"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time." (T S Eliot)
"A dark and chanted verse is what I am." (
Forough Farrokhzad)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SIREN

Your old picture morphed into multichrome 
And then your voice became a Siren's sound -
A diva singing love's perfect poem,
Backed by summer rain's patter on parched ground.
You were a text on sensuality
Written on my blinded youthful vision;
Bonny and blithe, tempting me to be me,
But I walked away to life in prison.
Now I'm here skewered, wriggling on a pin,
Accused, yet not remotely criminal,
Kafkaesque, lost, and wondering where you've been,
Wishing reality subliminal.
In dreams your face lights up and says 'hello' -
Old knowledge that I wish I did not know.



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

ON THE RICHMOND LINE

In my mind I still see those shining rails,
Parallel up close, joined at a slight crest,
Invisible beyond that spearhead point,
Expressing workers worldwards from the west.
Before carriages came out of the east
I sensed their rickety rhythmic rattle;
I felt the diesel motor's vibrations;
I heard cries of freight cars' sheep and cattle.
And I recall smoky locomotives,
Vapour spirals whirling like Dervishes,
Soot defiling my then tender nostrils,
Steam hissing like snakes locked in skirmishes.
Always the antique station waited still -
Gateway to the flood plains near Richmond Hill.*

* The first British settlers in eastern Australia referred to the Sydney hinterland town of Richmond as Richmond Hill.
The picture shows a 1960s steam train descending the gentle incline from Schofields as it approached Riverstone.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

IDENTITY POLITICS

When you talk to me
You’ll look over my shoulder
Because I'm nothing.
When I disappear
You'll never discover me
Because you won't search.
When I stagger
On pathetic ill-lit paths,
Because I was crushed
When the blue sky fell,
You'll look away and snigger
Because you are safe.
When I die mistimed
You'll ignore my messy plight
Because I was wrong.
When the flames fade out
You'll despise my drowned ashes
Because I'm worthless.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ENOUGH

I believed in God
Before you said He was dead,
So I'm sure He lives.
I became a man
Before men were obsolete,
So I'm still a man.
I kissed your sweet mouth
Before your heart was shattered,
So I weep for you.
I lived through the floods
Before droughts brought pestilence,
So I'm surviving.
I was taught to learn
Before most of you were born,
So I know nothing.
I recall the world
Before you said I was dead,
So memory's enough.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

REINCARNATION

Sounds of surf at night,
Innocent, signalling peace,
Whispering delight,
Rolling on wet sands,
Ever reshaping the shore,
Employed as God's hands.

Moonlight's creamy streaks
Make little liquid lanterns -
Mystical antiques.
Stars glide behind clouds
That slide across the blackness,
Fleeting, fickle shrouds.

Or do we hear sighs
Of people gone long before,
Enduring death's guise?
Are they twinkling eyes
That dapple the seaside tide
'Til the new sun's rise?




Friday, December 16, 2016

THE WASTE

There's something deep in mankind's memory
Of life in the earliest phase of time
That makes the sound of raindrops on the roof
Lull us to the sweetest sleep paradigm.

At times I wake broken
By words never spoken,
Gestures that were token,
And wish I'd not woken.
I sleep through deepest dreams
Of escape, or so it seems,
For I'm captive to schemes
Of torment at extremes.
More than ever before
I walk lost on this shore,
Only certain of 'your',
Never 'my' any more.
Somewhere I lost the plot,
Perhaps I just forgot,
Crazed by the question 'what?',
Robbed of all, but not a lot.

What is it that mythology recalls?
Why are there monsters in folklores?
Were the firstborn of humanity
Food for freaks or dinosaurs?
But now we are devoured,
In glorious postmodernity,
By the lies our minds devise
In our blindness to eternity.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

THE FLEECE

“Once he reached for something golden, hanging from a tree,  and his hand came down empty.”  (Carole King, ‘Tapestry’)

This is the way it ends for the broken kind,
Missing in a maze of trimmed hedge cul-de-sacs,
A victim of a simplified minefield that is my mincemeat mind,
With the colours of my culture multiplied and maximised -
White on white but never quite optimised -
Every melanoma scar scaped like scabs on my scared skin,
But pristine compared to the wounds of the suicide within.

The Africans called me a Cambridge wash-up;
But I'd never ever been up there marching to the mighty drums;
The Asians said I looked like an old footballer,
A rugby type, thick-necked from too many scrums,
Yet striving to be amongst the thinkers,
While the locals saw me as one who belonged with the drinkers -
Soon to become a rejected son of Australia.
And so I steered the years of quest and failure,
'Til my hand came down empty, though I’d climbed the trees
To reach for the branch where the fleece fizzled in the breeze.

Now I'm just an ageing face in the audience,
Eyes bloodshot red and yellow with jaundice,
Straining to see beyond my reading spectacles, 
Each lens reflecting the specious spectacular,
Restricted to thoughts riddled with speculation,
A wasted brain that somehow became
A mere receptacle for others' brilliant exceptionals.