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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rounding a corner ...

high across the road
pale wattle branches
laden with blooms,
light in the sudden tunnel
of large, dark eucalypts

Monday, December 19, 2011


When a program set in my birthplace
comes on television —
cooking, architecture, politics —
I don’t say much
but I stop whatever I’m doing
and have a long, long look
at the background scenery.

Friday, November 18, 2011

7 Days Challenge, Day 7: Fall in love with the world


Reading people’s minds in their poetry, 
seeing what they pay attention to,
I make new friends.

Writing with my attention on the world,
I return and read, and from outside
discover myself.

Actually the heading for Day 7 is, 'Join us and keep writing', along with an invitation to take a course called 'Fall in love with the world in 30 days', and to join the 'Writing Our Way Home' community — neither of which I am going to do. Not that I don't think they would be good things to do, but I have enough to keep up with already, both online and off. And I am already in love with the world; always have been.

Apart from that, the instruction for today is: Make sure you notice one thing today, too, and write it down. So this, above, is what I noticed at the end of this 7 days.

I will be engaging in the next 'River of stones' in January, with daily posts here ... and probably a few in the interim. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

7 Days Challenge, Day 6: Peace through writing


How ungainly it looks
the young monitor lizard
scrambling up our driveway
running away from my car
jointed legs akimbo.

But it’s fast. And I’m glad
it lives on this land, 
hiding most of the time —
its species has tenure
more ancient than mine.

I want to call it ‘he’
but I resist. The truth is
I don’t know. The truth
is that respect for life
refuses idle assumptions.

I do know it’s young
from the size. They can grow
three times as big. I hope
that this one will, continuing
to avoid cars and people.

(Hope I don’t need to spell out which is the invader here. May there be peace between us!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

7 Days Challenge, Day 5: Keep going

Warming Up

I’m in town in my sarong.
I see another too-old woman
in a floral sun dress,
short skirt and skinny straps.

As I stop to buy diet Coke,
a bike roars away from the shop.
Thin rider in black leans forward
low over the handle bars.

There’s that hint in the air
of anticipation.Thoughts
of beaches, parties ... 
my steps quicken.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

7 Days Challenge, Day 4: Notice a person

Home Help

So straight-backed, hard-voiced.
It takes me weeks to hear
the kindness of her words,
to see the smile in her eyes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

7 Days Challenge, Day 3: Use all your senses

(or at least more of them than sight alone)

November in the Northern Rivers

The heat coats my skin like a very fine layer of oil. My cheeks and temples tingle. My hair thickens on my head, in a close cap. I like the feeling of warmth on my naked back, and the light in the long evenings lingering late. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

7 Days Challenge, Day 2: Look, write and look again

Cold chicken stir fry (supper)

The rice dry and crunchy
the vegetables moist, crisp.
A peanut taste ... inexplicable.
The spiciness it had at dinner, gone.

(Well, I didn't look, I tasted and felt.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

7 Days Challenge, Day 1: Go to the World


The thick stems of the jade bush are dark, banded and mottled, like reptile skin.

A Birthday Present to Myself

(editorial aside)

I have accepted the invitation to do Kaspalita's free 'Experience the world more deeply in 7 days' challenge. Yes, I write small stones anyway, from time to time, but I thought it would be a nice present to myself to take the opportunity to slow down for a week.

My stars for today say, 'Use this time to reconnect with your spiritual centre.' This is my way.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tall Dandelions

Tall dandelions wave 
from the verge of a hill

their dancing yellow heads
dotting the thick green.

Profuse, unweeded, they release
into the open window of the car

the smell of dandelions en masse
suddenly returned from childhood.

Friday, October 14, 2011

X-Ray Vision

Photos of sunsets
and reflected trees

vie with city views
on the blaring TV

for the attention 
of radiology patients

who wait for their scans
with downcast eyes

failing to observe
these images.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Rain walk

Today the late afternoon walkers —
risk takers — stride purposefully home.
‘I hope we beat the rain,” I call
to a young woman making good time
on the other side of the road.
‘I don’t mind rain,’ she calls back,
‘But if there’s hail ….’ Yesterday,
when I was out in my car, there was hail.
Small spots, but I wouldn’t like them
stinging my unprotected body. However
we grin at each other as we move on,
aware that already the first light drops of rain 
are hitting us both with their cold barbs.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Mountains at Dusk

The mountains at dusk
turning blue-black
against white sky
get a sharp edge.

Trees on the top 
tiny from here
stand out, you can see
every fine branch
with its curl of leaves.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sitting in the Sun

Sitting in the sun
on this tiny landing
I listen to my wind chimes
moving idly in the Spring breeze,
their mellow sound
punctuating the chirrups and shrieks
of busy nesting birds.

My cat, lying on the step
by my feet,
ignores all these noises —
just likes to be
in the sun, with me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Piles of jasmine cover a fence.
As I walk by, the scent takes me
far south, into the past
when my children were children
and our fence was piled with jasmine.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Crows Are Out

The crows are out on the road tonight
in the breaks between the wild, rainy weather:
moving separately, moving together
glossy black against the greying light.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tidal River

Today we've timed it perfectly. The edge
is deep enough to swim. The strong current
is out there in the middle, rippling fast,
a flashing silver ribbon – no, a fish.
A fish of glass that's rolling porpoise-like,
heading, nose down, for the entrance to the sea.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Driving in Warm Weather

Driving in warm weather —
the warmth of Spring arriving
today and settling in —
I’m confident and fast
around the river bends
and up the curly hills.

(Written a year and six days ago.)

Two Fat Men

Two fat men strut from the pub
clutching their bags of bottles
and head for separate cars.
Concealed by darkness,
I stare at their stiffly held bellies
which curve like waxing moons.

Written 2/10/07, rediscovered today.

Listen to the River

Listen to the river,
it whispers loudly
this evening as dusk
comes down, black clouds
sitting low on the trees.

It gulps and laps the shore
as the wind springs into gusts
and over the opposite bank
unseen, but far from unheard
the ocean pounds and wallows.

Yet another oldie, this from 2008. I didn’t understand what some of these were when I wrote them; they seemed to be inconclusive fragments. Now I recognise them as small stones, observations made in the moment, complete in themselves.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Creek, Pottsville

December 2006

I play in the rippling river,
kicking against the current
and letting it float me back,
then rest on a hummock of sand
under the shallow surface.

The pelicans have departed
to the trees on the further bank.
Beyond, I hear the roar
of the surging ocean.

One suddenly flies right over me
feet tucked up, its wide wings
surprising me, half black.

 (Another oldie I've been tinkering with.)

In This Overlap Zone

In this overlap zone
between tropic and temperate
periwinkles bloom beside hibiscus,
clover grows in the grass
under the frangipani.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Market Moments

Pottsville Beach Sunday Market 6 Sept.’ 09

The market ground
drying out under surface dew
resists my tent pegs.

Bouncing and laughing
in their mothers’ arms,
two babies hold my gaze.

The skirt seller
suddenly, casually,
tells me her whole life story.

I bring home
two bottles of red
captive, held by the necks.

Going through old poems, I came across these jottings which, though not recent, seem to belong among the small stones. (The previous post is also a rescued and reworked fragment of an older draft.)

Remembering Pottsville Beach

Sharp mornings promising heat.
Thunderous across balmy air
the constant, repetitive boom of waves.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Watch His Sleeping face

Although my love is old
I look at him and see,
dreaming unguarded,
a sweetly serious child
in a private moment.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Driving, I notice
I am singing old songs,
very old, that my father sang:

Day-zee, Day-zee
I-rene Goodnight
Meet / Me In / St Louis, Louis ...

My father loved cars and driving.
I notice I’m bringing him back
to sit with me as I drive,
and sing with me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Two Cats

my two cats
curl like commas
in opposite directions
head butting head
fast asleep
after frisking like kittens
an hour ago

Monday, August 1, 2011

Night Falls Down

Night falls down on the street,
a line of light edging the hills
the palest tinge of pink.
I close the blinds reluctantly
to keep out not the dark but the cold.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Late Morning

He is resting under the blankets
one arm thrown up against his head,
eyes closed, face pale.

Later I hear him wake;
he is murmuring to the cat.
Then I hear him singing.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Myself at Breakfast

I tilt my head right back
draining the strawberry taste
of my diet shake breakfast
and its soft, creamy texture.
Then with one finger I prise off
the bright pink top of the shaker
to spoon out what’s left
on its sluggish way down the sides
thick like oozing lava, but cool,
deliciously cool.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Winter Evening, My Place

I can see the grey rain
hanging heavy in the clouds over there
coming down close to cover the mountains.
I can almost feel it in the cold air
which tingles like fine drops of water.

Two green lorikeets with deep red beaks
tumble above me, flying low
and disappear, shrieking in play,
into the bottlebrush tree.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


They were miaowing for breakfast.
I groaned, turned over, went back to sleep.
They waited awhile. A little later, the black one
leapt softly on to the bed. I opened my eyes
to a gentle touch on my arm with his paw
and an earnest, questioning gaze. He even
had his claws retracted. So polite!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And It's Not Even Spring!

Hanging out the washing,
I hear, ‘Click, click’ on the fence posts,
turn and see green face, red beak
pecking at the vines, not a bit afraid
of my proximity. But by the time
I fetch the camera — gone.

I had to get the bird book out.
It was a Scaly Breasted Lorikeet,
my first. (I deplore the name.
Those ‘scales’ are bright feathers.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Morning Sun

Even through closed blinds
the morning sun
dances into my kitchen.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Garden My Father Made

I wake from a dream 
of my childhood garden,
magical garden,
my personal Paradise.

Only now, in my old age,
I realise my Dad made it,
that place of my happiness.
Then, I simply enjoyed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


That hard, percussive sound 
of a football repeatedly kicked
resounds along our street.
The boys are back from school.

The cats watch through the flywire.
They avoid catching my eye.
The fur is lifting on their necks. 
They do not ask to be let outside.

Friday, July 22, 2011


When the pain is bad,
sometimes he gets very quiet.
He seems absent-minded,
his expression saying
he can barely tell who I am.
Then it tires him at last
and he drops asleep in his chair.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I don’t know their name, but ...

The orange flowers on the vine
cascade down my fence,
brightening the dusk
as it comes to my garden.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What My Eye Lights On

(another six things)

The big tub of honey on the bench
candied now, dull gold through the plastic;
a present from our neighbour Joseph
whose friend has a hive.

My little red hand torch
in case of a blackout.

The blue handle of my office scissors
sticking out past the surrounding pens
in the white mug on my desk —

the mug, with drawings around the sides:
a delicate peacock; rosebuds. 

A photo of my firstborn, graduating
in his black gown and mortar-board, 
holding a rolled white scroll.
(He still had his blonde hair then.)

Overlooking my laptop
a tiny, gold-painted statue of Bast.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I wake up and see ...

Andrew pushing his wheely walker,
bending forward in his navy pyjamas.

The bright white mercury light globe
reflected in the bedroom mirror.

The dream catcher Irene made us years ago
hanging in the window; its feathers and beads.

Big black Levi climbing on the bed and purring,
making a pounce for a dangling cord.

Two little pictures my father painted,
one in northern Tasmania, one on Flinders Island.
Their dark wood frames; the orange tones of the earth;
the dull green trees, cloudy skies, pale water.

The discarded picnic rug thrown off the bed.
Its tartan pattern: warm red and lots of soft blue.

Inspired by Linda Gregg getting her writing students to write down every day six things they’d seen, as reported by Fiona Robyn in The physical world pours in.

Monday, July 18, 2011


The mountain is a profile of a man’s face. 
He lies on his side, looking up:
long nose, strong chin, sloping forehead. 
On a very clear day, the cave halfway up
is visible, forming an eye.

In Peru, the village of Aquas Calientes
is right beside a mountain
with a vast ear on its side ...

Oh, I have had and am having
such a lovely life!

(Apu is the Peruvian word for mountain spirits — to put it very simply.)


I pass the house that was Christa’s.
The weatherboards are blue now
under the white gables. 
All the same, it looks old.


I notice the blessing of breath.
After being breathless, I savour
breathing deep and free.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

In Pain

Pain reduces him.
A day of pain, and he
can focus on little else.
He becomes the pain;
it consumes him,
crowding out the not-pain
that used to be himself.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bed in the Morning

It’s cold, but they’re cosy:
the cats wound around each other
and the man who peeps bright-eyed
from piled-up pillows and doona.
And there's a space for me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

She wants her dinner early

With him, her miaow is low and plaintive.
She knows he, tender-hearted,
will give in to her pleading
unless I intervene.

I am the strict one 
who will make her wait.
With me, a different voice:
sharp and shrill, she swears at me in Cat.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Geraniums

The geraniums
newly replanted
lie all over the ground.

From their small pot
they grew up bright and tall.

Now in their bed of mulch
they sprawl horizontal
looking too tired to care.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


A ragged feather of smoke 
lifts from behind the hill
past darkening trees.

Birds are flocking 
for their resting places.

‘It’s cold,’ says Andrew.
‘Come inside 
and shut the door.’

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Writing Small Stones

‘It’s difficult,’ he says, and it is —
looking out, paying attention
to the world as it is, not
our ideas of the world.

‘Look!’ I say and he does, 
then struggles to write. I read 
and see that he, who is storyteller, 
must shape even these
into stories. Of course!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hospital Worker

She looks young:
quick stride, red shirt, 
blonde curls caught at the neck
and thick ponytail bouncing.

She rings the bell
at the Patient Area Centre,
walks straight in, drops
a document on a desk, returns.

Only then, as she strides back 
towards me, the way she came,
I notice that her face
is tired, and not young.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dining room / office: flashes of red

I look around the room and see flashes of red: the covers of scattered notebooks; a discarded cap slung over the back of a chair; the gauze bag holding talismans; a close-up tulip cut from a magazine and displayed on the facing wall of my desk; beside it the print of Bette’s woodcut, rose-hips on a branch; the ribbons and pom-poms on clown figurines I collect; the red ‘zero messages’ sign on my desktop phone;  the tomato sauce bottle nearly empty; the cap on the peanut butter jar; the torch handy on the bench in case of blackout; the handle of the little paring knife; the red plastic legs of the folding clothes-horse; a pair of bright red underpants hanging to dry; the stylised flowers on the cushion covers; pictures of fruit on the place mats — strawberries, apples, deep red grapes; my bookstand for easier reading at the table; the red star on my ‘urgent’ file; my tabasco sauce ...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I watch the TV chef

I watch the TV chef 
preparing crayfish

the white flesh filling 
the bright orange shell.

He takes a fat claw
and slices it across.

As he pulls out the meat
and drops it into his mouth

I smell and taste it,
the succulent tang

as fresh and sweet
as in my childhood.

Note: Crayfish is the Australian term for lobster.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Watching a tense episode of ‘Angel’
I find myself sucking my thumb.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mixed Up

Autumn here fools the plants
with false Spring every year.
Now that it’s winter, the frangipani
has lost those brief, wrong blooms.

The lady who lived here before
planted cherry tomatoes. They
are still fruiting in winter, climbing
all over the bare frangipani stems.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The flowers Teresa gave me

The flowers Teresa gave me
are still fresh and bright

upright in the vase
after nine whole days

clumps of yellow and white
with long green leaves

and in the centre
one red carnation.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Close View

Looking out at my garden, I see
the tiniest spider, a delicate speck
on the other side of the glass.

A little further along, two insects,
small but twice the spider’s size,
hang wrapped and still in web cocoons.

Monday, July 4, 2011

At darkfall

Pale winter sunset. The trees
along the top of the far hill
make edges of black lace.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

As we lay in bed last night

As we lay in bed last night
a low, distant whirr began
only just audible, ominous.
The wind, I thought; but
it sounded unnatural.

Would this be the night
of the invader — human
or extraterrestrial, either way
alien — arriving by stealth;
would this be our death?

Saturday, July 2, 2011


The preacher spoke of inner joy,
how to find that in small things.

I looked up and saw my friend
coming in through the door.

The Cats Curled

The cats curled
at the foot of the bed
mirror each other's poses
exactly: two circles of fur.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Cat with Shining Eyes

The cat with shining eyes
rests in my arms all night,
her love no less deep or true
than that of humans.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Her Smile

Her smile
makes her suddenly young.
I see
her surprising beauty.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

For Fiona and Kaspa on their Wedding Day

I looked at the mountain
from the opposite side of the valley
and saw in the middle air
the same two eagles (life mates)
wheel and soar.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Small Stone Blogsplash – we need your help…

Kaspa & Fiona (Satya) have taken over my blog for today, because they
need our help.

They are both on a mission to help the world connect with the world
through writing. They are also getting married on Saturday the 18th of

For their fantasy wedding present, they are asking people across the
world to write them a ‘small stone’ and send it to us using this form. You can also post the stone on your blog, or facebook or on twitter using the #aros hashtag.

A small stone is a short piece of observational writing – simply pay
attention to something properly and then write it down. Find out more
about small stones here.

If you’re willing to help, we’d love you to do two things:

1) Re-post this blog on your own blog any time before June the 18th and
give your readers a chance to hear about what we’re doing. You can
simply copy and paste the text, or you can find the html

2) Write us a small stone on our wedding day whilst we’re saying our
vows and eating cake, post it on your blog, and send
it to us.

You can find out more about our project at our website, Wedding Small
, and you can also read our blog at A River of Stones.

We also have a July challenge coming soon, when we’ll be challenging
you to notice one thing every day during July and write it down.

Thank you for listening, and we hope we’ll be returning from our
honeymoon to an inbox crammed with small stones, including yours.

Kaspa & Fiona

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tear Storm

Suddenly I’m bawling
like a child, loud and wild.
I’ve been strong too long.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In the Park

spread out in circles
like the skirts of dancers
old tree roots

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fine Autumn Mornings

Fine autumn mornings:
clear air and warming sun
give way to rainy afternoons:
growling, repetitive thunder.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Before the Cold Returns

I drink the sun.
I drink it through my skin,
lifting up my head
as if taking
a long swallow.

Written in response to Drinking by Jean Morris at Trail Mix

How absentmindedly ...

how absentmindedly
I rip the twig
from the soft bark of the tree

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Noises Off

the little early thunder
runs around the sky
sounding like children’s footsteps
up and down the hall

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Coffee in the courtyard

Coffee in the courtyard.
The low buildings,
the palms and frangipani,
the warm autumn sun
make me feel I’m in Darwin
or Bali, or Nepal.
‘It would be nice to be there,’
my companion says.  Yes,
and it’s nice to be here.

Snowy Mountains

Snowy mountains
of cumulous cloud
float in the sky,
directly above
the earth mountains
as if copying.

When I think

When I think there might be
a ghost in the house
I become modest,
undressing discreetly
and shutting doors.

Monday, March 14, 2011

In March

The spiders
are coming inside
out of the rain.
Autumn begins
with storms;
the winds rip off
whole branches.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


advancing across the screen


can turn off
the TV news, but not
the images

Friday, March 11, 2011

Watching Paris

The TV shows Paris,
Eiffel Tower jutting
into an overcast sky.

A beautiful city, I am told
by those who know it,
one of the most
beautiful in the world.

But I am unable to see
beauty in cities.
The Tower is grey
under all that cloud.
Around it, grey buildings
cram the screen.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The red-headed girl across the way
rides round and round on her bike
waving one hand high like a circus star.

Backyard Glimpse

Red and white flowers
covering a fence,
leaning together
away from the wind.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spoilt Children

First one cat then the other
joins us on the bed.
We make them welcome,
stroke them till they purr.
They resettle themselves
against our legs. We attempt
to resettle ourselves — hard
to get comfortable. Soon
he’s in the spare bed and I’m
sitting up here at the computer.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Catching the light
his silver hair,
forming smooth wings
either side of his head,
shines; I’m reminded
of white swans
on a sunlit river.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Curtains

New curtains.
The garden hazy
but still visible.
The room
suddenly a sanctuary.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Autumn Approaches

My basil bush
so strong and glossy in Spring
droops now,
and its leaves
are pale and ragged.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


The neighbour’s lad
laughs with his little sister.
Scooter race.

Monday, February 7, 2011


The boy over the road
just ran away from home
backpack and all,
on his scooter.

Friday, February 4, 2011


glides in, touches down
one split second,
lifts back up, skims
the ground, lands,
white wings and tail
spread wide, black edged.

I've become attuned now to seeing small stones. 
This one wouldn't fit into a haiku!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rain Falls

Rain falls
in the neighbour’s yard
but not here
as if the fence
was a natural divide.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Where to from here?

I liked this game! I'm not willing to just drop it now. So I shall continue to pick up and polish small stones I find as I go about my life, and post them here. Only I don't expect to keep doing it every day. For one thing, I've committed to NaHaiWriMo, writing a haiku a day during February, and they'll appear at one of my other blogs, Haiku Page of the Passionate Crone. 

I'll also share them via twitter, and in the facebook group, Haiku on Friday.

I plan to post a small stone here once a week — or perhaps oftener, if the withdrawals get too bad. ;)


Between one day and the next
the bush in my driveway
bursts into flower,
clusters of tiny white trumpets.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Purring, she comes to snuggle
in the hollow between us
to be stroked, a nightly ritual.

He reaches out his hand to her,
finds mine there already, draws his back.
All the while he remains asleep.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fresh Morning

Fresh morning
before the heat begins.
A large brown butterfly
wings from a tree,
and flies close by my head

Friday, January 28, 2011

Social Networking

Back online
after three weeks

getting my fix
of friends and poetry

‘Gimme!’ I say,
and ‘Slurp!’


Thursday, January 27, 2011


The mountains are very clear today,
sharp-edged and solid.

I almost think I can see
individual leaves on particular trees.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another handful of stones

We are still not online. A faulty modem is being replaced but freight has to go through Brisbane, which recently suffered horrendous floods, so naturally enough everything has been held up.  Meanwhile am using a friend's access, and here are the latest small stones:


The sea is blue today, 
sunny azure,
when I come to the top of the hill
and look down at the long line of it
undulating slightly
following the curves of the sand,
that thin strip of tawny gold
edging the dark green, tree-crowded shore.


Power Display

The St Andrews spider
stretched across her web
shows me her striped belly,
green and black and gold.

From the ends of her front legs
start two white zig-zags,
lightning streaks, that merge into
the fine, straight roads of her web.



I swam today
in Debbie’s pool
and not alone:
accompanied by a brown frog
the length of my middle finger.

He swam like I do,
lazily —
sometimes flexing his legs
in leisurely kicks,
mostly just floating.



Yesterday, my friend
spoke of encountering angels.

Such vivid detail,
it seemed I was there with her
seeing and understanding
what she saw and understood.

Still, a day later,
I’m fizzy with joy.


The Marmalade Kitten

The marmalade kitten is so young
that her eyes are still pale blue.
Red-haired seven-year-old Hayley
cradles and displays her.
‘She matches your hair,’ I say.
‘And my eyes,’ says Hayley.


We Walk

We walk slowly
along to the top of the hill.
He wants to take shots of the mountains.

The bright sun
fades them into the white sky.
All the same, after our jaunt he is singing.



She goes outside
to take the cool night air.
When I look for her later
on the empty landing
I think she must have gone
to roam the dark.
But when I call, she comes
up the steps at once
with a small miaow of greeting.


Sexual Preference

For the first time I wonder,
what have my loves in common?
(Apart from the pretty faces
I so often fall for ... even they
had to have more than that ...
the so many different kinds
of pretty faces....) At the age
 of seventy-one, finally
I figure it out. Ah yes —
I like adventurous men!



The little dog with the curly tail
almost forgets to bark,
half asleep in the heat —
rushes up belatedly with a growl.

‘Hey,’ I say, ‘It’s only me’
and the tail wags.
But as I go past,
another low growl sees me off.
He knows his duty.

The fence between us
keeps everything safe,
including both our faces.



I go down the front steps
to fetch the morning paper,
come back up, and each way
the one small pink flower
from my potted geranium bush
pokes through the rails like a smile.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Catching Up

Well, we have been disconnected from the internet since 4th January (and still are, in fact, but I am using the Neighbourhood Centre access).

I've been finding and polishing my small stones every day, so here now are a whole lot at once!

The child at the concert ...

The child at the concert
lifts up her arms and plays
a violin made of air.
Her expression is very serious.



Because I have a reason now
to want to recall my dreams
I begin to recall them
more each day.

First fragments
then whole scenarios
remain with me at morning
gifts from the depths of my mind.


At nearly 82 ...

At nearly 82
he is reading a book on fairies,
on real encounters with fairies.

He looks up,
smiling with dancing eyes.
Later he sleeps like a baby.



The singer sings of love
to the man on stage beside her.

‘He can hack it,’ she says,
as he feigns embarrassment,
‘He’s a Leo.’ And they laugh.

For a moment my eyes fill with tears
in memory of another Leo man.


Wet Weather

On this grey day
the sky outside
shrinks in close,
while here inside
the light expands.



Rain keeps falling.
No respite.
A bell in the wind:
my chimes by the front door
strike a cheerful note.



On the ramp at the shopping centre
a stranger meets my eyes and smiles,
lifting her gaze from the pentacle I wear
around my neck, with a quick little nod.



On the high side of the hill,
although my herb garden is a jungle
and the lawn squelches underfoot,
this home is still the sanctuary
that so many others were not.


Wet Season

I notice the recurring mould prefers
(as I do) untreated leather and wood.
So living organisms flourish best
in natural environments. Is this always good?


(Today I was presented with more than one small stone)

Stopped at the pedestrian crossing,
we watch a woman pushing a shopping trolley
with two joyous puppies bouncing inside it
alongside her handbag and parcels.
The mother dog walks beside her on a leash.
What trust these dogs must have in this woman!


‘Oh Lord,’ I mutter, stuck behind slow people
at the entrance to the ramp in the shopping centre.
Some are fat, some sick, some elderly.

Then I decide to be glad that I can still,
despite my 71 years, overweight and arthritic legs,
move up that ramp quickly, straight-backed.


Strutting across the road,
an obese magpie.
Must be good worming,
after all this rain.


What is that rooster doing,
crowing so loud
in my neighbour’s yard
in the overcast middle of the day?


At Home

Warble of a magpie somewhere near,
a sunny streetscape after long rains
and nowhere to go this lazy Saturday,
nothing to do but be here, sweet here.



The red poinsettia
draws all focus
to that one point
of my green garden.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Guard Cats

I let the cats outside.
With noses forward,
tails high and slightly waving,
they slowly examine
every corner of the yard.

Monday, January 3, 2011

True Fulfilment

He shares with me an audio download
on how to get in touch with your heart,
how to discover your heart’s desire
and experience true fulfilment.

But I already have my heart’s desire.
I live close to nature in a beautiful place.
I make poems and people read them.
When we’re both lucky, I touch your heart.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Spring Growth

The cactus I thought was dead
has created a tiny new ball of green
erupting from the dry stump.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day

After all that rain,
atop my umbrella plant
new leaves glisten.