Saturday afternoon,

mid-winter, during lockdown.

It is easy

to feel ‘stuck’,

but I try

to pay attention

to the details.

As I stand on the back porch

the sun actually

has some warmth.

The music I’m listening to

energises and buoys me.

Taking notice

of the everyday beauty

in the sea

in the sky

in the flowers

in the people

around me.

Such is wholeness

and peace.


Sunshine streams down

Generous and unexpected 

On this winter’s day. 

Grace, too,

As I wrestle

With my brother’s passing. 

This person

Who has been

A constant in my life.

Constant too

has been his pain

Due to cancer.

Sad at his passing,

But I’m also relieved. 

A man of contradictions. 

Who isn’t?

Most of my adult life

I saw the positive  

As he cared for others

Whether as a grandfather

Doling out ‘doughnuts and pink milk’

As a solicitor for those in need

Or a football club stalwart.

His razor sharp intelligence

Led to insightful

And occasionally acerbic comments

As well as many smiles from me

As he named a truth.

Living in Melbourne for 40 years

Has meant most of our relationship

Has been by phone.

Near the end I sent him a message

That included:

‘I am not with you but I am with you.’

In my memories and my heart,

I pray that the converse

Is also true.


I can feel

their goodness

I am overcome

being a witness

to care for others

to those who build connection

those who encourage

those who support.

These words

seem an empty vessel

to carry the full import

not just of my emotion

but of my senses.

This goodness captures me

buoys me

despite more COVID news

This human goodness


shining its light

for those with eyes to see,

lighting a path to follow.


Older man

wanders up and down

the aisle

of the train carriages

clutching a shopping bag

as clouds tinged with pinks

herald another day.

Back and forth

Forth and back for 15 minutes.

His seeming dis-ease

unsettling me.

I have no answers

only questions:

Is he in pain?

What is his truth?

My fellow passengers and I

disgorge from the train

in the city,

leaving him,

as I try to follow my truth.


Threads bind us together.

Some treasure them,

others feel caught.

Am I bound or caught?

My answer may depend

upon my mood

or how I see a relationship.

Each thread

is both strong

and breakable

depending upon my focus.

Invisible, flexible

both real and ethereal.

Such threads

bring depth and enrichment.

Make life worth living.

Some threads appear


Will I tend it?

Ignore it?

Hope it goes away?

Or will I embrace

my threads?

My life?


A warm day in May

in Melbourne

is to be savoured

because you know

this isn’t going to last.

Much like the

remaining frangipani

that is hanging on.

Things come

things go

but do I appreciate them

when they are around?

12 months ago

we were in lockdown.

So I ask myself:

am I truly present?

Do I have the eyes and the heart

to see your grace?


Drizzle can seem annoying.

Not day

and not really rain.

Yet there is a


about the way

it hits the roof

or the ground.

Drips gather slowly

on trees and roofs.

Grass and plants

seem greener.

Dark clouds overhead,



Enough to hear the

‘wump’ of the magpie’s wings




God’s hand at work.

Inward and outward

Bees take their fill

of morning nectar

from the grevillea.

Noisy myna

does the same.

likewise the wattle bird.

Magpie warbles

its strangely comforting sound.

Blue sky crowns the scene.

Hint of a breeze

rustles the leaves

of the plants and trees

near my front porch.

Butterfly meanders past.

Other signs of life

include humans

running, cycling or driving.

I am held


by the peace

of this scene.

Our dogs explore the yard

and ‘protect’ the perimeter.

More beauty

more colour

from the bottlebrush,

flowering gum,




and the plethora of weeds

in the lawn.

And I continue to be held

by the peace.

Then I read the words of Etty Hillesum,

a young Jewish woman killed at Auschwitz:

‘each of us must turn inward and destroy in himself all that he thinks he ought to destroy in others. And remember that every atom of hate we add to this world makes it still more inhospitable.’

And for a moment I glimpse

the vastness of God’s love

that draws me

both inward and outward.

Focus on love

God spreads her love around

as the sun kisses the day

with autumnal warmth.

Apt since this Friday

is called Good;

not because of the suffering

nor the death

since we still have plenty

of both.

Instead we ought to

focus on the love

of God for the world

and each of its inhabitants.

This act of love

and integrity.

This act of love

that spoke the truth

to power.

This act of love

that did not resist violence.

This act of love

whose seeds give birth

to light,




Walking in the dark

as my day begins

quiet is the norm.

Then I am struck

to hear voices

singing ‘happy birthday!’

That it was sung

at that hour

speaks of relationship

and care.

A pandemic has

isolated us.

But that simple reverie

tells me

all will be well