Gratitude and Grief
Katie Noonan's Elixir & Michael Leunig
I wanna go to la-la land
And take a holiday;
In la la land they’ll understand
The thing I have to say.
I’ll rent the little wonky shack
That overlooks the bay
And wait until it all comes back,
This thing I have to say.
And then one night I’ll bow my head
While strolling on the sand
And say the thing that must be said
Out loud in la la land.
I wanna go to la-la land
I need to get away
In la la land they’ll hold my hand
And let me out to play.
I’ll look up to the stars at night
And sing a la la song
In la-la land it’s happily all right
And joyfully all wrong.
Don’t fret too much for the departed
Even though they leave you broken-hearted
Have no fear
They will reappear.
When you’re alone and unprepared
They will just turn up. Do not be scared.
Be still. Do not turn away;
There is something wise they’ve come to say.
To you and to you alone;
Some plain and simple thing already known
They will touch you and say,
'It's all right, everything will be okay'.
Or something like that, short and clear
Then casually they'll turn and softly
Leaving you elated and in perfect peace:
The meaning of life and death will then increase.
And your love for departed one will grow.
There is so much you will get to know
About love that is unassailable
So long as you make yourself available.
LITTLE TENDRILS/LOVE IS BORN
Little tendrils of the heart
Curling out and groping
Seeking little things to hold
Wiggling and hoping
Little tendrils of the soul
Delicate and perky
Seeking little surfaces
Peculiar and quirky
Little tendrils, little tendrils
Innocent and plucky,
I pray that you are careful
And I hope that you’re lucky
Love is born
With a dark and troubled face,
When hope is dead
And in the most unlikely place;
Love is born
Love is always born.
GRATITUDE AND GRIEF
In the cradle of his mother’s arms a baby lies
Warm and sheltered from the time when they
will come apart
Gazing from the hidden world into his
From where the holy secrets tumble down
into his heart.
Then with this heart so full of hope he travels
in the wild
But soon is set upon and cruelly beaten to the
And wakes upon the ruins of his innocence
And there his sacred revelations in the mud
Tears of blood and anger flowing from his
From his violated mouth the song of disbelief
In a shattered memory a shattered lullaby
But from his broken heart flow gratitude and
PEACE (IS MY DRUG)
Peace is my drug;
It stops the pain.
In safe reflecting rooms
Or in a lane,
Or in a park,
I will lie
And have some peace
And get high
Peace is my love;
And peace is kind
I do not search
And yet I find
I do not need
Peace comes gently
To my hand
If it’s pure
And there’s a lot of it about
And pass out
And dream of peace:
My favourite thing
When nobody wants me
And nothing’s happening.
Magpie, magpie, dive on me,
Swoop down from your holy tree;
As I pass the flower bed
Stick your beak into my head.
Magpie magpie in the blue
I looked up and it was you
Clear beautiful and wise
life will take you by surprise
Magpie, magpie, make a hole,
Through my head into my soul:
As I pass beneath the sun
Bring my troubled head undone.
Magpie, magpie it is spring
Is my soul a happy thing?
As I pass around the tree
Make a hole so you can see.
I shot a smile into the air
It fell to earth I know not where
Perhaps on someone else’s face
In some forgotten quiet place.
Perhaps somewhere a sleeping child
Has had a happy dream and smiled
Or some old soul about to die
Has smiled and made a little sigh.
Has sighed a simple final prayer
That lifts up gently in the air
and flows into the world so wild,
Perhaps to wake the sleeping child.
WHEN THE HEART/LET IT RING
When the heart
Is cut or cracked or broken,
Do not clutch it;
Let the wound lie open.
Let the wind
From the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt,
And let it sting.
Let a stray dog lick it,
Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
A simple song like a tiny bell,
And let it ring.
THE GENTLE HUM
Will it all click into place?
I feel it might.
I had a glimpse
That things could come right.
I’d wake up
On a sunny, slightly roostered morn
And wouldn’t realise at first:
That rightness would take time to dawn.
Things would start to gleam;
This worried life I’d had,
This awful world, this painful mess -
It was, in fact, a kind of dream.
The penny would just drop
Into my hand,
The penny that I’d lost so long ago,
And all the peace withheld, and blocked from
Would start to flow.
The gentle hum, the gold and silver light
Would all resume
The faeries and the pixies,
The particles of dust
Caught in the sunlight in my room.
I’d pick up where I’d been so rudely interrupted;
I’d have it back again for keeps,
My dog, my brilliant grasp of life,
My backyard and my paddocks full of time,
The world all glad around me
My rightful place,
My joyous leaps.
THE PATH TO YOUR DOOR
The path to your door
Is the path within,
Is made by animals,
Is lined by thorns,
Is stained with wine,
Is lit by the lamp by the lamp of sorrowful dreams,
Is washed with joy,
Is swept by grief,
The way to your care,
Is a broken line,
Is a broken sleep,
Is a simple sigh,
Is blessed by the lonely traffic of art,
Is known by heart,
Is known by prayer,
Is lost and found,
Is always strange,
The path to your door.