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 posts as much as possible.

23 May 2016

Dark Night, Full Moon

A small full moon, high
in a blackly cloud-covered,
almost starless sky.

Only one point of light,
Mars, is visible with her –
bold, warm and bright.

It is enough. There is peace
inside the womb-dark,
a soft release.

The night makes no sound.
I enter sacred space.
The circle folds me round.















(But I couldn't get a good one that included Mars.)

Linked to Gillena's Monday WRites

22 May 2016

The Writing on the Wall

Look up here, friend!
The man who wrote Eternity
in perfect copperplate
all over the city of Sydney
did it on footpaths mostly,
in chalk. But he meant for you
to raise your eyes to Heaven,
and your thoughts. I, conversely,
with a blast of spray paint
and a stencil, exhort you:
HERE AND NOW! and I urge
that you look from this display
down to the ground you stand on
and all that lies around you.

This jagged, brash, imperfect
piece of graffiti blaring at you
from up here, says: There's a lot
that sucks, go fix it! We've got
an election coming up. Do you
really want the same buggers
coming back? Stop! Look!
Pay attention! Eternity must wait.

NOW the sick are unfunded, 
made ever more helpless, NOW 
the temperature's rising beyond
bearable, HERE we fracture
good farming ground, HERE
we poison our water, HERE AND NOW
we torture our neighbours
(not love them) in island prisons.
And we don't let the word get out.
Don't tell me it isn't us, it's just
the Government. We elected them.
Eternity may be perfect. Meanwhile 
I'll settle for a Here and Now
of ordinary kindness: flawed perhaps, 
but human, beautiful ... and here now.








Written for Play It Again: Taking It To the Streets at 'imaginary garden with real toads' and for Prompt Nights: Imperfection is Beautiful.

You can read about 'the eternity man', Arthur Stace, at Wikipedia.


21 May 2016

Is the Etheree

Is
ether-
ee ether-
eal? Is the
etheree, eh, is
it really ethere-
al, all of it, really, or
is it merely a light fantas-
tic melody, lovely and summer-
y, highly incorporeal, eh, eh? 

Is the etheree ethereal, real-
ly? The etheree? Is it then real-
ly ghostly? Ghastly ghostly, or
merely unreal, the ether-
ree – the unreasonab-
ly, ethereal-
ly etheric-
al ether-
ee, eh-
hey?












Having tried an end-stopped etheree for dVersehere now is a completely enjambed one. And having aimed for coherence last time, here is nonsense. (I chose the photo for suggesting both ethereality and summer.)



Upon a Time

Once,
I said –
once there was
a sweet summer,
long days all golden.
Oh, you don't believe me?
But I was there, I knew it.
I traipsed the wide green all those hours
indeed all those days, the blue above
deep and endless, in my sunny childhood.

They nodded indulgently – well, some did –
and turned away to their own pleasures.
Their summer was city buildings
and hot streets drifting with dust.
How could they hear my talk?
They wanted ice cream
and movie screens,
not my old,
distant
'once'.
















At dVerse just now, we are writing etherees about summer. 
I made it an exercise for myself to do it with all end-stopped lines.

The photo is of where I live now, not where I spent my childhood,
but it illustrates the kind of landscape well enough.

19 May 2016

Not the Big City

It’s a small, calm town,
leafy even in autumn
with native evergreens.

No-one living here
can walk down the street
without meeting neighbours
or old friends from school.

Today I watch 
a quietly beautiful girl 
sit with her laptop 
in a sunny café, safely.


A second poem for Quadrille–9: Green at dVerse. 

My first described a young girl sitting alone in an internet café, unconscious of her own graceful beauty. Had I been an artist, I'd have wanted to paint her; but my art is with words, so I made a poem. I became startled and then horrified as reader after reader commented that she seemed vulnerable and ought to be more careful about sitting there alone and/or using the internet. 'She must beware,' they said. What – in the middle of the day, in a public place, doing nothing out of the ordinary? (I did mention that her top had slipped off one shoulder, but that's not an unusual look in contemporary fashion, at least in our warm climate here.) Can so many of my readers really be so prurient? Or is it that they live in cities where such dangers are commonplace? Perhaps the title I gave that poem was open to misinterpretation? Anyway, I was moved to write another poem, giving my subject more context. 

17 May 2016

Stranger in the Internet Café: Portrait

In green youth's
unconscious grace,
she leans into her screen:
a slight girl, sitting alone,
fluttering fingers
deft on the track pad.

Tendrils of hair 
drape one shoulder,
skimming her breast.
The nearer shoulder's bare,
her lacy top slipping.
Pursed lips are flower soft.


Written for dVerse's Quadrille – 9: Green

15 May 2016

Come Back No More

It's a different me now, no
rest from alterations more and more 
increasing – not at all by my will,
nor yet against it. This is the journey, the
way that we all grow, more wild
than we know, tossed by an invisible wind
which we ignore, imagining that
it's we who tilt the glass for the sand that passes.
The first young grasses can't return,
fine and fresh; they are long fronds now, no
way back to a before all gone, no more....
Blown onward unknowing, nevermore we return.



Written for the "No More" Sunday Mini-Challenge at 'imaginary garden with real toads'. The form is the Golden Shovel, based on the closing lines of Watching the Needle Boats at San Sabba by James Joyce: 'No more will the wild wind that passes / Return, no more return'.

13 May 2016

I Walk Too Far, and Not Far Enough

I walk on my feet, and in my imagination. If I don't walk further on my feet, my muscles will melt. I read that somewhere and it frightened me. If I walk too far into my childhood, that could be frightening too. Or sad. And sad it would be if my muscles did melt – like my mother's did, and my husband's, and they kept having falls. Each of them, finally, was taken to hospital after a fall and never came home again.

I walk the streets of our little town: behind the shopping mall, skirting the park. I don't power walk, I linger, photographing quaint old buildings and majestic trees. But I cover the ground. It is late in the day, but I must resume daily walking. It has lapsed too long. 

At home, at my desk, I walk into the past: up and down the big back lawn after my Nana died; and again, after the birth of my little brother. Alone with my thoughts, I walk past the summerhouse and into the veggie garden, sit down on the wooden plank that swings on ropes underneath the weeping willow, and bend my head far back. My long hair trails, brushing the ground, as do the translucent willow fronds. 

childhood memory
green willow tendrils in Spring
tiny leaves still curled















Written for Haibun Monday #13 — Walking, at dVerse

8 May 2016

Late Mother

After Eliot

Here you are again, little Mother, whom I have let
past my barriers again. Just now I see us
that last time in your house. You wanted me to go
taking the image of you dressed up and looking pretty. Sadly, then
it is followed by a different view of you
months later in the nursing home, mewling and
haggard. Summoned from far, by my cousin, I
struggled to come to terms. At the last, when
you sat up and glared past me at that sight invisible to me – the
vision – then flopped back down, dead … at that point the evening
went suddenly quiet and still. Ah well. What is, is.
Since that axe of a moment, nearly twenty years have spread
my life and some other deaths around me. I keep out,
nearly always, the memories; our differences, our troubled love. Against
this day, though, my defences buckle. It's Mother's Day – the
day on which to remember. 'Yes, you look pretty,' I think at the sky.













White chrysanthemum by Satdeep Gill licensed under Creative Commons  
(A symbol of Mother's Day, which in Australia falls on the first Sunday in May)


De at dVerse recently invited us to try the Golden Shovel, in which a line of poetry provides end words for one's own lines. I've always been captivated by the two opening lines of Prufrock; here I've used both. However I didn't write a poem in time to link to the dVerse prompt. The combination of Mother's Day – in which I refrain from joining the facebook adulations – and Brendan's Mini-Challenge: Harrows and Hallows at 'imaginary garden with real toads' gave me my subject matter. I'm also linking the poem to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #301.