Wednesday, December 1, 2010


30. prompt: "lessons learned (or not)"

they came through a time of great upheaval
oceans rose and fell around them
they stood at the bow, stoic
they left behind a great war
they were catapulted from a new world too small
to contain them

they came when the delusions of security
broke down, when romance produced disbelief
and the families of money made of coal
and slaves turned land into "resource"
they came with eyes blinded by others' greed
they landed and lost themselves
looking for what they knew

their cries of love echoed along the wharves
their tears of frustration were found pearled along high tide lines
they cut their hair and invented trades
this was the era before careers and superannuation
pulled the masses of all classes into line
they sang the old songs 
and they never lost the accents of their region

they were eldest children, too grown up now
to mind the tribe behind
but later, some of the younger set followed
they set sail on their once-in-a-lifetime journey
round the world without a lifeboat

they found themselves equally dispossessed, landless
hungry and haunted

they left behind them a legacy
of mince and tatie stew
bairns who obeyed the poetry
of "dinna fash yerself, lassie"
some carpentry, a broken complete works
of Rabbie Burns and a beautiful drawing
of Beethoven, that master of power
in the face of sensual deprivation 

their grandchildren get seasick taking ferries to nearby islands
for the photographic opportunities and the sheer pleasure
of  finding a new world too small to live in
but large enough to fulfil their promise to themselves
to walk thirty minutes daily, for health

Being Over It

29. prompt: "next steps"

Her next step will be to bind and burn.
It's a jungle out there.
You can't see the wood for the trees.
And that's just in her own back yard!

The step after that will be to buy and bring home
tame plants, ones that know their place.
She hopes to con the couch grass
into submission, or at least denial.

And while she's thankful it didn't rain
cats and dogs, she would have liked
the deluge to bring frogs and lizards
two by two to eat the excited snails.

The next step is to create a clearing
right there where the leucodendrons refuse
to grow up, or even out! Let them be taunted
by her brightly-coloured whirling skirts.

And let the boy over the fence wish
he'd never driven her stir crazy with his Friday nights
of rap and Rolling Stones
as she pushes back against that throbbing wall.


A Lot Happened You just didn't want to talk about it*

28. prompt: "what really happened"

In those days
we always said
"Nothing" in that tone
you use to tell your parent
they couldn't possibly guess
and had better not try.
Then there was a retribution
which made you all the more
clear it didn't matter
what you always said
in those days.

(*this, of course, was before celebritisation
and bloggery)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blame the System

27. prompt: "blame the ..."

Everyone looks for the real reason
why the votes favoured one person
over another as if there is a reason
out there built into a party or person.

Why not say there was no real reason
only the thinking of the various people
who came up with as many reasons
as in this state there are people.

(*we had a state election on Saturday
in a country where everyone votes, by law)

Spring Cleaning

26. Prompt: "on the run"

You can't go white water rafting
that brown is fifteen years of drying out
lifted and washed away by torrents
in a hurry to empty into a larger body.

She sends a text: check out the rivers
today and take your camera. Amazing.
On the train she marvels at a land
dotted with lakes, impassable tracks.

Returning, sees how river water storms
and surges, swirls and swamps, on the run
from all that has given it being: a ripe
cloud spiralling south from the Tropics.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Micro Cosmo

25. prompt: include an animal

Galenia being a weed
they stomp on it: bouncy!
springy! good for something
then! standing still a moment
they notice the tiny webs -
an underworld, a spider city
every lacy safety net
sparkling with today's 
catch: mist and dew.


24. Prompt: a spaces poem

The sun decides to contribute
light in a darkened world.
The rain-heavy cloud bolts
eastward; the sun comes out
low down in the west, spreads 
itself into a blue-cream-and-pink sky.
Side-mirrors catch the light
and drivers steer half-blind.

Blades of sunshine bring out
rich greens and reds, unfurl
a mat of gold on cloud's
underbelly. Aeroplanes are
flying low, intimidated by a sky
textured and dazzling. The three
rainbows are no match
for this freely available treasure.

Driving to Watergardens For Curtains At Dusk After a Storm

23. prompt: use a poetic form
(this is the cascade form, naturally enough)

Melton is awash
water sits beside the road
nowhere else to go.

Melton is sodden
the streets hiss at fast tyres
Melton is awash.

All along the highway
narrow cascades topple into drains
water sits beside the road.

Kororoit Creek runs a banker
10-acre property driveways are lakes
nowhere else to go.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Conversation With The Basket Weaver

22. prompt: a poem that takes a stand

You have such big ideas! she says.
The Woman of Imagination smiles
down the phone. There's more room
for success then, she says. When
you think small, it's a cramped space.

They will make a dome or tepee
a nest or coracle. Why? Because
they both stand for creative process
preferably that which involves much
sitting. They have already woven that in. 


21. prompt: a permission poem

It's a new machine
which possibly explains
the crushing pain.

The novice calls the boss in.
Let's just try that again.
Relax, she says with a grin.

The body gives up resisting.
Permission given when
her patient can tell she's listening.

Monday, November 22, 2010

She'll Be Right, Mate (1) and (2)

20. prompt: what's wrong or right


To hear this said reassures
when optimism then endures.

But when it's uttered, without action,
you know it's false hope, without traction.


Out of the mouths of blokes these words
as thoughtless as the flight of homing birds.

The Aussie lingo is a domain apart
and often used to show off, outsmart.

While women use the plainer tongue
not quite as useful when things go bung.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Not All In The Name

19. prompt: a poem with a hole in it

Jo calls it the Purple Tea Pot
in her typed Schedule of Walks
and Meeting Points.

As they meet again for dinner
at the golf club, they laugh.
"Flying Teapot, not Purple!"

The coffee was not as good
says Ed, as the coffee AND
the donut at Donut King.

You're kidding! say the more
sophisticated members, eyes
crinkled like crumble slices.

And what about the Seniors'
Discount! Ed challenges.
At least two people get the point.

But what has money got to do
with anything? They're not just
Walkers, but Talkers, 

sharing life matters while
the coffee cools, and issues 
are chewed over slowly.


All Patched Up

18. prompt: lost and found

As they walk the main street
of the old town, central Victoria
settling in to a late Spring,
they come to the Masonic Hall
closed for decades, the plate
missing from high on the gable
its shadow visible, in fact distinct.

A team of carpenters stop
to answer their questions.
Wherever possible, they keep
the old structure; only the pine floor
in the large room was full of borer,
the smaller room's floor still shines -
"beautiful hardwood" says the builder.

They are allowed to enter, explore.
And realise nothing of the past
conversations, names, rituals
remain. The secret men's business
is as if extinct. But wait: women
are coming, filling this place of lost
meaning with fabric and design.

They will create their beautiful quilts
stitching together with quarters
and machined thread the stories
that haven't yet been told, the missions
that went uncelebrated, the work
and the worlds of understanding
unspoken while the men met.

Impossible But True

17. prompt: "Tell me why ..."

She has two rooms in her brain
and house: one for art and poetry
the other for work, a home office.

She knows when she's in one room
she simply cannot be in the other.
But here's the painful part:

looking through the office
from where she sits writing
the fernery reminds her

there are items not handled at work
and her brain is doomed to be in two 
rooms at once, while her body isn't.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Neat and Tidy

16. prompt: a stacking poem

The High School reunion invitation
behind the friend's offer to find her work
is overlaid with Brea Can's newsletter 
for women needing distraction and ease
while dealing with female cancers. On top
of that there is the Western Highway
Cutting Realignment Project
Community Open Day notice for which
she and her sister have registered interest.

Create it! says the newsletter from a
consultant in making albums that become
art, but art is ignored as her eyes rest
on the credit card statement and rates notice
whose corner is pinned with a leisure centre
offer of a free muscle-challenging session.

"By December" is the handwritten memo
on the printed email from publishers
of an anthology she'd love to have poems
in and over that the Poetry Walks in Melbourne
Map matches her desire to create real stories about
real places. But there: right over the directions
she has pinned a list of Bright Ideas without
substance, half-obscured by the aforesaid
rates notice. Also hiding, the appointment
cards and contacts she was once so
enthusiastic about, will one day someday follow up.

Beneath all, the corkboard as blank as any canvas.

Free Flight

15. prompt: "just when you thought it was safe"

When five planes turn back
with engine trouble you
wonder if they'll still be up
in five years when you'll be
free to travel. You've already
created an itinerary and,
watching Jonathon Dimbleby
return to familiar streets
in the African countries
you want to re-explore,
you wish there was a new
form of transport that
could encircle the planet
but didn't fall apart, didn't 
leave the ground, wasn't
held together with mere 
nuts and bolts and fear.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Possibility of the Bypass

14. prompt: a crossroads poem
 It's not just a crossroads
we're warring over, it's
a roundabout. And like
any circular feature, it
goes round and round
and you have to make
a real choice to get off

The same people say
the same things and
gather agreement on
Facebook; they're sure
that protest/obstruction
is better than the free flow
of heavy trucks and school
children on bikes along
the current single lane
main roads.

Like I said, you have to
make a real choice to get
off your high horse and
see what's really in front
of you, see the way traffic
and ideas flow from one
entry to one exit, the organic
way a roundabout encourages
co-operation, workability,
a clean sweep making room
for all of us.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What will you do with all those artistic photograph albums?

13. prompt: A question which is answered
in the poem

They ask her as if the end
justifies a particular means.
She is creating the story
of her life for others?

No, her life started and will end
as hers; the community which
owns the memories of her
will create their own. Stories.

She has threatened to send
all seventy-eight (and that's
today's count) to a national
repository, as if she is famous!

To the most recent enquirer
she responded: they shall
bury my beautiful journals
in my grave; I will sleep better.

Thoughts on Lunching Among The Silver Princesses and Their Friends

12. prompt: "forget what they say"

a garden is best
when wild
the chlorophyll-laden
competing for light
a peaceful

books tell you
cull and mow
snip, shape, sow
only what looks good,
ensure weeds are
out of sight
a relentless
but not necessarily

No-One Wants Enough of Anything

11. prompt: "No-one wants ..."

Mother and daughter visit
two Opp Shops. They take home:
one plaster cast eagle, claws
about to lift a crumpled 
Stars 'n' Stripes; an Italian
ceramic salad bowl; three
cute handbags; a cotton
blouse, jade green; a gourd
to donate to their choir's
percussion basket.
Good finds!

At the second shop with
insufficient cash, they leave
two plaster parrots and three
summer dresses, to collect
next week. That's a dozen
items, of thousands.

They are the only customers
for recycled goods, the only
donors to funding the disabled
and the destitute at midday
the day after Remembrance Day.
Which honours those
needing nothing now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Only Someone

10. prompt: a love poem

Only someone who loves you
would show you how to
set the disc cleanup going.

Only someone who knows you
would wait out scanning,
massage your head, ears and arms.

Only someone who knows how
your hard drive works is
your Software Saviour: daughter!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Drive

9. prompt: a slow down poem 
or a never-slow-down poem

They're going faster
than me, faster
than they should
I hope the cops
are out, to catch 'em.

Those ones are going
slower, too slow, get
out of my way, are you
asleep? on drugs?
Indicator on, check
mirror, swing out.

Going faster
than all of them.
Better slow down.

"The traveller returns!
You got home fast,"
says her mother as
she wheels her suitcase
to the bedroom,
feels herself
slowing down.

Crop Talk

8. prompt: an agreement poem

Artichokes: nine ripe at once.
One friend takes the crop; her family
loves the salad.
One friend has French ancestry; her
mouth turns down at the thought
of all that fiddly preparation, a
childhood of hunger never
quickly enough satisfied.

The other friend, a gardener,
says: They're gorgeous to look at.
And they grow SO big!! 
She agrees. Notices another
five ripe and ready for the table.
She calls friend one, thinks
friend three's thought, and knocks
earwigs out of the green cones.

Talk Back and Opinion Programs

7. prompt: "pro -" something

Of course, I am so for all that
finger-stabbing, point-scoring
self-promoting,  righteous
pretension. Those exchanges
based on a theory of the universe
as susceptible to one's opinion.
Do the stars ever fall at your feet?
Do the heavens open when
you score? I know you would like
me to believe what you say is
'objective' and I will - it is of objects,
objections, objectionable. 
Remember the first time you made up
a truth, and got away with your story
got another into trouble, or nailed them
with your hammered-home point of view?
Oh yes, I am so for all that!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


6. prompt: "looking for ..."

In one isolated hamlet's hall
the daughter holds up her mobile phone
snaps it shut with a sigh: "No reception here."
The mother holds hers up, gets two bars
of superior service, a different provider.

Driving north to visit friends
she switches on the radio -
her favourite FM station.
Presenters introduce Beethoven's
last symphony, the one he intended
to encourage peace among people
in 1824. They tell how the audience
stood to applaud while Beethoven
conducted on. The contralto had to
turn him around so that he could see
the music had ended. At this, the
concert hall erupted with emotion
as the people suddenly understood.

As she drives, she is inundated
with the chords, engulfed in something like
grief, powerful tremors and eruptions
possessing her lungs and heart.
She is consumed;  tears rain down
to put out the fire in her fibres.
She reminds herself to keep watching
the road, the speedometer, and wonders
if any of her British ancestors attended
that concert in London in 1824. The past
and the present are both palpable.
She wants to cry out: I was there!
How you inspire me! She groans instead
and composes herself, as he must have
had to do. At this point, she realises
she won't hear the whole thing.

By Leonard's Hill the hissing and spitting
have started; at Sailors Falls the radio
is possessed by the demons of static.
She clutches bracts of music between
the spits; at times, his indomitable will
is evident as whole chunks break through.
But in Daylesford, interference is all.
So that, just the other side and still
thirty-five kilometres from destination:
a few triumphal bars, then nothing but
triumphant static waves crashing.

She switches off - as he may have -
preferring silence, and a peace
only slightly disturbed by memory
of what lies buried
in another dimension.

No-one called them during the Annual
Molonghipp Poetry Slam; they'd
switched off the phones anyway. 
The entire evening was a people's event
noisy, good-humoured, easy to enjoy.
Every poet receiving enthusiastic

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"... of droughts and flooding rains ..."

5. prompt: metamorphosis

Having printed the year's photos
she has no doubt it's been 
a transformational year.

Euphorbia and Ecchia
have grown up, produced progeny.
The wattle no longer falls in strong winds

but flutters like a head of hair across
the new sand path. She relocates
a metal flamingo after pruning

the peppercorn tree; now there is
a pair. Even the loquat tree is proudly 
parental, with two sprigs of hard golden fruit.

Wild oats have come and gone, wild rocket
and two-year old silver beet are as tall as she,
and no need to bend for coriander either.

Water sits in the bird baths, squinting
at springtime's pretty sun and she sits
on the patio, drinking in the blessed greens

the rose perfumes,  the immodesty
of bottle brushes,  and wonders what to do 
with all the buckets and bins of saved water. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Locked in

4. prompt: containment

If she didn't have three
four-drawer filing cabinets,
five deep desk drawers,
two portable vertical
drop file collections,
several plastic boxes
and a couple of crates

where would all that paper
go? What would happen
to those ideas, worlds
written into being, phrases
and sentences, paragraphs
and thick documents, lost
and tossed by random fate?

She walks into the room
with pleasure, savouring
the stillness, its secretive
structures. She skips
a heartbeat, anticipating
hacking and tearing into
all this hidden treasure.


3. prompt: location

Occupancy in brief bursts
- in a warm car, parked,
on a path where river
runs muddy, drowning
the reeds that filled its
belly in drought - to see
this river running slakes thirst.

The cafe makes great coffee
but seats are wet so they sit
outdoors protected by ridged
metal one says is like hers,
at home. They talk incessantly,
trade secrets, places. 
In brief bursts, slake thirsts.

Weeding and pruning, she
talks to the birds, the plants.
While she works, listens
to their exchanges of views.
And questions: who will find
the juiciest tidbit first? She
swigs water to slake thirst.

Without Permission

2. prompt: ready to start/not ready

She's ready to cut
the peppercorn tree
just trim back thick
low growth, the better
to see grevillea.

To the peppercorn tree,
she says, are you ready? 
Not a quiver. Her saw
releases peppery resin
seasoning the air.


1. prompt: closing a door/turning a page

Careless, to lose
the knack of dancing
hips and quick feet
snaky, suggestive
oh so sensuous.

See her at the party,
in her parents' large
kitchen, on dormitory
verandah, in the caravan
where she cavorted

addicted to suppleness
but not subtlety. Close
that door, forget: she
an instrument strung
between drumbeats

has vanished, twirled
away over the horizon.
At sixty, she now must
force herself to walk
daily.  A soft-shoe patter.

Friday, October 22, 2010


30. a poem that takes place inside 
a vehicle (car, truck, train, boat, plane)

Going to the Gorgeous Voices Festival
Before we Even Bought the XXL Purple
T-Shirt with a Leunig Design

Singing to our own group's
CD, we barely notice
the country, its green, its

We are mother we are
daughter and we let our voices
free, to roam, explore
in sheer relief.

The freeway has occasional
potholes, but we're all song
and harmony: our travelling
twosome treat -

each other's company
the notes, the humming
car, music that is action
not retreat.


29. a poem in which you use three
different words for the same colour


It's always a bolt
from the blue, that
cloudy estuary, nearer
to sea than salt
of the earth, and
the baby blue sky
across which clouds
are draped, all cotton
wool and torn lace.
Their aqua t-shirts
match, and he's just
tall enough to lean
his cheek onto her
hair, fit her into 
his armpit's curve.
They stand, my two
descendants, raising
my spirits with those
vibrant smiles,mirrors
of my direct stare
affirming a world
where there ain't 
no room for the blues.


28. a poem that uses two or more
different settings


In the Bistro we were
hot. Cranked out gospel
good acoustics, a crowd
assembled, we were hot.

Outside the Cafe, protected
from rain but not chill winds
we sang to warm up
our voices thinned.

We wound up bussing
back to the Bistro; I had
pasta salad but I was hot.
I took off my padded jacket

from the left pocket, my red 
camera fell out. Whose 
is this? said the girl I hardly 
knew. The cement floor was cold. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


27. a poem that includes at least three
different flavous and two different odours


Garlic - blood-cleansing reminder -
in melting butter: burnt grass odour
the smell enters body, skin, seeps
into it and, if massaged, emerges
intact - real garlic, healing, invasive.

They boil organic fusilli, add tuna
and Greek antipasto - olives, feta,
capsicum, herbs, garlic, its oil.
Their tongues emerge from oiled
places, lick, trap last sticky bits.


26. a poem in which each line has six words
and makes a statement or at least expresses
a complete thought.


Greenest freshest grass surrounds the trees.
The trees' bare branches announce death.
Death! And yet it is Spring!
Grasses grasp any opportunity: birth, growth.
Pathetic how conquered the trees look.
Anorexic, all nutrients sucked out, wasted.
Green! Fresh! The grasses seduce, juicy.
Without Death, how dry their existence.


25. a poem in which every stanza begins or ends with a question.

On the XPT, leaving Melbourne

Why has someone
populated their backyard
with a variety of sheds?
We have moved on
faster than I can frame
the question.

When will these filthy
sections of north-western Melbourne
be cleaned up? A valley opens 
below the railway bridge:
a deep valley, shaded waters
beneath bunchy trees.

What is the craze for
graffitti all about?
Give me a vertical surface
I'll talk to you, why
don't you get my message?
Where you from?

Another valley.
Our water so unpredictable
we reckon that  creek
will never fill again; we
have flooded the floor with
Mchousing, and green mown grass.

When do we expect to reach
somewhere else?

Monday, October 18, 2010


24. a poem in the form of a joke

knock knock

who's there

a line of rhyme



23. a poem that takes place at a public gathering

Fed Square Saturday Arvo

the sun carves the pink Kimberley stone slopes
into black and yellow territories

a river that knocks like wood on wood, tumbling
trees on river stones, wends its way through shade

a sparrow ignores the sound of blood pounding
the pavement thicker than water

small movements, much noise 

out in the sun, even if you aren't a bird, the thing
to do is perch and pretend you're not watching

i am watching and writing it down in deep shade
waiting for lunch, something to peck

a cold wind jeers and tells me i should move
away from this al fresco table

i do, with lunch, too chewy and stringy
but spiced and warming, i'm happy

three seagulls wheel in and around in sunshine
one chases the other two away and surveys

the kingdom it's won from the peaks of a group
of big white shade umbrellas

there is a giant photo album staring down at us
from the opposite wall, above bmw edge

it's a counteraction to all that stabbing
and bad press - our indian community

can feel safe now, so large, so out of reach
safely, so yellow and red, dancing and smiling

in the face of it, the ponds and tides
of humanity gathered here, in fed square

on a sunny saturday arvo, almost becoming spring

It's 11 days since I was here!

It's not that I haven't been writing, or reading, or researching, or learning a new job ...
And I have been enjoying Rosemary's daily poems. So much joie de vivre! Well, I'm catching up.
Here we go ...

Thursday, October 7, 2010


22. a poem about building or
creating something by hand

Ephemeral Artist Creates
Clay Display

One mould creates
a family, a whano,
sombre faces, introvert
winsome, wild. He is
their life-giver -
they populate the park.

Glued with clay
whether to tree trunk
or shards of historic
crockery, they are deep
in thought, deeply
offering thanks.

Fired, they gleam with
another heat - lit from 
within, they embed 
themselves in popular 
memory: not just pottery - 
a gallery of graces.

Monday, October 4, 2010


21. a poem that involves cutting,
chopping or dividing something

The Meat Pie

This one should be hot
she says, wrestling with the foil
tray where the crust is a ridge
of sedimentary rock, yellow
and bumpy. I worry about
the knife slipping and take over.
Placing a beautiful quarter
on her plate I'm told I always
do the wrong thing; she can't
possibly eat such a large piece.
I stay calm, fly the quarter
across two plates to land
safely on my daughter's.
Take a quarter for myself, cut
the cook a wee slice. After dinner
I hear her offer the remains 
for lunch at uni, saves money
and having to eat something 
even soggier, of dubious value.
I'm the first to cut a piece
bring it to my mouth, savour
the flavour, pronounce it tepid.
It heated up properly when
you were away, she says,
and I pretend to consider
the possibility our oven might 
also be becoming irrational


20. a poem about having to 
defend yourself or someone else

Failure and Success

Having come from
the profession myself
I let them do their work.

Until he was pushed
down a staircase
by the Principal.

Letters exchanged
his failings noted
championship needed
I set about saving him
from their decisions -
labels - boxes - prison.

I let them do their work
with others from then
returned to my own.

His final results and life
now would shock them.
I'm proud of that.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


19. in which you discuss three things
that you or your persona wants


She wants a weed-free 
path through life, a newspaper 
whose words calm and inspire, a 
nap every afternoon in which to dream
of catching up with her younger self.

I admire her matter-of-fact desires.
Knowing her as a dancing partner
incendiary letter writer, passionate
gardener, I can't say our wires
never get crossed!


18. a poem that repeatedly uses numbers

Contraventions My Body Remembers

The first cut on rocks
in a river near Sydney
my foot still wearing
a pale half-moon scar
fifty-five years on.

Two teeth extracted
at age eight, to save
my jaw from a fate
worse than starvation.
The needles enormous.

Between those two 
milestones, the tonsils
taken, all two of them,
and somewhere I imagine
they fertilized healthy soil.

The first of two Caesarean
births made more laborious
by two sets of pins and plates
holding a broken ankle together.
I played Uno which means One

until the foetal distress began.
And all the singular events:
one cyst in a breast
one cyst in a lymph gland
one injured knee

one sprained wrist
one tumour in a breast
Eight lymph nodes 
sacrificed. And at least
four twisted ankles

weakened by old falls.
Last Sunday at Emergency
at nine am,  the trainee 
nurse said: Good blood 
pressure. Good weight. 

The deep cut in a finger from 
peeling home-grown pumpkin 
for soup bled generously
and I guess I should have
collected five mls for posterity.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


17. a poem that involves a plan

Whenever the heat beat
the fight out of even 
the toughest grevillea, or
the tanks groaned and screamed
with the effort of drawing water
from a sluggish River Murray,

Dad's watercolour dream
of the school's front garden
provided an alternate universe
of desire, delicious sweetness.
I remember particularly
the large leaf-green lawn.

There were to be cheerful
flower beds, natives and hardy
immigrants bonding in rich
alluvial soils, creating
with entwined arms a perfect
picture of future generations -

sturdy growth, producing beauty
for the common good. 
There was sunshine in this plan
but it was gentle, fresh after rain,
lemony-gold. One thing left out:
a fountain healing the pain

for the garden that never
was realized, the world
that grew spiky and dry,
the resentful children crouching
on its hard clods, pulling stubborn
weeds under a blinding white sky.


16. something malfunctions or breaks down


Now there are two of them -
two computers. Therefore

I need a bigger team
of troubleshooters.


15. a poem about training for something 
or working towards a distant goal

Excel ent!

My past experience
of formulae and control
key,  have me approach
these financial reports
with something less than glee.

I touch the cursor carefully
hold down the shift a-tremble
for it's black and white
this world of ledgers; my
instinct is to dissemble.

When she who tries
to train me true can't tell me
exactly what to do, we almost
throw a tantrum times two -
I have a sore back; she gets flu.

Across the nation, she
tries to reach my resistant
brain patterns, she tries to teach
an old dog new tricks
by telephone; though I beseech:

Oh please go back, explain 
once more - these formulae are 
such a chore. But suddenly!
I get the point! The Budget
and I no longer at war!

I almost hear her faint
with relief; at last I justify
her belief I'm a suitable
successor, a good protege.
Our next battle will be child's play!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


14. a poem about a person or place that has several different names

She and I

Officially, Mikaela.
Endeared, Mikkely-moo-snoo.
Ever since I admitted
I'd named her after Mikhail Gorbachev
she got "Gorby".

When I'm away
I'm Mummy.
Here, I'm Ah, Muuum ... (upturned voice)
or Sheesh! Mum! (downturned)

Darling GIrl
and Favourite Girl
I'd say lifting
or hugging, home
from work, she small.

We all have to be
something. To someone.
It's the connection
that's wordless, without 
name, immutable.