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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Candle Like a Pale Green Heart

A candle like a pale green heart
scented with rose petals.
Mara’s cousin made it as a gift.

We witches met to talk about hexes
in our Pagan discussion group.
Instead we light a love candle.

We light it for souls who may be lost
after their plane was shot down,
and for their sad families.

And for the shooters? Can’t quite
manage that yet, but we ask for them
that they may look into their own souls.

We never think to send a hex.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Time Passing

Just months since last we met.
I notice how much whiter her hair is now.
She gives me an appraising look. I think
she thinks that mine is whiter too.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Client

A good, round face,
a smile,
brown hair cropped close
(just beginning to recede),
bright, round eyes,
direct gaze,
ready understanding,
tears and laughter when
he speaks of his dead Mum.…

Good things,
but none explains —
nor even all together —
why I like him so much
and trust the liking.
Is it that indefinable, his energy?
Perhaps it’s the warmth,
or his insight,
or the way this kind, brave man
believes himself ordinary.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Greeting in the Supermarket

We say hello and I go to move on.
Her “How ARE you?” stops me.
Her eyes widen and become intent.
She really wants to know.

She recalls things I’ve told her,
asks about them and about now.
I feel cared for. I realise
we go back a long way.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


The mellow notes of wind chimes at my door 
mingle with the sound
of young Haylee across the way
practising her recorder
in thin, insistent piping
like my little brother’s long ago.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Smart —

my ankle boots
with zipped sides,
heels that click.

Our Era

I watch “Jersey Boys”
in an almost empty cinema,
my toes tapping to the tunes.

Little old lady two seats away
says afterwards, grinning with joy,
“It was our era!”

(I realise she too
must perceive herself as talking
to a little old lady.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sorrow / Joy

Cold night, and you
not here to warm me.
I give thanks:

tonight you are not
lying alone in a nursing home,
you are not in a hospital ward,

nor are you next to me
in pain and troubled sleep —
you are free!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

From the Veranda, a Vista

From the veranda
a vista of trees,
a succession of curving hills,
leads all the way into town —
though town can’t be seen.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Winter Sun

Winter sun —
that sky, that uniquely Australian
quality of light!

From now until August 3rd I'm playing a game (with others online) 
to write small stones "in just ten perfectly imperfect words".

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Variations on a Theme

I wrote the first poem and thought it was too long for a "small stone".  But the second attempt is not very joyful, which supposed to be the theme of my small stones this month, but instead slightly sinister! So I'm posting both. 

Late Afternoon On My Top Step

Late afternoon on my top step
I settle with coffee and iPad
beside the potted plants.
My black cat runs up the stairwell
from some private vantage-point
down in the garden, to join me.

His footwork is light, he is
lithe and quick — not like
the old guy he is. Now he peers
underneath the railings
at my geranium bushes
half flattened by last week's wind

before stretching out on the concrete
to hear and ignore all those birds
massing and trilling, getting ready
for the sun to make its descent.
Today the air is still. I notice
the pink bottlebrush are out on my tree.

Before Night Falls

My cat on the step appears to doze,
his black fur polished, gleaming.

But his ears and haunches tense
as the birds get shrill ... before night falls.

Friday, July 4, 2014

My Friends, Moving House

My friends, moving house
bring me their pots —
terracotta and white ceramic —
of gota cola and chives

and, for my front steps,
tiny purple flowers
dotting the dark green
stems and leaves.

They bring them to me
I cry out with joy
to receive.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Old Black Cat

My old black cat
begs to go out
into the winter sun,
lies long hours
where it falls, 
by the wall behind
the pink geraniums.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

After the Flu

After the flu
he remarks on my husky voice.
Good heavens, he’s flirting!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Moments of Joy

Seeking moments of joy
in my own home,
I see my aunt’s lace fan.

Yellow flowers, black edging,
a white base that mimics ivory
but isn’t cruel.

My cousin sent it to me
after my dear aunt died
whom I called my second Mum.

Late in life, she saved
and went on cruises,
finding fans in port as souvenirs.

I remember her long letters
about places she saw,
friends made on board

even love, although at last
those ships passed in the night.
The fan is still faintly scented.


I'm doing Satya Robyn's July "Writing My Way Home" course on Joy — again! Did it last year too. (Smile.) Posting small(ish) stones about joy here, plus making a separate joy list in the form of daily status updates on twitter and facebook.