Genetic Implosions

They met in their thirties
after singleness led to more
singleness and childlessness.
They looked forward to raising
children in a family they
created for themselves

At last they had each other
marriage and a home together.
Two children arrived before
their parents turned forty
another slipped in just after.

A thriving family culture
burgeoned with visits, cards,
phone calls, skyping, texts
and emails with uncles, aunts,
brother, sisters, cousins, with
grandparents living nearby.

Genetics now threw forth its
ticking time bombs in children’s
genetic problems. As these were
faced head on, new health
time bombs confronted the
older generation debilitating
grandarents in their sixties,
in their seventies.

The new human longer life
is erratic in its well being.


Genetic Implosions


In the swinging sixties
while completing a degree
for a library career  I
attended night school classes.

Each week we practised touch
typing with keyboards hidden
under black bibs anchored
round our necks and typewriters
by solid black elastic.
We tapped keys in time to the
teacher’s calling: “a” space “a”
space – on to “a-s-d-f”,  to speed
tests for words per minute.

Then I practised nightly at
home on a huge “imperial”.

Rejected by the library course
I went on to teacher training
with a smart little portable
for assignments and planning,
later replaced with that miracle
– the electric typewriter  – .

Twenty years after my night
classes came an extraordinary
invention on which I had to
learn word processing ……
………. computers ! ……….

In serial monogamy I have gone
through three computers, for
at a certain age they fail.

The last one died because its
“on” switch could not work
or be repaired !    Digital death !


At The Grocer’s

Amaranth quinoa chia flax seeds
bulgur wheat millet couscous.

Outlandish names on bulk
jars and bins at today’s
grocer’s shop – the supermarket.

Once our grocer’s shop was one
of the little shops clustered
around the haphazard cross
roads of five busy roads.

Butcher, baker, chemist, dairy,
greengrocer, draper stood
beside fishmonger’s, hardware,
stationer’s and shoe shops.
Each shop kept to its own
line of goods, each shopkeeper
served customers at the counter.

When our first superette opened
an old lady complained to the
manager that the checkout girl
would not fetch the items on
her shopping list. He said he
paid her to stay at the till, not
fetch items for customers.

A strange new world indeed !

What would the old lady have
thought of amaranth, quinoa,
chia, flax seed and bulgur wheat ?

At The Grocer’s

Working Women Dine Out

We operators working strange hours
at the call centre day and night
weekdays and weekends sometimes
met friends sometimes strangers
from the constantly changing staff
during lunchroom breaks.

To meet friends from long
serving staff one woman
set up dinners to meet
socially outside work hours
early in the week when
incoming calls were fewer.
Six o’clock dinners for
those with early shifts
to be on time next day.

Non operator friends and family
working onventional hours
thought it odd not to dine
out at later hours later in
the week. We were content
to dine at early hours
early in the week to catch
up with each other’s news.

We still meet for early
dinners as we retire
gradually one by one.

Working Women Dine Out

A Bumper Crop

A cool wet summer
expelled our usual drought
to the disgust of those
preferring baking
temperatures, bright blue
skies, blazing sunshine.

Now in icy winter
the neighbours’ mandarin
tree at our fence
surprises us with a
heavy crop of little
juicy orange citrus gems.

It used to sprout these
little fruits randomly under
its leafy canopy. Green leaves
would quiver, flip upside down
as silvereyes dived into
its orange clusters for a
succulent feast of insects
and irridescent ladybugs.

Now the silvereyes shelter
from icy winds and freezing
rain while we harvest this
bumper crop as best we can.

A Bumper Crop

Sorry (3)

For two hundred and twenty
years white settlers poured
off their ships, later their planes
on to the continent’s coastal
areas establishing towns trade
businesses industry, white culture
spreading inland to farm crops
livestockaround market towns.

For many millennia the continent’s
original inhabitants hunter gatherers
had roamed the continent’s deserts
grasslands, abundant coasts.
Now they faced an alien race
with an alien culture which
deemed them worthless.

So two cultures crossed paths,
crossed purposes, the new culture
prevailed. The continent’s original
race went under, struggled then
and now, gradually hauls itself
out of the dark murky morass.

After two hundred and twenty
years the white government
apologised to the brown race
which still has far to go to
rediscover themselves, find
their true identity and culture.


Sorry (3)

Sorry (2)

In 1881 in a tiny rural village
on fertile volcanic land
an indigenous community went
about their daily rounds, tended
fields, gardens, animals, baked
bread, children played outside
………… in 1881 …………

White settlers fleeing dire
poverty in their home country
craved this fertile land, told
their government it should be
theirs. So their army moved
on this village, claiming false
ownership boundary disputes.

This pacifist village and their
leaders in peaceful passive
resistance stayed still as this
army approached, attacked men
and children, raped women
arrested men, took them away
to prison, drove women and
children off their traditional land.

136 years later descendants of
villagers and soldiers met again
in ceremonial gathering at the
village. The government paid
reparations, apologised.

So late, after so many years.
We hope this helps them
along the paths they seek.

Sorry (2)

Sorry (1)

Twenty first century governments
aplolgise for failures to meet their
job descriptons which is a forward
step in democracy but will it change
their future attitudes and directions ?

Over fifty years ago our
government sent fit trained
soldiers from our regular
army to fight an unpopular
war far away, some to be
injured, some killed. As they
returned from tours of duty
they were quietly slipped out
airport back doors to evade
angry protesters against that
far away war, their injuries,
their dead never acknowledged.

Over thirty years later the
government apologised for
this lack of recognition and
support, held victory parades
for the servicemen who had
followed government orders.

In heavy irony the government
spokesperson had been active
in those long ago protests.

The apology was appreciated
but the lost thirty odd years
were not brought back.

Sorry (1)

Far Away

In her early fifties with
grown children flown, yet
no one in her life replacing
the long gone husband, while
her erratic workplace called
for voluntary redundancies,
her thoughts turned to the
family friend who had often
visited on business from
his distant home country.

After his next visit
they increased emails and
long distance phone calls.
Finally she was ready,
took redundancy on her
workplace’s next call,
sold up, moved far away
to his home for her
country would not allow
him to live with her there.

His country allowed her to
live there in a happy life and
marriage for over ten years.

Until her body betrayed her,
tiny blood vessels burst in
her brain letting go of her
memories so that she only
wanted to be in the land
she used to know for
over fifty years.

He could not live there
with her, to care for her.

She could no longer
live alone.

Far Away