look what was in the post

belinda-broughton-ms-4-editing3The manuscript of my soon-to-be-published book ready for more little pencil marks. The second round of editing. I feel frustrated and nervous while editing. Well, here’s hoping! Last time around, all the paragraph breaks had disappeared. Rather essential to poetry, don’t you think?

It is memoir/biography of my husband Ervin, but in first person. He has had a pretty amazing life.

The White Coat

When the soldiers came to the hospital
I had just carried an injured man in.
The doctor put a white coat on me.
‘See to this equipment, Doctor,’ he said.

So I was pretending to adjust
a hanging bag of blood
with its little knobs and tubes
when the soldiers passed me by
without seeing my freedom fighter’s boots.

from during the 1956 hungarian uprising.


Where the horse manure,
rank and steaming, melted the snow

doves would come on their thin feet
to peck at the undigested grain.

I understand how they came
to be a symbol of peace

with their domestic colours
and soft voices

how they love
with such devotion

how watching them
can heal a war-torn heart.

I threw fresh seed or crumbled bread
and they came pecking

and crooning their one soft syllable
hoo, hoo

the sort of sound one makes for a lover
or whispers into a baby’s ear.

From when he was working as a jockey in Austria after the refugee camp.

Fair Go

When I was logging
there was a bloke there called Bill.
He used to grab me by the hair
and pull me round saying,
‘Look! I got myself a wog here.’
I was fair game he reckoned
because I’m short. I was under
this bloody oaf’s hand saying,
‘Let me go, you prick, it hurts.’
And he was saying, ‘Oh, listen
to the wog whine, ‘It hurts, it hurts.’
But he hadn’t got the measure of me,
and next thing he was on the ground
with a broken wrist, crying like a baby.
I wasn’t brought up on the streets
for nothing, but I thought, ‘I’m dead.’
All his friends were standing around
and they were bigger than him.
So I was looking around like a cornered dog,
but not one of them moved.
He deserved it, they reckoned.
Fair go, they reckoned.

From when he was logging in Australia


So, it’s off to work I go.

20 thoughts on “look what was in the post

  1. aloha Belinda. congratulations on the next step to publishing. i encourage you (because i’d need courage and encouragement as well i’m sure) to just do what you need to do in the pencil editing department. one pencil mark at a time (no matter how many times you might have already done it, it still takes as many times as it takes). the end goal approaches. way cool on that. aloha.

      1. yeah. it’s still a plus to be where you are as i see it.

        really. i’m just practicing these thoughts out on you. because if i ever get to the stage you are at, i want to have to listen to my own words and in that way keep going myself.

        way cool no matter how many rounds it takes. imo, do it until you are satisfied. and, rick? just breath. just breath.

        fun on to you. aloha.

        1. Thanks Rick, you’re very encouraging. It’s going well so far. I do feel excited and really pleased that it’s being published. I remember one writer saying, “Publish or go mouldy.” and I know what he means. There is a point when things need finalising so you can move on, I think.

        2. yeah. good point. do it and move on. i’ve begun to realize that when i approach completion of a goal i have to have another goal ready to go after. of course completing the first is the priority. it’s just good to have a next at hand too. thanks for listening. it helps me to reply because then what i think becomes much clear to me and i can often go after that because i know it’s what i intend. i hope that makes sense. good progress on you. aloha.

        3. Interesting isn’t it Rick. I see one after the other artist or writer fall in a heap after their exhibition or book launch. I think it’s partly because we invest so much into these things and get exhausted, but it’s also because of what I call ‘finishing magic’. The autumn harvest is followed by the fallow period of winter. people feel dried up (because they are) but they aren’t ready to accept this part of the creative cycle and complain of block. well we all want to create something momentous every single day. Just sometimes what is needed is to made a soup.
          I’ll be interested to see if it happens with this project. I finished writing the book a couple of years ago now and have moved on creatively to things like this blog and having an interaction with my new friend Rick!

        4. yes. oh yes. we all need down time. quiet time. brewing in our silence time. yes. i no longer worry about that. in fact i see that as a signal that i am about to come out on the other side and launch up. so that time actually now excites me.

          and yes. that whumph of completion and done. can take it out of us. that’s why, for me, i like having that little idea in my back pocket. the one i’m itching to get on to. as i approach the completion of something. and especially when it’s something major. so that the next day. i can step into a quiet place and play. knowing my back pocket has this little treasure. or maybe it’s a list of possibilities. and i’ll have it to select from. or go onto something completely new to me that i had not thought of until that moment because i know i have that quiet place to go to. i suspect it’s knowing, that i need that next day and the quiet time and place to go on to, that keeps the completion moment in perspective for me. or that’s what i’m aiming for. hoping for. yay on completion. yay on going on. cycle.

          yes. it’s good to let these things out and think on them. i like that about dialogues like this. i’ve mentioned that before i’m sure. it helps me to know what i think in this way. if i write it down and it doesnt ring true, i usually catch it. if it rings true, it’ll sink in and i’ll have it when i need it.

          so yeah. way cool to dialogue with you Belinda. thank you. yes, friends across the planet. it’s nice to meet you. fun on. aloha.

  2. Hey, Bin… looking forward to Sparrow… when do you think the launch will be? I assume Ervin was logging in Australia, not Austria??

    1. I have no idea how I ended up with the scrolling thing. Probably some button when I set up the blog. I am new to blogging too, started mid december I think. Muddling along, learning as I go. And still plenty to learn. But I really like it so far. It seems to suit the character of my creativity lately. (i.e. on my lap)
      I have long liked your poetry Tom, so I’m really glad to have found you.
      And thanks for your good wishes re Sparrow. I hope it goes well. It will be my first published collection.

  3. Hi Belinda, I enjoy your poetry a lot and I will have a published collection (actually a collaboration between myself and another Brisbane poet) in my hands some time late February or March. Care to barter a copy of mine for a copy of yours?

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