The theme this week for Jon’s JVG Radio Method on 3RRR is “CLOSE“. Jon is obviously back to thinking laterally. It does keep one’s life “interesting”.

Ed Bates is in his usual spot on the backing slide guitar.

Click here to hear the poem [audio:JVG_Poem20081214.mp3]


Close

“Crikey – that was close” gasped “Rabbit” McGorry” as an arrow thudded into the ground
A hunting arrow with a sharp metal point, fired from the bow “Spanner” found

It was “Pig” Mills idea to take it in turns to fire straight up in the air
Stand close to where you guessed the arrow would fall – we couldn’t say no to a dare

“Squirrel” Tyrrell got within an arms length, a distance only a fruitcake could beat
But “Rabbit” who couldn’t put finger to nose, had that sucker land right between his feet

“Rabbit” was chuffed – a little shaken and stirred – a sneeze and he would have been dead
“You weren’t in danger” mocked “Pig” the malicious – “Nothing but bone in your head”

In that moment I thought of my teacher, a man who had plenty to say
He viewed teaching as a waste of his genius, and kids as a means to his pay

Ignoring the syllabus he’d waffle for hours on his theories on natural selection
“Survival of the fittest” seemed gibberish then, I was too young to make the connection

We’re talking grade five, no concept or interest in sermons on civilisation
“One percent of mankind drives the species forward, the rest towards annihilation”

As I watched that arrow speed towards my head and at the last everyone scatter
I thought of his words and I knew in that instant, we firmly belonged to the latter

With most to lose, the young take risks, but with age begin losing their nerve
Is youth really wasted on the young? or do the old get what they deserve?

At the ripe old age of nineteen Joan of Arc ascended to heaven
Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain and Brian Jones at twenty seven

Alexander the Great had invaded Persia by the time he’d turned twenty three
Though a breathtaking talent for destruction and slaughter doesn’t seem so great to me

By his mid twenty’s “Banjo” had written “The man from Snowy River”
Keats wrote more in his twenty five years than a hundred of mine could deliver

Sarah Miles Franklin wrote “My Brilliant Career” before she turned twenty two
Ruskin first published at seventeen, by sixteen Anne Frank’s life was through

Mozart produced his first symphony – around the time he turned eight
Ned Kelly, like Otis Redding, at twenty six was “The late”

Down at our end of the Gene Pool, we find genius a little bit suss
Rather than swim up to their end, we’d rather drag them down to us

Develop a treatment for cancer and few will ever hear of your name
But smashing, kicking or throwing a ball brings prestige, fortune and fame

You won’t find a T-shirt sporting Madam Curie or posters in bedrooms of Fred Hollows
But pump out a hit or star in a soap and bathe in the glory that follows

Is intellect the engine advancing our race? There are arguments both pro and con
I’ll wager it wasn’t an average IQ that developed the nuclear bomb

Bow and arrow or bomb, life is a punt, the rest is in the hand’s of the Gods
Maestro or moron, we all play our hands and at times we challenge the odds

That bow was the first of many gambles, and over years we left some behind
“Rabbit” and “Pig” kept dodging the arrows, but for “Squirrel” fortune wasn’t as kind

I occasionally ponder those faraway days, lullabies for a sleepless night
I recall my teacher and his pompous rants, he was wrong even as he was right

The passage of time has taught me restraint but has yet to teach me regret
I still have some arrows to fire in the air and we’ll see how close I can get

© Copyright 2008 Ian Bland

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