Basil had finally arrived
in Arizona dreaming
of repeating Krakow nights
with his saffron love,
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
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.
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.
Such a turbulent, pitiless, brutal battering.
This powerful storm wind pushes relentlessly through
the defenceless trees of the creek.
It lashes most at the isolated and vulnerable,
stripping them bare of grey green winter cloaks,
whipping the fabric of canopies to ragged threads,
blasting layers of protective cladding away into a roaring tempest.
This scouring wind probes incessantly for weakness,
fissures in the gnarly bark skins,
cracks in the very bones of each noble specimen
mercilessly exposing deficiencies
as it flails and lays bare its victims
with neither remorse nor respite.
Over extended over and over, flawed limbs fail first
fracture, snap and drop.
Crowns too heavy with water shake and quiver.
Sodden feet lose their grip on the world.
Once stately trunks twist, rock, waver, shudder
And the sound of the final defeat is an explosive crack,
the collapse a mighty crash,
and the thud at the end is dead.
For today’s dVerse poetics Sarah prompted us to think and write about the elements. I chose air/wind because I often find myself contemplating the fierceness of a storm’s breath as it can turn the tranquility of our peaceful riparian zone into a deadly maelstrom.
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.
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
1. The Blues Brothers Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. If Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and The Blues Brothers can’t make you want to shake a tail feather – nothing can. Music makes my day, every day.
2. A fresh celery stick smeared with crunchy peanut butter along its middle. Groovy!
3. Watching seedlings grow in the greenhouse. I had forgotten how fascinating it is to plant a seed, check it regularly, see it emerge and leaf. Such an everyday occurrence and yet so incredible.
4. Taking the time to get informed and then complete a significant survey with objectivity. I am confident the Euroa underpass surpasses the overpass. The Euroa Connect volunteers have done a very professional job of campaigning accordingly.
5. Removing a scourge of our bushland – Blackberries. Here, and in many parts of Australia, there are no constraints on their growth. They can smother vast tracts of indigenous flora. This particular work has been four years in the making. It felt so good to finally start mulching these dead canes. Once this area along the Seven Creeks is revegetated it is going to look its natural self and amazing once again!