posted on December 30, 2006 at 9:04 pm

erskine pushed his way thru the lamps and branches
it was a warm enchanted evening
and the stars promised action
the old year had ended
as years often do
and while the new one had not really began
he slipped into the margin
the penumbrae that exist in time
he explored a timeless feeling among the red n green lights
he didnt know anyone at the garden party
except of course
linda wong
the aging but still beautiful hostess and qi gong tycoon
who had taught him to pin men to the walls with his chi
who had shown him the silent place
who had stood on a mountaintop and flown
who had introduced him to opium
who had initiated him into animist pleasure
who had never held back from a happy ending
who now
even at her age
moved pantherlike amidst the cactii n shrubs
many of the guests were orientals
making erskine feel large pale n clumsy
they conversed rapidly in birdlike languages
the women twittering and singing
the men laughing musically
erskine knocked back his coca-buton
a liquor made from coca leaves
it was green n sweet
and it hit the spot
a small orkestra of gentle strings
the moons light diffused
and partially hidden behind pearl lined clouds
a perfumed garden indeed
the booze went to his head
a warm flush of blood
almost a slight passing sensation of dizziness
the booze spread outward
from a glowing glyph in his belly
to his cold extremities
new years eve
what was the new date again
1950 something
no that could not be right…
erskine bumped into a waiter
carrying a plate of small cakes
can i have one…?
the waiter smiles
go on go on
i choose a small berry thing
mmm nice says erskine
but theres a weird taste in there somewhere
erskine struggles to remember that taste
he looks up but the waiter has disappeared amongst the trees n guests
a shaft of silver moonlight illuminates the ornate ponds
vicious eels twist amongst the lilies and lotuses
peacocks drink at the edges
i sit on a bench and relax into the night
linda wong sits next me and takes my arm
having a good time?
i guess so..
having fun?
now linda, you know i dont believe in fun…
she paused in the darkness before saying
come with me into the house
without waiting for me to answer
she pulled me behind her
linda wong n erskine
before midnight
in the garden
the gazebos and statues of nymphs
the grapevines curling in trellises above them
a sweet mild breeze from the sea
white birds sat in the trees
her grip was strong on his arm
small manicured fingers
what is it linda?
where are we going?
you see! you see!
erskine followed her up the steps
inside a few waiters lingered in the kitchen
and a black cat…her familiar…slept alertly
in here in here she chirruped
pulling him down a hallway
then up a short flight of stairs
erskine could now look down at the party in the garden below
see the lanterns cheerful glow
hear the chatter
i could almost make out the words….
the woman lay in the deepening shadows of her room
she lit the pipe and lay there smoking
erskine just sat there in the darkness
the distant laughter of the party below them
that familiar smell
she handed him the pipe
it was like an elephant with a long long trunk
inside the elephants head a chunk of opium smouldered
erskine pulled down a few mouthfuls
can words take us into his dream?
a soft world
a cushioned existence
a plane of luxury
everything merging
the angles of the night
the womans soft voice whispering
do anything you like it says in my ear
anything? i say
anything you like….
the fans whirr on the ceiling
the black cat creeps into the room
the sea laps the shore
the sea takes the shore in its mouth
and the white waves turn red
the stars fall from the sky
as the old year dies
erskine redirects all his time
into her whole evening
let me watch he says
let me see
the calendar flaps in the breeze
years years years
the day waits at the door
a new day, shy and unsure
the party has ended
the waiters have gone
even the eels sleep dreamless in their ponds
it is now
erskine has dressed and stumbled away
its only me now
in the new year

54 Responses to “an informal celebration”

  1. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 December 2006 at 9:18 pm #

    happy new year sk, to you and all the voices in your head. a year ago, you were flat sitting. time drifts. thanks for the journey.

  2. avatar
    Daniel 30, 2 | 30 December 2006 at 9:45 pm #

    A garden party, the green light…. were does that lead us? Fitz? Gatsby? A lovely way to welcome the new year (although it’ll take twentyfive hours for it to arrive).

    Thanks for reviving the memories and adding some new…

  3. avatar
    Jamie | 30 December 2006 at 9:52 pm #

    Happy New Year SK.

    J xo

  4. avatar
    paloma | 30 December 2006 at 10:02 pm #

    Thanks for your voice… this new year I will enjoy yours songs since 1981. Thanks again!

  5. avatar
    missionman | 30 December 2006 at 10:14 pm #

    So vivid, captivating yet transient, a very enjoyable evening I lived if only for a moment. The stories in my life can be relived every time I listen to film from p=a. Thanks for the memories and a fantastic 2006 record. Uninvited, has inspired me in ways that that only my 80’s youth had imagined. Thanks again.

    Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2007!


  6. avatar
    CeciliaGin | 30 December 2006 at 10:15 pm #

    the sea takes the shore in its mouth
    and the white waves turn red
    the stars fall from the sky
    as the old year dies

    el mar lleva la orilla en la boca
    y las olas blancas se vuelven rojas
    las estrellas caen del cielo
    cuando el aรฑo viejo muere

    may I just say that I love that?

  7. avatar
    Samosanx | 30 December 2006 at 10:15 pm #

    Back in to a routine, I bring my pot of tea to the portal and click! TTB …. gasp…..I see the name Erskine and tears rolls down my face …. it’s raining outside at long last and in a muted room i read of vicious eels, coca-buton, the aging but still beautiful hostess and qi gong tycoon, am immersed in a world of sounds tastes smells sights memories ….and new surprising pleasures – “the sea takes the shore in its mouth” (and the following line which reminds me of one which the bee keeper and I were so impressed with but I’m not going there)
    – “the sea takes the shore in it’s mouth”
    …cripes…that is f’n amazing (apologies joyce – is abbreviating ok?)…..straight away I pictured bondi beach pov above, that’ll stick, is already stuck, in my minds memory stick …..

    aaahh, sorry, all emotional an all….

    Thank you Steven for Erskine today. Thanks for captaining your vessel of hope through this difficult sad year; thanks for it all and the etceteras and I hope you and yours have a happy evening and beautiful dawn; and same to fellow TTBers….

    see ya in double oh seven

    love love love xxx Kitty Kat

  8. avatar
    CeciliaGin | 30 December 2006 at 10:17 pm #

    One more thing…

    To all my hermanas and hermanos here on this comment section:
    May all of your dreams come true in 2007.
    Remember your divinity and remember to shoot for the moon.
    May your goddesses and gods bless you.

  9. avatar
    Imber | 30 December 2006 at 10:29 pm #

    Enchanting blog today, SK.

    Happy New Year to you!

    May the year 2007 be the very best year for you yet.

    The Creme de la Creme ( in a vegan way, of course!) ๐Ÿ˜‰


  10. avatar
    leelinau | 30 December 2006 at 10:46 pm #




  11. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 December 2006 at 10:47 pm #

    i always know where to find you.


  12. avatar
    damien | 30 December 2006 at 11:19 pm #

    I was expecting Neuman to materialize at any moment!

    All the best to you and yours for 2007, Steve.

  13. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 December 2006 at 11:23 pm #

    Dear sk,

    Know it’s been a year filled of highs n lows for you. Especially the loss of Grant. Bought the Best of the GB’s and the talent of that band! Esp love Cattle & Cane, one of those songs you can play over & over & not get sick of (like a lot of your songs). My big regret is I never got to see him perform. When they were at their peak I was into other sorts of music. Grant is still with you in spirit, I firmly believe that. People we love are always with us, even if not in the physical sense. I’m sure he has given you signs he is near.
    Speaking of highs to name a few:
    Playing at Comm Games, getting support gig for Pretenders. (Afew jealous bands out there no doubt)
    and of course playing at Enmore, Sando & Basement for d n t. (yeah right he says!) Can’t wait till 2nd Feb to see the band in all its glory on stage at State Theatre,
    seems so far away, but all good things are worth waiting for, to be sure to be sure.

    Glad d liked her bday pres (Absinthe print). I got myself a print as well, working towards an original, keep up the good work.

    Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and safe New Year. (hope twillies are enjoying themselves.) May 2007 be a year of excellent health, extreme wealth and great happiness.
    Happy playing, singing, blogging and good luck for the play, thinking of u as “like the Major” cracks me up.

    Thanks for all the time, energy & hard work you have put into t.b. this year, it’s meant a lot to so many fiends around the world.

    Love & Peace

    p.s. Wishing fellow bloggers a happy and safe new year.

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 December 2006 at 11:25 pm #

    C’est presque erotica…!

    Jusqu’en 2007.


  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 December 2006 at 11:46 pm #

    i want to be there

  16. avatar
    the dean | 31 December 2006 at 12:11 am #

    erskine still has that ol magic
    happy new year to you and yours, may your blogs connect you

  17. avatar
    cita | 31 December 2006 at 1:18 am #

    The black cat and the pearl lined clouds …nice… Evocative and moody. You have made me feel all wistful on New Years Eve. You got the greatest gift, words that make us tremble and quivver. Blog and bloom in 2007.

  18. avatar
    geenunn | 31 December 2006 at 1:19 am #

    I will measure the angle of darkness at midnight and raise a toast to you!

    Have a great day sk…


  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 December 2006 at 1:23 am #

    Oooh, what a way to end the year, with a happy ending for all!

    So another year has gone by, and I just want to say thank you for all the beautiful music, poetry and blogging this year sk, it really fills my life with so much happiness. I hope 2007 brings you love, peace and happiness and many more visits to Melby!

    For the very last time this year I’ll say it again….
    Take care, and lots of love always,

  20. avatar
    jen | 31 December 2006 at 1:25 am #

    happy new year to you steve and to everyone at the time being.

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 December 2006 at 1:37 am #

    The further adventures of our erstwhile Erskine, a char-acter as always.
    geenunn, can I offer you have my thanks too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Bring on the New Year Happily xx
    & please don’t put THAT in your pipe & smoke it SK.

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 December 2006 at 1:42 am #

    Ahh, dear ol’ Erskine. How i love the visits into his world… slipping into margins

    hey steve,

    ttb has inspired me in many ways since its humble beginnings & now you seem so comfortable in your own skin (aside from when your wretched mind takes over.. hee)

    As ol’ queen E would say… ‘annus horribilus’ but this year she got to see you perform so im sure she’s had an “annus mirus” …which is Latin for ‘The Church rock’.

    Pretty glad to be a shoulder for you during those painful times even if we just listen and nod. Im sure Grant’s up there saying ‘heck, im gonna kick sk in the butt for making me cry so much’ and Uncle Gary’s still trying to find a heavenly bar thats open.


    Wishing a happier 2007 to you and your family… and all the crazees here too! I’ll be raising my glass at midnite as well geenunn

  23. avatar
    CSTCoach | 31 December 2006 at 2:39 am #

    Full on cool. nice to see erskine, and good ol linda wong.

    2006 was such a rough year for you amigo, but there were triumphs in there as well. Uninvited sees you at the height of your powers. The tour rocked (a highlight of the year for me, finally seeing the choich live after 20 yrs of obsessive listening). I sincerely hope that 2007 brings you great things. I have a feeling it will be a year of new breakthroughs.

    2005 was my miserable year, culminating in the death of my father. 2006 was pretty good to me. It didn’t bring money, that’s still the same, but the doors that I had been hammering at for so long finally began to open. Seeing the choich in sellersville, being transported to other worlds, certainly underscored that. I have a feeling that 2007 will be big.

    happy new year, SK, to you and yours. And all the best to my fellow travelers on this blog. It’s been a fascinating journey. Glad we’re all still here, moving into another year together.


  24. avatar
    calling down baal and zeus | 31 December 2006 at 2:43 am #

    the spleen to my ideal…
    i wood like to thank the t..the h and last but not least the c…without whom ……

    mrs baal is improving with rage… er,..ahh.. a century of well i do..

    if anyone would like a t shirt with a picture(a resonated image )of the mrs brain on it on please forward 80 thousand u.s. to help with postage…and handling some things…milk and bread etc…, nauseum…

    but seriously,.. were with our brave faces on …our hearts in the right place …alot to learn … a long road to hoe…

    romeo locks his basement flat ,..and scurries up the stairs..
    with head held high and floral tie ,.. a weekend millionaire

    i will make my bed with her tonite
    he cries…

    how can he fail …

    armed with his chocolate suprise…

    take a little trip back ..

    with father timebeing…

    peace for the new years ,…
    and bells….lots of bells!

  25. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 December 2006 at 2:52 am #

    father timebeing ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. avatar
    sir gareth of knotts | 31 December 2006 at 3:18 am #

    2006? just a weird one for me.lost the best girlfriend ever,for reasons neither of us know,just something wrong with me,i guess!detachment from the perfect partner at the wrong time!!feel like i could be one of those characters in your stories cos that side of life seems surreal, however,its been the best year in a long time for gigs and travel,just awesome!a happy,healthy n wealthy 2007 to the druid,family n fiends,band and all the usual suspects on here!!!

  27. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 December 2006 at 3:21 am #

    All right then, this new blogger sign-in business has erased my comment three bloody times already!

    May I just say AGAIN that this piece was truly inspired; I felt completely transported to the garden – thank you for such a beautiful, other-worldly experience.

    2006 has indeed been terribly rough on you Steven, and your family too. Alas you’ve weathered the storms with elegance and grace and perseverance – as I know your lovely twillies have too. I wish you and your family an abundance of good health, simple joys, much laughter and all the wealth you so deserve. Come back and visit us soon…I could do with a visit to one of your crazy sound checks. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Happy New Year – to SK and all my fellow Time Being friends, fiends and bloggers. Best wishes to all.
    love you SK,

  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 December 2006 at 3:25 am #

    A beautiful story to end the year. Thank you so much.

    It reminded me a lot of The Night is Very Soft and the old-timey SK vibe from that period. I had to read it a few times to figure out why and I realized that, after each time, I liked it more and more.

  29. avatar
    mike a | 31 December 2006 at 3:32 am #

    Happy New Year to you and Linda Wong!! What a garden party!!

  30. avatar
    Cameras 4 Eyes | 31 December 2006 at 3:38 am #

    Harpy New Yar.
    2006 was great – I rediscovered The Church!

  31. avatar
    like a ghost | 31 December 2006 at 4:23 am #

    In the magical universe

    there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen.

    The dogma of science is that the will cannot possibly affect external forces, and I think that’s just ridiculous. It’s as bad as the church. My viewpoint is the exact contrary of the scientific viewpoint. I believe that if

    you run into somebody in the street it’s for a reason. Among primitive people they say if someone was

    bitten by a snake he was murdered. I believe that.


    Mariners sailing close to the shores of Tuskini heard a voice call out from the hills, the trees, and the sky. The great god Pan is dead. Pan, god of Panic. The sudden awareness that everything is alive and significant. The date was December 25, 1 AD.

    But Pan lives on in the realm of imagination. In writing, painting, and music. Look at van Gogh’s Sunflower’s, writhing with pretentious life. Listen to the Pipes of Pan in Jajouka. Now Pan is neutralized, framed in museums, entombed in books, and relegated to folklore. But art is spilling out of its frames into subway graffiti. Will it stop there?

    Consider an apocalyptic statement: nothing is true everything is permitted. Hasaan I Sabah, the old man in the mountain. Not to be interpreted as an invitation to all manner of unrestrained and destructive behavior, that would a minor episode, which would run its course. Everything is permitted because nothing is true. It is all make-believe . . . illusion . . . dream . . . art. When art leaves the frame and the written word leaves the page, not merely the physical frame and page, but the frames and pages that assign the categories.

    A basic disruption of reality itself occurs. The literal realization of art. Success will write apocalypse across the sky. The artist aims for a miracle. The painter wills his pictures to move off the canvass with a separate life. movement outside of the picture and one rip in the fabric is all it takes for pandemonium to break through.

    Last act. The end. This is where we all came in. The final apocalypse is when every man sees what he sees, feels what he feels, hears what he hears. The creatures of all your dreams and nightmares are right here, right now, solid as they ever were or ever will be.

    o put the country simple, earth has a lot of things other folks might
    want…like the whole planet. And maybe these folks would like a few changes
    made. Like more carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, and room for their way of
    life. We’ve seen this happen before, right in these United States.

    Your way of life destroyed the Indian’s way of life.

    The Indian reservation is extinction.

    But I offer this distinction. I’m with the invaders, no use trying to hide
    that. And at the same, I disagree with some of the things they are doing.

    Oh were not united anymore than you are
    Oh we’re not united anymore than you are.

    Conservative factions is set on nuclear war as a solution to the Indian

    Others disagree
    Others disagree

    I don’t claim that my methods are one hundred percent humane, but I do say,
    if we can’t think of anything quieter, and tidier than that…

    We are all not that much better than new earth aches.

    There is no place else to go
    The theater is closed

    There is no place else to go
    The theater is closed

    Cut word lines
    Cut music lines
    Smash the control images
    Smash the control machine.

    We face death
    all the time

    and for that time

    We ARE immortal.

  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 December 2006 at 4:43 am #

    hope you enjoy our informal celebration…
    Ne iko

  33. avatar
    Daberhasher | 31 December 2006 at 4:44 am #

    a year of holy moments…
    thanks for sharing the good and the bad,
    the highs and lows, the comings and goings… a little slice of life that mirrors each of ours in whichever way it connects wherever it’s read…

    hope endureth all things…

    purple velvet vibes for the new year
    go out to the Kilbey clan
    and to all sharing this space
    in the TTB-O-Sphere…



  34. avatar
    CSTCoach | 31 December 2006 at 5:58 am #

    glad to hear you’re still out there, baal and zeus ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. avatar
    ambnt1 | 31 December 2006 at 6:07 am #


    A beautiful and mysterious blog, nice work! (and oftentimes it doesn’t even seem like it is “work” for you, so effortless…)


    n.p. Sostrah Tinnitus, “L’Odore Del Ramo Spezzato” (Italian ambient in the Oophoi realm)

  36. avatar
    fantasticandy | 31 December 2006 at 8:02 am #

    steve,i’m not good with words,sometimes i feel very inarticulate(which is why i write the music and leave the words to jim). so i can’t really tell you just how massive an effect your words have had on me this year. everything you do these days seems inspired/inspiring,i think 2007 is going to be an amazing year for us both. your kind words on this blog regarding the cd have prompted me to set up a ‘dudes of neptune’ place on myspace! more details soon. thank you for being the being and thank you for being our friend. much love to you and all your family,the druids-MWP,PK,TP, and of course all my fellow commenters. love,peace,health,fullfilment and happiness to you all!!!!—WOW I FEEL GOOD TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. avatar
    don joe | 31 December 2006 at 9:14 am #

    yeah… hats off to you Steve for the inspiration, dreams, drive and awesome shows you and the rest of the clan gave to us this year. For the insight allowed by other viewpoints who share this place with you. Thankyou for creating this and others, and the creation that you will bring in the future. We all inspire to do those things we wish; not all are able to perservere to keep that motion flowing (moi…). But, one can rise from fallen grace and continue the path (moi…).
    The new year…..same as the last one with out as many glitches in continuity… I s’pose.? What is true for you is what you have observed and to love in spite of all is the secret of greatness.

    don joe

  38. avatar
    Melissa | 31 December 2006 at 9:45 am #

    Hippy New Year everyone, much peace and joy to all!

    Many, many thanks to Steve for creating and sharing this (I think) little oasis for us to visit .. always feel better for reading your thoughts, always inspired and heartfelt.

    Wishing 2007 brings much happiness, to you and yours and the whole Church family ๐Ÿ™‚


  39. avatar
    davem | 31 December 2006 at 11:47 am #

    What a glorious and evocative end to the year, SK. Thank-you.
    Wishing you and your loved ones a much better 2007, with all of the highs of ’06 but far fewer troughs.
    Thanks for all your words, pictures and music. You enrich my life and your art is very much at the heart of this family – a little part of England has been well and truly conquered by you.
    Love to all fellow fiends. Thinking of everyone and hoping for more of that ol’ Kilbey magic in the year to come.
    Love you more,

    Dave M

  40. avatar
    davem | 31 December 2006 at 11:51 am #

    Just read today’s comments & and spookily B & Z “Selling England..” has been playing this morning in my kitchen.

  41. avatar
    Valerie | 31 December 2006 at 12:36 pm #

    Wishing happiness, health, and all that to you and your family.

    Happy 2007, everyone!

    Valerie, George and Sophie

  42. avatar
    verdelay | 31 December 2006 at 1:34 pm #

    If we’ve done it once
    We’ve done it a thousand times
    Taken a little chunk of each moment
    And burnt it in our swinging censer of years
    Where the smoke lingers and intermingles
    And yet each fume remains distinct
    From the next
    That’s the only way
    To keep eternity
    At bay

  43. avatar
    Fireseed | 31 December 2006 at 1:34 pm #

    dear killer

    for the stories and the poems
    the dreams and the fantasies
    the philosophy and the creed
    the profanity and the humanity
    the memories and prophecies
    the laughter and the tears

    a hippy new year to you and yours!

    love fireseed

  44. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 December 2006 at 1:46 pm #

    Am listening to the fireworks going off in the neighbourhood. All the best SK to you and yours for 2007, may it bring all you wish for.

  45. avatar
    mtv | 31 December 2006 at 2:23 pm #

    wishing Mr Kilbey a very sweet new year – cause a sweet man deserves all the sweetness in the world.


  46. avatar
    (('{~_~}')) | 31 December 2006 at 4:03 pm #

    Itโ€™s 3am. Can’t sleep, the neighbours across the road are having a very loud party. There are heaps of people standing outside and yelling and laughing. They are way louder than the doof doof!

    Must be an interesting party, earlier on in the night I was outside and noticed there were candles to welcome you in and lead you to the front verandah where there was a girl sitting at a table with an inflated erect penis. Heaps of guys rolled up along with some scantily clad women, some wearing bunny ears. One guy rolled up wearing plastic male genitalia.

    It was a bit of an effort getting the kids to sleep. They cracked up laughing when they heard a European male voice repeatedly yell, โ€œhave a sexy timeโ€.

    Guess Iโ€™ll go and resort to some ear plugs. I doesnโ€™t seem that long ago that I was partying away until the sun came up. Ah, if only!

  47. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 December 2006 at 5:36 pm #

    Wishing you a space-rockin’ new year Mr Kilbey!

  48. avatar
    syrinx | 31 December 2006 at 9:48 pm #

    Mmmmmm-MARVELOUS. A magical read. ๐Ÿ™‚

    May 2007 shower blessings down like snow-kisses and refreshing rain on the Kilbey clan (and everyone else here within computer distance as well).


  49. avatar
    relic | 1 January 2007 at 12:14 am #

    Someone’s had a big night! ?

    Hope you saw in the new year well with your loved ones.

    Kilbey magic! Thats a good one.

  50. avatar
    JJ | 1 January 2007 at 3:03 am #

    Wonderful…….a fantastic coda to the year almost ended.

    It’s nearing midnight here, strangely warm, wet and mysterious. Soon the fireworks will start, sudden bright flashes above the trees. Some champaigne waits to uncork (a chunck of opium would be preffered).

    Happy New Year, wondering what 2007 will bring.

  51. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 January 2007 at 7:25 am #



    Anybody home?

    Looks like the time being’s been and gone.


  52. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 January 2007 at 10:15 am #

    Hey SK,

    Did you get a mention in the Queen’s New Years honours list? Or are you doing your own ‘alternative’ honours list?

    Don’t be a stranger now (I know u love it when we miss you.)

    Happy New Year!

  53. avatar
    John Garratt | 2 January 2007 at 5:38 pm #

    The Grand Vizier!

  54. avatar
    Anonymous | 27 February 2009 at 2:11 am #

    After your wonderful Booze Blog- id liek to make a request ! One on “the devil’s dandruff”! i remember a certain canberra bassist proem in the NUAA magazine, but one of your blog’s id take as more “personal” as it’s for “us”. and as that great philosopher Andrew Eldritch put it “The world is us and them and we have to be so nice to us, because there are so many of them!
    Vita Brevis- Amore complet Resurecta sol

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