From a childhood growing up on a cane farm near Bundaberg to living in the same South Burnett country town for forty years, from travelling to 'other places' to finally settling in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, these poems reflect my thoughts on life and the world about me from four different viewpoints:
On Living on the Land
On Hinterland and Coast
On Other Places
Poets belong to a very fragile community. Supportive and yet jealous of one another’s work, we tend to hide behind a public persona of being very open about sharing our writing with others, yet are extraordinarily sensitive to criticism. I use the word ‘criticism’ advisedly. I do not mean that poets are sensitive to critique; that is quite a different matter.
Most poets welcome critique in the spirit that it is given, and poems are often revised, honed and improved through discussion and sharing ideas with peers.
I have certainly valued the critiques from my writing colleagues that have helped to polish these poems and prepare them for publication. This is not complicated or deep poetry, where time is needed to comprehend the poet’s intent. The poems in On Reflection are simply expressed, written from the heart. To be fully appreciated, to hear the poet’s voice, they should be read aloud.
Almost without exception all the poems in this collection are about personal experience. With each poem I have included a brief summary of how and why it was written. Revisiting the times and places where an idea for a poem first came to me and exploring again the underlying context and reasons for writing the poem have added a most enjoyable dimension to putting this collection together.
I write poetry the way I play the piano accordion - sometimes quite badly, but with great passion and occasional flashes of brilliance. I trust there are sufficient of the latter in On Reflection to provide some enjoyment for my readers.