Australian Masked Lapwing (Plover)

plovers

Australian Masked Lapwing (Plover)

quick steps, quick steps
masked lapwings two, in concert brisk
like law lords at court, in deep
conversation, natter, natter, natter
what’s the matter?
guilty I say
what say you?
natter, natter, natter,
parading grandeur,
doubly resplendent, in feathered robes,
the legal garb,
with hands clasped, in arrears
handcuffed,
dress pinned, perhaps
busy day, busy day
must be on our quick step way
kak, kak
kak, kak, kak

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For Selma in the City :D – we talked about the plover legal fraternity some years ago (finally I got around to writing the poem).

Eulogy for my brother Daniel

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I have many many fond memories of my older brother Daniel, especially when we were children growing up in Indooroopilly, in Brisbane.

Daniel was a lovely brother and I was great mates with him, as he was the closest in age to me. I was the youngest and he was the second youngest in a family of four children. He was a cheeky boy with a terrific sense of humour, and he was often getting into trouble playing pranks on the neighbours. But he had the kindest of hearts and would do anything for his little sister – if anyone picked on me Daniel would come to the rescue.

I remember one of my birthdays as a kid – Daniel and Peter (my other brother) made me a play hut out of pieces of timber and metal found under the house at Campus Street. They had constructed the hut on top of the old septic system and I’m not quite sure how it stood up on its own! The words rickety and splintery come to mind – but it was the thought that counted, and Daniel was always thoughtful.

He was enthusiastic about things and full of energy – hyperactive would be an understatement. He seemed forever to be making a lot of noise and getting into trouble with Mum and Dad – things like playing cricket in the corridor of our tiny house; practicing boxing and martial arts games with his brother and sisters (the rules were very flexible and the results quite often painful); inflicting punishment on sibling offenders with the ‘Tea Towel Flick’ and the what is now the politically incorrect ‘Chinese Burn’. But Daniel also had an endless array of friends who would rock up to our house (and he to theirs) – he was popular with many people despite of and because of his exuberance (not to mention his good looks and ready smile).

I can’t write this remembrance of Daniel without mentioning the RE. For those of you unfortunate enough not to know what the RE is, I will explain – the RE is the Royal Exchange Hotel in Toowong, Brisbane. A grand hotel frequented by myself and Daniel for many happy hours when we were in our twenties. We had a number of mutual friends who would assemble randomly in the public bar or the beer garden on various days and nights of the week. Often there was live music – our friends from a band called Gentle Persuasion played regularly on a Saturday afternoon.

I’ll never forget one Saturday afternoon Daniel got up on the beer garden stage and sang an Elvis song – he was fantastic – had the voice and the moves down pat. He was going through his Elvis stage at that point in his life – wearing the mutton chop moustachio and the slick-back, gelled, black hair. I will never forget that performance.

Daniel was also a very sensitive soul who had a keen sense of social justice – he would be the first to help out a person in need or an animal in trouble. Some might say he was too sensitive – the troubles of the world gradually over time wearing him thin. He enjoyed the best things in life but also suffered the worst of life, especially the horrible reality of life with an acquired brain injury from a motor bike accident in his early 20’s – a life changing event which left my brother a different person.

Now Daniel has passed at the age of 50 which is way too young. But one thing I know for sure is that this world is a better place for having been blessed with Daniel Crook.

He will always be remembered with great love.

See you on the other side my beautiful brother Daniel.

Love always

Gabe xo

beachDanDan’s Elvis Phase

Skin Deep (poem)

A Repost of my poem Skin Deep in honour of the two new Gouldian chicks that recently started to fly.

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Skin Deep

God took a prized jewel
the precious gouldian finch
polishing the paint
off
a sparrow was left
the crowd
disappeared

My poem ‘Skin Deep’ was recorded for the ABC Radio National ‘Birdlands’ project in 2011  (produced by Gretchen Miller). You can listen to the very short recording here:

SKIN DEEP Gabrielle Brydenmp3

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‘not looking back to wave’: A Book Review (Poetry)

‘not looking back to wave’ by Karen Price

cover

We’ve all been waiting a long time for the release of Australian blogger beeblu’s debut poetry collection and now that time has arrived.

Don’t tell anyone but we now know that beeblu has another name – Karen Price! I told her not to disclose her real name but did she listen? There’s even a lovely photo of her in the book – the cloak of invisibility has forever been thrown into the laundry basket.

Anyway, they’ll soon forget ;)

Those who follow beeblu’s blog (those discerning readers) will be familiar with many of the poems in her collection. I love it when poetry bloggers collate their poems into a book – blog’s can disappear but a printed book can sit snugly in one of my bookshelves without fear of banishment.

Beeblu’s collection is very beeblu! The cover is black with white lower case letters floating towards the roof – the light sits hesitantly as if it shouldn’t exist in all that darkness (a visualisation of mindfulness therapy comes to my mind).

Beeblu is a traveller, linguist, and philosophical/scientific thinker and this is reflected in her poetry which deals with life and death, the universe, existential angst, beauty and horror, love and hatred. Some poems will have you reaching for the whiskey to drown out the despair but others will have you laughing out loud. They may have an autobiographical bent but if you are human you will relate to these vignettes.

Here is one of my favourite poems from the collection:

Meld

Sultry African nights

we’d drink Dutch
play Chinese
smoke American
talk Japanese
(the odd bit of French thrown in)

Brightly hungover days
we’d work
with throwback English stoicism

~

Congratulations beeblu on a wonderful first collection. You can pop over here to purchase the printed or ebook version.

ps. It should also be noted that the splendiferous Linda Cosgriff of The Laughing Housewife infamy provided the editorial expertise.

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