The Railway Station

As World War II’s juggernaut
ploughed across Europe
tossing humans like skittles
up in the air around many
countries kind strangers
seeking refuge after their
displacement passed through
Poland’s Matula station
taking with them the newborn
baby abandoned there.

Barely keeping themselves alive
they left her at an orphanage
who named her Anna Matula
for where she was found, she
would always know her place
of origin soon after her birth.

Deported from Poland the
orphans were sent from
country to country finally
to New Zealand where all
seven hundred of them were
allowed to stay when the
communist government
demanded their return.

So Anna Matula in a distant
land married a fellow Polish
orphan raising Polish
New Zealand children,
putting down roots far away.


Previously posted August 2017
.

The Railway Station

A Fine Morning

On this fine sunny morning
she was excited to be standing
out by her fence where I
rarely saw her, only occasionally
seeing her in her conservatory
as I passed by on my way
to the local supermarket.

Her caregiver had arrived early
that morning to help her out
of bed, to shower, to dress.
Now ready for the day she
felt energised, walked out
of her conservatory, across
the grass, over to the fence.

She spoke happily, excitedly
enjoying outside air, sunshine.
Visitors go to her conservatory,
elderly friends, middle aged
children teen aged grandchildren.
She wants more company still.

Visitors help her to forget how
her body devours itself,
cancer tentacles through
her lungs, kidneys, turns
her spine to honeycomb.

Her voice is husky
she gasps for breath
in spite of the tube
taking air to her nose.

Her mind is sharp and clear.


Previously published August 2017.

A Fine Morning

In The Shower

Ultimate civilisation starts my
day with a hot shower raining
warmth down my back, arms
shoulders, chest, stomach, legs,
finally thawing those blocks of
ice at the ends of my legs
into flesh and blood feet.

The daily battle with the
mixer millimetre by millimetre
changes hot to cold to cool
to warm pouring cosy heat
right through me.

Steam rises misting the
glass shower door filling
the shower box with moist
warmth as I soap myself
then spray it off with the
shower head’s warm flow,
warm myself under a hot
flow one last time.

I am ready for the day.

Reluctantly I turn off the
steady warmth, hear the
quiet thrumming as the
fan expels the steam.

On to a new day
in the real world.


Previously posted August 2017.

In The Shower

Hair

Nearing retirement age
my hair’s tight frizzy wave
tightened further while
splotchy grey patches
edged round brown
splotches and refused
to change its style
when trimmed short.

In exasperation I bought
a hair dye box, started a
new path in life in front
of the bathroom mirror.

At first I carefully made
each parting straight, dabbed
on its squirt of colour,
parted then squirted again.
My hair turned dark as did
unseen flicks of colour on
my clothes, all in half an hour.

Now my hair dyeing methods
part hair, squirt colour over
my hair in ten minutes
while minimally clothed
for those flicked specks of
colour as the bathroom
window stands open to let
dye fumes out but allows
cold air to surge in. Brrr !!!

How much longer do I
want to do this ?

Previously posted August 2017.

Hair

Letterboxes

The post bag services
from town to town
evolved into the penny
post a delightful
innocuous service to
send letters around the
country, later around
the world in great
quantities which led
to that amazing institution
… letterboxes for every house.

Originally intended to
letters, business used
them to deliver bills.
Now businesses go further
with delivery of blazingly
brilliant brochures into
letterboxes sometimes
pushing real mail out
on to the puddles on the
muddy path below.

Much of my mail comes
now through cyberspace
arriving in my computer
where I block unwanted
garish advertising.

Yet still occasional letters
and cards arrive by mail
so I defend them with
my “No Junk Mail” notice.


Previously posted August 2017.

Letterboxes

Houses

Our elderly suburb quietly
transforms as old unkempt
houses are trucked away one
by one from yesteryear’s
large sections leaving swathes
of empty ground to send up
rough clumps of herbiage
where vegetables once grew,
hens clucked scratched for
juicy insects tender shoots.
Bare soil with random concrete
blocks is all that remains
where family homes once stood.

Fruit trees covered with moss
leaves black with mildew
stand deserted near rickety
back fences straggly hedges.

Many town dwellers no longer
grow their own food in
this helter skelter century.

Old houses lose their paint
are divided, rented out to
those who use them as a
base to sleep and eat until
at last they are jacked up on
to trucks, dispossessed from
their long time dwelling places.

Several little modern homes
are built on each section
with little earth of their own.


Previously posted August 2017.

Houses

Gutter And Drain

When the man who cleared my
gutter went to empty his gunge
from his bucket I said not
on my precious garden put it
down the drain so he did,
– more than I expected …
……….. OOOOPS !! ……..

We both pumped my yard
broom handle up and down
in the drain put several
bucketfuls of water down
so the gunge and water
washed away down the drain
………….. most of it ………..

Over several days I plied
broom handle and bucket
but a stubborn layer of gritty
stuff clung to the gulley
trap and the drains water
level stayed well up …
………….. hmmmm ! ……….

I rang the drains company.
Two men came with their
drains snake hose which
one pumped up and down
while the other turned on
taps in my little flat,
checked the other drains.
At last the gunge was gone,
the drain was empty of water.

Soon I will receive a bill
for two drains’ people’s time.


Previously posted August 2017.

Gutter And Drain

Celery Tree

A strange plant rises from
the bowl of water on my bench.
Tall green stems surge from
the thick tap root chopped
short back at its paddock.
A frothy head of greenery
sprouts from the top of these
tall broad green stems like
so many narrow trunks.

New trunks push their way
up inside the older trunks.
Why not put out branches
from one centre trunk ?

What a confused plant !

Yet its stems add a
wonderful taste to my
food when chopped,
stirred in, cooked.

I forgive celery its oddities.


Previously posted August 2017.

Celery Tree

Capsicums

Red orange yellow green clumps
of bobbles and bulges display half
a rainbow in their shop display
a spread of many colours
covering hollows squeezed
out of shape by a cook’s hands.
Colourful capsicums setting
our meals ablaze.

Slicing through their bulges and
pockets the pleats round their
stalks, white seeds flicking
out as the knife cuts through
flesh and airy hollows.
So strange after chopping
slicing and dicing worldly
everyday vegetables.

Still they reward us with
unique flavours and colour
when the knife’s work is done.

Previously posted August 2017.

Capsicums

Territory

Mayhem of loud squawks
shrieks bangs in the driveway
drew me to the window.

Two blackbirds glared at
each other, orange beaks agape,
tails upraised, feet dodging
in little sideways hops.

They shrieked again
hurled themselves at each
other as one dodged
sideways crashing into
the moulded metal fence
with a booming echo then
dropped like a stone as
the other bird swooped
just above its head.

On and on they fought
swooping ducking diving
around each other
crashing to the ground
hurtling into the fence
with unabated screams
shrieks squawks until
one finally flew away
over the neighbours’ houses

…. leaving the prize of
uncontested ownership
to his opponent.


Previously posted August 2017.

Territory