common ground

do you like the way the fronds come alive

when the light falls and the wind stirs?

how they wave –

 

worm tails, white

your eye stilled

in the darkness of my room.

 

huh, it rained all day and the sun shines

5 minutes before sun-down, but.

 

the first stars,

 

sky

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laundry

I drink wine. Think,

This is my blood.

 

It’s good. Put

down the glass close

shop satisfied I’m

insubstantial.

 

More god

than man. I was at

 

the laundromat lost

in the hum of

tumbling colours.

I was

 

nothing. Drove home

more god than man.

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her loneliness

it’s lonely, i’ll tell it,

it’s lonely there & you’re too sore

to think.

 

II

i’ll describe the crooked lamp

shade later, the tears

of paper, cracks, chipped

dinner plates, years of

slog for,

this?

& that on good days

you figure it doesn’t

much matter

 

in the long run;

the black stain

where a picture

hung, its gilded

frame long

gone now bones

 

crushed.

 

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clearing the wardrobe #1

the Past is an old
pair of shoes, or cement
filled footprints,
and I don’t want to care,
too much, about where
I’ve walked, so I’m going
to change this Poem’s metaphor
to one of playing monopoly,
but with people, relationships
traded for knowing something
instead of owning
it. you roll
her onto her side
and move the top leg
to like in the Recovery
Position, two eggs
brunching on the inside
thigh of the bottom leg
as you penetrate
and restore to a default
position a stillness
in ask-for-nought bliss.
that Past is ok for this,
it has some of the same delight
as in the amber coloured resin
coated floorboards, two people
toe to toe, stood sole to sole
on top of our own image, you roll
past Go with this game, and the afternoon
till morning of the Night,
sunset concluded
with a snap
of the neck
on the wine bottle
the cork breaking
inside, because
you explain, there was no
screw thing,
and the driver you’d used
you’d slipped
pushing in the cork,
but pouring
out the contents
through her stockings
not my good
stockings! she yells
they weren’t
her good ones, they
were the pair
you’d worn
that first day alone
in her flat
when she’d gone
to work
and you checked
her draws
out.
no sleep really
dodging waking in that
empty inside out sensation
of coming off
a bender, day-long
drinking, at Dawn’s
midday, the stained
glass of autumn, pouring
the porridge of cement
of addiction around your ankles
and for 18 mths I clonked
around with concrete soles
refusing the Her it was this time
any babies, but who’d
I save yr from
I said, ya just don’t know.

 

 

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reflection

reflection
      for N. in mem.

 caught
out
times
i see
a face
and see
you
as you
were
fixed into
another
life
completely
part of it
completely
safe there
opening a
window
selling
newspapers
smiling at
someone
making a
joke
not even
knowing what
happened here
never happened

not ever
knowing it all
ended here.

beijing
september 2011

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night animals

Me & the cat saw a possum scamper up the plum tree

by our letter box. We raised our gaze in the quarter light

& spied it on a high branch, a silhouette against the smoked

dusk sky.

 

& last night, as we shared a smoke, the cat & I,

on the veranda, we heard a cry that turned our ears,

& a moment later saw an owl spread against the sky.

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The Chairman

The chairman seeks more.

Sales, he thunders.

His belly shakes.

He lifts a finger:

we have to try harder.

Everyone, it seems.

But you.

The secretary takes notes:

the man’s a louse.

She knows there are bodies

in the bottom drawer.

Take a note: all branches –

His voice fades to her ears.

She knows what to say.

It’s what she always says.

Yes, Sir

and wishes him dead,

belly down in vitriol

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Reinga

REINGA

 

Brave light in a foul wind

Squinting in the mist, signposts everywhere

Voices of the land, sea and sky

Echo in the birds cry.

 

Some deep and ancient but not for me.

Some violent ugly and black – attack.

Some of a strange peace from a foreign land.

All from Reinga – the underworld.

 

I am alone but waiting with hope.

So much man driven selfish greed and pride

Promises of better times, but never by my side.

When will you come, great Io of the spring?

 

I wait for clouds to roll away…

There is more than life to live.

There is more in my heart to give

Of great worth – Immeasurable in all of us.

Beyond the realm of fools…

In the quiet place of morning light.

Alone but not alone at last.

 

For Sarah from her Dad.         8.8.14

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inferno 2

The sign nailed to the front gate says

Welcome, all those who enter.

 

The ante-chamber’s lit by the pale eyes

of dead souls with no way out or

in: attendants with nothing to give

but themselves, which is nothing.

 

The library shelves the most extensive collection

of old scholars who trudge

the circular road of academia.

Their lungs are wracked with God knows

& thru the tight hole that exits the throat,

they discourse. For no reason.

 

The lounge is stuffed with men stuck

in armchairs; whole families

& televisions set on blasted adverts

& melodramas which are like

& nothing like their lives.

 

The kitchens are hot

with bad-tempered cocks,

domestics. There is no rest.

 

The stairs are crammed with guests

with no-one to talk to

& nothing to say. They came

& never left.

 

In the back room

lovers consider ultimate solitude

& boredom.

 

In the bedrooms lie a multitude

of couples who say nothing but know

it’s over.

 

Thru the bathroom windows

you can see the silhouettes

of lonesome men washing their hands

in the cold porcelain; feel

the blunt steel of razor blade.

 

In the garden at the back,

in the sheds, are high beams

lined for miles with necks

at the end of ropes

about to break, caught

in that moment.

 

& children

wandering the halls

don’t understand the silence.

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river nurse

river nurse
for Claudia, Bethie and all the nurses in
whose care we come & go

she had
lifted them
into coming
the wet
the just
learning
to breathe
she had
seen them
off the old
the broken
with a
hand gentle
down over
their eyes
she said
she knew
whenever we
talked of the
river there
was just
one and
we could
only run
into it
never out
only go
with
the
river
and if
we knew
how well
we were
made a
gut like
filigree of
autumn leaf
all through
to the smallest
length
if we really
knew how well
we were made
a perfection
we did our
best to
poison
we should
have wept
at our piece
of shine in
the river
autumn
the shine
that was
us.

shone
to a
sky
like
winter
ice

august 2017

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dead man stuff

I wear yr shoes work

boots you left good

as new & yr coat

I hung on the line

 

shook yr drawers for pills

loose change gold

fillings rings

tender notes

 

frm yr son Dad

not the best but mine

& a photo of him

I laid aside

 

for now nicotine

gum because

cigarettes is

so expensive

 

fucking government

tools to match

boots & junk

which I can sell

 

I feel like

such a cunt

but shake it off

in the morning slog

 

I let the kids

have the ps

but will give it back

because I’m decent enough

 

if your folks ever come

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Yellow Petals

Sometimes, those left alive,

they are bound.

Sharing an odd sense of relief

and slowly, together,

wading through their grief.

 

And others, the others,

they are torn apart

Become possessive of their pain

a pain so big, they cannot share,

because they think it is so unique,

it is theirs and only theirs.

 

And then there are the ones who

Make it their mission

to forget.

 

So I take the pills prescribed

Take the pills that are, somehow,

meant to replace the people

who are still alive,

but no longer exist.

The medicine you take

when the compassion leaves

along with the funeral car.

 

So I take the pills to dull the feeling

that someone who was once there

can no longer look me in the eye;

Fearing the sight of their grief

staring back at them,

the pain they’re trying so

hard to deny

 

They’re too scared

and too tired of trying to be fine.

I know and they know

that a longer glance could mean

being lost in that dark mine.

 

So I take the pills

and listen to the doctors

And wait for those that lived,

for them to come back to me,

one day.

 

The petals and the ashes fell,

long ago,

But I am still here,

I am fighting.

And I refuse to fall too.

 

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