I have heard the doleful voices of the dingoes at night
and have thrilled to the whistle of an eagle at great height,
I have heard the warning call when a plover guards its nest
Have marvelled at the creaking of the gums that line the crest
of the hills where the kookaburra laughs with breathless glee
and enjoins the forest creatures to be glad that they’re free.
I have heard the spiteful jar of a crow at its road kill
and have felt the blessed comfort of sitting quite still
to listen to the soothing calls of the birds … Read the rest
I have heard the doleful voices of the dingoes at night
Have you seen the woman living in the house that stands apart?
Have you heard the woman calling in a voice that tears the heart?
Have you spoken to the woman and felt the emotions she sets free?
Have you held the woman’s hand as she begs that you will see
something sick and subtle lay hidden deep down in her soul,
(A burst of laughter, face alive, she’s charming now she’s whole),
But something sickly subtle took away her happy stance
And her face reveals her fear of that unhappy circumstance.
Something sick grew ever stronger and … Read the rest
She was standing just as silent in the forties when the war
sent our allies to us wounded, caring, waiting, sick and sore
Then returned them to the battle, some of them a last deep breath
Some to come and bless the silence and forget the fields of death.
She was there in the fifties when the jitterbug went down
How her walls creaked out in protest when a jukebox woke the town
How she spluttered, loudly tutted, when the young girls even then
Knew their maidenhead was forfeit to attractive, sex-crazed men.
In the sixties the old homestead saw … Read the rest
A man whose thoughts are all on passion bent
Will strive to read what makes his lady kind,
But careless in his haste with good intent
May not perceive her actual state of mind.
A man who witnesses a heinous crime,
His mobile used to shoot the deed on tape.
Who fails to ring in details at the time
May wreck a crime scene in his drive to escape.
A teacher with no plan to discipline
And teaches with attention not entire
But claims his students cannot hope to win,
Cerebral synapses just fail to fire.
Man’s frailty is widely … Read the rest
A fine university is where you reign,
decorating the halls with your fresh young beauty,
dispensing greetings as you progress to your room,
accepting the plaudits you feel you deserve.
Alive, invigorating, bursting with good will,
A two-faced specimen
at home in a sea of snakes.
Chief Snake joins you for coffee.
Your closeness to the Dean
is known as solid,
convenient for those who would spread
their own events horizon,
as, it is whispered,
you enjoy with him your own horizon.
A paper that’s not quite there
but manageable if he puts his slant on it.
The approach is … Read the rest
With climbing roses at her cottage gate,
A gaggle of gossips gathering late
to smell the perfume, in pompous decreeing
sought out a weakness in all they were seeing.
Profusion of colours in artistic array,
Reds, yellows, apricots all on display
Condemned – lacking discipline – all in together.
Mother took the verdicts, as gracious as ever.
And while she is busy watering her plants,
A genuine rose amid sycophants,
she listens without speaking, bar salutations,
is appalled at the slaying of friends’ reputations,
sees through the chatter of the empty noise-gnomes
while hidden within, her great spirit groans.
Cup … Read the rest
Recalling Shakespeare in
Just now you know the feeling of great loss
that aches like green ant’s fire within your flesh,
The sharpest minds surrender at great cost
and lose the chance to heal in love’s caress.
False sailors claim they’ll sail the wildest seas
and bring their king and nation glorious wealth,
But drown their maker out with mercy pleas
when braver men might plan and win by stealth.
I too have faults I’d rather not be shared
with friends whose ev’ry thought has thrived.
It is my burden hid. I would I dared
believe that love … Read the rest
It’s a quiet world at the end of time,
as mankind waits for the clock to chime,
But no clock ticks and no bells toll,
for time’s run out, it no longer rolls.
While a river flows in its bed for years
and meets new challenges, new fears,
and sometimes overwhelms its banks
in what is a gesture of effusive thanks,
its goodwill suffers no matter the clime,
in a quiet world at the end of time.
Ere time winds down and physics fails,
Think of how friction gripped a nail,
Car tyres screeched in the dead of night
and … Read the rest
Lazarus rose to the daylight from the depths of a lonely tomb,
His hair looked lank and greasy, unkempt, in need of a comb,
His beard, festooned with cobwebs, banked to his account that day
by an irritated, old woman spider hoping to relax and lay
an uncountable number of offspring in the masses of hirsute growth,
But a voice piercing the darkness put the kybosh on that, my oath.
“Where the divil are yeh, Lazaaarus, hidin’ awy outa sight,
Mekin’ me trip on me goatskin, stumblin’ abaht in the night,
There’s a call fer yeh on the landline somewhere … Read the rest
I lie unsleeping my mind in the past,
The memories linger of days held fast
of nights when truth seems so easy to see,
as footfalls echo in my memory.
My thoughts are bed sheets folded tight,
Wrapped in each other oyster-tight,
Held deep, writhing, unwilling to pass
on details encased in mind’s palliasse.
Tortuous the effort to find the truth.
Deceptions cloud the memory’s roots,
A passage taken, a door held wide,
Petals in a garden – deception and lies.
Footfalls’ false echoes residing inside
a brain being taken along for the ride,
times past and future both said … Read the rest
My locomotion’s wonky and my Parkinson’s obsessed
I can’t control my right leg when I want to get undressed,
I struggle when it’s morning for my legs are on the fritz
And pins and needles jeer when I fall down and do the splits.
My back is sore, my knees are tight, my belly’s farther out,
My posture’s crook, my shoulder’s hurt, I’m getting rather stout.
Do I complain that yet again I fell and tore my arm
I’m getting rather good at that…but comes an end to harm.
Her friends all call her Rudder ‘cause she steers a steady … Read the rest
Can you picture an early morning when dark and light first meet,
when the sharpened rays of daylight affirm control of the street,
when the dying tendrils of nightfall submit to the forces of day,
and surrender their last bastion and regroup to rejoin the fray.
Can you picture a man sitting quietly on the stairs of a wooden shack
with an old beanie covering his forelock where hair cannot grow back,
and a gap for the teeth he donated to the fist of a waterfront friend?
What joy a mug full of coffee and a whisper of whiskey transcend!… Read the rest
He rode in pursuit of the vixen, his hounds giving vent to their hate,
His grooms in uniform beside him, their horses galloping in state,
A trip by his horse threw him soundly his spine taking the full force,
And the Duke knew his days as a rider and a father were on a new course.
They carried him home on a stretcher, unmoving apart from his eyes
that fixed on his wife who was weeping, and holding his hand at his side,
He ordered the men to leave him on the veranda and spoke to his wife,
She’d need … Read the rest
The air hangs still as if in waiting. In the heavens,
wisps of blood-red cloud above the horizon,
pencil thin yet in their emaciation, troublesome,
authentic harbingers of a scene not right.
On the beaches
where waters ebb and flow with an oiliness of motion.
The sound of the waves muffled,
as though afraid of awakening some menace within
the dim reaches of their birth.
The sun hangs low in dull-red sky, its fierceness
of recent noon time blunted, the very edges of its shadows
unfocused, quivering in day’s remnant heat.
Birds, the least reticent of creatures around here,
are … Read the rest
He appeared an outright sensation,
a wizard to slow-thinking minds,
Like a stimulant releasing frustration
that tradition had cloaked over time
With excuses and reasons for inaction
to stifle new ways to perceive,
He arose, a bright light in the darkness,
the bouquet of wine when it breathes
With the promise a taste of divine-ness,
that lingers like love on a sleeve.
His coming was a comet exploding
pumping vigour through fossilised minds,
sweeping over the hesitant and cautious
planting seeds that awoke in good time.
The young things flocked to his banner,
Slight thinkers attracted to light,
Fooled by … Read the rest
He is no longer with us, he has passed beyond our powers
His soft, firm voice will not be heard in places we call ours,
He brooked no fuss when times were tough but with a simple smile
Ignored his pain as beneath disdain joined us for another while.
We shall not seek in the shadows for the friend who’s passed away,
We shall not walk the darkened streets where gloomy thoughts hold sway,
We’ll remember him for his quiet grin and the warmth of his gentle laugh,
As he told his tales of the land of his birth and … Read the rest
Crisp, harsh, the morning summer sun,
leaves of our tree
making fractals of its light;
heat seeping in to awaken,
to arouse, to release, to cherish.
Wet, a smell of salt,
engaged with sand; a murmuring
as waves wash our feet,
never ceasing, subdued now.
This is where we met, went together
each Saturday at sunset; slept together, the tent buffeted
from without and, I remember,
Passion spent, we watched the sun rise, its light
casting fractals through the leaves.
A place of sanctuary; lost in the arms
of a loved one, to explore
your naked … Read the rest
When the clouds move in and the rain tumbles down,
I think of my mum in her old dressing gown,
Watching the rain forming puddles in the path
and creating strange patterns in the window glass
of the garden shed marking memories of the past.
When Mum sees the shed with a vacant stare,
We know she’s remembering a girl not there,
Tales have been told about our sister and friends
Tales that get twisted, that never seem to end,
A tale I will tell…there the matter will end.
One Spring when the garden was looking its best,
and Mum … Read the rest
Water from last night’s storm chokes the gutters, rushing
like panic-stricken bulls at a Spanish event.
I’m sitting undisturbed, alone,
on my back steps in the dim light of a Brisbane dawn.
I glance around my garden.
My mind slips from one disembodied bush
to the next, like pale ghosts from a Henry Lawson
morning they stand, not registering on my booze-laden synapses.
I should know these fellows. My mind is not up to it.
I’m not good company, stuporous in fact.
My mouth is a gasping fish, and a yawn
recreates my face. A crushing pain behind my eyes … Read the rest
47 runs on the board, drag out all the drums and bells,
Let’s celebrate this mighty feat on hilltops and in dells,
Near thirty years to take the plunge and marry that young man
Another seventeen to wonder how the hell this life began.
Work and play, and kids to raise, her heart is throbbing sweetly
With uniforms and dancing comps and maths tuition weekly,
Her husband’s current’s arcing volts, he shows no sign of shorting
To default on mortgage payments would simply not be sporting.
But 47 years from now with walking stick and brolly,
With eyesight dim and … Read the rest