On the surface, it might not have looked like much was growing in my book garden in 2019. But I was busy tilling, mulching, sowing seeds — which like many of my veggie seedlings, felt like they either rotted and got eaten by vermin…
They went back into the soil, as …ahem… manure.

I cast my seeds widely, tried new mediums, finding experts who could advise on the right growing conditions, and to pass on their knowledge borne of season after season in the fields.

Then there was the joy I felt last week when one of these random seeds sprouted.

I was one of the winners of an Australian Society of Authors’ Award Mentorship for Writers & Illustrators. The main part of the prize is 20 hours of mentoring by an experienced writer or editor. And funnily enough, as often happens in my garden, something I thought long dead — despite early promise, and after work strengthening its structural integrity in 2018 — may have merely been dormant.

Perhaps I was unwilling to let it die. I will again be working on my first manuscript “Songs of All Poets”, set in the late 19thC, about Flora Singer, a British woman, who follows the young Nobel Poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore back to Calcutta, where she longs to live and love contrary to societal expectations.

I cannot wait to meet my mentor, and work on the story again. It’s got long roots. Maybe now is the right time for some leaves and blossoms.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of
ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

~from “Unending Love” by Rabindranath Tagore

I am so grateful to the judges of the ASA Award Mentorship Program, and to the Copyright Agency for supporting the program.


1 thought on “Flora”

  1. What a stunning poem.
    Kali I’m so glad you’ve had this wonderful news, and I’m thrilled that your first novel will now have a chance to be further developed and hopefully published too! xx


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