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Jim Schroeder

Jim Schroeder

of

Henley Beach, South Australia, Australia

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treasures lost

by

Jim Schroeder


that sad wednesday morning
i dried my tears
on your shoulder
holding you close
to bring you
inside of me
for comfort and
to ease your pain

yet knowing
you need space now
and time away

as i looked into your
soul
i saw your broken
bleeding
heart
dangling free
by a slim
twisted
bloodied
thread

then i saw
in your eyes
for the first time
hurt and
confusion
and
fear

and i became
scared too
afraid that bits of your magic
have been chipped away
worried that you will not
ride carefree in the same way
or brighten a darkened bus on a
cold rainy night

i fear that the beaches will
miss your walkin' thoughts
and the coffee cups will not hear your
brilliant chatter for too long
as they slowly cool in the lonely silence

someday i hope to peer under your magic carpet again
to understand my own words
and fears


Vicious Seas

by

Jim Schroeder

The sea is vicious tonight
thrashingly beautiful
dunes beaten to sandy shreds at last
new rocks & shells await discovery
by the adventurous seekers of life
clouds streaking across the
partly starry skies
driven by 70 kph gusts from
the WNW
so the air shall remain
warm & humid
'til 'morn's SW flow
clears the skies
and
cleans the dregs away
then draws deep to breathe brilliance
into tomorrow's world

GO to the sea tonight mate
feel its power

lurch against the gale
prove your strength
toss your madding thoughts
into a pounding surf
let 'em grind into raging tidal surges

the living sea can be your refuge
abandon yourself within this night's chaos

the sea knows you
you know the sea's secrets too
there are untold stories to be told
listen to the howling night's voices
and you will be strong again


Footsteps on the Sand

by

Jim Schroeder

as i joyfully prance over
the sandy shores once again
thrilled to be on top of the sand
rather than in the depths below
a side-stitched mirth frothing off my lips
my wobbly legs labour to keep me sane

later ...

sitting at paesano's penning my glad thoughts
the 'morn's buzz-chasin' ride coursing through me
a quadriplegic chair-bound man rolls into my space

spinning lazy revos to catch my gaze
he can not even mouth a "g'day" for me
asking only a returned smile
to complement his lopsided leering grin
just a compliment is all
nothing more
or less from life

the long black scorches my throat
sears into my deepest fears
then burns my emotions inside-out

jarred
disturbed
selfish
i ride away
into a freedom
he will never have

yet
which one of us is truly the free man?

the man trapped in the chair?
or the boy trapped in his own self?


It starts with goodbye

by

Jim Schroeder

it starts with goodbye
and ends with hello ...

the hot glowing orb
of green-flashed radiance
pauses in her descent
to rue the cautious moon-man
peaking over a hemisphere
the wry smiles colliding
against a micro-understanding

a southern cross blinkers
and orion tightens his girth with a frown
as venus arches an eyebrow
on the multitude of emotions

that

trundle along a piered ocean liner
straining against the moorings of life
sadly unaware of their final destination


Undertoes in the sand

by

Jim Schroeder

sitting tonight with my toes in the sand
serenely absorbing a florid sunset
cold droplets of glistening sweat lubricating
my body for what's to come
i was pulled beneath the shifting surface
toes first
to experience what lies below

toes first is scary
as one has time
to imagine
and to fear
the unknown
not unlike dipping
a toe in freezing cold water
before taking the final plunge

as i slowly sink down
my thoughts step on each other
vying for attention:

will i try to run?
will i still breath?
or will i futilely swallow sand pebbles
before i slowly choke and die?

will i listen to the sand this time?
will i finally accept the gritty answers?

this and more
are unknown to me ...

what next mate?


Voices from the sea

by

Jim Schroeder

adrift on thought currents
no home or country
to call my own ...

voices from the sea
scream at me
to cross the gang plank ...

yet

if i step ashore
what awaits me ... ?


Squashin' death

by

Jim Schroeder

death dreams hit last night
again
tho i am grown accustomed to this
it still worries ...

this one a beaut
banged hard by new bus
the lpg rigs
hard steel edge
split my helmet and
slashed my brain
draining its matter
greasing henley beach road
with my jumbled thoughts

blindin' flash of light
spinning
weightless
out of control
down the long black
tunnel of doom

slow tumbles
wrapped around the spinning
gyro my dead body has become
disorient my vision
that still peers ahead
inexplicably
no logic to any of this
yet a peace descends
slowly upon me

i sense a bright white light ahead
the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel
feels like i am moving at the speed of light
i am in all places at once
just focus my eyes
and there i am
just where i looked
speed of light
perception is reality

plunging out of the tunnel
into what?

i suddenly possess ALL understanding
i know 'god'

a sort of holy grid
powerful connecting force
pulsating lines of being
envelop me
then began to patiently
explain how it all fits together
this takes heaps of time
for i am slow in comprehending
i am mesmerised
enthralled
floating on the precipice of
finally understanding everything
when

BLAMMIT
DAMMIT

i awake
from yet another
death dream

ok
whos'it this time?

i ponder the possibilities
as i ride hard and fast
along main roads to the levels
squashing deathly botts- dots
along the way
just to make sure
it ain't me


On the train to greenfields

by

Jim Schroeder

awaiting good king william's green man
the 225L bus roared beyond my grasp
the casual relief driver
a full five minutes early

a touch annoyed
i hopped onto the 7:52 local train
destination: greenfields station

but then
life started rehearsing my day
unexpected madding twists
but always find their way
to recreate me anew

all the way to greenfields
we parallel the great southern to perth
gliding along the rails of time ...

trains absorb my imagination:
their rolling adventures
clickety-clack romances
a pure free life on the rails

my soul jez eased on over
to a gleaming silver car
oh the fantasies! ...

i slipped forward a few decades
just in time to jump off at greenfields
a perfect morning for a stroll across the paddocks
not too warm to awake the flies
yet not too cold or windy for discomfort

the flickering air currents
just right to stir the aromas
of uncursed salvation janes
mixed with the wild green grasses
taste ever so sensuous as i softly inhale their secrets ...

the serenading birds chirp their approvals of
my intrusion into their greenfields of 'morn
as i carefully find my way

if i'm not careful mate
i'll love my life
to its early death ...


Bark bits on the seashore

by

Jim Schroeder

a shard of bark is an amazing piece of work
a design evolved over thousands of sea tidal erosions
very complex and beautiful
a bark-bit mirrors the soul perfectly

visualise the periodic thrashing out to sea
on brutal pacific storms
followed by a long journey home
to the drying sandbar havens
for a rest in the alternately sunlit days
and moonlit nights
only to repeat the process yet again
and again

it's a marvel that surely thousands passed by this piece
but it was i presented the opportunity to steal it
away from monterey's cold stormy waters
to hand carry it safely back to oz where it belongs
and possibly originated
the origins of this lovely piece shall forever remain a mystery

from the exterior one can guess how
the interior might look
yet can never be quite certain
to open and peer inside would destroy the creation
only the very wise will someday be able to imagine
with their intuitive powers
what it is inside of the bark's soul
that allowed this bark
to rest beside henley shells


Mourning moon of death

by

Jim Schroeder


Didyerayou see that ol' sorrow-full-moon
this 'morn up high over henley sea?
sharply etched against
a mourning sky
she gave us a minervawink i reckon

what a sight eh matey!?!
raw pure beauty
juxtaposed against
times of death

but deep sadness invades my soul
as this full-moon corresponds
with uncanny synchronicity
to my Iowa-cousin's funeral
he same age me within a day
too young to die
but die we all must
so why not this day i guess

nature knows not ages
nor would care anyway
just needs to recycle
organic matter
dead
to keep the earth alive
for the living

deciding i needed a level-train ride
to write and think and feel ...

i passed the cemetery where
a friend's wife is buried
she too young too
ended prime of her life of 50 yrs
by her own hand
last year
eaten alive by daemons
all of us somehow missed
(or ignored)
save one
she

i gazed at her grave
remembering well
the lifeless body
so small and so still
so beautiful in repose
so absolutely dead
in death's awesome finality
i held her hand
and kissed a cold white cheek
to say hello & goodbye
that dark sunny day
and cried trembling
uncontrollably

later i lobbed my fistful of dirt
into the grave
on lowered closed casket
as is the way of Ukrainians
a poignant toss of dust
then stood fixated
watching the machinery
fill the once empty hole
and tamp the dirt rock-hard solid
thence close the book
of her life
forever

i turned
slowly walked away
and pedaled easy
back into my life's
new seabreezes
on trusty rusty

i changed that dreadful day
the immortality i never possessed
now lost in the loose red clay

back to the present
i watched the deserted cemetery
fade slowly behind me
my heart beats drowning out
the click-clacking wheels
only to discover The Ghan
sitting empty
resting i s'pose
a ghostly ghan
beckoning me inside

to await my go ...


Chasin' freight

by

Jim Schroeder

solo zoned a
joyous freight track
real hot one too
temps nudging 41C at 19%
fearsome N by NW dry wind at 39 km/h
swept the flies away
baked my dusty sweat
as the beads mixed with
gooey gobs of 30 weight spf

i slowly jogged along
bading my time
awaiting the freight
i knew would slip past

thwang crack
the rails sing the warning
thar she is
INBOUND
at speed
track freights
INBOUND?
in TO the city
i had neglected
that possibility!

four engines heavy
barreling at the
yard limit

toll toll toll
boxcar boxcar
scnt
toll boxcar
piggyback boxcars
beauties mate

ol' grey haired
hoghead peering ahead
thick heat proof gloves
covering weathered hands
ready to cut the throttle
at precisely the last possible
moment to stay legal
i betcha his mind
fragments time and distance
into milliseconds and meters
ice cold west end draught within the hour
to slake an honest thirst

transadelaide carriage passes
the slowing mitty-freight
envious dreams of someday
drivin' a 'real' train

passing greenfields
(well brown fields!)
i turn towards the hills
final segment ahead
scant minutes remain
distant hills indistinct
reddish in layered dust
blurred sweat-visions
dust-obscured sky
hot brown fields ...

whoah .... am i on MARS?
mebbe i've slipped thru a worm hole
i'm joggin' towards a martian range
stepping along that sharp
shallow crease of martian time
twixt day & night
where the temps allow human survival
21st century breathing apparatus implant
keeping me alive to tell the tale

i gotta get back
slip thru
made it
whew

i'm back with the freight track again
ever so easy to slip away
brain-addled zones
scattered along the track
like invisible puddles of quick sand

long cool shower
washes clean my dizzied brain
steadies heat wobbled legs

ambling back to log
these fleeting thoughts
i gaze into the beads of sweat
collected on my left arm
to discover good ol'
freight chasin' jimbo
reflectin' back at me

what a relief
to have him back
i smile happily
grinnin' at the curious stares
then wipe the sweat of life
from my brow

give it the flick ...


Zen track rambling

by

Jim Schroeder


Pre-dawn humid-warm mist
soothes aching muscles
hamstrings stretch
brain dead body
a stillborn 'morn ...

reluctant legs carry my tired body away
headlong into the green tunneled passage
the foreboding trail awaits me in the gloom
a worm hole-track?
this better be good ...

sleepy face
bared arms & shoulders
i shred the night's sticky spider webs
casting away their patiently captured bounty
strands pitifully streaming from my legs
long-dead prey along for the stormy ride
skies grumbling at thor's demands ...

wary feet skip-hop the twisting shadowy roots
slithering across the sandy track
the mother trunks learing at the unwelcome runner
the intruder
i ready myself for the unknowns ahead ...

The chosen track winds gently downslope
a lazy early morning river awaits
my mind starts it's gradual awakening
the senses coming alive
ready for something
ready for the impending journey
down and up
forward and back
on the track
on track ... ?

Aaaahh, there's a sight!
my first sight
first sight best sight
towering bluffs oversee my track's attachment to ol' man river
i see that now
i've caught the connections just a bit
just maybe understand the reasons here
the structures of nature
the purpose exposed to me ...

My loosening legs search their natural rhythms
thoughts start flashing in and out
no patterns yet
ambling along
eyes scanning
ready for today's sun
rising
mighty river on left
bluffs on right
birds chinging their morn's coded messages
waiting for my sun ...

There she comes!

Fiery midwest-red sun-disc edges cautiously into view
beckoning me into the zone
inviting me to zen track on the zen-track
this on a real fine midwest 'morn
somehow i am not surprised ...

Sheepishly i check the time-store on my wrist
a reluctant link to responsibilities
gauging the unwanted turn back to 'the world' ...

time to zone?
zone time ... ?

i am not ready yet of course
never am doncha know ... ?

just a few more minutes i plead to mr sun
i don't want to go back ...

on and on
legs loose now
arms pumping
body-mind-sync zone penetrates deep
pain erased
endorphin-saturated-brain
body soothed mind
mind soothed body
full circle
i'll make time on fast-track-back i rationalise
i'll get back on track ...

No backtracks now!

As i stare quizzically at mr sun i sense the impending colour change
red sun can not last long
nothing can it seems
i've seen this before
can accept it now ...

i give over to the molting orange disc glaring relentlessly at me
cool-red morphs to red-hot orange
daring me to keep running
HALT! turn back runner boy ...

ooookay i say ...

Brain-quiet i start the back-track on the zone-track
zen-tracks on the zen-track
relief felt after decision's made
back on track ...

gotta think clearly
carefully recall trail breaks
note the route sign posts
easy to miss a key fork in the zone
overrun a necessary turn
rumoured it's possible to run clean off a bluff
kesey mebbe said as much i think
where would that trip end ... ?

Ohhh, i'm fast now!
oh yes, oh boy
oh here i go ...

but yesss, whole body muscles loose
astride of my stride
gut-drawn breaths suck hard on musty river air
wave-patterned track rises earily
flared nostrils greedily inhale zenair
inject enlightened air deep into my soul
all seems to make sense again ...

no worries
no hurries
it all fits
i feel nature's track
i'm on my track ...

cicadas sing-song chirps
in time to my steps?
for my steps ... ?

green zone
speed zone
sweat zone
zzzen zone
i'm in it
zoned it!
make no mistake
knowhaddimean mate? ...

My country-boy ears pick up chattering mr squirrel
i'm ready cuz i know he's planning to ping-dent me with a hickory nut shard
there, my eyes find him just in time
i wait to the last second
then feint right
off track
on track
hickory shell thud-thumps track
missed me
HAH! HAH!
mr squirrel can not meet my sneering gaze!
i won that time
always a next time though
ya cain't win'em all ...

OKAY, cruisin' again
danger past
thoughts in focus
dreams re-ignite
mad thoughts
bad mad-thoughts
bad thoughts
mad bad-thoughts
but just thoughts
far's as i know ...

Past last majestic st petersburg bluff
ancient upthrusts
other worldlies

i pick a steeply climbing track back to the topside
winding back to 'the world'
burning thighs
searing lungs
tiring legs carry me slowly up and back ...

'the world' i muse
i muse 'the world'
it's a place i guess ...

workshop-mates pile hours on hours
good too of course
pleasant surprises
philosophical spurts amidst the bits
best bits for me
it's why i'm here afterall
after all ...

So, i'm running again?
back
away
to
to where?
where
where to?
can i stop someday in someplace ... ?

Running to oz on jumbo ozoneplane
BACK and TO henley sea
there's good in henley
all kinds of good
heaps of good
i've missed it all
good to get henley-home
good to get back on that buss again
so easy to miss the buss ...

watching seat-mate sleep
sleep to where i wonder
wishing to know
not for me to know
not now ...

AWAY again for sure
to beyond forever
again ...

Run again soon?
i always do
why?
i don't know either ...

Do you ... ?


Chasin' rainbows

by

Jim Schroeder



As I ambled along my greenfields track
the winter sun slowly warmed my thoughts to a gentle simmer
patiently I awaited the revelation destined for me
if I could bide its time ...

Yes, there it emerges now, a wondrous sight ...
a rainbow arched over my track
beautifully and symmetrically formed
breath taking in its parabolic perfection

I jogged steadily towards the illusion
being very careful to not change my pace as I knew that
a touch too fast with impatience
or
a bit too slow with feigned indifference
would shatter the image ahead ...

What lies beyond my rainbow I muse...

I cautiously approached the spectrally coloured bands
nearly close enough to caress the misty phenomena
to soak my soul within its secret knowledge ...

Patiently I await the unknowns to be revealed
then just as I perceived approval to break on through

Poof!

Out of my grasp again
the silent wispy bands dissolved into their own space
just close enough to tease me with an undiscovered insight ...

I sighed my daily sigh
then turned my back
on the meaning of life ...


Greenbelt romp

by

Jim Schroeder



as i dozed fitfully
i dreamt of running a Greenbelt Half Marathon PB
under perfectly-azure aussie skies ...

(the aussie sky is incredible
i always feel like shredding the bonds of my clothing
jumping up arms out stretched
to bury my whole body in the liquid azure skies
turning several summersaults
that lather my skin with
silky strands of sky
and slowly float down to earth
coated from head to toe with sky-colour
then to lie on my back
day dreaming of the perfect run
basking in the warm sun
soaking in the mystery
and beauty of a running life)

BUT THEN
SUDDENLY:
the cruel 5:45am alarm
rudely jarrs my slumbering form awake
oooooh, is it raining?
am i pardoned from my planned distance run
a necessary checkpoint on the Adelaide Marathon Trail
nooooo ...
clear skies
perfect skies
7th may
seven days in may past by
whoops
different dream ...

badly misjudging the jogging time to Lockley's Bowling Club
i reached the closed sign-in table minutes before the greenbelt start
folded-arms Phil
awaiting my lame excuses
"lost?" he puzzled
processing my foreign accent
slowly gauging my pleas
well, ok, just this once ...

swallowing the throat slug i've harboured the past weeks
i lumbered off with my running mate Alex
his gadgety heart-beat monitor engaged
lest we exceed a reasoned pace

ah the joys of the race at last ...
it never takes long
in the company of like-minded souls
(the true beauty and reward
of an early rise to enjoy a SARRC event)
before the wonders
of a morning's run
expose themselves
to the loosening pack of racers ...

from across the torrens
a 100 meters before the 17 km marker
we witnessed a startling sight
a herd of horses galloped with Ben Hurst
through the green wetlands
their speed and gallop precisely matched
Ben's bagged this one i mused
anyone could clearly see that
the horses knew that fact too ...

long minutes later
as i paralleled the beasts
they snorted derisively at me
then ground to a sudden halt
better to glare at my faltering gait ...

cruising past the wetlands
a quarter of the way into the race
the pleasant linear park scenery
became a most welcome partner
surely there is no better course
for a half marathon event
slow times to be sure
but the pure enjoyment
more than ample reward
PBs can await future
straight and flat tracks
to nowhere ...

long easy run to the city's skyline
swaying to and fro
as the twists and turns of the track took us all in stride
the kilometers melt in the rising sun
as birds chirp their morning songs
even ol' river torrens grudgingly admits a measure
of placid beauty as the endorphine-goggles
find their place on my head ...

across the weir finally
as one's legs began to feel the distance
the finish line beckons fresh strength to the body
suddenly the 3 kms ahead to finish
seem not quite enough in this perfect 'morn
just a few kms more would be just right ...

easing in to finish at last
it's time for a friendly chat
always a new friend found somehow
the magic never ceases to amaze ...

BUT
surely i must have been the only entrant
to not win a pair of socks!


farewell

by

Jim Schroeder



summer'65
blowed wide open
by saint bo in a '56 fraud
roarin' in from some m'sippi river town

caught us all unawares really
we all behind the power curve

cackling big-white teeth
envy of iowa boys
burned out hearts
redlined souls
flooded the tears away
dried by a double clutchin' wink
all'd be forgiven
somehow

the hackers launched our ride
baseball & cigs
wheels & beers
cheese burgers a week's treat
cruisin' main
we hot rodded loves

years raced by
as years will do
silently grinding their gears

e-mailed death
braked me
drained my crankcase
30-weight drips
50-weight plops
into a curried catch pan
each tear an oil stained memory
splashed through my eyes
mixed in top fueled proportions
recycled full circle
inside my reserve tank
purging the fumes

i reset my dwell
then cruised in over drive
just as bo would've done

my shout mate


Rain drops

by

Jim Schroeder

rain drops sprinkle their gloom
with sad glistening eyes
upon those unfortunates
bolted down for life

yet

scorched souls lift open mouths skyward
daring to drown slowly in the storm
then gulp the unknown liquid
deep into their bellies of
digested brain cells

are you thirsty mate?


Sunrise, sunset

by

Jim Schroeder

as your sun rises
on my sunset
and your day
brings on my night
my full moon is
upside down
of you

hemispheres apart ...


A taste of glass

by

Jim Schroeder

Invited to savour a hand-loved treasure
he tenderly cradled the offering without fear
then gently nurtured the glowing nugget

As the radiant orange raspberry
sweet as angel-tears
dripped sizzling memories inside his tongue
he tasted the molten stem
infusing his soul with the hot orb

Then
addicted to raw heat
he hungered the raging inferno ...


Aussie skies

by

Jim Schroeder

the aussie sky is incredible ...

i feel like shredding the bonds of my clothing
jumping up arms out stretched
to bury my whole body in the liquid azure skies
turning several summersaults to lather my skin with
silky strands of sky
and slowly float down to earth
coated from head to toe with gum-tree blue sky
then to lie on my back
day dreaming
basking in the warm sun
soaking in the mystery
and beauty of life