Things I did not expect

The unforgiving heat of Rome.

Water threatening to disappear in bottle.

Vatican stuffed to brim with art.

Unexpected tears listening to Andre Boccelli.

The hushed beauty of the Sopra Minerva.

Tingles singing Ave Maria at St Peter’s┬áBasilica.

The colour of Italian language.

History lessons waiting just around the corner to be discovered.

David poised ready to battle Goliath.

Duomo spires tracing speech bubbles in the sky.

Dodging traffic on Italian walkways.

The generosity of friends just met (thanks everybody).

Understanding the smile on the face of an English fellow singer.

Crossing Abbey Road like a Beetle (intentional spelling error).

Intricacies and speed of British underground.

The best of all things being singing in front row seats at Royal Albert Hall in London.

Getting through customs and security checks at Heathrow and Tullamarine.

Realizing, and appreciating, how much was done for us by Matthew, Jonathon and the tour guides.

Wondering why Melbourne looks so small.

Wishing I could repeat experience but good rest first

To and for Angela

I wrote a poem for our tour guide, Angela, and read it to her before we left her in Milan.

TO AND FOR ANGELA

Tired and thirsty in Rome
and wanting to get to bed
you met us at the airport
waving that flag above your head.
Many memories since then
as through the streets you led
us towards amazing sights
your dazzling smile beckoned.

Allora, allora.
I don’t know what that means.
That really doesn’t matter,
I will hear it in my dreams.
You have told us many things.
We have certainly learnt a lot
as we travelled from place to place
and on the map from spot to spot.

We are your first Australians
you’ve worked with overseas
and although we’ve had problems
you’ve resolved them with ease.
Now we are leaving
you will not be forgot.
On to England, you know us,
we are not ones to remain in one spot

Things I did not expect

The following is a list of things I did not expect

the unforgiving heat of Rome
water threatening to disappear in bottle
Vatican stuffed to brim with art
unexpected tears listening to Andre Boccelli
hushed beauty of Sopra Minerva
tingles singing Ave Maria at St Peter’s Basilica
colour of Italian language
history lessons waiting just around the corner to be discovered
David poised ready for battle
Duomo spires tracing speech bubbles in the sky
dodging traffic on Italian walkways
generosity of friends just met (thanks everybody)
understanding the smile on the face of an English fellow singer
crossing Abbey Road like a Beetle (intentional spelling error)
intricacies and speed of British underground
the best of all things being singing in front row seats at Royal Albert Hall in London
getting through customs and security checks at Heathrow and Tullamarine and realizing and appreciating how much was done for us by Matthew, Jonathon and the tour guides
wondering why Melbourne looks so small
wishing I could repeat experience but good rest first

Go With the Flow

But when I went to Europe my poems started pouring from the end of my pen.

GO WITH THE FLOW

2 bags waiting impatiently at door,
standing piggyback they cast a
shadow on the floor,
time to get going
don’t want to be late,
lots of people to sing with
I just can’t wait

Greetings shouted to everybody
old friends and new
goodbyes whispered to family
they wish they were coming too.

Bags missing in Dubai,
bus and passport missing too.
late night at airport
got into hotel well after 2.

Went to colosseum,
dusty old place.
very hot and thirsty
sweat upon my face
chose to board a lift
instead of going downstairs
now stuck in an oven
saying my prayers.

Dressed ready to perform in Melbourne
but this is a Roman show
Jonathon helps us warm our voices
before we have to go.
it feels like we are leaving him behind
but he will be with us
everything he has taught us
remains in our mind.

Went to the Vatican
which is redundant with works of art
but it leaves me cold
it doesn’t touch my heart
no matter how amazing
the works of art can be
my heart will only smile
when our choir sings in harmony.

Go with the flow
means to not make a fuss.
don’t think about me
think about us.
Things will work out
you just have to learn
to let things be.
Go with the flow
and live in harmony.

Birds on the Backyard Fence

After we came back to Melbourne everything was very normal. I reconciled myself that I could sing anywhere with the following poem.

The Birds on the Backyard Fence

Birds come and sit on my fence.
It is such a delight to see.
Some small, some fat.
I watch them with glee.
Some fly away.
Some stay to chat.
All disappear when they see a cat.

They sit on my fence
in a nice straight line.
All plump little semibreves
and all of them mine.
All equal notes a whole note in length
as they sit in my garden
on my backyard fence.

I don’t think it goes through their minds
as they are singing there
how good the acoustics are or
the lack of decoration everywhere.
They are sitting there because
they have come to sing,
not to be impressed or be distracted by anything.

I enjoy their singing.
I enjoy their song.
Sometimes the songs are short,
sometimes they are long.
They are happy little warblers
as they sit singing there
blending their voices together
the music for all to share.

The birds taught me a lesson
which I thought I should share
about what things really matter
and why we should not care
about the quality of venue.
We could sing anywhere.
From St Peter’s Basilica to
a backyard fence somewhere.
What really matters is
we sing to have fun.
We sing to be together
as we sing in unison.

Each voice a personality,
a personality expressed in song.
A family of singers,
a place where we belong.
And if we can pass that happiness
onto someone watching there
that is just an extra pleasure for us all to share.
It doesn’t matter where we are be it
St Peter’s Basilica or
a backyard fence somewhere.

To and For Angela

I wrote a poem for our tour guide, Angela, and read it to her before we left her in Milan.

To and For Angela

Tired and thirsty in Rome
and wanting to get to bed
you met us at the airport
waving that flag above your head.
Many memories since then
as through the streets you led
us towards amazing sights
your dazzling smile beckoned.

Allora, allora.
I don’t know what that means.
That really doesn’t matter,
I will hear it in my dreams.
You have told us many things.
We have certainly learnt a lot
as we travelled from place to place
and on the map from spot to spot.

We are your first Australians
you’ve worked with overseas
and although we’ve had problems
you’ve resolved them with ease.
Now we are leaving
you will not be forgot.
On to England, you know us,
we are not ones to remain in one spot

Go With The Flow

Two bags waiting impatiently at door,
standing piggyback they cast a
shadow on the floor,
time to get going
don’t want to be late,
lots of people to sing with
I just can’t wait

Greetings shouted to everybody
old friends and new
goodbyes whispered to family
they wish they were coming too.

Bags missing in Dubai,
bus and passport missing too.
late night at airport
got into hotel well after 2.00 pm.

Went to Colosseum,
dusty old place.
very hot and thirsty
sweat upon my face
chose to board a lift
instead of going downstairs
now stuck in an oven
saying my prayers.

Dressed ready to perform in Melbourne
but this is a Roman show
Jonathon helps us warm our voices
before we have to go.
it feels like we are leaving him behind
but he will be with us
everything he has taught us
remains in our mind.

Went to the Vatican
which is redundant with works of art
but it leaves me cold
it doesn’t touch my heart
no matter how amazing
the works of art can be
my heart will only smile
when our choir sings in harmony.

Go with the flow
means to not make a fuss.
don’t think about me
think about us.
Things will work out
you just have to learn
to let things be.
Go with the flow
and live in harmony.