may song

still now,
with mornings
speaking in dragon breath
and prophetic tongues
of shortening days
and the cold that comes
that comes –
still now
the birds proclaim the day,
call clear blue
horizon to horizon
while singing autumn songs,
gorging themselves
on fruit full ripe and
sweet with sunlight gathered
and grown to seed.



it is not like
we can wait,
burning as we do
with the long ache for
dissolution of self
among the choir of trees –
barefeet crunching
in late summer leaves

it is not like
we can wait,
hem entangled
in snag breath lichen twigs
and thorn –
to part ferns, soft grown
knee high, to find
this slow undoing
where the longing of bones
meets rapturous
the long silence of trees.

it is not like
the world
can wait

For Brendan at Earthweal’s weekly challenge: WILD MIND

wilding prayer


and always and again
this light comes
distils into bird song
calls us from sleep
sings our awakening


and perhaps
we never needed
to overthink this
being here –
perhaps all we ever know,
all we ever needed to know
is that we are here-now
women becoming
lichen becoming tree-light
bushbuck forest becoming morning
becoming women


turn their bright sky faces
to look to the earth
to the rich dark soil
the unfathomable life of roots
and microbe
and worm


you have to give yourself to it
completely, until you are boneless
in the river – a body of water
lapping with the windblown waves

the only way to stay afloat
is to give yourself to the river
completely, to be buoyed by
saturates and densities
and the lightness of your being.

to tip your head back
hair sea-grass to the saltwater
close your eyes soft
until bright sun through blood
and flesh of eyelid
become that other sky
and we become the reed-bank river,
the mud crab and the grebe
flowing with the incoming tide.


blood warm and smooth as silt
the honey spilled the spoon
drenching the afternoon
in long remembered sweetness


and when the rain came,
to break the heat that lay
heavy on the hills –
pushing our breath,
it came cool from the warm sky
and we who had been waiting
through the heat of days
held our hands and arms
like wilted leaves to the rain
listening to the soft splatter voice
speak our need fulfilled
until skin drenched and
stripped of our lethargy
we laughed with the sky.


between breath
and horizon
the sounding
of a slow sea
that shapes
the long shore
of our sleep

between breath
and horizon
the quickening
of evening wings
the click of frog
the waking
of the night


there was a time
when when her feet still
soft indented this dust
when the rain pooled her footprints
and the wild places grew
where she walked.
she dreamt the night erupting
in stars – and it did.

did she know the feet that followed
never could trace the intricate back forward
turn of her dance – hair and arms alight with stars.
did she know we would try
fail, try again.
did she know the feet that followed?


in the long dark silence
of this night
we have only this breath
to find our way through
only our bodies
our light our longing
let it be enough
let us be enough

In response to Brendan’s beautiful essay at Earthweal’s weekly challenge GREEN FIRE (wild and sacred)

minutes of the wilderness heights community meeting – thursday 27 january 2022

image by arum glogauer

we sat on the grass
on the steps
stood, leaned
waited –
some brought chairs for
the elderly, the frail

we came with empty hands,
old wounds and words
that burned holes in our tongues
and kept us silent for years,
we came with new ideas
and shared concerns
we came with love –

we gathered because it is time
because there is a child
on the street corner
who says she is hungry and
her mother has passed
and if it will take
a village to raise this child
we have gathered to be that village –
build a village from our broken past.

we have gathered because
there is a future that calls us
to be here together –

and the blue clouds
heavy with promise
held their rain until
the talking ended.

and the late sun
broke the dark horizon –
bathed us in gold,
skin and leaf
and grass seed alike

illuminated us
in the light
we are

Linking to Earthweal’s weekly challenge: The Swan

on the nature of love at the end of the world

love never changed her mind
or changed her ways.
she has always been
in love with you,
with the fiery heart
of your living –
your burning passions
that could set a room aflame –
the quiet your of being
in the emptiness.
she knows your vulnerabilities,
your need to keep yourself warm.
and perhaps she should have
said something (and perhaps she did)
when your living flame
turned to burning desire
and trees began to fall in your wake.

and you need to know
she loves you no less
now that the world is on fire.
that she walks with you,
tattered and burned
thirsty feet crunching warm ash,
that she still hopes you will
see yourself in her eyes and know
that there never was any need –
that you always had been enough.


Reposting for the Earthweal’s Open link weekend #69.

among the living

it was my plan all along to lie down there among the twigs and fallen leaves,
let the forest have me
because there is something in my bones that does not know these days
can’t taste the sunlight or feel vast oceans pulse in the night.
three days now the snail has been sleeping on that leaf through my window,
it is not winter, none of it is making sense
and we can’t and we can’t and we can’t remember
how we came here, how we built these worlds and walls around us
how our lies become our stories and
our stories became stones that paved into roads,
piled into wall and hut and temple. big stories like pillars
holding a roof over our heads so we can’t see the sky
and the stars can’t speak –
a roof to keep the rain from touching our twitch animal skin
lest we remember who we are. we know that we are tired
we know all this will fall like leaves to the forest floor.

it was my plan all along to walk until my feet wanted,
to find a root that curls around my body, a parasol touched with light
and lie down there among the twigs and fallen leaves
and let the forest have me
and if it happens the sky is blue enough to be seen
like a reflection on still water between the trees
or thin pond mist grey wisping on high winds
i will watch dark shadow birds, wing fingers spread to carve sky paths
above the canopy, knowing their backs are feather painted by the sun
and i will untangle the bramble from my hem, pull thorns from my hair
and lie down there among the twigs and fallen leaves
and let the forest have me.
and when black butterflies wake because morning has come slowly
(do they sleep? do they remember in dream life before wings?
if imaginal discs hold potential do they hold memory too?)
when black butterflies wake, turn their folded wings from leaf to flight
to dance hover circles in unexpected shafts of light
i will be there silent stone among the roots of the tree
and the birds might move around me speaking summer voices
like pebbles tapped together underwater –

breaking the surface to gulp laughter instead of air
and you speaking flowers
saying life is nectar
while river salt dried on your skin
and all was fractal and light spilling sweetness
until even the mud between our toes sang of beauty.

and no matter that it passed as summers do,
the river still flows deep dark to the sea without me –
the kingfishers have fledged, skimming their impossible malachite flight
less than a breath above the water.
i love them no less for not seeing them,
not seeing those golden leaves fall turn spin to touch the still surface –
drifting small boat, stem sterns to the ocean.
summer will come again and we will walk once more among the living
reading stories with fluent fingers across their tall bark –
taking breaths so deep they burst shudder from our mouths
that can speak no more than i love you and thank you.

it was my plan all along to come here
to lie among the fallen leaves and twigs of autumn
to give myself to you
breath, blood and bone
again and always

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-25 at 14.20.46


april harvest


there is nothing
to be said
of what was
or might be
on days like these
when the tang
sweet of summer
leans light into autumn
and fruit hangs full round
on the trees.


WhatsApp Image 2020-04-24 at 15.21.30
Tamarillos full ripe on the trees today.



learning the shape of things

there were big windows, wooden floors
and an indoor quiet that made our ears hum.
it was monday morning
after a favourite uncle’s birthday
on the weekend
i had made him a card
drawn flowers because he like them
copied in my newly acquired hand
Dear Les
Love Lindi
it took me most of saturday
each letter a task
down up around and down swish
change colour
around up and back down swish
ended with a flourish
a loop, a flick –
he loved it.

back in the quiet hum of the class
i applied my new skills to the page
finishing a whole row of a’s and m’s
with tails turning up, dotting the i’s with flowers.
time passed in focussed silence
punctuated by the rattle of pencils on desks
and the slow steady click of the minute hand moving.
final flourish on the bottom
of a well pleased page
flower flower

after break teacher called me to her desk –
we all loved her
with her golden curls and lipsticked smile.
my book was open on the morning’s work
i nearly crowed with imminent reward
those gold stars we got to wear
on our foreheads.
what is this, she asked
and i oblivious
told her of my uncle les and the birthday card and

no, she said
this is wrong, she said
i don’t ever want to see this again,
i thought they looked nice, i said
and surely even then i should have known better
but it was my first year at school
and i still had much to learn.

i held out my almost six year old hand
on command as i had seen
other children do before
so you remember she said.
turns out the long arm of the law
had painted nails and a gold link bracelet
and knew how to apply a ruler
to the unruly.

back at my desk
i sat on my hand
to cool the burn
i did not cry.