Old Photos


Old Photo’s
Bending to tie my shoes, seems a little
Harder this year, I sit, baggy trousered,
Caressing the old blue photo album,
Embossing slightly worn, occasional
Pages are a little loose now. Opened;
Love lost remembered, discovered
Between stuck-together pages, brushing
The grey stubble on my chin, grinning, my head,
Bow’d slightly, silently reminiscing.
Bairns now grown, girls now grans, adults long dead.

The dented kettle boils, its’ aged long
Blackened spout pouting wisps of warm mist.
“Come on, time for tea.” She used to call us,
In that everyday voice, that home-spun warm tone,
Voices from a childhood world we did not
Realise would end so soon. Done play’n, done work’n,
We noisily brought our mess in, our human stain,
Generation upon generation.
Skilled in hand, passionate in deep breath,
Long tribal memories not passed on,
No secret diaries or home-crafted poems,
Just a few edge-discoloured photos
Of familiar, half-familiar faces.

Ah now, which cup? Funny how tea seems to
Taste better in the old cracked one,
Stained brown patterns, worn timeless with age.
Lived in, doubted in and dreamed in.
The old kettle rattles to a grudging
Halt, satisfied. A homely job well done.
A satisfied human life well lived,
A few cracks here and there, well worn with age,
Lived in, loved in and dreamed in.

© David R. Durham

Four Elements

Just Standing
Just standing on rich brown earth,
Cold damp seeping, skin to bone.

Wind ripping apart doubts and fears,
Scattering their tooth-marked bones to the ground.

Lightening cracking open anger’s flames,
Their flickering red light exposing heart’s well of grief.

Ancestral souls, watching from the shadows with deep-set eyes,
Dancing and chanting our way back home.

© David R. Durham, 2019, All Rights Reserved.

All That Is Left

apple blossom, poetry

All That Is Left
I used to meditate in the stillness;
Now, all that’s left is Stillness.

I used to love to work and play;
Now, all that’s left is Love.

I used to dream of many, many things;
Now, all that’s left are Dreams.

I used to live as if death was tomorrow;
Now, all that’s left is Death.

© David R. Durham, 2016, All Rights Reserved.


buddha statue

Woulds’t this mercurial stage shake our faith?
Turning all whom we love to ash and dust,
Ready to be blown, blown away on casual breeze.

Ravaged human heart and sweet sacred soul,
How can we imagine joyful dreams?
If life is thus.

What mischievous and pitiable acts and scenes,
How can we love?
If bitter taste is all it leaves.

Had we read the script in advance,
Would we have made our bold entrance?
Alternating cries and smiles, radiating naive hope.

This turning wheel of blood and guts,
It spins, grinds and turns and turns,
Whilst memories of loved ones past haunt our waking dream.

Yet, at the heart of our sensuous storms,
Lie wisdom and compassion no grief can break,
Through death, we find our truest faith.

© David R. Durham, All Rights Reserved.



Relaxing in the sun warmed veranda,
Admiring the grass, growing moment by steady moment,
Abruptly, a chop and a thud sneak round the corner.
Pause. A chop and a thud.
Longer pause. Another chop followed by another thud.
My breathing slows, eye-brow raised, waiting,
Waiting, expectantly, for the next chop,
Will there be a next chop?
What if there’s a chop, but no thud?

What if? What if?
What would a life be like,
Made up of what ifs.

A train leaves a station, who got on?
Who answered their life’s calling?
Rolling fields of rippling greens flow by,
Punctuated with silent passing faces.
A station, a stop, a pause in our life journey,
Some folks get up, gather their stuff and leave,
Some new folks get on and look around,
Muttering softly to themselves,
Pondering where they should sit,
And whom to avoid.

Whom to avoid? Whom to avoid?
What would a life be like,
Made up of whom to avoid.

Snagged, snagged on a half-remembered dream,
Stranded, stranded high and dry,
Tides, tides roll in, roll out,
Bleak, bleak this muddy human shoreline.

© David R. Durham, All Rights Reserved.

Enchanted Forest

enchanted forest

Enchanted Forest

I danced through the forest at fall of night,
By guardian mountains and faithful streams,
To where an old lady sat, in ramshackle cabin porch,
Her hands are deeply grained with living cares,
Her face is old, her eyes are wise,
She smiled, we sat, she read my heart,
She looked about us, and waived her arm,
This is Mother Earth, she whispered in my mind,
And all the trees began to shimmer in energetic haze,
Wreathed forms melted away, pure being revealed.

© David R. Durham, All Rights Reserved.

They Lived and Loved


They Lived and Loved

They lived and loved,
Their childhood friends and summer days,
While all about them daisies sang a sweet serenade,
Their dream is life, their living a dream.

They lived and loved,
Their feet falling, fumbling, caressing rugged Earth,
Sinewed muscles, developing their strength, skill and speed,
Celebrating winning joy, pained in careless fall.

They lived and loved,
New words and meaning, new sounds and dance,
Absorbed keenly into flesh and bone and blood,
Growing doubt free in the endless rise of man.

They lived and loved,
Their union sanctified anew, in time-worn tribal traditions,
Walking into their future together, weaving new familiar stories,
Joyous love giving painful birth to new generation.

They lived and loved,
Feeling the full numbing force of daily chore,
Raising, loving intimately, chattering, laughing and cursing,
Yet terrified, in ultimately not knowing their own creation.

They lived and loved,
All the while, silent stars swarmed overhead,
Inviting passionate mystery, blesséd ancient tales,
God’s grace, breaking gently on shore-less human psyche.

© David R. Durham, All Rights Reserved.

Sea Anchor


Sea Anchor
Sea anchor, hold us safe in passing,
Stormy seas. Protect us from raging,
Tidal torrents, bone breaking waves.

Sea anchor, saviour of souls, bless our,
Fragile bodies, racked with fearful,
Doubts. Clothed in restless desires.

Sea anchor, protect us from gnawing,
Obsessions, tapestries of daily,
Duties, eating our aliveness.

Sea anchor, release us now from your,
Deathly grip of our history’s past,
Gnarled, bitter, toxic memory.

© David R. Durham, All Rights Reserved.

Ancestral Voices

poetry, spirit

Ancestral Voices
This living tradition,
Contains no mystery,
No secrets, nothing hidden,
All is as it is.

As we dance in morning mist,
Songs of our ancestors weave,
Our sacred unfolding path,
Breath of life, living gods.

For our poor limited minds,
Dreams challenge and remind us,
To tread with care,
To live with respect.

Our poor, poor minds,
Lost in a sorcerer’s spell,
Desire, desire, desire,
A mantra of death and slavery.

Sing, sing your way back home,
Chant your ancestral songs,
Leave the spell of this labyrinth,
All is sacred, your path,
Tribal life, all life.

Remember, remember, wake up!

© David R. Durham, All Rights Reserved.

There Is A Story


There is a Story
There is a story,
A story of our life-time lived.

There is a story,
A story of our family’s struggles.

There is a story,
A story of our rich tribal roots.

There is a story,
A story of our ancestors’ rights of passage.

There is a story,
That pre-dates our time on planet Earth.

There is a story,
Which comes even from before time and space appeared.

There is a story,
When we were young and powerful beings, creators of worlds.

There is a story,
Before we invented in innocence, these games of life and death.

This is your story.

© David R. Durham, All Rights Reserved.

The Merging


The Merging
The key slips into lock and turn,
Gate latch, twisted, smooth, rusted edge,
Walk out, join life’s sultry urban churn.

New soft shoes shuffle on pedals,
Drive out, join life’s urban jobbers,
The key slips into lock and turn.

Run, catch the seven thirty train,
Drift into mesmerising thoughts,
Walk out, join life’s sultry urban churn.

Bill boards flirt and play, stealing mind,
Promising escapes, trusted,
The key slips into lock and turn.

Will beggars stop asking you why,
Why you don’t give to them anymore,
Walk out, join life’s sultry urban churn.

Heads turn briefly to watch siren,
Sail colourfully by, merging,
The key slips into lock and turn,
Walk out, join life’s sultry urban churn.

© David R. Durham, All Rights Reserved.