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')

These poems 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.
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.

26 May 2015

Love Forever True

He died on a Monday,
the third day of Spring --
for each of us
a new beginning.

Beginning anew
on an unknown journey,
each of us alone,
still we reach for connection.

We spring into day,
after the night of his illness.
On that Monday he died
into new adventures —

new adventures into
freedom from restriction
(his illness). The night after,
he came back to visit

still reaching for connection —
a back-track, a pause
on that unknown journey.
Truly, it was love. Forever.

Written for Monday WRites #13 at Gillena's invitation. I had thought to do a first word acrostic, but my opening lines were so short that wasn't very workable, so I ended up playing about with a pattern of (almost) repeated lines instead.

Also shared with Tuesday Platform at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

25 May 2015

The Edge of Dreaming River

You are leaving, he said to me,
and never again shall we see each other.
What am I going to do? And what
will you do, when we are far apart?

We sat at the edge of Dreaming River,
letting our bare legs dangle
in that green and rushing stream.
The clouds were swift, blown sideways.

I shall have my flask of green water
gathered from Dreaming River. I shall drink
drop by drop the memories of me and you,
and I shall not thirst, I said.

The clouds in the sky became
even frothier clouds in the river.
On the edge of the water, gripping
the grass tussocks, he saw this and swore.

I want to go too, he said. I want to go
far from here, as you can do —
but me, I'm eternally caught.
He glared at the clouds as they raced away.

I shall come back, I promised, after one year
and one day. Watch as the clouds pass over.
You will see me flying back to you. Only wait.
Meet me at the edge of Dreaming River.

But when I returned in a year and a day,
he never looked or saw. His gaze
was turned towards a laughing woman
who led him away from Dreaming River.

That edge, I heard her say, is dangerous.
One day, she said, you could fall
and be submerged in the green water.
She danced him away from the edge.

I am watching the clouds as they scud
sideways in front of the river wind. I am
dangling my legs in deep green water,
dreaming, at the edge of Lonely River.

Note: A fictional imagining, not autobiography!

The latest Play It Again at imaginary garden with real toads, asks us to revisit a previous challenge. I chose In Other Words from Jan. 15 2015, which asked poets to take a book title which already used words in unusual combination, and replace some words with others, also unexpected. I Turned The City of Dreaming Books into The Edge of Dreaming River

24 May 2015

Oldest Friend

We met sitting next to each other
at Library School, before we had
husbands or children, or even jobs.

But it took us half a term
to begin talking to each other
instead of the girls on our other sides.
Once started, never entirely stopped.

Our sons were companions
in their earliest years, because we
their mothers liked being together.

We both made poems, always.
She came with me to bring
poetry workshops into prison.

She was my boss
at two different libraries
(when, by then, I'd ditched the career
and was working part-time).

She knows where all my bodies
are buried. As I do hers.
And the names of the secret lovers.

A couple of quarrels, soon over.
One large misunderstanding 
moved past rather than resolved.
(Each still feels right, but — shrug.)

Jokes, allusions, and a special nickname
no-one else is left alive 
to understand.

Written as a list poem for 'Friday Recipe' at 'imaginary garden with real toads' (each stanza an item on the list of our friendship's development). Also linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #253

Note (re the nickname, now that some readers have worked it out): The person who gave it to me is still very much alive. It was my friend's son, when much too young to be able to say 'Ros
emary' with ease. But even he, a man now, possibly doesn't remember, and in any case would not have understood back then how and why others seized on it with delight. But my friend and I remember — as we remember those others who are no longer with us. 

21 May 2015

Sweet Dreams

A clear memory
involving you and me
in our heyday,
when we were vigorous
and efficient
in the way we did our lives —
our life together.

We are helping
a woman, a visitor
resting on our bed.
She is lying face down;
I don’t recognise
who she is, but I am familiar
with your compassion.

Then I become
lucid, and realise I dream.
At once I understand
this never happened here:
in my dream
I am dreaming another dream
as if remembering.

Can it be
we had a life, a continuity
beside this one,
on some other plane?
Did we always
inhabit each other’s dreams?
I like the thought.

Happiness was
the irrelevant by-product
of sharing our lives,
conducting them together.
It was being aligned,
interested in each other.
And we were helpful!

was active; it was engagement.
I like that it goes on
in another, simultaneous realm
accessed by dreams.
Perhaps it keeps continuing
even when I wake.

In my mind now,
my awake, remembering mind,
I am running
to meet you, across a green field
by a stream.
There are low hills in the distance,
and wildflowers.

Written in response to the current Midweek Motif at Poets United: Happiness.

20 May 2015

At 2 a.m.

I have been in bed an hour.
I closed my book and turned the light out
thirty minutes ago.

The man next door can't sleep again.
He is playing his AC-DC collection
again, loud.

My cat comes crashing through
his swinging flap in the laundry door,
and yowls.

'Shut up,' I tell him (the cat
not the man next door). 'It's much
too early for breakfast.'

I toss and twitch, get up again
to pee, wonder if I'll ever settle ...
and wake at eight.

On my bed, a lump of dark
stirs, pricks its ears,

Written in response to dVerse Instapoetics prompt, and shared with Tuesday Platform for 19 May 2015 at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

19 May 2015

Absent-mindedly ... Erotic haiku Jan.-March 2015

her snowy curves
stretched out under the stars
my landscape


sweet in her frills
she blossoms
blushing rose


I most remember
that night you massaged me
all over


Valentine’s Day alone
I cup my breasts


‘I love erotic roses.’
He bends to their folds,
breathes deep.


I sit beside him.
What might those neat grey pants
hide or reveal?


Oops! Didn't write any erotic haiku in April, being busy with other poems every day for 'poetry month', and almost forgot to post these earlier ones.

17 May 2015

My Chimes

My mellow wind chimes were a gift
from one of my Reiki students
twenty years ago. Her husband
made them for me at her request.
(They were young then, and happy.)

The chimes are beautifully balanced.
They sing with a golden voice.
They are dark green metal and wood.
They have come with me to every house
I've lived in since they were given.

On dark nights or stormy days
their notes have sounded comfort,
continuity. They sang me to sleep
like a mother her baby, or woke me
sweeter than church or temple bells.

My love and I heard them together,
the music of our days; sometimes
a tinkling background, blending
with the bells on our cats' collars;
sometimes deep and slow and sonorous.

It was after he died — on a wild night,
a sudden clang alarmed me, and a thud.
In the morning I found my chimes
blown halfway down the drive, torn off
by a gust, the old rope frayed right through.

I don't know where the original maker
is now. A friend examined them, fixed them,
and they sound themselves again — symbol
of renewal. I hear them in my deep nights
and through my solitary days: tolling, 'I am!'

Written in response to the Weekend Mini Challenge — Connect the Chimes at 'imaginary garden with real toads'. Also submitted for Poetry Pantry#252 at Poets United.