Apollo and Daphne

From the Hotel del Corso
through the Piazza del Poppolo
up into the Villa Borghese
with its umbrella pines and squirrels
and then the Galleria Borghese
each step brings me closer
to an astonishment of the ages.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
has carved Daphne’s alarm
into marble.
Pursued by Apollo
stretching out
she is trying to flee
becoming a tree
hands fingers are leafy
bark is creeping up
and around.
A swirling encounter
flying bodies
struck still in marble
together forever apart.
It’s distant, it’s a myth
Cupid’s mischief
not possible
and yet
Daphne’s alarm
is alive and
I stand gripped for a long age

Copyright Sandra Roe

Street Heat

The sun
bears down
heavy on head
and shoulders.
Pavement kicks up heat
brick walls bounce warmth
bitumen boiling
leaves pointing down
leaves crackling.
Hats go on
shorts get shorter.
Magpies panting
beaks open.
Galahs sit
wings akimbo
and emus
with hot feathers
walk into the sea.

Copyright Sandra Roe


Convenience granted
by layers of industry.
Packets of history
tins of invention
jars of innovation
bottles of design
tubes of ideas
aisles full of symbols
the most popular encyclopedia.
For that bag of sugar
harvesting, extraction, crystallisation
drying, packaging and transport.
Bags of flour from wheat
6,000 years grinding
for clean white brown strong hard weak soft.
Bread staple food
grains baked since 10,000 BC.
Carrots and potatoes pointing back to earth.
Chocolate from a small evergreen tree
near the equator.
Pods picked fermented dried
cleaned roasted shelled
ground liquified mixed malaxed
conched tempered
packed and delivered.


Copyright Sandra Roe

Elephants in Tuscany

I bought an elephant
in Pienza
a ceramic
made in Orvieto
yellow face
indigo ears
light blue body and
orange legs

I bought an elephant
in Orvieto
a ceramic with
blue face
blue ears
light blue body and
yellow legs

I bought an elephant
in Chianciano Terme
after drinking a Black Russian
with Elana
a ceramic
white body with
pink flowers
on its back

I bought two elephants
in Montalcino
blue glass
they are waving their tiny trunks

I bought three elephants
in Chiusi
the old town
mock silver bodies
and brown faces
they are running along the shelf

I bought an elephant
in Florence
in a paper specialty shop
tiny size
large price
too round a body
for an elephant
but it is an elephant
no mistaking it
the most elegant of them all

Elana bought an elephant
in Chiusi
the old town
cream face
golden ears
and green pants
she gave it to me
it’s sitting in the middle of them all


Copyright Sandra Roe

How to Feed Pink and Grey Galahs

Find them in the local park
by the road side or
wherever they are in your neighbourhood.
Gently call out to them
your address
where you live.
Be specific
they know the way.
They will follow you home.
One evening about a dozen
at the front of your house
or in your backyard
sit and look at you
check you out.
Put out some seed
and tell them
yes, this is the place.
They will do this twice.
They will return
very soon
sit on your letterbox
or on the pillars of your gate
eating your seed.
Listen out for them
every day.
They will sit in your tree
and squeak.


Copyright Sandra Roe

Mr Tee

Mr Tee was a man of modern design.
He had lots of money and he loved his red wine.
He charmed the ladies with his gentle smile
And implied he would go the extra mile.

But as a small boy when he stepped out of turn
His mother had given him a chinese burn.
He found many friends when he went to school
Especially when he came first in the swimming pool.

He wanted to have his friends stay over
But no way could he let them meet his mother.
His Dad was fine, he taught him everything
But his Mum was dirty and screaming.

And so at age ten Mr Tee decided
That never again would he be derided.
He would always hold all the power
And so his life would never be sour.

He was rather good looking
If not perfectly handsome
And he made enough money
To pay a handsome king’s ransom.

Long he reigned over how he felt
And he hid his feelings of love underneath.
So his heart would never melt
But neither would he be able to breathe.

For every woman he dated he was charming
To the point of being very disarming.
His honeyed words carried the day
And each woman neatly gave way.

But with his feelings all locked up
With each encounter he cocked up.
Mr Tee got his vengeful pleasure
But without any true measure.

From behind his charm he brought out his sneer
For she who could have been so dear.
He couldn’t allow feelings of love
To come out and bring her near.

Many women disliked his behaviour
And dismissed Mr Tee from their minds.
But some women couldn’t waver
And failed to throw the binds.

One woman in particular couldn’t let go
Of her lust for him and his ways.
She was determined to conquer and sow
The love which she hoped would grow.

But the more she tried to please and placate
In the hope he would reveal his love
The more Mr Tee would manipulate
Her and his feelings below not above.

He wanted love and he pushed it away.
She wanted love and tried to grab it.
He pushed and she pulled, he pushed and she pulled
Until their life together was habit.

They couldn’t love and they couldn’t leave
They couldn’t bear to be apart.
They made each other sorrow and grieve
For the love they should have had from the start.


Copyright Sandra Roe