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Walking in the rain

 

I love walking in the rain

When there’s no-one else around

And all the sugar babes

Having gone to ground

 

Drops of rain cling to leaves

And spider webs enhance

The bush glows a darker shade of green

The trees appear to dance

 

The swans and ducks love the rain

Just like me

And seagulls gather at the lake

Far from crashing waves and sea

 

Memories of my yellow gumboots spring to mind

Jumping puddles, catching tadpoles in a jar

Letting mud squelch through my toes

As a child were my games most popular

 

Perhaps it is because I’m of Scottish extract

Where no doubt it rains most days

Not like sunny Sydney

Where wet weather for most of us, is a most unwelcome phase

 

 

A poet and a  Real Estate Agent

A poet and a real Estate Agent

To some that may seem strange

As you can imagine I found it very hard

My life to arrange

 

Words and thoughts pierced my mind

Anxious to be expressed

They were sick and tired of being ignored

Coming second best

 

I felt like I was torn between two worlds

That there was a civil war going on inside

The material life beckoned me

My artistic angst burned bright inside

 

But what was I supposed to do?

It was hard to find a way

To manage my work-a-day world

And still have time to let my poet out to play

WIMBLEDON

 

On the middle Saturday of the All England Championships at Wimbledon, my brother John and I had to play on the Centre Court against Margaret Court and Marty Reissen, the number one seeds.

Although we were the next match on, and had been duly instructed where to wait, I was the only one who was sitting on the hard, board seats in the small room behind the CENTRE COURT. The other more experienced centre court players and my brother – who no doubt had been counselled by Harry Hopman, the Captain of his team – remained in the comfort of the change rooms until the very last moment. Unfortunately it gave me too much time for my already shattered nerves to kick in, especially as I was confronted by two crossed swords over the doorway out to the court with the words from Rudyard Kipling’s poem underneath:-

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same.”

Triumph I could handle easily, I reflected, as I sat there. It was Disaster that was my main concern.

I found it hard to believe that I was about to play on the hallowed turf, the scene of so many long and torrid battles, fought by past champions.  As a young girl, growing up, I’d dreamed of this moment, as I’d lain sprawled on my parents’ bed, sipping hot, sweet tea and listening to the crackly radio broadcasts from Wimbledon in the early hours of the morning.  Now I was here and it was about to happen.

When eventually the others arrived and I stood up to go out on the court, I couldn’t feel my knees.  They’d completely gone to jelly. Nor as hard as I tried, could I get the butterflies in my stomach to fly in formation. They were running wild.  I then made the mistake of looking up at the Centre Court stands, which were full to overflowing with people. They shimmered in the afternoon sun, appearing to rise out of the ground, almost perpendicularly.  I prayed fervently, to the God of all tennis players, that I would play my best, not let my partner down, or worst of all make a fool of myself.  I stepped gingerly forward, wishing fervently that I was a turtle and could just disappear into my shell.

We lost… but only just.  The good part was that as a brother and sister combination – only the third in the history of Wimbledon – we were the crowd favourites and were cheered loudly every time we won a point.  Mum back at home would have certainly been bursting with pride as it had always been her dream for John and I to play mixed at Wimbledon.

Excerpt from “A Spanish Love Affair” by Susan Joy Alexander

 

 

    NASTY NASTASE

                                    

Against my better judgement I agree to play in the mixed with an Italian player, Masimo de Dominico.  When I check the draw and see that in the first round we are playing against the first seeds, Ilie Nastase and Helen Gourlay I sincerely regret my decision.  Maximo is not the ideal mixed partner.  He lollipops his second serve and plays from the baseline.   The volley is not in his repertoire.

Masimo and I argue about who will serve first. Although my serve is better than his, he insists, as he is the man, on serving first.  Otherwise what will everyone think, he says!

He misses his first serve.  I stand nervously at the net.  I try to stare through Nastase.   I can see him lining me up

Masimo’s second serve is pathetic and only just makes it over the net.  Nastase shows no mercy and belts the ball straight at me. It is almost a direct hit.  I only just manage to scrape the ball away from my body at the last moment.

I am really mad at Nastase..  They are a much stronger pair and will win anyway…

But Nastase is enjoying himself.  The look on his face reminds me of my first boyfriend when I was 5, who used to throw stones at me and pull my plats.

All through the first set, he continues to belt every ball straight at me.  I receive 15 direct hits.   We lose the set 6 -1.

I am about to explode.

I tell Maximo that I am not going to stand at the net anymore while he serves and stand at the back line.  Maximo tries to insist that I stand at the net.

But there is no way I am going to stand up at the net and cop any more of that shit.