Election Trucks

The candidates little trucks are
rigged with canopies and loud speakers
with flashing neon Korean slogans.

Cramped under truck canopies
go-go girls in skimpy uniforms
dance in unison
to strident election jingles.

As late night shoppers swarm at
busy intersections waiting for
the pedestrians’ buzzers,
these jangling singing dancing trucks
hurtle along under brilliant street lights.

They careen uphill and down
through residential streets
past apartment blocks,
blasting forth their cartoon rhymes
that deafen late night neighbourhoods.

These local politics commercials
pound out ears
with their metallic uproar
concussing our brains.

How will the voters
disentangle the raucous strands
from the city air
to choose their candidates ?

Election Trucks

Weeping Willow

Gusting wind stirs
the supple muscular boughs of
willow’s giant torso

tossing flowing waves
of long lush leafy tresses
rippling sliver green.


Mossy trunked willow
towers high in his garden
planted in early
city days. Urban dwellers
knew nothing of willow roots

seeking streams to slake
continual thirst lifting
backyards paths driveways
sucking up water lavished
on vegetables, flowers, lawns.

Weeping Willow

Sweet Peas

Heavily scented warm
summer air draws in
buzzing bees eagerly
seeking precious nectar.

Sweet peas swarm up
netting on the old shed wall
a perfumed rainbow
tapestry of many hues.

Pale pastels to bright
reds, purples, pinks,
blues and lilacs paint a
masterpiece on old timbers.

Rich pickings for the
school children’s flower show.

Sweet Peas

The Temple

The temple’s stone stele
carries Buddha’s tall legend
in black Korean characters.

Bright rows of paper lanterns
line tiered balustrades
on all sides of the temple.

Red, pink, orange azaleas
blaze colour down
the temple’s rocky bank.

Water bubbles form a bamboo stem
down a little bamboo trough
into a tiny pond.

Tall painted pictures of Buddha’s life
emblazon the end walls
of his newly built house.

Lines of forested hills
stretch up beyond the tiled roof
of the painted wooden temple.

The temple crowns
its suburban streets
running down to the harbour.

Originally posted 23 December 2015.

Continuing re-posts from my early days on WordPress when my views, likes and follows were still in single digits.


The Temple


Blue and green iridescence
shimmer off the tui’s dark
feathers in the morning sun
the little love knot of curling,
white feathers at his throat
completes his sartorial elegance
a simple fashion statement
for the autocratic parson bird.

From the kowhai tree’s summit
ablaze with golden flowers
his raucous shrieks warn
lowly blackbirds and thrushes
to vacate his territory.
His swooping attacks spur
them to flee – his sharp
nectar sucking beak pecks
vicious wounds in birds
unwise enough to stay.

One little tui he allows to
remain. Her feathers too have
the shimmering iridescence,  the
little white love knot at her
throat. Now the regal tui
sings to her a love song of
purest warbling notes, clear  high
trilling in a liquid flow that
fills the suburban garden. She
flits through the branches of
his tree, enjoying golden kowhai
nectar under his protective eye
in the glowing morning sunlight.


Green Finches Crimson Bottlebrush

Watching the supple bottlebrush
stems with their crimson flowers
swirl wildly outside the living
room window, swishing, flicking,
swaying on a windless day, I
puzzle at the frenetic movements
of these stems clad densely in sleeves
of single hard sharp leaves.

Two green finches, matching
the green spiky foliage  flit
into view, grasp the stems
beside the crimson flowers so
loaded with the nectar they love.
They grip tightly as they feast
reaching sideways to one flower
then hanging upside down to
gorge on the flower below.. They
chirp shrilly to each other in
the excitement of exploring the
bush for its food, climbing from
stem to stem, bloom to bloom,
bringing the bush alive as they
devour its bounty.

Green Finches Crimson Bottlebrush

Drum Roll

The giant drum head
stands tall in the vast chamber
in the heart of the temple.
Grey robed priests
chant to Buddha
on his May Day Birthday.

The senior priest
grasps the mighty beater
with outstretched arms.
In graceful dance
he sweeps it around
the vast drum skin
in swinging arcs,
raising and lowering notes
to sound out their hymn
to Buddha on his birthday.

The sea of cross
legged worshippers
on their tiny cushions
fill the vast room
around the drum,
silent, still,
in contemplative state
absorbing the rhythms
of the song to to Buddha
on his birthday.

The priest sweeps
the beater around
the drum head
in the final coda.
He mops his bald head.
The worshippers come out of
their collective trance,
applaud the man
who caused the drum
to sing to Buddha
on his birthday.

Originally posted on 20 December 2015.

Drum Roll

No Man’s Land

In the sodden mud
of no man’s land
a man is lashed to
a six foot post driven
deep into the soil.
Rope binds his knees
and ankles to the post,
manacles grip his wrists
back behind the post,
his head and shoulders
brace back against it.

Modern day crucifixion.

Field punishment number 1.

Acrid smoke of
artillery fire drifts
beneath lowering clouds,
sniper shots ring out,
a bag of flesh
and bones sags





In World War I conscientious objectors were taken
to the western front and roped to posts for up to 
four hours at a time between battle lines:

field punishment number 1.

No Man’s Land

For The Sake Of Art

He fulfilled himself in painting
throughout his education.

At his graduating class’  final
exhibition his tall canvases
stood out each portraying
dark eyed human shapes
before individually blended
dark background hues.

Some paintings he could not
let go.  Other paintings did not
resonate with those spending
money on art works.

Mundane employment
supplied his needs but
drained his time, his energy.

Unconnected in his community
he travelled far to a distant
community where like minded
souls lived a fine tuned daily
routine within high walls.

As his money ended her returned
home to his mundane employment.

He still yearns for a world that
supports artists creating art.

For The Sake Of Art

Shallow Pools

Three fish
backs leaden grey;
faces, bellies dead white.
fish eyes bulging sideways:
three fish flop their tails
in the bowl’s clear water
frothing from a plastic hose.

Four red bowls
encase fishy prisoners.
Eels weave through each other
around their bowl.
One huge octopus cramps
in his bowl while tiny octopi
in their bowl
tangle suckered tentacles.

In smaller bowls cluster baby clams,
crammed crabs writhe entwined legs.
Ragged edged slugs
lie rock still, submerged.

Sea shore dwellers lie trapped
in these bowls
on Korean city streets,
sold to city workers
who no longer gather
their dinner where
the sea laps at
pools it gouged
from ancient rocks.

Originally posted 18 December 2015.

Shallow Pools