Day 19: At the Midden

In the week before Christmas I leave the shopping malls behind and go instead to a lonely clifftop track where ancient shells lie sun bleached on an old Aboriginal midden. Wandering along the sandy trails I hear young men hollering to each other. Walking closer to the cliffs I see they have scrambled down and are exploring the rock pools that have been exposed by the retreating tide.

I leave them to it and walk on to the midden. Not wanting to disturb the fragile remains I skirt around them and sit on a rock at the edge. It is a hot day and the light is bright. The boys have quietened down and the bush around me slumbers in the early afternoon heat. Sitting there I have a sense that people have interacted with the place for thousands of years. The scattered shells are evidence of meals eaten long ago when human life went at a slower pace – a time when people moved in harmony with the world around them. 
The frantic buzz of the consumer fest of Christmas fades from my mind and I enter a trance-like state where time is measured in breaths rather than purchases. It seems to me that I can hear a faint refrain – the gentle voice of women who had once sat here tending cooking fires while young boys clambered around the rocks collecting shell fish for a meal. 

Held in warmth, 
the past and present merging,
-heart of Gaia

This beautiful haibun comes from Suzanne Miller. She is an artist and writer living in south eastern Australia, and I find her work so evocative of the Australian landscape. She has an Honours Degree in Visual Art and a Masters in Creative Writing. These days she writes for her own pleasure and for the joy of sharing her work with others. You can read more of Suzanne’s work at her blog:


I just feel that we should be planting something,
pressing our fingers deep into the dark earth.
What, though? I can’t think of it –
I just feel that we should be planting something –
hopes – dreams – fairy lights?
I don’t know. Memories of sunshine?
I just feel that we should be planting something,
pressing our fingers deep into the dark earth.

I’m planning to spend December playing with triolets. This is for earthweal – a triolet of hoping and waiting.

Day 5: Our Spired Unicorn

Our Spired Unicorn

is a place of worship.
A moveable feast beast.

Offer it fruits and flowers
at harvest, Easter and Christmas.

Baptise bairns, get married,
celebrate the dead in its presence.

Pray before its hooves and flanks,
comb its hair, feed it oats.

Don’t try to ride it, or steal its horn.
It is sacred and full of light.

Go where it goes, a disciple.
Some may say you believe in a myth.

Your faith keeps it alive. You
know it as a companion, a friend.

Though it has a life of its own
is nothing but itself.

behind our eyes we are all
mythical beasts to others

Bio: Paul Brookes is a shop asst. His chapbooks include The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017),  She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Please Take Change (, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming: “Our Ghost’s Holiday” He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Recently had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb.

I’m so happy to have Paul here. He is so generous to other poets, offering space on his blog and his in-depth interviews. Definitely worth investing in a stocking-filler here!



Christmas Eve

Out here
in the cold

and the dark

I can see the glow
from the lighted windows
of neighbours’ houses

and up on the hill
the golden lights
from the edge
of the village

and my own kitchen
spilling warmth
and Christmas scents

Lillian is hosting at dVerse tonight, and she’s looking for quadrilles including the word “glow”. We’re sliding gently towards Christmas, and the dVerse winterlude. Check out those poems while you can.