Publishing Raymond Curtis Poems
Raymond Curtis is a key cultural figure on Tamborine Mountain, along with his wife Eve. He is well-loved by many for his writing, his music and his deep appreciation of nature.
This campaign seeks to raise the funds to publish a book of Raymond’s poetry, The View Westward (the title poem is below). His volume Double Rainbow, published in 1989, has long been out of print. Raymond’s books Rainforest Journal and Bright Morning, both prose works, are still in print.
Raymond has read his poetry in public recently and his audiences have been bowled over by their beauty, freshness and immediacy. Raymond is entering his 90th year and the book is a fitting tribute to his many contributions to Tamborine Mountain.
The project has been initiated by The Calanthe Collective, a Tamborine Mountain-based group that seeks to draw on the inspiration of poet Judith Wright and philosopher Jack McKinney in order to foster local events – particularly those involving poetry – that celebrate the creativity, natural environment and culture of Tamborine Mountain. Judith, a pre-eminent Australian literary figure (1915-2000), spent nearly 30 years living on or associated with the Mountain, and much of her outstanding poetry was written there.
The View Westward
When I was young there was silence
from here to the Great Divide.
Only the wind in the treetops
over the mountainside.
Maybe the crack of a whipbird
or a lyrebird playing pretend,
then nothing at all but empty sky
from here to the wide world’s end.
And I was a child in the wonder
of a world still young and green.
Up on an island in the sky
on the hills of Tamborine.
Eagle wheeling above me,
and the chequered farms below,
and over it all a magic light
that only a child can know.
There are places on that old mountain
where a boy could hide away
with nothing to do but weave a dream
till the end of the golden day.
And many and bright the dreams I wove
in the time when I was young,
’til childhood flew like a startled bird
with half of her song unsung.
But Beauty has walked beside me,
and Wonder has been my friend,
so perhaps I shall go on weaving dreams
from now to the wide world’s end.
But the thing that my heart remembers
golden and warm, inside,
is the peace of that silent arching sky
from here to the Great Divide.
How The Funds Will Be Used
The funds will be used to pay for the printing of the book.
Administration, typing, layout and graphic design is being provided voluntarily by community members.
Over time, as the book sells via mountain outlets and via the State Library of Queensland bookshop, there will be surplus funds. These will be divided equally between Tamborine Mountain Landcare and Tamborine Mountain Orchestra to support their vital activities.
Tamborine Mountain Landcare focuses on preserving areas that are significant for their natural heritage, biodiversity and wildlife habitats, native vegetation and scenic amenity. It has many restoriation sites – biodiversity, corridors, forests and reserves – on Tamborine Mountain. http://www.tamborinemtnlandcare.org.au/
Tamborine Mountain Orchestra has been giving pleasure to players and audiences alike since it was founded in 1974 by Raymond and Eve Curtis and friends. It is a key Mountain cultural institution. http://www.tamborinemountainorchestra.com/
We feel both individuals and the business community will support this project whole-heartedly. The challenge is raising awareness of the project. We will publicise via the local press, which is a great supporter of community events, and raise awareness further by a poetry night at Clancy’s Irish Bar and Restaurant, where Raymond will feature as ‘guest poet’ (reading his poems). (These regular nights are always sold out, and we expect this one will be.) We will also use social media vigorously; the local Tamborine Mountain Community Page is very actively used (and viewed) by local people.