I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.) They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here. Copyright also applies to almost all photos posted here, most of which are my own, though a few are licensed under Creative Commons.
Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

2 December 2016

Tempted to Tell

It was a good dinner.
Afterwards we settled back
over coffee, and one said:
‘I sometimes think ETs
must have discovered us
by now – don't you?’

How that triggered my inner
cringing fear. Feeling a little sick
I kept so quiet, the dead
might have been more voluble. Jeez!
How could I say I knew this,
and very personally too?

I have been called a sinner
full of wicked lies, my soul black.
And worse than that: raving mad.
After enough reactions like these,
you learn the ways to pass
for normal – never mind what’s true.


A little green man? No, taller and thinner.
Limbless, featureless, my friend Kondark
resembled a floating column; had
a good brain though. But please,
where do you find a physicist who’d choose
to telepathise with an alien. Like who?

So he went back home, no-one a winner.
He’d wanted to help us, but needed to talk
with a fellow-scientist. That sort of head,
on earth, does not tend to telepathise
with alien visitors – can’t encompass
that reality, even though it’s not new.

And who could I have told? The stigma
is still too strong. They remain in the dark
the rationalists (so-called) – still led
by terror of the unknown. They’d seize
me and shut me up in the nut-house.…
(Yes I kid you, of course; you know I do.)

Written in response to Poets United's Midweek Motif: Social Stigma. 

1 December 2016

The Mind an Astrolabe

After Dransfield

The night, cool green,
tastes of air.
The sea moves beneath;
waves wind and tide coordinate.

Sniff the bougainvillea:
the South Pacific, 
the purple islands.
A cloud ... a beach....

Something about wine – 
and already the stones 
of court and temple
different, mourning.

At dVerse Poetics – Covers we are asked to do a 'cover' of someone else's poem, using their words but in some way making them one's own. I wanted to pay tribute to Michael Dransfield, but it was hard – his poems are all so perfect just as they are. In the end I decided on an erasure poem taken from my favourite, 'Patricia's Raga', using part of its subtitle as my title. (And I slightly changed the last word.) It still feels rather sacrilegious! But I hope it leads you to the hauntingly beautiful original.

30 November 2016

A Prayer for Bad Weather

It rumbles again, 
thundering –
the air out there,
the malevolent sky.

please make rain
for my unsoaked flowers.

The air out there
is hot and heavy.
Yesterday I rain-danced.

The malevolent sky
released two tiny, stinging drops,
no more. Oh, stop teasing!

29 November 2016

Why I Can't Write About Cooking

Well you see, 
I’m not much of a cook.
I have little patience:
can't do games of chess or recipes.

I’m not much of a cook
except when it comes to the simple –
omelettes, fried mushrooms, grilled fish….

I have little patience
for weighing and mixing and waiting
for the oven to work its measured magic.

Can't do games of chess, or recipes.
The ingredients – rare spices, self-control –
are far too exotic for me; I don’t stock them.

The current Mini-Challenge at 'imaginary garden with real toads' is Cooking Up a Storm. This is not the luscious, foody poem requested! I call myself a 'non-cook'. But it was another opportunity to practise the trimeric, as I am doing this month. (I am breaking rules all over the place. We were asked to write a poem of four tercets, and in a trimeric the first verse has one line more – but it comes very close, so I hope I can get away with it.) PS I know how to play chess, but I always want to play it like Chinese Checkers.

Reaching Beyond

Softly calling
across hilltops
oceans and skies:
the memories.

Across hilltops
as on bird wings –
hear them flutter.

Oceans and skies
ripple with white –
wave tips and clouds.

The memories,
hint and linger.

28 November 2016


far off
I hope
for rain

far off

I hope
the plants
will live

for rain
from fall

I had a fancy to try a trimeric with very short lines.

Linking to Gillena's Monday WRites

27 November 2016

Crowded House Live on the Opera House Steps

In my living room
I who think I have no beat
tap my feet, my hands drum.
I who think I am tuneless hum along.

I who think I have no beat
sway in time, nod my head, see on TV
the live audience nodding in unison.

Tap my feet, my hands drum,
I'm right out of body-consciousness now,
I'm more in my body than I've ever been.

I who think I am tuneless hum along.
Lights throb, smoke billows, Nick dances.
On stage and off, the melodies rise and fall.

The Peaceful Place

I will go to Kouranga
perhaps for the last time,
to look out over the trees,
the lawns, the hills, the water.

Perhaps for the last time
I'll sit with my friends 
in this house they made,

to look out over the trees
from their wide veranda. Perhaps 
we'll see the wallabies feeding.

The lawns, the hills, the water
and the gardens, all flowering now,
remain certain: an oasis I carry within.

(My friends are moving soon.)

Three Magic Wands

My three wands are magical indeed.
The first was made years ago, by my friend Nedz;
the second was bestowed by Tess and the Universe;
Letitia is now creating my third, which has a special purpose.

The first was made years ago, by my friend Nedz.
She channelled it, using spiral wood that she found 
in the bush and polished, and two amethysts.

The second was bestowed by Tess and the Universe. 
I dreamed of a laser, as wand and athame both. Tess
took me to choose crystals; there was a wand with laser tip ...

Letitia is now creating my third, which has a special purpose.
She has found what is perfect for me in stick and stone.
She will magic it for 'happiness and pure joy'.