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.

31 October 2012

Oneline, 2012 October


birthday coming the first without my husband

25/10/12


rain on the roof gecko chirps

28/10/12


red roses at twilight rain coming

29/10/12


full moon the cats are restless

30/10/12


poisonous oleander pretty in pink

31/10/12


Life Goes On: October 2012 haiku


the Bali I knew
is gone, but
rambutans remain

rambutans —
I hunger for
Bali and Java

the isle of the Gods
tastes of
rambutans

1/10/12


life goes on
banality
settles in

10/10/12


new follower
tweets her dislike of cats
I don't follow back

22/10/12

No Halloween


Last year there was a knock.
Three little girls from over the road
had climbed our front steps.
Two were dressed witchy,
the littlest one was a fairy
with gauzy wings. 'Oh come and look!'
I said to my love in his armchair.

Both of us, in the narrow doorway,
bent forward to smile and admire.
Luckily I found some jellybeans to give
and had enough left, an hour later,
when a stout little boy arrived alone 
looking brave and hopeful
in his cardboard wizard's hat
and pillowcase cape.

This year I was well prepared
with a whole bowl of mixed lollies.
I thought they could each take a handful
like a sort of lucky dip. 'I'll definitely
get visitors tonight,' I told my friends. But no. 
It's nearly ten. The street is very quiet. 
Are they — or their parents — 
being sensitive, choosing not to disturb 
newly widowed me alone at the top of my steps?

I remember his face last year
tender with delight, beaming
at the young ones and their costumes.
He was hunched, and later we didn't
celebrate Beltane traditionally
(our real Sabbat here on this date)
because his back was hurting.
I wrote a poem instead — as I do tonight.
I have no Beltane fire, but I'll light 
a candle for love, which will not die.

Submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight #68

October tanka 2012: full moon


full moon 
I cast circle
ask only
for peace and purpose
a very short ritual

31/10/12

(just one tanka this month)

29 October 2012

There's Only Me


1

There's only me.
The grapes rot
before I finish them.

There's only me.
I play music
without headphones.

There's only me.
Why do I wear
my prettiest sarongs?


2

There's only me.
The cats spread out more
on the bed.

There's only me.
It takes four days
to fill the washing machine.

There's only me.
But his voice in the passenger seat
still says, 'You're clear this side.'

There's only me.
I arrange the pillows
a different way.

There's only me.
I can eat all
the chocolate.


3

There's only me.
I can finish writing a poem
uninterrupted.

There's only me. 
The morning news on TV
stays off.

There's only me.
In the top cupboard I find
his favourite soups.

There's only me
to give the cats
all their cuddles.


4

There's only me.
I come to a sad acceptance.
Then the real grief starts.



25 October 2012

There's Only Me

1

There's only me.
The grapes rot
before I finish them.

There's only me.
I play music
without headphones.

There's only me.
Why do I wear
my prettiest sarongs?


2

There's only me.
The cats spread out more
on the bed.

There's only me.
It takes four days
to fill the washing machine.

There's only me.
But his voice in the passenger seat
still says, 'You're clear this side.'

There's only me.
I arrange the pillows
a different way.

There's only me.
I can eat all
the chocolate.



3

There's only me.
I can finish writing a poem
uninterrupted.

There's only me. 
The morning news on TV
stays off.

There's only me.
In the top cupboard I find
his favourite soups.

There's only me
to give the cats
all their cuddles.


4

There's only me.
I come to a sad acceptance.
Then the real grief starts.

24 October 2012

Out Walking


As I come down the hill,
the dog I talk to barks
but not at me.

A man in the yellow shirt
of a Council worker
strides through the gate

followed by three or four
schoolgirls in grey skirts
and sky-blue tops, shapeless.

He enters the house.
They cluster on the veranda.
I'm too far away for details

but then they run
squealing and giggling
through the side gate

to the next yard
with the trampoline,
and they bounce.

In the doorway
of the house of the dog,
a young girl stands.

She is wearing a grey skirt 
and a sky-blue top, shapeless.
She lingers, staring out.

When I return that way
fifteen minutes later,
there is no-one at all —

only my friend the dog
waits for me to reach 
through the slats of the fence. 

I scratch behind his silky ears.
When I leave, he gives for his people
a pretend guard-dog bark.





















Submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight #67

23 October 2012

Mugs


The mug I use for my coffee
is a carnival of coloured spots
on a bright white ground.
Across the front is written:
'Espresso yourself,'
which I do. 

This mug sits beside me 
as I write; this mug
looks over my shoulder 
when I'm reading; in talk 
it helps me gesticulate. This mug 
punctuates my life.

After the wake-up
shot of caffeine
it holds only decaff, I promise —
or sometimes ginger tea.
It's a travel mug with a lid
to minimise spills.

Andrew had one 
with a lozenge design,
saying, 'What am I doing
out of bed?' That one
I've hidden away
in the back of the cupboard.






14 October 2012

Garden Sitting


Nice to sit outside
letting the air touch me.
It rustles through leaves
of trees and shrubs and vines
while an unseen bird
trills intermittently.

I am sorry you are not here
to listen with me
and feel the breeze,
gentle down here behind fences
on this warm day
in the enclosed garden —

But I am here.
My ears, my hair, my skin
are alive and here today,
savouring everything
that is still
pleasant in life.

10 October 2012

Resuming Tai Chi Lessons After a Long Gap


In the Tai Chi class
we move together

breathing, turning the waist,
sinking and rising.

'Switch off your hands,'
the instructor says.

'Push out 
from your back foot.'

The movements
have beautiful names.

Cloud Hands ...
White Crane Spreads Its Wings ...

It's been two years
but my body remembers.

There is a rightness, like
meeting an old friend.


Submitted for Poetry Pantry #119 at Poets United.

5 October 2012

Game


I am panther, sleek blue-black, shinier than a blackbird’s wing, more jet than a jungle night without a moon.  I am deep in the jungle today, in a thicket of green hung with vines, so the light itself is green, as if I am underwater.  I know about underwater: sometimes I romp and splash in hidden jungle pools; their light is also green.

Blue lipstick froths on her lips, pours from the tube all zingy like champagne.  She loves applying it in front of her mirror, feeling the tang, the wetness, seeing the strange colour paint all her face in its difference — her eyes purple, her cheeks mauve, her hair faint green in the light — all in relation to the glow from her thickly-blued lips.

I am looking for my dinner, and a mate.  Dinner is more urgent just now.  I leap through my thicket, listening for possibilities.  My ears twitch and swivel to all directions.  I am alive to the sounds of my home forest; I know it for miles by sound and smell — can detect both the beautifully familiar and the tiniest alteration.

She wonders if the unusual texture is to do with the dye, and why this lipstick is so unlike others from more conventional sources.  This colour is ALL blue, not just red with a blueish tinge.  She loves to encrust her mouth with it, layers of frothy blue on frothy blue until it looks matted, indelible.

There is an old bullock tethered right at the edge of the jungle, east of here; I catch the scent on the wind.  At once I know everything about this beast.  It belongs to a poor farmer who is trying to find extra grazing land there on the dangerous edge of the jungle.  It is fat enough to make a meal, but weak and slow, which is all the better for me.

She runs her fingers through her hair to spike it, and puts on huge loop earrings of an alloy that looks like heavy metal.  She drapes a fishnet stocking over her hand, stares a moment, then tosses it back on the bed.  Tonight she will leave her legs bare.  High on her thigh, just below the hem of her black satin skirt, is tattooed a tiny mouth — a laughing mouth, lips parted, showing teeth.

The edge of the jungle —  the border where two worlds meet —  is dangerous to those of either world.  The danger is in the encounter with the other side.  For me, there is risk in getting this easy meal.  It may bring men into my green thicket after me, with guns.  For the farmer and his beast, I am the danger.  I might kill the beast.  Also, I might kill the man.  I sneak nearer.  I am panther, hungry panther, choosing my game.


Published in Secret Leopard. Paris, Alyscamps Press, 2005. (See sidebar.)
Submitted for dVerse Meeting the Bar: Postmodern (prose)


3 October 2012

Frail flesh discarded: September tanka 2012


in Spring
the time of new life
my dear love
makes ready to travel
to the Summerlands

1/9/12


Frail flesh discarded
you can accompany me
so easily now
to the edge of the creek.
Two dragonflies skim the water.

23/9/12


Submitted for dverse Open Link Night #64

Waiting in Silence: September 2012 haiku


He is free. 
The soul reunites 
with itself.

4/9/12


waiting in silence
for poems
which do not arise

26/9/12