Monthly Archives: November 2011

Narrative reinvention

Much has been written about heroes, especially men, in the wake of disaster. Societal expectations are such that this is the role expected of men. Not all men are heroes. Some women are. Research and feminist analysis of gender roles in response to Black Saturday has been conducted by Women’s Health Goulburn Valley North East. An e-book detailing the stories of 21 women (including me) can be found at The formal report ‘The landscape of my soul: Relationships after Black Saturday’ will be released soon.

Narrative reinvention

The way you tell it
we had an infallible plan
your foresight
arming us against catastrophe
and your efforts alone
prepared our home
against calamity

The way you tell it
your quick thinking
saved the day
you rescued us
and we escaped
ahead of the inferno
while you remained defiant

you reinvent the narrative landscape
cast yourself in the starring role
paint me with passivity
render me invisible

Your truth is
the shrieking wind
hurled flames through the air
you fled, fought and survived
flesh seared
mind incinerated

You weave a fantastic tale
by which you hope to be judged
inside is just self-hatred
and in seeking to repair
your tattered psyche
brush me with your loathing

I understand, even forgive
but this is not the way I tell it

Another summer of dragonflies?

Today in Melbourne we awake to opulent sunshine and the promise of warmth. Hard not to be optimistic….

Dragonfly summer

After the rains came the summer of dragonflies
parched earth and desiccated minds
luxuriated in fresh growth
the stultifying dry, inexorable loss, a memory
a fading nightmare

A plethora of dragonflies
gossamer wings iridescent in summer’s light
movements of languid chaos
flight paths seemingly random
as they wooed, contorted, copulated

I met you that summer
dehydrated hearts, numbed minds
we took our lead from the dragonflies
danced languorously
in dizzying courtship spirals

Soon the weather turned cold
although the rain did not stop
another joined our waltz
our leisurely dance now frenetic
watched by the last of the dragonflies

In winter the dragonfly nymphs hid
sequestered, awaiting warming sun
exhausted by your feverish whirls
I followed their wisdom
found refuge, laid low

In spring the dragonflies
emerge to revel in golden light
stretch their gauzy wings
flit upon the silken air
Shall we dance?

I tried my loves, I tried

This is what I added to GetUp’s time capsule this morning. Perhaps you could add your message too?

I tried my loves, I tried

Forty years is not a long time to be on this Earth
and yet, such change to behold
a warming planet
erratic rain
a dryness like no other
a parched bare Earth is not what you deserve
so I yell, plead, harangue
conserve energy, use renewables
grow my own food, save seeds
agitate for change
and silently hope it will be enough