States of Poetry Poems

The colour of eyes

For Banduk Marika, Aboriginal artist

1. After your story of the funeral, August 1991

Black, Banduk, is the colour of eyes
like night shrunk
when grandma tidies after grief.
Perhaps she could not spill
to stain the room.

Black, Banduk,
this quaver fisted
in her throat –
it has no moon,
it ache ...

Lucy afloat

After the scattering of ashes
Pulpit Rock, 26 November 2014

And then the light
on these layers of grief,
grit, glow
that make a rock.

From blinding white
to ochre soft, then rust
and pink
running into each other —
who knows which colour came first
or if the glow came
before the grit

An argument in glass

For Jenni Kemarre Martiniello,
Aboriginal glassmaker

As you hold me,
you think your fingers know
I’m glass magic,
this slip and slide on cool satin,
then suddenly I’m water
and an eternity of greens —
O song of sea flowers,
you make drowning
Or so you say.

But what of other ...

After Reming

Super typhoon 2006

Unlike any that I’ve seen,’
Mother says.
‘Behind an iron gate
beside an immense hole
on the ground,
but no house.’

She pauses,
and I’m suddenly
beside the purple
behind the gate
in the hole
in the house,
led by the definite article,
thus defini ...

kangaroo grass


ramayana puppet
                     angled, spare

you gesture with sharp fingers
                    beckoning insistent

eloqu ...