💝 Happy New Year – strive to remember the place … 💝


There is a place,

a breathing space between where the neat hedge stops
and the garden next door splays,
where the moss spreads cool and green,
where the stars wink with aged beams,
where the spruce hare relaxes and dreams,
warming her fur in the yellowberry rays.

Let us go from this place where the shrill wind screams
down blackened roads and acrid dead ends,
clear of the coal mines and gravestone heads,
walk steadily forward, ignoring the dread,
and the clothes that are sullied and shred,
in search of that space between garden and hedge.

But the way is blurred and the path overgrown
and the memory of clear weather has strayed,
with time the burnished metal has dulled,
with time the mind needs to be oiled,
with time all the sparks have been culled,
so let’s search for the children to show us the way.


Note: This poem was inspired by Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends.

For my lovely children 💝

Ruby Valley (A Sonnet to a red-light district known as The Valley)


Dark wine-red eyes hypnotise and draw us in.

The rock star strut and shine with noise, entices

us to come now and stay and play within.

Feel the cutting edge, hard rock vibe, devices.


A succulent fare lures  those who travel

to the valley. Dragons with ruby eyes will wait.

Tough, base, reptilian beasts with breath to dazzle

and singe. Razor-sharp claws elate and deflate.


But  desolation swallows ecstasy

when the party slows down  – and stays too long.

Truth waits in the gutter, exposing debris,

cold rock bottom and used sharps to sit on.


His hidden knife stabs John Doe’s thin white skin

and rank, dark guts, spill out – the two worlds spin.


Many have fallen in The Valley

Schopenhauer’s Porcupine Dilemma


Tonight the porcupine shivers in the chill
of this long blue darkness, waiting for dawn

to reach out and warm the flesh
under spines, but bitter cold remains,

and does so for his brothers, equally armed,
a necessary solitude, for the creatures

embrace is a weapon of pain

cold from pain and the pain of cold,
there will be warmth but there will be the sting

of spines that pierce soft flesh,
the dilemma and the dance of life.


Note: Schopenhauer’s Porcupine Dilemma, also known as the Hedgehog Dilemma, ‘originates in the following parable from the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer‘s Parerga und Paralipomena, Volume II, Chapter XXXI, Section 396:[1]

A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another. In the same way the need of society drives the human porcupines together, only to be mutually repelled by the many prickly and disagreeable qualities of their nature. The moderate distance which they at last discover to be the only tolerable condition of intercourse, is the code of politeness and fine manners; and those who transgress it are roughly told—in the English phrase—to keep their distance. By this arrangement the mutual need of warmth is only very moderately satisfied; but then people do not get pricked. A man who has some heat in himself prefers to remain outside, where he will neither prick other people nor get pricked himself.’ (wikipedia)


Insert Cliché Title

photographs and memories

Jim Croce soundtrack
in a leather suitcase –
photographs and memories

do you remember


cameras used film
negatives were stored
photographs were printed
at Indooroopilly Shoppingtown
while we caught up and roamed,


births, deaths, marriages
and aftermaths
were faithfully recorded
on my crappy camera
that I always carried,


everyone thought they had found the one,
then they found the next one
and the next one,


we wore hippy skirts
exotic accessories and footwear,
then moved on to Relax Wham t-shirts
permed hair
and near permanent scowls,


bad hair was everywhere,
our changing styles
matched our way-out friends –
now gone to the dogs
or missing in action,
a few just floated away with the tide …


we were inseparable