Vale Rose

We had a beautiful friend Rose, who left us today. She was dry and thoughtful, a Pinot Noir, Australian vintage.

Her life lived full and joyfully like wine

now the last translucent drop faded

 a rose on her sheet on her hospital bed, gently placed

We will remember her life

with her happiness

her sadness





Vale Rose Hayden, Jan 2016



Brittle Cold Metal Spire

The photograph crackled when i looked at it the second time. The first glance was fine.  I had printed a heap of them, only to find this one of a tree with a blank grey Northern sky of late winter. I’m sure the photo was fine, but then a great metal crack appeared zooming through it. Like it couldn’t restrain itself. It just had to be. Life is so like that at times, everything seems fine and then an irreversible crackle sounds suddenly and you struggle to mend the cold enormity of it and maybe even pretend it is not there.  But it is, real and larger than the tree you so carefully cultivated for years.  You see that evident sometimes, divorced people tear their brittle life photo memories apart, or fold then in half and keep their ex facing the hardboard of the picture frame, while they cheerfully look out into the room from a scene from way back. Perhaps the folding types want to keep the ex there, just in case – perhaps they can mend the whole thing somehow.  Hope to mend the love that was, now lost in an instant.

Still the crack itself is not a gap, it’s a thing dividing the brittleness of the scene.  I went back there, to the park with the tree in it.  And yes, i felt i had to go an touch the metal of the tear in the air, spiking up like lightning in reverse.  It was cold and heavy with condensation to touch and I felt no calm with its seemingly infinite jagged height. Made of hardened stainless steel and welded together, it’s permanency in the face of future storms looked assured. The rent in the photo had turned into a real thing.  A spire of substance, permanence and worth.

Still there is hope and a faith in mending. Love is something which can be rebuilt and mended. There is still time to take another photo of the tree. Just the tree this time, steady in focus with my back leaning on the cold of the spire. And so the new photo shall not crack.

Tear the Air

A visit from Mr Leonard

Tersiiska Key


A knock startled him from the drowsy afternoon, and he pushed himself up from his armchair to open the door.

‘Hello ?’ he said to the stranger just outside.

‘The name’s Leonard.   I’m looking for a Mr Guido.

‘Well, come in.  Take a seat.. over there..Mr Len,  by the window.’  Said Guido.

Leonard picked his way through an untidy room carefully and sat down.

‘Like a glass of water then Len ?’

‘No thanks Guido, I won’t be too long I suspect.

Guido, now wide awake and a bit worried took a seat back in his armchair across from Mr Leonard.

Guido, let me introduce myself, said Leonard.  I’m a monk and actually from another time, far back in the past. 6th century France that’s me. Don’t be alarmed though anything is possible to God who gets me around anytime and anywhere depending to help out.   I’m here now though responding to a significant amount of prayers which had been said on your behalf over the past few years.

Guido responded simply, ‘That’ll be since the war broke out then. I’ve been stuck in this far flung sun burnt country since that time and spent the whole time as a POW, incarcerated here.

‘Well I presume you’d like you’re freedom back wouldn’t you.’ said St. Leonard. [he was in fact St. Leonard] who brought out a large key from one of his coat pockets. ‘Here’ he said, handing over the key to Guido. ‘Just hang onto that for now.’

I don’t know if I really want to leave anymore.  you see it’s ironic in a way.  When war broke out, we were all rounded up in trucks by the military police and sent to these vineyards here to work the land and the vines and keep the economy rolling along. At the same time, the local boys were all conscripted sent off to the way, leaving their crops, dogs and women all behind.  While working I met up with Sally a local woman whose husband was sent overseas to fight and she’d needed people to help run the place and keep things ticking over. Well since I stayed, we got to be close, her husband didn’t make it back and so now we’re as good as married I guess.’ said Guido.

‘Oh I see.’ It seems you would be happy to stay, but still the wristband.’ said St. Leonard.  How restrictive is it ?’

‘Well I can go anywhere I like within about 1 km.’ said Guido. It’s on a fail-safe, so if it comes off and stops transmitting, the cops will come running.  I’ve been quite lucky really and feel quite protected, even though how long this war will go on for we don’t know.’ said Guido.

Guido got up from his armchair and walked over to the window. Something seemed a little odd.  He looked down at the spare chair and noticed it was empty and the person he’d been talking with, this Mr Leonard was nowhere to be seen.  He looked at the key in his hand, the key given him by Mr Leonard.  It had a small cross on the end where the key should be.  He put the key down on the chair and looked out of the window.  The sun was setting over the nearby hills.  Perhaps he’d mention it to Sally, about Mr Leonard and the key to his freedom.


Key Photo : Tersiiska : Flickr – Used with permission 2014

Had to see a man about a dog.

Stand all alone, bare beach

Cold hands warm waves sandy feet

Bag of oysters – sharp as rocks – good to eat

but the love, of his life, out of reach

Should she ever coming back forgive the heat of the conversation when they meet last time ?

He really wasn’t sure of that and feeling quite level headed decided that actually there may never be another conversation.  He turned around and stepped southward along the shore walking along the water margin and whistled to his dog to catch up.  At least Oscar would stick with him he hoped.  The stars were coming out and he stopped and looked into the sky.  There was constancy there in the dark with the celestial sphere up there.  Gradually rotating inexorably at the same speed day in day out.

‘Oscar! – he shouted over the sound of the waves.

A bark and the dog was up to him already standing back and waiting for him to throw something.  He picked up a bit of driftwood and through it into the waves. The dog bounded in after it and after some few moments came bounding out of the water, flicking salt slake all over the place and then giving  a good shake after dropping the wet stick at his feet.

“ok you old joker — Oscar, I suppose you’ll miss her as well – eventually.  What if the whole world slowed down and the days got longer and the stars moved slower, he asked ?  Would the moon care Oscar ? Just because the days get longer, doesn’t mean the year would. Still take the same number of heatbeats….. all totally wasted no doubt.  Would she notice ?”

The dog barked – still waiting for him to pick up the stick.

He picked up the stick and started drawing in the sand.  First a heart, then some initials then – the dog sniffed and barked again.  They both sat down and got out the bag of oysters.

Shucks the oysters

wags the dog

moonlight glistens

stars are gone

warm waves sandy feet

suck the oysters – aftertaste – feel the beat

but the love, of his life, out of reach