June, 2013

A Journal for Linking Poets  


Jan Foster, Leader
Anne Benjamin
Amelia Fielden
Marilyn Humbert
Keitha Keyes
Jane Reichhold
Carmel Summers

sunset —
the distant sound
of drums

At the end of today

As pink and orange streaks spread over the western sky, white clouds of cockatoos are drifting across the lake. Above and beyond the bench where I sit writing sunset tanka, tower rustling eucalypts. The cockatoos and twittering lorikeets are coming home to roost there for the night.

in the park scout-hall
Friday band practice

The call

No word yet to evacuate. Our bags are packed by the door — full of photos, documents, jewellery and mementoes. Stuff we couldn’t replace if a fire caught us. As we sit down to dinner we hear the wail of a siren. Then another. And another. Hurrying, hurrying, stopping. But how far away?

harmony broken
by sirens intersecting
in smoke

Looking down

From high on the side of Yacaaba Headland, I look down. The Singing Bridge is framed through the treetops as though the earth below is a painting; so still, so distant. A monitor lizard rustles out of the undergrowth and pauses only an armstretch from where I sit. His tongue flickers. He ambles away.

a line of gulls
feathers ruffling in the breeze

Rising up

There! where I least expect it, the evening sky parts from the hilltop in a glow of light. Has a far city been moved to our remote coast? Has something exploded? Has something from outer space landed just over there? The earth moves more to reveal a rim of pure white.

scarred with craters
yet in all its glory appears
the moon

Loop walk

When life overwhelms, I drive to my favorite forest hideaway. After unpacking, I begin the long loop walk. The glint and gleam from above makes patterns on the tree trunks and at my feet in the leaf litter as nocturnal creatures start to stir. I climb steadily upwards, over the crest, then begin the long descent down the steep, rough trail towards the tumbledown chimney overgrown and tangled in vines.

in the star light
tiny flowers blossom


White glare

The specialist is kindly but clear: the options are yours now, not theirs. Yours to choose the rest of your life. You choose, simply, as you always have.

a white glare
in the mottled sky –
is it dawn or early night?

A promise

The rain has gone. I step outside my back door and into a miracle. Bracketing my yard is a double rainbow, its four ends disappearing behind the fences. Vibrant colours fill my vision, the centre of the arch luminous. There is music here: if only I could listen properly, I would hear it.

suddenly the silence
is alive


On his fourth birthday we give our son a magician’s costume and three magic tricks. Over and over we pretend to be amazed by his hocus-pocus.

a new generation
of hope

Making waves

After several days of storms and high seas, swimming in the rock pool is rougher than I ever remember it.
As we bounce up and down in the wash, my middle-aged daughter details the brilliant new medical position on offer to her.

Dad's voice echoing:
"keep going, kick, kick"


I feel buffeted, out of control – as you, too, must with your awful diagnosis. Each choice is loaded. Each day brings a different perspective.

tossing a coin
tails or heads
the future is inevitable


A heavy dew lies on the grasslands, blades bent beneath the weight of clinging water. Patches of shiny frost sparkle in the early sun. The chill is crisp. Each breath snaps in my chest. I am sitting on the back porch in the weak warmth with my first cup of tea for the day, pondering … looking across the neat fenced paddocks. I spy a family of grey bunnies hopping slowly, deliberately, towards the shelter of their drain bank burrow. I find myself smiling.

breath of new day
brings unforeseen joy


Our local weekly newspaper just carried an article stating that the salmon season would open on time on April 6th because last year “nearly 35,500 “jack” Chinook salmon returned to spawn in the Sacramento River and 21,500 returned to the Trinity River.” The similarity of both numbers ending in 500 set me to wondering how you count fish, imaginary sheep, or flames in a fire.

unable to sleep
one by one stars fall
into the sea


Where waves draw back, the shore glints crystals. As a child, I imagined the wet sand held hidden jewels. Sixty years later, I still hold hopes of finding treasure.

along the water’s edge
ten thousand diamonds gleam

Down the track

First time at the track. She leafs through the form guide. Ah, here's race four.
"Hurry up, what do you want to bet on?" Her more experienced boyfriend is getting impatient.
A glance at the smartly-hatted woman beside her in the Members' Stand. The rings loaded onto bony old fingers wink at her.
"Put my $10 on Diamond Vista," she instructs.
The mare comes in at 10 to 1.

win or lose
nothing's more certain than
the gallop of time

Just passing by

In the cool mid-morning air, there is a sense of waiting, a breath-held hush. Seemingly suspended between sea and sky, the road carves it way through the steep plunge of the rainforest to the ocean below. Then it comes, at the edge of hearing. A thud of feet, a harsh sawing of breath, the lurching mass of joggers plodding their way from Lorne to Apollo Bay in the annual marathon. In that crowd of struggling bodies are my sons and their wives, worshipping the gods of fitness.

no pause to admire the view
in the push to succeed

Out guessing guests

Time to hit the yard sales. Converting the old studio into new guest quarters means I get to shop for furniture. So is it wiser to buy better-made things that have been used or should I go for all new, but much cheaper stuff? Should I go for near-antiques or will people on vacation not be in the mood to take care of things when they are sun burnt and covered with sand? Sand! Showers! I will need to buy sheets and extra towels. I need to start a list.

tides of people
the pull of the sea
on a summer day

After the weekend

My weekend visitors left yesterday. This house seems larger and emptier than it’s ever felt before. I spend the morning outside, in the garden, ruthless with weeds, gentle with the seedlings – Christmas bush, westringia, banksia. I wonder who will live here by the time these small plants grow to full height.

the wake of a wave
no trace of the initials I carved in the sand

Opal essence

Living underground makes sense in Coober Pedy. A way of escaping the extreme temperatures on the surface. Some of the residents strike it lucky in their quest for the fiery gemstones. Others leave without finding any opals.
My husband insists that I spoil myself. I find a stunning triplet and turn it this way and that in the light.

I wonder
at the beauty
of Nature’s alchemy


A massive oak grows next door, sprawled across two backyards, and delighting me through the seasons. Recently, new neighbours, without warning, hacked off the branches overhanging their backyard. After eighty years, the tree’s casual symmetry is now lopsided. Each day I feel the brutality of those unkind cuts.

poised between pragmatism
and possibility

River song

Home in my own bed, head buzzing after another round of failed negotiations to halt building of the dam, which will drown the remnant temperate rainforest. Outside the window leaves are shivering on slender bark arms in the scowling breeze. A voice is calling softly and insistent … whispering in my ear as I fall asleep. And I am cradled by the dream song singer in a swollen river’s rush towards the falls where stars merge in blinding light.

swift current
carries me forward
on this journey

Staying afloat

The sky is warm blue over the surging Pacific as I descend steep steps cut into the cliffside. Below, a large rockpool for the exclusive use of women and children is filled with the movement of bathers and breaking waves.
Moments later, I am discarding my shorts and T-shirt, along with all the serious preoccupations which revolve through my wakeful nights. Then I slide into the mindless buoyancy of the sea.
Sharing this salt-sprayed space are bare-breasted mothers and young kids, teenagers in tiny bikinis, lesbian couples, Muslim women with head-coverings.

swimming through the swell
now up, now down…

The drummer

Even before he begins to play, he charms me with his smile and an accent that’s come from around the world. A few words on each raga and then his fingers tap the tabla, slowly at first, then building into frenzied dexterity. Mesmerised, I watch his hands become a blur. All the while, he nods in time, each beat distinct, his hair a frizzy metronome.

don’t ask about me –
just let the music talk
the rhythm of the drum

Lest we forget

Every Anzac Day I turn on the TV to watch the veterans march along George Street in the city. Most of them are in suits and ties. Those unable to march are pushed in wheelchairs or ride in army jeeps and taxis.
“Left, left, left right left …”

some secrets
remain with the soldiers

In passing

In the silences on the phone I can hear how she sucks in her breath trying not to cry. No mother wants to hurt her own child yet I have done just that. Against my will I have had to tell her exactly how the spring finds us – what we can do and not do anymore.

a child at dawn
the mourning dove calls out
and I am old

Cycle of life

Leaf-strewn beaten earth in dappled shade, the path ahead follows the mountain’s curve. Below me there is the hiss of breaking surf on the outer reef. Above, a rustling forested slope rises to the mountain’s peak. Then I hear it, a harsh keening cry. A flash of white breast as the sea eagle drops like a stone, then rises in a smooth arc, a flapping fish in her claws. She settles on a rocky ledge high on the cliff face, folds her wings. Gaping beaks greet her.

the steady, relentless
hunger of life


The sun is shining but I can find no warmth. Alone among strangers. After all these years a single tear escapes and I am undone. Hope is misplaced. Lost where thoughts and deeds from the past gnaw. From the unstitched sky you appear to reassure and lead me back.

threads of friendship
woven together
with love and trust


I stand at a cusp: the tug of friendships, the pull of adventure, the drag of fear. A kookaburra swoops from a branch to claim an earthworm in my freshly turned soil. Trains roll past on the line nearby. From down the street a lawn mower chatters. On this pristine Autumn afternoon life continues all around. If we could see the future, would it make today’s choices easier?

the call of a currawong
knowing you are near

Opposites attract

On the other side of the world it is early spring. Beyond my family's blue-painted house, sturdy cherry trees lining the hilly avenue are still in bud. During my three weeks of grandmothering there, those yaezakura trees flower densely with deep pink double blossoms. And everywhere are tulips lighting up the parks and suburban gardens.
Now it is the morning of my departure; walking Gypsy I find the dogwoods in the next street are about to burst into shining white bloom.

as always
missing something here
missing something there

the echo
between heartbeats



Claire Everett
Autumn Noelle Hall

this mate of mine
always seems to know
how to comfort me...
a feather and a feather
to ornament the nest

how to return
these noble kindnesses...?
in dozens—
hearts beating within their shells
each life pulse, a recompense

is a sky of eggshell blue
still flecked with dawn..
naked, helpless, blind
these dreams about to wake

how long I waited
for your eyes to open
to me...
first light piercing the breach
and then...a whole new world

colours still wet
we perch above the stream
the breath that takes us
back to the dream

talon-gripped twig
relinquished—all my false
the certainty of the plunge
lending strength to these, my wings!

how to stay grounded
beneath this boundless sky
when my heart
has the wingspan
of a red kite...

chagrinned, I’ll admit
that twinkly bauble caught my
eye as much as light—
like magpie, you know how
to pin my heart to home

stick upon stick
our bed in the ruins...
this nape is yours to preen,
come, be my lifelong love

Arabic swan song:
‘Ya’aburnee,’ cracked open:
‘you bury me’
let me die first, that I
may never live without you...




Kirsten Cliff
Kat Creighton

seeing myself reflected
in his sunglasses . . .
how long have I been
inside this chrysalis

these ruins
swaddled in fresh snow
and I
beneath boundless stars
wriggle out of the darkness

hoping I'll know
when I've become whole . . .
so much to learn
watching the sunflowers
watching the sun

morning frost
reaching for a source
of warmth
I rearrange by color
the sea glass on the sill

lightning storm—
still this humid air
remains . . .
my mixture of old
and new scars

where the ice ends
and the river begins
uncharted depths . . .
the measure of this life
mapped in ebb and flow

on the wave
of a cuckoo's song
we drift again
over last night's dream
. . . this need for control

every leaf
from every branch
long gone . . .
so much moonlight to carry
my endless prayers

across this expanse of sky
two rainbows
shedding the shadow
from my heart

finally free of winter's grasp
the footlamps along the path
guide me
to a space wide enough
for wings


Haiga by Máire Morrissey-Cummins


Tzetzka Ilieva
Elizabeth McFarland
Richard St. Clair

lingering heat
a leaf rides the wind swells
in the bird bath              /TI

a hermit crab fights the foam
from the flowing tide                 /RS

the intricacies
of a knitting pattern
in a new language                      /EM

face-to-face encounter
with a dancing Vajrapani           /TI

torn tickets strewn about
the empty racetrack stable...
it was a sure thing                     /RS

pale moths all as one
rising to the full moon    /EM

that half-inch space
between my knee and yours
last Monday meeting                 /TI

after lights' out
the janitor flips through Elle                   /RS

cloves in a muslin bag
flavouring the glühwein
the scent of roasting almonds                 /EM

a cake of dark rosin
in a padded velveteen shell                    /TI

she steps on dandelions
searching round the garden
for fiddlehead ferns                               /RS

high over the land
the skylark's first song               /EM

Composed at The Renku Group, October 2012



Owen Bullock
Patricia Prime

after letting out
this grief
it is as if
I am living
for the first time

I’ve known
the love of parents
& lovers
how they vanish leaving
only a touch of memory

how tenuous
our connections
through wires
words and handshakes
cold embraces

I try to see
what I can count on
the start of spring
suede buds of magnolias
and light on the oak leaves

the starlings
fly up in a vast flock
glide back
in twos & threes
to the feeding grounds

evening clings
to the damp greenery
in the garden
and the southern cross
illuminates the blue


Margaret Dornaus
Kirsten Cliff

crossing the river
into this new year, alone
I stop
to look at every turn
before I carry on

first dream of the year
diagnosing her pain
as leukaemia . . .
could I find the strength
to do it over again

on the bench
at the foot of her bed
a clutch of tissues . . .
abandoned like the words
she can no longer recall

I hear her say
she's lost the will to live . . .
the waves
keep on cresting
keep on breaking

winter fog—
the lighthouse steps
we climb
to see whatever
we might see

all day long
the peacock's cry
once again
I fail to listen
to my intuition

a bird’s nest
of old love letters tucked
inside my desk drawer. . .
the over-wintering seeds
I’ll scarify come spring

packing a jumper
for my return to hospital
I notice a strand of hair
still safe in its curl
from the winter before

a house, a dog, a husband . . .
the answers to my questions
in a woodpecker’s song

blackbird’s wing—
will I always see you
in this sunlit sheen . . .
today I wish only
the answer could be yes



Terri French
Jane Reichhold

a lost calf's cry
through the tule fog
red bluff

behind bars again
safe at home with mom

a wall of sandbags
hopes fall
as the river rises

searching the records
the last time this happened

moon river
elevator music
taking me back

one by one memories
threaded on bare string

a slipping sun
the days are love beads
through my fingers

lifeguard off duty
a peek at her tan lines

anthology of poems
he searches for her name
to find himself

supermarket flowers
in a milk glass vase

the cashier is having
a bad day

Monday morning spat
with this stubborn cowlick

a day moon
too tired to go to bed
in this heat

sweat beads above
the baby's lip

flea bites
the half-grown cat feigns

confessions spilled
over oolong tea

ah now I see
the shape of the tree
in fallen petals

behind closed lids
bluish fractals drift

chasing rainbows
the tug before she lets go
of his hand

the stroke victim points
to a word on the chalk board

vintage china
pieces into a dustpan
another apology

an egg in the Disney movie
Humpty Dumpty seems real

driving home
snow at the windshield is
white noise

that skidding sound
the size of another car

written on
the foggy window
a suggestion

pointing to the candy hearts
she feels his sweetness harden

lover's leap
questions teeter
on their tongues

still married after fifty years
who can explain it or say why

blood moon –
 how to measure the pulse
of this resting earth

the number of bulbs
planted on an autumn afternoon

leaf mulch
all the sunny days still
red and yellow

a bruise turns green
on the grocer's thumb

keeping connected
these dots on the map
are family members

a push pin to mark
the journey's end

a complete circle
cherry blossoms drop
on the wreath

grass grows taller
around dried dung

Date started: Easter Sunday 8th April 2012
Date finished: June 21, 2012



Haiga by Anne-Dore and Wolfgang Beutke



Claudia Brefeld
Helga Stania

 Side 1 – jo

der blaue Schimmer
ferner Straßen

Rose of Sharon
the blue shimmer
of distant roads


Am Ufer des Yangtse
Kühle suchen

on the banks of the Yangtze
seeking for coolth


ein Glas Champagner
im Wellness-Hotel
großer Empfang

a glass of champagne
in the wellness hotel
great reception


linke Schulter „toitoitoi“
schon hebt sich der Vorhang

left shoulder „good luck!“
and the curtain rises




Side 2 – ha

die Silbersichel
lugt ins Fenster – Kinder
schnitzen einen Moo

the crescent
look in at the window – children
carve a Moo


er trägt Uniform
zur Hochzeit tanzt das Laub

he wears uniform
leaves dance for wedding


Schreie im Nebel
ihr Foto zerfetzt
von Granaten

cries in the fog
her photo shredded
by grenades


über kargen Wäldern
Bartgeier auswildern

above barren woods
bearded vultures returned to the wild


Tratsch beim Friseur
zwei Trockenhauben

tittle-tattle at the hairdresser
two hood dryers


So viel Arbeit! Wassilissa
befragt ihre Puppe

such a lot of work!
Wassilissa asks her puppet



Side 3 – ha

Dritte Adventskerze …
im Elternschlafzimmer
raschelt Geschenkpapier

third Advent candle …
in the parents‘ bedroom
rustling gift wrap


zum Fasnachtsball
der Mond mit Wolkenmaske

Shrove Tuesday prom
the moon with cloud mask


erster Arbeitstag
aus dem Radio

first work day
on the radio
severe weather alerts


ein neues Sounddesign
für die GoldWing

a new sound design
for the GoldWing


hochrote Wangen
Tim greift nach
Udos Hand

burning cheeks
Tim reaches for
Udo’s hand


während des Stillens
ein Abendgebet singen

while nursing
singing an evening prayer




Side 4 – kyû

verflüssigtes Licht
im Brunnengeflüster
Zukunft vergessen

liquified light
in the fountain's whisper
forgetting the future


Highlands –
Hügel tragen das Feuer

Highlands –
hills keep the fire


junge Mädchen ...
ein Windhauch

young girls ...
a gentle wind
plum blossoms


dem Zeichen froher Tage

brimstone butterfly
sign of cheery days


Patricia Prime
Owen Bullock

                                    summer afternoon
                                    Black Sabbath plays
                                    on my son’s stereo

I watch you walk in with the sun through the open French windows. You sit down with a smile, unshaven as if returning from a long journey. You pour coffee, add some sugar and stir in the milk  with work-worn hands. How have you been, all these days and nights in a different world?

The Zargans were friendly, initially, but when it came to playing games. I found they took things too seriously and couldn’t handle losing.

                                    after chess
                                    he moves the pepper shaker
                                    like a knight

Together we watch an old black and white series of Doctor Who, (11 Doctors to be featured over 11 months) even though he was scared of the Daleks and their weird voices when he was a child. In the series, Daleks are cyborgs made from their original forms, extraterrestrial Kaleds from the planet Skaro, genetically modified and integrated within a robotic shell.

                                    speaking tube
                                    a cardboard cylinder
                                    covered with foil

Platform shoes, glitter on the face, arched fringes, and poppy guitar solos – the Glam Rock days seem like a dream.

                                    Blockbuster on the turn-table
                                    the centre seems
                                    so slow



Patricia Prime
Owen Bullock

                                                neighbourhood gossip
                                                even the trees whisper
                                                to each other
Part musical odyssey, part dazzling love story, Nica Rothschild left her fortune, a handsome husband and her children to follow the jazz legends Thelonius Monk and Charlie Parker. There was no-one in the family she could turn to except her great-niece Hannah who was sixty years her junior.
He always wore denims and hung out in the pubs for a chat. He no longer drank and explained that yoga had cured him of his addiction. He was much older than me, but I found his company inspiring.
                                                meditation –
                                                will there be
                                                another bell?
The fleeting high that lifts you after the morning cup of coffee; or is it that you have lived another day? After the sun rises and you look out on the brilliant blue sky, there is only hope.
                                                first day of autumn
                                                a week since we last talked
                                                of future plans
These lurking feelings from my past that there’s something the matter with me and that I’ve done something wrong are not based on any kind of truth.
                                                editing poems
                                                your legs
                                                across my lap
When I die, what will I have offered?
I find myself pushing open the gate and walking firmly down the path beside the memorial plaques, where flowers nod in the sunshine. And if there was some miraculous way to go back in time, I’d tell him what he meant to me and how I would have changed nothing.
                                                bright hillside
                                                between the clouds
                                                a welcome swallow



Autumn Noelle Hall
Gary James Foster

  one shadow
  conjoins two brothers pointing
  out to sea
  where rolling waves still roil
  with their father’s memory
  bamboo rod
  tip fired in driftwood coals
  scars the cheek—
  drunken-swung and face-stricken
  with his father’s memory
  hand-me-downs—one son’s
  guttural explosions
  striking home...
  hardwood floors reverberate
  with his father’s memory
  beaten down
  mother and child wander
  Christmas Eve streets
  Church doors shuttered against need
  and the Father’s memory
  propped up
  Dad’s pick-up truck balanced
  on his bourbon cup—
  the driving thirst born of need
  and his father’s memory
  crowbar brawl
  Dad emerges smiling wide
  despite bandaged brow
  “You should see the other guy!”
  echoes father’s memory
  head thrown back,
  his red mustache uncurling
  with that laugh...
  one son’s lover won over
  dreaming father’s memory
  mountain fastness—
  round valley Indian guide
  wielding whetted blade
  feeds us warm stag's liver
  in the Great Father's memory
  pipe-fitting hands
  channel water, wield fire,
  mend the broken...
  the welder molds his boys
  in their father’s memory
  sea steel-raw
  coldness soldered fast to bone—
  out, shadowed brothers!
  the foam on the wave recedes
  with your father’s memory



Mary White (m) and Kathy Earsman (k) as sabaki
Tomislav Maretič (t)
Rebecca Barker (r)
Valeria Simonova-Cecon (v)

where summer shadows stroke the earth birds sing and so do we /k

today sunshine closely follows the rain /b

now soaking now drying...the laundry on the line /t

smiling as she tenderly wraps her baby /m

forgotten in the attic the teddy bear hasn't grown /v

dusty harvest moon interrupts the spiders    /b

a little plane

in the Milky Way twin kling twin kling twi /v

what a rock!

wide green eyes gaze at her  sparkler /m

singing "Zelene oči"
his glass

he breaks on the inn's wall /t


our last kiss


and a fur coat   
thrown into snow /v


throughout the long night

the polar bear


they snuggle

and his mum /b


at break of day


a calm sea 
hugs the shoreline /m

crying as my glasses sink into the deep water /b

tiny shiny moons on each kitchen knife /v

here lies a witch's wig made of shredded black stockings /m

one long hair flutters in her dreamcatcher /k

in gentle water colour hues she paints cherry blossom /m

new life emerges from the morning mist /t



Simone K. Busch
Ralf Bröker 

through bare branches
a blackbird keeps singing
moving day
new ringtone – Schubert's
 shepherd on the rock

 woolen jumper
 away into his wardrobe
old habits
cedar block's scent
whisking matcha

blue night
 in a nursing home
 harvest moon

out with my dog
now the torch gives out

falling rye
drowned by
John Deere

 after the phone call
dough punching
parents’ evening
 a slip of paper asks
yes – no – perhaps
split up a
airlines on strike
 two men miss
their parade
along gingko alley
a Japanese tune
she talks about
controlling ovulation

 i throw a shadow
and watch it creep
best in class
again mates name him
evening hike
for scream therapy
tourists taste
local beer

as the glacier calves
my neighbor groans
at the entrance door
balmy wind
weeds hide concrete plates
from 1944
the old ones so close
via Skype
 Easter walk with
daughter's first friend

snow dances
under streetlights
last unicorn
a Hummer starts
carefully on black ice
roaring fire
 in the mountain hut
spirits rise
having drunk her coffee
she takes an aspirin and leaves
a rainmaker becomes
date at court
ducks observe ducklings

 next exit
maple moon

amongst wet leaves
parts of lottery tickets

misty morning
 in my mind's eye
Joy Division

Wednesday demonstration
aged woman's voices persist
sound truck
after sound truck
better times better times

 sunshine dribbles
from Buddha’s nose

pink carpet
under this cherry tree
texting her

 soft peal of bells
 a brimstone butterfly takes off



Gary Blakenship
Alegria Imperial

moon on the sea blankets the sand
under a blanket body shapes

“a seagull’s shadow across the moon”
cutting across foam moon shadows

on the beach below a Brocken moon
slumbering moon the half-covered beach

the night reflected on a paper moon
a crackling paper moon in the camp fire

warmer away the cresting waves
in your breath wave inflections

out of the sea the moon breaks over us
through laced twigs dawn creeps on the moon

stars in your eyes moon in your hair
bits of moon gold in your sand prints

a hermit crab caught in moonlight
waning moonlight a shell in my hand

hand in hand towards the neon moon
the winged moon on shifting clouds

translucent blue moon our martini
on our lips glinting moon drops



Jane Reichhold
B. Steiner

warm wind
from another state
you in my dream

I fell asleep to rain pounding the roof. The hollowness of the room is a drum echo, an internal, second skin, holding wet explosions in deep-throated resonance. It was silent when first light hit the room and I knew the forecast: snow. Sunrise stretched into thin colors across the horizon. A stark wind pushed tendril ghosts of snow toward the rising sun. Sacrifice them. Cirrus clouds scrape pastel fetters from the rising moon, peach drained of juice, teal without the ocean, pink when the maiden no longer blushes.

the empty dome full of
green growing

 “The universe hates a void.” Sorry, you prosaic prattlers, but the universe loves a void, many voids, lacunae everywhere. The universe is void for God’s sake and for that matter God appears to be a void as well. We are all hollow bubbles, floating in the center of our own being, seeing our reflections on the inner surface. We are making god in our own image.

Indian legend
of the man who lost his head
now the moon

There is nothing to receive this passion. It just spills onto the ground, the space between us, your receding shadow; it fills clouds and dissipates across the land. Rain becomes river and soaks deep into the earth. It just flows. I don’t have to worry about it coming back to me, because it won’t. There is no mirror, no chalice, no shared wine, perhaps there is only pissing under the stars.

long thirsty hike
at the top of the cliff
swallowing beauty

I was nearly fifty when I finally realized I did not have the power to make any one love me. No matter how hard I tried to be good, or what I thought was being good, no available action bought me love. I could make a situation a bit more pleasant, but I could not get the other person to love me – usually the opposite happened! The harder I tried the faster came the rejection.

curling in a ball
of warmth and affection
cat comes to bed

Unconditional love. Sometimes it floats up and out toward a child, a mate, or friend. Other times one has to work at it. Pulling away the briars, untangling the ivy, digging out the weeds. In old age, no longer chasing after hearts, yet the spirit longs to give and take love. To keep the muscle toned and active, I have at times, given myself the task of learning to love the person who I hate the most. Taking weeks, or years, the job continues and my circle of love takes in someone new.

setting a trap
the noose of desire
encircles nothing

Rarely we would drive for twenty minutes ascending the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, feeling our way along the asphalt strip barely unfolding its curves until the last minute. It climbs through the lifeless wild oats of balding hills with the fog obscuring everything but the huge claws of valley oaks, their countless talons drooping and fettered, trying to scratch through the emptiness. When a light suddenly rises off the ground and within a few seconds the fog has thinned to invisibility and you are standing in pure naked sunlight. You shield your eyes from the life of golden oats and the sheer green of a digger pine, normally a rather military shade of khaki, the phosphorescent blue sky and the blinding light.

out of the craggy peaks
comes the moon

Take me to the mountains, deep within the folds of the earth, that collect in a rumpled mass below the high peaks of granite bones. There, where the edge of the earth scrapes against the sky, clouds gather a moist friction, swirling against infinity. I am calling those clouds to fill the basin to which you have brought me. The soft fleece obscures the sun, then lets it burn through again, only long enough to heat my skin.   

Mother earth
at the horizon she meets
Sister sky

By returning the body, our dust, we are finally able to inhabit both sky and earth together. Gone is the longing to soar. That need to lift up, be our greater illuminated selves. We can be there! To be where our old bodies no longer can go. To be with everyone at once. That freedom, once so lightly taken, contains one last hurdle. Unthinkingly. Changing day by day. Dying.

fading fast
hot sun wrings the moonflower
limp rag of spent lust


Why are used condoms such icky things? Basically they have an excellent purpose and I think all of us should be glad to see and know that someone was kind enough, cautious enough, caring enough, to use it. It seems to me finding one should be an instant of joy and thanksgiving for the person who demonstrated such marvelous attributes. But still. . . 

fruitless mulberries
the ones we love best
learned to not give

When I calculate my worth to others, I base it completely on what or how much I give or gave. Yet when I do get around to placing a value on others; that is never a factor! I value other people by how good they are to work with not with how much they give me. Hmmmm. There is something not quite right here. It is easier to give than to take. I think I just revealed that I have a fibro personality. 

om the black hole
the birth of a galaxy
one sun a day 

Check this out. I particularly like the way the quasar is spewing in high energy particles. Will the scientists never see the analogy?

out of focus
in the camera’s lens
a new face

Mendocino skyscraper
164 window panes
2 stories higher than the ridge
$40.00 worth of wood

Silver's cabin
six years have passed since the last human inhabitants packed their things and went home; some mice have moved in for a while feasting and nesting; every now and then a spider; the cold and damp Mendocino mists settled in gnawing on steel turning warm rugs to cold earth for mushroom beds rain followed footsteps into the cabin a chimney sweep of jovial dimensions replaced the stovepipe and lit a fire a simple housewarming to
drive out the cold and damp, the ghosts of winter, an old salamander spitting and hissing at the ammonia slithers reluctantly away to find a new homeopathic

making love
the edge of the porch
reaches the sky

There we lie suspended between the aging trunks of aspens, hanging in the balance, caught in the web of hammock that presses our bodies into one cocoon.  The webs and roots, sun rays splintered by the moving leaves wind us into a deep and dreamless sleep, fold our bodies into one another and knit the seams with our own breath.

a daisy chain
love too is hard to keep

We drove all day going straight from Moab to Flagstaff with literally only one left turn onto Hwy 89. Grateful to be a passenger, I watch the distant hills and clouds change shape and color: At the point of the horizon, it takes a sharp eye today to distinguish where the light blue hills and mountains obscured by sky end and the dark bodies of clouds emerge. Tonight I lie awake and stare into the darkness at a horizon I cannot see and I feel myself continually trying to distinguish between clouds and land, illusions, simple possible futures, and the lay of the land.

by moonlight
the journey ends up as
an affair of the heart

My feelings move like shadows from the late afternoon sun, filling the drainages and valleys below Castle Rock. That shadow creeps into my smile, as you turn me around to look at you. It seeps from my eyes as tears. You hold me close and ask in a soft voice if we can just enjoy each other now. No promises, no future and not even much of a past, but as I hold your bare chest to mine, the late sun stretches our shadows across the ravine and we land on the slopes of Castle Rock as lovers, wrapped in a light sweat and the last heat of one autumn day. 

swirling eddies
invitation to linger
at every bend

In the garden of Leo the Lion. That’s where I go when I need to get out of the people world. Just off the path to the left there is a tree with a large crack in it – a split big enough for me to slip through. Inside the tree the amethyst crystals surround me as if I have stepped into the center of a person-high geode. On the other side is a small hole opening to green grass. On my hands and knees I wiggle through the elastic membrane. There before me is a wide sunny meadow. On the far side is a stream but I am always most interested in what is standing before me. A real full-grown lion. My power animal.

another full year
tigers in the teacup
still steaming

I know it is against renga rules to write of death in the last links but just today I learned of another death. My high school social studies teacher – Robert Strahm. Subject of my girlish crushes, light of my days, and instructor for life. The news of his death in the last days of December brings to 17 – the number of persons whose deaths have touched me deeply in the past year. Person by person I move to the other side.

he loves me not
as all the petals fall
so do the lovers

If love is the greatest good we can have on this earth and if no good is ever lost, then persons who have had many loves are the greatest containers of good. Think of canned peaches. Remember marigolds. Invest in people not gold. The take home doggie bag of one book was the idea that one should find some good in each day and make sure you are part of it. What else is there to do today?

Date started: January 23, 2013
Date finished: February 14, 2013




Patricia Prime
Owen Bullock

                        in the water
                        where we stood

Clear water rushes in, scattering shells and crabs on the dark crust of shore and I watch as a little girl chases the wave into stillness. It returns, frosted with foam like meringue. She turns and beckons to me. I try to say, “Come back”, but the rush of waves smothers my words and I panic for a moment or two, but then the girl runs off to make a castle with her brother. On the sand lies a conch shell, its coral-coloured ear turned towards the ocean, collecting secrets only a child can hear.

                        each the same
                        but unlike the others

The containers washed up a couple of days ago; there are still eight or ten on the beach. Whilst I amble, tractors with trailers full of sacks of milk powder grunt past. Piles of broken pallets are stacked every hundred metres or so above the tide line. A young man on a quad bike speeds up and down between the various container sites. They've made a gash through the dunes so the containers can reach the crane which sits on the back of a truck in a parking area; another truck stands by.

Some of the containers are mangled, others fully intact and with about the capacity of a small house. Rangers stand in front of the beached hulks 'guarding' them as hundreds of people mill about, often almost getting in the way. The tractor doesn't even slow down when it comes through with its next load.

Two excavators loosen a container from the sand that keeps sucking them in as the sea washes around. The young man from the quad bike stands in water up to his neck in front of the excavators and dives under with chains to attach to the bulk. Two bulldozers, one in front, one behind then push and pull the wreck up the beach. When it's well clear of the waves; they detach as soon as possible and head upwind to the next beached cargo. The excavators are already on their way, and so is the crowd, as if heading for the fair.

                        instead of checking
                        our lotto numbers

At the far end of the beach are steps cut into the rock that lead to a pathway over the cliffs. Sunlight falls on pohutukawa and nikau palms. Bush and more bush inland shrouds the slopes. From here there is a panoramic view across the bay to the devastation below. Days later a band of volunteers armed with buckets and shovels help clean up pockets of tarry oil and rubbish and rescue distressed birds.

                        grass slope
                        a pavilion
                        plays host

                        at the centre   of chaos   fluorescent jackets

                        clenching his teeth
                        the overseer
                        takes notes

I was to go kayaking today but don't feel up to it; crashed yesterday after a busy week, missed a family birthday and need to rest. We would have been on the water on this still day. The delicacies of grey in the clouds first thing were myriad. I don't feel like going out much any more, entertainment, even music, has ceased to be entertaining

                        erhhehta errhehta erhhehta

Now fog is coming from the head to the pasture; it will soon be hard to see the channel. It's raining. Flocks of birds pass in and out of sight.

                        Saturday morning -
                        watching bees
                        and ants

                        wooden bench
                        inside the eye, its
                        a splinter











Jan Foster, Leader
Anne Benjamin
Amelia Fielden
Marilyn Humbert
Keitha Keyes
Jane Reichhold
Carmel Summers

Claire Everett
Autumn Noelle Hall

Kirsten Cliff
Kat Creighton

Haiga by Máire Morrissey-Cummins

Tzetzka Ilieva
Elizabeth McFarland
Richard St. Clair

Owen Bullock
Patricia Prime

Margaret Dornaus
Kirsten Cliff

Terri French
Jane Reichhold

Haiga by Anne-Dore and Wolfgang Beutke

Claudia Brefeld
Helga Stania

Patricia Prime
Owen Bullock

Patricia Prime
Owen Bullock

Autumn Noelle Hall
Gary James Foster

Mary White Kathy Earsman
Tomislav Maretič
Rebecca Barker
Valeria Simonova-Cecon

Simone K. Busch
Ralf Bröker 

Gary Blakenship
Alegria Imperial

Jane Reichhold
B. Steiner

Patricia Prime
Owen Bullock


Back issues of Lynx:

XV:2 June, 2000
XV:3 October, 2000
XVI:1 Feb. 2001
XVI:2 June, 2001
XVI:3 October, 2001  
XVII:1 February, 2002
XVII:2 June, 2002
XVII:3 October, 2002
XVIII:1 February, 2003
XVIII:2 June, 2003
XVIII:3, October, 2003
XIX:1 February, 2004
XIX:2 June, 2004

XIX:3 October, 2004

XX:1,February, 2005

XX:2 June, 2005
XX:3 October, 2005
XXI:1February, 2006 
XXI:2, June, 2006

XXI:3,October, 2006

XXII:1 January, 2007
XXII:2 June, 2007
XXII:3 October, 2007

XXIII:1February, 2008
XXIII:2 June, 2008

XXIII:3, October, 2008
XXIV:1, February, 2009

XXIV:2, June, 2009
XXIV:3, October, 2009
XXV:1 January, 2010
XXV:2 June, 2010
XXV:3 October, 2010
XXVI:1 February, 2011
XXVI:2, June, 2011
XXVI:3 October, 20111XXVII:1 February, 2012XXVII:2 June, 2012XXVII:3 October, 2012

XXVIII:1 February, 2013

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