Author: Tanya Southey

June – Relationships: Friends

June – Relationships: Friends

Friends On the riverbank, close to the source we met, the dawn still fresh and the river clear We clung to each other like otters as we moved through childhood waters As we grew, we all took different streams and now when the currents return […]

June – Relationships: Self

June – Relationships: Self

Self Every day you walk past my house the one you notice from the curb, nestled near the park in the quiet hush of the stoic gum tree, you admire the curated garden and the golden glow that the windows throw into the violet sunset […]

June – Relationships: Family

June – Relationships: Family

Family

As a small child
I made a big promise,
never to leave
my family, my town
my country or my faith

I abandoned them all
and flew away
to roles I had never imagined
in places I learnt of at school

My generation
sipped from the cup
of a western culture
and drunkenly conquered
the world as
we were told to do

We spoke a language
of growth
in a barren world

And now I return to
the weeping willow
and ask where are
the old ones
with the wisdom?

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks
#monthlymusing

 

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June – Relationships: Lost

June – Relationships: Lost

Lost It’s not that you are lost it’s that I am gone The way you made me laugh now floats somewhere over the lonely ocean It’s not that you are lost it’s just that I no longer see the moon the way I used to […]

May – Addictions: Craving

May – Addictions: Craving

Craving We’re all looking for the hit, maybe sugar or alcohol, or the glowing end of a cigarette between lonely lips millions of hands disconnected from their hearts, awaken reach first for their phones, and scroll through lives of the other searching online for the […]

May – Addictions: People

May – Addictions: People

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Life support” Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets).

People

I waited on the wire
while the others leapt
down to this planet,
they went before me
I didn’t want to come,
here,
to this place,
where hearts get
bruised and beauty
is burnt
and destroyed
to make something
that will be thrown away

Finally, I leapt,
down,
entered the world
and slowly I found
the scattered,
in unlikely places,
they appeared
in classrooms,
on continents
I wasn’t born on,
in workplaces,
next to piles
of paper, to-do lists,
far from the village
of our hearts

There are those
who are chained
to my heart
and there are
the passers by

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks
#monthlymusing

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May – Addictions: Habits

May – Addictions: Habits

Habits I have a few addictions Italian food, Prosecco, and window seats on airplanes going anywhere I have a few addictions books stacked on every possible shelf and thin china cups that hold strong tea with milk I am addicted to violins drums and the […]

May – Addictions: Lifelong

May – Addictions: Lifelong

Lifelong I’ve been addicted to words since I formed my first one, the shape of them, the way they roll around our mouths, connect us and create meaning The magic they can create, an image of red umbrellas against a grey sky and in the […]

April – Elements: Fire

April – Elements: Fire

Fire

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Rush hour” Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets)

In the beginning
you gathered the wood
these tiny bits
of consciousness,
data that would later
build the pyre
little tidbits
stories

And then came
the match
the Flint
the spark
that ignited
the truth
and started
the fire

Sacred it burns

Gathers the others
to come to the flames
warm yourself
on the truth

Fire cleanses
even if it destroys

And from the ashes
the previously invisible
curls as smoke
and takes form
the goddess
reignited

Taking her place
as strength
as courage
bold
warm
knowing

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks
#monthlymusing

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April – Elements: Earth

April – Elements: Earth

Earth The earth knows no religion only pallid bones and dense flesh all the same under skin tones that differ The earth knows no boundaries only places where the land ends where the ocean starts where the mountains hover and where all look up to […]

April – Elements: Water

April – Elements: Water

Water I followed the others to the Women’s Baths this place, exclusive for women, to dip into the ocean, to float in the salt, the water that heals I followed the others all of us chatting about the day that had us immersed in the […]

April – Elements: Air

April – Elements: Air

Air

Photo credit: Denise Smith “At one” Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets) — with Denise Smith.

When the dark
waters of complexity
churn and pull
you under in
a rip of thoughts
dragging you out
to sea and spinning
you in a washing
machine cycle
of dreads
yesterday’s wrongs
on repeat cycle

It’s time for air

The invisible,
pulled into the
burning lungs,
the relief of cool
respite

Air

The knowing
that there is
a reason
we associate
wind in our hair
with freedom,
knowing that
there is an unseen
force that moves
the mighty tree,
knowing we can pull
life into our drowning
lungs
and our legs
will move again

In any moment we
can change direction

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks
#monthlymusing

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March – Daily Routines: Rising

March – Daily Routines: Rising

Rising There is tenderness in rising every morning just as the sun rises consistently, it never crawls under the covers and hides even when the day has been broken by terror or loss or grief There is vulnerability in rising every morning knowing you cannot […]

March – Daily Routines: Little Rituals

March – Daily Routines: Little Rituals

Little Rituals I prefer setting intentions of goodness to lingering in the dread of bad things to come I prefer wearing black and seeing internal kaleidescopes to wearing colours and living in darkness in my mind I prefer the sound of Gregorian chanting to the […]

March – Daily Routines: Daily Routines

March – Daily Routines: Daily Routines

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Dog years” Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets) — with Denise Smith.

Daily Routines

The showerhead
will gush as it does
every morning
spilling warm water
on my daily thoughts
as I shampoo
prayers of love
on a world that
continues to turn

The dog will allow
the sun to fall on
the spot where she
chooses to lie
every morning
just as the light decides
the same place
to enter the house

The fridge will shudder
and the kettle will sing,
the water will bubble
as eggs crack in endings
and beginnings
And through these
mundane moments
I will sigh and ask
if I will dare to love

And you may wonder
whether this daring is
about you, or someone
else or the planet or
things

But it is far deeper
than that, in all this serving,
navigating meaningless
routines, will I allow
space to love myself?

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks
#monthlymusing

 

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March – Daily Routines: Reading

March – Daily Routines: Reading

Reading You will find me between the covers of a book wandering around in worlds I’ve never lived in, back in a tunnel of time, you, Mr Darcy and me, well, whomever I feel like being You will find me on a page lost between […]

March – Daily Routines: Tea

March – Daily Routines: Tea

Tea The world is crumbling, life has gone insane, something must be done It looks like nothing this rising, walking to the sink, hands held firmly on the kettle as the heaviness fills the jug The switch flicked water simmers then boils the kettle vibrates […]

February – Solitude: Quiet

February – Solitude: Quiet

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Without you”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets) — with Denise Smith.

Quiet

You came to observe
the things others
cannot see
but it’s only
in the hush that your
eyes will adjust to
your personal light

In the noise of seeing
your heart may go astray
and you will filter the
sky through colours
that are not your own

It takes the still lake
of your own courage
to allow everyone to see
the real you
and this you must do
even at the risk of
being hurt

Only then in the quiet
garden of your specific
certainty
will you know gratitude
and joy will be the
silent light that leads
you home

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks
#monthlymusing

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February – Solitude: Silence

February – Solitude: Silence

This week’s poem is “Silence” in the monthly theme of “Solitude”. Next week’s word is “Quiet”. Silence The head chairs meetings voices creep with feedback, ‘not good enough’ they stalk and circle ‘you could have been better’ The heart needs quiet to connect to pillars […]

February – Solitude: Peace

February – Solitude: Peace

February’s theme in the #monthlymusings is “Solitude”. This week’s word is “Peace” Peace The calling will come it will arrive on the wind, perhaps, screaming your name as trees bend to add to the beckoning Or not It might take a stroll arrive on a […]

February – Solitude: Alone

February – Solitude: Alone

February’s theme in the #monthlymusungs is “Solitude”. This week’s word is “Alone”.

Alone

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Lost property”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets) — with Denise Smith.

Alone is one of my favourite words,
it has no echoes of loneliness,
it speaks of endless possibilities
of skies that stretch for blue miles
and canopies of green cover
as trees guard the sacred solitude

To really see
to see beyond the things
you think you know
to feel the presence that
breathes you
you need the spaciousness
of being alone
to contemplate the essence
of the rose

Only then will you know
Alone is short for ‘all one’
connected in
space and time
never lonely
when we really
have ourselves

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks
#monthlymusing

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January – Reflections: Musing

January – Reflections: Musing

Musing My favourite thoughts are simple in their complexity What if the most beautiful rose ever formed bloomed in the garden of a dying woman and no one saw it? Would it still be the most beautiful rose to ever have flowered? What if its […]

January – Reflections: Echoes

January – Reflections: Echoes

Echoes Standing on familiar soil I see the echoes of a time that used to be, time when this soil was all I knew, time when small town dirt beneath my nails, broke the boundary of where I started and the land began Now I […]

January – Reflections: Mirror

January – Reflections: Mirror

In the #monthlymusings series of the #52words52weeks collection, we are in January with the focus on “Reflections”. This week’s word is “Mirror”.

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Waiting and watching”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets) — with Denise Smith.

Mirror

Give up looking
in the mirror,
hardened glass
of expectations

Give up judging
your own reflection,
the flat version
of yourself,
the version that does
not celebrate your
robust and real beauty

Let go of the version
that sees the lines
of criticism carved within.

Your childhood
sun-worshipping self
now etched with lines
would rather look into the eyes
of unconditional affection

Steam the mirror,
shatter the glass,
create a fog if you must

Do your hair in the wind,
lift your face to the sun,
see your strength in
the trees, know that
you are a reflection of love.

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks
#monthlymusing

 

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January – Reflections: Sky

January – Reflections: Sky

January is the month of “Reflections”. The first word in the set is “Sky” Sky The sky sighed, breathed above a land adored, and when night set in, punctured holes within its heart and called them stars instead of scars to still give light The […]

Week 52: Epilogue

Week 52: Epilogue

Epilogue The clock does not know it will continue ticking but we will be gone; the garden will remain in velvety verdance and someone else will tend the plants and trim their wild ambitions; the birds will arrive at dawn waiting for the whistling woman […]