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.

31 December 2011

As the Year Ends

not knowing she is atheist
he sends up a prayer

through air and ether to heaven
for the girl across the water

who now must be dead or near
whose spirit felt close last night

as if she hovered to read
a poem I could not write


An sequence of attempted Crystalline couplets, submitted for (and the form explained at) dVerse FormForAll — Couplets for the New Year — but I am still caught in this present ending.

29 December 2011

Writing the Prison

(Acknowledgments to Anne Sexton’s “Ringing the Bells”)

And this is the way we go
to work in prison
and this is the gate where we stand
still for the metal-detector and open our bags
and open the books in our bags,
and these are the writers in prison
who wait for Friday,
two hours a week that feel like freedom;
and because we are working in poetry
and because that’s another country,
an open space outside what is known,
we are the circle of laughing poets
who lounge in the plastic chairs in the Education shed
and smile at the baffled officers
who watch but leave us alone,
who watch us escape
the gates and doors with locks;
and these are the bluestone blocks we pass
on the way into the prison
guarded by guns as if it were true
we are not free, we are not free;
and these are the tunnels we walk on Tuesday
in maximum security,
cages that whisper open electronically,
whisper open electronically and whisper closed;
and this is how the poetry shouts,
as outspoken and bold
as a fearless child,
and this is always my freedom responding
to the words that respond to the prison
where poets write and are free
two hours a week, on Tuesday or Friday,
when the door in the wall cracks open
and lets me in, and we meet;
and although I may work and go
out again through the tunnels and gates and locks,
I am the one who will never
escape the prison.


Written in 1987
First published
La Mama Poetica anthology (Melb. University Press 1989)
Also in Walking the Dogs (Pariah Press anthology, 1994)
Included in the author's Secret Leopard: New and Selected Poems 1974-2005 (Paris, Alyscamps Press, 2005).

Posted here now because of a conversation in which this experience came up. A conversation in haiku, actually, at Haiku on Friday, on facebook.

Submitted to Poetry Pantry #81 at Poets United

28 December 2011

I'm replete: December tanka 2011

suddenly onscreen
yellow gorse with prickly leaves
straight from my childhood
on the island growing wild
long time since I tramped that land

7/12/11


for dinner
our broccoli
newly picked
our own fresh herbs
in the omelette

12/12/11


My sixtyish friend
is visiting Zambia.
Young, she taught there —
now meets those women again.
Her glad email makes me cry.

13/12/11


the clover is out
all over the nature strips
at the corner house
steering the mower she laughs
and waves from her father’s lap

I trudge up the hill
tonight Basil the corgi
rests on his doorstep
I click my tongue as I pass
we’ve had two days of cuddles

old Coco spaniel
stops to let a car swerve past
then goes slow uphill
but I notice he’s faster
than old me puffing behind

20/12/11


I’m replete
contented
full
of everything
but poetry

Post-xmas #gogyohka

28/12/1

Submitted to dVerse Open Night #24 and Poets United's Poetry Pantry #81

14 December 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Mohana, who blogs at insanebloom, kindly awarded me this, weeks ago. Time I passed it on! The rules are:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 5 other bloggers.
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

The dilemma is, with so many wonderful blogging poets, how do I choose? And surely those I admire will have received it already? Also I don't want to double up on those I already gave the Stylish Blogger award, even though they deserve it. (That one I posted on another blog, to leave this for poems. This time I'm including the award here, thinking that more readers of poetry are likely to find it here.)

But before I list my chosen poets, I am supposed to reveal seven things about myself — things, I suppose, that you might not otherwise know or guess. (So the fact that I have cats wouldn't count, as anyone who reads my poems will find that out sooner or later.) Hmmm ...

Random facts about me:
(I don't promise they'll be interesting)

1. I have never had my appendix out.

2. When I was 15 I acquired two stepbrothers, both named Bill (i.e. both my parents remarried and each of their new spouses had a son called Bill).

3. Summer always takes me by surprise, in that I never quite get with the insect repellant in time to stop those first mosquito bites.

4. Everyone thinks my favorite colour is purple. I do love it, and love to wear it, but my real favourite colour to gaze upon is deep blue.

5. At university, I used to get Honours marks in (some) Philosophy subjects even though I was only doing a Pass degree.

6. I was a timid child and a shy, awkward teen. (No-one believes this, in the face of my adult outrageousness.)

7. Yes, I do know my fashion sense is eccentric. I like it, OK!

Here are my nominees for this award, with links to their blogs:

Brian Miller waystationone

Jenne’ R Andrews La Parola Vivace 

Brendan MacOdrum Oran’s Well

Lorna Cahall lorna cahall

Merlene Fawdry Poetry in the Rough

(If any of them turn out to have receive the award already, I'll find some replacements. With all the brilliant bloggers around, it won't be hard!)

12 December 2011

Quilt

I made it when my kids were small.
It lay on our queen-size bed
all the further years of that long marriage.

Not your neat, traditional crochet squares
but larger, lacier, the pattern
more complex. I was proud

of this persevering work of my hands:
a fine thing, a whole year to make.
I loved its rich, strong colours.

It was variegated green, emerald to sage.
It was two tones of red, intense
and understated. And the wide borders

were black. I thought they gleamed
with power and love. The top, defined
by wider black, turned back over the pillow.

After the marriage ended in tears,
I folded the quilt away in a cupboard ...
bundled it off at last to the charity shop.

What comfort could it be to my old age?
Rage had turned it ugly in my sight.
Grief had made it lie too heavy on me.

Now I live in a warm climate. I like
the Indian cotton throw I bought:
lighter, freer, matching my present love.


Published in Notes for the Translators: from 142 Australian and New Zealand Poets, ed. Christopher (Kit) Kelen. Macao, ASM, 2013



Intended for dVerse Poetics: Fabric of our lives — but I was too late. Check the link anyway, for a diversity of good poetry!

4 December 2011

Being Super

I am not
the small, lone girl who
runs and jumps
on her lawn.
I am strong: beyond hurt. I
am power now. Me.

My cloak floats
out from my shoulders.
One leap and
I fly high,
up, up and AWA-A-A-A-Y — oh yes,
I am Superman!

Submitted for dVerse Poetics - going Comic challenge. (The form is a double shadorma.)

1 December 2011

Oh Summer, Summer! November haiku 2011

early morning
yells and slamming doors
arouse the street

11/11/11


I dance to Janis
Me & Bobby McGee
and my broom

12/11/11


morning
cats and coffee
wake me

18/11/11


frothy ocean
the tangy smell of spray
oh Summer, Summer!

25/11/11

Other side of the glass: November tanka 2011

on his balcony
cool breeze on a warm spring day
entertaining friends
the young man smiles as he sings
of ageing and loneliness

8/11/11


when visitors come
my cat waxes voluble
greeting them at length
loud conversational mews
complaining she’s underfed

15/11/11


‘Must be getting old.
I just can’t raise it tonight.’
How astonishing —
at 82 years 9 months
and fresh home from hospital.

22/11/11


window-frog
half the length of my thumb
pale belly
green toe-pads like pin-heads
other side of the glass

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

‘write of Wild’
others raised leopards
alI I saw
was a tiny frog
high up my window

29/11/11

29 November 2011

Rubaiyat: Ways of Going

My days are slowly drifting into rest —
a kind of ease and yet a kind of test.
Though slowing age has made me leisurely,
I miss being quick and busy; I miss my zest.

And still I say I’m lucky. Not for me
(not yet at any rate) the agony
of cruel illness, not for me the blight
of dimming mind in dread senility.

I think again of her mind, young and bright.
She’s ready now, she says, to enter night.
Her mind is housed in an invaded brain,
the tumour slowly crowding out her light.

She’s tired of fighting, certain it’s in vain.
Shut away from sunlight, trees and rain,
she turns eighteen but must not celebrate.
Her mind and body learn increasing pain.

I don’t believe she has one certain fate —
but she believes, raging and desolate.
‘Live fast, die young ...’ Some fools might count her blest;
but she’s been neither fool nor profligate.

I’m old: I’ve lived a life, fulfilled a quest.
I watch my sun start dipping to the west
with no great eagerness; but I admit,
aching for my young friend, I come off best.


Submitted to ‘imaginary garden with real toad’, Rubaiyat prompt nd also to dVerse Open Link Night #20

23 November 2011

Last Light

In Memoriam Joyce Lee 1913-2007

I read your last book backwards
dearest Joyce, beginning
with your over-90, inevitable
reflections on approaching death

and wandering back 
through final memories,
a new perspective on the past
more peaceful, even more grateful

then arriving
at your last understanding
of childhood, existence itself
and your own country.

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

For many friends, as for me,
surely the subtle fragrance
of deep conversations with you
permeates these pages.

I muse on our last phone call.
You were afraid, you said.
You, with all your faith!
I had no comfort, but the book

tells me you heard:
‘Talk to that angel who visits you;
ask for help.’  You write of his help
at the end, brightening your sky.


The late Australian poet Joyce Lee is not to be confused with the English performance poet of the same name. Her last book, Bountiful Years, was published in 2007 by Rebus Press and launched posthumously. 


This piece is included in Poets United's Poetry Pantry #77.

11 November 2011

Prose to Poetry

At dVerse Critique and Craft this week, we were asked to turn an already poetic piece of prose into a poem, first arranging it as lines of verse and then crafting it further. 

I happen to be re-reading Rudyard Kipling’s Puck of Pook’s Hill at the moment. Kipling’s prose is beautiful (after all he was a poet too). I took excerpts from the chapter I’ve just finished, leaving out many connecting words and passages but otherwise not changing the language. I did arrange them into verses of equal length, even at this stage — can’t help myself — and already tried to hint at a new story.

Then I rearranged the verses further and left out even more words so as to (hopefully!) bring out the music. I did make some changes at this stage, e.g. to omit details irrelevant to the poem I'm creating, such as the names of the hill and the man, but they are very tiny changes.

The title I’ve given the poem in both cases is not the chapter heading (that is ‘A Centurion of the Thirtieth‘) but a phrase from the text.

They are still Kipling’s words, not mine, so I would have to call each version a found poem.

1

Una went alone to the Far Wood.

She looked down most cautiously, 
and saw a young man 
covered with hoopy bronze armour 
all glowing among the late broom. 
But what Una admired beyond all 
was his great bronze helmet 
with a red horse-tail that flicked in the wind. 
She could hear the long hairs rasp 
on his shimmery shoulder-plates.

He leaned forward, but his eye 
was caught by the setting sun.
It had come down to the top of Cherry Clack Hill, 
and the light poured in between the tree trunks 
so that you could see 
red and gold and black 
deep into the heart of Far Wood; 
and Parnesius in his armour shone  
as though he had been afire.

‘Wait!’ he said, lifting a hand, 
and the sunlight jinked on his glass bracelet, 
‘Wait! I pray to Mithras!’
He rose and stretched his arms westward, 
with deep, splendid-sounding words.
Through the goldy-brown light 
of the beech leaves they walked.  
They found themselves 
at the little locked gates of the wood.



2

Una went alone to the Far Wood

She saw a young man
all glowing among the late broom:
great bronze helmet with a red horse-tail
that flicked in the wind. 

She could hear the long hairs rasp 
on his shimmery shoulder-plates.
He leaned forward, but his eye 
was caught by the setting sun.

The light poured between tree trunks. 
You could see red and gold and black 
deep into the heart of Far Wood. 
He in his armour shone as though afire.

‘Wait!’ he said, lifting a hand. 
The sunlight jinked on his glass bracelet. 
‘Wait! I pray to Mithras!’ He rose 
and stretched his arms westward. 

Deep, splendid-sounding words
through the goldy-brown light 
of the beech leaves
at the locked gates of the wood.

5 November 2011

Missing

1
we walked hand in hand
now we reach out but can’t touch
do you lag behind
or are you leading the way
in another direction?

2
you come seeking me
‘I think I lost you,’ you say,
‘we lost connection’
I lean into your embrace
‘yes, I just wrote that poem’


Composed for the dVerse Man’yoshu prompt 
(though I was too late to include it in the list).


If you're looking for a post on colour, my apologies for the wrong link. Try this.

4 November 2011

Seasonal Colours















1

across the world
the waning days of Fall
are inspiring poets

brown leaves,
gold, orange and red
variations of light



2

in my garden
late Spring presents
mystery

I remember
orange blooms cascading
down the fence
















now on those vines
white flowers with crimson centres
flare and drop 
















the others
were winter flowers
startling

these new
delicate blossoms
embody Spring

it must be
that different vines
entangle


Submitted for Poets United's Thursday Think Tank #73.
I'm indebted to the prompt for some of the (stolen) phrases in 1. 
The autumn leaf picture by Ella Wilson comes from there too.





That Sunday: October tanka 2011

Spring morning
I walk down the steps
into sunshine
new cobweb tendrils
cling to my jade plant

4/10/11


two flying insects
thin green and round black
hit my window
then bounce away at once
back to the Spring garden

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

Full moon and one star
shining over my back yard.
I blow a quick kiss
and give thanks to the Goddess
that my sick friend becomes well.

11/10/11


a busy day
until he lies down to read
and drops asleep
curling into the pillow
the book moving with his breath

18/10/11


tall bamboo
behind my neighbour’s fence
is not much like
the round stems my Dad grew
when I was a child

I walk down
into the valley
by myself
and come back home
with a new tanka

I’m not brisk
I don’t wear special clothes
when I walk
I amble slowly 
the breeze in my hair

25/10/11


that Sunday
listening to Chopin
both of us
feeling as if we’d never
heard his music before 

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

the gargoyle
my son David brought me
from Paris
is free of its neck chain
but one wing is broken

26/10/11

in this land
we sit down on the ground
for a yarn
one way the invaded
have taken us over

31/10/11


near miss
on roundabout
lesson
don’t make poems
while driving

#gogyohka

31/10/11

Muffled thunder: October haiku 2011

playing chasey
the incoming tide
laughing

*********

quiet rain
tonight the world mourns
dead genius

‘Retweet if you’re 
touching an Apple product.’
I am, of course.

6/10/11


cold morning
woken too early
restless cats

my man wakes
demands the time
back to sleep

get up feed the cats
I’m awake
the cats are resting

#haiku #senryu #lune

7/10/11


wet Spring
the cacti grow 
invisibly

13/10/11


playing online
nourished by haiku
I forget breakfast

15/10/11


the empty bin
is propped on its side
by the yellow lid

across the road
the garbage bin looks jaunty
propped on its yellow lid

21/10/11


the clock
ticks loudly
late

28/10/11


imagine
light through the trees
grey magic

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

I prepare muesli
offering
to Hestia first

29/10/11


muffled thunder
the women meet
share secrets

30/10/11

1 November 2011

Beltane Night 2011

All week he’s been full 
of passion and play.
Tonight his back hurts.

I go out to see the moon
but it’s still a wet Spring —
she’s cloud-hidden again.

But I can write poems
in the fertile season,
warm offerings to Life.



Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #73.

31st October

The little girls from across the road
came trick-or-treating tonight
in their witch and fairy costumes.

We’d forgotten Halloween, crude
corruption of Samhain — 
which anyway is a different season 
here, different time of year.

But we had some jellybeans,
emergency rations in case
his blood sugar drops. I poured a handful 
into their empty icecream bucket.

I wonder what they’d have said
if they’d known the smiling old couple,
their neigbours, were actual witches.


Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #73.

29 October 2011

Streams of Consciousness

high above ocean 
on this piece of the hill
this peaceful hill

always had to
sit up straighter
speak when spoken

the little girls playing
across the road
laugh together

she had a language
of private gestures
quick faces made

in the yard opposite
swings and guinea-pigs
crowd 

cross your legs
at the ankles
don’t laugh out loud

expansive sunlight fills
the wide circle
of the cul-de-sac

that’s dangerous
unladylike
don’t be silly

Amanda yells to her kids
her smile is wide
her stance open

grown awkward
I returned home 
less and less often

at night I gaze
from my vantage
the street rests unafraid



For a dVerse exercise on conflation: expanding one poem with another which is unrelated. I chose to weave my two threads in and out of each other. I’m not sure it’s a true conflation; it could be said that there’s a relationship of contrast. And of course the title is slightly ironic; this is not a 'stream of consciousness' poem in the usual sense.

26 October 2011

Love (Etheree)


Love
has music
you don’t hear;
you are not listening
to the underneath of love
but to the lovely surface sounds
which are all cooings and slurpy kisses
catching your attention and filling up your ears
so you never discern those almost inaudible notes
that sing the promise of pain, of looming, inescapable sorrow.


An etheree is this form of poem, lines increasing by either words or syllabes, 1 - 10. I’ve used a word count here rather than syllable count. There can also be reverse etherees, and double etherees counting from 1 to 10 and back again from 10 to 1, or even double reverse etherees. I suspect I’m not done with this new (for me) discovery yet.

Between busy life and atrocious internet connection, I missed the ‘shape poem’ prompt at dverse, so am submitting this instead to OpenLinkNight #15.

16 October 2011

Not My Calling #BAD11

My garden
looks bedraggled
in the rain.

My one broccoli leaf
flourishing yesterday
is full of holes.

Half the mint
has suddenly turned brown.

I decide 
to keep buying my food.


This is my Blog Action Day post on the topic of Food. I have to hope the situation is not as bad as we fear, since I am such an abject failure at growing my own!


I am also submitting this for dVerse Poetics prompt, taboo subjects. Not that the subject of food is taboo in general, but this politically incorrect treatment of it on Blog Action Day is surely taboo! Shouldn't I be deploring the hunger in the world; shouldn't I be writing poems to encourage Westerners to grow veggies instead of giving up? Shouldn't I at least create a deep and substantial poem instead of this slight piece? I nearly didn't post it for fear of being seen to be shallow and selfish — and this prompt is all about overcoming our fears and writing the truthful poem anyway ... and then sharing it! (Besides, I have already tackled all the big taboo subjects, lol.)

9 October 2011

Soft Morning

Soft morning 
fresh from rain
the birds just beginning — 
and I walk out again
one childhood morning
from The Orchard House

my grandparents’ house
in Spreyton, Tasmania
early after rain
when the air
had just this light
this scent. 

7 October 2011

Girl Blowing Bubbles











Hard to see the girl
behind the bubbles she’s blowing
brightly filling the air.
Her face is covered 
in sparkling globes
that pour, more and more,
from her breath.

Look closely though
and you’ll see,
in the lifted arm
the straight head
the intensity of her stance,
how focused she is.
Nothing else exists

for her but the light she creates
over and over and over
floating away on the air
and being replaced.
I don’t need to see her face
to know her expression,
or to remember she’s me.

Friday 7 Oct. 2011

cold morning
woken too early
restless cats

my man wakes
demands the time
back to sleep

get up feed the cats
I’m awake
the cats are resting

#haiku #senryu lune#

Submitted for dVerse FormForAll prompt: Haiku and Senryu 
OK I snuck in a lune as well. I like lunes. And I should add for new readers that these days, like many contemporary haikuists, 
I favour short/long/short lines over 5/7/5.

5 October 2011

#BAD (Blog Action Day)

Blog Action Day rolls around again on October 16th, which is also World Food Day, so the topic of course is FOOD. I have registered this blog and also my personal blog SnakyPoet.  I hope to persuade the other members of WordsFlow to be in it too.

In case anyone hasn't caught up with Blog Action Day in the past, it's one day a year when bloggers all around the globe focus on one topic that we feel needs attention called to it. In the past the topic has been chosen by vote; this year, because of the coincidence of the date, it's already decided.

How one treats the topic is up to the individual blogger. How I'm going to approach it, I don't yet know, but I'm going to have fun thinking about it.

I know that whenever I give 'food' or 'eating' as topics in writing workshops, they're very inspirational! Food is primal, basic to our survival and therefore a great source of pleasure. Hunger is painful. Starvation is fatal. There are people in the world experiencing hunger and even famine right now. Oh yes, there's lots to write about!

30 September 2011

Hot windy day: Tanka for September 2011

blue-green waves
framed on the Courthouse wall
sequinned fish
in symmetrical rows
Young Offenders’ Program

5/9/11



farewelled
my visiting son
tearful
as silly mothers are
as mine was with me

6/9/11



these geraniums
started from a cutting
have come with me
from house to rented house
always making me smile

geraniums
cheery plants and hardy
blooming bright
remind me of my Dad
so very fond of them

over the way
children are singing
a schoolyard chant
on this peaceful day
children are laughing

on this date
forty-four years ago
I had been
a brand-new mother
for one whole day

closing my eyes
I lean against a post
almost nod off
until a smell of rain
sharpens the lazy air

13/911



hot windy day
the fire haze in the sky
thankfully old
from far north of here
chilling reminder

20/9/11



Those coils on my lawn —
brown snake or diamond python?
Live snake or shed skin?
Deceives me every time,
that twisting, exposed tree root.

27/9/11



I was four
she was white and strange
my Nana
in that hospital bed
I refused the last hug

29/9/11

He strokes my hair: September haiku 2011

cold rain
visitor arriving soon
for the sun

2/9/11



blessed boredom
the opposite of
a Chinese curse

7/9/11
(in response to a challenge
to write a ‘boredom’ haiku)



he strokes my hair:  
‘sleep now,
and in the morning ...’

10/9/11



peaceful
blue evening
windless

three-quarter moon
low in the sky
one star

the little street
sleeps
behind curtains

16/9/11



reading your poems
I hear gamelan music
and miss Bali

24/9/11



while I sleep
on the other side of the world
new haiku




   ******

I wake and find
new haiku on facebook
spring blossoms

27/9/11



Friday. Eye test.
Pay bills, shop, urgent phone calls.
Haiku, whats that?

30/9/11

Turning 30

I recall now, bemused,
the unwonted depression I sank into 
around the issue of turning 30 —
a trauma which, at the time, seemed huge.

The only depression I’ve ever known,
it started six months before
the momentous event, and lasted
a further six months after.

I can’t get back in the head of that girl.
What did she so dread? It was like
the demarcation point of age for her.
Too many pop songs, perhaps!

It was after all, also, the end of the sixties,
that perfect time to be 
if not teenage, still young enough.
Suddenly it was all over.

There she was, with both her children
already born and no more planned.
Girlhood and fertility both behind her.
Nothing but matronhood left.

Silly girl, she didn’t know
that in her 30s she would be ripe and juicy
emitting a glow. Nor that the secret scribblings
would demand to be valued and aired.

I look back, and yes, I think I do
understand now. I see that unconsciously 
she was mourning the end of childhood, 
saying a long drawn-out, final goodbye.

Then she leapt into power and freedom,
new kinds of adventures, and began
the long journey of twists and surprises 
which led her here to me.

30 Poems in 30 Days: 30, the number 30


Submitted for Poetry Pantry #69 at Poets United

Always the Writing

Always the writing writhes
to be born and flower,
pushing up through a dark
ceiling of earth.

Always it pounds in my blood
wanting to break on you,
on the reef of your hard body,
explosive as tides crashing.

The writing is rhythms that swell
and will not be gainsaid.
It pushes, burrows, surges, leaps.
Hammers and shrieks.  Weeps.  Begs.

After the blind climax, the ebb
has the panting of  breath,
a giant wave receding.
I am its point of calm.

First published The Nonsense of Living anthology by The Aardvarkers
In Secret Leopard (Paris, Alyscamps Press, 2005) available from Amazon or through www.nissen-wade.com

This is an old one I've resurrected especially for the dVerse Meeting the Bar prompt: write about poetry. See also What I Build and Working (3)

29 September 2011

Building

I am building my life stone by stone.
It was always so. I didn’t know it.

Each decision puts in place
a foundation for the next.

Gradually, one by one,
they all fit together.

I am building my life stick by stick.
It’s natural. I only just noticed.

Every new direction creates
forks in branches, fresh twigs.

It becomes a structure,
lacey and intricate, with leaves.

I am building my life word by word.
Shining like diamonds, they are nails.

The nails of my words
hold everything together.

They can fasten stick to stone
or stick to stick. Even stone to stone.

I have built a house.
I have grown a tree.

I have made the house secure.
I have used the wood; it will last.

It’s a good, safe house. I like it.
But mostly I am out, climbing the tree.

30 Poems in 30 days: 28, building something


Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #76 and for dVerse Open Link Night Week 19

28 September 2011

The Urge to Merge

Though I’m far from virgin
it can still be urgent.

Is that verging on absurd
or splurging as obscene?

On the verge of age —
no, over the edge —

may I still rage,
or be left on a ledge?

With passion surging
I need no urging.

Only one way to purge
this urgent urge.

I can’t scourge it
away with detergent;

if I submerge it,
it emerges resurgent.

Is there some norm
from which I diverge

or is elderly lust
where we’ll all converge?


30 Poems in 30 Days: 24, an urge

27 September 2011

Dark Moon

moonlight
rainfall
street lights

grey-blue mist
backlit clouds
not one star

moondark
light rain
street fall

backlit mist
blue-grey clouds
no night star

nightfall
dark street
rain-lit

star-mist dark
light grey-blue
back street night

street rain
light fall
dark moon

Journalling my relationship with the moon: 30


And submitted for dVerse Open Link Night #11

Included in the book, THREE CYCLES OF THE MOON

Hana

I could pull a card for Hana, lady of joy,
except that I know her soul is Priestess.
She is poet and true-seer, guided by the Moon.

These last few years she has been exploring
Empress expression, blossoming in the Sun,
dancing in water, in tropical gardens, cradling

her infant daughter, watching her young son 
play and grow, willing him strong,
expanding herself, embracing herself.

But she is Priestess, who keeps her soul free.
The man with the face and form of a god,
eternally a youth, was temporary.

Venus was too much woman for Adonis!
And the soft, lush, fertile island
needed at last a contrast. She travelled

to the cold north, to a landscape
of tougher beauty, and found
her roots in rock and earth.

Deep roots. They bring her back now
to the temperate land of her birth, her girlhood.
Here she begins the ordering process,

the process of story. She has lived through
great adventures, emerging changed forever
and whole. She begins the chronicle.

                       ********

Seeker of joy, finder of joy, may you always 
dance in the light of the Universe! 
And may you, Moon-woman, continue 
inspiring and living true dreams.

Journalling my relationship with the moon: 29

Included in the book, THREE CYCLES OF THE MOON

In the Gilded Tarot, the Moon

In the Gilded Tarot, the Moon
has a soft face, sweet lady
gazing up at the light she reflects.

The crayfish, mysterious symbol,
is not crawling up on land
but jumping half out of the water.

The towering gates
are like massive candles
or Olympic torches.

Central is a gold disc
like an artist’s palette,
and like intersecting cogwheels.

The sun is about to rise.
Low down over the water,
the sky is pinky-purple.

The dog and the wolf 
bark in unison to greet
rising sun and risen moon.

This is a variant image
from the one in Rider-Waite.
Could I do magic with this?

I could, except that
no-one’s deceiving me,
they’re all asleep.

And I too need my sleep.
No need to find a secret name
for my hidden enemy —

the one who deprives me of rest
is myself, while the real moon
climbs the sky oblivious.

Note: This is not a reading of the Moon card in the Tarot, but 
a personal take on the images in this particular Moon card.

Journalling my relationship with the moon: 28

26 September 2011

Motivation

Nights of no moon,
days of no moon poems.
Somehow I am four short
of those I need to fulfill
the promise of one every day
for this lunar month.

It’s true: there were days,
a few days bunched together,
when I got jack of it — 
turning up faithfully
night after night
for your no-show.

Funny, when I do it
simply for spiritual connection
with no thought of poetry,
I don’t care if I can’t see you.
Knowing where you are
behind the clouds, I blow you
a smiling kiss anyway.

Journalling my relationship with the moon: 27

Hunting

In Kenya, the Masai still hunt the lions, 
predators which take their domestic beasts 

though it’s illegal now to hunt the Kenyan lions.
The men who hunt them are tracked and hunted. 

The warriors walk a fine line: brotherhood, tradition,
or the new conservation. Their world is changing.

‘We don’t kill lions any more’ (title of training film).
There will be compensation for any stock lost.

Can Masai still be men with no lion hunts? Lions 
are successful hunters, perfecting their killing techniques. 

The Masai have had their own conservation: unlucky 
for one warrior to kill more than nine lions.

A hunter called Sunepai has already killed twelve,
expects to die early, and goes on; knows no other way.

It’s about food, which is to say life
for lions and also the Masai. Can’t be solved easy.

(based on a National GeographicTV program)

30 Poems in 30 Days: 27,  food

Small Moon

Small moon, I don’t see you
although your accompanying star
is the one light visible tonight
in our clouded sky.

For most of this lunar month
which, theoretically, 
I was to spend looking at you,
I have been looking for you
and not finding.

Not your fault.
You presented yourself, I know,
but the weather ran interference.

You will be the same moon
(won’t you?)
next time you begin
your waxing phase.

But I wanted this one!
This phase of you. This present 
incarnation, manifestation, moment.

The moments skip past so fast
and we can’t grasp them.
I am not the first to discover this
but lately the realisation
seems more urgent.

Also we can’t
see past impenetrable veils.
I shall have to settle
as others have done
for the moments I am given

saying thank you.

Journalling my relationship with the moon: 26

Included in the book, THREE CYCLES OF THE MOON

25 September 2011

Looking Back

We like our little house,
we tell each other. It’s cosy.
And it is. And we do like it.

But one day, suddenly, 
unexpectedly, I say, 
‘Sometimes I miss 
the house we left behind’ —

remembering palm fronds
seen through bedroom windows,
and the rhythmic sound of waves.

‘I know what you mean,’
he mutters, to my surprise.

Despite the tiny bathroom,
the back yard we couldn’t use
for the noisy neighbours,
and the too-high rent

despite the python in the roof
which made us fear for our cats,
and a low street that could flood,

despite the awkward hike
from laundry to clothesline,
the brown snakes in summer ...

come to think of it,
I don’t miss it that much.

Note: For the benefit of non-Aussies, our brown snakes are deadly

30 Poems in 30 days: 22, leaving something behind