Purse Kept Gems

To search outwards defines strength,

To wander in the fields of black roses and purple orchids,

Dance around and around under the late summer sun,

Tumblers of pink lemonade, gin and chock full of ice cubes,

Straws and a slice of lime to accommodate,

Gather yourself and meet us there,

We can watch the sun cast it’s light across the evening setting sky.

This art does hurt.

The fusion of good words,

Entwine the threads of conversations,

Little purse kept gems,

Cropping up matters of hope,

Decadent the poison is to be removed,

A vortex of whims dragged below the lavender flower beds,

The chopped heads of flowers will fall to the earth,

Dusty and devout throughout the late afternoon,

Struggling for breath in between,

Drowned in a river of mothers weep and pink lemonade.


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’


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

planning for Light

When I drift off and wander
homeless months no other man
is there, I take along my patterns:
Contemplation, Mindlessness,
Sexiness; behaviour-geese,
who nip and honk the conscience,
can only come so far
along these urban walkabouts,
being phoney with their fitness.
There’s a freeing up of feeling
moving as a witness —observing,
all at once, from an elevated place,
a break in the rain, the light
firing roof tops white; the sane
responsibility of iron, and tiles
are like these poems
under which I play and shelter,
they’re like a bus stop for the hands,
a carving for the mind to turn
polishing until, in it, I can admire
myself. And if wet Spring has sunlight
on her hands sometimes a little poem
self-seeds and grows a city Bush walk
by the same time next year.


Will stay


but not fight


in the lewd sun.


Bring down infamous rain;

the fingernail and the boot.


I will sit here. Tender.


But a still-life is a dead thing.

I saw one sit and never breathe again.


I paint corpses,

apples and such,


and the red ones dance

like they were paid.


It’s all in the head.  They are dead.

And roll off the stage.


Feb 26




I was born on Saturday.

Turned 30 on Monday.

The days between, a blur.

Especially nought to four

and the early 20s

when breast and bottle was everything.



I’ve said before: I recall

crawling across the floor,

soiling the moment, thinking

Shit. Again!


A nought to four experience I think/

I hope/ I know the blood that came

like a spring after rain, came

from the mouth, the source;

found the gap,


out to sea. I’d turned 3 and got

3 stitches to match. This hurt,

after the buzz of the honey tree.



I know the slow trek across the desert,

camels, horses; long-legged birds

at the water; crocodile, hippopotamus;

the speared fish caught in the rip,

dragged by the net; the furtive

glance of primate: I climbed a tree

and disturbed the colony.



At 15 I hung from the curved

branch of an apple tree; slid

down in slow coils, and you fell,

on all fours, my girl.


I remember your chestnut curls,

the reddening skin, still pale, I skimmed;

and him, he stood erect,

petrified. We swooned, and he too


Hello Friend


Playing my old guitar ,
Old days like dead stars, falling apart
Memories hold me back, they’re trying to Steal my dreams away
I’ve never seen such a lonely heart, making my six string Rot and stale.

A broken guitar
Broken from inside and outside
I can hear the screams of pain that has stayed Of late.

Hello Friend,

you’re back again asking me what I have to say
Well Can you hear my six strings fade away
There was a time, it had a name, now it’s just broken it’s not the same.

Please don’t forget our time she said,
the time when we played and laughed away
the time when you kissed my soul, my name
for all to see who loved us just the same.

A broken guitar
Broken from inside and outside
I can hear the screams of pain that has stayed Of late.

Hello Friend,

you’re back again asking me what I have to say
Well Can you hear my six strings fade away,
There was a time, it had a name, now it’s just broken it’s not the same.

Oh I see,
you played with me played with my name
My soul feels tired, it wants to rest now
my heart is broken it needs to be fixed now
Just go away get the fuck away,
The time has come for you to go home now.
Just leave me in pain, let me be how I know I need to
I cannot be broken I am not my old six string.
Though I’ve lost my name, but soon I’ll find it.

A broken guitar
Broken from inside and outside
I can hear the screams of pain that has stayed Of late.

Hello Friend,

you’re back again asking me what I have to say
Well Can you hear my six strings fade away
There was a time, it had a name, now it’s just broken, has lost its name

from: Pocahontas, Alcoholism, The Compass, & The Word.

The shadow 
stays dry as the waves 

For almost a full decade I
have not used the strong
drugs of illumination
yet the hunches gather into
something formidable, the
doorways in space are open still,
but I nod & I indicate again
that I decline, feeling
I could tear along the dotted
line of beach, rip the ocean
from the land, twist myself
right off calendar time.
Poets, after all…

Walking past the Bars, seeing the
padded circular stools,
lit, from the doorway
in pools of communicable light,
does tempt my song-quest enter
in with Dylan, Berryman, Hank
Chinaski closing an eye on
one of the licentious lady poets
out, after lunch, in search of material,
the younger people vaping nicotine,
the one-toke spot, the single malt
spiral burn turning in the wide
free area of the night, a safety net
of days off.
Isolation is sheer, sharpest

together, it is reaching into
the soapy hot water of the sink
with the knives no one told you
were in there, fly-wing thin edge
on the broken pint knocked off
the stammering table, so deadly
almost invisible; together alone
the singer moans, the unsharable
singularity of two sheets of glass
come together sliding heavily,
easy, impenetrable actual solitude
of being and I haven’t real longing
for that racing of each other up

the smoke, along the white lines, besides,
time & culture have left me behind,
this new team goes off at needle-point,
their confabulated embroideries,
amazing skin being replaced
with idle thoughts, the inklings
scholars classify as primitive
acceptance rites.

Love Cats

He figured she must be the same as his last cat                             two-cats-love

Had often strayed as a kitten

But hadn’t been given full satisfaction

He was going to make her feel like the sun

Take her all the way there and some

Give her burning eyes whenever she saw him run

Rock her in his arms until she slept

Protect her from any threat

How others would stand up to take notice

Knew what to expect

If they dared to go near their nest

He’d breathe her every word down deep in his lungs

Follow her adventures climbing furniture

Massage her paws whenever they hurt

Brush her fur when she felt inert

He’d point her towards each sunset

Tell her he drew it for her

Tell she was equal not his pet

Love is not love when it comes to cats

But these are loved cats

Love cats

Love cats

Love cats.

Riding to Battle in a Midnight Blue Car

Violently calm, he sits in the front seat, splayed with an eerie regality around the chassis.
Long tendrils of his fiery hair hang into his eyes, casting prison-bar shadows over them.
Lysander is achingly beautiful like this, the fire in his belly burning up, a slow heating of ember before the inferno.
For one named the liberator, he is decidedly trapped within his ways,
But I don’t mind.
His body slack, yet knuckles so white on the wheel that his rings make little arches and shadows like tiny bridges.
I have never noticed the coldness of color so much as I do now, as the glints of two green stones flicker over me.
Time is slow in these precious moments.
I am young.
We are alive and dead to the world all at once.
The car drags to a stop, trailing its own bijou dust cloud and in that silence he swings his way out of the car.
I wait until he settles before I grab the blanket from by my feet and follow.
Lysander holds himself lax, ringing his knees with wiry arms.
I pat the blanket into place.
I wait.
As always he remembers I am there, unfolds a blanket-wing and scoops me in under it.
These moments are what make it all worth it.
We cuddle together in the dark, listening to the hum of city life in the distance, the insects immediate.
It is a rare moment of peace in our storm, much needed.
We know we can’t run forever, but with him I never thought for a moment we’d grow old together.
Or apart.
His love is bruising but sweet, and I need him, despite all his flaws. My ribs don’t even ache too much anymore.
“I don’t know if we should stay out here too long Ly, it’s really cold.”
He responds only with a rough grunt, and keeps staring past me at the dirt.
Suddenly he is up and bundling me into his arms, carrying me back to the car.
Back to heavens backseat and the warmth of a hellish embrace.

What Is That Book About? #3


And now I am writing, in a smaller book.

But you can’t read it, and I will not talk about it yet.

And if my voice has made it to you, my small

persistent chirping, a cicada near an airport

—poets, we are happy with the dull clunk-clink

of the coin you choose to drop into the busker’s

open case, playing her feather touch

on gravity-tight strings of a red guitar

on the age scratched pavements of LA.

Although I am unsure if the municipality

allows street performers, I picture you,

on the footpath with the handprints

and shoe indents, the gold edged stars

set with a ground crystal of cement

—the telling is truer than the thing told,

and a man will beg and a woman will go off

in a huff and regret it all her life—

but you know that isn’t entirely true,

it can also play out opposite, or two

positive poles and a current won’t flow,

in the all day and night noise, the roaring

large transmission of industry, more than

poetry will ever achieve, the telling is truer

than what is being told. I am creating cavities

inside persistent noise to appreciate the quiets of poetry.