Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Fierce Power

I watch him stagger and grow
burst forward
drop down
with nimble-ing fingers clutch
at detritus
uncovered on his way

Turning to me -

his eureka moments devoured
like a Columbus or Polo -
awareness of possibilities with
each new touch -

he smiles

a wireless touch that
activates pulsing deep
within me
transfixing - driving me
through all barriers -
sleep - hunger - pain

he smiles cries out flaps his
arms trying to fly

A fierce power resides in these small conjurations

Monday, November 27, 2006

Electric Time Tricks

My devices have their own rhythm
controlling me one on one
each taking turn to speed me up and shut me down
counting my haphazard stutter through the day
for their own electro-entertainment

Morning is worst

My alarm clock kicks ten beats too soon
heaving me into light
stumbling I run into the
deviously calibrated DVD player that -
conspiring with the microwave -
rips twenty minutes from my day
like a well-practised street thief
so I bolt - thinking
I have irresponsibly lost time
somewhere between the
bedroom and the toaster

In my haze I hear laughter I cannot place

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Getting High

They’re building the city up –
steel rods soaring on the end of a crane
jackhammers thumping –
That’s what they’re thinking –
They’re building the city up
that’s what keeps them going when they dream who they are –
They do it first for their families
and then so they can shout the next round
but they have to be someone too –
They're building the city up
To her they’re just hurting her head
That’s what her heroin mind
shouts through the morning haze
She screams back at them to shut up
first blindly as she passes the pugilist's cafe
then straight at them
when bearings are zeroed
from outside the Silver Screen
She could be twenty-five or forty
She doesn’t care about anything except the noise
Soon she’ll have more on her mind
but the noise is cutting through
everything just now
She shoves her hands deep down
the back of her black bicycle shorts
and screams that she’ll show them her arse!
If they don’t shut up she’ll show them her arse and they can kiss it!
The workmen laugh and look at each other
with that expression that says ‘not another one’ –
these poor suburban boys
have been learning a few things
since they started working ‘The Cross’
One shouts ‘go on then, you slut’ down at her
She just screams more obscenities and
starts asking cafe customers
for a cigarette then a light
Some people laugh
some half-laugh embarrassed
others bury their faces
in their café lattes and cappuccinos
After a while standing with her leg cocked on a bollard
smoking her fag and howling at the sky
it’s time to make for the methadone clinic
The workmen pound more steel into their leviathan
more caffeine goes round
and the world keeps getting higher.


I feel empowered by poetry
It fills my meagre wit with
surging bolts from Parnassus
A muscular swell as I
swoop my pen over scraps of
naked paper
Perhaps it suits
my short attention span
perhaps it’s the free-flowing form
the creative girth
the motion of the wave
pitching and throwing
reader and creator
together or off-course
as line crashes into line
idea into idea
And maybe
it’s that treasure-find moment
when everything stops
and you read
something forever true
All this empowers me
keeps me writing
re-working to
crystallise that perfect jewel

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pretty Pictures

I leave pretty pictures for others to paint.
Don't get me wrong,
nothing delights me more,
than to lie with a girl on a rock,
watching a stream tumble
over cool granite,
while kookaburras swell
the cathedral gums above.

Yet, in my Windmill times, I like to delve
more darkly
sucking on sour rather than sweet.
Turning to Gleeson,
not frolicking with McCubbin.
Looking for spiders
under the dunny seat!

One Tree

Into a football stadium they put him,
my father, his mother, his people.
I don't know how he felt
because I never asked.
There is often an aching vacuum,
never breached,
between those who've
tumbled through
war and holocaust
and their children who
have always known peace.

What I know is this -
That he led his mother to safety
through a hole in the wall
used by young boys to watch
football games for free.
At nine years old he preserved his family tree.
I've seen this tree -
drawn by my grandmother
with forty-four limbs cut off,
names circled and marked

Monday, November 13, 2006

From here to the Cross

Long sleek cars
filed in against gutters
tan-leathered, gilt-edged.
Short skirts bent at the waist,
Prada on show for the
village cafe.

Prancing boys muscle
past breeders and feeders
on street corners,
glarey tops shouting ironic slogans
at latte guzzling home buyers
craving to get in.

Dogs shit, owners scrape,
filling plastic bags,
dropping them into bins.
Couples stop in sunlight
and stare at boat-filled harbour glimpses
or sparkling cityscapes
before stepping over used syringes
and half-filled condoms.

A broken-down man shakes himself
out of fever-filled dreams,
rolls up the edge of a cardboard mattress
for a buried smoke
and asks a Zegna suit,
cupla coins for a hot cuppa, mate.
The suit walks on.

A red-dressed lawyer
and her banker man
edge into a street table,
parking their bugaboo pram,
and order an evening spring coffee
enjoying their special time
without the nanny.

This is my world-weary show.
A sometimes-good-time adventure
wonderland wearyland world,
where gutter and stars churn
day and night
but rarely
come together.

A couple,
driven by circumstance
to get out,
close the car doors,
and head away,
Anywhere they can start again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


A waggle-faced pepper-man
Stole the game,
But his knees were cut,

Out of his war britches
Fell the cowboy,
As the people woke,

Hallelujah, cried those who,
Long silenced,
Found their song,

But the question hangs
Over people's play,
What motives moved,

Monday, November 06, 2006

Imaginings 1

Unable to catch back the black hand,
The cold hand, the slap hand
The touching hand that drags
Across your lost face,
Staring-blind, unforgiving.