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.

31 January 2014

New Moon Ritual at the House on the Hill

We are dancing in a circle on the grass. We  are holding coloured scarves. 'Let the colours choose you,' our leader said as she passed the basket around. When the basket came to me, the golden one was on top. Our scarves are as large as tablecloths but fine and filmy, undulating in the evening air. We hold them by the top corners, letting the other edge fall and dangle. As we dance to the centre we flutter them up. As we dance to the rim we sweep them down to the ground. The night is still light when we begin. By the time we are finished, the dark has come. Over the starlit grass we inhale the scent of roses.

Submitted for dVerse Form for All: Prose/Poetry

30 January 2014

NaHaiWriMo Jan. 2014

Writing to prompts posted at the NaHaiWriMo site on facebook
(the prompt word did not have to be included in the haiku but was meant to inspire)

1: ascension

the basketball
springs from the small boy's hands
guided by the father



I love take-off,
that sharp tilt and climb
to lose the ground

I love flight 
up through foggy cloud
into endless blue

2: abyss

I seem to swirl and fall
staying upright

3: art/artists

possum-skin cloaks
elders and children create

(Bunjilaka exhibition, Museum Victoria)

4: azaleas

travelling north
our only regret 
the azaleas he planted

5: abbey

weathered sandstone
this peaceful old church
built by convicts

6: adrift

glassy sea
the bare-masted yacht

7: amber

summer sunset
trees and water
radiate light

8: absinthe

bright green
they dance in the light
my bling things

9: Adam 

laughing talking
dining with my friend
my stepson

10: anatomy

slow lizard
on splayed legs
no rain yet

11: admission

heat enters 
closed doors

12: apocalypse

the bush fires
still burn

13: addiction

summer night
I remember
the child he was

14: acorn

strange seed
taking root in our soil
grows alone

15: Apartheid

we hide from each other

16:  absent

your absence
is never absent
from my thoughts

17: ambiguous

grey clouds
mass in the sky
without rain

18: angel

I tremble
as the aweful voice says,
‘Have no fear’.

19: appreciation

the child blows away
the feather I give her
laughing for joy

20: arithmetic 

one and one make two
two made one that was three
till my brother came

21: abandon

high summer
the cat by the fan
legs in air

22. Aphrodite

Spring morning
an empty shell
lands on the sand

23. answered/unanswered

laughing loudly
into the silence
one kookaburra

24. ache

heated pool
I float
without pain

25. apparition

since you died
wandering pointlessly
I’m ghost

26 after the storm

dripping leaves
a chorus of sparrows
clearing rain

27 alchemy (the transformation of a substance of lesser 
value into one of greater value, e.g., straw into gold). 

heavy rain
at last a bud
on the rosebush

28 apology

Australia Day
can we make the word Sorry
mean something?

29 absolution

too tired 
for unforgiveness
falling rain

30 alternative

to rise 
or fall?
sleepless night

31 afterlife

(for Pete Seeger)

at rest
in art and song
eternal life

15 January 2014

Good news - editorial

Bruce Niedt and I were just named runners up in the Poetic Asides Somonka challenge, for the second of two collaborative efforts posted here.

Details of winners and top 10 are here.

All the entries — all a delight to read — can be found here.

1 January 2014

Getting Re-acquainted

I had forgotten
crowded Melbourne trains,
but I'm ushered to a seat
for 'special needs'
by a smiling, standing passenger.
(I'm elderly, with luggage.)

Through bits of windows between heads
I see thick bushes, agapanthus blooms
and colourful walls of graffiti.

Middle-aged men stand reading their phones.
There's a loud buzz of conversations
all up and down the carriage.
Many men are wearing hats.
The day is very hot.
My sun-hat's in my bag for now.

I try to read the names of stations
through the crush whenever we stop,
sometimes succeed.
When we get to the city,
my destination,
everyone will pour out.

No, they pile out at Richmond
wearing baggy shorts 
and toting drink bags.
Then I know,
this is the cricket crowd.
I stay on board
for one more station
with the quiet and hatless few remaining 
in a compartment suddenly spacious.

Submitted, 9 Feb. 2014, for dVerse Poetics — Sketchbook / in-the-moment poetry