Morning time


the world stirs
light pushes towards earth
eyes blink
closed from longs night sleep
all that were settled stretch
branches open wide
their feathered dwellers
cry the morning song
flying off from nestled homes

I could have written of the darkness
as I saw it
in so many hours past
digital click to warn me of the
minutes passing by
of life

eyes that wish to close
yet drawn to nature wakening
the sounds, the calls
bringing rhythmic pulses to the air

and nothing changes
night to day
sleep or not
with memories of yesterday
thoughts of tomorrow
we start again
the day is what we make of it

copyright JMTacken 28.12.2014

The Bridge


Cautiously she tread
toes splayed for balance
bare heels touching first
the wooden pales that made the bridge
it gently swayed as she held fast
steel pipes within her palms

watching the path
that lay ahead

She stops
unaware of towering trees
enconsed in forest green
blue river deep below
the sun hitting rocks
that lined it’s course

watching the path
that lay ahead

Instead she’s trapped
cornered animal in a cage
despair, anxious
disconnected, angry
emotions that come in waves
never ending one moment
every moment
one day to the next

watching the path
that lay ahead

Her heart tells her step forward
her mind tells her no
scared to try
her feet stand still in lonliness
the world in front
yet out of reach
the one behind she wants to leave

watching the path
that lays ahead

She now sways from side to side
trying to escape
the demons in her head
to walk the path beyond
let her feet step lightly
watching the path
that lays ahead

let her reach the other side
so she knows that she belongs

Copyright JMTacken 15.12.2014

Thank you everyone for your gracious comments on my last posts. I’ve been absent for a while, for reasons most of you would be aware of.

This is written for K, who had another extremely bad time the day before her 28th birthday last Saturday. She took off in her car for a few hours. I asked her late Saturday where she went.
She cried saying back to the other house, I just sat in the car as I often do, as I don’t know where I belong.

I hope to be reading and commenting on your posts again, thank you.

Comes in 3’s or… – Chat

Water and I don’t get along very well, for as long as I can remember I have had an aversion to drinking it. Pop Penguin is the same. Most weeks I would be lucky if I drank a glass.
Due to pop’s blood pressure and various ailments I convinced him to start drinking more. I am a chip of the old block, the only way I will drink more water is through a squeeze bottle (like you have at the gym).
This is what I got Pop to do and now he drinks around 2 a day which is excellent.
I am quite good at giving advice, but rarely listen to my own.

Last Saturday we were heading for a hot day, before it became too hot however, I went for a walk… No water. I came back home, hung out some washing …no water, then went into the study and stood in front of filing cabinet to retrieve something.

I started to get a humming noise in my right ear, which I had never had before, then that light headed feeling (the type you get from standing up too quickly after sitting down)

Then I felt the wobblies come over me, I sort of remember hitting the chair on my way down, but I am pretty sure I blanked out for a while, my body scrunched on the floor, my left arm underneath me holding my right upper arm. I felt warmth and sticky and realised my arm was bleeding.

My first words were ‘what the hell happened’
I lay there for a few moments dazed and confused about how long I had actually been out. I then sat up. Raised both arms above my head (stroke test) when I got up I went to the bathroom to check if there were any changes to my facial muscles. I spoke out loud. I seemed ok.

Mr. S was out for a couple of hours yet so I ..yes grabbed a bottle of water and went and lay on the couch for most of the afternoon. I can only diagnose dehydration.

So I now sport a massive yellow, purple, black bruise covering most of upper right arm, with a scratch in the middle about 2 inches long, a bruised elbow and a sore behind (as I must have hit that first)

Mr.S then arrived telling me he passed out for about 4 seconds whilst doing gardening, though he was doing 4 lawns in the middle of the heat, but at least he drank water (he drinks more than I)

This was the same afternoon that K started her major meltdown.

Oh, on a side note Mr. S went back to play basketball tonight, it was his 2nd match with the ‘veteran players’ = the oldies.
He came in hobbling and heard a pop in his calf whilst playing.

So not three’s but possibly four’s.

6 years ago when we first met, he snapped his archillies in his right leg, this is his left. Off to the doctors in the morning…

K and I are still keeping our distance…

Oh and please DRINK WATER!

For now they wait

1968# to enter
2069# to leave
quietly past rooms I walk
they sleep, they gaze
low tone sound from one
aaaaarrrrrr then stops
repeats, continual
no other words pass his lips

another blanketed huddled
stares expresionless through
glass windows at trees
out of reach

people carrying
doing, or helping
white linen tablecloths adorn
round tables
the place to socialise
if you’re game
for they seem scared
and so alone

one gets reprimanded
trying to help another
to a chair as
last time he fell, unsteady
on his feet
not many smile

I walk in smiling
good morning everyone
stares go through me
so silently sad are they

some talk quietly to themselves
most don’t
their expressions blank
almost like the whiteboard sign
that gives the day, the date but
most importantly the weather

a topic of
conversation for those who converse
one dark skinned gentleman
sits blowing kisses across the room
to the lady in a red cardigan
who sits next to me
and she returns them

Copyright JMTacken 25.10.2014

The lady in the red cardigan of course is Mumma penguin.
I could have sat their all day watching and writing about the frail and wounded in the transition hospital. So sad and yes sadly depressing, watching these poor souls get through yet another day here.

The Reception – concluding my chat from Saturday

as I seem to be in chat mode still.

I tried to write this in poetic form – but struggled.
After my nephews wedding yesterday this is how the day and night panned out.

At first there was reluctance, the day had been very tiring for both mum and Pop as they had to do quite a bit of walking around the park. Later that afternoon, Pop phoned saying they were exhausted and didn’t want to go to the Reception. I pleaded with them to try as they had missed their other grandsons wedding (as dad had had a fall). Within an hour Pop phoned back saying they would go. Mr. S an I drove to pick them up and took Pop’s walker to make it easier for him.

I held mums hand walking up the slight inclined pavers to the building, she was unsteady on her feet. Mr. S saw to Pop. We got in the lift and went upstairs. Greeting everyone with the rest of the family so happy that they were able to make it, we took our seats.

Meals were served, I cut up Pops and got a spoon for him to eat it, as he has trouble with a knife and fork, due to his shaking.

I was sitting opposite him, with my youngest nephew’s new bride ‘Em’ (who is pregnant btw – so I’m to be a great Aunty in September..oh no wait August) as low and behold my nephew who got married yesterday, his bride ‘D’ is also pregnant.

As I watched Pop struggling to get the food into his mouth,  the tears started, so I got up and went outside, followed by ‘Em’in hot pursuit. She gave me a hug, with me blubbering how hard it is to witness them like this.

Back inside and under control, the music started playing. Mum loves dancing, has complained for the last few years how she hasn’t been able to, ‘G’ my ex was also there with his wife (we have been divorced for over 15 years and his ‘new wife’ is lovely) we get along very well and I still have quite a good relationship with my ex.

I got up to dance and went around to Pop and said “Want a slow shuffle around the floor with your daughter”? The look in his eyes, almost started me crying once more. I helped him out of his seat and we walked slowly to the floor. We didn’t waltz like we used to, we didn’t do the polka or rock and roll. We held hands and I slowly moved around with him. He said “Ginger (my nickname) what will I do without you – thank you”. He didn’t see my tears behind his shoulder.

Then I looked up and my ex had asked mum to dance and she was in 7th heaven, laughing and getting her groove on like she used to, but a bit slower pace. She actually surprised me how well she did. So ‘G’ danced with her through 4 or 5 numbers and my sister in law came up and danced with me and Pop and it was beautiful.

The night ended about 11 as they were exhausted and we drove them home. I undressed Pop and put him in his pyjamas…another big hug and a thank you from both of us, for them being able to go, for me helping him and dancing with him. Mum was still on cloud 9, as she had missed dancing so much and was so happy that I persuaded them to go. They were happy, I was happy they could go and that I could dance once more with my beloved Pop.

In case you haven’t met my ‘Penguins’ before the below are photos of them 4 years ago at my eldest daughters wedding. Now Pop has a grey Santa beard and they don’t have quite the same sparkle in their eyes now, but they adored and I need them as much as I need to breathe.



Oh and they have their 62  63 year wedding anniversary tomorrow xxx


Before and after shots of the new flooring

Yes, because YOU asked for them lol

Before shots of empty tiled floor – the tiles were a brown/cream tone (forgot to take a pic) this is where our casual meals eating are is.
IMG_0558IMG_0575 different view of course, but this is it now.    🙂

Below is family room floor vinyl.                             Here is the new  & different view:-)

IMG_0560  IMG_0580


a shot of the kitchen

IMG_0578         a shot of all the new ‘bits’ for the dresser which I will be changing.IMG_0568


Daughter # 2 went out and got these vases – what you see on the top apart from the skinny black one (back left) and short black one (front right) came to a grand total of $35.00.

She is now doing two abstract paintings as we have, above the dresser, a huge cathedral wall which needs something on it. I shall post when she has done them 🙂

Hope you liked


Chat time – the good the bad and the ugly

Perhaps if it were a full moon last night, I would understand my mood yesterday. Alas it wasn’t, but mood swings strike at even given moment with me. I wonder if others are the same?

I wasn’t prolific in my writing, I thought I would save you all from my moaning and groaning, when there are others far worse off than I.

Last Saturday I took my penguins to a funeral – Catholic ~ one and a half hours of workout, sit,kneel,stand. I am not religious but I stood when was required as I do not mock or disregard other peoples faith.

Pop and mum sat as it was too much for them to stand each time and pop was having a particularly bad day walking and on his legs.

There was one amusing incident, when the priest rang the bells, mum tuttered loudly, I asked what was wrong, she answered someone has their mobile phone on….ok bless.

As I struggled holding mums hand and onto pops walker, so we could walk up the slight incline to see the wife of the deceased (a friend of pops for 40 years) dad started to cry and said ” I’ll be seeing my mate soon” … Yes that started me, so with held back tears I walked them slowly to the car.

During the service which was quite beautiful, the priest read a piece that George (dec) had written for his own eulogy.

He was 88 and had trouble walking, like Pop. He passed in his sleep, may he RIP.

This got me thinking and I asked Pop if he would consider writing something for his Eulogy, that I could read (if I’m able) he agreed and now has written over 1000 words about his life. He acknowledges that it needs to be ‘culled’ edited, but he wants to write it and I am so very proud of him. Who better to write about their life than the person I ask.

I conducted my 1st burial last Wednesday in 40c heat, it wasn’t pleasant, but the family were lovely and invited me back for refreshments and got a chair for me and drinks and sandwiches.

6 children in the family, 19 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren, who let balloons off at the burial site. Despite the horrific conditions, it was beautiful to witness.

I received a call after I wrote my 2 pieces yesterday and I have another burial next Wednesday, this will be my 8th. A disabled man who passed at the age of 48. To get to know the family’s, their story, their lives, is what makes this calling so worthwhile to me.

So in finishing my chat today, thank you for bearing with me yesterday, for putting up with this Aussie who can be very melancholy one minute and high as a kite the next.

I will get there, I know I will, especially with the support and love of those who continue to read me and I thank each and everyone of you for your kindness, encouragement and unwavering support.

It truly means a lot to me, you are not just readers in different parts of the world, you are my neighbours, my friends, my confidants and you get me through the good the bad and the ugly.

Know that if you need me, I am here for you too, in whatever capacity I can be.

Thank you my virtual friends and those I have met in person ~ I think the world of you and love you.


Chat Time Personal ‘stuff’ – pour a drink – its been a while

Dear  Fans Followers,

My Muse is still drinking I think and poetry is a struggle (at 4:18 pm Thursday afternoon) but I didn’t begin this blog to even write poetry so YAY to me for attempting…yes?

This afternoon, as Melbourne Australia (Horsetralia) swelters under a blazing hot sun and hot northerly winds, the temperature is 44C – that’s erm roughly 111.2 Farenheit. That is hot, I am hot (well I was when I was younger – that’s a joke everyone) so I sit here under a ceiling fan with the Evaporative cooler going flat-out as she/he is struggling somewhat.

Since I haven’t had a chat for a while, and Poetry Muse is off in some corner possibly sporting a massive hangover, my chat Muse is still able to talk…stop groaning it won’t be that bad.

Last weekend I had a visitor, Michael lives in NSW – that’s heading up North from where I live and he was down visiting some of his children. He is the 2nd blogger I have met through WP and being a fellow Aussie – well put it this way – I greeted him at the door with a hug and a few kindly expletives 🙂 as is ‘our way’.

He arrived Sat and he sat in the kitchen whilst I fiddled about making potato salad for our BBQ dinner that night. He chatted to Mr. S and it was all very lovely and relaxed. Later we had the BBQ and I cooked a peppered butterfly lamb (Lyn will know of this) 🙂

Now Michael being a retired Drama and English teacher has assisted me along the way with the writing of my Eulogies and he does a damn fine job let me tell you. I use the word ‘that’ too many times, he corrects, I word a paragraph weird..he corrects. So as I had the Service yesterday – it was a perfect opportunity for him to sit with me and go through what I had written. “He done good” 🙂 (he will hate that) I can write, but sometimes my use of the English language is a little all over the shop and he points me in the right direction.

He stayed over Saturday night and Sunday morning the 3 of us went out for breakfast – ah to be sure it was grand. Meeting a fellow blogger is strange, you realise – they aren’t some imaginary/virtual being that you have communicated with, but a real live person (odd but true).

He left Sunday afternoon and I have to say it was a great pleasure to not only meet him, but chat/banter/whine/discuss etc. I even put the poor bugga through an ordeal he probably didn’t anticipate and took him to meet my Penguins – so he could see that they too (to?) (waits for the correction) were ‘real’.

So if you don’t read him or follow him – go over and take a peek – he writes mainly poetry and he’s a lovely, caring human being.

Yesterday I had my first Burial – all my other Services have been Cremations.
It was 41C yesterday, the Chapel Cooling system was struggling, as was I and I stuffed up and where did I stuff up…reading the Lord’s Prayer for the family. Of all the things to go wrong when I should know this off by heart – and do… but the family were also saying it out loud in front of me..and well…I lost my place. I apologised and continued.

After the Service we went to the burial site for her internment. A family with 6 children, 19 grandchildren and 29 great grand children. They let free their balloons, scattered carnations and roses onto the Coffin and everyone was emotional and very flustered with the heat.

I was invited back for refreshments by the family, they were simply lovely, getting me food and drink and asking me to sit with them. Hopefully the ‘muck-up’ will be forgotten, I did apologise again to them, they said not to worry…

Homefront: My Penguins – Pop seems to be struggling to comprehend what I say to him of late, when he stands now, his whole body shakes and he must sit down within a couple of minutes. Mum is on her medication for her memory loss due to her strokes and now and then gets very angry for no real reason. I am at the point of talking to her like a child, but not in a demeaning way, for I know this is not her.

I won’t go on with other members of the family – let me just say, things are in place to get us back on track…hopefully.

So that’s it – you can wake up now – sorry if I bored the pants off you, as I said it’s been a while since I chatted.

Yours Sincerely,


Update on my Penguins (quite a lengthy piece – Part 1)

The last few poems I have written about have concerned my family.

My family, especially my parents have become part of your live’s in a distant way. The ups, the downs and in-betweens of their life, have to you, my readers in a small way become yours.

As you know Pop (my dad) is quite feeble. Somedays, thankfully, he can pull himself up off his chair, or walk to the front door unaided, but usually with the help of a walker. He has the new seat on the toilet that is like a chair, so that he does not call out to mum for aid to get up. He has the hospital pull-up post on his bed, so that he may get in and out of bed more easily and he has the rails and seat in the shower.

A recliner chair that also tilts forward helps him plant his feet on the ground and be in an almost standing position for him to get up.  A chair with arms, so that he can pull himself up after eating.

I didn’t think these days would come, not when I was young, not when I saw him play shuttle-cock with us, not when I saw him public speaking with a strong, confidant voice, not when I saw him dance with mum across the floor.

How our lives change ~ now I watch him struggle, his voice on days grow weak. Thankfully there are good days, where he jokes and laughs and says that he’s doing okay.

Mum as you know is slipping slowly. We took her to the Specialist last week (a Geriatrician) to be assessed for Dementia. My brother P and I walked in with her and sat down. It was a battle to get her there, the phone call I received the night before and the morning of was “I’m not going to see him – I don’t need to – you aren’t my doctor, they just want to get more money out of us”. One of those phone calls she got angry and hung up on me.

“Now why are you here” he asked warmly.
“Because they said I have to come”.
I told him – “This won’t be easy”. Mum was almost child-like in her responses.
When he asked “What is your birthday and how was your child-hood”.
She replied with the correct date, but then “What on earth do you want to know that for!”
Her stubborn pants were on.
My brother and I were asked to leave the room and fill out 2 pages of certain behavioural aspects now, compared to 10 years ago.
After we had finished we went back in and we had to say in front of mum, why we believe she should be there…. that was tough and the Doctor said to mum “Now don’t get angry with them, but I have to ask a few questions”.
We explained as tactfully as we could, our reasons.
He then ordered an MRI and to make a further appointment, once this had been done.
All the way home mum in the back seat kept saying “I don’t need this MRI – nothing is wrong with me”.
Yesterday I went round and asked her if I could tidy one of her grocery cupboards (pantry) she said “Yes, but I must see what you want to throw away”.
I agreed.
Pops said he has been trying to get her to tidy/sort it out for years.
“Mum the use by date on this is 2004 – can I throw?”
“What is it?”
“Mum it’s 2004”.
Much thought and pulling of faces.
“Ok I guess so…”
This went on for over an hour. Me asking, her refuting the dates and that they were still fit for human consumption.

Empty jars, herb/spice bottles, plastic containers…. “No I want to keep them”
It went on and on, she was getting angrier, all of these meant something to her..something she could hold on her past.

We got through it without her grabbing Pops walking stick and threatening me with it, as she did the other week. This gentle, kind and warm woman – slowly becoming a different person… a different mum.

Times are a changing – the road won’t be concreted nor smooth, but a rocky path, we now wait till the MRI appointment.

If you got through all of this – thank you for reading.


Something different from Prose – Just a ramble

I forgot to do a ‘How my weekend was’, mind you I did not have enough to write about.  Friday I spent the day at the penguins and did their weeding for 5 hours, yes my bum cheeks and thighs felt it Saturday.

Saturday afternoon, went to the ‘The Circle’ to watch the fledging mediums strut their stuff, unfortunately no one wanted to talk to me. Sunday? Um Sunday – scratches head – oh yes Sunday in the afternoon went for a demonstration of a Thermomix machine the whizz bang German made cutter, slicer, dicer, scales, cooker, bread & maker everything you can imagine all in one unit that does everything apart from brown the meat. At $2,000.00 a bargain…. no I did not buy one. I hardly cook these days and not working still thought better of it.

Remember the diamond I lost out of my ring, I didn’t have enough Insurance so they only could pay out $1,000 (the diamond was $2000) so sadly instead of putting it towards another gem, I will be using this money to help with the bills etc.

I did see a service last Monday with another Celebrant from the same company as the first one I saw. This one was a gentleman however. It was a bit eerie as the service was held in the same Chapel where Mr. S.’s mum had hers. I watched him ‘do his thing’ and although he spoke quite well, to me he was to business like, there was no emotion in what he said, though he paused at the right moments.

The positive that came out of this was that this time,  I met the owner of the F.D Home. Mal, a lovely elderly gentlemen. He said Liz (the lady I first saw) I know I am testing memories here from previous posts, has been with them for years and she does generic services (I call that lazy). Greg has also been since the company started, so they have to give them priority. BUT  (I know you can’t sentences with but) he said that his niece also did services but didn’t really want to do them anymore, so they have 2, but they could do with 3… and to keep in touch with his son who is now waiting for an appropriate (hopefully smooth sailing) funeral for me to conduct on trial.

So each day I sit and write, and visit the folks – oh yes, sorry,  I haven’t really updated them have I. Dad is doing okay after his 3rd fall. We are off to see the Oncologist next week. We have to wait till the end of Nov for mums Geriatric assessment. We are in the process of getting the medical alerts pendants and also another assessment to how they are coping living in their home.

Pop is feeling weaker though, I went in yesterday and he was asleep at 10 (he wakes at 5) but normally doesn’t sleep till the afternoon. In fact sometimes when I am sitting there during the day he nods off in the chair at the kitchen table. Mum started crying, which got me going and he said he is feeling useless and weak.

Each day as it comes, that’s all I can get through and hope that he is with us for a long time to come.


Now just to brighten the mood a little…. Daughter # 2 has a onsey – I tried it on this morning for a giggle, so that you may too. Erm I’m a Unicorn in case you are wondering.


Onesy anyone