Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you. Rumi.

1 ferns DSCF9389

Sanctuary, a poem by Chris Michael Johnson, Australia


A single star
the mellow
rain to
The hum
of ciccadas,
by the
serenade the
the air.
friends in
of grace

(C) 2012

Whatever wave you’re riding, no matter how big or powerful it might be, remember God’s promise – If He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.

1 h h


foto – hungry head beach northern nsw australia 2013

The art of surfing

I have not mastered the art
of riding on rolling waves
fifteen feet high, 
speeding by like a bird
in the overcast sky, 
slicing the roaring thundering rush
of water filled with immense power 
piping through swirling churning cavities
on a storm tossed sea
and almost drowned in the trying
with the board passing me 
like a piece of driftwood, 
with water enveloping me, 
knocking the breath of life from me
and I sank like a piece of lead
and was tossed out
like spit on the beach. 

Gert Strydom

A man who has one finger pointing at another has three pointing towards himself. ~Nigerian

1 finger point

The old hull’s spine shoots out of the mud-flat,
a black crooked finger pointing back to the house.
On the dead low the smell of the mangroves.The river seeps through the window, the books
are opened out on the desk. When the first breeze
hits the curtain the cats scatter.

It could be dawn for all I know, concentration
wanders through Creon’s words to Antigone
Go to the dead and love them – okay so they live as

long as I do – what else can I make of it?
The bright feathers from a crimson rosella lie
in clumps on the floor with a pair of broken wings.

In the dark I try to write and remember the zoo
I played in as a child. There was a balding sedated lion
and a wedge-tailed eagle hunched on a dead

tree in a cage; they threw it rabbits
in 1953. The whooping cranes side-
stepped the concrete ponds and whooped all night.

The blue heron flaps across the river in my head,
poddy mullet hanging from its tight beak.
Ah, dead fish, the old black crow, the sick pelican.

I pad the room, out there mangroves are pumping up
the putrid air, life goes on. At the zoo they
still throw the animals dead meat, the big cats

are bred in labs where they lock the albino
freaks away. I pace the kitchen: where are the books,
who reads the poems? I take a drink, ribbonfish

swim across my pages, I shake my head but they swim on –
in low flocks, chromium ribbons, they fly under
the river herding up the poddy mullet,

rippling the surface, as the tawny frogmouth knows.
The books have gone, the spoonbills wade in
with whitebait skipping ahead of them,

channel-billed cuckoo come swooping after the crows,
flying low over the water, calling their mates,
dipping their hooked beaks into the moving chrome.

I sleep in broken snatches and dream nothing.
Mosquitoes suck at my cheeks and empty bottles
clutter the verandah, the books are in darkness

but the sandy whimbrels finger the pages, words
dissolve, waves of the dead arrive in dreams.
Out there the black finger points to the mouth

of the river, where the dead are heading, they
move over the window glass. The extinct fins move
the fingers of my grandfather, mending nets,

the dead friends sing from invisible books. The heron
picks the blood-shot eye from my father’s terrible
work in the kilns and darkness is complete.

© 2001, Robert Adamson
From: Mulberry Leaves: New and Selected Poems
Publisher: Paper Bark Press, 2001

To the shores of Mallacoota, Feeling heartsick and depressed,

Ted Harrington

To the shores of Mallacoota,
Feeling heartsick and depressed,
From the tumult of the city,
I arrived a stranger guest,
Kindly hearts were there to greet me,
Friendly voices welcomed me;
In the house above the inlet,

Click to access LoveofMallacoota.pdf



Mallacoota Bar

Henry Lawson, 1910

    Curve of beaches like a horse-shoe, with a glimpse of grazing stock,

    To the left the Gabo Lighthouse, to the right the Bastion Rock;

    Upper Lake where no one dwelleth — scenery like Italy,

    Lower Lake of seven islets and six houses near the sea;

    ‘Twixt the lake and sea a sandbank, where the shifting channels are,

                    And a break where white-capped rollers bow to Mallacoota Bar. 

Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double-dip ice cream cone.




As I come down the hill from Toro Poutini’s house
My feet are sore, being bare, on the sharp stones
And that is a suitable penance. The dust of the pa road
Is cool, though, and I can see
The axe of the moon shift down behind the trees
Very slowly. The red light from the windows
Of the church has a ghostly look, and in
This place ghosts are real. The bees are humming loudly
In moonlight in their old hive above the church door
Where I go to kneel, and come out to make my way
Uphill past a startled horse who plunges in the paddock
Above the nunnery. Now there are one or two
Of the tribe back in the big house—What would you have me do,
Kind Jesus? Your games with me have turned me into a boulder.

The Sacred Politics of James K. Baxter


foto – child in bellingen nsw australia at xmas 

up through the thin and fractured membrane of our bubble the looking-glass searching space

The Bubble

every night
the coal-fired city glistens
it hums and fumes,
market shelves bristle
whiplash cracks of stilettos echo along arcades
takeaway espressos are texting Bali at the ATM feedlot,
everyone queues
queueing for peakhour, queueing for home;
in the happy hour
(waiting to be happy)
herds of bachelors prowl under mirror-balls
with schooner shaped hands pulsing,
slow motion cars crash on a multi-screen comedy show
million dollar footballs are kicked around arenas
drunken heads are kicked into concrete
drunk women are pulled into fast cars;
they’re only taking potshots out in the western sprawl
the odd stray bullet of gangland tit-for-tat
scaring the pigeons –
we deadlock against the headlines:
crisis shambles scandal chaos
surfing channels
nature is a TV doco
climate change is a prank phone call –
boats keep coming
gate-crashing the party
shocking the shock-jocks of 24/7 puppetry;
we read each other like barcodes
like molten icebergs
like sprinklers sprucing desert parklands,
we are a fire sale on fire,
electric billboards howl
you want it! now!
while a roll-call of extinction reads:
tigers, koalas, polar bears, frogs, bees,
we are failing at chemistry, at biology physics history
we are at war with religion
we are winning at scrabble, at Facebook
at the technobabble of apps and acronyms…
up through the thin and fractured membrane of our bubble
the looking-glass searching space
for a drop of water, a skerrick of life –
nothing, nowhere to conquer
to mine, to drain, to suck the gas,
just this solitary sphere, a breath of life,
this tiny troubled tired and wasting bubble.

David Hallett


1 bubbles2


“This explosive psychological ‘sneaking’ occurs when a woman suppresses large parts of self into the shadows of the psyche. In the view of analytical psychology, the repression of both negative and positive instincts, urges, and feelings into the unconscious causes them to inhabit a shadow realm. While the ego and superego attempt to continue to censor the shadow impulses, the very pressure that repression causes is rather like a bubble in the sidewall of a tire. Eventually, as the tire revolves and heats up, the pressure behind the bubble intensifies, causing it to explode outward, releasing all the inner content. 

The shadow acts similarly.  We find that by opening the door to the shadow realm a little, and letting out various elements a few at a time, relating to them, finding use for them, negotiating, we can reduce being surprised by shadow sneak attacks and unexpected explosions.” 

― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.

Annie Lennox

1 say it gently



Another king I knew had twelve champions,
each chosen for his astrological sign.
My favourite was the Piscean who combined
courage and gentleness but who eventually
was slain by the Aquarian, a mess of
ambition and impeccable manners.

So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit




We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” 

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

“In riding a horse we borrow freedom.”

~Helen Thomson




Wild horses
Wild horses
Never tamed.
Only quiet
when cruelly lamed.
Wild horses
Wild horses
Never named.
Wild horses
Wild horses
Never blamed.
Wild horses
Wild horses
Born to be free.
Wild horses
Wild horses
Frighten me.
Wild horses
Wild horses
Hate me so.
Wild horses
Wild horses
They’ve nowhere to go.
Wild horses
Wild horses
Full of flare.
Wild horses
Wild horses
Handle with care. 

Dan Brown

May your heart be as light as a song


A Song of Hope

A Song of Hope by Oodgeroo (Kath Walker)

Oodgeroo (Kath Walker)

Look up, my people,
The dawn is breaking
The world is waking
To a bright new day
When none defame us
No restriction tame us
Nor colour shame us
Nor sneer dismay.

Now brood no more
On the years behind you
The hope assigned you
Shall the past replace
When a juster justice
Grown wise and stronger
Points the bone no longer
At a darker race.

So long we waited
Bound and frustrated
Till hat e be hated
And caste deposed
Now light shall guide us
No goal denied us
And all doors open
That long were closed.

See plain the promise
Dark freedom-lover!
Night's nearly over
And though long the climb
New rights will greet us
New mateship meet us
And joy complete us
In our new Dream Time.

To our fathers' fathers
The paid, the sorrow;
To our children's children
the glad tomorrow.

Read more:

The weeping of the guitar begins. Useless to silence it. It weeps for distant things…”

– Garcia Lorca

1 guitar cases

People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.” 

― Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

She sells sea shells on the sea shore. The sea shells she sells are shells for sure.

1 shells


The Beginning

God himself
having that day planted a garden
walked through it at evening and knew
that Eden was not nearly complex enough.
And he said:
“Let species swarm like solutes in a colloid.
Let there be ten thousand species of plankton
and to eat them a thousand zooplankton.
Let there be ten phyla of siphoning animals,
one phylum of finned vertebrates, from
white-tipped reef shark to long-beaked coralfish,
and to each his proper niche,
and — no Raphael, I’m not quite finished yet — 
you can add seals and sea-turtles & cone-shells & penguins
(if they care) and all the good seabirds your team can devise — 
oh yes, and I nearly forgot it, I want a special place
for the crabs! And now for parasites to keep
the whole system in balance, let . . .”

If it weren’t for sorrow and bad times, every day would be Christmas.


1 saf iz xmas

A little bush fairy on the Christmas tree!
Tho’ not like the fairies you usually see,
For she wears not a gauzy gossamer gown
but gumnut blossoms drifting down.

And there on top of her pine tree tower
she waves a wand of flannel flower.
Flittering and fluttering her eucalyptus wings
‘Neath a halo of golden wattle rings.

What other fairy would be so blessed
Or be, by nature, flora dressed?
What other fairy would look so sweet
With bottle brushes on her feet?

At Christmas she comes come-what-may
Tho’ not to those lands far away,
For only in Australia will you ever see
A little bush fairy on the Christmas tree!

The drum makes a great fuss because it is empty. Trinidadian


1 drum lego

Leprechauns, castles, good luck and laughter.Lullabies, dreams and love ever after. Poems and songs with pipes and drums. A thousand welcomes when anyone comes. That’s the Irish for you!

I could tell by their audible gasps that the people on the beach were jealous of me when I found five shark’s teeth. Locating them wasn’t really the problem, but pulling them out of my leg was.”

― Jarod Kintz, It Occurred to Me


1 kate and clara DSC00640KATCLA3

“I do not know how I may seem to others, but to myself I am only a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to be contented with.”