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.

27 February 2014

Success (Now)

They miss him too,
the dear man who left us
going first into death.

Over long months
we learn to adjust
though we don't forget.

I measure things
differently now. Success
is getting them to purr.

Submitted to Poets United's Midweek Motif: Success

24 February 2014

Lighting the Dark

They are gathering with candles
all over the country tonight
in vigil for the young man killed
in the prison we call 
a Detention Centre.

This one was murdered, others
have killed themselves —
Asylum Seekers
who find no asylum here
except the lunatic kind.

In this little town, there's no
mass gathering, but I post
a virtual candle for Reza,
killed in my name
but not with my consent.

It's midnight. 
I've come to this vigil late.
Still I add my protest.
The night
isn't over yet.

See news report

Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #190

Sijo Challenge 2014

Form challenge at Poetic Asides (the Sijo is an ancient Korean form). My entries:

The Bloom is Lost

You have fallen by the wayside; I go on without you —
as if you were just a weed, plant that I used to tend and cherish.
Perhaps I’ll give up gardening, or find something hardier.


My black cat is moping tonight, and wandering the whole house
uttering strident miaows; I know he wants me to fix it all
but I can’t bring back our dead man, I can only cuddle the cat.


Is it wrong to start my day, every day, at the computer?
Bad for my health and my housework both — so I am often told.
Ah, but this they don’t know: I start all my days with poetry.


Morning Sounds

Intermittent calls of local birds, from shrilling to warbling.
My neighbour's wake-up cough; noises of saucepan and kettle.
I am quiet here in my yard, with my cat curled up beside me.

As Promised

‘We’ll get through this,’ you told me, your arms around me as I sobbed
and would not give my reason: that I saw you dying day by day.
Alone now, and still here, day by day I’m getting through it.


I walk about my little house, liking the comforts I’ve made here —
this home of mine that was once ours, from which you are dead and gone,
where in each room I encounter warm traces of your presence.


Waking up, I stretch my limbs, lifting my legs high in the air
so I see the slim ankles, the shapely calves of a young girl
once a day — before weight and age, and Gravity, thicken them.


In Wilting Heat

I believe there will be rain tonight, at last. Yes! I walk out
and find very fine drops already falling invisibly.
But will they be enough for this thirsty land? Bring on the storms!


Rain Call

Big splashy raindrops, I call you to fall on this thirsty earth!
And to keep falling as long as the plants need to keep drinking!
In one week autumn will begin -- mote we go into it refreshed!

The Dead Year

It's as if a whole year has been negated since you died.
Though I'm well aware of all its happenings and stages, they dim.
It seems reality stopped with you, events since pale and lifeless.


The Singer Tells Me

The singer tells me that, since menopause, she’s lost the voice she had.
She likes to sing with others now, who are giving all they have.
‘I too,’ she says, ’Give all I have. I must let that be enough.’


I'm also linking these to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #191

I found this a challenging form indeed, so was very surprised and delighted that Missing was placed 5th in the Top 10 when the Challenge was judged! — 14 March 2014

21 February 2014

My Glass Swan

My glass swan
sits above the computer now
so I can still look at it often.

Its first home was my bedroom
when I was a child. It lived
on top of the bookshelf then.

The top (or back) is a lid.
I keep, inside the cavity of its body,
soft, very tiny feathers.

It shows me all the serenity,
grace and beauty
I always longed to have.

It is like a promise …
though I’m sad to see that one wing
has become chipped.

But in a long life, that is perhaps
to be expected. Its calm beauty,
nevertheless, remains.

16 February 2014

Valentine to My Levi

My gorgeous lad, my best bloke,
your eyes are bright, your hair is dark.
You are the one I love to cuddle;
come over here, let's have a snuggle.
Your body hair is thick and furry,
your loving voice is low and purry.
You are mine and I am yours;
I'm wrapped around your flexing paws.
They say you're a killer; I'll ignore that.
You are my darling, the cat of my heart.

At dVerse, the prompt is to wind down from Valentine's Day by writing a short love poem to something other than a person, almost but not quite in gooey, greeting-card language. (Oh, I think I misunderstood and we were supposed to get away from that kind of language. Instead, I've attempted to turn it humorous.)

15 February 2014

14 Words for Love

(Valentine's Day Poems)

I came across this lovely idea on facebookthen was led to the main website
Here are my contributions to the collection.

My angel, since you died
where shall I find you?
Look in your heart.


I smile at your photo
and your steadfast eyes 
gaze back at me, shining.


We never kept
Valentine's Day.
All our days were full
of love and roses.


'Get yourself some roses'
you'd say, when you
no longer could.
I still do.


'His eyes follow you,'
said his son. 'I hope
I someday find
such love.'


to tall, dark, handsome
I marry short and fair --
our love is beautiful.


after you, 
I see enormous sky. 
What do you see,
looking back? 


Your black cat and I
wait in this garden for you.
Many memories come.


Though I go to bed alone
you are with me 
in memory and dream.


Even now, when you're no longer here,
I can't stop having conversations with you.


Valentine's Day

I'll go to town
and choose red roses
as if they came from him.



I feel a kiss 
light on my hair,
as if you still had breath.



You think of me that way? 
How sweet! But I
don't want your love.

(This is an odd one out, addressed to 
a different person from the rest.)


February 14

I spend this day
writing poems for you —
sweet as chocolate,
fragrant as roses.


Also submitted for Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Heart

7 February 2014

Young Love

He had red hair one year; another, black.
He had a beard; he had a smooth, clean chin.
A fair-skinned blonde; no, olive-skinned and dark.
Broad-shouldered, muscular — or tall and thin.

We snuggled when we hugged, being of a height.
I loved to stand on tiptoe when we kissed.
Brown eyes, you say? Ah, truly, black as night.
That bright blue gaze became most sorely missed.

The loves of youth — how varied, how intense!
I loved a pretty face, a handsome form.
It took a while to learn this common sense:
what makes you hot won’t always keep you warm.

But, growing up at last, I got it right
in finding one who shone with inner light.

Submitted for Poets United's Mid-Week Motif ~ Love
(Choose an age, we are asked. What was love like then? And perhaps try a sonnet.)

2 February 2014

In Spring She Dreams

for Jess

In Spring she dreams a sunflower,
thinking it an augury of growth,
but it does not appear.

Come Summer and it blooms
suddenly, singly, from nowhere,
in the garden where the women gather.

That evening in the circle
she leads the meditation,
flowering into her fullness.