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In search of she who waits


Life is a franchise
Light is a pheromone
to lost moths on the outside of their life.
Hers was a beacon she shared,
hung her collection
on the clotheslines of friends,
lent herself in pieces.

They ironed them for themselves.

Her shine was a soul exposed,
didn't trade in secrets.
They kept theirs in handbags
to pay the travel forward,
a barter in gossip gave kudos.
False teeth castanet the dark.

Naivety is not a take-home message.

This open life was sheared
and sprinkled on their alphabet,
by wearing her as themselves
they stole her story.

She wraps her spirit and hides its shadow
rubs her footfall from its trace
learns to behave in numbers

sews zips to tongue
and staples a need to share with others
ties knots on fingers to remember this mantra

anonymity is the safest gift I give myself.
–Susan Adams

'Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.'
Arundhati Roy

So here I am
on the road out beyond my little garden
of oleander and ivy and rusted doors.
Away from the porch with its still rocking chair
and dimpled cushion
where the wise old woman no longer sits
away from the tissue paper blossoms
and dense leafy vines and pungent fruit.
Away from the small vicious creatures with their
peacock feather scales.
Away from you and our life of impossible futures
and from this tomb-like stillness of a garden that
doesn't grow.

And so I tread
with my small backpack and its many pockets
stepping not towards, but away from
a war that can never be won
and a life and a faith and a love that have come

In search of she who waits

on a dusty stump
or parched rock.
Somewhere far from here on the road inside myself
patiently fanning flies
and hoping that I'll have the heart
to travel on and not look back.
–Cara Munro

The lover of my soul
We have an assignation, my lover and I.
We'll meet at the crossroads.
I'll recognise him immediately —
Beautiful, quixotic, and funny,
Delight in his eyes.
And he me — I'll be carrying my heart in my hands.
I'll step out of the slack skin of old age
And slip within his white overalls.
Transfigured, entwined, we'll begin The Dance
Whose steps I've practised in the quiet of my room. 
–Vivien Arnold

Susan AdamsSusan Adams is a Research Scientist at the University of Sydney and a poet who has been published in anthologies, E-zines, and hard copy journals both in Australia and internationally. She has been read on ABC Radio National 'Poetica' and 'All in The Mind'.


Cara MunroCara Munro is a registered nurse who has been inspired by communities in Malaysia, West End, India, Arnhem Land and the wonderfully multicultural Footscray in Melbourne, where she is now a resident. She is a contributing author to Learnings: Lessons We Are Learning About Living Together. 


Born and raised Britain, Vivien Arnold has lived in Canberra for over 40 years. In addition to sacred poetry she writes secular and satirical poems, stories and plays and composes liturgical and theatre music. For a number of years she conducted the choir at St Christopher's Cathedral in Canberra. 

Topic tags: Life is a franchise, susan adams, Poem, cara munro, The Lover of My Soul, vivien arnold



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Existing comments

"of her who waits" - 'who' is the subject of 'waits'; 'her' is the object of the preposition 'of'; you wouldn't write (I should hope) "in praise of she"

mary ellen | 07 September 2010  

"She Who Waits', I note with interest, is a legendary rock painting here in Oregon, incised thousands of years ago along the huge ancient Columbia River -- a famous motif among artists of the various peoples who lived along the river for thousands of years -- hmmmm.

Brian Doyle | 08 September 2010  

So, Mary Ellen, if 'She who waits' is a name of a place it shouldn't be changed when it's an object. But if it's not in this case, I agree with you. But it's a rule that's broken more often than not now, and replaced wlth a much less logical rule, as in 'Between you and I'. 'Me' seems to be almost a dirty word for a lot of people.

Gavan | 08 September 2010  

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