Words. Beautiful words.
How I love them for words are the dress of thought that should no more be
presented in rags and tatters as your person should. Each word is a symphony each letter a note in the same way that life is a symphony of music made up of notes that make the song.
Always play a young song forever make your song a happy one.
The notes.Birth – a note.Crawl – a noteWalk – a noteRun – a noteSchool – a noteWork ( the rent in life you pay) – a noteDance – a note
Laugh – a note
Cry – a note
Die – last note.
Ah words! Absolutely free. No deposit required. No interest to pay You don’t have to steal them as they belong to everyone. They are so beautiful, can be so dutiful, commanding, demanding, rounded in sound. They can give you a lift or knock you down. They can pick you up or make you throw up. Some are gruff, others rough. Some soft and gently, others sweet and sentimental. Words that feel. Words that reveal. Halting, revolting, insulting. Commanding, demanding. From a child they are questions, from parents they are only suggestions. Nouns, adjectives, verbs, prepositions, in court they are recorded and become depositions. Words of accusation by the prosector. They are the defence of the accused. Hand on the bible while taking the oath. They can be truth or lies by either or both.
I left school and studied law at the Redfern Court of Petty Sessions and one of the duties was that of a deposition clerk who records the words that are spoken during the procedure. Protocol in the court room is a serious business and it would be considered an act of contempt should one laugh and of course, situations do occur where laughter would be a natural reaction but most certainly deemed inappropriate.
Norman Ford Stacey was a good looking young man who continually found himself on the wrong side of the law for numerous traffic offences. On this occasion he found himself on no less than six charges ranging from speeding, negligent driving, undue noise, wide tyres and failing to stop at a stop sign. After hearing the events leading to his arrest and then his lengthy previous record the magistrate fined Norman the maximum monetary penalty possible on every count and then addressed the defendant.
“Let this be a warning to you young man. The next time you appear before this court again, I promise you that you will spend time at Her Majesty’s pleasure and also my own. Have you got anything to say for yourself?”
A confident Norman stood at attention before the Magistrate and looked him in the eyes.
“Yes your Worship. Don’t ever let me catch you walking across a pedestrian crossing because I will run you down you p***k.”
“I fine you twenty pounds contempt of court.”
“It was effin well worth it.”
“Another twenty!” added an unsmiling magistrate.
The actual word that Norman called the magistrate was somewhat stronger than I recorded above as he implied that the Magistrate was in fact a very private part of a female’s anatomy.
Being Sicilian and speaking fluent Italian I have an understanding of the difficulty that migrants have with the English language. In another instance and Italian defendant was being sworn in by the prosecutor and I am recording.
‘Your name is Antonio Bellofiore?’
‘You live at 87 Glebe Road, Glebe?’
‘And your occupation is that of a waiter?
‘My weighta? Ten stone seven.’
Yes words! You can sneer and turn a deaf ear. Listen and believe or you can ignore and leave. There are words that are ancient like “thee” and “thou” and the new and the modern that we all use now. Over time things change and words disappear and this is sad to see the disappearance of words like ‘going for a piddle,’ or ‘getting kicked in the goolies’ or perhaps in the knackers. And even when you had cracker nights. You don’t have cracker nights anymore because these are now pyrotechnic displays. How hard it must be for a kid to grow up in these times when they don’t have penny bungers anymore.Can you remember when we used to light them and throw them into some cranky old lady’s letter box and then run like hell but some how the old cow always knew who did it so she would go and see your parents and you knew you were in trouble because everyone had serious looks on their faces while they shook their heads and then you father would come home and he would give you a talking to which wasn’t real bad because when he was a kid, he did the same thing but he never told you that. He would sit you down and tell you that you had to go and apologise because that was the manly thing to do.
As a kid everyone told me to be an adult and as an adult I have no time to play and I love playing. Even adults should make time to play. Anyway you would knock on the door of the old cow whose letter box you blew up and you would apologise and say you were sorry which was easy because you didn’t really mean it; they were just a couple of words you had to say and it was all over and on the way past the letter boy you wished you had another one in your pocket because you would pop another one in right then and there. Silly old cow. Maybe next time I will climb a tree and take a few pot shots at it with my slug gun. Yes, an apology can be very clear but so insincere.
Words can detect, expect, suspect, elect. The “Ayes” have it and the others don’t. There are some that do and some that just don’t. They can sit you down and put you in your place and you must never forget that the subjunctive always takes the possessive case. You don’t say “I don’t like him smoking” but “I don’t like his smoking” You like him but you don’t like his awful habit.
They can be an adjective or a preposition and they can be a debate to argue a position. You can’t follow a conjunction with a conjunction and you must never say “can’t” “No, you just can’t do that. Here is one that I know you can’t do. Form a sentence using the word “and” five consecutive time and it still makes sense. Yes, five times in a row. O.K. I will.
The licensee of a hotel called the “Pig and Whistle” employed a sign writer to paint the name of the hotel on the facia above the door. The sign writer painted the sign but the licensee was not happy as he had clumped the words too close
together. He said
“I want you to paint the sign again but this time leave more space between the words “Pig” and “and” and “and” and “ Whistle.” Never say “can’t”
A girl and a boy went out hiking,
Of course they were both wearing shorts.
They stopped by the old “Pig and Whistle”
And there had a couple of Ports.
When they came back that same evening,
the neighbours all started to quiz.
He came home wearing her shorts. She came home wearing his.
Words. They can echo across a canyon as you lay there with pain as your only companion with two broken legs but legs are also known as “pegs” which can also be your teeth which are also “choppers.” Which are also helicopters. In pidgin English the word for helicopter is “mix master belongem Jesus.”
You can take a tumble and your words can scream or mumble. They can be screaming and you can hear them when dreaming. They slur when you drink and be silent when you think. Yes, you can think whatever you like.
Billy Cokebottle was driving down the road when he was
pulled over by a policeman.
‘Sir I just clocked you doing one hundred and eighty kilometres per hour and I am going to have to give you a speeding ticket for two hundred dollars.’
‘What if I said you were a bastard?’ asked Billy
‘Well sir, not only would I give you one for speeding, I would give you another one for obscene language.
‘Well what if I was to think you were a bastard?’
‘Well sir, there is nothing I could do about that. I certainly do not know what you are thinking.
‘In that case’ responded Billy ‘I think you are a bastard.’
Yes words! They can be used to provoke and they can tell a joke and animals have a logic and a language of their own. A penguin walked into a General Store and said
‘Excuse me sir, may I please have a fish?’
‘I am sorry sir, but this is a general store and we don’t sell
‘Oh’ exclaimed and left only to return five minutes later.
‘Excuse me, can I have a fish?’
‘Look mate, I don’t sell fish. Now that is the second time I have told you that so if you come back one more time and ask me for a fish, I will get a hammer and some nails and I will nail your silly web feet to the bloody floor boards.”
“Oh” said the penguin and left but ten minutes later he was back.
“Excuse me sir, can I have some nails.”
“No, sorry mate, we are right out of nails.”
‘Good’ said the penguin “in that case I will have a fish.”
A man was driving an old station wagon and was pulled up by a policeman. In the back of the wagon were seven penguins and the police officer said.
“Sir, don’t you know that it is illegal to have penguins as pets? I’m afraid that I am going to arrest you.”
‘But but’ he stammered ‘I am taking them to the zoo.’
‘that is a very good citizen thing to do, you are free to go.’
The next day the police stopped the same man driving the same car with the same seven penguins and this time the penguins were all wearing bathers and sunglasses and they were all smiling.
“Not you again, you told me yesterday that you were taking them to the zoo?”
“I did so take them to the zoo and they were so well behaved that today I am giving them a treat and taking them to the beach.’
Yes, the language of the animal world. A chook walked into a library, jumped up onto the counter and clucked,
The librarian gave her a book and she put it under her wing and left, only to return ten minutes later with the book that she threw onto the counter and again repeated
Again she left only to return a third time with the same request. She seemed a Little agitated. The librarian gave her another book and thought to herself “it is not possible for a chook to read a book that quickly. I am going to follow her and check this out for myself. She followed the chook down the stairs, across the road, through the park and onto a bush track. At the end of the track was a lily pond and sitting on a lily was a big hairy frog. The chook stood in front of the frog and held up the book and the frog shook it’s head and it croaked“ Reddit. Reddit.” Reddit!’
Yes, what an amazing and beautiful country we have because we are so unique and there are images and memories created with so may words that as soon as the word is spoken then many nostalgic imagesare formed in our mind. Football, F.J Holden Cars, meat pies and one that is so widespread that it is often overlooked
Power of Word
My favourite of all words are those powerful and poignant words where one single word is a whole sentence. Words like a severe thunderstorm in the tropical storm way out in the outback and where a single white lightening bolt ignites the sky and sits there for a split second and a red orange ball explodes on the very tip of it sending out a pyrotechnic display of multi coloured balls and while they are dancing the loudest clap of thunder explodes in the whole universe. Yes that is the word I love.
That description is not from my imagination but a vision I actually out in the bush surrounding the Argyle diamond mine on a night the the Landcruiser developed a battery problem and while we were standing there wondering how on earth would we get home, this storm kicked in. The worst part was that my friend and I did not have a clue which direction home was even if the car would start. It was so incredible that another four wheel drive came along and towed us home. Here now is my word that was as poignant as that lightning explosion.
I was standing outside the ANZ Bank in Hamilton, standing well off the road behind the white parking land line so I was in fact standing in a parking bay. I was waiting for the heavy traffic to ease so I could cross the road and go to Bi Lo and buy some cashews and a cabbage when I looked up in the direction of the traffic lights hoping they would change when I saw a young lady peddling a push bike towards me like the devil himself was chasing her.
She was wearing a flowing yellow dress covered in coloured flowers. Her dull long black hair was flowing in the wind and she was wearing those round black sunglasses that I absolutely detest. In her hair was a large white dahlia and she could only be described as one of those seventies flower power people; more like flour power I think for her face which looked like a mask was in fact the same colour of flour. She was not that far away and where her skirt was raised I could see that she was one of those people who did not believe shaving their legs or their armpits, wore no underwear and was probably never used any deodorant as well as living on a staple diet of mung beans. She hurtled on towards me and at the top of her voice she
screamed out, ‘get off the road you f***ing idiot or I will run you down, you p***k.’
I just didn’t believe what I was hearing for a young “lady.” For a start I was not on the road; I was behind the white line. Secondly I am not an idiot and thirdly the word she claimed that I was a penis was a far stronger word that referred to a most private and secret place of a woman’s anatomy.
This had now become a time where I did in fact envy those with the capacity for a clever retort. Have you ever found yourself in a position where a nasty comment of snide remark is warranted but it doesn’t come until half an hour later when you are on the bus and almost home and that moment is lost forever?
I was both stunned and flabbergasted and my mind raced through the thesaurus in my head of nasty comments and snide remarks and while it was still racing I felt a word forming deep inside my guts. The word swelled and began travelling upwards; past my heart then up my throat passage and their spewed into my mouth. My lips were still shut as the word again swelled inside my mouth as my tongue rolled along the side of my teeth which still had the taste of Colgate on them then stopped and flexed. Then with split second precision my mouth flew openjust as flower person was directly in front of me at close range and at this range the word had no chance of missing it’s target which was the side of her face. Now is the moment that the rocket is launched and like a speeding bullet the word flew out of my mouth barrel hitting the bullseye and slammed her right on the side of her face in perfect symmetry surroundingher ear.
It was a whole mouthful of one single powerful word – ‘Slut!”I took a pace backwards and sighed. At first I wanted to yell it over and over but I was in fact too exhausted and that is why I sighed. I had never known how one single word could make me feel so good and say so much.
Sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just think but no matter what I always write my thoughts, I do not plan what my thoughts are to be for the day but generally I wake in the early hours of the morning and the brown paper bag inside my head opens itself and lets some thought escape and float around the room. Even though the room is dark it is illuminated by that thought and I get up, make a cup of tea and sit down and record it.
There was one thought that I did not record but it kept on coming back and would not go away until I had given it a home on these pages. Strangely enough it still would not go away and it has become my own personal vendetta in the world of imbalance and in my head and heart I can never reconcile the difference of the imbalance that exists in the world. Why is it so? What a beautifully balanced world it would be if there was only one governor and each day he would hand out one loaf of bread, a bottle of water to each person. Each year he would hand out one blanket and one set of clothes as well as a coat and that way everyone would have everything they needed and no one would ever be hungry or cold.
Was it the Creator who forgot about balance because he was too busy running other things or did he create everything equal in the beginning and then man created it’s own greedy culture in which some can accumulate and others disintegrate.
A world where everything and everyone is equal – equally rich or equally poor is a world that has eroded the very essence of invention for improvement and the incentive to achieve even if in some eyes that achievement is the accumulation of wealth, property and material possessions.
There is absolutely nothing the matter with that else we would all still be living in a cave, riding a horse, paddling a canoe and eating berries and wild bears. However the balance which bothers me is in fact an imbalance caused by man’s
refusal to share.
Lets create a partition and place the third world countries and starving children non one side and on the other place the developed world. I am not talking about riches or affluence but the rest of the world who live in houses and they work and drive
cars and play lotto and go to clubs and to restaurants and stay in motels and go on holidays.
No go into these houses, into the basements and garages and collect just one single item that is not in use, and would not be missed and is usually forgotten about. There are tools and toys and clothes no longer in use because the kids have grown up. There are cooking implements cluttering up the cupboards. No we do not even have to go into these houses but let’s wait until the council announces a free pick up of rubbish and so each household in the street stacks these out the front of their house to be collected and taken to the waste disposal depots. Tons and tons and hundreds of tons just in one suburb alone. Multiply that by all the cities in the world and it is beyond the imagination.
What if we could collect all this stuff and take it to places where it is needed? I know that I am a dreamer and this would needed some gigantic infrastructure to administer so let us approach the problem in a more practical manner. Let us look at the imbalance in the developed world and compare to the under developed.
Let us look at our society and what we are doing. Forgetting about the outer space mission or race. By the Russians or the Chinese or any of the others and let us look at America alone. Let us look at the billions of dollars spent on a space probe to find out man’s origins? What? Man’s origins? I know where I bloody came from so let us look at the origins of those starving children who are no more than skin and bone. Somehow it is a little disgusting that we can go all the way to look at outer space but we cannot go to a third world country right outside our own back door. For God’s sake if we do not want to go all the way to a third world country then let us just have a look out the front door on the streets of our cities and in the outback Aboriginal Communities. Have many people ever been out there to have a look. Well I have.
What imbalanced people people we are to call them “Third World Countries?” Third World? Is there not only one world? Or is this our way of saying that they belong to another world because they are not as fortunate as us who have food and water?
O.K then, forget about the space programs and look at the millions of dollars invested in gambling, in sport, in the field of entertainment, and in huge profits by major corporations and banks. Can’t we just allocate just one half of one per cent and share it with the needy. This would certainly not create a balance of equality but it would stop a starving child dying and provide him with some nutrition and some medicine. It is so sad that we have invented a formula where Death is equivalent to equals one dollar.
I decided that I had to write to someone about this to get some help in an attempt to balance the equation so I wrote to Nelson Mandela and also Prince William and they wrote me a nice letter back and thanked me. With all due respects to this great man I wanted help – not thanks. I wrote to God and as you can imagine I did not get a reply. I wrote to him to tell him about children who did not have enough strength to cry.
It sort of reminded me of Luigi who was out on the ocean and he developed engine trouble so he sent out an urgent Mayday S.O.S.
“Mayday Mayday. Mayday, this is Luigi the fisherman I am sinking fast.” And then again “mayday mayday, this is Luigi, I am sinking fast and there are sharks around me, send help”
“Receiving you loud and clear Luigi the fishermen, radio your co-ordinartes and we will send our rescue Fokker Friendship. Over”
“Hey you stupids, I don’t want your Fokker Friendship. I want your help.”
The young German apprentice radio was manning then radio room when a message came on the radio. “Mayday, Mayday, I am sinking.;
“Yaah, das is goot. What are you sinking?”
I will not give up and I am about to post a letter to John Howard and perhaps he might be able to consider a proposal that I have whereby we as a country of compassion can do just a little. I am not suggesting that John Howard has more power than God himself but in this case perhaps he has. It is no use writing to George Bush because I once wrote to him about something else and he did not even reply. I wrote to the Queen once and even she replied but not George Bush. I am feeling a little frustrated and exhausted from thinking about this and I would like to share with you my letter to God
Children Who Have No Strength To Cry.
Dear God.I have talked to You before about those poor kids on World Vision
who are always there on television,
This morning I woke up and while I was lying there in my bed
Those kids faces were still inside of my head.
They just don’t seem to go away and walk out the door,
I keep thinking about them and what it is like to be so poor.
This bothers me – it just won’t leave me alone,
I close my eyes and all I can see is skin and bone.
I know God you are fair and always give people a break,
But this whole thing seems to be like some dream of mistake.
Who did this God? Who is to blame?
It doesn’t really matterthe whole world should hang their head in shame.
In our western society we seem to have more than enough.
It just isn’t fair that they have it so tough.
As far as time goes, children don’t have a dimension,
Can’t even You see they need some care and attention.
They seem to be always smiling. I can only sigh,
You see they haven’t even got enough strength to cry.
Sure they are alive but even their parents find it hard to survive,
Those images there on television – what a pitiful sight.
I was having a beer and eating pizza I like.
An expensive one – seafood with the lot
I was thanking of You God for all I have got,
but now it is time to pray for these kids, the ones that have not;
the ones that kindness forgot.
Was it kindness that forgot or was it You as you were so busy?
If that is the case and I can only speak for myself,
I think it is time that You got Yourself a bit of help.
I am filled with grief at the magnitude of their plight.
I take another sip of beer and then another bite,I flicked the remote and there was a news flash.
A skier lost in the snow, they found him alive and he survived.
He hadn’t eaten for eleven whole days,
Rescuers were patting each other on the back and singing praise.
No food for eleven days. But now he was alive and warm,
Those poor kids haven’t eaten since the day they were born.
For the first time I am wide awake,
This is really so much more than a huge mistake.
I went to bed and they were still on my mind,
I lay there awake for most of the time.
I tried to shut my eyes tight so they would leave me alone.
No such luck; with my eyes shut I could still see skin and bone.
I lay there thinking “no, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes,”
How that alone was so uncanny. In their shoes?
They can’t afford any.
It is Christmas down here. Remember Christmas?
That time of cheer
When everyone pigs out and drink too much beer.
When we were kids we didn’t have beer but at least we had soda and cheery cheerWe were also poor with parents who were healthy and able
There was always enough food on our table.
Not just at Christmas time with all that cheer,
We always had three meals a day; every day of the year.
Do You really want to know about sin? Yes sin!
It is all that food left over that we throw in the garbage bin.
The food in that garbage alone that is just thrown away,
Would give those children Christmas, every day.
While the whole world is stuffing them selves up to the eyelids,
You never see tears in the eyes of those kids.
Why? They just haven’t got enough strength to cry.
No listen carefully God and pay attention,
I have a blue print plan I would like to mention.
If You and I put both our heads together,
We could make life for those kids so much better.
I can hear you now. “How could we do that?”
“Good God It is so simple!Deliver to them what the rest of the world throws away.”My plan is that we call the whole world to a General Meeting,
You pick the place and I will arrange the seating.
We invite every and I will take the chair and set the mood,
The entry fee is just one can of food.
Of course, You will be there too watching over the whole show,
But as usual, no one can see Your face so no one will know.
You can understand that can’t you for if I said“This was God’s idea, I kid you not He is actually here.”
Imagine if I said that to all of the folks,
Then everyone would think this whole thing was one big hoax.”
Even though I would have never said it.
I will make sure that history gives You most of the credit.
Yes the entry fee is one can of food
which we will deliver to those living in squalour,
Whoever does not bring a can of food,
the cost is one single dollar.
Now we arrive at part two of this plan,we have to promote it and ask
T.V. and newspapers to give us a hand.
We invite all the rich who have more than enough,
They bring along supplies and medical stuff
This might catch on for the rich
on the pretext that they love their brother,
Will donate more and more in order that they outdo each other.
It would be so easy to suck them in, can’t You see?
We’ll promise them free publicity.
The farmers could bring all their farming know-how
A tractor, a harvester, a horse and plough,
Even though they have had it very tough, they still are well fed.
I am sure they have plenty of old tools rusting away in a shed.
Even old tools lying around in the paddock,
A cross cut saw, a shovel, a hoe, an axe or a mattock.
Most of these have been thrown away
as they are now outdated and not used anymore, anyway.
So far it looks like that we are using the poor to help the poor,
but hang on a sec, I haven’t finished yet; there is more.
The big super market chains and all their shopping lanes.
Each year they throw away truck loads of food
that has gone past the “use by” day,
Yes, even only one day over, they just throw it away.
Now we know that these dates are only recommended,
So instead of throwing it away, why couldn’t we also send it.
I am sure that it would last for another month or two,
I am only talking about the stuff in tins that they put in the bins.
We will get some health inspector with letters after his name
Mark the box with an “X” and say we were insane.
Don’t worry Yourself Lord
If he would rather see kids die to satisfy some health law whim,
You just jot his name down and organise a good spot for him.
Or turn him into a block of wood and send him to Hell,
And don’t forget to put a “use by” date on him as well.
Until that happens, don’t worry for down here
he would have me to answer to me
and I promise you I know exactly what to do.
I would front him and there is no way I would buckle,
In my young day, they used to call me “The Knuckle.”
Every household has wardrobes of clothes no longer in use,Second hand clothes
some hardly used that are now too tight or too loose.
that knitted sweater that your mother in law made and you hate.
Some kid would love that; he could hardly wait.
Kids are always growing and parents are always throwing,out the clothes that no longer fit.
I don’t know about You, but it breaks my heart when I hear of it.
We live in a democracy and people may do as they wish
and suit themselves,
but what joy it would bring to a child who is living in hell.
They would be a magician – a clown who is talk of the town,you are a magician when you can make a crying boy laugh.
After we have collected the things people have rejected,then how do we deliver?
I knew this question would make You shiver.I have thought of that and it is as simple as the weather,I will tell You how. You didn’t know I was really this clever?
Yes, You can sit up there and shake
Your head while your eyes start blinking.
But please relax good Lord and let me do all the thinking.I have thought of this quite a bit; actually more than just a bit,
We go to everyone with a boat, a yacht, a barge or a ship.
I know the airports would not complain,
if we went and asked all who had a plane.
How do we move it to the wharves or airports at the very start?
Again I see you shake your head while your eyes are blinking.
Weren’t You listening. I said “let me do the thinking.”
We ask the truckies,
You know they have always had a big heart.
Then when it gets there how do we sort it out?
Volunteers are there to hand it out.
Yes volunteers. God bless their heart(You can do that – You are good at that.)
They give their time and effort to help the needy and poor,
They never ever put a lock on their door.
Even though this whole plan may only affect only a minority,
Please God. I beg of You to give it Your utmost priority.
You don’t have to die to live in eternity.
It is here. It is now. Those kids are living in it.
To them every day is an eternity of time with no dimension.
Lets do it God. You and me.
Lets give them some love and attention.
We don’t have to do it all in one day,
For in the words of Lucretius
“Constant dripping hollows out the stone.”