Permaculture News

The Tea House Poems

the-tea-house-poems-coverVenie Holmgren, our resident poet at Melliodora has just published a new collection of poems under the title of “The Tea House Poems”. Her eighth solo book traces her waiting months spent at Melliodora’s Tea House.

in the half light

of very early morning
geese on the pond

Well into my 90th year, I was headed for the even smaller village of Hepburn in the Central Highlands of Victoria to my family David and Su.
Oliver and I had agreed to drive there the long way, through the mountains. I shared the driving, being at the wheel when we crossed the state border. We arrived on February 28, David’s birthday.
My new home was unfinished. Meantime, I decided to live in what they called the Tea House, a one large room and veranda cottage, well built, pleasantly situated, looking through willow trees across the dam, but woefully bereft of the mod cons necessary for the comfort of a very old woman with a walking stick. The expected waiting time was 2 or 3 months. In fact, it became 8 months.
Anyone who has had the owner/builder experience should not be too surprised; the adaption of second hand materials for the special needs of a passive solar home of unconventional design, delays on arrival of necessary goods and so on.
My family did the very best to make me welcome and comfortable. I remember a bunch of red roses in a crystal vase and other signs of the special efforts made for me. I did my best to adapt. However, as time dragged on, tempers frayed, more than a little at times.
During the last 7 or so weeks, I picked up my pen and after long quiescence, began writing poetry again – a poetic diary, if you wish, of my time in the Tea House.  It became, naturally, The Tea House Poems.

(From the “author’s note”)

The Tea House Poems are available here.


4 thoughts on “The Tea House Poems”

  1. Here are some of the comments.
    The most beautiful collection of poetry I have read in the longest time.
    Jordie Albiston
    I hold her teahouse poems more gently than I do most in my hands.
    Kathy Kituai, award-winning tanka poet and diarist
    Exquisite and glorious
    Lizz Murphy, award-winning poet and poetry performer
    Perfectly poised work. A remarkable book.
    Peter O’Mara, artist and poet.
    A lovely production, perfectly suited to your spare, elegant poems.
    Chris Mansell, poet, teacher and poetry publisher
    A much needed story of old age told by a master poet.
    Dorothy Bysouth, Melbourne

  2. Venie Holmgren is performing poetry to celebrate the launch of the “Tea House Poems” in following locations.
    When: 2-4pm Nov 23
    Where: John Mitchel Hall (Anglican Church, cnr Central Springs Rd and Duke St)
    When 2-4pm Nov 30
    Where: Word Mine at the Anglican Parish Hall (the corner of Forest and Kennedy Sts in Castlemaine)
    When: 4pm Dec 5
    Where: Collected Works (37 Swanston St)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other News

Reading Landscape in Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

  Exciting news! Reading Landscape with David Holmgren has been selected to screen at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival  The film even made their Top 12 No-to-Miss Cinema Features    PLUS there will be a Q&A with David after the film. Spread the word, we’d love to see you there    Date: Sunday 21 July 2024 Time: 5:20PM

Read More »
Scroll to Top
Give the gift of Su!
Sign up to our newsletter for a regular sprouting of all things permaculture. We love filling baskets, not inboxes!

Household abundance & resilience, in all four seasons. A hands-on, mentored course covering all the skills you need to go from beginner to thriving veggie patch,