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.