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”

Ordinary Wednesday: Not in the fire, not in the quake

One of my favourite moments in the Bible is the little, anticlimactic story after one of the big show-stopping stories. It comes in 1 Kings 19, immediately after Elijah has triumphed over all the false prophets of Baal and the land-grabbing wicked King Ahab. God has shown up in an undeniable way to give ElijahContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: Not in the fire, not in the quake”

Ordinary Wednesday: Nature’s Hat-stand

Today would have been the 100th birthday of one of the most important people in my life: my maternal grandfather James Savage, known to his friends as Jim and to me and my cousins as Pep. Born in 1921 to an Irish Australian father and Scottish Australian mother, he grew up in working-class Sydney duringContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: Nature’s Hat-stand”

Werribee Dragonfruit

Strange to be flourishing so far afield;its home is equatorial, tropical,not here, among suburban paddocks,with a straight line down to Antarctica.Yet, while silver birch weepsand quince decks boggy ground with its midwinter yellow,this Malaysian friend greets me withloud, audacious pink,asserting its brilliant right to exist,here, far from home:fruitless, pointless,its only purpose to be,to glory, andContinue reading “Werribee Dragonfruit”

Hidden Grace

Senseless acts of beauty went unnoticed as the runners ran and golfers golfed and my head span. Full of self I stormed upon the beaten earth and missed the shades of microscopic brown and green, the flower hidden in the leaves, the pounding in the runner’s ears, the grace which binds me to these yearsContinue reading “Hidden Grace”

New Season

Fig Season? The garden holds promises, and I visit them daily: minuscule at first,                    fluffy, unsure,     like hesitant children, awaiting the world. This is not quite their season: the Rabbi knew as much, yet visited expectant nonetheless. And, as frost and dew recede, there they are, peeping and proffering garden-bound joy. Too early toContinue reading “New Season”


I gather moments like raindrops,          like snowdrops: these microscopic buds of spring          tricked by sun      to come out, one     by one;   I see how hesitant can be               can be      the grandest glimpse of things                and sing. I catch the way your moments dance          from distance – yetContinue reading “August”

On an enclosure of bees in a honey store

The bee is not afraid of me, I know the butterfly. (Emily Dickinson) Busy as themselves, they bustle in explosion of hum and hive. Contained, less fearsome, they pattern out their piece of wall in splendour of black and Emperor’s yellow. Intricate weaving, a tight-packed fabric of sweetness and protection, this is nothing to startleContinue reading “On an enclosure of bees in a honey store”

Too Much Light 4: Prepare Your Feet

     No room, and yet there is room: in shoulders, between lanes, by roadsides, in industrial paddocks. No room, perhaps, for cars, yet feet have space to move, if you,   traffic-sore, should rise           and step into the space where lavender shifts in wind, gnarled       tree trunks climb    to upward     possibility.Continue reading “Too Much Light 4: Prepare Your Feet”

Prayers of Intercession (Cornucopia of Heaven)

Prayers of Intercession After Felix Mendelssohn, “Veni Domine, Op.39”   Veni Domine, et noli tardare. Come, Lord, and do not delay. (Traditional prayer)   With empty horn and plaintive voice:                 Veni domine, we cry. Sunk in mire, sunk in self:               Et noli tardare. Our earth is cracked, our reservoirs dry:             Veni domine,Continue reading “Prayers of Intercession (Cornucopia of Heaven)”