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Archive for November, 2012

Hello to all our followers.
We hope you are enjoying the work we are putting in the Friendship Tree.
We have now put a large number of the poems and stories into a book, available through Blurb as a Hard cover book or as an E Book for the iPad or iPhone so you can enjoy our work to date at any time.
The books are 180 pages in total with illustrations on a large number of the stories.
Have a look at the following links.

http://au.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3791785

http://store-au.blurb.com/ebooks/358259-the-friendship-tree

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             “Hello. I said Hello.” There was no answer. The white haired boy and the girl in the red dress had been to the tree each day this week and their friend was nowhere to be seen. They had searched the Magic Forest, climbed the Friendship Tree and searched in every place where she may hide, but she was not there. The branch that they all sat on was still decorated with the Baubles, Lady Bugs and the remnants of Butterflies, and the puppies were there, but even they looked sad. The sunlight still gently bounced off their shiny surfaces as they spun in the breeze, but they were not as full of life as they used to be.He had come here today by himself whilst the girl in the red dress hunted for some more Lady Bugs, and he had been so hopeful that his friend would have been back by now. He was perplexed, after all she was usually the one that was chasing them, so this was totally out of the ordinary.

 

He sat in the tree a little sad, and as he looked out through its branches he saw a flash of sunlight glistening in the distance. It caught his eye, then again. He had not seen this before and he did not know where it had come from. Just then, the girl in the red dress came running. “Did you see that,” she shouted, half out of breath as she approached him. “I was on the top of the sand dune and this light just hit me in the eyes. He looked at her, and she at him in a quizzical manner, and then they thought for a moment. “I think I know where our friend has gone. Seems to me that we need to go on an adventure,” he suggested without hesitation. So they set off in the direction of the source of the light. Away from the Magic Forest and the security of the Tree, to lands they had not travelled on before. The journey took them over a barren desert, with its sands carved in fingerprint like patterns. In this place life did not exist, well not that they could see. It was hot and exhausting as they trudged over the many sand dunes, with just the tell tail sign of the footprints behind being blown by the wind as they went. As they got closer, they could see the tall Ivory Tower before them. It was much like the lighthouse on the Island of Lost Children, but it was taller and had no light on it, its pure white form reflecting the sun’s light. It stretched like a long arm into the sky, disappearing into cloud that surrounded its top.

 

When they reached it, they walked around its base looking for a way in, but there was no sign of a door of any sort. They didn’t even know for certain if their friend was in here. They sat at the bottom, heads in their hands, thinking about their friend. Faint sounds could be heard, but they were so faint, it could have been mistaken for the whispering of the wind. Then, as if from nowhere a small paper butterfly drifted by, flapping gently in the breeze ever so slightly as if dying, then falling to the ground lifeless. The girl in the red dress picked it up and unfolded it. Upon it were some words.

 

 

I am a child,

Will always be,

Though adults wish,

To capture me.

 

I know in time,

I’ll be set free,

And all the world,

The child will see.

 

 

These were her words, they just knew it. She was here, but she must be somewhere high above the clouds. They stepped back and standing silently, they could hear a faint sobbing coming from the within the cloud form. The white haired boy called out. “Hello, are you up there?” Then again, but there was no reply. Maybe it was just too far away for her to hear. The white haired boy reached into his blue jacket and he took out a handful of magic blue fairy dust and sprinkled himself with it. “Now you stay here and keep an eye out for adults. I shall be back before long.” He ordered the girl in the red dress. He floated up the side of the tower, like a large blue bird, through the clouds to where a window awaited. It was very high, but then he was not afraid of heights. When he reached the window, he looked inside and all he could see was an old wooden desk, piled high with paperwork. The walls were bare, and painted a dull cream colour. It was lifeless and boring, nothing like the world within the Tree.

 

He floated through the window and stood before the desk. He could hear sobbing coming from underneath. He peered below and curled up in a ball he found the girl in the pink overalls. Hanging above her, were some very shabby looking paper butterflies, pinned to the underside of the desk. Hung as if to remind her of the place she longed to be once more. “Psst,” he whispered. She sat up and a smile as wide as the ocean fell upon her face. She hurriedly crawled out from where she was and hugged him. “I never thought you would come for me. I have been locked up here for five days now and thought my child would be forever lost.” A tear of happiness ran down her pink cheek, falling on a butterfly she had just made, bringing it to life. She did not cry often, but when she did, there was a magic contained within each one, much like his fairy dust.

 

He smiled and took her to the window. “Are you ready to escape from this place?” She nodded without hesitation. “Now let’s get you out of here,” he said.  They looked out the window and her fear took hold. “But I am afraid of heights, I can’t climb down, what will we do?” “With his usual confidence, he reached into his jacket, producing a handful of pink magic dust. He sprinkled her with it, and her fear was gone. “You always do that. You always give me the courage when I need it.” He took her hand, then sprinkled some more of the blue dust on them both. They floated out the window and descended silently. Once they passed through the clouds, she could see below the girl in the red dress, in her best ninja pose, waiting to fend off any adults that may chance to come by. They landed behind her, still standing guard, unaware of their presence. “Uh Hum,” he said. She turned ready to strike, and the look upon her face was priceless, like she had seen a ghost but was trying to be extra brave. Fearless agony I suppose would describe the look.  The two friends giggled at her, then she giggled, and then ran to where they stood and hugged them both. “Come on, let’s get out of here before the adults come back and lock us all away,” suggested the white hair boy. They very quickly left this place and its desolate landscape, heading back to the tree.

 

When they reached the tree, the girl in the pink overalls let out a sigh of relief. She was back once more at the place that she had always longed to be. Climbing the tree was once again fun, because the three of them did it so well. The girl in pink overalls told them all about her ordeal and how the adults just don’t understand, they don’t believe in fun. They all agreed that they would never grow up, and that this place was definitely out of bounds for adults. The white haired boy also suggested he had a way to protect the tree and all those within from adults forever, but how that was to be could wait for another day. The mobiles in the Tree had come to life once more and the puppies tails wagged uncontrollably. The white haired boy went and got the book of dreams and in it he wrote –

 

 

Friends will always stand beside,

Will always be around.

Protect the child that lives within,

Where adults can’t be found.

 

Never leaving chance to be,

With you till the end.

The friends you have will always be,

The one you can depend.

 

All for one, one for all,

The children will be strong.

By your side forever more,

Where children do belong.

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I saw a bird fly free today,
It did not have a name.
It was a bird like many more,
But it wasn’t quite the same.

It did alight upon a branch,
Sat quietly there close by,
Then I thought I caught a glimpse,
A twinkle in its eye.

The tune it sang was lovely,
Like a thought from long ago,
A little smile came from its beak,
Of someone I should know.

So if you spy a little bird,
And it sings songs for you,
Maybe it is leaving thoughts,
Thoughts of love so true.

With the song it sang so sweet,
As it danced from tree to tree.
I guess it was just happy for,
The love of you and me.

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Her legs dangling over the rough bark of the branch and swinging without thought like those of a child, Angelica sat facing the melted pink ice-cream of the far horizon at dusk. Since she had found the Secret Ladder that led high up into the Tree, every moment of her adult life had been consumed with intense yearning to climb back up onto this sacred branch. With every breath, she knew that she would be the child in the pink overalls once more, happily lost amongst the tallest limbs, hidden within the lushest leaves. She longed to sit high above all the busyness and bustle, taking her place amidst the mobile of butterflies that dangled like delightful daydreams from the branches all around her.

Yes, there were still the pink pleated paper butterflies hanging from glittery lengths of string. But lately, she had noticed others suspended like sharp diamonds in the mobile, roughly crafted from thin shards of mirrored glass. Hovering between the branches, they shattered the sunlight that penetrated the canopy of leaves into radiant splinters, bouncing  bright balls of sparkling sun between them. Blinding beams echoed and intensified as the mirrored butterflies spun, turning slowly in the breeze-rippled melody that brought movement to the tiny pointed feet of the dancing leaves.

And in the rare moments when the breeze held the mirrors still, Angelica could see familiar faces sparkling back at her. She recognised the first reflection instantly – herself as the Child in pink overalls, pink cheeks, pink bows in her hair. It was surreal, looking into the mirror image, staring into her own eyes, decades younger, seeing the true self no-one else could truly see. The small Child’s blue eyes sparkled, laughed, twinkled, danced, daring her to stare – then wink – then shed a tear for joy – so that the reflection might be mirrored back to her.

The two were one, connected across space and time, unifying the fragments of past and present to create a  joyous lightness and wholeness. When she climbed down, she would take the Child down with her, but she would protect her as fiercely as a secret that must never be whispered for fear that it might  be destroyed.  But up here, two could be one – and one could be two – with no compromise to either self.  The breeze danced the Child into spinning frills of lacy light as leaves and sun bounced their own fleeting reflections into the mirrored butterfly, dissolving the Child in a vibrant, magical blur.

The next glass butterfly spun to reveal first the eyes of a woman – filled with a curious mix of love and uncertainty – then the rose-red cheeks and ruby lips of the young girl she once had been and would most certainly be again. Angelica blew them both a butterfly kiss, and their eyes smiled, their crimson lips sending a butterfly kiss delicately back in her direction. She felt a breeze as the wings of the kiss brushed softly against her pink cheek. Then it flew back into the mirror where the beautiful faces spun between the plump cherry of youth and the scarlett scarf of unfolding time. Angelica sighed – only in the branches of The Friendship Tree could another’s self be so completely a part of her own. Their two mirrored butterflies spun in different directions to the same breeze, but the sunlight bounced between them as naturally as though they were somehow connected by one glittery string.

The brightest gleam of light radiated from the butterfly closest to her own, its intensity threatening to eclipse all the other beams of light spinning from the other mirrors dancing in the breeze. A boy’s eyes giggled like those of some rough little pirate, laughing and teasing, then spinning slowly to reveal the long white hair of the man he would someday become. Then a magical breeze that left the rest of the butterflies untouched sent the boy’s butterfly spinning violently to create the illusion of a perfectly solid, round bauble, showing at the same time both the face of the boy and the face of the man, the bright white hair, twinkling eyes and blue coat of one superimposed over the much older features of the other.

Without warning, the spinning glass butterfly emitted a low-toned whir, increasing to a high pitched squeal of child-like laughter that vibrated through all the pink paper butterflies and the ones made of mirrored glass. Shards of splintered, spectrumed light shot like bright knives from the bauble’s glowing centre, cutting through the glittery strings of all the paper butterflies, animating them into magical, stringless flight. One hundred pink pleated butterflies gently opened their fragile paper wings, brought completely to life, filling Angelica’s eyes with unspeakable wonder as they danced on the tiny waves of the boy’s magical breeze. 

And the rose-cheeked woman in the other mirror – who was also the ruby-eyed girl – blew each of the delicate butterflies a magical kiss, and one by one they danced away into the pink horizon, each like a birthday wish for a hundred more wishes. Angelica closed her eyes against the sunset and made her wish – that she would never have to leave the Tree, never have to climb back down into a world where paper butterflies could only dangle like lifeless ornaments on the ends of glittery strings.

And when she opened her eyes, only one butterfly remained. In it she saw the fading outline of the smiling child in the pink overalls, with pink bows in her hair. Their eyes locked, and Angelica saw her soft smile reflected dimly in the reflection of the young girl’s face. Night was falling, and Angelica understood that the time had come to make her way back down the Secret Ladder. She knew with heartfelt certainty that her dreams would be filled with butterflies made of paper and mirrors, and that tomorrow she would somehow find the time to climb again.

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He got a message from his Rose. It said to meet her at the tree. Apparently she was searching for the little fox and she was nowhere to be found. The little prince was a bit concerned, but then he knew she was very tied up in matters of consequence. They both missed playing with their friend, because she knew all the fun games and had taught them both so much. Oh well, I guess they would just sit together and play I spy, or charades, which was not as much fun with two, but fun just the same.

 

Standing tall on the nearby dune, the tails of his long blue coat gently flapping in the breeze, its buttons glimmering in the sunlight, he looked out upon the tree where Rose sat quietly waiting for his arrival. She saw him in the distance and gave him an excited wave. He ran happily in her direction, the smile on his face telling all of his love for her. The field was deep in daisies of pink and red, and he cut an unfamiliar path through them as he ran, ever closer to the tree.

 

As he approached the tree, Rose called out and pointed. She thought she had seen the little fox over in the tall grass. The little prince ran to where she pointed, but all he could find was some flattened grass where she may have laid down for a short while to catch her breath in her busy day. He shrugged his shoulders, then made his way to the Tree. He joined Rose on their usual branch and they hugged one another, feeling a bit sad and sorry that their friend was not there too. Then again for a moment the little prince thought he noticed a new butterfly, but it wasn’t, it was just his bauble he had hung earlier. The smiles fell from their faces, because they did feel a little sad. Tears welled in their eyes, and they sat silently. They told each other stories that were dreams and thoughts they had. Each one more enjoyable as the next. Each one filled with that sort of magic that their stories were usually filled with.

 

Then briefly, ever so briefly, she made a fleeting appearance. Well if that’s what you call it. She was here, then she was gone, with only her long tail being seen above the top of the tall grass as she sped off to yet another matter of consequence. Just a silent word, a thought left in the two friends minds. Oh well, he thought to himself. Maybe later we will speak, or maybe at worst she will put some words in the book of dreams. You see, the three friends were so inspired by each other. The little prince was so thankful that the little fox had told him that he could write words that had so much meaning. The little fox had learnt to trust her two friends and in return, she had found the child within that had been long lost and had learnt to write once more. And Rose, well she was so happy to have two of the best friends she could ever wish for. She had learnt to believe in herself and her writing was becoming more magnificent each time she put pen to paper.

 

They knew the time would be soon when they all met and wrote together once more. Words of friendship, words of love, inspired by each other’s presence and their love of all things imaginary. It would be a wonderful time. Until then the little prince and the Lovely Rose would patiently wait for even the most fleeting glimpse of their friend.

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I thought I heard a little voice,

From high up in the tree.

Alas there’s no one hiding there,

It was just a gentle breeze.

 

My friends their words are missing,

The book lies undisturbed.

No one comes to look at it,

Or fill it with their words.

 

I know that they are somewhere,

Not abandoning the tree.

I know that soon we will hear,

The happy sounds of three.

 

When words they can’t be written,

Because time won’t let it be.

Then in your mind a picture paint,

Of the friends you dream to see.

 

Their sparkling eyes and glowing smiles,

The laughter and the joy.

The fun times when we meet again,

As two girls and a boy.

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Darkness has fallen on this mystical world. Stars have filled the sky as far as the eye can see and they twinkle, like blinking children watching in wonder. The white haired boy stands staring into the blackness illuminated by only the flickering lights that play in the tree tops of the Magic Forest. His mind is taken to where it all began, to his thoughts of the girl in the red dress with a smile that lights a thousand hearts. Her unwavering love for him and the words he has written. He sees too, the girl in the pink overalls, her eyes wide in awe at all he has shown and taught her. The distant sounds of laughter and music, as it drifts to where he is standing, once more invite him to explore this place. The need to know and understand all that is laid before him drives him to be who he is, to find what lies inside himself and share it with those around him.

Standing on the edge of the Magic Forest, he watches quietly as shadows dance upon the trees. Familiar forms painted by the light of a thousand firefly lanterns hung in the many branches. The faeries, sprites and elves all moving to the hypnotic tune. Soothing music, gently drifting, carries him along the path, with smiling faces reminding him that they are here because of him. His thoughts and dreams making them what they are, making them real in a world that only children know exists. In the clearing he spies his two friends, sitting on a moss covered log, sipping the delicate nectar that is like life itself, giggling at the antics of the many creatures that move before them. They do not see him as he stands in the shadows, but he knows what he means to each and what they mean to him. He moves through the shadows and continues along the path that takes him to the other side of the Forest. There, his eye follows the well-trodden path to where the Friendship Tree stands. It is silent with a single lantern hanging from its lowest branch, like a beacon calling him.

He reaches the Tree, the stillness of the night echoing with only the distant sounds from whence he had come. Climbing alone, he remembers the early days, the unknown times when his thoughts were his own, never shared. He passes the place where the puppies sleep peacefully amongst the Ladybugs, the Butterflies and the sprinkling of Baubles he has left. Even in the darkness they shimmer as if to remind him of his friend’s being, and the part that they play in his life. He stands before the Book of Dreams, its well-worn pages come to life with the words that are written upon them. He reflects on all that has been written, then he takes to hand the Magic Quill and begins to inscribe his latest words for each of his friends.

 

To My Love –

Your eyes, they sparkle like the sun,

Your smile, it gives me life,

Your love, it makes my words flow free,

To share through day and night.

 

Before you came into my world,

My love was held so deep.

But now I have you by my side.

In my heart your love I keep.

 

 

To My Friend –

The values that you hold so dear,

You shared so I may grow.

Hidden deep now I have seen,

The person I now know.

 

With time I opened up my mind,

My dreams born through the ages.

We taught each other to believe,

Now our words they fill these pages.

 

He closes the book, its dusty cover marked only by his fingerprints, and stands in full reflection of the time past. He knows his words will one day be read and hopes that their meanings would be understood for what they were. He climbs down the Tree, with the Butterfly mobiles now tinkling in the gentle breeze. The Ladybugs danced upon the backs of the Puppies as they stirred. Standing again at the base of the tree he once again looks at the light coming from the distance. As he walks through the field back towards the Magic Forest, his arms and hands gently brushing the tops of the tall grass on either side of the path, his mind drifts with the music that he hears. As he approaches the clearing inside the forest, he pauses once again in the shadows to watch his two companions. Oblivious to his presence they are now laughing at some tale they have told. Their laughter lifting him as always, and then as he walks into the light he catches their eye and they both stand and run to greet him. They hug him as children do with a warmth so innocent and free. Then he takes their hands and they sit upon the log on either side of him.

The lantern light, with its warm glow plays on their faces as they speak of times past. Memories of those magical moments of discovery that intertwine the lives of children as they grow. They will always hold dear those thoughts and memories, hanging onto their youth like the magical blue cloak worn by the white haired boy. Wrapped up in the mystery of what lay ahead, knowing that they had much to see and much to share. Together, the world was theirs to explore. The Friendship Tree will grow stronger each time they visit it and the Book of Dreams will one day be read by all so that they too can grow young as they themselves grow young.

 

Youth is sometimes lost in reason,

Believing not to dream.

Holding thoughts so deep inside,

Things are not quite what they seem.

 

Step through life’s now open door,

Be the child you want to be.

When all is said and all is done.

Your dreams will set you free.

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