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Passive as it flows
My girl
The word, in truth
Belaboured and Incisive....
And it knows....
How many out there
Actually,
Grace it with a smile
Whilst, in bland actuality, they
Subconsciously revile
The cutting nature
Of the incideous tone,
And the ever present, verbal,
Hyroglyphics of its throne.

Join those swept aside by fashion
Emblazoned in the act of being "woke"
By ostracizing they, the brutes,
With the temerity to "Invoke"
The harsh opinions and circumstance
Which lash out to offend?
When actually, if you think about it,
We , inevitably,  
Comute to, in the end.

I s'pose we have our favourites,
S'pose we have our cliques,
And I guess the risk of slumming it
Aligns us with the "*****"?
Aligns we with the heathen souls
Who loiter by the way
Annointing those poor Godless few
Who then once....
Deigned to Pray.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
31 Jan 2024
Chewing the fat with the ancient Pachyderm who dwells nearby with his equally ancient, wrinkled handler.
Fading into focus
Sifting into shape,
Arch of long neck turning
Misted eye of grape.
Not a word is spoken
Nor a hint of sound,
Just a faint suggestion
Of sensing you around.

Vanished in a zephyr
Through a fading smile,
A sadness in the questing
Touches me... awhile.

M.
For Korts
Inspired by "For Absent Friends" by WK Kortas
It begins as a seraph, a wispy notion sliding surreptitiously into your awareness, building on it's impact as it flares and colours.

Gathering your attention with velvet fingers, folding your imaginings to it's focus, enlisting the bias of your rathers to the fancy of it's wantings....gradually, invasively, it occupies and rests, replete, like a fat red toad....quivering in a soft blue light of exultation.

Until, then done, it vacates to a quest anew.
Like a vanished mist...
It disapears to the nether regions of your mind.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ

Beautiful piece, Irinia.
Inspired by Irinia's delicatetly, magnificent little verse
labeled simply "NOTES  2".
Dec 2023 · 101
Assumptions of Entitlement
Marshal Gebbie Dec 2023
A failure to pursue
The very basic things in life
Shall lead to entanglements
Promulgating strife.
Shall lead insinuation,
In a flexing of the call...
That entitlements are really
Not entitlements, at all.

Assuming that the black man
Has blood as red as thine,
But thee are as lilly white
As a floret on a vine?
Assuming our assumptions here
Are sootier than sin
Then the rationale offered,
Is ridiculously thin.

Then you who have loved
Wear black hate in your heart
For they who aspire
To intrude from the dark,
All they, who conspire
To trespass your day
To sift carnally, perhaps,
Your lover away.

Who would argue, then,
The precipitous tone
That configures your honesty
When caught out alone.
Infidelity lost
In the mire of a lie....
Which, expediently, slipped
From your sweet lips, to fly?

Where now the mercy,
Where now the grace,
Of the insidious smirk
That smears your face...
Having eaten the turkey,
Savoured the wine
With those War torn Ghazan's
Starving, brutally, in grime?

The curse is all around us
The Woke, Effete and Prim,
The Holy and the Righteous
All wear that specious thing,
An Entitlement to Elevate,
A Right to Wear the Crown
A place just to the left of God
Which keeps the riffraff down.

Irrespective of the nation,
All languages and hue
Through strata of society
This malady is YOU!
This spectre of entitlement
In the self imposed Elite
Is now the key to immolation
In humanity's defeat.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
30 December 2023
Dec 2023 · 176
Staggering to Bridges Burnt
Marshal Gebbie Dec 2023
Jottings from the dog eared book
Remind me how, I once mistook,
That chance was that which forced the pace
When chance, of course, was luck displaced.
Counted realms of quick return
Of lotto tickets I've seen burn?
Traced the moments caste to wind
Of failures, forced to fast rescind?
Spat the bile of deep regret
As fickle fortunes plummet, yet.
Felt the panic coursing through
To good advice, ignored, from you.
Watched as good luck passed me by
Knowing full well ... Pigs Might Fly!
Sadly blind, to lessons learnt
To stagger forth... To Bridges Burnt!

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
Dec 2023 · 96
Y' Movin, Baby.
Marshal Gebbie Dec 2023
Samba in the shuffle of strings
The rythmic bongo beat
Sliding scale of the bass saxaphone
Takin liberty's with the metre.

Movin with the sound,
Tiny twitches of the shoulder,
Fingers n things
N you're movin Baby.

That rythmic offbeat of
The jazz guitar
n bass, rollin upn down the scale
An you're movin.

Smooth as silk
That saxaphone...silky,
Repetativeness in it's finale
Then cut!

M.
What a blast!!
Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd with
"Samba De Uma Nota So"  
JAZZ SAMBA Album on Spotify
Dec 2023 · 88
Gaza
Marshal Gebbie Dec 2023
Still the fires of slaughter burn
In this dry and ancient land,
Still the caustic scent of hate
Pervades the hand of man,
Still the blood drips from the blade
As Arab slaughters Jew
Then Arab children die in dust
As fury blasts anew.

Long the torment taints the sun
Long the wailing cry,
Incarcerated innocents
In dusty rubble, die.

It all began in ancient time
When men in armour strode
In sandaled feet, their fate to meet
Whilst Alexander rode.
Macedonian slaughter fought
In desperation, all
With every soul decapitated
Without so much as judgement call.

Long the torment taints the sun
Long the wailing cry
Incarcerated innocents,
In dusty rubble, die.

Titanic and gigantic now
The pachyderms attack
The archers launch their waves of arrows
From the creatures back.
Trumpeting their fury
In monolithic charge
The elephants run rampant
Through the terrified discard.

Long the torment taints the sun
Long the wailing cry
Incarcerated innocents,
In dusty rubble, die.

Through the ages blood has run
From Cleopatra's reign
Roman legions metric stamp
And Caliphatic stain,
The Manlucks and the Ottomans,
To Napoleon's brief try
That led us to the British pledge
That Israel's flag must fly.

Long the torment taints the sun
Long the wailing cry
Incarcerated innocents,
In dusty concrete, die.

One hundred years hath passed us by
Unreconciled, unchanged,
Now hatred drips from every pore
With attitudes deranged.
Now all out warfare rules the day
And battle shrouds the sky
What chance that fortune swings to peace?
In hindsight....Pigs might fly!

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
3 December 2023
The agony of Gaza began in 330BC and has been a litany of blood ever since.
The current cataclysm is a continuation of the everlasting emnity inherint in the  denizens be they Hebrew or Arab. The blame delves back centuries. Nobody currently lives who can point the finger at who started what.
Can it all be resolved? Wiser men than I have just shaken their heads and shrugged....So say I, reluctantly and with a sense of deep sadness.....

SO SAY I.

M.
Nov 2023 · 252
Soliloquy for Stevo
Marshal Gebbie Nov 2023
Sought the lost and lonely traills
Slept beneath the stars,
Walked where the wild beast trod
And gazed aloft to Mars.
Tasted that which succoured me
Exquisite on the tongue,
Drank the wild and wooly brews
Then lay down in the sun.
Ran the race of all young men
Epic and guilt free,
Often paid the price in pain
Which brought me to the knee.
Could lament on sorrows past,
Easily shed a tear.....
But things just, kinda, balanced out
Twixt laughter and the fear.
Can't complain about my lot
I've scaled the mighty peaks
And paddled my old log canoe
Despite it's many leaks.
Guess it all boils down to where
Your values rest in tune
In moments of tranquility
Beneath a hanging moon.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
Some personal meanderings after enjoying Stevo's gentle verse, "Do No Harm"
Nov 2023 · 111
This Magical Gift of Life
Marshal Gebbie Nov 2023
The air hangs crisp in this lilting shadow of a day.

Towering nimbo cumulus cloud soars high in gigantic billowing columns, expanding dramatically against the bluest of blue skies.
Spring is here in New Zealand, the farmers are mowing hay and the corn is sprouting asunder in bright green rows on newly tilled, harrowed fields.

I sit here on the elevated porch in my favourite chair, sipping a cut glass tumbler of Bushmills Irish, (******* only).
Far below me, across tumbling hills of impossible green, the blue Tasman sea stretches out to a far horizon.

I can hear the rush of waterfalls in the native forest below me. Crystal clear water tumbling from the mountains rearing vertically behind the property. Water cascading over rugged, moss covered  boulders, splashing noisily into dark pools, the ripples radiating out to the deep shadow of emerald fern clad banks.

Bright Azaliah's and rhododendron trees are flowering in profusion in the garden, shadows are lengthening on the acreage of lawn and blackbirds cavort energetically, plunging sharp beaks deep into the green, seeking plump worms to eat. Tui's are calling their lyrical tunes from the fringe of forest and a hint of mist runs a finger plume across the base of the adjacent, dark high volcanic peak.

The moment has a touch of beauty, the stillness of the air, the bite of evening chill, the filtered golden light of the lowering setting sun. The mellowness of the warming whisky .

A very special moment of solitude and quiet wonder, a time to ponder and celebrate this magical gift of life.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
9 November 2023
Oct 2023 · 231
To Read Between the Lines
Marshal Gebbie Oct 2023
Should you now take the time, perhaps,
To read between the lines,
You may then note a screaming crowd
Doth rail against the times.
How the masses voice, as one,
Their rage against the foe,
Blaming Isrealite excesses
For every vengeful blow.
Tip toeing round the spotlight
That, the initial,  brutal flaw....
Was instigated when Hamas
Turned those innocents to gore.

I note how those selective souls
Have ceased to raise the roof,
To the ceaseless ****** atrocities caused
While Putin stands aloof.
Two years of blood and mayhem
Grace Ukraine's shattered land....
Consigned, I note, to dim background
Since Gazza's bombing slammed?

Funny how the fickle few
Waft before the breeze,
To utter condemnation
Only to those that they please.
Funny how the fickle few
Command the higher ground
In screeching manic insults
To our silence.....so profound?

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
So many vehemently against Israel, casting the nation of Jews as inhumane agressors, betrayers of  human values, destroyers of innocence.
They, completely ignoring the terrorism of Hamas which ignited this conflict.
Similtaneously putting aside the greater transgression of allout war waged by Russia in the systematic invasion of a sister nation, ukraine. Two continuous years of ****** and destruction, Invasion and crimes of war. imposed, brutally on a nation of fellow Slavs.
This theatre of war totally ignored by the world media and the howl of righteous outrage redirected toward Israel and Jewish agression.
Then there is the rest of us. The great realm of silence.
Going about our lives normally, doing everyday things unchanged by the dual paroxisms of warfare enacted in separate theatres of the globe.
In whom lies the greatest fault the agressors, the mob hurling ethnic insults and threatening wider escalation?
Or the mute millions sitting on their hands in the quiet corners of the globe.....uninvolved and determinably resolved to stay that way, keeping their hands squeaky clean and their concienses clear?
Oct 2023 · 94
HELL EXPLAINED…
Marshal Gebbie Oct 2023
A missive from my old mate Hareballs....giving us a laugh at ourselves and this crazy world.
Cheers M.

The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona chemistry midterm, and an actual answer turned in by a student.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which is unlikely. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct........leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting, 'Oh, my God.’….Oh, my God

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A+.
Sep 2023 · 74
Insensatez
Marshal Gebbie Sep 2023
A writhing tendril of harmony
Backdrops the gentle pulse of samba jazz.
Magnificent spiral of minor chords vocalised
Against the weave of a silken saxaphone.
Stan Getz and Luiz Rioja at play in 1963.

I find myself floating above earthly things
Wafted into a gentle world of yesteryear
When things were simple
And the passing crowd smiled into your eyes
With an open honesty.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
Refer: Insensatez recorded 1963 by Stan Getz and Luiz Rioja.
Available on Spotify
Marshal Gebbie Sep 2023
Annoying how my words intrude
Impinge on other's servitude,
Worm their way through personal space
Annoyingly, climb in your face.

Not intended, nothing planned
Tis rather contribution, bland...
Addendum's to a point, well made
Or commentary on a fun charade...
Politics, my personal hate,
Invoking fiery stuff, of late...

But...
No abuse nor personal slur,
Intended, (should the thought...occur?)
Rather just my thoughtless way
Of blundering into the fray???

Perhaps, the reason on the shelf
Lies in that I write...for myself!
Selfish, now (as that may be)
Therein, (unfortunately), that is me.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
21 Sept 2023
Sep 2023 · 49
Holding Sway
Marshal Gebbie Sep 2023
Speculation holds the sway
On this, avuncularly, flavoured day
Where clouds mass, massivly, in sky
And cerebral doubt flits, squarely, bye.
Furrowed brow, maligns the face
And worried eyes, immersing space.
For all is not, as should be, here
There's anguish...and a certain fear.
Shortcomings tarnish hard, the day
Where Bishop,s Knight, delays my play,
Where consequences bridge the call...
Obliterating options, all?

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
Sep 2023 · 304
Feeling the Way
Marshal Gebbie Sep 2023
Advance, one step, alone in time
Composing, soft, a feral rhyme
Plucking soul, from here and there
Dispelling forth, the bleak despair....
Hold thy arm up to the light
Effortlessly, quelling fright.
Bray thy challenge, to the foe
Tapping white cane, as you go....
For sightlessness is born a death
Especially, should self pity quest.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
Aug 2023 · 302
Reunion
Marshal Gebbie Aug 2023
In he came, sat and smiled and warmly shook my hand.
Brought a pint of single malt from the dales of old England,
Sat, we did, on wooden chairs, fashioned in the way
Of craftsmen, then, from times of yore, when craftsmen had their day.
Spoke, we did, companionably. Spoke of simple things,
Of fire sides now dead and gone where Gypsy music rings.
Recalling all the good men who turned the wheels of toil
And fashioned work of quality and kept the engines oiled.
We supped the draught of warming malt with crinkles to the eye
And turned the glass of crystal cut in hands worn, undisguised,
Hands that once hauled heavy stone, hands that helped a smile,
Hands that stroked her silky face, just once in awhile.
Words now softly spoken with laughter now and then
But all the while the deep respect of deference to a friend.
A toast to all those dead and gone, then a final grip of steel,
With the knowledge that this finality's quiet moment, could be real.
We took our leave regretfully, we took our leave with grace,
For the sanction of those moments shared left warmth upon the face.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
26 August 2023
Callum came to our alpine home with his darling little daughter and spent the night.
Fish and chips by the fireside, good Welsh single malt The girls chatting ,companionably, together with needlepoint as only girls can.
A rare and magical evening with an old and trusted friend.
M.
Marshal Gebbie Aug 2023
It’s August here in New Zealand which means it is the middle of Winter. It rains almost every day here during winter.
Firewood piled outside the door is getting low so I earmarked two hours to barrow split wood from an auxiliary pile, stacked against the rear wall of the house, to the depleted pile, under cover of weather, at the house frontage.

The wood had been there for many months so it was full of spiders. Big spiders with brown chevrons on the back of their abdomen, Wolf spiders the locals call them, they can give you a nasty bite but they have insufficient venom to harm humanity. These spiders inhabit the underside of the split wood, they build silky white webs that resemble pouches. The webs catch inquisitive insects that search for food in the woodpile. The insects become entangled in the webs and the spiders pounce upon them and eat them. I saw plenty of evidence today of both the big spiders and what remains of their insect meals. Shells of the scarabs epidermis actually, all of the soft innards ****** out by the hungry spiders.

Also in the woodpile were several female Beech wasps, brightly colored little Hymenoptera with yellow and black banded stripes, with fearsome, sharp stingers protruding from the very end of the abdomen.  These wasps were not sheltering in the woodpile from the falling rain, they were hunting for the big Wolf spiders. Arachnids ten times their size and equally as combative as the hunting wasps.

Undeterred by size and ferocity the wasps attack the huge spiders without hesitation, Make no mistake, war is waged here for should the spider lance the wasp with its fangs the wasp will die an agonizing death, but if the wasp manages to deftly spear the spider with its stinger, a powerful venom will be injected into the spider immediately paralyzing it…..but the venom doesn’t actually **** the spider, it immobilizes it. The female wasp then penetrates the bulging abdomen of the Arachnid with her ovipositor and lays all of her eggs inside the paralyzed creature. Once egg laying is completed the female wasp disengages herself from the spider and flies away to die.

Almost immediately the wasp eggs hatch inside and the little white larvae begin to consume the living internals of the spider. They continue to eat the fresh edibles until they metamorphosize into young adult wasps which chew their way out of the, now dead, husk of spider and fly away to seek a mate which in turn, once fertilized, will ultimately hunt yet another unfortunate spider to host the fearsome hatchlings of her own busy brood.

As I stacked the wood in the front alcove I paused for a few moments to ponder the miracle of life and death enacted, unsuspectedly, in the battleground of my back woodpile….and marveled at the absolute drama of it all.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
20 August 2023
Marshal Gebbie Aug 2023
Where moments sped on rapid wings
For love hath dwindled silly things,
Carousing special thoughts of you
In incandescent passion’s brew.

Fingertips touch, tenderly
Then soft brushed lips, especially,
That honeyed calling in your eye
Caressed the silky night to fly.

That in our fleeting, stolen kiss
Entwined both souls in raptured bliss,
But bleak this glow of lovers moon
For passion fled far, far too soon.

Both panting in the stark moonlight
Bewildered, thudding pulses, tight,
In wretched circumstance’s stand
To force our separations hand.

Confusion, stark, in dead of night
She’s gone. My moonlight quails in fright.
Leaving just a trace of scent….
And, in such, my shattered heart’s lament.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
1968 Butchers Hill, Northern Queensland
Marshal Gebbie Aug 2023
Though the grass is burnt and gone and bees have wendt their way
Ideas in simple sentences have wrought their will to stay,
That axioms in paradigm have fled the room as wind
Since vacuumed words of ruefulness gave causal to rescind.

Yet, though the grass is burnt and gone futility took flight
Where those engaged in conversation, fled into the night,
Gone to leave us well adrift upon a mirthless sea
Where, but for motes of condescension, thee and I would be?

Grass is burnt, now sadly gone, skylarks sing no more
Our stage resounds in silence, due the absence from the floor,
Perpetration whispers soft and echoes to the still
And dryness blows encirclement, eternally, until.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
Aug 2023 · 1.4k
This Grand America
Marshal Gebbie Aug 2023
Everything is BIG here.

Meals are big, bums are big, cars are huge and the skies are a million miles wide.

Janet and I are travelling in the Northwest of the United States of America, spending time with Boaz and Lisa in Idaho, Steve Yocum in Oregon and Greg and Linda in Washington State.

The trip is a "quickie" in that we are fitting one helluva lot into just three weeks duration.
Never in all my days have I seen such huge quantities of food served up in restaurant meals, plastic bags discarded, American flags fluttering and all the young, blonde girls in tattered, impossibly short cut offs and sleeveless tops talking loudly, incomprehensibly at a million miles an hour ......Just blows you away!!
Monstrous pickup trucks, Rams, Broncos, big V8s travelling the freeways continuously. Sheriffs, troopers and Road cops all wearing firearms on the hip, in their souped up pursuit vehicles parked on the roadside shoulder, eyeballing everyone as they pass, with a mean, accusatory glare.
Out on the range there is a million square miles of nothing but sage brush and basalt rock....and searing, baking heat.
114 degrees in the painted desert of Moab. Beautiful though with vaulting red sandstone cliffs and rearing stone arches against the blue-est of blue skies.
Standing pillars of ancient sedimentary rock born in depositions laid down in vast oceans of bygone eras, millions of years ago.

History is painted vast in this immensity. The gigantic and abrupt catastrophic inundation of a vast and deep inland sea, swelled suddenly by floodwaters of rivers diverted by lava flows from subterranean fissures....Unimaginable torrents abruptly released, gouging out ancient lava beds to create gigantic waterfalls and deep, sheer sided chasms.

Cascades that constituted the biggest river flow ever known in the history of the planet, washing away everything from the epicentre of the continent in Utah through Idaho to the Pacific ocean in the rugged coast of Oregon. Such was the Bonneville flood of 12,000 years ago illustrated today by the gigantic chasms created in the beds of basalt and rhyolitic larva throughout Idaho and the fields of massive, round, house sized boulders strewn from the floods origin near what is now, Salt Lake City in Utah to the coast in Oregon, a thousand kilometers away.

The two weeks stay with Boaz and Lisa just disappeared in a flash. They took us down to Moab painted desert, Zion National park, the Craters of the Moon, Monument National Park and up to Stanley and the Sawtooth mountains by the mighty Salmon river. Janet and I took advantage of a couple of push bikes hanging in the garage and spent most days cycling the local trails and visiting Starbucks for a celebratory cappuccino or two....Those bikes saved our bacon, walking trails in that heat was ******. Great hospitality enjoyed here. watched reruns of Sopranos on Boaz's 70 " SmartScreen TV and enjoyed Arnie's escape from postwar Austria to Mr Universe and fame and fortune @ Hollywood with Boaz whilst enjoying chilled margaritas in the hot tub.

The camaraderie of meeting an old mate of 45 years past, Steve Yocum of Oregon  a fellow writer and author. Both of us intent on shooting the breeze, putting the world to right. In some ways a sad exercise in that no longer can either of us make things right for with age upon us, neither has influence. We can huff n puff n blow the house down....but it seems, nobody pays the slightest bit of attention. The penalty of age is invisibility. The relief in it all is that, really, nobody actually gives a hoot!

Just two Old Dogs letting off steam..... it's rather cathartic actually! Thanks to Stevo, Ian and lovely Heidi for the accommodation, great hospitality and warmth.

The cool atmospheric relief of the serene and calm, Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington state gave welcome respite from the intense heat of the interior and the serenity of our cottage accommodations and startlingly beautiful garden surrounds. A forest of conifers and deciduous trees harboured gardens of blooming roses, hollyhocks and multihued cone flowers, emerald lawns carve swarths of sunlight in avenues of deep, green shade....a delight for the sunburnt brows of yesterday's heat.
Woken by the bassoon blast of the passing early morning ferry out in the waterway, to stroll out to sit at the very edge of the sandy, pebble beach and gentle surge of the deep, clear saline waters of the magnificent Puget Sound.
The peace of early morning crisp cool air, a seascape of moored fishing boats on mirrored waters, the distant Olympic range rearing to its' full 7,000 ft against a powder blue sky left us quite breathless with the utter beauty of it all....add to that a lovely breakfast offering of fresh berries, kiwifruit slices and yogurt and a chilled glass of fresh squeezed orange juice...and we absolutely, couldn't want for anything more. To Greg and Linda our love and thanks for giving up your beautiful bed, travelling us around beautiful Seattle and being our airline coach to and from Portland. We shall return the warm hospitality next time you hit NZ and Taranaki.

Vulcanism has dominated the terrain in Idaho, Montana, and Utah. Continental drift westward of the land mass has brought about a steady transference eastward of the massive geothermal hot spot which currently lies in Yellowstone park and which is the source of all volcanic activity within the park..
Idaho, in ancient times, wore the volcanic mantle of the region in having truly gigantic rhyolitic ash and magmatic eruptions. These cataclysmic eruptions emptied deep cavernous, subterranean magma chambers which collapsed under their own weight leaving vast circular calderas in the landscape. Subsequent plate tectonic activity caused deep faulting allowing huge flows of sticky magma to surge to the surface like searing hot black toothpaste, spreading across the plains obliterating all evidence of the rhyolite caulderas, surfacing the state, to this day, with millions of acres of hard black basaltic rock.
Here and there, rhyolite has wormed its way to the surface building gigantic domes, over the centuries these have weathered leaving statuesque, dramatic flat-topped mesa scattered across the landscape.
Altogether a truly unique and enthralling terrain for visitors to behold and one which reveals a dramatic insight to the volcanic and tectonic violence of the recent past and gives a definite air of mystique to the beholder.

In a land of 360 million people, supermarkets are downright huge...and they contain the spoils of the nation's plenty.
Acres of dazzling variety... and cheap by international standards. The very best of prime beefsteak, sides of pork, Alaskan cod freshly caught and displayed in rows of chilled enticing exhibit. Every possible vegetable and fresh picked fruit known to man in piled pyramids of brilliant, colourful display. Beautiful ornate furniture, beds, mattresses, tiers of car tyres of every conceivable brand and size, wheelbarrows, fertilizer, fresh flowers in mountainous display, ***** in barnlike chillers. Supermarket trolleys for giants..... and gird yourself for a marathon hike in collecting your basket of groceries...and give yourself half a day....you'll need it!

America has momentum, huge momentum. Across vast tracts of country lie networks of highway. Multilane concrete that tracks mile after mile carrying huge trucks with 40 tonne loads. Incessant trucks, one after another,  thundering along carrying the lifeblood of America, merchandise,  machinery, infrastructure, steel, timber and technology. Gigantic mobile freezers hauling food from the grower to the markets. Hauling excavators, harvesters,  bulldozers and giant Agricultural tractors. Night and day this massive source of production careers across the nation transporting the promise of America, the momentum which drives the Stars and Stripes onward, ever onward.

On the margins of the cities of Portland and Salem the unhoused gathered in squalid tent communities. In the beautiful city of Seattle I saw many down and out unshaven, untidy individuals with hopelessness in their eyes, pushing supermarket trolleys containing their sparse possessions. I drove through rural communities, some of which, reflected hardship and an air of despair. Run down dwellings in need of maintenance and repair, derelict rusty vehicles adorning the **** strewn frontages.
Not 20 kilometers away in Ketchum and Sun Valley Idaho the homes were palatial in grounds tended by gardeners and viticulturalists. Porsches and Range Rovers graced the ornate, rusticated porticoes. Wealth and privilege in evidence in every nuanced nook and cranny.
America is, indeed, a land of contrasts, a land of wealth, privilege, and plenty..... and yet a land that, somehow, tolerates and abides a fragile paucity which emblazons itself, embarrassingly, within the national profile.

On a hot day in Twin Falls, Idaho, I walked into a huge air-conditioned sporting goods store specifically to look at guns....and in the long glass cases there were hundreds of them. From snub nosed revolvers to Glocks, 38s, 45 caliber even western style Colt 45s and the ***** Harry Magnum with the long, blue gun barrel and classic, prominent foresight.
In the racks behind the counter are hung fully and semi-automatic rifles of myriad types...all available for sale providing the buyer has appropriate licensing.
In a land where mass shootings proliferate weekly, I ask myself....does this availability of lethal weaponry make sense?

The aching beauty of the mountain country in Northern Idaho, Oregon and Washington state cannot be overstated. The Sawtooth mountains, the Cascades, Mt Ranier, Mt Hood and the Olympic range. Ridgelines of towering conifers as far as the eye can see, waves of green deciduous running down to soft grassy clearings with boulder strewn, rushing streams and the cascade of plunging waterfalls. The magnificence of the natural beauty of this rugged, heavily timbered mountain country just defies description being far, far isolated from the attentions of man.

To happen upon this country from the far distant reaches of the South Pacific is a culture shock, to be suddenly exposed to the extreme largess. It is difficult to calibrate, hard to encompass, impossible to assimilate....but the people encountered warmed us with their generosity of spirit, their willingness to welcome travelling strangers into their homes....and, of course the invaluable time we spent with our family….and for these factors alone together with the huge magnificence that is this........
GRAND AMERICA.
We are truly, truly grateful.

Janet & Marshal
Foxglove@Taranaki.NZ
Jul 2023 · 174
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Marshal Gebbie Jul 2023
Pacing in soft falling rain along a path seldom taken.
Preoccupied by thoughts, perturbed by the direction of my concerns.
How, in the epic of everyday normality, the excesses of humanity at large intercede, intrude on the peace of mind. Intrude on the grace of the green and peaceful rurality, in which I walk.

Insanity runs riot in some of the most , otherwise, passionately beautiful locales on the planet.

It manifests in the slaughter of unsuspecting innocents sitting down for a breakfast in the quiescent early morning light of old Kiev.
The monstrosity emanating directly from the mind of the mania driven, 70 year old, balding man in the Kremlin.

Carnage, death and unspeakable outrage and sorrow. Both young and old contorted, suddenly, in the stench of cordite and smoking rubble. Dreams, dreamt, just yesterday, obliterated forever.

Incandescent rage of vengeance ignited in the eyes of the beholders, a rage that will endure in a livid hatred that will perpetuate for centuries.

And of course, every day now, in the palaces of Pyongyang, Beijing, Paris, Washington, London, Delhi, Tel Aviv. Iran and Moscow, old men in expensive suits ruminate, sip rare old whisky and plot strategies on the nuclear chessboard. Moves that have the capacity of determining the endgame.

The fate of all life on earth.

In the meantime, the planet, fed up with the excesses of humankind, is reacting in melting the ice floes of Antarctica and the North Pole, swelling the oceans to engulf, warming the seas to create the emergence of devastating cyclones, hurricanes and tornadoes.

Man is awakening to regions of expanding drought, vast and repetitive deluges of rainfall causing landfall and huge areas of catastrophic flooding, Encroachment of coastlines and the threat of inundation of vast low lying population areas, coastal cities and essential infrastructure, airports, power stations and arterial highways.....and then there are the wildfires, ever expanding, ever increasing in frequency and the continental choking palls of smoke.

Pondering these things, as I walk this country path in the falling rain, perhaps the greatest concern that causes my brow to furrow, is that largely, my fellow man turns the other way, preferring to put these things out of his mind. leave it to someone else to sort out. Place it all in the too hard basket.....and this attitude, I'm afraid, percolates to the top.
Concentrate on getting the votes, it will all sort itself out just so long as WE WIN THE NEXT ELECTION.

And so it goes on now, indeed.... A Whiter Shade of Pale.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
Jul 2023 · 231
Midwinter is Upon Us
Marshal Gebbie Jul 2023
Whilst across the timeless seas to the bottom of the planet, incessant rain, snow and thrashing wind has rendered pugged cow paddocks, grassless.

Stored woodpiles, depleted due to wood fires burning continuously in hearths across the nation.

Small children, woolied up running for the morning school bus, white chilly faces and pink flushed cheeks.

Surf pounds the black sand dunes with foam flying in the gale, the marram grass howls and seagulls, flying in tortured formation, shriek their mutual rage.

Midwinter is upon us.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
Marshal Gebbie Jun 2023
I strolled, awhile, down by that bog
Through thick, astringent, swirling fog....
Perchance, perhaps, in circumstance
I fancied that the reeds did dance,
Swayed in time to pulsing beat
Expanding in round ripples, neat,
To radiate across the pond
In league with moss of ferny frond.
Causing spider webs to sway
Through which the dewdrops came to play
In iridescent beams of light
Illuminating shards of night
Which cast a most unearthly glow
That only frogs in bogs, would know.....
And know they did from ancient time
Where bullfrogs ruled in slippery slime
When incandescence filled the glade
Whilst time stood still and mayflies played.

Dancing in the fantasy of Patty's Pond.
With love M.
Playful poetic response to patty m's fantasy poem "The Talking Frog"
Jun 2023 · 112
The Pandemic AFTER Covid?
Marshal Gebbie Jun 2023
Insidiously creeping through man as mist
Infecting, with, occasional, mortality's twist,
Unceremoniously spread around the world
A dire inconvenience, so darkly unfurled.
Cost to production to Covid's disdain,
The cost to humanity cited in pain.

Tho hark deep in bowels of offal's speak
Malignants dwell, where few do seek,
Malignants which through eons past
Deigned not to regale man's repast.
Deigned not to seek to penetrate
Until this moment's hint of hate.

But reality strikes just round the bend
Lurks deadly that, which portends... end.
A virus unknown, so lethal to man,
That it's virulence cast will infect all it can.
Anticipate death on a planetary scale
Where half will fall to expire in it's flail.

50% a conservative guess
And rabidly spread in it's virulent quest...
And fast, from pole to pole in a week
Leaving ravaged remnants staring and weak.
Leaving whole populations reeling in shock
Now frantically bulldozing millions en block.

New, this world, with it's paucity's few
Where grief and ignorance combine to hew
A continuity, new to man,
Where expertise is a rarity planned,
Where humanity, left, strives to reheal it's goal
On a planet that, now, can support what they stole.

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
20 June 2023
Somewhere out there, in the festooned, guano filled, bat caverns of the wild or the secretive, filthy live beast cages in the street markets of Wuhan...the ancient microbes lie in wait....Waiting for the key.. the circumstance which will augment their release to fulfill their archaic and inevitable dire prophecy.
Be warned!
Jun 2023 · 80
Dump the Trump!
Marshal Gebbie Jun 2023
Playing crowds
With  such contempt
Dismissive braying
Truth exempt,
Flamboyantly flouting
Grimaced maw
With acoustic blonding
Back swept, flawed,
Braying he will
When we  know he won't,
Taking handouts
Paying... he don't!
Dishonored hallmark
Whatever the plan
Quintessentially branding
The disgrace of the man.
Indictments fly
Like birds on wing
"Not Guilty" roared
In outraged sling.
Same performance
Same dead style,
Predictable
By a country mile.
    ........................
Trump to win in '24??
God in Heaven,
PLEASE, NO MORE!!!

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
20 June 2023
Ego driven mania for attention front of house.
This guy is wrecking America's reputation as a country that can be taken seriously. Appalling performance, appalling response by millions.
I can't believe this is the America I used to know and love.
M.
Jun 2023 · 62
Burden of Proof
Marshal Gebbie Jun 2023
In religion proof of God is the adversary of faith.
The faithful claim that to seek proof of God proves only... "That ye are of little faith"!
Proof is, in fact, the enemy of faith....and to claim that you have found
absolute evidence of proof of the one God, sets you up as an implacable adversary to 99% of the world's established believers...for they believe only in THEIR God on THEIR terms.
Not YOUR God on YOUR terms.
Your claim would most certainly proceed to undermine and/or nullify their authority and diminish their influence and rank in the realm of their sphere of universal belief or agnosticism.

Imagine the reaction of the Roman Catholic Church, the turmoil caused in the scarlet clad robes of the Vatican?
The Freemasons would be compelled to rewrite their tomes.
Jews writhe, viscerally,  in their Synagogues.
The atheistic Communist Chinese may even release the assassins in order to ameliorate the claimed heresy from the very face of the earth.
Some followers of Allah would convulse in screaming outrage and, in cannoning their noisy AK47s into the void, would point the accusation of blame at the infidels of the world and seek immediate covernance of the fury of Islam through Jihad.
Putin would wear a thoughtful expression on his face, shake his head,  then assign the entire matter to the hands of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Maori elite would claim cultural reference to it all in the Treaty of Waitangi.

One thing is certain, should this revelation be put to humanity the universal reaction will be one of dubiety, doubt and skepticism.
Extraordinarily few will take the proof of God on face value.
For every single individual has his or her own barrow to push and it will take an extraordinarily spectacular global demonstration available, simultaneously, to all of mankind to even begin to achieve BELIEF.
For sane reason alone, shall not foot it....and you can't believe everything you read in the newspapers....can you?

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
Jun 2023 · 125
God's Plan
Marshal Gebbie Jun 2023
Hello lovely, thought you may enjoy this. Love sam



God's Plan for Ageing


Most seniors never get enough exercise.

In His wisdom God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things, thus doing more walking.

And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God saw there was another need.

In His wisdom He made seniors lose co-ordination so they would drop things, requiring them to bend, reach, and stretch.

And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature, requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise.  

God looked down and saw that it was good.

So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it's God's will.

It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath.
Nine Important Facts to Remember as We Grow Older

#9  Death is the number 1 killer in the world.

#8  Life is sexually transmitted.

#7  Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

#6   Men have 2 motivations: hunger and hanky panky, and they can't tell them apart. If you see a gleam in his eyes, make him a sandwich.

#5  Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.

#4  Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.

#3  All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

#2  In the 60's, people took LSD to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.

#1  Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers. What you do today may be a burning issue tomorrow.

Please share this wisdom with others while I go to the bathroom.
Thoughts from my good friend, Sammy, who always was the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Jun 2023 · 112
Guardians
Marshal Gebbie Jun 2023
Guardians of our sanctity, they who portray themselves, suitably qualified, to determine who in society, BELONGS!

Exclusive minions from cliques of poetry to the Roman Catholic church, Scions of editorial in mainstream media, Mandarins of golf club membership. Intellectual dominions within Universities, Educationists, minority ethnic groups, drug cartels, gangs, the rich and famous ….and the military, always the Military....and aspiring politicians of all caste and creed.

Society is put through the selection process every day in every way for essentially, there is no trust anymore throughout these realms of society and an aura of lofty heavy intolerance pervades, for there is nothing to gain by dilution of the criteria of selection and admission ….and a huge risk of excommunication should one be so foolish as to permit a paling of the standards and rules set, for acceptance.

And who, you ask, sets these exalted standards….Ah now that’s the moot point for each avenue of exclusivity has, in the wings, they who wield the power, they who jealously guard their domain and exclusivity with guile, authority and a large degree, of subtle, or perhaps not so subtle, threat. Islands of society, usually enthroned by individuals of accrued, clawed, seniority who are attuned to an environment of command and rule…..in select domains of, actual or imagined, privileged entitlement.

There is, of course, a cost to this. It results in a hugely stratified society. Those who are in and those who are out.
The “In Crowd” spend a fortune maintaining their status and spend much of their time enhancing their image and, what is seen as an expected, anticipated high standard of performance.
The “Out Crowd” are largely oblivious to their lowly status and are generally quite unconsciously happy with their lot, yet despite this, there are the frantic segment within, who are intent on trying to “Make It” by investing regularly in Lotto, Bitcoin  or the racetrack and/or pursuing a contrived elevation, levitation of status in the forever quest of attaining immediate notoriety, fame and beauty.

Said elevation, though, is subject to irresolute resistance imposed by a malignancy, unimaginable to most and bordering on visceral termination to interlopers or would be aspirants.

Thus it is, globally, within the kin of humankind….and if anything, the exclusivity is magnifying to an irreconcilable, irrevocable
….US & THEM!

M@Foxglove.Taranaki.NZ
May 2023 · 59
Lost in Shades of Love
Marshal Gebbie May 2023
Heavy is the load, this day,
Much, the penalties to pay,
Poignant is the lingered taste,
Fraudulently masked in waste,
Hands that ache but seek to feel
The softness in her glance, that’s real.
Seek to touch the gentle face
Of she, who would deport with grace….
Would that I, in what is left,
Trust in what remains, bereft?

Wandering in halls of stone
Starkly feeling, so alone,
Echoes in these failing years
Of ghosts lamenting falling tears
In laugher lost amid the shroud
Of sunlight filtering through cloud,
Seek to touch her wrinkled smile
Invoking shades of love…. awhile.
Would that we now, so bereft,
Trust that, what remains…is left?

M@Foxglove,TaranakiNZ
May 28 2023
Marshal Gebbie May 2023
Janet and I went for a scoot around the Egmont volcano and, in one of our avenues of approach, climbed up through the winding green chloaca, (tunnel), of alpine forest to the 4000’ limits of the road, just below the snowline.

On this brilliant, blue sky day, with the afternoon rays illuminating all in relief, the vast bulk of the volcano loomed above us. Vertical hanging valleys with shiny black flanks of split ignimbrite and basalt glistening in the afternoon light.
The sheer immensity of the brooding giant before us, above us, now quiescent, but not so long ago the scene of gigantic unimaginable carnage where whole sections of the  mountain’s flank calved off and plummeted annihilating everything in it’s path. Vast lahars of debris, housing lava boulders the size of a bus, cascading down the mountainside at near terminal velocity travelling up to 30 kilometers, right to and beyond the surfline of the Tasman sea.

The volcano has collapsed innumerable times in the last 2.5 million years only to build itself back to it’s 8000’ height with fresh magmatic and explosive eruptivity.

These andesite volcanos are quite unpredictable. Like now, at this moment standing in the magnificent grandeur of the looming massif, enjoying the vastness of it all, the freezing air and the alpine peacefullness….one never knows what the next moment will bring…..and when they do erupt the violence of these volcanos is beyond anything you can imagine.

But for this moment, there is a pristine peace in the massive larva flows capped with the soft greens of  alpine tundra and moss, the cascading, noisy waterfalls in every valley and crevasse. Freezing cold clear fresh water originating in the deep snow above and the dripping ice cornicles which adorn the top geometry of the summit.

There is magnificence here on the Egmont volcano….and we can feel it, deep in our bones.

M@Foxglove,Taranaki,NZ
May 2023 · 39
Unctuously Errant
Marshal Gebbie May 2023
Everyday in circles
Life goes round and round,
Concentric repetitiousness,
Unctuously profound.
Though the moment spat past,
Caught it on the hop,
Delayed it momentarily
Made the *******...stop!
Breathing hard with passion,
Eyeballs oscillate,
Frantic to resume the game
But left it far too late.
Can't locate momentum
Impossible to spin
Reversible prognosis now....
Out reverts to in.

M.
May 2023 · 87
A Peppery Laugh!
Marshal Gebbie May 2023
Ah! The fire burns, I see
Besotted, I would venture, free.
Though be it love or lust, would ask?
When read between the lines, to clasp
This passion to thy hairy breast
...Where voyeurism wriggles, best???
But good for thee, my brother man,
Tho God may frown, as often can?
Just meld thy forthright way, unclad,
....And laugh at they, who utter bad!

M@Foxglove,TaranakiNZ
A giggle for Krista...
Who was the only one to put me right!!
With thanks.

Sometimes
I love a poem
So I set it free
And nobody else
Likes it but me
It brings me confusion
What am I doing?
And why is it that no one sees?

The beloved invisible poems
Must be
Only meant for me

Krista DelleFemine
May 2023 · 76
Untrustworthy Proximities
Marshal Gebbie May 2023
Russia and China are not friends. The two Asian giants tangled for centuries over the vastness of resource-rich desert and mountain between them. They remain uneasy neighbours. Their leaders, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, recently proclaimed a partnership in a ‘new order’. But they are trapped by geography, birth rates and strategy in a very old order; one that explains why the Chinese leadership distrusts the Kremlin, fears its own subjects and keeps an iron grip on the borderlands.

‘Chinese Turkestan’ only exists in vintage travel books. Today it is officially known as the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. It is in the news because China is accused of committing crimes against humanity in a campaign to instil what it calls ‘stability and order’ among the original inhabitants and Chinese settlers, who now outnumber them.

The Communist regime’s well-documented abuses against the Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim people, are so gross that they tend to obscure a paranoid insecurity that is as real today as in a bygone age.
Apr 2023 · 101
The Power & the Glory
Marshal Gebbie Apr 2023
Aspirations earthly peak
Is sought by those who worldly speak.
Those who know the way of Gods,
Rig the system, flay the dogs.
Claim environmental gain
Circumventing critic’s pain,
And then there’s they who pulpit, thump,
To pocket cash and queue line, jump…
They who pound the breast with style
And prejudicial writs, beguile.

Quest the power glory trail
Grip the heights to far prevail.
Scorch the earth to **** to win
Sidestep justice, gorge in sin.
Shouldering all else aside
Clawing mantel's, ego stride
To climb atop the very peak
To be the King who shall, now, speak.

Clad in ermine, trimmed in gold
Falling shoulder length, enfold,
Fingered by bejeweled ring,
Exultant too, as choirs sing…
Leering high above the crowd
The Crown decrees…He Rules, Aloud.

Parliamentary upper crust
Dictatorial realm of dust,
Communistic fists of steel
Army juntas, just as real…
Across the world the powers feed
An iron fist to those who bleed.
The formula of global rule
That peasants cringe to power, cruel.

Democratic words so crass
Evaporate as vaporous, gas.
Mid promises of drifted mist
Conveyed in lies of brutish fist!
Israel, Africa and France,
Black and white in deathly dance,
Britain, Russia, USA
China charges into play…..
Nuclear weapons used as pawns
As God in Heaven sighs.... and yawns.

IS THIS IS HOW IT’S MEANT TO BE
FROM NOW UNTIL ETERNITY?

M@Foxglove,TaranakiNZ
24 April 2023
Apr 2023 · 89
Shedding the Mantle
Marshal Gebbie Apr 2023
Edging from the portal to the very plinth of sanity
Wending ways across the web amidst the spoken word,
Forging forth dexterity to clarity's dominion
In focusing the spotlight on all but the absurd.

To concentrate attention to a filigree of pigment
Is to re-collate the toning to an acceptable degree,
Avoiding condescension to the subject limitation
Allows the truth to permeate, surrendering to me.

Free now of the torment of a misconception's moment
Free now to attest to the pledge that makes it right,
Lost to all the lies and the desperate ambiguity
To soar in realization of this incandescent light.

M@Foxglove,TaranakiNZ
21 April 2023
Apr 2023 · 763
Forbidden Fruit
Marshal Gebbie Apr 2023
Questioning her leanings, friend
Will neither win desire, nor end....
Instead the fluid slips to point
Where passion slides to bridge the joint
To sup from that forbidden place
Electrifies with easy grace.

M@Foxglove,TaranakiNZ
April 10 2023
In response to Carlo C. Gomez's poem : "The ***** of a Vertical Line".
Apr 2023 · 182
Writhing to a Discernment
Marshal Gebbie Apr 2023
Poignant
In the way chance falls,
Irresolute
And without recall.
Preposterously
In foolish play,
Galling,
In it's heartless way.
Laughable
When whimsy, seen
Embraceable
As so obscene....
To Whom now
Falls the questing quest?
Perhaps,
To he, who claims, knows best?
Enmeshed
Though, in his quagmire slog
Retreats
To distant treeline fog
Where there,
In crystal silence, long,
.....
DISCERNS NOW!
......
To a Blackbird's song





M@Foxglove,TaranakiNZ
8 April 2023
Marshal Gebbie Mar 2023
This place we now find ourselves in, in history, where Human aggression is recognized as being a universal paramount in the fight for global survival..

Where in the face of Russian warmongering and charging Chinese military expansionism?
Where in the uncertainty of the volatility and utterly predictable intentions of second string nuclear nations, such as North Korea, Israel, India , Pakistan, South Africa and, soon, Iran, there can be no promise of security from the possibility of spontaneous outbreak of nuclear hostilities.?
Where the USA, because of the trajectories of its diabolical, episodic electoral swings, In that every four years the political spectrum and its spinning wheel of alliances and militaristic articulations change to render the nation as predictably unreliable militarily and, essentially, heading towards being a potential fortress unto itself?
Where nuclear NATO and Europe wallow in a quagmire of indecision and bickering between themselves rendering them, collectively, insignificant?
Where emergent South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and several South American nations are currently being backed into a position where they are being forced to militarize, to join the nuclear club for their own survival?
Where the Jihadists will ultimately procure and utilize a nuclear device in the most spectacular manner possible….to further their own ends?

There have been 106 major wars fought since 1945. Many of them brushfire wars between populations within a single or neighboring nation, the like of which are still being fought in countries such as Nigeria, the Congo, Sudan, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan and Yemen. Wars where people are being brutalized, dispossessed, killed and *****, daily. Where thousands are made refugees having to abandon their homes, their lives and their families in the face of brute force and extreme violence. Wars which are completely ignored by much of the rest of the world. Ignored because they don’t touch the comfortable normality of everyday life, the harmony of an existence without the threat of violent death by marauding gunmen or suicide vest explosives.

We in peaceful corners of the world live in a fool’s paradise because the threat of sudden widespread thermonuclear war has never been so immanent, so poised to erupt, since that of the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962 where Kennedy and Khrushchev were within a hairs breadth of unleashing nuclear armageddon on the world. Sanity prevailed then, a compromise was reached where nuclear armaments were mutually removed from Poland and Cuba and the world entered the phase of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). An insanity which berthed the age of Détente.

And so it has been till now. A balancing act where nuclear nations tip toed around each other stretching the limits of confrontation without actually trespassing to the threshold.

Putin has passed the threshold with his extended invasion of Ukraine, He had the opportunity of freezing hostilities and retaining Donbas and the Crimean peninsula for Russia. He twice declined this opportunity and reinforced his attack on the Ukrainian people. Biden’s USA dug in as did the nations of NATO declaring their intention to militarily support the  forces of Ukraine for as long as it took to force Russia’s hand.
An impasse which hovers both sides on the very brink of nuclear confrontation.

China skips back and forth playing peacemaker to the UN and brother in arms to its Communistic ally, Russia. Yet all the while China trumpets its ultimate destiny of world ******* by force. Flexing her muscle in the Spratley and Paracell islands of the South China sea where she has expanded coral atolls into fortified military airfields threatening the free trade sealanes between Asia and the world. China now claims the South china sea as her own sovereign territory and patrols this seaway aggressively with armed warplanes and warships.

China confronts the Seventh Fleet of the USA navy over her demand of ownership of Taiwan, the forces are nose to jowel with fingers on the trigger. Taiwan is the world leader in production of microchips, They have the factories and the raw materials, Taiwan own the secrets of the processing. China are desperate to get this technology… and they need it now for further development of their computer and space research development. They have threatened Taiwan with military maneuvers and declarations of intention to invade. The only thing stopping them is the standoff with the USA military. Hair trigger stuff which is so volatile it could erupt at any time.

I gaze out the window here in the beautiful green foothills of Mt. Taranaki in New Zealand. The Tasman sea extends out for miles as a peaceful, shimmering deep blue visage. The air is warm and still in this early Autumn harmony. Birds fly by, farmers till their fields bringing in the season’s crop of maize. Harmony, peace and beauty reign supreme. A masterpiece of order and something of immense value to all who live here and share it……But for how long before it all becomes destruction, despair and subjugation. How long before the aggression and the greed for power reaches out to this far outpost of humanity to crush the life out of it with it’s sudden, vast, violent and toxic nuclear fist?

The way humanity is going right now?…..NOT LONG!

I listened to a podcast recently where this question was put to a number of philosophers, scientists, authors and national leaders…..”When will War End?”
The consensus of opinion was that war has always been a part of mankind’s makeup. Only humans and Chimpanzees wage war and only humans do it with a visceral passion.
When humans wage peace…they get bored! Peace is boring!  …genuinely this was a common theme.
The group saw warfare as an inherent part of man’s competitive nature, they saw it as a compilation of greed, ego, lust for power and assets.

When will war end? Certainly not in my lifetime, probably never!
Live with it, they said!

M@Foxglove,Taranaki NZ
Mar 2023 · 109
Right of the Might
Marshal Gebbie Mar 2023
Across this world of wide expanse
Of peoples of all hue,
There dwell a breed who call the shots
At best, they're far and few.
Elitists in their chosen field
They lead through halls of wealth,
To wield the club of power
With a callousness and stealth.
Unencumbered by remorse,
Self consciousness or guilt,
They ply their craft implacably
With blades ******, to the hilt.
Nobody treads their path by day
Nor ventures near by night
For fear is the factor plied
Upon those few, who might?

Thuggery by virtue
Of it's purity and strength
Defeats the hand of righteousness
And it's limitation's length.
Influence through wealth and power,
Politics and might,
Ensures the threat of challenge
Is minimized, outright.
Ensures the chance of coup d'état
Is nipped, quite in the bud....
And any hint of a transgression
Indicates you're for the rub.
Control here is the absolute
And menace, the means,
Of town and State and Nationhood
Uncompromisingly...it seems!

Doctoring the syllabuses
Manipulating schools,
Ensuring that the emphasis points
To Strength.... to laugh at fools.
From idolizing sporting stars
Who break the rules at will,
To buying off the referee
To guarantee the ****.
The new Mercedes waiting
Just offstage, there in the wings
All dependent on that chosen
Presentation team that sings?
Back handers at container ports
Consignments sent astray
Narcotics for the Power brokers
Ensures they scoop the day!

Extrapolated to today
Where double standards rate,
Where settlers on the West bank
Of Judea earn the hate....
Of the dispossessed of Palestine
Who are hounded from their land
Whilst the Fat Cats in Washington
Offer Israel, their hand?
Yet, seemingly, duplicitous
That very same Decree
Siphons billions to Ukraine
To prevent mad Russia's hungry spree?
Forgive me the confusion here
For I am, but a man....
But is not this a juxtaposition
Here, Involving land???

Tomorrow's cold betrayal
In yesterday's hot win
Smacks of loss of bold cohesion
And fearful, dabbling in Sin.
Black is to White now
As White is now to Black
And the marginalization
Means there's no going back,
For the die is hard and solid caste
And the future is full clear
That the mania of mankind's
Final ****** demise is near...
That our values are shot to Hell
With the message on the wall
Hallelujah's gone, friend
And there aint no **** recall!

M@Foxglove, Taranaki NZ
3 March 2023
Marshal Gebbie Feb 2023
Vermillion streaks in stratus, dark
Against the very heart of night,
Bands of deep red in the shroud
Portend approaching cyclone's might.
Morning shards of  fractured cloud
Stream across a shattered sky,
Smothered sun in shadowed orb
Against where apprehension's lie.

South East winds arising now
Tussock billowing in dale
Trees commence a windward thrash
In lieu of kiss of coming gale.
Greyness of a leaden sea
In the lee of storm's approach,
Beneath the streaming sand dunes
The seagulls shelter, in reproach.

Mounting gusts of boisterous wind
Cascade along the lamp lit way
Schoolgirls shriek as skirts fly high
And ominously, skies turn grey.
Supermarkets, in the city
Teem with queues in panic buy,
Grab bags now the urgent item
Just in case the flooding's high.

Traffic blocks the bridge and byways
Wan in headlights falling rain,
Anxiously, the need to be home
Frought anticipation's pain.
All the birds have disappeared
Vanished, in the sudden still,
Eery in the misting rainfall
Frightening, in a mystic chill.

Havoc as she sets upon us
Howling wind and teeming rain,
Horizontal onslaught blasting
Gabriella's Song by name!
Bridges under siege with flooding
Trees down over roads,
Monstrous waves in tidal surging
Causing coastal overloads.

Imprisonment by sandbags
As flooded rivers overflow
In blinding rain of maelstrom teeming
Anywhere and everywhere you go.
Inundated cars on freeway
Flashing hazards submerged deep,
Rescued souls lost, bewildered
In sudden-ness disaster reaps.

Massive trees are torn asunder
Blasted foliage thrashing wild
Torrents rage through streambed gullies
Gabrielle, destruction's child!
..............
Aftermath of horror's silence
Hollow eyed and gaping jaw
A nightmare for your sanity?
Nay,  Gabriella's Song.... is flawed.

M@Foxglove,Taranaki NZ
A direct hit by Cyclone Gabrielle on a vulnerable New Zealand, adrift in the vast South Pacific Ocean
Feb 2023 · 319
Writers Block
Marshal Gebbie Feb 2023
Apprehension made you pause
To study the attrition clause,
Ascertain the forward path,
Condescend to actually ask....
Condescend to feel the heat
Of the artwork at your feet.

M@Foxglove,Taranaki NZ
Quietly, lightly

This path I wrote
wrought
with missed
twists and turns
and trip wires
made of pit
vipers camouflaged
in ****** stripes
the color
of Bumble Bees
that make me
pale
humbly I ask
help
me please
I hear foot steps
quietly, lightly
on the trail
close
behind me.

Ledge
Marshal Gebbie Feb 2023
Bright, they shone in morning sun
Eccentrically, they glowed as one,
Briefly in the morning light
Extinguishing their flame, by night.
Softly then, in morning mist,
To vanish in fame's tragic twist.

M@Foxglove,TaranakiNZ
Marilyn and Judy

Not everyone can be a star
no matter how we wish for heavenly light
most of us will not illuminate the night
those who burn and seem so bright
will oft ignite and fall
burning cinders
merely human after all.

Betty January 14
Feb 2023 · 140
To JP's "Same Old Song"
Marshal Gebbie Feb 2023
Virtue lies in simple lines
Unencumbered by the times,
Same old song's familiar tune
Breeds contentiousness's classic rune....

"That worrisome and trouble lurks
So deep in thoughts, where trouble works."

Shed ye the dark within, old friend,
Then whisper, soft, thy song again.

M@Foxglove,Taranaki NZ
5th February 2023
That Same Old Song

Why carry this weight?
Does reward await
some years ahead
but...before I'm dead?
Is there virtue in the same pain
felt again and again,
that same old song
I've been singin' for so long?

JP Midwest USA
Jan 2023 · 121
Exceptional She....
Marshal Gebbie Jan 2023
Object or subject, a misogynistic twin
Sewing paradigm shift’s generational whim.
From exceptional woman to pedestrian man
Flows abuse from birth to beyond the pram….
A seismic shift in entitlements class
Paints a Promethean twist to a white camels ****.

Martyrdom’s surrogate threat is at rest
When ubiquitous *** is put to the test,
Where ardent desire is balanced by blame
With the hint of precociousness tinged, with shame.
Gentility sacrificed, shabby at best,
As virility's vanity fails the test.

Slumming in alcohol, hookers and drugs
Worming it all with the snails and the slugs
Tasting a virginal, transcendent plan,
Proffering opportunities chance in a man
Offering she, now…. to give it a whirl……
Magnanimously, Babe, in his ****, fool world.

M.
A surreptitious observation of “they” at play.
29 January 2023
Jan 2023 · 419
Accidentally on Purpose
Marshal Gebbie Jan 2023
I really didn't mean it, promise I never even seen it  
done it accidentally on purpose instead
when its comes to purpose, I’m renowned for being earnest  
besides you secretly enjoy being completely misled

accidentally on purpose, accidentally on purpose
rules don’t have the same applicability
its only just a circus, when its accidentally on purpose
its a far lower threshold of culpability  

don't do me this disservice, it was accidentally on purpose,
please consider when apportioning blame
when its accidentally on purpose, almost doing you a service    
the blame is not even close to the same

There’s a thing called caveat emptor, its supposedly there to protect ya
sadly not against other’s intentionality  
when its accidentally on purpose, this rule’s completely out of service
tis writ in the annals of human morality    

accidentally on purpose, accidentally on purpose
usual rules they just don't apply,
accidentally on purpose, that’s why you cannot deter us
it permits me to self-indemnify  

Pete Granger DDA
Another from the pen of "Piddles" Granger.
Jan 2023 · 99
On Wally Marks
Marshal Gebbie Jan 2023
It was with considerable sadness to learn of the recent passing of Bass local, Wally Marks.

For many years Wally operated plant-stalls at South Gippsland markets...including Wonthaggi and Grantville. He specialised in the bargain-basement bush business.

He was pushing 90, near deaf, failing eyesight, and could barely stay upright in a stiff breeze. In his lifetime he had the smarts and energy to make a bob or two. So, grafting-away at his advanced age was purely optional. It obviously gave his life real meaning. He enjoyed meeting people, having a chat, dispensing advice, and transacting. It was his opportunity to socially-connect on his terms. Moreover, he was very driven in his endeavours  – perhaps the legacy of a pretty tough childhood back in England.

Inside his living room there was a dust-laden photo of a remarkably handsome pair on their wedding day. His better-half had died long before. Muttering under his breath he once declared this had coincided with the time ‘everything started to go wrong’. However, he was the most stoic of individuals, and not prone to self-pity. His therapy was to busy himself out of his often self-induced loneliness. This was all the more remarkable given significant physical disabilities.

Outdoors, he staggered around like a cat on hot coals. When the weather improved he went native, un-self-consciously sporting nothing more than an unflattering, oversized pair of underpants. Sometimes even less. This gave the rather surreal impression of being in the presence of a venerable Indian mystic. Hobbling along, he would grasp at every approaching physical support within arms length. He would seed, plant and propagate, by which time there was no remaining energy or inclination for the more mundane task of tidying up the accumulating crap. Or perhaps he simply confined it to his peripheral vision.

Consistent with his exceptional stubbornness and independence, any attempt to assist him clear the mounting backlog was met with the most emphatic refusal. He liked it just the way it was, and didn't give a hoot what others thought.

He did not ask for any favours, nor shy away from speaking his mind. Ordinarily, compromise was not the subject of negotiation. Conversely, he was very forthcoming and helpful with advice to his customers. There was a soft side to him, but it could be eclipsed by his exceptional mental toughness, independence and defiance.

Somehow, he would load up his van every weekend and drive to the market de-jour. One expects he was sweating on the advent of driverless vehicles to enable him to continue for all eternity.

Wally had no compelling need to endure all this, and in reality no longer had the physical capacity to do so. However, he purposefully and courageously willed his way through the process until the day his spirit was snatched away. Snatched, but by no means meekly surrendered. His life therefore was one of purposeful struggle. Which made it full of meaning, or conversely as meaningless as those drawn to the fervent building of elaborate sand castles at low tide. Take your pick.

It may be argued his life could have been more comfortably spent. But comfort was not in his lexicon. He was not your born-again Ikea man, and clearly did not treat his home as a pristine retreat from the minor calamity outdoors. Indeed, his inside and outside worlds were indistinguishable, even for his beloved four-legged friends Curly and cat. Socially, this was obviously problematic, but it did not seem to bother him in the least.

If cleanliness is next to Godliness, Wally was certainly not currying favour with Him upstairs for more advantageous treatment in the next life. He could have received any amount of more earthly assistance, but he steadfastly refused. Indoors, he gave the rather melancholy impression of a man defiantly protecting the spirit of his dearly-departed from the unwanted incursions of latter-day intruders. If she was not there to manage it, then  no-one would, not even Wally himself. In so doing, he forged an eerie symmetry between the slow decline in his physical state and his chosen surroundings.

Wally was a man who ran his own race. Unlike most, he was not in the least shaped by the whims and expectations of others. If the measure of a man were the lasting impressions left in the memories of his contemporaries, whether favourable or otherwise, then Wally’s life was a significant triumph.

RIP Walter.  

Pete Granger DDA, Tenby Point, Victoria, Australia
A colourful account of the passing of a local legend.
Written with a high degree of passion by an old ****** Agricultural College colleague of mine, a Brother of 57 years standing, Peter (Piddles) Granger.
Piddles and I spent two years locked together as 24 hour classmates in house. We ate together, studied together, played Australian Rules football together, chased the girls, laughed together, cried together....and we graduated together.
Jan 2023 · 169
Rendezvous in Autumn Light
Marshal Gebbie Jan 2023
Forgotten in the rank long grass
A Café of an ancient class,
Purloining in a classic way
Good beverages of yesterday.
Astride a weathered timber seat
We sat and deigned to rest our feet,
The comfort in this run down place
Permitting smiles to crease our face.

We happened, on this windy day,
To watch the rippled grasses sway,
Watched the starlings flock and mass
Above, in clouds of seething gas.
Autumn tones in billowed leaves
Gathered as the breezes pleased.
Stretched the legs and felt the sun….
Joyously, we laughed, as one.

She served us mugs of steaming brew
A thick Moroccan medley stew
With vegetables in chilli’s bite
And sautéed lamb to add delight.
So glorious, in the afternoon,
We sipped, deliciously, attuned.
Moments, in that space of time,
To make our wondrous day….sublime.

M.
Taranaki, NZ
April 2022
Dec 2022 · 222
The Hills of Home
Marshal Gebbie Dec 2022
There's a mist in the air in this beautiful place
And the cows in the meadow are grazing, apace,
The light hangs thinly on threadlets, serene,
In curtains of diamonds' oblique blue screen.
The frost clings white to shards of grass
Sculpting rolling hills a-gleam like glass.
For wherever I travel, wherever I roam,
There's nowhere on earth like the Hills of Home.

Yonder the green-ness rolling in hills,
The beauty of which, immensely fills,
My heart with a gladness, my soul with joy
A replete-ness my spiraling mindset employs.
For whether in Spain or the peaks of the alps
Or delving in tussock or diving through kelps,
Wherever the wondrous, whatever the thrills....
Nothing approaches.... my Homeland Hills.

A tingle abuzz, All my senses a-flair
Anticipation's delight is filling the air
A feeling pervades as I gaze out the door
Seeing mountains and blue skies, majestically, soar.
Watching rolling white clouds and the green hills, perform
And the pounding pulse in my chest, is the norm....
And the brilliant smile which beams from my face
Makes these Hills of Home.... My Most Wonderful Place!

M.
Foxglove@Taranaki,NZ
28th December 2022
Dec 2022 · 121
Pondering the Ponderings
Marshal Gebbie Dec 2022
Would that thou in flowers walk
Uttering the talk you talk?
Had thou seen the setting sun
Knowing dreams had just begun?
Would thou,in this speck of time,
Not admit thy mood sublime?

M. Foxglove@Taranakj,NZ.
19 December 2022
Tip-toing through the ponderings of Old Poet MK.
Dec 2022 · 122
The Difficulty with Dad.
Marshal Gebbie Dec 2022
There but, for the grace of God, go I…..
That wizened one on corner bench
Balding with a wrinkled eye,
Challenged by his verbal clench.

He holds forth with a knowing tongue,
In cadence, difficult for me,
Phrases from a wheezing lung
In yesterday’s lost repartee.

Pedantic, in occasional  way,
Quite racist in the words that flow,
Combative to retorts, I say….
Breed angrily, response….. I know.

Wishing to avoid offense,
Impatient, in my need to go,
I interrupt, to make amends
And flee with fleeting smile to show.

Thus the way of late, it seems,
Curtailed in his ancient eye,
Impatience with the aged dreams,
Communication cauterized.

Hurt,  I see the face withdraw
Bite the sentence from the tongue,
Quiet….but  the look implores
Condescension has begun.

Agh, these days go thinly by
The telephone now rarely rings,
Words are short twixt he and I
A hollowness this silence brings.

M
11th December 2022
Foxglove@Taranaki,NZ
A perspective from the other side.
A young, busy mind having to cope with the dwindling perspicuity of the aged, difficult Dad.
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