By Julia Vaughan

Turning Fifty-Seven

Acknowledging Judith Wright’s Turning Fifty

As I drink my coffee in the early morning sun
I taste my fifty-seven years.
Pure joy, chaos, terror and fun
Girl to woman, so many tears.

At 7, walking home from Pembi Dam, all alone,
Through a bog, stepping with intent,
Choosing grassy clumps, in the zone,
Never saw snakes, utter content.

At 8, terrorists (or freedom fighters, now I see)
Were walking right through our garden
Anti-hand-grenade window screens
Dad, a target, landmines common.

Sailing, sewing, ballet, playing recorders, camping
Convoys between towns, guns in cars.
Swimming, hiking, tennis, cycling
Discovering books by Roald Dahl.

At 20, honeymooning at Victoria Falls
Happy, truly, madly in love.
Studying, singing to The Wall
Moving continents, a new life.

Learnt other cultures, delightfully trying their food
Worked long hours, paid off mortgages
Listen - what Greta says is true.
Be Earth friendly, have no garbage.

Now I’m nearly 57, I find there’s much more
Much I don’t know or understand.
Poverty, drugs, and senseless war.
Try taking risks, be bold, take a stand.

What will my legacy be?  Nothing.  Nothing, I fear.
I sigh, how long since Earth begun,
Will it last fifty-seven years?
What can Fukushima become?

As I drink my coffee in the early morning sun.


Mice plague.
Rain falling,
Resting and mending.


Without you I wouldn’t know,
I wouldn’t know unconditional love.
Or sanity and safety,
And so much laughter.

The one red rose, for me,
From Cecil Square hawkers.
It’s not for Claire!
You’re so cheeky!

I wouldn’t know how to sail,
Tie bowlines and Monkey’s Fists,
Or find gas bottles’ leaks.
(OK, I still don’t know, but you tried to teach me!)

Without you I wouldn’t know
The Blues,
Have found Robbie Robertson,
Or play the flute.

Love Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath,
Buddy Guy, and Neil not-so-Young.
Without you I wouldn’t know
Morris Muscat liqueur.

Without you I wouldn’t laugh
At myself,
At everything.
At life, at death, 

And everything in-between.

Ginger Scuff

Hurricane Gertie
Meets Layla
With Penga and Shamwari

Azure skies
Sapphire ocean
Sparkling waters
Curling waves
Apricot fawn beaches

Ginger Vizslas
Flaunting jowls

Ginger sparkles

Julia Vaughan moved to Australia with her husband in 1989, and began writing poetry after attending inspiring Victorian Surf Coast U3A “I just don’t get poetry” classes. 

Having poems dotted sparsely across the internet, she dreams of becoming an accomplished poet. 

When not dreaming, she can be found walking the beaches with her two Vizsla dogs.

Julia’s poems have appeared in :- Otoliths (Nov 2021 and Sep 2022), Melbourne Culture Corner (Nov 2021), Writing In A Woman’s Voice (Feb 2022), Mad Swirl (Feb 2022 and Jul 2022), Academy of the Heart and Mind (Jul 2022), Ariel Chart (Jun and Jul 2022), Bluepepper (Jul 2022), Lothlorien (Jul 2022)


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