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.

4 January 2018

The Opening of Doors

I usually barge right on through, and usually
there is some light on the other side, even
when one might think I’d have done better
to leave that door shut. Sooner or later 
there is always light – some – and  often
a late burst of unexpected brilliance … and
sometimes the door opens onto sustained
sunlight, and I need only enter and bask.

And there are times when I’m just here, 
and a door opens to let someone else 
come through, towards me, and that 
can be sweet or exciting or possibly
nothing at all – but nothing demands nothing, 
which is restful; and so, one way or another,
I tend to like it when doors open: I tend to see it 
as a good thing … for the most part, anyway.

Best of all is when doors become irrelevant:
when, instead of traversing some boundary or
entry, some turning-point or edge, we rise
skyward, unfettered, on waves of pure thought:
lifting into flight, cavorting on clouds, floating
and dancing in long arabesques, ethereal
pirouettes … which pleasure is encompassed
even better together, and so let our minds 
entwine. Meet me in the middle of the air!


The final sentence is stolen from a Paul Kelly song based on the 23rd Psalm. This particular line, which he inserts into it, is by Kelly himself and not the psalmist – and has different connotations from those I give it here.

This poem was inspired by the Doorway(s) prompt at Poets United this week.

2 January 2018

A Manifesto for the New Year

I have not got the music
but I have the words.
I have not got the dance steps
but I have the words.
I have not got the numbers
but I have the words.
I have not got the science
but I have the words.
I do not have the lovers (any more)
but I (still) have the words.

I call out loudly with the words.
I throw my arms up and my head back,
shouting the words triumphantly.
I whisper softly with the words,
bending close to your secret ear
and breathing them, 
exhaling so lightly you can hardly feel –
but listen hard and you'll hear.
Sometimes I shout them in rage. And outrage. 
Sometimes, I wish to whisper venom.

The words are mine
to do with as I will.
(God said so, 
who gave them to me at my birth.)
I can make them sing, 
I can make them dance.
I can make them count.
I can make them explain – if you will follow –
the secrets of the Universe.
I can make them bring back my lovers.

Yesterday is breaking up, falling away.
Yesterday is getting thrown out with the garbage.
But the old words live on,
unable to be entirely discarded.
Words have power. I call up the power
from deep inside. I call up the words
from where they too are anchored within.
I set them free. I let them loose.
Now I make them new, like seedlings, like cubs.
They will play. They will grow. They will climb all over you.


At 'imaginary garden with real toads', Bjorn invited us to write a manifesto for 2018. I am not much for such things ... but then I watched Patti Smith on YouTube (who does have the music and the dance as well as the words) and – in the mysterious way it happens – suddenly became inspired.

Also sharing this at Poets United's Poetry Pantry #386