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Colours – Grey

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Grey is not one of my favourite colours, but I think it depicts the emotional state of someone experiencing this kind of loss and grief.



The ocean's rhythm

The ocean’s rhythm



She watches the sun set then gathers her jacket closer to her chest. Under her bare feet the sand feels crunchy. It makes a squelching sound with each step. The water whispers ‘Sh-sh-sh,’ then retreats with an inward sigh, as if drawing breath before rushing back to the shore.

Toes half-buried in the sand, the woman waits. No matter how hard she tries to resist, the shock of that first splash catches her breath and forces a short, sharp squeak from her. Two waves later and her response is childlike. She rolls her trackpants higher and dances along the water’s edge, swaying in and out with the ocean’s rhythm.

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Colours – Yellow

This is another of my pieces inspired by colour.


Laughter is yellowIMG_2370 - Copy (640x480)

and birds in spring

a summer’s day

with boats and kites

and children playing in a garden;

a little girl on twirling toes

a kitten chasing a ball.

P1030265 (640x616)Yellow is smooth

it’s full of joy

a hymn of praise

a word of thanks

a kiss from a child

and friendship.


Purple is my favourite colour. I wrote this piece several years ago; I hope my new followers will enjoy it and those of you who have read it before, won’t mind reading it again. The flowers are from my garden.

P1050369 (480x640)Purple sits on mountain tops. It tugs your soul at the moment of daylight into dusk and hangs in the air when a heavenly fragrance wafts past. It lives in the taste buds of a chocolate connoisseur and of course truffles, excellent brie and fine Russian caviar have more than a touch of purple in their chemistry.

Purple is the sound of a Beethoven symphony. It is the colour of majesty, commanding homage from those who wait in awe for the moment when purple sweeps into view, adorning the triumphant.



P1050475 (373x640)Moods of purple are sensuous, evocative, illogical to the browns and greens of this world. A mystical aura envelops those with purple souls. Dancers, like Fonteyn and Nureyev, were swathed from head to pointed toe in every shade of purple; a soft and frothy mauve for lighter moods, the tragedies all dark and swirling into tindered sumptuousness.

Unpredictable, tantalizing, never moderate or mundane, purple is renowned for extremes. Pavarotti is purple; an excellent example of the soul, the talent and temperament of this colour. Tempered and trained, never fully controlled, it flashes brilliance or leaves one in despair. Reliable it is not. Gentle and tender are not the norm, but purple also comes in pansies, soft as wood-smoke.

To live with a purple soul is at once the epitome of heaven and hell, difficult for all when the mood is dark, but a journey through the stars when it soars.

Istanbul – The Taxi Route

I have just discovered another story that I wrote about my Turkish trip in 2013. Some of you may have read it, but I think it’s amusing and hope my newer followers enjoy it

Chora Museum at the top of the hill

Chora Museum at the top of the hill

After visiting the Chora Museum in Istanbul, our intention is to find an ancient wall, supposedly nearby. We set off, walking down a laneway, where our interest is captured by an old man with a white beard and moustache, leaning out of a window and chatting with a neighbour standing near us. He wears a small black fez pushed back to reveal a smattering of white hair and large ears. His face is lean, his nose long and his teeth are yellowing.

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Leaning further out of the window, he smiles and waves to us, his pose creating the perfect photo for my collection of interesting characters. I wonder if he does this on a regular basis and wish it was possible to converse with him. We manage a Turkish thank you – te shekir edeem – as we wave goodbye; he disappears behind the potted red geranium on his window sill.

We continue walking down the hill, stopping everyone who might be able to point us in the direction of the elusive wall but, as we can’t speak Turkish and they don’t speak English, we have no luck.

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Lesmurdie Library Reviews

AudienceOn Tuesday evening, the 24th November, my author presentation went very well at the Lesmurdie Library. I am now relaxed about doing these presentations and everyone enjoyed the evening. Most members of the audience bought at least one book and several bought three.

Victoria Mizen (446x640)The library put on drinks and tasty nibbles before the talk, giving me the opportunity for a quick word with my audience. Review sheets were placed on each chair and I am delighted to report that everyone rated the evening as excellent or very good. Here are a few comments:

‘Most interesting talk and Victoria covered many aspects of writing.’

‘Well spoken presentation. Lots of info. on the book.’

‘Great to hear a local author speak, especially about life in WA.’

Each audience is different, but all the libraries I have attended have been most helpful and welcoming. I am keen to speak at other libraries and to expand my audience to any groups interested in books and writing. If you know of any, please let me know.



Friends In My Garden – Rose


P1050410 (2) (640x501)Rose

I have a rose

a special rose

whose petals bloom

in shades of white

for her heart is pure,


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to the crimson of enduring love.

Her stems have no thorns.

As near to perfect as a rose can be

with blossoms full blown

and budding heads held high

she’s a friend to treasure,

cherished and admired

by all who know her beauty.

Lesmurdie Library

I think this will be my last presentation for 2015, so please join me if you can. image001

Friends In My Garden: Owl


My friend owl

is a friend of many years.

He perches on the fence

sometimes a little wary

to join in the babble of the crowd

but when he does

they respond with hilarity

to the jokes he tells

for owl is witty as well as wise.

His nest is in a neighbouring tree

close enough to hear my call.

A quiet ear

a word of sense

he brings when I’m in need.

Sometimes there’s a tasty treat

a special prize he’s caught.

Often he’ll stop for a chat

we eat and drink

and soon there’s a bit of a party

as others hear our merriment

and drop in to join the fun

for my friend owl is a clever owl

who knows how to make others happy.



Dunsborough Library and South West Retailers

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At Dunsborough Library

I recently spent a few days in and around Dunsborough, presenting ‘The Green Velvet Dress’ in the library, where I enjoyed the scones and coffee and sold copies to all who attended.

I then took my novel to book shops and interesting galleries between Dunsborough and Boranup. I now have four new outlets (see on my list under ‘Buy the Book’ ) and the library has two copies.



Friends In My Garden – Bizzie Lizzie

I’m sure you all have at least one character like this in your friendship garden.

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Such a Bizzie Lizzie

is pretty little balsam

dashing about

always wanting to please.

Wearing happy colours

she brightens dreary corners.

There are times when she’ll work too hard

then suddenly stop

fall in a heap

her petals drop

her leaves turn crinkly brown and flop.

She’ll revive

but for a while her blossoms wilt

turning white and wan.

She hates that

wants to be out in the sun

having fun

flashing her prettiest party petals

and being busy

my Bizzie Lizzie.

Friends In My Garden – A Tree of Grace

This poem was written for my daughter, Stephanie, who demonstrated such courage and determination after the loss of her baby and her husband in a car crash in 1990. It still makes me cry but I hope it shows how much I love and admire her.

It has been shared with many readers who lost loved ones. Please feel free to pass it on

A Tree of Grace

In my garden grows a tree

with silver leaves and flowers

of magical hue.

On her trunk

a trace of scars

tempest caused

the year her buds fell unformed

and she shivered

branches bare.

But rainbow nourished

laughter bathed

wrapped in courage

love healed by spring.

Strong she stands

a shimmering shining tree full of grace

and beauty

sparkling my garden with silver

and golding my heart.

Friends In My Garden – Chirpy Chatty Charmer

A bright little bird
perches on my shoulder
lands in my lap
or sits on the bench beside me.
Rarely still
he bobs and darts and scurries
from tree to fence
from path to bench to me.
Whistling and chirping and singing away
He’ll talk to himself
if there’s no-one around
to share his conversations.
He loves to tell stories
and make up jokes
that aren’t always clever
but he’s so amusing
I have to laugh.

Friends In My Garden – Friendship


Friends In My Garden is the name of my first book, a collection of poems about people in my life depicted as birds, flowers, trees and other things that you find in a garden. Many of you have copies, but for those who don’t and who have asked to see my poems, here is the first of forty that I will post over the coming weeks. Please keep watching and please share them with your friends.

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Friendly flowers in my garden


Friendship is like a garden.
I throw seeds around and wait.
Sometimes a special flower appears
not flamboyant not pushy
quietly, softly it opens petals,
its beauty and gentleness
give joy to my soul.
For a while it disappears
as flowers do,


Each year I wait for my tulips to appear.

Each year I wait for my tulips to appear.

in its absence I feel a loss
but as time approaches for its return
I look for it every day
and rejoice in its welcome back.
You are like that flower
my friend.

A Successful Week in Local Libraries

At the Mundaring Library

At the Mundaring Library

The Green Velvet Dress  presented at two libraries in one week. A bit daunting, but I’m getting into the swing and starting to enjoy myself.

For evening events the libraries have provided a glass of wine and some delicious nibbles, which helps me to relax  and puts the audience in a receptive mood.

About fifteen people attended the Mundaring presentation on Thursday the 1st October. I noticed heads nodding in agreement when I talked about teaching in 1961 and again in response to my comments about society’s rules for women at the time.

I had lots of questions to answer at the end and most people bought books, which made me very happy. I look forward to reading their reviews.



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Spinifex and Snakes

Gone before the heat each day

the partner I had followed to this land of Spinifex and snakes

leaving me alone

My daughter painted this picture from her memories of our life in north-west WA

My daughter, Stephanie Burns, painted this picture from her memories of our life in north-west WA. To see more of her art and fabrics go to

with my babies

aged one and three.

No friends

the town not yet reality

no shop, no school

an alcoholic doctor

the airport down the track—an hour’s drive.

I had no car but where could I go

even if that wasn’t so?

To shark infested waters, holding two little hands?

Across a wasteland of bushes uniformly stunted?

To the caravan park

where filth, depression

and language hurled at children made me shrink.


Word from the south was flown up

with grader parts and other vital stuff.

Food and clothes came fortnightly by truck.

Radio was rarely heard

television never seen

no books

no strains of Mozart

no scent of flowers, twitter of birds

trees or shade or anything to feed the soul.

In that pindan-covered camp

no-one felt or thought like me.


Afraid of losing little ones

curious to explore that never ending sameness

each day confined within my arms-width space

sheltering from flies and sun that fried the brain

I lived inside my head.




Victoria Mizen



Library Presentation: Greenmount

At Denmark Library - they enjoyed my readings

At Denmark Library they enjoyed my talk and the readings

Due to a full house for the Mundaring Library presentation of my novel ‘The Green Velvet Dress’, I am delighted to be doing another one at Greenmount Library from 5.30-7pm on Tuesday, 6th October. Drinks and nibbles at 5.30, talk starts at 6pm.

A few places are still available so if you wish to join us, please contact the library by phoning 92906755 or use this link to read about my presentation and/or to make your booking.


Much is written about what we see. Today, everyone is a photographer. Sounds are recorded, enabling us to recall the trill of a bird, a crack of thunder, the voice of a loved one. The sense of smell, though, is the most powerful for that emotional pull, flinging us back to memories we thought we had forgotten. I hope my words evoke memories for you–good and bad. What is your gut reaction?


Sweaty armpits, old gym shoes,
potatoes rotting in a cupboard,
dirty nappies, pig manure,Continue reading

The Storm

A splash of sunshine offers hope.
Dreary sky and dreary heart
watch it quickly pass
as storm clouds gather pace.
What chance is there
what use is hope against the might
of tempests?
patient must I be
learn to wait
with tolerance and trust
but is that possible
when my heart is crushed?
Have I strength within my soul
to ride out this storm
and if I do
will I survive
will I still be me?
Victoria Mizen

Two Old Farts

There goes Mick again. Silly old bugger. Thinks he’s Prince Charming or something, the way he carries on with the Murphy sisters over the road. Mind you, they’re as dopey as him, fluttering their silly old lashes and mincing about, pretending that they’re still young and pretty. Young and pretty. Bah! Had my pick of them in my youth. No good thinking about those days. Look at him. Shiny shoes and bloody arty- farty walking stick, with its twirly knob. Yes. I suppose I am jealous. He’s handing Daisy a rose. Saw him out in his garden this morning. Should have been watching the toast, it burned, serves me right. Time I got a new decent bloody toaster, the popup sort that don’t burn. He was singing to himself. Sings so loud the whole street can hear him. Needs a hearing aid, has a hearing aid, but he’s too bloody proud to use it. He was out there this morning watering his precious plants. Loves them like he loves that silly dog, old, blind and just as useless as him. I should talk. Useless, bah! We’re all bloody useless at our age.

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Kerbside Collections

Last Sunday Julian and Penelope enjoyed a salubrious lunch at the Darlington Estate Winery. Returning home they shared memories of teenage years – Penelope’s spent in the hills, riding her bike along bush tracks with friends, Julian’s helping his father on the farm where he lived in Cornwall.

‘After that feast we should have a rest when we get home.’ Penelope glanced at her partner, the beginnings of a smile playing with the corners of her mouth.

Julian spluttered, ‘Do you mean a rest?’ Bushy eyebrows questioned her meaning of rest.

Almost missing the corner, he turned left into Glen Forrest Drive.

‘More of a siesta,’ Penelope continued.

‘Someone’s been busy while we were eating.’ Thoughts of a Mediterranean style, leisurely post-lunchtime rest were put aside as the green jaguar slowed down to allow a rudimentary assessment of the no-longer-loved contents of a garage or storage room, neatly laid out on the road verge opposite them.

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