Welcome to Poetic Pause

Whether it be for a brief moment or longer, we all need to stay still for a moment and just be. I've found over the years that my poetry helps me find those moments. I can drift away when reading the poetry of others and discover new ideas, new ways of thinking, of being.

When I settle down to write a new poem, or to work on one written previously, I drift away again, and grow as I write. Time takes on a different dimension, and my head goes places it has never been before. I love to write poetry, it's one of the best things there in the world - it's up there with chocolate when it's going well!

There are so many things to write poetry about, and so many different forms of poetry, from tiny 17 syllable haiku, to 200 page verse novels. All of the different forms have merits, and all can take you and your readers to interesting places.

Monday, September 5, 2016

My New Poetry Collection

Today the postie brought me some lovely mail. One of the pieces was an event invitation, the other was a book. The event isn't relevant to poetry at all, but the book sure is. The book was my first copy of my newest book - a poetry collection, published by Ginninderra Press, a fine South Australian publisher, which many of my b=clever writer friends have been published by.

I've wanted to become a Ginninderra writer, and now I finally am one, hooray to me! My book is "Tense & Still", and is a book of my poetic thoughts about the creatures in my life, from the dogs I love, to cats, rabbits, lambs, foxes, insects, lizards, and a variety of less lovely critters. I don't hesitate to look at the darker side of living, and that is the sometimes bloody end, when creatures may die, as we all will, in the end.

I don't hide from death, and I'd like to think this book may be a way to help older children to think about both life and death. I would love to take this book into classrooms, and discuss these matters at some stage ...

Life and death, are both real, and there is no way to hide from either one.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Playing games with Haiku

Today I was thinking about a new form of Haiku. Or it may not actually be a 'new'; form at all, I don't know. I'm prepared to hear what others think about my ideas concerning Haiku in Australia. I will call this form AussieKu or perhaps Ausku.

This form is about the idea of writing haiku which are Australian. Australia is a great big country, and many of the things about Australia are unique to our land. The wide open lands, where a kangaroo hopping past with her baby or babies in her pouch can certainly be there in the paddocks, by the roads, in the bushland ...

So this line of thinking jumped into my mind this morning when three crows flew overhead, calling as they went,  and then began circling overhead, above a paddock not far from my house. I thought about sheep in the paddocks, and the new lambs I've been seeing in these past few weeks, and a small poem was suddenly in my head.

This is an edited version of the initial poem:

The crows overhead
cawing, then circling over lambing ewes ...
Faaaaak, faaaark!

I've lived in the country long enough now, to imagine the mayhem that might occur, if one of the ewes were to get into trouble as they bring their new lambs into the world. Childbirth can be a worrying time, whether you're human or an animal. My heart aches for the bloodied babe that becomes a victim of Nature at its further bloodiest times.

I may not be a farmer, and for that I am often thankful, but I am a caring person, and I have been a small animal breeder in my past. Every new creature is a blessing, and every life is to be helped as much as possible. Farming is all a gamble though, and Mother Nature doesn't care either way, I don't think. Lamb or crow, it means everything, and it means nothing to Mother Nature ...

So what do you think? Do you have thoughts about any of this? I'd love to read about your thoughts ...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Poetry is Many Things

Hi, I've been thinking about poetry, and enjoying the way my thoughts have been going. Poetry is indeed many things, and I wrote the following on a friend's Facebook page recently, in response to " Writers Write"


By posting that, what was I trying to put across? My initial thoughts were just to play with the word/words. That's certainly one of the ways at looking at it. But poetry is many things, and playing can lead to doing, and can lead further to presenting in a variety of different ways.

I've been thinking about identity lately, in response I suppose to the Gawler Friends of the Library poetry competition with Identity as its theme. Who am I? What do I do? How do want others to think about me? How do I want to think of myself?

Last week, thoughts like these led me to thinking about, and then writing a 'Rap-style" poem. The poem felt so good to write, that I felt I had to share it with others, so that's what I did on Monday. I'm the "Writer-in-Residence" at Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery three times a week, and Mondy is one of my days there.

I printed out my Rap, on card rather than paper, and in a larger than usual font, so I could more easily read my words, and keep them handy as needed. I read that poem at least five times on Monday, and apparently, every time I read it, I got more into the "Rapper" mode.

So who am I? Wife, mother, writer, dog lover

- yeah sure, I'm all of that. But I'm a Rapper now too, and I'm sharing my word with all of my Sistas, fighting to get the word out about who they are, what they want, all of those things - we all have lives and stories to tell, and don't get in our way, dude, 'cos we are on our way to GOOD things!

Haiku, rap, villanelle, ballads, these are all poetry, give them a TRY and you may be thrilled with the results.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Adelaide Plains Poets "Transitions" Poetry Competition 2016 Judge's Report Judge: SB Wright

'Transitions' Adelaide Plains Poets 2016 Poetry competition Judge's Report

Adelaide Plains Poetry Inc
"Transitions" Competition
Judges Report

Judge: SB Wright


Open Division

1st place:         Fade Out (poem 57) Damen O'Brien 
2nd place:       raptor (poem 104) Glen R Jones
3rd place:        Change of Heart (poem 96) Rees Campbell


Schoolies (poem 79) Melinda Kallasmae, Bigger on the Inside (poem 98) Jenny Blackford, Wood turning (poem 78) Melinda Kallasmae

Secondary School Division

1st place:        Timeless Despair (poem 2) Alexandria Walker
2nd place:       Under an Army of Clouds (poem 1) Valini Goorha

Primary School Division

1st place:         Pinery (poem 3) Sarah Pettina
2nd place:       Once (poem 2) Ashleigh Dowling

General Comments:

Open division:

The poems submitted this year displayed a wealth of variety and inventiveness, covered subject matter from the comical to the tragically personal.  It was a privilege to read a number of fine poems and personal narratives.  The theme of Transitions was approached directly and indirectly with life changes featuring prominently.  The place winners and highly commended poems excelled not just in their tackling of the theme but in those elements of poetry they chose to promote.

Secondary School Division:

While not as highly subscribed as the open category all entrants were courageous in their attempts to tackle heavy subject matter.  There was plenty evidence here of students using the emotional power of poetry.

Primary School Division:

There was great variety in the poetry, as to be expected considering the different age groups and levels of development.  The place getters though were hard to differentiate, displaying skill and judgement that could have seen them compete in the Secondary School Division.

Commentary on winners:

Open Division:

The Fade Out :

From the outset it’s the music of this poem that begins to seduce you.  There’s a definite iambic rhythm, with enough variation in feet and line length for it to form a strong under current rather than a steady trot. 

This is further complemented by repetition and reversal of phrases (especially in the first stanza and the end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth) and subtle and sparingly placed internal rhyme.  The effect is one of subtle echo or melody which I find aligns exceptionally well with the content.

The rhetoric, the logical structure and unfolding of the poem is again a well articulated use of the theme.  There were other poems that were far more subtle in their construction around the theme of “Transition” and there were others that were more blatant. 

What the poet achieved here was a good balance, using Transition in both the literal and metaphoric sense. Surrounding the keyword with other film terminology that supports the extended metaphor made it settle into the poem far better than if it had focussed entirely on Transition.

The imagery was an enticing mix of staple images of natural transitions or nature transitions and the aligning of film terminology with our internal psychology of self was engaging both on an intellectual and emotional level.

Secondary School Division

Timeless Despair:

In judging the secondary school division the hardest part was judging excited young poets who were throwing all their learning and talent at the piece. Timeless Despair emerged as clear winner for much the same reasons that the winner in the Open section did. 

The poem presented, was a well rounded piece using a number of poetic elements.  Other poems in this division sported more complicated diction and more formal registers, but fell down in presenting a clear narrative or logical unfolding of the poem’s ideas .  This poem has a simpler diction and a more common register and this aligns with a straightforward narrative.  The end rhymes don’t feel forced or too cliched - indeed the poet displays as good a handle on rhyme as some of those in the open division.

Primary School Division:


Not a great deal separates 1st and 2nd place in the primary division.  Pinery, though displayed a clearer sense of the theme, managed seven end rhyming couplets  and gave this reader a rounded and complete movement of both idea and poem.  But above all there was a sense of it being firmly bedded in lived experience, beautifully articulated.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Gawler Festival of Words 2016

The Adelaide Plains Poets writing group is again going to hold the Festival of Words in July. The Gawler event, the inaugural event, was successful and we are working hard to make the 2016 event even better! We've begun our first crowdfunding campaign, and are hoping many other people who love words will get involved and help us!


We are using indiegogo to raise some more funds, so that we have lots of money to give to the people who have been affected by these terrible fires. I know some of these people, and I very much hope this anthology may bring them some hope for a better future.

The anthology will contain creative writing from a broad range of situations and ages, and as the editor I am both humbled and delighted with the works I have seen so far.

Bad things happen, yes, but events like these fires have brought out the good in many, many people.Their personal stories about how the Pinery Fires affected them are in this anthology, covering the bad things at the beginning, to the more hopeful dreams for the future, and all of the hard work in between.

Puss in Boots is helping us with our fundraising efforts, and having him involved can bring a smile to most faces, regardless of their age.