Poetry and Prose: “New Arrival” written by Karen Robinson

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INTRODUCTION

Just recently my darling daughter and her husband announced that they were expecting their first child, and this news was received with much joy!  This will be our first grandchild and due in March 2018. But becoming a mother for the first time is a huge endeavour and brought back many memories of my own journey, as a young and inexperienced mother.  My thoughts also drifted back to my own mother and how she must have felt during her time, bringing up 3 small children under very difficult circumstances.  Over the years, I have come to understand and appreciate, that as mothers – we try to do our best, sometimes we fail, sometimes we succeed, but most of all – we hope for the very best for our children.

 

 

— New Arrival —

 

Surprise – “We are pregnant!”
Shock and then,
 joy — grandparents-to-be at last!
Sudden thought – it’s scary; 
being a new mother comes saddled with trepidation.


It’s a life altering event –
where’s the instruction sheet?


First there is:
dreaded morning sickness
ballooning of self to proportions unimaginable
and sleepless nights of turning, wheeling, arching, stretching, 
curling with no comfort in sight


Then there is the never-ending:
When is the baby due?
Is it a boy or a girl?
Don’t eat green pickles,
Rest more, walk some.
You’re putting on too much weight.
What names have you chosen?
Where are you having this baby?
What did the doctor say?
How did the ultrasound go?
Are you going back to work after the baby is born?
How much is this all going to cost?
Do you have the money?
What does the baby need?
What can I do?
You’re huge!
Haven’t you had that baby yet!
and never-ending advice from well-meaning by-standers


Mind-boggled parents-to-be stand poised,
pensively waiting
like race-horses at the starting gates of a Melbourne Cup.


Then there is:
Baby’s abrupt arrival
The never-ending needs of the newly born creature
devouring everyone’s mortal time.
     

Then there is:
the lumpy bumpy hollow womb
Post-Natal depression
New learned-on-the-go parenting skills
Nights without sleep
Demanding cries for mother’s milk
Nappies full of pooey, gooey surprises
Vegemite smeared high-chairs and banana splatter walls and floors
Never ending piles of tiny clothes awaiting a wash
Baby vomit appearing when least expected
Abandoned toys, abandoned husband, abandoned self


Then there is:
falling in love with the little one
its first smile,
its first steps,
first words
your hearts melting
huge hugs with every achievement
a baby adored with as much love and care as can be mustered


Then there is:
much joy and happiness
worries concerning childhood, teenager-hood
years of lifetime altering events


Surprise! –

there is no instruction sheet!


– Ο –


List Poem © Karen Robinson, August 2017 
∗Please click here to read the back-story about this List Poem

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

There is nothing easy about being a parent, especially for the first time round.  Each child brings joy, hope and constant challenges.  It requires strength, endurance, love, kindness, patience and flexibility.  It also requires us to forgive ourselves as mothers, when we don’t get it right, and to congratulate ourselves, when we succeed as parents.  I have always understand that for me, success looked like this:  being able to put a roof over my head, cloths on my back, food in my belly, and hopefully be a person who could love, and be loved in return!  I decided a long time ago, that if my children could success in being able to do these things for themselves, then perhaps my overall role in their lives as their mother – represented some form of success as a parent…

 

 

 

NB:  A special thank you to Judy Bird who continues to provide me with ongoing support with my creative writing efforts.

 

© Karen Robinson – September 2017

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy, photography and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Poetry and Prose: “Autumn” written by Karen Robinson

While you are here – please check out my home page!

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Autumn can be a really beautiful time of the year, especially when the days are fine and the temperature – not to cold.  Just outside our front door, we have an Manchurian Pear Tree which loses its leaves each autumn.  It’s a stunning view, and a tribute to my husband’s efforts in growing and nurturing our home garden for over 16 years now.  After taking a photograph of this magical autumn display, I was inspired to write a prose poem which can be found here below.

 

 

 

 

 

— Autumn —

 

­

When you visit each year,

you leave behind a carpet of leaves,

a swathe of warm gold,

bright yellows,

blood reds

and earth browns,

- a dramatic reminder

of your wilfulness.



In my garden-paradise

you leave trees

naked.

They stand tall,

branches bare,

surrendering

to the call

of approaching winter.



Your fallen leaves

will soon be hustled together,

swiftly swept

into a pile of aging matter,

then heaved over garden beds

where winter winds

will whisk a playful dance.



I look forward to this season of Autumn,

how it shares its glorious visual feast,

how it marks Time,

and makes way for new seasonal endeavours.

When you come and visit each year

I stop, enjoy, and wonder…



– Ο –

 
Prose Poem © Karen Robinson, May 2017 



 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Prose and poetry writing, alongside of my photography efforts, offers me a creative avenue that leaves me feeling contented.  At this time in my life this is something to be very grateful for – which I am…

 

 

 

NB:  A special thank you to Judy Bird who continues to provide me with ongoing support with my creative writing efforts.

 

 

© Karen Robinson – June 2017

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy, photography and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Poetry and Prose: “R.I.P. Jessie Our Beloved Family Dog” written by Karen Robinson

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Jessie_Robinson Family Dog_R.I.P. March 2017_Karen Robinson_www.idoartkarenrobinson.com_All images are protected by copyright_March 2017_102.jpg

Jessie our family dog at the age of 16 years old reached the end of his life.  This is a lovely photograph of Jessie some years ago, during a time when he was a little younger.  We loved him dearly and he will be greatly missed by us.  He was such a kind-hearted dog with a beautiful soul, he gave us so much joy and companionship during the good and bad times in our lives.  R.I.P. dear Jessie – March 2017.  Photographed by Karen Robinson – NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

INTRODUCTION

In memory of our dear family dog Jessie, I would like to re blog these prose poems I had written about him during 2016 – R.I.P. my dear loving friend…

 

 

Jessie_Robinson Family Dog_April 2016_Karen Robinson_www.idoartkarenrobinson.com_All images are protected by copyright.jpg

Jessie_Robinson Family Dog_April 2016.  Found him sleeping in the garden where he had made a bed for himself amongst the dried leaves.  Photographed by Karen Robinson – NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

— Our Dog Jessie —

­

His golden hair glimmers in the warm, afternoon winter-sun,

he is waiting, waiting, waiting for his very special one.


There seems to be no end to his vigilant gaze

as he watches for his master to grace the stony path maze.


For Jessie is truly a well-loved family member of ours,

he has given us so much love in both good and bad hours.


If only his master knew how adoringly his dog waits,

for the return of his master’s presence, - our dog’s best of mates.

­
– Ο –


Poem © Karen Robinson, July 2016
∗Please click here to read the back-story about this Poem

 

 

 

Jessie_Robinson Family Dog_Jan 2010_Karen Robinson_www.idoartkarenrobinson.com_All images are protected by copyright.jpg

Jessie_Robinson Family Dog_Jan 2010.  7 years earlier where Jessie was strong and still youthful.  In those times we were able to have his hair cut so that he would be more comfortable during the hot summer months.  But as he got older he didn’t like the hair cutting, it would stress him out too much, so we stopped for him.  Photographed by Karen Robinson – NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

 

— Home —


­
It is quiet and peaceful
at this very moment.
There are no ‘world worries’ in my space.
 

I hear birds awakening
 to the beginning
 of a new and promising day.


Inside here in my home
it is safe and warm,
and outside, surrounding my home,
is a garden paradise
grown and crafted
by the loving hands of a man
I cherish.


Here, I know, is a place
 for me
to run and hide -
to shelter from the outside world’s daily challenges;


a place where I can be myself –
unafraid, comforted.


The family dog sits beside me,
endearingly,
as always.


Together we wait for the morning-sun
to show its friendly face


and when my husband arises,
from his night’s sleep,
it is then we will take coffee
 and talk
in the security of each other’s company.
 

It is quiet and peaceful here –
this blessed place
I call home.


– Ο –


Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - September 2016
*Please click here to read the back-story about this Prose Poem

 

 

Jessie_Robinson Family Dog & Indie daughter's family dog_October 2013_Karen Robinson_www.idoartkarenrobinson.com_All images are protected by copyright.jpg

Jessie_Robinson Family Dog & Indie daughter’s family dog_October 2013.  Jessie often had our daughter’s family dog Indie come and visit where he would share is dog bed with little indie.  Photographed by Karen Robinson – NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

CONCLUSION

Home will never be quite the same now that you are no longer with us.  Thank you my dear friend, our family dog Jessie – you shared all your love and devotion, and you will be greatly missed by us all….

 

Jessie_Robinson Family Dog_R.I.P. March 2017 Photographed by Karen Robinson_www.idoartkarenrobinson.com_March 2017. NB All images are protected by copyright laws 101.jpg

Jessie_Robinson Family Dog_R.I.P. March 2017.  During the last week of Jessie life, he was in pain and suffering…it was a very sad time for him and for us.  Photographed by Karen Robinson – NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

NB:  A special thank you to Judy Bird who continues to provide me with ongoing support with my creative writing efforts.

 

© Karen Robinson – March 2017

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy, photography and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Poetry and Prose: “Bourke Street” written by Karen Robinson

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Melbourne, Victoria - Australia- 'Floral tributes at the Bourke Street Mall' photographed by Karen Robinson_www.idoartkarenrobinso.com_2201700320170125 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.

Melbourne, Victoria – Australia ‘Floral tributes at the Bourke Street Mall’.  A single pink heart sits above the sea of floral tributes left in memory of those killed in road trauma 20th January, 2017.   Photographed by Karen Robinson_www.idoartkarenrobinson.com.  NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Just recently I attended Writers Victoria’s workshop titled ‘Poetry The Foundations’ at the Wheeler Centre, Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne – Australia.  The day long session was conducted by Ali Alizadehtutor. The workshop covered: “(1) what is poetry, and what makes it a unique form of writing; (2) what is contemporary poetry; (3) what are the most important forms of poetry in Australia today; (4) how to begin and complete writing a poem; and (5) how to find an audience for our poetry” (Writers Victoria 2017).

 

‘BOURKE STREET’ PROSE POEM INSPIRATION

During the second half of the day, we were given the opportunity to write our own poem/prose based on a selection of prompts given to the group by Ali.  I chose ‘Bourke Street’ as this immediately resonated with me, as it did with others in the group as well. Melbourne on 20 January, 2017 experienced a dreadful road trauma event in the heart of our city and had deeply affected Victorians.  After the session, I walked to the Bourke Street Mall where there laid thousands of Floral Tributes. It was a very sad sight and deeply moving…

After further work on my prose poem, I felt I had reached a point where no more needed to be done, or at least no more that I wanted to do.  I titled the prose poem ‘Bourke Street’ and is featured here below.

 


— Bourke Street —

­

the news charged

into my space

demanding my

immediate attention

my response

‘no - not in my town

my city’




screaming

now from within me

the memory of my son

killed in road trauma

my senses heightened

I find myself again

saying

‘no - not in my town

my city’




this Bourke Street driver

killed

and maimed

without a thought




one baby

one child

and 4 others

run down,

slaughtered

in my town,

my city.




Melbourne now mourns

cries in disbelief

while loved ones

crumble in their despair

yes — in my town,

my city.


- o - 


Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - January 2017

­
Please click here to read more of my Poetry & Prose - 2017,2016 & 2015

 

 

CONCLUSION

To those who lost loved ones on that day, my deepest condolences.  To those who experienced injury, I wish for you a speedy recovery, and to the family and friends directly impacted by this dreadful act – my thoughts are with you…

 

NB:  A special thank you to Judy Bird who continues to provide me with ongoing support with my creative writing efforts.

 

© Karen Robinson – February 2017

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy, photography and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Poetry and Prose: “2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize – Wildcard Poet” written by Karen Robinson

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No. 6 The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize Event held at 75 on Reid Street, Fitzroy North - Photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 6 The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize Event held at 75 on Reid Street, Fitzroy North.  A lonely ‘Open Mic’ stands patiently waiting for its 30 poets to begin reading and performing their poems.  Photographed by Karen Robinson  NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Recently, I had the good fortune to be drawn as a 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize ‘wildcard’ poet.  This meant that I was able to read one of my poems along with 29 other Melbourne poets showcasing their poetry at Melbourne Spoken Word Prize (MSW) end of year competition gala event held at 75 on Reid, Fitzroy North. Poets were shortlisted by gig conveners around Melbourne, with wildcard spots. Each poet was limited to one poem each with a performance limit of 3 minutes, and no props or costumes allowed. Five judges from the spoken word scene:  Michael Reynolds (Passionate Tongues), Libby Charlton (Dan Poets), Michelle Dabrowski (Slamalamadingdong), Amanda Anastasi (La Mama Poetica) and Ebony MonCrief (Voices in the Attic) selected the best performance on the night based on a combination of writing and performance (MSW 2016).  The event was hosted by Anthony O’Sullivan and Benjamin Solah is the founder and Director of MSW.

 

No. 9 The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize Event held at 75 on Reid Street, Fitzroy North - Photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 9 The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize Event held at 75 on Reid Street, Fitzroy North – Hosted by Anthony O’Sullivan of MSW.  Photographed by Karen Robinson – NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws.

 

 

 

THE WINNER OF THE 2016 MELBOURNE SPOKEN WORD PRIZE – Kylie Supski

The winner of The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize, Kylie Supski performing ‘Graffiti Walls’ at 75 on Reid, North Fitzroy on December 2, 2016 (MSW 2016)”.  Kylie was certainly a standout on the night and well deserving of being the winner of this prize.  Below is what Melbourne Spoken Word had to say about Kylie and the YouTube features her performance on the night.

“Kylie Supski is a Polish-Australian poet and spoken word performer. Kylie’s inspiration comes from her personal experiences, all aspects of her life, and the people she is surrounded by. Kylie is greatly concerned with using art as a method of speaking out about global economic and political inequality. She encourages her audiences towards critical thinking, and to consider the weight of their own powers as citizens with specific regard to the inhumane policies backed by the Australian government controlled by less than ‘The 1%’. Kylie however, enjoys a diverse repertoire and is passionate about exploring the beauty of being alive (MSW 2016).”

 

 

 

 

AS A WILDCARD POET READING MY PROSE POEM TILED ‘A GOOD CONVERSATION’

It was an amazing opportunity to read my prose poem at the MSW event.  The Poet community was well represented within the audience, along with family and friends offering support to all the poets that read.  I had decided before the event to just enjoy the experience, I was glad to be there and able to read, that was more than enough for me on this night!  My dear husband, using my mobile phone kindly recorded my humble performance and is here below – NB:  Apologies for the poor sound.

 


— A Good Conversation —



We talked about the-everyday-things,

a catch-up conversation,

mostly predictable,

between us, as mother and daughter.

 

Then I asked her, “How is work?”

She surprisingly revealed that things were not good.

After listening to her

for a while,

I realised that I had little to offer

in the way of remedies or good advice,

even though as her mother,

it should have been expected.

 

There was a sadness

a feeling of helplessness within me

that said I cannot make this right!

 

She spoke of the challenges,

she spoke of the injustices,

she spoke of personal anguish,

she spoke of disappointment,

she spoke of sadness

and grief.

She just spoke.

 

I was there to listen.

I was grateful

that, as her mother,

I was there,

able to listen.

I saw pain on her face,

heard it in her voice.

 

I saw her relieved

that she could share

with me, knowing,

without asking,

that I would be non-judgemental.

It was a good conversation.

 

While her problems, concerns, and anxiety

still remained,

I was able to offer a silent assurance

that no matter what,

I will be there,

that my love for her, my daughter,

is truly unconditional.

 

With this the pain slipped away

from her face, her anxiety put to rest

for another time;

the injustices explored and clarified

so that they were now manageable,

and her challenges cast aside

to be revisited at another time.

 

On this day, her problems

became smaller

as our time shared together

became bigger.

It was a good conversation; 

a precious time between us

as mother and daughter.

– ο –

Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - November 2016

Please click here to read more about my Poetry & Prose - 2016 & 2015

 

 

CONCLUSION

We really enjoyed the evening!  A man came up to me afterwards and said “you made me want to ring my mother and I don’t even get along with her”.  Just those words from this man made me think “wow so good to think that by sharing can get people thinking about their lives” – art for therapy at it’s best for sure!

 

Melbourne Spoken Word - Open Mic Poetry

Melbourne Spoken Word – Open Mic Poetry

 

 

 

© Karen Robinson – December 2016

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy, photography and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Poetry and Prose: “Feeling Vulnerable” written by Karen Robinson

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No. 1 of 5 Creative Writing - Poem Titled 'Crying Roses' written and photographed by Karen Robinson 5th November 2015.JPG

“Ben was killed in a single vehicle car crash on the 5th November, 2009. He was driving at 140 kilometers per hour, had 0.08 Blood-Alcohol-Content, hit a kangaroo, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into two trees at approximately 1am in the night. He was discovered dead by his motor vehicle by a fellow workmate a couple of hours after his death. Ben was aged 25 and died three weeks before his 26th birthday. Ben was a beautiful, loving young man but had a history of driving offenses that meant as his mother I feared the worst might happen, and it did. In memory of our dear son Ben, we wish you were still here with us today, you are missed by us all – everyday. All our love son….mum xxx”. Written by Karen Robinson NB: All images and written content is copyright protected..JPG

 

 

INTRODUCTION

This week I was asked by ABC 774 if I would like to do an interview with them about road safety and road trauma. To talk about the work that I myself and so many other people at Road Trauma Support Services do every day – in the hope that these efforts will save lives and reduce serious injury caused by road trauma.  The interview was directly in response to a dreadful car crash that had occurred just this week where a 15-year-old boy had been killed, two young girls critically injured and two others injured in a single car crash.  This below is the interview sound cloud produced by TAC Victoria with Raf Epstein – DRIVE Program ABC 774 featuring myself as the interviewee.

 

 

 

USING CREATIVE WRITING AS THERAPY

It is never easy talking about road safety and road trauma, especially when it directly relates to my son, about his sudden and tragic death caused by road trauma on the 5th November 2009.  Just before speaking with Raf Epstein I found myself pensive, and during the interview itself, I found my voice quivering uncontrollably.  Afterwards, that night I couldn’t sleep.  Based on these reactions I was experiencing – I decided to attend my scheduled Creative Writing Session with Judy Bird our facilitator.  This group of people whom have become friends over the years is where I shared a Prose Poem I wrote that very morning about how I was feeling about my radio interview experience.  I was very comforted by the fact that all understood that at anytime I publicly talk about my son Ben and my family’s road trauma story – there is a price that is exacted. I feel my prose poem as shown here below does help to convey that fact.  I am also conscious of the fact that many other parents that have experienced the loss a child through road trauma would possibly have similar feelings, thoughts and emotions.

 



 — Feeling Vulnerable —

 Why am I feeling this way?
 I've done this many times before.
 I have spoken about my son,
 and his tragedy,
 so many times before.
 
 Was it the statement 
 the father made,
 saying it was not a tragedy?
 Did that cut right through my heart?
 
 Here I am again - vulnerable.
 My grief and despair
 exposed like an open wound
 that will never heal.
 
 My voice quivers
 as I talk. It's hardly noticeable to others,
 I think, but for me it is loud
 and demanding of my attention. 
 It is uncontrollable.
 
 I state the facts.
 I talk of the families
 that will now be hurting.
 I am hurting.
 How can I make it stop?
 It will never stop.
 
 My son is no longer here.
 His death - sudden,
 violent and unnecessary.
 
 Here I am again - vulnerable.
 But it will pass until the next time
 my heart is torn open.
 
 – ο –


 
 Prose Poem by Karen Robinson © October 2016
 
 *Please click here 
 to read other Poetry & Prose written by Karen Robinson 
 
 

Ben James Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

Ben James Robinson 16.11.83 to 5.11.2009  NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

 CONCLUSION

Sharing my prose poem with the members of the Creative Writing Group, a safe space created by the facilitator, Judy Bird, very much ensured I was feeling well supported. It ensured I was OK and I was!  Creative writing for therapy at its best I feel…

 

 

© Karen Robinson – October 2016

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson