Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Off the Cuff 26: More than five times & Have You Had a Good Life?

APAD 26     prompt: "more than 5 times"

More than five times

I am running with a china egg
on a silver dessertspoon
and I come second to my best friend
Anne whose long legs make
being an egg-and-spoon race
winner easier. Anyway, my egg
didn't fall off the spoon. I couldn't
do it now: holding the spoon
in my teeth rooted in calcium-poor
jaws - no. Keeping my chin up
and neck back like an ibis
or pelican in flight - no. Feeling
the weight of that solid china: oh!
But over the years I have re-run
that race like a movie on a reel
focussed on my style, in still
frames, practising and practising
way more than five times, giving
myself the olympian's role, swift
as a swallow, streaking ahead
of my best friend Anne.

Have You Had a Good Life?

(a question asked by a listener on Life Matters, 
ABC National, on a Tuesday evening, 
chatting about writing a book on it)

Have I had a good life?
I look at photos of trees
a forest on fire, flood-lines
above their knees, a sense
of uneasiness, utter aloneness.
I read many bush stories
collected pen pals overseas.

I look at family photos, of
wedding anniversaries, birthdays,
friends, and relatives from
the British Isles, visitors
and ceremonies. Sitting
as far away from Him as I can.

I re-read letters from myself
the traveller to them at home.
I survived storms at sea
being suspected of terrorism
flights where bits fell off planes
or petrol caps were forgotten

I survived living in a haven
for guerrilla fighters, disdain
for my skin colour, bombings,
being suspected of terrorism
cholera plague and syphilis
and being heartbroken.

I chose single parenting
over boredom and struggle
wrote poetry for a living
took the kids to foreign
countries, tours of Australia,
and moved house often.

Worked to make a difference
have people believe they could
be the agent of change, enable
community development,
engagement, clear the way
for the future generations.

Not easy! Distances and
discoveries, art and the art
of survival, always finding
new ways of living adventurously.
Yes, I've had a good life.
Who will I have to be tomorrow?

NaPoWriMo  26

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