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 updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). 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.

3 December 2017

January Moments

In my dark garden
wind chimes clang faintly, I breathe
the smell of the sea.

Steamy nights
on this tree-thick hill;
my grey cat 

sits silent 
on the top step, keeping guard
while we toss in heat.

Like my cats
the plants are very still
this hot morning.

The heat revs up
as the morning brightens.
What time today
will humid rains kick in?
Summer at full throttle.

At last a bud
on the rosebush.

Quiet –
the rain pauses

Trying to come up with a poem for the new year, and uninspired, I looked through several years of micropoetry written in January, selected one from each year (with a bit of tweaking to some, on seeing them anew) and found that they could be read as a sequence. 

19 November 2017


To visit Melbourne
re-opens a door
on a life,
on a man –
your father, son.

Well, it would.
When I visit
I always stay
with you, dear,
and I remember….

He’s dead now.
It’s 23 years
since he went.
How on earth
can that be?

As for you,
suddenly you’re 50!
The blonde curls
of the boy
no longer exist.

The old doors
to the past
open and close.
We’re still here.
New doors open.

Linked to Weekend Mini Challenge: Doors at 'imaginary garden with real toads' and to The Poetry of Three on facebook.

17 November 2017

Change and Light

As spirit animal, the dragonfly is connected to the symbolism of change and light. – Elena Harris: Dragonfly Spirit Animal and Totem

When she came to see him in the hospital 
when we knew he was dying, she said,
'On my way here I received a message.
I am to tell you to arrange with Rosemary
a sign, so that after you move
to a different dimension, whenever
you are with her, she will know. It might, 
for instance, be a butterfly.'

After she left, we talked and decided
butterflies are too common. I could easily
explain them away as not really
signifying. I had to be surer, so
we chose instead the dragonfly – 
seen in these parts, yes, but so rarely    
as to be significant. And it has been so – at first
those moments when I missed him most acutely.

Dragonflies would burst from a bush
right into my face, or land on the door of my car
just as I was about to open it, or skim across
a rocky pool ... always in immediate
response to my thought. Sometimes I would even
open a magazine straight to a picture.
Then, at a Sunday market in a strange town,
I found an antique mourning brooch.

It is crafted from woven hair, in the shape
of a dragonfly with all four wings outspread.
I took it to mean he is always with me, 
or can be any time I choose to bring him present.
I wear it seldom now. My need is less. Assured
that he is close, I can live without reminders. (Only
sometimes, still, if I have a moment of sadness,
a living dragonfly appears from nowhere, and I know.)

Written in response to Bits of Inspiration ~ Dragonfly at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

5 November 2017

With Great Anticipation

I will come and join you
at the end of the week
and then we’ll catch up
and I’ll find out
what’s been going on with you
since our last encounter –
and that will be good, but
even more I want to know
what will happen next,
your future, how you will
navigate your crises
at work and home, and whether
you ever will meet that great love
we're all waiting for,
to whom you have come so close 
it seemed, once or twice,
only to discover
that Whoever decides these things 
had other plans,
such as death, betrayal ...
which of course
keeps you on our screens
week after week
as we agonise with you
and watch you grow,
both longing for and dreading
the final dénouement.

4 November 2017

Women's Craft Circle

They are making ‘soft blossoms’
from pieces of fabric
that used to be clothes –
hot pink, shiny blue, 
variegated browns,
pale green, warm orange –

cutting them in circles
traced around cups,
then threading cotton 
on fine needles, running it
in and out around the edge
and drawing it tight.

As they work, they talk
about growing trees,
keeping chickens,
and whether they like
being addressed collectively
as 'you guys’ (not ‘you women’).

They are making soft blossoms
to decorate the rims of buttons,
attach to hair clips, 
dot around belts,
edge the pockets of shorts,
adorn the frills of skirts.

Brooke is smiling wide,
demonstrating ways 
to make them tiny like daisies 
or full and bulbous; how to leave 
enough thread at start and end
to knot them off, complete.

The tip of Kymmie's tongue 
is held between her lips.
(I do that too
in concentration.)
Bronny is showing us
photos of her drawings.

Suzie is holding up
her first circlet of flowers.
She thinks it's clumsy (it's not). 
Everyone notices, also, and craves
her necklace of iridescent blue
glass that she treated and fired.

Me, I’m making a poem
of what I see, which is:
intent or laughing,
open or focused,
all of their faces 
are soft blossoms.

23 October 2017

Petals and Thorns

They burn, oh!
my petals burn

light has elapsed 

only these briars
glow eerily now

the setting sun
reddens the thorns,
their pointed tips

in the garden –
a garden enclosed
in dying light –

my petals flame.

Written for Micro Poetry ~ Binding with Briars at 'imaginary garden with real toads', and for facebook's The Poetry of Three. (Inspired – loosely – by Blake's 'The Garden of Love'.)

19 October 2017

Full Moon, Dark Moon

The full moon
huge and golden
seemed to bounce
to our rhythm
as we rode
that tiny motorbike, 
hired from strangers,
fast and eager
alongside the paddies –
to make love
the first time,
in dreamy Bali.

Many months later,
back in Melbourne,
I heard you
that last time –
riding away forever,
further and further,
your own bike
large and purring
across the night,
while I lay 
awake, listening long,
at Dark Moon.

Written for Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Dark Moon, New Moon

Also written for the facebook group THE POETRY OF THREE, Three Words Per Line

16 October 2017

My Favourite Metaphor for You

(courtesy of 'The Little Prince')

I didn't keep
the fox poster
that spoke of
you / our love /
your death, in
a secret language
made of images.

I had written
the fox poem.
I thought that
pain enough – more
would be wallowing 
but now seek
other fox pictures.

Their different landscapes
are immaterial. For
it's the fox
I crave, vivid
against any backdrop,
coming towards me
shy yet purposeful....

Bit by bit
I tamed you
with my words,
with my love;
but could, finally, 
not save you
from the hunters.

Written for The Poetry of Three facebook group.

Joining This Site

(Poetry of Three)

'You do know
this is not
a dating site?'

How I laughed!
Yes. Anyway, I'm 
not looking, thanks.

All the same,
a sweet fantasy:
partnering through poetry.

How utterly romantic,
if somewhat old-fashioned.
But after all –

there is that
obligatory number three.
No, better not.

Just think of
those messy, eternal 
triangles we'd generate.

'Poetry of Three' in which each line must have three words (no other restrictions) is a facebook group I just joined. They asked several leading questions including this one before accepting my application – and fair enough too, but this one did amuse me.