Saturday, 28 June 2014

Love is not a level playing field

Each of us has a key
Sometimes we use it
Just a single time
Others find it unlocks many doors
It is the key of love

As a player in the game
I still have mine
To use over and over again
It glints and beguiles
My key of love

Let me show it to you
No, let me give it to you
A present as you have lost yours
Mine has served me well
Let me approach you

To place it round your neck
Now like a grain of hope
Your heart can grow full of love
Careful you don’t scratch it
For then it tells the truth

Each time you use it
Every phase of your life
Remember who gave it to you
For part of me will there
Attached to you too

Image found at

Maybe it's winter

Just like a ripe plum
I was so smitten with Julie
With the rosy glow

Then there was Gina
She held my hand at singing
Her eyes were on me

It was a new school
We’d moved to a new township
“Do your best” said mum

But I loved Julie
Whose sweet eyes never left me
Springtime long ago

I’m much older now
Why do I think of those days?
Maybe it’s winter

Image from

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Now you have gone

Forgive me dearest
I threw away your diaries
For they hurt so much

As you battled on
Your pen wrote down everything
For those twelve long years

All the highs and lows
Noting all the transfusions
Springtime and in fall

All was recorded
Birthdays, anniversaries
Forgotten by me

I slowly lost you
To doctors and specialists
As you lost your hair

I wouldn’t let go
You clung to your family
But death tolled its bell

Now winter is here
It’s so cold without you
Now that you have gone

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Rosebud

She lowered her eyes
I look at her standing there
Like a fresh rose bud

She is beautiful
To approach her is risky
We were so different

For if I did this
Would place her in jeopardy
And she could lose face

Family must know
For there are rules to follow
It is hard for me

I tell her uncle
For he is a go between
For me, I must wait

He gives me a call
It’s a cathartic moment
Father will meet me

And so it begins
I see everyone but her
This is a good sign

Then I’m invited
To share a meal with them all
And to talk to her

Now there is a chance
That this rosebud will be mine
To bloom together

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The tribes unite (Dum tales 24)

                              The visitors return satisfied

Some visitors came to the cave one morning who said they came from a clan not far off and then waved his hand vaguely to the south. While one spoke to the men Yum and Dong kept their heads bowed listening but apparently not taking any notice of the men talk. Yum was still feeding Lah-Lah even though she was nearly weaned. They called her Lara now which was a name that she would use when she grew up. It was a name of a bushy shrub that Song had shown them which could be used in cooking or as a medicinal plant for upset stomach (Laurel or Bay leaf).

Wah-Wah her son also had a grown up name and he was now Wara which meant water. Normally a person was named Wara as it was hoped they would be the one to find drinking water in hard times. Dum however had called him that as it was difficult to keep him out of the water whether it was the sea or even a stream as he would be the first one to jump in.

The visitors clearly were making suggestions to their men that they should join together to keep the areas they lived in under their joint control. The discussion was long and obtuse as the men of each camp tried to explain or determine what advantage there would be in the proposal. Dum however did not say a lot and as the talk seemed to be getting nowhere.

Finally Dum pointed to his one good eye and said “I may only have one eye but I see clearly. You have come now because you need us. Here we decided some time ago we would not be wanderers but stay here because we can survive in both summer when food is plentiful and in winter as well because we have found out how to survive when food is scarce.”

The men from the other clan nodded in agreement.

“If you too have done this why do you need us?” Dum then asked.

The visitors then put their heads together and after some discussion the one who seemed to be leader spoke up.

“We have heard that you do things that we do not. You eat more food from the sea than we do and you catch animals and birds in different ways to us. Perhaps in exchange for your ideas we could show you what we do.”

Dum laughed, “You have been watching us yet do not understand what we are doing. What can you do that would help us then?”

Again the visitors bent their heads and murmured among themselves.

“We need you to make our tribe bigger, to be stronger and to resist our enemies. We do not wander either but we stay because we grow our food where we live and do not need to search for it. We store the seeds and fruit that we grow so there is food to eat in hard times. Perhaps a bird that flies has told us that you keep meat and fish for a long time without it going bad. We should exchange these skills of ours. In this way we could reward each other for being friends by sharing this knowledge.”

Dum turned to the men in his tribe and said “Do you want us to continue talking or is there nothing we can learn from the visitors?”

Yum caught his eye and indicated she wanted to talk to him. So Dum held up his hand and said to both his own men and the visitors “However we welcome you. Let us eat together now then we will decide”.

Yum then said quietly to Dum, “Perhaps it was Song that suggested to the men in her tribe that they should come”.

At this Dum nodded without giving anything away.

After the visitors has shared some food with them they commented on the taste of the smoked fish and the other food that they were offered. Dum meanwhile had spoken to the men in his tribe and when the joint discussion began again he announced, “We have long been concerned about the need to be safe and to provide for our families through all the seasons. The wind has blown this way and that and in doing so has shown us how to survive. Perhaps for you too spirits have spoken to you too and suggested that we should share our knowledge. The men of this cave are willing to exchange ideas with your people so that we can live together as one”.

The men from Song’s tribe nodded in agreement and it was agreed they would visit and reward each other by sharing their knowledge not knowing that Dum already knew about Song.

Yum looked at Dong and said “Good, more honey for us”.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Darkness is my friend

Darkness is my friend
Your a creature of the night
Seduced by my kiss

Others praying hide
I tease with plague and blood
No gun at my side

Dreadful choice for you
Just a penny for your thoughts
Much more for your life

Your tarot's no use
Or pleas to an unseen god
The time has now come

For dancing with me
We levitate to the stars
Darkness is our friend

Image from

Behind the display

Cakes, pies and pastries
I’m staring at the display
I know what I want

She fusses back there
Secretly I watch her
Behind the counter

She looks up and smiles
That reminds me of my wife
Another good cook

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Baby's due in Spring

I’m in love again
Her father is vehement
She is not for me

Sue connives with me
She’s a master of intrigue
“I’ll say I’m pregnant”

I gulped with worry
As this ploy could get me killed
But father agreed

“Good!” laughed my sweet Sue
“Now we have some work to do
Baby’s due in spring”

Monday, 16 June 2014

A lesson from Song (Dum tales 23)

Yum and Dong often went walking on the beach to meet Song the woman from a different clan who knew about cures for sicknesses. As it was summer time now they travelled further afield as sometimes she was not on the beach but in the woods or walking by the streams. They knew where she was because she said she searched the plants she needed so sang out to them that they were needed.

Yum loved her as a friend but Dong was a little jealous and she was nervous that the men in Song’s clan might come across them and steal them for themselves. When Yum told her this Song laughed so much she almost cried. She went up to Dong and put her arm around her and assured her she was safe.

“Dong do not be scared, I am what is called the spirit woman. The men are in awe of me. For I am the one they turn to when in trouble. If the women or children are sick or if one of the men has been bitten by an animal, they will come to me for help.”

“Are you not married Song?” Yum asked. Again Song smiled but shook her head. “When I was but young they found me one day singing to the hills, and a wind sprang up and whistled as I did so then the clouds gathered for a storm as if in answer my call. Now no man dare touch me lest I cast a spell on them. They called me Song from that day on.”

“So they respect you now” said Yum.

“You are the first one Yum not to fear me. Even Dong is still not sure, are you?”

Dong shook her head doubtfully.

Still smiling Song said “Come with me and I will show you some of my secrets for there is much to find in this season”.

So the women and the children walked with Song and she showed them the plants she used.

First she found some nettles and while Yum was telling the children not to touch the plants Song walked up and grasped some firmly in her hands and brought it back to show them. “This will help if a wound will not stop bleeding. Don’t be afraid that it will hurt but grab it firmly and then it will not sting.  It is only the little hairs on the leaves that sting.” Yum nodded at her but still checking the children who were pulling the heads off some yellow flowers nearby.

Song laughed “See they are doing my job for me. This plant (Dandelion) will help to reduce fever, look at the white milk inside the stem when we break it".

As they walked on Song kept on finding plants she used “Look at this little bulb (onion or perhaps garlic) in the ground it is good to eat with food but is also a medicine. Then spying a large leafed plant further off “Come, come, if you chew this one (Castor Oil plant) you will not be constipated. Doesn’t your man sometimes complain about that? We must eat plants as well as meat”.

They spent much of the day with her and just before they thought they should go home she said, "Stay here. Do you not see the bees flying home to their nest? I will see if they can give us some honey”.

So while Song found a long stick Yum, Dong and the children sat in a field of flowers waiting for her. After a short while she came running towards them stick in hand.

“Have you been stung, Song?”

Song shook her head, “No, not this time. They thought that a branch from the tree had damaged the hive not this woman on the end of a long stick,” she laughed. “Now each of you have a lick of the honey then tell me what you think.”

So they all tasted the honey that dripped from the stick and their eyes opened wide with amazement.

Yum laughed, “I must not tell Dum. He always says he could eat me up. If he tasted this he wouldn’t want me anymore.”

Song then said “It is difficult to get, but it helps wounds heal especially burns.”

Still licking their fingers they started off for home. Even Dong who was doubtful before was beginning to like Song.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

I've still lost you

What do we wish for
Just what use is a fortune
Or Sevres porcelain?

Once at Christmas time
Hopes whistled up the chimney
Then we were children

Stood at a cliff’s edge
Are my foolish dreams of you
Now six fathoms deep?

You’ve ripped my heart out
Drilled pain into my sad soul
Since you split with me

Nun’s habit for you?
I think not, your eyes elsewhere
And mine? In a pit.

Drink up, be merry
So my friends encourage me
But I’ve still lost you

Note: "six fathoms deep" was once considered to be the minimum depth to bury a body at sea!

Image found on

Friday, 13 June 2014

What Halcyon days

I looked in her eyes
Then I dared to touch her cheek
She was beautiful

First she stared at me
Then lowered her eyes in shame
That she’d not cried out

That is how we met
And how we became lovers
What halcyon days

Her family found out
But I was not suitable
She was forbidden

So now I begin
A thousand years of darkness
For she was my light

Image from completewellbeing .com

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Fly sky high

Snip, snipe, gripe
What is this hate in life?
That pushes, shoves, not loves

Tap, flap, slap
So what’s the crisis now?
That makes us loath each other

Fly, sky, high
Where do we go from here?
Don’t stall our love of peace


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Encounter on the beach (Dum tales 22)

Dum and Grunt had come to a form of truce about the merits of the bird traps mainly because both satisfied their constructors well. Dum could think of nothing worse than sitting by a trap waiting for a bird to enter then pull the cord and to trap it inside. This however suited Grunt well. Dum on the other hand preferred to set his trap and return later to see if anything was caught because it couldn’t get out. Both men were however disappointed with the results as the few birds that were caught amounted to barely a mouthful each and they needed so many to feed the family.

Yum meanwhile was busy with her new baby, her little girl. It wasn’t long before Wah-Wah was toddling everywhere and so the baby slings were used for the new baby and Yum was back out with Dong roaming through the scrubland gathering what they could not only to eat but to make things with as well.

They had wandered onto the beach and as the tide was out and the fish trap empty they slowly walked with the children. Bonk, Dong’s little boy ran on ahead and Wah-Wah now walking toddling along after him. They had walked a long way south and the boys were running on ahead jumping over the seaweed that had washed up on the sand. Yum then noticed a woman further away gathering the seaweed in her basket. As the boys were nearly up to her she beckoned to Dong to catch up with the boys to make sure they were safe.

Dong ran after the boys and when she got there the woman was showing Bonk and Wah-Wah that they could squeeze the bobble covered seaweed and make it pop. They were laughing each time she did it but were not strong enough to do it themselves. By the time Yum had caught up with them Bonk was wearing some weed on his head pretending he was a sea monster.

The women began to talk of their own people and the strange woman said she collected this seaweed, cleaned it in fresh water and cooked it like a vegetable.
She then went on to say it was good to use to heal wounds and for sore throats. Dong merely shook her head in disbelief.

Yum however nodded and said she would try some. She then said that her name was Yum and pointed to Dong and said “Dong”. The woman nodded, smiled and then said “My name is Song”.

Song then pointed to the children in turn and said “Bonk” and then turned to Wah-Wah and said “Wah-Wah” but when she looked at Yum’s baby she looked quizzically at Yum.

“This is Lah-Lah” Yum said shyly.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

She and I are partners

Her words like a jagged lance                                
As she tears the world asunder                              
To give a shower of rain                                          

A single sheet of lightning                                       
Which sizzles all beneath her feet                          
Threatening my existence                                       

How nature speaks my language                           
Fearsome power of her hello                                  
What right mind would her engage?                      

But she and I are partners                                       
For I love her gentle kisses                                     
The scent of her morning breeze                            

To me she is number one                                       
Always welcome here at my place             
As she weeps for me alone                        

Back in the far far distance                                     
Now a muffled roar of thunder 
She's stomping across the plain                        

Image from


At the hospital
Is that baby’s cry I hear?
A new life is born

At the hospital
That noisy lad’s now quiet
Had his tonsils out

At the hospital
Young woman came at midnight
Appendix now gone

At the hospital
The waiting room is full up
Some moan, some drink tea

At the hospital
Man on crutches is all smiles
He has been discharged

At the hospital
Family talk quietly
Grandma has just died

image from

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


Was I at the forefront?
Did I shout slogans?
Did I march with you

Was I at your side?
Did I stand and protest?
Did we link arms together

Was I there for you?
Did I pick you up?
Did brush away your tears

Was I planting trees?
Did I give what I could?
Did I love you all

Is that me hiding?
Do I turn away?
Do I hang my head in shame

Lost Love

My bones are grumbling
I wish for a painless life
Age is wearying

My eyes see not much
Of the beauty in this world
Clouded is my view

Hush is that a bird
Now singing at my window?
Where’s my hearing aid?

Are you at my side?
Oh, where is your loving touch
Bride of years ago?

Monday, 2 June 2014

Yum's new baby (Dum tales 21)

Yum was getting very edgy now that the time for her second baby to be born was near. Sometimes at night she would want to be near Dum and others she slept apart from him. Then one morning when Dum woke up he found that Wah-Wah their little boy was cuddled up to him and Yum was gone. Dum knew at once that the new baby was on the way and was determined to be with her this time. He took Wah-Wah along to where Dong and Grunt slept and asked if they could look after Wah-Wah for a little while. Dong guessed that Yum must be having her child so merely bowed her head and nodded. Dum was like no other man she knew, he would question every rule or custom their people had if it did not seem logical to him. She wished her own husband was that strong.

Dum went down into the wooded area that the women used to have their babies and eventually could see a ring of women around Yum as she puffed and panted with effort of delivering her new child. Then when she cried out in real pain Dum could stand it no longer and came out from hiding and went up to her. He knelt down at her side and supported her, brushed the hair out of her face and held his cheek against hers feeling the tears run down her face.

“I am never going to lose you Dum, am I?” she laughed panting. “Baby is nearly here.”

The women surrounding Yum grumbled at the intruder but as the baby’s head had emerged they had their work to do as well. “One more big push Yum,” the old woman that seemed to be in charge told Yum. So Yum holding onto Dum brought their new baby into the world. The women wiped the baby as clean as they could and wrapping her up in some coarse woven sisal cloth and placed her in Yum’s arms. Dum wanted to reach out to touch the new born infant but Yum shook her head. “She must smell me first then get to know you later”. She bent her face over the baby’s and checked to see that she was breathing properly while the women fussed around tying a thin strip of sisal around the cord.

The older woman in charge then said to Dum “Go now and don’t tell anyone what you have seen. This is women’s business." She then turned away and Dum could see that Yum was nodding to him agreeing that he should go.

Dum hesitated for a second then said, “I will go and check the fish trap.” He got up from her side and walked away through the trees crying from his one good eye. The tide was not quite out when he got there so he sat in the dunes overlooking the stream as it emptied into the sea. As he took refuge in his thoughts he was amazed at how wonderful life was and how much he loved Yum. He was there for some time before he heard Grunt call out to him.

“Dum, I couldn’t understand why you had to come down here before the tide went out. Dong said you had gone out early. There is talk that Yum has had her baby. Do you still want to wait to collect the fish?”

“Yes, I think we should do that first, Grunt, don’t you?” 

Grunt just shrugged his shoulders “If you say so.”

Image from