Sunday, 14 April 2013

Ask Them...

(c) Ask Them...

Ask them: all the ones who wear the corporate mask from old Parliament House to Parramatta.

All the self-absorbed, robotic fools with their arbitrary rules who really think it really matters.

I confess that I’ve been one of those and Lord knows; that sometimes I think that I’m a legend.

I write some words and sing and play and take part in radio plays: naive though always, well intentioned.

I’m forever craving unequivocal approval: a raving maniac you might surely think.
A complex man with no master plan; I’ve sought oblivion in marijuana and strong drink.
I wield a facial shield: it is the name of the game to ward off all intrusions into my guise.
I try to be inscrutable, impassive and immutable; but I fail the lot, sometimes resort to lies...   

M any years prior to, in the year of ’62, I stumbled across a fresh sound on the radio.
‘Twas the Beatles – Love Me Do they sung and I did! And I flung caution out of the window. 
I formed a garage band with chums and I learnt to play the drums on old tin cans, pans and hub caps.
We played in church halls and in homes – we all looked like garden gnomes, though happily no mishaps.
Truth was: we couldn’t play! Our friends and family indulged us anyway, - ‘err, that was great...really.’
Then one day a frustrated father wouldn’t take it farther, ‘...stop playing bands or you’ll pay dearly!’
By this time we were in high school and the golden rule was survival; I was forever avoiding torment.
The trouble was: I was fair game, I looked different, had an odd name: such things are hard to circumvent.

A fter five years of humiliation and many tears, tribulation; I left, got a job with the local council.
Under-schooled, though free of menace, over-whelmed, I commenced thirty years of being ‘sensible.’  
In this time I met a girl who over-turned my world; infatuated, we were like ‘beauty and the beast.’
We were wed and had two offspring but our marriage it was tottering: it was a sham to say the least.
I maintained my mask of pater and provider and still later as a manager; but in truth I was quite inept.
It was a surreal reality so I left in ’96; the powers that be made me an offer, took the money, ran not crept....  
Away! It was like being released from prison, no more just a weekend musician but other worries were about.
My poor mother now was ailing. I had no other sibling; it fell to me to be her carer but let there be no doubt.

S he had helped me beyond measure, beyond sanity and I treasure each memory of her; she haunts my dreams.
The years passed in a limbo but no partners for old Jimbo; I was studying at university to cover the seams...
Of my perceived lack of learning: I adopted a mask of academia (felt like I had amnesia) got me a BA as well!
In time, I discovered that there’d be other lovers; ten years had passed in a blur of celibacy; now horny as hell...  
There were ladies tall and slender, some were callous, others tender; one was white as snow, one black as night.  
I played the field, dropped my shield; my heart was broken once or twice; some things you never, ever, get right.
But it was my destiny to meet and marry Wendy; she’s taken me to task and now an air-mask is all I need to know.
She is not only my wife but in Switzerland...she saved my life; she rules the roost and boosts the garden: grow!

K ings of swing? This brings me to my final bout of unmasking: I play drums in a band that’s known as Masque.
With my old mate on guitar and a maestro on the bass, we race through tunes and bend them to our will: a blast!
Some people call it jazz but that’s just so much razzamatazz; to us it’s just called music but with a twist.
These days we don’t play often but until I fill the coffin, I’ll batter skins and skim ukulele, daily, from the wrist.
In ’52 the Rhododendron festival began, and my dears, it was the year that my family came to Blackheath.
So it’s fitting that in this sixtieth anniversary, we are making merry: Jivin’ at the Ivan armed to the teeth.
So ask them, the corporate robots who wear masks – ‘why do it?’ They’ll all become basket cases before too long.
Forget about the fiscal jungle or the boss who’s dropped his bundle; it’s cool to play the fool and just sing songs!


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