did in ‘Ought Eight’!”,

she warned, referring to the unfortunate occasion when she felt impelled to add an “heroic” emergency dose of Vinegar to the brew, in an effort to, as she put it, “prevent serious cloying”.

The result satisfied no-one and generally speaking we don’t speak of that year’s Mango Chutney, or as it has sometimes

been called, “the Black Batch”.

chutney-brew

“Fear not gentle maiden!” I assured her, “this batch will stand on its own legs! It may even, to use a rather hirstute figure of speech, grow hairs on your chest. (I added an extra chilly to each jar)”.

Somewhat alarmed, my PA stepped back to observe with folded arms as I added the final Mystery IngredientSugar!

Soon the brew starts to change colour, becoming darker, richer as swirls of caramelisation gyrate and gimble, blending subtly and surrealistically  to perfection in the pot.

Slowly I sift the sweet, sweet sugar in, sugar both raw and refined, with just a dollop of honey, bit by bit it trickles in , that I might judge to a nicety that perfect balance betwixt sweet and sour, the ancient alchemical Yin and Yang of the Great Chutney Cycle!…

chutney-additives

Midnight. I stir and sweat, sweat and stir,

beads of perspiration run down my face and plop gently

into the brew,adding a lick of salt

and a tincture of the authors’ DNA to the Mix.. A strange alchemy is occurring here- deep within the ingredients are busy networking throughout their social swirl; swapping phone numbers, trading make-up secrets, exchanging genetic material in nightclubs..

A Happy Blending is occurring wherein each ingredient remains true to its own substance while it yet becomes a part of the GreaterWhole.

Each contributes to the Sum that is Greater than its Parts yet maintains its unique Identity in the process. The result is a substance at one with itself, yet far from homogeneous.

The hard edges dissolve in a warm wash of good feeling.

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Indeed, it occurs to me that my humble Chutney might be in fact a Mighty Metaphor, the End result being hopefully like what you’d like to achieve in the social engineering field when trying to create the perfect “Multi-Cultural Society”.

Could my Chutney promote greater Social Harmony, I speculated, by providing, by analogy, a recipe for a better Cosmopolitan Society, where citizens know how to

interact with the other Ingredients

while keeping their own cultural identity as a discrete element,

developing the Cosmopolite’s ability

to mind their own business

without losing their curiosity?

Mango Chutney. Saving the World, one jar at a time.

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***

SPECIAL THANKS to our number one fan, “Big Dave” for sourcing this year’s mangoes!

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***

Authors Note; At the insistence of my PA and

local Health Officials, I must officially state that I don’t literally add sweat to my chutney-that was mere artistic license. In reality this condiment contains no human by-products.

***

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***

star-chakra

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised 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.

(Still looks good in fishnet stockings.)

***

Human Aquarium. Part Three

•December 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Once again the Reverend gets into the social swim

at his local shopping centre, and dips his toes in at the deep end of..

gator-girls

The Human Aquarium

Part 3

SUMMER..

And lo! As the traditional, horrible, humid, Summer swelter envelopes the town once more, the Human Aquarium that is the Boodumba Shopping Centre, provides a pleasant, climate-controlled Habitat Refuge for all the heat-stressed human casualties of Global Warming. (Well as long as they have money to spend that is. The miserly Boodumba Management have provided no more than 3 (three) benches for the public to sit on in the entire shopping centre.)

Clearly if you’re not shopping or sitting in a cafe or otherwise spending money, there is no place for you in the air-conditioned comfort of the Aquarium. But this is nothing new. Urban Planners and their ilk have for some decades been transforming the concept of Public Space, from being somewhere you could hang out for free, to a kind of interzone which is basically no more than a transport corridor to allow you to proceed to your next commercial destination. No loitering is encouraged of course, nonetheless, despite the best efforts of social engineers, vestigial traces of Community still manage to survive in the odd, forgotten corner or two.

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I push these thoughts aside and quickly lay claim to the only vacant seat in the establishment, as Desert people with the thin ankles of nomads parade in caravanserai before me, swathed in shawls and scarves and sandals. I wonder what they think of air-conditioning. An Aboriginal woman with a face from the Stone Age and a Sci-Fi haircut from the not-too-distant-Future shuffles by after them. The long planes of her archaic cheekbones look like they’ve been hacked out of teak by a stone axe…

An interestingly dimorphic couple stroll by with a pram. She is a tiny Thai/Burmese looking girl, no more than five feet high. She wears a long Summer dress with an open

back, which exposes a writhing, full-length Dragon tattoo

clambering ferociously up her spine.

Her partner, a gangling Westerner with a crew cut and no apparent dress sense, would, by contrast, stand around the six foot four mark. He pushes the pram while she consults her list.

Their baby surveys the world with wide, dark eyes,

as she chews thoughtfully on a toy, stuffed rabbit.

THE MUSHROOM WOMAN..

The diminutive Mushroom Woman, on the other hand, would only reach about four foot nine inches at best. Both she and I have been coming to Boodumba for many years

but despite this I have never seen her face.

This is mainly because she always wears a giant, old-fashioned “sun hat” with a wide brim, that almost entirely envelopes her. Further obscuring her face is the terrible curvature of the spine she suffers from, causing her neck and head to be angled down towards the ground rather than ‘face forward’. She shuffles slowly forward with the aid of a walking frame and both of her legs are encased in old-fashioned metal calipers as well.

Each day this frail, tiny woman in the shape of a question mark makes the journey to Boodumba and hobbles painfully into the chemist. There they dose her with whatever mysterious potion it is that helps her continue living. She waits in a chair while the young chemist staff fuss over her and prepare her medications.

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Then she hobbles out to the Taxi Rank for the journey home.

I have a good view of the Rank from my usual table in the Coffee Shop, so I have seen the ritual of getting her into a taxi many times. She’s so frail she can’t enter the vehicle herself and requires some assistance.

Usually it takes two people to manoeuvre her into a taxi, the taxi driver and the assistance of whatever Good Samaritan happens to be standing at the rank that day. (Happily there always seems to be someone willing to take the time to help. Indeed, I suppose that one day it will be my turn to carefully guide those thin, fragile limbs.) Then, with the Samaritan and the Driver each supporting a frail shoulder, she is lifted and fitted awkwardly into the front seat. Her legs are lifted in next and her walking frame stowed away in the back. A few words and that day’s Samaritan wanders off while the Taxi takes her to wherever the lonely, hole-in-the-wall bedsit is that she ekes her fragile existence out in. Not sure how the driver gets her out of the Taxi at the other end.

All in all, her daily pilgrimage to the Chemist seems like a major operation, and I have sometimes wondered why they don’t just send someone out to deliver her medications each day. But perhaps she has reasons of her own for making this arduous Odyssey each day. Perhaps she needs to get out the front door, despite the difficulty and discomfort of the journey, to stop the walls from closing in, and to stay in touch with the Pulse of Life or merely to preserve her sense of independance.

Or maybe she’s just one of those tough, old birds you get, you know the type, raised poor in the Country, grew up during the Depression and WW2, etc, etc, the type who doesn’t even notice if things are a bit tough, because Life’s always been a bit tough and you don’t grumble about it, you just get on with what needs to be done.

REBEKAH..

At the bus-stop outside Boodumba, I get to talking to Rebekah, the aged Transsexual. To be frank, the poor old dear is probably the worst looking Trannie I’ve seen. Certainly she’s the most decrepit. Despite sporting a pair of hormone induced breasts the size of golf balls, she basically looks like a wrinkled, skinny old man with long, greasy, straggly hair, that had been crudely dyed red sometime ago but now a couple of inches of silvery roots show.

Wrinkled and toothless, the thickly applied make-up runs down her ravaged face, as she sweats profusely in the relentless heat and humidity.

We bitch about the Heat, the infrequency of the buses and the high bastardry of the CentreLink Officials who are trying to bully poor old Rebekah off the Disability Pension..

“I’m a sixty year old transgender with AIDS“, she spits out in disgust, “Who’s going to give ME a fucking job??!”

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Yes, she has a point; her prospects of employment are pretty much Nil, even if she was well enough to work. Unless, of course, she could luck into one of those phony “Window Dressing” type of jobs, you know, where the government or some big company hires someone who is clearly disabled for a high visibility (if basically pointless) position, so that the Suits can boast about their great sense of Corporate Compassion.

Really if there was any justice in life, old Rebekah should have been awarded a Pension purely as a reward for making it this far, what with Life and the Odds stacked up against her as they are.

The bus comes eventually and we go and sit in separate seats to soak up the air-conditioned comfort.

It’s way too hot for further talk.

Still I wave sociably and call out to her, “Take care!” as I get off at my stop. The bus lurches off into the heat haze.

But I never do see Rebekah again.

Later on Rumour tells me that she’s dead.

“Pills”, somebody said.

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***

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***

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The Reverend Hellfire is..

well, you know..he’s that guy!

***

LATE SHIFT

•December 11, 2016 • 2 Comments

star-chakra

Late Shift

*

I like the Late Shift,

the long, lonely hours,

the silence, the darkness

spreading over the sleeping city,

broken in patches by the

the pools of orange light

spilt beneath the street lamps.

I like to listen for

the familiar rattle of the chainlink fence,

the click of the padlock across the road

as the security guard working his rounds

checks a gate and waves to me.

I wave back he gets in his car and drives off,

three years and we have never spoken, still

the secret Fellowship of the Late Shift

unites us. A patrol car prowls past

ignoring me as I open a fire escape door,

in my worker’s uniform

I’m just part of the landscape.

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Yes when you work with the Midnight Crew,

a strange bond is shared

by the band of professional insomniacs

who keep the city running at night,

like some shadowy secret society

the day crowd hears rumours of/

the Indian guy behind the counter at the seven eleven

smiles when I walk in for my usual 2am coffee

we chat, ask after each other’s family,

the Taxi Drivers on their folding armchairs

outside the all night petrol station nod at me/

Doctor and nurse conferring in hospital corridor

As I drive from job to job

in the space and loneliness of the long night

the fellowship of the late shift expands

in the vacuum/ takes in Nurses

and Ambulance Drivers/sullen Waitresses in all night Diners/

Road-Workers furiously excavating

beneath flashing yellow lights,

as the blue strobe of the Ambulance

wails past in counterpoint/ Cleaners mopping/

the Night Clerks nodding over their desks,

television voices muttering softly in the background/

somewhere now the Bakers arise like yeast

to warm their ovens and knead the dough/

night-shift-workers

The Prostitutes yawn

and file their nails waiting for the dawn,

whilst their Dealers surf the channels

awaiting their end-of-shift call/

meanwhile the Water Police fish

another body out of the river

and somewhere a lone Technician

flicks a switch.

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I drive from job to job

thru vast industrial estates.

Far away in the distance

beneath enormous hangars of concrete and steel

tiny workers like aliens dressed in orange jumpsuits

and breathing apparatus

work in clusters of frantic activity

operating incomprehensible machines

for mysterious Combines

with unknown goals,

who hide their true Identity behind

bland, anonymous acronymns.

In daylight the answer is probably

depressingly prosaic but by the moonlight

Mystery adheres to the most concrete realities.

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At the Service Station on my way home

the concrete has been washed clean

by a passing shower, the Sky

is shifting thru soft shades of grey and pink,

the day birds are waking up

and starting to sing & crarrk,

and the whole world is reborn anew once more,

while gentle waves of exhaustion

are lapping at my mental shore.

“How was your night?” the Attendant

and I ask each other, like two Survivors

sharing stories no-one else could understand

unless they’d been there.

And as I drive home everyone-else

is heading the other way.

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***

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***

reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

a proud blue-collar worker,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

A solitary, nocturnal species that forages over a wide range.

***

THE PIMPS OF PROGRESS

•December 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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The Pimps of Progress

*

The Pimps of Progress

met in conclave aboard the SS Australianus,

a hub-bub-bubbling, troubling

brew of bad haircuts and expensive suits.

Land speculators, Politicians, Off-shore Bankers

and Think Tank Economists, Hedge Fund Brokers,

Mining Magnates and malleable Media Mouthpieces*..

Yes, all the Crooked Crew were there,

and if nothing else,

it had to be conceded that,

considered as “career criminals”,

they were, one and all,

Paragons of Professionalism.

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The Prince of Pimps Himselves

ascended to the podium

and addressed the crowd

with a stirring oration;

“JOBS & PROGRESS Must Be

Our Pathway to PROSPERITY!”

he declared.

“You can’t stop PROGRESS and if you try

we’ll squash you like a bug..

That’s why it’s so imperative

in today’s changing, sorry, I meant,

challenging economic climate

that we have NIMBLENESS & AGILITY..

for example..which thimble

is the pea under now?”

he taunted the crowd whilst

rapidly moving the three thimbles

on the table before him.

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One delegate demanded,

the prince stop

hiding the thimbles behind his hands,

but the Prince explained that, as he never allowed

his left hand to know

what his right hand was doing

it was a matter of Trust and thus

the whole process was completely

Transparent and above board.

“The Ship of State is making good speed”,

the Prince maintained. “We can’t allow those

Climate Change Hippies and Greenies

to damage our Economic Integrity” he shouted,

tho he struggled somewhat to be heard above the sound

of splintering timbers and buckling steel

as the Ship of State ground into an Ice Epidemic.

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“Nothing a Royal Commission can’t fix!

Be assured my government is prepared

to make the Important Structural Changes required

to assure our Prosperity into the next Century”,

the Prince said in soothing tones,

as he organised the Survivors into sub-committees

to start rearranging deck chairs.

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“Remember:

GROWTH is PROGRESS!

WAR is PEACE!

COMPLIANCE is FREEDOM!

These must be our Watchwords!”

cried the inspirational Prince

as he hastily stuffed wads of cash

into a sturdy suitcase with a gaily coloured

“Welcome to the Cayman Islands!”

sticker stuck to its side.

“Believe me my Friends!”, the Pimply Prince

assured his agitated audience,

as he tossed the suitcase over the side

of the ship and started to climb over the guard-rail.

“There has never been a more exciting time

to shift your Assets to an off-shore, tax-free Jurisdiction”.

And with that the Prince of Pimps disappeared from view.

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Later, after the good Ship of State Australianus

had disappeared beneath the waves,

all that could be seen on the Ocean’s face was a tiny

rowing boat bearing two tiny figures.

Wheeling in like a sea-bird, we find on closer examination

that one of the figures is no less than the Prince of Pimps

Themselves, perched on the cash stuffed suitcase like a petrel on a rock.

Rowing the boat whilst it puffed on a cigar

was a squat, leering, hunch-backed figure,

who resembled no-one so much

as Quasimodo in an ill-fitting suit.

After awhile it spoke..

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“Which island should I row for Marrsster?

The Caymans? Hong Kong?”

The Prince shook himself out of his lordly reverie.

A smile played gently around his noble lips..

“No Joe,” he said kindly, “the only island we’ll be passing

is Ellis Island! Yes Lady Liberty herself, Joe!

Pull for New York Joe! Pull for New York!

In the US They respect an Economic Refugee with a suitcase full of cash!”.

“You can stay at my place if you like Marrssterr”, lisped the Hunchback.

“The Embassy? Why thank you Joe”.

“As former Prime Pimp it’s only what you’re entitled to, Marrsssterr..”.

“That’s true Joe, very true. And while I’m in Washington

I think I’ll visit the White House (Now that it is WHITE again you understand).

I want to see a Man there about a Dog-Whistle”.

zac-turnbull

*a profession formerly known as journalism

*****

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***

reverend-profile-red

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised 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.

Has trouble opening packaging.

***

MEDITATION ON A BANANA

•November 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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Meditation on a Banana

*

I am in my supermarket

looking at a banana

that’s come all the way from China,

just like that song by Leonard Cohen.

*

It was picked green/

washed/irradiated/

snap frozen/packed

& loaded into a metal shipping container

with thousands of other bananas

and shipped over the sea and far-away.

Once in my country it is unloaded/

trucked to a distribution centre/

chemically snap-thawed/

and trucked again to my supermarket

where they slap a sticker bearing a koala

on the banana and arrange it artfully on a shelf

painted black, so that the banana will look yellow,

instead of that sickly, greyish-green hue it assumes

when exposed to real sunlight.

Hunting Spider or Banana Spider (Cupiennius salei) sitting between Bananas, native to Central America

I look at the banana

with something like wonder.

Somehow it was more “economical”

to ship this sad specimen half way around the globe

rather than to try and grow it here.

Does that sound right to you?

It’s not like there’s a famine on or

that I live at the South Pole

or anything like that.

Used to be you could drive out of town

twenty minutes in any direction

and there’d be a banana farm.

Of course, it takes you longer than twenty minutes

these days, to get out beyond

the seemingly relentless urban seep,

spreading like a stain across the land,

housing estates sprouting on rich, red soil

where used to grow strawberries,

paw paws, pumpkin, beans,

a rich profusion of market crops

surrounded the city, now

replaced by a concrete and gyprock rim

of dormitory suburbs.

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Perplexed, I took my banana to the cash register.

The checkout girl then patiently explained to me

the economics of the banana;

“It’s globalisation, innit?” she said and popped

her chewing gum,

“Rich Fuckers grow stuff or get stuff made

in Third World countries where they don’t pay

the peasants proper, then ship it over

to fat fuckin’ First World countries like this dump,

where they can undercut local products,

then they ship their money

to any shitty, little island that’s got a bank and no taxes,

all nice and legal and above board.

It’s called Free Trade, Darrl,” she concluded

“and that’s $3.90 for the banana.”

*

“Three ninety for a fuckin’ banana!” I shrieked.

*

“Well, what do you expect, ” she yawned,

and started filing her nails,

“it came all the way from China.”

devushka-banan

****

sybaritejpig

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nov-27-corected

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reverend-profile-red

The Reverend Hellfire;

WORKS ALL NIGHT ON A DRINK O RUM

HAULING BANANA’S TILL DE MORNING COME!!

***