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.

30 September 2016

Roses for Pat

For Pat Kun

Inhale the scent of roses!
Melbourne is the city of roses.

I shall be there in early October, in Spring,
for a birthday – Pat's eightieth year of youth – 
when, for joy, her home,
white-walled, will smile bright red with roses.

Next year at this time, we’ll recall the big eight zero, 
a giant of a birthday … but days of wine and roses
can be for the tiny little pixie anniversaries too, the non-
zero years. Shall I return, or just send champagne?

Meanwhile, this year and I have flown fast, fast forwarding 
to arrive at this festivity, 
this visit to the city of Melbourne
to see my friend Pat turn 80 and smell the generous roses.

Written according to Ravi Shankar's instructions for a 'Manipulated Fourteen-Line Poem' in the book Wingbeats. The verse breaks are my own, and create a sort of upside-down free-verse sonnet.


  1. A wonderful occasion for celebration. I hope you both have a wonderful time. I hear you, about time fast-forwarding.

  2. So sweet. As the rose who wrote it

  3. It is such a special occasion. Turning 80 is a privilege many can only hope for but they die trying!


  4. I liked the length of 14 lines, works so well, and what joy to celebrate 80 years of youth... it's worth a million roses.

  5. I closed my eyes... and visualized a house with "smile bright red with roses". And the color and scent are glorious.