Who’s Left to Row the Boat, (Tullawalla, page 37 )

Tullawalla is now available at Amazon

>> https://www.amazon.com/Tullawalla-Meeting-Memories-Australian-Languages/dp/0645377023/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2NUSUI90AWK6&keywords=Tullawalla&qid=1663851584&s=books&sprefix=tullawalla%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C301&sr=1-2

Who’s Left to Row the Boat
… This week it is 22 years since I suffered my first stroke …

The storms are too many to count

Emotional lows had weathered me out

Her journey with MS was a struggle

How much lower could our lives sink

After fourteen years of our battles, I suffered a Stroke

An ambulance came, my brain was in a boat

Floating out to sea, overboard and panic-stricken

I wasn’t swimming, barely awake, and drifting

I had fallen, nothing was working, and not talking

She’s crying, I’m sobbing, my heart is dying

And who’s left to row the boat, I’m thinking

I was jabbed with a needle and silently sleeping

I awoke a day later, in hospital, feeling wasted

My face was limp, mouth parched, was that death I tasted

My mind was active, I thought, where is she

I knew I was bad; the room was all blurry to me

Strong anxieties had set in, I needed to know

Nurses came to me, I pleaded, I wanted to go

“Help me to see her, just give my bed a tow

Please let me go, before I’m covered in snow”

Ivor Steven (c) September 2022

The Last Chicane (Revised) 

“The Last Chicane” is a poem I wrote in October 2019, and this morning I reworded several lines …

The Last Chicane (Revised)


I have been climbing every rung 

Even the broken ones unsung 

I have played every sad song 

Even when the words were wrong 

I saw my bird fly away 

Even though her nest stays here today 

I have praised my swan’s eternal fight 

Even through her turbulent flights 

I am listening to the bells chiming 

Even above lyrics that are not rhyming 

I am beginning to flutter my wings again 

Even after missing the last chicane 

I am preparing for the next equestrian 

Even though I am a lost pedestrian 

Ivor Steven (c) September 2022

A Steep Slide (a Musette)

Recently Ryan Stone [https://daysofstone.wordpress.com/] introduced me to a new poem format Musette, and today I am presenting my first attempt at writing a Musette.
three verses
first line – 2 syllables 
second line – 4 syllables 
third line – 2 syllables 

rhyme scheme – a/b/a c/d/c e/f/e 
title reflects poems content

A Steep Slide (a Musette)

I creep

Down the steep slide

I weep


I hide and shake


I crawl

Away from shame

And bawl

Ivor Steven (c) September 2022

Out There, Right Now

Hobbling along

A tear sodden path

I stumble

Beneath heavy morning clouds


I feel the shadow

Of her unfortunate life

Pass over me

From beyond the atmosphere

Of this disheartening world

Out there, somewhere

In our universe

Her eternal star

Somehow, right now

Illuminates my soul

Ivor Steven (c) August 2022

Yorkie, Against the Undertow

The Wednesday challenge from Weekly Prompts is: CYCLING … please go over and visit their fabulous site by clicking on >> Here … My poem today is a “Repost” from January 7th 2019, and some of my followers may remember my hectic rehab’ time after my stroke in early December. I had to get myself fit enough to fly to New York by April 24th …
Well here it is Thursday evening in Geelong, 10.55pm, and I’m editing my new book “Perceptions” again … oh well that’s “the undertow of life”

Yorkie, Against the Undertow

I’m seated on my silver bike, called Yorkie

Pedalling slow and steadily

I’m not actually moving

But I am dreaming

Thinking of places I could be

Visualising what I might see

If I can keep pushing

I’ll end up with a Qantas cushion

I know the year is new and early

But I’m feeling unfit and unworldly

There’s a long way for my body to go

There’s no turning back, despite the undertow

Ivor Steven (c) August 2022

Tullawalla #29, Today, Beside the Sea

Hello dear readers and followers, I am pleased to announce that I have managed to produce my “Twenty Nineth Tullawalla” Booklet … For new readers that don’t know about these booklets, they are basically the reason why I write poetry. I produce these ‘home-printed’ booklets for the sole purpose of raising funds for my favourite charity organisation, the MS Society, in Australia via the MS Charity Shop here in Geelong. And actually all money’s I receive for any of my poetry .via, submissions, I donate to the MS Society…. I’m proud to announce, that the sale of my “Tullawalla Booklets”, have now gone pass $1500.00, … to all the lovely readers, who have donated, to help achieve such a wonderful amount, a big heartfelt thank you, from “us” and the MS Society … …..Incredibly, there is now a total of “1255 poems”, Yep, well over “A Thousand Poems” in my collection/series of “29” Tullawalla Booklets. After 3 months, this booklet is finally completed, and ready for sale now !! As always, they are available for purchase, either as a hard copy ‘Booklet’, or a PDF format….. All proceeds go to the MS Charity Shop, here in Geelong West….. Please contact me here through my website page and I can chat to you about arrangements from there…. Oh, the booklet is called “Tullawalla, Today, Beside the Sea”… And here is the link to my website >> https://ivors20.wordpress.com

Today, Beside the Sea

After I left the fish tank

I lived on a nearby riverbank

Close to the connected sea

I would look beyond the ocean

Out to the dark blue horizon

As far as the eye could see

That was the ocean

That was our river

And now her river has been set free

An ebb tide that flows through me

Today beside the sea

I wait here

For tomorrow’s horizon

To set me free

Ivor Steven (c) July 2022

Her Everlasting Smile (a Villanelle)

Next Sunday at my monthly “Poetry Dome” meeting we are required to write a ‘Villanelle’ , and below is my attempt at the ‘Format’ … which I have adapted from an old favourite poem of mine, “Everlasting Smile”, you’ll find my original poem attached below the Villanelle …

Her Everlasting Smile (a Villanelle)

I wonder, was it all worthwhile

My chest, heavy as never before

Remembering, her everlasting smile

I look back, on her unfortunate life-style

Being unable to walk and talk anymore

I wonder, was it all worthwhile

I relive, her personal exile

My throat, swollen and sore

Remembering, her everlasting smile

I hesitate, retracing every mile

My tears, splash on the floor

I wonder, was it all worthwhile

I cringe, behind my happy profile

My heart, has forgotten how to roar

Remembering, her everlasting smile

I sleep alone, awaiting the next trial

My tongue, tired, needs to say more

I wonder, was it all worthwhile

Remembering, her everlasting smile


Everlasting Smile

My eyes, narrowly cracked.

My cheeks, slightly etched.
I rest here, retracing every mile.
Remembering, your everlasting smile.

My lips, already dry.
My tongue, trying to say goodbye
I wonder, was it all worthwhile.
Remembering, your loneliest smile.

My throat, lumpy and sore.
My chest, heavy as never before.

I look back, recalling your life-style.
Remembering, your younger smile.

My lungs, empty and tight.
My legs, weak and light.
I relive, your personal exile.
Remembering, your generous smile.

My head, spinning from fright.
My heart, deep and out of sight.
I sleep alone, crying like a child.
Remembering, your everlasting smile.

Ivor Steven (c) July 2022

Throwback Friday, A Voice in the Mist, by Ivor Steven

I found this old poem in a dusty foolscap folder under a pile of “stuff” I was tidying up … maybe from 15 years …

Go Dog Go Café

Today’s poem is one that I have not published on my web/blog site, and I am not sure when I first wrote the original words. Up until now, this a piece that has been filed away in a foolscap folder.

A Voice in the Mist

The moon’s my patriarch

My dream, glowing in the dark

She’s a vision, no feel, no mound

Only a voice, without sound

A distant shining, so forlorn

My heartache until dawn

She’s a pillow, no caress, no kiss

Only a voice, from beyond the mist

Ivor Steven (c) July 2022

G’day, and welcome to my blog site. My name is Ivor Steven, I live in Geelong, Australia. I’m an ex-industrial chemist, and a retired plumber, and a former Carer of my wife(Carole), for 30 years, who suffered from severe MS. I Write poetry about those personal thoughts, throughout and beyond my life as a Carer…

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My Guiding Light


My Guiding Light

Seven years have gone bye

But who counts stars in the sky

Or the passing blue moons

Waving shadows upon blue lagoons

A waterfall’s pool of liquid joy

Shimmering memories, of when I was a boy

I shiver from yesteryear’s leftover rains

And there will always be a deep river in my veins

Dad, you were a brother and best mate too

And your ever-loving spirit guides me through

Ivor Steven (c) July 3rd 2022