This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

– Phillip Larkin


the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line

The inclusion of Poetry in my first blog was something I was a bit ambivalent about. I sat on the edge for quite a while before taking the plunge. In retrospect other people’s verse was one of the better parts of Goodbye Albatross. This is more or less what i wrote the first time around:

I’ve been debating with myself about adding a new category to Goodbye Albatross, a tag reserved just for Poetry.
The world of Art today is the world of the egotist. Painting, Film, Music, Performance all seem to be at the mercy of the appropriatonists. Post-modernism is the thugs life; the argument that is won by yelling over the top of everyone else. Much of what proclaims itself as modern leaves me feeling deflated. Conned, cold and cheated! But Poetry, good Poetry can stand like a bulwark against the theft that passes itself off as creativity. Perhaps it’s the abysmal hand that poetry has been dealt. So diminished in stature for so long, that it no longer seen as cool, if it is even seen at all (gone the way of the Thylacine and Mandolin Orchestras).
Which places me at odds with the 21st Century because I still see Poetry very clearly and believe it still does matter.
Yes, it is a slow conversation. I’ve read the argument that it is no longer relevant; replaced by the all too torturous lyrics of Popular music.
But as George Szirites wrote in a small but excellent article I came across in The Guardian;
“Poetry is not a pretty way of saying something straight, but the straightest way of saying something complex”.
So … (deep breath) … the whims and vagaries of popular culture be damned.
Too the arbitrators of style, whomever you may be – “go fu*k yourselves”.
My reputation come trail behind me in tatters
but poetry is going to become a regular feature of this Journal!

No such dilemma the second time round with MadeofWhite. Poetry will be appearing regularly on these pages. The plan is to drag across all of the old poems from Goodbye Albatross. Not only to clean that blog up and realign it with it’s original purpose but also because those poems were some of the best ever written and I shall enjoy reading them again.
Rosemary Dobson’s verse was the one I started with and here it is again:

Friends die one after another;
each time a dark disorder
A ceaseless banging of shutters

Upstairs there in the mind;
Beating of wings, loud weather
Days, nights together

To force on the mind order:
Journeys taken on maps,
Attentive delving into

The roots of language.
A search for the true invention
Of form by line in drawing.

Also renewal of linen –
Keeping the old customs
Putting sides to middles.

Thus, mind and hand stilled
And with a gentler grief
To draw down the blind

The white holland blind
Like a banner of love
Against that wild confusion.

– Rosemary Dobson.

That poem found me as a clipping snipped out of the Sydney Morning Herald 30 years ago.
I think it stuck with me because of the echoes of ‘Becket’ in that “draw down the blind” stanza.
However I don’t want to be starting a new with something old. So here is where I’ll start this time around:


From other
angles the
fibers look
fragile, but
not from the
spider’s, always
hauling coarse
ropes, hitching
lines to the
best posts
possible. It’s
heavy work
fighting sag,
winching up
give. It
isn’t ever
to live.

Kay Ryan.


Why’d ya have to leave so soon

Rossi snow riding

Kept this for a long time.
But the reasons for –
all changed on lap two of the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix.
Marco Simoncelli (centre) was killed after as his bike careered across the track at turn eleven. Hit first by Colin Edward’s bike then by his friend and mentor Valentino Rossi (left) he died pretty much instantly from  catastrophic head injuries. It was the second impact that cost him his life and I think Valentino lost something that day, something more then a friend. I think he lost for want of a better word his Luck and I don’t know if he’s realised that yet.

I think it’s a lovely photo, all the more poignant for what was to come.
An uncluttered day from a simpler place that can never be revisited.

That’s my middle son Zeke (The Insights) on the right & Charlie (10 Mile Stereo) on the left.

I’m inordinately proud of him & there’s a multitude of posts on my old blog attesting to that:-

here and here and here and lots more here.

10 Mile… have an e.p launch coming up Friday week & Charlie & Zeke are doing this Kodaline cover prior to the set.

Zeke is the singer by default in The Insights. Nowhere near a good voice as Charlie but if you can get past the crappy iPhone sound quality I like the way they harmonize even if Zeke is off key in a few spots. That’s a joke at the beginning by the way, ‘How to love’ is truly horrible.

‘High Hopes’ is a great song in anyone’s hands but of course their version is my favorite.

High Hopes

young erv

1parkinglotRunning with the theme of tuners here is a photo of a very young Erv Kanemoto (white tee – center of photo). Whilst Erv is most closely associated with Kawasaki there were two years in the mid-seventies when he spannered for Suzuki.
Love this era of racing when the big two strokes ruled the tracks.

Simoto frame


Another mystery photo dragged across from old hard drives.
Apparently I labeled this SIMOTO Frame but for the life of me I can’t remember why.
It’s very obviously an RG500 engine in that custom made frame and the guy’s expressions are priceless which is probably why I Kept it.
But a quick browse on Google doesn’t yield much using ‘Simoto’ as the search term.
Never the less a worthy participant for Wednesdays photo.

little decisions


Little steps.
Small decisions.
A powder-coated frame and one shock absorber!
It isn’t much of a beginning is it?
But it is a start.
This baby motorbike is at the top of my ‘to do list’ and I’ve run out of reasons to put it off.
You’re welcome to tag along.

And why is this post called ‘little decision’? Well twenty odd years ago i was lucky enough to see Paul Kelly perform in Chicago. It was an acoustic show and there was maybe 30 of us in the room. Towards the end of the evening  he asked us what we would like to hear for the closing number and I put my hand up and asked for ‘little decisions’.
He played it and I’ve been a fan ever since.