Tag Archives: poetry

Wonderland

When I was just

a little girl

My mother showed me how to

sew seeds

so

I could live like Alice does

in a wonderland.

At the time we drew them blooming from the earth

Knees dusted in dirt

All I could hear were their howls and screams.

As a woman

thinking on how I am plucked and tugged and wrenched and dislocated

I pat the soil around my babies and promise they will

come to full term

Germinate

Pollinate

and, when the wind threatens to carry them away,

Disperse

and knit themselves into crusts and crevices

for you to wonder at

when you are screaming.

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Hilarious

You

Kookaburra

Cackling and snortling the arrival of another day

as if to say

‘Yup humans

You’ve got to do it again you poor fuckers’.

In his laugh the promise of a scorcher

An ear drum and nasal cavity of insects

And a crusted, headlong, headstrong bitumen to navigate.

I don’t know where he pisses off to for the rest of the day

But he sure as hell doesn’t chortle when he’s in the thick of it either.

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One day

We will crack peppercorns and rub them into our neck for perfume.

When we come to the corner where the stargazer lily edges over the fence

I will say ‘Lean in.

Closer.

Closer’.

At the point you wobble

Topple

over

into it

We will marvel at the tiny pebbles etched into your knee…

Until the sound of spokes and wheels meet your ears and I witness your ache for age to arrive

For when can you too pedal and glide?

As your body begins to weigh upon mine with the stories you’ve collected this, one day

Your hands will collect the back of my head so you can meet my gleam.

‘How is it…’

we will say

‘…all of this

is ours?’

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See you on the bridge

“Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready.” Nayyirah Waheed.

 

I was reminded of this talking to a friend yesterday.

This poem doesn’t need to come with a brittle ‘fuck off’ or a hazardous ‘swipe left’. A defiant and throw away ‘you go girlfriend / boyfriend’.

Though the way in which someones ‘not readiness’ can be exorcised in a way that causes great damage to self and other,  one can find equal parts compassion for the person who isn’t ready.

BUT MORE THAN ANYTHING this poem for me communicates a need for SELF LOVE out there on the bridge.

Maya Angelou’s poem ‘I shall not be moved’ also suggests such a thing. Know what you want and do not be moved. Know what you are worth and do not be moved.

It is not about looking for something perfect ‘because you deserve it’.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT. WE ALL EXIST IN GREY ZONES.

But at the very least, having someone meet you with a joyous YES. Not having to ASK someone to meet you on the bridge, because, though asking suggests a vulnerability which is beautiful, it is crippling to have to ask someone to meet you there.

Do not be moved in self love…  say

‘I am something to meet out here on this bridge and I think you are something to meet here too’.

 

x Kate

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Untitled 

 

I want to own beautiful things.

A hardwood floor

to sprawl about in summer.

A needle

that peaks on vinyl

A rose

that animates the air

before it has been seen.

 

I want to reside as a dangling bra strap on your shoulder

My eyes to default to the furrowed creases between brow and bristles at your moment of O

My mouth to savour the bare breaths

when you part

my kimono.

 

I want every pen indentation

to arrest with intonation

that mornings lathering of soap

The groan you couldn’t help

And that era when my name

sounded like love.

 

I acquiesce

I don’t want

much else

 

Except perhaps

to see the lakes surface quivering above her privates

To feel

damp clumps of moss mat beneath my bare arse

And to curl

into cotton

And blossoms

as they drop

in the air.

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Searching in the age of the internet 

Last night I sat opposite my therapist lamenting the days where I used ‘in-between time’, creatively. Where I used space in a way that saw me

…making jewellery my mum still affectionately wears

…painting images from thin air

…composing symphonies I’d try to articulate on the family piano

…reading in a way I’d miss outside sounds, too deeply immersed in the world I was creating between words.

Lately I’ve been desperately searching for ‘next’ meaning. I say next because I have had purpose before; but at 37 I am ready for something new. I am hungry.

Where I have turned to craft for searching in the past I now turn, like so many, to the internet. Sometimes two devices at a time. The internet is, after all, for searching isn’t it?

But for the first time in my life I’m not finding any solutions.

In the age where we have an overwhelming amount of sources to seek ‘answers’, this seems an almost impossibility. But never have I felt more incapable, more unsure and more anxious.

Hearing writer Mark Manson talk a couple of months ago at the Melbourne Town Hall I was reminded about the stress choice puts on our brain. Manson talked about experiments done …with cereal boxes.

Two cereal boxes. No stress. Ten cereal boxes. Anxiety.

Where it is considered ‘lucky’ if you are in the privileged position of having choice, our brains, in contrast, feel great pressure; and so when I turn to google for an answer say to a ‘next job’ question, I suddenly find myself with twenty tabs open that might stretch from ‘next job’ to …next travel opportunity, next retail therapy adrenaline rush, next social exorcism, and finally, next movie on Netflix.

Today I’m wondering…

What did I find without a phone? Without a laptop? Without the internet?

Sometimes, more questions.

Sometimes, deeper ones.

Sometimes

great knowing.

This ‘knowing’ wasn’t necessarily an answer in the way that we regard ‘answers’ in 2017. It wasn’t an immediate fix (in the form of a momentary high), a presumption that everything is black or white or that success would be born of it in a way that would see me known and recognised by many.

It was that ‘elemental’ feeling. The one Sir Ken Robinson talks about. Where I am in something that is intrinsically me. In and being and doing. Creating.

And there was simultaneous peace in that experience and great energy.

And that energy …used to carry me over into the ‘next thing’.

In my mind now I am trying to cultivate that feeling so I can investigate it more. I can sense that it’s about being present, about listening and about commitment. To one thing. Not twenty tabs.

In Krista Tippet’s ‘On Being’ podcast , where she interviews philosopher and poet John O’Donahue, she asks

‘…are we less capable of love and commitment and relationship in a mature sense, in our time than previous generations were? Or is this just a human dilemma that has different details in our time?

MR. O’DONOHUE: That’s a very interesting question. I don’t think we’re less capable at all. I think we’re more unpracticed at it and therefore more desperate for it. And I think it’s a matter of attention really, just attention.

In doing one thing I am attending to it. I am committed to it but not in a way that word seems to strike fear into the souls of many these days (those swiping left and right on Tinder, buying the next phone when there’s nothing wrong with the old one)… but intimately devoting myself to it, so I know it, so I am faithful to it.

I laugh here because I wonder if I too need to explain what I mean by faithful here. I certainly don’t mean to conjure up any notion of religion. I mean to imply –  ‘true’ – in an affectionate way, and in a way that doesn’t require any effort or sense of obligation.

In looking into the etymology of the word attention I find that it stems from the late 14th century meaning ‘ a giving heed, active direction of the mind upon some object or topic’. It is the ‘giving’ and ‘active’ part I am so deeply excited by. Bubbling thinking to the words I used earlier – ‘energy’ and ‘peace’. For giving, hands over something. An exhalation. A kneeling. Peace.

And ‘active’ implies action. Doing something. Creating. Which of course we need and use energy to do.

So answers can be found in the space between letting go and creativity. Between emptiness and fullness. The space I think here is the important part as our brains can have some time to file here. To see if an answer can be created from all the information we already have at our disposal. Information that is personal to us – information gathered by our own personal histories, our own experience.

Online answers should perhaps only be looked for after one has spent time and space with oneself. When one has found personal knowing in intimacy.

This moment, in intimacy, I found that I need a long walk in nature.

without my phone.

 

By Kate Ellis.

 

Kate Ellis is a Writer, Poet, Drama Coach for television and film actors and a poetry, drama and literacy teacher to primary and secondary school students at a progressive independent Primary and Secondary school in Victoria’s Eastern Suburbs. Residing in Melbourne but working across Australia, Kate has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media and Sociology (UNSW), a Performance degree (Nepean) and a Masters in Education (University of Melbourne).

www.kateelliscoaching.com

 

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* if you ever need help, dial 000. Don’t be a victim for too long. Stand tall. It’s unfair but it’s not your stuff. Speak up. Say no. Call people out on their behaviour. With empathy , of course, know people hold within them their own darkness. But that darkness should never be inflicted on someone else. I urge everyone to sort out their own shit so we don’t inflict it on other people. 

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Becoming 

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Halo

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Yield 

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