3 November 2015

Tears: micropoem

We are green, innocent
For this delicate beauty
we pay the price.
A future we do not recognise.
It is labelled 'your choice'.
But it never was.

tree trunk

25 August 2015

Before humans: micropoem

I look at storm clouds, hunkering
on the horizon
and imagine
Earth before humans:
when day slid to night
and back again
and the revolution of time
(like the wheel)
had not been dreamed.

storm clouds

24 April 2014

Star-struck: microstory

The light bulb fizzed and popped.
 On the ceiling, glow-in-the-dark stars spun their messages and slowly faded.
She counted each blink of her eyelids until finally, milky light draped itself blandly across the furniture.


Lights at night

3 January 2014

Smallstones January 2014: observations of a moment

Participating in the Mindful Writing Challenge: writing a 'smallstone' observation each day during January 2014


31 January

A row of ibis
hanging over
(as if hungover)
the canal railing
water spilling at their feet.

30 January

Corellas with grubby faces
snap and crack above me
I think of toddlers
hands and faces smeared in joy.

29 January

Raucous mob
from the foliage
as if I was thief
and blossoms were jewels.

28 January

Out the train window
spray-painted tags slide
in a uniformity of signature.

27 January

Raven struts
paunch rolling
Sunday best
on Monday.

26 January

A lull in the pulsing traffic is filled by bird calls.
The car rocks me faster than my heart.
The dog pants on the back seat.

25 January

Four of us on the couch
breath like wayward pistons
pumping the night with dreams.

24 January

I contemplate the length
of a mindful moment
one breath or five
the stretch of muscle
to place one foot after the other
the length of the leaf-strewn path.

23 January

A leaf suspended in web;
the clicking of paws on the path;
the papery hiss of wings
in the air just above my hair.

22 January

Trench-coat huddled
head bowed in the rain
lone ibis on the rooftop.

21 January

My day travels
parallel with dreams
colliding at the slide
of my eyelids
by the TV's flickering light.

20 January

Rain blows lightly
across my open book.
The chapter ends anointed.
The weather's lost for words.

19 January

The heat from the ground lifts the scent of cut grass. The sea-breeze laps in waves at my skin with voices from across the bay.

18 January

Tonight, Orion's belt and sword form an arrow pointing upwards. My eyes follow its direction to nothing.

17 January

The sea breeze
salted moonbeams
the sweet hint of
the neighbour's incense.

16 January

The platform seems to quaver beneath my feet. I realise it is me. My pulsing blood after running for the train.

15 January

beneath the moon
I contemplate
that often
I contemplate
beneath the moon

14 January

ibis tree
feathered fruit.

13 January

I close my eyes, not fast enough
grey belly feathers
magpie laying by the tracks.

12 January

I am neither here nor there
on the edges of the shore
feet sinking in wet sand
an hour between chores.

11 January

Not quite round
grapes, cherries, mangoes
the fruit I unpack
mimic the waxing moon.

10 January

The moon's pale face
is tinged with green
from too much spinning round and round.

9 January
The moon sulks behind cloud
a flying fox draws a circle
over my dogs and I tumbling
from the illuminated doorway.

8 January

Sipping hot tea
I slurp in
breathe out
like swimming.

7 January
There is fennel playing
reckless by the tracks
heads of gold dancing
weeds climbing on their backs.

6 January
Pigeons rise faltering
under bellies of bread
among jets, against blue
sudden elegance.

5 January
I drive over criss-crossing
iron bridge beams
eclipsing me.

4 January
I unravel cicada sounds
a steady rasping sawing
coins shuffled like cards
and a cloying tinnitus
that pulses like blood.

3 January
An insect beats
indigo wings
I swivel my head.

2 January
Her creased cheek
soft as a puppy
on my lips.

1 January
In the casuarinas
currawongs swing
on lazy hip hip hoorays
the steady gravel-crunch
of joggers
overlays the revelry
of New Year's day.

1 August 2013

My life in dogs: micropoem

I count my life in dogs
fluid decades of love and loss
so that the tide of memories,
worries, speculations retreat
and I learn the pearly pleasures
of the moment.

27 July 2013

Navel gazing: spoken word poem

If I could be re-birthed
in a new skin, prickly and pocked where quills might grow
all identity erased for an unsullied start
I would be hatched,
shaking free the shackles of spent shell
where I tumbled free in a soft balloon
ready to glide unfettered on the updrafts above the earth.

If I could be re-birthed, I would be hatched
not born bearing the mark of my mother’s pain on my belly into my death
that no amount of navel-gazing will explain or erase.
Not born, with this reminder of my mother’s fears
pulsing into my eager cells along with her blood
so that I live my life through these things that were not mine
and that will never leave me
reaching through the umbilicus
and down the generations with disappointment and guilt.

Spending my life tending those scars
picking over their shape and depth
until they open and weep into mistakes I make, as I try not to repeat hers
until I recognise her disappointment in my own heart.

And yet
in those moments of greatest pain
when the world betrays me
and a cyclone of fear or grief lifts me from my moorings
I will clutch my arms to my belly
and howl
at the terror of my untethered solitude.

4 May 2013

Lost world: spoken word poem

My sketch of Sayoko at Lost World
I lost her
in the shadow of Lost World,
a ragged plateau
baring its stone teeth
at the Queensland sky.

I lost Sayoko
who, in her few English words
said she would walk,
gesturing at the ancient teeth she’d been sketching all morning
crouched in that deferential way
a curled human boulder
in the high sheep country
scarf draped against the sting of alien insects
her head bowed at the feet of the escarpment.

I lost her at Lost World
where the stories already told and retold
wove a dark filter
as I held my hand against the sun
to squint at the looming stones.
Stones, said to be no wider than your foot
by those who'd dared to tread the trail
to that imagined land beyond
of hanging swamps and ancient caves
and the bones of those who could not turn back.

I lost her all day
and into the silent night
sitting alone at a wooden bench in the hostel
where last night she cooked tempura
taught me to toss a raw egg into hot soup
(a revelation, until I tried it back at home without the taste of danger.)
The same bench where I told her not to trek alone
to carry water in this unforgiving land
nodding as we exchanged our broken words.

I lost Sayoko
until she emerged, ghostly in the moonlight
scratched and bruised
a raw and wild excitement
in her breathless words
as she stuttered
that she had felt compelled
to climb higher, and higher, and higher
and was almost lost
to the jaws of the earth’s ancient howl.