Unleashing my inner Dickinson

I’m a bit late (as usual) it’s already the 30th down here.


I keep myself a secret
I am my secret self
No one sees the self in there
I have the only key

I keep myself a secret
I am my secret self
Because my self is all I am
My self is naked there

I keep myself a secret
My secret self I am
Any who would seek me here
Must enter just as bare

Weekly Photography Challenge; Culture

This weeks challenge is culture, which can mean many things. That’s half the fun. I confess that my first thought was of a petrie dish full of bacteria…and
I haven’t been to India, or any other colourful exotic culture, so what else? I thought of music, festivals – plenty of colour and movement there – .Mondo Cane  and then I thought, Yarnbombing! That’s become a culture all of it’s own.
Melbourne city square

From humble beginnings in Texas (so the story goes) yarnbombing has spread around the globe.Yarnbomb, Sydney Rd 2

This one is the work of a church social group in Brunswick. The first one was in Melbourne’s City Square, and had government sponsorship.Tag

Old style graffiti is less welcome, sadly, although it brightens dull corners equally well.railside graff

It’s a lot harder to remove, so I guess that’s got a lot to do with it’s unpopularity with some sectors of the community.
Melbourne’s street art culture is becoming more acceptable, though, because it’s becoming known as a tourist attraction  =$$$$my first yarnbombMy own first excursion in yarnbomb culture was this tiny granny square on the fence of the local sport’s ground ( home of a whole other culture!) It vanished the weekend of a music festival…(more culture.)

just yarn

Ararat’s Regional Art Gallery is justly famous for it’s focus on textile and fibre art. preperationWhat better way to celebrate it than a yarnbomb?Our first post

Ever since I said “Let’s yarnbomb the gallery” to our Director, and he said “Good idea. You organise it”(or words to that effect), I and Deb and a few others have been working away at knitting and crocheting pieces  with which to embellish the surroundings of the building.chaos comes first

The Gallery is 45 this May, so to celebrate that cultural achievement, our yarnbomb will be installed on May 13.pieces

It won’t be our last foray into the culture of yarnbombing!


Weekly Photography Challenge: Up

Challenge of the week – ‘Up”.
So much to choose from.
So I chose a few, some from The Trip Of A Lifetime,  some from nearer home.
Some from up, looking down, some from down, looking up.

One of these pictures is not like the others.
Can you tell which it is?

Anzac Day


“Happy Anzac Day!
Martin said it.

But what an odd notion

Think of all those slaughtered boys
The mud the blood the flies
Glorious defeat
The hail of bullets
Dead men on all side
A rocky hillside a cliff
The beach and queues and blood

So much blood

Australian Turkish
English Indian Scottish
Spilled on the earth

And who – seeing the blood –
Could ever tell
Which land it came from?
It’s all the same

Happy indeed
Remind us we are all one
One blood one flesh one people
Happy Anzac Day

I wrote this 10 or more years ago, after my son’s young friend ( I’d guess he was about 8 ), greeted me on his arrival at our door with the words “Happy Anzac Day!”, as though it was Christmas or New Year.
The oddity of the greeting set me thinking, and gave rise to this poem.

Another Three Quotes.

shadow“Somebody should tell us right from the start of our lives that we are dying.
Then we might live life to the limit every minute of every day.
Do it, I say.
Whatever you want to do, do it now!
There are only so many tomorrows.”

Michael Landonsaffron

“Live your life with thankfulness in your heart, and always be filled with positive expectation, knowing that everything that happens in your life can be used for your benefit.
Know that you are guided along a path of never ending growth and learning.
Acknowledge your creator and be a force for good.
Share your riches, share your passion and share your enthusiasm.
Help others to reach their highest potential…”

Hans JakobiAllocasuarina flowers

“If you really understand another person…
if you are willing to enter his private world and see the way life appears to him, without any attempt to make evaluative judgements,
you run the risk of being changed yourself.
You might see it his way, you might find yourself influenced in your attitudes…
This risk of being changed is one of the most frightening prospects most of us can face.”

Carl Rogers

“On Becoming a Person”rusty ball bearing

One of these quotes refers to “your creator”, and I’m not sure what he meant by that. You can make of it what you will -it’s a rather outmoded term, and maybe it’s an old quote, but generally I think it holds useful ideas.

The Carl Rogers quote is of it’s time, and therefore couched in blatantly sexist language.
However, if you are willing to enter her private world etc, you might see it her way, and you risk being changed, just the same.

Bring it on.

22 Years Ago Today


Here in ‘the land down under’ it’s the evening of April 17. My Dad’s 82nd birthday, thanks to quite a lot of medical intervention over the past three weeks. Today he is tired, but on the mend, and back home with Mum and his beloved cats.

In the far away Pacific North West, its around 2.30am  0f April 17 .  Twenty-two years ago on this day, Nirvana played a show at the OK Hotel in Seattle. I think it was for petrol/gas money for the trip to California to record their second album.
And it was the first time that Smells Like Teen Spirit was played in public.
The crowd seemed to like it.
Hope you do too!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Change

I thought about going outside and taking photos of the changing leaves, or posting the latest pic of my grandchild-to-be (except that a medical technician took it, not me), and then I remembered this series of photos of a Helena moth, newly emerged from her cocoon, in which she had undergone amazing change.
They were taken years ago, with a vintage SLR film camera, which sadly doesn’t (reliably) work any more.
Someone found a cocoon, and brought it home, where it sat on a window sill for a long time.Helena cocoon

This isn’t the cocoon in question, but it’s the same kind. When Lucie found this one, it had already been vacated.
The one belonging to the moth in these pictures, however, had a sleeping beauty inside.
One day, we were puzzled by a strange scratching that went on and on. Eventually, we realised it was coming from the cocoon on the windowsill. Sleeping beauty had awakened, and was scratching her way out.Helena 1

It is a long process – hours- but finally the moth emerges, utterly changed from when she wove her little shelter around herself.
Back then, maybe years before, she was a fat green caterpillar; now, she’s a brown, furry moth with crumpled wings.
Her impulse after she emerges is to climb. And then she sits quietly while her wings pump up.Helena 2

Once more, the process takes a surprisingly long time. She didn’t choose a spot,or time of day with ideal lighting, so the focus is as soft as her plump brown body.Helena 3

At last, her wings are fully extended. They need to dry, and then she will start to flutter them. She will rest for a while, and at dusk, fly off in search of a mate, who will find her by his marvelous sense of smell, and her pheromones.Helena 4jpg

The adult, with wings extended is about 10 cm (4″) across. I haven’t seen a caterpillar for years, although that’s not surprising, since they feed high in trees. We find cocoons occasionally, and Alex saw an adult moth in Ararat a couple of years ago. In the 70’s, my family raised some from caterpillars (in the kitchen – Mum wasn’t a trad housewife), and we witnessed all the changes they made from caterpillar, to cocoon, to moth. I remember that one pupated on the kickboard of a cupboard, and that my sister, who would have been about 7, ‘helped’ one out of its cocoon, which did it no good at all; they need to claw their own way out. So we put it back in, the other way around, and I held it in my hand for hours (whilst studying for exams), until it finally emerged, a healthy Helena.

Change can be good!

Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction Of A List

I guess I’m late with this, but it appealed to me, and reminded me that a list is a good way to make a poem.
I’ve been meaning to post some more poetry, so here are some poems based on listsshell and coral

Inside The Shell

Messy tangled complicated mysterious
Strange unfathomable weird unpleasant
Dark ambivalent secret solitary
Peaceful tired loving empathetic
Guided lost confused sufficient
“I am sufficient as I am”

Expanding imploding dreaming wide awake
Enlightened Buddha nature sage
Poet artist writer friend
Sharp forgiving gentle clear-sighted
Humorous  ironic surreal
Sad dispirited ebullient free
“I am sufficient as I am”.red

Pleasure Song

You can get endorphin with a kiss
Or an embrace;
By going ape bananas spacko
With some wild and joyous music;
By eating red hot chillies,
Or, for some people, chocolate;
By lying in the grass
And watching leaves and nothing else;
By running for the sake of running;
By singing yourself hoarse where no one can hear;
By anything that pleases you
You’ll get a little surge of chemical,
And that is bliss.
But which came first?
The pleasure or the surge?sparaxis

Garden Song

There are buds on the lilies
I planted for you;
Red poppies abundant;
White roses in bloom;
Some love-in-a-mist
Are as blue as your eyes,
Some others are white
As the face of the moon;
Pansies for thoughts
Are vying for space
With lamb’s ears and yarrow,
Sweet Alice and pinks;
The lemon balm’s rampant –
It’s almost a weed;
There are great clumps of honesty,
All going to seed;
And the garden is lovely –
O my aching back!afternoon


The afternoon is quiet,
With the near buzz of  a blowfly,
The distant buzz of a motorbike,
The unpleasant calling of ravens,
The house creaking and settling
With the coming and going of sunshine;
Somewhere outside a wren is scolding,
Somewhere inside a mouse creeps about its business;
The clocks mutter away the passing minutes;
Suddenly a shrike thrush begins to call.
Isn’t it time somebody made some noise?dusk

Night Watch

I sat silent
And watched the darkness gather
And the moths came
And then the mosquitoes
And the sky darkened
And I heard an owl
Bird of wisdom and death
And the sky darkened
And bats came hunting
And distant dogs barked
And a multitude of frogs
Called in the dusk
And the sky darkened
And the rain came
And the wind roared
in the trees
And I sat silent
And listened to the night come.

I think I have listed five poems that are lists… more fun, I think than shopping lists, or laundry lists, although arguably not as useful.
And two of the poems are about listening, so there you go!
Ultimate satisfaction.

Daily Prompt: Turn Turn Turn

What’s my favourite time of year?  Quite often, it’s the one I’ve got, so long as , like Goldilocks’s porridge, it’s not too hot and not too cold.

A baking summer morning, windy, blossomy spring afternoons,  a crisp and bracing frosty winter dawn, love em all.

But it’s autumn I really love best, when the days get shorter and cooler, rain finally comes,

leaves turn and fall, autumn bulbs flower, and spring ones start to sprout.

The bare  paddocks change from  brown to green, almost overnight,

(which hasn’t happened yet this year).

The first calling card of autumn is the belladonna lilies sending up their perfumed pink blooms from the dust in February.

The days shorten, the magpies sing songs about autumn in the chill of later early mornings.

A few leaves here and there begin to colour.

autumn 2

If we are lucky, there are long, still, warm afternoons, clear and blue, followed by days of soaking, welcome rain.


The garden fills with flocks of little birds, attracted to the water – so scarce before the autumn break arrives in mid-April.

There are no birds in this photo – they were  too camera shy. But they were there.


This year has been hotter and dryer – climate change is biting – and I’ve resorted to using a sprinkler in some of the garden, for the Silver-eyes as much as the plants.

At the moment there is a horrible cacophony of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, and Corellas. Earlier, the Currawongs  were calling en masse.

Rain or no rain, autumn is here!