23 November 2012

Delirium: poem

Swaddled in the hot womb of the nylon tent
I am suspended in the caw caw of indolent crows
wheeling against a blue without edges
and imagine its water-colour of flies, the broken notes
of country music and the endless shifting
of teapots on laminated surfaces.

I am captive in this concrete square
beside the caravans of those with time on their hands,
now that time has etched its gnarly mark on them,
fenced-in against the aimless hooves of sad cattle;
my only socialising, the stares and staccato chat
on the criss-cross to and from the toilet block.

The pace of this place is a ticking clock
tutting its next minute over and over
the hands stuck on the same two seconds, jostling
like the red ants I watch carrying dead red ants, and the kites
wheeling and flipping upside-down in the breathless air
and all of us travelling nowhere.

Beyond the zipper, I lie in a delirium
of bad food or dirty water
while you set off to explore the dusty town
buy an ice cream and shampoo
but in moments you reappear, sweaty and indignant, saying
the supply truck comes once a week and it isn’t due for days.

1 November 2012

Waiting: poem

In the stillness, the conception of breath,
exhaling its promise of stormy wrath.
But for now, just the possibility hovering
in the inertia of this searing heat.

In my nostrils, the ghost-scent of raindrops
gather as cloying clouds
despite the earth beneath,
trembling into dust.

The clouds hang, heavy as the sea
as I wade through suspended minutes
in this antiseptic room, knowing the simple pleasure
 of closing my eyelids against it all.

Small Stone for 1 November 2012
Mindful Writing Day

22 September 2012

Spoken word: micropoem

I met a man
named after a star
and watched another
draw words from the moon.

I saw a box
spill jewelled poems
and knew the lost promise
of an American dream.

A micro-muse on an evening at The Blue Space spoken word event.

15 September 2012

Stones: micropoem

Each stone
a story
eroded to its bones

Each bone
a memory
dusting the unknown.

1 September 2012

A scattering of pebbles: small stones

Writing smallstones August & September 2012


24 September
The koel calls all night. The sun shakes me awake like it too has been up all night and can't wait for the day to begin again.

24 September
Waiting outside my gate
red cap and endless patience
my garbage bin.

13 September
The digger stands in weary pause
a burning battlefield beyond
but it's sunset on the ANZAC bridge
and the digger's made of iron.

9 September
Wisteria hangs wearily as if the cloying heat of Summer had already pressed its weight upon the vine.

4 September
There is less gravity. The soggy sky now drops blossom rain. I peel layers, my shy skin warming to the spotlight and the crowds.

31 August
Bush back-burning
we paint a strawberry and apricot
bushfire sunset
across the Winter sky.

29 August
The Southern Cross
sinks slowly from my sight
as the scent of jasmine
rises fragrant in the night.

27 August
The clear notes of a butcherbird slice the pre-dawn silence. In the ensuing emptiness, feathered shadows crouch and wait.

24 August
The rain leans into shadowed doorways, expelling a random scurrying of people with newspaper hats.

23 August
The moon is magnified by the curve of day, mimicked in the city's mirrored towers, multiplied in the laden lemon tree.

21 August
The moon's stalwart smile
yellows like old enamel
as it sinks to the earth
winking at the moment of demise.

20 August
A raven drawls lazily at the slow revving of engines and the clanging of tradies tools. Monday is as relentless as I am reticent.

22 July 2012

Where does a poem come from?: writing

I have received a number of comments after reading my poetry in public, that have left me momentarily unable to respond. Comments such as: "Wow - that was honest" or "You must get out of that relationship!". These comments, while often appreciative, appear to assume a literal truth.

So where does a poem come from?

For me, truth is only the kernal, the grain within the pearl. Poems come from the freedom to explore imagination, fantasy and desire, to empathise outside my own skin, to plunder dreams and to delight in word-play.

So when my poetry is assumed to be a literal representation of my experience, I wonder what people think when I write or utter:

Dig a shallow grave
for this hollow shell,
the life sucked from me
long before I fell.

I suspend the pillow
in a lucid pause
as your rasping breath
scrapes its claws
at my tomorrow.

Yes it's my voice, my view out the window. It is also my window. Glazed with my colours, shot with my imperfections and framing my possibilities.

Of course, I could just be in denial.


9 April 2012

The good life: poem

A desiccated spider
the old man hunches
in a dusty crevice of the Zeus diner.

Insipid chocolate bars
de-inked by the years
forlornly nestle in a web of crazed glass.

Watch, you might see a stranger
brave with youthful curiosity
step inside, oblivious to the danger.

Who may marvel at ancient jars of sweets
then on hearing a rasping, angry voice
take fright, and scuttle a swift retreat.

Emerging from his hidden lair
the old man's bones creak
waves a cooked finger, stabbing at the air.

He is once again a lanky lad
earning in his parents shop
coins to buy a future, better than his Dads.

This is the good life, so he won’t whine
the hope-filled prosperous land
his family sailed to, long ago across a pleat in time.

3 January 2012

Small stones: January 2012

Joining the river of stones challenge for January 2012


31 January
Gravel rash
slipping on

30 January
Old TV left out on the kerb bears a rain-soaked, handwritten sign, barely decipherable that reads 'Still Works'.

29 January
While walking the dog, I ponder my clumsy feet that trip and stumble in the tangled dance of life. I never seem to learn the steps.

28 January
the rose
stands tall
petals lying
at her feet.

27 January
Two park benches either side of the path, pedestals for two chubby sentinels- magpies, beaks tilted, carolling their lazy day song.

26 January
The shredded leaves of feral bamboo interrupt the native bush, leaning on their water-laden yellow stalks to tickle passing cars .

25 January
I hear each drop
of rain upon the roof
and recall when Time
was a pedal car
not a bullet train.

24 January
Who took a fluorescent pen to the morning sky? A bright contrail stretches from west to east, illuminated by the dawning sun.

23 January
Three corellas sidling along the wire above. When my dog barks at them, one breaks off a leafy twig and leans to watch it drop onto us.

22 January
Laid out on this cool sandstone slab, I hear only the wind above, the urgency of cicadas and the distant calls of children and crows.

21 January
My life before my eyes
laid out in rows
of coloured spines.
All the books I own.

20 January
A jet of water on the still warm garden and I am suddenly bathed in the moist aroma of mint, lemon basil and rose geranium.

19 January
Corellas call. I scan the sky. Large white birds are scattered atop every pole, tree and building - playing, tousling and chasing.

18 January
A cicada, no longer than my thumbnail, prefers to cling to my red t-shirt, rather than explore its fleeting vegetative world.

17 January
The brightest star.
Unwavering gaze
of peaceful fortitude
from its milky

16 January
The trees seem menacing. Their spongy, beckoning limbs and twisted trunks are darkened by the deluge in the night.

15 January
It was if a giant's corkscrew grip had wrenched and twisted the tree's trunk, its pink fruit fallen and fermenting at its feet.

14 January
Words on fire
peeking at Twitter
forgot about the stove.

13 January
I inhale
a chai moon
like a marshmallow
in a cappucino sky.

12 January
I wake before the alarm, to the cooing of turtledoves, the brassy notes of a female cuckoo and the cooee of a distant male.

11 January
The magnitude of the vaulted sky, the magnificence of its sunset ceiling, blooming and erasing endlessly over the epochs.

10 January
Mist hangs in the morning air like smoke, rising with the sun, from the deluge-drenched earth.

9 January
The thunder rumbles
a beast lumbering closer
rattling the window glass
eyes flickering with fire.

8 January
Full moon
empty mind.
Only her misty rings
to contemplate.

7 January
The innocent wind teases
the casuarinas
until they roar
an ocean tempest.

6 January
The jolt
as her ice-blue eyes
knocks me off course
from this stranger.

5 January
A pointillist tableau
of yellow dots,
the suspended fragility
of dandelions hovering
over a verdant field.

4 January
Dirt spins
stinging my seared skin.
Eyes closed
I raise my arms in homage
to the southerly buster.

3 January
A honey-furred creature leapt into my lap to the shock of its minder, unaware the dog knew me and was glad to claim me as a friend.

2 January
The twig insect posed, one leg raised, only its minuscule eyes moving as it watched me carefully sweep below.

1 January
She felt strangely excited as she passed the pale green stones in the shop display, their surfaces soft and powdery.