Coral Reveries (3).Poem. Audio. Ian Irvine (Hobson)

Tree of Life

Image: ‘Darwin’s Tree of Life’ [from public domain image, drawn by Darwin]



Ian Irvine Hobson. Audio Version.

Poems: (3.)


(i.) Their Massive God

(ii.)The Noble Love of Freedom

(iii.) To Inhabit the Fields of Time


Poems by Ian Irvine (Hobson), copyright all rights reserved.


Please Note: many of these poems meditate upon or, in some cases rework/recombine, random phrases appearing in the 2nd edition of Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle. The first edition of the work appeared in 1839. I hope I have done some justice to the natural lyricism evident in Darwin’s relaxed prose style.



Their Massive God


Whether I killed their God,

one and massive.

book-tombed, with chiselled words

on granite—his puny reign,

mere millennia—

was not the issue.


Mine was the gambler’s fear, for

the mist-wrapped hull of the new

drifts only slowly into view

contrasts with the rotting hulk of God

(as slowly sinking).

How will they endure

this unbearable in-between?



The Noble Love of Freedom


In the forest,

with huge butterflies

that float

among horses and men

such brilliant colours!

– they flit

from shade

to sunshine

I find it dreamy

to think of her

and ignore the granite hills

steep and bare


They tell a story

steep and bare

of runaway slaves

and the moon was dim

(a few fireflies)

and we came upon a desert

followed by a wasteland

of marshes and lagoons

heard the sea’s sullen roar

off in the distance.


We tethered the horses

but they refused to settle.


We tethered the horses

on a sandy plain

next morning, more salt lagoons

and a few stunted trees.

The nights grew hot, and

a dim moon on white sand.


Became aware

(the exact moment is not recorded)

of a problem with the horses.


We bathed in lakes and lagoons

traversed pastures ruined by ants’ nests

passed forests with lofty trees.


Every morning more horses

bitten and infected

until one evening

I saw it in the gloom

suctioned to a horse’s back

a large vampire bat.


I found it dream-like

blatant in the gloom

(How could I ignore the granite hills?)


But then I saw it

suctioned to a horse’s back


a large vampire bat.



To Inhabit the Fields of Time


The more I observe

‘mother nature’, the less

God I see,

the more in need of a God

(or gods)

I become. Even as I

refuse to believe their

broadcast baloney.


The idea gnaws.


I came upon a parasite

in some distant jungle—

it gives me wild ideas, and though

the doctors work their alchemy

I still feel ‘inhabited’. Besides

my son in a coffin.


So many blind millennia—

and still they refuse to see.

But is my vision true—

unencumbered by faith

(my daughter, my daughter)?


The clear and terrible beauty

of aeons of methodical suffering.

He never did intervene. If

he exists, he’s a patient sadist

or useless as the carnivores

of all ages, thrive and



Ian Irvine Photo

Ian Irvine is an Australian-based poet/lyricist, fiction writer and non-fiction writer. His work has featured in many Australian and international publications, including Fire (UK) ‘Anthology of 20th Century and Contemporary Poets,’ (2008) which contained the work of poets from over 60 nations.His work has also appeared in a number of Australian national poetry anthologies, and he is the author of three books and co-editor of many more (including Scintillae 2012, an anthology of work by over 50 Victorian and international writers and poets). He currently teaches writing and literature at Bendigo TAFE and Victoria University (Melbourne) and lives with fellow writer Sue King-Smith and their children on a 5 acre block near Bendigo, Australia.
Links related to his work are as follows:


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