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 
expresses 
in its flight 
something like joy 

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

the heart 
that breaks and breaks and breaks
until 
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

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

following 
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.

PORTRAIT AND POEMS

in the dream
you pushed our rickety house
over
how shall we live
now that we grow old?

I stopped reading
and began to gaze
out the window
and that’s why he
reached over and touched me

open Heart, open
to the world of beauty
its cruelty
and your warm husband’s breath
and his limited sleeping breath

the young plum tree
in the first autumn fog
already bare
my loving heart
will take what comes

SaveSave

how fragile

kapok-bush-1bnwhow fragile
the wings of a dragonfly
falling

kapok
seed heads
as light
as my heart
isn’t

botanic garden
I open my palms
as I walk

my forehead
against the huge bole
of a bottle tree
we collect the detritus
of seasons

 

 

black feathers

Cara was blind. She couldn’t see grain on the ground and would sometimes roost on a stone in the middle of the flat. But she must have had some sight, because she could get in the dog’s door and would wander into the kitchen, making that ‘Brrk, brrk,’ sound that hens make for greeting.

a shuffle
of black feathers
then a cackle
and there’s a warm brown egg
in the washing basket

(tanka published in Bright Stars, Volume 2)