Showing posts from February, 2018

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

NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 4

NaHaiWriMo 2018 Week 4


grass blades edged with white – my childhood

she tries out all the flavours – seagulls crowd

cold nights – my cat hunkers down across my thighs

rainbow through grey clouds – no thunder

Mum’s soup – better medicine than laughter

birthday cake children laughing quarrelling

“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

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

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 Sprin…

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 u…

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

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.

daffodils nod schoolgirls dress up for the ball

endearments – my old cat pants in the heat

no-one washed their car today – it didn’t rain
please leave your brolly home – we need rain

her costume neatly in place – new daisies

grandma elbow-deep in suds – good drying day
(*A good drying day is both hot and windy. In Australia that says Summer.)

rocking gently the tinny at rest – fish not biting

cold beers – dinghy at anchor rocking


kisses to neck and earlobe – early dawn

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".

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.


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


late summer my cat flat on the floor stretches flatter
driving no aircon I turn my mind to haiku


thin cotton shirt skimming his torso that summer


they click glasses – outside in the heat distant thunder


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


cat food and ice-cream – last minute


toffee sticks to my teeth – sweet dreams

Also shared via Poets United's Poetry Pantry #393

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.

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 f…

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".

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.

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. 


that rich taste the nearest I’ll get to Mexico


from the road hot metal shimmers – disused line


Greek coffee – sunshine remembered in dripping rain


poetic – creamy white page punctuated


my father intent on the war news – clenched fists


the grass grows too high too fast – Summer rain


8 of Wands – move swiftly from the doona

8 of Wands is the…

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.

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.