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 August 2017


Will you not come,
lonely and broken,
to drink from my eyes
the love you are craving,
to receive from my hands
a softness like flowers?

I thought you would. I thought 
I could touch you, gaze on you, 
give you enfolding,
a caress like sleep
or the fragrance of roses
inhaled gently.

But then you let me see
the hard light of your stare,
let me hear the cold 
in your careless laugh.
The mask fallen can't be replaced.
It is I who am broken, lonely.

(Not directly autobiographical. An experiment in style as much as anything else.)

Linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #369

26 August 2017

We Gathered in the Sacred Grove

We then fanned out into the forest, each of us picking a tree:
our brothers and sisters who, like us, love you, Goddess of Light.

Goddess of Shining Light, we see your radiance; let it be
that which awakens us from the fearsome horrors of the night.

You are arising and shining, Goddess of the Forest. See,
we are here, who adore you – you limpid flame, you flaring bright.

Each of us stands with a tree, side by side, sharing all we be.
It is a custom here, and so it seems to us good and right.

We sing with strong voices; our breath, helped by the trees, pouring free.
Joining together to love you, we become one in your sight.

This ancient ceremony
is yours: oh love, oh delight!

Written for the Meme prompt at 'imaginary garden with real toads': using the 7th sentence on page 13 of a handy book as inspiration for a love poem.

The first line of this poem is the sentence, or as much of it as was on the page. The book (read as an ebook, so page numbers don't necessarily conform to the paperback edition) is
Fairies of the Wild Wild Moon by Vyvyan Ogma Wyverne. It seemed fitting, given the source, to make this a love poem to the Goddess.

It also seems to fit with Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Nature: Her Words

And it's an attempt at the chanso form recently aired at Poetic Asides.

22 August 2017

My Garden Gnomes

They carry garden tools
but live in the house.

They have a job to do
and it’s not gardening.
They are my Finder Gnomes.

‘Silly,’ says my friend. ‘They 
aren’t alive. It’s your angels.’ 

All I know is, when I lose 
anything, I ask them.
Then it turns up.

Written for 'The Truth About Gnomes' at Poems of Garden Gnomes. 
Also shared with Poets United's Poetry Pantry #368

21 August 2017

Adopting an Older One

It’s really not complicated 
(though she is complex); it’s gradual. 
Over a year before she began to purr; 
closer to two until she learned, 
tentatively, to miaow.

This evening she gave my finger 
a tiny lick. Still I know – because 
she has taught me so – I must never
presume nor encroach. She makes all 
the running, sets the pace. It’s simple.

at 'imaginary garden with real toads' (10 lines)

20 August 2017

Sonnet Written Upon a Tim Tam

As requested by my friend Jim 

Yesterday I posted on facebook my pleasure
at eating Tim Tams and reading sonnets 
simultaneously, whilst also sitting in the sun
with my sweet cat. This post got a lot of likes. 

Then one friend asked, intending jocularity, 
'When will you publish "Sonnet Written 
Upon a Tim Tam"?' Why not? I thought, 
and replied, 'Tomorrow' – which is now today.

The taste is something between chocolate
and honey, a blend, and the texture also mixed:
creamy soft outside, the centre crisp yet melting. 

It takes six bites – or sometimes only four –
to savour and devour one whole, from the first
burst of joy in the mouth to the last lingering lick.

Linked to Meeting the Bar: Neruda and the free verse sonnet 
at dVerse Poets Pub.

Also linking to dVerse's 2019 Sonnet Challenge.

I felt proud of myself in writing this one, both for rising to my friend's challenge and because I had some glee in using the sonnet form for such non-exalted subject matter. (I used to be intimidated by the idea of attempting a sonnet, but Samuel Peralta cured me of that when he was on the dVerse team of presenters. He taught us a variety of sonnet forms and made them all seem delightfully easy.)

19 August 2017

Brain Dysfunctions

Going off alone into other worlds
among dreams and shadows, she seeks
light-bearing clouds, warmth, and the feeling
of feet touching earth squarely, firmly.

Reality is itself too ephemeral
for her, with her several illnesses, her lack
of power and autonomy. But she persists
and gradually makes a way, here and there.

No-one on earth can help, she decides. 
Elsewhere encounters the dark ones who promise
to lend their strength to her will. She permits.

Now she can make things happen, despite
limitations she was born with. Fails to see
she is in their power: not using, being used.

Linked to dVerse Meeting the Bar: Neruda and the free verse sonnet.

16 August 2017


Oh, I am madly excited!!! My poetry collection, SECRET LEOPARD: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1974-2005, has just been reissued as an ebook, via my favourite publisher Content X Design. (Thank you, Delaina and Kristin!)

You can get it for only $2.99 USD in whatever format suits you (mobi for Kindle, epub for other e-readers or pdf for your computer).

Lots of wonderful poems, if I do say so myself 
 and you won't find them on my blog!

(There are still a VERY few paperback copies left which I am now selling for $10 USD — and to Aussies $10 AUD — plus postage. You'll have to message me if you want one of them.)

Here is the link to the ebook.

13 August 2017

She Writes Long Poems

She writes long poems which look calmly at pain
as though there is nothing wrong about feeling pain.

The night draws down cold after a day of cloud —
heavy cloud, formed to hold the painful threat of rain.

What night was it she wore that white flower? She forgets —
in any case has no power nor wish to call that pain back again.

Darkness is vast; words lengthen in silence, attenuate.
New shapes cast new meaning, pain slowly made plain.

(Note: I am not she who will write poems many pages long
so as to push back night, at once to confront and deaden pain.)

Playing with form; inspired by the 'quasi-ghazals' of John Calvin Rezmerski and the long poems of Judith Crispin. 

Linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #366

7 August 2017

Making the Gaps Wider

She knew my kind.
'You want to show off,' she said.
'If you think you can here, you’re wrong.'

'No no,' I said, 'I only came to play.
I came for the games, the fun.
I don't expect anything else.'

But she was crying. (She'd felt scared.
The boys had been fighting just next door.)
'Leave me alone!' she said.

All her pain
came into me and filled me.
It felt like mine.

'Stop pushing in,' she said.
'Anyway you're late. It's over. 
I'm closing the gates now.'

I should have shut up then
and gone away. But I wanted
the hurting to stop.

The more I tried to explain, 
the more she closed her ears.
And her mouth. And turned away.

I thought I heard her say,
'I never invited you 
to this party.'

Next time I went to look,
they were all playing again
inside her garden.

I suddenly realised
they spoke to each other in secret code.
I went away.

6 August 2017


for Sharon

Learning that light 
folds in on itself
as it simultaneously expands

I think of my friend at five, 
standing in front of a tree
and watching it dissolve

into patterns, into Tree pattern,
then feeling herself as Me pattern
and seeing the landscape fill with light

as all the patterns of all the beings
lit with joy to see her understand –
and I wonder if my experience 

of light swirling and folding, 
condensing and growing, 
irradiating Life,

is anything like her experience 
and the way she has built 
an ecology from seed shapes ...

or is that we 
are separate gods,
or possibly separate ants –

or fragments 
particles of light)?

Linking to Tuesday Platform at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

My Mother Made Me a Cake for My Party

It was shaped and iced 
like a skirt for a princess, 
around an inserted plaster doll. 
She and my aunty spent hours
on painstaking details.

Another, a simple sponge,
had a section cut from the top
filled with dark green jelly, 
dotted with bought ornaments
(lilies, frogs). Easy! 
That was the one we children loved.

The illustration, included according to Fair Use, is by Erté (Romain de Tirtoff). Today in Flash 55 PLUS! at 'imaginary garden with real toads' we are invited to use one of his works as inspiration. This one, 'Costume of the Louis XV period', immediately threw me back into that childhood memory — though the skirt made of cake was more elaborately decorated.

5 August 2017

The Necessity of Being Specific

I pasted on my treasure map
the words ‘Bonjour Paris’
and a picture of the Eiffel Tower.

Be careful – not only what 
you wish for, but how! I dreamed
of visiting that legendary city, but

(this was already years ago) I never
went to Paris, walked those streets
nor drove ‘with the warm wind’ etc.

But treasure maps work! Backpacker son
surprised me one day that year, with
a phone call: ‘G’day! Guess where?’

This is a true story, but the illustration is not from my long-discarded treasure map (aka vision board) but a fabric detail photographed by Margaret Bednar who, in Artistic Interpretations at 'imaginary garden with real toads' invites us to choose one of several as inspiration.

3 August 2017

My Soul Says to My Heart:

Yes, there are horrors going on in the world.

Keep picking up the litter. Turn off the tap.
Gaze at trees where you find them;
touch them if possible.
Drink the sky.

Live now. Do the thing you can.
It is true that people kill people. It is true 
that our governments respond
with their own versions of terror. And 
it is true we are not being told the truth.

So sign a petition, or march, or even 
write a poem. Dream of another country
where there is peace and freedom. Dream
that you have the means to move,
and would be made welcome. Meanwhile….

Go outside. Find a flower or a leaf or
a blade of grass. They will not always
be common. Look at it, stroke it,
breathe its scent.

There is not much time. Get on with it!

2 August 2017

The Dreams We Don’t Remember

3.15 and the cold woke me.
I went stumbling out of bed
for hot water bottles, 
toasted raisin bread, and a nip
of Stones Green Ginger Wine.

I was crawling out of a cave,
I was blind and skinless, 
when the cold pierced
and rescued me
from all but that fragment.

What strange adventures
do we meet in the dark,
what selves unknown 
to our daylight hours
writhe and struggle?

Today in the Wisdom Circle
we who call ourselves Goddesses
pondered and wondered
about our past lives. Perhaps
we didn't go far enough back?

Perhaps we were, all of us, once
worms or insects, or grotesque 
sea things, deformities of the deep.
Do distant ancestors rise through time
to inhabit us while we sleep?

Linking to this week's Tuesday Platform at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.