Hilda Oakley

Australian author and poet

   Oct 27


“Hurrah!  Hurrah!  We won!  Thanks to Zara’s winning shot into the net, right on the final whistle!”

x                           x                           x                           x

Zara was an attractive and appealing young girl with a sweet elfin shaped face.  Her copper coloured hair which flowed down her back was her crowning glory.

As a child she suffered the tall poppy syndrome, having a lanky, willow like figure and being slightly eccentric.  Because she had such a tall figure, she was constantly being teased.  Instead of being sorry for herself she joined the local PCYC netball team.  Here everyone had respect for her, as her height made it so much easier for her to make a shot into the high net.  She made some wonderful friends in the team who liked her as a friend, unconditionally.

Kenzie was her best friend, the only one she told her secrets to.  Kenzie had hair the colour of spun gold; it was a mass of curls that flowed down her back to her slender waist.  She had deep velvet brown eyes which was unusual for a blonde.

Unbeknown to any of the girls, there were two Australian Netball Team scouts checking out all the city and country teams.  Looking for young netball players who had natural potential and a love for the game.

x                           x                           x                           x


   Oct 27

The Grey Nomads

Bang! Splut! Splut! Ssplllut!

The car engine died.  A cloud of black smoke plumed through the air.

Dry and dusty was this desert road.  Dust and sand everywhere.  It was in their hair, their eyes, their nostrils.  The blazing heat beamed down relentlessly.

How could this have happened?  He couldn’t understand it.  He had his four-wheel drive Land Cruiser, his pride and joy, serviced only seven days prior to this long journey around Australia.  It was to be the trip of a life-time now that he had retired.  He called it, “The Expedition of the Grey Nomads”.

The little food and water that they had was quickly running out.  They had been stuck here now for four days, with not a sign of person or vehicle in sight.  It was either stay with the vehicle or put hats on and start walking.  But in which direction?  They had travelled at least forty kilometres since they passed the last farm-house.

While laying in the shade under the car, they thought they heard the whir of an engine.  Quickly getting to their feet they could see the glimmer of a small aircraft in the distance.

Reefing the rear vision mirror from the windscreen of the car, he flashed it around, backwards and forwards, up and down, hoping to attract the pilot of the plane with the reflection of the sun’s rays.

As the plane approached, it swooped down low over the Land Cruiser, before climbing skyward and heading back again in the direction they had come.

Three anxious hours passed by.  Then suddenly, in the distance on the horizon, a cloud of dust appeared.  Their spirits were again lifted.  They were excited and their hearts filled with joy and thankfulness.

As the truck approached, it pulled up beside them.  A voice called out, “Need any help?” They were both totally astonished and surprised to see that their rescuer was their son.

“You were supposed to phone me two days ago when you reached the township of Marble Bar.  What kept you?”

They were certainly glad they had told someone of their itinerary and destination.  When they reach the next town, their first and most important purchase will be a satellite phone.

No more taking chances.  Another day or two and it may have been a different outcome!


Hilda Oakley

Copyright © 10.09.2012

   Oct 27

Tamika’s Triumph

Screeching of rubber tyres on bitumen road pervaded the quiet evening air.

The crunch of metal against metal, then scraping, crashing, glass shattering.

Loud, hysterical, blood curdling squeals sent shivers down Tamika’s spine.

She had heard it all before, but this time she knew it was serious.

Tamika lived on a corner block adjacent to a main road intersection.

Many accidents had happened at this corner before, mainly due to haste, or inexperienced drivers lacking patience and ignoring STOP signs, and sheer ignorance of road conditions.

Tamika quickly ran to the scene to see if she could be of assistance.

As she approached the carnage, she saw injured bodies everywhere.

The injured, screaming, crying out for help, others moaning in pain.  The cars were so mangled they would need help to get them out.

 A group of neighbours from nearby homes also arrived to help.  On seeing the blood and gaping wounds of the injured, several passed out and others had to be treated for shock.

Tamika bound the wounded and did what she could, but she felt totally inadequate.  One young lass had a cut above the eye and was extremely traumatised.  Tamika took her under her wing and settled her down. Ambulances were called and within a short time, arrived at the accident scene.

They were quick to give pain relief and proper medical attention to the injured.

The wound on the young lass’s head began to bleed profusely.  Tamika asked the ambulance paramedics to give her a thorough check up.

The injured were still trapped in their cars.  The State Emergency Services were soon on the scene, bringing with them “The Jaws of Life.”  Their hydraulic spreaders were immediately put into action and within a short time, the bodywork of the cars were prised apart allowing the injured to be freed.  The ambulance officers stabilized the injured and quickly rushed them off to hospital. No lives were lost.

Despite assisting in any way that she could, Tamika felt at a loss.  She felt she should have been able to do more to stop the suffering.  This turned out to be a life changing experience for her.  Through this disaster, she had found her calling, her vision, her dream.  That day Tamika made a promise to herself.  She would take up a career in medicine, to be able to help others in need.  To fulfil her desires, she had to wait and experience a year of patience.  To enrol in this career, she had to be seventeen years of age or more.

Although Tamika “filled in” with temporary jobs, her patience was growing thin.  Then, at last, the letter she had waited for for so long arrived.  She had been accepted into the nursing fraternity! Everything was new and challenging.

Tamika thrived.  She was hungry to learn. Hard work suited her.  Patience came easily.  The main stay was the compassion she showed to her patients.  She found the exams quite difficult, but studied hard and soldiered on. Caring for mothers with new born babies to orthopaedic patients.  Some tasks took all the energy, courage and dedication she could muster, still she never felt such elation and fulfilment in her life.

During her third year of nursing, she was assigned to Accident and Emergency.

Here she would shine, with life and death situations arriving constantly.

Assigned to a senior doctor, she listened as the ambulance sirens approached.

Tamika’s dreams were fulfilled.  Persistence, perseverance and patience prevailed.

Hilda Oakley

Copyright © 17.09.2012

   Oct 27

Laraine’s Exciting Experiences

She stood upon the precipice, gazing out over a vast expanse of wide sweeping plains.  The sheer beauty of green forests and the rivers meandering in the distance completely took her breath away.

Laraine sat there thinking and dreaming about the happy days and the sweet memories of when she was a teenager.  She was remembering how at dusk, she would race to this tree near the precipice.  Here she met Dirk, her first love.  They would sit here together, admiring the scenery with arms entwined around one another.  Here she had her first kiss.  It was utter bliss.  Laraine felt butterflies in her stomach; it made her tingle all over.

They carved their names into the trunk of that tall pine tree by the precipice, vowing to each other, their love would last forever.

Laraine was sweet and easy to get along with.  She had beautiful long locks of hair falling to her waist, and sparkling brown eyes accentuating her face.

Dirk was tall, dark and handsome.  He was a real gentleman.

She recalled that day in her late teens, when there was a knock on the front door.  Running down stairs, on opening it, was greeted by the postman with a registered letter addressed to her.

Quickly opening the letter, she let out a loud “Yahoo!”

She had been accepted into a nursing career at a large hospital in the city.  Her dream and vision had come true at last!

This was to be a life changing experience for Laraine.

She prayed to God in heaven and thanked Him for answering her prayers.

It definitely was her calling.  Laraine had been nursing for thirteen years.  She never married as she was still carrying a torch for Dirk.  Now the Matron of a large hospital, she made herself busy with nursing duties.

And then it happened  —  she fell and broke her hip.

x                           x                           x                           x

In the meantime, Dirk wanted to travel and see the world.  His heart was set on seeing the jungles, animals and natives of Africa.

One day when reading the newspaper, Laraine saw that a Dirk Bogdan had been severely mauled by a lion at an African Wild-life Park.  She was hoping to find out more of his condition, but no more news surfaced.  Now confined to her wheelchair after breaking her hip, Laraine yearned to return to that precipice.

With the help of some of her nursing friends, a plan was hatched.

“Ma’am!” The young nurse said. “Today we are taking you for a short drive into the country.  We are going to cover your eyes with a scarf, so don’t worry, as I’m sure you are going to enjoy the surprise when you get there!”

Arriving at the designated site, Laraine was helped out of the vehicle and into her wheelchair.

The young nurse said, “Just wait here a few minutes while I get our lunch organized.  Don’t remove the scarf yet, as there is one more surprise waiting for you.”

As Laraine sat there wondering what all the secrecy was about, a gentle pair of hands began untying the knots of the scarf.  Then, what a surprise!

“Dirk!  I thought you were dead!  I read in the newspaper that you were mauled to death by a lion!”

“Yes!  I read that too.” He replied.  “That was a newspaper reporter’s mistake.  His name was Dirk Boaden, poor fellow.  I happened to be kidnapped by a tribe of natives at about that time, but was released a short time later.  Never mind, enough of that.  Now let me take you by the hand.”

“I can’t do it!” She insisted. “I have a broken hip!”

“From what I’ve been told, you’re hip has had time to mend twice over!” He said.  “Now take my hand and let’s see if you can walk with me to that tall pine tree over there.”

Stepping out of the wheel-chair her confidence grew.  They walked slowly, arm in arm towards the tree.

Hilda Oakley

Copyright © 18.03.2013

   Oct 27

Guitarist Extraordinaire

Lenore jumped out of bed.  Excitement ran through her veins.  Saturday, her special time, this was the day she went busking.

Dressing carefully in her cream cheese cloth top, a long colourful skirt, with brown leather sandals and a bright head scarf, she was ready for the day and eager to play.

Racing down the street she managed to catch the bus into town.  Arriving at her favourite spot she picked up her guitar and tuned it up.  Ready, she started to play.

A crowd gathered around her.  From the back of the throng a handsome God-like creature strode towards her.   He threw a $50 note into her biscuit tin.

Lenore stopped playing.  She looked up into his deep brown eyes.  She was smitten.

“What a handsome, muscular body – and well tanned,” she thought.  Then in a blink of an eye, he disappeared into the crowd.

Lenore didn’t understand why she suddenly felt so flat, after all, he hadn’t stopped to chat, and as far as she could tell, they had nothing in common.  Still, there was a stirring of her soul.

The next morning there was a knock on her door.  Lenore raced downstairs.  On throwing the door open, she was amazed to see a man standing there holding a bunch of red roses.  As she read the card, her eyes grew large as saucers.  The card read, To the Guitarist Extraordinaire!’  Kindest Regards, Forrest.

Guessing it had come from the handsome stranger who gave her the fifty dollars while busking, she felt a tingling sensation splay down her spine.

She noticed the time.  She must fly or she would be late for her job at the library.

Several weeks passed by.  Lenore hadn’t seen Forrest again, but arrangements of orchids and roses kept arriving at her front door.

One day, instead of the arrangement, Forrest arrived in person, holding a bunch of red roses.  Over the next few weeks they had lunch together.  He was the perfect gentleman.

After seeing each other for three months, Forrest asked Lenore to move in with him.

My! Oh My!  She was thrilled.  The past few months had been the most perfect time of her life.  Her dreams had come true; she had found her perfect match.  And his flat was fabulous!

After about six months, cracks started to appear.  At first it was just little things like, ‘his shirts weren’t ironed neat enough.’  Because of this he hid her mobile phone and computer tablet.  Lenore found that quite juvenile.  Then Forrest wanted a hot meal placed on the table every evening, even if he didn’t get home from his club until the wee hours.  If she was asleep in bed, he would pull her out and smack her across the face, forcing her to cook him something hot.  Although Lenore knew this behaviour wasn’t acceptable, she gave him many chances, because he always said he was sorry afterwards.

Forrest’s insistence about everything having to be neat and tidy became an obsession.  One day, on coming home for lunch, he noticed the dishwasher hadn’t been unpacked.  He snapped.  He threw Lenore across the room, slamming her head into the wall.

That did it.  She’d had enough.  She knew she had to get away.

Lenore’s friend Anna would help her.  She’d always been a support for her.

Packing a small bag, Lenore crawled out a back window.  Melding with the shadows she made her way to a phone box and dialled Anna’s number, then drifted back into the shadows until Anna arrived.

On picking her up, Anna took Lenore back to her home where she stayed the night.  The following morning, she made arrangements for Lenore to meet the director of the local Women’s Refuge.  Here Lenore had help and support and felt protected.  Peace enveloped her; she was safe again at last.

One day when Anna came to visit, she found Lenore weeping.  “What on Earth are you crying for? He’s not worth it!”

“It’s not about him; it’s about my guitar.  I miss playing it so much.” Lenore sniffled.

As the weeks passed by, it was time for Lenore to move on.  Anna found a place for her.  It was with a little old lady who was a pensioner, and lived in a two bedroom cottage on the edge of town.

Here she was asked to pay a meagre rent, as long as she helped around the house and looked after the lady’s gorgeous English country garden.  The roses bloomed in a beautiful array of colours. Lenore again felt safe and at ease.

Having been in an abusive relationship and having her heart torn apart had left Lenore enveloped in mental and physical pain.  She vowed she would never let a man get close to her again.

When she finally gathered the courage to ring Forrest and ask him for her guitar, he informed her nastily that he was proud that he had sold it to a pawn shop.  She felt it was really mean him pawning her precious guitar like that.

Daphne, her landlady, was a sweetie.  At first Lenore kept to herself, spending most of her time in the bedroom concentrating on healing her wounded heart.  However, eventually Lenore realized that she would have to try to locate her guitar, the one thing that would still bring her happiness.  After much searching, she managed to track down the guy who bought it from the pawn shop.  He was really sweet, and gave it back to her on the proviso that she accompanies him on his front porch for an hour, to play guitar with him.  He grabbed a second guitar and they ended up sitting there on his porch for the rest of the afternoon playing music, talking and smiling.

A large veranda surrounded Lenore’s cottage.  Lenore would sit on the steps playing her guitar, letting the music flow over her, soothing her soul.

While working in the garden, she would let the warm, soft earth trickle through her fingers.  She could feel healing of her heart taking place, as she bonded with Mother Earth.

Slowly her confidence came back and her self esteem improved.  She decided to alter her hippy appearance, to look more modern and chic.  As she knew many of the elite labels of clothing, and she had limited funds, she would select her clothes carefully from racks of clothing at the local Op Shops.  This would leave her extra money to splash out on a new hair style at the Ladies Hairdressers.

Customers entering the Library commented on her new fashion appearance.  With her hair being permed and dyed, wearing modern designer clothes and also by replacing her glasses, now using tinted contact lens, gave Lenore a new burst of life.  Still, nothing she had experienced could surpass the exhilaration she felt when busking.

She shared her love of guitar playing with Jay, the man that she had met through enquiring at the pawn shop.  Although they became good friends, Lenore would not let Jay take it further.

Two years passed by.  Lenore never once dated.  The pain was still too raw.

Gradually a chink began to show through the brick wall that Lenore had built around herself.

One day when visiting Jay, he passed her a cup of hot coffee.  Their hands touched briefly.  She felt goose-bumps all over.  She quivered and blushed.  Maybe that brick wall around her was weakening.

Her emotions rose to the surface.  All of a sudden, she felt alive once more.

Jay was an extremely handsome guy, in a rugged way.  He had thick blonde hair, piercing blue eyes and a calm and reassuring nature, always the gentleman.  With Jay, there were no fast cars or bragging about his wealth.  He lived the simple life.  With him, what you saw was what you got.

Lenore’s stomach filled with butterflies.  She was losing control.  She searched her heart for some kind of resistance, something, anything, but the walls had fallen down with Jay’s pure love towards her.

A fortnight later, Jay proposed to Lenore.  It was on his porch where they had their first meeting, playing guitars together.  Six months later they were married in the surrounds of a beautiful Botanical Garden.

Married life was all that Lenore had imagined.  They lived in a small cottage which Lenore had brightly decorated.  They were very happy.

They had been married for nine years when, in an elite restaurant, Lenore shared the news to Jay that she had at last become pregnant with their first child. He was so proud of her, he was over the moon.

Finally, Lenore had found her soul-mate.


Hilda Oakley

Copyright © 17.03.2014