States of Poetry 2016
On World Heart Day
I notice your scars more than usual -
life-saving stuck zippers.
I want to plant kisses
like votives along each one:
along the delicate ribbon of light
between your extroverted nipples,
along the scythe shaped slash
de-freckling your right calf.
Hospital flowers bloomed, petals fell
in the sterile-fresh air th ... More
Part of the main
is what Donne wrote when he wrote about men
not being islands and what I’d been thinking
when my friend posted the photo.
Our Lady Help of Christians, Grade 1 -
thirty five six year olds in pigeon grey
with a hint of ascension blue.
Those faces exactly as I remember them -
crushed or beaming, self contained, ap ... More
Swallowing the sky
What can I say about this
spring day but that the leaping
dog cloud has stolen my attention
away from all earthly blooms.
Such fine points of ears,
legs built for speed, for the hunt,
tail set to thump nothing into being,
open jawed, tasting life on the hop.
Yet even as this poem takes shape,
its inevitable dissolve has b ... More
The insistence of now
An almost-noir chill day in the cemetery.
A service just finishing, no one I knew.
I walk the line - observer/interloper,
drawn to incongruities, ambiguities.
The way graveside life teems - regardless,
causal. A priest walks by swinging
his thurible, black robes, black puffer jacket.
A child forages tidbi ... More
(Willow Court Asylum, 1827-2000, New Norfolk, Tasmania)
Squatting in the bitumen
by the old mortuary
Around the hem
of the exercise yard
Under the scum and stench
of the Frescati pond
rotting water ribbons
An ash sapling
tunnel ... More
Snow laced the lower slopes
of the mountain today, trees
hooked to filigrees of light,
sky tethered to the mountain’s bulk,
its table cloth of white.
Possibility was everywhere,
the embroidery of snow, illuminating.
Out of the corners of our eyes we spied
our own footsteps like animal spoor,
faintly articulated in the white blanket ... More
This clutch of buildings
has long died
but the ghosts are still here
trying to find heartbeats.
We need to lie
the mirrors down
and take a hammer
Make a mandala
out of all this
and crazed glass.
This place needs
to be blessed
before the ghosts reach
Where am I?
I am desperate for connection.
I must have hit a black spot.
The sun is glaring at me and blinding
my display screen.
All I can see is my own face.
Coarse sand has crept between my toes.
I have wandered too far.
I need to google a map, text someone
who will reconnect me.
This shell, this sand, the smell of rotting ... More