Tag Archives: lessons

I can see you (7 Dec 2011)

24 Jan

today I praise you, I am humbled by you
in your unconscious way, you saw
what must be done
that the two of us, that husbandwife team
could no longer sustain
our own journey
to become
whole and complete

you saw in that unconscious way
two spirits who had outlived
each other
our karma was gone
(did I hurt you this bad last time?)
our need to dream
became less important
than our need to wake up

in this way, I can see you


a graduation of flowers (30 Aug 2010)

8 Sep

it has been a very long time
since I looked at shame
and I suppose that’s why
I didn’t see it
in truth; shame always feels
like an ambush
rather than a graduation
of flowers

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.]

the journey (6 April 2010)

24 Jul

in the unfolding
in matters of spirit
  and evolution

the nature of this journey
begets patterns

life lessons
that cover familiar landscapes
(like) I’ve been here before

an offering to pause
dreams overlap
and continue to unfold

throughout this life
for growing is not linear
the first step is concurrent

with every final transformation
every new encounter
is the crossing, and

carving my concentric rings
can show my age
yet it is my wisdom

that shows my true journey

getting it true (14 Jan 2010)

26 Jan

can you say thank you, I ask
     (that’s not it)
are you hearing me, I correct
     (that’s still not it)

I want to be noticed, I state
     (this is getting closer)
I want to feel desirable, I cry

I’m scared of her
she asks so much of me
she takes up all my energy … and …

  I want to make love in every moment
  I want to make love WITH every moment

Thank you for letting me get it true

The driest scape of my heart (25 Oct 2009)

24 Jan

yesterday you granted me
permission to see
the infinite colour and texture
  of love

it didn’t come softly
  or smooth; hurt never does
a steady rain smoothes
away the grit of anger

my sharp toothed Ego slams
shut the window –
defensiveness, like full
length curtain dull the noise

it’s dark in here. A heavy
rain knocks knocks knocks
I’m worn to the core – I feel
  stripped; awkwardly naked

words hurt when I touch them
they scratch tear drops down
  my face

and I see what I am watering
has seeded in the rockiest
driest scape of my heart

the worthless soil I never
raked, for had I before –
something more than ugly
  would rise

I would declare myself
a barren lot, close the street
shut the city; don’t play here!
don’t play here …

love excluded me
  from this lie, I dig deeper
I am in a safe place

loosening the dirtiness
opening the windows
stepping out
  it’s pouring with rain outside

as I understand it
love can not stay dormant
a seed, the compressed DNA
of all my life times’ failures

  and stepping stones, of all my
ancestors’ pains and faultings
(not least of all my parents)

of all shame that I, in this
life time, buried – all these
seeds will find expression
  through love. IN love.

(please don’t confuse
these expressions with
the essence of your Being)

The essence of your Being
is shining in darker spaces
you will feel ugly
  for a time

The essence of your Being
is shining in darker spaces
because there is an equal
vibration (it is all called love)

so vast it transforms
  like a smile
all expressions of life

dance in the thunder

for this is a very good thing
that is happening to you

unfortunate (11 April 2009)

18 Dec

is there wisdom
learned from this old woman?
an inheritance through marriage

what can I say except
how unfortunate that I
have no affinity to their

way of possessing, their way
of judging. I will bury this
relationship along side

all the shoulds that drop
like useless items
of clothing and words

I can’t see an
endearing child before me, only
a lot of static and uncomfortable

noise. Oh Mother Mary!
Here I go again

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