Category Archives: Writing

Writing Mantra

This body expects to know
what it wants to know
before it delivers its first blow
to the blank, expectant page.

This body holds fear
it will not know
what it wants, or needs, to say.
Fear, it will be wordless, stilted, confused,

This body expects much.
It does not tolerate
poor quality, low quantity.
It worships perfection
on first attempts.

But, for now,
my body exudes
the impatient anticipation
of an anthropologist
excavating ancient tombs
for the first time.

But, for now,
my body bring compassion
to its well-worn fear. Kindness,
to its lofty expectations.
Openness, to its teachings.

But, for now,
my body radiates desire
for imperfection
and messy first drafts.
Listening and waiting,
for words to imprint
in spaces void of judgement.

Truth telling

Places and spaces
call forth
the art of truth telling,
once resisted
in favour of silence keeping,
in favour of
falling down
and curling up
under a hard shell
of resentment,
in favour of keeping
stum and keeping
and keeping a lid
firmly closed
on all that glitters.
No cracks to let the light in.

Places and spaces
offer up openings,
beckoning one at a time
with arms outstretched,
they make
no promises of survival,
say it, say it, say it
they chant
no care for outcomes,
only that you live
in truth with yourself,
only that you risk
that which is worth risking,
your heart, your soul, your words.

Places and spaces,
where words demand,
that you allow them
to rise up and
spill over
the edge,
into that
wide open abyss
where you can’t yet see
how they will be caught,
and you can’t yet hear
the soft thump
of their landing,
and you can’t yet know
the poems they will make
or the tears that will fall
or the love you will feel,
beyond the thunder
of your beating, bleeding heart,
as slowly, purposefully, painfully,
syllable by syllable
word by word,
you follow the geese,
the tortoise, the godwits
and all of those who have
gone before,
and begin the long,
and necessary,
towards home.

Post-modern nausea

Bamboozled by some claims
of post-modernism, where doubt
seeps in under every doorway.
We take nothing for granted,
no knowledge is truth,
simplicity is mired in complexity,
the complex oh so simple.

The residence of the I is many,
in here, out there, in between,
multiple selves, true self, false self,
one world, no self.
Illusions, fantasies, defenses.
Us and them, I and thou, me and you,
all one.

My seeing is partial
My knowing is momentary
My holding on is tenuous
as each truth gradually, slowly
succumbs to the next,
merging like earth and water
into mud.

Existentialism, spiritualism, economics.
Therapy, religion, materialism.
Poetry, literature, family.
Love, intellect, presence.
The way is rocky, hazardous,
the air is murky and grey,
it is difficult to see beyond
where I am, beyond this obsession
with I, with its incessant demands for
coherence, consistency, certainty,
and freedom.

My stomach is nauseous
from throwing up its contents
I cannot digest
this choosing, or not, of one.


Together in a silence
that holds a worry
about the absence of talk,
that holds a preference
in difference to the prevailing
not always companionable.
At times it shrieks
inside my head, giving orders
I cannot obey.
Silence is golden
talk is cheap.
Solitude and writing have become
my conversationalists,
is anything lost,
or gained for those we guide,
for those we love,
when words are sparse
and silence holds us all?

Love’s residence

If I trusted
If I was free
If I was in a dream
If I was telling another
how to live their life
(not that I would)
I would say fly
I would say
follow your bliss
follow your heart,
listen to your love.
I would whisper
we never know
how long we’ve got
do it now before
that thief called regret
settles into your heart
to steal your thoughts
and words, before
‘I wish we had of’ and
‘I wonder what might have been’
your daily mantra.

But what if I’m wrong?
What if I’m looking
for bliss
in the wrong places?
What if it resides
right where I am?
In the thick trunk
of the old oak,
in the flying high
of the girl on the swing,
in the frisbee
floating in midair,
caught between laughter.
What if love’s already here, and
I’m only looking
into my blindspot?

I want to write about you

I want to write about you
so I don’t forget you.

I want to remember the grains of our shared life 
before the tide washes over them 

and I can no longer hold them in my hand
or hear them in my heart.

I want to speak about 
something, anything, that 

brings you nearer,
back to life, maybe.

Even the times you hurt me
in ways big brothers do,
like the time you told me

to stick the knife in the toaster,
when it was on, and I obeyed,
in ways little sisters do.

Or the time you shot me
with paper bullets from an air rifle,

you wondered if they would work,
my bruise, the colour of rain clouds,
satisfied your curiosity.

Or the way you recognized an ally
in me, the first time 
your heart was broken.

I want to hold these pieces of us,
and a thousand more,

in a sacred place 
so that your dying, so that
us never speaking of them again –

of growing up as only we did, 
doesn’t mean it never was, or
that we never were.


Dark, no place for shadows
Quiet, snow falls upon itself
Evasive light
Empty sound
Silence fills me up
I breathe it in
And breathe it out
Ah, bliss