Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunflower Seeds

There was a sunflower seller on the corner most of the day. His customers try before they buy or try and don’t buy. After they have gone I see him replace the stolen seeds with others.

I missed both breakfast and lunch due to “stomach problems” “pooh poohing too much” “making too much pooh pooh”. My Chinese guides sympathize but eating they assure me is the only way to get well, preferably something greasy and chilli hot, just another example of difference in east and west thinking. I suggest steamed rice they offer spitting hot chilli chicken. I decline but after six hours I begin to eye the sunflower seed heads. It is the season and everyone is doing it, picking the seeds, cracking them between their teeth, spitting the husk to the ground and chewing the sunflower seed flesh. But I am too lazy to go outside to buy and the whole transaction me no Chinese and seller no English takes a lot of energy. So I am lying on the bed reading when I have a strange dizzy feeling. God! I must be really hungry if I am dizzy lying down I thought and there it is was again, I hear the fooyans screaming and I realise with a shock it was not hunger but an earthquake, by a stroke of luck I have my boots on and my passport around my neck. I snatch up my back pack and I run to the door and I am half way down the hall before I hear it slam behind me. Outside the streets are crowded everyone is looking up but nothing seems to be shaking.

Now that I am out and about I decide to buy some food. I see the sunflower seed seller is still across the road from the hotel. I approach and choose what is the best looking sunflower head try to ask how much, a crowd is gathering - a loe eye is going to buy something always good entertainment. A woman comes by she picks up a head and pays one yuan. The sunflower seed seller is cracking open a seed with his totally black hands, fingers and nails. I wonder if they have ever been washed in his life and dismiss the idea that I am probably adding to my “stomach problems” by accepting the offered white kernels. But I eat the two offered seeds pay one yuan. He takes my chosen sunflower head and replaces it with another. How can I argue? This is often done in China, you choose what you want and the seller replaces it with what they want you to have. Anyway I leave, everyone is happy.

Now I am determined to discover the pleasure of picking, cracking, spitting and eating fresh sunflower seeds. I eat some on the street but just can’t bring myself to spit the husks on the footpath despite there being two street sweepers to every block and an entire population spitting husks. People passing are amused by my sunflower cracking. I stand near a bin but the smell of rotting garbage drives me to my room. So far everyone else seems to be getting more out of this than me. Inside I sit on the window ledge open the window and stare into the middle distance as I have seen the locals do and pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew. I get into the meditative rhythm of eating sunflower seeds. Round and round my picking fingers go levering out the black and white seeds, discarding the unformed and cracking the fat seeds between my teeth, using my tongue to discard the husk and chewing the milky flesh. Soon I have created a little bare patch on the surface of the seed head and I become determined eat the lot. I want it all. I won’t move until I have finished the pile of husks grows and over flows the ash tray, spills onto the window ledge. I feel like a cockatoo at her seed tray pick up bite roll the husk around with my little round tongue. I am hypnotised. Pick, crack, spit, chew I notice the sap from the seed head is turning my fingers brown. No wonder the seller’s hands were black. Up at dawn to cut the seeds heads, remove the petals, brush any dirt away, pile them in the cart, haul cart to town, keep the seed heads in order all day by replacing any seeds sampled by customers, spend all day rearranging the heads in his cart . Black hands just a hazard of the job. Looking down from my perch three stories above the street I see as I pick, crack, spit, chew the flow of people below.

the boy who pushes, shoves, tugs his mother who has stopped to talk to a friend, hit, tug, whine, shout
the father holding out a baby to piss in the gutter rewards her with kisses
pick, crack, spit, chew
two young girls heads together giggle share an icy pole, pick, crack, spit, chew
a family on a motorbike Dad in control two year old on the petrol tank and a breastfeeding mum on the back
pick, crack, spit, chew
old men play cards under the trees surrounded by observers
pick, crack, spit, chew
three policemen at the intersection chat and smoke
pick, crack, spit, chew
an old woman strolls hand in hand with her grandchild
pick, crack, spit, chew
a woman carries strings of garlic over her shoulders
pick, crack, spit, chew
the watermelon sellers push barrows up the street
pick, crack, spit, chew
a front end loader toots its way through town
pick, crack, spit, chew
dogs hot on the trail of a bitch on heat,
pick, crack, spit, chew,
a herder drives his cow through traffic beats her with a knotted rope when she falters
pick, crack, spit, chew
the old bag man bent over adds another bottle to his plastic collection
pick, crack, spit, chew
putt putt’s cruise the street for a late evening fare
pick, crack, spit, chew
shiny black Mercedes with darkened windows blasts through traffic honk! honk!
pick, crack, spit, chew
the police use their loud hailer to scare pedestrians off the road
pick, crack, spit, chew
men smoke and ride motorbikes
smoke and ride bicycles
smoke and walk
men smoke
pick, crack, spit, chew
women pull their empty hand carts home tiredness written on dusty faces,
pick, crack, spit, chew
dedicated followers of fashion totter on glittering high heels
pick, crack, spit, chew
a man squats to eat his meal from a plastic bag chopsticks fly to his hungry mouth

pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew, pick, crack, spit, chew

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Tuesday, December 22, 2009




Monday, December 21, 2009


hot wax is poured
onto my cunt
gloved fingers
pat pat and rip
my long loved pubes
from their rooted spot
folicles swell
red and scream

Sunday, December 20, 2009


the cat is named
she drags her kill
bubble breathing
to the bone shard carpet

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

my clothes line spins

my clothes line spins
its ungreased moans
echo the cheering trees
the business shirt
states its name
out of work
daughters knickers
a dutiful row
of colour
pass by
towels flap
fluff pile dry
shed detritus
compost to the garden
undies wet
recall dry
comfort of a soft groin
crocodile on sons t shirt
gnashes its teeth
wanting action
get me down
I want rough

And there she goes
the clothes line tart
a black lace teddy
one shoulder strap
exposes herself
to breezes
calls to zephyrs
with a husky cry
unpeg me
so I can fly!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Bees in the pool.
Their bee paddle is doomed.
Wet wings glue them to the surface.
And it's round and round until they drown.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One Day in the Garden

I admire my compost
Build a twig fence
Grape vine and olive prunings
Unwrap green babies
Tuck them into the feast of their lives
Invite hens out to sunbath together
Finde a circle of heart’s ease
Watch white viola
Bloom among the parsley
Uproot elderly zucchini
Make way for a new path
Discover a frog
Perched in the silver birch
Wait for the birth of basil
Pick tomatoes in summer
Lift carry
Shovel pitchfork
Wheel and empty,
While the hens glean behind my rake.

By the pond I have a vision –
you - my friend
under the fig tree
with a sun warm fig in your mouth.

Under the fig tree I have a vision -
you - my friend
by the pond
meditating in my healing garden

Thursday, December 10, 2009

four endings and a continuing fairy tale

Now remain calm
I know how this ends
happy is in the exclusion zone
it's only the shoe that fits
The farmer takes a wife
the wife takes a child.
he fences his family in.
In a dark dark night
in a dark dark town
in a dark dark moment
the novitiate kills.
The cowboy
high in the saddle
rode over the sandhills
The bar fly dies
a shot of wild turkey
starts the rot.

Poor Hansel lost without Gretel
is alone in the forest
there's no trail of pebbles
he can't see the wood
for the talking trees.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


When the psychologist asked me who was significant in my life I lied,
“The butcher. From him I purchase my daily meat.”………

My friend Suzin calls me mate.
She rings me at eight o’clock.
It’s morning.
“Just checking.
I have not heard from you for hours.
God I am bored and it is so early.
I am drab today so drab come and see how drab I am.”

I call her at nine o’clock.
“I can’t find my car keys.
In fact I can’t find anything.
Everything seems to be lost.”

She calls me at ten o’clock.
“You should see what the baby can do.
You should hear what the baby can say.
I have just put him in his room.”

I call her at eleven o’clock.
“I am not going to make it through this day.
I am going to die.
I can feel myself slipping away.
Death is a definite possibility.”

She calls me at noon.
“Come and have a coffee.
Go to the chemist for me.
I don’t have a car today.”

I call her at one o’clock.
“Thank a goddess the sun is shining.
I am so fucked when it is overcast.
The shining sun seizes my sadness.
Is that poetry?”

She calls me at two o’clock.
“I have got a zit big huge and full of pus.
God I hate myself.
I am so fat and the zit covers my entire face.
You should see it.”

I call her at three o’clock.
“I have just heard Leanne is having an affaire with a twenty year old bikey.
All leather and danger.
With the wind in her hair.
I wish it was me.”

She calls me at four o’clock
“I am ovulating .
I have just worked it out .
Mick will have to come home if I am going to have a baby this month.”

I call her a five o’clock.
“What shall I have for tea?
What are you having for tea?
What is the point of tea?”

She calls me at six o’clock.
“I think the baby has an earache.
I will have to go to the doctor tomorrow.”

I call her at seven o’clock
“Garry isn’t home yet.
When he comes home I am going out.
Wanna come?”

She calls me at eight o’clock.
“Come around when the baby is in bed.
We will share a wine or something.
Dance in the lounge a little.”

I call her at nine o’clock.
“I am so bored.
We should have gone out.
I am so slack.
I wish I could get motivated.”

She calls me at ten o’clock.
“I am going to bed now.
Can’t think of anything else to do.
Finished the ironing waiting for Mick to come home from the pub.”

I call her at eleven o’clock.
“We tell each other goodnight.
We wish each other sweet dreams,
hang up.

I begin to count the hours till morning.

……..the truth is, it was Suzin.
She was significant.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

two sixteen

and i’m in my bed
there are earth quakes
oceans tsunamis
between us
while darkness chews
the face of the moon
and i’m in my bed
my skin just falls away
as it does every night
while i’m sleeping
and i’m in my bed
the ceiling fan dries my eyes
i wonder if i’ll go blind
like my mother and aunt
will my spine crumble too?
and i’m in my bed
but tonight is not a night for sleeping
besides it is morning anyway
someone is cooking pasta
in this city right now
because it’s saturday
the friday fast is over
and i’m in my bed
i lie in it all the time, i made it
thorns from the roses
scratched my arms and hands
but i tell you these scratches
are from when
i killed the cat
and you believe me
and i’m in my bed
but this night
even though it is morning
was never meant for sleeping
i’ve let the time drip away
like vein blood
blue and viscous
and i’m in my bed
and it was spelled
in capitals so loud
i reached for earplugs
searched for a pen
found an knife
carved a one word poem in my flesh

and i’m in my bed
and i’m in my bed
and i’m in my bed...

Monday, December 7, 2009


in the room
professional women
their prime painted on
strung with incomes of gold
family heirlooms
carbon fractured to sparkle
clothed in animal print faux fur
bounty of the bargain hunters
hand weave acquired
the last tour of the world
and all it’s islands
bags designed by the
wealthy for the wealthy
(they know how much
a bag should contain)
rests beside the shoes
designed more for comfort
gold badged and stamped
with a Spaniard’s name

the afghani woman asks
what are you doing in my country?
where criminals and killers and drug lords rule
where women
are shot like birds
and men seek
US dollar compensation
for their loss
less than a house
and a bit more than a donkey

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Five Easy Ways

Pregnant Suzin reads,
“Five Easy Ways to a Beautiful Body”.
Her breasts swollen to double D.
Her beach ball belly streaked with stripes
the colour of moonlight.
She knows the way to a beautiful body,
“Lay down with your lover!”
She laughs.
It is not mentioned as one of the five easy ways.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I could cleanse you

I could cleanse you
said Mary Magdalene
on her knees
moon full
two nights ago
a male is needed
for full moon smoking
garden healing
incense burns
at both ends
the shakhuachi master
plays seabreeze
the temple bell

Friday, December 4, 2009

I find them

I find them
the rejectors
the not wanters
the unlusters
the no desire here men.
I find them and limpet cling.
Each no a fire stream
metal claw
nail stab.
It is my cream cake
my just desserts.
Say no Sweetness.
Please say no.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


In her mothers house
she smiles down
in her incarnations
baby beautiful
child tomboy
young woman in love
out of love
bearer of love child
In her mothers house
herstory is my story
graphic novel on walls.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Waiting for Hazel (2004)

There will be no baby baby
today baby baby,
our waiting is long
while we sing out our song
Oooo! baby baby
show yourself baby baby!
soon! baby baby oooo!

Grandmother says
windy weather has blown the stork away
we cant keep ringing up
she says
the baby won’t come any faster
she says,
babies have their own time
she says
she tells how her own magic mother
calculated babies into the world
with a mathematical equation + two weeks
she was spot on for all the babies.
but the magic died with her
now we have to measure time
with the fall of pink lace bark blossoms
plop! plop! plopplop! plop!

Doves drank at the frog pond
bathed in the lily pots
made war -
then peace -
then war again.

Those in the crow tree discussed their day
a willy wag tail looped in the air
seized supper for her babies
grey balls of gruff stuffed fluff.

Bougainvillea faded crimson to papery grey
jacaranda wept purple pools around our feet
stag horn grew new leaves like baby hands extended
agapanthus spears exploded floral fireworks
and we waited
Oooo! Ooooo! Ooooo!

Bones lay unbitten
while the dog heavy lidded listened.
the factory door rattled out an empty room echo
the bored whine and clack
of suburban trains set sharp against
the warning bells hysteria.

End of day light filtered
tropical green through bamboo leaves
families of scarlet parrots
headed nestwards on the sky ways.

Acorns began the summer swell
the figs plumped
ducklings hatched
basil grew and grew and grew
blue skies blued down blue and blue and blue.
Oooo! Oooo! Oooo!

While we waited.
Oooo baby baby
while we waited
and waited
for you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

11pm William Street

We drank beer
from bottles
in brown paper
smoked joints
spiked with
too much tobacco
ate Thai late
on a Sunday night
when the only light
shone from the cross
while I tried to forget
what I really wanted

Monday, November 30, 2009


my mouth is filled with rosebuds
petals push between my lips to bloom
and fall full blown
my mouth is filled with rosebuds

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Savage Detectives

Everything that begins in comedy ends in tragedy.
Everything that begins in comedy ends in tragicomedy.
Everything that begins in comedy inevitably ends in comedy
Everything that begins in comedy ends as a cryptographic exercise.
Everything that begins in comedy ends as a horror movie.
What begins as comedy ends as a triumphal march, wouldn’t you say?
Everything that begins in comedy inevitably ends as mystery.
Everything that begins in comedy ends as a dirge in the void.
Everything that begins in comedy ends as comic monologue, but we aren’t laughing anymore.

pages 457 - 471
The Savage Detectives
Roberto Bolano

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

thistle collector

I am a thistle collector
from roadsides and spare blocks
I pull
roots pale bent fingers
released from soil
as I tug
stalk shapes indent pink on my skin
fingernails stained green
sand clings as if it owns me
aphids smudged black on my breast
snails will be slime bliss bombs for my ducks
I carry thistles in my harvesters arms
smell a cooking stew
someone is using my mother's recipe
the postie skids to give way
handy man paints pickets retain the dream
at the curb side café
morning coffee drinkers
mid sip
I am the thistle collector
my bunch of yellow flowers
nod with every step
and a trail of white seed heads float behind

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Di’s Ladies Luncheon With Games

All lovely ladies lunch.
A fat one wheezing on a Ventolin puffer.
Somehow she destroyed her lungs with medication.
Now incurable.
Living the rest of her life with broken lungs.
Another has pains in her thighs after a hip replacement.
 She can never go wandering
at Christmas
champagne glass in hand
on her friend’s property
ever again.
Talk is of aging parents who are old but don’t know they are old.
We are old but don’t know we are old.
We are as young as we are ever going to be right now
says Karen.
Di makes us play a game.
It is Beetle.
A game from our fifties childhoods
before television.
You have to construct a beetle with the roll of the dice.
body = 6
head = 1
mouth = 4
antennae = 2
eyes = 1
legs = 5
The crayfishermen in Kalbarri were crazy for this game
Di tells us.
I am creative with my beetles.
I should have won The Best Beetle
but there wasn’t a creativity prize.

Monday, November 23, 2009

cyber baby

been fucking anyone
she asks

too old…but
i have a friend

she’s not my friend
she’s my cyber fuck

my cyber fuck
always wants me
wants my knickers off
wants my genitals out
wants me hot and heavy
wants me over the chair
she wants me arse up
all my bits exposed
wants to truss me tightly
wants to shave my cunt
wants to spank me
to push in past the door
wants to thrust
the cyber dildo in
then further in
then out
tells me she will fist me
she tells me I am open
she tells me as she pushes
that under her i squirm
she says she pins me down
i weep until she holds me
she tells that
she loves me
i’m her cyber baby
and she’ll be gentle now

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I like you
the best eyes
you are a definite possibility
have you got what it takes
check it out yourself
keep laughing at my jokes and I might

midnight passion
and it was only nine o’clock
he came to heel without being called

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I haven't read
any of the poems
for days
try to wean
try to disentangle
try not to think
so much
my brain
my stupid brain
has no controls
churns out
streams of scenarios
even in sleep
walls are breached
dreams of hands
a white robed body
and ten moons rising
just forget about it
just forget about it
he said on leaving
I begin to try

Monday, November 16, 2009


younger me
bombied into crowds
washed in skin
devoured eyes
drank up bodies
blood on my lips
semen on my thighs

older me
everything is glass
the ache still exists
I name it plague

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Commercial Transaction

Commercial transaction
with the corner store keeper
eyes averted
goods and coins
pass between us.

She doesn’t tell me
of her son -
and first grandchild.

I don’t ask.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

november heat

i rang my father
he is ok
on the third day
of over forty degree heat
aircon has lowered
the inside temp
a change is on the way
another couple of days
won't kill him
 but dave holds
died in the night
without lungs
or legs
as grog and smokes
took their toll
as he always
knew they would
thats life
or death
you want to call it
said my dad
riding his eighty-sixth wave
of november heat


In my dream I heard there was a message.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

how do words

how do words fall out of you?
i have to perform open heart surgery
while the anesthetist is out to lunch
attack the marrow with a saw
work it out with a pencil
winkle it out of its shell
crush the hard nut
add tears to make a slurry
wait until maleable
set out to dry
hope no cracks appear

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Country View Point, Bush Telegraph, ABC 2006

The invitation of gold and red announced a beach wedding in late December- but I have to admit I received it with a little trepidation.

My lack of love for the beach is at odds with my identity. As an Australian we are supposed to love the beach. But with my ancestral memory of five generations of inland dwellers, it leaves me a little intimidated, especially Indian Ocean beaches where waves smash against rock and sand in a deafening dissonance.

As a child, I had seen my aunt dumped by the surf on one such beach. She emerged struggling for breath, bathers askew and sand in her hair.
“Look out for dumpers!” my cousins warned.
I was wary of waves that heaved themselves up on the beach. I have felt them grab at my ankles and tug hungrily, trying to swallow me up.

So wrapped in a shawl against an unseasonable southerly blast and waiting for the arrival of the bride and groom on Redgate Beach near Margaret River, it was not hard to become absorbed in the drama of the surroundings.
Here you could again become embroiled in the sight and sound of the wild surf, thumping against granite outcrops.

It was easy to visualise the fate of the Georgette on December 1st 1876, drifting into the surf and slowly sinking because of a leak. The ship has entered local legend. With its pumps not working and boiler room flooded, the crew and passengers tried valiantly to bail the rising seawater but it was futile and the lifeboats were lowered.

Up on the cliffs, Sam Isaacs, an aboriginal stockman working for the Bussell family, saw the foundering vessel. He galloped to the Bussell homestead and returned with sixteen year old Grace Bussell. Armed with ropes Grace and Sam rode their horses down the cliff face and swam them into the boiling surf alongside the steamship where passengers and crew faced the perilous seas. After four hours Grace Bussell and Sam Isaacs, with their horses and ropes had rescued fifty men, women and children. Twelve were lost.

One hundred and twenty nine years later, although the weather conditions may have been similar, there were no riders on the cliff tops with heroism in their hearts. Instead, a string of children dressed in traditional Indian outfits of red, threaded their way carefully down the cliff path, tinkling bells, shaking maracas and clashing cymbals.

They heralded the arrival of the bride and groom who were warmly greeted by their families and friends gathered on the windblown sand and spray drenched rocks under a cloudy sky. Vows were taken and blessings made as the waves smashed and sprayed the wedding party as if to remind us, just a little, that this was once a scene of tragedy.

Everyone laughed and cheered and spirits were high. This was a wedding day and Redgate Beach was, on this day, the backdrop for joy and celebration.

Monday, November 9, 2009

after the slam

someone ordered a bloody maria
someone didn’t want to be there
someone claimed to be smashed
someone couldn’t really tell
someone’s light brought the moths
someone’s voice was a bell
someone was talking nonsense
someone was capable of anything
someone fell through glass
someone was skewered with shards
someone’s sex drive was in overdrive
someone didn’t know the way home
someone was a honeypot
someone was over the Moon
someone was wrangling the bees
someone kissed someone
someone did somebody else
someone wanted to have group sex
someone danced with someone
someone was nobodies boy
someone rejected their fan base
someone passed someone a joint
someone forgot about everything
someone had nothing to tell
someone was guilty as charged
and someone was visiting hell.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I am the dog

I am the dog that follows.
The dog you wave your arms at
shout: Get home!
I am the dog that stops – watches.
Fifty yards on
I am the dog that follows again.
I am the dog you throw stones at
I am the dog that slinks
a dozen sullen steps
to watch you go.
I am the dog that runs to the spot
breathes in your leaving scent.


And, in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make.
Abbey Road (1969)
The Beatles

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fifth of November

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

the end

the night
she held
a knife
to his
was the night
he called it
and slunk
with nothing

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Melbourne Cup Day 2009

I went to a garden full of colour and light and water and bronzes of naked women kneeling and reclining and one holding both legs to her breasts exposing her cunt to fecundity all round. There were walkways of roses, wisteria, plum trees, orchards of citrus rotting, avocados hung like sinister black baubles, the garden shed with stained glass windows and chandelier, poppies filled to the brim with bees, pansies irises, violets, roses, nasturtiums, clematis, clouds of white camellias, stairs and seats and lily ponds, red rose avenues to fountains with a view as purple and orange push into the dried yellow dull green of the summer eucalyptus forest. Guests waved their free hand to explain the property extends to those trees over there. They bought that block too for privacy. And that is the dam. All the water is pumped from there to the lily ponds and look they are building a gallery for their collection. The workmen have the day off.  
In this garden of prosperity and good fortune we drank champagne and exclaimed how blue is the sky and how perfect the day.
we are privileged
we are lucky
raise up your glasses
because out in the ocean
some of us founder
some of us flounder
and some us of drown.

The writing moment?

At best a flash flood of words.
Worst, dry mouth can't spit.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

“he has discharged his weapon on to himself”
soft sack
pliant round full
replaces shrunken fallen flesh

Sunday, November 1, 2009

To Begin

To begin my novel
I clean my teeth
mint clean.
Cleanse my face.
Consider botox.
Look at the palm fronds
in the wind through the
bathroom window.
Check the washing machine.
Check the pool pump.
Note the wind chimes.
Drain my tea cup.
Put on my ugg boots
Light my pipe.
Raise the slatted blinds.
Pour a glass.
Find a CD.
Outdoors, shadows fell on the washing
sheets billowed.
The wind makes it a drying day.
There is a spiders nest in the peg basket.
Boys are kicking a footy in the street
only 128 days to go to the next bounce -
sons of the woman I told this morning
I am a writer
I said it out loud -
nothing happened.

And so I began my novel.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

compared to another poet

i am a sheet metal worker
she is a fine silk lace maker


Looking now
I see myself
as you see me.

Friday, October 30, 2009

[was broken]

wonder woman turns her phone to silent
sends spider man out to play
a figure is chalked on pavement
soft skin slides away
silk thread turns to wire
sex slaves suck off their days
find the calendar is in disarray
wombs never bear monsters
grief is a mathematical equation
death of love has no solution
graves gorge daily
flesh is sweet for eating
release the poisonous gases
clean the filtration systems
Because the message [was broken]
[was broken]
and meaning drained away.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The dog asleep in her bed
the dove crooning to the leafless tree
incense smoulders to the last milimetre
Buddha wears the silent garden smile
agate chimes
nodding violet dies
clock is obscured by washing
when the shakuhachi master calls
the wind arrives to play the bamboo
birds wings stroke the air.
The phantom of my fantasy is with me
laying down a larval flow of smoking words.

I have spent a long night in prayer
the hours fell like bags of black soot
as I whispered into the flat screen of the dark
There was no other way to spend night.
There is no other way to spend day.
there is
no other way.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nothing Much

I teach
myself poetry
copying poems
counting syllables

The road is long like
a ribbon cast on the sand,
my small steps are slow.

“That’s really good Mum,”
daughter encourages.

Son says,
“Mum’s nothing much
Dad’s an engineer.”
as I weld words
fit a blue print.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Roadrunner

In his armoury stocked from the “Love 4 Less”
mail order catalogue
Beat Her With Words
Eradicate Love - FAST!

He has stored his nightstick “I”
which he loved to fondle
knowing it will deliver blows
guaranteed to drive out
self love and self worth.

He could deploy “HATE”
a heart seeking missile
when aimed with precision
will grind to mince meat
a loving heart’s beat.

A favourite is “YOU”
an empty word weapon
filled with your choice poison or gas
more effective and toxic
if launched from a pinnacle
Mt Despise on the horizon.
Give it a go!

Rolled is a blueprint of the “I HATE YOU” warhead
he can weld, bolt or wire this word weapon together
then prime for accidental explosion that is never his fault.

She side steps, quick dashes,
with her look behind you surprises
avoiding blows, explosions, detonations.
He is left black faced, burned and broken
smashed in the canyon
or ignominiously glued to the road.

But she is going, going, gone
beep! beep!
into the infinite distance
her love unconditional,
100% stronger,
and at no extra cost!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Joylene was roused.
Her heart hasn’t had a work out since 1974.
I left her sitting on the bare floor of the side
veranda catching the last rays of autumn.
no knickers
drinking tea
warmed cement
warmed her cunt
too hot.

quote from The Revenger's Tragedy

"Surely we are all mad people, and they
Whom we think are, are not"

Saturday, October 24, 2009


There is ash
around the chair
where he sat
had burned

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wet Days

I could not
wring one
out of
my tears
as they
welled up
fell down
ran away.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

23 July 2008

On a recent trip to China a broken axle gave me a heavenly experience.

We cruise through the cornfields as high as an elephant’s eye, van Gogh sunflower fields, down poplar and willow lined roads past the broken down trucks, cars, vans. One white van is parked at right angles across the road a row of stones neatly placed across the road as a warning to other motorists. What a Wonderful World is being sung in accented English on the CD player when the car lurches and we are thrown into the world of the roadside breakdowns. I put my head out of the car and see the axle is broken and has been spun out of its housing.

“These Japanese cars” Steed hissed centuries of animosity surfacing, “Why do they make these axles so badly? “

Apparently it is a problem with Land Cruisers in China their back axels are always falling off. Steed has managed to almost pull off the road. Megan gets out.

Years of roadside mechanics in the Australian outback have taught me a thing or two about vehicles.
“He cannot fix it” I say to Megan.
“Yes he can fix it.” she replies obviously oblivious to the seriousness of the collapsing vehicle.

She is dispatched to put out the jack and a cardboard box with a rock in it as the breakdown ahead warning.

I make myself comfortable in the shade of a willow growing next to a dry irrigation ditch, “You sit there and write,” I am instructed.

A truck is broken down fifty meters away. The drivers with oil blackened hands and faces arrive to inspect our predicament. They tell us this straight stretch of road is bad for breakdowns, it is too straight, two of their wheels have fallen off and they are waiting for someone they have rung to help them. Steed is on the mobile. Thank China Mobile for almost total mobile cover. A police truck will come for the car to be taken for repairs. A taxi for Megan and I has been ordered to be take us back to the Xining Tian Nian Ge Hotel without air conditioning “to relax.” It is hot humid and I doubt my ability to relax in a room where a sign on the window warned:
“Harass for making you avert a mosquito saying or asking again to make sure when being ventilated ioen the right hand edge sash and cose a screen window please.”

While I wait scribbling in my journal and sending text messages to family and traveling friends who are having their own travel crisis in Saigon. It is comforting to know I am not the only one in a predicament.

The traffic streams by all indulging in the national sport of horn tooting. Big potatoes (Chinese term for VIP’s) in black Mercs with darkened windows and their police escorts zoom by trucks, 4WD’s, sedans, motorbikes, tractors all whiz by in a barrage of horns. Just as I begin to wonder if my ears will ever be the same again a young man arrives with the taxi. His black tie undone, shirt hanging out and the taxi driver smoking, his shirt rolled up to his nipples. They look at the damage. They light up and look at the damage. Steed remains on the mobile. I sit in the shade.

I am summoned by my guides. Grottoes which this morning had been deemed too damaged during the cultural revolution to be worthy of a visit now assume a whole new dimension. I will find them “very interesting for you”. We are going to the Matisi grottoes, in the Yugu minority area. Relieved that I have been saved from relaxation in the hotel, Megan and I are piled into the green taxi. The taxi takes off in what feels like an attempt on the land speed record as we sweep through a verdant agricultural landscape. I am in the front. The seat belt which was specially cleaned, probably because no-one has ever used it before is firmly done up. We are in an oasis created by Han people 2000 years ago. Poplar, willow, corn, wheat, beans, hemp, potatoes, sunflower are all in full summer growth. Women in coloured headscarves harvest wheat with sickles in the small fields stack the cut wheat into stooks. In the afternoon they will load up a donkey or three wheeled truck or tractor with dry grain to be taken to be thrashed either on the road by passing traffic or by a tractor or beast pulling a stone roller. The grain will be winnowed by hand and wind, thrown into the air from large flat woven baskets. Debris from this process hangs in the air like a small local fog and I have to reach for the hayfever medication.

As we fly, as I am sure all four wheels are off the ground at times, through this abundant landscape the taxi driver tells about a nearby village when on arrival you are given a bottle of wine, the hosts begin singing, the guests must finish the wine at the same time as the song if not they are given another bottle and so on until they get it right. Sounds like a good way to get your visitors drunk before they cause any problems while everyone else remains sober and singing. We burst out of the oasis into desert with a backdrop of snow capped mountains. For some mysterious taxi driver reason we slow down, we pass Muslim graves in the stony ground, most simple post markers others walls and small mausoleums. We drive slowly around curves and up inclines but when we plunge back into a village we speed up and our fearless driver assumes his city driving style over taking all vehicles including a vehicle in the process of overtaking another vehicle as well as animals and pedestrians on the road with a Toot! Toot!
Past the melon farmers pulling their wooden carts to market Toot! Toot!
To the woman pushing her bike carefully balancing a large cardboard box, Toot! Toot!
At the three wheeler loaded with bricks from the brick factory where bricks are hand made. Toot! Toot!
To a cart so overloaded with fresh cut hay it looks like a mobile haystack. Toot! Toot!
At two men on a motorbike the passenger firmly holding a disgruntled sheep. Toot! Toot!
To the roadsweeper chatting on her mobile and leaning on her brush broom. Toot! Toot!
Past the truck laden with capsicums bulging from their plastic packing cases like green pimples Toot! Toot!
Past the docile steer being led to pasture Toot! Toot!

But when we hit the open road again we slow down. After so many death defying overtaking moves in small villages with human, vehicle and animal obstacles to overcome now on open road our driver seems totally intimidated by open space. Finally my curiosity leads me to ask Megan to inquire about this unique driving style. His reply like so many answers in China is even more mystifying. In the country on the open road the wind is strong and we must slow down. Seems calm to me. Also the gradient of the road is steep. Seems particularly flat to me. While I am trying to figure this riddle out we approach another village and Toot! Toot! flock of sheep Toot! Toot! old woman doubled over with a load of corn stalks on he back. I wind down the window and bucolic aroma of human and animal waste waft in. We pass a grove of marijuana plants with leaves as big as dinner plates Toot! Toot!

The Matisi grottoes were built in the eastern Jin dynasty 317 – 420. Buddha and his acolytes were carved into the red sandstone cliff faces in 21 grottoes seven stories high arranged in the shape of a pagoda. Thirty three layers of heaven are represented in the 100 metres of carved niches. It is a neck craning sight and Megan and I set our sights on the highest grotto.

As we approach the number of police cars increase. A big potato is visiting I am told. Police direct us to our parking area one officious policeman with glowing white shirt , startling white gloves and smart precise hand signals, the next sitting on rock waving his cigarette vaguely in the direction of the car park his tie askew and shirt hanging out. Megan and I set off on foot leaving the taxi driver to socialize and gamble with cards with the other drivers. We by pass the Chinese Disney world of tourism and cut through a vacant land to reach the road to the grottoes.

We climb stairs to the foot of the sandstone caves crane our necks upward before entering the enormous grotto at ground level. It once housed a huge Buddha in the centre of the cave but he fell foul of the Red Guard during the cultural revolution who after smashing as much as possible thought it would be fun to camp in the grotto preparing food on open fires and smoking the murals of one thousand Buddhas and causing further damage. His acolytes carved into the walls continue to look benign although they have had their hands and feet smashed off and their eyes gouged out. I find this disquieting.

A family of Yugu people in traditional dress long dark del with large hot pink sashes and long black plaited hair decorated with strips of colourful fabric are carrying yak fat for the lamps. They make their way clockwise around the broken grotto murmuring prayers and making offerings, teaching their children how to pray. After visiting the lower grottoes Megan and I begin our ascension to the highest. We have to climb and crawl through tunnels dug out of the cliff face. It is narrow and dark, the walls polished smooth by centuries of pilgrims bodies, hand holds carved into the walls to help heave yourself up uneven stairs. Occasionally a window is carved to give a glimpse of a distant stupa as well as provide light in the gloom. Half way up and we are in a passage open to the air and a veranda built of wood which hangs out from the face of the cliff. We look out at the police below eating noodles in a lean-to.

We continue pulling ourselves through the rock. At the next grotto I ask “Is this the highest?”
“Yes,” says Megan but then we enter the labyrinth again, going up, up, up. We come into a square grotto with a picture of the Chinese panchon lama on an alter surrounded by silk flowers. This must be the highest we stand on a little veranda where incense burns and prayer flags wave. A bell suspended from the eaves tings gently on the mountain breeze.
“Is this the highest ?”
“Yes,” says Megan. We can see the family of Yugu people below heading for a stupa and a police car making dust as it makes its way up the road. Megan finds another stair case and we squeeze our way up into a grotto with Buddha and yak fat lamps burning, white khadags of the Tibetan people are tied in various locations.
“Megan you said we have been at the highest twice before so tell me Megan is this the highest?”
We go out onto a tiny veranda where the wind ruffles prayer flags and a soft bell sounds. Everything below is very small but we can still see the Yugu people circling the oovoo we did not notice before. Some Chinese are taking photos of each other in front of the stupa. The police are smoking at their post and a rooster struts across the car park. In the distance are clouds in a dense blue sky, mountains capped with snow. There is no sound, except for and the ting of a bell. The touch of the wind is cool on our faces. A waft of incense is in the air. In the corner of the small verandah is a chair covered in cloth. We both look at it and without speaking know that a monk has sat in this spot high above the world and meditated. For centuries monks have been here in all weathers hearing only the wind, the bell and the flap of prayer flags, fingering beads and praying om mani pad ma hum sending prayers up to the heaven which surely must not be that far away. Both of us feel the presence of good, prayer, devotion and love.
We are silent so close to heaven.
“This is the highest,” whispers Megan. My eyes fill up I cannnot speak I can only nod to agree.

We descend, squeezing our way through the birth canal of dark stair cases until we tumble back to earth. The light is bright. We are newborns. Dogs bark, birds cry, children shout, food is cooking. Everything looks new, smells new, sounds new. I feel new. We clamber down a slippery dirt path to the car park. I know today I have experienced heaven.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

after all

This week
been sitting sadhu
in a cave watching
my friend, the butterfly,
fly away.
It’s been fun
listening to 96FM
kind favour
of the fucken brickies next door.
They swear.
Indulged in a bit of cyber flagellation -
see me privately for further details.
Read “One From None”
bought at the Save the Children’s Fund
annual second hand book sale.
$1 on half price day.
Bargain Betty!
Hand written inscription on the front inside cover:
News was:
Ms Gilllard saved the day.
Tony wants to have a go.
Ted went to explain to Mary Jo.
The crops are gonna fail
if rain don’t come
we’ll all be rooned.
The mighty game
received another body blow
and Ben came home.
In the trenches on the emotional front,
I cried.
My friend the deconstructed post modernist said:
“You cry when you see the Truth.”

That’s it really.
oh and I wrote a poem…….

what makes me so
fucken unlucky
in fucken life
in fucken love
jesus i hate it
when the pathetics hit
the problem is
the problem is
the problem is
i have been bobbing up and down in the same spot not swimming not drowning
for fuck i dont know how long
fucken years
the same
the same
the same
fucken mistakes
saying the same words
over and over afuckengen
the psychobabble
is right
its a pattern
but the pattern has to hit me in the face
with a dead fish
fifteen fucken times before I get it
fucken non stop slow learner
at least the train tracks have lost their gleam
that route no longer appeals
no cunt notices isolation
so that’s a waste of fucken lonely time
too old to do a da levy
now everyone is poncing around being artists and poets and fucken anarchists
filling each others pockets with piss
out-quoting each fucken other
armed with their fucken non stop genius
i hope the revolution comes soon
i hope they string me up first
maybe i could be fucken lucky
after all

Monday, October 19, 2009

compassionate heart

at the party
we all see
scott is back
fallen rock star
lean - silver roots
betray black hair
scott is back
from the dance
at the edge
change partners
and fall over
one too many times
scott is back
no smokes
no drink
eyes clear
blood opiate free
with only his motor bike
helmet as a shield
alone in the room
friend through years
runs her hand over him
"scott is back
he's still here"
takes his palm
holds it on her breast
so he can feel the heat

Sunday, October 18, 2009

bodily fluid exchange

a lick of spit
on her finger tips he kissed
she wiped across her lips
as she drove away

Friday, October 16, 2009

weeks forecast

beautiful day
beautiful day
beautiful day
beautiful day
beautiful day
beautiful day

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Surrender to Poets Past

I surrender to poets past
lay down my quill
drink my ink
burn my page
strangle my dictionary
stab my writing hand
submerge my brain
I surrender

for penance I read Yeats
say fifty d.a.levys
and one hundred hail bolanos

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

afraid, angry, blistered

are you afraid?
i am afraid so...
are you angry?
fuck off!
are you blistered?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Evening view, Bold Hill.

mauve light fills templates
baby girl pink
gold for curls and hearts
turn my back on black for warships
ocean grey disrepair
open to kookaburra sunset calls
tree trunks one hundred years strong
bury my toes fingers into earth
and hold on

Monday, October 12, 2009

my masculine side

i want
to grow
a cock
i want
to be
the one
who says
suck on this
i want
to be
the one
who says
take me
to a park
and blow me
i want
to feel
i want
to write
my name
with a
hot yellow
lemon tree

this is
how i
would be
i exposed
the man
in me

Saturday, October 10, 2009


"From the troubles of the world I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things..."
FW Harney (1888)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The New Frowning

We have crisis.
Daughter discovers
A Wrinkle.
In the mirror she smooths
the skin between her eyebrows.
As mother I offer,
"You could stop frowning."
She decides from now on
when she gets angry
she is going to smile.
“Smiling is the new frowning.”
Plan B is to live
in a less harsh climate.

Daughter leaves for a jog
to take her mind off The Wrinkle.
Door slam and a yell -
"Stop emailing people about my wrinkles!
Put quotation marks around
smiling is the new frowning.
I made that up.
You thief!"

Monday, October 5, 2009

for Natasha

When you danced topless,
skirt swirling,
gold bangles jingling,
bare feet turning,
black hair flying,
blue eyes flashing
red mouth laughing,
shouting at the midnight sky -
“Thank the stars
I found you!
I thought
I was alone in this town!”

That was when I loved you best
my friend.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A man of words and not of deeds

A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds
And when the weeds begin to grow
It's like a garden full of snow
And when the snow begins to fall
It's like a bird upon the wall
And when the bird away does fly
It's like an eagle in the sky
And when the sky begins to roar
It's like a lion at the door
And when the door begins to crack
It's like a stick across your back
And when your back begins to smart
It's like a penknife in your heart
And when your heart begins to bleed
You're dead, and dead, and dead indeed.

Elizabethan Rhyme

Thursday, October 1, 2009

two am

at two am
hot milk goes down
television christians
hug children
promise shoes
a place in heaven
guaranteed by jesus

those who give
get shares in happiness
bonus payment
brown children shod
and saved

i hug myself
i’ve seen insomnia off
pad my own bare feet
to bed

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


To begin
I discard my television
it has hypnotised me with its electronic eye for too long
my computer which interprets my life into bits and bytes of binary code
zero one zero one zero one zero
my mobile phone that radio waves to others my voice
haiku short text messages
snap shots of the dog
and a short video of my washing billowing in a drying breeze.

Here I cast off my obsessions
My fanatical neatness
clothes hung in the order of refracted light
hats arranged according to seasons
pots, pans and cutlery marshalled in rows of military precision
polished surfaces reflecting, reflecting, reflecting every cup poured every pot stirred
my shoe collection, stilettos, mules, pumps, slippers, sneakers, runners, uggs, thongs, sandals, boots beaded, shinny, matt, laced, and every one in its place
I leave at the second gate

Now it is time for my animal companions
The backyard frogs whose raucous cry has spread with night’s blanket
across the neighbourhood as they colonise more and more ponds
my black and white muscovy ducks with gelid blue eyes embedded in coral
The chook presented to me by friends
All are told to STAY!

I relinquish my garden
The bamboo rattling in the wind
prayer flags flapping out prayers on every gust
grapevine clutching at the oak tree
bougainvilleas celebrating colour daily
wisteria enamoured with the ficus
a temple bell that ting ting tings with the rains
the peace bells which ring out on summer afternoons in the sea breeze
and the rock chime which only kling klang klongs when the east wind blows.
I surrender the race of the seasons, leaf fall, bud, shoot, blossom, bloom-spent,
the urgent continual surge of growth and eye comforting green

Now the time to say farewell to
my landscape
I leave the salt lake awash with waves slowly drying to a crystal sea
I leave blue bush plains dotted with western myall bowed under the weight of creamy blossom
I leave the swaying expanse of fine, gold spinifex populated by the phantoms of women winnowing in the last afternoon light.
I leave gorges under the full moon, black rock walls holding up the glittering sky
I leave rock holes gouged by ice age glaciers now cupping a sweet sip of cool water.
I leave noon as the colour leaches into heat haze and the land
evaporates before your eyes

Abandoned at the sixth gate my poets voice
no more to
ambush rational thought
whisper in the silences
shout through the mundane
as it speaks the carmine blood language of the pulsing heart.

Weeping at the seventh gate –
my family

the dry kernel is taken under
in the dank the shrivelled core swells
an adventitious root shoots downward - an anchor in the dark
a plumule pale and urgent begins to journey upward
always and forever seeking
the shaft of clear white light.

Monday, September 28, 2009

no belief needed

no belief needed
equinox is
since night sky was
a bedroom roof
who saw the stars
move first
no belief needed
equinox is

Friday, September 25, 2009

love free

a love free diet
doesn't work for me

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I want

outside on the back table
he is inside
talks to Fei Fei Rob and James
the oak tree is half leafed
the builders scrape
wet concrete across metal
eaves creak expect heat
a jar of rain water is green
sooty fungus on the wax plants
the table covered in dirt
zygote blossoms
are discarded
coral coloured condoms
the wisteria flowers
except the one in the pot
child in the kitchen makes tea
my ear sings its one note melody
rats use insulation to make nests
the nodding violet is ill
he thanks someone
the clock strikes ten
I want a dove to land in the pool and drown
I want the staghorn to rise from its deathbed
I want the wind to speak
I want the goose to lay the golden egg
the sun to shine and the circus to come to town

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


when she calls I run
meet her within the hour
we are dope smoking mothers
last night of freedom
as his texts
plot his way home
we talk love lives
she snapped up the perfect man
at a bargain price
he didn't know his value
on the open market
we talk sex
she is an orgasmic flood gate
release the sea
me drought struck dunes
sand drift in the wind
i tell her
i've always loved her
i try to rub against her
at the red light
but again she says no

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

woman in shags clothing

woman in shags clothing
walked west
into the open mouth
in the muscled arms
slid down the wet throat
of the storm
she was
glassed by first drops
and swirled
overhead wires
let loose their leaves
things were
without wings
woman in shags clothing
walked west

Some people walk in the rain and get wet
Some people walk in the rain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

chewed leaf

eaten chomped devoured who has practiced gluttony injured misshapen disabled who has feasted gobbled gorged teeth torn saliva melted jaws crushed masticated visited chewed gnawed nibbled munched warped changed unrecognizable eaten chomped devoured who has practiced gluttony injured misshapen disabled who has feasted gobbled gorged teeth torn saliva melted jaws crushed masticated visited chewed gnawed nibbled munched warped changed unrecognizable eaten chomped devoured who has practiced gluttony injured misshapen disabled who has feasted gobbled gorged teeth torn saliva melted jaws crushed masticated visited chewed gnawed nibbled munched warped changed unrecognizable eaten chomped devoured who has practiced gluttony injured misshapen disabled who has feasted gobbled gorged teeth torn saliva melted jaws crushed masticated visited chewed gnawed nibbled munched warped changed unrecognizable eaten chomped devoured who has practiced gluttony injured misshapen disabled who has feasted gobbled gorged teeth torn saliva melted jaws crushed mastication visited chewed gnawed nibbled munched warped changed unrecognizable eaten chomped devoured who

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Under a Hill

There was an old woman
Lived under a hill,
And if she's not gone,
She lives there still.

Baked apples she sold,
And cranberry pies,
And she's the old woman
That never told lies.

Mother Goose

Saturday, September 19, 2009


three am question
why am i awake
with nothing
on my mind
but you?

Friday, September 18, 2009

next door

builders. nail guns. concrete mixer. shovels. sand. bricks. saws. barrowloads. black plastic. offcuts. timber. pipes. planks. working men against sky. next door.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Hots

She says, "Thats sick!" when I tell her I have the hots for Don Draper.
chest hair
angle grinder looks
miasma eyes
Reasons enough for the hots.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The House

It is dark in the house
of the woman
whose husband is leaving
the dog whines at the door
the step is worn
disco balls in the window
hang without spin
crystals hold their rainbows in
Saturday night was nasty
money was mentioned
she is seeking employment
the children seem fine
there are things you wont see
crowded in corners
behind the cupboard
beneath the stair

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Third Dream

we are travelling together
you in white robes
our arms filled with poems
we paste them to walls
you are not beside me
i search
and always find you
not far away


at the beach
i watch waves
wash away a name


we applaud sunset
i see one swallow
not making spring

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Heard

goose feathers on air
motor bike exits
Sunday afternoon
Karla Sutra inserts
cold chicken in her vagina
defers to the key holder
gives her dog a bone
her erogenous zone
a cliché
the only one available
in this size
no discount today
the story is twisted
forests are trackless
wolves unavailable
Karla needs lovin’
to find her way home

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fourth Commandment

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sonnet CXVI - William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov’d
I never writ, nor no man ever lov ‘d.

Friday, September 11, 2009

James - Getting Away With It (live)

James - Getting Away With It (live)

Getting Away With It

we eat toasted sesame seed crumbed pork
almost roasted too long wedges
blood orange with rocket salad
Greek yoghurt, mint and garlic
We are filled with delicious delectable
edible divinity
glasses of champagne brut
drank ourselves to girlhood
played the music louder
Daniel’s saving Grace
I adore with the singer
my friend bags the keyboard player
she’s out in deep water
I want his shirt glued to body
His sweat really undoes me
I hope he’s a good swimmer
All poets are now singers
She shouts as we are dancing
We dance never ending
Until she is in love with the keyboard
And I am in love with the words
That’s called living

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9 September 2009

Now here I am at the airport
dressed in black
my hair all flying Medusa
the sky lumped with clouds
a water bird
flies arrow straight
or missile
if you want modern warfare
I know
above the clouds
the sun will shine
in a seven shades of blue
one shade of cotton white world
if I look down
I will hear the voice
which says
you belong
I will see the red
and hear the heart beat.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I wrote this in my car at a bar on my phone before the lights turned green doors closed battery ran out as I was coming here just now a minute ago last week I was there somewhere I forget in time to
so you will know something about me or not what I have been doing on this week last month never since you saw me I was on the train I went to visit a friend after arrangements I made on my phone text message bank at the stop I saw four dead galahs two pairs on the tracks hit by the train all smashed up feathers heads twisted to one side dead eyes looking at the sky over tea she told me she coughed up blood one night after smoking all day during a binge that lasted for weeks months years when she saw the blood all bright she thought the time she imagined for so long had come had arrived was here at last cancer in mouth lungs throat she wouldn’t have to think about it much again because she was going to die she didn’t understand why it seemed like such a new idea but it was probably because of the blood all red shiny sudden like a surprise then she freaked really freaked has given up completely for good not like the other times she had to tell the doctor I smoke not tobacco I smoke and he didn’t get it until she said you know toke I toke but it was just an infection and nothing to worry about after all she drinks more now every night but at least it is not a crime she’ll never get busted she laughs liver disease may be her new destiny her brain will be destroyed just the same I wrote this in a car bar or somewhere maybe on the train with my back pack packed maybe I wrote it while I was waiting for something to happen like an accident and when it did I wanted to graffiti
on the platform scratchy-ed into windows texta-ed on the toilet doors when I came back to the beginning to go where I wanted to go where there or not a crow was eating one of the dead galahs and I felt as if it wasn’t such a waste.

Monday, September 7, 2009


From the distance
I watched a ship
slide into the harbour.
It looked as if a hill
of coloured containers
was gliding through the city.


I don't go to the beach often.
The salt in me is lake not sea.
The birds in me are black not white.
There is flame in me not wave.
The sound in me is still.

Friday, September 4, 2009

an ant

an ant on the floor
undeterred crawls nestward
through morning shadow

Thursday, September 3, 2009

more spring

Spring exposes all,
flashy, loud and dressed to thrill.
Birds and bees oblige.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


my colour starved eyes
blurred dull by grey winter rain
devour the spring feast

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


That slut Spring – high heels
Clashes colours, bits bust out

Monday, August 31, 2009

last day

last day of winter
my nose begins to twitch

One From None - Rollins

I'm ok but my heart is stupid.
It goes places I would never go.
I have a leash that I keep it on.
Doesn't always work.
Never learns from pain.

Friday, August 28, 2009

This Week

This week
been sitting sadhu
in a cave watching
my friend, the butterfly,
fly away.
It’s been fun
listening to 96FM
kind favour
of the fucken brickies next door.
They swear.
Indulged in a bit of cyber flagellation -
see me privately for further details.
Read “One From None”
bought at the Save the Children Fund
annual second hand book sale
$1 on half price day
Bargain Betty!
Hand written inscription on the front inside cover
News was
Ms Gilllard saved the day.
Tony wants to have a go.
Ted went to explain to Mary Jo.
The crops are gonna fail
and if rain don’t come next week
we’ll all be rooned.
The mighty game
received another body blow
and Ben came home.
In the trenches on the emotional front,
I cried.
My friend the deconstructed post modernist said:
"You cry when you see the Truth."

That’s it really.
oh and I wrote a poem……

after all

what makes me so
fucken unlucky
in fucken life
in fucken love
jesus i hate it when the pathetics hit
its not even poetry this shit
could have passed in the sixties
the problem is
the problem is
the problem is
i have been bobbing up and down in the same spot not swimming not drowning
for fuck i dont know how long
fucken years
the same
the same
the same
fucken mistakes
saying the same words
over and over afuckengen
the psychobabble
is right
its a pattern
but the pattern has to hit me in the face
with a dead fish
fifteen fucken times before I get it
fucken non stop slow learner
at least the train tracks have lost their gleam
that route no longer appeals
no cunt notices isolation
so thats a waste of fucken lonely time
too old to do a da levy
now everyone is poncing around being artists and poets and fucken anarchists
filling each others pockets with piss
out-quoting each fucken other
armed with their fucken non stop genius
i hope the revolution comes soon
i hope they string me up first
maybe i could be fucken lucky
after all

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Death Rant

You really think about death at fifty six because your friends and rellies start popping off like pop corn in a hot pan.
One morning your eyes open suddenly you hear ringing
It is too early and your head doesn’t function
and the voice and name association bit of your brain hasn’t kicked in
and the disembodied voice is saying Uncle Mick is dead in hospital or Geoff has been found in bed cold
and then there is an explosion as all the senses kick in together
and he told no one he had cancer
and it is a shock
and the next thing you know you are wishing you had told people you loved them last time you saw them but they were asleep or you felt embarrassed
and now they are dead and its too late and nothing can be done
and you spend days crying
and you are wondering why you bought a box of tissues at the supermarket a week ago because you never do that
and was it just the design on the box or did you know subconsciously
or have some sort of premonition
that you would need something to mop up
your grief for your dead relative or friend
and you burst into tears as you unpack the dishwasher
or load up the washing machine
with laundry you wore a week ago while they were still alive
you cry because you were wearing this shirt
or that skirt when you saw them last
and your grown up children are disturbed when they find you against the sink in a slumped sort of way with floods on your cheeks
sodden tissues clenched in both fists
and it hurts all the longing and crying
and it goes on for days .
You wake with wet eyes and go to bed sobbing.
Your diary is a splatter of ink and you can’t read it anyway
you stop writing and become numb
and the tears dry up
and now you are in a daze
and cold sorrow turns into hot anger
against the person who is dead from the secret cancer, heart attack or crash.
You start yelling questions like
Why did you do it?
Shouldn’t you have told us?
You should have driven carefully.
You selfish old man!You stupid boy!
Don’t you know how you have hurt us?
At last you go to the funeral
and it might be your uncle but it is someone else’s father,
and it might have been your friend but it is someone else’s aunt
and it might have been your sister but it is someone else’s lover
and the dead are in a coffin in the ground in a beautiful box with gold handles and a crucifix
or hand painted with pastels by artistic sisters
or being turned to ash in a furnace.
It doesn’t really matter they are dead
and you are not
and the sun really hurts
and the sky is a mess
and the stars are all blurred
and although someone says the dead are in heaven
or being reincarnated into a butterfly
you don’t know how that works
and you are finding it hard to believe in anything anyway.
after all this the ceremony is over
and you have read a poem you have written you don’t know how
and it made other people start crying
and when it is time to shovel in dirt you cry out in a loud voice
“Fill it in boys!”
and “Dance on dear Thelma!”
or “Love goes with you baby James!”.
and you are glad it is all over but of course it is not
and you go on with it all still inside you
and so it will be until you die
and you think about death at fifty six because it is real
and it you know the voice
and you and death are practically pals.
and the more life goes on the more death seems to pop around like a visitor for afternoon tea
and you think about death at fifty six because you can’t change the default settings
as there are no other options on the drop down dead menu.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I wish I had seen this land
Before Ripper Burnacelli hooked chains behind his tractor
And brought every tree to it's knees.

I wish I had seen this land
Before the booted foot kicked the crown of a hill
And saw gold.

I wish I had seen this land
Before they came at dawn
with guns
to the camp
shot the dogs
woke the people
And ended the Dreaming.

I wish I had seen this land.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

text affaire

da levy: part of the problem is that the other shore IS HERE, NOW and we are someplace else

my rapture is text
music for my loneliness
beamed wireless
blue back lit words
seared into my eyes
from someone
whose face
I no longer remember
consolation prize for restraint
homage to fidelity
winner of the monogamy hurdles
covers the distance
regret rides side saddle

now the problem is
I’m someplace else
as I read a message
from the other shore

Monday, August 24, 2009

Maybe Leda


A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

William Butler Yeats

Maybe Leda

If he was the swan
I would let him take me
in the night
as my husband slept
beside me.

My breast
feather pressed
enfolded in wings
urgent ruffle
between my thighs
if he was the swan.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

the train i could have caught has gone

the train I could have caught has gone
i never had the fare
he was just another man
who was never really there

i put him in my trophy room
i polish his engraved name
shining in the galaxy
of stupidity and shame

i turn from the love-less path
littered with the dead
abandon communication
leave everything unsaid

i burn him at the cross roads
i burn him at the dawn
i burn him once
i burn him twice then i burn him more

i drown him in his care-less-ness
i drown him in his pain
i drown him once
i drown him twice then begin again

i cut him from my consciousness
i cut him from my heart
i turn away
give up on love and wings which tear apart.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Arriving From the Garden

Arriving from the garden,
drunk on sunshine, compost and fresh chook shit
blunder into webs and broadcast their SOS in staccato bursts of static.
Or after hours of head butting glass they are found
brain damaged and dead on the window sill, hairy corpses dry and crisp.
Or punch drunk they drown in dish filled sinks and float out cold with the congealed grease and discarded lettuce leaf.
Or dizzy with joy crash backwards into a cooling cup where they kick their legs in the air and continue to spin creating tiny tea whirlpools with their wings
Or struck by chemical warfare they dive bomb the evening meal
Splash down in the gravy,
pump maggots from their convulsing body,
completing the life cycle at the dinner table.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

gift cup

take this. a full cup. a cup full. a cup full of love. as ye shall. a cup. drink it. with this cup. a full cup. offered. given. drink from the full cup. sup it up. the full cup. blood fills the full cup. drink from the offered cup. take the cup. hold the cup. the love cup. your cup. a gift to you. drink it. love cup. lips on the love cup. hold. contained in the cup. spilled blood. drink the blood cup. blood brother cup. hold the blood brother blood. the cup of your mouth . the mouth is a cup. drink from the mouth cup. lip on lip. mouth cup on mouth cup. this is my blood cup. in your blood cup. my blood. take my blood in your mouth cup. fill your mouth. blood in the cup. cup in me. cup me in. cup in blood. in the blood. blood in blood. love blood cup. gift cup. love gift cup. brother blood cup. do this. remember. love cup. given. my blood in your mouth. full. blood full mouth. love blood mouth cup. cup lip . mouth lip. lip to lip. drink blood. as oft as ye .blood love. shall drink it. cup. offer. love. in remembrance. your mouth blood. of me. my blood to you. a gift. take blood. gift of blood love. held in a cup. cupped. cup cup. cup. cup the gift cup. take it. a full cup. a cup full. a cup full of love. gift cup.

Monday, July 27, 2009

four degrees

four degrees.morning magpies.tiny birds the colour of bark.plane drones north.brothers heavy burbles bad news bad newsbad news. rooster calls hens. fertility rites.coiled rope. magpies and crows.aerial combat.feather fight.lone car scrunches down dirt track.slow.trees cast frost do I have my tea? winter smoke clouds.crow.cockatoos scrape the sky.wrens needle calls sew down the edges of morning.crow.crow.crow voices die with distance.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lowbrow in the Artists Home

I see gladitorial battles rabbits versus sheep limbs being torn half human half mouse red in tooth and claw frying babies fed to dogs metal men nibble burning haystacks skewered humans scream over licking flames blood sucking flesh flowers bloom skulls in burning oil with eyes that still see the dead enlivened again again again bandaged heads leaking wounds pantry full of genitals living machines pump blood into rivers dams of pus filtered through the mouths of babies holes in stumps homes for furry creatures of evil intent armed with blades implements of torture half brains living a life of their own in forests of injured legs broken bones through rotted flesh nests for birds broken windmills turn without wind horse drawn boats and bees holding up the sky.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

At the Airport 2

At the airport
I am the great unwashed. Anne and Phil’s hot water system was on the blink. They tried to repair it by trading one joint and a bottle of wine but still it ran hot then cold.

My boots
Earth stained
Red salt lake mud
Beach sand
Dirty socks
Over lay my stink with clothes
Think of violets
Death of youth.

If I text
reply to me

I crouch on the airport floor
I crouch

On the plane the woman across the aisle has perfect red painted nails and lips.
A child behind reads the emergency instructions and asks, Is this what we do when we crash?

Still Life
three glasses of poured wine
three humming computers
three missing tennants
three unwashed cups
three fruit trees dormant
three lives on hold
afternoon light in the kitchen

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Broken Message

“To obey each outrageous impulse”
The Artist’s Duty
Kenneth Patchen

thank you for being friend enough to ignore the shit i send.knife to the jugular seems reasonable.head under steam roller the second a pub hoping sunday afternoon music will pull the sad out of me.oh i never want to fall.despite my inner ugly I look beautiful.but i turn no heads.when my friend tells me i am the best I have been in years i begin to cry.something is [broken message]

Not In My Care

This is a story about my old duck. This winter she has not molted well. Less feathers for warmth. Her neck is bare. Her daughters beat her up. She bleeds. If I leave her in the open and rain she will die. It’s a natural process. Days pass. Compassion opens my heart every morning I see her. Unable to oversee her death I shift her to a covered yard.

Middle daughter and I see a domesticated drake in the park. His eyes read illness, abandonment, wings droop. Standing on an island of wet sand in the middle of a winter flooding creek we cannot reach him. We look at each other drake eye to human eye, leave him there.

Now I find a duck.
But this duck is not my duck.
He is a wild duck.
Not in my care.

Friday, July 17, 2009

seven degrees

seven degrees mountains cloud covered every morning most afternoons wattle birds battle sparrows doves constant chorus flock of seagulls migrate south high against low cloud all relative metal hammer blow hollow rumble goods train dogs always dogs top knots forage beneath eremophila maculata ask who who empty all air brakes bus takes corners three species fight for blossom booty silver eyes dogfight low one peach leaf left trees sky sand soundless

Thursday, July 16, 2009

She Tells Me

She tells me of her sexual assault at twelve.
I tell her of mine.
We share a story.

Rooted to the spot,
erect penises beneath coarse trouser cloth,
the neighbors hands in our baggy girls knickers
boiled clean too many times in steaming wash day coppers.
Worn elastic around our taut young bodies
no protection as he fondled our shame.

We swore ourselves to secrecy for more than twenty years.

“He haunts my marriage bed,” she said.
I said,“ His granddaughters live with him.”

Years later I spoke to him.
“She would not remember me,”
he said to himself on the phone.
To me he said, “You do not remember me
you were too young,
too young,
you do not remember
you do not remember

Rooted to the spot
my erect penis beneath coarse trouser cloth
my hand in your baggy girl knickers
boiled clean too many times in steaming wash day coppers.
Worn elastic around your taut young body no protection"

I could not say
I do!
I Do!
as he fondled my shame.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Out in the sandhills .

I am going down, down to the salt lake edge. Head further north on foot. I begin to read sand. Someone has walked here this morning with a big heavy dog, rabbits have been out all night, young bucks fighting. Rain has made the sand run. A fox marked territory, shit on stone. I look for the mob I saw last time, a buck taller than a man and his small mob of does. Here doe tracks. Stop. A joey has left the pouch. I follow for a while. When I look up I am out in it, out away from it, on top, 180 degrees of sky. Clouds: dark wet and luminous white. Light falls with shafts of rain. The Flinders steel grey, Tent hills solid black. Sand, sky, horizon all damp. One year back same spot: land of the dead. Drought wrung the life out of natives; nothing moved only prickly pear on a slow march. Now: land of the living. Moss is lime, skirts every bush. Pig face pink tipped. Samphire purple. Cane grass lush. Spinafex set to bloom. Through it all lone blowfly makes a low level buzz.

Last year in the sandhills I saw the camp of a man. First I saw his smoke. When I reached the top of the hill I saw him standing staring into his fire. I dropped down, ducked low skirted the camp, hoped he did not have a dog. Nothing can hurt you in the Australian bush, my father’s bush lore told me, except men.
Today I wanted to see if he was still there and if not look at his camp. I pulled down track markers as I walked, bits of white rag tied to bushes with blue string. Motor bike riders use markers sometimes but I felt these were for the bush camp. If you don’t love these hills enough to know where you are going you don’t deserve to be here was my bitter rationale.I found the camp. Deserted. Set hard against a cut away sand dune, a niche had been hacked into the side of the hill a place for sleeping out of the wind now filled with buck bushes. They had been placed there but I couldn’t work out why. There was a table and a chair and a lounge chair all overturned and ruined. The remnants of a tent were strung between the two tall pittosporums, a fire place filled with half burnt cans, egg cartons, meat packaging and stones. Sheets of iron. The neck of a Wild Turkey bottle and a broken syringe. A plastic bottle with Home Brand cordial written on it in black texta, some junk mail and a West End Draught carton dissolving into sand. He had dug himself a short long drop with a drum over the top and a plastic seat. He had wiped his arse with newspaper. There was an overturned cupboard and a rotting mattress. A coat falling back to threads hung in the trees. An ironing board frame crumpled on the ground.
Blokes just out of prison sometimes camped in the sandhills or the desert people down from the north. But this had been a whitefella, married to the bottle, taking his relationship to another level.

At Woolworths
I met the mother of my first lover
in the dairy products aisle we chat

I remember the first time
he took me
in a swag
my open eyes
absorbed the sky
hard star light
dim on black dam water
cattle shuffled in the yard
a dingo close by
the thin unbroken howl