Zaphod marched quickly down the passageway, nervous as hell, but trying to hide it by striding purposefully. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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No matter how much bravado someone musters, when he doesn’t genuinely believe he is good, others pick up on his shifting eyes and rising voice and other giveaways. Most people can spot fake confidence from a mile away.

Kayakers roll over and do it again … swimmers just sink.

“The ocean has always been a salve to my soul…the best thing for a cut or abrasion was to go swimming in salt water. Later down the road of life, I made the discovery that salt water was also good for the mental abrasions one inevitably acquires on land.”   Jimmy Buffett

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THE SWIMMER by Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833 – 1870)

With short, sharp, violent lights made vivid, 
   To southward far as the sight can roam, 
Only the swirl of the surges livid, 
   The seas that climb and the surfs that comb. 
Only the crag and the cliff to nor'ward, 
And the rocks receding, and reefs flung forward, 
And waifs wreck'd seaward and wasted shoreward 
   On shallows sheeted with flaming foam. 

A grim, grey coast and a seaboard ghastly, 
   And shores trod seldom by feet of men -- 
Where the batter'd hull and the broken mast lie, 
   They have lain embedded these long years ten. 
Love! when we wander'd here together, 
Hand in hand through the sparkling weather, 
From the heights and hollows of fern and heather, 
   God surely loved us a little then. 

The skies were fairer and shores were firmer -- 
   The blue sea over the bright sand roll'd; 
Babble and prattle, and ripple and murmur, 
   Sheen of silver and glamour of gold -- 
And the sunset bath'd in the gulf to lend her 
A garland of pinks and of purples tender, 
A tinge of the sun-god's rosy splendour, 
   A tithe of his glories manifold. 

Man's works are graven, cunning, and skilful 
   On earth, where his tabernacles are; 
But the sea is wanton, the sea is wilful, 
   And who shall mend her and who shall mar? 
Shall we carve success or record disaster 
On the bosom of her heaving alabaster? 
Will her purple pulse beat fainter or faster 
   For fallen sparrow or fallen star? 

I would that with sleepy, soft embraces 
   The sea would fold me -- would find me rest, 
In luminous shades of her secret places, 
   In depths where her marvels are manifest; 
So the earth beneath her should not discover 
My hidden couch -- nor the heaven above her -- 
As a strong love shielding a weary lover, 
   I would have her shield me with shining breast. 

When light in the realms of space lay hidden, 
   When life was yet in the womb of time, 
Ere flesh was fettered to fruits forbidden, 
   And souls were wedded to care and crime, 
Was the course foreshaped for the future spirit -- 
A burden of folly, a void of merit -- 
That would fain the wisdom of stars inherit, 
   And cannot fathom the seas sublime? 

Under the sea or the soil (what matter? 
   The sea and the soil are under the sun), 
As in the former days in the latter, 
   The sleeping or waking is known of none. 
Surely the sleeper shall not awaken 
To griefs forgotten or joys forsaken, 
For the price of all things given and taken, 
   The sum of all things done and undone. 

Shall we count offences or coin excuses, 
   Or weigh with scales the soul of a man, 
Whom a strong hand binds and a sure hand looses, 
   Whose light is a spark and his life a span? 
The seed he sow'd or the soil he cumber'd, 
The time he served or the space he slumber'd, 
Will it profit a man when his days are number'd, 
   Or his deeds since the days of his life began? 

One, glad because of the light, saith, "Shall not 
   The righteous Judge of all the earth do right, 
For behold the sparrows on the house-tops fall not 
   Save as seemeth to Him good in His sight?" 
And this man's joy shall have no abiding, 
Through lights departing and lives dividing, 
He is soon as one in the darkness hiding, 
   One loving darkness rather than light. 

A little season of love and laughter, 
   Of light and life, and pleasure and pain, 
And a horror of outer darkness after, 
   And dust returneth to dust again. 
Then the lesser life shall be as the greater, 
And the lover of life shall join the hater, 
And the one thing cometh sooner or later, 
   And no one knoweth the loss or gain. 

Love of my life! we had lights in season -- 
   Hard to part from, harder to keep -- 
We had strength to labour and souls to reason, 
   And seed to scatter and fruits to reap. 
Though time estranges and fate disperses, 
We have had our loves and our loving mercies; 
Though the gifts of the light in the end are curses, 
   Yet bides the gift of the darkness -- sleep! 

See! girt with tempest and wing'd with thunder, 
   And clad with lightning and shod with sleet, 
The strong winds treading the swift waves sunder 
   The flying rollers with frothy feet. 
One gleam like a bloodshot sword-blade swims on 
The sky-line, staining the green gulf crimson, 
A death stroke fiercely dealt by a dim sun, 
   That strikes through his stormy winding-sheet. 

Oh! brave white horses! you gather and gallop, 
   The storm sprite loosens the gusty reins; 
Now the stoutest ship were the frailest shallop 
   In your hollow backs, or your high arch'd manes. 
I would ride as never a man has ridden 
In your sleepy, swirling surges hidden, 
To gulfs foreshadow'd through straits forbidden, 
   Where no light wearies and no love wanes.

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Lee Emmett, Australia
SWIMMERS’ STROKES (Alliterative Onomatopoeia)

silently slipstreaming, Simon’s swim
huffing heavily Harry hurries him
Pete plods, pants, pushes, paddles past
Luke languidly lashes, lumbering last

spluttering Stevie sideways strokes
Barry backstrokes, beating blokes
sniggering Stevie swishes, splash
Davey darts, dodges during dash

wallowing waves wash white water
anaphylactic, aching arteries and aorta
swirling subterranean swimmer surfs
stonkered Stevie sinks, Simon swerves

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I will aid any kid anytime That’s what real men do. Paolo.

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you’d never forget the pelicans
because it was their home too
and that occasional one who’d try and swallow your baited hook
while we cast out into an endless mould of brown and blue skin
sometimes catching our line in its enormous and clumsy wingspan
floating around the jetty constantly boasting that huge gullet
so close to the pylons covered in poinson oyster shells
that waited for the bare flesh within our gait,
inviting our bare flesh to dance
Mum worried that we’d get sick from eating them
Day saying the sewage from the caravan park
would sometimes flow near where we fished
and that they oysters bathed in it too

little buckets of a few bream
silver catch of a meal
and the persistent cats at our ankles
lapping up the smell
running up past the shop
a front window necropolis of stonefish in vegemite jars
suspended in a vault of clear alcoholic brine
still deadly in death
and us in bare feet all the time
three kids in stonefish-infested mud
playing Russian roulette –
one good pair of running shoes between us

Source:  Smoke Encrypted Whispers  by Samuel Wagan Watson Univ. of Queensland Press, 2004

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I’m That Old Guy

I’m the guy who parents do not trust
The one that would help a child who has fallen
A kid in danger
A child who is short five cents at the lolly shop
A child that just wanted a hug or a chat
Some kids like old men’s stories
They learn from listening to old men like me
I am not a sinister man I am just what I should be
An old man with a story
Who helps any kid?
I am not perverted like the do gooders say
Because I spoke to their child miserably wrapped in cotton wool
I am not a paedophile
I am not a risk
I’m that old guy who must leave a child in trouble
Because some idiot says that’s the wisest thing
Pigs Arse
I will aid any kid anytime
That’s what real men do

This was published on December 29, 2013 

The wood-plank bridge which led out of town when I was a child, also led me back, and is now the one on a smaller, less traveled road, where one could possibly find oneself, if one was looking. The sound of a car crossing a wooden bridge always arouses feelings of loneliness, the desire to escape, and perhaps return to my childhood.



Children are not mini adults. To recognise that childhood is different from adulthood is not patronising, it’s actually respectful and a fact!

Kathy Walker




Whatever wave you’re riding, no matter how big or powerful it might be, remember God’s promise – If He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.





I would that with sleepy, soft embraces

The sea would fold me—would find me rest

In luminous shades of her secret places,

In depths where her marvels are manifest ;

So the earth beneath her should not discover

My hidden couch-nor the heaven above her—

As a strong love shielding a weary lover,

I would have her shield me with shining breast.

The Swimmer

Illustrated Sydney News (NSW - 1853 - 1872), Saturday 30 January 1892,





His cocky roguish swagger the smile upon his face will tell you, in the doggy world that he has claimed first place

Marc Glasby

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“Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It’s the sure-footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life. ” 

― Ann Landers

As I said, I began losing confidence in my instincts, which is tough and very bad for an instinctive person.

Kim Novak

z z The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Saturday 18 October 1947

A child lacks wisdom, and some say that what is important is that the child does not die; what kills more surely than lack of wisdom?

Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle.

~African Proverb (Ashanti, Ghana) african proverb

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If you are in hiding, don’t light a fire.

We are always the same age inside. ”

― Gertrude Stein


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“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt, The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

[St. Paul In Philippians 4:11]

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“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.”
― Lao Tzu

It was one thing to go into battle with confidence, another to believe the foe so easily defeated.”

― Richard A. Knaak, The Demon Soul

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“If you had an ounce of self-esteem, of self-worth, of self-confidence, you would realize that as trite as it may sound, beauty is truly skin-deep.”

Beautiful Girls1996

Rosie O’Donnell

The secret of making dreams come true can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy; and the greatest of these is Confidence.

– Walt Disney

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“Life is what you make it. If you think you can’t change the world, then go on and follow the path already carved out for you. But there are other roads to choose, they’re just harder to trudge through. Changing the world isn’t easy, but I sure as hell am going to keep trying. Are you?”

― Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry

Don’t call the alligator a big-mouth till you have crossed the river.


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“I don’t do romance, in the same way I don’t do heroin Russian roulette, or nude alligator wrestling. I consider all of the above self-destructive, and demeaning and these are things up with which I will not put.”
― D.D. Barant, Dying Bites

•”People who relapse usually do so because they accepted the things they could have changed.”

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“Even from the abyss of horror in which we try to feel our way today, half-blind, our hearts distraught and shattered, I look up again and again to the ancient constellations that shone on my childhood, comforting myself with the inherited confidence that, some day, this relapse will appear only an interval in the eternal rhythm of progress onward and upward.”

― Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday

The best-remembered teachers are the tough ones, who discipline our intellects for the longest journeys.

Annis Pratt

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“learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.”
― Brian Adams

“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”

― Bertrand Russell, Mortals and Others 1: American Essays 1931-35

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“The line between confidence and arrogance is very fine, Josh,” Flamel said quietly. “And the line between arrogance and stupidity even finer. Sophie,” he added, without looking at her.”
― Michael Scott, The Sorceress

“There is a saying in the Islands. Beware the women of the warrior class, for all they touch is both decorative and deadly.-Yuki”

― Tamora Pierce, Squire

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“It was like she was MADE of cake, light and pretty and decorated on the outside-with her sweet laugh and pink streak to her hair-but it was anyone’s guess what was on the inside.”
― Sarah Addison Allen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon

In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.

― Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

DSCF6022 noticeboard

foto -noticeboard in bellingen nsw


If seen from treetop level
the world is far enough away to kill you
with a fall. Be more careful than the bird.
Let the sky that is low yet as high in its flight still  
with its colours, treeleaf-green, earthen-ware, and the  
in the wind go by. Trust in the tree you heard;
and you heard it then. It holds me like an arm
in the same limb that holds you; I have been sent to save
for the climbs that are mine, and it is the world I
and all my pitfall ages, having survived
the devil of the picnic tree. The climbing is nearly
but I am assigned to be here to see that you
stay up, go on; else what shall I do with my shadow?
Even the falling shadows are ours from the picnic tree.
(The Weekend Australian Review, July 1, 2000)


Once you’ve chosen a man, don’t try to change him’, I wrote with more confidence. ‘It can’t be done. More important-don’t let him try to change you.”

― Diana Gabaldon, Voyager


“With the palms zipping past and the big sun burning down on the road ahead, I had a flash of something I hadn’t felt since my first months in Europe – a mixture of ignorance and a loose, “what the hell” kind of confidence that comes on a man when the wind picks up and he begins to move in a hard straight line toward an unknown horizon.”

― Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary

Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better. ― Florence Nightingale


“Somewhere, within her, in a deep recess, crouched discontent. She began to lose confidence in the fullness of her life, the glow began to fade from her conception of it. As the days multiplied, her need of something, something vaguely familiar, but which she could not put a name to and hold for definite examination, became almost intolerable. She went through moments of overwhelming anguish. She felt shut in, trapped.”

― Nella Larsen, Quicksand

Limp along until your legs are spent, and you fall flat and your energy is drained. Then the grace of the Divine will lift you. ― Rumi


“He walked as he’d learned to walk, with only a minimal limp, back straight, head held high in confidence rather than cockiness. He walked like a man who had learned to lean into God for whatever strength he needed.”


― Robin Lee Hatcher, Fit to Be Tied

Don’t cough in a hiding place. Sudanese Proverb.


I’d always watch for fishing lines, for sinkers and for floats,

and I’d be swimming nowhere near the harbours full of boats;

I’d keep away from swimming holes, of beaches I’d stay clear,

and you would never find me hiding underneath the pier.

foto – hiding in a pink tent in raleigh november 2010