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')

This blog is not, 'Here are my very best poems'. It's for work in progress, subject to revision.
Posts may be updated without notice at any time. Completed work appears in my books.

Showing posts with label 30 Poems in 30 Days '08. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 30 Poems in 30 Days '08. Show all posts

20 September 2010


I’m no good at that.
Scorpio girl —
if I feel passion
it’s much too urgent
for pretty games.
I want to know now
if it’s yes or no.

And if I don’t burn,
what’s the point
of pretending?
Downcast eye,
fluttering glance,
simpering voice —
it’s just not me.

I like my innuendos
blatant, my lusts
my laughter deep.
Don’t hint, don’t tease,
don’t dilly-dally.
Don’t waste my time!

30 Poems in 30 days, 2010: 9
Prompt: a poem that involves flirtation

A Path in a Forest

When I lead people in meditation
on a path through a forest,
it is a path I have walked many times.

I walked it as a child
on the hill behind Trevallyn
going down to The Gorge.

That’s when I began
finding broken branches for staffs.
I liked going it alone.

I walked it in Three Bridges
on the trail outside my back gate
with my dog for company.

And through Marty’s place
at North Tumbulgum — the bit
they left wild — with Andrew beside me.

It leads also,
in a picture my Dad painted,
past a farm near Devonport.

And when at last I walk into Death,
it will not be a race through a tunnel of light,
but that same track among trees.

30 Poems in 30 Days, 2010: 8
Prompt: A poem that includes a path, a trail, or a map.

8 September 2008

The Quest

Prompt: Write a poem that's a parable. I'm cheating on this one, being pushed for time, and using a poem written some little time ago.

I looked for you all my life,
found you in many places.
I lusted after your beauty,
saw it in many faces.

But each illusion faded
as the world continued turning.
The days drew on to sunset.
I saw the horizon burning.

'That's fine,' I said to The Mother,
'If that is how it must be.
This journey into sorrow
has held much joy for me.

'I thank you for the pleasures
and for the lessons learned.'
And I prayed for a spirit companion
while still the horizon burned.

I travelled across the horizon,
plunging into the dark.
There was no ground beneath me.
Ocean and sky turned black.

Sunrise flames on a new world,
a horizon flooded with light.
All names and faces merge as one,
and I sing on my forward flight.


6 September 2008

Happy Birthday

Prompt: a poem about a painful experience or one involving some other emotion, without stating the emotion. I've written enough pain poems this year to last a lifetime! So this isn't.

On your very first birthday
what did I give you,
knowing I gave?

A long journey
twelve hours, exhausting.
The briefest touch of my arms.

And instant recognition:
you could only be mine,
with those family features.

I gave you
a mother too tired
to hold you long that first time,

one who couldn’t feed you,
but could later cuddle, talk to you, rock
once we got the bottle right.

Much later I discovered
other things I gave you
from the first –

a love of poetry
and the gift to write it
from my Dad and his Dad and me

and music, not from
but through me,
one of my mother’s talents.

Now you’re 41
in just a few days.
I can’t believe it.

It’s hard to know what
I might give you this birthday.
Usually I don’t, just a call

or an email. We always say
we don’t need words –
we who love them.

And these days it’s you
who finds gifts for me,
nearly always a perfect book.

"Happy Birthday" is the Midweek Motif prompt at Poets United for 19 March 2014.  This seems a perfect piece to submit!

5 September 2008

Money Blues

Prompt: Write a blues sonnet

Money’s getting scarcer by the day

money’s getting scarcer ev’ry day
I’m juggling bills, there’s always more to pay.

I think this week I’ll manage and we’ll eat
this week I think I’ll manage, we will eat
but then they raise the rent, we’re on the street.

We don’t know where the next cent’s coming from
we don’t know where the next meal’s coming from
we don’t know where to find another home.

I used to have a cat I couldn’t feed
I used to have a cat I didn’t need
I gave him to a friend who could afford

such luxuries as roof and food and pet.
I don’t know how much lower I can get.

(Slightly exaggerated, don't worry - I would NEVER give away my two beautiful cats!)


Anyway I, missing the boat, did not drown
thrashing wildly, nor did I turn in anger
striding up the pier and away. I only
waved as if calmly.

Spring is now beginning to rain on all things,
wetting even oceans and rivers, lakes too.
Only I’m not adding to all this water;
I am not crying.

You can sail away on your ship to elsewhere.
You can leave today or (I can’t remember)
was it really yesterday when we parted?
See – I forget now!

When the years are thundering slowly, heartbeats
drumming heavy down throughout time, through my time,
surely no pulse echoes to your blood rhythm,
nor will I dream you.

(The prompt was to write in metre, preferably one we didn't often use. This is my attempt at Sapphic metre.)

2 September 2008

What Object Is This?

Prompt: Write a poem that includes at least one description of an object that is six or more words long. Mine's a sort of riddle poem.

I play with it at night.
It keeps my hands occupied,
demands concentration
yet helps me relax.

Not what you’d call
glamorous to look at
but it can excite me,
more so when hard.

It’s longer than six;
I'm glad of that.
And there’s no anger
though the words are cross.

Later: OK, everyone seems to have guessed – as intended; while understanding the innuendo also – as intended. So I should probably call it a joke rather than a riddle.

Mater Familias

30 Poems in 30 Days is back this September at Writer's Resource Center aka PoeWar. The prompt for Day 1 was to write about something one believes.

I believe in One God
who has many names and faces
and more genders than we
here on this tiny planet
could possibly imagine.
And I like to call Her Goddess.

Sometimes I call Her Mother.
But that can get confusing.
Since her death, my own Mum
tends to come at the call –
quite kindly, and pleased I think
that finally I seem to need her.

Or I call Her the Universe
encompassing all
that vastness, limitless,
as well as the most minute
invisible particle, and
even the nothing between.

The Universe. Isn't that 'It'?
Abstract, non-gender-specific?
Perhaps. But also I see
that space, that profound dark
as the Void, the Great Womb,
the Nurturer of Life.

I like the horned deer in the forest,
male symbol of God, the stag.
I like the great image of Pan
as the kindly sprit of Nature
animating our world. So I’m not
committed to calling that Gaia.

I believe really that God
is everything we are,
our whole reality – Truth,
and Life, and Love, as
every scripture says. I believe.
Then I make up the details.

And I do like to call Her Goddess,
choosing to give Her the face
of the Moon more often than not,
inspirer of dreams and poets.
She has many names and faces.
Tonight I believe I'll say Ishtar.