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Retreading the amphitheater steps
To my accustomed contemplative space
To see myself again in the eyes of the Fates,
Who spin and measure and snip.

Instead of Oedipus and Iocasta,
Arthur Miller is the Muse whose Loman
Must my aging sense abuse and disabuse
If I but can.

Erikson sits here beside me, taking me along
The 8 staged declension or ascension of aging
And looks me square and says, "Integrity or Despair?"
While I am sitting here.

My students, nearing 20 years of age
See Hoffman's Loman strut and rage his memories,
Bemused they turn away as if to say this dreaming
Is for older men.

I am an older man, and I cannot deny the meaning
Of old Miller's play packs much more punch
Today than just a decade back, but I am driven
Once again to this assay.

I know the old hymn, "O When I Come to the End
Of My Journey," and I long to die in peace,
Hands folded in an easy rest, content in every thought,
At seeing God's own Hand.
In His integrity, I'll stand.
Love Death of a Salesman, but it cuts like a scalpel. Nihilism without Christ is inevitable.
December 2023
HP Poet: Marshal Gebbie
Age: 78
Country: New Zealand

Question 1: We welcome you to the HP Spotlight, Marshal. Please tell us about your background?

Marshal: "My name is Marshal Gebbie and I write under "M" or "M@Foxglove.­Taranaki. NZ". I am 78 years old and a native son of Australia. I came to New Zealand for a looksee with a pack on my back and a guitar under my arm, intended spending six weeks but absolutely fell in love with the Kiwi people and this magnificent little jewel of a country nested deep in the waves of the great Southern ocean of the South Pacific. I've now been here 54 years and counting. I married darling Janet back about 35 years ago and we produced two fine sons, Boaz and Solomon both of whom have great careers, wonderful partners...and in Solomon's case, produced a delightful granddaughter for us to love and spoil to bits.

From ****** agricultural college I went to the darkest, deepest wilds of Papua New Guinea as an Agricultural Officer, returned to Australia two years later to become a secondary college teacher in Ag Science. Easily the most satisfying profession of my life in that I succeeded in drawing the pearls of enlightenment from within the concrete mass of the, then, recalcitrant, brickheaded studenthood to realise the wonder of discovery, involvement and engender, within them, a genuine spirit of endeavour. Stepping off the boat in NZ I took a bouncers job in a rough public bar, three months later I started my own brand new tavern @ the Chateau Tongariro in the skifields of Mt Ruapehu.

Seeing a unique opportunity and with no money of my own I bought a derelict motorcamp in the small country township of National Park, named the place "Buttercup Camp" and set about making the enterprize one of the very first destination holiday venues in New Zealand. I pioneered paddle boat white water rafting on the wild rivers of the North Island, commercial adventure horse trekking in the wilderness trails, guided adventure hikes across the active volcanos of Ruapehu, Nguarahoe and Tongariro. Cheffed three course roast dinners and piping hot breakfasts for up to 150 house guests daily and initiated an alpine flightseeing business and air taxi service to and from Auckland and Wellington International to the National Park airstrip, a long grassy, uphill paddock liberally populated by flocks of sheep and/or herds of beef cattle.

Somewhere along the way I earned myself a Commercial Pilots Licence and owned, through the duration, 7 different aircraft. With the sudden fiscal collapse of tourism in the late 80s along with several inconvenient local volcanic eruptions, I divested myself from "Buttercup", moved my young family to Auckland and took up a 20 year lease of a derelict motel in Greenlane. Within three months I had converted the business into Auckland's premier truckstop providing comfortable welcoming accommodation, piping hot dinners and early breakfasts with the added bonus of a pretty young thing serving drinks in the bar....Super service with a smile for the nations busy truck drivers.
It worked like a rocket for ten years then the local matrons objected to the big rigs starting up at 4am and the Ministry of Transport and the Local Authority shut me down.

I worked the last 12 years of my serious working life as a Storeman and Plant Coordinator for a major construction company building motorways and major traffic tunnels in and under Auckland city and in rural Hamilton. I loved every minute of it all and objected furiously when they retired me at age 75.

Now I'm happily a Postman Pat in a little rural country town on the coast called Okato, have been for three years and shall continue be, gleefully, until they put me in the box. It has been a helluva run....and I wouldn't have missed a minute of it all."

Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Marshal: "Poetry started for me when I wrote a beautiful ditty as an exercise at high school.....and the caustic old crow of a teacher said, publicly,...."You didn't write this!" That got the juices flowing and set me off on the tangent of proving my worth as a writer....and I have never stopped."

Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Marshal: "Falling in love for the very first time kick started the took me years to mollify that. Since then and throughout life Poetry has hallmarked discovery, achievement, white hot anger, combat and delight!"

Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Marshal: "It is the medium of expression which allows the spirit to enhance and colour my world."

Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Marshal: "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Emily Dickinson, WL Winter, WK Kortas, L Anselm, Victoria (God Bless her), and a character, sadly long gone from these pages, JP. All favourite poets of mine."

Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Marshal: "With the slowing of my battered body these days I commit myself to my darling wife, Janet, our kids, now grown and living out there in the big wide world, and in growing and nurturing the truly magnificent gardens of "Foxglove" ......following the All Black rugby team and enjoying the serenity of a cut glass noggin of Bushmills Irish whiskey (neat), sitting in my favourite chair, watching the sun set in golden array over the grey waters of the distant Tasman Sea, far, far below."

Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to get to know you, Marshal! It is an honor to include you in this series!”

Marshal: "Greetings Carlo and thanks for the opportunity to unload on my fellow poets."

Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Marshal better. I learned so much about his fascinating life. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez & Mrs. Timetable

We will post Spotlight #11 in January!

Below are some of Marshal's favorite poems and links to each one:
Windwitch of the Deep by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
Running the Beast by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
Once, so wetly one. by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
Perchance, in a Bus Shelter by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
White, Foggy Days by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
Cheetah by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
Don Bouchard Dec 2023
Approaching customs, my father slowed the car.
"Time to eat! he said, and pulled us to the side.
He'd bought peaches from a fruit stand,
Forgotten they'd never cross the border.

Never one to waste, his plan unfolded.
We stood beside the car, peach juice
Trickling down our arms,
Falling at our elbows,
Gorging a delicacy turned to glut,
Making memories of forced generosity,
Gluttons of fruit, victims of parsimony.

My mother knew what was coming:
The cramps we kids would have
From smuggling peaches
In stretched bellies
Into Canada.
1968 or '74. One of two vacations to Banff, Canada....
Don Bouchard Oct 2023
Whitman looked down at nature,
Saw the grains of sand, the single blade of grass,
Reflected on the journeywork of stars,
Taking it all in, he let it all out his barbaric yawp
Across the rooftops of the world.

You are not forgotten, Walt.
Don Bouchard Oct 2023
Dad gave us pliers and their holsters --
Said, "Wear them when you come outside."

At nine and ten, we carried them,
Entering the world of working men.

I wore out pliers and holsters,
Bought new ones and wore out them.

Now several sets reside in treasured spaces,
In boxes and vehicles and other places.

These days seldom used, my pliers remind me
Of my growing up, of everything behind me.
Don Bouchard Sep 2023
We pray to align our minds to the mind of God
We read the Word to renew our minds;
The Word changes us,
Never the reverse.

Change the Infinite?
We cannot.

Manipulate the Almighty?

Make the straight our crooked path?

Creation cannot become Creator;
Though it bear His Image,
It is merely mirror,
Never Light.

Servants are we,
Never Master.

This the Way.
Meditations on the failures of human manipulations against the Almighty
Don Bouchard Sep 2023
Memories linger and arise…
Misty ghosts before our eyes.
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