A New Day

A few years ago, I went through a period lasting several years, where a good number of those closest to me died. I had carried coffins in five funerals, one after the other. In retrospect, I see that we continue – changed, if we allow it. My sister lost her father and her husband within three weeks of each other. The depths we plumb without getting answers, are sometimes staggering…..


Hope Beach


The first-sun magpie warbled her

Into waking; the rhythmic rumble and hiss of

Surf brought memories like mist then they sharpened.

She opened her eyes to the swaying

Casuarina silhouettes on the bedroom wall

From the low sun; they brought promise when

She looked at Mike as he slept, the colour of hope

And she wanted to touch him but didn’t.


The kettle stirred slowly on the stove.

She stood, arms folded, stoic but small,

Staring through the window to the patch

Behind the dunes where they’d picnicked

Twenty-five years before. They came here

Almost daily in summer with the kids;

He had caught a carpet snake and took it

Home to the old house to keep the vermin down,


Then he got sick, then he got well

But she hadn’t seen a rat in years,

They moved here when he couldn’t work

The old place any more; then he got sick,

Well and now sick for the last time.

It seemed like the perfect place; it

Had happy memories but she couldn’t

Remember why they had moved.


Outside the back door, calm enveloped her:

Children’s voices from the park on

The offshore breeze, the swoop of a kookaburra

Landing in the jacaranda and the always present

Murmur of the waves, like a tap

On the shoulder from eternity.

A few steps to the dune’s crest and the beach

Opened, golden, peaceful and powerful.


She wondered at the sensation – a blanket

Of understanding or indifference – too deep

To be certain. A smile grew within her,

Though she didn’t know why and she wanted

To lift her arms and fly

But where? So she tightened them slightly

Around herself, squeezing out a sigh as the kettle

Song called her from the kitchen.

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