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mostly nonsense
~~~~~~~~rhymes by philip thiel
recent poems 
28th Jun 2010 - Owl
    I'd never really liked my owl.
        One day I shot it dead
    and wrapped it in the paper towel
        I found behind my bed.
It made all the papers out Macedon way
          that winter of seventy-three,
how fires were blazing on Pyalong Plain
in spite of a season of dam-busting rain.
          Who kindled them? No-one could say.

And yet I’ve a secret that’s never been told 
          that treats an old swaggie and me.
We came on those fires one bone-chilling night
and, lit by their flicker, we witnessed a sight
          ’twould make any Christian heart cold.

My mate’d been spooked by the howl of a bird –
          “let’s stop until morning,” said he.
And, just as he said it, a beautiful fire
blazed out in the distance, and up a bit higher 
          there followed a second, a third.

“Companions!” he shouted, and made for the light –
          “I’d kill for some hot billy tea.”
Yet at the first fire we found not a soul
besides flaming branches and hell-coloured coal. 
          “They must’ve moved on for the night.”

We hiked to the next one; and just like the first
          it lit the old swagman and me
but no-one beside us. And then I recalled
those tales in the Macedon papers, and bawled:
          “these fires, this plateau – they’re cursed!”

Unfazed by this outcry, my mate took a drink 
          and pushed on to blaze number three
where, sight’n one figure, he said “there’s ya ghost!
Hey mate, stoke the fire, we’ll cook us some toast!”
          and threw me a confident wink.

The man at the fire kept piling on wood 
          not minding the swaggie and me,
and so we approached him; when, lit up in red,
we saw that his shoulders and neck lacked a head.
          My mate quipped: “now, this carn’t be good.”

“Let’s grab ’im!” I shouted, and skirted around
          as fast as a cat up a tree.
My mate did the same and we leapt sight unseen
colliding mid-air where the ghost should’ve been 
          and fallin’ like rocks to the ground.

We woke with the clear noon-day sun blazing down.
          There wasn’t a spirit to see;
and only the ash-piles that led to our right
recalled the strange horror we’d witnessed that night,
          and led us back in to the town.
24th Nov 2009 - Annoying poem #1
I'm worried.
12th Jul 2009 - Psalm XCVIII
    We need a brand-new song to sing
    about the quite important thing
        that with our God we're always sure
        that victory means peace, not war.

    And anyway (ask anyone)
    our loving God's already won,
        revealing to the world at large
        the happy news that Love's in charge.

    That's cool - so cool that we should sing
    a song for this fantastic king. 
        Make hooting noises, everyone -
        let's all join in the noisy fun! 
    To show that we love God today 
    we'll play whatever we can play -
        with flutes and drums we'll strike a chord
        that celebrates the living Lord.

    And if we make a noisy sound
    that lifts the sea and shakes the ground,
        then streams and lakes will clap along
        and mountains sing a mountain song.

    This loudness is a giant cheer
    for God, who'll be arriving here
        to make this world completely fair,
        and people equal everywhere.
3rd Apr 2009 - love poem
I start to write, unsure of what will come
to form these lines, like someone with a drum-
stick experimenting
or some fool scientist inventing
by numbers. Noise
reverberates incessantly; boys
with sushi sit together
or apart. The sudden weather
stays outside
while I - quite vulnerable - sense my pride
collapsing like warm water from a bucket.
Fuck it -
I'll speak before my voice
gets lost, and say: had I the choice
between a brand new start, more things to do
and life together, I'd choose you.
25th Feb 2009 - Two similes
        words are like worms
             keys are like farms
25th Feb 2009 - Scene at dusk
        A man in a canoe -
        a woman in a shoe!
24th Feb 2009 - Circle
      A circle is a silly shape -
      I saw one at the sauna
      the size of a sultana grape
      self-harming in the corner.
24th Feb 2009 - Neck lady
    I once saw a lady with cheese on her neck
    and apples and honey and bees on her neck
    and beavers and monkeys and trees on her neck
    and elbows and shouders and knees on her neck.
    I love you when it's humid,
    I love you when it's dry.
I love you when you say the weather makes you want to die.
    I love you with your clothes on,
    I love you in the nude.
I love you when you step outside and come back home with food.