soon soon

Soon soon, two
friends I love
will be with me.
It's like waiting
for the moon.
Photo: Streetlit tree, Hong Kong


For me, this is a time to say hello to everyone, everything, as one year ends, and another begins. A time to honor life, beauty, tenderness, justice. A time to be warm. 

It's summertime here. The sun presides. And in my study, the word 'warmth' stays above the desk. A friend drew the Chinese characters for me as a gift. Thank you. Always.
Photo: A wintertime fire in the living room, New Zealand

handmade rooms

I found these doors the other day 
and would love to enter the rooms.
Photo: On a sidestreet, Masterton, New Zealand

that time of

It's getting to be the time of the year
when we look for clarity 
on what has been. I think of
Rilke who said, Live the questions.
Photo: Construction site, Carterton, New Zealand

the kiss

There we were - two people
and a lot of scenery.
Photo: Carter Scenic Reserve, New Zealand
Text: The beginning of 'The Kiss' 
by Elizabeth Nannestad (1956-)

tears and other tears

Tears are water, mucus and salt. 
But tears from sadness also have proteins 
that may release stress,
while tears from an open onion do not.
Photo: A container for shorn wool, Carterton, New Zealand


For eight hours, the four of us -
child, man, car, me. We stopped 
at a take-away called Fastlane.
Photo: Lunch in preparation in Hiroshima

before society

The words before this large one, 
I don't remember.
Photo: At Clareville showgrounds, New Zealand

room number nine

This is the door to room number Nine.
A small home on one side of a hallway, 
the shared kitchen and bath at the end. 
Photo: Electricity meter readings by Room 9, 
Shamshuipo, Hong Kong

purple enclosure

This rhododendron tree is about 120 years old, 
and the deep purply space under it feels older.

I stayed there enclosed 
one rainy afternoon.
Photo: At Carrington House, 
Carterton, New Zealand

under the tree

'And over and over I tried to see
Some of us walking under the tree,
And the children playing everywhere,
And how it looks when I am there.'
Photo: Under an 120-year-old camellia tree, New Zealand
Text: An excerpt of the Elizabeth Madox Roberts poem 'On The Hill'
from the book 'Under The Tree', first published in 1922.
My father William Henry Slavick wrote the Afterword.

Hong Kong sidewalk

I love Hong Kong sidewalks. So much life. 
Maybe fruit drying. Medicinal herbs. Or towels. 
And chairs are left out for the viewing.
Photo: Along Marble Road, Northpoint, Hong Kong

arrow counting

With the arrow pointing left,
do you read one three two,
or two three one?
Photo: Door, Shamshuipo, Hong Kong

the road where we live

There is a gun club on the road where we live. 
The entrance has two puddles. Sky reflected.
Most of the time, sheep roam around
the unused targets.
Photo: Along Norfolk Road, Carterton, New Zealand

I've just been born

Don't bother me.
I've just 
been born.
Photo: Car cover, Hong Kong
Text: The opening of One or Two Things, by Mary Oliver

wet darkness

We went for a walk the other day and found 
a bench to deeply see this wet darkness.
Photo: Swamp at Fensham Reserve, Carterton, New Zealand


I grew up with cattails in one hemisphere, 
and here they are again, in another.
Photo: Cattails, Carterton, New Zealand

swamp ink

We sat at this swamp until 
the water turned to ink.
Photo: Nature reserve, Carterton, New Zealand


Light morning sky fabric.
Photo: Ferns, Carterton, New Zealand

a little horizon

Is that a little horizon within?
Like the blank page or canvas,
Photo: Display case, Paris


It seems that many people have given.
Photo: One of many 'Give Way' signs, New Zealand


I have read that the triangle is the strongest 
shape, and I think of mountains, 
not this roadside threesome.
Photo: Parking guides, Paris


I have been here, looking, feeling, 
floating, waiting.
Photo: Beach, Titirangi, New Zealand


I would like to rest here for a while.
Photo: Sunday, Masterton, New Zealand

one mood, two

What would you call this mood?
Photo: Wire, tree, wall, Hong Kong

up stairs

Many days ago, I lived in this home, and today, 
we will read poetry a few doors away. 
Also up
Photo: Newtown, New Zealand

diamond night envelope

A boxy envelope trying to open itself
one evening.
Photo: In front of Hong Kong Arts Centre.
I present as a gift to my birthday sister L.


I know of a man who studied boomerangs 
for seven years, taken by the way 
they can return to the thrower, the mathematics 
of the action, the swishing sound, and the grace 
in the descent. 
This cloud seemed to stay in the same place 
for about an hour.
Photo: Masterton, New Zealand

eating a film

A Saturday night, and three of us sat, mildly 
swiveling in these chairs, not just with a good film, 
but with a meal, wine, friendship, cider. Thank you.
Photo: With B and R, Regal Cinema, Evesham, England

made for the eye

A friend made this room to see 
in, within, from. 
Photo: K's and R's home, London

dirt diamond

This square of dirt reminds me of the pitcher's diamond, 
when I would aim the ball into the inside corner 
of the batting zone. 
Photo: Victoria Park, Hong Kong

I believe in him

I meet a tall man with kind eyes. I believe in him.
He lives with care. He lives in a room down the hall
from this shower, and single toilet, which he shares with eight people. Yes, somehow, I believe in him.
Photo: Shamshuipo, Hong Kong

touch, tickle

May we all touch, be touched,
tickle, be tickled.
Photo; Fisher overalls, Tai O, Hong Kong 2012

language and creation

'The dream of a common language'
and 'the creation of a society
without domination'
Photo: Giza
Text: Two reasons why Adrienne Rich was a writer

we protect what we love

what is loved
is protected.
Photo: A statue in the Philippines
Text: The end of my poem on 4 June 1989


Leaf. Pink. Bud.
Looks like they're from
three different plants.
Togetherness can bring
boldness and surprises.
Photo: A gift for my sister on her birthday,
born on Easter and April Fool's Day!

growth not for sake of growth

Growth for the sake of growth
is the ideology of the cancer cell,
said Edward Abbey.
Photo: Firecrackers, Hong Kong

a loop around

Somehow I see myself in the stone post.
I like the way the hose loops around me.
Photo: Hose around post, Kadoorie Farm, Hong Kong

home, handmade

I once lived near this wall, the wall of a home,
maybe handmade, in a temporary housing estate,
where people lived for maybe ten years, waiting
for their public housing unit. The estate is gone now,
and I do not know where my neighbors are.
Photo: Yuen Chau Kok Housing Estate, 1992

did I?

Did I write a poem here? Maybe. 
Photo: Teahouse at Artist Temple, Suzhou, China

in the hood

These boys live near a friend of mine.
Photo: Salvador, Brazil


May we all rise to our fullness.
Photo: Snake, Hong Kong

once it is cut

It is a sad time when the trees cut for the season
are thrown away. First it was Christmas
fir or spruce, and then New Year peach.
Photo: Lautau Island

see my television

I wonder what it would feel like to take some color
and draw on a television screen, smaller or larger.
Photo: Pedestrain walkway, Hong Kong

ice writing

I used to live near a pond, and in the wintertime,
would skate there in the late afternoons.
I miss the sound of ice and blade.
Photo: Graffiti, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong


It's the eve of the new year, lunar.
The red tail of the dragon, peeping.
Photo: A friend's driveway, Hong Kong