Taking the Risk to Show You More.

Last night I was privileged to share in an evening with Rosemary Wanganeen, who works in grief counselling in Adelaide.

That sentence nowhere near expresses what Rosemary is and what she does. She is a proud Aboriginal woman, who has worked with her own pain of loss and grief, to distil the elements of healing that she can pass on to others. She is courageous, compassionate and generous and she shared her personal story with an astounding degree of vulnerability and open-ness.

Rosemary’s life is lived in faith and trust, as she learns to tap into the wisdom of her ancestors, using all her intuition to do her life’s work of healing.

She talked about how as humans we need to have faith and trust – in ourselves and in each other.

In response, I have decided tonight to go into trust and faith myself, and share with any readers, an aspect of who I am that I usually reveal only to selected friends. I usually only share such thoughts with people who I know share a common language of the heart.

Poetry is not much valued in our culture but I came to it almost by accident, as a young woman. I was a busy mother of a large family, also working and studying. There wasn’t much time for writing but the words kept coming in snatches tantalizing me. I took to writing down little fragments here and there, saving them for the school holidays when I could shape and play with them. I realized that what I was doing each January was writing poetry, that lovely form of words that emerges in images you didn’t know were there: sometimes forceful, sometimes soft and mysterious, but always revealing something deep deep down inside. You don’t just sit down and decide to write a poem – well, I don’t know for sure if other people do, but I can’t imagine it possible. When a poem comes from that hidden place, it comes as gift. When it is finished, I have learned something new.

Here is my gift of faith and trust in you .


                ADDRESSING THOU.


            They ask me to pray for them

             for their families their fears

            their lives really.

            Sometimes I ask them too.


            I don’t understand prayer at all

            even when it is a comfort.

            I do understand something of love and its bruised nature.

            I sit in the dark and wrap them

            and all the grieving world

            in my tattered scraps of love

            or prayer

            into the warmth.

            It is not a plea or making a bargain

            just holding them up to Love

            with the only human heart I have.





                NO SENSE AT ALL.


            I know it makes no sense at all

            and I am afraid of unknowing .


            The silence of the night

            seeks my seeking,

            this source of my life.

            Can I say it ? Shall I say Thou?

            there is no name no word

            just to stay .

            I can’t explain this – how I

            can’t feel it but my bones know

            it is a soak for my dryness.


            My love struggles and strains at the seams

            effort has to be made sometimes.

            But this – it is the ease of it!

            flowing love

            for each of all these trillions and trillions of tiny cells

            in even more trillions of galaxies

            and in the beautiful spaces between.


            No reason at all:

            approach through another gate entirely.

            I know well it makes no sense

            but then what lover ever did?                        

About Pauline Small

After a long and varied career in teaching, I am now able to pursue my other love - writing as a form of exploring the depths of life's experiences. I live in South Australia, in an ordinary house in an ordinary suburban street, which is where the extraordinary happens every day.
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