Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Saturday, October 1, 2016

This grey cloud.


I met the transcendent cloud today. It was much larger than I expected. Part of its beauty was that it was the first grey cloud.

My stomach lurched as we burst into the realm of angels. I expected turbulence. But it was a singular cloud. Calm was reinstated instantaneously.  

All around the wheels were full of white clouds, some larger, but it was a sudden and unexpected grey. It felt so friendly, and so intense. It was like meeting an idealised version of myself. I have so longed for this encounter and I immediately fell in love. I, who am incapable of deep feeling, fell. I, who so generally and imperfectly encounter others in my flight through the world, realised perfection. 

Some question my authority on clouds saying I am not even able to distinguish the five categories.

They are right, I am no expert. But they even doubt my capacity to encounter one so meaningfully without so much as a brief introduction. They claim it is pointless to exterpolate beyond the simple momentary congregation of water droplets rendered visible by the slight variation in temperature from the air around. It is but a single molecule repeated billion-folds. But I wonder, are they significantly different in this respect? Maybe a slightly more complex conglomeration of chemicals, but not markedly different in numerousness nor temporal persistence, compared to the vast empty sky of time in which we all accumulate. It is not even summer yet.

22 Sept 16

Friday, January 1, 2016

It's unseasonably warm.

            People often mistook me for someone still young, but I was never young. I still wear my flowery blue and pink dresses to town, but lately I’ve noticed that I get less curious stares from men.  My skin is no longer creamy and elastic. Women no longer veil the looks they cast at me now.  In the pub mirror I see that the bottom third of my face is becoming networked with tiny lines and is creased in ways that I cannot account for.  It is happening much more swiftly than I expected when I was a child. Small cuts and blisters on my arms take longer to heal and when I am tired the skin sags and my eyelids are heavier and my eyes can’t see things on the horizon now. 
            My house is quiet. There are too many rooms. They are becoming emptier and emptier. It’s better not to have things clamouring at you with their vacuous stories when you live alone. Every time I go into the town I take with me a few of the pieces still left to sell. It’s not so easy; what I have stored has little value in the market place.  Having a house of my own was something I longed for and when I finally I got it decorated it and filled it up with many beautiful pieces of furniture I selected carefully, the windows had rich drapes and the kitchen was stacked with shiny pots and pans. But to be full of things and empty of love is not a home.
            The house is quiet, but still, I keep myself busy during the day. There are the animals to feed and water, and the garden to weed, and the goat has to be milked. Whenever I can I take her out along the firebreaks for fresh green pick.  Sometimes in the evening I take the gun for a rabbit or two, and the dog will follow along behind me. 
            It is a very long time since the travelling singers were here.
            I never gave birth. Once I became pregnant, but it was easy enough to get rid of it when I was a youth. I never stopped loving him, but he’s gone now.  Of course, I’ve had many other lovers since.
            He used to come and go. He’d stay a few months then be off up north or over east. He’d come back in his slow, deliberate way and we’d go fishing together or he’d have a party and invite his friends and we’d have a good laugh. But he left a while ago and I know this time he won’t be back.
            I wrote a song for him, but he only played it once. I wonder how it would sound to my ears now, if I’d even recognise it.
           
            A week or so ago I thought I heard the players. I thought I heard music in the distance, perhaps down by the beach in the camping grounds. A sharp clicking and a deep droning beat. But it lasted only briefly then a gust of wind blew it away like a shadow. Each night this week I’ve sat out and listened but all I hear is the waves.

            The moon is almost full. The sky has been still and clear for the last two days and it rose huge and yellow. It’s unseasonably warm and I’m sitting out under the jarrah watching it get smaller and white.

            It’s tomorrow now and I’m in a rush because the goat has wandered off and I do not want to forget the night. I watched the moon rise higher and colder and as a cloud covered it I shook myself and the knee rug and headed for my bed, then in the bottom of the yard I heard a tune.
            He was heavy and slow and smelled of strong liquor and cigarettes. He came quietly to me, tho, stepping lightly through the leaves on the ground carrying a battered old guitar. I knocked the dog off the arm chair and we sat . He handed the bottle to me and I rolled a cigarette as he tuned his instrument. And then he sang to me, a song I didn’t recognise at first. He sang my song to me. How can this be? I do not know him. I’ve never seen him before.
            All night he played on and on, songs of the wars and old village chiefs and their wives and their lovers, we passed the bottle back and forth and he sang songs of love and time passing and fading youth. He sang songs of happy devoted lovers and my heart lifted up like the moon. All night he sang to me and my eyes wept and he sang and I laughed, and then I danced and he sighed. All night the beautiful music from his rough voice.
            Now the sun is rising. He lay himself down to sleep under the trees, and for a while I rested with him.  Then I had to get up and milk the goat. I am, surprisingly, not tired. I feel light. And hungry. I know where there are some late berries, I’m going to cook something in a moment, mushrooms on toast, I’m going out to pick a handful, and then I’ll go look for her.

            We had our breakfast; I ate mine up this morning and I feel fine. And he got up for his in the afternoon. He sleeps the whole day through and travels at night, like a dream. The afternoon is his dawn.
            I picked up his guitar while he was asleep. But it seemed to be so hard to find a tune on it. All the melodies it knew he must have played away in the night.             He has asked me to travel with him. He must have been walking a long time. I asked him, aren’t you tired of walking? He just smiled.  
            The sun is set and I have come in to boil up some milk for cheese. I can hear the wind is restless. The moon is big again now, just coming up.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

the man with the beautiful eyes - charles bukowski

when we were kids
there was a strange house
all the shades were
always
drawn
and we never heard voices
in there
and the yard was full of
bamboo
and we liked to play in
the bamboo
pretend we were
Tarzan
(although there was no
Jane).
and there was a
fish pond
a large one
full of the
fattest goldfish
you ever saw
and they were
tame.
they came to the
surface of the water
and took pieces of
bread
from our hands.

Our parents had
told us:
“never go near that
house.”
so, of course,
we went.
we wondered if anybody
lived there.
weeks went by and we
never saw
anybody.

then one day
we heard
a voice
from the house
“YOU GOD DAMNED
WHORE!”

it was a man’s
voice.

then the screen
door
of the house was
flung open
and the man
walked
out.

he was holding a
fifth of whiskey
in his right
hand.
he was about
30.
he had a cigar
in his
mouth,
needed a shave.
his hair was
wild and
and uncombed
and he was
barefoot
in undershirt
and pants.
but his eyes
were
bright.
they blazed
with
brightness
and he said,
“hey, little
gentlemen,
having a good
time, I
hope?”

then he gave a
little laugh
and walked
back into the
house.

we left,
went back to my
parents’ yard
and thought
about it.

our parents,
we decided,
had wanted us
to stay away
from there
because they
never wanted us
to see a man
like
that,
a strong natural
man
with
beautiful
eyes.

our parents
were ashamed
that they were
not
like that
man,
that’s why they
wanted us
to stay
away.

but
we went back
to that house
and the bamboo
and the tame
goldfish.
we went back
many times
for many weeks
but we never
saw
or heard
the man
again.

the shades were
down
as always
and it was
quiet.

then one day
as we came back from
school
we saw the
house.

it had burned
down,
there was nothing
left,
just a smouldering
twisted black
foundation
and we went to
the fish pond
and there was
no water
in it
and the fat
orange goldfish
were dead
there,
drying out.
we went back to
my parents’ yard
and talked about
it
and decided that
our parents had
burned their
house down,
had killed
them
had killed the
goldfish
because it was
all too
beautiful,
even the bamboo
forest had
burned.

they had been
afraid of
the man with the
beautiful
eyes.

and
we were afraid
then
that
all throughout our lives
things like that
would
happen,
that nobody
wanted
anybody
to be
strong and
beautiful
like that,
that
others would never
allow it,
and that
many people
would have to
die.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

and from the getty museum...

Left: A Chronicle of Drifting, 1949, Kansuke Yamamoto, collage. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, EX.2013.2.147. © Toshio Yamamoto. Right: Man in a Traditional Minoboshi Raincoat, Niigata Prefecture, 1956, Hiroshi Hamaya, gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009.34.18. © Keisuke Katano

http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/japans_moderndivide/

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Laugh!

When the highest type of men hear Tao,
They diligently practice it.
When the average type of men hear Tao,
They half believe in it.
When the lowest type of men hear Tao,
They laugh heartily at it.
Without the laugh, there is no Tao.
Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu