Rusty Paddle Out – Series of Haiku

Dry Dusty Surfboard

Remembering Cold Ocean

Pushing Through Waves

Mechanical Arms

Pulling Handfuls Of Ocean

Pumping Human Oars

Raging Torrents Roll

Angry Ocean Charging Bull

Relentless Crashing

Breathless Gasping Air

Silence! Freight Train Roars Above

Burst Up To Surface

Tormented Sand Bank

Abused Beaten Torn Apart

Roars Behind. Below.

Silence! Different World

Massive Rolling Ocean Walls

Bearing Down Slowly

Ageless Paddle Fight

Over. Until Time Again

Rest Tired Oars

Copyright © Andrew Phillips 2009

Haiku (俳句, haikai verse?), plural haiku, is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 17 moras (or on), in three metrical phrases of 5, 7, and 5 moras respectively. Haiku typically contain a kigo, or seasonal reference, and a kireji or verbal caesura. In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line, while haiku in English usually appear in three lines, to parallel the three metrical phrases of Japanese haiku.

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November Night

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November night old familiar friend

Let’s sit and be old friends again

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Gaze at your stars till eyes grow weary

Sit and watch your thin clouds clearing

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Again you’ve hung your humid coat on the hook of crescent moon

Still it hangs between intermittent soft breeze awakening, stirring

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I enjoy our thoughts which pass unspoken of today, tomorrow, morning

Just to sit here, be here, breathe your soft night’s story

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Unspoken air, warm yet cool, still yet moving slight

Breathe on me your quiet quilt of Queensland November night

Oh Righteous Saints

Oh Righteous Saints From Every Shore

You Sit And Close Your Meeting Door

On Everyone Who Won’t Agree

To Your Godly Philosophy

‘Cause You’re The Ones Who God Is For


Oh? Did That Touch A Nerve Too Raw?

Yes You Who’ve Made Your Own New Law

Excluding Those Who Can Not Be

Oh Righteous saints


Are You The Right Ones? Are You Sure?

Can We Discuss This Anymore?

Or Are Those Eyes Too Blind To See

It Is Not You Who Hold The Key

Nor Should You Even Keep The Score

Oh Righteous Saints


The rondeau is a form of verse used in English language poetry. It makes use of refrains, repeated according to a certain stylized pattern. It was customarily regarded as a challenge to arrange for these refrains to contribute to the meaning of the poem in as succinct and poignant a manner as possible. The rondeau consists of thirteen lines of eight syllables, plus two refrains (which are half lines, each of four syllables), employing, altogether, only three rhymes. It has three stanzas and its rhyme scheme is as follows: (1) A A B B A (2) A A B with refrain: C (3) A A B B A with concluding refrain C. The refrain must be identical with the beginning of the first line.

new made old made new

I am a new born baby boy

Closed eyes soft wrinkled skin

I am a bright green baby leaf

Awaiting opening

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I am a hand made Spanish bowl

Hot from the furnace flames

I am a woven flowing skirt

Undanced and yet untamed

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I am a vase of glass blown thin

With colours to be proud

I am a drop of summer rain

Made from the purest cloud

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I am a pure and sacred life

I’m made by hands of love

And yet I’m dirty, spoiled and torn

I’m bruised and hurt…  unloved

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I am scratched and clothed in tasteless cloth

Eyes filled with hard desire

I am scorched and dull from blazing sun

Thoughts of tomorrow tire

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I’m chipped and lain in darkened corner

Life never looked upon

I’m crumpled, used and soiled because

The life I chose to run

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I am broken, useless without form

My splendid colour stained

I’m dirty, muddied, poisoned with

The sting of acid rain

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I’m a hurt and feral broken beast

Because that’s what I chose

Why did I hurt this body new?

Was ignorant I suppose!

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Who would spoil such beautied form

Such hope filled eagerness?

Who would destroy a birthday gift

A child’s new liveliness?

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Who would deface and dent a car

Complete from showroom floor?

And who’d sit down to vile rot

Then stand and ask for more?

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So why do I, on bended knee

Suppose to do the same?

Why then do I refuse to see

This dark and sordid game?

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But who can stop this hated game

Of bringing self to ruin?

Ask who can turn the world apart

The axis it is screwing?

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There’re ways to wash the vileness

And I have tried them all

Ways to escape the emptiness

On hands and knees I crawl

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There’re times I can distract myself

From my condition horrid

There’s ways to cover up the hurt

Thick make-up for my forehead

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There’re times I can convince myself

That all is not so bad

Then quickly I’m brought back to hurt

I’m not so easily had

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So there I lie in loathsome grief

Brought on by my undoing

With distant thoughts of who I was

Now dejected.  No renewing

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“Do you want to be renewed?” said one

So clearly in red ink

“Do you want to be made new?”

Without much time to think

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“Of course” I said, into the dark

Not knowing who was there

I waited. Waited.  Was He gone?

Will I again yet dare?

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“Please… help me”  whispering aloud

My brokenness in doubt

Again a silence, stillness till

I stood and looked about

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My mind played tricks and yet was real

As real as I have known

A hope that I have never felt

Although no one had shown

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As time passed on the hope was grown

Inside my broken shell

Although the scratches hurt from tears

No longer life was hell

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Though skin was charred from scorching sun

I still enjoyed sunsets

The cracks became reminder marks

No longer grave regrets

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When stain had bled into my clothes

My anger slowed to boil

And gradually then I could see

Beyond the mud and soil

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A vase of scratches, chips and cracks

Still holds a perfect flower

A soiled woven crumpled skirt

Is danced with flowing power

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And then one day I met the voice

Who asked me those fine words

“It was you!” I whispered to myself

He smiled as though He heard

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My brokenness He did not see

But looked into my soul

And I could see that it was He

Who spoke and made me whole

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With tenderness and gentle touch

Embraced my broken frame

And it was known between us both

The life from which I came

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And it was known yet greater still

Although I’d known defeat

Renewed was I through His great words

And now I stood complete

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I am a new born baby boy

Closed eyes soft wrinkled skin

I am a bright green baby leaf

For each day’s opening

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I am a hand made Spanish bowl

Admired and acclaimed

I am a woven flowing skirt

Now danced and unashamed

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I am a vase of glass blown thin

New colours to be proud

I am a drop of summer rain

Sent from the purest cloud

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I am a pure and sacred life

One made by hands above

I am a soul renewed of hope

And now deeply in love

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Losing Isaiah

Isaiah Daddy Jonah

Isaiah Andrew Phillips 10 weeks (24th August – 2nd November 2007)

Two years ago on Friday night 2nd  November we unexpectedly found our second born, Isaiah without breath or life. The end of his short life didn’t make sense to us then and it still doesn’t make sense.

Rebecca and I were comforted/supported by many brave, sensitive and inspirational family and friends. Thank you to all of you.

We have struggled with our loss and pain and struggled with our God who we still love and trust but truly don’t understand… nor can we understand. I write this now as I hear stories from Samoan families losing loved ones in a surge of water from the ocean they live beside and read a blog telling me one person dies from hunger every second. There are so many ‘why’s’ in God’s inbox and I don’t know what he does with them.

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Are You God

who made this water? This wave? This sand?

Are You God?

Are You God who made me?

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Are You God

who started life? These pains… the pleasures?

Are You God

who controls seasons? Tells the Winter when to stop?

Are You God?

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Do You see

the crab with broken claw?

the bird struggle with one leg?

Do You see me cry for my missing boy?

Do You see?

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Is there reason

to change the tide? To set the sun?

Is there reason to burn or drown or dry the land?

Is there reason to know pain, hurt and tired loneliness?

Is there reason?

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Where does Your hand end?

Do You tell the sun, the daisy or the wave… Do it again?

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Where does Your hand end?

Do You sit and watch, play a move when you want, stay silent, unmoved… seated?

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Where does Your hand end?

Where do You begin?

Are You God?

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Copyright Andrew Phillips © 2008