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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Ch.3 -Challenging senses and sensibility

January 3, 2019

 

 

 

Chapter 3 

Challenging senses and sensibility

 

Harvey’s positive and helpful nature towards teachers was his redeeming feature, carrying him through to his next school year. One teacher, Miss Spencer, followed his journey through High School with interest and without intervention. An expectation existed, to move Harvey on to a trade focussed school for complex children. Her continuous encouragement was viewed by some teachers as admirable, with her only reward being the continuous improvement she saw in Harvey. In time, he began communicating more effectively and confidently. In confidence, he began sharing his thoughts with Miss Spencer, usually during lunch breaks in the rear corner of the Library. One day during a mid-term, year 10 English exam, Harvey preferred not to complete his examination paper; quite disinterested in the continuous line of boring questions. He decided to hand it up unfinished to Miss Spencer, this meant he could now share his latest poetry with her in the corridor, away from classmates’ view. His enthusiasm for creative poetry exited Miss Spencer so much she took his hand and asked,

“Have you ever thought about the creation of mankind, or growing old?”  Harvey looked up at Miss Spencer for a moment then simply nodded,

With his pen and notebook ready, Harvey slowly wrote down his response in verse, while the other students continued with their test.

 

 

 

Like almost anything created

 

An Ovaries egg hosts the active sperm,

Life’s union formed; it begins to burn.

 

Born a bonny babe, cradled helplessly close,

cherish the beginning; the end we fear most.

 

Youth starts so slow, but it ends so quick,

old age, you’ll discover, mimics the wick.

 

Burnt out before you know what’s wrong,

then he or she has sung their song.

 

Like almost anything created,

is diminished or disintegrated.

 

 

When Miss Spencer returned to read Harvey’s Poem, her eyes lit up with excitement. “Did you just make that up, Harvey Stewart?”

“Yes Miss Spencer, is that ok?”

“Of course it is! It’s a little weird and a bit hard to read, but is so thought provoking and profound!” She exclaimed,

“Come with me Harvey!” Miss Spencer took her new literary friend and his poem to share his work with the other teaching staff. As they entered the staff room, with the poem held in front of her eyes, the very pompous English teacher Mr Thomas Dorian snatched the page from Miss Spencer and grunted.

“Not more pathetic poetry! I never did like Stewart’s cocky philosophic dribble.” Dorian began reading,

“Like almost anything created… Blah, Blah, Blah!” Mumbling under his breath, Dorian then turned, and stared at Harvey.

“Not bad; not bad, but Master Stewart, you are incapable of such work; therefore you could not have written this poem! It must be plagiarism! I’m sure I’ve read this exact poem somewhere before. Harvey is a cheat and a scoundrel!” Dorian exclaimed,

“He must be punished!”…..

“No and never!” shouted Miss Spencer; snatching the poem back.

“It’s Harvey’s own work! He would never cheat!”

The usually quietly spoken and petite teacher was fuming; she stood right in Dorian’s face.

“You are but a jealous, mean old rotund man, who could not and would not recognise talent if it landed in your lap as this just did!”

Harvey watched on, in awe of Miss Spencer’s courage as Mr Dorian’s face turned a deep purple in colour; she took a deep breath and continued,

“And might I just add, it is a very large lap, therefore you have missed this talent by a country mile. It is not Harvey, who is a disgrace to our school, it is you Mr Dorian! We should be proud that such a creative boy exists right here in our community.”

By now, Harvey had become very upset and visibly angry from the accusation; crouching down in a chair, Harvey lifted his chin from his hands and turned his head slowly towards his nemesis teacher.  Mr Dorian looked as if he were ready to explode; the dark black bristles of his beard appeared to quiver against his Mediterranean complexion. Dorian felt belittled; and worse still, by a primary school teacher, less than half his age, in front of his colleagues, this only agrivated his short but explosive temper.

“Miss Spatty Spencer” he exclaimed!

“There is no substitute for good old fashioned discipline and hard work to help an outcast survive this harsh and uncompromising world.”  He stared right into her weeping eyes and raised his voice and eyes so all the staff paid attention.

“A talented mind alone, without a scribe is like a racehorse without its shoes. Harvey will never ever reach his or your fantasy-filled potential. Furthermore I want to see you, Master Stewart, in my classroom straight after school!”

Following that outburst, Mr Dorian stormed out of the staffroom, slamming the screen door behind him and grumbling under his heaving breath, while all the remaining teachers looked on in disturbed disbelief.

Harvey looked up from his seat as tears began swelling in his eyes. Staff members were left dumbfounded by their obnoxious colleague’s outburst.

“Miss Spencer!”. . . Harvey spoke up; his tone was nervous and apprehensive.

“It’s quite ok! . . . Really it is!”

“This work is my own! It fills my heart with great joy. It does not need to please the likes of doubting Thomas; after all Jesus forgave Thomas. I must forgive the doubters too.”

After several uncomfortable seconds, Mr Mardell, Harvey’s other supporter; spoke out to break the silence.

“It’s ok Harvey we believe you, we all do!” Everyone nodded. Harvey smiled as comforting expressions passed across the room.

“Thank you, thanks to all of you for believing in me.”

Rodney went over to Miss Spencer; who appeared quite distressed, as she slouched, sobbing quietly in a chair. He placed his hand on her shoulder to comfort her and said,

“I believe you too Miss Spencer; doubting Dorian should be ashamed of himself for acting so bombastically.” She looked up,

“Please call me Jan! . . . its Jan Spencer.” She placed her shaking hand on top of Rodney’s hand in a show of gratitude.

“Thankyou Rodney for believing in us; like you, I have noticed Harvey’s gift. I have witnessed it with my own eyes.”  Jan looked up at Rodney, who with his other hand offered a tissue. They smiled at each other. Harvey could sense the chemistry beginning; a small, simple exchange, made him smile as he reflected;

“Finally they are brought together in a somewhat synchronistic and rather unusual circumstance; just the way I like it.”

The final school siren shattered the moment; but just as quickly, Harvey realised that it also meant he had to report to Mr Dorian’s classroom immediately. As Harvey entered the classroom he was imagining the worst of punishments. Especially following Dorian’s outburst, not to mention Miss Spencer embarrassing him in front of the other teachers. . .

“How dare you plagiarise one of Australia’s poets, Stewart! No smart arse brat will ever get away with cheating in my classroom!”

“But I didn’t, Sir! I tried to tell you I wrote it! I swear!”

 “You should never swear in my class Stewart! You are nothing but a liar, a dreamer and a good for nothing drifter! As punishment, you must copy this sentence on the blackboard 16 times! . . Mr Dorian’s chalk screeched across the board;

‘I promise to never plagiarise poetry, ever again!’

Harvey could not believe his eyes; he was awfully angry with Mr Dorian, but he had to hold his tongue. Never before had anyone accused him of cheating. In the following tense seconds, Harvey hesitantly watched Dorian throw the chalk down at his feet, smashing into many small pieces, before storming off to his desk.

 “Take that you literary cheat and not another word!”

Harvey reluctantly picked up a piece of chalk and stood, ready to commence writing. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Dorian as he gracelessly sat down at his desk. Dorian opened his book, grunted and without a further glance began reading Shakespeare’s ‘The tragedy of Macbeth.’ Harvey thought to himself,

“Typical . . .  Two tragedies and both in the same evening!”

 Just as Harvey was about to start, he could not get those dominant words of Dorian’s out of his mind; his thoughts began drifting.

“Dreamers and Drifters! . . . Sixteen lines on the blackboard…Yes of course! I will show that doubting Dorian how he should respect the Dreamers and Drifters of the world like me!” Harvey began writing as neatly as he could, whilst Dorian focussed on his book.

 

 

Dreamers and Drifters

 

Without Dreamers and Drifters our world’s axis can askew,

gaining knowledge without dreaming is a detrimental brew.

 

Do not believe the scholars, who reach for exactness in every line;

draw deep from your own conclusions, a dream will do just fine!

 

It takes courage to follow your heart, if you know not what to do,

whilst the ignorant followers simply do, what they are told is true.

 

Dare to dream of destinies, that the Drifters only know;

fear ye not, if you drift off, to daydreaming on the go.

 

Every dream can take you, where you wished the day before,

the hopes, desires and miracles; away from this daily chore.

 

Dare not wake the Dreamer, for they cruise sweet distant land;

for a sudden jolt of reality, will have them perish in quicksand.

 

Praise Drifters in the corner, for we know they do not just sleep;

rejoice in moments of re-creation as their eyes begin to peep.

 

Share their wisdom from beyond this bore, hear a storyline unfold,

let the Dreamer and the Drifter, celebrate the creativity of the bold!

 

 

 

Harvey muttered to himself as he finished the final line,

 “It may not be exactly what doubting Dorian wants, but it is a sixteen line poem, inspired by him and obviously not plagiarised. Perhaps now he might apologise to Miss Spencer and I. This will even prove to the fat old oaf, today’s poem was my work after all.”

Harvey placed the chalk down on the ledge then proudly turned around, only to see a fuming Mr Dorian facing him, and pointing a chalkboard duster at his head.

“Wipe it off now Stewart! . . . It’s time we visited the Headmaster.

There is never any excuse for disobedience; because of your intolerable behaviour, you must and will be punished.”

Reluctantly, Harvey turned to his poem and began wiping it from existence. When he finished, just as prophesised by the fat one, the Headmaster gave Harvey three heavy lashes across the backside for deliberately disobeying his teacher’s instructions. Harvey knew it was pointless trying to explain his way out of it. Instead, he planned his escape on the back of every stinging whip of the cane.

Without a word, Harvey staggered out of the Headmaster’s office wincing with the terrible pain, and reducing the speed of his escape to an awkward jog. He gingerly hopped onto his bicycle and rode home as fast as he could. Very dejected he entered his fathers shed and seconds later emerged with his Honda Moped. He whistled for Hamish, who immediately ran out from under their elevated timber framed home, and within seconds, a jubilant Terrier jumped up onto Harvey’s lap. After placing his old mate into the cane basket, they were set for another adventure. “Well mate, it’s time to escape this persecution and get as far away from school as possible.”

They set off on a long ride deep into the remote granite outcrops of Boothey’s Hill National Park. For over 2 hours, they followed old Apiarists truck tracks, eventually stopping at the foot of three enormous granite boulders. Immediately, the ‘Inseparables’ scampered up and onto the largest boulder. Here they stared out into a seemingly endless wilderness. Harvey rubbed his best mate’s black and tan chest. They were undividable, quiet and captivated by the sun setting in the west. It was a mesmerising evening, with fine wisps of crimson and orange clouds illuminated by the sun’s rays. Suddenly, two large Western Red Kangaroos bounced through the scrub in front of them, followed by two small Joeys, one of which struggled to match the pace of the imposing Buck. Affectionately, Harvey looked down at his old mate;

“Did you see that Hamish? . . . Hey, did you know the Kangaroo and Emu are on the Australian Coat of Arms and that there is something symbolic about these animals, especially how they portray the journey of our great country. No other animals have this in common. . . Now then my old mate, what could it be? . . Does a Cat have your tongue? . .  Nothing! . . Well my old canine friend? . . . Do you give up?”

Hamish tilted his head to one side, as if understanding the question but requiring further information. Harvey continued,

“Neither the Kangaroo nor the Emu can walk backwards. You see my furry friend, our country must always move forward. It’s ok to look back but forwards our country must always move! Forwards and onwards to better pastures!” Hamish rested his head on Harvey’s lap and shut his tired eyes.  “Maybe that’s what I should do too. Move forward and forget the past! Ok then, Hamish, how would you like to be a guide dog, old mate?  . . Often others expect us to be something we can never be, just like why can’t you be a guide dog, because you will never make a Girl Guide.”

Harvey laughed aloud when he realised what he had said. He stopped and thought about it some more, He raised Hamish’s head with his palm and spoke directly into his mate’s weary eyes.

“You can train a Labrador to become a Guide-dog for the Blind,

but you can never train a blind dog to become a Girl Guide.”

Laughing again, Harvey lay back onto the granite boulder and looked up into the late evening sky. He spent that night under the stars thinking about life and the cruel lessons it had dealt him that day, and what adventures, if any, may lay ahead.

The following day he arrived home very late to an angry father and a deeply concerned mother. Harvey’s father was holding his dark leather strap in the palm of his hand, an old belt that Harvey had regretfully seen on several occasions.

“You know what this means laddie!” His father was very angry.

“Not again!” he thought to himself,

Nodding his head, he walked slowly towards his father. A large hand grabbed hold of Harvey’s bony left arm and within a second, he felt the full force of the strap against his backside. Harvey gritted his teeth against the excruciating pain but refused to scream or cry out. Two lashes later, Charlie turned his son around to face him eye to eye. His mother could not bear to watch, sobbing; she turned and walked away from the situation, too upset to talk.

“I’ve told you too many times, never wander away for days, Laddie! We were worried sick aboot ya. Now go and have a bath, then be off to bed withoot any Dinna you thoughtless scallywag.”

Still refusing to say a word; with tears, rolling down his cheek, he wished this day would end soon. Storming off to the bathroom, he slammed the door and began thumping the tiled floor. He turned both bath taps on full bore. Still reeling, he stripped down and lay on the cold floor, face down and in throbbing pain, he thought to himself. . . “I just wish I could fly! Fly far away from here!”

His thoughts drifted off,

 

 

In readiness to soar

 

I always believed that one day, unaided I could fly;

surely I am so invincible; certainly, I cannot die.

 

Whilst I wait to fill the bath, I think of flying high,

Da Vinci calculated math, so mortals like I could try.

 

Totally understanding nature, for a better life!

This, his daily mantra, on which he avoided strife.

 

I visualise levitation, then my body loses weight,

floating in the bathroom, no time left to hesitate!

 

Mind over matter is all that matters, in my mental state,

time to soar away from here, before it’s much too late.

 

I feel it working perfectly, no weight upon the floor;

drifting up towards the ceiling, in readiness to soar.

 

Confidence now building, yes its time to flap my arms;

out the window, I start flying, moving with both palms.

 

Exhilaration in my mind, now finally, yes I can fly!

Painful inhibitions disappear, no longer am I shy.

 

My confidence has peaked, as I soar far across the sea,

suddenly, I have lost control, as the bath overflows on me!

 

 

Later that night in bed, Harvey had time for reflection on a stress-filled day. He knew that all he needed was self-confidence and courage. “Maybe one day I will live and work in the city,” he muttered to himself, even though he enjoyed the peace and tranquillity of the bush. He felt comforted, that his connection with the environment, together with his creative skills, would help him survive anywhere. Bright stars beyond his bedroom window appeared to shimmer through his teary eyes. His thoughts drifted, turning to dreams of complex matrixes and of blinding city lights. The pain radiating from his buttock thumped in time with his heartbeat. The pounding became a chaotic nightmare of industrial machinery, spinning and thumping until the noise woke him from his painful dream. Harvey was shaking in a trembling sweat, it was morning and he pondered why his dreams desired an understanding of the City’s industrial revolution. Two days later, Mrs Stewart was still feeling upset about Harvey’s harsh punishment and neither Harvey nor his father had spoken to each other since. At breakfast, his parents were arguing over bills and debts from work. Some farmers were not paying overdue accounts and this increased the Stewart cash flow problems. These topics seemed all too common; but this time he sensed a new level of tension. ‘Things were not well in the state of Denmark’, as his sisters would sometimes say. Harvey had an idea; he broke the silence with,

“Let’s go camping! On the beach, this weekend, and we can all get some fresh air.”

Everyone was silent; the girls nodded in agreement; slowly they all looked towards the decision maker. Mr Stewart frowned; deep wrinkles erupted from between his eyebrows. Harvey was feeling less confident by each awkward second, when the silence broke with, “Ok then, let’s go today!”

A chorus of “Yes!” echoed throughout the dining room, as all four children responded in a perfect harmonious pitch of excitement.

Within several frantic hours, the blue 1967 Holden station wagon soon filled with passengers, picnic basket, camping gear and several well-loved fishing rods tied on the roof rack. If there was one thing Harvey loved doing, it was fishing with his father. Whether fishing off the beach or rocks it mattered not, they were always happy wetting a line and breathing the salty sea air as they watched their floats bob beneath the water. Harvey thought to himself how precious this time was for their family, soon it was apparent that all grudges between Harvey and his father were behind them.

The following morning at their campsite, Harvey sat quietly in the open boot of their station wagon, watching and listening, before taking a moment to write in his journal.

 

 

No Deadlines today

 

Troubled mind… I need a holiday,

pleased we planned this get away.

 

Dad and I and brother too, casting out the lines,

fishing off the jetty, remember these good times!

 

A westerly arrives from the great southern sea,

flowering gums, distort vision from a balcony.

 

A gentle breeze steals a Monarch as it floats,

scanning horizons, I see no Fisher’s boats.

 

A pin cushion Hakea, distant view now forgotten,

Honey suckers quarrelling, over blossom pollen.

 

Breakfast bowl empty, all bran happily eaten,

no deadlines today, stress appears well beaten.

 

A distant crow call echoes, a warbling of magpies,

nature calls me back again, but so too all these flies!

 

Warm sun, rolling surf, laughter, and many games.

left well back at work today, all my troubled remains.

 

My mind well rested, my patience now recharged,

holidays are my number one best stress-discharge!

 

 

For weeks afterwards, his two friendly teachers encouraged Harvey to record his poetry and observations. Miss Spencer believed that if he could translate his spoken verse into well-written work he would not only grow as a person, but would be of tremendous support to many other students, through his creative writing.

Harvey was well into year 10 and for many of the class, especially the farmer’s sons; it was time to think about leaving school at the end of the year. By this time, Harvey had finally achieved a reasonable standard of writing. Miss Spencer began dating Mr Mardell but still she spent a lot of her spare time at school helping Harvey with his new interest, books on Philosophy. Some students still saw Miss Spencer’s friendship towards Harvey as favouritism, and teased him accordingly. Then one day during an English lesson, Miss Spencer asked Harvey to explain what he thought of words in front of the whole class. He got up nervously and without any preparation began neatly writing a poem on the blackboard for Miss Spencer. When he had finished, he read it out to the class.

 

 

Nouns are profound

 

A letter is merely the small sibling,

of a word, that forms great sound.

Words are pre-formed sentences,

that are just waiting to be found;

A comma is like an amber light,

ready to brake, or move ahead;

a story’s pace, must be just right,

to decide to stop, . . or pause instead.

So excited, are expressive Adjectives,

for mischievously they play,

with Verbs they tend to tease and taunt,

quite happily, each and every day!

So, how will this story’s plot unfold,

while some words stand out very BOLD?

As a shining group of descriptive Nouns,

their prominence seemingly twofold.

Their picture paints a thousand words,

our lust for them enormous!

Without these Nouns to imagine dreams,

all stories would be pointless.

 

 

The whole class watched and listened in silence. Never before had they heard or seen this reclusive boy recite a poem in class. For years, he sat quietly at the front, always having creative thoughts, but never having the confidence to verbalise stories or poetry.

Many of the students were wondering where, this reinvented classmate had been hiding. His class were beginning to realise they knew very little about what Harvey Stewart had been thinking! For the rest of the lesson there was respectful silence. Many of the students were feeling guilty about how poorly they had treated Harvey throughout most of his schooling; they never realised that Harvey had any literary talent at all. He looked towards Miss Spencer, acknowledging her efforts with a smiling gesture, knowing that it was her faith in him that helped to bring out the very best of his creative thinking.

Miss Spencer decided to explore his talent a little further, especially now that his self-confidence was soaring. Jan got everyone’s attention, by tapping her yardstick on the bench.

“Tomorrow for our 1st lesson we will be having impromptu presentations from Robert, Gordon, John, Hilary and Harvey. I will announce the topic just before we start in the morning.”

Harvey felt a bit nervous. He pondered over which topic Miss Spencer might ask him to speak on. With no time to prepare, he hoped it was not going to be a boring topic like previously when he had to speak on state politics. It was most embarrassing, especially since Harvey hated politics! The next morning, following a sleepless night, Harvey tentatively arrived late to class, but was greeted at the door by Miss Spencer.

“Finally you’re here! I hoped you would turn up soon. Harvey, you are our last speaker today on the topic of Australian Landmarks.”

Harvey’s eyes lit up, it was one of his favourite areas of interest. All of a sudden, his public speaking fear disappeared.

“Could this be a key to overcoming nerves during public speaking?” he thought.

All of the others stumbled and fumbled over their topics about the great River Murray and the Coorong National Park or the amazing Kakadu national park. Harvey thought carefully about his topic. His obvious preoccupation and daydreaming was interrupted with;

“Harvey! . . . Harvey Stewart! What, were you thinking? For the third time, it’s your turn to speak!”

Gathering focus on his topic, he stood up from his chair, straightened his navy tie, tucked in his white shirt and confidently walked to the front of the classroom, where he stood with his arms folded and his back to the blackboard.

“I hope it’s not about your stupid old gum tree again!” shouted Spud Murphy from the back. Everybody laughed.

Harvey spoke out confidently, “No not today! It is about…

Man’s mark on Nature

 

“As you know I love the outback! I love where there is a convergence between manmade structures and the desolate wild environment. So I could think of nothing better to speak about for my impromptu talk than a Fence! Australia has the longest man made structure in the world. It’s a fence, to keep Dingos out of pasture country. In the 1940s, two separate Dingo fences were finally repaired, then joined together, forming a rabbit and Dingo proof fence stretching some 8614 kilometres long, it was by far the longest manmade structure on the planet; at least until now in the late 1970s. Over the next few years, prior to 1980, it shall be drastically reduced in length. It is unfortunate but inevitable, due to rabbit and Roo damage and pastoral restructuring, that the world’s longest manmade structure may be reduced to about 5614 kilometres. Of which, nearly 5000 km is shared between South Australia and Queensland; the remainder is in New South Wales. There is an access gate located about every 19km; But who is counting! Now let us compare this to the Great Wall of China, built over many centuries, with thousands of Chinese slaves and labourers perishing during its construction. It is currently the second longest man made structure in the world. Starting from Shanhaiguan or ‘Shanhai Pass’ in the east of China, and meandering approximately 6,400 km, to Lop Nur  near the salt lakes of the west. This makes our Dingo fence about 2,200 km longer than the Great Wall of China; but it will only remain this way until about 1980. This piece of trivia, give or take a few kilometres is something we should all be very proud of. 

Interestingly, from my studies and discussion with old pioneers from our district, I have found a link between the Great Wall of China and our equally impressive Dingo fence. No its not that the fence is made in China like most products seem to be these days, but the Australian Dingo is believed to be a descendant of the wild dogs from Southern China nearly 6000 years ago. The interpretation of Australian Aboriginal paintings from granite caves in protected cave sites near Darwin, found that about 6000 years ago during an era of Chinese world domination and expansion, the Chinese explored countries from Taiwan to the Philippines to Indonesia, and ultimately or indirectly to the Australian shores. Many of these Chinese explorers were agricultural families with their trusted Dingo descendant, the Wild Dog. They are known as the seafaring Austronesian-Aborigines. A little, like a Chinese Stone-age Christopher Columbus really. All this happened thousands of years before European settlement. A bit ironic that an iconic Australian landmark stretching further than China’s longest structure was designed to keep a Chinese descendant out. . . The Dog, that is! Today our country is again under threat from China, not through war or vermin but through world domination of manufactured goods . . . I believe one day we can work together with our natural resources and China’s lust to lead the next industrial revolution. Our countries should flourish for decades to come. . . Finally I thank you all for listening”

 

Most of the class erupted with applause and whistles. Even the quiet reclusive girl in the back corner, Harvey’s neighbour Rose, exchanged a wink of her eye to Harvey as she applauded.

“Wow, Rose actually noticed me for once!” Harvey thought to himself, as her beautiful long brown hair distracted him for several blissful moments. Suddenly an applauding Miss Spencer broke his train of pleasant thoughts.

“Excellent! Just brilliant, Harvey,” As the class quietened, Miss Spencer continued,

“Now are there any questions for our boundary rider on ‘Man’s Mark on Nature’?” Spud put his hand up very high,

“How can you be sure those measurements and distances are accurate, Harvey?”

“Good question Spud! One can only be sure that the data or statistics are concise if it has the backing of personal evaluation and conclusive evidence. I am totally sure, but if you are not, then feel free to recalculate, measure and evaluate for yourself.”

“Good answer Harvey!” a proud Miss Spencer responded. By this stage, Harvey felt a sense of pride and confidence, as he continued,

“I would like to add, that great structures are only as strong as their weakest links. The Great Wall of China was originally built to keep invaders out! Thousands of guards protected the great wall with sturdy armour and weapons. However, it did not prevent penetration by the enemy, simply through a bribe given to a guard at a main gate. Likewise, our longest structure, erected to keep invaders like rabbits and dingos away from pastures; but again the weakest link allowed vermin to penetrate and breed on the greener side. So then, a wall ceases to be a wall if a crack is exposed or a weakest link in a fence is broken.”

 It was a magnificent day. Miss Spencer awarded Harvey the School’s impromptu ‘Speaker of the week’ trophy. He had never won anything before, but had always dreamt that one day he would receive a literary prize, so this would do just fine for now.

“Well done Harvey! Now I really do know what you are thinking! Your new found self-confidence is an inspiration to all of us.”

“Thanks Miss, its much more fun when we talk about things we are interested in, isn’t it?” Most of the students nodded in agreement.

“Yes Harvey it certainly is!”

 

Continued: Find chapter 4

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Ch. 13 - Dark shadows disappear

January 12, 2019

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