Across the Fields

Across the Fields

across those fields
      a fire burned

seems like yesterday


flames licked down
      right to the edge
   of her green fields


      purification fires
from not so long ago

      we didn't realise
flames would go so far

i saw the lightning strike
      the mountain top
   saw the first tree flare

watched flames spread
      sweeping across


driven by a south wind
      leaping from summit
to summit (northwards)

   driving wildlife ahead 
of horrible racing flames


Pink Hydrangeas

Pink Hydrangeas

   proof of alkaline soil
nothing more besides

   overnight temperatures 
plummet castastrophically 
      (so they want to say)

they say climate could be
   worse than it already is


   but we know everything
follows rules (except us)

      try arguing with a 
three year old about
   rules and goodness 

or an eighty year old
   they do not listen
they live by other rules


blue flowers occur
      with acidic soil
influence and indication


   things are never quite
      the same as last time

Forgotten Dreams

Forgotten Dreams

as i drive the highway
i see remnants of a past

i think this was a road
that people drove on 
all those years ago

and built their homes
alongside to be close

people crave people
and need others near

they built beside that road
planted good vegetables 

planted lovely flowers
lilac bushes make it homey

just outside their door


all those lilac bushes stayed
families grew and moved

those houses fell or burnt
the gardens disappeared


lilacs are drought resistant
needing very little water

they survived without care

all those missing people
and their fondest dreams
are now forgotten


all that's left are lilacs

Water’s Edge

Water's Edge

   far above the water's edge
we stand and take it in

   above the seabirds and 
all the tiny distant people
(like ants from up above)

      from up above the birds
from far above so far away
we cannot hear their words

   waves strike white sand
we cannot see them there

   here we are here we stand
on the edge on compact sand


looking down at tree tops
      standing near a cliff

shifting sand on which we stand

we know we cannot trust the ground
      it is not solid is not sound


we are looking in around the edges
      trying to see what's real

   from this high viewpoint
though we are so far away
      we can see so much
      but see few details

and understand so little



Heart of the Lily

Heart of the Lily

   the heart of the lily
      is an exotic place

   you see it every time
you look (you can see)


freckles on bright cheeks
      imagine it glowing
in warm evening sunshine

   freckles could shock you
beautiful brown freckles


      the heart of a human 
far from beautiful freckles
(though some people lucky 
   enough to have them)

   always different from
beautiful lilies (sitting
      on a store shelf)


      something to cheer
the sick or make a show
   of tender feeling

(in case that someone
       needs to know)










Bright Yellow Dahlias

Bright Yellow Dahlias

infallible sign of spring
it's only january now

days too short nights cold
winter's grip is very strong

it has us by our throats
(but we can and will hope)


we've seen such springs
in our amazing lives

spring follows winter
every time in memory

we expect spring will
come back (green lion)


out of season flowers
in the grocery store

remind us we are 
impatiently waiting


bright images excite

dahlias are summer
celebrations (we can't
always wait for)

Gnomes on Lace

Gnomes on Lace

   faked photos of fairies
in the garden (realistic)

tales (untrue) about 
      a strange world  
   of faked fairies in
the garden (how they 
   swore it was truth)

      they were believed
(there were their photos
   to prove it was true)


      he's been modelling 
charming gnomes for years
selling them at craft shows


      i got them in my camera
though not in my garden

   dear old girl (sweetie)
has always loved them

though their reality may
   be different (they exist
   might have their own

   kind of life somehow)

 
   they do not live in our
garden (but in a bed of
moss, on a crystal dish
   on a lace tablecloth)

where she loves 
      to see them

Early Narcissus

Early Narcissus


he lies on his belly
watching the reflection
of a most beautiful

(creature like he's never
seen before) face in a pool
(a little like his father)

but there he is (entranced)
speechless and captive
locked in a trance


gods have little pity for men
who worship themselves

nemesis didn't like him
falling in love with the boy's
reflection in the pond 

he was from boetia (so the 
stories say) a hunter

hunting for food when he
became thirsty and saw
a reflecting pool of water


unable to move until he died 
(then it was too late)

gods changed him
into a flower (a nodding
long bell as if looking

downwards forever into a 
reflecting pool)


when will we learn 
(not to worship ourselves 
our twisted reflections)



Broken Branches

Broken Branches

most of what we know
      everything we see
(something obscured
   no words will say)

   broken willow branches
screen our blurred vision


what is real we want to see
   (willows screen our view)

broken branches in the mud
      roots hold it all together


   before willow leaves bud
   before springtime comes

existing branches already 
for new springtime growth
      on the tired old wood


(looks like it would be brittle)
   snapped off in its prime

munched by hungry deer
      through the icy winter

they have winter enzymes
to help digest willow twigs


willows make a ragged screen
      obscuring the scenery










Lily and Her Friends

Lily and Her Friends

she is such a beauty
colour you never saw
in your life before

bright as a shiny penny
she lit up when she smiled
(like a room where she was)


surrounded by beauty
(she still stands out)

a lily and her friends
make a fine bouquet

(freckles on her face)
lily features beauty


her friends don't speak
about her any more

it seems she was cut off 
from her loving family

her life shortened
separated from her roots


uncertainty is truth

true wisdom begins 
when you realise you 
know nothing important

and never will