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.

24 November 2010

Lost and Found

(The Effect of Holidaying in Bali)

We lost
the certainty
of being our greatest loves.

We lost the keeping
of our promises to each other,
the warmth of them,
and truth.

He did allow himself
to be seduced
by the soft-voiced young woman
with lowered eyes.

And I, refraining from golden youth,
fell into other (unregretted) arms.
A fellow traveller, a romantic
tale I won’t tell here.


We found
the real truth of each other
to each other —
which we then ignored.

In our hearts
we were brother and sister,
not lovers.
Not even best friends, but mirrors.

We found a way back
to our interrupted marriage.
There was love; it was real.
And there were the kids.

I played him like a whore
rather than risk them a stepmother —
mine had been cruel, my Dad too weak.
And that’s the truth.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2010: 18
Prompt: a ‘lost and found’ poem.
(The marriage didn't last - how could it? - but it endured until the kids were grown.)

Submitted 23 May 2013 to Poets United's Verse First: The Wild Truth


  1. Oh wow very raw and very honest, I am very impressed with your for sharing this it takes courage. I wish you all the happiness life has to offer

    1. Thank you. I found much happiness later.

  2. I admire your honest sharing here. Sometimes, in retrospect, these kinds of 'sowing one's oats' experiences, help us to know what is REALLY important as we find our way back to the better path.

  3. For both of us, at that time, we realised that family stability mattered most.

  4. Truths of our wild lives, spoken, poetical, seem more brutal than actuality because instead of taking years, reading takes seconds. Do I dare look at the 20 second version of my life? I'll try because of the stark beauty of yours, but mine might need a novel!

  5. This poem had me saying, 'wow' at the end. You pull the reader in, do a 180 and then throw another punch, 'wow.' A very evocative poem and done skillfully without using or saying too much. I really appreciate this work. All my best as you delve into your memoirs and revisions!

  6. Rosemary, you share so much here with such honesty. I"m glad you were able to stay together to maintain family stability but I'm also glad to read you found even more happiness later.

  7. Rosemary,

    In truth, I am disapppointed that there was not a longer version...An enjoyable poem, with its realistic heart:)


    1. Dear Eileen, click on the tag Remembering Bali to see the other 33 poems which make up the longer version! :)

  8. I believe it takes a lot to share a personal piece. I think sometimes writing everything out and sharing helps somewhat. Though I still believe it is a hard job to do it. Hats off. Remarkable.

    1. Prompts are useful in opening the subconscious for what needs to be expressed.

  9. Your honesty is refreshing and makes your reader stop and really consider their own reality. I believe that is the focus of any worthwhile poet. Congratulations to both of you,


  10. Wow. How powerfully, eloquently you share what must have been one of your most challenging life periods. You have a way, honest and unashamed, of putting your truth into poem in a way that makes the reader see, feel, understand the nuances of a reality not her own. You are so very good at this writing business.

  11. WOW, Rosemary, you have BLOWN ME AWAY. By your honesty, by the life you lived, your strength, your dedication to family, your unflinching realization of just what it was you had, and the sticking it out for the kids' sake........your honesty is so powerful. Your wisdom so huge. I am so thankful that after all that, there was your dear Andrew and the life you shared together.

  12. Admire your honesty, Rosemary. Its not easy to admit and carry on living. But sometimes such events unlock certain unique propositions ignored till then and priority finds its place!

  13. Like the others, I also admire your honesty. Life sometimes takes strange twists and turns.

  14. I was in Bali with my loving wife some years ago! Yes the lasses were bewitching. Luckily nothing untoward occurred. The setting and the mood were open. You took it all in your stride with great courage!. The family is uppermost! Truly said Rosemary!


  15. Thank you all. I'm quite blown away by your responses, the warmth of which certainly makes my truth-telling worthwhile! Yes, it was a challenging period of my life, but there were many compensations and it's a long time ago now. :)

    1. Yes, truth telling is worth while, Rosemary. You could definitely lead a 'master class.' Thank you for being you.

  16. Rosemary, this is brutally, poignantly honest. Your accounting of your marriage, this lapse, what followed... many marriages hold together (however many times mended) until the kids leave. Once two people look each other square in the eye and see neither passion nor need, it's over. Sorry...

    And yet, you have blossomed! So good on you! Amy

  17. No one does truth quite like "The Rose" ... Wonderful :)