Corry de Haas Poetry Pages

A Few Poems by Corry de Haas

The Call of a Friend ][ Sunset On The Isa ][ City Girl ][ FernWeh ][ The Last Flight Home ][ The Orange and the Gold ][ The Poplars of Murrurundi ][ The Spirit of Australia ][ Life's Theatre ][ The Ochre, the Blue and the Dream ][ Where the World is Wide ][ Whispers of the Past ][ Charlee's Run ][ The River ][ The Town That Isn't There ][ Where Once ][ more to come! ]

For Charlee


by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland, Australia.

When first setting out onto byways of rhyme
My songs yielded words that refused to keep time;
My pacing was laboured, no strength to its sound,
No vision of greatness on claiming new ground,
But nearer the highway where learner lanes end
I heard in the distance the call of a friend

And searching for stairways where songmasters meet,
I followed the signposts as guides for my feet;
With measures of courage and patience in tow
I detected the laneways all novices go,
And each daring step around corner or bend
New guidance was waiting in the words of a friend

My ears more attuned to a rythmical dance
I ventured out further and wagered a chance.
I travelled the regions once closed to my mind
And left my poor efforts on sidings behind;
And despite all my striving I failed to transcend
the lyrical wordsongs composed by my friend.

Now whatever the future will chart
I'll hear muted murmurs of songs in my heart;
For a voice reaches further than borders or gate
And goes where a poet's emotions dictate;
And away in the distance towards journey's end
I'll find inspiration in the verse of a friend.

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Sunset On The Isa

by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland, Australia.

I sat and watched the centre's brilliant sunset
That fired the barren hills in scarlet flame
And once again I marvelled at its grandeur
- A picture window in a twilight frame . -

And I fancied that by silent observation
I could feel the faintest heartbeat of the land
where once the massive mouths of its volcanos
spewed forth the crimson sculptures in the sand.

And I, but frailest atom in the vastness
Grew still to better hear its native tongue
So strange at first, yet strangely familiar
Relating stories from the days our world was young.

And I wondered, could I in another lifespan
Where time was measured by a million years
Have travelled sacred grounds exploring planets
That posed no threats, anxieties or fears?

And later, when the outback's fiery colours
Has faded into shapes of early morn'
Faint breezes stirred the sleepy air around me...
Announcing that another age was born.

o0o Return to Corry's verse index


by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

The girl of the city wears the latest haute couture
Perri Cutten, Di Givenchy or a Klein,
And she jets across to Europe for the springtime fashion shows
With their usual acclaim for French design.
The girl of the city dines in five-star restaurants
Where the Maitre de Hote serves slimming consomme
Where she sips Manhattan cocktails, meanwhile gossiping with friends,
While attending yet another matinee.

The girl of the city wears her hair in latest style,
As she entertains with gala and soiree,
That steer her husbands footsteps to the highway of success,
And hold her mental weariness at bay;
She will frequent the museums as a patron of the Arts,
Is valued as a most attentive guest,
Holds a clever conversation with first-nighters on the town,
And her speeches ring with mastery in jest!

But at times the city girl hears a call she can't deny,
And she'll turn her back on glamour and on glitz;
While she dons a motley T-shirt with a ragged pair of jeans
That the life-style of a country girl befits;
For the lure of her beginnings sounds too loud to be ignored,
So she leaves her city-image way behind,
And the power of her Porshe eats away the lonely miles
While the ribbons of the country roads unwind.

For her roots store an emotion that is hidden deep inside
And she aches to walk the sandy tracts again,
Where the Wilga tells a story that she never tires to hear
Where her eyes drink in the beauty of the plain.
There she strolls the sacred lane-ways that she walked so oft before
Sits and rests upon some freshly gathered hay.
As she leans against the gate-post of a long abandoned home
And her city life seems galaxies away.

And when at last the shadows turn to blue upon the sky
Country-girl will sit and watch the colours rise
That are sketched on the horizon by her Maker's feather touch
Into shades no mortal soul can equalise;
And her mind keeps contemplating on the values of her life
That pour like drifts of sawdust through her hand,
For the glitter of the city is a diamond made of glass
That disintegrates to slivers in the sand.

Yet country-girl will trace her steps to where she parked her car,
Waving grasses blowing kisses in the breeze;
And sudden painful tears streak the mascara at her eyes
As the twilight's fading picture disappears,
And the rusty greys and bronzes of the outback 'neon signs'
Recede into the softly falling rain...
And country-girl will leave her precious moments to the past,
While city-girl takes up her role again...

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

The summer sun is westering across a liquid sky
Where wayward clouds create a mellow maze,
And tender tinges spill upon a palette of azure
With twilight shadows deepening its haze.

My wanderlight is shining like a beacon up ahead,
And once more I feel that same familiar pain
That fills me with a yearning to explore an alter sphere
But I'm bound to follow trusted roads again.

The vision that I see projects a picture on my mind
In tones no modest mortal would display,
It's where I venture further past the boundaries I know,
Without a backward glance for yesterday.

One day I'll find the entrance to that labyrinth of time,
Where every road will lead towards the sun
Beyond the far horizon in the dreaming of my days
Where the ache for new environs first begun.

Fern = Far
Weh = Pain
A German expression which means the ache for foreign places.

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

I saw a 'V' of swallows flying south today,
Heading for the sun before the crystal breeze
Of winter would blow across the lowlands
And frame the autumn gold in silver freize.

The swallows paved my way towards the Southland,
Where summer sun will melt the inner chill
That fills me with the pain of spent illusions,
And won't abate - for I'm a dreamer still.

Behind me lie the memories I gathered,
Like velvet clouds beneath this giant plane,
And suddenly I know to be the loser -
I'll never find those treasured times again.

For all I valued most is gone forever,
And youth is just a fiction of the past;
And in my hand I clutch the wilted flower
Of dreams I dreamt - and knew they could not last.

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

When in town the other day and browsing through a store
I came across a tub of flowers on display beside the door;
And between the virgin blossoms showing vivid tinge and shade
I found two lonely tulips that a clever craftsman made.

The blooms were dressed in graceful silk - the shop-assistant told -
And one was wearing orange and her sibling shone in gold;
And stalking through my mind I sighted remnants of a dream
Where past and present seemed to blend like lightly beaten cream...

I saw a band of childrem marching proudly on parade,
An orange sash around the waist - for royalty displayed,
While from the humble houses lining many cobbled steet
The national colours floated free to make the scene complete.

Though decades since have come and gone, the picture still is clear,
The images more treasured now as time speeds every year;
For life has steered me onwards to a sun-ripe golden plain,
To find a single tulip where the gums and bloodwoods reign.

And deep inside the petal hands I see the tendril thread,
That weaves the cloth of courage for the hidden road ahead,
The weft and warp in equal strands to make the texture strong,
The roots embedded in the soil... her life-span to prolong...

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

The Murrurundi poplars copied pictures of my past
When I used to stroll the springtime lanes alone.
My wordsongs lying dormant in recesses of my mind
Now awash with all the beauty I have known.
The chestnut lit her candles then to celebrate new life
The wind played overtures in nature's band,
And poplars told me fairy-tales in countless reveries
In a language only children understand.

And through my teens I feasted on the summer of my days
When colours shimmered in a tinsel sky;
And cheerful breezes sang upon the poplars' festive boughs
In tones my heart nor body could deny.
My poplars mixed a potion then, a nectar that I drank
Coursing freely through my veins in gay pursuit
Of a jubilant expression in an enervating dance...
With the voice of my tomorrows rendered mute.

Now that my life has ripened into latent autumn years
I turn towards the poplars once again;
They display perfection in their gowns of burnished gold
In a brilliance no mortal could attain;
For like the mystic thorn-bird that trills her tragic song
Then falls upon the spike that spears he heart,
So the poplars'fading splendor show a picture of grandeur
Before the dwindling leaves erase their art.

The silence of my future lies behind a shadowed wall
Where pipers play a timeless saraband...
And ancient music soothes like a rondo by Bizet
And waning tides will wash my footsteps from the sand...
Will the poplars tell a stort of a season fresh and green?
Show their beauty they so proudly shared with me?
Will they sing a new cantata for the joy a birthday brings?
And will those that come behind me truly see?

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

I often sat and listened to the silence
Of bushlands dreaming, where only eagles soar,
And hoped to hear the land reveal her secrets
Her wisdom far too precious to ignore.
I left my mind wide open to her message
To all she would be willing to convey,
But when at last I seemed to grasp her meaning
It slipped away.

I travelled to the barren inner regions,
To shimmering seas of carmine rippled sands,
But playful whirlwinds wiped away my footsteps,
And spoke in tongues no mortal understands.
I tried to find a reason for my wand'ring -
This urgency I could not disobey -
To distant tracts that seemed to hold the answer,
Then turned away...

I asked my friends, the Karri, in the forests
To help me in this unrelenting quest,
Their lifetime crowns the vast expanse of ages,
Since time began her journey in the west;
But nightfall cast her shadow on the giants,
The moon began her course across the bay,
And I was left to drift again and wonder...
Then turned away.

So I climbed the bushland's scarlet mountains
And marvelled at the scene beneath my feet;
The air awash with fragrant scents of summer
A cooling breeze that made the day more sweet;
And standing there I felt the merest whisper
Of kindred minds that swept my doubts away...
And a promise that I'll soon find her spirit...
Then slipped away.

But now that rambling days are over
I've settled down and found my special place
Where the Spirit of Australia walks beside me,
Delights me with her gentleness and grace.
Her message here will never be forgotten,
But we're custodians of this ancient land...
For the answer to my questions lives inside me
And I understand...

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

My mirror has a double-sided looking glass
Which shows the many characters I've played;
My alter ego safely hidden in the wings,
A Harlequin enhancing the charade.

And looking in the mirror at the finely fashioned lines
Life's theatre has etched around my eyes,
I see ghosts of my tomorrows waiting patiently backstage -
Wearing bells and jesters cap in cheerful guise.

And the clown of my existence wears a double-sided smile,
The greasepaint masking all that's grim and sad;
For I dressed his role in sunshine, left the tragedies behind
As we share the stage and footlights here instead.

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

Sometimes when the day is fading
Memories stalk my restless mind,
Of a little country township
Where life was simple, seasons kind;
And I see the gentle sloping
Of the undulating hills,
Of the ochre-tainted fallows
And the ripple of the rills.

And I hear the faintest footsteps
Of a little boy at play,
Where the greying blue-stone cottage
Matched the shades of yesterday;
And beyond where greening meadows
Heralded another spring
Hopes and dreams filled my existence -
Riding on a youthful wing.

So I travelled to the region,
To the town of "Long Ago,"
And I tried to find the pastures
Where the jonquils used to grow;
But the town - almost deserted -
Turned its back upon my dreams...
And life's early-written pages
Now present more recent themes.

Since my hair has turned to silver
- Early years lost in a haze -
Life itself has sped me onward
Entered yet another phase;

But each springtime still I see the
Tender flowers, flush with bloom,
And I almost taste the flavour
Of the country's rich perfume.

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

Where the mountains meet the ocean
And the waves are rolling free,
Where the Northern breezes travel
Lies a tranquil opal sea.

There thr Daintree's silent beauty
Speaks a language always new,
But the wisdom that she voices
Will be heard by only few.

Lucky they, who for a moment
Heard the heartbeat of the land,
As they watch the ceaseless breakers
Write her message in the sand.

For she speaks of times eternal
Where the cosmic spheres reside,
And man is but a twist of seaweed
Left to drifting on the tide...

Where the mountains meet the ocean
And their peaks are steeped in pride
Lies the Daintree's sacred treasure...
Where the ancient world is wide.

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland,

I wanted to write me a bush verse,
- I'm almost addicted to them -
But I found I lacked the right background
For my pen to produce such a gem.
For suddenly as I was writing,
My lines seemed to fade clean away,
And a memory stirred that was hidden between
Of a small country's crisp autumn day.

What I wrote was a song from my childhood,
Where the whirr of the windmills kept time;
With a far different tune to its music,
A much sadder note to its rhyme.
I searched for some fresh inspiration,
Read Lawson and Paterson too;
They showed me the past and its struggles,
The back breaking plight of the few.
But as I was reading their verses
The themes of my youth filtered in,
I smelled the fine tang of the heather,
Felt a bitter-sweet yearning begin.

And the scenes became songs of my childhood,
With their lyrics etched deep in my soul,
When my footsteps would pace out the rhythms
On the cobblestones I used to stroll.

Your bards told of mountains and rivers,
Of brolgas that danced on the plains.
Of young, spring-time growth in the valleys,
And life-giving monsoonal rains.
They wrote about fierce floods and fires,
Of bushrangers everyone feared,
The bullockies, shearers and swagmen
And the yarns that - with them - disappeared.

But deep down inside mists were swirling
On the low-lying fields I once knew,
Where the willows stood guard at the ditches,
With cattle near hidden from view.

They write of the rush to the goldfields,
Where fortunes are lost as they're made,
And tell of the slow rate of progress
When the early foundations were laid.
Then - later - when shadows grow longer
And mirages of riches have gone,
They speak with the pride of a nation,
That was so reluctantly won.

Still the pictures I see are the memories
Of pine forests dressed in pure white,
And of dreamy, long summery evenings
When the skies were aflame with the light.

But now as I read recent verses
That are written by poets so fine,
I feel that their roots are beginning
To be interwoven with mine.
I can still hear the whispers of childhood,
And my heart can still treasure the past,
But the new songs I hear of this country
I can truthfully call mine at last.

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland, Australia.

A school-house stands deserted now amid the rolling hills
Where galahs will claim the water tank, the call of peacocks shrills,
The bluish shades on the horizon accentuate it seems
The echo of a school-bell I keep hearing in my dreams.
Fading colours, fading memories are gathered in a haze
Of bygone years and happy times that filled my yesterdays;
When a lonely pony paced along the fence against the sun
And I feasted on the pastels that depicted Charlee's Run.

The school-house was the setting for a poet's poignant pen
That moved a cynic world to believe again in man;
With words like raging rivers, or a brightly babbling brook
Cascading down the rock of life and captured in a book.
His lines were wrought with silent tears, the way a verse is made,
And still I hear the lyrics of a song that will not fade,
Though nature soon will take posession of a place his critics shun
The singer and his songs will still be heard on Charlee's Run.

And yet a single candle sheds a tender, trembling light
To guide me to a country house where poetry takes flight;
For the flame a singer carries to illuminate his lines
Will fashion them into a song his fantasy defines.
Its light will never waver, nor will it ever die,
For there's a special star somewhere way up a distant sky,
And should I falter in the race, my world would come undone...
I'll find a safe haven - at a place called Charlee's Run.

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland, Australia.

I'm sitting on the river bank
To pause a while and dream,
While rosy tints of cirrus cloud
Are mirrored in her stream.
The once wild flow of youthful love
-Becalmed throughout the years-
Still holds us in her warm embrace
In memories held dear.

This river of enduring love
Which sprang from distant source,
Grew wider as it gathered all
Before her winding course.
The busy years came rushing down,
Swept all within their way...
When life became reality
And future... yesterday.

We left the silver far behind
But the river rolls along,
Towards that faint and shadowed shore
Her drift still surging strong.
Surrounded by the ones we love,
Touched by their caring ways,
We live the gilded autumn years
That fire our twilight days.


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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland, Australia.

Faint voices of a distant past still echo in my ear,
As I walk among the ruins of a town that perished here;
The crusty, crumbling parapets depict the sad displays
Of ancient times and ancient laws in early convict days.

The lush green meadows hide the ruts once gouged by ball and chain,
And hide the cruel course of life that none will walk again,
'Mid dainty daisies in the fields the pauper's prison stands
Each star-like bloom a wayward soul now nursed by caring hands.

Black arrows lead me on my way towards the steepled church
Where nature plays the organ and its choristers converge,
The psalms of sunday services are hanging off the breeze
And voices of the righteous few are sighing in the trees...

But way across the bay upon the island of the dead
They dug the holes and shoved them in - no Requiems were said;
In unmarked graves a thousand men have found their final rest,
Where sea-gulls sailing on the wind will gather on its crest.

Yet sometimes chilling Southern winds still carry the despair
That haunt the remnants of a town that is no longer there...
Now tourists walk the quiet lanes reflecting on a past,
How a nation built on other's guilt has found its role at last.

Written at the old penal settlement, Port Arthur, Tasmania.

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by Corry de Haas
Helensvale, Queensland, Australia.

He stood before us, a bushman reared by mountains
With eyes that see beyond horizons rims;
Perceptive mind reflecting nature's grandeur
In words that rang like country-chapel hymns.

These giant castles of his carefree childhood
Still tower high above the forest-floor,
Where his soul rejoicing in their splendour
Will lift him up to where the eagles soar.

And golden as a dewy-dusted morning
His words flowed freely like a sparkling stream,
Which found an echo in all who gathered 'round him
To listen in and live his youthful dream.

And way between the craggy, crusty boulders
The Curtis falls will sing a song untold...
And a single rose will bloom amid the wildness
To show the place where once a poet strolled...

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