Tanka Sequence, Spring 2020 (plus fire recovery update)

having been 
burnt to its roots 
the parsley thrives 
and I take it 
as a metaphor

the wagtail 
on its wings of frailty 
in its flight 
something like joy 

my dead mum comes
wearing a sun hat 
flowers and secateurs 
in her hands

the heart 
that breaks and breaks and breaks
there’s beauty 
even in that

a seedling weed
it’s virility pushing 
towards seed 
what will I plant now
in the burnt garden of my heart

these happy flowers 
of the onion weed 
nod their heads 
and here I am with 
my murderous intent

out of sight
some unknown bird
about its business 
of eating and loving

the heart’s happiness 
I find 
I quite enjoy 
hanging out washing

that I am earth 
lying here on it 
gazing at the sky
sometimes the mind 
needs rest, and so …


By Sunday, we will have a roof on the structure that will be our home! Lock up next week. Wow! It looks enormous perched on the hillside on its piles of excavated dirt. With the partly enclosed veranda it is a slightly larger floor plan, but is actually a little less tall than our old house, but because it has no trees around, it sticks out like … a new build on a bare hill. The old house nestled in like it wasn’t there. It was, in fact, just as visible but no one noticed it. Now we have people saying, ‘Dean called me out to the veranda the other day and said, “Look over there. We can see Ervin and Belinda’s new house.”‘ They always could because I looked, standing there one day.

The veranda will be able to be closed with shutters, if it ever has to face down flame again. Otherwise we would have to shift anything flammable inside, not something you want to have to do while running.

Today we will finalise choices on the kitchen cabinets. On Friday it was choosing for the bathroom. All I can say is I am glad I have our wonderful daughter managing all this, and managing me and holding my hand when confronted with a vast array of possibilities, tiles for e.g..

A3 is a good size for thinking. Sticky tape helps too. In fact my brain feels like it is held together with sticky tape.

9 thoughts on “Tanka Sequence, Spring 2020 (plus fire recovery update)

  1. Loved reading the tanka, in each there was something I could relate to. So glad the new house is beginning to take shape after the disastrous fire. Wishing you all the best.

  2. “what will I plant now
    in the burnt garden of my heart”

    What I see is a constant planting, Belinda, at the core of which, however tremulous at times, lies a resilience akin to that of the burnt parsley, the flitting wagtail, the seedling weed. In your close observation of such things and the acknowledgement of metaphor, you display your own nature, and its willingness for renewal. Indeed, the burnt garden of your heart seems a place already of wild profusion. It is instructive to me and inspiring! I’d love to be able to bottle the essence of it and give it to my children to drink!!!!

    1. Certainly tremulous at times! So I just have to stick to one thing after the other, because it is still overwhelming. So many decisions!
      Your children probably have the propensity for great resilience actually. I’m not sure one knows until one is tested. And even then sometimes the ‘weakest’ survive. And then there is the play of luck, whatever it is! And we have been blessed with a lot of that. People laugh when I say that, but it’s true. Who knows what the effect of things like this are? We will end up with a more secure building, among other things.

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