Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Almost half way

When I can hold a newborn kitten in the palm of one hand
When the setting sun makes artwork of the evening sky
When a few remaining teeth line up in a smile for me
I think I could stay.

When the dogs in our street come running to greet me
When I understand a few words in Fijian
When I know what each market stall is best for
I feel at home.


When there’s no money at the shelter
When I stay in bed for a week with a chest infection
When an animal we cared for dies
I wish I could be somewhere else.

No sleep will come

A tangle of sheets around my body.
A lumpy pillow won’t hold its shape.
A kitten purring on my back.
A puppy barking outside my window.
A sliver of light glowing under the door.
A smell of smoke in the garden.
A cough crawling up my throat.
And thoughts of home won't leave my mind.
No sleep will come.

Red rope in our garden

With some old wood from the timber yard and a roll of chicken wire we had the makings of a puppy pen.

The sun was out so we tied Vuaka to a palm tree with a long red rope. He ran all over the garden and tangled himself up in everything: the chicken coop, rocks, pots of basil, coriander and aloe vera. All the local dogs stopped by to greet him. They got tangled up in red rope too.

Our housekeeper Aka and her family called us over to ‘mai kana’ – come eat. We sat on their big woven mat and ate two-minute noodles with hunks of boiled cassava: ‘Fiji food’. Aka's brother talked about lovo-ing a pig's head.

All day the sun shone and our neighbours Kola and Josi came to play in our yard. Two little girls as tall as the fence. We put them inside the pen and they couldn't stop laughing.

Then in the house and the girls blew gum bubbles on my bed while I cleaned Vuaka’s old room. Mopped it clean of poo and wee but couldn’t mop the smell away.

And inside our bathtub the mama cat and her babies meowed. All four kittens stretched, yawned and opened their new eyes to see.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A wise Lampshade once said

Sometimes your sanity
Is like a sheet pegged to a line
Flapping in the breeze

When there’s a strong wind
You have to hold onto it tightly
Hold on and don’t let go.