Tag Archives: joy

Unreasonable sadness (28 March 2011)

11 Apr

I wake up and thank the window
for my dusky view

I wash – tenderly – the milk jug
that pours creamy soy into my tea

I offer a smile and prayer
to the birds stealing my attention

I bathe supine in the sun
at the open window

I breathe deep the fresh air
I watch the butterfly dance

I taste the sweet homemade cakes
and muffins delivered to my door

I say aloud
I am so well cared for.

And in all these moments
I am crying.

There is an unreasonable sadness
an unwarranted grief, an unknown despair

here and even the pink flower


Unreasonable joy (28 March 2011)

3 Apr

There’s a quality
a sensation
that keeps me company

I sit with it
I lie with it
I disconnect from it

I feel numb
the essence of my pain


this tear running down my cheek
reminds me where my body meets
the world

where the boundary
between my skin and the air
and the air I breathe


this is my unreasonable joy

magnificence (1 Aug 2010)

27 Aug

alter me
show my original face
where I suddenly find myself


prompt me
dare me to break free
this cautious mind wants freedom

and awe

deliver me
intimate with the mundane
and into the deepness of life

and reverence

break me
  wide open
for subtlety and magnificence

yes, this is for magnificence

delusional in a writing workshop

27 Jul

Week 2 ~

A 3 hour creative writing workshop is too long and not long enough!

It’s too long because at the start, the feedback is flowing steady, forthcoming, articulate, insightful, broad, overseeing and empathetic. In short, it’s coming from a well considered, and perhaps inspired space. But by the end, it’s … something … else.

At the end there are long silences and when the feedback does arrive; it is pedantic in nature, focusing on punctuation, formatting and the like. In the course of, let’s say just over two hours, it’s like the scrubby and wild qualities of the forest ends, and we traipse instead into a plantation, where unlike the forest; there’s no heart. The trees are measured for width and height, and of course no one comments on how the whole space makes them feel. It’s too analytical now.

Given this is my very first time to read my work out in a forum, I was kinda hoping for a soft entry into this new world of critique. You know; pretend I wrote this poem just for you and tell me if it touched you in some way.

But I was the last person to read out her homework.

And we’d run out of time. While most everyone else got ten minutes of feedback, I got half that. While most everyone else had the space to respond, I didn’t. We simply ran out of time.

And energy.

What’s more; I went out on a limb with my homework.

I knew I had overstepped my expectations; I wrote a large poem; large in that it is a poem packed full of everything that’s bursting out of me. How can I say this… writing brings me so much joy, and joy, it seems, wants to reach the stars in whatever vehicle it happens upon. If I am to inject my feelings into this piece, then it’s gonna aim high.

Before I even began writing it, I had a sense of something epic at my fingertips. See… I feel things. Not in a psychic way, but I can feel the presence of potentials, and the most tactile things about these feelings is the sense of size.

Maybe I need to illustrate what I mean.

About seven months before I met my husband, I could feel the presence of a very tall man in my energy. The sense was like I was looking up, way up, to give and receive a hongi, the shared breath of touching noses. Needless to say, I was on the lookout for tall men. Billy is a tall man, and the moment he and I gave each other a hongi, I knew I’d met my life partner. I recognized the feeling.

I had the same sensation to this poem. There’s something big, epic waiting for me I told my husband before I began the assignment.

And so I did my best to deliver on that feeling. I gave it due care; if I’m not able to ground my language in every day tones and shades, I am going to sound … quaky. Heroic. And yes, I want to avoid that. So I wrote about my walks (as per the assignment) and I wrote at night when my mind refuses to switch off and the creative energy is pulsing through me. In my previous post, I described myself feeling inflated by this energy.

Now I wonder, having read this poem to a room full of gifted writers, and the flatness that came back to me in their response, am I being delusional?

I’m serious!

There were a few comments; some confusion around my use of parentheses and an ambiguous personal pronoun, all helpful feedback; I can fix them easily enough.

But there was one comment, right at the end, and it sticks to me the way an insect gets stuck to flypaper. He said it under his breath, though loud enough for me to hear from the other side of the circle. “Scale it back”. He looked up (was he frustrated?) and said it louder, like the official opinion: scale it back.

Feeling bruised, I heard it like for god’s sake, scale it back!

This is what makes me think I’m being delusional. How do you rouse your creative spirit into writing something tangibly epic when the advice is to scale it back? I feel like the part of me that imagines my self in god’s own choir, isn’t allowed to find, or experiment with, that voice here on earth.

It’s like saying; It’s just too much. There’s an expression I learnt in Buenos Aires, demasiado; too much! I would say it to my friend in sheer astonishment whenever I passed a woman, usually middle aged, walking down a dilapidated street at the height of a recession in fine stilettos, glistening stockings, sparkling jacket, bright red lips, painted eyes and nails, chiseled cheekbones and bleached hair doing its own pirouette for attention. Is it the odacity? Do I regard this as being too pretentious? Too delusional perhaps for this neighbourhood? For this time in history?

Yip. That’s how I feel.

It’s my own associations I know. My colleague has his own biases after all; a six line poem suited him just fine for his contribution, and I loved the compactness of it, the simplicity. Did I loose these qualities at the expense of … what?

I don’t even know what he thinks needs scaling back. We ran out of time. Did I find his feedback useful? Well… it’s certainly brought up some stuff for me.

I’m not doubting my self, and I don’t like my poem any less for its flat reception; it’s malleable, I can shape it to be more pleasing for readers.

No, I feel like I lost something. Like some essence of me can not be understood in academic circles.

When I write as if I am a god (for we are all of that same gild) it can be quite an alienating experience. Do I loose the academic reader in this, or do I loose the academic reader in unsettling brackets?

I wish I knew.

I’d really like to think I’m not being overly egotistical about the poem, though I do appreciate it takes a bit of presumption to write a poem like I am a co-creator with God.

After the workshop I helped tidy up the dishes. Dinah, the course facilitator, pops in to drop off her coffee cup. She is softly spoken and clear eyed. I like her a lot. She stops to talk to me.

I wish I could quote her; but like the other helpful feedback, the actual words don’t stick, not even for the length of time it takes me to walk out the room. But her quality does. I feel … seen. Like she knows how intimate I can be with the world, and still largely alienated.

Break the poem up into sections is her concluding remark.


[I will post the poem in two weeks time; there’s an embargo on it as I’ve submitted a shorter version of it to the Vic Uni Bookshop poetry competition, and one of the conditions of entry is that it can not have been previously published in any form; not even your own personal blog.]

make room to be present (31 Aug 2009)

9 Jan

make room to see
  see that red exists in greens
  trees can be a naked purple
  grass can be so far apart even
   in a carpet lawn
  see the warmth rise and set
  the dancing tea-light expand
   larger than its wick
  see the moon turn
   into a decoration
  or a pond stand still
  see what flowers look like asleep
   (like kittens waiting for milk)
  see birds make crazy angles
  and braches bop to their song of support

and in amongst all the perfect
placements, there exists so much
space, moving as fast as I walk and
  as slow as a breathing mind

make room to hear
  hear the throbbing digestive belly
  traffic, a constant toning of arteries
  and asphalt. The enormous song
  of trees, pausing and disappearing
  into the white noise, here comes
  a whispering blue, an enthusiastic
  yellow. Orchestrating, conducting
  from root to branch
  the dance in a birds throat
  pealing now into now

and in amongst all the perfect
notes there exists so much space, falling and held
in the vast orchestra of in-between
gaps, tuning fork trees, all is
here to exist in this sound
  so sound can exist

make room to smell
  a peculiar breath, entirely conscious
  smell the wood, alive and dead
  smell death, rich and sweet in the
  foliage, in the foliage smell life
   bringing attention to itself
  smell the heat, smell last night’s
  sleep, smell our feet next to the chickens
  and the chicken’s next meal
  And when sitting, a soft
  delicate fragile memory of fragrance
  wafts under my nostril
  into my spine, onto my lips, into
  my spine, onto my lips

and in amongst all the perfect
and stray memories and threads
comes the slow light fragrance of attention
  and breath

make room to taste
  taste the empty bowl when it was full
  while it is full. Linger on the crunch
  and texture; how it melts – knowing
  this in itself is delicious. How it bites
  back or holds an hour long flavour in
  one single bite. Let the tongue swim
  in desire for just this second because
  this sense, like none other, is willing
  to take its turn, slowly salivate
  desire bringing a perfect readiness
  nature is doing her job, nature is
  swallowing, digesting, absorbing
  and letting go exactly and precisely
  balancing a complex organism so simply
  so simply

and in amongst all the perfect
choreography of tongue and thanksgiving
I remember; I am blessed. I am
loved more than I will ever know.
I am Gratitude. Abundance. And the
pain-staking obliteration of everything
else focused on the end of my fork

make room to feel
  feel the pinpoint attention
  mine melting, yours piercing
  feel the still pond, feel the bolder
  drop when I lift the lid
  feel the slideshow reverberate on
  thin skin, feel the depthless
  struggle for survival, the nature
  of all things running its course, the
  disgrace and dignity dying like an
  extinction of something honoured
  feel the helplessness, go as deep as
  space itself, take the drop to the ocean
  and cry for humanity, for degradation
  that takes a being so far from
  home and so desperately hungry and thirsty

feel where you are not allowed
  to go, where the most beneficent and
  sustaining law for the soul
  is the very lid that denies and excludes
the heart of reality. Feel the dissection
the eroding and crumbling of the sun
the Life Giving. The source of sound
and sight
and smell
and taste,
feel all this shine sombrely, shine blazingly on
your skin!

and in amongst all the perfect
emotions, rough, raw and jarring
or polished as a weathered greenstone
feel the shakti rise and dance in one
cell, animate this cell, give life to this cell
sacrifice and make sacred all else
to this harbinger of truth, found in silence
– or song – in this perfect instinct

beautiful day (6 Aug 2009)

9 Jan

what a lovely blue sky
day we got
with no cloud wrappings
only a canopy
of sunshine

Happy birthday!

sing my lightly (11 Jun 2009)

9 Jan

you life me lightly
you’re an eyelash
smiling at me

you’re the weight
of a missing tooth
giggling when free

you’re a merry-go-round
the highest there’s ever been

you fill me to the top
so grace fully
like an angle wing

hanging out
sing me lightly

sing with me

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