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 September 2012

The Rain

The rain pours in, filling up gutters and drains, drenching the garden, slipping down the sides of the banks, overflowing the dam, its glassy surface covered with lilies and moonlit clouds.  Heavier, heavier, sheets of steady drumming, nothing left of space between the drops, only a wall of water pouring out of the sky.  Only a world of water, a moving blanket that covers it all, out there.  If we would walk in it, out there, it would not be a wall, finite, it would be a river in the air to have to keep moving through.

The whiteness of the sound.  Like torrents tumbling.  A waterfall of air, airy water, watery air.  Triumphant, transcendent, filling up the night.  Filling up the black beyond my window.  Filling up the silence out there with its one, wild, incessant noise.  Gurgling and dribbling, hissing and whispering, telling stories to itself about the things we do here and what we are.  The rain is only rain, knows only rain, itself, does not fathom me, does not understand who we are, what we do, does not like much the things it sees us do.  Rain is rain and whispers harsh disapproving remarks, mutters to itself, condemns. 

Rain is life for trees and birds, insects and earth, even for me.  It fills the tank, it fills the river.  It floods.  Not here — but it does flood.  Not here.  I tell my friend, and my children who live far — no, it isn't here, the flood.  We're safe, it's otherwhere.  It's over in the west, and south of here.  We're safe.  The rain mutters, mocks, coming down continuously.  The rain is silver, looks like mud, not clear.  It gets to the ground and spreads out in mud.  It gets to the ground and swells the rivers, spreads all over the land.  No, not here.  We're safe.  Please, let us be safe, we don't want a flood.  We want the drink of the earth, the soaking in, the good rain the birds love.

Afterwards they were all out singing, the rain that rang on Wellington Street when I was a child once.  Afterwards the garden hung with drops, and all the birds out in the light, singing.  Drips from pink roses, drips from bushes and leaves, tangles of thorns, water and birdsong falling all over pink roses, the sun just coming out.  It was not Wellington, it was Brisbane Street.  No matter ... all the gone gardens in the summers of my lost youth.  All the wintry rainy seasons.  The church bell chiming through rain.  I must go home again.  I'll never go home again.  It washes me away, the rain.  I can't go home again.  The rain came tumbling down.

Published in Secret Leopard. Paris, Alyscamps Press, 2005. (See sidebar.)

(A friend asked if she could read some of my prose poems online. So I thought I'd better post some. See also previous post.)

Submitted for dverse Open Link Night #85


For my mother

Tasmania was mine, mmm, I loved it.  The many colours, many landscapes, the movement of the seasons.  The deep blue mountains, the bright meandering streams.  Silver and golden streams, water and sunlight.  Sunlight streaming on my wide back lawn, which spread like a meadow.  Shimmering grass and shimmering sky.  Fresh springtime mornings, their frosts diminishing, becoming dew.  Summer full of bees, their peaceful hum.  Me on my own, mooning through summer days, meandering round my meadow, humming too.

Winter mists hiding the valleys, climbing the hills, almost veiling the mountains, draping my  familiar town in mystery, magic.  Then melting gradually, by midday gone, the gleaming town new-minted.

Murky rain, black mud; myself muffled in overcoat, cap and mittens.  Gumboots to mid-calf.  Squelch, squelch, I am the master of all this mud!  Hurrying home to the warm, the welcoming  mother.  Tomato soup beside the fire.  My clothes hugging me warm: soft socks and cosy jumper.  Hugging myself with my happy arms.

The taste of tomato soup and mushy brown bread.  The taste of comfort, home.  The flavour of a warm room, safe from the frosts and marauding storms. Summer tastes were fruit - gooseberries, raspberries, nectarines, damson plums...  The purplest of plums, dark purple, thick with juice.  Messy all over my cheeks, staining my hair, covering my  hands to the wrists.  My rich purple lips, my inky tongue.  Mum amazed, aghast at so much mess.  Oh miraculous messy damson plums!  Welcome back to my memory, dreamtime summer fruit.

My summer stretched to encompass all the autumn.  Mellow harvest moons, huge and golden, mimicked the sun.  The sky smiled, the cosmos smiled on me.

'Come home!' the island calls me now.  'You are my child.  Come home, come back, you are mine.'

Published in Secret Leopard. Paris, Alyscamps Press, 2005. (See sidebar.)

(A friend asked if she could read some of my prose poems online. So I thought I'd better post some. See also next post.)

And linking — just a little late! — to Poets United's Mothers' Day 2013 edition of Poets Pantry

24 September 2012

What I'd Really Like to Say to My New Facebook Friend

I'm sure you meant it kindly, but
I am not another happy-go-lucky Aussie
like those others you said you met 
(and presumably didn't meet just online).

I'm a 72-year-old introvert
(well I guess you didn't know my age)
whose husband — as you did know — died 
only five days before you suggested 

it would do me so much good 
to drive two hours to a city I dislike
and usually get lost in
(not that you knew that either) 

so as to attend a Festival 
with a whole lot of strangers
not even including you 
(since you live in another country).

Of course you also didn't know
I don't like driving, and never was
much of a one for parties, even when
I wasn't widowed five days previously.

And that's the point: you don't know me.
You congratulated me 
on publishing my own literary magazine.
I don't. What made you think so?

And I certainly don't know you;
can't figure you out at all. But you were so hurt
and so quick to say so, when I didn't 
immediately accept your friend request

that in the end I did. And now we're stuck
with each other — the unfathomable Other.
Perhaps if I never comment....
I guess you meant it kindly, but....

Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #116
Just a little late for dverse's 'unexpected' prompt, although it fits.

7 September 2012

The Taste of Home

I grew up there,
so how can I restrain
the rapturous impulse buy?

In the bag, the jar rolls,
the contents move
to coat the inner lid.

I run my finger round, and lick.
'Tasmanian Leatherwood,'
I say out loud. 'Now that's honey!'

Submitted for dVerse Meeting the Bar: Symbolism

5 September 2012


A pale dawn comes up
over the quiet street.

I feed the cats extra;
it's myself I'm comforting.

To whom shall I give
the silk tie he never wore?

Submitted for dVerse Open Link Night #60

3 September 2012

Completion (an announcement to my readers)

My beautiful man passed away today about 3.40 in the afternoon. The nursing home phoned me just after breakfast so I went straight there and our dear friend Maureen joined me there, and we sat with him all day. The nursing home fed us, and we reminisced about him and his life, and talked to him too, and held his hands, knowing he could feel and hear us although he was unable to respond. He was very peaceful and comfortable all day, and went quickly and easily. He did wonderful things in his life, and was a treasured friend and mentor to many. I have been very blessed to have 20 years with this incredibly loving man.

1 September 2012

Lying Back on the Pillow

He looks so much himself,
lying back on the pillow, eyes closed,
as if he was resting at home
in his own bed, on his own pillow —
which he is. I brought it from home, that pillow.

He breathes evenly, looks peaceful,
his head slightly turned to the side.
The blankets are up to his shoulders,
his arms tucked in; you'd never know
all was not well with this sweet old man.

On impulse I lean over and gently kiss his cheek.
'I just can't resist kissing you sometimes,' 
I say. Perhaps he hears.

My beautiful husband, I love to gaze on you!

Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #113

A time of waiting: August tanka 2012

now you've left
I begin to understand
you were almost gone
every day a little more


a time of waiting
I am fatalistic now
he'll do what he does
dying slow and peacefully
reaching out to hold my hand


For mourning: August haiku 2012

Cold Sunday.
I miss
my husband.


Spring —
surely the wrong time
for mourning