I’ve been thinking about the presidential inauguration and wondering if I might be able to work a neat pun into this post. Something based on the prefix in being combined with the root augur – that the inaugural can’t augur well.

But that seems a little contrived, so let’s move swiftly on and talk about poetry.

The last two inauguration ceremonies – and, frankly, the only two I’ve really paid much attention to, presumably because of the live reporting via the internet – have both included poets reading their work; but it turns out poems have featured in only five presidential inaugurations.
Continue reading “auguries”

Night visitors

Now that summer is here, we tend to keep the house closed up all day, to keep the sun out. After dark, though, I like to open the windows wide to let the cool air circulate. That means I am a lot more aware of the noises of the different animals during the night.

cats on the verandah
When we used to feed the cats on the verandah, the food trays would occasionally be left out overnight. They were always empty in the morning.

I came across this old draft in my notebook the other day. I should probably add it to my pile of ‘drafts to be dealt with’ as I’m interested in how the repetition works although I’m not particularly happy with the line breaks. I wonder if they succeed in helping the reader to the sort of short, heavily-paused phrasing that I had in mind.
Continue reading “Night visitors”

eternal questions

I have been struggling with line breaks in my poetry for years. Even so, I am a bit taken aback by a friend’s email promising me a copy of a text “which should definitively answer the question of ‘Why did you put the […] line break there!?'”

In my last post (on the present poetic) and in follow up comments, I have been pondering some of the reasons behind choosing to write in the present tense (a subject I intend to revisit soon).

In other posts about first-person narrators I have considered the question of the writer/narrator dichotomy and why I so often write in the first person if I am not writing about myself.
Continue reading “eternal questions”


Two fragments from old poems written about the same time, and clearly written at this time of year:


From The language of flowers:

[…] Shocking pink
petunias shout aloud,
while pompom marigolds,
in shades of summer, shine
like a myriad cartoon suns.

From In due season:

The hennaed heads of marigolds
rubberneck from roundabouts
and corporation window boxes shout
with yellow pansies.

world poetry day

I have been reminded that today is World Poetry Day – “a time to appreciate and support poets and poetry around the world.” Someone even went so far as to wish me a “happy” day, which seemed rather out of place as I’m never very creative when I’m happy.

Ah well, I really should post a poem, I suppose. But not having been very creative recently, it’ll have to be an old one.
Continue reading “world poetry day”

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