20 Lines A Day

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Shadow Walkabout

Luke’s exhaustion consumed his last blink as he slipped beneath the watery depths of sleep.  His demons however did not retreat, chasing him relentless.  Their footprints forming trails of steam behind him, or were they his.  Gone too quick for anyone to follow, lost so that he never shares his burdens.  He has to rest and the only shade he can see is provided by a shadow with no discernible source.  In his fatigue his senses are dulled and his awareness is clouded, so he fails to realise that he stands under a shadow, cast by no one or from nothing.

Suddenly a girl, no more than 8 years old, appears by his side.  Her face is glowing; she is vibrant, energetic and quizzically turning her head as she stares at him.  She seems confused with Luke’s stance. “Why do you stand in the sun, when shade is at hand?” she asks, sweeping her hand in a gentle movement towards a Coolabah tree.  “You look hot, would you like a drink?”

Luke’s dried lips crack as he opens mouth.  He has dare not speak for as long as he can remember, out of fear that his lips would dissipate in the wind.  “Where did you come from?” his voice rasps.

She just smiles, and then skips away deeper into the desert.  The shadow pursues her vainly into the darkness of the forgotten.  Luke thinks of yelling out to her again, but raising his hand to hail her is painful enough.  Confused he isn’t sure what is real.  The thought however is too hard to contemplate at the moment, so he turns, crunching the barren soils beneath his feet as he drags his feet slowly to the tree.  Where did this tree come from he wonders, but in a land with no landmarks and no recollection of how he got here, there is little time to be concerned with such trivial matters.

He reaches the edge of the shade and mutters to no one in particular “Goodbye” before stepping over the threshold.  He wakes before he feels the cool relief of the shade.  Lying face down in reality, to face the battles of life that refuse to submit even in surreal lands.


6 Comments

I shall tend to your feet Pop

The other week-end I gave my Pop (dad) a pedicure. At almost 86, he has trouble bending down to tend to his feet.

I slowly removed his sandals and sat beside him on a small stool. He was worried that I would hurt my back by sitting this way….

Yours nails I cut carefully
and removed old skin
then massaged cream gently
along each of your feet

You thanked me for what you called a
‘laborious task’, to me it gave
me joy
to help see to the feet of my
father who was once a
little boy

My Dad

My Dad

As I massaged the cream
into your skin
I thought of where
your feet had been

These feet that were bare and told to stand in snow in a European Winter.
These feet that walked to the timber pile to chop wood for your step – father, the fire you were not allowed to be warmed by.

These feet that had to walk up the staircase where you were told to eat your meal, alone,  whilst the rest of the family ate downstairs in comfort at the table.

These feet that gave you the strength to escape from Czechoslavakia during the War, to cross mountains, hide on trains, trudge through forests, swim through rivers and nearly have your life ended twice by a gun held at you by the KGB.

These feet that brought you to Australia, to start a new life, to build a house for a family that you knew you would one day have, though you had no carpentry skills.

These feet that ran and played shuttlecock with us, the times that we went camping.

These feet that walked next to me on the day that I was wed.

These feet now older
that hold your struggling
legs and body
these feet are not a ‘laborious chore’
to me, my father

These feet have travelled many miles
through great adversity
saw you start a business
accomplish many things
I shall tend to your feet

as I love you
I shall tend again, again
and again

 


7 Comments

Merry Christmas to all …and to all a good night :-)

Best singing voices everyone – to be sung to Away in A Manger

Christmas in Australia

is just round the bend

I have prepped and stressed out

and now hope this will end

~~~~

We shall have our nibbilies

when they first walk in the door

then we’ll offer them a drink

one or two or maybe more

~~~

We shall sit at the table and crack

our bon-bons plastic toys and

paper hats silly jokes and

lot’s of noise

~~~

I’ll stress ’bout the turkey and also the pork

is it cooked through

is it done right

please test with your fork

~~~

I’ll consume too much alcohol

I know this to be true

and I’ll get all melancholy

just looking at you

~~~

the entree will come first

do not know what they’ll bring

I’m sure it’ll be delightful

and we’ll gladly tuck in

~~~

the potatoes will be crunchy

the pumpkin cooked just right

the mushy peas and salads

tasty morsels every bite

~~~

Then we have our pudding

lashings of custard if you please

then there’s trifle laced with alcohol

oh our belts will surely squeeze

~~~

The wine will flow freely

the laughs will get loud

there’ll be memories of

past years and how we imbibed

~~~

The presents will we open we

will goo and we will will gaa

we shall say oh you shouldn’t have

you really went too far

~~~

BUT secretly we are happy

for the presents that they gave

we’re delighted and thankful

and each one is our fave

~~~

The Carols will be playing

in the background soft and sweet

we shall eat drink and be merry

and later fall asleep

~~~

Yes this day is for families

and ones that you love

if I start to get teary

I will blame the egg-nog

~~~

The festivities will be finished

the kitchen is a mess

the dishes piled up high

but at least no more stress

~~~

Then Christmas day is over and

our tummies will be full and we

daren’t go and weigh ourselves

no that would be cruel

~~~

So enjoy your celebrations

whatever you may do have

and cry or laugh hysterically

for you’re entitled too


Yesterday in Melbourne Australia

100.4F yesterday hot sun in Australia

Parches throat and toasts the fauna

Restless nights sleep

Throw off the doona

~~~~~

Crispens grass and crackles till dry

Sun in the sky blistering high

Dance bare footed across the sand

Lie on the towels to catch suntan

~~~~~

No cool air to dissipate heat

Hot gates to open, hot iron seats

Birds are silent in heat withdrawn

Heat makes you tired sleepy..yawn

~~~~~

Sun rays beam down washing gets dried

Towels all crunchy almost fried

Trees not moving no wind to stir

But this is the country I love ….AUSTRALIA

 

 


2 Comments

December – Christmas in Australia

December is a coming it’s just around the bend

For some it will be snow flakes for us it’s heat and sun

We have turkey, chicken & our ham

We have our prawns or our seafood

We have our pudding with the custard

Or fresh in season berries which are so so deliciously good

Sometimes it will be BBQ

With the meats under cover they cook

Sometimes they’re thrown in oven

When doors are opened for one more look

Yes Christmas in Australia can be 104 degrees

We swelter with air con pumped up high

Our land is girthed by seas

And if it does get hotter we can but simply sigh

There won’t be snow flakes falling

Or bodies rugged up tight

There won’t be a hot toddy

Or a cold and chilly night

We share our love under heat and sun

And moan about the weather

How silly to serve hot meats we say

But at least we’re all together

There won’t be snow or chilly winds

But sun to blaze upon us

We tuck into our Christmas fare

With laughs, with love & stress

Is Christmas any different though?

We celebrate the same

We just have different temperatures

Of which we may complain

The Season of goodwill to man

Of that we have been told

To share our love & giving

With the young & with the old

So enjoy the day for what it is

Wherever you may be

The day of being with your friends

And your treasured family

For the day is shared all ov’ the world

Whether heat or snow or cold

A day of sharing, love & laughs

A day to remember as we grow old

 

 


In plane view (love a pun!)

Due to the remote lifestyle of people in Australia who don’t live in the metropolitan area the Royal Flying Doctors Service provide fundamental emergency and routine health care to those who wouldn’t have access to it otherwise. They are an Aussie institution and I’m proud to shine the spotlight on them. To get a better idea of the work RFDS do check out their website.

I did the tour and was lucky enough to catch one of the Pilatus PC-12’s being serviced:

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