Thursday, 22 December 2011

For ever

A small gathering of friends
lit the earth
this morning
We could see them
from Orion's Hill

No tricks
or mind blankets
just the gap between us

In love we will remain

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Rosyln St Kings Cross, circa 2012

On an evening not long ago
I was wandering and wondering
down Rosyln St
when it struck me
how much things have changed
how they do
how they go
memories jostling for position
my heartbeat keeping at pace
with my scuttling high heels

I rest against the old and dusty tree
and close my eyes ....
barons was there
all those rockers and rollers
fashion was rip it up
purple paisley black jackets
and dirty.
It was as if Andy Warhol's lot
had been let loose in a Scottish castle
and all the lights had gone out ...
bloody fantastic strange and exotic
...... though god awful in the daytime

Just next door was the Amsterdam Cafe
I can here the staff groaning at the thought
of another day
coffee crowds and a little secret ...
the place where you could buy a joint
it must be true .... I read it in the telegraph

Upstairs the fa'afafine girls would sing
island songs and bluster about in
colourful dresses and size 12 boots
wonderful friendly souls
if not a little odd
men be men and women be men and some big men
be girls too

in what I shouldn't really call a park
gather the underlings
of the underlings
who do running jobs for a small
time dealer's offsider
they scurry when the cops come
like a toddler running into a flock of
seagulls at bondi beach
hours of amusement

There were a couple of dodgy
second hand establishments
they're  all dodgy aren't they?
even the ones outside of the cross
gosh you could pick up a bargain ....
once I found my bike and my guitar pedal
and my phone sitting in the
good dealers window display
now I'm sure I'd left them at home ....... oh shit

There was Annie across the way
a little foody place
with great toasties
and a chess board always handy
when Annie was grumpy she was a time bomb
when Annie was happy she was a delight
a smile always around the corner
and always time
for the sad ones .... she was like the street's mum

Jason's guitar shop would ring to the sounds
of jamming. Old and lovely guitars
would hang in the window and the place would smell
like superglue
Jason was short and wore leather
and chain mail shirts
a well educated guy
always good for a chat
about the state of this or that
his laugh could
be heard from the darlinghurst road

Oh I do reminisce. ... with my eyes all misty
although they're still closed

and minutes later
or that it seems ........
I open them up

Across the road is a bar with a flat concrete
wall and flashing neon sign ..... it says FAKE BAR
oh yeah
I've heard all the hype

Three biggish chain takeaways and more neon
another flat lunchbox type building ....
squareish and plastic
not meant to see out the term
let alone the decade
or a hundred lovely years

Now an old girl's allowed to quibble
an old girl's allowed to quabble
but this old girl is brought to tears
this evening
yes I miss the old street
yet I know things must change
but as the sun sinks over
the lane way with two L's
and a glow quite lovely
fills the spaces between

something is missing
there's nobody here

I don't much blame them
it will
I'm sure
be out of control at the
fake bar after midnight
spilling on to the street
with pockets full of regrets
the young girls with all the charm of a shock jock
and the boys
beefed up and brazen
.... bless there little cotton socks
I truly hope they have fun

So for me
I'm going to scuttle down to the Piccolo
for a long black
the last bastion of bohemia
an oasis in the desert
a jolt to my poor jaded heart. ..... oh no
closed for renovations
don't worry
it'll still be the same old place
or so I'm told

for that my dearies
we wait and see.

Monday, 21 November 2011

not today

Each step she takes
upon the opaque filament,
the dewy concrete
tippity taps me from my sleep.
........ a cackling laugh
not far behind.

It's clammy and my sheets are wet.
I've given up sleeping
for another day.
Even the currawongs are sighing,
weighted from their branchy perches
by the thought of no worms ..... again.

Pulling back the curtain .... I knew it,
grey grey skies and speckling rain.
My heart skips a beat
at the thought of a long movie,
alone .....
and another
when I see what crap is on!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Oh but of course dear sir .... it is ridiculous!

I had a conversation with a fella,
some would say gentleman,
who said to me ..... I don't know how you write
poems dear sir.
And in the course of the same
conversation I said ...... I don't know how you write
novels. All that plotty plot plot ...
all that .....  he said she said he went she sighed.
I also made the ambitious statement
that  that one day I would try myself,
maybe. I also let him know that in my opinion most humble
it was an amazing form that eluded me.
He said .... ahh but poetry
is the esoteric art, the beauty but captured
in a turn of phrase. The moment held for a moment,
the world so ambiguous and yet so obvious.
Beautifully put, I responded as I scoured the
room for something poetic to inspire me. But of course
it was always there. Right there in front of me.
I paused ....  and then he said
and how you end those lines and
then start them
again. With scant regard for .... ahh endings or
I really did wonder what he meant. Funny though ...
because you see it's different
when you talk about it, unlike when you write about it.
Which is what you do if you are a poet.
And I don't confess to be a good
one ..... now back to the story ...
I said, No ... oh no my learned colleague.
It is I who have but praise
for the long form.
Lifting the caraf of pinot in the direction
of both our glasses, I continued ...
and how you hold a story together and beguile
for hundreds of pages, twisting, turning, cascading
with nothing but the purest of regard
for the dear reader. It is a triumph. A grand triumph indeed.
It would be as if .....  and now in full Parisian twoddle talk
as if the Maillot jaune
at literature's very own Tour de Francais
were worn by old Proust himself.

Well if that didn't bring the roof down!!

And so the night continued .... praise and pinot
and not a single word written.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

a prayer for upturned lips

Her lips are curved
as if the edges are weighted
with imaginary strings.....
And the colour has drained from her eyes.
And the water has leaked from her skin.
And the spirit has fled from her voice.
Her stately stance is stooped
and forever clutching.
Her gaze darts about as if a camera
swirls about her shadow ...

I know this place.
I smell it's creeping breath
and hear it's whips, cracking.
I remember the climb, the muddied eyes,
the sting in my words. I remember
the day my soldiers fled
and the night I lost my way.
I know this place from long ago
tho no home have it here anymore.

Will you wind, blow love from the west
to rest upon our mountaintop
to pause at the feet of a friend
with lovers who are sleeping
to conjure up a trick or two
and bring her spirit home.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

An Acute Sense of Spokie Dokie

You know those spokey things on bikes
that rattle when the wheels are spinning,
that are coloured and plastic
and cool for little girls ....

Inventoria has them on her bike. My bike
is the same except I don't have the spokies
and I don't have suspension. I have
an anti mining sticker and a picture of a wave
around the frame.

They are good bikes for us.
Chained to themselves or each other, occasionally oiled,
slowly rusting and resting out the front of our
apartment block on a small verandah. There is no room
inside, so out the front they remain like
patient dogs.

Inventoria, as a brief aside, has an acute sense
of smell. So acute in fact that I wonder
if her acute imagination is not ruling her nose.

"I can smell tobacco coming from outside"
she would comment at 5 am in her most enthusiastic detective voice
"you know that one that all the crims smoke ... ox or something"
"mmm ... that's nice dear I would mutter ... I mean oh ... I can't
.....white ox you mean"

and this would go on for some weeks ... my nose none the wiser

Our apartment at this juncture was in a fairly quiet part
of town ... in fact one where tres early walkers
would more likely to be carrying small dogs in tow
or personal trainers ... not puffing on an early morning ox.

On this particular morning, the air was still and warm.
Half sleeping Inventoria's senses begin
to come to life. I only inches away dream on snoringly.

 ..... and like a panther inventoria leaps

Out the bedroom door,  left toward the front door ...that
opens onto our little verandah with the bikes
and other odd assortments.
As she leaps stark naked ... I turn startled to see
her bottom whiz around the corner as she yells
.... the fucker!!!

I'm all aglaze. Did I hear something in my half sleep ...
a rattling, a familiar sound? Yes I did.
The clickety click of those spokies

Now I'm up too, naked and dangling about. The front door
is open and there on the footpath is Inventoria's bike
with wheel spinning, it's naked owner cursing some
fleeing and unsuccessful theif.

You see the spokies alerted Inventoria and her cat like
reflexes saved the day ..... "not entirely the noise" she said
with a deserved sense of triumph....
"I could smell him coming"

And as we stood in the early morning light
naked with hearts thumping, a bike strewn and tangled
on the footpath, spokies still spinning slowly ... I took a deep breath,
and yes .......  there it was,
I smelt it with my own nose
the faint and somewhat ominous smell of
white ox ....

The moral of the story is that if you are going
to rip off a bike from the front
of someones house ... put out your fag first.

Friday, 16 September 2011

the luckiest dip of all

Of all the things old and new
that you and I have wondered of
and discarded
taken but for a glance
left to drip from the soles of our shoes and forgotten about .....
these little things that fly in unnoticed
and unannounced
that don't make sense till tomorrow ....
lets catch them up and keep them in a basket
that sits quietly on top of a cupboard
in the kitchen
and when we need a way through this
ready rolled pre fab
or when a pocketful of senseless misgivings
would do wonders for our stiff necks
or the thought of letting it go
just letting it all go
at least for now
sees us reach for the basket of gatherings
dip down deep like a lucky dip
hold on tight like a baby would baby
don't let go
no .... don't let go
cause the magic is 'bout to begin

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Once upon a Ragtime

Once upon a ragtime
in a stout house by the sea
sat a bold and carefree woman
with her one child on her knee

The kettle on the belly
brackish sand was in her hair
washing in the window
tanner in the lair

A mighty cloud was thickening
sou' easter off the coast
if Papa ain't got anchor
the old dog's sure be toast

So sitting ain't done easy
all thinkin what's gone wrong
my child and I will whisper
and sing a dreamy song

Till sun up brings the tidings
and someone from the sea
his rattling chains and sardines
are home and home to me

Thursday, 25 August 2011


In the fading light
............. I sit and listen to my
Breathing - take me home.

Monday, 15 August 2011

throwing a dart at the world

I picked a random town
a random city by throwing
a dart at a map of the world ....
grant it took me three goes to not land in the water
and then googled their public art
and below are the names of the public art
in Mountain View California
in no particular order

white tail by
bicycle kids
silent shapes in space and time #1
going for all the marbles
solar system iv
aura 11
crocodile dandee
toads book club
and untitled .....

I'm sure there's more
and no idea if they are loved,forgotten
admired or inspired ...

doesn't even give too much away about the town
suffice to say they do have public art and a website about it

A good way to get inspiration for a new poem
or a new song .... perhaps

........ crocodile dandee !!! .... sheesh ...
hey it's a cool sculpture

Monday, 25 July 2011

this old mouse trap

Today will stretch out
further than my lips will ever tell
and the sun will hang
like a puppet ....
the trees will sway
an everlasting dance
for each who care to see
such things.

Again I sit in the dress circle.
The actors look tired
in the white light ...
the audience - fascinated easily
applaud at each flinch
gasp at each heralding
tap their feet
to the gutless tunes.

I have my eyes on the curtain
and the exit sign above.
It winks at me
like a hooker from the
dirty half mile and
has me bounding for freedom
.... the first to leave they say
in over 200 years.

Tripping down the stairs
to a cold steel door i stumble ...
and outside
the afternoon sun hits my cheeks
where I fall unprepared
into the longest day
that ever has there been.

Monday, 11 July 2011

old beautiful things

I saw an old picture of you
and one you took of me
one a bit faded
the other wrinkling
at the corners
both stuffed in a box
marked don't throw these out
I wonder if you kept a picture of me
and have it stuffed in a box
that overflows with useless things
and beautiful things
and old things

Thursday, 16 June 2011

afternoon tea

Such a desperate look in his eyes
and hers not far behind
reflecting not the rain
nor the droplets of light
but the blue x of the sex shop
.... tonight there could be trouble
a TV game brings in the raffiest
from far flung villages
war paint and guernsey arrmoury
folded arm buffoonery
and it's only mid afternoon.
I check in to the local cafeteria
and a large pot of tea
is promptly placed afore me.
I stare out at the street
I stare out at nothing
I hear another siren
I tappity tap my fingerless gloves
I blow the steaming tea away
then close my eyes
and think of you

Saturday, 28 May 2011

These Things

These simple things ........
A tune that works
A smile from my daughters
When the words flow
A kiss from my lover
When I call my folks
When I pick up the guitar
Western NSW from an aeroplane
Kings Cross Station
A job well done
Remembering stuff
Sunday coffee with the locals
An odd light
The key of A minor
A slightly curling 4 ft wave at Longy bomby

why would you care or be slightly interested??
the nature of the blog
and the desire of the poet

..... so there!!!

Friday, 20 May 2011

when the raven leaves your window pane

this will be a shorty one
about things that seem
too big in the night .... and
when darkness ends
when the raven leaves
your window pane
and the dew drops fall
down from the branches
slipping with it
all the beasts of the night
that wrapped your head
an held it tight
these simple rays
of soft delight
make them seem so far away

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

In Hindsight

You have this thing
That I see sometimes
When I really don't expect it
Actually I didn't even think it was you
Who would tell me this and
It's so obvious in
That it always was you

Sunday, 1 May 2011

it's only a ripple

Dipping my head below the waterline
Lifting my feet from the sand
Tumbling backwards toward you
Whisper with me ... Here comes another ..

It's not quite as I'd imagined
The way things would turn out
All these shadows and rays
Wobbly lines, the deadrise of ships
Whose high tide marks leave me
Walking in circles.
White froth from her belly
The things I want most
Back for another again and another
But it's not quite as I'd imagined
No .... it's nothing like it at all

Hello, now that I'm breathing
This time I will be
I've read it I've heard it
I've thought it out loud ....

Oh where is this place?
Now that I'm here

I've nothing to give you
Nothing to please you
Nothing you need
Nothing at all
For now that I'm here
I have nothing to soothe you
Nothing to bring you
No nothing at all

And so it seems I have
Given my soul, yes
Given my soul
To the Old angry sea
Where there it will stay
Along with the froth
In the belly of this beast
Yes there it will stay

Dipping my head below the waterline
Lifting my feet from the sand
Tumbling backwards toward you
Whisper with me ... Here comes another

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

exert from the beekeeper

around the card table of the gods
seasons are dealt out
like ideas at andy's factory
another poem about the weather
another verso descripto on nature
another 15 minutes of sunshine

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Rosie's Dream

The siren screamed
and the bird whistles turned
to dust.
The crumbling road
crumbled further
and the crimson sky winked.
Rosie rode on through it all.
Her shoulder length hair curling backwards
as Rosie's little bike swung into Orwell St.
Her basket was full of wishes and regrets
that fell hopelessly onto the footpath
where desperate souls filled their pockets.
The Old Minerva swayed to the sound
of old songs imagined.
Heartbeats raced a thousand times over
just as they did in 1943.
Rosie and her bike rode on.
Past the steaming chinese laundries
and the coal faced boys ...
past the back street liquor
and the wooden lamposts
that skirted eerie glows
all about town .....
then the skies winked once more ...
fading crimsons
flickering a different channel
as Rosie slowed to lean with one foot
upon on a sandstone bench.
Her dream was ending.
She knew it would.
And soon the afternoon hit her hard
as the blue blue sky
sunk quickly in.

Friday, 4 March 2011

The sound of bells as the weather cools

Underneath the whistling
the swirling and forgotten
I hear the sound of bells
ringing 'bout the cross

Call me to the harbourside
steely, silken, glassy
and there I'll sit till sunset
amongst the rocks n moss

Friday, 18 February 2011

no strings attached

What is it about this place that draws
you back .... and back again.
Pulled by invisible strings.
The puppeteer sees you coming.

My old mate, Jason, who ran the
guitar shop in Roslyn St had a theory.
"Well where else do you go after this ....?"
perhaps he was right ...
everything else seems just a little tame
after you've spent some time at the cross.
"But there ain't nothing wrong with tame"
I would argue , being the devil's whatitsname.

Nonetheless Jason would try to occasionally
get out of town with all grande intention ....
perhaps into the burbs for a daytrip.
Perhaps an excursion a little more adventurous
with tent and sleeping bag ....

No surprise to me he would get bored ...
Longing to return to what he knew best,
back to his squallid little flat
and his squallid but oh so cool shop.

I, on the other hand
am happy to get away ...
and for longer stretches of time.
Particularly now that the bohemiam gods
are slowly vanishing from this old township ...
frightened off by vomiting teenagers
a creeping conservatism
and disasterous new architecture.

But I am drawn back ...

maybe to Piccolos's (last great bastion)
or to sit in the park and visit the giant fish,
that bookshop, the weekend markets,
the laneway with 2 L's, the secret resteraunt
or the 16 mm film night. Perhaps to visit Estelle
or Lester and frolic on old times
or just to soak it in for a bit.

No strings attached

Monday, 14 February 2011

Wishing for what ya got!!

If I play my cards right
getting a little luck
smiling as I go
I'll be able to do what I do
smiling as I go
getting a little luck
If I play my cards right

Friday, 28 January 2011

As morning falls away

Somewhere I hear a drip
Guttering from the skies
Washing over cobblestones
My head between the blankets still
Wondering if the world is blue
Wondering where my sweetheart is
Falling back below the surface
Under spells of daybreak
Down to where the waters go
As gravity takes it's hold

Sunday, 23 January 2011

That werewholf feeling

I was asked to an event
a long way from here
to celebrate a moon even further
that was big and bold and half hidden from my eyes
by an unseen sun ...
a smoking ceremony was planned
with a leafy tree part
and some very old souls ...
all of us gathered
'bout a fire light.
I knew it was special ....
like a old Saints gig
or one of those days when I would skip school early
to go and see swinging steve and the surfside six
at the narrabeen antler .... except I knew it was midnight oil
when they really played it hard
the place was steamy and the beer dripped
from the ceiling and the energy was
mind blowing like nothing I knew about
half starved for oxygen
but more than compensated with by spirit ...
maybe it's not the music but the shear force of raw energy
that I remember ..... although I love the ambient
.... mmmm

Anyway ... here I am
miles away, feeling this special something
in the early full moon evening
thirty years on
when I jump the gate
instead of opening it and walking on through ..
I shattered my kneebone ...
nothing is more painful than a crack to the knee
not a poke to the eyeball
or a long time regret ...
but I was overwhelmed by a madness
and paid the price

I couldn't even hang about for the smoking part
I sure could have done with the healing
but I had done my dash
and hobbled home
to ice packs and pain killers

Then I thought that it was all making sense ...
oh yes I should have cracked my fucking knee
and missed that old saints gig feeling
that ambient night time energy
because I hadn't learnt rule fucking one the bloody gate!!