Oh, all right, just a peek, now and then

When you are born you should be presented with a 70-year-diary, every day already filled in, a bright red ribbon tied around the cover. Then, as you work your way through life, you could constantly check where you were up to and what lay ahead. Or perhaps it would be best to leave it closed, the ribbon left done up.

Eye of the storm

My childhood home

had a “lounge room”,

a room in the centre of the house

almost never used, but with the best furniture,

rarely sat upon, the piano,

not played, fallen silent,

since my grandfather died,

too young, too young,

and the record player.

It was, in theory, the place

where important visitors could

be taken. But most of our

visitors were unimportant, friends,

who were happy sitting in the kitchen.

The Minister of our church

might have qualified in importance,

I suppose,

but he rarely if ever came.

So it was a quiet room,

a dark room with no window,

a neat room with no mess,

no detritus of living.

It was in the very centre

of the house, surrounded

by rooms full of activity and noise –

kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, laundry,

television room, dining room.

Every house needs a quiet, still, centre,

a place for reflection.

So does every human being.