Saturday, December 20, 2014

Shingles II



It is shingles
after all
better than tumour
I'm not sure.

It tingles
all the more
to know it's shingles
after all.

My pain 
has a name
it sounds like jingles,
Christmas came.

But is it enough
to balance my luck,
shingles for a book?
I doubt it.

Never mind
it could be worse
I could have something 
that really hurts!

Saturday, December 13, 2014


This picture has nothing directly to do with shingles, other than that I took the photo on the day I went to the doctor and found out I might have shingles -- of the head! Better than a brain tumour, I suppose, though that can't be ruled out without a CT scan, which will cost $450 dollars, which I don't want to spend.

She knows, my doctor, that I've been under a bit of STRESS of late and stress is one of the shingles triggers; can't say causes, because the shingles virus is dormant inside you for life once you've had chickenpox.

I don't have any lesions yet so that's what I'm to look forward to this weekend and call her the minute they show up, because shingles of the head can lead to blindness and baldness if not treated immediately.

At least worrying about going blind and/or bald is helping to take my mind off worrying about the book not being published.

That said, there is something shingly about this beautiful bud. Something ugly, even grotesque in its budding beauty. There's that balance in all things I was talking about yesterday (see 'Brain Pain' post). I'm probably doing a grave disservice to this Agapanthus bud, associating it with shingles. Sorry Agapanthus, but I'm not myself right now. It's the shingles talking..

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brain Pain

I have a pain in my brain like a spike. The scalp all around the spike is sensitive, even the hair, and there are two pressure points several inches away from the spike (I have a big head). It's at the top to the right side a bit and it's been hurting since Saturday; six days. I'm thinking brain tumour.

I shouldn't be blasé about it, I know, but I am because I don't want to play the victim or to really believe that I might have a brain tumour. That's Psychology 101, I think. Nor do I want to make a doctor's appointment. It's nearly Christmas and we're going to Australia and I don't want to find out I have a brain tumour before then.

I thought it was pre-menstrual. My PMT is such a temperamental bastard these days I wouldn't be surprised if a temporary brain tumour grew as part of it, out of sheer spite. A PMT tumour. But I got my period yesterday and the pain remained. Now I have blood and brain pain.

I have to teach dance tonight and I am in no fit state. But it's the second last class of the year and possibly my last class ever if... well, there are a few ifs. So I must take it.

There is an upside, though. I have always understood that bad comes with good. That's the deal. Nature abhors imbalance. So I'm thinking that this brain pain might mean good news on the publishing front. A brain tumour for a book deal. That seems fair.

I know. They don't publish idiots (or perhaps they do).

I have just made a doctor's appointment for tomorrow. Now I have to break the news to our first-born who will have to take the bus. The least he can do for my brain.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Success by suffocation

An analogy, if you will:

Talent-perseverance-luck, the formula for success, and
paper-scissors-rock, a game of chance. I think there's something to be gained by drawing an analogy between this game of chance and the recognised formula for success.

You want control of your life. You don't want the outcome of all your hard work to be the result of a paper-scissors-rock game of chance where you have only the slightest control over the outcome, if that. Yet a paper-scissors-rock game of chance is how life feels sometimes. Others are the measure of your talent and you don't make your own luck, whatever anyone says, because that's impossible. If success is a combination of talent, perseverance and luck, then the only thing you have control over is perseverance. So persevere! Sharpen those scissors and get cutting!

But, if perseverance is merely the scissors component in a paper-scissors-rock game of chance, as I am suggesting, it can defeat talent, or let's say, for the sake of this analogy, overcome a lack of talent, but just as easily be destroyed by bad luck. And as I submit my much persevered with book (intellectual baby) to publishers this week, I worry that no matter the talent/paper or perseverance/scissors in this intellectual baby of mine, a bloody great rock of bad luck could come along and crush its fragile scull to smithereens.

Except... paper smothers rock. Although this has always been the weak link in the paper-scissors-rock game in my view, as rock and scissors 'win' by more obvious means, with a bit of faith I can accept that paper beats rock by smothering it. In my analogy, this equates, with a little faith, to the belief that talent can defeat bad luck, or, in other words, with enough talent you can have success by suffocation. Let's hope this is true. Let's hear it for success by suffocation rather than chance, provided one has the talent of course.

Perhaps I'd be better off with the rock.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


The word of the moment is    

aspiration above your station.

Who do you know,
what have you done,
why have you done it?

Be brief.

Two to three sentences,
three-hundred words,
one chance,
or less.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waves of work

Reading Woolf's Waves
breaking on the sand
back and forth
in and out
I see the waves of washing
I am running back and forth to
check up on
watching the waves of weather
and the smalls
in equal measure
all the while
worrying in waves
that the wind will turn
the colours change
and the sky crash down
onto the sandy shore
with a big burly wave of weather
destroying all those little waves of work.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Turkey time

Somebody else's daughter in Istanbul
by artist Miru Kim 

I have one daughter. One is a very small number when it comes to daughters. And you really feel just how small a number one is when your daughter takes herself off to the other side of the world as our nineteen year old daughter did three days ago.

Yesterday we spent some tight time waiting to hear of her safe arrival in Istanbul, which finally came in at 4.00 am Turkey time. We are now on Turkey time. Tomorrow we will be on Greece time. After that Rome, and so on through another sixteen countries, all so far away they may as well be Mars for how long it would take us to get there should anything go...

Right now it's 10.20 pm Turkey time and we haven't heard anything since 4.00 am. That's a very long time in Turkey time! I've messaged her twice since then. I am tempted to make it thrice. In fact we have some good news to give her and want her to call. She got a Distinction in her Trinity College Drama exam, which she took ten days before she left, the day before a Law exam. Daughters do so much! Both our boys (21 and 16) are sleeping right now -- and it's 9.23 am (Amendment in the name of gender equity! Five days hence and the 21 year old is on a bus on his way to his first day of a summer internship in software engineering and it is only 7.55 am! He is not happy about it, mind, as the travel time on public transport is almost two hours each way and costs over $60, but mainly because it interrupts his mission to be top in the world in his chosen computer game; he is currently 9th, or so he tells me and I can believe it because of HOW MUCH TIME he spends on his computer not engineering. Still, he is not sleeping).

I have to get my book in on December 1, ten days hence, and I can't be on Turkey time for that. When you're a mother of a daughter and a daughter you are lucky if you know which time you're supposed to be on at any point in time. Right now I'm somewhere between Turkey time and Takapuna time. It's not easy being/having a daughter (or having two sons; just for VERY different reasons).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cold feet for Julia Gillard

I sometimes go to hear famous people talk about their lives and work: writers, entertainers, and the odd, extra-famous and interesting politician. These talks are usually wrapped up with a Q & A session for which I almost invariably have a good question on the tip of my tongue to ask and am on the edge of me seat throughout the Q & A, right to the bitter end when I find I can't quite find the nerve to ask it. I come out in a cold sweat, my heart starts racing at the thought of it, and I just can't do it. I did ask Prime Minister David Lange a question once, but only because my HOD told me to. I need a permanent HOD.

I don't consider myself a shy or retiring kind of person at all, though I am secretly more self-conscious than my outward profile and appearance would suggest. That however is probably true of most people. I was a student rep for a class of over three hundred Politics students in my younger days -- I was terrified when I had to address the class, but still I did it. I was also a university tutor and lecturer for several years. I give speeches at weddings.

A few months ago I got cold feet for Sandi Toksvig and wasn't able to ask my burning question: 'Do you think there's a place for comedy in politics?' The other questions asked, mostly by men, were not nearly as interesting, in my opinion. I think she would have appreciated the question and enjoyed responding to it, as she says she is considering getting into politics herself. I have regretted not asking it ever since.

You'd think I'd learn, but no. Two nights ago I got cold feet for Julia Gillard. Mark and I went to hear her talk at the university, and the chair of the discussion was a lecturer from my old department. I couldn't have been more at home! And I'm Australian, for pity's sake. There was a good amount of gender politics in her talk and I wanted to ask her what she thought of male and female co-leadership of political parties and governments, even as a compulsory leadership structure for all democratic countries to set a role model for gender equality and co-operation. It is a good question and she would have been an excellent person to answer it.

I wonder if David Lange spoiled me for the rest. When I asked my question he said it was a non sequitur and laughed. Still, he answered it in good humour and I now know what a non sequitur is. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Will I ever learn to ask my burning questions? That is a good question.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A cold blossom

A striped
a spotted
a warped
lets her slip
through unheard.

A cold
a strained
a fallen
beauty in tatters.

A red
a pink
a broken
a copper kettle.

A green
an orange
a work in
is all we've got.

A grey
a blue
the artist
to begin again.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Congratulations Jack!

Congratulations to my friend and mentor Jack Ross, on being appointed editor of Poetry NZ. I have no doubt he will be a fine editor with exemplary taste, although he has resisted, so far, the urge to include any one of my poems in his journal -- early days yet.

Jack taught me almost everything I know on the creative writing front and inspired me to dabble in poetry, which had always seemed much too terrifying to me. And on this very blog poetry has become rather more than a dabble, and I have Jack to thank for that.

Jack may not want me to put this connection of ours about, but he's fairly safe there, as I have such a select few loyal followers that there is not much danger of it getting about far.

But this is not about me...

Well done Jack, and well done to Poetry NZ for selecting such a fine editor. Long may you prosper poetically and in every other way.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014



Male film directors are a type
Like a bear
So many have abundant dark hair.

Francis Ford Coppola
Peter Jackson
Steven Spielberg
The director of Boyhood
All resemble bears.

Shaving, cutting hair, take time
Lack purpose. Direction
One must be quite still, going nowhere.

Dark bear hair adds
Shaving and cutting subtracts.

We saw a documentary on Coppola last night
The making of Apocalypse Now.
It took many years, sunk much of his own money
$27 million in the 1970's or more.

Brando was difficult and fat
Sheen had a heart attack
There was a typhoon
Sets were ruined.

Coppola risked everything. His wife found that sexy
She was responsible for much of the documentary
And no doubt the film
Portrait of the artists' wife
They had three young children at the time
During the filming in the Philippines.

He re-wrote as he went
Over a typewriter in a typhoon he bent,
As Brando spent
His $1 million dollar advance
Threatening not to take part.

Direction is risk-taking
Driving forward to an unknown destination
Steering out of control
Seeing and believing where others are blinded by doubt.
Letting go and holding on at the same time.
Secular faith at its scary best.
Knowing what to do in an apocalypse.

Monday, November 3, 2014

By A Lady

I don't know if I'd call myself a lady. 'Lady' has become a bit of a lightweight term these days, though my mum still prefers it. But Jane Austen, a little bit older than my mum, was definitely a lady...

I wonder if this reference to the nameless author being 'A Lady', on this first edition copy of her first published book, one of the first ever books published by a woman, indeed, is more about her class or her gender. I'm inclined to think gender, though as Austen's own writing shows, class status was very important, rather more than it is today.

I'm all about Jane Austen at the moment, though I haven't read this one. I will. Emma is currently blowing my mind, her female-male dialogue is second to none for gendered wit and repartee, and to my mind has hardly dated at all. I've actually set aside Dickens for Austen, quite appropriately, as she came first. I am so late to the classics that I read whatever comes to me, and Dickens came first, in a book store in Katoomba, NSW. Great Expectations. Great book. I read the first few lines and was hooked.

I love Dickens, as you know, but Chuzzlewit actually pissed me off recently after I liked the start and blogged about it here. But the fun he makes of the 'strong-minded' woman is disappointing, and not funny. Austen, unsurprisingly, deals rather more subtly with that subject, being a strong-minded woman herself. A strong-minded lady, indeed.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Prehistoric forest?

Is it a bird, is it a plane, or is it a... prehistoric forest? 

I'm pretty sure it's not a bird or a plane, this milky grey-green, lumpy bumpy, squidgy under foot ground growth that has appeared on Takapuna beach after a serious storm some months back drove several layers of sand further up the beach to expose it. And exposed it has remained.

People are talking, as they will about the appearance of something before unseen, and what they're saying is that it is the remnants of a prehistoric forest, which is kind of cool. I like the idea, even if I don't much like getting the prehistoric forest in my shoes. It's kind of sticky, is the prehistoric forest. 

And it is now, maybe three months hence, dissolving, seemingly, and in the process, is turning the edge of the beach water a milky grey-green, which you can sort of see in this picture that I took yesterday. It's greener than this shows and quite attractive really. 

But if anyone out there knows for sure what it is and what the longer-term prognosis for our would-be prehistoric forest and beach might be, I would be most interested to find out. 

Regards from a curious prehistoric forest frolicker,


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Let's make it a Permanent Wave

Feminism is back. The Third Wave, you could call it. Let's make it a wave to stay.
Let's make it a permanent wave, eh?

Personally, I don't surf, or wave my hair, or go in for the whole feminist wave thing. I have been a die-hard feminist since I was a child and noticed boys got advantages that girls didn't, wave or no wave. When I found there was a name and movement for fighting against those unfair advantages, I signed up without hesitation.

I was a feminist in the nineties when the Second Wave was all but forgotten and the backlash was in its heyday. In the nineties and naughties Feminism became the F-word, with almost all young women I encountered, when I was still young, including at university in a Politics department, railing against the word and the whole idea that women are systematically oppressed by men. There were two women with tenure in the Politics department of Auckland University, out of a lecturing staff of sixteen. Feminism was not politics. Politics was men's business, revolving around issues of war and conflict. Gender was a social issue; a women's issue.

I didn't get it. I pressed on and wrote a PhD on gender inequality and violence against women. The only feminist PhD in the department. It didn't get me a job. Gender studies and gender politics courses closed down in the naughties. Plenty of women, educated women, supported these closures. Feminism was old hat; conservative; square; complaining. Men didn't like it, women didn't respect it.

I moved on, retreating somewhat into my unfashionably feminist shell, sticking my feminist head out now and then to test the air and getting it bitten off, more often than not.

Now, in the 10s, I am noticing, as are many others, the steady increase in media and public attention to gender politics and 'feminism' is no longer a dirty word and is even becoming fashionable again.

Caitlin Moran's How to be a Woman, I think got the ball rolling, making feminism hip again. Lorde helped by identifying as a feminist for the even younger set, and of course Malala Yousafzai's brave survival and campaigning for women's education and now Peace Prize. Hillary Clinton's probable run for the US presidency is bringing gender politics to the fore and Emma Watson's UN speech promoting the whole HeForShe campaign (, inviting men to recognise they have a gender and gender inequality is their issue too, has added more weight to the movement. It's obvious that men should be involved, but to date, few men have seen it that way.

Let's make it a permanent wave, hey? Let's make it a wave to stay, or until we understand that misogyny, in its many forms, undermines global humanity more systematically and catastrophically than any other form of global prejudice. Let's ride the wave until this is no longer the case.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


You be the judge. 

Guess what it is and I'll give you, I don't know, a tongue scraper? Better still, my respect, for being a top-notch guesser. 

You, my number one follower, might have a slight advantage... but then you always have had. 

Apologies to those who expect more of me. I am wriiiiiiiiiiiting... 

Ps: Mystery of the suspicious sick solved in the comments. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Power to the Pen

I've just a moment ago (drum roll please) put the final full-stop, in pen, to the fourth -- and bloody well better be -- final draft of the book I've been writing ALL YEAR. Of course it now needs to be converted to the computer. But that will NOT be another redraft, such is my undying faith in my not so humble pen.

I am at least a hundred times faster writing in pen than tapping the keys, and possibly as a result of this greater speed and ease, I feel much more in tune with and absorbed by the writing than on the keyboard so that the thoughts flow altogether easier and sweeter.

Basically what I am saying is that I am on intimate terms with my pen, whereas my keyboard is still an ugly and bumbling appendage. Indeed it is an ugly and bumbling appendage upon an ugly and bumbling appendage because operated over the top of my lap-top keyboard which I apparently broke by hitting the space bar too hard. Please. Bloody fragile keyboards. What a bunch of wusses!
Keyboards, I mean; not you, pretty pen.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The stream forgot to smile

"The stream forgot to smile...  
the scared leaves flew the faster...
as the wind gave chase,
close at their heels..."

Winter on its way,
as Dickens saw it in Chuzzlewit;
I am a devotee of the author --
just a bit -- for his second-to-none whimsy, wisdom and wit.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mould (or mold if you're American) happens

... while you're writing poetry.

When I started this blog last year I wasn't a poet, or wannabe part-time poet (there's another blog right there: Part-time poet. I can't help myself). Instead, before I penned the odd poem (or 200) on this blog, I waxed lyrical and not so lyrical about the ins and outs of HOUSEKEEPING. Check it out back in April, May, June 2013, if you dare.

Since poetry -- and I'm okay with blaming poetry for my shameful shower if you are -- my passion for housekeeping has waned somewhat from a "rock 'n' roll" spirit, as I once described it, to more of a let it be one. Get out the piano/pen and weep while the world falls, instead of get out the bleach and on your knees and scrub while the mould grows tall.

The shower(s) didn't necessarily thank me. Who knew mould begets mould. I did and I didn't. Also I did and a I didn't care. I was writing POETRY folks. In the greater scheme of things, I'm fairly sure poetry trumps mould. Besides which, this is the "kids'" shower and they are no longer kids. Still, getting teenagers to clean the shower is harder than getting a poet to. And if you have a teenage poet (which I don't) you can forget about it. That shower will be be so alive with mould it'll be cleaning itself before a teenage poet gets on his or her poetic knees and scrubs it off. With a forty-something part-time poet, your chances of a clean shower are slightly better...

I know. But I said slightly better, and this is a week after the clean and I have three teenagers (well one is twenty-one but he cleans like a teenager). And if you think this ain't clean, you should see the rest of the shower. I only cleaned this corner.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ode to October (Down Under)


Flowers not yet old
already faded and told;
leaves begin again, true,
but not because of you.

September brings in spring,
November foretells summer,
December through to August
have their purposes Down Under.

But you, you merely hover,
no cause to run for cover;
your wishy-washy colours
with nothing to say to lovers.

You rain and then you stop
you're cold and then you're not;
you blow a wind a while
but haven't the stomach to smile.

It's not your fault October,
I should not pick on you,
without your thirty-one days
I'd be at least fifty-two.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rewrite me

Someone once said there's no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting. I hope he or she is right...

If this dog's breakfast rewrite of one measly page of my current work in slow progress is anything to go by, I'll be lucky ever to find out. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What he said

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Long live the Left

On Saturday the Right won by a thrashing 48% of the vote (the Left, with Labour and Greens combined, didn't even reach 35%). That means they can govern alone. Their far-right support party, Act, also got in, thanks to their Right-wing cunning.

They won by strategising; by playing on people's prejudices and exploiting popular ignorance about how wealth and well-being are created. By telling the nation we shouldn't resent the rich. There is no life on the Right.

Life resides and thrives, despite the Right, entirely on the Left. Humour, understanding, compassion, caring, creativity, community, artistry and passion: LIFE. Writ large, bold and beautiful.

Long live the Left! Long live life!  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Soft rain day


A soft rain falls,
tickling the spiky hair
of the tall teen tree
dancing, waving, giggling --
if rather stiffly;
as if self-consciously.

Cars swoosh the road rain,
a kinder, softer spin
sympathetic to the boy
who sleeps in,
putting off algebra.

And the mother sits
wondering how much
to give and take -- and say
of this soft rain day.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pistorius: A licence to kill

From The Guardian:

Hadley Freeman:  "We know what it takes for people to believe that a woman has been abused by a famous, powerful man [by any man]: they need to witness the actual abuse... And this is an issue that, of course, goes far beyond celebrity. In South Africa, a woman is killed by her partner every eight hours. In the UK, two die a week. [In New Zealand, one every two weeks, approximately] Perhaps Masipa was right after all. Perhaps this was a “normal relationship.” But that doesn't make it right."

Roxane Gay: "Pistorius would have us believe that he thought his girlfriend was safely in bed next to him. He would have us believe this mythical black intruder was locked in his bathroom. He would have us believe this mythical black intruder was whom he was killing when he fired through a closed door four times, as if somehow that would be justifiable. Though early this morning I may not understand this world we live in, Oscar Pistorius understands it and what he can get away with, perfectly."

I've written a PhD on the subject of domestic homicide and despair at the ignorance and excuse-making of the judge and justice system in SA regarding the nature of domestic abuse situations, of which this is almost a text book case of the female victim's fears of the killer prior to the killing not being believed -- indeed, described by the judge as part of a "normal" "dynamic" relationship -- and yet practically every lie told by the male killer to get himself off a murder charge and life in prison is believed. It is also a standard justice system response from courts in NZ, as in SA, as anywhere else in the Western world, never mind the gender or race of the judge. And if the male killer is famous as well as being male, he effectively has a licence to kill. This response systematically perpetuates domestic violence against women, the most widespread violence and killer of women around the world.   

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Now I am 16


Now I am 16
a child I have been.

Having grown to see sense
to put childishness in the past tense
(perhaps not altogether).

To walk as well I can
between being boy
and becoming man.

Now I am 16
living the dream.

Happy Birthday Cal!

My youngest turned 16 today. I wrote this wee poem for him on his birthday card that I bought from time out in Mt Eden. I feel somewhat over-thanked by their bag, having only bought a card, good quality though it was, so offer this post by way of a balancing of the thank-you scales. I love the bag and the card and the shop, and have bought many books from them in the past and will do so again, most assuredly, in the near future.

Here's to quality indie book stores and the effective marriage of commerce, creativity and community -- a non-exploitative three-way. And a Happy Birthday to our boy, Cal.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Last Sunday we woke to find our billboard of Labour's North Shore candidate, Claire Szabo, sabotaged in this dastardly manner, the empty spray can dumped on our verge so we had to dispose of it. Some people are total shits.

Szabo was Young Executive of the Year in 2010 who when working with underprivileged people became outraged when the National government gave her a tax cut that she didn't need while raising taxes and cutting services for the underprivileged, whose suffering she saw increase as a result. So she abandoned her 'handsome' salary to join Labour in trying to oust the National government who quite simply want more for those who have more and less for those who have less, in situations where less is definitely not more. National are total shits too, in short. And Claire is a quiet hero working for a good cause that, thanks to ignorance and greed and too many total shits, is a tough one; North Shore being a safe National seat. Give Claire, Labour, and all those fighting to oust the total shits here, there and everywhere your vote. Please.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rivers of Tears

What a year it's been for cool celebrities dying dramatically -- as they lived, you might say. James Gandolfini, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams and now Joan Rivers. Rivers of tears for them all. The world laughs, and lives a little less without them.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Boat called Horse

at Little Shoal Bay                                    

For your oars only
Kvort -- the plump pink catamaran  
Wind Song
all high and dry and injured, waiting to be rendered.

Rapid Tranzit
Blow Me
all at rest on one side, waiting for the tide
(and the wind).

Also a digger called Caterpillar and
a rudder called R.I.P. Geoff Morris.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Beauty Spots

Here was us so sick and the weather so well
that we ventured out: one coughing boy;
one sneezing girl.

With our tentative aches in our mobile incubator with ready brakes, to the beauty spots, better seen slow,
on days like this when there's nowhere else to go.

Days with swooping gulls and slicing yachts
the only whites on our blue beauty spots.

A Tui tar black in a lacy tree,
whistles thrice, then a sharp coughing crack,
clearing her throat in sympathy.

A Kingfisher on the bow of a boat
stops high and dry in Little Shoal Bay,
looks thoughtfully out, nothing stands in its way.

Ice cream sweetens the sour
in slow motion hour;
as a baby swan follows its Mum
learning, as she goes, what it is to be young.

Pairs of ducks and one nervy rabbit
visit our view, by mistake or by habit.

'Rest awhile' says Anne Maud Craig (d. 1991)
so we do, on her bench, Notting-hill style,
head in lap. Content.

All the while we cough, sneeze and ache
in these blue beauty spots
of bay, sea and lake.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Nature v. Nurture

A tomb dated 1848 in our local cemetery, photographed in 2014 overrun by a native Pohutukawa, but not giving up without a fight.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Watch me roar

The storm appears to say:
'I am storm, watch me roar!'

Rain rushes to the window
jostling for space
wanting a look in;
not wanting to be left out.

It's mayhem out there,
the storm is in a right panic:
stampeding; demanding
to be heard,
to break through the glass.

Friday, August 15, 2014

I do and I don't

Love Mum
Have regrets
Want to go for a swim

Know what you're thinking
Feel for the poor
Resent the rich

Live for the moment
Understand you
Like teaching dance

Believe in change
Know everything
Enjoy the writing of Lydia Davis

Friday, August 8, 2014


This I love, but not so much
some of her earlier stories;
should anyone care what I think,
which they probably don't and won't.

I fell under her spell
as others fall under a bus
I survived, bruised and broken
to worship her the more, I must.

Till she punched me in the face
for having the gall not to die
Took me on a wild goose chase
to make me believe the lie.

Told me the tables have turned
when I know they can't and won't
Made happiness hollow and hokey,
till the darkness cried out Don't!

Then she wrote:
'There are limits to what you can accept,
even in impossible things'
and I felt I understood again
the sweetness in the sting.

And while I keep on going
for that sweet stinging thing
I can't and won't accept
the need for sisters to be grim.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cat up a Tree

TT the tabby cat 
up the cabbage tree, 
just high enough 
to eye-ball me. 
Filled with a look
of high anxiety, she says:
'Stop what you're doing!'
'Come and rescue me!'

So it's downstairs I go
in a state of urgency
to open the front door
quicker than a key.
Then after a wait
to show she's in no hurry
in waltzes madam,
the tabby cat, TT.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lydia and Lorde

                                                                     A brief tribute to two ladies (or should it be lords?) 
of language, who are my muses of the moment. I am currently taking inspiration from these great writers for being true artists who resist the pressure to be turned into generic products for the benefit of the powerful (often male dominated) systems they work for. They break boundaries and expose stereotypes, which all art should do and benefits from, especially women's art - if such a category of art can be considered. 

Thank you Lydia and Lorde. 

Also, Can't and Won't (2014), Lydia's latest collection of short stories, has to be the best titled book ever. Can and will read it -- everyone should.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Friday, July 25, 2014

Patience and Passion

Yin and Yang
Give and take
Live and die
Love and hate

Light and dark
Right and wrong
Good and bad
Weak and strong

Work together
Pull apart
Patience and passion
Make fine art

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Clue


She thought they wanted art

Turned out they wanted change

The clue was in the name

Small change

Monday, July 21, 2014

Photographic Fog

A few shots of last week's fog, with bonus window web to lighten the load on this wet, cold and rainy Monday. 

I think the Gothic one at the top is my favourite.