"past the 100-year-old tree"
Raj Arumugam 

a strange day
it was full of strangers
when I went for a walk
with my spouse by my side


past the junction
a stranger shouted out to me:
“Help me!”
and I said quite readily:
“But I need help myself –
so how can I help you?”
and I continued on my walk
wondering at this strange world


past the 100-year-old tree
an octogenarian stopped me
and he said:
“Son, can you tell me which way
to Harvey’s Street?”
and I said to him:
“I don’t know Harvey
and so I don’t know his street;
and by the way, maybe you don’t know,
but I’m not your son….”

and past Kangaroo Point
a cheery stranger all teeth
he shouted to me:
“Good day!”
“Oh, great!” I shouted back.
“You may be having a good day
but I’m having a strange day,
I’ll tell you that!”

And past the Greehimn River
a helpless old lady said:
“Ah, kind man, could you pick up
that walking stick for me?
it’s mine and a young man
just now kicked it off my right hand”


And I said with no second thought:
“Oh, old woman
pick it up yourself;
your back is already bent
so half the effort is already there -
and you think I walked all the way here
so I can pick up a walking stick
for a strange old woman I don’t even know?”


and I turned to my spouse
who was with me
all the while and I said:
“Hmmm…what a strange day
with all these strangers…”
and my spouse answered speedily:
“Who are you, creepy stranger?
Why do you talk to me?”
And straight my spouse
walked off from me…


Hmmm…and indeed a strange day it was
with all these strangers one meets
and who walks so close beside

"Strive to be a 100-year-old oak tree"
Jeff Baker 

Whispers from the past
from something that did not last
Emotions that exist to coexist
like permanent ink on a list

My thought process spins in a circle
Yet it feels like I climb up a holy church hill
on a crusade to expel my enemy
that lurks in my pulsing, breathing anatomy

The evil inside, is a part of me
but balance must pursue like the land and sea
Mutualism between a clownfish and a sea anemone
Strive to be a 100-year-old oak tree

— The End —