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.

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.


  1. Not sure about the opening and closing stanzas, but the others are vivid and full of atmosphere.


  2. Thank you very much, dear Myron. I'll have a rethink about opener and closer.

  3. I've now improved the piece; grateful for your heads-up. :)

  4. Rosemary, this one is exceptional.