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.

30 May 2009

Inner Workings

Prompt: looking below the surface

My electronic washing machine
sings to me when it’s finished a load.
My doorbell too, when pressed,
regales me with a tune.
And every mobile phone
sounds its personal music.

What does this express –
a pleasant conceit, or hubris?
To what do we aspire
in making our digital world?
Was not the Universe
created by a tone?

27 May 2009

Verse Portrait 76: Expatriate Blogger

I “met” her in her adopted city
turning the pain of her broken heart
into prose-poems that seared mine.
I thought them beautiful fictions,
then realised only truth
was that raw, that passionate.

She needed to leave the man,
his country and his family, all loved.
She needed her old home.
Returned, she lives in my adopted city
(I’m elsewhere now; we’ve never met)
begins writing new, beautiful ... fictions?

25 May 2009

Verse Portrait 75: The Grandson

“Everyone says
leave him with his father,
can’t take a child to live
in a country like that.”

“What!” we said.
“You’ve been
the one constant
in his life.

“In South-East Asia
they’ll love
you beautiful blondes.”
She took him.

Too admired,
they couldn’t go out,
got mobbed.
Came back here.

Now he’s teenaged
tall and lean, big-eyed.
She’s given him
stepfather, step-brothers.

The other day
he hit her.

PS (years later) that last was an isolated incident, I'm relieved to say.

24 May 2009

It Slips Down Suddenly

Prompt: The unexpected

It slips down suddenly
into a black pit, sliding
out of the top of my mind
and vanishing, between
one moment and the next –
a name I’ve known
for 25 years, just gone.

I know quite well
the person of that name,
his place in my history,
his place in his own.
I can picture his face and form
in front of me now, I can see
the clothes he usually wore.

But down the deep hole
where that name has fallen,
there is no pursuit
there is no retrieval,
no hook long enough
to reach and bring it up.
This crevasse is bottomless.

Is that how it happens,
so quick and easy?
Only a moment before,
something is there as always,
known and about to be said –
and then it’s an absence, as if
it had blanked out years ago.

18 May 2009

Verse Portrait 74: The Girl Next Door

A pretty three-syllable name
I never heard before.
Wasn’t sure at first
if she was girl or boy
despite long hair –
breasts just beginning.

She spoke softly, looking down;
liked playing with our cats,
asked their names.
I’d meet her walking
on the beach like me;
we’d smile briefly.

The older sisters
and little brothers
were noisy, laughing.
She: big-eyed, serious.
We began having
conversations, then they left.

15 May 2009

Don't You Miss Going To See the New Star Trek Movie, Hear!

I didn’t want it to stop
until it did stop, perfect
in its unforgettable conclusion,
and I threw my fist into the air
raising Andrew’s arm with mine –
we’d been holding hands throughout.
He gripped mine tightly and laughed
as I exulted: “Yeah!”

Wednesday prompt: "Don't you ..."

10 May 2009

Opening darkness: haiku for April 2009


The rain is roaring
drowning out the surf’s thunder.
North and south, there’s floods.


The cloud-covered moon
the full moon, at 2 am
showed herself, I danced.


I'm full of poems,
long ones, crowding out haiku –
but soon miss my friends.


and the vast river


A fine new morning:
sunshine after days of rain.
We wake, smile, embrace.


White noise
and outside the sea


opening darkness
seeds half realizations
first widening blooms


wild ocean tonight
thundering, coming down hard
and foaming the dunes


A poem in tanka form, with senryu feel, about haiku:

Haiku on Friday (MySpace)

I started the group
so I’d learn to write haiku
from skilled friends who joined.
They are skilled, I’m still learning –
but I’m seen as an expert!


Tibetan Prayer Flags

At length the weather
will erase what is written.
Prayers are renewed.


Earth Day

We wake to sunlight
and the planet still here
the morning after.

On the other hand ...

Enjoy what we have!
Sweet awakening today,
and how much longer?

- Devil's Advocate


Dawn Service, Anzac Day

At Gallipoli
a bugle sounds the Last Post
then comes Reveille.
Old enemies, side by side
remember, and pray for peace.


To Sandra
(for her profile page on MySpace)

You’re a restful place
for me to come and visit
sometimes … it’s enough.


Bright green lorikeet
flashes past me as I walk,
vanishes in tree.

8 May 2009


Over there
they’ve just done Beltane,
the Rites of Spring.
Here, we had Samhain –
autumnal, dark.

There were two Beltanes
for me one year,
the year I travelled
to that country:
visiting poet.

There I met poets,
there I met witches;
both were my kin,
both embraced me,
and Spring was sweet!

I shared Beltane
with a new coven
in West Texas.
A coyote howled
from the near desert.

The High Priestess
my soul sister
played guitar and sang.
We spoke poems.
The wind swirled loud.

Back at home
the night of the dead
went on without me.
This time, that Spring
is ghost at the feast.

Now that the April Poem A Day challenge is over, Robert Lee Brewer on Poetic Asides is giving us a series of "Wednesday prompts". This first one is: Spring.

1 May 2009

Farewell (April Challenge 30)

Prompt (for the last day of the challenge): Farewell.

Fare thee well! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well
- Byron

“Go well,” my friend Maureen always says
instead of goodbye – like a blessing,

the true meaning of “farewell”. I never feel
finality in leaving her, I feel her care for me

and its foreverness. Her words go forward with me,
a mantle of protection. As I travel forth from her

I am warmed; her loving wishes accompanying me
in benediction, and not for that moment only:

Love is my companion, attending all my journeys,
all my dailiness … until we meet again!