Refinery Shadow

Family reunion brings us here,where gum trees open onto two eternal flamessmoking up suburban Sunday sky.Our park – the edge of our travel limits, sitsbeside quiet street and underthe refinery’s steady shadow.Two swings, two slides, ancient eucalypts,and where houses fence the park’s perimeter, a hidden gateopens while we picnic and outpops a man’s head, thenContinue reading “Refinery Shadow”

Devotional Seeing: Thoughts for Ordinary Time

Through the ninety-something days of Lent and Easter this year I set myself the discipline of taking a photo each day and posting it with a spiritual reflection. It was an enormous task and one that I often regretted setting for myself. But it began to do something in me that has continued now thatContinue reading “Devotional Seeing: Thoughts for Ordinary Time”

Improvisation: Rain

In these days of lockdown (my city, Melbourne, is experiencing the toughest restrictions of anywhere in Australia so far), I have been finding myself drawing increasing inspiration from the small things that I notice in my local environment, looking ever closer and closer to the consolations of the everyday. This video poem came from aContinue reading “Improvisation: Rain”

Birdsville, Werribee

This morning a bird I could not name spanned a sun I could not tame and on the road the dazzled day turned and turned its winding way. Through chicanes, past milkbars ran the path to work, the time to plan, but I was struck by birds in view on Kookaburra Avenue. And God I’mContinue reading “Birdsville, Werribee”

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”

All the Names

In hard rubbish week, while the street is lined with broken couches and abandoned TVs, someone has shredded a phone book, leaving white and yellow pages like autumn leaves all down Grandview Street. Some pages have drifted into gardens, some line the pavement or the nature strip. Some look like a wild animal has goneContinue reading “All the Names”

Advent 2: Forgetting

I missed a day. Too busy with carols and attempts to put my son to sleep, I slept that second Advent Sabbath night forgetting to rest, forgetting to write. Rest slips past us now. Today I forgot also to drink water, to eat. Now waiting in queues I regret this forgetting. The time we saveContinue reading “Advent 2: Forgetting”

Melbourne CBD, Tuesday morning

Never here normally – not at this time, when people whose lives have rhythms different to mine disembark into days of meetings, close shaves and private experiences in close-huddled streets. Never here normally. My day is suburban. My schedule’s the school bell. On other days I walk with books and lesson plans in hand; todayContinue reading “Melbourne CBD, Tuesday morning”

Light and Momentary

True – but the wait weighs heavily now. So many delays, and you can expect more road blocks through the coming weeks as rolling closures right across the north-west make violent signs of little worth. Light and momentary? Perhaps; so, at least, we trust, yet faith not sight must rule the game if there’s toContinue reading “Light and Momentary”

At the Right Time (Glenroy Lent #8)

…the war he brought back with him is never far away in this suburb. (Steven Carroll, The Gift of Speed) Do you remember water from the rock? How you quarried homes in this ancient soil, when these broad meadows were the stuff of dreams? Remember when the men came back from years and years ofContinue reading “At the Right Time (Glenroy Lent #8)”