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Composer, dancer, scientist, ethnographer. Paul Mason completed his PhD in Anthropology at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. His creative writing has been published in Noise and The Age, and his creative science has been published in Brolga-an Australian journal about dance. With his work in anthropology, Paul enjoys writing about music, dance and festivals. Once asked why he enjoys writing ethnography, Paul replied, “Asking me why I write about real life, would be like asking a painter why he didn’t just take a photo.” In 2006, Paul was the winner of the Noise VoteForArt competition.
One Poem, One Life
Written 2003 by Paul H. Mason
Two moments more.
Only One Tomorrow
If there was only one tomorrow,
And only one today,
Would you fly away in sorrow,
And find a better way?
For all the subtle lessons,
And all your subtle ways,
And all the little blessings,
That will be with me always.
For in eternal happiness,
And in eternal joy,
There is eternal sadness,
All that we can’t destroy.
So in another tomorrow,
Or in another today,
Would you want to follow,
Or would you lead the way?
This Echo Engulfing
completed in the evening of Monday, 6 July 2007
When the preceding action,
Is louder than the first,
Thoughts become fashion,
When days run into weeks and years,
And moments into sand,
The fading sighs of silent tears,
Will be all we understand.
When this final calling,
Becomes our final breath,
Then this echo engulfing,
Shall lead us to our death.
Shadows from our infant dreams,
Shall reflect unto our eyes,
A mirror for our hopes unseen,
An image once lost inside.
Ripples from our vanished past,
Collide with lives entwined,
Burdens of the unfinished task,
No better to be defined.
Can this wisdom waiting,
To flow out from our soul,
Ever go without ever stating,
That it longs to make us whole?
An urgency of experience,
Uncoiled from one big bang,
Emphasised in emptiness,
If, from thoughts we hang.
Regardless, go unto tomorrow,
And contemplate the day,
Let the time your soul to borrow,
And steal your breath away.
In contemplative retrospect,
Be the tear that fell from high,
That did not in pools collect,
But that wept away; that swept away; that fell and learnt to fly.
Ode to the Honeybee
the feeling of you
written in the evening of 31 July 2007
There was a whisper inside a tear,
That faintly whimpered when you came near.
There was a heartbeat inside a sigh,
That yearned to quicken, that ached to cry.
Hidden in our shared caress,
There were spaces I confess,
That unashamedly begged your touch,
Waiting for you to fill them such.
Incredibly awakened by the feeling of you,
Like sweet imaginations resting like the dew,
Upon the wandering fingers of my wandering eyes,
You nourished my soul with the lingering echoes of your sighs.
Plunged so deeply
written on the morning of 31 July 2007
The boy with the pluralistic mind
written 30 July 2007
The boy with the pluralistic mind,
frightened by those of the normal kind,
wandered into the land of the wandering free,
and fell through the arms of serendipity.
Guided by coincidence into her smile,
he longed to stay, to stay awhile,
the pluralistic mind of the enraptured boy,
found the happiness of an eternal joy.
Touched by the skin that touched his soul,
touched by the parts that made him whole,
unexpected he fell through the gaze of a wandering host,
slipping through the haze of a memory he’d miss most.
Constricted by the hormone that drove his pulse,
knowing what was and what wasn’t false,
he drenched himself in a memory fading fast,
indulging the emotion so that it would last.
Holding on to a caress that never was,
he became lost in a moment for forever cos,
he dared not lose what he’d already lost,
tried to defy it no matter what the cost.
Was this fiction or was this real?
what was this feeling he did feel?
He built a spirit but broke his heart,
Was he better off where he did start?
But still the corners of her smile still widen his soul,
the clumsiness of her touch still make him whole,
if only to live in a present that is always past,
he’ll hold onto this moment and make it last.
If I were ever ever
If I were ever ever,
lessened by this world,
Softened into the terra,
And in its depth be held.
Then I would want to rise,
With birds cradled in my arms,
Reaching for their open skies,
And decorated in their charms.
Sending my roots deep and wide,
Taking the earth within my stride,
Breathing from my lungs outside,
Being a being that lived and died.
Standing tall in noble glory,
No man need hear my story,
Blessings felt in simple presence,
A love eternal that is my essence.
And, If I were ever ever,
Frightened by the day,
Eroded by the weather,
And faded in dismay.
Then extend my reach,
Beyond my length,
Experience will teach,
Me inner strength.
I cannot give,
What I have not learnt,
And I will not live,
If I have not earnt.
But, if I were ever ever,
To find a humbler path,
Let me search for my surrender,
In the spotlight of my mirth.
The Oystery of Wakafiva
written 28 July 2007
In a mysterious place called wakafiva,
there lived a giant buffalo-beaver,
he liked to dance and he liked to eat,
but his favourite thing was the people he’d meet.
You see, in this mysterious place of mystery,
There was a mysterious oystery,
It attracted all the fishes and the fishermen,
And Mr Buffalo-Beaver adored to entertain them.
And Despite the smell they’d laugh with glee,
for Mr Buffalo-Beaver was a funny man you see,
Oft he’d joke and clown around,
but alas he’d never make a sound.
Mr Buffalo-Beaver, you must understand,
Was friendly but a quiet man,
Of few words but many smiles,
And of gestures which’d reach your inner child.
The fishermen were ever attentive to his gentle ways,
For it was the attentive who enjoyed brighter days,
And in the moonlight of oyster bay,
the oystery of wakafiva was no mystery to those men at play.
On the precipice of the evergreen
written July 2007
If I was a moment,
What moment would I be?
And if I was your atonement,
What forgiveness would you see?
If I was a whisper,
Sailing in a dream,
Would the sunlight quiver,
When dappled on that scene?
Will I find surrender,
In a moment with no name?
Or is the present forever,
Going to leave me just the same?
Can this breathe that shortens,
Ever hope to find release?
And can the depth that broadens,
Ever fold into that crease?
Written 29, June 2007
Where the where was,
And how the how wasn’t,
Is it is or is it not?
Can we can, or can we can’t,
Are we are, or are we not?
Why the why we wonder why,
Knowing what wasn’t was,
Were who happy with how,
Or aren’t we, won’t we, what?
Golly Froggle, Twiggy and Me
Written 18 May, 2007
Once there was a golly woggle,
Who goggled all the way,
He liked to dance with jolly froggle,
They’d dance the night away.
And plenty a jig, they did jig,
With twiggy the twig and me,
For in that land of moggy moggles,
Of twiggy twigs and me,
There was an air of jolly fine fellows,
Of soft belly bellows and glee.
So oft we would wander,
And never we’d ponder,
We’d dream and dance all day.
Dancing our dance,
Swinging our sway,
We’d quaggle our boggles,
And twiggle our twiggles away.
Disorder within harmony,
Disharmony without order.
Synchronised inner anarchy,
Exclusive outer cacophony.
A matter to think
Where is my mind? It’s in my head,
Composed by all things I’ve done and said,
And by context – as the context breathes,
Conferring meaning and function in an intricate weave.
So where is my head? Is it in my mind?
Lost in nature, environment and things of that kind.
Selectively dismantled, overjoyed and dismayed,
The situations handled, the memories just fade.
I am within my memories,
As much as they are in me,
Trapped in the light of time’s ambiguity,
Evolving, living and dying into infinity.
Silent dreams are like conscious sleep,
Hidden by a fog that clouds the deep,
Like unheard music that only sounds clear,
The closer you are, the more you are near.
Against a blurry thicket of background noise,
Stand the imaginings of all the joys,
Unfolding before you, conspiring the moment,
Releasing behind you and finding atonement.
Lost in worlds of combinatorial possibility,
Defined by patterns of endless creativity.
Experiencing an experience as part and whole,
Accepting the present and the long term goal.
Tormented by structures layered and forced,
Healed by questions revealed and put forth.
Being the process, the product and becoming,
Being still and silent and constantly running.
Stopping to listen and wanting to know,
What spirits emerge and hide below.
Faint murmurs of distant voices within,
Raise their echoes for us to join in.
- Mason, P.H. (2010) The Door or the Herd, in Flosculi Australes, James Mitchell (ed), p 160.
- Mason, P.H. (2006) Ecstatically Inclined, Winner of the Noise VoteForArt competition, September 2006.
- What will we know of man, if only man we know? published by www.noise.net
- Honeybee Experiments, Noise, 2006
- Called into Creation by Being, the Universe Breathed Her In, Noise, 2006
- Metamers of the mind, Noise, 2006
- Recursive Causality, Noise, 2006
- Mason, P.H. (1994) “I’m listening, watching and talking to my flowers”, The Age.