CHRISTINE M. KNIGHT

An Australian author who provides insight into the human condition.

Poetry

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Model for Modern Women

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

She was a role model
For modern women. 
Liberated from the labels 
That had defined earlier generations, 
She was an expert on things cosmetical
From surgical to chemical. 
She was a product of the cutting edge, 
A manufactured woman, 
Celebrated in magazines, 
Sold across the nation. 
In matters of weight, 
She knew exactly how much to weigh in. 
In the powerhouse of business, 
She was inscrutable 
(Thanks to regular Botox injections). 
A beneficiary of affirmative action, 
She traded in ideas and influence. 
A follower of fashion, 
She rode the wave 
After the second wave of the women’s movement. 
Her flawless smiling image on magazine covers 
Guaranteed sales at supermarket checkouts. 
Articles about her reassured women, 
Interested in material culture, 
That their personal fit was simple, 
A mere matter of purchase. 
“Image is all that matters,” she said, 
From her chair in Wonderland, 
Her smile lingering like the Cheshire Cat. 
Was she happy? Did her life have meaning? 
Such questions are absurd. 
She was a role model for women 
Living life through the looking glass.

©Christine M Knight

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Window Dressing

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bureaucracy -
Well-intentioned,
Complicated by layered protocols,
Clogged by lock-step, mandatory processes,
Weighed down by governance overhead -
Lumbers wheezily towards the stairs of progress.

Management -
Career focused,
Risk averse,
Informed by theory -
Doggedly devoted follows.

Jane and Joe Q worker,
Denied a voice,
Shake their heads.
More time,
More money
Spent on frenzied activity ...
With authentic outcomes listed
On the back of
Yet another business card.

©Christine M Knight

 Note: An Australian, Christine uses the British spelling system.

 

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Minus the Higher Power

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Emptiness consumes ...
Its hunger sated briefly
With the ch-ching of purchase:
High-end luxury goods
That break the budget;
Low-end 'buys' that
Saturate life.
Narcissism thrives as
The hollow ones
Wallow in the shallows:
The perpetual pursuit of possessions,
The attention that owning brings. 
It sees self reflected in
What has been acquired
But is blind to
Engorged being.
Emptiness:
A lightless void ...
The soul's deficit. 

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Working Mother

Saturday, November 16, 2013

With her eye on the evening clock
And thirty minutes until dinner time,
She paused to survey the home scene:
Kettle refilled and switched on;
Kids doing homework;
Washing under way in the laundry;
Meat under the grill and vegetables in the microwave;
Table still to be set;
Life’s daily litter covering the living area, again. 

The close of the front door and her husband’s call
Ended her momentary stillness.
He shucked off his workday dress as he entered.
A tie here,
A suit coat there, 
His briefcase where they had agreed it would not go.
They had time for a peck,
The ritual, “How was your day?”
And a routine exchange over a cuppa
Before he retreated to the bedroom,
Their haven,
(A place where the memory of passion lingered like perfume).
Safe in the ensuite,
A no-go for children
(Smell overcame their need to invade his privacy),
He took the time to mentally debrief from his workday.
She had no such time;
It was always full-on
From the second she picked up the kids from after-school care. 

Her evening with his help passed as usual:
Kids fed, bathed, TV, a story read before bed;
Table cleared, dishwasher stacked, the house restored;
Washing sorted, folded, and the next day’s clothing ordered;
An hour of companionable silence in front of the telly;
Before the night ended in petered out passion. 

Mornings were about getting away:
The kids kept calm and on course for the school day;
Her husband, already focused on work, 
Mindful that he had to get the kids into his car and keep them there;
An airbrush kiss to her in a rush. 

Left alone to dress, she did so in a blink
(Long gone were the days
When she lost touch with time in the shower
Or took hours over her appearance). 

A two car family now,
She was grateful
For the time a second car had bought.
She did her makeup whenever the traffic stopped at the lights,
Applied her lipstick in the parking lot,
And then…
Her workday began.

© Christine M Knight

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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Chatter of the Loom

Monday, April 22, 2013

Saccharine sweet ladies
-insincere smiles, dulcet tones, iced innuendo,
weave their destruction
from teacup disturbances.
Truth warps
as the shuttle threads interpretation ...
lives unravel as the fabric grows.
The distaff,
suited in respectability,
disrespect non-weavers.
The ladies,
arbiters in the culture of the covert,
savour power
through the chatter of the loom.

©Christine M Knight

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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Dispossessed

Monday, April 22, 2013


 

We are the descendants of the dispossessed.
They lived in disparate communities,
Enclaves in a vast land
Of drought, flooding rain, familiar light and primal life.
Adept at survival, 
Attuned to the timeless cycle of life, 
They hunted and gathered.
Unprepared for contact with an alien people,
Their ancient lands were acquired,
A slow, continuous process of violent dispossession.
Displaced, they were the uncounted people in colonisation.
Suffering from a clash of cultures with families torn asunder,
The survivors handed down their longing for return.

We are the descendants of the dispossessed.
They were outcasts,
Ripped from families,
Transported to a land
Of drought, flooding rain, harsh light, and rude life.
Ill prepared for settlement,
They struggled to survive in an alien world.
Dislocated, they longed for the distant climes of their homeland.
Suffering a restlessness founded on rejection and dissatisfaction,
They handed down their longing to successive generations.

We are the descendants of the dispossessed.
Their rendered records fade as does their meaning.
Their stories retold, at times in whispers,
Words changing with each generation, 
Reframe the past. 
Reality spun into an altered fabric.
We, their descendants, became Australians.

We are the descendants of the dispossessed.
Their written records, now redacted and revised, 
Reframe the past.
Their stories retold, shaped by changing agenda.
Reality spun into an altered fabric.
We, their descendants, became Australians.

We are the dispossessed,
Migrants in search of safe landfall,
Not the first, not the last.
We come by air.
We come by sea. 
We have our own strife to reconcile,
Our own demands of this lucky country,
This land of drought, flooding rain, and prosperity. 
We will be Australians.

© Christine M Knight


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Pedestrian

Monday, April 22, 2013

Walking ...
      Life at human speed
      Liberated from Internet connected lives.
Walking ...
      The rhythm of the path,
      An antidote to saturated modern life.
A chance to
      Think
      Reflect
      Consider
      The journey, its direction, changing course.
Walking ...
      A heightened sense of
      What is seen, heard, felt.

©Christine M Knight

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The Month's Posts


LATEST BLOG POSTS

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Life Song - a story of metamorphosis

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Twenty-two-year-old Mavis Mills first appears in my novel In and Out of Step. Outgoing, gregarious, and confident, Mavis is a significant secondary character in that novel.  Mavis' story - a subplot - is used to provide contrast to and insight into Cassie Sleight's (the central character) journey. 

    At one point in the novel, effervescent Mavis is severely injured – physically, emotionally, and psychologically - by domestic violence and the fire of her partner’s rage. He also destroys her guitar and the copies of her original songs. Part of  the subplot from In and Out of Step explores the context of the domestic violence and provides insight into the psychology of it. Excuses are not made.

    At the start of Life Song, Mavis is twenty-eight-years-old and very different from the young woman who shone throughout most of In and Out of Step. She is the central character in Life Song. She has become subdued, distrustful of her own judgement, and an echo of her former self. Unexpectedly, she discovers she has a choice: continue to live a life tainted by domestic violence or seize the opportunity before her and try to rise above her circumstance and, like the phoenix bird, leave the ashes of her past life behind.

    'Could she live the rest of her life as she'd been living. She couldn't, not now she'd glimpsed another world, fleeting though that vision had been.'

    Life Song is not a cliche 'chic musician on the road' story and is definitely not a romance. It is about the woman Mavis becomes and the people who stand by her as she undergoes transformation – physical, psychological, and to an extent spiritual. She does not solve her problems in the arms of a man but makes the hard choices herself.

    The drama comes from the tugs-of-war that Mavis has to work though. It is made all the harder because Mavis' heart is in conflict with itself. One person, no matter how strong, cannot win a tug-of-war alone. The same applies to Mavis.

    Readers learn about the things that give Mavis strength and that enable her to boldly embrace the inevitable changes coming into her life as she becomes Nikki Mills, the Song Bird from Oz.

    I recommend you listen to two songs from that novel: Sunshine Days and Life Song (A Vision Splendid) to get a feel for this story.

    There are many kinds of wins in life, most of them personal rather than widely acclaimed. It's those personal 'brave heart' moments that define Mavis. Reader feedback through my publisher and website is that Life Song is a gratifying read.

    As part of your journey in reading this blog,  I suggest you listen to Move On.  In my imagination, it is first sung by Mavis' support network, but ultimately the song becomes her personal mantra.

    Australia is a diverse landscape and has diverse communities. Life Song gives readers an opportunity to spend time in some of those communities. The title alludes to the fact that each character's life has its own melody and when sung in concert become the symphony that is Life Song

    Notes:

    Life Song is one of four novels in The Keimera Series. Each novel is a standalone narrative and has the backstory woven into it.  The Keimera Series is an opus.

    Keimera does not in any way allude to chimeraa monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature from Greek mythology.

    If you would like to lend me your support so that I can produce more music from my novels, you can buy any of my songs from CD Baby.  Each of my songs can be purchased for the very small price of $1.69. My music is also on iTunes and other major online music sellers as well.



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    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    The story behind my song 'The Flame'

    Sunday, June 25, 2017


    'The Flame' features in my novel ‘Song Bird’. In the novel, it is sung by rock legend Rick Brody who serenades Nikki Mills (the central character in the novel). In real life, it was sung by Funnie Williams and Thanapat Yarchartoen (aka Film). I produced the song through Karma Sound Studios in Thailand.

    BACKSTORY TO 'THE FLAME' - The Singer or the Song?

    In ‘Song Bird’ and its prequel 'Life Song', Nikki Mills - the Girl from Oz - is a survivor of domestic violence. Once an innocent, she believed the very convincing serenade of her first significant love, Terry Kikby. Long before Nikki met Rick, his song 'The Flame' resonated with her.  She believed that Rick's songs really expressed his own ideas and values.

    Having been at the top of the music industry for sixteen years, Rick finds his music is dropping in the charts. Defined by his 'bad boy' image, he has lost sight of his real self. Consequently,  his music has lost its connection with his fan base. Interested in Nikki as a woman as much as in her skill as a lyricist, Rick collaborates with Nikki on a new album. 

    Flattered by Rick's interest in her and impressed by 'The Flame', Nikki embarks on a relationship with him.  A subplot in the novel explores the ramifications of that decision.  Can she help Rick find the heart that his music once had?  Will Nikki be hurt or healed by the relationship with him?  The answers are found in my novel 'Song Bird'. 

    Readers of this blog may also find the pop rock song 'Masque' and interesting insight into Rick and Nikki's relationship issues.

    I currently have 8 songs on CD Baby and iTunes. You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. Online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn approximately one cent per one hundred streams. 

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    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    The Story Behind Pop Rock Song 'Masque'

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    'Masque' is a duet between charismatic rock star, Rick Brody, and singing sensation Nikki Mills (the Girl from Oz). They are fictional characters in my novel, ‘Song Bird’, which is on sale through Amazon, Book Depository, and other online booksellers as are my other novels' 'Life Song' and 'In and Out of Step' - in paperback and eBook formats.

    'Masque' features the vocal talents of Australians, Skye Elisabeth and Nic James. I am the composer and executive producer for all of my music. Although I am a musician, I no longer perform publicly but use talented session musicians.

    I use music as part of my writing process when developing a novel as it allows me to explore character perspectives, challenges, and personal journeys.

    My song ‘Masque’ evolved out of my exploration of Rick and Nikki’s relationship when developing 'Song Bird', the novel . The song helped me better understand rock legend Rick Brody, the impact of being a rock star on Rick's relationship with Nikki, and the core obstacles they faced. Rick Brody is one of four pivotal men in Nikki Mills' life.

    Wider Relevance
    The song has relevance for anyone who feels compelled to be what others expect the person to be rather than being true to self, something that is much easier said than done.

    'Masque' also has relevance for a diverse number of people. For instance, I play many roles: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, author, musician and so on. I understand how the expectations and demands of others put me under pressure not to let others down. In trying not to short-change others, it was so easy to forget about who I was separate from those roles and what my being real meant.

    The context behind the song 'Masque'
    In ‘Song Bird’, Rick Brody is charismatic rock star who has been living the cliché - sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Like the Tinman from Oz, Rick is injured by his trade. For the Tinman, it was his axe. For Rick Brody, it was his status as a rock star and image of 'bad boy’. He became defined by those roles. Life became a masquerade.

    In both cases, the Timan and Rick become manufactured men in want of heart.  Rick’s preoccupation with living the cliché meant that his music lost its heart and the appeal that had drawn audiences to him as he rose to the pinnacle of the music industry.

    By contrast, Nikki refused to sell out in order to achieve success. She was determined to get to the top on her own terms and to not be treated as a commodity in the industry.

    At the Australian Recording Industry Awards, Rick asked his manager to connect him with Nikki after seeing her perform. Rick claimed his primary interest in Nikki was musical collaboration, but his libido and history of conquests shaped his reason for collaborating with her and definitely shaped the way he interacted with her.

    Although Nikki pretended not to be attracted to Rick, she was flattered that he was ‘interested in her of all people. Unlike his fans, Nikki did not have an urge to flash her breasts, hand over her panties, or suggest a threesome.’  She maintained a mask of cool indifference and stayed work-focused throughout the early stages of their musical relationship. Consequently, Rick viewed Nikki as a challenge. Committed to the long game in winning her, he courted.

    A survivor of domestic violence, Nikki was cautious about the men with whom she mixed.  ‘Song Bird’ explores the ripple effect of her decision to work with Rick. Can she help Rick find the heart that his music once had? Can he become real with her? Will Nikki’s relationship with him injure her?

    You can read more about 'Song Bird' here and on other pages at my website.

    You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. The online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn approximately one cent per one hundred streams. 

    Note: As the novels are set in Australia, I use the British spelling system and language conventions. There are minor differences to the American system.

    Read more

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