It was early in the morning on a sunny day in springtime

and the road we left so gratefully now called to us like homewe filled a bag with bread and cheese, reassured our feet

then let the shadows of the leaves dance with our own

Through village after village we remarked on human natureon the people who were mean and on the people who were kind

we got lost a hundred times at least, and found a hundred moreand were never much concerned about the time

When midday came we chanced upon a perfect place to picnic

the shade of a big oak tree by an old church on a hillthere was water in a fountain there that tasted of blue sky

and so we lay awhile and let the world be still

Caminante, no hay caminoSe hace camino al andar

Caminante, son tus huellasel camino y nada mas

By accident on purpose I fell far behind my friends

I wanted just to listen to the silence and the soundsof trees and birds and traffic and voices down a lane

and the rhythm of my footsteps on the ground

With sunset came a chorus of “Do you think we’re nearly there yet?”guessing at kilometers, translating into miles

maybe just around this corner, or just around the nextwe’ll scream for joy to see our welcome sign

Caminante, no hay caminoSe hace camino al andar

Caminante, son tus huellasel camino y nada mas

Al andar se hace camino

y al volver la vista atrasse ve la senda que nunca mas

se ha de pisar

Verses by Rosi Lalor, chorus taken from a poem by Antonio Machado, (adapted slightly) now in the public domain

iconConversation with a tree

Who are you?

You with the sun in your hairyou with the sky in your arms

you that remembers the kiss

that never is tastedas long as we shield our hearts from pain

I remember now

you’re tall in the truest senseunconditional friendallowing the hand of the wind

to touch you completelyas if that were all

that really mattered

What do you think about these times?do you fear the human mind?

or is this nothing you haven’t seen before?I’ve been fearful myself

but I know worry doesn’t helpit calms me to be close to you

where everything makes sense

And there you always arenever shutting me out

never running awaynever resisting the rain

that blends with your bodyseeps into the soil

to the roots of sorrow

and is it not truethat magic happens there?

with earth and water and lightand the ancient urge of the seed

to bear fruit and blossomcome spiraling home

so rich in meaning

I’m thinking of the ones that lead the waystanding firm upon the ground

with branches in a hundred realmsthink they must have sat beneath your boughs

think you spoke to them somehowof your gentle majesty

and long term view

iconLeap of faith

No way can I sleep,

I watch the shadow creatures creepAcross the endless wall

They dance and then they fightThen dance again and it’s alright

And I listen to my breathing as they take over the ceilingThey are signs of fear

But all creatures are welcome here

I’m holding a cup and I know I must drinkSome time tonight, before the red sun rises

I could lie awake all night

with eyes and mind open wideand a heart that understands

The wardrobe hides a ghost or twobut ghosts and me are nothing new

and my books are calling to meas if their authors somehow knew me

their tales of slaves becoming kingsexplain inexplicable things

Like how the hero endures a thousand betrayals

then uses his wounds to make his love more gentle In the corner of the room I see the spirit that’s protecting me and

there’s a flame above her headAnd on her lips are words of love

And in her eyes the sky above is as cloudless as her visionof the planets in transition

I want our souls to meet, and defeat every defeat

And I know the sea gets rough and I know that sailors drownbut when she holds me they rise up and walk on the water

iconLet the right one in

When I was a girl, just seventeen,

I met a handsome sailorHe showed me the ropes on a fine looking boat

called ‘William the Conqueror’

He said “Come and spend some time with me,we can breathe new air on a faraway sea”

and like a trembling fish I was bound and caughtso I jumped aboardwithout a second thought

Over the waves, skipping so fast,

I felt that I was flyingHe played with my hair

and under his stare I was happiness without trying

He had a warm smile and a tender touch

And like the child I was I gave him far too muchHe had tall tales and a wild heart

And I suppose I knew he would tear mine apart

He said “it’s time to go back to the real world, real life.You have your studies, and I have my wife”

I did as he said, went back to my books,

avoiding the boys and their sultry looksI learnt to predict the ebb and the flow

And noticed how all things come and go

Except our hungry hearts and our searching eyesThat scan the distance for some great surprise

Like dolphins leaping through the silver tideOr a handsome sailor who has changed his mind.

One summer’s day, on my stretch of beach,

I met a young man who wanted me to teach himof ups and downs, peaks and troughs

I said “All you really have to do is watch”

He had a kind smile and a gentle touchbut I tried not to let him know me much

He had wise tales and pure heartbut there was no way that me and mine would part

I said “It’s time to go back to the real world, real life.

Why don’t you crawl back in the ocean?Save us both some strife?”

He did as I said, and I was alone,

with no-one to let me downbut something was wrong, ‘cause I hadn’t won

I’d just spread some of my pain around

And only then did it occur to methat the real world is what we choose to see

and my real life could’ve been spent with himIf I’d known how to let the right one in

iconOutside the dream

I once gave a flower to a man in the street

‘Cause his eyes and my eyes happened to meetI made him this flower with a few movements of my hand

Made it out of thin air, but he seemed to understand

I’d brought him a gift from outside the dreamIts petals were yellow, its stem a hopeful green

I was so glad I he liked it,I was so glad he could see

The friendship, the kinship, between us three

My memory is hazy and sometimes it seemsHe made the flower and gave it to me

and here in my heart it quietly sleeps‘til my eyes and your eyes happen to meet

iconThe apple and the tree

I spent sixteen years distracted

rushing round, trying to people pleasecouldn’t name the thing I wanted in return

but that didn’t stop me begging on my knees

And I was like a frightened little animalstrayed far too far from home

and if a hunter tried to hit meor a vulture came and bit me

I just lay there feeling wounded and alone

In my mind I heard a quiet songabout an apple on a tree

ripe and ready to be eatenhandpicked by me

Oh imagine that!

I made a solemn vow to change my tactic

I learnt how to refuse the world’s demands:“Now’s the time to care for me and no-one else

Now’s the time to take my life into my hands!”

I laboured every day until my knuckles bleduntil my work had attracted some attention

‘til I’d proved that I could easily succeedjust by learning not to need

anyone’s approval or affection

In my mind I heard that song againabout the apple on the tree

ripe and ready to be eatenand still eluding me

Oh I wondered why . . .

One day I had to run up a mountain

leaving all my precious work undonesuddenly I’d felt that I would surely die

if my skin did not soon feel the sun

I lay down to rest and saw a humming birdsipping nectar with a grace that made me cry

enchanted by her powersto decide between the flowers

I drifted deep inside her lullaby

And she sang about a womanwho sounded exactly like me

she sang “Tell her not to reach for the apple”she sang “Tell her to be more like the tree”

Oh what could she mean?

Then I dreamt that I was standing in an orchard

wild white blossom in my hairmy naked legs were black with earth

and there were apples on the ground everywhere

I called and I called but no-one came to meand I feared that my fruit would all go rotten

then suddenly I heardthe sound of twenty thousand birds

and remembered what I’d long ago forgotten

That the heart must find its happinessBy gradual degrees

‘til it forms a perfect circleAnd love is freely given and received

Oh imagine that!