A Poetry Garden Archives

March, 2004 ~ Kathy Earsman

This month I was delighted to present the work of Kathy Earsman,
another talented Australian poet.
Her poetry comes alive with vigor, compassion and unforgettable imagery.
There is also a poem by her beloved late husband, Peter.

Hidden Things

This morning's rosy dawn has warmed the sand,
a sea-bird holds the air; its feathers blush
with sky. Cool tones fold into warmth, it lands
where lilac ripples underlie the rush
of gentle surges on the shore. The tide
is out. The beach is hushed, a little boat
lies nodding, bobbing, sleeping on its side.
A filigree of lacey bubbles floats
a moment, then is gone. The sea-bird strikes
down viciously -- it knows where molluscs live:
their tiny breaths betray them. Now he spikes
them in his bill. He takes what nature gives.

I gasp for tender things I'll never tell --
in silence, secrets live inside my shell.

© Copyright Kathy Earsman

Honorable Mention
Net Poetry & Arts Competition
October, 2003

Brisbane at Nightfall

As dusk approaches, gulls have gathered here
behind a fishing boat, their bodies white
and shining as they glide before the sheer
metallic-coloured river banks. Tonight
they'll rest upon the quiet waters, drift
in silence like the Lady of Shallot.
The city holds its breath. Now there's a shift
of light: the sky is palest apricot...
and there against the backdrop of the sky
the flying foxes lift upon the air.
The pulsing of their wings as they go by
has quickened every heart-beat. Everywhere
above us sooty shapes whirl ever higher,
like bits of blackened paper from a fire.

© Copyright Kathy Earsman


Rondeau Redouble

Forgive yourself, my son, for errors past,
for weaknesses are only strengths reflected;
mistakes that seem so glaring, when recast
may bring solutions if they are respected.

Adventures led to outcomes unexpected
and some were bound to leave you quite aghast.
In light of reason, do not be dejected,
forgive yourself, my son, for errors past.

Oh hold your self-respect and hold it fast!
Your tender heart deserves to be protected,
and self-recrimination cannot last,
for weaknesses are only strengths reflected.

Your strengths are vital, let them be directed,
for deep within you lies a wisdom vast;
you?ll see how inexperience affected
mistakes that seem so glaring, when recast.

And when the benefits you have amassed,
when all the stepping-stones have been connected,
be proud my son that journeys unsurpassed
may bring solutions if they are respected.

Then when your future course has been selected,
please know that strengths and weaknesses contrast;
they complement each other when inspected,
there never was a need to be downcast.
Forgive yourself my son.

© Copyright Kathy Earsman

Silver medal winner
Net Poetry and Arts Competition, January 2004

Bubble Reputation

by Peter Earsman

...seeking the bubble reputation, even in the cannon's mouth...
Wm Shakespeare

A hero's act that takes his life implies
a selflessness, that by this gallant deed
he's willing, almost anxious to concede
his own life and so happily he dies.
How clear is thought when conscience tells one lies
in situations dazzling in their speed,
with friends dependent on perception's need
to take an action common sense decries?
So what is left to say when he is dead?
His will-to-live was for that moment shed?
The sadder ones perhaps are men who chose
to balk at rash acts - and of course there's those
who'd say they'd welcome dying's fleeting fame;
but I suspect they'd sooner live with shame.

© Copyright Peter Earsman

Honorable Mention
Net Poetry & Arts Competition, December, 2003

Sadly, on April 5, 2004, the world lost Peter Earsman...
"Soldier poet, philosopher, musician,
man of shining wit and humour..."

His family and friends mourn his passing, but his words live on.

Peter's page in the International War Veterans' Poetry Archives

More of his poetry ~ Te Awamutu Online


      Kathy's response to Peter's sonnet:

From a Soldier's Wife

Whatever noble selfless thoughts may lend
you courage in the glory of the day,
however strong the impulse to defend,
before you give your life, my love I pray
remember, I depend on you to live;
I wait in anguish while you are at war;
more than my own, I love the life you'd give;
my heart is with you now and evermore.
Though greater love hath no man than to die
in sacrifice to principle and fame
'tis nobler far to live, than rotting lie
in foreign field beneath a hero's name.

Without you I am beaten, broken, torn;
come home to me and children yet unborn.

© Copyright Kathy Earsman

Peter and Kathy published in Dermanities journal

Kathy's Haiku

bonsai -
all you could be

rain-dark wood;
white lichen tufts
our fence

a slip of sky
hangs ashimmer -
new dragonfly

chase their birds
into sunset

a frog calls
I am

white blossoms
the dark wet earth

a fat moth sleeps
in my letter box

bruised ribs -
abandoned surfboard
gathering leaves

Oh! a leaf jumps up
flicker flicker

pink crepe murtle
touched by bee feet

damp forest mulch
a red feather
still warm

© Copyright Kathy Earsman