Ghosts of stars

And it occurred to me

That these are the days

Each 24 hours long

(As decided by some surmising doing being some thousand years ago)

These are the days

Through which we rush headlong

Like children hounded by bells

School is out

It is in

Lessons in session

Heads down we forge ahead

Fall behind

This school of life

Constantly honing us at the crucible of strife and dissatisfaction

We pay our taxes

And are swallowed by the worry beast

It spits us out

There goes the bell again

We appear

Dishevelled, our shoes on the wrong feet



Pushing for peak performance

Standing on stages

We have reached through tripping up stairs, hearts knocking in chests that are crushed too often in defeat

Drinking coffee in copious throw away cups

Consuming everything around us in an attempt to satisfy that empty feeling that whispers

We are still not enough

Still not enough

Yet this is all there is of us

These 24 hours that we stuff with stuff and then throw away in our morning paper cups

Piles of rubbish

Like burrows dug

Rising out there – at the town dump – where we cannot see our shameful leavings of broken pieces

Constantly discarding

Shedding and losing sense of any direction in which we could be heading


Ahh yes but it depends which way your standing

Direction is so



Is so pertinent

Yet systems and facilities

Governments and legislation

Pushing compass needles into clocks

Chaining and subduing every wild thought by virtue of

Reports and graphs that weigh mightily on the mind and must be returned by June O’clock deadlines

So we wait in queues

On phonelines to someone who may answer or not

Barely human – they sit tied to another compass clock

Perhaps in one of those other directionless countries

And we spend our time

With gold dollar coins that have lost any value and certainly all shine

doodling in nearby notebooks that fill up pages with ever broadening and bewildering circles

In stuttering attempts to find meaning in who we are

What we came here for…

As if any of it matters

We are life itself

In all it’s glory

But we have snapped our huge potential into so many little pieces

Enormous trees

Reduced to matchsticks

Strike and burn

Toss and yearn

Look though here, you runaway child


Yes I too can hear the bell

Block your ears!

Don’t heed it, it rings from hell

It will ring

And ring

And somewhere work will begin again



Oh runaway child

24 hours is not what it seems

You are bleeding from those scuffed up knees

And that suitcase of things

That you’re dragging

Is sitting on your heartfelt dreams

Crushing your chest

These hours

They are all that we have

Our lives pinned like flies

To calenders

Stored in electrical devices

That ping and prompt

And someone forgot

To tell us


To throw them away

Unpin the day

The hour

Release them from time

They are all we get

Precious time indeed


These hours and days and weeks and years and moments

So fleeting

They reduce me to tears

Sliding down the cheek to set in stone

The writing it spoke to me as it sealed all those tombs

Rest In Peace

And after so much running

I guess they did


Well it really isn’t relevant – they’ve left this sliding room

Tipped out the trapdoor at the bottom of the chute

Yet we forget

And forget

Despite bodies of evidence

That these hours we wake into

Are all we get

So when you ask “where did it all go?”

That time, it just went

It just went

And there goes that damn bell again

But before you hark and bow to the sound

Look behind it – to the moon still going down

In the vast ink black sky full of dying stars

They are already dead too you know

Out there

They died perhaps a thousand years prior

Yet we see their ghost lights if we look up

Fleeting little ghost lights

That’s all we are

Good luck

And may those running feet for just one moment today

Walk on earth that is real

And not in your head

Lest we forget

Rest In Peace

It’s the things etched in stone

That make you think and forget

But what would I know

I’ve only been here for a blink

And all those humans





Ever shifting

Swallowing stars

They’re gone

We all go

There are plenty of ways to beat time and muffle the bell – so many and I’m still finding them – hiking, photography, meditation, yoga, strolling with dogs (have you noticed how immersed the wise hound is in their surroundings?)

You won’t get an award for any of this and some will scoff and say you are wasting time …

Those people need a big hug – truly they’re just a wreck beneath that shiny bonnet of a brand new car to nowhere they are driving …

Enjoy the day

The hours and minutes

The ups and downs and everything in it

Truly – this is our life bad if we start dividing up piles in to the bits we like and the bits we don’t


More bean counting and hair splitting and wasting of precious commodities

A fragile piece of string – uncertain of its own length and left hanging around like the balloons already deflating that marked a child’s party

Right here perhaps – that is the only place it can ever be

But despite all the reminders I still forget – so thought I would write it down

Thanks for reading

13 thoughts on “Ghosts of stars

  1. What I like about your poetry is the stream of consciousness, the way it meanders from one impression to another. Almost like being pulled through a series of psychological inkblots. I can tell you are in fall there. Not winter yet?? Always the most poignant time of the year, I think. Your kids go to school in fall and winter there like we do here? I presume. But I loved school and then I was a teacher, so that seemed the time I was most emotionally turbulent, even though I wasn’t fond of deep winter. I loved the fall through Christmas. What is your weather like at Christmas time?

    • Hi Lyn lovely to hear from you. No, it is descending into deeper winter here now but we live in Queensland so it never snows but we do get heavy frosts at time and it’s certainly cold. For us anyway. Someone from England would probably still be swimming 😬. Christmas is usually hot, we still have a traditional roast mostly but have the aircon blasting and carols singing about snow and chestnuts playing the background 😁 I don’t mind the cold of winter but when grey clouds cover the sun and you can’t get warm – I have the inclination to go hibernate under the covers – the fireplace is lovely though.

  2. I was thinking maybe winter…wasn’t sure. Hard to feature. Totally opposite from here? Air conditioning and prime rib? That still works for me. What do you have with it? I’m half English and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding still our tradition. I like the winter for a while. Here until mid-Feb. then I want to go somewhere warm a month or so. I do like the fireplace.

    • Traditional to the family is three roasts, ham, veges, cream potatoes, greens – I have my own things that I eat as rarely a meat eater anymore but I happily cook it for others and the smells of the kitchen are cognisant with childhood. I don’t do as many desserts. We used to have massive mains then a huge array of desserts when I was a kid – all the aunts would do their specialities. Things are smaller now I guess and I think as humans we are a little less large too – probably just my perspective has changed so much since childhood. Like when you go back to the family home and think “I’m sure everything was bigger” but you’re just taller. Wow that was a ramble sorry. I never noticed before social media how once side of the world was experiencing different weather – my gram feed is full of summer and beaches while I’m rugged up – kind of cool really how we get an insight into other worlds.

  3. That was beautiful 💙. I love the bell metaphor…that constant nag of artificial pressure imposed by modern life…

    • There is so many bells – silent or loud or just annoyingly announcing: the end of the dishwashing cycle, your meal is cooked, your clothes are washed, the car speaks, the phone beeps, and here I am whinging about every little convenience 😂

      • But were the lives of previous generations happier, without our conveniences?

        Reminds me of the saying: when the phone was chained (i.e. corded) people were free.

      • It’s such a great saving and so very true – the more time we have the more we fill – it just speeds everything up. I think we need to go back to leaving the phone at home and washing the dishes by hand. No the clothes though…those washing machines are a marvellous invention 😁

  4. I could read this over and over. There are so many layers of truth, so beautifully told.
    “Those people need a big hug – truly they’re just a wreck beneath that shiny bonnet of a brand new car to nowhere they are driving …”…the great pursuit of the meaning of life all wrapped up in metal. And things. Disposable things. Everything based on the shininess of the gold-that holds no eternal value. The bells ring and we robotically obey its signaling. For some, these routines balance their bravery. For others, they proceed without passion of anything outside a screen or 4 walls. It’s so liberating to find freedom in the soul. You’re a light in this world my friend. ❤🤍💚

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