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')

This blog is not, 'Here are my very best poems'. It's for work in progress, subject to revision.
Posts may be updated without notice at any time. Completed work appears in my books.

29 June 2008

Verse Portrait 1. Mum

You were always inclined to denial.
How well we all knew that stare
looking coldly a little way past us
or into some internal distance,
that vaguing of eyes and voice.

During the day of your dying, I discovered
I had it too, the same inclination.
An inheritance, perhaps?
I walked and I talked in a sort of trance.
This is not happening, I thought. But it did.

28 June 2008

Somewhere it's snowing: haiku and things for June 2008

3/6/08:

Poems from the desert
light the silence and distance
as stars the night sky.


6/6/08:

A line of footprints
emerges from the desert.
Or do they lead in?


8/6/08:

Even now a man
is walking around a stupa
reciting prayers,
the other side of the world.
And some, I know, are for me.


13/6/08:

Soft autumn sunshine
after a night of soft rain.
My new rose grows tall.


20/6/08:

An invading wind.
60-foot mountain laurel
suddenly shattered
twists off at one-third its height,
leaving a blank, empty sky.


22/6/08:

I breathe in deeply
the scent of dew on the grass
as the moon rises.


27/6/08:

A night of deep cold.
We pile on more thick blankets.
Somewhere it's snowing.

27 June 2008

Shadorma

This week's Wednesday prompt was to write a Shadorma – a 6-line Spanish syllabic form with a pattern of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllables per line. And they can be linked to form several verses of one poem.

Here are some:


Silk Painting

Nine candles,
a lifted chalice.
Dancing flames
make letters
that light a candelabra,
on a field of silk.


Harvest

Late summer,
festival of light …
Lughnasad,
love that word.
Love the idea of fires
leaping, hill to hill.


The Way

The lost key
out of the old door,
never found,
lately missed,
became a symbol to her
of all the locked ways.

So it was
she never explored
a new path,
never tried
a different opening,
not ever.

27/6/08

(Last Wednesday's prompt was to write an 'invasion' poem. I wrote mine as a tanka, which will be included in the June haiku on Haiku Page of the Passionate Crone.)

17 June 2008

You're the Reason I ...

Wednesday prompt: Write a poem on 'You're the reason I (blank).' You decide what the blank is and who the 'you' is.

I'm late with this one. Didn't get it written until Sunday; then had to let it sit awhile after much tweaking, before I could see if there was more work to be done.



I think of a strange desert,
and you’re the reason.
Wild wolves and coyotes
lurk outside your cave.
The dog-wolf you claimed as protector
cowers beside you, afraid.
But you are not afraid.

You write of wandering,
of meeting the earth
on the earth’s terms.
(I steal your words
that entered my head
with the force of truth.)
You are learning, you say,
in small steps.

Beyond the far edge
of the vast Pacific
and further, deep inland,
you sit at a public computer
on a brief visit to town.
Time is short, but you find
enough to send one message.

Here in Australia
the desert is harsh.
It kills people.
Strangers it kills quickly.
We’re taught early:
“Don’t leave the road.
And if you break down,
don’t leave the car.”

There are no wolves
and very few caves.
This is no country for wandering.
How can I imagine where you are?
You mention a mountain, a stupa.
You plan a pilgrimage.

You’re the reason I play
with these contrasts,
waiting today for customers
at my stall in a cold market.
The wind-chill defeats
the clear sky, the climbing sun
bright silver through the trees.

I huddle in my jacket
of black wool,
pulling it around me closer.
The last of the summer tourists
went home weeks ago.
The locals, with dazed faces,
totter past in the wind.
It’s not a buying day.

You’re not the only reason
I’m dreaming of heat
and other places!
But you are the reason
I turn in my dreams
to an unfamiliar corner
of New Mexico.

And I think you move and travel
in the country of your soul –
as I in my tropics, despite
the shock of even a short winter,
am also right at home.
Yet, you’re the reason I wonder
what other lives and dreams may be,
what landscapes unexplored.

15/6/08

7 June 2008

My Death

(Wednesday prompt: write a poem about your own death.)

The tunnel, the light,
the rushing wind,
the dim shapes glimpsed
as I glide past;
then the emergence
into a garden;
the love pouring
from the pure, radiant
source of the light,
and all that singing …
no, perhaps not.

A fragment, expanding
like widening ripples
to merge with the All,
one golden spark
rejoining the great fire,
finding my place
in the whole
consciousness of God,
attaining full knowledge,
full being … nah,
save that for later.

Heavens and Nirvanas
don’t entice me;
rather let me fly
airy, light and free,
to move at whim
between deserts and oceans,
mountains and rivers,
islands, waterfalls,
villages, cities …
let the world be my eternity,
my home.

5-7/6/08