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')

This blog is not, 'Here are my very best poems'. It's for work in progress, subject to revision.
Posts may be updated without notice at any time. Completed work appears in my books.

31 July 2010

Teaching Reiki

The fullness of today
wants quiet contemplation,
not a poem. I have never
been able to write what Reiki is,
and the contentment is so complete
I just want to hug it.

I could talk of my three students:
the man full of bounce and joy
whose energy expanded rapidly
so that after the second attunement
he felt it burn; the girl slim and delicate
whose touch was cool like silk;
and the woman of steady warmth
whose crown opened like a lotus blossom.

I could say that this
is the weekend of Imbolc,
and I am teaching three witches.
It’s a time for purification
and new beginnings, a time
of gradually increasing light.

Instead, I’ll go to bed
now that I have put together
their folders of notes
and printed and signed and stamped
their certificates, ready for tomorrow —
to dream, perhaps, of wordless love
or messages conveyed by touch,
smiling as I sleep.


8 Days of Happiness: 7 / Six Sentences

30 July 2010

A Happy Day in North-West Pakistan

Her name is Parveen.
She teaches a girls’ school
in Pakistan — the north-west
corner of Pakistan.

This, we are told, is
‘the center of a deadly triangle
between the Taliban,
Pakistani army forces
and U.S. drone attacks’.

Once it was ‘known
as the “Switzerland of Pakistan”
for its scenic and natural
beauty‘, but not any more.

Since the school was bombed,
she holds her classes in a tent.
‘The few days we don't hear gunfire
or explosions,’ she says,
‘We feel really happy.’


Based on an email from Amnesty International.
Link: Eyes on Pakistan


(This poem was written before the news of the disastrous floods in north-west Pakistan.)
 

8 Days of Happiness: 6 / Six Sentences

29 July 2010

Before Bed

The door is shut.
The kitchen light is out.
The dishes are done
and the cats are fed.
My man has already
retired for the night.

I’ve finished another
piece of proofreading,
answered one question
in a psychic reading
to be sent by email,
and fobbed off a late caller.

I get into my nightie,
pour a glass of port
and sink into the poem
of today’s happiness,
again relishing
the small and ordinary.


8 Days of Happiness: 5 / Six Sentences

28 July 2010

The End of the Day

Her happiest time of day is night:
bedtime, when she snuggles
and receives the caresses
that aren’t always spared
during busy daylight hours.
At some point she just decided
night was her cuddle time.

It’s a threesome.
When he and I draw apart,
she enters the space between us
and we both stroke her
as she purrs,
and purrs and purrs,
settling herself against us.

Funny little grey cat,
getting old, as we are —
she’s even more determined now
to have what she needs,
and she knows her needs.
She has grown ever more loving
as she ages; we have too.


8 Days of Happiness: 4 / Six Sentences

Place

Coming back from Tweed
there is always that moment when
the mountains come into view,
the hills and mountains
that ring Murwillumbah.
Some of them have local names
and some of those have become official:
Sphinx Rock, The Devil’s Armchair,
The Pinnacle, Hospital Hill ...
and of course, presiding over
the whole span of the deep blue
Border Ranges: Wollumbin.
Ownership and name
are in dispute. Perhaps
they always were. Mt Warning
it’s often still called, a foreign name.
Some claimants say it looks like
a brush turkey, and it does and I
believe them, yet also,
wider and higher than all the rest,
it is mighty enough to be named,
as others say, for a warrior
and beautiful enough to be,
as only a few insist, a Goddess —
and it calls to me always;
it spells home, and always
the sight of it makes me
instantly happy.


8 Days of Happiness: 3 (2) / Six Sentences

(Late yesterday I came up with this extra piece which really belongs to that day.)

27 July 2010

Siesta Time

He lies at the bedroom door
on guard like a dog —
my black cat.

My husband,
napping, rests secure
this overcast afternoon.

It’s an indoor kind of day:
light rain this morning,
dark sky now.

(Last night’s moon
was full but unseen.
Only the cats went outside.)

Happiness is a warm house,
with my man in it
and the cats,

peacefully
stretched out and snoozing,
while I make a new poem.


8 Days of Happiness: 3 / Six Sentences

Visit from the Surrogate Grandson

He has permed his hair,
he is wearing a white top
with a cable pattern
and two gold rings
(one his mother’s,
who doesn’t know
he’s got it; ‘Take
very good care of it,’ I say,
‘There’ll be hell to pay
if anything happens to that’)
and he is smiling
because it’s so long
since we saw each other
and now we are....

I was about to crack,
to ring him up and say,
‘Isn’t there a bus?’
it being now too far i.e. too long
to drive over and fetch him,
leaving Andrew alone, still weak
from the recent illness,
and no-one else who could stay—
but he beat me to it,
phoned this morning
excited with details
of bus timetables, saying,
‘Can I come over today?’
and yes, we were free!

Oh, we just did
the normal things, you know,
like bringing him with us
to Andrew’s check-up
where we sat in the waiting room
and waited, with time
for all the news
of each other‘s lives,
and when we were through
we drove down to Subway,
left Andrew in the car
while we went to choose,
and he chose Chicken
Teriyaki, so I did too.

Back home, I made him
strong coffee the way he likes,
and he played us his new DVD
of Tina Arena looking weird
in an awful dress, but sounding
surprisingly jazzy,
so I liked her after all
which made him glad
and me too; I even decided
to get some of her tracks
on my iTunes, which I never
would have thought of
before, when I didn’t
think I liked the way she sang.

We played around
on the MacBook Pro
where I showed him
Mickie’s new photos
on facebook, sliding
down a sandhill, looking
happier than I’ve ever seen her,
and a photo of her new man
who, we agreed, looks
very gorgeous, and
I told him how the rest
of the old mob are going,
and then showed him pics
of the new mob here in town.

The time went fast
of course, and too soon
I had to get him back
to the bus; we were just
heading out the door
when Andrew said, ‘Hey, wait!’
and gave him a huge hug
and to me an admonition
about meridian tapping
which indeed I did show him
at the bus stop hastily
(he wasn’t even embarrassed)
before it lumbered along
and he kissed me and went.


8 Days of Happiness: 2  / Six Sentences

25 July 2010

Days of Happiness

Jennie wants ideas
for writing a poem a day.
Among others, I suggest
the ‘8 Days of Happiness’ meme,
where every day you find
some new reason for happiness
and write of that.

I decide to do it too; I could use
finding some causes,
just now, for happiness.
He asked me what it was like for me
when he went to hospital
for three weeks, and nearly didn’t
come back out ... then we both
relived that distress.

Happiness today, for me,
is a cold spell when we stay inside
and he, still weak, lies down to rest
in his own bed in his own home.
It’s a cloudy sky he lived to see,
above a garden of weeds that awaits
new order, new sunlight,
and us old dears in our chairs
enjoying each new day.


8 Days of Happiness: 1 / Six Sentences

(I'm also playing a game with form, inspired by the site Six Sentences.)

23 July 2010

Silent song in the mind: June Lunes 2010

Reposted from The Passionate Crone blog

Purring pussycat
all night long
she sleeps in my arms.

29/5/10


On our verandah
butcher bird
sings to greet the sun.

4/6/10


She goes away,
wanders back for a look.
Already it’s changed.

5/6/10


Went to town.
There was Patsy walking around
in the sun.

7/6/10


In his photos
I notice the sad eyes,
wish I didn’t.

8/6/10


My favourite mountain —
I see it every day:
my father’s painting.

10/6/10


Wakeful all night long
I remembered
my very first love.

12/6/10



Warm winter sunlight.
We lunch with old friends,
drive home replete.

12/6/10


Confessions

Wining and dining.
In my youth
it was a prelude.

Now that I am old
food and wine
are ends in themselves.

********************

He’s away tonight.
I buy chocolates, and snuggle
with my cats.

15/6/10


Silent song in the mind
creates a crescendo:
internal music needing no instrument.

23/6/10


Funeral

Will there be roses
tomorrow?
She loved them in life.

24/6/10


The city of Perth
today hosts
farewells and haiku.

25/6/10

Lune Sequences: May 2010

Reposted from The Passionate Crone blog
 

Lune Sequence for Aunty Ev

My dear Aunty
is dying far from here
they tell me.

She is old
and has forgotten her life.
She is afraid.

My cousin asks,
‘Will you write the eulogy?’
Yes I will.

But I keep
putting off beginning the task.
My dear Aunty.


Lune Sequence for D

My favourite plant
grows new leaves,
dark green and glossy.

This plant I have had
many years;
never learned its name.

It was a present —
all I keep
of that dead friendship.

As for my false friend,
I’ll never
say her name again.

The plant is hardy.
I like it:
a tough survivor.

Both writtem 25/5/10

Editorial: Lunes

I was going to discontinue this blog. Lately I'm exploring the lune instead of the haiku form. But wot-the-heck, lunes were invented as a form of English-language haiku, so I shall include them here and broaden the scope of this blog, rather than turning it into a static archive.

There are two kinds:

The Kelly lune has three lines of 5 syllables / 3 syllables / 5 syllables.

The Collom lune has three lines of 3 words / 5 words / 3 words.

There are no other rules.

In May and June I posted some over at The Passionate Crone, which I'll leave there and also repost here; then will post newer ones here, not there.

16 July 2010

Nuit

She is arched
protectively
over the earth.
She is black
and her body
is made of stars.

Her long hair
drapes her shoulders
like smooth dark wings.
Her fingertips
are extended
touching the ground.

My friend Geb,
old earth god, he
is who loves her.
Between them,
good kind parents,
they hold us safe.

Their wisdom
is very old
yet they are new.
They are new
every day
as the sun is.

12 July 2010

The Helpers

In the waiting room one white-haired woman
has a walking-stick painted from handle to tip
in a garden of florals, pretty as a summer dress.

Another has decorated her wheely-walker
in big bright stickers, joyous as a children’s party —
butterflies, and her name: Eunice.

Andrew’s walker is unadorned black. It’s new
and has the wide wheels that are better on carpet.
I tell myself its plainness means it isn’t permanent.

7 July 2010

More lunes for June

Went to town.
There was Patsy walking around
in the sun.

7/6/10


In his photos
I notice the sad eyes,
wish I didn’t.

8/6/10


My favourite mountain —
I see it every day:
my father’s painting.

10/6/10


Wakeful all night long
I remembered
my very first love.

12/6/10


Warm winter sunlight.
We lunch with old friends,
drive home replete.

12/6/10


Confessions

Wining and dining.
In my youth
it was a prelude.

Now that I am old
food and wine
are ends in themselves.

********************

He’s away tonight.
I buy chocolates, and snuggle
with my cats.

15/6/10


Silent song in the mind
creates a crescendo:
internal music needing no instrument.

23/6/10


Funeral

Will there be roses
tomorrow?
She loved them in life.

24/6/10


The city of Perth
today hosts
farewells and haiku.

25/6/10

Contemplating a goodbye: June tanka 2010

This quiet morning,
contemplating a goodbye,
I’m soothed by sunlight
nourishing both vines and weeds,
and by mountains deep-sea-blue.

*****************

As one person leaves
another is arriving
at the same station.
The children wave in welcome
as two new journeys begin.

1/6/10


I watch him walking
alone through strands of music
as if unaware
of the two violinists
duetting beside the path.

*******************

When the light wanders
over the side of the hill
like an animal
roaming in search of its prey,
the Wild Woman starts to sing.

Listen! Can you hear
the song of the Wild Woman
rising from the earth,
swelling along the ridges
and infiltrating the sky?

******************

It's sunny today
and the cats sprawl on the bed
with Spouse who awaits
breakfast — muesli not porridge.
(It's my turn, and I'm no cook.)

8/6/10


A glass of muscat.
I smile to recall my youth,
‘misspent’ you might say.
I spent it with certain men
who wined and dined and so on.

******************

A carafe of red!
I affected a beret,
admired de Beauvoir,
frequented the Troubadour ...
smoked Black Russian Sobranies.

15/6/10


The week of falling:
falling apart, why fight it?
My darling fell ill;
my old aunt fell into death.
(Did she fall up, to Heaven?)

‘Things fall apart’, viz.:
I decide to sleep, but then
the wardrobe rail breaks,
all the clothes land in a heap.
Time to discard old garments.

22/6/10


Old bodies, alas,
can grow uncomfortable,
the garments of flesh
become too heavy to bear.
The soul goes naked.

23/6/10

Verse Portrait 87: Her Name Was ...

She was on MySpace
friend of friends.
We wanted to be
real friends not just listed;
but....

The poem she wrote at 10
thrilled me —
its rhythms,
its message,
its everything: perfect.
I praised, she dismissed.

The adult work
I couldn’t like.
All intellectual
wordplay, I thought,
clever for the sake.
Others admired, enthused;
the fault, no doubt, was mine.

Suddenly she’s gone.
Don’t even
remember her last name.
(Sad.)