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 subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here.

29 June 2012

Image of Hathor

I find at last
a picture of Hathor
not looking cowlike
with those over-abundant breasts
and soppy expression

but calm and wise
a slim young woman
straight-backed
wearing the sun crown
between high horns.


The image that inspired this: Statue of Hathor at Dendura (scroll right to bottom of page).

Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #104

21 June 2012

Dark of the Moon

dark of the moon
the night before solstice
midwinter

I remember
nights of dancing
song and prayer

I celebrate
in silence tonight
solitary

a watcher
(not that there is one)
would only see

an old woman
sitting and writing
sipping wine

lifting her head
now and then to gaze
at the dark

she is wearing black
and around her neck
a moonstone

19 June 2012

Kathmandu

lune sequence

I miss Kathmandu —
even dirt
and cheeky urchins

the tiny palace
its low walls
stone lion gate-posts

the downtown colours
crowded shops
all squashed together

back near Peter's place
quiet pool
carved Naga serpent

but that Kathmandu
must be changed ...
fourteen years ago


17 June 2012

Verse Portrait 93. Nursing Home: Jeanette

Tiny woman.
Soft, full hair
beige blonde.

Seated at our table,
at first glance
looks fifty.

I think she's used to
no conversation;
responds when we begin.

We ask how long
she's been here.
'Do you know,' she says,
'I think it's four months ...
I can't be certain.'

Her son works
in the kitchen.
She can see him
sometimes.

Used to live
by water, misses
her house ... voice
trails wistfully,
eyes grow distant.

Submitted for dverse Open Link Night #49

15 June 2012

The Sun Now Going Down

the sun now going down
my darling heart
resting at last

I’d like to go out
walking along our road
sweet with grass and clover

darkness approaching
birds flying home 
through the trees

but I dare not leave
in case he might wake
startled and alone

he doesn’t always know 
now
that he’s home

sometimes he thinks
he needs to go 
somewhere else

to some other home
though I try to persuade him
home is with me

the sun goes down
I watch from my window
I lock the doors


Submitted 13 months later for Poets United's Verse First — Lock

10 June 2012

The Road Home

wet today
I’ll take the long way
don’t want to slide
around hills and bends

I like the bit
where home is close
on days like this
late afternoons

evenings
cosy inside
hot food and armchairs
hugs

A cut-up poem based on a WordsFlow timed writing exercise posted in my writer's journal.


Submitted to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #102
and to dverse Open LinkNight #48

2 June 2012

Verse Portrait 92. Nursing Home: Marjorie

1 Meeting

‘Another author!’
The Activities Officer
delightedly introduces
someone Andrew can talk to.
But it’s me who’s interested.

Marjorie, my mother’s name.
And her book, that she clutches
and displays, recounts
her childhood in India.
My mother was a child there too.

Still pretty, she’s also gracious:
beautiful English manners
from the last days of the Raj.
Like Mum again —
but this Marjorie
was legitimate Officer stock,
not a little Anglo-Indian girl.


2 Getting acquainted

She shows me a baby photo,
her family’s newest; can’t quite
explain where he fits.

And her son is a writer
(I know the name).
She describes his home,
which she visits. Sure enough,
on Mother’s Day she’s missing;
they must have taken her out.

She asks about my writing,
double-checks
that man’s my husband,
a writer too. I think
of giving her our books.
But I never see her read.


Submitted to Poetry Pantry #101 at Poets United. Click on the link to enjoy a poetry feast!

1 June 2012

News of his death: May tanka 2012

news of his death
the quiet, skinny one
I want to play
and sing along again
to Massachusetts

but all the lights
went out and he left us
we tell ourselves
he must be going home
way past Massachusetts

*******

may you sing
even more sweetly
now you’re gone
to the Summerlands
may you be joyful

21/5/12