Monday, October 31, 2005

Beginner In The Flow

learning to swim.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


A film by Eric Valli. Universal theme played out in an extraordinarily spectacular landscape. Generational struggle. Two men. Older. Younger. The balance of power shifting uneasily. Each with something to learn. Each humbled. The vehicle, a salt caravan across the Himalayas. Five star viewing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Unmoved By Lack Of Human Observation

Knowing, without seeing. Bethells' black sand splendour. A sprinkling of weekday visitors swallowed up by its expanse. Bathed in today's unstinting sunshine. Waves, unmoved by lack of human observation. Fed by memory, the mind's eye a repository for lives past. Faded experience.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Rumpelstiltskin's Garden

Labour weekend. A freshly replanted vegetable garden. As of this afternoon. Tomatoes, capsicums, aubergines, celery, flat-leaf parsley, rocket, cos lettuce, coriander, beetroot. To come: beans, potatoes, zuchinis, chilli plus. . . . other things, presently overlooked. Plants nesting comfortably in a bed of golden straw. Rumpelstiltskin would have loved it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Rope That Will Transport You

When you begin to go over the edge, life receding from you as a boat recedes inevitably from shore, you hold onto death tightly, like a rope that will transport you, and you swing out on it, hoping only to land away from where you are.

Alice Sebold The Lovely Bones

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tuis at Te Mata

Giving sparrows shit
making life hell for bell birds
upsetting a sleeping cat
these tuis want the place all to themselves.
But somehow though I cannot
help but like them.
Their sheer audacity is stunning.
They zoom with sharp edged wings full of eloquence
a momentary glitter
above roof or tree or fence.
As they leave themselves behind
I admire more than their song
their sudden iridescence.
I could get high
but not drunk on this.
Dark plumage gleaming amethyst
before my mind can catch up with it … brilliant
and dangerous.
So flash and cocky
like Fijian wingers
or Elizabethan dramatists.

Bob Orr

Monday, October 17, 2005

Poor Knights Lily

My 2005 botanical discovery. Poor Knights Lily. Xeronema Callistemon

Quite wonderful. And to quote Liz: You have to wait years to get them to flower.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Walking Home

' The universe picks me up and drops me off without a map. I stand there on a road somewhere outside of any place I have been and just start walking home again. '

Jann Arden

(I found this quote on the wish jar journal blog but figure its universality supports reproduction.)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

To Curb Or Not To Curb

Writing a letter. Or trying to. Not a pedestrian exercise. Not this time. Not just another letter. So much to say. Possibly, too much. To curb or not to curb. Only one of the considerations this process throws up. Somewhat fraught with hopeful expectation. So much at stake. From my perspective. But not only for me. From my perspective.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Neat Sillouettes

As if assuming
blackbirds have
taken to perching
on the bamboo trellis
the vegetable garden
gracing the framework
with neat sillouttes.

October 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Parallel Monologues

Q. How was your Christmas and New Year?
A. Terrible, my worst ever.
(He tells me about his wonderful holiday)

Could it be that this way of conversing
has passed down from grandmother to father
to daughter; a repeating pattern?
This way of not really listening and
not really responding to what has been said;
skirting the actual substance of words
by way of others, more comfortable.
Dialogue impossible as people,
lives inextricably tied by genes,
reinforce a pattern of disconnection
resulting from entrenched conversational habits,
starving out intimacy.

Early 2004

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Holding It In



The curves of many women
after all these years have become
those of only one woman.
That might be perhaps why
there is something about you so succint
but also as a woman so abundant.
Outside our window
through a tangle of branches and stars and hills
I have heard in the night
two birds calling out to each other.
In dream it is easy
to mistake an offshore island
for the silver back of a dark fish flashing
but your name is clear.
Before dawn one strawberry star on a hill
two moons that call out to each other
moth shadows
a woman I awake with.

Bob Orr

Friday, October 07, 2005


Asleep in treehouse nest I dream:
Cousin and family around the table;
Halfpint pup warm in my hands and
Woolly charcoal coloured bitch –
Aberrant canine curiosity.

Beside me, one in pitted sleep
Plays hard with subterranean thought:
His own dog, and policeman;
The worry of dog teeth in fowl flesh
Fading as night gives way to morning and
Respite, in snatches of welcome halfsleep,
Threatened at first by mosquitoes,
Is secured with sweet spiralling quiet.

April 2001