Julie Henderson

Windmills dominate the horizon
like sunflowers in a field
turning their face to the sun
to catch the last rays.

Blades turning slowly
in an elegant dance.
Driven by the wind
in a stately Sarabande

Powerful and silent
Modern yet timeless
A nod to the past,
to protect the future

Windmills dominate the horizon.
Blades turning slowly
creating electricity in
an elegant dance.

The Librarian

The Caltowie Institute library opened on Friday afternoons and when I was very young it was run by a woman with the fascinating name of Mrs Hurdy.   My brother and I called her Mrs Hurdy Gurdy although we didn’t know what a hurdy gurdy was.  Mrs Hurdy was by all accounts a prudish lady and hid magazines containing images of naked or semi-naked women under her desk.  We attended the library with our Grandmother who was a fan of murder mysteries, an interest I was later to share.  My grandmother was an avid reader so she went weekly to change her books and she often took my brother and me with her.  Most of books at the library were old and well-worn and few still had paper covers.  I don’t remember the library having any children’s books.  Children’s books came either from the school library or in packages from the state library children’s lending service.  Later, Mrs Hurdy retired and was replaced by Sheila Graham.  Sheila was single and was always known by her first name never as Miss Graham, perhaps because she was a contemporary of my Grandmother’s or alternately because there was something somewhat suspect and shameful about being a single woman in a small town in the late 1960s.  I don’t remember when the library shut but I do remember being surprised by the empty front room in the Caltowie hall where the library once had been.

The corridors in Aged Care are the domain of the restless and confused
who wander the halls in ever-decreasing circles 
while those with memories intact shelter in their rooms
away from bewilderment.

After lunch, their heads droop like flowers wilting in the midday sun
Sleeping in chairs dotted around the halls
A kaleidoscope of memories form and reform in their heads
creating new truths to be acted upon on waking.

The days in Aged Care are punctuated by routine
meals, coffee, activities and drug rounds.
These rituals mould the day creating structure
In the prevailing chaos 

Families forgotten, bar those who have passed
who are perpetually mourned,
staff become a surrogate, a friendly face to be trusted
in a world of confusion.

Fleeting pleasures exist In the bleakness of dementia 
happiness found in simple things
soon forgotten to be discovered anew.
Life is a journey as yet incomplete.

Lest we forget