Sandstone: Evening


Out there the stone ripples and undulates underfoot

as it did before time froze it midst the heaped sea

so now my sons can shatter it making morsels of the whole

crumble in the yellow afternoon.


They clamber over angles – how did stone become this shape?

All sandy from some other eon slipping by

that melted then re-hardened by kiln atmosphere

a cloudless chamber of gravity.


We guess and guess and watch the evening

shiver through the brushy Kunzea and daub the scribbly trees

with thickened light, creamy with cold.

The children fight imaginary dangers  –


my daughters touch glowing pockets of moss

where spines of miniature growth make

soft wet pillows that cry dew when pressed

to make the rocks tear-stained trickles


form tiny pools then follow exact carven runnels.

The skin of time rumples for a moment

so below the sunset, below the crispy wind

men and women press new stories on the stone.






All That Bluster About the Moon


On this, the darkest day, don’t give me all that bluster about the moon how it hangs there, static and always pregnant never birthing when daylight is so brief it takes your breath away its the sliver of the year from now on waxing gibbous til summer comes in and slaps your face with freckled heat the type you can’t think about on this the darkest day of the year

so don’t tell me the moon’s just there behind the cloud with the silver lining i can’t see from here with my waxing gibbous eyes and protrusions all mind made freckles or craters the moon’s all pock-marked anyway with all the colliding she does behind the slivers of cloud

You bang on about the rarity, the scarcity, the moon’s an act of gravity a spinning sufferer a huge silver promise on this the darkest day without the sun though he was here briefly and he looked so spiky as if too busy on the other side of the night, where all the action is, you say

who knows, the dark side of the moon might just be the silver lining moon rock pockmarked freckled stretched forever so full of moon the juicy light a play on gravity because even the sun can’t make her stop throwing light around like crazy and maybe that’s the birthright you’re calling in

to swathe in colour, to trip on the banks of time the silver crack in the night as if the sky will rip open as if the silver clipped just the tip of her belly lit up like dusty fire like smoke and familiar the darkest day with the moon all amped and swollen

The Slow Heart Pacing


it’s not so much the double push

one then again straight away

and noticing how it flips and floes

when i feel i am made of nothing

but blood reminds its home is here


up and back around renewed

so many tunnels to travel

so much dark time

and noticing you are not me and

i am not more of nothing


there is a way a hand or voice can change

that squeeze of sinew filling veins

of time with blood and you

the pacing heart moving across that space

on the way to slow forgetting


how to move that red that is not red in the dark interior

its not so much you as the second beat

the heap and heap of you

that presses my whole still life and moves it


sinew flicking through time

up and back, renewed.

Emily by Michele Seminara


When I was a little girl
They shut me up in prose
Because I dealt my pretty words
Like treason to my foes.


A loaded gun — they called me —
And carried me away
And locked me in the closet —
A false captivity!


Demure — and you’re dangerous —
Assent — and you are sane —
I breathed enough to simulate
Their narrow parlor game.


But a wounded heart dives deeper —
Tis the profundity of pain
That drives one to explore
The glittering continent of the brain.


And though they could not see my mind
Behind its Vesuvian face,
Or sense its darkest madness
Or know its divine grace

As easy as the gushing spring
That wends its way to sea,
My inland Soul exhaled —
Into Infinity —




* ‘Emily’ is a found poem sourced from the poems of Emily Dickinson


We Lived Near Beasley Street


It’s a street in a suburb of a misunderstood town

The place where childhood’s journey begins

The wind that blows around about

Speaks of loneliness and sin

The planned city hinged by round-abouts

Tame and neat, a housewife’s treat

It’s Lumbertown, it’s Twin Peaks

The façade of Ainsworth Street


In the grim dark hours of evening

Voices rise up over the din

The crash of wedding crockery

Will fill our weekly bin

As a toddler dreams of astronauts

His trance is broken as she entreats

A forest of legs to cling and to fell

In the shooting gallery of Ainsworth Street


There were days when it was all spring blossoms

When skateboard scrapes match the claret ash

The dusk of laughter lingered

As brussel sprouts were boiled into mash

There were days when the world was too close

When the news screamed of blood on the street

When chopper blades sent us diving for cover

On the fringes of Ainsworth Street


Politicians ponder hard decisions

As we figure how to make ends meet

We hear the echoes of, “Kerr’s cur”

In the burgeoning bourgeois heat

All our aspirations evaporate

As the voices crowd out and repeat

“Look at those worthless bunch of bastards”

Struggling down on Ainsworth Street


In spite of all the palaver

The house was more than a roof over our heads

There was love in the time of psychosis

And someone to change the sheets on our beds

In the shadows of the pyramid

Where survival was some kind of feat

Improvise, adapt and overcome

Was the life on Ainsworth Street



My second guest for December, thank you Lajos Hamers!

It’s poem about growing up in Canberra … Inspired by John Cooper Clarke.

Lajos is an actor, musician, singer, writer and all round buff gentleman.
I’m a Phd Student in Creative Arts at Wollongong Uni.

The Brood


Diamonds puppies fury lunch
Tripping lipping sipping punch
Siblings eyeing words they munch

Ouching oozing silency yum
Wriggling woozing in my tum
Crunching shoulders turning numb

Move on droove on how bout that
Try it fly it give her a pat
Joking hoking – I think not.

By Penny Foster.

Penny understands the poplar fluff myth having spent a year at ANU and
appreciates Canberra for what it is having lived too many years in Sydney.
She randomly writes poetry at odd hours of the night, enjoys a bit of
pottery and loves listening to loud music.


Penny is the first of my guests in december. Enjoy!

Monday’s Song about Roses


Stop to breathe the scent

that must, sometime have whistled in

to some dark nostril

who’s owner took it in

and came the following spring

to slice it from its mother’s branch

and hip after hip to breed it

just for the scent –

carrying the bamboo bucket of water

from the river all summer

just for the whiff of it

in the garden of the emperor

or perhaps the moon’s own forest

white or red or pale as the bloom

shed and sheds its petals

tears of ancestors who were not as sweet

and held their thorns much higher

the blossom blows its own head off

and falls at the feet of the grass

the wonder of the smell of it

lost among the sniggering crickets

and the human loss

don’t forget, we will all rot like this.

The Cloud Parade


they are so buff

the light the shadow

the definition of them

crowding to bulges skin cannot know

tempting the magician in all of us

to say – I know, ididthatonce.

but it would be a lie

because the way they gain weight

and sturdy their tendons

is octopus swivel territory

through a loop in the wind they are

parading until they need to cry



down on the isthmus of your neck

there’s a flecked pattern only i know how to read:

the seams and tracings

are where we will meet

and know another one day

we will be so changed and become so stiff

we can no longer nod

our necks and heads one cracking joint

where thoughts are ants that have lost their way

one thing might join another

scarred up where the surgeon

pressed his scalpel in and down

long ago and with such grace

that the sweep of it is the one same line

it says our bodies protrude like arms of land

out into the sea of air

scoping space from other elements

insisting on salt and iron to make up blood

and then calcifying with so many

tiny crystal infusions that draw their edges

exactly as the sun shade speckle

that fell on your skin

immaculately out of view so

no matter how you crane

you cannot see