Winter Inspiration – Inside or Out

 

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Mordialloc Beach in Winter

 

Mordi Beach In Winter
Mairi Neil

A winter’s day, yet the beach is warm
sheltered from the blustery streets
the blue water of the sea is still
peaceful and calm
a mirror for Nature’s beauty.

Clouds, fluffy and soft kiss the horizon
blurring the pale yellow sun
peaceful and calm
birds glide playfully on the water,
an ice-skating rink for seagulls

the beach is almost deserted
a few hardy individuals searching
for what?
Seeking solitude as they stare out to sea
while looking inward towards soul?

In the distance, fossickers bend
searching for treasures left behind
metal detectors sweep gently
and keen eyes will shifting sands
to make their day.

Three children paddle in the sea
rolled-up trousers wet with rising damp
their pink toes tingling and wriggling
tiny teasing waves cause giggles
and footprints magically disappear.

Moored boats at the pier silent sentinels
Their masts bobbing in neat rows,
a lone tanker looms black on the horizon
lack of wind meaningless
to workhorses.

It is time to leave the sea to reclaim the sand
the children clutch a treasure of pretty shells
wet clothes are exchanged for dry
the trappings of civilisation put on feet
memories and mementoes packed away.

The children are tired from play
peaceful and calm
It has been a wonderful day.

Tomorrow is the first day of The Walking Neighbourhood at Arts Centre, Melbourne and after glorious winter days, rain has been forecast!

Seasonal Sneeze
Mairi Neil

The warm sun belies winter’s chill
Yet the calendar doesn’t lie
The first day of June in Melbourne
Is officially winter – I hear you cry.
But where are the southerly winds
Dewy grass transformed with frost,
The accumulation of bruised clouds,
Upon grey skies embossed?

Temperatures more like autumn
Blue skies reminiscent of summer
Mercurial Melbourne’s reputation
Is that of a seasonal actor.
We soak up this surprising sunlight
The delightfully warm days
Look forward to outdoor events
Dispelling winter’s malaise.

Wait! Our optimism is fleeting
The weekend promises rain
Umbrellas, scarves and coats
Will be needed once again.
Four seasons in one day
This city’s reputation after all,
Looks like we’ll be wet and shivering
While sheltering from a squall!

The seasons provide so many writing prompts and inspiration for poetry – especially form poetry. here is a Triolet.

Winter’s Whisper
Mairi Neil

Winter came a’calling today
With its bitter winds and rain
Chills no thrills; sneezes not gay
Winter came a’calling today.
Autumn debris about us lay
Squelching footsteps a sad refrain
Winter came a’calling today
With its bitter winds and rain.

 

window at NGV
water wall National Gallery of Victoria

 

Winter Blues
Mairi Neil

Tears on the windows
Melt Jack Frost’s artwork
A crackling fire
Steams clothes on the pulley
Hot broth simmers on the stove

A splatter of rain on roof tiles
Interrupts the murmuring television
As the eiderdown of white
Disappears from garden path

Slippers soaked from
Collecting the newspaper
Cradled in a pool of slush
The death throes of winter

Toasted marshmallows and
The warmth of electric blanket
Cannot banish the cold
Like a yacht adrift we wait
For spring’s balmy breeze…

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Mornington Beach

HAIKU
Mairi Neil

Deserted barbeques
Empty swings motionless
Winter by the sea

Pool of blue rippling
Exhaling colourful buds
Life’s serene promise

Mother Nature’s arms
Always soothes and refreshes
Whispering sweet peace

Tree blossoms despite
Salty air and sparse rocky soil
Resilience plus!

Gusty gales blow boats
Forceful waves and jagged reefs
Gnashing angry teeth

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Mordialloc Winter Rhythm

Mairi Neil

In morning winter fog
a row of ghostly gum trees
Signpost the traffic

Seagulls soar skywards
tossed by winter thermals
an aerial ballet

Blackbirds and magpies trill
as morning sun
penetrates tea-tree bush

By late afternoon
at Mordialloc Pier
fishing eskies overflow

Palm trees quiver
with chattering birds
as the sun sets

The full moon’s glow
suffused across a sea
now mirror calm

 

 

A daisy a day
Emblems of Nature’s beauty
Brightens and revives

Winter’s skeleton
Hides the promise of Springtime
And the buzz of life.

Mother Nature’s arms
Always soothes and refreshes
Whispering sweet peace

Wattlebirds feasting on
flowering grevillea
wake me from deep sleep

Huddling together
In aromatic profusion
The colours of love

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Coffee for two, please
Friendship needs refills
Our regular fix

Winter Walk
Mairi Neil

Walk quickly, it’s cold
Walk quickly, be bold

The winter moon bright
On this dark wet night
Naked branches creeping
Towards skies weeping

Walk quickly, it’s cold
Walk quickly, be bold

Chill wind shivers
Gutters now rivers
Night sounds
Shadows abound

Walk quickly, it’s cold
Walk quickly, be bold

Mordialloc Parliament
Mairi Neil

A winter morn in Mordialloc
cloudless sky a washed-out blue
melting frost on grassy blades
glistening bubbles of dripping dew.

A magpie family carol and cavort
breakfasting from territory marked
the wattlebirds have departed
with harsh caws and hurried darts.

From grevillea to bottlebrush
my garden their summer home
feeding on nectar’s syrupy sweetness
until chilly winter makes them roam

This garden planted as a refuge,
a tiny oasis in suburbia’s dream
native flora to encourage fauna
so many creatures––some unseen

Showy parrots squeal and screech
their sunset songs a welcome delight,
but the proud magpies’ debutante dance
a morning joy and favourite sight.

winter tree2.JPG

Fireside Flames Flicker as Imagination Ignited

Mordialloc Beach in winter

Mordialloc Winter Rhythm
Haiku
Mairi Neil

Wattlebirds feast on
flowering grevillea
wake me from winter sleep

Morning winter fog
a row of ghostly gum trees
signpost railway station

Seagulls soar skywards
tossed by winter thermals
an aerial ballet

Blackbirds and magpies trill
as warm sunlight
penetrates tea-tree bush

By late afternoon at
Mordialloc Pier fishing
eskies overflow

Palm trees quiver
with chattering birds
as the sun sets

The full moon’s glow
suffused across a sea
now a mirror of calm

Winter has well and truly arrived in Mordialloc this week! Winter woollies the order of the day, electric blankets the order of the night! One of my students suggested being born in Scotland  made me less susceptible to the cold, however after 53 years, my blood must have thinned.

Although not completely acclimatised to the extremely hot weather, I feel the cold like anyone else. This week going to work, I too huddled in the waiting room at Mordialloc Railway Station rather than brave the southerly wind sending dust and leaves skittering along the platform and snatching at scarves, coats and hats.

It may be cold outside, but this is the perfect excuse to stay inside and write! Unless, of course, I take a walk along the foreshore or Mordialloc Creek for inspiration! The sky, sea and surrounds more interesting and mercurial in winter.

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Beach Park, Mordialloc

Mairi Neil

The swings creak a slow chant
joined by seagull squawks,
children’s sing-song screams.

Children clamber over the pirate ship
slipping, sliding, spewing from
all sides like the cutthroats of old.

Abandoning ship then climbing aboard
on ladders of plastic and rope
their fantasy ship anchored in a sandy sea.

Grandparents diligently move from
slide, to swing, to see-saw and back again
a day in the park serious business.

Mothers watch from afar, this daily duty
to tire the children, their conversations
interrupted to soothe, admonish, wipe a nose.

A father returns to his boyhood with delight
monitoring his offspring while steering
the child towards equipment made for two.

Naked masts and tired trawlers bob,
the sea a wavy navy ribbon unfurled,
clouds hovering bruises in a blue sky.

Children cavort beneath the foreboding blanket
bright winter clothes transforming them into
delicious Cherry Ripes, Candy Canes and lollipops.

A blustery wind has hysterical palm tree fronds
waving and the foreshore tea-tree whispering
their attention-seeking an urgent warning.

It is time to weigh anchor.

winter tree

Shadows
Mairi Neil

A plaintive song
echoes in university grounds.
Students hurry home
ignoring skeletal branches
of winter trees
and the bird’s lament.

The mournful echo
recalls dinosaur dynasties
amid the whirr of bicycle wheels,
footsteps and ring tones
mobile conversations
and iPod seclusion.

A plaintive whistle announcing dusk
before full-throated celebration
As lights douse, classroom doors close.
A melodious call to rest
as shadows deepen,
and the campus empties.

Crowded trams trundle past
bathed in artificial sunlight
beneath the star embroidered sky.
Tall grey buildings reach to conquer
the ghosts of long forgotten species
the call of birded tongue
a plaintive echo.

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Mordialloc Parliament
Mairi Neil

A winter morn in Mordialloc
cloudless sky a washed-out blue
melting frost on grassy blades
glistening bubbles of dripping dew.

A magpie family carol and cavort
breakfasting from territory marked
the wattlebirds have departed
with harsh caws and hurried darts.

From grevillea to bottlebrush
my garden their summer home
feeding on nectar’s syrupy sweetness
until chilly winter makes them roam

This garden planted as a refuge,
a tiny oasis in suburbia’s dream
native flora to encourage fauna
so many creatures––some unseen

Showy parrots squeal and screech
their sunset songs a welcome delight,
but the proud magpies debutante dance
a morning joy and favourite sight.