I am nothing but myself without you.
You are the key to every lock I own.
To say you are my everything is true.
Without you I am never more alone.
You are my Spring, you are my Autumn-flush.
Without you I’m a Winter-plot unkempt.
You are my Summer – every flower’s blush.
Without you I’m a year that wasn’t dreamt.
You are my awakening; my morning would
be nothing but the softest dew at dawn.
You are my sketch, that pictures me as good.
Without you I’m an image never drawn.
. You are the life in every day I live
. You are the gift in every thing I give.
To the reader: Love is an ingredient that confirms completeness, enriches purpose and satisfies our intimate desires. We nurture partnerships through love’s tenderness; it’s love that cares about a broken heart, it’s love that freshens an exhausted soul, it’s love that brings joy to adult affairs. Love’s generous abundance is in endless reserve; love replenishes love; love’s gift is love.
To the poet: The first quatrain is tentative, the second a bit soppy; and the third, hopeful of a climax. The final couplet provides the post-literal summary. When ‘love’ becomes an object of attention it resists exposure; love is shy and reserved in nature. Love is rarely captured without damage. Like a butterfly… most beautiful in flight.
A dispossessed poet has no address.
Vagrant wordsmith finds himself lost for words.
Sunday morning solitude. More or less
a Waste Land. Quarters apportioned in thirds;
fractional allotments… absurdities.
Occupied tables, multiples of six,
or four, or two. Disputed territories.
Unilateral remedies, far from fix
an awkward treaty. Spaces between lines
become expansive; attract attention.
Diplomatic remedy realigns
position; puts possessed in contention.
. A poet in the margins, far from lost,
. far from desolate; has his words embossed.
To the reader: Rhyme-inducing comfort zones are hard to find, and even harder to keep; context is everything. For years, I’ve sampled cafe cuisines in pursuit of an ideal writing ambiance. For the most part, a hotel’s ‘breakfast room’ seems optimal. As a large enterprise, hotels usually offer an affordable option of ‘tea and toast’. With passing trade, the regular change of clientele constructs an interesting sense of community; notable but not obvious.
To the poet: If you’re outwardly observant and inwardly conscious the creative mind looks after the assembly of a poem. Once the mind is located and in-flow with the general gist of a theme it will mix and match its contribution of frames and reference points. That’s all very well, and easier said than done; practice and discipline are critical components of the process – and that presumes a conducive space to write. Conducive means interesting but non-distractive.
Today’s business awaits my attention.
A loose assemblage of things still to do.
An assortment that hangs in suspension;
At the precipice of ‘now’ … fallen due.
Unfinished jobs have no place on the shelf.
And so, to that list; that drop-box of chores:
bullet-pointed messages; notes to self;
reminders that only a fool ignores.
And so, to that list of missed appointments:
that stalled project; that interrupted task;
to all that, that is yet to commence.
To that pending pile: “be patient” I ask!
. All in good time, each matter’s attended.
. It’s at that point, the file is suspended.
To the reader: Two weeks after retiring, I started my next job. The plan was to down-size expectation and workload; get things back to a manageable perspective. To some extent that was the reality but the fundamentals of paper warfare move from job-to-job and desk-to-desk. Projects are the enemy of state. They form the territory upon which office activities spiral out of control in the name productivity. Projects – front-line battles that draw upon scarce resources and redirect energies towards hot-spots of disputed service.
To the poet: As a single-minded sonneteer, I manage my own poetry project – an anthology of sorts. As far as I know “One More Sonnet” has no project-plan; nothing to coordinate its resources and deliver its services. With hindsight, I could back-engineer a plausible plan that makes what I’ve done look organised; but in fact, the whole project grows like topsy. From one idea to the next I lunge and lurch … help wanted; must be good with pen and caper!
With my attention divided, I sit…
Pen, poised above the page in readiness;
hopeful of a script that would see it fit
the purpose of a quill; and so, impress
its thoughts upon a blank page. It hovers
above the line with nothing yet to write;
the grip of an unsteady hand bothers
the nib; uncertainty – in pensive flight.
In anticipation it contemplates
the possibility of nothingness;
a void in the universe that equates
to unwritten principles – more or less.
. True to word: a pen without instruction,
. finds absurd the point of its production.
To the reader: The physical translation of my poetic thoughts onto paper is through a pen; obviously, a free-flowing versatile pen is preferred. It needs to be an ergonomic pen that sits comfortably in my hand; happy to be twiddled, over-worked and under-paid! All the better, if that pen is well-weighted; designed to manoeuvre and embellish as it imprints letter onto line.
To the poet: Those fancy ostentatious pens that ooze with opulence are far too pretentious to be of any use in drafting. I’ve given them a try. Their notable features demand attention; they want to finish with a flourish and leave indelible marks. Signature pens are dressed for occasion; singular in purpose, unready for sustained action. As a medium, the perfect pen must neither interrupt nor distract from the creative process.
Both sides of me – glass. Across the street – glass.
A township’s reflection in silicate.
I watch a car, I see it three times pass.
Gleditsia – a sunburst in triplicate.
Waitress serves coffee, delivers it thrice.
A school bus on route to three destinations.
Thread of pedestrians – a three-way splice.
Parked vans in parallel situations.
An over-weight figure stretches and shrinks.
From the pavement’s perspective, three lines switch.
A chain of clients making awkward links.
Three panels of distortion – a triptych.
. The arcade – a see-through kaleidoscope.
. A visual illusion of words in trope.
To the reader: Taree is a small town on the central coast of eastern Australia. Over three mornings, I found myself in a coffee-spot, positioned in a neat and tidy arcade, overlooking a sleepy main-street. With glass all about me, I peered out from within my squared-off telescope and captured a kaleidoscope of reflections; as the town began its business: in country towns the streets are wide, with rows of trees on either side.
To the poet: As a stranger in town, you are invisible on the first and second day. By day-three, however, your regular habits have been revealed and noted by the observant local. The guy behind the counter knows your coffee-preference, the waitress works around your table-setting of books and pens. There’s a polite expectation, not quite an obligation, that you explain your purpose. Towns, just like people, are a little suspicious of strangers with pad and paper.
Containment lines are none the worse for wear.
Tide has turned and she was not washed to sea.
Save for watermarks, she’s all in good repair.
With the swell came contentment’s remedy.
At tide’s turning the surge has been subdued.
The rhythmic waves have left her satisfied.
Diminishing ripples resolve her mood.
She savours the last splash while things subside.
There’ll be no rush of outward-tide; no haste.
Embraced in slow-resolve, just as supposed.
She awaits her resolution; slow-paced.
She is reassembled; again composed.
. As would appear, her pleasures come in waves;
. for every pleasure spent, so too she saves.
To the reader: Mostly, her interests are absorbed by daily routine. The satisfaction of orderly progression keeps her occupied; and on the whole content. Once in a while, when momentum allows, she stops to pause; to recalibrate her sense of self. She loosens the fabric of her day. The touch of reconnection is slow and satisfying; emptiness is resolved.
To the poet: Of two minds, I was watching a small row-boat tugging on its rope by the shore; a ripple of waves repeatedly lapped at its sides. Short of giggling, the nicely-shaped boat did what it could to hold its dignity but every now and again, in shear delight, it shuddered with relief as the rhythm of waves washed away it tension. Art is a beautiful thing.