Mistaken Identity

Poetry month, day 21
For Mythical Creatures at "imaginary garden with real toads"

Mistaken Identity
Enamoured I was, of his fiery breath, the metallic clash of scales and claws and those magnificent wings.
"No," said my friends, "he is reptile" but I was blind to that point of view. Perceiving no look of snake, I saw Dragon.
Only when finally alone with him, I wondered why he chose, instead of sky and glorious flight, that rock in the water.
He folded his wings and began to look like ... could it be a lizard? Then he opened wide  a huge jaw. At last I discerned the crocodile.

Of Country

Poetry Month, day 20

The prompt today at "imaginary garden with real toads" is Say the Names of the Places You Love.

Of Country
Murwillumbah in the Northern Rivers, under the mountain known as Wollumbin (which Captain Cook christened Mt Warning) is a home which I came to late in life. Seers, oracles and guides all told me I belonged far north of where I was. Then Fate and the Universe took a hand, offering a house for rent, all the way up here, in Pumpenbil out past Tyalgum, at the end of a dirt road nearly to the top of the hill. The name our landlady gave that place was Djieriong, a Bundjalung word meaning "Freedom of the Heart".
And we found that here. Though we didn't find any of the "many possums" we were told that Murwillumbah was the "place of" – and as for the mountain, there are those who say white settlers misunderstood. That name, they say, belonged originally to a different mountain further along the range. Be that as it may, it seems to me they are a…


Poetry Month, day 19
In Get Listed at "imaginary garden with real toads" I chose, from several lists of words to include in a poem: sensual, features, blue, mouth. (We could also be inspired by a poem about Spring in April – but where I live, April means Autumn!)

Sensual Autumn fails to arrive this April. The warm blue skies we expected do not appear. Instead we look up at a vast white stippled with grey. So far, the month features rain, thunder, wind, more rain. The mouth of the river is rippled with stormy waves, even before it merges with the sea. What gods must we pray to, so as to avert further punishment for all our misdeeds? Are we ourselves the gods who now make the weather happen? Then who indeed shall we pray to? (Mother and Father both being gone.)

Five and a Half Years Later

Poetry Month, day 18

In Write Here. Write Now. at "imaginary garden with real toads". we were directed to breathe in, breathe out, be here now, and write about the moment.

Five and a Half Years Later
When I breathe in deep, and out, when time and the world stop, when I come into the moment here and now, when I enter myself ...
I know that nothing is different, it is only covered by the small occurrences that make a life, it has only gone deeper under the everyday necessities of being.
I am still stopped at that moment when there was no more you and me but only me continuing
after you breathed in and out and stopped.

Predominantly Black

Poetry Month, day 17

Predominantly Black On White II by Vassily Kandinsky
He is a knight setting off for battle, lance couched and ready, the four shod hooves of his horse lifting high, glinting.At this stage his black helmet is still visor up.
He boards a ship. One sail is furled along the mast. The other flies, bold yellow. The ship's flag is red, matching the kingly crest on the knight's helmet.
Over all, superimposed, central,  but unbeknownst to him, is the round clock-face of Time. His hours – perhaps even minutes – are numbered. He is a soldier going to war. This story ends badly.
The painting is labelled simply, deliberately, On White II – the artist refusing colourful interpretation. "It's an exercise," he is saying, "in hues and shapes. Nothing more." But then he gives it to us. And here and now to me.
In my world, knights with lances are long gone, ancient. Now we go to war  with planes as often as ships,  though we also still fight on the ground.  We watch on TV. We know …

Remembering Games of My Childhood

Poetry Month, day 16

Remembering Games of My Childhood
My Grandpa taught me cribbage, a complex game for two. All I remember now is putting tiny pegs in rows of tiny holes on a narrow, rectangular board.
What I really remember, still, is those long, quiet talks, heads bending close. He taught me many things besides the game; never treated me as just a kid.
Uncle Ian taught all us kids how to play Chinese Checkers, around the dining table. I loved the strong colours of the round balls, and loved the big six-pointed star we jumped them across.
Checkers was a noisy game with lots of laughter. After that I never could properly learn chess, later; kept wanting to take all the pieces fast. 
Uncle Ian treated us exactly like kids. Both ways were good, I remember.

Image Public Domain

For It's All Fun and Games at "imaginary garden with real toads"

So High Climbs the Price When You Want a Thing

Poetry month, day 15

So High Climbs the Price When You Want a Thing

so much you want it that you pay the price – Villon

Bali 1973.
Sanur beach. A row of tiny shops.
The hollowed stump  of a coconut palm remade as bowl and lid, painstakingly carved.
Bill saw my look – fleeting,  but he knew me. 
He began haggling. I walked out. Mustn't show my huge desire.
Afterwards: "How  are we going to get it  back home on the plane?"
Clothes packed in as well as around it, inside our trunk. Excess luggage fee.
Still worth it, 55 years on; gracing my hallway, holding my oracle cards.

For Serendipity and a poet at "imaginary garden with real toads".