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.

11 July 2006

Tracks


For Connie

I walk the beach
in our winter sun,
gathering stones and shells.

The heavy lace-up boots
I bought in Lamesa, Texas,
leave distinctive tracks.

      ***

We stood on a small rise
at the edge of Indian land. 
‘This is my ocean,’ she said.

I gazed at acres of prairie,
waves of rolling scrub,
an endless, hypnotic horizon.

Heat lay like a cape
on my shoulders.
The wide, flat roadway
shifted and bled.

An older landscape rose
through structures
of present time.

I knew the curve of its earth,
I knew the shape of its light.

      ***

I walk the winter beach
tracking my footprints back
to find the place I entered,
a pathway through the scrub.

A man stands in the shallows
fishing the outgoing tide.

The breeze freshens.


Submitted for dVerse Entwin(n)ed Poetics June 2013

I met Connie in Lamesa, Texas, in April 2006 when I was a guest in her home, a featured reader at the annual Forrest Fest arts festival (behind which she is the driving force) and we also celebrated Beltane together. Put in touch by a mutual friend, we recognised each other at once as soul twins, and still keep in touch.

And here is her twin poem for me! —



Without Time
for Rosemary


I gather tears in my eyes

Remembering heat waves rising

On the distant prairie edge as together

We survey the blue and ridged rim of sandstone cliffs

Bearing the scarred bones of Apache warriors

We miss the lone buffalo that roams

There, the golden eagle I hoped would

Re-appear for my visitor from down under,

The cliche road juggles us back through shinery

Past red and black Indian blankets, yellow sunflowers

A budding Ycca tall and slender sprouting from the earth

To un-posted property from the

Trespass we have entered, a place

Where time stands still and the moment becomes

Buried treasure in the badlands.

My Australian friend blends into the

Landscape, a desert Rose . .

Soon we will return to our respective realities

We are distant, separate in our bodies

Hemispheres attempt to separate our souls,

Yet and still, the spirit transcends the borders

Her ocean waves bump against my prairie sand dunes

We are one under the moon
                               

Connie Williams

29 May 2006

Missing San Antonio

The small white square of the Alamo
was a glimpse only as we sped past,
one building in a street
of newer, taller, wider forms
that had it surrounded.

It looked ridiculously tiny
but pretty; its crenellated rim
like an edging of lace.

It was natural, I suppose,
that my mind would turn
to the old, sweet song about
the rose: Rose of San Antone,

Where in dreams I live
with a memory …
An interlude of joyful
dancing music, players
like jesters and troubadours.

And the tall stranger afterwards,
talking of shades and angels.
Enchantment strange …
but we had to go.

Broken song …
It plays in my head now
each time I recall those moments,

a tender lament
for dreams half-remembered,
that never were, or might have been....
Deep within my heart …
by the Alamo ...

Submitted (several years later) for dVerse Poetics: Trip the Poem Fantastic

22 May 2006

Morning Routine

1. Wake too early,
embraced by heat.
The local weather? Or is he —
already out and about —
sending me warm thoughts?
My own thoughts are warm.
I stretch and snuggle
and start this morning’s poem in my head.

2. Look at the clock
with the usual surprise.
Wherever I am, in what country,
my body always wakes me up
after only five hours’ sleep.
Don’t talk to me about eight hours.
It isn’t the light that does it.
It’s still dark and my curtains are closed.

3. Get up. Pee. Head for the kitchen.
Examine more lines of the poem forming.
Repeat them aloud so as not to lose them.
Boil water to brew coffee.
Leave breakfast for later.
Take the cup back to bed.
Pile up the pillows behind my back.
Settle with coffee, notebook and pen.

4. Think censored thoughts.
(This has actually been going on
the whole time.) Also think
soft, sweet, sentimental thoughts (ditto).
Experience delightful spasms,
involuntary, aroused by thought alone.
Start scribbling. Sprawl. Scratch head
with end of pen. Sip coffee.

5. Remember last night —
jumping around on a low stage
with poets and musicians.
Already, here with these youngsters,
I find community.
They love me. I love them.
I’m wild and funny.
They say I’m a legend.

6. Re-examine clock.
Not yet an hour.
Decide it’s too early to phone,
knowing it’s probably not.
Imagine a conversation.
Realise they never go as imagined.
Turn into awkward adolescent.
Defer the call for now.

7. Think of his voice. Roll over
on tummy and squirm. Think of
his hair, his eyes, his everything. Wish
he could have seen the poet last night:
no glamour, just herself, in old black daks
and t-shirt, having a ball. Be deliciously aware
that happiness is a cool scene and a hot lover.
Be deliciously aware that happiness is now.

April 2006

21 May 2006

This Morning

I wake hearing the ocean
thunder at my back door
like wind in the trees.
… I am not at home,
there is no ocean.
The trees outside are still
against the lightening sky.

The roar of the spirit wind   
is full of you; I breathe in deeply
the knowledge of you in my life.

The sound of wind or ocean
surges again. It might be a plane
or a truck. I think you must
be awake by now. I imagine you
waking, stirring and stretching
like a big cat. I imagine lying
next to you, stroking your body.

A cardinal flits through the branches
outside my window. I breathe
in Texas, a new day begins.

20 May 2006

Fib*

Dave—
why
do I
get stupid
when I’m around you?
I become a 15-year-old
on her first date and terrified of not being liked
on closer acquaintance. Bear with her, please. She’s just 
   shy and awkward, stunned by your beauty.

April 2006


* This name is nothing to do with telling lies! It's the name for Fibonacci poetry (aka Fibetry) based on the Fibonacci mathematical sequence applied to syllable count per line. The number of syllables in each line of the poem is the sum of the previous two lines: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and so on. (The last two lines above are really one line, which is too long to fit into a one-line space.)

In this particular poem the first line doubles as title.

13 March 2006

Dear Nana —

I was just four
when you went to Heaven.
How could you leave me 
so tightened down, 
so shrunk …
so cold my air,
so strange and fogged 
my home garden
in which I wandered
every step uncertain,
missing your held hand
your warm contralto laugh?

I still remember
the songs and tales
in that haven, your lap.
How did you change
to a white lump
in the hospital —
in the high bed
where I could not reach you
and you were so silent?
I hung my head,
gave silence back.

You were Florence,
daughter of Jane
the famous beauty.
My aunts remembered her.
To me, beauty was you —
old fat woman from India.
Your long hair
brushed out for bed 
unfurled like a princess’s
all down your back.
Then you rewound it,
plaited and coiled
as your crown.

I tried to find
your big hotel
on Puri beachfront,
your life before:
the life of the stories.
I travelled all that way —
the other side of the world —
old woman myself by then.
Nana, where were you?
Without your old photos 
from the family album
I couldn’t be sure.

Hotelier, hospital matron,
young mother, wronged lover —
these I knew not.
In the apple orchard
trailed by your dogs,
and the birds lilting,
I place you forever:
in Spreyton, Tasmania.
From the cottage doorway
you smile welcome

– dear Nana.