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 ~

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