Fragmenting into Teens

3Amigos (2)They’re training me well for the decades to come,

watching the News Year’s Concert from Vienna on my own.

Minecraft blocks in bland primaries fill their screens.

Pressure cooks; I shout and shout.

‘One more minute, please, Mum!’

At least they still say please.

Books he once loved

scatter in abandon on the floor or foisted

upon unwilling younger brother.

He still knows the name of every dinosaur ever excavated,

corrects my eras when I stutter.

If only his detailed lists extended to homework,

his attention to detail had bearing on his missing objects.

A few more months

to snuggle my nose against his smooth cheeks

and breathe in sulky childishness

before the razor bites.


Avoid Those Darned Clichés!

It’s amazing how difficult it is to stay away from clichés when writing poetry… or anything, really! As part of last week’s fabulous poetry workshop with the performance poetry guru that is Anthony Anaxagorou, we had to work on random concrete nouns and associate them with interesting adjectives. Harder than it sounds to produce a coherent poem out of it. Here is my pitiful result, which I am linking to dVerse Poets Pub and their Open Link Night. Join us there for very diverse explorations of poetry!

Indifferent sunshine taps on the bleary-eyed windows
a cat burglar in white
but fails to wake her.
She grips the eiderdown, she swallows the grumpy phlegm
lodged in her system.
And ten versatile coffees later
she waltzes with the wandering pencil
on the frisky paper.
From the pregnant bag of ideas
she selects yet another, caresses it with bloated thumb,
while a reborn supper
announces itself shyly on the dancing table.

From British South Indians website.
From British South Indians website.

Found Poetry: Hypochondriac

The moral of the story is: always keep your old notebooks! Just the other day, I came across this little fragment of poetry in an old notebook. Always good to have some material to work on… and so appropriate on a day when my older son is home with a fever. And no, he is not the hypochondriac in this story!

You fear meningitis
with each stiffening joint.
You understand colitis
at its intricate extreme.
Tachycardia is no stranger
to your medicated bliss
and doctors are your allies
when they prescribe and echo
every fear and twinge.
Advice you dispense freely
alongside cups of tea
with lashings of lemon and honey
to soothe those constricted throats.
So prudent and cautious,
you inch your way forward
to the same finishing line…

Quince Blossoms in Frost

Photo courtesy of Toni Spence from dVerse Poets.
Copyright Kanzensakura, all rights reserved. Used by permission.

I eat quince to keep me sober. Its bitter, astringent taste wakes me to a world where sweetness is not the aftertaste, where juiciness cannot be taken for granted. It is the fruit for grown-ups.

Yet when you roast it, what a transformation! It melts in honeyed dew on your tongue. Do I likewise melt and linger when the fires burn me up? Or do I blend with molten iron to form a steely backbone?

Prickly bittersweet
Memory of golden fruit
Flower in the frost

This poem, written for Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, is dedicated to my favourite fruit, the hard-to-find and even harder-to-describe quince, and is dedicated to the memory of my favourite musician, David Bowie, who was likewise unique and hard to describe.

Some Live (Poem for Open Link Night)

Some live through obstacles and rise again.

Some hanker after time.

Some allow others to tell them differently.

Some move ahead. Alone. Dazed.


Every life pales when death springs its trap,

Fresh strike of wasting, our striving, your ruckus,

We remain strangers in our little caves.


What am I but a tourist, you hard-working neighbour,

You fearful host, your drawbridge, your fortress, sanctum nigh.

What image do we leave to linger?

Gather, scatter all the more.

It’s the first Open Link Night of 2016 over at dVerse Poets Pub, and, although I thought I wouldn’t have time to write a poem, I found a draft of one in my drawer. Had to celebrate the New Year and the reopening of the pub somehow!

Scents That Linger

lilacThere is no competition:
no freshly mown grass,
not even bread resting oven-hot.

For two intoxicating weeks
all the streets in our neighbourhood
become saturated with the drama
of spring ripening into summer:
sultry yet virginal,
adolescent meanders in the park behind school,
stolen handheld moments,
clumsy kiss.

All my journeys doubled for,
no matter how late I am,
I can never resist stopping
for a sniff.

The dVerse Poets Pub is open after its seasonal break, and Kelly is inviting us to write poems invoking the sense of smell and all the memories we associate with a particular scent.