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.

23 September 2016


my old cat
sits on the top step –
no longer

his sister 
crosses the lawn –

my new cat
waits inside the door –
greets me gladly

I wipe the tears and go in –
smile as she comes to meet me

22 September 2016

Noisy Neighbour

It's not ACDC – 
I like heavy metal.  
It's more the late-night yells. 

All alone, he keeps on
shouting: 'FUCK OFFEE!' (Says 
it's neurological.)

Returning Light

Spring Equinox this year is rainy,
the ground outside muddy, and the sky invisible.

But the energy will overlap
for some days after this date. We can still celebrate.

And we plan to! We, the Goddesses
of Shining Light, will gather to dance and share that light.

At the time when light returns to us,
we shall draw it into our hearts and then shine it far.

We gather together to return
to what we are, to who we are, again and again.

We turn to the light, return to light,
turn on the light. We carry the light in our souls.

Written for Poets United's Midweek Motif: Equinox, Equator.
The form is a landay, as described by Robert Lee Brewer at Poetic Asides.
Some lines of the poem allude to the song Return Again, which is used at gatherings of the Goddesses of Shining Light.

16 September 2016

From the Alcove

Open space,
yet sheltered:
outside the room
I sit with coffee 
and a notebook.
This early, the lagoon
is misty grey.

Three buoys, bright yellow, 
dot the water. 
A sudden dark shape
dives or rises –
long ripples: a fish,
leaping briefly
into the open.

Written for Quadrille #16: Open, at dVerse.

14 September 2016

Neil at Twin Waters

The small stone he found on the path
is almost square, but spiky. 
At first it looks grey –
but when he licks his finger 
and strokes the surface
it lights up with bright orange stripes 
and patches of mustardy gold.
He brings it to my patio, and sits down.
'Let's write poems together.
Let us write small stones
about this small stone.'

His red T-shirt matches
the maple leaf on his cap.
He is learning Australian birds –
northern Australian birds –
Bush Turkey, Ibis, Coocal, 
Lorikeets and Swallows (can they be 
Swallows? Yes, they swoop)
how to tell Magpies from Butcher Birds ...
or Wallabies from Kangaroos.
He is discovering the habits of lizards:
young Eastern Water Dragons.

He picks up the stone
which he has placed on the table,
bending over it intently
to examine its intricacies
and casual secrets. Here is
a half-moon indentation, here
is the shape of a face.
The small stone becomes
important as a mountain, 
craggy and wild. He thinks
of taking it home. (He will ask it.)

I've been reunioning with Canadian poet Neil Meili and his partner Dorsey Cartwright, whom I met in Austin, Texas 10 years ago. She is Texan, and they spend time in both places – and lately, to my joy, are on a brief visit to Australia.

Linking this to Poets United's Midweek Motif: Appreciation

11 September 2016

Briefly Guilt-Tripping Myself

In my peaceful garden with my cat, 
I remember old failures of understanding – 

a young woman who tried to be kind and wanted friends, 
but I reacted to her uncongenial attitudes
and never got back in touch. Saved myself
much embarrassment no doubt, as we could never
have been real friends. But I just think now
I could have been kinder myself, I could have done it better.

Then I recall that the leeches I’ve known
are always hard to pull off, and they drain 
so much blood before that, and the extrication
is messy. Better, perhaps, never to let them get a grip.

9 September 2016

Let Me Tell You

For Helen Patrice, who said:

You are floating in the sky among the stars.
You are naked and beautiful.
Your hair lies along the sky 
as if the sky were a pool of water.
Your pale upturned face
looks perfectly relaxed, 
as your arms do too, 
stretched out lazily each side.

You are swimming in a sea of stars.
You are never going to drown.
Your upturned face, with its tiny nose
and perfect chin, appears ecstatic.
Your legs are playfully dangling, 
moving just a little at the ankles –
all that is needed to keep you afloat.

Someone drew you long ago, in white,
on a rock wall at Oberoi, and over you
the round white moon. I was in tears
at how beautiful you were – floating
above the x-rays, the practical, the food.
If you have no idea what you’re doing,
that is because you are being. You are 
being a Goddess. You are being a star.

Oberoi Rock in Kakadu National Park, Australia, is a site of ancient rock art, much of which was done in what is known as x-ray style.

The image above was on facebook, available for sharing. I haven't been able to find any provenance for it and there was no copyright statement. If anyone knows otherwise, please contact me.

I'm linking this poem to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #319

Walking Around Town

burly boys
jitter and fidget  –

old man totters
hurrying to the bench 
almost falls

she stops to rest
drinks from her thermos 
lightens the load

strong smell
outside the library –

rain starts in big splashy drops 
small mosquitos come inside

Another haiku sonnet – or senryu sonnet – for Poetic Asides

Also linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #320

8 September 2016

Uncertain Weather

on next door's roof
tarp and sandbags for leaks –
Housing Department

used for rain
silver tarpaulin shines
in the sun

Spring colours –
pink and white sandbags

in the tarpaulin –
new clouds

still air –
a slight breeze rustles
tips of leaves

on an early Spring morning –
will it rain will it not rain?

Another haiku sonnet for Poetic Asides.  (Expect more.)