Life has a habit of getting in love’s way;
Now life’s crucial emotion just goes through the motions;
Surely smarter men than I
Have struggled to understand and satisfy
What it might take to mix life and love both night and day.

It’s easy for each sex to blame the other,
Choose the real reasons not to uncover but smother;
Too easy the men to blame the tender gender
Too easy to mark men return to sender;
But the cause, of course, is elsewhere.

In the grim, grey commerce of life
We must compulsorily sacrifice,
All that was once to life regarded as essential,
Now just another marketing device,
To be laid at the feet of sweet success, society’s graven idol.

Love, free and natural, is now a vice;
Love’s thriving force, pure passion,
Is sadly relegated last by fancy fashion;
As we age, must we ourselves destroy
Just to stay in some sad, social employ?

On Life’s casting couch we will live,
Indebted till we have no more to give;
Pose and prostrate,
Egos on account, super swollen prostate,
Retirement residues trickle down from society’s sieve.

The price to pay, some sadly say,
Is the total loss of the ability to just play;
Sure you’ll be happy in a way, both day and night;
But the price paid to avoid some paltry life plight
Is the loss of simple, easy love and life,
And probably the loss of our planet, the ultimate blight.


Look at yourself, what do you see?
If you look from inside, there’s nothing to flee
You might see your soul,
No-one else can read your real role.

Look at yourself, what do you see?
Others aren’t sure what to make of you
But they give you a view that suits them too
And act like everything is true;
They think you’re theirs to mould and fold;
Bend if you don’t;
They’re just too soft and nice to scold or withhold…

There’s a price to be truly free
That’s what they don’t realize about you and me;
You have to hit rock bottom to clearly see
What is surface and what is sea,
Just what it takes for one to break free.

So don’t look at yourself,
Try looking at them,
Try looking at me
And if doesn’t add up
Then there’s no need to flee,
Life’s oldest equation has scared far stronger than thee.

So, here’s looking at you,
But through your eyes only
Not through theirs…
That will only cause unconscious tears.

Look at yourself through your eyes only
And enjoy the view
From Life’s living room,
It doesn’t need to be all gloom and doom.


Do you have my intentions please
Do you want my intention, please?
Will the real Random Man please sit down
Will the real Random Man please sit down;
I can see we’re not going to have a problem here;
I’d like to take the mickey out of Mallory
But couldn’t afford the salary;
I hope I said what he dare not dread,
Please sit down or I’ll lose the thread
Fat white boy grabbing his dreads
Still got his mother fixing his threads,
His crotch is his crutch
His mum’s work on his hips
Darn it! Doesn’t know what eminemanates from his lips
Confusing message to give to our kids
But they’re alright, those tin lids
They’ve got the Recovery channel
To learn them to cope with us old flannel
Fools who all went to an old school
But lucky for some, we’re taught by a new fool,
He might be slower than the old dray and no grand master
But one day he hopes to go a helluva lot faster;
So will the real Random Man please sit down, please sit down
If he keeps on flirting with those young chicks
We’ll throw him into a nursing home reserved for old hicks.


Some things we all take for granted
Like the right for freedom by work to be supplanted;
But why not enjoy a weekend constant,
And randomly keep responsibility distant?
Couldn’t the motive for work
Be something we totally try to shirk?
After all, it’s a desire based not just on the lure of money,
And this is where it gets a bit funny,
We’re by the protestant work ethic compelled
To treat leisure as something to be somewhat repelled,
And us poor, old members of the proletariat
Are whipped and rounded up as if by a lariat;
So don’t take this scam as a grant,
Don’t be the man who worked too hard;
It might be a choice that’s as hard as granite
But it’s apt to attack an attitude that’s consuming our planet.


I suppose it was a random blow that might have struck him on the neck rather than his coxcombed head that must have done the damage. He came back at me as fiery and belligerently as ever that day and I gave him another boot to the chest before scurrying from the makeshift gate where he ruled his squired brood. He strutted away, puffed up and proud of another win. It might have been the last time he held his head as haughtily.

We called him Gordon, anagram of drongo, after his first master, who didn’t appear to mind the teased wordplay, however laboured, and was fortunate to have little understanding of civilised society. I used to kick him-the rooster- as one would a rugby league ball, and he’d sail upwards and backwards into the giant mango tree. A moment later, I’d have to do it again, or risk, at worst, a spur or talon to the medial artery or through a shoe. One Christmas, as I was preparing for the annual get together, he finally got me. Flapping himself upwards, he managed to pick out a vessel, a tributary to the knee and then chased the spurting stream, spur readied, as I fled shedwards. I spent days becalmed, the infected leg raised in a sad salute to his unerring aim. He spent days circling the shed, a sharp shark dressed in feathers. Eventually I recovered; I stayed on my side of the yard and he went back to corralling his crew, occasionally dropping the landing gear, as my buddy Gordon called the procedure…a quick shuffling dance around the hens, his wings stretched downwards and head tilted back.

The only thing more stupid than a rooster is an owner unaware of just how stupid they are; someone who assumes the beast could be educated. I might as well have beaten him around the ears with a carrot as a stick. One day I took him to a veterinarian on account of he appeared near dead from no apparent cause. Sitting in the waiting room, I couldn’t help but notice a distinct absence of poultry, or for that matter, kangaroos, rats or funnel webs. Something about pet selection I’d evidently missed. My education in animal husbandry came strictly from raising kids, house husbandry. Turns out he’d forgotten to eat. Roosters, I was told, can spend all their mental energy trying to impress their harem. They’ll prance and dance and demand the grain, pick it up, drop it, then stand guard as the hens peck, but somehow overlook eating, and they’re not even hen-pecked, but then….the only thing more stupid than a rooster…So, I paid the vet, brought an eye dropper and glucose and, within days, he was back to normal. I started wearing cricket pads when in his muddy domain and felt as safe as if in a padded cell.

Roosters, or indeed, poultry, in suburbia are a rather problematic issue. Council decrees that you can’t have more than five chickens and maybe one rooster provided no-one complains; and someone always complains, sooner, not later. My complainant wasn’t even an immediate neighbour, but she wanted the rooster restrained immediately and permanently. Turns out, early one morning, Gordon had led a squad into her front yard, frightened off her mutt and proceeded to dismantle a truckload of bark, neatly spreading it across the adjacent footpath. Woke me up at 5am, she did, all 84 years of her, perched at the bedroom window, screaming in her Cornish cant and lilt. There followed solicitors warnings and finally the inevitable visit from a council health and building inspector. Health wasn’t the problem, nor the pre-dawn visit; they were civil matters. It was the chook pen, my rough, stick, wire and mud cage, undermined by unruly rats, patrolled by impatient pigeons, that was too close to the neighbours’ fence and had to have a concrete floor. He wasn’t happy about the number of inmates either, but I convinced him that most were visitors on holidays. The pigeons kept one of their brethren permanently on stoolie watch on the corner houses’ roof whenever I was out. A coo and they came. When they feed on grain they crawl over each other in a sea of seething feathers, like maggots on a stripped carcass.

At one stage, vermin in the form of rats, took advantage of a momentary imbalance in the supply cycle and threatened to overrun the suburb; generally the pigeons managed to eat everything not tied down. Ultimately, the voraciousness of the birds eliminated the rodents and Gordon died of unnatural causes probably related to a very sore throat. Fortunately, his brood lives on and I occasionally enjoy an omelette in peace. There appears no satisfactory solution to feral pigeons, apart from pretending they’re just another member of avian society, like mynah birds.

Chimneys Three

Get my coffee and cake at Chimneys Three,
Nothing random, never a spending spree
Where the baristas and chefs look a bit like Ghimli;
Get to rub shoulders with cool cats and solid souls
Brad, Shane, Zac, Angie and the crew
Pump their produce not randomly,
But resolutely, absolutely, totally,
Guaranteed to satisfy y’all completely,
Proof their dough is well-kneaded,
Patrons’ taste indeed well heeded;
Then, as sundown seeks the day to close,
When the sky glows a deep red rose,
When the nightlovers search and seek
A mood, a vibe at which to peek,
Moody music, a chance to easy speak,
A nightclub from this café does emerge,
A chance the days’ drama to purge;
So if you ever do get the urge
As dinner passes, and the coffee goes,
Crafty grog and cocktails you’ll be bestowed
To all with good taste endowed,
At Chimneys Three,
Pretty close to the Wollongong sea,
You’ll be welcome,
Both you and me and thee.