•September 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment




Such sweet Stigmata,

like pretty flowers,

Like poppies and nasturtiums

in the rain.


Used her Stigmata,

To paint the Martyr,

Please be careful and make sure it

doesn’t stain.


Kiss my Stigmata!

Then cried the Martyr!

I said, Baby I think you have

gone insane.


You’ve been watching,

too many Movies,

Now I think it’s gone and affected

your brain.


And your Stigmata,

these bleeding punctures,

are just water-colours running

in the rain.


So be careful and make sure it

doesn’t stain.


Yes be careful and make sure it

doesn’t stain.






The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

He’s just that kind of guy.



•September 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The Reverend has been invited to appear today as guest performer at the “Rock Against Poetry” event. In the interests of Equal Opportunity, he will naturally be Versifying against Rock in the process. To celebrate this un-natural event, one from the vaults..


The Air is Tired Here (Redux)


The air is tired here,

from all these hi-rotation repetitions,

From the hum of electrical discharge,

The hammering/ the distortion,

The furious pounding against the

No-where door of Nothing.


The air is tired here

From these instrumentalities,

Each Frailty a Fatal flaw

amplified into Bombastic bullshit

by bullying Blowhards

Bludgeoning at our weaknesses,

groping for our wallets and groins.


A fester-ville of futility,

A drunken garbling

Of inarticulate catch-cries

cliches and slogans,

Posturing in endless mirrors

A sewage stew of lumpen gray

That does not sparkle/ has no wit

A sodden mass of cardboard,

Rags and ashes, slogans scrawled

And music stirred with a fork.





reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is..




•September 12, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I was asked the other night by a well-wisher why I wasn’t Famous. At the time I was lost for words (so many reasons!)  but later I realised I should have told them

 the cautionary tale related by the great Parisian poet Charles Baudelaire, entitled ;


The Three Demons


One dark, moonless night long ago, I awakened suddenly from my dreamless sleep, seized by a feeling of overwhelming excitement and anticipation, as though something of tremendous importance was about to happen.

As events were to prove, I was not mistaken.

For, sitting up in, I saw with surprise that set in the dingy wall opposite my bed was a door, where there had never been a door before. Furthermore, from around the edges of this door there streamed a greenish light that illuminated my room with a weird, unworldly hue.

As I sat staring at this inexplicable manifestation, the door slowly swung open. Beyond were revealed steps which descended down, down into a swirling viridian mist. And out of this mist came three Demons. Up the steep steps they came and through the door and into my room, and there they stood before me. And each of them offered me their gifts, if only I would give them my soul in return.


The first Demon was in the form of a jolly fat man, and his name was FORTUNE. He laughed often and when he laughed you could hear the clinking & chinking of metal, as though his vast belly were filled with silver coins. He was clad in loose shimmering robes of gold, but through the gaps in the cloth you could see that his whole body was curiously tattooed with entwined and convoluted figures.

This Demon promised me all the Wealth of the World! Treasures long buried by dead tyrants. Vaults of gold and jewels in anonymous Swiss banks. Stocks that would climb until I sold. Yes, all this would be mine, and all that such wealth could buy, if only I would sell him my soul.

But as he made his sales pitch I was staring in horror at his tattooes, for I could now discern that the twisting figures depicted the forms of starving children. Each was a picture of FAMINE; the round, staring eyes and the xylophone ribs, the distended bellies and the matchstick limbs.

I knew then how those vaults of which the Demon spoke came to be filled with gold, and thus it was with cold contempt

that I declined the Demon’s gift.


Now the name of the second Demon was EROS,

and this creature had something of the androgynous allure of the professional transvestite of the stage, but mixed with the unworldly beauty of a Hindu God.

Its skin was tinged a delicate blue and the scent of perfumes and incense hung about it and the heavy-lidded eyes were rimmed with Kohl. Dressed in fishnets and the latest pop-star fetish-ware, I thought at first it must be wearing stillettoes from the clicking footsteps I heard, but then I observed in fact

that it had hooves instead of feet.


This Demon offered me the Love of whomsoever I desired. Any girl, any woman, any boy could be mine. Any and as many

lovers as I could desire would be mine for the asking. The most unattainable Model, the most blushing virgin. The Demon offered me a life of unending Pleasure and Passion.

But I noticed around the Demons waist a knotted leather belt which filled me with a growing feeling of dread. For from this belt hung many tiny hooks and razor blades, and also curious crystal phials filled with unknown fluids.

From some subconscious part of my brain the suspicion came upon me that these tiny bottles contained sinister potions, poisons and acids. Though I did not understand the purpose or meaning of these blades and hooks and phials, I found myself shivering, and so it was that, stammering as if from cold, I declined the second Demon’s gifts.


The third demon’s name was FAME and she carried a shining, golden trumpet.

Clad in sweeping purple robes, she had the majestic mien of a mature and noble woman whose beauty has not yet faded. She was both beautiful and familiar, like a gracefully aging actress whose fine cheekbones still defy Time.

Wasting no time with words, she merely brought the golden trumpet to her lips and played upon it a single note, and that note carried a name. And Wonder of Wonders, it was my name that was sounded by that Hellish trumpet! Ah and what a note it was! What a pure, pealing, tremendous note it was, a note of brass and thunder, that reverberated with a hundred overtones, and each of them traveled to the furthest reaches of the Universe and back, crossing and recrossing and echoing down the corridors of time.

“Hmm,” I thought,” now that’s tempting.”


Indeed, I was on the point of accepting the Demons gift, when a memory unbidden tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me of when it was that I had last seen this Lady, and who it was I had seen her with, and where. And I remembered all the others with whom she had been seen, all those whom Fame had made her pet, the whole ghastly crew. The unending line of miserable creatures she had had as her consort to strut the red carpet for a season or three. Yes and their follies and their scandals, I remembered, and also how fickle she was with her Favourites and how each had been ultimately discarded in their turn,.

“Well well,” I mocked,” A Strumpet with a Trumpet!”

The Demon winced at that.

“Madame,” I demurred with cold and formal politeness,

“I do not care to be seen with One

who keeps such company as yours”.


At this my last refusal, the three Demons bowed to me, and in serene and stately procession, passed back through the mysterious door, down the steep steps and dissappeared into the swirling green mists. After a moment the door itself swung slowly shut, and the light seeping through its edges gradually faded, till the outlines could no longer be discerned and I found myself once again staring at the blank and dingy wall opposite my bed.

I know not how long I sat there staring mutely at the wall, but I was suddenly brought back to self awareness by the sound of a cock crowing, and startled, I realised that the sky had just begun to lighten on the eastern rim of the world.

Yes at that moment it was as though I had finally fully awakened from a fitful dream, and rememberance of the night’s events flooded my mind.

Instantly I lept from my bed and flung myself to my knees on the floor. There I cried out loudly, my hands raised in supplication,

“Oh mighty Demons! Oh good, kind, wise Demons!

Please come back to me! I’ve changed my mind! Please forgive my arrogance and stupidity! I was a fool to spurn your gifts! Return! Please return! Won’t one of you return?”

But there was only silence. The door remained closed.


That was many years ago now.

And although since then I have repeated my prayer

to the three Demons every single day of my life,

they have never,



Rev meditates, traffic calming




September 2016 handbill red blue


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.

Laughed all the way to the Grave..


REV makes Ipswich a Rewarding Offer

•September 5, 2016 • Leave a Comment


the rev burns



The Reverend Hellfire will be appearing at the Solidarity Kulture Club, at 7.00pm on Tuesday 6th September. Located in the famed STUDIO 188 premises, at 188 Brisbane Street Ipswich, it promises to be an unusually rewarding evening.

For the Reverend is offering his Performance Fees for this event as a Reward for Information leading to the identification of the Ipswich Tree Poisoner, who recently killed a number of mature Fig Trees in an Ipswich Public Park.

 The Reverend hates scumbag tree killers with a passion and will be dedicating a Poem to the poisonous individual in question.

Contact thru Facebook or this web-page. Information treated confidentially.

For more information on this event go to the link below

studio 188



•September 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

machu picchu

Accidents of Empire


These are the accidents of Empire,

a language or a habit chance acquired,

a culture or a custom

in the mountains lingering,

an ancient scale for flute still found,

in some peasants fingering.

old man and flute

The thread of a belief unwinds

through history’s labyrinth and finds

itself in the ornamental patterns

of a carpet woven,

or echoed in the tribal tales

they tell at night to children.

old woman in jungle

A temples mighty marble blocks

are stolen to make a stable, or a sty.

A certain style of beard is banned

and no-one now remembers why.

A Madmans name comes down to us,

restored in Reputation,

their murderous flaws forgotten

they end up Father to a Nation.


For the Past provides a mirror cracked

for Presidents and Kings,

or a sort of portrait polished by

their tribes of tame historians.

So when farmers’ ploughs

unearth forgotten

ruins by the sea,

Dictators and collectors squabble

over the debri,

(while looters and archeologists

dispute the pedigree.)


But these are merely accidents,

the accidents of Empire,

like a language or a habit chance acquired,

a custom or a culture

in the valleys lingering,

an ancient scale for lute still found,

in some courtesans’ fingering.

lute girl


time slip


September 2016 handbill red blue


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.

Will validate your parking token.



•August 28, 2016 • 1 Comment

This poem will make sense to those familiar with ‘The Odyssey’, the great epic poem of Classical Greece. Apologies to Homer, but if he were alive today he’d probably be writing sit-coms for a living anyway..


 A Modern Family


The sailors said that Circe

could change men into dogs and pigs.

The truth is that they did it to themselves, you dig?

She just watched and laughed.

Later though they blamed it all on Circe,

said she dressed provocatively,

led them on with her spells and wiles,

at least, that’s what they told their wives!


Penelope herself just smiled,

when Odysseus told her work had kept him

back late at the office.

She was used to his lies,

besides, she had her own line of lovers

she kept stringing along.


Meanwhile, their sullen son, teen Telemachus,

spends all his time getting high on Lotus.

(the school’s complained that he lacks focus)

Then there’s Odysseus’ old dad Laertes,

they’re worried about the old-timer.

Didn’t seem to recognise his own son,

perhaps he’s got Alzeimers?


There’s trouble with the staff,

so he suspends some maids,

now Penelope’s complaining

that it’s been years since she been laid.

And no-one’s thought to wash the dog,

It’s all too much, he hits the grog!


This Dead-beat Dad has had enough

of this dysfunctional family!

One oar across his shoulder, nonchalant,

he tells Penelope

he’s going down the shops for cigarettes.

He won’t return but she has no regrets,

she merely waves goodbye

and doesn’t mention her intention,

to apply tomorrow morning

for a Supporting Mothers Pension.

circe and pig men


Buzzword jpig REDUced


Rev in blue profile

Sing now, oh Muse, of the Reverend Hellfire,

the Man of twists and turns,

driven time and again off his course..



•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.


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.


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.


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.


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


at STUDIO 188.

Check out the link below for more details;

studio 188


reverend profile red

You know who I am.