Choir Spread

I have a new poem which is called ‘Choir, a spread of joy’. Here it is. Hope you like it.

Not many people know of this
but there is a spread
set way up high
on the tallest shelf.
If you asked a sales person
to bring it down
you would see it for yourself.
that this spread is
the best spread the world will ever see
full of richness and flavour and
vibrant diversity.

All types of people come together to make a choir,
song unites us together
and differences make us unique
we leave our trouble at the door
grab our music and stand up on our feet
‘All Eyes on Conductor’ as he blends us into one
until we are smoooooooooth
like melted chococolate spreading outward
in an icky, sticky goo.

This goo is made with love
as we all love to sing,
it is made with tolerance,
we are all the same under our skin,
it is made with patience
lots of work required to get the song right,
the spread is poured into bottles
and the lid is screwn down tight.

I hope this spread is shipped
throughout the world
I hope this spread goes to places
where love and understanding is required
and sharp stones are hurled
For the Choir spread ingredients
are social inclusion and love
if you ever experience it
life will not be as rough

The Show Must Go On

The show must go on
but then it ends.
The show is the time
when we can show what
we can do with our friends.
In a blink it is over.
All the weeks of practice
ending with a bow.
Onward and upward,
we will learn how.
New songs to learn
new tricks to remember
but what I remember and
love the most
is at rehearsal when
we sing.

Rehearsal is the time
we learn not just the notes
but to sing with our friends.
Listening and appreciating
each voice in each seat.
A friendly chat and a cup of tea.
I love to collect all the cups at the end.
It is my way of saying
‘I love singing with you my friend’.

My Padadada Padadada Spective

Wednesday night the chosen few.
were standing at the
front of the room behind the conductor
enjoying the choice parts of the song
while we were the badadadadadading
back up singers.

1 am on Saturday morning
an idea came to me.
We are a large choir.
Not every voice can be heard.
We are like a bunch of pencils
which need to be grouped
into Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass.
A few chosen ones, used as highlights,
need to be set aside for easy access.
These chosen ones would be selected for
familarity and uniqueness.

All colours give depth and form
to what is in the mind of
the person creating the picture.
Who am I to query why I am one of the
badadadada backup singers?
I can only focus on doing the best job of
being one of the
four colours so that the select few
can be layered on top to create a picture
of depth and beauty.
Sharp outline not blurred image.
Maybe one day I can
aspire to be one of the chosen ones if
I hone my skill and be a more vibrant tone
but for the moment i am happy to be
a speck of golden light warming the
choir from the badada background.

Song got Stuck

I sang Sing with
many others.
My voice hovered overhead
and joined my sisters and brothers.
When a choir sings love is expressed.
Love for singing and music
and understanding. 

Our voices express the love we feel.
for the freedom of song and
our friendships that form when we sing.

That thought was so beautiful
my song got stuck on my face
and my cheeks got wet.

The Carnival is Coming

Only one day and the festival is here again.
So much to look forward to this weekend.
A show about choir drama will unfold
and one person will be left out in the cold.

Saturday Tobias and the Angel opera.
Patrick takes the reins of the choir
and I became a tree or a river.
(along with 399 other singers).

Sunday a Sydney director will bring a secret.
Don’t know yet the specifics of this.
Will know soon so more details then.

Monday brings Best of British
so I will enjoy some English tunes.
Jerusalem and a coronation song.
I will dance the Cachuca
with my friend next to me.

It is going to be a thrill ride from
beginning to end.
I am happy to be a little singer
this weekend.
But you will not even see me.
I will sing with all other people on stage.
Hand in hand and one voice.
We are family.

And then the carnival will be over.
Until next year.


The event running sheet lists the songs we need to take for the singer’s weekend. I remove the songs we are not singing. Removing the unlisted songs does not much much of a difference in weight but  it all makes a difference. The guest conductor is going to teach some surprise songs. It will be good to learn a song from the beginning again.
I have been told all pencil markings have to be removed from Tobias and the Peeooping Birds(Tobias and the Angel) by the end of the performance. (I must remember to take an eraser). My pencil has kindly recorded all the advice provided by the conductor on my long journey with Tobias. It is very cautious and is always warning me what to do well ahead of time. Things to remember – spit consonants out, whisper with purpose and menace, sing ‘chooce’ not ‘jews’ and lots and lots of Singlish.
I am definitely watching out for tram tracks in my music. These tram tracks (look like this –  || ) are musical Stop Signs which warn me of the moments not to sing. If I sing here I am in no man’s land with no safe way of returning. I will be singing solo if I venture further so I always have my eyes ready for these tram tracks.
My friend with the pencil markings all over it will be with me for the show. My conductor is fun. He has a wicked sense of humour and a ready smile. Always patient, always kind. He brightens up the day every time he teaches.
Now I have my instructions in my music I am ready to sing in a show.  My annotations are the foundation of my song and supports me just like my breath supports my voice. All too soon the song is going to be sung and then I will have to say goodbye to Tobias and the Peeooping Birds.
This story is unknown and strange. I grew up in a religious family and have never heard of the book of Tobit. I have learnt more than singing in a menacing whisper.

To and for Angela

I wrote a poem for our tour guide, Angela, and read it to her before we left her in Milan.


Tired and thirsty in Rome
and wanting to get to bed
you met us at the airport
waving that flag above your head.
Many memories since then
as through the streets you led
us towards amazing sights
your dazzling smile beckoned.

Allora, allora.
I don’t know what that means.
That really doesn’t matter,
I will hear it in my dreams.
You have told us many things.
We have certainly learnt a lot
as we travelled from place to place
and on the map from spot to spot.

We are your first Australians
you’ve worked with overseas
and although we’ve had problems
you’ve resolved them with ease.
Now we are leaving
you will not be forgot.
On to England, you know us,
we are not ones to remain in one spot

Things I did not expect

The following is a list of things I did not expect

the unforgiving heat of Rome
water threatening to disappear in bottle
Vatican stuffed to brim with art
unexpected tears listening to Andre Boccelli
hushed beauty of Sopra Minerva
tingles singing Ave Maria at St Peter’s Basilica
colour of Italian language
history lessons waiting just around the corner to be discovered
David poised ready for battle
Duomo spires tracing speech bubbles in the sky
dodging traffic on Italian walkways
generosity of friends just met (thanks everybody)
understanding the smile on the face of an English fellow singer
crossing Abbey Road like a Beetle (intentional spelling error)
intricacies and speed of British underground
the best of all things being singing in front row seats at Royal Albert Hall in London
getting through customs and security checks at Heathrow and Tullamarine and realizing and appreciating how much was done for us by Matthew, Jonathon and the tour guides
wondering why Melbourne looks so small
wishing I could repeat experience but good rest first