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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lovely Weather for Ducks

Nothing but rain outside.
It will be like this for days
the house surrounded by darkness
(the windows look like night)
and afterwards
hordes of new mosquitos.

I cancel lunch with friends,
think I might dust the bedroom
(it looks so beautiful clean)
and find the DVD my son recently sent:
Othello, in 1990,
Ian McKellen playing Iago. 

This Time

This time
she did not run away and hide
when I tried to dab calendula cream
on the allergy spot behind her ear.

This time
she hunched on the couch beside me
and submitted,
albeit with a disgruntled face.

This time
after I was done
she got down off the couch,
licked her paw, and deliberately washed it all off.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Autumn Begins with Days of Rain

On the first dry evening
I open the door to the yard
and see in spite of the dark
the vine, as if suddenly, 
fresh green, thick with leaf.

Opening the front door
next morning, still rainless,
I confront mist: startlingly white,
wiping out hills and mountains
above the other side of the street.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

TV Shows About High School KIds

Joyfully discovering Veronica Mars,
and remembering beloved Buffy, I wonder –
is it that I’m permanently adolescent,
or am I trying to recast myself, even now,
as the brave teenager I never was?

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 2: Honesty

Monday, March 13, 2017

Going to Ground

I told a truth about myself
I never told before.
It was big.

People were kind. And even I
could see myself with distance,
lending compassion.

But it wore me out.
I haven’t been able, since,
to tell anyone anything.

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 2: Honesty

Friday, March 10, 2017

After the Fierce Summer

After the fierce summer 
(and my arthritis flare-up)
my garden is dead –
except, of course, for the weeds.

My cat with the white whiskers
finds herself a shady spot
under drooping ferns
and a statue's impassive gaze.

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 2: Honesty

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


a silent thunk!
some part of my soul
re-enters my body

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 2: Honesty

Investigating My Space

My blue bedspread is one kind of cotton,
the sheet another. The smooth sheet
slides over my skin in this hot weather,
or rests cool upon it when I lie flat.
The bedspread is thick and almost rough,
almost a little furry – though it's not, 
but it has texture. It has little white flowers
with stylised stems and leaves, in rows.
It came from India. My cat's white whiskers 
shine against black fur. She rests her chin
on the Indian cotton throw, stays all night.

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 1: Curiosity

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Last Night in Bangalow

Purple trees in early evening 
in tiny, pretty Bangalow,
and my friends conducting me
to an illustrated talk on Venice,
beloved Venice, in the paintings
of Canaletto, who loved it too.

‘What is the name of these trees?’ I asked.
‘Teeboocheena,’ my friends replied
and spelt it: Tibouchina. I Googled later.
Pronounced Tibbookyna (y as in ‘try’).
Beautiful whatever the name. Like Venice,
that dream, and the paintings of Canaletto.

(The lecturer postulated that Venice has long been more dream or myth than city – not evolving, nothing replaced, but continually preserved and restored.)

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 1: Curiosity

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Guard Cat

Late night, busy morning.
I take an afternoon nap.

Immediately she’s on the bed
beside me as always, but not
purring, not settling to rest.

Head up, ears cocked, 
she’s on guard.
But against what?

I wake later to flashes of light
and violent thunder-claps.

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 1: Curiosity

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Ball or Line

In the heat she stretches her paws out in front of her, lying long on her belly, her head low, chin on the bed. Her back legs extend the line of her body, stretching out behind her. How sleek she is, and black. And how relaxed. Total abandonment. 

In the cold she curls, paws and head drawn in, conserving her body warmth – a clump of darkness, rounded, almost a ball. How trusting, given up to sleep, completely safe here with me. Comfort and safety express themselves in all her resting shapes.

Of course, as soon as I bring out the camera she changes her pose – to something between  the two!

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 1: Curiosity

Also an example of a prose poem for dVerse MTB Prose Poetry

Friday, March 3, 2017

Contemplating the Unfamiliar

The Water Dragon is not afraid.
It comes to the glass door and poses
in profile, displaying long tail,
strong body, sturdy legs,
and above all the head held high,
cocked, staring in. We are strange
exotic creatures to the Water Dragon,
I suppose. Or perhaps, after all, it is afraid,
keeping so still – frozen, so that we won’t
discern, it supposes ... do they suppose?

Image from public domain

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 1: Curiosity

Linking to Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Fear

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Long Time No See

When Colleen arrived this morning and knocked,
and I opened the door, she stood on my top step
widely smiling. She wore a white top, an orange skirt,
and a pendant on a long white cord, with a tiny,
serene head of the Buddha. Her pale red hair
was brushed back from her face at the sides, curving
above her forehead. Her big eyes shone. She gave me
a long hug. All in all, she was that ray of sunshine 
people talk about, when they want to say 
that someone made them happy. And she did!

Written for Writing Ourselves Alive, week 1: Curiosity

There's a Round Mirror

There’s a round mirror on my desk
on a stand. It’s way at the back,
I mostly forget it’s there. When I do
see my face, I’m startled. This woman 
looks so pasty-faced and solemn. 
Who is she?

The first of a month-long series written for Satya Robyn's course, 'Writing Your Way Alive', Week 1: Curiosity.