Weekly Photography Challenge: Wish

Share a wish…I could have found more iterations of this wish for peace love and empathy, but three seems like enough for now. The yellow background piece is a page from an artist scrapbook I made some years ago – lots of bits of junk and scraps of paper went into it, and it was great fun to make. You can see it here.

The rocks I collected over a period of time – “freedom” and “rock’n’roll” are in there too, and I wish I had more of both.

The last image was done digitally, using an art programme the kids had. It was fun, but frustrating trying to draw with the mouse. Much more sophisticated versions are available now, and that programme is well and truly out of date now, but I’m glad I thought to print this one off to keep.

I’ve found a rock with “Love” carved into it since taking the first photo, so that’s at least one wish fulfilled. I also wish someone would come and do my dusting…IMG_1227edit

Advertisements

Vale

a-pencil-portraitHey Kurt,
today was your birthday.
You would have, should have, been 50 today. But you are forever 27, a magic age, neither boy nor man, suspended there forever.
No grey hairs or paunch for you: the girls will always think you’re cute – girls who weren’t born when you died declare their undying love for you. If only you could have known, would you have felt validated by that?
I kind of doubt it. I remember seeing a video of Courtney telling you she thought you were “really cute”, and the doubt in your face. You really believed you were ugly, didn’t you?
People believe strange things, like the conspiracy theorists who insist you were murdered. It might be comforting, I suppose, to think that a clever criminal did it, and not you, despite your reckless drug use and suicidal ideation that pointed to a deep and corrosive despair at your core.
Lets not dwell on the bitter end, not today. Let’s remember you as caring, generous and sweet, a bright and beautiful young man loved by your friends, and by the punk rock community that took you in and released you into the unsuspecting world, adored now by fans the whole world over; a world the breadth of which that boy from Aberdeen Wa could not imagine…
Peace Love Empathy
lets remember and cling to them.
The world needs them more now than ever.
Rest easy, sweet Kurt,
wherever you are.you-could-do-anything

Weekly Photography Challenge:Path +Poem

The week between Christmas and New Year is always rather strange – days seem to stretch and contract in the wake of the rush leading up to the holiday for some reason. We’ve also had some days of tropical heat and humidity, which are difficult to deal with in a normally Mediterranean climate…So it’s Friday already, and my path has at last reached WordPress for the Weekly Photography Challenge.july-aug-2011-584-large

This path is in the Japanese Garden in Portland Oregon, which we visited in 2011, and hope to see again some day. That’s a physical path. This poem travels a path too, and I took another path through my photos, looking for some to illuminate the poem.

I walked out the gate
And saw a rainbow
(Symbol of peace and hope)
My heart
(Symbol of love and passion)
Leapt up
sending the blood
(Symbol of empathy and life)
Coursing through my veins.

I couldn’t find an image of an actual rainbow, but I love prisms in the windows and the rainbows they cast around the room on sunny days. Tran(s)cendence (oops) is an image taken when I had a film camera and had to wait to have my pictures developed to find out how they turned out. It became part of a series of “Sukie’s Original Covers” – handmade CD covers using my work that I thought looked like “Cover Art”, inspired in no small way by Pixies “Dolittle”with Simon Larbalestier’s amazing photography in the inlay booklet.

Sukie’s Original became the name I use for all my artwork, and the Trancendence image is now printed on beautiful scarves by Vida. That’s a path I never expected to travel, but I’m happy that I did.scarf

Friday Poem: Tristan On A Frosty Morning

It’s my middle son’s 35th birthday today, so it’s about 33 years since I wrote this – we were living in a suburb of Melbourne, next to a road reserve where wattle trees, dog roses and fennel grew wild. We walked along there twice a day in all weathers, escorting his big brother to his primary school. baby Tris

Tristan trots along in the sunlit frosty morning,
All grey and brown like a small bird,
Clothing with fennel feathers the naked rose bushes,
His nose all rosy, oblivious of the cold.dill1

He’s a bit younger in that pic than when I wrote the poem – all my photos from back then were slides, which are wonderful, but not easy to share when I only have a few minutes to spare, sadly. Now he’s a grown up with a child of his own, and a in a year or two, they’ll be able to go for glacially slow walks, studying nature and having fun.TRIS AND ME

This pic is from his 21st party – I converted that Something For Kate t-shirt into a cushion cover some time in those 14 years.

Friday Poem: Forget-me-not

IMG_5796 (Large)I saw a photo of a forget-me-not flower somewhere recently, and this old poem sprang into my mind, every word of it, so I thought I’d share it. It’s dated Dec 2 1971, so I wrote it nearly 45 years ago. The intent was rather romantic – I was 15 – and it was probably coloured by the novels I was reading back then. You might know the sort, they are all much the same, although the modern versions are -ahem- spicier. The heroine has mousy hair and a boyish figure. The guy has a chiseled jaw, piercing blue eyes and is older and in a position of power. She thinks she loathes him but is jealous of a glamorous lady in his life. They fight a bit, then something bad happens to her, and he has to admit he’s adored for from the moment he first saw her. End of story. (Sometimes they got married for some reason of convenience before he realises he adores her…) Mum claimed to read them for the scenery. I read them because they were there. Anyway, by some miracle, I think my teenage love poem transcends all that, and is actually pretty good.forget-me-not2

‘Forget me not
For I have loved you;
Remember me
Through all your dreaming hours:
Dear friend,
To you I speak
Through these small flowers –
Blue and mauve and pink –
These three nostalgic words
Straight to your heart –
“Forget-me-not.”

Despite the fact that forget-me-nots come up around my garden wherever they please (which is how they got the name), I couldn’t find any photos of them. Maybe I didn’t look hard/long enough, or maybe they are too common-or-garden to photograph. I do have the drawing that accompanies the poem in my old book, and I found this moody shadowy image and played with it until it took on some blue and mauve and pink colouring. I think it fits, and I like it a lot. Hope you do also!

The first photo is a vignette (ie collection of stuff) on my mantelpiece, which I think has a nostalgic romantic mood to match the poem too.It’s been rearranged since then…

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: What We Missed

IMG_1966 (Large)

It’s just over 24 years now since my sister died, but this time of year still drags, and a vague sense of something missing – someone missing – dogs my days. I’ll be more cheerful again soon…Well, generally I am, but poetry is for trawling the deeps.

Also, I turn 60 in a couple of weeks. How can that be?

IMG_1986 (Large)

When I am sixty and
you are still twenty seven…
That’s not what’s supposed
to happen.
We are supposed to grow up
and go on adventures.
We are supposed to cook meals
for each other,
play with the kids
exchange gifts at Christmas
grow old together.
We are supposed to spend
days in cafes
drinking coffee, reading papers
talking or just being there…
That’s what’s supposed to happen.

You were not supposed to
get sick and die.
I don’t like that kind of story.

nataraja 2