Ode For Kim – 30th May 2021

Kim Chi was sleeping a lot. It’s normal for cats, we know. She still rolled and stretched herself and purred at a tummy rub. Her body felt hot – not so strange for a cat that has been curled up and the outside temperature is close to 40 degrees. But this type of hot, which I cannot ideally name, didn’t feel quite right. To describe it, it is not like a surface heat but a heat radiating from inside, under the fur, skin and meat.

And then she stopped eating. Again, this happens sometimes when it’s too hot – just a loss of appetite. But these signs combined led us to a trip to the vet – again – she was there only three weeks ago for a fighting wound.

Her temperature was high so they ran some blood tests which indicated that she has measles. Our neighbour had recently told us that many cats in the village had died from measles so this news was a little worrying. Then on top of that the tests also showed she has leukaemia…. This will most likely mean a shortened life and complications with any illnesses she may have.

This news is devastating but I also tried to be rational and consider that she was delivered to us in a bucket, on the way to the temple where she most likely would have led a terrible life. We have given her love and a home she may not have received otherwise. I hope her weak little body can fight through this illness. We cherish every day with the love of our cats. As arrogant, yet more loveable than most humans.

You are one crazy cat
Delivered to us in a tub
Squeaking and all that
Climbing out for a rub
Covered in dirt you were
Until we scrubbed you clean
Nothing seemed to deter
You from going off unseen
You became the princess
Even though a boy
Fearless curious interest
Everything a toy
Grown into your own tales
Sometimes battered and bleeding
You’re one that never fails
Giving me the love I’m needing
Every day a blessing
For the nine lives you abuse
Eight and we are stressing
This is the last one you can use

Life To Rise – 28th May 2021

I love to watch the mountains in any season but in the breaks of rain, it’s fantastic to watch the clouds drop down into the valleys to give more depth and definition to the peaks on the horizon. It’s lovely to watch the rain out of the window.

The mountains advance from their cover
Mad swirling whispers rise and grey
Filled to dripping with lumps of water
The jungle climbing up trees to sway
The streams are full, crabs are caught
In plastic buckets and crowded net
Paddies complete for more life to rise
First came the sun and now the wet

This world’s so mixed up everywhere you go – 26th May 2021

We’re ten rounds in to the Australia Rules Football season and as my team, Sydney Swans, is doing better this year than the last couple, I look forward to the weekends when I can catch up with the game. I can’t afford to watch the games live anymore and have to wait the following day to watch the (free) replay, meanwhile doing whatever I can to avoid seeing the result anywhere, which is not always easy.

One player in the team is Nick Blakey and he cuts an unusual figure, tall, skinny and shoulders that seem to fall away from his neck down to his elbows. His odd gait when he is running has earned him the, hopefully lighthearted, nickname of the Lizard. Once hearing this, it is impossible not to see a Jesus lizard scampering across water when he goes tearing off down field.

Nick Blakey, trying to shrug his shoulders.

So, anyway, the word Lizard has been on my mind and I will probably listen to the Jesus Lizard when I get home tonight. And, yesterday, the blue headed beauty in the main picture above blocked my exit from the car park, and luckily didn’t run away until I’d gotten out and taken a photo.

The little lizard below often greets me on the stone pillar of our gate when I get home. He’s got some cute symmetrical markings. His many, many brothers and sisters leave piles of black turds around the floor and counter edges throughout our house. And sometimes our cats deliver us some mid sized lizards that manage to escape their jaws and scitter off under the fridge or washing machine, only to appear later, high up on the screen doors frustrated that they can’t get out.

Nothing beats that time Amy, barefoot, trod on a huge dead gecko that, presumably, Tigger had left as a present in the dining room. I say presumably Tigger as this lizard was as big as Kim Chi and Cappuccino is too dumb to catch anything that size. Amy hates geckos with a passion but I think they’re beautiful – not that I want to touch it. Her scream range out across the valley and I’m surprised the police didn’t come.

The Art of Noticing Wall Pictures – 25th May 2021

Forcing myself to notice the pictures and decorations on the walls in different places. Strangely, this was a tough one and it made me realise that I don’t go to many different places, especially during these difficult pandemic times. Of course, it may be that I did go to many places but didn’t notice the pictures on the wall!

This was the first picture – taken all the way back on Jan 6th!
Finally got to 10 pictures today!

Poems on this day – 25th May 2021

Field of Observation

Warm damp air clings to us
In the middle of our own field
Like quantum theory – look away
A million fireflies are revealed
Lightning flashes on the horizon
Boding well the breeze to come
Buzz on about your business
There’s space here for everyone

Illusions

The grey is not just in the sky
It’s in my head, my half closed eyes
The passions of yesterday are gone
The words said cannot be undone
This sick mind exaggerating
All my deadly contemplating
A coward stuck in sheep’s clothing
Just wants an end to my self-loathing
To run away, just run and run
To put an end to what’s become
We slowly watched things going sour
Took the pain and gave it power
We mixed it up, caused confusion
Stuck inside this brief illusion
I still love you, I will always love you
How can I ever love myself?

Rocks and Oils

Artificial lines and boundaries
Sought to divide and rule
Keep the savages occupied
Then pour on extra fuel
Some arbitrary borders
Laid down after wars
Pay us to keep the peace
We’ll be back to settle scores
Killed a man a thousand years ago
For this you’ll one day pay
And grab this dirty rock of yours
Put down a flag and say
‘Get out and stay out’
You’re not welcome here
Out fathers always taught us
You are not what you appear

This Is A Test

Some days I ask myself
Just what am I doing here?
On good days things make sense
But others are not so clear
Sensitive to your words
Your scathing drunken attack
I can’t always shrug it off
Unless you take them back
Regularly we cycle
Through this vicious routine
So here we go again
What does it all mean?
I just wanted to take it easy
Sit back and relax
But then I see you drinking
Preparing your attacks
Let’s sit down and fix it
Make things for the best
Many more years ahead of us
This is just a test

Plus Minus

If I keep writing down these negative thoughts
Am I throwing them out or reinforcing them?
Am I making things worse than they already are
Or should I be symbolically divorcing them?

Poems on this day – 24th May 2021

‘Dol Day

You make my time fly by
Slow and low but disappear
Mind expanding night sky
It’s never now, it’s never here
Clear focus, unsure intent
Every detail thought about
Bigger pictures represent
My confusions, all my doubt
Mind held in meditation
Two strands, all at once
It’s my weekend recreation
Gonna slow down, quick response
A balanced see-saw
Numbed half out, half in
Real tears are real no more
But you can’t see me laughing
Face flat, a blank space
Though I’m just feeling pleasure
Go along in good grace
Make a monkish measure

Point Five

I got a point five
Writing got thinner
Point five on this page
Surely is a winner

*The .7 was bleeding through the page. The .5 is good for this paper I’m writing on at the moment.

Angels in the Backyard

Down here at the ground floor
Snacking on an oily garlic bread
Watching skinny mid-riffs floating by
Not understanding what they said
Filled with food and a feast for eyes
Wipe the dripping from my chin
Unmasked for everyone to see
Central to absolutely everything
Make a mental not to self
Let no opportunity go to waste
Sat amongst the spices of life
That I may neither touch nor taste
Washed down with refreshing water
There was never any doubt
Lunch is meant for rooms like this
Fill on up and move on out

Reason

I’m proud of you – confessing my allegiance
That’s strange and unreasonable
Times past, irrelevant and small

As one gets older – one needs reassurances
Not always entirely reasonable
In order to go at all

*Re-arrangement of text from Ursula LeGuin’s ‘The Dispossessed’

Infinite Jest – 23rd May 2021

Be on guard, the road widens
And many of the detours are seductive
Talent is it’s own set of expectations
Try to be a no one, so instructed
Of multiple exposure melodramas
Learn to care and not to care
This where you are not who you are
Shaped or broken, remain aware
Learn from those who fail
This is your body, they want you to know
This is the whirlpool, a friend
Your torn blue ankle tells you so
Unconscious exercise becomes a way to escape
A long waking dream of pure play
On the line, you must call it fair
A thousand times and every day

*pilfered and inspired by David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’

Poems on this day – 20th May 2021

Grumble and Grunt

I wish I could talk to you more
But I forget the words to say
Beyond inane pleasantry
Engage pleasant insanity
Sometimes forgetting what words are for
We grumble and grunt away
You know me, I know you
At least we both think we do
We tried to share together
Get to the nitty gritty
Broken formal etiquette
Just easier to forget
Now we just discuss the weather
That seems like such a pity
Communicate turn by turn
Connections we must relearn

In Two Minds

I am in control
Of the thoughts
In my black hole
On a roll
Or out of sorts
Searching for my soul

It’s in my mind
Dual thinking
Both are blind
I cannot find
Slowly sinking
A life resigned

Truth

Your truth is sitting on that hill
Mine elsewhere, a bitter pill
But let’s consider, understand
And work together, hand in hand

Tokyo

I wanted to go to Japan
But in the end I couldn’t go
So I bought a little dog instead
And named that good girl Tokyo

*True story of Gui, the owner of my regular coffee shop House

Poems on this day – 19th May 2021

Work Moderately, Play Moderately

Our tendency to compromise
Our choreographed shedding of inhibitions
Our sheer ordinariness
With some notable exceptions
Our eccentricities are conformist
We are neither ‘sir’ nor ‘card’
Everything in moderation
We neither work nor play hard
Far from wild and reckless
We rely on rare risk takers
We are cautious and unadventurous
Not really movers and shakers
Oh, our English dis-ease
That others misunderstand as such
As long as they don’t bother us
Thank you very much!

*Almost all this text is manipulated from pg 551 of ‘Watching the English’ by Kate Fox – so, being English I must talk about the weather…

35 and Relief

Sweat trickled down my chest
My eyes were sweating too
The storm clouds soon disappeared
The skies now a whitish blue
I never thought it could happen
To feel my sweating teeth
Thank god, the temperature dropped
To 35 and relief

Giles in the World

In economic globalisation
We seldom wonder where
Our vegetables are grown
Nor do we even care
Trade among our nations
Faceless labour makes
Can you name your farmer?*
And what their effort takes

*This inspirational line is also from ‘Watching the English’ which I had just finished reading and then started on Ursula Le Guin’s Dispossessed, whose introduction page led to this….

New Settler

A self exiled society
Had taken one step away
Yet he had taken two

The certainty of isolation
He lived his life day by day
Without his common crew

A sacrifice for greater good
To show them a better way
Stood upright and true

Asserted his true condition
Wherever his hat may lay
Somehow he always knew

He stood by himself
With little left for him to say
And nothing left to do