Vale EU

March 2, 2007 by  
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In my lecture on European Political Issues, the lecturer put up this image by Turkish artist Burak Delier, and then asked 12 people to describe the image using no more than three words.

After the first volunteer had to have it pointed out that “racist, terrorism, Muslim” was probably not the vibe the Turkish artist was going for, we were subjected to a bit of long-windedness. Terms like disestablishmentarianism, and supercalafraj – okay, they weren’t thrown about, but everyone was trying for those big, impressive words.

My favourite was ‘bandaid assimilation’. My favourite that is, apart from my own bit of three word self-congratulation.

Where the veil?

Unfortunately, I knew both the levels would be lost and my brilliance not recognised simply by saying the words, but neither could I write it out for people. Not surprisingly, “Where, that’s W-H, where the veil. Question mark”, also lost them.


Comment Poetry

January 21, 2006 by  
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I had not received any spam comments on this blog until December 20th. Since then? About 25 a day, but a healthy 277 spam comments came in on December 27th.

Where are they all, you ask? Well, thankfully WordPress has an option for automatic comment moderation based on the number of links. More than two links in the comment? It won’t appear unless I approve it.

I thought I would post here for your reading pleasure the three most recent spam comments. They all start out generally making sense, but then the drugs kick in.

I’m asking myself: How can it be that I’ve never ran through your site before? It’s a great one! when Table Steal Pair Play, Standard is feature of Collective Cosmos Round can Loose Mistery , Forecast Destroy Create – that is all that Game is capable of Astonishing is feature of Superb Corner

Hi. Just letting you know that I enjoyed your site. Profound is feature of Greedy Circle, Big Boy is always Lazy Soldier Good Cosmos Create or not , Faithful Grass Play or not Green is feature of Collective Table

Very original content. I really like your site. Destroy Game is very good Tournament, Circle will Gnome unconditionally Red Grass becomes Greedy Plane in final , Bad Stake becomes Tremendous Table in final right Table will Double Cosmos without any questions

The strange thing is all the links in the comments go to legitimate sites. I haven’t actually followed them, but I recognise links like, and Anyway, remember that for the future kiddies – if you’re going to link more than twice in a comment it might never be seen.

If you want any advice on comment spam, particularly in relation to WordPress, this post asks the question and gets relevant suggestions.


November 22, 2005 by  
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I wrote this on the 17th, while on the coast, exhausted at about 1am. For some reason I thought I needed to write poetry…. This is what I didn’t come up with.

Poetry flows.
Mine doesn’t.
Mind blocked,
no ideas,
i write gibberish.
A long, unbroken line breaks things up but makes not a lot of sense.
Call this poetry?
Poetry flows.
Mine does.
Mind opened –
Spewing gibberish.
Sense of lot a not makes, but up things break – a line unbroken, long.
Makes sense to me.
It flows.

For what, my dear friends?

October 28, 2005 by  
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That’s right. For what do we do it? What could it be?

Is it for a chance at eternity? Or the guarantee?

Maybe I could write a poem. And give it to you
For free.

It’s a strange thing, responsibility. And I hadn’t even planned for that one to rhyme. Ah well.

There’s always time. Time.
Time for a different course.

there is no time.


August 15, 2004 by  
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What have you read?
What have you believed?
What can I tell you?
Will it make you care?
What have I read?
What have I believed?
Do I care? If
You can save your mother,
Will you do it? If
You can save the world,
Will you do it? If
You can save a child in Africa,
Will you do it? How
Will you know who is suffering?
We don’t want to see
The starving,
The refugee,
The death of war,
The evil of corruption.
It cannot go unseen.
It must be changed.
The world must change.
You must change.

*This is the draft referred to in the last post that I had saved. It was the poem above I couldn’t find, somewhat essential.

I got a thing in the mail from asking if I’d like to make a submission for a new book of poetry. No, this doesn’t mean I’m a gifted poet who could make money from some perceived talent. Not at all. Generally I think it means anyone who writes what could loosely be called a poem, and posts it on their site (which I have done before with my other poems), will at some point have their “poetic talent recognised and considered for inclusion in one of the most important volumes of poetry ever produced“. I think those most important volumes come out every couple of months, each obviously more important than the last.

Anyway, on receiving their letter asking if I wanted to be included in the next life-changing volume of poetry, I wrote this poem and sent it in. It was a spur of the moment poem. I guess the proposed name of the volume was wishy-washy and feel-good, evoking images of a glossy cover featuring either kittens, flowers, cute babies or a gag-inducing combination of all three. I wasn’t in that mood. I don’t think the poem really carries anything particularly thought-provoking, and upon reading it again, I don’t like it that much, but they were some of the my first thoughts when I wondered, ‘will people think about things that really matter?’

I had forgotten about it until it was returned to me this week to check and sign off on its publication. But instead of returning it to them, it’s posted here, and here it stays.

What the?

July 31, 2004 by  
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The following are a few poems I wrote, mostly in 2002, when I had a certain urge to ‘express’ myself on paper. It hasn’t happened a lot since then, and I’d say the most recent of these was probably written early 2003. I put them here because I want a permanent record and, if I write any more, I’m likely to post them here so why not put down what I’ve done so far? I was going to hide them away at the beginning of the blog… Obviously I haven’t, and I’m still not sure why.

Missing Person
Accounted For
Beautiful Rain
Heart’s Abode
Tropical Recollection


July 31, 2004 by  
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I don’t want to talk about it.
I don’t want to know.
How do I make sense of all these
Ideas going through my head?
A myriad of jumbled words, translations, thoughts,
Experiences. Do they mean anything
At all? All somehow related with an
Indecipherable brainstormed spiderweb diagram.
Bombarded constantly by my minds own
Agenda to seek the truth. The word itself
Instantly conjures hundreds of avenues to be pursued. Struck
Dumb with the enormity of information presented and
Discarded for new so rapidly
Conscious thought alone cannot follow the
Path to conclusion. If I don’t understand myself,
How can I explain my logic to others?
I want to talk about it.
I want to know.
But who can understand?

I think this may have actually been written sometime in 2001. I’m not sure if I can explain it, which is kind of the point of the poem. Suffice to say, I have a hard time focusing on one idea. There’s never just one solid, concrete direction to take in thought process, and my mind sometimes feels like it’s spinning out of control trying to remember all the possibilities that came up so I can go back and think about them later. I’ll leave it there before I get into it.
What’s with all the poems?


July 31, 2004 by  
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You used to make me so happy.
What happened between us woman?
Now contempt replaces joy. Once
A smile, now a fleeting glance, your
Jokes now make me cringe,
Laughter, replaced by silence.

Silence. Woman, this isn’t what
I desired, affectionate misery. Why did
You push so hard? This isn’t what
I had in mind, your demands of
Unrequited love. What made
You want to test my affection?

Test? A TEST? All it has done is
Turned me away. From you. From love.
Your experiment result indicates
Only yourself. If my love must be
Tested, yours cannot be trusted…

I wrote this when I’d been going out with a girl for about 9 or 10 months. The relationship at that time was really on edge, and no, I wouldn’t say this poem really helped that. It wasn’t intended to express my feelings to her – more of a personal release – but she ended up seeing it (we lived together at the time). It would have been written sometime between February and April 2002.
What’s with all the poems?

Beautiful Rain

July 31, 2004 by  
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Teeming, pouring, drenching
Rain. Heavy, fat drops.
Rain you want to stand in.
Rain you want to drink.
Head tilted, mouth open, arms wide
Bring the rain so sweet. I want to
Run, dance, kick, splash! But
I can’t get outside. So I
Watch, and listen to, the
Beautiful rain.

Also written at Brisbane Airport while walking down the concourse, to catch the flight to Cairns I think… Anyway, all glass on both sides, and outside it was absolutely bucketing down. It was a little surreal, putting my hand on the glass and feeling the raindrops hitting the other side, combined with the muffled sound – trying to imagine being out in it. I can still remember being the only person in sight, just standing in a long empty concourse, looking out at a few planes on the tarmac. It was peaceful.
What’s with all the poems?

Tropical Recollection

July 31, 2004 by  
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Large raindrops fall
Softly from the sky. Their
Dappled rhythm slaps
Broad green tropical leaves.
I remember it now.
Dawn not yet broken, the
Looming clouds silently hold back the
Sun. Just a little longer, before
Cool rain turns to dripping steam.
Fern, mangrove and palm
Soak up the temperate reprieve.
Queensland comes rushing back.

This one was written at Brisbane Airport in September 2001, about a week after the 9/11 hijackings. I’d just arrived from the US after being away since May 1999 and was heading up to Cairns to surprise my mum for her 60th birthday. She didn’t even know I was in the country, so it was a pretty big surprise :) That’s got not much to do with the poem though. I was standing outside the domestic terminal next to the taxi rank, looking at palms and wet, luscious grass. I don’t think I’d seen so much green in all my time in Iowa.
What’s with all the poems?

Missing Person

July 31, 2004 by  
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My life. A boat,
Drifting over the ocean,
Meandering towards an unknown
Destination. There is a port,
Somewhere. I don’t know
It’s location, or even if
I’m going in the right
Direction. The waves push me
Where they will. I fight to
Control my vessel. How can I
Steer a boat when I don’t know
Where I want it to go? Who is
The wind? What do I call the waves?
They try to direct me, but
I reject them. I try to make
My own way, and get lost. Somewhere
I left my life behind. And I
Can’t go back and get it.

I’m not sure when I wrote this. It was at a period when I felt particularly helpless, and definitely before I became a X’n. Missing Person’s follow-up, Accounted For, was needed after I became a X’n and was written with joy and certainty, as opposed to the confusion and lack of direction that led to this poem.
What’s with all the poems?

Accounted For

July 31, 2004 by  
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My life. A boat,
Plowing through the ocean,
Steaming towards a promised
Destination. There is a port,
Where You will greet me.
I know its location, and I
Fight to stay on course.
You are my direction.
You are the wind.
You are the waves.
Always I felt your hand, guiding,
Nudging, pushing, shoving. But
I went my own way. In
My little dinghy I tried
To steer against the sea of
Your love. How could I reject it?
I cannot make my own way, or
I am lost. You are my direction.
I have left a life behind.
I will not go back and get it.

I’m not quite sure when I wrote this, but I really felt the need to answer Missing Person. Things had changed so much after I became a X’n. My life took maybe not a whole new direction but definitely a whole new focus. It would have been written after October 2002, but I’m not sure exactly when.
What’s with all the poems?

Heart’s Abode

July 31, 2004 by  
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Wet season. Dry Season. Coconut
Palm beaches and tall grass
Dancing across the rugged
Highlands. Home?
Burning summer. Brisk July. Heavy
Heat, rolling surf and the
Shock of frost at dawn in
Queensland. Home?
July furnace. Frozen winter. White,
Howling blizzard. Green cornstalks
Whisper by straight-shot highways of
Iowa. Home?
Lonely without. Joyful within. My
Life is for You. Always
There, is the grace and love of
Jesus. Home unceasing.

This was most likely written around Xmas 2002 or early 2003. As an MK (missionary kid), there was always thought, and discussion, about where you really felt ‘home’ was. It’s a hard thing to define, but since becoming a X’n it seems much less important. That’s what this was about.

The ‘Highlands’ refers to Papua New Guinea, where I was for about seven years of my life, but haven’t been back since I was thirteen. The ‘frost at dawn in Queensland’ is not a regular event, hence the shock when it happened because that meant it was really cold!
What’s with all the poems?

coconut coconutter Coconut, coconutter, coconuter, cocconuter, cocconutter, cocconut, cocconutt, I am David, NASA Coconut Spaceman, watch me dance, Philippiness Coconuter, Super big coconuts