Month: April 2018

Jack’s inside

While you’re in the hospital

I’ll eat fish n chips with your offspring in Subiaco

And it won’t seem real to either one of us

Don’t know when I’ll next see you

If you’ll be in the world or still cloistered

with that dim-somehow light of infirmary

which conveys an unreality

oddly yellowish and why must only

the meek in there expect a decent outcome

because out here they say

Go For It and Live Without Fear

and Dance Like No One’s Watching

but that wouldn’t be OK

because you’re high-risk for falls

while we

step easily

across the abyss of clouds and hours

to land safely in another father’s arms

Today’s prompt was write a poem of simultaneity – in which multiple things are happing at once. Since we’ve been here visiting my father-in-law in hospital, while also existing somehow as-normal, it is quite easy (and quite heartbreaking) for me to think about these two, very different, simultaneous realities.


Image result for arrietty the borrowers

draw the hook up

and catch the spinning load

of fluttering flotsam

drain-smelling of rotting things

peer closer though

it is the diminuative sink-sprite, Jetsamina!

her gossamer wings of silvery vagina-slime

and an evil dark-brown-black dress, mucky with hairballs

cat-breath of pilchard surprise

“I will grant you a single wish”

she gurgles in a voice of soap scum

her demesne: the smelly underworld of sewers and stormwater drains


I snap on clammy rubber gloves

make my request

a Borrower’s behest

make me like Arrietty (and Spiller)

tiny, special and deft

we’ll ride the effluent together

Damn the rest!

The Day 8 Glo-Napowrimo prompt was to write poems in which mysterious and magical things occur. I kinda like the idea of mixing the magical with the mundane, even disgusting. I get an odd satisfaction from gross jobs like cleaning the greasetraps in the drains… so I was struck by the idea of a local spirit who might live in there. And I adored Mary Norton’s Borrowers books as a child.

Pic: still from Studio Ghibli’s anime film “The Secret World of Arrietty” sourced from

Definitions of Power

Woman/ powerful

from: Girl/ vulnerable

White/ powerful (but guilty)

also: Australian/ troubled2nd-classBrit “oh your accent’s not that strong” and I rarely demur

and Gothic/ powerful but a “chosen minority” – remembered hatred from smallminded folk still stings but I enjoy(ed) the provocation

Middle class/ welcome if undeserved

Affluent/ lucky

Intelligent/ powerful because it’s in the accepted way. I’ve come to see there’s so many forms of unrecognised intelligence, it pisses me off this narrow view, I don’t actually think stupidity exists, but ignorance does

(And so very few goths are not white, middle class, intelligent – so)

Tall/ vulnerable but powerful

University educated/ never enough

Mother/ vulnerable – is it necessarily bad?

Londoner/ knowing something

White (again)/ easy

Sister/ love

Friend/ means almost everything

Lover/ undercover

Unworking/ vulnerable; the worst of all

Day 7 prompt: write out a list of all of your different layers of identity. Now divide all of those things into lists of what makes you feel powerful and what makes you feel vulnerable. And make a poem… (edited as I saw fit!)

Gold, Fools

today I saw old scars and heard

new stories about them

gaps in teeth winking like small sequins

while words trickled through that glistened with meaning I tried to catch

like gold panning

they say the precious dust settles to the bottom because it’s heavy

like truth can be a burden and

hard to see among shifting sands and gravel

and maybe if you eat the whole beach and keep on licking the shore that way

seeking truth

your teeth will grind away and your stomach will ache because

there’s a lot to swallow and a body can’t always tell what’s heavy metal or which parts of what you’ve ingested are the righteous words and concepts in the flock

mistakes can be made at cellular level, muddles, cancer is the body attacking itself or growing too fast in one direction like gold fever can kill

(a lie: that truth always sets us free)

it’s as complicated as a whole ocean of shells

and I’m so busy Living in The Moment

I can’t even remember who I was

or wanted to be — don’t ask me for definitive answers — my garbled utterances are the muddy water in the pan and those flecks and facets of shiny stuff could be any damn thing

I think this is probably yesterday’s prompt: (Naprwrimo day 6) to play with line lengths. I’m running a bit behind schedule but hope to catch up soon

Photo: Pineapple Supple Co @Unsplash

Neural pathways

As I slope up that bone-colour concrete path

sticks and gumleaves and sand

the scent of the bush – lemon eucalpypt and banksia

alone for the first time in days

home but not home

that smell in my eyes maybe because they fill with tears

or I’m thinking of him trapped inside delerium

grey-green and olive green and agapanthus green and black-burnt trunks with

small explosions of scarlet tongues and creamed-butter ragged tulle blossoms

following paths I’ve never run before

the warm air holds me safe and not too hot

thinking of how I heard he quietly saved his son once from a precipice

the way you do with family, unhesitating, sure as a heatbeat

those old trees stand tall, smooth barked and guarding

not over me, their roots luxuriate in more ancient soil

can you ever reconcile

a life, a mind, a body, a soul

or illness

or just keep jogging on


Day 4 prompt was: to write a poem that is about something abstract – perhaps an ideal like “beauty” or “justice,” but which discusses or describes that abstraction in the form of relentlessly concrete nouns. I found the example poem by Amy Tudor in this piece so moving I guess I tried to mimic the style, I think it worked well to focus on trees and flowers etc.  

I might not be able to link to the prompts each day as I´m mostly working via smartphone at the moment so cutting and pasting and link making is a bit of a faff… but you can always check in to

Band names

Matchbox Scrubland

Out of the Tree

The Hab Spaß

In the Dark

Unicorn of the Apocalypse

Year Nine


Lollipop Bears

Umbrella Mustard

First to be Free

The Undoing

The Wealthy

Pink Meridian


Make pay while the sun shines

The Take Aways

Lazy Nachmittag


Missing Skin

He’s right, you could go on forever…. Today’s prompt was inspired by the GloPoWriMo interview with poet Peter Davis. As he indicates there, his latest book is rooted in endlessly writing ideas for band names. Today, the challenge was to try this out yourself by writing a list poem in which all the items are made-up names.


we’re all

bleeding into each other

blurring lines and…

and blending with


of pain and…

and love

my nose on

your face


a new race

as cold indifferent stars

look on from


It’s Global Poetry Month again! The prompt is a love poem… I was thinking about genetics the other day, and how modern life means we’re all merging our gene pools. Which, in a way, is the ultimate act of love. I am travelling so this jet-lagged piece is meant to be read in a sloow “Yellow/ ‘Oh Yeah'” voice to match my treacle brain.