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')

Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.) They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here. Copyright also applies to almost all photos posted here, most of which are my own, though a few are licensed under Creative Commons.
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.

26 April 2011

The Last Person I Pinky Promised

Well, I don’t know who you are
but it must have been long ago.
I have forgotten the promise too.

And I’m sure we didn’t call it ‘pinky’.
We didn’t have that word here then.
It came across from America later.

We would simply have linked
our littlest fingers and pulled them
tight, to set the promise.

It wasn’t done in my core family.
Maybe you were my cousin Anne
who brought exotic ways from overseas.

Maybe you were my Aunty Ev,
half friend, half substitute mother,
teaching me innocent fun I never knew.

And maybe you were the son
who grew up to become a stranger —
when you were still a youngster, and my pal.

These maybes are too full of loss.
Both life and death take people away,
and the promises we made just disappear.

So I’ll say you were a little girl at school.
Probably you sat next to me. The promise
was something we’d never tell. See, I didn’t.

Day 26 - The last person you made a pinky promise to

Oct 1 2011: Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #68


  1. And maybe you were the son
    who grew up to become a stranger —
    when you were still a youngster, and my pal.

    How sad these words are to read - but logically those 'small people' we call children were always strangers in one sense. We parents are the ones who think we 'know' them - and later realise it was only ever our perception, not a fact...