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 2016

What Kills the Heart

What kills the heart is the lie uncovered,
exposing a different truth to your eyes.
Everything you had thought is other.

You would rather not be so newly wise,
but once you have seen, you cannot devise
any way to twist your perception back
to the old, taken-for-granted world view.

Suddenly you are walking a new track,
unknown, unmapped. There is nothing to do
but journey on, inside this cold new you.

29 October 2016

Wearing it Like a Flag

I am snowy, she is steely silver.
My dear late husband's hair was perfect white
like the very best quality paper,
or clean snow – but softer, not blinding bright;
more halo-like, symbol of inner light.

Old blondes are sometimes yellow-streaked. I'm glad
mine didn't go like that. I always had
a hankering for beautiful white hair.
'But you'll look old!' they told me. Well, my bad.
I'm old, snowy and proud; finally there.

Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #326

28 October 2016

Learning the Dizain

I find in the dizain, it seems, a form
tailored to my hand: flexible yet firm.
A sensitive glove? Or a tool I hold
for shaping, sculpting? Both, and more – a home
I recently moved into, bringing old
favourite items to augment the new.
I arrange the space around me, walk through
rooms that offer unexpected pleasures,
gaze from windows that show me a new view –
strangely at ease as I claim these treasures.

With thanks to Robert Lee Brewer for introducing me to this form.


It's an addiction, said the other son,
the one who hated her. She made him dead
in her mind – though she wept deep, made him gone.
But was he right in that one thing he said?
Her art consumed her. She painted him red
with the face of a demon, to remind
herself how much he meant to be unkind.
It was a necessity for her: art.
(Yet, was it addiction? Or did he blind-
side her – a cold wind that froze her whole heart?)

26 October 2016

Refusing a Call

doesn’t happen a lot. Much more often
I leap in feet-first, shouting my delight
as, somewhere, good angels bend and soften
the fabric of reality just right
for me to slip through easily – no fight,
no struggle; only challenge, adventure
enough to say to myself, ‘Yes, I’m sure.’
Poetry, magic, travel, certain men …
I was right to rise to each lovely lure.
If sometimes the end was dark – even then.

('There are some things it is better to begin than to refuse ... even if at the end it should be dark' – J.R.R. Tolkien. One of my favourite quotations.)

Never Mind

'Were you close 
to your father?' 
she asked. 

I said yes.
Hesitated ...

No spark 
of understanding
lit her eyes. 

So I omitted that night:
my drunken shrieking,
wanting to kill him

without contact.

'Yes ... a fun Dad
when we were little,'
I said.

Written for Quadrille #19: Spark, at dVerse

24 October 2016

The Burgeoning

Spring in Murwillumbah brightens the breeze
now the jacarandas are once again 
purpling, and the Illawarra flame trees
crimsoning streetscape, river bank, bush lane,
and here and there a neighbourhood garden –
now their delicate petals nod and dance
in the quickening air, flutter and prance
to draw us out from desks and dark hallways,
because this, as the season of romance,
reminds us: light and life renew, always.

Shared at Tuesday Platform for 25 Oct. 2016 at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.


When the flame stretches a tendril of light
and catches the circling moth, there's a flare,
a sudden incandescence, briefly bright ...
then it's as if nothing was ever there –
only silence, only the empty air.

Of you and me, I didn't know which one
was moth, and which flame – until you were gone.
Mourning that death, I thought you the moth, who
in that blazing moment, vanishing, shone.
Then I saw how caught I was. Then I knew.

Linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #332

On 12 Dec. 2016 it was announced that this poem came second in the recent Dizain Challenge at Poetic Asides. To read the beautiful winning poem by Jane Shlensky and see the Top 10 list, click here.

23 October 2016

To the One Sharing My Bed

I'm here with you, beautiful one, lying down
beside you, sleeping the whole night by you,
grateful to have you as my companion –
as I faithfully choose to be yours too.
You had no such choice; it was imposed: true.
You'd have been homeless; there was only me
to take you in. We started warily.
Now you let me fondle your sleek black fur.
You relax beside me, breathing safety.
Sometimes, I catch a momentary purr.

22 October 2016

Now That You Are Gone

Now that you are gone, there's no-one to tell
the small, inconsequential, trifling things 
that fill my days and thoughts – and serve me well 
to fix me to the earth. Well, who needs wings?
The time is not now for those high soarings.
Only, the daily trivia were sweet
in themselves, when I could come and repeat
the details into your listening ear.
I'm happy enough on my earth-bound feet,
but that I wish your step beside me, dear.

She Shows Me

My little cat keeps trying to entice
me to come with her into the garden. 
She beseeches me, with her speaking eyes,
from the doorway. I don't mean to harden
against her. Just, I'm busy; a burden
I am foolish to shoulder, when sunlight
is filling the garden. It's warm and bright
out there, and she is full of eagerness –
not to be there herself; she's there all right –
for me to join her, which is happiness.

Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #325


Remarkable how well I can remember
the taste and texture of fresh raspberries!
The Spring sun, returning each September,
startles awake these childhood memories.
The ceanothus hums anew with bees
as it did on our old front lawn back then;
though both tree and bees were very long gone
when I went back to that good home to see,
fifty years later. And while path, fence, lawn,
even house remained – not one raspberry.

Linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #329

19 October 2016

Feeling Frustrated

It is a serious issue for me
when I have no internet connection.
I need my hobby group (photography)
plus the whole online poetry section.
Lacking all access is a distraction –
not in a good way. I want to protest.
I want to protest vociferously
and do some violence too, if I’m honest.
I'm too far from the tower, they tell me.
Service is weak – too bad, end of story.

My First Gardenia

My first gardenia bloom has turned up
as if overnight, but there must have been
a tiny bud first: a tight, hidden cup
closing white petals in unremarked green,
allowing them to develop unseen.

Now that the flower appears, part-open,
turning to the sun a face just woken,
I see the big leaves are still leaning near,
lingeringly protective; half cloaking
the soft new life now emerging, now here.

18 October 2016

True Confession

They say that women read romantic books
because they cannot get the men they want.
The ones they have lack charm or wealth or looks;
or the dream lover is somehow absent –
busy, distant, even non-existent.

It's true that only since I've been alone,
with no desire to replace the man gone –
yet with desire – I've tried such books myself.
I can please myself, now I'm on my own.
Some thrillers can't yet be left on the shelf.


Me and my cat are lounging here again,
enjoying the gentle warmth of mid-Spring
under the porch roof in our back garden,
listening to next-door’s radio sing
cheerful melodious pop – a morning
like so many others, yet each one new ...
old and new – the sun that shone, wind that blew,
clouds that wafted leisurely overhead,
somehow become permanent, though they flew
past; stretching yesterdays, archived not dead.

13 October 2016


The paintings on my walls
by artist friends.
Photos Andrew took
with his eye for composition, 
and blew up into framed enlargements.

My bookshelves crammed with volumes – 
some you can't get now, and some
I've had since I was a child
and loved since then.

This cat beside me on the couch
grooming herself assiduously –
or elongated in sleep,
bracing her feet on my leg.

The mountains around the skyline;
the sky in all its moods;
the river that runs through town;
the deep blue, foaming ocean.

Memories: black gums and golden wattles, 
the vast lawns of my childhood.
Travels: sunny Bali, cool Peru,
the crags and streams of Scotland.

The Spring flowers now coming out.
My favourite poems and songs.
Loves I've known.

Written for Midweek Motif: Wealth at Poets United

12 October 2016

Out Early with Dragon

We walked through before,
needed NOW.

There was dancing.
We smiled bitter sugar.

A long time
in the already ...

couldn’t stay always.
Great pangs ripped me.

I don’t give tempting;
I discover will.

An experiment with erasure, using today's 'morning pages' (which, in full, were fairly banal). 
I have tried to suggest meaning where actually there is none.  

9 October 2016


Surrounding blue, deepening to navy, 
drapes the horizon like a ribbon – long,
undulating, irregular, wavy.
Our mountain sentinels are standing strong.
As daylight now fades with the last birdsong,
the river slowly darkens, and the sky
contracts to one fiery point that will die
in a white-hot blaze; as ibis fly straight
for their nests, quick arrows … so likewise I
find home in this little town: a sweet fate.

Written for the latest Micro Poetry prompt at 'imaginary garden with real toads. 
The form is a dizain.

4 October 2016

Deep Blue Spaces

In a space between
the every-days of my life –
my here life –
I dive into the sky
to fly to a party.

'Now you can say
you're a jet-setter,'
my son declares.
He thinks my life
began at his birth.

I smile, remembering 
many flights 
out and back,  
and the oceans.

55 words for Flash 55 PLUS! – the concept of Space 
at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.