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

Black Dog

A lowering dense dark
presence at his shoulder
the black dog billows
above him, around him.
He does not look at
kith and kin, workmates,
friends who share his joys,
fascinations, satisfactions
in life, alongside him.

His deep loneliness needs them
stable, secure around him
to give him the fortification
of their steadfastness.

Bitter anger fills him when
their decisions do not
reference his own life,
his needs and wishes.

How far will he go ?

The farmer who feared for
his children and grandchildren
shot all of them to keep
them safely with him.

The separated father shot
his wife and children
to possess them forever.

How far will this man go ?

Black Dog

Together ? Ness ?

How best to find our
innermost human selves ?
As an independent human ?
As a partnership element ?
Is a partnership’s intimate
closeness the place to find
the self ?  Or will it confine
and define the self within
its walls ?  To fit the other
self beside it ? Search for
a partner ?  Or explore the
paths opening up ahead ?

Better a large flower ?
or a cluster of blooms ?
A lone bee ?  Or the
swarm inside the hive ?

A partnership in pain
damages, destroys.  A
partnership in tandem
builds up each one within.

Together ? Ness ?