Sunday, 29 November 2015

A is for Arid

She remembers
how the garden hummed,
bees sang in flowering trees
birds would call;
brief spikes to drawn out
rambling swirls, filled
her orchard with their sound.

swept the ground with fruit,
parrots flocked;
red, blue and green,
they worked along each stem,
picked flesh from drupes
to find young seeds
and chattered all the time.

At night
soft acrobats
danced across her roof,
they swung from apple trees,
ate all the fruit
and then the leaves,
left tell-tale scats and
wisps of fur behind.

Sandy now
with winds that burn,
she has no trees for shade,
their fallen branches
powder at her touch,
replaced by mounds of rock,
she forms a well
inside each one.

Plants her seeds
of inland scrub and grass
she hopes can bind the dirt,
steps back to watch
how a lizard feasts
on ants that raid all she attempts,
her garden of the silent stones.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Breathing Out

The sound of water
is a thousand pebbles
tossed into the air,  
a thwump of waves
against hard rock.
It's squashed between
the roar of footy clubs' PAs.

From the park a band
is belting out its song.
I watch a currawong
passing overhead,
beat, beat and glide to rest,
beat, beat and glide again.

The beach on Sunday
smells of fish and chips,
hot oil with petrol fumes,
seaweed and brine.
A straggle line of walkers
heads to the point,
children urging parents,
others towed by dogs.

At the cliff a midday sun
meets ocean breeze
and the small knot
trapped inside my lungs
finds that it can breathe.
The Dream

Late at night,
the throb of chopper
passing overhead
signals a walker
has missed the track,
did not return to home.

By cliff wall
and gully's depth,
relentless stretching gums,
somewhere in the dark
do they wait for searching beam
to light their waving arms?

Or fallen hurt
do they endure
cold etching into bone
the pain of broken limbs?
Believe with day
someone will lead them out
and tonight's the worst of dreams.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Picking Oakum

Inside the female factory walls
she finds a patch of sun,
bends over lengths of rope
tumbled on the ground,
she must complete
her quota for the day.

With fingers worn to pain
and lungs that wheeze
on fibre shreads, she unwinds
the tar and salty strands,
unpicks what years
of sea have fused.

She flinches at the sight
of ghost white birds,
they come and go
with taunting cries
while she unravels
and is bound.

Saturday, 9 May 2015


angled like a broken limb
on a curve of metal arch,
out of place against the leaves
and buds of autumn rose.
Its plumage is bark dun
and mottled grey.

The mouth is opening to growl
as cockatoos strafe past.
It maintains this pose all day
except when we approach
the head rotates,
eyes open to alarm.

With night
bush rats emerge,
snug all day upon their nest.
They shimmy down the pipes
to meet a wide mouth snatch,
the wind beat press of wings.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Off Track

Led by a winding path
away from roads and lanes,
this filament through scrub
will lead us to the ridge.

The scent of nectar hangs
in pale translucent flowers,
with acid shots of tangerine
where funghi swells on wood.

We reach a ragged edge
as ground gives way to sky
the valley floor's a cloud
and paths dissolve in air.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

At what age

will I no longer care
what you think
about my skin, 
its scars and jowls,
the style
I keep my hair or 

When will 
keeping house
give way
to pleasing self,
ignoring all the mess
and ingrained dirt,
newspaper tower
that lingering scent 
of mould?

Can I 
see the day
when I no longer
shower or
brush my teeth 
and food is
too much fuss,
when I 
won't leave the house,
avoid the Doctor
and the post?

Perhaps it is