go collect a bucket
taut elastic skin
snaps and recoils
under pressure of
with sticky feet
deep and true
all the way
Today we https://dversepoets.com poets are playing with food. Thanks Misky for a prompt that has me re-savouring my favourite fruit.
is all slick and wet
her long hair in her eyes
she has been hit
by an idiot
drunk driving by
roams idly by
sees the girl on the ground
He looks at her
then realises what he has found
breathes in gasps
as blood pools under her back
She looks up sees Romeo
last look last love
as limbs go slack
not much you know
but this time
things are different
He wipes the hair from glazed eyes
and wonders where
her life went
rises above the scene
She watches Romeo
He cradles her head
gently in his lap
He whimpers out a moan
struck by love’s full fist
his only love has gone
He whines he weeps
at his loss
Death into his soul creeps
bears final witness to
Romeo’s last testament
“Did my heart truly love till now?”
For the first time
he knows what love meant
“Good night Good night”
“Thus with a kiss I too die”
He declares to her
death pale face
bends his head down
tenderly brushes her cold lips
with his own
he lets her head down
lightly beside him
as he lies quietly beside her
takes her right hand
with his left
from his pocket
retrieves a knife
meant for other men
he eases the blade
between his ribs
it finds his broken heart
As blood pools under his back
his life is also gone
utters one last cry of grief
before she disappears
or was that one last cry of relief
in hope he reappears
for never was there a story of more woe
than this of Juliet and her Romeo
Two women sit under a thatched roof supported by rafters coarse wood brown smiling and chatting together Chickens scratch at the edge of their shelter a bold shiny colourful rooster a big shiny black hen
Their surroundings are a circular patch dry dusty earth red small mud brick dwellings define a perimeter orange The late autumn day is lit by a cold sun of clean blue light
One woman sits above the other higher she is perched Her long thin legs hang over a shallow edge a rug covered platform She is the older in a thick faded purple dress a pullover yellow is topped with a scarf white around her neck Her head is swaddled in a woollen wrap crimson it frames a face sun lit, weathered and aged by decades of labour
Spaces such as this fields such as she can choose to see at anytime will forever be green and brown She gazes pensively across open communal space She ponders her past with pleasure and regret she speaks of things new old, deep and trivial Her arthritic hands clasped in a lap of gratitude flesh Her battered Nike sneakers peek out from the long layers of fabric above grey and yellow her face is calm Her future as it will be
The younger sits cross legged a woven mat under her strung tan Together cultivating lines of okra drying under sheltering eaves ragged shadows of indigo host hangings vertically in bright green coloured lengths unclasped necklaces ornaments of metres adorn the space with a decorative interior that creates a sense coming festivity The drying shed colours the day, the place it’s people making according to the crop a pride of place for transient prettiness and implications security, work well done
Here for generations other younger women have sat for hours days post harvest preparing sustaining products of manual fieldwork multi hued for deep grey winter consumption Her dress is brighter golds magentas her hands are as yet unaffected by the gnarly growths destined by labour She repeats centuries old weaving patterns confidently efficiently unhurried listening quietly thoughtfully respectfully
Tales of the past wash over her black and white through her as water of life in delicate pastels as hope as comfort She knows here there are will be still lessons to be gleaned conversation the reflections of her elder The younger a willing learner of a quasi meditative state borne soft pink by the methodical repetitious nature of her work it is was as surely known the best way for learning lessons by the word of her people successes and failures myth legend retelling that never ceases to inform warm warn entertain and delight
There is comfort in the learning a knowing that all the natural obstacles over which there is little control life will continue on on on There is no question about how time is to be spent day by day this is dictated by seasons culture necessity green yellow brown grey
There is no concept of time ticking away each day is known-quantity where choice is limited but colour rich life is sometimes unpredictable dangerous set fluid simple giving and taking with impunity Time has no measure life itself opaque
Two women commune as did two before them back it goes into the dark blue of distance where many women become every one sitting together, stringing up green okra another part of every year’s never ending rainbow
They told me about her hair before I met her. It was green. I thought it the best hair I’d ever seen. The fall of her locks topped long flowing frocks that ran neck to toe as they swept the ground clean.
In bare feet so she walked or sashayed I should say her hair bounced away like gentle waves of the sea.
In long flowing robes from her head to her toes luminous bright green and shimmering a sheen, she moved as one supple, undulating dream.
Her hips that were square rolled sensually there under rippling fabric I deemed. Her shoulders carried smoothly. Her pose held beautifully. Her skin smooth as polished gold. Her head held proud, and defiantly bold.
Her face was of grace framed in fine green lace at the edges of the green hood folded around her neck. From the dripping sleeves of her gown, where long hands emerged brown, slender fingers completed the scene.
Bright brown eyes looked curiously around, ‘til she stopped, tall and sure image of a noble queen. She had turned toward me. I, the watcher was seen, and I found myself bound to the tall brown woman in green.
In the darkness there is fear of
what we do not know where
moonlit silhouettes change
frequented pathways through
to unfamiliar tunnels hooded
by shadows obscured
by gloom alive
with the colourless and hidden
In black night confusion
and disorientation assert
themselves by seeding doubt
Insubstantial surroundings draw an
inky deception across the known
world where that latent but
ever present dread of
losing our way will always prevail
Today, the dVerse challenge was from Linda to pick one line from a Jim Harrison poem and use it as an epigraph for a poem inspired by that line. I chose, “Yes, in the predawn black the slim slip of the waning moon.”- Remote Friends, Jim Harrison. https://dversepoets.com/2022/01/25/poetics-songs-of-unreason/
I seek to find the tree
where and when I find it
I will know it for its role in my life
spirit connecting totem
white fella dreaming me
my original culture kit
equipped for consumption and strife
for directionless floating
missing address of life’s mystery
missing where I fit
cut from “other” as with a knife
finished as animate factotum
I seek the key
in nature’s remit
to open the door of relief
to release my soul forgotten
I walk the bush incessantly
search nature’s bridge exquisite
in enduring mortal grief
to reveal immortal heart re-woken
where entity is true and free
where body and soul will sit
with cup and bowl I turn new leaf
full of love and hoping
I was recently asked to deliver these photos of gorgeous droplets after a sustained misting rain – taken at our place a while back. I haven’t had much time for writing lately and thought these might be a good blog alternative to the written word until I get back to it. I hope you like them.
Sustenance, sustenance The needs of my family, the very future depend on my Hunter’s skill Tracking is the game ignoring the baubles for the meat persevering when hope is lost When perseverance is the only hope to find
As I cross the threshold between sunshine and artificial light where my flaming torch of knowledge and experience must keep me lit alert to fallacy and trickery Nevertheless it dulls against intensely bright competition These high ceilinged vaults as if starlit with halogen and diode I find it hard to distinguish whether inflamed or extinguished my very own light flares or fades As does the light of knowledge or critical elements of judgement
This is a brilliantly ominous hole in real space This dead centre of comsupmtion Of glow worms on mirrored walls of perverted fairy lights created by evil spirit I cross a sinister boundary into a world of corruption temptation and reduction The world is rendered thus
The cavernous halls of this space daunt Its glittering stalactites drip luminously sweet waters impure as added sweeteners can illicit over gem encrusted subterranean alcoves and niches Where false gods are worshipped Where diamonds turn to glass Where purchase is neither with foot nor by hand But by extraction and brand Burning into pockets through means of exchange where the purpose of this cave becomes revealed Although, still not to the naive, the gullible and the willing
Yet I stand strong Resolute by my informed knowing I conquer foreboding fear held at bay by the most fragile resilience and I buy in
I buy big I buy small I buy all the things I want at the Mall Until I can but no longer As these halls previously mapped have seen the bounds of my credit card zapped Gotta get out before ruin befalls My Christmas spree buying One day for it all
Today’s prompt comes from Dora. In the context of the Crazy Christmas season she suggests, ….. “imagine a moment of pausing, a still point of epiphany.” dVerse
Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. When I first read about forest bathing the cynic in me scoffed, “Jeezus, how many gimmicky ideas can humanity come up with?” As curious as it may appear, I have reevaluated the matter. Why? Well, it was an accident really.
In reading the aforementioned book by Bill Bailey I learnt more. It was the Japanese Government that validated shinrin-yoku in the 1980s. After research confirmed the hypothesis that forest walkers experienced significantly less stress and anxiety than urban walkers, the idea became a public health policy. Hence the very real, legitimate and officially mandated practice of shinrin-yoku, forest bathing or put more simply absorbing the atmosphere of the forest.
I learnt this with a little embarrassment because I have clearly been a shinrin-yoku practitioner for years. Walking and cycling in the bush have long been favourite pastimes, as soothing to the mind and cleansing of the soul as anything I can imagine. I realise now I have practiced forest bathing and even refined the practice. My own specialised sub discipline will now be called forest basking. This is where I find myself paused, stationary, sometimes mid step, sometimes sitting, sometimes lying down looking either up, across or down, grinning, goggling or gasping or all three at once, in awe at nature’s beauty and evolutionary accomplishments.
I am no shirin-yoku guru or forest bathing shaman, but I am an advocate by default because I do my best to promote these wonderful activities publicly and widely. Why? Because if they are good for individual lifestyle and well-being they are good for societal wellbeing. If shinrin-yoku encourages people into positive low impact forest experiences those people become advocates for the forest and habitat gets improved as well. And who doesn’t want such a desirable set of outcomes from the simple act of taking some time out in the forest?
We first lived together below Tawonga Gap beneath mountains capped with snow
In a Happy Valley cottage by a valley threading creek, the Happy Valley flow
Where trout could be watched hunting or basking below the surface
And rocks were smoothed and sandy beds were lit by sunny luminance
It met the Ovens River at the bottom of our hills
Joining other tributary waters of mountain rivers, creeks and rills
Where the crystal waters ran clean, clear and bright
Where the snow melt chilled the river deep to summer’s great delight
We shared an abandoned cottage dusted off for our loving residence
After approaching the farmer about its rental and to make his acquaintance
That small cottage at the bottom of a gully became our first home
With surrounding hills and mountains our romantic place to roam
Where the land about us and its occupants were both so ancient and so old
And the farmer who was born there had so many stories to be told
The days were long our backs were strong as we stepped outside the door
And the fruits of our labour on the block fed us more and more
We took the offered chook manure from the empty runs out back
Enriched the soil, dug the beds, sowed farmer’s seeds, we did not lack
The planted seedlings turned to vegetables as if by magic overnight
Their abundance when we harvested fed us and friends heartily every night
The dairy herd had long since gone and beef were the local stock
But one house cow remained for butter and milk beside the dairy block
Daily hand squeezed from her teats was milk so creamy and rich
It was hard to drink, and harder to say we thought we couldn’t stomach it
We had to tell the farmer not to deliver each and every morn
But he was good he understood stopped delivering without scorn
At days end an historic long tin bath bathed us once water was heated hot
Soothing us and cleaning us of grime and sweat gathered on the plot
The back step was the place to sit for weaving, sewing and repair
The hammock was the place to hang and relax either alone or as a pair
To hear the wind, to feel the still, to think and to contemplate
To reflect on the newness of life together, the pleasures to appreciate
And now forty years on I still think back gratefully to that time
With certainty of knowing here were the foundations of a life together
This life of yours and mine
on the phone they’re lacking
basic social grace
they are in your face
if wanted or not
their conversation is everywhere
like a worm that twists deep inside your ear
shared across public space
on public transport
in public parkland
with not a thought to public courtesy
private calls aired I do not care to share
Today’s dVerse prompt is from Lisa. She asks us to present a Quatorzain poem (a 14 line poem not necessarily a sonnet) in Duodora form as follows: 2 septets for which Line 1 repeats. Syllable counts per line are 4, 6, 5, 5, 5, 10, 10. Quite tricky! The subject is to speak to a human attribute that is particularly irritating to you with a Halloween or Samhain theme.
Wildflowers. Spring is a nice time of year for many reasons. A plain, field, forest or reserve full of Australian native species is hard to beat. Today I visited the smallish metro Bungalook Conservation Reserve looking for wildflowers. There was plenty happening. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. I hope you enjoy this natural world gallery of many good things only.
Oh happy day, coming out of lockdown to gather for the first time with three generations of our newly extended immediate family. Seeing the fatigued but over the moon parents adoring and learning every minute something new about their days old daughter. Witnessing the unbridled happiness of the new Grandma and Aunties as they emotionally engage with our immaculate new cherub.
We all hold her and smile at her and laugh at how fresh and sometimes awkward and beautiful we are with this tiny new presence amongst us as we make funny faces and soft cooing and baby talk noises and hold her out and hold her in looking her up looking her down oohing and aahing with blissful amazement.
And she takes it all on her own terms dozing, occasionally peering into our faces (we like to think), practicing various facial expressions for future reference, gracing us with something we like to call a smile, mouthing for the breast when she is ready and crying if delivery isn’t fast enough.
Seeing our children with a grandchild, their mother and their partners happily together after what feels like an age apart, talking, smiling, laughing, just loving each other all over again. I smile on the outside, smile on the inside, my very pores turn into micro smiles.
Bearded Iris blooms. Even year I look forward to perusing the Iris flowers as they bloom across our various rhizome clumps. My Grandfather had a whole backyard full of them. He cross bred, cut and spliced in a decades long attempt to breed an original. Although he never succeeded he took great pride in the quest.
As his small grandson, I would be subject to instruction on the various attributes of his favourites. I can still remember the ones with peach and apricot hues that I thought were pretty and special. I still have the set of small scalpels, spatulas and tweezers he used for dissecting and cross pollinating.
In the off season, I would get to enjoy the fallow patches being rested for next season’s plantings. The sandy grey soil was ideally mouldable for designing and constructing large townships through which I drove toy cars and above which I flew toy planes, before ravaging them with troops of merciless toy soldiers and destructive machines of war.
In so doing, it was not uncommon for me to dig up ancient lead MIAs and other paraphealia from a previous age – when my father and uncles played the same games before me.
My wife and I moved into the house after my grandfather died. Our son and daughter followed to play in sandpits in the same backyard, but with less ruthlessness.
We dug up the hundreds of, possibly thousands, of Iris rhizomes as we returned the backyard to a more diverse and recreational space. In turn these were bagged and distributed to friends, family and workplaces across the city. I like to think of them as a pleasurable legacy, still growing in unanticipated locations. Maybe even being passed on again to new generations as they continue to multiply and flourish.
These are the toughest of plants. When at their best they are also the most easily damaged. They do well in poor soil and conditions, survive frosts, can largely be left to fend for themselves. Then every Spring for a few brief weeks they flower in splendour. Such beautiful blooms on close inspection they stimulate wonder. Such tall flower spikes topped with such colourful blooms they should not be ignored. And yet, they are often ignored. They remain such a fragile thing. If you don’t appreciate them immediately at full bloom they are like to be gone the next time you look, weatherbeaten by either wind or rain. Turned into a torn, ragged mess with little shape or form.
Great beauty is such a transient condition in living things. So often taken for granted before appreciated – and then gone. Irises remind me to take the time to appreciate.
This is the fourth in a series of metro public transport based walks I am mapping for Victoria Walks walkingmaps. The idea is that people who either do not have cars or don’t want to use cars to get to walking locations can catch a bus or train there and back instead.
Peer Gynt Suite: Prelude to Act IV (Morning mood), Edvard Grieg (1843 -1907). This mesmerising classical music masterpiece captures the romantic aesthetic of a sunrise so completely it interrupts whatever I am doing when I hear it. Immediately the flute begins I experience the beginning of an aural dawning as if present. This calming, tranquil expression of the golden period in a new day is profound.