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A narrative poem or two by Tustitala Tom

Updated on March 14, 2013

Inspiration for narrative poems - MacQuarie Island on a rare fine winters day

A place of breathtaking beauty: MacQuarie Island about eight years after I was there.   They've taken away the six huge radio masts and built a new mess, but otherwise it's pretty much the same.
A place of breathtaking beauty: MacQuarie Island about eight years after I was there. They've taken away the six huge radio masts and built a new mess, but otherwise it's pretty much the same.

Written in the 1980s, this poem describes my life's most significant happening

I'm not sure about categories of poem: rhyming poems, narrative... I guess the first one below could be called a Narrative. But on Narrative Poems, but I'm no expert; I simply wrote it when the mood allowed. It called, The Mirror. I hope you can see something of yourself in there...

The Mirror

By Tom Ware

From darkened window I could see

Where my thoughts ought not to be,

For in the looking-glass was me,

The replica of your truly.

But he was outside, and I within,

Among the clatter and the din;

It seemed the image had the ‘win,’

Whilst flesh and blood, it paid for sin.

Why was I working in that place?

It truly seemed a loss of face;

Could it be spiritual disgrace

That brought me to that factory space?

For in the looking glass was me

A epithany is an Act of Grace.

A karmic debt, that ceaseless grind?

Of merciless days, left far behind?

The strength within I’d have to find,

To win the battle of the mind.

To take control, or else to sink,

To keep our bodies in the pink,

To seek and find the missing link,

It all depends on how we think.

Without a moving breath I stood,

In front of the mirror, still as wood;

If only I knew…If only I could…?

(as I said, I'm not into analysing poetry.  Are these two narrative poems, I don't know.  Continuing)

A cry, a prayer - it did me good.

MacQuarie Island on a summer's day is a narrative poem unto intself

To use a hackneyed expression, on MacQuarie Island, this is 'as good as it gets.'
To use a hackneyed expression, on MacQuarie Island, this is 'as good as it gets.'

An out of body experience is always memorable

For suddenly, a wondrous thing:

The lonely search had lost its sting,

I realized that I was King,

Sustained upon immortal wing.

From self to image flowed such Love;

It streamed through me from heaven above

Peace; tranquility - symbolic dove,

Fitted the image like a glove.

Instant clarity, and I saw

Universal Love – the Cosmic Law;

For a moment, Samadhi! - then no more,

‘tween image and God, closed a mental door.

For a second, the image and God were one,

From that moment, heart over head it won;

A subtle change, no… no frantic run,

But I’d found for myself a place in the sun.

One of the four main species of penguins on MacQuarie Island, the Gentoo.
One of the four main species of penguins on MacQuarie Island, the Gentoo.

The Mirror was written in 1977, this one four years earlier

The Voyage

By Tom Ware (Written 8/6/73)

Umbilical hawser loosed, away we drift,

Rolling in cradle, unaware the rift;

We sail to Awareness’ harbour bar,

Point our Life’s ship at a port afar.

Out of baby’s shelter into Life’s weather,

Buffeted, exposed, but still together,

We occasionally rest near mother-ship,

But the older we grow the lesser the grip.

Gradually our escort slows, and we find

We’ve left our mother-ship far behind;

We’re out alone on the Sea of Life,

Among the waves of hope, joy, and strife.

The Sun of Ambition’s up ahead,

We don’t know whether we’re pushed or led.

Into Time’s great ocean we point our bows,

And make what progress our fate allows.

Our lonely voyage on gigantic ocean,

Fills us with longing and deep emotion;

We long to sight another sail,

As we reel to youth’s tempestuous gale.

The green seas rise, and we all but founder,

Our awkward seamanship makes us flounder.

Hull down, another ship we sight,

So we crowd on sail with all our might.

Distance is shortened, a heaving-line’s thrown,

And we’re no longer quite so alone.

Now, towards the sun we both point our bows,

Held by the ropes of our sacred vows.

As together as any two ships can be,

We sail in consort across Life’s sea.

Now we escort small boats of our own,

Tending them as they leave home.

We sail on and on, round the curve of the earth,

Intent on discovering our real worth.

Our sails become frayed, our rigging worn,

And sometimes a rent in our heart is torn.


We see through a looking glass most dimly, it seems.

But we journey on towards that sun,

It’s lower now with Life’s long run.

For years we were blinded by its beams,

And our paint has faded as our dreams.

Yet we’re still intact, and we’re nearing port,

And though vain ambition’s come to naught,

We signal each other with a smile,

Knowing the voyage was worth the while.

The sun’s rays lengthen into glory.

This is the end of Earth-life’s story.

We lower our sails, we’ve done our best,

Now it’s time, for Death’s sweet rest.


I hope you enjoyed these ' narrative poems '

Keep smiling



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