Words Under Pressure #16

Today, it’s words, not pictures.  Everything else is half finished, so I don’t want to show it.

18,000 Miles

After dust, dirt, clamour and stress,
To lie flat in clean white sheets
In dawn’s pearl light, and hear
A strange bird sing, bell-toned.

After grinding traffic, fumes and smoke,
To sit relaxed in early morning calm
With eyes closed against warm sun
And smell the scent of gums.

After danger, threat, fear and and anger,
To walk a quiet twilight street alone
Past lamplit, peaceful windows and
Possums playing on the roof.

After grey and grime and bitter earth,
To bury my hands in young, rich soil
And watch astonished as
The Bird of Paradise flowers, triumphant.

Words Under Pressure # 15

imagesToday is Australia Day.  Across the country, millions of Australians are celebrating our wonderful country, and new Australians join us.  We are Australia, and our second name is diversity.

Down south, in the cities below the Tropic of Capricorn, the weather is sunny and warm.  It’ll be a perfect night for the fireworks in Sydney.  Up here in the tropics and in the thirsty west of Queensland, we’re having some rain at last.  Not floods of it, but a soaking fine rain and strong wind.  Perfect to give the ground a drink after such a long Dry.  We’re promised more for the next couple of days. Celebrations of a different kind, and for a different reason. The farmers will see a film of green on the bare brown paddocks in a few days. Dams will fill and the animals will have something to drink. The fire risk will abate out west, and a few more farmers will save their farms to hand down to their children.

It’s been too dark today to do much sewing; the lighting in my sewing room isn’t good and I rely on strong daylight coming in at the window, but with black rainclouds overhead, I’ve set it aside for a while.  So, here are some more words, which I feel are appropriate to the day:


I stopped my world
And I got off, and left behind
Grey clouds, blanketing
The cold Northern skies.

I flung myself, rejoicing,
At a younger nation and purer sky,
At newborn days and glorious nights,
A cleaner slate to write upon.

I said goodbye, unhesitating,
To Orion, Ursa and Polaris,
And find myself blessed
Under the Southern Cross

I’ve been in Australia ten years, and a citizen seven of them. I don’t regret my decision to come for a second, and you couldn’t pay me enough to make me go back. I love this country, for its faults (and there are some), for its ridiculous, excessive beauty, for its diversity and for its people, of whatever colour or origin.

Happy Australia Day, today (the real day) and tomorrow (the public holiday!)

And a happy snap of the Southern Cross constellation, which I don’t think I’ll get a look at tonight.

Southern Cross constellation: Alpha Crucis, Beta Crucis, Delta Crucis and Gamma Crucis

Southern Cross constellation:
Alpha Crucis, Beta Crucis,
Delta Crucis and Gamma Crucis

Words Under Pressure #14

Today, it’s Words, not sewing, not gardening, not recipes… 

Hawk’s Lullaby

Come home, my bird,
Bend your strong wings
On the high, white air
And turn towards your nest.

Fold your hunter’s head
And close your light-pierced eye.
Your barred and dappled feathers
Settled, be at peace.

Rocked peacefully in the height
Of the wind-riding nest,
Sleep, dreaming always
Of tomorrow’s far-seen horizons.

The bold wide world is yours,
The limitless rumbling clouds
And tumbling wind.
And I am waiting.

Come home.

The Tablelands

Something to give you a taste… 

The most fantastic experience, a magical dawn balloon flight over the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. Once in the air, you quickly forget the 3.30am start to get up there in time to catch the dawn thermals… I’ve done this a few times now, but the Husband did it for the first time on our honeymoon. If you ever get the chance, seize it!

Mareeba Dawn

In the cool, dry, dark pre-dawn
A dragon roars quietly,
Flame bursting orange-gold,
Illuminating a yellow crysalis.
Slowly on the high plateau
A gorgeous globe arises,
Glowing, majestic,
Attended by racing satellites.

Tethered below, we wait
As the red-stained sky
Blushes warmly on
The Tableland’s rich red soil.
Silently, we drift upwards,
The land turns its waking face
Up to be kissed by the sun
Throwing aside its misty veils.

Awake in all its variety,
It is stitched, knotted, woven and ribbed
With vegetable richness
On its warm and fertile canvas.
And now the sun shouts triumphantly,
And in our fragile golden bubble
We salute her, a small tribute
Floating, like her, in the cobalt sky.

And for a more visual experience, see below! 

Firing up

Firing up


Interior view

Interior view

Tablelands landscape at dawn

Tablelands landscape at dawn

Dawn flight

Dawn flight

Words Under Pressure #13

It must be relief at getting the last quilting job done, but I seem to have come over all verbal…


Come, illuminate me again.
Paint the sky in morning colour,
Roll out before me
Spring’s tender green carpet.

Show my autumn heart
A new, triumphant gold
Gleaming among the clouds,
A warm finger touching the earth.

Banish the grey and dust,
The discarded husks of past years.
The glorious butterfly
Waits quietly in her cell.

Words under Pressure #12


He walks in thunder, the sea god,
Wave piercer, wave dancer, in rainbow clouds.
Before him, the wrinkled, endless sea,
Behind him, the waterspout.

Look  how the scented tropic air
Is wrenched and chilled by his power.
Zephyrs shriek and howl
At their lord’s passing.

See how in his white wake
The night stars writhe and dance,
Made mirage by the heat
Of his oblivious passage.

But the fish do not fear him,
Though they part and dive before him.
Wave Dancer walks gently
On the roof of their world.

Words under Pressure #10

One for all you up there in winterland….


Cold breathes out from your coat
When you come in from the night.
Your red cheeks have been warmed
At the cold fire of the stars.

The diamond light of those stars
Still glitters in your eyes,
Brighter than the fire’s flames
I see reflected there

But cooler and lonelier by far.
And the night has filled your head.
You have lost your heart
To the unconquered universe.

Words under Pressure #9

Country Child

The city-born have no urge
For heights, green scents, or wind.
For silence at night, under
The fox’s solitary scream

The city-born are pleased
By architecture, light on water,
Bridged, boundaried, well-behaved.
All green contained, surrounded.

The city-born don’t know
The warmth of a fresh-laid egg,
The fish you caught yourself
Simple food eaten on hilltops.

Poor things.

Words under Pressure #8

I have a photo for this poem, but it’s an old one, from the days of film.  Remember panoramic cameras, that would take wide or tall photos?  I had a good one, but they don’t make the film for it any more. There are some great pictures from my first ever trip to this wonderful country. I shall have to get round to scanning in the best panoramic shots I kept from previous adventures…one day.


Standing on the clifftop
Hair and clothes streaming
Heart singing
Breathing Atlantic infinity

Face turned to the sun
Eyes bathed in the glow
Of ultraviolet through lids
Skin carelessly caressed

Inhaling the air
The heady, healing compound
Of ozone, far distance, salt
Dolphins, sailing ships and fathoms-deep.

Feet among jewels
Flowering tiny and brilliant
Infinity encompassed in a shell
The grit of slow-built coral.