THE GREAT

•February 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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The Great

*

How do Historians decide

which Leaders get to be called “Great”?

Yes how to measure Greatness,

how to calibrate,

which Achievements have the Gravitas

to be given such Weight?

Do they weigh the tonnes of Gold they’ve stolen

or ‘tick off ‘ the Towns in total taken,

or is it just the count of Non-Combatants killed?

Perhaps it’s a question of Volume

and the quarts of Blood that’s spilled.

(which mixed with Mud

makes up the Ink

to write the Lies with which

the pages of old History’s filled).

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Still, how dull the Past without

the antics of the Great,

towering like techni-colour Giants

above the Black & White Second-Rate.

Their Appetites are huge, we watch in Awe

as they devour whole countries

for a snack,

and even their most fickle Whims

move men and muster armies for attack.

And after Their Tragic Fall they change

the very Land itself, leaving like Gods

named after them

rivers, towns and mountains.

And only then do the Whispers start

that the Great Man was Insane.

Oh Pray, my friends,

yes Pray we do not

see their like again.

ramses-the-great

Pompey the Great. Marble. Beginning of the 1st century A.D. Inv. No. 733. Copenhagen, New Carlsberg Glyptotek.

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The Reverend Hellfire is

etc etc..

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In Which We Meet Fire, The Artist

•February 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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In Which We Meet Fire, the Artist

*

Candles and Pills don’t mix!

I warned her,

but that was before the curtains

gently brushed the guttering candles

and awoke some crazy, abstract Artist

who daubed the whole room with flames.

*

Her house mates woke

and dragged her outside just in time

to stand a barefoot lawn in the frosty dawn,

but she went groggily stumbling back on in

to retrieve something or other.

I don’t know what,

money, clothes, a cat..

*

Didn’t come back out,

Fire, the Artist,

had reduced her to a charcoal sketch.

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***

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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.

Oh! The Humidity! 

***

PROGRESS AND DECLINE

•February 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

industrial

PROGRESS AND DECLINE

Dear Developers,

Speculators,

Boomers and Boosters,

Political Buddies and Media Shills,

all you Princes of Progress

and Pimps of Prosperity,

Pinacles of Probity

with hands in the Till.

progress

We’ve considered your kind offer

of a Free market Future,

“Profitable, Prosperous and Secure”,

(These at least are the words that you use

in all of your shiny brochures)

and we appreciate that all

we need give up in exchange

is our History, Environment and Culture.

progress

Alas we decline, your offer, with thanks,

at the risk of you saying

that we’re Green Hippy Cranks

opposed to all Progress and Change.

But this so-called “Progress

and “Change” is still,

just  merely

the same tired, old  Swill!

Oh yeah!

And your hands are still in the Till..

WElcome to West End

A typical poster from the West End Business Association promoting the Kurilpa area’s new Image as a safe, (Upper-Middle-Class) family friendly environment. Gad, “Urban Renewal” is so inspiring the way it takes run-down, neglected, working class areas and spruces them up, putting in long overdue infrastructure and services and driving out the unsightly poor people who lived there. (Aboriginals, the unemployed, pensioners et al can have a really negative effect on land values.)

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The Reverend Hellfire..

He’s back and he’s smoking!

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MY WHITE TRASH HEAVEN

•January 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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My White Trash Heaven

*

Not for me the comfort of

some superannuated scheme,

a Yuppy’s mortgaged youth to pay the price

for a privileged place in a Retirement Village

with a residential theme.

empty-beach

my Dream is to become a Beach Bum,

and let the layers of Ambition peel off me

like old paint in the Sun.

I’ll watch my Work-Ethic corroded by the Sea Air

as I rusticate in a lean-to shack

made of salt and driftwood.

All the windows will be made

out of gin bottles,

and I’ll have an old AM radio

and a Black & White TV

jammed on Channel 2

for company. I’ll let Goannas browse

in my midden heap and a big carpet snake

will take to drowsing in the rafters

whenever he’s digesting rats.

And I’ll only go into town on Cheque Days

while I leave a couple of mongrel dogs

who don’t like strangers sleeping

in the dust out the front,

in the shade of a big Mango tree.

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Periodically, of course, someone will complain

about me and my White Trash Heaven

(it’s the Way of the World)

and Council Officials and Social-Work

Professionals pretending to care

will parachute in like stormtroopers,

keen to rebuke or remonstrate or reason with me.

I’ll just smile slow and stupid and nod vaguely

like maybe I understand or

maybe I just have brain damage.

(I’ll be like that Landlord I had,

who lost his ability to speak the English language

whenever Fire Dept. officials came around

to try to get him to install smoke detectors*)

view

In the end I’ll probably smile

and pretend to agree,

but really I’ll just be stalling

till they go and I can get back to my Life,

content in the knowledge I’ll have the Last Laugh,

because, by the time they can get

all my fine legal sand-grit out of their gears

and get the Bureaucratic Wheels a’grinding,

I’ll be long dead.

Suckers.

Fooled them one last time.

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***

* Yes, I learnt a lot about dealing with petty officialdom

from watching my Landlord, old Ricardo, at work.

Of course, he never did fix that big hole in my ceiling but on the plus side he never complained about the constant clouds of cannabis

billowing from every flat in the building either.

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The Late Reverend Hellfire

is chronically, chronologically challenged

and surely a Man out of his Time

if not his Depth.

***

Australia/ Invasion/ Survival Day Poem; THE LAND

•January 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I wrote this poem on Australia Day on Australia’s Bi-centenary,

It is, as you will come to see, a kind of Prophecy,

Now some decades later, you may judge as to its accuracy..

aboriugines-in-chains

The Land

*

They would not curse the Land

Though we pushed them to the edges of Extinction

in our frantic exploitation..

They loved it far too much for that.

They would not lay down trapdoor, tripwire Curses

Or poison waterholes,

Just told us in words

We would not learn to hear

For at least Two Hundred years,

That the Land will hate you if you won’t listen..

Bad Luck to try and harm the Land.

The Land will hate you if you try!”

murris-in-chains

It WAS the Land itself that rose up,

Long after the Others had been led away,

in neck irons to prisons, graveyards,

shanty-towns & slums.

It turned against us when we tried to tame it,

Grains would not grow

where once were plains of waving grasses.

Cattle starved where once the native animals

prospered. Where trees were razed,

and cities raised the rain no longer fell.

The old paintings were not renewed

And the seasons fell apart.

We remembered nothing of the Others knowledge,

Disdained and forgot what “Savages” knew,

We went and made the Land a jail

Of rectangles and cubes,

And prison farms

To be worked behind barbed wire.

murris-in-chains

Unloved the Land curled in upon itself

And showed us only its Indifference.

Hostile as we blundered sweating

Through a landscape made of heat and dreams,

Cursing in our desperation

A Land we never tried to understand.

We ignored its Warnings, its Mysteries,

Its Beauty and were glad

to be content with a vision bland

One vast, unending suburban plan.

murris-in-chainsRose up against us.

Would suffer no more Indignities.

Shook the poisons from the air

with the Wind Wings of Storm,

Washed our filth from the rivers

With cleansing floods

and swept the whole Land clean

of all our petty flod-plain clutterings whilst we cried,

APOCALYPSE!” and “DISASTER!”

and cursed

the un-naturalness of Nature…

murris-in-chains

And elsewhere sheep and cattle swarmed

like lice over the denuded hillsides,

‘Til the Land withdrew its blessing

And shriveled hot and dry the hills,

Now wrinkled like the hide of some

Vast Beast of Earth and Drought.

murris-in-chains

And elsewhere ice fell

Where it never fell before,

Or sun grew hotter than white skins

could bear.

And so it went all across the Land

It seemed all of Nature

Had turned against our hand

As tidal waters washed away

Tall buildings built on sand,

(And where we’d damn a river storing

Water for ONE million souls,

We would increase with little thought

Until our numbers equaled THREE,

then puzzled at our thirst.)

murris-in-chains

So on and on and on it went,

The Land’s wealth wasted, squandered, spent,

Two hundred years of Arrogance,

Stupidity and Greed,

That finds us gathered here at last

Beneath this flag, a drunken mob of thieves,

Boastful and cruel.

Back slapping, blowing trumpets,

Celebrating, drinking beer,

We march blindfolded backwards

Towards the next two hundred years.

-26th. January, 1988.

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***************

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The Reverend Hellfire.

Say no more!

***

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?!

heart-in-the-sky

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.

luv-u-xx

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”

im-sorry-clear-skies

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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The Reverend Hellfire..

Burning the candle at every end.

***