Tuesday, January 24, 2017


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


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


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


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?