Category Archives: Parkinsons_

Dim all the stars (poem)

I wrote this especially for my concert, December 2017 .It can also be found in my anthology Versification.


I had; in my sights at the time, Chrisssie,singing “Memory.Dim all the stars 4



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Annoying health update

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So, you thought I had vanished entirely …. 3 months without so much as a by-your-leave …. read on….
So, here I sit in deepest, darkest Australind, sheltered,safe,. secure … and pitiful. I have books to read that Heather (my sister) dribbles down to me here but it is Australind after all. And Collie is just the other side of the hill and is our birth-place. Deja vu.
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the moving camera


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We had no video camera in our childhood home, the consequence of which is that footage of me doesnt start to appear until I am 23 –  with the productoin of The Boyfriend (followed closely by Cabaret).

What little footage of my time exists, I have begun to amasss on vimeo an album dedicated to a retrospective, the gathering of which includes:

  • me with that gorgeous choir Close Harmony  – 2 videos, 1 in action in Dunsborough at a Songfest, and 1 as a sampler
  • me reciting 2 poems 0–  Jennxxit to farewell Jenny from work. aand 1 about the wickedness of exercise for we Parkinsons sufferers
  • the glory of the wisaaria tunnel at Sheldrake Lodge in Willetton (thank you designer Neil Hansen and planter Bryan Aitken and gifter of half the plants,my beloved Anthnony – Madeleine makes a guest appearanccew midway through)
  • me executing the vicious musical satire of Tom Lehrer in “A Christmas Carol” inside the Riverton Library in 2015 (thanks to videography by Amy)
  • me in action in Fremantle in “Adventures of a poet” in which I declaimed various lengthy poems in character interrrupted by Close Harmony who sang under my (tremulous) baton
  • lastlly. No Stone Unturned, about our research travels to the USA  in 2016 to investigate the Papers of author of musicals Peter Stone  – this last movie, an assemblage of moving image taken on my ipod mini, has no subtititles or acxcompanying narrative  and might be incomprehensibke to all saave Robert and I. But it is entertaining – whatch out for the visit to the Hamptons midway through, the residence of widoq Mary – Robert loved it, and endeared himsaelf to the locals

That link again,

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Poetry in motion

Here’s a link to my Vimeo album, and this is me reciting a poem about….my illness…. seeems as if everyone has a theory about a cure for Parkinson’s. This is titled “Exercise-mania” 

<p><a href=”″>Excercise-mania</a&gt; from <a href=”″>Brian Dawson</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>





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Singing for choir

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On a recent visit from M elbourne, Prof Jane (Davidson) nonchalantly asked me if I’d published anythiing about my conditiion. I’d forgotten that I had written these  for the magaszine of my good friend LIne at an earlier time and not posted to the Internet  (until now)



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Health check #4

I am released!!

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Like Magwich, a convict, an escapee on the long bogs of rural England, I have burst forth from Fremantle Prison …. I mean, Fremantle Hospital after 4 long weeks of recumbency and tests and observations. Continue reading

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A vocal era, gone…

I might have supposed it had gone in 2007, the year I left Summerhouse. My time with that extraordinary vocal ensemble  – all a cappella and secluded, that had climbed to unimagined heights – was over. I had left for good my friends and compatriots in the ensemble in which I had learned to be part of so many different types of music,  types that were unavailable to me as a soloist: with Summerhouse I could be a part of music that was sung tenderly, beautifully, ravishingly. The comic efforts upon which I had plied my artistry as a soloist were left behind – no more patter for me, thank you Mr Gilbert. I felt that with Summerhouse  I could be taken seriously. All kinds of thing that my dear little doll-like voice could not achieve on its own, collectively we had a  shot at: we made beautiful music out of my arrangement of the Janis Ian ballad  “She must be beautiful “; sang the Armenian hymn Aravot lousaber as if we were fresh from a  monastery; took to new pathways the Stephen Taberner arrangement of Rex Sexsmith’s poignant lullaby “Sleeping with the angel’”; and fell under the enchantment of Monica’s piece “Gaia’s Voice”.

And since that magnificence,  I’ve enjoyed six years as director of Close Harmony Choir, a  community choir, in Subiaco/Nedlands (2011-17). We have likewise pulled off some audacious projects: Christmas songs under a gazebo in Kings Park; a reenactment of that Christmas cult movie, called Christmas, Actually this time; two appearances at Dunsborough Songfest; a weekend retreat for our own pleasure at New Norcia; and, my personal favourite, in support for my one-man show Adventures of a Poet. But now that’s all come to a close as I pass the reins to a new Prince and crown him Young King Ryan.


It seemed fitting that this cycle of ascendancy took place at the Guildford Town Hall, where many years ago it had witnessed my giddying rise to glory as the EmCee in Garrick Theatre’s production of Cabaret (1985?). And if then I sang the opening number “Willkommen”, now I had an exit to make. But there was no farewell song, although there were rousing cheers.

There were 12 singers today (plus 2 conductors) – a small enough size for a choir. But despite having the odds stacked against them they clutched for grim mercy against the occasional musical demands I asked from them – the crescendo to a shattering last chord on Yawei; the subito pianissimo on verse 2 as Brothers got a farewell from the womenfolk in Stand by the shore; the surprising swell that emerged in the bridge passage of Great is He; the precision of the choreography in Akekho, and the unbridled delight of releasing Pete Townsend’s familiar pop hit “Left my love” in which Ryan and I joined in the singing as guest basses.

Unexpectedly, a farewell from Sammi – in public too – and I felt I heard a wave of applause from the audience that was meant as support; one of their own (there were many choirs in the Town Hall that afternoon) had leapt from the ledge of the cliff-top one final time as he winged his way toward foreign shores. “Bon chance”,  they seemed to say.

I didn’t cry. I rarely do. But believe me, if felt as though much medicine had been ministered to the soul that afternoon, and,  for all the struggles I have faced and will face, this makes me grateful to the core, the very vital fabric of my core.

fullsizeoutput_179f Thank you!


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Health check #2

I am permanently disabled now. My GP and  neurologist agree. In fact, the neurologist thinks I will be a candidate for deep brain stimulation. I tell him he will be a candidate for the deep pile rubbish heap if keeps up that sort of dirty talk. But he just smirks in his enigmatic  sort of Mediterranean  way (he’s of Greek heritage; we have a lot in common. I loved Greek mythology as a kid, so at least we have the gods of Olympus in common), and writes me a script for medication  – for a higher dosage  or increased strength, increased frequency, that sort of thing.

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New beginnings 

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Yesterday I left Sheldrake Way for the second time in less than 10 years. Robert and I have separated after 14 years, and I have moved out of our home first acquired in 1985. 14 unmissable years. Madeleine and I are living with Aunty Heather in South Perth and she is taking excellent care of us. She loves the puppy very much. Continue reading


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Health check

I collapsed at work, 6 February, so  I took some time off to monitor my health. The next week, at home, on my way into the study and the iMac, I lost balance, tripped, stumbled and shuffled furiously forward toward the window. My hand naturally shot up and outward and it went straight through the glass pane of the window (no arteries or nerve endings were damaged, miraculously, but I needed more time off, and 14 stitches.) And that’s when it started – the downhill, backward slope of treachery. Continue reading


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