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.

4 November 2010

Beginning / Arrival

After editing, what was one long poem has been divided into two (and tweaked a bit).


He bounced in the door, grinning.
‘Would you like to go to Fiji?’
All his friends and their wives
were going to Fiji that year.
‘Sure,’ I said, ‘Anywhere.’
I’d never been out of Australia.

Then he came home
with tickets for Bali instead.
He’d dreamed of Bali
since he was a boy
reading old travel books
that his grandfather owned.

‘Fine by me,’ I said.
‘Anywhere you like.
What will we do with the kids?’
He looked at me
as if I’d gone mad.
‘Take them with us, of course!’

We flew Garuda.
Everyone was in holiday mood,
the stewards and hostesses
happy too. Lots of kids on board;
nobody minded them running about.
We had a drink and relaxed.


When we landed, I was shocked.
A tiny airport, a few palms,
and soldiers with guns.
The taxi wound though narrow lanes.
The heat felt solid. How long before
I could get my stockings off?

We walked past reception
through a door in a wall
and into a wide courtyard.
A profusion of bougainevillea
half hid, half revealed
thatched two-storey huts.

A man lounged at the bar
looking as if he lived there.
I heard him order a gin sling
in a Pommy accent.
‘It’s like something out of
Somerset Maugham,’ I whispered.

Our hut had a ceiling fan
and a green tiled bath and basin.
A shy young waiter appeared
with a tray of welcoming drinks.
He was slim and golden.
Just like that, I fell in love.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2010: 2/2
Prompt: A ‘ready to start’ poem


  1. I look at my notes on travelling and it all seems like Somerset Maugham! We thought the seventies were different. ha ha.