Friday, 20 September 2019


I’ve taken to opening the dictionary at random in quiet moments and choosing one word from the page in front of me. This time the word was hag, just a finger print down the page from haemorrhoid and haeremai (a Maori greeting) and up a bit from hagberry and hagbut.

The definitions are fascinating: it’s a witch, an ugly old woman, a crone, an eel-like parasitic fish, a phosphoric light found on horses‘ manes.

Whoa!  What?

Horses have phosphorescent manes and tails?  Really?

A horse with haemorrhoids snorted haeremai as it ate some hagberries and then emitted a strange phosphorescent hag-light from its mane and tail...

I know naughty little boys have set light to horse farts... is that called hag? I haven’t seen one myself, but I imagine a horse fart, when lit, might be a pretty, cold, blueish colour.

My mind wanders.   

I stabbed the word limb in the dictionary last week and found that one of the definitions was the outermost ring of the sun.

Again, whoa!

So I wrote a poem using the dictionary definitions of limb, as you do, and now it looks as though I’ll have to have a go at hag too.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Two Poems


This is where we say goodbye.
The long hospital corridor.
The nil-by-mouth.

This is where it ends.
The airport, doorstep, doctor’s waiting room,
the recruitment interview;
the passing out parade.

Going, going, gone, the clocks repeat,
already imagining a distance.

This is where
something stays shut inside.
This is where.

My Father Says

My father says
that one day soon
he will go for the long sleep.
He’s eighty four, he can’t go forever,
and he gets tired of it all he says;
all the visits to doctors
and his teeth dropping out.

My father says his leg aches
where he fell downstairs and tore the ligament,
after a party at the local pub,
when he played his concertina.

My father says the world isn’t what it was in his day
It’s spoiled, we’ve buggered it up
beyond repair.

My father says 
we’ll be better off without him,
when he is pushing up daisies.

Then he dons his panama and goes out
into the garden to plant new flowers
where the rabbits have eaten them away,
mow the two acre lawn and write
a letter to his friend
about the history of the tango.

My father says that one day soon
he will go for the long sleep,
but not today, and not tomorrow
while there are things to do,
but maybe the day after
or the day after that.

I'm delighted that these poems have found an audience! Thank you, Poetry Kit.