31 December 2008

The Silent Treatment (rev)

I’ll have to have it out with
the mysterious, supreme being –
he causes me trouble needlessly

I am not kidding when I say
we have the same job; but
honestly I’m not looking for his

I’d rather be gainfully unemployed
free of Worldly cares, and I don’t
believe I could do it better anyway 

my major gripe is he still leaves the big
decisions to me. Like defining where
I stand on moral grounds

no shit, it happens
every day
it’s happening right now

instead of saying,
“Do this, or that,”
I get the silent treatment

I suppose the message is –
think for yourself
so now I do it without thinking 

like I’ve done it all my life  – or at least since
my mother let me

come to think of it –
maybe she’s the one
I should be talking to…
© 2006, I.D. Carswell

30 December 2008

My Father Was The Riverbank (rev)


A sculptor of perfection shaped my being,
fashioned from a broken shard captured in
a lucid dream of comfort and acceptance,
cradled in a shimmered stream of weighted
consciousness – aware my father was
the riverbank, my mother was the water.

I am a dream-world daughter born where
purest past and future visions coalesce in
lucent memoirs, bright reflections beamed
from timeless pools before our ancient sages
deigned to say my father was the riverbank,
my mother was the water.

You ask me where I learned these things; I
tell you here beside the riverbank amongst
the reeds and in the margins of the water,
here I listened to melodic laughter, giving
thanks my father was the riverbank,
my mother was the water.

My mother bore me in a flooded dream that
raged between the ravaged banks, breaking
free to swamp the timid plains, tearing trees
from rocky mounds, a swathe of liquid slaughter,
amazed my father was the riverbank,
my mother was the water.

The stream again returned to flow between
the muddy banks, nurtured and replete with
sustenance and greening strength and quiet
and peace-engendered trust – and thus I knew
forever that my father was the riverbank,
my mother was the water.
© 2006, I.D. Carswell

29 December 2008

And I Write To Think (rev)

write to think

I write
to exorcise
the demons
of the night 

I write
for family and friends
(and many times
to make amends)

I write
for times I couldn’t pen
a line and for when
I didn’t even try

I write
so my hands are occupied 
they’d choke
me if denied

I write
to thank my family
for completely
loving me

I write
because I have
the choice of words
I didn’t voice today

I write
for emotional release
no greater peace
than artistic catharsis

…and I write to think
(therefore I am)!
© 2006, I.D. Carswell

28 December 2008

Celebration For Life (rev)


The special day that you were born
began a celebration to last the whole
duration of your life – a gift for which
you pay no envied fee. So take your
blessing thankfully on every days

The way we mark each birthday fête
with tributes and our intimates displays
in sum on just one day in numbered
hours and gaudy flowers a year of
joy in ‘wakenings.

Thus we wait this special day with pleasure
or unease – knowing we cannot replay a
moment lost or thrown away. So how we
live the days between will credit us to be
repaid in simple kind just once a year.

When you awake and greet each dawn
give thanks again that you were born, and
when you go to sleep each night pray you’ll
wake to further light. Further life and life worth
making the joy behind this celebrating.
© 11 October 2006, I.D. Carswell

27 December 2008

Truth Is A Play On Words (rev)


You can make light of it if you wish,
brush it off with a shrug and a wry
smile, tomorrow will be a new front
page, another breaking story.

But the controversy still rages.
You’ve never listened to the voices
anyway, never heeded the chaste
call to complimentary reason, never
agreed the hoary ambiguities of
profligate wisdom.

You play it your way. These vignettes
of your artistry are all that matters; the
truth is a play on words that no-one
but the naked man in your heart
can see.
© 2007, I.D. Carswell

26 December 2008

For Me Old Mate Jerry

well me old mate I sez
a penny for your thoughts eh
or a quid if they’re lurid enough –
y’know I can read your eyes

while I can’t say I know
precisely how you’re feelin’ –
I’m damn sure I know within
a fold of that dunny paper

all the precious things
are still there – reachin’ em’s
the bloody predicament – life
mirrored a million miles away
© 31 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

For fellow poet Jerry Hughes,
in recovery after a stroke

25 December 2008

Playground Anarchy

it used to be a free-wheeling World for Cali until
Belgian Gardens State School Townsville QLD
banned alfresco gymnastics during breaks

Cali who is 10 used to cartwheel – do handstands
playground activities deemed more dangerous
than playing tennis, football or even rugby league

motive might have been to prevent serious injury –
but why on Earth ban activity as much a part of
growing up as chase or climbing jungle gyms

authorities who believe they are right to take such
drastic action are wrong – displays of paternal
inanity brand the whole community out of hand

now the guess is what they’ll think up next – a ban
on staffroom cupidity would seem more apt with
children’s playground anarchy left in fact intact
© 27 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

24 December 2008

Forsaken Promises (rev)


Nothing came to claim my muse
instead I dreamed of freedoms folded
neatly in a chest displaced in debris
of a crater; the best were simple choices
the rest forsaken promises all bombed
to shreds beside their makers.

All around the sound of raging thunder
rumbled in a fractured night lit bright
by streaks of blinding light that tore
the vision from my aching eyes – I lie
beside the chest which huddled quiet
in abject fright an orphaned child.

I held it in my arms and cried for lives
forgone, the price of lovers rudely shorn
from life, their children never born; my
muse had bought her freedom’s flight
to soar alone and not be caught –
she rues the thankless night.

At dawn I rose to skies worn grey with
sullen clouds and dismal chill, my will
suborned. I tried to rationalise events
and failed to find a common thread
to lead me to resist the test, reveal
the contents of the chest.
© 2005, I.D. Carswell

23 December 2008

Another Barbeque Tonight (rev)


It rained throughout the night, a truly welcome sound
that eases sleep – although we barely slept, disturbed
we were by other things. Today the kitchen’s centre
ring – the kitchen of Anita’s dreams.

It’s had a long gestation, twenty years it’s taken just
to reach this actual day (that’s in this iteration, there’s
been some early versions in the past) and now at last
the preparation is complete. The work begins.

Even as I write the soothing sound has blessed Anita’s
dreams, a complement and sign that what we scheme
is timeless in itself, the wealth of what we have includes
the kitchen soon to be restored to life.

Includes relief in sight from crippling drought,
includes returning green, the birds who flock
and scream their joy with mien delight and,
good Heavens, another barbeque tonight!
© 2005, I.D. Carswell

22 December 2008

Terra Nullius Ignorata (rev)

Terra Nullius
We came to find the place contained in legendary
tracts, the hidden land of fulsome wealth that we
had sorely lacked, a place to cede the means of
dreaming pleasant dreams.

We found the continent intact with evidence of
everything the schemers claimed except it wasn’t
empty, marked our landing site with sticks and
scratched our names.

We framed the land around without a sign for Crown
or Queen, pretended that their heirs would reign.
We made a pact before we left to not reveal the site,
acted in belief it might restrain the avaricious deeds
our leaders would ignite.

The owners of the land were shy but graciously
extended hands and trusted us to come again to
learn the wonders of their land, to walk among
the spirits of their dead.

Our leaders brutalised the cautious words we said
with acrid accusation, absurdly claimed we lied to
curry fame, denied we ever found the site and
trashed our reputations.

We died before the tempest came. Our spirits
wandered in the night and wilted in the dawn,
we hid within the pile of sticks beside the tree
adorned with words we wrote:

‘Hope & Justice found this Land
and ceded it was owned’
© 2005, I.D. Carswell

21 December 2008


time spent mining
of fractured conversation
in unmetered parking lots

pays no rent

trespassing faithlessly
with good intent and
unladen shopping cart
fails to appease
avid genius –

rent grows arrears

those words were meant
for softer ears and fairer
features – knowing looks
which cure despair; the
tediousity just aches

like unsublimated hunger pangs
© 8 September 2008, I. D. Carswell

20 December 2008

For Fear You Cannot Breathe


Twenty minutes to make
fair headway, doldrums of
sleep cast off easily, delays
hoisting sail let dawn beat 

the Master’s desire to be
at sea for its first rays.

Like lying awake waiting,
watching you slumber as
dawn breaks, singularly
silent, impatient to see
a first glimpse of blue
in your waking eyes.

It was long suffering
smiles that drove you
away – for fear you
cannot breathe; I felt
it there in the greyness
of dawn’s suffocation...
© 20 December 2008, I. D. Carswell

19 December 2008


you hear them
clear, the ringing in
of echoes neat
of yesteryears that
sing with joy

my ears embrace
those reveries:
though ill at ease
this heart beats still
with gratitude

I quake in
vacant loneliness
of platitudes
while echoes fill
an aching heart
© 6 December 2008, I. D. Carswell

18 December 2008

Scale Of Satisfaction (rev)

scale of satisfaction

How simply are you satisfied? A glance, a
fleeting smile? Must it have such substance
to compile a pleasured feeling – can you
freely take your pleasure as it comes?

For some the satisfaction is the smile, but if a
co-respondent went the extra mile, moved
to consummate the greeting in embrace,
could you stand the change of pace?

Remember grandmamma who would insist
on kissing as a greeting, and kissing on the lips
you had to face the withered skin, the musty
smell, the dry and crinkled hairy chin!

That is not to say you did not like her anyway,
gram’s embrace was penance that you paid
to satisfy a need you had from mum and dad,
a need to reach and touch your family.
– Well, that’s the way it is with me.
© 6 October 2006, I.D. Carswell

17 December 2008

Synchronous Babble (rev)

sychronous babble

Little things that should amuse
conspire these days, combine in subtle ways;
after thirty seven years you would
expect them to relent a bit.

Imagine, a radio playing in each room you visit
during the course of vacuuming,
not to listen to but to make the room alive –
somehow it rouses pleasant memories,
fills an empty room and stills the dust.

How do I know? I change the station
on one or two to let a different message
flee into the ambience instead of the same,
synchronous babble.

But you can’t tell the difference
above the asthmatic whine of an
antiquated vacuum cleaner.
© 30 September 2006, I.D. Carswell

16 December 2008

My Sisters Never Knew (rev)

my sisters never knew

There was a sibling who might have
preceded me into the World; I say ‘he’
as I had three sisters waiting in the wings
with growing impatience for a male
applicant to bind with fledgling love;
‘he’ as it is unthinkable our mother
may have conceived another girl.

I was told of the sad miscarriage when
I observed disparity in dates we celebrated
birthdays. The gap between my next sister
and I was our brother stillborn. It was a slow-
growing shock – I still mourn for my brother,
I still mourn for an ally and friend whom I
never knew, assured he would agree.

There was a sibling who’d have preceded
me and made the World a less perilous
place, a brother who’d have loved and
protected me but never was. And when I
dreamed of him, staunch and beautiful with
features hewn from the same living flesh,
he was me and my sisters never knew.
© 30 September 2006, I.D. Carswell

15 December 2008

Joie De Vivre (rev)

joie de vivre
We walk amongst the pregnant
trees in torpid flower, in breezeless
damp that hangs a cloying pall
and can’t relieve the rising scent.

Breathing in the aching draughts
of liquid-laden air, as redolent
as chloroform intense and sweet,
disarming eyes and aching head.

Hear the toneless roaring of the bees,
a drowning silence so complete
that chirping birds cannot be heard
seek the treeless margins for relief.

The drug of life returning turns a sweet
dependency, a yearning so replete
your aching eyes will yearn away to
seek respite and sleep awake.

Seeking signs along the way, of tiny
greening nodules rising on the panicles
in flower aspirant, orchard pests aloft on
guilty wings in skittered flight.

Above the setting fruit delight in
red-bronzed leaves exciting burst
from soft-wood twigs ascending into
light-delivered orchard joie de vivre.
© 28 September 2006, I.D. Carswell

14 December 2008

Symmetrically Bound (rev)

symmetrically bound

There is little to distinguish the
living from the dead when
both are symmetrically bound.

It is said one cannot meaningfully
be one without the other,
tho’ they mutually exclude.

Life and death are optimistic concepts
of the same somethingness, polar
extremities of the same point of view.

Today I am neither; I am
convinced by an unshakeable
sense of contentment.
© 2005, I.D. Carswell

13 December 2008

Cord Of Wood

chord of wood

seeing simplicity
stacked where scholars
count cords of wood in
4 by 4 by 8 feet lots
is not risk-taking
– so they say

the measure
means less than
the horrendous reality
that these were once
a biodiversity
of living trees

discorded innocence
it is which bears the name
but odium clings
to the deciders
of need & fate

the symmetry
I see equates to
human beings piled
neatly by the Sheldon cord
their uncertain destiny
© 16 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

12 December 2008

Butt Dust


I claim a liquid
origin as such – and plan
a fluid ending

Topsy grew from air
aloft up where she floats in
stately buoyancy

Tinkerbelle will tell
another story ringing

deceit or not your
fond belief– the awful truth
has many faces

your genesis is
commonplace defined although
rare learnings needy

our pastor claims we
are BUT DUST from whence we came
and to thus return

intrigued my daughter
sanely asks – as children must,
“Daddy, what’s ‘Butt Dust?’”
© 16 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

11 December 2008

Celebration’s Success

celebrations success

a bottle of wine’s worth of inspiration –
luckily you’re not impressed easily; de
Bortoli feeds the masses without (and
I sorely wanted to use this expression)
oblique pretensions. Either you like it
or you may protest. Vociferously. Six
glasses or less is insufficient grounds
to be unconvinced. So I say raise the
goblets again, let’s see whether you’re
a weather vane to a real celebration’s
© 16 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

10 December 2008



wretched beans he sighed – and farted
viciously – eyes surprised reflecting infant tears
– would you believe
that really hurt...

it’s hard to suppose he reflects
such a trivial self-indulgence
could ever have
an unhappy ending

I refuse to snigger covertly –
observe the incident
too culturally sincere
for approbation

I mean
who wouldn’t release
their admiration volubly
for the new vegetarian regime

– at the next urge
I suggest sagely
try standing
© 20 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

09 December 2008

Patrick’s Medals

patricks medals

begorrah it was an insincere
attempt to ill use the news
sure and by God

if the medals had been
just a worthless gesture we’d
never hear or see the like again –

but for a pestilent aberration
of a thief who stole them – amongst
other things – from the container

so bereaved we are to be
before the public wake
has even been arranged

and suddenly they’re appealing
self-righteously on the TV news
for their return

seems a demand for ribbons
resplendent like these motivated
the estranged memories

now it’s strange isn’t it that in
all the years our Patrick was alive
the intrinsic value was zero

‘twas nought for all the glory
that he fought – but then
he never tried to sell them
© 20 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

08 December 2008

Whose Embrace

APTOPIX India Shooting

whose embrace condones
your brand of lunacy; the
manic and impure idea
that heralds anarchy to
passion’s ghost
despairing rule of lore

what is lost when innocents
are wrenched from life
is not a fear of God, it is
the wrath your cause ignites
for vengeance just congealed
in battle lust

no dialectic underscored
with brutal force and bombs
and guns will win the brawl
for hearts and minds, you’ve
captured chaos and defined
deniers all as infidel

so whose embrace condones
your thoughts of ancient
prophecy; a mother’s arms
which sting with caustic tears
unshed in binding cloth around
your shattered head
© 4 December 2008, I. D. Carswell

07 December 2008

Yesterdays Success


washed up and worn out is the feeling –
languishing in doldrums of a new week
where debris of yesterday’s success is
already history

no one remembers it anyway

you share sanctuary in a tides edge –
survivor of the ebb with that singular
success of being buoyed up when the
rest sank

and it stinks out there

tangled in with every manner and
means of flotsam jammed together
in a neat line left where the water
peaked at top of a tidy beach

and all is not what it seems

a beachcomber may pick you up as an
artefact thinking he knows your value –
but you’ve no real chance of resurrection
no satisfaction guaranteed

better you’d died at sea
© 28 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

06 December 2008



that wisdom connects me to
the bullet’s flight – an arc of
covenant inscribed by gravity
where all thought falls short
of escape velocity

we were sired in the same
trajectory that brought us
here – our wills bent to the
Earth’s curvature and the
breast of its sustenance

there is no leaving without
shame but those sacrificed in
the name of its prophecy cry
in awe of the bullet’s flight
and it’s dying return
© 22 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

05 December 2008


a Senior’s concession
train fare – not exactly
an event for celebration,
you’ll still have to stand

but if a station ticket
seller suggests it – the
correct response is to
be visibly pleased...

in effect it means you
get to travel standing
for twice the distance at
the same cost in humility
© 22 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

04 December 2008

When You Aren’t Here (rev)

when you arent here

It had taken all day to
get to the front door,
and considerable effort
you are assured.

There was no incentive
to make a greater play at
being part of the day; when
I reached it I had nowhere
to go.

I had ideas, I’m never lost
for them, but there at the
doorway the choices didn’t
pretend to have relevance
or meaning.

You were away, a declaration
of fact – is that a state of being
or an expression? Anyway, you
weren’t here so it didn’t matter
where I went or what I might
have done. So I didn’t. Nothing
matters when you aren’t here.
© 2006, I.D. Carswell

03 December 2008

Years Of Practice (rev)

2 fat ladies

The two fat ladies sell soft
toys and bric-a-brac which
they unpack from large
cardboard cartons they
must have had to shrink
to fit inside their tiny car.

Both are as wide
as they are tall
their smiles warm and
their customers all
greeted effusively
like they really matter.

When we first met
at market that year
I just had to ask how
they fitted everything
into an unbelievably
small car.

There was no malice
or derogatory intent
I was truly amazed
and genuinely
to know.

They smiled coyly
and said – like it
was the stone cold truth
that it took years
of practice.
© 2005, I.D. Carswell

02 December 2008

Coc Au Vin


an afternoon of slaughter
made worse by carnage
to a neighbourly association

rural living is indecently more
than menopausic concerns
disguised as urban curiosity

either you learn to mind
your own business when
the cockerels are killed

or there is no prospect
of shared benevolence –
no invite for coc au vin
© 23 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

01 December 2008

Dune Mythology

benign mythology unleashed
in fabled Dune by spiced melange
imagination freed – the parody
of Mahdi

soon to be a spindle
of the angst
which played on ancient words
foretelling doom

suspense in agony
a clamour for the truth
while tending peace between
the factions left estranged

in wars of space and reverence
of relevance – of unity
and commonsense
impending battles of defence

there is no place to linger on
and ask belief beyond the means
of evidence –
that past is gone – and yet we breed
© 26 August 2008, I. D. Carswell

From: Dune Trilogy by Frank Herbert