Tanka for a dead man

I can’t draw, but

I let my pen wander 

across the page

while I think of you, and

the lines flow gracefully




dreams –

I watch myself writing

letters to a dead man


your notebooks –

old lines that linger 

to show me

you not only loved me

you listened and heard


we quoted

from certain poems 

certain lines –

in ways that made them

secret messages


The Dream Is Always

The dream is always of you,

my obsession, fixation: sad

love, lost love, past love, true…

Are dreams a defence against going mad?

Well, to live sometimes there

in that far, irrecoverable past,

is better, perhaps, than nowhere

to seek you, being always lost.

To seek you, being always lost, 

is better, perhaps, than nowhere

in that far, irrecoverable past –

but well to live, sometimes, there.

Are dreams a defence against going mad?

Love, lost love, past love, true …

my obsession, fixation – the sad

dream is always of you. 


The Love of My Life

The few to whom I tell our story think you must have been the love of my life. I don’t like to think in those terms. I have also loved others well. How could I put you above my dear Andrew, my third and last husband, my happiest marriage? He was such a dear, we were so close, best friends as well as lovers.

But then, I could not say I loved him more than you – even though no loves could have been more different.

You are certainly one of the loves of my life! Though I won’t say I loved you the most, neither could I truthfully say that I ever loved anyone more.

May you rest in peace! (May all my dear, dead loves rest in peace.)

an old lady

many years later

I think of you

whenever love is mentioned –

always that leap of my heart 

The title was a prompt at the Tanka Poets On Site group on facebook.


Murwillumbah Today

Hello mountain, hello river,

hello clouds, hello sky,

hello trees trees trees trees 

trees trees trees,

hello hills that I ride on

in my little white car,

hello magpies, hello ibis,

hello miners, hello crows

hello Spring sun starting,

hello ocean over the ridge,

hello streets of my little town,

hello house, up the end

of the tiny cul-de-sac,

hello home that surrounds me:

Earth, Sun, Water, Sky.