“I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

War Movie

We are watching a move about World War I, the trenches.

'My father endured that,' he says.

He thinks the movie is wonderful, but he is taut and angry as he gets ready for bed.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Rush of the Wind

The rush of the wind through the trees is quiet and sustained like white noise. I listen to it with joy and wonder. If I wasn't sitting still and paying attention, I might never notice. But I am and it sounds big, like the hum of the motors that drive the Universe.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Like the Bite

I like the bite
of the evening air,
not really cold but fresh,
as I step out into
blue dusk
surrounded by mountains
familiar as bread;
they too are sustaining.

Oh, the Frangipanni Blossoms

Oh, the frangipanni blossoms
are a cloud of pink and white.
Spring is here at this bend of the road,
though Winter has another month to run.

Half Moon

the bright half-moon
lies on her back
on a deep pool of sky

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Hula Hoop

My hula hoop is silver
and hot pink, shiny.

Tess made it for me
because she knew

it's just what I need
right now and I love it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Look Around ...

The cats are asleep on the armchairs. The coffee table and dining table are getting piled up with newspapers again. The clock on the window-sill ticks loudly, going slow. The light is bright and warm. There are too many ornaments crammed on the few shelves, and my desk has higgledy-piggledy piles of paper each side of the laptop.

Cluttered and untidy as it is, I like it. I see the items that speak of him and me and the life we live here. There is comfort and functionality. There is art and there are words, words on paper — words, words, words, piles of words. And the laptop and various pens. Over on the far wall is a bookshelf, chockablock. We are writers, we are readers, we are people of the word.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Contemplating Flies

I was brought up to see them
as dirty,
covered in germs,
particularly those fine back legs
that pranced on food,
rubbed together, danced.

The back of this fly
is iridescent,
down at the end
under the flare of the wings.
The wings
are transparent silver;
they flutter lightly and flick.

(I know this observation
feels abrupt,
unfinished. There is little
more to say, having overcome
having contemplated and seen
what is still, after all, merely fly.)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Garden Time

Wind rustles my fern garden,
long fronds wave and toss.

I wipe the cobwebs away
from jade bush and umbrella plant.

Near the top of the plant's trunk
a circlet of tiny, bright leaves
glistens newborn, still sticky.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Two Young Women Jog.

They are slim and muscled.
One has a little white dog
running on a leash
just in front of her.
He scampers and bounces
turning his head as if to say,
'Come on, keep up!'

I Walk Out

I walk out into drizzle
perceiving the beauty
of this grey day

the mountains dimmed
their edges softy blurring
into the thick white sky

everything paled
everything gentled.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pausing to Listen

Internal voices crowd out any external sounds I might hear. So much chatter going on in my head! It is just on the edge of consciousness; I catch snippets of conversations.

Translucent Petals

On the wall of the private dining room at Heritage Lodge is a big painting of flowers — flowers I used to be very familiar with, since earliest childhood, but haven't seen in the decades since I moved away from temperate climes. They have an unusual form: two big, overlapping, curly petals. I try to remember what they are called. I know there's a delicate scent associated with them too, not sweet but ... clean.

Flowering beans? Bean blossoms? No, that's not right. Some kind of peas? I can see in my mind, vividly, the ones I used to see, the sun shining through their delicate blue and green petals with a faint hint of gold. The ones in the painting are soft pinky-red, like a blush.

I hold the image of those others in my mind, a memory that goes right back to childhood. My Dad loved them too. I can see him standing beside them, talking ... ah yes, sweet peas, that's it!

My Mother's Perfume

Standing by the stove the other night, about to start cooking, I smelled, quite sharply, my mother's perfume. Unmistakable, and nothing in the surroundings to account for it.

She has been dead for 14 years now.

She always wore Tabu.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Weed Garden

My weed garden flourishes. Only the aloe vera persists, of the poor herbs we planted so many months ago. No, I'm wrong: the lemon verbena is still here, straggly but strong. And something which may be gota cola, but I'd have to check. Otherwise we have ferns and ground cover, quite pretty.

I take away the twitch grass, before it crowds out everything else. The rest can stay. My life's too busy now to look after a made garden; better to allow the things that insist on growing here.

The orange blooms on the vine wandering in from next door are festooning the fence.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Baby

The baby cuddles in.
I breathe the fragrance
of his warm scalp ...
instantly familiar,
after all these years.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Sit In My car

I sit in my car at Knox Park, looking out at the trees, the play equipment, the houses beyond, the occasional bird. The rain has stopped; now the weather is steaming. I leave my door open.

I notice others in cars, with doors open, watching the park. It must be a Murwillumbah thing to do. Some of them are eating lunch. I'll just get mine out of my bag....

The Headlights Flash

The headlights flash
as the van goes over a rise
coming towards me
through the rain.
It veers, big green tank,
its muddy tyres squealing,
the low trailer behind it
jerking. I cringe
and then it's past,
rear view receding.

She Enters the Café

She enters the café
and sits with a sigh.
He looks at her
enquiringly. 'It's nice
to come to rest,' she says.

In the Doctor's Waiting Room

In the doctor's waiting room are the old and the young. The old sit quietly, the young are active and noisy — as it should be. At each end of life we are more vulnerable, more in need of care and maintenance.

The Children Roar

The children roar like wild animals, with laughter under the sound. They thump and run inside the fenced-off play area in the doctor's waiting-room.

The young mother sits calmly. gazing into space, her profile turned as if watching them, but her eyes distant, her body relaxed. She is used to this, able to tune out.

Then she returns to the here and now, goes in and fetches them out, puts the littlest on her lap and the other on a chair beside her, laughs with them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day's Ends

A fragment of birdsong outside
greeted the sunny morning.
I opened the curtains. Change,
and a day of fine grey rain
moving slowly to cold night.
l close the blinds and curtains.
Outside, a fragment of birdsong.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Elfje Variant

winter flowers
pink and white
like delicate Spring blossoms —


A rainbow pennant flies
from the corner of the street
marking the entrance to town.

'Peace and pennants', she wished us,
joking (not 'peace and pennance').

And there on the café sign behind it
a painted lotus blossoms, its petals
open to the light ... a symbol of peace.

She does good wishing, that woman!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


sudden blooms
on the vine
over my back fence

Having just discovered the Dutch form, elfje, had to have a go! For more information: http://simplyelfje.wordpress.com/

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Visible Sound

The wooden elephant
carved and painted
in lines of gold on black
is exaggeratedly narrow 
from chest to tail.

The legs are impossibly
tall and straight.
The head's thrown back,
ears falling long, and the trunk
raised high to the sky.

'I can hear him trumpeting,'
Andrew says. I look
and yes, the sound
is clarion. 'How joyous,'
I add, 'How triumphant!'

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tree Poems

Moving in the Breeze

I'm not the first to see
that the trees' bare branches
are like slender arms —

but I see this
as if for the first time 



One old, thick trunk
among the more recent
and more delicate ...

from its solid width
the lowest boughs
extend like wings —

strong wings
of guardian angels.

The roots are spreading as far
as the tips of the topmost leaves.


I enrolled in the Writing and Spiritual Practice course because I want an oasis, a space only for me. Late at night, I read the first questions and exercises. After awhile I notice I am sucking my thumb. I did that when I was a child. It gave me self-comfort and deep contentment.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Frog on the Pane

The window-frog
half the length of my thumb
has a pale underside
and littlle green toe-pads 
like pin-heads.

(Written 28 Nov. 2011 and just rediscovered.)