they were out
on the front lawn
the father, the daughter
and the son-in-law
the father was showing
where the birdbath
would go when
this and that
it was hot and
dry out on that
patch of lawn
and the daughter
the son-in-law were
putting in an effort
to keep up with
his talk but seemed
to not know just
how much effort
i recalled having
such a conversation
with my mother once
about the birdbath
simply putting a
big basin on the
lawn doesn’t look
wonderful and wouldn’t
work in any case
because of the cats
she’d surveyed the
backyard in her
yet couldn’t hit
on the right spot
the colour, pebbled
or smooth were
also on the table
and it was hot
work out on the
pivot of her empire
that back yard
with the clothesline
chugging the breeze
this way and that.
it took all my
vagrant years to
learn just what
things we can
speak of when it
comes down to
where the little
and the heavy
lifts to float
january 2,5,6, 2015
union st, cockle bay, howick
Possum under headlights!!!
Wide eyed and bushy tailed –
Spontaneous tis woe!!!
Wanton kisses in the doorway-
Ultimately led to my demise-
Pants around ankles
Shoes still on-
Butt cheeks alive
on hidden camera
And clenched thighs-
Now headless chicken-
Cluck cluck cluck…
Backwards and forwards
Side to side-
Thoughts are racing-
My mind is pacing-
What the fuck???
Pointing witchy fingers at me wildly
But how was I supposed to know?
Big sister was watching-
My cabaret show-
From her hidden camera zone
Possum under headlights!!!
Dazed now and confused-
Not quite roadkill-
But ready to arise-
No bitches will fuck me-
No witches will bite
Full moon on the horizon-
This bitch will re-arise!!!
Violently calm, he sits in the front seat, splayed with an eerie regality around the chassis.
Long tendrils of his fiery hair hang into his eyes, casting prison-bar shadows over them.
Lysander is achingly beautiful like this, the fire in his belly burning up, a slow heating of ember before the inferno.
For one named the liberator, he is decidedly trapped within his ways,
But I don’t mind.
His body slack, yet knuckles so white on the wheel that his rings make little arches and shadows like tiny bridges.
I have never noticed the coldness of color so much as I do now, as the glints of two green stones flicker over me.
Time is slow in these precious moments.
I am young.
We are alive and dead to the world all at once.
The car drags to a stop, trailing its own bijou dust cloud and in that silence he swings his way out of the car.
I wait until he settles before I grab the blanket from by my feet and follow.
Lysander holds himself lax, ringing his knees with wiry arms.
I pat the blanket into place.
As always he remembers I am there, unfolds a blanket-wing and scoops me in under it.
These moments are what make it all worth it.
We cuddle together in the dark, listening to the hum of city life in the distance, the insects immediate.
It is a rare moment of peace in our storm, much needed.
We know we can’t run forever, but with him I never thought for a moment we’d grow old together.
His love is bruising but sweet, and I need him, despite all his flaws. My ribs don’t even ache too much anymore.
“I don’t know if we should stay out here too long Ly, it’s really cold.”
He responds only with a rough grunt, and keeps staring past me at the dirt.
Suddenly he is up and bundling me into his arms, carrying me back to the car.
Back to heavens backseat and the warmth of a hellish embrace.
Acrylic red the polish of its cut against your dress,
The leather belt, buckled around you
It radiates under the moonlight,
You’ve got that determination in your eyes,
Mirrors hiding the inside softness of your soul,
A soul carried far,
No more weight than a drifting snowflake on a winters day,
Waves crash in the distance,
You cuss me the usual,
Take the place of the underdog,
Reminds me of the fairness and why,
Tried so many ways,
To pluck you an apple from its tree,
Found again after 200 years,
As if opening a book to the correct page,
A lantern leads a way……
Rage against the dying light,
Race against time,
A night marked by poles of red light.
Angular figures, a clock: 11.44.
It is always this time; red figures on a table;
reminding the mind – again.
This is life – never more alone than now;
tiredness so profound the mind is separate
from wearied frame; an enfeebled entity
adrift on an uncharted course.
Tick tock. It watches; it knows;
torture of night bleeding to day;
thoughts twisted on a spindle,
suspended to swing unhurried,
threads of reason unravelling,
a pulse of light in the darkness
Today left behind by my thoughts I caught a glimpse
The light stretched long shadows on love
I blinked and it passed the warmth onto my skin and from within I smiled
Love that shone through generations and put all else in shade
It made years of transgression disappear
trust will do the rest and buds will bear fruit
seven or eight
to ‘Aunty’ Wanda Kiel-Rapana, who knows the source of such things
seven or eight i had that dream
that wrenched me in mid-sleep
days or months apart it came a
dream so strong I woke to the
bedroom curtained dawn from it
and shut my eyes again to burrow
back into its forest a dream of
standing in a wood like the stand
of pines down our road but broader
spreading out to the edge of
sleep’s darkness the afternoon sun
coming low through the pines
and i was stood in the dusk
behind one peering round the trunk
at a deer stood there yards away
in a square of gold the shadow timbered
shaft of light at day’s end and the deer was
gold and numinous and scraped the one
forehoof on the dry thatched needles
that clotted the damp underneath
i went from trunk to trunk to draw
near enough to touch its princely
wildness a thing as they say of wonder
yet when i reached the closest
trunk from which I might stroke
the glory of its pelt the shoulder
thrusting down the leg its running
strength it was gone and standing
further on yards away and so I tried
again to near it and to touch it in
the deeper shaft of sun and it was gone
stood yards further on and once
again we played this onward
hunt never closing
and it never ran just
flitted to be elsewhere
in the blink of a cicada’s wing
would come this dream like a
a lucky day without rhyme or
reason this dream i had until i
no longer remembered how to
dream it to know the waking from
it like stumbling onto stones
flattened cold in a winter stream
how you ached in it
this day down the darkening
shaft of years like autumn
fruit in its good time
never green and sooner
it fell to me
the deer was foremost
my very self the so close
and so unknowable
and the deer was too
the mystic far
and selfless god
are one and
i am still
seven or eight
and i am
thought about since 1964,
first draft dated february 5, 2015
rewritten several times through
to september 2015
*i was born on the eleventh day of the eleventh month
In the season of drought, the sky was black.
It filled and filled with grave cloud that
heaved up from the south, and it hung
and then rose and from within a cold
wind stirred, but it bore no rain.
The farmer drew himself up, put his wide hands
on the gate, settled his eyes to the light
then looked north and tightened his lips.
The fields before him were dust and a heat
shimmer danced above the heating land.
Gone, he said. Gone. The grass is gone,
and by that he meant it had died, and it had.
A teacher looked out in a distant valley school, where
playing feet made the dry earth boom.
The drought, she said, was a killer, and
the children’s voices rang in the still air –
their friends were leaving: no grass,
no living, no jobs, just the endless dry.
Then the air crashed and a new light broke
on the hills and the air cooled and the wind
began to stir and twist the leaves.
Great drops of water carved in and
spat in the dust and it rose until it was caught
and pushed back to earth; and it
rained as hard as it ever had, and the
children stopped to watch and then they ran
into it and, everywhere, there was sighing
The dog’s hair rises in soft waves,
twisting and curling from nose to ear,
tan and grey and flooded with white;
little moustaches – the English gent,
the rangy wind-tossed bushman,
each wave a story, fleck of character.
As he sleeps he twitches, waking
with a fluttering roving brown eye.
And at rest he pushes out a tufty limb;
he seeks warmth and love:
the touch – assurance – we seek.
He lies stretched long and sighs,
a little chest rising and falling,
and with each movement – a flex,
a jerk – those curls rove and mingle
and the little nostrils flutter,
inviting kisses he never seeks