Rainbow from the Rose Garden

Rainbow from the Rose Garden

A rainbow
Hangs over the ocean,
Nature’s beauty
On full display

Tanker and Rainbow

This rainbow appeared out of nowhere earlier this afternoon. It had been a bit overcast all day but the clouds weren’t that threatening, so I was quite surprised when the rainbow suddenly appeared over the ocean around 4pm.

It only lasted for about ten minutes but I managed to get a couple of shots before it disappeared. These two were my favourites.

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2013

In Transit

© CJ Levinson 2013

I am lost
And have no home
But I have all I need –
Love and my dreams

Caves Beach in Black and White

A home is more than
Bricks and stone:
It is the memories
In your heart

Caves Beach Sunset

I took the photos in this post over the course of the last week. All of these photos are from around Caves Beach, which is a small town about two hours north of Sydney, near Newcastle. My mother and I are currently staying here with my grandparents and I took most of these from their balcony, overlooking the ocean.

Caves Beach is a beautiful location and is wonderful for photography. I’ve been spending a couple of hours every day exploring the beaches and lakes nearby and it’s been very therapeutic after a stressful few months.

My mother and I are here because we are essentially homeless at the moment; we both had to take out AVOs against my father as he became increasingly violent after his suicide attempt, which was one of the hardest and most painful things I have ever done, and without his additional income to support us, we were unable to pay the rent on our flat in Sydney and so our landlords kicked us out. All of our belongings are currently in storage while we try to find somewhere more permanent to live and it has just been the most awful time, first coming to terms with what’s happened to my father and now losing our home too. But coming here, being surrounded by such beauty, has been very therapeutic and has given me a chance to reflect on everything that has happened and begin to heal and I feel thankful for that much at least.

Orange Moon Rising Over the Lake

I’ve taken a lot of photos and will be posting more of them over the coming days but I think my favourite so far is the sunset above. I love the colours and how peaceful it feels but also the promise a sunset brings: how, as the sun goes down, you know it will rise again on a new day. That is how I feel at the moment: that despite everything that has happened and losing our home, tomorrow is a new day and will bring better things. Hopefully it won’t be long in coming.

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2013

Across the Paddock

Across the Paddock

Dry land
Sweltering heat,
The perfect fuel
For a terrible summer

I took this photo just before Christmas, looking out across a small paddock while visiting my uncle’s family with my parents. They live in a small rural community north of Sydney and many of the surrounding towns and suburbs were surrounded by bushfires in the weeks after Christmas. Thankfully my uncle and his family were reasonably far away from it but it’s not hard to imagine the kind of conditions firefighters were facing, with so much dry bushland fueling the fires. Hopefully temperatures stay lower for the rest of the summer and the fires die out… it really has been hell on earth.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012-13

Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

A summer sunset
A moment of pure beauty
In an ugly world

I took this photo this evening from our balcony, just as the sun began to set. It was a spectacular sunset, with the entire sky seeming to catch fire for many minutes, before gradually fading away.

After receiving some upsetting news today, it was nice to end the day with a sight of such beauty and grace. It’s a reminder that, even in your darkest moments, beauty is never that far away. The world really can take your breath away sometimes.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2013

Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Station

I am like
A train leaving its station:
My journey goes
Ever on

Flinders Street Station, at the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets in Melbourne. This was one of the photos I really wanted to get while I was in Melbourne last week as it’s such a beautiful and iconic building. I think it came out quite well in the end and doesn’t look too touristy, which was something I was trying to avoid.

The station is the oldest train station in Australia and was originally designed by James Fawcett and H.P.C. Ashworth in 1899 as part of a design competition, with construction on the main building completed in 1909. Sadly Ashworth didn’t live to see the completion of his design as he died from illness in 1903 at the age of 32.

Over 110,000 commuters and 1,500 trains pass through the station every weekday; during the mid to late 1920s the station was the world’s busiest passenger station, with over 290,000 passengers and 200 trains passing through the station daily.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012
Like the photo? Click here to buy it for $5

The Clouds Gather

Clouds Gather Over the MCG

Dark clouds
Gather overhead
Like stormy skies
Hanging over my heart

I took this photo during a short day trip to Melbourne on Saturday. Despite living in Sydney for most of my life, it was actually my first trip to Melbourne (just something I’ve never really got round to before) and I went with my father to see some of the fabulous Christmas decorations around the city, particularly the Myer window displays. We then stopped in at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch a session or two of Victoria taking on South Australia, which is where I took the photo.

It was a good day’s cricket, with Phil Hughes scoring a hundred, but what surprised me was how few people were there. There couldn’t have been more than 350 people at the ground and as you can see in the photo, almost all of the stands were empty. I know Sheffield Shield games don’t attract huge crowds but I thought there’d be at least a few more people watching than that. It happens at most other grounds as well unfortunately and I don’t understand why as the quality of Shield matches is usually very high. I guess most people are just more interested in international matches and T20s.

The haiqua came to mind while I was sitting watching the cricket and the clouds, thinking back over the past year. It’s been an eventful year, both personally and around the world, and that’s made me feel a little reflective and sombre lately. I guess that’s what inspired the haiqua’s tone.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012

Randwick War Memorial

The sounds of war
Echo across
The oceans of time:
We remember

Our local war memorial in High Cross Park, Randwick. I took this photo earlier today to mark Remembrance Day. The memorial was originally dedicated in 1925 and contains a scroll with the names of over four thousand Randwick residents who served in the First World War. Over time plaques remembering the soldiers of the Second World War, Borneo and Vietnam have also been added. Lest we forget.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012

The War Memorial at Dusk

Randwick War Memorial

A list of names,
All that survives
Of a sad past:
History repeats

I took this photo a couple of days ago while going for a quick walk, just before dusk. I often find myself wandering past the local war memorial on my afternoon walks… it’s the main feature of a small, peaceful park in the middle of Randwick and I often stop there for a few minutes to reflect and gather my thoughts.

The memorial is made of sandstone and was originally unveiled in 1925 by Lord Forster, the then Governor General of Australia, to honour the soldiers of the First World War; the cenotaph contains a scroll with the names of over four thousand local residents who served in the war. Over the years plaques have been added to remember the soldiers of the Second World War, Borneo and Vietnam as well.

With more of our soldiers wounded in Afghanistan recently and with the current events in Syria as well, I guess I was feeling rather contemplative when I took the photo… something about the dusk light seemed to reflect the way I was feeling and I think it shows in the mood of the photo, and the haiku as well.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2012

Where the Dead Rest

Waverley Cemetery

Marble tombs
Forgotten by the world:
Where the dead rest
Forevermore

Went to Gosford yesterday to look at a few houses to rent (no luck unfortunately). It was a long drive and on the way back I went for a short walk around Bronte to stretch my legs. I took this photo outside Waverley Cemetery, just before sunset.

The cemetery opened in 1877 and is one of the most historic sites in Sydney. It’s a lovely spot on the top of cliffs overlooking the ocean and many notable people are buried there, including poet Henry Lawson and Edmund Barton, Australia’s first Prime Minister.

I’ve walked around the cemetery before but for some reason the condition of many of the graves seemed to jump out at me yesterday. The cemetery is well cared for but many of the graves are so old now that they’re almost impossible to read and walking by, I kept wondering who they were, what lives they had lived – if they were remembered. I guess we’ll never know.

It makes me wonder how we’ll be remembered, in 140 years.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011