I wanted to travel

I wanted to travel

to see your faces

to feel your embrace

and I caught your scent

stepped on the sand

braved the roaring waves

Leaving the winter cold

immersed in your warmth

the summer breeze

the hustle and bustle

the familiar old streets

of my vanished youth

I packed all I needed

my heart, my soul, my will…

to be with you one more time

years without your caress

the comfort of your smile

your breath of joy and life

It’s cold in Mordialloc

the wind cuts to the bone

and you fill my thoughts

my friends, my blood

my other home 

Breaking the news

 We sit at the table for breakfast with a good spread of fresh fruit and cereals. The football season, or soccer as they call it in this country, was meant to start at the end of March but the pandemic put everything on hold.

The little man has missed a lot of things during the lockdown, his friends, Taekwondo, visits to the library, watching movies in the big screen… but when everything started to reopen it was football that was most in his mind.

Training in the dark, in the cold, for weeks, he has been so focused to be ready for the first game that I don’t know how to break it to him. I’ve noticed that he’s been eating less sweets and has been asking for healthier foods. He has also been asking to watch videos of Messi, so he can observe and learn from the best. Only nine years old and so committed!

A smile blossoms in his face as he gazes at me lost in my thoughts. He’s in such good spirit, how can I break the news? But really, I can’t wait any longer. It’s Thursday and his first football game was meant to be this Saturday.

He senses something’s on my mind. “When you come back from work, we can play Exploding Kittens,” he says.

I smile. If it was up to him we’d be playing Pokemon but he knows I like Exploding Kittens much more.

“Sure,” I respond and decide to just let it out. “The football season has been cancelled. We’re on lock down again.”

A shadow appears in his forehead, his eyes darken for an instant.

“That’s a shame,” he says containing his emotions.

“I know, you were so looking forward to it.”

“It’s okay dad,” he says as his eyes brighten up and the shadow vanishes from his forehead. “We all need to do all we can to stop this Covid thing.”

Nine years old and sometimes, it seems like he’s taking it all in better than myself. I haven’t slept well worrying about what a second lock down means and the effects it will have on so many people.

We embrace, giving energy to each other.

“When you come back from work, can we play football in the park?” he asks.

“Of course,” I reply.

If innocence is a crime II

If dreaming, aiming of a better tomorrow

Treading the path of hope and utopia

Is a crime we must bury and burrow

If freedom is a risk to be contained

Legislated against, fought and curtailed

For the right to hate and discriminate

If money is to be prioritised and elevated

No matter the human consequence

The sickness and death it has cultivated

If the earth is to be raped and plundered

Single mindedly ignoring the devastation

Extracted, polluted and sundered

If racism and sexism are to be elevated

Once again to the halls of power

With impunity lust and hate never sated

If innocence is the crime of our days

Aiming for human rights and justice

Equality and solidarity, lost in a maze

Let us not pretend there’s a place for us