Monday, December 26, 2011

the baby

I understood it all the moment I saw her,
looking like the Evil Emperor from Star Wars,
warily blinking at the world.

The sudden punch to the belly,
a power hit of joy, awe
and fierce fighting fire.

My first thought, "she's beautiful"
very closely followed by my second,
"if anyone hurts her, I'll kill them!"


She's not even my child,
she's just my niece,
but she was small, squishy and defenceless.

And something more...

She was a child, a baby.
Not just a symbol,
but the very essence of all that is important
and precious
and vulnerable in this world.

How could you let Him come like that?

The joy of seeing Him born, crushingly overshadowed
by the shit and blood and stench of His death.

I feel sick
and then

Friday, December 23, 2011

babel's verbal bricolage

Have yourself a melancholy Christmas,
let your heart be stone.
From now on your troubles will be
on your mind!
Yes have yourself a melancholy Christmas now.

Hark! The drunken uncle sings,
blast Nauru and kill the chinks.
Heat on earth, and Cooper's mild,
Aunt Dot won't be reconciled.

Joyful all ye 'lations rise,
join the triumph, eat the pies.
With th' angelic host proclaim,
Dudley's dead, it is a shame.

Hark! The drunken uncle sings,
glory to roast turkey wings.

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie.
Above thy automated sleep,
fake snow falls fill the sky.

Mechanical street choirs
all make a tinny sound,
the English look is rather grand,
but odd considering Palestine...

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
thou totem to depression.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
hear now my sad confession.
I always want to gather round,
with family to hear the sound
of something more than Christmas trees,
cheap presents and fake niceties.

Dear Jesus, please please please help me to hear you above the din!

Help me when I'm sad about other things that you gave us all the most incredible gift.

And help me when I'm happy about that awesome vegetable curler I hope I'm getting, or my new icecream maker, or what I believe will be a very good book, help me then not to forget you either. Help me remember that vegetable curlers will pass away, but your words will never pass away. Help me to remember that as the sun rises and the sun set, your unfailing love surrounds me.

Help me to remember after I stop feeling sad about my first Spinster-Alone-With-Parents Christmas, you've got some really exciting, challenging blessings in store for me.

Help me to remember after I stop feeling tired from smiling as constantly as possible, being polite and patient all day, and not killing anybody that you will have a reward for me later.

Thankyou is such a wooden word to me at the moment, so I want to thankyou, but I don't want to say that...

I want to say that you give me a reason to get out of bed every day.

Whatever mood I'm in, whatever thoughts cross my mind, you walk along with me, talk it through, and pour your heavenly wisdom into my very empty bowl...

In those moments after I've stopped crying, or have just seen someone treated with injustice, or am suddenly struck by the universe sucking futility of plastic plants in the Macca's drive through, you are there.

In those moments when I'm laughing loudly at something very stupid, or am smiling smugly over a cake, or am suddenly struck by the astounding beauty of the clouds next to the highway, you are there.

Thankyou doesn't cover it...


Amen :-)

Monday, December 19, 2011

o come

O come all ye baleful,
joyless and defeated.
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and ignore Him,
born the King of angels.

O come let us deplore Him.
O come let's overlook Him.
O come let us deform Him,
Christ, the Lord.

God of God, light of light.
Lo! He abhors all Platonic dualism.
Very God, begotten, not created.

O come let us deplore Him.
O come let's overlook Him.
O come let us deform Him,
Christ, the Lord.

Sing, in-store angels,
sing of your vacations.
Sing, all ye members of the discount pool.
Glory to God, bringer of the pudding.

O come let us deplore Him.
O come let's overlook Him.
O come let us deform Him,
Christ, the Lord.

Yea, Lord we greet thee,
born this happy morning.
Jesus, arrived just in time for tea.
Word of the Father, followed by the Queen.

O come let us deplore Him. 
O come let's overlook Him. 
O come let us deform Him, 
Christ, the Lord. 

Monday, December 12, 2011


I shouldn't be surprised that toothache reveals the barely-hidden evil in me.

How many of us, your 'greatest' creation, fall at the slightest twinge in the gums?

But we do. 
We fall and fall and fall, 
for soft flesh, 
greener grass, 
nicer houses,
and the removal of any discomfort.

My impotent rage at my pain rises and crashes against the facade of my civility.

I begin to wonder about Hitler's dental care. Did Mussolini have stomach ulcers? Did Pol Pot have a problem with his knee?

My energy is spread too thinly between the pain and the polite. I can't be a Christian and have toothache!

How would I cope with martyrdom?!

Fortunately I haven't reached the nuclear-brinkmanship/trade-off part of this prayer yet, where I start promising good behaviour in exchange for pain relief. I hope I'm never mad enough or scared enough to do that. I'm relieved when I do occasionally grasp the truth that you are not the Trunchbull or a disgruntled Grandmother who bribes children with sweets (especially unhelpful in my state!). I'm glad that you're not just some giant mathematician in the sky, weighing good against bad and compensating accordingly. You're much more lavish than that, and I thank you for it!

Having said that, I've also not reached the nuclear brink of visiting the dentist! Unfortunately, dental is not on Medicare...

Instead, I shall summon every remaining shred of self-control to say, 'thy kingdom come, thy will be done' and hope as strongly as possible that your kingdom includes free national healthcare and your will is for everyone's wisdom teeth to grow peacefully!


(Alright, I'm willing to grant your divine will might include a few other things, but seriously, I'm putting in a vote for pain free teething in the new creation!!)

Monday, December 5, 2011


As we drove from Orange to Molong, the sun finally set.

Dusk didn't fall, but rather folded itself around the gentle slopes and sinuous valleys of the central tablelands.

Every scent heightened as the wind dropped, in solemn acknowledgement of the on-coming night.

The sweet, warm smell of cattle began to seep through into the car, mingled with the more herbaceous aroma of roadside daisies, crops and weeds. Somewhere near the top of this rich, comforting, home-like bouquet was the woolly smell of lanolin as a scattering of sheep lay them down to rest.

The lights of the city had long faded, and at last, familiar stars began to replace them. At my right side as I drove, a nameless constellation pricked out its place in the blanket of the night, and I recalled its presence at the bedroom windows of my past, a fixed point of reflection as I fell asleep. That rocket-like shape had peered at me from afar for so many years, but recently, I had lost sight of it, as it was replaced for a decade by kilometres and kilometres of suburbs, sparkling into distance, meeting the shining centrepoints of the city.

To think I had worried I would not find new places to go and sit and be!

How strange that I had looked ahead with regret to the loss of my quiet bay in the harbour, not for its rough beauty alone, but because I feared it could never be replaced with any other equal prospects to calm the soul and soothe the mind.

So many anxieties have crowded in these past few weeks, at the very least stalking me on the dream-trails if not in waking life. To be torn apart by my own hand from my quiet bay was bad enough, but to also be separated from friends old and new, the comfort of their presence assuring me of their love, this rift has opened up an ocean of inner agony.

But you will comfort and walk with me. You are always with me. Your rod and your staff. You will graciously provide everything, as you already have. You know my needs, you love me, and you desire good things for me.

You put those stars there loooooooooong ago, and they will guide me in the darkest night.

I just needed to see them again, and be reminded.