Possum and I

Night-raider. In the quiet

I hear the pots toss over

Followed swiftly by silence

Two glassy eyes watchful, alert

Startled fear, haunched quiver,

Other predators are around

And I am one. I resent

Your blitzing raids

Devouring my bouganvillea

With such relish that surely

You have had enough.

I know I have. How do

We live together?

I have put up netting

Resorting to trickery

To banish you from

My little plot.

Such territoriality

Such claim upon the land

From us both



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Bee talk

We start again

As if the world

Were new, nature turning

Out great abundance

For our care.

You talk about

Pollination, how

Bees must return

To garner nectar

For our meadowpatch

This wind is not enough.

You ask me to create a tray

With coloured marbles

Glistening in water

To quench their thirst

So that they hover and delve

Turning nature abundant.

I’ll do anything for

Bee talk. I’ll find our

Box of marbles for you

Feel their cool weight

Inside my palm

Turn them

In our fingers

Watching coloured stripes

Spin with a kaleidoscope

Of germinating possibility.

I’ll set up watch

For the bees’ return.


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Cypresses VIII, Wind Day

Cypresses doing the sway dance this time

Light comes bouncing through the waving

Gaping branches to reveal nests woven into

Homes. My bird friends fold their wings

In restful reverie, rocked to slumber though

Wind shocks the day and sends me in.

I observe solid trunks punch the air

The sky accumulating great spasms of grey

Orange sun-dust scattering over roof-tops,

I hear huge gasps, the guttural roar of elemental




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Plover and I

Up and down the gutter

Plover trots like a little penguin

Strutting importantly to the tune

Of a poem, pecking at imaginary

Words nesting on the rooftop

Waiting to fly. We stare at each other

Plover and I, across the divide

High above the garden, your

False nest my gestating metaphor

For a brooding line’s distraction.


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Yesterday, Purple Coral

Table fresh, the white pea

coral shone like ricotta

sponge full of plumpness

raisins soaked in spirits.


I celebrate yesterday’s

day of smiles (though

Bertha, a birthday carving

stood stolidly unmoved)


when a purple vine-heart

entwined with mine… Oh

Happy rambler, clambering

over the reef and far away


years from yesterday

(the wooden object

too sorrowful for my hardenbergia.

I remember she did not smile


my grandmother Bertha who opened

her windows to the sun)



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Violets, Snapdragons, Roses and Poppies, even Irises

The day became flowers, unexpectedly

Popping in as reminders of reality

Amid dysfunctional change management-speak

(intruding into a poem, apologies my readers)

Violets, Violets, how you grow

Such minute minatures from just a leaf…

Leafing, you could create

A book of leaves to page through

Enthralled by small frons curling underneath

Rugged up against the winter wind

Which gestures wildly to come in.

No, to another flurry of meetings

The sun is basking, and a bunch

Of stately irises appears, rising elegantly

Above the paper, asserting a history, a

Providence: I beckon, read between

The lines. I do. Purple-blue, the colour

Of Violets too. The vase was a suprise

Snapdragons, Roses, Poppies, Poppies

Cupped, so delicately poised and still

Opening to a leaf-year, from now

To then, whenever that might

Be. Violet-Song, Snapdragon-Rose

Iris-Poppies, a different agenda.


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Gingkos and Camellias

Yeats spread his words

Around my life

And left lines

That ring of truths

Of time and place,

Today found lingering

In the leaf cloths

Of Hiroshima, gilded

Ginko, survivor,

And mexican pink



So deep, your feet sunk

Low in light

And dreams grew bold

Of liberty and freedom

Cultivars that might



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Music and the Nutmeg Bush

The past is music country

For me, travelling from some

Solid ground where the nutmeg

Bush grows its fluffy snow

In June, a birth-month.


(The kid with the hose singing

Watching one sibling running

Away from home while the other

Played dolls and mother played

Rachmaninov’s very hardest)


Find me in music then as I find

Myself drawn to the crisp highveld

Air of memory, I plant

A nutmeg bush for the scent


Of a day when we imagined

Harmony growing inside

A piano, expanding capaciously

Residing in the melody inside.



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