Haiku on Friday Feb. '21

Haiku on Friday, Feb. '21
(including – or maybe mostly – senryu)

15 years a group

Haiku on Friday becomes

my private practice


on my holiday

reading writing walks TV

as on other days



summer rains –

weeds flourish uncleared

because snakes


steady rain

one brief bird call

through the dark


What's Haiku on Friday? See here.

Shared with Poets and Storytellers United at their Writers' Pantry #62. (Apologies to those who saw them already on Instagram.)


NaHaiWriMo 2021, Days 22-28

(Responding to February prompts at the NaHaiWriMo facebook group

Day 22: Yesterday

my yesterday 

became all my tomorrows –

I still believe

Day 23: Twist and Shout

… like we did last summer … 

oh no, that was a different song

many summers gone

Day 24: Across the Universe

Mars photos –

the surface dirt

looks normal

Day 25: Ticket to Ride

just one day there

rode cable cars in San Fran –

missed City Lights

Day 26: While My Guitar Gently Weeps  

the handsome one

quiet idealist –

I loved you best

Day 27: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

sky-high –

the planets whirl 

Day 28: Love Is All You Need

Help! I want to 

hold your hand yeah yeah yeah

love me do 


Tanka on Tuesday Feb. '21

Tanka on Tuesday, Feb. '21

I resist

ways she might shape me

into herself –

then someone tells me

‘You’re so like your mother!’



with an old friend –


when he talks politics

I change the subject


just four today

in the healing circle —

two old women

one small black-and-white dog

one life-like baby doll

we send healing

to all the animals

all living things

and to one new infant

struggling to keep breathing


night noises –

I put a tiny gecko

back outside

(whew!) then all alone I find

an unknown book on my bed


What's Tanka on Tuesday? See here.

Sharing with Writers' Pantry #60 at Poets and Storytellers United.  

Rescue Cat: Online Photo

Rescue Cat: Online Photo

I can’t have another cat, I say to myself with resolve.

I want
to be responsible. I’m too old and unwell to care for
this cat:
he deserves better, this calm-faced, strokably sleek
black cat
gazing from the screen as if directly at me, imploring,
gold-eyed …
Just think of the expense! I tell myself. Reluctantly,
I do.

This is written for Weekly Scribblings #58: Two Into One Will Go, at Poets and Storytellers United. The form is a Waltmarie, created by Candace Kubinec: 10 lines, the even lines of two syllables, the others whatever you like.  The even lines form a poem within a poem, telling their own story. It's harder than you might think!


NaHaiWriMo 2021, Days 15-21

NaHaiWriMo 2021, Days 15-21

(responding to prompts at the NaHaiWriMo group on facebook)

Day 15: One

after 10 years

our one frangipani

covers the wall


Day 16: Vertigo

your dead voice

whispers in my ear –

everything spins

Day 17: Beautiful Day

cool wet summer –

beautiful weather

with no bushfires


Day 18: Pride

all my cats
prowled stalked pounced and lolled
as lions

Day 19: With or Without You

dear facebook

surprise! – you’re not the only

source of news

[Aussies can no longer see Australian

news on fb. They’re punishing us for our 

Govt's attempts to enforce copyright fees.]

Day 20: Where the Streets Have No Names

(variations on a theme; not a sequence)

in the dreamscape

bleak streets are empty

their signs blank


the street signs

unseen by human eyes

say nothing


with no-one left

to read the street signs
they point nowhere

Day 21: I Still Haven’t Found 

What I’m Looking For

‘Let’s hunt the snark!’

‘Yes!’ Only later wondered 

what that might be.

Sharing via Writers' Pantry #58 at Poets and Storytellers United'.



Following Blackout

Following Blackout

Be an uncrushed flower!

Burst into constellations of dance!

Love can be a monster, or not …

the choice is always yours.

Written for Weekly Scribblings #57 at Poets and Storytellers United, where Magaly invites us to 'scribble new prose or poetry inspired by one (or all 3) of the following lines (which are blackout poems, created by her)1. Be an uncrushed flower. 2. Burst into constellations of dance. 3. Love can be a monster, or not. Feel free to use the exact words, or not—the choice is always yours.'

As you see, this is basically a straightforward found poem, found in the above instructions – with a bit of erasure to create title and last line. Which seems kinda appropriate for this prompt ... as well as, perhaps, the lazy way to approach it. (I can't help it; it just jumped out at me when I read the prompt, and would not be silenced.)

[Is it bad when the process notes are very much longer than the poem?]


Haiku on Friday and Tanka on Tuesday – Back story

Haiku on Friday and Tanka on Tuesday – Back story

In December 2020 I finally retired and archived the groups 'Haiku on Friday' and 'Tanka on Tuesday' which I began in 2006 on MySpace and continued on facebook (where, despite the names, it was easier to let people post any and every day).

For most of that time my friend (and mutually-adopted brother) Phillip Barker was my co-host. After he died in June 2019, I found I lost the heart to continue.


NaHaiWriMo 2021, Days 8-14

NaHaiWriMo 2021, Days 8-14

The prompts – from the NaHaiWriMo facebook group – are meant to inspire and evoke, not necessarily to be taken literally (though they can be).

Day 8: Tangerine


the colour, the juice … 

then the tang

Day 9: Four Sticks

4 of Wands

the poles, a garland 


Day 10: When the Levee Breaks

lawns and weeds

explode in sudden growth –

all this rain

Day 11: Dazed and Confused

cold rain –

this time last summer

fierce fires

Day 12: No Quarter

new president 

still seeks to prosecute


Day 13: Kashmir

‘pale hands I loved’

houseboats on the lake –

once upon a time

Day 14: Stairway to Heaven

full moon

over dark water –

path of light

Sharing with Writers' Pantry #57 at Poets and Storytellers United


Pulling My Punches

Pulling My Punches

American by birth, Aussie by choice, my husband Andrew’s best mate, he became my friend too. When he returned to the States for some years, he‘d phone Andrew late in our night: long, philosophical discussions so fascinating that I’d join in. We could hardly bear to hang up, despite the hour.

He came back and went the rounds, catching up with old friends before settling in Queensland – staying a bit longer with us, due to a sudden heart attack! After the operation, he came back to us to convalesce.

Something came on the news about some U.S. TV announcer. It meant nothing to us. He, more aware, growled scornfully, ‘She’d be a left-leaning liberal!’ – like that was a BAD thing.

‘Hang on,' I thought. 'That's what I am.’ So was Andrew. But we were both shocked speechless. The moment passed; he was oblivious.

After Andrew died, this friend phoned every few weeks to check on me – the only one who did. It helped. 

We still had wonderful, long conversations about all sorts of topics. 

Eight years later, this still happens; now every few months.  We sign off with, 'I love you.' It’s always been perfectly platonic, no spark, but we enjoy the talks. He’s a mate in the Aussie sense: we’d have each other’s backs.

Spiritually we usually agree. He’s New Age mystical, I’m Pagan; near enough.

He still takes an interest in America. Lately his political utterances bring me up short. I’ve argued a couple, gently. We’ve met in the middle … outwardly, but not really altering each other’s views. Often I’m reduced to non-committal murmurs rather than take issue with such a friend. Yet, how real the friendship if I don’t tell my truth?

Most recently, he declared Coronavirus fake, designed to put us all into fear and force us to accept vaccination. He called the Premier of Victoria – whose stringent measures have kept that State relatively safe – Despot Dan.

‘You know who I’m talking about?’

‘Oh yes, I know who you mean.’ 

I didn’t add that in my opinion Dan's a hero.

Yes, I’m a coward. I expect I’ll have to have it out some day. I keep hoping the contentious issues will all blow over first.

369 words written in response to Weekly Scribblings #56: Hit Me With Your Best Shot, at Poets and Storytellers United.

(And no, the friend concerned never reads my blog.)


NaHaiWriMo 2021, Days 1-7

NaHaiWriMo 2021 Days 1-7

(Responding to prompts at the NaHaiWriMo facebook group)

Day 1: Monday morning

days’ edges blur

in the time of COVID – 

is this Monday?

Day 2: Dreams

my dreams

keep waking me –

what’s real?

Day 3: Landslide

behind my lids

houses collapse and fold

over and over

Earlier version:

behind my eyes

houses concertina 


Day 4: I’m so afraid

darkened sky

cancelling daylight –

storm or fire?

Day 5: Songbird

solitary –

a magpie warbling

at dawn

Earlier version:

one distant song –
a magpie warbling
alone at dawn

Day 6: The chain

her old gate –

the rusty chain


Day 7: Tusk

his tool and weapon 

his own greatest danger –

his ivory tusks

Dear readers, I'm open to suggestions for improving these; also would appreciate opinions on alternative versions where applicable.



At 17 I escaped, cast off her strictures 

(imposed by secret signs across rooms: to fix my hair, how to sit, when to stay silent …)

along with the gloves, hats, stockings

the fear, the conformity.

I learned to cross my legs at the knee. I learned to laugh loud.

She shuddered, calling it 'coarse'.

I was glad she was dark. I was fair, resembling Dad’s side.

Until one day someone said, 'You look so like your mother!' Then the mirror said so too.

I dreaded her forties-housewife life; kept my career long after marriage and kids.

(Forgetting her secretarial job when I was a teen – at a time when married women simply didn’t. Dad, afraid of being thought unable to provide, reluctantly agreed: better than her boredom, depression. A valued Office Manager, she finally retired in her seventies, when her path was no longer brave or unusual.)

I deplored her conservative taste in clothes, furniture, politics and art.

When I was newly adult, unhappy, her house was my haven, a place to self-indulge. I knew: wherever she was, was my home. I could just arrive.

Fearful, even phobic, she never learned to swim or drive a car.

I learned both.  A timid swimmer, I hate waves, hate getting my face underwater. I swim in still pools or rivers, from the neck down. A scared driver, I stick to places I know. Otherwise I do much silent praying.

Once socially active, in age she preferred the phone, or for friends to visit her. She shocked me by watching Days of Our Lives; even explaining it to me. (If I was visiting, I had to sit through it too.) She borrowed a bundle of romance novels from the library every week. 'How could she?' I thought. 'A supposedly intelligent woman.'

Now in this pandemic, old and widowed, I stay home alone watching Netflix, or reading romance novels on my Kindle.

She lived to be two years older than I am now. Travelling hastily to her bedside, I was with her on Christmas Eve, as she died.

My Christmas letter, finally telling her all the reasons I was glad and grateful for her, arrived after me, three days later.



369 words for Weekly Scribbings #55: "What You Resist, You Become" at Poets and Storytellers United.