BY pearl

08/01 Direct Link
there is a florist's window
full of roses
underneath it says

let your heart bloom

I was willing, truly willing
I even sent you the roses
well, a picture anyway

I also sent a picture
of a lotus blooming
in full magnificence
between cars parked on the street

perhaps this will be
a better metaphor?
we will discuss it
if we meet

at the art shop
I buy paper butterflies
for my little girls

outside a large butterfly
with black lace wings
alights on a bright yellow flowering bush
I catch my breath

butterflies follow me all down the street

08/02 Direct Link
in a little shop window
a sign
life is uncertain
eat dessert first

in the courtyard
a longed for motor bike, prestige, convenience and freedom
in the courtyard
plants that need to be watered

and a cat
ecstatically curled
in the sun
08/03 Direct Link
everything I need to do here is finished for now
I will not have the contemplative time I hoped -
my cousin has died
and I will go to my homeland

I thought we had a little more time
that I would go in the springtime
and say goodbye
and see my cousins, my sisters

but now is all we have
and he has gone
he did not want to linger
we will respect that choice

he was a kind
and thoughtful presence in my life
all my life
I want to be a kind
and thoughtful presence in his death

08/04 Direct Link
I am sitting in my favourite coffee shop
I open my email
Sad News
my cousin has died

Oh shit I say
seeing him-
thinking of him
thinking of his wife
and daughters
and his brothers
one close, one very far away

I hope he went quickly
without too much struggle
without too much pain
a good life
I hope it was a good death

the young man at the table next to me does not look up
as tears stream down my face

I leave my bag, even the laptop and go out into the lane-way
I look at the sky

08/05 Direct Link
I took a picture of a warm stone doorway
to a private home
the tall glass doors are
protected by a tall stone wall

you can just see inside
but not very far-
beyond the gate
the wall is hung with garlands of marigolds
offerings to the gods perhaps
prayers for the peace and health and happiness
of those who live there
those who approach
and those who merely pass by

we are becoming elders
glancing in at the intimate mystery
we live it each day
but is not yet ours
08/06 Direct Link
it's Hiroshima Day
the day that thousands died-
the day, my father said,
that thousands died to end a war
in which many thousands more
would certainly have died
never forget, he said
the Burma Railway, the camps
the bombing of Darwin.
I will never forget-
nor what our teacher told us
the story of a little girl
folding 1000 paper cranes
and dying of leucaemia

it's Hiroshima Day
the first prunus blooms in New Zealand now-
Jo brought me some
the day our little son was born
unexpectedly, so premature..
so perfect, but he did not stay

it's Hiroshima Day
we floated candles down the river every year
may the world never see
another Hiroshima Day
may other mothers never grieve
another Hiroshima Day

08/07 Direct Link
In January 1998
I have the date
it's nearly twenty years ago
I played around with some
coloured fragments from a magazine

to my astonishment a perfect oriental jar
black and grey, with a vivid design
laquered upon it, formed, and fell
it seemed from an open window sill
that looked out on the Himalayas

I imagined all the wisdom
of a thousand years
gathered at the feet of masters
now spilling out
and this described my task
I was only forty four

I never saw
if the jar fell softly
or if it shattered
as it touched the ground
I only understood
it is no longer time to gather
but to pour

no matter how beautiful the store
it is of no value
unless we pour
may a river flow-
from everything I've ever known
I can't ask more.
08/08 Direct Link
You turn 65 today!
Congratulations on a life well lived.
I hear you collected a pension cheque for $47
I hope you bought a nice bottle of bubbly with
that, it wouldn't buy you milk and cornflakes!

I hear you plan truly to retire
and be a Dad to Max
Such a surprise when he was born
and such a joy!
No more building? repairing houses
that might be better left fallen down!
No more paperwork,
but also no more satisfaction
from a job well done.

I can't imagine I will retire.I wonder if I will?
two young women who vowed
they would always look out for one another?
I am far away, but I am here still.
08/09 Direct Link
that's August done!
the last entry
written in September
glad to have another month completed
I can never do it day by day
so much emotion
so many people
so much joy and grief and full satisfaction
even hope flutters at the edge of the page
without too much expectation

heading into spring boxes
boxes and boxes still to be reviewed
practical things to do
walls to paint and paper to sort..
gardening yours and mine
I was mad to gallop forwards
but inspired
now I am tired, slowly
take it day by day
let the angels have their say.
08/10 Direct Link
there is a cat
curled in the clean sheets
hung over my armchair
to air just a little more
before they are folded
and put away
smelling of sunshine

how do they always know
how to enjoy the very best on offer?
to sleep and stretch and wake and demand
affection and fresh fish?

their religion is self care
yet they can be kind
show a little kindness
when their humans grieve
I did not ask this cat to live with me
she gets offended when I go away-

I am glad you leap-
tonight you'll sleep
on my bed
08/11 Direct Link
It is cold, blustery, winter-
the waves are choppy;
there's a sea mist
just the kind of day
the coastguard has to be on alert,
just the kind of day you might have chosen
had you been asked, perhaps you were,
for your funeral.

The yatch club faces the sea
your coffin faces the sea
entwined among the flowers is driftwood, rope, shell
honouring your love of the sea
of mucking around in boats since a childhood I remember.
We honour you here by the sea.

"I must go down to the sea again for the call of the running tide
is a wild call and a clear call that cannot be denied..."

08/12 Direct Link
damn damn secrets and lies
a secret becomes a lie
in the way we live
and give or do not give to each other

there is nothing so shameful it cannot be shared-
no grief so deep it cannot be touched
no despair so profound it cannot be found
no resentment that cannot be released by laughter
no desire so tender it can't be admired
no rage that is not made more powerful
and focused by being witnessed
no hurt, no horror, no loneliness, no fear that the gods do not see
that would even be there, if we shared
if we care
enough to share

live with your heart like a river
I will live with my heart like a river
no secrets, no lies

08/13 Direct Link

My last day here
cooking for my sister
who works long hours
and then has hours of preparation
and still takes in the washing
and offers counsel, translation
care and prayer...

I wish you'd toss off that
dove grey Quaker cloak
that settled on your shoulders long ago!
You are a Leo...really?
You had this stunning auburn hair-
fading now to a soft blonde
with a hint of pretty apricot.

I'd like to see you laugh until
the tears flush out
every sadness you ever had
and every fear-
see you walk hand in hand
under the cherry blossom.

08/14 Direct Link

How incredible to see you
so elegant, sensitive and lovely
with your thoughtful, very nice fiance.

How amazing you are home to see
your family, and to marry,
with hamburgers and champagne
for that pesky visa
just as I too am in the country.

Yes, it has been a very big thing
seeing you born, and grow
and knowing, something, many things
of your journey, hearing now
of your initiatives, your evident, shy
sky high talent.

Blessings darling.
How privileged am I
to have you as my goddaughter.
Arohanui, young ones
May love surround you every day
all your days.

08/15 Direct Link

It's a crisp morning
in Heathcote Valley
where rocks rolled down
from the summit of
the mountain.
I recall my husband and I looked at land
close by, before the overwhelming spring loveliness
of the Bay called us to build
with views from every window.

You welcome us
and show us your new garden.
Enough vegetables
for all the young ones too
though they don't like them.
Granddad you are so old fashioned!
But you make me soup
from your vegetables
It is as delicious as
our long friendship.
And there is a view
from the window.
A long view.

08/16 Direct Link
(Sept Fri)

the old walnut tree went
when you built this house
and most of the roses
though the camelias you planted
still bloom along the fence.

you did not know
your gracious old villa
would subside
after the earthquake..
there is a new building going up
I could never fill a space so large
but you have a large family together

You are well
quite silver haired now
You tell me stories I am so happy to hear
and others I do not want to hear at all
but will carry
for you dear friend
tears run down my face today
08/17 Direct Link
Today I sat at the fountain
it was hot.
I wrapped my long pink and grey scarf
it's a pretty scarf
over my head and throat
as protection from
the strong sun.
A Hindu woman
in bindi and sari
and white runners
stopped and asked if she could put her bag down next to me
while she did up her shoelace.
Sure, I said
and she straightening up
reached out her hand to touch my scarf.
she said,
is it a Muslim scarf?

Pauline Hanson
should try wearing a pink and grey scarf
She might be touched by kindness,

08/18 Direct Link
wrapped in the kind afternoon
hearing of your arduous walk
over the Camino
for three long months-
you both got sick
on the long flat plain
many people do not walk that part
but you did
true pilgrims
welcomed with such grace
at the end of every day
your clothes taken from you
to wash your face
time to feel
what wells from within
walking this path
that others have walked
for a thousand years
you still look the same to me
both of you, the same beloved souls-
so good
to sit with you
in the kind afternoon
08/19 Direct Link
this was a bitter night
thin boards
over bare earth
grimy windows, cobwebs, cold
as if I had discovered a summer shack

too tired to
trudge up the hill
catch another train
head into the city
and across town to friends again
denying my very reason for being
in the mountains
you did not come to meet me
after a long trip
you did not eat the simple meal I planned

in the morning we lost our way
I became ill
too much pain
too much to leave here
cold to the bone
on this lovely day
and sad
08/20 Direct Link
bitter cold
through the floor
the walls, my chest
and then a recall
a late term
forced abortion
in agony
giving birth
to a little girl
too young, too traumatised to live
I hold her to my heart
sobbing for my loss, our loss
still hazy with this drug
from so long ago
 I do not want to bleed to death
not this time..
what do I need?
any who can bring a salve
to stem this bleeding
the grieving
of my womb
who can keep me grounded
on planet earth
I do not wish to die
this time
a man came, thank you
and a woman, thank you
the child was born
and buried
between two
flowering hillsides

08/21 Direct Link
yellow ground
blue check shirt
hair grey at temples
but thick
another in a boat
big tall man
slightly thicker
than when he was twenty
as we all are
at a desk
a spare desk
polished shoes
business clothes
another grinning, thumbs up
when we first began
to speak
images of construction underway
at an engineering conference
a pin in his lapel
so really an engineer
trust this
you are the woman
I want to spend my life with
I will come anywhere
I am longing
to come home to you
08/22 Direct Link
why is it 
women can be astronauts and bankers
but still die in childbirth
from bleeding after
unnecessary caesarians
after unnecessary inductions!!
thank all the angels
your little girl did not die
that you did not die
that even though
you were in agony
and still labour to breathe and cough
and feed your little one
you will live

and she will live and one day
revisit the day
the labour stopped
and she felt your exhaustion
in utero
at least she will also feel your love
all our love
and my rage that 
in another generation
will have to live this through!
08/23 Direct Link
a blissful day
watching a little maid
draw and play
from six til nine
then hurl herself
up padded mountains 
and down valleys in a baby gym
with an enchanted mother!

ribbon and twirling sticks, castanets, 
a big rainbow paracute on which to
sit with others eating morning tea..

a visit to the coots and ducks
ibis nesting heavily in a cottonwood
and nine long necked tortoises

playing shop under the sun umbrella
and then a little girl dancing 
in the bathtub
to her father's rhythmn
pausing only
to adust the sound a little
by twisting the window knob

before counsulting the dictionary
snuggled up with parents
with story books
on the wide bed.
08/24 Direct Link
The Rainbow Soul
walks the path
of the Black Heart.
He has one of
those soft black hearts
tucked under his left arm
while the right 
holds an equally black sword
from which stream
all the colours of the path
above, around, below
cascading down
the waterfall of life.

Your drawing
reminds me
of the soft bolt of love
that thudded into my
black heart
when we parted.
I am not sure if
it was a bolt of cloth 
to stem the bleeding
and wipe up tears,
or whether
it's a roll of 
carnival bunting..
Either way
I'm stayin' alive.


08/25 Direct Link
I can't loose cos I'm a dancing man
Keeping alive, keeping alive, we're keeping alive
There's heaven on my shoes
and I can't loose
cos I am a dancing man.
Whether you're a brother
or whether you're a mother
you're keeping alive-
Lift those shoulders and twist the hips
place your feet this way then this, then this
feel the music, feel alive-
we'll get by
we'll get by.
We're alive
Yeah, you've
been kicked around since you were born,
no point in being all forlorn
It's midnight!
We should be dancing!
Dancing dancing, staying alive
If you want to see a new day dawn
Stay alive stay alive 
I got heaven on my shoes
I'm a dancing woman
I can't loose
We got heaven on our shoes
No way now
We'll ever loose.

40 years of the Bee Gees
08/26 Direct Link
what is it about wanting?
we want
and want
and want
and all the while
the nasturtiums
are blooming bright yellow and orange in the tangled garden

what is it about longing?
we long and long and long
you take me to heaven
come home to me
you are home
happy, always
home in me
home with me
for the strong bond
and all the while
the bright pink snapdragons
are blooming against the wall

what is it about surrender?
the petals of the almond flowers
in full glory just two days ago
are now falling
swirling, falling
08/27 Direct Link
The grass is swept with
 sunny buttercup yellow.
Spring.It's too soon.
I've missed the winter
I've missed long days of rain
wind, cold, rain on the tin roof
soup and conversation.
Now it's spring.
The magpies
are warbling love carols
at 4am, in the dark
in the tree by my front verandah.
My little girl 
is three inches taller..
We made cakes
and read a new story book.
Soon she will travel across
the world into an island afternoon
to say goodbye to her 
 mother's generous childhood home..
Yes, I am still a bit sick
and very melancholy.
08/28 Direct Link
I said
Not interested
An event
I dreamed of, nurtured in my imagination
 and loved into existence.
I said
It is no longer ours
But yours
An advertising event
an an exuberant festival
of participation, research and feasting.
Every encounter
Be advertising,
Self promotion
and self seeking 
in the guise of communication?
The Mysteries 
are not for sale.

Perhaps it will be a great success 
Sadly, I will not be there.
I would prefer
you say hello
before asking 
what I would like to buy or sell.
I am not for sale.
08/29 Direct Link
How much do I love you?
Let me count the ways..
you pick me up, won't let me fall
 your'e loyal, you think, you feel, you call
we love to talk, create, dance, and eat
you notice everything, right down the street
you make me laugh
you have a penetrating gaze
you see my need
you have my back
you reach right in
you have the knack
you see the light, the grace, the joy
you are protective
mischeivous, deep
your black knight
is my hero
walking over the rainbow way
take back your castle
make it yours, you say
own your garden
have a lodger or air b and b
share with your kids
it will be theirs one day
let go what can't be done
don't grieve, you do not need
to be in such dark spaces
I can deal with demons
you need not..
You are my magician, he
who holds the deepest earth
the deepest anguish
and the deepest mirth.
08/30 Direct Link
baby baby baby
it's a long time since I was a baby, babe
it's overdone, that baby name
like sugar, honey and sweetie pie
before you remember
my name.
I am not so sweet
oh yes I can be
I can also say no
I guess I overstepped my boundaries

gentle, yes
but strong
but willing to throw caution to the winds
but must be courted

you say god put us in each other's path
it must be a divine plan-
our lucky stars
I say if I loose my phone
will you remember my email?
08/31 Direct Link
I cannot write about your accusation
without adding another
of betrayal

I think it is nonsense 
born of your disappointment-
something you can't name
some ancient vulnerability 
some ancient shame

everytime I try to express
what I want
you accuse me of bitterness
or psychic attack
I know that 
you love me, admire me
want my friendship, advocacy, support
there is no need to fear me..
I have much to thank you for
I love you, admire you
want your friendship
advocacy, support..

Let's break this cycle..
I am sorry you are in pain
I will not visit again