stage show yellow

 

 
cicadas play back-to-back sets
eventually
emptying their entire bodies of music
and when nothing but the shells remain
the wind comes to tickle them

I walk a town sweltering
beneath yellow gels
like a stage show set in Mexico
with dogs sticking to their water bowls
and policemen in the ice-creamery

and no-one can move without
sweating
no-one wants to talk at all really
and so we pass like liquid robots
all looking for a new sound:

the hush of ice
whispers in the shade
or the splash of a long river
bending back
into a blue miracle.

 

 

from VI – due Feb 1st, 2017

vi – preview

vi-6by9

Here’s a little sample of the poetry to be featured in IV 🙂

Looking back, I realise that it’s been at least four years since my last poetry collection featuring new work (between giants, 2012) was released and so around Feb 1st 2017 there will finally be more poetry available!  (I also hope to announce another haiku collection with Ginninderra Press in the near future too).

 

 

 

shreds

if you’re somewhere beyond
that keyhole
Alice-like maybe
or sleeping so soundly that
the thunder of
my chest collapsing
does not stir you
and if your pin-cushion veins
are the first things to
change
I want to see it
beyond the rustle of bed sheets
and quiet green bleeps
of equipment
so empty of love that they
must
have never been sad,
which isn’t to say you haven’t made me
happy – Christ no
it means only that their electricity
cannot grow lonely
and that it is never going to be a match for your lungs

and if you don’t wake
for many hours yet
I’ll be listening from the kitchen,
my hands like dull spiders
on the cutlery and pots and dials
and I’ll be listening
for the moment you stir
so I can smile as you wake
try to be strong
as you have been strong
for me
stronger than the pain
that
like a wretched ghost, wrings out
its song in the whisper
of your bones,
but a ghost you will nevertheless tear into a million shreds
and then release,
each one now thin enough
for the clouds to swallow.

 

 

 

menu

up the back
and not quite hidden by the menu
his voice is an idling engine
until he orders again, broken crockery for lips
as he grinds words out
for the girl at the counter
who’s waiting for a tip
with miniature scarecrows for her hair
and an expressionless distaste
that rattles mugs, catches in the fan
then falls across us
with the feathery touch of a sigh.

 

 

 

boat or cloud

the road slithers into hills
lined with awful
plastic and paper breadcrumbs
before flinging the car
up against the ocean view,
a line of silver and blue
unbroken by any boat
or cloud

houses have been
deposited on the cliffs
like white pieces
on a mountain-range-chessboard,
each move taking years
and years to complete

on the other side is Amalfi
stuffed full of buses
and sipping at the water,
lemon cream and refrains
from the Tarantella,
the bubbles in its cafes
racing one another
up the glass.

 

 

 

3885

the clothesline
swings
in a dry wind

and the echo of our voices
runs
down from the river
to where I stand
in yellow grass
eyes fixed
on a horizon swollen with blue

the river
where we’d swim
through the black gold of the water
rapids
gnashing teeth
and water dragons
nimble
as we give chase

how sharp the bite
of the sun
who we would
more or less
worship for the entire season
no sand too hot
no bike seat too hard
no hole too far
and nothing
nothing
coming
even close
to lasting long enough

 

 

visiting (haibun)

 

 
maybe that was happiness – murky, unclear and unreliable but bright enough to blind me to tomorrow, before tomorrow became more than I could fit into my pockets. when it was enough for a breeze simply to make the clothesline creak, I’d roll from the concrete path onto soft grass – all grass was soft to a young boy – and the scent of hewn earth would creep across me. there, yellow fibreglass could splay sunlight across the back step, dust motes in a spinning goldrush.

it was always summer; the neighbourhood stray accepted any food we left out. the highway was a nascent thunder.

tomorrow thin as rumour
my life a tiny bullet
as I ricochet off everything