Moving Through This Change

Moving Through This Change
‘How are you?’ people ask in tender concern. I say I’m in a weird space. Some, who don’t know me well, ask further.
‘Was she a confidante?’ I nod. ‘Is there someone else in your circle of acquaintances you could make a friend of?’
I stare. She repeats the question. I tell her I have good friends.
Or, ‘What will you do with yourself now?’ I laugh, and list my weekly schedule.
The ones who know me better just hug.
After the memorial service, some of us went back to her house. I never have to do this again, I thought, as we navigated the long, stony driveway, the landlord’s barking dogs running at our wheels. But I took several photos of her elderflower tree, in full new bloom.
The little butcher bird didn’t come knocking at her window, not once. I was glad to know he’d got my message and wouldn’t be desperately searching.
I collected the box the family were told must come to me: magical pieces she’d crafted – some incomplete, but all usable. I found written descriptio…

Getting Through It

Getting Through It
Adam and I shop for lunch. I told him I could make us an omelette but he said, ‘No no, don’t use your food.’ (My sons like to spoil me when they come as guests to my house.)
We bring the shopping back home and he makes us sandwiches of sourdough bread, tomatoes, roast beef, avocado and curly lettuce. They are fresh and good.
Then we get up and go on the long drive to Nimbin, to Letitia’s memorial service – our not daughter, not sister by blood or marriage, but who was.
There, I drink lemon, lime and bitters. Must stay sober to make my speech. He has two beers only. He’s driving. We hug a lot of people, blink back tears, hardly touch the refreshments afterwards.
(Our girl was a foodie, and a chef. She used to love to feed us up, to cook unusual dishes, foreign cuisine. Left to ourselves, Adam and I tend to like wholesome, simple food.)
Home again at last, that night, we devour my home-made soup with more of the sourdough and later, just before bed, enjoy a taste of the special gelato I bought.
We …


I can’t recapture those moments, but I was with you then. I can’t bring back here that same intensity of words, immediacy of action, rush of emotion or thought. It won’t come back new no matter how well I summon over and over every detail, no matter how precisely I recall. It’s all only play-acting, telling myself stories about times that are lost, people (ourselves) who are gone. But I was with you then, we had those moments, and when I was in them I was in them – ‘fully present’, as they say. You didn’t allow for anything less. I can be grateful for that. I can keep the knowledge of what you gave me in those moments of your own focused attention. But that’s all. There won’t be more. That’s what being dead means – and I’m still more than a little bit cross with you, but you aren’t there to tell. The many things, the many daily, everyday things I would have saved to tell you, go nowhere now: stillborn. So I have to move on.

A Departure [prose]

A Departure
October comes: mid-Spring (ironic!). My friend goes – unexpectedly. She constantly worked at self-healing. Although in great pain, given one year to live she lived seven.
There were dialysis and prescribed medications. Also she communicated closely with her body to know what foods were best at any time. When she Googled the food, it always turned out to have properties she needed right then.
Her feet swelled, and for a long time were numb. She had her carers massage them, bending ankles and toes back, forward and in circles, gradually increasing the range of movement. Lately she was feeling her feet again, and feeling them connect with the floor as she moved around with her wheely-walker.
She spent hours each day, herself, massaging thymus, coccyx, lymph glands.
‘This is real,’ she said. ‘We’re bodies. We have to do the work.’
She also said, a week ago, ‘I’m at the end of my tether.’ So perhaps it shouldn’t have been a shock.

It was, though.

She thought she was nearly finished t…

The Extinction of the Bees

Poets United's Midweek Motif this week invites us to write of honey-bees.

The Extinction of the Bees
I used to take care, placing my feet on the clover-decked lawn.
You hummed everywhere there, low to the ground, a murmurous sound
quietly busy before afternoon ’s warmth-induced swoon
when you reeled, dizzy with honey and heat, heavy and replete.
That was long ago when I was a child – the climate still mild
and what did we know of changes we’d see or losses to be?
My eightieth year perceives your absence: though colours and scents
still call to you here, I’ve a bee-less garden. Does God’s heart harden?
I cultivate weeds, need miracles, pray. Still you stay away.
Dandelion seeds abound in my care but their blooms are bare
of your many small forms, collective so

Colours of Music

In response to a prompt at 'imaginary garden with real toads': Bits of Inspiration ~ The Colors in a Song, asking us for a synaesthetic response to various pieces of music, I chose two:

Colours of Music
Jimmy’s a shimmy, all colourless glitter, or veering between splashes of silver, flashes of gold.
Then, when his guitar screams along its cutting edge, the noise is red, sharp red, then ragged black, then piercing white, easing down into purple haze.
Ella is yellow shining sunny.  Then toffee gold  deepens to mellow,  softening caramel, sweet....
Now lifts into blue as her voice soars, swells and lingers, falling into a rhythmic fade: pale yellow, sunlight on water.

That's Not What I Meant! [Prose]

In Interactive Moonlight Musings #2: "That's Not What I Meant" at Poets United, Magaly asks us how we react when our writings are misinterpreted (and to write of this in 369 or fewer words). 

Is It Me Or Is It Them?
I write a poem full of sorrow for a friend’s approaching death. A reader feels glad I’m so happy in my friendship.
I rail at political decisions I deplore. Someone professes agreement (!) that we’re lucky to be well governed.
I indulge in a piece of light-hearted nonsense. People tell me it’s deeply moving, profound.
It’s wonderful to be in this poetic community where we can exchange feedback on our work. Yet how disconcerting when readers who believe they understand a poem get it completely wrong!
Have I written it badly? Is it perhaps a cultural difficulty? Or are they just plain dumb?
If only one reader misunderstands while everyone else gets it, it can’t be a fault in my writing. Maybe, when we respond to prompts then try to read as many other responses as we ca…