Your muse is live in the city and the bush

Category: Poetry (Page 2 of 2)

A Love Sonnet by Ian Harry Wells

The Preface by Ian:

Aged over seventy and I fell in love, unexpected to say the least.  I will never forget the date; 31st October 2014, Halloween!  Is that prophetic?  More than twelve months have since passed and those feelings haven’t waned, they have intensified.  How to celebrate this situation?  After some thinking I came up with the following … I like to write, the language of love is poetry, the best love poems are sonnets, therefore I decided to attempt to create a love sonnet.  What follows is the outcome of that decision, written for my princess.


You are more precious than any gem to me,
Your smile shines brightly like the stars above,
Yet you quite outshine them as all can see.
You cause my heart to flutter from purest love,
I know I’ll be your slave all my days, uncaring,
When I’m with you my spirits uplift ecstatically.
We’ll romp in the sea together, do silly things, sharing,
We’ll sprinkle stardust with every splash, magically.
As when in my teens, (my first love I still revere),
Deliciously happy am I again, bewitched, truly sincere,
I’ve no shame or guilt, I have no regrets to condemn,
Unconditional love I feel, my pure love is your diadem.
We will hold hands, laugh, have fun and be beguiled,
A special bond I share with you, my sweet grandchild.

© Ian Harry Wells


Ian Wells and I attended Armidale Teachers College in the class of 1961-62 where we learnt how to inspire young people to attain knowledge in the classroom.

Our paths have met again, this time through our love of writing.

Ian lives with his family on the Central Coast of NSW

An ancient mystic: Rumi

About Rumi

Born June 03, 1207in بلخ / Balkh, Afghanistan
Died August 20, 1273
From Wikipedia:

Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: مولانا جلال الدین محمد رومی), also known as Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balḫī (Persian: محمد بلخى) or Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi, but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi, was a 13th century Persian (Tādjīk) poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian. Rumi is a descriptive name meaning “the Roman” since he lived most parts of his life in Anatolia which had been part of the Roman Empire until the Seljuq conquest two centuries earlier.

Rumi’s work are written in the new Persian Language. New Persian (also called Dari-Persian or Dari), a widely understood vernacular of Middle Persian, has its linguistic origin in the Fars Province of modern Iran. A Dari-Persian literary renaissance (In the 8th/9th century) started in regions of Sistan, Khorasan and Transoxiana and by the 10th/11th century, it overtook Arabic as the literary and cultural language in the Persian Islamic world. Although Rumi’s works were written in Persian, Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His original works are widely read in the original language across the Persian-speaking world. Translations of his works are very popular in South Asian, Turkic, Arab and Western countries. His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as Urdu, Bengali and Turkish literatures. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages in various formats, and BBC News has described him as the “most popular poet in America”. (Wikipedia) Continue reading

Poets In Praise of Love

This beautiful poem fell upon my desk one morning
out of the world wide web  :

I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl
I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you
To nourish you
― Rumi


The Poet




Rumi (1207 – 17 December 1273), was a Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic.

His quotes on love are  inspirational.

Rumi has been described as the “most popular poet” and is the best-selling poet in the United States.

His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats.


This led me think of William Blake’s lovely poem
about a sick rose:



O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

―William Blake

And I must include my favourite Shakespearean
Love Sonnet No. XCI

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their body’s force,
Some in their garments though new-fangled ill;
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
But these particulars are not my measure,
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments’ cost,
Of more delight than hawks and horses be;
And having thee, of all men’s pride I boast:
Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
All this away, and me most wretched make.

—William Shakespeare


Poetry of Place: Down Under

One of the advantages of living where I do in Sydney is that there is water all around me. I’ve always lived near the beaches of the eastern suburbs, Coogee, Clovelly and Bondi. For two years my partner and I decided to experience a harbour change, and to live on the north side of the bridge with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the bays on this side. Eventually we  returned to the beach suburbs on the other side of the bridge where you can live right next to a sandy beach, and still be just twenty minutes from the city centre. Artist Paul Atroshenko captures the beauty of Sydney Harbour in his landscape paintings.


Sydney Harbour from Point Piper by Paul Atroshenko

When I was young and fell in love with Paris I lived there for four years. It was the River Seine with its many bridges and its islands that seduced me, as well as the ancient cobblestones and beautiful architecture all around me. But I missed the ocean and the Harbour back home. I could have continued to live in France forever, but something called me back to my origins. It was partly the climate; it’s never freezing here, and it’s the sandy beaches and the water all around the place, the citrus-like smells of the eucalypts and the space and the sunshine… But I still need to take the long journey northwards whenever possible to keep in touch with those other amazing cultures up there.

Of course, water is not always benign, and can become quite violent and destructive at times, which is the theme of Paul Atroshenko’s painting “Storm at Clovelly”. On his website, Paul writes, below this painting:

“We have fierce winter storms in Sydney which mainly come from the South. Clovelly has a beach which is generally sheltered from rough seas because it is deep within a narrow bay. But, when the waves come from just the right direction, the power of the sea seems to be magnified by the narrowness of the inlet.

I have used neo-cubist devices in this painting for essentially romantic reasons.”


Storm at Clovelly by Paul Atroshenko

Writing Haiku

I am not an expert on writing haiku, but I am fascinated by this form of poetry. What I like about it is the discipline it requires. You must write, using the minimum of words, about an experience linked to the seasons, often set in nature, without using similes or metaphors, rhyming, punctuation, personification or abstract images and language. A haiku is always untitled. Juxtapositioning of images, typically oppositional ones, is usual, as is the depiction of a moment in time (an aha! moment).

This latter aspect was driven home to me recently when a friend told me an interesting anecdote: A member of her haiku group arrived by car with a spider carrying eggs about to be expelled. The driver cried out: ‘Help! A haiku moment!’ She took the creature carefully outside into the garden. The others watched as the spider gave birth to hundreds of little ones. This was the topic for the poets to write about, using, of course, haiku.

When I googled “Haiku” and “How to Write A Haiku”, I found surprisingly good summaries under Wiki. The Wikipedia article points out that “the essence of haiku is “cutting”… often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a linking word between them.” I know, I know, it sounds technical, but you might like to try it. I did, out of curiosity.

The Japanese haiku and the English language haiku have several critical differences. In Japanese the haiku is composed of 17 sound units divided into 3 parts—one with 5 units, one with 7 units and another with 5 units. Since sound units are much shorter than English syllables, it has been found that, following the Japanese example results in a much longer English language poem.

The haiku in English has been written for about seventy years and the form is still evolving. It often contains around 8-12 syllables. The trend has been to shorten the number of syllables in each line, and to represent the ‘cut’ by way of linking two of the lines, either the first two or the last two.   

Basho (1644-1694), considered by many to be the master of haiku in Japan, wrote: “Haiku are a way of seeing, hearing and feeling, a special state of consciousness… Learn from the pine about the pine, from the bamboo about the bamboo…No matter how well worded your poems may be, if the feeling is not natural, if you and object have not become one, your poems are not true haiku, but merely imitations of reality.”

Basho’s most famous haiku is about a frog that jumps into a pond.

Furu ike ya

kawazu tobikomu

mizu no oto

In Japanese characters:

古池や 蛙飛び込む 水の音

Translated it might be:

Old pond…

frog jumps in


Give it a try, you might be surprised at how good you are at it!

See the Kyoto Garden photos that were taken in 1977 by Paul Atroshenko, an old friend and artist whom I met in Bondi during the sixties. He spent five weeks photographing some of the most beautiful gardens in Japan.  See his website at

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