Tales of the Rainbow Gnome

by Brendan O'Shea and Andy Copeman

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A collection of original poetry, recited with gusto and accompanied by professional musician Andy Copeman's soundscapes. The poems are meant to heal and inspire, and give you a few laughs along the way.


released March 17, 2017

Words written and recited by Brendan O'Shea. Sound production and instruments by Andy Copeman.



all rights reserved


Brendan O'Shea Sunshine Coast, Australia

In his past Brendan has been a Buddhist monk, a yoga teacher, a graphic designer and he is almost qualified as a Transpersonal Counsellor. He started writing poetry 4 years ago as part of self-healing, and these are some of the most popular. He lives with his wife Kerry near Maleny. ... more

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Track Name: Tales of the Rainbow Gnome
Tales of the Rainbow Gnome

Behold! Emerging from the Forest!
Why, it is a Rainbow Gnome!
With psychadelic pigtails and tie-dyed smock
in his leafy tree-green home.

He was full of tall tales of a temple made of crystal
with web-thin silver spires,
filled with lights of all colours,
the most marvellous songs and the very smell of the gods’ campfires.

The Temple is made of shadow and candle-light
and beautiful, fractal geometry.
The pillars are music, the walls are made by the plants,
and the windows are your personal astrology.

Seekers come and pray to the goddess here
“Oh, grant me magic and intuition,
for I am bone weary of straight sharp lines
and soul-less repetition.”

And the Goddess obliges! and ensnares them in surreal sabotage
of quite ridiculous length.
Until finally they can yield
and step into the crucible that transforms weakness into strength.

And in the crucible’s alchemical flames,
can you hear the triumphant laugh?
That audacious call to walk naked
down your spiralling, inner path?

To stare into deep dark crazy eyes,
like reflections of forever,
while the black wind roars amidst the flames,
amidst the wasteland, amidst the terror.

And I got lost – I could not find myself.
I'd forgotten my heart’s intention.
I became a victim in a world without meaning, that scorned beauty and
that mocked redemption.

It felt like lifetimes I was trapped
in my miserable loops of thought,
until a kindly word, that was finally heard,
gave me what I sought.

I was free of fear,
and the world was shaped exactly as I pleased.
The wasteland became a garden.
The black wind? A gentle breeze.

I soared amongst the light of stars,
I danced with my ancestral selves.
Drank divine nectar with the gods on
Olympus, shared ambrosia with the elves.

I glimpsed elemental fractal leviathans
breeching the boundaries of sanity.
Saw the mandelbrot meanderings of the
field of energy that constitutes reality.

I met the Godhead, was nursed by Chiron,
I heard the wail of the banshee!
The temple was a glowing, singing river of love
that flowed within and without me.

And all the shapes, and all the sounds,
and all the actors below and above,
are all part of that which encompasses everything,
the infinite ocean of love.

“Yes, yes, yes!” Grinned the psychadelic Rainbow Gnome
as he vanished back into the trees,
“Surrendering to love let me enjoy being myself.
So come and join me; if you please!”
Track Name: Wizard Benevolence Fund
Wizard Benevolence Fund

Wizards! Wizards! You don’t hear much about wizards.
These days it’s all glamorous celebrities or someone floating on a lotus.
There’s witches on TV, and you can get a necromancer almost free!
but wizards... ah, we’re good at not being paid much notice.

Any old card-reader can see your futures,
and a common healer can fix your health.
Curses can be cast for a pittance,
and a smiting done for a prayer,
and any half-wit merchant can conjure up some wealth.

But what if the continuum of time gets a hernia?
Or the goddess of causality loses her focus?
When the veils get thin, and something random slips in,
you’ll be glad for something stronger than just hocus pocus!

Yes, it’s all fun and games with your oouiji board –
until someone opens a portal to a nether world substation!
And in steps a fire-demon from the hot hells of Chaos,
ready to enslave you for a very long seven generations!

Do you know how to manage a misanthropic monster?
Familiar with the inter-realm manners of a giant demonic lizard?
No... I didn’t think so, and don’t bother quoting “Harry Potter”!
The only thing that’ll help you now is a genuinly qualified wizard.

Some places the dimensions don’t fit together so well,
and it’s wizards who stitch up reality so you folks can get some sleep.
Resolving temporal incongruities with a minimum of paradox,
and guiding lost astral travellers home, like transdimensional sheep.

A gentle word and a wand can put everything back in balance, for instance
if the God of Time gets bored and awakens all your suppressed memories.
Or you recite a dodgy mantra and grow a few extra arms.
Or the naturopath misdoses and you wake up as a tree.

Then you’ll be grateful for the wizards you didn’t know where there,
disguised as cats or bats or that fellow who asks you for spare change.
Do you remember the time when the goblins almost had you for dinner?
No, you don’t – and you can thank a wizard for that graceful rearrange.

So this All Hallows Eve please put your hand in your pocket
and say “Even though I can’t remember, thanks for weilding the wand”.
Help support those of us who keep the Great Turtle serenely flying:
please, donate generously, to the Wizard Benevolence Fund.
Track Name: Dragon Protocol
Dragon Protocol

When meeting a dragon for the first time
there is a protocol to be followed:
fiery breaths at a hundred paces and a
returning of anything that has been borrowed.

At fifty paces they unfurl their wings
and thrash to birth a thunder storm.
And then they ride the lightning and the rain and the fury,
on and on until the dawn.

At ten paces their hyacinth eyes may well
flutter and wave and tease;
Dragons are not bound by stereotypes and
will do whatever they damn well please.

Nor are Dragons afraid to cry,
their tears are yellow fractal lights,
that mesmorise and hypnotise and
seduce with a strange delight.

Dragons live in worlds we cannot see,
great lava liquid eyes windows to tomorrow.
And if you meet that gaze – then one of these days –
you’ll hear “I have something I think you ought to borrow...”

Oh beware what you borrow from the Dragon’s horde,
for it will be powerful and peculiar.
Passionately inspired but foolish to desire:
Dragons have a dangerous sense of humour.

Dragons are born of air, fire and magic.
I’m told there’s water and earth in their too.
And their wisdom is equal parts insight and nonsense.
But which is which? And which one is true?

In a maze of mirrors – waiting for dinner –
the coiled snake skin emperor resides.
No mirror can catch him and no human eye can match him – and he whispers:
“I think you're ready to be taken for a ride!”
Track Name: Stand Firm on Open Air
stand firm on open air

Rimblebod, the shiniest thing
that ever swam the sea.
Soared in the depths of the ocean,
and knew that he was free.

Damballoon, the shaggiest wretch
that ever swam to land.
Who raged against the tides that he fought all day,
and refused to understand.

Zabathadeez, the craziest monkey
who ever danced in the trees.
All the world for him
a playground to do whatever he so please.

And Balgebra, the sour old hen,
who broods and counts the stones.
Scared of the sunshine she hides in the shade,
where it’s easier to feel alone.

All four of them, for some reason,
have ended up in the sky,
with no assistance from either logic or mystery
to actually understand why

And so they gaze up at their sky, which is of course full of land,
and stand on nothing but open air.
No call for wrath, nor reason, nor romance;
they’re quite simply happy not to care.

Happy to watch the world from afar,
content to just be with what’s there.
And able to be strong when all strength is gone,
and stand firm on open air.
Track Name: New Age Blend
New Age Blend

New Age Blend

Welcome to the 3D part of the multiverse! Yes, you! My adventure-seeking friend!
Like me, you have found patriarchial thought-control to be an anti-life-force dead-end!
And you’re looking to create a new identity, finding ingredients in all the latest trends!
We’re both in a quest to make a life that’s the perfect New Age Blend!

I’m a Planetary Citizen, an Aquarian Traveller, a being beyond time and space.
The crystal collection fills the bedroom, and there’s prayer flags all over the place.
My veges are organic, the salads are raw, and can you believe how good rain water tastes?
And I’m discovering how coffee-enemas can take me a whole new state of grace!

My electro physiological feedback Xrroid treatments were a life-affirming success!
All that’s left now are my childhood imprints – but they’re a total mess.
It seems my Akashic Records were lost during an astral flight, just bad luck, I guess!
And the drugs from the psychiatrists are a waste of time – just thought i’d
get that off my chest.

And yes I’m still affirming and affirming,
even though I can’t quite remember for what end?
Because I’m sure that this cutting-edge modality will make my life
the perfect, holistic, New Age blend!

The alchemy of archaeoastronomy brought me to an Archaic multiverse view.
Bach Flower Remedies gave my pineal-gland toning a macro-quantum breakthrough!
But an aura reader said “Mercury’s in retrograde; so aromatherapy’s not good for you!”
So now what? Qi Gong? Reiki? Llama dancing? Or channel UFOs through my didgeridoo?

So I chant Ommmmmmmmmm and channel my native American power animal guide ask for inspiration – ah!
I’m told to take a holiday! But not to India because that’s where all the wannabe spiritual tourists go!
Maybe I’ll run another workshop in Bali, you see I’M more of a shamanic right-brain world traveller.
With thanks, I light my Japanese incense, sip my ayurvedic tea and read the
secrets of the Kabbalah.

And yes I know the healings and the journies go on and on and never seem to end;
but i’m certain this latest revelation will make my life the perfect
neo-cultural, holistic, New Age Blend!

My Harmonic Convergence life coach has lost her lustre, she doesn’t seem to listen any more!
And I’m so spiritually advanced it takes me HOURS to explain what all this healing is for!
So now I’m thinking therapy. Gestalt? CBT? SFBT? I have a flyer on the fridge door
about a new fusion of tai chi and colonic irrigation that will open the highest chakra!

I was facilitating an organic raw vegan detox workshop and a goddess asked me
‘what’s your mantra?’
I said ‘Chinese medicine has empowered my connection to Gaia and now the Qi flows like elixir’
We ended up in bed mapping our meridians, laying down for everything that we stand for.
I thought it was just a one night stand but she insists we’ve invented neo-Tantra!

And yes I’m perfect, you’re perfect, we’re all perfect and no matter what others may pretend;
this final element will make MY life the perfect nano-energetic, neo-cultural, holistic,
New Age Blend.

My genuine Aztec sweat lodge ceremony was ruined by an unrealized being’s antics.
He kept going on and on about the extra-terrestrial lizard people and their spaceship, apparently gigantic!
The lizards run the world by hypnotising leaders and making them totally sycophantic.
To defeat them we have to abolish money and refloat Atlantis, somewhere in the mid Atlantic.

Now as an existential argonaut I can tell you – past achievements don’t mean a thing.
But let me tell you about my Kambo Poison Frog Ceremony, I swelled up till I was a balloon of skin!
All my birth traumas appeared AND my fear of death and then my whole reality-tunnel began to cave in!
The next day I was so cool, I smoked DMT for breakfast and said “when does the hard part begin?”

And yes it’s all light! and light! and more light and light as we research the latest trend;
any minute now i’ll have the answer to make my life the perfect psycho-spiritual, nano-energetic, neo-cultural, holistic, New Age Blend.

I’ve sung praises to Jehova, Jesus and Allah, Quetzalcoatl, Brahma and Indra.
I’ve had so many breakdowns and breakthroughs i’ve broken my brain and my aura looks like a dog’s dinner.
I’ve vomited in circle, hyperventilated in therapy, my acupunture needles make me look like an echidna!
And I’ve had enough! I’m going to go live nude in a tree-house and become a clean-slate Zen beginner.

And from my Zen tree-house I proclaim: this is the year! I will triumph and I will transcend!
I may have to do another vipassana retreat that seems to never fucking end.
I may have to recalibrate my wu-wei and my thantos because (for some reason) my kundalini has started to ascend.

But whatever I do I am totally confident that THIS one
will make my life the perfect
New Age Blend.

And – for now – that’s The end.
Track Name: Emerald Knight
The Emerald Knight

Through the forest rode a knight on an errand,
in the service of the Queen of his Court.
Sent to find a magic emerald to heal the King,
he’d ridden for years and was weary at heart.

And a nymph of the Waterfall spied him,
and she wished with this stranger to rest.
And as she made her wish she lightly touched
an emerald on her breast.

So the Knight becomes drowsy and clumsy;
his head nods and sleep shadows fall.
And his horse unbidden makes his way to a river
with a whispering waterfall.

The half asleep Knight saw a beautiful girl,
she seemed to appear from the light.
She bade him “Come bathe in the pool of the waterfall,
in the waters happy and bright.”

He took off his helmet with peacock crest,
loosed his sword of bronze and pearl.
His jerkin of amber and silver and brocade,
he lay them all at the feet of the girl.

And he thought of his errand and he thought of his Queen;
duty said he should leave and ride back.
But he was sick from his labours and it had been so long
since a girl had smiled at him like that.

Naked he bathed in the waterfall,
and then the nymph invited him to rest.
And in the sunshine and shade by the water
she placed an emerald on his breast.

And he remembered his youth and his laughter;
he let the girl take him where she would.
And the nymph delighted in her handsome man;
and soon they slept by the pool in the wood.
Track Name: Dragon Collector
Dragon Collector

Percival Fontenblau was the sort of chap
prone to a bit of bragging!
He’d like to tell you that he had the largest collection
in the world of things to do with dragons!

He had a dragon tea-cosy for his
dragon tea-pot, and a dragon doona for his dragon bed.
A snazzy dragon door-knocker to announce visitors
and a dragon top hat for his head.

He had a dragon quill pen to write in his dragon note book,
and a floral dragon made of plastic carnations.
He had a dragon T-Shirt for every day of the week,
and dragon boxer shorts for those special occassions.

The collection filled his entire house
and his enthusiasm showed no signs of lagging.
Every new acquisition made his Aunty Petunia declare:
“That Percival sure do love dragons!”

The story of Percival’s collection reached
the ears of the Dragon at the bottom of the sea.
He was quite touched by all this dragon-devotion
and decided to drop in for afternoon-tea.

That very afternoon Percival was in the dragon bath tub,
and he heard the dragon door knocker go “rat a tat tat tat!”
Percival was furious! saying “I’m busy being a bathing dragon,
and nothing’s more important than that!”

He put on his dragon bath robe, dragon scarf and dragon slippers,
ready to give this vistor a good finger wagging!
But when he opened the door he nearly died of fright –
for there was a real-life, big-as-a-house, dragon!

Percy squealed as the dragon came through the doorway,
denting the dragon door knocker just a smidgeon.
The dragon elbow smashed the china cabinet full of “Dragon Figurines™”
and all of them limited edition!

The dragon tail swiped the piles of “Dragon Enthusiast Magazine”,
ripping apart their never-yet-opened plastic sleeves.
His spiky dragon crest broke the dragon light shade
and spilt a cup of Water-Dragon-Herbal-Tea.

The Dragon began to formally say hello
even as the Dragon-coffee-table was squashed beneath his feet.
He turned to greet Percival – only to see the dear boy
running for dear life down the street.

Percival ran and ran until his dragon slippers slipped off,
Running even after he lost his dragon scarf.
When he lost his dragon bath robe, though, it was all too much –
they finally found him hiding in Aunty Petunia’s bath.

Now these days Percival collects things based around kittens –
he’s got paintings, ceramic sculptures and hats.
All the collectables, but alas! no actual feline.
It seems Percival is allergic to cats!
Track Name: Fall in Love
Fall in Love

“I want to fall in love” I declared,
But I missed the point to some degree.
I fall in love passionately all the time!
I want someone to fall in love with me!

So whoever you are who’s capable of handling
me and my personalities varied and frantic,
I offer a chance of a lifetime for some vigorous fun with a middle-aged, long haired romantic.

There’s not many of us left – most fell asleep at their desks;
grew up, put on armour, moved on.
But some of us still dream shy and silly thoughts, 
especially when we’re alone.

“I want someone to fall in love with me!”
but part of me worries how will I cope?
will my balloon filled with glee soar to the stars
or fall into a volcano of rancid hope?

I suppose all I can do is hope and smile
and go out and be open and honest,
and pray that I meet the maiden in the castle
and not the wicked witch in the forest.

My friends tell me that I AM loved – by the universe!
So just love the person that you are, I’m told.
Which is very nice, thanks you, that’s terribly sweet;
but I was rather hoping for someone to hold.

So with the philosophy carefully considered
I return to the business of it all.
Staying cheerful at parties and get-togethers,
collecting numbers and wondering “when to call?”

Oh falling in love, it looks so much fun!
And I’ve sorted myself out so much.
So what do you say? It would make my day
if we could meet up for chat and some lunch.

Similar values? Shared interests? I’m wearing clean clothes!
And I’m reasonably domesticated.
I’ve got a good heart and don’t you think having lots of money
is terribly over-rated?

I’d love to take long pointless walks,
just to hold your hand.
And spend time with your friends, who are clearly insane,
because love is just so grand.

Even after all the dating disasters
I still think it’s all worthwhile.
Because I want to be the man you have over for tea
and greet with that beautiful smile.

Hell yeah, I want to fall in love!
Even though I have no idea what it will entail.
But I guarantee it’s meant to be!
With this much enthusiasm it’s not possible to fail!

I want to fall in love I declare
and this is my decree:
I’m ready to plummet passionately;
are you ready to fall for me?
Track Name: Guru Blues
Guru Blues

I dreamed I’d meet my Guru,
probably an old dude with a beard.
And we'd talk about all the things I’d hoped,
and all the things I’d feared.

He’d steer me through life’s complexities,
we’d drink tea and taste the Life Divine.
There’d be a tasteful amount of discreet angst,
and everything would work out fine!

Well, Gurus don’t work like that,
or mine doesn’t anyway.
He’s not overly fond of being direct
and often has not a thing to say.

And half the time I can’t even find her,
like a radio I can’t quite tune.
And when I do get on his wavelength all I
hear is: “Oh yes yes yes, anytime real soon”.

He’s fond of impersonation; she’ll often pop
us pretending to be someone I despise.
So I’ll be talking to some total dickhead
and damn! It’s you again in disguise!

Or maybe i’ll have some frivolous, non‑spiritual
urge, like I want to smoke a great big bag of pot,
and instead of preaching “you’ll go to hell!”,
she just laughs and says “Yeah! Fuck it! Why not?”

And the times that I am behaving myself,
and being pious and righteously afraid,
instead of quoting scripture he laughs and
says “maybe you just need to get laid?”

I got so fed up I told my guru “You’re an arsehole!”
and she just laughed and agreed!
She said “You’re so full of shit and you have been for years –
an arsehole is exactly what you need!”

Because you’ve read Eckhart bloody Tole
you think your soul’s stripped bare?
And sharing Dalai Lama quotes on Facebook?
Does that make you self aware?

And going ON and ON about how upset you are,
writing these endless existential poems!
You want a revelation sweetheart? Here’s one,
you are NOT Leonard fucking Cohen.

Where was my cuddly guru? The one
who’d gently steer me down the path?
“He’ll be here when he’s needed;
right now you need the guru who’ll kick you up the arse.”

And so my arse was dutifully kicked –
I had a dark week of the soul.
And every time I thought things were
coming back together they all spun
right back out of control.

And when I called my Guru hotline
all I got was the answering machine:
“Please follow previous advice – go inside
and love the things you find obscene.”

And of course she did eventually reappear,
and of course not in the way I’d think.
Instead of William Blake visions of the Apocalypse,
I got a nice lady at Centrelink.

“Keep trying dear and you’ll get there.
Peristence pays off at the end of the day.”
She’s lovely I thought and told myself:
this is what my guru ought to say!

And as I waited at the elevator, looking at my reflection
in the endlessly opening door.
My guru looked right back at me and said:
what are you REALLY waiting for?
Track Name: World Above the Waves
The World Above the Waves

Clambering into the crystal chamber,
the grotto beneath the sea bed,
Where dwells the beautiful sea nymph Kallaydees
and her husband, Master of the Dead.

Faery lights sparkle in mineral facets,
the heart garden of old mother earth.
And she whispers in echos of cystalline splendour
of love, of healing, of birth.

Such ones as glimpse the heart garden
and hear the whispers of the crystals
become fey and wistful overtime,
living in a memory both fair and dismal.

Such ones as follow the whispers never come back,
even when they return;
they wish for things they cannot name
and a vision they cannot spurn.

Such ones as bring a vision back
to this world above the waves
ease the suffering of the wounded,
but they tire of the pleasures that they once craved.

Oh save me from my faery longings
that would make of me a restless changeling.
Give me a warm bed and my lover,
a moment of stillness in a world that keeps changing.
Track Name: Kurumbah Chud
Karumbah Chud

Karumbah Chud, A demon of rock,
with eyes like pits of fire,
cried out from his cage of heat and dark
for an answer to his Deepest Desire.

He cried out to the souls of light and space
who are too subtle to even carry a name,
and are as sweet as the sound of a small bell’s chime.
Like a waft of smoke the demon’s question came.

From this saintly realm arose curiousity,
a wondering that could not rest,
and it fluttered down, like a leaf, onto the still round pond
at the very heart of The Dream Forest.

On the pond the leaf’s circles ripple out and come back;
and the circles are all awry.
And the answer to a deep desire appears
in the reflections of cloud and sky.

And I sit and watch the pond’s tiny ripples
out the back of the place where I’m staying.
And the “me” that walks this earth can hear the whispers
of what all the other parts of me are saying.
Track Name: First Year Anniversary
First Year Anniversary

I was spending time in a little country town
on my journey to becoming self aware,
and in the circles I moved in was this wonderful woman
with greeny-blue eyes and scarlet hair.

One thing lead to another and I told her I loved her,
and soon I was spending all my time
discovering this little country town
and this wonderful girl of mine.

Soon I knew so many people that
walking down the street took quite a bit of time.
Things to catch up on and laughs to share
in this little community of mine.

There are secret places in forest hidewaways
where faeries take you to faraway lands.
There’s witches with potions and hippies with notions
and minstrels with magic hands.

And there’s waterholes, rainforest and mountains nearby,
and endless lookouts to admire the view.
And I found out what I liked doing best of all.
It’s spending all day, in bed, with you.

Coming into town starts with a reverse car‑park,
preferably right outside the store.
Don’t bother to lock the car, we’re off for a dessert
that’s vegan, organic and raw.

And there are water-dragons in the garden
and parrots squabbling over the feeders.
The afternoon sun backlights the trees;
the gums, the figs and the cedars.

Motorbikes roar down Maple street
and caravans plod up the hill from Landsborough.
We eat dairy-free cake with freetrade coffee and wonder
'what’s on tonight that we’d prefer?'

Well, A 27 piece balkan gypsy band is playing,
unique and heard by very few
and we could go I suppose... but we’ll probably have a smoke ...
and I’ll just... hang out in bed with you.

You’re the best distraction from my morning meditation
and my museli from the co-op.
I end up having decadent brunches of eggs and salmon
and then some more cake and ooh another cup

And as we move from house-sit to house-sit,
and from bed to bed we’re hopping,
I hope that you will always be
my little gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free muffin

Oh in this town there’s no shortage of things to eat,
to see and beautiful music to listen to.
And what I enjoy most of all things...
is just being .... in bed .... with you...