White Lies


your small body

fell from mine

my white lies – unthreaded




myself unrecognisable

dark hours

held you – comfort itself




shiny streaks of


falling out – like hair




they told me

mothering would be

a thousand hours of – you




with your miraculous skin

and your own eyes

folded – at last – to sleep




so broken and rebuilt

renovation so complete

to see the true streaks – of silver





the wrist and flick and joust of these boys

building up one lumpen red at a time

walls appear and seem to last

whole cities sometimes

made to plan

the initials in each

looking out over trees that are not there

fire bitten and bronzed with ash

one red faced

the other pale

knows what the other is thinking

when his hand reaches into the satchel

for another


The rosary of bedtime



You take off your shoes
Your watch
The way you look sidelong
Put down the map of yourself
You always have to carry
To find your way back here
And sigh

All the day’s return
Is stretched in the arc of your neck
The crack of tendon joint and bone
Set down the muscle that holds out your hands
Props up your voice
The song you will sing tomorrow

Roll up your eyes
Brush your hair away from your forehead
Savor the quiet
Taste the sleep hovering through the air ready to swallow you whole


Poetry, Uncategorized

the chances so slim

that we could stay waist-deep in summer

with all that crow call drought

grass that grew fast-forward

rain that flattened and flattered the soil

walking the dog through this light

gracefully aged though mattresses of air and cloud

listen to the footfall

listen carefully to the way

summer’s engine fades in the distance

off to the desert for the rest of the year

even though my eyes leak

and tears threaten to creek their way

down the runnel of my cheeks

(gently cooked by sunlight)

we have our consolation

to light a fire without that catch

that looms light into the rage of the dark

Flute Stalks


The poet came to visit

and showed the children

how to make

flutes and fifes from

pumpkin stalks.


A man who saw words and moods

move like weather systems.

Huge pillows of them amassing

over the country

placing water, heat

feelings that took on

the whole week

like rain or wind

or that cold

slapping at your skin

when you walk out at night.


The drone of those

strange stalk flutes

the shrieks of children

as they found

the sweet-spot in the sound,

like summer weather

and the evenings long

with the crescendo

of cockatoos and the

fugues of magpies

answering one to the other.


When a plucked pumpkin stalk

puckers and pops with its

own hollow weather.


And in the driveway

the figure of the poet

at sunset.


A man silhouetted

against his own shadow.


A man seeing things changing

slowly, like sounds.