Sunday, 25 December 2016

Just One Day?

There will always be something that grabs me at Christmas, chases away the bah humbug, brings a lump to the throat, a tear to the eye. Usually nothing monumental. A warm greeting, a hug, a smile, an unexpected gesture. When all is said and done, once the gifts are opened and the enormity of the ongoing repast sends us into a food coma, what we really take away from Christmas Day that stays with us, are those precious moments of connection.

Sadly, not all have the privilege of such an experience, and those of us that do, often wonder why so much is crammed into one day, and why it has a habit of dissipating throughout the year. We can find ourselves spending the day with a strange assortment of family and friends, friends of friends, distant aunts and uncles who you vow can’t possibly be related to you, then there are those whose families live far away, or those who have no family at all. Connection is important.

Have been writing A Haiku a Day for just over a month, poems structured in the 5-7-5 syllabic form, little reflections on each day. There have been a few seasonal ones leading up to Christmas, moments captured in 3 lines, but today called for something more, so each verse is a haiku in itself.


Early wake up call
shouting, bouncing in the street
someone got a ball

Toast and vegemite
then banana, strawberry,
nectarine smoothie

Gather together
Jesus birth celebrated
smiles, hugs and laughter

 Yea Lord, we greet thee
born on this happy morning
everlasting gift

 Eyes filled with wonder
stars, kings, shepherds, gifts given
kids have show and tell

Bob the Builder tools
mermaid books, pretty dresses
braided hair in bows

Car Transformers, kites
magic tricks and Lego kits
great new toys for play

Little girl circle
entranced, inventing stories
secret fairy land

Thirty two degrees
feasting, drinking jollity
brings me to my knees.

Food coma sets in
while away the afternoon
dozing on the couch

Sun finally sets
breathe a sigh of relief but
keep the love alive.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Springtime in Tasmania

Springtime in Tasmania
oh what a lovely sight
as long as you have thermals
and can rug up nice and tight

The daffodils are blooming
but their yellow trumpet heads
have been blown around
this way and that
and now they’re looking dead

My toes are froze
as well as my nose
there’s rain and wind and sleet
Where’s my jacket 
beanie, scarf and gloves
and ugg boots for my feet.

For without them
I am well exposed
when I head outside to roam
What happened to the sunshine?
It’s time to go back home.

This weather, it’s unseasonal
and well, downright unreasonable
Spring may have sprung
but it’s not yet begun
is summer looking feasible?

The snow upon the mountain
is something to admire
but I think I’d rather stay inside
and curl up by the fire.

They say that global warming
is heating the hemispheres
but something tells me they forgot
to include us way down here.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

It's a Sign

A minor miracle occurred in my backyard during the week, well, I thought it was anyway. Add to what was an exceptionally wet winter after a very long dry spell, bursts of sunshine and more rain, a veritable forest of miniature fungi erupted in the lawn. What would normally appear in autumn turned up in the week of the spring equinox, not just scattered haphazardly here and there mind you, but following some pre-ordained pattern just for my delight. Have seen a few toadstool rings in my time, red capped holiday resorts for fairies, but this little phenomenon had me so fascinated I couldn’t help but wax lyrical.

It’s a sign, it’s a sign
of what I know not.
What does it mean
this number three?
Is it a puzzle
to tantalise me?

Three days to go
till my mind can see
three weeks, three months,
three years maybe
until this sign is revealed to me?

Far stranger things
than what I now see
have been hidden in grass
or shrub or tree
But I’m not always there
to witness these things
that sneak in unseen
on legs or wings.

So as my garden erupts
in a fungal invasion
I’m leaning towards
the fairy persuasion

Not just a village, but a great city block
has taken root, now you might mock.
But those little teeny weeny folk
who move around an awful lot
Holiday here and move on there
As a roof appears just out of nowhere.

They’re nomadic little creatures
Finding shelter where they can
following the seasons
but sometimes without reason
they turn up when least expected
Flitting here and scurrying there
And oh, I’m just delighted
I could sit for hours and stare.

So it’s a mystery
this number three.
What does it mean
what can it be?
A springtime anomaly
put here in my yard
to bamboozle me.
Will it grow or will it go?
I haven’t a clue
I really don’t know.

Do I intervene
or leave it to fate?
Or do I simply sit and wait
till it becomes
a number eight.

Have done a daily check to see how everyone was fairying, um, faring, but this morning, shock horror, all there was to show for this anomaly was a mass of fungi stalks, each and every one beheaded. As I pulled down the blind just before sunset last night I noticed a wallaby grazing in the backyard, nothing unusual about that, but with free range mushroom available a la carte he obviously couldn’t resist.

Darn it all, no more fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Uncharted Breakfast Territory

Opened up the packet of Uncle Tobys Oats this morning to be greeted by a slippery little silverfish heading for the outside of the packet in his vain attempt to evade detection. A flick of the finger fixed him, so checked the contents to make sure nothing was eaten, an easy thing to do as my oats are not the loose variety, you know, real rolled oats. Rather, they are in little individual sachets, in blueberry, strawberry and triple berry flavours, so it was actually the paper that was the object of the silverfish’s desire, not the oats.

No damage done, but I should’ve known to put them in a plastic container, a practice long ago adopted when living in Queensland, the cockroach State, where if you don’t have everything in your pantry in screw top jars or impenetrable containers, those creepy crawlies will find their way into every food bearing packet they can find. Getting off the track a bit, let’s get back to the issue in hand.

For as long as I can remember, I have not been able to eat porridge. It was a staple at breakfast time when I was a little tacker, so something horrendous must have happened to me in my pre-memory stage to set me on a lifetime path of porridge hate. The look of it, the smell of it, the very blahness of it. Well-meaning attempts over the years to convince me of its nutritional benefits had no effect as I breathed in that nauseating aroma and gagged as I swiftly removed myself from the general vicinity.

Toast was and is always my preferred option, cereal now and again if I’m in the mood. So, what prompted this sudden inexplicable decision to buy some Uncle Tobys Oats and eat what my doctor’s been suggesting for years? Well, firstly they just happened to be on special, and I’d been contemplating making said purchase for a while but hadn’t quite plucked up the courage. Secondly, it seemed an appropriate choice seeing as winter had set in. And thirdly, my digestive system seems to have forgotten how to work all on its own, to the point where I recently had to be wheeled into a little operating room so some nice doctor could shove a little camera down my gut and take pretty pictures of my insides.

Nothing too alarming down there, but thought I’d be proactive and add a little more fibre to the morning ritual. More often than not, the weekday breakfast routine involves eating a slice of toast with vegemite on the way to work then having the first cuppa of the day somewhere between morning tea and lunchtime depending on how busy the morning is, so any change was going to be an improvement.

But I had to plan this. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat a bowl of what looks like regurgitated baby food without some accompanying disguise. Headed up the far end of the supermarket for a packet of frozen mixed berries, from Chile mind you, what’s wrong with good Aussie berries, doesn’t anyone do frozen Aussie berries? I’d prefer to buy local fresh berries, but in the quantities I need I’ll never be able to afford to keep up the supply, so frozen berries it is from the other side of the world.

Armed with berry disguise and a sachet of triple berry oats, I ventured where I had not gone for well over sixty years. The ping of the microwave announced the beginning of the experiment, so with stoic gusto I tucked in and polished off the lot in about sixty seconds. Despite my initial scepticism I have to admit it was actually palatable. Not as satisfying as vegemite on toast, but it did actually fill the hole and I wasn’t hungry again until lunchtime, which presumably is the whole point of breakfast anyway.

They haven’t been on special again, but I have been back to buy a second packet, and am now nearly due for the third, so the experiment must’ve worked. Somehow I managed to break through the psychological or physiological or whatever barrier was preventing me from evaluating where the refusal came from and how to overcome it.

Maybe I should make a list of all the other areas in my life where some supposedly invisible barrier causes me to see the task as a hill too hard to climb which then prevents me from moving forward. Now, that would include writing first and foremost, attending meetings, writing, filling in business credit application forms, cleaning windows, writing, reading and understanding TV, DVD and sound system instruction manuals, exploring the capabilities of my computer that after all these years still remain a mystery, painting the spare bedroom, laundry and loo, the last rooms which have never been repainted since moving here in ’95, the list could be rather extensive if I thought about it long enough. Oh yeah, then there’s writing, the biggest brick wall of all to clamber over.

Well, it might have taken more than sixty years to conquer the oatmeal barrier, so while there’s life there’s hope, but then again, you can’t rush these things.