Showing posts from May, 2019

Ghazal of the Air Element

This old poem is the first ghazal I ever tried to write, when I knew very little about the form. The current Poetry Form prompt at dVerse is the ghazal – which has led me to read so much more about it that I now think I might never again give the name to anything less than the strict, classical genre! However, as the dVerse prompt does include the 'contemporary ghazal', I am curious to see if readers think this one falls into that category successfully. 

[We are told: Contemporary Ghazals explore more subjects, are experimental with the 'what and where' of rhymes and refrains and don’t have a formal signature couplet. However, they do keep to single line couplets, pay attention to cadence and are associational.]

Ghazal of the Air Element

I introduce into our conversation
the subject of my death.

He decides to stop studying
and train as a nurse.

He asks where he can acquire
my poetry book.

His torch goes out; he gets lost
in the middle of a forest.

Walking through the bus…


White whiskers against black fur – I miss her. Such an elegant creature. I miss her.
She loved to play, and entice me to play. I dangled cords, rolled balls for her. I miss her.
She climbed on the back of the old pink couch to smooch me in the next chair. I miss her.
Although she was the smallest, slightest cat, none had such presence, such air. I miss her.
She would seem to dematerialise then suddenly reappear. I miss her.
At night in bed she'd lie across my thighs (a lap's a lap anywhere). I miss her.
Not for food but as toys, she chased lizards. Tough hides (and I) thwarted her. I miss her.
Indoors, I only had to tell her once: 'Forbidden!' – then she'd never. I miss her.
From a sweet little face, her piercing eyes would hold me in a long stare. I miss her.
Both the house and the yard belonged to her. She made that perfectly clear. I miss her.
She'd sit on my legs while I watched TV, watch and listen too, and purr. I miss her.
I, Rosemary (Remembrance) forget none. Yet let me d…

Body of Light

Body of Light
To build your body of light, begin with the feet. Close your eyes, breathe deep, then see with your eyes shut. See first the left foot then the right filled with light, encased in light, radiant, golden, blazing. Both your feet become pure light.
Take your time. Go slowly up through your body: calves, knees, thighs, belly, hips, turning them all into light, seeing their light – how intense! – dwelling in that light.
Now your waist, your chest, shoulders, elbows, forearms, hands, and back up to the neck. See your neck become light, your throat fill up with light. Bit by bit, see every part of your body filled with, surrounded by light.
Surround your head with light. Let light fill your jaw, your ears, your eyes, your brain – gradually, until you see your whole head pulse with light. Now you are all light. Sit awhile in the light, as the light. Be light.
Eventually, let the light gently fade from your conscious vision, first from your head, then neck and shoulders, arms and hands, chest, belly and hips, each …

Arachnophobia: a true story [Prose]

Written for Prose Pantry #3: Phobias and Fears at Poets United. The word limit is 313; this is exactly 313 without title. 

Arachnophobia: a true story
In nightmares they're gigantic – much bigger than me. (I'm only four.) 
Always, one comes close, looming above me, opening its cavernous mouth. Will it engulf me whole or sever my head at the neck? At this point I always wake screaming. Dad rushes in, hugs me, and says, ’It was only a dream’. He tells me happy stories until I go back to sleep.

I grow. The nightmares stop. I remain afraid of spiders but learn to manage it. 
As an adult, I discover they are telepathic. They'll cooperate with reasonable requests, if explained. 
‘Don’t come close,' I beg. 'I won’t hurt you but I can't help being scared.  And when other people come, hide. They might kill you!’ The spiders oblige.
I'm in Crone years before I accept what others often remark: I'm a witch. 
Uninitiated (no coven near that I know) I deci…

Loving Friends

Loving Friends For Tan
She met us when we were new to the Caldera and she a young thing, with a young child. She and her man were planting a rainforest then, where the original forest had been destroyed.
Now she’s a grandmother with a house in town down by the river, with a lush garden (she hasn’t stopped planting) – jungly shrubs and trees you can eat from. She feeds herself and friends.
She’s a sprite of her garden. Also of the mountains and waterways she visits. Sometimes, when she’s alone in these spaces, others of that kind will show themselves.
She paints them: ethereal, part of the landscape. My husband Andrew never saw such beings but they spoke to him, helped him write a story asking us all to preserve some of their wild places.
He’s been dead seven years (I still can’t believe it can be so long). Whenever his name arises, she exclaims with joy, ‘God, I loved him!’ and I cry and smile, remembering.
He was angel, not faery, but close enough. Their soul origins, their human affection, made such a bond…


April began with a song of loss and pain, a beautiful song, although of grief; it filled my heart the whole month long.
This April I have walked with death alongside poetry. Each held my hand – sometimes one, sometimes the other.
Sometimes they held hands with each other, and both with me; we sometimes danced even while April rain kept falling.
All the ghosts of all the loves drifted like shadows around our dance or distantly kept pace along the path.
And then, on the final night of April Samhain arrived, the feast of the dead when the veil thins and we welcome them.
One by one they came to greet me, then turned away at last, as death sang more softly now into the ear of poetry.
April was a song of love, a song to break my heart. April was a month of rain:  rain and poetry, and loved ones gone.

Background story:

In the first prompt for Poems in April (2019) at 'imaginary garden with real toads', Marian included the song 'April, Come She Will' from Simon and Garfunkle, written by Paul S…