THE OLD COURTHOUSE (REDUX)

•November 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The Old Courthouse (REDUX)

Somewhere out on the edge of the Western Desert,

so Rumour has it, the Old Court House

still stands as a Monument

to Jurisprudence of long-ago Days.

*

Though somewhat decrepit, the Courthouse still possesses

the rudiments of a functioning legal system.

True, there is no longer a Statue of Justice

standing in the foyer,

but someone had done a crude sketch in charcoal

on the back of a charge sheet,

and pinned it to the cafeteria wall with a thumbtack.

*

The building occupied by the Court

is in fact a former gold-rush Casino & Bordello,

which was occupied as “temporary accommodation”

after the original courthouse was taken by a tornado

97 years ago.

These loúche origins perhaps account

for the building’s facade

tending more to a sort of baroque frivolity,

rather than the imposing Gravitas

of the classically styled architecture

which one expects from a court building.

Some of the ornamental cupids, for example,

are really too well-endowed

for a Court of Law, and the statue of Venus

which inexplicably adorns

the Courtyard fountain, frankly verges on the lascivious.

Still, the Court goes about its business

with all the solemnity due its Venerable Traditions.

A skeleton crew of lawyers,

covered in cobwebs and dust,

still hang about the corridors soliciting clients.

Dressed in the Trade’s traditional livery of stilettos,

fishnet stockings

and crudely daubed makeup,

the lawyers offer prospective clients a good time,

or for those on Legal Aid,

a bad time.

*

Because of the depredations of Accident & Antiquity

there are few official records relating to the Old Courthouse

and this, combined with its admittedly somewhat vague location,

has led some to declare that the Courthouse is merely a Mirage,

a trick of the Desert light.

On the other hand, Believers (and there are many) have ascribed

to the Old Court House Miraculous Powers:

the Ability to travel through Space & Time,

to manifest suddenly in different places.

Appearing out of Nowhere to administer Justice,

swooping down like a flock of Apache helicopters,

to smite wrong-doers and fine-dodgers alike.

*

To fresh-faced young lawyers working

in the Great Legal Complexes far-away in the Sophisticated South,

the Old Court House has all the status of an Urban Myth.

But it exists, oh yes, it exists.

*

In reality the Courthouse is hard to find

merely because all road signs throughout the Western Desert

have been blasted to pieces by shotgun pellets.

Why the locals do this has never been ascertained.

Some say it’s a device designed to confuse any invading armies.

Others suggest alcohol, boredom

and a certain amount of inbreeding.

The truth probably lies somewhere in-between.

Senior legal figures will, if pressed, admit the existence

and legitimacy of the Old Courthouse,

embarrassedly dismissing it as an anachronistic relic

from earlier frontier days.

Indeed, the Old Courthouse was created in a dim primeval age,

when the Justice System was still largely unformed,

a swirling amorphous molten mass,

whose seething undercurrents

would occasionally fling off a satellite

into the furthest reaches of the system,

there to orbit the perimeters and administer Justice,

as pale reflections of that fiery Central Furnace.

*

Though all Law Courts are based on Ancient Traditions,

the traditions of the Old Court House

are perhaps more ancient than most.

Indeed, were one to be unkind, one might even use words like: antiquated, or even barbaric.

It is certainly true that most Modernist Attempts at Reform

in the last 90 years have failed dismally

to penetrate to the Old Courthouse’s Jurisdiction.

Directives from the Centre in fact

seem to undergo a form of Chinese Whispers

during their journey through the Western Desert,

and an apparently innocent, politically correct,

minor amendment to procedure can mutate

into the most exquisite and arcane form of Torture

under the Administration of the old Court House.

In one shocking example, guidelines governing

the maximum number of times a Taser could be used

during an arrest (4 times) were interpreted

as establishing a mandatory minimum

(4 times) to be applied on all occasions.

“Best say nothing at all”, the Modernisers decided in the end,

rather than to be found in some way complicit

in the rustic barbarities of the old Court House.

*

And so, in the best Kafka-esque fashion,

the Court has been allowed to go its own way over the years.

As compensation for allowing the Old Courthouse to survive

thru a process of embarrassed neglect,

the Legal System had at least somewhere to send

its more embarrassing members who refused to be retired.

Many an eccentric, curmudgeonly crank of a Judge

has been sent packing to work the Western Desert Circuit

in their dotage.

Out there somewhere,

where their outrageous sentences and bizarre personal behaviour

can be ignored by the Big City Dailies, they are still dispensing

what passes for Justice in those Parts.

Still, in some ways the Old Courthouse is a veritable model of a certain, curious kind of efficiency,

not seen since the dental extractions at Buchenwald.

By way of example: It was noticed by the keen-sighted Judiciary that, in percentage terms, a higher proportion of crime was committed by the dusky-hued, Indigenous populace of the Western Desert. Clearly an appropriate response was called for.

Accordingly, a System of Punishment was developed based on a sliding scale of colour gradations. Called the Colour Code

it applied a simple Inverse Relationship with Algorithmic precision: Statistics told them the darker the skin colour, the greater the likelihood of guilt. Therefore, the Legal Sages reasoned; the darker the skin, the greater should be the penalty.

Some have called this pro-active System “cruel and stupid” but ironically, a spell in the Western Desert jail could actually do wonders for raising a man’s Standing in Society, for the Jailhouse Pallor thus acquired raised their social standing several notches. Some aspiring natives even took to having their children arrested deliberately to improve their chances at social mobility in Life, but such parents were in the main regarded as being “pushy”.

Of course a spell in the cells was popular with the natives for other reasons as well. Cool, out of the Sun, and with three meals a day, the jail cells also had the benefit of having a shorter waiting list than the Housing Commission. Yes, many is the homeless Vagrant been given shelter by the welcoming arms of the Old Court House’s Watch-House Crew.

Ah! Who needs the modern Welfare State when such a Venerable and Compassionate Institution as the old Court House still exists?

*

And somewhere out on the edge of the Western Desert

the Old Courthouse still stands, whilst all around

the decay of that Colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

the lone and level sands stretch far away.

Look on its works ye Mighty, and despair!

*

***

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a statistical anomaly that pops up now and then.

Writes Poems & Stuff.

***

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CLONE DRONE

•November 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment

CLONE DRONE

*

The Twenty-first Century, no-one’s alone,

everyone’s tracked on their mobile phone,

satellite surveillance as you roam

(Network coverage starts in the Home)

While Clones & Drones in Military Zones

are marching to Growth on a Road of Bones,

Slavery’s replaced by Third World Loans,

the IMF Pawn Shop hocks what you own.

And Autonomous, Anonymous

Algorithm Government,

replaces Ideology with

Middle-Management/ 

Human Heuristics

predicting every Social Movement,

ultimately subverts

and turns it into Entertainment,

(If it makes a profit

they’ll manufacture Discontent.)

Our Leaders know they’re born to rule

because they went to  Private School,

Observation Bias, Common Sense,

their Social Engineering tools.

Use pre-loaded Language for

 character assassination,

(cheaper than politics

in a dull & backwards nation)

delegate their dirty work,

 (to Sub-Contracting Cravens)

and keep their Assets hidden

 in a friendly Tax-Free Haven.

*

***

This week’s SQUAREY! is a Do-it-yourself Special! Fill in the word balloons

and send your efforts to Sunday Sermons. Fabulous Prizes awarded for

the most amusing entry. Send to reverend.hellfire@yahoo.com.au

***

The Reverend Hellfire..

..is he still here?!

***

MIDNIGHT ANTS

•November 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

MIDNIGHT ANTS

*

Turning on the light to see

Midnight Ants are running free

swarming in my kitchen.

*

Shy nocturnal insects never

seen by day, emerging only

in the warmer weather

scuttle solitary secret paths

amongst the table’s crumbs and clutter,

exploring kitchen benches.

I get my glass of water

turn the light switch off again,

and leave the late-shift ants continue

toiling in the darkness then.

*

I don’t kill Life with deadly poisons, thus

 when morning comes, the shelves,

and my kitchen bench are spotless,

as though cleaned by magic elves.

*

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire..

still here despite the predictions.

***

TONIGHT THE MOON OFFENDED (redux)

•October 29, 2017 • Leave a Comment

In honour of today’s LUNAVERSE event at the Kurilpa Poets we retrieve and polish up this shiny apple from the bottom of the barrel.

Tonight the Moon Offended

*

Once more with night the Moon proceeds

upon her stately course,

She carries her own sad music with her

always as she goes,

And fills the air it seems as though

With many violins.

*

Yes tonight the Moon resplendent strides

while lesser lights do fade and hide

*

She keeps her own company tonight.

Drifting thru the cloud palaces,

while Her courtiers pace behind her

At a discreet, respectful distance.

Whimpering to each other, unseen,

in the shadows of the trees,

their whispering is the rustling of the leaves.

They say;

*

See the Queen tonight.. she is thoughtful, is she not?”

Why does she not smile??”

Oh her smile is like a mountain lily

kissed by a dream”

Why does she not smile??”

*

But the Moon swoons away on her silvery pinions,

desperately followed by her scuttling minions.

*

And She will dream, by and by,

Resplendent upon her marble couch, the Sky.

Meanwhile,

surveying from below this scene,

a pensive Poet sighs and cries

unto his Lunar Queen;

*

Oh Moon! He cries, My moody Moon!

Why do you turn your face from me?

How have I offended thee?

Why do you scowl behind

Your sullen shawl of yellow clouds?

Are not we Poets

Your most admirable admirers,

Your most faithful followers,

Your most subservient slaves?

Haven’t I written all of my most

beautiful poems

for you?

O How have I offended thee?

Why do you turn your face from me?

Was it something I said.

Something I wrote

that you read?

Was it because, Oh Moon,

I once rhymed you with… spoon?

O Moon..

I’m sorry..

I will never

Do it

Again.

*

There! See now,

You smiled!

That means you forgive me!

So come now and sit by me awhile,

in this secluded garden where

the silver fountains sparkle

and together we will trace the stars

careering cartwheels ‘cross the sky

And we will dream together..

(as lovers always do)

Until the dawn ‘cross the night sky seeps

And back to our beds we both shall creep,

You behind the shadow-valley’ed mountains,

And I behind my bedrooms velvet curtains.

And as we sleep, we shall ignore the day

and dream of Twilights dawning

when we recommence our play.

*

Oh Moon,

my moody Mistress,

do not turn your pale

and shining face away from me.

*

***

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire exists as a series of wave vibrations travelling through the ever-expanding Universe.

The original Event that gave rise to these vibrations occurred long ago.

***

THE LIMITS OF OPTIMISM

•October 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The Limits of Optimism

*

I believe in the Power

of Optimism, the Hippy Girl told me.

Really? I replied, Personally

I prefer the Power of Witchcraft.

In general I find Magick to be

a far more efficacious force

than mere Psychology,

tho to be sure there are those

who maintain that the Power

of both Magick and Optimism

derive from the same source,

dubbed, somewhat dismissively,

as the Placebo Effect,

a Phenomenon most often seen to occur

when the attending Witch-Doctor

prescribes a Substance that has no actual effect

(generally most of them)

whilst simultaneously claiming

that it’s a Wonder Drug.

And Lo! Miracle of Miracles!

The Patient gets better anyway,

apparently for no better reason

than because they believe they will,

and if that isn’t a clear vindication

of the Principles of Magick

I’ll eat my pointy Wizard’s Hat!

So you should be an Optimist then

the wilting Flower Child insisted.

I sighed, You’ve got to remember

there are limits to Optimism

(or Magick or whatever) sure

it’s a Plastic Universe that

you can work on with your Will,

but there are Other Forces

moulding it at the same time

and many of them

are much more powerful than you/

it’s like trying to put a Curse

on Donald Trump /a futile exercise you

may as well try and Curse

the Devil! He has whole teams

of evil shamans, head-hunters

& bean-counters working for him,

surrounding him like

a swirling tank of sharks,

against such Powers

your feeble force availeth not.

Better to focus what little Optimism

you can raise on your small corner of the World

where it can have some effect

and you can do some Good.

It’s not given us little folk the power

to affect the Big Picture,

except for those rare moments in History

where everything hangs for a moment in the balance

and an individual in an act of Devotio

can change the course of events,

but hey! Even on those occasions

when the slumbering Body Politic wakes up

and rips off it’s tyrannical Head of State,

usually the first thing it does is grow two more.

Who go to War. Till there is  One. And then

the whole process starts over again. I tell you

Humans are worse than the Frogs

who wanted a King.

And thus my young Fairy-Friend flew off,

shaking her head at the Cynicism of the Old,

whilst I was moved to write the following poem

no doubt motivated in part,

 by my Subconscious Envy

of her Bright and Sunny Outlook;

*

THE OPTIMIST’S SONG

*

“Oh I wish I was an Optimist,

How Happy I would be!

I’d see a bright and shiny Future

Stretch in front of Me,

Confident my Fears will fade

And Progress will advance,

That Good will triumph over Evil,

 And Snakes will learn to Dance.”

*

***

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising 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.

In 2017 he was presented with the Paul Sherman Community Service Award

for encouraging Lunatics to attend poetry readings.

***

Melancholy Wednesday

•October 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

(Todays’ sermon is based on lyrics by the Reverend Hellfire,

written to accompany a forthcoming tune from the new Tapeloops project.

Stay tuned for more updates, sportsfans)

MELANCHOLY WEDNESDAY

*

Melancholy Wednesday,

Sorrows they are all around,

Like the raindrops outside falling/

falling on the ground.

The raindrops they keep falling/

falling all the day,

until they merge into one Ocean

then they wash the World away.

*

Melancholy Wednesday.

What are we to do?

The World rolls on without us

Sit back enjoy the view.

*

Melancholy Wednesday,

the World beneath a sea of glass.

Peering thru the viewscreen I watch

brightly coloured fishes pass,

sweetly singing in the rain

they feed amongst sea horses

in the fields of gently waving  grass.

*

Melancholy Wednesday.

What are we to do?

The World rolls on without us

We sit back enjoy the view.

The whole World washed and shiny,

like a statue that’s renewed,

or a green hill rising

from the Sea unto a lonely Sailor’s view.

Peacock tails & Rainbows, Dear,

& Silver Linings just for you.

Peacock tails & Rainbows,

& Silver Linings just for you.

*

Melancholy Wednesday.

What are we to do?

The World rolls on without us

Just sit back enjoy the view.

*

Melancholy Wednesday,

the Sun sets on a rising Moon

but who cares anyway, I’ve been

seeing Silhouettes since Noon,

shadowed on the velvet curtains

darkening my room,

till I emerge to drink the evening

wine and sing this

filled with folly/

almost jolly/

melancholy tune.

*

Melancholy Wednesday.

What are we to do?

The World rolls on without us

So sit back enjoy the view.

*

***

***

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 Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

Recent studies indicate he exists purely as a  statistical aberration

within acceptable parameters.

***

BODY OF WORK

•October 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

BODY OF WORK

*

Speaking in Tongues

and Armed to the Teeth

I Made up my Mind to produce

an impressive Body of Work

through a combination of Elbow Grease,

Blood, Sweat and Tears.

*

Needless to say it was a Hand to Mouth existence

at first, but I had the Guts to Face up

to the Challenge ahead

while I waited to get my Foot in the door.

*

Now while I didn’t want to stick my Neck out

Pride is my Achilles Heel,

(I won’t tug my Forelock to Anybody)

and, frankly, I

just didn’t see Eye to Eye

with the Head Office.

The Dick Head there

Thought he was Hip.

Had a Chip-on-his Shoulder

and kept giving me Lip.

It Got my Back Up.

Got to the Point

I couldn’t Stomach it anymore

either, so one day I vented my Spleen

and Got it all off my Chest.

Then I got it in the Neck,

of course,

that Lily-Livered Bastard had no Heart

But demonstrating my Intestinal Fortitude,

I passed this Teste of Character

(passed a Kidney Stone

in the process, too!)

But it was still no go.

He just looked down his Nose

and gave me the Finger!

*

What a Cock up!

That Cheeky Flat-Foot was a right

Mouthy Bastard alright.

You know the Type.

Ear to the Ground.

Word to the Wise.

Fingers in every Pie..

So I Kneed him in the Groin

and Legged it quick after that

(wouldn’t you?)

*

More Arse than Class

if you ask me.

*

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire..

the name speaks for itself.

***