This week

By Vita Forest

This week I have been

WRITING

READING

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • the synopsis of my novel aloud to my children and watching them squirm (Eww! Nude life drawing! Eww!)

SKETCHING at Union Square at Pyrmont after getting rather lost.  Lovely to catch up with some sketching pals!

EATING blood orange gelato from Gelato Gondola (so good! Possibly my new favourite) after

WALKING with Max

SNORKELLING at Shelly Beach with Max and Briony – stingrays and many many fish.

WATCHING the whole of the final season of The Bridge on SBS On Demand…  Let’s just say OMG!

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Shelly Beach

By Vita Forest

Lying on the surface

While striped fish streak through my fingers

And white rays shimmy down into the sand

And kelp wrings forwards and back on the tide

Hiding and revealing the groper

And its widening and shrinking jaw

Leaning on the wooden rail

While heavy clouds squat on the horizon

And the sky loses itself in the sea

And the procession of paddlers follow the leader

Tracing a curve around the shoreline

And swerve to avoid the snorkelers engrossed in the sights below.

This week

By Vita Forest

A wet day in scenic downtown Sydney


This week I have been

WRITING

READING

  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (til very late one night I might add)
  • The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

 

ATTENDING the announcement of some local literary awards.  I didn’t win but was long-listed for the Memoir prize and short-listed for the Poetry prize.  Max’s reaction – “Mum!  Next time write a better poem!”

HAVING a Thai dinner with Sui-Sui

MAKING Halloween costumes at school out of paper and cardboard for a mini-STEAM project

FAREWELLING Minna as she goes off on maternity leave (my great teaching buddy and dance teaching partner).  How will we manage without you?!

SKETCHING at the MCA in Sydney (see Swimming with the yawkyawk) and

The aforementioned yawkyawk


GETTING rather wet in the rain

CELEBRATING my Dad’s birthday

Jacarandas at Circular Quay near the MCA


 

Everyday more geckos

By Vita Forest

For the last two weeks

A strange phenomena

A gang of geckos in my classroom.

They march up the walls

Keeping watch over the rubbish bin.

They peer at the whiteboard

Their sticky toes hugging the frame.

Some particularly curious ones watch me work at my computer

They must tell their friends –

Everyday more geckos.

And on the back wall by a Boy table and under the Indigenous language map

An army has appeared

Everyday more geckos

One clings to the clock and listens to its tock

They crawl up the windows

Every size, every colour, every pattern

When will it end?

Everyday more geckos.

We need that girl

By Vita Forest


While carrying a bag of cat litter through the supermarket

I was startled when three pigeons swooped up

the Jams and Spreads Aisle

Over the Fruit and Veg

And across to the Frozen Food section.

 

Three birds!

In this underground supermarket!

Taking off and flying over the shelves in formation

As if migrating together over rows of tall buildings

All the same height.

 

And I thought

How did they get in?

And I thought

How will they get out?

 

And I thought

We need that girl from school

That wide-eyed uncertain girl

peering sideways, talking hesitantly

But she certainly knew what to do

That time on playground duty when a group of breathless girls

Ran to report

A mynah bird in the classroom!

It couldn’t get out!

 

I advised opening blinds and windows

And carefully herding it toward freedom.

But this girl, this uncertain girl

Marched into the classroom

Swooped down on the anxious mynah

Cradled it in her hands

Walked determinedly outside

And released it.

“Wow!” I thought

(“She has chickens,” I was told.)

 

But today

we need that girl again.

In the underground supermarket

Can someone make the announcement on the loudspeaker please?

She is needed in Aisle 12

Near the Frozen Fruit.

 

 

Drowned World

By Vita Forest

In our own worlds

Looking at the hidden worlds in the water 

In the pools left by the sea.

Balancing, bending, picking, choosing, rubbing rocks through finger tips

Standing in a field of shells

Speckling sand

Shards of glass rubbed smooth by the sea

The helmet of a crab 

The tail of a lobster

Beads of seaweed 

Chunks of golden sponge

Hefted lightly in my hand.

Pockets percussive with clattering collections

Watching monumental molluscs move

Millimetre by millimetre

Twisting paths over black boulders 

Water winking in the indents of rocks

Reflecting the sky, the clouds, the light, the face peering down to the flash of opalescence deep down amongst the dark 


A row of molluscs huddled in a crevice

Warrigal greens sprawling over black stones 

Balls of raindrops rolling on the leaves of nasturtiums 

Looking back at the rearing hill with its indents of cow hoofs and the chatter of hidden birds


Through eyes, through camera lenses, through words shouted into the wind and the muttered impressions in my mind

Saving them, holding them til I reach pen and paper, like a handful of sea-smooth stones.

New and Old

By Vita Forest

 

The old ones arrive

dragging feet and

bags full of books and

clothes and shoes and

heavy hearts and

guilt for the heaviness

which makes them lean

even further

into themselves.

 

Up the new stairs

to the new room

the worst room

the room left over when

the other ones were taken

by the new ones

new and shiny

and pretty

and docile

and compliant.

Everything the old are not.

 

You will do this, he says

hands them a broom, a brush, a spade

always some job to fill in the time

while he lies back in his chair in the sun

scratching the dog

under her chin.

 

The new, the pretty watch

offer to help

No, he thunders

Do you know how much I pay?

How much they cost?

They will work.

The new stare

while the old slog away

and wish away the time

and wish they were not wishing it away.