Category Archives: musings

less than half the story

I’ve been thinking about seeds a lot as I keep planting peas that get eaten by mice, and I’ve written a few poems about them. But pruning one into 44 words for Monday’s dVerse quadrille prompt “planting seeds” didn’t work for me. So I tried to think of what a seed is – enough genetic information for an organism (diploid), the machinery of a cell to start it all going (mitochondria, etc)… Did you know that mitochondrial DNA comes purely down the female line? Yours is the same as your mother’s, your grandmother’s, your great-grandmother’s, stretching back along a line of a hundred thousand women…


What arrogance,
what masculine conceit,
calling your semen ‘seed’!
Spill it on the ground,
wait for an army of sons to rise,
from those sad wrigglers –
not even half the story.
Wait forever –
it’s not seed you sprayed,
just pollen.


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don’t tell me I’m your everything

Don’t tell me I’m your everything,
your universe, your all,
don’t place me on a pedestal
from which I’ll surely fall.
Your happiness is not
my responsibility,
even if I wanted to
I can’t meet all your needs.
I will not be your mother,
feeding up your fears,
nor will I be your Mrs
<insert husband’s name here>
I’ll sign my name to what I write –
if you’ll just let go my hand –
and though I walk beside you
on my own two feet I’ll stand.
At times I’ll lean on you,
at times you’ll lean on me,
at times there’ll be accord,
at times we’ll disagree.
But don’t avoid the eggshells
by climbing on my back,
if you want to walk beside me
along life’s winding track.


I was listening to one of those songs in the car recently that goes along the lines of “you’re all I want, you’re all I need, you’re everything… oooohhhh…… ooooh…”, and while I quite like the song it occurred to me that that’s a hell of a burden to place on another human being – to be everything to someone else. What an outrageous responsibility – like being a parent, but with no hope of the child growing up (unless they shift the creepy obsession to someone else). It’s also pretty risky (and probably unhealthy) for the person making that claim. Call me cynical (you wouldn’t be the first) but I think that sort of dependency is unlikely to end well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating polygamy (nor am I condemning it), but if there is only one person providing all your emotional needs, that’s risky. There’s a reason very few buildings have a single support. Stability requires a strong foundation, and some redundancy in supports helps a lot during earthquakes. More supports also mean less pressure on any given support, less likelihood that you collapse a support, and less likelihood of a catastrophic collapse if any one support does fail. It’s just responsible engineering to spread the load…   


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flood moon; toad; morning commute, still

The Tuesday dVerse prompt this week was “flipping meanings“:

Flood moon

The round orb,
washed white by rain,
floats high in the stream.
It is a record
of what has been.
It asks a question
about what was lost.

Bushfire Moon (April 2020)

A thin crescent,
bloodied by smoke,
hangs low above the ridge.
This is not a portent
of things to come.
It is a statement,
of what is here. Continue reading


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Easter egg hunt – nerd style

Easter Sunday, such a fun day,
watch the children run –
they need to solve the puzzles before
their chocolates melt in the sun.

When my kids were very young, we used to hide Easter eggs for them to find in the little fenced-in yard behind the house. But once they were old enough to read, we set them clues written on strips of paper to follow to find their eggs. Each clue is a puzzle that they need to solve to get to the next egg, with the next clue wrapped around it, and an Easter bunny at the end. Continue reading


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success couching

We’ll get us a success coach
to train up our success
he’ll pump us up with slogans
until we are the bestest.
He’ll elevate our excellence
right up to the sky!
And as the gas comes whooshing out
our excellence will fly! Continue reading


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Goulburn poultry auction

Rain pelting the tin roof gives a soft-solid background
to hens muttering annoyance and cocks crowing their outrage.
All those birds, five hundred or more,
waiting to be judged, their worth determined,
to be found wanting or wanted. Continue reading


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cockatoo tree

The cockatoo-tree blooms
at the first touch of light slanting over the ridge.
Great feathered blossoms drop and swoop
 …white against blue
white against green
white against black
as they fall into the shadowed land below.
Their screams pierce the morning silence,
waking the sky,
that stretches out now
to reach down to the ground.


Inspired by sgeoil’s lines The sky reached from the ground / all the way up and around and Nick’s seagulls.
I dreamt of peacock feathers and woke up to see the first rays lighting up a dead tree full of cockatoos, unbearably white against the blue sky. Here on the western side of the ridge the early morning sun lights up the tree tops, leaving the land below still in shadow, until the earth turns towards the day and the sky reaches down.      


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step off or step back?

Step back or step off?
Every edge presents a choice.

Perhaps that is why
edges are so compelling –
each is a temptation. Continue reading


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telling stories II: only tell your stories to strangers

Be careful what you turn into words,
and who you give those words to.
You never know what they might do to it –
how they’ll scuff or chip or stain it,
so that it’s never quite bright and clean,
never quite perfect, again. Continue reading

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telling stories I: just words

“I’ll talk it all to pieces if I have to tell about it. Then it’s gone, and when I try to remember what it was really like, I remember only my own story”. Snufkin (‘The Spring Tune’, Tove Jansson)

Let me give you a moment of my time –
a memory,
a story –
all that I saw, heard, felt..
how it was
(well, at least how it was for me)
turned to words, as best I can. Continue reading


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