THE ONION SKIN

•August 21, 2016 • 2 Comments

onion and skin

The Onion Skin

*

Once upon a time there was an Old Lady,

who died and went straight to Hell.

Despite appearances, this is in fact,

the Beginning of the Story.

Bosch2

Her neighbours didn’t waste much time mourning her passing.

The Truth be told (as it must be, because this is that sort of Story, where even the Lies are True, in a sense) they didn’t

mourn her passing at all, for she was possibly the meanest, most cold-hearted, and uncharitable person

who had ever lived.

She never lent a hand to her neighbours or even helped out her family when they were in need. She never made a donation to a Charity or a Church. Indeed, in her entire miserly Life she had only ever performed one, small, Charitable Act.

It didn’t help either, that she was also rude, foul-tempered

and a vicious gossip to boot.

But her neighbours were decent, kindly folk after all, so they gave her a proper funeral and a decent burial (according to the Customs of the Time), instead of just tossing her body out on the scrap heap for the dogs to eat.

They even put up a neat little marble cross to mark the grave.

boscgh old woman in hell

None of this stopped her from going to Hell though, because,

as mentioned previously, in her entire Life she had performed but a single charitable act.

This act of Charity, in fact, was nothing more than this; That once she had given an Onion Skin to a Beggar to eat.

She had eaten the Onion herself, of course.

Onions

But that was long ago and subsequently she had spent the rest of her long life indulging only her own extravagant whims,

in the process running through a vast, inherited Fortune,

and leaving her own heirs nothing but debts.

gina rinehart

So now the Old Woman suffered down in Hell

with all the other Damned Souls, and after an Eternity or so,

it happened that amongst all the other Wailing

and Gnashing of Teeth, her own voice rose up for a moment above all the others, and her cry was heard,

yay, even unto the Gates of Paradise.

Now up above in the Land of the Blessed was,

naturally enough, the innocent Beggar

and when she heard the Old Woman’s cry

she went to the golden balconies around Heavens rim

and peered down at the Under-World below.

(In this version we’ll make the Beggar a girl too,

to avoid any accusations of typecasting gender-roles.)

indian beggar girl

The Beggar Girl had died one Winter years ago,

from Starvation or Pneumonia or Tuberculosis

or whatever poor people were dying from at the time.

Though poor she had led a blameless Life, sharing what she had with others down on their luck, always showing kindness to children and animals,

and uncomplaining patience

with her own hard lot in Life.

Thus, the Good Beggar Girl was rewarded with a berth in Heaven, and as she peered down into the Depths of Hell below, she recognised, standing miserably

there amongst the hordes

of the eternally wailing Damned, the miserly Old Woman who had given her the Onion Skin to eat so very long ago.

bosch hell

And being Kind, the Beggar took pity on her

and went to the Top Justice God to plead for Mercy

for the Old Woman, and ask that she may be given a chance

to escape from the torments of Hell.

Being both Wise and Just (or so the story goes) the God

took an Onion and peeled the skin from it,

all in one long piece.

(You know, like kids do with an apple sometimes in play,

seeing how long you could make that continuous coil.)

*

It must have been a Magic Onion, because that narrow strip of Onion Skin was long enough

to reach all the way down to Hell.

(Or maybe Hell is just a lot closer than we think.)

Anyway, the God in question,

(It might have been Thoth or possibly just Jesus.)

gave the long ribbon of Onion Skin to the Beggar, saying that she might lower it into Hell and by that means the Old Woman might climb up and escape her punishment.

The Beggar did just that. Tying one end of the onion skin rope to the Golden Railings, she lowered the other end down, down to the depths of Hell where the Old Woman was standing and wailing with her kind. Calling down to her, the Beggar Girl told her that her long-ago act of kindness now gave her the opportunity to escape the torments she was suffering. She had but to climb the Onion Skin to Heaven.

The Old Woman eagerly grasped the Onion Skin

with her claw-like, withered hands and started to haul

herself upwards towards the Light.

climber

But as she did so, all the other Damned nearby, who had been watching this little Drama unfold, saw their chance to escape the ghastly Land of Hades too, and they all started grabbing at the Onion Skin rope.

Fearing perhaps, that their combined weight would make the fragile ribbon break, the Old Woman kicked at those climbing up behind her and shrieked fiercely at them,

“Get away! Get off! It’s mine! The Onion Skin is Mine!”

And as she spoke those words, the Onion-Skin snapped and she plummeted back into the smoky depths of Tartarus

for all the rest of Eternity.

Onion-harvest_MR

There’s probably a Moral here. There’s usually one lurking about at the end of Stories, like a Janitor, tidying up the loose ends, clearing away the clutter, turning off the lights..

Well, you can always just write this off as a case of;

Character is Destiny“,

or simply a reminder

that the Onion-Skin of Mercy

is a fragile thing indeed.

Onion skin abbott eats

****

Future Freeloaders

***

the rev burns

The REVEREND HELLFIRE is manifesting in Ipswich,

for One Show Only,

Tuesday, 6th September for the

SOLIDARITY CULTURE CLUB

at STUDIO 188.

Check out the link below for more details;

https://www.facebook.com/events/178255885928039/

studio 188

***

reverend profile red

You know who I am.

***

From the Vaults; THE EEL DIARIES

•August 14, 2016 • Leave a Comment

We re-print this redacted copy of the Reverend’s original research journals..

electric eel close up

FIELD NOTES; The Eel Diaries

It’s true that I like to conduct my own obscure

Experiments in forbidden fields.

Like the time I became far too interested in Electric Eels.

It wasn’t fair, I had decided, in a moment of unreasonable petulance,

Why couldn’t I generate an electric field and stun

my enemies too?

Why should a lowly eel have all the fun.

After all, 87% of our DNA is shared in common.

The electricity-generating blueprints are down there somewhere

in the basement of the bodies Genetic Archives,

I just have to dig down deep

Locate, Access, and Activate the sequence, right?

How hard could it be?

electric eel diagram

Not knowing what I was doing,

I took a multi faceted approach.

First, I read everything I could find

about the Electric Eel,

plastered my walls with pictures of them

and their ugly protruding jaws.

I Meditated frequently, Visualizing in my minds eye

Radiant blue energy currents

that swirled within and about me.

I shuffled my feet on carpets on windy days

and sewed magnets into my socks.

I spent long hours in the bathtub,

in the Dark,

thinking Eely thoughts..

Only my eyes and nose poked out above

the surface thickly strewn

with stolen Lotus-lily leaves.

Furthering my mimickry I found

The Eels diet was not that different from my own;

Dead things, mainly,

and lots of little fish.

Eel_anatomy1

At night, drawing on the Wisdom of the East,

I lay in bed, breathing rhythmically, and focused on

Circulating the Chi & Pranic forces throughout my body,

till the room seemed to hum with a Phosphorescent Glow..

Your thinking about Eels again,” said my Girlfriend, “ I can tell.”

Yes, Sweetest, ” I confessed, “that is true, but tell me did you know..”

I continued, improvising a rapid lie, “that when they’re mating,

The Eels lovingly entwine and twirl

giving each other mild, mutual electric shocks

that spiral in a gradually ascending clitorescendo of ecstatic pleasure?”

We could try doing that,” I suggested. “Try thinking of

my penis as a lightning rod.”

Well..” she said, “Alright.”

My Girlfriend was good like that.

She always encouraged me with my researches.

erel stuff

Sadly though,

In the end I had to DISscontinue

my Eel experiments, they were starting to have DISsconcerting

Effects on my immediate Environment and the

Bioelectric circuitry of my Brain. Light bulbs blew

UP in my presence, compass needles spun wildly

in my vicinity,

Static storms erUPted in the stereo speakers,

the optic fibre fired and died,

I was subject to short circuits and sudden seizures,

micro-blackouts and fits of deja/

deja/

deja vu..

Eel_anatomy1

Clearly there were Forces

With which Man-Was-Not-Meant-to-Meddle!

electric eel couple

No, nor Woman neither,

I told my dissappointed Girl.

electriuc eel and little_mermaid_by_satiiiva-d2y2grp

***

Electric_Eel_front

***

futcha squares

***

reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is..

yada yada yada!

***

A CAT IS ALWAYS NOBLE

•August 7, 2016 • 3 Comments

Tom Cat noble in the Sun

A Cat is Always Noble

*

My Cat he keeps me company

as I sit in the Winter Sun,

He purrs, he rolls, he stretches,

delighting in this Fun.

Then indulges in a Dust-bath,

with the greatest Dignity.

(For a Cat is always Noble,

on a Throne or in a Tree.)

Tom sleepy in garden sun DETAIL

At first a Feral, he moved in,

when with his stray-cat eyes he saw,

an invisible Sign, apparently written,

and hung upon the door, (it read);

“Familiar and Companion Wanted,

Please apply within!

Generous Feedings! Flexible Hours!

Starts as soon as you begin!”

Tom sleepy in garden sun DETAIL

Now the only thing that disturbs his peace

and equan-imity,

is still the occasional manifestation,

of certain cantankerous fleas.

But even these he despatches,

with a sense of Oblige Noblesse,

and woe to the Rodent or Rat he detects

and devours with consumate ease!

Cute and NOBLE Tom cat photo RED

Cat photos by Phaedra McGhie @phaephaephotography (Instagram)

***

Wherefore art thou

***

Rev in blue profile

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

still President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

You get what you pay for.

***

CIRCLE (A Work in Progress)

•July 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Todays sermon a tribute to the gentle Art of Tai Chi.

tai chi affect detail

CIRCLE (A Work in Progress)

*

Sunset, the sky shimmers, a silvered sheet.

You stand, feet shoulder width apart.

Slowly, you inhale,

Draw in the CHI that surrounds you,

and then

Exhaling you sink down

Into the Saddle, and sitting back,

Raise Water from the Well.

Bring Bucket back down to the Ground.

Draw the Circle, step within,

Ward off Evil, and lovingly,

Brush the Pheasant’s golden tail.

*

Now you Press forwards,

Roll back,

Push forwards once again

playing at the Yin and Yang,

the ever-changing Forces..

Drop hands and Pass the Clouds,

You Thread the Needle, with a Single Whip,

Cool the Heron’s Wing, and then

Take Flight into,

The Ancient sequences unfolding,

the Sweeps and Stances

Of Tai Chi‘s Eternal Dance.

*

Now you are like a Machine in your efficiency,

Smoothly you swoop and pivot, pause..

Draw the CHI deep, down into your lungs,

and send it surging through your limbs

a Cascade fountaining,

It carries you on

and you resume,

Repulsing Monkeys,

you wheel and spin,

Smooth now slow, now fast

and forceful like a mountain stream

that quickens

through the Rapids,

and then pools,

collecting in the tranquil Lagoon beyond..

taichi

Now you are Still and Centred,

Around you in the distance resounds

The busy city’s hum and roar,

The Workers streaming home,

The Highways full of hurrying cars..

Whilst my Garden rearranges itself as well,

A change of shifts as

the bush turkeys go to bed/

the possums awake from their hidey holes

and clamber noisily over the roof,

whilst unseen in a million leafy recesses,

the Chorus of Cicadas slowly fades

and is replaced by a Chorus of Frogs-

Only the slightest of changes

in timbre and pitch marks this subtle transition.

*

Meanwhile, the Moon rises above the horizon,

Fat and Yellow.

The Globe turns, the Bats circle above,

calling in invisible voices,

the Stars peep through the haze

of the City lights.

*

The World’s Wheel turns

and you turn too,

gliding and sliding

through the intricate, unfolding movements

of TAI CHI’s Endless Cycle.

Drawing the Circle,

You Dance,

But within it’s Centre, You are Still.

Rev tai chibrush birds tail

Authors Note; This poem celebrates practising my Tai Chi set beneath the silky oak tree down the back yard for the 3,666th time.

***

SQUAREY has laryngitis so you’ll have to supply your own Voice Balloons this week. Indeed, send your suggested dialogue to reverend.hellfire@yahoo.com.au to win a prize and see your witticisms published here next week!

DIY SQUAREY! jpig

***

June 2016 handbill JPIG Web garish!

***

Rev in blue profile

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

He dreams of becoming a layer of sediment

in the coalfields of the Tomorrow.

***

I HEARD THE NEWS TODAY, OH BOY

•July 24, 2016 • 2 Comments

Rev Hellfire visits Mai Lai massacre

I Heard the News Today, Oh Boy..

*

Welcome to the New Age.

The Age of the Bully.

The Age of the Thug TRiUMPhant.

The Age where Anger justifies

every Aggressive Action.

The Age of the Demagogue.

The Age of the Terrorist.

The Age of the Loner

making nail bombs in basements.

The Age of the Mob

hanging victims from lamp-posts.

The Age of the Strong Leader

making their Nation “Great” again

by crushing Third World rebels in rags.

*

The Age of the Firing Squad.

The Age of the Lone Gunman.

The Age of Collatoral Damage and the Drone.

The Age of the Internet Stalker.

The Age of the Vigilente.

The Age of the Honour Crime.

*

The Age of the Celebrity Nervous Breakdown.

The Age of Anxiety, Autisim and Angst.

The Age of the “Prepper”,

storing Weapons in Bunkers.

*

The Age where every Poet has been driven Mad.

Reverend hellfire gets down

***

metre & rhymme

***

June 2016 handbill JPIG Web garish!

***

reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanisim.

Lucky Bastard!

***

NEW TYRES AND TEETH

•July 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Beneath Winters grim, grey, cloud covered sky, the Reverend releases from the Archival Vaults a poem to match the weather..

Rev meditates, traffic calming

New Tyres and Teeth

*

No! No! No!

I need new Tyres and Teeth,

I told her, heart heavy with regret.

No more drugs

till I get that done at least!

But meanwhile as I spoke,

every taut stretched fibre of my Being

was being played like a Lyre,

twanging like a wire in the wind,

singing,

“No! No! Don’t listen to him! Lets Get On!”

It wasn’t drug-craving driving me on,

it was just that I couldn’t stand

that creeping sense of Foreboding,

waiting for the Worst to happen

and knowing that it would..

Fuck it! Lets just make it happen now

and be done with it, I said!

Far easier to surrender to Fatalism

than suffer the folly of Hope.

poppy snake reduced

***

Headlining JPIG

***

SaintHellfire

The Reverend Hellfire..

just as confused as you are.

***

THE POWERS OF THE MIND (ReduX in LuX)

•July 10, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Reverend ritual

THE POWER OF THE MIND (Redux in Lux)

“Magick is the art and science of causing changes in Nature

in conformity with the Will. “

– Aleister Crowley.

My young daughter and I had been discussing Magic.

“But is it real?”, she asked. “Well.. yes”, I replied, “but it’s not like in the movies. Sparks don’t shoot out of people’s eyes just because they mutter a couple of words in Latin like with Harry Potter. Magic is generally more subtle in its’ action, when it works right, well.. things just seem to happen.”

“But how?”

“O.K.”, I said, “I will tell you a True Story about the time I proved that there is indeed Magic and then Dear Daughter,

I will show you the proof.”

taichi

So I told her the tale of how, long ago, I had come across a book that was a kind of training manual on Magic.

Be reassured, gentle readers, that the book was no ghastly, blood stained Grimoire or tedious medieval treatise on elaborate ceremonial conjurations. It was in fact more of a kind of Sixties Pop version of modern Crowley style techniques mixed with a bit of Tim Leary style psycho-babble. I can’t recall the title now, but one of the authors was that old psychedelic prankster, Robert Anton Wilson, he of Illuminatus infamy.

Basically, the book proposed that we live in a kind of Plastic Universe that could be shaped by your Will. Magic was a kind of concentrated prayer. The New Age Magician simply tuned into the Great Unseen Currents and Patterns that shape our lives, and focused their Will to make things happen. No need for lengthy ceremonies or all that Tantric Sex stuff. Unless you felt it helped create the right mood, of course.

The book spruiked a New Age philosophy of modern Magic, where through training you evolved to Higher Levels of Consciousness, accessing your untapped human potential, your mysterious powers of the mind, etc, etc. It took a “retool your psyche for the Millennium approach”. You know, upgrade the old mental-software routine.

The Rev unleashes his awesome Powers!

The Rev unleashes his awesome Powers!

Now at the end of each chapter were training exercises. One chapter had a training exercise entitled: “Making Money Appear”. (Yes, for all their New Age rhetoric these modern Magicians’ preoccupations were proving somewhat medieval! Just like all those old grimoires obsessed with finding buried treasure. Poor old Magic, they talk about consciousness-raising but all they really want from you is Money, Sex and Power.

(Oh, and the death of their Enemies.)

Anyways, the Exercise in question advocated that you start small, by mastering the Art of making nickels or dimes appear. You commence by concentrating on the coin in question. Memorise its appearance. Imagine coins appearing. You repeat little reinforcing mantra‘s like “Dimes are everywhere” or “I will keep picking up change” Do a drawing and pin it on the wall. Then you start consciously looking for them to appear while your walking around. Etc., etc..

Apparently this practice will lead to coins mysteriously coming into your life. The book’s authors affirmed you’d start finding money everywhere.

What the hey! I wasn’t doing anything else important at the time so I thought I’d give it a go.

Since I live in Australia it seemed to be stretching the odds somewhat to be looking for dimes so I substituted the local

20 cent piece, (“two bob” in the old currency). Its design was simple and familiar thus easy to memorize; a silver circle with a portrait of Queen Liz II on one side, with the year and some lettering around the edges, and on the other side a swimming Platypus with the number 20.

The Australian 20 cent piece

The Australian 20 cent piece

When I went to bed that night I made sure my last thought was the 20 cent piece. When I woke up there was a note to remind me. I started the day with a focused meditation session on the subject. I repeated my mantras over breakfast. I pinned 20-cent-finding-affirmations on the mirror and walls. When I went out I walked everywhere, ever alert for the presence of 20 cent pieces. When I went to the shop I looked for them in my change.

At the end of a long day I went to bed, grumpy and dissatisfied. I hadn’t acquired a single 20 cent piece the whole day. Be damned, I thought as I fell asleep, if I waste anymore time on this gibberish.

Early next morning, I was awoken by a loud, cheerful knocking on my door. When I open it, there on my doorstep is my old, long-lost, lunatic friend Stuart, with a scowling black cat

tucked under his arm.

grumpy black cat

To grasp the significance of Stuart’s role in this affair, you have to understand that Stuart is an Agent of Chaos. His Life has been different from most folks since he first ate Magic Mushrooms aged 12 and decided to leave school then and there to become a Musician. He has never had a straight job in his life but has somehow always managed to survive, drifting along, playing his guitar. At heart he is a tie-dyed in the wool  Hippy. He is a relic from my long lost, wasted youth when I hung around with the Wild Boys and we Walked Tall with the King!

Ah, crazy, crazy times.

tai chi hand strawberry circle

But the long years passed and we drifted apart, following our different destinies. Then, like Banquo’s Ghost, he took to manifesting in my life at irregular intervals. I wouldn’t see him for a year or two then suddenly he’d just appear out of nowhere. Somehow Stuart always managed to track me down. He’d hang around for a week or so and turn my life upside down with manic enthusiasm and crazy projects. Then he’d vanish into the Void again without a goodbye. He was always in the middle of some absurd adventure. One time he turned up in an antique removal van he’d turned into a house. Despite the fact it could only reach 40 mph top speed, he was touring the country in it. Another time he was living in a yacht in the middle of the Brisbane river while he tended a pot crop in the mangroves.

(Of course, I didn’t give my daughter all the details about Stuart I’m giving you, but I gave her enough to get the general gist.)

tai chi hand strawberry circle

So, to return to the story, here I am, barely awake, with my old friend the Maniac manifesting on my doorstep for one of his unannounced visits.

And he has Gifts for me. Oh yes, two in fact.

“Here”, he said, passing me the now furiously scrabbling black feline, “this is for you.”
Avoiding the claws I hastily put it on the floor. The cat peered at me doubtfully, then seemed to shrug, and commenced licking its groin. Clearly it had decided to accept ownership of me.

“Er.. ah.. Thanks,” I said.

“Oh, and I thought you’d like this too”, he said reaching into his pocket, “I found it on the way over here.” He fumbled around for a bit but finally pulled out and presented me with, yes, of course, a 20 cent piece!

magic coin silhouette

Behold the actual magic coin!

“Really?!” interrupted my Daughter.

“Yes”, I replied, “really! And I have kept that coin to this day. It’s in that box on the shelf”.

“Can I see it?” she asked.

“Surely”, I replied and opening the box

I held the coin up for her inspection.

“Behold the awesome Magickal Powers of your Father’s Mind!!” I told her.

For a moment she was silent. Then we both burst out laughing.

*

Why the laughter, you ask, dear reader? Had I not shown her incontrovertible Evidence of the Power of Magic? Did I not hold an actual 20 cent piece produced thereof?

The magic coin, Queen side, on right normal 20 cent

The magic coin, Queen side. Ordinary 20 cent piece on right

Oh it was a 20 cent piece all right, of that there was no doubt, but it was not your average coin. For one thing it was no longer round, but more a kind of irregular, wobbly egg shape. Looked at edgewise, it was bent over like an old man with rheumatism.

On the obverse side you could still see the number 20, but the platypus had been reduced to an ugly smear, mere road kill, which was kind of appropriate considering it had certainly been run over by something.

On the coin’s other side, poor old Queen Liz‘s portrait had been obliterated. Only the letters AUST, and the top of her crown were were legible. It reminded me of how incoming Egyptian Pharaohs used to erase the names and faces of unpopular predecessors from public monuments. Indeed, the coin looked like something you’d dig up on the outskirts of Cairo.

So yes, it was a twenty cent piece, but only just. A bank might still accept it as legal tender but a phone booth or a slot machine wouldn’t.

Magic coin, road kill side

Magic coin, road kill side & a normal 20 cent piece

I had to admit, as a product of the Powers of the Mind it was spectacularly unimpressive.

One could even say it was impressively unimpressive. Nonetheless it was proof. The manner of its manifestation was clearly Magickal in nature. Yet as recompense for twenty four hours of mental effort, it was pretty poor payback. Perhaps my powers of the mind lacked focus.

Still, my daughter wasn’t entirely disappointed

with the tangible evidence I’d produced,

and so, on that happy note I ended my lesson on Magic.

tai chi hand strawberry circle

***

DIY LAW

***

Rev in blue profile

The Reverend hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists

AND the Church of the Universe!

“In a World reduced to statistics,

you will count for Nothing.”

***

 
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