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.

28 September 2017

Autumn on the Tweed

As I drive alongside the river
under a sunny sky,
the air seems blue and golden
up and down my way – 
my way along the river
now, and spreading forever.

Always it seems forever,
unbroken days of perfect weather,
Tweed River sparkling lazily –
untroubled, expansive,
mimicking Spring or even Summer. But
no, it's Autumn; that rich, warm season.

Autumn was always my favourite time
under Heaven, as the earth rolls around
to repeat its cycles over and over
until time spins to a standstill and stops.
Must we think of that while the sun is shining?
Never! Let's rest in the heartbeat of Autumn.

Note: This Tweed River is in Australia, not Scotland!

A triple acrostic, written for Form Friday – Acrostic (with Autumn theme) at Poems of Garden Gnomes. It is a hot Spring in Australia just now, but I love to celebrate Autumn in this sub-tropical part of the country. Not many coloured leaves; just glorious weather.

24 September 2017

My Boat Song

Once was a boat that was called after me,
named as the Mary Rose,
tiny but strong to fish in the sea.
How the wind blows, who knows?

Once I was small, lived on an isle;
Dad called me Mary Rose –
his special name, making me smile.
Who knows what stays, what goes?

When I grew up, then I could see
feet made of clay, not gold.
Gone was my god, gone from that day –
old stories long grown cold.

Jack was my new step-father who
never usurped that name,
yet built a boat, showing me true
new ways that love became.

Once was a boat that was called after me,
named as the Mary Rose,
tiny but strong to fish in the sea.
How the wind blows, who knows?

And no, you are NOT allowed to call me Mary Rose! Seriously. The only other person who did was my favourite uncle, Tommy, who died in his nineties a few years back and who doesn't belong in this poem. It's a special name, not for general use, not even by best friends, lovers or husbands.

(I don't have a photo of the Mary Rose but she was something like this, with a pointier bow. This is from the Antique Boat Centre. As the image is marked as available to be saved, I am assuming Public Domain.)

At 'imaginary garden with real toads' Kim's weekend mini challenge is Boats, and she quotes many people's favourite boat song – certainly mine – The Skye Boat Song. Check out the link to find more boat poems.

I grew up on an island, often 'messing about in boats', and was later married for 27 years to a professional fisherman, so had many possibilities to write about ... but perhaps we all have one boat that is more special than others.

14 September 2017

Ghazal for —

Where shining joy was the most blended with piercing pain;
of many loves – all true, all lost – you are that one.

We meet in dreams, and in my memories, again
and yet again. It seems, briefly, death has not won.

‘Shall we meet once more in another life?’ I asked.
‘Nothing surer!’ declared my friend the magician.

With that I must be content as the slow years pass.
I was angry a long time that I must go on.

How full and rich life became for me after all.
Yet, still haunted, I never say your name, dear  —.

You owe me something. I will hold you to it, soul-
bound of old. I am your love. I claim reunion.

Written for Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Reunions

13 September 2017

‘East West, Home’s Best.’ North South, Same Truth

They cry, ‘Here comes the cold!’
those Northern Hemispherists – bold
to ignore the other half of the world.
(Sigh!) That’s getting old.

Here, the cold is leaving. How sweet
to contemplate the return of heat.
Never mind what excesses we may meet
as we globally warm – still a treat.

Here in the sub-tropics, anyway, cold
is fleeting and slight. We find it sweet
that our winters are meek and bland, not bold
and harsh. We welcome the caress of heat.

Cold north, warm south; the twain don’t meet,
can’t cross from opposite sides of the world.
Never mind change or seasons, that much is old.
And perhaps we may count it a treat.

More and more I love home, as I get old.
When I was younger I travelled the world
and sampled other climates. Oh, I was bold!
Now – in all weathers, home keeps out the cold.

Written for 'Here Comes the Cold' at Poems of Garden Gnomes

I attempted a ‘Martin verse’, invented by Martin Kloess. Not easy! 
(At the link, scroll down to the poem 'Summer's Air'.)

10 September 2017

Letter to a Lasting Love

Little Prince, I loved you at first sight. 
When I came to know you better,
your inner beauty matched and deepened
the sweet exterior, so my love deepened too.

I grew more intimate with you; at first 
swiftly, immediately, filled with increasing 
excitement and wonder ... astonished, rapturous.
Then even closer and better: leisurely, gradually.

'Time cannot weary nor custom stale.' I return
again and again, sometimes after long absence –
yet, you are never truly far from me. Your words
whisper often in my innermost ear, sound in my heart.

Oh excellent teacher and friend, I am and am not
possessive. I hold your physical body close, clasped
to my breast. Yet I share you with many. Once you lent 
one man and me your language (before he returned to his star).

Responding to Magaly's irresistible prompt at 'imaginary garden with real toads': My Dearest Book, I Wrote You a Poem ...  
(But the phrase in quotes is, of course, from Shakespeare.)

Sevenling (Hope is the other side)

Hope is the other side of despair,
hope is the helpless cousin to prayer,
hope is what's left when nothing else is there.

I want to turn it into intention,
I want to transform it into action,
or better, use it in advance as prevention.

But sometimes there is only rage and blame.

Written for Poems of Garden Gnomes (a sevenling on hope).

9 September 2017

Book of Words

My book of words 
is a testament to rapture,
a mimicry of treasures I find
outside the book – leaves
in a tracery of lace on sky, 
clouds like angels 
vastly soaring aloft, 
liquid-throated calls 
of currawongs ... do you see
how my book of words
frees these delights 
and countless more
each time I open the cover?

Written for Words Count with Mama Zen at 'imaginary garden with real toads': a poem of up to 60 words, preferably entitled 'Book of Words', and including three words from a list of her children's favourites. (My three are 'testament', 'rapture' and 'mimicry'. Great words, kids!)

Also linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #370

6 September 2017

United, Not …

The Chilean composer (Ortega) wrote a song:
‘The people united will never be defeated’
based on a shouted slogan for social change
under the great Allende (three months before 
he fell to Pinochet). It was the time
of uniting classical music with popular 
melodies and the instruments of folk.
The American (Rzewski) then created
a piano opus: thirty-six variations
on the theme. And now on Labour Day
in Australia we shout the slogan, changed:
‘The workers united will never be
divided!’ – although the fact that 
Labour Day happens on different days 
in different States makes you wonder
if Governments are making us 
subtly disunited, or maybe not so subtly 
when you think about many other 
things that go on – like tax breaks 
for huge corporations, like …
well, so much (attitudes and rulings;
erosion of wages, safeguards and conditions)  
which in the end, gradually, without 
bloodshed, make us feel bloody defeated. 

Written for the 'Getting to Work' Labor Day prompt at Poems of Garden Gnomes' Also linked to this week's Tuesday Platform at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

Pub;ished in HAVE YOUR CHILL, July 2018

1 September 2017

Respect (Argument)

Let's spread respect today. Let's show it and praise it and trouble it and mend it. – Susan Chast


Let’s get real on Unconditional Love. How can we
spread it to all those we can never like, admire,
respect or approve? Look around – evil abounds.
Today the world is full of the mad and the hateful.

Let’s admit, the task is impossible. They hurt me! 
Show me how I can find love for those people.
It’s not a thing I can feel for them, not for them,
and you shouldn’t ask it. I must defend myself.


Praise be, love is not a feeling; that’s a myth.
It is a choice, an attitude, a set of actions,
and we must not mistake it for softness of heart.
Trouble and hurt and evil will come. Nevertheless

it is possible to show respect, even kindness.
Then we do not ourselves grow hateful. We can
mend the broken, even though we must not yield.
It is respect which is the true Unconditional Love.

Written (simultaneously) for Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Respect and dVerse's Meeting the Bar – the Acrostic. (This is a first word acrostic, using the words quoted.) It also grew out of a recent discussion in the local women's Wisdom Circle, on unconditional love.