Counting stars



Selected poems



Counting stars

winter is cold centre-stage

beneath the streetlight



for the parade

payday tradies swilling VB

suited-execs behind tinted windows

waving fists of fifties and empty promises


soon the neighbour comes too

jingling coins, wanting favours

whispering fantasies


the first timer blushing

her bondage on display

with the sisters


round and round

cruise kerb-crawlers

wind tugging hotpants

tangling her sunflower print scarf

and her forearm itches

brick wall rough against her back


she counts stars

a rosary

alpha, beta, epsilon


earning the master's cut

enough for her next hit of smack




shakin' the can

the stuttering snap

of streetlights

summons the cru'

masked graffas

cap-peaks switched to the back

packing plundered aerosols

to hit the slam and underside

bomb the gallery end to end

dots and lines, wild-style

mash-ups in hollows

tagging territory

dubbing glyphs

shakin' the can

painting heaven




The gardener

soon the gardener comes

stirring gumleaf shadows

rake and hoe in hand

to tend his seedlings


beneath the sickle moon

he hums soothing songs

knowing hands squeeze

swelling buds and petals

in starlit shadows


the gardener plucks

a bouquet

each flower

a trophy



stored on disks

in albums


but what of the blossoms'

withering beauty

pot-bound in the hot-house

of adult silence



Marilyn HumbertMarilyn Humbert lives in the Northern suburbs of Sydney NSW Australia. Her tanka and haiku appear in international and Australian journals, anthologies and online. Her free verse poems have been awarded prizes in competitions and some have been published.

Topic tags: poetry, Marilyn Humbert



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Existing comments

Searing insights into the dark destructive abuse of our young who deserve only to dream and grow to decency in their formation and the realisation of trust, respect and confidence in their beliefs.
Charles | 09 July 2019

Powerful poems uncover a topic we normally choose to ignore. Well done.
Carmel | 09 July 2019

Very moving, even stirring lines. Thank you
cecile yazbek | 14 July 2019

Beautiful texts indeed. First, after your permission, dear Marilyn, I'd like to translate them into Arabic language. Then, I may write an article or a research paper on them within the confines of aesthetic poetics. Thanks with best wishes and regards, yours, Dr. Muslim Al-Ta'an
Muslim Al-Ta'an | 14 April 2020


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