Friday, July 8, 2016

I Wish I'd Written This

By Lisa Brockwell

for Martina, on the occasion of her third birthday

All day she’s a nut: sparring
with the horses, running amok,
not listening to me, sneaking
away on our walk to chase
newborn calves.  She knows it’s wrong.
When I tell her off, she crawls
on her belly, contrite, begging
for mercy.  Ten seconds later,
she’s at it again.  The bugger.

But then, at night, after
all the dogs come inside, after
she’s had her dinner and slept
for a while, she comes to talk to me. 
No longer all go, a scatterbrain.
She gives me her head and we face
each other: window to window, soul
to soul.  One hand cupping each ear,
I kiss the bridge of her snout,
right between those glorious eyes,
she drops her head in my lap and deeply sighs.

Lisa Brockwell lives on a rural property near Byron Bay, Australia, with her husband and young son.  

That's close to home for me, but we haven't met in person yet. We encountered each other's poetry on Project 366, a blog for (mostly) Aussie poets and artists, where we were both guests during the month of June – an experience both rich and warm. We reconnected with people we already knew, and made new friends such as each other.

I'm sure I don't need to explain why I fell in love with this poem. I expect all the other soppy animal-lovers here to fall in love with it too – with the wonderful portrait, and above all that soul-to-soul communication so beautifully described in the second verse. 

I have since learned that Lisa was runner-up in the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize in 2015; which doesn't surprise me. Her poems have been published in The Spectator, Australian Love Poems and Best Australian Poems (2014 & 2015). Her first collection, Earth Girls, was published in 2016 by Pitt Street Poetry and is available from that link. 

Also you can read more of her poems on her website. I particularly adore the prose-poem, 'On Becoming a Housewife for the First Time at the Age of 41'. There are a couple of excellent interviews there, too. The radio interview (with ABC North Coast) can be listened to as well as read, and I like it better that way – more detailed, and it includes a reading of her lovely poem from Australian Love Poems. I also like the other interview very much because she goes into her poetics in more depth. I look forward to acquiring her book!

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.



Now, sadly, a complete change of subject.

Some of you may have heard this already by now, but for those who have not – Vivienne Blake of the vivinfrance blog passed away suddenly on July 5th. She was in England visiting her family, and had expected to return to France this coming Sunday. I hope it is some comfort to her family that she was in the midst of happy times with them.

Viv was a warm and vibrant presence in the online poetry community, loved for her generosity of spirit, clear insights, groundedness and humour. She was so thoroughly engaged with living, it's hard to imagine the blogosphere without her. We'll miss her very much.


  1. Martina clearly thinks she is running the farm and is the "boss cocky", good on her, as we might say in Australia.

  2. Love this, and I'm not usually soppy about dogs. I like the partnership, both knowing exactly what the horses need. And of course, the eye to eye.

  3. Oh, I love this poem, Rosemary...being a dog lover. Ha, initially I had thought it was a mother - daughter poem (from the info after the title); but delightfully as I read on, I found out it was NOT. Yes, indeed, this poem expresses just how it is for dog lovers!

    Thank you also for highlighting the life/death of poet Viv Blake. She definitely will be missed greatly here in the blogosphere.

  4. Of course, I adore this poem and so know that soul to soul communication. Thank you for introducing us to this wonderful poet, Rosemary. I, too, was very saddened - and surprised - at Viv's sudden passing. I had just commented on a poem of hers the other day, and knew she was off on a holiday. Viv was one of our very early members, and such a lovely presence in the blogosphere. She will be missed.

  5. Loved the poem! But was stunned to read of Viv's passing. I am so sorry, and I will miss her.

  6. The choice of this week's poem is wonderfully affirming - reminding us to enjoy the 'little' things in life and the world we are connected to.. It was very sad to hear that Viv passed away...condolences to her family and she will indeed be missed

  7. Dogs or pets certainly can bring out the poet in us...Lovely tribute to a beloved pet

  8. A beautiful share Rosemary.
    Viv's sudden passing came as a shock really. It's so sad to lose a soul one knows even though one might never have met in person....

  9. Well, I'm definitely one of those soppy animal lovers. The connection between dog and human is so beautifully captured here.
    So sorry about Viv's death. Sad to hear this.

  10. A wonderful poem showing a beautiful connection between dog and its human soul mate.

  11. Very sorry to hear of Viv's passing. She was one of the first folks I encountered when I started sharing my blog. As is noted above, it's possible now to have, and lose, friends one has never met. RIP.

  12. As an animal lover, I did indeed love this poem. Thanks for introducing this poet.
    I did hear of Viv's passing, and I will miss her on the various blogs for which we both wrote.

  13. So very sad to hear of Viv's death. One of the "old guard" as I've come to think of those I written with the longest - she was unfailingly encouraging and inspirational. She will be greatly missed.


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