Showing posts from April, 2019

For My Inspirations

For day 30 of April Poems at 'imaginary garden with real toads, we are invited to write a poem of praise to a source of inspiration, in 30-60 words. (Mine is 60.)  

For My Inspirations

This is Samhain, the night when my most dear dead come close, and the honoured ancestors too.
The love we shared in life, the character traits passed down, all shape me
and shape and inform the lines I write. Bless me now with your wisdom
and be welcome at my feast. The lantern is lit, and the fire. Come, sit!

(Some of you may be thinking, 'What's she on about? This is Beltane'. But no – I live in the Southern Hemisphere.)

Why is the wind?

For the 29th day of Poems in April, the prompt is Asking Questions: 'quite simply, write a poem consisting only of questions. If you want to take it to the next level, why not write your own answer to the question(s) in the form of a response to your own questions?'

This emerged from somewhere in the Unconscious. No, I don't know what it means. I 'heard' it as two voices, the first female, the second male.

Why is the wind?
Why is the wind singing sadly even though there is light in the sky?
Will you accompany me along this path by the river? Or are you too afraid?
How far do you think we must go in the descending darkness, before we stop hearing that wind? And what will be there when we arrive?
I hope to find the face of God when I come to the end of darkness; I hope to hear the voice of God, mightier by far than any wind.
Of course I am afraid. But still I will walk with you by this river, holding your hand all the way.
The song you hear is your own, borne bravely in fad…


Watching the Watcher
What is she looking at, down there on the street? It's not good. Her hand, clapped to her forehead, tells me that, but her still, intent gaze speaks of worry rather than horror, or suggests she is not personally involved in whatever debacle she's viewing. The cat, though, is picking up something. How uncomfortable it looks, clasped to her side, not itself looking out but eyeing the photographer warily; almost ready to squirm and run. Only she's gripping it close, perhaps not consciously tightening her fingers, digging them in. The look in her eyes tells me that the bad thing happening down there outside her house is inevitable, and she's not sorry. 'Had it coming,' that cool-eyed, firm-lipped look says.
The prompt for day 28 of Poems in April at 'imaginary garden with real toads' was to write about one of several pictures offered. I had thoughts of writing for either of two different ones, but this one was surprisingly insistent.

Photo: Unidentified Woma…

An image of sheets

An Image of Sheets

My bunched-up sheets drying across adjoining chairs:
the peaks of the snowy Himalayas.

(I have been in Nepal and seen the Himalayas up close, from a small plane.)

For day 27 of Poems in April at 'imaginary garden with real toads' we are asked for a two-sentence poem like Pound's famous 

In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.

I always think of that as the ultimate Imagist poem, which explains my title.

Sharing Our Living Quarters

Sharing Our Living Quarters
I can't be bothered killing you, Cockroach – big old bush cocky all on your own in my kitchen. Must have thought you had the place to yourself after dark, and fair enough – only I couldn't sleep and came out to make some soothing cocoa.
You're not one of those nasty little foreign ones who appear in swarms and are tiny enough to get into the wiring and wreck the whole house in a few generations. Once they get in, they're hard to get rid of. For them I'd bring the big guns out.
But you're a native, relatively harmless. You tried to move fast and hide when I barged in and made it all light. Instead, not quick enough, you kept very still  in the shadowy corner where your brown shell  was less conspicuous ... and I turned a blind eye.
You were here first, after all. I don't dislike you, even if I did jump and scream when I first saw you. I'm happy to co-exist – just so long as you don't turn up in the space when I want to use it; so long as you…

I Scarcely Realised

I Scarcely Realised
I hid my grief. Out and about I was normal, bright, busy. At home I was weeping suddenly, unplanned, unanticipated even, all over my days and bereft nights in abrupt, startling moments. She was so absent! My other beloved cats all came visiting in spirit soon after leaving – often – and still do. But she felt utterly gone. Not a sign.
Just memories, I thought – going about my life as before, only that she who had been so very present, wasn’t. Oh, I could see her in my mind everywhere she’d ever been, little creature of habit and routine, and that made me cry more. Finally, I don’t know what shifted (but I’d done some energy work of course) anyway I just realised: that’s how she’s visiting. She’s here!
She’s reminding me, comforting me, doing the same as always –
gazing intently as always, with those
purposeful, speaking eyes: ever
the telepathic cat. That understanding
must have made everything possible.
I lay down today for an afternoon rest.
(She always loved when I did that.)
I didn’t sle…

Caldera View

Caldera View

From high in Hidden Valley
sitting on my friend's lookout
I gaze across the mountain.
The trees in the landscape beyond 
merge to become a sea, a blue-green sea 
that rolls to a horizon white with cloud.
The clouds become banks of foam
as the wave of the sky rises high.
We gaze up into the curl of the wave
that pauses before toppling over us
and stays, poised and aloft
unfalling for as long as we watch,
while the peaks of the mountain,
down there, are shoreline rocks.

For day 25 of Poems in April at 'imaginary garden with real toads' we are asked for an imagist poem.

Photo of Mt Warning from Public Domain, photographer unknown. (Same view as from my friend's lookout.)

Capturing This

Capturing This

The Wonderful

For day 24 of Poems in April at 'imaginary garden with real toads' we are invited to write of natural wonders, great or small – or to 'Go bigger: tell us how all of its breathtaking design makes you catch your breath in awe.'

The Wonderful
In the soft light of morning, the Wonderful wakes – the sunrise filling the lower slopes of the sky, the tune of a magpie just down the road, carolling sweetly with a fresh sound, trees appearing to stretch in the radiant air, the edges of the mountains in crisp outline
and in spite of all grief, all pain or despair, all the horrors I know exist and proliferate … in spite of all that, my heart lifts, the song pours like a blessing across my arising, I take a new breath and rejoice to see this world wake up around me, again, over and over, and the sun shine.


It's day 23 of April Poems at 'imaginary garden with real toads' andwe are asked to write a horror poem. They mean fantasy horror, but ....

Horror is not a spooky movie with ghosts, werewolves, or giant spiders. No.
Horror is over two hundred people bombed to death in Sri Lanka and five hundred wounded. Cold horror is the fact it was planned by a whole group. Carefully. Thoroughly. 
Horror is thirty-six thousand
people every night sleeping rough, homeless – thirty-six thousand,
just in Western Sydney.
Horror is lovely Dove Lake at the foot of Cradle Mountain (in Tasmania where I grew up) clear and blue on the surface but its sediment toxic, thick with heavy metal.
Must I go on? You know I've only justgot started. The world is full of horrors. I haven't yet mentioned child abuse, rape, domestic violence. I haven't listed wars, disease, fatal car crashes. You have your own 
examples. You don't need me to tell you about the polar ice-caps.
Horror, tonight, is very personal – my gene…

Items in My Closet

For day 22 of Poems in April at 'imaginary garden with real toads' we are asked to write on one of several pictures offered from Shay's Word Garden. This one appealed to me:

Items In My Closet
A blotted page of arcane symbols (discarded) as shelf lining – advanced mathematics: one kind of magic, yes, but not mine.
Pens from the schoolroom: bare nibs, for dipping in magic inks to inscribe my preferred symbols: letters.
An old fob watch my Grandpa left me, on which when I was young he taught me the magic of time.
(The typewriter he also left me for writing my poetry – my magic – was much too big to be kept in the closet.)
Before I cast a magic circle, I clear the energy of the space with a bundle of smoking sage, wafted by this feathered fan.
Oh and those red petals? From a bunch of roses a lover gave me on a magical night; for infusions.

Willow Girl

For Tree Mythology, day 21 of Poems in April at 'imaginary garden with real toads' we are asked to rewrite a myth or legend about a tree, or perhaps make up one of our own. Instead, I give you a true story.

Willow Girl
She plays on the swing her father made, big thick ropes and a seat of wood.
Inside a circle of fronds, pale green, she drifts and dreams, curtained, unseen.
When her father made the swing, Willow Girl was very young.
As she grows, it remains her place, her safe and private magical space.
How could she or her father know the mystery of the sacred willow?
They never guess the ancient secret: in every willow lives a spirit.
And if you spend a lot of time beneath a willow, your words will rhyme.
You will become a poet, if you stay long in that green light – so they say.
Willow Girl's old when she finds this out, but she knows it's true: she is a poet.
All her life the words have been, as once the tree, her true companion.
To be a poet makes her glad. She thanks the willow  and her Dad.