My Nothing God

(Christmas 06 … a tribute)

my God is, well, like nothing
nothing’s of value
there’s nothing quite like nothing

when friends, fortune fade
and a pocket empty made
there’s still something
the golden coin nothing

nothing’s of value
and nothing’s more important
capitalise on nothing –

to gain everything

© Richard Scutter 12 November 2006


In Another Life

in another life I will whisk you away
in my red hot cherry Honda
to sip capo chino champagne at The Bakehouse
and we will act as though we are in love again
but today I have to peel the potatoes
and queen Rani beckons with her bark
and she is the one who must be obeyed
but I have a bone to pick with her
respect our blue-tongues or I will see red

in another life we will sip tea with oranges
talk of China and the taking of the train to Tibet
plan an oriental escape from Bridge at the Bay
U3A, Dante, Hell and Purgatory will all disappear
but in the meantime there are a few wrinkles in my shirt
and what is this funny mark on the iron
I haven’t seen that before!
I wonder how it could have got there
one of the great mysteries of civilisation

in another life we will pack the old hamper
buy endless varieties of sausage
find a secluded bar-b-que at Pebbly Beach
and huddle in winter Sun whispering nothings
but today is devoted to dusting and cleaning
did you know the vacuum cleaner was full
I have just noticed it
It’s just totally fascinating
discovering something new every day

in another life you will be here again
your smile will spread across my face
and laughter fill this empty room

© Richard Scutter 14 February 2007

The Ashes

well Australia keeps getting them
born in the wind from the high country
always seems to happen
maybe the hot summer
and the long drought, too much
poor England, simply no warning
no fire in their belly
couldn’t light a match
left out in the cold again
shivering five times shattered
and then back to bleak old England –
it just ain’t cricket

© Richard Scutter 10 January 2007

Footnote ….

the actual words on the Ashes Urn …

When Ivo goes back with the urn, the urn;

Studds, Steel, Read and Tylecote return, return;
The welkin will ring loud,
The great crowd will feel proud,
Seeing Barlow and Bates with the urn, the urn;
And the rest coming home with the urn.

Author Unknown

Australia Day 2007

following the discovery of Botany Bay by Cook
New South Wales was first established
under the equanimity of Arthur Phillip
with authority from Pitt, Lord Sydney and George III
due to over-crowded English jails
establishment of an experimental penal settlement

all were put in the same boat
from that first fleet of eleven
the convicts given a second chance
and soldiers, free settlers, sailors, allocated
equal rations, and a law that would be first
to protect a convict before a thieving soldier

and so over the years much has been achieved
from the federation of the States
to bloodied Diggers at Anzac Cove
continual Aboriginal recognition
and respect for the culture of extensive migrant intake
while prospering below the southern skies

so Australia and Australians
unite as one people, the
diverse voices of many make one note
ring out loud, to rejoice again
at the founding of this fair nation
and the rights of all its citizens

but today it is not a hulk in the Thames
but a hiccup in an alien land that
allows a man to lie naked
before a foreign power, exposed to
five years of violated rights –

the egalitarian spirit of Arthur Phillip
gives rent to a cry of shame!

© Richard Scutter 26 January 2007

Comment on Austalia Day 2007

David Hicks, an Australian citizen, has been incaserated in Guantanamo Bay for over 5 years without charges made. Responsibility has been abdicated relegating legal treatment to a USA military tribunal. Other countries in similar circumstances, including Great Britain, have protected the basic rights of their own citizens.

See fair-go-for David

See also Just Deserts

Flag waving ceremony ... Moruya NSW ... 26 January 2007

Something New

the 7am bus arrives at 7am
seated at the old backseat
as usual neat brown hair
sporting a beige business suit
she’s poised for action in haberdashery
but dreams of Paris and places far, faraway

it was about mid-afternoon
nobody but her heard the exchange
the till rang through every cell of her being
eyes sparkled excitement as the ticket hit home
a flowing pink patterned dress
danced down the escalator and out the entrance

a noisy magpie scuttles to a nearby branch
the sun breaks through early morning cloud
impatient people are waiting at the bus-stop
the 7am bus arrives late
the backseat is empty
the side-window open

© Richard Scutter 10 January 2007

Passing Time

(With apologies to King William)

yesterday, and yesterday and yesterday
the memories flood and drown
Why do I still live, stop the clock now
turn the key, lock my life
for those were good days
warm days of summer, never to return
a snapped album, faded roses
it is the story of history, told by a lover full of tears
lamenting a lost love.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle.
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


today , today, today
in marvelous paradise second by second
to the full cup of divine love
it is the way of all life
and the creation of eternity
where all our tomorrows have a new sun
aglow in sparkled light, forever shining.
it is the tale of a wise man, full of beauty and joy,
signifying everything.

Richard Scutter 12 December 06

Some notes in relation to time ...

Time is the moving image of eternity … Plato

We live in a perpetual present. Behind us we have our envisaged past; with us is our own confusing and imperative present, subject to compulsive expedient; ahead of us we have only our surmised future of unsure prophecy and expectation. With these we make our way, doing what we must and constantly bending to demanding necessity, while trying to hold fast to our best intentions.

Ray Parkin … The Bark Endeavour


Great Poetry

a diamond in the ground
a whisper sensed not heard
a kiss from lips unseen

the vein in the rock
the aha of all ahas

a fresh glass of water -
the articulation of life itself

Richard Scutter 24 October 2006

On a visit to Mum

I remember well the warmth of the morning
the sun brilliant in a clear sky
an early Spring blessing
all Sydney a dancing

we parked the car, pressed the button
to announce our arrival, gain access
to another world, Mum’s world
the closed world of the aged

so to her room and she asleep
in the final cell of her being
we sat until she stirred
her eyes opened registering
weeping involuntarily, we gave a tissue

she studied our presence while
trying to fold the tissue carefully like linen
then slowly formed her words …
‘you have a pretty face’
invoking her daughter’s response …
‘you created it Mum’

we walked her to a seat on the veranda
with others in various vacuous states
then leaving with a kiss implanted, we
turned to look back from the road

I remember the sun highlighting her face
she waved to us - like her old self again
being surprised by such vigour
it stayed in my mind, she still had
that touch of defiance

she wanted to say her goodbye
we departed for the crowded city
but for her, a new journey -
and Dad was waiting

© Richard Scutter 11 August 2006

Text of Note

(all art is repetition and variation)

a constant drone
a constant drone
a dreary drum
that beats one one

chorus … table 1 only

Text of note is noted text
The ups and downs
The ups and downs
The variation of the sounds

high and low
high and low
is of course
the way to go

Repeat Chorus … table 2 only

black oh black
I’m sick of you
I’ll go for green
all bright and new

Repeat Chorus … table 3 only

give syllables
a chance to rhyme
give syllables
a dancing time

Repeat Chorus … table 4 only

is a song to sing
make the text

Repeat Chorus … table 5 only

Pink Rock poets
sing from the heart
Pink Rock poets
play your part …

Repeat Chorus … all

© Richard Scutter 11 October 2006

The Healthy Worm

O worm, thou art earthy!
the visible flower
that shines in the light
of the bright day

has raised from thy bed
of rotten decay
and opened her face
from thy composted waste

Richard Scutter 3 August 2006

Census Day

(For the Census on 8 August)

visitors – even if you’re not here to stay
we’ll include you too on Census Day
Christmas Islanders we note
since 92 you’ve had our vote

those that have fled to a foreign shore
your number don't count no more
and people travelling through the night
we’ll snapshot you in your flight

person and dwelling go hand in hand
except the homeless adrift in the land
but we’ll figure out where your at
to reach your lonely habitat

across every city and every town
dwellings and people in Oz will be known
sex, age and other characteristics
will yield a range of detailed statistics

for political purpose and electoral ground
population numbers are shouted around
researchers know that this core data
is to minorities a Magna Carta -

figures formed from this day
will be used in a countless way

© Richard Scutter 9 July 2006


haiku is defined
as seventeen syllables
five seven and five

she wrote a poem
in seventeen syllables
to create high coup

his failed attempt
after much laboured thought
came to nought

© Richard Scutter 21 July 2006

More Haiku lines follow with no titles ...

flower unfolding
slow saunter to centre stage
flaunting her colours


a bright top spinning
her dramatic trailing dress
entrancing diamond


nuclear debate

Richard Scutter July 2006

Some Creature

(dedicated to a special friend)

A lion is proud
A cat self-centred
A dog fidelity
But U …
… U R U!

A tiger fierce
A monkey mischievous
And a lamb … bah bah
But U …
…. U R U!

U R quite some creature
rather hard to define

U R … well … U R
… but at least U R mine!

pure diamond of course
and blowing the mind

© Richard Scutter 15 July 2006

America Beautiful

the torn sky repairs
jet scream silence
searing desert diminishes
far behind the smouldering buildings
life left ruptured
stinking in the sun

her mother protected the shrapnel
her brother dead in the dust
but she still breathing
unknowing so much
at six months
and already lived so many lives

hate dictates
the gun her gospel
what will she know
of beautiful America
foreign from first breath
on a day of independence

© Richard Scutter 4 July 2006

Animal Accident

empty night road
stars with the moon off centre
talking of people met, then
bigger than a Qantas(1) tail plane
highlighted by car light
it was before the windscreen

inevitable as judgement day
Tony shouting Kangaroo
the brake screech
rubber hot into the road
and THUD!
shocked stillness

dark paddocks alongside
the parked car steaming
and we on centre stage
enter the evening chill
inspect the damaged bonnet
radiator intact and car driveable

Roo lying in right hand lane
motionless except a watery eye
alive to our movement
dragging the broken body
clearing the road for traffic
streaking her wet internals

our car disappears
the countryside reclaims the night
the grass verge cradles a dying animal

there will be no flowers

© Richard Scutter 19 June 2006

Comments ...

(1) Qantas - Australian airline

Accidents involving kangaroos are common in rural areas of Australia. An organisation called WIRES ... Wildlife Injurey Rescue Emegency Service exists to help any injured animal.

Kangaroos at South Duras NSW


(for the Pink Rock Poets – Dec 05 Meeting)

kill fatted calf
open the wine
bring out the silver
make it shine

ring up the family
all our friends too
we’re going to make
a right old to-do!

put on some paint
red shoes and tights
put up the tree
tinsel and lights

I’ve a letter from Jim
he’s made it quite clear
he’ll be home from Iraq
by the end of the year

© Richard Scutter 14 December 2005

Closing the Door

(for Maureen on her departure from Black Mountain School)

the door opens again
and with a reflective eye
from another room
that enormous space diminishes

then school took full focus
a life outside the public eye
always an uneasy internment
with each day different, yet the same

when early morning music
brought a certain comfort
chided the empty class room
the lull before the student storm

broken bodies and dismembered minds
constrained by circumstance
seeing a world strange, magical
forever changing, never understanding

as teacher accepting the errant situation
but setting standards with tolerance, love
to bring structure, modify behaviour
and hope for some respite

personal survival an achievement
where one was never sufficient
dependent always on support from others
while giving back to grow communal care

where student achievement pure survival
the skills to cope in daily life
a meaning to a life so different
always fragile this existence

but as this door now closes softly
light carries forward on the journey
memories to cherish with a smile
thank you all for the times we shared

Richard Scutter 28 November 2005

Maureen at a Crookwell Garden - October 2004

Red Hat

soft satin and velveteen
shiny glitter in between
ostrich feathers to catch the eye
look - ‘look at me’ you cry

brimming bright with face aglow
you are here to steal the show
you bubble by bright and sure
doyenne of the dancing floor

focal point for fun and play
for excitement head this way
and at the end of your twirling day
carefully you’re boxed away

© Richard Scutter 14 June 2006


Ulladulla Fun Run

(Easter Sunday 2006 - Blessing of the Fleet, Ulladulla)

bright autumn sun warms
harbour parking spaces
trestle-table procured
runners like cars collecting
at early morning traffic lights
stretch out the minutes
idle a conversation
change down for action

red shirted Ulladulla rats
bodies honed by discipline
sinewy and tough more weathered
than the decorated fishing boats
pit against fresh young limbs
eagerly chattering but not so seasoned
their smooth clean cut lines
unknown measure to the task

green light - and away
fast movers quick to tackle
the filter at the gate
while the cautious well heeled
slow to make the grade
watch the front line disappear
into headland track and bush
then the turn before the marshal

challenged by a female back
“If you can read this you are losing”
sends the body to overdrive
the corner rounded to a sighting
of stolid rat in steady stride
sufficient time to out-maneuver
show no mercy, hold the pace
down the pavement to the park

then everyone glad to be home
bodies dripping and talking fast
over-run or not, the run now over
fun remains for those with fuel
a red red-rat shakes hands
polite enquiry as to age
seniority justifying position
to next rat assembly invited

and the fleet bobbing in the background
unduly clean in their church best
bottoms slapping wet
still waiting for their blessing

© Richard Scutter 10 May 2006

Comments on Ulladulla Fun Run ...

The Ulladulla Rats a local running group with a red shirt uniform.


the inviolate temple
core of her being
a sacred sanctuary
built over a lifetime
impenetrable gold

the tent-door flaps
restless in the morning breeze
the fine membrane
silken shadow in the sun
memory to her being –

she has gone home

Richard Scutter 12 April 2006


if beauty be a word what be it

beauty itself, an image
perhaps a rose more beauteous be
if draped in dreams of good
precious things, bright, true and pure

distilled in morning mist
held in the still of evening
in quiet reflective moments
beauty makes beauty beam

if then it is a thought
it is the thought of you
all that you are
a word from which life doeth spark –

stars fly from the ember fire
in me again your glory glow

Richard Scutter 18 April 2006

Macquarie Garden, with bucket of roses courtesy of Denise - December 2004


(a personal reflection)

England England England
falling away
like a stone from a cliff

taking the plunge, 1969
at 22, in late August
seasons of mists already started
making the rounds, family and friends
before the ‘Galileo’ departure
and the leaving

Gran saying goodbye forever
and lasting many more years

Good-bye to...

Kunzle cakes, Corona, Tizer
Lyons individual fruit pies
a world of only Marmite
and jumble sales

Good-bye to village life, village people

across the common through the oaks
the child sweetshop beeline
to sherbert lemons, pear drops
nine-pence a quarter
top shelf chocolate éclairs
a rarity at one-shilling and a penny-halfpenny

and sugar mice, sweet cigarettes
wine gums, spangles and gobstoppers
the mouth watering changing of the colors

foreign coins in the vending machine
the guilty feeling lingering
long after the chocolate pleasure

the weekly bath
and leaving the bath water for others
cleaning shoes on the coal bunker
waiting for Mr. Baxter to cut hair
reading ‘Beano’

visiting relatives on Sunday afternoons
the interminable waiting
knowing every piece of china
the too familiar pictures

listening, listening, listening
to all the old stories

and the bowl of fruit not to be touched
but real afternoon teas
selecting from the cake stand
home made brandy snaps
cream from the dairy
jam spooned from silver

The Grove family, Dixson of Dock Green
The London Palladium, Desert Island Disks
Top of the Pops, Sunday papers
The News of the World

the family roast, Yorkshire pudding
thumb-print apple pie
white elephant pastry support
home made meringues, bomb Alaska
lard cakes, and suet
dripping and the dig for gravy
tinned peaches from Australia

set meal times, cooked meals
Monday mince, Tuesday chops
the rice pudding blanket
feeding the dog under the table

collecting cigarette cards
car numbers, football programs
even golliwogs from marmalade
bird’s eggs, blowing eggs
Auntie Len’s impressive collection

conkers and conker fights
combat with council estate kids
they running away shouting
we won the fight - we won the F I T E
elocution lessons

day excursions, stopping at the pub
a pint of best bitter please
beer-gardens and Babycham
Smiths crisps with the blue knot inside
pickled onions
pickled people back in the bus

the family week holiday
Budliegh Salterton, Devon red soil
sitting on flat pebbles, getting changed
avoiding the deck chair attendant
not getting tar on your clothes

taking the dog around the field
hazelnuts and crabapples
exploring hedgerows, pressed flowers
Father tying his scarlet runners

playing in the hay
the run-in with the farmer
the threatening pitchfork
Chris wetting his pants twice!

death in the village
drawing the curtains with the sun shining
the slow car procession
up the hill to the old church

Mother’s Wokingham pilgrimage
Grandpa and Grandma’s grave
pumping fresh water, flower replacement
reading names of new arrivals

inside the church quiet
through the heavy wood door, thick stone
disturbing the enclosed musty air
distilled through centuries

pub life at the ‘The Cricketers’
meeting place to village youth
watching local cricket
commentaries by John Arlott

playing with kids on the green
while darts and crib
Watneys red label, lager and lime
brightened the background twilight

accidents on the A30
the road that cut the village
a challenge to cross in summer
the constant London coastal push

the great danger of owning a motorbike

squirrels and wood pigeons
shuffling through leaves
fogs, bonfire night, jumping jacks
rugging up, defrosting hands
the welcome fireplace
roasting chestnuts

making decorations
gathering holly, the preparation
the expectation

in the evening the family gathering
with Uncle Norman on Violin
Molly at piano and all trying to sing
while Denis orchestrated
the festive joviality with his words

and then the snow falling
falling across the village
falling across fields and homes
watching the flakes, massing together
slowly entrapping, changing the world
the first thick fall of Winter

... then stepping out
to a new world
before the yellow and the slush

England England England
falling away
like a stone from a cliff . . .
and never reaching the bottom

Richard Scutter 12 April 2006

The Cricketers and Cricket Ground - Hartley Wintney - Hampshire

Beware the Ides of March

inconsequential words
dismiss before heard

or pertinent warning
prediction spawning

superstition by the clock
pure plain poppycock

or helpful confrontation
on inside information

snakes cross unseen
the path that has been

corners disappear from view
a car-crash unknown to you

decide a different flight
don’t watch the news at night

journeys through the red sea
without thought for safety

so Caesar sighs
on the day after he dies –

perhaps it better for me
to have heeded his plea

Richard Scutter 8 March 2006


didn’t he have anything to do
was there nothing on TV
just totally bored
that same old nothingness

day after day when there was no day

or she with nothing to do
and no one to chat with
minutes the usual endurance limit
imagine a deadly endless silence

then one hell of a BANG!

she sure dropped something
what was she creating in the kitchen
he must have fallen from his rocking chair
what was he dreaming about

so all the clocks started ticking

and that firework display
what a sight it must have been
nothing ever like it before
nothing ever like it again

so everything started to end

the champagne imperceptibly getting flat
the endless multitude of bubbles
fading away like a long slow goods train
to halt at a nowhere destination

perhaps not so
for all the little bangs
far greater than that initial burst

in a garden always changing
a flower continues to unfold

Richard Scutter 11 January 2006


Apostles Considered

were these the last
struggling children from
the deep who told to hurry
dallied, never made it
sea-God caught by feet held fast
in the broiling swirl and burl
while mother earth laments her loss
they stand waiting

or the first eager children
to brave the waves of early summer –
‘hey - come join us,
the water’s great!’
but mother earth knows her place
does not budge
while the children continue to call -
‘come on, come on!’

Richard Scutter 25 October 2005

The Apostles

From the viewing platform Port Campbell National Park Victoria - October 2005

Sacred Ground

(for Vlado, family and friends of Trent)

defined by blood this place
Spring air taken away
the lights set red

they came late Saturday
to an empty intersection
the outpouring of grief

messages and tied flowers
personal tributes, names
a photograph - their memorial

but more than a name was left
ingrained in the ground
the lights set red

Richard Scutter 25 September 2005

Memorial at Traffic Lights - Batehaven

Partnership Play

partner, partner – a clever bid

opponents now are forced to four
they will be hard pressed for one trick more

. . . four cards to play . . .

Declarer has two more to get
partner’s partner starts to sweat

contract is cold – ice cold

declarer has club ace and queen
with the king caught in between

unbelievable - squandered his entry

now he’s in a right old fix
he can’t make his two club tricks

partner wins the ace of spades

partner - I can rely on you
partner - you know what to do

partner slowly places a card upon the table

a club, a club - a club is led!
my club king is sandwiched dead!

partner, partner – that’s not clever!

partner’s partner sends a frown
and our Bridge goes falling down

© Richard Scutter 20 August 2005


No inference should be made from this poem on the nature of current or previous Bridge partnerships.

The Peace on Terrorism

this nuclear body explodes
every cell of being radiates
all out war
head stars shoot
hit at hate
flamed from the invisible blood line
that threads through all the ages
sacred servant to the three wise monkeys -
in incessant metamorphosis
the pallid sun greys out
a flurry of snow falls
silently touches
the snarled face of winter
momentary contact
then dissolves as tears
the soft kiss continues
blanket and bandage -
bringing light

© Richard Scutter 6 August 2005

The Dome - Hiroshima

The 6 August 2005 was the sixtieth anniversary of the falling of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Brain Surgery

(for John(1) with apology)

Are you sure?
It is the best choice, we have all agreed.

Have you thought everything through?
Lying here in this ward has given me plenty of time.

Has everything been explained?
I know all I need too.

Are you happy with the surgeon?
We have shared several hours together.

And the pain?
That is behind me.

Are you frightened?
I was at first, but not now.

And when you wake up ...?
I will still be me, that will never change

Anything else to do?
No, I have done everything.

It is time to go?

I’ll see you tomorrow?
You will be with me.

(1) At the time of writing this Q&A poem my friend John Paice was undergoing serious brain surgery. This conversation is ficticious. For John this was not an issue. He was a strong christian and new that he would never lose his 'being' whatever the outcome from the surgery.

John died in March 2006 ... the long personal journey of his fight against a brain tumour is articluated by his family on the following site ...

© Richard Scutter 15 June 2005


Sunday Church

they drink cappuccinos
with legs crossed on a vacant seat
watch through the traffic
smile sips smile

hand in hand in pocket
a couple crosses the park
kick at a passing ball
carefree glances

a group on the touch line
is engrossed in the game
an unexpected goal
promotes a joyous hug

while across the bay
a sudden change of tack
her face meets fine spray, laughing
she dangles her hand against the water

all gathered in his name

© Richard Scutter 19 May 2005

Edge Walk

(based on a walk led by Meredith McKinney - Two Fires Festival – Braidwood 21 March 2005)

between Budawangs and Little River
scratchy soil on dry eastern rocky ridge
where hip-high she-oaks(1) hide the way
and rare boronias(2) bloom
we gather to walk with Meredith

she came here thirty years ago
the moving image of her words
confronts our current view
no major fires have ravaged
early wet years then continual dry

the scars left are from man and mining
mercury poison dissipates
growth claims back vacant diggings
old shafts provide shelter for ferns
and EDGE(3) itself designed to fit this framework

we walk down from the ridge
ancient rock speaks from the slope
unknown meaning except perhaps old Nellie(4)
last of her tribe to walk this land
who feasted on mussels from the river

we stop where the family once camped
to join the bush, swim in the rock pools
and sensitive to the tent print left behind -
today the water is out of sight
but cupping hand to ear there is a chatter

Meredith reads the poem River Bend(5)
wattle caught in autumn sun
white eucalypt stands by Black Sallee(6)
then we pause, turn, walk back up the ridge
while the azure kingfisher darts upstream


1 casuarina nana 2 boronia rhomboidea
3 EDGE dwelling designed to mirror mining structure
4 Nellie last of the ‘Braidwood Tribes’ part of the Yuin people
5 River Bend – Judith Wright poem
6 eucalyptus stellulata - distinctive brown trunk

Richard Scutter 21 April 2005

Comments ...

Meredith McKinney is the daughter of well known Australian poet Judith Wright. She took us on one of her mother's favourite walks from the valley crest to the river. She read some of her mother's poems including 'River Bend'.

Edge was the property of Judith Wright and is currently used by the ACT Writers Centre. It is on the Mongarlowe road a few kilometres from Braidwood NSW and lies between Little River and the Budawang Range. Briadwood has since been declared a heritage village.

The following images were taken at the time of the walk ...


(Right) Meredith McKinney reading Judith Wright at the family campsite.

The top of the ridge, start of the walk

Little River from the Mongarlowe road

After Tsunami

no home
children, laughter

no call of my name

only this silence

locked in my skin
thoughts fixed on you -

numb movement
in the shell of your being

© Richard Scutter 15 January 2005

Sophie Says

not a little
but a lot
to those sensing
any sound

occasional burp

I’m in baby heaven
my bar-lady
makes a double
no barman can emulate

soft soporific sounds
a sigh
slide to sleep
shut eye

so so good
sophie says
so so good –
but dreams of chocolate pies!

Richard Scutter 25 December 2004

Sophie Juliet Scutter - First Christmas - Dreaming of things to come

Wedding Clock

(for Craig and Kathleen)

two hands join now
on this mutual face
the world take notice
of this time

each will move apart
on separate hourly round
but always
come back -
be together

© Richard Scutter 20 November 2004

A Lark Awakening

brown feathers curled into a body
folded in the form of night
I have an unknown friend
hidden in the mystery of the mind

unexpectedly I stir
in that still hour
before dawn dissolves the memory
a call to communion

so sweet this voice
that sharpens all my senses
why do I hear my name
do I deserve

such an understanding -
caught in the seamless beauty
of your song
my soul sings

© Richard Scutter 4 September 2004


Just Deserts

she said ‘she didn’t deserve that’
I didn’t know her
heard her speak
wanted to share words of fun
I thought she’d appreciate
there wasn’t understanding
our brief encounter
showed such sensitivity
her pain searching
for sympathy -
got me thinking

of getting just deserts
when working guts out
and not achieving
fair go but
at Guantanamo Bay
understanding unfair spin
and how to cope
with the extremes
no respect or decency
no justice in the day . . .

put the paper down
talk about off with the fairies
they’re coming tonight
you didn’t hear a word
for dinner
fairly happy with entrée and main
suggestions please
of what to give them
I hope you’re going to help
that’s all I’m asking – just deserts

© Richard Scutter 31 August 2004

Lily Remembered

Lily lies here
little Lily
Lily’s little lies

Lily lies below
living lied a little
lies a lot now

© Richard Scutter 23 June 2004

Comments on Lily Remembered

This is a totally contrived epigram - a short poem dealing concisely with a single subject which usually ends with a witty or ingenious turn of thought.

I know no Lilys so to all the beautiful lillies of the valley - sweet dreams.


so far away, in those days
aunts, uncles, afternoon Sunday teas
having to wait, listen
to be patient and proper
the fruit bowl on the table
a little jaded, still, always out of reach
how times have changed
a different measure
fruit soft, ripe
the taste now seeps into our being

© Richard Scutter 7 June 2004

Autumn on Mount Painter

still autumn morning framed in
cold rarified light the
ground falls before my eyes as
distant traffic murmur far below
gives quiet movement to life and
promotes an inner peace

from this soul footstool
clouds sift to vapour and
silver birds fly in
suspended movement while
far-off, poplar trees stand
dignified in partial undress

the world becomes
surreal, inconsequential

© Richard Scutter 21 May 2004

At the top of Mt Painter - Autumn 04 (with Jack and Rani)

Deceptively Receptive

deceptively receptive
the invisible mellifluous spider web

held my hand gently
that came to strike

and with the sound of the first chime
about to ring

sensation through each cell of her being,
or so I thought

mention was made of the garden
and all the work to be done

© Richard Scutter 5 March 2004

Awake My Love

take my hand a bird is singing
golden touch of light is ringing
morning breathes above the sea
promise kept for you and me

gentle wind is slowly lifting
misty cloud a veil uplifting
voices rise into the day
give response to what they say

strive to serve to love the living
gift on gift enhance the giving
whisper softly in my ear
precious words I need to hear -

now evening rain is softly falling
kissing both our love and loving

Richard Scutter 18 April 2004
(Amended April 2013)

Early Morning at Casseys Beach Batehaven NSW - April 2004


wrought by passion and experience
a statement
part of person
left drying in the sun

seeks to share
in carefully chosen words
seldom sufficient -
an understanding incomplete

© Richard Scutter 30 November 2003

Comments ...

Perhaps the value of poetry is in the ear of the beholder. A quote from John Keats ...

The genious of poetry must work out its own salvation in man ... (or woman of course)

Words Alone and Poets Are also explore the nature of poetry.

The poem POETRY was modified after a comment from Canberra poet Anne Edgeworth. I had the priveledge to share a morning with her at her Canberra home at a meeting of the local Doonkuna poetry group.


Early Morning Run at Batehaven

open the door quietly as you do up a shoe
no light is needed; you know what to do
close the door quickly before there’s a stew
reach down and tie the other one too
skip down the steps to the grass and the dew
open the gate - it opens to you

you’re king of the morning of the dim empty street
homes with front gardens are edge to your feet
start moving slowly the cool air is sweet
far now forgotten the warmth of the sheet
you acknowledge another’s ‘Good Morning’ greet
hi John and hi Jane and I think that’s old Pete

cross the road carefully to a track between trees
providing a path through littered gum leaves
while high overhead there’s a hint of a breeze
it moves with your body and bends with your knees
then all of a sudden you announce a sharp sneeze
the hanky’s not handy but your shirt has two sleeves

out from the bush back to busier homes
suburbia stirs as you stir up some stones
children in school clothes and disinterested gnomes
an elderly lady in bright purple tones
while downward strides make mask to the moans
of those tiring muscles and aging old bones

cross the park to breathe the beach and the sea
the soft sand and sun sap away energy
inquisitive dogs decide to roam free
you join them and share in their found liberty
the beach is the place, the best place to be
but it’s right at the road to end the journey

up the home hill, you’re glad there’s no more
come the last corner, you slow but you’re sure
another runs done, one more to the score
another runs done and you’re done to the core!
you swing open the gate; a note’s pinned to the door
‘gone shopping today, be back about four’

© Richard Scutter 10 October 2003

Published - ACT Veterans Athletics Newsletter November 03

Corrigans Beach Batehaven, early morning October 2003

Drought at Lake George

Lake George is dead
more a case of a passing
slowly at first
then swiftly, gone

years ago
it was another story
bird-life endeared the eye
water and sky sang in soft harmony

now the relentless sun continues to suck
drill burns the core
cracks, breaks
opens the wound

old fence-posts stretch the expanse
stand dying in the distance
nothing moves, only cicadas
shrill the vibrant heat

the puff of breath on the horizon -
a passing premonition

© Richard Scutter 17 November 2003

Lake George, evening November 2003


Here is another face on Lake George from 'Somerset Poet' A. K. S. Shaw ... inspired after reading the above ...

(during the Australian summer drought of 2002/03 Lake George completely dried up)

Once you slept beneath the bright stars, moonlight
bathed your skin, and wayward curls were wafted
by a gentle breeze across your stranded brow.

When at length the silver dawn drew back
the velvet coverlet, your sparkling laughter
filled my eyes with light. I stood upon the edge

of paradise and watched a flock of angels
skim along the shining surface of your smile,
filling the heavens with their coloured wings.

But now, alas, Fate has etched deep furrows
down your hollow cheeks, the harsh desert
has drawn the last tears from your blue eyes,

and on a bed of dry rock, the heartless sun
burns away your countenance. As every
feature turns to dust, who dares believe

that some day, far beyond this arid plain,
a softer light we sense but can’t explain,
will find again the sparkle of your smile.

A. K. S. Shaw July 2006

When Lake George is 'reborn' an image will be included below.

Words Alone

(using a story attributed to Coleridge)

poetry must be pure
use words alone
and nothing more

they walked up great Clyde Falls way
then thunderous water
soaked their day

he gazed intently, looked for clues
but couldn’t think of what to say
for any word was bound to loose –

but if one word he had to choose
sublime’s the one
the one to use

she too was mesmerized by might
such waterpower
such a sight

but pretty was the word she used
pretty defined her pretty views
pretty matched her pretty shoes

he wished she’d used another word
then much more beauty
he’d have heard

perhaps it was mere female ploy
to move to her
his thoughts destroy

but poetry to be pure
use words alone
and nothing more -

the images that they convey
color only in this way

© Richard Scutter 23 March 2003

Comments on Words Alone

No images of course, there should be no comment too so ignore this.

The Sun

The sun is a star dominating the whole of the solar system.

The sign shows a red half sun rising
it heralds a public house and stopping place
the motion of the car changes
the eager eyes of two children take notice
it is the start of the pre-match refreshment ritual

The backseat becomes an impromptu playground
cellophane biscuits are marked M and D
Meredith and Drew, Molly and Denis, Mum and Dad
waiting for the Saturday afternoon to continue
with the expectation of the game ahead

In Bradford a hoarding compares in halves
a drab couple wrapped in cold and rain
changed smiling by the light and warmth of the Sun
a ten-pound transference for the taking
now distanced by the demands of daily life

Then in that year summer came to Yorkshire
the moors sang below clear skies
a foreign heat burnt at the city’s dirt and grime
cleansing rays poked at every building and
windows were forced open to welcome fresh air

In Australia the same sun has a sharpened face
gentle rays now strike at the heart of life
scorch across the vast landscape
gum and scrub cannot escape a firing
offering a sacrifice for renewal

The fast fall of the antipodean evening
sends the seared shadows deep into the night
but in an eternity of seconds
darkness breaks by faith
bringing again the brightening rays

The sun supplies the energy to continually create life.

© Richard Scutter 26 July 2003

Morning Sun, dining Room Macquarie Canberra August 2003

He was

he was one of those men
we hadn’t long gone on our way
on our holiday, no more than a few k, when
“you know I think I’ve left the iron on”

I bet the thought had probably
been born before the letter box
too lazy to linger and
idly mentions now for my amusement

“Well it’s too bad!”
the subject flatly terminated, but -
you know it made me think of things
things that I had not forgotten

then four days later
when we were on the river cruise
while my mind was with the sun and water
“you know I think I really did, -
- I think I really did you know”

such irritating inanity
simply an inability to see -
“Look some children on the shore are waving -
come and wave back to them with me”

a happy holiday has happened
and the week is soon to sleep
our last night out and out to dinner
tomorrow will be a journey through the rain

then while waiting for desserts and
glinting with the sparkle of his glass
“You don’t know what I’m about to say!”
well, of course, of course I know!

then moves close and gives a kiss
he was one of those men - I miss him

Richard Scutter 18 March 2003

Waiting For

the hand to chime the clock
“next please”
that perfect person
a baby to be born

children not to be children
friends to frequent your home
the dog to drop the ball
a smile from your mother’s face

the station to stop the train
the door to know the knock
the phone to pose a question
computers to request a response

ads to puncture your program
your team to touch the top
the kettle to sing its’ song
the sun to remove the rain

traffic to bring you a break
time to take in yourself
that wonderful feeling
winter spring summer autumn

words to trigger thoughts
this waiting to end
the waiting to start
a new life to begin

the final whistle to blow

the very last word

© Richard Scutter 1 July 2003

Comments on Waiting For

Well what are you waiting for ... go make the ubiquitous cup of tea.


'Just do it'... on second thoughts don't just do it ... do it with style ... do it now.

Pressing the Button

all clear
safety cover lifted
talked to others
willing the
not so willing
enough! - discussion dead

simple solution
improved correction fluid
… painless pinpointing …
wipes clean
ending fear
just br … ush here ...

the paper’s burning
it’s on fire!

© Richard Scutter 19 February 2003

Another Poem ...

... replace Korea with Iraq.


Why are they lying in some distant land
Why did they go there
Did they understand?
Young men they were
Young men they stay
But why did we send them away, away?

Small Dreams of a Scorpion, Spike Milligan - 1972

... known more for the Goon Show that for other work

Poets Are

lovers of cats who
create in cozy comfort as
they contemplate their
word collections closely

methodical classifiers
neat and correct to
the core of their creations
prompt, precise, perfidious

park their personal slippers
in the most appropriate of places
catalogers and custodians
of the finest of the fine

dog lovers that dither
dirty, disgusting in their daily domesticity
bohemian borrowers leaving books
beneath breakfast bowls

authors of graffiti gracing
grey begrudging buildings
frolickers of the gutter
who grope in their grubbiness

producing profound ponderings
in-between all their pandering
beholders and believers
faultless to the faith

female and male
one plus two and more –

you and me - refiners of reality

© Richard Scutter 20 February 2003

After Sunday Lunch

words tap the shoulder softly
seek recognition
recede into drowsiness

fortunately return
at a more convenient hour
when someone is home
the mind less a mess

surely the important ones
rise to rekindle the original thought
the striking of a match
which fails at first attempt

I have this firm conviction
that the second showing
will be far brighter than
the flame that did not form

so sitting back with a yawn . . .

I offer no excuses –
for remaining at rest

not picking up a pen
keeping the page pure

. . . for falling
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . fast . . .

© Richard Scutter Monday 17 February 2003

At Batehaven ... August 2001


still early morning light
seeks to reaffirm the stirring soul by
gentle reflection,
acknowledging another day
of beginnings

recalls things due, the
resumptions from unfinished days, and the
unknown that greets the unfolding
moments already moving
to noon and the afternoon

focus now fixed, on
jobs attracting attention, totally
absorbed in the detail
time terminates in the
enormity of simple seconds

tasks completed are left, to
efface tomorrow but first
are trapped in the mind,
remembered and relived,
reflections flicker a fading day

eyes shutter the memory, the
questions demanded, only
returning uncertain answers, prompting
a search of scattering fragments to
distill a meaning and suggest a hope

Richard Scutter 10 December 2002

Comments on Today

There are no comments on Today. Robert Frost said a poem should need no explanation. However, isn't a poem or a painting more enjoyable if some contextual information is known.


I cannot see you as
you knock upon my window
I try
all I have
my eyes
and try as I may
I do not see

I know you cannot hear me as
I picture at your door
you try too
all you have
your ears
and try as you may
you do not hear

in the silence of this dark
together we wait to touch
of our unawareness

but in the motion of my silent voice
you say you can imagine
you say that you are able to
see what I mean

your insight may be enough
to reach beyond
to close my night
for dawn to slowly break

© Richard Scutter 15 August 2002

Some discussion thoughts on Empathy

All experience is unique. We only see with our eyes, hear with our ears – wherever we go. So can we ever really understand another person.

This is illustrated in the personal encounter between two people by denying a sense to each person (sight and hearing respectively). Stanzas one and two illustrate this sense of isolation. Knock on door is replaced by knock on window, picture at window replaced by knock on window.

Stanza 3 shows the awareness of this separateness. How can sight communicate with hearing? What is the key to bridging the gap? A third sense is needed (touch). How important is touch?

Perhaps imagination is the key to understanding or pretending to understand another. By trying to see for another person (see what I mean)?

The desire for communication may promote a new consciousness, a birth of a new understanding?

How does consciousness grow between the communion of two people? Does 1 + 1 = 3 or more.

Birthday Bill

for Bill Mahoney's 50th Birthday

we know not the origin,
the time when -
the cartoon was forged in another hand.
but as the pieces are given, one by one
to form the vision splendid, we

appreciate this craftsman as he works
the glories of his glass, into
each colored contoured part
filling another anniversary, and
reflect on

days measured
by the cutting of the pane
the seeing through the stain
the colors that now remain
fifty fold

© Richard Scutter 18 October 2002

Bill Mahoney ... master leadlighter ... 1 June 2003

In Gratitude

Sylvia Plath 27 October 32 – 11 February 63

time to stir the blue water
a fixed star radiates
the coffin lies wide open
time to forget the idle prattle
a soft peace wind comes from afar
there is a sound
the indefatigable hoof-taps flame
all else is lost
an angel descends

© Richard Scutter 27 October 2001

Comment on In Gratitude ...

This poem was included in a posting to the Sylvia Plath Forum on 27 October 2001 explaining how I gained an interest in poetry and my introduction to Sylvia Plath's work.

The following is a link for those interested in reading the post ... Sylvia Plath Forum

Of interest ...

Someone sent the following anonymous Post to the Forum at the time of what would have been SP's 70th Birthday ...

The swans are gone. Still the river

Remembers how white they were.
It strives after them with its lights.
It finds their shapes in a cloud.
What is that bird that cries
With such sorrow in its voice?
I am young as ever, it says.

-Sylvia Plath, March 1962

Happy 70th Birthday
Of all the words of mice and men...

From SP's earlier writing ...

In 1949, SP and another student from her english class, co-authored a published response to an article in The Atlantic Monthly. The article was titled "A Reasonable Life in a Mad World" and stated that modernman must rely on the ability to reason to further society. SP's response argued that ... beyond reason, one needed to connect with and embrace inner divinity and spirituality to fully live.

SP you are fully alive

One number less

(ABS ... Sept 69 - Feb 83 and Jun 87 - Feb 02)

one number more
one number less
onwards moves the ABS

in need of numbers
two structures stand, straight and clean
the glittering glass caught in-between

one number more
one number less
time to move the ABS

freed from former concrete cast
office numbers now
in ordered fashion flow

one number more
one number less
onwards moves the ABS -

but THIS NUMBER must new paths progress.

Richard Scutter 31 January 2002

Cameron Offices, Belconnen Wing 6 from the rear carpark ... early morning December 2002

Comment on One Number Less

This poem was included at the end of my retirement statement when I left the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2002. At the time of leaving the Bureau had started to move to new offices close by. The weekend that I retired was the weekend that my Section was due to move.

The old Cameron Offices are a solid concrete structure of nine wings. They have significant architectural merit and have not yet been demolished.

I am happy to report that the Ginninderra Handicap Run, which I managed for 12 years, is still running along.

A gift given by the Section was The Collective Poems of Judith Wright and a CD with the Macquarie Dictionary.


May 1984 – December 2001

there’s a hole in my garden
there’s a hole in my heart
for Tessa has gone
and now we’re apart

but I’ll fill it with memories
of the times that we knew
when the sun would shine brightly
and a bone you would chew

you will live in my heart
to the end of my day
you will wag your tail smartly
with me you will play

there’s a hole in my garden
there’s a hole in my heart
but Tessa’s still with me
when I hear a bark

Richard Scutter 15 December 2001

Tessa and Judy Floriade Canberra September 1988

Trash and Treasure

the sea sighs
stretches out a hand
returns to move fingers through the same glove
dry sand shrinks
the trailing thread line links

across the amber as far as it can touch this time
depositing debris
wrapped presents
wait with stone and shell
in the drying brightness
camouflaged for creation

footsteps stop
two children undo
something of value
left behind

Richard Scutter 25 December 2001

Judy and Brian Towoon Bay NSW 1984

Comment on Trash and Treasure

... 'to leave some treasure' ... well over to you Judy, Brian ... Sophie and ...

Towoon Bay near Gosford has special significance. Maureen's maternal grand-parents (Emily and Len) retired to live here and Maureen can remember visiting them as a child.

Passing Love

blue and silver
fish and sea
you and me

blue and blue
gone away
sad today
Richard Scutter 15 March 2002

Comment on Passing Love
This simple poem did take some thought and was used in an exploratory paper on the way thinking and words relate to the imagery of a reader. The words are readily understood but the associative reflex are another matter, so too the attendant emotive response.

Infinite Glory

I let your beauty
touch my mind
and stand stunned,
in awe.

Eternity comes
and goes,
and still I gaze
in wonder.

My cup fills over
and tears of joy
distill as rain
as a silver mist.

You are here today,
tomorrow, forever
bringing new life,
creating all that is good.

© Richard Scutter

Comments on Infinite Glory

Many images can be associated with the words. I have not included an image on purpose asking the reader to form their own based on their first encounter with the text.

As a religous poem this was written in response to ... 'the angels are in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory' I had originally included an image from the Shroud of Turin.

It was written for Easter Sunday 2002.

The poem has also been produced using the first line as the title ... I Let Your Beauty

Maureen ... from an early studio portrait

Francis Bacon's essay on beauty starts by linking virtue to beauty ... both go hand in hand.


limited access fees apply
sponge for stray sperm
she wipes herself clean
for him payment starts

Richard Scutter 30 March 2004