Category Archives: poem

not a poem for S

I read a poem today and I thought,
you would like this.
But then I remembered that you despise me
and I detest you.

And I was sorry
for a moment
that I couldn’t send it to you.

But what is there to be done about that?

Other than remind myself why I detest you
and you despise me.

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under a lilly-pilly moon

This was written for the dVerse Razzie prompt, which was to write a poem incorporating the title of a film that has won a Raspberry (worst film) award. It was also prompted by last night’s blood moon, which was red because of the syzygy (alignment) of the sun, Earth and moon. And the botanical name of the Australian native lilly-pilly which grows red or purple berries is syzygium (although I only found that out after writing the poem and googling lilly-pilly to check my spelling). 


Under the blood moon

…no, that’s wrong,
that conjures wolves
chasing across snow
hearts racing with fear…
No, not in late spring,
and not here
where the closest thing to a wolf
is the ginger mutt curled at my feet.

So let me start again:

Under the cherry moon,
Earth’s-shadow pinked,
a warm northerly caresses
the swelling berries,
still pale but ready to blush.

No, still not quite right…
Begin again, begin with what is here:

Under the lilly-pilly moon
the ginger-mutt mutters,
paws twitching, ears flicking
at a boobook’s plaintive cry.
Adrift on bloodborne ancestral songlines,
in his dingo dreams he chases the ‘roos,
that thump past
like the slow, heavy heartbeat of the bush.


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Ginger-Mutt doesn’t eat nachos

I made nachos last night with the new red heeler pup, aka the ginger-mutt, staring up at me the whole time and snapping up any scraps I dropped for him. So the d’Verse “spicing it up prompt” seemed very appropriate when I finally time to read it.  The challenge was to include the names of several spices/mixes in a poem.


Ginger-mutt looks up, Egyptian eyes beseeching
waiting for manna to fall:
oh oh, those heavenly scraps of beef
disappearing with a snap
into the salt and pepper muzzle.

The air is embroidered with curlicues of scent:
cumin and onions, golden-soft,
and those kohl-rimmed eyes, pleading, are raised again
filled with a desire no less intense for its silence.

But, the beef must go into the pot now
(although perhaps the chef may let fall a little more largesse).

Tomatoes, beans, corn, chilis, brown sugar and a touch of vinegar
and at the last, when the heat is off,
for a balancing touch of bitterness
and a final russet tint to the fragrance:
just a puff of cacao and cinnamon.
Food fit for the gods!

But not, alas, now the cooking is done,
for the ginger-mutt,
who must now make do with food fit for a dog.



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Dedicated to two of my very special colleagues:

M1’s young in head,
though no longer a boy
but he’ll still run to daddy
when he wants a new toy.
This week what he wants
is a badge and a whistle
to show that his role
is prop’ly official.
Given his druthers, he’d
dress the students in brown
and have them salute him out
on the parade ground.

M2’s old in heart,
(though not in tooth long)
in style he’s sans dance
and also sans song.
He’s not here to lead,
and he’s not here to manage,
he’s just here to stand by
and point out the damage.
It’s above his pay grade
(so he lets us know)
to do any work
(though he’s an aspro).


Aspro = associate professor. In Australia we use the British system: tutor, lecturer, senior lecturer, aspro, professor.  So an aspro in Aus is quite senior, not like an American assistant professor which is roughly a tutor. 


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there’s a word for that

Tuesday’s dVerse challenge, “there’s a word for that“, was to indulge our sesquipedalianism and write a poem using a selection from a list of interesting words. Thanks for the vocabulary lesson Mish! 


Burbling through another gin and tonic,
unconcerned at my own inanity
he yet remains aloof, laconic,
to the verge of inhumanity.
I’m munificent in my legolepsy
but he’s securely wrapped in his sang-froid!
If only he’d take the first step, he
could overcome his isolophilia.
A single scintilla is all I ask
a single clue to this masculine puzzle
but his silence renders it a hopeless task
and leaves me severely, verbosely bumfuzzled.
Is he just quiet or is he timorous?
Or has he slipped into dormiveglia
lulled by my words’ gentle susurrus?
Is he my ikigai, could it be that we are
meant to be, and this is my soul mate?
Have I found my love on “Aussie first dates”?


From the list:

burble, laconic, legolepsy, sang-froid, isolophilia, scintilla, bumfuzzle (love that one!), timorous, dormiveglia, susurrus, ikigai. 


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labour of love

Written for the dVerse quadrille Monday prompt “learn to labor or labor to learn“, 44 words exactly, including the word work (and dedicated to my darling twin boys and my husband who I didn’t listen to):

three years of hoping
nine months of waiting
twenty hours of labour
(two panadol)
two thousand loads of washing
twenty thousand meals
for two lumps on the couch
grunting and picking their pimples.

You were right dear,
a dog would’ve been less work.


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offshoot 61

Thursday’s dVerse prompt was “vertical lines of kisses“, and the challenge was to take one of the five specified lines and use it to write a stanza with each line beginning with a word (in order) of the prompt line. I chose the line “since there’s no help, so let us kiss and part”, from Drayton’s idea 61. We studied that poem at school, and I loved it then but haven’t read it since, so it was wonderful to be reminded of it after so many years! Thanks Laura!


Since there’s no help and
there’s no hope, and there’s
no cause to try – please…
help me to cut these ties.
Come let us kiss, and then
let us say goodbye, and let
“Us” return to “you” and “I”. Just
Kiss me once, this final time
And, knowing it is final, then we’ll
Part, without further tears or sighs.


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Spring’s kiss

For the dVerse prompt “A World of Common Scents“:

For weeks Spring has flirted
with a wink of golden narcissus,
and a coy blue-sky smile
tossed over her shoulder
before she turns and sashays away again
into Winter’s iron-scented grey.
Until now,
she makes her intentions clear
and with soft pink arms reaching out
offers a sweet blossom-perfumed kiss.

Great prompt Worms!


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small hours II

on the wrong side of the morning
spores of worry grow
their mycelium spreading,
enmeshing every cell
but my heart stays sluggish,
beta-blockers in control
is this really better living through chemistry?
the oximeter flashes low –
which will suffocate first,
me or the fear?


This was actually written before small hours, but I decided it was a bit dark for the prompt and rewrote it into the other one. Then decided to post this anyway…  After a bunch of cardiology tests lately I got the diagnosis “one of those things at your age” and have been put on beta-blockers which are sort of helping. Sort of.    


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small hours

Written for the dVerse Monday quadrille prompt “morning has broken“:


spores of self-doubt grow
and spread into a mycelium,
enmeshing every cell,
blooming into twisted,
pointing fingers
here, on the wrong side of the morning,
hearing the first 4am cock-crows,
I count the hours
until daylight flows from the sky
washing away the night


A quadrille is exactly 44 words, and for the prompt the quadrille must include the word morning.  


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