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.

29 February 2008

A change in the air: haiku and things for February 2008


A change in the air.
We feel rain approaching, run
welcome it from indoors.


Tiny green finches
flash in and out red flowers
through my high window.

* * *

Despite the darkness
she will not close her curtains
against the fig tree.


sunny noon
after the monsoon rains
an early autumn


Moving Out On Valentine's Day(Happening to various friends)


Last year, a pink rose.
This year he steps on a plane
heading for elsewhere.


They travel all day
in separate cars packed high
apart together.


The heart of the world
pulsates. Gaia is living –
my love, my first love.


Warm and lazy
the rain-swollen river
glides into autumn.


A small black cricket
lurks among my cosmetics
as in a city,
starving by tall containers
needing outdoors, a forest.


News of her death comes.
I'm calm, but my husband says
I groan in my sleep.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

28 February 2008

Leaving the Island

For Lorenzo

Boarding the plane to Elsewhere,
you don’t always know that this
is exactly what you are doing.
Though you dreamed it all your life,
you can’t quite understand
it’s here, you are setting out now
on that particular journey. You think
you might come back.

Yet your curved Aikido sword
sleek and polished in the slim sheath
is laid inside your case,
and you have your copy of Yeats.
They are wrapped in silk and velvet
and padded round with your clothes.
In your hand luggage you carry
the Japanese Tarot deck.

You’re cleared for departure,
making a clean getaway.
Nothing is stashed in the lining,
nothing strapped to your body.
Your toothpaste, your hair gel,
your insect repellent, your juice
are all in their safe, transparent
anti-terrorist pack.

You are crossing the great water.
Ancient messages float far beneath,
forgotten, in their green bottles.
You are breaking through cloud.
Prayers on scraps of paper
are tied in the locks of your hair.
At touchdown, the destination
is not the one you expect.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2006


Linked (several years later!) to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #291

Ghazal of the Air Element

I introduce into our conversation
the subject of my death.

He decides to stop studying
and train as a nurse.

He asks where he can acquire
my poetry book.

His torch goes out; he gets lost
in the middle of a forest.

Walking through the bush
he blisters his toe.

Here at home I stub my toe and
burn my arm, which blisters.

Love oh love oh careless love …
all love is in this one.

My soul is crying and crying
the pain of my joy.

Oh darling, my darling
time doesn't stand still.

I sing on the wind and arrange
to meet you later.

I want that you should live
a fine life and strong.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2007

29/1 – 13/11/07

25 February 2008


This orchid fumes wild
in its functional pot.
The powerful stem
throbs almost visibly.
Stealthy, the opulent head
tenses with craving.

Like my quiet friend,
easing casually between
neat domestic sheets.
Slinging down savage hair
all over the prim pillow.
Flexing lavish paws.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 1974
from Universe Cat Pariah Press (Melb.) 1985
Also in Secret Leopard: Selected Poems 1974-2005 Alyscamps (Paris) 2005

17/8/74 – 8/9/84
Note: After looking through fabulous photos of orchids online, I obtained permission to use the wonderful, vulvic image top right as my profile pic. Which prompted me to share my orchid poem – though this one is a more phallic example!

23 February 2008

Bloody Men!

That man – he comes in here
and dances all over my nice clean table
in his great big dirty bare feet.
He adds an unnecessary garnish
to my tasteful bowl of dahlias
pouring confetti upon their astonished heads
pelting them hard
with pellets of rolled silver paper.
(He’d just about need a silver bullet himself!)
Out of his pocket
he pulls unlimited
eggs and oranges
and one or two lit-up candles.
He juggles:
the oranges whiz round his head
till they turn into streaks
faster and faster – but the eggs!
they smash to the floor.
He refuses to mop them up with his spongey eyes.
(As for the candles,
them he swallows,
still burning.)
He strokes me all over
with his soft feelers,
tells me he loves me like love never was
and wants me like I never bin had.
Then he slopes out the door
and buzzes off blindly
accompanied by a cacophony of crackers –
leaving me walking on eggshells
very spiky
sliding and slipping in squash
and wondering what to do with my brand new coating of fur,
my uproarious red festoons.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 1975

Because He Is

Because he is fat
and lonely
because he is clever
and isolated
because he is arrogant
and insecure
because he is loveless
and visionary
because he is genius
and pioneer
because he is short-shrift
and knowing
because he is travelled
and experienced
because he is talented
and skilled
because he is sneering
and crying
because he is lost
and longing
because he is my son
and I am his mother
I am caught in
his lies forever.
Cancel that!
Change the future.
Because he is dream
and a soft heart …

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008