early morning flight
open arms meet open hearts
The roof of my house is red.
The blood that gives me life, is red.
My favourite t-shirt is faded – red.
When I close my eyes, I see red.
The past is rusty, and red.
The fire that keeps me warm, is red
She is my life –
She is red.
#1 Blue Broken glass litters the floor. As I hug my daughter against my shattered heart. I feel her warm tears. We sit huddled against the refrigerator door. All this breakage... She’ll want to come back to us again… . . . …I’ll probably say yes... #2 Green The sun is a pale disc. The fog bank moves in from the South. Everywhere is grey and shrouded, Except the grass beneath my feet. It remains green for me - even when she’s not here. #3 Orange Marigolds Strung in long chains Drape from balconies and across pergolas A hubbub of voices A riot of colour An extravaganza of flavours A painted elephant A sacred fire Two souls are joined
Removing his slippers
He stepped barefooted onto the smooth pebbles.
Moving slowly, he stooped occasionally,
Careful to collect every fallen, red maple leaf –
Then, using the bamboo rake
He carefully made the patterns she’d loved.
Sitting on a low wooden bench
He now drank his tea and remembered.
While the days become short
And the nights much longer,
And my mind digs deeper
And stirs up the mud –
And then clouds my dreams.
In fitful sleep I’m troubled
And filled with self doubt,
And clinging to straws
And words of kind friends –
And trying to focus on good.
When dawn fills my eyes
And once again I am calm,
And family stands beside me
And reminds me of fine times –
And the kindnesses we’ve shared.
I fill my lungs with fresh air
And my heart with their love,
And my mind with sound knowledge
And my hands with hard work –
And go on rejoicing this life.
some things get broken
in caring hands they are fixed –
or they mend crooked
I photographed this stencil in Dunedin, New Zealand – it was pasted to the back of a bus stop.
Her heart clinging to her sleeve –
Begged me not to see the violence
And prayed that I wouldn’t leave.
I need to talk was all she said.
Her dark downcast eyes revealed –
The pain of sharing, easily read.
So with words we hoped this could be healed.
A life of promise was nearly over –
The tipping point showed in her scars.
The truth at last – like a three leaf clover.
Barefoot now she could not pass.
Her life she gave to this broken man –
His promise sealed with a golden ring.
Her body has given everything It can.
Trapped in this cage she cannot sing.
No more, she whispered on my shoulder –
Her bones so fragile under hand.
She said this time it’s truly over.
She’d found the nerve to make her stand;
The door is slammed; her final bow –
… It’s ok Sis, you’re back home now.
As tasks lay before me in growing mounds.
I close my eyes and sip the last sweet taste
Of this Saturday morning lethargy.
My mind slips silently and gently back
To times when red capes made it all seem right.
No task too great, no feat to tall, I’d fly.
My hands thrust before me; adventure bound.
My cape streaming behind skinny shoulders.
White bonds underwear outside of blue shorts.
“What are you doing up on the roof Dad”?
Usually I am just in the way,
Today it’s the same and I zoom away.
My puny legs pump, my eyes wide open
Off to find a damsel who’s in distress.
“Need a hand Mum, I can carry the clothes”?
I dropped them last time onto the wet grass
So this maiden rejects the brave call.
This reverie’s broken by pounding feet
My family is home, the shopping is done.
The lawn is before me, unkempt and brown
There are hedges that stand loosely unpruned.
I long for times when red capes save the day
In the meantime, I’m glad I’m not shopping.