Sunday, 22 January 2017



(For my mother, Brenda Lynette Creighton, 1919-2014, and first published in Verse-Virtual)

I watch the rise and fall of her chest,
listen intently for her breath,
part fearful, part hopeful,
waiting for death to come,
knowing that life can be lived for far too long.
Where is she now?
With her much-loved mother?
Smelling the rich warmth of the milking shed?
Seeing her brothers walking across the near paddock?
Let her be anywhere but this
diminished and difficult present
where vitality is gone,
and each day she seems to fade a little more.

She wakes.
There is a little smile,
as if sweetness cannot be washed away,
no, not even by the relentless grip
that sweeps her inexorably along.
Suddenly, seeing that smile,
I think of what she was,
how she walked through this world
​in quiet anonymity, a creative spirit,
deeply gentle, calm and self-controlled,
flexible, open and inquisitive,
her heart tempered in love,

and bending to kiss her, perhaps for the final time,
walking from that place,
past the repetitive muttering
of the vacant ghosts in their wheel chairs,
this sad, last abiding place,
my heart is strangely swelling
with a sense of privilege and gift;
yes, sad that life can come to this
but proud and elated to have known her,
been nurtured and loved by her,
marvelling that my anonymous life
can be so rich, so full of blessing,
so beautifully filled in its entirety
with the wonderful love of women,
and raising my eyes heavenwards
in silent, sad, complex thankfulness
I ask that I can carry her gentleness with me,
passing it on to those that I love,
yes, setting free her unknown greatness
to ripple and wash through and over
the countless generations yet to come.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

I am, we are

Here is a link to my poem, "I am, we are", published at Praxis Mag Online.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Joy Bevan.


(A response to a Silver Birch Prompt-"Me, at 17")

At seventeen I met Joy Bevan,
her voice so soft and low,
her mind entirely beautiful.
her gentle inner glow.

At seventeen she was my guide
through the realms of gold.
With a kindly, skilful, gentle hand
she let those realms unfold.

At seventeen she showed me treasure
beyond all place and time,
deep, powerful, beautiful and sad,
a complex journey of the mind.

At seventeen she helped me love
a landscape littered with jewels,
said the journey and not its end
should be your lifelong rule.

At seventeen I gave poor thanks
for her gifts and dedication.
Now, too late, I sing her praise
In sad, posthumous recognition.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Conversations with my hat.

Conversations with my Hat.

(A Silver Birch Press prompt-"Me, in a Hat)

When I'm off adventuring
first thing I throw in my pack is my hat.
Great for shade. Foreign legion style.
We've seen some great places together
and that hat has taught me a thing or two.

We're hiking in New Zealand,
Queen Charlotte Sound, Ship's Cove.
My hat says, "You know Captain Cook was here."

"Was he?" I say.

"Yep. Repairs to his ship.
Two of his men got cannibalised
just a little way down there."

"Seriously," I say.
"What did Cook do?"

"He didn't do anything.
Wouldn't let his men do anything either.
So the men caught one of the native dogs,
put it on trial, found it guilty,
and then ate it."

"What. Why?"

"Proxy," says my hat.
"They were satisfied with that."

There's no doubt you can learn
a thing or two from under that hat.

Get some good advice too.
We're hiking the Overland Track,
right along the mountainous spine of Tasmania.
It's blowing a blizzard with vicious horizontal sleet.
"Mate," my hat says, "can you get your beanie out?
It's freezing up here. I'm made for sun."
Sure enough, that hat was right.

Our last adventure together was a long walk,
the Cape to Cape in Western Australia.
After we've finished the eight days,
I'm sitting at the lighthouse cafe, having a coffee,
my hat on the table, and I hear a voice.
"Mate, that was great. Hump-back whales breaching,
wildflowers and birds everywhere,
that towering Karri forest,
beaches and headland, limestone cliffs and caves,
mile after mile of beautiful coastline."

"Yep, sure was," I say. "A privilege."

"The world is so beautiful," says the voice.
"How come you humans don't value it more?"

"Hat," I say, "I've got no idea."