Wednesday, November 02, 2005


The following poem was written for my mother, Zetta Benson Peterson. On her next birthday she will be ninety. Besides being a first class fisherwomen, my mother was a professional dancer and a dance teacher, as I was myself. When she was carrying me, she couldn’t keep down anything but water-cress and lemon-lime soda. She has always said that I “entered dancing.”

I Learned

They would ask me . . .
How long have you been dancing?
When did you begin to learn?
Were you four?
Who did you learn from?
What lessons did you take?

I danced
I said . . .
Before I drew my first breath
For my dancing soul learned joy
Before my mortal body was complete
I danced
I said . . .
From the beginning
I learned
I said . . .
From the heart that beat around me then
A halcyon heart full of sunshine and peace
In the safety of the dark and warm
I first felt the promise of a world of love
And I danced . . .
For joy

~ Edwina Peterson Cross ~

Friday, September 02, 2005

Chairs Fill - A New Arrival


It seems such a long time ago now. Not as long ago as when I was six years old and teasing my baby brother, or even the more distant time when a clap of thunder let me know that it was time to be born. …again. This was Sept 2 2005.
I can remember the details so clearly that it can’t have been a dream.

We had been out earlier in the evening for a hasty Chinese meal. A buzz and whirr of clashing dishes, and far too much chilli chicken. All eaten with a frenetic intensity as seemed appropriate to fit in with the expectations of the eager staff.

Later, luxuriating in lots of bubbles as I attempted to wash and will away the day, the week, I wondered at an impasse I had reached. What I should do? In the semi dark, in a for once silent house, from the bathroom I could see the dog, previously asleep, prick up his ears. Yawning, he settled back down. Yet once again his attention seemed to be caught by something…perhaps another possum trying to find a way in under the eaves.

I turned the tap back on. Damn the drought, if other people could fill their swimming pools, I wasn’t about to give up this pleasure. Again something stirred and this time I donned a robe and padded to the study nearby, where a fluorescent pin of light was dancing across my humming computer screen. Very Odd. I shrugged it off, at the time. Computer literacy was not one of my strong points, especially on Fridays. All day every Friday. Anyhow the dog had gone back to sleep.

I hopped into bed. My partner was plugged into some AFL thing, although heavy breathing soon announced that my thoughts were my own again. The window was open and moonlight shone through the gum tree which shook momentarily. Must be the possum the dog was interested in.

It wasn’t that I heard any voices. Just that I seemed to know. Know that something or someone was interested in me. Was inviting me, to come, and to leave this comfortable but predictable present. To pack a bag and tread some new boards, so to speak.

I put it all down to the long week with a hard-to-please boss playing havoc with my thought processes. But as I drifted off, into what I expected to be a restful night’s sleep, I found quite the reverse and I was suddenly alert. Like Jack the dog. Alert but not alarmed! Yes , I mused , some adventure would be good. I envisaged a spot of white water rafting, tandem para-gliding and other unlikely scenarios. All in a warm climate of course.

So, while my partner’s snores amplified, I grabbed my daughter’s backpack from the attic, and, excitement mounting, started to throw in what seemed at the time, adequate for my anticipated journey. How wrong I was to be.

In went the togs and blockout. There had to be a mountain stream in this adventure somewhere. A Polartec top for the obligatory sunrise and an extravagant miscellaney of self indulgence in the form of overpriced bath oils. Jeans of course and the usual tops. All situations covered. A credit card would fix the rest. Oh yes…six pairs of knickers…a wise decision as it turned out seeing there were no washing machines where I ended up. Last of all, my beloved Kashmiri shawl. This, along with the undies, was the most useful thing I packed in the end.

Oblivious now to the background snoring, I grabbed the pack and hoisted it onto my shoulders. This time the dog was asleep as I left the house.

For some unperceivable reason I was drawn towards the garage door…a pretty ordinary in-need-of-a-paint Roll –a- door which silently opened as I approached. What looked to be steam rolled out in waves. Blast.. the hot water system again! As I cautiously looked for the valve, and the steam wafted about me, a beam of light danced around. What did…the computer screen light!! Intrigued and not at all afraid I advanced and simultaneously the walls seemed to fall away, the light intensified, and I ..was….floating!! How absolutely…amazing really as I was up in the clouds now. Thank heavens my backpack was secure.

There were mountains below now. For sure it wasn’t Australia. Slowly it dawned on me….these were the Umbrian Alps we had once visited when looking for the cave of St Francis in Assisi. I was awe-inspired and exhilarated by the adventure I had actually found myself in. I gradually worked out how to steer a course and to swoop low over the landscape, trying to catch a glimpse of the people who lived there. The abbeys and castles were as beautiful and evocative as ever. So mediaeval I naively thought. Everything looked as it must have when St Francis lived in his cave. Perhaps his wasn’t the only cave…

I was a bit hungry by now. That credit card would be useful. ( A smug thought in retrospect) As the sun rose people started to stir, and I was bemused by their strange attire. Must be a National Holiday. I managed to land in a little piazza…time for expresso and a roll or two. I know my Italian is worse than rudimentary, but no-one would take any notice of me. Very slowly, I realised that no-one could see me let alone hear me: in addition it wasn’t dress-up day, but somehow I had tripped through some flipping time warp or whatever only Einstein and his ilk knew about. I was not only in a strange country but
It was a different era!!

Oh Well!! Unperturbed, I helped myself to a couple of rolls and a jug of ale and resumed my journey, all the while wondering what to do next. Shortly an open area opened up the size of a soccer field. Later I learnt it was called the Golden Grove. Groups of elaborately dressed people, some on stage, appeared to be performing. Confident that I couldn’t be seen, I settled under a tree to watch the proceedings. “…Where the bee sucks…”drifted from a stage. What was that? Shakespeare!! Here!! A Midsummer’s Nights Dream!! But had my presence really gone unnoticed?

by Jan Kricker

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Happy Birthday Winnie - Opening Night Gala

Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream"
Act IV

(Enter OBERON and TITANIA with their train)
(Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and train)
"May your day be fine and
your troubles few...Happy Birthday, Winnie."

For Winnie

I am honoured to present this reading for Winnie with felicitations on the occasion of her birthday. What a beautiful theatre! I have always wanted the chance to play Nick Bottom playing Pyramus:

O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!
O night, which ever art when day is not!
O night, O night! alack, alack, alack,
I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!
And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
That stand'st between her father's ground and mine!
Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!

(Wall holds up his fingers)

Thanks, courteous wall:
Jove shield thee well for this!
But what see I?
No Thisby do I see.
O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss!
Cursed be thy stones for thus deceiving me!

Shakespeare's Rush

I arrive at the theatre suitably gowned and prepared for my reading.

Over hill, over dale,
Through Brush, through brier,
Over park, over pale,
Through flood, through fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Through gypsy camp, through Hermitage,
Swifter than Moonbeam's sphere;
I serve our Enchantress dear,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The donkeys all her pensioners be:
In their varied coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some serpents here and dewdrops there,
And hang a pearl in every donkeys ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'd best be gone.

With my deepest apologies to William Shakespeare, the greatest Bard of all time.

apologia pro poemate meo

To flee, or not to flee: that is the question:
whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the insults of angry Duwamish residents
outragèd by the nocturnal visitors
to their sceptored isle and from
that nether world
return once more to safety and the shore
and bid farewell to those brave ferrywomen
who, in their anger, all now have gone on strike?
Devoutly to be wish'd. To flee, to dream;
To dream: perchance to dream of that other world
wherein our heavy, mortal bodies lie.
Or ask wherefore we do desire to stay
in fair Lemuria, there to dwell
in pleasant creativity of thought.
To enter again that brave hermitage
where we have known such peace as cannot yet be found
here in our earthly lives unless we travel
to the flowing waters of the bath house
and, in sweet communion with dolphins bright,
wash all the cares away that wear us down.
Or quail before the Gorgon and prepare
a song or dance in which she might delight
and in return, each shall a gift receive:
a snake who will a true companion be.
No traveller returns, without that s/he
a visit to a nearby fountain makes
and in its healing waters seeks forgiveness.
But soft, who goes there? we hear a footfall
Of one who does approach for earnest speech,
us to the nearby gypsy camp to invite
where we, the lucky ones, will fortune find
inside the soft darkness of mad Rosa’s tent
for she will tell us what we need to know
and set us forth upon our path once more
when we will bless that fairest of enchanters
And sing Heather’s name aloud.

(with apologies to Shakespeare)

For Winnie's Birthday and Marvellous Theatre

Winnie Sweetest,
For your birthday, may there be many more, I open a skin of my finest Elven Ale.
For your theatre, may the curtain calls be many, I lift the glass of brilliance.
For you dear, nothing but the best will do.

Opening Night - For Winnie

It’s opening night
rehearsals are done
the doors are open

The guests are arriving
dressed in their finery
clutching program
they eagerly await
the seating call.

The foyer’s abuzz
with anticipation
the doors swung wide
ushers with torches
escort to seats.

When all are seated
lights go dim
the theatre is quiet
the curtain is raised.

It’s opening night
At the Rose and Swan.

© Megan Warren 31/8/2005

The rose and the swan

Thank you for the invitation to join in the opening night festivities. I shall be honoured to participate and take this opportunity to wish you a very happy birthday

Monday, August 29, 2005

Gala Opening Night - Hosts Arriving

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Sibyl Enchanteur and Edwina Peterson Cross arriving at the Lemurian Theatre Opening Night.

The Rose and The Swan