posted on April 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm

just let them try to stitch that shadow back that i stole from you

its one of those white days

suddenly a sweet aching deep sadness sweeps down around us

so many of these white days

walking round a sandbar lagoon with karin in 1986

up near my mothers old place

an endless white day we felt lonely together then

the rocks the gulls the absence of wind or temperature

eventually a fine mist filled the air

i talked my head off about nothing as usual

she said very little at all

there was no one else for miles

i was still quite young then accelerating towards now

the years disappear….well what else could they fucking do….?

a black cat crossed my broken mirror

yeah as i begin to pick up speed

you see i wanna have my life and live it too

at the back of my mothers old house at smiths lake

you walked down a hill said to be crawling with snakes

until you came to a little creek at the bottom

and a log to cross the creek to a sandy little lagoon beach

or a small lake fed by the tide that broke through and filled it up

and so you walked round the side of the lake

until you came to a caravan park quite empty most the year

and beyond that some abandoned equipment n empty workers cabins

then you go through a small car park into dense cool jungle

the brown roots writhe about

the sharp branches scratch your legs

suddenly youre through and youre on a windswept dune

and the green pacific ocean hammers an endless white beach

white like today is white

warm white still

the music is a distant saw or hammer and the drone of traffic

sadness grief  helplessness hopelessness

worst of all emptiness

an empty day in an empty life

it aint no bed of roses

it aint all dancing on clouds

its just a white day and then its quite quiet

you sit at the table

out one window its white

out another the white has melted in to yellow and grey shapes

i shake like an earthquake

stop must be a sugar drop

keep thinking about margot smith

i bet shes enjoying it

if anyone can margot can

leaving this white day far behind

i bet shes enjoying it

you imagine her now free spirit soaring

you see her in some happy place

and we’re young and its summer and its a white day

margot walking down the street in surry hills after recording a vocal

1991 and its fading into white

on soft nights you ride a white horse in complex dreams

starboard under green leaves it motionless

the white day of this one life

a sadness you should have healed

a brief roman candle

hotels loom and disappear

unending check-in in miami or helsinki or bologna

on a white day aslan created narnia

and he sang it all into being

but always some evil has entered the world

and the white days become cold

and winter waiting for you at the end of the line

and magic fades from the earth

on white still days at airports where you cry and cry

on white still days at appointments in the city

on white still days watching someone getting married by the harbour

on white still days with your twins in rockpools and motels

on white still days with your brothers n father in batehaven

dad buy us some chips dad buy us some fizzy drinks

dad his ice cream is bigger than mine

dad can i have a comic as well

dad can i have a yo yo

white still day

still white

still still

a grey dirty smear towards the north

i start to fear all possible futures

i start to cling to the present but god its so slippery

white still day still slipping by 3 oclock 4 oclock 5 oclock

i cant hold on the day falls headlong into afternoon and evening

it gets darker quicker

i’m lost in there somewhere

unable to explain myself or my deeds

waking up groggy missing my plane

my money i used up just writing this line

still white day

white it all out

whiter than the whitest white

 

 

52 Responses to “white shadow”

  1. avatar
    SAW | 20 April 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    “i start to cling to the present but god its so slippery”
    I hate that nagging pull of how now slips into then. SAW

  2. avatar
    Lyra | 20 April 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    memories are precious 🙂
    all my love to you my dear friend

  3. avatar
    hellbound heart | 20 April 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    it’s a sad thing that as you get older your life starts being measured by the people who pass away or pass through your life and leave…..
    echoes of mimesis with your references to white and death….

    love always…..

  4. avatar
    Rob | 20 April 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    If we give half as much to a person alive as we do to the memory of one who has passed, we can change destiny… Who would like to hear from you today? With love and respect to you.

  5. avatar
    Karen | 20 April 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Batehaven ..batemans bay the harbour ..kids on the beach walking on white days ..I get it
    you say what some people cant express ..like me.. for instance
    I really liked that ..but like rob said we should think about the people stil here not the ones that got away or went away or died..
    well not yet.. your mourning ..think your mourning more than just Margot though or maybe not who knows
    you dont even..
    anyway it was beautiful thanks for sharing

  6. avatar
    DavidP | 20 April 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    time instantly brings us to now
    time and time again
    and now
    and now
    now it is now
    this now not that former now
    now now I say
    time brings events to us
    time takes them away
    where were we before this time began?
    where will we end up when this time ends?
    is it just a nice idea of that?
    but what is the reality?
    the ravages of time
    what advice would our future self say to our current self?
    man fears time
    but time fears the great pyramids they say
    the physical body subject to time
    tick tick tick and tock tock tock
    how best to use our time?
    how much time do we waste?
    how much time do we have left?
    what do we need to understand whilst we still have time in the world?
    what consequence does it have for when our time ends?
    what time is it now? Well, its now isnt?
    what can we do for The Time Being?
    to overcome the accidental
    since he who enjoys accidentally
    suffers accidentally too
    one who is quick to laugh is also quick to anger
    but with a certain continuity of purpose
    one can learn to suffer voluntarily
    as part of the process of converting darkness into light
    anger into love, laziness into diligence, pride into humility,
    doubt into faith, despair into hope, sadness into joy etc etc
    whilst we still have time

  7. avatar
    . | 20 April 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    absolutely.

  8. avatar
    Heather daydream | 20 April 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    its already yesterday

  9. avatar
    cruikshank | 20 April 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    thanks for writing, Steve. I met an old dude in Cambridge named Carl who had some impressive Welsh history in his lineage, but he only cared about his grandkids and the future, read books on space exploration. Right now, my dad’s out east digging up family history on his mother who died when he was two, and he’s 70 years old. Every night for three years, I’ve been travelling in my dreams. It’s a rented world I guess, all about sex and food and music. It’s like a quiet chaos. Hope to see you in chicago again someday. Keep writing.

    • avatar
      Narelle | 21 April 2011 at 9:58 am #

      history…family history…is so very interesting…recently thought of asking a few more questions about my grandfathers side of the family…(Sydney Harbour Master 1877-1900) according to one document…googled for way too many hours last night…founds lots of interesting early Australian history in the process…wishing your dad a successful search

  10. avatar
    Matthew | 20 April 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    Loved that.

    Love,

    MSM

  11. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 21 April 2011 at 1:10 am #

    Simply Hypnotic !!!!!

    AsAlways,
    Darrin K.

  12. avatar
    Cecilia | 21 April 2011 at 1:29 am #

    In my dream I was on a boat and I fell asleep and I dreamed I was on the same boat but I couldn’t see anything around me because I was surrounded by a curtain of white, like a thick fog. Everyone who had been on the boat before I had fallen asleep was gone in the present dream. I decided that the way out of this calm and peaceful, yet concerning, white world was to close my eyes and fall asleep within this dream’s dream. So I did. I woke up on the boat with the original crew, someone asked if I was ok and I replied “Yes but what was wrong with her brain?”
    This was Saturday night going into Sunday.

  13. avatar
    Freddie | 21 April 2011 at 1:56 am #

    These words feel like depression. In a single word desolate. Is it you? Is it a warning or is it just pondering? Thus far I’ve felt this way only fleetingly but I suppose we all have our “white days”.

  14. avatar
    david | 21 April 2011 at 2:03 am #

    “..but, though none will remember my songs,i was once a poet;and like other poets in their prime, i sang of vernal roses and autumnal rose leaves,of the breasts of dead queens and the mouths of living cup bearers, of stars that seek the fabled ocean-isles, and caravans that follow the eluding and illusory horizons…and because i was fevered with the strange disquietude of youth and poesy, for which there is neither name noe appeasement, i left the city of my boyhood, dreaming of other cities where wine and fame would be sweeter, and the lips of women more desirable…”

    Clark Ashton Smith…

    this paragraph takes me back …you too i bet ..

    • avatar
      Lisa | 21 April 2011 at 2:27 pm #

      Oooo I like this david…

      • avatar
        david | 22 April 2011 at 12:33 pm #

        …hes fantastic in the true sense …

  15. avatar
    mattyc | 21 April 2011 at 2:40 am #

    a lucid memory wrapped and muffled in a hazy gauze
    sliced and gorged by the linear progression of time
    can we slip between the moments
    no precept
    streaming thought
    free
    can we touch the face of god
    but lines deepen, hair grays and voices weaken…
    and time marches on

  16. avatar
    Lisa | 21 April 2011 at 6:55 am #

    White days….beautiful what you can write about them sk.

  17. avatar
    Once | 21 April 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Muse

    Red rover, red rover, roll me over in clover
    That ring round your rosie is lookin’ so bland
    Did you skip to the loo
    Or jump rope to a songstress?
    Patty cake dreams dissolved into sand
    Hopscotch party, hit every number
    But with every timed jump, the yellow chalk fades
    Did you play hide and seek
    And forget to be found?
    Boy on a milk carton, lost in charades.

  18. avatar
    Once | 21 April 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    FUSE

    Ariel sings from the bottom of the sea
    She looks up and tries to see light
    She clutches her shells
    Digs her toes in the sand
    She lives in perennial night
    Till the sun dries the ocean, and Ariel cries
    Her home gone away forever
    She lifts up her head
    And takes her first breathe
    And she and the light join together.

  19. avatar
    Zuma | 21 April 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    we’re all on this journey, some get there faster than others, got to enjoy everyday, ethics is the key, lift the spirit, do the right thing, have compassion, give back, smile in the mirror, stiff upper lip, brave, support, eat right, kiss your wife, pet your dog, give her a treat, write a song, spread the wealth, get some sleep, love your mom, pulling your ear, wear that rock and roll shirt, do the best you can, worship the sun, glad to have you in my life, where are we going, niece is so warm, nephew is a beast, doctor slap the baby, knock the penis off the smart ones, give me strength, turtle won the race.

  20. avatar
    Therese | 21 April 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Hope the easter bunny is good to u and the fambley.
    Take care, there are brighter days ahead.

    Peace & love
    Therese

  21. avatar
    Linjo | 21 April 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Hi Steve, hope you are feeling content. I read your post and the comments regarding your friend Margot with trepidation. Alcoholism is a curse that can creep up on you all so slowly. I know that I have a problem, though do my best to temper it to stay functional and reasonably healthy. I do wonder how old she was? perhaps my age 46? Very sad to see someone with a love for life systematically commit suicide. I watched the two part series on opium on sbs. In part one, they said that if you put 100 people in a room for a weekend and offered them heroin, 50% would walk away and say that they never wanted to do that again and the rest would say that it was the best time they had ever had in their life. Are we born with addictive tendancies or are they nurtured through experience?
    Anyway, I could visualise your steps around Smiths Lake and Cellito Beach. Not much has changed, it is still a paradise, with a lot of alcoholics living there. In Forster it is called ‘Blacktown by the sea’. Very cheap real estate, very beautiful. xxx

    • avatar
      Once | 24 April 2011 at 4:15 am #

      Of note…

      “Codependence has grown out of the cause from which all symptoms arise. That cause is Spiritual dis-ease – not being at ease, at one with Spiritual Self. Not being able to be in balance, in harmony with the universe. All other diseases – physical, emotional, mental – spring out of, are caused by, Spiritual dis-ease.

      The condition of Spiritual dis-ease has been a part of the human experience for so long – for thousands of years – that some of its symptomatic defenses have been genetically adapted by the evolving human species. Alcoholism, I believe, is just one example of a genetically transmitted, physical disease that is an adapted behavioral defense against the pain of Spiritual dis-ease.”

      from “Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls” — Robert Burney

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 April 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Reminds me of Time… Pink Floyd.

    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
    Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

    Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
    And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

    And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
    Racing around to come up behind you again
    The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

    Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
    Hanging on quiet desperation is the English way
    The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say

    Wasn’t that the most beautiful song ever. You shound turn your work into a song.

  23. avatar
    Steph | 21 April 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
    Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

    Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
    And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

    And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
    Racing around to come up behind you again
    The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

    Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
    Hanging on quiet desperation is the English way
    The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say.

    Reminds me of time by Pink Floyd… you should turn your work into a song. beautiful.

  24. avatar
    Christina | 21 April 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    and so you walked round the side of the lake
    until you came to a caravan park quite empty most the year
    and beyond that some abandoned equipment n empty workers cabins
    then you go through a small car park into dense cool jungle
    the brown roots writhe about
    the sharp branches scratch your legs
    suddenly youre through and youre on a windswept dune

    Sandbar..I know it well… beautiful beach but bleak and windswept with some dangerous rips…have stayed in that deserted caravan park looking out over the lake..

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 21 April 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      wow christina youve stayed at sandbar…thats amazing!!!

    • avatar
      Narelle | 25 April 2011 at 10:18 am #

      hello Christina
      ‘overcoming the accidental’
      about 38 years ago…was standing with friends at a point down the south coast…mossey point…a small boat was trying to cross a dangerous sandbar…the boat capsized…people on the beach ran to help…back at Broulee Beach we heard that one person lost their life…it was horrid as we were able to see the crossing was timed badly…each time the attempt was made it was doomed to fail…if only!!! the skipper had more experience…but there wasn’t a thing we could do to help…just watch…an ‘accident’…but so avoidable

  25. avatar
    thetimebeing | 21 April 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    then i have succeeded dear sara

  26. avatar
    Christina | 21 April 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    Isn’t it just, Steve!
    I remember having big roaring bonfires each night and many tame brushtail possums that came wandering over to us looking for a feed.
    Also remember walking through that dark rainforest dell with its muted green light,coming out way up the other end of the beach and climbing right up to the top of that really steep headland with the wind and the rain howling around.
    Such a long walk around to the shores of the lake to the beach from the caravan park except at low tide when you can easily wade across.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 22 April 2011 at 9:47 am #

      oh christina im glad youre out there
      otherwise i woulda thought i dreamed the whole thing up…
      much love steve

      • avatar
        Christina | 22 April 2011 at 10:58 am #

        Aah,love a bit of sarcasm first thing in the morning, Steve.
        Maybe you did…

        • avatar
          thetimebeing | 22 April 2011 at 12:40 pm #

          not sarcasm at all christina!!

          • avatar
            Christina | 23 April 2011 at 10:42 am #

            Nice to know that, Steve.
            Have a lovely Easter with your girls.

  27. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 April 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    Just happened to have ‘Igloo’ by ‘The Screaming Tribesman’ on whilst reading this blog for some reason…the chorus is kinda apt hey.

    Cheers,

    Jon from Geelong.

    p.s. Rip Margot…you summed it up with your last line… 🙁

  28. avatar
    verdelay | 21 April 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    You’ve conjured up that mood again, Illyrian. And then we appear, one by one by one.

    Just one more spell before the lady vanishes. Farewell Margot, farewell youth, fare-thee-well on your way to wherever you end up. Some of us shadow the line, others line the shadow. Farewell. She’ll be back here soon enough.

    For my Lady is the moon, she waxeth and wane, she rock and she roll. I love her. I really look up to her.

    The mood has taken me back again, and one by one we pop like bubbles from view.

    v

    V

  29. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 21 April 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    Can someone please give some advice, except for the obvious, for extreme insomnia. With all my medical challenges, I have developed the worse case. My chronic pain and my depression obviously contribute to my dire situation by my body clock is more than 12 hours off and I am freaking concerned of another hospital stay. I do not drive or engage in activities that could harm anyone or myself when the insomnia imprisons me. I miss my family and my angel Kristina (my sweet avatar) when I become bedridden. Forget drug recommendations, iv done them all and more. I was hoping someone, somewhere can help just a bit. And please no stupidity, this is serious and I get enough dumb advice from my brainless-apathetic doctors.

    AsAlways,
    Darrin K.

    • avatar
      Terry | 22 April 2011 at 11:04 am #

      Darrin – This particular product (Gaba Plus) helps me better than anything for sleeplessness, which wasn’t even my intent in trying it (can’t take during the day w/out fallin asleep at the desk)! An energy booster, yet instructions are to take at bedtime. One tab’s all I need – has me snoozin in no time – no grogginess in morn either. Can find at: botanicchoice.com (Energy-Boosters/Gaba-Plus). Hope things get better for ya.

    • avatar
      Lara | 23 April 2011 at 1:23 am #

      Darrin,

      I have no idea what to do about your insomnia, but you have my sympathies. Nothing is more essential than sleep. Have you tried going to a sleep clinic? I think those places try to focus on non-pharmaceutical remedies.

    • avatar
      bionicanna | 23 April 2011 at 8:02 pm #

      darrin, i’m sorry you’re dealing with insomnia and body clock problems. hopefully some of this will help:

      light:
      – as early in the day as possible, get in direct sunlight (or sun lamp) without sunglasses
      – after the sun sets, minimize light exposure, especially from full spectrum bulbs, tv, computer, phone etc
      – wear a comfortable sleep mask that blocks all light (even the light from an alarm clock can interfere)

      mealtime:
      – to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (for relaxation and digestion), minimize eating during the day and eat the largest meal at night (per the warrior diet)

      transdermal magnesium oil:
      most effective in a warm bath, but may also be sprayed directly on the skin (preferably the stomach). it may need to be diluted until tolerance is built up to avoid itching or stinging.

      thyroid / iodine deficiency test: hypothyroid / hyperthyroid / iodine defiency are major causes of sleep problems, and have become more common since the usa switched from iodine in baked goods to bromated flour, while many of us have cut back on iodized salt. 12.5 mg iodoral matches typical japanese intake, but the dose should be worked up to by gradually increasing kelp supplements. in some cases, iodine could make a thyroid problem worse, so a doctor should always be consulted.

      b12 / vitamin d tests:
      compare results to japanese standards, rather than the usa’s. the best absorbed supplements are methyl b12 (preferably sublingual) and d3 (taken with fat).

  30. avatar
    davem | 22 April 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Lovely words today sk. Thanks for taking me to places I’ve nevr been and will never visit.
    Another sunny day in blighty and I’ve been gardening more and more lately. As I’m getting older I’m taking increasing pleasure from nurturing the shrubs and flowers. It feels ok. Physical work feels good.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 22 April 2011 at 9:42 am #

      dear dave
      it makes me happy to think of you in the english garden with the mild albion sun
      and the flowers and shrubs
      physical work is good
      indeed i want to take you all to these places i have frequented
      as an englishman australia still floors me
      love on ya
      sk

  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 22 April 2011 at 2:23 am #

    ‘Lost Property’ by The Divine Comedy

  32. avatar
    Lara | 22 April 2011 at 4:45 am #

    White days. We have them here in the East, and I swear I will never get used to them. So oppressive, like concentrated boredom.

  33. avatar
    Andreas | 22 April 2011 at 5:03 am #

    Steve I have loved this post. So many times have I felt like this and was never quite able to put it into words, or even realize it.
    Again, I feel very close to you. I often feel these very same things you write here. I very often feel ashamed to write it down here as if it was some kind of weakness. Been very afraid of my own feelings, I’m afraid…:-) But it’s great to log in here and see that someone feels very similar feelings.
    Thanks for all,

    Andreas
    Genoa/Italy

    PS Pink Floyd fans: this one reminds me of Comfortably Numb “when I was a child, I caught a fleeting glimpse” etc…

  34. avatar
    caitbrid | 22 April 2011 at 7:54 am #

    This is stunning. Aslan sang the world into being–YOU sing lovely music into being. There is always evil but you counter it with your voice and it helps me and so many others. Margot died at Eastertime–as a Christian I think that’s the best time to go. Doesn’t assuage your grief though–you have to go through it.

    I got your mom’s book and have been thoroughly enjoying it. My parents read it too and it was like reading their own lives even though they grew up in the U.S. Please thank her for writing it–I do genealogy and I love reading memoirs! Happy Easter to you and yours especially to your mom!!

    XOXO Kathleen in Philly

  35. avatar
    andy | 22 April 2011 at 10:01 am #

    made me think of ‘days’…..
    same feeling as that tom verlane number.


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