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George Raitt Jun 19
Imagine returning from the Crusades
With enough money to build
A grand stone house, so far
In the mountains that conflict
Could never find you again.

Sitting in this courtyard,
On the uneven flagstones laid
Long ago, I like to think
They succeeded, at least
For a generation or two.

But history tells us
You can run, but you
Cannot hide. So we who hide
Must return to confront
What is happening
In the world.
Robert Louis Stevenson toured the Cevennes with. Donkey. We took a Peugeot 208.
George Raitt Jun 16
In a still night under southern stars,
Sleeping in a rough farm shed,
From neighbouring farms
Across the valley, the dogs bark.

In our home city, the sound
Of trams rattling down the road
Blends into the background noise.
But next door, the dogs bark.

In this city, both ancient and new,
With moonlight streaming
In our window across the tiled
Rooftops, the dogs bark.
George Raitt Jun 9
A string of meaningless words,
Repeated endlessly,
Can be visual art, it seems.

In 1942 Gorgio Mirandi painted
A still life of a cup and a vase
Because they were there,
And reflected light.

A string of meaningless words
Can be art criticism, it seems.
And may even be poetry?

But string is real:
Tied around my finger,
I feel it and remember.

Stone, glass and steel is real,
If you can touch it,
Otherwise it could just be
An illusion.

The finger prints and DNA
Of all of us who touched
The rusted steel installation,
Despite the signs, are real,
Though you cannot see them
Or feel our presence.

Like the shiny parts
Of bronze statues touched
By each passing viewer,
Do these not form part
Of the work of art?
While respecting the work of artists, sometimes you just have to agree to disagree.
Jun 7 · 14
Changing forms
George Raitt Jun 7
In vivo; in  vitro;
in silico; in lapis;
In pulverem.
Latin via science and google. Apologies to scholars.
George Raitt Jun 7
Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you foredefeated
Challengers of oblivion.
Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,
The square-limbed Roman letters
Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain.
The poet as well
Builds his monument mockingly;
For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun
Die blind and blacken to the heart:
Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.
Maybe he too had toured Roman buildings in Spain as I am doing now.
George Raitt Jun 6
The ancients did not
Hesitate to build atop
Their predecessors.

But city walls came
Down to make way for narrow
Roads to new places.
George Raitt Jun 4
Je sais que tout est
Fini derriere moi et que
Retour est exclu.
My high school French nearly gets it: I know that all is finished behind me and that there is no return.
George Raitt Jun 2
Leaves shining like jade
Against cerulean sky.
Perfect white petals.
May 31 · 119
Museo des Bandoleros
George Raitt May 31
To debate whether
Ned Kelly's last words were 'Such is
Life' misses the point.
Romanticism of bandits seems a world wide phenomena.
George Raitt May 30
Great men have died for
Their country. Today, 'great men'
Negotiate deals.
George Raitt May 29
After two thousand
Years of human strife, sparrows
Chirp and play within.
Most likely the tree was a cypress, three stories tall.
May 29 · 115
Geometrica (Granada)
George Raitt May 29
Art may be proscribed,
Yet, humans must create art,
From geometry.
George Raitt May 21
Love, said the rose, is a perfume.
Love is a murmur, said the water.
Love is a sigh, said the zephyr.
Love, said the light, is a flame.

Oh, how you have lied! (Quanto mendito!)
Love is a tear.
Josefa wrote in Spanish. I read her bio on Wikipedia only after posting this!!
May 19 · 218
Museum of Fine Arts
George Raitt May 19
Portraits row on row
Display early British and
American art.

Notable old men,
Newly weds, and families.
Pinned like butterflies.
May 18 · 67
Fogg Art Museum
George Raitt May 18
Gold coins from ancient
Civilisations long gone.
Valued now as art.

How many hands have
These coins touched. Success and
Failure, lives unknown.
Jan 29 · 65
Employee of the month
George Raitt Jan 29
This month's award goes to Narelle
For clearing out some food
That had been in the office
Micro-wave oven for a few days,
By sending an email to 'all',
Advising that there are sausage rolls
In the micro-wave oven.
The usual suspects were first
To the kitchen, and ate the rolls,
Before management could send a retraction.
No freeloaders, often called 'garbage guts' were harmed in this story.
Dec 2018 · 43
George Raitt Dec 2018
Sometimes life seems like
A succession of '80s
Unguarded moments
Nov 2018 · 164
George Raitt Nov 2018
Coffee and apple
Strudel; 1970s photos
Of the smiling man.
Farewell the smiling man from Pellegrinis.
Apr 2018 · 62
George Raitt Apr 2018
You have to swim out
Deeper if you don't want sand
In your swimming trunks.
I timidly surf in the shallows.
Mar 2018 · 68
Full moon
George Raitt Mar 2018
Moonlight lays a path
Across the water. To think
One could walk on it.
Jan 2018 · 107
Warm rain
George Raitt Jan 2018
Floating on a flat
sea, under grey skies, rain-drop
circles overlap.

Back on the beach, a
swimmer sets an umbrella
as she walks away.
Dec 2017 · 183
Museum (Liverpool)
George Raitt Dec 2017
The white piano.
Sound recording endlessly
Playing 'Imagine'.
Jul 2017 · 119
George Raitt Jul 2017
In the coldest month,
violet petals stand out
amid leaves of green
Jul 2017 · 131
Moment of happiness
George Raitt Jul 2017
When the Trapp family
Climbs that mountain, do we cry
For past or future?
Jun 2017 · 116
Sea sky
George Raitt Jun 2017
Green sea under black
Sky. Curious foreboding.
Strangely beautiful.
Apr 2017 · 391
George Raitt Apr 2017
Mastered by man, trees
Adapt to survive, waiting
Till tyranny ends.
We have s national bonsai collection  (not in Japan), created by local artists these last 60 years, amazing, but...
Mar 2017 · 165
George Raitt Mar 2017
Eddying across
The road, thistle seeds, blown by
The wind, seek a home.
Scotch thistles abound in harsh volcanic soils on the fringes of our city. Farmers hate them and grub them out. Too late now as they release their seeds in hot dry northerleywinds, like snow flurries.
Mar 2017 · 233
High level
George Raitt Mar 2017
The lake is full now.
Lapping the spillway. Under
Water, last year's beach.
Mar 2017 · 1.3k
George Raitt Mar 2017
Step out the back door.
Chickens peck my toes. Mistake?
Or do they want food?
Mar 2017 · 178
George Raitt Mar 2017
In a dry gully
The fence waits for years to be
Swept away by flood.
Mar 2017 · 171
George Raitt Mar 2017
Twist the T-bar, tamp.
Lift out, dump soil. Drive crowbar
To soften. Repeat.

Drop post into hole.
Pummel rocks and soil to fill.
Feel the firm fence post.
Dec 2016 · 162
Grey scale
George Raitt Dec 2016
Goodness is Edmund Gwen.
Innocence is Natalie Wood,
The child star.
Her future that lies before her
Is in our past.
Where does Jet Jackson
Park his jet plane?
Badness wears a black hat,
But now anyone
Can buy a white hat.
Nov 2016 · 512
Beach, morning
George Raitt Nov 2016
At the high water
Mark, urchins sit perfectly
At rest in the sand.

Spines still shiny red.
Sand swept clean by receding
Water. Too late now.
George Raitt Oct 2016
I never listened
To your lyrics, until now.
My dream has a place.

I cannot regret
Leaving, nor can I return
To it as it was.
Very moving lyrics. The melody rings a bell, but I listened to the lyrics as if for the first time only the other day. The places of childhood remain real even if the people are only now faded in memory.
Oct 2016 · 172
The Moth
George Raitt Oct 2016
I have seen places
Where nothing at all happened.
Enough to be there.
I love the Moth radio show.
Oct 2016 · 169
Nobel for the Times
George Raitt Oct 2016
Do the words of a
Poem repeat in your head
Like song lyrics do?
Oct 2016 · 343
George Raitt Oct 2016
Jabiru. Brolga.
Kookaburra. King parrots,
Blue wrens, now black swans.
Oct 2016 · 248
George Raitt Oct 2016
Mars, Antares and
Jupiter moved apart, but
Still see each other.
For months they have been a tight triangle in the sky overhead, but have now separated.
Sep 2016 · 213
George Raitt Sep 2016
In the wee hours, when
I step out the  tent, moonlight.
Orion watches.
Sep 2016 · 226
George Raitt Sep 2016
Is it only gods who cast
Their form onto stone
When their work is done?
Looking for rock art,
My companion said
I stood up too fast
After searching in vain
Under an overhang.
As I turned to continue
The search, the scaly bark
Of a tree sparkled
Like silver crystals,
The dry Savannah grasses
Glowed white like an
Over-exposed photograph.
The path between them led
To a gallery where a larger
Than life-sized Wandjina
Lay full length on the wall.
The touch of untold fingers
Revealed a gendered image.
From her head rose
A strange protuberance.
I had seen similar
In a distant dream:
heart pounding,
I had confronted
An unearthly feline.
Nothing since, until
An Inca figurine in an
Exhibition years later.
All remain unexplained.
Athena being born
From the head of Zeus?
George Raitt Aug 2016
I saw your dot painting
In the Art Gallery of the NT.
Dots on the theme of green
Attracted me, drawing me close
To read the curator's note:
"This painting expresses
The sensation of floating
In water and feeling
It's healing force."
Your painting and my poem
On the Lilly pond refer
To this same truth.
Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 152 cm x 92 cm.
Aug 2016 · 401
Mindil beach
George Raitt Aug 2016
When the red glow of sunset
Shines its last,
Will we stroll, bored,
Unconcerned, a slight
Sheen of sweat
On our pallid complexion?
Or like the hermit *****
Beneath my feet,
Live each day in a hurry?
George Raitt Aug 2016
It is late dry season.
The creek bed an empty, rocky,
Corridor to remaining pools.
Climbing a slight crest,
An improbable rock,
Artfully shaped and poised,
Balanced atop a tall pillar,
Reveals the hand of nature.
Below rock ledges polished
By water and burnished by sun
Lies a deep pool of clear water.
Lilly pads float on long tendrils.
Purple lotus flowers open to the sun.
In the water, the Lilly pads,
Impossibly green, cling
To the surface, on which
Water skimmers dart to and fro,
Dragon fly hover, and lazy fish
Swim by, all unperturbed
by the floating human.
Across the pool's outlet, tall saplings
Of grevillea sway in the light breeze.
Parrots balance in the swaying tops,
Their orange shoulder colours
Match the grevillea flowers.
A lone fruit bat, separated
From the colony, climbs hand
Over hand, up and down branches,
To share the nectar.
In the afternoon shade
Of paper bark trees and
White barked eucalypts,
Sitting on the smooth rock,
Which gives comfort without
Being comfortable, the warmth
Of the rock against wet skin
Links us to others who have lain here
Sharing these sensations.
The European name for this place, on Mt Charnley Station, in the Kimberley, is inadequate. You will know it when you see it.
The parrots are more correctly called "rainbow lorikeets".
Aug 2016 · 191
Mt Charnley Station
George Raitt Aug 2016
Lilly pads, water
skimmers, dragon fly, small fish,
ignore floating me.
This is enough, but I had to go back. There is more.
Jul 2016 · 197
George Raitt Jul 2016
At last the wind fades away.
In the clear night sky
Stars send their message
From the past.
Through the stillness,
The roar and thunder
Of waves breaking on the reef.
Protection from the turmoil
Of the outside world.
Jul 2016 · 141
George Raitt Jul 2016
Waves break ceaselessly
On the beach while we try to
Fix our past mistakes.
Jul 2016 · 147
Waiting for dawn
George Raitt Jul 2016
Clear sky at night. Stars
And moon light the camp. No breeze
To disturb the frost.

At the coldest hour,
Shivering inside, we wait
For the sun's warm light.
Jul 2016 · 244
Toward Ceduna
George Raitt Jul 2016
Winter rains. Winter
Sun. Mile after mile wheat fields
Sprout fluorescent green.
Jun 2016 · 402
For Marianne Moore
George Raitt Jun 2016
You had given up by the 1970s,
Just as I realised the 'art'
in accountancy is to reveal the beauty
in the numbers; and later,
writing contracts for a living,
that 'art' is in the beauty of the words.
Thank you for your verse:
Poetry is in everything,
including business documents,
that captures our imagination.
Refer to her 1921 poem in the Norton Anthology, which I paraphrase: "Poetry...  I too dislike it ... Reading it however with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine ..."
Jun 2016 · 192
George Raitt Jun 2016
The past is not what we thought
It was at the time. It is
What we now wish it to be.
It must be thus
If we are to change
Our future.
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