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

stately

silent

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 Responses to The Tea House Poems

  1. HD Office November 22, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    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. HD Office November 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Venie Holmgren is performing poetry to celebrate the launch of the “Tea House Poems” in following locations.

    Daylesford
    When: 2-4pm Nov 23
    Where: John Mitchel Hall (Anglican Church, cnr Central Springs Rd and Duke St)

    Castlemaine
    When 2-4pm Nov 30
    Where: Word Mine at the Anglican Parish Hall (the corner of Forest and Kennedy Sts in Castlemaine)

    Melbourne
    When: 4pm Dec 5
    Where: Collected Works (37 Swanston St)

  3. Basil Eliades January 29, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    So sorry to hear of Venie’s passing. Love to you all, and I will hold her works even more gently and reverentially. With love, Basil

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