Saturday, September 19, 2015


Along a sandy grey track,
Amongst the big bad banksia men,
There are the ghosts
Of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie,
Waiting with the spirits
Of a million gumnut babies,
For another generation to read -
And to be enchanted by -
Their stories.

Above the tune
Of the songs of the sea,
With its crashes
Like cymbals' clashes,
Whipbirds crack,
And magpies answer back
With a symphony,
And then, again,
More of the ocean's tympani.

And the breeze is so fresh,
Almost wet,
Blessed by eucalyptus
That blurs out
The hinterland in blue,
And makes the lake
Into a dappled mirror,
Reflecting scans of sky
And cumulus clouds,
Promising the sweet relief
Of shade
And, then, showers in the night.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


How can you judge
A face that never smiled at you,
A mind that never thought of you,
A heart that never loved you?

Why can we never see
Our own distortions of the real,
Our own failures to learn,
Our own blessings at hands
Of proximity and chance?

How can we decide
Who is a waste of space,
Who is a coward,
Who cannot be liked
Because there's something
Not quite right?

Monday, September 14, 2015


Sharks in the surf,
Dogs' droppings on the beach,
Houses of hosts of guilty holidays
Skirting the sand hills,
Well beyond my reach,
Laughing at me
Hobbling 'round turquoise bays.

A pregnant woman
Smoking on the lawn,
Basking in the sun,
Bourbon on her breath,
Tattoo above one breast,
Jeans custom torn.
What's her quest?
Perhaps a living death.

Drunken man,
Soundscape by The Residents,
Noise at limits
Of taste and decibels,
An erect middle finger his defence,
Plus Anglo-Saxon curses that he yells.

But the sun still shines
On those bright waters,
While cool breezes fan
The hot summer’s days -
Heaven for fortunate sons and daughters -
And twilight brings a splash
Of mauve rose haze.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


As a boy I would stay awake at night,
Watching shadows on the patterned ceiling,
While cars raced
To the left
And to the right.
In the distance,
I’d hear tyres squealing.
On occasion heavy-loaded trucks passed,
Rumbling like thunder,
Brightening like lightning,
Shaking windows
Of fragile coloured glass,
Bumping potholes too hard,

By day the street was quiet,
Almost calm.
Horses led carts
Bringing fresh bread and milk,
Sounds of cows,
Lowing at the college farm.
In clear air
The mountains glowed,
Pure blue silk.

It was such a simple home,
Two bedrooms,
Toilet out back,
By the tomato patch,
A clothesline forked
Near honeysuckle blooms,
Caged chickens
Laying eggs that never hatched.

When the sun sank,
Splashing ochre on clouds,
Bringing the cool stillness of dusk,
Then night,
Above the vacant lots,
To tempt the crowds,
A picture house’s green neon shone bright.