NOOSA - It is only recently that I have been introduced to the poetry of Richard Hauser; it's poetry that I admire a great deal.
So much so that I felt compelled to share his writing, especially with those many poets of Papua New Guinea who frequently appear in these columns.
Richard, who lives near me, is a respected citizen of Noosa, a former school principal and a leader in the local Lutheran Church.
He is also an historian and a poet, over the years having had a number of poems published in poetry magazines and other journals.
Richard mostly writes about matters he encounters in everyday life. He does so in a way that draws them out of the ordinary, often rendering them into whimsical jewels. The poem that follows is a fine example of this.
Each morning all year round, as both community service and recreation, Richard rises ahead of the sun and bearing a large sack hunts for bottles and cans that have been idly discarded along the pathways, parks and bins of Noosa.
This booty is later exchanged for cash which he shares among his nine grandchildren, developing opportunities to advance their financial education.
He slides under a mantle of darkness,
avoiding the blunt gaze of the peevish moon,
while stars punt across the roof-top sea
whispering the ancient call of the hunter.
He soaks himself away in spongy street shade,
minimising movement and cloaking all display
while searching the shifting shapes around him
for sneaky rivals or glints of ready prey.
He does his tests of the homes and hedges,
muffling disappointment at the behest
of the best likely bin lurking around the bend
with its jarring joy of an overflowing nest.
The thrill of the hunt is the anticipation
following a drill and a strategy of hope.
Each kill falls like a blessing and confirmation,
enough to fill the longing for completeness.
The proud early morning is its own reward.
The loud cheering birds acknowledge it first,
celebrating him in their rowdy gossip as
the sun also rises in a court of golden clouds.
With the warm heat on his back he bears
the cares and burdens of his curious catch,
the cumbersome load culled from early lairs
past the curious eyes of morning wanderers.
And then, weary with the effort of the night,
he alights at home, and cleans and counts
the rewards, and delights in his bounty.
He knows his family will eat well tonight!