The Secret Room

Away from the world,
centred within,
there is a secret room,
a sanctum.
Protect it and guard it.
Select what comes in.

Outside the world howls
come out, come out to play
do stay within the dotted lines,
obey all rules and directives
but consume –
more, more, more.
The economy demands it.

Inside the secret room
in meditation and reflection
light flows in
clear, bright and pure.

There in the silence
the old falls away.
Let go, let go the shadows whisper
we are ready now to leave.
Step into the light.
Here within the secret room
beyond outside controls
nurture new dreams,
grow strong within the self.
Believe in possibilities.


Are we being manipulated?

I started this blog back in January when bushfires were raging across south eastern Australia. By mid March when the fires were finally out Covid-19 had shut down the country. Fear was rampant and the aftermath of the bushfires went largely unreported. Instead the news was all virus related. The impact of the virus world wide, the loss of civil liberties and conspiracy theories dominated the media.

Now, in late May, the country is gearing up for a return to the old normal. At the same time the long promised official investigation into the bushfires has finally begun. Because of social distancing it’s being conducted by video link ups. Continuity is disrupted.

The investigation is getting some media coverage but is only the more sensational aspects that are making it to mainstream news. The eyes of most are still firmly fixed on Covid-19 and the economic implications of the shut down. Fear and conspiracy theories are still rife. Concerns over the restrictions on civil liberties are largely focused on how the closing of borders is impacting business. The link between the bushfires and climate change seems to be have been forgotten. Besides, many people have been seduced by the idea that nature has restored itself during the weeks of lockdown. While that may be true in some places climate change is still a threat. Globally we have not reduced carbon emissions to any significant degree.

While I’ve been writing this a thick fog has barreled in from the sea. Distances have become a white haze.

Limited vision
conveniently curtailed
– we see what we’re fed.


Where is the road less traveled?

Here in my little house
my little life
I do the daily round
of jobs that never really end –
the washing of dishes
the cooking of meals
the sweeping of dust
from corners – like cobwebs
in the mind.

In this time of the virus
going out is fraught
there’s nowhere much to go –
the same paths to walk
the same family to see
the same supermarket
to buy the same food
week after week.

I scan real estate ads
for houses
I’ll never live in
in places I’ll never go.
I watch back episodes –
“Escape to the Country” and
“House Hunters International” –
I ponder the choices –
the pros and cons of houses
I’ll never to live in
in places I’ll never go.

Is it that the road less traveled
is not there in those places
but where it’s always been –
inside my head,
my heart,
my soul.
Is it,
like Leonard Cohen’s crack,
right here,
right now?


“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost

The Tiny Door

There is a door,
a tiny door,
just left of centre.

It’s opening now,
a crack in the wall
of what went before.

Some say the door is too small
and too easy to ignore.
The authorities shout and roar.
They push and shove,
impose more rules,
demand conformity
yet all the while,
that tiny door
opens wider.
It’s easier now to see the new terrain.


Beyond the door there’s time to think. It’s okay to to be alone though communities, in the world beyond the tiny door, welcome minority groups and refugees, the elderly, the disabled and the poor. It’s greener too beyond the door. Community gardens thrive on vacant lots. Surplus food is given away to those in need. There’s less traffic on the roads. Many work from home and local manufacturing is growing. People laid off in the virus crisis build social housing, restore degraded environments, make safe bike paths in cities. Schools put the wellbeing of students and teachers first. Education is tailored to individual needs. Classes sizes are smaller and there’s more options to choose from – home schooling, more teaching of practical skills, online learning. even international link ups.


“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.” – Arundhati Roy: ‘The pandemic is a portal’ |

Vast Particulars

For the first time in weeks
I go to the beach.
Sitting alone on a park bench
old meanings deconstruct inside my head.

Out across the bay the mist streaked autumn sky
is brown and dirty on the horizon.
A container ship,
its decks devoid of cargo,
steams out of the murk.

On the beach
a girl cartwheels across the sand.
Her father looks on, bemused.
He’s out of work.

More kids arrive, hooting,
holding boogie boards aloft.
It’s an out of season holiday.

The mother drifts into frame
beach towels draped around her neck.
School’s back next week,
no one knows if it’s safe
but she’ll keep the mood light,
bright and breezy.
Bemused, the father checks his phone.
He’s still out of work.

The empty cargo ship clears the Heads
and moves into the open sea.
At least someone’s getting out of here
but to where and is there any guarantee
conditions are better there or, if they are,
how long will they stay that way?



  • Illustrate the changing tenor of the time with a snapshot or observation or tale which is both vast and particular.
  • Do vast particulars – global yet local, earth-sensitive yet human-driven, pandemically reeling a decades-long unfolding—document the news of the moment?
  • What new tensions are revealing themselves? Stripped of our daily routines, shriven from assurance of a well-meaning (at least, promised) future and encroached by shadows of collapse, just who stares back in the mirror of this moment?
  • If pandemic is the astringent which is fast clearing away the niceties and collective givens we call human, what vast particulars reveal homo sapiens behind its peeling mask?

Ready or not

So I went out
driving down the highway
the roadworks are still bad
but the road into my daughter’s suburb
has two sets of traffic lights.

It’s very grand.
Multi-lane curves
flow every which way
ready for the commuters
now mostly unemployed.

I sat with my grandsons
all of us eager but not all that sure
just where to take the conversation
and I had to admit
I didn’t know all
that much about
the life cycle
My daughter fretted
about the kids
going back

All I could say
I hope it works out
for they all look

After a bit
I said my goodbyes.
The conversations had petered out
and we were all

Back home
I closed up the gates
and came inside.
It’ll be a while
I go out

I’m not ready yet
to get involved
in all that

“Life has changed in so many different ways and for each of us a different narrative continues to evolve.”

On Sacred Ground


Last week’s challenge looked at the hero’s quest out from modernity. If such a quest is still possible, then is there still a Perilous Chapel we must harrow through to get to the treasure?

This week’s challenge is about finding that Chapel and a way through it. Where have you found it, what perils did you endure, how is it linked to the Grail you seek?  What is that poetry? And what initiation is required to transform modernity into Earthdom?

In a nature reserve a short drive from my home there are large stands of grass trees (Xanthorrhoea). They were once common in this part of Australia but are now limited to protected pockets of remnant bushland.

These strange plants are very slow growing. Some varieties only grow a few centimetres a year. An aboriginal friend of mine calls them Grandmother Trees.

Yesterday morning, after a restless night awash on waves of Covid 19 sorrow, I decided to drive to the reserve and walk out to the grass trees.

I take the long track
soft beneath my feet,
eucalyptus air,
insects whirring.

Out where the grass trees grow
ghost gums stand guard beside the trail
– elemental presences –
the light gleams
and the wind sounds silver
as it whispers through the grassy tufts,
nature’s whirling dervishes
spiralling through the centuries.

At an old lichen covered bench
half hidden in the shadows,
I sit awhile.

Letting go,
tuning in,
I enter sacred space.

Grandmother spirits surround me
– spinning vortices of light _
transmitting ancient wisdoms.

My heart opens,
the light of Spirit flows into me.
and I ground deep into the Earth
My individual ego steps aside
and I become,
if there is still an ‘I’,
a conduit.
Light, joy and love
fill my being.

The sudden roar of a jet plane
brings me back to the human world.
I hover on the threshold.

Today is the beginning of our emerging
from the chrysalis of lockdown.
Oddly, in the State where I live,
the first freedom we are granted
is the right to go hiking in the bush.
The virus is still out there,
my comprised immunity hasn’t changed.
My forays into the human world
will be brief and constrained.

Following my heart
I will seek out those places
where light, joy and love abide.

Monday Morning

Monday morning
I check the headlines
Cases up as lockdown eases
in Germany,
South Korea,
Children dying in New York
of some mutant disease
coming after Covid.

This thing hasn’t finished with us

Last night I lay awake.
The sea roared.
The possums growled.
The wind sighed.
The metal gate rattled.

Sorrow came in waves
– an ocean of grief posted on YouTube by BOBINOZ on APRIL 15, 2009