“But I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.”
~ Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Small Notebook

My small notebook
was made in Nepal.
Its hand-made pages 
come from the Lokta plant.

In the top corners are images 
drawn in coloured ink:
the eyes of the Buddha,
the symbol for Om.

In the centre of the blue cover
Is a red and gold mandala,
a circle inside a square
inside a larger circle.

For the January writing course
we're told, 'Get a beautiful notebook'.
Serendipitously my bro, 
not knowing, gives me this one.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Returning to Visit

(from tropic to temperate)

I find garden after garden filled with roses --
scented roses -- and leafy trees growing
along nature strips and railway culverts.
For the first time in nine years, I eat 
ripe apricots -- a forgotten pleasure.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Wishing For Things To Be Different

Walking along a city street
I pass a family. The young boy,
slight of figure, wide-eyed,
wears a T-shirt saying:
Man of Steel. 

He is holding his mother's hand,
looking slightly frightened by the city
with its cars and crowds.

OK, I get it, but I still wish
I could give the boys T-shirts
saying Man of Jelly

and have them be proud.


(In looking at joy this month, we also look at where it's absent or hindered — just in case you're wondering.)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pascoe Vale South

In this suburb
in the temperate south,
people grow roses.
I go for a walk
in mingled sun and rain
and stop to look,
and pause to smell.
Some are full and blowsy,
others tiny, many-petalled.
The one with the deepest scent 
is creamy in the centre,
crimson round the rim.
It's an old suburb
of small stone houses,
and these are old roses
thriving still.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Christmas Pirate

My son, who never fathered children,
slips out on Christmas Eve
to the back yard, to hide a box
and set up a treasure map
so his partner's nine-year-old
will find her gift from the pirates.
He doesn't believe in Christmas,
the commercialisation; 
never gives presents -- but a gift
from the pirates, he says, 
puts back the magic. For me
there is magic in seeing him
enjoy the role of father at last.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Two Railway Workers

Two railway workers
are checking the tickets
of boarding passengers.

Both are plump,
middle-aged,
with happy faces.

He has a lanyard around his neck;
she is wearing, with her uniform,
green Xmas-tree earrings.

In a moment between passengers, 
she dances up on to tip-toe;
they exchange a quick kiss.

The Watery Approaches to Sydney

5 am. There first lights come on
in and out of the train.
The watery approaches to Sydney
fill our moving windows —
the bends of the huge river 
spreading grey and glassy,
rows of spindly posts
marking the oyster leases —
as I cross again 
these old, familiar bridges,
waking up this morning.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I Leave the Cats Sleeping

I leave the cats sleeping,
one on my bed,
one on the spare bed.
Sometimes they share
in one place or the other,
but when they separate
it's always this way. 
They like their own rooms.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Flavour of Bailey's Irish Cream

The flavour of Bailey’s Irish Cream: mellow with a tang ...
(The slim bottle is black, with a red label.
Surely those back-to-back gold initials are new?
I don’t remember them. But then, it’s a long time
since I’ve had a glass of Bailey’s — before tonight, that is.

(It came in a box with two glasses —
heavy-bottomed glasses
with curved sides for the grasp of a hand.
They too have those initials, back-to-back B B.
And they have gold rims.

(At the moment one glass is clean,
the other is buttery golden from my drink.
How good if I had someone to share
my gift bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream.
But alone is good too.) ... white fire, yet subtle.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Waiting in the Long Heat

Waiting in the long heat
for help with my stranded car,
I raise the bonnet for shade
and perch on the bumper bar.

I settle and look up.
Blue sky and a beautiful tree
straight in front of my gaze
are sweet and calming to me.






















Submitted for Poets United's Verse First ~ Gifts and Blessings.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pay Day

All day paying the bills,
first on computer
next by walking
all over town
in sun and rain,
stopping to pick up
a white lace ribbon
someone dropped in the park,
buying a new bra
and getting it properly fitted.
Ah, the depth
of these mundane 
satisfactions!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Raisins

Raisins are succulent on the tongue
and squashed between the teeth,
releasing their juices from skin and pulp —
at the same time sweet and tangy.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vignette

The tiny boy runs naked
down our quiet, trafficless street,
his young mum close behind him
grabbing for his hand.
Yes, it’s Summer!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Joy Shines

Joy shines
from the young man’s face
for no special reason.
Bright eyes, wide smile,
exuberant laugh.
Life and youth must be
sufficient reason.

A Cool Wet Day

A cool wet day at last
in early summer.
I sit outside
on the front verandah
where you used to sit
looking at pale grey sky
and dark grey trees.
It is enough.
It is a kind of pleasure.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eye


The boy’s eye in close-up on the cinema screen is not brown, not blue, but hazel — like my eyes — joined spots of tan radiating from the centre onto a background of sage green. This green, I realise, is the colour of my new jade pendant which I love so much.

Storm Hint

Sheet lightning flashes
behind clouds
startling the hot night.

On the balcony
our heads lift,
eager for new rain.

The Little Dog


The little dog sniffs my ankle all over, following me around the table. His nose is wet and very cold. He is black and white, as small as a cat. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ripe Mango


… smells fragrant as I walk into the room. Blooms with a warm red blush on the gold skin. Feels somewhere between firm and soft to the touch; I interpret this as ‘just right’. I slice down each broad face, along the curve of the underlying stone. On the narrow sides, the skin starts peeling off the stone of its own accord. I take a sharp knife to finish that severance, then I slurp the clingy flesh from the sides of the stone. With my knife I score the two halves that I cut off first, criss-cross into tiny squares, leaving the skin whole. I bend the skin of each half backwards, so the squares of mango sit up, ready for me to scrape my teeth along them and suck them into my mouth. Sweetness, but not too sweet. Juiciness, wonderful in its excess. Taste and texture linger, completely satisfying.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Trees in the Street


Hot day, cool breeze. The woman serving me in the craft shop notices that the leaves on the trees are moving. She says she remembers those trees being planted in the street, ten years ago.  ‘So small! And now look how beautiful they are.’ They are wattles, taller than the roofs of the shops.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Salt and Pepper Pots

The salt and pepper pots
are stout and squat
with a cheerful air 
like friendly gnomes
at my dinner table.


Monday, December 9, 2013

A Blowy Day

The wind comes gusting up the valley with low howls. My chimes ring over and over on the front veranda, sending echoes down the street and across the hill.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

My Rainbow Sun-Hat

The rings of my rainbow hat
go purple, indigo, blue,
green, yellow, orange, red —
just as they should for a rainbow.

They start from the rim
and work their way into the middle,
where they coil to make a big round spot
purple over the crown — as that, too, should be.

My rainbow sun-hat keeps me shaded
and brightens other people’s faces.
They stop and grin. They say,
‘You’re looking very colourful. I love it!’


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cool Change

Feel the wild, cold storm rush in
after the long, slow day of  heat.
Feel the sharp lift begin and gather pace,
the rustle and stir of leaves grow loud,
and the frogs croak faster, faster.

Evening Kookaburras

Every evening the kookaburras laugh
loud on the street outside my door.
I love to hear their explosions of joy.
I rush out and never catch sight of them
but I know they are here, visiting again
after months of silence, with their rollicking song.

Today My Friend

Today my friend Angela
brought me deep blue hydrangeas
from her garden

and some other flowers from 
the ‘yesterday, today, tomorrow’ plant.

Today my friend Angela
brought me eight crystals
to make a protective grid:

two rose quartz, two aventurine,
four hematite to ground each one.

Today my friend Angela
picked up frangipani blossoms
fallen on the ground from my big tree

and I floated them 
in a shallow glass bowl.

‘You spoil me,’ I said
to my friend Angela.
She only smiled and gave me a hug. 





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Devotions

Just as I settle in my chair at the outdoor cafe and look around for something joyous to write about (my daily practice) four Hare Krishna devotees march up the street, chanting. I want to call it singing, they do it with such verve. Sometimes the local devotees sound half-hearted, sadly dutiful — but these lads sing out their mantras with conviction, and tune. I remember that Krishna is a joyous God.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Occasions of Joy

I'm doing a 'Writing My Way Home' course in joy, this December. It was offered in beautiful timing for me. 'I need to get in touch with my joy more often,' I thought. 

There are several practices suggested. One, of course, is the mindful writing of 'small stones', with a focus on what gives you joy. Another is the creation of a Book of Joy. 

'Find a beautiful notebook,' advises Satya Robyn, course facilitator. I like my beautiful iPad Mini and my beautiful 'Stones for the River' blog, so I'm creating on one and posting to the other.

Here are today's small stones, each of which was indeed an occasion for joy. Hooray, already it's working!


I come out into new sunshine after rainstorms. A crested pigeon walks across my driveway, untroubled by my presence.

The tree across the road has long white limbs stretching unevenly, like bending paths, through its fuzz of green.



Two little dogs, one black, one white, walk sedately on the ends of their leashes. Their owner has both leashes in one hand. His big shaggy dog, black with a splotch of white at the throat, ambles close by, untethered. This was a comfort stop, for bladder relief; only five minutes and they're all back in the car.

The tree in front of me, gnarled and knotted, has had it's lower branches lopped repeatedly. The scars look like gnome or gargoyle faces.


Friday, November 1, 2013

For Mindful Writing Day

The Final Month of Spring


The deep blue stripe of the sea spreads out before my gaze as I crest the hill, telling me summer is coming — the season of holidays, of beaches, is nearly here. I come home and see that overnight my frangipani tree has covered itself with flowers.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sekhmet Figurine


A figurine of Sekhmet sits upright by my desk. Her shadow is shaped like a cat.
























(I started to write a small stone but it grew into this longer poem. Then I came back here and wrote a different small stone.)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Walking and Looking

Sunday afternoon
this quiet street
is lined with cars










a long shadow
crosses my photograph: 
me









I point my camera
the ibis in the playground
vanish from the picture











coming up the hill
the gladdies are out 
in all the gardens










red gladioli
weigh down their stems
late afternoon








the shadow of the hoop pine
crosses the path 
ahead of me



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Coexistence

Shrill birds
make a flurry in the trees.
My cat, ignoring them,
sprawls in the sun
washing her paw.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Spring Evening

It's lighter later now.
My black cat and I
come outside to sit
in warm air
with a small breeze.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Walking and Writing with Difficulty

I took the iPad instead of pen, paper notebook and digital camera. A mistake! The sun was glary, low in the sky not long before sunset. With my sunglasses on, I could barely see the screen. Even with them off, it was difficult. Taking photos consisted of point and hope. Only one worked.



Instead of trying for poems, I jotted down notes. Many typo corrections later, they read:

Large boat on nature strip
with canopy and truck.

(I remember thinking afterwards that 'large' gives the wrong idea; it was only large for a runabout.)

Clover in the grass
shaking, trembling in the breeze.
Nodding heads. Parkinson's ...

My boots hurt.
The sun is too bright.
The wind is cool.

I feel stupid
but also like a pioneer.

I like to walk here
breathing clean air, 
a little too fresh.

At the same time
I want to go home
and get into my slippers.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Storm

Thunder and heavy rain.
How gIad I am I didn’t
water the garden early.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Flapping of Wings

From over the fence the dove's wings flap and whirr, then stop. Perhaps, as I came outside, the noise of my door disturbed it a moment. Perhaps, like other creatures, it was resting on this warm afternoon. I know it must be the dove, though I've only seen it once. It's a big bird, and the noise, though not loud, signals the movement of something large. No tiny bird would make such a flurry. My surroundings settle down again to still mid-afternoon.

Then an even louder flapping and whirring, and no mere dove but a brush turkey leaps from next door's fence to my roof. I get up and try to find an angle from which I can photograph it with the iPad I'm writing on. By the time I do, another has jumped to the top of the fence. They're a couple! 

The one on the roof flaps back to the fence and the two stay there a few moments, walking about, changing position, checking out the view, before hopping down into next door's yard once more.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Winter Blooms

Only two orange flowers 
remain on the vine,
tucked in a corner of shade; 
still bright and fleshy,
still looking succulent.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Flaws

'These are natural flaws,' she said, and I realised: as crystals, people.

Beauty and integrity are not compromised by natural flaws.

Don't try to polish them away — useless; and they make each one unique.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Ferns

The ferns grow big and flappy, waving like fans in the afternoon breeze.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Though the breeze ..

Though the breeze stirs the leaves and the air's fresh, my sleepy eyes keep closing.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

At Tumbulgum

How fast the houseboat moves upriver as a wagtail swoops in closer.

In the fork of the gum with peeling bark sits a beer bottle, half-full.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

In Still Air


In still air, caught by sun, the branches are sharp lines against blurry leaves.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Visiting Crystal Creek














Not far out of town, the rainforest still edges roads and covers hills.   

I pull over, close my eyes, meditate ... falling leaves hit my car, thump.

#American Sentences (a 17-syllable alternative to haiku, devised by Allen Ginsberg.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Letting the Garden Go

 I have let my garden beds go to weeds. Interesting that the weeds they grow are different. One is full of spreading ferns, and bushy plants with wide, glossy leaves. The other is occupied by low ground cover with tiny leaves, from which the aloe vera plant — not a weed — stands up tall and spiky.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Netting the moon

I look up at the full moon through a cobweb shining from roof to tree.



Winter Flowers


The winter flowers on the vine are orange, the colour of both trauma and joy (in Colour Healing). There are few left as winter ends. It has been a winter of trauma and joy, reliving the last, when Andrew began his dying, finally making his transition at the beginning of Spring. I pull a Tarot card from the Wildwood deck. The fire in the centre has bright orange flames. The card is called Abundance, meaning reward after long struggle.

Friday, August 9, 2013

August Wind

August wind.
Each year I forget
until it begins.

A sudden flurry.
'Is that rain?' I think,
but it's not. It's the air 
stirring, no longer inert.

It wakes with a rush —
excitement or dread? —
and the blood responds.

Submitted for Poets United's Verse First ~ Difficulty. The challenge is: Write a poem, no more than three stanzas, that is completely free of "gratuitous, show-offy, camouflaging" text. 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

She Seems Unaware

She seems unaware of the bleeding, but
at times her eyes glaze; I think
she's moving away, starting
not to be here.














Tuesday, July 30, 2013

One Cloud Settles

One cloud settles softly
on the tops of the trees.
The sky shines blue,
the winter sun
hints of hope, of returning Spring.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Guardian Stone

I dressed the rock by my door
in thin blue lines, in symbols
of Protection and the Goddess.

The original marks, from another hand,
were painted thick, though wearing off.
I wonder should I make mine thicker?

Not yet, says the rock. Let me explore
these more delicate emblems. Power
may also rest in the soft and fine.

Embrace

My house puts warm arms around me.  
I move within soft golden light.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

At Last

Tonight, when she comes onto the bed to lie beside me, she purrs as loudly as she used to when he was here and she would snuggle between us. This is the first time since his death that she has expressed such deep content. It has been ten months. She stretches out now, and falls peacefully asleep.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Sun Bursts

The sun bursts from the trees
blazing gold, too bright,
dazzling my eyes,
yet fails to take the chill
from the autumn morning air.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The rock I find by the side of the road

The rock I find by the side of the road must have rolled down the hill from somewhere — some hidden house at the top. Though it’s near no human habitation now, it is marked in thick blue lines: the base of an arrow and a spiral, crooked and fading.

I rescue it of course and ask if it is willing to come home with me. Once there, I ask if it’s happy to be cleaned and go back to natural. I scrub the markings away and put it outside my front door as a guardian.



I think it looks strangely blank. I think I’ll ask it soon if it will permit me to adorn it with new markings. The rune for protection, maybe, looking like the fletch of an arrow. And perhaps, to signify the Goddess, a spiral….

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I open my door at 6am


Late autumn sunrise streaks the sky.
Small birds flit and twitter through low trees.
A fat white ibis fossicks in the gutter,
stalking slowly (ignoring me), rhythmically
dipping and lifting its long, hooked beak.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

At Home


(Sijo*)

The familiarity of home, garden, my two cats,
the little town where I live and the people who are my friends,
all these and autumn — ah, glorious autumn! — they nurture me.

*A three-line Korean form explained at dVerse Form For All: Out of Asia

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dead Tree


He gives the dead tree trunk
a light shove. It rocks 
in its socket of earth.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Confusion of Season


The usual mild Autumn.
Again the plants are fooled,
blooming as if in a second Spring —
yellow gorse everywhere along the roads, 
gardens profuse with new colour.

Submitted for dVerse Poetics — Spring

Visiting Maureen


vistas of trees
from all windows

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Contrasts


The small boy
on the lawns of Crystal Castle
runs happily past,
oblivious of the huge white quartz
at least four times his size.





Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just Before Sunset


Sun burning gold
bounces and rolls

over the tree-tops
alongside the road.

The car draws ahead
but around the next bend

the dancing blaze 
is keeping pace.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Loud


It doesn't stop rumbling, the thunder, after starting with a huge 'Boom!' 

'What a beautiful day!' we said earlier, and then, 'How hot!'

I open the doors to let in the cool. A little spittle of rain flies right through the flywire onto my leg. The noise gets hugely louder and the house shakes. (Surely I imagined that?) Now the rain pelts down hard, and I hear the cracks that mean lightning. The cats are curled up, one in each doorway. They like to watch storms.

It gets louder yet. Then there's the hugest crack I've heard in years. We all jump, and the cats swap doors. I switch off the wireless modem and unplug the landline phone. 

More, yet more, again and again. I've still got power. I bet some people haven't.

Then, as suddenly, it's quiet. The rain stops in an instant, except for the sound of heavy drips from roofs and branches. The humidity returns.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Suddenly Summer

We have Summer at last, for one day - one day of clear blue, deep blue sky; enough warmth for me to wear a sarong; the slightest breeze rippling the ferns just a little, behind the flight of a white butterfly. The drone of a mower somewhere is too faint to disturb; it makes a pleasant, bee-like hum. The fern fronds are softest green. I nod off in the noonday heat, which increases. I think of beaches and rivers and backyard pools, of immersing myself in lovely water. But I think lazily - sitting here, peaceful, in my sweet green garden.

  Submitted for dVerse: It's not easy being green and poetic - or is it?.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Small Sunshine


Small sunshine
in between days of rain.
Everything smells stronger —
both rotting things
and growing things.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sodden


Bleak, bedraggled,
my garden misses me.
Ceaseless rain 
strands me indoors.


Submitted for dVerse Poetics: Short verse

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Morning Music

Sitting on my back veranda this morning
between light showers of rain
first I hear kookaburras
near but unseen
filling the air with joy, as they do
(in our perception). Then
after a pause, with only the small sounds
of raindrops and random twittering,
the high, sweet notes of a recorder
begin and continue, faint but clear.
I think it's the seven-year-old boy
who lives across the road.
He must be playing outdoors
on his own back veranda.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wet Sunday


Wet Sunday:
white sky, rain-darkened ground.
Fresh sheets on the bed last night.
Feeding the cats their breakfast, I sneeze.
These are good enough reasons.

All morning
I lounge against piled-up pillows.
The cats settle next to me, cuddle up,
Then curl into their foetal position sleep-mode.
The three of us breathe gently.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bikers


the wild men 
ride with lights on
this bright and sunny day

sturdy blokes
with thick white beards
their handlebars wide and high

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oh, it's Sunday!


Oh, it's Sunday! Lazy coffee, sunshine through the curtains, the cats fed and dozing nearby. There are brand-new poems to read on the web. There are library books waiting, piles of colour on my dining-room table. There's a new DVD to watch. There are friends to talk to by phone or email, at my leisure and at length. I look away from the ache in my heart. No, I am not lonely!

(Starting a new habit of small stones on Sundays rather than daily.)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

White Sky

White sky this twilight
after rain, the day cooled
from its humid afternoon.
An exhausting day,
but now I know peace.
A plane drones over.
The Chardonnay
tastes light and tangy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Last Light


In the last of the afternoon light
the sun appears, suddenly and quietly,
to light up the windless trees.
The palms in the neighbour's yard
form elegant fans. A cloud sails past
like a boat on blue water.
Then a plane goes over, noisy,
and the dusk settles down.

Me and My Gardener


Me and my gardener reminisce. 
We just found out we both grew up
in the same small town
on a cold, hilly, beautiful island.
Now we like the warmth.
'When I was in the Navy...' he adds
and I notice the dark tattoos
crawling from under his sleeve.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Young Single


My friend has cut his hair shorter,
smart. Suddenly he looks grown-up.
He says he shaved on Friday, and
already (Tuesday) must again.
He tells me all the things that prove
his new boyfriend loves him — really.
Although they aren't saying that yet. 

Silence after


Silence after 
days of downpour 
and shrieking wind —
as if the earth 
had stopped breathing.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rain Storm


The water comes down in a roar,
speeded by the wind.
One of next-door's palm branches
crashes into my yard,
which is fast becoming mud;
others lash the fence.
In the northern hemisphere, I read,
this is the time of the Wolf Moon.
Here, the wind starts howling like a wolf.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Importunate

The wind and rain want to come in.
They ring my bells, they drive fists 
into my front door again and again.

I know it's not the cats demanding;
they are asleep in the house.

I do not open my door.

Friday, January 25, 2013

This Old Woman


(Describing myself from outside)

This old woman, slightly fat,
wears bright colours,
silver jewellery, crystals
and low-heeled shoes.

The pendants around her neck
are on cords she made
from shoelaces, knotted
to be adjustable.

The first one depicts
a five-pointed star
disguised inside
a five-petalled rose.

If people enquire,
to most she will say,
'Isn’t it beautiful?
It's a Celtic knot.'

Those to whom
she might say,
'It’s my pentacle; I'm Pagan,'
seldom need to ask.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Summer Country


Our mountain, Cloud Catcher
this morning has only one cloud 
held low in a long pocket 
half way.down the slope

where it stretches out
white and dazzling,
basking in the early sun,
prettier than pictures of snowfall.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Over the Road


To observe the world this afternoon
I decide on my front porch,
the tiny landing at the top of the steps.

From the house with the kids
diagonally opposite
obscured by trees,
come voices, and then
pop music, loud.

I know that some of the neighbours
will be feeling irritation, righteous.
But me I like the cheery beat.
I like the teenage voices laughing.

The Homeless


The homeless people gather —
half a dozen, maybe ten —
at the rotunda in the park.
They stay there most of the day.

Their voices are loud, some raucous.
Their movements are loose or jerky,
either way unrestrained ... free?
Freer, perhaps, than me?

They have community, 
they have laughter.
They are a closed circle
I would not approach. 

I have no wish
to change places.
My quieter, safer life
beckons me home. (I have cats.)

Winged


On the back of the chair
in my outdoor writing spot,
a winged being perches —
tiny, still, dark. 

The folded wings are black, 
with an underlay of deepest blue, 
edged with a line of green
which is its body.

Oh, the wonder of it — 
this small creature 
poised a moment 
showing me beauty.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Not-Noise


There is a continual pulsing
out here under the trees:
a form of white noise,
not from machines, but from
the grass and the dirt and the leaves
coming alive after rain. Birds
and tiny insects, hidden lizards
and all sorts of creatures I don't even guess
are swelling this noise, which is not
noise at all, it is active silence.
And the air is making it, rushing in and out
in long whispers as the earth breathes.
But there is no breeze, it is other
than wind; it is the planet's
usually inaudible
heartbeat.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two New Ones for My Collection


A clown in green costume 
half of it sparkly
with big white pom-pom buttons
sits in front of my window 
and rocks on a swing.
Behind the red and white paint
his expression is little-boy direct.

On the sill of the smaller window
a girl clown lounges 
all in shocking pink. 
I have to say, she is rather blank-faced.
Her mother has dressed her up pretty
and the poor child doesn't know
what is expected, so she just sits.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Water Dragons


They have left some droppings
like soft mud on the rim of the pool.
There is no foul smell, no smell at all.
In the gravel patch at one corner
they dig holes to lay their eggs.
My friend has seen them swimming
when the pool is empty of people,
their armour flashing blue-green.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Breathing In

It's summer! A car rolls by
with a surfboard on its roof.

The scent of the sea begins
from over the next few hills.

Extreme heat has passed.
There is just enough breeze.

The sun is now a lover
with a warm, gentle caress.

Who could be sad - not me -
on a day like this? I'm glad

to be alive, and here,
breathing in the summer.

Rural


Road and sky stretch blank,
the sky without a cloud,
the road without a bend —
large spaces, free
of the interruptions of cities

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Purring

She used to squash in between us
and purr all night, loud and deep.
Now she sprawls in the space
where his pillow used to be.
When I reach to stroke her
she licks my fingers, and lately
she is beginning to purr again, a little.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cool Change

Early evening and the cool change establishes itself, after taking all day to get a strong foothold. The freshness of the air soothes my skin. The trees rustle slightly. A few birds chirrup. The land starts to wake up ever so slightly from the weeks of searing heat.

There was little rain today. It came in tiny, light drops, but it lasted an hour or two, enough for the ground and the plants to drink and revive, reprieved for now. There's a hush; we scarcely dare hope this mercy will last. This is different from the somnolent, heavy, smothering hush of recent days.

The vine has suddenly put forth one perfect white flower.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Auditory


Yo Yo Ma's fine cello notes
linger in the air around me
long after the YouTube stops.

Top Cat


I know from my reading
the two pairs of eyes gazing up,
demanding extra breakfast,
are not pleading but aggressive.

I bend closer to their level 
and stare back, saying a firm 'No!'
They drop their eyes and slink away.
Aha! I'm still the Alpha.