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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Night in the Guesthouse

last of the portulaca

Cooler days and a hint of rain. Now the garden can start to recover from the heat and dryness of summer with new growth for the evergreens and colour change for the deciduous. Our local garden centre sold off apple trees for a song recently, so I gladly bought two. They’ll be a surprise when they eventually fruit as we have no idea what varieties they are (the reason for the ‘fire sale’). In spite of possums, birds and unpredictable seasons, I love growing our own food. It hasn’t paid off this year except in the joy of the attempt. I’m still hoping the tomatoes will produce fruit before the weather gets too cold.

Another joy I experienced recently was the launch of the poetry anthology Women’s Work, including one of mine. This is an attractively produced volume, compiled by Libby Hathorn and Rachael Bailey, celebrating various arenas of women’s activities, with insight, humour, compassion, energy, and imagination in a diversity of styles.  Find out more here: Women’s Work.

You may recall I visited Cambodia earlier in the year. Here is a poem I wrote while there.

Night in the Guesthouse
Straight lines of light in the darkened room
remind me of the strokes of a dislocated Chinese character.
Where do they come from –
vertical streaks on the walls,
angled shafts on the ceiling?
Their ordered randomness in this unfamiliar space
disturbs me.
I prowl the room for understanding,
touching the luminous lines
as if the walls could reveal the physics of light
and dissolve the uneasiness of being a foreigner.

See you next time!
Claire Belberg

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