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While I am predominantly known internationally as a haiku poet, I have always written some other forms of poetry. The majority, of course, being

~ free verse ~

In the early years I simply began writing short verse which did not rhyme.

CREPUSCULAR CHILD

we meet
at twilight when the
heat of day has passed and
the woodland holds its breath
the only sound the soft
muttering of song birds as they
settle for the night

he’s there attuning himself
to the fading light
watching the flight of a wild
duck from the dam
a possum scurrying from
his pathway
a chain of bats across the sky
he bends to drink
i step out of the shadows

he pauses for a moment
rises and effortlessly bounds
away

After I fell in love with haiku, I began writing verse which was more or less sequences of haiku, or haiku-like lines. They were usually untitled.

beginning
across the lowlands
a hush

midday heat beats
down on sparse brush

in flight
without touching
swamp harriers exchange
their prey

extending your hand
you raise me to my feet
faint wings beating

Some of these short poems were published. I am very grateful to the editors who did see some value in them. Cornelis Vleskens, who was then editing the Gargoyle Poets’ Series for Maka Press, included my work in their series.

For a number of years I mainly concentrated on studying and writing haiku. I wrote very little other verse, and consequently did not send it out for publication.

In the years when editors of mainstream magazines did not particularly care to take haiku for their pages, I devised a method of perhaps having one lined haiku sequences published as a free verse poem. To my surprise this was quite successful.

BURNING BRIDGES

unseasonable rain cold nights return in springtime
burning bridges i hang up the phone
handwriting in the letter box welcome as friend
from afar the relationship comfortable
who really does want me for myself keeps haunting
the plainest women have breasts to fondle
in times such as these a deep unravelling begins
can friend be true friend cold wind

Years later, at a Paper Wasp haiku meeting in Brisbane Ross Clark made what seemed like an innocent remark at the time. But one which haunted me, until I decided to do something about it. He said: ‘I wonder, if you had not gone off in the direction of haiku, and continued to concentrate on writing mainstream poetry alone, would you now be a famous poet?’ I have to find out, don’t I!

Over the years I’ve had work published or accepted for publication in the following Australian and New Zealand magazines and e-zines:

Poetry Australia; Makar; Compass; Grapeshot; God-head; Khasmik; Saturday Club Book of Poetry; Tweed; The Naked Pomegranate; Stet; Daughters of Aphrodite; Readers’ World; Famous Reporter; Hecate; Social Alternatives; Scope; Hobo; Micropress; LiNQ; Centoria; The New England Review; Poetrix; SideWaLK; Quadrant; Stylus, PixelPapers and Retort Magazine (Australia). Spin; Fresh; 19-O-Splash; Poetry NZ (New Zealand).

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