My Autumn Garden Beauty

Thrust upward to the sky

Above the wall so high,

Refreshing look of pinks and greens

Flutter full and fancy devoid of sighs.


Green ribbonettes of slender leaves and stalks___

complementing heads of dancing blooms,

beaming happily in the autumnal air

humming sweet lullabies.


Hey, come and let us play.

In dulcet tone they seem to say,

to the zealous bees a-buzzing

who are mindless of their role in seed-making.


“We’re content of the nectar oh so sweet,

O so sweet a-sipping.

Allow us to hover and flit from flower to flower

Every now and then.” So the bees say.

. Continue reading “My Autumn Garden Beauty”


Patrick White’s View of Human Nature

As Gleaned from His Story, ‘ Down at the Dump’

Gleaning from the characterisation of Wal and his wife, of Daisy and her paramours, of Meg and Lum, one can discern Patrick White’s view of man’s nature to be that of being SENSUAL. Well, there is no point of denying this, unless one is a eunuch. Sensuality, defined as the enjoyment or pursuit of physical pleasure can hide behind other terms.

Words like sexuality, eroticism, passion, sex drive, the hots, sexual attractiveness all boil down to the same thing___ libido. That ‘ lusting ‘ sensation is due to the hormonal complex controlling/influencing the production of reproductive cells or gametes. Nature has provided man with this hormone system to ensure that his kind will continue to populate the earth. But man is much more than a sexual machine. Man is imbued with a sense of morality, a conscience, a sense of dignity, love and respect for oneself and for others.

Today flirtations get tolerated but it is not encouraged. One becomes a fodder for the gossip mill when one ‘ misbehaves’. The institution of dress-codes and codes of conduct at schools and workplaces, at high-end cafes and restaurants, and at places of worship is a witness to man’s predilection for propriety and decency.

A cultured man has a tempered sensuality_ a managed sexuality. Such a man knows his limits within the confines of the accepted norms of his culture and belief.

Deep Within

Early in your colonial years, what conditions were you in?

There was no piped water for shower

Nor for soaking in, none even for the garden.

There was no power to brighten your home

And dispel the eerie feelings at night

Save the oil-lamp with its flickering light.

There was no gas for cooking

Your rations of flour, rice and dried meat,

Nor to keep your bedrooms warm

None even for brewing your gin!

All these your women with patience took in.


You didn’t adapt to the natives’ ways

Of fishing nor of their other modes of food procuring.

You faltered____ but you stood up to do better.

Visionary leaders with incentives a-dangling

Together you made inroads towards better quality of living_____ .

A hundred years later, you became an independent land

Transformed from an aborigine-scape

Into one of European heap.

Affluence flowing in, from heads of cattle to tons of wheat

Gold-, iron ore-, coal mines; commerce and flocks of sheep.

In all these your women filled in.


Another era in your life has just begun.

Modern technology has spanned

Of the twenty first century brand

Over and across the dubbed egalitarian land.

Egalitarian, they say of your society.

Have you honestly achieved this in its real sense?

If marriage is a choice for men,

Does it apply equally for women?

If men receive good pay for jobs done,

Does the opposite sex receive the same?


2018 marked the year of Australian women’s

Stormy speeches not only in public but also in the parliament.

Clarion calls for change in the male-dominated chambers of power,

Echo in cafes, parks and trains.

Calling out misdemeanours or lapses in good judgement

Should not end in repression nor revenge

For these are sacred voices for the shy, the timid

And the overwhelmed.

Modern Australia, are you in deeds egalitarian?

Only you would know______ but you have to search deep within.


Lourdes Murphy

Engl 102 Australian Lit. Intro


Submitted to Prof. Michael Griffith

ACU Strathfield

Engl 102

NATIVES ON THE RIVER OUSE- Van Damien’s Land By John Glover , 1838

This Arcadian painting portrays an indigenous family having a day-out fun with friends by the river. The Australian natives took time to rest and enjoy nature’s resources and pristine beauty of their environs. We also do that today in our picnics, campings or barbecue parties. Gregariousness and aesthetic sense are basic to human beings.

The artist used colours and the contrasting effects of light and shadow  to radiate emotions.The orangey glow of the bonfire close to the ground shows the jovial anticipation of food to partake. The direction of the greyish smoke indicates a slight breeze attendant to a fine weather. The softened light of a late afternoon sun illuminating the hillsides and one side of the tree trunks gives the ambience of cheerfulness. The shaded portions project sobriety and calmness. The powdery green colour of the distant mountain range, low vegetation and trees evokes mystery and deep spiritual bearing. The craggy chalky-white surface of the floor of the valley may represent the difficulties, hard work and challenges the indigenous people were facing. The dark brown drying trunk and branches of fallen trees probably are referring to the beloved members of the family who had passed away.

The story is , there lived in this rustic place people who are humans as humans can be —— people who are humans as you and me.

Lourdes Murphy


Submitted to: Prof. Michael Griffith

                         English 102- Australian Lit.

                          ACU- Strathfield


“ I span and Eve span
A thread to bind the heart of man;”
By these two initial lines in her poem, I think Gilmore wanted to refresh the reader’s mind of a of feminine love that desires exclusivity with her man. But of course! Who does not want it that way, male or female. Despite the permissiveness of our society today, exclusivity with your spouse/partner is still the ideal ,proper concept of man-woman relationship.

Love pathways between man-woman encounter may among other ways include
(a) love at first sight vis-a- vis mutual attraction
(b) whirlwind romance
The above two pathways does not allow much time of getting to know one another.
This time shortage acquaintance often leads to marital failure.
(c) The normal or shall I say, usual process of boy meets girl involving developmental stages in the relationship is more reassuring. This route involves meeting —-> liking—-> friendship —-> courtship —->going steady —-> engage-
ment —-> wedding. Along these stages is time to become close and know each other’s ways, likes and dislikes ,values, dreams and other nuances as well as finances.
Knowing enough of the prospective partner in life prepares one to accept or reject the prospect. Most probably this long route also prepares one to understand, tolerate and accept the person for what she or he is. This could diminish the pain of disillusion when disillusion moments come.

Gilmore tried to picture for the readers an Aussie woman trusting her man to be strong,
faithful, sensible, responsible and appreciative of her. I would like to think that, that is where lurks a trouble spot. Not all persons show their true colour prior to marriage. Some individuals are flippant. The receiver of flippancy is thrown into emotional and psychological turmoil. This is unhealthy. No wonder Gilmore mentioned thoughts of quitting from some women quarters.

Some women suffered from the feeling of being trapped in a quagmire. Others though maintained their wifely bearing and perhaps their integrity. They stayed put and patient for the sake of their children. They persevered. And again, I would say, but of course! Hope springs eternal. I would not fault them for that. The lying irresponsible man comes home, gets forgiven and welcomed back. Ouched. Sigh. A deep sigh.

Lourdes Murphy.

Submitted to Prof. Michael Griffith
English 102

Descent of the Sound of Silence

I watched a tropical dawning sun

From a green woodland patch with

Speckles of flowering border weeds.

Nearby a grassy knoll where I sat

Flowed a shallow river

Home to small creatures_____ preys and feeders.

Every drop of leaf-clinging dew

Glittered in the early morning sun in silvery hue.

Inviting everyone to come out and be in awe

Myriads of robust cheerful dragonflies

Briskly darting, with wings a – rasping 

Hovered over here 

Hovered over there

Then in lightning- flash 

Devoured some unwary flies.

Chirping birds overhead passing

 with their crumbs or droppings.

Dragonflies laying their eggs unto the water.

Butterflies went a-coupling in the air.

Others were sipping nectar sweet

As from flower to flower they flit.

The place was with critters in number high

Of varied sizes and shapes.

They crawled over mossy stones

Or creeped inside rotting logs

Or jumped and slid into the bog.

Picking food of their own delight.

Thus for some moments this spot of nature was alive

Of clickers , chirpers and buzzers,  of squirmers and crunchers.

Of drones, hums and splashes, of rasps and crashes.

So full of chaotic sounds 

That echo anyone’s struggles for survival and joy

To which everyone is bound.

The sun rose higher and higher above the horizon

It’s benign morning warmth changed into fierce flow of noonday heat.

It signals to one and all to cease the fun 

and let all tasks be done.

And off each should go to where they find peace, comfort and rest.

Thus descends the languorous still sound of silence. Z z z z z z…

Submitted by: Lourdes Alvez.    24/03/2019 
  English 102- Prof. Michael Griffit


An Ode for My Potted Shrubbery

                           Mornings___ fresh from slumber

                           My gaze darts out of the bedroom window

                           To a sunlit portion in the garden where bright

                           Teeny blooms of yellow often greet me with

                           A stunning HELLO!!


                            They sway in the winds

                            Whirling, swirling to and fro.

                            Sometimes nervously shaking unwanted creepers

                            And tosses them off__

                            So much as buggers

                            And away the bugs go.

                            Yet it keeps composed

                            With its branches lined

                            In powdery green

                            Below and behind.

                            Foliage juxtaposed

                            Blossoms unopposed

                            It stands firmly in its entirety.

                            Such pleasant scene

                            Draws my inner essence

                            Cheers my wary soul

                            Soaring skyward full.

                            In a prayerful voice

                            Sing praise, thanks and glory

                            To the Creator on high

                            Who made this wee potted shrubbery.

                                                                                           Lourdes Murphy 17/03/2019.   

My Initial Feelings and Thoughts in and about the Australian Literature Course

One weekday at a nearby mall, I bumped into good friends, the Matin-Ao couple with their two children. We exchange pleasantries and tidbits of family news for some while. Then this dear friend Honeylene asked me, ” Would you like to attend an Australian Literature class? I am in it. We have started only this week. You can still catch up if you join us next week. It is for free. It is sponsored by the Australian Catholic University in tandem with the Holy Family Church. It is part of their Clemente Mission etc, etc… .”

It did not take her long to convince me. I have had long desired to know more about Australian literary materials. 

Monday, the 11th of March 2019 was the next day of class. So I made efforts to go.

I have to take a bus to reach the Holy Family School at Emerton. Honeylene and I agreed to meet at the churchyard. However, the bus I planned to take was running late that day. I arrived at the church area thirty minutes later. The class had started. Honeylene was no longer at the churchyard. I texted her about my arrival. Apparently, she had informed the administrative figure(s) about it. The nice, kind lady, Heather, met up with me at the church lobby. After a brief introduction we walked up to the classroom up the hill.

Heather offered me a seat and a bag with some classroom materials. Fortunately, I was able to catch up with the lecture – discussion of Prof. Michael Griffith. I liked the discussion of the salient points of the poem” Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest ” by Charles Harpur.

Looking around, I saw Honeylene with another compatriot, Vivian, from the Philippines. The sight of them was a boost to my self confidence. Not seeing them might have made the moment daunting. The students were diverse, age- and perhaps ethnicity -wise. That I still have to know in due time.

Professor Griffith conducts the class in a smooth, easy and friendly ways. Everyone gets encouraged to participate.  Using the poem of the day as a platform for analysis, the written biases and prejudices and beliefs of the author were brought up to the surface for the students to scrutinise in the light of today’s values and outlook.

I’ve been away from the classroom for more than ten years now. That brief experience of two hours in Prof. Griffith’s class was an alleluia for me. Thanks God for my friend Honeylene for bringing me into the Clemente program. Thanks God for Heather for facilitating my entry into the class. Thanks be to God for Prof. M. Griffith for accepting me into his class. For all these my joy of writing verses and poems is resurrected.

Lourdes Murphy

English 102: Australian Literature: An Introduction

Clemente Mission Australia: Mt. Druitt