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.

14 June 2009

Verse Portrait 77: Schemer

She greets me in the shop
as we stand at the counter.
Startled, I respond too warmly.

She makes the cow eyes at me.
Pale, dishevelled, she’s lost
her sleekness along with her game.

Some are still fooled, most stand
with her intended victim.
I look away and place my order.

Later her man whom I’ve never met
sends me drunken emails. I feel
intense rage – his or mine?

12 June 2009


I began this blog on the 29th of June last year. I've posted 76 poems to date, from a still growing list of 326 subjects so far. Obviously I'm not going to finish by June 29th this year. There have been many interruptions. Nevertheless I enjoy doing it, and have found it a valuable tool for self-understanding, so I'll continue on – not for 365 consecutive days, but certainly for 365 of these pieces. And perhaps I'll just keep on forever ... or indefinitely, anyway. :)

8 June 2009

“Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.”

Prompt: an adage remembered from your childhood.

Only 9.30 and the rain begins.

Market day, and I forgot
to do weather magic. Luckily
got the inkling anyway,
brought the gear at least,
now drag my tarpaulin
up over the roof of my stall,
and pull my table into the centre.
The client doesn’t want to wait
while I put up the clear plastic walls.

I tell her again, as I do twice a month,
what she already knows. She,
as always, tells me she knows.
“So what do you need with me?” I ask.
“You make me feel soothed,” she says.
I fold and reshuffle the cards.
As soon as she leaves
the shower turns downpour,
I put up the walls. Then I sit cosy
with coffee, waiting it out.

Some stallholders pack up and leave.
Most stay, grinning at each other
from under the sheltering tarps.
Sammie, who sells the crystals,
comes past, smiling. “Look,” she says,
pointing to light in a corner of sky,
"It’s going to be sunny again.”
And soon it is. Someone – was it her? –
has remembered some weather magic.
(We hear already of hail at Byron Bay.)

Here, someone must have chanted
the rhyme all children learn
to use like a charm when very young.
Wise magic the parents impart,
not understanding they do,
from generations and centuries
of folk who lived close with the earth.
We need rain, mustn’t send it away
forever, just till another day.

1 June 2009

Early morning cold: haiku for May 2009


Early morning cold.
I sink into my warm bed
like mothering arms.


The nights have turned cold.
In my dreams they gaze at me –
my dead mother’s eyes.


A wild grey ocean
surprised by two bright rainbows
then one vanishes.


“It lies about us” –
so Jesus said of Heaven.
Do we make our own?


Howling and shrieking
the wind is all round the house
bashing to get in.


Responses to friends’ LiveJournal posts:

From across the world
the arc of your dawn rainbow
brightens my morning.


It seems the whole world
is assailed by rain and storms.
I hear nothing else.


"Droughts and flooding rains"
we learn from early childhood
in this "wide brown land".

(Acknowledgments to Dorothea Mackellar)