The river of life


I started out swimming in a shallow pool,
Before I got the courage to venture further downstream.
There were times when I was swept along
By a strong current with deep water underneath
And banks rushing by.
Parts of the river flowed more slowly
And there was time to idle
And enjoy the drooping willows
And rolling green paddocks.
Other times the river was shallow and rocky
And there were plenty of scrapes and knocks to avoid.
Along the river were numerous landmarks;
New paths venturing down to the water’s edge;
An occasional town lingering along the banks;
Roads that allowed others to hurry across the river
Without sharing its journey;
New streams that joined the river
And sometimes added greater depth.
At times the river’s path diverged
And required a choice in which direction to take.
Some of these new paths ended in a billabong or swamp
And some effort was required to get back to the flow of the river.
Mostly, the river twisted and turned
As it sought the best way to go.
The scenery changed as it rolled along,
Never content to remain in one place.
At the end of its journey
The river flowed into the sea and became a memory.

The princess

Cinderella is waiting for a train,
She’s given up on finding love again,
Tired of pina coladas in the rain,
And men who say they’ve never felt her pain,
She says she’s going to start her life again.
Whatever happened to the princess?
Can’t find a prince to rescue you,
Whatever happened to the princess?
Will she ever say ‘I do’?
Rapunzel’s sitting in her tower alone,
Hoping someone calls her on the phone,
She knows she’ll never get a lover’s stone,
It’s been so long since she even brought one home,
The years go by and still she’s on her own.

Whatever happened to the princess?
Can’t find a prince to rescue you,
Whatever happened to the princess?
Will she ever say ‘I do’?

When Ariel swam under the sea,
She always dreamt of who she’d turn out to be,
Living a life where dreams come true for free,
But dreams give way to cruel reality,
It seems like they were never meant to be.

Whatever happened to the princess?
Can’t find a prince to rescue you,
Whatever happened to the princess?
Will she ever say ‘I do’?

The next chapter

I have a hole in my soul.
It used to be filled by someone special,
But they no longer exist.
I sometimes wonder if they ever existed,
Or was it just my mind playing tricks on me?
Wishful thinking, or a clever deceit –
Living out the paradox
That if love last forever
Then how can it wither away and die?
Or the terrible reality
That maybe it wasn’t love after all.

I was once married, but now I’m not.
I have been unmarried now for three years,
(can’t bring myself to use that other, ugly word).
Or do I count the year before that spent in limbo?
Or the time before that when I was married
But there was only one who felt that way?
It starts to become a bit blurry,

I have two wonderful children
That are the centre of my universe.
Life feels most normal when the kids are here.
We do things together like families should.
Fun things, mundane things,
Happy, sad, cranky things.
All part of day to day life.
Then there are the times when they are not here.
Sometimes it makes me feel like two people.

The morning after

With smoke haze
Hanging in the air,
The sun reluctantly
Rises with bloodshot
Eyes and surveys
The wreckage strewn
Across the landscape,
As empty beer bottles
Lay haphazardly
With lipstick smudged
Wine glasses where they
Had finally come to
Rest after dancing
Together all night,
While the radio plays
Softly in the corner,
Gently soothing
Pounding skulls,
As an effervescent
Berocca fizzes in a
Glass on the sink,
Promising to make
Up for the scene
Last night and the
Hasty words that lie
Discarded among the
Dirty dishes.

The key

It was only a mile from
One end of town to the other.
The railway line ran around
The north end of town
And I walked coming back
From my girlfriend’s house.
We were always outsiders,
But we had each other
And it didn’t matter if
The nights were cold and frosty
As long as we could talk
And walk for hours or sit
By the creek holding hands.
I couldn’t wait to get out
Of town and knew I was going
To be somebody one day.
Sometimes I’d go for long rides
Out of town, past the saleyards,
The wheat silos, the old convent,
To the top of Demondrille Hill
And back just to feel the wind
And the freedom of the road.
I hadn’t yet found my music
Or my songs or the key but
I knew they were out there.

The girl from my dream

I woke in the morning
To find the girl from my dream
Is lying in my arms,
Long eyelashes softly caressing
Her cheeks and beautiful
Auburn hair spread out on
The pillow like the wings
Of a fallen angel.
I keep still so she doesn’t
Wake as my eyes are captivated
By her beauty and my heart
Swells with tenderness.
The sunlight creeps through the
Curtains and leaves a golden
Kiss on her cheeks as her
Eyes suddenly open and
I hold my breath as she
Looks deep into my soul,
Neither daring to be the first
To move and break the spell
Before our lips meet and I am
Back in my dream with
The girl who holds my heart.

The first step


Remember when you were a little kid?
Standing on the edge of the pool,
Not game to take that first step
Because the water looked so cold,
And so deep, and so far down
That you thought you might never rise to the surface again?
As your Mum encouragingly called you to leap into her arms,
Everything would be alright,
If you would only take that first step
And plunge over the edge.
How you shivered
As you timidly edge a couple of toes forward
Too wee what the water feels like,
When suddenly some big kid rushes past
And jumps in the pool and splashes you with icy droplets.
Maybe tomorrow you should try,
You might be feeling braver then
And perhaps the water will be warmer and more encouraging.
And then some coaxing,
A promise of a redskin
Or a ten cent bag of lollies sounds mighty tempting.
Okay, that is too hard to pass up, so here goes.
A deep breath,
And step over the edge into the water
To come up gasping and laughing
Because that was so much fun.
You climb out and do it over and over.
Nothing will ever be that hard again,
If you just take the first step.

The colours of a woman

Her mind is alive and her heart is singing,
She follows her dreams when they call,
She likes to wear blue in the evening,
When she’s calm like Saints Peter or Paul.

Her eyes are bright and her mind is free,
She’s a blonde with near perfect feeling,
She paints her lips red, just for me,
When she’s passionate and revealing.

Her shoes are purple and she dances like light,
She glimmers in her dress as she walks,
She’s mysterious in the dark of the night,
As serendipity guides our talks.

Her eyes are blue and she is well read,
She burns like a flame and tastes my desire,
She is sensitive and uses her head,
But loves to take me with fire.

Her footsteps leave a trail of star dust,
She is grown up and uses her charms,
She is loyal and gives me her trust,
When she’s lying here in my arms.

Her magic clouds my eyes with mist,
Her lips melt my mouth like chocolate,
I’ll never forget the first time we kissed,
On my heart she painted her portrait.

Her skin is porcelain, her laugh is perfect,
She wears mysterious colours so vibrant,
She’ll never stop her passions unchecked,
When she’s full of life and excitement.

Her dream’s of paradise, a heart gently pounding,
She sings with a voice like honey,
Covered with lace, her beauty astounding,
Her songs sometimes sweet and husky.

Her journey taught lessons, life brought her here,
Moving to wonderful places on her own,
She’s climbed mountains but still has a fear,
At the thought of being alone.

The cold hard truth

When you’re faced with the cold hard facts
And nothing can change with the way you act
You can hide your face and turn out the light
You still won’t find it when you’re out there tonight

When the freedom you seek is over the rise
And nothing changes the look in your eyes
Nothing good ever comes with the news
The only way out is to face your blues

The art of crying


When I was a little girl,
I cried myself to sleep at night
To chase away the monsters
That hid in the shadows
Of my room as I hugged my
Pillow tight until I was
Safely asleep.
I was told that big girls don’t cry,
Told to dry my tears,
Don’t be such a baby,
It was time I grew up
And stopped crying all the time.
So eventually I did grow up,
I stopped playing with my dolls,
I stopped making daisy chains,
I stopped hiding my face when
Strangers talked to me and
I stopped being afraid
Of the monsters in the dark,
But somehow I forgot to stop crying
Those tears of joy
And tears of grief,
Those tears in the morning and
Tears late at night,
Tears when I watch a sad movie
And tears when he made me laugh,
Tears when I received a special gift
And threw my arms around him
As we came together
And he whispered in my ear
And kissed me tenderly,
Tears when we had a fight
That left me feeling wretched
With nothing but burning
Tears of jealousy,
Tears when he left me and
I missed him so much my heart ached,
Tears when the phone didn’t ring,
Tears that waited for me at
The letterbox in the afternoon,
Tears when he came back
To tell me it was finally over,
And tears as I tuck my little girl
In bed at night and tell her
That it is okay,
Big girls do cry!