Poems by James Irvine

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This website, irvine-james.com is dedicated to my Mother:-

Marina Kent Irvine (Nee Christie). Who always encouraged my creative writing and believed that if we are willing, we can find our way.  


Short stories, 3DPoetry, Poetpics, Photopoetry & philosophy by James Irvine

Created with Wix.com  Email:  jgi1962007@gmail.com


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Intro & Ch. 1 of 21 - A literary discovery

January 1, 2019


Not just a Love story, peace of mind shadows our adventurer.


The book features:- Philosophy, Poetry, Observations and Myths E.g:

  1. What is perfection? 

  2. Seek the truth for yourself

  3. We have struck it rich

  4. The Red gum sleeper awakes

  5. Like almost anything created

  6. Dreamers and Drifters 

  7. In readiness to soar

  8. No Deadlines today 

  9. Nouns are profound

  10. Man’s mark on nature 

  11. The longest ride

  12. Mind your mind

  13. Triangulating the world

  14. We see what we take for granted

  15. Valentines are forever

  16. May your heart be next to mine

  17. Do you look for imperfections?

  18. A reflection of our lives

  19. A coin under your pillow

  20. The Tooth Fairies creed

  21. Never fear what you cannot see

  22. Save yourself first

  23. A white light in the distance

  24. Push or Pull

  25. Just for a slice of glory

  26. Revenge is never sweet, just a bitter pill

  27. When Beauty consumed the beast

  28. A pixel is at the heart of every poem

  29. Remove your Mask

  30. Retribute or solute

  31. Autumn’s wonderland of pleasure 

  32. Poetry is a building site of our imagination

  33. A poem is a spirit set free

  34. Where have all your leaves gone? 

  35. All friendship leads to happiness

  36. Dream to live

  37. My home is my heart

  38. Christmas message in a box

  39. Have we stopped to smell all the roses?

  40. The Seven Year Drought

  41. A Rose Gold Rainbow

  42. What do I have to lose?

  43. What ever, What ever, What ever! 

  44. Synchronicity my friend, Synchronicity!

  45. A Monolith enters my sky

  46. Old Cabins and wobbly seeding rows

  47. Lashes to crashes, dust to glass 

  48. Wisdom can be your best friend

  49. What counts

  50. Longing love

  51. The evolution of a thought

  52. The Fix it Man

  53. Tell me your story please

  54. Life’s little treasures draw to a close

  55. I am here for you Dad

  56. The mentor that taught by example

  57. The grains are all pinched

  58. Yellow sign displays caution

  59. A life flickers in the balance

  60. The injustices of class and wealth

  61. Life can be riveting

  62. A lifecycle pedals on

  63. I lie beneath a universe so great

  64. Dreams soon forgotten

  65. The morning gift

  66. The laws of physics underwater

  67. Just how high are the stakes?

  68. Twisted Amber

  69. When Murphy headed south

  70. The greatest fear in life

  71. Good Habits for a Good Life

  72. Which key unlocks the door?

  73. The Door to success

  74. Feeling Philosophised…….pages282 – p287

  75. A faded Blue collar

  76. The success Barometer

  77. Our girl turned over a leaf

  78. I just called to say thanks

  79. The Home fires are burning

  80. Life Mirrors Art

  81. My thoughts become scrambled

  82. Parallels of Chess and success

  83. My poetry is like twisted steel

  84. The answer is to stay in love

  85. My Thrilling Rose (tribute)

  86. Beautifully framed for all to see 

  87. The Dictatorial Pen

  88. My objective is to comprehend

  89. Fusion of wisdom and time

  90. Only Time will tell

  91. The promised land 

  92. Farewell Harvey Stewart

  93. What I meant to say

  94. The meaning of Life……  page377

  95. What is true happiness? 

  96. What, was I thinking about?

  97. The night Philosophy died

  98. Enlighten your mind 


    Feeling Philosophised topics (Harvey takes on Philosophy)

  1. Wisdom

  2. Trust

  3. Love

  4. Success

  5. Dreams

  6. Subconscious thoughts

  7. Fortune cookies

  8. Planning

  9. Boredom

  10. Risk taking




1          Introduction   A literary discovery

2          Transcending adolescence

3          Challenging senses and sensibility

4          A passage of transformation

5          Graffiti and the shining light

6          Autumn fuels our imagination 

7          Becoming one with nature and neighbours

8          Questioning and understanding

9          love knows no greater challenge

10        In search of synergy

11        Inventioneering and inevitability

12        Charcoal to dust, then dawn

13        Dark shadows disappear

14        A revelation at Myrtle Park

15        From Flies to flying high

16        Shining a light in the shelter 

17        Saving the Salvo

18        Self -actualisation or necessity? 

19        Romance rekindled 

20        Creativity or commercialism?

21        Jimmy’s personal discovery


NOTE: This story is set in two eras- 2035 and 1975


Chapter 1.

A literary discovery


It’s a sunny, 2034 spring day, in the South Eastern foothills of Adelaide, South Australia. At the rear of an old Tudor residence, in the sleepy suburb of Myrtle Park, stood a unique high gabled, dark green garage. It overlooked a picturesque Council reserve, where a meandering creek trickled continuously. Majestic gum trees glistened in the morning light, and new shoots and leaves, complimented the brilliant colours of Rosellas, squabbling over morning nectar from the eucalypt flowers. The constant rhythmic echoes of an engineer’s hammer tapping nearby, added to the symphony of joyful Rosellas, feeding on the fruits of an abundant season. Inside the garage was an old man tinkering with his hand tools, he was dressed in bulging blue overalls, and his long, grey, wavy hair partly covers his gold-rimmed glasses. His third day silvery bristles protrude from his face like a baby porcupine.

He was realising a life-long dream, fulfilling a promise he made to himself many decades earlier. His name was Herb Rabbine; he was creating a Hovercraft; not just an ordinary Hovercraft, but also a work of art. Ultimately, it was his retirement project, a reflection of a lifetime of interests, and a dedication to design; postponed only by life’s distractions and chaotic events.

Back in the 1970s, Herb collected old motors and large electric fans. He would pull them apart and repair them in his father’s workshop, often he tried to recreate weird flying contraptions, most of which never worked. Eventually, his Hovercraft dream would be pushed into a dusty corner of the old family workshop, whilst his parents, and life itself, drafted other plans for him. Now, 51 years later, and finally, after all else had been accomplished, a happily retired 72 year old Herb Rabbine could finally fulfil one of his last remaining life goals. At his breakfast table, he meticulously and methodically studied his plans. Herb had been working on this passion-filled project for several years, ever since his retirement. His 12-year-old grandson, Jimmy, came to visit every Saturday morning. He loved his Grandpa and his Grandmother, ‘Nanna Petal’. She was an elegant and graceful woman, with a smile that lit up Herb’s eyes each time they exchanged a glimpse. Nanna Petal was a devoted wife who made a famously delicious apple pie for Herb and Jimmy every Saturday morning. Her delivery came with a poetic phrase:-

“Energy is needed for my adventurers, to be ready for today;

first enjoy some apple pie, before I send you on your way.”

Herb exchanged a cheeky smile with Nanna Petal, as he took a mouthful of her steaming hot apple pie, then stated,

 “I adore nothing more or nothing less, than my favourite Petal with her apple pie best.’’

It was a simple but romantic tradition, lovingly exchanged with a hug and parting kiss from Herb. Jimmy was far too impatient to finish his pie, running off to play inside Herb’s shed. He was keen to investigate and explore old boxes up in the rafters of the garage roof. The two males were inseparable; they had a great relationship. Jimmy was Herb’s only grandson and Herb spoiled him rotten. Every Saturday morning, well before apple pie time, Jimmy would ride his bike right into Herb’s shed. It became a tradition, with white limestone gravel flying off in all directions from the knobbly rear tyre of Jimmy’s Malvern Star bicycle. His wheel would lock up and vibrate ferociously through the pebbles, finally coming to a squealing halt on the concrete floor of the shed. The long curved black mark from the tyre, proudly placed alongside dozens of others, creating a piece of charcoal-like artwork, loved by few and despised by others. Grandpa Herb and Jimmy would always laugh at the result, followed by a ritual of Herb, standing with his arms crossed and about to rate Jimmy’s grand entrance of the week. This particular sunny Saturday was no exception. With his deep resonating mischievous laugh, Herb would say,

“Not Bad, Not bad at all. Your entry this week scores a very credible 9 out of 10,” as he started sweeping the small white limestone pebbles off the floor.

Jimmy was very proud of his weekly entrance, trying to outdo his previous personal best. He looked shocked at the adjudication and stood, staring into Grandpa Herb’s eyes with his hands on his bony hips. Jimmy, as always, returned Herb’s scoring comment with,

“What tha! . . . Still not a ten out of ten! . . . That is impossible! You never give me a ten Grandpa! Surely that was the most perfect of all entrances you have ever seen in your life!”

Today Grandpa Herb just smiled, as he had done so on many occasions before. Silently and thoughtfully, he stared at his grandson eventually breaking the silence with,

“Have you ever really thought about perfection Jimmy?”

“No! . . . Why would I? And what do you mean, Grandpa?”

“Well now Jimmy, think about perfection itself!”




What is perfection?


“What if you reach perfection? Is that the end of the road, or the finish line of life! Could it be your final race or your last hill?

That instant before the elation of reaching perfection, is a brief but poignant moment indeed. What follows, is the realisation that the road ahead may be a very difficult and awkward track.

Caution your subconscious thought, for it may believe that there is no improvement beyond perfection. Once that pinnacle has been reached, you could find your race may never be as challenging again. The drive or desire could be replaced by complacency and laziness. You begin coasting, like a runaway cart in a downhill race. Without continuous improved performance and concentrating on new goals, you begin to spin out of control. Always, you should strive towards a new perfection; even if you are the one who creates your own greater benchmark.”



Herb walked over to Jimmy as he was still sitting on his bike with one leg propping him and his bike upright.

“We need greater goals in life to strive towards. Remember that falling just short of personal best is not failure; it is part of the thrill and motivation of striving for self improvement.”

His grandson had heard similar so often before and once again, as usual he replied to Herb’s wise dribble with,

“What ever, Grandpa! What ever!”

The tradition continued on most Saturdays, and they would spend more than half a day together enjoying each other’s company. Jimmy enjoyed hearing Herb’s stories and loved watching him build his Hovercraft and fulfil an incredible life-long dream.

Jimmy would often search every corner, on each ledge and inside every drawer; everywhere there was mystery. He became obsessed and fascinated by every item. A timber sign near the triangular rear window caught his attention. Puzzled, he looked closer at the plaque hanging proudly and exclusively. It was prominent for its lack of dust and precisely etched wording. He read it out aloud.

“That, which no man can ever see; shall forge your grains of greatness.” . .  Herb looked up trying to hold back his broad grin.

“Hey Grandpa . . . What’s so great about what we can’t see?”

Herb pointed up at the triangular window at the rear of his shed, framing the view of an enormous red gum tree in the reserve. It was the centrepiece of his daily vision.

“Jimmy, what do you see when you look at this magnificent tree.”

“I can see lots of bark and wood!” Herb nodded,

“Yes. . . That’s what most people see; until they open their inner eyes to what lies beneath the obvious!”

“Life’s like that! We can be blinded by the bark, unable to see the real soul of a tree for its wood”……..Herb paused for a moment to reflect, and then returned his attention to his Grandson;

“That being so Jimmy, what do you think keeps her from blowing over in the harsh gulley winds?”

“A stump of course!” as Jimmy’s eyes rolled back in his head.

“Well, that’s partly right too.” Herb looked into Jimmy’s eyes,

“It’s often what you can’t see, that forms the foundation of who you really are. The tree stump is merely the junction between the trunk and a massive structure of roots. A network larger than the canopy of leaves and branches; it is here that the plant builds its foundation and character, continuously collecting nutrient to grow powerful for the future. It is a metaphor for our own family’s roots. A family has a taproot with laterals that hold you safe and secure; it is the powerful foundation, on which we stand. Seek the wisdom of past generations and you too, can be held as steady as this Eucalyptus Carmaldulensis throughout the rough winds of life. . .  It is your roots that you place in the ground today, that will build the foundation for you and your children tomorrow. Character is not shallow; judge it on depth and breadth. Nor is it what you see on top that counts, as it is the soul of your hidden side that will assist you to branch out and enjoy life’s opportunitrees.”

The following weekend, on a sunny Saturday morning, while Herb tinkered with his Hovercraft motor, Jimmy again searched for unusual items, hidden away up in the rafters. Curiously, he lifted the Perspex lid of an old record player, as a book slid down off the lid, landing with a thud on the floor. Years of dust, which had accumulated on the book seemed to catapult into the air. Clouds of particles glistened in the morning rays of sunlight. He coughed continuously, before picking up the book, Jimmy blew off another layer of dust, and then looked curiously at the cover. Frowning, with his eyes still itchy from dust particles, he read out the title.

“What, were you thinking Harvey Stewart? That’s an odd title!”

Surprised, Herb dropped a spanner on the floor and turned his head quickly in Jimmy’s direction at the very moment he heard the title.

 “Hey Grandpa; this old book is about some Harvey Stewart guy; is it some sort of adventure book?” Herb hesitantly shuffled over to Jimmy, sat down next to him, and gave a contented sigh.

“Yes it is Jimmy! It’s my favourite adventure book; but it is so much more than that; it’s about his journey of self discovery, a voyage of creative expression, personal growth and his adventures whilst looking for social acceptance and self fulfilment.”

“Well, yeah; ok then! So…if this book is called ‘What, were you thinking Harvey Stewart’, is it some sort of biography?” Herb nodded.

Curiously, Jimmy looked up at Herb with another question,

“Grandpa did you know this Harvey character?”

 “Yes, my inquisitive Grandson; I know a thing or two about this Harvey character. He was the daydreamer at my school, but he evolved and matured into a rather interesting adult.”  Jimmy’s eyes opened wider, suddenly fascinated as he flicked through the pages;

“Would you please, please read it to me? I don’t care how long it takes; I just want to hear about his adventures and stories.”

“I’m not sure if I can, Jimmy… Maybe I could read some of it.”

Hesitantly, he received the book from Jimmy, taking a deep breath.

“Well, ok; but I shall only read one Chapter per week and not a word more! We mustn’t let Harvey’s adventures hold up the progress on creating my Hovercraft; can we now?”

“Sure Grandpa and thanks heaps. . . Do you think we should keep this book a secret from Nanna Petal?”

“No Jimmy, I think there are too many secrets hidden in my shed now; it’s about time some old skeletons came out of the closet, and no, I don’t mean Nanna Petal; besides, our love for each other has grown stronger as we have opened up our hearts to each other.”

Jimmy looked rather confused, before his expression turned to excitement, again thinking about the book. Herb opened the cover to the first chapter. Quietly and somewhat tentatively, he began reading the first page to Jimmy. . .


Continued: The story Herb reads to Jimmy is set in 1975:-

Scroll up to find Chapter 2

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Ch. 13 - Dark shadows disappear

January 12, 2019

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