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.

22 December 2010


Gold moon
low and bright,
with the curved shadow
halfway across.

We didn’t wait
out in the cold.

It was so quick,
when we looked again
the moon was bright white
high and full.

Today the first image
still floats in my mind.

19 December 2010

Sweet Chili Calamari Stir Fry

It was a quiet taste but with character
like the way my favourite teacher
used to speak: quite softly
yet with authority.

It was a sustained flavour too,
as if the teacher’s voice
had explained at length
and completely.

The aftertaste lingered
subtle as a whisper,
like understanding
coming bit by bit.

At last it was only
in the mind,
like a song.


I just came across this in my 'Working on' folder and decided it's fine as is. It was inspired by a prompt, which I can't now find the source of, to describe one sense in terms of another. The shape of the poem on the page is my own idea, illustrating visually (a third sense!) the 'fading away' progression in the other senses mentioned. 

I include the date of writing as it's posted so long after.

5 December 2010

Verse Portrait 89. The Lady from Lombok

‘My husband beats me,’ she murmured,
eyes downcast, to Bill in reply to his praise
of her gentle beauty. Perhaps she thought
to reject an advance? I never saw a mark
on her delicate face, nor a bruise
on her dainty arm, and she didn’t move
like one with hidden injuries; she was lithe.

Nor did she, later, reject his advances.
I wasn’t with him on that trip. But I knew.

Now also forms part of my 'Remembering Bali' series.

Another year, another word

I am 71 now, which gives me another word to play with — if anyone except me is counting.

This blog has been languishing many months (again!) while I've been busy with other projects. But, however slowly, it shall continue.

I resume at this particular time because, whilst I always intended to write a poem on my next subject, it happens that I need it now to complete a series on Bali which has just appeared at my Passionate Crone blog.

2 December 2010

Dawning excitement: November tanka/gogyohka

Two gogyohka:

Sunny morning.
I open the blinds
just enough.
The street is quiet,
the garden shines.


Melbourne Cup Day:
dawning excitement.
The winner will be
the best horse —
so you think.


The hill top
is full of flowers
after rain.
I climb skyward
in scented air.


quiet drive
after the meeting
empty roads
warm soft darkness
and my man waiting


My rose blooms again,
one flower on the long stem.
Spring is really here.
I miss the kookaburras,
not seen these past rainy weeks.


In this Caldera
white ibis wander freely
parading the streets,
decorating trees en masse —
reminders of my friend Thoth.


Spring rain.
My herb garden
spills over:
white flowers
on the lawn.


1 December 2010


What did I learn?
Perhaps that we don’t learn —
killing the things we love.

My stepdaughter visited Kuta
just last week. Gentle people,
she remarks, but expensive taxis!
‘No bemos?’ I ask. (Little buses.)
In my day they were everywhere.
She never even heard the word.

‘Wish I’d known you were going,’ I say,
‘I need some new sarongs.
The ones I bought in ‘73
have finally all worn out.’ ‘Oh!’
she says, pleased, ‘I got you one!’

That’s one thing I learned from Bali:
in summer I live in sarongs
(thirty-seven summers now).

I open the paper and read of a man
who fell in love, as I did, with the place,
in 1983 when (a few years late for me)
you could build a home there,
live there — and he did.

It was the spiritual world
and the aesthetics which drew him:
‘the offerings in the homes,
the stonework in the temples ...
being part of community,
and answerable to the gods.’

Never mind the shops and tourism,
he says. The real life of Bali remains
resilient. That I am glad to learn!

Note: Last three verses refer to an article 
in The Sydney Morning Herald News Review 
Nov. 27-28 2010: A new life in the lap of the gods.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2010: 30
Prompt: lessons learned and/or lessons not learned.

In dripping rain: November 2010

Three young magpies strut
with high heads
in their fine feathers.


al fresco dining
heavy rain
my birthday party


six Indian mynahs
huddle squawking on my rail
in dripping rain


Busy, can’t recall
that coffee
I only just drank!


Our bed is noisy.
I hear snuggled cats purring
and hubby’s deep snores.