You tread the safe path
Never raising your eyes from your feet
Is that enough to take you
Where you want to go
One step, another, repeat
When the last butterfly flutters by your seat on the grass When the sun moves overhead in one more timeless pass When the creek’s empty water flows by and on When the creatures of the bush all around you have gone Will you sit and reflect on what could have been When you knew it was coming it had been foreseen Will you ask why you didn’t when there was time and you could While you sat on the grass thinking I must then I should
It has been too long without you
There has been too much time
Worlds lie between us
As I pay for my crime
My cell is my world
of four hard walls
Spartan and bare
My memory is my cell forever
I keep seeing you there
As each long
long day passes .....
My sentence every minute
Gives way to darkness
My loss lies within it
When I look through my barred window
I expect in some light
To see you running towards me
my mind at flight
I pace I groan
squat in the corners
Of this tiny space
Close and open my eyes
And still see your face
I see you on the day as lovers we were wed
I see you in the night on the matrimonial bed
I see us on every outing all the things we did
I see us laughing and loving as besotted kids
I see your auburn fringe and wavy locks
I see your long legs above bobby socks
I see your bright blue eyes black long lashes
I see your olive skin the smile that flashes
I feel you in my arms in the softest embrace
I remember all your charms
I feel my disgrace
Where is your world now my love
And is he there with you
No I am not proud my love
If I could bring you back I’d kiss you
Art in the pink, the hope that it brings Wings painted from, the smallest of things The joy of the colour, the mess of it all A pleasure to view, this artist's call Not quite abstract, the painting surreal Based in fact, then allowed to congeal Into pastel riot, of colour and lines Into a many makes whole, artwork refined What underlies, there's tissue paper petals The subject mixed up, then left to settle What was the intent, forethought soft light To please the eye, or just to feel right So busy so active, yet here is still life Outlines overshot, not cut like a knife In the blur there is movement, on a canvas full But the subject is lifeless, the message - killed When you look deeper, what do you see Something different to me, most certainly I see part of you, I see part of me I see a gift, a sadness, in humanity Did this idea form, in the artist's mind Develop and grow, the mind to bind An irresistible force, the desire to create A bane and pleasure, that will never wait
This poem is a response to a dVerse ~ Poets Pub challenge
Picture this namely The world at your feet plainly Walk its paths gamely
This being human is brutal
Where survival remains primal
Where savagery can be ruthless
Where being human is animal
This being human is joyful
Where sharing is a pleasure
Where smiles reflect happiness
Where being human rises above
This being human is indulgent
Where affluence is wasted
Where consumption is recreational
Where being human is an economic unit
This being human is religious
Where unknowns engender hope
Where faith equates with confidence
Where being human could be spiritual
This being human is political
Where a few choices matter
Where many choices don’t
Where being human is good and evil
This being human is being creative
Where knowledge grows exponentially
Where caution is thrown to the wind
Where being human is a contradiction
This being human is arrogant
Where entitlement reigns
Where extinctions surprise no one
Where being human is collective stupidity
This being human is ridiculous
Where universes are vast
Where consciousness is nebulous
Where being human is being alone
This being human is scary
Where thoughts beget actions
Where actions beget unanticipated consequences
Where being human is in itself an existential risk
To add another dimension to your experience of poetry, I recommend you also engage with the international community of fellow poets at d’verse virtual pub poetry challenges
I sit on my green cane chair The best chair for thinking It is outside It has the advantage of being in a good place A verandah from which there is much to see Even if the weather is cold it is in the right position because the wind slides past laterally In this chair you can avoid confronting winds of change You can sit here for a long time confident you won’t have to move or make way for someone or something You can watch all sorts of things unfold from this chair Insects birds animals people the day the night the light Seasons pass you by I unfold from this chair This is a sitting for thinking chair It gives access to great scope for thought A matching cane table stands by this chair It is for all the paraphernalia I choose to utilise for observation and thinking for research recording and writing Endless cups of tea Vegemite and salad rolls Fruit nuts stacks of books Pens paper Camera iPad and phone Background noises surrounding this chair are soothing Creek water tumbling over rocks An irregular breeze wafting at leaves Morning song birdsong evensong Another nice sound I often hear from this chair is children playing Always happy to be outside In cooler months running along the bush track In summer swimming in the waterhole by the bridge or excitedly calling to each other as they splash about amongst the cascades You need to wear a brimmed hat sitting in this chair regardless of the season This is to shade your eyes from the northerly and westering sun To balance the glare against the shadows on the surface you are working on This chair has soft cushions for the seat and for the back They rest against its structure of bent cane It is a very good fit You can sit for a long time before needing to move However, the arms of this chair are narrow They may confine you to a limited range of positions This has the advantage of forcing movement This state of affairs is conducive to constructive thinking by prompting physical activity around the house along the verandah in the garden along the creek Such activity can be necessary to continue to be effective A mental activity reset New approaches come with a reset Quite often they are so new you get a pleasant surprise This is because you didn’t know they were there within you beforehand Another way to reset is change the scene move this chair to the edge of the verandah or reorientate A different outlook New space New thinking You have to remember to take the cushions in every evening to stop them getting damp They get tired and worn They are due for a new skin Just like me This chair is exposed to the elements One day it won’t be there I wonder will another chair be so generous?
Breathe with the moment
Focus the eye
Tune the ear
when poems are nigh
To experience afar
Adventure and romance
Illumination of stars
Poems are companions
For very good reason
For poets are adventurers
Beyond bounds of the seasons
Beyond bounds of the earth
No measure of their worth
Can keep words from welling
Can restrain the work of telling
They convey feelings through
the art of painting with words
Not read before not seen or heard
Beautiful weavings that awaken our hearts
To the emotions of others who cannot impart
Anonymous poems from times immemorial
Modern poems with layers to peel
Poetry is the magic carpet
Flying to places unknown
Ride on the carpet and know you have grown
I stole a sweet, but dropped it My mother came and mopped it The dog, he licked and chomped it And for his cheek, he copped it
My thoughts are of Australia
Land most covid-19 free
My heart yearns for Australia
The place I’d rather be
For to the north we languish
Now that winter has come
Amidst a pandemic of anguish
Where our suffering is done
As each dawn’s fresh horizon
Offers more sadness, fear and dread
I long for home Australia
Where a rising sun means health instead
And with each passing morning
As the hospitals here do fill
The sights and sounds of mourning
The streets and air do fill
I see mankind retreating
From a cocky arrogant stance
From destruction of ecosystems
To victim of nature’s dance
Where bushmeat's viral load
Transfers itself to humans
Just what have we to show?
For the things we are consuming?
The winter birds and bare trees
Remain testament to the natural world
A world humankind now sees
Corrupted by exploiters and churls
Our world so terra formed
To overwhelming degradation
And Australia heading so
Observe and save our nation
These characters are buffoons.
Full of laughter they rail at you.
Carping and harping blaming all.
Innocent of everything when the law calls
Dangerous in their own special way.
Ready to trick and seize the day.
Yet by their pompous humorous demeanour.
You’d think all would have seen it sooner.
The vile attempts at undermining.
The rotten values they’ve been hiding.
Self confident enough to infect the masses.
Rich enough to corrupt all classes.
Replete in vanity self-declared divine.
So full of shit they make shit shine.
Larger than life with seismic crows.
Ready (not) to be the one big (side)show.
That clamorous reed warbler
With the protracted breeding song
Passages of enamouring power
Designed to bring along
A partner for the season
With whom to court and spark
To share nesting in long reeds
At the edges of the lake
I do not know the words
Of this loud and spirited song
Launched from this small bird’s throat
Into the gathered avian throng
In the early morning,
at the end of each long day
Persistent and single minded
Seeking a mate to hold in sway
But the message is clear and proud
I am the one for you
Come to me my darling
Let’s see what two can do
I ponder on the wise of it As trees around me bow Before the gusting hot north wind Before which they bend so cowed I give the thought deep consideration As the darkening sky forebodes I check, the heat is forty four As wind and weather goads There’s much to lose either way Deciding to stay or go Give up the home to fiery tempest Risk the life you know There’s a plan to pack the things I need Water blanket items precious There’s alternative routes to avoid the flames Where the flames may be ferocious But then there’s plans to stay and fight Buckets mop hose and mask Hit each ember where it lands But am I really up to the task? This day’s been declared catastrophic red I waited to see how it would turn Now I’m stuck as the catastrophe looms All around wilts then starts to burn The air is burning in my throat Radiant heat scorches all around me The sky rains burning leaves and hot grey ash The smoke so thick I can’t breathe or see I dare not move can’t find the house I touch hot metal seek shelter in the car Pull the woollen blanket over my head And lie below the glass to cower Explosions start as eucalyptus oil In nearby trees ignites The car is rocked by more of them as fuel detonates in light so bright The fear is terrible I’m paralysed hope my only gift I so wish I’d gone before the fire packed my stuff and left
went into the water
a younger brother,
had an older sister
Well, what else is a sibling
water daughter for?
I saw her wavering figure
deep down ahead,
like an arrow.
I saw her
touch the bottom
of washed sand,
of rounded stones
smoothed by years
with a pat of her hand.
She rose then.
A lithe silver nymph
spearing her way to the surface.
And I knew I was in trouble,
Caught by the current
like one of those
tumbled and bumped,
grated and ground.
I had no hardened surface
to resist the battering,
no thick skin
to soften defeat,
of up or down,
to swim or float,
not even the desire to flap about.
I just froze,
one with the chilled water.
That would come later.
unable to comprehend
how I could find
What did it mean
by lack of learning.
for the very first time
in my very short life,
the refracted sky
above was still blue,
the fluffy clouds
were still white,
the trees on the bank
were still green.
The water became
The known world
began to disappear.
filled my ears.
filled my nose
and my mouth.
I couldn’t call out.
on my chest grew heavier.
I couldn’t breathe,
Come and see me with autumn’s fall
We’ll share the light and colour
I‘ll always answer your call
Come and see me in winter time
When the wind blows cold
Makes our warmth sublime
Come and see me in joyful spring
When the world renews
Our time for loving
Come and see me in summer heat
When we can seek cool places
Where and whenever we meet
Or come and see me forever one day
And we’ll stay together
As I head
toward the door
head my way
Where are you going?
It doesn’t matter, I say
a destination in its own right
the easiest way
we can fully engage
With the natural world
we place ourselves
at a new destination every minute
we escape ourselves
And we expose ourselves
to genuine experiences
of our surroundings
and the elements
on the human scale
What will you look for?
knowing whatever I look for
I will also find many things different
I don’t need to look
for anything in particular
because I will find
small parts of everything
Walking always takes me there
Be kind to the one that you love
Love isn’t a problem to solve
Love is human unique
With no room for pique
To give and receive
To hold and believe
Be kind to the one that you love
If it wasn’t for your touching me
I wouldn’t know what touch could be
If it wasn’t for your sweet embrace
I would never have looked into your face
If it wasn’t for your sparkling eyes
I wouldn’t have seen just where love lies
If it wasn’t for your soft whispering
I wouldn’t know my heart could sing
If it wasn’t for your soft warm kiss
I would never have known what I missed
If it wasn’t for you warmth at night
I wouldn’t know what two just might
If it wasn’t for your body bare
I wouldn’t have loved you everywhere
If it wasn’t for your faith in me
I wouldn’t know how far to see
If it wasn’t for you my own true love
I wouldn’t know to rise above
I hold this all so close to me
I use it all to keep me free
So I’m the one I want to be
The one who loves. You eternally.
Birds sit in the top of the trees
Planning attacks on insects and bees
They sit on their branches
Scanning insect sky dances
With shelter from leaves as their eaves
Birds on the end of a bough
Twitter loudly just to show how
They can talk to each other
Every sister and brother
In a way that says Hey, we know how!
Birds that forage on the ground
A set who are basically unsound
They defy law and order
Like lambs to the slaughter
Because predators are always around
Birds that drink from a dish
Do so in order to wish
For more handouts of bread
To keep them well fed
As their tails twitch and go swish
Birds that peck at a window
Are very much likely to forgo
Food on their plate
Appetite they may sate
Fighting themselves as a foe
Birds that fly in the sky
Look down and say my oh my
All the people down there
At whom we can stare
Choose to be grounded why oh why
Birds that float on the water
Think it’s the place where they oughta
Because the land is not safe
From trouble and strife
The water is a more secure quarter
Birds who love to eat worms
Queue to take it in turns
At freshly tossed compost
Of breaking down humus
Knowing a worm never learns
Time for dinner
Well, we all knew what that meant
Time for the end of the day
Time to send friends on their way
Time to come in from outside
Time to come out from your room
Time to stop homework
Time to put down that book
Time to race to the bathroom
Time to tuck in that shirt
And brush your hair
Time to scrub those hands
Polish that face
Ready for inspection
Time to transform from
Rough and ready rascal
To be seen and not heard
Time to never be late
Time to take your designated
Place at the table quietly
With bowed head
Time to await your plate
Time to scan the newspaper
Standing tall in thick fingered hairy hands
At the other end of the table
Only the front and back pages ever viewed
While mum dutifully served
And offspring mutely ate
An unchallenged meal
Of meat and three veg
and milk for the weeds
She spoken to but never heard
They spoke at and ever erred
Sitting in silence always unnerved
Once fed desperate for dismissal
Before something went wrong
Before the security of bed
Where the anticipation of morning
And a new day unhindered
Would see a smiling chatty woman serve
And happily scold misdemeanours
In a bustling kitchen full of life
Breaking our bread
While the breadwinner toiled away
At that unhappy and mysterious place called work
Heading in opposite directions,
I saw her across the intersection.
The lights changed,
we both stepped into the street.
My eyes instantly locked onto her attractive pale oval face.
As she came closer our eyes met fleetingly.
She was captivating and unexpected.
After that first time I saw her
she became a recurring
And yet, we had not exchanged a word.
It was the light in her eyes that concentrated my attention.
They sparkled with mischief, fun, delight and joy of life.
They were irresistible.
I intuitively knew they were telling it true.
Despite never knowing it before,
I knew Immediately I had been looking for those eyes forever,
looking for the person behind them all my life.
And there they were,
passing me on the road,
disappearing as fast as they appeared,
part of a human wave heading home from work,
I have heard people say the first thing they fell in love with
were their partner’s eyes.
Well, these were those eyes.
They spoke to me directly, urgently.
of being together,
telling me there was more I must learn here,
all the things I needed to know for the right future
were behind those rich brown eyes
with the big dark pupils of evening.
Just those two deep pools of enticement alone were enough.
They called on me to throw caution to the wind,
to surrender myself to the yearning,
to give up everything for her
And I would have right there and then too
had not we been separated
at the very same instant we didn’t meet.
Moved by the pressed bodies of a dense compacted throng
going one way and the other,
as we passed I turned trying find her,
earnestly scanning the back of
as many sombre grey hats, coats and heads as I could,
engaged in a process of rapid fire elimination
until I caught my foot on the curb and stumbled.
I looked again.
She was gone.
Every following evening I waited at that corner.
Enveloped in my own dark winter proof cladding.
Examining the crowds.
Scrutinising every office worker heading home to dinner.
Muffled and reserved.
I sought that same light, that one bright spark, that point of difference
in the fast fading dusk of shortening days.
My own hope fading
as each short day felt longer and lonelier.
It was on the same day of the next week
How could no one else be alert to her quiet warm aura,
gently glowing against a background of gloomy evensong,
the trudging of homeward bound feet.
I fell for her.
I mean literally.
I was so preoccupied with not losing sight of her
I darted across traffic and was bowled over at her feet.
She almost fell over me.
She quickly sidestepped,
put out her hand
and pulled me up.
All in one graceful movement.
She saved me from a trampling
and alternate futures
I didn’t want to contemplate
We stepped out of the human tide
into a shopfront vestibule.
She asked if I was alright?
I wasn’t. I was so embarrassed
I couldn’t speak but,
she just smiled
she straightened my coat, looked
me up and down,
said “That’s better” and asked would I like a cup of tea?
Three hours later we were still at that little table for two in the Block Arcade café.
Those eyes told no lies.
When I climbed the mountain
to stand at its summit
my love to the world
I had no idea
you were preparing
down there on the flat.
To turn away from my
my boyish raffishness
I had no
idea it was coming,
No insight you might even
the idea or could be
thinking that way.
I didn’t know I was that way,
in your way
You never told me
what it was that got
How was I to know I had to
change to keep you
or is that?
how was I to know I could
never keep you,
no matter how
much I tried or thought
I needed too
When I came home
from my victory
and declaration to
the world below. I was
still walking on air.
On the cloud of
the conquering and
the anticipation of you
You said there was
no evidence that
was the way
and there was never
likely to be.
That I was the only
one who knew
what was going on
in my head.
You said I was
my own best company,
that I should go
back to the mountain.
Where I belonged
The way a beloved dog rests a lazy head upon your knee
The way a wooing look invites you toward mutual intimacy
The way a cup of tea slows time and calms an over active mind
The way a good book immerses you in new realities that bind
The way a word becomes a story, a poem comes of rhyme
The way a voice becomes emotion, movement becomes a mime
The way a favourite song transports you back to that special place
The way a touch can speak of love as it brushes across your face
The way a first wildflower discovered announces coming spring
The way a view from a mountain can make your heart leap and sing
The way a beautiful landscape incites gratefulness, awe and joy
The way a true love will not waste time with you by being coy
The way a walk in the forest restores hope, balance and well being
The way a look deep into the stars can change your way of seeing
The way a composted garden grows better in space and over time
The way a perception can be a knowing, a knowing can be a sign
The way a naked body is a beautiful body as long as there is beauty inside
The way a grievous loss becomes warm memory after someone special has died
The way a child’s innocence equates with unqualified trust
The way our lives play out
Live best you can
After it’s just
Am I really
the one you see?
Or do you superimpose
I will never agree
In your expectation
bend to your will
as a vassal
bends the knee
That’s not really me,
part of your hegemony.
Just now I need you
But, my duty to you
is not my duty to me.
As I strive for self determination
My left wrist between your breasts
My left hand upon your chest
My left forearm lies across your left ribs
My left elbow beside your abdomen
My left bicep hugs your flank
My left temple on your left shoulder blade
My chest against you back
Your buttocks cushion my groin
My quads align with the back of your thighs
The front of my knees inside the back of your knees
My tibia parallel your calves
Your soles rest softly on the dorsal aspects of my feet
Your soul binds my heart