Friday Poem: Discourse

I had a bit of fun with this poem (a lot of fun, actually). I once heard someone on the radio say that “Just because it didn’t happen, doesn’t mean it isn’t true”, which I found quite profound. I’m fairly sure it was on The Coodabeen Champions, a lighthearted and lightweight show about AFL “footy”, not known for being deep and meaningful.IMG_2066 (Small) However, that jokey insight helped form this poem.

Are symbols real?
Although a symbol
Is not really
What it symbolises
Nevertheless
It may be
A real symbol-
A symbol of a real thing
Or real concept-
So although the symbol
Is not really what is symbolised
By the symbol
It is in fact real
Insofar as that
It really symbolises
The idea, concept or thing
Which is real.
In this way
A myth is a true story
Because although the story
May not be literally true
In the sense of historical events,
What is symbolised in the story
Is true and real and actual
In another sense.
Anything at all can function
As a symbol,
And stand for something else
Which is true;
And that’s a fact!laneway 5 (Small)

I’ve picked out some recent photos that include symbols, or objects that are symbolic representations of something real…IMG_2181 (Small)I bought this symbolic snowflake last year at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore Cafe in North Perth, during my three month stay there after my grand daughter was born. I enjoyed a lot of coffee, and chai, and the occasional Portuguese custard tart. And some books. So all of that is symbolised for me by this pretty white tissue paper frippery!

Friday Poem: At the Bodhi Tree

I’ve spent quite a lot of time in The Bodhi Tree Bookstore And Cafe, a few blocks from my daughter’s house. Its the perfect place to go and write, whatever I’m writing – to-do lists, drafts of blog posts, poems…There’s coffee for fuel, and shelves of books for inspiration. I’ve been here in Perth for over 10 weeks, and I haven’t been there every day for coffee (or a pot of chai)… I’ve eaten several Portuguese tarts (yum), bought a couple of the hundreds of books*, written so much and so often that one of the girls asked me about it.( I gave her one of my postcards, with my blog address on the back). I wish I could transport the whole place home with me next week…
Coffee at the Bodhi TreeHere in the coffee house
my cup of coffee
Crowned with a heart
Rich and warm
Surrounded by books
A clatter of crockery
And a babble of conversations
One at every table
Weaving and murmuring, bubbling
Each distinct yet all together
Some formal, some casual,
Some mute – such as that
Between my notebook
And myself.

There are, to date, no cafe’s handy to my home in a ‘rural village’, but my plan is to recreate a tiny corner of ‘Bodhi Tree-ness” somewhere at home, and settle there with a cup of something and a trusty notebook for around half an hour on most days. I have the books, I have the cups – just need a little table and the right spot!

*The books I’ve bought- and read –

 James Geary’s I Is An Other – The Secret Life Of Metaphor And How It Shapes The Way We See The World

and John Medina’s Brain Rules For Baby – How To Raise A Smart And Happy Child From Zero To Five

Stream of Consciousness

I’m trying to come up with a Christmas poem/card idea. It’s that time of year again. I have taken myself and my note book and pen to the Bodhi Tree for coffee and solitude, in hopes that my meandering mind will eventually stumble on at least an idea of a poem, and inspiration for an image to go with it.Coffee at the Bodhi Tree

It’s 11-05 in Perth, overcast, warm and sticky. I should’ve put on shorts, not jeans. I just put butter on my blueberry muffin – how unvegan. Although I will happily eat vegan, and don’t care if I don’t have meat, I don’t think I want to label myself as ‘Vegan’, ‘Vegetarian’ or even ‘Flexitarian’, even though I think that means “I eat what I want – whatever”. Actually I feel skittish about wearing any labels at all. Except maybe artist/poet. Even then – don’t want to set up expectations.I don’t have a spoon to scoop up the coffee fluff.:p Little ballet girls are manifesting themselves in the Bodhi Tree. It’s Saturday morning, sticky and warm. The music in the cafe is soft and warm. My blueberry muffin is soft and warm and sticky. Delicious. Is this a flow of consciousness or a list of observations? I am conscious of my observations, and the little ballet girl at the next table is conscious of her thirst. She has asked for water on this warm and sticky mid-spring morning. There are snowflake Christmas decorations hanging from the ceiling here in the Bodhi Tree, here in Perth, where it never, ever snows, especially at Christmas. Odd how we cling to and carry with us traditions that are no longer relevant or applicable – Snow-in-summer is the name of a tree, a shrub, a number of plants with abundant white flowers…Christmas is coming. Isn’t it always? No matter where we are in the year, Christmas is coming, always another one on the way. And what is Christmas – Jesus putative birth day, a marketing opportunity, mid-summer, mid-winter, return of the light, turn of the year. A time for children, family, love, a time for loneliness and despair. A time to reach out a hand to those in loneliness and despair. A time to call for Peace, for Love, for Empathy. Christmas is always coming, it is always time to reach out in peace and love and empathy, to place a light in the window, a candle to dispel the darkness, a light for all humankind.

11.25am. I think we have our poem, with a little work…

Christmas is coming…
isn’t it always?
No matter where we are
Christmas is coming,
Always another one on the way.

And what is Christmas?
Birth day of Jesus,
a Marketing Opportunity,
mid-summer, mid-winter, return of the light
and turn of the year.

A time for children, family, lovingkindness;
A time for loneliness and despair:
A time to reach out a hand
to those in loneliness and despair;
A time to call for Peace and Love and Empathy.

Christmas is always coming:
It is always time to reach out
In peace and love and empathy,
To place a light in the window,
A candle to dispel the darkness,
A light for all humankind.

The image is a detail from a page in my Perth Journal, a mainly pictorial and not-very linear record of my current stay in Perth.

Three More Quotes

I like to read books...“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.”

Albert Einstein

“If you only read books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

Haruki Murakumi

“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one that makes you think.”

Harper Lee

I read widely, deeply, broadly, always more than one book at a time. There is always a pile beside the bed, and another by my favourite armchair. There are notebooks to hand as well, ready for me to jot down a pithy or thought provoking quote. Usually I take note of book and page, but at times, in a hurry, I have reduced the book title to an acronym, and, months later, I have no idea where the quote came from…don’t do that if you plan to refer back or to acknowledge the source…

My husband prefers books with maps – travel guides – and can’t understand my omnivorous tastes. I offered him  “Thinking, Fast and Slow” (a book that ‘everyone else’ is reading…or buying, anyway…) to read on the plane on his way home, and it just seemed to annoy him. Admittedly all that stuff about statistics is heavy going, but there are juicy bits as well… He wants to know what I have learned from it -” read it yourself” would be the best answer! But balance your diet with poetry, fairy tales, biography, botany, and don’t neglect your picture books and magazines…notebook - go for it!

I left my Quote Notebooks at home in Victoria – today’s quotes come to you courtesy of The Bodhi Tree Bookstore Cafe, which currently has a wall decorated with book-related quotes. I enjoyed a coffee there yesterday, and had my trusty notebook in my bag…