About seanatbogie

Life has value when you choose to be interested and active.

My first American sentence

Deep, deep in the forest where man is not known there is no good or bad.

  1. One line
  2. Seventeen syllables
  3. Condensed, no unnecessary words or articles
  4. Includes a turn or enlightenment

Thank you David Ben Alexander (and Allen Ginsberg) for alerting me to new forms of haiku.

Greens Hill Walk, Winton Wetlands

I am currently mapping walks in the extensive Winton Wetlands. Greens Hill is one of my favourites. See the full Victoria Walks walkingmaps version here: Greens Hill Walk

Heron Loop Walk, Winton Wetlands

The most recent walk from my work for Winton Wetlands. For the full Victoria Walks version use this link: Heron Loop Walk

Woodland Walk, Winton Wetlands

The most recent walk I have mapped in Winton Wetlands. View the full version on Victoria Walks walkingmaps here: Woodland Walk

Colours of the seasons

My colour was autumn 
in a fading colour kind of way
as I scrambled for more time
as time slipped away

then my colour was winter
cold bleak and grey
the shortening of daylight
gave more night than day

when my colour was spring
and more light filled the air
I felt for a green time
my happiness was there

but my colour became summer
coming in bright yellow hues
til the landscapes went dry
sun extracted summer dues

now my colour is a rainbow
arching over seasons
casting no shadow
coloured joy without reason

Spicing it up

Basil had finally arrived
in Arizona dreaming
of repeating Krakow nights
with his saffron love,
Garam Masala.

After leaving sunny Paris
they had spent thyme 
watching Tuscan sunsets
before mulling spices
into a mural of flavour 
for adding some Aleppo pepper
to their long awaited reunion.

Laced with dill,
pickled appetisers set
a savouring mood 
for their evening

Cumin, coriander paprika
zatar and mustard seeds
ensured the main meal
was saucy, spicy and hot.

Sea salt, lemon grass 
fennel and sesame seeds
added potentcy to the salad

Nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla
heightened their senses
throughout dessert.

By the end of the meal
they were ravenous
for the after dinner mints.

Merril set this week’s dVerse prompt for we poets to spice things up using at least three of twenty-five listed herbs, spices, flavors, and spice combinations. For a bit of fun, I chose to cook up something that used them all.

Any door every door

One of the strange houses of Lee Madgwick

Today’s dVerse prompt was to undertake a very interesting ekphrastic challenge from Sarah. Sarah asked we dVerse poets to choose one of five fascinating images created by UK artiist Lee Madgwick . I chose the image displayed above.

How many times do you step through a door and
that decision changes the course of your life?
How many times?

You step through a door and
whether you know which way you are going or not
that decision changes the course of your life.
Many times.

You look through open doors and glass doors and
the view beyond each threshold can look better
much better with broad vistas of more promise 
than the narrow one in which you are standing.
You are a stand in
many, some days, every time.
How many times do you go through these doors
to where the grass is greener?
Many times.

You look through closed doors, opaque, the cracks and 
keyholes of doors
to wild skies of threatening, black clouds, heavy and 
threatening cloud banks of stormy weather
oppressive and threatening with worse to come
you know it will be worse for at least a time
many, some days, every time.
But still, consider.
How many times do you go through these doors?
Many times.

How do you choose which door opens 
to the best passage for the rest of your life?
The green of desire or of envy,
the passing black of fear or courage?
There are no obvious silver linings.
The lines are not clear.
Can you say your lines?
Your lines are not clear.
There are no obvious wishes to guide you.
Your wishes are not clear.
Can you articulate your wishes?
When will you wish honesty for yourself?
When honesty is a necessity?
Don’t close that door.

When is the right time?
Or the right place?
Or do you bother to choose at all?
When the right door opens for you?
Even when no choice is always a choice and
change will come regardless.
Change will come.
You know this.
Do you know this well enough by
understanding there is only luck at play?
Only luck is at play.
Do you know this?
You might not know this.

How often do those doors that are closed to you and 
blank with no offerings
get ignored because there is no obvious gain for you?
You walk past new worlds of wonder and peril everyday.
All the time.
Any door every door any time every time.
Every step is a decision.
Every decision is one to please, regret, grieve or rejoice. 
At the time or
in time.

But, you never know and
that is the reason for looking at doors
any door and every door
and always wondering about going through
into some place else. 
It should never be otherwise because
time is linear and time is limited.
All doors are only one door 
any door every door
in front of you when and where ever you are. 

And each door has its own nature
protecting you from the elements
or exposing you
locking you in 
locking you out
shutting quietly behind you 
slamming in your face 
creaking with foreboding or
letting in the fresh air.

You my be attracted by doors to the light.
It seeps in around the edges and under the woodwork and
you think to be in the light must be a good
place to be, you cross that threshold.
That threshold will be crossed.
to find a good place to be,
And sometimes it is a desert, a blazing sun, a hot, dry furnace and 
you retreat desperate with thirst, burned and changed.
Other times it is a moonlit field and you run through the soft green grass
before realising you have strayed enough to
never return to be the same person.
Does either door scare you?
Are you scared?
Hope is the latch, fear is the key.
Finding a way to use them
is finding a way to be.
You never have to stray far from yourself to change.
Crossing that threshold is no distance at all.
One that can take you al long way.
Crossing that threshold.
You are changed forever every time.
Many times.

Any door every door any time every time
go through. 
You change so the world changes
You change me and everyone else irrevocably.
You change us all.
All of us change.
Neither you nor I, neither will we and 
us ever be the same we, you and I.
For passing through any door every time will change 
us here and now in time.
The person you thought I was is no longer mine.
The person I thought was you is no longer in time.
The world changes instantly every time without design.
We pass through many doors many times.

How many times do you step through a door and
that decision changes the course of your life?
How many times?

You step through a door and
whether you know which way you are going or not
that decision changes the course of your life.
Many times.

Yorta Yorta Yarning and Gathering Pathway (Sculpture Walk), Winton Wetlands

A special walk that adds to the wonderful outdoor public art collection at Winton Wetlands. You can view the full version and artist details here: Lotjpatj Natjan Danak

Pioneer Mine Walk, Mitta Mitta

I loved this walk through an ancient revegetating open cut gold mine near Mitta Mitta. The atmosphere was one of enchantment.

You can find the map and descriptions here: Pioneer Mine Walk

Lake Benalla walk

Another recent publication on walkingmaps is Lake Benalla walk. I have walked this 5k circuit several times and always find it pleasing and interesting. The diversity of experiences and observations is very impressive. You will find the link to the map of the walk and descriptions after the gallery.

Click the link to visit the walk: Lake Benalla walk

Benalla Botanical Gardens walk

My new walkingmaps project is Benalla Rural City and surrounds. Benalla Botanical Gardens walk has something for everyone. I often stop by the Art Gallery to enjoy some of the wonderful exhibitions. The playground is great fun for kids. The gardens are a pleasure to stroll. I took the photographs in autumn and winter.

From now, I will start by including a gallery of my favourite images taken on each walk, followed by a link to the published map and details.

You can find the walking map here: Benalla Botanical Gardens walk

Choice

this is a prosaic story about choice, choice is thirteen. choice is growing up in a fairly well to do neighbourhod. she has all the things the other options in the street enjoy, a neat house built by free willy (her dad), an allocated amount of pocket money in return for contributing to keeping the house ship shape (as her dad always says), three meals a day chosen by responsibility (her mum), a bike for moving around her immediate environs (which she has never extended) and an obligation called obligation (her pet black cat with a collar and tinkling bell to warn away the birds).

choice likes her life. it is predictable and secure and fun and she never has to worry about what to do next because there is always free willy, responsibility or obligation to let her know.

the other options in the street are pretty much the same. they go to school to learn how to behave away from home, they join clubs and play sport to understand how to be organised and they sleep comfortably tucked into warm beds with soft toys and billowing duvets and down filled pillows and electric blankets for the colder nights.

they all think waffles for breakfast are a delightful Sunday treat and one hour of tv each night is enough to keep them talking all the morning after. it never occurs to any of them life could be any different.

then one night something different happens anyway. choice feels it in a change of the wind, a new taste in the air, she feels it when she wakes at 2.36am to cramps and a bitter chill that makes her turn up her electric blanket. something is not right and she squirms and twists fitfully in bed for the rest of the night such that she wakes to a crisp bright sunny morning exhausted and grumpy for the first time - only to look out her window and see old mr routine next door being wheeled out to an ambulance never to be seen again.

the new neighbours come from some other place. they play a lot of music and always seem to be fixing and constructing in their backyard, their front yard and their house. choice can see an easel in the bay window opposite her room and a mess of paints and palettes scattered around. choice feels very uncomfortable about this. she knows proper people are always neat and tidy, careful and predictable. she and her family avoid these disruptive new people. free willy and responsibility say they don’t want choice introduced to anything or anyone who might be a bad influence.

at school choice sees the new boy from next door. he is in the next year and he also looks untidy, but whenever he is around choice can’t take her eyes off him. he moves differently, acts differently, speaks differently and when he turns her way it feels like he looks into her instead of at her. choice experiences uncertainty for the first time in her life. this boy unsettles her in ways she hasn’t felt before.

days go by, choice making no choices, just being choice, except she finds herself looking for the boy at every opportunity. find him she does like a a bee finds a flower. she finds those deep grey eyes swinging toward her as if he knows she is looking, as if he wants her to be looking.

without knowing it choice begins to find reasons to be outside in the street more often, obligation gets a leash, the bike gets ridden more than ever, a daily constitutional becomes a health necessity, chores start to be delayed or missed altogether, other options are no longer considered of worth.

then it happens and nothing is ever the same. he is waiting for her at the gate after school. would she mind if they walk home together? they are holding hands in minutes without knowing how or when, they are talking without pause, laughing and listening in wonder. at his house to say good bye he brushes her cheek with his lips. his hand lingers. she never wants him to let go and choice finalises the choice she doesn’t even know she is making. every future choice flows from there and then.

This week the dVerse prompt comes from Christopher Reilly. It is about choice. I chose to write a poem, but I couldn’t make it stick. It turned into prose, a short story and that happened, so here it is.

Good Things Only #16

OK, so it’s a beautiful morning. Cold, about 1 degree when I got up. Just a touch of frost. The grass is very green and I can’t see a cloud in a very blue and crisp winter sky. The air is sharp, crystal and the light breeze has a bite that penetrates. Nonetheless (I love that word), it is a beautiful morning with the stripped bare deciduous trees revealed in their all their steak naked glory and the evergreen indigenous trees contrastingly clad in their full, puffed up grey green winter coats. It is a beautiful morning. It is silent except for the gentle rustle of that surprisingly penetrating soft wind. Oh, and the always there hushed background tumbling sounds of water spilling and falling, running and spinning, turbulent and dashing over flat granite shelves into rocky hollows and against small stray boulders pushed along by the intermittent pressure waves of variable winter flows as they surge with irregularity down the creek. It is a beautiful morning.

Against the cold I am wearing my favourite jumper. There is no heater on, just the layers of clothes capped by this marvellously insulating and cosy thickness of wool are keeping me warm. Lovingly knitted by my loving wife, it only really gets a look at the world in winter. It is too warm most of the time for wear in other seasons. I think that is what makes it all the more special. The built in love and warmth reflect its specialised purpose.

It is big and old, enveloping, creamy and embossed. These days it is a little on the stretched, sagging and droopy side (giving it a 10 on the affection scale – which as everyone knows is the top score for a jumper). It sort of hangs around me rather than is worn by me. In fact it could be called an affectionate jumper. The first of its kind and a quality to be aspired to and emulated by all knitters who learn of it.

The crew neck now has a cute little “V” shape from under which diverse collars can peek. Otherwise the knitting has held its pattern for years, making it sort of tight and loose at the same time. I love the detail of its repetition. This jumper has character. Maybe it even is a character in its own right. Yes, i think that is right, it has become a character in the story of my life because I have an emotional attachment to this jumper. We belong together. And that’s the way I like it.