posted on June 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

the bondi strindbergs

i am the chill severe papa down here in these colonies

our lives paradoxically skandanavian in its existential struggle

a harsh conceited man who has made and lost fortunes

father to an unlikely number of daughters each impossibly lovely

my coach has broken down in an enchanted forest

i am old but still vaguely handsome as i wander in the snow

years of city living have left me unprepared for the wilderness

i am a merchant and my ship of dreams has run aground

my horse disappeared into the darkness

my fortune was only in words and words became cheap

and i said something once and no one remembered

and i said something once and no one forgot

the trees are old and scarred they seem to sneer

the moon over head is neither here nor there

its place in the story unclear

the night is antiseptic and frozen

the sparkling stars are captured as if on velvet membrane black

a loud voice in my head shouts defiantly at the night

the other voices are quiet and waiting to see

and the forest squeezes itself in roots and in fronds

its thought given form in spirit which animates matter

an unknown past

a distant future

oh now for the warm bath the opium pipe the touch of woman

oh for the crisp sheets oh for the toast and jam and mulled wine

the night full of its beasts unseen but moving in undergrowth

the night full of traps and pits and rusty old hooks

the night full of whispers from the grave

the night full of its mists smelling faintly of some far-off laboratory

the night of thorn the night of claw

the night of snout the night of bone

expelled from time during some dismal spell

and now you merchant have wandered into the domain of Lunacy

who am the master of these lands and some great feline terror

and he will play with you in his long lit halls

and things will move of their own accord

a very bad dream

a long moment between lives

44 Responses to “antarctic scene thirteen”

  1. avatar
    nickfiction | 22 June 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Hi Steve, I havent visited “the time being” lately. not sure why? Summer maybe, less time spent glued to computer screen. This piece is lovely as usual. nick fiction

  2. avatar
    child 'o mine | 22 June 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    mommy i’m scared…


  3. avatar
    Kristine | 22 June 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    You are truly this century’s Thomas De Quincey.

  4. avatar
    Karen | 22 June 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    vaguely? dunno about that ..paging DR Kilbey 😮
    looking very dapper there
    really got caught up in that scene your lovely daughters have a very talented old “man”

  5. avatar
    redgrevillea | 22 June 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    a marvelous ode to the icy spirit of winter solstice, sir.

  6. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 22 June 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    A night full of balance, uneven…not quite right
    A night full of laughter with no jester in sight
    A night full of birddongs never in key
    A night full of jealousy not started by thee
    A night full of wanderers no place to call home
    A hollow hello from beneath the ash
    A feeling of loneliness built as a trap
    Echos end their journey in my sight
    The one next to me lies to much
    I am off to locate solace at any cost
    My offspring’s the ones I shall miss the most

    Darrin K.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 22 June 2011 at 6:41 pm #

      Ooppsss, that was to be ‘birdsongs’ not birddongs. My eyesight is starting to fade as if almighty’s plan is to snatch up one personal trait after another to blanket existence while I attempt to create. So unjust to watch your being drift away within the unseen wind.

      Darrin K

      • avatar
        Richard | 23 June 2011 at 9:54 pm #

        Birddongs works for me Darrin

        • avatar
          BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 25 June 2011 at 12:21 pm #

          Or maybe I meant ‘birdbongs’ , but who would hold the lighter. ?

          • avatar
            david | 26 June 2011 at 12:33 am #

            Bird bongs work for me ….

  7. avatar
    hellbound heart | 22 June 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    you are a magician, Steve….pure wonder
    love always……

  8. avatar
    hellbound heart | 22 June 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    oh yeah
    very distinguished picture, aristocratic……

  9. avatar
    Jasperina | 22 June 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Wandering blindly and blissfully in the domain of lunacy. Many gems are are always hidden in your turn of phrase

  10. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 22 June 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    yeah, but can you do a math problem?

    (put it to muse-ic, go on tour in the States, bring it to Asheville, NC, the Orange Peel social aid & pleasure club)

    wilfred paradise

  11. avatar
    . | 22 June 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    the all seeing eye to the left of thy head
    looks down upon you, the living and the dead
    a transdimensional gateway for when you lay to rest
    and travel between realms on your floating starship bed
    the illuminati can’t control all those worlds, they pretend
    to paint reality in black and white and often take offense
    when others create their own realities full of color, joy and sin
    they keep the flow of currency limited to their friends
    and colleagues who accept their control with contempt & ambivalence
    all the while the proletariat escape their chains again
    and again when they discover lush new worlds in their dreams
    and realize that even the simplest things bring pleasure unto them
    serve them a cup of liquid lunacy and let them all be anointed and fed

  12. avatar
    david | 22 June 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    ..oh man that went well ..what with all the wake and bake …your post s make the weed work harder killer…

  13. avatar
    cruikshank | 22 June 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    Good hearing again from you, Steve. Good sharing the planet with you, or the plan, whichever.

  14. avatar
    Freddie | 22 June 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    You’re looking dashing & dangerous today Sir. :^)
    I got lost in yer well penned & dismal landscape.
    A nightmare! Quick, pinch thyself!

  15. avatar
    Once | 23 June 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Omg this is absolutely fantastic. Held my breath all the way thru. Wanted to sob the end. This is poetry that can be felt. Completely amazing, SK.


    • avatar
      Once | 23 June 2011 at 12:39 am #

      **at the end. I’m at work and typing quickly. 7:30 AM, already 84 and headed to 113 degrees today…antarctic almost sounds good…stay warm, my friend!

  16. avatar
    Steven Krut | 23 June 2011 at 1:26 am #

    I had a horrible medical scare last week and spent a stretch of terrifying days confronted by an abyss of emptiness and death. Finally a reprieve came in the form of a miraculous pathology report. Today everything is richer and bursting with color. What a joy it is to be able to read your words and hear your music. Thank you for them.

    • avatar
      Lara | 23 June 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Glad to hear you’re OK.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 25 June 2011 at 12:23 pm #

      Glad your ok. All my prayers are with you. Please take care of yourself.

      Darrin K.

  17. avatar
    Lara | 23 June 2011 at 2:36 am #

    You were definitely Marlowe. Or he was you. I see he’s even following you to the Sydney Opera House:

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2011 at 3:01 am #

    Inadvertant quest to be Tolkien-esque?

  19. avatar
    cazziem | 23 June 2011 at 4:15 am #

    A sad but poetic tale you tell sire, and yet whilst the wilderness would appear to be a desolate and lonely environment, truly it’s a place where one is NEVER alone!!

  20. avatar
    timetraveller | 23 June 2011 at 5:47 am #

    As there is some buzz about the Refo:mation project at the moment I would just like to say that this is a really great album! Actually one of the best and I `ve been listening to music the last 40 years and believe me this knocks me off my feet. The Church do too, but this is even better, no offence! Why not give it the remaster treatment and make it available again?? It deserves a better fate than sinking witthout a trace…. A lost classic.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 23 June 2011 at 9:35 am #

      I second, third and infinity the motion… Timetraveller is exactly right. If it was reissued here in the statesvthru ‘second motion’ , it would sell like crazy. I know many church fans who would maim and cause chaos just to get a copy and I am one of them. Pre sale them with something deluxe and the masses would throw money in your direction. I usually don’t beg, but …PLEASE !!!!!

      Darrin K.

  21. avatar
    Once | 23 June 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Hey,wait…I just googled the weather in Sydney, and it’s high 65F / low 47F. Dude, that’s not “arctic”. Remember Chicago last February? That wasn’t a fluke – it gets like that every year. Kinda like the heat here in PHX – it’s so extreme that you just have to respect it.

    Then again, when it hits 50F here I am totally freezing, so I guess I can concur.

    I love Earth. How diverse. How supremely cool!! 🙂

  22. avatar
    jane | 23 June 2011 at 11:25 am #

    one foot still falls in front of the other
    and your timely touch is gracious

  23. avatar
    Kristina | 23 June 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    the night is antiseptic and frozen

    the sparkling stars are captured as if on velvet membrane black

    Absolutely beautiful…perfectly captures the image of an icy, clear winter’s night in some remote alpine forest…

  24. avatar
    Crasher | 23 June 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    I see here the early signs of an ailment peculiar to these
    Southern climes…tasmania.
    The old cure was a large dose of thylacine tincture.
    However,as this medication is all but impossible to
    procure, there is an alternative…apples !
    Lots of ’em.
    A word of advice..the best ones grow near Dunedin.
    Long live the Refo:mation !

  25. avatar
    Mr. Argent | 24 June 2011 at 5:57 am #

    I just heard the new Blank & Jones track, “Only Your Love”, and wanted to say how much I appreciate your voice in that (downtempo/electronic) milieu. There’s a specific and rare peace present which reveals beautiful texture and nuance not heard so readily in other styles.

  26. avatar
    verdelay | 24 June 2011 at 6:17 am #

    Bravo, Maestro


  27. avatar
    plumlady | 24 June 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Old and vaguely handsome….still quite a stunner. Watching the rerun’s of Oprah in Sydney and makes me wish I could come and see your country.

  28. avatar
    Cocoamo | 24 June 2011 at 11:54 am #

    I love these little stories that are somewhere between reality and fantasy (acually, kind of a good description of you, isn’t it?) – Anyway, such clear, stark, vivid feeling is portrayed – you do have a way with words!

    Your Friend in Pennsylvania

  29. avatar
    Geoff Starkey | 24 June 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Lovely words as usual which is a strength i don’t have. I heard Jimmy Webb on the ABC radio yesterday and he said that with true song writing nothing else matters, and all other areas of his life suffer due to this need to song write. The tone of his explaination was that the “need” was all consuming – i thought of you and thank you for your writing.
    Geoff Starkey

  30. avatar
    Ess | 24 June 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    my feet are wavering now under most delicate of ankles
    as i blunder inside this barren desert of no rightly renown
    over that way but not quite here, why i don’t know
    in a place without a sanguine spirit, flame, or sacred breath
    potent in its vacuum, empty of its memory
    distant but faintly present, nowhere but suspiciously here
    abandoned, by whom i can’t remember
    separated, from those i don’t now know
    i wear my slight frown of honest dread, a feint squint of confusion and just a dash of bewilderment
    holding out for a scent of human kind, a trace of lost insanity, or just a shred of implication
    weary butterflies wake aflutter as invisible strangers arrive
    each knowing where they tread but erased before each stride
    i barter with each known vanity to turn eyes on child or grown
    those masses of vagrants in strands all alone
    those stagnant with fears we bury in the night
    all forty-three point seven million of the world’s exiled own
    but my oasis is up ahead
    just as i ordered
    spilling banners of toasted blue
    splashing sand of polished gold
    i run into its outreach to bathe myself to life
    to wash the stench of absence from the substance i must ignite
    but the smell of rotting gills dulls woken inner sense
    and the shore fills to overflow with human excrement
    i see a man, always a man, walking towards me in delight
    but he walks right on by now to the younger girl behind me
    the girl with dreams that fall as they rise
    the girl who thought she would never survive
    the girl who found a way around the surges of every army
    i move forward to a sign saying ‘kilby road dead ahead’
    but as i trip a little closer i see ‘do not enter’ to the front
    and arrows pointing both this way and even to that
    i go left and find a police station
    i go right and it’s just not right
    but of course i’m on the wrong road so i wrangle my way round
    600metres to paddocks and i know i must be there
    yes it is pretty and it is nice and so nice and yes it’s pretty nice
    so there must be a malfunction and it can only be in the spelling
    without the e there is no essence
    without the e there is no evening
    so i exit my mirage and retreat to my desert
    where it’s cold and fraught and i must burrow for my warmth
    but soon i’ll reach the rain shadow’s edge
    and climb where the peaks are always white
    and i know it takes longer than i imagine
    and i know i need to hold another line
    and nothing is permanent, i know
    and I know i can never know

  31. avatar
    mattyc | 25 June 2011 at 2:37 am #

    Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
    Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and half-light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
    W.B. Yeats

    Your words too evoke a stark and intuitive beauty. A rare gift, for sure. thank you for sharing S.K.

  32. avatar
    Observer Tree | 25 June 2011 at 3:19 am #

    ‘Birddongs’… laughing the proverbial off! Darrin K., that’s surely your best creation yet.

  33. avatar
    leoniefae | 25 June 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    “…words became cheap”
    It’s sad that heartfelt insightful and evocative words are not valued as they should. They are one of the few things that can’t be mass produced.
    You would think that this would make them worth more… but maybe we’re only valuing mass produced things now. My main shopping centre has no bookstores anymore, hardly any music; it’s all clothing and gloss, no substance everywhere I look.
    As I’m hopeless with words myself I love to read and hear others words, to be able to feel anothers experience or to find concepts that are so diffuse to me so beautifully crystallised. Thankyou for all the times over the years you’ve done that.
    (By the way, caught your autism fundraiser the other night, a real pleasure to see you guys in a small venue, it was a truly special show. I hardly get out now with two small kids, so thanks for making my rare night off amazing 🙂 Actually my little boy is autistic so i really appreciate you guys supporting that cause. I can promise first hand that the early intervention programmes really do help.)

  34. avatar
    Ryan | 27 June 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    really enjoyed this one. you’ve cast a great spell of images here.

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