the weather is beyond our ken is it not?


today the wren shared the hommous  with me. I am sitting on the verandah with a juicy warm autumn sun a carob drink a plate of hommous and a bunch of sourdough crackers thanks to anne marie the zero waste chef extrordinaire who you can visit  here .

this is what I do  :    soak the chickpeas for 24 hours,drain and cook them . keeping some of the water I put them thru the mincer and then add  garlic salt  tahini  lemon juice some of the reserved liquid and a pinch or two of ground cumin which rob assures me is a vital addition.good enough for me good enough for the wrens.

the superb blue wrens have lost their startling blueness, the breeding season is over and the fellas don’t need their bold colours anymore. blue-wren-415267_640it fades bit by bit like paint peeling off a wall over time and all that is left is a darkish blue tail and the motley brown grey scruffy look.  a scruffy fella sups out of the dish once twice thrice and then skips off. they are all over the verandah around my feet pecking at morning toast crumbs and visiting the top of the table for a direct infusion of a chickpea paste.

I barely move so entranced with this sharing but even when I do they don’t take a lot of notice.

it has not rained for a couple of months or more and the land is drying out.   the wallabies drink out of a water pot in the garden and empty it every couple of days. the kangaroos are camping near one of our dams and it is getting lower .

the conversation in the village is all about rain about wanting rain needing rain. jokes about rain dances and prayers for rain.  heads are shaken- farmers sell off stock and water is bought – there isn’t anything we can do about this is there ? the weather is beyond our ken is it not ?

or is it?  perhaps we and the elemental world are connected – perhaps once we had a relationship with cloud and moisture and land and forest and river and bee –

hang on a minute -we still do.  we use poisons which kills the  bees and fertilisation of our food is becoming a problem . we cut down the forests and there goes the mist the cloud the dew the drops.

early morning I walked in the autumn mist – yes the spiders had all their webs slung about . I stood watching the sun beams angling thru the trees highlighting the webs and reflecting upon the dam.  I could hear and feel drops falling on me. not rain per se not a cloud above just trees and mist.

we are connected to all of these things – we deplete our rivers and the landscape dries out we tear apart the mountains drain the swamps for suburbs rob the aquifers for mining projects,  make armaments out of depleted uranium and have created enormous plastic/chemical sludge islands in our oceans.

we are faced with a harsh lesson in which our actions are resulting in monumental shifts of ice of land of water of body and of mind …

what are we to do?




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Z : zen musing


dear friends ,

I know I repeat myself. I know I keep on telling the same stories over and over again, about forest and earth and spirit and beetle.

I have noted that it is a device used in other cultures and imagine that maybe repetition is one of the keys to our ongoing survival growth and learning.

and so once again


on any given day a turtle plods past the house

a black swamp wallaby drinks from the water pot outside the kitchen window,

a superb blue wren picks at crumbs shaken out from the breadboard onto the verandah

a skink wanders along the kitchen bench

a whipbird ducks thru the shrubberies

a black snake flattens out along the woodpile warming up.


***   the forest is magic;

it is biodiversity And,

it is poetry rhythm song and dance  ***


as a forest dweller I love it,

and yet because of my presence here  adaptations are taking place all the time. I am witness to evolution in the making. foods not previously known or eaten are now available and the black swamp wallaby and the brush tail possum like to take up all offers.

year after year our earnest human ideals have been tasted and added to the palate of bird possum wallaby, even the skinks love hommus.

we the usurpers have retired our ideals and watch in unfeigned delight at the bowerbirds, cuckoo doves, lewins honeyeaters, currawongs and silvereyes hoofing into the figs.


the question for me is –

how can I reduce my footprint to leave a world of beauty for the grandchildren and their grandchildren?


I have to take responsibility for all that is going on

all that I like and all that I despair of.

all this is within me.

we the humans are co- creating – changing the blueprint making our mark.

so on the one hand we are capable of biocide and on the other, acts of great kindness and generosity.


every year the whales swim along our coast, sometimes shepherding their babies in close so we can see them easily from the cliff tops. I think of the sounds they make and the songs they sing and the stories they hold and wonder why we do not know and honour their language their passion their lore.

I know next to nothing of the languages/stories within this forest, of what the kurrajong or the echidna is saying or where the turtle has come from and who its relatives are, or how old it is, or what it dreams of when it lies on the log beside the dam.

all this I do not know which is why I cherish living within this space – this place of worms and bacteria and fungi, of death and decay, of bud and bloom.


and that question leads me to another,

I wonder that if we are willing to plant the seeds of tomorrow

the seeds of cucumber and kindness,

of tomato and compassion,

of beans and generosity

will this make a difference ?


and then I pray

that it can

and that it will.


I do not know if there are answers

but I am thinking that

while the bee still sups from the flower

and the platypus still plays in the river

and while Mother Earth is the only embodied home we know


for the sake of all that we hold dear – whale tree dingo bat sugarglider dolphin eagle  river child wattle fern wombat …….


let us sow the seeds of tomorrow

honour respect kindness laughter generosity compassion grace…….


yours faithfully,

sandra taylor

daughter of the earth and the sun



 P.S.  have you noticed that there is no mention of zen- what am I on about ? not even a vague attempt to bring it into the picture . I found that as far as zen goes there is nothing to say . there is only the lived and felt experience which may be zen or maybe not . who am I say? 

P.P.S. my thanks to the a to z challenge for inspiring me to write every day , to share this love I hold, this prayer I sing.  I honour all those who have travelled with me and I thank you dear companions for your support and your stories in return.


angophora cathedral





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Y : yearning


look around

life is humming

it thrums

it buzzes

it moans whistles and roars

it cackles shrieks whispers and dances.


the goanna climbs thirty metres up the angophora and disappears into a hollow.

how does it fit and can it even turn around in there I wonder?

soon it will be dreaming the dream of hibernation until one warm spring day it will emerge and descend headfirst back to the ground.

the baby wallaby jumps out of its mothers pouch, skips and scampers about and then head first dives back in. the pouch becomes a squirming wriggling bundle, an arm and tiny face peeps out then all goes still and mum and bub bounce off to sit in the shade of the bush cherry tree.

this tree that delights us with its yummy fruit is symbiotic in nature attaching its root system to that of a nearby gum.

the platypus disappears into a burrow in the bank while the river winds its way thru gullies and valleys and plains, turns to salt water and meets the ocean.


there they all go



and complete unto themSelves.


this is where I know jealousy.

this is where I feel  envy for all the Beings that are totally immersed in their lived experience of life.


the echidna, little legs plodding nose snuffling into the ground for ants

is totally at home within itSelf,

knowing its place its journey,

without books or masters or kitchens

without the internet or a water tank

or a chair or a crochet project.


from the moment they come into Being

the cloud the spider the kangaroo the horse in the paddock

the blue wren on the verandah all act according to who they are.


I find mySelf Yearning,

Yearning deeply not just for me but for all my fellow humans,

that if only we could be as assured, as whole, as tuned in as these Beings are.

if only we could know the grace of existence as they do.




here is one of the  wee fellas , old enough to be out of the pouch exploring on its own but will still hang around with its mother, loves this verandah as you can see from the scats – mmm those grape leaves are so delicious.



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X : this is X


from the oXford dictionary I discover  that X is among other things :

a cross shaped symbol used to indicate a position on a map,

an incorrect answer,

a kiss

a vote on a ballot paper

used instead of a signature for those unable to write .

it also signifies the X factor,

denoting an unknown or unspecified person or thing,

an unknown quantity in algebra.


it seems to me that X has a duel life –a little bit paradoXical –

a way to make something wrong and a way of finding something correctly.

when I make a mud map to our place I put an X to show where the house is and all things being equal I know that the map reader will find their way to our door . nothing unknown about it.

on the other hand at school  I would get an X placed next to my wrong answer and a tick next to the right one.

the other day  a passport document  insisted I put a X in the box for my answer just as we do when we vote for our politicians. X implying this is my choice – the correct one. although arguably there is always an unknown factor ( X ) in choosing those that govern us.

XXXXXXXX are kisses which we use to demonstrate our love for each other  – on letters messages text blogs cards . I never really thought about why it is the letter X that is a kiss and not the letter L or S.

X as a cross goes back to Christianity and the middle ages. the illiterate used X  to stand in for their names when signing  papers. within the church a kiss was placed on the seal- our breath ( kiss) of life was a  measure of faith in the sealing of  the deed.

in scrabble X is worth 8 points a gut wrenching challenge and winner  if strategically played.   it is also eXactly what you don’t want left in your hand at the end of the game.

considering the importance and variability of X in our lives from love to algebra to christ to government it is worth noting that X has less than 60 words barely a page and half listed .

from love to yes

from correct to wrong

from I don’t know to no one knows

this is the X in our lives.


and let us not forget the game of noughts and crosses –

your turn…






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W : welcome …

welcome to the land of the mist spiders



some early morning mist shrouds the forest in a thick silver grey blanket of moisture. Slung between branches and grasses are hundreds of webs, some as small as my hand, others bigger than a dinner plate and some shaped like baskets. Dewdrops hang poised on the gossamer threads and flash rainbows when caught in a sunbeam. A swamp wallaby sits under the wild cherry tree, having a bit of a scratch. A tiny head pops out from the pouch and looks around. Mother wallaby leans over and deftly clips a blade of grass to chew. Baby leans further out and clumsily sprawls onto the ground. It jumps up, leaps on Mum tumbles off has a scratch, ears twitch, a nibble then dives head first back into it‘s warm pocket.


days shorten and darken, very few hours of sunlight reach thru the tall canopy of gums. Under cold moonlight the wombat moves unhurriedly thru the bush pausing often to listen scratch think and munch on grass.  A superb blue wren flies into the house each day and gathers rent from the bench tops while upstairs in the roof a diamond python sleeps.  The dead trees of the forest supply us with firewood which becomes our focus, a meditation of wood gathering, chopping, splitting and stacking. Beside the fire we dream warmly and stories are told.



from the kitchen window we watch two red belly black snakes dance in the garden. They raise their sleek bodies up off the ground and exerting great force twine around and around each other pushing and swaying until one gives way. Quick as a flash they chase each other across the yard before rising up again going head to head. This is a male ritual of spring procreation. Over by the pond near the lemon tree a female is basking in sunshine. One of the males has to get his head higher than the other to become the winner, the alpha male. Much later John working in the shed notices the vanquished slink away thru the hedge. The winner glides sensuously over to the pond and curls up near the female where they loiter with intent well into the evening. The next day we discover them as coiled loops of black and red gently vibrating. Unlike the mating habits of the rooster and the hen this continues for hours.


an echidna with a back full of quivering spikes shuffling along on tiny feet stops and sticks its pointy nose deep into the earth and slurps up the ants. Goanna wearing its tough leathery coat and long sharp claws has responded to the heat and cruises the forest hunting old deaths and getting scolded by kingfisher and kookaburra.  We discover a tortoise laying eggs in a hole in the middle of our track, why there we wonder?  Kingston helps place a barricade around the spot but we never see them hatch out. The white headed pigeon flies in thirsty after its long flight south, perches on the edge of the tank beside the verandah and takes a long deep drink. Another migrant the channel-billed cuckoo an outrider of the storm fronts moving down from up north turns up with a wild screech and looks for a nest to place its egg in. Wattlebirds arrive and immediately start bossing the eastern spine bill, the new holland honeyeater and the lewins.

welcome to the forest

of the faerie embassy

where the mist spiders live…




this is chewed ears , he is the father of the little mob that hang about the house. here he is in a patch of  stinging nettle which he eats. truly .two theories on the chewed ears are a result of ticks on the ears or a bit of scrapping though we have only ever seen them play fighting each other so more likely ticks….




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V : verandah fiction


“and a very happy birthday to Jess beloved daughter

sister mother friend 

may the love we share nurture

and reflect unto you the diVine beauty of your soul. “




first the collecting of seeds

the large crimson blooms heavy, flopping over bowing to the ground,

their fine feathery filaments soft and ticklish on the hand.


her legs and arms bare to the sun were a rich nut-brown,

an embroidered scarf covered her head holding her tangled curls free of her neck.


at a glance it could be any century any continent,

at a glance it was a task repeating itself over and over again.



the flower heads filled the basin –tiny black seeds jumping free dropped to the bottom.


on a sun grazed verandah her hands lifted and sifted, lifted and sifted, lifted and sifted once again.

bangles on both wrists flashed and rainbows danced across the mud brick wall behind her.

singing with the baby also nut brown sturdily made of mothers milk, its small hands waving the discarded flowers about, tasting them shaking them , imitating the actions of her mother.


once the women worked together perhaps beside a creek,

using a large flat rock with a hollow worn smooth.

with a round stone fitting snugly into the palm of the hand

they ground grains into flour. 


on this day a mortar and pestle was carried to the verandah. handfuls at a time, not too many so that they skipped out of the bowl and not too few that it would take all day.

toned muscles rippled and pounded coaxing the transformation of the tiny black seed grains into flour.



while the baby bum high in the air slept in the middle of the lounge room

wearing the face of an angel

the alchemy continued.


following that long tradition of female ancestors – the flour, such a little amount but high in satisfaction, was added to other flours and with rainwater turned into flat breads.

a pot of lentils rich with garden veges – zucchini herbs carrot celery beans bubbled on the wood stove.

a murmur a snuffle a sigh and the baby came back in – banging the blocks the train the bells lying within reach.


the flat bread was turned over on the top of the stove

and pockets of air popped up – then lifted onto a plate drizzled with oil

sprinkled with herbs and salt from the ocean.


outside the day changed shape, a curling gust of wind came out of the south, dark clouds scurried over for a look and big fat drops plopped onto the garden.

soon the drumming of steady rain blocked out the good night calls of the birds,

the plants in the garden wavered under the pressure some kissing the ground.



the mother and the baby sat grinning,

fingers oily sharing the lentil stew,

each pleased with their busyness of the day.



this story originally written for  flash fiction friday,

mNemosyne south coast women’s journal.



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U : woman Up



tuesday 24 april 2018

first quarter moon in leo.


in the dark time

we feel,

we rage and despair

we plot and deceive

we weep and suffer.


Hecate  wise woman  crone  warrior  healer,  waits at the crossroads.

She takes no prisoners,

offers no comfort,

and yet with words of power slices thru the nightmares revealing our Selves unto our Selves.

confronted challenged offended and then relieved

a flicker is glimpsed in the inky darkness.


our power rises uncomfortably,

inching closer little by little

the flicker becomes a flame,

an opening

a possibility

a portal to salvation.


Hecate leans on her staff holding the lamp high

illuminating the pathways,

our choice.

we glance back over our shoulders

back to our favourite stories,

the ones that have knitted our bones together

the ones that have given our fury a voice

our vengence a space

our existence a reason.


the lamp flares brighter,

Hecate holds firm

‘woman Up’

she says.


let go of the stories that no longer serve

let go of the hurts betrayals lies confusions

let go of the angst over traumas of family  community  earth.


the dark bleeds into a new moon

a sliver of hope appears in our night sky

the crescent confirms our path

expanding our creativity

the moon plumps full.


this cycle/circle of waxing and waning

of energies linked to blood and tide

to ocean and womb

to grace and surrender,

remind us,

that we are

the light and the dark

the hope and the fury

the healer and the hurt


at the crossroads.

your choice




‘woman up’  originally appeared in flash fiction friday at mNemosyne south coast womens journal


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