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.

1 December 2016

The Mind an Astrolabe

After Dransfield

The night, cool green,
tastes of air.
The sea moves beneath;
waves wind and tide coordinate.

Sniff the bougainvillea:
the South Pacific, 
the purple islands.
A cloud ... a beach....

Something about wine – 
and already the stones 
of court and temple
different, mourning.

At dVerse Poetics – Covers we are asked to do a 'cover' of someone else's poem, using their words but in some way making them one's own. I wanted to pay tribute to Michael Dransfield, but it was hard – his poems are all so perfect just as they are. In the end I decided on an erasure poem taken from my favourite, 'Patricia's Raga', using part of its subtitle as my title. (And I slightly changed the last word.) It still feels rather sacrilegious! But I hope it leads you to the hauntingly beautiful original.


  1. Beautiful piece, Rosemary. So much beauty in the first part, but then the melancholy in the end is very powerful

  2. This is vibrant with a sense of past, nostalgia for all the senses.

  3. November
    of North
    still wind
    dry fly days away
    bite of Winter sweeter
    of fly..:)

  4. Oh so lovely, especially your closing lines. Sigh.

  5. Thank you for letting us drift with you

  6. I like the scents here - night cool green and bougainvilla~ The ending is in contrast with the wine and mourning ~

  7. Thanks everybody – and I do hope you click the link to read the original. None of these are my words, only my selection of Dransfield's, which is a longer, richer poem.

  8. the South Pacific,
    the purple islands.
    A cloud ... a beach....

    Great write Rosemary! An insight into a little of the South Pacific!


  9. Rosemary -- thanx for noting the link issue on my post -- fixed, plus more.

    Meanwhile, I enjoyed both your erasure of Dransfield and his original. Having spent 12 years in Asia -- mainly India and Japan (but some time in Indonesia), the original poem floods me with images and thoughts. But I must say, such poems which seem as mere montages of feeling and images, are not my favorite. And I wonder how people read past all the words they don't know -- in this poem I had to look up the plant, the rest (because of my background) I knew. But my experience is that people read right by stuff they don't know. Your version was less packed (being an erasure) and so just the right amounts of image sharing. Thanx for the intro to this poet, I will take a peek at a few more of his works.

    1. Ah well, he was writing at the time for Australians, and we are familiar with bougainvillea here. And in that era we also understood sitar, kamikaze, divine wind, and even sarod and tablas (NOT, as misprinted at the link, sarod and tables, lol). I'm glad you enjoyed both versions.

    2. PS In Dransfield I particularly love the music of his words, even more than the images and feelings he evokes.

  10. BTW, Rosemary -- the Astrolab is also part of my avatar.

  11. Oh, Rosemary, I love this - it's so appealing to the senses, calming and exotic. Bravo!