Monday, July 10, 2017




She makes the swing go.
Feet poking holes in the air.
Refuge under canopy of leaves.
Ears no longer hear the angry words
that penetrated her bedroom walls …
Eyes wipe out images of suitcases
standing in the hallway.

Higher ... higher ... she makes the swing go
divorce is a difficult word
she cannot spell
doesn’t know what it means.
Where has Father gone?
She wants to sit on his shoulders
watch the world from above.

Higher ... higher ...higher ... she makes the swing go
On the back doorstep, dressed
in dark coat and wide brim hat,
Mother with blotchy face,
mouth like Edvard Munch’s Scream.
Her name travels towards her,
loses its way amongst the foliage of the oak tree.

She makes the swing go faster and faster.
She wants to stay here
under her oak tree in her garden
behind her house.
Mother approaches, stops the swing.
‘The taxi is waiting. We must go.’

A light breeze moves the swing ...
©Jellie N.Wyckelsma. Inverloch, 13/04/2014


Sometimes I dream to be back
in a different world, safe
sitting in a kitchen
where some cupboard doors
have different colours
an unfinished paint job
the old fridge hums
the kitchen tap drips …

Eating, sipping tea
talking and listening to each other
Dad sits at the head of the table
Mum dishes up more food
than any of us could eat

Then a dense fog descends on the kitchen scene
the memory of it fades away …
the dream becomes a blue party balloon
escaping from a child’s hand
misty eyes know it’s drifting higher and higher


vanishing into space …
©Jellie N.Wyckelsma. Inverloch, 25/03/2016.


At the nursing home I saw clean, white linen on the bed,
great-aunt Susan reclining in an easy chair near the window
looking lost and a little sad …

Her once full figure now awfully thin.
Two tears escape from her right eye,
a little dribble leaked along her chin.

She called me by my mother’s name.
‘Ann, do you know …  and …?’
Her eyes now looked straight at me,
needing answers to set herself from questions free.

I nodded, not sure what to say …
Her thoughts must travel through vistas of ninety years;
bewildering her as in a trance
with names and places in a merry dance.

A nurse entered with a tray:
two teabags, cups, warm water,
four biscuits plain,
wrapped in crinkly cellophane.

I jiggled teabags, watched the water tan.
Aunt Susan slipped the biscuits in the pocket of her dressing gown.
‘For later,’ she whispered, ‘when I’m back from shopping in town.’

Yet, every now and then, I saw in her light blue eyes,
a quiet smile, recalling happenings of long ago, of fun.
I took her hand, squeezed it softly and knew
we shared a moment of togetherness,
making her happy too.

Inverloch, 26/10/2016.

JELLIE N. WYCKELSMA is a retired teacher-librarian. She was born in 1935 in The Netherlands. Ever since she learned the three Rs she has been writing stories and poems, encouraged by her teacher parents. She married in 1957 and in the following year her husband and she migrated to Australia and Jellie continued her career in public and school libraries. In 1963 she became an Australian citizen. After her retirement writing became her constant challenge. She has written two novels, four novellas, two volumes of poetry, a book with short stories and one non-fiction book. Disappointed and fed up with the difficulty to find publishers to accept her work she became an Indie publisher. Many other works, poems and short stories by Jellie have been published in various periodicals and anthologies in Australia and in The Netherlands as  Jellie writes both in English an in her native tongue Dutch. 4 Stanley Court, Inverloch, Victoria, 3996. Australia.

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