A Paper Cento for Year’s End

A Cento for a Scribe

the scribe was having a dream
in his delirium

a bridge spanned the milky river
like a chant

an orchard full
of cherry trees in bloom
petals like paper
all over the ground

“Write your prayers with
every step …”

the thread of ink on
the luminous sheets of moonshine

“I would wash it in gold,
adorn with it lapis lazuli,
rule it with carmine …”

he dipped into
the winking ink

the page lay blank and waiting

his dream

sank beneath the scummy mould
of memory…

he paused

he hesitated

the walls were pitted as well as daubed,
like the skin of bruised pears

the sack was filled with paper
pale as pistachio nuts
delicate as a breeze
in sultry air

the paper was subtle
there was something rippling
on the other side

he bent closer and breathed

he recognised
the blooming orchard
beyond the silver river

the hand hidden
in the green silk sleeve
was about to reveal itself

he left no traces
in the dust
as he followed
his new master



A Cento taken from the prose work Paper by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani




Cartels lurk in systems
of glittering marble

street lamps
placed for nostalgia
no need for umbrellas

beneath glassy atriums,
mazes of  coffee shop lanes

brocaded street benches
wait in arcades with no weather
for the weary and bored

department store goals
at each end
pedestrians herded

aspiring lives.

Meeting the Bar: Postmodern (Experimental)

Today  has focusing on an excellent series of writing experiment suggestions by Bernadette Mayer, an avant-garde writer known for her innovative use of language.

Dreaming of the Stars

Clouds creep across
night sky, the year wanes,
night creatures rustle
in the coal black shadows,
the sea etched with molten
silver murmurs sonnets
to the stars above,
seagulls huddle on wet sand,
sleeping, sleighs and Santas
made of lights cycle
through the spectrum
on the esplanade as all
prepare for New Year’s Eve;
a full bellied rat scuttles off
down a grate in the gutter,
possums cross the wires;
the lovers and the lonely
walk the streets
dreaming of the stars.


Kyrie Elesion,
Kyra, my sister,
twenty-nine years ago,
just before Christmas, in 1983
I last saw your face,
hugged you close,
I had a new life
snuggled within my womb
and a beautiful son
at my side;
you’d set us all adrift
wondering how a mother
could leave her two bairns
for a grifter;
I cared for your children as best
I could… praying for your
for you to come back.

I am your elder now,
the eleven years reversed
several solstices ago,
each year I am haunted,
I was in the shower,
Boxing Day, your children
had survived Christmas Day,
I invoked the light,
we all gathered them close
pouring light into the gap of you,
then an unexpected knock,
it’s always the unexpected knock
I fear the most, and then your
ex-husband spoke, “Kyra is dead”,
dark words misted
a sunlight morn, you’d taken
an overdose of your lover’s
heart medication, then a long trip
to my in-laws to leave my sweet son
for a while and with hearts beyond heavy
we told my mother her first born
daughter was gone forever…

Kyrie Elesion, Kyra
my sister, may you find peace…


A candle burns
an orange glow
ancestors congregate
with love


The veil thins
the moon beams


From the edge
a solstice


in sentient life
two hands clap


You stand
where the sky
kisses the earth


An aquifer
flows through the rift
seeping life



A Portrait of Patience

Patience follows
smoke whorls of incense,
twisting, turning, riding
the air, its cylindrical heart
glows orange,
silver ash falls in a whisper;
she chooses words
with great care to
stoke the fire of life,
the smoke dispels
a sticky atmosphere
with spirals doubling,
folding in curves,
embracing life;
Patience smiles
as the curtain waves
to the setting sun.

A Sketch

With brash bravura
she puts on her Asian face,
and spruiks her authenticity,
her home a tiny island
with a bustling city,
her face shows traces
of curious seafarers, Portugese
who sailed east and south
and east beyond the rim,
they did not fall,her heart
bleeds dreams of red and gold,
untold riches found
in shopping malls …

She speaks only English,
with clipped end consonants,
her ancestral tongues
are silenced with her full

acquiescence …

and she searches for
her identity in cinema
and sitcoms.