A taste of Spring

I ate a plum today.


I took it from the fridge

and left it to warm in the sun

as I read on the patio.


When I picked it up, I stopped

 to admire the shine

of its bruise-purple skin

before I took a bite.


I leaned forward

and brought the round glossy fruit

to my lips.


I felt the skin resist

then split under my teeth


its lush golden flesh.


It was firm – “al dente” –

keeping the juice softly wrapped

in the meat of the fruit

as I took each cool, sweet bite

around its stony heart.


In five bites I was done

and the seed tossed casually away

under the rose bushes.


I ate a plum today

and it tasted like Spring.


Seattle Sojourn…

Early in June on a hot sunny morn,
while Double-A and the little dudes (recently born)
had a date with the Doc
 map in my pocket and camera in hand,
eyes peeled for the quirky, the charming, the grand,
I ventured downtown to take stock.

And here’s what I found.

I found a Goliath who raises his arm
And brings it back down in a smooth arc of calm…
…while lightning strikes right by the bay.

A pioneer totem amid leaves green and fair
Stands strong, proud and tall in a cool shady square…

…while all the signs invite sweet surrender.

On this corner’s the site where the logs came to rest
And the wood turned to dust at the sawmill’s behest…

…while nearby beans are ground underfoot.

I popped out the back and turned away from the Sound.
An alternative side of an icon I found…

…yet cross-town, underground
this buried old boozer’s run dry…

…while this ceiling adds colour 35 stories high.

So with sightseeing done and the bus due anon
I wandered back up to the place I’d begun
My nose and cheeks pink from the warm Summer sun…
…my first sojourn done.

A Symbol Of Freedom And Light…

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there was great debate about whether Australia should become a republic. A survey was created (called a referendum) and all of the people in the land were invited to participate. The results revealed a nation divided with the vote to maintain Australia’s colonial status quo snatching victory from the republicans  55/45.

But there was outcry. Some of the people suggested that the questions did not really present a clear choice between Republican-ism and Colonial-ism. And so while the Colonialists won the battle in 1999, the undercurrent of discontent around the Great Republican Question bubbled on.

And in the midst of this, there remained another question – the question of the flag and whether it was really fitting for our modern and multicultural nation.

I love the Australian flag.

I love how it celebrates our southern location and open skies with the Southern Cross constellation.

I love how it honours our Federation with the seven pointed Commonwealth Star – with six points representing the six previously self-governing states and one point representing the territories and any future states.

And I love that it also gives a nod to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 to make the first modern settlement in Australia, 16 years after pioneering Englishman Captain James Cook sailed along Australia’s eastern coastline.

But like most things in life, this is not a simple fairytale and our nation is still on its journey to find a happy ending. Does our flag reflect the indigenous, the discoveries of the Dutch (through explorers Willem Janszoon and Abel Tasman) and the emergence of a multicultural nation inspired by new horizons, the prospect of success borne of hard work and not least, the hopeful opportunity of the Gold Rush.

Is it really a reflection of our modern nation, whether it be colonial or republic?

And then earlier this week, I opened an email from Mum to find a poem that was given to her in the late 1970s by an ex-servicewoman she knew in Cairns. As I read it, I felt proud that our flag held such patriotism and passion in its thrall and my fierce republican heart couldn’t help but recognise the validity – and poignancy – of her words.

Our flag bears the stars that blaze at night
In the Southern sky of blue
And a little old flag in the corner
That’s part of our heritage too.
It’s for the English, the Scots and the Irish
Who were sent to the ends of the earth.
The rogues and schemers, the doers and dreamers
Who gave modern Australia birth.
And you who are shouting to change
You don’t seem to understand
It’s the flag of our law and our language
Not the flag of a faraway land.
Though there are plenty of people who’ll tell you
How, when Europe was plunged into night
That little old flag in the corner
Was their symbol of freedom and light.
It doesn’t mean we owe allegiance
To a long forgotten imperial dream
We’ve the stars to show where we’re going
And the old flag to show where we’ve been.

Out with the old and in with new? Suddenly it’s not such a simple question.

An Urban Thriller…The End

It’s quiet.
Not a sound.
I’m pleased to report
Has found
The bait I laid down.
With patience I waited,
With pellets of green
In a little white tray
Four times baited.
(A poisonous hue
As ever I’d seen.)
And now my abode
Is quiet and still.
The scrabbling has ceased
And it would appear
My guest ate his fill
And ventures no more.

An Urban Thriller Part 1….

There’s a mouse in my house.
An unwelcome guest,
A worry, a pain,
An unsightly pest.
For my pragmatic mettle, a test.
I thought I heard something
From my sofa this week
And when I looked up
My eyes caught a streak.
With a scurry, a squeak
It vanished so fast,
I thought it a dream.
No sign ’round the fridge
Where I thought I had seen
A tail most obscene
But last night there were noises
A few rustling sounds
So I tip-toed straight in
Stood my stockinged-feet ground
And waited.
And guess what I found.
With a flick of the switch
The room was alight
And against the white floor tiles
I took in the sight
Of a furry black critter
In flight.
So I turned off the light
And closed off the room.
And this morning I searched,
A harbinger of doom,
For something to rid that pest
From my room.
Now the trap has been set
And I patiently wait
‘Til my unwelcome guest
Tempts its unwitting fate
By taking the bait….
Source: Andrea Borges on pinterest
…to be continued

A Visit From St Nicholas…

Well my The Nutcracker Advent Calender is empty and all the little storybooks are lined up below it so this can only mean one thing – it’s Christmas Eve and Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St Nicholas, Sinterklaas or however you know him, has packed up his sleigh and is on his way.
Source: pinterest
This morning I picked up my Top 500 Poems to see what had been penned about Christmas many years ago and in scanning the table of contents, one titled ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ seemed appropriate. Imagine my surprise when I turned to page 475 and read the first line – ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house’.  
A Visit from St Nicholas was written in 1822 by Clement Clarke Moore, a professor of religion in New York. He refused to have it published, but a friend sent it to an out of town newspaper where it was published – anonymously – in time for Christmas 1823. Moore eventually included it in his collected works 15 years later but continued to maintain that it was a ‘mere trifle’

Every festive season since I was ‘knee high to a grasshopper’, my head has been filled with little snippets like ’twas the night before Christmas’, ‘a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer’ and those famous reindeer names – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, ‘Donna’ and Blitzen.

This mere trifle has continued to shape the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve for children (big and small) the world over so it seems a fitting finale to this year’s Gidday Christmas Countdown. So I leave you to embrace the child within and wish you all the very best of everything your heart desires this Christmas.

Kym x

A Visit from St. Nicholas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief’, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to the objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
Illustration by F.O.C. Darley at about.com
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedlar just opening his pack.
His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of his pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of an eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”
~ Clement Clarke Moore 1779-1863 ~

Twas The Night Before Birthday…

Twas the night before birthday
And all through the land
The excitement’s been building
The day off is planned.
Yesterday’s Vintage
Was a trip back in time
From disco to swing dance
And fashion sublime.
And today we’ve done polo,
With divot and chukka,
The picnic we had
Was definitely pukka.
So sun-kissed and dozy
I’m back at my screen
At my cosy front window
To muse where I’ve been.
41 has been tough
With ‘curve balls’ galore
And it’s been hard not to miss
The good life from before.
But finally it seems
The sun has come out
And its warmth on my face
Reminds me what it’s about.
Old roads and new paths
To defend and to chart
With family and friends
Those close to my heart.
So on this night before birthday
As 41 fades away
I fondly wave it farewell
And bid 42 ‘Gidday!’