not talking

            not talking

when my wife feels
like talking and i don’t
i tell her my ancestors
are watching me
weighing me up on
their heavy scales

the ‘le baiges‘ of a
few hundred years ago
for a few hundred years
just tilled their soil
tended their few beasts
the talking goats and
dancing mares
stopped their labour only
for a draught of water
a muttering of village song
then shut themselves
in the quiet again
of breaking earth
with hoe and walking
in it sniffing it
like wine

these souls found
little to speak of but
the harvest, the child
who mightn’t make
it out of the cradle,
all things you could
put your hand on
a word was coin
you kept back
until you had
to spend
what did they care of
politics that meeting
of fine blades
knew of
a king far off,
a thing god had
put there like a
clod on a stone
something you
might find in a field
never understanding
why, who left it to
sit there higher
than the earth

these souls are
watching me
cannot find me
on those scales
something so slight
a dandelion head
the wind takes out
of your hand
before you can
even see it
a foolish man
with a mouth
they shake their
heads filled with
the leaden print
of the one bible
they had the
one book
they shake their
heads slow like
thunder clouds
at one who has to
talk so much
saying so little.

for their sake
i tell her
i don’t wish to
talk more
and offend
their iron purpose
for their sake

not mine
and anyway
i’m spent

september 2011

man of it

      man of it

looking up
into the
giddy white
grain of fog
blowing around
the streetlamp
he reflects
that he
years ago
into his own
not seen
clearly since.

evening, 20 august 2014
nelson st, howick

I know what to say and I know what to do

I know what to say but can’t

like my hands had been cut

or worse and I can’t talk. It


doesn’t matter however

like I said and even

tho I’m here and you’re not


we’re together I think

I walk the rounds the wrong

way round – anyway


away from you, my head

down I’m like a horse walked

in the pound. In time we’ll come


together. (If you turn

to run I’ll pin you down

hold your head to the ground.)




As housewives brush a fly away
Cast them aside the same way

Most of me is rust
A black eternal pool of suburban corrosive metal
A broken social unicorn


We are weighted down by sins that don’t exist
Indisputably we become aware of ourselves and the void
Trickling water through a sieve
Memories an opaque dream
Look for butterflies that sleep amongst wheat
What’s doomed in velvet beyond my thoughts
With eyes that linger behind my reluctance to be a notch on your headboard
The wisp wind brings a scatter of commitment
Leaving behind traces of brilliance
The air is thick with ideas
The wind curls across your face
Soothing torrent brush past your neck
Ardent opinions on poetry and music
Captured that look across your face
The glint of light in broken glass
Dialogue captures contextual meaning as if your words anchor tangible moorings
Pawning my intelligence for a drink
Knowing the depth of our souls
The image is my travelscope
Before we are carried out by the ebbing tide of uncertainty

The Eradication

He built a bonfire
Next to a lake with no edges
The red roses had been sucked from his skin
Pale drooping as a flower reaches out to the rain
Crystal shards formed at the water’s edge to the bonfire’s flames and embers
He sat smoked and drank rum
Memories of childhood games
The flames danced across his gaze
Freedom at a price
She’d moved on
As he would too
For one night more askew.


I never get sick of the violets and greys

of evenfall.

Even so, I love the yellow splendours

best, the first flowers of the year.


The suffering is, there; soft, a clean score

that sparks memory, trembling the years;

the scent  of hair.  My sorrows


are bitter, hard; to bear: friend,

I’ve nothing, no way to tell it, but this

.  I’m no

host, I know, but a good man

‘s welcome here.


6 November 2015

from A Pilgrimage Of Snails


Small odours hold in the walnut-
panelled Glory Box, in special coffins
for the life remembered, lined
with pale silk; there, that’s your face,
bent around the convex plane
of the unused silver spoon
commemorating royalty,

succession, continuity;
that’s your name,
on the ticket stubs and programmes;
a poster with your fame,
almost overgrown
by the main event,
which was always you,
stopping to roll the rich grass,

an inch greener near the river,
as you lay there, beside the opaque
cooling flow, thinking
deep and slow.


That’s you, needs a polish,
the infinite complexity
of patterns, the massed
and wriggling trillions

upon trillions of intelligent
yegling squiggles Particle
Colliders accelerate for:
the Moment— is pattern

and you are followed
for programmes of Prediction,
and all which seeks to manage
and control the chaos,

as it domineers
in its return, always
to disable the despotic
software systems

of genomic mimicry.


Id, I.D., Rfid, IRD: can anyone
this known truely be unique?
happiest the moment, is it Movement?

E.motion, as you ripple or splash,
and dependant on your entry in the barroom,
your presence, in the mirror, in her mind,

to admire, to align, the stroke,
along your top lip, to show you ride
that wave, a joke; you’ve a memory, or is it:

a Manufactured Presence?


The Ages, as today, as days before;
yes, you are, all day, and all night.
In sleep, and not at fault, and no remorse,
because there is no blame, and no,
no you’re not, as you went, bearing
your heart upon the granite columns

and stub-crushed alters of the pavement.
Saw in each the same
hard mad trouble we ride
ahead of ourselves, in designer

A thing worried on is a miracle forfeited.
At this place, of Now, day or night,
in such a way, as you are able— grab
the wild situation, until each moment
clears itself. That’s it, happy are we truest
in the courage of no future care
to where we end, exactly where we are—
a pressing in the light from underneath.




horses at night

I stopped to spot the grass,

look at the stars.

I caught


2 silhouettes,

the slow movement

of heads. Horses


are calm in the dark;

when no-one’s there

to see them.


But it starts –

the music begins

to grow


like 6 strings

being tuned,



27-28 October 2015

The Butcher

The butcher is bent, gone in the back. When he lifts the knife you see the flashes of the ceiling fan, the hair stirring on the arm, the cocked wrist, and then he brings it down, heavy and precise, to cleave, and for a moment the silver swooped blade is flanked by parting red.

That’ll be nice, Mrs Jones, and he offers a little smile, lifts the flesh as if to examine its life, then wraps it in crinkling paper and, practised, the hand that cuts returns the knife to its cool holster on his old and broken hip, wrapped in a drooping striped apron, smeared and splotched, to show the agony of the day.

rock’n’roll sutra

          rock’n’roll sutra

waves that last
the length they
were born to
rising to fall
swinging to straight
fist-waves raving
more born in
the rising than
the going of them
what drives this
ocean of space
to ripple so
into the brink
of order in form
to fall out of
these forms again
a song we took
to the quick
of heart
to the core

11 april 2015

kill me

Would I step upon the man I was

as I would the grave; walk away

from the shrill light of day, in new

skin; the white din of gulls on the spray;

thru the moon-lit path, like a white

line across the blackness of my heart?


Yes, ok.


30-31 October 2015

Poetry I’d Handled Till It Softened

& Would Not Stand On Its Own

That’s me, at the Mirror of Remembrance,
I’m wearing a snakeskin cap, I think
it is real, it says leather on the label,
it states, in tart magenta-pink
embroidery: ‘Skin’. Not sure what it is
alluding to, but as I revisit old poems
short of being finished it won’t feature again,
it was simply a starting point, I want to blend
these reasonably accurate reflections
into one account, and see if you can spot
the join marks, like the transvestite prostitutes
you could hire to study the phenomena,
see where it is that a woman’s breastful
body becomes a dude again. One evening
a tall brown sheman came out of the
doorway shadows from the top-middle
of William St., into Darlinghurst, came out
from the group of fee-males and crouched
in front of me, stoping me, and grabbed my balls
and cock in both hands. All I’d done
was smile, and nod as I walked downhill
toward them, nothing acknowledged in that.
This criminal offence, if I’d complained
of the gentle but secure clasp in her long look,
could put her in lock-up, it qualified him
for a beating were it some one less
my tangent nature. They were forbidden
solicitation, apparently they could be there,
available, for the science of the joining of two things.
His hands, her, she completely held my genitals
a squatting six feet of maori athletic
in a tight fitting dress, cigarette in her lips,
the smoke lit orange and grey and red,
while inconceivable consciousness, like vapours
from a water heated, mingled or pickled
or looked for the notes reincarnated
Awareness sends organised systems
into a human knowing of car horns
sirens braking and acceleration,
the Consciousness, or better, Recognition,
worse for wear, my dehydrated mind
perceiving rounds without a world, growing firm
in her hankering, my hands tangy
with the smoked joint, just starting on the
first cigarette, I wasn’t going to pay her
for anything, but she knew that feeling
me firming looking into my reddened
socket’s dopy grin, nothing said, gives it
one last shake and says a noise not unfriendly
and not unlike a hiss. Story it is,
happened it did, gone, those times, I’m glad.