Monthly Archives: August 2016

The lost parent

July 17th, 2015

Empty Nest you say? I think you’re mistaken. That phrase belongs to that moment in time when you saw your fluffy little chicks off to school. This is so much more.

You once marveled at how cute they looked in a uniform and with a heart ready to burst you waved goodbye. The oversized backpack marched off full of importance. You may have turned around with an invisible elbow punch to your thigh or if you needed to earn a living – went to work guilt free. Knowing all the while that you would pick them up at 3.00pm and continue to micro manage them, shaping their little souls and being amused at their emerging personalities and proud of their achievements.

Now they are driving around independently, they have friends you don’t know, and when you see them off at the airport you know its only going to fuel the desire to travel. You may lose them for years. They are no longer yours to manage. You find yourself breathing so shallow that if something else distracted you—you worry you may forget to breathe altogether. There is a disconnection and it threatens to undo that sense of purpose you only discovered was possible when you had your chicks in the first place.

When they were born and during those first few years you occasionally contemplated about your past life and tried to remember what motivated you. Then life got so busy you forget to reflect and plan. You may perceive that you are multi dimensional but your first characteristic, the thing that defines you the most – is that you are a parent.

You might be in your forties. You feel like a teenager again without the invincibility. There is peril everywhere for them and for you. Your path is uncertain. Here’s hoping, you are only halfway there – so what the hell happens now?

Dear Mrs Walsh

July 6th, 2015

I hope that you can grieve for your husband in the same way that you would if a stranger had murdered him and had been brought to swift and appropriate justice and showed deep remorse for his actions.

I hope that you can grieve for your son, for his drug use, his addiction, his mental health past, present and in the future, and the calamity he has brought upon himself – as if he had murdered a stranger who had no ties.

I hope that you can separate these two, long-term for both are burdens enough to bear and to reconcile these grievances’ is beyond comprehension for any mere mortal.

Finally I hope, that on reflecting upon the relationship between your husband and your son, as we all would upon a husbands natural death, that you keep close to your heart the idea that they both coveted a reconnection of spirit and loving bond, for how can a father and son not?

Know that please, it was only the scourge on our society that irreparably damaged this possibility and we the Australian public, football followers and others, grieve with you. Let us make ICE the dirtiest word that ever existed and maybe our youth will steer clear.

God Bless.

(I’ve made assumptions here and I apologise for any offence this may cause. I wrote this as an emotional reaction to an event as it was portrayed on our screens, which I acknowledge should never be accepted as the full truth.)

The Silence of Momento: an ekphrasis exercise

Your quiet absence
Tiptoed to the cold tiles.
But I was inside of myself
As always.
The agitated light
Bounces out unheard,
And the origin of time,
Is molested.
Sound rendered obsolete as
Evil collects the absence
Another missing compass
For memory to cling.
With hopeless mute fervour
We flay against the sharp edges.
Silence misinforms fragmented reason
And I fall beside you.
Through your opaque shroud
The lashes flicker like a faulty bulb.
Sleep as if on a soft cloud
And I shall wake into a storm.



The Missing Top Hat

It was the best sandwich he’s ever had
His grin bright, against the colours of summer,
I smile and put down my fork.
A silver sedan rounds the bend taking flight
As silent as a hot air balloon floating on the wind.
Like a slot car off the track
It twists and flips in a flashy glint,
Down the grassy knoll – the reel fails.
My treasure, his back to the road
The whites of his eyes widening
Watches in the bakery’s clean glass
A scene less real than television.
Across the street, the people moving by
With hats and bags, are punched
And split like ten pins,
A tall man is flipped extra high
Like a juggler’s extra flick
Making time for another baton.
But he’s dropped, and falls badly.
He ricochets back up  – as if the path
Was made of hot coals.  He’s looking all about.
He flew higher than he was tall.
A broken clock waits for him to sit crumpled.
My sunshine, watching in the glass.

Our gaze turns to a single sound
That once begins, doesn’t stop
Like a naked girl after napalm, he appears
Pausing on the road, empty hands outstretched,
Screaming, screaming, Mum!  Mum!
Like strands of party poppers, the colour of blood
From his golden crown to his knees.
The beachside hub becomes a postcard
From ocean to shiny shops, from pier to pub.
It’s high summer yet all is still and quiet.
Only the tall man looking for his top hat
Only the boy screaming.

He’s outside of himself and the sun glares
Only his family will do – where are they?
The ten pins, collected
By a faulty machine and not returned.
The summer café chatter charges silent
Doctors disguised in this seasons Havanas
And sunburn, press play and converge.
I don’t have to decide to move, so I hug my son.
We make our way back to our holiday
And in a week, take the inland route home.
The boy’s family take a helicopter.


Welcome to my website, thank you for visiting and for your patience while I make my online world fabulous. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn – you will find me under my married name, Michelle Sadler.

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For some reason, I’m not entirely sure why, I chose to use my maiden name McCulloch for my domain here…must fix that. I’ve decided to come out of hiding.

Until I pen a decent bio I’ll let my writing tell you who I am – I hope you have the time to stop a while and have a read, for every word written, a writer shares a little piece of themselves.