R for Realism

This occurs when you don’t have anything on your mind. 
You've stopped worrying about every thing around you. 
you forget you left 	      the washing out, 
you don’t bother 	to put a heater on 
because you can stay warm 
under the bed covers. 
There is no 
doctor 
to visit
Catch up 
with a friend for coffee? 
Can wait for another day.  Check the letter box? 
Nobody writes any more.  	Some vacuuming? 
You swept under the table 	    the day before. 
Lunch? Sit up and watch TV with        a sandwich and a fruit. 
Water? There’s always a bottle	         at hand on your bedside. 

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.

Am I nostalgic?

Those who know me I suspect feel I am nostalgic that I never managed to start my own bookshop.

I’d call it a biblio-bus, but it would not run like council vans that visit people on a regular basis. It wouldn’t drop books to a random telephone booth or letterbox on the streetside.

The project consists of a long-travel journey around Australia. It aims at delivering reading matter and library resources to remote and isolated centres or schools many of whom would be indigenous communities. I would stay several weeks building a profile of what each group chose as a theme of interest. Initially I would offer encyclopaedias or magazines to complement literary texts I had brought with me. If a community had a topic of interest, like starting their own business, I would commit, in writing,  to a follow-up visit within a year. I would then source information on their selected theme.

A project outline would be to first consult with centres that a reasonable size four-wheel drive can access. Then I’d recruit a team of  younger volunteers as resource persons to be rotated. If I obtained permission I would consult with indigenous reading experts like Dr Anita Heiss and publishers like Magabala Books for guidance and support. Finally I would distribute the books or packages recommended to various charity groups who rather than ask donors for cash requested hard copy resources to donate to those centres.

Although I regret that I haven’t planned this project yet, I believe I was not ready to implement an inclusive strategy in my earlier days. I used to encourage people to read in an abstract capacity. Providing literature for a project is a better model which can benefit from life experience.

The major drawback I suspect is the delay factor. However I think that even the younger people may well wait a few months for thorough resources. They may even pass their passion onto their siblings and form an elder-focused group to develop a plan of action for their project.

Am I nostalgic? I am more of an optimist. I believe now is a good time for me to make this dream come true. From the people’s viewpoint it may be it’s never too late to make things happen.

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.

‘Others? Hell is really us’ in French

                                                           
  
 Les Autres? L’enfer c’est vraiment nous 
 en réfutant la phrase de Sartre #lenfercestlesautres

Notre triste hiver Australien 
l’horrible saison de pandémie fait place 
à une lumière lumineuse 
les grisailles et confinements
aux ciels d’azur.   

Action! L’apéro, dîner avec amis 
et un spectacle ou deux. 
Musique! Les bruits des tambours nous font sortir 
et danser;  du monde partout,
personne n’est laissé de côté.

On fait face à  de nouvelles aventures.  
	Les véhicules commencent à dégorger du carburant, 
Et les avions déversent leurs vapeurs sur nous. 

On a gaspillé l’eau
On a ignoré la  validité du changement climatique
Et engendré des feux de brousse 
La menace des vents et feux approche.
L’enfer, c’est vraiment nous. 

 

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.
 

Blogging / Paroles

Yayi's Paroles

Flash Fiction100 word series 

h                      Health

At the start of the pandemic we were all concerned about health.

International politics came to the fore of my preoccupations when the British Prime Minister tested positive for Coronavirus.  

Later he said  his survival had been ‘Touch and go’. He  had praise for two nurses: one from the Atlantic Coast of Portugal and one from New Zealand, supposedly the triumph of the British National Health Services. 

Britain involved the whole world to save him.  Like his people, he’s a worldwide citizen.

An absolute lack of logic to Brexit – there’s no further way out for him; Brexin Johnson’s his nickname.

g Generation

‘Mother Hen’ was one of her nicknames.

Over years she nurtured her children. When a grandmother, she was called a ‘helicopter mum’. It wasn’t just children she fussed around.

At work she embraced the younger folk under her…

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