A Political Confession
I’m lured by Josephine’s eager and enthusiastic posture.
Her dark shiny hair shapes her face so well,
and I gravitate to her beautiful Asian eyes.
Even in her conservative lawyer’s suit,
I’m drawn with the wish to snuggle
a tick next to her name.

But I can’t and I mustn’t:
‘Citizens and Ratepayers Association’
is not even the slightest bit compelling,
and her compatriot on the other end
of the billboard moves me none at all.

But then I reason that I do have two votes.
One I’ve selected in a politically discerning fashion.
But, what to do with the second vote?
All I have to go on is a paragraph of blurb
for each would-be councilor and it all
becomes much like choosing laundry detergent.
‘Spring sunshine’ or ‘Oriental evening’,
and I choose one over the other with no
real idea what scent the name translates.

So I tell myself, the only self-respecting thing to do
is just place the one well considered vote.
I tell myself over and over, again and again.
Continually, I try to reinforce this view.
And so I persist like this, as my tongue
licks the ballot envelope and my fingers
press it firmly closed, even though
I know full well that my pen has betrayed me,
having already sneaked its kiss on Josephine.



I’m back in familiar territory
Contending with my discontent
She’s such a familiar adversary
Recognising her usual jibes
“It’s all too safe and comfortable,
Aren’t you missing something?
Don’t you need to feel inspired?”
I could easily dismiss the taunts.

Except this time discontent has discovered
A secret wound that’s never healed
A love I denied even to myself
And so now she hands me my heartache – Raw
Just as if the fifteen years hadn’t passed
And now the tears flow and flow,
Whether day or night, awake or asleep.

By such an underhand trick
Discontent has me at her advantage
Pulling me into disenchantment
With the wish for something long gone
Yet still I have strength and skilful means
I can bide my time, watch her work,
Feel the pain and get to know her.

The only defence remaining to me
Is to befriend this discontent
I have to make her mine
As she is none other than me.
So I bear witness to her as me,
Hoping that in time I will come to be
Content in my discontent.


Bibliophiles Anonymous
I shall refrain from indulging in my love of literature.
No more will I become lost in the world of words.
No more to savour juxtaposition or echo onomatopoeia.
No more to let my mind caress a textual highlight.
No more to have mind crescendo on an emotional climax.
I command myself “no more”.

Unreachable my mind would soar,
Intoxicated on Lawrence, dazed on Blake, possessed by Anna Karenina
It did soar and soar.
Bliss spiralled upwards like an eagle on an updraft.
But without a meeting of minds – no release.
Instead I’d soar further as if Icarus to the sun until I’m burnt and done.

Detached, disconnected, disappointed, disaster.
I desire, I crave, and I beg a mind to take literary flight with mine.
Loved ones’ “that’s nice dear”, “don’t read it if it upsets you” frustrate.
This selfish creature demands satisfaction.
I can’t stand my erudite impotence, the self-absorption, the self-loathing,
I am untenable.

So I shall abstain from my habitual literary tendencies.
I will severe all longing.
And like a drunk tracing the rim on a whisky glass,
When I find myself with fingers lingering on a novel’s spine,
Tempted to the wonders of the bookshelf,
I will stop, sigh, and smile as I rest in the thought
That one time at least
I knew someone whose mind met mine.


rarest and most beautiful,
come alight on my leaves a while.

Glorious one,
your arrival signals sunshine,
I light up with a smile.

Stunning one,
with you moments come alive.
for you bring out my energy.

Winged one,
my heart dances with enjoyment,
in treating you so delicately.

Journeying one,
I know you will soon depart,
yet my love is here to stay.

Fleeting one,
please don’t fear: I’ll not catch you,
or collect you for display.

Returning one,
come and go as you please –
but remember,
there is always room for you
amongst my leaves.


Egg Sucking
Why is it that Grandmothers should supposedly know how to suck eggs?
Why Grandmothers? Why eggs? And why suck them?

I certainly don’t know how to suck eggs,
but then I’m not a Grandmother.
I am a Great Aunt, but the expression isn’t about Great Aunts,
so I guess I don’t count.

And what sort of eggs?
Surely chicken eggs would be too big?
Quails eggs, now I could imagine sucking them.
Or maybe it’s Easter eggs that are sucked by Grandmothers?
I did fit a whole Cadbury’s crème egg in my mouth once,
and it did take some sucking,
especially as I almost suffocated during the process.

Maybe the eggs are poached, fried, or scrambled,
and are easy for false teeth to deal with?
But still that should apply to Grandfathers’ teeth too.

My husband says it’s about sucking the contents
from pillaged wild bird’s eggs.
Of course this is frowned upon now,
so hopefully there aren’t too many Grandmothers
left around who know how to do it.

On reflection,
I don’t think I’ll ever want
to teach anybody to suck eggs,
even despite the fact that
earlier today I did use a straw
to drink an eggnog.


Eve’s Hollow
Below the Adam’s apple,
that dip in his lower neck
appears so alluring.

Does it even have a name?
Viewing photos in springtime,
I christen it ‘Eve’s hollow’.


Full Fat Verse
Preservative free poems;
nothing pasteurised;
straight from the udder
of spontaneous thought,
this perfectly pure process
ensures the poetry
won’t be skimmed at all.


One shouldn’t cast aspersions.
So instead, I’ll cast nasturtiums.

Those bright and happy flowers
that are sometimes used in salads,
and which tortoises like to eat,
are so much more preferable
– yet just as indiscrete.


Grey Warbler
The grey warbler has been singing
with great dedication all morning.
It’s the same repetitive tune,
as if he’s got a sung stuck in his head.

I stop and listen every once in a while,
only to find myself mouthing,
“What’s the frequency Kenneth?”
I shake my head in disbelief.

Is it a grey warbler in the bush
with a fondness for REM?
Or more likely,
is it my own human mind
searching for familiar patterns
that only seemingly emanate
from out of the vast wilderness?


Across the Pacific I stare
As if the ocean waves
Could bring me closer to you,
As if the cloudy sky
Could bring an image of you,
As if the distance could
Be traversed through will

So far, so, so far away
Such an immense expanse
Now lies between us
But how can I get back to you?
When I know that sea, sky, nor land
Can offer passage to cover the time
That has past since last seeing you


Mine?As the sand trickles through,
does the neck of the hourglass
think that it owns the sand?


Mornington Crescent
How do you win at Mornington Crescent?
I’ve never been able to suss the rules.
To be so confused is so unpleasant.
Isn’t it time you gave me some clues?

I’ve tried the circle line several times,
but I never seem to get far at all.
I know all the station names and their signs,
yet never have I made the ‘Crescent’ call.

So won’t you please teach me the strategy?
I just need a chance to win now and then.
“No rules” you say – well, my apologies,
Ah, now I see, so it’s a teaching in Zen.


The Little Perfume Bottle
What a discovery – hidden for so long,
I now hold in my hand
a little perfume bottle.

Heavy cobalt blue glass – could be Victorian.
Tall, slender, but curvaceous, the shape
is of a fish.

A fish – a symbol of the unconscious.
Placing the bottle on the table, it is
as if the fish is standing on its tail.

The glass is engraved in such detail
that the scales have distinct texture,
while the fish’s eye looks at me knowingly.

Traces of sensuous aromas still remain:
there’s a feminine and masculine scent
in the form of rose and sandalwood.

These are mixed with patchouli and frankincense.
Ah, but that’s what caught my attention –
Rosemary – for remembrance, of course.

And so I came to find this bottle buried deep
within the fleshy muscle of my heart.
There it had remained untouched,
corked with denial, and labeled with ‘suppression’.

But now uncorked, the heady contents
permeate the air and my mind.
The contents are of you – all my
memories, experiences, thoughts, and feelings.

I’ll not lose this bottle nor ever seal it again.
I’ll keep it with me in clear sight
as a constant reminder that your company
always brought be such delicious delight.


The one that couldn’t be
I awake to a cold winter’s morning,
Condensation covers the window,
My body aches from the long night,
And on my mind is the one that couldn’t be.

Husband kisses me goodbye,
I fare him well for the day,
While wishing to be left alone
With memories of the one that couldn’t be.

Bitter sweet the thoughts of him,
Sweet the ones of his company,
Bitter the ones of unfulfilled desire,
Continually craving the one that couldn’t be.

I take the time to release myself,
But as I come my eyes moisten,
Even the window sheds a tear
Not even knowing the one that couldn’t be.


Why reading Nietzsche is like
listening to the Rolling Stones…

Why reading Nietzsche is like
listening to the Rolling Stones…

The sound of the Rolling Stones
bores me – I’m quiet indifferent.

Yet, I like many a band who’ve
been influenced by them.

Hence, I do appreciate the Stones’
historic significance.

And so it is with Neitzsche.

Thus spoke Rowan.


Why I Write

So I can remember
the me of yesterday
today and tomorrow


Your Shore
They say that when a rip tide takes you,
you shouldn’t fight it.
Fight it, you’ll only exhaust yourself
and drown.
Instead, let it take you and when it finally releases,
then you can find a route back to shore.

The rip tide’s had me for fifteen years.
Awaiting this opportunity,
now, if I can keep my head above water
for just a few months more,
I’m hoping, come April,
to return again to your shore.

A thought occurred
A thought occurred after reading
Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing…

that like the psychotic in the psych ward

whose agitation requires a needle of
chlorpromazine injected into the ass,

so anal sex acts as my sedation when
on occasion I experience excessive


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