Taking a Gambol

A rabbit’s life’s a gambol,
A fortunate existence;
Giving time enough to spare
For frolics in the bramble,
Bunny-hops from here to there,
Some chewing for subsistence.

But in dreary contrast we
Refuse to twitch our noses
At sweet treasures given free –
The perfume of Life’s roses.

Instead we meekly nibble
On horizons dull and brown;
While rabbits, without quibble,
Savour sunbeams, thistledown.


Teasing the Best from Life

In our early days of marriage, with innocence and care,
I asked a simple question, “Will your love be always there?”
The answer unexpected, somehow set my mind at ease;
For I knew love’s glow reflected in sparkle of her tease.

“That’s dependent on the whether (not elements from sky),
As weeks turn into decades in the blinking of an eye,
As hopes and dreams develop, whether better, whether worse;
I prefer to keep you guessing – love’s ocean runs perverse!”

Respecting words well-chosen, Time ran rapid, ebbed away,
Across sands born of circumstance, reshaping every day;
Until we faced the challenge of cancer representing
Test of faith enormous, cruel in manner, unrelenting.

Remembering her answer to my question long ago,
I posed another question before final tide should flow.
In search of spirit teasing, still persisting through the pain,
I asked “Must I keep guessing, ever more and once again?”

The answer spoken lucid from that cold, unfeeling bed,
Stirred embers love remembered, even though the fire had fled,
And brought a smile unlikely to my face inured to grief,
Though it may seem contradictory or defiant of belief.

“I prefer to keep you guessing.” Those were the words she said,
As teardrops followed creases either side of her sweet head;
And I glimpsed a fleeting twinkle within her weary eyes
As search for breath caused flutter to belaboured, heavy sighs.

Although I much despised it – the diminishing of light,
I determined by her struggle that the time to leave was right;
For the best lay far behind her, and so it felt for me,
Held within shared memories, precious moments meant to be.

If proof were ever needed of life’s victory in defeat,
It resides within the comfort of phrases we repeat.
At critical transitions gentle tease charts forward way,
Providing Pain and Doubt the winds required to sail away.


David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry.

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5 Responses

  1. Jennifer

    These are lovely and Teasing the Best from Life is both affirming and heartbreaking at once. Beautifully done, David.

    • David Watt

      Thank you Jennifer for your kind words. Although Life can be heartbreaking, our attitude in affirming its beauty remains a matter of choice.

  2. William Ruleman

    I concur with Jennifer–absolutely. I like the playful grace and sentiment of “Taking a Gambol,” but it does not prepare me for the more intricate profundity of the second piece, which begins, as Frost says a good poem does, “in delight and ends in wisdom.” For me the tone of this poem is highly reminiscent of Hardy, whom the early Auden emulated, not wanting too perfect a practitioner of meter to have to pit himself against. The effect in so much of Hardy’s verse, as in this one, is to bump us along on a frolicsome carriage ride until the shock comes, followed by, to refer to Auden again, “the healing fountains” that flow at the end, in spite of the horrendous pain.

    –William Ruleman

    • David Watt

      Thank you William for your generous and always informative comments. Auden is a favorite of mine among others including Hardy. I try always to impart a positive message, even if the the subject matter focuses on the trials of life.


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