I know a thingummy squat and wide
with hollow cardboard rolls inside,
Its hollow feet and hollow hands
let in the cold when up it stands,
so down it sits as like as not
to keep the draught from up its …
I’ve never asked it for its name
I think I might, then think again,
then think it might be rather shy
and think I might be wrong to pry
but then again a name is nice
I have a name, my name is…
I like to sit next to my friend
(the one with the hollow cardboard end)
I pause a while and contemplate
the kind of things we might debate
if only I could sit and stay
beside my quilted friend all day.
At the window in my front room
I watched umbrellas go up the hill
struggling in furious autumn gale
most black, some red or comically transparent
pulled down upon a woman’s shoulders
to protect her new hairdo from the rain.
The Georgian bay window shielded me from rain.
I loved to be alone. That cold front room
with long net curtains wrapped around young shoulders
and the weather beating, shining or racing down the hill
was my castle; huge windows on a world transparent,
sheltered from the furious autumn gale.
Round I whirled, a leaf dancing in the gale,
moving faster and higher, inspired by the rain.
The net meant giant windows were transparent
only from the inside, so to a clunky sale room
gramophone weighted with pennies, I was me on that hill,
before the world could press upon my shoulders.
I smelled the musty net around my shoulders
and knew the world was old and furious, though its gale
and torrential outpouring never rested on our hill,
forming pools in parks where tourists pulled on rain-
coats and stirred coffee with plastic spoons, in a room
where an organ played and people’s smiles were transparent.
When my cousin came, we served homemade sweets on transparent
plates and put on a show. On young shoulders
responsibility for choreography and costume. Front room
filled with patient eyes, we would anxiously regale
our aunties, mums and Nanna with entertainment, rain
dancing in accord, outside, thunder clapping on the hill.
Of course, I grew up, and went out from the hill,
down into murky valleys, away from transparent
umbrellas, aunties and sticky sweets, out into rain
that seemed more inhospitable when it landed on shoulders
bent and bowed with the weight of life’s gale.
But part of me will always dance in that front room.
Meet me on the hill, put a scarf around my shoulders,
transparent rivulets in a furious autumn gale,
blessed by rain, with no umbrella, let us dance in my front room.
Once upon a silken sleeping bag
I flew a merry while
across the seven continents
and wondered for a smile.
When all the sheep were snoring
and dingoes were the brass
I put a trumpet to my lips
and blew it through the grass.
The crocodiles were friendly
and the badgers very kind
the cockroaches misunderstood
and kidded me they rhymed.
We danced around a story
and sang a cup of cheer
A band of bees played harmonies
that lasted for a year.
And when my time was over
and light was in the sky
my sleeping bag woke up again
and bid the dream goodbye.
But in the morning’s glory
when I wake up at home
I know the verdant pastures
where imaginations roam.
On the shooting of a star
I hung my boots
and travelled far
In a book I read a line
thoughts of mine
In a tree I heard a crow
Through the keyhole of a dream
I saw a sheep…
What can it mean?
On the twenty second of October
shortly after dawn
they were curled up in their castle
when her radio alarm went off.
She didn’t have to go to work,
the moon was still in the sky,
so, What’s this? he called out.
She smiled. The cricket, she replied.
Springing forth, she grabbed jeans and tee
and caught a plane to Bangladesh.
It came as a bolt out of the blue
that she liked the game so much.
He turned over and pulled the covers
right up to his goateed chin.
My, my, he chuckled, throatily,
there is much to know about Mother.
One small boy climbed into an envelope
thinking he would not be noticed
thinking he would be safe.
He took a torch in with him
to ward off beetles
And a magnet
so he could attach himself
if the need should arise.
He was not a devious boy
And knew that trespassing could have consequences
But life outside the envelope
had worn little holes in the small boy’s soul
And as he posted himself
he felt only a sense of relief.
I saw a thousand pumpkins
upon a twilit field
Bright orange spheres
the rolling year’s
last offering revealed.
Remember days of parenthood?
At Halloween we clustered
round grimaced light
for tales of fright
while apples bobbed and blustered.
Now fragrant pies and tasty soup
serve parties down our lane
when autumn leaves
and woollen sleeves
wrap up the year again.
There’s a wasp between my fingers
and a bee behind one ear,
Two slugs above my eyelids
and a bird’s nest in my hair.
My body is a tree trunk
my mind a crooked path,
My life juice is a river
my feelings are a raft.
Fulfilling earth’s intention –
imperfect and impure,
with love as my redemption,
intuition at my core.