Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Month of Poetry #29: For my baby, starting school

the youngest of three
the brightest kiss of summer
ever-open rose

dressed and shod for school
carrying fire in her belly
ready for all things

through the door she charges
a glimmering of lightness
stepping proud and firm

I’m ready, Mama!
but I’m not, sweet lastborn child
not to let you go

 the future is here
see it in her open face
her prancing delight

my baby at school
inexorably empty
my nest lies folorn.

- Kathy, 29/1/14

Monday, January 27, 2014

A week of summer leave, mostly in pictures

I had last week off work with my lovely girls. I'm back to work tomorrow, but I thought a quick review of The Week That Was might be nice.

On Sunday we visited with friends, painted nails, blew bubbles, laughed a lot and cuddled guinea pigs.

On Monday we went to the Yarra Valley with my best friend from childhood and her children. We hit Yarra Glen to visit the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery and the Yarra Glen park, and so enjoyed being together.

My kids were enthralled by the Chocolaterie. I think they found the massive selection a bit overwhelming, but watching the chocolate being made interested them all, and eventually, purchase selections were made after much angsting. All the chocolate purchased has been happily consumed over the succeeding week!

After the Yarra Valley, we stopped in at my parent's house for an hour for afternoon tea and a travel break.

On our way home we collected another friend's daughter for a two-night sleepover. From a behaviour viewpoint, I like to call this The Miracle of One More. It's incredible how much less fractious they all are when there's another child in the mix!

On Tuesday the kids and I went, plus sleepover guest, to the Werribee Open Range Zoo. What a treasure that place is.

I used to take the kids there quite often when they were younger - especially when it was just the two girls, and I seemed to have more time than I do now.

As an aside, what is it about time constricting as kids get older? I mean, obviously, they are in school a lot of hours and I work much more than I did back then, but does that really explain the sense that we never have time to do anything that we used to do regularly? I miss those molasses days, slow and rich and sweet :-(

We haven't been, though, for probably 2 years now - oh, maybe even longer? - and I'm ashamed to admit that my youngest, she of the Not Nearly As Many Outings As Big Sisters Got, didn't remember it at all. Still, that made her enjoyment and delight all the sweeter in many ways.

On Wednesday my husband had the day off, so we all drove to Frankston to visit Storyland, the amazing sand sculpture exhibition and activity centre.

We took a picnic, which we ate at a beach park, and spent some time not just looking at the beautiful sand art but also getting face painted, playing with lego and doing sand-building activities. The four kids' love for this was epic.

On our way back, after dropping our guest back to her mum, we found ourselves caught in some pretty abysmal traffic.

Instead of allowing it to stress us and tarnish our day, we made the decision to stop off for dinner in Port Melbourne, where we had delicious Mexican food and chilled out in comfort while the freeways groaned on.

By the time we got back on the road, it was a quiet, easy run to home, we had full bellies so no one was cranky, and we were all still carrying the day's sunshine with us.

On Thursday the girls and I visited with local friends and hung out in their pool, which was just perfect.

And Friday, after book collection duties at school, we went to the shops and the library to get all remaining back to school supplies.

What a peach of a week. I could've done with another just like it, but I'll take what I can get!

It's back to work for me tomorrow, and school starts on Wednesday (my littlest's first day of school ... I am only semi coping with that). It's going to be a super busy and hectic term all round and I expect we'll all get tired and over ourselves at various points.

That's why it's good to have a record of the jewelled weeks of summer - so we can remember laughing, even when we're not.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Month of Poetry #26: Australia Day

Every year, for Australia Day, I write a fairly angsty, angry villanelle. This year's is even less hopeful than last year's.  However, I would like you to note the fact that I managed to find FIVE rhymes or near-rhymes for "invasion", which wasn't so damn easy :-)

a day for a sunshine discontented land
marking not nationhood, but invasion
don’t lie: it’s stolen, where we stand.

everywhere, we’re being told it’s grand
our country with such a fraught gestation
a day for a sunshine discontented land

wasn’t there a song about soil and sand
that said that all are welcome to our nation?
don’t lie: it’s stolen, where we stand.

the rich get richer; was that what we planned?
as the poor, ever with us, wait at the station
a day for a sunshine discontented land

two worlds at least, now, this brown landscape spanned
spirit-narrowing of greed may bring damnation
don’t lie: it’s stolen, where we stand.

a fist in velvet looms the master’s hand
and tighter daily draws this grim ligation
a day for a sunshine discontented land
don’t lie: it’s stolen, where we stand.

- Kathy, 26/1/14

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Month of Poetry #25: Cinderella

Today's challenge on Month of Poetry was to write a multi-verse haiku series retelling a fairytale. We were encouraged to take on Rapunzel, but I decided instead to address Cinderella. This is the result.

my story begins
with the trope of the absent -
or, in this case, dead -

mother. I, the babe
left behind; hapless father
sought a replacement

which, as it turned out,
was not the happiest of
decisions for me

although it is still
not clear, to me, why anyone
would hate a baby

I did not ask to
be prettier than they are
or cleverer; why

should her resentment
of my moony skin
my honeyed silk hair

force me to my knees
scrubbing stones in dark silence -
is this not my house?

of course, it all changed
when my godmother, she
of the wild magic

befrilled me for the
ball; riding in a pumpkin
is something to try

here is a strange thing -
my stepsisters, I saw then,
are not quite ugly

just plain, in fact, and
perfectly able, left alone,
to find rich owners

but she wanted more
she wanted to sell to the
highest possible

disturbing, really,
how much of a commodity
even beloved

girls become. I
danced strategically, of course,
I spotted the prize

marriage is better
than cleaning toilets for free
(mostly, anyway)

and if you wondered -
yes, I got my house back again
rank has privileges

and my stepsisters
are quite pleasant, now, wedded
to a baker, floury

and sweet, in one case,
and off travelling the world,
as an acrobat

in the other. I
have plans, for this ever after
I don’t aim to settle

for “happily”, when
that just means owned by some man
I’d rather “busy”

and “fierce”, and also “kind”
as I become the princess
of my own dreams.

- Kathy, 25/1/14

Thursday, January 23, 2014

On saudade, as the summer creeps on

I have written here before about my occasional lapses into a state of saudade. From the Portuguese, this means, roughly, "a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return." Alternatively, it is "vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist ... a turning towards the past or towards the future." (Thanking you, Wikipedia, for the definition!)

It's a slippery concept for Anglophones to get our heads around - it's sort of like nostalgia, but not quite; it's frequently characterised by sadness, but isn't the equivalent of it, and it certainly isn't grief or pain. In fact, saudade precludes almost by its nature very violent emotional reactions; longing is often amorphous and ill-defined, and can be very deeply felt, but what it isn't, is the overwhelming flood that takes people in raw grief and loss. Saudade is about loss, but the loss of that which we can't define and can't explain.

I am not a person who suffers from depression, and I experience saudade as a gentle ache, a weepy fragility, rather than a profound or debilitating pain. It doesn't incapacitate me, but it does affect me, and how I interact with the world, which becomes muted, muffled, a little porous. At once, it makes me vulnerable to emotional disturbance and strangely detatched from ordinary stressors. I find a new ability, in this state, to care less about pragmatic issues that otherwise raise my ire or make me anxious - indeed I can rarely manifest either rage or anxiety while in saudade, and this is, in itself, no bad thing. But I am shockingly exposed to "events with emotional content". The slightest sad thing or milestone event will knock me into a maudlin fugue for days, when I'm like this.

To put this in real-world terms, I can deal calmly and rationally, probably even more so than usual, with multiple competing work demands in this mindframe, because I filter them through a muted lens that leeches the emotional content from them; but then I will be utterly undone by something like buying my youngest daughter's school socks in readiness for her first day of school next week. I start to see the world in symbols, inscribing on the air the loss that every lived day inevitably brings; things that carry little or no symbolic value to me, that have no freighting of time passing attached, just don't matter, and are dealt with efficiently and minimally.

I can never pin down exactly why saudade comes upon me, when it does. It's often, in fact mostly, preceded by a run of vivid and frightening dreams. It's rarely coincident with illness or major griefs, although it can show up as a precursor to major life changes (such as, for example, my littlest starting school). Sometimes it's the first signal my subconscious sends me that something is profoundly not right in my current situation - the longing, the hunger, for other lives and other selves might be telling me to look deeper, think harder, about what I'm doing. Sometimes it just ... is, and that's all there is to it.

It's a soft ache but a constant one. It sends me, the ebullient extrovert, inside for a while; it turns me back on myself, reaching for something that ... well, I never know quite what. I often appear subdued to others when in this state, and I feel (and behave) less socially. I usually write a lot - poems, stories, anything - and most of it is stuff I never show anyone, ever.

It passes, this - in days, sometimes; weeks, usually; but occasionally it lasts months. It doesn't render me incapable of doing what I must or being who I am, but it shapes my reactions and my interactions until it lifts its tender wing from my heart.

I long, I long, and I know not for what. It's OK, and I'm OK; but saudade is my companion now, until it has taught me whatever my id would have me know.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Month of Poetry #20: For A

six hours on the road to
go between here and there and anotherwhere
neck muscles scream their protest, while
the youngest sleeps in her seat -

all to see the oldest (and many ways the dearest) of friends
to eat chocolate in the sun, and watch
as our gene-bearers perform their childhood in perfect ballet
as if they’ve practised it forever
her blonde babes, my green-eyed girls -

catching her eye, I see
my friend, as I, scenting ghosts
as her son, her mirror, throws an arm around the child of mine
who most resembles me

whiling away sunshine hours in talk, salving the hurts
that life has brought us both. applying the remedy
that only those who know you -

really know you -


- Kathy, 20/1/14

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Month of Poetry #19: The Dream

this morning I said to my husband -
I think I’ll write today’s one about my dream

well. you could, he said,
but aren’t dream poems a bit -
I dunno. Generic?

listen, I say, it worked for Coleridge.
yes, he concedes, but he was high, sweetheart -
and a genius, with it

but my dream was so vivid, I gripe,
there was a car, or perhaps a bus; I was driving it
through a dark and crowded forest
there were stiff unmoving men in fatigues, like toy soldiers
barring the way to the lake
but I crashed through, and then
the sky was a vaulted majesty for a few seconds
then I was in the water, inside the bus -

were you drowning? he asks

Yes, Oh yes, I was,
the bus (or car) was sinking and I couldn’t – there was no way to -
I tried to wake up but my body held me under and I -

Don’t write about it, he says, rubbing my neck.
Can’t you see, it’s only a nightmare, a claustrophobe’s tragedy
it doesn’t mean anything -

No, I think I will, I say. Scatter the dark stars where they fall
I know it’s only a kaleidoscope of fears and sense impressions, it has no deeper truth
but it was so real, when I was in it -

it was so real -

- Kathy, 19/1/14

Friday, January 17, 2014

Month of Poetry #17: For Jill

Back to Narnia today, for one of my favourite characters in all the books – Jill – specifically when she forgets Aslan’s instructions and lands them all in mortal danger at Harfang.

so I am just a girl, alright -
a cross-grained child
sturdy, says the marshwiggle, with that irritating glumness
that makes everything sound ridiculous

sturdy, indeed!

how on earth was I supposed to remember?
it’s so cold -

what’s wrong with wanting to be



by the fire

ooooooooo, eating roasted meat!

the lady said it would be OK. she did say so.
and how could I remember, unriddle that riddle
when my nose felt like it was about to drop off my face

anyway, Scrubb thought we should go in, too.
it was only the wiggle that wanted to keep poking about
under the snow, under the ice

what’s the point of a memory test when
you don’t have a chance to study?
it’s been a long and very cold journey, this
looking for as lost prince and a snake-witch

we deserve a rest. ooooooo, and a bath!
I can almost feel the sweet steam on my face -

just a girl; a girl who really, really wants to defrost
and friendly giants are alright (aren’t they?)
the city is full of light

never mind what that beautiful lion might have said
I can’t remember. Anyway, I didn’t understand it
not my fault, anyway

it’s not

onwards and upwards we go
into the mouth of the giant castle -

- Kathy, 17/1/14

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Month of Poetry #15: Lament of the Extrovert

if it is the case
that I am intense -

that I fill up the sky, and overwhelm,
a little too much, maybe

then, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be
I don’t mean to overflow on you

extroversion isn’t always a blessing
energy vampire my introvert brother says,
sucking the juice from those you glom onto – 

I don’t intend it so. I try
to withdraw and hold back, but it feels unnatural
to me, the wide-open book
quick to feel a bond, for those I’m bonded to,
arms wide to catch all the sorrows of my interlocutors
heart wide to share my own

but I don’t intend it so. not to be too much
or ask too much
never to cause that pricklish discomfort
that prompts the retracted mind, the cooled word
never that.

so if it is the case that I am intense
well, I’m sorry. I’ll try to be less
or less constant, anyway
to not exhaust you with my conversation
to grow trust slowly, carefully -

to keep you my friend
(if you want it so).

- Kathy, 15/1/14

Monday, January 13, 2014

Month of Poetry #13: For Digory

Back to Narnia today, this time with a poem for Digory Kirke, the protagonist of The Magician’s Nephew and later the Professor of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I seem to be mostly picking out the characters who face moral dilemmas of one sort or another :-) I’ve deliberately stopped the poem before Digory learns that Aslan is, in fact, going to save his mother. I think it’s a lot more powerful when he makes the choice believing it to be final.

For Digory

flying to a mountainous garden aback a newly-winged horse
over country seething with magic, sent by a talking lion
(who, perhaps, isn’t quite) -

well, it’s not the sort of thing you expect to happen, is it.

not what you look for, when you’re locked into a journey composed mostly of antiseptic smells, grief and daily misery.
but when you make a mess, I suppose you ought to clean it up.
and God knows, the Empress of Charn and my disgraceful uncle are a deep enough mess to need fixing.

so when he said, go, get me an apple, I thought -
well, if an apple’s what you want, I will – 

besides, Polly said she’d come, and that was a comfort to me.

he rather neglected to mention, though,
exactly what the properties of said apple might be
which left me vulnerable, as it happened, to a blood-mouthed witch dropping arsenic-laced honey in my ear
eternal life , she said, but that one wasn’t terribly hard to shake off -
who wants to live forever, anyway -

but then – healing for your mother – and I felt like I’d been punched in the lung
the thing I searched for, and had given up on
the promise of wholeness to exchange for my ashes -

Polly, sturdy, told me it was a trick, but left me to choose
it wasn’t, after all, her mother.

damn that lion. damn him and his inscrutable tasks

but then -

but then -

find your heart’s desire and find despair
(besides, the witch-queen thought to leave Polly behind. a bad mistake on her part, that.)

so, all right. I’ll take it to him
this apple that smells like the heart of the sun
give it him to guard the insouciance of this idyll
I said I would, so I will

and try not to think -
not now, not ever -
of a white faced woman dying in a dreary back bedroom in London -

you can’t have everything, I suppose
even when magic gets snarled into your life
even then.

- Kathy, 13/1/14

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Reading Notes: The Forgotten City

Australian speculative fiction up-and-comer Nina D'Aleo's debut novel, The Last City, was nominated last year for an Aurealis Award. Although it was pipped, probably deservedly, by Daniel O'Malley's wonderful The Rook, I maintained then that it was close to the top of the pile of a very, very strong nominee list in the sci fi category. In its complex plotting, its intricate world-building, and its Mieville-esque aesthetic, I thought it a stunning achievement as a first novel, and was thus eager to see if she could sustain the quality and interest in book 2 of the series.

This novel picks up a year after the demon-busting conclusion of The Last City, and features the same large cast of characters, with a few more chucked in for good measure. Although the publisher wants to tell you that the focus is on Scorpia City being taken over by the gangster clans, here's a little spoiler for you - it isn't. The political and social convulsions of Scorpia are quite tangential to the story, and are pretty much abandoned by the fifth chapter. Because why? Because this time, my friends, we're going on a bear (OK, Big Bad) hunt - across worlds and dimensions, no less.

D'Aleo attempts something quite difficult in this book, and I think she mostly but not quite pulls it off. What she does is this - she starts to thread together four key backstories and suggest an overarching plan / scheme / theme that might unite them, but without ever committing to actual straightforward exposition. To do this, she has to throw in two - no, I'm wrong, three - new worlds, a new evil bastard, a new damsel in distress from which she promptly rescues herself, a new and inventive set of torture methodologies, a new Dark Shadow Falling Across the World, and some really, truly, very disgusting stuff to underline the Very Serious Badness of the badnesses (If you read this, Nina - Ismail and the witch. I was eating, OK? :-)

The thing is, when you complicate an already quite dense setting and introduce more people for me to a) hate and b) care about into an already crowded stage, I start to get antsy and complainy unless the author is very, very skilful and light in their touch. It's a testament to just how good this book is - and man, it's good, in case I haven't made that clear - that I was only occasionally fatigued with the constant flipflopping between scenes and crises.

I am not a mad fan of the "splitting up the gang" trope, but mostly, it does serve this story well. I think the thread that was least successful was Diega, Christy Shawe, Cesar and Copernicus's adventures in weirdo forest land - that started getting tedious for me quite a while before we were done with it, and I found it the least innovative of all the locations. Once again, Eli's plot was brilliantly executed, although I executed a frowny face as it became clear that he was going to pull in not one, not two, but THREE new "characters about whom I must care" in his wake. And Silho's plot - excellent work there. I was genuinely on the edge of my seat with that one, and I liked it a great deal.

The new main protagonist, Croy, her partner Darius DeCavisi, and their industrialised, caste-based world took me a while to warm up to. I think it took a bit longer than it should've to effectively differentiate between Croy as a character and Silho herself - scratch the surface and they are super similar; young women, in law enforcement, strong, beautiful, possessed of strange powers and dark pasts etc. Although I came to see the Nyr-Corum plot arc as essential to the plot, I did spend a while being more or less just irritated with being yanked back into Croy's crisis when I really wanted to stick with my peeps Eli and Silho. That said, Croy's grown on me, and I'm very keen to see what the author does with her in the next book.

So, overall, I'd class this an ambitious and largely successful sci fi, quite dark in places (she does love to torture her characters!) but ultimately informed with a sense of purposive movement that saves it from being merely The Fiction of the Miserable. I am intrigued to see how she's going to realise her Big Bad without a let-down factor, and to see what lies in store for Eli; Silho and Copernicus; Diega and Christy (now there's an interesting plot arc, even if it does sniff suspiciously of Pair the Spares); Ev'r and Ismail; Croy, Darius and their new friend; and all the pretty lovable minor cast. Bring on book 3...

Month of Poetry #11: Haiku Day

It's haiku day over at Month of Poetry today. This is a simple, very traditional one - 5/7/5, no punctuation, focusing on a small point of nature, with a seasonal reference.

As I said on Twitter last night, I am going to have to sharpen my haiku skills and toughen my hide, as I am launching a slightly out-there project at work next week which will involve the writing of a weekly puzzle / riddle haiku. This obviously won't be one of them, but the practice is good for me!

the bud of a rose
cradled in small tapered hands
breathes scent of summer

- Kathy,  11/1/14

Friday, January 10, 2014

Month of Poetry #10: Love


not in glamour
not in glory
just because
you know my story

and stay, anyway.

not with fireworks
on no mountain
but comfort, here
a constant fountain

rest and gentleness.

years of winding
threads together
though caution stops me
saying forever…

I do think so.

- Kathy, 10/1/14

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Month of Poetry #9: On Collaboration (For Tumnus, a ethical faun in spite of himself)

The third of my Narnia poems … trying it as a villanelle.

in the abstract, it all sounded well
what is a human child to me, after all?
for the safety it would buy, so small to sell.

doubts, if any, were not hard to quell
my love of my own safety didn’t pall
in the abstract, it all sounded well.

I knew, I knew, the whispers that would tell
if I ever tried to hide, or even stall
for the safety it would buy, so small to sell.

I think I knew her first by her unchancy smell
cinnamon, and honey, and remembered caul
in the abstract, it all sounded well.

but sitting by my fireside, I saw hell
in handing over innocence in thrall
for the safety it would buy, so small to sell.

and now I hear in every wind, the bell
and wait, and wait, and wait for pain to fall
in the abstract, it all sounded well
for the safety it would buy, so small to sell.

- Kathy, 9/1/14

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Month of Poetry #5: Turkish Delight

Continuing on my Narnia-inspired run, this one's for Edmund ... 

her sled spun of ice-lace, her arms
white white white
but warm, even so
the snow is falling

I know I should not


powdered sugar on my tongue
altering my brain chemistry
firing me with longing -

it's not really my doing. witched candy
wraps its sticky tendrils around my heart

third children, second sons
are born to be sidelined

but she




even though I knew it was poison
even then

powdered sugar on my lips
the secrets dropping from my mouth like crystals

secrets for delight. it seems a fair exchange, for a while,
even though I could taste the underbite of sour all along

but I wanted it, I wanted it
I want -

- Kathy, 5/1/14

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: The year that was

So, 2013 is behind us, and it was a rather massive year around here.

I lack the energy or the will for a comprehensive wrap up post, such as the ones I have done in previous years. My year left me exhausted, a deep-seated tiredness from which I am only just recovering (in time to return to work on Monday, yay...) Besides, the major milestones were marked here when they occurred, and I'm not sure we any of us need detailed repetition!

I thought instead I'd go with lists: highlights, lowlights, changes, and goals for 2014. (Not resolutions, just ... aspirations.)

- Family holidays to Warrnambool (in February-March) and Sovereign Hill (in April), and our winter staycation in July

- Emerging Writers Festival in May

-  Securing a fulltime job in July (me)

- Getting our outdoor area completely rebuilt and looking awesome

- Kids' birthdays in February, May and August

- My beautiful book stack birthday cake (June)

- Having a great year at kindergarten (C) and school (A and E)

- Making new friends and consolidating long term friendships

- Getting our people mover car (March)

- Writing much more poetry and many more book reviews, including completing several book review challenges

- Writing the Interleaves column for The Shake

- G (husband) moving to 4 days a week at work

- Strengthening our marriage: if all relationships have seasons, we are enjoying a renewal of spring at the moment, and it's ever so nice.

- Dodgy health across the board for me, but particularly in heart and asthma management.

-Transition stress issues with me moving into fulltime office-based work.

- A marked increase in behavioural issues for both the kids and I (in my case, I mean psycho-social behavioural problems such as my growing claustrophobia and panic attacks).

- The biggest by far was my decision to cease consulting and accept a fulltime salaried role in July. This led to multiple changes for all of us.

- Turning 40 in June affected me more than I expected it to; not necessarily negatively, but many serious thinks were thunk about what it means to be in the likely midpoint of my life, and what I want to not regret never having done when I am old and gray and full of sleep.

Goals: So what do I want in 2014?
- I want to be healthier, and I want to get on top of my phobia issues.

- I want to be less stressed by work and to put strategies in place to make that happen.

- I want to parent my children and partner my husband in love, not perfectly, but wholeheartedly.

- I want to help C have a wonderful first year of school.

- I want to have an awesome and memorable family holiday to the Great Barrier Reef.

- I want to write, write, write - poetry, stories, articles, book reviews, ALL of it.

- I want to complete the 99 Black Books Challenge and expand my mind and heart through doing so.

- I want to be kind and I want to exercise compassion and judgement, in all the arenas of life I move through.

That'll do, I think :-)

Month of poetry #2: For Lucy

some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again -
he said, to the goddaughter caught in amber on the page
destined - or doomed? - to be the darling of the story forevermore

to grow, then shrink, then grow again
telescoping from past to future
from witch-cursed winter to lion-gold wild spring
hunter, hunted, smacked with salt spray on the deck of a quest ship
stalking hidden magicks and backing restoration wars
flung about among the stars and all their worlds; a heroine, yes,
courage mandatory, doubt impermissible
going forth, whether she will or no

and of course, foreshadowed, a vision of the way it finishes -
death is not the end, but the beginning
the first chapter is written when the storybook stops
the fairytale would have it so. and so he did believe it.
an eternity of pastoral and child-like delight, which sounds nice enough -

(perhaps, when she was 9).

- Kathy, 2/1/14

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Month of Poetry #1: Turn

the year has turned. the future is here
wearing a baffled and uncertain face

north and west of here, a cyclone with a beautiful name
casually flings ships to shore as she spirals to oceanic extinction.

while on two islands, barred,
seekers of refuge find none.

back here, in the rich and rampant east
the sky lights up in pink and gold, and the people cheer.

- Kathy. 1/1/2014