Poems - silly, sensible & soppy!

I fall in love all the time
Just at a glance
I can fall
head over heels
for no reason at all

I fell in love
with my daughter’s doctor
his gentle accent
his delicate words
talking about her
asking about her
the way he carried his tall torso
as he leaned over her
checking her little body
the tubes and wires
her heartbeat
as she lay
healing on the bed

I fell in love
with a friend of a friend
her laughter
her sorrow
as she told of the fire
that destroyed her house
Her hair bounced, shook,
as she swished it out of the way
The distress of the recollection
shattering the smile on her lips

I fell in love with an aunt-to-be
(they never quite made the wedding
before the uncle died of cancer)
At the funeral
her tear-stained eyes
her bittersweet smile
her kind words for everyone else
her honesty, directness, openness
admitting her vulnerability
She warmed herself to me 

I fall in love all the time
Just at a glance
I can fall
head over heels
for no reason at all




Fingering your beads

one day at a time

Each one smooth

silky to the touch

A circle

of life

Round and round they go

like days

in a week

in a month

in a year

Seemingly endless




between your fingers

Each day

like rosary beads

a mindless prayer




what needs to be done


one day

you see the end


The long string

was not endless

after all

and suddenly

you are counting

each day

each bead

as it slips through

your fingers

And your prayer

becomes more meaningful


Each movement


each heartbeat




No longer

the days

weigh heavy

on your neck

but slip away

between your fingers

and tumble to the floor


I am the moon

I am the moon

Waxing and waning

In monthly cycles

Today, shining full, and round, and bright

Yet I shine not my own light

Merely reflecting you

The sun

So strong and bright,

That even in the dark

You light up the sky

Through me.


But who would say


You are not enough of a moon!

You should shine yourself!

You should be like the sun!

You should be more than just a Moon!’?


I am the moon.

Today I am a thin sliver

a fingernail in the sky

Until I disappear, unseen.

Silently there

Until you shine your light on me again


The essence of you

Sometimes I forget
The essence of you
And I get caught up

In the lost shoes

The mislaid jumpers

The solitary jandal
as if they were more important
in my misplaced priorities.

Sometimes I forget
The essence of you
When I see piles of crafty debris
Half-completed projects,
paint pots and staplers
Pages of your spider-writing
Weaving webs about the house
Paper cutouts all over the freshly vacuumed floor
Leaving a trail of destruction
In my organized mind.
Sometimes I forget
The essence of you
When the dust bunnies
under your bed
taunt me and laugh at me
As I discover
discarded underwear
they have been hiding
From my washed out thinking
Sometimes I forget
the essence of you
as I discover
that rattling sound from the drier
was your tooth
you had put in your pocket
when it came out at school
and refused to put
under your pillow
for the tooth fairy
because you “will not sell your body parts”
as I sell my sanity
Sometimes I forget
The essence of you
As your dinner plate tips
Food flops to the floor
In a splodge of spaghetti blob-inaise
And you contritely
use the hand towel
to clean it up
Leaving a greasy shine
on the just-washed lino
A smear on my psyche
Sometimes I forget
the essence of you
When I tuck you up in bed
a quick cuddle, a kiss
My tired body
aching for the couch
numbing TV
and a cup of tea
and you say
in your sleepy voice
“Mummy, I don’t want to do things wrong”
And suddenly
My litany of sins
Washes back over me
And I think of all the items I have lost
The things I have broken
The chaos which commands my cupboards
the virtual warren of dust bunnies
vicariously breeding under my bed
the half-done projects
I have been avoiding in my in-tray
And it’s all I can do
To stop myself saying
‘get used to it, baby’.
Instead I fight back the tears
And try to come up with something profound
That you can take away with you
On your years
“If you don’t make mistakes,
You won’t learn, darling”
“We all stuff up sometimes, sweetie,
it’s part of being human”
or maybe
a clever quote
from Dr Seuss
or Einstein
(Were they maybe
the same person?)
But all I can come up with,
As my heart melts
Is that nothing
is as important
There is nothing
I love more
than finding
strewn about the house
the essence
of you

My brother Johnny died of a brain tumour 5 years ago. Tradegy makes us question life, the universe and everything.

For Johnny
The kahikatea
stand tall and close and strong
like family
against the storms
swaying together in the breezes
cooling in the heat

And even as one
rots from the middle
and gently succumbs
to fall gracefully
from the midst

Even as it falls
it knocks branches
from the others
leaving scars
a hole
in the canopy
through which the sunlight filters
upon a young sapling
allowing it to grow
to full strength


Remembering John

John,     who shares our father’s name and for many years, the same address

John,     who never spoke, withdrawn, surly, silent, rude, to the fury of our father
John,     who called me a “bloody little nuisance” and had no regard for the picture of  a tractor I had drawn him for Christmas
John,     who went to Holland, his first big OE, and came back talking so much we couldn’t shut him up
John,     who married and had 4 children, now all grown up and having children of      their own
John,     who loved his farm and his cows, his tractors and his motorbikes
John,     who once said he’d “sell the bloody lot and move to town” except that he wouldn’t know what to do with himself
John,     who once told me he didn’t know if land would keep increasing in value, but he did know they weren’t making any more of it
John,     who sat and told me stories at a party, after a beer or 2, and laughed and talked
John,     who was told shortly after his 50th birthday (what a party!) that he had a brain tumour
John,     who quietly resigned himself to his fate, saying ‘what else can I do?’
John,     who, when our mother asked what he would like for his 51st birthday, quietly asked for 20 more years please
John,     who I sat with in hospitals and homes, at bedsides, holding his hand, talking, taking him out from those four walls when he could manage it
John,     the stoic farmer, who called a spade a bloody spade
John,     who quietly died on his own one night
John,     who, 10 days later, called our father, with whom he shares a name, and once again, the same address

Its a Dutch tradition to have a birthday calendar in the loo- you know, with no days but birthdays & anniversaries marked on each day so you never forget...

Birthday Calendars

To the friend who forgot my birthday but thinks of me often!

I am quite tickled pink-le
To know that each time you tinkle
You think of me with a twinkle
‘cos my name’s on your loo door

However I worry ‘bout the men folk
Who miss important dates and calendar jokes
As they stand up tall like real blokes
when they deal to nature’s chore

Perhaps a wing mirror on the cistern
Or some other kind of system
Would keep them from awkwardly twistin’
And leaving sprinkles on the floor!

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