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.

29 February 2012

NaHaiWriMo 2012 Week Four

Feb. 22: vent

cool morning air
through the open door
magpies calling

February 23: Today's writing prompt is to write mischievously about a cross-eyed paleontologist studying a one-legged rhinoceros beetle nibbling an Egyptian mummy’s shoulder blade during the summer solstice on Mars, and be sure to refer to a mega-hard Sudoku puzzle, torn Monopoly money, and a vampire, plus a Mongolian-speaking Nobel prize-winner who dances polkas whenever he hears “Moves Like Jagger” on bagpipes or the Macarena song performed on an out-of-tune Northumbrian squeezebox underwater. And be sure to type in your poem with your nose while singing a Broadway show tune, since you should now have plenty of practice at doing exactly that. Anything less and I shall be supremely disappointed. Just kidding. Again. Instead, write about . . . a wig.

on Mars

summer solstice


cross, I

watch rhino beetles

unwrap Mummy

crosswords please

not Sudoko numbers

too cryptic

blood money

vampires tear into


Obama now

moves like Jagger

dancing underwater

peace prize winner

out of tune with the people

faces new battles

the squeeze is felt

in Outer Mongolia

Pandora’s box


or Macarena ...

let’s just polka

nobody knows

the trouble I’ve seen

typing practice

haiku prompts

after 23 days

I flip my wig

Feb. 24: [the letter] x

we cuddle in sleep
the cats purr

Feb. 25: yellow (must use the word)

yellow rose
golden in my poem
I was eight

Feb. 26: zip

humid evening
at the end of summer
I’ve lost my zip

Feb. 27: bad haiku

His Eyes

his diamond-bright eyes
are giving me gorgeous goose-
bumps when I see them


love is the greatest
power in the universe
it will cure all ills

An Encounter

her dress was yellow
the autumn day was mellow
his eyes smiled hello

Feb. 28: make a ‘generated’ haiku ( from http://www.everypoet.com/haiku/default.htm ) more literary


dreaming plum giggling
tugging bronze unbroken bride
palpitates softly


plum blossoms
cover her in white ...
soft laughter


by the bronze statue
her soft breathing

Feb. 29: leap

stray duck in traffic
I pray
for a flying leap

NaHaiWriMo 2012 Week Three

Feb. 15: opera

never heard
that performance we missed
I don’t forgive

Feb 16: pool

new acquaintance
neighbour with swimming-pool
instant best friend

Feb. 17: queue

crossing our legs
too few cubicles
penis envy

Feb.18: rattle

in my Melbourne
the old red rattlers
went the distance

Feb. 19: sandal

a lone sandal shuffles in the tide

Feb. 20: talus

the hill
in the big rain
falls downhill

Feb. 21: umbrella

my umbrella
in the wind

Cobwebs and flames: American Sentences Feb. 2012

Cobwebs and flames tattooed on his legs belie the calm look on his face.  15/2/12

My heart always lifts when I hit sea air; I grew up on an island.  17/2/12

Submitted Nov. 2013 for dVerse Meeting the Bar: American Sentences

16 February 2012

On Riverview Road

(just round from the High School)

The smell of sweet sap
grows stronger daily as I drive past
where council workers 
are clearing toppled trees
that came down with half the hillside
after the last big rains.

It used to be a quarry.
Boulders fell down too.
When the clear-up began,
orange earth movers crawling about
half way up the hill 
looked like matchbox toys.

Today it was all smooth.
By late afternoon
even the sap smell had gone.
Now this patch of hillside 
has no trees at all, not one. It looks as if
it will collapse even easier next time.

Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #87

15 February 2012

NaHaiWriMo 2012 Week Two

Feb. 8: hat

my sun-hat
hangs on the doorknob
summer rain

Feb. 9: ice

except in drinks
I don’t see ice any more
I’m glad to say

Feb. 10: jam

jam tomorrow
adds extra flavour
to pie in the sky

Feb. 11: kitchen

noisy cats
prowling the kitchen
plead starvation

Feb. 12: laundry

rain again
chairs and door handles
dripping cloth

Feb. 13: mountain(s)

on my wall Roland
painted by my late father
my old favourite

I walk out my gate
turn and greet our guardian
friendly Warning

Feb. 14: nachos

ah! Tex-Mex
the flavour of Austin

8 February 2012

Generational Adolescence

I was just fifteen
when everything changed –
when freer children,
who were allowed to go
to movies like that,
leaped up and jived in the aisles
to Rock Around the Clock,
even – or especially –
in staid country towns
around regional Australia.

I was still fifteen
when Elvis arrived.
Handsome as the devil;
voice of an angel.
The mothers and fathers hated
his slim gyrating hips.
We loved the tilt of his lips,
the wicked light
in his laughing eyes,
and the singing, the songs, the beat.

At seventeen
I moved to Melbourne.
Every Saturday night
there was a Town Hall dance.
Hawthorn, Caulfield, Albert Park, Box Hill.
Diane Rosewall and I went to them all.
We wore circle skirts, wide belts,
flat ballerina slippers,
and white flouncy petticoats
hemmed with ropes.

We were good middle-class girls.
One night two real-live bodgies
claimed us for a dance.
Oh how those wild boys moved!
swinging us through their legs
and up on their hips.
Oh how we twirled and swirled.
But we must have seemed tame to them.
They thanked us very politely
and went hunting faster girls.

Tall lads they were,
in the extreme of fashion:
skinny black pants, long jackets
with shoulder pads and shiny lapels,
their hair slicked back
into lovely ducktails.
Oh how our careful parents
would have disapproved!
That makes anything
more exciting.

Or anyone.
I ended up choosing men
who worked with their bodies,
rode motorbikes,
knew how to use their fists;
men who swore.
Later I preferred
beards and flowing hair.
I wore long robes. We sat and smoked
in dark coffee lounges, listening to Folk.

But that was after the era ended;
the wild boys and girls and the rest
all sang "That'll Be the Day,"
and cried when Buddy died.
And it doesn't matter where I am,
every time the band
plays Rock Around the Clock,
I'm up and dancing
and shouting the words
till I drop. Till the broad daylight.

Written 14-15/3/07; posted now to accompany previous post, Face to Face
and submitted along with that to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #86 
(not #87, sorry for posting wrong  link there; try the next).

Face to Face

for Diane

It’s raining again. The clouds
cover the full moon’s face.
But I can’t be cast down tonight —
my friend, fifty years gone,
found me tonight on facebook.
Her face, so long unseen,
looks very much the same
as that girl’s whom I remember.

Only five years ago
I wrote her into a poem
of her and me as young things,
going dancing. She tells me now
I haven’t changed much either,
the years have been kind. (We put
our best photos on facebook.)
But yes, the years have been kind. 

The face of the Lady Moon
will not stay hidden long. In any case,
tonight my heart is dancing
like a young thing, like a girl.
For I know that faces return
and are recognised. 
How lovely the face of my friend — 
my friend who is named for the moon.

Submitted to dVerse OpenLink Night #30
and to Open Link Monday at imaginary gardens with real toads 
and also to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #86

7 February 2012

NaHaiWriMo 2012 Week One

February is National Haiku Writing Month — except it's international — hosted on facebook, with prompts, by Michael Dylan Welch.

Feb. 1: apple

one bite
out of the apple
squirts juice

Feb. 2: boat

three masts

Feb 3: catfish

I cannot catch
the unseen catfish
in verse

Feb. 4: any kind of dog.

small timberwolf
self-possessed as a cat
I still miss you

Feb. 5: egg

eating the unborn
I prefer brown skins
in eggs as in men

Feb. 6: frame

only at the joints
of this expansive structure
we see the fine bones

Feb 7: grief

reports of her death
greatly exaggerated
grief instantly cured

(details of 7)