If Earth’s mantle changed
maybe ever so slightly:
We would barely know.
If, minutes before
two thousand and seventeen,
she re-aligns us
so collective colours
drape about aching shoulders
and make us subtly strange,
It may work out that
less becomes our spirit well:
and we can be still.
We are baubles on a tree
as eclectic as can be
sharing time and bending branches
hanging on and taking chances
delicately we deck the year
with brilliant colours, life and cheer.
Each of us has their own story
sadness, love, success and glory
old and new, each orb is precious
countless special shiny treasures.
Beautiful diversity –
bless and keep our Christmas tree.
I know a thingummy squat and wide
with hollow cardboard rolls inside,
Its hollow feet and hollow hands
let in the cold when up it stands,
so down it sits as like as not
to keep the draught from up its …
I’ve never asked it for its name
I think I might, then think again,
then think it might be rather shy
and think I might be wrong to pry
but then again a name is nice
I have a name, my name is…
I like to sit next to my friend
(the one with the hollow cardboard end)
I pause a while and contemplate
the kind of things we might debate
if only I could sit and stay
beside my quilted friend all day.
At the window in my front room
I watched umbrellas go up the hill
struggling in furious autumn gale
most black, some red or comically transparent
pulled down upon a woman’s shoulders
to protect her new hairdo from the rain.
The Georgian bay window shielded me from rain.
I loved to be alone. That cold front room
with long net curtains wrapped around young shoulders
and the weather beating, shining or racing down the hill
was my castle; huge windows on a world transparent,
sheltered from the furious autumn gale.
Round I whirled, a leaf dancing in the gale,
moving faster and higher, inspired by the rain.
The net meant giant windows were transparent
only from the inside, so to a clunky sale room
gramophone weighted with pennies, I was me on that hill,
before the world could press upon my shoulders.
I smelled the musty net around my shoulders
and knew the world was old and furious, though its gale
and torrential outpouring never rested on our hill,
forming pools in parks where tourists pulled on rain-
coats and stirred coffee with plastic spoons, in a room
where an organ played and people’s smiles were transparent.
When my cousin came, we served homemade sweets on transparent
plates and put on a show. On young shoulders
responsibility for choreography and costume. Front room
filled with patient eyes, we would anxiously regale
our aunties, mums and Nanna with entertainment, rain
dancing in accord, outside, thunder clapping on the hill.
Of course, I grew up, and went out from the hill,
down into murky valleys, away from transparent
umbrellas, aunties and sticky sweets, out into rain
that seemed more inhospitable when it landed on shoulders
bent and bowed with the weight of life’s gale.
But part of me will always dance in that front room.
Meet me on the hill, put a scarf around my shoulders,
transparent rivulets in a furious autumn gale,
blessed by rain, with no umbrella, let us dance in my front room.
Once upon a silken sleeping bag
I flew a merry while
across the seven continents
and wondered for a smile.
When all the sheep were snoring
and dingoes were the brass
I put a trumpet to my lips
and blew it through the grass.
The crocodiles were friendly
and the badgers very kind
the cockroaches misunderstood
and kidded me they rhymed.
We danced around a story
and sang a cup of cheer
A band of bees played harmonies
that lasted for a year.
And when my time was over
and light was in the sky
my sleeping bag woke up again
and bid the dream goodbye.
But in the morning’s glory
when I wake up at home
I know the verdant pastures
where imaginations roam.