Daylight phantom

There stands an old gum tree, it’s immense;
Next to land, ringed by a solid fence.
Embedded in the trunk very deep,
Black metal cashbox, safely to keep.

Behind a bench, a slight figure forms,
Drawn face, cold grey eyes begin to warm.
‘The grip, scrumpox, burns, warts, sores, or chills?
I’ve tonics, lotions, pills for all ills!’

‘Cure’s on hand for aches, pains, blisters, gout.
Best int’all land,’ voice raises to shout.
‘Tinctures, potions, ointments, aplenty.
Discount to you when buying twenty.’

On emaciated frame hangs down,
A tattered and faded teal plaid gown.
‘Hark my words, come on over’, she sings.
Meanwhile, an unseen bell faintly rings.

A visual echo of eons ago
Of wise woman’s travelling, healing show.
Demise foretold at birth by a seer,
Jealous fakes will spake lies about here.

She’ll die unwed, two score years and ten.
Deed to be done by ignorant men,
Committed to burn without a trial.
People to watch come many a mile.

The solemn gloom filled day came to pass.
Remains interred below the scorched grass.
Mage’s cashbox lay in restless sleep.
‘Til life from death, a tree grew to keep.

Townsfolk give the woman, widest berth.
‘No place for phantoms on this green earth!’
Together, moon, sun shine; Winter sky.
Apparition fades at death knell’s lie.

There stands an old gum tree, it’s immense;
Next to land, ringed by a solid fence.
Embedded in the trunk very deep,
Black metal cashbox, mem’ries to keep.

The above is the second and final draft of last week’s post Black metal cashbox poem.

Black metal cashbox

There stands an old gum tree, it’s immense;
Next to land ringed by a solid fence.
Embedded in the trunk very deep,
Black metal cashbox, safely to keep.

Behind a bench, a slight figure forms,
Drawn face, cold grey eyes begin to warm.
‘The grip, scrumpox, burns, warts, sores, or chills?
I’ve tonics, lotions, pills for all ills!’

‘Cure’s on hand for aches, pains, blisters, gout.
Best int’all land,’ voice raises to shout.
‘Tinctures, potions, ointments, aplenty.
Discount to you when buying twenty.’

On emaciated frame hangs down,
A tattered and faded teal plaid gown.
‘Hark my words, come on over’, she sings.
Meanwhile, an unseen bell faintly rings.

Townsfolk give the woman, widest berth.
‘No place for phantoms on this green earth’.
Together, Moon, Sun shine; Winter sky.
Apparition fades at death knell’s sound.

There stands an old gum tree, it’s immense;
Next to land ringed by a solid fence.
Embedded in the trunk very deep,
Black metal cashbox, safely to keep.

Glass House Mountains

Horizonal Glass House Mountains seen across north Moreton Bay from Jamieson Park, Scarborough, Queensland.

Excepts from Wikipedia, below.

‘The Glass House Mountains are a cluster of thirteen hills that rise abruptly from the coastal plain on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. They are located near Beerburrum State Forest and Steve Irwin Way. The trip is about one hour from Brisbane.’

‘The Volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains were formed by intrusive plugs, remnants of volcanic activity that occurred 26-27 million years ago. Molten rock filled small vents or intruded as bodies beneath the surface and solidified into land rocks. Millions of years of erosion have removed the surrounding exteriors of volcanic cores and softer sandstone rock.’

‘The term ‘Glasshouse Mountains’ was given by explorer Lieutenant James Cook on 17 May 1770. The peaks reminded him of the glass furnaces in his home county of Yorkshire, UK.’

New normal breakfast dilemma

The signs in the hotel’s common areas are many and clear. Observe social distancing, sanitise your hands, wait here to be seated, use the QR code to see the menu.

My husband had already experienced four people, millimetres away from him, exchanging pleasantries, while he attempted to eat his poached eggs on smashed avocado and toast.

Almost at the end of breakfast a woman drags a chair over to join a couple behind him. Parked a hair’s breadth from his back an unspoken outrage charged the air. Members of staff engaged with the interloper. Nothing was mentioned of the infringement.

If my husband had said something he would have been the one drawing gasps and stares from onlookers. On this occasion our group of four stood up as one, escaping to the outdoors.

Australia has been largely spared the pandemic’s deathly grasp. I find the flagrant disregard of measures, put in place to protect the populace to be unconscionable, especially in the context of society’s new normal.

Tide of change

Once upon a time, in a sleepy street, near the brow of a hill, stood a single storey red brick cottage, bordered by hardy grassed paths.

The owner loved the home so much, they attached a sturdy white wrought iron bracket. Suspended beneath by two rings, a white oblong marker declared the house’s location.

Being a fan of swashbuckling heroes, the chosen placque featured a galleon, perpetually travelling the oceans at full sail.

Many a long year did that building provide shelter and comfort to its inhabitants. While number 37 gently swayed in the breeze.

Being but five kilometres from the city, the growing populace demanded increased housing density. Standalone dwellings were gradually consumed by multi-storey, hemmed in developments.

Today a refurbished ship 37 voyages upon a shiny new ‘boutique’ apartment block.

Best loaf yet

Since posting a recipe for sourdough bread in 2014, I have lost count of the number of loaves made. Over the years, I have tweaked the proving times, the timing of the knocking back stage, ditched the sourdough starter, and tried different flours.

Using 1/4 teaspoon of active dried yeast and Laucke Crusty White Bread Mix (flour and salt), this loaf is the largest yet. It was achieved by proving for 24 hours in the fridge followed by 12 hours at room temperature. A gentle knock back as described in the amended recipe below and baking for 30 + 15 minutes.

425g unbleached bread flour
375g water
1/4 teaspoon of active dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt (not needed when using bread mix)

1. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl then stir in water.
2. Cover with glad wrap (cling film).
3. Store in the fridge for 24 hours then 12 hours at room temperature.
4. Preheat large lidded Pyrex casserole dish or Dutch-oven in oven at hottest temperature.
5. Meanwhile line a bowl or basket with baking parchment and turn out dough onto floured surface or board. Save the cling film for later.
6. Using floured hands or bowl scraper, fold the edges of the dough into the middle. I usually work from quarters then eighths.
7. Place the dough right side up into the lined bowl and cover with cling film.
8. When the oven is at temperature remove the Pyrex bowl, take off the lid.
9. Transfer the baking parchment and dough the into the pre-heated container and replace the lid.
10. Bake the bread for 30 minutes then turn the temperature down to 200oC and remove the lid.
11. After 15 minutes at the lower temperature the bread should be cooked.
12. Cool on a wire rack.

Happy baking!

Why?

Fruitful or less service to universe, race, self?

Resources used wisely or squandered?

Desultory paths wandered with intent or not?

Sands silently stop

Waiting for the all encompassing corruption, subsumption

Contributions ultimately forgotten or turn to dust

Future kind dig, discover, analyse remains

Content of past lives being hypothesised

Perché, pam, why?

Holiday Monday Ghoul

I’m pleased with the second attempt, more ghoul, less demon.

Finding inspiration in the unusual, I could not resist this image cast on the floor, through last night’s wine decanter.

The first attempt was more imagined, something was eager to be released.

Flowers

In this time of limited travel, physical distancing and quarantine, I wonder if picking, buying and giving flowers are allowed.

Instead, I sketched some for you. I hope you enjoy them as much I enjoyed creating them.

Wishing you, warmth, healing energy, and golden light.