Monday, 31 October 2011


"Everyone loved Ray" read his obituary, and it was true - we loved him for for drinking raw eggs every morning, for running every day until the day he died, for shoveling vitamin C down our throats like there was no tomorrow, for nurturing persimons like they were his own children, for loving terriers more than life itself, for having a full head of beautiful hair until in his 80s, for refusing to let us call him Grandad in fear of feeling old, for bullshitting his way through life, for being a hardcore Adventist most of life and dying an atheist, for giving the world three beautiful daughters, for transforming Bible stories into enthralling tales, for teaching us how to make billy carts, and how to ride a donkey bareback, for loving us all wholeheartedly.
We all loved Ray.


Grow tomatoes

To love compost,

To eat grapes, including seeds

To eat apples, including the core,

To shoot watermelon pips

That fruit is even better with cream on it

To lick your plate at the conclusion of a meal

To drive a car

To back a trailer

To ride a billycart

That getting bogged every weekend is fun

To ride a horse

To kayak in white melt water

To kayak in rough surf

To jump into deep, muddy rivers

To skip stones on a lake

Blow up a bullant’s nest

To shoot snakes

To love dogs

To build a campfire

To whittle a toasting fork

To lose it completely when pitching a tent

To tell a good yarn

To enjoy a road trip with no stops for any reason

Play a gum leaf

To milk a cow

To milk a goat

To love a cold bath

To fast

To hate authority

To use a powertool

To conduct a choir

To laugh just because somebody hurts themselves

When in doubt, hoe in the Vitamin C

To rebel

To tease

To never give in.

Aggie Dimitriou


roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

'I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.'
Walden Thoreau


I dug in the garden today -
found some little potatoes
nestled there, in the earth.
Remember when we harvested potatoes
and found baby mice nests? The baby mice
looked like beagle puppies...

Planted grosse lisse tomatoes -
your favourite, Dad. A bit early,
but put some in, like you showed me.
A hole, filled with water, a slurry of
blood and bone, firmed down around the roots.

I pruned the lemon tree you gave me, Jen.
The last trim it had - you did.

The day before you left us Jen,
I hacked back the bougainvillea.
Something to do as I wept for you,
slipping away from us
in your bed in the mountains.
Today, while gathering the prunings
I found the earring I lost.
The ones you said you liked
that last day we spent on earth together.
They matched my scarf, you said.
That I was always good with colour.
Thank you for finding the strength
to gift me with this memory,
while your life was ebbing from you.

I sat beneath the umbrella at the table after gardening.
The rain came.
I saw your hands, Dad.
The way they looked at the close of the day.
But they were my hands -
caked with dried earth.

Picking some baby broad beans in the soft drizzle,
I ate them, still warm from the mother-stem.
You'd have loved them, both of you.
The sweet, bright beans
snuggled down inside the furry pod.

We loved the earth, us three
and in my simple, city plot
we communed together;
you sweetly haunting me,
this early spring afternoon
in the gentle, misty rain.

Aggie Dimitriou

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
~ Mary Oliver ~

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Sirens roam the earth seducing men with beautiful voices and their wild nature. Your compassion, your light draws us in like moths to a protective flame. Heart burning so bright, White light to see amongst the night! Amongst the thick smoky fog and sweet incense an eternal flame of abundance. Purity. Childhood wonder-excitement, pain! Sweet earthly foods to sooth our souls and deep red rush wine to spice our bodies, our low stomachs holding burgundy promises in the night-alive! Wild magic and fantasies dancing on the Walls from firefly-eyes… Hearts beating on faster farces…This amazing ethnic reality of sorts… Of the older sister, of the naughty teacher, of the mysterious woman! You taught; we taught. Sea-spray and golden-limbed, addressing the night still drunk on life. Addressing the night like cheeky devils only out to trick or laugh and catch a tasty treat between our ruby lips.

Eloise Dunwell


by Federico Garcia Lorca

No one understood the perfume
of the dark magnolia of your womb.
Nobody knew that you tormented
a hummingbird of love between your teeth.

A thousand Persian little horses fell asleep
in the plaza with moon of your forehead,
while through four nights I embraced
your waist, enemy of the snow.

Between plaster and jasmins, your glance
was a pale branch of seeds.
I sought in my heart to give you
the ivory letters that say "siempre",

"siempre", "siempre" : garden of my agony,
your body elusive always,
that blood of your veins in my mouth,
your mouth already lightless for my death.


Give me the strongest cheese, the one that stinks best;
and I want the good wine, the swirl in crystal
surrendering the bruised scent of blackberries,
or cherries, the rich spurt in the back
of the throat, the holding it there before swallowing.
Give me the lover who yanks open the door
of his house and presses me to the wall
in the dim hallway, and keeps me there until I'm drenched
and shaking, whose kisses arrive by the boatload
and begin their delicious diaspora
through the cities and small towns of my body.
To hell with the saints, with martyrs
of my childhood meant to instruct me
in the power of endurance and faith,
to hell with the next world and its pallid angels
swooning and sighing like Victorian girls.
I want this world. I want to walk into
the ocean and feel it trying to drag me along
like I'm nothing but a broken bit of scratched glass,
and I want to resist it. I want to go
staggering and flailing my way
through the bars and back rooms,
through the gleaming hotels and weedy
lots of abandoned sunflowers and the parks
where dogs are let off their leashes
in spite of the signs, where they sniff each
other and roll together in the grass, I want to
lie down somewhere and suffer for love until
it nearly kills me, and then I want to get up again
and put on that little black dress and wait
for you, yes you, to come over here
and get down on your knees and tell me
just how fucking good I look

- Kim Addonizio

Saturday, 29 October 2011


This week marks the one year anniversary of my meeting with Eloise.
Then commenced a year of sharing dahl, drawing and painting on hungover Saturdays, of G&T's and poetry and magnets, Ride, of sharing nationalities, sharing loves and sharing more. Together, a year of fruitful friendship; of passionate curiosity. A year of collective abundance.

I asked Eloise when we first met, what her favorite poem was, and she sent me this:


You have to be always
drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again,
drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to bedrunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.”

by Charles Baudelaire
Translated by Louis Simpson

Post Partum Poetry


I dwell alone - I dwell alone, alone
Whilst full my river flows down to the sea,
Gilded with flashing boats
That bring no friend to me:
Love-songs, gurgling from a hundred throats,
O love-pangs, let me be.
Fair fall the freighted boats which gold and stone
And spices bear to sea:
Slim, gleaming maidens swell their mellow notes,
Love-promising, entreating -
Ah! sweet, but fleeting -
Beneath the shivering, snow-white sails.
Hush! the wind flags and fails -
Hush! they will lie becalmed in sight of strand -
Sight of my strand, where I do dwell alone;
Their songs wake singing echoes in my land -
They cannot hear me moan.

Christina Rossetti

There must be a loneliness after the baby, who has been in your body for 9 months leaves you to begin it's own journey through life.

There is a whole hoard for poems which carry this thought. My old favorites by Silvia Plath, which express her anguish at not being able to carry a child, her expectation once she was pregnant, and then the unhappiness that she unexpectedly still felt once the child had arrived.
'Barren Woman' compares her body, her womb, to an empty museum, she is as virginal and as empty as a nun...
'You're' is written about her pregnancy (with daughter Freida). The nine months of silence, between the Fourth Of July to All Fool's Day.
The tone is light hearted, but the content quite dark; comparing her unborn child to very foreign things - a fish, an owl, a turnip, a sprat in a pickle jar, a creel of eels. This child feels to her, further off than Australia. Whilst in the womb, her baby is blank slate.
Morning Song was written shortly after the birth of her first child, and whilst there is finally a 'new statue' in the otherwise empty museum, Plath still feels an alienation to her child, who here she compares to a cat and a moth. She compares her self to a cow, heavy with milk, and purely a necessity.
In 'Child', Plath clealy acknowledges her great love and appreciation for her new baby, but also her sadness that due to her own unhappiness she will not be able to fill her baby's eyes with 'colour and ducks' and all that it deserves.

Empty, I echo to the least footfall, 
Museum without statues, grand with pillars, porticoes, rotundas.
 In my courtyard a fountain leaps and sinks back into itself, 
Nun-hearted and blind to the world.  Marble lilies 
Exhale their pallor like scent. 
I imagine myself with a great public, 
Mother of a white Nike and several bald-eyed Apollos.
 Insread, the dead injure me attentions, and nothing can happen. 
Blank-faced and mum as a nurse.

Clownlike, happiest on your hands, 
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled, 
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense 
Thumbs-down on the dodo's mode.
 Wrapped up in yourself like a spool, 
Trawling your dark, as owls do. 
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth 
Of July to All Fools' Day,
 O high-riser, my little loaf.
Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
 Farther off than Australia. 
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn. 
Snug as a bud and at home 
Like a sprat in a pickle jug. 
A creel of eels, all ripples. 
Jumpy as a Mexican bean. 
Right, like a well-done sum.
 A clean slate, with your own face on.

Love set you going like a fat gold watch. 
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry 
Took its place among the elements.  

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival.  
New statue. 
In a drafty museum, your nakedness 
Shadows our safety.  
We stand round blankly as walls.  

I'm no more your mother 
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow 
Effacement at the wind's hand. 

 All night your moth-breath 
Flickers among the flat pink roses. 
I wake to listen: 
A far sea moves in my ear.
 One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral 
In my Victorian nightgown. 
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's.  The window square
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. 
And now you try 
Your handful of notes; 
The clear vowels rise like balloons


Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new
Whose name you meditate--
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,

Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical

Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.

On a lighter note, these poems could be compared to Helen Dunmore's All The Things You Are Not Yet. (see below)