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.

22 December 2012

A New World?


Kyrielle for 22 December 2012

This is the way the world begins.
Wake and breathe: a normal day.
We are not punished for our sins —
not just this moment anyway.

It might be safe to buy more food
and even stash a bit away
now that the world's not going to end —
well, not this moment anyway.

But can we now begin again?
Pollution hasn't gone away.
Carbon emissions still remain —
for this long moment anyway.

We cry out to whatever God:
'Now please deliver us!' we pray.
'In the beginning is the word —
Oh grant a new one, any way!'

My father, the agnostic, said:
'Do your own deeds, say your own say.
Each of us, thus, could save the world —
for one more moment, anyway.'

Redressing the collective sins,
we each must act on our dismay.
Is now when our new world begins?
Let's seize this moment anyway!


Submitted for dverse FormForAll #20 
Theme inspired by LukePrater's Last Flush.

21 December 2012

Verse Portrait 102. Writers' Group: Nan

Nan is the wicked one
who surprises newcomers 
whenever she reads.

It's not that she uses 
naughty words, or blasphemes;
it's her thoughts that are naughty,
her soul that's irreverent.

(More truly reverent 
than many a churchgoer,
she likes the Lord — she's just
not in awe. Her humorous tales
are in fact moral fables.)

And she's the effortless 
prize-winner, 
in competitions always 
commended at least.

Underneath it all,
she appreciates
loving-kindness.

Verse Portrait 101. Writers' Group: Anne


I once told her
I thought she'd write something
important one day,
or at least that she could.

Did that make her fearful,
give her too much
to begin to live up to? 

For months after that 
she found no words to write.
We missed her acerbic wit.

But she kept coming,
listened as others read,
offered feedback.

Then sudden fantastic beings 
poured across her page, strangers
revealing themselves
to her fascinated scribe.




20 December 2012

Verse Portrait 100. Writers' Group: Helen

Her smile is always
the first thing I see
as she enters the room.

She exudes a cosy kindness that belies 
the cool, precise, administrative intellect.

Now she is all about family.
When she can't come, it's because
she is baby-sitting grandchildren
(not the only one to do that, but
the one who does it most often).

And she writes about family,
exploring generations past
whose lives enthral like an epic novel.



Verse Portrait 99. Writers' Group: Hebe

She's like some cousin
I never knew I had.
Indeed, in my youth,
unsuspected cousins migrated
from her land to mine.

The Anglo-Indian connection
Mum kept secret.
Her father's Scottish complexion
allowed that, and my Dad's
English heritage.

The dark I longed for
died with Nana, she
more Indian than Anglo;
that warmth....
Hebe arrives —

childhood stories
that might have been mine
had the family stayed
there: not Tasmania.
And, that warmth.


18 December 2012

He went out: November tanka 2012


he went out
to buy his child lollies
returned
as the next bomb struck
crushing her under stone

the young father
asks through his tears
what did she do?
she didn't fire any rockets
she was five

21/11/12

17 December 2012

Verse Portrait 98. Writers' Group: Eddie

Insists he believes in nothing;
really believes that. Can argue
in support of this position.

Is not vehement against
other people's beliefs,
simply adamant
that he himself has none.

He likes hot climates,
dark-haired women,
and playing guitar.
Arthritis cut the music.

We older women, and Eddie, 
gather weekly to write,
learning each other,
building mateship.

A friend, meeting him, says,
'He is at ease with quiet.
That's rare in a man.'

Verse Portrait 97. Writers' Group: Cheryl

How can I fit her into
seventy-three words?

She'll think I mean
her physical abundance,
but no. It's her bigness 
of spirit — 

                   ready
with tears or laughter,
vocal with passionate rage,
quick to hug me
if ever I'm sad.

She faced down death
with prayer
and black humour

stays alive
in green pastures
with a man she loves
beyond reason
(and sundry pets ditto)

as a writer
fears no confrontation ... 

remembers singing.


16 December 2012

Verse Portrait 96. Writers' Group: Jean

Jean is new to the writing group.
She fits right in at once.

I'm glad to be joined by another 
poet. (It gets lonely.)

After her first session, 
she asks, 'Will you have me?'

Our question is, will she 
have us? Yes! She comes back.

Retired English teacher,
good proof-reader, witty, polite ...

When I read my widowhood poems
she understands exactly.

I see her getting every word,
feeling them. Oh, she knows!



Verse Portrait 95. Writers' Group: Bronwyn

Bronwyn has a lover,
likes to say it, likes the word.
She likes to play with words —

sensual, musical, 
shaping stories;
likes to write of deserts

of foreign landscapes, and 
the interior space of the mind; 
by inference the heart.

Her own heart is with the sea
and hints of tribal secrets;
makes of them poems.

In a friend's house I admired 
a sketch, a graceful nude.
She told me, 'Bron did that.'