posted on August 19, 2008 at 9:12 pm

the silent dark lake where we used to sit
in summers long days
listening to swans and larks
the reeds rustled
the ants bustled
an old rowboat fallen into disrepair
the three of us
joined hands and danced down the path
we hid from each other and ran on ahead
we walked the forest paths to rollingen
and swam over to the other side
theyre were no other sounds
but a breeze in the pines
and the caw caw of the crow
the lowing of cattle somewhere
the grass all lush and green
oh such a gentle northern sun
its rays friendly and warming
the spell of childhood still not fallen from your eyes
so i was the dopey leader
and you 2
learned to swim and climb so easily
i was amazed by your alien litheness
by your subtle strengths and good natures
cartwheels and somersaults along the forest paths
and chatter chatter chatter
you were finishing each others words
getting angry with each other
we kicked stones along and gave them names
we saw foxes and once a weasel
and e trod on a tiny snake who quickly slithered away
when i was long gone
your mother found one of you in the forest
on your own
what are you doing here ? she said
do you think ….you said
if i walked far enough into this forest i’d find my father..?

43 Responses to “remedial”

  1. avatar
    Cee | 19 August 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    do you think ….you said
    if i walked far enough into this forest i’d find my father..?

    Crees…dijiste…si camino lo suficientemente lejos en el bosque encontrare a mi padre…?

    I hope there’s nothing but good news regarding Elli and all of your hijas.
    Un beso,

  2. avatar
    athanasiuspernath | 19 August 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    first blog ever making me cry.
    don’t let distance play games with you.
    love to you and your family.


  3. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 August 2008 at 11:12 pm #


    Sending warm healing thoughts your way. Hope all is well. Perhaps thats why a lot of family members have rifts and all some are too much alike some try to be the exact opposites. As a father and a son I have been on both sides of that line.

    Going to pick up some solo stuff of yours today wish I could afford one of those awesome paintings I,m afraid I have to settle for the greeting cards. American economy down in the dumps and I have not made the best choices either. Some day.
    Listend to Forget yourself last night at bedtime and was taken away to another world… typical awesome stuff. Must have been a fav of Chris Martin as their new one sounds a lot like that.
    All the best

    Steve in Florida

  4. avatar
    princey | 19 August 2008 at 11:26 pm #

    Good news that Elli is home again sk. When she’s well enough, I hope she gets to read these 2 blogs and understands the pain you’re feeling and how much you care.
    Hope you’re ok too, you must be going out of your mind with worry:(
    Lots of love2u

  5. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 20 August 2008 at 12:42 am #

    Sk at his finest, emotive literary prowess today. Glad to read the tentatively optimistic good health news about his daughter. I had a great relationship with my late father except through the ages of 19 to 25 (extremely at odds).

    To Steve in Florida. I hope you are surviving the brutal winds and rains if you do live in Florida. I love the greeting cards (great quality and value). Beside Yourself CD is imperative if you love Forget Yourself.

    The man who manages the Church Discography and merchandise website is incredibly adept and comprehensive. He warrants plaudits !

  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 August 2008 at 12:59 am #

    Hi Steve,

    Just read the last 2 blogs and was moved to tears for you and Elli. That last line being especially emotive. Also the line about wanting to wrap your arms around her from yesterday…i understand completely.

    Time wounds all heels/heals all wounds, and even the time being can’t go back and repair the past, but he must forge ahead and continue to love, and create anew…everything will be as it is to be.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Elli and Family.

    Jon from Geelong.

    P.s. Hope you can visit her if it is at all possible

  7. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 August 2008 at 1:04 am #

    If anyone is considering buying sk paintings don’t hesitate. Received three in the mail today and they have to be seen in person to be truly appreciated. Do it!

    Perry in Florida US of A

  8. avatar
    JJ | 20 August 2008 at 2:38 am #

    “Remember a day just like today, a day when we were young”….was just listening to Syd’s plaintive childhood reminesces before reading your excellent lines.

    I also just read of Elli – my most sincere hope for her return to full health, TTB. The distance between father and teenage child/man/woman….mine is 18, and though he lived with me – I hardly know him. I just got back from taking an additional care package to him at university; about an hour away. He’s not like me, and an enigma.

    Godspeed to Elli, and best wishes to her father too as he struggles with the anxieties.


  9. avatar
    limebeaver | 20 August 2008 at 2:43 am #

    how about this for an idea steve..
    you should re-imagine and paint old covers of church albums/singles/eps or your own stuff…
    I’m thinking that fans would go bonkers for that, if I had any money I would commission a P=A one…
    wotcha think?

  10. avatar
    captain mission | 20 August 2008 at 2:55 am #

    all the avalon people send their love and healing steve

  11. avatar
    matthew | 20 August 2008 at 4:29 am #

    Wow, I’m speechless! So moving, beautiful, sad. Hang in there SK, as they say.

  12. avatar
    linjo | 20 August 2008 at 4:38 am #

    Lovely memories Steve. The girls are lucky to have each other. My six year old missy yearns so for a little sibling (her brothers are 16 and 19) and for a “normal family” with mum and dad together. Unfortunately neither will ever happen and I feel so sorry for her and guilty at times that she missed out.
    Denise you seem such a giving person. I hope you are reaching out for support and this black time will pass for you soon. Linda

  13. avatar
    stealthblue | 20 August 2008 at 5:27 am #

    I feel so out of touch lately. I am sorry I just found out about your daughter, Steve. Strange thing (or maybe not so strange really) is you have been on my mind a lot more lately than usual. I have been listening a lot to Narcosis recently. I still listen to you and your mates a LOT, but for some reason lately, I have been thinking about YOU a lot. Maybe because I realized how much this whole “Church” experience means to my soul and general outlook on things. Know what I mean? Anyway, I am sorry I have not been “around” too much lately, but I do check in when I can. I guess I have just been dealing with a lot of “life” stuff too. It’s good to see all the old “faces” still hangin’. Hello to you all.

    Of course I had to pop in only to discover that awful news about Elli. Not sure what else to say, but you know I wish you and your family only the best. The love is there, man. Steve, we all have our “moments” and well, let’s face it, you in a suit and tie behind some desk, punching a clock…nah-ah, NOPE wouldn’t work for you. When Elli one day understands things a little more, especially about life and the beauty of imperfection, I would venture to think she should be well-proud of her “old bohemian pop.” 🙂

    Please stay well, Elli, Steve, and the rest of your loved ones. I hope you guys can really get to the bottom of this illness very soon, and God willin’, turn the tables around. If it’s any comfort, I do see a lot of illness (on a daily basis), some cases pretty dire, that turn out healthful.

    Anyway, my friend, much love to you all always, but especially now. With many strong prayers thoughts your way…
    Your loyal listener and friend across the miles,
    Ben V.

  14. avatar
    steve kilbey | 20 August 2008 at 6:36 am #

    hey queen h
    sorry you got the blues
    hey jon in geelong
    up the cats!
    hey linjo
    ola cee
    live love and learn

  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 August 2008 at 6:38 am #

    The gracious man/woman doesn’t need words, my gauche prince. Still, I would like to have strength to spill some more of my useless ones. It is so delicate to write anything now that anything could become a very intricate fabric in a much dark color now. But I remember that one of the first things you said to me was “be like you could”. Your Bolan brother told you that in your teens and you never forgot the lesson, isn’t it? No, sometimes you just leave it to the popsongs and the quickwittyquotes, dear. It’s never a matter of being much or little, right or wrong. It is a matter of BOND and being what you can. Absent or not, her father was a man before being a father (and you just wrote the other day that you were the father and the everyman everywhere everyday) and that man always need to get deep into the forest to find his center. You can’t deny your element, you just need to come back from time to time and make sure when you do that you don’t love her less because you needed to seek. Yourself. For now, she’s smashing the mirror to look at herself from inside. That’s what she can be and she’ll be like she could.
    I needed to do this with my grandfather, the oh oh oh oh tyrant. God, we’re so much alike it hurts. I needed to completely (and I mean com-ple-te-ly) deny him to separate his good from his bad, recognise his good and bad in me, and finally, try to make different choices. But not because, in a christian way, his choices were faced and labelled as “wrong”. But because his choices didn’t lead him to a life of comfort, pleasure and harmony for HIMSELF. I didn’t want the same for me. I still don’t but the battle is on, Kilbey.
    On the other hand, my father who died when I was 15 passed from alltimehero plus bestfriendever to Peter Pan incarnated who ruined our lives (mother, brother and me) because of his “wrong” choices when I was exactly 17. Then, when I became a civilized 25-year-old woman, haha, from the top of my then recently discovered wisdom, I thought “bullshit, the man was just too awesome and did it wrong and right like me”. There is no guilt trip. We’re all exchanging roles all the time and seeking, wandering and wondering. We still have to accept and welcome that, though. It’s a shame it’s all so desperately catholic until today in our heartfelt subways.
    After all, there is only love between you both.
    Afinal de contas, só há amor entre vocês dois.

  16. avatar
    Anakki Mayhem | 20 August 2008 at 7:17 am #

    heartfelt wishes to u & Elli…

  17. avatar
    triantelope | 20 August 2008 at 7:27 am #


  18. avatar
    steve kilbey | 20 August 2008 at 7:29 am #

    anon at 4.38
    have gleaned more about me from my work
    than any other single person ever
    your depth of understanding is quite shocking
    i am simultaneously awed
    and frightened
    you have gotten it
    you have understood it
    you , my strange brazilian sister
    have fucking grokked !

  19. avatar
    isolde | 20 August 2008 at 9:23 am #

    when I was ten I came to the sobering realisation that I could not take what my father said literally

    that what he said was dreams and wishes and lectures and lessons and poems, all a performance of one kind or another

    so from that point on I was always entertained and never disapointed when he did not do as he said or failed to deliver what he promised

    i think that not expecting things from your parents or children is the essence of freedom

    why play those roles of example setting parent

    why play it safe? why only have mediocre dreams? do not let your self be limited by the merely achievable limits of your flawed and human self, dare to believe and set yourself and your children free

  20. avatar
    princey | 20 August 2008 at 10:53 am #

    Love the Painkiller gig ad, I’ll overdose for sure!!

  21. avatar
    veleska1970 | 20 August 2008 at 11:02 am #

    hang in there, steve. she’s ok.

    lotza love…..

  22. avatar
    veleska1970 | 20 August 2008 at 11:03 am #

    “This post has been removed by the author.” at 9:01 pm
    sorry about that~~wrong e-mail account. **blush**

  23. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 20 August 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    Swan Lake off P=A…

  24. avatar
    Melby Symon | 20 August 2008 at 12:32 pm #

    Steve…I ache for you to find healing in your relationship with elli..

    I know the pain and emptiness when my daughter is distant…angry and uninterested in how much I love her and what she means to me. Yes..she is so very angry that I am not there in her life permanently.

    10 years since I have lived with her and after the limited time we spend together now, I miss her more than ever when she goes “home” to her mum’s house.

    Your words and images have cut deep tonight.Does the pain ever go away? I suspect not.

    Take care.

  25. avatar
    restaurant mark | 20 August 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    hey steve…just getting back after a few days away. i’m so sorry elli’s having problems…glad to hear she’s back home though. hope the doctors can sort it out. i know not being there breaks your heart…it would mine. my dad and i are so much like each other i’m sure it drove my mom crazy when i was a teenager. we fought constantly from 15 to 22 probably…hell the last four years of it we didn’t even live in the same state and fought. just butted heads…for the sake of butting heads mostly. i mean, yeah i looked like a freak and was playing music and sure…he loves music but he probably wished i was playing baseball instead of playing bass and wearing eyeliner. but other than the makeup our personalities are similar and if someone said hey your son’s a weirdo…they got an earful from him i know. but anyway…now we’re just good friends, love my dad…one of the few on the planet i completely trust. i know you’re aware of your fatherly shortcomings at times…absence, etc., but i also know you love your daughter…daughters i should say. i struggle with my dad issues as well…not the job itself, just the art of being a good one. and what that even means…trying to find the balance between giving them everything they need and still not losing yourself in the process…whoever that is??? it’s all perspective…right now you’re a bohemian ratbag…ten years from now, you’re her dad the talented artist whose so much cooler than her friends stuffy dads that just care about money. go figure…

    take care

  26. avatar
    davem | 20 August 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    So sorry to read about your Daughter. Much love to you SK and to all the great people on here!


  27. avatar
    matthew | 20 August 2008 at 2:43 pm #

    restaurant mark… that was a very cool message, much appreciated!

  28. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 20 August 2008 at 2:44 pm #

    Thomas you love blue eyes and Dean Martin i noticed. Those two old dudes always kept their cool, rugged swagger as they boozed and crooned to the very end.

    Just read that Mark Bolan was a vegetarian until his substance abuse years and untimely demise. Bowie was also veg for several years. SK has been steadfast maintaining Hindu/Jain/Buddha/Empedocles cruelty-free karma intact.

  29. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 20 August 2008 at 3:15 pm #

    Yes, I do love Dean and Frank, I must admit, Brien. I love Sinatra’s phrasing, but I certainly do not find Frank’s personality very appealing. He was a self-professed “24 carat manic- depressive”, and I do find him extremely interesting. Dean was more of an enigma, but seemingly (to me, anyway) a pretty decent guy. Besides, anyone who boozes right to the very end is alright in my book. Pour that Tullamore Dew, Jack Daniels or Jim Beam, I say.

  30. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 20 August 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    Frank Sinatra:

    “Drinking Agaaaain –
    Oh, yeah, I’m drinkin’ again, it’s always the same,
    That same old story.
    After the kicks there’s little old mixed-up me,
    Tryin’ to lose a dream that used to be.”

    – Drinking Again

    When I’m old and really ugly I plan to eat and drink until I explode. After all, they’re gonna scatter my ashes, anyway.

  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 August 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    What do you mean WHEN you’re really ugly?!

  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 August 2008 at 3:37 pm #

    Sorry, Thomas, only joshin, buddy – couldn’t resist! It’s a working class English thing to (affectionately) take the piss out of ya mates, see…

  33. avatar
    sharp suit | 20 August 2008 at 3:40 pm #

    Frank fucked Ava Gardener – lucky, lucky lucky! Mind you, she sure made him pay, heh-heh. Hell of a woman, that.

  34. avatar
    nickfiction | 20 August 2008 at 4:24 pm #

    wow, you needn’t pick up your brush to paint today… already did!

  35. avatar
    fantasticandy | 20 August 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    nothing to add that wouldn’t seem trite……….
    you got the power though killer….in spades.

  36. avatar
    John | 20 August 2008 at 5:34 pm #

    Does the Church ever deliberately make music that sounds like cartwheels and somersaults along the forest paths?

    John Garratt

  37. avatar
    Polydora | 20 August 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    Very strong, touching, sad, beautiful.

  38. avatar
    knot | 20 August 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    I was sorry to read of your daughter Elli. I had hoped her health was better these days.

    While it is true that the past is done, and you will never get a chance to have it back, or get a do-over…at least there is now, darling friend. Take now and give it a hug. I hope your trip is safe, and your daughter well.

    Much love from here.

  39. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 August 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    calls himself a vegan,pacifist!,but how does he treat human beings…

  40. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 August 2008 at 10:23 pm #

    you need to phone me,killerbee.dont be so daft,as to continue like this,n then be disappointed,n brokenhearted when it all falls to shit ,okay?..utilizze your brain,in a not apathetic way.youd do it for a god damned chicken..why not an apparent love .

  41. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 August 2008 at 10:25 pm #

    UTMW featured on Cold Case last night.

  42. avatar
    eek | 21 August 2008 at 1:01 am #

    That was very lovely, but also sad. I do think that everyone has things in their past they would have done differently. We all make errors, we all have selfish times, we all have room to improve. Knowing this certainly has helped me keep things in perspective.

  43. avatar
    Melquiades | 22 August 2008 at 3:28 am #


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