the sky fades
to a rarer blue
where winter
has flown buckets over
to shred
every single flower
in the garden

wearing itself out
leaving each
but a pale song
of the last

and where fog
sneaks in
to choke windows
and then naught
but the
smallest yellow glow
from the ocean




(This cut-up has been adapted from titles taken from my last twenty or so poems)

Vatican Blues (from ‘old stone’)

Vatican Blues

(taken from ‘old stone‘)

at each bottle-necked corridor it’s one step forward, two steps back. the tour groups are a mass of wandering cattle, linked by their brightly coloured transistors. they bump into us, rigid, processional, lacking a sense of purpose and trampling ghosts of the past. occasionally an arm steals above the din and at its top, like a star on a Christmas tree, is the unblinking eye of a camera. it makes its theft and retracts in shame

sweat beads
we stake out
the open window





old stone – available now!

old stone: haiku, senryu & haibun is available now!

old stone - haiku (larger)2 - Copy
You can order a copy via paypal through my wonderful publisher, Ginninderra Press, or by contacting me directly for $20 posted (mountain0ash[at]gmail[dot]com).

Reflecting a moment, this one feels different because it’s a continuation of some of the travel themes I explored in my last collection, between giants, only in newer forms. Over the last few years, if you’ve been following the blog, you’ll have noticed that haiku, senryu and haibun have often made appearances here. What has attracted me to them as a writer is the different structures and the fight for each verse to not become overburdened – it’s an amazing challenge and I hope the results are satisfying to read!

In fact, if you’d like to sample the contents, you can read a few pieces on the book’s page and in a post mentioned below. There’s a Goodreads Giveaway closing soon – but for those of you not on Goodreads I thought I’d run a little comp right here on the blog.

It’s a little bit of a mix and match game – if you’re interested in winning a copy of old stone, all you have to do is leave your answer in the comments on the Old Stone Mix&Match post!

(Stay tuned for a late December online launch with music and performance too)


‘Old Stone’ Mix&Match Competition


The competition is pretty simple – I’ve muddled up the haiku at the end of this post and all you have to do is rearrange them into a form that you feel is closest to their original structure, leaving your response in the comments.

Whoever is closest wins a copy of old stone :)

So, to give a quick example – the haiku have been altered, I’ve switched around the phrase & fragment of each (with line 3 and line 1 respectively, representing the ‘fragment’):


church steps
lead to a beggar’s cup
sunburnt tourists

shuffling over old stone
the echo
of tour guides


church steps
lead to a beggar’s cup
shuffling over old stone

sunburnt tourists
the echo
of tour guides

The challenge will be that some of the haiku ought to read reasonably coherently – even if the lines have been switched, but hopefully this ends up being a bit of fun! (Comp closes Sunday 7th Decemeber).

Looking forward to reading some great entries!


Mix & Match


re-runs –
over the pram

resting on my handle
other tourists
fill the frame

my back to the window
your toes
marking the glass

a raisin hides
even the fly
wants some shade

carpeted walls
the police chief
is always balding

shadows on the courthouse
the sun’s
thin fingers

return trip
down beneath
the toaster

posing for photos
no-one speaks
in the elevator



The Fairy Wren – Available in Print!

After some delay I’m thrilled to announce that The Fairy Wren is available for purchase!


Here’s the blurb:

Paul Fischer is an emotionally distant bookseller who finds himself beaten down by his failing business, which transforms life in the Australian coastal town of Stony Bay into a daily struggle.

When he receives a strange phone call asking for help, from a woman who may or may not be his estranged wife Rachel, he is drawn into a mysterious search that threatens not only his livelihood, but long-buried dreams too.


Print only for now – but the ebook ought to be soon (just following up with distributor) and in the mean time you can check out part of chapter one over here and if you’re keen you can order a copy from the following places:

Amazon (US)
Barnes&Noble (US)
Amazon (UK)
Angus & Robertson (AU)
Fishpond (AU)
Bookworld (AU)

Or you can order a signed copy from me for $23 (inc postage) – just leave a comment if you want me to contact you, or shoot me an e-mail!



I’ll be announcing the winner of the newsletter sign up tomorrow too!


Verity LA & two horse race

Just a quick post to share an exciting publication – after years of trying to get this poem right, I finally hit upon a good version of ‘two horse race’ – which Verity LA was kind enough to publish! It’s live now and you can see it by clicking below:


Stay tuned too, for news of a Christmas(ish) launch of ‘old stone’ my latest poetry collection!



on our last night in Rome
the thrill of nicotine as garnish
has worn off

and the waitress at the hotel
knows I’ll order
panna cotta for dessert.

after a long search
for band aids
the next morning

we return
to the Trevi Fountain
and throw a coin

and much later
on the plane,
talk about how we both

had wondered just
how many times
we appeared
in other people’s photographs.