28.2.18

One Day, Not Unwelcome


For the (fictional) series, "Edges".
His Voice 


One Day, Not Unwelcome

Let it mean what it must,
believe it or not as you choose.
The facts will remain the facts.

The Reaper will come 
and I'll find it sweet 
to see him glide in on the tide 

in the dense heat – like a surfer,
or Jesus walking on water –
and by that I'll know him.

Or up on the slope, the scree 
will shift under me and I'll topple
into his waiting arms, happily.

"Here you are!" we'll say to each other
with a little squeal of delight, like old friends,
comfortable and right together.


(I'm not the speaker of this poem.)


Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #404


Some Still Leak Through

For the (fictional) series, "Edges".
His Voice


Some Still Leak Through

What I have seen and forgotten
comes back in dreams,
but remembered there strangely.

When I wake, I still feel the shapes 
of those events, distorted from mediocre
into the rare and disturbing.

But then everything tends seaward,
dreams and memories reeling away
like clouds gusting to the horizon.

Are they messages, coming indeed from you
whom I work to forget and diminish; are they real?
Is your soul seeking mine even as we sleep?

It is foolish to think so. I brush away tear
and dream at once. Both are illusory here,
where I choose again the immediate moment.


Linking to Poets United' Poetry Pantry #403

27.2.18

NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 4


NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 4

PROMPT #22 THE FIRST FROST

grass blades
edged with white –
my childhood


PROMPT #23 RASPBERRY, ORANGE, PUMPKIN, LIME, COFFEE, CHOCOLATE, OR CHERRY CHIFFON PIE

she tries out
all the flavours –
seagulls crowd          


PROMPT #24 HOT WATER BOTTLE

cold nights –
my cat hunkers down
across my thighs


PROMPT #25 DRESSING UP

rainbow
through grey clouds –
no thunder


PROMPT #26 HOMEMADE SOUP

Mum’s soup –
better medicine
than laughter


PROMPT #27 RAINBOW JELLO

birthday cake 
children laughing
quarrelling


PROMPT #28 BUTTON JEWELLERY

“jewelry” –
she changes the spelling
between thunderclaps

***

early Spring
daisies and clover
dot the lawn

late Summer
fallen frangipani
brown in the heat


Shared with Poets United's Poetry Pantry #395

Failure of the Revolution


For the (fictional) series, “Edges”
His Voice 


Failure of the Revolution

In the violent days,
the final days,
everything went flying away fast.
Hope was too high to reach,
too shiny.

When my brother and I were accused: “Liar!”
it turned us shy ever after.
But the truly benighted
were those in the heirarchy
who permitted that slight.



I'm just letting this series of "persona poems" take me wherever, not finding anything out until it appears on the page (or actually, screen). But I am starting to get the feeling that this mysterious person – beachcomber, ex-seafarer, and now one-time revolutionary – might be male. And quite on the gloomy side!

Later: As time went on it became clear there were two "voices", one male, one female. I have now labelled the poems accordingly. (And yes, as you see, this is the man.)


Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #402


To the Repairer


For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
Her Voice 


To the Repairer

You don't even like me! 
I am all mechanical parts,
my soon-to-be-obsolete machinery
winding down, starting to clank.
The sky is wide, and under it
you may find many smoother, 
more highly satisfying games
than taking apart this old brain-box.
Yet, if you’d done it right,
there might have been discoveries.

You think, if you slime some grease
over the creaky bits and slow connections,
I should tune up in a while
and rev my motor. Well, careful –
you might start a firestorm 
from one single spark.
However, I don’t say these things. I’m silent
against your onslaught – catatonic even –
but inwardly scrying for the exit route
from these depradations.


(Not autobiography!)


Sharing – some time later – with Poets United's Poetry Pantry #401

26.2.18

Beached, Low Tide


For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
His Voice 


Beached, Low Tide

Coy, tiny crabs
hide in their tide-bared tunnels
whose marks pucker but don't despoil
the shell-scattered sand.
The only annoying thing on this beach
is the one smelly blowfish. Inside the corpse
poison is still coiled.
Or so we say, using this fact
to frighten fascinated boys
into leaving it alone.

My boat is buoyed at anchor
just out there.
My lucky coin is in my pocket,
my duffel bag's packed –
but I can't find a ploy to persuade myself
out again across the bar
where the hoity-toity young daredevils go.
To gaze and dream but stay moored is safer.
(Never say joyless.) On the turn of the tide
I head inland.


23/4/18 Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #400

24.2.18

Doom Sayer

For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
Her Voice 


Doom Sayer

If, in a moment of clarity, coupled with hope
and added daring, I find my voice, and if
it's the true one, wrenched from deep –
what a royal dressing-down I might give 
the recalcitrant world, en masse,
for its peccadillos and foibles ... its crimes.

They seem so innocent, yet little by little 
that thread becomes a rope we hoist
with a noose on the end. (Oh, yes, we know
"joy is fleeting" but this is ridiculous.)

We dangle it over a branch for ourselves
and many others. Cunning suicides, we foil
those who would be rescuers ... that is,
collectively we do, though some of us still loiter
by the silent spring and wring our hands
and shout: "That goitre was unnecessary.
That cancer had a cause, don't you see?
You could have avoided that lingering death!"

We could have. But the clock ticks; voices raised
go unheard or dismissed. That kick to the groin
or the guts has got you, man. Die now!


Note: "The Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson was probably the first book to warn of the terrible damage we were doing to our environment even back then, when it was first published, in 1962 – at any rate, the first voice that was widely heard.

(Though in the voice of one of the fictional characters in this series of poems – which differs from my own voice – still, fictions have elements of truth and this one comes nearest, so far, to being autobiographical.)


Written a bit late for Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Voice; I'm sharing it instead at Poetry Pantry #392

22.2.18

The Bookworm

For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
Her voice



The Bookworm


A studious girl, preferring books to people,
she took stories to bed with her, not boys.
You'd have thought that hers was a Puritan soul,
she appeared so shy and quiet, so unworldly.

But she was plotting to lure, in time, her own prince,
charming him to her side, away from all others.
"Shoo!" she said loud in her head, to imaginary rivals. 

Immersed in her books, she would yet contradict them.
She told herself she would not need a shoe of glass, 
a golden coach, a glorious gown, or any such fairy illusion.

They, she knew, were ephemeral as a young girl's
first loveliness. No, she would cast a different spell, 
loop herself around his heart with ropes of reality, lasting.

What became of the girl on her bed with a book?
The fuel of her dreams was torched by her reading
to create a blaze of desire and realisation, still burning.

There is room in life to go to the edge of thought
and weave it into a serious longing, then use that as a basket
holding real bricks, for your house with strong walls, your good roof.


[A self-portrait? Not in every respect, though some details match. I was and am a bookworm, but not this bookworm.]


Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #399

From This Edge of the Pacific


For the (fictional) series “Edges”
His Voice 


From This Edge of the Pacific

The beauty of this long shore
will soon be more so, as winter
makes it stark. This is rude, raw nature,
unlike the civilised cities; true to its own
place and time. You cannot smooth it away.
The once-lucid water is agitated, ominous,
a cruel wind scaring sea-birds quickly distant,
a moody green glint replacing the radiant blue.

Our concept of beauty is fluid. The savage change 
is welcome, embraced. Yet it's all the same pool.


Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #396

21.2.18

No More Adventuring

For the (fictional) series, "Edges".
His Voice 




No More Adventuring

The same bodies around the table,
the same faces peering from the windows,
either too early or late for that big event
called life – really living. The owner of the place
is ailing and the others just milling about.
Even the rain, throwing them together,
fails to create a bonding against
the world out there, of trade and greed.
They delay their departure longer each year,
too anxious and afraid to keep seeking the Grail.


Also used for April 2018 Poetry Month, day 10

Linked to the Tuesday Platform for 10 April 2018 at "imaginary garden with real toads".


NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 3


NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 3

More for this years' National (really international) HaikuWriting Month.


PROMPT#15: DAFFODILS IN A BREEZE

daffodils nod
schoolgirls dress up
for the ball


PROMPT #16 CHICKADEE

endearments –
my old cat pants
in the heat


PROMPT #17 WASHING A CAR TO MAKE IT RAIN

no-one
washed their car today –
it didn’t rain

*

please
leave your brolly home –
we need rain


PROMPT #18 OBI SASH

her costume
neatly in place –
new daisies


PROMPT #19 THE RUB-A-DUB-DUB OF A WASHBOARD

grandma
elbow-deep in suds –
good drying day

(*A good drying day is both hot and windy. In Australia that says Summer.)


PROMPT #20 A GENTLE ROCKING MOTION

rocking gently
the tinny at rest –
fish not biting

***

cold beers –
dinghy at anchor
rocking


PROMPT #21 APPETIZERS

kisses
to neck and earlobe –
early dawn

21/2/18


Shared with Poets United's Poetry Pantry #394

The Baggage


For the (fictional) series,"Edges".
His Voice 


The Baggage


I love to wake to the smell of the sea
carried on the wind. The pain I also wake to
ebbs a little, along with both fame and shame.
All the trappings of my life stay dormant 
(brief gift of this place in first early light)
which amazes me – though it's only for a moment.
Then the list re-chalks itself onto the slate
along with the judgments of the mainstream.
If only I could start again: a baby, a blank.
But it cannot be. I shoulder my freight.  

Relics of a Shared Childhood


For the series, "Edges"
Her Voice 


Relics of a Shared Childhood


You are my beautiful rose,
but your petals are windblown.
So much time has elapsed.

Outside, the waves billow and groan.
Hold fast to my heart, in this landscape
of sand and stone, I beg you.

We grope towards each other ... lose 
our grip. Do you suppose we shall never
overcome what we took in so deeply so young 
from our growth-place: our edged island?


Sharing this one at The Tuesday Platform for 7 March 2018 at"imaginary garden with real toads"



In a Cabin by the Ocean ...


For the series, "Edges"
Her Voice 


In a Cabin by the Ocean

The sea is all wild foam tonight.
The phone shrills suddenly out of silence,
then stops. Oh, how can I show you
the right way to go from here?
If I give you too much rope
will you wander so far from home
that you never come back? Or – that moan.
Are you staying close, to hang yourself?
The scent of cloves takes me back
to that beach in Bali, before all this woe.


(The first in a series of non-autobiographical poems written from a different persona.)

Shared via The Tuesday Platform for 27 Feb 2018 at "imaginary garden with real toads".


17.2.18

NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 2


NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 2

My responses to the prompts for week 2 of NaHaiWriMo (National Haiku Writing Month, which is actually international and happens on facebook). Luckily we are allowed to go wherever a prompt takes us; we don't have to stick literally to the exact words or image.


PROMPT #8: PAINTBOX


shut the door
on this cold grey day –
fetch the paints!


PROMPT #9: BEATING THE HEAT


late summer
my cat flat on the floor
stretches flatter

***

driving no aircon
I turn my mind
to haiku


PROMPT #10: INDIAN COTTON SHIRTS

thin cotton shirt
skimming his torso
that summer


PROMPT #11 PILSNER GLASSES

they click glasses –
outside in the heat
distant thunder


PROMPT #12: THE BUTTON AT THE TOP OF A BASEBALL CAP

in the street
the kids have hits, thwack! –
he adjusts his cap



PROMPT #13: THE LITTLE STORE ON THE CORNER

cat food
and ice-cream –
last minute


PROMPT #14: PULLING TAFFY


toffee
sticks to my teeth –
sweet dreams


Also shared via Poets United's Poetry Pantry #393

16.2.18

Words Fail

Written for Midweek Motif ~ Word at Poets United
and for MTB — Brevity at dVerse


















Words Fail


I wanted to think of a wonderful word,
and craft a poem around it: a word
to dazzle and exalt. But the heat. 

The fan stopped dead. My cat panted 
and frothed. I choked on a wordless shriek.

14.2.18

Love Poem for the Earth



Love Poem for the Earth


Planet, you had me at hello.
It was love at first sight and then some.
The minute I opened my eyes 
on you, gorgeous world, just that glimpse
in my newborn gaze was enough.

Enough, and a feast. As I grew
I found out more and more to love. 
Oh, you expansive, abundant beauty! 
"Infinite variety?" Shakespeare knew
less than he thought. Infinite variety is You.

Do I need to count the ways? The rivers
and meadows, crags and oceans, the trees
and birds and tigers and dolphins and bees?
And the moods! The sunsets and moonrises,
storms and stars and perfect autumns ...

Mind you, the eternal summer's 
a bit much lately. Lovely Earth,
what are you doing to us?       Oh –
we did it to you? No no, not me, I didn't.
It was them, all the others. Don't punish me!

Don't punish us. Let us live and love you.
Tell us it's not too late! You say that love 
speaks louder in actions than words? 
You sound like my Grandma. Well, as for me,
of threescore years and ten, I've had a few more.

Planet mine, ground of my being, 
Earth of my heart, my dear, my delight, 
my long, long love, great light
of my tiny life: seventy summers 
were little room to feast on you –

to drink you in through eyes and ears
nostrils, hands and tongue. And so 
I'll go about the woodlands, and the sands, 
walk on your mountains, bathe in your rivers 
while I can; giving thanks. Giving thanks.


With acknowledgements to William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, A.E. Housman and Anonymous, for some small borrowings.

Linking to Tuesday Platform 13 February 2018 at "imaginary garden with real toads" (for Valentine's Day on 14th).

11.2.18

Feeding Myself on a Day of Rest


Feeding Myself on a Day of Rest

I'm feeling so lazy, I don't even want 
to peel myself one of those apples today,
though it would take only the merest moment.

I throw thoughts of apples and peelers away,
grab a handful of nuts and raisins instead.
It's a day for indulgence, a day for play.

First of all I was late getting out of bed.
I'm still in my PJ's if you want to know.
And I breakfasted on thick-sliced raisin bread.

Yes, toasted of course. The only way to go.
(Not the healthy breakfast I normally eat.)
Piled the butter on thick ... but that's ages ago ...

Mid-morning snack sorted. Now, what further treat
this Sunday, as I laze indoors from the heat?


A terza rima sonnet with hendecasyllabic lines, written for Fussy Little Forms: Terza Rima at "imaginary garden with real toads".


9.2.18

Shooting myself in the foot [editorial]

Somehow, in fiddling with the settings on this very new blog, which has some different features from the old one, I have managed to delete all the comments already received for my posts! If you see this, please know I DID read and appreciate them! And I hope I have now fixed whatever removed them, so new ones can happen.

8.2.18

NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 1


NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 1

Every year on facebook Michael Dylan Welch hosts National Haiku Writing Month (the shortest verse form on the shortest month) – except it's really international. Participants write at least one haiku a day, to prompts (which I often find challenging). Senryu are also permitted. We don't HAVE to write to the prompts, but I usually do; I think it's part of the fun. I'm sharing mine here as well, a week at a time.  


PROMPT #1: BITING INTO A TACO

that rich taste
the nearest I’ll get
to Mexico


PROMPT #2: RAILWAY TIES

from the road
hot metal shimmers –
disused line


PROMPT #3: GREEK COFFEE

Greek coffee –
sunshine remembered
in dripping rain


PROMPT #4: CREAM CHEESE WITH CHIVES

poetic –
creamy white page
punctuated


PROMPT #5: LISTENING TO THE RADIO


my father
intent on the war news –
clenched fists


PROMPT #6: CUTTING THE LAWN

the grass grows 
too high too fast –
Summer rain


PROMPT #7: WRAPPED IN A QUILT, WATCHING A METEOR SHOWER

8 of Wands –
move swiftly
from the doona













8 of Wands is the card of Swiftness. The arrows in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and decks inspired by it always put me in mind of a meteor shower.  (This is from my copy of the Robin Wood deck.)

At the End



Written in response to 
Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Shoes


At the End

At the end of his life
he wore slippers,
sometimes only bedsocks,
for his comfort.

After he died, 
I noticed how shabby
even his “good” shoes 
had gradually become.

7.2.18

This is my new poetry blog [editorial]

There's been some kind of a glitch with The Passionate Crone, which I am unable to fix. To me it now looks terrible, though apparently not to others. But I can't work with it as it now appears to me – not happily, anyway.

So, wot-the-heck? Time for a change. I'll add gadgets and Pages over the next few days, so you'll be able to do things like subscribe by email, buy my books, and (eventually) visit past posts. I'll even add some poetry some time soon: when I write some.

"The Passionate Crone" will remain as an archive.