In the looking glass world –a haibun

Often these days I like to get away from the world of ego driving strivings and  competitions about who has the most stuff, the best stuff, the newest stuff and the shiniest stuff.   The world where news of wars about who has the best god, the biggest, strongest and meanest god gets headline billing.   Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t care about all the bloodshed and the mayhem it’s just that I can’t keep filling my head with it.   It makes me ill and sad.    Sometimes I just need to turn off the news bulletins and get out in nature.

There, among the trees, another reality – a parallel universe – a expanded universe -asserts itself.  It is a world where the earth supports the trees and the trees support the sky and the animals, birds, fish and insects live within the eco-sphere.  A world where everything co-exists in harmony.   A world where I lose that distinction between mind and body that Descartes celebrated.   Out among the trees, under the sky, feeling the earth beneath me I am a mind in a body not a mind encumbered by a body.  There I feel part of life.  There I realise that this is the reality we need to connect to and nurture if we want to survive as a species. 


                                                   Looking glass world,

                                                all is not how it appears

                                                   – reality expands

The digital manipulation above is simply a photo of a reflection inverted and tweaked slightly to enhance the contrast.

Written in response to Amanda Lakey’s prompt –

Today–in the bush

Walking in the bush  this afternoon I surprised a mother kangaroo and her joey.   The joey got such a fright he tried to climb back into the pouch.


Alas – he had grown too big and fell right back out again.  I missed capturing this moment on camera but here’s the joey moments later looking very sorry for himself.  Meanwhile mum’s decided I’m not a threat and has gone back to foraging. 064

The joey turned round and tried again  to get back into the pouch but he just couldn’t fit.    Mum paid him no attention whatsoever.   Getting enough to eat was her main concern. 070068

Eventually the joey gave up and plucked up courage to turn and take a look at me as I stood just  metres away on the path.    073

I looked so weird to his bush baby eyes he straightened up for a better look.  074

Deciding I was just too weird for comfort he returned to mum for some reassurance.  075

Mum rewarded his bravery with a cuddle 076

and even let him have a drink of milk.  077

She posed for her portrait 078 

then got back to the task at hand.  Just where was that really tasty piece of grass?  079

Evening light

Yesterday was a weird day and I was in a strange mood all day.    Late in the day I went for a walk to clear my head.   As evening approached the sun came out for the first time all day.   It created the most beautiful light effects and my mood lifted – here’s a few photos I took


and lastly – simply because it’s such a weird view of the harbour071

and lastly – simply because it is such a weird view of the harbour   

A story set to music

Credit: Favim Image Credit:  Favim –  Kellie Elmore image prompt

There is a place in Western Australia where old pianos go to die. I read about it in a magazine. Some piano lovers decided their land was best suited to be a piano graveyard. People leave old pianos there. Out in the elements. They fall apart slowly and gracefully. Photographers go there and sometimes musicians. I’ve never been but perhaps this story is set there, perhaps not.


The woman lay in her bed. She didn’t have the strength to do anything else. Her mind and body were wrapped in a peculiar kind of stasis. She had no energy and could barely string two thoughts together in any kind of coherent sequence. The doctors were running tests. Perhaps it was this, perhaps that. The results were inconclusive. Opinions varied as to what she should do. Do more, some said. Exercise frequently. Do less, said others. One kindly specialist had advised bed rest. For now, his was the voice she chose to listen to.

Beautiful piano music issued from the radio beside her. She’d never been a fan of classical music. Never really understood it. Now it was all she could bear to listen to. The dulcet tones and wordless sounds soothed more often than not.

Today the piano music carried her into a daydream where she followed a twisting pathway through a mist filled landscape of ghost gums and Scotch thistles. Up ahead a man played an ancient upright piano with consummate ease.

‘Who are you?’ she asked.

‘A musician,’ he replied.

‘A magician?’ she queried, mishearing.

The man gave an enigmatic smile and bent closer to the piano. Rolling chords chased her as she moved on down the path. A thunderous crescendo of sound swept her up into the mist. It swirled around her, thick and grey. Memories came back to her. That time she’d yelled at her son when he was still a tiny tot. Screamed at him. About a misplaced shoe for Christ’s sake. A shoe! As if that mattered in the grand scheme of things. Then there was that time when she was young and had gone on a date with that guy with the strange eyes but who seemed okay until they went back to his flat and he threw her on the bed and fucked her so hard she thought she’d break in half. She should have listened to her intuition and recognised that strange look in his eyes as cruel and hard.

These memories and more swirled through her mind. Fragmentary moments where she’d been the abuser or the abused. Shame and pain overwhelmed her. She could not help but writhe about and groan a bit at the memory of it all.

The dark, heavy music trailed away into single notes as clear and light as the sounding of a crystal bell. The mist was suddenly shot through with golden light that danced around her. The memories seemed to dissolve into it until they were no more real than a dream. They were past and gone. She’d never make those mistakes again.

The musician/musician appeared in front of her again. This time he played a baby grand piano that subsided gracefully against the twisted trunk of a river red gum. The man gave her a gleeful smile then with a flourish played a series of gentle notes that whispered quieter and quieter.

The music ceased and the voice of the radio announcer bought her back into the room. She opened her eyes to see the sun had come out and cast golden beams of light through the lace curtains. That explained the swirling golden mist.

The radio announcer was going on and on about some up coming concert.   It was in another city and sounded utterly boring. Alicia rolled over and turned off the machine. Perhaps she would get up today after all. She felt a bit better. A bit lighter and clearer somehow.


Prayer for Peace in Gaza – haiku


I took this photo when I was in Jordan in 2012.   It was taken as I looked towards Isreal from Mt Nebo (the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments).  The dot in the lower left corner flew towards me – it was an eagle. 

A moment later the Dead Sea became an expanse of  shimmering silver.

Dead Sea

Moment of ascension

briony-lane-floating-processed   Leanne Cole – Image Prompt – up in the air

Rising up out of the dismal laneway, lifted high by the angels and elevated by supernatural powers – she hovered somewhere between her dingy everyday reality and some other place.  Not heaven exactly for she was still corporeal.  She was still alive in her body just in some altered state, experiencing some other way of being.

Suspended there in mid air she straightened up and took stock.  From this height the physical world looked less dense. As she drifted higher and higher into waves of light a feeling of spaciousness and room to breathe enveloped her.  All the years of spiritual study and of attention to the incoming waves of light that inundated the planet through solar flares, meteor showers and astrological configurations made sense to her now.  She was ascending in consciousness along with countless others for the planet, her dearly loved planet Earth, needed love and healing.

The exploiters, the plunderers and the rapacious ones who took the Earth’s riches and claimed them for their own were beginning to lose their power.  Everywhere people were beginning to make a stance – ‘Protect the planet,’ they said.  ‘Live sustainably.’ The rapists and the warmongers were being called to account for their actions.  ‘This can’t go on,’ the people said.  ‘Things must change.’

Slowly, slowly more enlightened attitudes and ways of thinking were developing in the hearts and minds of humanity.  The fallout was ugly – dreadful – horrific – as the warmongers and the plunderers lost more of their power.  Their actions became more despicable as they grew more desperate.

‘They have the brains of pirates,’ someone explained to her.

‘It’s time they changed their thinking,’ people exclaimed from the rooftops of the world.  ‘Let us all rise up and change the way things are done.   Let the light of expanded consciousness elevate us all.’

The Bat–a haibun

Carpe Diem prompt – bat

My eldest son lives in a corner of sub tropical Australia known for its alternative lifestylers, spiritual seekers and  New Age Healers.  Hare Krishnas and Western Buddhists dressed in Tibetan robes can be seen doing their supermarket shop alongside banana growers and cane cutters.

Every few years I make the journey up  by car. To get to my son’s house  I must drive for days across wide open grasslands then along the high ridge tops of The Great Dividing Range, the mountains that separate the interior from the coastal fringe.   Up near the Queensland border I head east and follow twisting roads down into the caldera of an extinct volcano – Mt Warning – the first place on the Australian mainland to receive the morning sun.     SDC12479 - Copy

When I bother driving all that way it’s because I’m planning on spending time immersing myself in the culture, going to the healers and communing with the mountain.   There is a spirituality there that can be hard to find in the work orientated cities of the south.    I once heard a mystic tell of an energy line that swept down from Tibet, circled through Bryon Bay and ended at Mt Warning – a Dragon Line he called it.  I can believe it.

I love the energy of the mountain.  When I meditate up there I see silvery crystals twinkling in my mind’s eye and my head feels filled with clear white light.  Old worn out thought patterns and social conventions are dislodged in the intensity of it yet I find I can not live there up for long.  After a while the heat gets to me and I feel I can’t breathe properly.   Come late summer the  extreme humidity sends me racing back south seeking a cool breeze.

SDC15135   My son’s house lies in a rainforest clearing well away from the sound of traffic and the glaring intrusion of street lights.  As I unpack my bags the hot humid air disorientates me.   This place is so unlike my windswept home beside the Southern Ocean.    Going into the house where crystals and carved Buddhas sit beside indoor palms and wooden drums I feel much closer to Asia than Australia.

As night falls the forest comes alive with the incessant shrill whirring of insects.  The  velvety blackness of the night sky wraps itself around the uncurtained windows.   Most are open to let in the cooling night breezes.   Clumps of thick incense sticks burning on the window sills send tendrils of scented smoke whirling into the forest in a vain attempt to repel the mosquitos.  On one visit my son told me he was having to close the windows late at night for a bat had taken to coming into the house.

One night a window was accidentally left open.  I woke up in the middle of night and tiptoed out of the guest bedroom to go to the toilet.    When I opened the bedroom door a small bat as black as the night sky careened silently past my face. It was as if a scrap of the night sky had torn itself free and now hurtled soundlessly through the house.

Warm rainforest night

Black bat flying in the house

- unsettling vision

                004 Native American Medicine Card

*  In the Medicine Cards created by Jamie Sams the bat signifies rebirth and ‘symbolizes the need for a ritualistic death of some way of life that no longer suits your new growth pattern.  This can mean a time of letting go of old habits and of assuming the position in life that prepares you for rebirth.’