Poems by Jeremy Gadd
Jeremy Gadd has contributed articles, 50 short stories and 200 poems to literary magazines and periodicals in Australia, the UK, the USA, Germany and India.
His plays More Champagne and Realities have been professionally produced for the stage (More Champagne was also broadcast on radio by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and a third play,Camera Capers, was staged by the Balmain Village Players in Sydney. He has also written dialogue for a dance, LM514, performed by the Sydney Dance Company at the Opera House.
Jeremy’s writing has won several literary awards, including the John Clemenger Advertising-Billy Blue Magazine Short Story Award; the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Ian Mudie Literary Award; second prize in the Maplecon 12 (Canada) 1991 International Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Competition and first prize in the inaugural Austcare and Refugee Council of Australia’s 1996 Short Story Competition. His poems and stories have appeared in anthologies, been read on radio (5UV Adelaide, 100.5FM, 2RES.FM, 2NBC.FM, SBS Sydney & 95.3 FM Central Coast) and he has presented seminars and poetry readings for organisations such as the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Tamworth Regional Library (in association with the annual Tamworth Country & Western music festival). Holy Angels Publishing (Melbourne) published his novel Escaping the Triad in 1998 and Ginninderra Press (Canberra) published Country, a selection of eight previously published short stories, in 2007.
Copies of his 1975 livre d’artiste A Tale of Tai Ringal & Other Poems with engravings by P. John Burden are now found in rare book collections such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Samuel Paley Library (USA) and National Library of Wales. Besides writing, Jeremy has worked in professional theatre in Australia and the UK. He holds a Bachelor of Dramatic Art degree from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Master of Arts with Honours and PhD degrees from the University of New England and is a Writing Fellow of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (NSW).
The coast is rugged,
wilderness; wild and wilful.
Sea-mist obscures the shore;
the sky presses low overhead;
scudding cloud shrouds
the hills high inland.
All appears awesome,
bleak and oppressive but,
here, in all her imperial
majesty, Nature rules.
© Jeremy Gadd 2009
There will be no pause at his passing.
The state won’t send him on his way
with a public holiday or order
monuments in his memory.
His demise won’t be noted in the media.
No-one will write his obituary,
deliver a lengthy eulogy at a
well attended funeral ceremony.
Politicians won’t decorate his cortege;
no minister, magnate or magistrate
will dirty their shoes in his wake;
there will be few wreaths to remember him.
There will be no one minute silence.
No flags fluttering at half mast
while mourners dutifully reflect upon
some momentous accomplishment past.
There were none. He did not make
a name waging war, like some
warrior knight in days of yore
or find financial reward in the city.
Nor did he spend his waking hours
in the so-called public service
or aspire to forge a fortune in futures.
He had no desire to set the world on fire.
For while the movers and the shakers,
the empire builders and their breakers,
were busy with their bricks and mortar,
he was more interested in their daughters.
Refusing to be led like a lamb to slaughter,
he turned away from the dealers in dollars
who went to work in ties and collars
and wore open toed sandals instead.
He couldn’t become an industrial tycoon,
publicizing his name on the side
of some promotional blimp or balloon,
he found such aspirations facile,
and began a quest of a different style.
Not for him the blind pursuit
of ephemeral success and fame,
he decided to pursue different game.
Beguiled by the beauty of the beast
he sought the knowledge of the heart and,
in the process of devouring Nature’s feast,
found fabulous wealth where wealth was least.
For, if assailed by Winter’s cold,
sunlight is more valuable than gold
and the lost sailor is rich with delight
beneath the diamonds of a star filled night.
So leaping off the intellectual fence,
and ignoring physics and biochemistry,
he started to search for the essence
of his inner-being and psyche.
Like the early Gnostic scholars,
he studied the secrets of the soul
and discovered hidden treasures
disdained by those seeking worldly pleasures.
And during that protracted search
through his inner, angst-ridden Id,
he found contentment in existing
shone brightest through all he thought or did.
Yet any captain of industry – or other
upholder of temporal and secular
authority – would have considered him
to be an apathetic under-achiever.
But the poet saw infinity in an hour and
the purpose of being in ephemeral flowers;
he saw the human spirit is unique,
sometimes pure, more often weak.
He saw that rain refreshes the earth;
that what is lost can be found;
that seeds are encouraged to germinate
by the fire that scorches the ground:
that when we laugh at our own despair,
we sow hope into the air; for we are made
of wind and sky and live forever in
loved one’s hearts, even after we die.
© Jeremy Gadd 2009
I saw you, sea eagle, lord of the air,
circling as you sought your prey;
I watched as you plummeted out of the sky
like a missile released in a military affray;
the impact as you entered the water
sent up a glistening column of spray.
I saw you, sovereign of the thermals,
as you bounded back into the droplet drenched air;
your talons tightly gripping the gaping
red gills of a gasping fish as your
powerful wings beat its requiem.
I saw you, king of the currents,
struggling for height in the sunlight;
burdened by the extra weight;
the fish beneath your belly
desperately wriggling and writhing,
pluckily striving to regain its liberty.
I saw you, emperor of the ether,
majestically ascending and climbing clouds
as you returned to your eyrie and sanctuary.
Tell me, if you were, somehow,
granted one wish, what would it be?
Would it be for a wilderness without
the likes of my kind – and me to marvel
at you – or simply for a bigger fish?
© Jeremy Gadd 2009