Showers

Showers acupuncture skin , pummel

angry muscles

into submission ;

like coffee they

kick-start us into action ,

the quick fix , the jab for our frenetic times but

they are ill suited

to contemplation or insight —

Archimedes

would have discovered nothing under a shower ;

nor are they

conducive to knowledge ; you cannot

read under showers nor

can you write unless it is wet verse ;

moreover showers only cater

for one side at a time — leaving  the

other blue with cold ;

in this

baths are more inclusive immersing us

like icebergs with only

the head above water ;

showers have

much to learn ;

young upstarts , they lack the noble

ancestry of baths yet

arrogantly tower above them  ; their heads

must constantly be lowered

* which do you prefer: showers or baths?
* if you were asked to write a bath poem what would your opening lines be?

Backs to the Sea

People who live here, he said, live with their backs to the sea.

And I said, how could anyone turn their backs to the sea?

And I thought of mum, before she was hauled away, saying,

I want to go back to the sea again,

how she sounded like Miranda the mermaid who had strayed

from her home

but when she got her wish, when we got her into a retirement home

on the esplanade, she grew jaded.

What’s wrong, mum? we asked.

I want to go home, she said. I want to go back where I lived with dad.

But you’ve got a ringside seat, mum, to the Southern Ocean. A view to die for.

It’s not the same, she said, not when you see the same thing day after day.

But we sat with her, watching the red sun sit on the lip of the horizon like a wafer,

the seabirds flying home, and a kind of calm settled on her.

Every Poem Should Have ….

Every poem should have a welcome mat.

to let the reader know their little house of words

is warm and inviting; is well kept,

a door bell that chimes rich and melodious,

perhaps a garden gnome suggesting fun, quirkiness

and a bird bath out the front, full to the brim,

where yellow-shouldered honey eaters frolic,

to suggest plenty

Bee Music

I am sitting down reading to the drone of bees.

A copy of the TLS lies open on my knees.

We must get a frizzle on, my partner exclaims

Apropos of nothing then goes off again

To attend the roast, while I attend to the Times.

There’s a lost poem by Hardy which clumsily rhymes.

A frizzle or two? Whatever can she mean?

I scratch my head then read once again.

I take another sip of my beloved cab sav

While she takes a pee in the outdoor lav.

I Wonder if Spiders

I wonder if spiders

in their webs

at night

spin poems

‘bout me & you

nattering away in the moonlight

in neat little haiku

you with your cigs

me with my brew

of jasmine tea

spinning our memories

wishes

of how things might be

or would they instead

taking a jaundiced view

spin snarky little

senryu

Waiting for the Wood to Catch

The sun levers me from bed .

Slides over the smooth rump

of hills .

Steams away the frost .

The cats desert the hearth .

There are a few embers left ,

chunks of ash

warm and marshmellow fluffy .

Not a ripple of sound .

Everyone’s asleep .

I put two logs on the ash ,

a tangle of twigs

and settle back on the cane lounge

waiting for the wood to catch .

Two dragonflies clamber over

the green scrim of curtain ;

a young magpie rests high up

in the fork of a scrawly gum ;

from the next farm the caw

of a crow ,

the baaa of distant lambs ,

overhead the sudden scraaak

of galahs ;

my stomach rumbles —

breakfast !

the grey slumbering Sloth

and Mao , the red burmese cross ,

in expectation of warmth

slink around the hearth ;

a flame stirs the stubborn fuel

crackles

sets this poem ablaze

Do Mirrors Go Rogue

mirrors never lie : sideshow mirrors only distort the truth

you can look a mirror in the eye but it won’t blink first

ceiling mirrors are up themselves

wall mirrors have hang ups

mirrors continually surprise us in the act of being ourselves

mirrors both give and receive   simultaneously

during the day when everyone’s out do mirrors contemplate their navel

do they get tired of looking at the same faces

does familiarity breed contempt

can mirrors go rogue like Hal, the computer in 2001

are one-way mirrors guilty of duplicity

do cracked mirrors have an image problem

do mirrors ever take a good hard look at themselves.

pic courtesy of wiki media

More Lamb than Hedgehog

My mentor told me how to write a poem about slippers. Make it easy, he said. comfortable and cozy, warm, no prickly bits. More lamb than hedgehog.

I had a girlfriend once who forbade me to wear slippers: ‘Next thing  I know”, she said, ‘You’ll be wearing a dressing gown, reading cozy murder mysteries and shuffling around the house like an old man.”

My dogs when they were puppies took a violent dislike to slippers, tearing them apart with a vitriolic zeal of which my girlfriend would have approved. For years I walked around the house in loafers until the puppies grew up and out of their habit.

Whenever I hear Bing Crosby sing White Christmas over the PA system in his hush puppy voice I think of slippers. Slippers are like bean bags for the feet.When you slump into them they have the feel of home.

Parable of the Tea Towel

I was halfway through the dishes when a call of nature distracted me.

When I resumed I could not find the tea towel anywhere. Where’s it gone? I said.

It’s on your shoulder, my partner laughed & there is was, dangling like a limp flag.

Made me think of that line from ‘Hey Jude’ , ‘the movement you need is in your shoulders’

& I thought, that’s it! that’s the answer: not carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders like Atlas

but shouldering your way through difficulties, so they part before you like the Red Sea did for Moses.

Accent

I don’t mind her reading passages from ‘The Secret Garden’ before breakfast each morning , if only she didn’t go around the house the rest of the day speaking with a Yorkshire accent

*have you read ‘The Secret Garden’ or seen the film?

*when’s the last time someone read to you?

*what’s the most difficult accent you’ve had to contend with?