flowering, floundering

My spanish shawl flowers even as the cherry

reminds me that surviving takes more than

bread and water. Tiny petals spread across

the soil like a cure and indeed rain falls

and microscopic drops slurp into veins

so that all growth takes the shape of life.

Except a weeping cherry, floundering


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dear shawl, you perked up with rain

the water reviving your veins.

I arrive, you argue and resist the passage

to transfuse, and so our mime-messages

begin with me trying to understand what is is

you plead. More than anything, it was to live

dear shawl, this I knew. I know now how we care.

we nurture the weak with water, shade; despite despair


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Snow Blizzard

Somewhere the snow blows all sound away

Except for footsteps crunching deep in layer

Upon layer of fresh crumbled blizzard storm.


But this was years ago in a train climbing the Alps

That I grew tired of the glare, the whiteness spread

Over every surface, the soundlessness of nature


Or so it seemed. I imagine greeness grows like snow

Across the garden wall. I plant my spanish shawl

Again to cover space and time, fresh scrunching


As the chorister and I trod leaves underfoot

Each autumn, talking chatter of insects crossing

Borders, ridges, stories even, the ones we write


To fill the gaps of memory even as it all starts

To grow sense, to broaden far wider than Alps

Or even the garden fence. I drink snow today.


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Meandering rosy among meadow

White yarrow grow merry along the bank

Where two currawong peer down on the patch

At me seeding rue in the shadow of tree.

Four spreading shawls, so buoyant and strong

Meander rosy at last among meadow

Settling down stream a river long

Wrought pink with dawn’s fine tracery.




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in which a spanish shawl flowers

in a garden of lushness

in plenitude and abundance

deep pink settles in the arms

of the greenest of leaves

in the heart of a garden

in the heart of my heart

where blood beats again

on the eve of your birth.


twenty months.

all this long time

after your departure

our spanish shawl spread

waited, gestated

until I had rested,

to return and flower

in remembrance of tomorrow



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in which I realise how to grow spanish shawl

The pram rocked with the child’s cries

To the blue sky above, to the migrating birds

Who flew past the little blob wailing and

Calling like a romulus into the empty

Suburban quiet. The absences grew


A  groundcover spreading over space,

Grew a garden around the lament

Grew music in every blank spot,

Made a language of replenishment.

We suffused the silence with reassuring


Nonsense seeping warmth into dark nooks

Blood ran through roots

Requiring watering, daily, to keep alive.

I tried to be your spanish shawl

Wrapped you up warm, carried you


Sat, laughed, chattered, cajoled

You so that you thought I would

I could, save you

That day

When you became a child again.


Covering ground is back-breaking

Trailing tendrils set out bravely.

A peopled polis is born to soothe

A howling fear. The sound of a garden

Grows in absentia, struggling to create

Something in the vast expanse of time.



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