ode to autumn

 

Autumn, she’s a gift to me
(and always my favourite season)
that soft sun,
slow golden unleaving -

she is the mandarin
I’m peeling with my hands
by the back door
(and all the pips I find
under my boys’ beds)
the sound of bees
about the verbena bush

she’s the morning frost,
the late afternoon walks,
sandpit tunnels, the birds
in the trees:
cockatoos, galahs,
magpies, crows, kookaburras,
goshawks, willy wagtails fanning -
and the two black swans
that appeared one morning
in the dam

she’s the velvet ears
of freshly born calves,
the green spear-tips
of daffodil bulbs
the brownest, driest, heat-bleached earth
soaked with longed-for rain
and the burst of bright bright green -

she’s birthdays and busyness
chickens, eggs, children, dishes -
the dance of wants and needs and jobs
the first boxes packed, virus caught,
windows thrust open, weeds pulled -

she’s the steam of morning, midday,
afternoon, late afternoon and evening tea -

she’s the season of letting
what must fall away, go -
of sitting gently with old shadows,
speaking kind words to fresh fears
but finding beauty there -

and oh, in all those golden leaves…

 

let nature

 
 

Let nature
be your life’s coach

Let it work it’s magic
free of charge,
stringless, stingless
any time of day (or night)

Follow it’s seasons:
let them teach you,
challenge and renew you -

Subscribe to it's feed:
the tree rustling
autumn leaving
dusk dancing
twilight twinkle

Consume it’s fresh air
drink in the slow
passing of time:
sun shadowing
ant trailing
weed rambling

Like and like and like

Let it tell you softly
about life and death,
beauty and decay,
respect and plunder
beginnings and endings -
flux, fascination

Let it be wild,
reckless even -
inhospitable,
indomitable
unrelentingly offline -

Perhaps you will feel
changed right away;
a kind of windswept,
barefooted homecoming -

Or maybe like me
it will be a life-long
gathering of gladness:
grounding, skygazing,
dreaming, sorrowful
reminding,
a reckoning too

The Cup

 
 

Your cup is full she said
there’s no space left
for coping,
and the peace for your lips to
gently sip from
(when life ebbs and flows)
is gone -
you’re overflowing,
that overwhelming,
spilling down your chin
and sinking feeling
panicking, reeling,
its not O.K
but its human

can you love yourself just as you are now?
can you cup that cup,
with kindness,
and a tenderness,
like you do your own child
embrace the sad, weary you too?

The year of the chickens

 
yearofthechicken
 

There are three chickens in the yard
I can see them from the kitchen window
scratching in the garden beds,
kicking up bark mulch and dry earth -
they dart at anything that moves
jumps, skips, hops
so efficient are their beaks and claws
for this task of foraging, unearthing

and I think about this year nearly done
perhaps the hardest one for me,
or the most important -
why are important ones the hardest?

I could list the things that gave it shape:
the long days of mothering full time,
of postpartum fatigue, the last breastfeed -
of eggs packed, caneles baked,
story nights with local women,
books read, conflicts had,
farmers markets, chicken sales,
workshops, a school change,
an awful email out of the blue,
the flowers picked with my hands

but really it’s everything in-between
the dreams, the waiting,
curly heads, grubby grins,
shadowy doubts, sorrow stings -
hushed, yelled, wrestled,
wanted, endured, relieved
the yearnings and the forgotten things:
a twelve month unearthing
clawing for something - anything,
holding on and letting go
again and again and again

I could be making resolutions:
you know, those page long aspirations -
goals for what could be,
what I could do better (and not do at all)

But I’d rather stare out the kitchen window
let my fingers become prune-like
in soapy dish water -
and learn from my chicken friends;
to keep scratching at the surface,
feel the sun on my back
make the most of each season -
and choose kindness
again and again and again


Photo of me and the girls / by the wonderful Cat


Grow a garden

 
 

Go on, grow a garden

Grow it for yourself
for the pure joy of it,
for the serious plans
and binge weeding,
the failures and the surprise
self-seeding,
for the privilege to
watch things live
and thrive and die,
for the seasons

Grow it for the bees
for the creatures seen
and unseen,
for the under the earth
world, the beetles
and the worm -
the foes and the friends
for all living things,

Grow it for the table
for the flowers, and
if you’re able
for eating, steaming,
drying, preserving,
for salad and pizza
and pesto and stews -
the sweetest tomato
and the wonkiest carrot,
the crunchiest lettuce
and the wild rocket

Grow it for your kids
(or someone else’s)
watch those tiny hands
cup the dirt, poke around
for bugs, scatter seeds,
step on seedlings,
mouthful of peas -
marvel at a sunflower unfurling
snail trails, a dragonfly wing

Grow it for the stranger
that may live in your house
one day - or the passerbys,
plant trees you’ll never see
arch over you, the fruit
you’ll never pick, the hedges
tall and firm, and the children
that will swing from branches,
where birds will nest in,
grow it for them too.

frosted

we wake to the chill
outside the world is
patterned with 
white
frosted breath
the still
and the screech 
of birds flying,
the smell
freshness, grassy -

the sun sparkles
off leaf and blade of grass
feet crunch and
nose drip 
drips

most days are not
dusted as beautifully
most are grey and damp
cloudy headed
undecided -

it's strange how 
the colder days
are the clearer ones, 
the crisper ones
and 
the season 
has only just begun.

the wild cup

in busyness
and early morning
half-awake
I reach for you
thin-rimmed mug
or dainty cup
wide bowl
for sipping
or quick gulping
before you're
not quite hot
enough

of course
you hold the first brew
best brew of the day
black-leaved beginning
to all that comes afterwards
you grow with me
holder of creamy
calm alert

I greet you blurry eyed
but you always look at me
with a smile
that's hopeful
 wild

grey-skied

.
.
on grey-skied days
I marvel at the silhouette
of birds flying,
we take risks
walking, wondering
if we'll be wet when we return,

we rumble inside
bake and blend smoothies
he lines up cars and trains
and I begin cutting linen
for clothes,

we wake in the dark
to the pitter patter 
of rain drops
I imagine the trees
with dry-leaves upturned
sighing with relief -

on grey-skied days
 I seek out all the colours
that I overlooked before
blue tile, umber rust, 
the purple of lavender sprigs.
.
.