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  2. NaPoWriMo Week 4 Poem #21 TBI “I’d like to talk to you,” she says And stands closer than is socially acceptable, grinning. “Okay, but please watch your personal space,” I reply And step back. “How was your weekend?” she asks and closes the gap. I hold out my arm to indicate the appropriate distance, And retreat again. “It was good, thanks for asking.” Even though it’s Wednesday. “Are you here for me?” This time, I sidestep away. “No, sorry. Have a nice day.” “I’d like to talk to you,” she says To my retreating back And follows until I close the door. Poem #22 Cats are not liquid, Cats are shapeshifters, Conforming to whatever vessel they occupy. Cats are not solitary, Contrary to popular belief. Cats are not meek, Cats are born with the hearts of lions. Cats are not indifferent Cats offer purring comfort when needed most. Poem #23 Introvert A sea of people ebbs and flows Throughout the room, A crescendo of inane conversation, Now engulfing the table covered with Hors d’oeuvres and dips As a lone albatross sits in the corner Cross-legged Observing Riding the tide Until it’s socially acceptable To fly away Poem #24 Certainty strides confidently across the room, Makes eye contact with doubt, Then turns left instead of right. Poem #25 There’s no ancient Chinese wisdom here Or deep, profound thoughts. Just sarcasm And cat memes And Americanized fortune cookies with the words “in bed” added at the end. Prompts used: Poem 21: This is based on an individual where I work who has a traumatic brain injury. People with TBI can have significant deficits in social skills. I hate walking away from this person when she approaches, but it’s really the only way to get away because she doesn’t pick up on social cues and doesn’t have the short term memory to remember what she learns in therapy. Poem 22: Poem by Negation: Let your poem make its point through negative statement. Tell what is not or tell what you are not. Poem 23: The Loneliness Prompt: Write your poem about loneliness or perhaps about sweet solitude. Poem 24: Write a poem dealing with certainty and/or doubt. How can you be sure of something you believe and yet keep it or you from calcifying? Is there something exciting out on the raggedy edges called Perhaps? What sorts of certainties stifle curiosity? What sorts of sureness make life livable? Go anywhere with this. Poem 25: Reading Ancient Chinese Poetry: So often English-speaking poets mention their influences from ancient Chinese poets. Talk about reading Chinese poetry or about having so far neglected to read such. Perhaps imagine yourself an old Chinese poet drinking rice wine, wandering high mountain trails to visit poet friends on other mountains. Or you might simply bounce off a line from one of these poems. Go anywhere with this.
  3. droughtquake

    Chapter 13

    Really? I kept reading where Richie was getting harder around Freddie! Sure, all guys check each other out, but they usually try to hide their interest better. ;–)
  4. Butcher56

    Alo Chapter 35

    Excellent chapter and story. I’m inclined to agree with Lloyd that he get rid of Coral Coast Station as it’s becoming a regular headache as there’s always something that he needs to deal with and now that he has the boys to worry about he doesn’t need the headache of the station. This was a great story and I enjoyed reading every chapter of it. I may even go back and reread the story again. Thanks for the great story, I look forward to the next story.
  5. davewri

    Alo Chapter 35

    Coral Coast Station was bad news from start to finish. Time to settle down with his family.
  6. droughtquake

    The Fall Guy

    Jim? Who’s Jim? I thought the author’s name was Tyrone ‘Robbie’ Dodger! ;–)
  7. chris191070

    All Alone

    A fantastic story that I highly recommend as a great read. We meet Lloyd who is lowering the ashes of his wife into the ocean. We then follow all the adventures, the up and downs in his life. The story has a beautiful ending and Lloyd is not All Alone.
  8. chris191070

    Alo Chapter 35

    Awesome chapter to end an awesome story.
  9. This is a great post, Mac, and an equally great reminder. I sometimes find myself having to pull back from making snap judgments and I do try to be aware. Thank you.
  10. I've found the older I get, the less judgemental I've become. First impulse might be to judge, but I seem to slow my roll and think before it gets too far. I think judging others is innate. Hell, I've had readers judge the actions of fictional characters. One insisted two of my characters were unfit to get married because they were part of a four-way! It's not only sexual practices that get dissed, appearances are often the main target. I know I'm judged every time someone sees my sleeves, but I've come to realize most people objecting lead a boring life and often justify their existence criticizing others. I think that realization helped me become more accepting. Live and let live. Don't allow an emotional response to someone else rule your life. Great post, Mac.
  11. Maybe Sue should be seeing a therapist about her multiple personalities… ;–)
  12. This is a good reminder to think before we react - even internally. It's a good piece. Thanks for sharing, Mac.
  13. quokka

    Alo Chapter 35

    “Coral Bay, isn’t that were they had a cyclone that went over them recently?” Tim asked, and I chuckled at this. “You are right about the cyclone going over the coast, but it went straight over the top of the station, as a category 5, and that is one experience, I don’t want to deal with ever again” I replied. “Wow, I didn’t know it was that strong, we have had cyclones here sometimes, but no higher than a category two, that must have been really scary” Tim said. “Yes, it was, but we all got through it, without any injuries, which was the main thing. “We will need to organise flights back to Perth for all of us, and then up to Northampton, for you Davis and your tribe of boys, so I suggest that we climb into the hire car, thank goodness it has 7 seats in it, and head over to your home, so you can collect everything thing that you need, in the way of clothes and personal belongings” I suggested. When we arrived at the house, after passing through the locked front security gate, that was not locked when we last visited, the front door opened, and a lady stepped out, with a concerned look on her face. “Bene ragazzo, dove sei stato, e dov’e il Signor Tim e la Signora Gloria?” the lady said in Italian. I groaned, having understood all of that, and Tim faced me. “Did you understand all that?’ he asked me and reluctantly I nodded my head yes. “Si, maestro Tim” I replied, and both Tim and Marcus smiled broadly. “Maria. I nostril genitori sono in grossi guai, questro e’ nostro cugino Davis, mio nipote, che si prendera cura di noi da ora, manell’ Australia occidentale” Tim said fluently, explaining that Davis would be looking after them from now on, and the lady, who I presumed is the housekeeper, frowned then smiled at Davis, before stepping forward towards him. “My, my, how you have changed, since I last saw you Davis” she said in broken English, as she hugged him tightly then stepped back and squeezed his cheeks. “You have not changed at all Maria, still young as ever” Davis replied as he rubbed his sore cheeks, which made Maria blush and chuckle a little. “Maria, this is Lloyd, Sarah’s husband” Davis added. ”Yes I see your picture of you together, such a happy couple back then” Maria replied, looking sad, as she approached, but I stepped back and held out my hand, to avoid the treatment that Davis received, and Maria laughed, as she slapped away my hand and wrapped me in a tight hug. “You better let him go, before he faints from lack of air, Maria” Tim said, and Maria released me, and I gasped for some air, and Maria motioned for all of us to come inside. While Maria prepared some lunch for all of us, at her insistence, Tim explained to Maria in Italian everything that has happened since yesterday, and Davis added some information in between, in rusty Italian. By the time that lunch had been eaten, Maria had been fully briefed on what is happening, and that the house is to be closed, which she was very sad about, as she would have to find another job. After lunch, Maria was busy running around organising getting the four boys packed. She had retrieved the two family - sized suitcases, and two small suit cases, to pack all the boys clothing in. From the garage, she retrieved a large trunk, which would have all of the boy’s books, games, toys, memento’s and anything else they wanted to take with them, while the boys each had a backpack, which they placed their laptop computers, iPads, mobiles, a change of clothes and toiletry bags into them. While this was all happening, Alistair sat in the lounge watching television, while Davis and I sat at the dining room table, watching all the activity happening around them. “So, what are we going to do with all of this luggage?” Davis asked me, looking concerned. “Easy, I will call a minivan to come and collect it and follow us back to the hotel” I replied, and Davis just laughed. Returning to what I was doing on my I pad, I had booked flights for all of us, to Perth for tomorrow morning, leaving 10.30 am, and 2 ½ hours after landing in Perth, we board a flight from Perth to Geraldton, arriving at 5.30 in the afternoon, after nearly 6 ½ hours of flight travel. I had also booked us into a hotel for one night in Geraldton, before we head home to Northampton, and I was still arranging that part of the journey. “What are you plans when we get back to WA?’ Davis asked me. “Well, I will have to make some slight alterations to what I had organised previously, as you know, I was planning to have Jeremy and Angela take over running Galena Estate, but now with my two boys with me, I need to think about them, so the boys and I will be your neighbours, living in the cottage” I announced. “Oh good, that will be excellent for the boys, I am thinking of enrolling Tim and Marcus into the district high school, although, I feel it will be quite a large adjustment for them to be out of a private school, but it will be good for them too, I hope” Davis said. “Well, I will be close by to help, where ever I can, and I will be enrolling my boys there too… wow, that is going to take a bit to get use to” I replied, and Davis smile. “Welcome to parenthood mate” Davis said to me. “Hopefully all is going well for the hand-over of Doorawarrah, and I am positive that Dave and Sue with be able to handle that easily. I will have Jeremy and Angela take over as managers of Coral Coast Station, or what is left of it, and they can coordinate the improvements to visitor accommodation. I will need to extend that home runway by about 200 metres, as it is a bit tight for room for private jets to land and take off” I commented. Since Dave and Sue are moving to Doorawarrah, Jeremy and Angela, can use that house, and I am thinking of relocating my fancy little house to the family farm north of Northampton” I announced. “What about the rest of the staff up there?’ Davis asked. “Well, Chris and Anne have been caretakers there when the Dalworth’s were running the station, so that won’t be a problem, and I am sure that Toby and Rebecca will fit in there too, but the lads maybe another issue, as they had a run-in with the Dalworth’s son, who is an arrogant prick, and you didn’t hear me say that. Nicholas is responsible for putting me in hospital as well, so that is why he is banned from the station. I might ask Dave and Sue if I can lease their farm, which is next door, and that would allow me to accommodate the lads in their house” I replied. Once we were all packed up and we said farewell to Maria, we climbed into the hire car, and with a minivan following, we headed to the hotel. Once we had arrived at the hotel and we had checked the boys in, we had a group meeting, so as to let the boys know that we will have a longday of travelling tomorrow, with two flights from Brisbane to Perth and on to Geraldton, were we would stay overnight before driving north to Northampton. It was a long and tiring day, and I was glad that it was finally over, when we collapsed into our hotel rooms in Geraldton, and after everyone had showered, we went to the hotel restaurant for a light dinner, before heading to our rooms to get some sleep. Davis had stored his vehicle at the airport, while we were away over east, and that was no parked in the hotel carpark, and in the morning, I would be collecting a second-hand Holden Colorado, that will be used for work on the farm, but first to help get us up to the farm from Geraldton. After a good-sized breakfast, the boys remained at the hotel, while I had Davis take me to the dealership to collect the second-hand Colorado, before returning to the hotel, just in time for checking out. With Davis, Alistair and their cousin in his vehicle, and my boys and I in my older vehicle, we set off for the 45-minute journey north to farm, just out of Northampton. While Davis’s cousin settled into their new home in the main house, Toby and Isaac began to get settled in to the much smaller cottage. “How come we are in the cottage and not in the main house, when you own the property” Isaac asked me, once we had unpacked most of the boy’s belongings into their separate bedrooms. “Well, I guess that is because, Davis has a bigger family, and they need more space, and we don’t” I replied. “But Dad, this place is really small?” Toby complained, and I smiled, knowing that this will not be the case for long. “If you be patient, I will be changing that very soon, I have a small cyclone coded two-bedroom house that I will have sent down here, and I will be putting it directly in front of the cottage. When it is in place, you boys can have those two bedrooms in there and I will remain in the older cottage” I replied, as I was thinking of ways to change things around in the cottage, to make it more useful. The dining room will become the main television room, and the cosy lounge at the front, will become my new administration office, while one spare bedroom, will be used for storage, and the other as a guest bedroom. Less than a month after returning from Brisbane, my little house on the station, had been put into its new place, on raised footings, so it was level with and right up against the front veranda of the cottage. Local carpenters installed two partisan walls at each end of the veranda, to create a breezeway, and link to the new part of the house, with a door leading directly into the lounge area of the new house. To celebrate the extension to the house, which Toby and Isaac were thrilled about, I asked Davis, Alistair, Tim and Marcus to come and have a BBQ dinner at my place. “I am surprised at how well Tim and Marcus have settled into their new school, and apparently they love living on the farm” Davis commented to me. “Yes, my boys appear to be doing well at the new school too, and although they were not too keen on living in the small cottage, they are very happy now” I responded. “So, how are all the changes at Doorawarrah and Coral Coast going?” Davis asked me. “Very well, Dave and Sue have settled in well at Doorawarrah, and they have allowed me to lease their farm for two years, and to let Matt and Greg to live in the house, and they love working for me down here. It’s a bit of a different story with Coral Coast, Troy and Rebecca, the south end caretakers do not like the Dalworth’s and have resigned, and so Chris and Anne have moved their caravan down to that site, to take over that position, and they have reported that the Dalworth’s have removed some of the barrier fencing, that was put up to restrict access to the north area of the station. Last week, I had to send a strongly worded email to them, to put back into place all barriers on roads heading north, and that all station staff and visitors are prohibited from entering that area of the station. I may have to drive up to the station and deal with it personally” I replied. “So, not such a good idea letting them return to the station” Davis commented, just as I received a text message from Chris and Anne. “Just seen Nicholas D, he was tearing down the station track at breakneck speed, and nearly ran into a guest’s vehicle, I’ve tried calling Jeremy and Angela on the radio, but they are either ignoring me or not in range. What are your suggestions on what to do? Chris”. I groaned, when I saw this message, “I need to go there tomorrow, and sort this mess out, they need to get off the station” I said and I showed the message to Davis, just as another message arrived. “Talk about divine intervention, P&W ranger has caught up with Nicholas, and will be taken back to Carnarvon, Chris”, and I chuckled when I read this. “Well maybe I don’t need to go after all” I commented, as I sent a text back to Chris. “Inform Jeremy and Angela, that for disobeying my directives in regards to the management of the station, and allowing a banned person to enter the station, who is now in transit to Carnarvon Police Station, you are here by dismissed as Managers of Coral Coast Station, and you have 24 hours to leave the station, with just your personal belongings only”. “Ok, and very pleased to do so” came a quick reply. “I think it is time to rid myself of that station, once and for all, my place is here in Northampton, and with Doorawarrah Station, I am happy here, and it is where I want us to stay” I said to Davis. “That is very good to hear brother in law, and I would love to stay here with my son and cousins and your family” Davis replied. I sighed in contentment before speaking, “You know, it feels perfect being here. When I began that journey to the station to release Sarah’s ashes into the ocean, feeling so sad and alone, I never expected that it would turn out like this, with an awesome brother in law, a nephew, your two cousins, and now my two sons. I am happy, that I am no longer all alone”. The End
  14. Just woke up from around fourteen hours of sleep.
    I guess I really am sick, damn it.
    Ugh.

    1. MacGreg

      MacGreg

      You obviously needed the rest. I hope you're on the mend now. 

  15. Wayne Gray

    Chasing Shadows

    Thanks! And Wolfgang's lead has him feeling a little like he's chasing shadows (hence the chapter title). It may add up, it may not. We'll see. Ah, Jed. He's definitely struggling, though he's not sure exactly why the beast is so persistent at the moment.
  16. @Renee Stevens It’s a fun feature..
  17. Wayne Gray

    Chasing Shadows

    It's still nice to hear it. Thanks, Thorn. 🙂
  18. Wayne Gray

    Chasing Shadows

    Thanks for reading/commenting! You could be right. Maybe the wolf already HAS claimed Wolfgang. But, what is a pack leader without a pack? That'd make a wolf very nervous if he had nothing to offer a strong mate, wouldn't it? Oh, Franklin. He has no idea how close he is to an extremely aggressive, physical and sex-fueled evening. Then, there are the additional concerns Jed has. He just doesn't know what would become of Franklin in the throes of the moment. We may find out! Stay intrigued... there's more to be revealed on the spirit front.
  19. Recently, I've been delving into the philosophy of Stoicism - an ancient Greek philosophy that teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. It refers to living in the moment, retaining emotions, but using logic, clear judgment and inner calm to express and react rather than anxiety and fear. I am guilty of being judgmental. It's something within myself that I work on daily. I no longer want to jump to conclusions or assume a situation is the way it is because it appears to be a certain way to me. There are two sides to every story. I want to approach life with more compassion, less cynicism. Below is a piece from The Daily Stoic, an online community dedicated to the Stoic philosophy. It hit straight home for me this morning. Maybe it will enlighten you, too. We live in a culture where people sit on the sidelines and pass a lot of strong judgements. We look at people we don’t know and decide whether they’re good or bad people. We look at complicated situations and difficult projects and cleanly label them successes or failures—despite having little understanding of what went on behind the scenes. We take an instance of behavior or a tiny interaction—the way someone talked to us at the grocery store or a decision that they made—and extrapolate out who that person is and what motivates them. As we’ve talked about before, the result of these snap judgements is not just misery for us, but an overwhelmingly negative view of humanity and of the world. It’s no way to live. Which is why when you feel that urge to decide—as an outsider or an observer—that you know who someone is or what it means, you should stop yourself. Stop yourself and consider this prompt from Epictetus: “Until you know their reasons, how do you know whether they have acted wrongly?” What Epictetus is not saying is that you should sit there and try to think about why Hitler and Stalin murdered so many people. He’s not saying that right and wrong are relative and that truly awful things can be excused. He’s saying, in the vein of Socrates, that we need to take a minute and really think about what we don’t know in a situation. We need to consider that, with the exception of mental illness, (which is its own kind of reason), most people have a logic for their actions—and that logic is usually not to try to hurt you or anyone else. They are just doing the best they can. David Foster Wallace speaks about this in his famous “This is Water” speech, after several allusions to his frustration with bad drivers: It's not impossible that some of these people in SUVs have been in horrible auto accidents in the past and now find driving so traumatic that their therapist has all but ordered them to get a huge, heavy SUV so they can feel safe enough to drive; or that the Hummer that just cut me off is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he's trying to rush to the hospital, and he's in a way bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am—it is actually I who am in his way. And so on. You don’t know that someone acted wrongly or is an asshole or that they totally screwed a situation up, because you don’t know the full story. You don’t know their reasons or their side of things. And what do the Stoics tell us to do when we don’t have all the facts about something? They tell us to suspend judgement.
  20. Wayne Gray

    Chasing Shadows

    Thanks, tim. Jed's wolf is very strong and persistent. It doesn't seem to be going anywhere either. Spirits may indeed play a part. Franklin almost certainly will, in some capacity. There's more to come. So to speak...
  21. Today
  22. By the way, I’m guessing Aditus.
  23. Parker Owens

    Day 21 - Day 25

    I enjoyed reading them very much!
  24. Great chapter, and what a wonderful appearance with Patrick. I have a feeling the tattoo might do the trick. Can’t wait for Sablo and Theo to be back on track.
  25. travlbug

    Teasing

    Jasper has just opened a slimy, disgusting Pandora's box: I can't see Chris voluntarily giving up anything that makes him money, so what might he do instead? (He doesn't know that the other band members are aware of his perfidy [Jasper says, "I went through (the contract)...with a lawyer," not "we went through the contract"], so he might think that destroying Jasper--by reputation or otherwise--may address this issue.) A nice, messy lawsuit may actually have been better than Jasper's confronting Chris in private: Better a snake on open ground (where it can be seen) than hiding in the bushes.
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