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.

31 August 2010

Always there's dancing: August Tanka 2010

Cascading orange
the neighbour’s vine and flowers
pour over my fence
announcing the early Spring
with a surge of warm colour.


I anticipate
summer’s blue sky, cool water —
but I’ll miss the creek
where I swam with pelicans
before we moved into town.


Heavy, steady rain,
gutters like torrents gushing —
and I’m out in it.
How delightful to come home
at last and write a tanka!


On this fine Spring day
the lawn is full of flowers:
bright dandelions,
clover, and unknown blue ones —
weeds I don’t want to remove.


In the fierce sun
by a pool in Italy
books are discarded
as the poet comes unstuck
'twixt melting verse, hot kisses.


Mum’s old sugar-spoon
that I saved after she died
is too tarnished now.
In my seventy-first year
I throw it out — my childhood.


Always there’s dancing
as your breast rises in sleep,
as the moon rises
like a white gardenia,
smoke and music dance on air.


Barbra Streisand sings.
My husband turns her up loud
while he makes coffee.
He brings it to me in bed
to the the strains of ‘I Loves You’.


The fifth and seventh were responses to tanka 
by Donall Dempsey at Tanka on Tuesday, MySpace

2 August 2010

For a long moment: July tanka 2010

Our small cul-de-sac
ghostly and peaceful at once
is perfectly still
under the three points of light
from street lamps and rising dawn.


There are some who like
the wild, wet cold of Melbourne,
ferocious traffic
etcetera. There is no
accounting for tastes, my dear.


My aunt’s wide warm smile
greets me now from the DVD
my cousin sent me
of the recent funeral:
the photo on her coffin.


To go deep, I play.
How solitaire frees my thoughts,
poems release them —
so I find myself able
to float on those depths, then dive.


Oh splendid sunset
peach-coloured over the hills,
the navy-blue hills
ringing the fading valley
where the light starts to withdraw.

For a long moment
light suffuses the valley
with warm clarity.
Outlines of trees and houses
glow as light pauses, withdraws.

Like a dying fire
behind criss-crossing branches
red intensifies:
the blaze before the embers
when the light flares and withdraws.


He ran to the car
(we’d paused at the traffic lights).

‘Quick,’ I said, ‘Get in.’
He collapsed on the back seat
laughing, his dark curls bouncing.


The cloud's silver edge: lunes (and haiku) for July 2010

The cloud’s silver edge
turns to gold.
My old man gets well.


On phototgraph : Gyorgy Kepes ("Juliet's Shadow Caged," 1939)
courtesy of Joel Soroka Gallery

My shadow looks in
yet forward
I face out, gaze back.

Opposites, we’re tied
and mirrored.
See: we are both caged.


the black snow
from the cane fires begins
marking the season

across the road
two black birds flap slowly
this bleak day


I hear my cat snore
and pretend
my man’s home in bed


Helping him undress:
‘You great big beautiful doll!’
making him laugh.


The rain-washed street
shines in early morning light.
The slightest breeze....


Response to a haiku about koi

Pretty things the koi —
in northern ponds and rivers.
Here we carp at them!

For one man's meat fish is
another's introduced pest:
dangerous beauty.


Spring blows hot and cold
enfolding, piercing....


'Smoke gets in your eyes'
he sang on the old record.
My Mum sang along.


1 August 2010

This Sunday

I sat in the sun with my friends
late afternoon, eating Tim Tams
after the Reiki class and the photos,
listening to Brad read poems —
warm, and reluctant to move.

This day was sacred to Brigid
Goddess of healing and poetry;
it was also National Tree Day
and all the way there we kept admiring
the tall trees along the road.

Our friends’ pet bird died this morning;
they were sad when we arrived
and will weep once more now we’ve gone.
Sometimes death is the ultimate healer
but we do not like to think so.

And yet today was a happy day
of laughter as well as tears,
a day of feasting and music
as these new friendships deepened.
All we love dies, and lives.

8 Days of Happiness: 8 / Six Sentences