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.

5 August 2016

At Mariner's Café

We like to call in here
on the way home from Kingscliff
or even Tweed Heads (a detour) to catch up
with our friend, the new manager
– and the coffee’s good.
So is the view of the river.

In late afternoon sun,
we sit back, leaning on the wall
of the antique shop next door.
I peer inside at nets and creels, ropes, 
huge balls of deep green glass
and steering-wheels in dark, polished wood.

I want to meet him, the shop owner,
to yarn with him and sniff the salty air –
this man who so loves boats. Our friend
wipes down our table. Another customer,
loud-mouthed, at last vacates. ‘That’s the man
from the shop,’ our friend mutters. We all grimace.


At dVerse, in 'Let's Kick it Up a Notch', we are invited to improve an old draft, perhaps by adding more detail (result above). A novel idea to me – I usually try to condense. But the original of this was already spare, and always seemed to me lack-lustre. Here it is, below. You can see that it's been waiting a long time for me to find a way to improve it. I think that Victoria, at dVerse, has finally shown me how.

Mariner’s Cafe

Late afternoon sun.
We sit back against the wall
by the antique shop.

In the shop I’ve seen
nets and creels and green glass balls,
ropes and steering-wheels.

I want to meet him,
to yarn and sniff the salt air –
this man who loves boats.

Steve wipes the table
as a noisy yob vacates.
‘That’s the man,” he says.



  1. Oh this is absolutely stunning Rosemary :D I love the way you added all those details into the poem. Especially these lines "I peer inside at nets and creels, ropes, huge balls of deep green glass, and steering-wheels in dark, polished wood" made me feel like I was there :D Beautifully executed.

    Lots of love,

  2. i love the narrative style of the revised version while the original one is also beautiful...

  3. Both sequenced nicely, as if two different poets wrote one leg of the pair. The POV changes slightly, giving the original its due, and the revision its charm! I love it, Rosemary!

  4. I like them both! they both have their merits but your revised poem has so much charm in it. I love the word charm and rarely get to use it. The newer one gives us more of the story in a different way. I can see it. I can see myself there quietly having a cuppa while you and the owner gab and then he points out the guy....

  5. I'm with Toni, the second expands and brings us right into the scene. I felt the same relief as the people in the poem when the loud person left. The grimace is perfect.

  6. I love the crusty salty-sea feel of your rewrite. Really great work. Your addition of sensory detail hit the mark!

  7. Rosemary, this is a delight with so much detail in the edit. I love the conversational tone that is comforting and the great verbs. Yarn with him--yes!

  8. I prefer the original--as a prose poem it sets up the close far more effectively, is more sensual & inviting for me.

  9. I like the revised poem as it has more details of the place and setting of the antique shop. Good one Rosemary.

  10. I do think the improvement is a good one, Rosemary. As I read the first one, I got a bit lost in the words. When I read the second one, I found it hit the mark. I am generally one to appreciate 'lean' poetry; and I guess that is another reason I prefer the second.

    1. Thanks, Mary. Actually the second one was the original, lol! Interestingly, most of my (mainly Aussie) poet friends on facebook preferred it too.

  11. Hi Rosemary, can you please email me at sometimesg@yahoo.com?



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