Love Lost

We were once

Now in twain

Forever more

I am in pain

I hope you’re well

I’ve no idea

Please do tell

If you care

It’s you I miss

Not love

Not loss

Once you I kiss

Hopefully again

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The Not Too Distant Future(?)

Magic green purity,
Smeared with dark icing,
Bitter, at the taste,
For those who remember.
Postmodern minds,
Relish the aroma,
Of destruction.
It binds the planet,
Squeezing forth pain.
Old mother shrinks,
Under incessant blows.
Violently she dies,
Covered in blackness,
Thicker than blood,
Till alone man stands,
Panting in the aftermath,
With a monster of selfish creation.
Trust #Americans to mix #money with #religion

Ambition

More, MORE, MORE!
No.
Yes!
That’s enough.
Is it?
Yes.
Why?
Excess is dangerous.
Success is dangerous?
No, excess.
Success is excess.
So is failure.
Are you perfect?
No.
Are you successful?
Yes.
Are you a failure?
Yes.
You’re both!?
They walk the street, hand in hand, under soft glowing lamps.
I’ll succeed where you’ve failed.
Try instead, to succeed where you’ve failed.
A shadow then, will I chase.
Everyone catches theirs.
Not everyone chases it?
Precisely.

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Fatal Flaws

Be there perfection,
In an imperfect world.
The waste-basket of time,
Clears away the trash but,
Where does it go.
To a land where problems live,
When dealt with they have been.
They return, seemingly at random,
To those who deserve,
And those who don’t.
Then cast off once more,
With an emphatic flourish.
Some become tired of problems
And keep the ones they have.
Others find new ones,
Wearing a veil of hope.
Inevitably, they dig our grave,
Lower us in with a tear,
And lay the first flower.

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UNEMPLOYED AGAIN

Why?

Get this: because the business I was working at didn’t pay the “labour hire” (what am I, a stand up paddle board?) company I still technically work for.

My brother put it best, that I was the only one who lost out in that situation. True. The business can just hire other staff directly or through another labour hire company. And the LHC surely has other clients whose payments can cover its bottom line, and/or it could sue the above mentioned business for the unpaid bill.

Which leaves me, poor little worker, forced to go on the ever more futile job hunt when an interview, much less a secure, full-time job, isn’t guaranteed no matter how many applications I make.

I’m sick of this bullshit. I’m going to start volunteering with Orange Sky again (mainly because I know it looks good to potential employers and Centrelink (but also because it’s a productive, positive use of my time)).

Apart from that, the only things I can remember actually enjoying are drinking and smoking, and spending time with my ex. She would apparently prefer to pretend I never existed, and I’m not smoking because my ironically control-addicted mother will only allow me a $50 per week reduction in rent if I stop, and I’m not drinking because I don’t enjoy it much without cigarettes.

So effectively, I have nothing. Nothing that gives me pleasure, that is.

I just lie awake late into the night, missing pretty reasonable, conservative, limited things I’d like to do that are denied me simply because I don’t have a job.

And I think to myself: “I really am sick of it. I really am sick of being, to rich people and big corporations, nothing but something to make them and their beneficiaries more wealthy.”

Isn’t it time for a better system? I’m going to die one day. Why do I have to spend most of my adult life in the meantime wishing the day would come sooner rather than later?

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This is a largely unrelated photo of me after I head-butted a sand-bank while surfing. More relevantly, it’s somewhat symbolic of how I feel every day under the capitalist system – whether I’m working or not.

Ode to Absent

Finesse is found in many things, those things we choose to see,

Though some of us are blind, finding coarseness in beauty.

The imaginative smooth diamonds, from the seemingly banal,

When even a mud-black river, can be a Venetian canal.

With you it takes no effort, to strain for refreshed eyes,

From your velvet, curly locks, to your cream-white thighs.

You exhibit the boundless energy, of the eternal sun.

And impart it to others, on which they blissful run.

What are you doing right now, as you read this ode to thee?

In ignorance I can be sure of one thing: you’re smiling gaily.

Because you always are, those sweetly upturned lips.

One thousand sorrows couldn’t dampen your life-thirst-sips.

Thoughts of you conjure forth many a mental flower,

Which creates in my mind’s garden a rainbow bower.

Your single tear-drop mole below your left earth-eye,

Gives life to my garden and flies its leaves towards the sky.

Though to stop your real tears arising from anything other than joy,

I’d become a Nordic god and with my hammer your enemies, destroy.

But I am by nature a peaceful man, floating passive like a cloud,

And with my loving fingers, dear, I’d only make your pleasure loud.

I stand at the station and look upon other ladies walking,

But to them, compared to you, I couldn’t see myself talking.

They seem to be missing something, like butterflies without wings,

Or perhaps it’s simply me, missing the flight your smile brings.

(Another 2010 poem. Not one of my favourites.)

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Tears’ Shape

She grabbed my hand and soared me silently toward the sky,

Purple rain in cascading rivers on my face til the cloud burst.

I soared in this half-Heaven for a while, stroking my own heart,

Till her unseen presence called me back a new man, feeling like the first.

We whispered liquid dreams pumped straight to each others’ soul,

Carving and moulding a de-thorned rose being from shared experiences.

The days stretched before us like fields gilded in the sunlight,

And we spoke of gently sailing hands held over drag-down fences.

Lightning flashed from her eyes waking me from unrealised sleep.

Perfumed words embraced the beautiful and poisoned the evil.

My fingers followed the endless curve of her spine into oblivion,

And flicked while rising over pearly buttocks to the dawn’s reveal.

Everywhere music played from omnipresent tearful sources,

Rising in pitch at each touch of our damp-tissue flesh.

Until the net spread below like silk-moisturised hands,

And we bent forward smiling then plunged through the mesh.

We were wrapped together like returned butterflies to the cocoon,

And we were happy.

We chased each other through its soothing folds and laughed,

And we were happy.

We spoke of rainbow people never lifting a hand in anger,

And we were happy.

We slept for untimed days of radiant bliss,

And we were happy.

She had gone when I woke,

And I was concerned.

She disappeared,

I was anguished.

(I wrote this poem in 2010.

It might be the first poem I ever wrote. It’s certainly the first I ever put in my Facebook notes section.

I’ve published it here, now, because exactly what the poem describes, entirely, has just happened to me.)

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Enjoy the View

Most people seem to think of views in terms of being very high and looking out across a lot of land and whatever might be on it or not.

This is the view from my local sports club. (A sports club is where families or people in retirement or verging on it socialise and drink and eat.)

I like looking at this view for the opposite reason than usual – being very low and enjoying things more as I look higher.

At the bottom of the frame is grandstanding and advertising placed not accidentally in front of it.

Then the sports field. Then more branding.

Then you get to the stuff I’m more interested in, such as trees and mountains in the distance and the sky filled with drifting cloud.

Looking at the advertising and the sport field (whether there’s a game on or not) is about as interesting in terms of the view as the floor would be of the vantage point from which I was enjoying a high view of surrounding land.

There’s just so much more going on to me once my eyes reach the trees and higher. It’s funny how no matter what we humans create nature is always capable of being more interesting – especially when the two are juxtaposed.

I hope you enjoy the view us much as I do. It’s not a great photo. But I’m sure you understand what I mean about my sentiments, even if you might not agree with them.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – my take

(Spoilers throughout, and especially toward the end.)

It is above all else a film about conflict. Explicitly, that between the British and the French in the days of sails and cannon and muskets on the high seas of the so-called at the time “far side of the world” (around the south-east and west coasts of South America). More subtly, quieter conflicts rage between science and religion and warfare and nationalism and pride and superstition – the latter of which would these days more exclusively be lumped in with religion, but back then also took on a life of its own at least in the context of, and in this context, seafaring. It is a film epic. But it is also a narrow examination of deeply human characteristics. Down to the expertly and/or innately furrowed brow or knowing look.

I first watched it years ago, two or three times. And at the time nor now could I claim to be an expert on period-specific warfare or naturalism or religion or the simple complexity of the human experience, despite the fact that of course I have been a human for more than three decades. Not to mention the gorgeous music accompanying the film I estimate, rather than research, to be of the baroque. And specifically, at least mostly, originally by Bach. But an expert would not approach the film like I have with every viewing: awe and admiration. They would approach it at best critically, if not necessarily in all respects approvingly. Certainly, it is critically, if not expertly well-reviewed. But it did not perform dramatically well at the box office.

I put this down to the simple, clearly evident premise of the film: a quite obscure, geographically located contest between the British and French, punctuated as perfectly as possible by scientific sojourns around the at the time as yet barely documented world treasure that is the Galapagos. It won a couple of Oscars, from memory, hampered by the concurrent presence of one, perhaps the first, of the Lord of the Rings trilogy films. (In fact on the LOTR actors, Dominique Monaghan, if I’m not mistaken, was on board the British MAC ship (busy boy).) It’s easy for me to assume its understated success went over the heads of too many of the movie-going public for it to instead have been an overwhelming success.

But this is an incorrect assumption, as assumptions always are. In fact it’s not even close, as most assumptions probably are. The film featured as its lead an Australian (and perhaps New Zealand (sometimes it’s hard to recall birthplaces of such people from memory (and I’m endeavouring to conduct this homage purely from recollection))) and also somewhat US popular, thanks to Gladiator, actor: Russell Crowe. And it dealt with a cat-and-mouse game between a British and superior French ship along the east and then west of South America. This would never have played well with such fervent nationalists as are probably the majority of the movie-going US public. It’s a simple, yet in my opinion accurate account for the film’s undeservedly yet unavoidably understated success.

Yet, if we look beyond such commercial concerns (which apparently according to Wikipedia hampered the production of a second film), MAC is a singularly, epically good film. And the reason is, as I stated earlier, its focus on conflict. War is something that has been done literally and innumerably to death and will continue to as war evolves, unfortunately mostly depending on the propaganda purposes of the country (or company?) most concerned with the message to be sent. They’re welcome to it. But what this film does well is it goes far beyond pedestrian notions of nationalism or patriotism or zealotry, and examines the conflict inherent in the human condition and the civilisation it has been striving to progress for some 10 millennia, albeit mostly from a male perspective (if you discount native Brazilian women and toasts to “wives and sweethearts; may they never meet”).

This is where MAC becomes infinitely more interesting than who’s firing or swinging a sword at whom. It is a film about a swirling morass of conflict not unlike the swirling seawater to the stern of the principal ship – which also serves as the somewhat central character. As far as I can recollect MAC is set within the enlightenment era, in which science is slowly displacing religious and otherwise superstition. A character in the film is identified as a Jonah – basically a bad luck charm – and he throws himself overboard holding a cannonball, to his death. And coincidentally winds and rains delivering passage and life, respectively, begin again just in time to avert mutiny shortly after his sacrifice (urged by pressure from the Biblically superstitious crew). The captain, Crowe, wisely rejects posthumously acknowledging him as a Jonah and instead eulogises him as, to be succinct, quite the able seaman lost to circumstantial tragedy. It’s a pivotal moment, in which the dead character is almost resurrected like a secular Christ as a reminder that superstition is at best unhelpful and at worst catastrophic.

The catastrophe of losing one man, let alone many, aboard a warship so far from home port is also neatly punctuated by this incident. Each loss of every man is mourned not just due their humanity or popularity, but to their former purpose aboard the ship. The men – some old, some very young, others in-between – all depend on each other to fulfil their roles whether important or menial. And every loss is a loss indeed; a hamper not just to their dominance over the enemy, but the very chances of survival for every surviving crew member. So even though there is interpersonal conflict on the ship, this is the least of it. Because the survival of the entire crew, and every individual man, is so dependent on the very survival of individual men. The ship, arguably the main character under Crowe’s captainship, becomes a metaphor for human civilisation struggling against its internal membership and external forces – characterised by the French, the weather, and religious interpretation.

The film’s ultimate message is that conflict produces righteous victors. But also that other righteous would – and possibly should – be victors might be sacrificed along the way. The good doctor is a victor. He is shot while seeking to observe an obscure species of bird by a marine attempting to hunt the same bird, in a wonderfully dramatic clash of science versus instinct. And by virtue of this he successfully operates on himself (another metaphor so profound as to be almost too blunt to be a metaphor) on the very island (Galapagos) he was previously denied inspection of due to the hunt for the French. And then! During the very research he was previously denied by said hunt, he observes the nationalistic enemy and must return to the warship empty-handed of most of his specimens barring observations. Curiosity enlightens; conflict destroys.

So with much subterfuge and camouflage (incidentally that the captain observes via a stick insect gathered from the island) the British ship of course conquers its enemy. The dead are given to the waters they served so precariously above. The victors’ history, as with all victors’ histories, is the one portrayed by the film. But a British victory is of course one the modern western world is not hungry for. Perhaps during the late 1800s, this film would have proven both popular and successful as propaganda to the British Empire – if film such as this yet existed. Regardless of the breadth of its audience, it is of course an enlightening film. Science triumphs over superstition and conflict – even as it aids the latter. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World above all else teaches me that with every conflict, personal or worldwide, individual humans and humanity at large grow. Every conflict renders following conflicts less necessary and/or likely and/or destructive. Humans are still battling themselves and each other. But progressively we are fighting less, and cooperating more. The Earth is a ship, and the billions of us will sink, swim, or sail, perhaps one day actoss the universe, together.

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How Religion Created Capitalism

Below is a link that explains the phenomenon:

https://acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-10-number-3/how-christianity-created-capitalism

My thoughts are simply that I reject the ongoing necessity of religion, similarly to how machines which surpass humans in intelligence and physical capacity might reject our ongoing necessity.

While I accept that religion had a hand in the progression of civilisation (which might now be more advanced if religion had stopped at the paganism of the Greeks or Romans, who I believe, had Christianity not appeared, were already on the verge of the eventually 1700 to 1800 years later Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution), it’s inevitable that we should relinquish such wastes of time as spiritual literal nonsense.

It will take a little while longer (Islam, unfortunately, is predicted to become the dominant world religion before religion ceases to be (futuretimeline.net)). However, I certainly hope it happens ASAP (and that Islam is rendered more moderate by its dominance, if that is what happens).