Bat Intrusion – Reporting from Batemans Bay

Currently there exists an invasion of bats in the Water Gardens at Batemans Bay, New South  Wales. It has been estimated that up to 100,000 bats are involved. They have been arriving each year but this year in unprecedented numbers. They are quite a problem especially for those living near the gardens because of the smell, droppings – not to mention the defoliation. I stayed safely in a bird-hide watching the twilight departure and it took over 45 minutes before the skies started to thin out.

There has been considerable discussion on what should be done. They are a protected animal and it would be a very expensive operation to try and move them elsewhere. Then they would become somone else’s problem. Personally I think a waiting game is the only option for they will move on with colder weather. Some have thought global warming might be a cause as we have had a very warm autumn. Below is an image and a prose type poem in response – waiting for the ‘spell’ to end so to speak.



Bat Intrusion
Water-gardens, Batemans Bay

A Macbeth ingredient to a massive brew
annual arrival, unprecedented numbers
spell a discord in the local population.

The defoliation exhibits the hangout.
They settle clipping in early morning light,
so many smelly bags of washing.
The continuous gabble groom or sleep
eyes grounded on the dung-spat path.

With evening the crepuscular cauldron
stir into mass movement for forage.
The insidious cloak-flight of the night feed
dark sweep in the disappearing light
with ultrasonic echo into insect-prey.

The sickened water-gardens must wait
for a change in the season, this spell to end,
for fresh air, for the chance for restitution.

Richard Scutter 18 April 2016

Easter is for the optimist



Sunrise, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra

Easter Sunday

the world is charged with the grandeur of God
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Easter is for the optimist.
An extension cord
powered by imagination
connects to a caring creator
to glow in the mind
believing the unbelievable
that humanity has a bright future
and life is eternal.

For the pessimist
unseeing, the door closes
on such possibilities
the blind mind denies
darkness prevails
the switch not reached.

Richard Scutter

Lauding the Tomato

The Tomato

I love the tomato,
they come in all shapes and sizes.
There are so many varieties
it’s very hard to choose
best to keep to the one you know.

Perhaps they all taste the same.
But the real test, of course,
is when you actually taste them.
When they are ripe and just
ready for the taking.

It’s really up to you, you know
when you put them in your sandwich.
If you add your special spice of course
then you will really taste something!
But take your time, savour the flavour.

Richard Scutter 14 February 2016

My response to e e cummings in my previous post, and I hope you all enjoy your tomato sandwich!


Book Release – and the humble worm

I have just released my first poetry book for general distribution. A great moment in the life of Richard … according to a grand-daughter ‘epic’ … a new word that’s being bandied around by the young.

‘My Word in Your Ear’: Selected Poems: 2001 – 2015

A selection of eighty poems covering a wide variety from the the personal, philisophic and spiritual to the more lighter and sometimes firvolous.

Here is one poem …

The Healthy Worm
with apologies to William Blake

O worm, thou art ’earthy!
the visible flower
that shines in the light
of the bright day

has raised from thy bed
of rotten decay
and opened her face
from thy composted waste

This is my poetic response to the well known poem ‘The Sick Rose’ by William Blake. An interesting follow up on the previous post and the sonnet on ‘death and life’ by John Crowe Ransom.  In Blake’s ‘The Sick Rose’ the worm (death, or perhaps sin) is hidden from the beauty of the rose (young life) and the rose knows not of its fate. The worm being analogous to the serpent.

The last two lines … And his dark secret love / Does thy life destroy … so again there is a marriage where ‘death’ is seen as a lover – all beit an insidious lover … not quite the gentleman seen in the ‘Piazza Piece’ sonnet of John Crowe Ransom.

I give the worm credit in the creation of beauty in the rose (visible flower) and so laud the value of the worm that through decomposition new life is generated … part of the unending earth cycle of life and death.

Closure on the life of a terrorist


don’t slam the door kid, when you leave your room
don’t slam the door tight when you enter the night
go quietly; go gently, as you enter the night
go gently as you vanish from sight

at that age when there is no age
and when the rolling of the years
matters only to another
and the inscription on the wall
is left for others to recall
and when they resurrect your name
will they relinquish certain blame?
let them shed their tears kid!

how can that have any meaning
is there meaning in a flower?
you knew exactly who you were kid!

don’t slam the door kid when you leave your room
don’t slam the door tight when you enter the night
go quietly; go gently, as you enter the night
go gently as you vanish from sight

Richard Scutter 15 October 2015

In memory of a twelve year old who reluctantly self-detonated before reaching his target in order to save the lives of others.

‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’

…  children are constantly being abused and the world is in a sorry state … in the above I wanted to consider this twelve year old and his actions … with certain ‘poetic licence’ because, of course, we will never know the mind of this young boy as he failed to carry out the treacherous demands put on him.

… looking to the positive …

… he didn’t kill innocent people.

… his family gets financial support.

… there is one less to look after in his family, more food to go round the table.

… and of course he exists to a quieter, better world, his new home – depending on your point of view, and hopefully he ‘didn’t slam the door when he left his room’ … and that he took something of beauty with him from his short existence.

Revolution (in the way we view creation)


James Ussher (1) calculated the starting point.
About 4004 years before the birth of Christ,
apparently at 9:00am on a Monday morning
in late October.

Thomas Guy (2) then annotated his holy bibles
enforcing this fact within the Church and for
years the populace believed his added words.
Then Darwin learnt that truth lies in geometry
and that a circle has no start or finish.

But if you believe in the ‘Big Bang’ theory
then everything is gradually losing energy.
Being in my latter years this is understandable,
my circulation not being what it once was.

However, we do have plenty of time up our sleeves
for our best scientists have predicted it will take
several billion years before the Sun expands and
drags the Earth within its heated arms.

So there may come a day when everything stops.
Perhaps at 11:15pm on a Saturday in September –
after the late night news.

T S Eliot plaque East Coker church

in my beginning is my end … in my end is my beginning
T. S. Eliot’s Memorial Plaque – East Coker Church, Somerset

1 James Ussher (4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was the Irish Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between1625 and 1656. He was a prolific scholar and church leader, famous for his chronology that sought to establish the time and date of the creation.
2 Thomas Guy (1644–1724) was a British bookseller, speculator and official publisher of bibles and from his wealth became the de facto founder of Guys Hospital in London.

It is unbelievable that the populace believed in such things for so many years. I wonder if the same is true for something in life today!

Growing Poetry – Oranges and Lemons?


Growing the Poetry

1 Oranges and lemons
Say the bells of St Clement’s

Poetry is a rather difficult fruit to grow.
First things first, you must be very mindful
of the nutrients needed for germination.
Then, of course, you have to wait.

It’s no good rushing into things. When
the ground breaks be prepared to spend
time nurturing. Pruning is often needed.
Letting light into the branches is essential
to ensure the whole tree benefits.

Eventually fruit will start to form.
It is up to you to taste first. Then you
might feel like sharing with a friend.

At harvest time you could market
hoping to find others who appreciate
what you have to offer. But beware
not everybody loves lemons!

1 When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

Richard Scutter

Footnote –

1 Traditional English Nursery Song

I think you allways need to be a little thick-skinned because whatever fruit you produce will not be to everybodies taste – that does not matter – oranges and lemons.

The Weather Dictates? – and from New Zealand …

How much of poetry is dictated by the weather. Put another way how much does weather dictate poetry. I came across the following in a Hotel in New Zealand …


Here are the words from the above image …

Remember when it always used to rain. Fifty years ago a visitor to Hokitika (a town on the west coast of South Island) wrote the following after receiving a week of unseasonable weather.

It rained and rained and rained –
the average fall was well maintained.
and when the tracks were simply bogs
it started raining Cats and Dogs.
After a drought of half and hour,
we had a most refreshing shower,
and then the most curious thing of all
a gentle rain began to fall.
Next day was also fairly dry,
save for a deluge from the sky,
which wetted the party to the skin,
and after that the rain set in.

Well what do you  do when confined by the weather and nothing to do – this person vented his frustration in the above words – which probably forced a non-poet into such expression.

Here is a New Zealand poem written after walking on the cliffs at Cape Foulwind, Westport, South Island – and as the name suggests a most unhospitable place. However, the view of the seals playing on the rocks at the foot of cliffs was well worth the discomfort of the walk in the wet.


Cape Foulwind Walk

on a summer day winter crowds-in to submerge
the sky and sea sweep together enclosing thoughts
no imagination is needed for this foul named place
this country continually perforated by wind driven rain

the weather deepens impregnating every footstep
the old gortex has had its day and dampens from the inside
but the path is set along the cliffs to the promised sight of seals
as wekas scout around before darting to their rabbit hole existence

then that point is reached when saturated by the wet
there is a resigned acceptance absorbed to the conditions
but when wailing gutteral sounds waft up in the squall
thoughts turn inside out to the rocks far below

oblivious of any impending storm, with thick skin immunity,
at home, on vacant rock spaces, in waterhole pools,
and indolent in the continual spray of the Tasman chunder,
the seals slub around regardless, in elemental play


Richard Scutter 15 March 2010

Weka – Flightless New Zealand bird about the size of a chicken