Flood Poems (tanka)

forecast heavy rains

my visitor leaves for home

early, to beat floods –

drinking the extra wine

all by myself I’m lonely


after the floods

my pen is paralysed

for a month –

when poetry returns

it’s on other topics

Sharing, 8 April 2022, with Poets and Storytellers United via Friday Writings #21: What's There. I wrote this a couple of weeks ago but the recent huge floods here are still very much present to me and everyone else in the area. Many people are still homeless, many roads still impassable. It will take a long time for the region to recover, physically and emotionally. I was not personally in danger, but we have all felt the stress in various ways.



My touch –

I am sure she feels this –

is worshipful,

telling this deaf cat –

as my voice would 

if she could hear it –

she is cherished, admired, adored

beyond reason – although 

there are reasons.

The reasons are many and good,

as I hope my touch conveys.

There is the sheen of her fur

catching the sunlight, and

its silken feel under my hand.

The curve of her tiny head,

or loving paw.

The sound of her purr.

The trustful nudge of her brow.

I could go on and on

but she has woken

and called me to play,

rattling down the passage

on loud little feet,

confident I’ll follow.

(I know my role in this game;

she has trained me well.)

I must lumber after.

I must rub her tummy

as she stretches and writhes 

on the sunroom carpet.

I must dangle pink threads

(which used to be shoelaces

from a pair of striped sneakers)

for her to chase and catch and let go

and leap again after. Then I must carry her 

to sleep on the soft rug on my bed.

She is my most important

responsibility. I live

to look after her, to make sure

she is well, safe and happy.

She is the centre

of my small, elderly world,

my world shrunk to essentials.

At this time of my life, I know 

the essentials are love and touch. 

Another cat poem! Which again I'm sharing with Poets and Storytellers United – in this case for Friday Writings #19, where Magaly advises us: 'It's important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle' and invites us to be inspired by this thought. She does mean the sort of wrinkles that come with ageing – which I certainly have! And my cat, Poppi, always puts a twinkle in my eyes.


Learning From My Cat

We want the tactile. 

When I take my cat in my arms 

and cuddle her, she purrs. 

I purr too, on the inside,

squeeze her a little closer

and rock, as if to music. 

We both shut our eyes

and breathe in deep

as I sway and murmur.

I tell her she is the best

cat in the whole wide world.

She’s deaf, but she gets it.

In her mind she is the best

and only cat in the world 

and I am her person.

She lures me to come and lie down 

on the bed. Then she finds 

a place to snuggle. 

Today she settles on my thighs

which are nice and plump.

I’m happy to be her cushion.

She is happy I’ll now spend time  

here with her. This is how love

is made real. Touch. Togetherness.

Sharing with Friday Writings #18: Moments of Joy
at Poets and Storytellers United.


NaHaiWriMo 2922, week 4



 Bill striding the dark 
 narrow streets to our hotel 
 suitcase on shoulder 


empty restaurant 
waiters flocked – oops, the prices! 
we stood, bowed, smiled, left 


one-room huts on stilts 
over water 




they met tourist as brother – 
three young men, strangers 


belly dancer 
not young but skilled – 
deeply revered 


 Note: Tales told by my late ex-husband, Bill, after his visit to Cairo as a young man. 

New Delhi 


hours between planes 
didn’t leave the airport – 
city scary vast 


in transit at night 
afraid to miss connection – 
wakeful on hard seats 



COVID: last minute 
they cancelled the trip – whew! 
could have got stuck there 


Hong Kong 


the politics now – 
who didn’t 
see it coming? 


so glad 
you left and came back here 
to live 



gazing out to sea 
little mermaid (and 
girl from Tassie?) 


Note: Denmark's Princess Mary came from the island of Tasmania. So did I – so I know that, no matter how much one chooses to live elsewhere, one can occasionally gaze in that direction with a touch of nostalgia.


I wonder 
what it looked like before 
it got so famous 


these images 
forever sad Kyiv 
in my mind now 


Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia 


dawn’s rays touch first 
the warrior’s nose-tip: 
our old mountain 


river town 
near sea and mountains — 
cross the bridge 


get the celebrities 
out of here 


flood levee breached 
CBD under water — 
stay out of town 

(1) Mt Warning aka Wollumbin is the first place in Australia the morning sun touches. Many of us think the outline of the mountain looks like the sleeping face of a giant warrior.
(2) The town is entered by a bridge over the river.
(3) (a) ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’ is filmed nearby.
     (b) We’re sick of actual celebrities making homes in the area and             pushing up prices for everyone else.
(4) Heavy rain, flooding and power outage last few days, culminating today. I’m high, safe and stocked with food; many others not.


One more Murwillumbah haiku:

after the day
of terrible floods —
late night bird song 

Later 28/2/22

15/4/22, nearly two months later, I'm sharing this lot with Poets and Storytellers United via Friday Writings #22. I'm not using the Friday Writings prompt this time – though it's a very good prompt. Perhaps I'll come back to it some other time. (I'm a bit busy with other writings just now.)