What Happened Out There, Out in the Garden?

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Stephanie was out in the garden, chasing chooks out of the vegetable patch. She was some way from us, out on the back porch, so I was surprised that she responded to something I said.

“Yes. I remember when …” and then her voice seemed to get swallowed up.

”What’s that?” I said.

But she stood there helplessly waving her hands as if signalling to us to disregard what she had to say and to carry on our conversation. We did and when my friend left, Stephanie came over and sat beside me.

“What happened out there?” I asked. “Out in the garden?”

“What I was about to say got swallowed up,” she said.

“Like in a sinkhole?” I said. They had been in the news lately.

“Like in a sinkhole.”

“It’s all right,” I said. “Tell me when you remember.”

What It’s Like

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It’s like walking around with a ‘Vacant’ sign around your neck.

It’s like being scooped out by an excavator.

It’s like being a songbird without a voice.

It’s like walking along a jetty studded with couples clinging to each other like barnacles to pylons.

It’s like being on the esplanade ripping into a pulled pork burger like an animal ‘coz you’re on yr own so it isn’t all bad.

Old Schooner

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I was reading a poem by Weldon Kees —

Does anyone read Weldon Kees nowadays? —

About Boris, ‘the fatalist parrot’ who fell off

his perch.

I thought of old Schooner in his cage in the

Drive thru bottle shop at Magnums at McLaren Vale.

At least he had some life in him unlike Boris

Who ‘watched the traffic flow, unheeding’.

You’d say ‘hello’ to Schooner. He wouldn’t say anything

But once you got your purchase and went to go,

He’d say ‘See Ya’ real chipper like. You’d wave back

And give him the thumbs up and if he could Schooner

Would reciprocate. He had a fan when it was hot and

A lamp for when it was cold and a little mirror to see

what a handsome chap he was. He looked well fed.

At least he didn’t pace up and down like a lion in a cage.

Whenever I have a glass now at Magnums I raise it

To old Schooner.

Hope is the Helium

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I was down in the dumps when someone praised

A recent poem of mine.

I know we should be immune to Praise

And Criticism

But it’s hard not to be lifted

Like a hot air balloon

Above the petty doubts and grievances

That beset us all

And to bask in the warm sun of appreciation

Knowing that, yeh, we’re okay,

We’re going to get there

We are not alone.

Hope is the helium that keeps us aloft.

 

can you think of an occasion when praise made a difference in your life?

what is the helium that keeps you aloft?

Little White Horses

 

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I was tearing along the coastal route

The little white horses racing into shore

When this song came over the radio

And galloped into my heart.

I pulled over onto the shoulder.

I was transported.

I closed my eyes and let the music

Take me.

8.30 seconds later I was released.

It was good to hear Derek and The Dominoes again.

It was good to hear ‘Layla’

 

What songs stop you in your tracks, transport you to other places? What songs do you pull over for?

 

Beach Balls, Rabbits & Heads

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You haven’t got your head up your arse

Or in the clouds any more, he said,

But firmly secured where it should be.

Atop my shoulders? I suggested.

But my big brother was right.

I was a dreamy kid but when the hormones kicked in— boy!!

My head was every which way but loose.

It was like a beach ball bobbing along

On choppy waves,

A dog chasing after every rabbit which crossed

its path.

I’m still a bit like that but the hormones

Are quieter now

& if I don’t watch it I still find myself

Head up the arse or in the clouds,

A head’s gotta go somewhere.

Stuck in the Moment

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Once I was stuck in the moment.

It was like being stuck in a lift.

I was going nowhere.

Not even up and down.

There was no way out.

No alarm button to press.

No keypad.

I tried not to panic.

Tried smoking a cig.

Humming a tune

Studying a fly on the wall

Studying me

Reciting my nine times tables

And then suddenly SNAP

I was out of it.

I don’t know how long I was in it.

It did have its moments

I must admit.

But you wondered if you’d ever

Get out and join

The flow of life again.