Recalling Shakespeare in

SONNET 1

Just now you know the feeling of great loss
that aches like green ant’s fire within your flesh,
The sharpest minds surrender at great cost
and lose the chance to heal in love’s caress.
False sailors claim they’ll sail the wildest seas
and bring their king and nation glorious wealth,
But drown their maker out with mercy pleas
when braver men might plan and win by stealth.
I too have faults I’d rather not be shared
with friends whose ev’ry thought has thrived.
It is my burden hid. I would I dared
believe that love … Read the rest

It’s a quiet world at the end of time,
as mankind waits for the clock to chime,
But no clock ticks and no bells toll,
for time’s run out, it no longer rolls.
While a river flows in its bed for years
and meets new challenges, new fears,
and sometimes overwhelms its banks
in what is a gesture of effusive thanks,
its goodwill suffers no matter the clime,
in a quiet world at the end of time.

Ere time winds down and physics fails,
Think of how friction gripped a nail,
Car tyres screeched in the dead of night
and … Read the rest

Lazarus rose to the daylight from the depths of a lonely tomb,
His hair looked lank and greasy, unkempt, in need of a comb,
His beard, festooned with cobwebs, banked to his account that day
by an irritated, old woman spider hoping to relax and lay
an uncountable number of offspring in the masses of hirsute growth,
But a voice piercing the darkness put the kybosh on that, my oath.

“Where the divil are yeh, Lazaaarus, hidin’ awy outa sight,
Mekin’ me trip on me goatskin, stumblin’ abaht in the night,
There’s a call fer yeh on the landline somewhere … Read the rest

I lie unsleeping my mind in the past,
The memories linger of days held fast
of nights when truth seems so easy to see,
as footfalls echo in my memory.

My thoughts are bed sheets folded tight,
Wrapped in each other oyster-tight,
Held deep, writhing, unwilling to pass
on details encased in mind’s palliasse.

Tortuous the effort to find the truth.
Deceptions cloud the memory’s roots,
A passage taken, a door held wide,
Petals in a garden – deception and lies.

Footfalls’ false echoes residing inside
a brain being taken along for the ride,
times past and future both said … Read the rest

My locomotion’s wonky and my Parkinson’s obsessed
I can’t control my right leg when I want to get undressed,
I struggle when it’s morning for my legs are on the fritz
And pins and needles jeer when I fall down and do the splits.
My back is sore, my knees are tight, my belly’s farther out,
My posture’s crook, my shoulder’s hurt, I’m getting rather stout.
Do I complain that yet again I fell and tore my arm
I’m getting rather good at that…but comes an end to harm.

Her friends all call her Rudder ‘cause she steers a steady … Read the rest

Can you picture an early morning when dark and light first meet,
when the sharpened rays of daylight affirm control of the street,
when the dying tendrils of nightfall submit to the forces of day,
and surrender their last bastion and regroup to rejoin the fray.

Can you picture a man sitting quietly on the stairs of a wooden shack
with an old beanie covering his forelock where hair cannot grow back,
and a gap for the teeth he donated to the fist of a waterfront friend?
What joy a mug full of coffee and a whisper of whiskey transcend!… Read the rest

He rode in pursuit of the vixen, his hounds giving vent to their hate,
His grooms in uniform beside him, their horses galloping in state,
A trip by his horse threw him soundly his spine taking the full force,
And the Duke knew his days as a rider and a father were on a new course.

They carried him home on a stretcher, unmoving apart from his eyes
that fixed on his wife who was weeping, and holding his hand at his side,
He ordered the men to leave him on the veranda and spoke to his wife,
She’d need … Read the rest

The air hangs still as if in waiting. In the heavens,
wisps of blood-red cloud above the horizon,
pencil thin yet in their emaciation, troublesome,
authentic harbingers of a scene not right.
On the beaches
where waters ebb and flow with an oiliness of motion.
The sound of the waves muffled,
as though afraid of awakening some menace within
the dim reaches of their birth.
The sun hangs low in dull-red sky, its fierceness
of recent noon time blunted, the very edges of its shadows
unfocused, quivering in day’s remnant heat.
Birds, the least reticent of creatures around here,
are … Read the rest

He appeared an outright sensation,
a wizard to slow-thinking minds,
Like a stimulant releasing frustration
that tradition had cloaked over time
With excuses and reasons for inaction
to stifle new ways to perceive,
He arose, a bright light in the darkness,
the bouquet of wine when it breathes
With the promise a taste of divine-ness,
that lingers like love on a sleeve.
His coming was a comet exploding
pumping vigour through fossilised minds,
sweeping over the hesitant and cautious
planting seeds that awoke in good time.

The young things flocked to his banner,
Slight thinkers attracted to light,
Fooled by … Read the rest

He is no longer with us, he has passed beyond our powers
His soft, firm voice will not be heard in places we call ours,
He brooked no fuss when times were tough but with a simple smile
Ignored his pain as beneath disdain joined us for another while.
We shall not seek in the shadows for the friend who’s passed away,
We shall not walk the darkened streets where gloomy thoughts hold sway,
We’ll remember him for his quiet grin and the warmth of his gentle laugh,
As he told his tales of the land of his birth and … Read the rest

Crisp, harsh, the morning summer sun,
leaves of our tree
making fractals of its light;
heat seeping in to awaken,
to arouse, to release, to cherish.
Wet, a smell of salt,
our hair
engaged with sand; a murmuring
as waves wash our feet,
never ceasing, subdued now.

This is where we met, went together
each Saturday at sunset; slept together, the tent buffeted
from without and, I remember,
from within.
Passion spent, we watched the sun rise, its light
casting fractals through the leaves.
A place of sanctuary; lost in the arms
of a loved one, to explore
your naked … Read the rest

When the clouds move in and the rain tumbles down,
I think of my mum in her old dressing gown,
Watching the rain forming puddles in the path
and creating strange patterns in the window glass
of the garden shed marking memories of the past.

When Mum sees the shed with a vacant stare,
We know she’s remembering a girl not there,
Tales have been told about our sister and friends
Tales that get twisted, that never seem to end,
A tale I will tell…there the matter will end.

One Spring when the garden was looking its best,
and Mum … Read the rest

Water from last night’s storm chokes the gutters, rushing
like panic-stricken bulls at a Spanish event.
I’m sitting undisturbed, alone,
on my back steps in the dim light of a Brisbane dawn.
I glance around my garden.

My mind slips from one disembodied bush
to the next, like pale ghosts from a Henry Lawson
morning they stand, not registering on my booze-laden synapses.
I should know these fellows. My mind is not up to it.
I’m not good company, stuporous in fact.

My mouth is a gasping fish, and a yawn
recreates my face. A crushing pain behind my eyes … Read the rest

47 runs on the board, drag out all the drums and bells,
Let’s celebrate this mighty feat on hilltops and in dells,
Near thirty years to take the plunge and marry that young man
Another seventeen to wonder how the hell this life began.

Work and play, and kids to raise, her heart is throbbing sweetly
With uniforms and dancing comps and maths tuition weekly,
Her husband’s current’s arcing volts, he shows no sign of shorting
To default on mortgage payments would simply not be sporting.

But 47 years from now with walking stick and brolly,
With eyesight dim and … Read the rest

In winter when bleak nights are cold and frost embalms the place,
When all things brace against the snow and face the winds’ swift pace,
These winter winds are fierce at times and blow ferociously
through mountain passes, hills and flats, until they reach the tree.

The old Blue-gum has stood in place as long as I recall,
Its stolid roots have held the line though trees around it fall.
When gales ramp up their angry blasts with cruel ferocity,
The tree withstands the winds’ fierce bursts with real tenacity.

Midsummer’s unrelenting heat bears down upon the town,
The Blue-gum … Read the rest

I love to watch the shadows fall as cast by the sun,
Their dancing on a sunbeam is sinuously spun,
Silhouette or outline, full details or none,
Captivating moments obeying orders from the sun
I love to watch the shadows cast by the sun.

I love to look for footprints embedded in the sand,
Were they left to titillate with secrets we’d understand?
Or perhaps to tell the nation that nuclear war’s begun;
Or simply fall unnoticed by friends just having fun,
Traces carelessly laid down and captured by the sun.

I love to watch the shadows as I tidy … Read the rest

Dressed to the nines in its foliage of green
Sprightly, straight-stalked, keen to be seen,
Flaunting the glory of its capsicum flower,
Today is its story, its finest hour.

Safe in his nest in a tree nearby,
Relishing the sounds of eager passersby,
A possum rests, feeling safe from his foes,
Waking to shuffle-off his daylight repose.

Tidying the lounge-room preparing for bed,
Thinking of the capsicum down near the shed,
Drinking in the night air, plundering its chest
The garden, its nutrients, are shared with the best.

But a hungry possum is out on the prowl
Ignoring as friendly … Read the rest

Good morning to you, Mr Wagtail,
In your military black and white.
Hello to you, Willie Wagtail,
You’re a very impressive sight.

Why did your Mum call you ‘Willie’?
It’s an excellent name I am sure,
She could have said ‘Roger’ or ‘Billy’,
Both of those names will endure.

Why did she settle on Willie?
Because you’re a manly chap,
Romantic in lace from Chantilly
French pouring out of your trap.

Why did she call you Willie?
It’s puzzling me, you know.
Should you want to dally and dilly
Your dress brings the girls and so,

Why did your Mum … Read the rest

Please come to me in springtime when breezes dance in the sun
When flowers follow their leader in frolicking one by one,
When trees uplift their branches to welcome the sprite of life
and dance in celebration, to receive the warming light.

When humid heat descends on us and drives us to the shade,
When sticky bodies glow with sweat, it’s beer or lemonade,
When sleeping is a challenge, and we throw sheets from the bed,
Recall the days of springtime and in gladness raise our heads.

Goodbye! Goodbye! To dreariness, to cooling autumn rain,
Farewell to misted gullies I … Read the rest

The lioness yawns with gaping jaws, her teeth
blunted and decayed, no longer a tearer of flesh.
Her leg muscles liken to an overgrown kitten that has lost
the urge to play – fatigue lies in the line of her body
in place of stamina.
She descends from the rocks on which she has lain for
more hours than she can measure. Time has no meaning here,
her home a net of confinement, boredom a requirement.
She sniffs her prison and tests her fangs on the wire. She grunts
And slumps. There’s no hope here.
Her gaze at those who … Read the rest