Pine forest at the National Arboretum, Canberra


Even life’s a slope

stay upright, and do what’s right 

and like pines you’ll thrive

Photo: Pine forest at the National Arboretum, Canberra

Silent observer

Street artist

I couldn’t take my eyes off him
his long and slender back was tilted
supported by the knees slightly bent
jawbones showing, brows narrowing
he stood looking at the girl in front
who didn’t care, glanced elsewhere
unwavering he glared, his round pupils
measuring her tiny frame, flashy hair
unmoving he observed, taking in
her being and her every movement
his soul concentrated at his object
betraying not an emotion in his face
shifting only his wrists, the master
outlined her outline, his spine still
for hours he watched her, and I him
filling up my heart with so much joy
and his canvas with all that grace
I missed the sunset over my head
but he saw colour fade from the girl
and moved with alarming swiftness
he clapped. Packed. And strode off
ciao, street painter. Until tomorrow.

Photo credit: Dennis Schrader on Unsplash

The visitor

“Hi mom!”

Jennifer stroked her mother’s head and left the bag of oranges on the bedside table. Waving back to the nurse who’d led her in, she slumped on the chair next to her mother’s at the centre for the aged and helpless.

“Hello,” her mother replied in a small voice, unable to muster enough energy to speak or extend a smile beyond centimetres. She remained silent for the rest of the hour. With all hope of seeing the outside world gone now, she often took short walks only within the corridors or, on certain good days, the garden. Years had weakened her Parkinson’s-riddled body, and her once-bulletproof memory was now letting go.

Jennifer couldn’t have cared for her on her own. But alas, the world knows only to blame.

“See you tomorrow, mom.” Sighing, Jennifer kissed her mother’s forehead.

“Bye, Laura.”

Laura was one of the three nurses who took shifts to provide her round the clock care.

Sunset at Mount Ainslie lookout, Canberra

Trees are,

Shadows in the dark

looming, alone, ominous

breathing, unlike ghosts

Photo: Sunset at Mount Ainslie lookout, Canberra

One day

A great monument of our time
pictured vague in historical texts
an obligation as a child in school
who called the third world home
a land far away from the others
living life unheard of and ignored
a curious kid in skirt and shoes
with wide eyes, wondering mind
learning from cheap illustrations
and hoping, one day, of seeing
the greatest of all architecture
towering proof of bygone culture

gushing back are those memories
as I see the tower crumble, again
its flying buttresses doubling over
losing strength of years conserved
trembling, tumbles the great spire
with it does all dreams of one day