IN THE ALLEY


Taken unawares, he’s suddenly standing there….that gorgeous pirate’s, face splitting smile. I feel caught off guard, completely vulnerable. He moves close, leans in. I can smell him.

“What is it you want from me?”

I try to look away, but I can feel him, feel him waiting.

“What do you have to offer,” I say, then he shifts, uncomfortable, perhaps embarrassed, and with nothing left to lose, I hold his gaze, speak the truth.

“Listen, I don’t care about the beautiful young girl I’ve seen you with.

I really don’t care….and if I do, well, it’s already too late. It was always too late”

THE SEA WITHIN

Seasick

I wake to the salty tang of it
Dress quickly
Breakfast can wait
Already the pavement burns under
My summer hardened feet
It’s going to be hot
Dropping my towell on the warm sand
I run towards the sparkling waves
Everything shimmers
Silvery/Blue /Green
In the morning sunlight
Running in, diving, gasping
With the shock of cold
The taste of salt
The slap of wavelets
Against my skin……

Then I wake !!!
It was all a dream……

MA Spring 2015

TOO FAR

You’ve gone too far
this time
They say
How far is too far
I ask them then
Is this far enough
And I start covering myself
In layers of
Not far enough
I PILE THEM ON !!!
The weight is unbearable
Heaviness
Claustrophobic
So heavy, my knees give, and
bowed down towards the ground
I give in
Completely
Is this ok I ask, voice dry and broken
Yes…..this is good
Good good girl.

NIMBIN DAZE

TRUST

It all happened a very long time ago, yet the writing of it brings sight, sounds, smells and touch to vivid recall.

Alone together in the crowded candle lit smoke filled room, an unspoken agreement made, they still sat, surrounded,
the air humming between them. She wondered how long it would take, willed the friendly voices, the faces lit by soft light, to go away. Her hand lay unmoving, turned upwards in her lap, but the elemental ghost of it drifted up of its own volition, stretched out across the table and curled her fingers around his neck….she could feel the heat of him. As the night grew longer, little by little everyone drifted away, to sleep in cars, on floors, a spare chair, anywhere.

Nothing was said, they both stood up in a room empty but for sleeping bodies, came together easily……the feel of his body, muscled with hard labour pulled tight against her, the strong male scent of him overpowering, she breathed him in, sniffing breath, neck and chest the way wild animals do….sensing each other, then turned, took his hand,
led him to to an old couch in the closed in verandah, found a blanket….not so much for warmth as for cover…..sanctuary.

Clothes thrown on the floor, she reaches up from this rough bed, draws him down, takes him in. Cocooned in this dimly lit world, relaxed , blood pulsing with weed and whisky, they come together, every part of both bodies touching, kissing. “Oh god, the taste of him, his full lipped mouth is everything she dreamed“
“You are SO smooth “ he whispers, his voice rough and deep in his belly. They move together, fused together, for the few short hours before daylight, and unknowingly she sinks into sleep, still holding him.
And wakes, with him leaving, it’s still so early, and she’s already hungry for him, again. He bends kisses her, laughs softly because she wants more, she wants him. No hiding the truth of it now, and from the first sighting, despite everything, it was always going to be this way, was already too late.
Reaching up, pulling him back to her, taking his mouth, she whispers, voice husky and cracked with so little sleep
“Stay, stay with me….don’t go to work, stay”
And pulling back, laughing, he turns, walks out the door, shutting it quietly…..she hears him kick the motorcycle over, smells petrol fumes, it sputters, kicks into life, roars off down the driveway and gradually fades. And she lies, listening to the sound of it, becoming fainter, as he vanishes into the crisp, cold, mountain morning.

MA©️. Winter 2018
To be continued

NIMBIN DAZE

Continued

EYES WIDE SHUT

Because of events that followed, she remembers all these long years later, what she was wearing that night. Feeling lovely….and yes, that meant something to her, because of all the time before in that failed marriage, when, under her husband’s critical eye, she just….simply…..didn’t measure up.
A soft blue knee length Indian cotton dress, full sleeved, tight at the wrists and swirling skirt, with fine long cotton pants underneath….Indian style. Turquoise embroidered satin slippers, fine silver bangles, necklace and earrings with delicate beveled pink crystal drops…..very, very feminine.
Long, wavy hair, perfumed with oil of Myrhh. Eyes softly smudged with Kohl.
She feels the pressure building, waiting to see if she’s right, if it really is him…..
And then he’s there, pushing through the door…..bold and shy at the same time….walking in amongst all the Hippies, smelling of whisky and petrol, cigarettes, sweat and his own strong male scent, clad in dirty jeans, so well worn they hold the shape of his body, a tee shirt with sleeves rolled right back, cigarette pack shoved into one sleeve….thick straight shoulder length dark brown hair, slightly lightened by the sun, heavy boots dusty from the road.
Intoxicating Masculinity!!!
She feels weak, hands trembling, wanting to claim him on the spot, fearful she’s wrong, that she’s imagined the energy pulsing between them. Face split in a wide ferocious smile, white teeth gleaming, he moves gracefully between groups squatting on the floor, passing the ever present bong to and fro…..filling, smoking, cleaning and refilling. It’s a full time job, but everybody’s happy.
He comes and sits down across the table from her, where a group of people are playing cards, smiles at her, calls her by her family pet name “Blossom”, gets involved, shuffles, deals, playing poker. She drinks whisky, gets drawn in and out of stories and conversations, and all the while, watches him, her body humming with pleasure.
Pleasure in watching his beautifully deft hands, his curved fingernails, the blue veins standing out in hands and arms against his smooth brown skin. And when his face is turned away, looking down at the card play, studies his face…..sunbrowned, high broad cheekbones, slightly slanted amber eyes, a wide full lipped mouth…..slightly asiatic.
Drawing his face, as she’s drawn people so often, but without pen and paper she draws him still, every broad plane, blue vein, graceful hands, muscled arms, shoulders…..sketching in vivid detail with her eyes. He looks up, catches her watching him and smiles….that wide….face splitting, pirate’s smile.
Nothing else exists in that crowded, sweaty, tropical, smoke hazed room, but him, standing out in sharp relief as everyone else fades into the background.

MA©️. Winter 2018
To be continued

NIMBIN DAZE

Continued….

HEARTBURN

An agreement made with her ex husband, who was now based overseas, that while she travelled their two young sons would visit and stay with him, for 3 months. On her return they would come home with her. But on her return, against her will he had decided they would finish out the year with him….and then, the 3 months became 3 years….a fabulous experience for them, not so, for her.
Returning to Nimbin, her anchor cut loose, adrift from family life, responsibilities…..the daily routines and disciplines of school runs, cooking for family…..recklessness and a new found, unwished for freedom, left her whirling in a maelstrom of unstoppered emotions. She threw herself, eyes blinded by an overwhelming sensory overload, into the fire, wanting nothing more than to give, give in completely, and burn.

Inexorably drawn to him….always aware of him…..until fate or opportunity brought them together. On a balmy Spring evening word went out, her friend only minutes away, up Stoneychute Road, was having a party
She dressed with care and went there, with only one thought consuming her….him….willing him. Never invitation only, whoever heard the word party, turned up, and in that era of Peace, Free Love and Good Vibes, pretty much anyone was welcome. It was quite late, close to midnight, when hearing the roar of a motorcycle coming down the driveway….it could have been any number of people, but she knew, felt it in every quivering nerve ending, knowing it was him.

MA©️. Winter 2018
To be continued

NIGHT SOUNDS part 2

NIGHT SOUNDS…..2

Darkness is at the door, and I, cat comforted with sleeping purring snores…….
Lie listening,
to wind moaning at the corners of my little home,
and old wooden walls that shift and creak and groan…….
a dreaming dog’s muffled whine,
clock ticking, passing time……
my breathing slows to sleeping.
Night flows on, unwatched, uncaring
…………………just being.

MA©️. 2013

ALL THESE THINGS

ALL THESE THINGS…..

And all these things
I thought to say
Were vanished
In a single day

The right
The wrong
The wasted words
I’d hopes
They’d fly
Like freeing
Birds

Sorry
Sorry
What did you think
I’d do
Swim
And swim
And swim
Then
Sink

Floundering
Clumsy
Reaching towards
A possibility
No rewards
Were necessary

And yet
Yes, yet
There was a spark
Of lightness
In the
Dismal dark

Oh you
Yes, you
Who always sought
Such precious
Wonders
Dearly bought

All these things
I’d thought to say
Taste of ashes
Of decay
The thickened
Tongue
The burdened mind
Wilting flowers
Left behind

And ALL these things
Come to nought
All these things
So dearly bought
Love, hate
Dark despair
Vanished in the brightening
Air
Vanished when the
Day is done
When
One is all
And
All is one

MA. Winter 2017

COFFEE WITH A FRIEND


And again her friend asks, softly “What’s he like, tell me about him”???

I come back to her, watching me across the table, curious, sympathetically.

“He looks like a rockstar, a dancer, a violinist, a drug dealer, out of work Actor, footballer, movie star, waiter”,  I look up and grin at her….and she grins back encouragingly…”go on”,  I discover its effortless to describe him, so vividly is he etched upon my mind’s eye, “he’s sleek and swift, agile, lean and strong….always laughing, focused, hard working. He has very beautiful bones, intense blue eyes – slanted, I can’t remember his mouth, his hands, although I’m deeply aware of his body, but his eyes hold me, enthralled….I feel him before I see him, and there’s that daily drop and fall, surge and rise of emotions.

When I see him, I feel fully alive.”

And now I feel so naked, exposed in the spotlight’s glare, and if she says,

“Girl, you’ve got it bad”,  I’ll push her backwards off her chair!!!  But she doesn’t like cliches any more than I do, just sits there in sympathy.

“What are you going to do about it, him?”

“I want him” I tell her, “and spend a great deal of time lecturing myself on every practical, sensible, ruthless reason, why I shouldn’t *have him*, on what earthly possible reason he would want me, on what do I have to offer him….certainly not youth and beauty” I say, sardonically.

She reaches out across the table, takes both my hands in hers, grips me, shakes me, just a little.  “If it were me, telling you this story instead of the other way around, what would you say to me”

I feel myself unwind, the tension in neck and shoulders fall away.

“ I would be very annoyed with you, tell you how very lovely you are.

Tell you that long years lived,  bring not only the lines and scars of age but great depth, compassion, empathy, wisdom, understanding….this my dear, is great beauty. Perhaps that is what draws him to you!!!”  Now without warning, tears start flowing down my face. We stand up, walk into each other’s arms, embrace.

“All those long years alone, single parenting, the endless menial jobs….I lost that true essence …that other me. The fully functioning sexual woman. It is so….long, since I have been with a man. I am as terrified as I am hungry”

She knows, she nods, she smiles with complete empathy.

THE AUSTRIAN COUNTESS

WAY BACK IN THE EARLY 1950’S, our family had fallen in love with a friend’s Dachshund , Bismarck….a small dog of great charm and character.

We wanted one, apparently me especially as, to hurry my parents along in this financial commitment, I’d asked for money whenever my siblings were given milkshakes or ice-creams. By the end of summer I offered up my matchbox of coins, no doubt of some small significance back in those days.

We heard the Litter had been born, and went on a cold Autumn day to visit the Breeder, and choose our pup, born in the beautiful isolated town of Emerald, high up in the Dandenong Ranges, where my Great Grandfather’s house….our family holiday house stood.

I could hardly contain my excitement….a pup of my own I was thinking, sitting in the back of the car, hearing the adults talking, gossiping…..drifting back to me.

“She’s been married and divorced three times”……”She lives with a homosexual who breeds Afghan Hounds”…..”a terrible housekeeper …..she lets her bitches whelp on the beautiful antique tapestried chairs”…..”and you know she owns a shrunken head; the museum borrows it from time to time.” All this going over the top of my puppy dreaming, and then turning to look at us kids, “She can’t hear a word, she reads your lips….so you must look directly at her, and speak clearly.”

Me…..(puppypuppypuppypuppypuppy)…..”Yes Mum.”

I remember vividly the first time I saw her emerging from between two farm buildings….a small sturdy Woman surrounded by a pack of dogs, all undulating around her feet like sleek little seals, their long low bodies moving in a wave towards us, yapping shrilly.

My family and friends stood by the car, a stiff, formal little group, waiting politely.

Drawn like a magnet I surged towards her, her farmyard smell reaching me before she did. Eyes enchanted with the pack of hounds, I took her in from the ground up….knee high gumboots covered in mud and reeking of pig shit, work trousers of a coarse hard wearing fabric covered with a practical apron made from a hessian potato sack, a thick hand knitted jumper….and then I was looking into her lovely broad, sunbrowned face, kind eyes, intelligent, smiling. Her brown/iron grey hair parted in the middle, with lovely plaits coiled over her ears. She was the most homely, exotic Woman I had ever seen….. the music of her voice, shrieking to the little hounds in a thick, guttural accent. And me, a small girl coming from a background of buttoned up conservatism and tight perms.

IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT!!!

As my parents explained how I’d saved all summer, she took me in her arms and hugged me tight. Warmth, strength and softness, surrounded by such smells and noise, such vivid life, such joy.

Formalities and introductions completed, we were all invited into her home, to view the litter, (which had indeed been born on finest Tapestry) choose a pup, and have afternoon tea…..

***

THE AUSTRIAN COUNTESS…..Part 2.

Her name was Henny Marsh, obviously the Count had been her first or second husband.
Having gone through the awkwardness of introductions with the Adults, who considered this Woman with uneasy caution, we were invited into the house, for puppy viewing and afternoon tea. It was a gorgeous, light filled expanse……. floors covered with Persian Rugs, long low tapestry covered Chaise Longes, Glass Cases of gorgeous Chinese Vases, Paintings, Sculptures, Pottery, and everywhere lavish drapes, wall tapestries and furniture collected from all over the World.

The red gold Mother lay in state on a long low tapestry covered couch, her babies all in a row suckling……and one by one, the Countess lifted them handing each of us a pup…..golden red, like their Dam, they looked even more seal like, their heads still round and chubby as their sleek little bodies. The perfect smell of them, their strange smoky breath. We were all equally entranced, forgot our awe at the richness of our surroundings and heads bent, bodies curved protectively over these adorable babies, we sat cradling them to a background of Henny’s voice, strange , wild as geese honking through the skies. She, unable to hear herself, spoke in piercing tones, high, rich, almost operatic in comparison to our flat Australian drawl. She was utterly fascinating!!!

Finally, one perfect male pup was chosen, returned to his Mother, and we all sat down at a beautifully carved table for refreshments. Served on finest china was an assortment of cakes (you’ll find similar in Acland Street, St Kilda), and small cups of very strong Turkish Coffee. The manners of the adults was an education in deception and hypocrisy….as we kids reached for cakes……we were warned by our parent’s friends that “she was dirty, the food would make us sick”, and right there speaking about the Countess as though she wasn’t aware….they pushed European Delicacies under the table, into the eager mouths of the small hounds gathered beneath, whilst smiling up at her, as she brought more food, saying how delicious it all was.

A date was set for puppy collection, and we all headed out into the big beautiful rambling garden, back to the car……the excitement and disappointment was overwhelming…..I didn’t want to leave all those gorgeous little dogs, the tiny chosen one, and I especially didn’t want to leave the Countess…

Everything about her made me feel good…..her simple clothes, her bewitching voice, her animal smell, her capable gentle hands, her way with her dogs………. I wanted to stay forever.

And on the journey home, lulled by the motion of the car, falling into sleep……..
the adults voices drifting back to me….”she’s mixed with royalty, you know……it was Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia who gave her the shrunken head”

MA© Summer 2018

To be continued….#puppy collection #the shrunken head #odd relations with the Museum.