Ad Infinitum

She cannot bear to think the light of life
extinguishes and disappears from view,
so lives her days in self-inflicted strife;
it seems that grief is here before it’s due.
Ad Infinitum, like addiction, steals
contented mind, creates a restless wave,
and layers of herself are cruelly peeled
while every road and path is darkly paved.
Yet how would joy exist if sorrow died?
Would laughter heal the pain of tears once shed?
How would rippling waves bring peace of mind
if raging seas were suddenly struck dead?
She must surrender, let the earth revolve,
Each moment lived, another fear dissolved


Smiling at Death

Your whole life was wrapped around you
on that day,
propped up on a pillowy white cloud,
a few extra ones, cool, crisp
arranged in a special way,
a privilege for the dying.

How could your tiny fragile frame
have carried so much,
braved storms at sea,
ministered prayers from pulpit.
The swimming lessons you gave me;
you had the patience of Job.
And the turnip faces you carved
for Halloween, they were perfect;
(you would have cringed at pumpkins.)
But then you could do everything in my eyes;
you knew everything too.
I remember you trying to
show me how to use a slide rule;
I still haven’t a clue.

And there,
on a warm day, early May
in a special bed for the dying,
lay all of that,
your whole life in a cradle of time,
and it weighed next to nothing –

except for your smile.
Your smile was stronger than ever,
big enough to carry us all
as it led you, without doubt,
to a place you had always believed in
and where you were sure
we would meet again.

I remember you turned your head toward me.
Is my grandma here yet, you asked
in whispered voice.
Now it was my turn to smile.
I looked into your bright but fading eyes.
Yes dad, I said, I think she is.
And you slipped away,
smiling at death

Fall(ing) Leaves


Tinged with weariness of defeat,
they cling to a life that’s done
and wait.
Scudding clouds pass,
swift with purpose.

They fall,
and as their melancholy
greets the earth, rest.
They, too, still have purpose.

Through The Wood

This is a re-post from last year
when I had just arrived on WordPress.
Today is the 8th anniversary of my dad’s death.
I think he would have liked my poems

Through The Wood

I could see through the wood and brass,
his body cold, lifeless.
Seafaring man fighting for country,
raising three children,
ministering prayers.

I search persistently for lost life,
its fullness, its vibrancy.
Maybe it’s in the strange flower
I found in the garden,
the one I know I didn’t plant,
or in the poem that writes itself
seamlessly, despite me.

Life not extinguished – transposed.



She sat on a chair by the window
like a small stone Buddha,
immobilised by the bully
that spread its greedy paralysis
over one side of her frail body.

I sat at the piano, played
“Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam”,
faltering notes enough to draw
virgin miracle tears slowly
down her tired, wrinkled face.

I went away, school trip abroad;
when I came back she had gone,
swept away with enormous
brush of relief, no trace but
faint stains of ageing and
weary walking stick.

I watched the sun, pale and cool,
determined rays penetrating
the window where she would sit
day after lonely day, waiting
for her time to shine.

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