Monday, December 27, 2010


I guess every day is a gift though sometimes it's very hard to see that. Today's one of those perfect days- blue sky, some clouds, cooling sea breeze, a warming heat, loved ones close.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Rain! The mouth of the River Murray opens unaided. No more dredging (for the time being), that dull droning sound silent. I like to stand there, on the shore, the beginning of the Coorong, look across to those cream-coloured dunes rising high, be silent, watch, listen.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010



The day brighter than a grin
Door open the tree outside
Leaves still green. I put out food,

Bamboo shoots, wanton soup, wet
Noodles, all steaming hot. And
Of course, dried chilli flakes. Hot too!

All your favourites. On
A special table sponged and ringed with light -
The Asia of our beginnings, wild rice of youth

I'll listen, dwell awhile,then let dusk take us
Each to where we belong,
Here, there, in-between.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

River Changes

Weather's getting warmer here. The Hindmarsh River will soon not get to reach the sea as drier, hotter weather and irrigation take their toll. In the last few weeks the mouth of the river has moved quite dramatically, first to the left, then to the right. Those serpentine curls I so love.The pelican's moved on. Nothing stays the same. Reminds me how much of my life I've lived in rigid ways, the should's, the critic's rarely silent voice (s), the 'doing being' rather than being.

The beginnings of a poem

She waves her turquoise hand
an inflection with the breeze.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Door Days

Creative Writing Ink - Writing Prompt: September 27th
The old door, half ajar, a darkened space you love
to photograph, have to! Number twenty seven, a few short steps
from the corner, the spidery cracked cement of the old town
you'd seen in a dream when you were younger
here right now so that you must stop shake your head
knock gentle on the door peer in
hesitate on the step the place in-between
excited uncertain push the door more
breathe in the smell of books, damp,  paper yellowing with age
tobacco smoke, look at the old man paintings
on walls that seem to seem to stoop
just as you raised your camera
That sudden flash, tears quicker than thought.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


There are two Southern Right whales off the coast here, in the bay about 200 metres off Seal Rock (Port Elliot, South Australia). A mother and her calf. Over the last dozen or so years whales have started coming back here in the winter before returning to Antarctic waters in September. So these two are late in leaving. It may be that the mother is waiting for her calf to put on more weight.

Nearby is Victor Harbor, which in the 1800's was a whaling port. or a long time whales, having been mercilessly hunted, stopped coming here.

Their return  speaks of their deep intelligence, the deep mystery of life, places of home known so deeply, even when not visited for a century and more.

No wonder we watch spell bound. Perhaps there's an opportunity to return to wonder in life?


I tell myself I've moved on
gone beyond that old refrain
walked the long lone bridge
away from the clouds

of our unbecoming
you said

your body's silky touch
silver Celtic brooch

moon sung white skin

linger in my mind
no matter how hard I try
the bridge that stretches
and now divides
still unites the you that I knew

with the me who walks

so that I must get off the road
walk the beach let the sea
cool my feet put my hands in the clouds
let the water rush over and around me

sky lit, washed, tidal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spring Days

Spring Equinox here in Australia. In Victor Harbor, it's been a cold and wet winter after a very slow start. In fact, it seemed winter would never come. And when it did, it brought in some places higher rainfall than normal. So much so most people have been wondering whether winter would ever end!
Tonight, even though the temperature's not that high, it seems different, warmer inside, not so hard to heat the house.

So it's time to till the soil of life. At the same time, it's also good to reflect on what's being put to rest, what's going into the cave of darkness, the point of origin and return.

The dog's happy- more walks on her favourite beach!


You always hinted you’d leave
I never heard that then
missed the cues
the little twist of the mouth
far away look
head turned away
words askew
as if carried by another current
a shore only you could land on.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stairways at Eleven

Creative Writing Ink Exercise August 23

Slanted days arranged like
the lines of your pictures
so hard to know whether you

were coming or going

what drew you to those places
edges emptied but framed
witnessed by the leaves
and shadows of people
walking the unknown

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blue Tongued Day: Creative Writing Ink photo of August 3

Sky Fields

She took him to the edge of the field
where the blue flowers had begun their bloom

He was blind. She moved his hand
to one of the flowers. He sighed as his fingers

first one then another, touched the outburst
of blue; a shiver ran up his spine; a lone tear

bubbled. How many are here he asked. Enough
she said and moved his hand to where there

there were more. I can feel them going into the earth
and talk with the air; they are rich with sun

He stayed still, quiet now so she steadied him
her hands on his back and shoulder. The land

tilts, he said. I can hear the clouds. There are people
buried here, close, long ago. This is a dreamers

sky road that goes past the trees and the mound.
The earth remembers. Yes she said, you are right

here you are buried, here you return.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Writing Exercixe: Creative Writing Ink (Ireland)

How many shadows to a life?

The Unsaid : Word Spaces

The unsaid often hangs heaviest in conversations. What people stop saying; what they don't say out aloud but think to themselves.

That may be negative or positive statements/thoughts.

Then there's the gaps between words. But today I am going to make sure I have words of praise, the shopkeeper who has a good supply of a favourite organic cocoa. Ted at the post office for having my mail ready and guiding me when I get confused with forms. My wife Dorrie for her huge commitment to me and to our son and grandson, that we all be well.

I'd love to hear how others experience the unsaid, the gaps, what they praise.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Word Shavings: Reverie

I've started reading Thomas Ogden's 'Reverie & Interpretation : Sensing Something Human (Karnac Books, 2005 edition). It's a great book about psychoanalysis.
He has some very astute, useful comments about the psychoanalytic process and the importance of language in that.
'Words and sentences', he writes, must be allowed a 'certain slippage'.
He cautions against stifling imagination by insisting on trying to define what we mean by 'ever increasing precision'.
"Imagination depends on the play of possibilities' (Reverie & Imagination, p3)..
Slippage, I like that.
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Word shavings: the earth as keeper

There are places that have me come alive more, sacred places, special places, uninhibited places that I find inside as well amongst rock and tree and deep gorge.The earth is the keeper of so many stories, our stories, others stories, the stories of plants and ants, all forms of life.

Sometimes snippets can be heard like word shavings found amongst the roots of a tree, or in branches held by the wind, gusted too, from one place to another.
Where is sanctuary? what does it look like, feel like?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Creative Writer Ink Photo

Lung Days

Illness crowding your last days
frail skin that awful dullled
grey and you sleeping, lights still on

I dabbed your forehead with your favourite essence:
vanilla, organic, fresh, buoyant,
eased back your hair and you sitrred,

the faintest of smiles, breathed
a deep thick rattle. I held your hand
like a chicken's foot you'd once said

and we'd laughed, let your humour carry us
tidal, willed ebbing towards that other shore.
I want to tell you now, I've gone back

Those old places, rocks, stones, somewhere circles
lain by the water's edge, let the wind carry my cries
remembered how you'd talk, head to one side

the camel cigarettes, unfiltered, the way you'd lived, died
pulled off the oxygen mask, let go, ebbed.

Keith mac Fhigheadair

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Trailing Words

As I grew up I watched my father slowly disappear into grief and silence, the type of work he did - mostly shift work - upset his nervous system and added to what would now be described as post traumatic disorder incurred through internment by the Japanese in China during the War. I resolved not to get caught working in jobs that were dulling and monotonous, not to be trapped into work routines that took over life.

I spent many years being busy 'doing' being rather than allowing myself to be.

This blog I want to meander like a trail, not a straight line or a straight road, as moments between moments, in-dwellings. Maybe it won't be that. I hope it's fun and fun to read and that it honours the heart and honours the Earth.

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