CHRISTINE M. KNIGHT

An Australian author who provides insight into the human condition.

Poetry

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Digital Education Revolution (D.E.R.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Government Spokesperson:
We’re on the cutting edge of the revolution digital.
Taxation dollars have been spent on laptops that are minuscule.
They are lightweight, robust, and designed for school.
Everything a student needs, that’s been the rule!
Goodbye to tattered, old-fashioned books
And to frustrated teachers’ dirty looks.
These laptops provide opportunities on the road of life.
Innovation and focused learning mean an end to classroom strife.
We’re on the cutting edge of the revolution digital
Schools are committed to education evolution continual.

Students:
Takes too long to
Log on!
System crashes -
Overload.
Speed and band width -
Overlooked.
Lessons end with
Little done!

Government Spokesperson:
As in any venture into a new frontier
There are hiccups, so you will hear
Of tribulations technological.
We discount them as problematical.
You can’t have progress without teething pains.
A first world economy is our ultimate aim.
I’m shocked that you say the political has shaped our vision.
The benefits to the electorate were assessed with considerable precision.
The nature of teaching has been revolutionised
By targeted spending on this government’s side.
We’re on the cutting edge of the revolution digital
We are committed to education evolution continual.

Teachers:
Laptops in bags -
kicked around.
Batteries go flat -
Can’t charge.
Instructions in use?
Not enough!
School desks and chairs -
out-of-date!
DER claims are grand,
Aspirational.
School life?
It’s much the same.

Students and Teachers: Doh!
© Christine M Knight (2009)

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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Meeting

Monday, April 22, 2013

The room fills slowly.
Staff trudge in, mugs in hand.
The uninitiated carry note pads and pens.
The experienced smuggle in magazines
Stowed inside the covers of departmental folders.
Jostling for the back seats,
They perch in clutches.
Latecomers, distance denied them,
Reluctantly fill front rows.
Speakers misfire enthusiastically, unknowingly,
Pumped with their status in the brooding room.
Somnolence spreads its protective wings.
Staff roost:
Eyes open and glazed.
Minds asleep,
Bodies numb.
The drone lathes against the collective consciousness.
Information:
Photocopied,
Collated,
Stapled,
Distributed,
Dams the stream of discourse,
Replacing communication.
The meeting closes with a gavel jarring knock.
Like birds in a sun shower,
Staff shake themselves.
Caffeine -craving induces a hasty departure.
© Christine M Knight

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Turning Point

Monday, April 22, 2013

A teacher and his students
Stand before a portrait of a child
The style reminiscent of Johannes Vermeer.
She stands in a darkened doorway,
Looking back over her shoulder at the viewer,
Handkerchief in hand,
A single tear balanced
On her lower eyelid.
The teacher analyses the composition,
Deconstructs its elements,
Instructs on the artist’s technique.
Discusses the context of the painting.
He appears blind to what the artist captured …
The arresting of grief and the realisation of hope.
©Christine M Knight

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Whistle Blower

Monday, April 22, 2013

In a world at war,
An ordinary man (so his neighbours said)
Balanced 'small crimes' against moments of goodness
On his life's ledger.
Faced with the fascist principle of absolute obedience,
He kept his job and his life,
Fed his family,
Earned their future,
Closed his eyes to the truth.
Standing mute, he salved his conscience with the lie:
The unthinking respect given to authority makes it unassailable.
Compromised,
Emasculated,
He survived,
A Schindler without the redemptive list.

Over the ensuing decades, he sought escape
From memories and accusers.
Hunted, at the close of each labyrinth path,
Ghosts haunted and fingered him.
He stood judged,
Condemned – a war criminal.
Newsprint of the modern day constructed a reality that ignored
The fear of retribution,
The horror of reprisals
When living in a world ruled by the ruthless self-serving.
Labelled a war criminal,
His defence,
“I was a silent witness and nothing more,”
Was without meaning in the time vortex.
He had, after all, knowingly profited at the expense of others' lives.
In a world at peace,

I face demands for compromise on matters of principle.
Management, secure in the status that gives them credibility,
Excuse the abuses, justify their inaction,
Spin the facts into an 'alternative truth’.
Colleagues, afraid and demoralised,
Coax the swallowing of the old lie.
Bills paid,
Kids fed,
School fees met,
Prosperity,
Weigh against the blowing of the whistle.

Searching for a maze exit,
In a world compromised by the Robin Hood philosophy
That excuses:
opportunism at tax time
travel expense embellishments
honest lies
I wonder
If the scale of a corruption matters rather than the corruption.

Haunted, the question spirals, echoes in my dreamscape.
The answer
Taps, knocks, pounds
Until I jolt into wakefulness.
Skinned in sweat,
In the darkness,
Without the distraction of material glitter,
One thing is inescapable.
Chilling slowly,
I know that silence
Classes me with those who stood mute
When faced with greater crimes.

©Christine M Knight

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Clerical Rites

Monday, April 22, 2013

Daily, ritually,
The office photocopier churns out documents.
Periodically, it protests
With an unceremonious stop work.
Denied initiation into the mysteries of its service

We channel a call to a higher power,
The priestess of photocopiers.
Productivity stalls.
The congregation waits.
Time passes.
Slowly, belatedly,
The priestess comes.
She approaches the altar,
Offerings in hand,
Disgruntled by the interruption
To her valued clerical rites.
Dispensing the symbols of communion:
Intoning, filling paper trays,
Manipulating mechanisms,
She unravels the mystery.
We return to our devotion
Until the next inevitable
Dispensing of rites.

© Christine M Knight

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The Month's Posts


LATEST BLOG POSTS

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Life Song - a story of metamorphosis

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Twenty-two-year-old Mavis Mills first appears in my novel In and Out of Step. Outgoing, gregarious, and confident, Mavis is a significant secondary character in that novel.  Mavis' story - a subplot - is used to provide contrast to and insight into Cassie Sleight's (the central character) journey. 

    At one point in the novel, effervescent Mavis is severely injured – physically, emotionally, and psychologically - by domestic violence and the fire of her partner’s rage. He also destroys her guitar and the copies of her original songs. Part of  the subplot from In and Out of Step explores the context of the domestic violence and provides insight into the psychology of it. Excuses are not made.

    At the start of Life Song, Mavis is twenty-eight-years-old and very different from the young woman who shone throughout most of In and Out of Step. She is the central character in Life Song. She has become subdued, distrustful of her own judgement, and an echo of her former self. Unexpectedly, she discovers she has a choice: continue to live a life tainted by domestic violence or seize the opportunity before her and try to rise above her circumstance and, like the phoenix bird, leave the ashes of her past life behind.

    'Could she live the rest of her life as she'd been living. She couldn't, not now she'd glimpsed another world, fleeting though that vision had been.'

    Life Song is not a cliche 'chic musician on the road' story and is definitely not a romance. It is about the woman Mavis becomes and the people who stand by her as she undergoes transformation – physical, psychological, and to an extent spiritual. She does not solve her problems in the arms of a man but makes the hard choices herself.

    The drama comes from the tugs-of-war that Mavis has to work though. It is made all the harder because Mavis' heart is in conflict with itself. One person, no matter how strong, cannot win a tug-of-war alone. The same applies to Mavis.

    Readers learn about the things that give Mavis strength and that enable her to boldly embrace the inevitable changes coming into her life as she becomes Nikki Mills, the Song Bird from Oz.

    I recommend you listen to two songs from that novel: Sunshine Days and Life Song (A Vision Splendid) to get a feel for this story.

    There are many kinds of wins in life, most of them personal rather than widely acclaimed. It's those personal 'brave heart' moments that define Mavis. Reader feedback through my publisher and website is that Life Song is a gratifying read.

    As part of your journey in reading this blog,  I suggest you listen to Move On.  In my imagination, it is first sung by Mavis' support network, but ultimately the song becomes her personal mantra.

    Australia is a diverse landscape and has diverse communities. Life Song gives readers an opportunity to spend time in some of those communities. The title alludes to the fact that each character's life has its own melody and when sung in concert become the symphony that is Life Song

    Notes:

    Life Song is one of four novels in The Keimera Series. Each novel is a standalone narrative and has the backstory woven into it.  The Keimera Series is an opus.

    Keimera does not in any way allude to chimeraa monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature from Greek mythology.

    If you would like to lend me your support so that I can produce more music from my novels, you can buy any of my songs from CD Baby.  Each of my songs can be purchased for the very small price of $1.69. My music is also on iTunes and other major online music sellers as well.



    Read more

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    The story behind my song 'The Flame'

    Sunday, June 25, 2017


    'The Flame' features in my novel ‘Song Bird’. In the novel, it is sung by rock legend Rick Brody who serenades Nikki Mills (the central character in the novel). In real life, it was sung by Funnie Williams and Thanapat Yarchartoen (aka Film). I produced the song through Karma Sound Studios in Thailand.

    BACKSTORY TO 'THE FLAME' - The Singer or the Song?

    In ‘Song Bird’ and its prequel 'Life Song', Nikki Mills - the Girl from Oz - is a survivor of domestic violence. Once an innocent, she believed the very convincing serenade of her first significant love, Terry Kikby. Long before Nikki met Rick, his song 'The Flame' resonated with her.  She believed that Rick's songs really expressed his own ideas and values.

    Having been at the top of the music industry for sixteen years, Rick finds his music is dropping in the charts. Defined by his 'bad boy' image, he has lost sight of his real self. Consequently,  his music has lost its connection with his fan base. Interested in Nikki as a woman as much as in her skill as a lyricist, Rick collaborates with Nikki on a new album. 

    Flattered by Rick's interest in her and impressed by 'The Flame', Nikki embarks on a relationship with him.  A subplot in the novel explores the ramifications of that decision.  Can she help Rick find the heart that his music once had?  Will Nikki be hurt or healed by the relationship with him?  The answers are found in my novel 'Song Bird'. 

    Readers of this blog may also find the pop rock song 'Masque' and interesting insight into Rick and Nikki's relationship issues.

    I currently have 8 songs on CD Baby and iTunes. You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. Online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn approximately one cent per one hundred streams. 

    Read more

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    The Story Behind Pop Rock Song 'Masque'

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    'Masque' is a duet between charismatic rock star, Rick Brody, and singing sensation Nikki Mills (the Girl from Oz). They are fictional characters in my novel, ‘Song Bird’, which is on sale through Amazon, Book Depository, and other online booksellers as are my other novels' 'Life Song' and 'In and Out of Step' - in paperback and eBook formats.

    'Masque' features the vocal talents of Australians, Skye Elisabeth and Nic James. I am the composer and executive producer for all of my music. Although I am a musician, I no longer perform publicly but use talented session musicians.

    I use music as part of my writing process when developing a novel as it allows me to explore character perspectives, challenges, and personal journeys.

    My song ‘Masque’ evolved out of my exploration of Rick and Nikki’s relationship when developing 'Song Bird', the novel . The song helped me better understand rock legend Rick Brody, the impact of being a rock star on Rick's relationship with Nikki, and the core obstacles they faced. Rick Brody is one of four pivotal men in Nikki Mills' life.

    Wider Relevance
    The song has relevance for anyone who feels compelled to be what others expect the person to be rather than being true to self, something that is much easier said than done.

    'Masque' also has relevance for a diverse number of people. For instance, I play many roles: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, author, musician and so on. I understand how the expectations and demands of others put me under pressure not to let others down. In trying not to short-change others, it was so easy to forget about who I was separate from those roles and what my being real meant.

    The context behind the song 'Masque'
    In ‘Song Bird’, Rick Brody is charismatic rock star who has been living the cliché - sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Like the Tinman from Oz, Rick is injured by his trade. For the Tinman, it was his axe. For Rick Brody, it was his status as a rock star and image of 'bad boy’. He became defined by those roles. Life became a masquerade.

    In both cases, the Timan and Rick become manufactured men in want of heart.  Rick’s preoccupation with living the cliché meant that his music lost its heart and the appeal that had drawn audiences to him as he rose to the pinnacle of the music industry.

    By contrast, Nikki refused to sell out in order to achieve success. She was determined to get to the top on her own terms and to not be treated as a commodity in the industry.

    At the Australian Recording Industry Awards, Rick asked his manager to connect him with Nikki after seeing her perform. Rick claimed his primary interest in Nikki was musical collaboration, but his libido and history of conquests shaped his reason for collaborating with her and definitely shaped the way he interacted with her.

    Although Nikki pretended not to be attracted to Rick, she was flattered that he was ‘interested in her of all people. Unlike his fans, Nikki did not have an urge to flash her breasts, hand over her panties, or suggest a threesome.’  She maintained a mask of cool indifference and stayed work-focused throughout the early stages of their musical relationship. Consequently, Rick viewed Nikki as a challenge. Committed to the long game in winning her, he courted.

    A survivor of domestic violence, Nikki was cautious about the men with whom she mixed.  ‘Song Bird’ explores the ripple effect of her decision to work with Rick. Can she help Rick find the heart that his music once had? Can he become real with her? Will Nikki’s relationship with him injure her?

    You can read more about 'Song Bird' here and on other pages at my website.

    You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. The online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn approximately one cent per one hundred streams. 

    Note: As the novels are set in Australia, I use the British spelling system and language conventions. There are minor differences to the American system.

    Read more

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NEWS

  • 'Sunshine Days' playing on FM radio in USA

    05-Sep-2017

    Christine M Knight's fabulous song 'Sunshine Days' (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/christinemknight7) is playing on the following FM radio stations in USA. If you are a listener in any of the followi..
  • A saga to relish and enjoy

    22-Aug-2017

    Tired of the dark, brooding narratives on TV and in the cinema? Escape into the world of ‘Life Song’ and 'Song Bird' https://www.amazon.com/Life-Song-Christine-M-Knight/dp/0987434853..
  • 'Masque' trending in Southern USA, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East

    23-Aug-2017

    Christine's rop-rock song 'Masque (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/christinemknight4)' is trending in Southern United States, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. It can now also be heard in rotation on:..

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