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.

3 March 2015

Outing (revised)

Revised version of previous post, following advice from Brian, resubmitted to dVerse Open Link NightThis time, 55 words excluding title.

In the shop
a box of toys
sits casually on the floor.

I lift out a rag doll.
The gauzy skirt’s coming loose;
I refasten the waist.

‘I suppose this isn’t for sale,
but to entertain children?’
‘Take, it!’ she says.

‘How kind,’ remarks my friend.
I say, ‘She recognises
that I am a child.

1 March 2015


(Brunswick Heads)

My friends took me picnicking
with wine and prawns.
I got lots of photos
of fishing boats.

In a shop, I asked:
‘I suppose this doll
isn’t for sale,
but the entertainment
of young children?’

‘Take, it!’ the woman said.
‘How kind,’ said my friend.
I told her, ‘She sees
that I am a child.’

After doing a 55-word piece for the toads, I wanted to try another. This one is for dVerse Open Link Night: Celebrating Poetry. (Following Brian's kind suggestions, I've revised it in the next post.)

Boldly Going

Yesterday the news
that Leonard Nimoy had died,
and we all felt we'd lost
an old friend.

(But then, we didn't really
believe it either. Mr Spock
will inhabit our universe

Today's facebook reminder:
It's 32 years since the final 
episode of M.A.S.H.
with stones on a hillside
saying that huge GOODBYE.

Submitted for real toads' Flash 55 1 March 2015  (55 words including title) and for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #241

27 February 2015

Reflections on Time

The skin etches one molecule at a time
slowly deeper into approaching night.
The light moves across its dips and hollows,
those tiny miniature craters, as if searching
for meaning, but the meaning is only
time's movement and how it reshapes us —

time, that old rogue who waits for no-one
but marches on with the tide, into a future
that does not exist, as time is always
circular and now. The skin, though, reveals
the passage of time, regardless
of music or roses or the faces of children
(your children) looking back at you as they move,
forward or back as they overtake and surpass you.

Then, when you decide that it's merely
a man-made construct, and you construct
evidence in support of this — a new day dawns,
the sun comes up, the world is round, and you know
again it's solid geography and physics, even if some
insist times measured in a thin line on a cats back.

Written for a joust at dVerse in which we were to take a line from a poem by Brian OR Claudia and have it inspire a poem of our own. I am a bad person! Instead of choosing either team Brian or team Claudia, I was so intrigued by one particular line of each that I have used both, as my beginning and end. Either I will get disqualified or my entry will count towards both scores (which is much the same as neither).

no landmark

early or late
this face

drifts on the river
the mist closes

in quietness 
a dark business

water weeds stand
like flotsam tangled

you are alone
the dark place is not safe

the way of the dead
cannot be tamed

the floating sun trails
still rust-coloured

fronds ripple a black pool
shadowy banks

the wild part used to be
alive an animal

the black spine
like question marks

this face
its sacrifice ...

whatever that means

An erasure poem remixed from an early draft of an old poem of mine, Without a Signpost, which never quite worked, interwoven with the first chapter of Jeanette Winterson's The Daylight Gate. It's an experiment; please tell me if it works for you (and also if it doesn't).

Submitted for The Tuesday Platform (24/2/15) at imaginary garden with real toads

22 February 2015

Naming the Ineffable

'What's your favourite alternative name,'
asked my friend on facebook, 'for God?'
A  rabble of competing answers came:
'Pick me as the truest / funniest / cleverest word!'

I look at this photo of a yellow-tipped bird,
a kind we don't have where I live.
'Here is God,' I think, but have no name to give.

For 'Play It Again, Toads!' #14 at 'imaginary garden with real toads', where you can also find the bird photo I refer to. I took on the challenge of using Rhyme Royal.

21 February 2015

That Moment on the Couch Tonight

I was so full of love for you!
Though I said not a word, you felt it 
and wordlessly responded.

I held you to my heart,
your chest pressed against mine,
savouring your warmth 
and the dear shape of your body. 

Long minutes
without moving,
we rested in the embrace.

Afterwards I was still happy.
What a wonder, what a gift,
to feel your body
with my body

just as it used to be 
when you were living.

Submitted for dVerse Twist and Shout