7 May 2010

An Ode to Arncliffe

I went for a walk in a neighbourhood I used to live in,
the path that for thirteen years
I met with my thoughts,
I bared my soul,
gnashed my teeth,
hummed with abandon,
cried my eyes,
prayed with outstretched hands,
and dreamed and dreamed and dreamed-

about the dirt around the roots of tree trunks I have watched erode,
the place by the stone wall I can bury my legs in leaves,

things that look beautiful to me that aren't meant to be
like accidental paint spills on footpaths,
and peeling walls

like finding the familiar
weeds that whisper soft in the breeze,
golden light that hits the tree tops,
I could tell you when I first walked from my mother's house
out into this world,
when my feet were smaller,

I could tell how the houses have changed,
how the air is thicker
the trees that have grown,
the flowers that have bloomed,
the factories that have changed

I could tell you about a time
when I rode my bike every single afternoon
and created elaborate story lines in which I was
a spy; a British pathologist; a monk; a mother; a wandering gypsy;

I could tell you my daydreams to move to the country and build a house of wood, with chickens, and wood-fires and infant clothing on the line,

but I will tell you this;
that for all our notions,
for all my disdain with the city
and the noise and grey -
beauty is everywhere you will look for it.

and that here
in the grass and dirt and concrete
there is a bit of my soul;
faint impressions of my feet against the ground,

and my heart
if you listen quietly
in the wind.


  1. I love, and know this of you. I happen to completely love your city too. A beautiful, beautiful post today my dear! I can feel you growing by the minute...

    : )

  2. the weight of your spirit transcends distance and captures my whimsy.

    a gorgeous post, an even lovelier soul.

  3. Lovely. Your words touched me this evening as I am anticipating a visit to my childhood home this weekend.

  4. So completely true that beauty is everywhere..... I think the beauty is usually in the trees, (im sure you agree)

    I love how in peace you look in that photo.

  5. “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it”

    reflection - life - lovely!

  6. Beauty is everywhere you will look for it.

  7. Emily, you are a treasure. I loved these words.


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