Monthly Archives: January 2014

Candy

With a genteel nature, unless aroused to defence this lady may be weary with age, but loving eyes sparkling in Topaz blue, follow her daughter – accepting the teasing of youth. 

Petite and so proper she speaks softly in reply when questioned, holding forth as queen of her realm.

The dignity of her years is disturbed only by the wheezing of bad health and thus a need for her medication. 

Early mornings after breakfast she soaks up the sunshine in a walk for fresh air and then naps after cleaning up. 

Tea is a quiet affair – unless there are visitors to keep her on the run; not retiring to bed – until the rest of us do. 

Then she curls up in bed under lamplight, perched over the paper. Mind you – if I awaken through the night and sneak downstairs for a snack or drink, there she’ll be following behind, chiding me till my return ! 

A protective influence we would be lost without her, our very own, Djarawong Sugar floss Candy, Siamese seal point baby – my child’s guardian and my best friend.

I now  know you have found peace in another realm 

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Jenni

Always on the lookout for visitors to my unit, is the self confessed ” Mrs Jessop ” of Callaghan St. Jenni casually cruised into my life when she introduced herself as the neighbour whom lived in the first unit. Taking over with genuine warmth she was a born comedian who could always see the lighter side of life.  With a flair for bargains and things unusual and a nose for information, she was always matching up goods with people. Like the curtains she found at $ 2.00 a drop for my naked windows one day. 

At 5 foot 10 and with an expansive frame this jovial giant of a woman still vibrates energy wherever she goes. Lacking willpower, my offers of only one mint chocolate per coffee would see her hesitate with etiquette. She did later confess, at home she never kept biscuits – ”  because one biscuit would always lead to another ” and thus the entire packet’s demise.

With such a fluctuating attention span, I’ve realized her need for variety, people and movement, so I  forgave her for not visiting as often as she once did.

Though teary sentimental over the ideals of love and old films; an innate fear of being tied down still sees her alone bar for her child – though lovers still try to restrict her.

Unfortunately tactless at times, enjoying a gossip for it’s sake alone, she has come to grief with neighbours. But then, Jen’s a survivor, the orphanage saw to that. So when I’m ready to scowl at her laughter being too loud, I look beyond the moment and realize the pain of an unfiltered life.

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?

Knocking for sales, amongst a thriving industrial suburban district, my next visit was to a ramshackle dwelling; tenaciously clinging to life like a stain on a new Sunday dress.

Front door open to a neglected interior, oozing a musty stench of decay, I called out for invite to enter.

Torn Lino floorboards creaked insidiously, as wallpaper strips ripped in the wind – a howling echo, haunting and hollow.

Rooted, with intrigued gaze, I reeled to attention at her appearance. 

The woman was an apparition as grim as the house. Straggly grey hair, sprawled like a mat of rot, flew from her face in the wind.

Her skin a sagging garment of parchment – wasted and threadbare, as her dress, clung to a skeletal frame, against the wind.

Opaque eyes honed with mistrust tried to pierce through my mission.

My fear, now a rapid fire pitch, crowded her senses and so her harsh croak of rejection, relieved my departure.

Stunned, I scampered back to the safety of noise and pollution – an affirmation of Life. 

Once on the pavement, I stole myself for a backward glance and my comfort sank; for the sinister scrag and her house was now as bewildered a  grimace of weeds –

as was my confusion.

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Hidden truths

By accident I stumbled across the shoe repair shop hidden in an alley, behind an arcade. Popping in more out of curiosity than need I saw him limping to his table, another shoe collected turn to face his machine and me.

The thick accent in his welcome greeting betrayed a Slavic heritage, though artefacts represented a German’s character.

Proudly Prussian by birth, his beliefs against war and pro socialism, were echoed by a prison camp childhood and witnessed by book lined shelves. Writings from Engels, Lenin and Marx shouldered brown paper packages awaiting their owners.

While Solzhenitsyn echoed his sadness from the counter, where the book lay open. 

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There, just inside the doorway the sentinel stood, silently upholding whatever was flung at it.

A hat rack soiled and dusty – except for it’s brush with headgear.

The support at it’s base stained from years of battering, it’s floor sprouting sporting paraphernalia and mingled aromas. A slovenly sight representing years of commitment to pleasure above all else

. All the hat and caps held a story.

The dusty Akubra had crowned a Rodeo Queen, whom still loved horses and boots. The baseball cap smelt of a tomboy – competitive still; whilst the fashionable swim cap and goggles figured in a twelve year old’s life, when boy’s were the rage.

Dad’s sweat decayed Panama always on gardening duty, as ubiquitous as dad amongst his vegetables was in literal juxtaposition to the handsome Pith helmet his son wore in Polo matches. And just as white, the cricket hat hung in testimony to a younger lad’s devotion to cricket. But the most ironic of all, just had to be the hat used for fishing – complete with stylised fly. As comfortable a charm as the sea-dog herself – Mum.

 

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January 27, 2014 · 5:19 am

To be sure to be sure

Shuttered windows flung open revealed a fresh, sunlit kitchen. Flitting about the clean clutter of crockery, baskets of vegetables  fruit freshly picked and utensils was Bridget. Mulligatawny was stewing on the wood fired stove whilst Bridget broke up the honeycomb and soaked rags in onion juice – for her great grand-children’s colds. Tullamore Dew competed with a proliferation of preserves,pickles and jams on the open shelving next to drying herbs; all neatly arrayed.

And beyond, displayed prominently, hand painted plates hung as loving testimony from grandchildren twenty years previous, to their own parenting. As a testament to their roots and hers – a cross-stitch embroidery sampler framed their Irish heritage in historic proof to their being. But pride of place overlooking her devoted protege stood the Virgin Mary  fresh flowers at her feet.

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To See

Dark and dank hidden amongst modern skyscrapers the library retreated into the past as it receded from exposure.

Once inside, the dust floated on errant sunbeams highlighting the shine of oft turned pages frayed at the edges. 

There he sat soaking up spiritualism, fervently hoping to find a lead, an opening; a way to convey this inspiration to others. 

To pull them back to traditional values. To show them this 21st century was a dangerous time, without a principled heart.

Thus had his eyesight gone.not wanting to face the future, it too had receded – retreating into his soul, the past and his hopeless longings; shrinking back to whence it came – a tortured soul.

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Old thoughts Anew

Seconds of Dew tears adorn

falling flake petals which carpet hours with minutes.

But hours slide through Day’s grasping fingers and Days now run into weeks.

Months in relay race forward to taped years.

As ageing decades sieve tears forlorn

hands recede to folds on brittle sonnets

As past memories in strength do peak –

with sadness then recede within, to the Spirit of one’s peers.

 

 

 

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Just pretend

As I sit at my uncle’s desk – he asleep with the radio on.

Water gurgles in continued drip.

My aunt now cleans adorned in apron –

while my cousin now sleeps, her beau the soccer results does tip.

The sun does shine – but its rays refract,

like my spirit once  free  but now bound by self in apprehensive pact.

An errant  breeze carries aromas of  Italian life

and a faraway fear begins to dawn – he may see me and I’ll be in strife.

Cool caresses thrill my being and words cannot paint a melting sunset.

Black pronged fences hold it back – tall blocks of plastered paint,

conglomerates of colours and  disorganised order well met.

Combed land full of white – the green now quaint.

Misty beginnings,clouded pictures,straits of ripples

Hands mould the abdomen and she bows her head.

Tension cold contracts her nipples.

Stomach bellows in mires of vomit, brain smells a fatigue that she dreads.

Senses lose their control, and as her eyes close all sounds intensify.

The smell of heat clouds the adenoids and she thinks how slowly she dies.

Her book back at home, her current dependence –

head throbbing stealthily, thinking of  past freedoms a dilemma of credence.

Where she never belonged – to which jigsaw now lost, her place non existent.

A feeling of freedom – but with the fantasy gone oppression too real, a clouded vision is leant.

And as I heard my name called fear leapt into my heart –

for as I turned from  the window  – a familiar sound preceded his form as a dart.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pure doves on palmed terraces -’73

I’m not bored – but when I return a duty will impinge on my dulled senses.

I’m not crying to God – but to within, honing the lenses.

I can do it ! But my lethargy has turned to stagnation –

must not allow it to seep into resignation.

A prisoner in this faraway house – not home

and when alone in conflict  for I am not free to roam –

to run to the rooftop and proclaim a mind momentarily free

for he might return – and I cannot escape the pretence  – the conformity to be.

Funny – I could leap from this window, but how would I climb up again ?

Two floors down  and my bones then broken helpless their strength to regain.

 Nerves in shock, brains spilt, sliding through cracks.

How to collect myself and put it all back ?

Such sadness at viewing those free from this tyranny –

cats stretching in rhythm to sunshine – playing in frenzy.

I should not think forlorn since they too are trapped.

though naive to the confines as mapped.

I’m tired, I cannot find peace

– just think of those damned to pain

both the intellectual  and the maimed.

I cannot this moment  escape, frustration without release.

Must return to my country and then my torment appease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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