Mt Macedon, Recollected, Early Spring
A couple of maidens and I were
sussing out a walk from the
Tea Rooms Car Park and the Camel's Hump.
I have mostly unpleasant memories
of camels. There was Cable Beach where
our camel was not well.
It stumbled when walking through a
dry creek bed. My partner was not small.
I was behind her. "I can't see a thing!"
Then there was a camel tethered
half-way up a hill in Northern China
hoping some of the 50,000 visitors
would accept an invitation to have
their photograph taken while on its back.
But I prevaricate.
The air was chill. Snow flurries
covered my furry hat, clung to my
beard, while frozen snow drifts crunchd.
The path was wet. The local leeches
hadn't seen this much blood on the move
since the last kangaroo.
One small leech latched on but found
my blood too alcoholic. Why would you
risk cirrhosis on such a small liver?
It dropped off the pace. I found
a drunkard further on, attached to my
ankle, horribly bloated.
Always carry salt on bush walks.
"So stretcht out huge in length the
I demolished her between two rocks.
My life's blood flowed out of her.
Scarcely knowing tother leg from twitch
I made it to the Hump. How pleasant
the view! How sweet the water in rock cavities!
24/ 02/ 16
What a great restaurant. The jimmy
Woodsers occupy a tall bar stool,
the bar-flies cluster as the bar.
Mine Host keeps the wretches happy.
"It's his playground," he tells me. The
waitresses are all care, polishing
the water glasses until they shine. Then the
plastic covered menus get the treatment.
This is a seriously good bistro/bar.
Where else can you get an incredible
pasta dish and seriously good wine
24/ 02/ 16
The Main Street Woodend
We're in an environmentally friendly town.
Hessian bags are de rigeur. Shops offer
gifts from your worst nightmare
Aficionados buy metal parrots and
old wares that their great-grand
mothers may have discarded years ago.
The junk goes into the car, it goes
onto the roof. At Home they have
serious problems deciding where it all should go.
24/ 02/ 16
At the Pullman
Back at the Chenlong International Hotel
I look through a heavily dusted window
to see constructionworkers, on a nearby
apartment block, moving across the
forecourt, their shadows extended by
the late afternoon sun.
I am reminded of the workers in Eisenstein's
At the Pullman we all relax. Two Jackys,
Leo, Krzysztof, Andrej and me. We are
settling in to a buffet. Such a variety of
food! Has anything been overlooked,
We are in French Week (Flags - red, white &
blue in stripes.)
We are in polish territory (Flags
red-white in stripes.)
Andrzej's son is a script-writer
so naturally the conversation turned
to film. So many memorable lines.
From "Pulp Fiction". 'Did you notice a sign
put in front of my house that said
"Dead Nigger Storage"?' 'No, I didn't'.
'You know why you didn't see that sign?'
'Why?' 'cause it ain't there.'
And from "Casablanca" - 'Round up
the usual suspects!' The Police Chief;
but a sentiment widely applied in
committees and Royal Commissions.
I mentioned Andrzej Wadja, one of
Poland's foremost film directors, "Kanal",
& "Ashes and Diamonds" And no, I have not
Yugoslavia was mentioned and Andrzej
had been there in 1990, at the start of
the Balkans War. I was there in 1995
at the climax and we mentioned the
film "Underground" by Emir Kusturica;
optional title "Once Upon a Time There
was One Country".It was a time when
brother fought brother and neighbour
fought neighbour, which I guess has
been the case in Europe for centuries.
Pablo Picasso was mentioned and we
reminded each other how when his
painting, "Guernica" returned to Madrid
the airport was cordoned off. What a
powerful and political statement it is.
On ABC Classic FM this week the
featured composer is Frederick Chopin.
I was assured he died from Pneumonia
while living in poor circumstances in Paris.
Mount Kosciusko was mentioned
but I missed the Polish connection.
Yes, it's just over 2,000 meters
And yes. I have walked over it.
Tadeusz Kosciusko was the Supreme
Commander of the Polish National
Armed Forces and fought in the
American Civil Revolutionary War
for the Continental Army. He is remembered
with town names from Alaska to Missisippi.
How did he achieve so much?
Mount Kosciusko should be bracing for
its first snowfall just about now -
the summer white snow daisies
withered and brown.
I inquired about Jews in Lodz
today and Andrzej told how he
had returned to Lodz & he & his
cousin, from israel, had found the graves
of their parents and had a rabbi
say prayers for them. Before
World War II there had been 235,000
Jews in Lodz, or 35% of the population.
Lodz was considered the "Promised Land"
for thousands of Jewish families
escaping pogroms in Moscow.
74,000 Jews from Lodz were sent to the
gas chambers. Today there are only
300 Jews in Lodz. As they say "All
the time (we) try to prove ... that we are still here
and we cultivate our traditions in the city."
Meanwhile, here in Melbourne, Jewish schools
are the only ones to have armed-guards
on the schools' perimeters, protecting students.
Chenlong International Hotel, Weifang, China. 30/ 04/ 16 - 03/ 05/ 16
(i) In this longish poem I tried to create some of the excitement
with a tiny bit of research. (I'm not big on research.)
I love those conversations which bounce around,not following
any set order; where people say what they think. First-hand
accounts of the frontiers of the world are so important
(ii)Many thanks to Krzysztof who tirelessly and happily
translated from Polish to English and back again for 150 minutes!.
How many people do you know who are fluent in Polish,
Mandarin and English.
(iii) Perhaps you might check out 'The Man from Snowy River" by
A.B. (Banjo) Patterson set in the Mt. Kosciusko area.
It's an aim I'm happy to go along with.
Smile when all around you looklike
they're losing thousands every minute.
There's plenty to smile about. You're
up and about, aren't you? Your shopping
basket has all you require for the next
few days. You don't need a trolley
brimming with Coke and Potato Chips.
Mushrooms are growing all over the lawn.
They're an excuse not to cut it.
Yesterday we saw a man up a ladder
with a prosthetic leg. he was happy
Happiness is a state of mind.
Is that a cliche I wonder?
There's no such thing as a free lunch.
Buy one, get one free. Yes. But do
you want the second one?
20% off, but only after we've
marked them up 135% in the first place.
Your idea of what's fair is unlikely to
be the same as mine. It's been tried
in a few countries with terrible
Some words cannot be argued with.
These ate two of them. Forget
seasonal changes. If the statistics
don't align with your theories
change the figures.
A constant threat, just waiting
around the corner. No sooner
have we taken precautions
against a perceived threat than
a new threat comes out of
left field. They can be cured
but who wants to live to 120?
for Maryborough 3rd June, 2016.
I Believe in You
You are the kind of person I admire.
I believe in you, in that if you say
you'll do something you will.
I have known you a
lifetime (Is that a cliche?)
We were born close in time
and close in environment.
We are both Pisceans. Does
that suggest a dual approach
to life? Pisceans are described as
weirdos - very creative, sensitive.
What other disadvantages do you
need in life?
A social conscience is a given.
Why is it that the poor and the
down-trodden are never seen in
in doctors' surgeries or pharmacies?
Does this mean they're winging it
on home remedies? Why do they
have to drop off the twig
ten years before us?
Take care old friend. We are getting
to the nitty-gritty phase of life.
Most of our defences are gone and
the bodily fluids are in revolt.
They won't go where they're supposed to go.
for FAW, Ballarat 21/ 06/ 16
Here we are again
happy as can be
enjoying the best China
can offer. Look at the Bordeaux
glowing a brown-red, 2012.
Watch while the jellyfish swim
against the tide splashing
onlookers with garlic & fragments
of cabbage. Hai Chen completes
his homework at 8.35pm
The dumplings; leek and cabbage
would put a smile on anybodys face.
Golden Horse Hotel, Weifang. 27/ 04/ 16
Brendan Laps Up the Day
Brendan found life was not
as heavy as he thought.
He frolicked through his work;
he ate his asparagus sandwich
At Southern Cross he amused
himself watching sparrows
hopping after crumbs. A sea-gull
took off from the platform.
He felt the wind from its wings.
he fell into a vacant seat on
the Hurstbridge line and
contemplated the beautiful
graffiti, covering not only walls
but houses, too.
Back at the hacienda, Rufus
the dog greeted him a with a lick.
he made a promise to
take the wretch for a walk.
Rufus loves the wallabies.
On his return, he gave Rufus a
fillet steak and opened a
can of baked beans for
himself. He seemed to be losing
He threw the mail in the
rubbish bin and attempted
to watch television. The election
is soon, and the advertisements
He suspects today will be repeated
Photography Prohibited. (I am a Camera)
My lenses need a jolly good clean
or maybe I need to adjuest the view-finder?
In this tense world there are many things
we are forbidden or discouraged
from photographing. I am reminded of
performance of ballet in the Bolshoi
in Moscow (in pre-mobile phone days)
when Soviet heavies grabbed cameras
and ripped out film from the miscreants.
At a recent "Swan Lake" on ice in China
ushers rushed hither and yon, alerted
by the tell-tale flashes to caticage
mobile-phone photographers, but nothing
could stop this audience from recording
the event for posterity. I have always
believed people have a right not to
be photographed if they so wish.
I wished to photograh a park-
keeper, who blew a pink whistle
every time someone stood on the grass
or encroached too close to the privacy
of the roses. And no, he didn't
want his photograph taken.
In Tibet, we were warned not to take
photographs of the hundred-strong
convoy of military vehicles, especially
not when they were crossing a bridge.
Train spotters are welcome, but
back in the seventies, some plane spotters
were apprehended, in Europe.
Our memories create a photo-bank
which no authoritarian
regime can eliminate. "Always stay
clear of demonstrations."
The written word is a reasonably reliable
record, but make sure you're the only one
who can read it.
Ballarat for Maryborough 03/ 03/ 16
Watching the Flow of the Macquarie at Dubbo
The small white feather
fluttered down from the eucalypt
How could the small bird afford
to lose any of its down in winter?
The loose feather, fanned by the
west wind, changed trees
Bellingen 18/ 07/ 16