Author: Tanya Southey

Week 45: Manifest

Week 45: Manifest

Manifest I was born your angel not in the sense of the good girl but in my role of fierce protector my tiny hands were made to drag you from your fears to save you from yourself and reignite your laughter when you were in […]

Week 44: Saudade*

Week 44: Saudade*

Saudade* Sometimes the mists roll in bringing thunderous sunshine and the cicada filled memory of kikuyu grass beneath bare feet, cooling in the summer heat Sometimes the mists roll in bringing Delft blue skies and the clear recalling of the crimson roses in the tiny […]

Week 43: Truth

Week 43: Truth

Truth

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

You came here without a path
your role is to forge one
for the ones trodden by others
do not belong to you

You came here with a heart
your role is to break it
for the only way to protect it
is not to care and that will
crack your soul

You came here with a belief
your role is to question it
and you will learn that
truth is diamond-faceted
in its complexity

You came here with a soul
your role is to sit quietly
and listen to it,
it is not to find it, for it was
never lost
only hidden in the noise

You came here with a tribe
who arrived disguised
your role is to love them
and you will find your friends
hidden under varied shaded skins

You came here
love it
live it
leave it better
than it was before

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

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Week 42: She

Week 42: She

She She who puts herself together with perfection is hiding the secret of her own imperfections; she who steps forward despite feeling “not good enough”; she who smiles through gritted teeth and nods, violently disagreeing breaking inside, acquiescing because she knows she cannot shift the […]

Week 41: Mercy

Week 41: Mercy

Mercy Give yourself twelve moons start with the fullest point collect all the things you say about yourself, the hardness, the brittle thoughts the lack of kindness, the things you would never say to a dearest friend, but you say to yourself with ease and […]

Week 40: Lacuna

Week 40: Lacuna

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

Lacuna*

If you go into yourself
and find a patch within
that has no graffiti
from others, from them,
from people who love you
and those who do not,
if you go into yourself
and find a field where
nothing is built and no one
has ploughed or planted ideas
what would you write?

If you venture into this
darkest spot where no one
has been, not even yourself
and you were given the pen,
told you can mark yourself
permanently, what would you write?

Would you be tempted to write
what everyone expects?
“You are enough” or “love”
or simply “I was here”
or would you find a word no one
has used and etch it in
to flaunt your uniqueness?

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

*Lacuna – a blank space

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Week 39: Blessings

Week 39: Blessings

Blessings I create blessings in my head I send them to my hands and stroke them into your hair I tell you nothing of them for you will look at me with your wry smile and tell me I am way too optimistic This cosmic […]

Week 38: Horizons

Week 38: Horizons

Horizons Horizons are a calling a nudging to a place that sometimes only you can see far beyond the misty plains, way beyond the wooded hills Horizons beckon and whisper, “Come, just over the hill just beyond where you are at now. There, look, is […]

Week 37: Iktsuarpok

Week 37: Iktsuarpok

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

Iktsuarpok*

There are gentle Spring days
when the air hushes
the chilled land back
from the cold
and the hollow blue, sky hums
to a tune that was written
a million years ago

And still in that peace
we are pulled to the door,
habit and necessity demanding
we scan the horizon,
the gate, the threshold
for the arrival of someone,
someone we have never met
the unborn child, the missed lover
the parent we wanted,
the friends we needed, the ones
we’ve had who have gone ahead

Restless, waiting for the pieces
of ourselves to return home

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

* – “Iktsuarpok” – an Inuit word from The School of Life – Untranslatable Words. The definition is “a feeling of edgy anticipation that makes one keep on looking out the window to see if an expected visitor is coming up the path.”

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Week 36: Well

Week 36: Well

Well There was a time when wells were the only source of water and villagers would congregate and share while drawing life-giving liquid from deep caverns Now we are unaccustomed to coming to the well to slate our thirsts We mindlessly turn on taps unaware […]

Week 35: Belonging

Week 35: Belonging

Belonging I have survived so much but mostly I have survived myself with a deep longing for true belonging I have survived my need to fit in and do the things that everyone else believes I was born to do I have outlived the fear […]

Week 34: Ripening

Week 34: Ripening

Ripening

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

They always told you
you were a rose
delicate pink and blushing
in the morning sun
and yet you did not believe
all that you were told
you held a sliver of an idea
that once reached you
in a vague and distant dream
They dressed you as a rose
and told you to stand in
your sociable elegance
but as you ripen
you know you are peony
you require a cold winter
and a lonely sky
to grow into your fullness
Heavy headed peony
filled with dreams
far from the sophisticated rose
with her ruby buds
you are a tight unfurling
and outrageously
beautiful as you bloom
Choose your location wisely
peonies resent disturbance
and space them far apart for
good circulation
says the gardening manual
Ah, yes you are definitely a peony
Ripening in your aloneness

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

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Week 33: Connection

Week 33: Connection

Connection Invisible threads hold us together stitching us through lifetimes ties that cannot be severed roots of energy tapped into emotion transmitting feelings regardless of where we are in the world regardless of time distance or space numbers dialled at exactly the same time identical […]

Week 32: Transformation

Week 32: Transformation

Transformation We fear that transformation will change us forever yet intrinsically a butterfly is still made of caterpillar cells and has memories of days before it could fly Sometimes a shift is brutal and fast other times change starts in the east a golden orb […]

Week 31: Space

Week 31: Space

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

Space

A Haiku:

Between you and me
wide skies and roaring oceans
the heart knows no space

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Week 30: Vellichor

Week 30: Vellichor

Vellichor The pages are fragile now yellowed and thinned with time but still the stories remain alive and waiting to be read to enter someone else’s life and leave a mark a sigh or second glance even with the faded ink and feathery edges which […]

Week 29: Prayer

Week 29: Prayer

Prayer Perhaps along the way this word became attached to things you lost your belief in perhaps along the way you lost the connection to the divinity that rests within each breath the part that breathes you the higher you that can seek to solve […]

Week 28: Hope

Week 28: Hope

 

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

Hope

Hope is a bulb
under frozen snow
buried, dormant
far from the sun
it believes
unequivocally
that its shoots
will push through
the darkness
It gets that the soil
though cold and wet
will create the urge
to reach towards
the unseen light
and while it may never
feel the warmth itself
at some point
a flower
will send messages
of confirmation
Hope holds faith’s
hand and believes in love
it sees the stars
instead of the night
it speaks to possibility
it nudges miracles
from sleepy hollows
and waits patiently
for the world to turn

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

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Week 27: Mystery

Week 27: Mystery

Mystery The great unknown is all around us yet we walk around all knowing totally right totally entrenched in our meaning making We are locked in our positions our knowingness our absolute black and white beliefs that shape our days and carve us into the […]

Week 26: Rest

Week 26: Rest

Rest This place of letting go and entering the space of being the great – I am the slipping into slumber the trust that you will return even though you have handed over full control to this unseen force unseen but restorative you yourself hidden […]

Week 25: Loss

Week 25: Loss

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

Loss

Loss rages
unexpected
as a bushfire
it burns
the water dry
cardboard drops
stick inside
my blistered
throat

The world once
upright overturned
I walk legless
and catatonic

Even months
from now
after I have strained
singlehandedly to
push these monolithic
buildings back into
their rightful place
this decimated spot
where you once stood
will lie empty
and my choices will be
to tend the weeds
that grow in your place
or avoid this place forever

This hurtful place
that drew a line
smack bang
through my life
and gashed its
forever scar of across
my face and heart

Before
and
after

My hands will
perpetually
flutter
and rub
this welt that bears
witness
to you
being wrenched out
of my life

And here we all stand
in cindered fields
emotions spent
bearing our new
definitions
ones that have us
hyphenated
mother-less
father-less
brother-less
sister-less
child-less

And when all
seems gone
you dissolved
only reflections remain
we catch glimpses
of ourselves
aching to hold it
together
clutching at scattered
fragments of
our souls and stitching
them back together to
never become
soul-less

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

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Week 24: Grace

Week 24: Grace

Grace Grace knows Grace knows how to stack your vertebrae one above the other Align the spine when the haters cry to have you stooped and bent when all expect you to spit back the venom that was aimed directly at your good intentions Grace […]

Difficult Conversations – How to discuss grief and loss with children

Difficult Conversations – How to discuss grief and loss with children

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon several years ago and I had nothing to do that appealed to me.  My daughter was cramming for Year 12 exams and my husband had a deadline for work. The dogs would have loved a walk, but the sheets of […]

Week 23: Petrichor

Week 23: Petrichor

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

Petrichor

The wilderness
was once visible
a hooded darkness
of caves and woods
monsters concealed
in logs or behind
shadowy rocks

A lonely place

The wilderness
is now invisible
a place of
tall buildings
and people milling
a proximity of connection
but utter disconnection
a place of aching
aloneness in the
closeness of crowds
a million likes
but not one smile

We crave belonging
this timeless spaceless
knowing that we are loved
that we are seen
that someone knows
in this wilderness
that we really do exist
the one whose eyes
lock onto ours
and without words say
‘I know exactly
who you are
soul of my soul’

The rain
absorbed

You
internalised

Loneliness
dissolved
Only the
lingering
lightness
of connection

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

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Week 22: Empathy

Week 22: Empathy

Empathy Don’t wrap me in your pity or stifle me with sympathy the lion’s roar may well seem silenced but it’s alive within my core Don’t smother me with platitudes or shroud me in condescension sympathy will only invoke my rage my wounds will scream […]

Week 21: Abundance

Week 21: Abundance

Abundance It’s easy not to trust to doubt that all that you need will fall into place It’s effortless to fall into the fear and miss the signs of the quiet blossoming We are led to believe that support and love come in large packages […]