Red Rock Headland

red rock headland

The base of Red Rock Headland, Red Rock New South Wales

Red Rock Headland

the first thing you should know
about Red Rock, that is
it’s not Red Rock
Blood Rock is the name
and blood rock it will remain

the sea took up its charge
lovingly far-away
to a place remote, deep
to gracefully nurture
both mother and child
who now rest at peace
in the bosom of her silence

but the sea will never forget
her anger never assuaged
and in indefatigable red rage
continually pit relentlessly
against this headland

for at this headland human flesh
was wantonly herded into her arms
and so, spitting indignation
the surge of a disquiet spray
washes the blood rock red
immovable rock, red rock,
blood rock
for all to witness
a permanent reminder

The NSW National Park memorial plaque on Red Rock Headland …

plaque

In memory of the victims and survivors of the Blood Rock Massacres. Understanding their sacrifice will make us stronger. We as Gumbaingirr people have survived many conflicts over ownership of our traditional lands including a massacre where many were driven off the headland at Red Rock (Blood Rock)

When we checked in at the camp ground I mentioned that I would be walking up to the headland. The receptionist told me it was really ‘Blood Rock’ and told me the history. In the development of Australia there was a lot of pain associated with the mis-treatment of the indigenous population. This must be recognised no matter how uncomfortable.

This poem was included in the latest anthology publication of the ‘Yass Valley Writers’.

Richard Scutter

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday God decided to take a holiday
and I really can’t blame him at all, I mean
he must have been a little disappointed
with one of his projects going a little off track,
and working twenty-four by seven over the
centuries is, I imagine, quite demanding.
I am sure God knows where to go for a break
and I am sure he won’t want us to turn up!

Today is a little different, I’m happy to report that
the sun is breaking through threatening clouds and
the waste-paper bin is empty, sprawled out on
the desk are his original drawings, a little crumpled,
maybe he believes things can be straightened out –
perhaps he has far more faith than you or I.

Richard Scutter

This follows from my last post on the winning poem at the IPSI Canberra University 2018 competition … this is another poem concerned with the creation of the world – not by a novice angel but by the very Master her/him-self …

… it is so easy to get depressed with the world … but hopefully there is a retrieval from the wastepaper bin … and a JC correction in evidence, rather than a throw-away by God and a turn to a new project …

The question is … are you going to help … I expect you are well aware that quite a lot of help is needed in the correction process!

This poem received recognition on the ‘Narrator International Website’.

At the Blind Bend

At the blind bend

It had been a hard journey –
a great flood, the odd earthquake
not to mention a few volcanos –
but reaching this blind bend
with the sky continually clouded
and the children coughing, I
thought the danger quite obvious
and a time to stop and think.

There had been many crossings
but this was different – a greater
understanding – and I was somewhat
nervous. The children held tight
for they too sensed that all was
not well – they have that intuitive
understanding in the blood – while
behind the masses murmured.

Then this person next to me said
‘everything will be OK – don’t worry’
a laid-back sort of fellow – you know
the type – and added ‘God willing
we’ll be right’. Another called out
‘Yes’, he said, ‘God will look after us’.
Then, impatiently, one by one they
started to cross in front of us.

Well I thought I’m dreaming –
this can’t be real – perhaps they
just closed their eyes to the
the danger – well it was quite
a mess I can tell you! Of course
we all went to help at once, to
try and clean up things – and the
children were crying.

Richard Scutter July 2018

It has been one of the driest Autumn-Winter periods on record in Australia and in England likewise one of the driest summers ever and in Tokyo extreme heat has been responsible for over a dozen deaths while in Sweden, Finland and the Arctic Circle unprecedented wild fires have caused extensive damage to the local natural environment. And while writing this post fires have been rampaging parts of Greece causing many deaths and three days of national mourning.

It seems our planet is getting a little warmer with extreme weather common; and not a time to ignore climate change or be complacent!

And of course it is always inappropriate to appropriate God in order to justify unthinking action.

Garden Eyes – ‘My Word in Your Ear’ Poetry Collection

Garden Eyes

walking through her garden eyes
clouds depart to clear the way
flowers in sunlight cause surprise

into a world that mystifies
pretty shades come out to play
walking through her garden eyes

dandy smiles and dainty sighs
dance the breeze in disarray
flowers in sunlight cause surprise

depth of colour intensifies
gleaming joyous with the day
walking through her garden eyes

teasing the mind to tantalize
different faces have their say
flowers in sunlight cause surprise

carefree letting the path decide
wandering in thought I dream away
walking through her garden eyes
flowers in sunlight cause surprise

This villanelle is the first poem in my poetry collection ‘My Word in Your Ear  – selected poems 2001 – 2015’. The poem is dedicated to my wife, partner, and critic Maureen.

Here is my audio recording … 

And many thanks to the Australian singer Fiona Jones who used the poem as lyrics to a musical rendition; here is her recording …  

The following is a link to the Ebook version … MWIYEEdition2 

For any who take time out to read I hope you find something to entertain and stimulate the mind.

Cheers Richard  Scutter May 2018

Adam and Eve – Paradise Ignored

Here is another take on Adam and Eve …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Wenzel Peter’s Painting: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
courtesy of the Vatican Museum

Paradise Ignored
(on viewing Wenzel Peter’s Painting ‘Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden’)

greater love has no man than that he lay down his life for a friend
John 15 v13

Images of more than two hundred animals
perfected in paint in unreal detail
carefully positioned in a still of verdant harmony
show an intricate love of the animal world
and for the very marvel of creation
in all its great variety and abundance.

For one brief moment
we are invited into this paradise
but as we enter this unreal world

there is a certain foreboding
an animal premonition prevails …

a flock of birds stir into the air
scurry above the tree of knowledge
give the danger warning
the wise owl sits atop another tree
knowing of the unknown perhaps
that knowledge is truly a dangerous thing
the cockerel at the foot of Eve
exhibits a full throttle crow –
an ominous omen
and the monkey appears to taunt
all ready in mischievous mood
proffering the reason for the disquiet.

At Adam’s right hand
dogs sit true to the letters of their name.
Below the left foot of Eve
lambs are bleating their concern, for …

Eve has left the paradise party
locked herself out to a deadly world
her skin is turning a shade pale
now separated from eternal life
alone, cold, knowing she must die
makes her desperate plea for company.

But Eve is Adam’s very own flesh and blood
his one and only friend and in a state of total need
can he not ignore! – he has no choice –
surely love and surely God
would equally agree.

Richard Scutter
from the selected poems publication ‘My Word In Your Ear’

Buried in pixels

Buried in pixels

they have taken all the children
to their land of fantasy
where they live between the fairies
leaving nought for you and me

they have told them magic stories
that they believe are surely true
ignoring all our history
Huckleberry, Auntie Sue

they have created a subterfuge
to hide land, sky and sea
where their friends screen for hours
in a world we do not see

they have taken all the children
to the graveyard of the living
and we are left a-wondering
trying hard to be forgiving

Richard Scutter

An Inevitable

An Inevitable
(a follow-up to ‘An Unseen’ by Carol Ann Duffy)

I watched death come, anticipating, tears, cold,
empty, taking away;
deep winter, hard crunch on barren ground, life-unborn.
Death forever patient, today, tomorrow
each farewell, the future known, an inevitable.

Down the long corridor, day after day, to her room
my hello, her departing,
death, arms wide open, to embrace
bedside waiting, for that moment
when all moments coalesce.

Silence, forever silence
the remnant, memories, imprint
death-gift receipt, for the living,
before a church service, the walk home
the mind a ransom.

Richard Scutter May 2017

Retirement Arrival – A warning to drivers!

In my last Post in the poem ‘Warning’ Jenny Joseph alluded to a characteristic of ladies of a certain age – the propensity to choose purple as a favourite dress colour. This prompted thought on what would be an equivalent characteristic in the male population and how that could be used in creating a poetic response. Dress is so important to ladies whereas gentlemen have more attachment to their motor vehicles. I have noticed quite a common driving trait of those advancing in age. I have also combined dress in the following …

carhat

Retirement arrival

now is the day of much content
made so glorious by the thought
of this new road ahead

he places his hat carefully
on the sill against the back glass
declaring his status for all to see

he has arrived and when
he drives off taking the right turn
with the left indicator flashing

it is not totally unexpected
for he has arrived and this
unfortunately, must be accepted

Richard Scutter

All I can say is just be cautious while driving when you see a hat on the back sill of a car – especially if there are a couple and one is purple!