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.

11 December 2014


 The former US vice-president Dick Cheney has defended the CIA torture programme as ‘absolutely, totally justified’ The Guardian

We all remember the towers collapsing
over and over again on our TV screens,
crumbling downwards in clouds of smoke,
and the tiny figures falling, falling.

We all recall the following reports
of all those cell phone messages.
'I love you,' they all said, the most important 
last-chance truth to tell before they died.

Now you claim it was in their name
you committed.... Torture; who does that? 
How do you choose, how do you train
those who will coldly perform cruel harm?

What startles me is the fuss of surprise
now that the facts are out. Surely,
didn't everyone know? I did! I only
had to look at the Aussie they returned.

He came back broken. And the other,
the one they kept so much longer,
his health will never recover from years,
yes, years of — say it — torture.

News flash, CIA: you can't get
useful information from innocent men.
This country is their home and it's mine:
so they are family. My anger is not done.

And I understand America's anger
at the burning towers and the bodies
forever falling. But now your Government 
is just the same. So is ours. They knew.

And if they didn't, they should have known,
not turning the blind eye, swallowing lies.
There is no justification. There never was.
We are all terrorists until we reject revenge.

Submitted for Poets United's Midweek Motif: Human Rights 

10 December 2014

Announcement — SHE TOO Calendar. A great gift for yourself or another poetic soul.

A monthly calendar of your favourite pin-up poets and sample poems. Click on the pic to view and buy.


Buy the book (over there in the right-hand side bar, see) and get a free one-page calendar as a gift (just the rudie-nudie photos as above!).

For details, click here.

Lift up the covers — erotic haiku and tanka, November 2014

your voice
an old recording
I’m caressed


Dangerous Flirtation

Hiked up my skirt
danced at the edge of the swell
teasing bare-legged.
The ocean kissed my toes
then surged up past my knees


under his touch
I myself can feel
how soft my breasts


your heart
beating strong and rhythmic
beneath my ear


my head on your chest
I listen
to your heart dancing



warm breath on my skin
his whispers
turn into kisses



lift up the covers
to bare all
the smiling poet


Promotional pic for SHE TOO


8 December 2014

Alice Afterwards

It’s such a fine day, she thinks,
as she saunters down the path to her gate —
a late morning after
her fine night painting the town
red and other colours.

The adventure of escape
no longer leads through rabbit holes
or mirrors. Now she needs
more control, can’t leave the kids
for unpredictable lengths of time.

But if anyone ever had cause
to become an artist — all
the bizarre and beautiful
things she’s seen….
So she slips out at night.

While husband and children snore,
she’s away with her spray cans.
Her signature, Lice,
is so obvious if you know.
But no-one knows.

The slight figure, like others,
is hooded in the dark. She is still
slim and small enough to pass
for a teen, a boy. They never talk
if they even meet. It’s a solitary thing.

She’s fond of solitude now,
having all those offspring and him
in the busy days. She likes her space,
in those silent hours when even
drunks and the homeless are asleep.

She needs no potion these days 
to be tall as a tower, tiny as a flower;
no smiling demonstrations
of a disappearing act. She has her own
magic, dispelling walls.

At 'imaginary garden with real toads' last Friday, Fireblossom asked people to write mash-ups, putting someone famous in a new and different situation. I only just discovered this prompt, a few days late, and it caught my imagination.

28 November 2014

Storm Watching

I sit outside in the cool,
in the rain and lazy thunder,
under the wide overhang
of the back verandah.

My companion stretches and shifts
on his blanket, attempting calm.
But his sister was the brave cat.
Without her, he's uneasy.

So we come inside from thunder
and spraying, pelting rain.
I like all that — but he, I guess, has no need
to prove himself to me. He knows

I am very tender of him, I won't
challenge or scorn or compete.
Instead I usher him in, get him settled.
Then I find me a spot on the front verandah.

I see him through the flywire
draping himself inside the door,
looking out — near me
in safety. We are both content.

Both dVerse and Poets United, not surprisingly, are asking for gratitude/thankfulness poems right now. Perhaps I can sneak this in, with the idea that contentment qualifies!

18 November 2014

On Coffee — haiku and tanka

After looking at beautiful tea haiku in the journal brass bell, I was inspired to create some about my preferred beverage, coffee. I couldn't resist making some tanka on the subject as well.

morning coffee
the daily news
on facebook


black and hot
his eyes


he liked it
‘black as sin, hot as hell,
strong as death’
but coffee wasn’t
the drug that killed him


he orders
two-shot espresso
mine is
skinny cappuccino  
can we be compatible?


black coffee
at my elbow
black cat
sprawled beside me
morning can begin


new morning
strong black coffee
sipped slowly


the coffee tastes bitter
lonely morning


11 November 2014

David at 20

My son David —
slim and golden, beautiful —
looks good in all his clothes now,
and is more adventurous with them.

The red T-shirt lightens him up.
He smiles and talks to me
more than he used to.

He seems very happy lately,
confident and free;
even laughs at my jokes.

He has been growing muscle
working as a builder's labourer
(holiday job) for his dad
in Tasmania, at the caravan park.

Found poem from old journal 14/1/87