The Midas Bird

By Mark Scrivener

Published by Mark Scrivener at Smashwords

Copyright 2011 Mark Scrivener

The Midas Bird
Shell On The Shelf
The Breeze Asks The Leaves
The Wings Of The Hours
Tell Me Now, What Is My Name?
Song Of The Sun
The Kookaburra Calls At Dawn
The Lion And The Mouse
Cat At Daybreak
If Things Could Speak
City Morning
Four Summer Haiku
What's My Name?
The Naming Of The Days
Eagle Rising
Currawong Cry
Dolphins Are Flowing
Two Jungle Tongue-Twisters
First Fox
Four Autumn Haiku
Lake With Pelican
The Magician's Helper
What Tree Am I?
Four Winter Haiku
A Rhyme Of Riddles
Wind And Stone
The Spell Of Life
Slowly, So Slowly The Snail
The South Wind And The Sun
Winter Rain On Town And Land
Who Am I?
Moth Upon The Window Pane
Summer Singers
Flying A Kite
Four Spring Haiku
The Black Knight
The Explorer
The King Who Believed Everything
The Song Of The Wind
This Lunar Night
To A Reddening Leaf
The Town Mouse And The Country Mouse
What Am I?
My Binoculars
Asnswers To Riddles

The Midas Bird

Perched upon a dead, grey tree,
A single ibis views
A valley ringed by twilight hills-
But, from where I stand, I see
Far sun west-gleaming golden hues.
And suddenly,
With a Midas touch, it wills
The white bird into gold for me.

Shell On The Shelf

A sand-snail shell rests on the shelf,
with time-traced whorls of growing's curve,
a swirl of logarithmic spiral.

And so it sits in still completedness,
far from the vast, wave-rippled ocean;
so purely formed, brown and alone,
far from its forming, slow creation,
where curves of water, time and life
were gradually gathered into stone.

The Breeze Asks The Leaves

Oh, green leaves on the trees,
Will you sing with this breeze,
Will you whisper and hustle,
Will you flutter and bustle,
Will you sing out my soft-breathing song?
Oh, green clusters on high,
Will you chatter and sigh,
As I rush right along?
Will you murmur and swish,
Will you rustle and hiss,
Will you sing to the songs of my choice?
Will you be this wind's voice?

Oh, you faded, dead leaves,
Will you fall from your trees,
Will you dance with this breeze?
In pale crowds I can clutch,
Will you stir to my touch?
Oh, you leaves that are shed,
Brown, yellow, and red,
Will you scatter and twirl,
Will you run, roll, and swirl,
Will you race, leap and whirl,
Will you follow my far-roaming beat?
Will you be this wind's feet?

The Wings Of The Hours

Twenty-four birds at the break of the day;
Twenty-four birds fly up and away.
Some of them pearl, some golden-bright,
Twenty-four birds rising up in swift flight.

Some of the moon, some of the sun;
Each of them soaring, one after one.
Some fly in silence, some sing a song-
But when they have flown, where have they gone?

Tell Me Now, What Is My Name?


I'm ever-changing, yet the same-
There was a stream before I came.
A thunder in the silent land,
I'm ever tumbling, yet I stand.
I'm ever raining in clear day,
And ever passing yet I stay.


To use me well you hit my head,
While trying not to let me fall.
And I am buried, but not dead,
For metal-made, I never lived at all.


Though but a thing of words I can
Be deadlier than the serpent's bite.
For if I tell you what is right
Then I'm not being what I am.
But if you say that I am true,
Then truly I am born anew.


Sails have I, but not at sea;
Yet the wind will work for me.
Mine was once a grinding task.
Now it's power that you ask
From my tall and mighty frame
Or water on the dusty plain.
Tell me now, what is my name?


Garuda, god bird of the light,
Sweep down upon the dark of night.
Snatch up the serpent of the shadow,
And bear it to the sun-clear height.

Garuda, with your wings like flame,
Swoop down upon the gloomy plain,
Defeat the warriors of night.
With your swift arrow rays of light.

Sing of the light,
Sing of clear sight,
Praise to the sun,
The clear - shining one.

Spread your wide wings
Like far - reaching seeing,
Knowing all things
To the depths of their being.

Garuda, god-bird of the sun,
Tell us that the dawn has come,
Banish all the mists of night
With your wings of dazzling light!

Garuda, with your shining flight,
Bring us all the gift of sight!

Song Of The Sun

Come beams of light from heights of space,
And shine and ray upon this place.
Come chase the coldness from the air;
Bring warmth and light to everywhere,
And heat the stones and ripen grain.
Disperse the clouds on which you gaze
With your clear-wise and fiery blaze.
Shine out upon the storm-wet leaves,
And let the birds sing in the trees.

Come, oh gentle sunbeams, come.
Warm the earth where tempests played;
Kiss the flowers with soothing rays.
Summon lizards from beneath brown leaves.
Let the birds fly from the trees
Into the vastness of the air
To wing on warming currents there.

Shine and shine, oh, warming blaze.
Beam and beam your burning rays;
And bring my fire to the old earth now.
Butterflies dance from flower to flower,
Humming bees seek nectar there,
Through the drowsy, heavy air.
Glitter and glow on sea and land,
Spread your heat on every hand.
Fill the world with colour; light
The world around with blazing might!

The Kookaburra Calls At Dawn

Kookaburra, kookaburra,
All your laughter, all your laughter
Rings across the rising dawn.
Kookaburra, kookaburra,
All your laughter, all your laughter
Calls the new day to be born.
Calls the laughter of the light,
Bringing all the world new sight.

Kookaburra, kookaburra,
Waking all the world from slumber,
Calling all the world to wonder
At the power of the sun
And the new day's that's begun.

The Lion And The Mouse

A lion was sleeping peacefully,
Beneath a great and shady tree,
When a tiny mouse ran cheekily
Across his heavy paw;
Which made him wake up suddenly
And give a mighty roar.

His paw upon the mouse he clapped
And held the little creature trapped.
"How dare you wake me while I napped
Beneath this shady tree?
I've half a mind to eat you up
For acting cheekily!"

"Oh, spare me, spare me, please, dear lion,
Oh, spare this little life of mine!"
The small mouse begged. "I'm sure I'll find
A way to pay you back!
Yes, please, great king of beasts, be kind
And you'll be glad of that."

Now this amused the lion no end;
"You are so proud, my little friend.
How could you help me or defend
A creature such as I?
I'm great, you're small. And yet I'll send
You on your way to try."

Quite soon, however, it came to be
That hunters caught the lion and he
Was tied up to a mighty tree:
Bound strongly, tight and trim;
While they went off, quite hurriedly,
To fetch a cage for him.

The little mouse heard his wild roar
And scurried up to him to gnaw
The knot that bound him. More and more
Rope strands he nibbled through,
Until the lion with one heave tore
The binding rope in two.

"My tiny friend, my mighty power
Would not have saved my skin just now,"
The great lion purred. "But you, this hour,
Though you're so weak and small,
Could help me with your smart know-how
To do what I could not at all!"

"My mighty friend, my tiny power
Has saved you from the hunters now,"
The small mouse squeaked. "There comes an hour
When even the strongest need
A little help. You see, that's how
I have paid back your kindly deed!"

Cat At Daybreak

I see, at break of day when first birds stir,
The cat awake and taking in the scene.
The first light catches on her long, white fur
And shapes her, sphinx-like, from the general green.

And as she sits upon the dew-damp lawn,
With yellow eyes she sees the yellow dawn.

If Things Could Speak

If things could speak I wonder what they'd say?
What's cried by ravens rising with the day?
Or growled by restless lions behind zoo bars?
Or bellowed by a bull in some far field?
What secrets could be whispered from the stars?
Old mother earth revolving through the hours?
In buried, ancient stones what tales are sealed?
What's written in the shapes of fruits and flowers?
What's felt by worms that feed on fallen leaves?
What songs are sung by dolphins in the seas?
A storm wind whistling through the swaying trees?
What meaning's hummed by sun - warm, buzzing bees?
What words would echo from the boom of thunder?
If only things could speak to us, I wonder?

City Morning

Earth's journeyed through the turn of night;
The sun's upon our sky.
Day slips the city into gear.
The morning mass migration's here.

Clocks' shrill awakening.
The dreaming eyes are opening
And looking with daysight,
And seeing in the given light.

Now people wake and dress and eat:
Day-starting rituals, habit-neat.
And carlines fill road patterns,
And carriages track metal trails.

Clocks mark workstart. Commuters yawn.
And humankind
moves past another dawn.

Four Summer Haiku


Wind surfers furrow
Sun-rippling water. Bright sails.
Summer butterflies.


Mowing summer-high
Lawn reduces to ruins
Empires of ants.


Past waving, wet grass-
Dragonfly. Four wings flashing
Summer on the breeze.


Listen to warm night.
Wide river ripples bright moon;
Whispering silence.

What's My Name?


I have no body, just a shape,
As upon the ground I lie;
But body's shape I imitate.
Now tell me, quickly, what am I?


I'm in light but not in night.
I'm in look but not in sight,
In love and life but not in time;
In length and line but not in rhyme.


Deep in the night, far from all towns,
You may hear me, I'll be around.
I am the voice of stones, of stars,
But not the sound you get from cars;
The words of one whose lips won't part,
And deeply hidden in your heart.


I am found upon the sands.
You make me but not with hands.
If you're still, I cease to be.
Tell me now your name for me.


Sunday is the sun's own day;
Powerful-glows his warm, bright ray.

Monday has the moon's fine sign;
Pale and silver-white her shine.

Tuesday carries Tiw's name;
Strength of courage is his claim.

Wotan's day is Wednesday here;
Wisdom brings he, deep and clear.

Thursday's Thor, whose hammer blow
Makes thunder roll and lightning glow.

Friday comes from Freya the Fair;
Goddess of love with golden hair.

Saturn rules on Saturday;
Father Time moves on his way.

So once more comes Sunday's dawn;
Seven more days will be born.

Seven days, forever new,
These are days all named for you.


Through blazing sunshine's warming rays,
On the summer breeze,
Through lazy day's hot, drowsy haze,
Come the humming bees.

Their gazes trace the sun's sky place
To guide them to sweet treasure;
As they go buzzing through day's space
And run the hive-dance measure.

A lizard lies in lazy ease,
Snoozing through the hours;
But round these blossoming lemon trees,
These bees visit flowers.

Still busy, buzzing bees are coming,
As a cloud around-
Surrounding blooms with golden humming:
Honeycomb of sound.

Eagle Rising

Look there!
Upon that dead,
decapitated tree trunk, bare
in contrast with the sunlit spread
of greenness after recent rain,
hunches a huge, black bird.

She sees us, launches free,
lays wide wings on the spiral of the air
and circles with an easy care,
eyes scanning. Long feathers on wings' ends
soft-feel the breath of sky.

At home on the highway of the winds,
she rides the unseen, rising path;
and dwindles, vanishing from view,
into her far, unfeatured,
pastures of the blue.


Where does yesterday go?
Do you know? Do you know?
If time flies,
Where does it go,
To what strange skies?

A wise, old owl
Whispered to me,
"Go down the pathways of the past,
Turn the silver key,
Open the golden gate at last.
What do you find?
Use the eyes of your mind."

"Has yesterday
All gone away
And vanished now
Or is it there,
In the magical air;
In the hidden kingdom
Of Memory?"

Currawong Cry

Sing my song, sing my song,
Currawong, currawong;
Summer's long, summer's long,
Currawong, currawong;
Sun is strong, sun is strong,
Cloud will come, cloud will come,
Hiding sun, hiding sun;
Storm will roar, storm will roar,
Rain will pour, rain will pour;
Summer's long, summer's long,
Currawong, currawong;
Sing my song, sing my song-

Dolphins Are Flowing

Dolphins are flowing
Through the blue ocean;
Glistening, glowing-
Swift is their motion.

Rising and leaping,
Suddenly seen;
Splashing and peeping
From the blue dream
Of the vast ocean-
Gleaming-grey, going
Like laughter flowing,
Swift is their motion.

Where the waves foam
On the wide sea;
Where the gulls roam,
Flying and free;
They are at home-
Where the ships sail
From every quarter;
Where the winds wail
Over wide water.

Where the long waves
Flow and up-well;
Where sunlight plays
On the wide swell-
Dolphins are going,
Gleaming and glowing,
Sliding and flowing,
Through the blue ocean;
Swift is their motion

Two Tongue Twisters

Now the trees are all groaning in growling, rough gales;
With their horrible roaring they roll all around,
Such leaf-rousing, branch-ruining, ripping, raw wails,
Such a terrible, raging and tree-wrecking sound!

Slinking, sliding, slithering slyly,
Swiftly shipping through the grasses shyly,
Silent but for swish and hiss
Is the sinuous snake's leglessness.


High through the sky
Forever I fly,
Cries the white moon,
Sighing her tune.

When I am new,
I'm hiding from you;
Like a seed's birth,
Lying in earth.

My waxing means growing;
So comes my first sign:
Curved slice of shine;
Thin, crescent moon's glowing.

First quarter means
Half my face shows;
White are my beams,
A half circle glows.

Then night after night,
I grow and I grow,
Shining my light
On dark earth below.

Ascending the sky,
I shine through the leaves;
Gliding on high,
I shine on the trees.

Sparkling on waves,
I ride through the sky;
I shine into caves
Where wild, the winds sigh.

At more than half bright;
As gibbous I'm known;
Strong is my light,
The night is my own.

And when I grow round
Then full is my face;
I shine all around
And light every place.

I gleam on night's dew
With pale, silver light;
I light the dark view,
Shining full-bright.

Then waning my light
Is dying away;
As night after night,
I glide on my way.

The last quarter means
My shine is half gone;
Still bright are my beams
As I keep shining on.

Until I remain
Only sickle of shine;
A crescent again,
Fading with time.

Till every last ray
Is gone from your sight;
I'm hidden away,
Concealed in the night.

Once more I'll grow
Just like a smile;
New crescent's glow,
Westward awhile.

Yes, I'll grow once more,
That is quite sure-
Twenty-eight are the days
Of my changing phase.

High through the sky,
Forever I fly,
Cries the white moon,
Sighing her tune.


Though never seen, I'm in the bee,
Not in the rock, but in the tree.
All things that breathe, all things that grow
Have me. What am I? Do you know?

Always passing, never gone;
Sometimes short and sometimes long;
Younger than tomorrow, older than the sun;
I'm never seen by anyone.

I see all things, but never see myself;
Except in the mirror on the shelf.

When day is done
That's when I come;
And I have gold
No hand can hold.

I ride upon the ocean's face;
And when I've gone I leave no trace,
My top turns white when I'm near land,
I end my life upon the sand.

I travel everywhere,
Through clouds and through the air;
I'm never seen by any eye;
And yet I colour earth and sky.

I dance and I leap without any feet;
I hiss and I crackle but I never speak;
Giving light when day is done,
Giving heat when cold has come.


Dandelions, their yellows dancing
on green stretches of fresh grass,
lift their round and raying flowers
to the light whose love leaves life.

From the warm, dark earth unfolding
blooms of bright, fine petal-rays,
each seems striving to reflect
far, far sun's abounding blaze.

First Fox

Over neighboring, winter-wet paddocks you passed,
Hunting-hungry from shelter in hills after rain,
Just the flash of a form, like a swift, orange flame,
Just so fugitive, furtive and feral and fast,
That at first eyes might miss it, except that on green
That burnt color is startling; a shape lithe and lean,
With your bushy, bright brush.Though you're classed as invader,
As mere vermin, unwanted, a sly chicken-raider,
You're so poised in alertness, and ready to act,
That I cannot help feeling a certain respect,
As you vanish in silence like a leaf on the wind;
First fox that I've seen since I've lived on this land.


In the mountains of the myth,
I stand watching over treasure,
Guarding gold of deep, dark caves,
Sparkling wealth beyond all measure.

Beak of eagle, claw of lion,
Wide my wings and fierce my face,
I shall keep all worthless seekers,
From the gold of wisdom's place.

Only those with clear, wide vision,
Like the eagle's soaring flight;
Only those with steadfast courage,
Like the lion's royal might;

May pass by my mighty presence,
May pass by my guarding way,
May return with wisdom's treasure
To the common light of day.

Wing of eagle, paw of lion,
Strong my limbs, and great my cry;
I shall guard the secret treasure
From the false, unworthy eye.

Four Autumn Haiku

Clouded autumn dusk's
Stillness. From roadside's dark bank
One lone cricket calls.

By ghost sphere afloat
In autumn blue, flash white wings -
Seagull and the moon.

The gold moon sets in
Late darkness. Autumn wind sighs
Through a half-built house.

Black on an autumn
Rose-gold dusk, in slightest breeze,
High, thin gum leaves dance.

Lake With Pelican

The low sun and a light cool breeze
have spun a shining spell of shifting,
brief sparks on wavelets of the waters.
Two ducks sail in the dusk lagoon.

Between the long and ripple-edged,
green islands of the rustling reeds
a pelican glides peacefully
with a curious, gaunt dignity.

With cautious, crane-like walk a black-beaked spoonbill
sifts shimmering shore shallows for small fish.
Nearby a darting dragonfly
beats four frail wings: a flash of iridescence.

The stately pelican would sail
so sedately through the calmness
were I not watching. Had I not watched
I would not give it praise in words.


Night is the dark leaves whispering;
Night is the moon-boat sailing west;
Night is the song that crickets sing
When butterflies have gone to rest.

Night is the silent road that runs
Through darkness for the gleaming cars.
Night is the light of many suns
So far away they are just stars.

Night is the dark waves on the shore.
Night is the sleep that brings dawn's gleam.
Night is the moonlight on the door.
Night is the riddle of the dream.

Night is the healer of day's strife,
A light that day's eyes cannot see.
The slumber that renews all life;
The soundless, star-sung symphony.


We are falling from the sky
To the solid earth below.
From the grey clouds rolling by
To the heavy ground we go.

Falling, falling down go we
On the roof, and on the tree;
Over everything you see-
Pitter, patter; pitter, patter;
What's the matter? What's the matter?

On the snail that creeps along,
On the puddle, brown and wide,
Falling on it all, our song
Drums on everything outside.

Falling, falling we go down
On the hills, and on the town;
On the river, long and brown-
Pitter, patter; pitter, patter;
What's the matter? What's the matter?

Leaving all the grass blades dripping,
Making rings upon the lake,
Through the air we're streaking, slipping
Down the windows like a snake.

Falling, falling down we go,
Flying where the breezes blow,
Trickling down tree-trunks we flow-
Pitter, patter; pitter, patter;
What's the matter? What's the matter?

If we never, never come,
All the plants curl up and die,
Finally the streams won't run,
All the land goes brown and dry.

Falling, falling down go we
On the roof, and on the tree;
Over everything you see-
Pitter, patter; pitter, patter;
What's the matter? What's the matter?

The Magician's Helper

A young man at the market place
Who wanted work was taken in
By one who had a wrinkled face
And a long, white beard upon his chin.

Deep in a wood, high in a tower,
The young man worked on, hour by hour-
He dusted books, he polished jars,
And folded up the maps of stars.

For magic was his master's trade-
The many strange spells that he made
Were written in a great, big book.
The young man longed to take a look.

His master took a trip one day.
"Be sure," he said, " while I'm away
To fill the big pot to the brim
That was the task he left to him.

" O dear," the young man thought, "It's far
Down all these steps to reach the lake!
And all I have is one small jar
And nothing else that I can take!"

" I think", he thought, " I'll take this book
Of spells and have a little look.
Now what could help? Now let me see-
This looks like one that's made for me!"

" Let's see- a spell to give a hand;
That is exactly what I'd planned,
Now what I need is one old broom,
And yes, there is one in this room! "

" Shim, shim shumber, without slumber,
Frim, frim frumber, without number!
Broom take legs and arms, I say,
And obey my will today!"

All at once the young man's eyes
Opened wide with vast surprise -
For the broom stood up on legs
And grew arms like wooden pegs!

" Go fetch the water to this spot
And pour it out to fill this pot.
So take this jar at once and make
Your way down to the wide, deep lake."

At once it went and very soon
It trundled back into the room;
And seven times it came to him
And filled the pot up to the brim.

" All right, all right, now you can stop.
Thank you, for filling up the pot.
Stop! Stop! Its quite enough today!"
But the broom continued on its way.

Oh yes, the broom just kept ongoing,
And soon the pot was overflowing.
The water poured out on the floor
And even reached right to the door.

The young man searched through every page
To find the spell to stop this stage;
But not one sentence could he find
To make the broom change its set mind.

" I know," he thought, " I'll grab a saw
And cut the wretched thing in two.
Yes, that should stop it, that's for sure.
There's nothing else that I can do."

So when the broom returned once more
The young man hid behind the door.
And, as the broom came in, he sprang
And knocked it down with one loud bang!

He held it down with all his might,
When what should happen before his sight!
It changed, when it was on the floor,
Back to a normal broom once more.

He grabbed the saw without delay,
And sawed and sawed and sawed away.
" Why stop at two? I'll make it sure,
I'll saw it into forty-four!"

Soon forty-four small bits of broom
Were lying scattered around the room.
" At last I've stopped it in its tracks,
Now I can clean up and relax."

But what was this? To his surprise
Each bit was growing before his eyes!
And soon each was a proper broom,
Now forty-four were in the room.

Yet worse than this, much worse by far,
Each one sprang up, each had a jar,
And each was walking through the door
Just as the first one had before!

Soon forty-four were coming back
And pouring water everywhere-
On every mat, on every stack
Of books, on every single chair!

" O Heavens, what shall I do now?
They'll drown the room; they'll drown the tower!
What's this? My master's back. O please,
Help me to stop this broom disease!"

The old man frowned and raised his staff
And swiftly cut the air in half
And uttered a spell whose mighty power
Shook every stone within the tower!

The brooms were suddenly no more,
The water flowed back to the lake,
And everything was as before
The youth had made his great mistake.

" I hope this mess did you some good,
Young man," his master said, " You should
Not have begun until you knew
How to control what it would do!"

What Tree Am I?


There is a riddle in my name,
And yet the answer is quite plain.
A woodless tree I stand,
And yet your name is in my hand.


I am a tree whose leaves are known
To branch in time and not in space.
Yet everyone can try to trace
The only on of me they own.


To hear my name would make you think
I grew upon the ocean's brink.
But if you spelt it, you would find
It wasn't what you had in mind.


I am a bushy tree
And from the bush I come.
At times I grow a galaxy
Of yellow stars that hum.


Inside the large aquarium,
Within a tank, behind the glass,
Seahorses swim.

So gently now they pass,
Long-nosed, horse-headed and so frail,
With a spiral for a tail.

Like floating chess knights they drift on,
With whirring, tiny fins upon
Their backs and heads- so upright here.

How strange it seems that these should be.
These tiny, horse-like fish, so delicate and clear,
Soft-grazing on the pastures of the sea.


Across the constant constellations' night
there spears another gleaming light.
Fleeting, fleeing, a meteor spark
streaks across the vast sky-dark.

A sudden-shining line
is etched upon the lightless air.
Across long night's slow-passing pace,
the stillness of the star-set signs,
for but a moment of all time,
there flames its flashing trace.

And then it vanishes, forever gone,
a single grace note in night's song,
and leaves no mark on stellar space.

So swiftly passes
the sudden show,
the thin sky-flame,
you would not guess
it had been so,

had you not happened
just then to see
it had been there-
had you not happened
just then to be

Four Winter Haiku

Bare willow branches:
Languid lines on dusk-mauve sky.
Above- faint, far star.

Smooth, white wings moving
Smoothly through smooth winter blue:
Cattle egret flight.

On lake sands, winter's
Cold dragon of the south wind
Has left his long tracks.

Dark needles draped in
Cold mauve dusk. Above, bright bow.
She-oaks and the moon.


In the darkness, in the damp,
shallow cave beneath the tall
cliffs that cause the waterfall,
each a tiny, blue-green lamp
on the damp, black basalt wall,
crowding glow-worms softly gleam
by the moon-touched pool and stream.

Each a star they shine in small
constellations, here alone
on their sky of night-black stone.

Though I know that there are reasons,
causes for their strange display
and that wonder, like their shining,
fades away in plain, bright day,

yet, within this silent darkness,
gazing without explanation,
how I feel the secret, glowing,
soft enchantment of creation.

A Rhyme Of Riddles

The one before me has a fiery face,
The one that follows a frosty smile.
As one in four, I take my place
Between these opposites a while.

My spears will blaze; my gray troops come;
My voice be like a booming drum.
And yet when battle is unfurled,
My bullets are a blessing to the world.

When heaven weeps I shall be found
Lying still upon the ground.
When it smiles then I'll be gone
Up to the sky where I came from.

If you stand here, no matter how you try
There's only one direction you can go.
My sister spot beneath the sky
Is just the same, but opposite, you know.

I sound as if I saw a dance,
But you won't see me at a glance.
In pieces I shall play my role,
By asking you to make me whole.

Wind And Stone

The wind that blows against the cliff
Is only breath, so weak yet swift,
But carrying some grains of grit
Like tiny hammers to fling at it.

Thus bit by bit, it wears away
The silent, stony face of grey.
The wind is weak, the stone is tough...
But being tough is not enough.

Forever comes the wind to play,
And bit by bit wears it away.
The stone is full, the wind is thin-
But in the end, the wind will win.

Spell Of Life

The seed lies in the silent dark.
Sun, soil and water light life's spark.

And from the seed there lifts a shoot.
The shoot develops stem and root.

The stem unfolds its first, small leaves.
They drink the light, they breathe the breeze.

Roots cling to earth, absorb the rain;
Support the stem's unfolding frame.

The leaves rise tall, spread on the air;
And finally begin buds there.

And from the buds out-spirals flowers
With scent and hue: bee-pleasing powers.

And as the chance and season suit,
The fertile flowers become the fruit.

The fruit grows ripe and falls to earth.
But in the fruit seeds come to birth.

The fruit is final of life's deeds-
But in earth's silence lie the seeds.


See the spark
In the dark -
Floating by.

Near and far,
Like a star-
Green-gold gleam,
Blinking beam.

When day's done,
When earth's rim
Hides the sun,
When the spring
Dusk grows dim,
Floating high,
Floating low,
To and fro,
See the spark
In the dark-
Floating by.

Trace the gleam-
Follow, follow
To the hollow
Where the stream
Meets the creek.
Go and seek.

Where the bushes
And the rushes
Darken now
In night's power,
With surprise
You can see
In dark air-
Flitting, winking,
Sparkling, blinking,
Starry streams,
Magic gleams;
In your eyes,
Flashing there


Slowly, So Slowly The Snail

Slowly, so slowly the silent snail
Slides along past glistening trees,
Leaving behind it a silvery trail,
Looking for fresh, juicy leaves.

On soft, long stalks, two tiny eyes
Wave at the wet grass where rain fell;
Prepared, alert, at first surprise,
To curl into its round, brown shell.

Silently sliding on it slimy
Body without bones;
Silently sliding with its spiralled,
Thin shell for its home;

So it roams; so slow, so slow-
And yet, and yet though, it will go
More quickly than
Green leaves can grow.

The South Wind And The Sun

One autumn day, up in the sky,
The Wind called to the far-off Sun.
He boasted to the Light on High,
"I really am the strongest one!"

"I'm mightier than you, warm Sun,"
The cold South Wind announced with pride.
"Forever restlessly I run
Throughout the vast sky, blue and wide."

"But are you sure," the Sun replied,
"You are as powerful as you say?"
"Oh yes, I'm sure," the proud Wind cried.
"I rule the air both night and day."

"I whirl in here from far away.
I rustle all the forest leaves.
I carry all the clouds and play
My song through all the swaying trees."

"Your power is wild, but mine can please,"
The Sun said, " What's your power worth?
For when it's used, you rage and freeze-
But mine brings light and warmth to earth."

"Each dawn I bring the day to birth;
My rays call forth each golden flower,
And all the creatures of the earth
Rejoice that I employ my power."

"So let's find out, this very hour,
Which one of us is stronger. See-
A Traveller is trudging now
Along the road, quite wearily."

"So let us see if you can be
So mighty that you force this man
To take his cloak off willingly.
Come, let us find out if you can!"

"Of course," the Wind said and began
At once to blow. The tops of trees
Swayed softly and the white clouds ran
Through blue sky in the growing breeze.

But the Traveller just said," I'm pleased
I've got my cloak to wrap around
And shield me from this chilly breeze
Which sprang up with its whistling sound."

At this, the Wind's rage knew no bounds,
It tore down from the stormy sky.
The dead leaves leapt up from the ground
And tall trees groaned as he flew by.

"I'll tear this cloak from you with my
Wild-tearing power," the great Wind cried,
"I'll blow and rage and storm till I
Have ripped it free! I'll whip your hide!"

The Traveller, however, tied
His cloak around himself and smiled:
"I'm really glad I did decide
To bring my cloak. This wind's so wild!"

At last the Wind once more was mild.
"Oh dear, I'm all blown out," he sighed.
" My brother Wind," the warm Sun smiled,
"I think it's time now that I tried."

And so the Sun began to glide
Out from the clouds' concealing greys,
To glow once more on all outside
And spread his shining, warming rays.

All coldness fled before his gaze,
And butterflies began to dance,
And little lizards slipped out to laze
On sunny stones in his warming glance.

The Traveller relaxed his stance.
He thought, "I'm glad there's no more storm.
I must slip back this cloak at once;
In fact, it's getting rather warm."

The Sun continued to transform
The world with its warm harmony;
Wild bees went buzzing, in a swarm,
To build a hive in a hollow tree.

The Sun kept shining happily,
And spreading warm and warmer rays,
Till autumn seemed a memory
In the drowsy heat of summer days;

Till all was shimmering in a haze
Of dazzling heat, bright in the power
Of the fierce Sun's steady, fiery gaze.
The Traveller wiped sweat beads from his brow.

"How strange, it's grown so hot somehow,"
The Traveller said. " I think it's best
If I take off my cloak right now
And seek some shady tree's cool rest."

"Come, brother Wind, see how it's best
To use persuasion's gentle power,"
The Sun called. "I have passed the test,
For he's removed his cloak right now."

And so the Sun, with warm persuasion,
Succeeded better on this occasion,
While the Wind, with all his furious course,
Completely failed by using force.

Winter Rain On Town And Land

Now in the town
this winter raining means
that windscreen wipers on the cars
whirp up and down.

Cloud is a grey and rumpled blanket
thrown over all the sky.
And tires hiss on wet, black roads.
Like walking mushrooms, roused by rain,
the passers-by
sprout black and blue and brown umbrellas.

These showers
in winter mean
that water trickles down
the concrete drains
and gutters gurgle little streams.

And all the day
is cold and grey.

Now on the land
this winter raining means
the light-brown grass upon the hills
will grow a little green.

Brown creeks will flow;
brown rivers grow.

And on the surface of the dam
the raindrops splattering
make rippling rings
and faintest tinkling sounds
as they come down.

The dry dirt track
is turning darker, telling
of blessing from above.
And everywhere you smell the smell
of rain on earth and leaves.

This rain in winter means
good water for the young gum trees
with strong, red shoots for spring.

And even magpies seem
a little pleased
to wash their feathers clean.

Who am I?

I shoot no arrows from my bow
Though high I hold each string.
I have no breath and yet you know
A thousand, thousand songs I sing.

In everything you read and write
I put the end in place.
I have no sound and yet your sight
Will see my tiny face.

I shed my skin when I arise
From dark earth where I've waited long
To see the sun through my five eyes,
And drum my summer song.

A towering giant, I wake at night:
My turning, beaming eye is bright
And sends a message, far from me,
To help those all at sea to see.

Although I seem a blue-white star,
My light is not my own; though far
I wander in nights' dark, deep sky
And slowly shift as time goes by.
Shining without glittering,
I'm famous for my hidden ring.

I am in letters three -
If you've a goal, then you have me.

No person's ever born with these,
But two have those with beak and claw
Who love the hearing of the breeze.
Locust and beetle both have more.

Moth Upon The Window Pane

From the far darkness of the night
A moth has flitted towards the light
To rest upon the window glass-
A barrier it cannot pass.

Now there it rests with wings spread wide,
Lit by the light rayed from inside
That makes a blur of white that lies
Upon its many-sided eyes.

The wings are pale and frail and seem
Like patterns woven from a dream,
With colours from ghost gums that glow
Where moonlit mists swirl to and fro.

Then suddenly it takes to flight
And disappears into the night
To break the spell where I was seeing
Winged wonder of a living being.

Summer Singers

We hum, we drum,
High in each gum
That murmurs in
The summer breeze.
Green as the summer leaves,
All in a hidden throng,
We strum
And sing the summer's song.
With wings like elves
We hide ourselves
From butcher bird and crow.
Through sunset's dream,
Through midday's glow,
Through drowsy air
Or blazing heat
We drum our beat:
Cicada! Cicada!
We hum, we drum,
We sing to mate,
We are the summer's band
Here in the great
South Land!

Flying A Kite

First there is blue
with wind rushing through:
vastness and air,
room everywhere.

Then there's the kite
lifting to height,
catching on wind;
white ball of string
quickly unravelling.

Further from you,
climbing and travelling
into the blue,
but balanced by holding tight;
into the height
rises the kite.

You feel the wind,
the balancing:
the loop and fall,
the rise, the stilling pull.

You see the field of blue
and feel the distant diamond,
the blatant red on wind,
as linked to you. . .

you feel the playfulness
of balancing the stress;
a friend of wind and air and sky,
and see the rustle of the tail,
rippling-free on high.

But best of all you feel you sail
upon the blue,
upon the wind,
upon the boundlessness and blend
awareness with the vastness over you. . .

the endless horizon and world without end.

Four Spring Haiku


Boronia scrub.
Day-green bushes blossom: crowds
Of small, light-mauve stars.


Spring dusk. Suddenly
There are floating, flashing stars.
Greengold. Fireflies.


Weeeping bottle brush;
Small leaves burst lemon yellow-
Festival for bees.


Spring wind sways dune grass.
Two sea eagles ride low, then
Rise to catch the sun.


Even on these winter waves,
wrapped in black against
the water's cold,
the whips of wind,
they come to ride the sea.

The wave has power; the surfer
awareness of the body's stance:
a shifting to balance, a staying stable,
to flow with the flowing,
to go with the going.

The Black Knight

Behold! Behold the bold, black knight!
There's something solid in his stance.
He's looking ready to advance-
His sword unsheathed and to the right,
His shield held high on his left side.
And there is nowhere here to hide!

He seems a warrior from a tale
Of ancient wars and now I mark
His body bears a coat of mail.
His bearded face is fierce and dark-
His helmet firm upon his head.
His enemies must shake with dread!

Yet I am not afraid. I know
That I can fell him with one blow.
Indeed my breath, should I attack,
Can knock him flat upon his back.
Am I a dragon that I can
Ignore the threat from such a man?

No, that's not why he's bound to fall.
He's but two centimetres tall
And made of plastic- that is all.

The Explorer

The eagle nests in mountain trees
And glides upon the wide, bright air;
The dolphin frolics through the seas;
But human beings go everywhere.

To the darkest ocean deeps,
To the highest mountain peaks,
Flying far above grey cloud,
Or where the emperor penguins crowd
Upon the ice in winter's coldest night,
Where deserts burn with blazing light,
Through the deepest cave's dark air;
People will go everywhere,
Beyond the earth and into space
And even on the moon's white face.

The tiger roams the jungle’s night,
The bear lies in his winter lair,
The swift flies far beyond our sight,
But human beings go everywhere.


Within a room a man is seen
Who types on his computer screen.

My fingers press the keys and so
Create these words in rhythmic flow.

And I sit at this desk alone
Within this room within my home.

And my small house is by a street
Where children, dogs, and parents meet.

The street is near the highway where
The cars rush on from here to there-

Where all the grey skyscrapers stand
Along the coast of this wide land.

And this great land is bound by ocean
Where waves roll on in endless motion.

And all the seas and lands are on
One round, blue world lit by the sun-

A shining star that is our place
Within the crowds of stars in space.

Within the billion stars that flee
Through vast, vast reaches of the galaxy.


Now once there was a foolish king
Who would believe most anything.
He searched for any who could weave
A tale that he would not believe.

With castle, gold and lands for lure,
So many tried to find a cure.
So many liars tried and lost
And in deep dungeon paid the cost.

A farmlad came to take his try.
"One day I sowed a field of rye,
Before I'd finished my first seed
Had sprung up higher than all the trees.

"Soon it was higher than any tower.
I left it for a few days now,
Until it rose right out of view."
"Yes," said the king, "that sounds quite true."

"And so I thought that I might try
To climb up through the sunny sky
Until I came to heaven's sphere;
The climb took me a weary year."

Previous Page Next Page Page 1 of 3