Many of my poems I like.
But there are some I don’t.
I don’t know what they will
be like until they show their faces.
Sometimes I think I try too hard.
Strain too hard to get it right.
And then when it surfaces on the page
and the words hit the light
I see how coarse those words are,
not what I wanted at all.
Then I think
I am not good enough to be a poet.
And I feel very small.

Song got Stuck

I sang Sing with
many others.
My voice hovered overhead
and joined my sisters and brothers.
When a choir sings love is expressed.
Love for singing and music
and understanding. 

Our voices express the love we feel.
for the freedom of song and
our friendships that form when we sing.

That thought was so beautiful
my song got stuck on my face
and my cheeks got wet.

Dance like noone is watching

It is 10.45 pm. The bar attendants have turned the lights on not so subtly to let us know it is time to go. One of the waiters tell us they are closing the restaurant at 11 pm.

None of us want to go. The after affects of singing in a concert is being felt.  The desire to stay together just a bit longer united by music.

So we find somewhere else. We go past Young and Jackson where music is escaping out onto the street  Loud, smoky, mesmerising, thrumming.

We go in. We dance like we have not danced before. We dance to be caught up in the music once again. We dance for ourselves. Dancing in a circle of friends.  Connected. Smiling and singing known songs. Clapping. Swaying. Stomping. Not to maybe have a one night encounter.  Dancing for love of music.  Dancing for love of self.

Dancing like nobody is watching.

I hope I can sing tomorrow.




Birds on the Backyard Fence

I wrote this poem after I sang at fantastic places like the Vatican and Royal Albert Hall. I wondered how I could ever sing anywhere commonplace again and then I thought of the beautiful raucous birds who come to sing in my backyard fence on a daily basis. They look like they are having so much fun and they always have a happy tune to toot.

The Birds on My Backyard Fence

Birds come and sit on my fence.
It is such a delight to see.
Some small, some fat.
I watch them with glee.
Some fly away.
Some stay to chat.
All disappear when they see a cat.

They sit on my fence
in a nice straight line.
All plump little semibreves
and all of them mine.
All equal notes a whole note in length
as they sit in my garden
on my backyard fence.

I don’t think it goes through their minds
as they are singing there
how good the acoustics are or
the lack of decoration everywhere.
They are sitting there because
they have come to sing,
not to be impressed or be distracted by anything.

I enjoy their singing.
I enjoy their song.
Sometimes the songs are short,
sometimes they are long.
They are happy little warblers
as they sit singing there
blending their voices together
the music for all to share.

The birds taught me a lesson
which I thought I should share
about what things really matter
and why we should not care
about the quality of venue.
We could sing anywhere.
From St Peter’s Basilica to
a backyard fence somewhere.

What really matters is
we sing to have fun.
We sing to be together
as we sing in unison.
Each voice a personality,
a personality expressed in song.
A family of singers,
a place where we belong.

And if we can pass that happiness
onto someone watching there
that is just an extra pleasure for us all to share.
It doesn’t matter where we are be it
St Peter’s Basilica or
a backyard fence somewhere.

Archaeology of Voice

You are a fickle thing,
you who call yourself Voice.
I would not choose to follow you
if I had the choice.
But I am captivated
and astonished by you.
You make me hungry for more.
My mind and my heart will
always be yours
as you make sense of my life.

I don’t always understand
what you are willing to teach me.
Humility is such a hard
lesson to learn.
You teach me patience
and not to snatch
but to wait and share.

I think I understand you and then
you show me another side of yourself.
Once again I am lost
and confused.
I need to restart
and get to know you all over again.
Like archaeology there is
always a new layer of
tools to discover.

You are an uncomfortable instrument.
I am not sure whether I learn to manage you
or you learn to manage me.
You are fickle and contrary
but never boring.
It seem you have chosen me
as much as I have chosen you


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!