Nothing Doing – a response to the wanton Ukraine destruction

Nothing Doing
on a visit to a dying nun

and again seeing
the rubble of some impossible buildings
people are emerging through the tangled mess
probably a three-year-old girl
her left hand holds a tatty bear
her right hand is held tight by her mother

the camera focuses on her face
her eyes vacant, expressionless
someone in the nursing-home
presses the remote

the screen blanks
nothing

she is propped up by two cushions
prepared for my visit
she gives a gentle smile

as blue eyes spark into life
her frail hand motions
to the chair by her bed
I think it sad that she will
leave this world in such
a hopeless state

soon she will be silent
her body gone
nothing

but when Russians fire their bullets
she will be there in her nothing
bleeding her impervious spirit
while holding the hand
of a three-year-old girl

Richard Scutter July 2022

The image of the child portrayed in the above was from TV news footage several months back.

‘Floating’ – Marking the 21st Anniversary – SIEV X Tragedy

The SIEVX Memorial Weston Park, Canberra
Each pole represents a death, the height distinguishes between adults and children.
Floating

early morning sunshine brightens 
enlightening the wide expanse 
bobbing gently up and down in calm waters, 
a dead mother with umbilical cord 
still attached to her baby 

far, far away over the waves 
in a totally foreign land 
it is breakfast time as a politician
sips coffee and reaches for another piece of toast
certain that his decisions are right 

Richard Scutter October 2022

Although the ACT government supported the installation of the memorial, the National Capital Authority were placed in an awkward position as it was strongly opposed by the government of the time. Permission was withheld for a year, and in an act of defiance, 2,000 Canberrans joined the 300 artists, church, and school groups and in a special ceremony held the memorial up by hand for five minutes. 


The Refugee Action Campaign Website

Details of the Memorial on Wikipedia

Some ‘Reunion’ Words

Travelling back, going forward
(at the village reunion)

Of course you can’t go back, the mind
plays tricks distorting, colouring at will,
and you imagine what it will be like -
to meet up again. But nothing prepares you 
for the actuality of that first encounter.

There will be some you haven’t seen
for fifty years along with some that you
will never see again. You accept that initial
shock of change before recognition and
the acknowledgment of ‘yes it is him, or her’.

Then it is the past living again, the past
that attaches irrevocably, continuously,
the past you can’t escape from. Someone
says ‘do you remember’ and you likewise
retort ‘do you remember!’ each triggering.

And they are here now, with you again. Their 
memories coalesced with your understanding.
The way it was. And smiles broaden in the 
wake of rekindled friendship when the
world was opening wide before you.

They say ‘you haven’t changed’. They are
oblivious to the you that is now. But perhaps
they are right, that there is something permanent
beneath the skin. A certain character which you 
unwittingly showed in those formative years.
 
But it was something quite unexpected that
totally caught you off balance. A forgotten
girlfriend recognised you instantly welcoming
you with an immediate hug. She still slim in body
and in that brief moment a perfect fit.

Then time to disperse, to pick up the threads
of ongoing life, to let that unsettling emotional
swing subside. You were part of them and
they will remain part of you. And the past 
continues irrevocably to define who you are.

Richard Scutter July 2019

Nevertheless – An Easter Poem

Nevertheless
nevertheless, it is true 
nevertheless, whether you believe,
believe elsewhere
or just don’t believe
for nevertheless He is latent, 
the he that exists or doesn’t exist,
nevertheless, supporting you
recognised or not
nevertheless it is nice to know too, 
that he cares!
and nevertheless his light
shines through this Easter
nevertheless, yes, nevertheless 
you care to open the window
Richard Scutter Easter 2022

A follow up on my previous Easter Post where Michael Thwaites used that one word ‘Nevertheless’ in his poem ‘The Word’.

Easter greetings to all.

May you be brightened by the light that is the power of love.

A Message to my Granddaughters

Mt Ainslie, Canberra – looking down on the city centre and Lake Burley Griffin
A Message to my Granddaughters 
in response to Michael Thwaites
Sometimes you slowly still, 
and within a certain satisfaction exudes
into a self-absorbed contentment.
And you say a quiet thank you,
as a peace envelops the soul.
Sometimes you slowly still.
I chose a marvellous city to call home,
the break of morning, the stars departing,
The mirror lake, the cutting Autumn air,
The sun unfolding on the Brindabellas –
I chose a marvellous city to call home.
And what a city, your native city.
The expansive view from Mt Ainslie
portrays Walter Burley Griffin’s plan in 
the continual change of trees, hills, water,
his forever friends in living beauty.
And in this vista, commanding features - 
St John’s Church, the War Memorial,
Civic Centre, The National Library,
the new and old Parliament buildings,
Regatta Point, Commonwealth Gardens,
Capital Hill … and so much more, caught
in the moment of an Autumn morning.
But will you appreciate in likewise fashion 
And will your days stretch to a contented life
and will you, when time falls back against the years,
will you … well, who knows! …
But on this morning, I will say again –
I chose a marvellous city to call home.

Richard Scutter March 2022, Canberra

March is the start of Autumn in Canberra. And this year it has not been a case of a sweltering summer and the autumn change will not be so dramatic; but always a time to appreciate the beauty of the changing colours of the trees.

And on this day, it is a time to value your home wherever you live. Hopefully, your home has not been violated by needless violence generated by future fear from another country.

All the best, Richard

Australia Day – A Personal Poem

The Galileo Galilei – Courtesy of the Western Australia Museum, Perth

Australia, Australia, Australia
It was the dignified ship horn blasts that heralded hello 
together with the salute from a myriad of smaller craft
that highlighted the welcome …
… giving their shake wave acknowledgement 
against the magnificence of our sizeable vessel - 
the ‘Galileo’. The ship moved at a stately slow pace.
As the bow cut gracefully in the still sea, it was 
as if, from the depths, a bubbling champagne effervescence
glittered glorious Spring sunshine into life.
That unforgettable early Sunday morning in September 1969. 
After four weeks, standing on top deck with ‘Rottnest Island' on the right, 
and ‘Fremantle’ discernible and increasing in definition.
That first impression, the hello to a new life, 
a new country, a new week, and that first day
of my beginning -
Australia, Australia, Australia
I try to hold on to that memory, 
of that initial day. Like catching a new fish, 
fresh out of the sea.
That amazing sight of something stunningly beautiful 
just caught and held against the light of day - 
those first few moments.

Australia, Australia, Australia

Richard Scutter 26 January 2022, Australia Day

Galileo Galilei – A Lloyd Triestino ship built in 1963 that plied migrants from Italy to Australia
Rottnest – an Island close to Freemantle, the port entrance to city of Perth, Western Australia

Tell me not – A New Year Poem

Tell me not
for those a little advanced in age

Tell me not of all your pain 
what you can’t afford and more 
of that dropped litter in the lane 
about that sister you disdain.
Tell me not of times now fled 
when every bird sang at your will
of lost days that swamp your head
where you squander with the dead.
But from the window of your seat 
dance your mind up to the sky 
sweep the sun around your feet 
with your eye this moment meet.
Let a smile come to your face 
greet the New Year with gentle grace.
Richard Scutter 31/12/21

The Christmas Word – An Advent Poem

What word is this

what word is this that sullies forth
its annual opening of eye
that generates such hope that more
meaning such to the hopeful gives
bandied before the year does end
but no end if known of knowing blend

what word is this that bleeds the heart
to pray suffer such indigent love unknown
yet same vein courses all life through
in never-ending beauty, unveiling of
eternal body splendid, that imperfect
diamond creator spirit shines

tis Christmas
Christmas!
where the forever gift is born
and in the perpetrators mind 
becomes again that one great joy
everlasting in the flesh absorbed

Richard Scutter Advent 2021