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.

28 February 2013

The Patterns Change

Since you left us
rain lasts longer,
monsoonal downpours
spread further south
more often,
while the coldest 
extremities of the continent 

turn my mind away
from such concerns,
watching instead
myself and cats
gradually alter
our small routines,
in your large absence.

Submitted for Poets United's Verse First: Patterns

23 February 2013

Graffiti Makers

graffiti makers
wear anonymous clothes
jeans and hoodies
hide their faces
sign their names
their pseudonyms

some go for blocks
of heavy black
angular sharp
others are bright
with wild colour
i'm in that mob

Submitted for dVerse Meeting the Bar #21

21 February 2013

Size Doesn't Matter

In this long monsoon, each evening,
tiny flies
appear in the house as from nowhere:
floating spots.
Each morning they are all corpses,
little black dots
littering every available surface —
their tiny lives
exhausted by the large event
of stinging me
with more ferocity than you could credit.

Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #139

20 February 2013

Two Fibs

Grass Grows

I can't
believe it.
Grass grows, and I smile,
my mouth lipsticked in pretty pink.
It is already five months since you died and left me.
Life goes on, as we're told. Even I go on, into a morning of birdsong and grass.

The Solitary Life

sitting here
filing my nails
and simultaneously reading my computer.
It's a wet day outside; there's a hum of white noise around me.
The cats curl on the bed, my coffee is at my elbow, I'm warm. The solitary life, too,  can be cosy.

In response to a prompt from Verse First, at Poets United.

Adapted from Wiipedia:

In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers or Fibonacci series or Fibonacci sequence are the numbers in the following integer sequence: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21, etc. or 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21, etc. By definition, the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 0 and 1 (or 1 and 1) and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two.

In the above poems, the first works on syllable count, the second on word count.

Fibonacci poems are also known as fibs. And I like to pun.

19 February 2013

Cleaning the Mind

The rain is intermittent
its music cannot hold,
the sad cafes are emptying
along the river bank,
the sky's washed fresh.

A boatman paddles
thinner into distance,
buffalos loll
to their ears in wet,
the paddies are pale gold.

A garden open to the eye,
a beach without a footprint.
Clear and straight, I journey
back to a time of light
no grime obscures.

Published in Universe Cat, Pariah Press (Melb.) 1985 
and Secret Leopard, Alyscamp Press (Paris) 2005.

Submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight #84
Alas, I was too late to submit it for dVerse Poetics: Leonard Cohen and Placewhere it clearly belongs.

Once upon a time I had a very romantic affair, in Bali, with the young man who first introduced me to the poems, novels and songs of Leonard Cohen. He used to sing Cohen's 'Suzanne' to me, implying that I was his Suzanne. This poem was written years after that relationship ended, when the happy memory helped me deal with some unpleasantness in my life. It's a very old poem now, but perfect for that prompt.

14 February 2013

The Bend in the Road

At the bend in the road, hesitate
before you venture around it.
Look, if you can, through the dark
under those trees up there —
but it’s hard to see.
Beyond that bend
are secrets.

11 February 2013

Day's End

The summer heat has cooled a little now.
I sit out in my usual spot in the garden.
Over there behind the French windows
is where you used to lie, those last months
when you were mostly bed-ridden. The curtains,
closed, allow me to imagine you are still there,
that the thread of awareness and connection
still runs between us — invisible, unbreakable,
palpable. But of course it's not so. You are gone,
you are more insubstantial than air. I, here, enjoy
for myself the sunny garden, the stillness, the sweet
air. The light falls down through the trees, as if
in benediction ... then gradually grows colder.
One white flower adorns the top of the vine.
They bloom and drop repeatedly, those blossoms.

Submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight #83

9 February 2013

Two for the Price of One

(In response to a prompt about building up a poem with an extra word in every line. Rather than attempting to sustain this indefinitely, I made some variations.)

Practical Problems

someone old
with mild dementia
and limited leg movement
can get behind your back
to dab disinfectant on insect bites
or scratch those pesky itches for you,
the ones you just can't quite reach yourself.

that person
has moved on 
and gone beyond limitations —
his own, that is — freed.
Of course I'm glad for him;
wouldn't have had him linger and suffer.
But I'm left with itches I can't scratch.

Earth Walker

she describes
a huge arc,
with long, slow steps
which she paces in silence.

'I have two days,' she says,
'in which to listen and find within
the pattern that I must trace, walking here,
imprinting an invisible symbol on this piece of land.
It will be a portal, hidden here in these hills.'

Hidden there in her hills, we leave her practising intently.
There is nothing we can see to do there,
nothing that might help her in any way.
Our inner vision does not show us
such images, nor can we hear;
not as she hears, anyway. 

Sometimes, though, I wonder
who traverses portals —
entering, or 

Submitted for Poets United's Verse First: One Word at a Time
Also submitted for dVerse Poetics — The Art of Letting Go

4 February 2013

The Goodbye Ritual

On the night of the full moon last
I did the ritual —
I called the Powers to witness
my long-delayed, formal goodbye
to the dear man who has gone into my past.

Not that I could see the full moon.
It was utterly black, that sky —
not even pin-prick stars.
Heavy, relentless, the rain fell and fell.
Light would not pierce that veil, not soon.

So I came indoors,
and from far and high
I called them all —
the elements, the God, the Goddess —
into my bedroom, which used to be ours.

And there I said goodbye to my beloved;
a final, deliberate farewell
within a circle of sacred space,
watched by the moon’s invisible eye …
admitting at last that he is dead.

This form, invented by David James, is called Karousel
Poem submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight #82

Published in THE d'VERSE ANTHOLOGY, 2013.

2 February 2013


Oh, I am ice inside, remembering
our love's now merely sad remembering.

My times with you are ghosts. They waver, fade,
although I crave the hard remembering.

I can't retain the past, though I have tried.
Yet what is left beside remembering?

Our warm and melting love now frozen solid,
it's time to put aside remembering.

Everything we said and all we did
is nothing now, mere dead remembering.

It's time. I must accept that you have died —
ah, must I? — nor abide remembering.

That cold word, dead, is loud inside my head.
Remembrance drives me mad ... remembering ...

Note: It is traditional in a ghazal to use one's own name, pseudonym, or some derivation of the name in the last line. So I'm there, slightly disguised unless you know your Shakespeare.

Submitted for dVerse FormForAll: Ghazal sonnet
and Poets United's Verse First — Icy

Also submitted in May 2019 for dVerse's Poetry form: Ghazal