posted on September 4, 2007 at 6:26 am

in the dark little shop
the door closes on the busy world
and all is quiet
admidst the rubbery gaskets and malevolent toys
oranges and pieces of coal
pictures of some long dead queen
newspaper hats and brown socks
the bric a bracs all cracks
the plants green and spidery
costumes hang over shelves of old books
peoples lives who have vanished
people who disappear into the ether
as no one notices
someones squeezing the last bit of value out
even from odds and endings
a sideboard full of dead dreams
a suit with pockets of withered hope
novels with flowing dedications
the blue ink fading to brown
pictures of the going going gone world
books about boys adventures
playing cricket and jolly well stopping smugglers
a safari in africa bagging lions
being a ruddy good sport and a brick as well
foiling a bicycle thief and swimming at ramsgate
the school bully gets his comeuppance
and dad gets a surprise thats beastly
long gone dandies in cravats poncing around in a salon
a hardly worn dress thrown away by someones daughter in law
memories for sale
watercolour memories of summer days
trips to the coast with the whole gang
we ate and we drank and we laughed
we fished in the sea and we loved in the dark
we walked through green fields with our gals
we went off to fight the enemies
we were killed in foreign places and sadly missed
we returned to bitter winters and smoke and grime
we sat round the fire and drank cups of tea
and ate cream biscuits
where have we all gone now i wonder
where are all the old gang tonight
where are our old haunts
where are our old houses
where are the sunday drives and the elevensies with friends
wheres towser the spaniel and his wagging tail
wheres dads pipe and his paper and his masonic apron
wheres mums basket weaving class and her turtle oil
wheres mums recipe book from the old country
wheres mums special christmas decorations
wheres auntie pam and uncle reggies chevrolet
wheres that family who lived next door to them
here they are
bit by bit
piece on piece
odds over sods
nics under nacs
lamps and mirrors and cups and saucers
a portrait of muriel watson done in oils
a pair of posh shoes polished to a tee
ha ha look at that old camera
the one that took those kodachrome over coloured photos of us
at the lagoon
in our hotel rooms
jumping in a pool
waiting for a ferry
floating on a summer pond
getting soaked in a storm
getting up before dawn to start a long drive
big sister shaking you awake in the predawn black
its time she says
and the light goes on and you blink in the brightness
dad comes in drinking a mug of tea and smoking a fag
cmon on son he says
as you realise finally
today is the big day
the first day of the holidays that will go on forever
dad says
i want to get a good start before its daylight
and your sister says
yes do hurry up
and dads got the car all warmed up outside
and mums running round checking things are all off
and all the other kids are still asleep somewhere out there
as the sun comes up gloriously
you have already reached the mountains
you sip some hot chocolate from a flask
and fall into daydreams

41 Responses to “soul trader”

  1. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 7:45 am #

    like looking at other people’s slide shows – so deep in meaning to them, similar in some weys (the blinking eyes at dawn), so very different in others….
    choking on memories, the bad and the good; the gulping claustrpohobia, the smell of dust, the utter sadness of those “vanishing people who disappear into the ether
    as no one notices”, of someone “squeezing out the last bit of value”…..

    let the sun shine in


  2. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 8:19 am #

    Mmmmm the daydreams, beautiful as always sk.
    Love to you from Princey

  3. avatar
    craig1.618 | 4 September 2007 at 8:35 am #

    we’re all right here………right now

    how’d ya think we all collapsed on this beings diary……..accident? coincidence? really no such things ya know……yeah i’m sure you know

    anyone who is aware of what the violet ray IS…. most certainly knows

    “shame of the holy night shame of the rising sun”

    glad i’m hanging out with you sk

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 8:56 am #

    just magic,SK!…I do love those can almost smell the brandy,and long gone perfumes of a night spent dancing..i do know what you mean about the malevolent toys …I had a walk-in toy cupboard,as a child.twas sometimes very spooky,when the wooden doors contracted in the cold night air,and they would creak open,and a pile of { ah}badly packed away toys would fall through,onto my floor,at the end of my bed,and the momentum would leave my marionettes swinging,and dancing,as if they thought i wasn’t watching..then BANG!…out would jump “archibald”{my cat”,and scare the beejesus outta me!…the long gone ones ?when i was singing torchlight jazz in a club,for a while,the old men{usually} would quite often say”you remind me of my gal,back in 19??,her name was Esmerelda{or any other gal}”it used to make me so sad to think of their lost loves,but it was such a sweet sadness,and their lives in some way had been tinted with deep rose glasses,because of it…just a beautiful blog,once again, are a wonderfully gorgeous,and unique human being…love to you,,as always,gen xxxxx

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 9:10 am #

    p.s….and this?..when i thought that nothing,tonight,could” top ” the 3 pieces of “toblerone” i had in my mouth!.you completely enchant us ,with your words SK! ,gen XO

  6. avatar
    mattdavison | 4 September 2007 at 9:17 am #

    Just awesome killman..

    I love your poetry..but then you would know that

    Just watching a bit of the amazing “planet earth”series with David Attenborough..
    and I just inspired this little add on.


    For an Aeon
    and more…..

    Mile high mountains,
    peak, nearly crushing
    the land.
    Cruising delphinoids
    mellow in the turpintine
    clear seas

    deserts strip away all things,
    ironing a quintillion sands.

    The irreducible planet that spins so slowly we can stand still under
    a thing called gravity..

    wandering beasts, and human beasts
    follow an overall feeling

    -To survive…

    In this globe shaped multiform,
    regrouping silently amongst the arcing stars

    Breathing in the universes never ending night

    God’ there must be a lot at stake

    ..In this extrodinary place a billion years
    in the darkness
    of space.

    just made that one now.. Don’t have a title
    feel free if it’s ok??
    -Gd nite to all
    TTB’s fav kiwi

  7. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 9:20 am #

    BTW.. Killabee
    what’s to stop
    naughty gezzers
    nicking our poems??

    nevermind poems are free

    arn’t they??


  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 9:39 am #

    ah fun is fun but sometimes those same memories reach out like the bogey man.

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 9:56 am #

    anon. at 7.39…all the bogey man wants….is a tissue!…X

  10. avatar
    isolde | 4 September 2007 at 9:57 am #

    gosh you’ve jolly well done it now you’ve written my most favourite blog of all!

  11. avatar
    Faye | 4 September 2007 at 10:00 am #

    Bless you ! xo I bet they don’t sell SK’s at that shop!some things are free….others?…are priceless!

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 11:12 am #

    matt, that was a lovely piece of poetry…have you seen ‘life in the undergrowth’ by david attenborough…astounding…
    my mind pictures of today’s blog were either in faded instamatic or water-stained sepia…for some reason it brought to mind my grandmother’s bible that i saw for the first time the other day…it’s dated 1911 from when she was christened and in her lovely old-fashioned fountain pen script she’s written the birth and marriage dates of all of her children (including my mum)…there’s such a sense of time passing when i look at it…
    who hasn’t got memories of being dragged out of bed at some ungodly hour by dad and being bundled into the car to go on holidays somewhere…they’re some of my best childhood memories…
    love always
    -The Hellbound Heart

  13. avatar
    Symon | 4 September 2007 at 11:36 am #

    isn’t it sad that so many lives amount to the inconsequential treasures that were collected along the way…how good would it be if we were all remembered by our loved ones due the tremendous deeds that we did…or should have done thoughout our lives. If all we have are little treasures to remember someone by…then so be it…but there needs to be so much more to a persons life.

    To not take a risk in life….is the greatest risk of all.

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 12:59 pm #

    beautiful Steve….you see everything,Yes?Quite a sensational door to enter,this blogge…love,and music,and more love,and art,and more love to you…./gbx

  15. avatar
    Jen Jewel Brown | 4 September 2007 at 2:18 pm #

    zensational… gonna steal that title, soul trader

  16. avatar
    Rimbaud coming to the rescue | 4 September 2007 at 2:43 pm #

    Dear Anonymous said… Art

    2:18 AM last night… RE:

    @11:45. au contraire to the artists getting grant monies over 200K. There’s plenty of competitions in the private sector with well over that amount to each artist! Double, triple!

    Not in Australia. Where you from? And are you talking poetry?

    One of our top comptemporary visual artists Ricky Swallow got $200,000 for Killing Time. It’s the most gorgeous piece of hand-carved sculpture – immense intracies of seafood strewn across a table with a furled tablecloth, all hand-carved our of mostly one table-sized piece of plantation Malaysian rubber tree I think. He told me it took six months to carve. He sold it to the Art Gallery of NSW. But that was no grant. That was lather…

    You get $100K for winning the Moran prize for portraiture in Oz – hotly contested, and no grant. As far as I’m aware here, a 9usually very established) poet might get $20K for a fellowship from the Australia Council. The AC has in fact been slashing the funding this year. It stopped triennial funding to La Mama Theatre in Carlton, which just celebrated 40 years of its marvellous existence. La Mama launched the careers of hundreds of our best actors, playwrights and poets and is now under threat.

    So show me the money…

  17. avatar
    Jen Jewel Brown | 4 September 2007 at 2:51 pm #

    oh BTW Time Being, you should enter the Doug Moran. Just paint a really big one. It can be a self portrait or whatever. Just make it your best work, make it say something, make it a bit dreamy a bit cheeky and bit BIG SCALE… A bit now.

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 2:52 pm #

    Doug Moran National
    Portrait Prize

    CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES: 31 January 2008

  19. avatar
    CSTCoach | 4 September 2007 at 3:04 pm #

    just getting caught up on my TB after a weekend away…

    absolutely love this sorta thing, especially your opening scene – the shop that sold shadows…


  20. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 4 September 2007 at 3:09 pm #

    Another stark, evocative and spinetingling post by Sk. Let’s hope that death is not the end, DEATH IS A TRANSFORMATION.

  21. avatar
    CSTCoach | 4 September 2007 at 3:12 pm #

    from yestaday’s riff on poetry:

    “that shivery weird feeling you can get
    when you read something real good
    when the masters lay down their coolest word groove
    there in black n white on a page
    or on a screen
    poetry hits your heart first”

    my greatest aspiration is to one day call up those feelings w/ my writing. to really nail someone truly and well.

    You know when you finish a book that has touched you deeply, when you read that last paragraph and you feel the goosebumps course over your arms and the tingle in your stomach, and a light mist creeps into your eyes, and you’re on the point of letting slip a few tears at the sheer beauty of it all? I hope one day to be able to do that, to really nail someone like that with my writing. That’s the greatest achievement that I can think of.

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 3:29 pm #

    oh!..ha* something a bit cheeky,eh?..something to “nail ’em”{as the coach would put it}..excellent idea,SK!..maybe paint the “twinkling,voodoo, sparkley mystifier ,mischievious one in ur eyes!..GD night all….

  23. avatar
    Tara | 4 September 2007 at 5:03 pm #

    hey its tara, here is the website i was talking about where i made the extra summer cash………. the website is here

  24. avatar
    JONNY NOT YET SO HOLLYWOODISH | 4 September 2007 at 5:31 pm #

    Hey Esskay,
    turns out this family doesn’t want me here so i am gone once again, good luck finding me cos i can’t be found…

    ps. sad but true…

  25. avatar
    12str | 4 September 2007 at 5:39 pm #

    ahh its pure pleasure to read this everyday….got this new fantastic job as head of entertainment of the largest venue/nightclub in gothenburg…a lot of stress to find a place to live in this city..and that my friends aint to leave my apartment in the old home town in a couple of weeks and i got nowhere to live yet.but im sure it will be good in the end…anyway…if theres a possibility of mr K and the guys to come back to our parts of the world again im in the position to be able to arrange some shows… and it will be a blast my is surely strange and magical and wonderful sometimes..i could never ever dream of this to happen…haha..

    happy pat

  26. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 5:43 pm #

    I’m always thinking past, present, future.
    Present day…I do the things that person from the picture wanted to make of her.
    We often went to the wilderness
    A whole weekend or a month
    Devoted to us camping out in the N.W. of US
    or vacationing at the private island
    building a cabin house together
    or staring down a lynx in a ghost town
    my older brother and I, usually seated together
    on these journeys driving
    “let’s see where this road goes”
    for most of the day
    so much music to listen to
    we playing drums on each other
    dancing together while sitting
    Brother, I’m bringing your pictures in October…and putting them in the cyber album!
    I often wonder what music I’d be listening to, if not for him
    Then, he looked and acted like a very tall George Harrison- often compared to in awe.

    I could go on about linking the past to present.
    The girl in the photo
    yesterday, I went to the Art Fest in Sausalito
    not the biggest money maker for the artist…but certainly the most prestigioius fest.
    734 artists altogether
    painting prizes:
    Brian Blackham
    Tom Gerhig (a surrealist, Genx!)
    and many more interesting, emerging professionals.
    $1M proceeds to Sausalito
    a visit to nearby Rodeo Beach afterwards
    I recall much warmer beaches:
    Straights of Juan D’Fucha
    Charleston, SC
    southern Italy
    the black sea

    re: funds for arts
    research prizewinners
    google competitions
    know some artisits’ histories like you do
    follow that $ trail…there’s that as well.
    I’ve posted some prizewinners here before…in the comment section.
    I don’t know much about poetry $ now.
    I’m in the US.
    There are some competitions with 1/2M prizes
    Some with way more- I keep my eye on the art/architecture catagory.
    There’s also $ in scholarships & awards, etc. from counties and private collectors i.e. Marin County and the Getty Foundation.
    Google art foundations or whatever.
    I’ll be glad to get through more sources and funds as we move along.
    Thanks for the interest.


    PS From here on…I’m taking these writing more seriously and copying mine to a folder thanks to a suggestion here.

  27. avatar
    its all in my head... | 4 September 2007 at 5:58 pm #

    i have

    it was
    all started
    ‘a break of truth’

    the words




    of what

    truth there





    i had
    to say

  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 7:29 pm #

    how could I forget Balboa Beach in Newport CA?? Ah, quite a nice one with an extremely shallow slope and quite warm with a distant sandbar.

    There’s another extraordinary one…just south of Newport…it has some extreme waves, surfer waves! How could I have forgotten the name of the town, an artists community at that!


  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    PSS sorry, takin’ up space steve.
    Re: funds
    I could give you many examples of prize winners, but this is an artist I truely admire. She won 1/2M in one contest but I uncovered that part because I love her artwork, her writings, her concepts, etc.

    Shahzia Sikander


  30. avatar
    verdelay | 4 September 2007 at 9:25 pm #

    excerpt from “Flowers Almanack”


    Awful aches
    Rambling thoughts
    Can’t concent ra
    Tears at 4am
    Sepia skin
    L o n g i n g
    Rashes of regret covering the face, neck and fists
    Inexplicable age


    Nostalgia Praecox


    Terminal/Endlessly recurring


    Forget it.

  31. avatar
    davem | 4 September 2007 at 9:44 pm #

    It isn’t a holiday if you don’t set off in the dark. The kids are older and just grunt at me now but I don’t care.
    The William Brown days didn’t exist for most of us. Not many of us had a “Mother” or tea at 4 O’clock. I’d have been one of the poor little bastards up a chimney. My Dad had his house bombed in the 2nd World War as we blew seven bells out of each other..
    Some of the old days weren’t so good. We don’t seem to have learned much either.

  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 10:09 pm #

    Art…want a cup of T?..I have never been to SF…Maybe one day you could make me a cup o T? mmmmm a busy-ish day for me today! to you soon,Miss ART ! xxx love to you ..furreally an artfelt instinct..gen x

  33. avatar
    CSTCoach | 4 September 2007 at 10:12 pm #

    “got this new fantastic job as head of entertainment of the largest venue/nightclub in gothenburg…”

    congratulations, happy pat 🙂

    i’m going to gothenburg in oct. small world, as they say.

  34. avatar
    steve kilbey | 4 September 2007 at 10:26 pm #

    it couldnt have happened to a nicer bloke
    hope we can play at your place in 08

  35. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 11:16 pm #

    I’d been wondering what’s happened to you, thanks for answering.
    Above all, it sounds like a great time!

  36. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2007 at 11:28 pm #

    I hope things will become better for you, I always enjoy your comments.

    Of course I’d love to have a cuppa T, or cuppa Joe WITH you! I’m raising a chilled glass of diet root beer to you right now in the meantime. I’m playing hooky today from arhcitecture…and doing some painting- that’s why I’m posting way more than usual! Nice to see ya!

  37. avatar
    Mark M | 5 September 2007 at 2:53 am #

    Ahhh, my TB fix really gave me a high today…that was perfect Steve, you manage to capture things so wonderfully sometimes that I feel like I’m reading my own memories…and man, that’s a gift.

  38. avatar
    Mark M | 5 September 2007 at 2:56 am #

    Oh, and enjoy your QLD poetry trip…you’re perfect for it Prof Kilbey….hi to Jamie H for me
    Mark M

  39. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2007 at 3:12 am #

    Miss ART…cheeeers beautiful one!…I’ve one more client…..then I may just have a beersyckle as well!… xxxxx…love..gen

  40. avatar
    child of the caravan holiday | 5 September 2007 at 3:52 am #

    lovely blogge – spent much of my itsy bitsy childhood being dragged round the country on school hols with the requisite van filled with pets & siblings, woken in the wee hours to get the jump on the traffic…

  41. avatar
    Sunshine | 6 September 2007 at 6:25 am #

    Ahh, the family road-trip scene. My folks decided that leaving in the wee hrs meant more quiet/pleasant driving for them. I was a wee bit of a motor mouth… 😀

    Steve, I’m sure you’ll wow ’em at the Brisbane Poetry Fest. I bet you’ve already wow’ed ’em as I type this.

    Love to all,


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