Poetry and cooking, and things in common


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My eldest daughter remarked that the current state of the world under the Corona Virus reign was not something she thought would ever happen in her lifetime. This is the 21st Century not some Gothic horror story. I don’t think anyone would disagree with her words.

Normal is good

Maintaining my blog as I have done seems trivial but then on reflection, and I have thought about this quite a bit, maybe it isn’t. We need to be as normal as possible. We need to keep going. If we panic or overreact, we achieve nothing but it’s hard to keep this at the forefront when media yells different. I feel the fear, the anxiety and I feel the depression that comes with it. These things have long been part of my life, and in order to survive I had to find a strategy. For me, it has always been believing in tomorrow, and that is exactly what I intend to do now.

I live in the north of Australia, and so far, we have had limited contact with the virus, but I am living my life as we have all been asked to do. I don’t care if I’m not living in Sydney or Melbourne, or Brisbane. We are all Australians and if we do it together, we can win. If some think they are more privileged, then they need to study up on the subject. You see the virus unlike a lot of humans is not racist, culturally intolerant or sexist. It doesn’t discriminate unlike people that think they are privileged.

We can all get sick, and no, it is not like a flu, and it won’t be happy with only the old. Keeping calm and positive, acting with kindness and supporting one another is how we win this medical war and give its sidekick general, economic disaster, a hell of a fight. Our behaviour dictates the outcome. I have made many mistakes in my life, but this isn’t going to be another one. Instead, I am following dictates that benefit the collective, and writing this blog, working on my series, keeping in touch with wonderful people, and all of this is helping to keep me calm, and positive.


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I’ve been asked why I decided on poetry rather than writing the next novel in my series. This is a good question and a hard one to answer. In some ways it appeared to be an avoidance technique. It was. In some ways it appeared to be an easy win. It was. Poetry is shorter and easier to complete, and more it is recognised as personal, a place where almost anything goes.

However, the further I got into the process, the further I realised it was cathartic and I needed that. Writers tend to be insecure people despite actions that would seem the total opposite. To be a better writer, time must be spent on the craft. In fact, the learning never stops because writers understand that complacency is a fierce enemy. It’s a lot like cooking. Perfecting a couple of dishes is easy, keeping up the good cooking, harder. It is the complacency factor once again, or I believe the expression is resting on one’s laurels. Continuing to try new things, experimenting, is the key to turning cooking into art.



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My mother was a good cook. It is easy to take things for granted; my immediate family certainly did. We learned this when we visited family in Italy. My mother was not an idle person so naturally she helped, especially in the kitchen. Suddenly uncles and cousins were pushing spouses out of the kitchen. Why? Because, her time in Australia had given my mother an edge. Her added bits and pieces to dishes took those same dishes into a world enticingly different and comfortably familiar. Not everyone is good at this, and I have known people to distort a dish into the unrecognisable.

Wanting to be like my mother with my writing has been and continues to be a goal. The poetry helps enormously. I am learning to manipulate language, to hopefully say more with less, and to find ways to expand my creativity, and it is hard, believe me.


I have previously spoken about haibun. Consisting of a short prose accompanied by a tanka or haiku, it makes its point with precision. The tanka or haiku, sometimes both, don’t conclude, or in any way explain the story. Rather they are designed to highlight the essence, the emotion behind the words. For me this medium has been a blessing. I can take things I have observed and create a story that is brief but no less demanding, and then challenge myself further by condensing my thoughts into the poetic format.

Most Japanese poetry/prose do not have a title. Mine does because it is part of a set, past and present. Embryonic rips Part 2 will appear in May.  I hope you enjoy my slant on relationships.

Emotions in Ex cover

Embryonic rips  (From Emotions in Existence)

Part 1

“I promise, not much longer.”

“Oh God, here it comes again. I can’t do this.”

“Yes, you can. Breathe. In. Out. Good girl.”

Go with the pain. Don’t fight, don’t cry. I had done this before and had prayed it would be easier this time. My body though let me down, again. Delivering babies was not my forte. My blue-eyed angel squeezed my hand.

Births like mine attracted medical students – slow dilation and the infernal drip to speed things up until, well, things sped up. The experience was too much for the over-worked and over-tired; they left after the first five hours, my husband tagging along. Fuck him! Blue eyes were so much nicer. I didn’t question why he stayed. I didn’t care. With him I could do this. But with my all-knowing husband, I mean the man kept telling me the pain wasn’t that bad, let’s not go there. Ah love, blind and stupid. Don’t look at the clock. Why is there one in here? More hours of riding the ripping brutality nature decreed as natural and then…

“It’s a girl.”

I smiled, enjoying the moment. Reality would come soon enough but for now the little bundle he’d put in my arms bound us in wonder and joy, and I liked it.

butterfly kisses

in a garden of flowers

oozing pretty words –

once a year with grateful joy

Happy Mother’s Day



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See you in May for Part 2, stay safe



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