26 February 2014

Cricket flute

I have been playing lots of flute with nature lately, to be true to my poem.

In the past week I have played at Mt Ainslie, Pialligo Redwood Forrest, Lake Burley Griffin, and, of course, Haig Park. Focusing on trying to find the rhythm in nature is the best way to discover new melodies and I am better at playing softly for it.

The Pialligo Redwood Forest is a bit of an oddity. Only 3,000 of the original 122,000 trees planted in 1918 survived. You won't find older Redwoods in Australia, but, at 96 years old, they look tiny compared to the remaining giants of California. And they definitely feel out of their element in the Australian Summer. 'Play flute with many robins somewhat an elegy for missing fog,' is the note I wrote myself when there. For in their native clime, they rely, for much of their water requirements, on the quotidian visit of the North Pacific fog, silently invading the silence of their depths.

In the interest of science, I have transcribed this voice memo I recorded while leaving:

"The whole field is full of Orthoptera, I don't know if they are grasshoppers or what they are. They are probably like six centimetres long for the youngest ones, and the adults when they fly look about 12 or 13 cm and they have a very elongated mid-section, I suppose, I don't know, where the wings are attached and they look like little flying pterodactyls of something. Not little, they look like pterodactyls. But they are all yellow browny, sun burnt like the grass, so they are impossible to see, until they jump, and avoid your footstep. Some are a little slow, kind of groggy in the sun, they are hanging in the green grass, in clumps, having fun."

There you go. The BBC can certainly relax knowing a successor to David Attenborough is available when the time comes.

I am surprised I don't meet more people playing when I am playing flute. Surely there are still plagues of vermin that need charming over cliffs these days? Not that I have tried, but I'm willing to learn.

And that's the main thing.

Wandering in the park at sunset, playing with crickets, sometimes they stop, sometimes they start; I suppose they listen, but I have no idea what they say when I am gone.

I like it when they sing all the night through, but it's sad, as they must be the lonely ones; perfecting their song and waiting for the ear that hears in it a gong.

Here is the poem that came to see me at pink orange sunrise when I was playing in the park this morning.

18 February 2014

West Bank Festival - in review

I love this park

Where I have
Drawn poetry
Written trees
Met God at sunset
at least twice
As well as
several other
type of people
all the day long through

Thanks Woody
Wood wood
wood wood
of the pine trees

Wherein these conifers
Harvest mine ear
the sound of
Crickets, cicadas
Birds, beessss
Earth star
Strobilus, strobili
And the thousand
million plus
ten thousand
other variations
of nature's perfection

Over a
thousand million
billion trillion
gagazillion years
or so…
fairly extemporaneously
you might say then

I hoist the flags
And fly the trumpets
Of this some
kind of other-
worldly thought.

Beyond the
world of thought

Only the sound
of a flute remains

And I am
a new song
in the forrest

Thank you


The tale of this poem of Valentine's Day 2014.

On opening night, the West Bank Festival (Feb 14-16, see map below) had a Bad! Slam! No! Biscuit! event on. This is Canberra's poetry slam; I'm not sure about the name, there are biscuits, sometimes, if you bring them I suppose. I was inspired to sit on my balcony and hear a music festival. I composed this poem and drew a frontspiece for my folio with the intention of performing it straight away. The slams are ususally held in the pub but I don't like it so much there. I was really excited to be able to perform in my element.

Normally you turn up, put your name in a hat and you get a go. I arrived just in time to learn it was a special team tournament for the Festival and I couldn't join in. However, I managed to talk my way onto the stage and be the warm up act. When I finished, people clapped and I bowed. Then the MC made me introduce myself which I had neglected to do. The resident barrista gave me 4 out of 5 which I was very happy with.

Also, a beautiful young lady offered me her chair, which obviously is about the best thing a poet can hope for in life, if not a bigger chair. She was in the tournament next and her team totally won. I was convinved of this from the outset to be sure. I heard eight different poems and they made me cry and laugh and smile and it was wonderful.

A grasshopper sat right in front of the stage during the show and the MC made a special announcement imploring the audience to take care lest they step upon it.

There were no reported injuries.

In summary, there should be more tents erected under trees in suburban parks for festivals where all variety of Orthoptera can be made to feel safe and welcome.

Chalkist - unknown

My musical highlights were:

Woo Hoo Revue of Melbourne
Perch Creek Family Jug Band of Perch Creek


Wet, very wet, at most, if not nearly all times

03 February 2014

Thrilling Canberra

See how easy it is to make a garden out of a palette with succulents. I saw this is in The Garden at Dickson. I have often looked at their collection of aeoniums getting too big for their pots and wondered what would become of them.

Somebody is decorating Canberra in their own way. There is a big love heart in the middle of the intersection where Northbourne meets Ipima.

Here is the footpath on Ijong St.

And the intersection of Ijong and Limestone.

Is it art? Who knows, but it is hard to disagree with the sentiments.

Tonight's sunset