As I Think Of Kelp, How It Lies In The Shallows

Image by Alan Robb from Pixabay

the birds begin their evening declensions,
note by note, the grammar of praise.

The air cools. I close the window to a crack,
the pale sky falling out of sight, yoked

now to darkness. I write at my desk by the light
of a lamp: a small moon turning the tide.

How fathom the mysterious waters
in which my soul swims, finning stars?

The clock ticks but time sleeps
until I return to the bone-white shore,

a wave from far away, heartbeat of the ocean,
tugging at the wagging brown tongues of words.

This poem appeared in the Crosswinds 2019 Poetry Contest Anthology.

Poem Up at Thimble Literary Magazine

Photo by Aswin Raj on Unsplash

I’m thrilled one of my oldest poems has finally found the perfect home in Thimble Literary Magazine! My deep thanks to editor Nadia Arioli and her staff, who promote their contributors in as many ways as they can – they are a poet’s dream team! There will be a print version of the issue but my poem can be read now in their online one here 

Great News!

I’m thrilled to report that my poem “Ladies’ Night Out” was one of 57 finalist poems for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2022 and will be published along with the winner and other finalist poems in a contest anthology! My poem can be read here 

I did share this news in a Facebook post a couple of weeks ago when I briefly had wifi. I am still away on our boat but at last have some consistent wifi coverage! The winner was announced yesterday and you can read her poem and the judge’s commentary here 

It’s a win-win in my book when a contest (and this was a big one with a huge purse) offers publication to the finalists as well as the winner. My poem is one dear to me, I’ve tweaked it a few times over the years and I’m so pleased it finally gets to go out into the world in such an honorable way.

Two Poems Up At Crowstep Journal!

Photo by G-R Mottez on Unsplash

I’m thrilled to report that my two poems – “The Fog Lifts” and “Seagull”  can now be read/viewed at  Crowstep Journal Collection 2. My deep thanks to editors Sujatha Menon and John Herbert – such a beautifully crafted issue! Plus they have a Library section with links to authors’ books (like mine) and under Articles you can find a two-part Q & A that poet extraordinaire Robert Okaji did with me a few years ago!

I’m heading off on our boat again soon. Hope everyone is having a great summer!


Photo by Amin Alizadeh:

Through the window, quiet rain.
Through the window, a woman’s
hands arced in morning prayer.

If not rain, I would be a Thumbelina
sliding into the silky bell-bottoms
of flowers. If not hands, I would be
the day cupped between,
still secret-sweet.

If a flower, I would proceed brazenly
blossom by ecstatic blossom
down the winding April streets.
If the day, I would warble amazed
through all my encounters.

And if from a dark cave of longing
came the strength to thrust aside logs
of bark mulch, I would say love
itself sprouted green and slender
in the sun-slanted garden.

From across the room, you come
toward me. What would it take
to meet the horizon most feared
and sails flapping, drop anchor
in the storied harbour of your arms?

Through the window, the steam of rain
falling now into light, the backyard
cedars leaning toward us, generous
limbs outstretched, as if to say—
all it takes is yes.

Another older poem, first published in North Shore Magazine in 2008.

Pool Party

Photo by Angelo Pantazis on Unsplash

Not able to sleep:
a pool party happening
across the ravine –

all the happy screaming
bubbly voices
rising, falling,

washing the tired
lines of the day
from my eyes.

Is there something to celebrate
on a dark night that
has lasted far too long?

I would give up all
remaining sleep to be giddy
with the adolescent fervor I hear

and to pass it to the wind
which can’t keep secrets
and make you listen too

as I am listening now
for an invitation
to join in,

to celebrate so many bodies
all plunging together
into vast new worlds


An older poem, first published in North Shore Magazine in 2007 (and written a decade earlier). 

Two Poems Up At Soul-Lit

Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

The spring issue of Soul-Lit is now live and I have two poems in it that can be read here.

I’ll note that “Morning Blessing” previously appeared  in my chapbook “Irresistible” and “Kindness” in the anthology “Best of Kindness 2017” where it placed third. These notes were supposed to be included with their appearance here. Such a lovely journal! Do check out the rest of the issue.


Apples & Oranges

Photo by Anastasiya Romanova on Unsplash

This is just to say my entry into  The UK Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition 2021 bore some fruit after five years: I received a long and lovely  email saying a poem of mine (which is not being named so it can be submitted elsewhere etc) made the longlist of 108 poems – out of 16,729!  I had submitted two and it was of great interest to me to discover that the poem that went farthest wasn’t the lyrical, highly crafted one – but the more free-flowing, almost conversational more narrative one. So that’s something for me to think about, maybe compose more like that. Here’s a link to the results page, with the winning poems and the longlist from which they were chosen (listed alphabetically by each poet’s first name):

I’ve been away in Mexico for a couple of months so haven’t posted much and also haven’t read much of others’ blogs. I have lots of catching up to do! Happy Spring to you all!