Ants in the apartment

Part 1

HE used to be alone
Until, one day
We came along.

We are here
When he wakes up
We are here
When he goes to bed.

Always busy
We’re never still
We crawl efficiently
Across the apartment floor.

In search of food
Our life’s reason
We go this way
We go that way

We have no beginning
We have no end
We are everywhere
We are diffuse.

He’s bored of us
He wants us to go
But we’re quite happy
With our new home.

Part 2

ONE part borax
Three parts sugar
They won’t know the difference
When I lay my deathly trap.

I’m tired of the floor moving
Morning and night
I want them to go
I wish they would leave.

Is it right to stop
Things that move
Of their own accord
Just because they’re infinitesimally small?

It’s raining again
It’s always raining
I want the rain to stop.
Oh how I wish the rain would stop.

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Letter to self

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Life courses for us all, rather predictably
And yet we believe we’re all different.
How are we so?
How are we different?

You love to travel.
He loves to make money.
She loves to write words.
They love to try new dishes.

And yet these are just flourishes of the same.
In the headlong rush for connections
We forget those who miss theirs
At train stations and life stations.

And so you say ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’
What of it?
So you slept rough one night.
The following evening I saw you at Bodega!

No matter how much we strain
To identify with the Other
It makes no difference to them
If we feel better for having done so.

Ice Skating

Macquarie Skating Rink, North Ryde

A swarm of heads and torsos
Glide from limb to graceful limb
Across the icy playground
No particular place to be.

With every revolution
There’s joy in repetition
A holiday from life’s worries
A world away from care.

The mastery of balance
The pleasure of movement finds
Pure expression on the skating rink
Be ye young or old or grey.

What’s carefree is taken to be
The most natural thing there ever was
But consider this, ice skating
Is an ingenious technology:

No inclines to contend with
Nor dangerous downhill speeds
Ice won’t melt into big puddles and
The bears won’t chase you ‘way.

Artificially frozen ice
Perfectly level on the run
Receives the skater’s streamlined blade
Without quarrel or complaint.

Though you may have heard otherwise,
Of our little planet Earth
Just ask a skater and they’ll tell you
‘The world’s flat not round it’s true!’

Reach for your dreams 

Window display. Brays Books, Balmain

To be paid a compliment is nice.
To be paid in coin is even nicer.
Because while a kind word affirms
How much your art pleases others,
Money confirms how much your talent is valued.

But it’s not for the love of money that you make art.
However, wouldn’t it be marvellous
To be rewarded for doing what you love
Rather than trying to love
What others have planned for you?

Keep reaching for your dreams though. 
You never know…
One of these days you might be a success.
And even if you’re not,
At least you can say ‘I did my best!’

Muriel

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Yesterday I read the paper.
I rarely read the paper.
I do not watch television.
I read that ‘these days every man and his dog has a blog.’
That made me feel mildly depressed.
I do not know why.

I put the paper down and looked at the dog sitting next to me.
Does that dog really have a blog?
Was the newspaper being literal?
I hope not.
I would feel disappointed if the dog sitting next to me had a blog.
What would the dog blog about?

If a dog could really blog, I would probably give away blogging.
What would take its place?
Maybe I would try and have a relationship with someone.
Is that why I blog then?
Because I am not in a relationship?
Anyhow, just because I blog does not make me a blogger.

I am nothing in particular.
I mean, I am not what I do.
I just do things.
I am Muriel.
Well, I am not really Muriel.
My name is Muriel.

I am a human.
I am unique.
I am unique, genetically.
I do not really know what that means.
I think what I am trying to say is that there is only one person in the world who looks exactly like me – Me.

If my face fell into a puddle I would not look like me anymore.
Which would make me cry.
I would probably hide behind a door and make strange noises.
Or, I would live in a turret and peep down onto the street.
Or, I would walk alone in the company of shadows and nocturnal creatures.
Or, I would eat lots of ice cream and reminisce about the days of Muriel.