The Place where Poems Begin

At the Place where Poems Begin.

I should be grateful

she comes

at all.

It’s hardly a place

for visiting Royalty;

she doesn’t have ‘airs’, my Muse:

she’s like Diana,

‘the people’s princess’;

she pays no heed to the currawong


in the covert

of the honeysuckle bush

where the yellow-shouldered honey-eaters play

& the wattle-birds cluck;

she doesn’t mind sharing  my instant coffee

in my ramshackle carport café;

it’s where I think,

tease out my thoughts,

it’s the place where poems begin.

feet on one plastic chair,

bum on the other

cushioned by my retired blue hoodie.



Lynne is weaving a quilt

based on a pattern

in the happy cancer ward.

Do you ever deviate from it?

The pattern? I ask.

Rarely, she says.

If I do things can go horribly wrong

but sometimes, she says with a tinkle

in her voice,

they can go wondrously right.

  • pic courtesy of pinterest



Part of me recoils.

What are you?


Milking sympathy.

No, I say, I’m not.

Though I’m doing something

just as shameless,

using the disease as grist

to the mill.

Isn’t that what writers do?

I am ferocious for new material,

for keeping the old war horse fed.

Should one take advantage of an illness

or submit meekly to it.?

*pic courtesy of Wiki Commons

Butterflies of my Mind

The Butterflies of my Mind.

I was out among the fields, here one more time

Vigorously out hunting the butterflies of my mind

All the poems, the stories that had given me the slip

And would it seem once more; I had to be quick.

All the bright, beautiful things just beyond my net

Any moment now I’ll snare one; damn! Not just yet

I Do My Best Work in Bed

I do my best work in bed, she said.

I do my best work in bed.

When all is said and done,

I do my best work in bed.

Scurry beneath the covers,

pull the sheet up over my head.

I do my best work in bed, she said.

I do my best work in bed.

It’s where my magic garden is,

my fantastic flower bed

where poems and images blossom

& music plays in my head.

Some think better sitting up,

but I’m too easily misled.

I do my best work in bed, she said.

I do my best work in bed.

  • pic by Pinterest
  • * have you a special place where you find inspiration?

the Cop and the Comet

I grabbed the comet of a poem

by the tail as it flashed past

the windscreen

on my way to the poetry workshop

but the traffic cop was not impressed

when I wrestled it onto the page

waiting for the lights to change

at the busy intersection

& began writing something of his own

  • inspired by Yard Sale of Thoughts


In the old days — I’m talking ’95 — I did drafts.

My notebooks don’t lie, Thirteen sometimes of the one poem

and it still turned out crap. There’s something to be said

for inspiration, how it comes light and easy like a breeze,

and if you catch it, you’re sailing.

Why Do You Do it?

Why do you do it? she asked.

Why do you copy other people’s poems and passages into your notebooks?

Why don’t you write your own stuff?

But I do, I answered. You know I do.

Then why this?

How do you explain the notion of a commonplace book to a non-writer?

For inspiration, I say, For enjoyment, the way people flicker through old photo albums

or their smart phone galleries.

But it wasn’t quite like that.

It was modeling too,

getting the feel for writing at the top of its game, to remind you how it’s done,

for quotes like this: ‘I don’t believe in writer’s block … plumbers don’t get plumber’s block,

doctors don’t get doctor’s block.

Why should writers be any different and then expect sympathy for it?’

[ Philip Pullman]

But she didn’t get it.

You’ve got heaps of these notebooks in your cupboard, she said. What is wrong with you?

Have you no faith in yourself?

There was no point in arguing.

But when she came upon me ‘copying’ I would flinch as if caught in some shameful act.