Rose garden

This rose garden is an aberration of nature,

So much beauty for one acre,

But there are spaces where we come and go and make repair.

Some people fear revolution,

They forget or never felt the hunger that came before,

Here we remember what blooms when everything’s blunt and bare.


King Lear Dropped By

King Lear dropped by last night.
Brought his whole ensemble out:
Daughters, court, Gloucester’s eyes,
Shakespeare learnt en route,
Out of one kingdom, an evasion,
Straight into this fools’ paradise.

Thud thud thud.  Let’s to our prison!
Old man, I see that recognition
In your eyes.  What desire!  Still?
After all these years?  The audience
So nice in its comprehension.
Young flesh is long since dead.

The poetry transcends time and beats
Its cacophonous drum. A soliloquy
Out of the ecstasy of kingdom’s cum.
Earth covered son and blood
Splattered everyone until we knew
It was on our own hands too.

I wonder how many felt your agony?
Exhaustion, shame?  I wonder how
Many conspire in the reign
Of those who let a whim determine
Who’s in, who’s out?  Who played
which part?  Who’s left outside
the theatre again, alone in the rain
and dark?

As dreams are

What is your dream?
Why, for Sanders, has the American
Dream become a nightmare?
Is this Hollywood star its epitome?

Hold on to this word, mamae:
Pain, suffering, struggle,
And this one, aroha:
Love and compassion.

These plans and dreams,
the thresher and crash,
Listen, still rumbling along,
Threaten and cash in.

We’ll meet two people,
Caught up in these times,
Just as we are, in ours,
Looking for a place to dream.

Count out

Birthed in debt
accounts of regret
child to calculate
mouthfuls of abacus
bites and scores

Lament for Miss Adelaide

Lament for Miss Adelaide

On this
Starry set guys and ghosts
Block out subterranean crap-games,
Her psychosomatic blues sing out
Ol’ blue eyes.

But he won’t cure her
With Bromo fizz … pearls and mink
Wraps and the final curtains of red
Lipstick clad dolls.

In the style of this week’s Poem of the week: two cinquains by Adelaide Crapsey

My onion is whole

My onion is whole
wrapped in brown paper thin skin.

Sharpen your knife and slice into audible rings.
Chopped hear its juices sing.
Sautéed and lingering.
Smell your eyes sting.
Tangible balls pushed in.
Tears brim.

Wrapped in brown paper thin skin
my onion is whole.

It’s your turn to do the so-called dishes!

“They are not true,” said my father
upon reading the introduction to my book of children’s bible stories.
Then, with his Staedtler pen, neatly scored through the word with bright blue. true

Granny was furious. “Michael!” she snapped,
but he made her smile in his usual style
“Saint Michael,” he corrected, hands raised, cock-eyed like the Pope.

Granny sighed and remembered her young boy, church leader,
The prodigal son but bound to become a man of the cloth
(until he met my mum), before he had learned for himself

that there was far more fighting inside the Church than anywhere else,
besides he wouldn’t be limited by the old sea-blown merchants of wrath
or their fisher-wives.

He’d always read the books on my required-reading list
long before me. We scoured the second-hand bookshops (no longer searching
for the Famous Five) before ending up in Dillons or Waterstones.

“Education is wasted on the young,” he’d tease,
drooling over Jefferson and Robey or Eagleton’s Literary Theory
and buying an extra copy of M. H. Abrams’ Glossary.

I was half-inclined to agree and happy to see
he’d already underlined (bright blue) all the exciting bits for me.
Mainly, my brother slept at any hour

and queried having to do the so-called dishes. “It’s her turn!”
he yelled, but I was enjoying my new Staedtler pen
and re-underlining the words again.

“Brother, the books are much harder than the dishes.
My books are not, as it were, washed-up dishes,
as you will learn from experience.”

This is a parody inspired by Heather Phillipson’s poem, Relational Epistemology. Read it here along with Carol Rumens’s commentary.


She dug the earth as he did write
The biryd did sing with all its might
The herbs were planted; thyme and rue
and now a song of love for you.

Picture 6

Please read the poem, Bird on a Briar, along with its modern translation and commentary by Carol Rumens here

The sun shone on the school gala

The sun shone on the school gala.
Didn’t bring my hat, rummaging
through clothes, this sun is ridiculously hot!
You can barely breathe in this heat.
It’s a scorcher, Mrs Caldwell, too
intense, but what a relief for the school!
You exchanged the lemon drizzle cake for a feijoa preserve, a spicy
ginger creation, relishes too; tomato and beetroot, I think I can tell.
Before, I wasn’t sure where to park the car. Difficult
to find a space. Difficult to squeeze into the space.
Hope to return. Hope to return and find I haven’t got
a ticket. The white elephant: some foot wash, foot cream
and a pumice stone (hardly used). “The cafe is a cafe, the cafe is life,
and a person can either be ruined or survive when
she makes her way through this fete. Whether she makes it or
not depends on a cake and plenty of caffeine-” A coconut
almost toppled onto the parched grass here on the school field,
merited another throw; it’s March and we’ve won a calendar.
You seem to be a Star Wars jigsaw sort of person
and it’s possible that one of these is of interest to you.
On the other table, six porcelain cheese and cake labels.
I’m rushing because it’s nearly time and because I woke up
too early with a headache after last night’s barbeque and a wonderful
riesling or two. One shouldn’t constantly worry, one should not constantly fret,
one should probably observe parking restrictions. A traffic
warden like a lead balloon. The rest is green and red.

A parody of The snow whirls over the courtyard’s roses by Tua Forsström on Carol Rumens’s Poem of the Week blog.