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')

Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.) They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here. Copyright also applies to almost all photos posted here, most of which are my own, though a few are licensed under Creative Commons.
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 October 2016

Learning the Dizain

I find in the dizain, it seems, a form
tailored to my hand: flexible yet firm.
A sensitive glove? Or a tool I hold
for shaping, sculpting? Both, and more – a home
I recently moved into, bringing old
favourite items to augment the new.
I arrange the space around me, walk through
rooms that offer unexpected pleasures,
gaze from windows that show me a new view –
strangely at ease as I claim these treasures.

With thanks to Robert Lee Brewer for introducing me to this form.


It's an addiction, said the other son,
the one who hated her. She made him dead
in her mind – though she wept deep, made him gone.
But was he right in that one thing he said?
Her art consumed her. She painted him red
with the face of a demon, to remind
herself how much he meant to be unkind.
It was a necessity for her: art.
(Yet, was it addiction? Or did he blind-
side her – a cold wind that froze her whole heart?)

26 October 2016

Refusing a Call

doesn’t happen a lot. Much more often
I leap in feet-first, shouting my delight
as, somewhere, good angels bend and soften
the fabric of reality just right
for me to slip through easily – no fight,
no struggle; only challenge, adventure
enough to say to myself, ‘Yes, I’m sure.’
Poetry, magic, travel, certain men …
I was right to rise to each lovely lure.
If sometimes the end was dark – even then.

('There are some things it is better to begin than to refuse ... even if at the end it should be dark' – J.R.R. Tolkien. One of my favourite quotations.)

Never Mind

'Were you close 
to your father?' 
she asked. 

I said yes.
Hesitated ...

No spark 
of understanding
lit her eyes. 

So I omitted that night:
my drunken shrieking,
wanting to kill him

without contact.

'Yes ... a fun Dad
when we were little,'
I said.

Written for Quadrille #19: Spark, at dVerse

24 October 2016

The Burgeoning

Spring in Murwillumbah brightens the breeze
now the jacarandas are once again 
purpling, and the Illawarra flame trees
crimsoning streetscape, river bank, bush lane,
and here and there a neighbourhood garden –
now their delicate petals nod and dance
in the quickening air, flutter and prance
to draw us out from desks and dark hallways,
because this, as the season of romance,
reminds us: light and life renew, always.

Shared at Tuesday Platform for 25 Oct. 2016 at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.


When the flame stretches a tendril of light
and catches the circling moth, there's a flare,
a sudden incandescence, briefly bright ...
then it's as if nothing was ever there –
only silence, only the empty air.

Of you and me, I didn't know which one
was moth, and which flame – until you were gone.
Mourning that death, I thought you the moth, who
in that blazing moment, vanishing, shone.
Then I saw how caught I was. Then I knew.

23 October 2016

To the One Sharing My Bed

I'm here with you, beautiful one, lying down
beside you, sleeping the whole night by you,
grateful to have you as my companion –
as I faithfully choose to be yours too.
You had no such choice; it was imposed: true.
You'd have been homeless; there was only me
to take you in. We started warily.
Now you let me fondle your sleek black fur.
You relax beside me, breathing safety.
Sometimes, I catch a momentary purr.

22 October 2016

Now That You Are Gone

Now that you are gone, there's no-one to tell
the small, inconsequential, trifling things 
that fill my days and thoughts – and serve me well 
to fix me to the earth. Well, who needs wings?
The time is not now for those high soarings.
Only, the daily trivia were sweet
in themselves, when I could come and repeat
the details into your listening ear.
I'm happy enough on my earth-bound feet,
but that I wish your step beside me, dear.

She Shows Me

My little cat keeps trying to entice
me to come with her into the garden. 
She beseeches me, with her speaking eyes,
from the doorway. I don't mean to harden
against her. Just, I'm busy; a burden
I am foolish to shoulder, when sunlight
is filling the garden. It's warm and bright
out there, and she is full of eagerness –
not to be there herself; she's there all right –
for me to join her, which is happiness.

Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #325