An ocean corroded sandstone – Photo by Cassa Bassa at Clontarf Beach, Sydney, Australia

Your face tells a thousand stories.
The folds of your skin
capture every storm you endured.
In between,
there are records of victory
and triumph.

New generations keep rising up
to take up the challenge.
You stepped back tide after tide
until you no longer
protect them
at the front line,
instead you watch over them
in prayer.

We look to you for wisdom.
Your face is the evidence
that history doesn’t lie.
If we say
that you are only a stone,
we are fools
beyond the reach of gods.

Bay Walk

Photo by Cassa Bassa at Clontarf Reserve, Sandy Bay, Sydney, Australia

The evening bay reminds me
of an ageing woman
subdued in tiredness
letting go
after many years of
keeping up with her youth

Her face is exceedingly beautiful
under candlelight
soft and glowing
like an intriguing book
best to be read
with a glass of vintage wine
by an antique candelabra lamp

#songshare – Cactus Tree

Cactus Tree – Joni Mitchel

There’s a man who’s been out sailing
In a decade full of dreams
And he takes her to a schooner
And he treats her like a queen
Bearing beads from California
With their amber stones and green
He has called her from the harbor
He has kissed her with his freedom
He has heard her off to starboard
In the breaking and the breathing
Of the water weeds
While she was busy being free
There’s a man who’s climbed a mountain
And he’s calling out her name
And he hopes her heart can hear three thousand miles
He calls again
He can think her there beside him
He can miss her just the same
He has missed her in the forest
While he showed her all the flowers
And the branches sang the chorus
As he climbed the scaley towers
Of a forest tree
While she was somewhere being free
There’s a man who’s sent a letter
And he’s waiting for reply
He has asked her of her travels
Since the day they said goodbye
He writes “Wish you were beside me
We can make it if we try”
He has seen her at the office
With her name on all his papers
Through the sharing of the profits
He will find it hard to shake her
From his memory
And she’s so busy being free
There’s a lady in the city
And she thinks she loves them all
There’s the one who’s thinking of her
There’s the one who sometimes calls
There’s the one who writes her letters
With his facts and figures scrawl
She has brought them to her senses
They have laughed inside her laughter
Now she rallies her defenses
For she fears that one will ask her
For eternity
And she’s so busy being free
There’s a man who sends her medals
He is bleeding from the war
There’s a jouster and a jester and a man who owns a store
There’s a drummer and a dreamer
And you know there may be more
She will love them when she sees them
They will lose her if they follow
And she only means to please them
And her heart is full and hollow
Like a cactus tree
While she’s so busy being free

Price Tag

He stopped buying bread and milk from the service station up the road.
He couldn’t afford the price, tagged for the convenience.
He started to walk to the supermarket to shop.
Three months later, his shoes fell apart.
He stopped going out all together.
Three weeks later,
he was found dead by his neighbour’s dog
on his own front porch
at the age of 95.

God Tired

I don’t know how God does it.
He hears takers pray to Him
with long-ass shopping lists
without beginning with a decent greeting,
let alone the whimpers, the whiners, or the whingers.

I don’t know how God does it.
He gave us life and means to stay alive.
He even gave us His beloved Son
to teach and model righteous living.
And yet we keep on seeing the lacks and seeking destruction.

I don’t know how God does it.
He gets so little acknowledgement and takes so much blame.

I feel so tired for God.
He says to me,
“Little one! You are created in the likeness of Me. So you relate to my tireness. But little do you know, if there is even one grateful soul out there desiring to know Me, I Am restored.”

When The East Meets The West

The Living Poetry prompt – Epigraph

“Softly I am leaving,
Just as softly as I came;
I softly wave goodbye
To the clouds in the western sky.”

You didn’t see my quiet tears
blurred by my bright smile
Perfect love I left you with
broken dreams I took with me

I fold your smile into my silken sheets
kept under lock and key
I sleep naked on a bare bed
to fend off the ghost of our past

You come into my dreams
drenching me in your torrential rain of passion
I am defendness in the darkness of my subconscious

Precipitously you are leaving
Just as precipitously as you came
You precipitouly retrieve
from the flood of the eastern sea

Background of “On Leaving Cambridge – a poem by XU Zhimo

Her Last Heart Beat

This poem made it to Lisa’s Anthology of Poetry Heart Beats and was published by Prolific Pulse Press in March 2021. I was honoured to be included in this anthology along with other very talented poets. Purchase link here

I saw grandma lying in the palliative unit 

She was the last plum hanging on the branch 

Although she survived the summer sun 

Her overly ripen skin was purple and blue 

We gathered around her like a flock of sheep 

We retold the funny family stories 

Turning our tears into laughter 

We kissed her clammy forehead and cool hands 

We told her we loved her 

And promised to see her in heaven 

Her last heartbeat gave in 

While the new born birds chirping outside the window to welcome the golden sun 

Her Lips

This is written for the Living Poetry January visual poetry prompt

Library seems to be a boring place
But if you know where to look
there are treasures hidden between those old pine bookshelves

Her lips are one of those treasures
When she is focused on reading
Her dark hair drape to cover her face
The mid morning sun penetrades her hair
through the breezy window
licking her chocolate coated cherry lips

I’m barely able to sit still
The urge to grab the sunlight by the throat keeps building up
I get totally consumed by jealousy

Library can be a battlefield

Storm Express

This is written as a Six Sentence Story based on Denise’s word prompt- Express

It was close to midnight. We decided to drive to the beach to experience the ocean under the moonlight.

We swam far and deep out of the ocean, exhilarated, shrieking with excitement between waves. The waves built bigger and stronger tossing us to a dangerous new high.

Then came the indigo storm, running towards us like an express train, forcing us to swim for our life. When it hit the shore in such great force, we were spat out like wreckage, exhausted and intertwined, looking like a cluster of seaweeds.