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.

28 July 2009

Winter Beach

The sea is deep green
darkening further out
on an indigo horizon,
frothing in whirlpools of white
where it laps the sand
coming in close to the cliff.

Above the cliff-top trees
a small hawk sails over
in one long glide of still wings,
so close that I look up and see
the dark beak and eye
red throat and golden belly.

It’s long since I inquired
what messages the natural world
would speak into my mind.
Today there is nothing. I watch
the ocean roll and the hawk pass
magnificently indifferent.

27 July 2009

Verse Portrait 79: 'Marijuana in the Mail'

Hates the press for this headline
and publishing her name:
Always felt above the law.
Stoned at the time, or drunk?

Pleaded guilty anyway
for trying to post it –
to Edinburgh.
“Don’t they have dope
in Scotland?” someone said.

She can’t stay free
by pleading the need
of her brain-damaged son.
He’s 18 now, and smart enough.
She does a runner,
leaving him home alone.

Oh, stay away!

2 July 2009

Tweet Poems for May & June 2009

(Tweet poems = poems on Twitter,
140 characters max.)


Falling into music/after a night & day/of pursuit through a maze./Now safety, lullaby, dream;/lock th door & sleep/until morning.



walking the meadow of despair/surprised by sudden rainbow/after I lifted my head



I inhabit a strange landscape here./An underground spring bubbles forth/breaking the smooth surface.



In the grey fog/you know we're there./We shine our lights.


Coming through dark/bends in the road/other lights passing/show me I'm not alone.


Wild & cold out/dangerous seas/crashing non-stop.//Yet we are warm/in our stone-floored house/we are safe/in these present moments.



Black cat walks in/from cold night/gazes at us/raises his tail/as if disdainful/goes to the door/& out again./Are we so unexciting?



My time autumn/my place tropics/here & now/my hair grows thick/my nails get strong/I’m jungly/I’m becoming/leonine.



slender as bamboo/white flowers in her hair/she stands straight/peace in her eyes/strength in her voice



Vets call her tortoiseshell./To me she looks grey/except that as she moves/it seems that waves of light/ripple through her fur.


My island rises/in dreams or when rain/settles dark, or the ocean/wallows and froths./I remember being held/contained by its shores.



Soft night at home/after the long long day./I sleep awake/& dreams begin:/I’m driving & driving/the long road home/to be with you.


Tanka on Tuesday: June 2009

(from the MySpace site "Tanka on Tuesday")


head on the pillow
one hand tucked under your cheek
as I gaze at you
your sleeping face turns to mine
your mouth open a little


In sudden bloom
in brief winter sun
two white orchids
surprise my front garden
with reminders of spring.


after much rain
two rosebuds bloom bright pink
in mid-winter
on the beach two children
beam as if they know me


a lifetime of stars
from cold south isle or tropics
loving Orion
(called Saucepan here upside-down)
and always seeking the Cross

Verse Portrait 78: Abused and Neglected

He is afraid. Always.
I don’t know if he knows
the always. He knows
the sometimes,
the worst, the most
immediate. He knows
he has no-one but himself
to bring himself up. Not me –
not often enough, no blood
connection, and old
like grandmother, though I try
mothering, in my blunt
and sometimes cranky
way (when I’m most alarmed).
19 already and nowhere
to go, still nowhere
for escape.

1 July 2009

Eastward on long stems: haiku for June 2009


May drizzle.
The rosebush grows taller
and sprouts new buds.


How reassuring
back in the day, that my shrink
watched "Lost in Space" too.


Look! a rainbow
arching over our street
against grey sky.


Morning chill
pale sunlight filtering
through fern leaves.


For Aung San Suu Kyi

the lady’s birthday
today she turns 64
yes we still need her


Winter solstice
the sky is one grey cloud
rain comes down heavy


June sun
lightens the grey sky
as I would your cares


moonlight and jasmine
through billowing blue curtains
night fills the cottage

night in your cottage
jasmine scented and moonlit
wafts to my daydreams

I'm in your cottage
wafted on scent of jasmine
and blue-white moon rays


this time of Solstice
the world protests injustice
the wheel turns for change

(inspired by seeing the cyber-community mobilise
for Aung San Suu Kyi and the Iranians)


unpruned roses
lean eastward on long stems
June sky drizzling