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A few hot days in the Flinders Ranges

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John Cranmer |  06 November 2016


Selected poems


Bill's funeral (April Second)

Here's a day to remember
A bloke strongly dramatic
Keeping himself brain-alive
Through intense musing
On Word and Words

For many years
On the edge of dying
So often pulling back
From the edge
To be idiosyncratically alive
— Again

One of those
Wonderfully eccentric
Old Dancers with the Holy
For whom there is always
Something new
To pounce on and make your own

And now he's gone!

Leaving his books

Leaving his conglomeration
Of uniquely gathered things

Leaving an immensity of stories

Leaving those women
Who kept him very much alive

Travel well Bill — Oldmate!



The crane

Aerodynamically poised
astutely observing the airflow
on this grey and gusty morning
see the crane poetically committed
gliding near stall-speed
providing just enough momentum
for the chosen task

Is this venturous water bird
specifically intending to land
on THAT power-line?

YES and landing has taken place!

Now continues the pushing of boundaries

With a body well-developed for flying
exquisitely-placed for living in wet-lands
but questionably proportioned
when it comes to landing on high-wires
oscillating in the wind

Following several seconds of erratic flapping
and ungainly wobbles
generations of evolutionary conditioning
made the necessary decision
and the crane made its exit
launching into the wind with consummate ease
loping the skies
towards the next parcel of user-friendly habitat

Twenty seconds ungainly balancing on power-lines
can be seen as failure
but what a step of imagination!



A few hot days in the Flinders Ranges

Have you ever noticed the way
that book and reality sometimes entwine
and become essentially one?

It's happening here and now
as we contemplate these few
hot days in Hawker and the Flinders

Anita Desai's The Zigzag Way
creates a context for living here
at this particular ephemeral moment

Altiplano Mexico in all it's barren frugality
integrates with these hot and marginal plains
hemmed in by the cragginess of surrounding scarplands
with their many — strong — stories

Desai's people, seeking their story-roots
living their Demi-Hells
invade my dark dreams in the sleep
of half awake early mornings
and are carried into a day
that seems to be lived
only marginally in touch
with this everyday world

The discordant nasal-voice
of the one left standing Prime Minister
earlier on the ABC Brekky Programme
and the insistence of a nearby bob-cat
remains the dialectical antithesis
to what this day is and may bring



Of trees and the gift of healing

There are times
When a soul-weariness
Can find a root-healing
In that quietness of trees
Who recognise in their own
Deeply-shared interflowing
The ability to live through
A remembrance of burning
Offering in such a presence
A decisive awareness
That there is more
To an enduring life
Centered and resilient
Than a stoic endurance
And the chaos of mere survival

Here on the Outlook Track
Here above the Mountain Highway
Here amidst this fire-scarred
Experience of Stringy-Barks
Such a quietness of Place
Sits upon my shoulders
As the light-caress
Of another world
Into which the voice of birds
Becomes a Deep SoundWeaving
Poignantly embroidered
In the colour of Rosellas
And the patterning
Of Wanderer Butterflies


Intimacy in the 'all that is'

Come dive with me into
This intimacy of ancient metaphor
Immersed within our ponderings
Of ultimate questions vastly undefined

Here is growing fascination
With that mostly emerging
From Hindu Journeys
Into the "all that is"
That which embraces
The smallest of the nanosphere
And immensity of the endless-universal
Here in our most prosaic of moments

Here is ancient awareness
Recrafted in the NEW
Mystery and wonder
Exponentially emerging
From everyday pristine discovery
Of complex realities
Bursting in upon imaginations
Marvels complex and numinous
Quantum-Leaps of consciousness
Prompting growing awareness
Of who i really am
Of who i may yet become
In that which is forming me
Entwining me into these
Majestic universal amazements
Macro and Micro
Infinite and Eternal


John CranmerJohn Cranmer lives in the morning shadow of the Dandenongs; more prosaically in Boronia on the outer edge of Melbourne. One of his commitments to life is as a Uniting Church Minister (somewhat retired).


John Cranmer


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Submitted comments

Dear John, Loved your poetry especially the crane one and the trees. You are invited to join The Wordsmiths workshop Sat 12 2-5 pm at * Woodhouse St East Doncaster. Look us up on www.poeticachristi.org.au

Jean Sietzema-Dickson 09 November 2016

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