The Magnolia Tree:

It was under the Magnolia tree,

He loved me,

And our children played,

All three,

(and then four, five),

And the puppies leapt high,

Under the Magnolia tree.

We’d sit and talk for hours,

Under the Magnolia tree,

Butterflies & dreams & wishes,

And she’d listen,

Our beautiful old tree.

The seasons came & went,

And we aged,

But not she,

The children grew up & left,

But she stood strong,

Our Magnolia tree,

And even during the storm,

She was calm – our tree,

She would stand there,

As if to say,

“I’m still magnificent,

And you should still love me!”

How does she endure it all?

The seasons, the changes, the melee,

Does she miss me as much as I miss her,

My beauty, my magnolia tree?

I drove past the old house,

To see her one last time,

My old Magnolia tree,

She’s in full bloom as when,

I bought the house,

All of those years ago,

When she whispered to me.

Family holiday & writing assignment in far north tropical Queensland :)

FNQ Zac '16FNQ kayak '16

IMG_20160711_084644IMG_20160711_13021013694036_1749201235363356_1973503619_oIMG_20160713_153944IMG_20160715_142210

IMG_20160716_120606IMG_20160716_133323IMG_20160716_133453reu1DSC_0480

 

“Did you miss me?” she asked …

“I guess so,” I answered, without making eye contact, as nonchalantly as I could.

“I did it to punish you,” she said casually.

“I know,” I answered, flicking through the mail.

“But every time I saw salt I would think of you and start to cry,”

“Oh really?” She knows how much I love salt.

“Were you crying into your cup of tea and pouring through old photos of me?”

“No,” I answered honestly, “I just kind of got on with my life.”

By now she was blinking back tears. Poor, dear thing: she’d never engaged in open warfare before and had no idea who she was dealing with – me; war torn, battle weary, permanently on my guard, defensive, jaded after all of the single and hand-to-hand combat missions I’d endured over my life – I was not about to start making tactical errors now.

“Would you have crumbled and died if I hadn’t come back?”

“Um, well, it would hurt for a while and then I guess I’d get over it,” I heard myself lying.

Her eyes met mine and we held that gaze.

“Come here,” I said with my arms outstretched and she melted into my embrace.

“I love you,”

“I love you too. It’s history now, leave it where it belongs,” and the dam inside of me receded a couple of inches, just enough to let me start breathing again.

Then we went straight back to chatting about the books we’d been reading as if nothing had ever happened.

atoughgirl

My Magnum Opus:

Is it? Is my work going to live? I wanted to be a writer, that’s all, I wanted to write about it all – everything that happens in a moment – the way the flowers look when you carry them in your arms, how it smells, how it feels. All of our feelings – yours and mine – the history of it, who we once were, everything in the world, all mixed up, it’s all mixed up and how we want it all and . . . I failed!”

Virginia Woolf – The Hours (Mrs Dalloway)

*****************************************************************************************************************************************

From the very core of my being, as a writer,  I can relate to this sentiment wholeheartedly. How we make ourselves busy, going about our lives thinking we’re doing very important things and how one day, any day now, the masterpiece will get written and everything will slot into place like a jigsaw puzzle.  But … then the realisation. This is my very important thing. This is my Magnum Opus. My wildest dreams came true the day I birthed my children into this world (and as I stood there outside the door anxiously waiting for my grandson to be birthed). This is my true calling and vocation and today is the day that my life changes forever 🙂

collagefam345ty collage tome

Journal entry:

My children and I weren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths: quite often we were alone together and their fathers were absent for whatever reason. There were no hands-on grandparents to help out, no high-flying career to bail us out of tough financial times. But you know what? You don’t get strong by swimming downstream without a current. The outcome of all of that is that there is an unbreakable bond between us and my children’s ability to endure and apply themselves to hard work and tough circumstances takes my breath away 🙂

girl gif

She Sleeps With The Light On…

. . . Just in case,

The night is still,

There’s not a sound,

Except the rumbling of a distant truck,

Which propels her into a memory;

It was of the time when she had her babies,

A marriage bed full of passion, youth & hope,

It was a time long before these lean times.

 

She sleeps with the light on because . . .

The phone might ring;

The Angel of Death in Her chariot,

Has swept down again, mercilessly and,

In her cruel and twisted way has,

Extracted another of her loved ones.

 

She sleeps with the light on,

So that the memory of her lost loves,

Doesn’t overwhelm her,

Because they can’t – you know – if you have the light on,

The memory of the contour’s of their bodies,

Their gentle or wild thrusts,

Their whispered indulgences,

All held at bay.

 

She sleeps with the light on,

To stop the snoring in the empty room,

The footsteps on the hallway boards,

The growling from the ceiling,

The ghosts remain invisible and can’t see you,

Or hurt you with the light on.

 

She sleeps with the light on,

So that if she wakes with a night terror,

She will instantly see her lovely things around her,

And, after some time,

Gain some comfort and soothe herself back to sleep.

 

She sleeps with the light on,

Because she doesn’t know what awaits her in the black dimension;

Dreams of babies long gone,

Lovers lost, souls removed from her life by death,

Quick as a flash and still half in slumber,

She can grab her pencil & paper,

And jot down the rhymes – such as this one – as they come to her at 3am.

umbr

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is anybody out there?

She’s watching over me;

My baby girl who thinks,

That because I disposed of her,

That I despised her.

 

She watches over me until I’m bones on the ground

girl and eye

 

 

A Fight To The Death:

In my sleep,

I am an Angel fighting the Demonic forces,

I use reason, wisdom, love and patience,

From behind my shield;

Never wishing to do bodily harm.

 

The sinister laugh reverberates,

Through my entire being,

But I do not wither away for I am full of light;

All encompassing and saturating.

 

“Be gone, foul-stinking, swamp creature of the night,”

And it shrinks from me without defense,

My light wraps the entire place,

Guarding all who slumber within.

 

The deed is done,

The battle is fought,

A moment’s peace before I resume.

 

A creak – what was that?!

I leap from my resting place to check my charges,

One by one, I place the blankets over them,

And kiss their cherubic, sleeping cheeks.

 

All is well in my house so,

Back to battling demons but,

Before even that,

A silent prayer to whoever is listening,

For the blessing of my children,

For in truth, I am just a mother …

Demon hunter

 

 

 

 

 

The child in you needs love too:

Little babies grown into big people,

She didn’t know it would feel like this;

She was always on the lookout,

For someone who might need her,

But then she realised;

Maybe at this stage of life,

It was time for her to rescue herself,

She strokes herself tenderly …

even though he threw her life into chaos she still loves him mona

 

More Snapshots of my life:

 

IMG_20150718_234836
The needlework that I saw at NGV almost made me wish I did that for a vocation instead of being a writer :)
IMG_20150708_112309
Just so much detail…