Friday, November 30, 2012


With wild and woeful wanderings
through desert's trackless depths,
I sought a place of silence
to study best myself.

And when at last I stood alone
and knew the place was reached,
of utter isolation-
I turned and walked within.

From that dry and barren place
the journey was begun,
with baggage from my tired mind
left lying on the sand.

Within the ways of wandering
I followed ancient signs,
which drew new steps on dusty roads;
revealed my hidden lands.

Then having seen I journed back,
through now familiar scenes,
and found my ash-dead desert camp
where I had first begun.

Nothing here that I would need,
my inner world was mapped,
its hills and valleys written deep
upon my very heart.

And now, full-known, returned,
renewed, to my true sense of now-
time again to take my place
within the murmuring crowd.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


The clench of hand was surely seen,
I saw what was to come
and only wished that I could faint;
retreat from what I knew.
But courage came in powerful prod,
to keep me where I stood,
and whispered that the time was here,
when I should hold my ground.
The actions you were set to make,
had ridiculed my mind
and made a joke of all I was;
I had to draw a line.
I would not run from your cruel rage,
but stand and call you out,
as coward, bully, hurting child;
my strength had now been found.


Reality licked sober lips
to feast upon the world,
in sweet and sour surrendering,
of light and taste and sound.
The clouds built solid shapes,
marooned marshmallow form,
and floated on a syrup sea,
of sky, in sharp line drawn.
The earth spread heavy table,
beneath deep heaven's song,
and gathered up the foods of life;
devoured what was begun.
In shocking shapes the universe,
revealed its hidden plans,
brought perfumed truth to being;
said this is who I am. 

We’d like you to look at altering the conventional descriptive sense and language you apply within your poem. As above for example, “sky” would more commonly be described with visual cues, but here we used auditory mated to an albeit colored reference that also invokes a sense of taste. Getting the idea? Whatever’s the convention, you use descriptive terms that seemingly don’t apply – then observe what that does to the experience of the poem.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Your voice rang hollow
with the words,
that you had packed
for me, in neat and tidy
circumstance they mocked
all I had been.
And yet they offered
insight into the man you were,
and opened to reality;
sincerity deferred.
If I had not been brave enough,
to fall into their depths,
I never would have known
the truth, or found self-confidence.
Within the echoed callousness,
of those brief, thoughtless words,
the truth took me in hand
and led me through the door.
HOLLOW (adjective)

: having an indentation or inward curve : concave, sunken
: having a cavity within <a hollow tree>

They said that I was mad

They said that I was mad,
because it made them feel
better. The finger pointed
at another; projection dangled,
dappled doubts, upon the
form of hangered mind.
In sending out the fear,
and rage, and terrors of
the dreaming night, they
draped themselves in
purloined clothes of
purity and distance.
And I stood there,
holding on my empty form,
the worst that they could
be and disappearing into
the robes of insanity,
made manifest as me.
The scapegoat of the
family; the villain of the
peace; the one who would
be other, so they could be
deceived and know
themselves as perfect;
as all that I was not!
In crucifix of being,
they nailed me with
their thoughts, and
sent the spear of certainty,
into my waiting side.
I was their demon saviour,
the monster manifest,
in bleeding, waiting
sacrifice; the one who
loved them most.

My mother wrote

My mother wrote to me
and, coming as it did,
so long awaited -
but not expected
I almost failed to
recognise it for what it was.
My heart at first misread,
the words so clearly seen
by eager eyes,
and as the pages fluttered
in my hands, like
precious cloth,
they gently wiped away
the long-remembered hurts.
And as I lingered
on those final lines:
for being my daughter.'
the tears fell,
washing clean
my unforgiving heart.
But those few crumpled
sheets were more
than enough
to dry my eyes.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Blazing brightness disappeared

the desert sleeps and dreams

and soothes the searing memories,

born in the belly of the day.

The holy wafer offered,

the blessing is received,

the endless mystic ritual

still triumphs over hell.

The icy sanctity of night

relieves the fevered brow

of earth's bright face,

cools bitter sands;

tucks in the sleep-humped hills.

The desert holds the hem of night

and stretches sunburnt hands

to drink the blessed cup of life

which only darkness brings.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Sibling revelry

The moments in the darkness
of laughtered light and smiles,
came from our shared becomings;
in deep and constant ways.
In brothering and sistering,
we drew upon our souls,
to make a place of safety;
where sanity could hold.
A look, a smile, a joke, a word
would tap upon the door,
of hope and dark forgettings;
of respite from our world.
We called upon that knowing,
drank draughts of all we knew,
familiar and yet strange;
as through the years we grew.

Part 18: Sibling Revelry – Write about one (or all) of your siblings. If you were an only child, was there a cousin who filled that gap? If not, write about your feelings about being the “one and only.”

The scent of you

The scent of you fell listlessly,
around my mind and sight,
to fill my senses needfully;
to fleck my days with love.
The truth of you held sway,
draped slowly  round my world,
held still my aching heart;
brought end to my turmoil.
The load of flimsy hopes, 
now lay in lightened heap,
as faith skimmed doubt's
rich cream: revealed my destiny.

fill, scent, sway, held, fell, sight, fleck, still, end, load, skimmed, heap.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

African home

In scattered dross of gathering,
you drag what you can find,
onto a vacant piece of earth,
to build a place to hide.
 It doesn't matter what it's called,
 burlap, or hessian bag,
you gather it to make a home,
along with shreds of rag.
And any bits of timber,
that life will throw your way,
along with plastic sheeting
and grass and mud and clay.
This shelter teeters on the edge,
of brief stability,
yet offers house and fragile home;
meets orphan children's need.
Using the word burlap

Vision splendid

I see the vision splendid,
in peaceful grace displayed,
as life in motion is revealed;
in minutes, hours and days.

 Motion, peaceful, vision

Friday, November 23, 2012

I said goodbye

I said goodbye to you,
in a time of dark forgetting,
on a deep, tea-drenched day.
It was a place for endings,
for halting in the mind
all memories, all knowing,
of who you were
and I, who hardly knew
who I had been, or even was,
so rubbed and faded
by the moments we had made,
so blurred by brightness,
cruel and unexpected.
I said goodbye to you,
and knew myself forgetting,
on a deep, tea-drenched day.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bombay child

Nestled rest in crumpled filth
the child sleeps,
flung across the gutter, innocence,
abandoned; presently at peace,
she dreams of promises and
clutches the rug of oblivion.

Maya waits in patient watch
beside the dream world,
ready to rescue her charge
from the soporific arms
of the slant-eyed Goddess
who holds you, limpid,
 at her breast and kisses
black, protected eyes,
bestows in beauty, visions.

Sweet whisperings invade that
tiny ear, of glorious gardens,
rich-throated birds and cities,
redolent with perfumed dreams
and riches beyond all belief.

But the Goddess cannot keep you
in this world beyond waking,
when and as she chooses. She must
sweep her glittering phantasms
to the squalid edge, and rub
those kohl-rimmed eyes
in gritty daylight,
when truth dictates.

So sleep, small girl child,
the time is short for sweetness
and the gutter makes
resplendent bed, for this
brief, shining moment.


Perfection is illusion born of fantasy and dreams,
ignoring true reality; denying all that's been
and turning life into a world which isn't as it seems.
Write a poem comprised of three perfect sentences.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Flesh surrenders silkily
in passion's sensual cause,
to dance the steps seductive;
reveal pure reason's flaws.
As skin in tingled dreaming,
connects with heart and soul,
the drift of perfumed lust
consumes and soon enfolds.
The song orgasmic sings
through cell and dreaming mind,
in notes of wild surrender;
in melodies sublime.
Through rising tides of joy,
the waves will carry all,
beyond the place of knowing;
to spent and shuddered shores.

We are asking for an open write this week--33 to 333 words of erotic writing.  You can interpret that how you wish; we are imposing no other rules or limitations on you this week.  The goal is just to explore a type of writing you maybe haven't tried before.  It's, allegedly, not as easy as it looks.

Destiny embracing

Image pale reflected,
of all that might have been,
in mirrored spread delightful,
seductive and serene.
The smile of disappearance
slow drifts in curdled lisp,
of watered deep remembering;
of peace in dance burlesque.
In breath of shimmered hope,
it spreads itself, revealed,
as destiny embracing;
as pain surrendered full.

Describe a body of water as seen by a teenager contemplating suicide. Do not mention death, suicide, or the teenager doing the seeing.


The heart croons comfort
through the thin, red sand;
sings itself to being -
humming at the edge
of nature's self.
In timeless echo of the word,
it knows of worlds before
and those beyond,
of days unwritten
and of nights;
of moments breathed and hoped-
of heartbeats tracked through time.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Water lily

In settled kiss of watery home
the lily pads are spread,
upon a face of liquid light;
afloat on sodden depths.
Without the deliquescent touch
of pond's perennial gift,
life would enter into death
and all would drown within.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


In secret, slivered slip of leaf
the frame is put in place,
a languishing of eucalypt;
as perfumed, drifting grace.
The myrtle from the southern land
is born in fire and death,
and drapes the days in waiting
until it burns again.
With serpentine releasing,
its skin is shaken free,
revealing flesh fair beautiful
as bark surrounds the tree.
The moon shines on its purity,
caresses milky trunks,
as phoenix-like she rises
on watered, ancient roots.
Like demons born in torment,
they raise igniting arms,
as if to cry for mercy
when nature calls them home.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tongue of pain

It is the wound which has the loudest voice,
the tongue of pain which stumbles on our fears,
and wraps around the hurt of hidden days,
to speak of things we have not fully grieved.
The words which will escape in tortured ways,
will have no need to be in essence heard,
in any way that we could recognise,
dressed as they are in feeling's dark disguise.
But even without substance, form or shape,
the message will be brought on crippled feet,
to kneel before the sword of bitter truth;
the name revealed; the healing is complete.


Through small remembered rooms

I searched, for what the child

called home, in distant days

and darkened nights;

lost houses where we lived.

As strange became familiar,

as cool walls warmed and stretched,

to hold the grimy handprints,

of children as they slept.

Beyond the grasp of solid wall,

the garden groped and fell,

into a jungled bursting;

where dreams could live instead.

Was home the narrow, sagging bed,

the couches worn and tired,

the table, green and laminex;

the wardrobe where I hid?

Or was it furrowed brows,

slow drifting smiles and shouts,

of adults with no time to spare;

of worries deep and loud?

Perhaps there was no house to hold,

nowhere which held its place,

and yet the home stood deep within;

as solid, gifted grace.

Through small remembered rooms

I searched, for what the child

called home, in distant days

and darkened nights;

lost houses where we lived.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You were mine

Your eyelash settled on dusted cheek
and rose and fell in silent sigh,
as breath and beat held sleeping court
and skin surrendered to the sheets,
with whispered tones of almond and honey.
I watched, held court, with time’s assent,
that rise and fall of chest and belly,
in wonder at the touch and feel
of Eros spreading wings in life.
You slept, not seeing what I saw,
nor hearing gentled tones of sound,
which sleep allowed escape and cause;
reminded me of what I had.
The dawn had given form to shape,
had filled the vision lastly felt,
and drawn my eyes to deeper truths,
which lay in languorous, light salute.
And in that moment, you were mine,
in all that life could offer up;
a holding fast to absolutes –
illusion smiled at both of us.

Write a personal love poem, and do so without using the word “love” itself in your poem.

Monday, November 12, 2012

As far as my eyes can see

The world of possibility was drawn,
beyond the limits of the life I knew,
to trace the lines of who I would become;
to write our names together in the sand.
Our hopes and dreams were knitted tight,
in words and ways and actions fully cast,
in order that the way would be revealed
and we would be together, now, at last.
There was no limit to the path we took,
through years of learning what you meant to me,
and knowing that your love would hold it all,
safe and secure, as far as my eyes can see.

  As far as my eyes can see

You wanted me

You wanted me to sit this way
and thought I wouldn't do it,
for women in this day and age
are timid and you knew it.
But just to prove you wrong
I sat and stared your camera down,
and showed you I was different;
brave woman fully grown.


Life languishes in same-ness
unless it rifles through
the wardrobe of its seasons,
to dress in something new.

Just wait until your father gets home

Just wait until your father gets home!
She said it so often and always
it filled us with fear. We begged
her not to tell, but she always did.
We knew which beltings were just
and which were not and our
forgiveness always required justice.
It wasn't his fault. She was weak,
like many women of her time,
and she made him the ogre, the
demon of our lives; locking him
away from us. He had a bad temper
and she knew that, but she also
liked, using him, as the punisher.
We probably hated her more
for her weakness, than we did
for the pain that he inflicted because,
we could see, he also suffered
because she was weak.
Children always know what is fair,
what is right, what is just. Adults
always forget, or perhaps, have it
beaten out of them.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

We forgot to remember

Lest we forget -
how hollow the words
as they spin and echo
through time.
We rummage around
in the memory bag
and pull them out
with a flourish.
And yet as they stand
in bitter disdain,
as words without substance
or sense,
we know that they are
but lies we still tell;
we forgot to remember
it all.
It makes us feel good
to honour the past,
to talk of the lives
that were lost,
but the killing goes on,
no lessons are learned
and the dead are still
paying the price.
A few flags and flowers
is all that it takes,
a moment, a word or a tear,
and yet it means nothing -
the wars still go on;
hypocrisy tilts on her heels.

Fields of Flanders

Those flattened fields of Flanders
scream of battered souls
and muffled screams which pressed
beneath time's tread has crushed
the cry of hurt beneath firm soil.
The heaving shape of shouldered pain
is locked by grasses -green terrain,
which grips and holds imprisoned fast,
the rotted world which once had passed:
in steady tread and muffled roar,
a raging spread of weeping sore.
The silence now holds heavy court
upon the place where thousands fought
and died with no-one there to see
them sucked beneath the seething sea;
a muddy grave which beckons still
with glutinous grin alive and well
beneath the veil of fragile green.

1988 - following a visit to the 'trenches in Ypres.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My first poem

I have just found my file of my oldest poetry. I began writing when I was 15 and my first poem was a reflection on nuclear war. I am sure it needed a good edit then and now but I think I shall leave it just as it is because it was what it was and that is interesting, for me anyway, to see.


Warm dust blowing and covering,
mantling the broken stone,
hiding the twisted wreckage
in an effort to forget.
The stunned sky weeps and clouds
in a film of powered death.
Charred slivers of confident cities,
scream at a foreign sun.
Houses, open-mouthed bare their souls,
voices silent protest at their fate.
Splintered eyes of glinting disbelief
reflect the washed, grey life to death:
death to.... What?
The seed is buried in the earth,
cradled in the bitten soil.
Fear warms it, terror nurses it,
hope keeps it alive.
Lifeless but hot with memory
the cringing land moves warily.
Creeping, crawling, crying ... it sighs,
and laughs, and sighs.
No ear to hear a breaking wall,
no eye to watch it die...
alone it returns.
The wiser wind whistles
through each smiling metal skeleton;
teasing the earth, calling for sound,
for life, for nothing.

The song of cloud

The song of cloud forgotten,

those words of drift and whirl,

as mind no longer cares to hear,

the stories that they tell.

In vapoured, dancing dreams,

are held life's fragile notes,

in sky-born fantasies,

which only heart's divulge.

They draw us on ephemeral,

to tease and tantalise,

as if the heavens heard our cry,

and wrote the truth denied.