Magic and loss


Forced perspective2



Words and image are my own.






Worlds apart




Synonyms on a string (ending on a contronym)


Worlds apart

Yet bound so tightly

To ravel

Is to


Tied together in flames

Of our own making


Means flammable

I Press upon your skin and

You depress mine

Just to watch the blood moving beneath

I’ve become your mind’s caretaker

You, my body’s caregiver

We recognize the value in

The invaluable so

I make a home in your habitable heart

You, in my inhabitable soul

And we face the privation

Of deprivation



I’ll cleave to you

My dearest love and

No other hand shall cleave our

Worlds apart.





Words and image are my own.



Love is a battlefield


1983 was a strange and unsettling year in my life. I was 20, living in Canberra (the capital of Australia, where I’d grown up), and working in my first adult job as a visual merchandising manager in an upscale department store. I’d not long before returned from the UK and I was feeling rudderless, to say the least.

I was also putting myself back together after the implosion of my first serious relationship. I was pretty much a basket case in 1983.

One of the things that kept me at least partly grounded was music. I wouldn’t say my musical tastes were particularly refined at that time but I was passionate about the music I liked and was an avid watcher of MTV and the like.

For at least a period of that year, one song and video dominated the airwaves. Pat Benatar’s, Love is a Battlefield seemed to be playing every time you turned on the TV, switched on the radio, or walked out your door. It wasn’t quite my sort of thing but the title and theme of the track resonated with my still broken heart and so I paid it more attention than I might have ordinarily.

I remember being struck by the way the video interrupted the song with dialogue (something that had never been done before). The angry father yelling after his fleeing daughter, “if you leave this house now, you can just forget about coming back,” may have been a tad corny but it stuck in the head and came to define the song. So much so that, listening to the actual track on the radio sans the dialogue, felt – odd.

As I said, the song itself wasn’t quite my cup of tea but it got lodged and in some weird way came to represent that very unsettling time for me. In all the years since, whenever I’ve heard that track played, my ears prick up and a strange flood of conflicting emotions resurface.

Now, here I am living in New Jersey. Canberra is a long way away and 1983 a long time ago. Both time and place could not be more different to my current life and circumstances.

I’ve witten several times on this blog about Clinton, a small town I love one over from my new home. It’s a gorgeous place with a very American every-town feel.

That’s probably why, in 1983, Pat Benatar traveled there to film those crucial domestic scenes for her video.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a small piece in our local press where people were reminiscing about the day Ms Benatar filmed Love is a Battlefield in their little town. Really? Of course, I needed to check this out for myself.





So, yesterday, Jersey girl and I went over to Clinton and wandered around a part of the town we’d thus far neglected. It was as picturesque as most of the rest of the place and it didn’t take us long to identify the house from the video.

I have no idea how it was selected but this house was chosen to be the family home from which Benatar’s rebellious character flees (an amusing scenario considering she was 30 years old at the time of shooting*). It has changed very little in the succeeding 34 years.



The house today.




battlefield 1
Image: Chrysalis Records



battlefield 2
Image: Chrysalis Records


It was a very strange feeling looking on from the street – almost like stepping into the video. I half expected to see Benatar standing by the tree waving up at her kid brother in the window (the tree’s still there but no Benatar).

It was also a little like stepping into my own past. Those mixed emotions began to reemerge as soon as I caught sight of the house and grew as it drew closer. It’s amazing how music and its associated symbols can tap into those strong emotions and pull us backwards through time.

I never could have imagined, all those years ago, that I’d one day be living just a few miles from such an iconic locale.



*Equally amusing, the song and video were used in the movie 13 going on 30 – you can’t make this stuff up.

State Trooper


The stop


The cycling colours of the

Predator – flashing

Red then blue

Red then blue

Washing the glistening roadside

In confusion and light

An unwary member

Of the migratory herd

Cut out and brought

To a cold



We all bear witness

Through the slash of wipers

Through curtained deluge

A thousand glinting fractures in the night

Red then blue

Red then blue

No sympathy for the unfortunate fallen

Simply relief that we will see our beds





Lift Me Up






Unlike most paths we walk

This trail of tears begins

In the middle

No matter how far you travel

In either direction

You move deeper into the insane lands

And further from reason

Those who cling to common sense

Go neither left nor right

But build tall ladders

And ascend.



Words and image are my own.