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.

30 January 2011

The heat revs up: tanka/gogyohka January 2011

I sit up in bed
with Spouse and laptop;
in the kitchen:
French toast for breakfast.


The heat revs up
as the morning brightens.
What time today
will humid rains kick in?
Summer at full throttle.


Half-empty town.
Staccato rain attacks
the roof of my car,
gutters run full and fast.
I leave gladly.


One evening
I sense a tall presence,
maybe a friend
seeking reassurance?
Thereafter, a deep peace.


Our comfortable bed
looks out on a walled garden.
Unseen neighbours
provide tall trees and vines
for deeper enchantment.


Stopped mid-road: January 2011

Stopped mid-road
the monitor lizard
stares, head high.


January morning.
The dew on the lawn
seeps through my slippers.


January sun.
The herbs in my garden
appear paler.


Australia Day.
Along the street
lawnmowers whine.


I feast on haiku
to read and savour


18 January 2011


Suddenly I’m weeping and weeping
for something I’ve lost and can’t get back,
something that was taken from me.
It all happened so fast, I wasn’t quick enough.

Yet it was a small item. Why am I so upset?
People not far away have lost everything.
‘Maybe that’s what you’re really crying about,’
my darling says — and I look at the words I used.

Yes, that must be it. I described exactly
what happened to so many in the recent floods.
I must be picking up the terrible grief
of thousands. And my tears continue to flood.

11 January 2011

Flooding Rain

Judy comes to do the cleaning,
very late because of the floods.
Only three of the Home Care staff
live here in town; the rest can’t get in.

She’s been doing extra today —
the Personal Care as well,
showering people who live alone
and can’t do that for themselves.

Her daughter up in Toowoomba,
where the flash flood yesterday
took lives and wrecked houses,
lost her business but she is alive.

‘Six inches of mud,’ says Judy.
‘More cleaning work for Mum, later!’ —
with a grin. ‘Don’t get up, dear, I can do it,’
when I rise to fetch her the broom.

We smile at each other kindly, as if
no sorrow lurked behind our eyes,
no horror from all those TV images
repeated, like 9-11, over and over.

1 January 2011

Non-stop rain here: tanka/gogyohka December 2010

non-stop rain here
the weeks of her dying there
too far away
I say my goodbyes in thought
listening to the rain fall


I make poetry
first thing in the morning
instead of breakfast.
Is a hungry husband
worth my fulfilment?


I’ve become prone
to silly misjudgments
since my friend died:
arriving late or early,
locking myself outside ...


Early light.
A magpie warbles
down the road.
No-one is out yet
but birds in our street.


Rainy morning
after rainy weeks.
‘How is X?’
he asks, long away.
I list all the deaths.


After days of rain: December 2010

I remember
American rivers —
smooth turquoise.


my friend is dying
I don’t want to speak of it
yet I will phone her


Friday morning rain
dribbles unseasonably.
Soon the air will steam.


after days of rain


They write of cold.
I mop my perspiration

Friday lasts a week
and then it begins again
we’re in a time-warp


Fried haiku.
We keep cooking them up:
deep fried ... stir-fried ...

After the day’s heat
she sits up naked all night
playing with haiku.


hot morning
grass wet underfoot
sun high early

blue sky
after long rain