Hay Fever Muses

Hay Fever Muses

For all those who know who you are!

Achoo! Achoo!

It’s a sneeze for me and a sneeze for you.

Achoo! Achoo!

No, it isn’t COVID too!

Hay fever, hay fever.

With a sneeze and a wheeze

And a drippy nose

As red as a rose!

Itchy! Itchy!

Eyes and nose and the

Scratching goes all over!

It’s Spring! It’s Spring!

The blossoms bloom

The birds will sing.

And hay fever.

We love our Spring

But our ears do ring

Our eyes then run

When we’re having fun

Achooooo!

Simon C.J. Falk       13 September 2020

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Check out some good stories – between sneezes – on those tagged #WATWB

Late Allusions Among Frost and Others

This post is an apology to those who have written splendid comments, thoughtful phrases and lovely sentiments on my blog posts in recent weeks. So sorry to have not replied sooner!

I am very grateful to you all and hope that I have replied to each one. Life has been rather full of late and I was not able to give them the attention they deserve.

Speaking of late, there have been some fabulous poems written that include the theme “late” or something similar. Thanks to poemhunter.com for the excerpts and links.

Here is a excerpt from one of Robert Frost‘s – A Late Walk

I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

Full poem here. Frost is often remembered for A Road Not Taken and Birches. But A Late Walk is splendid too, as is the poem!

Here is a fun one from Rebecca Ryan – I Am Always Late For School

I am always late for school;
The reason why is obvious.
I am always in the pool,
So much, it is obnoxious.

When I don’t get there on time,
The teachers there get mad.
But if I could read and rhyme,
Surely they’d be glad.

The late and great Carl Sandburg wrote some as Poems Done On A Late Night Car. This one is powerful.
NB: it may trigger painful thoughts and feelings for some.

II. USED UP

Lines based on certain regrets that come with rumination
upon the painted faces of women on
North Clark Street, Chicago

Roses,
Red roses,
Crushed
In the rain and wind
Like mouths of women
Beaten by the fists of
Men using them.
O little roses
And broken leaves
And petal wisps:
You that so flung your crimson
To the sun
Only yesterday.

Mary Havran writes of Late Of Love

Love came late
Not shouting
Not leaping
Not looking to move mountains
Only tapping softly on my shoulder
As I tapped away
at my keyboard

Love came late
But bringing with it all
Love ever had to offer
Asking only
For my open heart.

There is much to dwell on “late”. Perhaps it could even be a writing prompt?

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Blood is Thicker Than Water in Thin Places

Blood is Thicker Than Water in Thin Places

For Hans and Dolores

Blood is thicker than water

So they say

Where the blood of lineage

Seeps through

To cells of

Absent

Distant kin

From the same lands

Of the ancestors.

Where the very ground cries

Out to unify.

In what the Celts might

Call thin places

Transcending time

And place

And life

And death

To union.

Our genes

Lead a way

No rational rendering

May dare to say.

So

As a German chef

Is blended in me

As an Irish voice

Finds my familiar ear

Tears flow

At the loss of either.

A parting is felt

As thin places

Pierce

And pierced we are

In the poignancy.

Simon C.J. Falk  1 September 2020

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#WATWB August 2020 – Hope In End of Life Care

If I, or a loved one, were dying from Corona virus, aka, COVID 19, I’d like someone such as Dr Kate Gregorevic on the palliative care team.

Picture: ABC Life accessed 30 August 2020 9.43pm

Before going further, I say that as part of the latest series of #WATWB We Are The World Blogfest Posts. The co-hosts for this month are:

Lizbeth Hartz , Roshan RadhakrishnanShilpa GargPeter Nena and Sylvia Stein. Please hop on over to their pages and any others with the #WATWB that you care to read.

ABC Life, from ABC News Australia, featured Dr Gregorevic recently. She works in palliative care here in Australia. You can read the fuller story. But here are some samples.

Looking after patients at the end of their life can be incredibly rewarding especially being able to bear witness to the joy and love they have created in their life as their family hold vigil to mark their last days.

Dr Gregorevic describes some of her experience.

My work constantly reminds me that life is fragile, precious and finite, and to appreciate all the small, beautiful moments that make a life. Part of what makes the challenges of work manageable is knowing I provided the best care I could at such an important time.

She has a sense of the mutual benefit between the families and her team.

The families I speak to show the most incredible empathy and generosity, expressing sympathy for the work I am doing, saying thank you for the work I am doing. And I cannot express how much this helps me through these days.

It is good to know that medical staff like Dr Gregorevic and her team are helping treat people with COVID-19. Clearly they see the person. They also see the patient’s loved ones. That makes all the difference.

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#WATWB July 2020 Late Edition – Letters from the Lecturer

Well the first bit of good news is that the We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB is back again for another month and has been running for years.  As life changes for some of us it can be a slog, at times, to keep up the momentum. There are months where we struggle to find enough co-hosts.  If you have been with us a while, and may be able to help, contact one of our co-hosts.

Speaking of co-hosts, this month our valiant leaders are:

Eric Lahti – https://ericlahti.wordpress.com

Susan Scott – http://www.gardenofedenblog.com/

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal – http://inderpreetuppal.com/

Shilpa Garg – https://shilpaagarg.com/

Peter Nena – https://drkillpatient01.wordpress.com/

 

Please hop on over to their pages and others on the #WATWB.

Now for a late edition of some other good news.

 

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Dr Murad Jehangir Yusuf Tayebjee.  Image from ABC Life, accessed 2 August 2020.

As the coronavirus aka COVID-19 hit, many schools, universities and other educational centres rapidly moved to a more online presence in all manner of operations. This can be very socially isolating for students and staff so…

Dr Murad Jehangir Yusuf Tayebjee wrote letters to his students. We pick up the report from ABC News Australia in its ‘Life’ team.

Dear students,

As I submit your final grades for this term, I wanted to take a moment to write you a note.

Maybe you made it to university after studying hard in year 12. Maybe this is part of a career change for you, or a return to study after having kids.

Whatever your story — and there are as many stories as there are of you — you certainly didn’t expect to undertake your 2020 undergraduate year in the middle of a global pandemic.

We didn’t expect it either.

He moved on to outline some of the things they may be doing, like getting their hands dirty and building small-scale solar powered cars.

Tayebjee even told them that they inspired him by staying with the course. What an encouraging teacher from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia). You can read more of the story yourselves.

Lock-downs have been really tough for people. This fellow, who admitted that he too, “had to adapt fast”, adapted well. He not only engineered his courses, but innovated the communication needed in order to reach his students.

Those who follow this blog know that I love poetry and also try to share a poem with the story.

Poet, Michael Ryan, writes of letters in an institution. Just like lecturers use their imagination to reach students, so too do poets, like Ryan, explore the world of the imagination. An excerpt is below.  Full text at Poetry Foundation.

Letters from an Institution

The ward beds float like ghost ships
in the darkness, the nightlight
above my bed I pretend is a lighthouse
with a little man inside who wears
a sailor cap and tells good old stories
of the sea. The little man is me.

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Into Denial

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Into Denial

 

Denial

No, it’s not

It didn’t

Happen

You were here

Now

Denial 

you are not 

not denial

You were robust

Always strong

Our light

Joking

Denial

With you we were

Safe and then

Fading

Denial

You seemed

Distant

Denial

I’m not here now

And you’re not there

Not

There

Not…..

A memory left of you

But we remember

Always

Always, we remember.

 

Simon C.J. Falk     28 July 2020

 

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#WATWB June 2020 Work for Refugees

It’s that time again already.  The We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB has more stories for you.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are Sylvia McGrath, Susan Scott,  Shilpa Garg, Damyanti Biswas, and Belinda Witzenhausen

I nearly lost the story I was going to post. But I found it again thanks to SBS Australia journalist Jennifer Scherer.  It’s about refugee Bill Ngo who fled conflict and came to Australia. In time he began a business. Sadly, his business is dwindling due to losses in these COVID-19 days. But Bill is undaunted and plans to get going again.  Scherer tells his story on audio (put the sound on!).

The other part of this news is that there is good reason to believe small businesses like this are probably near us too. We can find out where they are and support them.

In a similar vein, back in January 2020, SBS News Australia also told a story of a Sri Lankan Restaurant ‘Colombo Social’ giving refugees and asylum seekers their first jobs. Or, you can check out their Facebook page.

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Shaun Christie-David. Image: SBS News Australia, 10 January 2020

“Sydney restaurant Colombo Social hires refugees and asylum seekers helping to kickstart their careers in Australia, and it’s run by two friends who met in high school, ”  says SBS News Australia.

What a great pair of stories in these days where we long to create greater harmony between the peoples of our earth and ensure the underprivileged find a home and a way to share their gifts.

And, for a poem…. by Miroslava Odalovis called ‘Silent Refugees’

What are we left with
When years and health are gone
When tents fall down under the roofs
When the shelters no longer shelter

When winters close down frozen and fireless
When summers burn crying for some ice
When springs forget to grow
And autumns die within a leaf

more at PoemHunter.com.

 

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Featured Poet: W H Auden

downloadImage from poets.org .

As those who have long suffered this blog may be aware, this is primarily about poetry.  I have been remiss in featuring other poets for some time. But, as I led a funeral yesterday, a poem was read. No, not the predictable Emily Dickinson, but W. H. Auden (1907-73). The poem was his well known “Stop the Clocks”.  You can hear it read in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, here on this youtube clip.

Poets.org tell of Auden’s life as born in York (UK), where his family later moved to Birmingham and Oxford. He was influenced by other poets and had a private collection published in 1928. Well travelled, who also showed interest in protestant theology, play-writing, editing and essay writing. More of his biography can be read at poets.org.

Here is an excerpt from another of his works, As I Walked Out One Evening

‘O look, look in the mirror,
   O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
   Although you cannot bless.

‘O stand, stand at the window
   As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
   With your crooked heart.’

It was late, late in the evening,
   The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
   And the deep river ran on.

More at poets.org.

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Night scene of the Lima River, Ponte de Lima, Portugal.  Taken while walking the Portuguese Camino in 2018.

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More #WATWB posts coming your way soon

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#WATWB May 2020 and Kind20

Sometimes, as we surf the net and scroll the feeds, we absorb cyber-toxins at a rate of knots.  There are days that humiliation, personal attacks, and cynicism are just too much.

So, to counter such a trend, just over three years ago, Belinda Witzenhausen and Damyanti Biswas called together a group of bloggers.  From it came the We Are The World Blogfest or #WATWB.

We’re still here!  This is the latest installment.  We are grateful to the co-hosts. This month they are …..

Susan Scott , Lizbeth Hartz, Shilpa Garg, Mary Giese , and Damyanti Biswas.

At #WATWB we tend to give politics and religion a wide birth.  Not to undermine their function or some of the good they can bring about. No, more to try and get to the heart of kindness in the course of life that can exist in simple human interactions.

The post I share this time may have arisen from a convergence of religious groups. But it is about kindness that goes beyond any of their own statues or rituals.

What I’m talking about is Kind2020.  You can visit their website or Facebook page.

Basically they are suggesting we all do what is in the photo below (From their Facebook page)

If you looked up their “about us” you may find

Express and Inspire

Working to Unite Humanity Through Kindness.

#KIND20 is a global movement for social empathy and worldwide kindness. It is borne of the Coronavirus world crisis and has been created as a unifying platform to turn despair and insecurity into positivity and hope.

We invite citizens of our world to take a video expressing “What Kindness Means to You?” and share on their social media nominating at least 3 others to do the same.

If one person passes it onto just 3 others, and they in turn pass it onto 3 more eventually creating a continuum, where our world will be full of messages of kindness, hope and positivity. These could also include a positive expression or acts of kindness experienced, seen or a personal commitment of change.

By the year-end, we are confident there will be more cases of kindness, than cases of COVID19.

Please do post your stories of kindness too!


Why not check out other #WATWB posts too!

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Zoom Crashed Opera: A Video Cacophony

 

 

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Zoom Crashed Opera: A Video Cacophony

 

Zoom

Though the schedule

I’ve been meaning to raise

Acrobat

Up your nostrils

I have audio issues

I can see

They went over

A vacuum goes vvvrrrooooommmm

To Microsoft Teams

Towel clad partner does

The walk of wife by

FaceTime

WhatsApp dude!

End Meeting!

Webex! Webex! Webex!

How about the skype

Share

Goto meeting!

Can you share screen?

What do you mean?

Cuckoo!

Cuckoo!

Cuckoo!

La… la… la… laaaaaa

End meeting for all

Click.

 

Simon C.J. Falk 7 May 2020

An attack on your ears about this poem can be heard here.

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