The Fish Tank

Unaccustomed to fish and their ways,we realise quickly that the goldfish bowls of our childhood are no longer the way,and so, acceding to a preschooler’s wish,my wife spends hours learningthe ways of fish tanks and the fish that dwell in them,then imparts this learning to me as wegather together accoutrementsand seek to keep a fishContinue reading “The Fish Tank”

Botany for Children

The touseled children have their own way with trees, their own classification… (Chris Wallace-Crabbe, “Timber”) Some are named for likeness to familiar things: the lemon tree in Nanna’s garden becomes a prototype for all other trees in all other gardens. And some are named by analogy or comparison: big tree, little tree, special tree; andContinue reading “Botany for Children”

The first day of spring

began with honeysuckle and clover, the constants of the winter yet rendered more redolent by the scents of September and a bee buzzing about a flowering cactus and ended with a downpour that sent me rushing to the clothesline while my son stood in his raincoat and listened to the rain with all things –Continue reading “The first day of spring”

Retreat

…yo​u will not find my actual life in these pages so much as my thoughts on the graces Our Lord has given me. I have reached the stage now where I can afford to look back; in the crucible of trials from within and without, my soul has been refined, and I can raise myContinue reading “Retreat”

No Ghosts This Year #2

The walk home was generally a relief. Mark caught the bus home, so he wasn’t around to be a nuisance. And mostly Philip had the time to himself, to think and daydream. Sometimes he would take a book with him and try to read as he walked, but that was a hard thing to do.Continue reading “No Ghosts This Year #2”

No Ghosts This Year: A Story of Advent #1

hen holidays came, it would be okay. But for now Philip just had the long waiting days. The sun deceives us, he thought, into believing it’s holidays before it is. Last weekend he had made the mistake of sitting out on the verandah with his book, like he used to do with his sister inContinue reading “No Ghosts This Year: A Story of Advent #1”

Topography

…rediscovering, room by room, what it was that I first learned there about how high, how wide the world is, how one space opens into another… (David Malouf, 12 Edmondstone Street) How many of my dreams go to this place? Always the same Queenslander balconies where I wander over those drooping eaves in search ofContinue reading “Topography”

All our comings and our goings

Some wandered in deserts; I strayed Among Antarctic beeches and Bunya pine, Silver ferns and blood red soil, where I made Kingdoms and mountains from my trampoline. Some languished at sea; I saw an ocean Outside my window when the Easter rains Flooded the side path, and gazed at the scene In raptured delight. IContinue reading “All our comings and our goings”

Birthday Song (Apologies to Sylvia Plath)

Today would have been the 95th birthday of my maternal grandfather who passed away nearly nine years ago: a man who influenced me and my writing more than one poem can express. Still, I couldn’t let the day pass without acknowledging it in some way, especially while I’m in the midst of writing about myContinue reading “Birthday Song (Apologies to Sylvia Plath)”

My childhood with Sting

Well, he once rhymed “cough” with “Nabakov” and poetically asked, “Hey Mr Brontosaurus, have you got a lesson for us?” And now Sting has unknowingly inspired my latest writing project. The inspiration came via this TED Talk and interview he did in 2014 about how he overcame writer’s block. What was Sting’s answer to hisContinue reading “My childhood with Sting”