the invitation

in the poinciana
the dark cool air anticipating
the sun's arrival
of spangled drongos hiss
from branch to branch
fan tale telling
to those who have woken early
willing to listen

pied butcher birds chortle
and warble away
the myna chords of foreign invaders*
[this morning happily
their number is greater]
the enemy retreats
now they are shining black
sharp beaked and smiling over their territory
for this day
i am sitting barefoot in the morning chill
fingering warmth from a hot cup of tea
the cold has caught me
off guard - my senses
stand to attention

without pomp or ceremony
the door swings open
a shaft of gold
settles over leaves
grants form to trees
and gently glows
inviting those present to

be this [enlightenment]

*indian myna birds - also known as 'the flying cane toad' these birds are wrecking havoc on native species in these and many other parts - read more on these delightful aviators here


twombly [definition] - for Jen...

Cy Twombly Orpheus [Du Unendliche Spur] 1979

twombly [definition] 
'twombly'- noun - an apparatus assembled with creative spirit from used wire or wood [often a combination of the two]; either for decoration or for utilitarian purpose - often painted drippy white; 'a twombly', 'pass the twombly'
'twombly' - verb - the act of expressive creation eg. thoughts, writings, objects, dance - that may at first seem gestural and immediate, yet possess an innate sophistication - 'to twombly', 'I'm having a twombly', 'do the twombly', to 'twombly on'
'twombly, twomblesque'- adjective - a style, appearance or behaviour that at first may appear ramshackle and spontaneous - yet contains an innate sophistication and even a touch of the romantic - 'the house was a twombly affair', 'she had a twomblesque way of thinking', 'it was a twombly of a dress'...

[all in the spirit of fun - for Jen... !]


a cup of tea with cy twombly - in yarrabah...

Cy Twombly  Criticism 1955 

A little while ago in my post Cy Twombly in Rome, I wrote some thoughts on being fortunate enough to attend the Cy Twombly retrospective whilst visiting Rome in 2009.  Writing that post I re-remembered the exhibition and the profound effect it had on me - and - shortly after I began to regret the fact that I did not purchase the catalogue of the exhibition at the time - I remember holding one in my hands in the bookshop of the GNAM - at the very reasonable price of around 35 Euro [from memory], before deciding to be prudent and be happy with the tomes on Twombly I already owned....

Cy Twombly Untitled [Funerary Box for a Lime Green Python] 1954

However, pouring through these other tomes almost two years later and attempting to recall which works I had actually seen proved difficult -  and I began to wish for the actual catalogue I had held in my hands.  A few days after writing my post I headed online to find myself a copy of Cy Twombly Cycles and Seasons.  It took very little time to realise that I had left my run far too late - as I began pouring through website after website, searching for an available copy of this publication - which I then learnt - is now out of print... 

Cy Twombly Quattro Stagioni [A Painting in Four Parts] Part II: Estate 1993-1995

After trawling specialist book sites online I contacted a seller who I had found via Amazon.com - but who was based in America and was not listed to ship internationally.  Lucky me - they were prepared to make an exception [and even covered part of the shipping cost].  Thank you Ardent Books

Cy Twombly Thicket 1991

Cy Twombly Untitled 1959

Cy arrived yesterday - lovingly packaged for the long journey and still dressed in his original shrink wrap - and today I am relishing the opportunity to again walk my way through the exhibition piece by piece.  I am feeling extremely fortunate to have this book in my possession - and while I do believe in 'non attachment' and 'letting go', there are some moments in one's life that are wonderful to be able to revisit.  So this afternoon [while Stylus [dear husband] and Dante are out on a drive]  I am sitting down with a cup of tea and spending some time with Cy Twombly - in Yarrabah...


when planets align [as if by magic] ...

we make the journey past jilgi in the pre-dawn chill
atop granite tors 
a star filled horizon
illuminates the pacific night


but four are steady – constant glow
they be not stars
but born of more stable substance

mars - jupiter - mercury - warriors and fighters all
venus - your singular feminine beauty legendary 

[as if by magic]
you have come together as four
and from the shore - we welcome you

slowly rises the orb that brings light to the world
and licks the land with colour and form
prismic gold
this glowing light
that gives such delight 
[as if by magic]
that an infant chortles with pure joy 


thinking of margaret atwood 5.30am

Mother's Day
the soft light filtering through the window
begins to give shape and form to her world
together - in this still fuzzy dawn
we begin the daily practice 
of answering the enthusiastically questioning finger
so keen to make real 
'that is the window'
'that is the curtain'
'beyond is the sky - and the sun
it is round - it is morning'
'dante' - 
'that is a toy - your toy'
'this is your hand'
'this is your hand'

my mind is thumbing back through time
'this is your hand'
scratching at the past for similar words
read - but not fully recalled
then grasped -  for but a moment
i am thinking of margaret atwood
and her poem 
how does it begin ?

later we sit 
under trees 
by a swiftly flowing river 
water such as you have never seen
you are surrounded by rounded stones
your hands stroking their smoothness 
attempting their weight
you are just passing your first year 
and already eager to reveal the mysteries of the world

later you will come to understand
the beauty in the stone left unturned

you begin
[margaret atwood]

You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
that is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye.
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only 
the colors of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
your hand to this table,
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.

It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will
come back to, this is your hand.

[images + text copyright Bek Misic 2011 - unless otherwise stated]


the heart of the present moment..

Today a quick clean of the studio revealed a much loved text by Thich Nhat Hanh [Thay], whose teachings have inspired and moved me now for some years.  I never tire of his words, and they bring great joy and peace to my world.  

From Thay's book The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, a simple but profound meditation using the breath that takes one to the heart of the present moment.  This is my favourite of Thay's many wonderful gathas. I use this meditation to begin every day and regularly return to it throughout. I have no hesitation in saying this gatha has enriched my life...

"In, out
Deep, slow
Calm, ease
Smile, release
Present moment, wonderful moment"

 to demonstrate how this gatha works with the breath:

"In [in breath], out [breathe out]
Deep [in breath], slow [breathe out]
Calm [in breath], ease [breathe out]
Smile [in breath], release [breathe out]
Present moment [in breath], wonderful moment" [breathe out]

from the above mentioned text: "The fourth element of our body is air. The best way to experience the air element is the practice of mindful breathing. "Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out." After saying these sentences we can abbreviate them by saying "In" as we breath in and "Out" as we breath out. We don't try to control our breathing. Whether our in-breath is long or short, deep or shallow, we just breath naturally and shine the light of mindfulness on it. When we do this we notice that, in fact, our breathing does become slower and deeper naturally. "Breathing in, my in-breath has become deep. Breathing out, my out-breath has become slow." Now we can practice, "Deep/slow". We don't have to make an extra effort. It just becomes deeper and slower by itself, and we recognize that.

"Later on, you will notice that you have become calmer and more at ease. "Breathing in, I feel calm. Breathing out, I feel at ease." I am not struggling anymore. Calm/ease." And then, "Breathing in, I smile. Breathing out, I release all my worries and anxieties. Smile/release." We are able to smile to ourselves and release all our worries. There are more than three hundred muscles in our face, and when we know how to breath in and smile, these muscles can relax. This is "mouth yoga." We smile and are able to release all our feelings and emotions. The last practice is, "Breathing in, I dwell deeply in the present moment. Breathing out, I know this is a wonderful moment. Present moment/wonderful moment." Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment fully alive and aware.

read the transcript of a beautiful Dharma talk by Thay 


baba - the septuagenarian

today we celebrate baba becoming a septuagenarian...

[at least in dog years]
happy 10th birthday baba

baba and i became a family some years ago in alice springs 

from the moment she arrived at my door with dani and sue, in need of a home 

i knew we were destined to be together... now our family has grown, 

but baba you will always be my first true love... 

baba arrived with her name already in place... and it is quite an esteemed name at that...

b a b a 

One of the very ancient Sumerian goddesses, whose name is well attested in texts since the Fara period, especially in personal names. Kings mention Her in their royal inscriptions (ex. Uruinimgina, Entemena). 

As a manifestation of the Great Mother Goddesses, She was responsible for the fertility of human beings and animals, the very Lady of Abundance. 

As the wife of Ningirsu, She formed part of the Lagash pantheon; Her temple there was the E-urukuga. At the New Year´s Festival, the city celebrated Her Sacred Marriage with Ningirsu. There was also a temple to Baba in Uruk. 

She is the recipient of numerous votive offerings, especially during the Neo-Sumerian period (Gudea). At this time Baba became known as the daughter of Anu, the Skyfather and the planet Venus. 

During the Old Babylonian period She became identified with the goddess of healing, Bau/Gula, Ninisinna and Inanna. Towards the end of the second millennium BCE, she also appeared in connection with magick, equated with Ningirim, the goddess of incantations.  

[click here to read this information in its original context]

yea baba 
i look forward to our next ten years 

mission bay at [dusk/dawn] high tide

mission bay 
waves break 
like heart beats 
from the balcony door

with the ocean at their heels
cry - melancholic - clear
haunting the front yard
with mourning
stars silent 

mission bay
waves break 
like breath
i stand barefoot 
in sand
toes teasing waves
dante's smiling eyes 
that sea

the sun is almost rising
above us only clouds 
blushing pink 
at the joy
they witness 

easter at jilgi backbeach...

Dante's second easter - it does go so fast...
hand dyed eggs imprinted with leaves 
from our rainforest garden 
cracking together 
we delighted 
in sweet impermanence 

Jilgi backbeach, Yarrabah
Easter afternoon
such beauty and solitude at our door
Cape Tribulation pales as 
mica shimmers through the sand
reflections of land
and sky 
so high
how blessed we are