Wednesday, May 31, 2006



Today, with nothing else to do
I thought to dig through the trash heap of a wasted life.
I scraped aside memories;
scraps of torn and faded photographs,
forgotten promises,
mistakes, disappointments,
wrong turns, and disillusion.

Epiphany, they say, is understanding,
so when I found, in the trash,
still living, breathing pieces of myself,
it was an epiphany of sorts.

Carefully, I scraped the scraps together
and fitted them like a puzzle
until I met with me again,
the way I was—the who I was.

Can I keep them, those precious pieces?
Can I go home again,
be who I was again?
Can I do now
the things I pushed aside then
because I was too busy pleasing others,
living their lives instead of mine?
Will the she I was take my hand
and lead me once again into her world,
give me that second chance
to feel the sunshine upon my face,
the wind in my hair
and the exercise my legs require, or

have the years piled up so fast
that the she that was is but a memory
to fade in time as the pieces flutter once again
onto the trash heap of my life?

Vi Jones
©May 31, 2006

five minute dancers

five minute dancers
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
More dancers dancing
at the wedding

Quickly people

Quickly people
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Here are the dancers, will you dance?
find a red dress
or red pantaloons
and a song.

More Berries - Sacred Bamboo (Nandina)

copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Cottoneaster and June

I have a Cottoneaster bush
Not large but healthy looking
I did not plant it from a pot
A bird dropped a berry in the compost mulch
And the next year there was a small bush
I transplanted it ,not knowing what it was
And 2 years down the track
I had red berries

My fried Angela told me...
"People think this Cottoneasteris an ugly bush,old fashioned"
But when trimed and espaliered, it is beautiful
Like succulents,who faded away for years
Then came the revival and now they are greatly admired.
So I will nurture mine and value those red berries
In the Winter months ahead.

Just to think On Thursday of this week
It will be the start of Winter 1st June 2006.
I read where June pays homage to Juno
One of the great Goddesses of Ancient Rome
She was worshipped as the Queen of Heaven
Venerated as the guardian of Womanhood and Marriage,
which explains why June is favoured as the month to wed

Ah !what a mammouth task to ask of one Goddess.
I think perhaps she became old before her time
as her position was not a paid one,
She must have been very special
I Salute the Month of June
and to Juno...well done dear friend.

Lois (Muse of the Sea) 30.5.06

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What Manner of Beings?

I have to wonder as I sit here on this warm spring day about who we are, what we have become, and I ask myself, what is the answer, how do we reverse the trend—how do we become human beings again?

What Manner of Beings?

What manner of beings are we when
we think of wild flowers as weeds,
trees as board feet,
rivers as commodities to be harnessed,
open space as prime land to be developed,
historic buildings as being in the way of progress?

What manner of beings are we when
we neglect our children,
throw away our elderly,
turn our backs on the homeless,
allow hate to thrive,
look away when we see someone wronged?

What manner of beings are we now
that we have lost respect for ourselves,
for others,
for beasts and birds,
for the finned ones that dwell in the sea,
for this living, breathing planet
that sustains us?

What manner of beings are we?

Vi Jones
©May 27, 2006

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Cotoneaster Berries - Late Autumn

copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

On the porch

from my book 'Henge, Glade and Tiers'


The night trees often play sax to my prayers,
backed up out by the trombone train.
But the holly rattles a distracting theme,
while vines shoot to a higher key,
and I must listen close to the chorus of roots
that plunge to a throaty base.
Peace will come in a clarinet joy of grass.

A Magical Morning

I spend time early every morning, sitting in my favorite chair on my patio. This is my time for contemplation and for absorbing some natural vitamin D. That's around sixish at this time of the year, when it is too hot later in the day. This morning was extra special with the actors all on stage. It was a morning filled with special gifts. Sitting there with my face toward the sun and my eyes closed, I came to the realization that what I was hearing was a woodpecker. That’s a first since I have lived in this community. I don't know where he was pecking, unless it was in the Palo Verde down the street.

Moments later though, and with my eyes by now wide open, the star of the show appeared ... a huge raven flew across my field of view. Did you, Heather, have anything to do with this ... was he one of your emissaries? He flew slowly and majestically despite being chased by a couple of smaller birds. His feathers shone in the morning sunlight. Let me tell you, he had all the smaller birds in the neighborhood twittering up a storm and he had me shaking with excitement.

Strange, isn’t it, how some days are extra special? This is one of those days. It’s as if the magic drowns out the misery of the world the way it is these days. If the raven can still fly and the woodpecker can peck, then there is hope—hope for us all.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rainbows in the Spray

Rainbows in the Spray

Broad leaves lush and green.
Water dripping, streaming.
Sunshine casting rainbows in the spray,
illuminating you my love, and me—

are you illusion or are you real?
Is your love mine to take,
to keep, and cherish as treasure

where are you now?
I cannot see you in the hot and blinding
light of day.
Is your love no longer mine—

to keep and cherish
as treasure forever?
Take me back.
Return me to that special place—

where broad leaves are lush and green
with water dripping, streaming.
Where sunshine lights the spray
with rainbows, illuminating—

you my love, and me.

Vi Jones
©May 23, 2006

Saturday, May 20, 2006



Why is such a useless word—
why me, why my sister, my brother,
my father or my mother—
Why not?

Why my friend,
my dog, my cat,
why my hamster or canary—
Why not?

Why did I,
why did she, why did it happen,
how—oooh, why did the how get in there
when all I need to ask is why?

Why, is the unanswerable question,
the Da Vinci code of codes,
the greatest puzzle of all time—
why, why why, and WHY.

Vi Jones 2005
©May 20, 2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

Another Kind of Birthing

Another kind of Birthing

It can happen any time—
in the middle of the night,
at high noon,
or just as
you’re sitting down
to dinner,
and your guests
are wondering
if you’re feeling ill.

It is at first
nothing more
than an uneasy
feeling in the gut
followed by
and breathlessness—
an inability
to concentrate.

You get up,
grab paper
and a pencil,
or, depending
on the time of day
and place, excuse yourself,
and rush to a quiet corner to sit,
pen in hand, poised above the paper.

The blank sheet taunts
and teases,
until, like a bursting dam,
something happens
within the soul
and the words come tumbling
like a waterfall in flood
until the paper is filled,
and a poem is born.

Vi Jones
©May 18, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Magic Donkey Apples From The Road

A gift from the road by raven!
Lucky Belenus the donkey didn't eat
them all, these treasures found in a walled
garden. Enjoy! (Better than a postcard.)
copyright Monike Roleff 2006.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Midnight Mauve

Just in case anyone wishes to know the results of combining two paints --
'Midnight Mauve' and 'Celestial Amythst' in a sponge effect ...

here are a couple of pictures of our redone parlor wall, with a view of some of our 64 playable instuments.

The Viking yarn piece was done by Em's mother.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Nurturing the self

"How you choose to nurture yourself spiritually is a personal choice. For some people, meditating once a day may be what they need to stay centered. While spending 10-20 minutes with your eyes closed and your brain devoid of thought may seem like a lot of time doing nothing, this state of nothingness actually allows you to stay calm and focused so you can be as productive as possible. Writing in your journal everyday lets you stay in touch with yourself so that you are always tuned in to your feelings. Repeating affirmations for success, happiness, and well-being on a regular basis can help you live with optimism and enthusiasm and create what you want in life."

This was on the Daily Om today.

I needed to read this, to remember to nurture myself spiritually every day instead of worrying about the state of the house, walking the dog, doing the washing etc etc.....

I will make a commiment to journal every day and to meditate as well.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day


For all those Mommies and Grannies!

Friday, May 12, 2006

At work on Saturday Morning.

The old ladies come,
Trailing in and around the stands.
Mother's Day tomorrow.
Will they be remembered?

Mavis touches the lavender bag..
And hands over a script for sleeping tablets.

Michael strides in.
Refreshed by a sleep-in after a distracted week.
Pleased with himself.
An unusual rosiness in his cheeks.

He glances at Mavis
She at him.
They leave, separately of course.
She clutches her tablets,
He....his methadone.

Happy Birthday Luna

Flower Power At Riversleigh

copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Hiding In My Room

Excuse me while I hide in my room... All of my energies are at low ebb, and I feel a great need of re-charging my 'batteries'. So, the cats and I have sojurned into the bathroom attached to the room I share with Shiloh.

The bathroom itself is amazing, spacious, well-lit by the skylight that is the ceiling, moisture-loving plants crowd the edges of the skylight and window. The whole room is done in ceramic tiles of various sizes and styles. The floor is this incredibly brilliant shade of Emerald Green and royal purple lilac pencil sketches on White.

The tub is fronted by a throw rug in the same green, with pile so thick you can lose your fingers among the soft fibres. The towels are so thick and large you could sleep under them if you wished, and they too are shades of green and purple.

The counter is pure white tile around a cultured marble sink shaped like a leaf, white, with a single stripe of lilacs around the counter's edges, in the same purple as the towels. The spigot's handles are white porcelain, with the "H" and "C" in emerald green.

The tub, ah, now there was luxury!! Deep enough to submerge all of yourself in, and large enough to hold two adults comfortably. The tub itself was an oversized clawfoot tub, each clawed foot gripping a bunch of purple grapes.

Next to the tub is the shower stall, done in 1" tiles in white, Emerald Green, and Royal Purple. The shower tiles are in a scatter-type mosaic, no discernable pattern, or reason to the placement. There are ranks of shower spigots on three sides, from 2' to 6' off the floor. The door is frosted in an lilac pattern, with porcelain bars in green.

The tiles surrounding the tub are show-stoppers; They are a bouquet of purple lilacs, with green stems, the delicate pencil drawings fading to paleness in the top row of tiles.

I was filling the tub with hot, steaming water, and White Tea Therapy bath gel (Pye's favourite), and gathering p. j.'s for after the bath. The cats followed me 'talking' as we went back and forth.When I slid into the bath with a soft moan Pye and Skye took their places.

Skye walked the perimeter of the tub, talking incessantly, in a variety of trills and 'chirtlings', as Matt describes her voice. Pye set to eating the bubbles from the tub and and watching me worriedly.

"Well kittikins, Do you agree that it is time to come to ground and rest?" Pye mewed in his sweet voice and Skye yawned elaborately. "I see you agree Dears!!"

I sunk into the water soaking away aches and ground-in dirt from my adventuring, I took a quick turn in the wondrous shower. I was now 'squeaky clean' and beautifully relaxed, I donned my favourite ratty pyjamas, a cropped string strap tee in iced lavender, and soft shorts in a wash-faded grape colour.

I padded towards the bed, only to have Pye shoot between my calves and then block me from getting to our bed.

"What Pye-Guy?? Show me." Pye made a great show of informing me that their food dishes were less than half-full; a cause for serious kitty-cat anxiety! I filled the kibbles dish, and opened envelopes of 'wet food' in their favourite, 'Filet Mignon with Shrimp' flavour, then gave them fresh cool water.

This reminded me that my tumm-tumm was grumblingly empty so I called down to the kitchen for something to eat, and share with my 'Little carnivores'. I had barely cleared a space on my cluttered worktable when a smiling maid delivered my order of chilled, herb-roasted chicken breast, raw veggies and Ranch Dip, as well as a glass of icy cold milk

I nibbled on the chicken breast and shredded bite-size peices for the kitties, and shooed Skye away from the dip and milk. I finally stopped fighting the inevitable and put a splash of milk and a dollop of Ranch dip on a saucer.

Pye checked it out, shook one dark forepaw and repaired to the foot of the bed to groom. Skye's tongue worked in a bright pink blur as she cleared the plate and then licked it clean. She then waddled her little pot belly (temporary, of course) to the bed. She and Pye began to wash each other's faces and ears with eyes closed and love writ on their conic, Eastern Cat faces.

I rinsed the dishes and sat the whole tray outside the door, habits that are as deep as the dish-rinsing remain active, even within the Walls of Riversleigh Manor. I slid into the bed, and sighed in relief. I was closing my eyes as I felt Pye cuddle into the angle of my foot and leg; Skye sidled up to my ribcage and began nursing and kneading, while purring chestily.

The last noise I heard as sleep wrapped me in her healing embrace was the sound of feet tapping energetically in the next room. I smiled, thinking of how much Mum would enjoy that sound, after all the years she studied dance as a girl and teen.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

In another place, another time ...

Copyright 2006 Karen Winters

For those who stayed

We are telling stories and things on the Journey
but have forgotten those who find the Manor
a comfortable place to be.

This is about our Manor House at Sakin'el


The sun marches down the crippled oak and sets the silent font afire,
as the glowing glade echos the cheer of friends called to Epona’s watch.
A silent breeze carries forth the ivy whisper and the flower’s prayer,
into the mists of yesterday that disperse this new day's perfume.

Diamond dew drops do distill and join the twinkling of the pool,
and birth strong song of hidden bird and glint of fluttered fairy wings.
The sighs you hear are but Tegsh at blessed rest from ancient tears,
and the waiting patience of Haven’s halls and embracing heart of Henge.

Revealed in the gentle light are mem’ried footsteps of sunset prayer
that yesterday’s joining will gift today with rebirth songs of joy.
The dawn is a message gentle of the glory of thee and all,
bound in companioned trust and simple faith that I can share today.

Sakin’el is alive, my child, as surely as my passion sings
of laughing stones and whispering flames and watching falcon eyes.
As you place a pebble in the fountain of hand cycled mirth
you herald the promise of morning and fuel the currents of time.

Arise and dance, little one, to the lilting tune of Everbe;
skip o’er the roots of shadow fears and extend a hand to me.
The rhythm has started with the golden pulse of Earth and stars
and awaits the voices of innocence to proclaim the rising sun.

Happy Birthday Luna

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le Enchanteur puts on a special birthday tea for Luna.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Maiden, Mother, Crone

going to seed.jpg

Flowers for me, it's my birthday! Come by for some cake and ice cream.

Becoming a Family

Most mornings begin with Solveig waking up and climbing into bed with Mama and Baba, if she has not spent the night cuddled between us. This morning she had her daycare provider, Neesha, on her mind. Neesha was to the doctor yesterday, and Solveig wondered if she was sick, or if the baby in Neesha's tummy was sick.

"Baby not sick? Baby in Neesha's tummy not sick?"

"The baby is growing in Neesha's tummy. Neesha is not sick. Baby is not sick."

"Baby Wei Wei in Mommy's tummy?"

"Wei Wei grew in her first mommy's, her Chinese mommy's, tummy. Wei Wei did not grow in my tummy."

"No! Baby Wei Wei in mommy's tummy!"

Yesterday if you asked for her name she was Solveig Chun Wei Olson.

Today , "No Chun Wei! Sobay Oshun!"

Since we came home, Solveig plays Baby Wei Wei from time to time. She will insist I put Pull-ups on like they are diapers. Sometimes I have to dress her. Other times she will have me wrap her up in a blanket, hold her like a baby while she drinks from a water bottle. I rock her and sing and coo as if she were a tiny baby. She needs this.

She is birthing herself into our family.

Solveig has no memory of her first parents. She remembers the caregivers, six women, all called mommy! from the Children's Village. She remembers the other children, the siblings of her heart and circumstance. We look at pictures of the orphange and talk about them. I explained how those mommies were everybody's mommies. I am just her mommy (I am mommy to Bjorn and Leif too, but they are close enough to adult as to not count). At school when we sit in circle, I point out the other mommies and their children. I tell her, "Neesha is Violet's mommy and Calen's mommy, but not your mommy! I am your mommy, not Violet's mommy, not Calen's mommy." She verifies this whenever we meet someone and their mommy. I am just her mommy. She doesn't have to share me with anyone. This never fails to make her smile.

Someday she will want to know why her first parents gave her up. Based on what I know of China and of her history this is what I will tell her:

"Once there was a Mommy and Daddy in China. The mommy had a baby growing in her tummy. The mommy and daddy were very happy they were having a baby.

One cold day in winter, their baby daughter was born. She was so beautiful! They laughed for joy, and hugged her and kissed her.

But the doctor was not laughing. She was very serious when she looked the baby over. "Her arm is hurt, it is useless."

The Mommy and the Daddy were scared. They brought their little baby to many doctors and tried many ways to fix the arm. But all the doctors said the same thing. "This is the best I could do and it is not enough. She needs Western surgery to make her arm better. And soon! If she does not get surgery right away her arm will never get better."

The Mommy and Daddy were sad. They did not know what to do. They had very little money, and had used everything to take their precious child to the doctors. Western surgery was so expensive they could never be able to save enough money to help their little daughter in time.

"Oh! What can we do?" they cried.

The Mommy and Daddy thought about what life would be like for their child. Who would marry a girl with one arm? What work could she do? They knew the children in the orphanages were given Western surgeries. Children in the orphanages are educated. Some are adopted into rich families. If their precious, precious daughter were to have any chance of having her arm restored, it was through the orphanages.

But it would mean never seeing her again. It would mean never knowing what became of her.

Even though it broke their hearts, the Mommy and Daddy decided to give their baby to the orphanage. Early in springtime they wrapped her warmly and brought her to where no one knew who they were. Gently they laid her outside a busy factory. They hid and watched until she was found and taken away from them forever.

The baby was taken to a wonderful orphanage. They cared for her while they searched for her first parents. After six months they looked for parents to adopt her. They gave her a name, Xu Chun Wei.

Finally, a Mommy and a Daddy in Meigou, America, saw her picture and knew she was the daughter they had always dreamed of loving. They came to China and brought little Chun Wei to America in an airplane to be their child forever.

Every winter, on Solveig Chun Wei's birthday, her American mama lights a candle and says a prayer for her Chinese parents. She wonders if they are thinking of their precious daughter, wondering if she is well, wondering where she is, if she is happy. The Mama prays to honor Solveig's birth parents by doing whatever it takes to help their child regain use of her arm and give her the happy life they want for her. That when they meet in heaven there may be joy."

Solveig may play Baby Wei Wei, but nurturing her is birthing her for me. Never is that so literal than one of the rare times when she is sick. Two AM and my miserable little girl stands by the side of the bed. Mommy picks her up and little Wei Wei vomits all over both of them and the bed besides. Mommy strips the two of them and washes them clean in the shower. She fills the tub with warm water and lavender oil, lights a candle, and holds her sick child in the cradle of her legs and arms. Wei Wei is soothed by her heartbeat. When mommy feels her begin to gag, she holds up a bowl, wipes her face. When the fever cools Mommy gets out of the water, dries them off with towels, wraps them both in a comforter and settles in the rocking chair to sleep.

For three days and nights they are together, skin to skin. Wei Wei a limp doll in Mama’s arms, accepting sips of clear broth and white soda pop, sleeping, lying quietly when awake. On the morning of the fourth day Wei Wei wakes up voraciously hungry, eats until she is ready to burst, then runs around laughing. Everything is new again.

Baba takes over while Mama sleeps from morning until the next morning.

“Mama sick?’

“No, Mama is just sleepy.”

Solveig Chun Wei strokes her mama’s hair and murmurs, “There, there, better soon,” before kissing her forehead and running off to play.

Monday, May 08, 2006

My favourite places

When we were first married Glyn and I started taking our annual holidays in Wales. I remember long sun drenched days when the children were small and ran on the beach near Aberystwyth, rain filled days one year when we were on Anglesey and one holiday when we stayed in a caravan at the edge of a cliff overlooking Clarach Bay.
Clarach Bay proved a magical place for me, where green velvet hills reached down to the sea and where we sat with a glass of wine every evening for a fortnight watching the sun sink beneath a crimson horizon far out over the water. At that time we had not yet completed our family and our last dog Sophie was still young and spent her time running on the beach each morning fetching sticks. It all seems so long ago. My baby daughter is now 26,and my dog Sophie has been gone for many years. It sometimes feels that that time was just a dream.

Once we spent our summer on the Llyn Peninsula renting an old farmhouse which had stunning views over Cardigan Bay with the mountains of Snowdonia looming blue in the distance. Once back home in Leeds I joked that if I ever went missing from home I would most certainly be found somewhere on the peninsula. The combination of mountain and sea and the quality of the light over the water were irresistible. For many years the certainty of returning to North Wales the following summer sustained me through cold dark winter months.

After my husband passed away suddenly I knew, almost instinctively that, although I loved Yorkshire, I needed to leave Leeds. I had had enough of landlocked city living and needed some space, and I longed to live somewhere by the sea. My first thought was of moving to North Wales but then, after speaking to friends, I decided that I would go and investigate the possibility of living in Spain. Emigrating to a hot country suddenly appealed to me. I wanted to run away as far as possible from the cold hurt of my loss and so I booked myself a holiday – the first holiday I had ever taken alone. Under the summer sun, with orange groves stretching as far as the eye could see I fell in love with Valencia, the area I had chosen to investigate. I spent my time traveling around the area luxuriating in the heat, swimming in the warm blue sea and enjoying the hospitality and friendliness I encountered. The idea of living in what appeared to be paradise became ever more appealing and so, on my return to England I began to prepare to sell my home.

Before the house finally sold I decided to spend Xmas in Spain. I arrived at the coldest and darkest time of year when the night temperature fell below freezing. Various difficulties became apparent which I had failed to consider in the summer heat. Firstly houses in Spain are built to lose and not retain heat and the villa we had rented for the season was like an icebox at night. A calor gas heater provided the heating and I, with nerve damaged hands, was incapable of actually lifting the gas bottles. Other heating was provided by a fan heater which ate electricity at an alarming rate. The days were warm and sunny – it was even possible to sit out on Xmas day in a tee shirt and celebrate the season with a glass of wine. But the nights were a cold and uncomfortable nightmare. There were problems with the language – I was insufficiently prepared for a life without English speaking neighbours. I drove in Spain but always with my heart in my mouth, being unsure of which way to go at roundabouts and crossroads, misreading road markings, and managing to lose myself on many occasions.

My two children flew in, and they too blew hot and cold over the idea of the move to Spain. True, it might be wonderful and provide them with some kudos having their mother in Spain living in a villa complete with swimming pool where they could invite their friends for summer holidays. However, they could both see that the country was not for me. I looked at the mountains and pined for England. I had never experienced homesickness before and the feeling was devastating. The soil was red; the park had no grass just some trees and a stony path or two. The landscape was dust and rock, resembling a lunar landscape to my eyes attuned to the blue green grass of England. There was no water anywhere and never once did a cloud darken the sky. The sun shone all day every day and I tired of the harsh light and the bright colors. I yearned for England.

I realised, almost as soon as I arrived that I could never live in Spain. My dream, born of desperation and grief was an illusion. I returned home, took my house off the market, and decided to stay in Leeds and make the best of my life there. Shortly after my return I met the man I will soon marry and now find myself living on the Wirral. It is not quite North Wales, but when I walk along the seashore I see the Welsh mountains beckoning from over the River Dee and I am reminded of the holidays I spent there with my late husband and my children. The shore is either beautiful or interesting depending on which way I walk. My late husband was in the merchant navy when I met him and as I watch the tankers and container ships turning slowly into the mouth of the Mersey I think of the sailors on board coming ashore having spent many weeks at sea and I try to remember the stories my husband told me about his seafaring days and his homecomings and I feel a connection with his spirit which I did not feel living in Leeds, even in the house we had shared for so many years.

Shortly after meeting my new partner, and soon after my return from Spain, I was introduced to the beautiful county of Shropshire and we spent a few days at the Long Myndd. I had never been there before, but, standing on top of the Myndd and looking across the green valley before me, I recalled the miserable Xmas I had spent in Spain and finally knew that in returning I had made the right decision. I love living in the UK. I love the green countryside, the hills and hidden valleys, the little country cottages, milltowns, market towns, and villages. I have no desire ever to leave these shores again for longer than a week.

kingcups and lady's smock

Not far from Riversleigh, on the far side of the railway line are a couple of low-lying fields. This spring, for the first time that I can remember, kingcups have bloomed in their hundreds, their yellow flowers overshadowing the paler lilac coloured lady's smock. After leaving the road, I struggled through the boggy patches, brackish water leaking into my shoes and nettles stinging me viciously, to get these pictures.

After regaining solid ground I realised that I could have taken the pictures without getting wet and stung if I had walked through the neighbouring field ....

Sunday, May 07, 2006

For the alphabet project

The artist's alphabet

The Writer's Alphabet Poem

Authors approach art artlessly
Books blunt bigotry, barabarism
Competitions counter complacency
Editors emasculate egos emphatically
Few find fame’s fetters freely
Grants glitter greedily
Hopes, happiness, hide heartbreakingly
Immense ideas imagined in ink
Journalists juggle jobs judiciously
Kaleidascopic keyboard karma
Language lights lonely landscape
Minds make mellifluous magic
Novels, non-fiction? Notebooks necessary
Oblique observations offend
Place perfect paragraphs poetically
Quaint quatrains queue querulously
Rogue rejections rankle regularly
Trusty typewriter tabulates tyrannically
Uniquely unfortunate unguarded utterances
Value variation, verbally, vocally
Youthful yarns yield yearnings
Xeroxing xanthic xylographs
Zola, Zen, zeitgeist, zero

(we can use any we like, so I used them all!)

a couple of poems

My creative writing class is now doing a poetry unit (I have not written poetry for, oh, maybe 30 years?)... here are a couple of my first attempts:


Well worn pages,
Grey crease on a blue folded cover,
Embarrassing photo.
Like an ancient roadmap
Expressions of my wanderlust
As solid occurrences in time.
My passport lets me avoid my life.



You were sitting in the noisy restaurant
stabbing at noodles in your soup when you tried to tell me;
our conversation wandering aimlessly,
darting over,
and around
what really needed to be said.
“It’s a great opportunity”
“It’s what I really want to do”
You looked into my eyes for confirmation…
But I was already gone.

In Search of Shangri-La

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In a fertile valley called Shangri-La, beyond the western-Himalayas, a group of coloured pavilions cling to the hillside. In this idyllic setting lives a perfect artistic community. There are no strict rules and the creative people live in peace and harmony. The valley is so remote that only a few have been able to find it.

Le Enchanteur is leading a new Journey of the Heart, along the Serpentine Road towards Shangri-La. The first base is at the Hermitage where travellers will have time to prepare for the long journey, a journey that will take them to The House of the Serpents, The Lodge of the Rainbow Serpent Priestess, Baba Yaga's and many more exotic

Friday, May 05, 2006


Here are two "Fitzgeralds" from
the blog 'Cherita Fitzgerald' --
which has vanished somewhere ...

SEED "I must travel alone"

There are many views of lonely, stark still or quiver moving;

that embrace being 'alone' with 'lonely' -- fearfully perhaps,
but oft confused with solitude and wrapping self in veils of silence.

One can be so lonely in a crowded room,
or shielded in contemplative singularity and hear a thousand songs,
of strangers met tomorrow, yes?


SEED: "Cloistered in an unlocked cell"

I am told to seek divinity
in secluded solitude --
centered prayer or meditation
by ritual or spontaneous dilution.
Yet I am nothing -- not perfection
except by reflection of your eyes
and the shadow protection
of your soul.
so I will gather in divinely
and open out profoundly
to wait for your footsteps
at the door.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Room of One's Own

When I was a child, I had a room of my own. It was small but I didn't realize that at the time. It seemed fine to me. The window looked out on a vacant lot and a house on the other side that was creepy. An old couple lived there, but we rarely saw them The man occasionally left the house , driving his beat up car, never looking left or right. At Halloween kids were afraid to go up to their front door, but a few were dared into doing it. I worried that he was looking out his window into mine, and I think I saw him doing that one night. From then on I closed the blinds even on hot summer nights.

My closet was miniscule and for some reason I always thought I could hid in there if necessary some day. Why I thought that is a mystery.

The rest of the room was ordinary with a vanity and dresser and twin bed against the wall. At night Dad would knock on the wall and say, "Night, night, princess."

I'd respond, "Night, night, Prince."

Eventually that stopped when I entered teen years and Dad was replaced by my boyfriend, not in the next room, but in my life. But that is another story.

In college I had a roommate. During my sophomore year, my boyfriend and I were married and from then on I never again had my own room. I had given this condition some thought before the prompt. My daughters each had their own rooms, but their Dad and I shared one. I envied the wealthy Europeans I saw in movies who had their own rooms that connected so that one could have privacy or intimacy, a great idea.

Now that I have begun meditation, I would love to have a room of my own. I would meditate there, write, read, be me. I think our guest room is soon to undergo severe remodeling. What a refreshing idea.

Life at Riversleigh

I am settling in now, beginning to unwind at last from the years of grief that brought me to the doors of this house. The place is working its old magic on me, whispers fill my room at night murmuring "peace" and "love."

I can go to my art table and create beautiful images if I so wish. I can sit at my lovely grand piano (its so so long since I had my grand piano in my home - it languishes in a storeroom until my daughter can take it into her home) and play elegant music that soothes me. I read from the endless supply of books - and, joy of joys, - other people have read the same books and I can actually discuss them!

I have had a couple of evenings just sitting on the lawns and gossiping - I love to gossip and the talk here is of a group of travellers in caravans heading into the mountains in the distance. I think they may be connected somehow with Riversleigh - but the management refuse to tell us anything more so we are left to wonder about their mission and to wish them well.

There is a lot of laughter here. In some ways it reminds me of the innocence of childhood, before the world was made evil for me.......the laughter is kind and healing, not the cruel cynical sneering that contemporary comedians label "humour."

Above all there is a feeling of love in this house and that makes me feel safe. Now that I am safe it will be safe to write, to remember.......and when memories overtake me and I am choking back my tears, I will go and sit in the garden and presently I will be joined by friends who will help me recover my smile and who will gently persuade me back to my desk.

Plane Tree Reaching - Riversleigh Manor

copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006



Wandering around the grounds
I looked up and remembered
to breathe...
That is enough
for now.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Postcard

Greywing, Lorijayne's carrier pigeon, has brought this postcard from the Land of Standing Stones. It says "Greetings from the Road of the Rainbow Serpent! Despite a night raid by angry pixies, all is going smoothly as we travel. Hugs and Kisses. L. "

L.Gloyd (c) May 2, 2006. Total CGI created in Terragen and enhanced in Photoshop.