Friday, September 30, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 25 - includes a literary
or pop culture reference

Her lyrics linger
love trips off her tongue

oh, when I was young ...
I heard her with hunger

That free man in Paris
was my alter ego; she
turned me on I was a radio
all I ever wanted was to
come in, come in, from the

Then Cherokee Louise
was yanked to her knees.

A few years ago, I thought
to travel, see her sing on stage

but she'd stopped.
My poetry is nothing

like hers - I prefer
to speak in praise

yet on a journey when the radio
crackles out, it's Joni I'll play

and sing unfettered, high and loud
about both sides now and clouds.

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day27 - include food

Lightning lassoes the sky.
Not to be herded, cloud
stamps rain into the earth.

Olives on my pizza
raspberry slice too sweet
capuccino darkly bitter.

At Maccas on the freeway
the smell of hamburgers
sends me out fast to join

the stampede as lightning
lassoes the sky and cloud
stabs sharp rain at earth.

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 28 - building something

I'm building a book.
Taking what I know
growing it on pages
like garden beds
the contents of my head
spread and mulched.

I'm building a book
reaching into space
and time, travelling
into the spine, feeling
stretched, stitched
wanting to put it down.

But I'm still building
the book. It needs
covers. It needs
characters. "Shove over!"
I say, "Get your own
stories." They don't go away.

I'm building this book.
I began with the people
the furniture, nothing
for it to stand on.
Suddenly: there's a floor.
And a window I can't ignore.

Monday, September 26, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 30 - include the number 30

The Poetry Reading on Sunday

It's one-thirty
I'm too early
they're not late
I recline in
the driver's seat
to wait.

It's two-thirty
I'm far from the hurly-burly
nothing to make me irate
I'm here at
the right place
and date.

It's three-thirty
Some of these poems
are real curly
Others berate or elate
Perfect last lines!
Simple, not

It's four-thirty
I'm at the mike
chirpy not surly

time for me
to create
by the looks on faces
I need to translate!

It's five-thirty
My mind is clear
but swirly
I free-associate
while driving
wishing the road
was straight.

It's six-thirty
I'm at my desk
the light pearly
what I hate:
the burial ground
of good ideas
that could-have-been

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 26 - include an animal

Paying Attention: Walking by the Lerderderg River

A patch of down feathers, grey and white
the size of a garden bird bath -
two vaned feathers white near the hollow shaft
black on the upper barbs - I guess Peewit
but what happened? There is no blood.
What story will I tell myself?

In the trees, and busy on the ground
wrens, wagtails, and a variety of lorikeet
not pictured in my Field Guide to the Birds
of Australia, make music. Other varieties
unseen, chatter, twitter, sing, and I imagine
them feathering their own nests.

- and ponder on the modern sense of deception
we add to that phrase. And because I am human
I tell myself the birds are celebrating, happy.

The quiet "pobblebonk" sounds from the dam -
and now I think 'cautious', 'lonely' - make me
happy as I have strained to hear them for weeks.

I am about to spin a yarn about the 'roar'
of the freeway, and ask myself what is that noise,
really? Do lions sound like that? Some heavy
trucks growl and thunder, yes. But the cars -
no, they come to my ears because of wind -
bearers of small storms and the sound of gales.

A young woman and her dog approach.
We exchange greetings, the dog moving
to her offside when I speak. I walk through
her trail of sweet perfume and once again
the cloud of lorikeets rises into the twisted red gum
calling sharply, while swallows make silent loops.

The feathers I have pocketed sit lightly.
I consult Wikipedia. Although feathers are light
a bird's plumage weighs two or three times
more than its skeleton, since many bones
are hollow and contain air sacs. There is nothing
to make of that. I retain a sense of wonder.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 29 (yes, I know it's out of order)- includes driving

On Not Picking Up the Hitchhiker

You might have given me
a guided tour of the galaxy
you might have driven me
crazy with wild jokes
you might have steered me
in a new direction
you might have accelerated
my education

but I didn't pick you up.

You might have entertained
a notion, taught me how to
use emergency brakes
you might have appealed
to my sense of adventure
these days, I don't know
what it takes
for a woman to want a man

bad enough - understand?

It's not as if I'm deluded
or on automatic
my hormones have quit
changing gears
but you must see how it is -
you want me to see a person
all I note is your flat chest
and bulging jeans.

I'm not going to stop.

I raise one finger - is it to
acknowledge or admonish?
You turn, hopeless, from the verge
and I notice the sign.
Let the bus pick you up.
Collectively, your reputation
is in ruins, our trust
taken back. Shove that thumb
in your pocket, this is my track.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 24 - about an urge

Apparently from grey box trees
birds get the urge to drop undigested
seeds of box thorn. Around
each beautifully balanced tree
an inhospitable fairy ring grows.
Or a protective barrier like briar:
the princesses disguised as possums
the princes determined to find
an easy way through, armed with
hatchet, weed killer, gun. Not a game
toads should try.

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 23 - include 3 parts of the body

Toolern Creek Park bike path
allows my knees to twinge
only slightly, my arms to
remember strength I used to
take for granted, holding
and steering handlebars, and
my legs to re-experience
the equality that pre-dated
cartilege injury, Potts fractures
and my children's gestations.

Don't laugh: I ride a large
tricycle, racing against Caleb
who turned four last week.
He tilts alarmingly on his
trainer wheels, while I
pedal steadily without risk.
Our slower companions
can streak ahead on two wheels.
Caleb and I rejoin them.
Our bikes, too, like being with friends.

Moon 24

Maybe I prefer the sun
after all, that predictable
blaze firing my feet
with a desire to walk.

Or, as you wane, so does
my interest in the cold ashes
of an unwarmed unlit sky.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 22 - leaving something behind

I play Sahara Lounge music
all the way home, forty minutes
of shoulders and hips dancing
driving at a hundred and ten
crosswinds hustling and shoving
vehicles veering towards verges
or rocking on bridges across
valleys, refusing to give in, be
victimised by bad northerly winds.

Back in my home office, I discover
I've left vital information, confidential,
and the only pen in the world
that works for my arthritic hands
in the other office. "I'll scan and email
every page!" he says. "Don't look!"
I plead. He solemnly promises.
I drive back towards the city to
the nearest stationer's, buy two pens.

The wind is still vicious and
there are more cars on the road.
It's five o'clock peak hour
for commuters. I grip the wheel
and do not play dancing music.

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 21 - answer a question


Not articulated, my question
yet when the phone rings
I know it's her and begin
creating a set of multiple-choice
a. fetch her from the station
b. turn off the porch light
as she won't be home at all.
c. start re-heating her dinner
It's b! "I missed the last train,
Mum. I'll see you tomorrow.
I've got my keys." All in response
to my questions, still unspoken.

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 20 -3 related objects

The brown varnished banana leaf bowl contains six rubber bands -
two blue, four beige - and five flowers - three geranium, one marigold,
one deep pink bush bloom and a pair of eucalyptus caesia blossoms,
hairy nectar-spattered award winners in the world of birds.

The flowers, the rubber bands, the bowl
related by virtue of random worship and tidiness.
I cannot bear to separate them.

Moon 23

I'm fed up with looking.
But one last search reveals
a sky full of white specks
while around me streetlights
beam like half moons.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Moon 22

I am lonely without you.
I imagined you might peer down
your vast stairways of self-generated
light and at least allow yourself
to play in my happy garden.

You left so quickly!
Perhaps the layers of cloud, the haze
are the walls of your dressing room
and any day now you will appear
at the top of the stairs, ready

to dance on the soft gravel paths
play with the peppercorn tree's hair
toss gumnuts at the cats that stalk
my fairy wrens, settle in the deck chair
read me bedtime stories I've forgotten.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Moon 21

With your vanishing
I am forced in darkness
to remember that
emergency caesarean
the doctors and nurses
expected because
that night the moon was full.

Half of us labouring
felt you pull the waters
out of us, though that was
the extent of it.
Left to our own muscular
miseries,we were not exactly
over the moon.

While you skated free
on that great rink in the sky
we froze, our infants
panicking, the signals
akin to alien landings
the anaesthetic, the scalpel:
our newborns wrapped

like astronauts in
tin foil blankets.
"Once in a blue moon ..."
the nurses assured us.
Three years later I gathered
facts and forgave myself,
those medicos, and you.

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 19 - include meditation, sleep or deep thought

What is deep thought?
An idea dug out of Crown Land
(that is, beneath the top two feet of soil)?
Is the coal seam on which we
apparently perch thus the keeper
of all thoughts worth seeking?
Then why sell it to China, India
anywhere else but here?
Should we not preserve it as a whole
receptacle of thoughts that may
one day change the world?
Is this not the great opportunity
to see god in what we leave untouched?

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 18 - My locale

Town of paradoxes

The farmland is our chief attraction.
There, you can watch people
being paid to pick, squatting
between the rows, faces covered.

Or you yourself can pay to pick!
Fresh strawberries! Mouth-watering
cherries! Apples and pears!
Yes, take your pick, and pay for it.

"Marsh" by name but not
by nature. Once considered
a valley worth damming
to water the nearby capital
(yes, dear reader, a bright
idea of soldiers quartered
on the hills above in 1942).

Today, there's the valley floor
oasis, and housing development
escalating up the hillsides.
(yes, dear reader, if you're
a First Home buyer, or Middle-aged
woman with Mother, or
someone who simply loves
the Western plains, do take
a brochure - the views can be
spectacular, and so affordable!)

To reach the boundary
of capital city's Greater
Metropolitan Area
we need to scale escarpment slopes
and leave our views behind.

And yet we do. Tied as we are
to the attraction of cinema
and super store for gardeners
even services by Centrelink
Medicare, RACV.

So we dream of days when
we'll be a proper community - with
all the above plus museum, galleries,
and more than one cafe serving breakfast.
Except: we moved here to get away.

Like the country ambience?
Like your own little piece
of paradise away from the
Rat Race?

The train commute will only
take you away from home
all day. Dinner's in the oven,
kids asleep. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Moon 20

Watched a re-run of Taggart
'liked' poems and comments
on Facebook, played Mahjong.
Surely by now you would have
risen: perhaps, but invisibly.

For you there's no such thing
as 'not being here', but I'm
merely human; questions leak
from memory traces: Is your
reappearance really inevitable?
What would it mean if you
never returned?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 16 - about playing a game

I remember hopscotch
the aeroplane shape scored
in orange clay, every square
edged with smooth-sided grooves.

The tors, too, smooth, oiled
by our hot childish hands
treated as talismans, hidden
among clumps of weed.

It was not a game you could lose.
Failing, you began again, learned.
Friends urged second tries, the tors
clattered comfortably.

I remember hopscotch as a silent
discipline, where hand and eye
worked together, and the body
learned balance, yearned for ballet..

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 15 - includes a broken object

Cleaning Up The Garden

I hear the clanking as bamboo
strikes bamboo and the wind
rises, like a tide, an ocean of air.

This Kimberleys memento came out
of Mum's cupboard when the last
metal chime surrendered to storm.

The Yin and Yang striker survived.
Panic-stricken metal shrieking silenced
The sound of bamboo clapping.

30 Poems in 30 Days
Day 17 - a poem that includes three words of four syllables or more.

Resurrecting the Irises
or  I'm Not Really a Royalist, But ...

Unpicking couch grass seams
in the clearing, I liberate
carpet laid as mulch.

Behold! A miracle!
Pale green white-tipped spears
exposed to light, their life force
indomitable, incontrovertible.
Cramped tubers fight the darkness.

I increase the intensity
pulling at tough threads
imprisoning the bodies
digging gloved fingers
more urgently under
couch grass runners.

This patch of wild garden
becomes a battlefield.
My babies are trapped.
Help me! I exhort -
push, push! But Human
is not their first language.

This is my mission today:
a kind of commando-ism
freeing the iris patch
from its oppressor
letting the light in
allowing the young to grow

strong and long enough
to show off their royal purple robes.

Moon 19

And so on the blank black canvas
there you stare down at we who
believe we have created you!

How brazen your light tonight!
I keep glancing up, take my eyes
off the road, admiring you and

your flashy - though small - acolyte.
I'm no astronomer, I'm sure it
has a name. What strikes me

is how small it looks, tailing you,
though being a star it's probably
giant to your satellite smallness.

The artist who did place it just
at that distance and angle perhaps
also imagined a creature looking up

with acute vision, an artful knowledge,
watching this faithful companion or poet
recording your brightest reflections.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moon 18, 10:30 pm

You rise a chunk of gold
waning now, eating the sky.
Once again, I drink in
the sight of you, your
worn patchy skin.

Moon 17

I leave you watching over
my mother curled in sleep
I tell you to keep your eye
on her, even though
it's stuck, winking.

I turn onto the freeway
see you're coming with me
on this long dark road
of mother-love and music.

One of the trucks is called
Star Track Express, the semis
herd at this time of night. Their
lights muster courage.

The road is well-signed
with advice, remonstrance,
instruction, location, and
invitations to nap or turn.

I notice you've pushed aside
those frilly sheets of cloud
cleared a space to shine from
clear as a mother's dream
of thankful futures.

On this trip to collect her
from sound and light, at midnight
your light already surrounds me.
I travel watched-over, driving
among silhouettes, steadily.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days

Memory of an Historic Event

Life was never the same again.
The realms of possibility expanded
to somewhere insane.

It was the day you turned ten.
We can never have that day back.
It was a lost day and since then

you stopped reaching for my hand
stopped curling up on Sundays
in my bed. I understand

Happy Birthday sounded out of sync
and you, my darling daughter
wouldn’t ever let me think

that you’d be so petty as to mind
the whole world watching fireworks
of a completely horrific kind.

You blew the candles on a cake
not baked for a day when love
and reason could forsake

a world you trusted to remain
safe, inherently good,
orderly, nurturing and – well, sane.

And now you’re twenty, every decade
heals the scars. But of what unpredictable
decisions are our lives yet made?
30 Poems in 30 Days
a poem that includes a change in the weather

The first scarlet bottle brush
attracts the inquisitive beak
of a new holland honeyeater

alone it delicately announces
that despite our continued use
of wool, temperatures are rising.

30 Poems in 30 Days
a poem with dialogue in it
and Moon 16

"Thanks for picking me up, Mum."
"No worries, it was really a treat."
"I thought I might have to get a taxi."
"Really? Well, aren't you sweet!

You could pay for the parking, then, dear."
"I've only got 5 pounds in cash."
"No worries, I've got my credit card.
I'm so glad the plane didn't crash.

I heard you took off in a hurricane?"
"Oh, that was bumpy, but all right."
"How long were you travelling, love?"
"With transit, twenty-seven hours' flight."

The moon beamed down on our highway
but we chatted and missed the turn-off.
Lost in the labrynthine suburbs,
it was easier to laugh than to scoff.

For at three o'clock in the morning
nothing could make me regret
the joy of collecting my daughter
and a journey she'll never forget.

30 Poems in 30 Days
doing something for the last time

That Dark Street, My Mind

Some things I anticipate
doing for the last time

like seeing the surgeon
hearing him say, "Good!"

with that lovely smile
as if I've done well

done him proud - let him know
some work is worthwhile

or driving my Echo-nomical
car before selling it, relishing

saying goodbye to memorable trips
the cost of registration, insurance

and the possibility of speeding fines
but others I dread in advance:

saying goodnight, see you in the morning
to Mum, waking up to the lie

hurtling down the highway
flying interstate, walking down
a dark street

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Moon Fifteen

Gloriously you glow
through a net of twig
and silhouette.

Rising, your citrus face
offers gold to my hungry self.
White, what are you?

Barred with black threads
now, banded with streamers
you emerge, gather strength.

At last you glare even into
my brightly lit room: you are
pasted onto a white cross of light.

May you show Emirates
a safe landing; their precious cargo
my daughter, other daughters, sons.

In the meantime, I sleep, swathed
in the certainty of life as cyclical
and of light emanating from rock.

Monday, September 12, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days - Day 10
a delivery/arrival

Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett

The envelope was so tough
I realised this was a topic
that needed a lot of protection.

The book itself has a fragile aura
the pages roughcut and low gsm.
No need for a bookmark: the cover
folds in, like hands, protecting
a newborn, lightly holding.

I begin to see new ways of relating
my story, relating to my story, letting
the story learn to speak, teaching me
to speak its language; it has broken
out of the swaddling, to walk and sing.

I hold its hand, but it is I who stumble.
It is throwing a tantrum in the supermarket.
It wants, it wants, to be allowed.

Moon 14

Full? Supposedly.
Cloud mars the view, makes night bland.
Street lights rule the night.

Homecoming Moon, 6:15 pm

Didn't see you following me.
Now you stare, blearily,
through mauve chiffon cloud.

You look less, even sad.
I don't really think of you
as a person. But you must

feel irritated, all those bits
of grey cloud floating
in front of your almost-full face.

The air is  grey, fast blackening.
The more I  watch you, the more
I sense you beckoning -

detachment comes naturally
when there are no words.
Ah well, I'm about to start writing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days


I have known him forty-four years.
She, married to him, is so different
and suddenly speaks as if single.

I cannot get away from the effect of rivers,
she says, growing up on one. He's a city boy
where coast and beach and surf mingle.

It's the rank smell, I say. The red gums.
She nods. The peaceful flow. The birds.
We roll our eyes at the way seagulls dangle.

And when you learn to swim, I begin
there's no waves crashing, just the current -
and darkness! and so our memories tangle. 

We are still best friends, he and I
and now she 'friends' me on facebook.
I look at their great marriage
from a whole new angle.
30 Poems in 30 Days

Panel Talk: My Culture

The rich mix: indigenous,
yiddish, greek, anglo ...

"But what is Australian?"

Driving back to Wangaratta
two signs on the same road:
Carraragurmunjee Road
Eldorado 10 km

And at the turn-off
two craters left after freeway
construction, both full
of muddy water
or new billabongs.
Moon 12

I want to tell her
I'm writing poems nightly
about you.

She is explaining
her role and why she's
reduced it this year.

Looking up
I notice the great growth
in your girth.

You have lost
clarity, intensity.
We are on our way

to a talk
on being taken hostage
in Somalia.

The man and his sister
speak with great clarity
and intensity.

When we escape
you have become the centre
of a pink-rimmed corona.

The sky is intensely
black and clearly cloudy.
My friend and I

take the wrong street
looking for my car -
find it! Get lost

before reaching
the poetry.
Moon 11

Crust to Core

A rocket will puncture you or
at least scan you like an MRI.
We need to find out why
the moon is special, she says
radio waves not yet crackling
on my trip north.

Once reception goes, I'm left
wondering what she is looking for.
A cold or warm heart?
Solid as a rock,or liquid gold?

At our Community Meeting
last Monday, we discovered
our own lunar landscape just
waiting to happen, seventy percent
of the state under exploration
or mining licence. A landowner
gets the top two feet, the rest
right to the core is the Crown's.

It's so great being part of
the Commonwealth, where
wealth is not common at all.
Every huge step for mankind
becomes a small death
of something, somewhere.

I heard there is a planet
some millions of light years
out there possibly made
of diamonds. Another
great leap possible, another
possible loss
of the mystery-that-costs-nothing
and wealth that could be common.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days - Day 7
your relationship with something inanimate

This cheap whisky
drags me to bedtime.

Remember the absinthe?
That whole bottle we drank?
You weren't there when I asked
the theatre nurses if he was born
deformed by alcohol. They almost
slapped me instead of his bottom.

You know what it was like
in those days, double standards
not entirely distinguished
from integrity, and the fact
of being a woman. Or man.

I drink this whisky because
I couldn't after pregnancies.
The body upgrades, updates
its tolerances, its tastes.

But that's not the inanimate object
not yet. "I want a permanent solution!"
I said to the woman stretching
my muscles today, me grimacing
and breathing in and counting.
Remember the raw energy of love?

You weren't there when I wanted
to toast our happy accident.
I answered my own demand,
by the way: "I guess I'll get it
when I'm dead. The permanent
solution." She didn't laugh
immediately. There was what's called
'a pregnant pause'.

Sometimes I wonder at the way life works out.
You've stopped drinking. And smoking!  
You're married!?!?

Having invited me to your milestone
birthday party, is it possible
we might celebrate survival with a toast
sit at the same table at his wedding?

Remember the whisky we drank
whenever I drove the five hours to see you?
And cried - which men hate,OK, I've
come to terms with that - because
no amount of fuel, numbness, passion
could have us come together?

30 Poems in 30 Days - Day5
something impossible

Fifty thousand words, she says, come on,
you know you want to. A smile emoticon
blows up in my head, turns into that one
with the tongue hanging out, nameless.
Do it in between, she says, and I start to
consider my Outlook Calendar as
The Enemy. This just won't do!
And yet I do know I do want to.

I spend the next two evenings writing
just to see if I can make 1667 words
out of 0.

30 Poems in 30 Days - Day 4
a poem that includes a door opening or closing

I slam the car door, begin my Tuesday walk.
Greeted by willie wagtail, I ask, "Where's that
'sweet pretty creature'. Where's it gone?"
He or she answers with a singsong triple tweet.

The tail has not changed. Wags, encourages
the eye to stray from path to fence. I laugh.
Alone on this path, that's all right. I laugh loudly.
Jewelled long-tailed parrots paint the air.

Through the blackwood belt, and I could be
lost in deep forest. The charge of freeway traffic
breaks the spell. Blackbirds knowing the berries
come soon, balance on low branches, bold-eyed.

Between cypress hedge and fruit farm, red-beaked
finches teeter on barbed wire, are blown one by one
like scraps across the field. There is blossom!
And at last, in the Avenue of Honour, the elms.

Since last week's walk, the greening has begun.
Tree number 221, for Pte W Rogers, 3rd Pioneers
KIA 29 September 1918, had started then, is now
ahead of the game, frothier with new leaf, spring!

To my left, the streaks of lettuce beds sport fluoro
pickers in conical hats, so low they look like alien
flowers, or manna for foreign markets. Along
the fenceline, their shopping bags - Coles, Aldi,

BigW, are crammed with jackets and noodles
for lunch in the corrugated iron shed, seating 12.
Among the bags, four day packs, signs of wealth.
I exit the trail, unlock the car door, drive to work.

Moon 10

You are colouring the frills of cloud
with old ferrous bloodstains.

The swift bundles of frilled cloud
skirt around you as they pass.

Bold and clear, you outshine
all other heavenly bodies.

We are leaving the church where
Captain Moonlight pretended

to be a pastor, exhorted the fold
to be righteous, peaceable, neighbourly.

Then he rode away, unwilling to wait
longer for the gold kings are given,

stole it from the diggings, the poor.
We have been singing Steal Away

and other unaccompanied gospel
the acoustics making us weep.

Now we descend to our midweek-quiet
goldmine - Maccas - to sing in praise

of capuccino, milky tea, and the birthday
of Don, our bass, turning eighty.

Your whiteness makes dirty laundry
of the scurrying clouds, hurrying

to drop rain elsewhere, to leave you
sailing alone, singing of eternity.

Moon 9

This night I saw
your pregnant belly
and all the stars
like newly-hatched
spiders, connected
by white light.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm re-posting this; it's my first ever attempt at an ode; I'm not usually attracted to form, 
so it was a break from my normal free verse mode.. 

Ode To a High Flyer

My chirpy friend, your urgent voice
at first concerns, then I rejoice!
It's you, it's you, oh feathered one
patterned with bars of golden sun
and black as if singed by summer fire
and yet your voice is a veritable choir.

Urgent, you chirp, and swoop for gnat
Is this your greeting? Have you seen a cat?
Another swoop under the shade cloth's net
- a clean sweep with each pirouette.
As fast as you hunt and eat what you catch
I'm too humanly slow to be any match.

You dash, my friend, to higher perches
your days spent in these frenetic searches
for supremely delicate morsels too slow
to escape your arrowed flight, and shadow.
I stop my work, enthralled as you call
and amaze at the way you triumphantly trawl.

Yet you care not; what should I expect?
No more than those unfortunate insects
whose lives are short and shorter still
because you harvest, eat your fill.
You're not an especially social creature
are you, my sunny honeyeater?

Jennie Fraine 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moon 8

Ah, I see you're the better half
but of what? or whom?
Striking out across the black hole
we call night, reflecting
all that light, you take up
the whole view, splashing your
talents through the gloom.
Your other half does not exist.
Or that's what we assume.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

30 Poems in 30 Days Day 2

First, you have to set up spreadsheets.
Make sure the formulas took.
Correct the errors, be gracious
with suggestions about links.
Call around the country, checking
correcting, coaching.
Call around the country again
advising changes, checking, correcting
Take calls from around the country -
explanations, changes, refusals to change.
File the returned spreadsheets
without overwriting the one you want.
Make new files with combined tabs.
Send them on to HQ with blessings.
And emails which suggest
you are confident
you got it right, but add
"Please call to correct and coach."

(my first regional budget cycle)

Moon 7
and 30 Poems in 30 Days - road trip

A quarter of the way through
the sky carded silk and mohair
pale milky green and grey
the sun staining a boat-shaped
piece of sky, anaemic blood.

Dangerously, I peer from
the car, upwards. There you are
moon, embedded in bleached fluff.
I imagine your light sticking
to car's roof, riding me home.

I soon forget these conceits
blinded by oncoming headlights
on roller-coaster roads after dark.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's already September 3rd here, and I'm behind with my 30 Poems in 30 Days project. So here's the first one.


From my newly set up writing room
I watch a breeze tickling only the very tops
of peppercorn, eucalypt and acacia.

Now it reaches down to wands
of purple-sleeved rosemary where
bees dance and do their own tickling.

Honeyeaters mimic the bees, flitting
from one blossom-laden branch
to another, burying eager beaks in the nectar.

Straps of cordyline flap, the wind diving
to ground, stirring everything but
the stiff spiky yucca shafts.

Massive clumps of marigolds, tall
seeding rocket with its frail white offerings
and ageing herbs remind me I must work.

Work in the garden, that is, going
where gently moving air does not -
Spring cleaning the gravel paths

clearing the paving of weeds that trip
pulling out the kale I saved from snails
but went to seed, not leafy food.

It's not the work that I love. I watch
this crowd, stirred by peaceful forces,
and feel blessed they let me belong.

Moon 6

Central Business District, dusk

Multitudes of headlights compete
shards of glass on tower walls mock

of course, you being a rock
care not, while I must not retreat

must fulfil my mission, trace
the space above Telstra's narrow tower

to see a sign of older, longer-lasting power
your brighter and ancient face.

Moon 5

You told me all I needed to know.
It wasn't my imagination
We were flopping around on the North Sea
Those crashing sounds came from crockery
And wasted litres of whisky
What was bolted down came unhinged
I was one of the few not seasick
Could not bury myself in a cabin
Sat watching the sea's paws attempting
To  clutch us, pull us down
Earlier, breathing vomitous fumes
I watched you through the porthole
Tumbling back and forth in a sky
Where all other guiding lights
Had drowned.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Moon 4

Hey, I found you moon!
Excuse my lunacy ha ha
Was looking out the back door
while you soared into the night
out the front, a classic
nursery rhyme version
a rock-a-bye cradle.
At the same time, as sharp 
as an upholstery needle
renovating the stark black.
Miraculous satellite, and source
of wonder, I marvel
that your wholeness, unlit,
is completely visible.