Pencils and Tea for the Tillerman

Dear Sor Juana

I got our my pencils for the first time in years and have packed them into my bag, in anticipation of using them. They might stay there the whole weekend, they might not. I might sharpen them, I might arrange them as a spectrum, I might remember what it felt like to hold them last time we were together. These inanimate objects beckoning me are now packed away and I can hear them buffing up against books in my back pack and they will be vying for attention when I reopen my bag in a Kath and Kim kind of way saying “look at me”!

We put things down and take up them again, seasonal crop rotation.

There are poems and stories to be written, books, incubating on note pads, backs of tickets and shopping dockets, scraps here and there patiently waiting for the moment they will be birthed. The wait is longer than any elephant’s pregnancy. And now pencils are going into my backpack.   Perhaps this is a prelude, perhaps it is displacement, perhaps it is avoidance …. perhaps it is the persistence of pencils to be reunited on a page.

Harvest comes from seed sown in the dark.

First the soil must rest before the tilling can start and so the pencils will clear away some of the rocks and rubble, make space for the tears to fall on the page and water the ground. There will be deep breaths and sighs, a union of sorts between the elements and the body and then there will be space for the tilling and picking over the landscape. The pencils will be satisfied and eventually there will be tea for the tiller man in the kitchen. Cat Stevens will be wafting in the background while we remember who we were in another season and who we will become in the next. The page, white and virginal will be consecrated once the flirting and sidling up are over.

Advent is just around the corner, incubation after annunciation, labour pains before birth.

2 thoughts on “Pencils and Tea for the Tillerman

  1. Pauline Small

    Love this song. It is part of my history too. Our advent is not quite what we expected. had thought of getting to retreat but this is retreat of a different nature now.
    I loved your piece you did in the Goolwa Slam by the way.. must get together and talk writing with you one day…



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