Category Archives: SEEING

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet? ― L.M. Montgomery

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around the corner of the house
out of the wind
flowers grow

she has not nurtured them
only the leaking roof
provided water

butterflies gather daily
their wings mixing colour
with the blooms

we spy around the corner
both holding our breath
holding our wind




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Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 – 1954), Monday 22 November 1954,

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Sustained Exertion

The great Way involves the highest form of exertion, 
which goes on unceasingly in cycles 
from the first dawning of religious truth, 
through the test of discipline and practice, 
to awakening and nirvana. 
It is sustained exertion proceeding without lapse from cycle to cycle. 
Accordingly, it is exertion that is neither self-imposed, nor imposed by others, 
but free and uncoerced. 
The truth is that the benefits of one’s own struggles and sustained exertions 
are shared by all beings in the ten directions. 
Others may not be aware of this, but it is so …

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East is West. If one were given a single window from which to look upon the changing world, it should face, I think, the road. (Freya Stark)

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Upon inspection, three old, wood-framed windows were there, hidden by debris. The windows were closed, even though you could see through the glass. The understanding came swiftly – to really feel the light, the windows must also be open, hanging freely.

(Laurel McCallum)

“The sound of the sea helps me get back to me.


Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.” 

Loren Eiseley

memory breathes her vesper sigh to thee. And, as I watch the line of light, that plays Along the smooth wave toward the burning west,


There is in every human heart,
Some not completely barren part,
Where seeds of truth and love might grow, 
And flowers of generous virtue flow;
To plant, to watch, to water there,
This be our duty, be our care.

– Sir John Bowring (English author, poet, political economist, and 4th governor of Hong Kong; b. 1792 – d. 1872), from Matins and Vespers: With Hymns and Occasional Devotional Pieces(1827)

However bad at pricing a butcher may be, he won’t price an elephant at 700 cowries. Hausa.



Reaching down arm-deep into bright water
I gathered on white sand under waves
Shells, drifted up on beaches where I alone
Inhabit a finite world of years and days.
I reached my arm down a myriad years
To gather treasure from the yester-milliennial sea-floor,
Held in my fingers forms shaped on the day of creation.

Building their beauty in three dimensions
Over which the world recedes away from us,
And in the fourth, that takes away ourselves
From moment to moment and from year to year
From first to last they remain in their continuous present.
The helix revolves like a timeless thought,
Instantaneous from apex to rim
Like a dance whose figure is limpet or murex,
cowrie or golden winkle.

They sleep on the ocean floor like humming-tops
Whose music is the mother-of-pearl octave of the rainbow,
Harmonious shells that whisper forever in our ears,
The world that you inhabit has not yet been created.

Kathleen Raine

May you never see a bad day, and if it sees you may it be wearing glasses. Irish.


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Grandma woke one morning, to find she couldn’t see,
Wondered where her glasses went, wondered where they’d be.
She put them on the dresser, in the late hours of the night,
Tended to forget things, she’d not turned on the light.

Kathleen Mary Xepapas, Australia

Taking one’s chances is like taking a bath, because sometimes you end up feeling comfortable and warm, and sometimes there is something terrible lurking around that you cannot see until it is too late and you can do nothing else but scream and cling to a plastic duck.”

― Lemony Snicket

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On Home Beaches

Back, in my fifties, fatter than I was then,
I step on the sand, belch down slight horror to walk
a wincing pit edge, waiting for the pistol shot
laughter. Long greening waves cash themselves, foam change
sliding into Ocean’s pocket. She turns: ridicule looks down,
strappy, with faces averted, or is glare and families.
The great hawk of the beach is outstretched, point to point,
quivering and hunting. Cars are the stuff at its back.
You peer, at this age, but it’s still there, ridicule,
the pistol that kills women, that gets them killed, crippling men
on the towel-spattered sand. Equality is dressed, neatly,
with mouth still shut. Bared body is not equal ever.
Some are smiled to each other. Many surf, swim, play ball:
like that red boy, holding his wet T shirt off his breasts.

Subhuman Redneck Poems, 1996

Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

– Miriam Beard

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“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction. ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Let not soft slumber close your eyes, 
Before you've recollected thrice 
The train of action through the day. 
Where have my feet chose out their way? 
What have I learnt, where'er I've been, 
From all I've heard, from all I've seen ? 
What know I more that's worth the knowing?^ 
What have I done that's worth the doing? 

Isaac Watts. 

You may not be able to leave your children a great inheritance, but day by day you may be weaving coats for them which they will wear through all eternity. T. L. Cuyler.


One child sees sunlit air and sky And bursting leaf buds, round and ruddy ; Another looks at his own feet, And only sees that it is muddy !

Henrietta R. Eliot,

Extraordinary things are always hiding in places people never think to look.

Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper


“You know how some people, when they’re together, they somehow make you feel more hopeful? Make you feel like the world is not the insane place it really is?”

Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

“Child, you have to learn to see things in the right proportions. Learn to see great things great and small things small.” Corrie Ten Boom


“As with all my children, you must find your own path, and through that discovery, you will decide what each earth child must ultimately decide-whether she chooses chaos or love.”

P.C. Cast, Untamed