Letter to the Gardener

I walked twice past the planter boxes

Fresh and flourishing with their fully grown follies

Of robust mandevillea and thriving salvia

Until I plucked a cutting from the Unknown

Plant its green of pondlike depth drawing

My gaze to a tough opaqueness, leaves

A crimson red damask olive, pink small fish

Buds brimming to the surface.

thank you, anonymous Gardener, for your imagination

Transplanting a refugee from the bush perhaps

To this cityscape stretch.

May I ask  you, most sincerely, to name

My brave traveller, who, though wilted

I will will to grow, in soil now, at home




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If this were life, we would

Soar above the clouds

In a rhythm of eternal

Optimism bird-like,

Our view of time

Measured by

Plant, soil, worm, rain

Our seasons by secateur,

Water, bud and surely song

A sequitur; Einstein

In the garden, One, Two,

Three, Four, Five, Six


Semi-tones hidden

Between skylark and dactyl.

We would fill the spaces

With delight, pottering;

Twelve-part variations

To life then, salud



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Pigeon Sill

So quiet, I almost missed

Their silhouettes on the sill

Two pigeon perfect poses

Side by side and sideways turned

The other way, each

The other’s perfect twin.

I paused to hold the moment

In its contemplative calm

When no feather ruffled

The comfort of the other.






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Ode to Coffee Grinds

You cherry-red bean of history

Carrying trade across the globe,

Wrapped in the untold stories

Of ancient soils and mould.

Stone and leaf, plant and seed

Aroma drove the boats to shore,

Labour worked the lands

Culture clamoured for more…

I, mere mortal, your humble warden

Now take your grinds and hand

Them back.  Only my compost grows

Rich, your sacrifice, a garden.




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Blue Ginger

My first breathe of nature for the day, blue

Ginger, made luminous by grey autumn’s

Tentative footsteps into the greenest of summers.

How the day had disappeared into a colourless undefined nothing


Except the waiting, and then the sighting:

A rare moment contemplating the exotic

The defining simplicity of the possible cradled

In the brilliant florets of boldness, a glimpse of life made botanic



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A Walk in the Park

Just a simple walk

Loafing in the park

Me and my umbrella

Darwin-bound. Tropic

Of lunchtime, bird

Of the bush, canna-

Lily flower and marigold

Flush, pretence for a while

Round a puddle of pond

Then back to the box

And another round.




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my palette, paled under

the false light of obfuscation,

a bureaucrat’s penstroke

of directives. Colour it

the sunset cocktail

western reflections flitting

between skyscrapers and clouds

so that the east shone a hue

of Blakean presence


such tiger-orange clouds

that grasped reality

I could not wait for words

I snapped

I reached for the ubiquitous

phone and snapped, I snapped

just to add colour. Amid the traffic

how I could roar, roar away

the work day





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A gnarling rain today filling my view.

I stare at this scholarly tree

Stretched and sinewed, splendid really.

A goth of a Moreton Bay

Whose protest is to grow centuries, 

Become learned, old, aged, magnificent

Despite the economic rationalisation

Of university life, not of buildings just

Grounds, the humanities and me. Whose space?

Who the usurpers and who the occupiers?

I, just a worker, choose

My resistance with care: I walk

Through glass into rain, tree and air




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Bird Talk

All day they ignored

The figure below it seemed

Though the cadence of song

Swept me along

In their conversation:

Keep the mulch surface of leaves

Turned for a worm feast

The elder of the flock advised,

Let the soil freshen with the cooling

Air. Junior thought to come so close

That bird-like I prepared to dart

My heart-dance flapping in anticipation

Of flight. Trusted instead, 

Mapped into the land

As potterer or friend,

A blissful oblivion descends

Easeful nature at play.


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Saturday Flurry


Kept me on the hop

The clouds teasing rain

The garden needing water.

Such self-containment.


In the pace of the day

I forgot to rest

As the birds,

Their kingdom



Played in the canopies

Of tree-shade

Labour over for the day.



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