Once More the Land

•January 21, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Introduction;26th january 2018;

And so Australia/Invasion/Survival Day approacheth once more in this the year of 2018CE,

and once more also I ritually lay before my humble audience this prophetic lament “The Land”, a threnody of language writhing in anguish and angst, a shamanistic protest and a promise.

When I first wrote this poem thirty years ago there was little public discontent about the date of our national holiday. But slowly over the decades, bit by bit, more and more Australians are starting to question the wisdom of having ourcelebration of national unity on the date a British Empire military expedition founded a penal colony and started stealing the Land from the natives. It’s just in bad taste really. This year those who are uncomfortable with this exercise will be gathering in every capital city to register their objections, and I will be there too.

Why don’t you join us?

PROLOGUE 2008; 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..

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!”

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.

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. *

Rose 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…

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.

*

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.)

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.

***

***

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.

“Focus on the Next Thing,

not the Last.”

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ANGER ({Redux)

•January 14, 2018 • Leave a Comment

As Brisburg sizzles in the Summer heat-wave, the Sun-maddened Residents are starting to show clear signs of mental stress; brains melt, synapses snap, psychotic breakdowns bloom like rotten weeds, whilst domestic violence statistics soar like a plastic bag caught in an updraft and road rage runs rampant.

Sunday Sermons subsequently feels it appropriate to update & re-issue this classic cautionary tale as a therapeutic measure.

ANGER! {Redux}

*

Remember when everyone was getting into Anger?

*

Oh yes, it was the latest, most fashionable

drug on the Market,

and all the cool kids were doing it.

Extracted from the pineal glands

of rare, Amazonian Lizards,

it gave a lordly rush like Speed,

but with a pleasing afterglow

of self-righteousness and nervous agitation

that really made for a nice little chemical cocktail

of lethal emotions.

*

Ah, Anger! That ancient devil drug

from the depths of the reptile brain!

Putting the entire frontal lobe into lockdown,

as efficiently as a Wasp

paralysing a Spider with its sting.

*

Habit Forming? I hear you ask.

Well, what do you think?

OF COURSE IT FUCKING WAS!!

*

Whoops.

Sorry about that. A slight relapse,

I’ll call my Sponsor later,

but that’s just the way it was,

that’s just how addictive it was,

The User soon developed a taste

for that animal warmth

flooding the blood,

throbbing thru arteries and veins.

Snorting like an old war-horse,

the Heart awakens to the Chemical’s Clarion Call

and before you knew it,

it’s, “High Ho Silver! And Awayyy!”

and the User was Up riding their High-Horse

down the low road

trampling all before them.

As the Cravings grew

the occasional indulgence on the Weekends

(lashing out at family and friends)

would turn into week long binges

that seriously impeded the workers’ productivity.

At which point the Authorities grew concerned

and passed a raft of harsh new laws

whilst Researchers were directed to discover

if there was a direct correlation

between Anger and Violence.

*

But as the drug raged like an Epidemic

thru the Nation

no-one seemed immune

to the whole situation,

even the Prime Minister was said

to indulge heavily in Anger

especially after Press Conferences

and Cabinet Meetings,

one former Staffer claiming,

“I’ve never seen someone

have that much before!”

Alas, like all good things in Life

a tolerance to the drug’s charms

soon built up,

and hungry for more Anger,

heavy users took desperate measures

to try and re-invigorate the fading charms

of their favourite Inebriate;

Yes, they’d go and listen to the shock-jocks

on talk-back radio,

Pick fights on Facebook

with anti-vaccinationists

and Climate Change Denial Trolls.

They’d take long, leisurely drives

thru peak hour traffic,

but all to no avail.

*

Naturally some of them also turned to drugs,

the Mugs, all the ugly drugs of course.

They sculled surly beer by the bitter barrel-full,

blasted barbiturates by the brutal bucket,

shot enough steroids into their arms

for a football team,

inserted amphetamine suppositories

(pop) by the ream,.

They skated on thin Ice

and on Coke,

used every other drug in the Pharmacopoeia

to try and cope, the Dopes,

they were on a sad and slippery slope

on which they all just sort of slid

into a state of surly somnolence.

Because in the end,

all they wanted,

all they really wanted,

was more Anger.

*

***

***

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.

Be Kind.

***

PANIC IN FITZROY STREET

•January 7, 2018 • Leave a Comment

We apologise to our readers who need closure on last weeks sermon, “The Great Magician”, but the final instalment of this ripping yarn, redolent with nostalgia and tinged with the Mystery of the East, has been deferred in order to build up audience suspense. In the meantime we present some observations extracted from the Reverend’s journal

Panic in Fitzroy Street

*

Panic in Fitzroy Street.

A crunching cull of the human herd.

One minute they’re

wandering all over the place like

“Brown’s Cows”,

the next bullbars are bouncing bollards & bodies

in a Bitumen Butchery, where

Pools of Blood sprout

like Wishing Wells. (A handful of coins

are scattered around, perhaps from

Unlucky Wishers

with poor aim)

Now popsicle-bodies

melt into the street,

Ice -cold in the Summer Heat,

Bystanders cluster ’round them

like Ants ’round a piece of Meat.

The News informs me that today

there’s 16 new Cops on the Beat.

  

But these days Fear and Shock are just

the stock-in-trade for every radio-jock

& Media-Mouthpiece with a Botox Smile,

button-mashing our Emotions

to increase Circulation, while Sub-contracting

political assassinations using pre-loaded Language.

It all smacks of Conspiracy and

Observation Bias slammed a window hintwise,

but, frankly, there’s already been

too much Shock and Awe.

Now we don’t care anymore.

So in the cool of my Comfort Zone,

I set the Selective Filter to Zero

and sit back to watch,

as a ton and a half of Amphetamines

is poured into an angry Sea.

-January, 2018

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire, the friendly Fuck-up and Failure,

is a familiar face found in the furthest fringes of acceptability,

whose Life’s Work will no doubt end up being deposited in a dumpster upon his demise.

I think there’s a lesson there for all of us.

***

THE GREAT MAGICIAN (Part1)

•January 1, 2018 • Leave a Comment

The Great Magician (Part 1)

*

The Great Magician was coming to town! The lurid three-colour posters proclaimed the glad news on every wall and telegraph pole. Showing a human silhouette outlined by radiating bands of Supernatural Energy in red and yellow, they announced that the Renowned Psychic would be appearing for One Show Only at the venerable “Her Majesty’s” Theatre, where he would demonstrate the Powers of the Mind, show us how to Unleash our own Infinite Subconscious Potential in time for the dawning New Age and, at no extra cost, fix any old watches we might happen to have lying about!

No, this was not satire, this was the early Seventies and the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. It was a time when the Old Beliefs & Certainties had crumbled and people scrambled around desperately trying out strange new beliefs and looking for (chuckle) “Answers”. Or at least a System.

Hence the popularity of Astrology, Jogging, Meditation, Krishna, Macrobiotics, The Flying Saucer Brothers, Revolution, Feminism, Maoism, Buddhism, The Children of God, etc, etc.

People would cycle fervently thru them all, sampling one True Belief after the Other. Truly it was an Age of Belief, Dis-belief having been suspended for the duration, and in these fertile fields, as W.C. Fields might have observed, “there was a new one born every minute.”

And into this rich environment of gullible Belief, came New Age con-men & hippie charlatans like Charlie Manson & Erich von DanikinJim Jones, striding onto the World Stage &and making like Prophets & Wonder-Workers.

ESP was popular again too, the CIA was rumoured to be using clairvoyant “Far-Seers”, and the spoon-bending/ watch-fixing “powers” of Uri Geller were all the rage amongst the Psychically Gifted Set.

Geller toured the world (sometimes visiting ESP research Labs but mostly appearing onstage) as a clairvoyant and possessor of a vague set of Psychic “Powers”, which he claimed, if memory serves correctly, to have derived from a giant super-computer in the Future called SPECTRA.

The “Powers” however, Uri liked to insist, were merely a sort of side-effect. What was really Important apparently was the Message from the Future he was supposed to pass on to Humanity, warning them to prepare for Extra-Terrestrial Invasion, or something like that. It was all a bit vague and frankly I wasn’t paying attention.

Yes, well, anyway.. one of Mr Geller’s Powers was his “Matter Manipulating” ability, which he would demonstrate by causing keys & spoon handles to bend by using the Power of His Mind alone! Well.. he was holding the spoon delicately between his fingers, but not so much as to exert pressure and perhaps he did also gently stroke said spoon handles a couple of times as well, but not so much putting pressure on it as directing the electrons.. and etc etc.. You get the idea of the style of the thing. The Power of the Mind may have had a helping hand on occasion.

Uri Geller gets bent

Mr Geller also had the neat trick, which the Great Magician replicated in his act , of starting broken watches from a distance. He did this by calling, in his promotional material, for people to bring broken pieces of clock-ware to his performances. Then at a suitable time the watch-bearers are asked to hold their silent time-pieces and concentrate while the Magician himself performs an appropriate bit of psychic mummery on stage. When the audience is asked to check to see if their watch is working, lo! Miracle! There are always a couple of time pieces that have started ticking again in all the excitement.

Yes for all the New Age trappings, the magic of these Seventies Psychics was as old as Vaudeville.

But I was a Child of the Times and as gullible as anyone else at the time. Everyone believed in the latest extra-ordinary claim popularised by the sensation hungry Media, be it Bio-rhythms or Vitamin C curing Cancer or Flying Saucers and so did I. As for me, I was just around 13/14 years old at the time of the Great Magician’s visit and I had just started taking a keen interest in such things. I felt sure there must be more to Life than the banality of Brisbane.

I’d bought a book on ESP and made my own set of Rhine cards to practice with. I persuaded my scouting group to invite a member of the QLD UFO Society to give a lecture and show his slides of famous UFOs. Indeed, the first time I took a girl on a “date” was to see the Ancient Astro-naught himself, Erich Von Daniken.

space date

And now the Great Magician was coming to Brisbane on the Australian leg of his “highly acclaimed” World Tour, and I was taking an interest, not least because for some reason my Father had somehow become the Brisbane agent/promoter for the Great Magician’s performance here.

How it was that my father came to know the GM is a mystery, but then he was always bringing odd people home, to my mother’s polite and formally chilly disapproval. Visitors like Japanese Judo Masters, bent old Coppers, Vaudeville fringe-dwellers like George Wallace Jnr or Side-Show Alley strongman “Young Achilles“.

Amongst other things, Young Achilles made a living by eating entire cars, piece by piece and when he came to visit my Father he would entertain us little ones by pushing a large sewing needle up one nostril and out the other. Sadly he died in Darwin some years later while attempting to consume a Chevrolet.

Yes despite my father’s quiet suburban life, part of him always looked for an escape to a more Bohemian existence. Not that he ever thought of himself as being Creative, but he liked the idea of being a manager type of figure for creative people, and helping to promote performers or venues. So every now and then he’d get involved with these odd little projects, like the “disco” he ran for awhile at a pub in the out in the boondocks somewhere.

His biggest show biz venture was probably booking Sixties Aussie Pop Star Normie Rowe’s return tour, after he got out of the army and returned from Vietnam.

But now he was bringing the Great Magician to our town and your teen-aged narrator was eager to witness the show. Her Majesty’s Theatre had long been rumoured to have it’s resident ghost, and the Journeyman magician had announced that he would be attempting to contact this theatrical shade and make it manifest during his show. I could hardly wait.

*

Sunday Sermons will return next week with the stunning conclusion to ‘The Great Magician’. In the meantime here’s an introductory guide to basic spoon-bending:

http://www.mind-energy.net/archives/167-spoon-bending-instructions-and-pictures.html

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire was a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and a Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism,

AND the Church of the Universe.

Wants to be something important when he grows up.

***

WHEN YOU NEED ME

•December 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

*

When You Need Me

*

Now all my Yesterdays

are Peopled with Strangers,

They were all once my Friends

(We thought it would never End).

Then Tomorrow came and

I don’t forget their names but,

now they are like Strangers to me.

*

But You and I it seems

We share the same old Dreams,

So I’ll be there when You need Me.

Until the Kingdom Comes,

I will always come,

Yes I’ll be there when you need me.

Ah these Tragic Days!

We’re going through the Maze,

Trying to find New Ways and

avoid the old Cliches.

I know that it’s hard sometimes

(and I just don’t know why) but

sometimes I think we’ll make it!

*

Cos you and I it seems we

share the same old Dreams,

So I’ll be there when you need me.

Until the Kingdom Comes,

I will always come

running, when you need me.

And our Future’s just a Haze,

the Human Race half-crazed,

meanwhile I stare Amazed and

Wonder if we’ll change our ways.

Somedays it’s hard to care,

but still we do our share and

I know someday we’ll get there.

*

Cos you and I it seems

We share the same old Dreams,

So I’ll be there when you need me.

Yes ’til the Kingdom Comes,

I will always come

Running, when you need me.

*

***

“The only way to have a friend is to be one”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s Sermon is dedicated to my old mate, “Big Dave”, who requested some philosophical thoughts on the topic of Friendship. A worthy subject to reflect on indeed! But it’s too damned hot for philosophy, so for now I wrote this poem as a sort of philosophical stop-gap. I hope it will serve for the moment. Actually I put put some chords to it as well and now it’s a song.

So perhaps sometime in the future it will be recorded

and made commercially available to the general public, who will no doubt then proceed to download it illegally on “Bit Torrent” or “Spice Road” or “Pre-Loved Intellectual Property.Com”, condemning your humble author to a Life of Poverty and neglect.

And if it doesn’t become a Pop Classic, well,

just ask me to hum a few bars..

when you see me.

***

FYI

Sunday Sermons will be taking a break next week, so if you’re in need of Spiritual Sustenance, we suggest you trawl through the Reverend’s extensive Historical Archives. (listed top right of the page) There you’ll be able to find a number of Christmas themed essays ( “Lets Kill Santa” is an old favourite) Or you can just pick stuff at random.

It’s all good.

The Reverend will be back on New Years Eve to take you into 2018.

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a legendary Performance Poet and Trickster-Spirit, who is said to enjoy playing pranks on milk-maids and ‘Literary Supplement’ Sub-editors. Despite numerous reported sightings over the years, he has been determined by Authorities to be merely a particularly persistent ‘Urban Myth’. Yes. That’s right.. That’s him on the roof of your car when you park in the woods at night.

Don’t look.

***

POINT OF VIEW

•December 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

This week in the seething ant-heap that is the World, we see Great Political Events convulse the human hive. But the Reverend, it seems, is above it all. Let’s hope he returns to Earth next week to offer his unique Spiritual Guidance. Meantimes..

POINT OF VIEW

*

As always it is Now.

We awaken unto Awareness of our Existence,

Sentience seemingly without Form,

drifting through the various Voids on unseen currents,

riding the great, grave Gravitational Waves as they fold and enfold endlessly in upon themselves, looping in great Moebius coils through the Vectors and Vortexes of the 23 Dimensions. Entering one such vector, (a somewhat seedy one it must be said) there unexpectedly opens before us an unfolding Vista of Interdimensional Beings mainlining Reality-Altering Drugs, crooning & spooning over their forbidden alchemical works unto the far reaches of the Event Horizon itself. Bizarre forbidden rituals are enacted before us, their meaning and Purpose unknown, as our disembodied consciousness drifts unseen amongst them..

Our POV is suddenly sucked in by the gravitational field of,

and merges with one such Interdimensional Alchemist,

clad only in a surgical mask from which emerges a rats nest of laboratory tubing, obliviously bent to it’s task, Quantum Free-basing Actualities. The half-life of these Actualities before their inevitable collapse into a Black Hole of negation is short, but the Big Bang of their Creation gives quite a kick and their Creators are clearly addicted to the Rush.

Extending an insectoidal limb it unfolds in the process hidden flaps and layers of flesh, membranes revealed as a series of dimensional fields, a creature clothed in a glittering caparison of Realities. Perhaps we behold the shimmering wings of fallen angels themselves./more limbs unfold like fern fronds in delicate slow-motion movements, the unfolding again revealing hidden layers upon layers of these translucent wings,

shimmering rainbows with colours extending

far beyond the range of the visual cortex.

Secondary Tendrils quickly appear and lash the unfolded limb to a stainless steel surgical table. The alien creature grasps a quantum syringe and assumes a heroic hunting pose, legs braced like an ancient whaler hefting their harpoon in the plunging forecastle of their boat/

The Old Hunters experienced eye spots a flicker of movement beneath the placid flesh before him. A swift movement and the plunging Needle punctures the skin

and pins it’s prey to the bone!

Furious the wounded vein rears up from the surrounding flesh, hissing and snapping in the air like an angry serpent!

But with a deft digit the Interdimensional Addict holds the wildly lashing vein down. The ragged rupture mouths the air like a newly caught fish, flip-flopping on the deck. The rubbery blood-tube is expertly milked & squeezed till a single Blood Beetle emerges from its lair. (The Addicts arteries and veins form a network of tunnels which the Blood Beetles infest like hermit crabs)

In appearance like a bright bead of blood threaded on a pulsing vein, the Blood Beetle quickly sprouts an indeterminate number of tiny legs and goes scuttling off. But a prehensile tongue suddenly shoots out of the Actuality Addicts mouth, and grasps the squealing blood beetle. The tongue is withdrawn into the addicts prehensile mouth with a snap and the shrill squealing is swiftly replaced by the sound of crunching and the acrid stench of strong acids and dissolving insect flesh. The Inhuman Addict starts to vibrate rapidly in and out of Existence as an an almost unheard sub-sonic vibration builds & builds to reach unendurable levels/Suddenly/

with a jerk the Scene shifts sideways, flickers & dissolves.

The hideous humming subsides into blessed blackness, Distance and Silence, Time..

and Space.

Slipping swiftly thru Realities like a Magician shuffling a pack of cards, we eventually enter the consciousness of an ordinary earthly Drug Addict perched on the end of an unmade bed

and looking at a bright bead of blood

that sits perfectly balanced on their pale inner-wrist,

like a ball of Mercury

and forming a perfect mirror

that quivers with tiny tremors

every time their heart beats.

And if you look carefully

you can see your own reflection

looking back at you

with an expression of intense surprise.

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire..

say no more.

***

A READERS DIGRESS

•December 4, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The Reverend Hellfire returns from a well-earned sabbatical with this classic philosophical essay..

A Readers’ Digress <REDUX>

*

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

a well-wisher asked today.

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

*

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

with what I felt to be unwarranted cynicism.

“No, I’m serious“, I declared passionately, “I believe that the Digression has been seriously undervalued as a Literary Device, and I intend to re-invigorate the Form!”

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

“For example..Did you know, that in 1852,

Hermann von Helmholtz discovered that

the Speed of Electricity in Frogs is 27 metres per second?

A fact he discovered, naturally, by sewing a whole bunch of frogs together and running an electric current through them”.

“Good God!” exclaimed my appalled (vegetarian) friend,

“Why on Earth did he do that?”

“I have no idea”, I replied blithely, “it’s just the sort of thing scientists get up to when they’re left unattended, I suppose. It isn’t really relevant to what

 we’re talking about anyway”.

“Then why mention it at all”, muttered my overly-sensitive friend, still clearly disturbed by visions of old Professor von Helmholtz sitting at an old foot-pedalled Singer Sewing Machine, industriously stitching frogs together..

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

“Yes”, I continued pompously, “I’ve learned to trust my brain’s subconscious processes in the selection of material it tosses up, often seemingly at random, but ultimately a Pattern usually emerges. Often, tho I say it myself, a Pattern of great Elegance & Subtlety”.

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

in the fullness of Time, nonetheless it performs

an essential function in the Art of Story Telling“.

“Oh really”, sneered my disbelieving associate,

“What as? Filler?”

“More than mere ‘Filler’ my friend!

The Digression plays an active part in defining

the Parameters of Relevance. Further, the Aesthetic Effect is not to be disregarded either; a well placed Digression

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

Take for example, ‘the Shaggy Dog Story’,

arguably the Digression’s most developed literary form.

In the “Shaggy Dog” the key to a successful Digression is to maintain the tenuous thread of Relevance almost to breaking point.

This creates a kind of pleasurable tension between

the Digression, and the Story’s inherent tendency to Progress.

*

The Principle is similar to that which Music operates by,

which depends on patterns of alternating Tension and Release.

This Tension and Release is created through

using Dissonance and Resolution to create a sense

of Momentum overcoming Inertia. The interest for our ears is in the Struggle of the various Forces at play, as, for example, when the Melody tries to wiggle it’s way through all the obstacles to a conclusion. Failing, it falls back to the bass note and tries again and thus the great Wheel of Life turns..

Now, whereas Music is based on Dissonance and Resolution,

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

Indeed Progress and Digress might be considered the

Yin and Yang of Story telling,

or, more prosaically, they are the Woof and Weave

upon which the whole Tapestry of Literature

is woven, stretching from Tristan Shandy

to Game of Thrones (aka, “The Never-Ending Story”).

Or perhaps Digress and Progress are more like

Conjoined Twins,always fighting and clawing

to tear themselves apart, but forever inexorably shackled by the same flesh.”

*

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

a vegetarian, who was starting to look a little nauseous.

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

Of course Kangaroos don’t really box,

they just kick with their back legs.

Well I suppose it could be considered akin to Kickboxing,

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

in those styles too. Not that Kangaroos actually have feet either, now I come to think of it,

they’re more like elongated paws.

In fact, it’s not very patriotic, Kangaroos doing Thai-Boxing..

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

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

and stick to the tension/release thing.

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

For in Truth, for each of us, our whole Life is nothing

but a series of sequential Digressions!

I mean take Television for example. One minute you’re watching a documentary on the Pyramids or Agatha Christie is about to denoue somebody in the parlour,

then, whap! You’re suddenly whacked sideways by

a Commercial for Prostate Cancer! What is that

but a complete “dick-around” of a Digression!”

“I’m not sure Television Commercials count

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

but I was up on my High Horse by now, and

had already ridden off a considerable distance beyond

hearing range..(Possibly the same Range

those Cowboys are always singing about.)

*

“Boomers and Boosters keep going on about Progress”,

I orated, my eyes alight with an inner Fire and fixed on a Far Horizon, “but if you ask me I think this is all an Illusion. Or possibly a Delusion, I’m not really sure what the difference is technically speaking.

But, yes I believe the Human Race is actually Digressing,

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

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

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

with judging the Quick and the Dead,

but Humanity just keeps on procrastinating

and getting Distracted, you know,

asking irrelevant questions like,

Well, but what about Buddhism then?

Maybe we should give that a go for a few Centuries?”,

Or

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

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

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

and Jebus is all like,

Time Gentlemen, please. Finish your drinks!

and did you notice how good old Professor Helmholtz’s

frogs have worked their way back into the conversation?

Ha! And I’ll bet you thought they were irrelevant!”,

I exclaimed triumphantly, “in fact the case of Professor

von Hemholtz and the electric frogs illustrates

 my point perfectly!”.

“Consider!” I continued, quickly covering my friend’s mouth with the palm of my hand, “Here’s old Prof HVH, a respected Scientist famous for his many (other) contributions to our

understanding of the Forces of Electricity.

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

facile email of tomorrow totally replaces

the lovingly hand-written missives of yester-year

and there are no more stamps.

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

their stamp collection’s Value will rise astronomically;

{Wise Investor say; Stuff Real Estate! Buy Stamps!

They’re not making anymore}).

And yet this “Great Man of Science” (that’s Professor Helmholtz in case you’ve you’ve forgotten) nonetheless

was human enough to totally digress from

his epoch creating scientific work, and find the time

to f**k around and see how fast he could run an electric current through frogs. 

(Exactly what practical applications could be

derived from this line of research I shudder to consider..

Let’s just say that it’s not the sort of thing they give

Nobel Prizes for)“.

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

my weary friend moaned.

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

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

what I’m saying anymore,

I just like the sound of the Words”.

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

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

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire..

he’s a much nicer person

than the people who hate him.

***