Three Benches

Three Benches

The end of the world
Comes not with a whimper
Or a bang
Just silence

Three empty benches in Alison Park, Randwick. I took this photo a couple of weeks ago while walking home. It was a beautiful day but the scene just felt eerie to me for some reason – the park is usually buzzing with people and it just felt strange, seeing it so empty and the cars all parked in a row. Like the whole world had suddenly disappeared.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

Marble Birthday Cake

Marble Birthday Cake
“A birthday—and now a day that rose
With much of hope, with meaning rife—
A thoughtful day from dawn to close:
The middle day of human life.”
Jean Ingelow

I turned 27 today. I’ve never been that big on birthdays so I’ve just had a quiet day at home with my family today. I spent the afternoon looking through some old photos and keepsakes as well which was nice. It’s become a bit of a birthday tradition over the years.

My father bought this cake from Michel’s Patisserie earlier today as well as a birthday treat. It’s a mix of milk chocolate and white chocolate mud cake with just a hit of rum. It was delicious and almost too pretty to eat! Almost. 😉

Trees at Sunset

Trees at Sunset

Winter leaves
Blowing in a gentle breeze
Falling to the earth
Too soon

I took this a couple of weeks ago in Alison Park, just as winter was beginning to give way to spring and the trees were starting to regain their colour. I was on my way home and saw the sun setting through the trees, so stopped to take a quick photo before the sun disappeared.

I’ve always loved this time of year; the changing seasons, seeing life and colour return to the world. Winter seemed to go by so quickly this year though that I felt a little sad as well, seeing the brown leaves giving way to the green. Time seems to go by so quickly these days.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

The I Am Blues

Just a quick note. Some of you may remember a poem I wrote a few years ago called I Am. Apparently it’s just been turned into a song.

I didn’t know anything about it and only recently stumbled across it via Google; I had licensed it under a creative commons licence and it looks like someone liked it enough to turn it into a kind of song/audio reading on ccMixter.

It’s actually two samples; an a cappella reading of the poem by Togora and then a remix with music added by Syenta. I think it’s excellent, particularly for what was probably just a quick project, and I really like the bluesy feel to it; suits the poem perfectly.

I’ve embedded it below if anyone wants to listen and the original poem is available here. My thanks to Togora and Syenta for their work; I’m honoured that they liked my poem enough to reinterpret it. Makes me want to write a proper song. 😉

September 11: Ten Years On

In many ways I almost can’t believe that it’s been ten years since September 11. Perhaps it’s because I remember that day so well and it had such an impact on how I looked at the world but it feels like it was only a few months ago to me, maybe a year, not ten. And yet at the same time it really does feel like ten years have passed as well – so much has happened in the last decade, both personally and globally, that at times it almost feels like longer. I guess it’s strange that both perceptions can feel true but many people I’ve spoken to recently have said the same thing. I suppose that just shows how much of an impact September 11 really has had on the world.

I often find myself thinking back to that day. I was sixteen at the time and my parents and I were living in a hideous cockroach-infested flat in Hillsdale that we hated and were trying to move out of as quickly as possible. At the time I felt miserable; it was one of the first times that my health had worsened and I felt trapped and lonely and missed my friends. I’d also just received several nasty rejection letters, which for a sixteen year old who’d only just started writing were devastating.

Then September 11 happened and it put some things in perspective. I can still remember exactly where I was when I first heard about it; I was having a shower when my mother knocked on the door and said there’d been an explosion at the World Trade Center. I didn’t understand at first; I thought she meant there’d been an accident and didn’t think much more about it while I finished and got changed. When I came through though I knew immediately it was serious; my parents were staring at the television, horrified. I looked at the TV which had crossed to one of the US stations and saw the smoke and fire… and then moments later the second plane flew into the South Tower.

For as long as I live I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling in my stomach as I watched the plane hit; it was almost physical, like my soul had suddenly been ripped from my body. I felt weak at the knees and had to sit down. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; I remember hearing shouts and screams coming through the TV but it felt surreal, like I was watching it all from somewhere far away.

Continue reading

Giving Way

Giving Way

Time passes slowly
Old memories linger on ~
My heart remembers

Two more of the bicycle racks that have recently been installed around Randwick. This was taken opposite the Gemini Hotel on Tuesday night, a little after the incident with the police.

I’ve found myself thinking abut the past a lot lately and how much has changed, particularly since September 11. I thought the symbolism of this was interesting when I took it, the bike racks shaped like old Penny Farthings next to the Give Way sign – it felt a bit like the past, giving way to the future… and perhaps, just as much, the other way around.

Think it reflects how I’m feeling, ten years on.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

This photo almost got me arrested…

Bicycle Rack or Art?

A bicycle rack in Belmore Road, Randwick, shaped like a Penny Farthing. ~ © CJ Levinson 2011

… well, not exactly arrested. But I guess I should start at the beginning.

I went for a quick walk last night and took this photo while I was out. It’s one of a number of bicycle racks commissioned by Randwick City Council that have appeared around Randwick over the last few months; they’re shaped like old Penny Farthings and are meant to mix art and function to make everyday objects seem more interesting. They’ve sparked something of a debate locally about whether they’re art, utilities or just a waste of money but personally I like them; I love the design and anything that makes people think about cycling seems like a good idea to me.

I’ve been wanting to take a photo of one of the bicycle racks for a while as they’re so distinctive and finally got the chance to last night. The light was just right and I like how it came out; I was even lucky enough that a young couple were just crossing the road as I took the shot, which adds a nice dimension to it.

I didn’t see it as I took the photo but the car on the right was actually a police car and just after I took the shot, a female officer yelled at me and demanded to know what I was doing. Continue reading

The Long Road Home

The Long Road Home

The long road home
Winds ever on
Leading me further away
From you

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago. I was walking down Avoca Street and noticed this man ahead of me who seemed lost in his own world. He was so absorbed in his thoughts that I actually took the shot just to see if he would notice. He didn’t.

Looking at the photo I can’t help but wonder what he was thinking about. Was he thinking about work? His family? Had he just received bad news? Maybe he was just replaying a footy match in his mind. I guess I’ll never know. But whenever I look at it, I’ll wonder.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

Blog Updates

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye
My mother (right) and Colette, an old friend visiting from England. 

This is just a quick update to thank everyone for their comments and emails after my last post. I’m still not feeling that well at the moment and so haven’t felt up to replying properly yet; I’m over the effects of the infusion now but it also made my migraines a lot worse and they’re taking a while to get back to normal. I am starting to feel more like myself again now though and just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and messages; I really appreciated them and I’ll be answering properly over the next few days.

I’ve had time to think about what happened more fully now and looking back, I still can’t believe how little I was actually told about the infusion before the procedure or how my concerns were never listened to. I expected a lot more, particularly from the Prince of Wales. I’m thinking about changing specialists once I’ve looked at my options or at least getting a second opinion about what to do next… my next appointment isn’t until late October, so at least I’ll have had time to have fully recovered by then and to think about what to do.

In any case I thought I’d post a couple of quick updates as well as I haven’t posted in a while. First, I’m back writing again now… well, sort of. I’ve written a few pages so far and I’m still just easing my way back into it but I’m happy what I’ve written so far. I’ve got a little further with my novel and just started writing a new poem which should be finished in the next week or so as well. Might have a short story done soon too.

As far as the novel goes, I’m about 80% of the way through the rough draft now. I’m at the point where Continue reading