Monday, 1 June 2020

Allusions and a Lockdown Mantra

Keep listening to the birds, and the crickets,
watching for star reflections in buckets,
though the present is a box full of darkness
remember it’s still a gift and nothing less.
The sky never had a limit, and the ground
is hallowed everywhere, even torn and browned,
even when it's sullied with a pandemic
of deceit and a tsunami of plastic.
When it’s ruthlessly mauled by a cyclone;
the warming of seas, the holes in the ozone.
Lay your skin close to the asphalt and concrete
and under them feel the seasonal heartbeat.
Thirteen ways are good, but you don’t always need
thirteen, one is enough, the rest is just greed.


  1. so many good parts to this poem - pandemic of deceit, tsunami of plastic. Seasonal heartbeat is key.
    right now - so many tears dropping.

    1. Far too many tears! There is no break in the bad news from every corner of the globe.

      A lot of the good things come from some of my favourite poets/poems - Mary Oliver, R.L. Stevenson, Wallace Stevens...

  2. Very nice. All the damage and pain and the earth is still here.

    1. Not pretty the damage we've done to her. Thanks.

  3. Yes, the earth is, but will the people survive? Only mother nature knows. Beautiful words!

    1. The earth goes on with or without us. Sad that some people still don't get it. Thanks for being here.

  4. Hari OM
    Oh, that beating heart!!! Another gem, dear blogpal. YAM xx

  5. Thank you.
    As always your words sing to me and for me.

    1. Thank you for saying that! - the nicest compliment to brighten my week.

  6. Replies
    1. Yes, it often is but we don't care enough to stop.

  7. Very powerful Nila. You made me want to 'lay my skin on the asphalt and concrete...and feel the seasonal heartbeat.' For whatever reason it reminded me of a poem by Oodgeroo Noonuccle, our foremost Indigenous Australian poet.


    Gumtree in the city street,
    Hard bitumen around your feet,
    Rather you should be
    In the cool world of leafy forest halls
    And wild bird calls
    Here you seems to me
    Like that poor cart-horse
    Castrated, broken, a thing wronged,
    Strapped and buckled, its hell prolonged,
    Whose hung head and listless mien express
    Its hopelessness.
    Municipal gum, it is dolorous
    To see you thus
    Set in your black grass of bitumen--
    O fellow citizen,
    What have they done to us?

    I hope you don't mind my sharing...Denise

    1. Love it, Denise! Thank you for posting it here and thank you for introducing me to the poet, too.

  8. Hi Nila - yes the challenges go on; but am glad like you Denise introduced us to Oodgeroo Noonuccle - I'll be reading more about her ... we just need some relief and quieter, less wrangling, times. Take care - Hilary