Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Scorching

( Scorching to Warm )

The air roars
over there and here…
not for breathing.

It’s for burning
as the great sucking
fast fire consumes…

It roars its consummation,
Scorching along! Scorching.
And here we live

at the loud gates,
on the very lane-spun
side of trafficking…

in this great fire of us
being the city where
we hope to warm.

8.30 am 17 May 2006 © Wayne David Knoll
near Mountain Highway, Bayswater, Victoria

Peace is a Town Ready to Burn

( Tasting the ash of our material dance )

A Northerly: flatulent stranger from out
of Melbourne, lets out the untamed secrets
of the ready Elements rage.

Its furnace wind blows hot off the dried-up
Inland, portending Acts of God in thermal force
that pushes at all loose human ways,

all tied hanging at the ends, all made things
grabbing into the deceptively sought human
havens – the peace of an inside world.

Out there, beyond windows, outside this
tooth surgery’s waiting room, already the Electric
Poles are ready, wanting to fire dance

hot consummation. A melt wax of column cypress
trees shows the materially-rigid poles how,
breaking columns of taught straights,

Warmed to an elastic bending of heated force
the licorice-line of the insulated wire softens
to a dripping pipe of flexible tar.

The windmelt gets a grip on wide insulated wires,
now swaying, cross arms of the braced Power pole wriggling,
straining on its bolts, ready to arc materials down.

The starter flickswitch is on ready, sounding
in the wind’s engines; blast jets aloft in wide formation
invisibly blitzing raw summer’s sky.

Houses harboured on the power grid go all at sea,
bobbing on hawsers hanging at air-conditioners wired
in wind flexing thin biceps like spent whips

while a wrought iron cross on Christ Church stands
bravely, unmoved, facing north like a martyr above
the church tower’s roofed pyramid iced

with a lid of roosted steps of dry pigeon shit:
Listen! I hear a cooing: “Calm is guano accreting,"
and: "Peace is a town ready to burn.”

A red music of flames, exciting torch of its quick
relays will soar up, blare out, and run, run, run
when everything material catches.

Our teaming readiness to join the refining waits
a single spark - a match will meet- opening dynamic
doors to a wild-gone city fire, readied to dance

the good oil of our combustibles, off floors of a citied world;
the consuming fire-steps are printed daily in papers
by flash-pointed signatures of coming flame.

21 Jan 2006 © Wayne David Knoll
Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia

The Not Watchers

Every cobblestone sparrow
watches for the terror
sparrow hawk.

Any self-respecting stable
mouse watches, expecting that
Terrorist cat.

A sun-lazing rockery lizard
is alert., for the terrorist
butcher bird.

Wet round the ears, a billabong frog
sits watchful for the terrorist
brown snake.

Even the rat takes
careful run, sniffing the night
for the terrorist owl.

On golf courses, kangaroos
rise up, watchful of the terrorists
wielding clubs.

In the desert, cunning dingoes
take wide berth, to guerrilla raid
our kind’s terrorgarten.

In the mountains, wild horses
watch out in terror
of a man.

It is only tame-dulled humans
who go into the airport
the pub, the school, the street

...not watching.

5 April 2006 © Wayne David Knoll

Sand, Time & Summer

Parched gusts
in heated rage
fan littered streets
of human dust.

Pages of paper news
float in hot circles
coke cans rattle
rolling empty

Streets half-empty
of 4-wheeled ovens;
desert roads
a soulless shimmer.
The caravans are gone
the oasis crowded,
canned holidays
rattle rolling empty

Hot sands
full of people
on beaches
of no release
flee hot streets
and houses
of discontent…
scorching hollow as
Coke cans empty.

Is that all?
Another season goes
With a time-man’s
sand between
my toes
and in the surf
Coke cans wash,
floating empty.

I turn over my
New Year leaf
another page of
heat-blown whirl
wind scenes?
will life continue
as Coke cans rattle
rolling empty?

1977 © Wayne David Knoll, St Kilda East, Victoria, Australia

Originally Published as "Tourist City Summer" in ‘Theos Sun’ Summer 1977-8

[The world over, tourism and trash go together like the take-up and put -dowm of fashionable celebrity love-lives. This was my second poem to be published. I believe it may owe something to the book of Ecclesiates.]

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Attilla's String: or A Thread We Hang On

For a change from un-occupation
in the late second millenium one morning
I went down to Lawrence’s place
to see Michael who used to be shearing
and knocked at his self-hung door.

No answer! I knocked louder
It was then I heard his pre-occupied
Tenor, lamely thrown - like a misball
in a serious game - across echoes of roof
I’d helped him with, saying: ‘I’m round here!’

I marched around the selfbuilt brick
of the house to look for Michael.
There, up site, on the departed earthmover’s bank
he was below the rotary clothes hoist, reaching
down to a bucket - to clip at pegs.

Yes! He said, smiling in wooden taunt.
I am a direct descendant
of Attilla the Hun, and here
I am hanging out wet washing.

November 1998 © Wayne David Knoll

First published in the book anthology ‘Hush, Men Are Speaking’ 1999, Woodendm Victoria

The Iron and Bandage of Love

The Kings. Jack and Pearl loved each other.
Twelve years - the gifts of domestic abuse
were not reason for her to stop loving him.

When Jack drank he’d cat’o’nine’tail the air on her.
In his public airing of love he once dragged her
along a road hanging off the cardoor like his scarf.

But she knew him. Abuse began before they married.
The restraining orders she took against him several times
did nothing. She didn’t leave because she loved him.

Jack King, convicted seven times of assaulting his wife.
Pearl forgave him. He served seven months jail for one
assault, refusing AA courses - as if it would end their love.

The last five years, he drank every day all day, beating her
as if it was the gold on their marriage, a contract with a bottle
where if a genie didn’t appear he’d attack her every second day.

At 64 he sailed down a morning, twelve schooners of beer
in less than half so many hours. He, sinking when she ferried him
home from Blacktown RSL club - taunted her: “Eternally stupid!”.

Eternally unreasonable! she cut bulk cat meat with a paring knife.
Under the dull tirade of his liverish taunts, it was she suddenly burst,
and punched at that lumpish blot of love - no other reason in mind.

Who’d've believed how deep a table blade could pierce him. He moved
so the fist stabbed in his chest! She hardly coped with that because
she had never been penetrating enough even to hurt him before.

All memory of his blood falling as love wounds blurs in her.
At 61 she hardly highlights one countless bruise. She’d hazard that she
saw to neighbours, the ambulance, Jack dead in Blacktown hospital.

It wasn’t love that died, only him, Jack King her best mate.
Even when she pleaded guilty to his manslaughter, Pearl
told the whole court she loved him. She loves him still.

There was not reason enough to ditch him. It was not
with reason enough she slew him. Eternally stupid? No!
Eternally unreasonable! The iron and bandage of love.

21 July 1998 © Wayne David Knoll,
Goulburn, New South Wales- Malmsbury, Victoria, Australia

First published in the book anthology ‘Hush, Men Are Speaking’ 1999, Woodend, Victoria

Monday, March 12, 2007

World Peace and Quiet

~ A response psalm in two voices

The magazine ad says:

'World peace
now available in an

picturing a looming dove
whited to anxious dots of flutter
over a deep-shadowed blue

'With Qantas and our partner
airlines you can now find peace'

satellite radar shields
of armament might grid the sky

'throughout the world in over 200
airport lounges'

undeclared, untold
wars might continue on the weak
the undeveloped, the unpacified

'Far from the madding crowd,
you can enjoy complimentary snacks
and drinks, watch TV, make a call'

silicon and plastic screens
sold for privileges as justice
will play your reclining-chair

'read up on the local news, even
freshen up with a shower.'

Absolved! Clean!

'Of course you could just sit back
and relax.'

while locked-out faces pigeon
at the cages of the windows

'Safe in the knowledge that we'

for invisible enemy might order
its violence to look like rescue

'will continue to provide more
lounges around the globe in our'

in-house, climate-conditioned
no-home away from...

'quest for world peace. And quiet'.

and quiet, and quiet,

'World Peace and quiet...' *

11 June 1997 © Wayne David Knoll

St Joseph’s House of Prayer, Goulburn, New South Wales

[*I am quoting the exact text of a Qantas advertisment as it then appeared in the Weekend Australian magazine. A reader might think this is a cheap shot on the poet's behalf, but the copywriter, possibly a gifted writer, is quoting the poet-novelist Thomas Hardy's words with no thanks or attribution. All that creative energy used in the lies of advertising is a great loss to the true arts of language being used to create understanding, to forward the campaign of truth and meaning. And I could not resist a parody of such an obviously fake peace. ]

Love Cars

The Love Cars

For every car there is
a people who live in cars
who love their car
because it goes to somewhere
where they are not yet.

For every people with a car
there's a brown and white road.
Lots go down the long road
so they don't have to stay at home
all the time bad and bored.

That’s why the cars are happy!
Cause people aren't home
waiting friends to come,
going sick at each other
on days looking unhappy.

Cars are get-outs to the happy
that comes by going around.
Cause people don't know how
to get good, so bad, they drive
to get the go-sick go-bad away

For every car there is a people
who live in cars
who love the car
because it goes to somewhere
where they are not yet...

12 August 1997 © Wayne David Knoll
Calder Highway, Malmsbury, Victoria, Australia

[ Greed is still a deadly sin, and gas-guzzlling is sill greed. Travel as a distraction is endemic, becoming epidemic. The cruise still sooths us like it does babies in our prams. The antivenene to our spirtual diseases have long been available. But the beep beep of our our fear keeps us from choosing well. We get our own driver's seat at birth, but we are not a toy, and yet, though we treat ourselves as toys, the real travel choice is still with us, ]

One Thousand E.T Balloons

[ Spielberg & the Death Guru ]

Death Guru, Isobel Kubler Ross,
A rung up William Blake’s “I want”
drawn ladder to a fantasy moon
has said: ‘I want… I want’

‘a thousand helium balloons
printed with the image of ET released’,
for when she at last looses
her want, her ignorance
of Death and Dying

So, we come at last to this our
Doctor’s final bedside wisdom
in a fictional extra-terrestrial
chemically gassing up to space
as a blessing, and for her, a sign
‘of unconditional love’

And Steven Spielberg will preach
funeral obituaries of rubber stones
a spiel throwing up daydreams for
bouncing off Mirror mountains.

Isobel’s bone-ash will turn to dust, as
her soul finds 1000 tollgate trials in the air;
and those thousand balloons will burst
into the unconditional truth…

avoided like crap while terrestrial.

29 May 1998 © Wayne David Knoll

Span Of The Crow Flight

[ The Carrion-Eaters' News ]

In high flight
wings an express of crows
haphazard, in botch formation.
"War! falls the occasion’s plaintive hark
with News Headlines !
of some motherlode of carrion

Direct in knowledge of the compass
They cunning across that linear path
Wheeling from the song of magpies
To current away,
Gone to a feast of gore

Over the full range
of earth’s own enmity,
all ragged with ends,
spread wings of war.

Amply ballistic in black intent,
Lanced with every cunning
Sharp-spearing through the sky
With educated eyes on every victim
On every bloody life the evil eye.

1985 © Wayne David Knoll

First published in the 'Larrikin" literary Magazine, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

The Tallest Trees

[ A Poem On World Power ]

The tallest trees in every town
are dead ones
with crossed beams
of wood
braced with iron
carrying branches
of strung-out wires.

The tallest trees in every town
are upright
with a harsh rule
sometimes of concrete
reinforced with steel
bringing electricity
to line-up,to enervate the towns.

The tallest trees in every town
are dumb soldiers
parading in grid rows
like gallows planted
the twentieth century’s
equal of crosses
along Roman control roads.

The tallest trees in every town
are cruxes higher
than the steeples
than the true hopes
and aspirations
of the peoples
as holy dreams are overpowered
by the tallest trees in every town.

1986 © Wayne David Knoll, Trentham, Victoria, Australia

first published 1990 in ‘Wasteland’ literary magazine, Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia


The African Wraith

Just let me lie down and peacefully die
So you won’t have to listen to my pitiful cry;
I’m numbed to a shadow with hunger pangs
For the African Wraith has me in its fangs.

African wraith vultures hover o-er the desert
As a skeletal shadow, a fleshless spirit;
It consumes the dying to build up its power,
A consumptive plague, all life to devour.

The shadow grows as the Sahara blows on south,
With less food in bellies, dry retching mouths;
All across the Sahel fly the shadow wings
It’s eyes are staring sockets, death is all it brings.

The Wraith'll fly like a nazgul till the world is laid waste,
Haunting all survivors with the barren after-taste;
It works the spirit of the desert into the heart of men,
Till it has them fighting in self-destruction again.

The African Wraith flickers out from your TV screen,
You see its victims in torment, you hear them scream;
You hear news of his slaughter on the radio waves
His deathly shrieks cry out from the printed page.

But only some people see it, only some souls hear!
The vast plague is raging but so few volunteer;
The African Wraith takes human hearts into drought,
And he’ll only let go if souls let their sin be crossed out.

1985 © Wayne David Knoll

First published 1986 in the Global book Anthology “POETS FOR AFRICA” - An International Anthology For Hunger Relief - by World Harvest (The Family Of God) 1986 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America

[ I was very pleased, maybe a little sycophantically stupid, to find my poem included in this anthology five poems after the lyric of 'Blowin in The Wind' by Bob Dylan ]

The Truth Gets No Peace Yet

World Peace


Other Cries !

Petition Poems to the High Chancel
& Star-shots clad in Double Irony

By Wayne David Knoll

Crying ‘Peace, peace, when there is no peace.’

‘From the least to the greatest they are deceitful...
Lightly they treat the disaster of my people !
Crying “Peace, peace, when there is no peace.”
- Futurist and priest are alike in this deceit.
They should be ashamed of their abominable deeds.
But they have no shame and do not know how to blush.
And so they will stumble and fall with the others
when I come to visit
- it is Yahweh who speaks...
This is what Yahweh says to you.
“Stand in the roads and look.
Question for the true paths of old times.
Ask where the good way is and walk in it.
And you shall find peace for your souls.”

~ The Prophet Jeremiah (Ch 6: 13-16)


Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter. In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences by Dr. Martin Luther (1517)

Thesis 92-95

92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Peace, peace," and there is no peace!

93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Cross, cross," and there is no cross!

94. Christians are to be exhorted that they be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hell;

95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven rather through many tribulations, than through the assurance of peace