Thursday, March 31, 2005

Oriental ATC's

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"My Heart Being Hungry" - Painted for Trendle September 2003

"Spring Found Me" by Trendle Ellwood

"Spring Found Me" . . . Well of course she did! You are an old and trusted friend of the seasons, my dear. There is nothing they love so much as to be simply noticed . . . and this is what you do. You observe, you espy, you mark, you celebrate their quiet joys. Most of all though, you see. You see what others would dismiss as average, as plain, as grey or weeds or everyday. You see and your eyes make ordinary into something rare and beautiful; a very special gift, my friend. Then you hold up your camera or you describe with your simple, perfect words and suddenly we ALL see. A very special gift for the world.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Costello Returns

SLAM! (The door blows open. the door blows shut) THAT was not my fault. It was the wind. Her name is Moraiah and she has been traveling with me. She’s great at opening and closing doors and is a real hoot in the middle of the night in a Scottish Castle when she starts practicing mOANing.

Bam! Bam! Splat! (Luggage drops all over the cloister floor.)

Oi Vey! I must either learn to pack lighter or take a permanent Bell Boy with me. Bell Boy. If one had one, I wonder, would he handle the book and the candle as well? Door bells? Silver bells? Hand bells? Cockle-shells? Why do they call someone who carries your suitcase a Bell Boy? Because my suitcases are so heavy they feel like Bar Bells? Would . . . No, better not go there.

Well! It is good to be back! (She sniffs the air cautiously.) It smells incredibly . . . quiet here. Indeed, things are beginning to sound just a little musty and, well, to tell you the truth . . . Monkish around here. I do hope you are not all going around looking at the ground with your hands tucked into your habit things. I left that cat Oreo in charge of shaking things up, I certainly hope she has not been dozing the entire time I’ve been gone.

Let’s see . . . who is here? All the usual suspects and a few new names. TRENDLE! (She exclaims so loudly that she has to slap her hand over her mouth.)

My Lady of the Ellwood, is it really you?! I have missed you so much, you just don’t know. (She quickly wipes her eyes on her sleeve.) I looked for you all over Faery and up and down behind the North Wind. Where have you been? You weren’t REALLY in Ohio were you? I see your beautiful photographs. You have caught Spring in the act of beginning. You are invisible when you are with that camera and even Spring doesn’t see you, but goes on about her crocus business and lets you photograph her very act of inception. Yes, it is you. No one else takes photographs like this. Welcome! Remind me to tell you later about the marshmallow roasts . . . I mean, morning devotionals.

Lets see, who has been up to what else? Seems to me when I left Believer had discovered something very strange going on at the bottom of a stair case . . . hadn’t someone seen a ghost or two? Where is that Ebony Wilde and what is for tea? Has Jane returned? What about Traveler? Where is Ana das Neves and her tales of circles? Ana! I saw stones like yours on my journey, but they were huge and standing on a headland whispering secrets. They had your markings! Which reminds me! Runes! I need a new set of Rune Stones, mine got lost when the tide turned too quickly . . . someone here makes them I believe . . .

It is DEFINITELY too quiet here! In one half hour there will be a party in the Alchemist’s Lair! I’ve brought back a whole suitcase full of the most splendid delicacies from all around the world, Swiss chocolate and tripple honied baklava from Greece, Portuguese wine and cheese - Serpa, Serra, Rabaçal, Azeitão . . . and delicious cherry Ginginha . . . only the beginning.
Who belongs to that Beatle CD? Bring it! Someone must have smuggled a Karaoke machine in here! Hey, Megan can you sing Led Zeppelin?! Someone was playing the flute before I left, I remember hearing it . . . can you play Tull? Where is Anita Marie? She isn’t STILL in the cemetery is she? Someone find her and tell her to bring her guitar and . . .

Hellooooo Abbess. (She smiles sweetly.) I’m back!!


Spring Found Me

The little white peppery chickweed is blooming all over the fields, which are blushing green now. Greening up, that is what Tressie used to call it. We took a walk across the meadow and found what is making the land turn green is the little tufts of wild garlic, the sprouting of wild orange daylily leaves, dandelion greens and all matter of wild things, raring to go.

Since I am a lazy type of gardener, and one who likes to see natural things, I leave last autumn’s flower stalks up in the garden all winter. I love how the asters skeleton holds the February snows, turning themselves into white flowers. And the dry shells of the columbines and the primroses rattle in the wind making gentle noise.

It is only now in late March and early April with green bulbs pushing up from the earth that I am inspired to go out and take down the old so that the new can be seen. I have fun snapping off last year’s apparel while the cardinal sings from the wild cherry tree,
“Prettier, Prettier, Prettier!”

I keep being constantly startled by little green sprouts that are rising beneath my feet, stirring and being outright bold in their determination that it is spring.

I carry larkspur packets in my pockets and go around tucking the little black seeds into any loose spot of dirt. I just keep planting them here and there, as they do not self-sow for me. They seem to like a sweeter soil then mine. My chickens go around scratching up little areas in the yard. I fill them up with larkspur seeds. It is ok to plant these seeds early, they like a little nip of cold, it gets them going. They like it dark also so I push each one of them down into the soft bed of dirt. I cover them with a little earth blanket and then I tuck them in tight with a push of my finger.

In the evening when I go out on the front porch to gather more wood for the fire I am awed by the chorus that fills the night air. Coming up from the valley where the creek curves through the hills, is a jubilant song, a song full of hope, full of life and full of promise. I thank God for Spring Peepers. At first I could barely hear them but with each passing night their song grows louder so that now they sound like a million voices. Each one of them is so little; I saw one once when it escaped from the creek and came up to my front door, just a tiny little thing he was. It is inspiring to know that they can all get together and sing a song so loud and so full.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ode to a Grecian Urn in the Abbey

On this autumnal day, as the Virginia Creeper reddens and the Silver Birch leaves brown I stopped to look at March in the Abbey. Words eluded me and then I remembered John Keats Ode to A Grecian Urn and it seemed to sum up, so precisely, how I felt as I looked at this thing of beauty.

Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escpe?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal -- yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
Forever piping songs forever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
Forever panting, and forever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands dressed?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attidude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." [1819 1820]

Monday, March 28, 2005

~The Lonely Child ~

~Child Of Loneliness~
Lonely little soul, the one who is sole, alone.
Isolated in the crowded, remote city, without accompaniment.
Making solitary agreements as one to join the soldier clowns.
You persist and struggle on.
Sometimes forlorn, deserted emptiness takes over and there
are no friends to eat pink cake and stripped candy.
Blow out the flaming candles on the crumbling birthday cake.
Celebrate alone, hid from view.
Slow, thick tears, this day stream down soft pink cheeks.
Five or Fifty - Five, the composition doll sitting with the
clown's pointed hat on a molded curly head.
Empty eyes open and shut in agreement to such detachment.
Lonely, little soul.

~The Lonely Child~
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~Mt. Morris, My Grandfather & The Abbey~

As I sit writing this in the compact space of my red truck a wave of memory and meloncholy sweeps over me. It is three days into the season of Spring and Winter has refused to depart. Snow covers the ground that has fallen into the past of last night. The whiteness of it gives all I view such vastness, and I feel rather small in the scheme of things, today.

The buildings I am parked in front of were used as a sanitarium to house patients who had contracted tuberculosis. This place, set high on a hill is where my Grandfather came to take the ~cure~. His room was situated in the white buildind to my left.

I am trying to imagine how he might have felt here among the tall, blue spruce pines. He remained here nine, long months - the time it takes for a new life to begin. It must have been a rebirth of sorts, both in body and soul.

I was a whole four years old at this time in family happenings. I remember waving to him from outside. It was Valentine's Day, but I don't remember the snow.

He wasn't a tall man, just under five foot, nine inches, slighty taller than myself. The sickness in his body took him to a mere eighty-six pounds. He carefully documented his stay through letters he wrote my mother, along with picture postcards.

From his diary of sorts, I learn he took long walks, there is a library full of old volumes, and each evening he is given a glass of ~blackberry` wine. Of-course he writes of missing everyone and apologises with each letter for becoming ill.

His humor stayed intact as he discusses the events of each day - and the ~rules~. There is no mention of current events, ( I like this ). His concentration, for once, is placed upon himself.

He managed to get special permission to bring books back from library to read in his room, those in charge allowed his personal quill pen and nibs he kept in a wooden box sent from home - along with a bottle of India ink. And last, but not least he was able to starch and iron his own white shirts. I don't think anyone in the family ever asked how he manipulated these ~permissions~.

I have come to the conclusion he went there with a purpose and with very little personal items. He managed to heal and used the time wisely with not more than bare essentials.

This could be compared to my own journey with in the walls of the Abbey. Although, I have no physical aliments to contend with I am here sorting out the spiritual side. I am taking the time to write what my heart longs to say through poetry and create small vignettes of art each day.

It an an extraordinary experience to be here each day and linger in my ~aloneness~ with only what I need and reside in one room. It has been a rather hard habit to put into practice. Resistance is always present. I too, am taking the ~cure~.

~Mount Morris~
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Friday, March 25, 2005


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Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Lady Elizia Comes Home to the Immanent Grove


River of Prayers

Walking miles through ceaseless rain
Barren hills of fear and pain
Color fades and light goes out
Rain falls parched and seared with doubt
Memory fades, meanings spin
Pain is all that’s ever been
Never to again feel peace
No kind of hope, no release

In the bats wing of despair
Appears the tail end of a prayer
Silver in the blackness falls
Twists and glitters, silent calls
I saw it there, a slender spark
Leading up, out of the dark
In the silence, thin and hollowed
Silver sang, and I followed

Like a woven plait of stairs
The silver sang with many prayers
Linked to make a glistening light
Leading out of pain and night
Through the hours it carried me
Silver river to the sea
Borne upon it’s healing foam
The river brought me safely home

©Edwina Peterson Cross

~Found Poetry~ Posted by Hello

~Found Poetry~  Posted by Hello

~Found Poetry~ altered book


On a warm afternoon
a woman was changed forever.
The ruling class ever to be aware of it's status.
A new era,
the area of lightening fast learning.
An unstoppable force,
at a turning point.
we are in the final throes
of clinging to an outdated image - Powerless.
Why is it empowering
for a woman to look,
at the ~dark side~ within?
Retrieve that wild child
Embrace those qualities
the entitlement we disavow in ourselves.
Passionate hope can spark debate.
Close the gap that has our world.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Lemurian Twigs

The twigs on this shrub dogwood are so pretty in my Lemurian garden in the winter.
In this picture they are covered with ice from an ice storm

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Recently, I purchased a book ~Soul Collage~ by Seena B. Frost.

I am still studing and working with archetypes and have created my first soul collage card.

A part of me is a ~Gypsy~. The idea of wandering has always been a part of me.

I feel restless in one spot before too long. If I had lived many years ago I would have chosen

to be a ~Gypsy~. This archetype says mystery or being mysterious is wonderful and not

something to fear.

I am the one who sits cross - legged at your committee table.
I know your passions,
they run like river water toward the mouths of blue oceans.

I am the one who wears flowing frocks, the color of burgundy wine.
Pleated sleeves falling off sunned shoulders.
Colorful scraves cover thick, long, wild hair.
I remove them at night to dance around fires , celebrating the stars.

I am the one who plays the violin.
Red cheeked on frosty evenings.
Warm breath trying to penetrate the chill.

By day I collect notions for making healing potions.
Spiders, Frogs, and Serpents do not disturb me.
I seek wild herbs - violets, thyme and sage.
I string and tie them into bundles,
they hang in a corner of my caravan.

I am the one who does not laugh at old books, stacked by the day bed for reference,
Purple quilt upn it. Over stuffed pillows line the edges.
Antique beige lace curtains sweep the small window.
Pink geraniums planted in baskets, smelling of wet earth,
line the pine board floor.

I am the one who watches over old photographs on the wall.
Bohemian relatives of long ago.

I am the one who wears bracelets of silver, copper and gold.
I wear them all at once.
Their tingle and tangle my music.

I am the one who counts butterflies, in
Purple flowered fields on hot summer days.

I am the one who reads the waxing and waning moons,
And churn butter to the tides.

I am the one who walks through villages in the daylight.
I feel the laughter of the locals.
I don't mind, for under the stars, the laughing, lonely people join me
to look for love in the cards, bringing nickels and dimes.

I am the one who listens to the voice in our mind saying,
it is time to go.
New ground holds the mystery.

***copyright March 2005
Patricia Hine - Stewart

~Gypsy~ Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Cottesloe on Saturday afternoon

Today beside the Indian Ocean we walked together as we did long ago
Saturday, and the many were on the beaches
Old and young without ghetto blasters
playing, swimming, all the things that people do
on beaches in a hot afternoon

Today, there is more for the beach is dotted with sculpture
a purple doll buggy begins our walk
A mysterious creature clocks the time
Refugee children knock at the door of freedom
but bars close around them
A giant spider claws the sand
A dragon has laid his egg in his nest
of a broken ship
Skeleton of a whale in polished metal
lies close to the shore
Sea shells dot a windowed vision of the sea
There are other creatures here and many we
cannot know but we do know
their presence brings us all into one world
We join in reverie an old silver man who looks outward to the sea

Spring flowers

Snow clings to branches
icycles forming
I return to my childhood

Creative Ice Queen


photo courtesy of Trendle Ellwood

Friday, March 18, 2005

Signs of Spring

If you walk through the blue gate, in to Trendle Ellwood's Lemurian Garden you will find that it is winter.


But unlike the Selfish Giant's garden where spring never comes, in this Lemurian Garden spring bulbs are bravely pushing through the snow and beginning to bloom.


Brave as You

Snowdrop, how dare you bloom so soon?
When most flowers wait till June?
What a joy you bring me.
As you pretend that it is spring.
How sweetly you lift up your white and green crowned head,
When all around you appears dead.
Oh Snowdrop could I be as brave as you?
And smile when all is cold and blue?

Trendle Ellwood March 2005

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A Wonderful Afternoon

Heather and I had a lovely time under the shade trees, sipping tea and sharing freshly baked lemon cookies with a zesty lemon glaze. I couldn't resist the hammock and Heather chose a nice chaise lounge.

We recited our favorite poetry and finally dozed off for a few minutes, only to awaken to the trees full of singing birds! They had gathered here in early evening singing choruses of the Abbey then flitted off to serenade others down the hill.

Drawn by the smell of lemon cookies

The smell of lemon cookies baking bought me out of my quarters and down to the kitchen. I will just prop myself and sit talking to you Sharon.

The Abbey garden is looking particularly lovely with autumnal shades dancing in the ambers of summer's sun. The wattle bird is warbling with pleasure as it drinks from the nectar of the brush red flowers of the New Zealand Christmas tree and a flock of ravens flew back into the rookery bringing news from all over the world.

The Halls Are Quiet!

I must admit I've been holed up in my cell for quite some time working on my Altered Book and also writing. But, when I came out into the halls today to check on everyone, not a sound can be heard! So, I wandered down to the kitchen and baked up some wonderful Lemon Cookies. We shall have tea this afternoon in the garden if weather permits. Bring the art or writing you're working on and show us all what you've been up to. We really must get together and inspire one another!

A Day in Melbourne

I don't get in to the city very often these days. We are only an hour and a half away from Melbourne but our small town is self sufficient and so I don't venture very far these days.

Today was an exception. I rose at dawn, packed some sandwiches and a thermos and came in to town by train. When you travel by train you see the world differently and, as it rumbled along the track I had time to meditate, eat my sandwiches and permit myself to simply be. I had a book with me but this morning I was happy to simply watch the workers who were making their daily pilgrimage into the city. I felt no envy as I looked at their strained faces. Mobiles phones kept ringing and I wondered when these people ever have a moment to themselves.

From Spencer Street I caught the loop to Melbourne Central and wandered up the escalators, past the endless food stores, up, past shops filled with gaudy merchandise out onto the street. I was heading towards the Melbourne State Library. It may not be the first place you'd think of to look for treasure, but the State Library of Victoria is home to some of the State's most precious, rare and beautiful items. Today I was interested in finding the Experimedia centre.

The Experimedia centre is the venue where Heather and Sarah Boland have been displaying student work from the Pop Fiction Project and I was blown away by the material that they had gathered in just a few short weeks. Today they were working with Hip hop artist, Elf Tranzporter, who was teaching Heather's students about hip hop and how to write hip hop lyrics. I came to watch. It was magical to see students record their songs in Experimedia's sound booth. Kids began nervously but by the end of the session Monkey Mark and Elf had them producing extraordinary tracks. How many kids get an opportunity like this? How many cut their first single in Year 9? Technology really does seem to be providing so many opportunities these days. I feel envious of the banquet of tools Heather has to work with these days.

During a lunch break we went visited the newly renovated reading room and swooned over the art deco fittings. Then we went across to Melbourne Central where I stocked up on my favourite perfume, Evelyn and we sat having some lunch. My garden is always filled with the perfume of beautiful roses but nothing quite matches the scent of Evelyn.

The train trip home was hassle free and I am just relaxing after a late dinner. Anyone want to share a coffee and musket with some chocolates?

Monday, March 14, 2005

For My Friend


To My Friend

I know you cannot 'hear' me here
For you are far away
But I've found this place to put my thoughts
So here I'll let them lay
A well played hand of solitaire
One hand clapping in the wood
Here I will speak my words to you
Just as if you understood
As if you could hear me speaking
Dear Teacher, good and kind
With your three names, laid out all in lace
So polished and refined . . .
I've found this place to speak to you
Just as if you could really hear
A place where bright sincerity
Can run dappling, slow and clear
Come then and walk beside me
In the figurative afternoon shade
When all colors into amber-rust
Slide and smooth to fade
We'll walk beside the river
Where geese soar and dip and turn
And the last light of the dying day
Makes the water gild and burn . . .

What should I have done without you?
When nobody else would hear?
When I spoke, your ears established me
In you eyes I did not disappear

What should I have done without you?
Down a cold, dark road I traveled
The walls tipped in and fell
But I did not come unraveled

What should I have done without you?
Who gave me so much bliss on which to build?
An artist who has been heard, been seen, been known and praised
Has only left to be fulfilled . . .

And though I know you cannot hear these words
That I've written to you in rhymes
I think perhaps I'll come back to this place
And speak to you
Sometimes . . .

Winnie Cross wrote this poem for me some months ago and tonight my thoughts are with her as she faces major surgery. Today I will be 'walking with her' in the 'figurative afternoon shade.'

Travel safely Winnie and come back to us soon.
love Heather

Celebrate Spring

Spring is coming to the Northern wing of the Abbey so I thought I would celebrate by putting on a special snacklet for everyone.

The gardener has bought in fresh juicy stalks of spring asparagus and I thought we could dip them into soft boiled egg yolk with 'soldiers' of lavishly buttered toast on the side. I have made some buttery hallandaise to go with it. To add to the sense of party I will open one of the Abbess's best bottles of sauvignon blanc because of its complimentary green, asparagus-y overtones.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

~Angels Praying For Peace~ Posted by Hello

~Angels Praying For Peace~

Screaming orange light that takes one to madness.
A place of marshmallow, elated feeling.
No shoes sitting, scuffing in the dirt.
Fixed eyes behold holy light and feel the grey coldness.

Wooden houses rest on cinder block,
A beginning through the grey clouds.
Angels stare with fixed eyes exposed to the blue coldness,
Bowing in prayer with shaking, folded hands,
Wiping twisted pain, smoked with vast emptiness.

They come in masses, lined up as stacks,
of red red, white, and blue paper upon a desk.
Smug smiles with no reasoning give out harsh directions in lightening powerful bolts.

Blind - folded prosecutors take up the blank page upon the round table.
The Homeland is alone without flags and song.
God has been removed.

copyright - March 2005
Patricia Hine-Stewart

The Alchemist's Stone for Winnie tonight

Opalescent stone
deep in the heart
of the sacred garden
In it's pale centre
I find
a thousand colours
for she has given me
her words, her dreams
her paintings
ever moving
to the light

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Philosophers Stone

Dear Monas,

Well my dears, the time has come for me to set off on my Master Quest! I am off on the High Road, heading toward the back of the West Wind in search of that touch stone of stones to be touched, That Roll, Rocking Philosopher's Stone! What will be found, remains to be seen. This legendary stone, as you may remember, just might be a way to cure illnesses and bring about revitalization. Health? An elixir of life? Who knows? I do know that every self respecting Alchemist must go off searching for The Philosopher's Stone sooner or later, and the time has come for Costello of the Lemurian Abbey to sail off into the search for that phenomenal rough hewn jewel.

In the real world I am going to need to leave you all for a while as well. I am going into the hospital on Monday for some extensive surgery which will probably keep me away from my computer for quite some time. I will look forward to catching up and reading what you all have posted when I am able to return. Who knows? Perhaps Costello will indeed find that stone . . . with all that it means . . . and be back causing trouble before you know it!

Blessings to you all until we meet again. ~




At the top of the stair Is the Alchemist's Lair
But you may find
Nothing there
The whisp of a whisper

The pray of a prayer

A split deck spinning solitaire

A venerable vintage, old and rare

Caught in crystal whirled in air

A candle’s breath, that bright hot flare

Then suddenly . . . . There is nothing there

The students come and they prepare

Declare, compare, become aware

Then return to earth back down the stair

Leaving a mystery they cannot forswear

Leaving a shadow in the empty chair
An Alchemist in the Alchemist’s Lair . . .
Weaving golden verse from the empty air . . .

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Friday, March 11, 2005

I've already received a response!

I sent a query letter out to a publisher early this afternoon AND........I've just received a reply already! I cannot believe it has happened so fast! The publisher has agreed to read my children's book manuscript as an exclusive submission. I should hear back within 3 months. Thank God for email! woohoo! lol....

Creative Juices are flowing!

There's just something about Soul Food Cafe that brought inspiration back into my life. I was struggling after some really hard "bumps" in life and feeling like I was in a dark hole. Heather's invitation to join in and get really involved sparked something within me. The Lemurian Abbey is such an imaginative place that when I immerse myself into what is happening here, I forget the burdens I bear at this time.

Today.........I finally finished a children's book I have been procrastinating working on. I just couldn't get my mind to "go there" and finish it up! Well, this morning I decided it's time to JUST DO IT; get off my butt, forget about everything else and JUST WRITE THE DARN BOOK! hahaha!

So I did just that. Thanks to everyone for the inspiration of a group that shares their wonderful talents. I'm sending my manuscript off to a publisher soon! (and I won't be procrastinating about that!)

Close-up of Colors of the Sea AB spread

Colors of the Sea AB spread

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

The clock goes withershins

I find a room where all the clocks
read withershins :

A wide chair holds our father
and three little ones .

We bring our special book,
a book with old pictures, not the usual fare
of childhood but of deeds:
Joshua stands by a running brook
choosing the men who drink
with one hand holding water
the other on the sword.
Trumpets sound the fall
of Jericho; the giant falls
to David’s arrow; Jacob climbs
a lighted ladder
opening a sky of angels.
Pharaoh’s daughter
plucks the babe from the basket
floating in the reeds.
Wild tales that we like better than Peter Rabbit

Spring arrival

Let Spring Come


The light falls too bright
On these days of darkness.
The green has come too fast, too soon, too much.
Blossoms fill the trees with fresh pink profusion
How can they shimmer so against the sun
When you walk in such darkness?
Child of my heart
Your face always turned into the wind
Chin lifted
Constantly asking of yourself
Such strength
How can the universe now ask you to bear
Even the softness of Spring?

But, they left flowers
Those who came . . .
Flowers and blossoms and boughs
Draped in deep richness over the things he loved
They left words blooming
Those who came . . .
Those he had touched
“Peace Brother”
“I Love you Evan”
“You taught me the importance of livin’ . . .”

He knew
Let the mountains bloom emerald with eternal promise
Let the forsythia shout at the sun
And be answered in golden song
Let the blossoms dance down the wind like a blessing
Let Spring come

Edwina Peterson Cross
March 9, 2005

Return of The Sun

Ice crystals are dancing over my kitchen window,
hopefully it is one of the last mornings The Snow Queen will breathe on my windows.

The birds are twittering their warning of the coming spring. The snowmen are retreating, and soon butterflies will spread their wings to welcome the return of the sun.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I go to Lemuria

In childhood
so long ago we played a memory game:
“I packed my bag and took it to China”

In it I put my ticket to Lemuria where I dreamed of walking
with dear friends under a sacred bamboo
I came to the grove found old friends, and new
a peopled place yet silent
the raven carved at the totem top
and the white wolf wandering.
A thousand colours blend
the sunset and the dawn, end and beginning
word, a healing, and a yellow bloom

Shadows here are gentle
a darkness under the moving leaves
a curtain for my weariness
and hope for morning

The carver has made me a boat with wings and tall white oars
I sail the river under the mountain
to the island where long ago
I met a gentle lover, held his hand
and bore my child

The wise woman speaks, her voice
is moving water, music from the deep
I float onward

The Abbess Book

Here you are Abbess dear, yours is done, more will follow. (I wish the picture were a little bigger)
Anchorette Lani
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Strange Music and Whispering Shells

I don't believe I ever mentioned the music before; I don't know if any one else hears it, at least not in the same way I do. It was one of the things I knew I'd miss most when I came to the Abbey. I listen to music all the time at home, mostly classical and opera, but hymns too, and stuff from the 50's and 60's, and ragtime, I really love ragtime.

The first time I noticed it was the day Oreo and I found the door leading down to the sea. That night I kept imagining I heard Debussey's La Mer, only I wasn't imagining it. It wasn't piped in and it wasn't a short refrain running through my head, it was the whole piece with full orchestra and it was beautiful. Later, after I got angry and ventured down the steps and into the cave, the sound of waves crashing beneath my window and the music of Fingal's Cave by Mendelsohn haunted my dreams all night long reminding me of how my day had gone and the lessons I'd learned.

Although I didn't bring anything tangible back from that frightening excursion, the seashell Tookie gifted me with is still tucked into the niche in the window ledge. I can hear the sea, of course, when I hold it to my ear, but sometimes I think I hear a woman's voice whispering. I've tried telling myself it's my imagination. I really don't want to go down those dark, slippery steps again.

I can't ignore it any longer. The Abbey's a quiet and serene place. We're not bothered by a lot of distractions here, but some news does leak in. I found out today that Winnie's started a section called Fantasy Cove. That has to be it! The doorway right down my hallway leads directly down to Fantasy Cove! My instincts told me there was something otherworldly about that cave and beach.

I'm usually glad to leave the thrill seeking to others; I'm more apt to seek serenity of spirit and a means to pursue my faith and art than to go off looking for excitement but, I've been here long enough to know the Abbey does many strange things, and none of them by accident.

The whispers in the shell are louder today and more distinct. Whoever she is, she has a strange and exotic accent. I think she's trying to tell me her name. I know she's saying, "Free me!"

Watching you

I watch in wonderment
that tell me
you are here

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


thunderstorms on the horizon~
air dense
insects silenced

CHAKRA - Indeed, Traveller!

About Haiga

Wolf in the Abbey

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Monday, March 07, 2005

Abbess Placated

You will all be pleased to hear that the Abbess and I have soothed her ruffled feathers.

I laundered her blue robes, walked with her around the expansive gardens, set the fire in her room, filled her vases with fresh Lisianthus, bought her breakfast in bed and sat reading her one of her favourite myths about Lemuria. Now she seems to have quite forgotten that I leaked that document and all is calm again. Of course both the Abbess and I both know that I am Wilder by name and reckless by nature so nobody can be too sure that all will remain serene and tranquil, but hope springs eternal.

Now I might just slip back into the garden and make some raised beds to fill with peonies, poppies and other perennials.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


~The Silent Places~ Posted by Hello

The Silent Places

By the crimson petal forest
a plastic dream nourishes my boastful veins.
Grey light languishes in this place
and whispers suggestively.
Here deliberate nothing !
A superior argument in stillness.
Malleable restrained secrets lay in waiting ...

copyright - March 2005
Patricia Hine-Stewart

GREEN - and I have forgotten gold . . .


Find me standing at the door of the Abby in full regalia, waiting. This is the full regalia, not of an Alchemist or any of the other things I am on the side, but the full regalia of my primary calling: a Poet. This regalia consists of an empty notebook and a pen. That’s it, because that’s all it takes. It may seem simple, but still, it is sacred regalia. I stand here with more power than any single warrior bedecked with a horde of weapons.

“The pen is mightier than the sword.”
It is a deep, real truth.

I stand here to welcome an Elder of my order to the Abby, a mentor from whom I have learned much. I wait. Then I wait. Then I notice that there is a poem on the Blog. Well, there’s Fran for you! She came in the back door, probably got herself all established and has already written a poem and I didn’t even know she was here! So much for my ceremony and quasi embarrassing Welcome Song. Ah well! I shall say it anyway.


Here is a bit of Fran’s wisdom for everyone else.



Why It is Not Advisable to Lend
Your Philosopher's Stone
To a Poet

We want to touch the world
And see it turn to gold
For our hands have known
A sublime and secret alchemy
We have raked our fingers across the sky
And left gold dust in the clouds
We have cupped our own faces in our palms
Until our skin ran rich and molten

But then, there are days of prosaic silence
When we reach for a leaf
And it stays blank and green
Unchanged, ungilded by our touch
A hidden hollowness then fills the throat
Has the music stopped?
Has the dance gone still?
Has the gold dust turned to rust?
A whisper of barren fear,
A rime of frozen lace
Frosts the heart

Into this silence
A Wise One speaks
An Elder of our Art

Her words are short, succinct,
Yet resplendent, full
In the way of a true poet, her
Concept is

She tells us
Though the word is not spoken
She says and
The message is clear

The fruit hangs on the boughs above
Blushing a burnished, yellowgreen
Sleepy, young, unripe, unseasoned
I reach up, and the sun
Catches gilt in my fingers
A ball of gold fire in the palm of my hand
It wells in filagree past my knuckles
And glows with a gilded radiance right through my skin
I close my hand
And bring in down

In my palm lies a single leaf
Of green
Sweet, verdant green
Like the fresh cut dream of an endless Spring
It is thin and fragile and slightly curled
A deep lush emerald, veined with touches of clover
I hold it against my lips: it feels of velvet and smells
Of early morning, when the birds throats are open and
The dew is cool on the fields
I look up and catch my breath
At the vast canopy of jade swaying over my head
The sun has broken through the branches
And the glade is flooded with light

But my eyes
Have gone as
As glass
And I have

(For Fran)

© Edwina Peterson Cross


Old woman climbing
a stair on a mountain
waits for a raven
to show her the way

Old woman sitting
at the foot of the mountain
sleeps for an hour
or is it a day?

Old woman dreaming
winged words on a mountain
no longer climbing
no need to stay

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Discipline?! Moi?!

Abess, Abess, Abess, you get the strangest notions. Serious Countenance? Discipline?? Certainly you don't mean ME!? I am the one who is always doing what I am supposed to be doing . . . Like entertaining distinguished foreign visitors who drop by the Abbey unannounced . . . That Ebony Wilder now, I'd watch out for HER, if I were you!

I'm going to gargle now so I will be in good form for singing while you play the piano. Please DO wear your red shoes, they always inspire me to hit those high notes. I will wear my tap shoes, just in case.
Yours in Serious Contemplative Thought,

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Real Abbess

Will you give us all a break Heather. We know what you really look like. Costello has it all wrong! Trust me! The old Abbess looks more like this.


Whoooooo! I am out of here before the Abbess gets hold of me.

High Tea on the Lawns


When Winnie caught me on her digital and made merry with her wacom I was on my way up from the kitchen to tell you that I had made some Savoury Finger Sandwiches to have with tea on the Abbey Lawns. We cannot have everyone thinking that the Abbess cannot produce culinary triumphs of her own.

The fillings are
Smoked Trout Dill and Cucumber
1 whole smoked trout, skin and bones removed
1 lebanese cucumber finely chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped dill
half a very small red onion, thinly shaved
cream cheese

Lemon Thyme, Ricotta and Ham
4 large thin slices of leg ham off the bone
lemon tyme leaves
ricotta cheese

Chicken and Cream
1 small barbecue chicken, meat removed and finely chopped
whole egg mayonnaise

Tea is not a luxury item that is kept under lock and key. In the old abbey it was not a common commodity and the beverage was revered and treated with respect. Given the cost of acquiring it this is not particularly surprising. The habit of afternoon tea dates back to when dinner moved to an evening timeslot. In the old days tea making was a ceremony carried out by the Abbess but we are not sticklers on ceremony here so I won't turn a hair if Ebony or Sharon rush in and out of the kitchen with pots of freshly brewed tea.

Enjoy the sandwiches and I have jelly cakes to finish up with. They are cup cakes dredged in jelly and coconut and melt in your mouth. I have made plenty so that when tea is over you will all go back to your rooms and create more beautiful things.

The Abbess

The Mystery Woman in Blue

She builds with bricks of nothing
Buildings, rooms and walls
Where spirits walk together
Down lovely cyber halls
With bright ribbons of conception
She ties knots of blooming heather
Creating cyber pathways
Where like minds can come together
She builds a world of beauty
Nonexistent and yet whole
Where your hand can reach around the world
And touch another soul
A place to look inside yourself
And relish that stunning view
This mystical mystery lady
Who looks so beautiful in blue . . .

Abbess Speaks

When I wandered out into the Lemurian Wilderness and stumbled upon the old Abbey I had no idea that so many pilgrims would follow me and help create a vibrant order within the old walls.

One of the really exciting elements of this Abbey is that we are experimenting with ways to be both alone and together. As Thomas Moore pointed out in his tiny 'Meditations' "early monasteries were designed so that a monk would live in his own cell and eat from his own garden and yet participate in a common life with his brothers."

In our society people find that it is hard to live as individuals while nourishing a marriage, other relationships and raising children. It is hard to express ourselves and tap the creative impulse while being a primary care giver. However, people who live alone often experience anxiety about finding a mate or a community that they feel at ease within.

The fascinating thing about this Abbey is that Monks who have made a vow to the Order of Soul Food are able to experiment with living both lives in the one place. They have not had to leave home, seperate themselves from those they love or go out into the literal wilderness to participate in this world.

This week Fran Sbrocchi made the pilgrimage from Perth and met me here in Melbourne. She has been actively involved with Soul Food since its very early days. Our meeting was a meeting of kindred spirits who have shared a common community for over six years yet never heard one another's voice, seen one another's eyes, been in one another's home. Fran and I instantly embraced one another and the mutual pleasure, the sheer joy of 'meeting' was obvious to both our husbands. We could have talked long into the night but time restraints made that impossible.

In this world of cyber space it seems to me that we can enjoy a way of life that enables us to meet our individual needs and still maintain our responsibility to our family and friends. How remarkable is that?

the Abbess who wanders the monastery in her blue gown.

Marvelous Epiphany Door

I'm beginning to wonder if it is something that we can't always see. I wandered around the other day, completely unable to find it. Maybe the abbess has a clue about this. Anyway yesterday, after another hard day of careful copying out letters and images in the scriptorium, I took the key from it's pouch and tried again. And there it was. The box in front of the door, the door, the keyhole, and the key that makes it fly open. This time I went in and look around carefully and I found a wall of niches with candles so I lit them all.
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What a beautiful sight that was. And then I got right to work. I bound another journal and started working on the pages of the cloth bound journal.

What fun, and how prolific I feel. I have never experienced shuch a creative outpouring and I am so glad the Abbess Heather invited us on this retreat.
Again, let me extend an invitation, if you want an art journal with something specific on the cover, please drop it in the Epiphany Box (if you can find it, that is) with a note about your request. Now I must find the library and that big comfortable chair so I can read what everyone else is up to.

Swan Haiku

silent beauty~
graceful form
feathers of white unadorned

Swans in the Gardens!

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In Timon of Athens (Act V, scene I) a Painter and a Poet come to Timon’s cave to try and weasel him out of some of the gold it is rumored he has. Unfortunately for them, Timon is on to them and knows them for the using knaves they are, after saying, aside to the audience “Excellent workman! thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.” he flings some gold at the Painter saying “You have work'd for me; there's payment for you: hence!” but to the Poet he says, “You are an alchemist; make gold of that.”

Ah! Indeed, said

Megan's Rose

Welcome Megan

Welcome Megan. I thought I heard your voice down the hall earlier. When I checked the roster, sure enough, your name was on it. I was so excited to know that you are here. I know you have come for quiet, so I will not come running right down to your cell and knock on your door, but I wanted to send you a few words.
To Megan:

May the quiet of this house of stillness
This softened place of gentle calm . .
Wash over you in soothing grace
Silence like a healing balm

Though you may often walk in private
In these halls of ancient stone
Kind thoughts and blessings walk with you
You’ll not be lonely when alone

So be welcome here among us
Whatever else you do
We thank-you for the gift you’ve brought:
The uncomparable gift of you.

©Edwina Peterson Cross

When you are ready, you will find me in the Alchemist’s tower. Here is an old friend who also wishes to say, “Welcome.”

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Old Abbey,Nave,Photo23.18

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Working in Silence

Dear Residents of the Abbey,

I was not particularly surprised at the response to my last message, that being not shock or surprise at all, but next to nothing. This is a fairly normal reaction and perhaps for the best. I will continue to report to you what I am finding, for your information, but I do not need to be involved in the communal working of the Abbey, you may just assume I am not here. I know I tend to make people nervous. As I stated, you may go on with your work and projects without any of this impacting you at all. I hope.

I see I have the Alchemist interested. I have to chuckle at that, it only being one person, it would turn out to be the Alchemist. As to your question, Believer, could we photograph the Alchemist? That would depend. I haven’t met her yet, but from what I have read in the back posts just the opposite might be true, with some of this equipment we might just see her clearly when other people didn’t show up at all.

I have been in the library doing a lot of very interesting reading and research. I may be traveling to the University of Lemuria in the next week or so to do some more in-depth follow up research on some things I have found.

There is so much activity in this area that it is difficult to stay focused, but following the scientific method I have concentrated on the nave of the Old Abbey. I have taken readings there at various times, of light and various forms of energy. There is without a doubt a presence within the nave and I am fairly sure that it is what we refer to as a “Bound Presence,” in other words it is not coming and going. I am getting no readings without the indication of the entity. In a future post I will elaborate on the significance of a “Bound Presence.” I have taken quite a few more pictures of the nave, some showing indications of presence in various forms. There is one, taken with the inferred Forman120 Camera which is quite definite. If anyone is at all interested, I would ask you: Elizabethan time period? Does that look right to you? I am not an expert. At home I have a full group of consultants that I regularly work with, one being an expert in period clothing. Elizabethan looks right to me, but it is a guess. It makes a difference in my research of course, for finding ghosts is most definitely not all that I do.

Respectfully Submitted:
Louise Anna Holmes, PhD
Parapsychology, Paramusicology

Seed Specialist's Delight

The gardens here at the Abbey are nothing short of a botanical treasure, permeated with the melodious ping of bellbirds. This afternoon I cut long stems of the Bird of Paradise Winnie photographed and I have put them in a large vase in the Library.

With Sharon cooking today I enjoyed walking through the grounds with my basket collecting flowers for the Abbey vases. Our roses are looking simply beautiful and I found ancient species tucked in quiet corners. The oldest roses here date back to the time of King Midas, who apparently had green fingers as well as turning everything in to gold when he ruled over Phrygia in 1500 B.C. Heritage roses such as the 'Red Rose of Lancaster' and the 'White Rose of York' date back to the Middle Ages.

This Abbey is a seed specialist’s delight. Most of the plants that have survived have done so because they have been useful and have medicinal properties. The lavender for example is prolific and masses in the old wild garden.

While I was in the library I searched for some books that I am sure are on the shelves which will help me identify some of the seeds that I have been finding. Because the Abbey has been undisturbed by development it will yield wonderful heritage plants. Apart from daffodils, violets there are crocus and other treasures to be found.

I am planning to set up some seed trays on trestle tables in the green house and begin nurturing some of these babies. There is no need to rush out and buy the 'latest look' plants when there are all these things that have shown their resilience by surviving flood, fire and drought.

I will keep you posted. Now I better go and set up the library for dinner. I have a feeling that it is going to be quite a formal affair. Long gloves and all that!

got to run

Chicken & Dumplings (Come & Get It!!)

Dinner will be served this evening in the dining area promptly at 7:00pm Abbey time. Dress is casual; a Southern Country Meal from Texas is being served:

Chicken & Dumplings
Homemade Yeast Rolls with lots of butter
A huge Tossed Salad with homemade croutons & a vinagrette dressing
Green Beans
Iced Tea

and for dessert, Scotch Cake (this is luscious chocolate to die for!)

So, bring your appetites ladies! I've been cooking all day long!


Hosted by Photobucket.comThis is what has kept me up late at nights

About Forest Dance

I crept out of my cell in the wee hours of the morning. Following my previous pathway to the old ruins, my heart beat faster and faster. Could I catch another glimpse of the lady in the passageway? I wondered as I crouched down in the bushes near the entryway. Sitting there in the still darkness, I waited. She did not show.

I was about to give up as dawn broke the night sky with shafts of light through the trees beyond the ruins. Suddenly, there she was, dressed magnificently in a pastel-colored ballet dress, her hair tied back in a graceful bun. I began to hear muted sounds of a sonet as I crept closer....watching her dance. She was oblivious to any other thing around her as she twirled. Her taffeta dress flowed all around; graceful movements on tip-toe.

As silently as she appeared, she was gone.

I sat there in the bush, amazed, astounded and wondered where the forest dancer had gone?

Forest Dance

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What I painted in the corner of the garden that Traveller found. (epc)

gate to an earthly paradise

modern technology being what it is (smile) the picture of the gate got overwritten by another picture so here it is again

gate to an earthly paradise