Thursday, 30 April 2020

Latest BardSong wins 4th Place: "A Dreamer's Journey."



I am so good at starting things.
I love to dream big dreams,
To launch into dark seas unknown,
To scheme ambitious schemes.
I build great castles in the sky.
I’m sure I’ll stand the test
To reach those distant stars on high,
Like Don Quixote’s quest.

I take on tasks beyond my skill,
Injustice bravely fight.
The fiercest dragon I could kill,
And climb the highest height.
Undaunted by the task ahead,
I counted not the cost.
My rosy-tinted glasses said:
“You hesitate, you’re lost!”

I consequently hit the wall.
I lacked the right resources,
With no experience at all.
So truth said: “Hold your horses!”
At last I see the chips are down.
My resolution wavers.
My friends think I’m a silly clown.
I’m running out of favours.

Enthusiasm starts to cool,
I soon run out of steam.
My friends they say: “Don’t be a fool!
You can’t fulfil that dream!”
My brain around the Prize revolved –
The glamour of the Goal.
Ignoring all the work involved,
I couldn’t see the whole.

Now mired in disillusionment,
Discouragement and pain,
So, to the “too-hard bin” it’s sent
I won’t see that again.
Then suddenly, a bright idea!
A brand-new, shining scheme.
A morn of hope, the skies are clear.
Another dream to dream.

And so my life became a heap
Of failures day by day.
Intent was good, but talk was cheap,
Good prospects thrown away.
Distractions never were addressed,
Good planning was ignored.
Unmotivated, felt depressed,
Sometimes I felt just bored!

But serious failure does the trick.
Of sense it makes you see.
My butt it got a mighty kick,
Which brings maturity.
Then Jesus came and saved my soul,
A new life through new birth.
He healed my heart and made me whole
Yet brought me down to earth!

He placed me in His family,
This dreamy, flighty youth.
‘Mongst many things they’d say to me
I learned a useful truth:
Relationships need perseverance
Even when it’s tough,
With loyalty and firm adherence.
Feelings aren’t enough.

For True Love also has True Grit
While feelings rise and fall.
In hard times I abandoned it
Which didn’t help at all.
The plan the Lord for me has planned
Gives total satisfaction.
All other dreams are built on sand
They’re merely a distraction.

He did not promise lack of pain
Of sorrow or of fear,
But there is endless joy to gain
If I’d just persevere.
So, have I learned the course to stay?
My answer’s “Sometimes, no.”
Although I’ve come a long, long way
I’ve still some way to go.

I pray I’ll strongly end my race
Just like the good Saint Paul,
And look my Saviour in the face,
The strongest One of all.
Though in the darkness of the cross
His glory seemed diminished.
When all His labours seemed but loss,
He cried out “It is finished!”

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Latest BardSong: "Getting Familiar with Reptilia."

Consider awhile the wily rep-tile.
To say they’re all evil, you’d miss by a mile.
The greens all agree that they keep down the pests,
Whereas others may find they are unwelcome guests.
But love them or hate them, they need some explaining,
Or reptiliphobics will soon start complaining.

Lizards are wizards, the way they escape,
Forsaking their tail and their old scaly cape.
So our feathery predator’s so darn surprised!
What he thought was his dinner’s now only snack-sized.
And don’t get confused ‘twixt a skunk and a skink,
For a skink is no skunk, ‘cos a skink doesn’t stink.

A dragon likes braggin’, and he’s a real pest!
He took on St George, but came off second best.
If he’d only give up his destructive desires,
His breath could be used to light warm winter fires.
Their legends abound, and so this makes me pause.
Apart from the fire, could they be dinosaurs?

The adder is badder, and quite calculating.
His multiplication comes only by mating.
By treating them well, they’ll increase exponentially.
Burrowing, they’ll find a square root, eventually.
Dividing a bird’s egg, subtracting the yolk,
He added this comment: “All maths is a joke.”

Don’t get too hyper, when handling a viper.
Make sure he’s not resting on your windscreen-wiper.
Just talk to him nicely, avoid getting bit,
‘Coz sometimes he throws us a bad hissy fit.
If it comes to a fight, beware of the toxin!
But having no hands, he aint good at boxin’.

The bane of the serpent is good ol’ Saint Patrick
He outplayed the pagans and got him a hat-trick:
He caught out the priests, their chieftains were stumped,
He ran out the snakes. In the sea they were dumped.
But it leaves a dilemma for Erinn’s fair isle,
For rabbits and mice have become a great trial.

Keeping house I abhor for a vast dinosaur,
‘Cos that is a creature one cannot ignore.
The grocery bill’s monstrous. You’ll lose your pet rabbits!
(That bully T. rex won’t adopt vegan habits.)
Then all he will leave you is fossils and bones.
At least he’ll abandon your TV and phones.

You need a translator to talk with a ‘gator,
But once understood, he’s a fine educator.
Discussing Gastronomy, enters right in
With his charming, engaging and wide, toothy grin?
But crocs wearing socks, they think outside the box.
But if they’re inside, I’d suggest some good locks.

With a lisp, comes a boast from a sea-faring python:
“I thailed to Alathka and thwallowed a bithon.
My thtomach’th ekthtended tho much,” grumbled he,
“It’th thimply too rithky to thail on the thea.”
So this is the moral this tale brings to you:
Make sure you don’t bite off what you cannot chew.









So what can we say of the old Joseph Blake?
A snake’s just a snake for heaven’s good sake!
More villain than hero they’re often depicted.
With stern disapproval they’re often afflicted.
But why should we all be so quick to condemn?
There’s times in our lives when we’re rather like them.

We serpentine folk have these character flaws
Where falsehoods and slanders proceed from our jaws.
We spit out pure venom, our words often bite.
Examples abound of deception and spite,
Like, when the Lone Ranger by salesmen got stung,
Then Tonto he told him: “Them speak with forked tongue!”

*********

That serpent of serpents our Eve he deceived,
Then Adam’s race fell and all nature is grieved.
And throughout the ages, our serpentine ways
Brings death and destruction, and darkens our days.
The venom of Sin it’s polluting our blood,
It poisons our souls and our minds are as mud.

The Israelites God freed from Pharaoh’s cruel chain.
In spite of His blessings, they loudly complain
Until they were bitten by serpents of fire
And so they repented at God’s righteous ire.
For toxic ingratitude summons the snake
Who destroys them who God’s endless goodness forsake.

But God showed His mercy, His boundless compassion.
He called upon Moses this symbol to fashion:
A great brazen serpent he raised on a pole,
And whoever beheld it at once was made whole.
It speaks of the cross where the Son became Sin,
And that’s how God dealt with my serpent within.




Thursday, 5 March 2020

Latest BardSong wins "Highly Commended" award. It's called "The Dreams of Wannabe Johnnie B"


I wish I was a famous guy 
So’s I can give up school. 
I’d poke that bully in the eye, 
And make him look a fool. 
I’d make a billion bucks and buy 
The coolest motor cyke, 
I’d travel round the world and I 
Would never have to hike. 

But Dad said “Son, if rich you’d be, 
You’ll have to study heaps, 
Then go to university.” 
But that gives me the creeps! 
“Or maybe get a job,” he said 
“You’d have to work real hard. 
Stop dreaming and get out of bed! 
Go out and sweep the yard!” 

******* 

I’d like to be the president 
Of the United States. 
Though King of England’s more my bent. 
I’ll knight all of me mates. 
I’d order all my fav’rite foods. 
It’s Macca’s every night! 
Arrest the crooks and nasty dudes. 
King Johnnie makes it right! 

But Mum said “Johnny, little man, 
Don’t think of such a thing! 
A president’s Ameri-can, 
A king is born a king. 
When things go wrong you’d get the blame 
No matter what you do. 
The press they try to stain your name. 
Assassins target you!” 

******* 

Or how’s about a superstar 
Performing on the stage? 
I’ll knock ‘em dead with my guitar, 
My songs are all the rage. 
Then all the chicks’ll think I’m rad 
And swoon each time I sing. 
Then even family would be glad 
That I’m just like The King. 

But my best friend just laughed and jeered: 
“But you can’t hold a tune! 
The songs you write sound kinda weird, 
Like howling at the moon. 
You just don’t practice every night. 
You don’t tune your guitar. 
With Elvis-curls you look a fright. 
You’ll never be a star. 

******** 

I’d love to be a Jedi Knight, 
Light Sabre in my hand. 
Them big bad Siths I’d bravely fight, 
The Force I could command. 
I’d take my friends to stars beyond. 
Their hero I would be. 
I’d drop fat Billie in the pond 
Just like he done to me. 

But big Bro scoffed “You’re such a nerd! 
Those worlds just don’t exist. 
The dumbest thing I ever heard! 
Your brain’s lost in a mist. 
Some special powers the Jedi had 
But even if they’re true, 
Ol’ master Yoda would be mad 
To train a geek like you!” 

******** 

‘Magine me as Superman 
With muscles like balloons. 
I’d fly in with my garbage can 
And clean up all them hoons. 
Or even just a footy star 
Full forward I would play. 
I’d kick the mostest goals by far 
Upon Grand Final Day. 

But, I dunno. Yeah, what’s the use? 
I’ll never be that great. 
I’ll always be just Johnnie Bruce 
The cool kids love to hate. 
Just silly dreams these are, maybe. 
I’ll always be the same: 
Just full of mediocrity, 
I’ll never get no fame. 

Then, Pastor Dan, he spoke to me: 
“Hey! Listen, Johnnie mate. 
Famous we may never be, 
But we can still be great. 
The most loved folks of history 
Just carried out their call, 
And here’s the greatest mystery: 
To rise, you have to fall. 

“Don’t try to be a wannabe, 
Earning huge amounts. 
God has a plan – your destiny – 
And that’s what really counts. 
The greatest Man Who walked this Earth 
He won, then lost His fame. 
A carpenter of humble birth, 
Yes, Jesus was His Name.”



Thursday, 13 February 2020

FaithWriters' contest entry wins First Prize! It's called "Viewed from Out There"


There was excitement among the green people of Planet Gog, as the scientists returned from their historic mission in space.

Emperor Bonapog was there in all his splendour to welcome them as their spaceship landed – such was the importance of the occasion. It was a huge, time-consuming and expensive undertaking. His dreams of interstellar conquest depended on it.

After the ceremonies were over, the leading scientists were summoned to his conference room, together with other interested scientists.
 
Both Drs. Einstog and Newtog looked a little conscious as they gave their report.

‘Your imperial Majesty, we did our best,’ said Einstog anxiously. ‘The distance to Planet Earth is more than fifty light years away. Even our first faster-than-light robot ships crashed into unexpected space-debris before getting anywhere near it. Hence the space station. Dodge Technology finally got our Surveillance Saucer through with little damage.’
 
‘Less excuses and more results! What have you discovered?’

Dr Newtog nervously fumbled with the hologram projector, and a magnificent 3D image of Earth and its moon appeared. He displayed some of the lovely geological features, zooming in and turning the image to and fro. The blue oceans shimmered and the snowy peaks flashed in the sunlight.

Gasps of admiration came from many multi-throats. Even Bonapog was impressed.
‘It is beautiful! A worthy prize! I see there are green people also. Tall and stately, many are. Are they intelligent? Are they strong and well-armed?’

‘Er… these are not the ruling peoples, your Majesty,’ answered Newtog apologetically. ‘These organisms are like our photosynthetic herds, but stationary with deep feeder-tendrils into the Earth’s crust.’

‘Then the people who control them must be powerful indeed!’

Newtog then focussed on the towns villages and cities. Mutters of contempt greeted the moving images of earth-folk going about their daily business.

‘They are pathetic! Small bipeds with big mouths!’
‘Only one head! No feelers!’
‘There is not one green one among them!’

‘Then they shall be easily conquered’, remarked the emperor, with satisfaction. ‘What is the state of their weaponry?’

In answer, Newtog showed them a battle in progress. He zoomed back a little to show starving children, acts of terrorism and masses of discarded refuse in the oceans.
Finally, with a grim expression, he revealed an atomic explosion.

The scientists were aghast. Some had to hang upside down to properly comprehend what they were seeing.

‘Do they fight among themselves? To destroy enemy species is understandable, but…. themselves??’
‘How have they survived? Atomic fission as … a weapon??’
‘Will they destroy their own planet??’

Even the emperor looked rather daunted at this.
‘Is it worth the effort and expense to enslave such horrible creatures?’

At that moment, the great Dr Freug, the psychiatrist of their mission, wriggled forward and was handed the controls.

‘Your imperial Majesty,’ he said in measured tones, ‘We have decoded much of their languages, and have examined the substance of their conversations. Amongst the huge quantities of worthless and inane subjects that they discuss – and fight over – we gathered the following.’

He showed first a gargoyle on a cathedral, then a gathering of dark figures at a coven, muttering strange mantras, then various paintings of Satan or his demons.

‘It appears that this species was conquered, or allowed itself to be ruled by a malevolent spirit-species, pictured here in various guises. These subtly and deceitfully persuade them into self-destructive behaviour. Hence the consequences that have nearly brought their peoples to extinction. It appears that self-centredness and self-worship is at the source of it all.’

The emperor was shocked. ‘How could anyone be like that?’

Dr Freug cleared his multiple throats, exchanging brief, ironic images with his colleagues’ light-receptor organs. Some multi-mouths smiled.

‘It seems, however, that there is a counter-revolution happening of a gentle, but powerful, nature. It begins with their concept of “Love”, “Self-Sacrifice” and “Faith”, beginning with an historical figure 2,000 earth-years ago. His name was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Creator.’

He showed a well-drawn painting of a crucifixion scene. A translated portion of the Bible described His disciples preaching with radiant faces, doing deeds of kindness, then dying for their faith.

You could have heard a small Magogian-made fastening device drop.

A few tear-ducts were activated in some light-receptor organs.

‘This counter-revolution has been happening ever since, little though it is displayed in their media. Is it not what we have been seeking ourselves?’

‘If that is the case, these people cannot be conquered!’ declared Bonapog. ‘We must send a mission to discover their secret.’

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Latest BardSong: "The Revenge of the Vegies" and "The Fruit Fights Back."


 Whoever deplores
All of us omnivores,
And carniv’ry you cannot pardon,
But cheese and eggs, then, you
Remove from the menu,
And murder the plants in the garden??

To eat a veg-ettable
Is quite regrettable.
What if it’s turned on its head?
How it would astound
If the produce turned round
And started to eat us instead.

A warning to smarties
Who hold garden-parties
And raid the fresh stuff from the bed:
Beware, all you vegans
And other houl-ee-gans:
You eat all the mushrooms, you’re dead!

Beware of that fruit
You think looks “You beaut”
And the juice would be great with your stew.
Then don’t come and whine
If you find on the vine
The Grapes of Wrath souring on you.

Imperialist man,
His expansionist plan
Is to grow more and fill up his greed.
But some day, the lettuce
Will shake off his fetters
In a snap he will bolt straight to seed.


And do not presume
To pick a legume
And eat it without its permission,
For once it’s internal
The reaction’s infernal
Resembling nuclear fission.


The root vege-table
Is willing and able
To take on all humans and cattle.
The turnip and swede
They have taken the lead
They’re all dug in and ready for battle.


The activist ‘tato
Will often quote Plato:
“By silence I’m giving consent!”
No! That left-leaning spud
Is no stick-in-the-mud.
To fatten us he is hell-bent!


The apple and pear
They declare “It’s unfair!
These capitalists sell us for money!
So, let us arise
And squirt juice in their eyes!
Then they won’t think it’s so funny!”



There it lies, so defiant,
A great, sleeping giant –
That menacing, huge pumpkin patch.
The dozing cucurbit
Pray, do not disturb, it
Can squash you with fearsome despatch!

The Family Brassica,
Facing a massacre,
Took up the Hammer-and-Sickle.
The cabbage and cauli
Attacked poor Aunt Mollie
Who finds herself now in a pickle.


The odorous onion
Complains of a bunion.
(It’s a long walk from garden to pie.)
But when you are peeling,
Its white flesh revealing,
Ironic! It’s making you cry!

Tomatoes turn rotten
When they are forgotten.
So don’t forget! Water that bush!
And if you are fine
With a fallen-down vine
Then you’re sure to get one in the moosh.

And as for the orchard
Its trees have been tortured
By secateurs, saws, ev’ry winter.
And then we complain
When we get a sharp pain –
Cleaning up, we get stuck by a splinter!

The celery stalks
Like fierce hunting hawks.
The blueberry’s turning blood red.
The thorny ras-berry
Is getting quite scary –
A socialist, commo hot-bed!

Those moldy stone fruits
Are a bunch of bold brutes.
‘Gainst the grower they’re hatching a plot:
To drop stones on his shed,
Bring it down on his head,
His posterior stuck in a pot.

For many a veggie
Is getting quite edgy,
‘Specially at harvesting season.
The plot and the field
Are refusing to yield
And the trees are all guilty of treason.

So don’t be a vulture
When you do horticulture.
Those yummy things treat with respect!
Don’t impose your agenda
On tissue so tender.
To the Greens Party they may defect.


Copyright © 2020 Bardswell Creations



Sunday, 2 February 2020

First Bardsong for 2020: "They Labour in Vain"


Behold the mighty castle tall
That crowns that tow’ring hill.
A baron there once held in thrall
The lowly to his will.

He looked out from the battlements
With pride his realm surveyed,
Knowing not his peril, hence
His vain thoughts him betrayed.

For guns and war machines were sent
and battered down the wall.
His power was crushed, his wealth was spent
His foes possessed it all.

For though the hills may long endure
Yet kings shall rise and tumble.
The wayward hearts of men impure,
As founding stones, shall crumble.

Behold these ruins, caked in grime,
Their former strength is lost
To endless batt’ring rams of time,
Of rain and wind and frost.

How frail the fortresses of men!
Though very few will last,
We build on shifting sands – again!
Not learning from the past.

Yes. Man has ever refuge sought
‘Ere since we Eden lost.
For this we strove, for this we fought.
So tragic is the cost.

******

Behold these roofless walls forlorn,
‘Twas once a fool’s fair vision.
Wise fiscal counsel held in scorn,
He’s held, now, in derision.

Ambition towered beyond his purse,
To build himself a name.
His dream then stalled, and what was worse:
He built a name of shame.

In Nimrod’s tower this we saw.
He counted not the cost
Of disobedience to God’s law –
He all his people lost.

Yet, when we mock such hopeless dreams
By pride and folly killed,
Do we not start ambitious schemes
That cannot be fulfilled?

So many lives, on sand they rise
Then tumble to the ground,
Are built on greed or fear or lies.
Can solid rock be found?

******

Behold the towers of modern man
Built from our hearts of stone,
To raise his banner: “Yes, we can!”
To house his little throne.

He builds inside the halls of power,
Or on king Mammon’s floor.
On stage or screen, he has his hour,
But still he yearns for more.

Though riches, fame may be his strength,
His tower is undermined.
And it shall fail or fade at length
His mem’ry left behind.

*******

There is a tower that never falls
The Lord of Hosts is He.
The righteous find within His walls
Their true security.

He is not made from cold, hard stone
But everlasting love.
And righteous justice is His throne,
His saints His treasure trove.

The founding stone in blood was wrought.
He willingly laid down
Himself, for we are dearly bought
To call us all His own.

Within His walls we healing see.
Then, sent as warriors strong
We fight dark Satan’s tyranny,
Show love and right all wrong.

So come, shake off that dark king’s chains
Of crumbling dreams and strife!
Whoe’er will join King Jesus gains
True everlasting life.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, They labour in vain who build it…” (Psalm 127:1)