Rod Williams, Bush Poetry

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Rod, Jessie, Friend I believe in Kids. Sometimes I feel that they are the only human beings worth believing in, particularly when I see the blatant exploitation of children (much of which goes unchallenged) by commercial interests, fast food multinationals, vile Internet child predators, politicians, media advertisers, etc... and (sadly) the treatment dealt out to children in some homes.

I believe in children being brought up by people who love and care for them, read to them, understand them (or at least try to) and respect their intelligence.
To allow them to learn with an open mind. To teach them trust. Mind you, that's something they possess from the beginning! Isn't it?

To educate Kids to treat others as equals and to show friendship and respect to all who are different, no matter to which race, colour, religion or cultural group they may belong.
I have seen too much bigotry and racial and religious hatred occur in this country and know (first hand) of horrendous crimes committed - particularly against the indigenous people of this land - and will do what I can (wherever and whenever) to enlighten children against these vilest of scourges.

When I go into schools I approach the job I do in a much more personal way than maybe a lot of teachers can afford to (because of the pressure and work load) and it upsets me a great deal when I see some children screaming out for love and affection.
I see some malnourished (in body and spirit) and carrying a world of saddness on their little shoulders.

You are seeing the very serious side of me now which does not cloud my performances in any way. Jessie with kids
I beam and glow inside to see the joy and happiness and hear the wonderful uninhibited laughter that radiates from the classroom during performances by me and my Blue Dog, Jessie.
Everyone goes home feeling great (as with adult shows) after Jessie and I give our all, but there is something to think about as well.
I would feel that people had been cheated if they didn't go away smiling but also with something positive to chew over.

Kids are not born with prejudice, fear, suspicion, racism and hatred, but we make sure that they know about it before they are very old. We pass it on to them.
I know many parents that work extremely hard to pass on the best of knowledge and understanding - and you can see it in the children. Some of these people are friends of mine and I mix regularly with their young children and teenage sons and daughters.
It is with the support and positive reaction of these young people (after being shown these written thoughts by their parents) that prompted me to go ahead and include them in the website.

It is a great privilege to have a child and why should they have to feel eternally grateful for being brought into the world. To have human greed, power games and hero worship foisted upon them.
It is sad (and a sign of our immaturity and insecurity) that many of us need to feel superior to others in order to have achieved success in life.
This attitude of winning at all cost and being better than others, is constantly drilled into kids. Flash cars, expensive homes, materialism and heaps of awards seem to have very little to do with making a contribution to improving life in the universe, now or in the future.

Jessie Studying Jessie Meditating
Jessie Tired After A Day's Study Jessie Meditating

It is my opinion that all people have the right to believe in or worship whoever or whatever they wish. Provided it does not involve any form of animal sacrifice, do damage to the environment or discriminate against and show ill-will towards other human beings.
Six months ago, during the course of a conversation about poverty and the resulting damage caused to Kids, the person I spoke with referred to the children of non-Christian parents as being - quote “damned to hell” and “Satan's Children”. This made me sick with disgust. How dare anyone say such things about a child. Is that Christian? I think not.

The spirit of the child is a very beautiful thing and its freedom should be encouraged through love and understanding instead of being devoured by suspicion, fear of the unknown and man-made selfishness.

DO NOT BLAME THE KIDS!! They are not the ones that have caused the problems in the world, but they are the ones that suffer the most and have to wear the consequences of what we have created.

And they will continue down this same path while ever we refuse to admit our guilt, to say “Sorry”, or to have our heart hold out our hand (to all peoples) in genuine friendship.

Children need love and proper guidance to help them face the future and the many changes that desperately need to be made.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be helping them make those changes?

Children, dream into the night
Let the spirits guide your flight.
Through the ancient southern land
learn to love and understand.
Give to life do not deface
beauty, in this magic place.
Close your mind to human greed
touch the earth and plant the seed;
Water, care and watch it grow
as the streams of wisdom flow
with your blood, through heart and hand-
Caretake, guard, this Sacred Land.
I'd like to thank my friend Jeanette at Murrurundi, St. Joseph's School Taree, the parents and children for permission to use the photographs on this page.