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.

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.


  1. This is a lovely tribute and you really drew me in with your first line.

  2. Oh yes, that first line drew me in too. But, I most especially like the subject/topic. So few will engage it. Thank you for doing so.

    Old Raven

  3. That first line enchanted me too! This was a really great poem that I very much enjoyed reading.