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 October 2014


On being asked to write about what this date, celebrated as 
Halloween (which is based on Samhain) truly means to me.

I would light a candle.
I would stand it
beside your photo.

I’d recall
the daily rituals
of our time together.

I’d set a place for you
at our table.
Tonight we’d feast.

If it were truly Samhain
here in the warm South,
that is what I’d do.
However, it’s Beltane.

The hot, hot summer
is coming. But
the way we ushered it in
my dear, is over.

You are ghost or angel,
more ethereal than smoke.
And I shall be lighting
no fires tonight.

Image: Beltane Fire Dancer by NataliaLeFay (free download)

Note: For those who don't know, Beltane is traditionally celebrated with sexual passion. 

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writers Resource Center). Prompt: Completion.

Also a follow-on to the previous poem, which was in response to Poets United's Midweek Motif: Halloween, or Celebrating the Dead.

On Samhain Night

On Samhain night, when the veil is thin,
I collect photos of those gone before.
I set them out for viewing,
I do them honour.

It is the time of festivity for them,
our predecessors — sires, mothers,
siblings, lovers, spouses, friends,
others even longer gone….

How deeply must we reverence
those who bestowed their love
upon us, those who were here
in their lives, living.

They were here in their homes;
they knew us.  They return
to our homes which were theirs
for one night’s visit.

We owe them this: for love, for blood,
for respect, for the proper
sequence of things, for every
bond which lingers.

This is the time which we give
to them, to remember
who they were then, once —
now only ghosts.

Welcome, beloveds. We esteem you.
Here is your spot — sit, dine!
Be with us. When you go, rest
in our love until next time.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writers Resource Center). Prompt: Use no words with the letter a, except one word where it appears twice.

Poets United Midweek Motif: Halloween, or Celebrating the Dead; what does it truly mean to you?  (I addressed the prompt as given. However, this is the Southern Hemisphere! For what this date really signifies to me, see the next poem.)

A funny thing, grief

You think you're going along
nicely, then some little thing
triggers it and you're lost.

'Oh, my precious, beautiful girl!'
I suddenly say to the air, as
out of nowhere the thought of her
grows large. My sweet cat,
who stayed with me 16 years.

I knew it was her time. I knew
she'd been happy in her life.
Focused now on her brother,
loving him through his loss,
I imagined I'd handled mine.

I have come to bed.
He is outside,
enjoying the cool night,
sprawled on our top step
or the car bonnet.
At some stage he will come in
and settle himself
next to my pillow.
It's become his spot.

But she was always
the sleeping companion before,
arriving as soon as I went to bed
at whatever time
from wherever she was,
even outside. It beat me how
she knew, but she always did.
She would cuddle up and purr
loudly, then snuggle all night.

He has not come in yet;
too early for him.
Therefore I am not
distracted by his presence ...
nor am I distracted
from her absence.
Her absence acquires
its own huge presence.

I lie down alone
and the tears come.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Write the final line of the  poem first, then work out how to get there.

29 October 2014

Visiting the Podiatrist

'What have you been up to lately?'
he asks, as he settles my feet,
and I say, 'Poetry'. It's always poetry.

The big, curved, metal clippers click
as he enquires, 'How long
have you been writing poetry?'

'Since I was seven,' I say,
and then he remembers. 'Oh yes,
You told me that last time.'

Out at the reception desk,
Teresa's typing briskly
in a staccato clatter.

In here, Justin resumes.
'Do you have any special themes?'
'No,' I say. 'There are no unfit subjects.'

He laughs. 'Except, maybe,
visiting the podiatrist.'
I tell him about today's prompt:

Include one or more sounds.
I mention the clippers and the keyboard,
and some rustling of paper out there now.

'And the low hum of the air conditioning,'
he adds with a small flourish. I tell him,
'Ah, you're writing your own poem now.'

'Do you know any poems of Kipling?'
he asks suddenly. 'I live in Kipling Street.'
I tell him Kipling wrote novels and stories too.

I tell him that Kipling's most famous poem
is 'If' and how I dislike it. I recite
a phrase or two. He Googles the rest.

We get onto war, and the state of the world.
He asks if there are violent, hating poems,
seems to have encountered only the uplifting.

I talk of ancient times, other cultures;
guess that readers might prefer gentler stuff,
so that would be what lives. Then I remember rap.

'Rap's full of all that. It comes from
the disadvantaged. They have cause.'
'I forgot that rap's a kind of poetry,' he says.

I'm ashamed that I forgot too. 'Often
very good poetry,' I hurry to say, 'Even if
I don't always like the message.'

He lets my chair down. Its a slow chair,
soundless. My feet feel so comfortable,
its as if they no longer exist.

Teresa books my next appointment.
I ask about her beautiful accent. (She lilts.)
Swedish, and she lived in Scotland.

The phone rings, loud and brassy.
I wave and walk out on to the street,
listening to my own light footsteps.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Include one or more sounds.

Submitted, a year later, for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #275.

27 October 2014

The Regimen

It’s a hot day, a very hot day,
but it’s time to swing my weights

up fast, slow down, each side
from waist to shoulder

then from shoulder to overhead
(don’t let them meet in the middle)

up and down alternately
in front of the body, seated

curling up to the shoulder, seated too,
then forward and back, on one knee

always five times each side, each set;
count ten seconds, repeat

remembering, you can go up fast,
but bring them down very slow

finally put them aside, and bend
arm over head, twice, left and right

hold each bend for fifteen seconds
and feel the stretch in the bending hip.

Do this every other day.
On alternate days, go for a walk.

I’ve always walked, on and off,
but the weight training is new.

After my mother fell and broke her hip
she never went home again.

My bones, I’m told, are brittle
but I’m not yet ready to break from life.

Also I now keep my mobile
attached, in pocket or bum-bag.

Don’t want an agonising crawl to the phone
like hers. But I’m living alone, like her.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Use an inspirational tool from this list:
Call a friend and talk about old times
Collaborate with another poet
Give yourself a deadline
Give yourself permission to write badly
Go someplace new
Interview yourself
Just start writing anything that comes to mind as fast as you can
Listen to your favorite music
Look at old photographs
Read a magazine or a newspaper
Read someone else’s poetry
Read your own poetry
Review your old work
Start with a title
Take a swim, bath or a shower
Take a walk
Try another medium such as drawing or painting
Try something new
(Obviously, I exercised.) 

He Lies on the Floor

He lies on the floor at my feet
in front of his new scratching post —
which he ignores.  Lifting a paw,
he washes behind one ear.

The old post is out on the kerb
for the hard rubbish collection.
After two years of two cats
it was shredded. But change upsets him.

So at first the old and the new
sat side by side in the house.
I took each of his front paws in my hand
and raked them down the coiled rope.

I swung the dangling balls of synthetic fur
and pulled the toy mouse on its quick elastic.
He batted the balls a bit, then pounced so fast
on the mouse that he almost got me.

But playing of his own accord
hasn’t happened yet.  He doesn’t
have his sister any more
to compete and encourage him.

He murmurs and stirs, and looks up at me.
Again I see him as panther: that all-black coat.
He is docile though, and becoming happy
to hang with me in our pack of two.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Write a draft in paragraphs of prose, then turn it into poetry. (Interesting! The poetry required a lot of tightening. I went from 393 words to 173.)

26 October 2014

In Soft Morning

In soft morning
memory and pain,
dying away in silent light
before the birds begin,
pretend to be dream.

I let them so pretend.
I fill up my consciousness
with tasks and simple joys
that keep the days passing.

Only when night returns
and finally I lie down,
still on my side of the bed,
a hidden door to the real
opens and lets them in.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Start and end poem with same word.

Linking to the Tuesday Platform for October 20, 2015, at 'imaginary garden with real toads'

25 October 2014

Posing Nude


When I was 25,
newly divorced
and needing cash

three friends
all artists
became my helpers.

First I posed just for them 
to get comfortable,
to find out if I’d like it,
to see if I’d be any good.

They taught me the tricks:
strike a pose suggesting movement
(more interesting)
but distribute your weight
so it’s balanced;

shift your weight
subtly, infinitesimally,
if you go numb;

wear your robe between poses;
rest between poses;
insist on a heater if it’s cold.

Surprisingly, I loved it.
Briefly, was the highest-paid
artist’s model in Melbourne —
until the next husband
wanted exclusive views.


At 45,
plump mother of schoolboys,
I reclaimed an old identity.

An artist friend,
a neighbour,
became my recruiter

for the new life drawing group,
old hands and beginners both,
at the Community Centre.

I gave it a try
to see if I still could
(it’s harder work than you’d think,
stressing the body in various ways:
legs, back, arms;
cold, stiffness, pain)
and to find out if I’d still like it.

Yes to both questions, but
the long, reclining poses
became my forté now,
easier to hold
gentler on the body
and just as interesting
if the sketchers found their own angles.
(My friend liked to draw my face.)

The second husband
was less possessive by now!
Decided to be proud of me instead.
But then we moved away
and that was the end of that.


I’m 75.
You must be joking!
Well yes, it is a joke
but one with serious purpose.

There’s Leigh, Helen,
Delaina and me
four friends
four poets
four collaborators.

Who came up with this idea first?
That we celebrate and promote
the paperback version
of our new book
by posing naked with copies?
I forget, but my guess
is probably either Leigh or Helen.

Leigh kicked it off:
abundant flesh behind
four fanned-out copies;
otherwise dressed
only in a huge smile.

This wasn’t the sort of thing
Delaina had ever done
or contemplated doing,
but she did. Part of the group,
she said, and therefore game.

Side-on, with leather jacket
draped over the far shoulder,
the book in front of the near;
and, I do believe, an eyelash flutter.

Helen’s away,
we’ll have to await
her no doubt brilliant
exposure on her return.

Meanwhile, me.
Yes, I did say 75.
Living alone
without a photographer.
Oh I know,
my massage therapist.
She sees me naked anyway.
But she’s booked solid,
can’t allot extra time.

OK, put the hard word on a friend.
Practise at home first
in front of the full-length mirror.
Hmm, hafta use two books
to sneakily push up
as well as cover the tits.
Decide the angle.
Maybe one book, open?

At friend’s house, she poses me
in front of the drawn blind
(in case of nosey neighbours).
I do the tit-push with two books,
I do the tit-push with one,
I let some flesh peek around the sides,
almost expose a nipple.

We examine the first results.
'I look ... low,' I say.
'I wouldn’t worry,' she tells me.
'Lots of young girls too
look just like that.'

But when I get home,
I realise what’s really wrong:
too much boob, not enough book.
I resort to my last option: selfies
with the Photobooth on my laptop.

I cart it around the house
to find a neutral background
without mess, ornaments,
pictures on walls,
or dangling clown puppets
growing out of my head.

I hold the book high this time —
never mind proving my cleavage —
and try for the right expression.
The wink looks gross,
the smile forced,
the calm face elderly.
I settle on a pursed-lip smirk.

And there I am, depicted
visibly naked again
(without visible rude bits).
Artistry it ain’t,
but this might have been
my hardest
as well as my last,
and — good heavens! —
my most widely-seen
nude pose.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Do something that scares you just a little, and write about it.

dVerse Meeting the Bar: lists. (This one is a list of three episodes, within each of which are lots of little lists.)

Music Practice

The boy who lives across the road
is playing his recorder over and over.
I am trying to recognise
the phrase he keeps repeating.
He is playing it slowly, again and again.
I know that I know it.  Then finally
I put the single, spaced-out notes together:
Jingle Bells revives in my memory,
carrying me back to when I was a child.
He doesn’t make it jolly. He doesn’t
connect the notes into a tune, not really,
and he plays it mournfully slow
so his bells don’t jingle — but,
if he keeps on practising, perhaps
his music will be dancing by Christmas.
Meanwhile I resign myself to all the weeks
when, inadvertently, perforce, I must listen.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Centre). Prompt: use a verb in every line

That Day

The call came just after breakfast.
‘Right,’ I said, briskly, ‘I’m on my way.’
But first I called Maureen, our friend,
who always said, ‘When that time comes,
if you need me to be there with you, I will.’
I had not expected to need or want her —
her or anyone — but when the time came,
yes I did.  I’ll never know whether she had
any other plans that day. She just came.

I arrived first; it was so close to home.
I was used to popping in and out.
I had time to whisper some messages
just between him and me. I knew he could hear
though his eyes were closed, and I knew
he understood me. Perhaps he would have
even without help — very probably—
but I used direct telepathy, just to make
perfectly certain. (We Reiki Masters have ways.)

‘We’ll find you a private room,’ they said,
and did. When did Maureen arrive? About then.
Hard to remember that detail exactly, and of course
it doesn’t really matter. She arrived, kissed him
(did she? I think she did) and sat down
in the chair on the other side of the bed.
We were both calm in our demeanour.
We talked in low voices, to and about him.
I held his hand.…  And so that long, quiet day began.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Write about a real moment in your life without discussing its larger meaning.

Also submitted for Poets United's Midweek Motif: One Day in the Life of

22 October 2014

Moments / Years

We danced a sudden jig
among more sedate dancers
at the kindergarten parents’
end-of-year party.
Who was it slipped us
the whispered news
in that conservative gathering?
I can’t remember, but I do recall
whispering too, unable to contain
extreme jubilation: ‘Labour’s won!
Labour’s won! Labour’s won!’
We signalled our friends.
The after-party at our place,
on into early morning,
was a talkfest of delight.
That was in 1972.

And we were right to be glad
as rapid reform began.
Three years later
my best friend phoned.
‘The Government’s been dismissed!’
Half the country, of course,
had been listening to Parliament,
glued to our radios
as the crisis appeared to stalemate.
But at that point it was hard
to credit what we heard.
‘Profound division in the country,’
a commentator remarks.
Ah yes, they were fierce days.
Like many (though not the man himself)
I can still find the rage.

Today, in 2014, I read his death on facebook
over my morning coffee. Parliament
suspends all standing orders, spends all day
(both sides of politics equally)
honouring this man
who seemed eternal
but has finally left us.
'Great leader, great Australian,
great friend, mentor to many.’
‘He changed the nation.
There was before Whitlam and after.’
His list of achievements is long:
the arts, indigenous affairs,
the status of women …
‘A giant’, people are saying.
Let me say, Colossus.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). PromptWrite a three stanza poem that shows a progression with each stanza. The three stanzas should serve as a beginning, middle and end respectively.

Also submitted for dVerse Poetics — Good News, Bad News, Your News!

21 October 2014

It's Time

Vale Gough

It’s time for mourning,
time for knowing
all that we’ve lost
since his time.

It’s time to remember
that long-gone euphoria,
time to ponder
the brief taste of freedom,
time to farewell
the last of the giants —
it’s his time.

It’s time to be thankful
he once walked among us,
time to praise
the reforms that he gave us,
the peace he enacted,
the pacifists un-prisoned,
not before time.

It’s time to celebrate
affordable health care
truly life-saving,
free Universities
for all who could qualify,
the restoring of land rights —
oh yes, it was time.

It’s time to believe
we must not forget him,
it’s time to recapture
the decency, the caring
of that earlier era,
time to maintain
the rage for our time.

It’s time for morning,
a new day, a sunrise.
Yes we can do it.
Yes, now, it’s time!

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Start with a negative, turn it to a positive.  Also submitted for dVerse Poetics — Good News, Bad News, Your News!

In honour of Gough Whitlam, 1916-2014, former Prime Minister of Australia

20 October 2014


A friend on facebook posts
a picture of a ‘flag of peace’, sharing it
from a site called ‘Imagine
Peace’. The caption
says, ‘Fly the flag
of peace’ — and I want it to be
a signpost, pointing
in a single direction, not a
flag waving in the breeze according to
whatever wind is
prevailing at the time, in
whatever place the flag is
planted. But I am wrong of course: you have
to be wrong if you object
to a flag of peace; we should all
be grasping it, waving it, fair
in the faces of
any old war-monger out there. Only I
wanted clear direction, and
there isn’t one really, except
I suppose, not to
fly flags
of war.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Centre). Prompt: Use lines of varying length, either end-stopped or enjambed. As I usually end-stop, I decided to try enjambment.

18 October 2014

The Greeting

There is nothing casual
in the way he greets me,
though he looks relaxed,
unfolding himself
from where he sprawls
and adopting a leisurely,
almost-swaggering pace.

He is so fluid, moving
with feline grace,
approaching my car
with slow, deliberate steps,
keeping his eyes continually
fixed on mine, holding me
with his intent gaze.

There is nothing formal
in the way I respond —
smiling without premeditation,
alighting quickly,
calling out his name, showing
my pleasure to see him
with an immediate hug.

As we walk up the steps
to the door, I tell him
how good he looks,
his black hair smooth and sleek,
and he tells me
how much he’s missed me,
nuzzling me and purring.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Use the words 'formal' and  'casual' in a poem.


(Discovered by a random click)

Percile is a district
in the Province of Rome
with calm, rectangular buildings
and rounded trees.

The spot on the map
is halfway up 
the boot that is Italy,
round about the knee.

I went to Florence
and was charmed,
to Venice and fell in love —
the bridges, the art, the water!

Rome remains only
maps and pictures
films and stories. Now
I know it’s a Province too.

More than a city,
it includes the city.
The districts are comuni.
Percile is a comune.

Eternal City, forever without me,
nevertheless may you thrive.
Unknown Percile, may you be
a happy community.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt:  A 'wild assignment' — click Wikipedia's random link to find inspiration.

17 October 2014


twine with the stars at night
to travel unseen heights
tracking the mysteries,
touching the Pleiades.

Their roots stretch underground
too, Pleiadian light
taken down, deeply wound,

tangled in our depths and
thrusting up through the crust,
through red earth, clay or sand.

Trees know these Sisters well;
they love them as they must.
They love, and they stand tall,
threading light through the dust.

At Poets United this week the Midweek Motif prompt is Trees. At dVerse Meeting the Bar today we are asked to write in the 'Pleiades' form of seven six-syllable lines with a one word title, every line beginning with the initial of the title. Not quite what was asked for: I've written a Pleaides followed by a reverse Pleiades, as one poem, and added  a rhyme scheme not actually required. We were also asked to include the name of a heavenly body, so I chose the obvious. And — obviously —I've combined both prompts.

16 October 2014

"Rising Once Again"

(Re-reading the Rubaiyat*)

The moon is coming to the full
white-gold over a rosy sunset,
the first star tiny above and far.
Nights like this, I think of the redhead.

“Ah moon of my delight, that knows no wane”.
(That phrase I fit to him always.)
He was lithe and tall with flowing mane,
a fabulous creature of passion.

I wonder where he sleeps tonight,
clutching the air with his great paws —
still alive on the earth? Under what moon?
I know he remembers me too, always.

I turn the pages of the old book
in my mind only, in memory.
The first star is tiny above, and far.
The moon is coming to the full.

*The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward Fitzgerald.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Centre). Prompt: Reread some of your old poetry. Write a new poem about a subject from one of your old poems. See how revisiting it feels.

I found that I still stand behind the sentiments with which I first wrote old pieces, and am usually still happy with the versification too. This one, from 2001, never worked as I wanted it to. I didn't write a completely new poem but gave it an extensive rewrite; it's greatly altered.

15 October 2014

View, Spring Afternoon

The mountains across the way
curve like the long back
of this black cat, reposing
beside me in the sun.

Long black lazy curves
of sinuous back
and the hump of the head
with one pointed ear jutting.

Long hazy curves, blue-grey,
of somnolent mountain
with, at one end, a small hump
and an even smaller point.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Write a poem that follows the three basic rules of the Imagists:

  1. Direct treatment of the “thing”, whether subjective or objective.
  2. To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.
  3. As regarding rhythm: to compose in sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of the metronome.

If I Told You

If I told you how cold I felt last night,
if I told you that I and the night grew old
from not holding you, helpless to press you
against my breast, helpless to fight against
endless regrets for the blessing of you
being over and gone, being past and done,
so I’m left here endlessly alone …

If I told you all that, would you, could you, come back
to hold and enfold me and make me feel whole?
No, I know that you won't: you’re really a soul
and the old ways are over and you have evolved.
So I turn to remembrance, the semblance of real,
and I feel still the love that we did have, and will
in the cycles of birth and rebirth, forever …

31 Poems in 31 Days (from Poewar /Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Use various kinds of repetition.

Linking, a year later, to the Tuesday Platform for 27 Oct. 2015 at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

13 October 2014

Crosses in a Graveyard

I wish I had had this,
and I want to deny.

The moist earth
has forgotten she ever knew me.

Remember how I hated them —
symbols of someone I no longer recall.

(Yet would still embrace always,
beyond this realm.)

31 Poems in 31 Days (from Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Choose a writing process you haven't tried before. I tried something I once read of: choose someone else's poem, respond to each line with one of your own, remove the other poet's lines, tweak. The result is a work of fiction and I think the narrator must be a ghost! The source was De Profundis by Lorca.

First Steps on a New Path

We four women, old friends and new,
drove to the Castle in Spring sunshine.

‘You are a Way Shower, aren’t you?’
said my newest friend, making me glad.

We stood in the smoke from a big pot
of burning eucalyptus leaves.

The Elders told us the true history
passed down through the grandmothers.

‘We came from the stars, but we were made
here, long ago, the first people.

‘This land is far more ancient than you know
because you have been told lies.’

The custodian of the land we stood on
declared us adopted.

Now we too have responsibilities
to the land and to the truth.

We all closed our eyes while Priscilla sang
the Song of the Beginning.

31 Poems in 31 Days (from Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: syllabic verse.  Each verse of this poem is a 17-syllable 'American sentence' (a form devised by Allen Ginsberg) divided into two lines. I am also trying for something I call 'ghazal-type' in that it's somewhat discontinuous, with gaps in the narrative, like a ghazal (indeed a quasi-ghazal). Hence this is my 'ghazal-type 17-2' invention. (I already invented 'ghazal-type 17-3' — and yes, I know it's a cumbersome label, but at least it gives some indication of what it purports to describe.)

11 October 2014

Old is Beautiful

Despite the big tummy and hips,
despite the saggy tits,
despite the increasing wrinkles,
I am beautiful!
Everyone says so.

I post my photos on facebook,
carefully chosen of course
but still revealing I’m aged,
and compliments proliferate.
It’s a satisfying feeling.

When I was young,
I was the un-beautiful girl,
wallflower at dances.
(Or was that for the two left feet
and being too shy to talk?)

Anyway, I was never going to be
a Playboy centrefold,
and the boys never swarmed, buzzing.
I’m not sure how I scored
the three husbands, all the lovers.

But now I’m beautiful.
It’s a proven fact.
And when I walk down the street
or into the shops,
people smile and call me darling.

At nearly 75, finally
I made it. I think it must be
because I’m a witch. I prayed —
no, not to the Devil, you fool.
He doesn’t exist. The Devil’s a myth.

But when I was young
and felt the lack,
I prayed hard for beauty.
And kept on praying. Now
here it is! The Goddess is good.

31 Poems in 31 Days (from Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Write a poem in the first person that makes a definitive statement. Stand behind something you believe or tell a bold lie. Either way, embrace what you have to say.