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Clay feet



Selected poems



yoko ono was a no no for the beatles
they derided her decided she stole john
lennon was a denim clad defector
he departed to be martyred to the song

bono sang and justice rang for ragers
dying daylight echoes of the late great king
u2 jumped the shark & bit the apple
& consumers rose up against marketing

elvis was a hunka burnin' glory
a singer & fbi wannabee
appetites berserked in manner gory
he left the building mid epiphany

mohandas was a lawyer & a saviour
who took his beatin's & refused to eat
mahatma won the union jack was flaggin'
then one of his own dropped gandhi at his feet

norma jean gave all her lovers splendour
a wide eyed ingénue who'd smile not feud
tragedy and misery colluded
& marilyn was left deadcold & nude

jesus was a rabbi & a dreamer
who talked & stirred & gave up carpentry
mary cried as spearpoint slid past femur
& godson egressed into mystery

icons inspire & disappoint the faithful
spinners weave legerdemain pre styx
the chasm between real and ideal may fill
but tender clayfeet remains idée fixe


Latin lessens loss


The abandoned

A relic
was a body part
(a holy bone, perhaps)
that, left behind,
became a drawcard;
clergy served as paps.

A relict
was a widow.
Abandoned; left behind.
No man, no hope,
succour was rare;
the church was where they'd find
a shelter
and a meal or meals,
clothing and a task;
how's society
care for the meek?
Charity reveals.

A derelict's
a vessel left
deserted, solitary.
An abandoned person sore,
a duty spurned.
A life left without caring.

leave behind; abandon
hope and enter
our OECD paradise
where wealth and
values splinter.

Corporeal woes,
partners turned foes,
homeless ones abandoned.
Spurned duties and
beliefs result; such
violence is not random.

Top of Form

Domine's domain

Monty taught us betterer:
Romani ite domum !
Homeward bound
is pleasurer,
bask in your own domicilium.

Terra Australis
Oi Oi Oi
Terra Australis Incognita.
La Australia del Espíritu Santo

(the Espanol's a sad joy).

Who are we? Who'll dwell with us?
Terra Australis Nondum Cognita.
Roofs o'er heads,
it seems small beer ...
Cicero's cingulus australis.

The Great Oz Dream
of block and home.
Sublime domestic portion?
Negatively geared it is
revealed as wealth's distortion.


One more glass will do me for tonight
one more cup of comfort
to quench every sad thought
and silence recalls of spite
one more purge will unseal me
excess consumption gone
control of flesh is hard won
and perceived gain's misery

I'm good for one more wager
and then I'll stand the bar
leaving hope ajar
that the win proves me sager
than the old, less free me
and the debts incurred
have not deterred
my hope of what can be

One more hit I'll stump for
and wash down one more bennie
not knowing what if any
price or cost or chore
will fix self-medication
as Northstar to my pain
and finally help me gain
a lodestone to destination

Addictio — devotion
and a plunge in need's deep ocean
a yielding and assenting
conjure a whole relenting
to the depths of assignation
for the cause of ruination
my being is subsumed
by the need to be consumed



Barry GittinsBarry Gittins is a Melbourne writer.


Topic tags: Barry Gittins, poetry



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Existing comments

Barry, I love what you say and I love the way you say it. Thank you.

Joan Seymour | 24 April 2018  

Very insightful Barry. You have a great way with words. Thank you. Keep going.

David | 22 February 2020  

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