On Growing Old…

exhaustion seeps in
weary bones consumed
wasted muscles lax
forgotten memories continue foraging
scratching the very marrow of my soul
twilight years beckon
the applause stops
lifes curtains close
the cycle begins again
beckoning an empty stage of tomorrows tears

Pastel on Handmade Paper

Pastel on Handmade Paper

© Dawn Whitehand 2014

Way Too Busy to Write Poetry :-(

Some regular readers may know that besides being a ‘poet’ i am also a visual artist, and maintain another blog about those shenanigans here: https://dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com/

But to address the point of this post …. I am sssooo behind on poetry posts because my visual arts life has exploded somewhat in the past couple of months & I have a multitude of projects that have occupied every breathing moment (besides the head cold I got in between) of my creative life …. these projects include:

Mums & Bubs

Birthday Partys

Coffee Cups

Book Launch


Birds Beasts and Butterflys Group Exhibition – an upcoming event, I don’t have a post about this as yet

This may not seem like much on paper but these projects have occupied my already chaotic head to the point of implosion – but on the bright side I guess that will make for some good poetry fodder in the coming months….

(the only thing that has kept me sane -from a ‘writing’ perspective – is putting pen to paper when writing Artists Statements)

So, don’t despair, I have not exited ‘stage left’…. i am just temporarily preoccupied…. or something along those lines :-)

And just to prove it, here’s a drawing…I’ll write a poem to go with it soon :-)

Dawn Whitehand - Abstract Art

© Dawn Whitehand 2014


The Monster under the Bed is in my Head

dark and deceptive
it (I) emerges at night
parting the heavy curtains
of my Mahogany dreams
unwelcomely hovering
cumbersomely weightless
a floating scourge
pecking at my (own) soul
relentless in its (my) pain
too elusive to grasp
visiting incessantly
since childhood

Fine Liner on Handmade Paper

Fine Liner on Handmade Paper

© Dawn Whitehand 2014

Futile Tomorrows

It is cold here
and damp


my mind

peering in vain

dark air
choking in

the bare wood
scratches my skin

reminding me I’m alive

cascading tree branches

enveloping tentacle-like
cradling hope and dreams

yet strangling
any attempt
of ever reaching them


Fine liner and pastel on Handmade paper

Fine Liner and Pastel on Handmade Paper

© Dawn Whitehand 2014

The above poem and drawing is in response to fellow wordpress blogger Leanne Cole‘s post “A Photo that Inspires” – Leanne is a photographer and occasionally posts a photo she asks writers to respond to… I have participated in her photo response posts previously here and here.

You can check Leannes blog out and the original image that inspired my poem and drawing, and other poets/writers who have responded, here.

‘The Applicant’ by Sylvia Plath

Dawn Whitehand:

Today, as part of expanding the scope of this blog, I wanted to share a Sylvia Plath poem – I chose ‘The Applicant’ because it is a great poem and really strikes a chord with me. It explores concepts of meaning in a patriarchal, consumer society from a feminist perspective – which is a favourite theme of mine!!

While searching the web for a version of the poem so that I could copy & paste it into my blog (as opposed to typing it all out) I found this blog post by a fellow WordPressor with a great analysis and a video of Plath reading the poem – so here it is reblogged with a dawing from me :-)

Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper

Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper


Originally posted on A poem for every day:

First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,

Stitches to show something’s missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Stop crying.
Open your hand.
Empty? Empty. Here is a hand

To fill it and willing
To bring teacups and roll away headaches
And do whatever you tell it.
Will you marry it?
It is guaranteed

To thumb shut your eyes at the end
And dissolve of sorrow.
We make new stock from the salt.
I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit—-

Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.

Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
I have…

View original 610 more words

Poetry in the Environment

I love this idea- installations of poetry in the environment!!

Apparently there are or were (I am not sure if they were temporary or permanent) a number of installations of poetry in the grounds of the Writers Centre in Callan Park,  Rozelle, NSW last week. I have visited their website to try to find more images or if it was part of an event or an ongoing initiative, but couldn’t find any more information. Nonetheless I love the idea, as I already said!

I came across this gem of information via a connection on Google+ (you can check out his info below) and so without further ado here is an installation poem by famous Australian poet, Les Murray (and image of installation following).

The paddocks shave black
with a foam of smoke that stays,
welling out of red-black wounds.

In the white of a drought
this happens. The hardcourt game.
Logs that fume are mostly cattle,

inverted, stubby.  Tree stumps are kilns.
Walloped, wiped, hand-pumped,
even this day rolls over, slowly.

At dusk, a family drives sheep
out through the yellow
of the Aboriginal flag.


Inspiration (?)

swirling thoughts catastrophic
an endless hurricane
confusion neverending
bombardment hammering
unrelenting spewing forth
pouring mindless raving
confused scribble
filling a blank page
scrawled mindless detritus

Ink on Handmade Paper

Ink on Handmade Paper

© Dawn WHitehand 2014


slumber alludes me
despite heavy eyelids
drooping uncontrolled
and muscle spasms
jumping erratically jolting

lucid thought patterns
collapse inwardly exploding
minds eye shutting down
numbness consuming
the fear of not sleeping



© Dawn Whitehand 2014

Am I Here?

cutting my skin
thick red blood
luxuriously think
lacking physical pain
a red river

a welcome reminder
that I am alive

Pastel and Ink on Handmade Paper

Pastel and Ink on Handmade Paper

© Dawn Whitehand 2014