every now & then on a dark & stormy night ….

Why would you even do that? she asks as I demonstrate the pose in the spacious confines of her consulting room.

It’s known as the king of the Asanas, I say.

But it’s a headstand! she scoffs.

No, I say, calm breathing and meditation is involved too. It stimulates the mind and body.

And how long do you hold it for?

Up to eight minutes, I say.

She looks alarmed.

We’ll see what the cardiologist says,she replies.

A few days later I’m in his office.

Can you show me? he says.

So I do. The polished floorboards are a little hard on the hands and head so I do a shortened version.

Well, what do you think? I ask.

It just looks wrong, he says. No, you can’t do it after the operation. We can do a modified version.

He instructs me to lie on the floor, put my legs up in the air, stiff and hold.

I show my daughter.

She calls the pose, ‘The Dying Cockroach.’

I’m not happy with it but I bite the bullet.

However, every now and then on a dark and stormy night when no one is watching, a little devil gets inside me and i flip onto my head and swing into the Shirshasana.

Eight minutes of bliss.

  • pic courtesy of Jennifer Pentland

Jonah

Jonah.

One moment the house is all lit up.

The next it is plunged

into darkness

as though hit with a heart attack.

I scramble around the black cavern

of the sitting room

for the door handle.

I have to get out

amongst the stars

out with my beautiful garden,

the pig weed and the white magnolias.

I sit down on my little bench

by the birdbath

and catch my breath.

Now I knew how Jonah felt

when swallowed by that whale.

This Time

This Time

I went back to the airport. This time I would do it. This time I would push on through.

The first part was easy, driving to the Drop Off point but once you got there, you had to keep on going. That was the tricky part. That’s where I messed up.

That time, the time I dropped my daughter off, I continued through , swinging around the roundabout but that’s where it got confusing, arrows pointing in all directions, a jumble of signs and always someone up your ass pushing you to speed up, for god’s sake.

That’s when it happened. A dark, chunky , sinister sedan pulled me over. It had AFP on the side. Australian Federal Police. An officer got out, walked up to my side window and tapped on it. I was packing it. What had I done? or more importantly what did he believe I had done. This was the age of terrorism. But did I look like a terrorist?

He questioned me briefly, took my license and walked back to his car. That’s when he got talking to someone. I assumed they were doing a police check on me, on the vehicle. All the time I could see him in the rear view watching me.

Finally he sauntered up to me, handed the licence back, and said I was free to go this time, but to be careful where I drove. What the hell did that mean? Where had I wandered?

That’s when I got the fear of driving to the airport to drop someone off or pick someone up.

But this time I did it. I made it all the way. History did not repeat itself. Woo Hoo !

Wall Flowered

 Wall-Flowered.

This book of cautionary tales has languished on the Express Shelf of the library for weeks while more modestly titled books alongside it have whizzed off the shelf in days.

How to explain popularity?

How does it feel to be wall-flowered?

What’s that do to a book’s ego?

What’s not to like in the title, ‘Cautionary Tales for Excitable Girls’?

I was half tempted to borrow it myself except it would only confirm the chief librarian’s opinion of me.

I tried to imagine what one of these tales would be called, what it would be about, even how one of them would begin, but I just couldn’t. Can you?

Too Close For Comfort

I had just unzipped at the left urinal when he took the one next to me, even though the one on the right was vacant.

We were shoulder to shoulder. We were that close.

He had bright orange hair like Mick Hucknall from Simply Red.

I hummed a few bars of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now’ just in case but there was nothing.

Hi, I’m Charlie, he offered.

Umm, I’m John. We don’t have to shake hands do we?

No, of course not, he said. You come here often.

Only to pee, I said. How about you?

Yes, much the same.

Then we both entered the zone, quietly exuding, self satisfied sighs.

We must stop meeting like this, I said wryly.

Then he zipped up and went to the basin and when he had gone I did the same.

This does not happen to me often. In fact, it was the first time which is why I’m writing about it.

Weird, huh ?

  • pic courtesy of pinterest

They See Ghosts

I was talking to my rarely glimpsed neighbour who was out the front raking the leaves.

We chewed the fat for a while

and then I asked him about Gus, his elderly Jack Russel.

He doesn’t annoy you. does he? he asked.

Not at all, I said. I’m a dog person.

Well, he annoys the hell out of me, he said. The other day he was barking at the dining room wall and wouldn’t stop. There was nothing there.

Apparently, they see ghosts, I said. Even in the dark.

He stopped raking.

Or he has dementia? He offered.

Wow! I said. That would open a can of worms. Think how many documented ghost sightings could be put down to dementia.

People don’t bark at walls, he said.

Not even in they’re barking mad ? I asked.

We both laughed uneasily.

Inside, the dog began barking again.

Flinch

They get up, rumpled, a little worse for wear. take a look, hold each other, flinch.

All that clutter.

The humble vessels and instruments of the night before, that wrought such alchemy on a lowly leg of lamb, packaged parsnips, carrots; followed by a serve of dried apricots and flaked almonds, soaked in brandy, all generously washed down with an aged red. Or was it two?

What a night!

But now …. the domestic terror in the sink.

Even alchemists have to clean up their mess.

pic courtesy of Pinterest  by John Currin

Dairy Dreams

As soon as I began reading it, ‘The Ice Cream Palace,’ I began to have dairy dreams.

Don’t you know it is forbidden, I said. I banished you from my diet years ago.

But the dream  pulled up to me like a Mr. Whippy van chiming.

What could I do?

I settled back into my vanilla-and–pistachio armchair and read Gianni Rodari’s deliciously delightful tale.

My eyes greedily licked every sentence.

I scooped the words up with pleasure.

They melted in my mouth.

The residue ran down my chin in rainbow rivulets.

Are You Lost?

Are you lost? he asks.

I don’t know, I say. I think so.

What’s that bracelet around your ankle?

Oh that, it’s a monitoring device in case I get lost.

So are you?

I guess so. I was wandering like Wordsworth. Only he saw daffodils.

So what do you see?

I was just looking at the windy lake, how the waves arch like dolphins through the water and i thought of that song

What song?

The one that goes: ‘I wish I could swim like dolphins can swim’

You see that?

Yes, don’t you? Excuse me, that’s my phone ringing. I really have to take this. Alright, alright, don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m coming right now. I have to go, I say.

So you’re okay then?

Yes, Someone’s waiting for me, waiting out the front.

That’s good. Anyone you know?

Yes, someone I know very well. But it’s okay.. He found me. We lose each other from time to time.

Pardon?

Soon as I get home, I’ll lock myself in. for the night. That’s when my mother used to wander too. It’s for my own good.

When the Wind Changes

I walked past that place today.

Which one?

You know, the one we walked past last month with the nude couple canoodling in the front yard …

And …

Well, they’re still at it.

Must have happened when the wind changed.

Pardon?

You know that old saying: if you screw your face up when the wind changes it will stay like that, Well, it could extend to the position you were in when …

What if you were ….Or even ….?

Don’t even think about it.

Could be a blessing or a curse then? Let’s look at that photograph again. I can’t think of a better position to be in when the wind changes.

Nor can I.