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K for Knitting

You can knit outfits from yarn without looking

you can catch up stitches across rows

you can undo what you have just done

you can invent your own pattern

There are some who yarn while they knit

many sing and dance, moving about

others put it down with a sigh

only to pick it up with dreamy eyes

What of those like me whose feet punctuate the rhythm of their hands

following the cadence by keeping up to step

it is a simple beat.

Knit-Purl Step-Up with right foot

back to Knit-Purl Step-up with right foot

Lilting unto the end.

O for OPINIONS

You’re trapped.  
You work from home
and no one is checking over your shoulder  
you’re in charge, running the show 
Just send your report and you are paid, but so little!

Or you choose to take a job in town  
where you are part of the team 
with back-to-back meetings 
while you smile to colleagues till your lips feel sore 
A well-paid job but you will never get your way.  

If  sharing information is at stake 
yet you intend to offset the demands 
and maintain a balance 
keep your views  to yourself 
Saving your wise opinions for an opportune time.

Quarantining some Australians

The shopkeeper signals her over.

’Not my turn!’ she says.

He looks to the side ‘Come on then!’

calling to the Indigenous youth he’d ignored,

who shuffles up holding some sandals. 

‘You can’t afford those, he growls, ‘Pick something else’,

returning the man’s card behind the counter.

He turns to her.  ‘One sunhat. Any cash with that?’ 

She shakes her head, enters her pin,

staring at the forlorn card on counter. 

‘Cashless welfare’ he grins.

Looking up, ‘That’s better!’ 

She turns to see the glum youth,

standing, flipflops in hand.

Uneasy now,

she wonders how to report this power keeper.

P for People

I love hearing people and enjoy watching them

but I don’t like to study them. I know gestures,

posture or gait can indicate varied personalities.

I understand some traits like the eyes, the nose

or the mouth might be inherited.

Is there a view that our body shape

could affect our development

as an individual? I don’t

know that either.  

For an insight

into my fellow

humans I rely

only on intuition.

No study needed.

When we meet

I start talking with

them. By chance

we open on topics

common to us.

Either we hit it off

or we don’t.

Nightmare for officers

Communication was difficult

due to lack of facilities in a prison.

Prisoners were sometimes refused

pen, paper or envelopes.

Some of the duty officers could be punitive

or unwilling to act.

In  the education centre, tutors often worked around that:

pulled out pages, force- scribbled pens,

sharpened  pencils.

Student prisoners sometimes came back with

a poem,

other times with a letter for which they needed

an envelope.

They said they could buy stamps but the shop had

no envelopes.

Last night my dream became

a prison administrator’s nightmare.

Education received

a gross of envelopes.

Every prisoner who wanted could send letters!

M for Mindfulness

Mindfulness                                                                      
 
Definitely in the moment. Legs crossed and back straight!
I close my eyes and concentrate.  Rock music, not
the Beatles, Pop Songs. I push that thought aside.
A shard of light. Beachside sunsets will defeat
all blinds. I breathe in, then out for two extra
counts.  In with the sea smell, out with rock
pulses.  Breathing in the musical
rhythms, holding  and  breathing
out the warm sunlight. I let go. 
Vagueness of thoughts
and sounds merge in
the lull of the van
where I sit on a
mat, on the edge
of a crowded
caravan park.
I’m ready
to party.
 

Language Learning

I tried calligraphy
With trials at drawing.
I didn’t go on stage. 
I gave up the piano. 
From Greek I translated
Some of Homer’s Iliad.
I went around Europe,
In and out of England too.
I danced to rock and roll
But revelled in jazz jams.
I met an Englishman.
Leaving my little brother behind, we went to Africa.  There in a house
With no electricity we raised our first-born. To my small baby, wrapped 
in bright java-print I started talking in French English even in Chilunda. 
Mwinilunga turned out to be a good place to learn a new language .