I've never been much of a poet. I struggled with it at university and remember my professor telling me to stick to short stories instead, which was heartbreaking at the time but we all need to learn to accept criticism. So I stuck to my short stories and brewed over the fact that I'd never be a poet.
That didn't deter me completely. So, I kept fiddling with poetry when I was stressed out from exams and assignments. One of those poems that gave me some head space was this one I'm about to share. It's called Embers of Matilda and it's something I came up with during a time where my mother just had a very severe stroke. I had a lot of pressure coming from everywhere and I was completely burnt out from helping my father care for my wheelchair bound mother who was no longer competent to do anything anymore. We did the best we could but eventually she had to enter full-time care in a nursing home.
I contemplated age, hereditary diseases, illnesses and all things regarding growing old and getting sick when I wrote this. I guess you could say I experienced some very intense melancholia at this time. But what came out of it was a special poem I had to convince myself that I actually wrote, since I wrote it within an hour and didn't really have any idea how.
I guess that's what poetry is about. Not overthinking it and not trying so hard. It has to come naturally or it will be a terrible poem. With that being said, I really do hope it's not a terrible poem.
Even if it is, it somehow helped me accept what had happened that day, and gave me an ability to forgive myself for not being able to do more for my parents.
In a way, this is an Ode to my European parents who made their life in Australia, giving me a new life on the other side of the world. Because of that, I am an Australian.
EMBERS OF MATILDA
little forest solider carved by an old man's withered hand beneath the crack of a velvet axe
strikes luminous thunder
it scars and marks
like his master is
shedding timber splinters that once caught on a young man's lashes
on moonlit nights remembered
one lonely silver birch
weeps manuka honey tears
her sweet aroma fills his senses
as she mourns her lost children
fallen leaves transport on the wind while his strong hands tell
their own palm read story where every deep line
speaks of sweet sorrow
a springtime cornflower blooms
her blue petals welcoming the season
she seeps into the red dust
pretty angel pulling her apart
mixing shades the same for him and her botanical beauty
igniting its own foam-less friction
in the amber earth beginning an emotional sandstorm
he ponders her future
knowing he will leave her
forsaking the promise made incommodious spaces found in the dark corners of the abacus
now he counts his days in colours measuring the time with rainbows in spectrum's of Matilda please come a waltzing again my darling
innocent summers where we dreamed of happy endings
the rain wet our naked bodies
we watched it layer the harsh land
leaving patterns to match our own scars
old age will do that to a man
a woman too
one who is no longer a girl
one who will never be a girl again
we traveled far you and I
beyond the years of Yuletides
I longer than you
this life but not the next
a time will surpass again
we are unique
organic children of the northern land