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


Sunset with a chance of shark and robot.

Jack was there – looking out at the waves a bit- scraping dampish sand with shells through his toes.  There was a cool breeze coming up from the darkening sea out there, and his mother and older sisters probably wanted him home.  His mum had not come down, so she might have dinner ready when he got there.  Feeling a bit thirsty anyway, he got up, picked up his things and started walking. Down to the shore first where the waves had been, and along the interface between the great continent to the west and the pacific to the east. The sky stars were starting to come out now, there was a guy some distance off to his left just standing in the water, looking outward and a woman sitting on the sand off to his right, just watching the guy for some reason.  ‘Bit strange’ he thought, the woman fidgeting with her hands and with her cell phone for some reason. He kept on walking. Pulled out his small transistor radio brushed off the sand, and turned it on.  It was the ABC702 channel and there was cricket commentary..

“He’s an idiot, a bloody idiot” – she said.

“He’s just standing out there in the water, waiting for a shark.”

Jack stopped, and turned back to see the woman gesticulating frantically with the cell phone to her ear.

“I dunno, I dunno”,.. “I came down here to the beach to stop him,. but he is just standing out there.  Waiting for something.” 

The cell phone cut out, probably out of battery thought Jack.  We walked back to the woman and looked up at her. “Look” said Jack, “I heard you talking, about the guy out there.  Why did he go out ? Why wait for a shark ?”. “Because it meant something to him”.  “He figured that he would be safe, a kind of quantum safeness as he explained it. Some probability that the shark if anything would not be hungry.”. “Stupid guy”.

The sky started lightening with a bit of a red glow, the radio started making a stupid noise, like he had bumped the tuner wheel a bit, – he tried re-tuning it – no good though – just more and more static and stuff and now the trannie started glowing red like the sand behind it. he looked up and was blinded by a massive bright thing and wham before he could think something massive and fast just whammed straight into the sea – a burning smell and ozone – and mate – look at that wall of water  – it was between the beach and the horizon and before he knew it, it was all over him – knocked him and the woman off his feet and pushed him up the beach and kept going. Jack held on fast to the transistor but lost hold of the other things he had.

He tumbled a bit but not too bad – some scrapes… and then the water went back down into the deep and left him there all covered in mud and seaweed. In the meantime there was just black cold dirty rain coming down on him and the whole stars blacked out and a smoky salty electric smell in the air.

Jack got up then, time to go, had to walk, clear his head..  He went down then to the sea, black sea, wanted to wash off the mud, still.. got into the turbulent water, walked out and rinsed off his muddy body and got the sand and mud out of his hair.  The sea, not the same, muddy and dark.  It wasn’t working out.  Had to go back home then.  He got out out of the water then.  He walked back up to the beach to pick up the radio, tried to turn it on, it was already on, but not working, too much water in it perhaps.. he thought. 

He walked along the beach then, determined now to get home.   As he stumbled along he saw the woman and the man, together again, the man lying down, with his head in his hands, and the woman holding onto him, like something she would never again let go of.  By the shore he tripped over something metalic stuck in the sand.  He went back to find out what it was.  There in the sand in the half light was an arm.  It looked like an arm, with a hand on the end of it.  No ordinary hand he thought.  He brushed off the sand from the arm, it was cold and metallic.  Looked a bit like armour like a knights shining armour. But just the arm actually.  Where was the rest of it.   He bent down and worked the sand off the arm and gradually exposed the whole thing, or at least what was left of it.  There in the sand was an arm, but it had been broken off, and instead of bone sticking out, there were wires all twisted up with seaweed and sand. It shone in the face of the streetlights up on the promenade. The arm of a robot then.

Sharks teeth on a Rose Stem

A glass tube, lying on velvet, near the bed of years, with the thorny green stem, straight bent at the nodes, with glistening drops of water along, and cascades of light straight bent through the glass, and then the drops spectral splashes of color on the velvet near the bed of years. Out of the tube, or should I say poked into the end, with a ribbon red bow, the stem extendes straight bent into green, and on the end of the velvet near the bed of years, a flower of rose red. Red like the sunset crashing through the venetian blinds, and onto the bed of years with sheets of white and pillows long and cream delight.  The sun, it curls down fast of the fathomless blue ocean outside but its light of red stream coming through space and the convexity of the earth, stretched through the blind in flat strips and through the hot air in the room with the velvet near the bed of years. The rose petals reach out one by one into the room with its fragrant sounds of breathing and silence quiet. The petals reach out curling toward the spinning ceiling fan, moving air through the bands of sunset light from the ocean outside. And the fan, rotating the fragrant rosy smell through the air above the bed of years, near velvet that the tube is lying on.  The glass tube of bendy light and spectral colors glistening around the bent nodal stem green with sharp thorns.  The sunset gives meaning to the venetian give meaning to the room with the fan above the bed of years with the velvet and the sea outside with its wavy waves of ocean deep and fathomless with sea urchins and rosy coral sharp.

Sharks bring danger to the scene beyond the room with the rose, the scene in the watery world below the sky of crimson sunset.  But the roses meaning and fragrance was love, with the glass tube carefully managing the danger of the thorns and sharks teeth below the sill.

As she awoke quietly on the bed of years, he crept quietly to the waters edge, he near where the shark with the teeth was encased in the blue sea water.  His angst was great, since the choice was his, to walk in with the shark, or go back to the room with the rose.  The smell of the sea was strong in the breeze above the shark above the seabed of years.  His angst was deep since he knew that he was on the edge of danger, but could not fear the shark unless he took a step or two into the glistening rosy sunset water around.  Still he knew it was there.  What chance did he have to survive the fear of the shark and its teeth down deep in the rosy red water of the sunset.  They are sharp they are, the teeth of the shark, but it might not be so hungry, so perhaps he would be fine.

She rose from the bed in the room of roses, and the stem in the glass glistened with light, the light of the sunset falling, curving toward the earth refracted like a lens over the water, and into the room in slits through the blind.  The quiet room with safe fragrant smell of rose, and where the only sharp thorny things were protected by the glass ribboned tube on velvet. There she was, looking through the window at the man, who moments back had been with her bed.  There he was, walking slowly into the darkening water, like he had made a decision a probably decision to enter a new world beyond. She caught her breath in a gasp, since it looked like he was approaching a point where all meaning of the rose would collapse in agony.

He looked down at his feet, having walked a foot or two into the lapping waves, and the sandy bottom it seemed, was rushing to and fro among his feet there.  Stepping further out, waves would come and blast past him, telling him of the impending deepening rythm of the ocean beyond. Still, after a wave had past, and lifted him up off the ocean floor like a starfish. He felt a kind of worry, wheneve he could no longer touch the bottom, like perhaps now he was in the power of the water, no longer in charge of his own meaning, but at the whim of the ocean currents.  His choice had been a calculated one.  He decided to trust his judgement that the shark, if it was out there, would not be hungry – not on any rational reason – but just figured today was not the day the shark would be hungry and that therefore, all things being equal he would be safe from harm and the teeth of the shark.

Prior , that morning – He had thought of the sharks teeth, they were triangular – the waiter at the restaurant had one around his neck – on a black string… funny — who was at pains to tell him of how lucky that tooth made him – they were sitting out in the sun on the street tables in front of the cafe ‘indigo blue’ down in front of the ocean itself – it was only this morning in fact.  He had been thinking that life was a lottery anyway – and had recently read of a shark attack – why had he suddenly thought that that was the perfect way to choose to end it all.  Leaving only scraps of swimming costume behind and hopefully nothing else – no trace of himself – just the legend he felt he was.  His dear friend Sally was there now, having coffee with him.  Would it be the last time – he wondered ?