What Do Marigolds Mean?

I grew up in a house in Repton Road, a street that ran along Ardrie Park in East Malvern. We loosened a couple of planks in the back fence to make our own private entrance into Escape. Then we’d disappear for hours into acres of parentless green.

In those days, the park had its own dedicated gardener, who lived in a special residence tucked away in a secluded corner. Everything was properly looked after, and the displays of flowers in Spring and Summer were incredible. I think I went to school with the gardener’s daughter, Julie Pora her name was, if I remember correctly. We were in the same class but, strangely, I don’t remember ever seeing her in the park her father remade for us day after day after day. Continue reading “What Do Marigolds Mean?”

A Lubber’s Voyage (Kau Sai Chau 滘西洲)

2017-11-30 To Kau Sai Chau 2 RESIZED


I find my feet in that sharp dip and swell of the sea
a simple, sudden pleasure ― balance
taken for granted on long dry land
is by miracle restored
on a strip of green water, bobbing
casually like a grand cork a trim wood-boat
en route to the island of Kau Sai Chau.
For a change, this liquid element
takes over dictation of my fundamental rhythm
to immerse me physically in contactile music
soles hear first through the tone-deaf thickness of shoes.
Near 象鼻洞 Elephant Trunk Cave
with its shadowy O-mouth maw
I elevator-plunge past the ground floor of myself,
only to bounce back almost instantly taller
than I ever remember leaving my bones.
Here a fishing boat; there the flash ferry
driven with force down a broad ocean fairway
out to that whole-turf haven ―
the unthinkable Public Golf Course ―
while black kites skimming invincible overhead currents
track from on high
exactly what it is I can never make out
as I go on adjusting my muscle-bound frame
to up-down-up-again maritime being.