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 November 2014

Storm Watching

I sit outside in the cool,
in the rain and lazy thunder,
under the wide overhang
of the back verandah.

My companion stretches and shifts
on his blanket, attempting calm.
But his sister was the brave cat.
Without her, he's uneasy.

So we come inside from thunder
and spraying, pelting rain.
I like all that — but he, I guess, has no need
to prove himself to me. He knows

I am very tender of him, I won't
challenge or scorn or compete.
Instead I usher him in, get him settled.
Then I find me a spot on the front verandah.

I see him through the flywire
draping himself inside the door,
looking out — near me
in safety. We are both content.

Both dVerse and Poets United, not surprisingly, are asking for gratitude/thankfulness poems right now. Perhaps I can sneak this in, with the idea that contentment qualifies!

18 November 2014

On Coffee — haiku and tanka

After looking at beautiful tea haiku in the journal brass bell, I was inspired to create some about my preferred beverage, coffee. I couldn't resist making some tanka on the subject as well.

morning coffee
the daily news
on facebook


black and hot
his eyes


he liked it
‘black as sin, hot as hell,
strong as death’
but coffee wasn’t
the drug that killed him


he orders
two-shot espresso
mine is
skinny cappuccino  
can we be compatible?


black coffee
at my elbow
black cat
sprawled beside me
morning can begin


new morning
strong black coffee
sipped slowly


the coffee tastes bitter
lonely morning


11 November 2014

David at 20 (Verse Portrait 104)

My son David —
slim and golden, beautiful —
looks good in all his clothes now,
and is more adventurous with them.

The red T-shirt lightens him up.
He smiles and talks to me
more than he used to.

He seems very happy lately,
confident and free;
even laughs at my jokes.

He has been growing muscle
working as a builder's labourer
(holiday job) for his dad
in Tasmania, at the caravan park.

Found poem from old journal entry 14/1/87

Verse portraits: explanatory note

10 November 2014

To Describe This Garden

I've been going through old journals. Among other things I am finding poetry I didn't know I was writing — such as this, which I'd now call a prose poem. I haven't altered a word.

To describe this garden — the constant ruffling of sunny trees, light moving on water in the pool, the gloss of green, wide sky, sometimes birds … Swallows that skim the pool even when I’m in it, playing in air and water. Big starlings trotting and squabbling under the bushes. Slow grey doves. A quick wattle-bird with trailing tail.

I like the way the sky takes up a lot of room, even in the squared-off picture framed by my doorway. When it’s dark, and the trees are merged black walls and towers, the sky still soars in all directions. The traffic is almost silent, dogs bark now and then several blocks away, the stillness could be far from suburb and city.

When I swim, I look up at clouds and trees, or stars, and it might be Mataranka Springs, it might be Bali …

— Beaumaris, 15 January 1987

Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #226

6 November 2014

The Dead Woman

The dead woman
wants to embrace you;
she is watching
as you sleep.

The dead woman
regrets that her children
are no longer babies.
She wants to hang on.

The dead woman
smells flowers with gusto
taking long sniffs,
then tastes them.

The dead woman
has no hat for the sun.
She lets the heat
burst on her face.

The dead woman
in front of the television
sits without turning it on.
She has x-ray vision.

The dead woman
is a camera. She dreams
of a hoard of images
and snaps and keeps them.

The dead woman
bailing herself out of jail
tells herself that the rain
will wash away prison stink.

The dead woman
is laughing
because being dead
is nothing like she expected.

For a dVerse prompt: write from the perspective of dead man, or woman (based on Marvin Bell's 'Dead Man' poems). I wrote this when I was very tired and half-asleep, so as to let the ideas well up from the subconscious. I wanted a different kind of logic from the everyday.

I discovered the form needs a part 2: 'More About ...'  It is here.

1 November 2014

Moving in a Trance: Erotic haiku and tanka, October 2014

moving in a trance
I gaze down
catch his eyes dancing


my friend poses naked
with copies of our book
flesh overflowing

Promotional pic for SHE TOO


the scent
of fresh peaches
I succumb


their flesh
yields to my touch
ripe peaches


I watch
his long fingers
caressing a cat


he is leaving
the sun
shines on his hair


thoughts of you
my breasts
thrust forward


the phoenix
rises fiery hot
and I melt
in proximity —
so our lust renews


the naked poet
revealed within these pages —
oh, open the book!


eager fingers
unwrapping  her cover
find poetry

More promotional pics for SHE TOO


with memory and wish
I imagine