The Poetic Portraits Project

The Poetic Portraits Project  Poetry Anthology It was the easiest pitch I've ever made. I was invited to write a short sentence that encapsulates how I feel about ageing. Now I could have gone two ways. Eighteen months prior, I had been diagnosed  with osteoarthritis of one kneecap, and a cyst inside the other one. So on a physical  level, suddenly age was catching up with me for the first time. My dance teaching career was over, and I was still struggling with knee rehab. But rather than  hobbling out a pitch about disintegration,  I focussed on what I perceived to be the meaning of my ailment. For many years, I'd struggled to juggle dance with writing, and the knee diagnosis freed me from that struggle; allowing my writing to take centre stage – finally. So my pitch was simple: I'm just about to peak!  It worked. I got in. Successful applicants were invited to attend a full-day poetry workshop at Yarra Ranges Civic Centre, where we would produce pieces of poetry for a pro

Why Learn Tarot?

Quite simply, tarot is a mirror in which to view yourself objectively. The elemental and archetypal symbols conveyed by the tarot, mirror different dimensions of our lives. They are also a teaching tool, to convey esoteric principles that have been known to mystical scholars for thousands of years. They mirror great cosmic cycles that govern life on Earth, as well as personal cycles of growth and renewal – enjoyed and endured by each of us.  Old-time tarologists weren't spruiking personal growth. Their knowledge of the cycles of life was viewed in a more limited way – as fortune telling. But they still conveyed something mystical to ordinary minds.  These days, a wide variety of people use tarot in a number of ways: Reflecting on daily events Drawing a card at the end of each day can help you to reflect on the day's events, as well as tackle any problem solving required. They are the mirror into which you can clearly see what is dominating your thoughts. Those thoughts will app

Are You Hoarding Poems Too? I Found a Whole Anthology!

Erupting from between the cracks in my book writing routine, poems come like feelings: hot blasts and inspired renderings, exploding during times of peak emotion. For me, this is why I swiftly file each poem away, to get on the with intensity of the inspiring event. Life dramas stack up. Poems stack up. And the years pass. Suddenly, thirty-five years have passed, since I dropped tears on my first poem – scrawled onto school issued looseleaf paper, and neatly typed up for a typing assignment. My teen grief flowed out of me in effortless rhyme, the only poem I ever memorised. Like that first broken-hearted composition, as I felt my feelings, poems continued to arise in my mind. I began to think in rhyme! From time to time, I'd send one away to a poetry competition. In my early twenties, I even paid twenty-five dollars to have one published in an anthology. But so little did I value the place I had paid for, that I didn't even keep the anthology! During my mid-twenties, I got my f

Intuitive Writing – A New Door Opens

Do you have doubts about your writing? I know about doubt, too.  Who am I to teach writing? I don't have a university degree. My books are self-published. Grammar isn't my strength. I can't say much about style or quality. I'm only an emerging writer. These are the things I told myself when someone suggested I teach a writing workshop, following the sudden end to my dance career.  But a doorway opened in my mind. So the next time I sat in front of my computer for another online course, I watched the presenter and thought to myself, I can do this . I thought to myself, I might not be able to teach the craft of writing, but I can get writers writing . I know how to open creative pathways, and plumb the depths of the archetypal world within us. I can do this because of my training in intuitive development. Back when I was writing my first courses in tarot and intuitive development, I realised I was teaching people how to look at symbols and write or speak about them. Just

Poem: The Dissolution of the Dance

Music warmed my heart from birth Born half-sized, and boxed. I heard it play, maybe a nurse And to its beat I rocked. It held me earthed until the time Someone came to claim me. Soothed to sleep by song and rhyme I rocked out where they laid me. Quickened by the radio I learnt to dance alone. Moving in staccato I felt myself at home. Music was a blanket Dancing was a hug. When I could make a racket It made my heart thud. I danced with belly dancers Then I learnt to teach. I leapt all night with ravers The goals I set were reached. Dancing was my joy The beating of my heart. My soul’s ecstatic toy My vocation and my art. But now I halt – with trepidation Aches, and grabs, and bites. Patella, in disintegration A new knee-cap in sight. The dancer flops upon the edge Of cavernous despair. In the next life , is her pledge While writer holds her by her hair. Change is how things come to be It breaks us into parts. And in my soul I’ve always known The word would be my art. My restless, pacing

Memoir, Voice, and Knowing Thyself.

I must pause a moment, from editing my memoir, to reflect on the art of memoir itself. I'm in the fourth year of active focus on my memoir. But of course, fragments of it have existed for many more years than that. I wrote, had professionally edited, and self-published, my first two books in the space of five years; yet the third book has dawdled. At times, I didn't touch it for months. I wonder why it's dragged its feet so much? When I ponder this question, I find myself looking at the self-reflection aspect of memoir. Not just that; it's the articulation of self into an organised line. For that to occur, a clear concept of self must be attained.  My sense of self was fragmented by trauma; which means that in order to finish the memoir, I needed to heal.  Coupled with that, for eight years, my home life was plagued with triggers that stole countless writing days from me. During this time I was also teaching dance, which – although it funded my writing education – was m

The Writing Returns

Could this be the first rays of motivating light warming my typing hands? Is it over yet? The loss of belief; the feeling I may never write again; avoidance, even repulsion towards the idea of sitting at my computer; closing the study door so I don't have to look at my computer. Is it over yet? I think so. My feet are resting on a new footrest, given to me by my daughter for my fiftieth birthday. The office chair is wrapping around me like the hug of an old friend. The computer, asleep for weeks, came instantly to life—as if time had stood still.  But time doesn't stand still, and as my fiftieth year of living this life begins, it feels like I should hurry up a bit. Although it's normal for Capricorns to peak late, I still don't feel as though I have time to waste. I have so many book ideas, and books take years to write! So rest doesn't always sit well with me. I know it's inevitable. My first book was all about understanding human energy and its cycles. Creat