Monday, October 31, 2005

All Soul's Night Greetings

To mark All Soul's Night I took a ride with Baba, in her black swan, to the Isle of the Dead and met the Queen of the Serpents who guards the entrance to the underworld. I took a small vile of pure Castalian Water, collected at Delphi and we drank to creativity. The Serpent has blessed all travellers on the Soul Food Silk Way.

While Travellers celebrate Halloween and All Soul's Night le Enchanteur wanders deeper into the Serpent Queen's Cave, on the Isle of the Dead, to see her world. She is dazzled by the beauty of the Queen and her Treasury. The Queen has secrets to share.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

All Hallows Oak

This species of oak has purplish green foliage. In the sun it lightens, and when it clouds over the purple is much darker. A magificent tree.

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Man and Nature Takes Time

copyright BC 2005.
These pics come from a very good friend of mine who took
a great deal of trouble, planting the right trees, waiting for
them to grow, and creating a relationship with magpies.
Now they eat from his hand and are quite cheeky in the
yard, treating it as their own.

Caught by rays of yellow

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tree of Letters - A Mystery Solved

Thinking of green hearts and things unresolved, I went to the Tree of Letters to find some answers. To my surprise Nature had caught one for me, from a long time ago. It was written on parchment in an elegant quill-formed hand. Puzzled, because I had no memory of it, I sat down under the tree near the profusion of violets in green, and cast my mind back. It read:
Dear Salamander (?),
Weeks, years, have passed since your mother found me wanting, and your father made me wait. I lower my fine hat brim as I write, against the Italian sun. The light blooms on the stone ruins of old, and I feel the warmth as I sit and write to you from far away. Ruins all around me of a Golden Age, I can only find respite in my pen. You would be resolute and angry in the English Countryside, dreaming of poets and colours. They didn't wait to let you come and see me, so I could only leave, knowing I was leaving part of myself behind.
Two years on the ring I sought to please you with lies untainted in my breast pocket, a shining example of love. The world has no choice but to leave love at it's last, and might I have any recourse to believe otherwise, none has come to me.
No letter from your fine pen has reached me in the Italian sunshine, no other has caught my eye. Letters fly from me to you, only to return to me in tatters. I will write until you notice that love does not die. It is only the suspicion of it that lives, back in the place where you were born.
I cannot believe you have not read any of my lines, my poems to you, -- I am dreaded to think these may have been intercepted by hands older than your own. Did you ever see them? Were they only drifts on the wind? White shades against the blue?
Write, as I may wait for you, in the Italian sun, stone warmed by light.
yours in the truest confidence,
Columbine (?) 1670 Italy.
I sat in silence, and wonder, at the tree that had saved this missive, in spite of older hands, so long ago. How was it that it came back to me at last? Green circles, perhaps?
copyright Monika Roleff 2005.


I waited long to hear the knock at the door
They did not come
I waited to hear the telephone ring ding a ling ring
But it was silent
I watched for the postman to leave a letter
But the letter box stayed empty
I saw them once long ago
I waved and called out
They did not acknowledge me
So I took to writing letters to myself
I posted them off, and they returned days later
I liked what I had written to myself
It made a lot of sense
I told myself I was a good person , a good friend, a good Mother
A good wife, a good Daughter, a good worker
And you know I liked what I had written to myself
And you know 10 years has passed since I wrote to myself
And as I re read those letters I like what I wrote to Lois
And Lois I am sure likes what I wrote.

Memories of a soul once broken
memories of a soul now plowed and tilled to perfection
It was there not lost , and I did seek it, and found it in one
piece unscathed and content
It dwells in this place I call mine.

Lois (Muse of the Sea) 26-10-05

Green Leaves of Hearts

Hearts -- leaf shaped -- analogy.
Real hearts can be green --
Fresh to feel new things.
copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Upper Tier

The upper pond of the Tiers of Sakin'el

Tree of Letters

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

This is a tree of lost letters. Seeing Halloween is coming up, the Hermitage is welcoming lost letters, so if you have a letter that was lost, this tree has caught them all. Feel free to write that letter and make it breathe new life. Even if you just think the letter, it might come to pass. The tree is for lost wishes that are captured by nature, and may come true one day.....

Monday, October 24, 2005

Gnomes and Goosebumps

There was a good lot of squabbling out on my balcony last night. Yet, every time I was out there trying to find the source of disgruntlement I could find no one. I slept fitfully, my subconscious still trying to work out who might be jabbering out there and why.

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Finally at about seven I could take no more. This time they were caught. Three unclothed gnomes with goose-bumps complaining about the night and "when are we getting those clothes we were promised anyway?" I was ten past tired and not willing to get into it right then right there. I would do something about it.

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After grabbing another couple of hours of "lie down" and rest up, i grabbed the three naked gnomes and the one suited up and planted them inside where it was quite warm. Before I could paint them the goose-bumps would have to disappear.

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I am in some part to blame for having ignored the balcony pretty much since the weather got colder. The continued blooming of the flowers, however kept me from thinking about impending winter. It really is quite amazing how much is still in full bloom and it is almost November.

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After taking the dog for a walk I took out my paints. Gwendolyn had been the most vocal about being cold, something to the effect of "I'm freezing my tits off". In keeping with her temperament I dressed her in red. She practically jumped up and down with excitement when I held the mirror up so she could see. "Can I have red flowers in my hair? Pretty please." Well, how could I refuse, and off course shoes to match were next. Red was absolutely right for her. A white furry colour would keep her "tits" from freezing off.

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Missy wanted a blue dress and purple fur trim. I was about to paint a matching set of blue shoes when she screamed at me "Stop, Aletta, mine should be red shoes too, I've always wanted red shoes." I could understand that, I've never met a girl or woman who did not want one pair of sparkling red shoes "just because". We rarely get them as little girls because red does not match enough of our daily wardrobes, it is frivolous and parents favour the sensible brown, navy or even white shoe. So Missy had her red shoes even though she hasn't any red clothes on. Her bright green hat is now trimmed in lilac fur to match the dress coat.

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Paully had waited patiently for the girls to be dressed. He and Petey were enjoying the view of the two ladies dressing up. The girls seemed to appreciate the attention and it certainly wasn't rude so I kept myself to task and did not bring it up. "I like the white, could I keep the white hat?" I did my best to please and gave him what might best be described as a blend of reverse Santa and classic "commedia del arte" clowns. Looking bright eyed and warm he asked, "White shoes please." "No problem Paully."

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"Ready to go back outside now?" All four replied in chorus "yes, please." Gnomes are very polite. I carried the four outside and sprayed them with a warm coat of glossy finish. "now you are rainproof as well." The little sparrows who live on my balcony chirped their admiration for the new duds. Not wanting to leave them behind in my attentions I remarked that their winter feathers were looking beautiful and extra fluffy this year.

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I took another look a little while ago, their little shiny faces looked very happy and not one of them had goose bumps any more. "You won't be making noisy conversation tonight will you?" There was giggling and a resounding "No marm." So now I can contently put up my feet and know that I have not neglected those who depend on me.

Brigitte's Fairy

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This is my niece's fairy, as I'd painted one for each of her two sisters. Brigitte was very happy with her fairy. The fairy looks a little like her, purely intentional and by some happy coincidence yellow is Brigitte's favourite colour. Her next older sister Phoebe remarked that now I will have to paint a pixie for her brother, he cannot be left out. She darted into her room and brought me a book which showed pixies (somehow she sensed I had not a clue what might be3 the male counterpart of a fairy). She kindly offered to lend me the book until the painting was finished

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A plate of Zinnias

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Found carelessly strewn all over the sidewalk while walking my dog. They look quite stunning each of their bright faces kised in sunlight on my dinind table.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Secrets I'm Not Privy To?

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Stimpson and Jamaica.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Golden Suns and Butterfly

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

The Power of Green

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Baby Lilacs Grown

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Flower Power

Copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Secret Path to the Oak

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Wise Old Man Tree

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Pink Bounty of Spring

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Spinning in the Park

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Trying to put movement back in my life.


Fall Back


The night trees often play sax to my prayers,
backed up by the trombone train.
But the holly rattles a distracting theme,
while vines shoot to a higher key,
and I must listen close to the chorus of roots
that plunge to a throaty base.
Peace will come in a clarinet joy of grass,
as Spring conducts a symphony.

Now that it is Fall the hall seems empty,
and I must rely on memory.
But I can, you know -- are at least believe,
that the music was surely etched
in grooves of my restless mind and spirit --
by a balance needle called my soul.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Horse Chestnut Tree in Bloom with Bee

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Progress Nonetheless

Starting off again today, too late in the day to fully get to where I am going but still feel I should make the effort. I passed the most amazing trees wearing lacy fungus skirts, patches of toadstools at their gnarled roots.

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The donkey still followed me, though not at my urging. Doing what could only be described as an awkward bunny hop and nose-nudging it dawned on me (I am none to quick on the uptake today), the donkey was trying to point something out to me.

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Quite surprising I found a doll, looking just like the one my mother made from my dad's old corduroy pants. That was a half centurey ago, and miraculously this doll has never been lost nor needed mending.

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Her name was Jamaica.

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I've no idea how she got beneath the tree, all they way out here. I last left her sitting on a shelf in my hallway. Jamaica has always been profundly important to me, representing constancy, after all she is always there, even when I am away and forget to pack here, somehow she still is there. Gifts made with love are never lost.

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I suppose I've taken her for granted and not noticed her wandering off. I am exhausted and in need of curling up. For a night and maybe two, I promise to clean up after this donkey if it will not go home.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Flowers in the Glow of Summer Dusk

Looking forward to Summer,
the season of golden light -
glowing in the flowers...
copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Enigma of Trees

(Originally posted at Lemurian Mysteries in July this year.
Finally managed to get a photo last weekend, and the growth that continues is shown here...)

We saw today, toward the end of our walk in the Botanic Gardens, something that surprised us. It was an old cypress pine, one of the original ones from the mid nineteenth century, and its trunk was old and stiff. Yet its growth was still green. Last year in summer there had been a storm, knocking down some older trees whose roots had done their work, and since then new ones were planted amongst the many surviving ones. But this one was very old and had appeared to have found a mate.

In David Suzuki and Wayne Grady's latest book called simply "Tree", there are many facts that indicate trees in forests "commune", not just in groups, but communicate, in order to preserve the good of the whole. They share root space and nutrients, across large areas of land, for they know they protect the life that depends on them for survival, the birds, insects, animals and also the understory from the ravages of too much sun. Trees actually link through their root systems, swap nutrients, and grow to accommodate each other.

This old cypress had a brand new growth, and we wondered what it was. It curved its smooth trunk up close, from the earth, right up the knarly older trunk, as if it were a ballast. The top of it was green with fresh Moreton Bay Fig leaves, nestled in a cheek to cheek dance with the older tree, quarter way up its tall height. These trees share space with the Cypress Trees and have done so for over a century. It seemed a courteous arrangement for the younger shoot to oblige the older one, lending a hand to the trunk which we saw, on closer examination, had been damaged where a branch had broken off, perhaps from the summer storms. The tree had been in danger of falling over completely because of the missing branch.

Seemed to us this is what life is all about -- and the enigma of trees.

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Beginning by Plan

A visiting priest was to join our Saturday picnic
quite eclectic discussion group on the theme --
"beginning starts with ending" He said he would
write a special prayer for this 'end of week'
Springtime event.

Definately not a priest from the 'Irish shame' mentality
of my Catholic youth!


O Great Father and Divine Mother

May our ears and eyes be open

to the marvel of the green life
pushing up through the skin of the earth
and struggling free in buds on branches.

This is the season of lovers,
so let our hearts freshly fall in love with you,
Profound Spirit.

May the growing presence of ever-virgin Spring
speak of the perennial possibilities
of new beginnings in our lives.

And so we prepare to conclude a week now grown old,
May this night be alive with springtime hope
for the new week that will begin tomorrow.

We reach out to the web of life
that binds all living beings on this planet,
with the sun, planets and moons of our solar family
and all the glittering colonies of night stars.

Father Sebastian, CP

Hermitage Floral Wallpaper

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.