I stole that title from Wordsworth, of course. I was out for exercise yesterday, and noticed how many birds there are in Canberra, particularly sulphur-crested cockatoos and corellas, with lots of young birds begging to be fed.


The sun was out, and I found myself plainly happy, totally forgetting about coronavirus for a short while. Of course, just for a moment, and soon it was back to skirting around any other walkers and cyclists. I felt almost guilty for feeling so good, thinking about the many older people stuck inside, and the crew of the cruise ship Ruby Princess still confined aboard, and, of course, the people who have died from the virus.

The hundreds of dogs so delighted that their owners are home so much more now have no inkling as to the virus, and I envy them their lack of knowledge.

My mind wagged
my thoughts spaniels
licking the air

We are lucky that we can still get out and stroll around here in Canberra for necessary exercise, and even buy a takeaway coffee, and observe the natural world that reaches right into suburbia. Helps keep one relatively sane.

Tuesday poem: My lover Jim

November 5, 2012

My lover Jim

is ramrod straight, and flexible as steel.
Once he’s on top, it’s hard to make him shift.
He makes me sigh, and grunt and feel
pain, though sometimes I can just lift
him before he renders me 2D.
I have swooned and swallowed blood.
Nausea breaks like a fainting sea,
and I have to stop before it floods.
My legs at such weird wide angles
kicking the heavy sky; or squats:
my hair sweated into ratty tangles,
and arms tied in barbarous knots.
Knees squeak like fearful rodents
in the famous verse by Burns, Robbie
as I scythe myself into components.
He’s more an addiction than just a hobby.
Jim’s real charms show up in rear view
when I’m alone with a looking glass —
four times a week between one, and two,
makes miracles of muscle unsurpassed.

P.S. Cottier

My legions of loyal readers will have noticed that I just took slightly more than a week off. There were many reasons for this; a little disappointment here; a mini-existential crisis there. But my attending the gym four times a week had something to do with it too.

Now that poem above is something of an exaggeration. I have never fainted at the gym, although I have come close. There is nothing miraculous about the changes I am seeing. Some are so slow that they are only noticeable over months rather than weeks.

My legs and back are much stronger than my arms and chest. I may never be able to bench-press very much. But I am already doing much better than when I started, about four months ago. And it is a long time since I felt this fit, and that is a good thing.

With my bike and Jim, I will be a powerful beast by Christmas. I am so hoping that the beast will be a koala.

(And incidentally, a man who acted like the anthropomorphised Jim in the poem would be given short shrift by one little convert to exercise. Shrift shorter than a short string. Look! My very own tongue twister!)

Now, my dear weaklings, click this feather, if you can manage that, and head over to New Zealand for more poetry:
Tuesday Poem

And, if you’re interested, fellow Tuesday Poet Tim Jones posted a review of the recently published Triptych Poets, of which I make up one-third. You could also head to his blog to read that.