October arrives, and my thoughts turn to …

October arrives, and my thoughts turn to …

(Separate micro-poems about different people)

private cremation –

still seeing your thin body

in that old T-shirt


October and it’s over

or always used to be –

re-living all those deaths

in early Spring. But now

this is the month Letitia died.


A year since you died.

For good practical reasons, 

I change the names of 

the haiku and tanka groups 

we held together – and weep.

Sharing with Weekly Scribblings #39 at Poets and Storytellers United.


The Universe Is Always Listening

The Universe Is Always Listening

'What is it?' she said,

'That invisible thing

marked with patience?

I should have it, not you.

I’m the pretty one.

All the daddies 

and uncles and cousins

like me because I smile

and I’m pretty. Pretty

and sweet. You

just stay in the corner. 

It’s not fair. It’s all

supposed to come to me.'

I didn’t answer.

How could I?

I didn’t know.

Not for a long time.

And anyway I wanted

the approval bestowed 

and the pretty face

that earned it.

(I was very young.

We both were.)

The pretty manners too. 

But I didn’t know how

to simper.

‘Patience wouldn’t 

please you anyway,’

I didn’t know to say.

Well it was long ago.

She’s dead now.

She did find ways

to get much

that she wanted.

After the face

grew ordinary

she still had

wiles and charm.

And calculation.

My invisible support, 

I understand now,

can be discerned

in its effects ...

if you’re looking.

There is nothing

I have to do. That’s 

what bugged her,

my jealous cousin.

I do sometimes ask,

but I don’t have to.

(I sometimes

forget that.)

After my last cat died

I knew I must have

no more. It’s not fear 

of further heartbreaks, 

but my old body 

no longer fit to do 

the work of taking care.

‘I hope I don’t

get mice now,’ I thought.

In time a python arrived.

I'm remembering a friend 

once, who said, 'The Gods 

must love you, darling!'

The actual dialogue in the first verse is fictional. That's the only thing that is.

It seems I should explain, for people not familiar with them, that pythons (not unusual in this part of Australia) are good at keeping the mice down; hence, if one doesn't have a cat....

The prompt was about temporary or hidden supports. I went with hidden; definitely not temporary!

Written for Weekly Scribblings #38: A Helping String at Poets and Storytellers United. 


To Those I Leave Behind

To Those I Leave Behind

I apologise for all the books

and the boxes of papers.

You could just throw them away

without looking. But there are

treasures among them. Well,

I treasured them. Maybe not you.

Give the books to the Salvos, 

I guess. Burn the papers. 

Or keep them, thinking you’ll 

go through them one day. 

You won’t. (I know because some 

are your stepfather’s, still unsorted.)

Never mind about my body.

Burn it of course, but don't worry

with funerals and things. I won’t

be in it any more. I won’t care.

I don’t demand respect for my

empty husk! Still, if you feel a need…

Yes, I was always sentimental 

about Things. Please find good homes

for my peacock feathers, my shells,

my collections of stones, my crystals.

Don’t chuck my teddy bears in the bin.

Find them some loving children.

I had adventures. I loved much.

I did all the things, even the ones

that scared me (some only once).

I got everything I wanted. I made

poetry and magic. I was a healer.

I laughed and cried. I had good friends.

I made mistakes and I learned. 

I lived long. I loved beauty. 

I was here! I always knew life itself

was the gift: feast and enough.

Look for me in oceans and rivers, 

in mountains and trees, in sunsets….

Written for Weekly Scribblings #37: Last Messages (my own prompt) at Poets and Storytellers United, inviting people to imagine their final message to the world.



A phoenix first must burn

Fire rising ... ashes ...
hatching into full flight ...
Daenerys with her dragons....

Pop culture’s pervasive
infiltration of the brain,
uniting us across countries,
ages, social divide.

Fantasies becoming 
truth we share:
fb memes believed,
fictional people
alive in our heads 
as Friends or Neighbours.
And Bitcoin
is real money.

So rip off the mask:
it’s all a conspiracy.

First the flame.
Last summer fighting fires,
fighting horror.

A failure of preparation.

This year watching, hushed,
as they threaten already
to begin again.
(At least the Virus
hates heat.)

We know we’re being lied to.
And even when not —
what’s engineered
and why?

Turning our faces away.

It all gets mixed
in my head. 
Sometimes I just want to be
a super-hero.
Or soar on the first
shuttle to Mars.
(With Elon Musk. Is he
a real person?)

But first the Phoenix
must burn
and give rise to poetry

even if it’s never writ.

Written for Poets United’s Weekly Scribblings #36.