Tag Archives: love

Light #poetry #lovestory #marriage #home


It spreads.
Inching it’s way across my smile. Across the lines around my mouth and the old tightness in my jaw. Curling into the moment of skin where my ears touch my face. Tickling its way up into my hair, ghost fingers of joy. Undeniable.
It spreads.
Whenever I look at you. Whenever you look at me.
It spreads.
In time. In space. In this.
It spreads.




Prompt – ‘freewrite friday”

Conjoin #oldflame #poetry #thedirtythirtychallenge




Dear Him.


How many years now?


How many years have we folded into the secrets that time is made of?


My secrets.


A bibliography of dreams untouched by truth. We seeded something though, you and I. In dark corners and deep dreams. In silliness and fire skin. In spiky grass and houses made of dust. In teenage legs and adult eyes. In too many truths and not enough sighs.


In windows that were too dirty to see through. I always stood looking out. Hands on hips. Words on lips.


And saw/


I made you into a troubadour. A perfect warrior poet. All muscles and skin and letting me – only me – in.




We seeded something, you and I. A poppy seed dream. An unlined seam. A sparkle in a stream. My feet cracked the banks and I looked down to see/



/I was losing me.


I don’t remember the last time.


The last time that I loved you.


But I remember the first.


Its skeletal remains a wind chime in my memory

Bones that scream and sing in the wind

Tones that make beauty taste like maybe

Love taste like I didn’t know how perfect I could be

Yesterday taste like salad without dressing

Today taste like tomorrow taught me how to roar


I stopped loving you. Because I started loving me.


Because that little seed of spinach made me taste a different song. A song that leads me on. And on. And on. And on.


It’s a song that tastes like grateful. A song with your son’s eyes. A song with my laugh.


How many years now?


How many more?


To find the peace I came for?


From Her.



Another Dirty Thirty poetry prompt:

Day Twenty One

Write a love letter to an old flame.
The catch? To make sure it doesn’t sink to a sea of sappiness, try to use 1 or more of the following word/phrases in the poem:
poppy seed, bibliography, troubadour, skeletal, spinach, conjoin

A (romantic) love poem + LARP #thedirtythirty #nationalpoetrymonth

For Nic


The Song My Bathtub Sang For Me:


Your fingertips fold time

Seep into skin dreams

Weep open salt seams

An echo –


Caught, mid sentence

Knuckles bruised on memory

I capture you. You capture me.

We breathe


Black rope, raw hope.

The curve of a mouth

Second chance offered

A risk –


We are blended and bended

In years unraveled

Shared paths traveled

I chose.


You. I chose you.

Because –


Your fingertips fold time.




Today’s poem again inspired by ‘The Dirty Thirty Challenge’ daily prompt. Today’s prompt was a romantic love poem ending the poem with the same line you start with.


Bonus poem + mind chatter scribble inspired by the LARPing* event I took my 13year old to today:

LARP poem

The event was one of the fortnightly sessions run by the Southern Wilds LARP, an Adelaide based group. They have a come and try day coming up on Sunday 17th April if you are curious (it’s free). Details on their facebook group here.

I’m thinking I will join in too in future (though I can’t make the come and try day due to Manifold Portrait visit 3rd Sunday of every month).

*Live Action Role Play

Marry Me #writeme30


Much love/ too much/ too many/ they say/ but maybe/ not enough/ rough the edges of your jealously/ with maybes//


The Photo:

Threesome photo Seb                                          Photo supplied by Seb Robertson



The Response:



My love and I were legally married a year ago. Because we are heterosexual, a man and a woman, we were allowed to have our union legally recognized in Australia.


Because I was born with girl bits and my love was born with boy bits, through no design on our parts.


We talked about not getting married, as a kind of boycott in our way.


But reflecting on the limited influence we have, we felt that the people we were most likely to influence to think kindly of marriage equality were more likely to become defensive about their position (and therefore hold onto it tighter) in response to any boycott on our part and that perhaps instead our wedding could be a moment to share both our commitment to each other and our views and hopefully influence those in our circle against marriage equality with compassion instead.


We opened our ceremony with this:


Marriage has meant lots of different things to different people, places and times.


Historically speaking, there have been as many ways to wed as there are people and societies. Depending on the culture and era, marriage could be between two or more people, might or might not include living together or children, might be between strangers where the family arranges everything, and might well be acknowledged as legal without a vow being said. It might only be valid when dowry or bride-price is paid or be invalidated if monetary consideration is given, it might require consent of every living parent and an entire community to witness or it might require nothing more than a quiet promise said when utterly alone together. The crucial point was the will of those involved to be married and their commitment to stay that way.


For Alysha and Nic their wedding is an opportunity to bring together the people they love – the people who make up their community – all of you, to publicly acknowledge and celebrate their commitment to each other AND their thanks to all of you for being part of the community that helps keep the cogs turning in their lives.


Alysha and Nic would also like to acknowledge the significant social symbolism and recognition of marriage with the following passage:


“Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support.


Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.


It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a “civil right.” Without the right to choose to marry one is excluded from the full range of human experience.”


Today is an opportunity for Nic and Alysha to publicly share the private vows and commitment they have made and to formalize those vows through legal and social recognition – to remind themselves and their community of loved ones how important connection, commitment and care is in our daily lives.


I’d like to invite all of you as Alysha and Nic’s loved ones to give your blessing to this formal union. Do you as the community which supports and loves this couple offer your blessing and support now and in the future?


GUESTS: We do.


We also had this note within our wedding invitation:


*Note – Nic and Alysha fully support and believe in marriage equality under Australian (secular) law and while we feel that boycotting a legal marriage ceremony ourselves would have no impact whatsoever on changing the law, we hope that through celebrating our story and community, you might consider being part of recognizing this important legal change through your future vote.



Maybe our stance, our gentle (not entirely subtle point) had no impact whatsoever and we were just able to benefit from fitting the current laws expectations. But I hope something of it stayed with people. Sank in, just a little.


What does this have to do with Seb’s photo? Nothing and everything. But two things specifically.


One of the common arguments I hear against marriage equality is the ‘slippery slope’ one – this is the ‘if we let gay couples marry each other then * gasp * poly couple or incestuous couples or pedophiles or someone might want to get married’ argument.


There are lots of great breakdowns of why this argument is ridiculous and I won’t rehash them here except to say legally only adult humans can consent to a legally binding contract (marriage) so any comments about pedophilia or bestiality are just plain stupid.


As to the rest, well quite frankly why does where other people put their bits have anything at all to do with you (or anyone else)? If it isn’t harming anyone involved or anyone outside the relationship then actually who cares if it does lead to poly marriages or incest marriages?


I’ve seen no conclusive evidence that poly marriages are harmful to children or families within them (the opposite comes through in most research I’ve read) and in regards to incest, it’s icky because we’re been taught it’s icky because if everyone fucked close relatives that messes with the gene pool and heightens the risk of disabled/unhealthy children (so we’ve all taught one another that it’s icky to avoid that shit). That’s a tricky one because that does have a health impact that others foot the bill for (taxes – public healthcare) but if we follow that logic, anyone with dodgy genes that could result in a sick/disabled child also shouldn’t be able to get married, right?


My point being, I’m not going to do any sexy things with anyone I’m blood related to personally but why is it a problem if someone else does? – again with the proviso that BOTH are consenting adults at the commencement of the relationship?


Whose business is it?


And I don’t buy that’s it because everyone is bothered because of the potential power imbalance or emotional safety that they have a problem with it – BECAUSE if you were, you’d all be making a bigger stink about domestic violence (which is at you know EPIDEMIC proportions).


People need to get out of other people’s bedrooms.


The other thing this has to do with Seb’s photo. Suicide rates are significantly higher among LQBTIQ young people. I’d hazard a pretty strong guess that one of the reasons for that is that we still live in a world, that while more tolerant of diverse sexuality than a generation ago, we still live in a world that at almost every turn diminishes and silences and turns away people of diverse sexuality. Marriage is just a symbol, but it’s a very powerful one, one that is imbedded in our social conscious, in our TV shows and movies and books. And so as a symbol, by remaining only open to heterosexual couples, it’s a symbol that says loud and clear ‘your love means less and is less. You are not welcome here’.


And I’m not okay with that. I’m not okay with that at all.


PS – Look at the expression on Seb’s face! Sex is a natural part of life, something we should be able to laugh at and enjoy – not something that should trap and diminish people because some people disagree with how they do it….


This is probably a post where I’m trying to make too many points and simplifying complex thoughts into only a few words. But hey, so be it.


The Contributor:


Seb Robertson. Founder of Batyr – Giving a voice to the elephant in the room. @BatyrAus Social Entrepreneur. Interested in economics, sustainability and renewable energy.


That’s what his twitter profile says anyway.


In my experience Seb is an entirely charming fellow, clean cut, talking and walking the ‘right’ way but still entirely approachable and brimming with compassion. He’s basically too awesome to ever be jealous of. Seb and I met as Australian delegates attending the Commonwealth Youth Forum in 2011, where I was entirely happy to be one of his minions for much of the event because I trusted the vision he was trying to articulate. He’s one to watch ladies and gents.


He was also a 2013 Cleo Bachelor of the Year Nominee, which I hope he never lives down.


When he sent me this photo, he captioned it with “Good luck with this one!!!”







Photo of a Photo #writeme30 #depression #family


Concealed in folded edges is someone I used to be/ grainy with waiting, with wondering/ I am drawn by light// #tinytwitterpoem


The Photo:

IMG_1470                                         Photo supplied by Celia Boyd

“I wasn’t sure what to send you, this is a photo that I just keep coming back to and always makes me feel all the feelings when I see it. It’s not one that my family has framed or anything, its always just been kept in a drawer in their house and not put on display, but for some reason I kept thinking of it when you told us about your project.”


The Response:


I have loved ones who are hurting.


Everyone does.


I have loved ones who are hurting themselves.


Too many people do.


When you love someone who is hurting themselves, it’s hard to look at them. To be with them. To see them.


Someone very, very dear to me is hurting.

Has been hurting for a long time.

Is hurting themselves.

Is hurting me.

When I sit with them and talk, I want to run away, retreat, leave, shout at them to ‘SHUT UP’. It takes all the patience in me, all the patience I don’t have to be there with them. To sit with them. To see them.


I found a stray photo of them in amongst old photo albums early last year. Real, physical photo albums with real, physical photographs printed on glossy paper. A novelty. The photo is of a younger them, smiling cheekily into the camera with two dimples prominent on either cheek. I looked at that photo for a really long time.


And then I cried.


For a really long time.


I cried for all the distance and time separating that tiny human in the photo from the angry, grown-up, hurting human I know now. I cried for me, and all the ways I don’t really have the energy to keep watching them hurt themselves. I cried for both of us, for all the lost things, the forgotten things, the promised things.


And I cried because no matter how hard it is to watch someone you love hurt themselves, it’s harder and hurts more to not have them anymore. I cried with the fierce joy of having them still here when we’ve lost so many others.


I cried. And cried. And cried.


And cried.


And then I placed that photograph gently back into my photo album.


They are no longer a dimpled child.


They are an angry hurting adult.


I can’t untangle the past that’s brought us here. I don’t even know where to start.


But I can sit.


I can listen.


I can see.


I can swallow my impatience and fill my skin with the radiance of loving them enough to wait.


I can be myself. Just that.



The Contributor:


Celia Boyd, another of the YSP tribe, mother of many ideas, creator of deep change. Celia is currently living in Cambodia building new opportunities for Cambodia women through her enterprise SHE Investments.


SHE Investments is a social investment business that focuses on women entrepreneurs in Cambodia by providing business training, capital and mentoring.


Living in an extrovert inclined world means that amazing people like Celia, who are more introverted in their approach, don’t always appreciate how truly amazing and inspiring they are.

We think you’re a rockstar Celia. Sending big love to Cambodia!


What is #writeme30?




Ruin Filler #writeme30


The Contributor:

This week’s #writeme30 photo is from Milly Hoffmann. It’s an old photo of her being held by her Mumma Bear Jeannie. Two glorious women. Full of deeper things.

I think the first time I met Milly in person her first sentence contained the word fuck at least twice. She’d just arrived for the first day of the first Creative Development of PressureLands. She’s been a precious lass ever since.

We like her a lot.


The Photo:

Milly Hoffmann Photo


The Response – Ruin Filler:

*All characters/events  etc are fictional


My mother was 26 when I was born.

Her hair was long and straight.

My father was 31.

His hair was short and cropped close to his head.

I was born in the centenary year.

My hair was short and dark and stuck straight up in the air.


This year I am the same age my mother was when I was born.


I spend time in hospitals.

Hours of time.

Great, deep chunks of time.

Of my life.

Hours spent.

Cutting bits out.

Putting other bits in.

I am sick.

Have been sick.

Will always be sick.


I met him on one of those brilliant blustery ridiculous days. When the wind whips your hair and the ground dust into your mouth and into your eyes. We’d been waiting in line for a hot dog at the Field Days. He tried to put mustard on his, the opening was glued shut with old hard mustard so it squirted out unevenly, unexpectedly. All over me. I burst into tears. It was the first Field Days I’d attended in three years. I was wearing a new and beautiful dress my mother had made for me. Day ruined. He was horrified. Stumbling over his words to apologise to me. And I felt bad for him. I did. Really. But I also kind of didn’t really care. This was meant to be a day for me. To forget the awfulness. The darkness. To see people and be seen. Healthy. Alive. Present.


His guilt covered me in kindness. He shouted me a helicopter ride, above the square lines of this place. He bought me fairy floss and a scarf to cover the mustard stain. He told me about his brothers and parents and the farm he grew up on. And I told him things. Words spilling out into the dust and the sugar. The fear. The doubts. The rooms that smell like toilet cleaner and loneliness. The friendships that don’t last because words on paper don’t taste the same as hugs. And a day was lived. One day. A day that tangled my tears and his guilt into laughter that lasted nearly seven years.

Seven years of hospital rooms. Seven years of being sick, being well and growing into out skin. Seven years of dust and good food. Seven years of mingled families and learning to be friends with our fears. Seven years of bliss.


Until this.

Seven years that can’t undo how sick, sick is.

Seven years that have no answer to an empty uterus for a man with hungry arms.


It’s been coming. For a little while. A little while longer than I’ve wanted to share with myself. The space appearing between our hands. The smiles that feel too crisp. Too clean. Too far away to touch. But even seeing it. I’m still caught by surprise. Still rattled by the quiet closing of the car door leaving us behind.

My phone is full of numbers now. Full of friendships full. Friendships I could call, but I don’t. I call her. My mother. My beautiful, strong, glorious mother. She answers. Nothing comes out of me. She knows.

Says “I’ll be there soon. Open the curtains and let the light in”. I hang up the phone and wait. Perched nervously on the front step like it’s my first day of school.


And then, then she’s there.

Her arms are strong against my back. Wrapped tightly around the cage of my body. Her arms are strong. My sobs are stronger. We rock together. She and I. Chaotic and heavy with doubt. We rock together. She and I. This is all there is. This love. This mothers love.

This mothers love.



* I will be a few weeks short of photos so if you would like to submit a photo for me to respond to, you would be very welcome to. Email it to me at: pressurelandsATmeDOTcom


Seashell Dreams #writeme30


The Photo Contributor:

Joey Kennedy. Actor. Artist.

And now proud mama.

I met Joey when she was co-facilitating a program run by Riverland Youth Theatre about youth entrepreneurship for young artists – Joey’s been in a couple of films you might have heard of (Shine and Red Dog) but the film featuring her you should most see is ‘Dance Me To My Song’. We’ve maintained a casual connection through facebook, as so many of us do, and I particularly love seeing Joey’s ‘Mimism’ statuses sharing the funny and adorable things her new little person says and does.

Joey sent this very special and personal photo of her little person for #writeme30 with the following (which I wanted to include here because it’s so precious):

“Sleeping Beauty, Jemimah Rose. Love this co-sleeping/family bed photo of our milk-drunk cherub. Sam took it quietly in the darkness, whilst Mim & I slept peacefully, dreaming contentedly, Mother & Child. Yep, she has this Mama Pyjamas wrapped firmly around her little finger as she holds me & I hold her. She still shares my bed, sleeping cradled in my arms & heart… Circles end where they begin, Alysha. Truly blessed. xxxx

“Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.” – John Donne “


The Photo:

Photo Credit: Sam Rochester

Photo supplied by Joey Kennedy


The #writeme30 Response – Seashell Dreams:


Softly now.

Into suckled hands.

Wet shoulders, warm with love.

Ear shells curled into startled waiting.

Fingers gripped accidently onto hair rocked free.

And these two arms held suspended by love made flesh and hope.


Stretched by hunger.

Gripped by fear laced words,

On the edges of warning labels that sing.

Cheeks upturned, towards lights that dim and twist.

Fluttered eyes that wait in dreams overfull with shape and colour.

Legs bent straight by hopes unspoken before we whisper them quietly.


Sighed into life.

Delivered into skin’s echo,

Love’s fragile shadow held, gently.

Rocked by woolen comforts made warm,

By skin slept in and woken again and again and again.

These nights we lean into. Stitching futures into the dark. Together.



* I will be a few weeks short of photos so if you would like to submit a photo for me to respond to, you would be very welcome to. Email it to me at: pressurelandsATmeDOTcom

** #writeme30 posts are published ‘as is’ (rough!) without any editing or curating as the project is about exploring my responses to the photographs supplied. Some posts may plant the seeds for future writing projects but they are not written with that in mind.




Moving #writeme30

This week’s #writeme30 photo has been supplied by the beautiful and super talented Lynden Nicholls. Lynden was our movement teacher every Wednesday during 1st year Acting at the Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts back in 2006.

I loved movement class – I’d easily say it was my favourite class that year – and Lynden was a fabulous teacher who really suited my learning style. And I love that through the power of facebook we’ve stayed connected and I get to see little updates from Lynden popping up in my newsfeed every now and again.

I have really bittersweet feelings about my year at BAPA,

I loved it.

I loved the classes, the community and the learnings I was having but I was also personally (and with family) going through a really difficult time, which led to me leaving at the end of first year. I continue to feel that my performance studies are an unfinished business – and yet leaving led me to some amazing opportunities and experiences in the Riverland (not to mention meeting the beautiful man who is now my husband) so I certainly don’t regret leaving, but it was difficult and I do feel like I lost a fantastic learning opportunity and community by not completing my studies.

*bittersweet *still trying to articulate what it means to me *sigh

With all of those connections and memories these are the words that spring to mind when looking at the photo Lynden sent me for this week’s post:

  • Ripples
  • Movement
  • Life
  • Moving on
  • Transparent
  • Vulnerable
  • Skin
  • Flowing
  • Earth
  • Connection
  • River
  • Home
  • Hope
  • Promise

The Photo:

pink layers photo from Lynden Nicholls                              Photo supplied by Lynden Nicholls

The Response – Moving:

These ripples behind eyes,

the sting.

The shift.


weighted skin,

waiting dreams,

The hall is too large for the small group that waits there fidgeting. Some familiar. Some new. The walls catch our words and bounce them into smallness as we greet the familiar. The new shift self-consciously on the edges of our smaller group within a group. Jessica, our facilitator arrives in a wave of sound and energy, pulling us into the comfort of a workshop circle. We play a name game. We laugh at ourselves. We twist our bodies into shapes. And then.

A new exercise. A movement moment. Find a space by yourself. Feel the music. Respond. Don’t censor. If you find yourself in close proximity to another person, allow yourself to be changed by them. Move with your whole self.

Jessica dims the lights.

Fingers, dig in. Deep into this skin I wait in. My head bowed. Breaths shallow, but ready. Ready. I’ve always been ready. The sound opens beneath my feet. Welcomes my limbs to unfold. My feet to spring into empty space. Tied to a beat I cannot hear. A fear I cannot reveal.

Bodies move beside me. Around me. In the darkness between our beating hearts. We are lost. We are found.

The lights blast on again. The music ends. Chests heave. A woman’s voice speaks. Jessica. I do not hear her. I hear only the sound of the hairs on my arms reaching towards HIM.

The group comes together again into that safe circle. Still huffing. Not unfit, but so terribly, deeply, painfully open. None of us can look at each other. We are too open. Instead we focus our energy onto the floor, in the centre of the circle and fill it with our fears. Jessica’s voice is subdued. She feels our energy and how fragile it is.

“I’ll see you all next week. You’re all beautiful. Be kind to yourself.”

We all exit out into the cold night air. The other bodies drift off. To their own spaces. Homes lit ready for them.

HE lingers.

We stand awkwardly by the bumper of my car, words tumbling easily into each other’s hands. Our bodies are awkward. Our words are perfect. We skin history. We skim the future. Weave possibilities unknowingly. Lose hours. Eventually fallen silent in the face of what we find.

HIS fingertip brushes my arm as he turns away to head home. Deliberate, but gently.

My arm stings all the way home.

I lay in bed.


Floating. Stinging. Moving.


*This particular piece is entirely fictional though it was inspired by some real life experiences. *cough* Nic Tubb…

** I will be a few weeks short of photos so if you would like to submit a photo for me to respond to, you would be very welcome to. Email it to me at: pressurelandsATmeDOTcome

** Note – #writeme30 posts are published ‘as is’ without any editing or curating as the project is about exploring my responses to the photographs supplied. Some posts may plant the seeds for future writing projects but each post itself should be considered a raw and unfinished piece.






Rage of the Heart #writeme30


Earlier this week I attended the launch of a very special book about my little friend Kaitie.

The photo for this week’s #writeme30 post has been supplied by Kaitie’s mum Kimberlee Francis, one of my very dear friends and shows Kaitie and Kim during one of their many hospital visits.

Kaitie is only 9 but has endured more than 30 operations as a result of the rare genetic disorder she was born with. She was born with Mucopolysaccharidoses Type 1, one of a group of incurable diseases known as MPS, which can cause intellectual impairment, eye and hearing problems, bone and joint malformation and heart and breathing difficulties. You can read more about MPS on the MPS Australia website here. And more about the launch of Kaitie the Courageous here, plus listen to Kim’s moving speech as part of the launch:

This week’s #writeme30 post:

The Photo:

Kaitie and Kim                                            Photo supplied by Kim Francis

The Response – Rage of the Heart:


I will hold you.

With my hands shaking.

Eyes raking white walls.

Lips straining cold sheets.

Palms caught in held time.

Fingertips glimpsed and softened.



I will hold you.

In these new hours. Fresh and quiet.

The edge of falling again.

Your fingers will curl in mine.

I will squeeze back.

My heart will hang itself on the back of the door.

And beg my dreams to tangle into your sleeping hair.

I will find myself there.

The echo. The possibility.

The singing sigh of a tomorrow me.


I will hold you.

With smiles staining my tears.

With tears biting my smiles.


I will hold you.

Today. Tonight. Tomorrow.

I will hold you.



And here’s Amaya modeling Kaitie the Courageous at the launch:

Amaya with Courageous book

You can purchase a copy of Kaitie the Courageous via the MPS Society by emailing info@mpssociety.org.au or head to their website here. You can also read more about Kaitie’s journey here.

PS – If you happen to be getting married anywhere in South Australia. Kim also happens to be an ace marriage celebrant (she married us earlier this year in March on the stage of the Chaffey Theatre) – go ahead and like her facebook page here.



Homecoming. #writeme30


So…I’m a little late getting this week’s #writeme30 post together…


Saturday just past (the 19th April), I brought a new human into the world. Our daughter Amaya was born beautiful and healthy a week before her due date. We are both fine, but very tired so taking it easy over the next little while.


Mummy with Amaya

Hence, the lateness with this post…. 🙂

This week’s #writeme30 post is inspired by a photo supplied by Mr Matt Shilling, a friend from Youth Parliament*. Matt and I met in 2010 when we were placed in the same team as participants. Matt and I have very different political and religious views and this difference (underpinned by respect) is something I really value. If I wanted to just hear people agree with me all the time, I could just talk to the mirror!

Matt didn’t give any particular insight into this photo, just that he thought of me and my request for a photo when he was taking it.

The Photo:

Matt Shilling Photo copy                               Photo supplied by Matt Shilling.

The Response – Homecoming**:

Just until this song ends. We’ll sit right here. You and I. With our hands and eyes entwined. All you have to do is lean in.

His eyes flick to the side. Around the corner of her head. Listing. Reaching for the next question. The moment beyond this discomfort. He deliberately doesn’t respond to what she’s actually asking. Instead responding only to the literal. The actual. The direct. The intention behind her eyes is discarded in favour of his safety.

This has been their pattern. Their dance. Together. Apart. Together. Apart.

Lean into me. Into this. Into love. Into home.



It hit him coming round the curve in the old mail road, his hands soft on the wheel. Sharp and deep. Unexpected. The forgotten ache of home. Too long. Too long between drinks. Lucan pulled the car into the gravel shoulder. Left the ignition running and stepped out into the gentling darkness. Sucking in the smell of it. The smell of home. Of long lost things. Buried things. Growing things. Past things. Half remembered things. It hurt to be home. It was good to be home.

The house was dark. The key under the mat where it had always been and he let himself into the back door. The familiar kitchen opening under his feet. Nothing had changed. Except that everything had. The floor was cold. The air still and empty. The walls waiting. Every surface pregnant with loss.

Every surface trailed beneath his fingers felt too close, too real, too cold. Too close to knowing. And finally, that last empty room, with its large empty bed.

Sunlight smacked him into life the following morning. The edges of the old couch digging into his ribs and hips. His eyes stiff with the night before. The night’s darkness left behind for the day’s. Lucan didn’t bother with a suit. This wasn’t a town that needed suits. He pulled on jeans and a button shirt. Didn’t notice the soft wrinkles left behind by lack of care. He pulled a comb through his hair. Made himself ready in every other way he could.

The office was cool and smelt of cleaning products. Too similar to a hospital for Lucan’s liking. The woman behind the desk smiled at him with that soft I’m sorry kind of smile. He didn’t smile back. The smile held too long. Became awkward.

“Is there anything else?”

She blinked, startled.

“No. Just. You just need to sign here,” she said, sliding a sheaf of papers across the cheap wooden desk. He flicked through them all, slowly. Knowing it made her nervous. Not caring. Finally, pulling a pen from the cup on the desk and signing beside each marked x.


“Done.” She agreed, “I’m sorry for your loss.” The awkwardly held smile again.

“I know.” And he left the way he’d come. Back out into the fresh clean air.



*Youth Parliament is a fantastic youth leadership/development program for under 25’s building public speaking and debating skills alongside an understanding of the parliamentary process. Youth Parliament programs run in most states. I spent three years with the SA program, the first year as a participant and then two years as part of the organizing taskforce. It wasn’t something I thought would really be my thing and I only really went the first year because I had the opportunity to go for free, but discovered that I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it, More info about the SA program here.


**I’m keen to spend more time experimenting with prose fiction. This post is obviously the beginning of an idea rather than a fully realised narrative.


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