Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The photo is of a cemetery in Comillas in Spain; the poem about a night of poetry at The Gods in Canberra.

gods dp218

the gods we make of ourselves are a door
into the social psyche so many mourn the loss
of gods the goddess of dawn to greet the day
or god in a butterfly teaching metamorphosis
even Camus whose name sounds like a perfect
Sanskrit plural threw away that possibility
in the suburbs men worship the god of lawns
only on a Sunday others follow the dogs paws
while Eve rages against eternal damnation
and gives no gods pause no wings to words
instead psyche is let loose in the city with her
accomplice angel to grace the pages of poetry
books dwelling on death searching for the
ultimate definition of god whether by deception
or by grace only to find that the local gods
have changed their names to Tony and Judy

Sunday, February 14, 2010

cows and calves

I was in Udaipur a few weeks ago - a beautiful city - and this mother and daughter pair looked as though they were engaging in one of those deep conversations that happen between mothers and daughters. I grew up with cows and calves but in India I have seen a greater range of behaviours than I ever saw on the farm. I suspect it has to do with group behaviours. When I was a child, if I was with the cows then it was because we were moving them from one place to another. They didn't have the chance to sit around having deep and meaningfuls when we turned up.

what cows and calves say

thunder bolting at high speed
rolls across the corral
shaking it from root to roof
lightning takes off at even
greater speed and the rain comes
trundling after some calves
are fast like bullets others slow
like cycads watching waiting for
everything to pass them by
high speed or low we speak of memories
of the ways our mothers lived their
lives small garden-sized ambitions
revolving around not losing
what is in your mouth under the straw
or expansive ambitious sometimes
cruelly controlling the storm
is backing off just as our mothers
have and we rebellious youngsters
troublemakers unteachable bodytappers
make our own worlds achieving
well-beyond what was imagined we
sometimes whisper in that teenage tone
look what I’ve done

Monday, February 1, 2010

Delhi cows

When we arrived, the brown cow in this image was resting between the bicycles. It looked to me as though these three had had a day out on the town.

Queenie goes shopping

I woke this morning with a need
time for some shopping
I turned to my two best friends and said
come on girls let’s have an outing
the streets were full of fog
so full of fog we had to walk in single file
nose to tail nose to tail

when I walked into the supermarket
they couldn’t believe their luck
I could see it milk and butter on the hoof
it was a different story in the china shop
they wanted me to back out
but I needed to turn a full circle
a great panic all about nothing

and so we mooched about outdoors
we wandered behind the vegetable stalls
picked up some goodies on the way
I sat down near the bicycle rack
for a bit of a break
it would be a long walk home
between the jostling cars and tuktuks