Road Trip After the Rain – 2016

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Road trip

Receding flood waters
by the side of the highway
offer sanctuary
To a mother duck
and eight ducklings

What a delight on a lonely road
to see nature waddling
through its day –
oblivious to cars
swishing by.

We stop to take a picture
of this idyllic setting
worth remembering

Leaving the cocoon of
our air conditioned car
We are bombarded
by millions of mosquitoes —
looking for our blood.

Waving in frenzy we
rush back to the car
taking half of them
inside with us.

Some of nature
is not worth keeping
we assure ourselves
swatting helplessly

leaving the ducks
to their new found
water hole.

A week in Yackandandah

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I

Yackandandah – a quiet town
nestled along the river side.
Of mountain ranges running down
from high snow on the great divide.

A town created by miners of gold
digging in fierce heat and chilling cold.
Established permanence a solid frontage
local red brick and chamfered plumage.

A community of hope and longing
holding close a secret yearning –
for a horse and trap to take to town
and a main street to wander down.

Mining stops, children die, dreams stray
Early settlers beaten – drift away.

II

Yackandandah – a heritage town.
of buildings left by merchants of gold.
Yuppies and hippies jostle like clowns
in empty stores full of new and old

Now gathering dust with faded finery
old Ironmongery and weathered machinery –
rusted with icons and scented baubles
the town waits, welcomes outsiders.

Classified – Stamped into permanence
A time capsule exposing its brilliance
to tourists from large cities in transit
Touching base with quaint stores historic.

A new age of trade carved and waving –
architectural streetscape now adorning.

 

Prize winning poem

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Poem written while travelling on the Poet’s Train from Canberra to Sydney on Friday 5 September 2014. I won 2nd prize – a 3 mth NSW TrainLink Pass. Hope to use it to go to Broken Hill.

Window gazing

Imprisoned on a seat
head swaying
to its own rhythm
I see
swollen creeks
full of purpose
burrowing under the track

 

Visiting Sydney

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My heart remembers
the train trips in Sydney
the suburban express
stopping between stations
to keep in time with
the slow train that left first.

My heart is turgid
remembering
the boredom
the heat
the cigarette smoke
clinging to my clothes
as I travel to and from
work
everyday
in the city.

My heart is sad
remembering
the youth years of the 60s
wasted on dreams and hopes
never realised
roads never travelled
and others blocked
from the reticence
of ignorance

My heart is melancholic
remembering
the backyards
of houses clinging together
terraces
painted with the debris
of swishing trains
not caring.

Ah Sydney!
a capital in which
to be born and nurtured
mouldered into a shape
on the cusp of society
in a family moving to
their own tenet.

My heart remembers
to tell my head
never return to this big city
leave it behind and forget
but it never remembers.

The Diary of Mary Martha Stack (1815-1889)

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The Diary of Mary Martha Stack (1815-1899).

Edited and published by Denise BurtonDiary of Martha Stack master copy

Diary of Martha Stack master copy
This publication records the diary of Mary’s journey from England to Australia on the bounty ship Andromarche arriving in Sydney in 28 October 1837. Her husband the Rev William Stack (1810-1871) was sent to Australia from his home-church in Ireland for the propagation of the Gospel in New South Wales. The book has been compiled because my ancestors Thomas (1793-1878) and Margaret George (1804-1882) were emigrants on the same ship. They were to settle in the Bathurst and Carcoar area of NSW and changed their name to McGeorge. The Diary is very readable and details many aspects of a long sea voyage in evocative language. It would be of interest to family history researchers and others who had families arrive in similar circumstances.

grandchild

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I have been spending time with my step grandchild who is five and is beautiful. He makes me feel old as he wants me to play basket ball and running games. I forget my aching joints and join him in a game of makDSCN4151ing shadows on the hill from the light of the afternoon sun. When it’s time to get into his bath he objects but after some clever handling he finally settles into his bath and then doesn’t want to get out. Ah kids!

Mother Tree

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DSCN4166 photo for webConvict Mother
(My great great grandmother)

Widowed woman cast to the
far off colonies as a convict.
Sailing to a strange land
bound to a bulkhead
Assised as a servant
Hannah marries an ex-army officer
attends to a well-to-do family
toiling with servant duties.

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Visiting Sydney

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Visiting Sydney

In Sydney
brushing shoulders
with young executives
walking the streets
I feel isolated
from a demographic
folded over
their iphone worlds.

Concrete cliffs soar
Far off blue skies lost
to asphalt city grids
planned as
thoroughfares
of transit.

Underground tunnels
Awash with city workers
Caught in the slipstream
of commuting.

Glamorous shops boldly
wait, boasting
excessive merchandise
to catch the innocent.

Town of my youth,
Sydney
so palpable
I reach out to
my younger self
and brighten remember

The Old Fire Place

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The Old Fire Place

Running through the house
naked and wet
from the nightly bath,
towel-wrapped
I flop in front
of the log fire.

Flames are flicking
logs into a
cheerful glow,
warmth drying
my body.

I am rubbed dry
by my mother
and snuggle
into special
winter pyjamas.

In reflection
layers of memory shine,
warmth
love
belonging
cradle me still
from the old fire place.