flower shop

 flower shop
to Naran and her daughter

that flower shop
at that corner of the
avenue flowers in
coloured buckets of
water stood before
dirty glass windows
not a shop for
exclusive shoppers
but anyone simply
in that dusty town
who needed flowers
for whatever purpose
flowers had, in night-clubs
gifted across beer-spilt
tables or laid in a
hand girlish for
that moment
at the door,
the sole flower
shop of that
dull stretch
of avenue
at that shop
she told me
we’d meet
and she waited
there i found
the place the
only one looking
up and down those
streets she told
me walking how
she waited for her
mother there who
worked inside among
those flowers behind
the dusty glass she
waited her mother
in gladness as glad
as a flower drinking
in water her mother’s
hands must have
smelt of pollen of
brown paper her
mother who died
so young and left
her to a step-father
and soon step-mother
she told me how
she’d even come here
years after to smell
the flowers in buckets
and recall that fine
woman, the singer, the
woman who taught her
the russian word for everything
she put into her hand the woman
who was singing in the yurt and
a child she saw through that
opened flap at the apex
the snowed in peaks of
the altai those legendary
mountains that smote
asia apart from europe,
she’d remember her,
her mother, kneeling at
the bucket looking
at the flowers
settled with dust.

i’m sure she’d told
told her own daughter
of this shrine she’d
made of coloured buckets
and flowers for a face
not shown there,
a daughter who
who goes remembering
past that corner now
how her mother waited
for her mother there and
she pauses there fresh
in age and thinks of
her mother who would
run to the ends of the
earth for her, of everything
that happened to her mother
as much as she knew her
and finds maybe kneeling
at those same buckets
in a dusty wind
and i too have to hold
her mother and her mother
both in mind and
not spill a drop
for a flower needs
every bit of water
in such a place
every drop
of her, of ‘she’
who i once
called ‘you’.

  2004 – 14 october 2013
ulaanbaatar, auckland

A sad farewell

I watched alone by sunlit edge
of pond and meadow touching hands
those flirting leaves that twitched and swirled
gold dessication incomplete
while water ruffling to shore
beneath bowed willows’ trailing arms
pushed tender shards of russet brown
to curl contentedly in reeds
no harsh sounds to be heard that day
for everything seemed hushed and still
but autumn whispered in the breeze
and summer hummed a sad farewell


2017 © Lesly Frances Finn

Late Night Shopper

supermarket window shows a ghost
of the someone she’d once been
not dumpy and dull with swollen legs
but a girl with sights unseen

such a pretty girl and a bright girl
with a sparkle in her eyes
life with meaning to be seen in
how she’s reaching for the prize

eyes growing teary, she’s so weary
as she leans against the glass
and slides slowly to the pavement
as the late night shoppers pass


2016 © Lesly Frances Finn

What’s worse, being dead or dying?

Pine cone;


red shoes,




sky, so

cool  –

evening. Think:


if you

go does Day/

Night also?



as if


never was




Hold on,


these days there is a shadow on my heart
a stone so weighty breathing is suppressed
such sadness from this time we’ve been apart
and memories of times when we were blessed

no sleep while eyes keep searching in the night
your warmth no longer felt here at my side
without your arms to hold me nothing’s right
no comfort to be had for tears I’ve cried

why did you have to be the one to go
how could I be prepared for such a day
you’ve taken secrets only you could know
I’m left with all these words I didn’t say

dear love, I do so long for it to be
no longer ‘I’ but once more back to ‘we’


from Nowhere/ Always/ Everywhere #3

In the waiting room at the hospital
a young man, with a topknot
and brown lakes
for eyes, comforts, in a front harness
his four week old baby.

And I wonder how we did it, the lady
and I— by living apart?
Letting birds fly? Once a week,
flock, once a week, sky?

Meaning-phoenicians, weeks & strongs;
chopped into pieces… The man speaks English
with a Spanish accent. How close they came—
their Monarchy aflame, their version of Jesus:
Boats in the Water, Magic and Mortar.

The child’s head fits into his palm
which strokes and shields and holds
his ear against the time
-partitioner of his heart.

Painter As Poet

I feel as if a thousand poems are waiting to be said,
why have I waited all these years to try my hand at rhyme?
Using sentences as colours for the words inside my head.

Teasing syllables and sounds out from all the things I’ve read,
to paint the kind of image that depicts things from my time,
I feel as if a thousand poems are waiting to be said.   

Of happy thoughts, or sad ones where my soul was filled with dread,
selecting adjectives and mixing with no canvases to prime,
using sentences as colours for the words inside my head. 

To create a kind of tapestry with words instead of thread,
coloured crimson, pink and purple, cerulean blue and lime,
I feel as if a thousand poems are waiting to be said.
Shall I just start anywhere? Things living or things dead?
Original or act a part? To mimic or to mime?
Using sentences as colours for the words inside my head. 

A poet uses language for rich tints and hues instead
– no need for paint where words are art, to forget this is a crime.
I feel as if a thousand poems are waiting to be said   
using sentences as colours for the words inside my head 

2016 © Lesly Frances Finn

Where angels tread

let misty evening be my shroud
soft tendrils drifting cool and dim
where only angels are allowed

where mourning trees stand ever proud
a nightjar’s song the only hymn
let misty evening be my shroud

unearthly treasures are endowed
to those who tread this pathway grim
where only angels are allowed

go softly where the bluebells crowd
lit azure by day’s dying rim
let misty evening be my shroud

falter not though head is bowed
to find this place as senses dim
where only angels are allowed

yet hearts are singing strong and loud
such is the world of cherubim
let misty evening be my shroud
where only angels are allowed

2017 © Lesly Frances Finn

Letting Go

This cold, cold earth
last resting place
I heard your voice
you kissed my face
then all was gone
without a trace
in cold, cold earth

This hard, hard ground
no need for sight
for those who lie
in this dark night
not to see again
the sun, the light
in hard, hard ground

Yet comes this sound
there is a sigh
like wind in trees
or the faintest cry
of a flock of birds
in a cloudless sky
yet comes this sound

Away I fly

2016 © Lesly Frances Finn

Purple Glow

Man sleeps

Dog sleeps

Cat sleeps

Snoring sounds

Whilst washing


Dishes sit soaking

in the sink

I sit

and think

Cars flash by

Lights flash

in the night sky

I sip my wine



Soul finally

at rest


in my nest…

A purple glow

in my heart


to the sleeping souls


in their slumber

deep end

deep end
to ‘Auntie’ Wanda Kiel-Rapana

out Tolaga Bay way
my auntie’s hearth
and homestead earth
there’s a wharf you
can walk out beyond
the breakers, a wharf
to take you over the
line where the tide
changes colour as the
sea deepens and the
swell lengthens,
a wharf you might
think is a fiddle of
the lens, the short
warped marvellously
long, a mirage like
a headland that breaks
off into the shine of day
and dallies above the ocean,
yet it’s real enough, you
could picnic out there
above the waves that
glide in like gulls
coming in to land
a wharf like any other
running out however long
leaving you nowhere else
to go except back over
the sea-scoured cement
or off the deep end into
the dark strained with
sun and the cold of its rays
down above the fluttered
sea bed, the wind out
Tolaga Bay way lifting
the dandelion web
of a reaped soul
into the dawning hearth
and homestead light.

april 2017

Tolaga Bay Wharf, the longest in the southern hemisphere







Poetry – Memo to self

a rhymer’s style is one that’s neat
following form and counting feet
free-versers claim their way is better
no need to follow to the letter
some poems only seem to ramble
endless screeds all in a tangle
esoteric styles depress me
grandiloquence just don’t impress me
so what’s the best thing I can do
(the point of this iambic stew)
– read those I love and worry less
write from the heart, not to impress

2017 © Lesly Frances Finn