Friday Poem:Spread My Wings

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It is 21 years this week since I sat down on an ugly-but-practical brown couch and watched a Rage TV special – Nirvana Unplugged in New York. I’d heard of the band, I knew how the singer died, and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I know it’s cheesy, but it’s also true – that record changed my life.

I wrote this poem during the following year, expressing frustration with the constraints of my ordinary life. Nirvana fans might notice the influence of “Sappy”, but there’s a dash of Hank Williams in there, too.

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This jar is far too small.
There is no room for my wings;
There is no room to fly;
I want to spread my wings.

I’m not a moonbeam in your jar;
I’m not a pretty toy;
I need to move, I need to breathe;
I want to spread my wings.

These air holes are too small.
You must not smother me;
I want to take the air,
I want to spread my wings.

Let me loose, what’s the use
Of keeping me in here.
I might not fly away,
But I want to spread my wings.a-collage

One of the things I did as I escaped from the jar of proper lady-like behaviour, was to stick anything that appealed to me on my wall. Nowadays, that’s an “Inspiration Board”, but twenty years ago, it was weirdly adolescent for a forty-year old woman with 5 kids…At some point, the collection came down, and was upcycled into a series of collages, of which this is one. There’s an apt quote on there-

“Our lives improve only when we take chances – and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves”

Walter Anderson.

I also got rid of the brown couch, and as much other ugly-but -practical-with-kids brownness out of my house, and started surrounding myself with things that I actually liked.

After ordering and waiting patiently for “Nirvana Unplugged in New York (on cassette), I expanded my music collection, my library and my stash of art supplies. I now have the Melvins “Gluey Porch Treatments”, and  I’m reading  Bessel Van der Kolk’s ” The Body keeps The Score”, about the ongoing effects of trauma. When Micheal Azzerad asked Kurt, “Is your’s a sad story?” , he hesitated, and said “…No…”, going on to say that the events of his childhood were commonplace, which, unfortunately, they are. But it is a sad story, they are all sad stories, which Dr Van Der Kolk and his colleagues are learning to address with proper treatment – too late for Kurt, but there’s hope for another generation to have more than numbness – they will be able to spread their wings.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Quest

Every week, the Photography Challenge sends me on a quest to find images that fit in with the week’s challenge – this week, that challenge is – Quest!. I’m staying at my daughter’s place in Canberra, cat and dog minding while they visit family back in Perth. If grand daughter Juniper was here, I’m sure I’d get some brand new pics of a quest to a playground, (with which Canberra is well supplied) but instead I’m sharing these from a few weeks ago. Juniper adores trains, she has a growing collection of engines from the Thomas stories, and she’s had rides on several miniature railways.

But this was her first real V-Line train ride, and it was exciting! I took this set of photos before we’d even left Ararat station on out quest to Melbourne. We had a ride on a suburban train later, but by then, the novelty had worn off, and she was much less impressed…img_8263edit

This photo is from April – she has even more trains now, and she knows and loves every one of them, but she’s always happy to go on an engine quest to a toy shop for more!

Friday Poem:Unfoldment

It’s been a week since my Dad died. He was 85, and in poor health, so it came as no surprise. There’s been a lot of organising of travel arrangements, and looking for photos and reminiscing. It’s sad, but hardly tragic, and life goes on unfolding – what matters is love. Have you ever noticed how linens seem to expand and grow when you pull them out, and shake out the folds?folds3-a

I want to unpack my love
Bring it out of storage
Unfold it and keep unfolding
Spread it out across the world
‘Til there is nothing left unloved
And love has covered
Everything
Sheets and sheets of love
Reams of it
Unfolding from the cupboard of my heart
Fine linen bandages
Bolts of it unwinding

The more love is unfolded,
The more there is.

I took some photos of folds especially for this post. I think it’s amazing how much there is to see in such a simple subject, and a little tweaking of contrast and saturation can change plain white into lavender-pinks. The three pics in the gallery are all of the same raggedy, naturally dyed silk scarf, yet they are all a little different – just like us humans: basically the same, but all a bit different (some more so than others).

Weekly photography Challenge: Edge

This week, an image from the edge is the Photography Challenge. Last week I was in Brunswick for a few days (Brunswick is edgy, ask anyone!), where I took this photo of Ironbark trees growing in the middle of the narrow street. Both edges were lined with cars at the time.edge-5

On Monday, we had to make a trip to Ballarat, about one hours drive from home. There’s been plenty of rain this winter, and the countryside is very damp and green. There are plenty of edges in these photos, taken from the passenger seat as we drove. The edge of the road, of the paddocks, of the railway line in the distance and the brimming farm dam…

Since then we’ve had continual rain, a phenomenon we haven’t experienced in this part of the world for many years. Everything is very soggy underfoot, dams that were almost empty are now overflowing. And the bottom edge of our property is under water!img_9800edit

Weekly Photography Challenge: Mirror

We’ve got a chance for some reflection this week, with the Photography Challenge theme of “mirror”. I  have quite a few mirrors in my house – not because I am particularly fond of looking at myself, but because they bounce light around and make our small rooms seem bigger and lighter.I recently gathered five old ones to hang gallery-style above the mantelpiece in our tiny lounge room. This is “before”.. . while I was planning how to rearrange them all. My torso is visible reflected in one in the left-hand pic, while Morgen can be seen in the oval mirror sitting on the hearth.

In the redecorated room, fashionably pink, an old mirrored wardrobe door hangs on a wall – Juniper and her Tablet are reflected in it. I bought the lovely scented daffodils last Friday – the shop door was shut, but the bucket of flowers was outside…so I stuffed a quick note and the $6 under the door, and chose these beauties. They are a mirror of spring.

 

Friday Poem: Song For The Broken

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List-making is a time-honoured method of building a poem, and this poem is basically a list of attributes of a broken unhappy person – but, like Pandora’s box, there is Hope hidden at the bottom.remains small

Split-off
Over-feminised
Conflicted
Words words
Describe you
Circumscribe you
Cannot fill you in

Clouded
Hopeless
Emasculated
Time to run away
Burnt out
Faded
Imploded
Nothing defines you

Hours of madness
And joy
And despair
Joy & Woe
In the end
Emptiness
Quicksand to the neck
Dead sea

In the end
Something else begins
Begin again.
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The first image is of Reedy Swamp (aptly named!) near Shepparton, and the other two are of the very broken old harmonium at my parent’s house. Mum would have liked to have had it restored, but Dad moved it outside when some decorating was being done, and that was the end of it as a musical instrument. Years later, it is a poetic ruin, covered in fallen leaves and sticks and slowly falling apart.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Framed

How an image is “framed” when taking a photo can make all the difference between ‘meh’ and a great shot. This week’s challenge asks us to put a frame inside the frame, as it were. There’s plenty of theory to be learnt to help with framing, but some lucky people just seem to have a good “eye”, and frame their shots well without even thinking about it.railway inspector

The miniature railway at Elmore is framed by the station on one side, and the fence on the other. We all climbed inside the frame of the carriage to ride around the tracks with Juniper – she loves trains. Can you tell?

On the previous day Bryan I visited the aptly named Reedy Swamp near Shepparton. I looked for a frame of trees, and found this one. The old Blitz crane is at my parents house – it was a part of my childhood. Now it’s rusty old radiator makes a frame around a Bridal Veil Creeper, and at Buda, an historic house in Castlemaine, I took a fancy to this window, which resulted in framing myself.