Soaking Hearts with the Night – Love Poem
We soaked our heart in the night.
Oblivious to time and weather,
we shared the tea of love.
By the firelight, where winds engulfed our embrace,
mushrooms glowed, transcending our emotions.
And like heart-beat, the fireflies echoed the rhythm.
Long and steady, into the morning light;
letting the moon slip by, and the shadows dissolve.
When we let our words melt into nothingness, our bodies
rushed to the voice of our desires.
My gorgeous niece Marcelle Bucher turned 18 on the 4th of March. I have known Marcelle from birth and she is second daughter of my friends Erue and Daniel Bucher. Marcelle’s mother Erue is Papua New Guinean and father Daniel is Swiss. You could say, Marcelle is a daughter I did not give birth to, but lucky enough to have. She is articulate, intuitive, very clever and creative. She is currently doing International Studies in University of Queensland. She speaks several languages and will conquer the world when she graduates. At 17, she left Australia to travel Europe alone and returned after Christmas. I think she just wanted to ‘sus’ Europe out, just to see if Europe is ready for Marcelle.
On her return, Marcelle wanted a Bahamas party for her 18th with lots of colour and tropical scenes. Everyone wanted leis, but the frangipani season had just ended. As she had wished, we set up her sister Livu’s place to look like a small holiday nook in the Bahamas. A quick drive around Brisbane city with a visit to my own gardens gave us a small bucket-full of frangipani flowers, but just enough for me to make everyone a corsage. The party started to look ‘Pacificky’ – but it was pretty all the same. The reggae music kept it slightly different. And, the birthday lady received a lei.
How do you make a lei? Watch this YouTube video on how to make a flower lei.
Pink Bundle with Price Tag – Poem
Poem – JK.Leahy©
(See verse one in the last post – This is a short story I tried writing in this format)
Pink Bundle with Price Tag
Arms to hold her first baby, folded on her crossed legs.
Suppressed in her expression, wrapped was her excitement.
I remembered Aunt on the phone telling,
“we are going to have a baby” while laughing at her husband.
A young school girl wanted to adopt her unborn baby.
Aunt said, “she would be beautiful like you, lady.”
The gossip; baby’s father was white and the mother was black.
The baby could own loose locks on a melted caramel tan.
My aunt had fought and climbed trees, just like a man
Not to happen, she would bear children like a woman
(To be continued in a book of short stories)
A Pink Bundle with Price Tag is a poem I wrote about an incident that occurred some 20 odd years ago. I was trying to write my exercise in a prose form (for my Creative Writing Workshop), and after much confusion, I had gone down this path with the exercise, so I just went with the flow. With 700 odd words later, I told the whole story in a poem, by accident. I spoke with the workshop facilitator and confused her too, but she has forgiven me, she said. I think it’s because she wants to hear the rest of the story tomorrow. This is the opening of the story and hopefully, it will be part of my collection of poems and short stories book later. I hope you like it.
A Pink Bundle with Price Tag – Poem
JK. Leahy Memoir
The house was low, a brown brick hole with blue shades.
Through the open windows, the inside was newborn stained.
A littered table of copious nappies and toys in rainbow frame.
On a ruffled bed, a small centre-piece, wrapped in a pink bundle.
Outside, my aunt sweats on a hardened dry brown lawn.
Desperate time calls for a monsoon, but none had come.
The sward had suffered Port Moresby’s arid time.
Aunt had waited to have babies, years these many,
that patience had become her virtue and time, her company.
Newest addition to the birds in our care, Bos aka Chief, takes a few minutes in a real tree for a snack. He usually lives in a cage in our lounge. Bos was also learning to climb and eat the bark and leaves from this tender Jacaranda tree. It would be a few more months before he grows those wings to fly away. He was found at the back of our house, searching for its mother three weeks ago. He turned out to be the most well-behave bird we have ever had. And so, he rules the house-hold. His every demand is our command.
We think it is a male bird because he has more ‘scales’ or the yellow speckles on his breast, but generally, scale-breasted lorikeets, males or females, look almost the same. Since his pictures had the perfect colour for St Patrick’s Day, I wanted to post them today. There is some Irish in every one of us. For the Irish that is in me, I celebrated my ancestry with family, close friends and a Guinness or two today.
Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Tok Piksa is a Papua New Guinea Youth Photovoice project. Shot by Mighty Flims, it features young people telling their own stories about life in one of the most beautiful yet underprivileged countries in the world. They know the life and they capture the images to show that life.
It rained yesterday. It has been six weeks since we started caring for the ten wild Pacific Black ducklings. Read previous post when the ducklings had their first swim. All ten have survived and thrived. It is also close to that time when they return to the wild. Although they were not ready to fly, I was itching to let them out to eat greens and socialise with their mother, the other ducks and animals. My sons and I discussed letting the ducks out. I thought we had all agreed.
Nathan left for University lectures and my younger son Chris opened the cage. The first brave six stood by the fence line, for ten to 15 minutes, unsure of their next move. Chris and I stayed in the house and watched them. Over the six weeks, we had cared and fed the ducks, but made sure we did not touch them or get close to them during feeding and play time.
Then, all six left the cage entrance and headed for the gardens. Their four siblings remained in the cage. The six explored all areas surrounding our house. They seemed very inquisitive and excited.
About 20 minutes later, the six returned to have some food. The mother was away somewhere in the bushes. The four still stayed inside, out of sight. As the six adventurous ducklings started eating, their mother arrived and shared their lunch.
After lunch the mother headed for the water. The six followed. And, the fun began for all of us – ducks and humans. I suddenly realised they were moving away from the house and they may not return to the cage or safety for the night. It was hard to know what could happen, but they looked so happy, I went along with it.
I kept watch as they walked towards the pool and without any hesitation, they jumped into the water and started playing. It was wonderful to watch.
After at least an hour, I went to the pan and took out the four ducklings and move them to join their mother and siblings. They needed a little confidence to cross the backyard to the water.
Throughout the day – the ducklings played, swam and practiced flying – by skidding across the water as they normally do. By 6pm, it got dark and they made no move to return to the pan. They huddled in the corner, in the water. Their mother stood outside, nearby. We tried to put them back into their nest from 6pm until 9:30pm. They split up and swam in away and re-grouped. It was hard and they were very quick.
It was time to think of another way to bring them back in the cage. My older, very-annoyed-with-me son, held the torch, while I made the duck-catcher. I also had to explained to the aspiring medical doctor how the basket would work and how and why it was the best thing and it would NOT hurt the ducklings. It was a simple fishing basket, but four times bigger. I had made these things all my childhood life to catch fish. We set the basket in the corner of the pool with ropes to jerk up quickly – like a snap-trap, and guided the ducklings with noises and calling. Innocently they swam to the basket. First, we caught four, then they worked it out so we changed positions and where we placed the basket, and caught four and then one.
“I was wishing we caught the last two together, because the one left would be the hardest, ” Chris said and I agreed. We all knew, the real work was yet to come, and it was already 10:30pm.
Half hour later, desperate, I found myself crawling through the bush on all fours on duck shit and sneaking up to catch the very quick and smart six-week-old duckling. It kept on sensing my presence and swam away. This was not the way I remember my child-hood, and the days in the wild, it was more fun and I was faster. By 11pm, my two sons, who by now blamed everything on me, decided to try their own way with a net we used for the chicken coop. After they set up the net, the duckling cleverly swam away from their net and towards the dark bushy corner where I hid on duck shit. It came right next to me and I tried to hold my breathing while I let the duckling relax for just two minutes or so. And then, I scooped it up with a milk carton and my hands. The duckling and my sons all got a shock.
“You look nice enough to eat,” I joked to the bewildered duckling. No-one in my family was impressed.
With dry towel and a cuddle, the duckling was quickly re-united with its siblings.
It was midnight when that last duckling was caught. My sons and I were too tired to speak to each other, nor argue.
However, an earlier lecture from my older son that evening, was that we will now wait for two to three more weeks for the ducks to fly before we can let them go. That would ensure that they are strong and fast enough to survive predators. Oh well, I thought, I have never been one to be a caged bird myself. There is too much sun and fun to be enjoyed outside, in the wild. I sure did re-live my childhood years once more and it was not too bad, despite family opinions.