Friday Poem: Afrayed

IMG_7439 (Large)Sixty is a daunting number for a birthday – I’m officially a senior now. I’m sure it’s worse for my mother , having a child so old. I remember her telling me, maybe twenty years ago (she was nineteen when I was born), that the older she got, the older her idea of old was. To me it just seems to be nonsensical that I am this old – I think most older people feel that at least some of the time. It’s when I see a recent photo of, say, Henry Rollins, who is a few years younger than me, and he looks so darned old …or my own kids grey hairs…well, that’s when I feel ancient…Sorry, Hank!IMG_7478 (Large)


I see my grand daughters
Vibrating with life.
I see the grey
In my children’s hair.

I think maybe I have
Another thirty years.
Thirty years of mitochondria
Powering down,
And fraying telomeres…

So much to do
And that’s a long time,
But maybe not.

Will I ever get to live
In Olympia,
A year, a week, a month?
Am I too old for dreams?

You can see from the size of Juniper that the photo of my mum,me, Zoe and Juni was taken a while ago. She’s not wearing lipstick in the recent photo – she’d just finished a raspberry sorbet in Halls Gap. My specs and ring are evidence that I haven’t given up just yet, and Dad’s old Commer – well, we are around the same age, and I think I’m generally holding up better than the truck!

Friday Poem: Dream On

reachI read an article recently about people who have lost loved ones, and had vivid and consoling dreams that have helped them through grief. Some of them also spoke of another kind of dream, in which the loved one is nearby, but can’t be reached, which gave me the idea for this poem. I remember a dream like this involving my late sister, in which she was walking ahead of me, but would not turn around – so I know how distressing it can be.IMG_4303 (Large)

Eyes closed
he leans toward her,
lips pursed.
She closes her eyes,
leans in
and waits,
breath bated.

Nothing happens,
and she awakes
with him not there.

follows her
all day.

she will sleep once more.
she will dream again.

Maybe this time
He will not
disappear.IMG_4353 (Large)

Once again, it’s tricky to find photos of dreams, so I’ve picked some that I think reflect the mood. I had some fun editing the top one from a fairly prosaic shadow of my hand on the wall of our house into something completely different. The fabric suggest the “veil” between the living and the dead, and the balloons floating away in the sky…I think you can figure that out.

Creativity: Escape XIII

More pages from my altered book “Escape”…This one features my dream home, a “cabin-in-the-woods”, with me flying over the roof – because when I’m dreaming, I like to fly. The page was painted over with house paints, and then crayon and coloured pencil was added. A few lines of black marking pen help define the drawing. Working outside the lines is what artists do, don’t you think?


Escape 34


Instead of paint, this page is covered with a sheet of tissue from an old dressmaking pattern – it has the layout for cutting your fabric printed on it. Over that, a stamp of fancy scissors (appropriate!), and a wild rose, which I’ve coloured in with pencil. The text is an admonition to self – some relationships are not helpful…for creativity, or anything else.
Escape 35


The paint colour on this page is called “Kirkwood”, which is the surname of the Meatpuppet brothers, and made the colour irrisistable to me. My youngest son’s room once featured a colour called “Pixie”, but I’ve never gone with a dark purple labeled “Nirvana”. I have to like the colour as well as the name!

The bit of printed text is from a brochure advertising an art exhibition, and a good reminder – looking really isn’t the same as seeing. Like many women, I struggle still with “duty” – what I “should” do, and “patience”, which can mean just putting up with things which are unhelpful to me – and they get in the way of creativity. So I’m typing this post when I “should” be making dinner….
Escape 36

Friday Poem: Dream

Mostly, dreams evaporate the moment I move my head, but this one clung on long after I woke up, and I recorded it in the form of a poem…

I open the door
And peer into the cellar.
There is a strange greenish light:
The clear, warm, salty pool, waist deep:
At the centre of the space
A golden statue,
A figure of Avolokiteshvara,
Buddha of Compassion –
Was it from his tears
That Kwan Yin arose?-
And what should arise
From the pool of tears in my basement?
Do I drain it, drink it, swim in it?
What is the purpose of all those tears?




The illustration/illumination, is of detail of a larger collage – an antique image of Avolokiteshvara, made in Tibet or Nepal – I forget which. I had a play with it, digitally, in an effort to make it a little more like my dream. I refrained from adding tears, which may have made the Buddha of Compassion look more like a sad clown… If anyone has any ideas about the meaning of my dream, I’d be interested to hear!

Weekly Phoneography Challenge: Future Tense

Vague reflectionThe future is unknown, and unknowable in it’s details, as mysterious as I hope this picture is!

But we can make educated guesses.Yarn stash

This bag full of yarn, which I rescued from the op shop/thrift store where I work, will in the future be transformed by clever people with knitting needles and crochet hooks, after which it will become a Yarnbomb – to celebrate my other place of voluntary work, the Ararat Regional Art Gallery.

Flower bomb

Which is where I was today, crocheting flowers (amongst other things) for that future yarnbomb.Follow your dreams...

The best way, I think, to approach the unknown future, is to follow your dreams. It might not (probably wont!) go according to plan, but you can have fun trying. And maybe, despite everything, you may succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

The great American philosopher, Garrison Keillor, had this to say on the pursuit of dreams, however…

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.”

Baby Giraffe

In the future (not terribly far into the future) I will be adding ‘granny’ to my list of attributes. It’s not something I thought I wanted, but I’m guessing I would have if only I’d known!