Monday, 12 April 2021

New Publisher

Monday, 29 March 2021

Sometimes, mother:


Mother sometimes
and the fault lies in the formation, cliffs
and troughs spring out of connections formed
in plates rather than seamlessly. Ruptures occur
a face can feel as if it is floundering in sand
breathing in such cases resembles drowning
a hand waving but the signal signals to siblings
run, back out the backdoor, revisit friends
once more, feed yourselves, dress yourselves
for heaven’s sake, save yourselves.

Mother sometimes
what I wish for, which must always remain
separate from what is wished for me,
radiates outwards, silence can be a tool
to suppress hurt, I learnt that lesson
a long time ago; words emitted are not butterflies
free to cavort and land where they desire, words
are barbs hungry to grip and snare – your eyes
have always been twin pools
I hated seeing my reflection within.

Mother sometimes
I catch a certain look that draws upon you
I hear the curtain rings clink
see the light diminish, know your thoughts
have returned to the realm before
in that barefoot paddock where wounds
are formed by circumstances never understood
like having a brother who died
and so took pride of place in a manner
you never could.



What goes between
is trapped by pockets
of air, themselves trapped by flakes of snow
that alter under pressure, become ice
a captured story that contains
that day’s actions, a hand
light upon soft skin
around the nape of neck, bare
foot taps another foot’s toes and nails
in time with a current song, bodies push
and weave into spaces that yield
and return, words too
become ensnared, buried
in time, squeezed into tales
barely remembered, then comes
a time in light, an action triggers
the memory, sunshine releases air
after a century
of being compressed, thirty
or more years ago now, laughter, hair
blown by a breeze from a time
before climate
became the talking point
a time
before children walked the earth.

sandstone and shadows:


Time erected as if it could
be built forever –
know it as a lie, the finger
etched into the stone a sideshow
nothing will last forever.

Written words sold, sacred contract
as each device lasted
longer than the precursor – a diaspora
of peoples cross the blocks
and girders of progress.

When then did it get turned
on its head – built for mayflies instead?
What finger, what wall,
a new temple made from sand
that tumbled faster than years could build?

Three hours not three decades
a mire of broken goods loll –
plastic islands in the ocean, oil products
for hermit crabs and newly formed rocks
build blocks of decay.

Children focus elsewhere
as hands, turned wrinkled,
how strong they grip the bed – the aged
know how to hold – the young
look elsewhere.

Is it then
the construction of a desert, gods
destined to turn away, the hand withdrawn
a finger no longer exists to write
prophesy upon the wall?

Asking why makes us human:


Head not above benchtop
eyes peer up, the struggle to see
in the giant’s lair, a finger
points to the jar, the lid so secure
small hands cannot unwind.

No other creature,
when denied
will ask why?

Stand at the window, watch
the rain that falls upon the garden, gate
and street, imagine footsteps
that head through the gate
and up the street to the corner.

No other creature
when abandoned
will ask why?

Bald head, toothless mouth
the body rejects movement
calcifying with the effect
of too many years in oxygen, weary
eyes ponder the darkness ahead.

No other creature
when faced with the end
will ask why?

Saying hello to magpies:


She always does,
when they hop along the street
neighbours popping in for a tea and chat
she listens to them
with a curious wrinkled brow
lips teased by front teeth.

Her skill at listening
heeding the eyes and voice
of magpies and spirits
her time-free patience
makes children
of us all.

When she sees a magpie
it’s my father’s spirit
coming to say hello
to check all is well
to tell a joke as only a magpie
in that warble can tell.

She loved my father,
not for his smile
or the gifts always bestowed
but because in her world of chaos
and horrid voices without relent
he bequeathed calm.

The world is a better place
for magpies, she says, their song
unique among birds, captures
sunrise and calls down the night
conferring peace in a world
too ready to be tumultuous.

fruit picking:


Fathom this, floating oranges, peeled
with fingers and teeth, drift
between words shared
on that backstep, looking out
at the decrepit sheds
full of old toys so lost they spoke
amongst themselves
and to you, that was the shock
even back then, so many things spoke to you
as your father did not, the beer spoke to him
and kept him silent unless rage took hold
then we’d sit on the back step
and share another orange –

even now, old and gray, when I
choose an orange
out of the fruit bowl, my legs automatically
wander me outside
sit me down on the back step, as I pluck
the first hole with two front teeth
as you always did back then
I recall again the sound
of china teacups as they hit
the shocked walls in a song
accepted even as skin and bones
reverberated like cheap plaster.