Random travel jottings

Random travel jottings


hard to think about there

while immersed in here


English cops with machine guns

texting at the airport food counter

flip flop changes over thirty years

back then Spain had armed Guardia Civil

England had old, friendly and unarmed bobbies


London, England, a disappointment

expensive, over-rated, under-resourced

cold, rainy and miserable summer

give me Berlin or Malaga any day

comfort in Euro time and ways


mitfahrgelegenheit to Stuttgart

disentangle from car at main station

man walks past with koala on his cap


new friends offer couch for two weeks

upstairs five Chinese guys in one flat

must be industrial spies says my Schwabian friend


so quiet here at night

like no other town I know


out on the tiles dancing to techno

helped by friend of friend with treats

dancing grandpa on tour in Benztown


new little sister came into my life

seems like I’ve known for lifetimes

my artistic funny playful playmate


stuck in my heart like buttons on a sleeve

a renegade Berliner subverting the motor city

with pen and ink and crayons and paper



Reflections while sleepless and restless

Introspection in the Berlin night time.

Thoughts of home and comfort, travel and loneliness.

Poetry & photographing things
Serving as distractions of the shy
From participation in the life of others

Abstract data gathering of the now
For sometime future presentation
As observations from a past imperfect

Then what’s left
In the space between
The snapshots and the jottings?

Blissful enjoyment of the fleeting moment
Free of intellectual interface
Active engagement in shared ritual present

Shadows splashing the Tiergarten bike paths
Mad riding at night with no lights
Winding around the blurry tree trunks
Like ten year olds on speed

Walking home from a just-round-the-corner friend
European football telly everywhere for weeks
Roads a-roaring with discordant Turkish car horns
Fluttering red highlights glory to crescent and star

Buying vegies, fruit and memories
From the Dolly Parton of the Markthalle
Listening to my clumsy unfamiliar words
Helping me with my change

Family picnic Sundays
With a complexity of kin
Buzzing along the bike paths
Singing a song as we sailed along

Berlin Impressions

On my second visit to Berlin, I was based at a friend’s house in Kreuzberg.

From there I adventured forth into the unknown … back there I returned to rest and process.

These are some of my clumsily remembered impressions.

travelling through a data storm

places, streets, buildings, people
sounds, smells, shadow and light
bicycles, bicycles, bicycles

look left then look right

stories friends have told me
images I can’t forget
like a girl with false moustache
robbing banks as a man

trying to meet the moroccan
takes up several days
even with three shared tongues
communication has delays

aimless stoned cycling – lovely!

stumbled onto the footy fanmeile

brandenburg gate a coke ad
football fans a coloured swirl
ferris wheel, food stalls, souvenirs
big screen primed for germany v turkey

overcast friday in kreuzberg
melancholy september day
anniversaries of failure
memories of love gone sour

better days arrive, of course
bathed in synchronicity

“no one ever steps
in the same river twice”

read this well-known saying
three times in the same week
twice in books
once in a graveyard

sunny sunny daze are long
twilight glows ‘til nine or ten
breeze enough for comfort
cool as this fabulous town

Kreuzberg Summer 2008

What a fabulous summer it was!

I didn’t come here for buildings
Monuments to pain and grief
Shadow walls of delusion
That echo disbelief

I came here for the people
The street life and the food
For the novelty of living
As a new guy in the ‘hood

To struggle with a language
Outside my comfort zone
Learning like an immigrant
The meaning of alone

Black-topped girls on bicycles
Confident and serene
Dressing down like waitresses
Cool in the Kreuzberg scene

Scruffy streets and cosy bars
Where it’s okay not to booze
Where European football
Is the conversational news

Adult soft drinks are not sticky
Black coffee is always there
With free internet on offer
Bars are not too hard to bear

No racing, rugby or Foxtel
In banks around the room
No steroid junky bouncers
Designed from a cartoon

Dickheads from the suburbs
Are nowhere to be seen
Glass and chrome are absent
Replaced with aged beams

Relaxed and cool with alcohol
Because it’s everywhere
No sign of shit-faced drinkers
With a vibe that says beware

I like it here in Kreuzberg
Friendly without airs
Covered Turkish maidens
Poverty, flowers and stairs

KitKat KitKat KitKat

From my time in Berlin during the summer of 2008 … when the Kit Kat club was a lot raunchier than it is now.

I almost blush to remember the shenanigans going on there when I visited … in the interest of cultural observation … three times.

This is the poem I wrote combining my fuzzy memories …

Kit Kat Kit Kat Kit Kat!

Kaleidoscope of psychedelia and pathos
Pinging silent through the sadness and madness

Trancing to the dance

Patterns slowly emerging
Over a timeless evening

Behaviours appear
Superficial party blur

Off-chops maiden lost to another planet
Wispily draped in satin and stars
Prey to the ancient goat
Who had her with his socks on

The public sex show couple
Same time every week
Ignored by most of the crowd
Who came for the beat and the heat

A couple of greybeard wankers
Drifting naked loony and alone
Tolerated yet marginalised by all
In a subliminal shimmering waltz

Clusters of risqué Blondies clutching purses

(So-o-o many blondes!)

Clinging to their group and smoking nervously
Eyeing bulging tattoos on sullen muscle Marys
Trying to guess their sexual bent

Lovely young bodies
Boldly pulsing bosoms and bums
Pumping arms and legs awhirl
Primitive rhythms spinning sound

Shock of daylight at the crack of noon
Fluorescent cave is dimming
Couches in great favour
Energies chilling down

Time for taxi hailing
And glasses for the sun