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.

26 May 2017

Prelude to a Romantic Weekend

Arriving on my doorstep suddenly
he thrust at me a bunch of roses, red
for passion, offered awkwardly,
suggesting now would be the time for bed.
My house-mate and her children, luckily,
were going out. I whispered what he’d said,
that he’d decided we should ‘break the ice’.
She winked and said she’d stay out longer. Nice!

We’d planned a beautiful weekend away
to change our new romance to an affair:
a seaside venue meant for holiday
where we could play, let down our hair …
but that was some time hence, he said – and hey,
we’d want to be relaxed then, free of care
about performance, revelation, trust,
and all those issues that might hinder lust.

And so we had our first time then and there
inside my double bed, too long unshared.
Now, understand, we were not young; we were
the later end of middle age. We bared
imperfect bodies to each other’s stare
and moved like adolescents newly paired –
like clumsy virgins! But we worked it out
quite soon. And yes, his bright idea was right.


In twenty years of happy marriage, till
he left me when the angels called him home,
we loved each other thoroughly and well.
Reality was sweeter than a dream.
And memories can sweeten my heart still,
as if he never left – so it can seem.
He loved to give me roses. In my head
he still says: ‘Get yourself some roses – red!’

Written for Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Flowers, and simultaneously for dVerse Form for All – Ottava Rima.

24 May 2017

Ancient Road – tan renga

ancient road…
the trails of the masters
absorbed in fallen leaves                            © Adjei Agyei-Baah

thickening over the years
rarely disturbed by new feet                 © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

the road climbing higher
towards the mountaintop                          © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

For Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge 2017 #15

Springtime – tan renga

Springtime in Edo,
Not a day passes without
A temple bell sold.                                    © Kikaku

Happy sounds rise on the air –
laughter and hopeful prayers.                    © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


I think of how little I know
of Edo and its temple.                                © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Written for Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge 2017 #14

Bamboo – tan renga

waving candlelight into the night
wind                                                        © Jane Reichhold

the scent of the tropics
when you and I were young                         © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


thin stems rattling together
by my father’s fernery                                   © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Written for Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge 2017 #13

And linking to the latest Tuesday Platform at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

20 May 2017

Fragment and Phrase

rainy night
my cat wakes up 


my friend cooks
in my kitchen
purring cat


cold night out
bent over the stove
she warms food


morning fog lifts
the warble of magpies
fading as they fly

At Carpe Diem we are asked to write 'fragment and phrase' haiku in honour of the late Jane Reichhold. (Hope I got these right!)

I'm also linking this to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #356 where you can find a feast of poetry in all its variety.

Dandelion, dandelion – tan renga

dandelion dandelion
on the sandy beach
spring opens its eyes                    © Ogiwara Seisensui

a new morning 
blooms shiny gold                        © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


awakening to sunshine
and sparkling ocean                      © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Written for Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge 2017 #12

(I found this one really difficult to extend – probably because I regard the original haiku as complete and perfect in itself.)

17 May 2017

Taste of Nature – tan renga

taste of nature–
sweet blackberry bushes
sing to child and bees                           © Sara McNulty

the hum of pleasure deepens
through the sunny afternoon                 © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


the tart-sweet juices spread,
reddening mouths and fingers               © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

For Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge 2017 #11

And linking to Poet s United's Poetry Pantry #354

16 May 2017

An Autumn Leaf – tan renga

now it reveals its hidden side
and now the other—thus it falls,
an autumn leaf                                        © Ryokan Taigu

the light face, the dark face, 
are only one leaf, one whole                 © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


a butterfly rises
its bright wings flickering                      © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

For Tan Renga Challenge 2017 #10 at Carpe Diem

Also linking to Tuesday Platform May 16 2017 at 'imaginary garden with real toads'

15 May 2017

Leaves Float Away – tan renga

autumn evening
like whispered prayers
leaves float away                             © Dolores Fegan

darkness settles slowly
warm like prayers answered            © Rosemary Nissen-Wade 


my outdoor temple breathes
peaceful in the soft breeze               © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Another  prompt from Chevrefeuille at Carpe Diem: 
Tan renga challenge 2017 #9.

14 May 2017

Mother's Day Haiku

hot tomato soup
brown bread broken into it –
mother’s comfort food


my pretty mother –
different from her 
I felt ugly


I was her first –
she told me, when I cried 
she cried too


did she know me
as her only daughter
that last day?

Written for the 'Mother's Day' prompt by Chevrefeuille at Carpe Diem. 

Also linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #353

13 May 2017

Attempting a Haiku Puzzler

Rules of the game:

The goal is to re-create the scrambled haiku of three haiku poets, but to make it somewhat more difficult, I have used four scrambled haiku.

Below you find an image in which you can find all the lines of these three haiku. To find the three haiku you get three hints:

1. This haiku poet brought haiku into the 20th century by mentioning a modern invention.

2. This haiku is renown all over the globe.

3. At the end of the life of a haiku poet the custom was to write a Jisei (death-poem). This is the jisei of a famous female poet.

To make the "haiku puzzler" complete you have to submit the three found haiku including the name of the haiku poet.

Scrambled lines:

I can get 2 and 3

old pond
frogs jump into
water sound
by Basho

This is indeed world-renowned.

3. I am guessing that this is the jisei, though only the middle line is certain (and I don't know who wrote it):

having gazed at the moon
I depart from this life
with a blessing

Google tells me I got this right and that the author is Chiyo-ni

Which leaves my guesses at the other two as:

young foliage
after the passage of a train
smoke whirls

morning dew
evaporates in the early sunlight
spirit climbs to the sky

I am further guessing that the first of them is number 1 in the puzzle, because of the mention of a train – but again I don't know the author.

Google  tells me I got that right too, and that the author is Shiki – which I half-guessed because I knew he lived into the twentieth century. (Only, his version had my first and third lines reversed!)

I did rather guess that the fourth haiku might be by Chevrefeuille himself, and Google tells me that is so. But as he wrote it, in the version I found, it reads: 

in the early sunlight
morning dew evaporates
spirits climb to the sky

It was great fun playing this game, and I think I did quite well despite my ignorance. (Smile.)

11 May 2017

The Flower of a Pumpkin – tan renga

the flower of a pumpkin
as well as Mt. Ishizuchi
is great in scale                                  © Tomiyasu Fusei 

slow changes over time
it forms another shape                       © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


big pot of hot pumpkin soup
family fed from flower                      © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

For the Carpe Diem  Tan Renga Challenge 2017 #8  

(I think I am probably being too intellectual, not enough sensual.
What do you think?)

10 May 2017

Two Sets of Footprints – tan renga

two sets of footprints
in freshly fallen snow
one pair from Kyoto                             © Hamish Managua Gunn

patterns on the soles reveal
only part of the story                             © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


how far has the stranger come
to meet a friend in the cold?                  © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


new city shoes leave clear prints
the others must be well-worn                © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

For Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge 2017 #7: two sets of footprints.

9 May 2017

First Autumn Morning – tan renga

first autumn morning
the mirror I stare into
shows my father's face                          © Murakami Kijo

hints of the coming cold
familiar from times before                    © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Written for Tan Renga Challenge Month 2017 #6 at Carpe Diem.

Shared with The Tuesday Platform for May 9, 2017 at 'imaginary garden with real toads'

8 May 2017

Silent Steps – tan renga

silent steps –
one more candle illuminates
the old chapel                                      © Ese

a shadowy figure passes
along the edge of vision                       © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

lightning one candle
with another candle
an evening in spring                            © Buson (Tr. unknown)

from the withering the seed
from the seed the new blossom           © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge 2017 #5: silent steps

Shared with The Tuesday Platform for May 9 2017 at 'imaginary garden with real toads'

7 May 2017

Tan Renga for Jane

At Carpe Diem, in honour of the late Jane Reichhold, we are asked to add two lines to some of her haiku, in 'tan renga' – which I found challenging, because I learn that the idea of tan renga is to associate on one aspect of the haiku, not what it says as a whole. My associations are with  the middle line of each, except the final one where I associate to the last line.

morning breeze
coming in the window
surf sounds                                              © Jane Reichhold

scents of briny ocean
and the shrill calls of gulls                      © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


without lights
the brightness of a blue sky
full of stars                                               © Jane Reichhold

the white swathe of milky way
superimposed like a cloud                        © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


balanced at dawn
a full moon slides into the sea
without ripples                                         © Jane Reichhold

the sun melts upward smoothly
from the opposite horizon                        © Rosemary Nissen-Wade


stars bend down
into the wind of whitecaps
morning light                                           © Jane Reichhold

the stars gradually fade
sky and water brighten                             © Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Written for Carpe Diem Universal Jane #16 Morning Breeze
Also linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #352

5 May 2017

The Decline of Print

(a found prose-poem)

Headline: Fairfax journalists face axe!
Journalists at Fairfax Media are bracing themselves 
for big job losses at the publisher’s news­papers
in a fresh attack on costs.

Journalists have said the drastic industrial action 
is them saying "enough" to the cutting of jobs and instead
finding a way to invest in journalism.

Headline: Fairfax journalists miss budget!
It means staff will not cover the federal budget, 

which will be handed down on Tuesday.

Headline: Fairfax to publish as usual!
Fairfax Media says it is "disappointed" 

journalists from three of its mastheads have voted
to strike for a week in response to job cuts, but
will continue to publish its newspapers as usual.

The protests come …in response to the company’s decision to cut
125 staff in a bid to save $30 million. That figure is reported to be
approximately the same amount that Fairfax executives –
including [the] chief … could claim in recent bonuses.

Irony, un-headlined:
Fairfax journalists announced via Twitter 
that they will be on strike 
for seven days from Wednesday.

Personal cop-out:
I’m not taking sides here; 
I’m just reporting.

Created in response to Poets United's Midweek Motif  ~ News Media. 


This unprecedented situation is going on in Australia right now. Fairfax is Australia's leading media company.

The first headline is an example of irony in itself. I haven't put a link there because, in the short time of writing the poem, I can no longer get access to this article; the rival media chain which published it now urges me to subscribe online to keep seeing the content.

Another irony is that the job cuts were announced on World Press Freedom Day.

4 May 2017

Paulownia Trees

A tan renga for Carpe Diem: the initial haiku is supplied (in this case it is by Nozawa Boncho); we are invited to add two lines.  This one was interesting for me, as I have some old history with paulownia. Here are my two efforts:

from the paulownia
without a breath of wind--
falling leaves

remember that house
where they used to grow?


from the paulownia
without a breath of wind--
falling leaves

so many years ago 
we planted those trees

3 May 2017

The Poet's Craft

(haiku theme at Carpe Diem)

listen hard
as the silence
takes shape