Makassar’s Ghost

Bloodshed is the only aftermath of intertwining peoples;

in readiness for the Toroja caves

finally free from his diabolical touch and

uneasy kisses

she no longer endures the needless snatching of her scent.

Once her lips lingered

to absorbing  his nakedness

that sharp rise of his cheek bone

the soft silken dark tone of his skin;.

now death is releasing her from this torment

thankful she still  is after his blessed strong hands.

Pass on her remains so there is nothing left of her

except the spirit that will hover over him at night

deep in the dream state

remembering  words as mistaken intentions of the flesh

remembering a heart dripping fire traversing the Indian Ocean

remembering how this was quashed upon discovering

the lacquered  Makasserese tradition

acquiescing to the unyielding might of neo capitalism


Leave her with them now

after he has dipped them in seawater

caked them in earth

baked them in fire;

the children will play with her remains.

On Disconnection

‘I am not lonely!’ she balkes as if she were being accused. The other woman turns away shamed somewhat, looks in to the milky black muck that is her coffee, the words repeating in her head. For she knows she is alone, and feels this knowing intensely everyday. There is no doubt that she is alone when everyday she wakes up in the morning, drinks her morning coffee, takes her morning jog and after performing her morning constitutionals, goes off to her ridiculously boring job at a call centre that barely pays the rent for her one bedroom hole. First world problems indeed.

‘I wasn’t accusing you. Many people are alone.’ she attempts and then immediately turns her head to look out of the coffee shop window,  masking her anger by attempting to appear to watch the passers-by. ‘ I know that you are not accusing me’ He friend answers gently now. Her rebuff as settled and now it is plain that she is a little embarrassed. ‘I have friends, I have a cat…I just want to fall in love that’s all. Why can’t I fall in love?’.
Benign question, she thinks, …what is falling in love anyway? Isn’t it lust followed by a commitment to get used to each other, complement each other? Isn’t that what it is about? She doesn’t know any more, after a series of failed relationships, and now she believes she is too old for any further attempts.  Besides, at post menopause there is none of that drive that used to fuel her pursuit for love.

‘Well I hope you find someone’ she doesn’t really mean it, but sips her coffee gingerly to disguise her dishonesty ‘and that someone is a nice man for once…you deserve someone nice.’ But really she is thinking ‘do we deserve anything’. How about people living in poverty, surely they deserve a quality of life more than us first worlders always seeking company, community merely for a sharing of accomplishments. Over the years she has observed the old operations of community as disappearing, running down the pipe, there is no caring for the bereft stranger any more for in this post capitalist society, it is the strangers fault that she or he is bereft. Perhaps there has never been, merely giving to those marked as deserving.

Urgently her friend adds interrupting her revelry , ‘ I just want to feel good about living. I feel bad everyday. I wake and and the first thought is a bad one, a real bad one and then I find it hard getting out of bed.I don’t want to sound like a victim but I hate being me’ She nods her head believing that she understands her friend and concludes her friend’s experience as mere navel gazing. It is later on her own beneath the bubbles lying in her bath is when she will question this summation . After all, how can one judge how an other experiences the world.

‘ I want you to be happy.’ she states this placing her hand over hers gently squeezing the plumpness of her hand that she suspects is fluid retention from alcohol use. She had noted this in her own body. ‘Please be happy.’ She adds for good measure for actually, she doesn’t want the responsibility of these conversations any longer. With this friendship there is only the sharing of fraught happenings she has concluded and really the sharing is all on her friends part as she tends to keep everything to herself

‘I am trying to be happy…but how can people be happy when they have no one in their lives. I have no family, no children, no lovers.’  ‘But you have friends’ she urgently retorts. “yes I have friends,’ she concedes turning her hand in hers she she an squeeze it, ‘but I…I just don’t know any more.

None of us does she think, but keeps this thought from her friend. Instead sips her coffee pondering whether she can keep a cat in second story apartment.

Seasons , Moods, Memories.

You  love autumn. You will miss summer. Summer contains great memories buoyed by seducing smells. When the olfactory gets a whiff, the magic of the memory replay begins. For you the change of season can elicit the finest memories re-affirming your desire for your presence on this earth. Celebrate your milestone  why don’t you as there are plenty of times when you’ve questioned whether you want to be here or not. You have attempted suicide haven’t you? That’s okay…you were unable to fully understand what you had to lose. However there have been times when you  have had much to lose but wanted to leave this planet . That is depression for you or perhaps it is mere navel gazing, losing perspective of the enormity of living.  All is well now, isn’t it…or as well as it can be in this present.  And because of this transition, you are able to experience the pleasure of changing seasons, similar to what you experienced as a child. Don’t you remember as a child how good it was for you to swim everyday in summer, and then falling asleep still experiencing the sense of your muscles moving in water? How you loved that feeling and you still love that feeling,as you are a dedicated swimmer. Do you remember the smells at night, in particular eucalyptus, geranium and jasmine and how these would become stronger during those times when you played with your neighbourhood friends on the front lawn after dark?  Your used to pretend that you were  the Partridge family and your dad would come out and tell you to shut up in response to your rendition of  David Casidy . You wanted to be his sister but that honour was never bestowed on you. Now it is Autumn. Do you remember the first term school holidays you shared with daughter. you particularly loved the chocolate eating and the hot-cross buns on good Friday, walking to the park, journeying to the library, borrowing a mountain of books you could read together over the holiday. As sole parent you had no money but  happily that didn’t prevent you from having some good times. .You listen to Jesus Christ Superstat and Godspell over Easter which I guess is your own form of honouring the religious practice in which you were raised. You appreciate the music and the story even as an atheist for the story of Jesus as a revolutionary gave you  comfort and inspiration as a child. You also were particularly partial to his mother as you were in need of a female hero. In Melbourne you have the beautiful crisp mornings and the magnificent  colours of Autumn  to look forward to; your own grape vine will drape the lawn with dried  red and yellowing leaves that you will leave for the winter to blast rain and wind upon as you are no gardener… that’s for certain. But you are other things…leave that for you to name these.