You ask me what is it

this brittle I’m speaking of:

what is this short temper?

And I am cracking the colours

having broken the blue

I say brittle is like this

and the shortness in my own breath

shows me how long I have been wanting

that exact blue of your eyes.

The red is no better

run like the Rio Dulce into murk

nothing can save us now

the sweet scratch of your nail

through the hardening colour

makes red redder and the

small smile you give me

is as clear as the sky.

Then, yellow will not shatter.

Yellow will not yield

my thumbs are worn, nail bed

lifting from my scratching at the

yellow you say brittle in my ear

and I know myself that I shatter

in the the yellow centre.

We have found the colours,

collected them and grouped them

we made them run and spilt them

we have seen that they each will do

the thing they themselves dictate

being made waxy and soft

until they cool. Then they are

as crisp as the day

and as likely to crack into shapes

spelling brittle across the board.

You sisters take the round ones

and make marks big and small

over huge sheets of paper.

The spangled colours are

as mixed and sweet

as the lines on the maps that show the way.

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.



Wing category supple taught

wheel powered and mounting

the fickle fling of gravity motion

the tingle of that flip high.

In the air you know it’ll have you

the ground is curved without give

you will hit and rise with the tumbled force:

velocity in control the skid in landing

foot first unbloodied.


Right the lean and tame that

crawling fear that pulls and tugs

and advises in quick pulse bursting

a lack of oxygen a lack of mind:

be inverted and know that

even if a second counts

you are flying, will always fly

air can hold your weight

that solid part of you leaping

is light and mote-like until you land.





It is awash

again, aiming

sunrise moonset

months then years,

gone into the sliding jaw mouth past

slipping water-like the falling.

Is it the photograph

stopping this moment,

or slowing

the bubble of that, or this,

bursting the passing


with its glassy lens-tooth

as if this could stop the flow and flow of it?

Days pass

with the claw and claw

as it trembles

but never slows

the tilt of the eye

the kink of the clock,

runnels of it through the evaporating mind

falling and falling

moonset, sunrise.

Like Air


From here you can feel the cold breast of the sky

if nursing here the runnels of rain

have been sucked dry and any warm frames of light

succulent like honey barred beams

dried into powder themselves;

a day bees hate, with grey dissatisfaction

they fluff their buzzing bodies and frown down the wind.


But you, having nursed and found the fire’s warmth

in your bones you have no word for afraid

or refrain no other state than barefoot

even in the mud that licks you as you would lick the rain

and stick wet coldness

will fall off you

like air.



The Long Moment


The children are sleeping –

at last the day’s heat

fuming up from the earth

trembling the sunlight,

has exhausted them

each their own spread position

bodies like butter

out against bedsheets

one sideways hair foaming outstretched

surely tying dreams together

another’s arms make a k from his body

everything he’s dreaming

he gives to gravity

the last opens his arms above him

an asana acceptance of rest

as if he knows one day – like me – he will stay awake

to sit and write a poem about his small ones

and they take their turn to sleep

while the evening’s heat subsides

and summer clings to the long moment.


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


Poetry, Uncategorized


For you, I iron my breath,

dust the flames from my shoes

grapple with my own fingers and their workings.

I go and finish sewing the apples back to the tree

blossoms to my lip

sprinkle flour on the floor of our kitchen

and dance,

dance until we all return.

For you I will tie down my tongue

loosen my eyes

avert my palms.

It will be my job to fade the tiredness in the sunlight,

my duty to bulb each lantern

and polish polish polish all those tears.

You must do your own breathing

wearing all my wrinkles down.